Thanks so much for visiting HipWriterMama, my blog about children's books, authors and readergirlz!

It's time for a change. I've decided to focus my attention on my writing blog, www.vivianleemahoney.com. Hope to see you there!


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Writing Discussion: How Do You Decide Where to Start the Story?

It is said to start the story at the point of action, even, dare I say, in the middle of the action.    

As long as the start of the the story isn't too far into the action to confuse the reader.

There are many ways to go about it. But, how does the writer discover the right way to start the story?

Central to any strong beginning is knowing your protagonist and your character's ordinary world before they are thrust into an event that will change everything as they know it.  And the consequences!  Conflict!  Action!

The reader must see it all and want to read more.

As a writer, I struggle with where to start my story.  For example, in my first draft of PB, I started the story right before my main character's life was to change.  However, since the story is told from a lyrical voice, I discovered it may not be close enough to the action and the story might have started off too slow.

My second draft brought the protagonist smack dab into the action -- her life changed, she hates it and wants to escape.  But the story was too far in and some of the sense of her emotional trauma was lost with this change.  Part of it was the POV change, from first to third. But most of it was from where I chose to start the story.  I found I missed my protagonist's struggle with what she lost, and wanted to show more of her journey. More importantly, she wanted it told.

I wrote my third and fourth versions from different points of the story, in first and third person, to see what resonated with me.

I think I've finally reached the right start to the story and it makes me very happy.  

How do you decide where to start your story? Do you know exactly where your story will start and it turns out to be spot on? Or do you have to work it, like me?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

NESCBWI Spring Conference - Who Else is Going?

Well, I did it.

I registered for the NESCBWI Spring Conference.

I'm a little nervous.  But, I'm so ready to make the next move. 

Who else is going?

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Newbery, The Printz, and More Awards!

Here's the scoop.   Thanks, Susan!

2009 New Year 30 Day Challenge Check In: Week 3

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal.  It is the courage to continue that counts."
-Winston Churchill

"When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don't adjust the goals, adjust the action steps."

"Be miserable.  Or motivate yourself.  Whatever has to be done, it's always your choice."
-Wayne Dyer

It's time to be accountable for your progress on the 2009 New Year 30 Day Challenge!  How did you do last week?

I'll be the first to admit I didn't get as much done as I hoped.  The week was brutal with family stuff and a glitch with one of my chapters -- distractions from working on a few filing projects. But, I did clean out bathroom cabinets so nothing will fall out if I open them.  It may not sound much to you, but it's huge in my household.  And I will tackle the files today! 

How did you do?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Writing Tip: How Much Baggage Does Your Character Need to Get Rid of to Move Forward?

How much baggage do you need to get rid of before you can move forward?

When I write, I often think of how this question applies to my protagonist.  This helps me discover the Aha! moments that my character(s) need so they can move forward in their story. 

I believe when characters grow or suffer from their experiences, it adds depth and complexity to their personalities.  For me, that's what makes them real. Answering this one question redirects my thoughts on how my characters will get rid of their baggage. 

Is it by getting rid of physical objects or changing an attitude? Is it through an argument or a heart to heart? Or, will they not be able to let go and just live miserably in the past, wondering why did this have to happen to them,  dwelling on the what if's?  

All interesting things to ponder. 

The added bonus to this question is it helps me figure out what I need to get rid of, so I can move forward in my day...

Not that I have any.

How much baggage do you need to get rid of before you can move forward?

Think on this for a bit.  

Get rid of your character's baggage  (and yours). 

Move your story forward. It'll be good for you.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Choose Hope Over Fear...

Hmmm...seems this also applies to following our dreams, does it not?

Let's get working!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Awards! Joy! Honor!

I'm a little behind the eight ball on this, but figured this would be a great day to post about a couple of honors I've been awarded.

First, Beth Revis awarded me The Butterfly Award earlier this month.  This award is supposed to be given to "the coolest blog I've ever known."  

Then, MotherReader and Becky Levine awarded me the Premios Dardo Award, which “acknowledges the values that every blogger shows in his/her effort to transmit cultural, ethical, literary and personal values every day.”  

I am so honored by these awards - Beth, MotherReader and Becky - Thank You!  I'm grateful you think highly of my blog and it really makes me quite giddy to be in the company of such well-respected bloggers.  Now, I need to be sure to live up to these standards...

