The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Saturday, February 10, 2018

A is for... Accountability... F is Fun With Students... and Back-of-the-Book Blurb # 96

    In case you didn't know, I'm now part of an accountability group. Ten writers are in it, and we're off to a wonderful start. My first goal was tiny--edit the first 25 pages for tense consistency (Halfway through my manuscript, I changed my mind what tense my story was going to be told in. I figured I'd made some screw-ups along the way.)

   Just setting a goal and then making my goal public--it's a wonderful thing. I've accomplished my first goal, and plan on keeping the momentum going for the remainder of the week. (I'm hoping to finish the whole manuscript by the time Monday rolls around.)

What writing goal do you have right now, and what are you doing to accomplish it?

   Earlier in the week my students had fun at my expense. One of my 8th graders looked up my name on the internet, and up popped all sorts of photos. Photos of me at book signings. Photos I've used on my blog (like the one below of the rat family). In a second, several of the computers in the lab had the same pictures. Somehow, the sickness became contagious... without a single word being exchanged.

Oh, how they laughed because every day is a bad hair day for Sioux... and the camera always does a fantastic job of capturing each catastrophe.

And now onto the business of book blurb stuff.

Look at the photo below. That is the cover of your bookYou choose the genre. Is it a coffee table book of fashion trends? Is it a photo collection of mentally-ill patients and their clothing choices? You decide.

        Write an enticing blurb--150 words or less. (The title doesn't count in the word count.) Blurbs are those enticing bits that prod you into buying the book. Sometimes they're on the back cover of the book. Sometimes they're on the inside front cover. What they always try to do is lure you into purchasing the book. 

          Lisa Ricard Claro was the original creator of this writing challenge. She moved to Florida, and is too busy to host a weekly book blurb. If you'd like to read my review of The Write Man, Lisa's most recent novel, you read it here.  It's a great read (and that's saying a lot, since I don't read romance novels).
     
          Include your blurb in a blog post. Include a link to this post. Also, link your post to Mr. Linky. Mr. Linky is easy. If you've never done it, you'll be impressed with how simple he is. And then, check out the other blurb(s). It's interesting to see the different directions writers take, given the same photo.

           Here's the book cover, along with my blurb:



Rats! Rats! Everywhere There's Rats!

      Elsie loved Nigel... which meant Elsie had to learn to love rats.
      Growing up, Nigel had trouble kids his age. His pointed nose, his furtive glances, his habit of squeaking when threatened--it all resulted in more torment from his peers.
       When he found a trapped rat and then nursed it back to health, he found what he'd been yearning for for years: a friend. Jerry (thankfully, there was no Tom in Nigel's childhood home) slept with Nigel and even spent every day in Nigel's pocket during the day.
       Then Elsie came along. When they first met, Nigel had only 3 long-tailed friends. He kept them separated so there was no baby rats. But while basking in the glow of love, he got sloppy... and the rats got busy. Three became 168.
       Will Elsie stick with Nigel? Or will she gnaw off her leg so she can escape this sticky situation? (150 words)




And for anyone who still reads by blog, here is the photo for the next book blurb:






      

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Funkytown... and Back-of-the-Book Blurb # 95

I wish I could figure out why my blogging has dwindled down to not-even-a-trickle.

In the past, I posted twice a week. It was fun most of the time. Certainly I didn't consider it a chore. This is a busy time of the year--work-wise--so I can use that excuse, but some of that "work" is a joy. For example:


  • I shared my "Listen to Your Mother" story to a group of 400 women at a "girls night out" in a local church. Then, I shared a memory map the audience members could use to unearth their stories. That was a blast.
  • I'm facilitating a writing retreat for the Gateway Writing Project in early March. That's involved creating a flyer, sending out loads of emails, keeping my fingers crossed, and keeping track of replies. That hasn't taken up much time or energy at all.
  • Beginning this month, I'm launching an accountability writing group. That already involved actual sweat, because I had to build a google site. For most people, it would take a few minutes but since I'm technologically such a nincompoop, I had to drive to Festus so a friend could walk me through it, step by step, over and over, because I couldn't remember the steps to insert a page and make it all linked and embed the doc and make each one able to be edited and so on. That was not fun. However, it's done.
  • Then there's the normal stuff. Grading papers and lesson plans and board meetings and an open house (at my school). I could continue to whine, but I'm already tired of it, so I know you are.
If I knew why I've been in such a funk when it comes to my blog, perhaps I could do something to fix it. Or maybe I'm just pushing the limits when it comes to Val, to see if she can craft a funny blurb and some hilarious reviews in just a day's time?

Look at the photo below. That is the cover of your bookYou choose the genre. Is it a coffee table book of fashion trends? Is it a photo collection of mentally-ill patients and their clothing choices? You decide.

