30 September 2012

Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week began today, September 30. This week celebrates literature that has been challenged and/or banned (usually in school districts). It's a week to draw attention to the great stories that people all over the country--and world--try to silence.

To remember that censorship is never okay.

Yes, banning books is a form of censorship. Taking stories away and hiding them from readers, pulling them off library shelves, says that it's okay that some people's stories should not be shared. That certain people should have the power to decide what should and should not be read.

I could spend a great deal of time and space talking about censorship and why everyone has the right to be heard. And I will spend time talking about censorship and the dangers of silencing voices in our society. But first I want to challenge you to find a challenged/banned book and read it this week. Take a little time every day to fight censorship by choosing to read a book others have tried to hide from readers. There are many lists available here.

I will be reading a banned book this week. And seeing all the books that have been challenged and/or banned even in the last few years has prompted me to take on a challenge for my reading next year. I'll be attempting the 100+ Books in a Year Reading Challenge again next year, and I've decided to further challenge myself to make at least half of the books I read next year to be challenged/banned books.

Harry Potter and Huckleberry Finn are not the only books that have been challenged or banned in recent years. In fact, you might be surprised by some of the titles that are on the lists.

Please read a banned book this week. Give voice to these authors. Let them know that their words matter.

Happy (and banned) reading!

16 September 2012

Renew Your Spirit Sunday with Autumn

I love fall. It's probably my favorite season. I love that the weather is cooler, and it's time to start pulling out the cozy clothes and blankets. I love watching football games, finding warmth in my morning cup of coffee and the leaves changing colors on the trees.

It's been a hot summer here, and I've felt bad that the kids haven't been outside as much as I would have liked. Now that fall is here, the weather is getting cooler, and the kids can be outside more. We can play at the park, go on walks, have picnics, and all the other fun, outdoorsy, let's-be-in-and-among-nature stuff I like to do with the kids.

Puck is noticing that things are different now, too. The other day he noted that it was "cold," and that the leaves were starting to fall off the trees. Autumn is fun with a toddler who's noticing the sudden change in the seasons. I think we may have to jump in a pile of leaves when there are enough to rake up.

How are you spending these cooler days and evenings?

01 September 2012

September Writing Goals

Typical task/goal lists
As I said in a previous post, September is a fresh start for me in a lot of ways, some of which have to do with my fiction-writing life. As a result, I've set some goals for myself this month that will help me get the collection back on track. Here's what's on my list for September:

  • Finish the character biographies for the coffee house book.
  • Write the outlines for at least two additional books in the collection.
  • Begin the character biographies for one additional book in the collection.
  • Begin the chapter-by-chapter outlines for the coffee house book.
I know it looks like a short list, but each component has a separate list of things that have to be done for that particular item to be done. So it's more than it appears. (Isn't that usually the case?) And as each task is crossed off this list, it will be replaced with a new one so I'll be able to continue pushing forward in the collection.

I think September is going to be a good month.