Friday, February 22, 2013

Young Adult Booklist: "Travel" Theme

Aci Castello Sicily Italy - Creative Commons by gnuckx (5085321593)    
Hi everyone! I worked up a booklist for a Young Adult Fiction display at the library. The theme is "Travel." All the books in the first list are available at the Lakeport library or available on order from a nearby library. You can order any or all of these books right from your home by searching here through the library catalog. Enjoy!
Travel Booklist for Young Adults

·         Ostrich Boys by Keith Gray

·         Shift by Jennifer Bradbury

·         The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares (also on ebook)

·         An Abundance of Katherines by John Green (also on audiobook)

·         Wounded by Stephen Cole

·         The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour

·         The Convicts by Iain Lawrence

·         Come Back to Afghanistan : a California teenager's Story by Said Hyder Akbar and Susan Burton

·         Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech (also on Audiobook)

·         Blood Red Road by Moira Young

·         Rules of the road by Joan Bauer

·         The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex

·         Defining Dulcie by Paul Acampora  

·         Solace of the Road by Siobhan Dowd

·         Pardon my French by Cathy Hapka

·         Spain or Shine by Michelle Jellen

·         Forrest Gump : a novel by Winston Groom (Adult Fiction, also on Audiobook)

·         The Watsons go to Birmingham--1963 a novel by Christopher Paul Curtis (Juvenile Fiction, also on Audiobook & Ebook)

·         Here Abide Monsters by Andre Norton (Juvenile Fiction)

·         Travels with Charley : in search of America by John Steinbeck (Adult NF 917.3 STEINBECK)

·         The Secret Life of Prince Charming by Deb Caletti (Only on Audiobook)

·         13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson (Ebook & Audiobook only)

·         Going Bovine by Libba Bray

Not all of these next books are available at our library, but they also fit our theme.

·         Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

·         TimeRiders by Alex Scarrow

·         Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick by Joe Schreiber (I am definitely going to read this!)

·         Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard

·         Saving June by Hannah Harrington.

·         How My Summer Went Up in Flames by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski

·         American Spaz the Novel by Greg Kieser

·         Punkzilla by Adam Rapp

·         Kiss the Morning Star by Elissa Janine Hoole
     I can't make any promises that these books won't include "questionable content," because I picked them based on the theme and haven't read them all.
     P.S. And I haven't forgotten the craft post on Premise. I want to make sure it's freaking amazing before I let you see it. For now, read up!

Photo Attribution:
By gnuckx [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Friday, February 15, 2013

Aromatherapy and Wildflowers @ the Library, & Book News

Dawn Gallagher Aromatherapy     Book Bandits and Library Lubbers,
     I've got a library post for you today! I know I promised a writing post today, but two library events and some exciting book news came up. Let's start with the free library events! (P.S. They're always free. Field trip!)
     The first is called “Aromatherapy and the Immune System.” On Feb. 20th,  experienced aroma therapists Theresa LeGarie and Susan Walker will speak about essential oils supporting the immune system. If you come, you can check out the aromas of various essential oils and ask questions.  Come by at 6:00 p.m.
     At our second event, master gardener Barbara Haddon will present a free slideshow program on local wildflowers. She says that the area around Lake County abounds with wildflowers all year long, and that this program will assist people in identifying and appreciating the diversity, abundance, and beauty of California's wildflowers. This event will take place on Mar. 2nd at 2:00 p.m.
     Both events will take place at the Lakeport Library, 1425 N. High St. For more information about either event, contact Amy Patton, the library’s coordinator of adult programs at 263-8817 ext. 17105 or email
     Or ask me! :)
     Just FYI, the Lakeport Library is open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Wednesday noon to 8 p.m. The phone number is 263-8817. The library can be found on the internet at and at Facebook at
     Now for some other book news!
     If you are "into" book awards, here is a cool article about the newest ones: Printz, Newberry and Caldecott medals. For the full list of Printz winners (Young Adult novels) and pictures of the covers, you can look at the YALSA award page! Congrats to the authors.
     I've talked of a certain Nathan Bransford many times in the past, as he has been a huge part of my free writing edjumacation. He has a trilogy of children's books out now, and you can check them out here! They look wonderful and I will certainly be reading them.
     Before I go, let me apologize for the weird formatting on this post. Erglbergl.

