“Ladeez and Gentlemen, Children of All Ages…”

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Please read this post! It is a wonderful lesson on how to teach!

A Teacher's Reflections

The circus came to town!  Children were excited to perform for their families on Zoom.  It was a grand finalé to a month of learning about animals, what happens behind the scenes in a real circus, and writing circus picture stories.

Here’s why all of these events are important to children:

Children like excitement and adventure, and animals.  If I can tap their interests, I have a ready-made foundation for learning.  We covered science and nature (what do the animals eat?  How do they travel and train to perform?), math (how much rope is needed to put up a circus tent?  How many gallons of food do the animals eat?), and geography (where is Japan, Hungary, and Spain, where many of the performers are from?). It is a long list of learning, and a good one.  Perseverance and determination is speckled throughout, much like sprinkles on ice cream.

How do…

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Special Offer on My Editing Services!

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If you need an editor, please check out Michelle Saul! She is excellent and has a very reasonable price.

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One of my goals for 2021 was to gain more clients for my freelance editing services. This goal has prove difficult to achieve so far, but I am determined to make this goal a success! So for a limited time, I am offering something special to first time clients!

From the date of this post (June 12th) until July 4th, I am offering new clients their first 10,000 words edited free of charge. This means that at my rate, new clients will receive $100.00 off their first piece that I edit! The only catch to this is that your piece must be over 10,000 words because I would still like to make some money for my time!

So if you’re on a budget, looking for your first editor (or maybe even a new one), then now would be a great time to consider me! Below I will link…

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Torrey Pines~

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Here are beautiful photographs from Cindy Knoke to enjoy!

2 planes flying. (Click to enlarge photos)

A 3rd 1, 2.

1 person walking, tiny by the shore.

My hometown.

Kissed by the sunset.

Washed by the sea.

Cheers to you from Torrey Pines Park in Southern California~

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What Are You Reading?

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We are well into the month of June, and I was wondering what everyone was reading. Reading is one of the great pleasures in life, one in which I constantly indulge.

The spring semester is over, but the summer sessions of classes have already begun at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA, and I am excited that I am teaching a course called Science Fiction & Fantasy. In that course, we have already covered Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling, and we are now doing American Gods by Neil Gaiman.

In addition to rereading those books, I am also reading Next To last Stand by Craig Johnson, While The Bombs Fell by Robbie Cheadle & Elsie Hancy Eaton, and Celtic Myth and Religion by Sharon Paice MacLeod.

So, I ask everyone out there: what are you reading now?

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(Photo by Janko Ferlic on Pexels.com)

A Writing Workshop: Get The Draft Done! Helping Writers Finish Their First Draft With Charles F. French

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I am very pleased to announce that I will be giving a 3 hour writing event, focusing on my book Get The Draft Done! Helping Writers Finish Their First Draft on June 13th from 1:30-4:30 p.m. This event will be an interactive workshop specifically designed to give assistance to writers who have difficulties finishing their first drafts of their WIP.

It is sponsored by The Writers’ Community of York Region, and a link can be found here: Get The Draft Done! Workshop with Charles F. French

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If you are a writer who has difficulty with drafting, then consider attending this event, so I can help you with applicable and actionable ideas and exercises.

Remember, the most important draft of a work is the first draft; without that one, no revision can occur.

Available on Amazon

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Get The Draft Done! is available here: Amazon.com

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Gallows Hill can be found here in ebook.

Gallows Hill in paperback can be found here.

An interview about Gallows Hill can be found here.

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Please follow the following links to find my novel:

ebook

Print book

Thank you!

The book trailer:

Maledicus:Investigative Paranormal Society Book I

My radio interview:

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Available on Amazon

French On English

Available on Amazon

 

A New Addition To The U.L.S., The Underground Library Society: Ashley Clayton and her book of choice, Jane Eyre

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I want to welcome Ashley Clayton as the newest member of the U. L. S., The Underground Library Society. This is an unofficial organization dedicated to the preservation of books, and it was created in one of my First Year College Composition Classes at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA.  It is based on the Book People from Ray Bradbury’s classic novel Fahrentheit 451.  To join, a writer creates a post about a book he/she would become if they needed to in order to save it. They do not actually have to memorize it though.

When I first watched Jane Eyre[1] by Charlotte Brontë several years ago, I felt I had stumbled upon a pearl necklace left on a tree branch. I had never heard of the novel before, surprisingly—and I still wonder why it wasn’t included on my school reading lists, alongside The Scarlet Letter and Crime and Punishment. Jane is a protagonist I closely relate to, while still finding her differences complex and intriguing. We’re both introverts and artists, we tend to observe humans from afar and would prefer our own company over most people. Jane is also compassionate and does not let her circumstances overcome her fortitude—qualities I greatly admire in other people.

Jane is orphaned as an infant and grows up in an emotionally (and sometimes physically) abusive home. Her Aunt Reed is jealous of the girl and tends to overlook her plights while doting on her three spoiled and vindictive children. After Jane is struck by her older cousin John and she defends herself, she is sent to the red-room in the mansion—a scene which introduces the supernatural theme found throughout the novel. This is the room reportedly haunted by Jane’s dead uncle, and she begs to be released. Abandoned and injured, she falls ill and faints from her panic.

