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Showing posts from 2007
I learned yesterday about the death of Benazir Bhutto, an eminent figure in modern politics and a very revolutionary woman. Benazir Bhutto was the first woman leader in any Muslim country, and noted for being very pro-democracy throughout her (short) life.

Benazir Bhutto's terms in office were riddled with corruption charges, eventually leading to her almost decade long self-exile away from her home in Pakistan.

Bhutto returned to her home in October greeted by her supporters--and a suicide bomber. This effort on her life was not successful, but only two months later, she would be shot as she rose from her heavily armored car, fatally.

The assassination came almost as a surprise to me. Really, that she would be killed seems almost inevitable; Benazir Bhutto was a controversial figure who angered many people. Yet she seemed to be an infallible icon of strength and perseverance, somebody who just couldn't die. All of us have to die sometime, as Benazir Bhutto knew, only she chose t…
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Literature and Fine ArtsVisit this group

Google Groups

I've been playing around on Google and I've discovered an interesting new feature called Google Groups. This allows you to create your own group and website through Google. Here's our group: http://groups.google.com/group/literature-and-fine-arts/web/welcome-to-literature-and-fine-arts?hl=en

Interview for South China Morning Post

Go to http://blip.tv/file/470036/ to see my interview in Hong Kong with South China Morning Post.

Pictures from Xi'an

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Some of what's left of an ancient civilization I forgot the name of.Souvenirs we didn't buy.Unnamed terra cotta warrior, thought to be Adora Svitak. The making of mini-terra cotta warriors for souvenirs. These are not the real terra cotta warriors. Garbage dump.Soaring above Xi'an on a cable car. Little did we know a long climb was ahead of us. Speaking of which...A tiny fraction of what we had to climb. My mom.Real terra cotta warriors.

More Pictures From Beijing

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View from the apartment window. Chaoyang District, Beijing.Hot yams. We bought this delectable thing from the man behind me. You can see his coal-fired heater as well. The yam was about a dollar or two dollars. Sunset at the Summer Palace.Long hall stretching down between the mountains and the river of the Summer Palace.Roof of this hall. No caption.No caption.Darkness leads on.

Pictures from Beijing

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Amazing acrobats standing on each other hand-lessly pedaling a bike. More Chaoyang Theatre. Temple of Heaven, where the Emperor came to pray for better crops, etc. Sorry, I forget what that is. Sugar-coated candies. They taste fairly good, but my mom likes them more. Surprisingly, she despises ice cream. My Americanized dessert palate just can't consider these things real dessert!Presentation at International School of Beijing.Random rusty rickshaw. I'm not going to tell how this happened, but where. The Beijing Science Museum provided this magical little unit.A turkey being carved out of some sort of vegetable/fruit.Restaurant performance.

Pictures from Viet Nam

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Our hotel, the Hotel Majestic (which I would recommend). They left us a chocolate and a Vietnamese legend on the bed everyday.Me and Miss Viet Nam (you know, the world beauty pageant competition)Me with (what else) a bouquet of flowers.Me eating buffet breakfast on the hotel's balcony restaurant in the muggy Vietnamese weather, portrayed against the busy (and no doubt polluted) river.Me on the set of Talk Vietnam (talk show)Boat children living in the impoverished area of Viet Nam. I took more than six pictures here. It is shocking to see the sharp contrast of the shacks on stilts here and the high-rises beyond them. Unfortunately, the lens was not big enough to capture this, so you'll have to come to Viet Nam yourself.

Pictures from Hong Kong

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Our hotel in Hong Kong, the MetroparkPosing for pictures on the lawn of Victoria Park (Hong Kong)In my Standard Chartered Book Festival uniform on the main stage. (Hong Kong.)With a little girl at the festival. (Hong Kong.)View from the swimming pool balcony of our hotel. (Hong Kong)By a model of an old Hong Kong boat at the Hong Kong history museum. Me by a bridal sedan chair. Old style bus. New style driver.Lanterns, Hong Kong museum of historyLooking my solemn-est at the HK museum of history

Beijing

This is our last day in Beijing. For the first part of the day, shopped at the Silk Street Market amidst a great crowd of people all trying to get a lower (or higher) price, depending on position. We bought in bulk--three paintings, eighteen postcards, countless parasols, infinite bedcovers, and other things my eyes can't take. It was stuffy and hot. Perhaps it was only my imagination that the heat in the room rose a degree as sellers from all over the floor chorused "Cheap!" "Best price!" or "Silk ______, come take a look!" These persistent people scowled and grimaced, tugged at sleeves, stamped their feet...It is always a comic sight to see some unfortunate person dragged by their cufflinks back into a shop to survey thousands of frivolous trivialities, but not so comic when that person is yourself. Such was our situation.

