Monday, May 31, 2010

Let's go shopping

My husband was shopping for shoes online the other day and came across these.

Who wouldn't want duct taped shoes for $1965?

And to go with those shoes, how about these nice jeans for $858?

And then you can toss in a T-shirt for $329.

Add a nice skull and crossbones scarf for $1425.

There ya go! Shopping done!

Quote of the Day

George Burns said:

The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending, then having the two as close together as possible.

Take out the word "sermon" and insert "children's book."

There ya go...

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Go, Mark!

My good friend, fellow writer, and fellow Zadette, Mark Peter Hughes has some awesome news: Lemonade Mouth as a Disney television movie!!!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Monday, May 24, 2010

And one more talented student

Here's another fantastic book trailer created by a student from Killam Elementary in Reading, MA.

This one is Anna's:

Friday, May 21, 2010

More book trailers!

And more from the students at Killam Elementary in Reading, MA.

Aren't they talented?

Moran's trailer:

Cami's trailer:

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Book trailers!

Some talented students from Killam Elementary School, in Reading, Massachusetts, made these amazing trailers for How to Steal a Dog:

Cat's trailer:

Jamie's trailer:

Krista's trailer:

....continued tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Big Apple

I'm headed to New York City for a few days for my son's college graduation.

Wasn't he just in kindergarten?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Pickle problem

(I know I shouldn't admit this.)

My husband bought the jar on the right when we went to Maine to visit my son for his 21st birthday. He will be 23 in July.

The middle jar expired in June 2009.

The jar on the left expired in April 2008.

I have a pickle problem.

Friday, May 14, 2010

A horse is a horse, of course, of course

Ruby and I encountered a horse yesterday on our walk.

Ruby had never seen a horse before.

She wanted to play!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I love kids

From a student:

Thank you for coming to our school. It was fun having you here. I like your thinking. Next year I am going to be like you.

I love kids.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Omens and nudges

I've been kind of freaking out about a small case of writers' block.

And it's a weird writers' block.

It's not that I don't have an idea.

I have a teensy weensy one, which is usually good enough.

It's that I just can't seem to get jump-started.

I need a nudge of some kind.

Today, I got two.

First of all, I found a bird's nest in my garden.

I have a collection bird's nests.

I only find one about once every year or so.

So I'm taking that as a good omen (i.e., a nudge).

The other thing that happened that I consider a nudge is that I saw one of my main characters. My imaginary character is a boy named Gerald Baxter. I can see him perfectly in my head.

While driving up the highway, a school bus passed me.

A boy who looked EXACTLY like Gerald Baxter looked at me through the window.

We made eye contact.

And he waved.

A tiny little shy kind of wave.

Okay, Gerald, I'm coming.......

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

New Date!

Coming August 31, 2010

Four friends.
A frog. A submarine. And a summer they'll never forget.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

I love kids

From a student:

I loved all the books you wrote even if I haven't read them.

I love kids.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Deja vu all over again

This quote showed up on my Google home page:

I think it is good that books still exist, but they do make me sleepy.

--Frank Zappa

I liked it so much I decided to blog it.

Then I had this deja vu feeling.

I did a search on my blog.

I posted this two years ago.

I'm so predictable.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Lessons from Dead Matter

Remember my post entitled Lessons from Dead Matter?

I have just received the dead matter for The Small Adventure of Popeye and Elvis, so I thought I'd shared some more Lessons from Dead Matter:

1. I originally had the following:

They walked to the gas station down on the main highway where Popeye was never supposed to go without asking Velma first.

I hear it in my head as all run together like that.

But the copyeditor added a comma after "highway."

She explained that it is "nonrestrictive."

Okay, I get that. But it just doesn't sound the same, with that pause in there. (I added the comma anyway, but I still don't like it.)

2. I used a word that isn't in the dictionary! Yay, me:

"They don't call me the Royal Rulebreaker for nothing, right, Popeye?"

Copyeditor suggested hyphenated (Rule-Breaker), although not in the dictionary.

3. On one page I had several conversations with the copyeditor about "qm's". Huh? What the heck are qm's? I finally figured it out: quotation marks. Heh....

4. I had a floral easy chair and then four lines later, floral sheets. One of the "florals" had to go. (The easy chair went.)

5. Original version:

Gauzy yellow butterfly wings, tattered and dirty, dotted here and there with clusters of shiny gold sequins and attached to the girl by straps that slipped over her arms like a backpack.

At copyeditor's suggestion, this was changed to: " straps that slipped over her arms like those of a backpack."

Now, I understand that. But it still just doesn't sound right to me.

6. Copyeditors notice repetitions that authors often miss since we are so close to the writing. I'm always amazed at all of my repetitions:

"Y'all get on out of here," she said, throwing her arms out as if to sweep them all out of the house.

[I kept two of them and changed the second one to the word "wide."]

Her livid voice burst right through the metal walls of Dooley's trailer and slithered across the darkness of the backyard and right into the kitchen...

[deleted the second one, although I liked the sound of it]

Popeye looked down at his feet, the guilt stinging his face like fire ants. Silence. Popeye looked up. Velma was looking at him, her eyes narrowed into slits, her lips squeezed tight.

[What was I thinking?! Changed the first one to "stared" and the second one to "glanced."]

He took a piece of beef jerky out of his pocket and held it out for Boo, who gobbled it up and swallowed it whole.

[Changed "out of" to "from."] longer hidden by the thick, overhanging branches of the trees. Tree stumps and boulders and dense, overgrown shrubs line the edges of the clearing.

When you read that out loud, you have "trees" at the end of the first sentence and "tree stumps" at the beginning of the second. Not good.

I simply reversed the order of "tree stumps and boulders."

7. Copyeditors have amazing memories. On page 3 of the manuscript (page three), I wrote that Velma couldn't find her reading glasses.

On page 112 (one hundred and twelve), I wrote: Her hand fluttered up and pushed at her glasses.

Copyeditor wrote in margin: Reading glasses as on p. 3?

Sheesh. [I changed to "pushed at her thin gray hair."

8. Now, get this - FOUR TIMES I referred to a character sitting "at the diner booth."

Copyeditor changed to "in the diner booth."

That is, of course, correct, but isn't it strange that "at the diner booth" was so embedded in me?

9. The following should be one word or hyphenated, instead of two words:

toe-jam [you can tell I am a very classy writer]
ding-dong [as in, "skinny-headed ding-dong"]

But hot dog is two words.

10. I am forever getting that lie-lay thing wrong. One reason for that is because of the way I hear the writing. Since I hear even third-person writing with a Southern ear, the correct version just never sounds right. But I change it anyway. Example:

Then Popeye dashed home to lie on his bed and stare at the ceiling until Velma got home.

[I still don't like the way it sounds. I want him to lay on the bed.]

10. And last, thank goodness for smart copyeditors. The character of Velma recites the kings and queens of England in chronological order to keep her from cracking up.

James V, Mary I, James VI, Charles I...

Those are kings and queens of Scotland. Heh....

So there you go.....lessons from dead matter.