Monthly Archives: August 2012

The Power of a Tweet

I brought a typewriter to college my freshman year.  It wasn’t just the times.  I was probably one of the last college students to let go of the writing tool I felt comfortable with.  When I turned in my first … Continue reading

Posted in Agents and publishing | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

7 Responses to The Power of a Tweet

  1. Heather –

    way to go, Way To Go, WAY TO GO!

  2. (Ditto what Laurie said!) 🙂

    I’m with you, Heather. Slow to adopt new technology. I certainly agree the potential for value exists, as your examples illustrates, but it seems to me that the ability to drown in social media at the expense of actually writing is the far bigger danger for most writers.

    That said, I do blog, have a Facebok and Twitter account, and also use LinkedIn, but mostly use them on the periphery. I usually only retweet items I’ve seen, or “like” something on Facebook. I try to blog at least twice per month, but have no subject focus because I’m not an expert at anything, especially writing.

    I figure the least this is all getting me is experience with the medias, so if the time comes when I need to use them, hopefully as a soon-to-be published author, I’ll at least know what to do.

    Congrats on your serendipitous tweet. I look forward to reading my signed copy of your book as soon as it hits my mailbox!


    • Heather Shumaker says:

      A very smart approach, Chris. Getting used to it all takes practice, so wonderful that you are getting your feet wet so you’ll be ready when that book of yours is ready (and not drowning in the meantime)! Keep it up – and thanks for ordering a copy of my book.

  3. So glad that wee review was able to give you boost. It’s a great book and I’m enjoying sharing it around. Lots of my parent friends have expressed interest. New favorite quote from it, “Don’t berate yourself. Do the best you can, as often as you can.”
    Thanks again for the great guidelines!!

    • Heather Shumaker says:

      Good to have you visit! See what wonderful things you started?? I’ve seen all sorts of reviews of books, but the thoughtful ones are the ones that go places. So glad your friends are getting excited about the book, too. You are very welcome….and THANK YOU.

  4. Melissa Karolak says:

    I’m on board with the no homework. My daughter went to Montessori schools (3 of them, in two different states) from age 3 – 13. She had no homework at all until the “Intermediate” level (corresponds to grades 7 and 8). And then the homework was mostly reading (and one day a week, Weds., they had a radically different schedule which included a “community lunch” where the kids prepared a hot meal for one another).

    I wonder how it works for a teach though to have two students who are the exceptions in the class? How does this impact the lessons (which are not Montessori in nature, I’m sure, and possibly more dependent on the homework)? How does it impact the other students? What experiences have you had along those lines?

    I’d also suggest that eventually homework is probably impossible to get around. If English teachers could only discuss the books read IN class time, well….not a lot would get discussed I think. However, when you get to high school, I recommend you prepare a letter that begins “Why my children don’t do summer reading….” (The last two years, before 9th grade and before 10th grade) my daughter has been assigned roughly 5 books a summer. Not especially light reading, it has included The Count of Monte Cristo, Jane Eyre, Brave New World, The Autobiography of Malcom X, among others. It’s a heavy load to carry, esp. while trying to go to summer camp, the beach, Grandma’s etc.) I am not in favor of it, but would not be willing to have my daughter not do it. My support would not help her on the exams that come in the first week covering the summer reading.

Uncensored play

  I’ve been busy blogging every day — on other people’s sites!  This is the new world of book promotion.  So instead of typing out yet another blog, I’m going to share with you two recent blog posts.  One from … Continue reading

Posted in Parenting with Renegade Rules | 8 Comments

8 Responses to Uncensored play

  1. Some of my very best memories are of playing with kids in the neighborhood using squirt guns and water bombs.

  2. Angie Lathrop says:

    My kids and their cousins have very elaborate, scripted battles using weapons of all sorts. They’re actually pretty fun to watch, since there are complicated slow-motion action scenes, melodramatic deaths, and often a running commentary on each character’s thoughts and feelings (“…now my guy is seriously wounded, and he has one last chance–if only he can reach his antimatter grenade in time…”) At first I felt like I was winning all of the bad mothering awards for allowing every manner of weapon into our house–starting with Nerf and water pistols and light sabers, moving onto plastic guns won at the fair–but now I realize that the weapons, more than any other toy that we own, invite all sorts of heroic, collaborative play.

    • Heather Shumaker says:

      Angie, yes heroic and collaborative elements are sometimes hard to see, but once you start noticing them, they’re everywhere! I’m sure your kids have great games together.

  3. The first child’s play that would bother me is abusing another child in any way, outside of one-on-one evenly matched fights that were the result of disagreements or disputes. I concede that children, especially boys, feel the need to hit, kick, scratch, etc., on occasion. As long as the fighting is not a regular occurance, and as long as one child doesn’t continually signal out one child, or pick on smaller, weaker, younger children as a matter of habit.

    My other objectionable child’s play is when a child intentionally mistreats or abuses animals. It’s one thing to step on an ant, or swat a fly and pull its wings off; but totally unacceptable to torture cats or dogs, break birds eggs in a nest, or chop a garter snake into pieces with a kitchen knife.

    I used to play with squirt guns, pea guns, cap guns, cowboy rifles, or stick weapons, owned several GI Joes, played “army” on a regular basis with invisible weapons and invisible foes or with real kids and “real” toy weapons, and never thought twice about it. I don’t think my fantasy battles were nearly as explicit as today’s video games, but there was plenty of blood and gore as we beat the Germans in WW II, the South in the Civil War, or the British in the American Revolution.

    Fighting and war is a legitimate product of fantasizing and child’s play. Better to fantasize about war and killing, then get it out of your system, than be forced into it like so many children in African and Middle Eastern countries are forced to do these days.

    I am in complete agreement with allowing uncensored play up to that “danger” point.

    • Heather Shumaker says:

      Excellent thoughts, Chris. Yes, children sometimes venture into that “danger” point – hurting somebody or some thing. That’s when we need to step in firmly. stop the behavior, and get help if necessary. As you probably know, abusing animals is considered a dangerous, violent sign. Your comments on child soldiers are a somber reminder. Children don’t really want to be in war, but war play gives them a useful place to explore friendships and ideas.

  4. Xio Cordoba says:

    Heather, I’m so glad you shared this article about kids and “violent” play. Alejandro and Soren love to play with guns and swords; ninjas, knights, siths and jedi are part of our daily dose of boyish play. I used to be mortified by it; we are peace-loving folk after all 🙂
    After 6 years of being a mom to my play-fight-loving son, I finally understand that it is part of being a healthy growing boy. Now I just wish I could help his daddy understand it.

    Thanks Heather and congrats on publishing your book!

    • Heather Shumaker says:

      Gotta love those boys! The children know what they’re doing — if we only listen and make space for it. Good for you for respecting those kids enough to respect their play!