But when we left with our hands--and minds--full of the vivid fabrics and colors of the Silk Street Market, we were comforted i…

Asia Tour

So far in Asia we have traveled to Hong Kong, China; Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam; Xi'an, China; and we are currently in Beijing, China. The following accounts are collected from various emails. Info in brackets []has been written at a later date.

Hong Kong

I am currently sitting in a soft chair pushed in front of a glass-covered wooden desk in the Metropark Hotel, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. The flight was long and tedious but the vegetarian meal was delicious. First I had an Indian meal with assorted vegetables and fruit. The second meal was a bun with butter and wild rice with some sort of bitter sauce...[many of my emails are food related]
...
For breakfast today we had coupons for the hotel's breakfast buffet, but only for Mommy and Yimei [my aunt]. The waitress said that fee for a child's buffet was eighty-nine dollars. We were all looking stunned at this crazy expense before I thought to ask whether it was Hong Kong dollars.

I had muesli and corn flakes in milk, hardboiled eg…

Another Story I Wrote with Contributions from PLK CKY School, Kowloon

Adora skipped along on the wet sidewalk with her unruly hair billowing out behind her. A large stream flowed in front of her. She paused and pursed her lip, staring determinedly at the muddy water. A huge table of food lay beyond the stream, and the smell of pizza was entrancing her so much that she couldn’t resist.
But she trembled at the icy touch of the water as she dipped her toes into the stream. It was a strong current for a stream, and she did not intend to get swept away in the cold water.
“Hesitant, hmm?” a snotty voice came from a tree bending over the stream. Adora jumped at the thought that the tree was speaking, but a pink-haired boy jumped out from the branches and smirked at her. “I was never scared of water, myself. Of course, nobody can really compare to my bravery.”
It was Bryan Relup, but Adora did not know this, and put her hands on her hips, frowning at the stranger.
“Hey there, can you cross the river NOW?” Adora demanded. “I’d like to see you…

Story I Wrote With Contributions from PLK CKY School in Kowloon

Dear PLK CKY,

I really enjoyed speaking at your school and I look forward to seeing your own endings of this story below!

Sincerely,

Adora


Jason laughed loudly at the word problem in front of him, as he had done with the two others. Whoever had written them had certainly done a good job with the descriptions of the numbers of brands of chocolate. He finished the last word problem and jumped up from his chair.
BANG! There was a sudden noise from the driveway, like a car flipping on its side or an explosion of gunpowder or dynamite. Jason jumped back as ash and debris cluttered his windowsill.
“Aaaaah!” he screamed in a girlish, high-pitched voice, falling back into his trash can, which was stuffed full with pencil shavings and dissected insects. There were shouts and suddenly all went black.

“Think he’s going to wake up, Nick?”
Jason rubbed his eyes and looked around him. He sluggishly rose at first, but jumped as he noticed the unfamiliar surroundin…

Menu for my Imaginary Country

The Promenade
Restaurant and Winery
188 Orient Avenue
Penthouse, the Crimson Building

Appetizers

The Promenade Special: Gourmet cheeses accented by wine of the day and organic apples with salad. $10.92

A Rustic Flair: Biscuits and smoked salmon. $6.38

Summer Delight: Sliced orange garnished by goat cheese and sun dried tomatoes. $6.00

Verandah Crunch: Mixed nuts with plain yogurt. $6.00

The Alleyway: Pumpernickel bread with honey-brie cheese. $9.99

Entrees

Catch of the Day: Halibut, salmon, mackerel, or tilapia, grilled to perfection. $32.60

The Clam Shack: Fresh clams lightly breaded with honey-coated multi-grain. $28.00

Pasta Canasta: A variety of noodles with ravioli and tortellini, complimented by basil tomato sauce and Shiitake mushrooms. Salmon on request. $29.95

Countryside Platter: Organic veal, pork, and lamb, with parmesan cheese and rigatoni. $36.34

Wind of the Sea: Salmon teriyaki with clams, oysters, mussels, and dulse. $29.99

Vegetarian Variety: Platter of fake meats and breads with one…

Vietnamese Cuisine

As I will be going on an Asia tour this November through Hong Kong, Beijing, and Vietnam, I am doing some research on Vietnamese cuisine--just in case some if its not-so-savory sounding foods (dog meat, for instance) disturb my semi-vegetarian diet during my stay.

