Writings of Stuart Whitmore

If you're looking for the latest news about the writings of Stuart J. Whitmore, you've found the perfect blog for that! If you're not interested in news and just want to see what books are available, see: StuartWhitmoreAuthor.com

Motivated to Read

Earlier this week I attended an open house event for parents at a local school. Due to some performance concerns on standardized tests last year, the school announced a renewed emphasis on reading. It never seemed to me that reading was not being emphasized enough there, considering (for example) that every summer students are assigned, by grade level, a certain book to read over summer break. When school resumes in the fall, they are also required to write an essay about the book. I tend to be somewhat skeptical about standardized tests, but I also can't argue with maintaining or increasing an emphasis on reading. From what I understand, that new approach will emphasize reading in non-English classes including math, PE, and more. This might help, but I'm not convinced that it will have a significant impact.

Encouraging students to read is a valid goal, because effective reading is a gateway knowledge that opens many more educational doors. If you can't read, and read effectively, you will face many struggles in school and beyond. While much of human history allowed people to get by in life fairly easily without reading, this is no longer true.

New Kindle and More

This is an exciting week in the tablet market. For the past few months, rumors of a new Kindle device have tantalized readers as well as those of us writers who provide e-books for the Kindle. Many have speculated about what the features of the new device will be. As the official announcement drew nearer, more reliable specifics began appearing online. Even the apparent new name for the device, Kindle Fire, has been leaked. Now, it appears we are within 36 hours of the official announcement. This must be an exciting time for Amazon as well.

Now... Where was I?

There's a clear danger in letting your writing projects sit on a back burner too long. The danger, in a nutshell, is losing your place. If you're working on the first draft, you might forget where you were going with the story (especially if you're not very organized and don't have at least a rough outline or other notes to draw on).

My New Speaking Engagement

This week, my writing took a new turn. I had been wanting to try Dragon NaturallySpeaking for a long time. Over the years, I have used various voice dictation software programs, but I have not tried anything modern other than the voice recognition built into Windows Vista which is more of a toy than a tool. As of this week, I am now using Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11.5 Home edition. When I first started writing creatively, I was using pencil and paper in elementary school. As I got older I switched to a pen, which is not a very big upgrade.

The Reader's Role in Tomorrow

I could say "change is in the wind" but that would be trite. Silly. An understatement. And grossly outdated! When it comes to creative products and how they reach people who will appreciate them, change was "in the wind" at least by the early 1980s. By the end of the 80s and early 90s, at the dawn of the Web, the change was developing from a faint whiff into a distinct trace, attractive to some and repellent to others. That was decades ago! Change is no longer in the wind, change is the wind, and I don't mean a mild summer breeze!

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