Leveled reading systems=pigeon-holed students? #amreading

Let me preface this by saying that I'm not a parent, and I haven't frequented schools where reading systems were prevalent in over twenty years.So let me tell you a story.I was recently chatting with a friend who does have elementary-school-aged children, and we got to talking about the books we enjoyed when we were in school, required reading or otherwise. Island of the Blue Dolphins, Hatchet, My Side of the Mountain, etc. She--I'm not feeling creative today, so I'll call her Polly Parent--is active in volunteering in her kids' classrooms and around the school as well.I mention remembering the little numbers on the backs of children's books--not the ISBNs, but the reading level. Polly tells me that reading levels still exist, but they're broader now; more...encompassing. Restricting, even. I ask he what she means, and she says that, in her kids' school, they use a leveled reading system. I don't know whether it's this one from Scholastic, but there are...
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Adult Read Blogfest hosted by Heroines With Hearts!

When I saw a few posts on my blog dashboard about this awesome little blogfest, I had to participate.  It's being run by the lovely ladies at Heroines With Hearts from July 24th /25th.  The rules for this blogfest are simple. All you have to do for this blogfest is fess up on the first adult book you picked up and read: whether a classic, a racy novel or that of unusual content, then post your entry on own blog July 24th/25th.  If you're interested in joining in the fun, please click the "Heroines with Hearts" link above.  Let's see.  The first romance novel I read that had what could be considered "unusual content" would have to be Spoils of War by Kari Gregg.  The book involves a male/male pairing, so it won't be for everyone, but damn, is it hot!  I've read plenty of romance novels, but, despite writing my own M/M story, I wasn't sure which ones would make for good reading.  I...
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Titles and Such…

What's this?  A post?  Yes!  I have returned.  Sorry for my absence, even though it was only about a week.  I needed a sanity break to get myself back together after the A-Z Challenge, and I also wanted to take some time to get back into the mind of Jack, my protagonist in The Curse.  Want to know a little more?  Click above on "Novellas and Short Stories."  I'll add more in the future.  Our home is also on the market, as if I needed MORE stress. Anyway, back to what I wanted to talk about.  Just so you know, I'll probably post something on this again when I actually have something ready to publish, but a little Amazon link recently found its way over to me on Facebook, and I couldn't stop smiling when I read the title.Go the F**k to Sleep.Yes, this is real.  Click on the title above for the link to the awesomeness.A friend posted a...
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“V” is for Verbosity

Ah, verbosity.  A situation in which a writer, or author, if you will, expresses himself or herself in such a way that there may be a profound number of thoughts and representations throughout his or her work, and though it may be deemed eloquent, it may also, in some instances, but not all, be determined by some readers, but, as I mentioned, not all, to be distracting.Did I lose you?  Sorry about that.  I think I gave myself a brain cramp.Verbosity, in case you couldn't tell, refers to speech or writing with an excess of words.It's true that, as a writer, word count is something that I am concerned with.  Each type of work, such as a novel or novella, has a word range that's more or less a sweet spot to strive for.  I need to reach these word counts, or at least the minimum required, to feel secure that the story will stand a good chance of being published in the...
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“F” is for Fantasy

A-Z Challenge entry for today?  Fantasy.  No, not like that.  Well, I did do erotica yesterday, so I guess I can see where you'd get that impression.Anyway, since I know that there's always a lot of debate over how much overlap there is between the fantasy and sci-fi genres (fyi, Amazon lumps them together with an &), so I'll use a blanket definition of fantasy as: a story that contains some elements or events that could not happen or exist in the "real" world, i.e. magic, monsters, etc.  To me, fantasy can overlap a lot with other genres: sci-fi, historical, romance, young-adult, yadda yadda yadda.That covers a lot of literary ground.  What I like about reading in the fantasy genre is the suspension of belief and the escapism that the reader experiences.  You're magically transported into this new world where you don't have to worry about your taxes, feeding your cats, remembering to get gas for your car, or if you...
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