Saturday, December 25, 2010

My hope on Christmas Day.

I would like to wish everyone the happiest of holidays! May the New Year bring us peace and joy, love and unity, good health and wisdom. For me, 2010 has been a terrific year of family, fun and friendship. Most of the news I read continues to be of daily concern, but I still try to live my life for the benefit of others. I focus on what I can do in my community while I pray for the good of everyone else. I hope 2011 will be a blessed year!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thriller writers give great advice!

Which takes longer? Earning a first-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do or completing a novel-length manuscript? For me, it was a tie at three and a half years. The real question is how long does it take to get published? I’m learning that it takes so much more work than I had ever thought, but I’m willing to go the distance. Over at The Big Thrill, a number of thriller writers have posted some terrific advice.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Using Video to Teach Entrepreneurial Thinking

The 28th Annual Entrepreneurship Education Forum from November 12 – 16 in Columbus, Ohio, is a great opportunity for educators to learn how to teach entrepreneurship to high school students. As one of 25 Roundtable Presenters, I will be discussing how filmed interviews can reveal entrepreneurial thinking.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Remembering 9/11

The above picture is of me in my Baltimore classroom on September 11, 2000. I honestly can't recall much from that particular day, but it would certainly mark my last forgettable 9/11.

One year later on the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, I welcomed my students into the classroom for first period English 10. Sunlight slanted in through the second-floor windows that overlooked the parking lot, and the pleasant breeze from the windows I had opened cooled my room. As a Baltimore resident, I loved living between New York City and Washington D.C. When my students were all in their seats, I asked them to read the basic sentences on the chalkboard and rewrite them with sensory detail. Then the janitor knocked on my door.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Writing with Olympic Confidence

Since publishers can cancel a writer's book right up to the point of production, the writers of such work remind me that so many world athletes don't win in the Olympics. Dreams are dashed and hearts are broken, but these athletes still made it to the Olympics. That's worth something. I know I would feel devastated with such late and final judgment, but such athletes inspire me to write with Olympic confidence.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Losing Lebron

Minutes after Lebron James announced his decision to play next year for the Miami Heat, ESPN aired some live video of a Clevelander burning Lebron’s jersey in the street. Putting this matter into perspective, my city almost went to the Super Bowl. We lost twice in the World Series, and we suffered a sweep in the NBA Finals. For so many of us, Lebron really was that shining beacon in the dead of night. But I won’t demonize him.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Cause of America

"The cause of America is in a great measure the cause of all mankind."
~ Thomas Paine

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Beyond Form: Singing and Writing

On Friday, May 21, the Cleveland Indians faced the Cincinnati Reds in the season’s first instate game. Thanks to the invite of a close friend, I joined the Men of Independence behind home plate to sing "The Star Spangled Banner." The Indians lost to the Reds, but I came away from the game with a renewed appreciation for connecting with an audience.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Multimedia Journalism for High School?

Adobe CS5 offers significant improvements to some programs high school students are already using: InDesign, Photoshop, Premiere Pro and After Effects. The continuing buzz for multimedia journalism may represent more than a potential replacement for print journalism; this blended media appears to be a preview of the exciting future that's already here.

Friday, March 19, 2010

2010 CSPA Conference ~ Write on!

You can use every form of social media to interact with others, but the demand for meaningful content remains. The digital age can in fact strengthen story development. At the 2010 CSPA conference at Columbia University, I encouraged high school students to consider a multimedia approach to journalism study.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Teaching Persepolis

I am convinced that Marjane Satrapi intended to reach the entire world with her childhood story, Persepolis. At the age of 10, she lived through the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran. After being sent by her parents to Vienna, Satrapi undoubtedly practiced her cartooning for years before embarking on a publishing career. Her graphic novel offers a rich tapestry of storytelling talent as well as a heartbreaking and gut-wrenching testimony to her turbulent time as a child. When I teach Persepolis, I want my students to fully engage in the snapshot history and the rich artistry Satrapi offers.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Fire In Fiction: Recommended

As I explore my interests in writing fiction, I look for instructive books that go beyond the basics. The Fire In Fiction by Donald Maass does just that. I particularly enjoyed the many current examples Maass uses in each chapter to illustrate his points. Reading this book gave me a great deal of instruction with commentary on passages from a number of best-selling books.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A Writer's New Year

In 2010, I plan to be more productive as a writer. Whether I am writing lesson plans, letters to the editor, letters to Congress, short stories, blog posts, or anything else I might be thumb-typing on my Blackberry, I hope to be better at articulating concrete and meaningful content.