When you’ve shimmied through as many windows as I have, you develop a strong appreciation for why doors were invented. This one’s a prime example. Clearly not designed for ease of entry.
To be honest, I’m kind of wedged.
My butt is stuck out in no-man’s-land, legs dangling Humpty-style. It’s starting to rain back there. If this wasn’t so serious it’d be funny. If it was funny I could laugh. If I laughed it might just help me wriggle all the way through.
I brace my arms against the chill inner wall, empty my lungs, and push. Eyes bulge with pressure, fabric rips, then I slither headfirst to the floor with a boom that resounds through the whole damn place. I hate floorboards.
As I groan to my feet lights are appearing out in the hallway, voices raised and alert. But there’s no way I’m heading back out that curse of a window.
No. I’m going to get what I came here for.
Because it’s fun (and seriously, who needs a better reason?) I’ve instigated a Fiction Friday post, where I pop up something short and (not always) sweet from my recent writing efforts.
This one is from the #scbwiwestchallenge, which encourages us SCBWI West Aussies to #createeveryday. The prompt for this piece was ‘window’.
Check out Instagram to see other creations of awesome from myself and SCBWI Aus West!
When you hear of a children’s book exploding onto the scene like those whizz-bang fireworks that keep on sparkling (complete with everyone going ‘oooh’ and ‘aaah’) what you absolutely want to find out is HOW DID THEY DO IT?
‘Nevermoor: the Trials of Morrigan Crow’ by Jessica Townsend is one such delightful explosion. It’s surrounded by stories of bidding wars and movie rights that make me happy-sigh, because stuff like that is still possible, and books are still awesome and kids still love reading, and more will love it after reading this book.
And that’s all awesome!
So, how did Townsend do it?
What is so delightfully scrumptious about her book?
- A huggable world you get immersed in
- The laughs and clever whimsy
- The intricate extras in the story.
If I eat enough ice-cream the brain freeze might zap the memories of what I just did. It’s worth a solid try, anyway.
‘It could be worse,’ Hoz says.
I level a Grade-A Death Glare at him. ‘How, exactly?’
His mouth opens and closes goldfish-style, then he collapses back against the wall. ‘You’re right, you’re screwed.’
I hand him the cookies and cream. He immediately scores a monster cookie chunk. Just my luck. We eat in silence until our spoons scrape the bottom of the tub.
It hasn’t worked. I still remember.
Hoz points his spoon at me. ‘At least you didn’t try to kiss him.’
I have to smile. ‘There is that.’
The #scbwiwestchallenge encourages us SCBWI West Aussies to #createeveryday. The prompt for this piece was ‘comfort food’.
Check out Instagram to see other creations of awesome!
This was an unexpectedly extra-super-dooperly beautiful book. ‘The Stars at Oktober Bend‘ by Glenda Millard had been recommended to me, so I was prepared to thoroughly enjoy reading it.
I was even prepared to cry. Quite a lot.
What I wasn’t prepared for was the depth, the intensity of the characters, and the extent to which this book covers new and interesting perspectives.
I read the blurb and expected a love story with extras. It’s way more than that. The back calls it:
A beautiful, heartfelt novel about transcending past troubles and learning to live with trust and hope.
And it absolutely is. Like the ocean is water, or chocolate is yum.
3 things that were super-dooper
- Diverse backgrounds and issues
- Great use of POV
- Poetry you really do want to leave around the place so people read it.
I love to treat my goals a little like my plotting. Give them freedom, and watch them grow and mutate into something better (preferably with superpowers or rainbow hair).
I feel the point of a writing goal is to give yourself a basic framework so you ACTUALLY START WRITING and then you can feel free to escape on the tail of whichever idea takes you.
Remember that little goal I set myself for January? Janowrimo? Newsflash – I didn’t make my 50,000 words (I wrote 35,000). And I’m not disappointed in the slightest. In fact, I’m totally stoked with what I achieved!
So, why shouldn’t you mind if you don’t achieve your writing goals?
1) You got in there and wrote! *celebrate!*
Okay, so when I’m suggesting you didn’t achieve a goal, I’m presuming it still inspired you to write and connect and plot and create. If you wanted to write 50,000 words and you managed 400 before giving up and turning the tele on, your goal clearly hasn’t worked at all. Go find yourself a more awesome goal. Continue reading
Hello beautiful cover. I think I’ll read you…
It started with the gorgeous cover, but this is a clever and crisp novel that followed through on expectations. ‘These Broken Stars’ by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner was a fab accompaniment to a great holiday.
