Wednesday, April 30, 2014
"The only certainty about writing and trying to be a writer is that it has to be done, not dreamed of or planned and never written, or talked about (the ego eventually falls apart like a soaked sponge), but simply written; it's a dreadful, awful fact that writing is like any other work." Janet Frame
With that thought in mind, I'm taking the day off to work at my writing. Deadlines are always motivating.
Monday, April 28, 2014
For other Nonfiction Monday posts click HERE.
For Nonfiction Monday -- "First Pitch: How Baseball Began" by John Thorn.
It's baseball season so what could be better than a history of the game written by John Thorn, Major League Baseball's official historian. Fans of the game will discover unknown facts and enjoy the vintage photographs that illustrate the evolution of this All-American pastime.
This book is written for children age 8-14, but adult fans will find some surprises as well.
Friday, April 25, 2014
Poetry Friday is hosted today by Tabatha Yeatts: The Opposite of Indifference.
For Poetry Friday -- "Meow Ruff" by Joyce Sidman with illustrations by Michelle Berg.
Sidman's simple tale of an escaped dog and an abandoned cat comforting each other takes concrete poetry to an unexpected level. The illustrations are made up of objects filled with words that create insight into youthful perceptions of the world.
Berg utilizes an imaginative mix of typefaces to fill the spaces occupied by sidewalks, blacktop, car hoods and houses then takes the process one step farther to incorporate words into each drawing as indicators of movement. The gray of a parking lot that stretches across the bottom of a page is filled with: PARKING LOT HOT SPOT, BLACK TAR MULTI CAR, HARD FLAT WELCOME MAT. A small cloud becomes a soft white cluster of words: just/a tiny puff,/a swirl of frosting-/cloud
This entertaining story for young readers is also a lovely introduction to the use of descriptive language.
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
It's my pleasure to introduce Alethea Williams. Alethea's Western historical, Walls for the Wind, was released this month from Whiskey Creek Press.
Here are a few of Alethea's thoughts on writing.
Western history has been the great interest of my adult life. I've lived in Wyoming, Colorado, and Oregon. Although an amateur historian, I am happiest researching different times and places in the historical West. And while staying true to history, I try not to let the facts overwhelm my stories. Story always comes first in my novels, and plot arises from the relationships between my characters. I'm always open to reader response to my writing.
Check out this tempting synopsis and be sure to scroll down for an excerpt that Alethea has so generously shared.
Can an angel survive Hell on Wheels? When Kit Calhoun leaves
New York City with a train car full of
foundlings from the Immigrant Children’s Home, she has no clue she might end up
as adoptive mother to four of them in rip-roaring .
Kit has spent her life in the Children’s Home and now she rides the Orphan
Trains, distributing homeless children to the young nation’s farmers as fast as
the rails are laid. Cheyenne, Wyoming
The first time handsome Patrick Kelley spies Kit in
Territory, he wants her. But circumstances, and a spectral-looking demented
gambler as well as Kit’s certainty no one in his right mind would want her
cobbled-together family, conspire to keep them apart. As Patrick and Kit and
her brood ride Hell on Wheels into their destiny, they’re all forced to leave
behind everything they knew and forge new lives in the raw American West. Julesburg, Colorado
Cheyenne, Dakota Territory, January 1868
Panic bloomed, threatening to choke Kit as she gasped for breath. Where could she be, the small girl brought all the way out to the wilds of Wyoming from New York City? So certain she could make the best decisions for the little golden-haired girl, Kit had gone against her own upbringing as well as the stern advice of those older and wiser in order to make this journey west. Now here was her little family plunked down in the raw boomtown of Cheyenne, and she had lost not only her own direction but also the child entrusted to her care.
Where could Hannah be? Where?
The streets slimy with melting snow and horse manure, Kit struggled to keep her footing as she ran frantically up one and down another, screaming Hannah’s name. Unable to think where to look next, at last she stood helplessly wringing her hands. Tears made slow, cold tracks down her face.
A door opened behind her, and a voice full of concern said, “Kit. As luck would have it, I was just coming to look for you.”
And wouldn’t you know it? The voice of the very man who seemed to turn up at every instance of her bad luck. Indeed, he might be the root cause of her ill luck ever since she left New York City. And to think he had once promised to be her salvation, did Patrick Kelley of the dancing Irish green eyes.
But what were his true intentions as he took hold of her arm? To save her? Or to be her final ruination, as she suspected?
“Let me go.” She tried to wrench her arm away. “Hannah is missing. She’s lost. I must find her!”
“Ah, leannán, don’t take on so,” he said in a soft, cajoling voice. “Hannah is safe and sound. I have her.”
Kit’s bones suddenly felt soft, as if they had turned to mush, and her knees started to sag. Ah, God, and wasn’t her luck running true? Patrick Kelley, the very man! Of all the places in Cheyenne that Hannah might take refuge, of course it would turn out to be with saloon-keeper, and the means of the erosion of many a young woman’s morals, Patrick Kelley.
“Come inside, please, Kit,” he insisted, tugging her arm. Her feet were frozen inside boots soaked with street muck. She felt herself weakening toward him, the warmth and light of him, and of the place behind him, beckoning seductively to her.
She had come so far, all the while thinking she knew what she was doing. Most of a year had passed since setting out. She had followed a path on a journey of more than two thousand miles, a path of righteousness that she thought would answer all eventualities.
And then her path, and the paths of the children, crossed Patrick Kelley’s.
Now once more she must break down and choose between her lofty principles and a future tied to Patrick Kelley. And she found, to her utter consternation as she stared into eyes the color of shamrocks, she…still…couldn’t… decide.
Walls of the Wind is available through the following links:Whiskey Creek Press, Kindle & Nook.
To learn more about Alethea, visit the some of these locations
Twitter: @ActuallyAlethea https://twitter.com/actuallyalethea
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Alethea-Williams/e/B0077CD2HW/
The Romance Reviews author page: http://www.theromancereviews.com/ActuallyAlethea
Monday, April 14, 2014
For other Nonfiction Monday posts click HERE.
For Nonfiction Monday -- "From Marbles To Video Games: how toys have changed" by Jennifer Boothroyd.
Boothroyd compares past and present through the use of popular toys and explains how toys changed to make the transition to modern day. Archival black and white photos juxtaposed with modern color images enhance the comparison. The language of the text is simple enough for young readers. Back matter consisting of Names to Know, Glossary, and Further Reading provide opportunities for additional exploration of the topic.
Friday, April 11, 2014
Poetry Friday is hosted by Today's Little Ditty.
For Poetry Friday -- "Locomotion" by Jacqueline Woodson.
Lonnie -- orphaned in a fire, separated from his little sister when she's adopted, and put into foster care -- doesn't know what to do with his loss and grief. Then his fifth grade teacher introduces him to poetry and gradually Lonnie begins to find himself through the power of words.
Woodson's writing gives the clear, authentic ring of truth to Lonnie's verses as he tells his story in a mix of poetic styles that voice his fears, his thoughts and his dreams.
Friday, April 4, 2014
Poetry Friday is hosted today by The Poem Farm.
For Poetry Friday -- "Earthshake; Poems From The Ground Up" by Lisa Westberg Peters with pictures by Cathie Felstead.
Peters lets geology inspire her 22 verses in this collection that is intended as entertainment rather than science lessons. Nevertheless, sparkling bits of information sprinkle the poetic creations. Peters shares her passion for a wide range of geological topics -- from the power of volcanoes and continental drift to the delicate crystals hidden in the heart of a geode or the story in a fossil clam.
Felstead's imaginative art work varies from poem to poem capturing the essence of the verse and hinting at the geology underlying the words.