Tuesday, August 30, 2011

On My Nightstand Tuesday

1. TRUE (. . . SORT OF) by Katherine Hannigan (Greenwillow)


3. FOXY AND EGG by Alex T. Smith (Holiday House)

4. CLOCKWISE by Elle Strauss (e-launch 9/26)


Having a bad day?

Check out this adorable baby aardvark.
Cheaper than cupcakes and cuter than your therapist.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Permission to be Awesome + Thankful Thursday

In light of the news yesterday that Apple CEO Steve Jobs stepped down, my husband found a speech Mr. Jobs gave in 2005 at Stanford's graduation.

We only live once. Make it count.

Why no one needs permission to be awesome. Writers, people, take note.


Thankful Thursday (Or, things I take for granted.)

1. The sun is shining.
2. I woke up this morning.
3. My 3 year old daughter, who fell six feet this summer to concrete below, is home snuggling in her pajamas with her plush dog and giggling.
4. I'm eating a perfectly ripened banana with peanut butter. Amen.
5. I have no coffee pot this week, but the Word is open and a manuscript awaits.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Story Spine

I recently read a post at Imagination Soup by the talented Deborah Underwood, author of A Balloon for Isabel and the NYT best-selling The Quiet Book.

In the post, Ms. Underwood discusses how daunting she assumed it would be to teach plot to elementary-aged children. Then, someone introduced her to the story spine.

I liked this method so much, I asked permission to share it with you. Sometimes, hearing something in a new way makes all the difference. (At least for me, it can.)

The Story Spine is exactly what it sounds like: a structure that supports a story. It consists of a series of sentence beginnings that you complete:

Once upon a time… Introduce your character.

Every day… This is the character's ordinary world. Before everything changes.

But one day… The inciting incident, or change, that sets the story in motion.

Because of that…

Because of that…

Because of that… Each event causes the next to happen, "so the plot elements aren't disconnected incidents."

Until finally… Cues the climax of the story and resolution.

And ever since then… Shows how the character has changed as a result of the conflict or event.

Although the Story Spine seems simple, it’s really an ingenious way to help kids learn how to construct a satisfying story.

My wish is it will help us construct a satisfying story, too. Happy writing.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Doggy Whys? A picture book review.

Doggy Whys?Doggy Whys? by Lila Prap

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I adored this non-fiction picture book, written in an original, engaging format. Q&As (Why do dogs wag their tails?) feature on the left-hand side of a spread, while more detailed information can be found in paragraphs on the right. The author cleverly divides the book by common dog breeds. Did I mention the illustrations! are! adorable!? My heart about melted on spot by the rendering of a terrier I had years ago. A must-buy for any dog-lover, big or small.

View all my reviews