And it only got better on my second read, because it was so crafty I didn’t notice some of the cool things the authors were weaving into it until I started analysing.
‘These Broken Stars’ is the first in the successful The Starbound Trilogy. We have society girl, Lilac, and low-born army hero Tarver. Sparks fly, their spaceship fails to, and they find themselves stranded together on a planet with too many mysteries.
I loved the clues and suspense, and the gentle beauty that came from two people hiking and learning about themselves as they went. I also love hiking, but I don’t think that’s a prerequisite to enjoying this fab book.
So, what was great about it?
Let’s do some deconstruction… and beware the occasional (read: frequent) blatant spoiler… Here are three areas I’m going to focus on for this novel.
- Multiple plot themes = ongoing interest
- Characters and POV (I know, I sound like a broken record…)
- Subtle introduction of ideas so you don’t even notice you’re noticing them
With all good 2018’s comes a #AWW2018 challenge!
I’ve signed up for more of the same, please – read at least 10 books by Australian Women Writers and review at least six of these.
Piece of awesomesauce cake!
Looking back on #AWW2017 I did pretty well considering I was undertaking the hardest year of post grad study in the known universe (or so I thought…).
Here are the links to my reviews from last year – some fabulous reads from excellent Aussie authors:
A sequel that lived up to my ultra-excited expectations – ‘Gemina’
A great read for younger fans of fantasy – ‘Eve and the Runaway Unicorn’
Answer the call – ‘The Shark Caller’
Ponies + Mermaids = Gold… ‘Lulu Bell and the Birthday Unicorn’
Entertaining and heart-warming – ‘The Memory Shed’
A super start to a defo non-fairytale fairy series: ‘Valentine’
Recommended reading for all teen girls – ‘Risk’
Fun and daring make for an ideal combo – ‘To the Lighthouse’
Superb book-hug: ‘Take Three Girls’
And even though she’s technically a kiwi (heck, so am I sort of) I’ll add in the wonderful A total YA package – the clever and crisp ‘Spark’
Have you taken up the challenge? Join us!
Just a quick shout-out to Nanowrimo, who are so awesome they actually have a Goal Tracker page for those of us (ahem) who missed November and are aiming for that Jazzy January feeling.
they still have the Word Sprints operating. My favourite way to write.
She of the Janowrimo 🙂
PS… Update. I’m ahead on words. But not if I keep blogging. Adios!
I spent Christmas holidays on Rottnest Island – glorious!
There’s so much going on at the back end of a year. Study, end-of-school stuff, holiday prep… rush, pack, buy, wrap, plan…
Sometimes, November just doesn’t feel like the best month to decide to write 50,000 words (Even though I do love Nanowrimo!!)
So I’ll share a little thing I like to do. I call it Janowrimo.
I mean, wow, how inventive am I??
I sit down and write 50,000 words in January. It’s a marvelous month where Christmas is over, school hasn’t started yet, and that heavy headdress of end-of-year strain has been replaced by a marshmallow-and-rainbows sort of freedom from whence springs great writing.
Last year, I didn’t manage to do Nanowrimo at all because of study commitments, so my 2018 Janowrimo is twice as important. I’m breaking with tradition this Janowrimo, and NOT (shock! horror!) aiming to write a single MS over the entire month. The first thing I’m aiming for this month is a chapter book involving some splendid gardening and unlikely friendships.
Wish me luck! Maybe even join with me?
When I finished reading this book, I hugged it. Arms. Book. Chest. Smile.
‘Take Three Girls’ by Cath Crowley, Simmone Howell and Fiona Wood is a raw and sometimes confronting book that is also funny, heartfelt and inspiring.
The friendship is fab, the character arcs super, the characters themselves so realistic. I ache for them, I cheer for them, I worry for them.
The book is chock-full of positive ways for teens (especially girls) to learn to feel good about who they are, but without that terrible feeling you’re getting a super-side-serve of preaching with your fiction. It’s simply a beautifully masterful, exciting and enlightening book.
I find I don’t want to dissect ‘Take Three Girls’ like I normally would.
No. I want to hug it.
I think it’s because I’m now a teacher, and I’ve seen both ends of these character arcs, and that’s why this book hit me so deep. I’ve seen the terrible sadness and missed opportunity of kids who can only deal with hate by hating on others. A dreadful spiral.