Thought for the Day:
“This is how you do it: You sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it’s done. It’s that easy, and that hard.”
~ Neil Gaiman ~
Gifts for My Writer Friends:
Melissa Donovan has good reminders HERE on Writing Forward with Ten Grammar Rules Every Writer Should Know.
K.M. Allan has a terrific post HERE to help you with Editing Out Your Writing Gremlins. And, yes, we all have gremlins.
There is a very interesting post HERE on The Good Story Company by Joiya Morrison-Efemini that gives The Case for Re-Reading. I have many, many books I would like to re-read, but I never seem to find the time. I guess I should make time.
I don’t know if I have admitted this here or not, but I haven’t been able to write since the pandemic began. It was like I was just frozen by it all. I think back to the beginning months of the pandemic, and I literally didn’t leave my house for months. My daughter would pick up my mail and leave it in the garage, and I wouldn’t look at it for days so the virus could die. She would also bring groceries and also leave them in the garage. Then I would wipe everything with disinfectant wipes or wash them with bleachy-water. Sometimes we would chat a little from a distance, but I didn’t really feel like I could spend time with her or anyone else. It was an awful time, and I kept thinking I should look at it as a gift of time for writing, but I just couldn’t do it. I saw on line that a lot of writers felt this way, and many of them felt that way for a long time. I started writing last week, and it did it every day. Now, I have to remind myself, in a sense I have been writing all along. I kept up with my blog almost every week. I read and wrote reviews of hundreds of books for the four book reviews. But for my own writing, I was just stuck. I wish I could point to something that got me started, but I think it was a culmination of reading so many books and reading so many articles and posts about writing. I read a ton of them to find good links for this blog and for my own edification. Whatever it was, I am writing again. Every. Day. Doing a happy dance here!
So last week I wrote here, “I don’t read a lot of books that have personified animals as characters. It just isn’t my thing.” That really is true, but there are exceptions to every rule — even my own. I never read The Wind in the Willows or Stuart Little or books like that when I was a kid. It just wasn’t my thing. But now and then, as an adult, I love that kind of escape from reality. Just about a year ago, I wrote here about a book called Skunk and Badger by Amy Timberlake and illustrated by Jon Klassen. You can read my review of it HERE. It was a book that had me laughing out loud, and I thought it was just so clever and smart. I loved every word. When I saw a sequel to it on the list of books available for review from the Seattle Book Review, I requested it right away. I was not disappointed. Here is the review I wrote for them for Egg Marks the Spot: A Skunk and Badger Story.
Badger admires his wall of rocks while he is in his rock room doing important rock work, but his eyes are drawn to the empty spot where his Spider Eye Agate should be, the rock stolen by his despicable cousin Fisher. Skunk suggests they take a camping trip to Endless Lake to find a new agate to fill out the collection. While they are there, a little orange chicken shows up, and Skunk says the two of them are going somewhere. Badger is curious and follows them into a deep, dark cave where they find a dinosaur egg in a wall of amber. It turns out that chickens, descendants of dinosaurs, have been caring for it for a very long time. Suddenly, Fisher and an army of rats show up. This cannot be good.
Author Amy Timberlake has such a fun franchise going with the Skunk and Badger books. This one is clever, smart, and laugh-out-loud funny and exciting at the same time. Her writing is terrific, and the story is compelling. The illustrations by Jon Klassen have just the right sense of fun to them to accompany this terrific story. It’s a good 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.