Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Monday, May 3, 2010
Today we have a guest post by Karrie McAllister of dirt don't hurt!
A natural scavenger hunt
by Karrie McAllister
With the weather warming nicely and most of us still enjoying our spring fever, I thought nothing would be more fun than a challenge.
Here are your instructions. Put on shoes, appropriate outerwear, and step out your back door. Your goal is to find as many of the following as possible: a dandelion, a heron, an otter, an acorn, a fern, a buttercup, and a willow tree.
Depending on your proximity to weeds and water, you should be able to find at least a few of these. (I think even the best chemically controlled yard will sprout a dandelion now and then.) When you do find them, look twice at what you’ve actually found. A weed, as it’s been said, is simply a flower out of place. From the smallest acorn grows the strongest oak. The graceful gangliness of a Great Blue Heron is unmatched, but surely the entertainer of the year goes to the otter as they manage whiskered somersaults through the water. And anyone who has ever had the great pleasure of drinking lemonade under the shade of a willow branch is a lucky person in my book.
Tally your score and then drive to your local library. Remove your potentially muddy shoes, and straight away ask the librarian for the latest version of the Oxford Junior Dictionary, the one most commonly used in elementary schools across the country and so vibrantly colored and attractive to our youth.
Once you’ve got it, go on another scavenger hunt for those things again. See if you can find out about the biology of an acorn or find even a picture of the heron’s gangly legs.
I’ll save you time; you won’t find them. Nor will you find beaver, doe, newt, minnow, starling, wren, lavender, fungus, beech, or pasture.
They’ve been taken out of the dictionary. There wasn’t enough room for other new important words for them to include. So instead of vine and canary you’ll find BlackBerry (the phone), blog, mp3, voicemail, chatroom, broadband, and “cut and paste.”
This news hit the nature circuit a while back, but is rather new to me, and as someone who prides herself on muddy shoes and poison ivy, I find it rather appalling. Nature as I know it, as my parents and my grandparents know it, is disappearing not only in real life but also on paper.
Gone are the days when kids fell out of trees and came home with pet frogs. Insect bites and sunshine have become seriously dangerous things that we basically medicate ourselves and our children for before we send anyone out the door. Kids have gotten so far away from just going outside to play that many don’t even know how to do it without toting along a Nintendo DS.
The exception to this, I’m proud to say, is my son who worked for two summers straight using plastic yard tools to dig out a rotten stump. At ages 4 and 5, he worked tirelessly to remove a giant stump until one day last autumn, he finally pulled it out. We all cheered—even the neighbors congratulated him. Then we asked what he’s going to do now, and he simply shrugged, picked up his shovel, and started digging.
“Maybe a pond,” he said. “We could get some frogs.”
He is an oddity, but one that I need to nurture, which is why I bought him a real shovel and a kid’s backyard nature guide.
After hearing about the latest edition of the dictionary, I know now that it’s become not only my right, but my job as a parent to introduce my kids to the wonders of nature. And I suggest that any other parent (or grandparent) who shares similar wonderful memories of building forts in trees, riding bikes until the street lights came on, and scraped their legs to shreds while picking blackberries, do the same.
And by blackberries, I of course mean the juicy kind that stains your face and hands purple, not the kind with buttons and numbers that you’ll find if you look it up.
Read more and contact Karrie at her blog, “dirt don’t hurt.” www.KarrieMcAllister.com.
Friday, April 30, 2010
And now... We are excited for our first writing contest (the deadline is tomorrow at midnight EST)! Our third issue is in the works and will be published digitally in July! And our first children's poetry contest (deadline June 1st) is approaching. So many fun firsts!
On a personal note, I am having a blast publishing and editing The Motherhood Muse Literary Magazine. I have so many submissions to read through, each one touches my heart and makes me eager to share it with the world, well all of the subscribers of the magazine thus far.
But this brings me to another note, subscriptions. Thank you to every one who has subscribed to the magazine! Your efforts to support The Motherhood Muse community means a lot to me. In order to keep the magazine going in 2011, however, I still need to get at least 190 more subscribers! While that number may seem small, in the newness of the digital world of literature, it is a lot. So please tell your friends, families, coworkers, writers groups, strangers :) all about The Motherhood Muse! Gift subscriptions are easy to do as you just enter in the gift recipient's email address during the checkout process.
I am anticipating each future issue theme as each one is unique and will hopefully inspire writers to push their writing outside of the box. Please consider submitting your writing to our magazine for publication!
Thank you again everyone for a fun and successful blog tour!
Thursday, April 15, 2010
The Motherhood Muse literary magazine is celebrating the publication of its second issue by going on a blog tour during the month of April. Bloggers who host The Motherhood Muse will receive a free subscription to the 2010 issues as well as one free subscription to give away to one random winner who comments on their blog the day of The Motherhood Muse post. We hope everyone will enjoy both the post and magazine! The Motherhood Muse blog tour schedule can be found at www.themotherhoodmuse.com and themotherhoodmuse.blogspot.com .
Going Green: A Digital World of Literature
Our children are growing up reading more online than we ever did at their age. From instant messaging to Facebook updates to blogging to texting, generations younger than us are comfortable with reading digital material in a way that we may never feel. Email didn’t come to my generation until we were of college age. Just as my eyes started to grow accustomed to reading text on my computer it seemed like the world jump started into a digital format. Now as magazines and newspapers are closing their doors, many publications are turning towards becoming digital.
Being digital isn’t just about surviving in today’s market. It is about launching into a future that is making tomorrow a greener world for our children. It is about enhancing the way information is presented and received. It is about connecting a community of people on an international scale.
The digital world of literature includes websites, blogs, Zines sent electronically, Kindle, Nook & Zinio subscriptions and in digital magazines such as The Motherhood Muse. Given these various formats for sharing literature in today’s world, The Motherhood Muse has chosen the digital magazine format with ePaperflip to publish literature on motherhood, nature and child. Due to the newness of digital literature, the following questions often arise:
“Why create a digital magazine instead of simply putting the literature on a website and updating it frequently?”
We believe the integration of literature with artwork helps to create an overall design to tell a story. Nature is best experienced with all of our senses. We are able to engage a reader’s senses in our magazine with the use of artwork complimenting the literature in the design of the magazine. A second advantage to creating a digital magazine is the load time is minimal compared to waiting for a PDF file to upload onto the computer screen!
“Are paper copies still an option?”
The fantastic option with digital magazines is the reader can pick and choose which pages to print. In so doing, the reader may create customized magazine that matches personal interests. By being a digital-only magazine we can create text and images that aren’t hindered by the print production process.
“What exactly can a digital magazine do?”
A digital magazine is interactive. In each issue of The Motherhood Muse we provide numerous links to author’s websites and blogs, writing opportunities, nature activities in your local area, books on motherhood, nature, writing and more. By being online we’re able to reach international audiences and connect everyone on an immediate, global scale.
We are thrilled to be able to publish an eco-friendly magazine that helps link readers to resources as well as join readers on a global scale. Of course it would be great to flip through a glossy paper version of The Motherhood Muse in a wood paneled library or in a chair of a local coffee shop. But being digital means making tomorrow a greener world for our children and that’s the mission of The Motherhood Muse!
Thank you for reading this post today. Please leave a comment here and the blog hostess will choose one person to receive a free subscription to the 2010 issues! We hope you’ll also sign up for our free e-newsletter, so you can receive the first issue of the magazine free! Stop by www.themotherhoodmuse.com for more information!