Terrific Tuesday: 100 and counting …


Start spreading the news — I have made 100 blog posts since January!

Mom Karen and I think that this is a reason to celebrate, so hopefully she’ll have a special “snackee” for me tonight. I have, after all, worked soooooooooooooooo hard on this, and I’ve had to keep editorial assistant Mom Karen in line. No knocking off work and being lazy at night! We have a reputation to uphold!

Now, I know that some people made light of my blogging in the beginning and thought “a blogging poodle”? Well, I think that I — well, maybe we — have established a good reputation as bloggers.

We helped everyone know that Dr. Seuss introduced the word “nerd” to our vocabulary — that was a surprise to many of you. We’ve added some other interesting words to your vocabulary and helped out with a grammar lesson or two. We’ve shared our blog in schools, which I’ve really loved. And we’ve paid tribute to really special people and dogs, too, with our new blog Saturday blog (and some of you may have noticed we had no blog post this past Saturday because Mom Karen was a bit under the weather and I just couldn’t push her).

All of this said, and, yes, it’s been a lot, I have really enjoyed my blog and have informed Mom Karen that we must keep going. With 100 blog posts behind us, now is not the time to stop.

And although my name isn’t really up in lights on Broadway yet, we’re focused on big things to come!

Thank you for reading us, sharing our posts with others and staying in touch.

It is a really “Terrific Tuesday” for us!

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Terrific Tuesday: A Toast to the Typewriter!

Typewriters may seem obsolete these days, but these wonderful machines revolutionized the way people worked and conducted business!

Typewriters may seem obsolete these days, but these wonderful machines revolutionized the way people worked and conducted business!

This is a red letter day.

Or more specifically, a black and white print day.

Just a mere 205 years ago on April 30, 1808, Italian inventor Pellegrino Turri developed the first typing machine known to work.

There’s a bit of a love story connected to its invention as well. The woman whom Mr. Turri loved was going blind and could not write letters. He developed the machine so that she could write letters to him.

He was so smart that he also invented carbon paper to provide the ink.

Dear friends, we know that you may be reading this on your smartphone or your computer and thinking “why should I care”?

Well, I, Lady Louise want you to realize that this was a significant day in writing — and reading — history. Although we don’t know what this first typing machine looked like, it did spur the invention of other such products.

Christopher Latham Sholes, working with Carlos Glidden and Samuel W. Soule, invented what is considered the first practical and commercially successful typewriter and patented it 1868. Remington Arms manufactured this typewriter in 1873.

After that, many different companies developed typewriters, and people had much to choose from and enjoy. Typewriters quickly became the method for all writing except handwritten letters. And, did you know, the placement of the keys on the typewriter wasn’t like the one that we have now? The design and layout of the letters evolved as the typewriter did.

By the 1980s, word processors and personal computers took over our writing world, and typewriters became vintage items to be found in antique stores, your grandmother’s attic or ebay! Thank goodness Mom Karen doesn’t have to write by hand or on a typewriter — she would be a creative mess, and I might have to suffer her sighs and frustration.

But remember this: No matter how much of a whiz kid or technology fiend you may be, a handwritten note is still the most appropriate form of offering a “thank you.”

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Terrific Tuesday: Some Cool Contests!

TeachingBooksLogoWe found The TeachingBooks.net Blog, which provides a compilation of great contests that you can enter to win books — from children’s books to those for adults. The books are listed by deadline date, making it really easy to rush to enter in case there’s something that you’d like to win!

The site also offers blog posts from authors and is well worth checking out!

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Terrific Tuesday: Don’t Sit Out, Read-In!

Although I have attended the Read-In before, each year is special, and Mom Karen and I are thrilled to be part of this exciting celebration of reading and libraries!

Although I have attended the Read-In before, each year is special, and Mom Karen and I are thrilled to be part of this exciting celebration of reading and libraries!

Today’s “shout out” is for Read-In 2013, which will be held at the S.C. State House on Thursday, April 11.  This illustrious event will feature more than 2,000 students and teachers from across our great Palmetto State — and they’ll all gather on the State House grounds to participate in this fantabulous day to celebrate reading and libraries.

And — drum roll, please — I will be there as one of the “speakers,” and Mom Karen has been invited, too, in case I need assistance. We’re looking forward to the talented Benedict College Drumline and seeing USC’s Cocky, the Clemson University Tiger, Miss South Carolina and other authors.

The fun starts with a parade from the S.C. State Library and continues to the State House. After the activities, students and teachers take out their books, enjoy a snack and read on the lush green grass. Wait a minute — did someone just write “snack”?

