Monday, August 29, 2016

Refilling the Well

I haven't been writing as much as I should these last couple of months but I have the best of reasons: I've been reading, play-going, traveling, celebrating and generally refilling the well from which I draw my writing ideas. I hope that you, too, have filled your summer with at least a few soul-enriching days, hours or even moments. Here are a few of my favorites...
My silly sons at the Bronx Zoo

Hamilton in NYC with the family
Cousins at the lake - NH!

July 4th Fireworks with friends
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

More Amsterdam fun with the hubs


Monday, August 22, 2016

ARE YOU READY FOR HOMEWORK TIME? I MEAN WRITING HOMEWORK!

There are many types of developmental work authors find helpful as they write their manuscripts. As fall approaches (and perhaps you get excited about all the free writing time you'll have once the kids are back in their classrooms), here are some WRITER HOMEWORK SUGGESTIONS plus resource links you'll want to have at the ready.

1. Complete character worksheets for your main and secondary protagonists & antagonists.

2. Pinterest board your characters' look, key settings, etc.

Here's an example from my novel
THE SOUND OF LETTING GO
3. Build spreadsheets to refine timelines.

4. Hone your plot with beat sheets or other scene-breakdown resources

There are so many great articles and worksheets at your virtual fingertips. Begin the search for what you need at ADVENTURES IN YA PUBLISHING or WRITERS HELPING WRITERS.

Ready, set, go!

Monday, August 15, 2016

YA Reading List: Cliques, Crowds and Dangerous Behaviors

Losing perspective, following the crowd, fighting too hard for a freedom you don't understand...such things result in stories of teens behaving in ways even they, perhaps, never imagined or intended. Here are a few sharply written, insightful cautionary tales, some light and some terribly dark.

LUCKY FEW by Kathryn Ormsbee

“A beautifully written story of loss and acceptance, of humor and tragedy, of finding yourself by losing yourself.” 
-- Marci Lyn Curtis, author of The One Thing







WHAT WE SAW by Aaron Hartzler

"A powerful tale of betrayal and a vital primer on rape culture." 

-- Kirkus (starred review)






IT'S NOT EASY BEING MEAN by Lisi Harrison

One can't talk high school cliques without including one Lisi Harrison title featuring the "Pretty Committee" and the "Losers Beyond Repair."







THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS by Marieke Nijkamp

"A compelling, brutal story of an unfortunately all-too familiar situation: a school shooting. Nijkamp portrays the events thoughtfully, recounting fifty-four intense minutes of bravery, love, and loss."BookRiot








Monday, August 8, 2016

MG Reading List: Dyslexia

Back-to-school time is fast approaching. Time to download the school supply lists and make sure everyone's on track with their summer reading assignments. As the mom of two dyslexic sons, this last task can sometimes be tricky, which is probably why stories dealing with this learning disability always catch my attention. Here are three of my favorites:

FISH IN A TREE by Lynda Mullaly Hunt











MAY B. by Caroline Starr Rose











CLOSE TO FAMOUS by Joan Bauer