October 17, 2011

Reading Other Books & My Own


Yes, it has been a minute.  I do apologize if you clicked and there were not any updates. 

Writing... Well, I haven't done much in a few days.  I've had some thoughts about how to organize where I'm going, but nothing has been added to my total page count.  While I wanted to do some writing (after I said I was taking a break), this past weekend was filled with other events. 

On Saturday I recieved my copy of of Brad Gallagher’s Escape from ZobadakI spent Saturday evening and enough time on Sunday to finish the book.  It was an interesting read.  Gallagher really works the fantasy angle well and his descriptions are very fluid.  He is able to keep the pace of the book moving well and the characters are developed.  I also finished Jeffy Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid Dog Days.  Kinney has some lines in there that made me laugh.  I especially liked Greg's pool experiences.  I also plan to read the DWK Rodrick Rules book within the next day or two.


Well, I usually don't read other books that are in my my genre because I want to make sure all my ideas come from my life.  I would rather not have outside influences or compare my own writing to another author's work.  My goal is always to stay in my lane,  do my writing, and provide for my niche of readers.  However, as I get closer to realizing my goals, I feel like I need to be aware of materials that are out there for readers.  Sometimes the key to selling your own product is knowing the product of others in your field.  So, I read...  And then I stay up way too late using my phone to email myself ideas for another picture book.

Today...  I went to Cornerstone Elementary in Dexter, Michigan.  I attended Mrs. Korinek's 1st grade classroom.  I was invited in as an AUTHOR for the first time in my writing career.  Sure, I've visited classes as an educator and I've taught song-writing classes, but this was different.  I really enjoyed the opportunity.

When I arrived, the students were finishing up a word UNO game. I walked around and watched them play cards that had matching endings for words.  That activity would help them later.  When they finshed their word game, they joined me at the carpet and I answered some question about my favorite children's picture book, where I like to write, how they could become better writers, etc.  That was a lot of fun. 

After I finished answering questions, I read my book, Juice Fit for the Princess.  Juice is a children's book that I wrote, but it doesn't have pictures.  After I read the book, the students gave some feedback and they were ready to get into groups.  The students worked with an alternate version of Juice and drew pictures to go with the text that they had on their pages.  They shared their pictures with other groups and I read the alternate version to them.  They were able to see all the pictures they drew when I read the story to them.  I was even able to get a copy of the book they created.

After the students went to their version of social studies, Mrs. Korinek, Mrs. Gronvall, and I were able to debrief on the events.  The three of us all attended the 2011 Eastern Michigan Writing Project.  We talked about ways to get Juice to a larger audience by using it to allow students to illustrate their own books in the classroom.  Workshops and school visits were suggested.  Hmmmmm...

So, this covers the past few days of writing progress.  While I have not written a page in Rights of Writers, I have been able to observe the work of other authors and I shared some of my own stuff with an eager audience of young readers.  I think that is positive progress.

Good times!

Thank you for reading.


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