Thought for the Day:
“The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.”
~ Michaelangelo ~
Gifts for My Writer Friends:
Fae Rown has a good post HERE at Writers in the Storm that will help you refine your word choices.
Creating characters is a lot of fun, but creating interesting, realistic characters can be hard. HERE is a post from Writing Forward by Melissa Donovan that has 20 Fun and Inspiring Character Writing Ideas.
Have you been dangling modifiers lately? The post HERE on Just Publishing Advice will remind you what they are and how to fix them.
I promised you my picks for the Oscars. Please remember, these are just my humble opinions. I am no expert nor do I have any secret knowledge. I have seen all the films nominated for Best Picture and two more, Can You Ever Forgive Me, for which Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant were nominated for acting awards and At Eternity’s Gate for which Willem Dafoe was nominated for Best Actor. I honestly cannot figure out why Roma was nominated for Best Picture. I also don’t think Vice, A Star is Born, The Favourite, or Black Panther rise to that lofty prize. I really liked BlakkKlansman, Bohemian Rhapsody, and Green Book. If I ruled the world, I would probably choose Green Book as the winner, but I would not be disappointed if any of the three win. They were all terrific. I haven’t seen all the performances that were nominated for acting awards, but of those I’ve seen I would choose Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody) as Best Actor, Olivia Colman (The Favourite) as Best Actress, Mahershala Ali (Green Book) as Supporting Actor, and Amy Adams (Vice) as Supporting Actress. All those performances were spectacular. That’s my two cents. I hope you have seen some of these and that you enjoy the Oscars tonight.
Last week, I offered a gentry read copy of Fantastic Failures by Luke Reynolds to one of you. This week’s winner is Donna Gwinnell Lambo-Weidner, a bay-area writer. You can learn more about her at her website HERE. Congratulations, Donna! I will get your book out to you soon. For the rest of you, please stay tuned. I have another giveaway this week.
Several weeks ago, I won a copy of One Week of You by Lisa Williams Kline on Carol Baldwin’s blog (Thank you, Carol!). She often gives away books and has lots of good reviews and writing information. Check it out HERE. I had read some of Lisa’s earlier books and liked them, so I was excited. What I didn’t realize (because I don’t always pay attention!) is that it was an ebook. I have to admit it is almost painful for me to read a book that is not a print book. I received an email from Lisa asking if I had trouble opening the file as another reader had. I told her the file was fine, but admitted my problem with ebooks. Lisa offered to sent me a print copy right away. How nice was that? So the least I could do was read it and share it here. It’s actually listed as a YA book, but most of us know lots of middle-graders who read up, and it is sometimes hard to find YA books that are appropriate for those advanced readers. This is one, so I have no problem including it here. It has no sex, no bad words, and looks at issues that middle-graders face as well as teenagers.
It is the first week of April in Lizzy’s freshman year. She is a good student and tries to stay on task in school, but sometimes she gets distracted and forgetful. Freshmen, as part of their health class, will be required to care for a “flour baby” (a five-pound bag of flour) for a week as if it were a real baby. Lizzy meets a new guy at school, Andy, who is smart and funny, and she has a serious crush on him. Since it is April Fool’s week, some pranks are to be expected, and Lizzy is told that Andy might invite her to the freshman dance, but that it might be a prank. Needless to say, she gets pretty distracted.
Some pretty serious pranks start happening at the school, and while they seem funny at first, it is not long until the pranks escalate and actually become dangerous. Through it all, Lizzy is distracted by several things, and things get out of control for her. Her school work suffers, and she gets into some real trouble. Fortunately for her, she has a terrific big brother who saves her bacon more than one time, but there is only so much saving a brother can do. Lizzy learns some hard lessons that kids will really relate to.
Lisa Williams Kline has written a terrific book that will engage a wide range of readers from sophisticated middle-graders on up. Her writing is top notch and her characters fully-realized and believable. The cringe-worthy story problems are things young people will certainly understand and relate to. I highly recommend this one.
I have a gently-read paperback of this book for 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.