The first weekend of the month is always special because of our first Friday and first Saturday devotions, but this weekend was extra-special because my author copies of Little Thief! Chota Chor! arrived! Until now it didn't feel completely real. But to hold the book, lift the jacket flap, see the darling end-papers and read through the story slowly, savoring the gorgeous illustrations, well, there's nothing like it. My friends, when you have a story from the heart, never, ever give up.
Monday, October 5, 2020
Wednesday, September 30, 2020
I'm so excited to share my newest picture book with you all. It's Little Thief! or Chota Chor! in Hindi. Based on a real experience when I was a child in India, I wrote about it 18 years ago for my ICL Assignment 3, a description of a place we remember using all five senses. More on this later.
Tuesday, September 22, 2020
September is such a beautiful month--we have a lot of family birthdays on both sides and when we lived in WA it was lovely to gather and celebrate. This first picture was taken 17-18 years ago. Dagny is just a baby in Grandma's arms. I miss those monthly get-togethers, but what a treat to thumb through old photos. And this summer, Michael and the kids went to WA to spend time with family. They took in all their favorite sights and more. Max made a beautiful photobook so I wanted to share some of the beauty here as well. It was picture perfect.
Wednesday, September 9, 2020
Outlining works for me because the jumbled images that come to my mind can be organized where I can see them. They often suggests a story and now I can see if all the elements are in a logical order. Note that my outline is a combination of sentences as well as short phrases. Many people balk at writing outlines. Fear not. You can write a rough draft and create an outline from it. Happy reading, writing and outlining.
A SHOT IN THE ARM – HOW VACCINES WORK
· Ouch! Shots hurt. But they prevent you from getting sick.
· Teach body how to fight germs
2. B cells
· Trillions of B cells
· Each B cell recognizes a bit of something that is NOT part of yourself
· Specificity – germs match up with their B cells
· B cell becomes active – clones itself and makes antibodies
· Antibodies bind germ and destroy them
3. Time frame of infection
· Germs multiply fast – 1 can turn into a million in a few hours
· B cells take about 1-2 weeks to catch up in antibody production
· Height of battle – you start feeling better
4. After the infection
· Body is the same except that it knows how to fight against germ
· Memory B cells – sometimes they live for your entire life
· Basis of vaccination – vaccines contain dead/weakened germs without making you sick
· Armed and ready to fight
· Time frame of second infection – less than a week and you probably won’t even feel sick
5. Edward Jenner
· Cowpox protects against smallpox
· Vaccines – magic bullets
1. Helena Curtis. 1983. Biology (Fourth Edition). Worth Publishers.
2. Bernard D. Davis et. al. 1980. Microbiology (Third Edition). Harper & Row Publishers.
3. Edward Jenner. 1938. Scientific papers: physiology, medicine, surgery and geology. Harvard Classics Vol. 38. P. F. Collier & Son, edited by Charles W. Eliot.
4. Paul deKruif. 1926. Microbe Hunters. Harcourt Brace & Co.
5. Louise E. Robbins. 2001. Louis Pasteur and the Hidden World of Microbes. Oxford University Press.
6. Ivan Roitt et. al. 1985. Immunology. C.V. Mosby Co.
Monday, September 7, 2020
This is the first picture book that I ever wrote and sent out. The story itself stands up to scrutiny after nearly two decades but not my cover letter. I can use this as a teaching tool. Let's spot all the ways how one ought not to write a cover:
The tender friendship between my cat and son from birth through two years is documented in candid photographs. I am sending a manuscript (180 words) and a rough dummy for a 32-page picture book titled, Kali and Baby Max based upon it. [In another letter I offer to let the illustrator use my pictures as inspiration for art.]
Kali and Baby Max is targeted for the youngest readers (age 1-5). It shows the joy of having a pet. Although there are many books on the market with this theme, I have not found a picture book that is as realistic as mine. And it is the reality of the antics that Kali and Max do together that is so fresh and appealing. [Any more adjectives?]
My professional background is in the sciences (B.Sc. Microbiology; Ph.D. Biochemistry) and I have published in scientific journals. I write stories and poems for my children and take writing courses and believe that I will succeed in this new venture. [Brimming with confidence! What relevance does a PhD have for a book for with babies and toddlers, I have no idea.]