        Write an enticing blurb--150 words or less. (The title doesn't count in the word count.) Blurbs are those enticing bits that prod you into buying the book. Sometimes they're on the back cover of the book. Sometimes they're on the inside front cover. What they always try to do is lure you into purchasing the book. 

          Lisa Ricard Claro was the original creator of this writing challenge. She moved to Florida, and is too busy to host a weekly book blurb. If you'd like to read my review of The Write Man, Lisa's most recent novel, you read it here.  It's a great read (and that's saying a lot, since I don't read romance novels).
     
          Include your blurb in a blog post. Include a link to this post. Also, link your post to Mr. Linky. Mr. Linky is easy. If you've never done it, you'll be impressed with how simple he is. And then, check out the other blurb(s). It's interesting to see the different directions writers take, given the same photo.

           Here's the book cover, along with my blurb:



Fashion Forward... All the Way to the Insane Asylum

Wearing bras as a top. Clothing made of meat. Jeans that are bought new from the store... and they're already patched or sliced up. Jimmy's tired of the crazy clothing fads.

"Jimmy doesn't go for nutty stuff. Jimmy likes tried and true clothing. Those man skirts? Don't even think about it. Jimmy don't like those."

But eventually, Jimmy needed to fight back. He wanted to make a statement. And he did.

Jimmy started wearing a noose as a tie whenever he went to a fancy restaurant like Taco Bell. He didn't have enough hair to achieve a man bun, so he took the cat hair off his couch, wadded it up, and made a bun that he bobby-pinned onto his head.

Will Jimmy end up changing the fashion scene? Or will he end up a classic character in some sitcom about nothing? (142 words)



And Val--I know you can work magic with this photo. It's the next one.







Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Back-of-the-Book Blurb # 94... Why the New Name?



Until this week (which should have been last week), it was "Back-of-the-Book Blurb Friday." However, for quite a few weeks it's never on Friday. Usually on Friday I manage to post. Sometimes on Sunday. This week, it's Tuesday.

I could whine and make excuses about how busy I am, but everybody's busy.

A couple of newsy tidbits I would like to share: One, I'm starting up an accountability group. (I know, I know. That will be like the preacher preaching to themselves.) We will begin in February. If you have a major writing goal you want to accomplish this year, join us. (Just email me at sroslawski@yahoo.com)

Secondly, I just found out I am going to make a second trip to Turkey. This spring, Love a Golden's president and I will go back to visit our friends Emel and Siyami. Hopefully we will get to bring back four goldens...

And now onto what I am so late writing about:

Look at the photo below. That is the cover of your bookYou choose the genre. Is it a coffee table book of fashion trends? Is it a photo collection of mentally-ill patients and their clothing choices? You decide.

        Write an enticing blurb--150 words or less. (The title doesn't count in the word count.) Blurbs are those enticing bits that prod you into buying the book. Sometimes they're on the back cover of the book. Sometimes they're on the inside front cover. What they always try to do is lure you into purchasing the book. 

          Lisa Ricard Claro was the original creator of this writing challenge. She moved to Florida, and is too busy to host a weekly book blurb. If you'd like to read my review of The Write Man, Lisa's most recent novel, you read it here.  It's a great read (and that's saying a lot, since I don't read romance novels).
     
          Include your blurb in a blog post. Include a link to this post. Also, link your post to Mr. Linky. Mr. Linky is easy. If you've never done it, you'll be impressed with how simple he is. And then, check out the other blurb(s). It's interesting to see the different directions writers take, given the same photo.

           Here's the book cover, along with my blurb:



FUN After High School

Fredricksboro University of Neanderthals is not for everyone. If a student is interested in learning, studying and working hard, FUN is not for them. If a student plans on earning a degree recognized by anyone outside their campus, FUN's not for them. If a student wants to develop a sense of pride in what they achieve, FUN's not for them, because all they'll develop if they become a member of FUN's student body is a STD, an addiction to alcohol or a unplanned pregnancy.

(For those extra-eager students, they can earn a Master of their Own Destiny Degree if they do all three. Young men just have to be the baby-daddy in order to fulfill the requirements.)

The surrounding colleges look down their noses at FUN. They advertise the rigor they offer, the academic journey their students enjoy. However, their enrollment is going down... and FUN has a waiting list. (150 words)



And finally, Val and Pat--I'm sorry this is so so late. I know that for Val, this is cramping her style, since she crafts such clever book reviews. Perhaps you'll have to pass up a trip into town for your magical elixir one day this week, since you'll be too busy writing...

Here is the photo for later this week:






Sunday, January 14, 2018

An Unbelievable Movie, Snoring and Snorts and Back-of-the-Book Blurb # 93

       For a couple of weeks, a friend and I planned on seeing a movie on Friday evening. She left it up to me. "Pick a good one," she said.

