Monday, March 29, 2010
Tonight is the first night of Passover and some great book suggestions on this topic can be found at The Booknosher.
Friday's Famous First: "There was once a little princess whose father was king over a great country full of mountains and valleys." The Princess and the Goblin by Scottish author and poet George Macdonald.
Friday, March 26, 2010
The first week of spring has brought a cool breeze to tease the apricot blossoms from the tree in a snowy shower and I appreciate the change from the winter gales that tore through my garden.
With Spring in mind, I turn to a work by Scottish Poet, George MacDonald (1824-1905) titled:
Thus begins the wind's struggle to rid itself of the moon. For the complete poem visit Apples4theteacher where you will also find some lesson suggestions.
George MacDonald, a prolific author of children's books, was a contemporary of Twain, Whitman and Emerson and his work was admired by C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.
Friday's Famous First: Can you identify the title and author of this first line?
"There was once a little princess whose father was king over a great country full of mountains and valleys."
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
It's Writers Wednesday and I've been commiserating with fellow writers who are experiencing that moment when the first rejection letter arrives. It stings...particularly when you thought you did everything right.
- Researched the houses, editors and/or agents that handle your particular type of work.
- Followed the submission guidelines to the letter.
- Sent a manuscript that's been peer-reviewed at the very least and maybe gone through several professional classes and workshops.
If you're lucky enough to receive a rejection letter it might indicate a reason your manuscript was turned down. It's just as likely that there will be no hints to point you in the right direction. Many houses have adopted a policy of not contacting authors at all unless the editor is interested in the work. The submitted manuscript is recycled and you can assume the house has passed on the project if you haven't heard from them in a predetermined time frame: 6 months, 9 months, etc.
This is an opportunity to ask yourself how to make the manuscript better. Look at the plotting, character development, language, voice...all the components of your story and writing style. Chances are that the time away from your story after you sent that submission will allow you to more objectively determine if there is anything that needs to change. If you need fresh eyes on your work find an objective reader to give you another point of view.
Then revise, rewrite and get that story back out there.
For another perspective on the subject of getting published check out "Top Five Tips to Finding and (Keeping Fans) for Your Writing" @ Gary Smailes' Bubble Cow.
Monday, March 22, 2010
If you haven't visited Sid Fleischman's website...do. Take a moment to read the biography of an extraordinary man and well-beloved author. There's wisdom there for readers and for writers that is well worth a look.
Thanks Sid, for everything.
Friday's Famous First: "It was late one winter night, long past my bedtime, when Pa and I went owling." Owl Moon by Jane Yolen.
Friday, March 19, 2010
While I'm on the subject of poetry, let me suggest you check out, or even join in the poetry challenge for the month at A Year of Reading.
Tomorrow, March 20th, is the first day of spring and Anastasia Suen offers a spring-related poetry lesson for primary and intermediate students at Picture Book of the Day.
Friday's Famous First: Can you identify the book title and author of this first line?
"It was late one winter night, long past my bedtime, when Pa and I went owling."
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
It's St. Patricks Day so I'll share a few of my favorite books:
- The Irish Cinderlad by Shirley Climo
- Finn McCool and the Great Fish by Eve Bunting
- Brendan the Navigator by Jean Fritz
- Brothers by Yin
- Dragon: Hound of Honor by Julie Edwards
- Jamie O'Rourke and the Big Potato: An Irish Folktale by Tomie DePaola
Monday, March 15, 2010
While we're on the subject of reading to your children -- if you've ever felt that picking up another picture book is more chore than delight -- let me suggest you take a look at the Friday, March 12th, post at Mother Reader...Reading is Boring (Sometimes) about that most special of times with an often true and humorous twist.
Here's the answer to Friday's Famous First: "Garnet thought this must be the hottest day that had ever been in the world." Newbery Medal book Thimble Summer by Elizabeth Enright.
Friday, March 12, 2010
If you are wondering if your child is ever going to tire of the series, genre, etc. that currently holds them in thrall, the answer is "Yes!" Today there's a wonderful post over at A Year of Reading, "Trust That Your Child Will Make It Through That Reading Phase," that is well work a look.
Friday's Famous First: Do you know the book title and author for this first line? "Garnet thought this must be the hottest day that had ever been in the world."
Monday, March 8, 2010
Today marks the birthday of author, Kenneth Grahame, born March 8th, 1859. Grahame wrote the well-known short story, "The Reluctant Dragon," but is most famous for "The Wind in the Willows" which was first published in 1908. Both books are much beloved and still enjoyed by children today. "The Wind in the Willows" has remained a classic of English literature and appeared in numerous forms from comic book versions to Broadway stage productions, TV shows, and films. It even inspired Mr. Toad's Wild Ride at Disneyland.
Here's the answer to Friday's Famous Firsts: "When my brother Fish turned thirteen, we moved to the deepest part of inland because of the hurricane and, of course, the fact that he'd caused it." This first line is from Savvy written by Ingrid Law - 2009 Newbery Honor Book.