Friday, January 29, 2010

Banned Books or Banned Television?

There is something about the term "banned books" or "frequently-challenged books" that sparks an interest, and practically has me chasing the titles who have received such an attachment with their name, so I, too, can learn what all the fuss is about.

I'd like to take Ani Vrabel's advice and pick up one of the controversial reads that she mentions in her article "10 Frequently-Challenged Books Everyone Should Read." I read much of Judy Blume in elementary school, Lord of the Flies in high school, and The Giver in my Young Adult Literature class in college. But, now I sit reflecting on what controversy I may have missed or have forgotten over the years for these reads to land themselves on the frequently-challenged or banned book list?

The key words that I found while glancing over Vrabel's list are sexual immorality, social injustice, profanity and references to communism. If I am not mistaken, most of the issues that have been defined as ban-worthy material, continue in their perpetuation through books, in reality, and ALL OVER television! If MTV's Jersey Shore can land itself a prime time slot in entertainment times for teens and actually have a growing number of viewers, we are in some serious hot water.

And a serious mix-up.

But after all, at least we have rights.

"Censorship cannot eliminate evil. It can only kill freedom. We believe Americans have the right to buy, stores have the right to sell, authors have the right to write and publishers have the right to publish Constitutionally-protected material. Period." Excerpt from a letter to 28 newspapers, signed by Ed Morrow, president, American Booksellers Assn. and Harry Hoffman, president, Walden Book Co., Inc. (1990). Taken from here.

And unfortunately, reality TV stars have the right to show the world what they are idiots if they would like.

Really, what about banned TV, already?


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Bringin' it in 2010.

Tomorrow, I begin week two of the P90x schedule. Oh, did I forget to mention that I ever began? Well, it started as a family venture about a month ago and then I was interrupted by cold season and then the holidays. Oh, and the family part--I shouldn't make any assumptions but I think a few of them fell off the wagon. I know there are a few of us still going strong!

So, tomorrow re-begins week two. Although the last month was ever so chopped up with the dvd workouts here and there, I can attest that Tony knows what he is doing. Tony likes the phrase "bring it," so this is what I've been doing. I'm feeling my mid section tightening up and I have more balance and control doing moves such as Superman and the ever so tedious and killer Ab Ripper moves. I am loving the arm workouts and am about ready to do move on up to 10 lb, weights during most of the exercises. Yeah! I am back to a regular running schedule now, too. Two-three short runs during the week and one long weekend run--when the weather obliges.

For all you runners out there who are thinking about doing the P90x workouts, do both! I was saddened after the first two weeks of just the dvd's to find that my endurance to run was slipping. Obviously no running will effect running, but I say NO to this! Especially since I love to run. In fact, I'm getting geared up for the 15k Shamrock Run on March 14. you think I can talk Mr. Go Big or Go Home into training with me? Last year, we raced the 5k together and had a great time. He didn't even train. See, this is why his current "name" is so. He always brings it--except, he only lasted three P90x days up until Yoga. Too much downward dog isn't good for bad wrists. Neither is a bunch of lifting. He grew up a carpenter. It's back-and-wrist-breaking work, you know?


Friday, January 8, 2010

Have you jumped in any puddles lately?

My daughter, Brooklynn is three and a half and has the best kind of advice. The other day while driving, she freely offered,

"Everyone needs to grow up so they can jump in puddles."

The best part about her advice is that most times it is given without relativeness, and is tossed before me as a glimpse into the simple life; a child's outlook on the way things are and possibly the way things should remain.

Here's to a simple weekend full of r & r, some writing, reading, crafting--and maybe some puddle stomping.

How about you?


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A big year and million little pieces

With the New Year still new, millions of thoughts and ideas for how I will spend 2010have crossed my mind. I decided to go without a list of things that I will "resolve" during this year and chose two words that sum up two main areas that I desperately would like to lend my focus.

1.) SIMPLIFY--Limit the ways in which I over-extend myself to emotions, people, projects, obligations etc. I'm learning that the simplistic life is a happy life. I realize that this day in age living a simple life is not so simple, yet I refuse to be completely ruled by the ways of society! I plan to garden and take in many breaths of the four seasons as I enjoy the outdoors and the beauty of the NW this year. I'd also like to reduce excess spending and use up what I have before I buy more!

2.) CHERISH--My children are growing up rapidly! I am lucky to be a stay-at-home mama, but I am a busy/ambitious/business oriented stay-at-home mama. Did I ever mention we own a business? This year I plan to focus on cherishing the simple, everyday moments as much as possible. I refuse to be overrun with have-to's and am resolving to be more in tune with the beautiful family I've been blessed with, and the love and happiness that they offer me day in and day out. The memories, growth, learning and all that having a family has instilled within me over the last four years are the things that are irreplaceable. They're the things that I cherish, and want to cherish even more.

As for my writing, I have yet to zero in on a concrete plan. I had hoped to be knee-deep in a book proposal by now, but I am not. Instead, documents and scenes flood my word processor and my mind. The plan is to meet with Kerry Cohen, the author and memoirist who has kindly offered to help guide me in my process, so that I can begin the mountainous trek involved in writing such a proposal, and really, such material.

For years, I've practically felt plagued by my need to write my story, while without the exact knowing how to go about writing such memories; worrying that I might be overcome with depression while trying to invite such dreadful memories back in to be able to write them, means re-living them to an extent. And really, living them down is what I have been trying to do for so long, that re-living the memories is daunting, and frightening.

Monday, I was on the phone with my Mom and was telling her about the last three weeks that I have pretty much taken off from everything--blogging, reading, writing. I had been feeling so overcome with it all that I was feeling depleted, and to be honest, I feel like I am still coming to.

During our conversation, I jumped around talking about a possible business opportunity, while another thought of an Etsy shop crossed my mind. Then it dawned on me, here I go again--searching high and low for something to fulfill the ambition that my heart wants to zero in on. Then I find myself fighting back the urge to just cry because of how difficult it is to want to write but feeling unable to find the right balance to do so while raising a family. There is something inside me that can't seem to reconcile a little less time here to be used over there, so I pull back. Oh, balance. What a tricky fete to conquer! But then I have to wonder, is it me feeling guilty to want to take large quantities of time away from my kids to try and write this book, or is it some of this and feeling cold feet? Kerry Cohen said, writing a memoir is like telling the world your secrets. Certain days, I am not sure I am up for all that.

My Mom's and my conversation ended pretty abruptly. I was in the driveway of Brooklynn's preschool and had to get out to greet her. As I waited for her to be released, I stood shivering in the rain. Why would I even think to wear running shorts without pants today, I thought. Then I looked down into the large puddles in front of me. I watched as the rain fell, drops expanding to create a ripple effect, growing larger and larger. Then my writing came to mind, and I was reminded that my writing isn't all about me. It's about the others who might be affected by my sharing and the ripple affect that may be created. Then it all feels worth it. The rainy years, the tear drops, the pivotal moments. I don't believe it was for nought. In fact, I know it wasn't.


Saturday, January 2, 2010

And a Happy New Year!

I hope the holidays for you have been enjoyable and filled with much love and cheer. May you go into this New Year with an ambitious heart and a positive mind. May the best be YOURS in 2010!
Warmly, C
Be back real soon. I am still gathering my thoughts on this New Year. :)

“You must write every single day of your life... You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads... may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.” ― Ray Bradbury
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