An apothecary is called to the home to see to Jane. Actual physicians, you see, were reserved only for the immediate family—Jane and the servants only saw the apothecary. The man recommends Mrs. Reed to send Jane away to Lowood Institute—an act disguised as charity while tidily securing the girl’s education and ongoing care, and thus eventual livelihood. This is the turning point of Jane’s young life.

Lowood was a harsh and cold place, the food poor and scant, but here Jane is given a chance to learn and develop her talents and abilities. Jane would adapt well and excel in her studies, while learning to survive within the austere school. Jane was already a resilient child from living with her aunt and cousins, and this trait became sharper at Lowood. After her classmate (and only friend) Helen dies, Jane is left alone to navigate the rest of her years at the school.

After Jane finishes her education and teaches at Lowood, she advertises for outside employment and is accepted to work at Thornfield Hall as a governess— “a fine old hall, rather neglected of late years perhaps” as Jane is told. Here she meets the estate’s proprietor, her master—a Mr. Edward Rochester. His life parallels in some ways to Jane’s: he lost a parent (his mother) early in life, his now deceased father was distant and neglectful, and he only inherited the estate after his elder brother’s untimely death. He is also the ward of a Ms. Adèle, a young French child who becomes Jane’s pupil—the third central orphan of the story.[2]

Jane Eyre is a story of injustices, sorrows and resiliency—a story filled with complex moral decisions and vulnerabilities. It is a story of characters struggling along in unfortunate circumstances, trying to find an existence where some sliver of hope and light might be found. Mr. Rochester and Jane find this hope in each other, but only after fire, tragic death and mutual forgiveness. The ending of Jane Eyre is not perfect—the author does not allow for a perfect ending. But the reader is left with a glimpse of a hopeful future and a sense of redemption for mostly everyone involved. And Jane considers herself “supremely blest” at the close of her story.

Jane Eyre is often categorized as a romance novel. While romance is a central theme of the story, I do not believe that is all Jane Eyre should be considered as. And perhaps that is why the novel was not included on my school reading lists. No, Charlotte Brontë’s masterpiece is, I believe, one story about what it means to be human and to find yourself in imprisoning circumstances, and ultimately how to live through continued suffering, albeit imperfectly. Charlotte knew these things well herself—her mother, too, died when she was a child and two of her elder sisters died from tuberculosis contracted at school, just as Helen did at Lowood. Jane Eyre is a story of one woman’s strength as she discovers what love, grace and forgiveness truly entail. It is a novel I want alongside me in my life, preserved always for future generations. It is, by no exaggeration, one of the greatest works of literature ever written, and greatly appreciated by myself.

Thank you for reading.

[1] Specifically, the 2006 BBC miniseries starring Ruth Wilson and Toby Stephens.

[2] It is unclear who Adèle’s father is and whether he may still be alive. Her father may be Mr. Rochester, or more likely, another man who Adèle’s mother was involved with during (or shortly after) she was Mr. Rochester’s mistress. Either way, I still consider Adèle an orphan, if not legally, then spiritually.

Thank you to Ashley Clayton for joining the U. L. S.

Please be sure to visit her website A. R. Clayton.

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Please Help Me on #PitMad On Thursday 6/3/2021

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Please!

Hello everyone! This may sound like an odd request, but tomorrow I am participating in #PitMad on Twitter, a day long event in which authors tweet a pitch for a book to agents.

If any of you have Twitter, please consider retweeting my pinned tweet, which I will put up tomorrow morning around 8 a.m. EST.

My Twitter handle is @French_C1955

This is also important– DO NOT LIKE THE PITCH–that is for agents to let writers know they are interested in your work.

The tweet will be for my horror novel The Curse Of The Demon Mine. 

It will look something like this:

It x Stranger Things x The Magicians

In 1957 S. Dakota teens Dancer, Micah, and James fight a monster threatening their beloved teacher. To save him, and the magical realm, they must defeat homicidal bullies and supernatural threats, controlled by the creature. #PitMad #YA #DF

Again, thank you to all!

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A Book Tour of Brittany

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This post from Bonjour From Brittany is wonderful! Please read it and visit this excellent site!

Bonjour From Brittany

Generations of writers have long drawn artistic inspiration from the unique atmosphere found in the small corner of Europe that is Brittany. Stimulated by these surroundings, locals and visitors alike have often put pen to paper with notable success; this post highlights some authors and their books not featured in an earlier literary tour of Brittany.

“I shall go to some quiet place in France to get right again; I don’t mean to live with anybody, even my own family but to occupy myself thoroughly.” These words were written by the English poet Robert Browning (1812-1889) not long after the death of his wife, the arguably greater poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Seeking solitude, Browning decided that Brittany offered the desired conditions. After his wife’s death, he stayed near Dinard for three months in 1861; the summer of 1863 was spent in Sainte-Marie, “a wild little place in Brittany,” a…

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