Tag Archives: Amazon Kindle

The Magic of Literacy – Part 2/2

As a child, reading the books of Edgar Rice Burroughs is still  a fond memory.  Before there was Star Wars, Star Trek, The Lord of the Rings, Interview With a Vampire and Harry Potter there was John Carter of Mars.

When I discovered several months ago that John  Carter of Mars was going to be a movie, I was excited, and when the movie came out, I went to see it the first day it was released — it was everything I imagined it should be.  I have no complaints except that I wanted more.

10 Minute Movie Review from the FLICK pick

There are eleven books in the series and they are free through or offered at a low price through Amazon Kindle with no waiting for years as we did for each Harry Potter book and the movies that followed.

The Barsoom series is responsible for me going on to read books such as The Lord of the Rings (three times), the Anne Rice vampire series starting with Interview of a Vampire, all of the books written by Ursula K. Le Guin, and C. S. Lewis along with dozens of other authors and hundreds of books.

ten minute extended clip – movie trailer

Since reading is crucial to cultivate life-long learning, what better way is there to motivate a child/teen to read books than to have them watch a movie such as John Carter first. Once curious, those eleven books are waiting.

In addition, says, “Reading requires the child to imagine what the words represent and this acts like exercise for the mind,  creativity, imagination, and constructive skills. Television (including computers) does the reverse and fills the mind with nonsense images that blunt the child’s intellect and imagination.”

John Carter – a surprisingly good movie

Then Veronica Scott writing for Ezine @rticles says, “With children and their development, nothing is more important than imagination to help the growth of thought processes and creativity, while research has proved that watching too much TV or spending too much time surfing the Internet stunts the imagination and actually retards the development of that area of the brain.”

Last, Life-Long Earning shows that Imagination and Creativity is vital for Critical Thinking and Problem Solving to take place.

What are you waiting for?  If you haven’t seen John Carter yet, go, and do not forget the eleven books that are waiting to ignite a child’s imagination and love of reading.

Return to The Magic of Literacy – Part 1


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga.

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Persistence Pays Off!

Over the years, as a teacher and a parent, I offered this advice to my students and children: “Follow your dreams but have a back-up plan. Sometimes your dreams don’t pay the bills.”

When we follow our dreams, whatever they may be, we often face failure and rejection, which may lead to depression and giving up. Since this is the story most people experience, it helps to read one where someone did not give up on her dream and struggled for almost a decade.

Amanda Hocking’s story is inspirational and the foundation of that inspiration was her persistence.

It wasn’t easy. She says, “In the past ten years, I’ve probably got hundreds or maybe thousands of rejection letters.”

As the rejections and criticism saying she couldn’t write arrived in the mail, she thought, “This sucks! I should just give up.”

However, her passion to write kept her going. In a recent post on her Blog, Hocking says, “You cannot control everything that happens to you. But you can control how you react to it and how you feel about it.”

In the first video, The Young Turks discuss Amanda Hocking’s story.

Tired of rejection, Hocking turned to the Kindle e-book in 2010 and self-published. She says she grossed $2,000 in 2009.  Today, she is a millionaire.

Amanda Hocking is now the rock star in the e-publishing world – selling hundreds of thousands of self-published e-books. Her young adult paranormal books have caught on like fire, getting her attention from the traditional publishing world and even Hollywood, which recently optioned one of her trilogies in addition to Hocking signing a contract with St. Martin’s Press for $2 million.

Amanda Hocking was born in 1984 and completed her first novel at age 17. She has now written twenty-two novels (published and unpublished).

USA Today reported, “Like writers from time immemorial, Hocking’s motivation to create a fantasy world stemmed from harsh reality.

“I grew up poor. I was an only child,” says Hocking, whose parents divorced when she was 11. “We lived out in the woods. We couldn’t afford cable.”

A rocky adolescence followed. “I was really unhappy … really depressed. Me and my mom fought constantly.”

According to USA Today, three things saved her:

One—the computer her parents gave her for Christmas when she was 11.

Two—the day her mother told an eighth-grade counselor to stop nagging her daughter to find other activities besides writing.

Three—she completed her first novel at 17, wrote constantly, took writing classes at local colleges and regularly queried agents and publishers, only to be rejected until she was already a self-made millionaire at 26.

Since dreams do not come with a guarantee, there is always the chance they may not come true but without persistence, they don’t stand a chance.  No one that has climbed Mt. Everest did it in one leap. They did it one-step at a time. For Sir Edmund Hillary in 1953, the climb took seven weeks from the base camp to the top.

It took almost a decade for Amanda Hocking’s dream of being a successful author to come true. For me, the same dream took more than four decades. In both cases, persistence paid off—something all young people can learn.


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, look for the “E-mail Subscription” link in the top-right column, or click on the “Following” tab in the WordPress toolbar at the top of the screen.


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