Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Autograph books Part 2

As promised, here are some more entries from my mother-in-law's autograph books (read original post). These are from Wellsville High School 1933-34. Enjoy!

Aug. 27, 1933
Dear sister,
When you are old and cannot see, put on your specks and think of me.
Your brother, Noah (age 7)

When you are married and have a baby boy, and when his hair begins to curl I wish you then a baby girl, and when they both can drink from tins I wish you then a pair of twins.
Robert Crone

Nov. 7, 1933
Dear Ethel,
Remember the pumpkin,
Remember the gord,
Remember the night,
We rode in the ford.
Your schoolmate, Fairy Rank

It is easy enough to be joyful
When life flows along like a song,
But the girl worthwhile is the one who can smile,
When everything goes dead wrong.
Annabel G. Rice

No. 27, 1934
Dear Ethel,
May your life be like arithmetic.
Love---------divided by 2
The girl who sits behind you,
Lena Kinter

Nov. 8, 1933
Dear Ethel:
My name is Stanley Sherman.
Wellsville is my station.
Alpine is my dwelling-place.
Schoolwork is my salvation.
As ever,
Stanley Sherman "Stan" "Sherm"
"The pause that refreshes."
"Remember the Coco-Cola battles"

Nov. 21, 1934
Dear Ethel:
When the evening pulls the curtain down,
and pins it with a star,
Remember that you have a friend,
No matter where you are.
Your friend and classmate,
Thelma Wagner
"Yours till I have quadruplets"
"Jean" "Jane" "Joan" "June"

Nov. 22, 1934
Dear Ethel,
To meet
To know
To love
to part
Are the four sad words of a schoolmate's heart.
A schoolmate
Dorothy Sheaffer

Watch for more excerpts.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Quote of the day

"When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it." - Henry Ford

Monday, June 28, 2010

Quote of the day

"What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure" --Samuel Johnson.
Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Looking forward to your answers. P.S. Hope your Monday is off to a terrific start. Have an awesome week everyone.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Writing fun

Inspired by Janet Reid's awesome fun contests this week (Check her blog), I thought it would be fun to do something similar. First, answer these questions:
1. Adjective that describes you.
2. Something you hate to do.
3. The type of vehicle/model you drive.
4. A person you graduated high school with.
5. Your favorite condiment.
6. The color of the shirt you're wearing.
7. The name of someone you saw today.
8. Your favorite food.
Now, using your answers write a sentence using all of the words. My answers to the above questions are:
Ford 500
So, my sentence is:
Kris was so energetic that she decided to clean the ketchup off the seat of her Ford 500 before making steak (pink for her; well-done for Laura).
Now, you try. Can't wait to read your posts. And, have an awesome weekend everyone.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Creating characters

“Every human being has hundreds of separate people living under his skin. The talent of a writer is his ability to give them their separate names, identities, personalities and have them relate to other characters living with him.” --Mel Brooks

Do the characters you create have a little bit of you in them? If so, what? Is it the way they look? Their mannerisms? The way they talk or walk? Their hobbies or habits? Likes and dislikes? Hopes and dreams? Please share.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Quote of the day

"For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die."
--Anne Lamott (Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
What have books shown you?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Life's treasures: Autograph books

I was going through a box of things that had belonged to my mother-in-law, Ethel P. Hershey Gross. She passed away in 1994. Ethel was the oldest of 11 children and, after helping to raise all of her brothers and sisters, she put herself through nursing school. She was an incredible woman, far more independent than many at the time.
Ethel married my husband's dad, a widower with five boys. They met in the hospital, where he was her patient. She gave up her nursing career to live on a farm and raise five stepsons. She eventually had my husband, her only child, when she was in her early 40s.
Anyway, I found something really neat in the box. There were two autograph books, one from 1933-34 from Wellsville High School and the other from 1935 from Dillsburg High School. Apparently these books were the "hot thing" at the time. The pages — yellow, blue, pink and green – are faded, but the writing is legible.
The sayings and rythmes the students wrote make me smile and laugh out loud. There’s an innocence about them that transports me to another time when life, it seems, was simpler in some ways, tougher in others.
So, here's my first post from the treasure trove I've found. Visit often for more entries from these books plus many other things I've found, including a "List of baby beeves to be sold at public auction at the York Fair grounds, Friday, October 7, 1932."

