Monday, September 17, 2012

Constitution Day

Today is Constitution Day and I had the opportunity to participate in the Carson City Constitution Day Walk on the beautifully manicured historic grounds of the Silver State's Capitol building.

It is a beautiful day today.  The walk started in front of the Nevada State Legislature building.  I led a group of very sharp, well behaved sixth graders along the hour long trek through mostly shady paths to learn about the U.S. Constitution, how it was formed, and influential people who made it possible for us to live in the land of the free, home of the brave.

School groups began arriving shortly after 9:00 this morning.  This walk is open to anyone who wants to learn more about the Constitution.

The grounds are beautiful with native trees indigenous to the area marked along the wide paths. 
This shady spot was a favorite stop along the way.  "Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader" was an informative lesson and those who answered questions correctly were given Smarties candies.
We walked all the way around the Capitol building.  This walkway is directly in front of Gov. Sandoval's personal parking spot.
This station was to highlight the Military Oath that all the Military personnel take when they enter into service.  The wall behind is a memorial to Nevada's Military.  It was a moving tribute to them.  The flag in the triangular box on the chair was flown at the U.S.S. Arizona in Pearl Harbor and again at the 9/11 Memorial.

The children read much of the information presented to them.  This placard has the oath that immigrants take to become a U.S. citizen.  They must renounce their own country and have no reservations about doing so. 

General George Washington talked to them about the Continental Congress and passed out water to the thirsty groups.
This young woman played the part of Emily Geiger, a young teenager who played a pivotal role in the Revolutionary War.  She is seated in front of a statue of Kit Carson.
When they were finished, some of the students posed for a picture and then shouted a hearty "Thank You!" to everyone who made the Walk possible.
You can read about Emily Geiger, and others whose contributions to this country may not be widely known, but whose stories are incredible, miraculous, and moving.  Their stories are on this blog under the American history tab.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Sex or Romance

A while back I was taking a Romance writing class.  The instructor had many published novels.  Before the class began, I purchased one of her books to read.

To put it delicately, the book had a cute story, but the writing was vulgar.  She could have left out several of those scenes because they added nothing to the story.

My daughter in law is an avid reader and we frequently recommend good reads to each other.  She's a young twenty-something, but even at her age, is turned off by some of the scenes in "romance" novels.  We discussed this at length and here was the general consensus between the two of us:  even though we are from two different generations, we both feel that vulgar raunchy sex takes away from the story.

The picture above is one of the covers for the book Shanna.  This was the first romance novel I ever read and it made me read many more.  The cover is subtle, with the photo of a couple inset within the flowers.  Covers have changed over the years and now many show ripped torsos and couples going at it.

I haven't read the Fifty Shades of Gray series.  As soon as television reports said they are pornographic I tuned out.  As a Christian woman, it just doesn't seem like something I should be reading.  A few women I know have purchased the books.  One said she read part of the first one and just couldn't get herself to finish reading it.  Another one said the story is good if you can get past the explicit scenes.  I'm not knocking the author or anyone who has read them.  It's just not for me.

During that Romance writing class, I commented that you could write a romantic scene without being crude or vulgar.  The instructor was incensed at that, but the rest of the class agreed.  I believe a book that makes you feel the love between two characters is much more effective than one that gives you explicit down and dirty sexual acts.  Meaningless sex is just that: meaningless. 

What do you think?  What do you like to read when it comes to romance novels?