It’s spring break here in Kansas City, and the weather is certainly cooperating: we are supposed to reach 80 degrees tomorrow! Of course, this is the Midwest, so I anticipate much cooler temps by the end of the week. No worries…I have indoor and outdoor activities planned, so I’m prepared no matter the weather.
I’m not sure where I discovered this new MG series, The Flashback Four, but I certainly enjoyed the first book, and I’m excited to read more in the future.
Dan Gutman is the author of another popular time travel series, the Baseball Card Adventures, which I will now read. He nails the middle grade voice which is a skill I need to improve.
21st Century technology plays a big part in the time-travel element of this story in which the students are asked to take a picture of Lincoln delivering the Gettysburg address. My affinity for photography appreciats this story premise. I particularly enjoyed this thought-provoking quote:
… photography is a form of time travel, when you think about it. We snap a picture and we capture that moment in time. Forever. It becomes ours. With that photo, we bring the past to us… we step inside that memory. A photo allows all of us to travel through time.
I may never view photography the same again.
There are times when the author stops action to give us the historical context, a writing technique that is often frowned upon. I enjoyed the added information, however, and am encouraged some MG readers don’t mind the educational aspect of literature as well.
|Painting Inspiration for my WIP|
Many of you were supportive of my Middle Grade historical mystery idea – thank you for the words of encouragement!
This week I focused on comparative books to discover common patterns I should try to incorporate. I re-read a couple of the Magic Tree House adventures, Ranger in Time (Rescue on the Oregon Trail) and The Mystery at the Eiffel Tower. And I did discover these stories have a certain cadence: a couple of chapters of high adventure followed by one chapter of rest. Both the characters and the reader need an opportunity to catch their breath before the next series of events.
While I have a few more comps to read, I know at this point I am procrastinating. It is time to distance myself from what is already published and begin to write my unique story. That’s a little scary…
But it is spring break, and I have no excuse.
- I anticipate outlining the novel will be a multi-step process. I will first decide where the dog will travel and how the children will track him.
- Next, I will imagine what adventure can take place at each location. Which characters will take part – what conflict will arise and how will it be resolved.
- I will also need to plan occasional rest periods.
- And the educator in mean wants to include a bit of Parisian history and art appreciation without being pedantic or preachy.
Yep… I gotta lotta work to do!
I still have lots of prep work for the Blogging A-Z Challenge, but in the meantime I did manage to keep up my regular blogging routine.
- How to Journal: Expressive Journaling
- French Friday: Open Air Markets – Rue Cler
- Totoro Family Recipes: Blueberry Muffins
The idea of focusing on fun (my 2016 Word of the Year) took a backseat while I healed from “the accident” Therapy is going well though, and I am about 90% back to normal. It is time to reintroduce FUN into my life.