words for great beginnings

5 Words for Great Beginnings

We don’t think of fall as a time for beginnings, except perhaps as the beginning of the end. It’s a mild season set between two harsh ones, the last of which is winter: the cold, dark sleep. But this year, as summer ends and we all gear up to face another season, another semester, another year, I encourage you to think of autumn, or any season, as an opportunity for a new start. And then, while we wait for NaNoWriMo to come along, take your newfound outlook and these very fitting words and do something with them. Continue reading

difficult words to read

10 Difficult Words to Read

I think everyone has a word or two that reads differently silently from aloud. Sometimes it’s done out of ignorance, or habit, or even for fun. Mine is Eleanor. In my head, it has four syllables and the last two rhyme with “manor.” I know that it isn’t correct, and I wouldn’t dream of purposefully mispronouncing someone’s name, but somehow that diphthong in the middle has never set well with me. Continue reading

one-word writing prompts

15 One-Word Writing Prompts (with Definitions)

A lot of non-creative people believe that being an artist is the easiest, most natural job in the world. After all, writers, painters, and musicians must all have some sort of innate genius, right? And tapping into that genius—penning the words, brushing the strokes, strumming the chords—takes no effort at all, right? I mean, if you’re good at it. It’s easy to fall into these pitfalls of ignorant thought, where we automatically assume that we are the only ones working hard, but the truth is that we all get creatively constipated sometimes. Continue reading

7 Great Websites for Buying Used Books

I’ve said before that a reading habit, for individuals and families with far-stretched budgets, can be both expensive and difficult to maintain. In that post, I did not address the all-too-common predicament of low-income college students, who must, when their financial aid runs out, choose between exorbitant out-of-pocket spending and the risk of academic failure. For those individuals who want to read for pleasure, but cannot because of economic situations, the limitations of income are mere inconveniences.  To the already indebted college student pursuing a degree, however, a lack of book funds constitutes dire straits. Neither of these problems is new, but both are persistent. Continue reading

3 YA Novels with Feminist Lessons for Adults

Adults have been reading juvenile fiction for decades—The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, anyone?—but the practice, as a contemporary phenomenon, has divided the literati along ideological lines. Taking the pro position are those who believe that any reading is preferable to none whatsoever, and who are loathe to discount a work of fiction’s literary status on the sole basis of the novel’s intended audience. Against them stand the thinkers who chastise adults for foregoing age-appropriate literature in favor of YA pop fiction: Suzanne Collins, Veronica Roth, etc. Continue reading