Thought for the Day:
“It is impossible to live without failing at something unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.”
~ J. K. Rowling ~
Gifts for My Writer Friends:
Jane Friedman has The Complete Guide to Query Letters HERE and it’s good.
HERE is a terrific post from Novel Writing Help that will give you 10 Rules for Sounding Like a Pro when you are writing dialogue. This is a really long post, but it is worth the time.
We all want our readers to root for our main characters. Tiffany Yates Martin has a good post HERE on Writers in the Storm that will give you 10 Ways to Make the Reader Care About Your Protagonist.
The news of the country seems to get worse on an hourly basis. My granddaughter will be out of school until at least the middle of April. I have stocked my pantry and don’t intend to leave my house except to go to the mailbox for at least a couple weeks. I look at the title of the book I’m reviewing this week and think the Mistakes Were Made part of it could easily be a headline on today’s news. Let’s hope the powers that be get their collective act together soon enough to limit the damage. Please take care of yourselves and be well.
Last week I offered my gently-used copy of Ms. Bixby’s Last Day to one of you. This week’s winner is Sue Heavenrich. Congratulations, Sue! I will get your book out to you soon. If you don’t know Sue, You should. She runs a couple of blogs with great reviews on them called Sally’s Bookshelf and Archimedes Notebook. Sue is a scientist and writer and finds some really interesting books to feature on her blogs. Click on the titles of her blogs to visit. I promise it is worth your time. I have another giveaway this week, so please keep reading.
I have gotten on the mailing list for a publicist at Candlewick Press and get occasional offers for books for review. I like that. I received a note recently offering me a copy of Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made by Stephen Pastis. Somehow I have managed to miss the whole Timmy Failure series. I’ve heard of them, but I had not read any of them. And I have been a fan of Pastis and his irreverent comic strip, Pearls Before Swine for years. Now, it seems, Disney has a new movie based on the first Timmy Failure book, so there is a new edition of the book to accompany that movie. And I have it. And I am going to give it to one of you. Let me tell you a little about the book.
Timmy is eleven and, according to him, he is the greatest living detective, even though he is greatly handicapped by his lack of a proper office, an administrative assistant, appropriate transportation, and more. But none of that stops him. He takes on jobs that any fool could solve, ignores all the evidence, and comes to the worst possible conclusions. But since the story is told from Timmy’s point of view, the reader is led on the merry chase through Timmy’s eyes. It is a very funny perspective and will keep young readers laughing while Timmy and his sidekick, Total, a polar bear, fumble through life leaving a path of missed opportunities and even destruction in their wake. No one seems exempt — not Timmy’s long-suffering mother, not his teacher, not his classmates — from the silly ineptitude of this young entrepreneur. This silliness is accompanied by lots of sketches, purportedly by Timmy, that helps tell the story. This is a perfect way to get reluctant readers reading and to keep middle-graders noses in their books where they belong.
I have a gently-read copy 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. And don’t forget to check for other Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts at the Greg Pattridge’s blog HERE.