• Books

    Book Review: The Storybook of Legends, by Shannon Hale

    “At Ever After High, an enchanting boarding school, the children of fairytale legends prepare themselves to fulfill their destinies as the next generation of Snow Whites, Prince Charmings and Evil Queens…whether they want to or not. Each year on Legacy Day, students sign the Storybook of Legends to seal their scripted fates. For generations, the Village of Book End has whispered that refusing to sign means The End-both for a story and for a life. As the daughter of the Evil Queen, Raven Queen’s destiny is to follow in her mother’s wicked footsteps, but evil is so not Raven’s style. She’s starting to wonder, what if she rewrote her own…

  • Books

    Historical Fiction, Strange Research Methods, and Other Ramblings

    I have a mortal horror of getting facts wrong when I’m writing historical fiction. It’s a problem. Because when you’re inserting fictional characters in a real time period with people who actually existed… it’s kind of hard to keep things completely factual. Actually, it’s impossible. Fiction is fiction. History is history. And anything that I write isn’t going to change history. It’s just going to show people what I think about the time period. What my characters would have thought about the time period. What the time period should have been like. (Kidding. Totally kidding here.) Whoa. Feels good to get that off my chest. (Not to mention, I now have an…

  • Books

    Best Books of 2016

    There are exactly 16 books on this list. No more. No less. It was accidental, but I think it worked out rather nicely, for the end of 2016. I read a lot last year. Over 360 books. I know this because I didn’t start Goodreads until March and I had read a lot before that… and I didn’t start plugging my Currently Reading books in until later. So, it was probably closer to 400. Not sure. Let’s move on. Without further ado, my favorite books of 2016. I was introduced to Trixie Belden last year. And it was so good. SO GOOD. I’m almost to the point of fangirling over this series.…

  • Writing

    When Inspiration Fails…

    When I first get a spark of an idea for a story, it’s wonderful. The characters are fantastic. The plot is flawless. I write in a frenzy, trying to get it all down. But when I look at it a few days later, suddenly this alien Cinderella story doesn’t sound so good. (Spoiler: I am not writing, nor do I plan to write, anything like this.) Every word I put down is an effort. Every scene I put down is a nightmare. And guess what? My perfect plot is full of holes. And I find that, suddenly, I’m not inspired to write this story anymore. What I do when I…

  • Books

    Book Review: Some Writer! The Story of E. B. White

    “SOME PIG,” Charlotte the spider’s praise for Wilbur, is just one fondly remembered snippet from E. B. White’s Charlotte’s Web. In Some Writer!, the two-time Caldecott Honor winner Melissa Sweet mixes White’s personal letters, photos, and family ephemera with her own exquisite artwork to tell his story, from his birth in 1899 to his death in 1985. Budding young writers will be fascinated and inspired by the journalist, New Yorker contributor, and children’s book author who loved words his whole life. This authorized tribute is the first fully illustrated biography of E. B. White and includes an afterword by Martha White, E. B. White’s granddaughter. (Via Goodreads) Click here to…

  • Books

    15 Random Literary Facts About Me

    I was inspired by Sydney at the Elliot Countenance to post some random facts about myself, so here goes!  The first thing I ever remember writing was probably when I was around five or six. It was about a missing blueberry pie, and it was written on several pieces of notebook paper stapled together and charmingly illustrated (not). It was taken from another book which I was infatuated with at the time. For the life of me, I can’t remember the name of the book. I know we still have it. It’ll turn up. I also remember making a few similar illustrated books, one in particular about a fairy.  I was around…

  • Books

    Book Review: Trixie Belden and the Secret of the Mansion

    Buy here on Amazon. Trixie’s summer is going to be sooo boring with her two older brothers away at camp. But then a millionaire’s daughter moves into the next-door mansion, an old miser hides a fortune in his decrepit house, and a runaway kid starts hiding out in Sleepyside! (Via Goodreads) Mystery. Adventure. Horses. Friends. It wasn’t love at first sight when I began this book, but now I’m a huge fan. Everything in it is fairly wholesome, minus most of the nonsense found in children’s books of today. So far I’ve read books 1-4 and 5-7, and I eventually want to post reviews of all of them. It’s kind of hard to…

  • Homeschooling

    Field Trip to Dover Cemetery

    Today we went up to Dover Cemetery as a spur-of-the-moment trip with some friends. It’s a really interesting place, but sad because it’s so run down. Everything is grown over with little pine trees. Some of the gravestones were unreadable, and others were just rocks stuck in the ground to mark a grave. We paid attention to the dates of birth and death. Some of the children buried there died at only a few months old. Another girl was fourteen. These rocks were piled over what we assumed was another grave. Fascinating… Besides the fact that I love history and looking at all the graves was very interesting, we had…