Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Making Grammar Fun

Garner makes grammar fun, and readers will not only find elucidation but also moments of pure delight while browsing these pages. This edition includes more than 10,500 entries (an increase of approximately 1500 over the 2003 volume). There are preface statements from all three editions as well as new, worthwhile introductory essays: "Making Peace in the Language Wars" and "Ongoing Struggles of Garlic-Hangers" (a consideration of the descriptive vs. proscriptive debate). As always, the entries are not only filled with clear lessons about language usage, trends, and problems inherent in misuse, but they are also peppered with cleverly chosen examples of both usage and misusage. Entries run anywhere from a line or two about spelling ("espresso" not "expresso") to a full column (see "effete") or more (see "irregular verbs" and the table following). Added to this edition is a language-change index that rates where a disputed usage falls on a scale of 1-5 (with 1 being "widely rejected" and 5 being "universally accepted") so that readers can gauge the correctness of a phrase such as "Hopefully, it won't rain tomorrow." Garner isn't a snob, though. His book is the best of its kind in that it simply reports the facts in an engaging way; language evolves and usage changes. The book ends with a 46-page glossary of grammatical, rhetorical, and other language-related terms, and a 10-page time line of books on usage. An invaluable ready-reference tool.—Herman Sutter, Saint Agnes Academy, Houston, TX

Every once in a while, an author or book from outside the Idaho boundaries of this blog moves me to write about it here. It is because some topics are discussed widely by the people around me.

Here is one of those:



According to Booklist:

The “prescriptive/descriptive” debate in usage is alive and well with this newest edition of Garner’s readable work. Featuring more than 10,500 entries (up from 9,000), this edition features several enhancements. They include identifying poor usage with an asterisk before the terms and ranking certain entries with a “Language Change Index,” which measures “how widely accepted various linguistic innovations have become.” The scale is from 1 to 5, with 1 being rejected and 5 being fully accepted. For example, coupon being mispronounced “kyoo” instead of “koo” is given stage 4 (“the form is virtually universal but is opposed on cogent grounds by a few linguistic stalwarts”). More
Bryan A. Garner
than 2,000 usages are ranked. Extras in the volume include a new essay from Garner (“The Ongoing Struggles of Garlic-Hangers”) as well as the essay that appeared in the previous edition (“Making Peace in the Language Wars,” in which Garner describes himself as being “a kind of descriptive prescriber”) and a concluding 47-page glossary of grammatical terms and a time line of books on usage. The main focus remains Garner’s entries and usage notes. They range from word entries that simply verify the spelling (mayonnaise), to those clarifying two terms (sight, site), to those where he offers his never dull opinions (such as holocaust, which he calls “one of our most hyperbolic words, beloved of jargonmongers and second-rate journalists”). But the longer essay entries on usage, ranging from the half-page Officialese to the 9-page Punctuation, are Garner’s bread and butter. One would be tempted to say that this is clearly one of the best works on the topic, but doing so would be using one of Garner’s weasel words (intensives such as clearly that “actually have the effect of weakening a statement”). Suffice it to say that it is highly recommended for most libraries. 

Monday, March 9, 2015

Win a Sony Blu Ray Player With Author Sky Alexander

Book 1 of The Fires of Love & Hate Series
An Idaho author and publisher has  an innovative design to help others achieve their goal of seeing their works in print.

Rising Phoenix Inc. is helping others achieve their dreams.

"We have seen some contracts with publishing companies where as an author they are not getting my fair share of a book deal," says founder and author Sky Alexander.

With each sale of a book, the buyer will be entered into a sweepstakes to win a Sony Blu Ray Player.

 This is why my company was designed to help authors. Authors who joining myself and my team at Rising Phoenix will have the full support of a publisher. This includes the editing, marketing, cover design, formatting and all services you would find at a large publisher. The difference is that my publishing house will split the profits 50/50 with the author and help them be able to finally see the benefits of their hard life’s work. My dream is to help authors who really want to write and become the next JK Rowling, Stephen King or Tom Clancy. Mission Change the world one book at a time.

