Rss

Archives for : Thursday Thirteen

Providence-A Great Beginning

Hi, I’ve been reading the Barbara Britton’s new release Providence and I’m really enjoying it. In hopes that you might like it too, here are the first thirteen lines.

t13-03

 

Jerusalem, 849 B.C. Hannah waited mere feet from the prophet of Israel, shaded from the Jerusalem sun by the sprawling branches of a tamarisk tree. Sweat beaded beneath her head covering, a result of the mid-summer heat, her nerves, or both. A crowd hung back, blocking the Horse Gate and lining the city’s massive stone walls. They had come to see the man of God heal the lame and the cursed. Hannah bore a curse since birth. For seventeen years, she had been unable to taste or smell. Her ears were but a flap of skin with no slope, no lobe. Her father said it was a punishment from God for an ancestor’s crime. As the chief priest, he should know. She grasped her father’s velvet robe as the prophet’s hands slid over a young boy’s leg. The boy had lain in his father’s arms not two feet from Hannah and her father and brother, his limb nothing but a boiled bone with skin. She shook with anticipation as she witnessed sun-toasted flesh, fat as a baby’s cheek, grow on top of the boy’s decomposed leg. What will it feel like when the prophet touches my nose, my lips, my ears?

 

Providence’s opening does a lot of things that a good start to a story should. It begins in the middle of an event. That event is anchored. We know when and where it happened. The scene is described with lots of sensory impressions and we are clearly in the main character’s head. We, readers, are learning how the main character thinks and what she values. Also the first thirteen sentence end with an intriguing question.

 

What other qualities do you think a good opening needs?

 

 

providence_cover

If you’d like to check out more of this novel, you can follow these links.

http://www.barbarambritton.com/

https://www.amazon.com/Providence-Hannahs-Journey-Tribes-Israel/dp/1611168449/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1475515656&sr=1-3&keywords=hannah%27s+journey

 

http://pelicanbookgroup.com/ec/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=34&products_id=756

 

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/providence-barbara-m-britton/1123346402?ean=9781611168440

 

 

Flying Mutant Zombie Rats–A Sure-to-Be Middle Grade Classic

When my sons were in elementary school, they thrived on HARRY POTTER, WALTER THE FARTING DOG and the adventures of CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS. Now I can’t help but welcome a book that adds a supernatural twist to the mischievous-guy humor my sons so enjoyed— FLYING MUTANT ZOMBIE RATS.

Flying Mutant Zombie Rats

 

I’m guessing your elementary or middle school sons, nephews or neighbors will get a charge out of this story, but I’ll let you decide. Here are thirteen lines.

  1. Two blocks till the viaducts—under street tunnels that channeled runoff water through the city—and then at least they’d be off the main drag.
  2. They passed two teenagers perched on their front stoop, staring at them.
  3. It probably looked like they were being chased by a mob of crows.
  4. No time to explain.
  5. When they hit the viaduct, Pea and Paco hugged the berm hard, practically riding sideways.
  6. The others rode dead through the three inch-deep water in the middle.
  7. The flock of mutants hissed and squealed as they tried to advance on them.
  8. They got closer, now that the boys couldn’t duck and weave as much.
  9. Pea sped up and led everyone underground.
  10. They left the light from the city behind, relying on a few cracks of light from above to show them the way.
  11. Good thing they’d all taken this path so many times before, they could stick to the dark, watery trail in the center, knowing by heart when and where to turn.
  12. “Where are you going?” Tad yelled. “They’re gaining on us.” He swung a baseball bat he must have had in his saddlebag over his head to ward off a rat flying too close.
  13. “The park!” Pea yelled over his shoulder. He risked a glance past Tad, into the tunnel behind him. Red eyes. Tons of them.

Want to know more? Here’s the back cover blurb.

Summer vacation is almost here! And Pea O’Neil is stoked to try out the new local BMX track which is finally open. He and his gang of friends can ride all summer long!

But when Pea tries a back flip, he unwittingly opens a portal to another dimension and hordes of flying mutant zombie rats are unleashed upon the city. With the help of an otherworldly talking cat sent to help prevent the demise of humankind, Pea and his friends must hunt down the hungry mutants and send them back before the portal closes.

But when the zombie rats attack a neighbor man, the boys have to enlist the help of a graveyard looney and the city’s stray cats. With time running out, Pea and his gang track the monsters to the city’s sewer system. But in the city sewer of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, it’s eat…or get eaten.

conference Kat and SL

Author Kat de Falla and her sons wrote this book. She was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she learned to roller skate, ride a banana seat bike, and love Shakespeare thanks to her high school English teacher. Four years at the UW-Madison wasn’t enough, so she returned to her beloved college town for her Doctor of Pharmacy degree and is happily employed as a retail pharmacist where she fills prescriptions and chats with her patients. She is married to her soul mate, composer Lee de Falla and raising four kids together ala the Brady Bunch.  

