Thought for the Day:
“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.”
~ Neil Gaiman ~
Gifts for My Writer Friends:
Brian A. Klems has an interesting article HERE in Writer’s Digest that will help you with a prickly grammar problem.
Melissa Donovan has another good tip HERE at Writing Forward — Kill Your Darlings. We have all heard it often. There is a reason for that. The article has a good explanation and excellent tips.
Janice Hardy has a guest post HERE on Writers in the Storm with 5 Steps to creating a Unique Character Voice. It’s a good one. Her posts always are.
I am happily out of breath and a little exhausted after watching the Giants win their division, needing to win the last game of the year to do it. It was a great game. Their young (24 year old) pitcher, a guy from a town 15 miles from my house, not only threw a gem, but had a home run, a hit, and a walk and scored each time. Let’s just hope they can keep this rolling through the post season. Go, Giants!!
A couple weeks ago I gave you the Washington Post’s contest winners for taking a word, changing one letter to make a new word, and giving the meaning. This week I give you their winners for the contest where readers are asked to supply alternative meanings for existing words. (These come to you compliments of Carol Baldwin who shared them with me. Thanks, Carol.)
Coffee (N.), the person upon whom one coughs.
Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained.
Abdicate (V.), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.
Esplanade (V.), to attempt an explanation while drunk.
Negligent (Adj.), describes a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightgown.
Lymph (V.), to walk with a lisp.
Gargoyle (N.), olive-flavored mouthwash.
Flatulence (N.) emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.
Balderdash (N.), a rapidly receding hairline.
Testicle (N.), a humorous question on an exam.
Rectitude (N.), the formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.
Oyster (N.), a person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddishisms.
Frisbeetarianism (N.), (back by popular demand): The belief that, when you die, your Soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.
A few months ago, everywhere I turned, someone was talking about Starfish by Lisa Fipps. (Click on her name and take a look at her gorgeous author site! And her blog is really worth reading, but, unfortunately, I can’t find a way to subscribe to it.) I looked it up and knew it was a book I wanted to read. I try not to buy too many books, because I already have so, so many, a lot of which I haven’t gotten to yet, but I just couldn’t wait to get this one, so I ordered one up. What a wonderful book! I loved every word, and I’m so glad I got it. I hope lots and lots of teachers use this book in their classrooms. It’s such an important book.
When Ellie had her fifth birthday party, she wore a bathing suit with a whale on it and made a big splash when she did a cannonball into the pool. Ever since then, she has been bullied about her weight. Even her sister dubbed her “Splash” and her mother reminded her at every turn she needed to lose weight, and not in very kind ways. Ellie learns she can’t make waves and needs to make herself small, even invisible if possible. While other young girls write in their journals about their crushes and clothes and nail polish, Ellie writes about rules for fat girls. But she has her dad in her corner. He loves her unconditionally and is always there for her. She also gets into therapy and her therapist is spectacular. Perhaps best of all, a new family moves in next door, and a girl named Catalina enters Ellie’s life. Ellie tries to stay small, even invisible, but Catalina simply won’t allow Ellie to hide from her. Catalina is going to be Ellie’s friend, and that is all there is to it. A crack in Ellie’s shell is made, and she begins to come out.
Lisa Fipps has written a magnificent book. It is written in beautiful, spare, lyrical verse and is one a reader could probably get through in a couple hours, but why would you want to when you can slow down and savor every lovely line? The story will break readers’ hearts as they see even Ellie’s mother desert her when she needs her most and as one reads of the horrible things people say to Ellie, but it is so worth reading on, because the story will not disappoint. And be sure to read the author’s note at the end. This powerful book was written out of personal experience, and Fipps makes it clear that the sometimes unbelievable things people say to Ellie are things that were said to her. I truly believe that no one who reads this book will be unaffected by it, and it can change the way people interact with those of us who are overweight. Don’t wait. Buy this book now and read it. I promise you will not be disappointed.
I have no giveaway this week since I will donate the nice hardback copy I got, but not until I re-read it. I don’t re-read books often because I don’t have time, but this one cries out to be re-read. Don’t forget to check for other Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts at Greg Pattridge’s blog HERE. He always has links to several middle-grade reviews, and he writes reviews on his own blog two or three times a week. See you here soon!