Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Good books!

I had to sit in a waiting room a long time yesterday while my daughter went through some tests. She has seizures and every once in a while we have to go through stuff like this. Anyway, I had a lot of time on my hands, so I curled up in the big chair in the waiting room and read Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I had almost finished the book when the testing was over and I had to find out what happened, so I stayed up last night until I'd finished.

That is an awesome book. Of course, my mind is in story-mode all the time, but I'm pretty sure I dreamed about Katniss and Peeta last night. I couldn't wait to get to school this morning and get my hands on Catching Fire, the second book in the series. I went to one of the teachers here to borrow her copy. There was a waiting list, but I pulled seniority and got the book. Four 12 and 13 year old girls have given me dirty looks all day! I read faster than them anyway! They'll just have to wait!

My daughter is in the middle of Hunger Games. She started it on the way home yesterday and grabbed the book this morning when she found out I'd finished. If I know her, she'll finish by tomorrow. Then she can wait in line like everyone else!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Debut Authors

I've been trying to work on the Debut Author's Challenge, but I'm getting a little frustrated. I went to Books-a-Million, the closest bookstore to my house, and they didn't have any of the books on my list. When I asked, I was told they could order one of them, but didn't expect to get the other one I asked about.

That's not good, right? I hope my books end up at Books-a-Million and Barnes and Noble, which are the two local book store chains near my home. We had a Borders but it went out of business. We really don't have any local small bookstores. I wish we did. Maybe, if I win the lottery or something, I'll open one.

I guess I'll order them all on Amazon. Then they can just come to my house and I won't have to worry about it, but my whole family loves going to the book store.

My daughter runs, literally, to the teen section. She could spend every dollar she has on books, plus my money too. I won't complain though, she's a teenager and she wants books..... :) My ten-year-old son is obsessed with Star Wars, but he's started reading The Lightning Thief series. When we get to the bookstore he is found sitting on the floor in the middle grade section. My husband and 17-year-old son will head to the magazines and I will follow my 4-year old over to the kids' section where we have to make the important decision of whether to buy a Spongebob, Dora, or Disney Princess book. Once she's happy, I get to shop.

I usually head over to the teen section or middle-grade section. As a teacher and writer, that's what I read. A great day for the family involves the bookstore. I just wish they carried more books by debut authors.....

Friday, April 9, 2010

My emotions got away from me....

One of my classes just finished reading Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls. What an amazing writer and book. I couldn't even finish reading the last page out loud. One of my students had to read it. I was too busy bawling. Of course, I'd been crying for the last 10 pages, but I just couldn't go on. And some of his passages, just put you there, in that simpler time, where the most important things in life were those dogs. This is another time I could show my kiddos that the movie just doesn't do the book justice.

One of my favorite parts is when Billy had just gotten Old Dan and Little Ann and was walking through town, when a group of kids starts picking on him. One of them had already stomped on his toe and they were singing a song to get him on the defensive, but nothing set him off until they started picking at his dogs. When he finally decides to fight back, Rawls says "I reached way back in Arkansas somewhere. By the time my fist had travelled all the way down to the Cherokee strip, there was a lot of power behind it." Now that's momentum!

I hope I can find ways to describe the scenes in my book that paint a picture and put you in the story! I'm working hard and I hope some day my books will be able to allow readers to become such a part of the story that their emotions get away from them and they can hardly finish reading the book outloud, or they are so scared they can't sleep with the light on, or they laugh outloud!