Archive for the ‘Internet’ Category

This is an interview with Dr. Jefferey Wigand. The man who stood up and told the truth about cigarette companies. He was protrayed by Russell Crowe in the Academy Award nominated film The Insider.

Tobacco industry whistleblower talks to Campbell Live – Campbell Live – Video – 3 News.

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As a published author and homeschooling mom I understand that writing for an assignment is one of the hardest things to do for many homeschoolers and their parent/teachers. Every age in your class can benefit from these activities and resources and help them find enjoyment in writing.

Just Write No Rules
As an author I know that my finished product has to be as perfect as possible. My spelling, grammar and punctuation are all properly done and so on. But in the very beginning of writing a book or story that is far from the case.

This is a first draft, think of it as a lump of coal in the earth. That lump is slowly changed into a diamond. Then that raw diamond is cut and hewn into a fine gem. Writing story, book report or essay is the same process.

When I begin to write without the worry of having to follow rules there is a sense of freedom. Children feel the same way. Unbound they can enjoy using their imagination to create. There is always time to go back and fix things later. For a few assignments overlook the errors. Yes, that means turn of the editor completely. Just have fun putting words to paper.

Cliffhanger
Our house has a notebook in the dinning room, on the cover is the word Cliffhanger. During the day we each take turns writing in the story. There’s one catch you have to leave your entry with a cliffhanger for the next person.

For example, Timmy ran though the house looking for the lost key to Davey Jones chest. When suddenly there was a loud boom behind him, turning Timmy saw….

The next person would tell about what Timmy saw and add something for the next person to write out of. Anything and everything will end up in these stories. Making them fun to read and even more fun to write.

Journaling.
Kids love stories about them. Rose Wade mom of two says, “During vacations or special days out I get my kids to write down a few memorable lines, a memento of their experience.”

Keeping a journal is a wonderful way to remember special times in our lives. It gives kids a chance to write about the world though their eyes. Journals should be one of those no rules places. The freedom to write how they feel or what they see.

Word List Challenge
Ana Maria Seaton, artist, author and homeschooling mom uses this to challenge her eight year old daughter. “I started challenging her to come up with five words each month for my writers group that we would all have to use in a story. Simple words weren’t enough so she started to look for bigger words that she could find by reading.”

Get the whole family involved. Ask each person to give you three to five words. Once you have your list of words give everyone a copy and write a story including that list.

To make it more challenging for older students you can put a letter limit on the length of the words. All the words on their list must be at least five letters long. You’re also building on vocabulary with this exercise.

The Muse
As a writer there are moments I’ll see a photograph, magazine ad or pass by an object that inspires a story. Teaching a creative writing class at a private school I asked my students to bring in a muse. A young man named Joey brought in a Lego soldier, with no head.

That headless toy inspired a three page tale about what caused the loss. And where the toy hoped to find his little plastic head. On the first day of class I was told by this boy that, “writing stories is stupid.” A week later he writes one of the best toy tales I’ve ever read and was excited about it. All because of a little headless Lego.

Paula Smiley, homeschooling mom to five, plans to inspire one of her sons with his love for sharks and the ocean. A muse can be found almost anywhere. In your pockets, your cabinet, looking out the window, a museum the possibilities are truly endless.

Fan Fiction
Writing with a known character is fan fiction. There are writers of all ages that write about their favorite characters. Even the most stubborn writer will perk at a new story about their favorite television, book, or movie character.

My son has a terrible time trying to decide on a subject, but he loves Indiana Jones. He enjoys writing a new adventure for Indy and even adds himself in the story. It’s great fun and gives an uncertain writer more confidence because they know the subject so well.

Get Involved
There are many writing groups that welcome young writers. Get on the internet and search for local writing groups. Seeing how much someone else likes to write outside your home/classroom can be inspiring. Groups often provide mentors and materials to add to your curriculum as well.

Online
A favorite event of my family is National Novel Writing Month also known as NaNoWriMo. Taking place the month of November the goal of the event is to write an entire novel in thirty days.
Adult participants are required to pound out at least 50,000 words. The Young Writers Program allows kids 17 and younger to make their own challenging but reasonable goals. There are usually local events to provide motivation and encouragement.

There are dozens of websites that are geared for writers. The ones I’ve found students enjoy most are OneWord.com and Write or Die.com

One Word is a great way to warm up. Once you get to the homepage at http://oneword.com you simply click on the big purple go button. This goes to a screen with a text box and a word in purple at the top.

