Reading and Writing Quotations

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“Read a lot. Reading really helps. Read anything you can get your hands on.”                                    J. K. Rowling

 

“I always advise children who ask me for tips on being a writer to read as much as they possibly can. Jane Austen gave a young friend the same advice, so I’m in good company there.”                                         J. K. Rowling

 

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“Believe in yourself. Keep writing.”  Neil Gaiman

“Fiction can show you a different world. It can take you somewhere you’ve never been. Once you’ve visited other worlds, like those who ate fairy fruit, you can never be entirely content with the world that you grew up in. Discontent is a good thing: discontented people can modify and improve their worlds, leave them better, leave them different.”                                              Neil Gaiman

 

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“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.”            Ray Bradbury

“You must write every single day of your life… You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads… may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.”

                                                                  Ray Bradbury

Blog Post #1 – About Me!

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Please enjoy an introductory post from one of my students in English 011!

My Blog - Zoe

Hi! My name is Zoe Metzger and I am from Rochester, New York. At home I live with my mom, dad, sister and cat – Lucy ( I am her favorite). One of my favorite activities is reading. When I am really into a book I have to read it all in one sitting, unless something is really preventing me from doing so. There have been many times where I have been late to practice, appointments or other events due to getting lost in a good book. I tend to stick to fiction, with my favorite type of fiction being dystopian/ fantasy. My best friends mom is a librarian, and she always keeps me busy with a new book to read. Another thing I love to do is watch/ follow Formula 1. Formula 1 is my favorite sport to watch. Many people tell me they don’t understand how I can…

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Introducing Me!

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Please enjoy this post from one of my ENGL-011 students!

YeeHaw Gothic

Hello, my name is Grace Aggen, and I am a freshman at Lehigh University. I created this blog for my ENGL-011 class where we read and dissect gothic literature with our professor Doc Chuck. This class was my first introduction to the horror genre, and to my surprise, I have really been enjoying the style. I am from the great city of Austin, Texas, and the relocation up to Bethleham, Pennsylvania has gone very smoothly. Throughout my life, I have been heavily involved in music, playing the oboe, marching band drum major, and singing in choir, and I have a great love for art and scrapbooking! Here at Lehigh I am a part of the track and field team, and I throw shot put and discus, and I recently added the events of hammer and weight.

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A GOLD SATIN MURDER A Casey Holland Mystery Novella by Debra Purdy Kong

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I am very pleased to feature Debra Purdy Kong, a wonderful writer, and her new novella!

A Gold Satin Murder

How does this story differ from earlier Casey Holland mysteries?

The topic of crime and criminal behavior has always interested me. I studied the subject in college and graduated with a diploma in criminology years ago. After writing six full-length mysteries in my Casey Holland series, however, I began to feel mired in the darker side of human nature. So, I decided to write a fun, uncomplicated whodunit where the characters weren’t quite as sinister and twisted as in earlier novels, except perhaps for the killer. I also wanted to try a novella because I really enjoy writing and reading stories in the 15,000 to 40,000 words range.

I’ve read plenty of funny cozy mysteries but writing a shorter book with humorous elements proved to be challenging. Just when I thought I had the story down, a plot glitch would come up. The primary suspect is Eduardo, a male escort and stripper, and aspiring artist. I didn’t want to portray him as a complete flake or opportunist, so it was important to show deeper aspects of his character.

Beta reader feedback helped resolve a couple of key issues and achieve a balance that is light in tone yet still a whodunit. I want readers to try and figure out the killer’s identity along with my protagonist Casey. But there are other differences that separate this book from the previous novels.

Since this is a novella, the story has only one other subplot involving the bus driver, Lily. Unlike the previous books, Casey has no extra complicated personal turmoil in this story. She’s been happily married to Lou for just over a year, and her fifteen-year-old ward, Summer, is in a good frame of mind, for a change. Will it stay this way? Not likely. But how things will change remains to be seen.

