Presidents’ Day: Controversial Decisions in Hindsight

Hello everyone and happy Presidents’ Day!

In our society, criticizing leadership has become the norm.  Maybe it always was.  If we look at any U.S. President, we will see that he had his share of critics and flaws.  It can be easy to say that we would have done a better job.  But is that really the case?

Hindsight Storm TrooperWhen I was in college, I took a wonderful history class about the Vietnam War.  The professor knew that most of us didn’t know anything about that war (I certainly didn’t), and he started off the semester by asking us not to read ahead or look up anything about the Vietnam War.  Then, whenever we reached a turning point in the history of the war, he gave us the information which would have been available to the population at that time and asked us to choose what we thought should happen.  We each kept a record of our choices.  Then, he told us what actually happened and the consequences.  It was humbling to see that without the gift of hindsight, I made a lot of the same mistakes as the people who actually made the decisions.

Writing Challenge

  1. Choose a president (it can be one you know well or one you didn’t even realize was a president) and research his time in office.
  2. Choose one of the big and/or controversial decisions he made and do a little research about the events surrounding that decision.
  3. Write a journal entry as that president about the decision he made and his reasons for making it.  (Remember to limit yourself to the knowledge which the president had available to him at the time.)

Kindness Month Challenge

Write an e-mail to the president, your congressman/woman, representative, or a state or local official, and thank him/her for a decision they made that you approved of.  Remember, they hear plenty of requests and complaints, so why not make their day by saying “thank you”?

Happy writing!

Katie

Make February Kindness Month

Hello everyone!

Did you know that Valentine’s Day is not the only relationship focused holiday in February?  February 17th is National Random Acts of Kindness Day.  Perry Human Services has expanded that idea and started a month-long kindness challenge at local schools.

I liked the idea so much, that I decided to piggyback off it.  For the month of February, I challenge you to try to do one random act of kindness a day.  It could be as simple as holding the door for someone or greeting everyone you meet with a smile.  Click on the link to access the PDF file of Perry Human Services’ Kindness Calendar.  They have something listed for every day in February and some additional ideas at the bottom of the calendar.

Here are some ideas for how to be kind to other writers:

  • Recommend a favorite book to a friend.
  • Write or e-mail an author and let him/her know how much you enjoyed his/her book.
  • Review a book on Amazon and Goodreads.
  • Leave a positive comment on an author’s Facebook page or blog.

I am going to start this kindness challenge off by recommending two book series that I discovered in 2019, and which I have thoroughly enjoyed.

Wings of FireWings of Fire by Tui T. Sutherland

This is a fantasy series set in a dragon society.  Although the main plot is about fulfilling or stopping a prophecy, there are underlying themes of friendship, personal growth, and empathy.  The series is well-written and the concept surrounding magic is interesting.

The Great Shelby HolmesThe Great Shelby Holmes by Elizabeth Eulberg

This is a modern retelling of Sherlock Holmes set in New York City.  Each book has a mystery to solve and deals with Watson’s feelings concerning his parents’ recent divorce and Shelby’s inability to relate to people.  The series is told from Watson’s perspective and has a comedic tone.

Happy writing!

Katie