Saturday Summation – 05 May 2012

Here are some of my most interesting blog and news reads of the week:

Following Star Wars day comes Cinco de Mayo, a holiday that is far bigger here in the United States than in Mexico, save for maybe Puebla. I only mention it here because, as a Spanish teacher, I want to continue to educate the masses that today is NOT Mexican independence day (which is el dieciséis de septiembre), but a celebration of victory against the French in the Battle of Puebla. Check out Mexonline’s page to find out more. At this point in time, it is more a celeberation of Latino culture – I’d equate it to St. Patrick’s Day.

In a more serious cultural celebration is a NY Times Magazine-section article about rural Afghan women struggling to get their voices heard through their poetry and how they go about it. In one of the World Literature courses I am teaching right now, students read The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini, but in that same unit, they also read some beautiful poetry that reflects the plight of many Afghan women. With these lessons in my mind, the NYTimes piece, “Why Afghan Women Risk Death to Write Poetry” caught my eye with more with more lyrical lines.

If you are into in-depth author interviews, I came across two this week – long, but worthwhile, especially if you have interest in big names like Toni Morrison and Stephen King. Toni Morrison’s is with The Guardian, and Stephen King’s is with author Neil Gaiman.

Interested in an agent-judged contest? Writer’s Digest is running a recurring one called “Dear Lucky Agent” which focuses on different genres each time. This one is for upmarket/women’s/mainstream fiction – deadline is 15 May. Check out all of the details here.

How about a challenge? It would be kind of a late start, but you can join May’s Story-A-Day challenge – something to keep you writing a little something on a daily basis. It doesn’t have to be much – it could just be a bit of flash-fiction.

And finally, thinking of this “story a day” concept, I read a post by  Julia Munroe Martin talking of “The Case for Blogging” – which was determining if it really helped her fiction writing, inviting all of us readers to decide the same thing. Does blogging help my fiction writing? Since I rarely have fiction to post on my blog, I’d say for me it only does so indirectly, but I felt I could relate to Martin’s reflection in her post.

Last night I watched my husband perform with Hamline University’s Jazz Band – and though it would be more fitting, in this particular case, to have their actual performance of Duke Ellington’s “Caravan” (perhaps my favorite tune of the evening), I’ll give you Duke Ellington’s Orchestra, instead. 

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