Category Archives: Maggie Jane’s Ramblings

Up to Bat—begin your journey with Sam and Blake!

#romancesuspense #oneclick Up to Bat!

Buy Links: https://books2read.com/Up-to-BatMJSchuler

Blurb: 
I’ve planned well, studied hard, and dreamed of my future. It keeps me alive, ignoring the things from my painful past. The thing about life is that it can throw a curveball into your path that you can’t anticipate, and plan accordingly.

But life’s cruel. It offers both good and bad, and no time for the right reaction.

My junior year of college should be one of the best but my chance run-in with a loner freshman that harbors deep secrets soon pulls me into her mysterious world.

Unfortunately, her omissions of truth find me in a dangerous place.

Then, I meet Blake Angel. He is one of those curveballs of life…easy on the eyes, and every time we touch, sparks fly. But I can’t. I won’t. I have a game plan, a play-by-play for my future.

Before I realize it, everything has changed. The hidden secrets and lies only confuse me more. Worse, I may not be able to save myself, Samantha Sawyer, from those that now hunt me—and I have no idea why.

Book+Main Author Fireside Chat

Author BL. Berry

Gather ’round author, dear author friends. Let’s chat about Book+Main for a few. I know many of you are wondering, I signed up for a Book+Main Author Account … now what?

Well, let me be one of the first to say, welcome to Book+Main, fellow author! We’re excited to have you onboard and look forward to getting your account verified.

If you haven’t already taken a few minutes to read through my How to Use Book+Main post, I would recommend doing that first to ground you in the below content. And I know that it’s long, but it’s worth the read if you’re considering the platform.

But before I start talking about the ins and outs and perks of being an author on Book+Main, there are a few very important things to keep in mind.

This isn’t Goodreads. It’s not Facebook. Nor is it Wattpad. And it’s certainly not Twitter…

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Noticing the Change and Liking What You See!

In second grade Eldest made this ball field for his 100 days in school project. He lived and breathed baseball. He learned to read because he needed the stats on his favorite teams and players. He watched the ESPN highlights before school to keep up with all the news surrounding baseball. Of course, he played the game, it was the one thing he found that grounded him.

He played baseball up until college. He made some decisions based on his future rather than immediate gratification, and things didn’t quite play out how he thought they might. Regardless, he missed the team atmosphere and joined his college rugby team. The team won the small college national rugby championship that year. The team became a brotherhood he had never expected, and it is a journey he still continues traveling as he ties up his senior year of college.

Two weeks ago he texted me and asked me if I could proof a paper he wrote  for one of his classes. I figured it was another engineering paper with tons of information I’d know nothing about, but English is still English and I can proof those things which apply to written language.

However, this turned out to be a paper for his third required university course work classes. All students must take three semesters of a continuing education course which involves morals, ethics, personal growth, and an examination of you as an individual as well as on a global scale. The first two are required in your first year (even for transfer students) and the last in your second to last semester before gradation. This paper was something beyond what I expected and those words from my parents and grandparents rang so loud while it read it, “He’ll grow up and surprise you one day, just be patient.” The prompt itself surprised me a bit:

I teach public school and the pressure is on us to make kids keenly aware that argument writing is the main focus in college. But between my two sons I have found that they write far more narrative and informational writing. This still rings true into Eldest’s senior year.

When I read his paper I was taken aback to say the least. He wrote about how his life had changed through many avenues one being the obsession he had with baseball and the change he found overtime through rugby. Another was his major influences; one influence being my mother and another his own father which were ideas based around always giving it your all on the field no matter where the chips may lie.

“[my grandmother an Olympic 2 time gold medal winner, and my father an NCAA decorated athlete] Together they raised me to be graceful in victory and humble in defeat, but always a dedicated hard worker providing the best performance throughout the game.”

But his academic and career pathways were founded on both his father and me placing an emphasis upon his academic skills rather than his extra curricular activities, as well as placing rules and regulations upon him and his siblings that required him to be an active member in our family. He placed family meals and our free-flowing conversations about our days, our thoughts, and our own disagreements as one of the top reasons he has found success outside our home.

“In retrospect, my parents were right and I am thankful for their guidance.”