Though the challenge, for the moment, is to decide who to nominate for the awards.  It's a difficult task, as there are so many fine blogs and incredible bloggers out there who deserve these awards.  

I know these awards have been going around and have tried to choose blogs who haven't received the award yet.  

May I present...
Saints and Spinners: For your kindness, generosity and fun storytelling.

Greenridge Chronicles: Because every time I visit your blog, you make me smile or laugh.

FoodAllergyBuzz: For your up-to-date information on food allergies.

A Wrung Sponge: For your lovely photos and haiku.

Little Willow: For your incredible lists of books.

readergirlz: For your support of reading and vast outreach to teens.

Beth Kephart: For the grace and poetry of your words.

PJ Hoover: For sharing your story and positive attitude.

Finding Wonderland: For your smart posts and up-to-date information on the publishing industry.

Robin Brande: For cracking the whip and getting us to write until we finish and send out that manuscript.

You all rock.   

What a Momentous Day This Is!!!

I've been up since 2 in the morning and haven't been able to sleep.

All I could think about was what it must be like, to be Barack Obama, taking charge on this day. For his family, most particularly his daughters, whose lives are forever changed.

And what what it must be like to be George Bush, leaving his legacy behind.

Two different men, two different paths, and yet meeting today. One to leave office, the other to take his place.

It's sunny in Washington, D.C. (at least it looks like it is on tv) and the crowds are cheering! Waving, cheering, chanting and ever hopeful.

I am grateful to witness this momentous event. Tissues are at hand and hope is in my heart.

May God be with these two families as they transition in their new lives. And for our nation, weary from our troubles and troubled with an uncertain future, may God bless and protect America.

President Obama, my hope is with you.

rgz: Inauguration Day Book Giveaway!!!

Hey rgz,

Those of you who hang with us here at the forum get a heads up. In honor of Inauguration Day, we’ll be giving away 100 books!

We'll be randomly awarding 25 comments on our rgz inauguration blog post at http://readergirlz.blogspot.com.

Each winner will receive a FULL SET of four books of Ellen Emerson White’s President’s Daughter series.

Many thanks to publisher Feiwel and Friends for the donations and shipping!

Here’s to our new president, Barack Obama, as he takes the helm to lead our wonderful nation! And best to you, rgz, in winning books!

~the rgz divas

Monday, January 19, 2009

North of Beautiful: Justina Chen Headley's Find Beauty Challenge

I am in awe of Justina Chen Headley.  Not only is she a talented author of books of some of my favorite YA books -- (Nothing But the Truth (and a few white lies) and Girl Overboard) -- she believes in giving back with every one of her books.  Check out her interview for details.

Justina's new book North of Beautiful will be released in just a couple weeks.
From behind, you’d think Terra Cooper had it all: she’s tall but not too tall, has a figure to kill for, and boasts naturally blonde hair. But the palm-sized birthmark on her face might as well be her fate map. Everyone in her small, touristy town knows what’s hidden beneath the heavy makeup she’s worn since birth. Sick of being the town oddity and even sicker of her caustic mapmaker of a father, Terra yearns to escape the suffocating grid of her life. And then she nearly runs over an Asian Goth boy, her age…and encounters True Beauty in him…and herself.

Load a 90-second video on YouTube: NORTH OF BEAUTIFUL: FIND BEAUTY CHALLENGE, telling the world what's truly beautiful to you, and you might win yourself an iPod Touch!

For every video about beauty that fans upload to this channel, award-winning author Justina Chen Headley will donate $10--up to $1,000--to Global Surgical Outreach to help children in third-world countries born with cleft lips and palates.

Time to make a video!

2009 New Year 30 Day Challenge Check In: Week 2

It was a high counsel that I once heard given to a young person, "Always do what you are afraid to do."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Knowing is not enough; we must apply.  Willing is not enough; we must do.
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.
It's time to check in again with your progress!  How did you do last week with your commitment to the 30 Day Challenge?

It was a little tough going for me--the kids were sick so we had doctor appointments which turned into sick days.  The kids even had a snow day from school, which all translated into very little time to pull apart closets and rooms.  Then the birthday doldrums hit and office work called my name, but, I managed to straighten up the living room and all the kid clutter is contained (for now).  

