24 September 2009
14 September 2009
Let me preempt one question I know you're all wondering; I don't know when or where I'm going, as I have not yet secured a teaching position.
However, I do know that I've given notice at work, I've told my apartment complex that I'll be out by October 31, and I've told my family.
What does this mean for Wuthering Life? Nothing. I will still be here, and I'll still be writing. If anything, this experience is only going to make my writing life richer.
If you are curious about my Korean adventures, please feel free to stop over at my new blog, Dear Korea..., and check out my letters to the land I will soon call home.
If you're not interested, I'll see you back here for more adventures in Wuthering Life.
11 September 2009
What better day than the anniversary of a national tragedy to begin my journey to making a positive difference in the world?
So after much delay, I present my five:
- Encourage others to pursue their dreams. Of all the things that I'm grateful to my nearest and dearest for, this is the one that tops the list. Having the faith and support of those around me has made a greater impact in my life than almost anything else. I know that I would not be where I am today with encouragement and kind words. I want to do that for others, and to do it more often.
- Lead by example. It may not seem like a particularly philanthropic goal, but it might very well be the hardest of my five for me to live by. As Mahatma Gandhi said, "Be the change you want to see in the world." Too often, we forget that it's only by allowing ourselves to be happy and prosperous that we can even begin to help others to achieve the same.
- Pay more attention. When I begin to think about what I can do to help – to help the world, to help the impoverished, to help the distraught, to help the hopeless – I realize how little I know. Because of the pessimistic, never-point-out-the-good-in-life nature of news (particularly American news), I avoid it almost completely. But if I want to make a difference, I can't tune out the bad. I have to pay attention in order to spot an opportunity to act.
- Be mindful. Every day I ignore opportunities to reduce, recycle, or reuse. I know all of the little tricks that can lead to less energy or water consumption, to less pollution, to less waste. It's time for me to take those extra few minutes to take my recycling out. It's time for me to find places to donate old clothing/equipment/furniture/etc. instead of throwing it out. It's time for me to do what I know I should be doing anyway.
- Reach out. Whether it's an e-mail from a long-lost friend, a phone call from a relative on a non-holiday, or a compliment from a perfect stranger, it feels good to make connections and be acknowledged. I don't do that nearly enough, and I plan to change that.
10 September 2009
09 September 2009
01 September 2009
Bronx-born, LA transplant, E Van Lowe, began writing at the age of 10 and hasn't stopped since. A graduate of Lehman College and the University of Southern California, E sold his first short story to a romance magazine while still a student. He has gone on to write for many award-winning TV shows including: The Cosby Show and Even Stevens. He also co-wrote the Academy Award nominated short film, Cadillac Dreams.
A Little About the Novel:
NEVER SLOW DANCE WITH A ZOMBIE is E's first teen novel, but it won’t be his last. E still has lots of important, and weird, thoughts to share with readers. It hit shelves August 18!
On the night of her middle school graduation, Margot Jean Johnson wrote a high school manifesto detailing her goals for what she was sure would be a most excellent high school career. She and her best friend, Sybil, would be popular and, m
ost important, have boyfriends. Three years later they haven't accomplished a thing!
Then Margot and Sybil arrive at school one day to find that most of the student body has been turned into flesh-eating zombies. When kooky principal Taft asks the girls to coexist with the zombies until the end of the semester, they realize this could be the perfect opportunity to live out their high school dreams. Now all they have to do is stay alive...
The Assessment of Yours Truly:
- Translation: As a protagonist, Margot is an incredibly refreshing twist on the shallow, but unnoticed, teen who wants nothing more than to have it all. Instead of being empty and "what adults think unpopular teens are like," Margot was conflicted about her increasing bad girl behavior almost from the start. But she did horrible, mean girl things anyway – a sad, but true fact about some teenaged girls, and executed very creatively.
- Translation: While Syb is the basic sidekick, less-dominate character, the genuine sweetness and goodness about her was the perfect compliment to Margot's increasing selfishness and self-delusion. They worked together very well without feeling over-the-top or like a "because I said so" relationship. (Sub-translation: When an author decides that things "just are" and never really shows the hows or whys.)
- I wasn't sure what to expect, but with a title like NEVER SLOW DANCE WITH A ZOMBIE, I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised by some of the things Margot did. It read a lot like a situational comedy, and that was something I wasn't used to. It's something I love about television and didn't realize was missing from books...until now!