In case you missed it on facebook last week, here's my new favorite Trooper video. I LOVE his reaction when he sees his dad in that funny tank top. The only way to catch everything is to subscribe.
Dear friends, I'm writing a guest post for a site called DiversifYA and I'd like some help. I have a draft written and I want people to look over it for me, to make sure it's top notch before I send it off. Best foot forward, as they say.
It's titled 'The Necessity of Experience' and talks about how to write realistic characters and places, particularly when they don't fit your personal experience. You don't have to be a writer to help me with this, so please volunteer!
If you can help, comment below or email me and I'll send it to you.
Little Melba and Her Big Trombone by Katheryn Russell-Brown and Frank Morrison--Fantastic story about determination and the love of music, with beautiful art work.
Dizzy by Jonah Winter- The story of Dizzy and how he became a famous musician.
Before John Was a Jazz Giant: A Song of John Coltrane by Carole Boston Weatherford and Sean Qualls- A lovely read!
My Hands by Aliki-A simple book about hands.
Glasswings: A Butterfly's Story by Elisa Kleven- This is a beautiful book about a butterfly who gets lost in town and helps to turn an empty lot into a garden paradise.
Green is a Chile Pepper: A Book of Colors by Roseanne Thong- what a fun way to practice colors!
Going Places by Paul A. Reynolds- This book is about being smart and inventive, and literally thinking outside the box. Wonderful.
Rainbow Stew by Cathryn Falwell- What a nice story about learning with Grandpa and the joys of growing and eating real food.
Recycling Day by Edward Miller- People decide to clean up an empty lot and recycle everything. There's info on how things are recycled and the importance of it, as well as a simple but engaging story to go with it.
Lola Plants a Garden by Anna McQuinn and Rosalind Beardshaw- A simple, cute story about a girl's flower garden.
My "c" book- a child finds things that begin with the letter 'c'.
My "a" book- a child finds things that begin with the letter 'a'.
ABC Kids by Basher- This is one of many cool ABC books out there. The artwork is simple and fun, very diverse, and every word on each page begins with the featured letter, for example, 'Walter's worms wear white wigs'. Trooper loves the silliness.
By L. Penelope.
This fantasy novel is easy to read and generally quick moving, which I appreciate given the short periods of reading time allotted to me by my lifestyle. The world was well thought out and made more and more sense as the story continued. I think the author did a good job of leaving questions unanswered without resorting to the 'I'll tell you when you're ready' crutch, and of revealing things as the story progressed. My favorite parts actually were the flashbacks that start a little later in the book. I kept wanting to get back to them to see what was happening. I did figure out who people were early on, though I'm not sure if I was supposed to, or not. The writing was good, and I don't remember being distracted by awkward sentences or typos.
My complaints about the book involve the romance, and I understand that other people will see it completely differently, but this is me and what I think. So, at first I understood why the two characters liked each other, but their 'insta-love' (lust) never turned into anything more for me. I never felt them growing together as people, I only saw that they were more and more attracted to each other. Somehow this led to undying loyalty and obsession, despite our heroine's insistence that it could never work out and the fact that they were doing everything in secret. There's a kind of long erotic scene that's easy enough to skip over if you don't want to read it *raises hand to be counted* that really felt too early in their relationship at the time, but then later I felt like any time in the book would have been too early. Again, I never felt like they loved each other, only like they had a mutual fetish. I admit that I'm a real stickler when it comes to this, and have a fairly narrow idea of what I want things to be like if I'm going to read something with romance in it. I knew going into this book that there would be some romance, but I had hoped it would be a subtle addition and not overshadow other parts.
The tensions in the book rely mostly on internal and romantic elements rather than the fear of physical danger, which didn't bother me (except for the romance part) but might disappoint you if you're looking for a fantasy with a lot of adventure, fighting, and near death experiences. Not to say that things don't happen, they do, there just aren't a lot of run ins with trolls and things like that. The heroine has a lot going on with family, being born of an enemy nation, and trying to fit into a new life, and that helped her feel like a real person, albeit an real person with magical powers. The only thing that struck me as odd was how mature she seemed. She wasn't yet in her twenties and had grown up very isolated, but she seemed pretty world-wise. I would have expected her to be a bit backward. Nevertheless, I found her a likable character because she was generous and willing to do what needed to be done.
Violence: There's some beating people and some fighting, but I'd say less violent than most fantasy.