You have sixty seconds to write something about that word. Anything thoughts, a beginning of a story, describe the word. Whatever that word fills your mind with. After your minute is up you type in your name and hit submit to see other peoples responses listed with your own.

This is great for students not only does it give them that boost to write. They get to see their name and what they’ve written displayed. They can use this as their writing prompt.

Write or Die is my favorite writing tool. Not only do I use it in my son’s studies I use it to prod myself. You choose a word and time goal, mode and grace period. Once you click write you are taken to a text screen where you begin. If you stop typing for too long something happens to prod you back to work.

In normal mode an annoying sound that will only stop when your fingers start tapping keys is the prod. If you choose Kamikaze mode and idle too long your words begin to disappear.

Basically get out of that box, get out and have some fun writing in the park, at Burger King, in a museum. After all rules are made to be broken…or at least bent for the sake of making writing fun.

Thank you Pamela Turner for passing to me the dubious honor of the Creative Writer Blogger Award. I would like to thank… oh it’s not that kind of award.

 

Well here’s how it works in honor of this award I must prove my creativity by telling six truths and one lie about me. You dear reader, get the chance to figure out which one is the lie.

 

I’ll even sweeten the pot just read the statements below then comment telling which one you think is the lie. I’ll send every one who picks the lie an autographed short story and bookmark.

 

Here we go… About me

 

1. I am a native Floridian  

2. I was awarded the Distinguished Service award as a volunteer fire fighter

3. I have been nose to nose with a real wild black bear

4. I am a huge Russell Crowe fan

5. I won a radio show contest once  

6. I have met Don Johnson

7. I have a green belt in Tae Kwan Do

 

Can you tell which one is a fib?

 

Now I’m passing along this great honor of creative delight. My nominees are:

 

Rose Wade, The Robin Hood Lego Champaign http://therobinhoodlegocampaign.posterous.com/

Amy Leigh, Maverick Endevors http://anotherwaytodie-amyleigh07.blogspot.com/

 

 

 

Don’t forget to comment for a chance to win a short story and bookmark. On Friday I will expose the evil lie and post the winners.

 

 

Elise VanCise
Writer/Photographer
http://elisevancise.webs.com 
http://www.examiner.com/x-25742-Orlando-Destinations-Examiner  
http://randomadventures.typepad.com/blog/

 sigban-1.jpg picture by flsandcastle

Posted via email from Random Adventures


Have you ever stood before a work of art that stunned you with its beauty? Ever heard a piece of music that made you cry? What about hearing a story and being so pulled in by it that you forget everything else going on around you?

If you’ve answered yes to any of these then you have been inspired. What is inspiration and why does it drive us? One definition for inspiration is the arousal of the mind to special unusual activity or creativity. An arousal of the mind…..

Arousal doesn’t have to be sexual. When you are aroused you are awakened. Once you’re senses have been waked this is where the magic happens. The mind is spurred to that special level of activity.

Ideas begin to form in thoughts, words, maybe even pictures in your mind. Inspiration, this mental arousal, isn’t just a passing thing. If you are truly inspired something happens. You become driven. There is an aching need to see this idea come to life.

For a writer inspiration is what drives us to weave stories. We are given the chance to create people and worlds that just might inspire someone else. Where do you get such deep inspirations you ask?

It can come from almost anywhere and sneak up on us. Our minds are aroused though music and art but also the ordinary things in life. Sometimes even the things we like the least will be of great inspiration.

Men, women and even children are inspired to great heights every day. Stephine Meyer wrote the Twilight series inspired by a dream she’d had. Stephine even has said she started with writing her dream which was the middle of the story. Then went back and added the beginning and the end.

Picasso was inspired by a circus poster, Salvador Dali once said the very air he breathed was inspiring.

Hanna at seven years old was diagnosed with stage four Burkitt’s lymphoma. After intense chemo and a Make-A-Wish trip to Disney’s Magic Kingdom this little girl was inspired. She made a necklace out of melted crayon and a black walnut shell for a mold. If you’ve ever seen a black walnut inside you know the wax came out in the shape of a heart.

Hanna made more heart necklaces and sold them with all the money going to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America. In 2009 they presented Hanna with the Lori Shulz-Betancourt Indomitable Spirit Award. This little seven year old girl as raised over $20,000 for the Foundation.

Are you inspired yet? If not go to a museum, take a walk though the park, listen to your favorite music open your heart to it and the inspiration will find you when you least expect it too. Maybe even in the grocery store or a blog post.

