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Showing posts with label books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label books. Show all posts

Sunday, August 17, 2014

#MM Baby Got Books

Since school has started up in Tennessee, 
here's a fun song for the kids.





Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. Rules are simple. Leave ONLY the ACTUAL LINK POST here and grab the code below and place it at your blog entry. You can grab this code at LadyJava’s Lounge Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.




PS: Because of spamming purposes, the linky will be closed on Thursday of each week at midnight, Malaysian Time. Thank you!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

#GBE2: No Comfort in My Fictional World

Although impoverished, fifteen-year-old Ben enjoys his loving mother, good friends, and the comfort of his rundown home; however, his world topples when a balding weirdo storms into his apartment, shoots his mom, and kidnaps him. He rides five hours up a rain-slicked highway to a lush mansion with sculptured bushes, the scent of blossoms from the yard, and historic paintings each overhung by a fancy light.

Although his new home says, "Enjoy comfort," Ben carries anger toward a mob father who is as cold as his apartment the day the heater broke. When Ben's temper flares, he strikes the villain and then finds himself pinned to wooden paneling while being whipped. 

From then on, Ben obeys with a passive aggression until he is tricked into performing a horrendous deed. He escapes into adventures that only a few of my friends know about because no agent has been willing to read my manuscript. Comfort is a foreign concept for my book characters.


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

#AtoZ: C - Campus Book Rental & College Joke

Having put two kids through college and a third currently away, rising school costs are akin to sticking a vacuum hose into a wallet and sucking money out. As a result, I'm always looking for ways to make and save money. Voila! Here is an idea for the student studying french or event management, like my kid.

CampusBookRentals.com provides students with the opportunity to save 40-90% off book store prices. They provide free shipping, both ways, allow kids to highlight in books, are flexible about renting periods, and donate to Operation Smile. You can learn more about CampusBookRentals.com by clicking the video below. 

Also, check out their rent back program. This new initiative allows students to rent back books they own. A kid could earn two to four times more money than what they'd make through other buyout options.

                                           
                                             

Finally, here's a college joke in keeping with the spirit of my humor blog:

A linguistics professor was lecturing to his English class one day. "In English," he said, "A double negative forms a positive. In some languages, though, such as Russian, a double negative is still a negative. However, there is no language wherein a double positive can form a negative." 

A voice from the back of the room piped up, "Yeah, right."

Monday, August 1, 2011

Novel Film Blogfest


Some movies belong here!

I'm participating in the Novel Film Blogfest over at Scribble and Edit. If you'd like to participate, hop on over there and sign up!

Here is a list of books I've read and seen the movies too. Thanks for hopping here!

Water For Elephants (Liked Both)
Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Both funny)
Harry Potter Series (All books and movies were awesome!)
Lovely Bones (Best book/Worst movie)
Back to the Future (book came after movie, but I read it!)
A Wrinkle in Time (Great Book/Awful movie)
Jumanji (Actually, the movie was better)
Twilight Series (Haven't seen later movies but will--pretty good)
The Lightning Thief (Book was much better than movie)
The Outsiders (Book was much better)
The Indian in the Cupboard (Book was much better)
Holes (I liked the book and the movie)
Divine Secrets of the YaYa Sisterhood (I liked the book and the movie)
The Client (Both were good)
The Firm (The book was great/ I liked the movie because it was filmed   in my home town which made it fun)
Le Petit Prince (Reading in French was tough/ movie was in English)
Hideaway (Book was great/movie awful)
Flipped (I liked the book and the movie)
Animal Farm (Great book/ cartoon movies don't do it for me)
The Secret Life of Bees (Book was much better)
The Hobbit (Great book/ once again a cartoon movie)
The Davinci Code (Book was better)
Kite Runner (Book was better)

I can't wait to see the following movies:
The Help, Hunger Games, My Name is Memory, & Savvy but remember tweets, "Never judge a book by its movie." :)

 If you like my post, please click here to vote for me on the picket fence. Thanks!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Book Review: King of Ithaca by Tracy Barrett

King of Ithaka by Tracy Barrett
Ever pick up a book while thinking, I'm not going to like this but I'll give it a girl scout try; then you find yourself totally blown away from its brilliance? I'm talking about a book which might have been a catalog from a tool store as far as my interest in that subject matter was concerned. But OMG, "King of Ithaca" by Tracy Barrett is an absolutely amazing book!

Tracy took a teen, with a name I can't pronounce, and sent him on a perilous journey to find his missing father, none other than Odysseus. She threw in the wit of a stinky, cave-dwelling monster, the camaraderie of good friends, a few mythological twists, multiple near death experiences and voila, a page turner I couldn't put down. Tracy, your book is brilliant! Up there with Percy Jackson's fantastic quests but fresh in that it wasn't overdone in the area of monsters and myth. In fact, the scariest monsters were of the human variety.