Then he ended with the part that pushed me into tears:

“I am traditionally a word minimalist, but I do make it a point to have the words I do say be meaningful and important. This reserved part of my personality may be here to stay, but through the foundation built by my family, close friends, professors, and coworkers I strive daily to become a better man and have set goals to make a positive impact with my future endeavors.”

It was all so true, and I know him so well, that he did write from the heart for the assignment and it is the first one I did not feel like I needed to stamp the BS sign and send it back to him!

All of these things were insightful to read because as a parent you never know if what you are doing is right. There are no manuals, no self-help books, no cookie cutter models or recipes to follow. It is the great experiment which every parent sets sail on and hopes beyond all reason they do the job successfully, because you only get one chance and if you mess it up it is something you cannot get back.

Flash forward to yesterday and he called me early in the morning on his way to rugby practice. I teased him and asked what I got on my senior paper. He laughed but started into the things he feels would make kids far more prepared and successful in college and where public education fails students.

  1. Student should write more narratives and have freedom of choice based on a topic rather than a pre-scripted format. His college professors axed the pre-scripted five paragraph essay day one and refused to read anything that was submitted that way.
  2. Students should be asked to create lab reports based on an outcome and they need to be able to construct the experiment themselves. Students must know how to fail and be able to write why things failed and what should change in the future to meet the objective. He understands that lab equipment is expensive, so the cookie cutter experiments in all subjects are affordable and achieve the correct outcome. He noted three things he did in his public school career that had the most impact:
    1. He was asked to build a bridge that could handle a specified payload with only toothpicks and glue.
    2. He was asked to find physics problem and provide a solution to help promote something in the future. He wrote a paper with physics calculations based on the new bats [at the time the baseball bats for high school had just changed over to a new material and the adjustments for both pitches and hitters created a strange playing field]
    3. In his IB course work he was afforded the time and research to write on anything that was plaguing the political arena either nationally or internationally. He chose to research, report, and create solutions for campaign finance reform.
  3. Finally, he noted that families in general are failing students. He knows there are extenuating circumstances that surround families and how they raise their children, but if the student has no support at home why do they care to do well in school if that is not made a priority. As a culture we need to change that family component if we want to change the course for future generations.

At the end of his diatribe I sat silent on the end of the phone. Most of this is stuff we’ve never discussed, because I am often too busy handling the immediate issues of our family and what each offspring might need or the husband. I don’t very often share my own philosophical pragmatic views of education overall with them. I was waiting until they were older if the topic came up. But he hit three areas right on the head and most of which I actually work very hard to teach in my 180 days with students each year.

Inevitably, the point I see happening here is that Eldest is turning out to be a man [that term itself is shocking for a momma] who actually has some depth of character. He thinks about things in a far less self centered way over the last four years. It also reinforces, for both Mr. and me, that we didn’t mess up so bad along the way while raising him. I am certain he will need therapy in some way for things we completely FUBAR’d, but for now, I feel a little more secure in his ability to spread his wings and make some solid decisions for his future. it should also make me worry a little less about where he might head after he graduates in May. [or not!]

Secret Project Reveal!

 

I’ve been asked, along with 13 other fabulous authors, to write a short fiction piece that will be part of an anthology releasing in time for Halloween!

These will be a tasty morsel of tales born out of the treasures bred through the constraints of the 7 deadly sins and 7 divine virtues. Each sin and virtue is created and told through a variety of genres: romance, paranormal, horror and more.

The Nerdy Novelist’s luck of the draw was temperance…this little tale is not your regular spiel penned by the moderate Maggie Jane. Oh, my fingers have been busy and this work of art has been smoldering around my cauldron for many nights. It is a test of my craft, but I’m betting it will entice many of you to venture into the dark side of this virtue.

A Sorcerer’s Road to Temperance (WIP)

Her self-restraint is tested when a handsome newcomer opens a night club on the outskirts of her small-minded town. His establishments spellbind the patrons and create a magical intoxicating experience. She’s always maintained self-control but as he turns up the heat her inner strength is in peril. She has a choice, either tame the heathens or succumb to their wicked ways.

Excerpt:
“She took one long perusal of his athletic body and knew this was going to be a dangerous game. One she’d been looking forward to embarking upon.”

