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The Fault in Our Stars – Book Recommendation

In Books, Uncategorized on June 30, 2012 at 10:44 am

The Fault in Our Stars

Wow, what can I say? First of all, I just want to put this out there: John Green is an amazing writer. I’ve pretty much loved all of his books. He has the ability to breathe so much life into every character;and his dialogue can be both witty and heart-wrenching at the same time. Love, love, love him!

This book is no exception to the list of great novels he has written. It’s a sweet story about love and loss. The characters get under your skin, and you’ll continue to think about them long after you’ve finished reading the book.

I highly recommend it!

“A Wrinkle in Time” – A Classic Come to Life on Stage

In Uncategorized on April 29, 2012 at 10:27 am

There are so many movies that have been adapted from books, but how many theatre productions can say the same? I don’t know the answer to that, but I would imagine the answer would be, “a lot!”

I had the chance to see A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle last night at Youth Theatre Northwest on Mercer Island.  I hadn’t read the book since I was in the sixth grade, so before I went to see the show, I reread the book… it was as delightful to read in adulthood as it was when I was in middle school.

Director, Kate Swenson, and a cast of talented young actors, made the classic tale come to life on stage.

Swenson says, “A Wrinkle In Time was almost never published. It dared to combine science fiction and fantasy; it was written by a woman and featured a girl as the main character; and it dealt with deep subject matter like death, religion, and identity.  What kid would read something like that?  Well, I know quite a few nerdy, bespectacled girls who loved Meg and her adventures. I was certainly one of them, and for me it was much more than a fictional escape, it changed the way I viewed the world and myself.

 Long after it was published the book continued to polarize. It was banned and it was celebrated. Madeline L’Engle was a pioneer in many ways, and the rich diversity in fiction available for young readers today is thanks in part to her vision. But all those things aside, we are still talking about A Wrinkle In Time today because it’s a really good story.”

You can see A Wrinkle in Time at Youth Theatre Northwest in Mercer Island, Washington. (Just minutes from Seattle and the Eastside.) The theatre is family friendly and admission is inexpensive. (About the same cost as going to see a movie.) Visit www.youththeatre.org for tickets and information.

That brings me to the question, what favorite book would you like to see come to life on stage? Chances are you’ll be able to find your pick on stage at a theatre near you.

Haunted Forest: Quarantine

In Uncategorized on October 14, 2011 at 10:12 pm

Haunted Forest: Quarantine

There is a Quarantine going on in your neck of the woods… if you live in the Seattle area, that is. You maybe interested to know that deep in the forest at Island Crest Park on Mercer Island, there are lost souls trapped within its dark confines and they’ll do anything to find a way out.

The tour lasts about 35 minutes. Using salt to sprinkle on the path, your guide will try to keep you safe from the spirits that haunt the wood. Beware of the suspension bridge and what lurks underneath it. I hope you get out alive.

You can buy your tickets here:

http://mercerislandshauntedforest.com/

This tour made me think about my childhood. I grew up in Sitka, Alaska. Right across the street, in the dark forest, there was a Russian graveyard. The Russians occupied Sitka during the 1800s and their dead are buried there. Some of the gravestones have long since toppled over and are so blackened with age, they are difficult to read. Sometimes, if I was in danger of coming home late, I would take the shortcut from town through the graveyard. Only once did I walk through when it was nearly dark and I vowed never to do it again. I still remember the cold pricklies on the back of my neck. Every shadow seemed to be reaching out to grab me. 

But maybe I’ll have to go back to Island Crest Park tomorrow to face my fears… Maybe I’ll see you there.

Book recommendation: Gone by Michael Grant

In Uncategorized on August 15, 2011 at 3:07 pm

Gone (Gone, #1)Gone by Michael Grant
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ever wonder what would happen if every adult (well, everyone over the age of 15) disappeared? Wonder no more. In Michael Grant’s novel, Gone, kids under 15 are the only ones left–and their world is surrounded by an impenetrable bubble.

Almost immediately, the kids divide themselves into two groups; one led by good guy, Sam Temple, and the other led by his nemesis, Caine. Some of the children begin to develop extraordinary super powers and this is where the fight begins.

Meanwhile, there is an evil entity living in the darkness of a cave and it’s hungry… who will it enlist to do its bidding?

Gone is a gripping novel full of action, danger, twists, and turns. I recommend it to anyone who loves a good thriller.

View all my reviews

The Third Eye of Jenny Crumb

In Uncategorized on January 21, 2011 at 11:45 pm
A just for fun mock-up of the book cover.

Have you ever wondered what your book would look like if it were published? Imagined the cover in full color? Well, I did! I must admit, it was a fun exercise. It made my book seem more real and it was sort of therapeutic for me.

Good Reads: Review on The Alchemyst

In Uncategorized on January 21, 2011 at 11:25 pm

The Alchemyst (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, #1)The Alchemyst by Michael Scott
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A wonderful, action-packed, delightful book! I know a book is really good when I ignore my family… and this one made the rest of the world (and my family) fade away. When I discovered that this was just the first book in a series, I knew I would be in trouble!

Follow 15-year-old twins, Sophie and Josh in a nail-biting adventure when they discover that the seemingly regular guy/bookstore owner, Nicholas Fleming (aka Nicholas Flamel) is really a 600-year-old alchemist. Flamel believes the twins are the famed silver and gold aura’d twins mentioned in the ancient Codex. When Dee, the magician who has been hunting Flamel for hundreds of years, snatches the Codex, Josh and Sophie’s lives change forever. Flung headlong into the fray, Josh snatches the last two pages of the Codex – and now Dee won’t stop until he has the last two pages… and the twins.

View all my reviews

Almost a new year

In Uncategorized on December 27, 2010 at 6:46 pm

Wow! Only five more days until 2011! Holy moly – I can’t believe how time flies.

Let’s see… new news for the new year? heh heh

Well, at least I can start with current news. I have two full manuscripts out there in agent land and also two partial manuscripts. So – things are looking up!

In other news, I belong to the best YA writing critique group in the world! There are six of us. Honestly, I don’t know what I would do without them. They are all amazing writers and give very constructive feedback. If you’re a writer and aren’t a part of a critique group, I urge you to start one or find one to join. Your writing will improve and you’ll have a new set of friends who are as geeked-out about writing as you are!

I hope you are all enjoying the after-Christmas lull and are getting some writing time in. As for me, I am on a research roll looking for the perfect agent.

Frustration and Impatience

In Uncategorized on July 14, 2010 at 5:48 pm

Boy it’s been a long time since I’ve posted and I’m feeling rather guilty about it. My frustration and impatience is getting to me today. I’ve been researching the stew out of literary agents and have eleven queries out there currently. No response from any of the agents and that’s why I’m getting antsy. I recently read an interview that said authors should cast a very wide net – querying 15 to 20 agents at a time. Guess I better get on it and increase the size of my net or I could spend the rest of my life just waiting for some kind of response.

On a lighter note, we are working on our 3rd foster dog of the summer! We started out fostering Dustin, a pit bull mix. He was adopted by a wonderful family, thank goodness. We sure loved him. (And still do.)

Next, we fostered an 11-year-old chow chow/lab mix named Angelique. We adored her as well and she’s back at the Humane Society waiting for someone to love her. My heart hurts a little thinking about her. I worry that no one will want her and she’ll be stuck there.

Now we have Opie, an 8-year-old Basset Hound. He was severely neglected by his previous owner. His toenails were about 3-inches long, curled, and crossed over one another. They clipped those as short as they could at the Humane Society without really hurting him – but they are still pretty long. Poor guy. He had a raging ear infection in both ears, skin infections, and now has kennel cough. Oh – almost forgot about the eye infection. Anyway, we’ve got him on medication and are doing our best to make him feel loved and taken care of.

It makes me sad to think of all those animals who have been neglected and mistreated by ignorant people. I guess that fostering these animals is our way of trying to make it right – even if it’s just a few dogs, it makes me feel better.

Our sunny summer is finally here and I’m going to enjoy it as much as I can today! I hope you are able to do the same. Onward!

Finally finished my Revise! Is it any good?

In Uncategorized on May 12, 2010 at 6:19 pm

I finally finished my revisions after reading through Peggy King Andersons comments/advise. I think the first three chapters are much better. But could it be that I’ve been staring at this too long? I don’t know. In any case, I’ve polished the manuscript to the best of my ability and now it’s time to send it out to more agents. Just sent a query to an agent in New York yesterday and got a quick rejection this morning. I also snail-mailed a query to another agent, because he prefers that type of correspondence for now. I’m going to keep trying.

“Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming.”
– quote from Dorey…Finding Nemo

SCBWI Western WA Conference

In Uncategorized on April 12, 2010 at 5:55 pm

I was fortunate enough to attend the SCBWI Western WA conference at the Redmond Town Center Marriott this weekend. Wow! It was awesome (As usual) My buddy, Robin Russell, and I got to hang out together. Somehow, we chickens got up enough nerve to talk to the people we really wanted to talk to. For me, it was agent extraordinaire, Michael Bourret and for Robin, it was author, Jay Asher.

Woohoo! I’m really getting psyched to work on the last of my revisions this week! How I will squeeze it into my crazy schedule, I do not know. This week promises crazy work deadlines, putting together all the kids’ drawings for Teacher Appreciation Week, taxi-ing kids back and forth from school and activities, and preparing for Feast Among Friends fundraiser dinner at my house this Saturday. I can’t stress about – just gotta get ‘er done!

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