Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Ted Talks

Photography, Literacy, and “Gender Roles” . . .


Muslim Women and Education

Image Courtesy of Niels Boegh ~ http://www.freeimages.com/photographer/ncb-37593

Let’s start with a quote:

“Fayza, 25, is a university student from Yemen. She was forced to drop out of school when she was made to marry at the age of eight. That marriage ended in divorce a year later. At 14, she became the third wife of a 60-year-old man. After bearing three children, she divorced again at the age of 18. Fayza is now only allowed to see her children every other weekend.”

Fayza is finishing her education (provided through a grant) so she can get a job and help her children have a better life

The image I used is not actually Fayza; but, I felt the need to show a Muslim woman with strength of character

That quote is just a hint of one of the stories from the site I.Read.I.Write, an “…on-going photo project about Arab women and education…”.

It’s an initiative of Laura Boushnak“…a Kuwaiti-born Palestinian photographer, whose work focuses on women, literacy and education reform in the Arab world. For her ongoing series ‘I Read, I Write’, she photographed girls and women changing their lives through education in Egypt, Yemen, Kuwait, Jordan and Tunisia.”

I urge you to explore the two links I’ve provided

Also, watching this video will let you learn more about the real Fayza…

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Book Designing ~ Content Becomes Form


Putting words together can create Forms in a reader’s mind.

Yet, before the reader’s mind creates the Forms, the words are Content.

Reader’s would like to get a feeling of what the Content can potentially Form in their mind.

The cover of a book is the first connection between the author and the reader.

Book design is about covers but also about the typography—the Forms the letters take on the page—and a number of other design considerations.

The best space on the Web I know of to study all this is Joel Friedlander‘s The Book Designer.

A writer, even a self-published one, may not be the person who designs a book but they should certainly understand something about the process

The quickest and most humorous way to grasp the essentials, that I’ve found, is to watch this video :-)


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What Good Is Language?


Being an author, I find language quite handy and I’m sure folks who like to read find language a boon; why, even publishers can see value in language.

So, why in the world would I ask such a “silly” question in the title of this post?

Well, when it comes to language, knowing what words are and how they arise in the mind and find their way to the page or screen is one thing; contemplating why humans have language at all is quite another thing

I’ve embedded a video below but, by way of introducing it, I want to harken back to two previous posts about advice:

Taking Advice ~ Who’s Experience Do You Trust? and Playing The Advice Game . . .

Advice comes from a French phrase, ço m’est à vis,  or “it seems to me”.

And, like the caveats about advice in those two previous posts, I want you, as you enjoy this speculative video about why humans have language, to remember, no matter how interesting or helpful this man’s ideas are, it’s all as it seems to him :-)


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Looking Past Limits . . .


Whether you’re reading, writing, or publishing, the worst thing that can happen is to believe in a “limit”

Limits on your reading will make you miss meanings.

Limits on your writing will hobble the story.

Limits on publishing will kill a book.

I found a wonderful video by an amazing woman. A woman who soared past a potentially grave limitation.

Watch and soar with her :-)


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