Saturday, October 29, 2011

Six-Sentence Saturday 10/29/11

Hello again! It is Saturday again, and almost the end of October. Where did THAT month go? Shu-reek!

Anyhoozle, here are my six sentences.

1.) I'm going to be NaNoing as soon as NaNovember hits, so don't disturb me!

2.) I really, really, really like Hugh Jackman.

3.) I also really like Christian Kane as Eliot Spencer.

4.) I haven't been to Staples for AGES, and I really feel the call from the paper over there.

5.) I want to get a couple more plaid skirts from Kohl's that are sort of like the ones I've recently purchased.

6.) I think I'd like to get CD's for Christmas.

That's it for now. :) God bless!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Catching up on Thursday

I've been having a sort of off-week. Maybe even an off-month. I just haven't gotten around to posting my updates when I'm supposed to, and it's so frustrating! So it's nice when something happens to make everything better. First off, I won the giveaway over at Kelly Hashway's Books! Thanks, Kelly.

Second, I watched Real Steel (twice) and that made me realise how much the depiction of a strong movie character can influence my writing. My favourite characters are the ones that "grow" during the course of the film, that make a slow alteration between the (possible) jerk that they were at the beginning of the film into that person you can respect, admire, even love.

Actually, not only movie characters either, but other book characters, singers, songs, anything can tug at my emotions and make me really feel. Usually it's a character that's depicted so well I get this weird, protective surge inside me, and if such a character (book characters usually, and any character in a ballad song) were real, I would do everything in my power to try and get him/her to heaven. With movie characters and singers, at least they're real so I can pray for them. :) I know, it's funny, but the movies and songs and books I like best are the ones that make me wish I knew such a person, and that I had someone like that to love.

Here is a list of some of the people, songs, and characters  that have made me feel:

  1. Josh Groban. He first did it with his song "Remember When It Rained," and he's been doing it to me ever since.
  2. Morgon in the Riddlemaster of Hed trilogy, a character written by Patricia McKillip.
  3. The Highwayman, written by Alfred Noyes and put to music by Loreena McKennit.
  4. David Wenham as Faramir in the Lord of the Rings movie. (In the books, it was Gandalf.)
  5. Tom in Fire and Hemlock, by Diana Wynne Jones
  6. Steve (Chris Evans) in Captain America
  7. James Braddock (Russell Crowe) in Cinderella Man
  8. Mark Williams, my music teacher, who will also be playing the Phantom in a production near Tahoe.
There you go! Hope you enjoyed reading, and sorry for the delay. God bless!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Six-Sentence... Sunday?

Yep, I missed my day yesterday. Have you ever had those weekends where you just feel so unmotivated and unable to get to your writing? That was my weekend. I don't know what was wrong with me, but I'm feeling a bit more like myself, and ready for my six sentences, and I'm oh-so-sorry about the delay.

1.) I watched Real Steel on Friday with my sisters, and the boxing scenes were amazing!

2.) I discovered that I have a very, very soft spot for fighters and underdogs.

3.) Hayley Westenra released a new album! (Yay!)

4.) Susan Boyle is also releasing a new album, and I can't wait until it comes out.

5.) The One-Click button on Amazon is DAN-GER-OUS!!!

6.) I really need to get my October Monthly Write-off written for Writer's Retreat already!

That's all for now. Habbut you?

God bless!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Penderwicks at Point Mouette: by Jeanne Birdsall

They were adorable in The Penderwicks.

They were just as good in The Penderwicks on Gardam Street.

And now, we get even more of them in The Penderwicks at Point Mouette, the long-awaited sequel that the School Library Journal says "takes readers slightly out of their comfort range but not so far that they feel adrift."

The very first line pulls you in. "The Penderwick family was being torn apart." Oh my goodness! you think, and squirm a little deeper into the couch and pull the book a little closer to your face as though to telepathically discover, before reading any farther, what tragedy could possibly pull Rosalind, Skye, Jane, and Batty apart.

Then you learn it's not a tragedy. Just separate vacations.

It's summer time. Mr. Penderwick and his new wife Iantha (and Iantha's son, baby Ben) are off to England for "scientific conferences and a bit of honeymoon." Oldest sister Rosalind is off to New Jersey on a vacation with her best friend Anna.

The rest of the Penderwick girls - Skye, Jane, and Batty - are off to Maine to spend two weeks with Aunt Claire at Point Mouette. This makes Skye, in Rosalind's absence, Oldest Available Penderwick (OAP for short), a duty that Skye is grimly determined to fulfill as best she can.

The Maine beach is a lovely mixture of rocky shores and sand, and the cottage where they're staying with Aunt Claire is just right, not too big and not too small. As they settle in Skye thinks that maybe, just maybe, she can get through her OAP duties unscathed.

Then she accidentally destroys the list she created that gave her the much-needed guidelines for taking care of Batty.

Then Jane gets Writer's Block.

Then Jeffrey, their friend from book one who was supposed to go on vacation with them in the first place before his nasty mother changed her mind at the last minute and forbade him to go, is suddenly allowed to spend the two weeks with the three Penderwick girls at Point Mouette.

Then Jane falls in love, and later takes a bad fall onto some rocks, frightening Skye half to death.

Then Batty reveals she has a gift for music.