I know my students will love "The King of Ithaca"; however, once one kid reads it and starts talking, it's going to become so popular in my classroom that I may have trouble prying it out of their little fingers. I've got to get Tracy to autograph my copy at the Midsouth SCBWI Conference, so do I let the little scholars circulate it or do I hold it at home until after the conference? Oy! Such a wonderful problem.

Don't forget to vote for me on the Picket Fence. Thanks!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Agent Harold Baer is Looking for Writers!

As aspiring authors, it's exciting to learn about new agents who are actually looking for clients! I was blessed to interview Mr. Harold Lyon Baer about his unique practices that are sure to escalate him to the top of the publishing world.

Joyce: It's always interesting to know what people do before becoming agents. I mean, have you always been a part of the book world?

Harry: When I was young, I traveled a lot. In fact, I was part of an expedition in the Arctic Circle. During that time period, we did a lot of hunting and ice fishing.

Joyce: Really? That's fascinating. So tell me Harry, what sort of books are you interested in?

Harry: I love books about animals! I especially love the Berenstain Bears.

Joyce: Well, who doesn't? So you're interested in picture books?

Harry: Picture Books, Middle Grade, YA--anything will float with me. Listen, Joyce. I need to cut this interview short. My wife's calling. You know, the cubs are getting restless. But please have your readers call me if they'd like to give me a pitch about their books.

Joyce: Wait a minute? No query letter? Just a phone call?

Harry: Sure. I like to get to know potential clients. If they turn out to be like honey, we just might gel.

Joyce: You sure are a rare species, Harry!

Harry: That's what they keep telling me. Please tell your readers that I'm located at:

64th Street and Fifth Avenue
New York, New York 10021

Come visit or call (212) 439-6500 and ask for Harry Baer. Also, if anyone is interested in knowing more about me, here's my website: http://tinyurl.com/4vveqsm

Thanks, Harry!

A is for Agent! Tune in tomorrow to read about letter B -- Hmm? Beer, Barbecues, Babies -- Are you curious enough to click?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Following Blogs

When I first joined the world of Twitter and blogging, I was hesitant to follow anyone's blog because I didn't understand what being a follower meant. Thinking my inbox would be jammed with spam, I avoided following blogs. But now that I've clicked many "join" buttons and have a follow button of my own, I know the truth: Following a blog means basically nothing. By clicking that little button, you've told the blogger, and anyone else to visit, that you like the blog . . . or maybe you want to win something they are giving away. That's it. No e-mails or spam. If anyone should bother you, click unfollow. It's easy.

So why do I care if you follow my blog? Here's why: I hope to join the ranks of published author one day. As someone with novel writing as an aspiration, I sometimes send queries out to agents and editors who are known to search the internet to find out about potential clients. If one should happen to come across my blog, it looks good to have a lot of followers, frequent posts, and even some comments related to the posts. That's it. No spam, and I promise not to bother you; so please, won't you click the follow button? I'm at twenty-four followers and want to grow.

Thanks! Followers Rock!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Organizing Your Writing

I have a friend who has literally walked around for two years with an idea percolating in her head without writing a single word until the entire novel is structured and ready to go. Then there is moi. The ultimate pantser. I've tried some pre-planning for my novels but find it cumbersome, and I rarely stick to my plans anyway.

Currently, I'm enrolled in my second course at the Institute of Children's Literature with an instructor who pressures me to plan. This has been difficult at best. True, I've mapped out my work in progress (WIP), but I find myself veering away from those plans as my fingers tap the keyboard.

It's interesting to have readers sometimes comment on how they love my characters yet wonder if they are ADD. I hadn't planned them that way. :o



Recently I attended Mark Diamond's workshop on teaching writing to kids and found myself walking away with tips that are even helpful to someone like me. http://www.anyonecanwrite.com

I especially found his WOW line useful. Here's what you do:

(1) Draw a horizontal (hamburger) line across a sheet of paper.
(2) Divide said line into three equal parts. These parts represent the beginning, middle, and ending of your story.
(3) Place a star between the middle and ending of the story. This is your WOW moment. That's right! The one place where the most exciting thing happens.
(4) After jotting down your idea for the WOW moment, return to the beginning. What happened a little before the WOW moment?
(5) Next write an ending that sums up the WOW moment. You could even work out some sort of connection between the beginning and the ending because you now know what you are going to do.
(6) Finally, fill in the missing pieces of your story.

