This photo was taken at the home of my husband’s sister, Marsha. She’s a highly skilled photographer, and she caught our vacation smiles. The door to her photo studio is open in the background. Do you see it?
Want to guess what we’re thinking about?
We’re not on the cover of my forthcoming memoir, Never Too Late: From Wannabe to Wife at 62. In fact, we’d like to know what you think about the two cover choices. Scroll down to the information below the picture to find out how to vote for the cover you prefer. Thanks!
Back to school, and this was a really big day, whether you were in a science class or not. This was eclipse day. The moon covers the sun in an eclipse, and the air gets all eerie as if it’s faintly tinted with gray.
But not ash.
It’s cooler out, and you can’t look directly at the sun because it’ll burn up your retinas.
But you can look in a box through a pinhole. Second hand. Like most of the news. It’s all filtered through reporters. But I’m off the subject here.
The moon covers the sun.
Sometimes clouds cover the moon and the sun.
Clouds get blown by the wind, but the sun and moon don’t.
The rules aren’t so hard and fast with humans.
They cover their feelings and plot, sometimes.
Especially if they have a screw loose . . . You know who you are.
If you don’t know who that someone is, read Talent, TALENT. You’ll like it, though you may not like all of us who are in it. See, I’m finally starting to learn, that you can’t win everyone’s heart, no matter how hard you try.
Special thanks to my author, B. Lynn Goodwin, www.writeradvice.com, for typing up these thoughts for me.
SM: This may sound a little strange, but I’m going to interview my author, B. Lynn Goodwin about the book she wrote before mine.
You see I’ve been learning a few things about care giving since I met a girl named Tessa. You’ll meet her when you read Talent. Her sister came back from Afghanistan with some kind of a brain injury. She’s still in a coma, but Tessa’s keeping a journal for her to help her when she wakes up. So, Lynn, my first question would be is Tessa’s journal like your book?
BLG: A little bit. In both cases caregivers are relieving stress by writing their stories one incident at a time and one feeling at a time.
They are processing their thoughts as they write them down. There’s something about slowing down and putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard that makes what’s happening more manageable. You don’t deny thoughts the minute they flit into your brain. Instead you deal with them.
SM: Cool. That’s like my journal for English class, except I try not to say anything too personal there.
BLG:You can be as personal as you want when you journal for yourself. So who else would this journal be good for?
SM: Maybe my mom. Maybe even my dad. They can’t get over what happened to my brother, Bri. Not that I blame them. But it totally sucks—I mean it’s totally hard—to be me right now. They hardly even know I’m around.
BLG:So they could process what happened to Bri and how they are coping?
SM:Wait a minute. I’m supposed to be asking the questions! Do you have to journal every day?
BLG:Write when you want to. Write as often as you want to. Some people set a timer for 10 minutes. Some people keep going long after 10 minutes.
SM: Where did those 200 sentence starts come from?
BLG: Good questions, Sandee. I’m not sure anyone ever asked me that before. I first wrote them for my students. They were tenth graders who kept saying, “There’s nothing to write about.” So I started saying, “Finish that sentence start on the board and just keep going.”
SM:Did it work?
BLG:Would it work in your English class?
SM: It would for some people.
BLG: Exactly. When I used sentence starts with more motivated people, like drama students developing their characters or my free writing group, people used them to start. They let one idea lead to the next.
SM:So are journaling and free writing the same?
BLG:Free writing is a form of journaling.
SM: So I think I might like a copy of the book for Tessa, and I think I should get Mom and Dad separate books. So how do I get it?
BLG: Go to Amazon. I know you know about Amazon because they sell your story, Talent too. The Amazon page for You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers isYou Want Me to Do WHAT? The page for Talent is Talent.
SM:Thanks for letting me interview you. Maybe I should take up journalism.
BLG: It’s okay with me, but you’ll have to wait until I get my newest book published before I can tell more of your stories, Sandee. I’ll tell you more about that book in our next interview.
What’s ending at the end of the day on December 1 is Writer Advice’s Fifth Scintillating Starts Contest.
Have you shared the first 1000 words of your memoir or novel with us? You should. We are known for our great feedback, and you have a chance to win a cash prize and have your work published in Writer Advice, http://www.writeradvice.com.
Grab and hold us with your opening paragraphs. We’ll read from works in progress as well as finished manuscripts. Submit up to 1000 words of any unpublished memoir, novel, or creative nonfiction by 12-01-16 to Writer Advice’s Scintillating Starts Contest.
