A blog about writing, being a writer, getting inspired to write, etc. For writers, authors, would-be writers and authors. I only have 2 rules. 1, please keep everything PG rated at most, there are some younger folks who read my blog; and 2, please do not criticize what others have written. I would like this to be a safe haven for folks to explore their writing style and to gain some confidence in their story telling abilities. Nasty comments will be deleted.
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
July 16th Challenge
it’s Christina –
never explained yesterday why I was watching Randy Pausch’s The Last Lecture.
Every year our school system assigns summer reading projects to the kids. This
year the entire high school has to read Randy Pausch’s The Last Lecture. OK
fine, no big deal. I have a B&N gift card with a few bucks left on it. I
figure I could use it up to defray the cost a little. So I go into B&N to
get the book, thinking I’ll only have to pay about $5 which I’m rather happy
about. I ask for the book. They hand me this tiny little hard cover book, and I
say thank you. Then I turn the book over and nearly have a heart attack.
$21.99! Are they out of their tree? No, there is no paperback version. The
electronic version is the same price.
+ tax for a 4”X5”X1” book. I want to know what the school board was smoking
when they assigned such an expensive book. Money is crazy tight for us since I
have been unemployed for 16 months, but we are still in much better shape than
many families in our area. (Mind you the school board all live in McMansions.)
Yes, The Last Lecture is an amazing story, but there are thousands of amazing
stories you could get for under $10!
left B&N without the book and with a head full of steam. There was no way I
was paying that type of money for a summer reading book and I was outraged the
school board was yet again being so irresponsible (see old FB posts about them
unjustly suspending a teacher earlier this year). I was going to call the
school. I was going to write a letter to the editor (which I still may do). I
told my daughter she did not have to read the book. We’d find cliff notes on
line and she could watch the video.
didn’t I just get the book from the library you ask? 4 or 5 copies available,
3,500 students assigned to read the book. You do the math. Needless to say, I
was pissed, and actually I still am, but I have calmed down. I found a used
copy for $4 and the video on youtube for free, but that really isn’t the point.
The point is such an expensive book never should have been assigned as
mandatory reading in a public school. Do you agree?
Your Last Challenge was:
K.M. Kinsley, another
author, tweeted this question and I thought it would make a great writing
challenge. Here’s her actual tweet:
“What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail? Take a moment to
think about it......now go do it.”
If you could do anything without fear of failing, what would
If I could choose to do something,
knowing I would not fail, I would choose trying out for a local production and
actually getting through the performance.
Since my freshman year in high school,
I have suffered from horrible stage fright. I had decided I was going to try
out for the high school play. I had my sheet music selected and I practiced and
practiced and practiced. As try-out time neared, I had gotten myself so worked
up about it, I ended up in the hospital. Since then, I never tried out for
anything again. I have performed in the band and in the choir, but only as one
of many, never on my own where all the focus is on me.
A few years ago, I tried to be brave
and agreed to do a quartet number at church. OK, there will be four of us
singing, no one singing alone, I could handle it. Although, no one sang alone
during the song, each voice was more predominant depending on which verse was
being sung. When we got to my verse, I opened my mouth and nothing came out. I
was fine in practice, but there, during church, with hundreds of eyes staring
at me, I froze. It was 9th grade all over again.
The strange part is, although I do get
nervous, I can speak in front of large groups of people without issue. Heck,
when I was eighteen, I addressed a room of over ten thousand people, not once
but twice. My problem comes when I have to sing in front of someone. That’s
when my stomach twists into painful knots and I get physically ill.
Next Challenge is:
You are doing the “right before the holidays thorough
cleaning”, so you are actually dusting off all the movies in your collection,
when something very strange happens…
You have 10 minutes (be honest). There is no right or wrong,
just write. Spelling and punctuation don’t count and NO ONE is allowed to
criticize what someone else has written. Go.