The Blurb:

Transit cop Casey Holland has never met a bus passenger like the charming artist and exotic dancer, Eduardo. The bus driver Lily has certainly befriended him. But when Eduardo’s charged with murder, Lily’s caught in the middle of his legal trouble. Afraid of losing her job and custody of her son, she begs Casey for help in proving Eduardo’s innocence.

Casey’s search for answers takes her and her best friend Kendal to a troupe of strippers known as Man Cave. While the men are busy peeling off their clothes, Casey’s peeling back layers of secrets and betrayal. Nuttier than her usual adventures, the risk is just as deadly in this seventh installment of the Casey Holland transit mysteries.

Debra’s Bio:

Debra Purdy Kong’s volunteer experiences, criminology diploma, and various jobs inspired her to write mysteries set in BC’s Lower Mainland. Her employment as a campus security patrol and communications officer provided the background for her Casey Holland transit security novels.

Debra has published short stories in a variety of genres as well as personal essays, and articles for publications such as Chicken Soup for the Bride’s Soul, B.C. Parent Magazine, and The Vancouver Sun. She is a facilitator for the Creative Writing Program through Port Moody Recreation and a long-time member of Crime Writers of Canada. She lives in British Columbia, Canada.

Order at:

Amazon: https://mybook.to/AGoldSatinMurder

Kobo Canada: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/a-gold-satin-murder

Kobo U.S. https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/a-gold-satin-murder

Apple books: https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/book/id6443255297

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-gold-satin-murder-debra-purdy-kong/1141951058?ean=2940166433930

Connect with Debra:

Blog: https://debrapurdykong.wordpress.com/

Newsletter: https://sendfox.com/debrapurdykong

Website: www.debrapurdykong.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DebraPurdyKong

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DebraPurdyKongAuthor

Email: dpurdykong@gmail.com

DPK

 

Book Banning Quotations

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“I hate it that Americans are taught to fear some books and some ideas as though they were diseases.”

                                                                     Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

 

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“Having the freedom to read and the freedom to choose is one of the best gifts my parents ever gave me.”

                                                                     Judy Blume

 

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“Censorship and the suppression of reading materials are rarely about family values and almost always about control, about who is snapping the whip, who is saying no, and who is saying go. Censorship’s bottom line is this: if the novel Christine offends me, I don’t want just to make sure it’s kept from my kid; I want to make sure it’s kept from your kid, as well, and all the kids. This bit of intellectual arrogance, undemocratic and as old as time, is best expressed this way: “If it’s bad for me and my family, it’s bad for everyone’s family.”

Yet when books are run out of school classrooms and even out of school libraries as a result of this idea, I’m never much disturbed not as a citizen, not as a writer, not even as a schoolteacher . . . which I used to be. What I tell kids is, Don’t get mad, get even. Don’t spend time waving signs or carrying petitions around the neighborhood. Instead, run, don’t walk, to the nearest nonschool library or to the local bookstore and get whatever it was that they banned. Read whatever they’re trying to keep out of your eyes and your brain, because that’s exactly what you need to know.”

                                                                                 Stephen King

 

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“Reading what you wish and maintaining the right to choose what to read is a fundamental requirement for democracy and freedom. Censorship must always be opposed, and books need to be read by those who wish to read them.”                                                                                                                  Charles F French

Banned Books Week 2022

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This week, from September 18 through September 24of 2022 is National Banned Books Week. Book banning and censorship is a crucial issue that should unite readers and writers. Throughout the world and humanity’s history, governments, churches, and other institutions have banned or attempted to ban and censor books.

Most of us are familiar with the images from Nazi Germany in which thousands of books were burned by the Fascists. All banning, however, is not so explicit. Sometimes in the United States of America, books are challenged, especially in the context of not being allowed to be taught in the classroom.

I oppose all such censorship. As a writer, it is an obscenity; as a teacher, it is an imposition of chosen ignorance; as a reader, it is an intolerable abomination. We must unite and oppose book banning, in all of its forms.

Fight for your freedom to choose what to read.

Here are several important links about this issue:

Banned Books Week

American Library Association

I will later, this week, in honor of this important cause put out another call for readers to become part of my unofficial group that opposes censorship–The Underground Library Society, The U. L. S.

