Thought for the Day:
“You are lucky to be one of those people who wishes to build sand castles with words, who is willing to create a place where your imagination can wander.”
~ Anne Lamott ~
Gifts for My Writer Friends:
Janice Hardy at Fiction University always has something good for writers. HERE she has a post with 4 Ways to Create Emotional Peril in Your Characters.
The Grammar Girl has a very useful post HERE on the Top 10 Writing Mistakes That Even Published Authors Make. (And just because I am a bit of a grammar Nazi myself, I must say I would have deleted “That” from the title of the post.)
Want to ramp up the suspense in your novel? John Fox has a great post HERE with 25 Ways to Create Suspense in your Plot.
Ever since the pandemic really took hold, I have spent every Wednesday afternoon on a Zoom call with a bunch of teachers I worked with years ago in San Jose. We were just ten old ladies talking for a while, then our old principal joined us, so now it’s a bunch of old ladies and a guy. These are all really bright, interesting people, and it’s a lot of fun. When we all lived in San Jose, we met once a month for a book discussion. Somewhere along the pandemic way, we decided to have our Wednesday meetings be book club once a month. I’ve been reading more adult books because of that, and I want to mention the one we read for this month. It’s just a terrific book. It is called American by Day by Derek B. Miller. It is a kind of a mystery, but it is really a story about the American condition. It’s funny and poignant and smart. The characters are so alive (I have a crush on the sheriff) and real. The writing is magnificent (with some of the best metaphors I’ve ever seen). I’ve been told there is a prequel to this called Norwegian by Night that is even better. I hope to get to it soon. This is an adult book, which I don’t often mention here, but I have to spread the word on this wonderful book.
And while I am yammering about the kinds of books I don’t often mention, I want to mention a spectacular new picture book. It is 13 Ways to Eat a Fly by Sue Heavenrich. You might recognize that name. Sue is sometimes part of MMGM. She runs two blogs — Sally’s Bookshelf and Archimedes Notebook. I read them both and always find interesting things there. Anyway, I just love her new book. It’s the kind of book youngsters will want to read over and over. So if you have any youngsters around, please check it out.
If you have read my blog for a while, you know I LOVE survivor books. I read about a book called Alone by Megan E. Freeman on a few different blogs, and it sounded so good. I had to read it. I asked the San Francisco Book Review to try to get me a review copy, and they were able to. I was not disappointed. I loved it. Every word. Here is the review I wrote for SFBR.
Maddie and her two best friends, Emma and Ashanti, have a great plan. Maddie, who splits time between parents, tells Mom she’s staying with Dad and Dad she’s staying with Mom. Emma and Ashanti tell their parents they are staying at each other’s houses. The three girls will have a stay-up-late, eat-junk-food fest at Maddie’s grandparents’ empty apartment. What could go wrong? Ashanti gets sick, and she and Emma bail on Maddie. She’s already at the apartment with junk food so decides to enjoy herself, but during the night something happens. The town (in Colorado) is evacuated and Maddie is left behind. The town loses power. She is all alone and will be for a long time.
Author Megan E. Freeman has written a very compelling middle-grade survivor story, surprisingly written in lyrical verse, that will carry readers racing through. Maddie is a terrific character, and her learning curve in this story is astounding. Readers will be fascinated with all she has to face and the decisions, both good and bad, that she makes and how they affect her life, and they will be rooting for her every step of the way. Don’t miss this one.
I have a gently-read ARC 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.