Category:

Writing

What to Read-Watch-Listen to Next!

Feel like there’s nothing interesting to read/watch/listen to lately? The Toledo Lucas County Public Library has offered a Give 3, Get 3 suggestion service to the public since summer of 2015. Using the form on our website, anyone can submit up to three books, movies or musicians they’ve enjoyed reading/watching/listening to and a real, live librarian will suggest three (or more!) other authors/titles, movies/television programs or tunes to try. We love a challenge and if what we initially send doesn’t resonate, you can send us additional criteria or preferences to help us refocus our efforts. Connecting readers/listeners/viewers with something they haven’t yet read/heard/seen is what we love doing most. Make our day and ask!

Here’s what is on my radar this week:

Leonardo Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson

Leonardo Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson

Likely to be the hit of the season, based on Leonardo’s astonishing notebooks and new discoveries about his life and work, best-selling biographer Isaacson weaves a narrative that shows how Leonardo’s genius was based on skills we can improve in ourselves, such as passionate curiosity, careful observation, and a playful imagination.

Turtles All The Way Down by John Green

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

In his long-awaited return, the author of best-selling The Fault in Our Stars shares the story of sixteen-year-old Aza. She never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.

The Book of Dust La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman

The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman

Pullman returns to the parallel world of the best-selling His Dark Materials series for a thrilling parallel epic adventure.

Braving the wilderness : the quest for true belonging and the courage to stand alone / Brené Brown, PHD, LMSW

Braving the Wilderness: the Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone by Brene Brown

Popular TED-talker Brown contends that one of the major crises in today’s culture is the feeling of being disconnected, which evidences itself in unrealistic people-pleasing standards, and the erosion of civility. She has developed an enthusiastic, practical guide to achieving a healthy sense of interconnectedness within one’s culture and community.

The Last Kingdom (DVD)

The Last Kingdom: Season One

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%

This is a sleeper hit (based on a wonderful historical fiction series by Bernard Cornwell about England in the time of Alfred the Great) with wonderful characters and beautiful production values – a good match for Vikings and Game of Thrones fans.

Check out the Last Kingdom series by Bernard Cornwell (Aka: Saxon Stories, The Saxon Tales and/or Warrior Chronicles).

Book 1: The Last Kingdom

Book 2: The Pale Horseman

Book 3: The Lords of the North

Book 4: Sword Song

Book 5: The Burning Land

Book 6: Death of Kings

Book 7: The Pagan Lord

Book 8: Empty Throne

Book 9: The Warriors of the Storm

Book 10: The Flame Bearer

Originally posted at: ToledoLibrary.org/blog/what-to-read-watch-listen-to-next by Toledo Lucas County Public Library blogger Amy H.

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Haunted Midwest Travel for Those Who Dare!

I don’t know about you, but I come from a long line of non-scaredy cats! You just can’t spook my family and friends, much as you may try. And yet, they all love scary movies, books, and places!     

My mom’s probably not going to be super happy about my sharing this – but my love affair with all things spooky started in elementary school, when she and my dad made the mistake of letting me watch The Exorcist. They had guests over and I heard the voice of my beloved babysitter Missy – so I crept out to see her, and they let me stay up and watch it with them. I was PETRIFIED, but have been feeding the need to be scared ever since.      

Like my family and friends, I too have a passion for all things scary – Halloween, haunted houses (real and fake), horror movies, and the like. My best friend and I even toured one of America’s most haunted places – The Waverly Hills Sanatorium. It was really cool to walk through the place, but I was (and always am) disappointed that I neither felt nor viewed anything of the paranormal sense. Others in our group said they did…which leads me on my continued search.      

So, do ghosts really exist? I don’t know, but I will never stop trying to discover the answer!     

If you’re like me, and you love to be scared, here are a few regional locations you can visit to get your spooky fix, along with some companion books and movies! 

Ohio State (Mansfield) Reformatory, Mansfield OH   

Have you seen the movies The Green Mile, Tango & Cash, or Air Force One? All three films feature footage of the Ohio State Reformatory!      

This sprawling and legendary prison has been featured in countless TV shows, documentaries, and books, including on Season 3 (episode 4) of the Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures and Season 1 (episode 5) of the National Geographic Channel’s Inside Secret America: Ghosts.      

