Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Day for Gratitude

At a time when I would have every right to complain about my life, I keep finding things that make me happy. Imagine that.
This morning I woke up to find hot blueberry pancakes on my table. Who would have thought? Yesterday, I had a piece of this chocolate swirl, cherry cheesecake with my favorite...pecans.

The truth is, stuff like this is normal for me, and in saying that, I realize just how lucky I am.
Not everybody is married to someone who makes fantastic cheesecake. Not everyone has someone thoughtful in their life. Some people have no one at all. But that does not make me less deserving. Thank you Augusta, for giving me that insight.
In my humble opinion, we all are deserving of a good life, just because we were born. It's a shame that some never have the comforts that others take for granted. It's worse that some have everything, and still want more.
I don't have everything, but I have enough. Wouldn't it be great if we could all say that?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Traveling the Blogosphere

I was given this "WebBlog Award" by my talented friend and fellow SCBWI member, Augusta Scattergood. In addition to writing for children, Augusta is a book reviewer for and Delta magazine. She also edits a column for "Skirt!" magazine. Check out her blog at Thanks Augusta!

Now it's my turn! Let me see. Hummmm, whose brilliant enough to receive this prestigious "Awesome Blog" award?

Here are the rules:

1) Put the logo on your blog.

2) Add a link to the person who awarded you.

3) Nominate other blogs.

4) Add links to those blogs on yours.

5) Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs.

Oh! I know who.....

Carlyn Beccia -
Carlyn's off-beat sense of humor has me laughing every time I log on. Her brilliance is apparent from the moment you see her work. It is literally a feast for the eyes!

Kristi Valiant -
Kristi's from my mama's hometown, Evansville Indiana. Her whimsical illustrations have appeared in over twenty published Children's Books!

Paige Keisler -
I just recently found Paige's blog, but it seems that publisher's everywhere are finding her work enchanting! She's got three books in the making! Woo-hoo Paige!

Sherry Rogers -
Sherry has a heart of gold and it shines in every blog entry. Her illustrations are as heartwarming as her personality. Here you'll find an incredible talent and someone who is willing to share the tricks of her trade.

You all make each day brighter for your readers! Now it's your turn to spread a little love around the blogosphere. Ready? Set? Who's writing rocks your blog world?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Finding secrets in the Shadows of Greatness

Last night I was (for once) in charge of the television remote. While flipping channels, I came across the Hallmark movie "Homecoming", starring the late Ann Bancroft.

The screenplay was based on a best-selling mid-grade novel of the same title. The first of seven in the "Tillerman" series, by Cynthia Voigt. Having read the book twice in my search to understand the makings of award winning mid-grades, I immediately dropped the remote.

I'm sure Ms. Bancroft wasn't aware that it would be her last film, but she certainly gave it her all. In my humble opinion, her portrayal of Abigail Tillerman,"Gram", was so right on the money, that I found myself hanging on every word. Maybe it was partly because, to my amazement, the script was almost word-for-word in keeping with Voigt's novel. To me, this was a true testimonial to the power of a well written, tightly worded novel.

Writing rules; Make each word count, propelling the story forward.

In fact, Cynthia Voigt does more than write a tight novel. She keeps her readers feelings and reactions in mind as well. I found that in the second Tillerman novel, "Dicey's Song", Ms. Voigt gives many of her sentences double meanings. Each sentence works every word, in order to eek out as much emotion and complexity from her characters as possible. Sometimes, it's what her characters DON'T say, that makes us understand them better. That in itself is amazing. It's no wonder "Dicey's Song" earned a Newbery medal, and an honored spot on my bookshelf.

I'm sure that Cynthia Voigt, Frances O'Roark Dowell(Dovey Coe), Madeleine L'Engle(A Wrinkle in Time), and others will influence the final outcome for my current mid-grade work-in-progress, "Hasty Liberty". I have learned so much from them, and the many other Newbery winners I've been devouring in the past few years. I hope that in some small way, I can do them all justice. If I turn out a well written novel, I'll have them to thank, as well as you.

"Who we are is the combination of every place we've been, every experience we've had, and every person who has reached out and touched our lives."