Books -- reading and writing.
Home, cooking, the weather.
And whatever connections I can make between these chapters of my life.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

World Read Aloud Day, Feb. 1, 2018

I really love WRAD. 
(You can read more about it right HERE.)

Each year author Kate Messner's blog lists children's authors willing and able and excited to read to classes via Skype, and teachers begin sending requests.

What's really fun (for me) besides the read-aloud part is sharing books I'm currently reading or books I've loved or books that might appeal to young readers and their teachers and librarians who appreciated my own books.

Here's my stack, ready for tomorrow.  First I'll talk about my books. Then I'll read for a few minutes. Then I get to rave about books I love.

What could be more fun? Nothing I can think of right now.

(from the bottom up: Leslie Connor's THE TRUTH AS TOLD BY MASON BUTTLE, Barbara O'Connor's WISH, Shannon Hitchcock's RUBY LEE & ME, Linda Jackson's MIDNIGHT WITHOUT A MOON. And my three books.)

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Writerly Tips

One of my favorite, recently-read novels is THE ONE IN A MILLION BOY by Monica Wood.
(I've blogged about her fun writing book, THE POCKET MUSE here.)

 Her website is chock-full of good stuff.

This morning, while looking for something totally unrelated, I found this excellent advice there.

The new novel I have coming out shortly, The One in a Million Boy, is a big fat lesson in writerly persistence. I spent four years writing it, from 2004-2008, at which time I delivered it with great confidence only to have it rejected by my longtime publisher. Sparing you the details of devastation, I will say only that I put it aside for five years -- during which time I wrote a memoir and a play -- then resurrected it, spent about eight more months on it, and sold it almost literally overnight. Ergo, I have a big sign in my workspace, just one comforting word: 


And, while you are waiting, write something else.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Super Site!

You know what they say about southerners and their stories? If there are three connections to describe a person, you know that's a southerner telling the story.

Kind of like what I said the other day about my best friend's husband's sister's child. Get it?

That's how I feel sometimes about the GREAT links on my buddy Rosi Hollinbeck's blogposts.
When I go there, I may have to click through several posts- all good- but I find connections.

Like this one, TIME TRAVELER.
Words! A big help for anybody who writes HISTORICAL FICTION.

Here's an example:

Words from 1967

1967 was the first year you could do “aerobics,” ponder “biotech,” go to “B-school” or go on an “ego trip,” take “estrogen replacement therapy,” and live in a “fantasyland.” 

Saturday, January 13, 2018

The Things We Save

Notes from an exhibit, circa 2007, at the Morgan Library.

I'm not sure what the topic was, perhaps letters from writers?

"I miss the companionship of the character in a degree that is really laughable. 
Take warning. It's a great mistake to get in too deep with your heroine."

Willa Cather, 1915

For more quotes, CLICK HERE.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Monday Again!

I love Mondays.
Hey, I bet that got your attention.

I should say I love Mondays when I have books to share because it's such fun jumping from #IMWAYR blog to blog and seeing what everybody's reading.
Plus, it gives me an excuse to blab on about fun books.

by Caroline Starr Rose.

Caroline and I "met" when our first books debuted. Similar titles: May B. and Glory Be meant some confusion, but we began to think of them as "our girls" and enjoyed their being on lists together.

Caroline's other novels were written in verse.
JASPER is her first straight narrative, historical fiction, middle-grade novel and I strongly recommend it.

One thing I loved about this book and its writing was how authentic it sounded. I had to smile and roll an eye or two (because I've been on the author side of this particular criticism) when I posted my own Goodreads review just now. One reviewer criticized the "bad grammar."

Bad grammar? Please! It was perfect.  I wasn't around in the 1800s and I've never been to the Klondike or even read that many books set there, and then. But when an old prospector says things like "Well, ain't that curious...he could smell Buck a mile off, on account of the fact he never bathed."

Okay, the Grammar Police might take a whack at that sentence, but I adore the sound of it.
We call it authentic dialog. People don't always speak perfect English, especially prospectors and boys racing from the bad guys.

One of my favorite quotes from Jasper, when he's pondering the clues he's finding (and I think this may have to go on my bulletin board of quotes):

"...stories can get knotted up like thread, but if you're patient, you can pick them apart, unravel them until you find the truth inside."

AND- Pre-order alert!
Here's a quick note about another book you won't want to miss. 

I finished the ARC this weekend. 
Coming in early February.
So good!

I've read a bunch of books over the holidays, including
a Christmas gift, SOURDOUGH (for grownups) 
which I love. But these are two of my favorites.

I'm looking forward to hearing what 
everybody's reading on Monday. Share here or on
social media. Use the tag #IMWAYR and join in the fun!