Monday, May 30, 2011

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: The Luck of the Buttons

The Luck of the Buttons, by Anne Ylvisaker, is on my "books I love" list. Published in 2011, this novel is genuine and soft-at-heart. In it, readers meet twelve-year-old Tugs Button, of the unlucky, plain, don't-strive-for-too-much Button family. Tugs is a character I wish I could meet, and if I could, I would hug her right off because she is the friend everyone needs.

The premise: Funny, tomboy Tugs Button has never had too much luck, until the 1929 Independence Day Race and Raffle in Goodhue, Iowa. Aggie Millhouse enlists Tugs to be her three-legged race partner and Tugs buys a raffle ticket. These two events, along with Harvey Moore's arrival in town and his promise of progress, lead Tugs into a mystery designed just for her.

What keeps readers reading: A character you cheer for and a situation only she can make right. When Tugs wins a Brownie camera in the raffle, she sees everything from a different angle. She notices what others overlook and wonders just what progress Harvey Moore is offering. Though she struggles with wanting to fit in, Tugs is nobody but herself and starts to think that maybe her luck can change.

Curl up with The Luck of the Buttons, sink into the past with Tugs, and look for a guest post, coming soon and coming right here, from The Luck of the Buttons author, Anne Ylvisaker!

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Friday, May 13, 2011

Writing is Hard

There are days, lots of them, when I wish I wasn't a writer. Because on many days, the words don't flow. Or the outline I made yesterday just doesn't work today. Or the plot twist that seemed brilliant truly is not. Or I struggle getting the picture in my head into words at all.

I've heard other writers say how the story simply came to them and, like moving water in a mountain stream, it flowed from their hands when they sat at the computer. For me, writing isn't like that. Writing is hard. I often sit, hands placed over my keyboard, and......

Nothing. Nothing comes. Or when it does come, I erase and backspace because, well, actually the nothing that came first was better than what came. These are the times I wish I wasn't a writer. But I keep sitting, hands placed over the keyboard, because........

Sometimes. Sometimes something comes. And sometimes the words flow and I don't backspace. And when it does, I forget about the times it didn't because the sometimes are worth all the nothing times.

What do you think? Is writing hard?