Monthly Archives: November 2017

The Man Who Invented Christmas

With the holiday season around the corner, you’re probably looking to add a new movie to your holiday lineup.  It brings to mind the popular holiday book, A Christmas Carol.  This spooky classic is so popular, there are at least NINETEEN different movies that have been made :

   

Well now you can see The Man Who Invented Christmas, which is about the author, Charles Dickens, and how he came to write the story.  Charles Dickens is played by Dan Stevens (whom you may recognize from The Beast in Beauty and the Beast).  Check it out this weekend!

 

 

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Throwback Thursday: Winnie the Pooh

winnie the pooh.jpgFor this Throwback Thursday I recommend: Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne.

The adventures of Christopher Robin and his friends, in which Pooh Bear uses a balloon to get honey, Piglet meets a Heffalump, and Eeyore has a birthday.

There have been countless movies, and pictures books but did you know that these are all based on the stories told by A. A. Milne to his son? Winnie the Pooh was the first book that introduced the world to that cuddly bear. It was published in 1926! You can find it in the Juvenile Fiction section at J MILNE.

~ra

Word-count Wednesday #3

Hello fellow writers!

We’ve reached that middle stretch of Nanowrimo, and November. Today’s word count goal is 25,00 words, and for once I am still ahead of schedule at 29,584 words. But regardless of whether you have reached the halfway point in your novel and written around 25,000 words or if you just have a couple thousand written you should be proud of yourself.

But beware, we’ve also reached the point where sometimes the magic fades from your story, where you start to wonder why you are trying to finish this story and whether you should give up and write something else… Guess what? You’re not alone, and even authors like John Green face these sorts of doubts:

At this point, you’ve probably realized that it’s nearly impossible to write a good book in a month. I’ve been at this a while and have yet to write a book in less than three years. All of us harbor secret hopes that a magnificent novel will tumble out of the sky and appear on our screens, but almost universally, writing is hard, slow, and totally unglamorous. So why finish what you’ve started? Because in two weeks, when you are done, you will be grateful for the experience. (John Green 2010 Pep Talk)

Keep your chins up everyone and let’s keep at it!

~aw

Throwback Thursday: On the Banks of Plum Creek

on the banks.jpgIt’s Throwback Thursday! Today Librarian Petra recommends: On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Laura and her family move to Minnesota where they live in a dugout until a new house is built and face misfortunes caused by flood, blizzard, and grasshoppers.

First published in 1939, On the Banks of Plum Creek is the fourth in the series of Little House books that cover the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Anyone who loved Little House in the Big Woods or Little House on the Prairie will not be disappointed by this next entry in the series as Laura and her family grapple with moving to Minnesota and all the challenges that brings. You can find this book in the Juvenile Fiction section at J WILDER.

Word-count Wednesday #2

Hello fellow writers!
Today’s target word count is 13,333 words! That’s over a quarter of the way through your novel. Unlike last year I am ahead of schedule at 16,826 words due mostly to a wonderful Write-In that I attended at the Carol Stream Public Library. Sometimes all you need is a little encouragement whether that be to offer yourself little treats for any accomplishment or to challenge others to see who can write the most!

But no matter where you are just remember that the important thing is to keep writing! Just don’t give up, no matter how much you write you will have accomplished something amazing by the end of the month. There are some strategies that can help you bulk up your word count if you need an extra push:
Word Sprints: A word sprint is a timed writing challenge: set a timer, open up your draft, then race against the clock to add words to your novel. You can either challenge yourself or if you’re better spurred on by competition like me you can join a group word sprint. The personal word sprint option on the website also offers dare such as “Give a minor character a backstory” if you need inspiration. Check it out here!
Dares: A dare challenges you to include new things in your writing, and is a great way to gain an extra bit of inspiration even if they often verge on the ridiculous. You can check out all the dares and tips from other writers at http://nanowrimo.org/forums/reaching-50-000
Good luck with your writing this week and remember we can do this!

~aw

Pashmina

pashmina.jpgToday I recommend: Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani.

Priyanka Das has so many unanswered questions: Why did her mother abandon her home in India years ago? What was it like there? And most importantly, who is her father, and why did her mom leave him behind? But Pri’s mom avoids these questions and the topic of India is permanently closed. For Pri, her mother’s homeland can only exist in her imagination. That is, until she find a mysterious pashmina tucked away in a forgotten suitcase. When she wraps herself in it, she is transported to a place more vivid and colorful than any guidebook or Bollywood film.

This lovely graphic novel follows teenager Priyanka as she deals with her curiosity about her mother’s past in India. The way that Chanani uses color makes for a striking read; the everyday scenes are depicted in sharp black and white with bright colors saved for the fantastical world that only exists when Priyanka puts on the pashmina. Priyanka grows throughout the graphic novel as she discovers more about her mother’s past and about India. This is a good tale of self-discovery.

You can find Pashmina in the Juvenile Graphic Novel section at J GRAPHIC CHANANI.

~aw

Throwback Thursday: The Cricket in Times Square

cricket in times.jpgIt’s Throwback Thursday! Today I recommend: The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden.

Tucker is a streetwise city mouse. He thought he’d seen it all. But he’s never met a cricket before, which really isn’t surprising, because, along with his friend Harry Cat, Tucker lives in the very heart of New York City–the Times Square subway station. Chester Cricket never intended to leave his Connecticut meadow. He’d be there still if he hadn’t followed the entrancing aroma of liverwurst right into someone’s picnic basket. Now, like any tourist in the city, he wants to look around. He could not have found two better guides–and friends–than Tucker and Harry. The trio have many adventures–from taking in the sights and sounds of Broadway to escaping a smoky fire.

The Cricket in Times Square was first published in 1960 and is a 1961 Newbery Honor Book. This book is recommended for children who like fantasy and stories told by animals. You can find this book in the Juvenile Fiction section at J SELDEN.

~ps

Word-count Wednesday #1

It is officially the first day of  National Novel Writing Month (also known as Nanowrimo)! At http://nanowrimo.org/ you can sign up, and track your word count as you tackle the challenge of writing 50,000 words (a novel!) during November. This might sound a bit crazy but you will not be alone, there are regions (http://nanowrimo.org/regions) that have libraries and coffee shops that hosting write-ins where you can gather and write in a group, and forums (http://nanowrimo.org/forums) that have writing tips and prompts. My personal favorite is ‘Nanowrimo Ate My Soul’ which is excellent when you are struggling with the next couple hundred words. Also, all throughout the month of November, I will be attempting Nanowrimo right alongside you, and I will post weekly ‘Word-count Wednesday’ updates.
Today’s word count is 900 words. I am a little behind (the daily word goal is 1,667 words) but the day isn’t over and this is only the first day!

So let’s not get discouraged! We can write 50,000 words, we just have to start and make a habit of writing every day. Let me know how far into your novel you are, and I will check back in next Wednesday.

~aw