Titles: The Hardest Part of Writing a Work

 

A title to me should be a message about a work. It resonates a theme or idea from within the words of the pages of the story being depicted. Titles like Catch 22, The Jungle, The Grapes of Wrath, Lord of the Flies, To Kill A Mockingbird, A Time to Kill, Unwind, The Scarlet Letter, A Christmas Carol, Animate Me, Always You, Brightside, The Matriarch, Unlit Star, and so many more have deeper meanings than just words on the front cover. When I came up with the titles of Resurrection and Up to Bat I thought long and hard about what they conveyed and how a reader with a deeper sense of literature deconstruction would figure out the thematic relevance to each title.

Resurrection is a change or rebirth, and most people connect the word with the rebirth of Christ from the Christian biblical ideology. They feel it is a purity of soul type of denotative meaning. In contrast, the connotative structure denotes it is a restructuring of something or someone. A time of truth-telling and coming to grips with what one is faced with, and how to turn sour grapes around into something far more meaningful. When the cover and title were designed, it was intentional to give it a black and white image and a simplistic peaceful tone because the darker chaos of the first few chapters and the twist at the end needed downplaying as the love story is the absolution for the resurrection of the characters.

Jenna built her life around one controlling man and lost herself over the years. She trusted him implicitly and overlooked many things which may have changed her course long before his illness took him. Once she faces the reality of the prison he held her in, she does reinvent herself based out of the truths which are opened along her journey to resurrecting herself.
Chase is saddened by his sudden loss and his resurrection comes with finding out that his happiness makes a world of difference in his attitude with his kids, family, and his new love. He is resurrected through realizing going through the motions of life does not make a person whole, therefore this change is a positive place for him to expand on a new journey with a clear vision in his head of what this salvation looks like for him, his children, his new love, and his family and friends. Therefore, the road to resurrecting oneself may end on the same path, but each person takes a different avenue to arrive at this higher ground.

Many readers see a cover and read the title and assume sports, millionaire, dystopia, sci-fi, power struggle or some other blatant genre or trope ideal.Up to Bat is a little trickier to uncovering the message behind the words and visual. However, Up to Bat stands for many things and one of the face values is that it does address sports and the team style approach, but if Sam and Blake are examined closer, on the cover, he has his hand pushing a stray hair off of her face. They are looking at each other, but it is not in lust, but rather in inquiry. The idiom of being up to bat means to take a chance, it is your turn, make a move.

In Up to Bat, Sam is faced with a myriad of issues which all filter back to her need to move up to the plate and take that chance. She is fighting inner demons which she has shoved under the carpet for a long time; she buried herself in her college studies and her internship to avoid true relationships, and she is her own worst enemy for not risking a chance and making some less structured moves in her own life.

Blake, on the other hand, is always up to bat; he’s ready to take risks and in an underlying way his charity is named Up to Bat to prove that risks are worth trying your luck and standing strong in the end. He risks his life in his undercover job, but he also is making a move on something he knows he wants, Samantha. Each character is having to gamble and make those up to bat decisions and learn from the balls thrown their way. This, in turn, changes the literal denotative idea of Up to Bat being a sole sports romance, to a connotative reality about life and making sure not to waste moments living in the past and playing it safe. Both Sam and Blake have things to work on before they can actually swing the bat, but being up to bat is where people must start to take any of life’s journeys.

Some critics will take a superficial look at the covers and the titles and make biased opinions based on surface level understandings of a title and the respective covers. In the 21st century a world of insta-gratification leaves most to resort to the obvious. This is what some segments of society would rather see; things laid out blatantly rather than having to work for the underlying meanings, themes, and ideologies set forth by an author. Often this digging deeper into the context and content of a work is passed off and missed by the surface level readers and it takes a moment to slow down and dive deeper into a text.

However, I believe there are readers who are tired of the surface level read and the over implied meanings surrounding fiction novels. I believe many readers give up reading because of this infusion of insta-gratification prose. The readers who commit to a deeper level and understand the buried inferred context of the literature seek more difficult reads or look back at a cover or title and think, “Oh, I get it, that was clever.” They may even think, “Hmm I like what the author did, but I might have tried XYZ and tweaked this a little.” The point is it made the reader think, and they were entertained enough to interact with the text.

This is the case for which I selected my titles and covers. It is my hope that more authors and readers decide to take this journey into deeper level thinking rather than expecting the predictable and simplistic approach to literature. Please, don’t get me wrong, I read all over the place and sometimes those quick pick reads are nice and leave a reader with a feel-good sense and there is value in that harmonious balance of easy and difficult as well.

