Thursday, November 29, 2012

Good Bye NaNo

Well, I can't say I didn't try, but I can say I had a heck of a time not doing other things. As a mom it's not like I can get someone else to cook supper.  My kids can make mac and cheese, and I'm sure they'd be happy eating it every night for a month but I don't think that's a good idea.  There are something that aren't worth writing a 50k book over.
So, November is over (practically) and I will finish my book when I get time - the good kind of time that doesn't ignore my kids.
In the meantime, check out this new group I joined http://www.facebook.com/groups/375779645844671/  and this funky poetry anthology I'm in
https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=W9G52DYS8NH5L
And send a copy as a Christmas present to the family poetry lover.  I'm making quilts for my kids for Christmas and I can't wait to show you the pics. stay tuned!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

school vs learning



as wise as a sooty owl
I hardly remember anything I learned in high school or college.  Most of that information was crammed into my brain short-term so I could pass a test and then forget it, because I never needed it again.  So what was the point?  School taught me how to take tests, but how many times in my adult life have I been given tests?  Not many. What I do remember about school, is getting bullied, partying, dating, and more than anything, constantly running out of money.
Students used to rely on teachers to give them knowledge out of a textbook.  This put everyone on the same level to produce a batch of children factory molded to think and act the same.  Maybe cookie-cutter people were necessary for the work force during the industrial revolution. Many times our society spawned solid, well-defined roles that people were squeezed into in order to appear useful, but in reality those confining, oppressive roles lead to unhappy victims of the norm.  For example, think about the 1950's wife with her picket fence and perfect hairstyle.  That image was short lived and terminated with the rise of feminism, protests and burnt bras. Times have changed. We no longer need batches of identical people.  We no longer want to be told what to do and how to think. Luckily, knowledge is available everywhere and we no longer have to search for it.  Formal education prepares us to cope with certainty - but in life there is no certainty. Learning can not be standardized. What we need to be taught is HOW TO LEARN.
Access to  inexpensive education is a revolution that destroys an imperfect system and enable unique and diverse possibilities. We can create environments where students are engaged in learning.  Instead of teaching them to memorize problems that have already been solved, we can teach them to solve problems.

I have more control and interest in my education now than I ever did as a full-time student.  Now I learn what I am curious about, I have much more extensive resources, I learn at my optimum pace and I USE what I learn in practical, everyday moments.  For example, I'm taking a free on-line course on the History of English - to help me write my next novel, extend my vocabulary, and teach my kids.  My 7 year old daughter was asked in class to share some of her fancy words.  The other kids came up with "fantastic" and "crazy" She said "extricate" and "plebian". Ok, maybe she won't use those words in every day speech, but she knows how to learn new words and that's what's important.
Here is an amazing video that shows the evolution of learning and how it is making traditional school obsolete. http://tnw.to/o5xo 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

happy halloween

Happy Halloween and congrats to our Spooktacular winner:  KIPHA! she has won a copy of WITHER by Lauren DeStephano, the first in the Chemical Garden trilogy.  Thanks to everyone who participated and gave me support!

In other news:
Some disturbed soil revealed the dead rising from their graves thanks to hurricane Sandy.  So freaky Halloween was had by all.

Next: It's NaNoWriMo! So instead of doing housework, Christmas shopping or anything else, this month I'm gonna try to get the sequel to SHIFTERS written in ONE MONTH! Click on the link and you can see my stats, send me encouragement or donate to the biggest write-in in the world.  Yes, it's a bit crazy, but I never would have finished SHIFTERS when I did without the awesome help of NaNoWriMo.  They are truly the best.

And: My publisher Imajin Books is having a paperback sale here so stop by if you need some Christmas gifts.  Also on November 15th we are having a tweet party so come to twitter using hashtag #ImajinAuthors and you can chat live with us ALL DAY.  Should be fun.