Schools out, now what?

“I read it, but I still don’t get it.”
“This assignment was too hard to understand.”
“I don’t know what I’m supposed to look for?”

First Aid for Readers is a series of reading strategies that can help with better understanding and comprehending.

So, What makes this book different?

First Aid for Readers is a self-help guide for those who are having difficulty when they read. It can be followed at home without teacher intervention. It is a first aid kit for readers presented in an easy to follow format. 

And… it’s a cheap investment. Check out ebook for $2.99 @amazon.

(Also @nook, @kobo, @applebooks @googleplay)

A little writing guidance grows a story

self-made

Writing styles are affected by various attributes such as genre, time and culture settings, social backgrounds, personalities of the characters, and the mood of a scene. Fiction offers a distilled representation of the ways in which writers are among the most significant touchstones in another’s life.  However, as much as a writer may have the zest and passion to write, there is always that time in the day when she or he asks  “is this story any good?”

Today’s post is dedicated to those writers that could use a bit of push in the right direction. The rubric below may help you get back your confidence. Getting opinions are helpful, but self-guided direction may be the first step to improving your story.

Directions: Reread your story. What do you need to do to make it better? Use this rubric to help you decide. Check the sentences that describe your story.

Looking Good!

The beginning makes my audience want to read more. It introduces the characters, the setting, and the problem.

The middle shows how the characters deal with the problem.

All of the events are in order and are important to the story.

The ending shows how the problem works out.

Details make the story come alive!

My characters have a voice, and the story sounds the way I wanted.

There are almost no mistakes in capitalization, punctuation, or spelling.

Getting Stronger

The beginning could be more interesting.

I haven’t told how the characters deal with the problem.

I forgot to include some important events.

The story doesn’t sound finished.

Details need to show, not tell, about the characters, events, and setting.

My story doesn’t sound the way I wanted.

There are a few mistakes.

Back to the drawing board

The beginning is boring.

There is no clear problem.

The story is confusing. Important events are left out.

The ending just stops. How does the problem work out?

Where can I add details?

My story is written in a dull, flat voice.

There are a lot of mistakes.

***

Wouldn’t it be nice if life had a rubric…but then perhaps it would be boring!

Taking control

Like all readers, not all reading problems are alike. That means by defining which area(s) a reader needs “a boost in” can significantly improve reading understanding as well as self-esteem.

FirstAidCover_small

First Aid for Readers is a self-help guide for those who are having difficulty when they read. It can be followed at home, in school, in the library, during teacher instruction, or in any activity involving reading. It is a first aid kit for readers presented in an easy to follow format.

So, if you know a reader…share the link!

AmazonNookKindleGoogle Play

Esteemed thinker: Marcus Aurelius

Marcus aurelius In our very hectic world many turn to self-help books that offer advice and counsel; and although in the 21st century we may feel that our lives are substantially more hectic than our predecessors, it appears that as early as the days of antiquity, folks were too in need of a bit of daily inspiration and direction.

It is with this consideration that I bring back…actually dig up from the archives of the past, the thoughts of the Roman Emperor and philosopher, Marcus Aurelius ( 121-180 CE). Known best for being a Stoic philosopher…he is especially noted for his book, Meditations, composed in the darker and later decades of his life.

Although the entries are not really what “we” contemporaries would call meditations, it also does not really characterize a diary. For some, we would affirm they are more like the notes of a philosopher, but written on papyrus roles. In its dialogue form, one can find an internal debate which voices from within question or rebuke.

Unlike today’s philosophy, which takes on an academic discipline, Ancient philosophy, though it clearly had an academic component, often was written and argued as provisioning a “design for living” as we see in his works, Meditations. So for today’s blog I dust off the esteemed thinker, Marcus Aurelius, and bring you a taste of his thoughts from Book Ten of Meditations.

* “ Use thyself; as often, as thou seest any man do anything, presently (if it be possible) to say unto thyself, What is this man’s end in this his action? But begin this course with thyself first of all, and diligently examine thyself concerning whatsoever thou doest. “
* (Modern translation: “ Learn to ask of all actions, “Why are they doing that?” Starting with your own.”)