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:



  1. I think Elsie will stick with Nigel! The things you do for love! When I married my hubby almost 36 years ago, I didn't know he liked to collect junk...I mean treasures. He will stop at every antique store, yard sale, flea market, or junk store that he passes. He always finds treasures there. So, I think Elsie is in it for the long run (or she is not the girl for him!).

  2. If she sticks with him, I predict that Elsie's exclamation of choice will become, "OH, RATS!"

    1. Val--Yeah, "rats" might become the most popular four-letter word.

  3. Goals are so important, long term and short term. I'm good with the short term goals, not so great at mapping out for the long term. It's something on which I know I must improve if I expect to get anywhere.

    Rats! My daughters both had hamsters and rats, with rats being the preferred rodent, hands down. Hamsters tend to be less friendly than rats. Rats are intelligent and---surprise!---affectionate. It's tough to get past the tail, but once you do, rats are pretty cool pets. And what you describe in your blurb happened to my daughter and her hubby. They bought what they were told were two female rats. Turns out one was decidedly male. Yep. A ton of rat babies, and what a surprise that was on the morning the little critters were discovered. Steph and David had fun watching the young 'uns mature a little, and then they found homes for all the rats and opted out of the rat-keeping business. lol

    1. Lisa--We had a couple of Houdini-hamsters. They could chew their way out of their expensive and colorful "habitrail" and escaped... They made their way from the basement to the main floor, and they ended up behind a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf. The cats sat in front of it like they were watching a fascinating documentary and the dog scared the hamsters to death once they finally scurried out from their hiding place.

      I had a teaching colleague who had a couple of pet rats. She made hammocks out of bandanas, and they would lounge around and WERE quite affectionate.

      As far as the long-term goal: What do you want to accomplish by the end of the year? Then, work backwards...

  4. Drat! Those rats creep me out. I am impressed with your goal setting group and that you plan to accomplish your goal by Monday. I set a goal for myself this weekend: write three CS stories by Sunday. I did it by Saturday, so now my goal for the week is to write three more. Sometimes I have to push myself and often find my self sputtering and halting. Other times I am writing prolifically. My monthly goal is always to submit seven or keep them circulating. You inspire me.

    1. Linda--Three CS stories in a weekend? Three more this week? YOU impress and inspire ME (and you do it while Silly Willy is wandering around).

  5. I love that your kids looked you up on the internet. Sounds like a great teaching opportunity. "What you put on the web stays there--forever!"

  6. Yep, you're the kind of teacher I'd have loved to have, Sioux!

    SO many goals right now...I suppose my main writing goal right now is to just keep up!

  7. Good for you for setting the goals. That's the only way I accomplish anything is by setting a goal... and uh... haven't set a goal in some time... except every two weeks for critique group I write something.


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