Here is an example of Sky's riveting work:

FORCED TO LOVE is one of 20 books in Sky’s series The Fires of Love & Hate (Historical Romance Collection).

“Inspiration can come from anywhere, but nothing is more uplifting and irresistible to me as a new Sky Alexander novel," writes Heather on Goodreads. "This is one of my new favorites, (with FORCED TO LOVE) Sky Alexander shows his unique writing style that reminds us of how great historical romance and western romance can be written that reminds you of classics but with new addictive twists that are uplifting and intriguing in The Fires of Love & Hate (Historical Romance Collection). Hattie really shows that through thick and then love for your family is one of the most important things.”
Hattie Morran is a poor dirt farmers daughter in Missouri. Suddenly Hattie finds that her life is changed in the blink of an eye and she is forced to love Abner Garland. Now her Western Romance which is purely a fa├žade for show and to save her family will soon come to an end. “But what about their anger?” Hattie asked. “Jess and Abner will be furious.” “Furious doesn’t even begin to describe how they’re going to react. Even though I probably shouldn’t, I am going to set them up with handsome allowances. What can they do? I’m of sound mind. So, Miss Hattie, when you marry Abner, I will give you nine-tenths of my fortune, and the remainder will be yours at my death.”
Author and Publisher Sky Alexander

From the moment that you are brought into the book you will be immediately part of the western romance in the middle of the south. The Fires of Love & Hate Series will keep you right in the middle of a tale that is based on some true and historical events. This historical romance series is sure to be you’re new favorite.

 Sky was born in Utah and raised in both Utah and California. He has been writing for many years and enjoys spending time with his family as well as staying up on the newest technology. A single father of two little boys, Lucas & Matthew. Sky lives in Idaho.

Sky holds a degree in Network Engineering and is currently finishing a degree in Software Engineering. Sky is currently working on two different series "The Fires of Love & Hate" (A Historical Romance series) & "Aspen Falls" (Action Adventure, Thriller series).

Sky welcomes emails from his readers and can salexander@risingphoenixpublishing.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/skyalexander79 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Emptying the Skies: Documentary examines slaughter of millions of migratory songbirds in Europe

The screening and panel discussion of the film “Emptying the Skies” – which chronicles how European trappers slaughter millions of migratory songbirds every year for large sums on the black market – will be held 7-9:30 p.m. Feb. 19 at Idaho State University.

The free event will be held in the Pond Student Union Wood River Room.

Event poster.
.
Even though these birds are protected under European law, rampant poaching is leading to their imminent extinction, according to the filmmaker. In 2010 American novelist and essayist Jonathan Franzen published his essay “Emptying the Skies” on the plight of these birds and has now co-produced this powerful film on the actions some have taken to save them.

Following the hour-long screening of “Emptying the Skies,” the following panelists will discuss the challenges of environmental regulation in Europe and the United States:

• David Delehanty, professor of biology at ISU and curator of birds, Idaho Museum of Natural History;
• Steven Hall, lecturer in English at ISU;
• David Kampwerth, field supervisor of the Eastern Idaho Field Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; and
• Chuck Trost, professor emeritus of biological sciences at ISU and founder of Portneuf Valley Audubon Society.

The discussion will be moderated by Curt Whitaker, associate professor of English at ISU and Portneuf Valley Audubon Society board member.

This event is co-sponsored by ISU’s Department of English and Philosophy, the ISU English Graduate Student Association, and Portneuf Valley Audubon Society.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Through the Trees: The poetic end to a toxic relationship

I first met author Nina C.Palmer at a group signing run by the Idaho Authors Community. Immediately striking was her passion for poetry and a particular cohesiveness between her presence, our chat and her work.

Each chapter of her book is a stage, each poem a part of a the journey taking you through denial, anger, depression, bargaining, and acceptance. *** Written from personal experiences, it truly captures the occurrence of verbal and emotional abuse experienced in a toxic relationship. Whether your loss is a friend, husband or wife, a brother or sister, mother or father, these writings will hit home with all. A truly inspired collection of work, it relates with the heartache of the loss but also uplifts and inspires. This poetry acts as an emotional guide leading you through each stage and leaves you at the end with the courage and strength to move on.

