‘The question of what reading does for the human soul is an eternal one and its answer largely ineffable, but this hasn’t stopped minds big and small from tussling with it — we have Kafka’s exquisite letter to his childhood friend, Maurice Sendak’s visual manifestos for the joy of reading, and even my own answer to a nine-year-old girl’s question about why we have books today.
‘In this wonderful animated essay, they extol the value of books in expanding our circle of empathy, validating and ennobling our inner life, and fortifying us against the paralyzing fear of failure…’
Is H.P. Lovecraft’s Legacy Tainted?
‘Laura Miller recently wrote about the backlash in a piece for Salon.com. She says that objections to the use of Lovecraft as the face of the award began to surface when Nigerian-American writer Nnedi Okorafor, who won the WFA for best novel in 2011 for Who Fears Death, wrote a blog post about her discomfort with the trophy after she read a racist poem that Lovecraft wrote in 1912.
‘The issue this raises for fans of Lovecraft or any other artist is how much you can separate the artist and their beliefs from their work. Miller says many fandoms struggle with this when something unflattering is revealed about someone they admire…’
Do Writers Need Media Training?
‘In September, Charles Bethea wrote an article for The Freelancer titled “I Went on Good Morning America, and It Was Far from Lights, Camera, Action.” Bethea’s piece was entertaining, to be sure, as he peeled back the curtain on what happens when the broadcast media interviews a journalist who isn’t used to being on camera. According to his account, the overall experience wasn’t great.
‘In my opinion, two words could have changed everything for Bethea: media training.
‘Media training helps you, the writer, transition from the interviewer to the interviewee by teaching you new skills that boost your confidence once the cameras start rolling. I would know—I’ve received media training, and now I train others. Getting help in this arena is probably more common than you’d think…’
Remember ‘No Child Left Behind’? So what happened?
The Bill was signed into law in January 2002 by George W. Bush, with the liberal lion of the Senate, Ted Kennedy, by his side.
‘The law set a simple if daunting goal: All of the nation’s students would perform at grade level on state tests. Every single one. 100 percent. Or as the name of the law put it, there would be No Child Left Behind.
‘So here it is, 12 years later, 2014. And the law, NCLB, is still in effect. All children, under federal law, are supposed to be at grade level…’
Spoiler alert: They’re not.