Mar 17, 1935
Dillsburg H.S.

My Dear Ethel P. Hershey Bud:
With all my chirping I can't think of one (1) sensible thing to say. But I must make it clear and plain that thou shalt not forget to remember not to forget about our "great charter" – you know the one we made Mar. 26, 1935 saying that thou shalt have 10 children or else – well I shalt have placed before me by you a large dinner which is not to be scorned at – If you have 9 or less kids I shalt place before you the most delicious dinner which you ever ate – Mar. 26, 1967
"Twitter twitter"
"tweet tweet"
Carol Bird

Can you imagine? 10 kids! This just cracked me up. So the date was set: March 26, 1967 for the big dinner. That would have been 32 years after they had made this pact as seniors in high school – plenty of time to have 10 kids. Well, my mother-in-law never had 10 kids. I wonder if Birdie did? And if they remembered the pact they made so many years ago. And how about that Birdie and her "twitter"? Who knew so many decades later we would have a thing called Twitter. I hope you enjoyed this as much as I have. Have a terrific day!

Friday, June 18, 2010

What would your author blurb say?

Most books include a couple of grafs about the author. What would you want your author blurb to say? Whether the bio blurb appears on the book flap, in an “about the author” section or in promotional materials, it's an important introduction to you and your awesome work. It’s your opportunity to make a good impression and connect with your readers.
So, write a bio blurb for your latest work and share in comments. And if you found this difficult, why?  Good luck!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

You know you're a writer when...

Let's come up with a list. You know you're a writer when...
  • you pull over while driving to write a scene that just came to you.
  • you stay up late and rise early to work on your latest novel.
  • you'd rather write than watch TV.
  • you talk about your characters as if they are real people. 
 Please add yours in comments. Have a super day everyone:)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The magic of fireflies

   I saw my first firefly of the season. Even after all these years, those dancing lights make my heart happy. I’m reminded of a childhood spent capturing them in the cup of my hand, then setting them free. Of barefoot summers filled with dripping cherry snowcones that stained every T-shirt I owned. Of hot fudge sundaes from the ice-cream truck that never missed my street. Of my lemonade stand and my clubhouse (we were The Buffets) and my climbing trees. Of sleepouts and scary stories and smores and oh so much more. I'm always amazed at how such a tiny thing can evoke a wave of memories so real I can taste the salt and be knocked over by it thunderous power.
  The magic of a firefly.
  The magic of childhood.
  Oh how I miss the sweetness of youth. 

  Do you have a favorite summer memory you’d like to share? Love to hear about it.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Quote of the day

"Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they've got a second. Give your dreams all you've got and you'll be amazed at the energy that comes out of you."
--William James, 1842-1910, American Psychologist, Author

Monday, June 14, 2010

Don't miss LM Preston's party

This is one virtual launch party you won't want to miss. LM Preston, author of Explorer X- Alpha and  The Pack (coming out in August), is throwing the bash with tons of great giveaways. Visit her blog for all of the details. Oh, and she is also spotlighting party guests. Today, it's me. So make sure you pop over and join in the fun. LM Preston's blog. Go here for her party blog.
 Let's show LM our support. 

Wizarding World of Harry Potter

     I can’t wait to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park later this summer. The attraction opens Friday. 
    For Potterphiles, it will be awesome to see how they brought the books to life. We’ll be able to walk down Hogsmeade, lined with our favorite shops: Zonko’s joke shop and the confectionary Honeydukes. We’ll be able to drink butterbeer and pumpkin juice, buy a wand or a broomstick or Sneakoscopes and extendable ears.  
    And, of course, we’ll be able to walk the halls of Hogwarts, where Harry and his magician friends study and live.
    Park construction was overseen by the production manager from the Potter movies, so I think we can count on it being great. 
    There are three rides in the new Potter Park, but the one I’m most excited about is Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. The ride combines the sensation of flight with a ton of special effects. Riders journey through Potter’s life, from the Quidditch field to the mouths of giant spiders and dragons. Sounds like a lot of fun! 
    What book would you like to see brought to life in a theme park? Anyone?


