Thought for the Day:
“It didn’t occur to me that my books would be widely read at all, and that enabled me to write anything I wanted to. And even once I realized that they were being read, I still wrote as if I were writing in secret. That’s how one has to write anyway — in secret.”
~ Louise Erdrich ~
Gifts for My Writer Friends:
We all need to challenge our characters to step outside their comfort zones. Otherwise, our stories would be pretty boring. HERE is a post by Kathleen McCleary on Writer Unboxed called Out of Character that tackles that problem.
If our stories don’t have authenticity, no one will want to read them. HERE Elizabeth Havey has a great post on Writer Unboxed called What Was That Phrase About Authenticity? that you will want to read.
And when it comes to Authenticity, how can you approach that when creating a fictional town? HERE is a great article from Writer’s Digest by L. G. Davis that will give you 8 Tips for Creating Believable Fictional Towns.
My hope for this week is that everyone will get out and vote! That’s all I’ll say about that. The World Series was exciting, but now all I can think about is how long it will be until opening day! I am making some progress on my computer problems. I took my laptop to the Apple store this week (second visit), and they sent it in to have a new keyboard installed. It seems to have solved my problem. What was amazing is that I was only without my laptop for three days! I love Apple. On the other hand, I have been struggling with my desktop Mac for quite a while. I had an appointment to have the Geek Squad come out and see if they could make things work faster and get rid of the spinning wheel of death. The appointment had to be moved due to the technician having a family emergency, and while I was talking to the agent, he asked me about my problems. He explained to me that with a nine-year-old computer, nothing they could do would really improve performance. Yeah. Nine years old. I hadn’t realized it had been so long. So I ordered a new desktop computer which will be set up for me in a couple weeks. I can’t wait! It will have a larger screen and lots of memory. One of the things I do on my desktop is layout for the California Writers’ Club newsletter. I love doing layout, but it had become such a chore with an old slow computer. I can’t wait for the next issue! Now if I could just get WordPress to work properly…
Earlier this year, I read and reviewed a wonderful book called Every Missing Piece by Melanie Conklin. You can read my review HERE. Previously, I had read and liked Counting Thyme also by her. So when I saw a new book by her, A Perfect Mistake, available for review from the Portland Book Review, I requested it right away. No disappointment here. It is a wonderful book. Here is the review I wrote for PBR.
Max is having a hard time at the beginning of sixth grade. He is the tallest kid in his class by a lot and has been recently diagnosed with ADHD. One of his two best friends, Joey, isn’t speaking to him, and the other, Will, is in the hospital in a coma. Max doesn’t remember what happened, but he feels responsible and doesn’t know how to figure out what went wrong the night Will was hurt. Max makes friends with a girl, Sam, whose brother was there the summer night. Sam wants to be a journalist, and she and Max start doing their own investigation. A lot of people are lying, and Max starts to remember things. Will they ever solve the mystery of what happened to Will?
Melanie Conklin has created a great cast of characters who will challenge readers to examine themes of friendship, loyalty, family, bullying, and much more. This is a rich, complex story told in first-person by main character Max, and Conklin stays true to that eleven-year-old boy. The dialogue is spot on and the representation of Max dealing with his ADHD and other issues is very credible. This is a terrific book.
Please don’t forget to check for other Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts at Greg Pattridge’s blog HERE.