       Well, the movie I chose has been out so long (unbeknownst to me), it was only showing at 1:00 in the afternoon. She suggested "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" even though she had already seen it. "It'll spark a conversation afterwards," she said. Did it ever.

       If you haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend it. Frances McDormand does a phenomenal job. There's several twists. An open-ended ending. Some character growth that I'm going to contemplate for a while (because some of it makes me question something I've experienced).

        When we got to the theater, a few people ahead of us were told the 7:05 show was sold out. However, there was a 9:40 show.

        Yikes. Friday is my fall-apart night. I'm tired all week and usually by Friday, I fall apart and end up falling to sleep by 8 or so if I'm home and on the couch. We ended up going to dinner and having a long, leisurely meal. I warned my friend, "I'll probably fall asleep. Poke me hard if you see me start to nod."

       Well, she had to poke me at least once. I don't think I snored or snorted myself awake, but I didn't have the courage to ask. (She had already given me grief for my shoes. That night I wore Croc sandals, but I wore socks with them--not white socks. I didn't want to push things and get teased even more.)

           Look at the photo below. That is the cover of your bookYou choose the genre. Is it a coffee table book of fashion trends? Is it a photo collection of mentally-ill patients and their clothing choices? You decide.

        Write an enticing blurb--150 words or less. (The title doesn't count in the word count.) Blurbs are those enticing bits that prod you into buying the book. Sometimes they're on the back cover of the book. Sometimes they're on the inside front cover. What they always try to do is lure you into purchasing the book. 

          Lisa Ricard Claro was the original creator of this writing challenge. She moved to Florida, and is too busy to host a weekly book blurb. Currently, she's hired a manatee to record her romance books. Those slow-moving creatures enjoy audio books and they need love just like everybody else. Lisa's first romance novel (she has three more), Love Built to Last, just came out as an audio book. (The one for manatees is slated to come out this summer.) She even has a brand new book out called The Write Man. If you'd like to read my review of The Write Man, you read it here.  It's a great read (and that's saying a lot, since I don't read romance novels).
     
          Include your blurb in a blog post. Include a link to this post. Also, link your post to Mr. Linky. Mr. Linky is easy. If you've never done it, you'll be impressed with how simple he is. And then, check out the other blurb(s). It's interesting to see the different directions writers take, given the same photo.

           Here's the book cover, along with my blurb:



  Peace, Not Peas (146 words)      

         Ariel was only six. In first grade she was learning. She was figuring out how to add, how to share and get along with others.

        Which made her wonder... Ariel's family talked about what was going on in the United States. People arguing and yelling with each other. Calling people from other countries bad names. Why can't everybody shake hands and hug and decide to just respect each other? 

        Ariel hates peas. She shoves them with her spoon into her pocket so she can later dump them in the toilet and flush 'em down. They're disgusting.

        But peace? Peace is good thing. Peace is beautiful. 

        Ariel decides to right two wrongs at the same time. She made some signs. She's gone door-to-door. Now she's ready to take her campaign to the news stations, the newspapers... and the world.

    Make peas illegal.
Make being peaceful a law.   




And for Val and Pat and anyone else who wants to play along, here is the picture for next week:






Saturday, January 6, 2018

The Power of the Government, The Power of Water and Back-of-the-Book Blurb # 92

So.

On Tuesday my half-sister (Nancy) and I headed to Jefferson City. I made the two-hour drive full of excitement. I was going to get my original birth certificate (I'm adopted) and was hoping the document would include my birth father's name.

Well.

There was a banquet hall full of hyped-up adoptees. We were all going to get a piece of paper we had waited decades for.

"There aren't that many," I commented, noting the short stack of manila envelopes. It looked like only 10 or 20, and there were a lot more than 10 or 20 people in the hall.

In the end a lucky 13 got their birth certificate. People who had applied in October, November and December were told, "That's all we have right now."

After a lunch full of griping, Nancy and I went to the office to see if some personal outrage would grease the wheels. They were working hard sitting at their desks doing nothing. Tears (fake), indignation (real) and disappointment (also real) did nothing. They've received over 900 requests. I guess it takes a few days to pull one single document, copy it, and send it off. They said it would probably take another 4-6 weeks. (However, I'm not holding my breath.)

How silly of me to expect efficient and timely results from a government office...

on Wednesday I was supposed to go back to work after a two-week break. However, I got a gift from the gods. A water main broke, which meant I got an extra day off.

And now onto book blurb business...

Look at the photo below. That is the cover of your bookYou choose the genre. Is it a coffee table book of fashion trends? Is it a photo collection of mentally-ill patients and their clothing choices? You decide.

