"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

BANNED BOOKS WEEK 2015: September 27-October 3

It's the middle of "BANNED BOOKS WEEK 2015".  The top ten books frequently challenged in 2014 has been released by the State of America's Library Report

A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others.

The Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged books list is compiled by the Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) and is based on derived from communities across the United States. According to their data, the ten most challenged books of 2014 are:
1)      The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
Reasons: anti-family, cultural insensitivity, drugs/alcohol/smoking, gambling, offensive language, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group, violence. Additional reasons: “depictions of bullying”
2)      Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi
Reasons: gambling, offensive language, political viewpoint. Additional reasons: “politically, racially, and socially offensive,” “graphic depictions”
3)      And Tango Makes Three, Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
Reasons: Anti-family, homosexuality, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “promotes the homosexual agenda”
4)      The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
Reasons: Sexually explicit, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “contains controversial issues”
5)      It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris
Reasons: Nudity, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group. Additional reasons: “alleges it child pornography”
6)      Saga, by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Reasons: Anti-Family, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group. Additional reasons:
7)      The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited to age group, violence
8)      The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “date rape and masturbation”
9)      A Stolen Life, Jaycee Dugard
Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group
10)  Drama, by Raina Telgemeier
Reasons: sexually explicit

If you would like more information about banned and challenged books, contact the Office for Intellectual Freedom at (800) 545-2433, ext. 4220, or oif@ala.org.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Monday, September 21, 2015

Technology Plague

Sometimes technology can be as big a curse as it can be a blessing. The last few weeks I've felt this truth abundantly. A string of mishaps, break downs, and outright temper tantrums on my part have left me wondering why I use technology at all. I know I could never truly give up technology completely, but occasional breaks are definitely called for when they become an overwhelming distraction. While I try to get all of my devices back on track and behaving, I thought you might enjoy reading about:

10 Famous Writers Who Refuse to Use Modern Technology

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Mumm's the Word

It's almost Fall, and we are enjoying our first stint of cooler weather here in southeast Texas. It was in the 60's this morning, and it won't be long before we are pulling out the pumpkins.

It's also time for a new issue of Southern Writer's magazine. In this issue I talk with Anita Mumm, editor and former employee of the Nelson Literary Agency.

To learn more about this magazine or to order a copy, please visit: http://www.southernwritersmagazine.com/ 

How are your manuscripts or other projects coming along? Are you reading any great books or magazines?

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

IWSG: Best Self Publishing Venue

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs. You can also join us on twitter using the hashtag #IWSG, or on the Facebook page

Today, I am hoping for some advice. I'm thinking of self publishing a book that several agents and editors have told me has too narrow a market for them. I have never tried the self publishing route before so I am just now learning about the venues available. As far as I can tell, Book Baby, Amazon, and Smashwords seem to be the most popular. Below are two links comparing them, but I'm hoping for some recommendations from you.



Have you ever self published? If so, who did you use? Who do you recommend, and why?