Stephen D. Lalonde

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My Blogs

 My blog activity is shifting from education to writing and publishing.

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The Success of Others

Posted on August 1, 2021 at 12:05 AM

One of the true joys I find in being part of a critique group is to see the success of other members. Kristi has become a certified editor, a book coach and the author of best-seller books. Amy has a memoir about her first year as a Peace Corp volunteer in rural Thailand, and is working on another memoir that will be a really great read (can't say any more than that). Caleb has become an extremely successful graphic novel / comic book producer. He has been picked up by a publishing company. K...

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The Process

Posted on July 30, 2021 at 1:30 PM

I have published one book of poetry and three novels. The process for each has improved a great dea. I did the poetry book mostly to learn about the publishing process. Russ and Grey Dog Press was instrumental in helping me to understand the process and the pieces that have to come together. The next thing I had to focus on with each of the three novels was research. I knew enough to know what I didn't know. LOL. With each novel the researching element became better and more productive. The l...

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Marketing - The Indie Challenge

Posted on July 29, 2021 at 12:00 AM

By self-publishing and running my own publishing company, I maintain complete control of my writing efforts. The biggest challenge is marketing. This is the one advantage in being published by a mainstream publisher. They have easy access and process for mass distribution. I envy that, but not enough at this point in my life to give up creative control or risk financial loss. Instead, I choose to market as best I can through local bookstores, book-signing events, social media and word-of-mout...

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Meeting Great People

Posted on July 26, 2021 at 2:25 PM

One of the benefits of my writing endeavor is meeting and spending time with wonderful people. There is the critique group (5 of us), and the members of the Northwest Writers' Guild, the Spokane Authors and Self-Publishers members and, though I haven't attended for some time, the Spokane Fiction Writers' group. Then there are the people who come to book-signings; both the friends and relatives and the people I am meeting for the first time. There really is a large and strong writing community...

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Book signing events

Posted on July 25, 2021 at 6:00 PM

My first book signing event happened unexpectedly in Orlando, FL. I was on my way to attend the NEA Representative Assembly when my wife sent me an email about a book signing event. I had written the anchor chapter for a book called TEACHING WITH TECHNOLOGY, and the National Education Association decided to release the book at the Rep Assembly. As soon as I got to Orlando, I went to the NEA bookstore booth at the convention center and explained that I didn't have any proper clothes, so I woul...

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Writing as a labor of love

Posted on July 24, 2021 at 5:30 PM

I had my first novel, THE PHOENIX GIFT, outlined 20 years before I retired and could actually take the time to write it. It took two years to write (and rewrite, and rewrite, and well, you get the point). SINON OF KIRRA took a year and a half, and MENTU THE NUBIAN took about 10 months. In my opinion each book was better written than the one before as would make sense if a writer is honestly working to improve with each effort. It is a labor of love, but only one of several interests I am purs...

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Posted on July 23, 2021 at 12:50 AM

Not too long ago, self-publishing was considered vanity press. Today that is no longer true. The big publishers want you to have a track record before they will look at your work seriously. It is a prime example of the catch 22. I have chosen to start my own publishing company - Ouranian Publishing of Spokane. This way I have complete control of the creative process. For better or worse, it is my domain. I so enjoy all of the elements of publishing. I do my own page layout and design, typeset...

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Critique group and beta readers

Posted on July 21, 2021 at 12:15 AM

I am a member of a unique and dynamic critique group. They have been instrumental to me and to each other as we each move forward in the writing/publishing experience. I am focused on historical fiction based in ancient Greece. Amy is writing creative non-fiction in the form of memoirs. Kristi is writing childrens books, a guide for choosing assisted living facilities (she has 11 years experience in the administration end of the industry) among other projects. Caleb is having tremendous succe...

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Writing as a retirement activity.

Posted on July 20, 2021 at 12:10 AM

I write because I find it interesting, educational, fun, frustrating and a significant opportunity to try to say something worthwhile. The creative nature of writing fiction intrigues me and drives me to try to get better at telling a story. I try to embed themes that are important to me. I love the time I spend in research to get it as right as I can. My love of ancient Greece and the mythology the Greeks produced is why I am focusing on historical fiction based in that place and time. I tau...

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Betsy Devos for Secretary of Education???? Really????

Posted on December 30, 2016 at 5:35 PM

There is absolutely no question about Donald Trump's agenda on public education. It is to destroy it and shift to privatized education that will further support the decimation of the middle class.

This country was built on the strength of  the free public education system. Betsy Devos has a history of trying to circumvent and destroy public education. She purchased the access to ramp up her ability to do that with huge donations to the Trump campaign. She has NO qualifications for ...

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Three factors that most impact the lack of student achievement

Posted on January 7, 2015 at 2:55 PM

Speaking from experience (and again a reminder that I'm focusing on schools of Washington state, however colleagues in other states have agreed that these are the primary problems in their state as well), the three primary factors that negatively impact student performance are poverty, transience, and dissolution of the family unit. Until these elements are appropriately addressed we will not see the kind of student performance that the reform movement is expecting. Obviously these three elem...

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Posted on January 3, 2015 at 3:00 PM

   One primary element that is missing in the rush to the pseudo-reform in public education is common sense. This is clear in some of the unnecessary "research" and ludicrous assumptions. There is much in genuine educational reform that is properly based in good research and logical approaches to new methodologies.

   It is a waste of money to do research to determine if water is wet. Common sense should tell you there is no need to do research to determine if smal...

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The Achilles' Heel of Public Education- Special Education

Posted on January 2, 2015 at 7:00 PM

   There was a time in the not-too-distant past when special needs students and their parents were disenfranchised and underserved. Over the years that situation has been addressed and in many ways is now out of balance in the other direction. In addition, individuals with lower and lower cognitive abilities have been brought into the public school system.

   Too often the effort to be politically correct obscures or completely ignores the truth. In dealing with spe...

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Bad teachers...

Posted on January 2, 2015 at 4:30 PM

Bad teachers…

There are some. Within an enterprise as large as public education, it should be no surprise to anyone that there are some bad teachers. There are also bad doctors, bad dentists, bad lawyers (possibly redundant), bad priests, and even bad politicians (yeah…I know.)

However, those who believe that public education is failing, including those who are doing everything in their power to make that happen, obviously believe that there are masses of ba...

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Reform and Pseudo-Reform

Posted on October 28, 2014 at 5:05 PM

Public Education and Educational Reform and Pseudo-reform

Public education has become the scapegoat for many of our society's problems. To be sure there are problems in public education that need to be addressed. That should be no surprise to anyone considering how large the educational system is and must be. Some of the current educational reform is legitimate, justified, research-based, and when properly implemented results in positive improvements ...

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