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In the meantime, I ask all of you this question: what is a book that has been banned or challenged that you love?

I choose To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

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Welcome Fall, and Happy Mabon!

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The beginning of fall has arrived, and I am delighted! This is my favorite season of the year, followed by winter! I know many will disagree with my love of winter, but I hope you do enjoy the autumn season.

So I wish you all a happy Fall Equinox and a happy Mabon, the Celtic/Wiccan/Druidic celebration. Decorate your homes, talk a walk, and when the crisp weather sets in, go outside and breath deeply.

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I love the foods of fall and the wearing of sweaters, flannels, and sweatshirts, not to mention ice hockey! The colors of autumn fill me with happiness. This is a joyous season.

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By the way, if you are worried, there is NOTHING Satanic about this celebration. Wiccans and Druids do not recognize the existence of Satan, so if you are Christian, please welcome this season also!

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Tips for Writers: Use an Irony Board

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Here is some very good writing advice from Mitch Teemley!

Mitch Teemley

Irony Board

When creating a storyline, don’t just pull things out of the soiled ideas pile. Dig through it for something fresh. Inhale. Do they smell like something one of your characters would actually wear (think/do)? Good, but still not fresh enough.

Wash them using your “New! Improved!” Context. Let your, ahem, tide of ideas scrub away all that isn’t germane to the storyline you’re building. When they come out, they’ll be “like new!” But you’re not done yet. Now let them tumble dry in the back of your head while you take a much-needed thought-walk.

During your thought-walk ponder what’s in that dryer. Yes, it’s fresher, but it’s going to come out wrinkly (illogical, lacking clear motives and connections)! Dropping the laundry metaphor: Are you forcing your characters through a maze of plot points? Bad. How can they, by their choices, force themselves into and through that maze (storyline)?

One of…

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It’s Time For A September Self-Promotion Party!

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It’s the middle of September, and it is a perfect time for a soon-to-be-Autumn Book promotion party!

So, don’t be shy, and be your own best publicist!

Promote

Your

Book(s)!

Be proud of your writing!

Let the world know about your book(s)!

Shout to the world about your writing!

Tell us about your book(s), and leave an image and a link if you can.

In order for as many people to see your work as possible,

please Tweet and reblog this post!

Here is my self-promotion: my latest book can help writers who have issues issues with finishing first drafts of their books. If that is you, I  offer direct, practical advice on how to

Get The Draft Done! Helping Writers Finish Their First Draft

by Charles F. French.

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Get The Draft Done! is available here: Amazon.com

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Gallows Hill can be found here in ebook.

Gallows Hill in paperback can be found here.

An interview about Gallows Hill can be found here.

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Please follow the following links to find my novel:

ebook

Print book

Thank you!

My radio interview:

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Available on Amazon

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Available on Amazon

French On English

Available on Amazon

What Are You Working On?

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This last month has been a lost one for me in terms of writing. The need to find a new place to live, to pack, and to move has dominated the life of my family.  Now, however, I can return to writing, and I am very excited about it!

I will continue to work on the first draft of my latest horror novel, and I hope to have that draft complete by the end of October.

So, I ask all the creative people out there: what are you working on?

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Brittany’s Magical Trees

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Please enjoy this excellent post from Bon Repos Gites!

Bonjour From Brittany

Since antiquity, trees have been associated with the mystical forces of nature and the Divine. Special or sacred trees are to be found in the traditional beliefs of cultures across the world; many possessed particular characteristics based on natural properties or else were laden with deeply-rooted symbolism. Brittany contains its share of sacred trees and a trove of legends and superstitious beliefs that attest to the reverence long afforded to trees here.

In this corner of Europe, much has been written about the beliefs of the people who dwelt here in the early years of the Common Era. However, little is really known about the spiritual life of the ancient Celts of Brittany; they left virtually no written trace and exercises in comparative mythology based on Irish and Welsh texts set down in the Middle Ages although interesting are, at best, speculative. First century accounts written by Roman authors contemporaneous…

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