Sybil's Garage magazine has an interview with Lauren McLaughlin, a new young adult writer whose debut novel, Cycler, will be published in September. I've known Lauren for some years now and she inevitably says the smartest stuff about writing in any conversation around the table. I've enjoyed her short fiction and the films she wrote immensely, and can't wait to read this book.
Storytelling is the foundation of any good novel and I think it's actually a very rare talent. Plenty of writers get by on killer premises and witty style. But effective storytelling is all about structure. It's very mechanical, almost architectural. When you can marry that structure to a framework of ideas, then the novel can transcend pure entertainment. The trick, in my opinion, is to weave these ideas invisibly into the story so that they are discovered, unraveled by the reader. My goal is to seduce my reader into a compelling narrative that whittles away at some preconceived idea and leaves them with an uncomfortable but somehow intriguing gap in their sense of the world. I want them to close the book and have a head full of questions. I'm not interested in merely diverting them for a while or helping them fall asleep. Nor do I want that from the books I read. I want to be unsettled, challenged. I want to close a book and say “I never thought of that before.”
The pandemic has inspired a slew of great courses for young artists, like this Bite-Sized Art History course that teaches about President Obama’s official portraitist Kehinde Wiley and shows young artists how to make their own portrait in his style.
Every year, the 5th graders at Wirtz Elementary School in Paramount, California get to have a big jam session concert with real musicians. It’s the brainchild of teacher Eric Caruso, who recognized that a lot of the students came from underserved communities, and could really use the inspiration of an interactive arts program, complete with […]
What’s your biggest gripe about power strips? Since most power servers like that are pretty standard these days, your beef probably isn’t about performance or connectivity. No, the biggest rap on trying to use many power strips is the curious engineering decision that often leaves multiple oddly shaped plugs and charging units unable to all […]
Between work, family obligations, and just getting to bed at a decent hour, we all have a lot on our plates these days. So, it’s easy for things like grooming and skincare to never be a high-priority issue. That is until they become a high priority issue. Like when your face constantly breaks out. Or […]
Today’s teachers extol the virtues of hands-on learning, the method of helping students, particularly the youngest children, learn through basic doing. From trial-and-error methods to practice honing their emerging skills, youngsters can soak up a world of learning opportunities when their developing minds are unleashed. While the thought of dropping a smartphone or tablet into […]