According to http://www.geocities.com/vietnamrp/french_influence.htm, a website I would strongly recommend for research on Vietnam, the French had a large influence on Vietnamese food because of their colonization of Vietnam. One obvious influence is French bread.

According to www.reference.com, one popular dish, with noticeable French roots, is the "Vietnamese baguette, French bread containing paté, Vietnamese mayo, different selections of Vietnamese cold cuts and deli (a large variety, most commonly with ham, head cheese, and a Vietnamese bologna), pickled daikon and carrot, cucumber slices. Often garnished with coriander, black pepper."

Another influence on Vietnam's cuisine was neighboring China. There are m…

Phrases of my Imaginary Country

Phrase: One hobbling crook is better than ninety-two strong monks.

Definition: One "bad" person who is too weak to do anything is better than ninety-two "good" people who are strong and zealous.

Origins: After the reign of Voledads' first duarchy, a religiously devout sister and brother pair, the Trinansitic archbishop took control of the country and installed harsh rules against those opposed to the Trinansitic faith. Monks were the new "bad guys" in their violent searches, secret surveillance systems, and total control of the legal system.

Phrase: Hag's Revenge

Definition: Hag's Revenge means a medicine that does more harm than good.

Origins: Alternative medicines became popular in the 1970s with the rise in buying of foreign goods and "exotic" objects. Alternative medicines, which were also known as "Hagfood" for the alternative apothecary stereotype (generally old women in the popular imagination), were soon at the center…

One of My Imaginary Country's Founders

Voledads is the imaginary country I have created in class. One of the country's founders is Emilio Iodeco van Sprawitz, more commonly referred to as Emilio van Sprawitz. Like many Voledadians, he was born in Maintana, but his father, Franklin van Sprawitz, was from Carmellan. Emilio van Sprawitz was born in 1698, the middle child of a middle-class merchant’s sprawling family of seventeen. Emilio's grandmother observed from the beginning that he was strangely calm, cautious, and observant for a small child.

Emilio van Sprawitz attended the College of Hull and Brownstone-Morris, famous for the study of psychology and law, on a scholarship for law at the age of thirteen. Contrasting sharply with his young childhood and later adulthood, Emilio was a rather rowdy sort in college, carousing about with the higher class and accumulating large debts. He studied law very seriously, however.

Emilio van Sprawitz was the main author of the constitution, which was drafted in 1738, after the d…

If I Really Became an Expert...This is Me in 20 Years

WHAT WOULD I BE LIKE IN TWENTY YEARS...
IF I REALLY BECAME AN EXPERT?


I studied China extensively in college and graduate school, set many of my works in China, traveled to China and interviewed locals for more information on the history of specific areas. I majored in Chinese history in college and graduate school. To learn more about China, I have visited China, Taiwan, and England (England having had quite a bit of control in China some time ago), as well as Japan to investigate China’s ancient influences.

My income comes from a variety of sources--I host my own History Channel program on Ancient China for middle/high school students, which is a large success in schools and dishes in quite a bit of money. I am also a spokesperson for the Chinese government’s tourism program to publicize Chinese museums and artifacts and raise international awareness about China’s rich history. My various books are national bestsellers and many schools across the country h…

Alfred, Lord Tennyson

A mermaid reminiscing self-contentedly, a linnet in a cage "that never knew the summer woods," a bugle call in a woman's college, the mysterious Lady of Shalott…
Dive into the world of Alfred, Lord Tennyson with Sterling Publishing's Alfred, Lord Tennyson, part of the Poetry for Young People series. Vivid illustrations by Allen Garns bring Alfred, Lord Tennyson's works to life for the whole family.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson is a great read for children and parents alike. The depth of his topics will spark interest for adults, while the wonderful texture, beautiful illustrations, and imagery-rich poetry of the hardcover book will entrance children.
Some of my favorite features include the vocabulary definitions at the bottom of each poem. While some books may include definitions, they sometimes take so long to find that they turn off most readers in today's hurried world. The Poetry for Young People series takes care of that problem and…

Sterling Publishing's Albert Einstein Book

Does the name “Albert Einstein” make you remember—or dread—a stuffy classroom and a teacher droning about relati-something while the class sleeps on?
Or perhaps “Albert Einstein” sparks memories—or excitement—about trailblazing in the fascinating world of science.
Either way, you should probably pick up a book.
Recently I read Albert Einstein: The Miracle Mind. An engrossing biography by Tabatha Yeatts and part of the Sterling Biographies series, Einstein is a thorough look at Einstein’s life and times and the influences that shaped him.
I would recommend Einstein to all ages, especially school-age children. Vocabulary words with definitions, ample visuals for enhanced reading enjoyment, and concise information panels all combine to create a wonderful tool for school projects or learning on your own. The compactness and texture of the hardcover book will strongly appeal to children.
Although some kids may back away at the wo…

