Thursday, November 10, 2011

Guest Authors, Contributors and Bears… Oh My...

     Well I missed my self-imposed arbitrary deadline of posting on this blog once per week.  There are no excuses for my lack of discipline; I even had most of this blog entry written and ready to post.  I thought to myself, “Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming so I will be focusing more on the Kids’ Christmas Book and posting smaller or less frequent entries here”.  That’s a defeatist’s attitude and that is what I’m trying to disengage within myself. 
     After a conversation with Dave, of the blog Dude I’m in a Band, I thought it might be fun to bring in a few guest authors to take my blog in an exciting direction.  There will be different topics but the articles will focus on the craft of writing.  Look for some entries by other authors and contributors in the coming weeks!

     In the meantime, here’s a section for an early draft of the Christmas Kids Book:

Christmas Assignment
     "Your assignment over winter break is to complete your book report on “###”.  All the kids in the classroom groaned with despair.
     “…Oh and don’t forget to do all of you math tables; multiplication and division.” Ms. ### emphasized the “and” with a long “an” then a loud a “duh”.  The classroom was covered by another round of moans.

     Ms. ### held up her hand to silence the children.  She continued with the homework assignment “…hold on a moment, from one to thirteen”.  Her eyes blinked rapidly behind her fancy new glasses for a moment then a spark jumped out of the left lens.

     NAME#1 looked at NAME#2 across the room and both shook their heads in disbelief…

     “Sorry children, I’m still getting used to these new glasses.  They are a little difficult sometime but they allow me to see everything.”  When Ms. ### said “everything” she stared over the top edge of her glasses right at NAME#1.  She looked at NAME#2, sneered quickly and then grinned warmly at the entire class. …

     I know that’s just a small section, but I hope that it gives enough tone for the villain’s arrival.  Will a child grasp the nuance, foreshadowing and word choice?  I’m trying to include a few “choice” words, but use the tone and plot to help balance the reading level (i.e. the kids might not know the words but they might understand the story or “feeling” based on the context).  What are your thoughts on word choice vs. tone; which should preferential treatment?
     Thanks again for checking out the blog.  Please take a moment to leave a message or visit a friend’s blog (I’m still trying to get “p1c3” off the ground – after this post I will be commenting on at least 3 other blogs).

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