Archive for the 'Story' Category

Homemade Puppet Show

Making Sammy the cat.

and then…

“Hello, my name is Sammy the cat.”

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More library love

I am such a soft touch.

My husband can tell you. I cry when the confetti comes down on the winner of American Idol, and I cry when someone wins a car on The Price is Right. I cry at the end of The Muppet Movie when Kermit sings the reprise to “Rainbow Connection.” It’s something about happiness and love and people having their dreams fulfilled.

And because I love libraries, and their stories, so much, Heather McCormack’s post about the publisher-library connection struck me as sweet and wonderful and made me tear up.

Libraries, as Heather says, are an integral part of the “reading ecosystem,”

a gorgeous little loop that leads to innumerable sales and circs that no one’s bothered to measure.

Library patrons are book buyers. They feed the cycle with their passion for stories, knowledge and information. Heather, in talking about one particular patron, says

This is just one story, but I bet you know five people who know five people who have used a library, then shopped in a bookstore, then gone back to a library before returning to a bricks-and-mortar or Amazon. And so on and so forth it goes…

And if you like sharing library memories, don’t miss the continuation of library week over at The New Sleekness with posts from Shayera Tingri and Kassia Krozser.

If you have other library links, please share them!

My first library

coleman
The building that once housed Coleman Library.

I love library stories.

In the same way that I love birth stories and love stories.

So I was delighted to see Kate Rados’ little post about libraries, with an accompanying cute picture.

I commented–about my memories of yummy musty book smells and the wonderful sound of the card-stamping machine–but then couldn’t get the library thing out of my head.

So I looked up images of my first library, Coleman, which was funded by the Callaway Foundation.

The library wasn’t public. It was, actually, overtly racist–a fact I didn’t fully understand until I was in high school. (As a private library they could keep out anyone they wanted, they said, even in the 1980s.)

But before I knew about race and segregation, when I was just learning to read, this library was the most magical place I had ever known.

As if to prove its magical abilities, one afternoon as my grandfather and I walked outside, rain came down on one side of the building while the sun shone on the other. The library was the dividing line of the universe.

All the knowledge in the world, good and bad, up for grabs.

I loved that place.

If you have a library story, head over to Kate’s post and share it in the comments.

[Update, 4/29/10: I changed shined to shone, yo. Because when re-reading I knew something wasn’t right.]

Jill Sorenson rocks!

So I just left the Tools of Change conference where I managed to write 10,000(!) words while taking notes on my tiny, heroic Eee PC; met several people I had previously known only online; and learned that Marian Schembari and I have the same networking technique.

My plan was to drop by my favorite wifi hotspot, the library, on my way home to figure out which tiny item I might be able to write about today. But as I was riding the train downtown, I started reading a manuscript by Jill Sorenson.

Now, I can’t put it down long enough to think about all of the things I learned at TOC. I keep getting distracted by the eerie atmosphere of a somewhat deserted island surrounded by man-eating sharks and the steaming reunion romance about to play out between two people I totally want to see get together. (Thank you, Jill, for sending this one to me.)

So pardon me while I decompress from the digital conference by doing some old-fashioned paper reading.

Saturday reading

Yesterday, I read a manuscript I couldn’t put down. It wasn’t an acquisition of mine; it was a draft that a co-worker urged me to read.

It was paranormal, with a romance. It had problems, she said, but she wanted another opinion.

My opinion? The motivations and character arcs were all over the place. Some plot elements were too conveniently tied up. A couple of times, I rolled my eyes at the heroine’s decisions and her reasoning. The secondary characters were underdeveloped.

And yet…

I still found the story compulsively readable. I wanted to know what happened. When I had to put the pages down to take Charlie to a birthday party, I thought about them the entire time.

What would the heroine do? What had happened to the women before her? Who would she love? How would it end?

How could a book with so many problems still have that good-book magic?

I’ve been thinking about it all morning. These are the three things I think made the difference:

1.) The first three chapters were well-written. The characters were interesting, the pacing was just right, the premise was established and there was a hint of suspense. The author set up a few intriguing questions right away, and because those chapters read so smoothly, I really wanted to know the answers. I was, in effect, hooked, and willing to give the author leeway when things went south.

2.) The heroine. She began the story in a very difficult situation and only reluctantly accepted her call to adventure. I empathized with her. I liked her. I wanted to find out how–if–she beat the odds.

3.) The author’s voice. Conversational in a Twilight way, that voice pulled me in. It suited the genre and my expectations, and made me feel like I was hearing the tale from a trusted friend.

This first one isn’t even published, and I wish I had the sequel already.


DISCLAIMER

I work as an editor at Harlequin, but the posts on this site are all mine and don’t represent my employer's positions, strategies or opinions.
my book shelf:
Stacy Boyd's book recommendations, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)
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