My First Love!

My First Love

I was 3 and I fell in love with John Denver. We lived in South Lake Tahoe at the time, and he came to play a concert in the dinner theater at Harrah’s Tahoe on the North Shore at Stateline, Nevada.

I had been singing his songs from the time I could remember and heard on the radio he would be coming to town. I vividly remember driving in our green Ford Pinto station wagon and talking my mom’s ear off about how much I needed to see him in person.

You had to be 6 in order to attend the dinner and concert series at the Harrah’s venue. I had recently turned 4. Over a dinner with my parent’s friends, who somehow had connections with the folks who ran the concert series, my parent’s friends bought a table for 8 and invited my mother and me to attend.

We rehearsed a practiced response to anyone who might ask me my age at the venue. My mom kept telling me the little white lie was going to be okay and responding six would be just fine! All this because I was going to marry this man someday and I needed to enter gracefully into the dinner theater for this to come to fruition.  My mom worked hours testing me, and I knew I could nail this!

The night of the concert finally arrived and my excitement was unreal. When our part of the line arrived at the door a nice man in a tux smiled at me and bent down to my level. He introduced himself and placed my hand like a princess in his. He asked my name and complimented my dress.

Then he asked the big question, “How old are you, young lady?”

I proudly gazed up at him, smiled big and said, “Six!” While holding up 4 fingers with my free hand. He winked at me and proceeded to lead us to our table.

I ate the six-course meal like a lady, I was a picky eater too, and when Denver came to the stage I sang every song—word for word. He even acknowledged me as his youngest and most enthusiastic fan!

I remember that entire event clearly in my mind. I was so sad when he passed away in a plane crash. He was piloting the plane.

Amazing how we remember those singular events and they still bring a smile to our faces!

Here is my interview with Maggie Jane Schuler

A huge thank you to Fiona for the interview!

authorsinterviews

Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.

 

Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?

 Hello. Thank you Fiona. I’m Maggie Jane Schuler and I’m 46.

Fiona: Where are you from?

California. I was born in northern and migrated south.

Fiona: A little about your self (ie,  your education, family life, etc.).

I am a teacher by day and author by night. I hold a BA in multiple subjects and English literature and a MAED in Educational Technology. I am fellow of the National Writing project. I have 1 hubby, 3 children, and 2 dogs. I love baseball.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

I released my first work, Resurrection, in March 2017. I have another release, Up to Bat, coming in July, and hopefully a third release in the late fall.

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2016 – What I’ve Learned Over the Last Year

 

nerdy-novelist-winter

2016 has been a year of many firsts. Hard for me to believe that last Christmas eve I sat around the family table, cocktail in hand, discussing my half written manuscript and the fact I needed a pen name. We played around with multiple names until my mom and dad finally suggested Maggie Jane Schuler. Everyone unanimously agreed and off into the wild blue yonder I began this journey between reading, writing, reviewing, and developing a plan to publish a book.

I worked my butt off between January and July writing a very rough manuscript. This journey brought me a whole new perspective and learning curve I never even believed I’d venture through. The authors I instant messaged were all so kind and helpful. They answered my silly novice questions and always added little extra tidbits of advice for good measure. The best part about each of the folks queried is they soon became friends who also valued some of my humble opinions on their own WIP’s, covers, and blurbs.

The indie community is a welcoming band of heroes who impress me daily with their creativity and generosity. This first and foremost is a gratuitous community who bands together to help raise awareness for multiple causes from literacy and suicide prevention to autoimmune disorders and cancer research. They help promote one another’s works and protect each other from those who sit outside in judgement of this 21st century publishing business. This is a new business model; one which not only binds the material works but supports the emotional side of its dedicated authors, bloggers, and readers as well.

Beta readers. What can I say, other than you’ve motivated me to continue walking along this path. 2017 will be my year to offer you all a small piece of the ideas which roll about in my head in a completed prose form. It is a difficult journey to work hard on a piece and become narrowly focused and often sabotaging oneself along the way. Creating the raw work and allowing beta readers to tear it apart only to build it back up is not for the faint of heart. It takes time and dedication to continually revisit all the errors within a work. Then rework those errors by either throwing out sections, rewording, developing new transitions, or scrapping the initial scene and using it as a skeleton to create a stronger piece. When those you trust find the little plot hiccups or notice you’ve digressed from a character’s internal motivation the hard work really begins. The beta readers are in the trenches and kind enough to continue the journey with you each step of the way. They are tireless in nature and truthful in helping the process move forward.

