Hi Everyone, it’s Judith Couchman. My assignment for this year focuses on blogging about writing: technique; practical pointers, encouragement, and such. I hope it helps you.

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Hi Everyone, it’s Judith Couchman. My assignment for this year focuses on blogging about writing: technique; practical pointers, encouragement, and such. I hope this helps you.

 

dorothy parker post card

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On Christmas Eve, Iceland celebrates the national tradition of Jólabókaflóð, the “Christmas Book Flood.

That evening, Icelanders anticipate and enjoy exchanging books. After they open and admire their books, family members retire to their individual beds and read themselves to sleep.

This literary tradition traces back to World War II, when the government restricted currency and imported gifts. In contrast, Icelanders enjoyed a flux of money because of the war. Fortunately, restrictions on imported paper remained lenient and books burgeoned as the country’s most popular gift for Christmas.

Gift BooksFast forward to today and the holiday-reading tradition virtually supports the book-publishing industry.  According to Kristjan B. Jonasson, former president of the Iceland Publishers Association, explained, “Normally, we give the presents on the night of the 24th and people spend the night reading. In many ways, it’s the backbone of the publishing sector here in Iceland.”

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Judith CouchmanHi everyone, it’s Judith Couchman, recovering from a snowstorm in Colorado!

If ever I felt stupid initiating a phone call, this was it. As I listened to my cell phone ringing into cyberspace, each pulse mocked me with a repeated warning: You can’t do this. You can’t do this. You can’t do this. I readily agreed with each ring’s caution: it mimicked the fear pounding in my chest. But before I could hang up, Erica answered. Read More →

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