Read-In is a project of the S.C. Association of School Librarians and also is sponsored by the S.C. State Library. And here’s a fun fact for you: The Read-In comes just before National Library Week, which will be observed April 14 – 20.

This is the fourth year that I have been invited to participate, and I plan to tell about my blog and my book that is scheduled for publication before Christmas. Most of all, I can’t wait to see the students, teachers and librarians!

Want to know more about the Read-In? Visit Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/readinsc?fref=ts.

Mom Karen and I are applauding all who make this great day possible so that we can spread these words far and wide: Kids Who Read Succeed! This message is worth speaking all over the world!

And P.S.: Don’t forget to submit the name of a student, teacher, individual, business or community organization who is promoting reading and literacy. We will honor your nominee on one of our Terrific Tuesday posts! Just email me at LouiseSpeaks@gmail.com.


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Terrific Tuesday: The Blog Is at Hand!

Every student should have the joy of learning from Helen Schell, a remarkable teacher at Hand Middle School in Columbia, S.C.

Every student should have the joy of learning from Helen Schell, a remarkable teacher at Hand Middle School in Columbia, S.C.

Teachers have one of the most challenging and responsible careers of all.  Mom Karen says that children and adults have favorite teachers who inspired them and helped prepare them for the next stage in their lives.

One of the most amazing of all is Helen Schell, who has taught language arts and creative writing at Hand Middle School in Columbia, S.C., where we live. I have been to Ms. Schell’s class before, and I love her, too.

When Mom Karen wanted to test the first book in the “Shandon’s Ivy League” Mystery Series, she asked Ms Schell if she would consider allowing her to visit her class and test the book. The rest is mystery history. Each of Mom Karen’s books has been tested on students at Hand Middle School, thanks to Ms. Schell who gave an aspiring writer a chance. Because of their collaboration, five books for young readers have been launched from Hand.

And when we wanted to introduce the blog to students, Ms. Schell once again allowed us to visit her class at Hand  Middle School, a National Blue Ribbon School.

So, for all of the students whom she has inspired and for embracing new writers, we salute Helen Schell! We think you’re wonderfully terrific! And we hope that all students can have “a Helen Schell” in their lives, though we’re pretty sure that you’re one of a kind!

As far as we’re concerned, Helen Schell has written the book on being a great teacher.

Don’t forget: Our Terrific Tuesday blog post is devoted to a student, teacher, business or community organization or individual contributing to the promotion of reading, writing and literacy. Let us hear from you at LouiseSpeaks@gmail.com.

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Terrific Tuesday: For the love of reading!

USC President Harris Pastides and his wife, Patricia Moore-Pastides, are shown with student volunteers for the Cocky's Reading Express program in South Carolina.

USC President Harris Pastides and his wife, Patricia Moore-Pastides, are shown with student volunteers for the Cocky’s Reading Express program in South Carolina.

It’s no secret. We love to read!

Reading is at the heart of everything that we do, and every child should love to read. That is why on this “Terrific Tuesday,” we applaud Cocky’s Reading Express, a literacy program launched by the University of South Carolina’s student government in 2005.

Cocky is USC’s award-winning mascot who represents the University’s academic and athletic programs. Loved by children and adults alike, Cocky travels with USC student volunteers to visit elementary schools, primarily those in underserved public school districts. During their visits, USC students read to children in grades 4K through second grade, and Cocky helps the children understand the importance of lifelong reading.

Each child is given a book to keep as a reminder of Cocky and the students’ visit and their promise to Cocky that he or she will read every day. How great is this!

An immediate success, the program became a joint collaboration with USC’s School of Library and Information Science and is now housed at the S.C. Center for Children’s Books and Literacy.

Just how successful has this program been? More than 715 students have participated in Cocky’s Reading Express, which has traveled to all of South Carolina’s 46 counties. To date, more than 56,300 books have been distributed at over 300 events. Grants from BP America, Bi-Lo, Verizon, CCCF, the Sunshine House, SCBT and the Barbara Bush Family Literacy Foundation have supported  this outstanding program.

And just so you’ll know, I have had the opportunity to mingle with Cocky and student volunteers at the annual Read-In at the South Carolina Statehouse! What a great honor for me!

Visit http://www.libsci.sc.edu/ccbl/cockyreadingexpress/index.htm to learn more about Cocky’s Reading Express!

We appreciate everyone who is part of this important outreach program that is encouraging the same love of reading that Mom Karen and I have!

Why do you love to read? And who has helped you learn to read and appreciate books?

And don’t forget: I am honoring a student, teacher, school, community organization, business or other individuals who have excelled in promoting the love of reading, writing and literacy. Send your nominations to LouiseSpeaks@gmail.com, and Mom Karen will write you back!

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