Monday, December 10, 2012

The Penning Board 2012-7

The Penning Board Items of the Week

Vlog: Fun times on the job! :) Happy Travels! Thanks for watching!


Movie: "My Last Holiday" (2006) with Queen Latifah and LL Cool J

This movie, not only features Louisiana and traveling in Europe, but it makes me laugh out loud. Queen Latifah is at the top of her game in this film with a message about enjoying life to the fullest. Check it out this holiday season. You will not be disappointed.

Interesting News: Classic literature to be dropped from high schools in favor of ‘informational texts’

In high school, I remember the student groans over the dreaded reading of classic literature...but ultimately there were many books that have stuck with me all these years and helped my writing now. I wouldn't have wanted to miss out, but now many high school students will--due to new educational standards to push for 70% of student reading material be non-fiction. No more "The Catcher in the Rye" or "To Kill a Mockingbird" they say... What do you think? A good move or a crippling one?;_ylt=Ak7_7Tp28ryiOhhiZTB1H7Ws0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTUzN2lwcm5iBGNjb2RlA2dtcHRvcDEwMDBwb29sd2lraXVwcmVzdARtaXQDTmV3cyBGb3IgWW91IDUgU3RvcmllcwRwa2cDZWYyYTljMWYtMTBkNi0zN2Q3LThlZDgtMjJkNGQwYTZmNDdiBHBvcwMxMQRzZWMDbmV3c19mb3JfeW91BHZlcgM4NTk2NWU5MC00MTExLTExZTItYmNmZS0xOTQyNWRiMjVjYzc-;_ylv=3

Book: "Winter Passing" by Cindy Martinusen (now Cindy Coloma)

Since I've written a novel about World War II, this contemporary work intrigued me. It's about a young woman, who journeys to Austria and addresses her family's past during the Holocaust. I quite enjoyed it. There are two more books in the series and I can't wait to read them. In fact, they're already on my shelf. To learn more about Cindy's books, visit her website at

Bible Verse: "For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ." - Galatians 1:10

Quote: "Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful."  - Norman Vincent Peale

Song: “Christmas Time in London Town” by Nina and Frederik

When I thought about Christmas songs about travel, I was at a loss. After hitting a search engine, I found this 1961 tune and enjoyed it. It's all about traveling around London at Christmastime. I pictured all the places in the song as I listened.

Check out the song here.

I also found a different song with the same name by British folk singer Steve Thompson. I like the softness of the song and the video is one of the oddest I've seen, but I enjoyed it and seeing some familiar sites around London.

See the video here.


  1. Hi Morgan-You know, I just happened to catch that movie, "Last Holiday" for the first time here in Egypt and I just loved it. It was such a sweet movie. I don't know how well it did in the box office but it's definitely one not to be missed.

    I think it would be a dishonor to future generations to pull literature out of the education system. My daughter just finished reading "The Catcher In The Rye" and even though she moaned through it, I think she was able to learn something about the author's theme that is pertinent now just as much as it was when first published. As writers, but more importantly readers, we must be advocates for good, quality literature in the classroom.

    I've marked this book down to be read as I travel back to the United States in a couple of weeks. Thanks for sharing!

    Great blog as always, Morgan!

    1. Hi Natalie! Thanks! You're welcome. :)

      Yeah, I really enjoyed "The Last Holiday." Great clean fun!

      I agree with you about the literature issue. I understand their reasoning behind having more "factual" reading, but we can't let all the "facts" keep young readers from expanding their horizons and imaginations. Thanks for sharing.

      I really enjoyed Cindy's writing and story. After editing my MS, I'm getting back to the trilogy! ttyl


  2. Oh, dear--I find that rather distressing--about the cutting of literature from high school, I mean. I think our human souls and minds not only want but need stories to really grow and develop and better understand ourselves, others, the past and present. Of course, true stories are super important too, but I don't see a lot of those in the article, either. :( Maybe I'm biased, as a novelist and lover of fiction...but after all, Jesus taught largely through stories...seems like He had something there. :) Anyway, I always enjoy your insightful, fun, and informative posts, Morgan!

    1. Thanks, Kiersti!

      I agree with you about the literature. It is a distressing move...and Jesus did have a way with stories that speak volumes to me. That's learning without knowing you're learning. Profound. ;)

      Hope you have a Merry Christmas!