        Write an enticing blurb--150 words or less. (The title doesn't count in the word count.) Blurbs are those enticing bits that prod you into buying the book. Sometimes they're on the back cover of the book. Sometimes they're on the inside front cover. What they always try to do is lure you into purchasing the book. 

          Lisa Ricard Claro was the original creator of this writing challenge. She moved to Florida, and is too busy to host a weekly book blurb. Her first romance novel (she has three more), Love Built to Last, just came out as an audio book.  She's quite busy these days. She even has a brand new book out called The Write Man. If you'd like to read my review of The Write Man, you read it here.  It's a great read (and that's saying a lot, since I don't read romance novels).
     
          Include your blurb in a blog post. Include a link to this post. Also, link your post to Mr. Linky. Mr. Linky is easy. If you've never done it, you'll be impressed with how simple he is. And then, check out the other blurb(s). It's interesting to see the different directions writers take, given the same photo.

           Here's the book cover, along with my blurb:


Serenity Now!

Oscar was a chair potato. When he sat in his upholstered throne, he couldn’t keep his mouth shut. His stories (repeated several times a day). His irrelevant comments. His endless requests for another beer… another sandwich… another box of pretzels--well, it drove his wife Violet crazy.

And when he roamed around the house, he left a trail of crumbs, discarded clothes and whisker-shavings in his wake.

Violet was fed up. She deserved an afternoon free from waiting on Oscar, she figured. Then she saw an ad in the paper:

The Roaring Woman Store

Do you yearn for some peace and quiet at home? The Roaring Woman is the place for you. Owner Helen Reddy will help fit your husband with
a chair that will result in serenity now.

Will Oscar love his new chair? Will Violet enjoy the quiet so much that Oscar is never allowed out of his chair? (150 words)


And for those who like to work semi-ahead, here is the photo for the next back-of-the-book blurb:





Saturday, December 30, 2017

Book Clubs, Birth Certificates and Back-of-the-Book Blurb # 91

I'm telling the truth: I did intend to write this in advance, so I could post it in  a timely manner. But last night (Friday) was my book club meeting, and I was the host. That meant I spent the last couple of days cleaning and cooking. 

One of the things I prepared was a healthy key lime pie. Here is the link. I would recommend the extra bit of honey, and I even made it crustless. (I mixed up the pie filling and spooned it into small glasses.) It was delicious and healthy.

The book? Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson. We're going to meet in January or February and talk about it.

On January 2 I'm heading to my state capitol to get my original birth certificate. In case you didn't know, when a child is adopted, they get a modified/altered birth certificate. On mine, my parents' name is on it, but not my birth mother's. A law was recently passed in Missouri that allows adoptees to receive their original birth certificate. Part of me hopes my birth father's name is on it, but I doubt it. 

I'm going with my half-sister, so it will be a fun day.

So what is this back-of-the-book blurb stuff? Look at the photo below. That is the cover of your bookYou choose the genre. Is it a coffee table book of fashion trends? Is it a photo collection of mentally-ill patients and their clothing choices? You decide.

        Write an enticing blurb--150 words or less. (The title doesn't count in the word count.) Blurbs are those enticing bits that prod you into buying the book. Sometimes they're on the back cover of the book. Sometimes they're on the inside front cover. What they always try to do is lure you into purchasing the book. 

          Lisa Ricard Claro was the original creator of this writing challenge. She moved to Florida, and is too busy to host a weekly book blurb. Her first romance novel (she has three more), Love Built to Last, just came out as an audio book.  She's quite busy these days. She even has a brand new book out called The Write Man. If you'd like to read my review of The Write Man, you read it here. 
     
          Include your blurb in a blog post. Include a link to this post. Also, link your post to Mr. Linky. Mr. Linky is easy. If you've never done it, you'll be impressed with how simple he is. And then, check out the other blurb(s). It's interesting to see the different directions writers take, given the same photo.

           Here's the book cover, along with my blurb:




Better Than a Yellow Submarine

Orvilene hated her job. Driving those hooligans back and forth to school every day was like driving a huge yellow couch… and on the couch was 50 or 60 circus performers.

Those kids rolled around on the floor. They hung from the emergency door handles in the ceiling. They jumped from seat to seat.

“Sit down.”
“Shut up.”
“Stop throwing things from the windows.”

None of her screaming made a difference. They continued their shenanigans, and every night when Orvilene got home, she’d have a drink. (She wanted to drink on the job, but wisely chose not to.)

But then Orvilene had an idea. She hatched a plan that would cook their goose. She’d use her nestegg to create a new bus… a bus that would challenge even the trapeze artists she transported.

Will the goofballs enjoy the new arena or will they get shocked into behaving the right way? (150 words)


And for those writers Val, who likes to work ahead, here is the photo for next week: