Striking the Motherlode

Excellent information from D. Wallace Peach!

Myths of the Mirror

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Well, I have a gift for you today. NO, it’s not a book. Phew!

A friend of mine shared a link with me, and when I opened it, I gasped. My knees turned to syrup, and I wiped tears of delight from my eyes. I’d struck writing gold.

Brandon Sanderson, the highly successful author of Mistborn and The Way of Kings fame, teaches a master’s level class at BYU for fantasy and science-fiction writers. The class is so popular that only a small number of interested students actually get to enroll. In response to the flood of despair, the entire series of winter lectures were videotaped and are available on YouTube at zero cost.

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You don’t write sci-fi or fantasy, you say.

I will assert, while skipping in circles with excitement, that the ideas he presents are 99% applicable to all fiction writing. He…

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The Art of Storytelling: “WE ARE HARDWIRED FOR STORIES” by Sarah-Jane Murray, Used by Permission

Storytelling is an art form.  I found a video from Sarah-Jane Murray this morning on Twitter and knew I had to share it!  Sarah-Jane Murray is a dynamic lady who holds a PhD from Princeton University in the Department of Romance Languages and Literature.  Click on the link on her name above for the full details of her career and links to her sites!  The content and the way she presents the art of storytelling is captivating! I found myself listening to every word as she demonstrated the techniques on TedX.  Excellent job Sarah!

Here is another video I found as well.

It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood…

A home is not a home without a gnome

A home is not a home without a gnome

After my heart operation last summer I was healed enough to get a job.  The book, “The Wolf’s Moon“, was still selling but due to my need to put the world back into perspective, I applied and was hired as a substitute janitor.

At first, it was at the high school.  I swept and mopped floors, scrubbed desktops and whatever else it took for the students and teachers to have a clean environment.

During my months there, I had the pleasure of getting to know the teachers and staff.

They are some of the hardest working people I have ever met.  Everything they do isn’t “just for a paycheck.”  They do what they do for more – each and every student.

When many people finish their eight hours (unless they are paid overtime pay), they are on the way to “Miller Time.”

I can’t tell you the countless hours the teachers spend after the kids leave.  Yes, they do get paid extra for doing things like coaching or cheer-leading practice.

Still, it’s not that much for the hours invested.

It isn’t just after school but weekends as well.

If they aren’t working on the next day’s lesson plan, they are grading papers and then they take care of their own families.  Making suppers, washing clothes and all the things that go with home life.

Then there are the people that hold everything together – the office staff and counselors.

Everyone from the superintendent on down to the cafeteria staff works for one end – the students to succeed.

Then I worked at the Middle School and the Elementary School.

What was really interesting is that I found no difference in the caliber of teachers or staff.  The principal at the Middle School was always on hand – even at away games.  The school nurse was there to assist if the need arose.

In a small school district what makes such a difference?

It is an easy question to answer – the people who sit on the school board.  They work on the board for one reason.  Again, it is for each and every student from preschool through seniors in high school.

All the work, all the time and effort by each and every person involved in the teaching of the students is rewarded by the standards the students live up to each day.

Many of the seniors are going on to college.  They have all been properly prepared.

One of my young men from the basketball team was appointed to West Point.

I was lucky to get a job, making a paycheck and regaining my confidence.  Most of all I found a high and profound respect for each person in this school district.

By themselves they are wonderful, together, they are the best.

Any doubts, ask the students.  They will be more than happy to tell you.



Once in a Blue Moon

Great information from Rob Mahan about the upcoming “Wolf Moon” cycle.

Rob Mahan Books

There was a full moon on August 1, 2012, and today, August 31, marks the second full moon of the month. Using the commonly accepted calendar definition of a Blue Moon, tonight’s moon will be the last Blue Moon for nearly three years, as the next one won’t happen until 2015. But if you side with the Farmers’ Almanac definition of a Blue Moon, the next one won’t happen until 2016.

No matter which definition you ascribe to, Blue Moons happen because the lunar month, which is always about 29-1/2 days, don’t exactly match up with our Gregorian calendar months, which vary from 29 to 31 days. (I still have to count knuckles.) Confused? Here’s a brief explanation.

In the English language, the earliest recorded uses of the term “blue moon” had religious connotations, but the 19th and early 20th century history of the term is a bit closer at…

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