Friday Five (or More)

Citizen Science. I love this! National Geographic has links to dozens of opportunities for you (and your kids) to participate in projects that help scientists answer real-world questions and gather data. Take a butterfly census. Snap photos. Collect weather data. Here are two of National Geographic’s popular citizen science projects: the Great Nature Project and FieldScope.


This week’s Modern Love column in the New York Times was touching: A 12-year-old girl’s life and love are shattered by the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina (including a short animation). “You are the bravest girl I know,” he whispered.

Have you ever found yourself in Funk Town (not Funky Town)? Leo from Zen Habits has some good tips to help.


Creative Nonfiction Magazine is seeking new essays about marriage (4,000 words maximum). Submit your work by August 31.


How is your summer reading going? I’m looking for a few good books.


A bit of self promotion: I’m teaching an online creative writing class called Back to Basics through The Loft Literary Center. This course will take you through each major element of creative writing to help you hone your skills. The course is eight weeks from Sept. 21 – Nov. 15. Registration is now open. (Enter early bird code EBFA15 by August 21, 2015 at checkout and receive $20 off the cost of the course.)

The Loft

Five-Star Soup Kitchen. Chef David Garcelon has prepared meals for heads of state, rock stars, and the Queen of England. He also cooks for New York’s homeless.


Have a great weekend, everyone! 



  1. Great links, Jackie. The essay contest at Creative Nonfiction looks intriguing. As for summer book recommendations, coincidentally I was reading one of E.L. Doctorow’s novels when he died, so I decided to read all his works. I’m reading Billy Bathgate right now. Although I still think Ragtime is his masterpiece, I am learning about different aspects of writing (narrative voice, plotting, etc) from him.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Patti, I feel completely remiss — I’ve not read Ragtime. It’s one of those novels on my (very long) TBR list that I just haven’t gotten to yet. Since his death, I feel like I should move it to the top of the list. Thank you for reminding me about that! Have a great weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love the Funk Town link, Jackie. I’ve been there.
    Just finished All the Light We Cannot See. Have you read it yet? Probably have, but if you haven’t, it’s lovely, and sad (but in a good way). Right now I’m reading The Little Stranger, by Sarah Waters. It’s set in the 1940s and is kind of a spooky old house tale, full of atmosphere and historical detail.


    1. I did read All the Light We Cannot See and loved it. It was one of those books that I found difficult to put down. I don’t know how The Little Stranger passed me by, but I’ve added it to my TBR list. Sounds fascinating. Thank you for the recommendation!


    1. I’ve been teaching in some capacity for 10 years. (Oh my goodness, has it been that long?!) I started out at a local college and then found my way to The Loft Literary Center. I really enjoy the online format because it brings writers together from all over the world, which is very cool. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am a resident in Funk Town so thank you for the link. I’m intrigued by the marriage essay submissions as well. Great and interesting links this week!

    I recently read Summerlong Dean Bakopoulos, which I devoured. I also enjoyed Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf, another good read. Currently I’m enjoying Kitchens or the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal.

    Happy Monday! –Audra


  4. Thank you for this wonderful list, Jackie. I really need to catch up on the Modern Love column! It’s been ages since I read it. Also, that Creative Nonfiction essay contest about marriage is SO tempting (!) but I fear I don’t have time to write it. Alas. But it’s still good inspiration for the general future 🙂


    1. This book sounds interesting, Bill. Thank you for the recommendation.
      I read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle not too long ago. That book gave me a whole new way of looking at my food and how it gets to my plate.


  5. Duuuuuude love the lists! I LOVE your list! I know I’ve told you that before but it totally needs repeating. Your Fab Five are fab 🙂 the National Geo stuff is something I would love to do with my kids and the marriage essays … Duuuuuude I can fill encyclopedias on that with my y ups and downs and downs. Sigh. Thanks for the post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So glad you like the list! Those citizen science projects are so much fun. You don’t need to have any expertise or previous experience, and you can do them right in your neighborhood. 🙂


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