Tag Archives: family

New Year, New Edits, New Words?

I don’t make New Year resolutions on the grounds that I’ll always break them. But I do make plans, and this year I plan to work harder on writing and editing, read more productively, spend less time looking at or wishing I could create advertisements, and write fewer book reviews. 200+ reviews is just too many for one year, and too much time spent not writing.

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Peter’s Promise on Amazon

With all this in mind, and with my mum – my greatest fan and my best editor – still staying with us, I decided to start each day by editing a section from my upcoming children’s book, Paul’s Purpose. (It’s the sequel to Peter’s Promise, above.)

Of course, I know Paul had many purposes, and so do I: in writing children’s Bible stories I want to:

  • Show the stories of the Bible are set around real people in a real world,
  • Show that the world of history and saints wasn’t so different from the world of siblings and friends,
  • Encourage and entertain middle-grade readers – I want them to think, laugh, and turn pages; I want pre-school listeners to enjoy being read to as well;
  • Encourage and entertain middle-grade educators – I want them to be ready to give and find answers – to model looking for answers on Google, in the dictionary or in the Bible (or anywhere else);
  • Encourage and improve reading and language skills – I like to include some words my readers may not have used before, because the real world is filled with words we all might misunderstand, and
  • Encourage and improve critical thinking skills – I like my readers to ask questions, because without questions, the answers can’t make sense.

So …

After talking with Mum, I’d love to know your opinions.

  • Can I use such words as “erudite” “persistent” and “single-minded” in a children’s book?
  • Can I refer to “virility-fertility rites” (with no further explanation) when my characters complain about what goes on in pagan temples?
  • Is “God’s mark hurts” a sufficient explanation of why a boy might not want to be circumcised, or should I just avoid the whole question, though it seems like it was a pretty big question at the time?

Meanwhile, since I always turn these blogs into writing exercises, here a

Writing Prompt

  • Think of something in the natural world – a bird, a stone, a river…
  • Imagine how it came into being – evolution, hatching from an egg, rain-clouds with dried fish-eggs waiting to hatch…
  • Then tell its story, from its own point of view:
    • One paragraph (or sentence) for the beginning
    • one for the middle, or the present day
    • and one for the end, or end of the world, or “Help! It’s raining fish!”

It’s raining ice here. Keep warm.

 

We’re in Austin; it must be Monday

Well no; it’s not Monday now, and we’re not in Austin anymore. But we’ve just got back from a wonderful vacation in Texas. I almost wanted to leave the clothes in their bags as we rushed from place to place, trying to see “everything” in the space of a few days. But the grand event of the trip was our son’s graduation in San Antonio; we had to keep our smart clothes clean and uncreased. So every garment was neatly hung, and neatly folded again at each destination.

And on Monday we were in Austin:

Austin Capitol by night
Austin Capitol by night

On Sunday we were in Corpus

Corpus Christi in the evening
Corpus Christi Harbor

visiting the USS Lexington:

USS Lexington
View from the bridge on USS Lexington

On Wednesday we enjoyed the Hill Country

Deer in Texas
Yes, there are deer in Texas

and the Museum of the Pacific War:

National Museum of the Pacific War, Combat Zone
Outdoor exhibit at the National Museum of the Pacific War

On Friday we watched the graduation:

Graduation Day
Graduation Day

And now we’re home again, catching up on washing, cleaning, dandelions and more…

Dandelions
Giant Dandelions

What day is it today? Was I meant to be writing?

Photos look good in print too

My Mum had three Christmases this year

  1. In November, with my brothers and my sister-in-law (and greyhounds!)
  2. In December, with my husband and me, and two of our sons, and
  3. In January, with oldest son and his (wonderful) girlfriend.

By the end of that visit, Mum’s camera was heavily laden with Christmas photographs, but we hadn’t bothered to load them onto the computer. Then, just as oldest son departed, we found an online deal for a photo book. One day only, the offer said. So we stopped procrastinating.

And here’s Mum’s book!20140121_175026 blur

And here’s my book!20140117_135350

I’d have to say, photos look good in print too.