Monday, April 28, 2014

Good Advice

 The winner of my gently-used ARC of What the Moon Said is:
Woot! Email your mailing address to barbarawatson94(at)gmail(dot)com.

And now, today's post . . .

Advice isn't hard to find, but good advice can be. Many people offer opinions disguised as advice, and we have to sift through the opinions and separate out what is advice, and then, out of that, figure out what's good advice. And even if it's good advice, we further decide whether or not the advice applies to us and if we're going to follow it. It's quite a process really.

Mix in the fact that for writers, you get loads of writerly advice, and phew! It's exhausting to even type words on a page because sometimes all that advice holds the words in more than it frees them. So for me, this is true: I know writers each have their own way of doing things. And most of those ways are neither right or wrong, they're just different, and different things work differently for different people. What totally clicks for you, clunks for me. You get the picture.

So now, after having said all that, here's a quote attributed to Terry Pratchett. And I suppose it's another of those writing advice nuggets, but for me, it's made all the difference.

What have you heard that's made all the difference? And it doesn't have to apply to writing.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: What the Moon Said (with ARC giveaway!)

Even though we received eleven inches of snow on April 4th, I still enjoyed my spring blogging break. Thankfully, all that new snow melted by April 6th, the same day we broke out the deck furniture and had our first family outdoor dinner of the season. And now, the trees are budding, the grass is greening, and . . . I'm back blogging with an ARC giveaway to celebrate.

Thanks to Pamela Klinger-Horn, who loves books and is the school and outreach coordinator at Minneapolis indie bookstore Magers & Quinn, I received an ARC of What the Moon Said by Gayle Rosengren. And that means you have a chance to win it. Details about the giveaway are at the end of this post. Also due to Pamela, I'll be enjoying an evening out with Gayle Rosengren (and Pamela) in several weeks! (At least, I think, so. Plan still a go, Pamela?) (Follow up: It's a go. I'm excited!)

The premise: The Depression is tough on everyone, and when Esther's dad loses his job in Chicago, he moves the family to a Wisconsin farm. Esther sees it as an adventure, a time for new things, including the pets she's always wanted. But more than anything, Esther wants her mother's love, and so she follows Ma's belief in 'signs' as best as she can. But then, one of Ma's signs becomes one Esther cannot follow.

What I loved: The movement of the story. Esther, always looking for the good, grows and changes and begins to understand things she hasn't before. Told in a tender style with family at its heart, What the Moon Said is a story to cherish for any reader in any generation. The back cover says, "Fans of Laura Ingalls Wilder will flock to this exciting debut," and that says it pretty perfectly, I think.

To enter the giveaway of my ARC, simply comment on this post and have a United States mailing address. That's it. The giveaway is open until Sunday, April 27, 2014, at 8pm CDT. Winner announced Monday, April 28th.

For more great middle grade reads, follow the links on
Happy middle grade reading,