Okay, it’s not entirely new and it may or may not be improved. I thought I would try something different and put my podcasts on my blog, in addition to my podcast site. I have a Halloween story (not for younger kids, Goosebumps age or better) called Moss that I recently added.
I cannot wait for this election to be finished. Come on Tuesday! I am just addicted Rasmussen and Real Clear Politics. I’m getting virtually no work done ‘cause I’m reading all these political articles and/or news. On the other hand, I guess it is material – I don’t think I would ever have dreamed up a character like Ashley Todd, poor little crazy thing. I think I have a project I where could use a character like that. I keep reading about her to try and find ways to make her sympathetic. What had happened to her in the past that would make her think faking being assaulted, going so far as to injure her own face, would be a good idea? What was she thinking? Was she put up to it? How did she get there? How much “news” is real and how much is fabricated?
Fall seems to have arrived. A cold front came in last night and dumped buckets of rain down on us. This morning as I was taking my daughter to school, black clouds squatted on the eastern horizon like haunted mountains. But the wind chased them away and it was a nice afternoon, though it was only around 70°. The 13th Ike butterfly emerged today. Hope s/he found a warm spot to roost. There is one more chrysalis left.
I worked at the Scholastic book fair at my daughter’s school Tuesday morning. It seemed that most of the kids had series books – Captain Underpants, Star Wars, Pokemon, Harry Potter, The 39 Clues. My own child requested a Skippyjon Jones book, a Puppy Place book, and a Magic Treehouse 3-pack (among others). It seems that it might not be a bad idea (especially for mid-grade and picture books) to come up with characters/ideas that lend themselves well to series.
Now, where’s that list of book packagers…
I read What Happened to Cass McBride? last week. I ordered it partly because I had been interested in reading it for a while and partly because it this book is widely regarded as a great example of a YA novel with multiple POVs. I have a project with two POVs, and I wanted to see good ways of doing it. While I liked the way Gail Giles handled it in her book, I don’t think that format will work for my project. What I liked best about this book was how she built on what we (the readers) already knew, or thought we knew, and turned it around into something else entirely. In the end the “bad guy” was such a sympathetic character that I didn’t want him to go to jail. The “victim,” well, maybe she discovered she wasn’t really the person she thought she was. The question in the typical Gail Giles oblique ending is: Did Kyle ruin Cass’ life or save it? One question I did have, and this applies to a lot of YA, not just this one, is if Cass and her snooty friends were so rich, why didn’t they go to private school? Ms. Giles lives in The Woodlands and she gave a talk at one of the monthly SCBWI meetings. She told us that being snowbound in a cabin in Alaska inspired her to write this book. I’m not sure that I would have connected those two dots (Alaskan cabin and brutal high school social issues). But hey, that’s why there are so many different authors and so many different books. I hope have a Halloween podcast (“Moss”) up this weekend. It is ready for the spousal unit to record.
The Ike caterpillars are emerging from their cocoons. I released one Monday, two yesterday, and three today. There are at least that many cocoons left, plus one big fat caterpillar.
I have been spending far too much time surfing the web. I can’t help it. What with the election heating up, there’s just so much juicy stuff out there. Some of it is way out there, like the Bible Code video, predicting Hillary vs. McCain. I am especially fascinated by the conspiracy theories. Two of my current favorites involve the reason John McCain chose Sarah Palin as his running mate. The first one is that after accepting the nomination, Senator McCain looked at the financial crisis, the Iraq war, the crumbling infrastructure, and the healthcare crisis. “(Expletive deleted)!” he said. “I don’t want to have to deal with that. How can I torpedo my campaign so that it doesn’t look like I’ve sabotaged it?” The second is that she was never intended to be Veep. She’s a stalking horse to get the religious right fired up. But (should he win), sometime between Nov. 4 and Jan. 20, a family emergency (or indictment) would occur and she’d have to resign, to be replaced by Joe Lieberman. There are loads and loads of others, for any and all candidates. Using bits and pieces of these theories, rumors and innuendo, there are probably enough parts for a dozen short stories and a novel or two. Interestingly enough, there was an article on NPR this evening about matrixing (read NPR article), that is, the mind’s tendency to find patterns or connections where there aren’t any. Jennifer Whitson conducted a study which found that the less in control of their environment people felt, the more prevalent this phenomenon was. That makes sense. There are a whole lot of high anxiety events happening right now. So there are probably really no monsters in the closet. It’s just…what was up with all that winking Sarah Palin was doing at the debate last night? I found it disturbing. My friend said she thinks the gov was trying to come across as cute & folksy. Maybe. But what if she had something in her eye that was bothering her? Like a high tech contact?