September 30:  Mnemonic Device Day

On this last day of September we focus on not forgetting one of the more famous mnemonic rhymes in English:

Thirty days hath September,

April, June, and November.

All the rest have 31,

Except for February all alone,

It has 28 each year,

but 29 each leap year.

This verse is attributed to Mother Goose, but it’s only one of many versions of the poem.  One website, for example, lists and astonishing 90 variations of what has come to be called The Month Poem (10.

Mnemonic rhymes are just one type of mnemonic device. No, you can’t buy them in stores. A mnemonic device is a method of remembering something that is difficult to remember by remembering something that is easy to remember.

The word mnemonic is an eponym, originating from the Greek goddess of memory and mother of the Muses, Mnemosyne.

In his book WASPLEG and Other Mnemonics, Bart Benne catalogs hundreds of mnemonic devices. To make things easy to remember, these mnemonic devices use different methods such as rhyme, acrostics, or acronyms. Another method is the nonsense sentence made up from the initial letters of what it is you are trying to remember. Here’s an example of a sentence that was created to remember the most important battles of Julius Caesar’s career:

Is Perpetual Zeal The Means?

I Ilerda

P Pharsalus

Z Zeta

T Thapsus

M Munda

Generations of school children have used the rhyme from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere” to remember the start date of the American Revolution:

Listen my children and you shall hear

Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,

On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;

Hardly a man is now alive

Who remembers that famous day and year.

Rhyming couplets are also helpful in remembering key dates in English history:

William the Conqueror, Ten Sixty-Six

Played on the Saxons oft-cruel tricks.

The Spanish Armada met its fate

In Fifteen Hundred and Eighty-Eight

The acronym “BIGOT” helps in remembering the Pacific campaigns in the Unites States Marines in World War II:

Bougainville

Iwo Jima

Guadalcanal

Okinawa

Tarawa

Another mnemonic device helps both soldiers and civilians remember the order of the major rank structures in the U.S. Army from lowest to highest ranking.

Privates Can’t Salute Without Learning Correct Military Command Grades:

Private,

Corporal,

Sergeant,

Warrant Officer,

Lieutenant,

Captain,

Major,

Colonel,

and General (2).

Today’s Challenge:  Remember, Remember the Mnemonics of September
What are some examples of important information that needs to be committed to memory?  Think of something you need to remember, or something that everyone should remember, and create your own original mnemonic device. Use rhyme, acrostics, acronyms, and/or nonsense sentences to package your device in a handy, easy-to-remember format. (Common Core Writing 2 – Expository)

Quotation of the Day: Many a man fails as an original thinker simply because his memory is too good. –Friedrich Nietzsche

 

1 – http://leapyearday.com/content/days-month-poem

2- Benne, Bart. WASPLEG and Other Mnemonics. Dallas: Taylor Publishing

Company, 1988.

September 29:  Mashup Day

On this date in 1967, the Beatles worked to complete the recording of the song I Am the Walrus.  Known for their innovative work in the studio, the group on this day did something truly unique, blending the conclusion of their new song with a BBC recording Shakespeare’s King Lear.

In addition to the Bard, the Beatles also drew inspiration from two other poetic sources.  One was Lewis Carroll’s poem “The Walrus and the Carpenter,” which inspired the song’s title and it plentiful use of nonsense lyrics.  The second was a playful nursery rhyme that they remembered from their childhood in Liverpool:

Yellow matter custard, green slop pie,

All mixed together with a dead dog’s eye,

Slap it on a butty, ten foot thick,

Then wash it all down with a cup of cold sick.

This bit of rather grotesque verse inspired the colorful lyric:  “Yellow matter custard, dripping from a dead dog’s eye.”

The Beatles had no name for their process of creative synthesis, and they were so ahead of their time that they really didn’t need one.  Today, however, we have a name for it; it’s called a “mash-up.”

According to Newsweek, the word “mashup” was coined in 2001 by DJ Freelance Hellraiser who used Christina Aguilera’s vocals from ‘Genie in a Bottle’ and “recorded [them] over the instrumentals from ‘Hard to Explain.’”

Mash-ups are certainly not limited to musical, however. A mashup applies to any combination of two or more forms of media: music, film, television, computer program, etc. As seen by the examples below, these creative combos synthesize just about every imaginable form of media:

Sense and Sensibility and Seamonsters – a book mashup that combines classic fiction and sea stories.

The Dark Side of Oz – a film mashup pairing Pink Floyd’s classic album The Dark Side of the Moon with the visuals of the film The Wizard of Oz.

Star Wars:  Invasion Los Angeles:  a computer animated video created by Kaipo Jones that sets the intergalactic battle from the film Star Wars among the familiar and famous sites of Los Angeles.

TwitterMap –  an internet mashup that combines Twitter and Google Maps to create a visual map of Tweets.

Today’s Challenge: Mother Tongue Lashing
What one word fits between the words ‘Jelly’ and ‘Bag’ to form two separate compound words? Jelly __________ Bag  The answer is the word “bean” as in jelly bean and beanbag.  This is a type of  lexical mash-up called Mother Tongue Lashing. It takes advantage of the wealth of compound words and expressions in English. For each pair of words below, name a word that can follow the first word and precede the second one to complete a compound word or a familiar two-word phrase.

  1. Life __________ Travel
  2. Punk __________ Candy
  3. Green _________ Space
  4. Rest __________ Work
  5. Word  __________ Book
  6. Rock __________ Dust
  7. Spelling __________ Sting
  8. Night __________ House

Now, create your own list of 8 Mother Tongue Lashings.  Use a dictionary to make sure that you have two-word expressions or compound words, not just two-word combinations.

Quotation of the Day:  We were all on this ship in the sixties, our generation, a ship going to discover the New World. And the Beatles were in the crow’s nest of that ship. -John Lennon

 

Answers:  time, rock, back, home, play, star, bee, light

1- http://www.newsweek.com/technology-time-your-mashup-106345

September 28:  Spelling Reform Day

On this date in 1768, Benjamin Franklin — founding father, diplomat, printer, scientist, writer, and civic reformer — wrote a letter making his case for spelling reform.

BenFranklinDuplessis.jpgMany know about his inventions, such as the lightning rod, bifocals, and the Franklin stove, but not many know about his attempt to eliminate six letters of the English alphabet and replace them with six of his own invention.

Franklin’s chief concern, like many who came both before and after him, was the confusing discrepancy in English between its sounds and its alphabet:  “The difficulty of learning to spell well . . .  is so great, that few attain it, thousands and thousands writing on to old age without ever being able to acquire it” (1).

To correct the imperfections in the English alphabet, Franklin proposed throwing out the six letters C, J, Q, W, X, and Y and replacing them with six new letters of his own, letters which would represent the six sounds found in the following words:

  1. law, caught
  2. run, enough
  3. this, breathe
  4. singer, ring
  5. she, sure, emotion, leash
  6. thing, breath (2)

In his letter Franklin addresses objections to his spelling reform scheme.  One was that books published before the reforms were implemented would become useless.  To rebut this Franklin asked his reader to consider a similar case in Italy:  “Formerly, its inhabitants all spoke and wrote in Latin; as the language changed, the spelling followed it.”  Another objection addressed by Franklin was that of etymology – or word history –, particularly the historic roots of words that are preserved in their orthography (the way they are spelled).  To this objection, Franklin responded with the following apt example:

If I should call a man a knave and a villain, he would hardly be satisfied with my telling him that one of the words originally signified only a lad or servant; and the other an under-ploughman, or the inhabitant of a village. It is from present usage only, that the meaning of words is to be determined.

Although Franklin’s arguments are convincing, his reform plan never came to fruition.  Perhaps he was sidetracked by his other possibly more important role as  midwife to the birth of the world’s first great democracy.  Not until Noah Webster’s An American Dictionary of the English Language, published in 1828, did spelling in the United States see much reform.

