Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Book Club for Kids

I have been wanting to start a book club for my 8-year-old son for ages. He's an advanced reader and has long outgrown the public-library-sponsored book clubs. So I finally asked him if he was interested.

Yes! Yay!

We're keeping it small - just two other boys - and have decided to start with the delightful THE STRANGE CASE OF ORIGAMI YODA, by Tom Angleberger. We've read the whole series already and are charmed completely, plus - the origami!!

I can't wait. My goal is to lead the boys through a short, 8-year-old sized discussion of the book, and then have them do an origami craft.

Yoda, of course.

Then, because this is what you do, we'll have a snack. And then swim.

The boys are pretty high energy, so I will have to keep things interesting and move along at a pretty good clip in order to keep them.

The other boys will get to choose books for future meetings of course; we'll rotate. They decided on their own they want to meet every two weeks - woohoo!!

I think when it comes back to us, we'll choose Stephan Pastis's TIMMY FAILURE - MISTAKES WERE MADE. Very, very, funny book.

Have any of you ever run a book club for young boys? Any suggestions - books, agenda, technique?

Sunday, May 25, 2014

End of The Writer's Voice

I realize I should say SOMETHING about The Writer's Voice, because I can't just leave you hanging.

So the contest was amazing because of all the reasons contests are amazing: I met great, supportive writers, had some terrifically helpful mentoring from the fabulous Monica Bustamante Wagner and Stacey Lee, and feel really positive and encouraged about the whole experience. Once again, I must say, this online community of writers is SO wonderful. I love being part of it.

My ms STEVE AND AUSTIN is polished and shiny and I am resisting the urge to be compulsive. I. Will Not. Keep Editing Endlessly.

I did get tagged and also sent out a few more queries.  I am a supremely superstitious person, so I won't say more than that.

Wish me luck!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Writer's Voice

Got so completely involved in my revisions that I forgot to update here...

Made it into the next round of the contest!

*Happy Dance*

I'm on the amazing and fabulous #TeamMonicaFTW with 7 other talented writers. We've spent the last week revising and polishing our submissions, and in another week, our work will go up on Monica's blog for the agent round.

I don't chew my fingernails but if I did, this is when it would happen.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Writer's Voice- STEVE AND AUSTIN

Genre: MG Adventure with light Sci Fi element
Word Count: 43,000

Dear Writer's Voice Team,

11-year-old Jackson Solis lost both his legs when he and his bicycle tangled with a fast-moving SUV. He agreed to be a test case for new, state-of-the-art, experimental bionic legs. They’re faster and stronger than his old legs, but he hates them. Hates them! Because now he’s a freak-boy, not even able to play football at recess - if he did, he’d outrun everyone.

He decides to keep the bionics a secret so no one will know quite how different he really is. Only his parents and best friend know the truth. They’re nothing but proud and supportive, so they don’t mind making sure everyone else believes his new legs are just ordinary prosthetics. But keeping secrets is exhausting and so is the recovery from his accident. So really, the only fun he’s had in the last 6 months was deciding to name his legs “Steve” and “Austin”, after the main character of an old TV show about a bionic man.

Then one day, while visiting his Army colonel father at work, Jackson overhears a conversation about something that could destroy life as he knows it.

His father, who spouts Mexican idioms for just about every situation, is in charge of testing the Army’s brand new high tech helicopter spy gear. But someone is sabotaging it. If the tech is destroyed, his dad will be disgraced and maybe they would even have to move to a new Army post. Jackson would lose his best friend and everything he has left that’s normal, which he just couldn’t deal with.

He decides to investigate. He’s sure he can find out who’s behind the trouble – and catch him. After all, no one else can chase a bad guy faster than the kid with bionic legs.

STEVE AND AUSTIN, an MG Adventure with light Sci Fi elements, is complete at 43,000 words. Its fast-paced narrative will appeal to fans of Tony Abbot’s THE COPERNICUS LEGACY series and anyone who’s seen reruns of The Six Million Dollar Man. 

First 250:

Back when I was in second grade, my class went to see Slim Goodbody. You know, the guy with the stage show about being healthy, where he wears that shirt that shows all his internal organs? I thought it was pretty cool.  Apparently, my parents also saw his show when they were young, which means he’s ancient.
Anyway, he said this one thing that I can’t get out of my head now. He said, “If you hurt yourself, you can’t just go to Buddy’s Body Shop to replace your parts.”
Shows you how much he knows. Because that’s exactly what my parents were talking about right now, while they thought I was still sleeping. In the last few days, it’s all they EVER talked about.
 “But what if his body rejects them?” My mother was asking the doctor more questions. She always has a list of questions. She can’t help it; she’s a journalist. She says it’s like breathing; she has to ask things. “He’s only 11 years old. Isn’t he too young for something this experimental?”
“We don’t believe he will reject them, Mrs. Solis,” answered the doctor patiently. “We will grow skin and nerve grafts from stem cells. The process is extremely successful at reducing the chance of rejection.
Gross. They were talking about growing skin. But, also, kind of cool. For a minute, I forgot they were talking about my skin and wondered whether I could watch them do it.