Category Archives: Trivia

You Are Where You Write

Where do you write? At a desk? In your favorite chair?
In the closet!

Great thinkers, like Albert Einstein, don’t mind a little clutter. This is where he worked.

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Can you find Wolfgang Danspeckgruber, university professor and author of The Self-Determination of Peoples, in his writing space?

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Would you have imagined Nigella Lawson, chef and cookbook author, surrounded by so many books?

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Or the children’s book author, Eric Carle, in a messy studio?

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Playwright George Bernard Shaw built a  hut that rotated with the sun to catch the best possible light all day. He spent the last 20 years of his life working in the spinning hut, where he produced works like Pygmalion and Androcles and the Lion.

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Lew Wallace, author of Ben Hur, wrote sitting in a chair.

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I have no idea who designed this Cadillac of writing chairs, but isn’t it amazing?

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But not as amazing as this:

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Some not-so-famous writers prefer to write in closets.

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And others, in coffee shops.

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I would love to write here in the woods!

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Where is your favorite place to write?

If you enjoyed this post, you might want to head over to the Writer’s Digest web site and read “13 Quirky Workplaces of Famous Writers.”

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Something You’ll Wish You Didn’t Know About These Famous Children’s Book Authors

 

Answer this question:
What makes someone want to write for kids?
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Following are five famous children’s book authors—their names familiar to almost everyone and their books, classics:

A.A. Milne authored the sweet, beloved “Winnie-the-Pooh” books. They’ve stood the test of time. Just released, August 2018, a movie, Goodbye Christopher Robin, based on characters from his books.

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Margaret Wise Brown, author of that famously simple and soothing, everything-is-alright-sleep-tight, bedtime book,”Goodnight Moon”.

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Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss)— “The Cat in the Hat”, “Horton Hears a Who”, “Hop on Pop”, “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish”, “Green Eggs and Ham” . . . He authored 46 books for children.

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Shel Silverstein. He wrote “The Giving Tree”, one of the most popular and widely discussed children’s books ever. Silverstein is also well known among children’s book authors for his poetry collections, “Where the Sidewalk Ends” and “A Light in the Attic”.

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Maurice Sendak—”Let the wild rumpus start!” Who doesn’t know that quote from Sendak’s most famous book? Like A.A. Milne’s work, Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things Are” was made into a feature film. Along with other children’s books, he also wrote and directed an animated television special, Really Rosie, based on characters from his stories.

What do these authors have in common? All wrote for children. All were made famous by their children’s books. AND—here is something you’ll wish you didn’t know—They disliked kids!

Christopher-robin-quote-1A.A. Milne didn’t necessarily dislike children, but he disliked that the books he wrote for them ruined his lifelong dream. Milne hated being called a children’s author. He believed his popular children’s books kept him from being recognized as an aspiring British playwright.

5215451-Margaret-Wise-Brown-Quote-Goodnight-nobody-goodnight-mush.jpgMargaret Wise Brown said, “I don’t especially like children. At least not as a group. I won’t let anybody get away with anything just because he is little.” She had a child-like imagination, a playful one, and that translated well to children’s books.

Dr.-Seuss-Quotes-36-I-Was-Saving-The-Name-Of-Geisel-For-The...-QuotesTheodor Geisel didn’t have kids of his own. According to his widow, he was somewhat afraid of them. He didn’t know how to act around or have fun with them. Still, he enjoyed writing for them.

underneath-my-outside-face-theres-a-face-that-none-can-see-a-little-less-smiley-a-little-less-sure-quote-1.jpgShel Silverstein, the “bad boy of children’s literature”. Some of his stories for children are controversial, and that’s no surprise. He wrote for Playboy Magazine, hung out with Hugh Hefner, had numerous affairs with women, and is known for living wild. Silverstein disliked children’s literature and found it condescending. He only began writing for kids after much coaxing by his author and editor friends.

hans-christian-andersen-gonna-make-statue-park-lot-scrambling-quote-at-storemypic-0a8eb.pngMaurice Sendak is said by his peers to have had a bad temper. He thought of himself as crazy and said he would never choose to raise a child himself because he believed he would fail. He didn’t really like children, but they fascinated him by their imaginations—how they thought and survived. His books often showed them a darker side of life, perhaps because he’d lost relatives to the Holocaust. “I refuse to cater to the (expletive) of innocence.” he said. “The Holocaust has run like a river of blood through all my books.”

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What makes someone want to write for kids?
Maybe you’ll want to rethink your answer.
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Language, Larpangarpuage or Anguagelay—Whatever You Call It, It’s Complicated!

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Learning correct verb tenses and grammatical rules can be confusing, but add jibberish word games, and language gets REALLY complicated.

My mother and her siblings spoke Arp. Mom claimed they invented this game when they were kids, but a quick search online shows that Arp was commonly spoken among school-age children when my mother was young.

langIt works like this:

When a vowel or vowel sound (a, e, i, o, u, or y as in why) is found, “arp” is placed in front of it. Two or more vowels together are treated as one.

If a vowel or vowel sound occurs as the final letter of a word, it is only given an “arp” if it is the only vowel or vowel sound in the word.

eg. fish becomes farpish 
Harry becomes Harparry 
condition becomes carpondarpitarpion

Mom and her siblings spoke Arp until the days they died. When the three of them were together, for the rest of us it was like visiting a foreign country.

Arp is just one of many jibberish languages.

Pig Latin is more familiar:

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Pick any English word. Next, move the first consonant or consonant cluster to the end of the word. Now add “ay” to the end of the word. That’s all there is to it; you’ve formed a word in Pig Latin.

eg. fish becomes ishfay
Harry becomes Arryhay
condition becomes onditioncay

Supposedly, Thomas Jefferson maintained some privacy by composing coded letters in Pig Latin to relatives and close friends.

Jibberish, or jargon, languages transcend place and time. They have existed at least since the Victorian era.

In Victorian England, merchants used “Back Speak” to converse behind buyers’ backs.

Words were spoken backward.

eg. fish becomes hsif
Harry becomes Yrrah
condition becomes noitidnoc

Black slaves in the American South invented a language called “Double Dutch”; in the early 20th century, German dock workers created a jibberish language called “Kedelkloppersprook;” and in the 1970s, the kid’s TV show Zoom made “Ubbi dubbi” popular with the school-aged set (all you have to do is say “ub” before every vowel sound).

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(Do you want to speak Minion-ease?
There’s an English to Minion translator online!)

The list of jibberish games is considerable. Check out LingoJam online to translate English to Arp, Pig Latin, even Shakespearean and Morse Code—or create some jibberish of your own!

LANGUAGE.
Whatever the form—it’s complicated!

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Filed under Fun, fun with words, Humor, Trivia, Uncategorized, words