Monday, March 23, 2009

Science Fiction for Children?

If you're over 50 and have dabbled in writing science fiction, fantasy or folk stories, an organization called the "Speculative Literature Foundation" wants to give you a $750 grant.

The organization's goal is to keep good, quality literature of the "fantastic" available to the public and the non-profit also helps small press companies and magazines.

I can't say I've read every excerpt available on the site, so beware of things that may not be family friendly, but I wanted to let you know about the opportunity.



Soylent Green Eggs and Ham

Horton Hears Dr. Who

How the Cylons Stole Christmas

Fahrenheit 451 (or How I Learned Not to Touch the Stove When It's Red)

Where the Wild Klingons Are

Curious George and the Man with the Yellow Light Saber

[selected from Chris White's Top Five on Science Fiction]


WORD for YOUR WEEK: My wife wants to know from where we get the phrase, "play it by ear." All of my etymology resources cannot pinpoint the first use of this phrase, but its original meaning described a person who could hear a melody or a song and reproduce it on a musical instrument without the benefit of having the sheet music in front of him or her. I am able to do this on a somewhat limited basis myself. Music, like so many things, is related to math. There are only so many combinations of chord changes and once you've played most of them long enough, you know what they sound like and can play along with a melody without needing the sheet music, as long as you have a good memory. A more contemporary usage of the phrase now refers to being spontaneous and improvising actions on the spot. As in, "I don't know what we'll do once we catch them in the act ... we'll have to play it by ear." Sorry I couldn't find anything more definitive, honey.


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