Thought for the Day:
“When describing nature, a writer should seize upon small details, arranging them so that the reader will see an image in his mind after he closes his eyes. For instance: you will capture the truth of a moonlit night if you’ll write that a gleam like starlight shone from the pieces of a broken bottle, and then the dark, plump shadow of a dog or wolf appeared.”
~ Anton Chekhov ~
Gifts for My Writer Friends:
Looking for some words to make the time period in your book more believable? Check out Grammar Girl’s post HERE about a site and book that can help you out.
I think all writers think about their protagonist first and build from there, but Steven Pressfield makes a good argument HERE to Start With the Villain.
Tina Ann Forkner has a guest post HERE on Writers in the Storm that will help you have a grand opening in your book. Check it out.
I will be absent next week. I mentioned in an earlier post that I was accepted to the SCBWI mentor program for this year, and next weekend is the conference. Unfortunately, it is in Las Vegas, not my favorite place, but it should be an exciting time otherwise. My exchange student will fly in Saturday and keep herself entertained during conference time, but when it’s over, we will drive to the Grand Canyon for a day, then home. I have never been to the Grand Canyon in the winter, and going there is high on her bucket list so that should be fun too.
Last week I offered a copy of Spy on History: Victor Dowd and the World War II Ghost Army illustrated by Scott Wegener to one of you. This week, Susan May Olson is our winner. Congratulations, Susan! If you aren’t familiar with Susan, you can check out her blog Time Travel Times Two HERE. Guess what her favorite genre is. Anyway, she has great book reviews there. Her debut middle-grade novel, Time Jump Coins came out last year and is available on Amazon. It’s a fun read. Susan, I will get your book out to you soon. For the rest of you, please keep reading. I have another giveaway.
A couple months ago I ran across Confessions from the Principal’s Kid by Robin Mellom on the list for review books for the San Francisco Book Review. The title alone was irresistible for me. Some of the best books I’ve read have focused on kids whose parents have positions that really impact the kids’ lives. I ordered it right up and am glad I did. This is a fun read. Here is the review I wrote for SFBR.
Allie, a fifth-grader, has had her world changed mightily. You’d think talking with one’s mother wouldn’t be a big deal in terms of school life, but if your mother is the principal, one conversation can change everything. Allie lost her best friend and feels adrift in school, but after school, she is quite connected. The Afters are kids whose parents work at the school, and the kids all stay late while their parents finish work. Allie has discovered every shortcut possible and, in addition to the Afters, has found a good friend in the custodian. When Allie gets her wish and is assigned to a partners project with her former best friend, she thinks it’s her big chance to make things right, but she may lose much more than she gains.
Author Robin Mellom, in her author’s note, tells of her life as a principal’s kid,
and that experience gives her work clear authenticity. The voice of Allie is pitch-perfect for a girl of that age and circumstance. Her experiences will strike a chord with her intended audience and beyond. The writing is crisp, and the story is smart, funny, and sometimes heartbreaking. Don’t miss this one.
I have a gently-read hardback for of this 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 Greg Pattridge’s blog HERE for many more Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday reviews and giveaways.