Yes, This Will Be On the Test

Writing, Reading, Laughing

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Name Games

I am fascinated by names.

As a teacher I see some bizarre names fly across my rosters. Some of those poor kids will be spelling out their "unique" names for people the rest of their lives, and never find a personalized bike license plate.

As a writer I agonize over choosing the perfect name for each character, so I am in awe when I come across character names that snap off the page.

Here are some of my recent favorites.

From Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson

Major Ernest Pettigrew - His name sketches a serious and proper demeanor.
Mrs. Ali - Melodious and lovely which perfectly matches her graciousness.

From The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Hazel and Augustus are the names Green selects for his teen main characters. I love the way he eschews current contemporary choices. These names told me to expect characters that were going to transcend the ordinary.

From Graceling/Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

Say this aloud - Katsa
Do you hear the bite in the sound of the name? This character is a fighter.
Po - A prince who goes by a nickname taken from a beautiful tree in his kingdom that matches his eyes. Love that name origin story.
Saph - Named after his gorgeous sapphire eyes

From Divergent/Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Beatrice turned Tris - Another name with crispness that supports strength of character
Four - I love a name that fills you with questions.

What are some character names that have caught your fancy? 

Book Cover Photo Credits
Name Button Photo Credit

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Closed Hearts by Susan Kaye Quinn

My favorite part of Bloglandia is celebrating the accomplishments of fellow writers. I'm thrilled to announce the release of Closed Hearts, the second book in The Mindjack Trilogy by Susan Kaye Quinn. I'm a huge fan of Susan's blog. It's been a thrill to follow her journey from Open Minds to Closed Hearts. 

Open Minds is a "hands up in the air" roller coaster ride. I'm off to click my safety bar into place and dive into Closed Hearts. Wishing Susan massive success with The Mindjack Trilogy.


Book Two of the Mindjack Trilogy

Eight months ago, Kira Moore revealed to the mindreading world that mindjackers like herself were hidden in their midst. Now she wonders if telling the truth was the right choice after all. As wild rumors spread, a powerful anti-jacker politician capitalizes on mindreaders’ fears and strips jackers of their rights. While some jackers flee to Jackertown—a slum rife with jackworkers who trade mind control favors for cash—Kira and her family hide from the readers who fear her and jackers who hate her. But when a jacker Clan member makes Kira’s boyfriend Raf collapse in her arms, Kira is forced to save the people she loves by facing the thing she fears most: FBI agent Kestrel and his experimental torture chamber for jackers. 

Now available! $2.99 Ebook at Amazon (and Amazon UK) and Barnes and Noble Request a Kindlegraph Paper copies available at Amazon or get signed copies from the author

Susan Kaye Quinn is the author of the bestselling YA novel Open Minds,  Book One of the Mindjack Trilogy, available on AmazonBarnes and Noble, and itunesSusan's business card says "Author and Rocket Scientist," but she mostly plays on TwitterFacebook, and Pinterest.

Mind GamesOpen MindsClosed HeartsIn His EyesLife, Liberty, and PursuitFull Speed Ahead

CLICK HERE to join the Virtual Party for Closed Hearts
(including bonus content for the Mindjack Trilogy and writerly guest posts) 
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Monday, May 14, 2012

Random Act of Kindness BLITZ!

A smile. An encouraging word. A thoughtful gesture. Each day people interact with us, help, and make our day a bit brighter and full. This is especially true in the Writing Community

Take a second to think about writers you know, like the critique partner who works with you to improve your manuscript. The writing friend who listens, supports and keeps you strong when times are tough. The author who generously offers council, advice and inspiration when asked.

So many people take the time to make us feel special, don't they? They comment on our blogs, re-tweet our posts, chat with us on forums and wish us Happy Birthday on Facebook.

Kindness ROCKS!

To commemorate the release of their book The Emotion Thesaurus, Becca and Angela at The Bookshelf Muse are hosting a TITANIC Random Act Of Kindness BLITZ. And because I think KINDNESS is contagious, I'm participating too!

I am choosing the library staff of our local high school. They do so much to put awesome books into the hands of our teens despite the devastating budget cuts to education. For my RAOK gift, I'm donating two copies of John Green's amazing The Fault in Our Stars. 

Don't forget your local elementary, junior high, and high school libraries when you're cleaning out your bookshelves.

Do you know someone special that you'd like to randomly acknowledge? Don't be shy--come join us and celebrate! Send them an email, give them a shout out, or show your appreciation in another way. Kindness makes the world go round. :)

Becca and Angela have a special RAOK gift waiting for you as well, so hop on over to The Bookshelf Muse to pick it up.

Have you ever participated in or been the recipient of a Random Act Of Kindness?  Let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A to Z Challenge Reflection

I'm pumping my fist in the air for making it through all 26 letters.

Now I'm fist pumping for everyone else who made it.

Worth it...absolutely.

I met some wonderful, creative folks and forged closer relationships with others who I already knew.


I approached each letter post the way a designer would approach their daily sketch diary. One new picture/post a day to sharpen my blogging skills.

Thrilled with my new followers...absolutely.

It would be cool to have a code to identify the flavor of the participating blogs. 
W for writing, C for cooking, B for book review etc.

Thank you to the hosts who lit up Bloglandia with this fabulous opportunity.