Today’s Challenge:  The Case for X Reform
Great people like Benjamin Franklin demonstrate the power of ideas, ideas for making their town, state, country, or world a better place.  What do you see in your world that should be reformed, and how specifically would you propose to make it better?  Argue your case by addressing the current problem, followed by a  specific vision of how your reforms would improve the situation. (Common Core Writing 1 – Argument)

Quotation of the Day:  Attempting to spell in English is like playing one of those computer games where, no matter what, you will lose eventually. If some evil mage has performed vile magic on our tongue, he should be bunged into gaol for his nefarious goal (and if you still need convincing of how inconsistent English pronunciation is, just read that last sentence out loud). -James Harbeck

 

1- http://grammar.about.com/od/readingsonlanguage/a/The-Case-For-Spelling-Reform-By-Benjamin-Franklin.htm

2-http://www.benfranklin300.org/_etc_pdf/Six_New_Letters_Nicola_Twilly.pdf

3- http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20150605-your-language-is-sinful

 

September 27:  Capital Day

On this date in 1777, the city of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, became the nation’s capital for a single day.  With the Revolutionary War still raging, George Washington’s Continental Army was outflanked at the Battle of Brandywine, causing them to retreat.  Victory by the British allowed them to capture Philadelphia, the capital of the young nation, with little resistance.

The arrival of the British caused the Second Continental Congress to pack up and move 60 miles west to new headquarters in the Lancaster County Courthouse.  Lancaster’s time as capital city was short lived,however.  The next day on September 27, the Continental Congress packed up and moved again, this time to a more strategic position on the west side of the Susquehanna River, 20 miles away in York, Pennsylvania.

Residents of Lancaster have not forgotten their moment in the sun.  In 2011 the Lancaster City Council officially designated each September 27 as Capital Day.

On a usage note, one of most common mistakes in English is confusing the words “capital” and “capitol.”  The only time you should use “capitol” with an “o” is when you are referring to buildings, such as “the capitol buildings” or “the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.  “Capital” with an “a” is used for all other meanings of the word, including capital letters, capital punishment, capital finances, and capital city, meaning the name of the city on the map, rather than a reference to its governmental buildings (2).  For example, “We visited the capitol building in Olympia, the capital of Washington state.”

Today’s Challenge:  Make It a Capital Day
What makes your hometown worthy of being designated “The Nation’s Capital for a Day”?  You’ve been appointed to argue the case for your hometown, and if successful, your town will be awarded the 24-hour honor plus five million dollars.  Promote your town or city for this honor by describing its virtues Chamber of Commerce style, identifying what makes it a special, one-of-a-king place, worthy of being name capital for a day. (Common Core Writing 1 – Argument)

Quotation of the Day:  You know, in my hometown of Hope, Arkansas, the three sacred heroes were Jesus, Elvis, and FDR, not necessarily in that order. -Mike Huckabee

1- http://mentalfloss.com/article/31494/glory-day-lancasters-brief-stint-our-nations-capital

2-Fogarty, Mignon.  The Grammar Devotional: Daily Tips for Successful Writing from Grammar Girl.

 

September 26:  Debate Day

On this date in 1960, the first ever televised presidential debate was held in Chicago.  Democratic candidate John F. Kennedy and Republican candidate Richard M. Nixon squared off before an audience of more than 65 million viewers.

This debate revealed the power of television as a modern medium for politics.  Radio listeners awarded the debate to Nixon, but the much larger television audience gave the prize to Kennedy.  In contrast to Kennedy’s relaxed, confident appearance, Nixon looked glum and sweaty.  In addition to a more youthful, vigorous appearance, Kennedy also seemed more at ease with the new medium, looking at the TV camera to address the American viewers.  Nixon, however, instead of looking into the TV camera, turned to Kennedy, addressing his comments solely to his opponent.  

It’s these small factors that probably gave Kennedy the edge, not only in the debates, but also in the election.  He won the presidency in November 1960 by one of the smallest margins in U.S. presidential history (1).

Today’s Challenge:   Abecedarian Debate Topics
Abecedarian as an adjective meaning “of or related to the alphabet.”  On this 26th day of the month it’s appropriate to turn to the alphabet, covering your subject from A to Z.  What are the best topics for a debate — timely or timeless topics that are controversial enough to spark a two-sided argument?  Your challenge is to generate at least 26 different possible debate topics, one topic for each of the 26 letters of the alphabet. (Common Core Writing 1 – Argument)

Quotation of the Day:  It is better to debate a question without settling it than to settle a question without debating it. -Joseph Joubert

1- Safire, William.  Lend Me Your Ears:  Great Speeches in History.  New York:  W.W. Norton & Company, 1997.

