Monday, June 28, 2010

Great Books!

After enjoying a delicious read in Dreamdark: Blackbringer by Laini Taylor,
I feasted on her second novel, Dreamdark: Silksinger.

Blackbringerpbcoversm.jpg picture by lainit

No wonder she's getting kudos all over the place for her work.
Lips Touch, Laini's latest book was a National Book award finalist.
It's a collections of three richly woven stories which
all hinge on a kiss.
Laini Taylor's books are clever jewels
set off with gorgeous illustrations
by her husband Jim Di Bartolo.

I promised to share notes from Laini's talk on plotting
at the SCBWI Western Washington conference this spring.

Better yet - she's posted it on her blog
(in three parts: 1, 2 and 3).

What are you reading lately?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Book of Names, Part I

I wanted to be a color-namer.

I mean, it's all in the packaging, isn't it?
Who wants to paint "off-white" walls when they could paint "frothy cappuccino" ?
When you're looking for the right crayon, doesn't
"moldy hay" speak to you more than "yellow"?

I started a notebook of names when I was fifteen.

It's scribbled with

gushy names I liked as an adolescent

and progressed to

names in various languages,

pages of name meanings


words to remember
(garish, torrent, celerity, behoove, hoopla, congeal).

I still use it.
When struck with a great color name, I jot it down in the Book of Names.
When on a name hunt for characters, I crack open the Book of Names.
And when a new storkling is on the way,
I frantically circle and cross out and make notes and panic over choosing the perfect name. Thankfully there are nine months in that process.
I'm horribly relieved I didn't have a child at fifteen when I was convinced "Opal Starlet" was the most fantastically romantic name ever (multiple underlinings and several exclamation points here).

How do you name your characters?

And since we haven't played word games for awhile,
why don't we throw out some
original color names?

My favorite color names today: Yellow teeth. Slaughterhouse. Rusty nail. Gangrene.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


It's been raining all week.
"Pip" declared she hated rain.

Hate rain?
This is the Northwest!
We're supposed to get rain - great drenchings of it.
That's why I live here. That's why it's green here.
Rain is practically my secret superhero power.
I think I was born under a storm cloud. I glow when it's gloomy out.

Being fully convinced that it's never too early to brainwash, I ordered everyone into boots and slickers, called for umbrellas, and marched the gang outside.

Nothing like a good splashy rain party
topped off by hot baths and cocoa
to foster a love for all things wet and soppy.

"Any child loves rain if it's allowed to go out and paddle about in it."
- C.S. Lewis, That Hideous Strength


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