Giving · Reading · Writing

Saturday Summation – 09 June 2012

Here are some of my most interesting blog and news reads of the week:

Reading Stuff:

You know how spell check is really helpful, accept when ewe can’t recognize when you halve the wrong word, even though it’s spelled write? As a teacher, I see this a lot, but sometimes it come from not actually proofing while running the spell-checker. What about this same problem when doing a “find and replace” command? One of the funnier stories I ran across a couple of weeks ago is when an epublishing company reformatted an ebook from Kindle to Nook. Having seen “Kindle” in the original submission, the company did a search and replace…. except they did it throughout the whole novel – of Tolstoy’s War and Peace. Original detection from a blogger, mentioned in the two articles I’m listing here from arstechnica and Guardian books.

Another article from the Guardian talks of a study that determines that “enhanced” ebooks for children are “bad”. Enhanced ebooks are those that are specially designed to work with tablet devices like the iPad. “Move the ball over to Spot”. However, unsurprisingly, having added interactive features that do not necessarily directly relate to the story can impede a child’s understanding and recollection of the narrative. Talk about encouraging low attention span.

Writing Stuff:

My friend Jo shared this article with me this week from author Graham Swift in the NYTimes about the time warp that occurs with both reading and writing a novel. It’s a beautifully written piece that gives an excellent perspective on both sides of the process.

Author Jen J. Danna wrote a great piece about “Plausible vs Authentic Fiction”. It brings to mind a frequently mangled Mark Twain quote: “Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn’t.” Basically, Danna sums up how in fiction writing, some scenarios must ring authentic in their possibility, but must merely be plausible in order to maintain a movable narrrative.

Show, don’t tell! is the mantra among writers. However, I love that writers are coming out of the woodwork to cautiously say, well, not all the time. Author Shannon Donnelly nicely shares examples of  “When to TELL the Story.”

I found another post that nicely phrases more of my reasons for not wanting to self e-publish at this time. Check out Rewan Tremethick’s post about waiting.

Your Feel-Good Stories of the Week:

I remember a lot of press a few years back about the story of a homeless young man who made it to Harvard. I believe he ended up giving a lot of keynote presentations about his story, too. Happily, another homeless-to-Harvard story has caught the eye of the media again. Slowly, our culture may begin to realize that homelessness means lack of resources, not necessarily lack of motivation or intelligence.

And finally, I loved this story about true good sportsmanship of a high school-level track and field participant who helped a fallen opponent cross the finish line.

3 thoughts on “Saturday Summation – 09 June 2012

  1. Some great links in here (the ebook one about children not engaging with the story – which in an ‘interactive’ book is kind of ironic, I think – is rather worrying though), and many thanks for sharing my blog post! Much appreciated!


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