Sunday, November 29, 2009

Going Rogue! The Breakdown!

Want to get through Sarah Palin's book? Here is a way to break it down.

A look at Palin's most frequently used words capture some of the key themes of the former Alaska governor's memoir: Alaska, campaign, Todd, family, kids, right, governor, government, oil, work, energy.

Saturday, November 28, 2009



Cracking, splitting, and dying to expand is the crack in the sidewalk. We walk on it, around it, and hop over it, not knowing what the crack means. The crack in the sidewalk has a purpose so Sweet-thang thought. She walked over that same crack everyday and every night. It was summer 1965 in the hot south. Sweet-thang was walking the streets only for a purpose not known to her. In her world and in her town, Macon GA, there wasn’t much else to do but walk the streets. Chocolate, curvy and an afro that was Sweet-Thang. Men whistled and stared but Sweet-thang had better thangs to do. When she walked she looked down and always wondered why the sidewalk cracked and didn’t go back. It was hot as fire in Macon GA, which to most southerners was a bit southern town. She dreamed of being bigger than life, but that’s as far as it went. Sweet-thang always had her eye on the crack in the sidewalk because she knew that she was that crack. Broken, black, beaten down from the prejudice south. All the experiences she had encountered with blacks hating her because she’s dark to white folks spitting at her because she was a negro. Sweet-thang felt that she and the crack in the sidewalk had everything in common. Getting walked on, stomped on, and ran over was what she felt in her soul. Sweet-thang got inspired by the crack in the sidewalk. She wrote a piece about it:

I have noticed the crack in the sidewalk. As I journey on it, near it and far from it, it propels me to keep it moving. The sidewalk and I are not much different as I am broken in many ways. My heart is cracked down the middle, sideways and just broke. I thought no one or nothing was quite like me. Now I see the crack in the sidewalk as I see myself. I can finally pick up the pieces and see the beauty in myself as I see the beauty in the crack in the sidewalk. The sidewalk, cracked, peeled, broken, and ripped down the middle. There’s such beauty in the cracked sidewalk. The journey I have taken going and coming on that sidewalk is a journey I have learned to see for what it truly is. The cracks, the bits of falling pieces peeling off and ever expanding concrete is what I see in myself. I am those bits of falling pieces and the splitting crack down the middle. I know now why I journeyed on that sidewalk each and everyday. No matter what happens in life you can always put those pieces back together.

*I am Sweet-Thang and this is my piece*

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Flash Fiction! "SCREAMING A DREAM"


Gut busting, hands sweating, and blood flowing, I am screaming a dream. As I look in the mirror at a human a person an individual I wonder why can’t I find it! Is it near or is it six feet under. My soul churns like hot coals burning in hundred degree fire. I’m on fire with a dream that can make me or break me. Burning inside I dare to say, to want, or need anything. That dream in me is like a baby dying to get out of its mother’s womb. My heart is saying one thing, but my mind is saying another. Should I or shouldn’t I dream big? My body and soul is screaming to dream in every inch of me. I can’t deny the screams are loud, loud like a baby cries for its mother. Wanting and needing that something for completion is what’s in me. As I close my eyes and place my hands over my ears, I scream and scream so loud that walls shatter and the blood runs through my veins so thick that it cuts like a river rushing through a canyon. It’s cutting deep, deep in my hollow soul and in my mind that keeps running like the L.A traffic. I want it I see it, I can reach it! At that moment silence takes over like the calm before a storm. There it is, it’s the dream I scream to dream.

For more information on the author send an email to:

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

English Grammar Rules - How We Got Lost on the Way to Grammar's House!

This is a fantastic article on how our grammar has changed over time. Read and enjoy!

There was a time, way back in the murky past, when understanding English Grammar was considered to be one of the fundamentals taught at schools in the English speaking world. For some reason, this has changed over the past few decades and a more holistic approach to literacy instruction has been advocated. However, even highly intelligent students now seem to struggle when it comes to the conventions of writing in English. Clearly, there are some things that just don't automatically happen via exposure to language and texts. There are still some basic elements of language learning, including those pesky Grammar rules, which must be actively taught.