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Remakes hit silver screen

With remakes of "The Karate Kid" and "The A-Team" in theaters now and other 80s gems, including "Tron" and "Red Dawn," being remade, what remake would you love to see? Have any idea? Tell me what movie you would like to see remade and how you would remake it (change plot, character relationships, etc.). Have fun with this. Think outside the box.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Toy Story characters come to life

Toy Story 3 opens in theaters June 18. I love the Toy Story franchise. The writers have done an awesome job of creating memorable characters. And the voice cast is incredible (Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Michael Keaton, Joan Cusack, Ned Beatty, Don Rickles, Wallace Shawn and John Ratzenberger).
    How can we forget:
    Mr. Potato Head
    Mrs. Potato Head
    Slinky Dog
    Bo Peep
    And so many others who have slipped my mind.     
    Do you have a favorite character from Toy Story? If so, who is it and how do you think the writers and artists have teamed to make him/her unforgettable? What characteristics or mannerisms have they given your fav that brings him/her to life? Whether it’s Rex and his inferiority complex or Slinky Dog and his southern accent.
    And if you aren't familiar with Toy Story, maybe there is another character you could tell us about and how the writer and/or artist have made the character seem real. Can’t wait to read your comments.    

Friday, June 11, 2010

Quote of the day

"I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life's realities." --Dr. Seuss
Do you have a favorite Dr. Seuss book? Or a favorite Dr. Seuss quote? Here's one of my favs, and timely since it's so fitting for graduation.


Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Contest under way

Don't miss this great opportunity from my virtual friends Martina and Marissa over at Adventures in Children's Publishing blog. It's a YA/MG line-by-line contest with agent Natalie Fischer judging. Enter here.

Quote of the day

"History has demonstrated that the most notable winners usually encountered heartbreaking obstacles before they triumphed. They won because they refused to become discouraged by their defeats." --B. C. Forbes, 1880-1954, American Publisher

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A minute list

Just for fun, write the ending to these sentences. Should take no more than a minute. Write the first thing that pops into your mind. Can't wait to see your lists.
1. I'm good at...
2. I wish I could...
3. My husband/wife/significant other reminds me of ...
4. If I could change any physical feature I would change my...
5. My favorite spice is ...
6. If I don't get enough sleep ...
7. I once...
8. The one sense I could not live without...
9. I like pizza and ...
10. If I could have lunch with any author it would be...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Another new agent alert

Guide To Literary Agents blog reports today that Marcy Posner is a new agent at Folio Literary Management. She is looking for middle grade and young adult fiction, commercial women's fiction, historical fiction, mystery, biography, history, health, and lifestyle. See post  here.

Quote of the day

"Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand-and melting like a snowflake...” --Francis Bacon, Sr.
So if you want to write, write. Don't let your fears keep you from trying. There is power in doing and hope in trying. Good luck to each of you:)

Monday, June 7, 2010

New agent alert

Amanda Luedeke has joined MacGregor Literary as an agent. Amanda will be working with childrens, YA, speculative, and post-college-aged fiction and nonfiction. Read all about it  here.

A minute list

I hope I always:
  • Love without holding back.
  • Pursue my dreams despite the obstacles.
  • Strive for excellence in everything I do.
  • Give to others when I can.
  • Experience the joys of this world and overcome its sorrows.
  • Remember to laugh every chance I get.
  • Heal when I’m broken and help others heal, too.
  • Write words that touch people.
  • Cherish my family and friends and their unconditional love and support.
  • Live life.
Can you write an ending to this sentence? You don’t have to do 10. Do as few or as many as you’d like. Can't wait to read your posts.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Kids got it right