Photo Attribution:
By Glade Jacobsen (Glade Jacobsen) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Works Cited
Cook, Jan. "Wildflower Program at Library." Press Release. 15 Feb. 2013. Feb. 2013.
Cook, Jan. "Library Program on Aromatherapy." Press Release. 5 Feb. 2013. 15 Feb. 2013.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Permission to Brainstorm, SIR!

Olds Mansion blueprint     Lately, I've been studying different processes of writing. Most of us have probably heard of the debate between "Outline People" and "No-Outline People," or "Pantsers." (Planners...plan. Pantsers...don't. In case you haven't heard.)

Whichever type of writer we happen to be, I think a little pre-planning can help us.

     Why? Because when we build a story, we want to make sure the foundation is strong. Pre-planning sets up that foundation. It's prep-work. Without a strong foundation (premise & structure), even the best technical writing won't save a story. First, I want to show you a video that helped me discover this (I learned about it in my Commercial Fiction class), then I'll give you a bit more of my opinion on the matter. This video was mind-blowing for me! If you are unsure about your position as a planner or pantser, I hope you'll stick around and watch! It is a portion of an interview with John Truby, a terrific story doctor. He begins by discussing some misconceptions about prewriting, then goes into why many writers fail at the beginning of the writing process.

     We could spend weeks on all the good stuff Truby talks about here, but let's tackle the idea of prep-work and planning from the beginning.
     Obviously, Truby recommends the "planner" method rather than the "pantser" method; he does not acknowledge that some writers plan their story while writing a first draft. If you use this latter method, you are using the "pantser" method. Writing a first draft this way is crazy and creative. Anything can happen. However, after writing that first draft, a pantser almost always needs to throw it out and start anew with the knowledge they've gained from that last attempt. Truby may be assuming that most writers would be discouraged about having to throw out all their work, or he may think the pantser method is worthless. In the case of the latter, he's wrong. After all, it is the method Ray Bradbury used. Worked for him, right? "Pantsing" is a viable method, as long as the writer knows that he'll write a lot of words he won't use.
     Some people like writing this way; not me. I don't like the pantser method because it frustrates me to throw out those masses of words. (Of course, even after planning there will be plenty of rewriting. That's different though--there won't be as many ginormous structural issues if I plan correctly.) I have tested out the "pantser" method for myself. Originally, I wrote my current work-in-progress about a prison break...then I discovered that not all my characters would condone such a thing. I ran right through the first draft (during NaNoWriMo) without realizing this. After spending six months trying to figure out what went wrong, I discovered the flaw in my premise and a whole vein of necessary research I had overlooked. I've been reworking my ideas ever since. I have not begun writing my next draft yet because I just finished researching and am coming to the end of the planning phase. I began my first draft before I was ready because I was in too much of a hurry. I should have taken time to let my ideas "ripen," as Orson Scott Card, the famous Fantasy author, recommends (he is a pre-planner, like me).You'll have to test out each method and find out which kind of writer you are.
     Orson Scott Card wrote that at some point, there will be planning stage. It may be in one form or another, before or after your first draft, with or without outlining, but it will come. Whether you are a planner or pantser, most of your ideas and work will change before you discover your true story.
     Even so, every writer will have a different writing process--two planners may plan differently--so don't be discouraged if you find you have to throw out lots of work before discovering a process that works for you. It's a part of learning! If you like this video of John Truby, I suggest you read this book by him called The Anatomy of Story. You can order it from the local library, if you live around Lakeport, CA. (If not, try your own library!)
     Now, you may be wondering how to begin this so-called preplanning. What does it entail? Remember when John Truby talks about developing a "Premise" or "Logline" in the video? The premise is the beginning. This is kind of a magical concept for me, because I didn't understand it for a while. I'll talk about it in a future post. Next week, we can journey through this drippy, murky cave together. Headlamps, everyone! We're a-goin' spelunkin'! *
     If you have any comments about all this, I'd love to hear them. Have you tried different orders of story process? Tried some preplanning before? What methods, what tools? Or have you gone on that mad dash called NaNoWriMo?