The reformatory was opened in the early 1900’s and closed officially per a United States Federal Court ruling (the Boyd Consent Decree) in the 1990’s. During its time in operation, more than 150,000 prisoners passed through its doors. Many died due to violence, influenza, tuberculosis, or other diseases. One of the most tragic incidents associated with the Ohio State Reformatory occurred in July 1948, when the farm boss, his wife, and daughter were kidnapped and shot by two parolees known as the “mad-dog killers.”     

I’ve not yet had the chance to take one of the reformatory’s public ghost hunts, but I did attend one of their Murder Mystery Dinner Theaters. It was a blast and the food was surprisingly delicious! I highly recommend it.

Related BooksThe Haunted History of the Ohio State Reformatory by Sherri Brake  The Ohio State Reformatoryby Nancy K. Darbey

Loveland Castle, Loveland OH   

Did you know there’s a castle in Ohio? Well there is, and it’s really cool…and apparently haunted. It also has an interesting story as far as how it came to be!      

The castle was built by Harry Delos, who constructed it (mostly by hand) “as an expression and reminder of the simple strength and rugged grandeur of the mighty men who lived when Knighthood was in flower.” Loveland Castle has a sense of humor about its ghostly grounds too – the “Activities” section of its website reads:      

Ghosts.  If you believe in ghosts…the Castle has them! If you don’t…fine, be that way! Either way, you will find pictures of the Castle’s ghosts and ghost stories galore at the Castle! 

Related BookOhio Historic Haunts: Investigating the Paranormal in the Buckeye State by James Willis  

Waverly Hills Sanatorium, Louisville KY  

Waverly Hills Sanatorium has a rather sad history. In the early 1900s, the Board of Tuberculosis Hospital constructed a sanatorium that could accommodate up to 50 tuberculosis patients. Eventually, tuberculosis reached epidemic levels in the surrounding communities, and the sanatorium was expanded to accommodated over 400 patients.      

At its height, Waverly Hills was known as one of the most advanced tuberculosis sanatoriums in the country. Despite this, most of the patients succumbed to the disease and (as was common practice) were often subjected to painful and bizarre “treatments” such as having balloons surgically implanted into their lungs.  

Waverly Hills has been featured on Season 3 (episode 18) of the SyFy Channel’s Ghost Hunters, and Season 2 (episode 5) of TLC’s Paranormal Lockdown. As far as hauntings, the most prolific sightings surround a boy (dubbed “Timmy”) who plays with a ball along the 3rd floor as well as sightings in room 502, which is believed (and was told during our tour) to have been the location where a nurse hung herself as a result of an out-of-wedlock pregnancy in 1928.

Today, Waverly Hills is owned by “historical and paranormal enthusiasts,” Charles and Tina Mattingly who operate the sanatorium as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, offering ghost tours, a haunted house, and laser light shows.

Related BooksHaunted Hospitals: Eerie Tales About Hospitals, Sanatoriums, & Other Institutions by Mark LeslieHaunted Asylums, Prisons, and Sanatoriums : Inside the Abandoned Institutions for the Crazy, Criminal & Quarantined by Jamie Davis  

The Masonic Temple, Detroit MI     

If you haven’t ever attended an event inside of the Masonic Temple, I implore you to do so! It is the world’s largest Masonic Temple – an absolutely beautiful and magnificent Gothic revival building with 14 floors and 1,000 rooms full of winding stairways, secret passages, and ornate sculptures and lighting.      

In fact, the Masonic Temple is so grand that its construction is said to have left architect George D. Mason bankrupt. Unfounded gossip also says that as a result, his wife left him and he committed suicide by jumping from the top of the building – however, in reality Mason died in 1948 at the age of 92.      

That hasn’t stopped it from being included in most “haunted Michigan” lists, nor has it detracted interest from numerous paranormal investigative teams, including 313 Paranormal, the Marter Paranormal Research Team, and the Erie Shores Paranormal.      

Other notable paranormal activity that’s been widely experienced are slamming doors, knocking, and other random bumps in the night. If you’re interested in taking a tour, the Temple offers building tours or if you really want to ramp up the spooky factor, why not attend one of the most beloved Halloween parties in the world there – Theatre Bizarre – which is held each year inside of the Masonic Temple!

