Thought for the Day:
“Success? I don’t know what that word means. I’m happy. But success, that goes back to what in somebody’s eyes success means. For me, success is inner peace. That’s a good day for me.”
~ Denzel Washington ~
Gifts for My Writer Friends:
I recognize some of my weaknesses as a writer, and the biggest one is that I simply don’t submit very often. Moriah Richard of Writer’s Digest has a good article HERE called Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Not Submitting Your Work. Check it out.
Writing a mystery? Lady Jabberwocky has a good post HERE with tips for creating a detective’s sidekick. Actually, the tips could work for any main character’s sidekick. Worth a read.
If our characters don’t change from the beginning to the end of our stories, what is the point? But they shouldn’t turn on a dime. HERE Kristen Overman has an excellent article on Good Story Company on The Importance of a Nuanced Character Arc.
Rain on the roof woke me early this morning. It’s June. We NEVER get rain in June in the Sacramento area. The temperature will only get to the mid-70s today. Next weekend we are looking at 104 or so, much more typical for this time of year. I am loving this lovely weather and wish it would stick around, but I know better, so I will enjoy it while I can. Summer, for me, has a couple important events — the French Open and Wimbledon tennis tournaments. I don’t much care for any of the other tournaments, but I am obsessed with those two. Americans have a terrific young rising star to watch — Coco Gauff. She is going to take the tennis world by storm, and although she lost yesterday in her first major final, it was so exciting to watch her get there. And the young Norwegian who took on Nadal in the men’s final today showed flashes of what he will be, and he will also be fun to watch as he grows into a big star. Nadal looked so good today, I wonder if he can’t win all the majors this year. Amazing for an old man (just turned 36!).
Last week I promised a gently-read paperback of Crazy in Poughkeepsie by Daniel Pinkwater to one of you. The winner this time is Myra. Congratulations, Myra! Thanks for reading and commenting. I will get your book out to you soon.
I should have reviewed this book here before now. It came out in February, but I kind of forgot about it since I had already passed along my copy. Of course, when I saw a Gary Paulsen book on the review list for the Portland Book Review, I had to have it. I have loved everything of his I’ve read. Northwind is unlike anything else I’ve read by Paulsen, but it is every bit as compelling and exciting as his other survivor stories, which, I believe, are all contemporary. Here is the review I wrote for PBR.
Leif is an orphan; his father was unknown and his mother died giving birth. He was raised on the docks by a variety of people, but he never belonged to anyone. He grew up being used pretty much as slave labor on a number of ships. Now around thirteen, he’s lucky enough to be taken under the wing of one of the sailors, Old Carl, who, with some other men, makes a fish camp. One day, a strange ship comes to the camp and sick men come onto shore, spreading disease. The men begin to die, and Old Carl tells Leif to flee to the North. He takes a dugout canoe and a few supplies and heads out, but he hasn’t missed the sickness entirely.
Gary Paulsen was the king of survivor stories for middle graders. This one is set hundreds of years ago off the coast of Norway and is written in such a way to convey the time and place. The characters are interesting and believable, and the story is very compelling with lots of tension on every page. Paulsen was a master storyteller and this book is no exception. Youngsters will love it.
Please don’t forget to check for other Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts at Greg Pattridge’s blog HERE.