Monday, November 19, 2007

Facebook &

I have a Facebook account now. Here's my badge:
Keira's Facebook Profile

I also have a radio playlist. Here's my Playlist.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Writing and Cricket

Anna Campbell and I riff about how writing and the sport cricket are similar over at the Romance Bandits. Come and join us in the fun and tell us how sports affect your reading and/or writing.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Celebrating Banned Books Week

BannedBooksWeek2007What do the classics The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Catcher in the Rye, and To Kill a Mockingbird have in common? They'll be celebrated as part of the American Library Association's (ALA) Banned Books Week (BBW) celebrations from September 29 to October 6.

A challenge is a person expressing a point of view and is also an attempt to remove or restrict materials from the curriculum or library, based upon the objections of a person or group, thereby restricting the access of others. A banning is the removal of those materials. The top three reasons usually cited for challenging (and banning) material are that it's considered to be "sexually explicit," contain "offensive language," and be "unsuited to age group."

While books usually are challenged with the best of intentions—to protect children from difficult ideas and information—censorship, whether subtle and imperceptible, or blatant and overt, is nonetheless harmful. As Ray Bradbury says, "You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them." Implied here is that the sum of a culture is contained within the pages of a book.

Authors who frequented the ALA list of top 100 most frequently challenged books of the 1990s, included Judy Blume, Alvin Schwartz, and Toni Morrison. Surprises for me were the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling and the Earth Children series by Jean Auel.

For this year, the list of adult books includes I Know Why a Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, and The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan. The young adult list contains Forever by Judy Blume, The Giver by Lois Lowry, and Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher. The corresponding children's books are In a Dark, Dark Room by Alvin Schwartz, The Stupids Step Out by Harry Allard, Captain Underpants and the Preposterous Plight of the Purple Potty People by Dav Pilkey, and It's Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris.

QuestionMarkDo you think books should be banned? Are there cases where it's clearly warranted?

Monday, June 4, 2007

VaNo Cheerocracy

I've joined the Vagabond Novel Writing (VaNo) groups started by the most excellent group of aspiring writers Romance Vagabonds. I'm currently musing on a Regency-set historical story. This is my third project.

My first project was a medieval set in Scotland; the second was set in early 9th century Saxon England. I wrote the first one in an out-of-order, scenes-by-whim basis, and it was a huge mess.

For the second project set in northern England of the early middle ages, I tried the sequential, discover-as-you-go-along method, which had the unfortunate side effect of me writing myself into a corner and having the plot peter out before the end. Ick and double ick.

This time around, I've done some thinking, scribbling, character bit work, place research, etc. Now I want to write a detailed synopsis before I begin on the actual story.

I won't pitch at National 2007 in Dallas, my first RWA conference, but will do so at National 2008 in San Francisco.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Catch Me If You Can

Every Wednesday May 2007 onwards, I will be blogging at Romance Novel TV's Musing of the Romantics.

[Edited 11/07: RNTV Wedesnday blogs on hiatus.]