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I was waiting a long time to get my first “yes” on a novel. Now, a little more that a year past it’s release into the world, here are the top five things I’ve learned in my first year as … Continue reading
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I’m feeling a little Olympic today, as yesterday it was announced that Leaving Kent State has won a 2017 Moonbeam Children’s Award Gold Medal in the Young Adult Historical Fiction category. Independent Publisher magazine runs the awards, which are “intended to … Continue reading
Radical acceptance is the psychological term for learning to live with sorrow we cannot change. It’s not a new concept, and it’s only slightly less trite, perhaps, than the famous 1970s prayer asking for the courage to change that which … Continue reading
I love holidays, and Valentine’s Day in particular is a good one because what’s not to love about love, right?
Here are some books that I think are perfect for reading on this special day with your little love and why I love them:
Pandora, by William Mayne If this book doesn’t make you believe in the redemptive power of love, then there is seriously something wrong with you.
A Visitor for Bear by Bonnie Becker Sometimes we don’t realize how much we need a friend until we realize we love them already.
The Old Woman Who Named Things by Cynthia Rylant Dogs. Love. Heart strings. You get the picture.
Davey’s Blue-Eyed Frog by Patricia Harrison Easton A princess who needs to be saved by a kiss and a little boy who has better things to do. What could go wrong?
Mango’s Revenge by Stephanie Logue When this Parrot escapes for a day off, love of his family brings him home.
Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo Dogs. Love. How weird the South can be.
Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt In which our heroine has to choose between young love and mortality. Not as easy as you might think.
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith Smith was way ahead of her time with this quirky coming of age love story.
Reckless by Cornelia Funke Beautifully written high steam punk fantasy with bubbling romance. What’s not to like?
And, last but not least, let me just mention that Leaving Kent State has a classic romance story line that I hope you will enjoy.
Happy Valentine’s Day reading!!
Thanks to Isla Mcketta, I have a new review which you may check out here. When I was writing LKS, I was really struck by the parallels to our present time: social and civil unrest, racial tensions, terrorism (though in 1969-1970, this was largely domestic), and a general sense of upheaval and uncertainty. I love this review because it lets me know that these issues came forward in the way that I hoped they would. On inauguration day 2017, I feel especially blessed to be considered as a writer who has offered at least one reader hope. May we all forge a path to a brighter future together.
When I entered my MFA program in 2014, I had no idea what a cathartic process writing is to most people who write. Sure, there had been times as a preteen or teen where I’d thrown some anger down on … Continue reading
Our celebrations of January 1 as our New Year has a somewhat murky history. According to the History Channel, we have Julius Caesar to thank for determining this date as our marker, when he followed the advice of an Alexandrian astronomer who told him to replace the lunar year with the more accurate solar year followed by the Egyptians. They incorrectly calculated the solar year to be 365 and 1/4 days (yes, Caesar is to blame for the original concept of leap year, too), and chose January 1st to begin the year.
By the middle ages, though, this miscalculation was messing with people’s calendars, so celebrating the new year on January 1st had fallen out of fashion. This led to our current Gregorian calendar.
The website Earthsky adds that January was also a natural choice based on the Roman feast of Janus, God of beginnings and doorways. Janus was depicted as having two faces, one that looked back into the past and one that looked ahead to the future. A god we can all relate to.
And so we choose this day of all days to celebrate Janus, to look behind us one last time before we start refreshed and reinvigorated. The question then becomes, how do we maintain this enthusiasm, particularly where our writing and reading are concerned? Here are my favorite tips for staying strong in the new year:
5. Build your community. Social media makes it easier than ever to find like minded people who share your love of reading and writing. Whatever your favorite platform is, twitter, instagram, Goodreads, or some other one I don’t even know exists, there are book lovers waiting to connect with other book lovers. Find them, they are your people.
4. Even when you don’t have time to read all the books, stay up to date on the latest releases, make wish lists even if they are only in your head, and when you are able to commit to a book, you will have a vast selection collected from which to choose. Some great resources for finding books are Bookriot, Litpick, and NPR.
3. Steal time. Steal time to write and to read. Don’t wait for permission from anyone. Forge your own path toward your writing and your reading.
2. Be fearless. Write fearlessly. Read fearlessly. If you hate the book you’ve chosen, give it to charity. Make paper sculptures from its pages. Leave an honest review. But don’t blame yourself for not liking a book, even if its been hyped to the sky. Not every book is for every reader. Don’t try to write for every reader. Write the story you believe in and only that story.
1. If you truly love books and truly want to be a writer, don’t give up. No matter what. If there are days you don’t write or don’t read, that’s okay. Just don’t ever give up. It’s wrong, it will trespass on your soul and leave you feeling empty. Remind yourself that tomorrow you will write. Tomorrow you will read. For as many tomorrows as it takes.
These are my favorite truths to stay inspired. What are yours?