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NAGGING DOUBTS





A few nights ago, while waiting for sleep to catch, I found myself thinking about what I want as far as my writing goes. It's hard after all this time to stay positive. I know it's a tough industry. I know the competition is fierce. But I still get that nagging doubt - wouldn't something have sold by now if I was any good?
On the other hand, I really love the creative side of myself. My day job is all about managing numbers and employees and clients. I enjoy that, too. But writing brings out my fun side, my experimental side. So for as long as I love doing it, I'll keep in the game. I'll get there, I know I will. One day I'll have a work in print. I think the secret to maintaining the joy in writing is to forget about the brass ring and to stay in love with the creative side. To see each completed manuscript as a success in itself rather than each rejection letter as yet another failure.
Just keep swimming, right?

PICTURE BOOK PICK OF THE WEEK

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HANK FINDS AN EGG
by Rebecca Dudley;  Peter Pauper Press (2013)



While strolling through the woods, Hank stumbles across an egg that has fallen from a nest high up in the trees. Returning the egg becomes Hank’s top priority, but each of his attempts ends in failure.
Then night falls, and Hank must find a way to keep the egg and himself warm.










In this endearing and delightful wordless picture book, Rebecca Dudley tells a charming story about kindness and friendship. Incredibly, Rebecca Dudley crafted every item that appears in the book – the leaves, fronds, birds and sky.

Here’s the book trailer for a glimpse into Rebecca Dudley’s magical Storywoods world.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOdtFcZpXrE

THE NOWHERE BOX

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PICTURE BOOK PICK OF THE WEEK



THE NOWHERE BOX

by Sam Zuppardi, Candlewick Press (2013)



George’s little brothers are constantly in his stuff, in his face and in his hair. Enough is enough! He needs to go somewhere that the little pests can’t bother him.


The cardboard box from the new washing machine is exactly what he needs to make that happen. With scissors, paint and a dash of imagination, George is off on an amazing adventure to  . . .  the amazing Nowhere.


But is his great escape all it's cracked up to be?



There's only one way to find out. I remember being in this very same boat with my little brother. Sometimes even pesky brothers (or sisters!) are better than sailing solo.

PICTURE BOOK PICK OF THE WEEK

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THE NIGHT GARDENER

by The Fan Brothers; Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (2016)







Something magical is happening on Grimlock Lane. Wonderful topiaries are springing up overnight much to the delight and fascination of the townspeople.









William is on the lookout for who’s responsible. Will he discover who the mysterious night gardener is?
















It may be the time of year, but I find myself gravitating towards garden books. The Night Gardener is Terry and Eric Fan's first picturebook. The illustrations are stunning.

PICTURE BOOK PICK OF THE WEEK

THE CURIOUS GARDEN
by Peter Brown;  Little, Brown and Company (2009)








A delightful story about a curious boy who discovers some struggling plants growing along the abandoned railroad tracks.












Under his tender care, the little garden flourishes and spreads until the drab city and its dwellers are transformed.




I love that he sings to the plants. And that the garden takes on a life of its own, wanting to explore the rest of the city.


This beautifully told and illustrated story is a perfect Earth Day celebration selection.

HIGHLIGHTS RETREAT

Sometimes you have a really big project to work on.
Sometimes it’s a really crappy first draft that needs revising.
Sometimes you need a cabin in the woods and the opportunity to write uninterrupted.

That’s where a Highlights UnWorkshop comes in. The perfect writing retreat.
















































PICTURE BOOK PICK OF THE WEEK



GAME CHANGER – John McLendon and the Secret Game
by John Coy, illustrated by Randy DuBurke;  Carolrhoda Books 2015











An inspiring true story.

1944, Durham, North Carolina: players from Duke University Medical School basketball team stole across town to play against Coach John McLendon’s team from NC College of Negroes.
Why all the secrecy? This was a time of racism and segregation, a time when such a gathering was illegal and dangerous.
This secret game orchestrated by pioneering basketball coach John McLendon  made history.


















Coach McLendon questions for his players:

Who are you?

What are you?
Why are you here on this earth?

Where are you going?

ReFoReMo STARTS TOMORROW!

I can't wait to get started! I've managed to reserve picture books from the library for Day 1 - Day 3 so far, but will have to find out what the check out limit is because we are going to be reading a LOT of PBs. This is my first year participating. If you'd like to find out more about Read For Revision Month, click on this link http://www.carriecharleybrown.com/what-is-reforemo.html


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PICTURE BOOK PICK OF THE WEEK



MOLETOWN
by Torben Kuhlmann;  NorthSouth Books 2015

The story of Moletown unfolds in stunningly illustrated almost wordless pages. A fascinating look into an imaginary world as one mole sets up home under a meadow. Before long, other moles join him and so the settlement grows.

Thought provoking and visually enticing with detailed and amazing artwork worth poring over – I found new things to smile at or ponder over in each subsequent reading. We are invited to consider the price of unchecked progress, to evaluate the quality of life saturated in technology, and to strive for balance.




PICTURE BOOK PICK OF THE WEEK

THE QUICKEST KID IN CLARKSVILLE
by Pat Zietlow Miller, illustrated by Frank Morrison; Chronicle Books 2016





It’s the day before the parade to honor Clarksville’s own Olympic gold medalist Wilma Rudolph. Everyone knows that Alta is the quickest kid in Clarksville, Tennessee, apart from the sashaying, hands-on-her-hip Charmaine, that is. Well, Alta isn’t about to stand for that, but on parade day when Alta is struggling with her banner to honor Wilma Rudolph, will she accept help from Charmaine to get it there in time?









From the very start, the text and illustrations have characters’ personalities popping right off the page in this delightful story about competition and cooperation, community and friendship.




“Got me some new shoes,” Charmaine says.
Boy-howdy, does she ever.

Brand-new, only-been-worn-by-her shoes with stripes down the sides and laces so while they glow.





The author’s note at the back of the book includes the inspirational story of sprinter Wilma Rudolph who won three gold medals in the 1960 Olympic Games.

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