“Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious,
and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things.
You simply must do things.”
~ Ray Bradbury ~
Gifts for My Writer Friends:
K. M. Weiland has a list HERE of ten tools to make writers more efficient. Check it out.
For some good ideas on helpful critiques from Writers Rumpus, click HERE.
Last week, I offered my ARC of The Secret Hum of a Daisy by Tracy Holczer to one of my readers. This week's winner is Helen! Congratulations, Helen. I will get the book out to you this week. For the rest of you, another great giveaway coming up this week, so stay tuned to the end.
I have a positively delicious middle-grade book this week. A few weeks ago, I was the lucky winner of a brand-spankin' new hardback copy of All Four Stars by Tara Dairman from the Literary Rambles blog. If you aren't reading Literary Rambles, you are missing a good bet. Casey McCormick and Natalie Aguirre share duties there and do a lot of book reviews, book giveaways, author interviews, and agent spotlights. There are great resources there. Click HERE to check it out.
Anyway, it took me awhile to find time to read All Four Stars, but it was sure worth the wait. What a fun read. Gladys Gatsby, eleven, loves good food and, even more, loves to cook it. Unfortunately, Gladys's parents are terrible cooks, have absolutely no palate, and certainly don't encourage Gladys's passion. Gladys, a latch-key kid, does all her cooking after school and before her parents get home. She airs out the house and hides the evidence each day, so her parents won't know what she's up to. All is going well until Gladys uses her father's blow torch (Yup. I said blow torch!) to make creme brulee, but sets the kitchen on fire. And, of course, her parents come home early that day. This is not the best day for Gladys. She is forbidden to cook anything, has her allowance cut off until the curtains are paid for, and is ordered to do more "kid" activities like playing video games, watching sitcoms, etc. How will Gladys ever get back to cooking and eating good food?
Tara Dairman has written a peach of a book for middle-graders and anyone else
who loves funny, creative stories. I love the upside-down life of Gladys Gatsby with parents who seem to want the opposite for Gladys than any parents would. I love the persistence and creativity of Gladys. I love the middle-school problems she faces being something of an outsider. In fact, there is nothing about this book I don't love. I just had so much fun reading it, and I know you will as well. Get hold of a copy. This is a real winner.
I am offering my gently-read hardback copy of this to one of you. All you need do is have a US address, be a subscriber or follower and tell me that in a comment you leave on this post. If you are reading this in your email, click HERE to go to the blog so you can leave a comment. If you would like extra chances, please spread the word by posting the link on a Tweet, blog post, Facebook, or any other way you like. Let me know what you have done in your comment, and I will put in extra chances for you for each that you do.
And don't forget to check Shannon Messenger's wonderful blog for more Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday reviews and giveaways. Click HERE to visit.