Becoming an Expert: Part 3

I was looking for night reading--something exciting, perhaps, fiction, most definitely--in my mom's bedroom, when, scanning the shelves line by line, stumbled upon a brobdingnagian tome titled Ancient Civilizations. The six hundred and eighty-eight page book wasn't exactly night reading, I decided. It did, however, have plenty of information on China, so today we'll learn about the Shang Dynasty.
According to Ancient Civilizations, the Shang (also known as the Yin) dynasty, was China's "first truly historical dynasty," lasting from around 1550 to 1045 BCE. The Shang dynasty’s Cheng Tang wrested power out of the hands of his predecessor, King Jie of the Xia Dynasty (citing The Records of the Historian by Sima Qian). The Shang state was centered in what is now called the Huabei Pingyuan (North China Plain), an expansive lowland area extending across north central China. Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2008. © 1993-2007 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Many artif…

Advice for Young Authors on Getting Published

Suggestions for Getting Published
Getting published depends on finding a publisher who is looking for what you are presenting. Publishers have publishing plans that determine exactly what books they need for each new season—mysteries, adventure stories, travel books, cook books, etc. They also have target markets in mind—adults, young adults, middle-grade readers, or very young readers. An excellent resource for finding publishers that might be interested in your work is The Writer's Market, a book available in the reference section of most libraries.
The following is a partial list of book and magazine publishers that are particularly interested in publishing the work of young authors.
Cicada Magazine
http://www.cricketmag.com/kids_home.asp
Carus Publishing Co.
315 Fifth Street
Peru, IL 61354
Editor: Marianne Carus
This monthly literary magazine for young adults accepts young author submissions. See the Submissions page in the magazine for details.
Cicada also has an online forum for a…

Experts in China

My daily travails on the Internet today--on Wikipedia and the Encyclopedia Britannica--led me to find the notable Ban Zhao. Born in AD 45, Anling, Gufang [now Xianyang, Shaanxi province], China (according to the Encyclopedia Britannica), Ban Zhao was China's first female historian (according to Wikipedia). This was very unique in a country that, at the time, treasured boys over girls in most situations. Married at age fourteen, Ban Zhao was known as the Venerable Madame Cow. Cow? Fine, Cao.

While there is no definite information on Ban Zhao’s humble beginnings, I would assume that Ban Zhao first became interested in history for practical reasons. History seemed to be in Ban Zhao's blood. Her father, Ban Biao, had begun a history of the Han Dynasty (the Book of Han). The emperor commissioned Biao's son (and Ban Zhao's brother), Ban Gu, to complete the work, after their father's death. Ban Zhao helped her brother and took up the task after her brothe…

Becoming an Expert: Part 2

Continuing my quest to become an expert, today I read about the profitable smuggling trade of Chinese antiques. According to the Economic Times at http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/International__, powered by India Times, Hong Kong "has become the legitimate outlet for ill-gotten treasures of Chinese history, a legal market for legally obtained objects that can and do command large sums."

This event made me remember learning about Napoleon's soldiers invading Egypt and breaking off a Sphinx's nose. While the acts of breaking off a Sphinx's nose and trading valuable artifacts have considerable differences, the latter does seem reminiscent of the former.

While I am solidly against the illegal trade of Chinese artifacts and angry at the smugglers, I think that the Chinese government should take more measures with the policing of artifact smuggling, as well as more effort in programs to find artifacts before smugglers discover them.

Some new questions: What efforts…

A Trip to Whole Foods

The familiarly large "Whole Foods Market" sign in green loomed ahead of us. How an unobtrusive, material green sign could remind me of an hour's worth of delicious samples and galloping wild through the aisles of delicious everything! We walked less-than-demurely inside to be greeted by large bouquets of flowers. My sister Adrianna and I snooped about the samples. There was something rather sneaky about eating samples. Eating ice cream from Whole Foods seemed somehow more justified than from some other store. Perhaps it was because most were boldly emblazoned with "Organic." Perhaps it was because of Whole Foods' reputation as a healthy store gave ice cream this reputation as well. Perhaps it was because Whole Foods ice cream was most often very good. Simply looking at ice cream made me giddy with anticipation, thinking of mouthfuls of chocolate chocolate-chip...being in the ice cream section melted away all the day's worries, temporarily at least. Afte…

Becoming an Expert: Part 1

Today my topic is Ancient Chinese history. As part of my quest to become an expert on Ancient Chinese history, today I looked at http://www.history.com/minisite.do?content_type=Minisite_Generic&content_type_id=.