Editors have another thankless task. They remind me of the fine copper pipes hidden behind the walls of a structure. You never appreciate them quite like you should until they are not working correctly or in writing when the final product goes to the audience with multiple errors. That’s when you notice when and where an author decided to invest in an editor or editors. Avoiding the plunge into grammar and structure anarchy is a key component to creating readership and fans. Many times, reviews will focus on the idea of, “That was a nice plot and I was excited to read but the typos, and other errors were too distracting so I couldn’t fully appreciate the piece.” Again, from betas to editors a heart is stripped of all modesty because these folks truly see the raw to finished product. For those new to writing prose in the fiction arena this is a difficult jump and often the first barrier because rejection is high. I know for myself, the struggle between academic writing and fictional prose style is drastically different and they often contradict each other. This has been a new first in learning to reintroduce contractions, slang, dialect structures, and other various crafty items into my own works. 

My own family took my dedication to this second career in stride. Somedays have been difficult but they ignore my self-doubt and relentlessly cheer me on daily. I have had times on this road when I felt maybe this arena I’d stepped into without enough armor, without enough education, was or is heftier than I’m ready to tackle. Multiple times down this road less traveled I wanted to bury my head and burn the words I’d written. My family, each and every one of them, provided me a safe place to grow and express my frustrations as well as celebrate my mini successes. While I’m still in process on several pieces I continue to forge ahead with the constant encouragement of my family and their never-ending support of my dream to be an author.

The big firsts of 2106 are about to transition into new ideas and adventures for 2017. As Christmas quickly approaches with New Years on its heels, I want to stop and thank all those who have helped me get this far. The goal I’ve realistically set for myself at this point is to publish early in the first quarter of next year and am hopeful I can get three total works out into the market for 2017. I am certain this new path of daily writing also helps me in my day job. I read handfuls of essays from young aspiring students who have big dreams of their own. If I am capable of providing them a hint of joy in reading and writing, because I am also a full-time practitioner in these same activities, then my job is a success. I hope you all follow your own dreams, and enjoy the holiday season.

With a humble thank you and blessings to all,

Maggie Jane

 

NaNoWriMo – What in the-ever-loving-heavens did I sign up for?

waitperfection

 

I’ve been known to bite off more than I can chew many times in my life. Don’t believe me? Well here are a few checked marked items for you:

  • I married young <long before we had a nest egg, still waiting on the nest egg!>
  • I started having children before we knew how we would support them <again, still  working on this!>
  • I began my master’s program while in the midst of returning to teaching, after a 15  year hiatus <because I still needed to help my kids apply to colleges, be a manager for parts of their lives, and keep my marriage together>
  • I set off on this author journey.

This little sojourn over the last eighteen months has truly been an eye opener. What started out as an epic idea one morning in the shower, snowballed into something I’m proud to be a part of, but wow the learning curve truly whips my arse daily.

Again the things I’ve learned over the last 18 months:

  • Introduced to the genre for the first time by my MIL in June 2015. I’d never read romance before <The romance genre is broad, from mild sexy times to OMG jaw dropping>
  • Read over 400+ romance novels in order to understand the style, market, and reach
  • Began reviewing what I was reading because the nerd in me was tired of reading poor reviews of people who didn’t study the structure of the author and the far-reaching crafty moves made by these talented writers. <Yes, it’s true English literature people look at how an author uses things such as themes, motifs, juxtaposition, figurative language, even ethos, logos, and pathos at times to reach their audiences>
  • Met with a few local published author friends <all Little League friends who write YA novels>
    • Given advice on both traditional publishing versus indie <Pretty sure they shutter that I went indie rather than traditional at this point; I had to wear my own shoes>
  • Reached out to authors in the indie industry <nicest folks I’ve met and continue meeting>
  • Discovered awesome friendships and mentors <truly couldn’t be moving forward without their advice and support>
  • Settled into a writing rhythm <took negotiation with the family in order to finally take time to do what I needed to do>
  • Learned the transition from academic stuffy writing is a complete 180˚ from novel narrative writing long winded formality. Thanks to terrific editors!>
  • Discovered who I am in my 40’s < still in development as the nest is not empty yet>