*Here is the promised post on Premise.

Works Cited:

Card, Orson Scott. How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy. Cincinnati, OH: Writer’s Digest Books, 1990. Print.

Truby, John. The Anatomy of Story: 22 steps to Becoming a Master Storyteller. New York, NY: Faber and Faber, Inc. 2007. Print.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Top 100 Movies

Today’s post has absolutely NOTHING to do with Literature and is completely self-indulgent, but gosh it was fun. Here is my Top 100 list of movies. I got this idea from Nathan Bransford’s blog (which I’m sure you’ve heard of before). Add to the list in the comments, if you like! I need some suggestions for oldies-but-goodies and classics.

1.      The Sound of Music

2.      Hamlet (Branagh)

3.      The Series of Unfortunate Events

4.      Memoirs of a Geisha

5.      The Lord of the Rings (all)

6.      Good Will Hunting

7.      Forrest Gump

8.      Pride and Prejudice (both major productions)

9.      Schindler's List

10.  The Shawshank Redemption

11.  The Princess Bride

12.  Catch Me If You Can

13.  A Few Good Men

14.  The King's Speech

15.  Ratatouille

16.  Monty Python and the Holy Grail

17.  Back to the Future (all 3)

18.  The Hunger Games

19.  To Kill a Mockingbird

20.  The Pirates of the Caribbean (first two)

21.  Batman (all new)

22.  The Hobbit (cartoon)

23.  A Knight's Tale

24.  The Emperor's New Groove

25.  Sherlock Holmes (2009)

26.  The Harry Potters (Yeah, that's right!)

27.  Mulan

28.  The Hobbit (new)

29.  Juno

30.  The Sleeping Beauty

31.  Miracle

32.  Extreme Days

33.  The Whole Nine Yards

34.  The Sixth Sense

35.  Signs

36.  A Beautiful Mind

37.  Swing Kids

38.  A League of Their Own

39.  How To Train Your Dragon

40.  The Sandlot

41.  Liar Liar

42.  Men in Black

43.  The Italian Job

44.  Remember the Titans

45.  Jumanji

46.  Patch Adams

47.  The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (newest)

48.  Casino Royale

49.  Les Miserables

50.  The Help

51.  V for Vendetta

52.  The Oceans (Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen)

53.  Sweet Home Alabama

54.  Never Let Me Go

55.  Iron Man

56.  Phantom of the Opera

57.  Gandhi

58.  Romeo and Juliet

59.  A Walk to Remember

60.  Hangman’s Curse

61.  My Big Fat Greek Wedding

62.  Seabiscuit

63.  Martian Child

64.  The Passion of the Christ

65.  Ransom

66.  Contact

67.  Megamind (you know it!)

68.  The Bournes (minus the newest)

69.  War of the Worlds (2005)

70.  Sister Act

71.  The Guardian

72.  Emma

73.  Kate and Leopold

74.  Monsters, Inc.

75.  Shrek

76.  Fast and Furious

77.  Money Ball

78.  Freaky Friday

79.  Twister

80.  Matilda

81.  The Karate Kid (old version)

82.  Water for Elephants

83.  Speed

84.  The Parent Trap (Lohan)

85.  The Guardian

86.  Hitch

87.  The Illusionist

88.  Flight

89.  National Treasure

90.  The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

91.  Rudy

92.  Zoolander

93. School of Rock

94.  Star Wars

95.  Star Trek

96.  The Blindside
97.  The Prince of Egypt

98.  Safe House

99.  Caddyshack

100.  Despicable Me