Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Another Talented Friend

(photo courtesy of Facebook)

I discovered Kathy's 10 Minute Writer blog somehow -- I think from Jen's Conversion Diary blog. As I followed the link, (yes, I'll admit it), I scoffed: "How can anyone get any real writing accomplished in only ten minutes a day. But after reading through several posts, I popped the address into my Google Reader, thinking I might come back to it once in a while.

A few weeks later I read that Kathy was going to attempt NaNoWriMo, which stands for National Novel Writing Month, spending the 30 days of November furiously writing, with the goal of committing 50,000 words to paper (or PC). Several friends had attempted NaNoWriMo
in the past, and as I read Kathy's post, I felt a conviction in my heart that I, who had not attempted fiction since my junior year of college in Dean Nelson's Creative Writing course, should join Kathy in writing 50,000 words during November. Nevermind that this day was November 4 and I was starting out with a four-day deficit. Nevermind that I considered myself a poet and a non-fiction writer. Nevermind that every single dialogue I had ever composed was stilted and trite beyond measure. Nevermind that I had no plot, no character, no idea. I simply knew I was gonna do it.

So I sat down with fountain pen in hand and a yellow writing pad and scribbled down a character who is a composite of me and about six other people I know. I wrote a little about her background, worked out her teaching schedule at the college, and armed with a single page of ideas, started writing. Yes, a lot of it was complete and utter crap, but some of it was not half bad. Perhaps even insightful. Possibly even good. I just kept writing those 2,000 words a day -- no matter that my laptop was writing its last will and testament before succumbing to old age. No matter that I was getting sick - I made my character sick, too because I was going to share my misery one way or another. No matter that I had papers to grade, a major holiday to prepare for, Christmas shopping to be done, kids who caught my icky illness and spread it happily around the house.

During these dark days of concentrated writing, Kathy and I encouraged each other online. When we finished our 50,000 words within a day of each other (both a few days early, mind you!), we promised to send them to each other after we had revised a bit. And all the while I continued to read Kathy's blog and continued at least blogging -- writing every day on everything from House MD to saints' stories.

And today Kathy made an announcement of great importance: her e-book, Listening Lunch, will be available for sale Thursday, February 12. In Kathy's own words, "Listening Lunch is available tomorrow at 1 p.m. at a reduced rate at this site: Over $100 of free stuff is included with purchase (but only for a limited time)."

I stole Kathy's "sales pitch" for Listening Lunch from her Facebook note:

1. Listening Lunch explains how toddlers can strengthen their pre-reading skills by sitting and listening to a book/CD combination. This also helps broaden their attention span, and ALL toddlers need help in that department.
2. Listening Lunch explains how listening to audio resources is good for every type of learner. Even visual and kinesthetic learners can benefit.
3. Listening Lunch explains the benefits of literary works on CD-- so the mom who likes to read aloud to her kids can take a break once in a while.
4. Listening Lunch describes how our brains work when it comes to memorizing facts AND Listening Lunch lists excellent audio resources to help students memorize science, math and grammar facts.
5. Listening Lunch features insight from Jim Weiss, Susan Wise Bauer, Jim Trelease and other educational experts on why they encourage the use of audio in a homeschool.
6. Listening Lunch features interviews from 4 experienced homeschooling mothers (who have a total of 28 children!) on how they incorporate audio in their homeschool.
7. Listening Lunch explains the appeal to learning history and biography through audio AND gives links to specific popular titles, like Story of The World.
8. Listening Lunch gives practical ideas to the discouraged, the burned-out and the confused about how to present concepts of faith while using audio.
9. Listening Lunch has dozens (maybe even hundreds) of links to websites, e-stores and resources in which you can find audio resources for any subject matter, for any age student. (Some are even free!)

Pretty cool, huh? I'm so proud of my talented friends! I have another one I'll post about tomorrow, too. And perhaps another one after that.

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