With all of this said, I was introduced to the idea of NaNoWriMo back in July during a summer day job training. One of my colleagues caught wind I was in the mist of writing my first novel. She begged me to join NaNoWriMo just as a different avenue for keeping my writing on a roll. She set her goal to write a poem a day. I laughed at her, told her I wasn’t crazy, and thought nothing more about it until September rolled around. Several authors started throwing around NaNoWriMo challenges, and of course my competitive nature got the best of me.

Now, two days before November 1st, I sit plotting the new short novel I’ll be tackling over the month of November, while continuing the sequel to book one, and of course doing my day job. I continue asking myself, “What in the-ever-loving-heavens did I sign up for?” However, I am really excited to have come this far in 18 months. If you are interested in joining NaNoWriMo click on the link, sign up, give it a try. You never know maybe a writer lives inside you, ready to bust out, get started, and blossom into a beautiful new bud!

National Novel Writing Month NaNoWriMo

The rationale behind using old dead white men!

http://dai.ly/x3988gp

This little short film 2081 is based on Kurt Vonnegut’s work Harris Bergeron. Using this Sci-Fi dystopian gemstone makes students think about how they view the terms equality, freedom, rights, needs, desire, motivation, goal setting. Sometimes we talk about it in terms of “Should everyone earn the same grade?” or “Is the doom of failure a reason not to risk?” maybe even “What role does media play in our perceptions?”

We of course look at the literary aspects of suspense, horror, and how does Vonnegut’s craft create the tone and what provokes the mood in the reader. How does the director of the film help perpetuate Vonnegut’s message or theme of the work. How does he implore motifs and symbols. Additionally, I’ve asked students to draw conclusions about current events and, “Does 2081 have any themes which apply to modern-day issues?” This is always a fun little can of worms to open. This year it has proven to be quite the topic of choice.

While I know many grown and moan about how outdated education is, and why do we choose to read all the novels associated dead white men since they are ultimately boring? Here is what I do know from both teaching and writing:

  1. Any work can be boring.  Sometimes it is important to struggle through something and critique it for the items it lacks, since constructive criticism is an important piece to gaining future successes.
  2. It is all about the delivery of the piece you are presenting and how you package the material.
  3. Making connections with things that are familiar helps perpetuate a better understanding of why a particular work is used.
  4. Explaining how the author crafted the work in order to convey and provoke certain attitudes or promote specific themes helps drive students to seek the depth rather than the surface of a work.
  5. Examining the historical backgrounds of both the author and the time periods opens up a whole new perspective about most works.

I also believe, down to my core, we need to read novels of different genres, time periods, authors, and styles in order to provide a base for making our own writing better. We don’t improve without reading and absorbing stylistic moves from other people. We learned to speak because people repeated sounds, words, and oral structures to us until we began to mimic back, and then we created our one verbal responses over time. We did not learn to read without people showing us how each letter grouping formed a word, which related to the oral structures we’d been groomed to understand since birth. We learned to read fluently because our practice and vocabulary grew with our experiences and exposure. Then writing happened. This is the last in line for the literacies. It takes practice in mimicking works we’ve been exposed to over time. If we only expose ourselves to works such as Dr. Seuss works or Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid series then our ability is limited and our growth stifled. There is nothing wrong with these examples, but if we want to expand our minds, and open up our world, we must challenge ourselves with a variety of works. By nature we will gravitative to familiar and comfortable, but it is my job to expose students to the things which are out of their wheelhouse.

Now when you ask, “Why do you read about all the dead white men?”, you might just understand that I’m here to exercise the brain, expose it to things uncomfortable and foreign, develop questions which make connections, and challenge the mind to think past the surface, in order for you to become a better reader and writer in the future. What I am not doing is trying to make you miserable and reduce you to complaining about how education really is disconnected with today’s world. Maybe some educators are unplugged, but please don’t group me in those same molds! I understand the need to introduce the modern with the classic as well as the technology with the pen and paper. However, let us recognize the value in variety and celebrate the crafts of those who have written over the course of time including both the old and the new.