Thought for the Day:
“Fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth.”
~ Albert Camus ~
Gifts for My Writer Friends:
K. M. Allen has some good advice HERE for all of us trying to be productive during this difficult time. Now if I could just get someone over here to give me a kick in the pants.
About ten years ago, I read a YA called Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway. I think about that book often. It was funny and smart and had perhaps the BEST sidekick I have ever read. That’s what I think about when I think about the book. I mean, it was a great story and clever, but that secondary character has stayed with me. We don’t always think about secondary characters as much as we should. C. S. Lakin of Live Write Thrive has a really good post HERE about secondary characters. Worth your time.
Writing Forward has an oldy but a goody HERE with The 22 Best Writing Tips Ever.
I hope all of you are doing well and staying well. I have to admit, I am struggling emotionally with the isolation. This is my favorite of the funny memes that have kept me going. One would think this would be a great time to get a lot of reading and writing done. The reality is I am having trouble focusing on reading and have to do it in small chunks, taking breaks as never before. If I read for an hour at a sitting, that is good for me now. I am also having trouble writing. I have no desire to write anything at the moment and have been feeling really guilty about it until I saw a post on Facebook last week from another writer who said people shouldn’t feel guilty if they are not writing. Everyone has to deal with this mess in their own ways. That was nice to read. I know now I’m not alone in feeling this way. So do what you can, take care of yourselves, and know that we will get to the other side of this one day.
Finding a new book by someone you admire and whose writing you really loved is such a treat. When I saw Beginners Welcome by Cindy Baldwin on the list for review for the Manhatten Book Review, I grabbed it. I knew I was in for a treat, and I was not mistaken. Here is the review I wrote for them.
Annie Lee lost her father three months ago, but she and her mother still smell his aftershave and find his whiskers in the sink every morning, and the phonograph turns itself on playing his favorite music even after they move from their house. Annie Lee’s mother works non-stop trying to make ends meet, and Annie Lee has to go to a new middle school where she knows no one. Annie Lee tries to be invisible, but a girl named Mitch befriends her. After school some days, Annie Lee takes her scooter and goes around town, one day finding a man playing piano in a mall, and the music is so beautiful she can see it. She asks him to teach her to play, which he agrees to. But when he goes missing, Annie Lee has some hard choices to make.
Cindy Baldwin has followed up her brilliant debut novel, Where the Watermelons Grow, with an equally affecting story. The character of Annie Lee will grab readers’ hearts and have them rooting for her the whole way. The writing is gorgeous and the voice pitch-perfect for a middle-school girl. This deserves a readership far beyond its intended audience.
I have a gently-read ARC 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.