Thought for the Day:
“Always be a poet, even in prose.”
~ Charles Baudelaire ~
Gifts for My Writer Friends:
This is kind of fun. A British professor tells us Why We Should Learn to Love the Full Stop HERE from Aerogramme Writers’ Studio. There is a great writing trick in this one.
I linked to a post recently about pulling out your old manuscripts and dusting them off. Janice Hardy at Fiction University has a post HERE about how to decide whether that is a good idea or not.
We all have to write author bios, and it never seems an easy task. Rachelle Gardner has some good tips HERE.
The long and often arduous journey to having a book published, when successful, gives hope to all of us who are writers. When it happens for one’s critique partners, we can take some pride in the product and even bask in the glory just a little. Two of my critique partners have completed the journey, both more than once. It’s exciting to know that I offered some help along the way. This latest success, The Carnival of Animals by my good friend Elizabeth Varadan, is really special. (And isn’t that cover GORGEOUS???) It’s very different from anything else out there that I’ve seen, and it is simply lovely. Let me tell you a little about it.
Composer Camille Saint-Saëns wrote a symphonic suite called The Carnival of the Animals in the late 1800s and this piece is the inspiration for the book. It opens with the composer struggling to write a piece of music to entertain his friends and, as he is pondering this problem, he falls asleep and dreams a fantasy filled with animals and their stories. What follows are fourteen fantastical tales of a wide variety of creatures. The first story is that of Elroy, a circus lion, who, realizing his cruel master is about to pull his teeth, escapes and runs away. He receives help along his way from unlikely animals. This is followed by stories of foolish roosters, a wild donkey that becomes a magical creature, a dancing turtle, and many more. While this is categorized as a book for middle-graders, it will absolutely beguile everyone who reads it, young and old alike.
Each story is accompanied by a charming illustration to introduce it, but the writing is positively enchanting. I hope you noticed the quote at the beginning of this post. I chose it particularly because I was writing about this book today. Elizabeth’s prose is so lyrical, you might just think you are reading poetry. Every story has that wonderful, old-fashioned feeling of being a fairy tale, and you will be transported to another place and time. This book was truly a labor of love and that shines through on every page.
If you happen to be in the Sacramento area, stop by Time Tested Books on 21st Street this coming Thursday, November 8, at 7:00 pm. Elizabeth will be doing a book signing there. I’m going and will be buying an autographed copy to give to one of you. All you need do is be a follower or subscriber (it’s free!), have a U.S. address, and leave a comment below. If you would like extra chances, please share the link to this post on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media outlet and let me know you have done that. If you are reading this in your email, please click HERE to get to my blog, then click on the title of the post, and leave a comment. And don’t forget to check for other Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts at the Greg Pattridge’s blog HERE.