This website is the History Channel's look at Ancient China. Usually each section (i.e., the T'ang Dynasty) is brief and summarized, but it still gives well-rounded information about different time periods in Chinese history. This is a quote that raised some new questions for me:

"The Han emperors followed the Confucian principle of appointing men on the basis of merit rather than birth. Written examinations were adopted as a means of determining the best qualified people. In the late 2d century BC an imperial university was established, in which prospective bureaucrats were trained in the five classics of the Confucian school." What were the five classics? How long did you have to prepare for the written examinations? Who made the examinations? How long we…

Focus of Expertise: Chinese History

Imagine yourself in a land of red-tiled buildings with sweeping roofs and gardens at every turn, your footsteps pressing the ground where the Emperor might have walked. Who could resist entering the Forbidden City of Chinese history? As my new "Focus of Expertise," I will be studying Chinese history and posting updates on my blog.

My topic will span some of the country's development through the years. I chose Chinese history because I (most ashamedly) know little about it, because China is a large and growing world power today, and because, of course, I am half-Chinese.

From various biographical and historical fiction readings, I have some understanding of Chairman Mao and the Cultural Revolution, as well as (less so, however) Ancient China.

The following questions are some that I hope to answer and that I hope possibly that some of my readers will be able to answer.

How and when was China settled by humans? How did the first emperor come to be the first emperor, and who was…

Third-person perspective of my day

It was a day much like any other, except that it was a weekend day and Adora and Adrianna were anxious to line up in the kitchen, should they just barely miss the introduction to 60 Minutes. Adora ate very little but did cram a grape leaf most rudely into her mouth. She also took a fearsome swig of cranberry-raspberry juice before departing to lounge on the carpet.

Before this, the morning was bright and cheery and fresh. Sunlight streamed through the two windows in the bathroom/bedroom. Adora had slept here for the last two nights. The bed was of dark and creaky wood that gathered dust with its infrequent use. It groaned and squeaked as she rose sluggishly off of it to dress and put her hairpins in order atop her much mussed hair.

The family sat down to a large Sunday breakfast of waffles with sugar-powdered raspberries. Despite the splendor of the day outside, the house remained an inferno of papers and pants strewn all about, sharpener-shavings embedded in the carpet, pine cones lit…

A Trip Crabbing

Last weekend we went crabbing with our aunt and uncle near the Canadian-Washingtonian border. We started out in our aunt and uncle's golden car, which always reminds me distinctly of a fat pill-bug. We piled our things in the car haphazardly--my backpack rolled around at my feet in front of a keyboard-print pillow and a large green cooler, while our uncle bombarded us with math questions pertaining to the number of days it would take to drive so many miles, etc. These questions were successfully answered, and we soon settled into a long discussion about various types of food. Ah...food! Our first stop was at the Bellingham's Farmer's Market, a large and busy place, smelling of kettle corn, herbs, and cheese sticks. Some of the booths were more homogeneous, lined up in much the same way with the same white canopies stretched over the poles. Others were more conspicuous, shading some creative artisan behind hat-stands or sculptures or jewelry. We purchased some fruit and veg…

morning writing exercise-writing from a smell

The Vase was of roughly hewn rock, with jagged ends, razor-sharp. Inside the Vase was a large bouquet of gaudy garden flowers, made for show, smelling of commercial success in some retailer across the country. It would have to be across the country—across the sea, more likely—because the Vase’s Owner lived, frugally, upon a remote atoll in the ocean. The Vase did not merit any collectors’ qualities. The Owner simply liked the rough and roguish charm of razor-sharp rock and its juxtaposition with the flowers.
It was daytime when the Owner set out to fish. The Owner, being an fisherman, did not like to fish. What soul who had engaged in forty-eight long years of fishing would like to? The Vase made for an excellent fish-catcher when attached to a rod of any wood. As for the flowers? They made an excellent garland on the sea—the Owner could get more from where they came from.
The Owner’s routine was always the same. He woke up, he fished, he ate, he cleaned the Vase, and he slept. It wa…
(Voledads is the imaginary country I created in school.)