Related BooksDetroit Ghosts by Mimi Staver  Ghosts of Southeast Michigan by Kristy Robinett  

Disclaimer: The information included in this blog post is for educational purpose only. The Toledo Lucas County Public Library does not endorse any businesses featured in this blog post.

Originally posted at http://www.toledolibrary.org/blog/haunted-midwest-travel-for-those-who-dare by Toledo Lucas County Public Library blogger Heather H.

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Writer’s Block

Creativity or creative inspiration may hit all at once or not at all for some writers. Those moments of nothingness are annoying, because they bring all creative projects to a halt, especially when they’re for school or cover topics that aren’t all that interesting. Writer’s block is one of the biggest problems that writers run into, both amateur and professional.

The library is a writer’s best resource, because there’s something for every type of writer. Poets – check out Writing Poetry from the Inside Out by Sandford Lyne if you’re looking for proper formations. If you’re interested in writing a memoir or an autobiography, try Write Your Life Story by Michael Oke. Struggling with ideas? Look into the Story Starter online for randomly generated writing prompts or even Fred D. White’s Where do you get your ideas? to find a concept and bring it to fruition. Just Write by James Scott Bell is another good one for fiction writers. And Writer’s Digest is a great website and magazine that’s highly recommended for general advice from experienced authors. Finally, don’t forget about the mechanics (i.e., grammar and citations). If you would like to become a grammar guru, definitely search for the Owl online for writing those pesky, exhausting college papers or William Strunk’s The Elements of Style.

Mess of Typewriter Ribbon - flickr
Photo by Julie Rybarczyk (flickr, some rights reserved).

While people may offer pseudointellectual advice on the subject – the best thing to do is tell yourself writer’s block doesn’t exist – it’s a mental construct. It’s difficult to avoid criticizing your own work, often hating it immediately after it’s written. However, if you just write whatever comes to mind, you’ll give yourself ideas to branch out from. For example, go outside when you feel like all of your creativity has dried up. Note every single thing that nature provides – like the birds flying overhead or the specific tangerine shade of the sky. Write everything and anything you see, think, and hear. Don’t pay attention to whether or not people will like what you write, just write what you would want to read. Try using the resources available to you, and remember, keep on writing, no matter what.

Books on Writing

The Elements of style / by William Strunk Jr. ; with revisions, an introduction, and a chapter on writing by E.B. White ; [foreword by Roger Angell]
Write your life story : how to organize and record your memories for family and friends to enjoy / Michael Oke
Around the writer's block : using brain science to solve writer's resistance / Rosanne Bane
Where do you get your ideas? : a writer's guide to transforming notions into narratives / Fred White
Just write : creating unforgettable fiction and a rewarding writing life / James Scott Bell

Writing Resources From the Web

The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL)

The Story Starter

Writer’s Digest

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National Day of Listening

Everyone has a story to tell and everyone deserves to be heard. People feel appreciated, understood, and even loved when someone takes the time to really listen to them.

Lately, I’ve been reading articles and watching videos about how we’re all so connected yet less happy. I know just thinking about it is a bit of a downer, but really it’s an interesting topic and one that deserves more attention. In the age of social media we’re sharing more, but connecting less. What’s wrong with this picture? After all, how can you share more and yet still feel disconnected? So, ask yourself this: when was the last time you had a real conversation with someone and truly listened to the other person? By truly listening, I mean you weren’t just waiting for your turn to speak.

What is the National Day of Listening?

Launched in 2008 by StoryCorps, the National Day of Listening takes place every year the day after Thanksgiving. The project encourages people to sit down with a loved one and record a meaningful conversation.

An Intro to StoryCorps from our Founder Dave Isay


Let the library help you celebrate the National Day of Listening

Record Your Story

Storycorps launched the National Day of Listening as a way to encourage families to set aside the day after Thanksgiving as a time to share and record the history of their family, friends, and community.

Visit StoryCorps.org for a DIY guide and to upload your recording to Storycorps’ Wall of Listening. #NationalDayofListening

Use the Library’s recording studio to capture your interview on our equipment or use your phone in our acoustically ready space. Call the West Toledo Branch at 419-259-5290 or the King Road Branch at 419-259-5380 to learn more about our studio spaces.

