My boys keep tying up my baby

Is that a problem? How do I make it stop?

Also, we only have three more weeks of the contest. Many of you have commented that you learned a lot while participating. We have also learned a lot too. A lot, a lot. And we have some ideas of how we’ll do it differently next time (If there is a next time. Should there be a next time? We don’t know). It’s a big commitment and everyone who has participated is awesome. I love reading your entries and I’m glad we have guest judges to pick the winners, because every week I am torn.

It will be sad for it to end but it will also be nice to get back to regular blogging. We have some writing-marathons coming up and other fun stuff.

One question, what is your favorite YA or MG book that you have read in the past year? And I’m talking about books that have pushed you as a writer? What books have you read recently that taught you about character? Plot? Setting? Pacing? Made you think about your own writing differently? Novels, not craft books. I’m getting a list together and I’d love to hear your input.

I think that’s all for now. Get working on those fairy tales. My boys love Rumpelstiltskin. they also like to tie the refrigerator door to the bathroom door. It’s very convenient.



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7 responses to “My boys keep tying up my baby

  1. My favorites this past year were Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin and Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Leavitt. Neither were new books but they inspired me big time as a writer. And both inspired my nano last fall, in a way. They both had a do what is right and self-sacrificing thing going on. I really liked the format of Grace Lin’s MG…stories within a story and trying to figure out how each one was woven with the others. And the whole concept of death in Martine’s YA set in a character rich fantasy world and of course romance. (I don’t want to give away any more than that!) Both will be rereads for me every year.

  2. Kim Woodruff

    I think there should be a next time. I know people who didn’t hear about the contest in time to join who would love it if you’d do this again sometime. It’s been such a fun contest.

  3. Juliette

    My favorites are Freak by Marcella Fleischman Pixley, My Name Is Sus5an Smith: The 5 Is Silent by Louise Plummer, Same Difference by Siobhan Vivian, and Willow by Julia Hoban. Note that none of them came out within the last year. I have another favorite about a girl who gets really fat but I can’t remember the title or the author.

    I’m really enjoying the competition! Like really, really! I hope you do it again sometime.

  4. Rose Green

    My favorite YA of the year was RJ Anderson’s ULTRAVIOLET. Lovely writing, and such a different kind of book! It really resonated with me–a cracking good story, but also very personal. The book I learned the most from was Maggie Stiefvater’s THE SCORPIO RACES, which has an incredible voice and does an amazing job at getting the reader inside the heads and hearts of two characters who are very private and sort of detached from the rest of the world. Since I’ve had that comment leveled at my characters before, I was fascinated to see how she handled it.

    For MG, I loved THE PENDERWICKS AT POINT MOUETTE for its dead-on portrayal of friendship and sisterhood, and CIRCUS GALACTICUS (Deva Fagan) for high adventure under an intergalactic big top.

  5. Thank you for the book suggestions. I’ve put them all on hold at my library.

  6. Two of my all-time favorites, that I keep going back to as I craft my own MG novel, are “Holes” and “Walk Two Moons.” They both have such great pacing, letting the story unfold at just the right moments.


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