Category Archives: Holidays

It’s Dictionary Day!

Snip20140915_1Let me guess, you didn’t know that today, October 16th, is the day where avid dictionary-lovers cling to their dusty tomes and reminiscence about the days when students were taught how to decipher the pronunciation key and how to use catchwords as the ‘quick search’ feature before there were such things a ‘quick search’ features.  But don’t worry!  You don’t have to be a lexicographer to enjoy today.

noahDictionary Day shares its day with one of the celebrities of the dictionary world (the word celebrity, of course, is always relative: look it up!): Noah Webster, a man largely responsible for causing fights between family members when playing Scrabble (“What do you mean hollar isn’t in the dictionary?  It’s a word.  Like down in the hollar!”).

441820You probably don’t remember the days before Google or Dictionary.com when if you wanted to know how to spell something or needed to find its definition that you had to lug out the big red book with Merriam-Webster emblazoned in gold on the cover like the seal of some secret society whose sole mission was to protect words from an oncoming apocalypse where only cockroaches and antiquated words hither swithly avaunt into the sunset.

So, why should we continue to celebrate a piece of writing that is more likely to be used as a doorstop rather than be read?  Because, like most things, it’s not about the packaging: it’s about the contents.  Words!  Beautiful amazing words.  Webster devoted his entire professional career so that you could call your favorite professor’s voice sonorous; your least favorite cafeteria item odious; and the odd day when you get out of class five minutes early exhilarating.

And digital dictionaries have actually brought more people to these words than the printed loadstones that Webster had to work with.  You can now get a ‘word of the day‘ that will tell you divarication means on one day and flapdoodle means the next.  There are even ‘word of the day’ apps that will send fantastic words to your phone, so you can impress everyone you know by correctly using indemnify in a sentence.


Flapdoodle


There are no rules for celebrating Dictionary Day (none that I could find at least in my albeit very cursory internet search), and rather than tell you all to pick up your dictionary and start with aardvark, I would encourage you to find a couple of new favorite words and use them liberally: lascivious, masticate, garrulous, bellicose, egalitariancaveat.

So go on and engage in some word play!

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Paperback Book Day

National Paperback Book Day

Join The Central Pen in celebrating Paperback Book Day!  On July 30, pick up your favorite paperback (or maybe choose a new favorite!) from your local library or bookstore.

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by | July 30, 2015 · 8:00 am

Celebrate Women’s History Month!

Join The Central Pen in celebrating Women’s History Month!  Since 1987, the month of March has been designated as the month where we celebrate the great achievements and struggles of our foremothers, consider the challenges and triumphs we face today, and reflect on the world we would like to pass along to our world’s future women.  Snip20140915_2

While there are many ways to celebrate, and we would like to give you some of our favorite women’s authors for a soggy spring day.   Pick them up at our library and get inspired!

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 en_GB-timeline-image-whatsnew-1349705788-nuggetJ. K. Rowling, author of the internationally best-selling Harry Potter series, gives you a world of fantasy, wizards, and monsters that will help you not only celebrate your inner Hermione!  Hermione not your style?  How about phastasmic Luna Lovegood? or the prim, proper, and perfect Minerva McGonagall?  Whether you have read the series a thousand times, just once, or not at all, you will find something new and unexpected lurking in the halls of Hogwarts.

Recommended by Dean Dave Baker

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGail Simone is a pioneering female writer of mainstream superhero comics such as female-tastic figures like Birds of Prey, Wonder Woman, and Batgirl.  Her fandom has praised her for breathing new life into old characters and making believable and (gasp!) relatable female figures in a genre that has not always been female-friendly. She has also worked her magic on many canonical male characters including Superman and Deadpool because of course ladies can write amazing stories about all shapes, sizes, and yes, genders, of superbeings.  Simone’s work makes all of us here at The Pen want to don our best capes and spandex and take out some henchmen.

Recommended by Professor Matthew Vickless

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VirginiaWoolfVirginia Woolf was a formidable modernist writer, theorist, activist, and intellectual.  Her fiction and non-fiction works have been widely anthologized and few have gone out of print since they were first published.  Her most important works include Mrs Dalloway (1925), To the Lighthouse (1927),  Orlando (1928), and A Room of One’s Own (1929) where she gives her readers one of the most famous pieces of literary advice: “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.”  She has been hailed as early 20th century feminist.  Modern authors often cite her as an influence on their creative process. 

Recommended by Professor Thomas Davis

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RothwellMaryShelleyMary Shelley, the original Queen of Scream, is best known to modern audiences as the author of Frankenstein; or the modern Prometheus (1816), a story about a doctor who tries to tamper with nature in the most unnatural of ways.  While certainly Frankenstein deserves its place among the classics of English literature, she was also dramatist, essayist, biographer, and noted travel writer (in fact, she was on one such excursion when she first had the idea for Frankenstein.)  In all of her works, she drew upon her deep knowledge of philosophy and politics and brought to page narratives that continue to talk to us across the centuries.

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Leave your favorite female author in the comments!

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Top 10 Gifts for Writers for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and it’s time to buy yourself (or the writer in your life) something special to support their writing addiction habit.  Fear not!  The Central Pen editors have a top ten worth all of your hard earned candy hearts.

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Library card tote bag from Out of Print Clothing

  1. Make an embroidered notebook for all those fantastic late-night ideas.
  2. Buy a classic (and classy!) typewriter so you channel your favorite modernist writer (or you can get the high-tech version).
  3. Library card tote bag (or really anything from Out of Print Clothing) to carry all those manuscripts.
  4. Fall down the rabbit hole with up with some Alice in Wonderland sheets and into some inspiration.
  5. Use Aqua Notes to make sure that you don’t forget all those amazing shower ideas.
  6. Sign up for a subscription to the Coffee of the Month Club to keep you awake for all those late night edits (or check out some Novel Teas if you aren’t a coffee addict).
  7. Let people know that your brilliance is not to be disturbed with the Writer at Work sign.
  8. Get comfy in a writer’s chair for all those morning to night writing sessions.
  9. Make a pencil and supply holder for all those glorious pens.
  10. Make your writing space smell truly literary with some soy candles from Frostbeard they come in such wonderful scents as ‘Old Books,’ ‘The Shire,’ ‘Oxford Library,’ and ’Sherlock’s Study’ (a personal recommendation from your editor).

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The Central Pen Staff

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