September 25:  Convocation Day

On this date in 1991, Professor Jacob Neusner, a historian of religion, delivered the convocation address to students at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania. Unlike a commencement speech, which is presented at a graduation ceremony at the end of a school term, a convocation is a speech to incoming students at the beginning of a school term.

The purpose of a convocation, therefore, is to call a student body together and to spark the students’ quest for knowledge as they stand poised at the beginning of a new school year.  Neusner clearly is qualified to speak about acquiring knowledge, having played a part in the publication of over 1,000 books, either as an author, editor, or translator.  In his convocation, Neusner evoked examples of history’s great teachers, teachers who helped their students to discover truth for themselves:

Socrates was the greatest philosopher of all time, and all he did was walk around the streets and ask people irritating questions.  Jesus was certainly the most influential teacher in history, and his longest “lecture” — for instance, the Sermon on the Mount — cannot have filled up an hour of classroom time or a page in a notebook.  

Professor Neusner ended his speech by calling students to look not only to their teachers for learning, but also to look within themselves:

Your imagination is our richest national resource; an open and active mind, our most precious intangible treasure.  That’s what we try to do at our universities and colleges in this country:  teach people to teach themselves, which is what life is all about — during the coming year, and during all the years of your lives and mine.

Today’s Challenge:  School’s Cool! You’d Be a Fool to Miss a Single Day at School
What is the purpose of education?  What would you say to welcome, motivate, and inspire students to make the most of their learning in the coming year?  Write the text of your convocation speech giving your audience the best advice you can about how not to take their education for granted. (Common Core Writing 1 – Expository)

Quotation of the Day:  Professors are there to guide, to help, to goad, to irritate, to stimulate.  Students are there to explore, to inquire, to ask questions, to experiment, to negotiate knowledge. –Jacob Neusner

 

1- Safire, William.  Lend Me Your Ears:  Great Speeches in History.  New York:  W.W. Norton & Company, 1997.

Epic Welcome

September 24:  Vivid Verb Day

Today is the birthday of F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940), known for his novel The Great Gatsby as well as numerous other short stories and novels.

In a 1938 letter to his daughter, Fitzgerald presented his powerful case for what he felt was the English language’s most potent part of speech:

. . . all fine prose is based on the verbs carrying the sentences. They make sentences move. Probably the finest technical poem in English is Keats’ “Eve of Saint Agnes.” A line like “The hare limped trembling through the frozen grass,” is so alive that you race through it, scarcely noticing it, yet it has colored the whole poem with its movement–the limping, trembling and freezing is going on before your own eyes (1).

Verbs are the engines of every sentence.  They create movement and action as well as images that your reader can see and hear.  Because verbs are so important, you should learn to select your verbs with care and learn to differentiate between imprecise, passive verbs that suck the life out of your sentences and precise, action verbs that enliven your sentences.

Like Fitzgerald, writer Constance Hale argues confident writers know the importance of vivid verbs:   “More than any other part of speech, it is the verb that determines whether the writer is a wimp or a wizard.“  Hale believes so strongly about verbs, in fact, that she wrote on entire book on them called,  Vex, Hex, Smash, and Smooch.

In her book, Hale talks about a “cheat” she employed as a magazine editor to determine whether or not a writer was up to snuff.  She would begin by circling every verb in the first two or three paragraphs of a submitted story.  Then she would study each verb:

Did the writer rely on wimp verbs?  Or did he craft sentences with dynamic verbs — ‘linger,’ maybe, or ‘melt,’ or ‘throttle’? If ‘is,’ ‘was,’ or ‘were’ filled most of the circles, the story idea was declined.  If the writer relied on dynamic verbs, and in doing so made every sentence jump, he got a phone call (2).

Put Hale’s “Verb Check” to the test by examining the two sentences below.  Notice how how a wimpy verb only tells, while a vivid verb shows, providing both sight and sound:

Sentence 1:  Mary was angry.

Sentence 2:  Mary slammed her fist on the desk, lowered her eyebrows into an indignant glare, and stomped out of the room (3).

