Thought for the Day:
“There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is; nor how valuable it is; nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours, clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that makes us more alive than the others.”
~ Martha Graham ~
~ Martha Graham ~
Gifts for My Writer Friends:
Writers Helping Writers have a terrific post on Mastering the Art of the Cliffhanger Chapter Ending HERE. Don’t miss it.
The Editor’s Blog has a fun post HERE with lots of good reminders of how to engage readers.
Anne R. Allen always has good advice. HERE you will find a good post on editing your first chapter. C’mon. We all have to do it!
Just a heads up. I probably won’t be here next week. My sweet sister and brother-in-law are coming to celebrate my birthday and giving me the best birthday present ever — helping us sort out and pack up as we get closer to our move, which will happen after the world’s longest renovation is done — soon, I hope. But I will be back and when I write next, I will be seventy. Yup — the big seven-oh! Holy smoke but I’m getting on. I’d like to thank all you young whippersnappers for sticking around and reading.
Last week I offered my gently-read copy of Nanny X Returns by Madelyn Rosenberg to one of you. This week’s winner is Suzanne Warr. Congratulations, Suzanne! If you don’t know her, Suzanne is a North Carolina writer and Tae Kwon Do Black Belt who blogs at Tales from the Raven. You can find her blog HERE. It’s worth checking out. Suzanne, I will get your book out to you this week. For the rest of you, I have another giveaway, so please keep reading.
I cannot believe I haven’t written about this book before, but it’s another book I ran across as I sorted and packed books. If you have read my blog for awhile, you probably know I think Gary D. Schmidt is one of the best writers around. I have reviewed a couple of his books before, Okay for Now HERE and Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy HERE. This week I’d like to tell you about Schmidt’s latest book, Orbiting Jupiter. It’s simply terrific. Here is the review I wrote for the San Francisco Book Review.
Jack gets the news his parents are taking in a foster child, a boy Jack’s age who will share his room and chores on the farm. They will also both be going into sixth grade. But when Jack finds out Joseph had spent time in juvenile hall for trying to kill a teacher and that he is a father, Jack wonders what they’ve gotten themselves into. There are no secrets that last very long in a small-town middle school, and word about Joseph soon travels through the halls, and bullies get to work. But Jack has Joseph’s back, even though it costs him. As time goes on, Jack learns Joseph’s whole, heart-breaking story and meets his abusive father. Then everything changes.
“That was how Joseph heard for the first time that he never would see Madeleine again, never touch her again, never talk to her again, never walk through the woods with her again.”
When Gary D. Schmidt has a new book come out, it is cause for celebration in
|Gary D. Schmidt|
the world of middle-grade readers. His sense of story and his elegant writing carries readers through even the most difficult of subjects, and Schmidt never shies away from honestly examining the difficult things young people face. This moving coming-of-age tale is one of his finest books and deserves readership far beyond the middle-grade crowd.
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.