The summer of 2016 has been something else. I like the movies and some of the music. I hate the news. I feel sorry for adults sometimes. You have so much to think about. So while I was practicing driving with Dad, I thought of a few hints that might help you get along with us. Many of you already do, of course. But not all. And not all the time. So read my list. It just might help.
Listen to us. You’re doing that right now. But listen even when you’re mad, okay? We know we’re not perfect (except for Rob) and we want you to understand why we do the things we do.
Don’t always play the teacher—even if you are the teacher. Sometimes we can teach you things.
Ask questions—but not too many—and if we don’t want to answer back off.
Respect our privacy. You wouldn’t want us diving into your drawers, your computer, your cell.
Respect our rights. Mom & Dad have gotten really good at this, because they’ve talked about rights. I have the right to talk, but not to talk back. They will let me keep going out as long as I respect curfew. Things like that.
Question: What advice would you give parents, teachers, and other authorities? Please write back and tell me, whether you are a teen, a tween, a parent, a teacher, an authority, or an interested adult.
Thanks for reading, responding, and sharing. =)
You can purchase TALENT on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Talent-B-Lynn-Goodwin/dp/1629293350/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1450916910&sr=8-1&keywords=9781629293356 (cut and paste)
You can forward this blog to friends, teachers, parents, and librarians.
Comments? Click on the link above to share them. =)
The San Jose Mercury News is one of the big regional newspapers in California. I remember reading it when I was a little girl, before the term Silicon Valley was coined, back in the day when we had one TV with no remote, in a console, in the family room. The Mercury-News has endured, and I hope that TALENT, which was reviewed there last week, will also endure.
This review, by Joanna Kraus, appeared in a column entitled “Summer Reading is Fun for All.” Here is what she said:
“Talent” by B. Lynn Goodwin (Danville) (Eternal Press, $12.50, ages 13-16.) Sandee’s brother has been missing in Afghanistan for seven months. Yet she hears Bri’s voice encouraging her when she auditions for the school musical, advising her when she selects a possible boyfriend, and supporting her when she must disobey the law to rescue a friend. She discovers “real life doesn’t have a script” in this moving novel, set in the East Bay. Sandee shows initiative, responsibility and finally the will to live her own life.
I liked her accuracy, her originality, and her choices of what will appeal to teens. But this is not a book for teens only. Many adults (including my book club) have read and liked the book.
There are 46 other reviews at http://www.amazon.com/Talent-B-Lynn-Goodwin/dp/1629293350/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1450916910&sr=8-1&keywords=9781629293356. Sandee Mason and I hope you will add yours soon.
This summer is a perfect time to read TALENT. If you are a teen, encourage your teacher to have the whole class read it. If you are a parent, share it with your kids. Read it together. Discussion questions in the back will help you get conversations going… in case that has ever been a problem in your life.
Please write back and tell me what you think of the book. I can’t wait to hear from you.
Have you read TALENT? Well, why not? It’s only a click away. Go to the Talent on Amazon link above.
Want to know what to do with it after you read it? I should tell you to buy a copy for everyone you know, but between you and me, you can pass yours along if you want to.
Give a copy to a teacher. What kind of teacher? A drama teacher, an English teacher, a teacher who loves kids. Give it to an art teacher, or a photography teacher. Any teacher.
Give it to a librarian. School and youth librarians are looking for teen-centered books. Some of them get tired of vampires, shape shifters, and those who live in a dystopian society. You’ll be giving the gift of contemporary fiction.
Give it to your favorite student—especially one grades 6-11. It’s really suitable for anyone above a fourth grade reading level. Some of its themes are universal while its scenes are immediate and real. Although the heroine is a girl, there are two strong male characters, Rob and Diego.
Give it to the parents of any teen or tween. It will help them to see themselves through teen eyes.
Give it to a bookseller. It’s the perfect non-dystopian addition to the YA shelves.
Give it to a church’s youth group leader. It’s worth reading and sharing. There are discussion questions in the back.
Give it to a Girl Scout leader. Sandee is a role model for girls who empower themselves.
Give it to the thespians and former thespians in your life. It will bring back memories.
Give it to sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, and grandkids when they are in a show—whether it’s musical comedy, a concert, or even a Power Point presentation. Show them you understand what they’re going through and so does Sandee.
Give a copy to the juvenile hall library in your county. They need books that include positive role models.
Who have I forgotten? Write back and tell me who else needs a copy. There should be a contact button at the top.