[Set opens in VWTV (Voledads World Television) Studio. Bryant Ethers, the imperious anchor of "Nightly Newsflash" and co-host on "Meet the Media", walks in.]

Shuffles papers.

ETHERS: Welcome to VWTV Nightly Newsflash. Last week, we brought in some IRS, or Interal Reserach System, personnel, to speak with them about the developing story with computer crashes at Aeronautic and Space International Administration. The largest operating organization in space travel, ASIA was devastated by the computer crashes. Today we're speaking with Hester Crola, a representative and spokeswoman for the company that sells the operating system ASIA computers were working with, Ceiling XP. Welcome, Hester.

CROLA: Thank you, Bryant. We've done thorough tests of our operating system, Ceiling XP, which packages fine-tuned surveillance systems, high-speed operations, and automatic save programs embedded in all areas. We've al…
[Typed up from journal]

We just went swimming. More off topic, here are my thoughts on Washington's education system:

Washington State needs higher standards. We are in the lower middle as standards go, meaning many of our students get an easy way out of learning.

We pay for technology yet we hardly ever use it. Some schools have plenty of desktop computers, etc., and yet there are no classes in Internet research skills, until maybe higher grades, by which time a lot of a kid's enthusiasm and flexibility is gone.

We should introduce history, art, and music to classes. Not just cutout art--learning shading, pastel, etc., from an artist, and learning art history. We should also have music history, not just singalongs.

Lastly, improve school food. The current cafeteria is an often unhygienic and dreaded place. Greasy pizza doesn't stimulate the brain as much as...whole wheat bread. Instead of French Fries, how about chickpeas?
JOURNAL [typed up]

Having sadly left this book to its own devices in the whitewashed bookshelf on the left side of my mother's office, I once again take gel pen in hand.

The world is faring oly mildly well. Oh yes, there are the occasional water balloon fights to lift our lethargic spirits, but other than fruit sorbets, blueberry pie, cookies and cream ice cream, and our guinea pigs (Sherlock and Minnie), it is, on the whole, unexciting. there is more al-Qaeda news on CNN. I do not mean to sound either unpatriotic or uninterested but I do admit I wish there was more of a nuance of news. From...Luxembourg, for example. Us United States people are so arrogant in what we report. As a resident of small town Redmond, I might also add most news channels--even sometimes local Seattle ones--do not condescend to even give us weather on their forecasts, much less check how we're doing.

It must be admitted Redmond does not provide very meritable stories. We seem to have uilt the media upon …

A Frequently Asked Question

A question I'm frequently asked about is where to get a publisher. Publishers are many and close between, but an exceptional one I've noticed lately is called LaunchPad, at www.launchpadmag.com. It's a magazine devoted to starting kids off in creating writing and drawing. They're receiving contributions from kids six to twelve. I'd suggest LaunchPad to all kids.

A Summary of Our Life

I must admit, ninety-five is the highest heat I have suffered. As it happens, that was only a few weeks ago in Atlanta (where I appeared on CNN.) It was a program called "Young People Who Rock". We do not have a proper air conditioner anywhere, just a dusty fan in my mom's office that stirs up such a conflagration of noise that its disruption of the heat inferno is more of a disruption to us. Speaking of conflagrations, have you heard the havoc being wreaked by the merciless wildfires? There is one raging in Washington currently, although I don't think it's anywhere near us. Today our monotonous lifestyle grabbed hold of us yet again. We rise at promptly eight-something and proceed to the breakfast table, and this routine is repeated throughout the all-too-hot summer days. We went swimming today. I am able to jump off the diving board, hold my breath for about ten seconds, backfloat, and swim in the deep end.

Women in the Civil War (Class)

To see more of our class activities, go to http://www.seedsoflearning.blogspot.com/
The Civil War expanded women’s responsibilities within the traditional sphere of home and family. Women were forced to manage estates in husbands’ absences, sew bandages and clothes, and nurse soldiers. Even the whitest hands did not hesitate to write to revered friends, brothers, fathers, and cousins fighting in the battle. Women helped raise important funds for troops. Rising prices, invading soldiers, and food shortages did not daunt these women; so remember the ladies.
Many women managed—and protected—property in their husbands’ absences. Women often hid valuables and livestock from the all-too-eager hands of invading soldiers. Mrs. Burge, the wife of a plantation owner, wrote in her diary, “We were just rising from breakfast when Ben Glass rode up with the cry: ‘the Yankees are coming, Mrs. Burge, hide your mules!” Another quote from Mrs. Burge’s diary reads: “The report is that th…