Thought for the Day:
“Forget about inspiration. You won’t get anything done sitting around waiting for it to strike. Creativity is work. It requires discipline, tenacity, undeviating routine, and the total investment of both body and mind.”
~ Twyla Tharp ~
Gifts for My Writer Friends:
The Guardian has a fun article HERE on the Top 10 Ways to be Evil in Children’s Books.
Augusta Scattergood referenced an article on her blog titled Your Story Template by James Thayer. You can find it HERE and it’s worth a read. Thanks, Augusta.
Writer’s Helping Writers has a terrific post HERE on How to Uncover Your Character’s Emotional Wound. Great stuff.
Last week I offered a signed copy of Imogene and the Case of the Missing Pearls by Elizabeth Varadan to one of you. The winner this week is Michael Gettel-Gilmartin, aka The Blogfather. He is a writer and blogs at both Project Mayhem and Middle Grade Mafioso. If you click on the titles of the blogs, you can (and really should) check them out. Michael tweeted the link to this post and, consequently, received an extra chance in the drawing. Spreading the word seems to work! Thanks, Michael. I will get the book out to you this week.
This week, I would like to tell you about a middle-grade novel I read recently.
It’s called Anyone but Ivy Pocket and it’s written by Caleb Krisp. He doesn’t seem to have an author’s page, but I found this bio on the Bloombury site. “Caleb Krisp was raised by militant librarians who fed him a constant diet of 19th century literature and room temperature porridge. His childhood was cut tragically short after he sold his Great Aunt Mabel for a handful of perfectly ordinary pumpkin seeds. Caleb graduated from the University of Sufferance with a degree in Whimsy and set out to make his mark in the world as a writer. Years of toil and failure followed, until, following a brief stint working in a locked box, Caleb moved to an abandoned cottage deep in the woods and devoted himself to writing about the adventures of a twelve year old lady’s maid of no importance. His only communication with the outside world is via morse code or kettle drum. Caleb has a strong dislike of pastry chefs and certain domesticated rabbits. It is his express wish that you stop reading this now.”
That gives you a bit of a picture of what is in store when you read this book. Here is the review I wrote for the San Francisco Book Review.
When we first meet twelve-year-old Ivy Pocket, she is well on her way to being fired, and with good reason. And yet, Ivy never sees it coming, and when it does, she has no understanding of why. Surprisingly, another job—a dream job—comes her way almost immediately. A dying duchess hires Ivy to carry a very special diamond necklace to a very special person and to deliver it in a very special way. Ivy takes her mission seriously. On the ship from France to England, Ivy makes a friend, a very inquisitive friend, and what is going on is pretty clear to readers, but not to naïve Ivy. When Ivy finds out the duchess has been murdered, perhaps Ivy should be much more concerned than she is.
“I had the Clock Diamond sewn into the pocket of my dress and my carpetbag at my fee. I looked breathtaking. Just like a banker’s daughter. Or at very least a cheese-maker’s niece.”
This book is very clever and has a lot of funny stuff in it, but it seems to be
marketed to lower middle-grade kids, and the murders (three of them) may be a bit much for the younger readers. There is great humor throughout the book, but again, it will likely be missed by the younger readers. Older, more sophisticated readers will get it and will enjoy this mystery.
I have a gently-read ARC for one of you. To win, all you need do is have a US address, be a subscriber or follower and tell me that in a comment you leave on this post. If you are reading this in your email, click HERE to go to the blog so you can leave a comment. If you would like extra chances, please spread the word by posting the link on a Tweet, blog post, Facebook, or any other way you like. Let me know what you have done in your comment, and I will put in extra chances for you for each that you do.
Don’t forget to check out Shannon Messenger’s wonderful blog HERE for many more Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday reviews and giveaways.