I sat down with Nina last week at a coffee shop in Boise, to learn more about this  intriguing journey.
“Writing the book was part of the process, but publishing the book is the closure,” Nina said. “I needed it, because, being in a toxic relationship, there is a lot of shame and guilt … so by publishing, it really speaks out against it. So it’s a final way of being able to stand up and take that part of myself back.”
Nina’s childhood home was nestled in Matilija Canyon, a remote area outside of Ojai, CA. Her home was secluded which granted a unique and enchanting place to grow up. It is no wonder that her work is filled with its imagery. Her earliest writings of poetry began as early as elementary school. It is a realized talent that has remained throughout her life.
I asked Nina why she chose the art form of poetry as her outlet.
Growing up I had an undiagnosed, but definitely … either emotionally handicapped or mentally ill mother. I didn’t have a lot of privacy in my home, so I didn’t really have a way of expressing myself without any kind of persecution for it. So when I wrote poetry, it was like being able to talk about those feelings, almost like in code … because it didn’t pinpoint the exact circumstances that brought out that emotion, but it clearly represented the emotion. So it was a way of being able to speak about something without getting in trouble.
Nina is now currently working on her next collection of poetry, to be titled Reaching The Castle Wall a composition of heartache and love poems derived from the fairy tales we all grew up with. It is scheduled to be released for Valentine’s Day 2016. In the meantime, a series of children’s books are also underway.

“Palmer’s poems depict through natural imagery of rain, sunshine and forests what it is like to live within and then gradually to be able to leave a toxic love relationship. Palmer’s poems radiate wisdom that can guide others along similar routes out of suffering. The poems in Palmer’s [book] are at once immediately accessible and at the same time deeply enlightening. If you have been or are now involved with someone who has toxic impacts on you, and whether you think of yourself as someone who reads poetry or have never read a poem before, I highly recommend this book.” -Psychology Today
trees
I asked Nina what she meant by the “persecution” in her home, and what would happen when she expressed herself.
I just wasn’t allowed to. would be the best way put it. Kids were supposed to be quiet, and in their rooms, and out of the way, and to do what their told. A lot of the things that happened to me when I was younger, wouldn’t make sense to even an adult, to treat a child that way.
Nina went on to talk about how her experiences were abusive, even though many things that happened could not fall onto the traditional chart when experts track and talk about abuse.

“I have been truly inspired to write this collection of poetry,” Nina said. “It is my hope that these works with inspire your heart to embrace every stage of grief and not only find peace, but the strength and courage to move on.”
Amazon Review:
So many of these poems hit home through the hurt and sorrow I’ve endured through my own relationships romantically and friendship wise. The empathetic passages really perked up my spirits knowing that this is normal to go through all these emotions. I would definitely recommend this book to everyone happy or going through a depressing time. One poem or many of them will pull you in and wanting to read more!
There is much of a hero’s journey sketched-out in these words. Nina’s electric collection massages the heart, and nourishes the mind and soul.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

See JERSEY BOYS BROADWAY IN BOISE at the Morrison Center

THE BEHIND-THE-SCENES BROADWAY MUSICAL ABOUT FRANKIE VALLI & THE FOUR SEASONS

Now at the Morrison Center!

They were just four guys from Jersey, until they sang their very first note. They had a sound nobody had ever heard… and the radio just couldn’t get enough of. But while their harmonies were perfect on stage, off stage it was a very different story -- a story that has made them an international sensation all over again.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014 7:30pm 
Wednesday, December 3, 2014 7:30pm 
Thursday, December 4, 2014 7:30pm 
Friday, December 5, 2014 8:00pm 
Saturday, December 6, 2014 2:00pm & 8:00pm 
Sunday, December 7, 2014 1:00pm & 6:30pm

Go behind the music and inside the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons in the Tony Award®-winning true-life musical phenomenon, JERSEY BOYS. From the streets of New Jersey to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, this is the musical that’s just too good to be true.

