What does YoP stand for? Young People, because in the words of the late, great, Dr. Seuss, "a person's a person, no matter how small" and "Yop" was the sound, made by one of the smallest Who's down in Who-ville whose importance made all of the Who's voices heard! So here's a  "yop" - the old school version of a shout out, celebrating young people and people who are young at heart or unsung or unheard.

What's in this Blog? Hold on to your socks!
Books - A Review of WOOL, by Hugh Howey
Science - Replicators - Not Just the Stuff of Science Fiction
Decorating - Clean Your Room!!!
School - Get Some Learnin'
Books - see how the subject, "books" sort of bookends the content? Coincidence? I think not.
WOOL, by Hugh Howey

WOOL, by Hugh Howey, is a tale about a dystopian future whereby the inhabitants of earth have gone to ground, living in underground Silos. Their obedience is achieved through a divide and conquer philosophy - prevent people of different labor guilds from communicating with one another, and rule with an iron fist wrapped around a couple of wool scrubby pads.

Not intended as a young adult novel, however, WOOL will neither disappoint nor prove too graphic for more sensitive readers. (I fall into the latter category.)

In other book news, Amazon has just launched a new program whereby authors and publishers can elect to include their books - hard copy and e-copy - as a box set. This means, if you purchased the hard copy (or paper copy) of a book, the author or publisher has the option to offer the e-version of the same book at a greatly reduced price... or FREE (as mine are)! Gone are the days of wishing I had the paper copy of a book when the battery on my e-reader goes kaput! For many books, I'll be able to purchase the hard copy and get an e-copy for free! Well, it's a thing of the past if the publisher makes that option available to readers. It will be interesting to see how this plays out with regard to WOOL.

Hugh Howey made news when he was able to negotiate the sale of JUST his hard copy rights to a traditional publisher after self-publishing the e-version of the book. It created quite the stir amongst writers as it set a precedent for the author's ability to retain the rights to the electronic rights of a book! I bring this up, because it will have to be negotiated under some special provision if WOOL - hard copy - is to be offered in conjunction with its e-version. (For this one, my money went predominately to the author by purchasing his e-copy.) I'll be watching that little bit of industry news unfold!
Replicators - Not Just the Stuff of Science Fiction Any More!

I have just one word to offer: 3D Printing (See, it's one number, one letter, and one word.)
With the advent of 3D Printing, we are one step closer to stepping up to a device on our kitchen counter, and repeating the demands of Captain Piccard, "Tea. Earl Gray. Hot," and having it dispensed without muss or fuss.

At present, 3D Printers are not producing food from its basic elements. Not yet, anyway. What they can produce is a three dimensional copy based on a graphics based set of instructions. See for yourself! This Youtube video is well worth 4 minutes, 27 seconds of your time.
"This changes everything," says the interviewer. You ain't just a whistling Dixie. The ramifications 3D printing will have on everything from manufacturing, to transportion... to GUN CONTROL LAWS... are huge! Imagine going to your kitchen, plugging in your shoe size and a style, and having a pair of shoes "replicated" or 3D Printed, right there, on the spot. Hmmm, what are the ramifications for producing non-biodegradable crap? Everything is off the table, for better or for worse.

One of my kids and I have been visiting architecture schools this past summer and 3D Printers seem to have become a mainstay fixture in all of the schools we have visited. And the printers themselves have plummeted in price until they can easily become a fixture in the home of anyone who can afford a high-end printer - around $500 for a pretty nice 3D Printer.

So, if you had one sitting on your kitchen counter, what would you whip up?
Drop me a line at sofie@sofiecouch.com telling me your idea, (and granting permission to share your ideas with readers in next month's blog.)
Start With the Basics: Clean Your Room!!

Your room is your sanctum. It's all about you. What? You share a room with someone, either at home or at college? No problem and all the more reason to keep it clean. You can start by defining your space. There's a restful place where you do all that slumbering, a place where you do all that brilliant thinking of yours - a desk, a lap tray - and a place where you conduct the business of dressing and coiffing.

Begin by sorting everything into those categories. Just heap it all up - desk/office/work, sleep/comfort/rest, dressing/coiffing/primping. Here's the part where I give you a nifty site to check out. I happen to love www.flylady.net for organizing and cleaning! Her theory is simple. Get three boxes. One box for trash, one box for donating, one box for keeping. The FlyLady suggests tackling the tasks in 15 minute intervals, her motto being, "it didn't get dirty in a day. It won't get clean in a day."

Next month, we bring that room into the 21st Century - and make it age appropriate!
Get Some Learnin'

This is one of my favorite topics. Here on the Chicken Ranch, we like to do things in a non-traditional manner. So when my kids were able to describe how unhappy they were in traditional school, we pulled the plug and now we do things old school - rather, unschool. With unschooling, young people and adults alike learn as their interests dictate. Wanna learn how to mountain climb? Okay. We can do that. Have an interest in fractals? We can do that. Wanna start your own business? We can do that too.

But education in general is undergoing an amazing revolution. We have always known there was more than one way to go about educating ones self, (and yes, it is ultimately the responsibility of each individual to educate themselves.) Learning is not going to be very effective if it's coming about as a result of force or coercion. Learning happens as a result of personal interest.

So check out some of these outside the box options! (I like to think of them as "outside the boox" options.)

and of course, there's always www.youtube.com for instruction in any number of subjects, skills, how to play a musical instrument, etc.

If there's something you want to learn, never before has it been more accessible. I'm like a kid in a candy shop! Have you learned something lately from an unlikely source? Do tell!
BOOKS (the second bookend to the e-zine-blog.)

I just finished another book today! So I'm celebrating by putting out this, the first e-zine-blog of YOP at sofiecouch.blogspot.com! When I say "finished" a book, I mean, I wrote the last word in what promises to be the complete, finished manuscript. But now the yucky work begins - that of editing, formatting, and then the labor of love in creating a cover. Suggestions? It should be out, probably by the end of the month, but in the meantime, you may want to enjoy one of my other books. All are YOP appropriate. Some feature YAs, some feature older YOPs. I enjoyed writing all of them. Hope you enjoy reading them!

STAR CROSSED - tentative title - the one I just finished!
(read them in that order).

And finally, don't hesitate to share this e-zine/blog/newsletter! Get the next issue before anyone else by following my blog. (There it is, see? That little clicky thing to the right - it says "follow".)


  1. Fun blog, Sofie & WAY informative. That sorting thing is going to come in very handy. I even peeked at The Fly Lady. I'm gonna delegate a few braincells to that 3D Printer question, but I can't wait to see what your followers come up with.

    1. It's probably just you and me, Denise - taking over and over-throwing the world, righting its wrongs, etc.


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