Then Jeffrey discovers someone who may, or may not, be important to him in a very special way.

Then there's a bonfire.

Then there's a concert.

And at the end the whole Penderwick family is reunited in their little house on Gardam Street.

Jeanne Birdsall somehow manages to capture the essential whimsical delight of a close-knit family without coming off as fake, forced, or foolish. Each character has a definite three-dimensional aspect that makes them like real people, people you'd want to know, to hang out with, maybe play a rough game of soccer with. Even  with four different sisters, Jeanne Birdsall manages to make them at once unique and believable, from the responsible Rosalind, to the scientific Skye, from the writerly Jane to the adorable multi-faceted Batty.

The Penderwicks at Point Mouette is a classic destined, along with its two predecessors, to have a long, long life in every book-lover's library.

My rating: *****

Please do take a moment to visit Jeanne at her website, and enjoy the utterly adorable author interview (in two parts) included here for your enjoyment.

Giveaway at Kelly Hashway's Books

Want to have a chance to win the autographed copy of the Purrfect Puppy, by Kelly Hashway, and the colouring book version of May the Best Dog Win, along with some purrfectly delicious SWAG?

Then come on down and enter the giveaway at Kelly Hashway's Books! It's free, and fun, and you never know. YOU could be the winner. :)

See you there!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Quick "Extra" post

There's a contest going on over at the Children's Writer right now. Head on over, read the guidelines, participate! Imagine how cool it would be to win first prize! 

Good luck on everyone who participates. Hope you have FUN!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Six-Sentence Saturday 10/15/11

Here they are, in no particular order:

1.) Today is my li'l sister's birthday. Hippo Birdy, Tiny!

2.) My storyboard's sorta coming along... I wish I didn't have such an abysmal headache! :-)

3.) Phantom of the Opera is the best thing to listen to if you're trying to warm up your vocal cords.

4.) Did you know it's vocal CORDS, and not vocal CHORDS? I think I knew it, but not consciously.

5.) Monday are private lessons for singing! So e'citing!

6.) Finished reading The Unwanted's, by Lisa McMann (which was okay) and Pegasus by Robin McKinley (which was better but made me wonder if there's supposed to be a sequel, 'cause it didn't quite feel like it ended).

How about you? What are your six sentences?

God bless!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Writing on Wednesday: Picture Books

I had two little news flashes to share with you today.

First of all, I'm working on a picture book, and I'm seeing if I can illustrate it myself. Whilst doing this, I learned two things about picture books and illustrating that I'd always known, but never really realized until this moment.

1.) When you are drawing a child (toddler-ish age or a little bit younger) you want the diagram of the child's body to equal four of its head sizes stacked one on top of the other. Like so: Dani Jones at

2.) When you are writing a picture book, read it through carefully to make sure its a picture book and not a short story. You're probably thinking, "What's the difference?" Well, I'll tell you.

A short story contains descriptions. It has a full plot told in very few words with well-chosen phrases used to inspire the imagination in as little space as possible.

A picture book is like a poem, where it makes you feel, but there are undertones that the reader has to understand on his own. A picture book uses those undertones as pictures which the illustrator interprets in a series of drawings that complement the words. What the words don't say, the pictures reveal.

Coolio, hey?

That's all for now, peeps. I'm off to do a dummy layout of a PB. Maybe it'll turn out to be fantastic! You never know. :-)

God bless!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Six-Sentence Saturday 10/08/11

Here we are again.

First, an announcement: I've been so busy I just haven't been able to get in my three blog posts a week, so I'm whittling it down to two posts on Wednesday and Saturday.

Now, here we go!

1.) I went to the library today, looked up a couple books I really love, and turned to the back to see who the author credited as their agent, and compiled a list.

2.) I got some lovely critiques back on a PB that I want to sub, so I'm going to be working on that over the weekend.

3.) My next two seasons of Psych came in the mail today... HOOT HOOT! I'm so 'cited!

4.) I just finished a rather remarkably good book called The Lost Conspiracy, by Frances Hardinge, and I utterly LOVED her descriptions.

5.) I just started the first chapter of Maximum Ride... very interesting.

6.) I think I'd like to seriously learn how to do sepia illustrations.

That's all for this week. See youse all on Wednesday! God bless

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Six-Sentence Saturday 10/01/11

Today is the first day of October, and WOW! Does it look like Fall out there! My fingers are cold. *sigh* Here comes winter. :-P

Here are my six things:

1.) I really do like Autumn - really! - it's just the thought of the following winter that I eye with a lack of enthusiasm.

2.) I 've been cleaning like a mad thing... I thought that was something you did in Spring? Hmmmm...

3.) I've been listening to tons of music - soundtracks, (Thor, Iron Man, Captain America: LOVE YOU, GUYS!) singers, (Camilla Kerslake, Sara Kempe, Ed Ames) Nature Sounds, on different kinds of media: mp3, CD, and vinyl.

4.) My friend Kelly Hashway made it to the 113 finalists of the 50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading (Conga Rats, Kelly) and I voted for her.

5.) I drew yesterday, and found myself struck with a book idea for woman warriors.

6.) The Phantom of the Opera will be playing in Reno, and I'M GOING TO GO. I've decided. Just now. I'm going. :-)

So that's all for this Saturday. How 'bout you?
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