Voila!

Mr. Diamond has several books available on his site, and I was pleased to have had my school purchase all four of them for me. I especially like the one about Narrative Writing.

Being a certified pantser, I had to try this technique on a recent Monster Challenge. The competition called for a five-hundred word story about a human slaying a monster. I don't know if I'll win, but I've gotten a lot of positive reviews on my piece.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Funny Scenes in Every Day Life

After I ventured into the restroom at Cosco, I headed out with a great new idea for a comedy scene that I've since added to my work in progress (WIP). It all began when I stuck my hands into the automatic hand dryer, and I thought what would that goofy kid Slater do with this device? Next I knew, I was laughing out loud at my keyboard.

The $1,000,000 question: Do you think my scene is funny?

“Cool, Knob! Look at this.” He pointed to an automatic hand dryer with two silver slabs that faced each other. The top part had a section that curved outward to allow room for a guy to stick his hands inside. A bright yellow line did a crappy job at trying to make the machine pretty.

Slater lowered his hands into the drying machine and caused a deep swooshing sound to fill the bathroom. The motor yelled so loud, I could barely hear him speak.

“What if a guy’s hands don’t fit in this thing? I mean if he weigh six-hundred pounds or something, his fat hands ain’t fitting in here!”

“Not many people weigh six-hundred pounds.”

“But what if he some sumo wrestler or a super hero? Some guy with big old hands that wrestle alligators; he gots to dry his hands too!”

“Maybe there’s a way to push these panels out.” I patted the bottom of the machine for some sort of lever but didn’t find anything. That wasn’t good enough for Slater. He lifted his hands out, leaped onto the floor, and nosed up under the dryer. I couldn’t help but think of all the dirt on a bathroom floor.

“The floors filthy. Get up.”

Slater ignored me. “Here it is.” He flipped some kind of switch and the panels spread outward.

“I need it to dry my hands. Hope it still works.” I lowered my fingers into the dryer. Even though the panels were further apart, my hands got dry. I just had to move them around more. After I pulled them out, I rubbed the back of my dry hands.

“Hey, Knob. Watch this.” Slater lifted himself to his knees and put his head into the machine. The engine roared and noisy air shot out of the panels. The skin on Slater’s cheeks wiggled back and forth like a bulldog shaking loose jowls. As Slater giggled, he must have hit something because the panels moved inward and snapped. Slater tried to move his head out of the machine.

“It stuck, Knob. I is stuck!” As Slater opened his mouth, the dryer caught his spit and sent droplets catapulting across the bathroom floor. The inside of his cheeks ballooned out wide enough to use his face as a parachute and his eyes squinted to keep the air out. A smoky smell filtered from the machine. “Find a knob, Knob. Get me out of here!”

“Let me get help.”

“No-o-o! Some manager dude come in here and he yell!” Slater must have shouted so he could be heard over the roaring motor. “Look below! There a lever down there. Pop it!”

As much as I hated being on that dirty floor, I got on my knees and looked around for the lever. Finally I found it and freed Slater. When he stood up, his cheeks glowed red and his once centered Mohawk had shifted to the left side so that it shot out of his head like a one horned elk. Singed hair lined the tip of his Mohawk.

I hope someone will find this scene funny; but if not, I had a blast writing it!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Author's Notebook

I always keep pen and paper next to my bed just in case I wake up with a brilliant idea or unique dream that might prove book friendly. After all, something about sleep often brings about plotting solutions or new ideas.

Last night, my mind painted an odd scene that could easily become the back drop to a fantasy novel. Of course I've never written a story about other worlds, but I jotted down the scene just in case. This vivid and original world may one day house a troubled teen running from mobsters, a lost kid, or a team of nasty girls. Who knows what I'll be writing in the future--floating moons in reddish-pink skies? You never know.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Between Shades of Gray

I know I haven't posted in a while, and my last blog discussed the colonoscopy, but something new and wonderful is upon us come March 1. Ruta Sepetys will be releasing her first book, "Between Shades of Gray," and it's already proving to be a winner. Check out Kirkus' review: http://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/childrens-books/sepetys-ruta/between-shades-gray/

I'm talking about a beautiful and heart-wrenching story about Lina, a Lithuanian teen, thrust into a brutal environment by the henchmen of Joseph Stalin in the 1940s. Between Shades of Gray is a story of survival and love found in overly harsh conditions. This book reminded me of a classic like Anne Frank and is destined to go far!

Stalking the Bookshelves is giving away an ARC of this book at http://stalkingthebookshelves.blogspot.com/2011/01/arc-tour-between-shades-of-gray.html