Sexual Content: Far too much for my taste. At first it's just thought about, but it quickly turns into more. Romance doesn't have to be about sex. Still, I will give credit because the book didn't turn into an excuse for erotic scenes, if that makes sense. I've started and quit a couple of books that felt like the storyline was a frail frame for holding together the sex scenes, but that wasn't the case here. After the 'big scene' it steers away from descriptions.
Language: Unless I forgot, there isn't any foul language. My apologies if I missed something.
Over-all Message/Plot: The plot was well formed and I enjoyed working up to the resolution, but the infatuation elements weakened it for me. I would love to see book two being focused on what is happening in the world and leave the main characters' relationship in a distinctively lesser role.
I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Find it here.
I don't get a lot of fan mail. People occasionally leave reviews, message me on facebook, or tell me in person, but it's rare to get an email or letter. So I thought I'd share this little gem because it made my day.
'I read your first two books, I loved them. I signed up so I can get the files to keep reading. I'm addicted. How do I get them?'
What author doesn't want to know people are addicted? I mean addiction is bad and all, but it's flattering nonetheless :).
Reviews are better for a writer in the sense that lots of people see them and they can help drive sales, but a fan letter is special because it means a person took the time to subscribe, get the email/mailing address, and write and send it. Smiles!
OK, on to productive things like ventilating the child (he has a cold and needs a break from breathing) and reading a few chapters from my friend, the lovely Winter, who is in the process of writing her own book.
Love to all,
Yes, I stole the title from a movie. Maybe someone will notice and I'll get international attention for my plagiarism. I like the title for this post because it's specifically geared toward them/us, and 'Dear European Americans' just doesn't have the same ring to it.
The other day I was talking with a white lady who's married to a black man with children from a previous relationship, and we got to talking about the difficulties her dark-skinned stepchildren have that light-skinned don't, namely feeling less beautiful because our media and culture glorifies light skin and rarely portrays very dark skin as something beautiful. Anyway, we were sharing how we really hadn't been aware of many of the privileges of being white until we got very personally involved with people who weren't, because how could we know? The two of us can't be the only white people in the world who have been enlightened, but I felt a real kinship with her, a complete stranger, because we had this experience in common. Not that I can truly know what it's like to be non white since I can't experience it for myself, but I think after the books I've read and the many conversations I've had, I have a better understanding than most: There are still significant disadvantages to being non white, and when we as white people become aware of them, we can be instrumental in making the world a better place.
So here's my challenge to you, my dear white people, especially those who don't know what I'm talking about. Go out and find a person of color. Get to know said person and really listen to said person's personal experience with colorism issues, race issues, and the like. It'll be eye-opening, enriching, and may build a fantastic relationship. When you think you're seeing what I'm seeing, let me know and I'll have you guest post on the blog.
Trooper Stories 4-4-15
1. Trooper doing his purple minion impression: Gawa agga labalaba EHHH!
Jaelyn: Trooper, stop!
Trooper in utter confusion: Why you tell me stop?
2. Nice Stranger: Is he your son?
Nice Stranger: He looks like you.
Me with stupid look on my face: Ah…
I'll be pondering that one for a while.
3. Trooper: Remember when I peed on the kitchen floor?
Me: Ah… yeah, I guess so. Why?
Trooper, shaking his head: Yeah, that was stupid.
I didn't answer him for a minute. I didn't know what to say! I couldn't say he was wrong, after all, I just talked last week about being honest, and peeing on the kitchen floor isn't exactly genius. But I also couldn't agree with him because he isn't really supposed to use that word in the first place (today he called someone an idiot without knowing what it meant, but that's a different, if related, story) and I wouldn't tell him he's stupid even if he does things I would call foolish. So I eventually just muttered something about it not being a good thing to do and left it at that.
Anyone have advice for future reference?
4. A special thank you to Trooper's friend Zachary. With his diligent assistance Trooper gathered eleven Easter eggs, ten more than he would have found on his own.
5. For the FIRST TIME EVER Trooper really got into something crafty. He dyed FIVE Easter eggs with almost no help and he was so proud of himself. He showed me his beautiful work and I raved about it, of course. With an embarrassed smile he said, "I'm a genius." I laughed and told him he sure was. But I'm not sure he knows exactly what 'genius' means.
Hello! Thanks for visiting my blog! Around here you'll find posts about my books and my family, as well as the occasional relevant book review.