“We should not write so that it is possible for the reader to understand us, but so that it is impossible for him to misunderstand us.”
~Quintilian (Marcus Fabius Quintilianus), rhetorician (c. 35-100)~
A gift for my writer friends:
Here are some links I think you will find valuable – three great ones this week:
Christie Wright Wild’s is running a series of posts on writing picture books at wonderful blog, Write Wild. There is much to love and learn from on her blog. Click HERE to check it out.
First, let me apologize up front for the problems I am having on my blog with spacing, type sizes, bolding, etc. I have no idea what is going on, but this week things simply look a little wonky. Please just read the words and ignore the nonsense. I’m working on it!
I recently won a ten-page critique over on Carol Baldwin’s blog. You can visit her blog by clicking HERE, and I promise you it will be worth your time. Anyway, the critique came from Rebecca Petruck who holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina, Wilmington and has her first novel, A Weird Kind of Normal, coming out in 2014 from Abrams/Amulet. Today I received her notes on the first chapter of my first novel, a book I believe in, but have been struggling with, for years. Her comments were spot on and so insightful that reading her notes was, for me, like that metaphorical shot of whiskey Clint Eastwood drinks in an old western that clears his mind and gives him the stamina to face Lee van Cleef. The good news is, Rebecca is a writing gun for hire who can help you face your writing fears. Check out her services by clicking HERE.
For my wonderful giveaway, the winner is Kristin Lenz! (Let’s hear a 21-gun salute!) She is also a writer. Kristin, Kathryn Fitzmaurice will be sending you a signed harcover copy of Destiny, Rewritten soon. Thanks for reading my blog. Enjoy! There will be another giveaway, so stay tuned and please leave comments to have a chance in the drawing.
I have been receiving requests lately to do book reviews for middle-grade books – some from authors, some from publicists, and even one from a publisher. It’s very flattering and it makes me realize that I’m actually building a pretty good readership. I feel good about that! Now, if I could just get into triple digits with my followers… In any case, this is a lead in for the book I will review and give away today.
A couple months ago I received a nice letter from a publicist asking me if I would be interested in reviewing Bitopia by Ari Magnusson. She told me it was a middle-grade book about bullying, and I told her to send it along. My grandkids have both been bullied and this is a very real problem for me. If we can find ways to mitigate the problem with engaging books for kids in middle school, I think it’s great, and I will do what I can to get the word out.
Young Stewart is trying to get home from school, which seems like a simple task, but there is a gang of three boys who harass Stewart and make his life miserable at every turn. This day, the boys surround him and really go after him. He escapes into a sewer pipe in a construction zone and, when the bullies start heaving garbage and rocks at him, he runs into the maze of pipes. Lost, he finds what he thinks is a way out only to find himself in a strange place that clearly is not his home town. When he turns back, the way he came out has disappeared.
Stewart finds a girl his age, Cora, gathering strange fruit. She refers to Stewart as a newcomer and says she will take to Bitopia, but they have to be careful of the Venators, frightening creatures that hunt children, picking at them, injuring them, harassing them. When they arrive in Bitopia after being chased by the Venators, Stewart finds himself in a walled city, sealed off from the outside world, and populated completely by human children. All the children arrived in this strange land after suffering terrible bullying. None ages while there. There are stringent rules and everyone has jobs to do, some riskier than others. Stewart discovers there is a book called the Comlat that was written by children from long ago that may hold the secret for all the children to overcome the Venators and return to their homes, but the book is kept locked away and only the Princeps, leader of the city, can see it.