Thursday, August 22

Today is Thursday of WEEK 1 of class. Thursday morning, until noon, is the grace period if you forgot to do any of the assignments that were due on Wednesday. You must complete the Week 1 Wednesday assignments if you want to remain in this class, so please make sure you finish up all your Wednesday assignments by noon today at the latest!

Class Procedures and Reminders:

Ning FAQs and Tips. I want to call your attention to the list of Ning FAQs and Tips at the class wiki. You will find information there about managing your Ning blog and also about your profile page. If there is something you want to find out which is not answered there already, please let me know, and I'll add to the list of tips!

Ning Comments. On Thursday, I'll be responding to those of you who published your Introduction posts on Wednesday, and I'll also be putting everybody into blog groups so you can respond to each other's Introductions and also to each other's stories. That assignment will be ready at midnight tonight. So, for those of you who are night owls, you can come check back in the wee hours of Friday morning and do that Ning blog responding assignment if you want!

2 classes = 1 Ning. As you have noticed, both of the online courses I teach are combined into one Ning. There are a couple reasons why I did that. One reason is very practical: I am paying out of pocket for the Ning, so I prefer to pay just once, instead of having to pay for multiple Nings. The other reason is that later on in the semester you will be looking at the Storybooks for the students in the other class, so you need a shared space where you can interact. Plus, I think it makes the Ning very lively to have the blog posts from both classes popping up, with all the great images and intriguing titles for the stories people are writing and sharing!

Grace period. Please try not to treat the "grace period" as the due date for your assignments. Here's the problem: if you treat the Grace period as the deadline, then you won't have any Grace period left for an emergency. The Grace period is there for real emergencies, totally random things that happen which unexpectedly prevent you from finishing your work on the due date. If something is due on Thursday, it really is due ON THURSDAY - which means you should finish that assignment on Thursday. Or, even better, finish the assignments several days before they are due, so you are not having to stress about the deadline at all. Remember: you can even get extra credit for working ahead.

The following items are for fun and exploration:

Featured Resource: Kurt Vonnegut: How to Write a Great Story. In honor of the OKC Storytelling Festival opening (see below), the resource I wanted to recommend today is Kurt Vonnegut's Eight Tips on How to Write a Great Story. See the blog post for a transcript; below is a video with Vonnegut's advice:

Featured Storybook: Italian Fairy Tales. This Storybook contains some beautiful stories (my favorite is "Caterina and her Fate"), and the frametale idea is this: an Italian man, married to American woman, is collecting stories to share with their daughter when she grows older so that she will know something about her Italian heritage.

FREE Kindle eBook: Folklore of Southern India by Mrs. H. Kingscote and Pandit N. Sastri. Here is a link to the book at Amazon, and this blog post provides additional information about the contents of the book, which includes the story of the brahman's wife and the mongoose, an unforgettable tale about a loyal pet and its tragic fate.

Words of Wisdom: Today's proverb poster is A penny saved is a penny earned (an English proverb). Details at the Proverb Lab. This is a proverb you have probably heard so many times that you don't really think about its meaning exactly, but if you ponder the meaning, you will see that it is pretty profound! It can apply not just to saving money, but also to saving time - which is something even more precious than money!

Thursday Event in Oklahoma City: Storytelling Festival 2013: Today, Thursday, marks the beginning of the Oklahoma City Storytelling Festival, with events on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Tickets for the evening performances on Thursday and Friday are half-price for college students with ID (just $5). There are also open mic events, workshops, and a free evening performance on Saturday at Myriad Gardens. Be sure to check out the OKC Storytelling Festival website for all the details.

August 22: Ray Bradbury. Today marks the birthday of the great American writer, Ray Bradbury, who was born on this day in 1920; sadly, he died not long ago, on June 5, 2012. That same summer I decided to re-read his book The Martian Chronicles and was amazed by the wild creativity of the stories - I don't think I had read the book since junior high school, and I am so glad that I read it again. What an imagination that man had! Here is the cover of the first edition of Martian Chronicles as published in 1950:

Remember, you can page back through older blog posts to see any announcements you might have missed.