Thought for the Day:
“Sure, it’s simple, writing for kids… Just as simple as bringing them up.”
~ Ursula K. LeGuin ~
Gifts for My Writer Friends:
You can’t have a good story without a solid story premise. HERE C. S. Lakin has a great piece on Crafting a Compelling Story Premise.
If our characters don’t need something, there really is no story. HERE Melissa Donovan at Writing Forward! has Five Things Your Characters Need.
With the pandemic finally in our rearview mirror, in-person conferences are happening again. HERE is a good article from Writer’s Digest with 5 Tips for Successfully Pitching Literary Agents in Person (That Worked for Me at the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference) by Anat Deracine.
Happy New Year to all of you. I hope you had a lovely holiday season. I did. My daughter Maggie was here for a week, and we had lots of good family time with her and my other daughter, Sara, and her family. But then came New Year’s Eve morning and the water incident. These are the shoes I needed for New Year’s. I hesitate to write the word I wrote previously about precipitation because it instantly stopped, so I don’t want that to happen again. That said, we can use all the precipitation we can get but maybe not with the intensity and winds we have been having. I have had two roof leaks. Most of my books and my new desktop computer are encased in plastic and will be until all the repairs can be made. Fortunately, none of my stuff was damaged. Walls, floors, ceilings? Not so lucky there. I have been lucky enough to find a good roofer who came out quickly and fixed the roof, so no more water is coming in. And my daughter Sara works for a mitigation company, so I know I will get good repairs done in a reasonable time. They came right out and cleaned up the mess and covered everything with heavy plastic. But, boy howdy, I miss being able to get into my study and do serious writing. Other than that, I have enjoyed my little blogging break, but it’s nice to be back.
In other news, some years ago, I sold a poem to Highlights Magazine. As they sometimes do, they didn’t publish it right away. Just before Christmas, I received an author copy in the mail. It had been published in the October issue, and, being behind on my reading, I didn’t know it. It is called Sky Zoo, and it is beautifully illustrated by Alice Brereton. If you are at the dentist’s office or library, maybe you can see it. If you can’t find a copy of the October issue and would like to see it, let me know, and I will send you a photo of the page.
I ran across a book a few months ago on the list for the San Francisco Book Review called The Hike to Home by Jess Rinker. I looked up a synopsis and it sounded pretty interesting. Kids on a mission to find a secret castle from a local legend and dealing with scumbag bullies. What’s not to like about that? So I requested it and enjoyed every word. Isn’t that a great cover? Who wouldn’t want to read this book? Here is the review I wrote for SFBR.
Lin has always lived on the road with her parents, but now Dad will spend a year renovating a house in New Jersey while Mom does a research trip. Lin will go to a regular school for the first time. Worse, she starts in summer camp with a bunch of mean girls. Soon Lin finds there is a mystery about a lost castle. She makes friends with Tinsley, a free-spirited girl, and Leo, a timid boy. They decide they will find the castle, but they have obstacles to overcome—some bullies who follow them and having to trick their parents into thinking they are safe at each other’s homes. What should be a one-night camping trip turns into three!
Jess Rinker has written a really fun, exciting, and compelling story with complex characters and a nice little mystery to keep readers turning the pages. The kids are a great group who learn to work together toward a common goal, all of them learning, growing, and changing over the short time of the story. The writing is wonderful and the dialog snappy. The voice of Lin for the first-person point of view is perfect.
Please don’t forget to check for other Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday po