Thought for the Day:
“If you want to write fiction, the best thing you can do is take two aspirins, lie down in a dark room, and wait for the feeling to pass. If the feeling persists, you probably ought to write a novel.”
~ Lawrence Block ~
Gifts for My Writer Friends:
Staying in your point of view is really important, and yet it can be hard to show the emotions of secondary characters. Louise Harnby has a great post HERE on how to show the emotions of non-point of view characters.
I never seem to have a problem coming up with ideas about what to write, but I know some people do, so HERE is a good article from Derek Haines at Just Publishing Advice to help with that.
Mary Anne Rodman has a very interesting post HERE on Teaching Authors with her Best Writing Tip Ever–or What I Learned from Wile. E. Coyote.
2020 has been like being stuck in quicksand for me. It has been such a struggle to do anything other than to hide in my house, but I am shaking some of it off. I have been revising a couple of manuscripts lately. One is a picture book I just couldn’t find a way into. I hope you know what I mean by that. Anyway, I had an epiphany and am very excited about that piece again. I also actually started writing a new manuscript as well. Maybe this year won’t be a total writing loss for me after all.
I receive a letter in my email every morning from a professor of history at Boston College named Heather Cox Richardson. She discusses the events of the previous day. It is always a very eye-opening read. It’s free, although I do donate to her because I find it so valuable. It clarifies a lot for me, and it helps to keep me sane. If you are interested, you can look at it HERE and sign up to receive it if you like. She also gives free lectures on Facebook every Tuesday and Thursday. If you choose to follow her on Facebook, you can listen to them live, or you can go to YouTube and watch her lectures there. On Tuesdays, she discusses current events examined with a historical perspective, and on Thursdays, she lectures on history. Lately, she has been talking about the history of the Republican Party. Absolutely fascinating. I don’t usually mention anything political, but these are extraordinary times. I promise this won’t become a thing here.
Last week, I offered a gently-read ARC of Rick by Alex Gino to one of you. Danielle Hammelef always shares my link for extra chances and it often pays off for her in the drawing. That is the case this week. Congratulations, Danielle. I will get the book out to you soon. Although I don’t have a giveaway this week, be sure to check back next week. I will have another giveaway then.
When I was reading through all the great reviews posted on MMGM last week, Alex Baugh at Randomly Reading posted a review of A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Joy McCullough. I realized I had never posted my review of that book, and it is really a good one. When I donate books to the school, they kind of fall off my radar, and sometimes I forget to post my review here. That’s what happened this time. But, as I often say, it is never too late to review a good book. Here is the review I wrote for the San Francisco Book Review.
Ten-year-old Sutton is a nerd who loves working with her bot. Her parents are divorced, and Sutton lives with her musician dad, Martin. Her mother has an apartment in the same building, but she spends most of her time in Antarctica studying penguins. Luis, who lost his father to cancer when he was two, lives with his mother, Elizabeth. He’s creative and suffers from severe allergies. Sutton and Luis meet when Martin and Elizabeth are seriously dating and clearly thinking about a future together. Sutton and Luis couldn’t be more different from each other, but how they find ways to appreciate and respect their differences and ways to work together is a great story.
Joy McCullough tells this wonderful story in first-person, alternating chapters between Sutton and Luis. This is no easy task, but McCullough handles it deftly with pitch-perfect middle-grade voices of these two very different children. This is a story so many kids will relate to — having to meet and get along with step-siblings and step-parents — and is a welcome addition to any library or classroom. Strong writing, well-rounded, credible characters, and a compelling story add up to a winner of a book.
I have no giveaway this week. I have donated the nice hardback copy I got to the school. Don’t forget to check for other Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts at the Greg Pattridge’s blog HERE.