Poetic Novels: Oxymoronic?

When a writer I know proudly called her prose "poetic," she meant to highlight its lush language. She was crestfallen when readers found it weedy, overgrown, and humid.  Decked-out, souped-up language that calls attention to itself isn't poetic in the best sense.There are subtler elements to consider when writing a long piece. Sonics, for instance, count heavily in an art form meant to be heard. Rhythm, cadence, and phrasing, are all musical elements that drive a story and make a reader want to turn the pages....more

What Happens When You Ask People Not to Say "Retard"

Let's say you have a child with disabilities who has cognitive delays, and when people jokingly use the word "retard" to call someone stupid, it bothers you. Let's say that in honor of Spread The Word To End The Word day, you decide to do a little project: For a few days you will message people on Twitter who use the word "retard" and let them know the r-word is derogatory to people with disabilities. You don't actually expect the word to disappear anytime soon or that people will instantly chop it out of their vocabularies. But maybe, just maybe, you can raise a little awareness. ...more

Well I tried to get some people in a chat I frequent to stop using the r-word. They won't, in ...more

Ask a Question

Toddlers love to talk, for the most part. They're always playing, and as their imaginations grow, they repeat scenarios over and over, much like an adult worrying, only their having fun. Another difference is that they do it out loud.I have found that these times are perfect opportunities to teach them some building blocks they'll need later. They think of it as a game, and an added bonus? It stops me from having to sing Dora songs to them in a public store.Read More:...more

I Want More

You know how in high school, your foreign language teacher will teach want/like/have on the same day?  I have retained hardly any of my Spanish, but I clearly remember learning querer/gustar/tener. It felt like a big day in Spanish class.  I went from understand random vocabulary words that I couldn't really apply in conversation to having a basic understanding of rudimentary phrases in another language.  I felt like I could finally communicate....more

Why learning another language is good for your brain

Some time ago I wrote about learning a second (or third, or fourth) language was good for your brain. The quick summary is that scientists now believe that learning another language builds up the "cognitive reserve" in your brain. It's where your brain draws from to compensate for things like dementia. It's even true for those who don't learn another language until middle or old age....more

No and Beyond

My girls turn two and a half next week.  For the past six months it seems like I have heard nothing but "no.""Let's use the potty!""No!""Time to read stories in our room!""Un-uh.""Can we take a bath?""No. No wet head....more

Blogging from the Higher Self

Let the next thing out of your mouth be from your highest self.          —Quaker saying...more

"Maddie in black"

At 3.0 years of age, in fact exactly on her birthday, Maddie's mom began to supplement school based speech/language therapy with private therapy two hours weekly. Maddie was diagnosed with autism and although that label was applied at 18 months of age, it was just finally recorded as her diagnosis and indeed she was. (I am in the camp that believes that there is an insanely huge overuse of this heavy-duty term but in this case it was correctly applied.)...more

Love to hear people enjoying the creativity of language! Those are priceless - keep them coming. ...more

"I heard somebody bless-you'd outside"

So you'll recognize that what this 7 year old was trying to say, in the title of this post, was, "I heard somebody sneeze outside."When his marker suddenly disappeared under the table, he uttered, "It magicked away."When asked his address, he replied, "I don't have a dress."And when he "wrote" a story for me, he wrote, "I got a nuff cooky."...more

Speech: what is it really for??

At 4 years of age, Chaz glances up and points to a bulletin board in my office that is loaded with children's arts and crafts, and initiates discourse with the utterance:             Chaz: pictures Sandy:       Yes, lots of pictures!...more
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