From now until May 3, 2013, get 20% off the Tolman Hall Homeschool Literature Unit Study for Two Old Women when you purchase an electronic copy from Smashwords. When you check out, enter the coupon code TB48E (not case sensitive) and get this fantastic unit study for just $3.99. It doesn't contain the book Two Old Women by Velma Wallis, but you can check the book out of the library and use the Unit Study for two- to three-weeks' worth of high-quality literature curricula for your homeschool students. If you want to combine literature with social studies, this is a great unit study. Two Old Women is based on an Athabaskan legend, and it's full of excellent morals and imagery. Get your copy today!
I had the good fortune to interview Amber Gilchrist, author of Glitch, an LDS romantic comedy. She's funny; you'll like her. Here's a peek into this LDS author's writing world:
What made you start writing for the LDS audience?I've always been a writer and when i joined the church in 1993 at the age of 18 I started writing LDS books immediately, but I only finished one all the way through and it was ridiculously over dramatic and not worth following through, though I may rewrite it some day. Over the years, I've started several LDS books, most of which are probably half finished. I've been working on my career as a YA writer, but now I love to use NaNoWriMo to write LDS books just for something different.
Do you think there is any subject matter that is off-limits to LDS authors?Uh...exotic dancing bar owners who set fire to elementary schools? Unless, of course, they're taking the lessons and then that would probably be okay too haha.
How would you write differently if you were writing for a general audience?Well, I do also write for a general audience. I write upper YA, for teenagers over the age of 16 or so, and for adults I write series mysteries. I think the only real difference is that the LDS books have characters who allow me to explore the day to day life of an LDS person. Religion is rarely mentioned in my other books.
Do you write from an outline? Or do you start writing and see where the story takes you? Or some other method?I'm definitely a panster to start. I think about my characters and then I just let them tell me their story. Now, if the story starts to drag, usually towards the second part of the middle chunk, I might very vaguely plot out the rest to both avoid a sagging middle and to make sure that everything pulls together at the end.
Do you think independent publishing will change LDS literature?You know, I really do. There's very few LDS publishers and most of them publish the same kind of thing. Anyone who still has a good story to tell, but colors a little outside of the lines had no chance before. For those of us who are generally unimpressed with the more dramatic style of traditional LDS novels, indie published books are a breath of fresh air.
You can catch Amber on Twitter (@amber_gilchrist) or on her website. I agree, LDS indie published books are a breath of fresh air.
I've been finishing up Sister WhoDat this week, and my eyes are rather bleary from looking at the computer screen so intently. It doesn't help that when I look up from the screen and out my office window, the sky is the exact color of the background on Microsoft Word: a slightly gray version of white.
It's April 18th, but it's cold, cold, cold. There's really only one thing to do under the circumstances, but the sad truth is that I'm out of chocolate. It's not a minor problem. I can't eat gluten or milk, so skipping on down to the gas station doesn't help.
In my desperation, I've done the next best thing. I've written a love poem to Trader Joe's. I think it helped. I think I've got enough endorphins now to finish this thing up. Wow, chocolate's good. Just thinking about it helps.
Ode to Trader Joe's
by Rachel Terry
Trader Joe's, you're not a person
but I love you very much.
You have artichokes and snap peas
And arugula and such.
When I'm with you I feel normal
('cuz your bread is gluten-free),
Not like a freak of nature
or a yoga devotee.
You have the stuff I need
to make a dairy-free souffle
And even if you didn't
I'd still visit anyway.
There's the dude who gives out samples
of the foods I can digest,
Stuff like Southwest Quinoa Salad
With of Hint of Lime-y Zest
But the best of all, Dear Trader Joe's,
as far as I can see,
Is your dairy-free dark choc'late.
Yep, you are the one for me.
April 18, 2013
Typed and standardized words are easy to read and effortlessly accessible, but there's something utterly charming and personal about seeing an author's handwriting, especially when the author is thirteen years old.
Thirteen. For someone so young, Bronte certainly had a wonderful ear for rhythm and meter. I love her phrase "the red deer fleet." It makes me think not of a group of deer loitering in a sheltered meadow but of a well-maintained armada, ready for action and capable of speed.
But what does this have to do with Harry Potter? First, the poem.
I've been wandering in the greenwoods
And mid flowery smiling plains
I've been listening to the dark floods
To the thrushes thrilling strains
I have gathered the pale primrose
And the purple violet sweet
I've been where the Asphodel grows
And where lives the red deer fleet.
I've been to the distant mountain,
To the silver singing rill
By the crystal murmuring mountain,
And the shady verdant hill.
I've been where the poplar is springing
From the fair inamelled ground
Where the nightingale is singing
With a solemn plaintive sound.
I didn't know what "Asphodel" was when I first read this poem, so I googled it and was directed to the Harry Potter Wikia. The ancient Greeks associated Asphodel with death and the underworld, believing it grew in the Elysian Fields. In Harry Potter, Asphodel has both magical and non-magical uses. Powdered Asphodel roots are used at Hogwarts to create potions such as the Draught of Living Death and the Wiggenweld Potion. If only Charlotte Bronte had known about Harry Potter, she would have understood that saying, "I've been where the Asphodel grows," might insinuate that she's not 100% Muggle. This calls for research. Who's in?