monicahadley's blog

Magnus meeting PopeHow does one go from working on a fish farm in rural Scotland to running a world-wide non-profit organization that feeds over a million children a day at a place of education, meeting the Pope, lunching with the Queen in Buckingham Palace and being named one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People of 2015?  

Magnus MacFarlane Barrow shares the story behind the founding and amazing growth of Mary's Meals in his memoir, "The Shed That Fed a Million Children."  The Shed that FedMany people want to make the world a better place, but not everyone is able to take the huge leap a faith and devote their entire life to that vision like Magnus and his wife, Julie, along with many other family members and friends. Even while talking about war-torn Bosnia, orphans with HIV, and hungry children, Magnus writes with warmth and humor.  

All of the profits from the book will go to Mary's Meals, whose mission is that every child deserves an education and enough to eat.  By working with local volunteers, purchasing food from local farmers, and providing meals at children's place of education, Mary's Meals has found a formula to fulfill that mission that is extremely replicable.

Magnus will be speaking in Iowa this weekend, at 6:30 Pm on Friday May 29 at St Mary's Church in Solon, Saturday May 30 at 8:30 - 10:30 am at Smith Chapel at Simpson College in Indianola, and at 5:30 at St. Francis Church in West Des Moines.  

For more information about Mary's Meals, go to www.marysmealsusa.org/en/.

Elaine DimopoulosCombine modern society's tendency to be obsessed with youth, fashion and fame with the rule of the oligarchy and take it all to the extreme.  You might end up with a world like the one that Elaine Dimopoulus describes with trendy detail in her first novel, "Material Girls." 

In this world, teens are the gatekeepers of culture, or at least theyMaterial Girls think they are.  But who really pulls the strings?  Can a few eco-conscious designers change the world and prove that revolution never goes out of style?  

Elaine studied writing at Simmons College's Center for the Study of Children's Literature, where she was admitted to the MFA program on the basis of a short sotry that became chapter one of this novel.  She also teaches children's literature and writing at Boston University and Grub Street.

Join us for another fun conversation about writing on Writers' Voices.

Sabaa TahirAuthor Sabaa Tahir grew up in California's Mojave Desert at her family's motel, with fantasy  novels and comic books for a refuge from isolation.  Later, working nights as a copyeditor at the Washington Post, the countless stories of tragedy and violence inspired her to write "An Ember in the Ashes," a novel set in a fantasy world with echoes of ancient Rome. The characters in this epic novel find hope and love in their quest for freedom from slavery, violence and cruelty.Ember

Tahir's debut novel has been compared to "Hunger Games" and "Game of Thrones" - not too shabby company. It has been reviewed in the New York Times and selected by Amazon as the best Young Adult book for May. And I can tell you, it is a hard book to put down. It has been sold in 24 countries and counting and optioned by Paramount for the director of the "Chronicles of Narnia" films.  If you've ever wondered what it might be like to write a book that takes the world by storm, tune in to Writer's Voices this week to find out!

  • Fri
    May 08
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    May 11
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"Ricochet" with Sharon Bousquet

RicochetI think that is the most lyrical blog post title I've ever written (for those of you not in the know, the "quet" in "Bousquet" rhymes with the "chet" in "Ricochet".)  Which is quite fitting since today's guesSharon Bousquett is a wonderfully lyrical songwriter.  Sharon's latest CD, "Ricochet" is rich in both words and music. Join us today on Writers' Voices as we delve into the heart and soul, and the pracitical side as well, of writing songs.

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    May 01
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    May 04
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On Happiness with Frederic Lenoir

HappinessToday on Writers' Voices we delve into two of my favorite subjects- happiness and philosophy, with a delightful author who has spent a lot of time thinking about both.  FRÉDÉRIC LENOIR is a philosopher, sociologist, and religious historian, and the author of numerous essays, books, and novels, including historical thrillers such as "Oracle of the Moon" and the transformative fable "The Soul of the World." He is a professor at L’École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, one of France’s elite universities, and is the editor of the bimonthly Le Monde des religions. Lenoir is host and producer of a weekly program about religion and philosophy on France Culture radio. Frederic Lenoir

"Happiness: A Philosopher's Guide" was a bestseller in Europe and has now been translated into English. In this book, Lenoir examines how history’s greatest philosophers and religious figures have answered life’s most fundamental question:What is happiness and how do I achieve it?

At the end of today's show, we will announce details of the Inkfingerz 2015 Creative Prose Contest, co-sponsored by 1st World Publishing. Grand prize is a publishing contract!  Tune in for details, or go to writersvoices.com for details.

