Monday, July 30, 2012

Figurehead Folk Lore

Figure heads on the front or prow of ships were carved from wood. Many were carved in the shape of a woman but some striking examples included Neptune or other mythological characters or animals, such as lions or horses.

The figurehead was often meant to help non-literate people understand the ship’s name. Figureheads were popular until the 20th Century.

Maritime folk tales tell others stories about figureheads. Water spirits or Water faeries inhabit the figurehead. These spirits guide the ship and keep it from danger as well as protect the crew and passengers from sickness and other traveling maladies. If misfortune overtook the ship, the faeries would lead the sailor’s to Heaven. Without the masthead and the fairies, the sailors would be left to haunt the seas.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Pulitzer Prize winning author: E.B. White

E.B. White’s body of work includes Charlotte’s Web & Stuart Little and Elements of Style.

He first published in The New Yorker magazine in 1927. He continued to write for the magazine for decades as well as writing a column for Harper’s Magazine. He turned from magazine articles to children’s fiction publishing Stuart Little in 1945 and Charlotte’s Web in 1952.

In 1959, he focused on his former professor, William Strunk’s work: Elements of Style originally published in 1918. His improvements made the book become a grammar standard.

E.B. White’s story Charlotte’s Web is now a children’s classic. His impeccable writing provides an excellent example of well written literature. The story is character driven with only mild action but such heart-warming characters that children around the world know and love Fern, Wilbur, Charlotte, and Templeton.

Fern’s compassion saves the life of Wilbur, the runt of the litter.

The runt of litter, Wilbur overcomes his lowly status to become: SOME PIG and win at the county fair.

Charlotte helps save Wilbur from slaughter. She explains her life pattern to Wilbur who doesn’t like her necessary diet, but comes to understand his friend’s habits.

Templeton, a fairground rat serves himself first and offers life’s lessons to the sheltered pig.

The lesson for writers from E.B. White life is to keep writing.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

A Better Plan

Within a block of the coffee shop the world changed. Outside the scope of the security company and police surveillance the realness of the world, the sadness of the world, the harsh life revealing the meanness living within humans became a reality.

Buildings looking like bombed out a war zone with refugees resting within the remnant shadows along the causeway. It could be a post-apocalyptic set of the next billion dollar movie.

If the scenes in the four square blocks of hopeless homeless people doesn't touch your heart, you may need to check your humanity. But what can be done with countless families being crushed down into lower status, there is less from the middle to help the lower class? With the country in crisis there are fewer resources to help those in poverty.

For the long term planning, these issues, these areas, these people must be a point of focus. The focus determines the reality for not only the homeless people but for the whole area. A plan to bring compassion to the areas of greatest need would change the world and the balance sheet.

The dilemma remains the amount of resource placed in areas to bring the greatest good to the whole of the system. Long term community planning can rehabilitate the area, the people and provide greater income to the source of the reconstruction.

I noticed within the four block area there were all the resources to sustain an economic system with the exception of the first investment. What I recognized from this was the speed with which recovery could turn the economic downturn into a boom practically overnight. The ability to see the resources within the remnants of the last generation makes the difference between boom or bust. It needs only a spark.

The credit for the vision of course will go the investors willing to look at the long term goal rather than the short term. The spread sheet over the last 12 years is dismal when the consideration of investment in the future or lack thereof becomes apparent in the current statistics. Understanding the long term balance is the difference between the rain and a hurricane, long term prosperity with greater portions all around versus the devastation of an overindulgent blast.

Loyalty from the population helped by the investment will be unanimous with the love and the short profits over the long term yielding more than could be calculated by the short-sighted will be the boon for the few visionaries.

Direct plans available.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Writer Talk

Creating a talk for writers and the parent of writers is one of the most challenging tasks I've had on my to-do list lately. So much I want to share and a limited time to do it.

In general, the tasks added to the to-do lists of writers are ever increasing. Not only are we expected to write something fabulous, we are also required to create and engage our audience regularly.The social media has taken over, changed life as we used to know it: Facebook, Twitter, Blogging, YouTube; and oh yeah, have a life too. It's difficult to remain as self-disciplined as it's necessary to complete our main job, writing.

Thank goodness for me, it's not a gripe. I actually like talking with people who want to talk with me. I love sharing about writing and helping other writer find their voice. There is a great joy, a competitive camaraderie between writers that I trulylove. The challenging part is sharing what is realistic in an exciting way.

Outline ready with some fabulous photos for the powerpoint and I believe it will be, at least, a good basic talk about what it's like to be a writer, without being too scary for the parents. If your child is destined to write, there really isn't anything that can be done about it.

Mid-month, I'll be at the California Homeschool Network Conference in Ontario. I'm so excited to meet everyone and share with parents ways that they can support their young writers.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Bougainvillea: A Childhood Memory

Bougainvillea is firmly planted in my childhood memory. The pink flowering plant native to South America grows well in the warmer climates of the US.

Bougainvillea is a frost-sensitive so it grows best outside in warm, frost-free climates and in pots or baskets in cooler climates where the plant can be brought indoors. It’s a slow growing plant that flowers year-round when planted in fertile soil.

Start a Bouganvilla with a four to six inch cutting. Strip the leaves from the lower half of the cutting. Plant the cutting in a good potting mix. Water thoroughly. Place the pot in an area of filtered sunlight until the cutting starts to grow. At six weeks transfer the Bougainvillea into the garden.

In my memory, the Bougainvillea shaded the back porch, protected me from the hot summer sun and gave me a great place to play with my dog.