Just remember, this is a week of new promise and hope, so get cracking on reaching for your dreams!

How did you do?  Comment away. 

Friday, January 16, 2009

Poetry Friday: Hero and Leander

I've posted Christopher Marlowe's Hero and Leander before, and have been drawn to this one yet again.  This bleak winter is making me crave tragic tales of love.  (Not sure why.  And not sure what that says about me...If you have any recommendations for modern day tragic tales, comment away.) This poem, based on the Greek myth of Hero and Leander, fits the bill.  

For those who believe in love at first sight, here's part of a love epyllion (a short epic poem) by Christopher Marlowe

Really, not the most romantic myth for someone who's in love.

However, Marlowe's version of the poem ends before anything horrible happens. Scholars have wondered whether Marlowe intended to keep the poem as is, change the ending, or keep it true to the myth. 

Hero and Leander
by Christopher Marlowe

It lies not in our power to love or hate,
For will in us is overruled by fate.
When two are stripped, long ere the course begin,
We wish that one should love, the other win;
And one especially do we affect
Of two gold ingots, like in each respect:
The reason no man knows; let it suffice
What we behold is censured by our eyes.
Where both deliberate, the love is slight:
Who ever loved, that loved not at first sight?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Writing Confession #4

I like using need to use SHARP pointed pencils or FINE point pens to write notes along my manuscript.  

The crisp lines of the words help me think.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Magic in the Air: fAiRy gOdSiStErS, iNk Announces 2nd Annual SCBWI Summer Conference Scholarship!

This just in...

If you don't believe in fairy godmothers, what about fAiRy gOdSisTeRs?  Check out this incredible act of generosity and kindness...

fAiRy gOdSisTeRs, iNk (FGI) announces its 2nd Annual SCBWI Summer Conference Scholarship! 

FGI is offering a $1,500 scholarship for a SCBWI member to attend the August 2009 conference in Los Angeles. FGI awarded the 2008 scholarship to Linda Lodding of the Netherlands.

To apply for the 2009 scholarship, submit a 250-word, double-spaced essay describing what you hope to accomplish by attending this year's summer conference. Send your essay to: fairygodsistersink@yahoo.com

The application deadline is April 15th, 2009. The winner will be notified May 15th, 2009.

fAiRy gOdSiStErS, iNk. is a small, benevolent squadron of Santa Barbara children's book authors who believe in the magic of passing forward lucky breaks, bounty and beneficence, as so many have done for us. We are: Thalia Chaltas, Mary Hershey, Valerie Hobbs, Robin LaFevers and Lee Wardlaw.

If you would like to share some fairy dust of your own to help send a writer to the 2009 Summer Conference, FGI welcomes your donations!

For more information about the grant and/or making a donation, please visit the FGI website (which will be up and running SOON!) at http://www.fairygodsistersink.com or email Lee Wardlaw at author@leewardlaw.com.

FDA Food Labeling Public Hearing Open Until January 14th!!!

Do you get frustrated reading food labels? 

I know I do.

There are different ways a label can indicate it contains eggs, dairy, shellfish, food coloring, etc.  And it's confusing.

Yes, I'd like to know what chemicals and food additives are in the food. But. As an example...don't you think it would ALSO be helpful if the label plainly states the product CONTAINS milk or dairy rather than MAY CONTAIN? What kind of cop out is that?

You many wonder why it even matters or why people get frustrated. Here are some ways dairy ingredients are labeled:

Nisin (may), Curds, Whey
Casein, Rennet, Lactose. Lactulose, Whey and casein hydrolysates, Lacalbumin
Lactoglobulin, Lactate starter, Ammonium caseinate
Calcium caseinate, Hydrolzed casein, Lactabum, Lactabum phosphate, Lactate
Lactroferrin, Lactogloblin, Magnesium caseinate
hydrolized vegtable protein, Recaldent

The FDA started a public hearing about food labeling back in September 16, 2008 and are requesting comments.

Here's the catch.

The deadline to let your voice be heard is Wednesday, January 14th. Tomorrow.

We have only one day to get our voices heard, so please help spread the word!

SUBMIT electronic comments for Docket No. FDA-2008-N-0429 to http://www.regulations.gov

Thank you so much for your support!