FEATURING THE LEGENDARY TOP TEN HITS:
“Sherry” • “Big Girls Don’t Cry” • “Walk Like A Man” • “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” • “December, 1963 (Oh What A Night)”
Jersey Boys is directed by Des McAnuff, with book by Marshall Brickman & Rick Elice , music by Bob Gaudio and lyrics by Bob Crewe.

“Too good to be true!” raves the New York Post for Jersey Boys, the Tony, Grammy and Olivier Award-winning Best Musical about Rock and Roll Hall of Famers The Four Seasons: Frankie Valli, Bob Guadio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi. This is the true story of how four blue-collar kids became one of the greatest successes in pop music history. They wrote their own songs, invented their own sounds and sold 175 million records worldwide – all before they were 30! Jersey Boys features their hit songs “Sherry,” “Big Girl’s Don’t Cry,” “Rag Doll,” “Oh What a Night,” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.”

 “The most exciting musical Broadway has seen in years.” – Chicago Tribune

“The crowd goes wild.” – The New York Times




- See more at: http://boisestatetickets.com/event/jerseyboys/#sthash.IxHuEuf0.dpuf

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

College of Idaho readies for annual Cultural Show

The College of Idaho student body is as diverse as the crops grown in Canyon County. With 81 international students representing 46 countries—including Norway, Venezuela, Swaziland, and Barbados—the C of I is home to a surprisingly robust international population.

And on Nov. 13, the international students will share their talents and cultures with the community as the C of I presents its fourth annual International Student Organization Cultural Show at 7 p.m. inside Jewett Auditorium on the C of I campus in Caldwell. The show is free and open to the public.

“The ISO cultural show is one of the most celebrated events on campus,” said Isfandiyor Abdullo, ISO president. “This event doesn't show our difference. In fact, it shows how similar we all are despite coming from different backgrounds.”

The Cultural Show audience will experience different cultures through African storytelling, Bollywood dance, South African Hip-Hop and more as the College highlights diversity within its campus community. The show will feature 17 performances of poetry, music and dances from students’ homelands.

“I think it is important to understand that we live in a diverse world,” said Arnold Hernandez, director of multicultural affairs at the C of I. “Diversity enhances social development and prepares students for the real world — it prepares them to become global thinkers.”

For more info, contact Abdullo at isfandiyor.abdullo@yotes.collegeofidaho.edu, or call (208) 459-5868.T

#Books Moon Idaho (Moon Handbooks) [Kindle Edition] by James Patrick Kelly

Seasoned food, wine, and travel writer James P. Kelly offers his unique perspective on this remarkable travel destination, from free Wednesday night concerts at The Grove in Boise to the bizarre rock outcroppings of the Magic Valley.

Kelly uses his local knowledge to craft original trip ideas, including Five Days of Fun in the Sawtooths, Birding in Idaho, and Exploring Backcountry Hot Springs. Complete with details on skiing Silver Mountain, exploring McCall's numerous hot springs, and noshing on contemporary Northwest fare in downtown Nampa, Moon Idaho gives travelers the tools they need to create a more personal and memorable experience.

Boise resident James P. Kelly has loved big mountains ever since his childhood in Seattle. As a restless teenager, he spent countless hours in the North Cascades exploring alpine lakes and trails beat-out by miners’ boots.

Before moving to Idaho in 2000, James had only traveled through the Gem State on his way to Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and the Dakotas. He eventually returned to live in this land of rugged mountains, mystical deserts, and vodka-clear trout streams. To help seal the deal, he even married a third-generation Idahoan, Dana, who he proposed to while hiking in the Trinity Mountains.

 “Right before I asked her, some Peruvian sheepherders on pack mules passed by on the trail, followed by two good ol’ boys on motorbikes. One of them had an axe bungeed to his handlebars,” James recalls. “I thought it was all over for us, but the axe had just fallen off one of the mules and they were returning it to its rightful owner.”

James, a former chef, earned a journalism degree from Boise State University before becoming the restaurant critic at the Idaho Statesman. He has written numerous food and travel-related features for Northwest Palate and other magazines and websites. When not hanging out in his vegetable garden with his wife and two kids, Nolan and Audra, James can be found snowshoeing to backcountry yurts, foraging for morels, catching big trout, and dining in Sun Valley restaurants.