Saturday, January 08, 2005

Companions of the Night and Being Dead

Surf over to my other blog, spookycyn, to read two story behind the story interviews with Vivian Vande Velde on Companions of the Night and Being Dead.

Ever wonder what everybody else is reading? Check out what's On My Night Table from Jacqueline Davies. I'm also fond of her On My Mind page, currently pointing out that "The Problem Is: Books Are Not Pigeons."

Visit author/illustrator Maurie J. Manning, in particular "Hidden Pictures: One Way To Break Into Children's Illustration."

Learn about "The Changing World of Picture Books" with Louise McClenathan from the Institute of Children's Literature, a chat transcript dated Jan. 6, 2005.

Unfortunately, this resource is too timely: Explaining World Tragedy to Children by Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller from Modern Mom.

Friday, January 07, 2005

More On Rhyming Picture Books

Rhymes and Misdemeanors by Hope Vestergaard.

Rhyme from Predictable Books, a bibliography from the Monroe County Public Library in Monroe County, Indiana.

See also: How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight by Jane Yolen (as well as her Child of Faerie, Child of Earth); Mrs. McNosh Hangs Up Her Wash by Sarah Weeks; Piggy In A Puddle and The Mousery by Mary Ann Hoberman; Mr. Murry and Thumbkin by Karma Wilson; all things Lisa Wheeler (especially Sailor Moo) and Kathi Appelt (especially The Alley Cat's Meow). See also works by Linda Ashman.

Jennifer Ward says: "I like to think that reading poetry and listening to certain music helps my writing in rhyme.

"For example, Robert Frost's 'Stopping By The Woods On A Snowy Evening' is a perfect example of rhyme. Not only is the rhyme perfect, but so is the meter. When I critique mss, I sometimes use this poem as an example of rhyme and meter for those who strive to rhyme but are having difficulty mastering the aspects.

"Music: This may sound corny, but certain songs master meter beautifully, even without rhyme. 'America' by Simon and Garfunkle is a good example. Just as one could set a metronome to certain musical pieces, the rhyme & rhythm to certain pb stories could also be read along with a ticking metronome. Rhyme and meter that isn't effective will stumble."

Thanks to Jennifer Ward, Jane Yolen, Alex Flinn, Shutta Crum; Lisa Wheeler, Jessica Swaim, and Andrea Beaty for suggestions.

Book Note: Maya Running by Anjali Banerjee is an ALAN (NCTE) Best Book for January 2005! Congratulations Anjali!

Movie Note: Alexa Vega (of "Spy Kids" fame) is darling, but "Sleepover" is a snore.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Children's Book Ilustrator Don Tate Launches Blog

Illustrator Don Tate has a new blog--Devas T: rants and raves ("Highs and lows in the life of a children's book illustrator"). Check out his Coretta Scott King picks on the blog and then surf over to an interview at African-American Children's Book Writers & Illustrators.

As a fellow Austinite, I have the pleasure of knowing Don personally. The man is bursting with talent and has the cutest wife and baby in the business.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Rhyming Picture Books

I'm reading a couple of rhyming picture book manuscripts for a beginning writer and pulling resources that may be of use to her. They include:

Rhyming Picture Books: For Those Who Must by Margot Finke from the "Musings" Archive in April 2004. This page offers a number of really on-target links. I especially like:

"To Rhyme or Not to Rhyme" by Dori Chaconas from Smart Writers Journal in April 2003.

Writing Picture Books by by Marisa Montes. She also offers more great information on Getting Published.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

"Every Word Is True"

Have a note here that says Warner Brothers is scouting locations for the feature film "Every Word Is True," and they're interested in filming here at the house. Potentially. Am flashing back to every kind of destruction I've seen wrought on houses in movies. Therefore, I'm going to have to pass on that although I must admit the plot sounds cool and it would be kind of neat to meet that particular cast of actors. I'm a particular fan of Sandra Bullock, Anjelica Huston, and Sigourney Weaver.

In other news, I've made out most of my thank you cards, written 1,408 words of something, and am reading manuscripts for two writers.

Neat & New: The Judy Moody Web site.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Shopping, Revising, Presenting

Shopping? Another new independent bookstore has opened! If you're in the area, visit Andrea Kristina's Bookstore and Kafe at 218 W. Main Street in Farmington, New Mexico.

Revising? Surf over to Uma Krishnaswami's notes on Negotiating the Revision Maze, presented at the SCBWI New Mexico Handsprings conference in Albuquerque April 25, 2003.

Presenting? Surf over to Bad PowerPoint (And How To Avoid It) by Seth Godin from Jacqueline Davis.

Mail Call

Ah, Monday after the holidays. Time to ease right in and...

Nope! I could barely carry in all my mail!

Let's see, what do we have here?

My cousin Stacy sends me a grey beaded choker necklace for my birthday. Lovely! Stacy is a teacher in Topeka and lives with her family in Lawrence.

Page and Erik send us (me and Greg) a set of bar mixes. Page is a writer and Erik is a computer games designer. They moved to San Francisco from Austin this year, and we already miss them!

I also have cards here from authors Haemi Balgassi, Brent Hartinger, Jeanette Ingold, and Shutta Crum (who includes a postcard for her upcoming picture book, The Bravest Of The Brave, illustrated by Tim Bowers). I, um, didn't send cards this year. But I did send out my revision; does that count?

Check out Debbi Michiko Florence's 2004 reading list. If you want to be a successful writer, you have to be a successful reader. Debbi is both! I received a novel manuscript from her today and can't wait to dig in.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

A Bad Boy Can Be Good For A Girl

Spent much of yesterday reading A Bad Boy Can Be Good For A Girl, a novel in poems manuscript, by Tanya Lee Stone, which will be published by Wendy Lamb Books, Random House in '06. It's Stone's first novel though she is the author of more than 75 other books. It's a fantastic manuscript--hip, edgy, and addicting. Sometimes funny, sometimes heartbreaking, always real. Sure to be the new Forever.
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