In fact, it is somewhat misleading to refer to English Grammar rules as 'rules'. They are not rules in the same way that we have rules of cricket, for instance. If we wanted to know about the rules of cricket, we would simply consult the official Cricket Rule Book. However, we cannot do something similar if we want to know about English Grammar rules. There is no official English Grammar Guide that contains all the laws of the language. These rules are not so much 'rules' as they are 'conventions', agreed upon quite informally over time by the majority of those who use the language.

So if they are not really rules at all, then why do we need to follow them? It is not mandatory to follow conventions. People are allowed to differ from the norm. The supposed English Grammar rules are not laws! I will not go to jail if I tell the police, 'I seen the man what robbed the place!' I will not have to face an officious magistrate if I am overheard telling a friend, 'There ain't nothing I can do about it.' And, assuming I was not supposed to be at work all weekend, I will not be fired if I tell a co-worker, 'Me and Billy was just down at the pub on the weekend, wasn't we Billy?'

The police officer, my friend and my co-worker would all understand me. They would get the message I intended to convey. Does this mean that understanding English Grammar is unnecessary? This would be the case if it were only the meaning of our communications that were important. However, this is clearly not the case. Successful communication between two people involves not only the sender of the message, but also the receiver of the message. And the perception formed by the receiver of the message can be vitally important. This perception will be influenced by the manner in which the message is sent. If the conventions of Grammar are followed, the message may well be received more favourably since both the sender and receiver of the message are using the same system for communicating.

Consider the case when the communication is not made verbally, but in writing. Writing is a far more formal medium. The expectation that goes along with this is that English Grammar rules will be followed more closely in writing than in speaking. There is no doubt that if my written statement, 'I seen the man what robbed the place!' was distributed to a jury, then my credibility would be somewhat reduced.

The way language is used does matter. English Grammar rules may not be rules per se, but we are still bound by them. The effective communication of our intended meaning and the perception of our message by those that receive it depend upon communicators 'playing' by the rules. There are times that our communications need to appear professional and credible. This is why understanding English Grammar should be reinstated as a fundamental focus of our study of language at school.

Brad Nugent is a school psychologist from Western Australia. He enjoys helping others to improve their learning outcomes, particular with regards to written expression.

You can visit Brad for more information at his Understanding English Grammar blog.

You can see more Brad's work at

Monday, November 9, 2009

Literary Wednesday Presents: Author Joseph Moore!

Join me for a special literary Wednesday as we welcome Eastern Shore Md author Joseph Moore. He is the author of the book "Murder On Maryland's Eastern Shore: Race, Politics and the case of Orphan Jones." He will be discussing this facinating story about this young African American man, orphan jones who was accused of murdering his white employer. Joe Moore is a native of the the town Berlin, Md. He is an attorney turned author, that felt compelled to bring us such a facinating true story that happened on Maryland's eatern Shore. Mark your calenders as we bring you a great interview by author Joesph Moore.

Tune in Wed Nov 11@ 5pm est.

Friday, November 6, 2009

New Book! Bright-Sided! How The Relentless Promotion Of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America!

Check out this fantastic book by author Barbara Ehrenreich. She discuss in her book the Bright-Sided that convincingly there are symptoms of a noxious virus infecting all corners of American life that goes by the name “positive thinking.”

What started as a 19th-century response to dour Calvinism has, over the years, turned equally oppressive, Ehrenreich writes. Stacks of best sellers equate corporate success with a positive attitude. Flimsy medical research claims that cheerfulness can improve the immune system. In a growing number of American churches, confessions of poverty or distress amount to heresy. America’s can-do optimism has hardened into a suffocating culture of positivity that bears little relation to genuine hope or happiness.

Ehrenreich’s inspiration for “Bright-Sided” came from her year of dealing with breast cancer. From her first waiting room experience in 2000 she was choking on pink ribbons and other “bits of cuteness and sentimentality” — teddy bears, goofy top-10 lists, cheesy poetry accented with pink roses. The sticky cheerfulness extended to support groups, where expressions of dread or outrage were treated as emotional blocks. “The appropriate attitude,” she quickly realized, was “upbeat and even eagerly acquisitive.” The word “victim” was taboo.

In this book she discuss churches and corporate America. She talks how American's are out of touch with what makes you truly happy. Some how some way something out there makes each one of us happy, it's just up to us to find it.

Pick up this book at: