Saturday, June 30, 2012

Start the Story - Now That's a Good Idea!

In a time when so many things are being taken away from the world of children and books and reading and goodness in general, here's something that's being put back in! Here's the blurb:

"Start The Story is a bi-monthly digital magazine created by award-winning children’s authors, Tommy Donbavand and Barry Hutchison. Aimed at teachers, librarians, parents – in fact, anyone who wants to promote literacy among school pupils – each issue will be crammed with writing tips, lesson plans, book reviews, author interviews and much, much more.

We’ll have competitions where your pupils could win anything from a book token to a free Skype session with a top author.  We’ll recommend great reads for everyone in your class – from the most enthusiastic story scoffer to the reluctant readers.  And we’ll dig into our years of experience in teaching creative writing to make sure you have everything you could ever need to get your children starting stories of their own."

And here's the site:  Start the Story

I hesitate to say check it out, as this might date me, but really, I think you should -

Cheers, Joan.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

They Called Her New Name Lennon

A big thank you to Sheena MacGregor of Tollcross Primary School/Bunsgoil Crois na Cise for inviting me to talk to her class about my favourite Victorian detective Slightly Jones.  Sheena won best book review in the 8-11 category in the Scottish Children's Book Award (she wrote a wonderful review of The Case of the London Dragonfish) and part of her prize was, well, me!

And I came away with a prize too - the class gave me a Gaelic name!

Seonag Leannan.

How cool is that!


Friday, June 22, 2012

Dare Seven

Dare 7:  Today I will write a character without revealing its gender to my readers - or myself.

Congratulations - you have now successfully come to the end of Dare Week!  If any of these dares have proved useful to you, pass them on - a world full of free range dares is a world of unexpected delights.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Dare Six

Dare 6:  Today I will use alliteration to excess.

(And if you can find a photo that represents a lot of alliteration, you're a better browser than I am.)

Final dare tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Dare Five

Dare 5:  Today I will open my dictionary at random, point at a word with my eyes shut, and create a character - physical appearance, personality traits, the works - with that word as his/her name.  (first or second or middle - I'm easy)  (Having first opened my eyes again.)

And tomorrow we embrace the Dare that is Six.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Dare Four

Dare 4:  Today I will include the four elements - earth, air, fire, water - somehow, somewhere, in whatever I'm writing.

Return tomorrow for The Ante-penultimate ...

Monday, June 18, 2012

Dare Three

Dare 3:  Today I will use no adjectives.  Not a single, solitary, apposite or otherwise modifier of nouns, no matter how colourful, bland, collective or whatever they may be.

Still there?  Tomorrow's Dare Day 4!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Dare Two

Dare 2:  Today I will put some rhymes into my prose very, very sneakily and see if anyone notices.

Come back tomorrow for Dare 3 ...

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Seven Dares in June

I collect dares.  And this week I thought I'd pass some on.  One a day.  Like multi-vitamins.

They're writing dares which I use in workshops, but also for myself, for those times when I struggle as if through treacle to move a story forward and everything is, relentlessly, sludge, stodge, standstill ...

Dare 1:  Today I will write 4 short sentences for every long one.

I'll be back tomorrow with Dare 2!

Cheers, Joan.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Just Because It's Beautiful

Monday, June 04, 2012

Answers to Place That Face!

Here are the answers:

Face A:  The Virgin Mary, from St Mary's Abbey, York (about 1300)

Face B:  Buddha with just a smidgeon of King Jayavarman VII, from Bayon, Cambodia (about 1300)*

Face C:  Christ, from St Mary's Abbey, York (about 1300)

If you got them all, your prize is a feeling of gentle smugness.  If you didn't, your secret is safe with me!

* Thanks to the blog Think Twice for this photo.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Place that Face!

It's Jubilee Weekend in Britain so, apropos of nothing, I thought I'd set a quiz.  Can you tell me who these carved faces are and where they come from?  Clues to the answers can be found in earlier posts of mine, or you can just use the wild guess technique ...

So here we go -

Face A:

Face B:

and Face C:

Have a bash and put your thoughts up in the Comments bit - IF Blogger is allowing them this week.  I'll be posting the answers on Monday - see you then!

Cheers, Joan.