I am submitting Kali and Baby Max to other publishing houses but I will promptly notify you if I hear from the others. I appreciate your time and consideration and look forward to your reply.
Tuesday, September 1, 2020
Wednesday, August 26, 2020
If you write fiction for children, young adults, or even adults you are invited to join Write2Ignite for our first ever Virtual Master Class. On September 19, 2020, multi-published author Joyce Moyer Hostetter will help us master four big elements in writing fiction.
· Creating Memorable Characters — Tried and true strategies for creating characters.
· On Writing Plot: What’s the Problem — Structure and the power of conflict in creating a great plot.
· View Point and Dialogue— Dialogue that works overtime and strategies for creating an authentic narrator.
At W2I we provide Christian writers of children’s and young adult literature with:
Our focus is on those who write for youth.
Our foundation is Christ and His Word.
Our Master Class format provides one-day workshops designed to help writers build specific skills. If taking your writing to higher levels is your goal, you will benefit from these Master Class features:
· Instruction by master authors like Joyce Moyer Hostetter
· Guided hands-on practice of new writing skills
· Immediate feedback
This Master Class will be an online event using Zoom. If you’re not familiar with using that platform, no worry! We’ll have a practice session on Friday, September 18, 2020 just for you.
If you’re not familiar with Joyce check out her Youtube video here. Her books are available through any bookstore.
We’re excited about this innovative opportunity. Hope you’ll join us on September 19, 2020.
Registration is just $79 for a full day of instruction, practice, and encouragement.
Click here to Register.
Monday, August 24, 2020
|Pacino di Bonaguida, c. 1340, Florence|
I don't know why I never knew that St. Bartholomew (also known as Nathanael bar Tolomai) preached in India. In Armenia, he was martyred--flayed alive and beheaded. I came across beautiful art with him, with all his sinews, holding his flayed skin but it might be too disturbing for tender readers so I give you this manuscript leaf instead. Today was his feast day so I learned these little bits. He's famous for saying, "Can anything good come from Nazareth?" to Philip, who replies, "Come and see." Even though Bartholomew is skeptical, he takes a chance to see who Jesus is and that's all it takes for Jesus to infuse some knowledge into Bartholomew, who exclaims, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel." This story reminds me that all I need to do is invite people for Mass or Adoration and Jesus will do the rest.
I've always found it fascinating that the instruments or manner of death is what the saints are patrons of. So, St. Bartholomew is the patron of bookbinders, butchers, cobblers, and against nervous/neurological diseases. I'm going to try to learn more about him because he sounds like he'd be a good companion for me. I love how how saints make themselves known to me. I love his name because its got a mew in it :) Here are my mews--sitting on my novel notes. But a closer look at the computer shows that I was actually working on my chapter book. Of course, the cats made me do it :) Dagny had finished all the art for it and I was adding it to the story considering I couldn't work on my novel very well. Can you see that Benny typed up some stuff? Cats! They're never content with the story you're telling; they have to add their own thoughts.
Max had to get a last cuddle with Jules before he left for Ave Maria. What a wonderful gift to have both kids home for five months. But we are so grateful they can return to school and their studies in person with their teachers and friends. I am praying for all our children to grow in wisdom, skills, knowledge and love of our Lord. Michael and I are happy to return to a more quiet and contemplative life. Deo gratias.
Thursday, August 20, 2020
Tuesday, August 18, 2020
I'd seen The Secret Life of Squirrels many years ago at B&N and decided I had to have it. I love watching squirrels and to have them photographed with miniatures is just darling. These aren't doctored photos--the author made the props and the squirrels came to investigate. She has a tripod set up to take pictures. The simple story and photos are beautiful. You must get it for the people in your life who love little things.
I have always wanted to go to one of Darcy Pattison's workshops on whole novel revision but could never make it happen. Well, the next best thing is her workbook, Novel Metamorphosis. I've been using it the past couple of weeks to revise my historical and so happy with the greater insights I'm having as a result of the exercises she's posed. I'm not even close to being done, thanks to an accident at the very beginning of my writing retreat, but there's no rush, right?