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    Apr 24
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    Apr 27
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Laurie Halse Anderson, "The Impossible Knife of Memory"

Laurie Halse AndersonThis week on Writers' Voices we are bringing back one of the most influential writers for young adults today. Laurie Halse Anderson's first young adult novel, "Speak" is the story of a young vicitm of sexual assault and is used in classrooms across the nation. Never one to avoid the tough subjects, her 2014 book, "The Impossible Knife of Memory" is inspired by Anderson's own childhood, growing up with a father suffering from war-induced PTSD.  

Anderson began her career as a journalist.  In this interview we learn why she began writing children's books, and how she made a successful transition to young adult fiction. In addition to contemporary novels, she also has published a number of historical novels for young adults including the "Seeds of America" trilogy. The first book of that series, "Chains" takes the unusual perspective of a run-away slave during the American Revolution, and shines light on the little-known truth that at the time of the Declaration of Independence, even the Northern states were slave states. 

If you missed it the first time (January 2014), you won't want to miss this rebroadcast of our conversation on writing for young adults.

Farewell My LovesWhen Amber Farman began writing her debut novel, "Farewell My Loves," she didn't realize just how much she would have in common with her heroine, Meredith, who after being diagnosed with SAmber Farmantage IV cancer, decides to put a profile on an online dating site to find her replacement for her beloved husband and four children.  

Two years into the project, Amber herself, also the mother of four children as well as an entrepreneur, was diagnosed with breast cancer.  This experience adds an extra does of reality to her writing.

Although in essence "Farewell My Loves" is a simple love story, it definitely tackles the hard subjects:  death and dying, religion and spirituality, sex and even polyamory.  This book demonstrates convincingly that love is rarely simple.  

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    Apr 10
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    Apr 13
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Local Talent on Writers' Voices

No Longer an Ingenue We're going local on Writers' Voices this week, to bring you the voices of three young and talented writers from the Fairfield area.

First up is Megan D. Robinson, a poet, performance artist and freelance writer.  Megan's chapbook, "No Longer an Ingenue" won the 2014 Blue Light Poetry Prize.  Megan will be performing her poetry at Revelations Cafe and Book Store in Fairfield next Friday, April 17, at 8 pm.

You may have read Megan's work previously in the Iowa Source, The Ottumwa Courier, or the anthologies Lyrical Iowa 2007 and This Endiring Gift.

In the second half hour, we introduce the Lamansky brothers from Brighton Iowa, 14 year old Nate, and James, 17, who will be reading their entries in the 2015 Future Problem Solvers state short story contest.  Both have previously had FPS short stories recieve awards at the international level.

I hope you can join us!

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    Apr 03
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    Apr 06
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Looking for a Map to Your Future?

Roadmap authors

Roadmap

Fourteen years ago, a cohortof new college grads realized they didn't know what they wanted to do with their lives. Sound familiar? They heard a lot

of "should's" and "ought to's" but they decided to shut out the noise and set out to find their own way, by taking a road trip in an old green RV to interview business people, artists and tradesmen who had created lives worth living. That trip was written up in Forbes magazine and turned into thier 2003 book, "Roadtrip Nation," which led to their long-running PBS TV series of the same name, plus the Roadtrip Nation Experience Curriculum and much more.

Today on Writer's Voices we will be speaking with one of  the founders of Roadtrip Nation, Mike Marriner, whose role in the organization is "to think about stuff and then try to make it happen."  Mike will be talking about the group's new book, "Roadmap:  The Get-it-Together Guide for Figuring Out What to Do with Your Life." Filled with advice from successful people they have interviewed, exercises, illustrations, diagrams and great stories, this book has something for everyone, wherever you may be on the road of life.

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    Mar 27
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    Mar 30
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Could You Live Without Your Cell Phone? And the Internet?

The Joy of Missing OutFor some reason, this subject has come up a lot lately.  What unknown, potentially detrimental impact does modern technology have on our lives, relationships, health?

Personally, I love technology and I don't think it consumes my life, but I think for a lot oChristina Crookf people it does.  Christina Crook was feeling that way and decided to take a 

31 day fast from the internet and, instread, write 31 letters on a manual typewiter to a friend.  

Join us this week on Writers' Voices to learn what Christina learned from this experience, how it changed her life, and how it turned into a book ("the Joy of Missing Out: Finding Balance in a Wired World") and a TEDx talk: ("Letting Go of Technology: Pursuing a People-focused Future")

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