You can contact her at the following links:

Website: www.katdefalla.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/authorkatdefalla

Twitter: www.twitter.com/@katdefalla

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/AuthorKatdeFalla

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Kat-de-Falla/e/B00IMG1YA4/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

If you’d like check out or buy the book for under a dollar or be a lucky winner follow this link.a Rafflecopter giveaway

And of course, I’d love it if you left a comment.  Thanks.

 

In Celebration of Love—Thirteen Quotes

In honor of Valentine’s Day I’m posting thirteen of my favorite poignant, profound or humorous thoughts about love.

thursdaythirteenpinkhearts
https://barbarah.files.wordpress.com/
  1. “All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” ~ Charles Schulz
  2. “You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.” ~ Dr. Seuss
  3. “As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.” ~ John Green
  4. “One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: That word is love.” ~ Sophocles
  5. “Where there is love there is life.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
  6. “A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.” ~ Elbert Hubbard
  7. “The heart wants what it wants. There’s no logic to these things. You meet someone and you fall in love and that’s that.” ~  Woody Allen
  8.  “At the touch of love everyone becomes a poet.” ~ Plato
  9. “When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.” ~ When Harry Met Sally
  10. “The best love is the kind that awakens the soul; that makes us reach for more, that plants the fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds. That’s what I hope to give you forever.” ~ Nicholas Sparks
  11. “When two people love each other, they don’t look at each other, they look in the same direction.” ~ Ginger Rogers
  12. “If I had a flower for every time I thought of you…I could walk through my garden forever.” ~ Alfred Tennyson
  13. “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” ~ Lau Tzu

 

How about you? Do you have a favorite quote about love? Please share.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Sources

http://www.yourtango.com/2013182354/love-quotes-inspirational-famous

http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/love

Is it Middle Grade or Young Adult? Thirteen Considerations to Clue a Reader In

Even though I’m a voracious reader and like to read everything from adult mysteries to picture book fantasies, I’m still learning the categories and genre classifications of fiction. Perhaps, like me, you’re a talented but struggling padawan in sorting your literature. I can help. Let’s start by looking at the differences between middle grade (MD) and young adult (YA) stories.

t13-03

 

  1. Typically, MG readers are between eight and twelve years old while YA readers are between thirteen and eighteen.
  2. MG books are between 30,000 and 50, 000 words although some might be as short as 20,000 words. YA novels can be between 50,000 and 75,000 or even 80,000 words; however, fantasy might be longer in either age group because of the world-building required.
  3. Generally MG tales don’t have profanity whereas YA novels might.
  4. The protagonist in a MG story is usually between ten and thirteen. YA tales can feature a hero who is fourteen to eighteen.
  5. Commonly MG adventures are written in third person. YA stories are often told from the first person perspective.
  6. MG novels often end on a hopeful happily-ever-after note, which is not necessarily so in a YA book.
  7. MG heroes focus on the external—what is happening to them, which often means more action and adventure while YA protagonists are more internal, more introspective and in their own heads.
  8. Sexual Attraction is sweet, a first kiss or a crush in MG tales, but it might be more involved and developed. A dating relationship can be explored in a YA story.
  9. MG protagonists think about their friends and family, their own personal bubble while the main characters in YA stories are trying to figure out how they fit in the world outside their family and friends.
  10. MG protagonists often focus on their personal struggles and all the story events are seen in light of how they affect the protagonist whereas YA heroes frequently focus on the struggles of others whether or not those struggles affect them.
  11. Although not always true, a general rule of thumb is a MG novel won’t have graphic violence. A YA novel might.
  12. Often MG readers have to go through a gatekeeper, a librarian, teacher or parent to obtain a story selection. Typically YA readers have more freedom and possibly a driver’s license. This means MG writers might want to consider how an adult guardian might view the MG novel.
  13. It wouldn’t be fair to say that there are no similarities between YA and MG books. Here’s one thing they have in common. The “read-up” phenomenon. Both YA and MG readers want characters that are older than they are. They are eager for glimpses of what life could be a year or a few years from their present.

As I said before I’m still learning to sort my fiction into YA and MG categories. Can you think of any other distinctions that should be mentioned? Please leave a comment.

 

Works Cited

Backes, Laura. “The Difference Between Middle grade & Young Adult.” WriteForKids Writing Childrens Books. 12 Jan. 2014. Web. 27 Jan. 2015. <http://writeforkids.org/2014/01/the-difference-between-middle-grade-young-adult/>.

Lamba, Marie. “The Key Differences Between Middle Grade vs Young Adult.”WritersDigestcom. Writers Digest, 7 Aug. 2014. Web. 27 Jan. 2015. <http://www.writersdigest.com/online-editor/the-key-differences-between-middle-grade-vs-young-adult>.

