Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Halloween Just a Week Away

Halloween is just a week away and I need to pull out a poem I submitted a while back for an online contest at the national SCBWI website.


by James Danielson

Don't cross my path on Halloween night
Or your right will turn left, and your left will turn right.
Your limbs will be sucked through your body in route
To turning your bones and your skin inside out.
Your eyeballs will dangle and bounce to and fro,
Occasionally hitting your liver or toe.
Even your thoughts will turn backwards a lot.
If you say the word TONS, you'll be covered with SNOT.
There's only one way to cancel this spell,
A bag full of candy, and all will be well.

Monday, October 22, 2007


Okay. I just saw that J. K. Rowlings stated that Dumbledore was gay. My question has nothing to do with his announced sexual orientation nor the appropriateness in what at least started as a book for children.

The question is this: If, as a writer, we do not relate some detail about a character in text (directly or with strong evidence), do we have a right to determine the detail --OR-- should that detail belong to the imaginations of the readers?

I realize that there is a lot of back story for every book that never gets into print. This was probably the case for Rowlings. Still, I say if its not in text, its for the readers to debate or decide -- once the book is published, the only way to add details should be in the form of a sequel. (this is strictly the opinion of this blogger and in no way reflects the opinion of Google or any of its affiliates :-) )

Now, I confess up front I have not read book seven and there may indeed be strong evidence. I'm not, however, under that impression, but would like to know. (I haven't read reviews in any form as not to spoil the book when I do get to it.) Regardless, I'm still curious about other opinions on my question.

Jim D.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Gearing up for the next few weeks of events

Fall is the season to energize our writing. Mid October through early November will be the perfect Rx for my writing.

Oct 2oth SCBWI-Illinois Southlands is hosting a talk by Carolyn Crimi on injecting humor into fiction. Who better to speak on the subject than Carolyn! (You may recognize her from the blog she does with Andrea and Julia -- Three Silly Chicks.)

Oct 27th is the Chicago Tribune YA Book Award being given to Gary Paulsen. My (23 yr old) son the High School Physics teacher would be coming with if not for plans to tailgate at the U of Illinois football game that day.

Nov 3rd is the really BIG ONE. Prairie Writers Day. Illinois-SCBWI's annual one day conference complete with 3 editors, 2 agents and much, much more.

Yep, just what I need to inspire words to fly from my fingertips to the keyboard of my laptop as I sit by the fireplace on a cold winter night in Chicagoland. (Now all I need is a fireplace and a laptop.)