Today’s Challenge:  Parts of Speech on Parade
What would you say is the most important single part of speech in the English language, and why should writers pay careful attention to how they use it?  Make your case using sentences from great writers as examples. (Common Core Writing 1 – Argument)

Quotation of the Day:  Verbs act.  Verbs move.  Verbs do. Verbs strike, soothe, grin, cry, exasperate, decline, fly, hurt, and heal.  Verbs make writing go, and they matter more to our language than any other part of speech. -Donald Hall

1- http://www.openculture.com/2013/02/seven_tips_from_f_scott_fitzgerald_on_how_to_write_fiction.html

2- Hale, Constance.  Vex, Hex, Smash, and Smooch:  Let Verbs Power Your Writing.  New York:  W. W. Norton & Company, 2012.

3-  Backman, Brian.  Persuasion Points:  82 Strategic Exercises for Writing High-Scoring Persuasive Essays.  Gainesville, Florida:  Maupin House Publishing, Inc., 2010.

 

September 23:  Pathos Day

On this date two emotionally charged speeches about dogs were given more than 50 years apart.

The first was a closing argument from a trial in 1870.  Attorney George Graham Vest was representing a client whose hunting dog, Old Drum, had been killed by a neighboring sheep farmer.  Instead of addressing the specific facts of the case, Vest took another approach, an emotional appeal to the faithful nature not just of Old Drum, but all dogs:

Gentlemen of the jury: A man’s dog stands by him in prosperity and in poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground, where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only he may be near his master’s side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer, he will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounters with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince. When all other friends desert, he remains. When riches take wings and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens.

Vest won the case and Old Drum’s owner was awarded $50.  Today a statue of the dog and a plaque with Vest’s speech are located in front of the courthouse in Warrensburg, Missouri (1),

The second canine-theme talk was a nationally televised speech by vice-presidential candidate Richard Nixon in 1952.  As the running mate for Dwight D. Eisenhower on the Republican ticket, Nixon faced a challenge when a story broke that he had taken money from a secret fund set up by a group of millionaires from his home state, California.  Nixon’s reputation and his political future was on the line, so on September 23, 1952 he went on national TV, a relatively new medium at the time, to deny the accusations.  One major tactic Nixon used in his speech was to appeal to his audience’s sympathies by talking about his humble background, his modest income, and most importantly, his family dog:

But Pat [Nixon’s wife] and I have the satisfaction that every dime that we have got is honestly ours.

I should say this, that Pat doesn’t have a mink coat. But she does have a respectable Republican cloth coat, and I always tell her she would look good in anything.

One other thing I probably should tell you, because if I don’t they will probably be saying this about me, too. We did get something, a gift, after the election.

A man down in Texas heard Pat on the radio mention the fact that our two youngsters would like to have a dog, and, believe it or not, the day before we left on this campaign trip we got a message from Union Station in Baltimore, saying they had a package for us. We went down to get it. You know what it was?

It was a little cocker spaniel dog, in a crate that he had sent all the way from Texas, black and white, spotted, and our little girl Tricia, the six year old, named it Checkers.

And you know, the kids, like all kids, loved the dog, and I just want to say this, right now, that regardless of what they say about it, we are going to keep it. (2).

Nixon’s speech was a great success.  Letters and telegrams of support poured in, and Eisenhower decided to keep him on the presidential ticket, a ticket that six weeks later won in a landslide.  Today Nixon’s speech is known as “The Checkers Speech.”

Both of these speeches — coincidentally presented on September 23rd — exemplify the power of pathos in writing.  The Greek philosopher Aristotle wrote about three key components of persuasive rhetoric:  ethos, logos, and pathos.  Ethos is the writer’s credibility, and logos is the writer’s reasoning.  The third, and perhaps most important component, is pathos, the writer’s appeal to emotion.  Both Nixon and Vest knew that to persuade their audience they needed more than just reasonable arguments and facts; in addition,  they needed to move their audience’s emotions by tugging at their heart strings.  By using their words to create moving and specific images, and to tell specific, personal anecdotes, Vest and Nixon crafted cogent and convincing cases.

Today’s Challenge:  Pathos-Powered PSA
What is something specific that can be done today by you or by anyone to make the world a better place?  Write a Public Service Announcement (PSA) making your case.  Craft it as a logical argument, but also pour on the pathos by thinking about not just your audience’s head, but also its heart.  Use specific imagery, figurative language, anecdotes, and personal insight to make a connection and to move your audience to act. (Common Core Writing 2 – Expository)

Quotation of the Day:  To his dog, every man is Napoleon; hence the constant popularity of dogs. -Aldous Huxley

1- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Graham_Vest

2- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Checkers_speech

3 – Gallow, Carmine.  Talk Like TED:  The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds.  New York:  St. Martin’s Press, 2014.