Lo, Malinda. “An Introduction to Middle Grade and Young Adult Fiction, Part 1: Definitions – SFWA.” SFWA. 1 Feb. 2013. Web. 27 Jan. 2015. <http://www.sfwa.org/2013/02/an-introduction-to-middle-grade-and-young-adult-fiction-part-1-definitions/>.

Rosen, Judith. “Middle Grade and YA: Where to Draw the Line?” PublishersWeekly.com. 18 July 2014. Web. 27 Jan. 2015. <http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/childrens/childrens-industry-news/article/63358-middle-grade-and-ya-where-to-draw-the-line.html>.

Snow On the Mind

A wet, heavy snowfall has me shoving. Once, twice, three times today alone, I’ve helped dig out my driveway. My muscles groan and I briefly consider making a few snow angels on the remaining area needing to be cleared and calling the job finished.

Don’t get me wrong I love snow, but I like it best when the white stuff falls gently like the glitter dust in a snow globe. I like to catch individual crystals on my glove and study the tiny artwork. When I gaze the little, intricate wonders, I’m inspired to learn more and to share what I’ve discovered.

  1. Every winter, one septillion or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 snow crystals fall.
  2. Why so many? Probably because it takes almost a million crystals to make a snowflake.
  3. Not only that, there are about 180 billion molecules of water in an average snowflake.
  4. Snow, like water, actually is clear and colorless, even though it looks white.
  5. Snowflakes always have six sides.
  6. People believe each snowflake is unique. I can’t dispute it.
    Yet there are some general rules to their creation. No. 1: When the temperature is close to freezing, snowflakes are larger and more complex.
  7. No. 2: When the temperature is very cold, well below freezing, flakes are needle- or rod-shaped and simpler in design.
  8. In 1951 the International Commission on Snow and Ice produced a fairly simple and widely used classification system for solid precipitation. This system defines the seven principal snow crystal types as plates, stellar crystals, columns, needles, spatial dendrites, capped columns, and irregular forms.
  9. Of course, snowflakes never fall singularly. Often they came in storms. The United States experiences an average of 105 snowstorms a year.
  10. The intensity of the storm determines its name. A snowstorm is a heavy snowfall.
  11.  A blizzard has wind and snow and obscures visibility. A snow shower, on the other hand, has intermittent precipitation. And, of course, flurries are the lightest and briefest snowfall.
  12.  When it snows, the reported average amount of snowfall per day is about two inches.
  13. And what about mountain snow? Well, in the western United States, it provides 75 percent of the water supplies there.


Do you like snow? Has it snowed yet in your hometown? Please let me know. Thanks.

Sources
http://www.toptenz.net/top-10-fascinating-facts-about-snow.php
http://nsidc.org/snow/facts.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snow
http://weather-facts.com/snowflakes-facts.php
http://www.cco.caltech.edu/~atomic/snowcrystals/class/class.htm

The snow pictures came from: http://www.its.caltech.edu/~atomic/snowcrystals/ If you’re a fan of snow, you should consider checking out this site.

And if you’re a fan of inspiration and writing that follows your heart, check out the Thursday’s Children posts.

Roses, the Color of Love or Something Else…what does my bouquet mean?

 

Huzzah. I got roses this Valentine’s Day.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day! Roses are some of the most popular tokens of affection exchanged on this day, but did you ever wonder if there was a hidden message in the bouquet? In Victorian times the color of the roses had significance and some say roses tell secrets today. Want to know what the hue of your roses means? Here’s what I’ve discovered.

  1. Red. These ruby beauties talk of true love and passion, but they can also say, “Congratulations!”
  2. Deep Red or Burgundy-say, “You’re beautiful.”
  3. White shouts purity and innocence, yet sometimes they whisper, “keep quiet, keep the secret”.
  4. Pink says, “Thank you,” and signifies appreciation.
  5. Peach smiles and gives you the nudge and the wink. “Let’s get together.” Then again, sometimes it speaks of sincerity and gratitude.
  6. Coral whistles desire.
  7. Black, that deep, purple blue, can be used for death or farewell.
  8. Blue announces the unattainable, the impossible.
  9. Thorn-less roses or lavender roses are for, “Love at first sight.”
  10. Orangeis for enthusiastic desire.
  11. Red and white together speak of unity. They say, “I’m with you.”
  12. Yellow with red tips might mean just friends or they might hint at falling in love.
  13. Yellow has various meaning. Sometimes they’re used for joy, gladness or friendship, but other times they mutter about jealousy or trumpet about new beginnings.

 

Did you get or give roses this Valentine’s? Care to share. What color were they? What did you want them to say?

 

Sources

http://www.oldroses.org/roses/colors.asp

http://www.squidoo.com/RoseColorMeaning

http://www.proflowers.com/guide/rose-colors-and-meanings