Thought for the Day:
“You might not write well every day, but you can edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.”
~ Jodi Picoult ~
Gifts for My Writer Friends:
We all know titles are important. HERE is a fun quiz. See if you can guess which books came from these original titles. This is harder than you might think.
We should all want to have awesome characters in our stories. K. M. Allan has a terrific post HERE with 7 Tips for Creating Awesome Characters.
We all hit creative slumps, so when I saw the post HERE by Macy Thornhill guesting on The Creative Penn, I thought it would be worth a read. It sure is. Number 5 is particularly pertinent to me.
The first week of 2021 had the horrible insurrection in Washington DC, threatening our form of government and many of our elected representatives. Week 2 had the well-deserved impeachment of President Trump. Though I think it was the best thing that could have happened, it was still a very stressful thing to go through. Maybe week 3 will finally give us the start to 2021 we all want with our new president being sworn in. Here is hoping for a peaceful week and quick confirmations for his team. And let’s hope the senate can do the right thing going forward to put the bad behind us. Here’s to a slightly late but great start to 2021.
Last week I offered a gently-read ARC of Leonard (My Life as a Cat) by Carlie Sorosiak to one of you. This week’s winner is C. Lee McKenzie, a MG and YA author extraordinaire. You can get to her site HERE and read her blog, see about her books, and more. Congratulations, Lee! I will get your book out to you soon.
A few weeks back, our beloved MMGM host, Greg Pattridge, had a spectacular giveaway, and I was one of the winners! Yay!! I won four books and was particularly excited about Red Fox Road by Frances Greenslade. I love survivor stories, and when I read Greg’s review of this one (you can read it HERE), I knew I wanted to read it as soon as possible. It’s a real page turner. And what a great cover! Here are my thoughts on the book.
Francie is twelve and lives with her parents in British Columbia. She has a teacher who likes to sprinkle in survivor skill lessons into her curriculum, and Francie loves that. She often thinks about what it might be like to test those skills. On spring break, her parents take Francie on a bit of a dream trip. They are going to drive to Arizona and hike into the Grand Canyon. The whole family loves to hike, and this is going to be a perfect trip, until it isn’t. They make a wrong turn coming out of a gas station, and by the time they realize they are off their route, they have lost a couple hours. Dad decides to use his GPS and find a shortcut back to their route. They end up on an rough logging road that doesn’t even show up on the map that Mom insisted on bringing. The rocky road takes out the oil pan, and they are stuck. The truck isn’t going anywhere. It’s still quite cold in the mountains of Oregon this late in the spring. Dad decides to walk out to the main road and get help. He will take his GPS and find his way. It’s only about 15 miles, he says, and he will be back soon. Francie and her mother are to stay with the truck. Everything seems fine for the first couple days, but it is clear that Francie’s mother has problems. Readers come to know Francie’s twin sister had died a few years earlier, and it really put her mother in a dark place. Francie really has to take charge as her mother seems to be fighting her demons. They have very little food and water. After a few days, Francie wakes up to find her mother gone. She left a note saying she was going for help, and that Francie should stay by the truck. Francie had thought her dad would have been back after a day or two but he hadn’t come yet, and now her mother was gone. But Francie is a survivor. This is something she had prepared for, or at least she thinks she has. But she’s nearly out of water and has only a tiny bit of food. How long can she really make it on her own? Will anyone be back in time to save her?
Frances Greenslade has written a a really believable survivor story with plenty of tension and great characters. The first-person narration by Francie is perfect for a story like this. Readers really are engaged by her difficulties and how she thinks through what must be done. It also allows readers to experience her hunger, sleep deprivation, the cold, the times she loses touch with reality, and more. I love this book. I was a bit disappointed at the end, but not every story has a tidy ending, and maybe this ending grounds this one in reality. I recommend this highly, and I really want to thank Greg Pattridge for picking me for this book!
I have no giveaway this week since I will donate 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.