It was a really neat church service today. The children, from preschool through high school, participated. They sang, read the lessons and prayers, helped with Communion -- did everything but the sermon. But Pastor Greg's sermon was just as neat. He talked about children and how we ought to be more like them. One of the things he said was that each of us needs to be alive in the moment. That we shouldn't miss out on life that goes on around us. Too often we hold onto regrets, fret about the past, and worry about the future. Children, on the other hand, don't. He gave the example of children who fight over a toy or a place in line or whatever. One minute it's all-out war and the next minute they're best friends. This made me smile because it's so true. Adults, on the other hand, find it difficult to forgive and forget and move on. Anyway, I just thought it was a really neat reminder to live in the moment. Be like a child. Sometimes, I think we spend so much time planning for the future that we forget about today. I can't believe, for instance, how fast my little boys have become young men. WOW! The little babes I once held in my arms are now young men I need to stand on my tip-toes to hug. So, the message for today is to live in the present like a child and enjoy every minute of it. That doesn't mean we ought not to think about tomorrow or have dreams and goals. It simply means that we don't forget about today because as many of us have come to know, there are no guarantees in life. Tomorrow might be too late.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Quote of the day

"Write what you care about and understand. Writers should never try to outguess the marketplace in search of a salable idea; the simple truth is that all good books will eventually find a publisher if the writer tries hard enough, and a central secret to writing a good book is to write one that people like you will enjoy." --Richard North Patterson
Do you write the type of book you like to read? If so, what do you write/read and why? I hope all of you have a fantastic weekend.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Quote of the day

"The reason 99% of all stories written are not bought by editors is very simple. Editors never buy manuscripts that are left on the closet shelf at home." --John W. Campbell
Are there things preventing you from sending out your manuscript? Don't let the fear of rejection stop you. If you try and you fail, you try again. And again. Remember, we are here to support and encourage one another. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Have courage, believe in yourself and your work.   

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Contest alert

Check out Rachelle Gardner's blog for a logline contest. Enter today everyone. And good luck.

The Lion Awakens; Annie's transformation

When THE LION AWAKENS begins, Annie is this shy, nerdy, uncoordinated girl who has little self-esteem and zero confidence. By the end of the novel, she has transformed into a confident young lady who has mastered her superhuman abilities to stop a tyrant from destroying her world.
I loved writing the following excerpt. I think it shows how far Annie has come. Here, she stands up to a group of popular girls who just want to use her. Annie's boyfriend had convinced the girls that modeling agents were fighting over Annie. He was just screwing with them at the mall one night. When Annie shaves her head (something she did in order to "fit in" the parallel universe she was traveling to) the girls did, too, thinking it was the latest style.
“Are you serious?” Annie asked. “My boyfriend dies and all you’re concerned about is getting a freakin' modeling agent. Well, here’s the truth. I don’t have an agent. Never have. I don’t model. Never will. I shaved my head because I wanted to. It’s not the “in thing” to do. And, one more thing, your heads look like bald asses without the cracks. So go screw yourselves.”
Annie turned around to open her locker and the girls’ eyes were the size of half dollars.
“Are you serious?” Jen asked. “You don’t really model or have an agent? Like we totally shaved our heads for nothing?”
Annie turned around. “I’ve never been more serious. And if you ever bother me on Petra or anyone else again, you’ll have a lot more to worry about than a bald ass for a head. Oh, and another thing, Jen, your tits are as fake as your French tips. If it weren’t for that boob job your daddy dearest paid for you’d have nothin' but muffin tops.”
YEAH Annie. You go girl! That's the way to do it. The Lion has, indeed, awakened.
Do you have an excerpt to share that shows growth in your character? Please share in comments.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Contest starts tonight

Just a reminder that the QueryTracker contest starts tonight. Only 100 entries will be accepted. Genres are young adult and middle grade.
QueryTracker contest details here

I'm a hugger, how 'bout you?

I'm a hugger. It's just who I am. I hug my family and friends when I greet them and when I said goodbye. I couldn't imagine a world without hugs. My husband didn't grow up in a demonstrative family, so marrying me introduced him to a whole new world. But I think he would tell you that he's embraced it and is a hugger now, too. Here are two of my favorite hug quotes. Are you a hugger? 

"I will not play tug o' war. I'd rather play hug o' war. Where everyone hugs instead of tugs, Where everyone giggles and rolls on the rug, Where everyone kisses, and everyone grins, and everyone cuddles, and everyone wins." --Shel Silverstein

"A hug is like a boomerang - you get it back right away." --Bil Keane