Sunday, January 28, 2018

Book Review: Wonder by RJ Palacio (middle grade novel)

People with craniofacial disorder can't hide their "otherness". And you can't help noticing them. How do you react? Do you look away? Do you stare? Does misunderstanding or fear provoke you to...? Author RJ Palacio empathized. This empathy prompted her to act. She wrote Wonder. Her book inspired the Choose Kind movement.

'Do all the good you can
By all the means you can
In all the ways you can
In all the places you can
At all the times you can
To all the people you can
As long as you ever can' -John Wesley's Rule

Publisher:  Knopf Books for Young Readers
Published in 2012

From kindergarten to grade four, August Pullman--a boy with craniofacial disorder--has been homeschooled. But in grade five, he enters public school.

How is he treated? Is he bullied for being different? Or does he find acceptance? 

Wonder is told by six diverse characters:  
Summer, Jack (two of Auggie's classmates)
Via (Auggie's older sister)
Justin (Via's boyfriend)
Miranda (Via and Auggie's friend)

The first voice we hear is Auggie's:
'If I found a magic lamp and I could have one wish, I would wish that I had a normal face that no one ever noticed at all... [T]he only reason I'm not ordinary is that no one else sees me that way.'

"Abby cuddling" ldyck

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Book Review: The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black (fantasy YA)

Can you guess the story from these clues?

dark forest
an enchanted sleep

Sleeping Beauty, right?
And also The Darkest Part of the Forest.

But in her book, author Holly Black re-writes stereotypical gender roles. 

Publisher:  Little, Brown Books
Published in 2015

Fairfold is a small tourist town whose main attraction is the fairie Folk--namely the horned boy in his glass coffin. But who helped him escape? And where is he now? These are the questions that protagonist Hazel and her brother set out to answer. 

In The Darkest Part of the Forest, author Holly Black explores what it feels like to be--and the prejudice that can arise from being-- labeled as 'other'.

Favourite quote...

'[T]he elf woman spoke in a voice like wind and rain and brittle leaves snapping underfoot.' (p. 9)


I've also enjoyed reading Doll Bones a middle grade fantasy by Holly Black.

Visit Holly Black's website. She offers an information-rich 
 Writing Advice page

"Abby rocking it" ldyck

Sharing my author journey...

Sunday, January 14, 2018

My Writing Strategy for 2018

"Beyond the Fog" ldyck

I write in many different genres. To date, I've written...

37 picture books for children
1 YA novel
6 short story collections for adults (includes a composite  novel)

My goal is to break into traditional publishing. (I began my career as an indie author. And was also published by a small press.)

Picture books are reported to be hard to break into and this has held true for me. So in 2018, they will take a back seat to my other work. This doesn't mean I will stop writing them--never shut the door on inspiration. They simply won't be my focus.

You may know that I've been writing a middle grade novel (for children ages 9 to 12 years of age). This one of the first times I've attempted to write for this age group. (The second time was a short story that has potential to become something longer. Here's the link to read that story.) I will continue to work on this novel. Three short novels for adults round out my work for 2018.

This is my strategy for the new year. But my strategies like my plot lines are flexible--I remain open to inspiration and direction (provided by educated/experienced outside sources). 

"Hey, look over there" ldyck

Sharing my author journey...

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Writing: The Right Foot Forward by Leanne Dyck

"Night sky" ldyck

Oh, 2018, I have big plans for you. I want you to be the year the right publisher chooses me.

But what if they don't?

No, I can't think like that. There's no point. I can't control another's actions...chooses. I can only keep clicking my pen, keep tapping away on my keyboard. I can only continue to believe in my ability to keep dancing--write, revise, submit. Keep trusting. Keep believing.

You will be an amazing year.

"In Byron's arms" ldyck