Check out the Adrene Cole Collection

The African American Oral History Collection of Lucas County connects people and generations by preserving and sharing local voices and perspectives for future generations.

Claude Black | Adrene Cole Collection – Toledo Lucas County Public Library

Check out Sight and Sound

Join host Tom Walton as he interviews Toledo’s top public figures; celebrating their unique impact on Toledo history.

Sam Szor | Sight & Sound – Toledo Lucas County Public Library

Videos by StoryCorps

Two very curious brothers ask their dad some outlandish questions
Two nurse practitioners talk about treating infants exposed to opioids
Brian talks to Matt, who has been living on the streets, about the day they met
Ronald Clark remembers living inside a branch of the New York Public Library
The Bookmobile

Books by StoryCorps

Listening is an act of love : a celebration of American life from the StoryCorps Project / edited and with an introduction by Dave Isay
Ties That Bind: Stories of Love and Gratitude from the First Ten Years of StoryCorps by Dave Isay
Mom: A Celebration of Mothers from StoryCorps - edited by Dave Isay
StoryCorps OutLoud: Stories from the LGBTQ community, gathered by StoryCorps and heard on NPR - hosted by Ari Shapiro, featuring Dave Isay
All There Is: Love Stories from StoryCorps edited by Dave Isay

Ted Talks about technology, listening, and conversation

Connected, but alone? | Sherry Turkle – Ted Talks
 

The Power of deliberate listening | Ronnie Polaneczky – TEDxPhiladelphia

 

10 Ways to have a better conversation | Celeste Headlee – Ted Talks

Books about conversation and listening

The lost art of good conversation : a mindful way to connect with others and enrich everyday life / Sakyong Mipham
The Lost Art of Listening: How Learning to Listen Can Improve Relationships by Michael P. Nichols, PhD
Reclaiming conversation : the power of talk in a digital age / Sherry Turkle
We need to talk : how to have conversations that matter / Celeste Headlee

Articles about conversation and listening

The Lost Art of ConversationUSA Today

Is Conversation a Lost Art? – Wonderopolis

Saving the Lost Art of ConversationThe Atlantic

10 Tips to Talk About Anything with AnyonePsychology Today

The Art and Value of Good ListeningPsychology Today

Active Listening: Hear What People are Actually Saying – Mind Tools


Featured Image Credit: Conversation at the ‘IJ’ lake, Amsterdam by Thijs Paanakker (flickr)

Originally posted by Toledo Lucas County Public Library blogger April S. at http://www.toledolibrary.org/blog/national-day-of-listening.

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Top 5 Reasons to Join a Writing Group

Aspiring writers often have a lot of questions and may not know how to get the answers. Is my work any good? How can I promote my work? Are there any local outlets for writers? How do I get published? Joining a writing group can often help with questions like these and many more. Here are a few of the reasons and/or benefits of joining a writing group:

1. Encouragement

While it’s relatively easy to put off writing when you’re on your own, it’s less likely to happen if you’re meeting with a writing group regularly. After all, what will you share if you haven’t been working on something?

2. Guidance

There’s bound to be at least a few experienced writers in your group that can share their wisdom and provide support.

3. Inspiration

Reading and listening to a variety of work can lead to unique story ideas.

4. Feedback

A good writing group provides useful feedback designed to help you improve your craft.

5. Networking

Public performances, collaboration, and publishing opportunities are just a few of the added benefits.

If you would like to join a local writing group, we have a list for you:

Northwest Ohio Writing Groups

Frogtown Storytelling Guild

Description:
Are you a storyteller? Do you want to become a storyteller? Do you want to improve your storytelling skills? Do you just like to listen to storytellers? Then come to our monthly meetings to share a story or simply to listen. Open to budding storytellers, professional storytellers, natural-born storytellers, and shy storytellers (i.e., people who’d rather listen to storytellers than tell a story).To Join: Come to our monthly meetings to share a story or simply to listen. Open to budding storytellers, professional storytellers, natural-born storytellers, and shy storytellers (i.e., people who’d rather listen to storytellers than tell a story).

