Thought for the Day:
“The first duty of the novelist is to entertain. It is a moral duty. People who read your books are sick, sad, traveling, in the hospital waiting room while someone is dying. Books are written by the alone for the alone.”
~ Donna Tartt ~
Gifts for My Writer Friends:
Kris Maze has a fun post HERE on Writers in the Storm that will show you 9 Writing Productivity Tips I Learned from Knitting.
Once in a while, I need to give my brain a kick in the pants with a good writing prompt. Writer’s Digest has a post HERE with 100 Creative Writing Prompts for Writers. (I don’t know who else they would be for!)
The always entertaining Kristen Lamb has a great post HERE called The Wound: How Pain Can Deepen Our Fiction. Her posts are always worth your time.
I haven’t mentioned my classes at Storytellers Academy lately, but I am hard at it. After talking to one of the people with the company, I decided to back off from the third class and concentrate on just two classes. It’s good advice, and I am feeling like I can really get much more out of the two than I would have if I had tried to continue with the third. I also signed up for a mentored critique group with Tim McCanna. That will give me three in-depth critiques from him along with input from two other students. I am learning a great deal from my Rhyming Picture Book class and really so, so much in my Character Design class (basically an illustration class). I have also joined an almost local critique group that meets by Zoom. One member is on the East Coast, although I think she used to live here. The critique groups I had been in kind of fell apart during the pandemic. I’m looking forward to the coming year with all this going on. It’s nice to be busy with writing again.
I may be on a little roll with survival books here. This slim volume got a little lost in my stack of books that needed to be featured on my blog. I read and reviewed it last fall, and then it got buried. But, as I often say, it’s never too late to review a good book. I Survived The Galveston Hurrican 1900 by Lauren Tarshis is part of a series of books that, I’ll bet, middle-graders must love. They are short and exciting and very compelling. Here is the review I wrote for the Seattle Book Review.
Charlie Miller is eleven. It’s 1900, and he lives with his parents and little sister, Lulu, in Galveston, Texas. It is a big, thriving city on a long, narrow island just off the Texas coast in the Gulf of Mexico. Charlie often entertains Lulu with magic tricks he’s learning. Charlie’s biggest worry is a bully, Gordon Potts. Charlie certainly doesn’t worry about storms, because the local weather expert says hurricanes cannot get to Galveston. No one worries when a big storm starts to brew on September 8, but they are all wrong, and a huge hurricane hits the town, killing thousands. Charlie and his family go to the Potts’ house, a big mansion where many take shelter. But can they survive the storm? And can Charlie survive Gordon Potts?
Lauren Tarshis has written over twenty books in her exciting middle-grade I Survived series. They are all well researched and extremely realistic, although they are fiction. This book is no exception. All the characters are well-drawn and engaging. Charlie is a good kid and a fine protagonist for this story. He is someone readers will root for. Middle-grade readers will love this book, even reluctant readers.
I have a gently-read paperback 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.