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Archive for August, 2018

Browsing through the new nonfiction books at the library, I spotted one called Scratch for Kids. ‘Scratch’ is a program used to learn coding. I’ve been wanting to know more about it so it was a serendipitous find. Wanting to see if they had more books on the topic, I did a search in the on-line catalog. I was perturbed to see e-resources added to the list of books, but a check with a librarian showed me how to get rid of those..

The library does have more books on the topic. I’ll have to check those out too when I finished with this one. Then I’ll move on to the next step. Searching where the books were located made me wonder what genius is in charge of cataloging them. The book I have is under Parenting. Another book is under Crafts & Hobbies. This is a book on computers, on learning code, software. Why isn’t it under Computers? Maybe because they put computer books under Science. And then it’s under science technology, not science computers. And!!!! In the teen section it’s under Technology, not science technology, but Technology and the books are alphabetical by author.. Seriously, who thinks of this confusing stuff? Why does someone have to wander around the whole library to find books on a similar topic? Under Dewey it’d be all in the 000’s. Simple.

It’s not the first time I’ve had issues with finding topics in weird areas. Camping is also in Crafts and Hobbies. My biggest pet peeve is how the books are shelved within their categories. For example, I like looking up information on South Carolina and since I live in the state, there are a lot of books. In Dewey, they’d be arranged by location. All the books along the coast together and the cities, like Charleston, together. Now they are in alphabetical order by author. Really?

Oh, and I just bumped into this example. I was browsing through, waiting for my Mom, when I saw under Parenting some travel books. See Paris with your kids or something like that. If I were going to Paris, I’d be wanting to know what else is there and not just things for kids. Just stick it all in the travel section. It makes sense.

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A few months back my Mom landed in the hospital. It was a pretty stressful time made even more stressful because my car needed work done pretty much ASAP and I needed that car. For a rental, I’d have to pay about forty bucks a day. That on top of the price for repairs. Luckily I ended up not having to need the rental.

My poor Mom spent a whole day in ER before being sent to a ‘holding’ floor that was only open from 6 am to 6 pm. They didn’t have a bed available on the senior ward yet, but she got there eventually and I have to say it is cool they have a senior ward to meet the needs of their older patients. I didn’t need to explain some things because the doctors were all in senior care and the nurses and techs worked all the time with seniors.

It was an interesting experience. The walls between rooms are thin and most of the doors are open. I learned the name of one lady quite well because she kept complaining and wanted to do her own thing. The poor lady was out of her element and when she wanted something, she wanted it RIGHT NOW. The nurses and techs were kept on their toes as they tried to keep her from getting up. The hospital chairs and beds have these devices that alert when the patient stands up. Mostly it’s a tone, but there are a few that go: Please, do not get up. We heard that a lot.

On the other side of Mom was a lady who refused to wear her hearing aid. When relatives came to visit, they spoke in such loud voices we could join the conversation if we wanted. I was glad when the relatives left.

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Flower is on the run. She, her parents, and her baby brother rush north during the nights to escape from their master, heading for Canada, a place they can finally be free. It’s not easy, not with men and dogs hunting them, but there are good men as well bad.

150 years in the future, it’s a new town, new school for Felicia. There are already whispers about her braids, her hair, and her black skin. She thinks she’ll never find a friend here, but among the bullies are also the nice girls.

This is told in alternating chapters, from Flower’s and Felicia’s point-of-view. Flower tells of the journey to Canada and Felicia is how life is in the next century. I liked how Felicia had to do a report on her history.

I haven’t read many books on African-Canadians. Most of the books are on the journey and set in the past, so this was new. In books where a person explores their roots in slavery and there are two protagonists, the person in the past and the person in the future, it’s usually a time travel piece. This is how I imaged the book and I was pleased not to find it different. Both tales, of Flower and Felicia, can stand out on their own and both are exciting and engaging. Both stories are different too even though there are some parallels. Flower’s tale is about fleeing slavery and the hardships endured on the Underground Railroad, while Felicity is about bullying and friendship.

Good for Black History, bullying, and friendship.

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I’m thinking of making a book on sheep for Angus. He’d gone to the library, because it was his turn to go out with Aud and that’s one of the places they went. According to Angus, he ambled in and requested books on sheep.

I’m thinking more he marched in, clop, clop, clop, and demanded books on sheep. ‘Books on sheep,” he probably said. And then snapped his fore hoof digits.

Okay, so maybe he didn’t do that, that last part, but that’s what stuck in my head like a little sheep movie. More than likely, he marched in, clop, clop, clop. Then he wandered around trying to find a book himself on sheep, then wandered around some more trying to find someone to assist, and then he’d have tried to get that person to notice him. Once having that person’s attention on his wooly self, he’d say. “Miss, a book on sheep, please. Fiction and not one for wee bairns.” Because that’s what type of books they have most of – picture books with sheep in them.

Angus is above picture books. I say a good story is a good story and I like pictures especially if they are of cats, but not if the cat doesn’t look much like a cat or is the villain and that.

Considering that Angus wasn’t happy with his encounter with whoever helped him, I’m guessing he didn’t get what he wanted. I have, of course, the perfect solution, I’ll write sheep books for him! I’m practically an expert on sheep now having lived with him since the middle of 2009. That’s almost nine years. Plus I read his journals like Crofts and Pastures and Open Pastures. I bet I can take one of their letters to the editors and turn it in a gripping story. I’m going to have to work on that. And I’ll start another right now.

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Having footnotes in a novel is an interesting concept, just not one I’ll adopt. I didn’t mind the footnotes, but I find them a distraction after awhile. I’ll be reading the story, getting into it, get to the bottom of the page and find a footnote there only I don’t remember where it belonged in the text. Usually I’ve just skimmed right over and there I am, rereading the page or playing spot the footnote number. Halfway through the book, I’m either ignoring the footnotes altogether or reading it first and, as I read, try to place where it belongs. It gets a bit frustrating.

I’m sure others don’t mind as much as I do. I’m a fast reader and I skim as I read. Footnotes make me focus more on the story, not a bad thing, but mostly they’re speed bumps, which is why I find them rather annoying.

The book I’m currently reading uses footnotes to give background or explain a word or concept. While it works for the story, adds a bit for another reader, I would rather it was in the story. There are multiple points of view and these are designated by a new chapter. The footnotes are from one character. I guess you’d call her the main character as most of the chapters are from her point of view.

From a writer’s viewpoint, me that is, I won’t be adding footnotes in my fiction. I’ll write what I need to in the story and if I need to write a bit of back story or history, such as in my Charleston manuscript, it’ll go in a Background chapter in the rear of the book or up front. Or both since in my novel I explain a bit of what is happening at the moment in the story.

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