Tuesday, May 29, 2012

3 Great Things About Today

1. A box of recently ordered books arrived at my door.

2. Moonrise Kingdom had the world's best weekend, meaning it will maybe possibly make it to a theater closer           to me that much faster. Tomorrow would be nice. But I suppose I can wait a little while longer.

3. I've finished the major rewrites on the brand new manuscript. It will be off to beta readers this week, and into the Revision Lab soon after.

And a bonus #4 - the little stick-in-a-bag rosebush I bought and planted two years ago, in honor of Mr. Cate finishing his film Dove, bloomed this week. Today was it's best rose day.

whatever you do, guys, don't tell the Queen of Hearts, k?

Saturday, May 26, 2012


So my Book A Day project has become a bit curtailed by the actual writing of books...yeah.
Over the winter I drafted a brand new manuscript, and for the past few weeks, I have been a revision machine, taking every spare minute I can to get this thing clipped and pressed and polished and ironed, and it's working, I'm making a lot of manuscript progress, but - as usual - at the expense of my little blog.
That's alright, I suppose. I've used this blog mainly to find other writers of middle grade and young adulty type books, and those are the kinds of wonderful peeps who understand when one disappears for weeks or months at a stretch, when the manuscript starts to work.

Something I've found especially helpful lately -
 C.J Omololu's post on How to Write A Book details the nine point plot map, which I found useful even though I'm in the revising stage. I added at what chapter or page number certain events took place, which helped a lot with pacing.
And now I'm in the clean up phase, that process that can just stretch into forever if you let it.
So I won't. I've given myself some deadlines, which I always find helpful, even if they are observed casually rather than devoutly.

How about you? What are you working on this fine morning/afternoon/evening?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Catching Up

I'm due for about five books here. *blush*
In my defense, it was mother's day weekend, and as I am a mother, and have a mother, mother in law, sister in law who is also a mother, and a grandmother to visit, I was a bit busy.
They are all doing well, in case you were interested. Also, writing has happened, and that just erases my mind to anything but my manuscripts for large chunks of time.
Anyway, now on to the books!
Today, to make up for my egregious lapse in consistency, I'll give you a lovely treat - poetry!
Five of my most favoritest children's poetry collections, in, of course, no particular ranking, because that's just impossible.

Plum, by Toni Mitton. Illustrated by Mary Grand Pre.
I have an autographed copy. Yeah.
Science Verse
Everything by these guys is fun.
This one is fun and educational. 

Where the Sidewalk EndsShel Silverstein: CD Cover
Every kid should own a copy of this book. 

Creature Carnival
I've posted this one before,
but it's so cool, it gets a second mention. 

Dear World
Beautiful poems, beautiful pictures. 

I don't know if there's anything better to read to a child than poetry.

Friday, May 11, 2012

A Book A Day In May - Alex and the Ironic Gentleman

Alex and the Ironic Gentleman

Middle Grade Week rolls on along here, with a romping adventure story by Adrienne Kress, who has a lovely blog by the name of The Temp, The Actress, and The Writer, where you can read about her many other books and adventures. But today, we're talking about the first book of hers I had the pleasure to read, Alex and the Ironic Gentleman.

The story follows one ten year old Alex Morningside as she begins a hopefully exciting new year at the Wigpowder-Steele Academy, with a brand new and equally hopefully exciting new teacher, Mr. Underwood, a gentleman with a curious amount of old-timey pirate type skills, for a supposedly ordinary teacher.
The narrative unfolds in a theatrical and timeless rhythm. Though Alex is introduced as a perfectly modern child in a contemporary setting, the story quickly tunnels into its own delightful history, which nestles perfectly with the classic adventure story tone of the novel.

This one is up next on the nighttime TBR pile for me and Cate Junior.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Book A Day In May - The Children of Greene Knowe

The Children of Green Knowe

I first picked up this book up as an adult, about a decade ago. But no matter how many hundreds of books I've read since then, this one stays always at the top of my favorites list. (In no particular order, because I can't do favorites that way.) It is one of those books I always recommend, especially to younger kids interested in ghost stories. It's got enough ghosts and history to be engaging and mysterious, without being a "throw it against the wall and run shrieking to your parents' bed" kind of scary.

The Children of Greene Knowe - and its sequels, have a quieter, slightly old fashioned feel to them, perfect for a ghost story. It is a book I wish I had found as a kid, because it seems like the kind of story one could love even more, if one happened upon it at just the right age.

And now one more bit of business - the lovely and brilliant Kathy Collier has bestowed upon me the Beautiful Blogger award :D

And so, in the spirit of these fun mini blog-hops, I will share with you seven random things about myself, and pass along the award to seven others.

1. I love black cats. I share a home with one named Zorro, who is my best writing buddy.
2. I am the oldest of three, and a mother of one.
3. I know how to weld. I learned in college. I once set my professor on fire, but only briefly, and he was okay.
4. I also know theoretical cooking, though actual cooking still eludes me.
5. I love movies. Some of my favorites are Rushmore, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Before Sunrise, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Black Stallion and The Goonies.
6. I have never owned a new car, and I probably never will.
7. I recently visited California for the first time. I would like to go back, and spend more time in the desert.

There we are.
Now, I must bestow this honor upon seven more bloggers, I've made pretty even mix of some I've been following for a while, and some I met through awesome A-Z....

Ellen Oh
Heather Kelly
Julie Danes
Mandy Bohgan
The Contemplative Cat

Visit them all, and enjoy the continuing awesome.