Monday, January 12, 2009

2009 New Year 30 Day Challenge Check In: Week 1

Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."
- Mary Anne Radmacher

Time to check in with your progress on the 2009 New Year 30 Day Challenge and get a look at the Challenge Prize. Last week, 17 courageous souls committed to join me in this challenge, without knowing the PRIZE.

So, the way I see it, either they are very brave for venturing into this challenge, or very dedicated to their goals.

Which means, the PRIZE has got to be good.

Originally, I was going to make a special sock monkey fairy, since sock monkeys are supposed to have magical powers to help ease writer's block. But, this month is all about me and my organizational goals. And my writing.

The search continued.

I wanted something that would inspire happy thoughts and sparkling fairy spells for those moments when one needs some encouragement.

And, I found it.  But, it hasn't arrived yet.  And I'd hate to promise something without having it in hand.  My apologies, my pretties, but you will need to wait a little longer before the prize is unveiled.

I know you will be strong.

I'd like to congratulate every one of you for taking stock of your dreams, and taking action to make things happen.

And most of all, have courage.

Courage, my friends, is what will help you get up and work it when the days are tough. It's what is going to help you get to the next day. You can do it. I know you can.

Last week, I did great with my organizational goals. Mostly because I wouldn't give myself permission to write until I did at least an hour of decluttering. The best part was cleaning out my printer area and finding a missing gift card! This week I tackle my office files and the office supply closet.

So, how did you do last week?

Comment away.

Then, get back to work!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Serenity in the Midst of Decluttering

I've been focused on trying to clean out some computer folders.   Of course I was sidetracked with the holiday pictures, most particularly this photo of my dining room (where I do most of my writing).  If you take away the pink IKEA chairs, add wreaths and greenery, it could almost be Martha Stewart worthy.  

For some crazy reason, this photo makes me feel like I've reached a pinnacle of serenity that my otherwise chaotic household tells otherwise.  And it gives me hope that perhaps I can organize my life, not so it fits so pinpoint neat into a magazine spread, but enough that I won't be dragged into the dumps because clutter has invaded my space. 

[Sidenote: If you're curious about what type of plant is on the table, it's a white hydrangea.  Every Christmas, my husband gets me hydrangeas, another one of my favorite flowers.  I nurse them all through the winter months until he can plant them in our garden in the spring.  

Also, for those who want to know the purpose of the red bowl on the table, besides decoration, I keep it filled with clementines or other fruit for the kids to snack on.]

What gives you peace in your home?

Friday, January 9, 2009

Five on a Friday: Nice Surprises

1. I had been debating whether or not to blog about this particular sweet surprise, not wanting to embarrass a friend, but this is such a delight, that I have to share this with the world.  A couple weeks ago, I came home and found a package at the door. Inside, was this little poppy doll nestled in tissue paper.  

Isn't she the sweetest? (Picture on the left is Poppy exploring my 70-year-old clover--click on the photo to see the detailing.)

Farida surprised me with this handmade flower doll!  She knew poppies were one of my favorite flowers (which I always associated with hope and my sister) and made Poppy for me!  See her inspiration photo on the right.  Thank you so much Farida!  You cannot know what this means so much to me. I am so honored and blessed and will take very good care of Poppy.  And folks, if you want a treat, check out the lion Farida made!

2.  I've been working on my 2009 New Year 30 Day Challenge this week and it's ALL about organizing and decluttering.  Yesterday, I cleaned the mounds of paperwork around my printer, and found a gift card I'd been searching for.  Now I can go to the bookstore!

3.  I tried this new salmon recipe and my family raved.  RAVED.  My husband was suspect of how the salmon looked.  Pale pink salmon without the nice crisp edges from my regular method of broiling.  Reluctance spread across his face; change is hard for my man.  But, my kids were enthusiastic about this meal and my husband took a bite.  And another.  And declared his surprise at how good it was.  Emeril, we have a winner!    

4.  David Ezra Stein is one of my favorite illustrators.  Here's his most recent interview over at 7-Imp.  I discovered David's work when I interviewed him last year to highlight his artwork for the Robert's Snow Auction.  I bid on his lion snowflake and won!  Now I can add an autographed copy of his latest creation, THE NICE BOOK to my collection. Thank you, David!.  This sweet book will get the kids talking about what's nice...and what isn't.   

