Happy Banned Books Week!

It’s that time of year again: Banned Books Week! The week where we conspicuously celebrate the fact that we, as adults*, are allowed to read what we want to and that no one else has the right to tell us otherwise or foist their hang-ups on us.

 

RB burning book poster
Censorship causes blindness.

 

So in honor of Banned Books Week, I offer my students extra credit during the whole month of September to read a book from the official Banned Books list, one they’ve never read before, and then to write a short review explaining why they think the book was banned and whether they agree with that. (A few notes for those who might want to share this assignment: I tell them they must not, on their honor, look up why the book was banned, since that would defeat the purpose of the assignment, which is all about THINKING FOR THEMSELVES; whether they agree with the ban is completely irrelevant to their score on the assignment or whether they get the extra credit, because as long as they present a cogent argument, I don’t have to agree with it to give it high marks.)

So I’m curious: what’s your take on banned books? Have you read any banned books? What did you think about it/them?

Chuck Wendig’s blog today asks about books you love but others hate and books you hate but others love. This is really interesting to me, too. Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

 

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* Note the “as adults” part. As a parent, I still monitor what my young children are allowed to read, as best I can. I don’t sanitize things for them, but I do strongly caution them against books which I know have too-heavy subject matter and help them gently through the consequences if they go against my recommendation. And this also has limitations. For example, I counseled my daughter when she was eight through her existential crisis over the death of Sirius Black, but there’s no way in heaven or hell I’m going to let her read anything by Kresley Cole till she’s at least eighteen — or maybe twenty-one!  😉

Fashion Friday 5/16/14

We are in the midst of sending off our seniors, evicting them from high school, like you do, with a mixture of joy and relief and bittersweet melancholy.  I’m not sure how I do this every year, and I can’t imagine what it will be like when my own kids and all their friends are graduating, but ah well.  Till then, I’ll just keep practicing with my students.

To hide my misty eyes and to celebrate the incredible spring weather we’re having, I’m highlighting my new favorite hat, which was a birthday gift this year from one of my dear friends.

Mother's Day 2014

 

I love hats.  Evidence of this is clear, not only in my Fashion Friday posts from when I first started the series last year, but also in a recent piece I wrote for Bayou City Magazine.  (And here’s the companion post to it here on my blog.)

Have a good weekend, and wherever you are, I hope you’re having some delightful spring weather!

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If you’d like to contribute to our occasional Fashion Friday series, fabulous!  Click here for information on how to do it.

Cover Reveal for the New Anthology!!!

Hey there!  I have something exciting to share with you all: the front cover of The Milk of Female Kindness: An Anthology of Honest Motherhood.

Milk of Female Kindness front cover

For more information about this book, click here.

I’m so excited to be included in this project, which contains a couple of my poems and a couple of my essays.

Click here to purchase the anthology from Amazon, or contact me directly at forest.of.diamonds@gmail.com for a signed copy.

 

Fashion Friday 10/4/13

So last week Fashion Friday went on hiatus while I was traveling and didn’t have a guest contributor lined up.  I went to Los Angeles for a writing conference, which was super fun.  I met some very interesting writers — I always love making those connections — and had a really positive response from the agents I pitched my novel to.  Plus I got to have dinner with some dear friends who live out there.  All in all, a good trip.

One thing I really like about going to L.A. is that it’s a town I can go shopping in.  Now, of course I can go shopping at home if I want to.  The problem, though, is that my kids are at home.  I love my kids, but taking them shopping is…not ideal.  And leaving them at home to get away for a few hours by myself is just a recipe for guilt and trauma.

Take this example from the beginning of last summer… Continue reading “Fashion Friday 10/4/13”