From Missy Cheryl
I read an article this week that discussed how voracious readers develop what is called “theory of mind.” This is a condition in which a person can entertain opinions very different than their own without allowing it to change or affect their personal feelings on a subject.
This concept, along with the corresponding scientific studies that support it, is one of the strongest arguments I’ve found against banning books. After all, books are generally banned in fear that they will change the opinions of their readers to something undesirable. But these studies show that allowing children to read widely from a young age is the best defense against that outcome.
No matter what your personal beliefs are, you cannot shield yourself and your family from all opposing ideas forever. We live in the age of information. Therefore, it is absolutely vital to help your children develop this state of mind.
The best defense is a good offense, after all. Banning books is a defense. Allowing them to develop theory of mind is going on the offense.
From Miss Brenda
Pantser or Plotter ? ? ?
I’ve always considered myself a Pantser. In fact, I’ve been fairly devoted to it. But right now, with a book of 211 pages that isn’t quite finished, I’m reconsidering. Having been lost in the Muddled Middles, as I am wont to be, I’m taking a look at the 211 pages and analyzing what on them. And, more importantly, what’s not. It’s actually pretty fascinating: I’ve found too much inaction, thinking, considering, dreaming, and not enough gripping moments. I’ve found too much in one or another character’s head, and not enough interaction with other characters. I’ve found some characters who came in too late, others who were too “present” at the wrong moments.
So, Pantsers, just because we don’t write an outline, draw a map, use 5,000 Post-Its to show all our carefully chosen stepping stones, doesn’t mean we can’t go back and analyze what we do have at (or toward) the end. We know some of the elements needed for a rip-snortin’ story. Take a careful, a thorough look at what we have. Mine for gold. Find the buried treasure, and be sure it’s there, even though it may need a little polishing up!
Hope those of you in Utah have a Happy Pioneer Day (the rest of you, too).
Hope you get to read and write and hug those you love.
Hope you have peace and get to watch one great show. Or two.