Friday Flash: Witching Weather

Continuing with my theme of spooky stories for October (or at least a bit out of the world stories), I present a bit of harmless Halloween fun. Or is it?  You be the judge. This story stands alone, but Chuck Wendig has a challenge this week to write the start of a story, for others to finish. And it occurs to me that this could also be just the beginning, so I'll link it in there and see if anyone bites. And if not...there it stands. Witching Weather “Fog’s rising.” Jack made the observation in a detached sort of way, not sure if it mattered. “More fun that way,” Jill answered. If he was unsure about the weather, she was not. She straightened the tall, pointed hat that kept threatening to tumble from her head. “It sets the right sort of mood.” The boy and girl grinned at each other. Both wore sweeping black robes, rather in the fashion of the students of Hogwarts. A close observer might have even thought they had come from the costume shop, but with the fog settling in and the da

Review: Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

It feels a bit presumptuous of me to critique a book by an author as amazing as Barbara Kingsolver, but...I do have some thoughts I want to share. Title: Flight Behavior Author: Barbara Kingsolver Publisher: Harper Collins, 2012. 436 pages. Source :  Library Publisher's Summary: Flight Behavior is a brilliant and suspenseful novel set in present day Appalachia; a breathtaking parable of catastrophe and denial that explores how the complexities we inevitably encounter in life lead us to believe in our particular chosen truths. Kingsolver's riveting story concerns a young wife and mother on a failing farm in rural Tennessee who experiences something she cannot explain, and how her discovery energizes various competing factions—religious leaders, climate scientists, environmentalists, politicians—trapping her in the center of the conflict and ultimately opening up her world. Flight Behavior is arguably Kingsolver's most thrilling and accessible novel to date, and l

Middle Grade Monday: A Solitary Blue. Audio book review

  Title: A Solitary Blue Author: Cynthia Voigt; Narrated by Jeff Woodman Publisher: Recorded Books, 2011. Original: Atheneum, 1983. 204 pages. Source: Library digital resources Publisher's Summary: Jeff Greene was only seven when Melody, his mother, left him with his reserved, undemonstrative father, the Professor. So when she reenters his life years later with an invitation to spend the summer with her in Charleston, Jeff is captivated by her free spirit and warmth, and he eagerly looks forward to returning for another visit the following year. But Jeff's second summer in Charleston ends with a devastating betrayal, and he returns to his father wounded almost beyond bearing. But out of Jeff's pain grows a deepening awareness of the unexpected and complicated ways of love and loss and of family and friendship -- and the strength to understand his father, his mother, and especially himself. My Review:  I struggled with this review, because I both really liked the

Friday Flash Fiction: The Silent Girl

I picked up the prompt for this one from a random title generator several weeks ago. It took a number of false starts before I managed to get something like a story. Enjoy a little venture into the unknown, or maybe just a love story. The Silent Girl No one could say just when the girl came to the village. She appeared silently among the other children one day, attended the school without ever making a sound, and vanished at the end of the day. People couldn’t remember when she first came, only realizing that she was there after she had become a part of the scenery. Silence does create a sort of invisibility. None knew who she was or where she came from. Eventually they stopped wondering and just accepted her. They gave her a name, because she would not—or could not—say what she wished to be called. So “Lily” went on, moving silently among the people, and grew to be a young woman. And still no one knew—as they suddenly realized—even so much as where she lived, where she went at n


This month's question: How do you know your story is ready? This is a great question for me just now, since I'm in the final stages of editing, revising, re-editing, and cover design for my next book, the 3rd Ninja Librarian book (see below...). Whether you are an author-publisher or have gone the traditional route, this is a question you have to address somewhere along the line. Whether the question is "is it ready to publish?" or "is it ready to send to agents?" you get to edit and revise and second-guess yourself more or less endlessly (having an editor and a contract might be helpful here, since someone will be telling you to finish it already). So how do you know when it's done? I have no idea how you know when your book is done. For me, it's a gradual process and a fuzzy decision. I gather my feedback, do everything I can, get a little more feedback...and when I reach the point that I really don't think I can make it any better, I give it t

Cover Reveal! The Problem With Peggy (Ninja Librarian 3)

We've been puttering around with this for ages, and it's time. The third book of the Ninja Librarian series is getting close, and we have a cover to share! (Insert trumpet fanfare and a troupe of acrobats here) And don't forget-- The price for The Ninja Librarian has dropped to 99 cents for the ebook, at Amazon or Smashwords . So get a copy and discover the world of Skunk Corners for yourself!       Be sure to take a look at Book 2, Return to Skunk Corners, as well!  

Middle Grade Monday: Rain Reign

  (May I mention that I love this cover?) Title: Rain Reign Author: Ann M. Martin Publisher: Feiwel and Friends, 2014, 226 pages Source: Library Publisher's Summary: Rose Howard has Asperger’s Syndrome, and an obsession with homonyms (even her name is a homonym). She gave her dog Rain a name with two homonyms (Reign, Rein), which, according to Rose’s rules of homonyms, is very special. Rain was a lost dog Rose’s father brought home. Rose and Rain are practically inseparable. And they are often home alone, as Rose’s father spends most evenings at a bar, and doesn’t have much patience for his special-needs daughter. Just as a storm hits town, Rain goes missing. Rose’s father shouldn’t have let Rain out. Now Rose has to find her dog, even if it means leaving her routines and safe places to search. Rose will find Rain, but so will Rain’s original owners.   My Review:  I've hit a lot of books lately with characters who have, or appear to have, Asperger's Syndrome. This