Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Richard Peck Countdown

This writer is heading for Urbana, Illinois for a fabulous sounding retreat. Right now I'm in "have I done everything I need to prepare" mode, but come Saturday it'll be time to give my writing skills a tuneup and to network with fellow Illinois writers ..... oh, and one from Texas. I promise to bring back pictures to post next Monday!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Thanks Barrie Summy!!!

Thanks go out to Barrie Summy for the copy of Slam by Nick Hornby that I won in her book giveaway. It arrived today!

If you don't know, Barrie is a member of the class of 2K8. Her debute novel I So Don't Do Mysteries will be out this December. I can't wait to read it!

Visit her at:


Friday, February 15, 2008

Thursday Night's Writing Exercise

Tricia asked me to share the writing exercise I used, so here it is:

I took it from the kickstart section of the SCBWI site (Kickstart #9):

There are ten opening sentences. Everybody picked one at random and wrote the rest of the opening paragraph (or in some cases two or three paragraphs). In case you're interested what I had to build from -- I had #3.

3. As Samantha gazed across the dance floor at Jason, her heart sank.

Wasn't exactly the genre I normally write, but that's probably a good thing for the exercise.

To continue the theme, everbody is to bring an exceptional opening paragraph from a published book.

All in all, I think the whole thing worked.

My favorite opening that someone selected was:
4. The hamster had lived in Mrs. Bottom's 3rd Grade Classroom for a year now and
only one person had heard him speak.

Happy Writing and thanks to the SCBWI site for last night's kickstart.

Jim D

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Good Luck Nnedi!

Local Illinois author and fellow SCBWI member Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu is nominated for an NAACP Image Award in the following catagory:

Outstanding Literary Work – Youth/Teens•

“Body Drama” – Nancy Redd (Penguin/Gotham)• “Center for Cartoon Studies Presents: Satchel Paige: Striking Out Jim Crow” – JamesSturm, Author; Rich Tommaso, Illustrator (Hyperion Books for Children/DisneyPublishing)• “Divine Confidential” – Jacquelin Thomas (Pocketbooks/Simon & Schuster)• “More Than Entertainers: An Inspirational Black Career Guide” – Charles B. Schooler,Author; Gary Young, Illustrator (Zenith Publishing)• “Shadow Speaker” – Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu (Hyperion Books for Children/DisneyPublishing)

Awards are on FOX tomorrow night. I don't know if this is a catagory awarded on the show or not, but its a fantastic honor and I wish her the best!!!

Also, Cybils are tomorrow. Good luck to Laura Ruby and others nominated. Also, thanks to Kelly Herold and the long list of others that make the Cybils possible!

Jim Danielson

EEEEEEEEEEEK!!! I need a writing exercise. HELP!

I just remembered I promised the SCBWI network group a writing exercise for tomorrow night and haven't looked for or dreamt one up.

I'm off to search the cyber children's writing world, but if you have a good one...............

There are typically 3 to 8 people who attend these monthly meetings.