Unascended is finished and turned in! Now we wait for first edits.To celebrate, I thought I'd share the beginning of the first chapter.( Chapter OneCollapse )
This week is Spring Break so I've been hitting the rough draft of the second book in the goddesses series and going over the revision of a critique buddy.***And there's a great deal going on over at Amazon for my ebook EARRINGS OF IXTUMEA for $1.99! For those of you who are asking for fantasies with PoC, well my book has one! What a deal! http://www.amazon.com/Earrings-Ixtumea-Kim-Baccellia-ebook/dp/B007OUHYH6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1397858512&sr=8-1&keywords=earrings+of+ixtumea+MuseItUp+Publishing1. Saw two movies with similar themes of struggle with faith.God Is Not DeadIntriguing argument for and against God in the classroom. That was the strength of this movie. Some of the other parts bordered predictability.2. I thought this one though handled the subject better and was nothing like I thought. I went in as a skeptic and came out moved.Heaven Is For Real3. Really loving the voice in this memoir:4. Can't wait to read this one: 5. Went to Mother-in-law's assistant living community for an Easter party. And yes, Easter bunny came!12 year old got to help his grandma and other elderly lady to dye Easter Eggs:**Guilty pleasure:Hope to go to Frye's and pick up a new laptop. Angelina, my current cherry red laptop, is five years old and dying. Plus, want to treat self to a grande Starbucks drink!**Photo courtesy from Starbucks.com
A few weeks ago, Karin Perry and I spent a great deal of time talking about picture books. We had not planned to spend quite as much time as we did. We had loads of other topics we wanted to cover in a day long workshop. However, there was tremendous interest. Then this week I saw this post to the YALSA Hub: http://www.yalsa.ala.org/thehub/2014/04/17/young-adult-picture-book-pairings-cinderella-stories/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+yalsathehub+%28The+Hub%29.Pairing picture books about Cinderella (and there are hundreds of versions of Cinderella and other fairy tales out there) with YA novels with Cinderella themes is a terrific idea, one I plan to incorporate into future presentations. Libby Gorman's pairings are a great place to begin. How about taking themes from other fairy tales or fables or folk tales and pairing them with YA books with similar themes?I have used WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE for a LONG time to work with theme with middle school kids. Theme is abstract, but a good picture book can help make the concept more concrete. WTWTA also underscores that books can (and do) have more than one theme. I am working right now on a half day session on using picture books with K-12 students. I am exploring the ideas here and a few others. I find I am not running out of ideas or books. I love when a germ of an idea leads to something bigger. I know many of my friends are already using picture books in all manner of inventive ways. I salute them for not abandoning picture books and start pushing kids into other works earlier and earlier. My new campaign is to replace the word "push" with "lead" or "assist" or "guide" or "encourage." I spoke to a reporter this week who talked about getting kids into harder and tougher and more complex books. There are plenty of complex books that have only 32 pages (the average picture book length). Let's explore these books without the push into something else. Reading easy, a phrase my friend Kylene Beers uses, is a good thing. We all need time to read easy, to relax as we read, to access text easily, to ENJOY the reading.
1. My friend, author Tamra Wight, took this great photo of one of the fox kits at their campground (Poland Spring Campground). Tami is the author of the Cooper and Packrat series of mystery books.2. A week from today, I'll be speaking at the 27th Annual Conference on Children’s Literature in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. It's free and open to the public, though they do ask you to register. The focus this year is on disability, both in books and in creating inclusive programming. 3. We had snow one morning this week and my son woke me up demanding, "WHERE'S MY SPRING?!" Indeed.4. I have received three school visit requests for school visits for Half a Chance, including one All School Read of the book in Tennessee next year. Time to come up for a program for that book!5. Happy Easter, everyone, from my two Easter bunnies.
Some disconnected observations today:1. Saw an ad for the Word Whisperer. Of course, I already know the Book Whisperer, aka Donalyn Miller, so I wanted some more information. Basically, the WW is a pediatrician turned reading expert. I am thinking of a career change. Why not move from being a reading expert to a pediatrician? How hard could that be? I was once a child. I went to see the doctor. Seriously, I want to track down these folks and find out just why they believe they can advertise themselves as experts. 2. I found something in common with Ted Cruz! Calm down. Recently he declared that CCSS must go. I am on board with that totally. Not for the same reasons, of course, but the sentiment is one I can share.3. A phrase from news this morning: "If you can't see it, you can't BE it." In a nutshell, this is why teachers need to be readers and writers. Kids need to see us read and write. Every day.4. Headline proclaims that reading E-Books means losing out: http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/04/10/students-reading-e-books-are-losing-out-study-suggests/?_php=true&_type=blogs&smid=tw-nytstyles&seid=auto&_r=0. Problems here: small sample (never mentioned how small); interactive books with widgets are not what all eBooks are; little mention of the data about comprehension. I hate to see this. Someone will pick this up, ignore all of the limitations and proclaim it fact. Happy Wednesday!
A reader asked how I write history -- how much is real, how much is made up, and how I blend the two. That's a really complicated question! I think the most useful thing is to give an example. This is a scene from The General's Mistress, and it's one of the hardest and most complicated to write because I'm doing about six things at once. First, this scene is a turning point in Elza's life. In her memoirs it's clear that whatever was said after she drew a veil across the scene changed not only how she viewed Bonaparte, but how she saw herself. It was that important. And yet she doesn't say exactly what was said! So I had to write the scene knowing it's pivotal for the character.Second, this scene is hard for the reader because many readers have a very skewed picture of Bonaparte. If you're expecting the Short Ranting Man of vaudeville humor, this will completely throw you. So I have to sell an entirely different picture.Third, it has to work as it stands for readers who are reading The General's Mistress without any of the other Numinous World books.Fourth, it has to work for readers who are coming to it as the fourth Numinous World book.Fifth, it has to work as a sex scene. Sixth, it has to move the action for the rest of the book, because it changes Elza's trajectory.So! Terribly complicated scene. Here's my "director's commentary" below. Think of it as one of those DVD extras where the director tells you what they were doing in the shot.( Elza and BonaparteCollapse )