One Writer’s Journey

March 2, 2015

World Read Aloud Day

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:25 am
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litworldWRAD15logo-web.jpgThe first Wednesday of March — this coming Wednesday — is World Read Aloud Day.  The goal of the founding  organization, LitWorld, is to encourage young people to “lead lives of independence, hope and joy.”

Wow.  Just wow.  How can you say no to that?

That’s why I’m telling you about this today instead of waiting until Wednesday.  Why not read aloud and share the power of story with a group of young readers?  As LitWorld says, “By raising our voices together on this day we show the world’s children that we support their futures: that they have the right to read, to write, and to share their stories.”

How can you celebrate this day?

  • Take your children to a reading event at the local library.
  • If there isn’t an event scheduled, find a comfy spot in the children’s section and sit down to share a book aloud.  No, you can’t be too loud but that’s okay.
  • Read at a Scout or Youth meeting.
  • If your child is in school, ask if you can come share a short story with the children.

LitWorld has a host of ideas as well as reading kids for communities, classrooms, work sites and more. Check out all they have to offer here and make plans to read aloud on Wednesday.



December 8, 2014

Speak: How I proof by reading my work out loud

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:54 am
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Because of some advice that I received from writing buddy Kris Nitz, my last step in proofing is to read my work out loud.  That isn’t so tough when I’m working on something short — 500 words or less.  But when I’m doing 14,500 words of nonfiction . . . not so easy.  I do just fine for about half a page.  As I read, I get quieter and quieter.  Before you know it, I’m mumbling and the next thing you know, I’m reading silently in head.

SpeakI’ve solved this by using Speak which is part of Microsoft Word.  You aren’t going to locate this feature easily; we are talking about Word, after all.  But here’s how to add it to your Quick Access Toolbar.

  1. In Word, the default location for the Quick Access Toolbar is the upper left corner of the screen.  On the far right of this Toolbar is a black arrow pointing down. Hover the mouse over this arrow and it says “Customize Quick Access Toolbar.”  Click on this arrow.
  2. This opens a drop down menu titled Customize Quick Access Toolbar.  Mouse down to More Commands and select this option.
  3. This opens the Word Options menu.  In the dialogue box, Choose Commands From, Popular Commands will be selected.  In this dialogue box, scroll down to All Commands and select.
  4. Scroll down through the menu list until you find Speak. Select and then click the “Add >>” button.  Speak will now appear in the Customize Quick Access Toolbar  on the right hand side of this menu box.
  5. At the bottom right of this menu box, click OK which will save this option and close the menu box.

Once you have installed Speak, all you need to do is select the text that you want the program to read and then click the Speak icon on your Toolbar.

I do not love the mechanical sounding computerized voice and some of the pronounciations are hilarious — wind (as in blowing) is not in her vocabulary so she prounces it like “wind your watch.”  That said, I actually listen to it and she doesn’t get ho hum and quit read out loud.

To find out what kinds of mistakes I catch with Speak, check out yesterday’s post on The Muffin.



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