Thought for the Day:
“Everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”
~ Sylvia Plath ~
Gifts for My Writer Friends:
Whether we are writing non-fiction or fiction, all writers must do research at times. M.O. Yuksel has a great post HERE on the NF Fest site on how to Research with Confidence: Contacting Experts Despite Imposter Syndrome.
James Scott Bell has a wonderful article HERE from Writer’s Digest with 5 Easy Tips to Strengthen Your Scenes. This is very worthwhile.
Where would our stories be without good villains? Melissa Donovan at Writing Forward has a really good post HERE with Writing Tips for Creating a Complex Villain.
When last we looked at the soap opera that is Rosi Hollinbeck’s life, she was ill. Oh, yes, I was. I saw the doctor the next day and was diagnosed with and treated for pneumonia. By the end of the week, I was so much worse, I could hardly walk across the room. My daughter took me to the emergency room (nothing as fun as the ER on a Friday night). They did a CT scan of my chest sometime in the middle of the night. In the morning a doctor came in to talk to me about a plan to remove the metastasis in my lungs, but first, they had to do another CT scan of my abdomen to find where the cancer originated. Hmmm. Not the way I wanted to start my day. I was admitted. The second CT was clear. No cancer. My day was looking better. A pulmonologist came next. She thought it might be fungal. She scheduled a bronchoscopy for the next day. Not fun, but I wanted answers. They collected the samples they needed and started growing cultures. Some take more than a week to grow. Someone came in to do an echocardiogram to look for vegetation in my heart! Nothing there. The first culture to come back was for a bacterial infection that would not have responded to the antibiotic they had used to treat the pneumonia. They prescribed another antibiotic and sent me home after six days in the hospital. It’s been three days and no improvement. The other cultures should come in this week. Hoping for answers and starting to feel better soon. Healing thoughts happily accepted here.
Anyone who has read my blog for a while knows I love Gary Paulsen‘s books. When I saw How to Train Your Dad on the review list for the Portland Book Review, I realized I hadn’t read anything quite like this from him before. I grabbed it and was not disappointed. That cover should get young reader’s attention! There is a great hole in the middle-grade world with the loss of Gary Paulsen. I will be reviewing his last book here soon. For now, here is the review I wrote for PBR.
Carl is thirteen, and he is pretty tired of the way his dad does things. And he doesn’t have a mom to help him. She died when he was young, and his dad won’t talk about their life before. Now his dad doesn’t work, and he gets everything they need through bartering. He is an amazing mechanic, handyman, and dumpster diver, so they usually have what they need, but when necessities include things like pink overalls and a kludged-together recumbent bike, Carl doesn’t think it will catch the eye of “the girl,” Peggy, and that’s important to him now. He finds a puppy training manual and enlists his buddy Pooder to help him retrain his father so Carl can become “lookatable” and get the attention of Peggy.
Gary Paulsen certainly is in touch with his inner adolescent, because the voice of Carl in this first-person narration sounds just right. There are a LOT of funny happenings, and a terrific small-town setting including a rusty trailer on the edge of town. The writing is excellent, the dialogue snappy, the characters fully realized, and the story very compelling. Kids, even reluctant readers, will love this fun story.
There won’t be a giveaway this week. I’ve already passed this one along. Please don’t forget to check for other Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts at Greg Pattridge’s blog HERE.