Monday, November 14, 2016

Email Connect Commercial & Double Negative

Commercial Announcement--This will not disappear in ten seconds, so don't fight it.



Email Connect (EC) is not a Newsletter. I have no news. 
"So what do you have?" 
"Thanks for asking." 

*A Featured Follower each month.
*Gifts and Giveaways. 
*Short, but hopefully helpful tips for writers and readers and other humans. (Next EC has some interesting stats on ads.)

Sign up today for your chance to win a digital copy of Gadget Girl by Suzanne Kamata, my Featured Follower in November. I'm reading it now and it's good!





I've been so neglectful of my Young Adult books lately, that I thought I'd give one a bit of press. So here's . . . the Story Behind Double Negative




READ THE FOLLOWING CAREFULLY.  IT'S IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTANDING THE REST OF THE POST. 
BUT NO PRESSURE.


#anT t# re#d #nd #nj#y # g##d st#ry? Wh#T #f y## c##ldn#t do th#t? W##ld y## b# fr#str#t#d? #ngry? S#cr#t#v#? 


You could probably figure out the message, but was it easy? Did it take a while to decipher the words, and when you did, did you forget all about meaning because you were picking through it so slowly you forgot where you were going? And what about the NO PRESSURE part? Did you ignore that?








Here's what it said:  Want to read and enjoy a good story? What if you couldn’t do that? Would you be frustrated? Angry? Secretive? Maybe act out with anger?



In 2010 I stumbled on an article that said in L.A. County 33% of the residents were illiterate or low-literate. That brought me up short. Wasn’t the inability to read an emerging nation issue? An issue in back-country regions of the U.S.? I guess not!

Bryant Doughtery is definitely Hutch. 
Hot and naughty. Lots of potential.

That article was the beginning of Double Negative. Hutch, then Fat Nyla and Maggie slowly evolved into the characters, then came Father Kerry, Moss and Meeker. All destined to play a part in a story about a kid who can’t read well enough to get through high school, but has the heart of a winner. All he needs is a pair of glasses and someone to believe in him.


Evernight Teen
"My life was going, going, gone, and I hadn't been laid yet. I couldn't go into the slammer before that happened." —Hutch McQueen.




Quote of the Week: "Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book." Anonymous


75 comments:

  1. Our entire state is close to thirty percent illiterate. Sad, huh?

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  2. What a statistic! Scary too. I didn't even attempt to read that hash-marked line. Too difficult. But the exercise does lend perspective.

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  3. That was a great way to teach about illiteracy. Not something many of us will be able to forget.

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    1. Even after typing that, I had a hard time when I proofed the post. I'd forgotten what I'd written. Frustrating.

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  4. Yeah, amazing how many are illiterate. Gave me a headache just thinking about doing that all the time as I deciphered the message haha

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    1. Aren't we lucky to have learned such a vital skill?

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  5. There are lots of reasons--some good, some bad--but the result is that illiteracy is alive and well. We thought it had been stamped out. Not true.

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  6. Hi, Cheryl Lee!

    I don't know which is worse, not bothering to learn to read if given the opportunity, or not bothering to vote if granted the privilege. Our country is plagued with both problems.

    Have a wonderful week, dear friend!

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    1. Indeed. We can't complain if we don't get out there and take action. Thanks, Shady.

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  7. Great quote, and I love Hutch. I think you did a very nice job in the book of showing the problems many young people have. You'd think, in America, we could solve illiteracy, but apparently not yet. Maybe, one day.

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    1. It's tragic for everyone when we have such a high rate of people who don't read or don't read well. It's rotten for us writers!

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  8. I think many people don't know how many people can't read. And it sucks all the joy out of school and makes them feel like such a failure.

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  9. I cannot even imagine being illiterate, and yet it's only in the last two centuries that it has become common for most people to be able to read. Can you even imagine that? Millennia of generations where people had to rely on spoken communication? (Unless they were high born.) It just blows my mind. Comparing that today, I think we're doing okay.

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    1. But there are more of us and we rely on the written word more than ever.

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    2. It's true. I just compare it to the human condition throughout time, and it blows my mind.

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  10. LA county is kinda big, so 33% is huger than huge. It's distressing.

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    1. I need to see if there's any current stats. That was a couple of years ago. I'm just hoping the number is down and not up.

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  11. sounds like a very touching story. I mostly do YA books for my publisher, and the inspiring ones play a huge part in our sales

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    1. I'm very much a supporter of YA books that address real issues teens face.

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  12. Love your quote of the week, Lee.

    And I absolutely loved your book, Double Negative.

    I actually read those #sentences fairly quickly. I surprised myself.

    It would be frustrating not to understand...

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    1. Thanks for the comment about Double Negative. Really appreciated your reading and reviewing it for me. If you could decipher those lines of text, you must take up code breaking! You're a natural. :-)

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  13. Sad how many are illiterate. It is one of the reasons why so many can be foolishly misled by visual media. Many cannot research the facts for themselves but are led by the opinions of those with the loudest and most stirring words. :-(

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    1. You're so right. And how dangerous is that in a democracy? Very.

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  14. My father had a reading disorder. Genius chemist, but had to teach himself to read.

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  15. It is sad how many people are illiterate. I value reading so much, I had my son reading at 3. Have a good week!

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  16. You can experience peoples inner most thoughts just by reading their book. Its amazing whats out there.

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    1. There's no better way to share who you are than through your writing.

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  17. I loved Double Negative. It is a topic very dear to me.
    A work colleague had a stroke and lost the ability to read and write (or to relearn the skills). Which fills me with horror.
    Reading has enriched my world in so many ways. Education, entertainment, escape, comfort...

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    1. That's such a tragic story! So sorry to hear that.

      Thanks for your comment about Double Negative. I really appreciate it.

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  18. I can't imagine what my life would have been like if I wasn't a reader. It's a sad thought.

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  19. Some of those literate stats sound pretty shocking. I guess even in a first world country there's room for improved reading skills.

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    1. I can't understand how people survive without reading. Take prescription medication for example.

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  20. That's a staggering statistic. We need to find a way to reach ALL learners so they can have those basic skills that make their lives so much easier!!

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    1. Teachers and parents and community! Let's get some role models out there for kids, so when they're adults they can be informed.

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  21. wow, that's a tragically high percentage of illiteracy. Scary!

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  22. My mother's father couldn't read or write. When she told me that, I remember I was disturbed by the news for days afterwards. I was so sad for him and how tough his life must have been. He died young, so I never met him. I would be lost if I couldn't read.

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    1. My grandmother from Switzerland, could barely read and write English. That always troubled me. Of course, I couldn't read or write in her dialect either, so in some ways that made us even.

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  23. So very sad how many people cannot read or read poorly. I just realized one of my daughter's friend's mom couldn't read when she asked me for help reading when she voted on Tuesday.

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    1. So now the question is how did she choose who or what to vote for? Did she only rely on verbal input. That is troubling.

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  24. That's a crazy stat to imagine in this day and age. But I love that it inspired you to write a story.

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    1. It's said that something bad has to come before something good. I guess this is another example of that.

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  25. I wish I had seen this earlier in the day. The special ed English classes are reading books for a book report due this week. One kiddo hasn't even started a book. This might appeal to them.

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    1. I spoke to a librarian who works with what's called "The Lost Boys" and she's buying Double Negative to interest them in reading. Hope it works.

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  26. Oh, I love the quote at the end. It's so true!

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    1. And now you can walk around listening to those other lives on audio books. Amazing isn't it?

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  27. Every time I hear illiteracy stats like this, it makes me sad. It's such a hard thing to ask help for, because it feels like something everyone else knows how to do, I'm sure. But obviously that's not true if 33% of people in one area are illiterate.

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    1. That' 1/3 of a densely populated area. Terrifying.

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  28. It's so sad to think so many can't read.

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  29. Literacy - or a lack of it - is also a problem in the UK. It's super that you have drawn attention to it. Those of us that are fortunate take so much for granted. It is not just a matter of missing out on good stories and other worlds but also, as you suggest, not realising potential and feeling inadequate. The ability to communicate is fundamental to being human.

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    1. Thanks for the visit, Mike and for the thoughtful comment. You're so right about communicating being fundamental to us humans.

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  30. I think many of us take literacy for granted. Thanks for reminding us about this important issue!

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  31. That was cool. I got the first right off but took a minute or two with the word secretive. I enjoyed learning about the connections behind Double Negative.
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

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    1. It's usually something like this that I read or hear about that triggers a book for me.

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  32. I just devoured Gadget Girl yesterday! I loved every page of it. :)
    I definitely take literacy for granted. I am beginning to find that I need bifocals. I'm jealous of those who need "readers" when they haven't already had glasses for years. For me, the thought of losing the ability to read at will is horrifying. And so, oddly, aging is making me appreciate literacy more.

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    1. I'm so glad you wrote this comment, Tyrean. You've expressed one of my fears.

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  33. Such a poignant post, Lee. Being a teacher, I've always felt passionate about helping those who find literacy difficult. The most difficult part, I find, in helping someone with difficulty is raising confidence and self-belief.
    Congrats to Suzanne. Gadget Girl sounds fab!

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    1. Teachers are amazing soldiers against illiteracy. We need more of those like you.

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  34. Sad statistics indeed. Breaking down some of the barriers that hinder literacy are important.

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  35. Wow- those statistics really make a point- as did the writing to start off the post. I have Double Negative and look forward to reading it soon. :)
    ~Jess

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    1. I look forward to your reaction. Hutch isn't very likable at the start. Like Limburger, he's an acquired taste. :-)

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  36. Your tip on what to put in newsletters if you don't have news is really great! It keeps readers interested.

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    1. I'll leave newsletters to professionals. They know how to do it.

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  37. Excellent post Lee but a wee bit scary when one comes to think about things you had written. Well done.
    Yvonne.

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    1. I guess you mean my middle grade adventures, Yvonne. Those are my sorbet between my teen issue books. :-)

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  38. Awesome tips Lee. Thanks for sharing all these!

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