Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Education: Free Act 48 Hours at Frank Lloyd Wright's House on Kentuck Knob


Due to the success of our Summer 2009 Educational Outreach Program, Frank Lloyd Wright's House on Kentuck Knob is happy to offer more FREE ACT 48 hours to Pennsylvania teachers. Since I am the Educational Marketing Coordinator at Kentuck, you can contact me if you would like to book a session or have questions: or 724/329-1901

You can also check out photos and commentary from last year's participants on the Kentuck Knob blog.

Kentuck Knob Southern Terrace
Photo by Jason Jack Miller

* guided, personalized tour of the Kentuck Knob house
* guided, personalized tour of our extensive sculpture meadow
* creation of a content-specific lesson plan for your classroom
* sessions are from 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
* participant teachers receive 6 free ACT 48 hours upon completion

(Please wear comfortable shoes and bring your PDE teacher identification number with you.)

Scheduled Session Dates:
May 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19, 25, 26
June 2, 9, 16, 30
July 7, 14, 28
August 4, 11, 18, 25
September 1, 8, 15, 22, 29

Other teacher training sessions can be added throughout the year as demand dictates.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Shows: Gaelic Storm


Last week we saw Gaelic Storm for the first time at the Palace Theater in Greensburg, PA. They were incredible. I don't know how we never found them earlier. The mix of Irish and World music made for a fun, uplifting show. So much energy, even at the very end.

Gaelic Storm

Incidentally, they were the band playing on screen in the movie Titanic.

And, they'll be playing at the Pittsburgh Irish Festival this September.

You can get a free download from their new CD Cabbage on their website:

and hear some of their hits on their MySpace page:

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Reading: 2010 12 x 12 Reading Challenge - March


2010 12 x 12 Reading Challenge 2010 12 x 12 Reading Challenge

I am participating in the March 12 x 12 Reading Challenge, hosted by Alaine - Queen of Happy Endings.

According to Queen of Happy Endings, the original 12 x 12 challenge came from Pizza's Blog and Foma.

There is a blog host for each month throughout 2010:

MARCH - Alaine - Queen of Happy Endings
APRIL - One Person’s Journey Through a World of Books
MAY - Page Turners
JUNE - Misfit Salon
JULY - Good Books & Wine
AUGUST - Bookworming in the 21st Century
SEPTEMBER - Bibliofreak
OCTOBER - Book Crazy
NOVEMBER - Teens Read & Write
DECEMBER - My Life in not so many Words

Participants can join in one, two, or all twelve of these separate reading challenges. Each month starts a brand new reading challenge. And the goal? To simply read more novels.

The rules are whatever you want to make of them, but here are the guidelines the creator of NaJuReMoNoMo goes by:

1. Must Be A Novel. Works of fiction only, please. Memoirs, non-fiction, how-to books, and Garfield collections don't count.

2. Memoirs Aren't Novels. No matter how made up the story, anything ostensibly true isn't a novel. Also known as The James Frey Rule.

3. Start and Finish in March.

4. Re-reading Doesn't Count. Try something new. Read something by your favorite author or try an entirely new author or tackle that novel you have always wanted to read.

5. Have Fun. Nobody is grading you or paying you or judging you. Read what you like and like what you read.

For book bloggers who would like to participate, create a post for your challenge. Feel free to use the button or make your own. Please link back to the host's post for that month using the provided Mr Linky so that others can find their way there.

For non-bloggers, keep a list of novels you read in March and post that list during the wrap-up post at the end of the month.

I chose Black Order by James Rollins. I'm trying to get caught up on all of his work since he is the guest of honor at this year's Pennwriters Conference in May.

Photobucket Black Order by James Rollins

Monday, March 01, 2010

Research: Frank Lloyd Wright and the Living City


Frank Lloyd Wright and the Living City
Frank Lloyd Wright and the Living City by David G. De Long

While writing my latest novel, I used this wonderful resource for information about Mr. Wright's Broadacre City. David G. De Long put together a great (and heavy) book of photos and sketches and essays from Jean-Louis Cohen, Michael Desmond, David A. Hanks, Richard Jones, Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer, and Jack Quinan.

I was especially pleased to note that of the four cities where Mr. Wright showcased the models and plans of Broadacre in 1935, Pittsburgh was among them. Knowing that Edgar J. Kaufmann (owner of the Pittsburgh-based Kaufmann's Department Stores and of Fallingwater) lived in Pittsburgh, it should be no surprise that the exhibit would grace the city for a while.

It's a wonderful tidbit I'm going to slip into my novel.

For anyone unfamiliar with the concept of Broadacre City, the term "broadacre" comes from Mr. Wright's idea that each family home would sit on an acre of land. He believed this minimum amount of space necessary for quality living. Broadacre City was essentially Frank Lloyd Wright's city of the future, the utopia that never was, complete with Aerotors, a helicopter-like machine.

Not all of Broadacre was so fantastically futuristic, however. In fact, some of its structures were based on buildings already built, such as aspects of Taliesin, Price Tower, and the Wyoming Valley School, among many others.

The photos and sketches in this book are fascinating unto themselves. Add in the essays and commentary and I admit to pouring over these pages for hours at a time.