 

September 22:  Proclamation Day

On this day in 1862, Abraham Lincoln issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, which warned the Confederate states that if they did not rejoin the Union by January 1, 1863, all slaves in those states would be freed.  The Civil War was still raging, but the Union had just claimed a victory at the Battle of Antietam on September 17th, the single bloodiest single-day battle in American history.

Prior to the Proclamation, Lincoln had not issued any anti-slavery proclamations, maintaining that the war was more about preserving the Union than about ending slavery.  Issuing the Proclamation changed this.  Now support for the Confederacy translated to support for the institution of slavery.  This discouraged anti-slavery countries like England and France from intervening in support of the South.

When the Proclamation took effect on January 1, 1863, no slaves were actually freed because it applied only to the Confederate states that were still at war with the Union.  It did, however, change the moral tone of the war, making it not just a struggle to save the Union, but also a battle to support human freedom.  It also set the stage for the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, ratified in 1865, which put a permanent end to slavery in the United States (1).

Today’s Challenge:  Whereas and Therefore
A proclamation is a public or official announcement dealing with a matter of great importance.  It can be written to commemorate a specific anniversary or event, to honor an individual or group, or, as in the case of the Emancipation Proclamation, to advocate a specific cause.  If you were the president, what proclamation would you make?  Support your proclamation with “Whereas” statements that provide evidence to support your case — in other words, details that show why your proclamation is important and timely.  Then, end your proclamation with a “Therefore” statement that clearly states what you are confidently proclaiming. (Common Core Writing 1 – Argument)

Quotation of the Day:  I always consider the settlement of America with reverence and wonder, as the opening of a grand scene and design in providence, for the illumination of the ignorant and the emancipation of the slavish part of mankind all over the earth. -John Adams

1-http://www.civilwar.org/education/history/emancipation-150/10-facts.html

2-http://www.ehow.com/how_2223337_write-a-proclamation.html

 

 

September 21:  Compose a Novel First Line Day

On this date in 1937, J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit was published.  Tolkien began the book in a rather unexpected way.  As a professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford University, Tolkien would augment his salary in the summers by marking School Certificate exams, a test taken by 16 year-olds in the United Kingdom.  In a 1955 letter to the poet W.H. Auden, Tolkien recounted the moment that launched what was to become a classic in fantasy and children’s literature:

All I remember about the start of The Hobbit is sitting correcting School Certificate papers in the everlasting weariness of that annual task forced on impecunious academics with children. On the blank leaf I scrawled: ‘In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.’ I did not and do not know why.

TheHobbit FirstEdition.jpgThe opening line that Tolkien scribbled on a blank page that fateful day remained intact in the published final draft, followed by a sentence that elaborated a bit on the hobbit habitat:

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.

While the book was still in manuscript form, publisher Stanley Unwin gave it to his 10-year-old son Rayner, who wrote the following review:

Bilbo Baggins was a Hobbit who lived in his Hobbit hole and never went for adventures, at last Gandalf the wizard and his Dwarves persuaded him to go. He had a very exiting (sic) time fighting goblins and wargs. At last they get to the lonely mountain; Smaug, the dragon who guards it is killed and after a terrific battle with the goblins he returned home — rich!

This book, with the help of maps, does not need any illustrations it is good and should appeal to all children between the ages of 5 and 9.

Rayner’s favorable comments were the final confirmation that Urwin needed to publish the book (2).

Today’s Challenge:  From Blank Page to Page Turner
What character and setting would you introduce in the first two sentences of a story?  Grab your own blank piece of paper and draft at least two sentences that introduce a character and a setting for a story.  Hold a contest to see whose novel first lines resonate the most with readers. (Common Core Writing 3 – Narrative)

Quotation of the Day:  Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.  -Louis L’Amour

1- http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/jun/12/jrr-tolkien-teaching-exhausting-depressing-unseen-letter-lord-rings

2- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rayner_Unwin