Case in point.  Middle child was reading the book and youngest reached over to grab it.  Middle child whisked the book away and was ready to smack little one with it.  Little one ran off, put her hands at her waist and said, "That's not nice!"  Middle one hestitated.  "I know."  She looked at the book, looked at her sister and sat down on the rug.  "Come sit here and I'll read the book to you."

If that's not nice, I don't know what is.  Go get the book!

5.  I pick up my kids from school every day.  Sometimes they've had a bad day and it takes awhile to draw out what happened.  This week, they couldn't wait to tell me what was going on at school and we had such a great time talking about the day's events.  That made me so happy.

Have a great weekend!    

Thursday, January 8, 2009

2009 New Year 30 Day Challenge Participants

Wahoo!  We have 17, er, 18 participants (if you count me), for the 2009 New Year 30 Day Challenge!  I went through my testing the waters post and my official start the challenge post, to see who was daring enough to declare IN.  

17 courageous souls committed to join me in this challenge. And they don't even know what the PRIZE is.  

Now...that's brave.

Here are the fantastic bloggers in the 30 Day Challenge...

Christine M
Jen Robinson
PJ Hoover
Holly Cupala
Cuppa Jolie

If you don't want your name on the list, or if your name is missing, please let me know! 

Hope you've all been doing well this week!  

Remember, check in is on Monday.  And you'll want to stop by because I'll announce the PRIZE (how's that for incentive?)...

Now, get back to work!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Inspiration Word: RESILIENT


That's my word/theme of the year.  

I will be resilient.

When it comes to my writing and my dreams...

When it comes to my children and their fears, tears, joys and celebrations in life...

When it comes to my middle one's allergies, eczema, asthma, and worrying about her health and my ability to manage it, that it becomes an overwhelming mountain on my shoulders...

When it comes to taking care of my family, the cooking, the cleaning, the car rides, the listening, the nurturing, the believing, the supporting, the being...

When it comes to being a true partner with my husband...

When it comes to family and friends, life adventures, joys, frustrations, pains and hardships, and celebrations...

When it comes to taking care of me, and letting my family honor and respect my time, my efforts, my love and my being...

I will be resilient.



Here are some WORDS I've seen around the blogosphere...  

[UPDATED Links...]

What's your theme for the year?

Monday, January 5, 2009

2009 New Year 30 Day Challenge Starts Today!

Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome.
-Samuel Johnson

Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall.

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
-Eleanor Roosevelt

Okay, you asked for it!  Now, you've got it.  The 2009 New Year 30 Day Challenge starts today!  Right now!

There's nothing like starting off the New Year with optimism and purpose to start a new habit that will give us the strength and the ability to do things no matter what. It's these small steps that will get us determined and motivated to get to the big steps. And I want to help you get there.

I was trying to figure out what I'd like to do in this next 30 days. At first it was going to be writing related, but that goes without saying.  Instead, mine is going to be all about ORGANIZATION.  Which I sorely need.

And if I want 2009 to be the best year ever, I need to get a serious handle on organization...like paperwork, cleaning out closets, getting rid of clutter.  So, every day, I need to do something that will get me ahead in the organization game.

What about you?

I really hope you'll join me in this 2009 New Year 30-Day Challenge. It's always more fun when other people are motivated and encouraged to go on an adventure. So, here are the rules...

2009 New Year 30 Day Challenge Rules:
1. The Challenge starts today! Write a quick comment below. Tell me what new habit you'd like to work on. This can be as short as one sentence or as long as you'd like. 

2. If you're going the distance for this 30 Day Challenge, it's important to check in every week via comment with a very quick report on your progress. I find accountability works wonders to keep me on track. So I'm hoping it will do the same for you. Only those who are accountable to their goals and report in every week will be considered for the grand prize.
The 5 dates to check in are:
Today, Monday, January 5th (first day of challenge): Be specific on what you'd like to do to work on your new habit.
Monday, January 12th
Monday, January 19th
Monday, January 26th
Monday, February 2nd (last check in day for simplicity's sake)
But...if you're really committed to go to 30 days, check in again on Wednesday, February 4th--the official end date

3. The winner will be announced on Friday, February 6th.  I'm not sure about what the prize will be yet, but will let you know as soon as I have it figured out.

I hope you're ready to join in and have some fun. 

Ready. Set. Go! 

Comment away.  It's going to be a great year!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Our Deepest Fear

One of my favorite family movies is Akeelah and the Bee.  This powerful movie shows how an unlikely community unites to support a smart, determined eleven-year-old spelling dynamo to follow her dream of becoming a Scripps National Spelling Bee champion. If you want to see commitment, courage, conflict, action, drama, fear of failure, inspiration and a strong heroine who steadfastly works toward her dream despite the odds against her, watch this tearjerker of a movie. And you will truly be inspired to follow your own dream.

There is one scene of the movie, where Akeelah's coach, Dr. Larabee, asks her to read a framed quote hanging on the wall. The quote was so good, I became quite obsessed with finding out who was credited with this bit of inspired brilliance. After playing this DVD over again a couple times to hear this lovely nugget of wisdom, I Googled it and found Marianne Williamson. This quote is simply spot on perfect.
Our Deepest Fear
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
A Return To Love:Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles, by Marianne Williamson

I think this quote is spot on to read at the beginning of a New Year.  Doesn't it make you want to create, write, and take action toward your dreams? 

Enjoy your weekend and come back Monday to start the 2009 New Years 30 Day Challenge.  Time to make some progress!

readergirlz: A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

The new readergirlz issue is here!  This month is all about courage and we're featuring Jennifer Donnelly's beautiful book, A Northern Light (Winner of the Carnegie Medal, the L.A. Times Book Prize, the Borders Original Voices Prize, and a Michael L. Printz Honor).   
"Sixteen-year-old Mattie Gokey has big dreams but little hope of seeing them come true. Desperate for money, she takes a job at the Glenmore, where hotel guest Grace Brown asks her to burn a bundle of secret letters. But when Grace's drowned body is fished from the lake, Mattie discovers the letters reveal the grim truth behind a murder.

Set in 1906 against the backdrop of the murder that inspired Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy, this astonishing novel weaves romance, history, and a murder mystery into something moving, real, and wholly original." - readergirlz blog

Talk About It
After you've read the book, drop by the readergirlz forum and tell us what you think!

Chat with the Author
Jennifer Donnelly will be chatting live at the forum on Thursday, January 15th.  The chat will begin at 6 PM PST/9 PM EST and last for about an hour.

Roundtable Discussion
Seven of the readergirlz divas and postergirlz gathered together to talk about A Northern Light.  Read our roundtable discussion.  I think it's evident how much we all enjoyed the book. Some of us have read it multiple times!

Recommended Reads
If you liked A Northern Light, you'll also enjoy the following books, as recommended the readergirlz divas and the postergirlz advisory council.

What Happens Here by Tara Altebrando
The Creek by Jennifer L. Holm
The Ruby in the Smoke by Philip Pullman
The Patron Saint of Butterflies by Cecilia Galante

Oxford Dictionary of English
We selected this because Mattie cherishes her dictionary. So do I, and so do other members of the postergirlz council. We challenge you to look up one new word a day, then use it in conversation!

Read, Reflect, Reach Out
When young girls like Grace go missing, the search isn't all up to the cops. Search parties often include volunteers, too - people like you, with a passion for getting involved, a desire to help others, and endless faith in a happy ending. If you'd like to become a search and rescue (SAR) volunteer, please go to the National Association for Search & Rescue website - http://www.nasar.org  You can also contact your local police department.

Thank you to Little Willow for providing the copy!

If you haven't read this book yet, you must grab a copy right away! It's that good.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The 2008 Cybils Finalists

If you haven't heard yet, the 2008 Cybils Finalists have been announced!  

I was fortunate to be one of the judges for the Non-fiction MG/YA category and work with fellow bloggers:

Jill Tullo, The Well-Read Child
Kathy M. Burnette, The Brain Lair
Sarah Rettger, Archimedes Forgets
Carol Wilcox, Carol's Corner

Here are the 8 finalists in the Cybils NonFiction MG/YA category.

Curious about the rest of the Cybils finalists?  Here they are...

Easy Readers
Fantasy & Science Fiction
Fiction Picture Books
Graphic Novels
Middle Grade Fiction
Non-Fiction MG/YA
Non-Fiction Picture Books
Young Adult Fiction