Park Ranger Sharon Miyako Receives Prestigious Award at Yosemite National Park

The Barry Hance Memorial Award is Park’s Highest Honor

Yosemite National Park is proud to announce that Park Ranger Sharon Miyako is the recipient of the 2016 Barry Hance Memorial Award. This ceremony was attended by approximately 300 people, including several past Barry Hance Award recipients.

The Barry Hance Memorial Award is a peer-nominated award that is named in honor of Barry Hance, a long-time employee of Yosemite National Park who died in an avalanche while plowing the Tioga Road in 1995. Recipients of this prestigious award are employees who exemplify the qualities and attributes of Barry Hance. These include team work, a positive attitude, concern for the public and fellow employees, public service, and a deep love for Yosemite National Park.

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Question: Do you think that novelists can write about what they don’t know?

Answer: Nope. If you write what you don’t know it rings false, and that transfers directly to the page, and the reader will always pick up on it.

To correct some misconceptions:

  • How many submarines did Jules Verne ride in? None. But he was intimately familiar with the French submarine experimenters of the time – including the submarine “Le Plongeur” designed and built by Simon Bourgeois and Charles Brun, which (gee, coincidentally enough…) just happened to be around for seven years before 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was published, and which Verne actually saw when he was writing the story.
  • Fiction isn’t about “what you don’t know” at all. It’s about storytelling. Good storytellers write what they know. They always have, they always will.
  • Those who claim you should write what you don’t know – using the “crusading knights” and “dragons” and “space travel” and all the Hogwarts stuff doesn’t exist argument – clearly don’t understand storytelling. A story isn’t about the inner workings of hyperdrive, the quantum physics of a witch’s spell, the anatomy of a dragon or any of that ancillary ‘color.’ A good story is about heroes and villains and love and hate and human emotion. THAT is what good storytellers always write about; they write what they know.

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What does NaNoWriMo mean to me?


This morning I received an email soliciting funds from NaNoWriMo. 

NaNoWriMo was an annual writing challenge that took place every November. As it’s popularity has grown, it’s created NaNoWriMo, Camp NaNoWriMo and other annual, Internet-based creative writing contests that takes place throughout the year. The challenge is to a novel (50,000 words is the minimum length of a novel( between a scheduled start date and end date. The winner (anyone who writes the minimum number of words) gets an internet badge they can put on their website or facebook page or whatever. I have several on my site here, as I have often participated, supported, and won the challenges.

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