Archive for July, 2012

I found this gem in the South Carolina Book Award Nominee section. I read it so fast, I read it too fast, but I had to see what’s going on and who the thief is and when or if the parents come back.

Crunch is about a group of siblings whose parents are stuck a few states away, stranded after a major gasoline shortage. Dewey is the second oldest of five and he aims to keep their bicycle shop going. He has plenty of customers, too many, during the fuel shortage.

The characters in this story are engaging. Spivy, the next door neighbor steals from his neighbors, a few eggs here, a few raspberries there and even borrows the goat without asking in order to get his yard ‘mowed’. There are the ‘athletes’, two hens who don’t mind marching into the house when the opportunity presents itself. The Bocci team is written so that I could see them riding their bikes down the highway in their matching jerseys.

I loved the intertwining stories. Beside how the siblings manage on their own during an energy crisis, there’s the mystery of of the stolen bicycles, and the reader is always waiting for the next phone calls from the parents to get an update on their location and situation. This is a book I have to read again and this time I hope I can read it a bit slower.


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Managing a rock band, even a high school rock band sounds like a pretty big job to me. There’s the egos, running around to find gigs, and all that. But what if I were deaf and managing a rock band?

Piper may have bitten off more than she can chew when she argues her way into managing a band named Dumb. Despite winning a local contest, they’re far from being a viable band. This shows when they go to a studio to record a song.

Eighteen-year old Piper has home problems as well. Her baby sister, born deaf, unlike Piper who had become deaf later on in life, has gotten cochlear implants. This leaves the girl feeling left out especially since her father never bothered to learn sign language.

I enjoy reading books about musicians, but not all catch my interest. This one did. I loved how the author incorporated music lore into the book when Piper and her friends go looking for where Kurt Cobain lived and Jimi Hendrix’s house. I had no idea Hendrix grew up Seattle. I love reading odd bits of facts like this.

I can’t play an instrument, but books like one make me feel like a musician anyway.

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Last week I bemoaned the fact I had trouble getting into the writing mode and needed a solution.  Well, I found one.  I started reading one of my older stories, one from eons ago.  It was one I had typed and saved the file on a 5 1/2″ floppy (that’s how old it was).  The floppy got lost so I knew I needed to retype it.

After several pages and noting all the errors within I thought: you know, I could input it in my notebook.  I could type two pages and then work on my other projects.  Wouldn’t you know it, it worked.  Now I can multitask.  What’s really great is that, since I don’t have the Internet at my house, I don’t get sidetracked by thinking I have to play mahjong dimensions until my hand falls off.

The story is 240 pages long so it’s going to be a while before I finish typing it and when I’ve finished with it, there’s another story in which I’ve deleted the second part.

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One would think that with the summer off, I would have plenty of time to write. Sadly that’s not so at all. I struggle to find a bit of time here and there. My schedule of writing a half hour in the morning and some in the evening is gone. All I have is the time on my home computer where I transfer handwritten manuscripts to a word document. With all my other projects that’s not going fast either.

This summer is worst of all for some reason. I just can’t seem to make myself do anything except for a smidgen here and there. I will need to analyze the situation and come up with something, make goals and enforce them. At least I’m keeping up with this blog although I do wish I could add to it more than three-four times a month. Will see what I come up and see what happens when school starts again.

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On Names

Phone books are a great place to find names. Needing one for my character, I went looking for my local phone book. I didn’t find the book I wanted, but I found one that would do. Having a first name already for my character, although not one I’m fully feeling, I want a last name. What I had wasn’t working for me.

As I scroll through, my eyes fall on this name and that. First names such as Twedie, Okey, Castle. Then I see: Druid, Hill. There’s a Hill I and a Hill II. What a cool name although Hill Druid doesn’t sound as good as Druid Hill. I start looking for more names, combining first names with other last names. There’s Louola. Louola Waddle. Or how about Lugie Yokeley. Castle Way. Catherine Wiska. Definitely names I’m going to be using in the future.

There’s ShaRon. It is pronounced Sharon or Sha Ron. Is Binah, Bin Ah or Bee Nah. I prefer the latter. And how about Moses McQueen?

And now I have to remember the name I picked for my character.

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