The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Kids in Crisis... Music for Writers... and Back-of-the-Book Blurb #75

        First of all, if you haven't read my most recent post on The Muffin, check it out. (You'll get to see a pig that can fly... You'll also get to see a quilt made by Lynn Obermoeller.)     

        Now away from that little bit of self-promotion... This is my 29th year of teaching. In every one of my classrooms there's been at least one kid in crisis.
  • a 3rd grader who was promised a plastic crown at an amusement park, but her father changed his mind (for no reason) and broke her heart
  • a little boy who was threatened on a regular basis with going to a foster home because of his school misbehavior
  • loads of kids (too many to count) who dealt with their parent's addiction/mental illness
            It saddens me to see adult issues being heaped upon kids. Modifications are made, interventions are held, gatherings take place and phone calls are made. We do what we're able to do... and hope for the best.

            I have a couple of students who are struggling. They each have a mountain of problems and a canyon of sorrow they're dealing with. Please send good thoughts their way...

           I recently read how a writer uses music. Unfortunately, I can't write while listening to music with lyrics. I get sidetracked and end up paying attention to the songs and forget about the writing.

           This particular writer found a song that fit the mood of his manuscript, and he listened to the same song, over and over while he wrote. It became white noise.

            That technique intrigues me. This November we're doing NaNoWriMo. I'll be doing it with 4th-8th graders. My students from last year are excited. The 4th-6th graders--who I didn't have as students last year--are a bit nervous. However, we're going to head off on that adventure together, and it will be a blast. 

            Many students want to write while listening to music, but too often, they spend more time finding songs and less time on writing. If they don't want to listen to Vivaldi or Miles Davis, I'm going to suggest they find one song and listen to it over and over.

            And now onto our book blurb of the week.

            Look at the photo below. That is the cover of your bookYou choose the genre. Is it a romance about a boy and his rat named "Ben"? Is it a guide for animal lovers? 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, Love Built to Last, just came out as an audio book. Also, she's currently dealing with an unwanted guest named Irma, so think good thoughts for her as well...

          Okay, back to book blurb stuff.
          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:

Bryce the Unbearable

Bryce was a brat. He was spoiled rotten and everybody knew it except for his parents.
His teacher drank every evening and on the weekends, she OD’ed on chocolate. On the rare days when he was sick and absent from school (most germs were too weak to land on Bryce) his teacher shrieked with excitement.
When they saw Bryce loose and wreaking havoc on the sidewalk, the neighbors ran back into their homes, locked their doors and stayed away from the windows--in case Bryce was tempted to barge in or felt like lobbing around rocks. All the aunts, uncles and even the grandparents avoided Bryce.
But his parents thought he was “destined for greatness” and felt limitations would stifle his creativity.
Will Bryce live to be five? Or will his mom and dad finally find the banks of the River Denial and climb out of the water? 147 words

And if you want to play along next Friday (or Saturday, if I have computer troubles like I had last night), here in the photo for the next book blurb:

Monday, September 4, 2017

Just Six Words

        At the beginning of the school year, my students worked on six-word memoirs. The 4th-8th graders all created slides that summed up their lives or said something important--in just six words.

        The above is a slide I made last school year. It sums up what I feel about footwear. Much to my daughter and granddaughter's dismay, I value comfort way over style. If the shoes are butt-ugly but feel like slippers, I'm all over them.

        Today is Labor Day. To celebrate the holiday, I'm taking it easy working hard working at procrastinating as long as possible before I write my lesson plan for Tuesday.

        How would you sum up your philosophy of life in just six words? You could even think of two, which is what I suggested to my students: think of a serious one and think of a humorous one. (They made them anonymously, without their names on the slides, so they would feel free to be honest.)