Now Presenting…

This month’s books for my master’s program at VCFA.  Some great reads (and rereads)!


The Perfect Day

I’m piggy-backing on a topic one of my friends blogged about – The Perfect Day.

Right now, I have a stuffy nose and a sore throat and my head feels fuzzy, but I want to write about this perfect day.

My Perfect Day:

I would wake up early (I’m an early riser), get a steaming hot cup of coffee (with lots of sugar and cream), and sit.  In the dark or dim, in the cool of a peaceful room, no noise, just sit and sip and let the moment unfold.

Then, after my first cup of coffee, with my second, I would head to my computer (or pen and pad, depending).   Sit down.  In my pjs.  Sip.  Read.  Write.  For however long I want, until I’m done, and every writer knows when they’re done for the day.   And, if I finish early…

Then, a walk (or a jog, depending).  Down the road in front of my house (see the picture at the top of my blog).  Notice the green, smell the deep smells of the country, watch for the pair of geese that honk over the fields, take my time.

Back home.  Breakfast, maybe.  Blueberries and whole wheat toast, or grits (I’m a southern girl), or Frosted Flakes.

Back to the computer.  Check email.  Take care of the non-sociable social networking activities via the internet.

Next, out and about.  I want to give back, do some volunteer work.  Maybe with the elderly, a forgotten people.  To the nursing home.  Read, listen, share, connect.

Nice lunch.  With a book.  Most likely a children’s book, middle grade or young adult.  One that I’ve been longing to read, that’s been on order and it’s finally, finally here, and I can’t believe I’m actually holding it in my hands with its fresh book smell, touching the crisp beautiful pages and flipping to the first chapter, to the first sentence…

Then, a lesson.  French or Spanish? (already know some; want to know more) or piano or guitar? (took piano lessons when I was young from a nine-fingered man so didn’t learn much; played the flute and piccolo in high school)

Home again.  My pets.  Ball-throwing time.  Tucker.  Duke.  Jessie.  Where is TC (That Cat), the barn cat who adopted us? 

To the front porch with DH.  See the sun slowly set.  Listen to the locusts.  Watch the pileated woodpecker and tiny creepers flit around the bird feeders.  Cardinals are fearless.  Pick a rose – Angel Face is perfect.  Sniff the blossoms on my Little Gem magnolia, given to me in memory of my sister who left me too soon.  I miss her.

Dinner.  I might not cook.  (Or I might, depending.)   Something light. 

Make a cup of hot tea.  Write.  Revise.

Take a long, soaking bath.  Read some more.

Snuggle down in my bed, turn out the light.

Thank God for a perfect day.

Sunday Snippets – Book Talk

My 2009 Children’s Booklist so far: 

Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree by Lauren Tarshis – loved the voice in this book

The Willoughbys by Lois Lowry – quirky, fun, different for this author

Outside Beauty by Cynthia Kadohata – strength and diversity in family – really liked the fathers

Peeled by Joan Bauer – strong female protagonist

Hate That Cat by Sharon Creech – loved the verse

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – a great read, tightly plotted, hard to put down

Septimus Heap Magyk by Angie Sage – colorful world and characters

Diamond Willow by Helen Frost – told in diamond-shaped verse

Sunday Snippets – Book Talk

I just finished this book and really liked  it.  It is written in verse, about a boy who has lost his beloved dog (from the prequel LOVE THAT DOG) and now has a cat.  You can tell by the title how he feels about this cat, but it doesn’t last long.

Here’s a snippet:


Room 204—Miss Stretchberry

February 25

Today the fat black cat
up in the tree by the bus stop
dropped a nut on my head
and when I yelled at it
that fat black cat said
in a

I hate that cat.

This is the story of
and cat.

I really like Sharon Creech.  One of my all-time favorite books is WALK TWO MOONS.  I enjoyed BLOOMABILITY,  also.   If you haven’t read anything by this author, you should.  Highly recommended!

A Year of Living Readerly/A Year of Living Writerly

A Year of Living Readerly:

As a reader, one of the most important elements I look for in a story is heart.  Whether the story rings true, makes me feel deeply, asks me to re-examine my life and find a new perspective.  So here is a list of stories I’ve read (or reread) in 2008 that I think have heart:

#1 on my list – I love this book, for its simplicity and its depth.  I’ve read it several times, many this year.

Because of Winn Dixie 

 Others (in no particular order) are:

Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott, Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban, The Underneath by Kathi Appelt, Skellig by David Almond, Each Little Bird That Sings by Deborah Wiles, True Confessions of a Heartless Girl by Martha Brooks, Olive’s Ocean by Kevin Henkes, A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck, and A Single Shard and My Name Was Keoko, both by Linda Sue Park.


A Year of Living Writerly:

This year, as a writer, I have finished a mg novel and started a new one, attended both SCBWI National Conferences, braved the waters of editorial critiques and survived, written over 50K words, been totally inspired, been abjectly discouraged, felt quite capable, felt quite incapable, received good news, received thoroughly stinky news, and overall, enjoyed being a writer and weaver of words. 

Now I’m making promises to myself about 2009.  Who knows what will happen?  Here’s to a new year! 

What about you?  Which books have touched you this past year?  What have you accomplished as a writer?