Imagination doesn't just mean making things up. It means thinking things through, solving [problems] or hoping to do so, and being just distant enough to be able to laugh at things that are normally painful. [Some people] would call this escapism, but they would be be entirely wrong. I would call fantasy the most serious, and the most useful branch of writing there is.
--Diana Wynne Jones

Saturday, May 21, 2011

End of the World and Last Day for Free Book

The world ends today. 6:00 pm, I think? So does my blog contest.

Good thing I finished and sent off that book of mine this week. Whew. So, this is your last chance to enter to the drawing for Gary Schmidt's latest, if you haven't gotten around to it. Except I'm giving you a post-apocalyptic six extra hours (until midnight), if we're not all dead or translated or whatever.

See post below for my review of the book and for contest details.

I'll announce contest winners Sunday or Monday (if I'm feeling lazy), so be sure to check back then, anyone who still happens to be around. I mean, if Armageddon does come, the power will probably be out, and we'll have no T.V., so you'll want something good to read to get you through, right? Books and chocolate, everything's A-OK.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Magic "Send" Button=Free Book for You

I did it.

Finally pushed the magic "send" button on my computer. Yes, only three weeks later than I'd wanted. My verse novel is out of my hands and into my agent's and I'm going to have a life again.

I'm going plant my garden.

Going to exercise.Writing is so dang sedentary. Gained 10 freaking pounds writing this novel.

Buy food (we're tired of nothing but cereal).

Read Brideshead Revisited before next week's book group.

Take care of the huge tax error the IRS thinks we made but didn't. 

Attend my kids' dance showcase, State track meet, and sixth-grade graduation.

Hang out with the fam.

And of course, give away a free book. To you. To celebrated finishing my novel. All you have to do is enter my drawing.

It's a great book: Okay for Now, by Newbery author Gary Schmidt.

Wow. Such a great book. Perfect, actually. I have faith in literature again. Schmidt's two Newbery's were good. This one's better.

I love the way he organizes the story of tough-kid Doug Swieteck around the pictures in John James Audubon's Birds of America,  as Doug discovers new friends in a small town where he didn't want to move; new talents; new ways of living and dealing with old problems--such as an abusive father, a delinquent brother, and another brother crippled from his time in Vietnam. Schmidt's gift is powerful understatement that takes the top of your head off, Emily Dickenson style. His language is beautiful and simple and poetic, the story simple and wonderfully rich. One of those books you finish and think, yes, that was a perfect book.
 Really. And you will cry.

I had to give this one away. Meant to do that in April, but I was trying to finish a book, ok?

Rules as usual:

1) Follow my blog. You can do that by clicking on the "Followers" link to the right. If you already follow, good enough.

2) Leave a comment here to let me know you follow and want to be entered.

3) Deadline Saturday, May 21, Midnight.

Sorry, except for Fiji and Brazil, U.S. addresses only.

Playing High and Dry with Sourdough

Lately I've been playing with dough. It's become a sort of a compulsion. Maybe because I'm tired of driving all the way to som...