Friday Five

1.  Thank you for all the warm and fuzzy comments on my preliminary cover.  I wrote a note to illustrator Joe Cepeda last night trying to put into words what it’s like to have someone capture your main character’s spirit so beautifully.  I’m not sure my words did it justice, but I tried.

2. Watch next week for a chance to win a signed ARC of THE BRILLIANT FALL OF GIANNA Z, complete with a study guide, a fun quiz, and a recipe for Nonna’s funeral cookies in the back.  For now, start thinking about what kind of tree you’d be if you were a tree.  Explanation to come…

3. My 7th grade students are researching and writing historical fiction in a diary format, set in Colonial America.  They chose their own characters, researched every aspect of their lives, and started writing.  Now, they’re finding that sometimes an issue in the middle of writing sends you right back to research.  Questions/comments that came up yesterday:

  • If I’m a servant, might I have to help deliver a baby?  Because I don’t know how to do that.
  • I just found out how they treated yellow fever.  I am SO not getting yellow fever any more.
  • If something caught fire,  how did they put it out?
  • How much am I going to get paid for making shoes for this horse?  (Follow up question:  Mrs. Messner, I just found out I might get paid with a pig or something!  What am I going to do with a pig?)

4. My friend stephanielight is on LJ now, so I hope you’ll  stop by her blog to say hello.  I’ve known Steph since she was 12, a brilliant young reader and writer in my 7th grade classroom.  She is finishing up grad school right now to be  a school librarian, and some school is going to be mighty lucky to have her.

5. A whole bunch of LJ writer-bloggers are posting special challenges to support libraries this weekend. If you drop by and comment on kellyrfineman ‘s LJ, for example, she’s donating money to her local library as well as Books for Africa.  writerjenn  has a full list of bloggers participating.

Have a terrific weekend!

8 Replies on “Friday Five

  1. Love the cover!

    Your students’ questions made me giggle. Word them differently and they are so like some of the ones I come up with when writing my historical novels.

    I remember thinking when one of my characters in a book set in rural Ontario in 1801 broke his leg, thank god for orthopedic surgeons! It’s the little things that set off questions. My main character was hunting and shoots a deer, and is then horrified to realise that it is barely grown. It took me a whole day of researching the mating cycle of deer to determine when fauns are normally born, which would then determine of course what time of year my character was out hunting.

  2. Thanks for the mention – I’m still getting regular comments, so we shall see how far it progresses!

    Those questions are great (although the first one calls up Butterfly McQueen with her “I don’t know nothin’ about birthin’ babies” line). Their search for the answers will hook them on history in a really great way. Well done, you!

  3. I really liked the book cover.

    If I was a tree I would be a Wisteria because they look cool. haha.

    I still think it was funny how before we started researching the entire class started talking about throwing rubber bands across the room and then you said, “I’m going to write that in a book!” That was funny. I can’t wait to read that book if you write it! 🙂 I finished my first diary today and I started my second one.

  4. Hey, you. I got to see your arc up close and personal yesterday at the SCBWI-OK Conference. Plus, I met your WONDERFUL editor. It’s clear that she adores you and your writing. We gushed about your awesomeness for a good five minutes. 🙂