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

Monday, June 24, 2024

Our Independence Day!

Independence Day is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the Declaration of Independence of the United States, on July 4, 1776.

This next week, and Thursday specifically, the United States of America celebrates our Independence Day.

This picture to the left is my dad at 18. We have a family full of men who have served in various branches of the military.

Some time ago, I shared a post about the history of our national anthem if you'd like to check that out here: https://writinginwonderland.blogspot.com/2023/06/national-flag-day-and-star-spangled.html

Thank you to all of the men and women who have served, or are currently serving, our country in ANY way. You are appreciated more than you know.

I'm spending some time celebrating with family and friends. I hope you are all able to do the same.

Are you reading any great books this week?

Monday, June 17, 2024

Adding to Our Literary Travels

This is the time of year that my family starts planning and taking trips. We all enjoy traveling, the sun, and being together.

Of course, I usually try to work in a few literary stops along the way. Anything from where an author stayed or lived, to towns or building mentioned in favorite stories are options on my list. Our travels usually inspire my own writing as well. We haven't decided for sure what we are doing this summer yet, although several options have been shared.

However, we did make a trip to Orlando in March to visit Disney and Universal. One of our stops at Disney Springs included a visit to an Irish Pub: Raglan Road. This is a table-service restaurant that serves Irish fare in a festive atmosphere. The restaurant has been a mainstay, and one of the most popular locations in Disney Springs, since opening there in 2005. Yet few know its name actually comes from a poem by Irish author Patrick Kavanagh. Here is a link to that wonderful poem: "On Raglan Road". The poem also refers to the "Queen of Hearts" which I found interesting.

Monday, June 10, 2024

National Flag Day and "The Star - Spangled Banner"

In the United States, Flag Day is celebrated on June 14th to commemorate the adoption of the flag of the United States of America on June 14, 1777 by resolution of the Second Continental Congress. This is also the day the United States Army celebrates its birthday. 

On September 14, 1814, Francis Scott Key penned a poem which was later set to music and in 1931 became America's national anthem, "The Star - Spangled Banner." The poem originally titled, "The Defence of Fort M'Henry," was written after Key witnessed the Maryland fort being bombarded by the British during the war of 1812. The sight of those "broad stripes and bright stars" inspired thousands. If you've never heard the story before, try the video below. 

Have you ever heard this story before? Do you know the words to this poem/song? Can you think of any other piece of writing that has influenced thousands?

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

IWSG: Services Needed - Writers Need Each Other

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.

Now, IWSG hosts have changed up the format in an effort to make it more fun and interactive. Every month, they will announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. 

Don’t forget to visit others that day to see their answers. Want to join, or learn more? Visit our - Sign-up List.

In this constantly evolving industry, what kind of offering/service do you think the IWSG should consider offering to members?

MY ANSWER - There are so many things IWSG members have been good about offering that I would love to see continued or brought back. First, I wish we still offered the annual anthology contest. This was great motivation to work both individually and as a group. This contest often inspired ideas, creativity, editing, design, layout, marketing, blogging, education, and fun. This was a great way to cheer each other on, even when we were not personally participating or selected for an issue. Secondly, the IWSG readers group disappeared. It would be nice if we could bring this back, but highlighting books of members so we could share marketing and reviews. We did this some, but it would be nice to return to it. While I was not able to participate in everything both of these opportunities afforded, it was nice to know they were there and to jump in to support when able. While many of us still offer recommendations, words of support, cheerleading, etc. it does not appear to happen on the same scale as when both of these options were available.

What about you? In this constantly evolving industry, what kind of offering/service do you think the IWSG should consider offering to members?