Meetings:
When:
2nd Saturday of the month, 9-11 a.m.
Where: Reynolds Corners Branch Library, 4833 Dorr Street Toledo, Ohio 43615

Contact: 
Facebook

Madd Poets Society

Description: 
The Madd Poets Society, Inc. was founded in December of 1999. MADD is an acronym and it best describes what this organization is all about: “Making A Direct Difference.”Contact: Fill out their contact form online.
Address: 3806 Driftwood, Toledo, OH 43614
Phone: (419) 509-6776
Founder: David Bush, Email
Facebook
Maumee Valley Romance Writers of America

Description:
Maumee Valley Romance Authors, Inc. is a local writing group of romance authors in the Toledo, Ohio area. They meet once a month to talk, share, and learn from one another about building a career writing romance novels. Their purpose is to advance the professional interests of career-focused romance writers through networking and advocacy, dissemination of information, professional education, publications, and other related activities, and to provide continuing support for writers within the romance publishing industry.

To Join
Any persons, eighteen or older, seriously persuing a writing career in romance or other fiction genres are welcome to join Maumee Valley Romance Authors, Inc. To join, please send an email to submit your membership application, or simply visit their next meeting for more details. Guests may attend two meetings before being required to join the group. Membership fees apply.

Meetings:

Where: Toledo-Lucas County Public Library – various branches
When: The last Saturday of the month, 10 a.m.-noon.
Check their website for meeting details as the times and locations may vary.

Contact: 
Email
New Works Writers Series

About: New Works Writers Series (New Works), is a not for profit 501c3 organization, founded December 1989, by Imelda Hunt, to provide an arena for showcasing local area writers, poets, musicians and actors.

Contact:
Fill out contact form online.
Address: 1548 Glenton Drive, Toledo, OH 43614
Phone: (419) 380-8464
Email
Northwest Ohio Writer’s Forum

Description: Our meetings are always free and open to the public. If you’ve ever thought about making a living as a writer or if you like to write just to see what’s going to happen, please drop in to our meetings. You’ll find a creative, supportive environment.

Meetings:
When:
September 16th, 2017 from 10am to 12 pm
Where: Reynolds Corners Branch Library, 4833 Dorr St, Toledo, OH 43615Contact: 
Fill out their contact form online.
Email
Facebook
Point Place Writer’s Group

Description: Join us for ideas and encouragement. It doesn’t matter if you’re an old hand, or just getting started. If you’d like, bring 10 copies of a short writing sample to share. New attendees are welcome. See you there!Meetings:
When: Second Saturday of the Month, 9:30 – 11:00 a.m.
Where: Point Place Library, 2727 117th Street, Toledo, Ohio 43611
Toledo Writer’s Workshop

Description:
 We are a group of eclectic writers who get together to share our work, brainstorm ideas, and offer input on each other’s work. Many of us are serious aspiring writers, but some simply write as a hobby. We have no requirements on what we review: fiction, poetry, non-fiction, and memoirs are a few examples.

Meetings:
When:
Tuesdays, 7-10 pm
Where: Bigby Coffee, 4031 N McCord Rd, Sylvania, OHContact:
Chris or Sarah
Facebook

Writing Group Resources – Books

Writing Alone, Writing Together: A Guide for Writers and Writing Groups by Judy Reeves
The Writing group book : creating and sustaining a successful writing group / edited by Lisa Rosenthal
Write Every Day: A Year of Daily Writing Prompts by J.M. Snyder
A Writer's Book Of Days: A Spirited Companion and Lively Muse for the Writing Life by Judy Reeves
Get Lit Rising: Words ignite. Claim your poem. Claim your life. / Diane Luby Lane and the Get Lit Players

Online Resources for Writers and Writing Groups

Want to Join a Writing Group? 8 Places to Look – The Write Life

20 Facebook Groups for Writers You Don’t Want to Miss – The Write Life

List of Writing Groups by State or Region – Writer’s Relief

The 4 Hidden Dangers of Writing Groups – Jane Friedman

Writing Groups 101 – Inked Voices

Originally posted by Toledo Lucas County Public Library blogger April S. at ToledoLibrary.org/blog/top-5-reasons-to-join-a-writing-group.

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