Thought for the Day:
“Anyone who wishes to become a good writer should endeavour, before he allows himself to be tempted by the more showy qualities, to be direct, simple, brief, vigorous, and lucid.”
~ H.W. Fowler ~
Gifts for My Writer Friends:
Backstory is always an issue. Susan DeFreitas has an excellent post HERE on Jane Friedman’s site called Backstory and Exposition: 4 Key Tactics that will help you handle the backstory problem.
Eldred Bird has an interesting post HERE on Writers in the Storm that will give you some ideas about Writing Locations as Characters.
I have a couple of vague little mentions of holidays in my novels, but nothing big. Bethany Henry guest posting on Fiction University HERE has a great post on how and why to use holidays in your novels.
The meme this week is for all you writers out there. Just a little gallows humor I couldn’t resist.
There was a lot of interest in the comments last week in the fact that Gary Paulsen had written his memoir in third person. One of my readers, Antoinette Truglio Martin, mentioned in her comment last week she had heard a recent interview on NPR about Gary Paulsen that talked about his use of third person in his writing of Gone to the Woods: Surviving a Lost Childhood. I poked around the internet and was able to find it. It’s a short little interview. If you listen, it’s only five minutes or you can read the transcript. I have it linked HERE for you. Thanks, Antoinette, for giving me a heads up about this.
If you have been reading my blog for a while, you will know that I have a special spot in my heart for books for emerging readers. I received a copy of a very fun book for emerging readers from Candlewick Press and that’s what I want to tell you about this week. It is Bug Blonsky and his Swamp Scout Survival Guide by E. S. Redmond. I think you can tell just from the title that kids are in for a fun time with this one.
Bug is going to camp at Camp Win-Kee-Noo, and he plans on earning the one badge that really matters to him. They give out badges for stuff like “following directions” and “paying attention,” but not cool things that Bug is good at, like “daydreaming,” “staying up past bedtime,” and “armpit farting.” But there is one badge that is perfect for him and he intends to earn his Curious Creatures badge for spotting animals that are odd or uncommon animals, like in Bigfoot, which Bug is positive is real. But he has to contend with Abner Vanderpelt and his mother, Mrs. V., who is the troop’s marsh mother. Needless to say, Bug thinks the deck is stacked against him. Camp has some other issues for Bug like poison ivy, outhouses, and getting stuck on the bottom bunk below Luca “Butt Bazooka” Bambini. But things really get interesting when Bug and his best friend, Louie, lose their paddles while canoeing and end up floating to Camp Koo-Ka-Choo, where the girls are. Well, I don’t want to give away too much, so I’ll leave it there.
E. S. Redmond has written a funny, funny book that kids will latch on to not just for the bright, cartoonish illustrations that are filled with fun details, but for the laugh-out-loud antics these characters get into. Everything about this book is clever and perfect for the younger middle-grade crowd.
I have a gently-read copy 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.