Posted in Craft, Promotion, The Nitty Gritty of Children's Writing

My Favorite Online Resources

http.jpgRecently I shared a couple favorite internet resources with a friend. When I mentioned to her that I’d been meaning to get a blog post up with them, she told me to get to it! So thank you, @Carmen Nodar, for the prompting and for sharing sites you find, too.
Scrivener at Literature and Latte
This site has downloadable software for writers of one cool writing program called Scrivener. Already available for sale for Macs, Scrivener is in process for windows, so a beta version. I was introduced to it by Jenn Bailey, Kate Blaisdell, Heather Trent Beers, and the afore mentioned Carmen. Thank you, wonderful ladies! I’m lovin’ it.
Edit Minion
The awesome Lisha Cauthen found this one and shared it on Kansas SCBWI’s Sunflower Scoop (see below). It’s in beta and @DrWicked plans to add features, but it’s so cool. You paste in a piece of your writing and you can have it check for adverbs, weak words, “said” replacements, passive voice, ending a sentence with a preposition and often misspelled words. A bonus I like is you get a different writing quote each time you click on “Edit!.”
ICL’s Rx for Writers
Articles and transcripts of online workshops at the Institute of Children’s Literature – they are indexed. I come here when I want info on something or am looking for a resource to share with someone else. For example, there’s an interview with Uri Shulevitz under the Writer Illustrator category.
Grammar Tutorial
Another instructor shared this awesome site. Having trouble with a specific grammatical issue? Go here and learn how to handle it.
If you have your own blog or website, or are creating presentations, you need images. And most of us want free images.
Photos on this site are free for use (read the licensing info). People take pictures and upload them into this searchable database. If the photographer includes contact info, I send a thank you email telling which image and when and where I used it. (Each picture shows who uploaded the image–click on their name or username and look for email.) The image at the beginning of this post is from morgueFile.
Similar to morgueFile, most photos are free and the site is searchable. purple abstractHowever, read what it says under availability on each image. The “standard licensing” agreement is more detailed. Some photographers include a notice that says they “must be notified when using the photo for any public work.” The lovely abstract to the right is from stock.xchng. Instead of emailing, I used the contact form to send my thanks.
I met DearEditor aka Deborah Halverson at the 2010 SCBWI LA conference. A former editor, Deborah answers writers questions. You can subscribe and get links emailed to you when there’s a post or search the site. Deborah’s recently launched her book: Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies. Tonight she’s doing a free webinar. You can also follow her on twitter @deareditor.
School Visit Experts
Founded by author and SCBWI Regional Advisor Alexis O’Neill, this blog site is again subscribable. This site has very practical info about speaking in schools, arranging visits, etc.
Fict!on Notes
I’ve never yet gotten to attend one of the Novel Revision Retreats with author and speaker Darcy Pattison, but I want to. This is her site.
Those are current favorites, though I know as soon as I hit “publish,” I’ll think of others. I’d love to hear yours. Simply enter them in the comments.

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Posted in MG Novels, So Many Good Books

No Passengers Beyond This Point

What Happened?!
no-passengers.jpgNo Passengers Beyond This Point (Dial Books for Young Readers, 2011) by Gennifer Choldenko is a fantasy that makes you wonder along with the characters.
It starts out when Finn, his older sister India and his younger sister nicknamed Mouse are sent off to live with their Uncle Red because Mom has lost the house. But instead of getting to Colorado, they end up at this strange place called Falling Bird. They can become citizens, or Finn could work for Sparky, or go on to Uncle Red’s. What should they do? Each has a different opinion.
The story is told in multiple viewpoints. I like what happens with all the characters, but confess that Finn is my favorite.
I’ve been a Gennifer Choldenko fan for years, so knew I was getting something good when I got this book. Check out her other books here.

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Posted in So Many Good Books, YA Novels

The Lost Gate

You haven’t seen the Norse Gods like this!

lost gateIn The Lost Gate (Tor, 2011) by Orson Scott Card, Danny North doesn’t fit in to his family. Even though he’s a descendent of the gods, he doesn’t have any “godly” talents. Being very smart isn’t enough in the North family. The other kids consider him Drekka (an outsider who is less than them). Danny’s always trying to slip away from his tormentors and one day discovers himself outside the compound. But life outside isn’t going to be easy either.
Enjoy Danny’s journey to finding himself in this very good story. This book might especially appeal to teen boy readers. It’s book one of three in the Mither Mages. I’ll be definitely watching for the others when they come out.
Here’s the wonderful Orson Scott Card’s official website.

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Posted in Quotes

The Ideas aren’t the hard

The Ideas aren’t the hard bit. They’re a small component of the whole. Creating believable people who do more or less what you tell them to is much harder. And hardest by far is the process of simply sitting down and putting one word after another to construct whatever it is you’re trying to build: making it interesting, making it new.
Neil Gaiman

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