Today is UNESCO International Literacy Day 2014, a day designed to champion literacy and how it can create sustainable development for the people of the world. More information can be found by going to UNESCO’s website.
If I had known about this before, I would have posted about it a few days ago however it must have been fate that I only found out today anyway as today is also the day that the Daily Mail, a UK newspaper, and BBC News are carrying reports that children and adults alike are struggling with their literacy and, in the adults case, numeracy.
The Daily Mail is reporting that the UK’s literacy levels are down and they are predicted to be even worse by 2025, particularly among white boys from poorer homes whilst BBC News says that adults are unable to gain the vital skills they need because they cannot access the training they need.
You can read these reports if you are interested by going to 1.5m Children “Won’t Read Well”- Daily Mail, Half of poor white boys struggling to read at 11: Children more likely to read text messages than books, study finds – Daily Mail and Urgent Help Needed For Adults With Poor Skills, Say MPs – BBC News.
This seems crazy that children and adults are growing up and struggling with the very basic skills that will help them getting GCSE’s (the very basic level of qualification necessary for most jobs in the UK), holding down jobs, doing household bills and administration and so much more. The closure of our libraries certainly do not help as, for many families, this is probably the only place they would have access to books for free to read. We also have a state education system designed to give everyone the chance of getting the very basic skills in literacy and numeracy.
Therefore, I definitely support UNESCO’s International Literacy Day.
Day 1 wasn’t entirely brilliant with just 665 words written but I blame that on having started writing and realising that I needed to do some re-jigging of my planning, setting and background information. Not least of all, characters remained unnamed until yesterday. For now, my MMC and his family have been named and a surname given to my FMC’s family. So still some work to do there and getting names sorted for my FMC (and the name of the town and island setting). I think that is going to be my first job this afternoon before I start writing again.
I struggled to get writing yesterday mainly because the first bit is meant to be the awkward first meeting between the FMC and MMC which sparks the events of the novel. The problems mentioned above naturally impacted on the writing, including the fact that the novel is set up in the Shetland Islands. I don’t know the Scottish education system as well as the English so required a bit of research to make sure I was on the right track. It might easily be a novel I will not revisit once this month is over but get certain things right the first time matters to me. Not least of all, it helps with getting things written initially and with editing at later stage in case I do go back to it.
Now I have got writing, hopefully things will be a little easier here on in.
Day 1 of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and well, it’s not going too good for me.
Stayed up to midnight intending to get some words written and ended up writing nothing, went to bed, didn’t have the best nights sleep, woke up, procrastinated for a few hours, doing this and that then suddenly found myself able to write. I don’t know what it is, but sometimes I have to mess around, do this and that, anything but writing then I will suddenly just want to write. It’s just the way I am and I can’t put my finger on why that is the case.
Anyway, I have had some interruptions since, including doing some physio with my knee and having to do research on international students and names for my main character and her family, but I have managed a grand total of 1,215 words. I will probably add to it before midnight so all is not lost.
Part of my procrastination has actually been watching and listening to an interview with Derek Landy, the author of the Skulduggery Pleasant series, which included discussion of the movie and the fates of certain characters and Skulduggery Pleasant‘s Bentley. You can check that interview out here: