Book Review: The Book Thief

4:06 AM Friday, May 14, 2010

Who knew Death was such a compassionate soul, who remembers things by it's color, and is fascinated by the life (not death) of 9 year old German foster girl? Through Death's perspective, we watch Liesel Meminger become a thief (of the best kind) as she copes with the world going crazy around her. While losing her family, befriending Jews, living under Nazi rule, and dealing with her best friend, 9 yr old Liesel struggles to put her mind around what is going on with the world.

I am not someone who likes to know, or predict, the ending of a book, scene, or story line before it is told. In fact, I won't hesitate to put it down if I can. However, Zusak's unique narration keeps someone like me engaged while giving away what is about to happen. So even if you're like me, read on! This isn't a story about the destination, it's about the journey.

I'm not usually one for making a prediction for how well a book will sell or how wide spread it's influence will reach, but every now and then you see one you know is going to go somewhere.  The Book Thief is one of those books.  I believe that this book will one day be considered a classic.  If it isn't yet studied as part of high school curriculum somewhere, it will be one day.

You up for a quickie?

9:05 AM Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Here's a little poem I did in, literally, 5 minutes for the current CCC.


No problem.
Just come a little closer.

Casually float here and I’ll respond to your release.

Forever will I draw the line and remove all your doubt.

Any suggestions for a title?
(Someone called it "vampiric." Maybe I should go with that?*shrug*)

Another CCC

6:29 AM Friday, May 7, 2010

Another Creative Copy Challenge. Have to say that I am really enjoying these. They can get the creative juices flowing for a day of writing.

Here was Thursday's challenge: 

1.                  Sprint
2.                  So good
3.                  Focus
4.                  Style
5.                  Why should I?
6.                  I need
7.                 Go
8.                  I know
9.                  Shock
10.              Final

The Runner

I sprint in this race and I know I should keep going.  But I cannot focus and it’s impeding my style. Why should I run this final lap when it would feel so good to just stop?

I’m in shock when the front runner falls.

I need to go faster!

The Writer's Bio

5:35 PM Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I have been trying to submit several flash fiction stories to literary magazines around the country only to be stopped by one thing: I didn't have an author's bio.

This was difficult for me considering that my creative writing is yet to be published (and as much as I like my "publish post" button, I don't think any editors/publishers will count it).  So what do I write about myself?

Here is some of the advice I collected around the internet (in no particular order):

  1. Always use the first person.  This is not a resume or a cover letter for a job. Using third person (she/he) makes you seem more professional and gives the reader a more objective view of you, even if it was written by you. 
  2. Talk about your education. What education, degrees, or training have you had. It isn't important if you have writing training. Maybe you have medical training and have included that in your story. Listing that training in your bio will give you credibility.
  3. Show your intent.  Are you writing novels? Are you interested in flash fiction, short stories, or poetry? Give the reader an idea of who you are by showing them what you are doing.
  4. State your strengths.  If you are unpublished, it's not necessary to state that. Think positive and tell them what you are, not what you aren't.  For example, even unpublished authors are freelancers; if you write poetry, then you're a poet; etc. 
  5. Give them something personal. Tell them where you are from, or where you are currently living.  Maybe mention your family if it brings credibility or value to the story. This makes you seem personable, and in its own little way, credible. But be careful of being too personal. Stating that you are a stay at home mom of 3 boys and a girl may make you seem unprofessional.
These are the tips I used in my own bio though there are plenty of them to go around. When in doubt, go to your bookshelf and read the author bio's on some of your favorite books.  For an example to you, here is what I came up with for myself:

Julie Beddoes is a freelance writer of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. Born in Dubuque, Iowa, she received her BA in English, Business, and Behavioral Sciences from NYIT – Ellis College in 2005. Now residing with her family in Columbus, Ohio, she has written technical and business documents for various companies while writing short stories and flash fiction. Currently, her focus is completing her first novel, while writing flash fiction for literary publications.

As always, I appreciate your input! 

Two Challenges In One

9:38 AM Monday, May 3, 2010

To continue my Story A Day challenge for May, I combined it with another little one I found here on Creative Copy Challenge.  Take ten assigned words and make a story.  Sounds like my kind of thing.

Here are the 10 words assigned and the story that ensued:

    1. When I grow up
    2. Just one thing
    3. Flirt
    4. Sign
    5. Slippery
    6. So far away
    7. The end
    8. Spice
    9. Wrong
    10. Fear
The Wait

"When I grow up I want to be an accountant," the little girl said as she sat so far away from me at the end of the bench."They help people, without ever really having to touch them." 

I was just there to keep an eye on her while she awaited an attempt to right the wrong that had been done to her. Nervous fear radiated from her as we sat together waiting for the bailiff to call her into the courtroom. The floor was wet from all the rain that was being drug in by people's shoes, but no one had thought to put up a "Slippery When Wet" sign. It was so dark from the clouds that I found the EXIT sign above the door blinding.  

"It was wrong of him to flirt with me," she said when we were introduced.  That was the end of her  explanation for why she was there. She immediately turned the conversation to the pumpkin spice colored cushions on the bench opposite us.

She was patient though it seemed like forever before the bailiff came out to signal for her.  Once he did, she got several feet away before she turned to him and said, "Just one thing," running back to my spot on the bench.

"Thank you very much." she said in a voice far too grown up for her age.

"You're welcome, Sweetie," were all the words I could find for her, but I sent up the most sincere prayer of my life as she disappeared into the courtroom.

Story A Day - May

1:52 PM Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Story A Day people have issued a challenge for the month of May.  I'm sure you can figure out what that challenge might be.

A story a day... the month of May...

That's right (or should I say "write"?),  a story a day for each day of May (does anyone else notice that I keep rhyming?). Luckily, they aren't checking up on me every day or I would be in some major trouble! I can take days off if needed, which I may (did ya catch that?).

So, it being May first I wanted to start this month off right (no matter how I end up finishing it). A story a day!  I'm gonna keep it short and sweet today, with a little hint fiction.  

But before I do that, let me tell you this about me, if you don't already know... I love hint fiction. For that matter I love flash fiction and short stories as well. Why?  I'm not really sure. Maybe because I am a mother of 5 kids and have a part time job while trying to write a novel and co-write a non-fiction book with my hubby of almost 18 years.  So, maybe I like the brevity of it.  Who knows for sure.  However, you may see quite a bit of the shortest of short writings here this month.

Today's story: an ode to anyone who has ever struggled with finding the right words... or, for that matter, any words at all!

Writer's Block

Over two hundred thousand words in the English language.
I only need 25!