Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Why challenge books?

According to the ALA's website, the three most common reasons for a challenge to a book are, sexually explicit,” contain "“offensive language,” and be(ing) “unsuited to age group.”"

There's something that has always amazed me when talking about movies that relates to the first most common reason. Some people will freak out if there's nudity or a hint of sex in a movie, but let the movie blow up cars and shoot each other all day long without comment. Notice violence isn't in the top three reasons that books are challenged.

As far as language, well, we all have words we find offensive. And few will have the same list.

I'm really puzzled at the last reason. I know that school libraries are included in the data. But there is a big difference between a 5th grader and a kindergartner and what they can read. Are they saying that only kindergarten books can be included in a school library? Because after all, a book that a 5th grader could read would be highly unsuited for a kindergartner to read.

There are also differences among children of the same age. I'm a little more careful with what my youngest reads because she's more sensitive and has nightmares, whereas things don't seem to bother the oldest in the same ways at the same age.

And if that's for public libraries...say what? Public libraries have ADULTS checking out books, not just kids. Why censor the public library and what books they have because of age unsuitability when the public library services people of ALL ages?


PS I blogged at BWB today with Agent Search Tip #2.

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Monday, September 29, 2008

The most challenged books of the 21st century (2000-2005)

To get you started on a reading list for the week...

1. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
2. "The Chocolate War" by Robert Cormier
3. Alice series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
4. "Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck
5. "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" by Maya Angelou
6. "Fallen Angels" by Walter Dean Myers
7. "It's Perfectly Normal" by Robie Harris
8. Scary Stories series by Alvin Schwartz
9. Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey
10. "Forever" by Judy Blume

I feel like such a rebel. Not only have I read the 1st one but so has my nine year old.


Sunday, September 28, 2008

How I spent my Saturday night and a reminder

A few years ago I caught this song on the radio and went "Holy wow!" I marked it and almost immediately went home and tried to find it.

The song was Broken by Seether and Amy Lee. It remains one of the most haunting, beautiful songs I've ever heard. I will sometimes get in the mood for it and have to hear it. I like the Amy Lee version and there is a version of Seether doing the song with acoustic guitar. I like both for different reasons. One day, I'm going to have a write a fallen angel story and the inspiration will be Broken.

My sister has become a mega Seether fan. A month or so ago, she said, "Seether's coming to Richmond but I don't know anyone who will go with me."

I said, "Ummm, I will."

Last night was the concert. It rocked. State of Shock was one of the opening bands, and they are definitely my speed. Hard rock.

Seether knows how to put on a show. They had white lights all over the microphones and the stage. Part of the first number was done behind a curtain that showed only shadows.

There were quite a few numbers I really enjoyed. They played Broken with acoustic guitar and the whole audience was singing along. "Fake it" I think it is going to be a new favorite. *caution* the video is probably not work or kidlet safe.

I think I need to find their CD...to go along with my t-shirt. Thanks Sis!

Don't forget to go vote in the poll "What did Mechele do?" at my newsletter group, The Crayon Chronicles. The group is low volume and where I share everything first. I will draw among those who have voted correctly for a $10 gift certificate on Sept 30th. And reveal what exactly I've done *Grins*.

May the muses have beautiful songs

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Banned Books Week

Today kicks off the start of Banned Books Week.

I'll be blogging more on the subject all week, talking about what authors and books are the most challenged.

One of my favorite quotes on the website is, "ALA's basic policy concerning access to information) states that, “Librarians and governing bodies should maintain that parents—and only parents—have the right and the responsibility to restrict the access of their children—and only their children—to library resources.”

Which is my whole position in a nutshell. No one needs to ban a book because they don't like its contest. You don't like the content, don't want your kid to read it, don't let them read it. Don't try and make it so NO kid can read it.

I would urge you to read up on the subject and read a banned book this week! I'm going to try and find one in my local library and as they had a display up on Banned Books Week, I'm sure I'll be able to find one. Actually, *gasp* I'm sure if I look around I can find some in my house. I'll have to blog on which ones I own.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Local Things I love by Mechele

1. Ukrops. It’s a supermarket and an institution here in Richmond. Things I love: Their selection. They have the best meats, veggies and fruits. Their philanthropy. They contribute to things across the city, from parades to churches. They provide all the food to the SPCA. One very cold day, a long time ago, I was going in to grocery shop. A local animal group was outside with animals for adoption. A Ukrops’ employee came out with hot chocolate and cups for the volunteers. I’ve seen that happen more than once. It really made me respect a store who would do that for people.

2. The Richmond SPCA. They have this fairly new facility that’s just awesome. They have moved to being a no kill shelter. They do low coast spay/’neuter for the community. They do a lot with feral cat colonies, doing trap, spay/neuter, release. I’m a new volunteer and being behind the scenes has made me have that much respect for them. Not to mention, Sheba, my angel dog and Diva kitty both came from there. *cough* and maybe more…

3. Bottom’s Up… Oh the yummy pizza, let me count how much I love you. State Fair. BBQ chicken. Their sauce. Yummmmmmm.

4. My library. Twin Hickory is the nearest library to me. They have a display up about Banned Books Week. How cool is THAT? I also love being able to go online and order books. With my daughter reading serieses, that has been helpful to do.

5. Henrico Humane Society. They sponsor the Pet Expo, which has all these booths and demonstrations about pets. And the Neurotic Dog was rescued by them and fostered by them while she was awaiting adoption.

6. Short Pump Mall. While I HATE driving there, I love walking around. It’s an outdoor mall with a town type feel.

7. The schools. I love the school system here. The local school the girls went to has rocked most of the time with excellent teachers. Our principal, who left last year, was a wonder. She could call the girls and me by name when we walked in the school building.

8. Maymont. It’s a park/farm/refuge for animals. A historical site. We don’t go as often as I’d like to but it’s a lot of fun to walk around. They have Japanese gardens and a children’s barn with farm animals. It also has carriage rides.

9. Meadow Farm Museum. There is a super park here, too. Meadow Farm is a 1800’s style farm. And they work it like they did in the 1800’s. There’s an old house, built in the 1800’s.

10. Busch Gardens. It’s close enough to be local and my favorite amusement park. It’s so beautiful. The landscaping and the feel of it beckons me. I also love the Loch Ness Monster.

11. My local chapter of RWA. I don’t get to go to meetings as often as I’d like (mainly because I’m a horrible overscheduler for the girls *sigh* but that’s another story). But they are wonderfully supportive and fun to be around. I love the seminars they give.

12. My pediatrician and my vet. I’m lumping them in together but I’m very fond of them. The doctors always take time to listen to me. My vet was very kind when Sheba was in her last day.

13. Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens. We went there over the summer and loved it. Ended up joining. The kids love the Children’s Garden and walking around looking at all the plants. They do a lot of events and have a beautiful Christmas display of lights that I’m looking forward to going to this year.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

*insert catchy title here*

I can't really think of one.

My lovely children decided to share their cold with me. I feel like my head is full and not with thoughts. They are both home with me today. *sigh*

I blogged at The Romance Studio today on all the small things lately that have amused me in some manner. I also blogged at Book Worm Bags about Agent Search tips.

Settler's Mine: The Wolf is DONE. It topped off at about 30K. I'm not expecting it to grow too much during revisions.

And it's been accepted by Loose Id! Whoo hooo. I plan to get it into the editor soon.

This week is being spent working on querying agents and revising Dark Raiders. Yeah, now I'm nauseous and have a cold LOL.

May the muses have small things

Monday, September 22, 2008

Just wanted to say

Happy birthday Melissa!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

So just what did Mechele do?

I've been teasing on my blog for a week now about something I've done. I thought it might be fun to hold a contest at my newsletter to see who could guess.

So...go join my newsletter and vote in the poll to tell what you think I did by 9/30. I'll draw a name from the correct answers. The winner gets a $10 gift certificate to Loose Id.


The poll is called "What did Mechele do?" Direct URL:


My newsletter group is low mail and it's where I give all my updates first. I try and make it fun, so if you want to stick around after the contest is over...please do.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Chat tonight and more

I'll be chatting with pals, Melissa Lopez and Mari of Marissa Alwin tonight at M-spot chat at 9 PM EST. Melissa and Marissa both have upcoming releases so I'm sure there will LOTS to talk about.

I'm 26 K into a 30 K story. Whoo hooooooo! I'm hoping to finish by the weekend *Grins*.

The more that I mentioned earlier. A total distraction. But fun. Yeah, I'm teasing...

May the muses have more

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I need a weekend to recover from my weekend


Basketball, sleepovers, more friends over, and more. There will be a post on the more later. Let's just say...I'm a good Mom, who must be out of my mind LOL.

I wrote 10 K last week. I'm psyched. I can't wait to finish Clyde. Heh heh, neither can my editor.

I have edits waiting for me on the Sixth Cursed Halloween. Need to pull up the sleeves and get busy tomorrow.

I was featured last week on Pillow Talk Tuesday by Michelle M. Pillow. You can read my interview here.

May the muses have more to share

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

It's been a good day

3 K today. Wheee! That brings me up to 18 K of approximately a 30 K story. Yeah, I'm excited *G*.

I also managed to get in a little house work.

Now if only i could find that nap....

May the muses have Z's

Monday, September 08, 2008

Stormy weather

Actually it was on Saturday. Both the hubby and I had Hurricane Isabel on the brain, so were were very prepared for Hanna. Luckily, she really wasn't that bad.

We are slowly settling into a routine. It's going to be busy busy with activities the next few months. The girls still don't like getting up early. The critters like being fed early. LOL.

On the writing front, I'm almost half way done with Clyde's story. And I'm really enjoying it. I'm waiting on edits for the Sixth Cursed Halloween, which should come any day now.

I bloggged over at Ladies of the Club today.

May the muses have fast feet

Thursday, September 04, 2008

In lieu of Thursday Thirteen--3's About Me

Melissa Lopez tagged me so here it goes...

3's About Me

Three jobs I have had in my life:
1) money taker at a pool
2) administrative assistant
3) author! Whoo hooo, how I love listing that.

Three shows that I watch:
1) Dirty Jobs
2) Deadliest Catch
3) Dexter (may the new season start soon!)

Three people who e-mail me regularly:
1) Melissa
2) Paula
3) My sisters

Three of my favorite foods:
1) Italian
2) steak
3) peanut butter

Three places I'd rather be right now:
1) Nags Head on the Outer Banks
2) Scotland
3) taking a nap in my bed (why youngest child, did you decide to get up at 5 today?)

Three friends I think will respond: (I have no idea!)

Three things I am looking forward to this year:
1) Halloween
2) Christmas
3) the leaves changing color

Three places I have been:
1) The Outer Banks
2) New Orleans
3) New York City

3 things I would do if I won 100 million dollars in the lotto:
1) Buy my hubby a house with a garage for his “manspace” (we have all girls here) and a room for a library for me and the girls *G*
2) buy a beach house at the Outer Banks
3) Donate to the SPCA

3 things that make me happy:
1) My family, kids, hubster, and pets
2) Friends, Melissa, Mari, Shy, Corinne, JW, Sandra, Karen
3) writing a story that I love the characters and where it’s going.

3 things that annoy me:
1) Mean people
2) People who give up a once cherished pet just because they have a child or get pregnant.
3) People who abuse children or animals.

3 favorite movies:
1) Pitch Black
2) Serenity
3) Fried Green tomatoes

3 places I want to go before I split the planet:
1) Scotland
2) Ireland
3) Germany

3 things I want to do before I split the planet:
1) See the kidlets grow to be happy and hopefully good people.
2) Find an agent and have book with New York Publisher.
3) Adopt a greyhound

3 things I'm thankful for.
1) Family
2) Friends
3) My writing

3 People I'm Thankful for:
1) the hubby
2) my kids and other family like my sisters and my aunt
3) my friends(I couldn’t name just three.)

May the muses have more than 3 things

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The house is quiet

The kids are back to school. The hubster is back at work. Neurotic dog is snoozing. Diva kitty is snoozing by the laptop. I'm drinking coffee and listening to Clyde growl because I haven't started working on his story again yet.

Guess who is featured at The Romance Studio Blue?


You can read all about it here:


I blogged seeking help on how to stay organized at Georgia's Crossroads Cafe. Stop by and give me your tips.

May the muses have occasionally quiet houses

Monday, September 01, 2008

Quirks, too

The wonderful Lyn Cash tagged me on the Quirky meme, too, so here goes six more. And three more tags.

1) Link to the person that tagged you.2) Post the rules on your blog.3) List six unspectacular quirks you have.4) Tag six bloggers by linking them.5) Leave a comment on each person's blog to let them know they've been tagged.

1. I love peanut butter. I crave peanut butter. Constantly. With or without chocolate.

2. I’m anal about organizing and cleaning some things but completely nonchalant about others. One section of my desk must stay pristine and organized. The other side, not so much.

3. I cannot do math in my head. I have to see it on paper or I lose track of the numbers.

4. I have to turn maps the direction I’m going so I can figure out turns.

5. I love dinosaur stuff, especially the computer generated images. I’ve watched a lot of the shows on dinosaurs just so I can see the footage of the dinosaurs walking around.

6. I’m not good at calling people, even my friends on the telephone. Somehow, I always wonder if I’m interrupting them or something.

I'm tagging Jenna Leigh, Raine Weaver, and Flesa Black.