Thought for the Day:
“It may be that when we no longer know what to do
we have come to our real work,
and that when we no longer which way to go
we have come to our real journey.
The mind that is not baffled is not employed.
The impeded stream is the one that sings.”
~ Wendell Berry ~
Gifts for My Writer Friends:
A few months ago I posted a link about endings. I don’t see many articles about that topic, but HERE is another, this one from Staci Troilo posting on Story Empire Blog.
Elizabeth Sims wrote an amazing article for Writer’s Digest HERE that will give you 7 Ways to Add Great Subplots to Your Novel. It has terrific examples.
Melissa Donovan wrote a good post HERE on Writing Forward called Every Word Matters on the importance of word choice.
I hope you all had happy holidays and a Happy New Year. I was fortunate to have plenty of lovely family time. My grandson and his girlfriend are still here from Minnesota, and we will have our last family dinner tonight before they fly away tomorrow. I sure enjoyed my mini-break from blogging and using that extra time for family. Now, it’s time to get back to it. I promised I would keep you posted on the writing things I have been doing, but there hasn’t been much over the holidays. My classes will officially start later this month, so that leaves us with room for a few jokes for English majors. Enjoy!
*A dangling participle walks into a bar. Enjoying a cocktail and chatting with the bartender, the evening passes pleasantly.
*A bar was walked into by the passive voice.
*An oxymoron walked into a bar, and the silence was deafening.
*Two quotation marks walk into a “bar.”
*A malapropism walks into a bar, looking for all intensive purposes like a wolf in cheap clothing, muttering epitaphs and casting dispersions on his magnificent other, who takes him for granite.
*Hyperbole totally rips into this insane bar and absolutely destroys everything.
*A question mark walks into a bar?
*A non sequitur walks into a bar. In a strong wind, even turkeys can fly.
I’ve said in the past I’m not terribly fond of books with animal characters, yet I seem to keep on picking them up. This one, Cress Watercress, came to me courtesy of the publicist at Candlewick Press. I just couldn’t resist that cover! It is so beautiful. And when I saw it was written by Gregory Maguire who wrote Wicked, I had to have it. This is a good one, and I really enjoyed it.
Cress’s father doesn’t come home after he has been out hunting for honey for the family. Cress is the older child and often has to look after her younger brother, Kip, who isn’t much older than a baby, and Cress gets awfully tired of the responsibility. Since Dad hasn’t come back, the family has fallen behind on the rent and needs to move to another part of the forest, a part Cress has never been to before. She is not happy about the move. She won’t have any friends there. When they arrive at the new place, it is kind of an awful place. It hasn’t been well taken care of, and Cress doesn’t see any other rabbits in the area. It looks like a lonely existence. Mama tries her best to make it a home. The landlord is a grumpy owl and the superintendent of the tree apartments is a nosy mouse. But soon Cress meets and makes friends with a young squirrel named Finny. He knows his way around, is a lot of fun to be with, and they become fast friends. But there are dangers in the woods, and Cress and Finny find themselves on some dangerous adventures.
This is an awfully fun book and well written. Gregory Maguire is prolific and terribly good at his job. The story has a lot of tension to carry readers through. There is mystery and danger, great characters that are quite human in their way, and a wonderful setting. One of the things I liked best about the book was that the character of Cress was so like a human girl with all the foibles we see in a pre-teen girl. She has plenty of realistic imperfections and makes decisions, often rash ones, much like any other pre-teen. This should become a popular book with the middle-grade set. I hope it is the beginning of a series.
The book won’t be coming out until the end of March, but 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 Greg Pattridge’s blog HERE.