May 17, 2008

Colors of the Wind?

If you are participating in Chelsea's contest then this quiz might actually be helpful.

Do You Have a Secret?

Last week I finished The Secret Scroll.
I have been meaning to review it every since but haven't managed to get around it. (Code for procrastinating!)
So while I get cracking on the review I present to you a book trailer for The Secret Scroll. I usually don't look book trailers, but I think this one was particularly well produced.

May 15, 2008

Booking Through Thurseday - Manual Labor Redux

Scenario: You’ve just bought some complicated gadget home . . . do you read the accompanying documentation? Or not?

Do you ever read manuals?
How-to books?
Self-help guides?

Anything at all?

If I have just bought something I don't usually read the stuff that comes with it but I may refer to it as needed. I usually keep manuals around and am happy that I have when I need to know something. Even when the info isn't actually in the manual I feel better knowing that and know that it is probably time to call customer service.

How-to books and self-help guides? Sure. As I mentioned last week I feel a lot of these can help you be a better writer if you take the tools and apply them to your writing as well as to your life. Here is just a sampling of some of the books I have collected over the years.

Living Juicy: Daily Morsels for Your Creative Soul by Sark (Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy)

This book is pretty fun and amazing. Ity is full of bright colors and doodles and is all about embracing anything that you feel like outputting!

Sark has a whole series of b
ooks but I got this one years and years ago. As you can tell from her author picture, Sark isn't the type to take anything too seriously. Her books are a lovely combination of drawings and hand written pasages. Her website gives you a great look into her world and Google Book Search has a great preview of this book, but you sort of have to turn your head sideways. Maybe there is a setting that fixes that or something.

Up next is Beat Spirit by Mel Ash. This book is all about being who you are. Being the person you are on the inside and just pushing that part of you out. It is about not having fear. It doesn't just ask you to think outside of the box it asks you to BE outside of the box. This book was really helpful for me. I realized I just needed to stop being afraid of the person who I was inside. The one I thought I couldn't let out or no one would like me.

I really like self help books. Not the gimicky kind. But ones that are really about growing, even if you don't take everything thing they say to heart there are so many things you can still learn. I know that a lot of times I find myself thinking "That's crazy!" But then later I notice myself thinking differently, thinking one step closer to that craziness I was just denouncing.

Do you have a book like one of these tucked into your life? Following you through it? Maybe you don't even read it yet you can't bring yourself to get rid of it.

May 14, 2008

Writing Wednesday

Starting With Little Things: A Guide to Writing Poetry in the Classroom is one of the most helpful poetry books I have every utilized. For me, writing is about having fun and playing with language. In Starting With Little Things, Ingrid Wendt did a perfect job of maintaining a fun aspect to writing that can be used at any writing level.

Poetry writing books have always challenged me to be more playful in my writing even though I am not particularly interested in producing poetry. The writing exercises Wendt provides in this book were helpful in expanding my mind and allowing me to explore
new ways of expressing myself. One of the best qualities of this book is that it never requires me to take myself too seriously.

Many writers worry so much about WHAT to write, but this book embodies the concept that the task isn't finding something to write about but unlocking the stories that are already inside.

Today I would love for you to share with a short (and easy) poem. This idea comes from page 35 of this remarkable book. Simply complete the following statement and leave them in the comments.
Today I am...
Yesterday I was...
Some days I am...
Once I was...
This is a great exercise that you can even do on a daily basis whenever you feel like generating new material but don't know where to start.

May 13, 2008

Toddler-Time Tuesday

I have my kids right now so it is harder than usual to blog.
They have been keeping me really busy but I am not complaining. (Yet!) I love reading with my kids if they will sit still long enough. For those of you who don't know, I have two daughters. They are 2 and 4.
One of the best ways I can get them to focus is to read them one off of the computer.
That is why I love, LOVE, love Lookybook.

Here is a cute little book that is perfect for the youngest baby. With the red, black, and white it is easy for young eyes to understand and you can get playful with the noises.

May 11, 2008

The Sunday Salon

Today has been a day to dabble. A few words here, a paragraph there. My mind can't stay in one place, but it is enjoying every encounter.

First I would like to start by saying "It was a dark and stormy night."
Do you know what that is?

It is the first line in A Wrinkle in Time. (Have you read it?) I am rereading this classic young adult fantasy book. I remember so little about it I decided it deserved a second look.
Back to the night. You know, the one that was stormy and dark. It has become a cliche in American writing. Wikipedia informed me that the line is actually an allusion to "the opening words in Edward George Bulwer-Lytton's 1830 novel Paul Clifford." Did you know that? There is whole page dedicated to the pop culture references of said first line.

Second, my friend Chelsie (not to be confused with Chelsea), is having a contest. It is a really fun one so you better go and check it out. You can win your choice of some fabulous books. But really I hope you don't. Cause then I won't be getting the books. But you better not refrain from entering out of some false sense of honor for me, because I sure as heck wouldn't return the favor!

Thirdly, since Thursday I have been giving my writing books a little more love. All the Booking Through Thursday posts inspired me to bring all my writing books to one place and take a look at a few of them. Chelsea and I did a writing exercise I created from Writing fiction: A guide to narrative craft. This is a supremely awesome writing text book that is no longer in print. It is kind of sad actually. The exercises we did is called "Conflict, Crisis, and Resolution" and is a way to brainstorm story ideas.

The other book I started flipping though was The Writer's Handbook 2001. I bought this on a whim for 25 cents thinking it wouldn't be of much use to me. But then I flipped through it today and IT IS SO AMAZING! It is collection of essays and other great stuff about writing. This too is only a the used market, but pick it up if you see a copy. There are also newer versions, but I don't know which one is the most current.

I hope every mother out there is having a fabulous day. My kids didn't get the memo!

Did you spend some brief time with something today but it still impacted you a lot? Tell me about it...
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