Question is once you find that great awakening what are you going to do with it?

This will be the 8th Annual Museum Day sponsored by Smithsonian magazine. Participating museums nation wide will offer free admission to guests with a Museum Day card. The card is good for two free admissions to the participating museum of your choice.

Some of the featured museums include Virginia Museum of Natural History in Virginia. The Irving Arts Center in Texas, South Street Seaport Museum in New York, Memorial Hall in Massachusetts and the Seminole A-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum in Florida.

Over 60 museums are participating in the state of Florida and over 50 in Texas. Many more all over the country will accept the Museum Day card. You can get yours by filling out a short form then download for later printing at the Smithsonian web site at http://microsite.smithsonianmag.com/museumday/index.html

There is a full listing of all participating museums on the website for Museum Day. They range from art and history to cultural and science. There is some place for everyone to explore on Museum Day.

Blogs are a great place to express views and opinions about the world around us. But there is a a such thing as getting the facts instead of spouting accusations and starting rumor. Once that line is crossed the blog is just blab.

Recently Russell Crowe was seen enjoying the match at Wimbledon. The next morning bloggers went wild with assumptions that Mr. Crowe was, as one blog headline put it, causing trouble. There were photos taken of celebs at the match of course Russell Crowe was one of the most photographed. (thanks for that btw)  Below is one of the photographs showing a Naval Officer and Mr. Crowe pointing. 

 article-1197774-059B4368000005DC-294_468x707On sight of this image conclusions were drawn that a celebrity is causing a fuss. Instead of asking a few simple questions to find out what was going on exactly many bloggers began blasting false accusations. 

A few stated as if it were absolute that Mr. Crowe wanted to change seats and was pointing where he wanted to move to. Then was refused and had to be calmed by the officer when he was refused.

Guess what…you were fed blog after blog of assumed falsehoods.

Luckily we have the facts to set the matter straight. There was a witness to what was going on in the photo. Yes, a real person with facts. This is their account of the event as witnessed.

I heard the whole conversation with Russell Crowe at Wimbledon yesterday. He saw a friend further down and was asking if the guy could go down and tell her to come and say hello but he was saying he can’t move from his spot. He was perfectly nice and had no problem being told this. – Nell, London W8, 6/7/2009

Thank you Nell of London for coming forward and commenting on one of the inflammatory blogs with the facts. See no fuss no nastiness between them, and no cell phones.

My point is that if you are going to take something like this and post about it get the truth and the real facts before making assumptions. After all you know what they say. When you assume…….

 

 

Bling H2O

Do you Bling? It seems a great number of people get it. The gourmet water has become the official water of the PLUGLA Magazine, as well as winning awards for the best packaging. It’s easy to see with the lovely handcrafted corked 750ml recyclable frosted bottle sparkling with Swarovski Crystals why someone would pay $39.00 to be seen with the new fashion accessory.

    Fine Waters Site calls it pop culture in a bottle and Bling H2O even has it’s own MySpace account. With all that hype the liquid within must be truly exotic. Actually it comes from a natural spring in Dandridge, Tennessee. Yes, that’s right Tennessee. They use a nine step purification process that includes ozone, ultraviolet, and micro-filtration. The source spring is NSF certified to insure the waters quality. The NSF is and international organization that helps protect consumers by certifying the products and writing standers of foods You can find out more about them at http://www.nsf.org.

    Kevin G. Boyd a Hollywood writer/producer noticed he could tell about a person’s personality by the bottled water they carried. Bling H2O was designed to make a fashion statement as well as taste good.  Initially the “Cristal” of bottled water was introduced to hand selected customers. Now the company has branched out expanding it’s availability. The fashionable drink was featured at events like the MTV Video Music Awards as well as the Emmy’s. Even their web site http://www.blingh2o.com screams sex appeal. The product has won gold medals for best tasting water at the Berkely Springs International Water Tasting Festival and many more awards for taste and visual appeal. Bling was featured on Entertainment Tonight and seen in the hands of many celebs like Jamie Foxx.

    While $39.00 seems a little steep for the average joe we do tend to follow the trends. We have been known to pay more than that for a pair of jeans just because someone famous wears them. Bling H2O has made water a fashion statement, an accessory to add to our already overflowing closets. If you’re on a tight budget and can’t buy a case maybe you can get one bottle and refill it. No one but you and your sink will know. Everyone else will think you got Bling.