Today’s family lifestyles of longer work hours for moms and dads and excessive after school activities for children have given way to the drive-thru meals eaten in the car between one place and another. Significant conversation is minimal while eye contact is nil as many continue to live their lives on the go. The mandatory dinner presence so many of us experienced from our own childhood remains only a memory and rarely practiced as part of contemporary lifestyles.
Is the family dinner time old fashioned? Personally, I tend to think not. My boys are grown, now. They are either in school, or have jobs of their own. At this point of our lives, we are not always together for dinner. However, since my boys have grown up in a household where everyone was sitting at the kitchen table by 6pm, they have come to value such gatherings when the opportunity comes about now that they are older and not around as much. In fact, there is an obvious contentment when we manage such a family dinner. It feels right, feels like home. As they anxiously dig into whatever the chow may be, someone will often comment, “Hey, we’re all together,” which brings a profound smile of acknowledgment by all before conversation is in full gear as everyone catches up with each other.
Finding time to eat as a family when chasing to dance class or basketball practice after school gives the family a chance to slow down and take a breather from a hectic afternoon. Consistent family dinnertime will create a routine for children. Such stability is important for kids. Whether it is hot dogs, pizza, or filet mignon being served, the food on the table has no importance in comparison to the shared conversation about the school day, friends, work, etc. At the same time, an interest and concern for other family members is naturally developed. We all wish our children to grow up with good family memories and values which can be passed down to their own children. And, it is the good memories which will turn a house into a home.
How is a work of fiction inspired? Where does that first sentence come from? When does the writer realize the premise of the imaginary tale? As the creator begins developing the work of fiction, the foundation of the story, including the characters, the plot, and the setting, is often unknown until the fingers begin dabbling away on the keyboard. Then again, creative thoughts are often a story which has consumed the mind of the writer for weeks, months, and sometimes even years. However it comes about, the power of the imagination brings the author’s ideas to life. The location, surroundings, and scenery are authentically visualized. Word by word, the characters become genuine individuals with distinct personalities and traits, which leads to the story behind the fictitious people miraculously launched into existence. As the creative project continues to be developed, it begins to consume the writer as it gets under the skin, and into the soul - every part of the author’s being. The imagination is permeated with ideas for the story’s progression and conclusion. When the three letter word -end- is added at the finale, the writer will take a long deep breath, exhale, and realize the story he or she gave birth to was a labor of love for the gift of writing a work of fiction.
There’s nothing more relaxing than curling up with a good book on a rainy day when there’s nothing else to do, nowhere to be. This thought may be true for many. Some will prefer an actual print book with ability to turn pages, while others count on their digital means of reading, whether it’d be a computer, tablet, or phone. Where do audio books fall in popularity when it comes to a different method of reading a novel?
Although as far back as the 1930s there’s been audio capabilities from spoken albums, it was about the 1980s and later when publishers and book sellers began to put videocassettes, DVDs, and compact discs on their shelves. Nowadays, we’ve gone a step further by hearing the words of the author in a downloadable format. Is all this audio stuff taking away from words that would once be read with our eyes?
Many who support today’s newest method of reading would think not. Here are a few benefits of audiobooks for young and old: