Showing posts from March, 2011

Three Times a Charm with Katrina Lantz

Three Times a Charm is a weekly feature that spotlights authors, illustrators, bloggers, agents, editors or promoters from the publishing industry. I’m having so much fun getting to know knew people. Wish I had started this feature a year ago!
This week Three Times introduces you to, Katrina Lantz.
Katrina Lantz is an aspiring novelist and blogger extraordinaire who reads like it’s going out of style (heaven forbid), and writes YA/MG novels in her ‘spare’ time. She contributes to The Best Damn Creative Writing Blog and Operation Awesome and muses on her own personal writing blog. She lives in southern California with her husband, two sons, and a bunch of dead houseplants.
Tell us about the blogs you are involved in.

Operation Awesome, home of the Mystery Agent contest, was started by my critique group months after we came together online, and in six months we’ve reached thousands of writers with our tips, commiserations, and contests. We even have a few success stories of writers who foun…

Unwanted Visitors...In the Shower!

I’m entrenched in writing a middle grade novel steeped in love, friendship, jealousy, bravery, cowardice, insecurities and loss.If I try to read, instead my mind is doing character development. When I try to write a letter, my characters sit on the paper like a cat does on your keyboard.
I do my best thinking in the shower and I needed one, so I decided in order to straighten out my thoughts, I’d just go ahead and take one. So, was it slumber parties and body insecurities that show up in the shower? No. It was super villains! From the young adult fantasy series that I’m shopping right now.
I was like, “What? Who invited you?”
They smirked. Then, being villains they had to remark on how I’ve gained weight since they’ve last seen me.
To which I replied, “Shut up!” You can be mean to villains, they don’t care.
They were really obnoxious, talking about how I should rename the first book and designate a clear series title. And then they told me how I could loop back around to that theme in th…

Persuasive Writing

I attended my first local writer’s guild meeting this week. Yes, I’m a bit slow to only now be joining a writers' group, but that would be another post entirely.
The speaker discussed persuasive writing. Being a bit thick in the head, I sat and wondered, “How does this apply to a writer of children’s fiction?” Well, I’ve figured it out. Behold my persuasive writing:
Write. Write often. Write all the words in your head. Fix them later. Write.
§A prolific writer has more chances of something being good enough to publish. §A prolific writer has a better chance at writerly freedom. 24 hours of pajama wearing, coffee guzzling, dirty haired freedom! §A prolific writer has to reach deep down inside to keep coming up with words and that’s where the best words hide. Words like “diddly-squat” and “fusty” that, used in the right context, can make kids giggle. §A prolific writer never has to resort to words like “underwear” or “fart” to make her audience giggle. §A prolific writer sells more, the…

Three Times A Charm with Author Medeia Sharif

Three Times a Charm is a weekly feature that spotlights authors, illustrators, bloggers, agents, editors or promoters from the publishing industry.
For my debut Three Times post, I am thrilled to welcome young adult author Medeia Sharif to Strands of Thought.
Medeia can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a Kurdish-American author who was born in New York City, and I presently call Miami Beach my home. I received my master’s degree in psychology from Florida Atlantic University. Prior to my publishing career I was (and still am) a school teacher—but that’s a whole ‘nother story. I became a voracious reader in high school and a relentless writer in college. My persistence paid off in 2008 when I attained agent representation and in 2009 when I got my first book deal.BESTEST. RAMADAN. my first novel and it will be published byFluxin July.
What a GREAT title! Tell us about your book.
In BESTEST. RAMADAN. EVER. fifteen-year-old Almira Abdul fasts for Ramadan.The holy month does …

Little Seed

Be sure to come back again tomorrow. I’ll be debuting a new weekly feature, Three Times A Charm. I’m so excited about it. I’ve already learned some fabulous things about fellow children’s authors, and some busy bloggers that I get to share with you. In the future I hope to bring illustrators, agents, editors, promoters into the feature as well.I’m so excited. Repeating myself, time to move on.
I wanted to share this picture of little seed. Little seed is a character in one of the tales in The Weaver. There are many mini stories in The Weaver, but little seed’s story happens to be my favorite. It is a story about love, loss, renewal. It is a story that shows our parents aren’t always right, but it doesn’t mean they don’t love you well. It is a story that always chokes me up when I read it. I love little seed. Do you have a favorite mini story from the book?
Spring break. Kids are home and for some reason I think they should be doing chores 24/7 and I’m trying not to harp on them constant…

The Ebb & Flow of Being a Writer

Being a writer is a lot like playing in the ocean.
Some people just take a run at the surf and dive in head first, knowing full well they may end up paralyzed from a neck injury, but the rest of us enter writing timidly. We stand just at the edge of the tide line, toes first. When the cold water laps up over our feet, goose bumps rise on our legs and arms. We step forward cautiously and slowly, getting used to the temperature as we advance.
The journey onward is unstable. Dips and unexpected rises have us hitching forward as unsteadily as personalized rejections and unanswered emails. Once we’ve been writing long enough to be in waist deep, we feel the tide pushing and pulling us in different directions. We bury our feet into the sandy bottom and try to decipher which advice is valid and which should be left to wash ashore.
Chest deep into the water, we watch the approaching tide carefully. Like good researchers, we gauge the distance and the height of the swell like we balance the benef…

Write It Out

I haven’t been blogging lately because each time I sit down to do it the only things I think to talk about are tragic. I’m going to give in and just talk about them. The images are horrific and humbling. Petrifying and poignant. They’ve been tweeted and facebooked about all week and I still haven’t been able to purge the sorrow from my system.
What’s that writing advice? “Write it out.” So that’s what I’m gonna do, I’m just going to get it all out on paper and share it with the world and then maybe my blogging can move onward.
Some of you are aware that my son’s band had a trip scheduled to Japan. They were supposed to go this coming Wednesday, for a week.If the earthquake had happened two weeks later…well, I can’t even imagine what I’d have done.We’ve been involved in this exchange program for four years. Our oldest daughter has gone over twice and we’ve hosted students from the Japanese band twice. So we’ve gotten to know many of the young adults.Their town, Matsudo, is located outsi…


Don't forget about the Goodreads giveaway of The Weaver. Ends at the end of the month.
Recent Reads
The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff– humble rating: Motivational Speaker–Loved the originality of this story, and the depth of the characters, and the awesome brother/sister relationship, and Rowland and…yeah, I loved it! Thanks again to Medeia Sharif, because I won this in her contest and that rocks.

Life, Liberty and Pursuit by Susan Kaye Quinn – humble rating: Golf Clap++ – So charming! Great cross over book for young adult into adult. I was so captivated by the unfolding relationship and the realistic internal conflict of the main characters.

Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles - humble rating: Motivational Speaker– Completely captivated by Carlos Fuentes. These Fuentes brothers…WTH? I wanted to be reading this book all the time and it haunted me when I wasn’t able to. Read it on my Kindle and when I got to the 85% complete mark, I started to mourn that I was almost finished.

The M…

Happy Read Aloud Day!

Be There Bedtime Stories is offering a free recording today only. Click on over to their site and see how to take advantage of it.

Marie and Her Friend the Sea Turtle by Nicole Weaver

Marie and Her Friend the Sea Turtle
By Nicole Weaver
About the book: This story is about the love that developed between a little girl named Marie and a stranded sea turtle. The story tells the struggles Marie had as she helped the sea turtle back out to sea.
What I enjoyed: I loved that the story is told in three languages, English, Spanish and French. Many families are bi-lingual and this story allows the native language speaking parent/grandparent to sit and read with the English speaking child. And it exposes that child to a third language.
The illustrations are lovely, with bright colors and lots of action.
About the author:Nicole Weaver was born in Port-au-Prince Haiti. She came to the United States when she was ten years old. She is fluent in Creole, French, Spanish and English. She is a veteran teacher of French and Spanish.
Nicole’s schedule is jammed packed with teaching, writing, reading, reviewing, reading and more reading.I was very thankful to Nicole for carving out a little t…

Attention Readers - GIVEAWAY!

I’ve heralded my love for Goodreads all over the place. But now I have even more of a reason to give them a shout out!
That’s right, they are hosting a giveaway of The Weaver in the month of March. I figured this would be a perfect time for me to explain the benefits of Goodreads to those of you who are not familiar.
1.Membership is free. 2.You can make friends with people who have similar reading interests as you. 3.You see what they are reading and what they think of the books. 4.You can WIN FREE BOOKS in their constant giveaways.Who on earth doesn’t want free books? 5.You can even win Advanced Reader Copies and read books before they are even on bookstore shelves. 6.You have a convenient place to keep a tidy “to-read” list that you can refer to when you are heading to the bookstore or library. 7.You can see what is on friend’s or family’s “to-read” list at gift giving time. Never give another unwanted gift! 8.You can become a fan of you favorite authors, li…