Thought for the Day:
“I’m always aware of writing around things I can’t do, and I’ve come to think that that’s actually what ‘style’ is – an avoidance of your deficiencies.”
~ George Saunders ~
Gifts for My Writer Friends:
We all get stuck for ideas now and then. I posted something not long ago with lots of help for getting ideas, but HERE is another excellent post with ideas for ideas from Melissa Donovan at Writing Forward.
Prologs and Epilogs get a bad rap, but there may be reasons to reconsider that. C. S. Boyack has an interesting post HERE on The Story Empire that may make you rethink these pieces.
Ellen Buikema makes the case for How to Use Sound to Make Your Writing Memorable HERE on Writers in the Storm.
Last week, I promised a gently-read paperback of Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling to one of you. I’m happy to report Patricia Tilton’s name was drawn. This is just the kind of book she will love, and I’m sure she will report back to us at some point on her wonderful blog, Children’s Books Heal. If you aren’t reading it, I sure recommend it. Check it out HERE. She does a great service with her blog. Congratulations, Patricia. I will get your book out to you soon.
I don’t think I have ever reviewed two books by one author two weeks in a row. I already had a copy of The Canyon’s Edge by Dusti Bowling in my staggering TBR pile, and after some comments on my post last week, I decided to move it to the top of the stack. I’ve said in the past that I love survivor stories, and this is one of the best I have ever read. I sure wasn’t expecting that most of the book would be written in verse, but it is. At first, I thought that was an odd choice, but it was a perfect choice.
It has been a year since the tragedy that tore Nora’s family to shreds. Now her father has healed and is ready to try to get back to some semblence of normalcy, and that means hiking and climbing in the canyons and deserts of Arizona. Nora would like things to be normal enough for her to go back to school, to see people outside the protection of their home. Maybe this is a first step. Nora’s dad has found a slot canyon that should be a perfect first outing. They leave the car and hike out to the canyon. It’s so narrow, her dad jokes that she could even jump over it. They climb down into the canyon, strap on their heavy packs with all their supplies, change from climbing shoes to hiking boots and set off. It isn’t long until they hear loud noises, and Dad shoves Nora up to a high ledge before he is carried away by a flash flood along with most of Nora’s equipment.
Nora is on her own now, but she is certainly not alone. There are snakes, scorpians, coyotes, but worst of all there is the Beast, a demon that is inside Nora’s head. Nora’s therapist has given her tools to help her deal with her fears, but this is way past anything the therapist could have expected. Nora knows she has to find her father and try to get them both to safety, but Mother Nature has some obstacles to throw in her way.
This is a terrific survivor story, one of the best I’ve read. Nora is the kind of character readers will root for every step of the way, especially when those steps get harder and harder, and she is tested in ways almost unimaginable. But the writing…oh, my. It is so good. So, you’ve got great characters, extraordinary writing, and a most compelling story. What are you waiting for? Get this book! You will not regret a minute of your time spent with this one. Now I need to get her newer book, Across the Desert!
There won’t be a giveaway this week. I have a young friend who loves survivor stories, and I think she really needs to read this book. Please don’t forget to check for other Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts at Greg Pattridge’s blog HERE.