Posts Tagged ‘scratchy mountains’

Blog-love for Scratchy!!!

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

Major thanks to Lisa Chellman, for her terrific  post about Scratchy Mountains!

She’s dead-on in her association of my book with The Ordinary Princess.  I had completely forgotten Kaye’s novel, until my friend Tamar mentioned it after reading Scratchy Mountains.

Though of course I loved it as a kid!!!

And when Tamar pointed out the relationship,  I actually had to go re-read it, just in case I’d stolen anything accidentally.  I do that sometime, because so many of the books I loved as a kid are buried so deep in my brain.  Sometimes I  have to edit my plagiaristic tendancies out at the end.  Of course,  I live in constant fear I’m missing an allusion I need to attribute.

But that’s preferable (I suppose) to living in fear of germs or ghosts or murderous ex-boyfriends.

Review in Booklist!!!

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

Scratchy gets some Booklisty-love. Yeah!

Combining elements of a fairy tale and a folksy yarn, this story follows the parallel journeys of two young friends. Lucy, “the loveliest little milkmaid in the village of Thistle, or anywhere else in the Bewilderness,” misses her daily jaunt with Wynston, the crown prince whose father now insists that he attend to matters of state, specifically “princess-finding.” After Lucy takes off alone for the Scratchy Mountains, Wynston defies his father and follows her. This chapter book offers likable characters within a simply written, well-paced story. Magical elements, such as the river that flows up one side of the mountain and down the other, seem not just imaginative but also believable in the context of this childlike adventure story. With its spacious page design and the promise of illustrations (not seen, though the jacket art is charming), the book will appeal to many children in the middle grades as well as younger children reading at this level.

— Carolyn Phelan

Kindred spirits…

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

It isn’t often someone “gets” it all.  In anyone’s life.  We each have friends who are fun to party with, but don’t have kids the right age for our kids. Or friends who love to knit, but differ from us politically. Or are on another continent, or whatever…

For me, in my writing, I likewise assume that nobody wants to read *all* my various silly projects. The people who read my poetry might not be into my kidlit, and vice versa.  But Kerry Clare, my favorite human being in the world today, gets it ALL!  And I almost cried when I read this. I’m not kidding.

She writes:

From her poem, “Happily Ever After”: “She’s every wolf, every rib, every snarl./ No matter how she tells her story./ No matter what the frame looks like.” I recognized Snyder’s poetry in the prose at the beginning of Scratchy Mountains’ second chapter: “Many years passed, because that is what happens, even when something very sad has taken place. It is the nature of years to pass, and the nature of little girls to grow.”

Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains plays the same kind of game with logic and reality as The Myth of the Simple Machines, similarly inventing a reality constructed in much the same way as our own is but to a different effect. Which is called a fairy tale, I think

This affirms something big. makes me feel like, if certain reviewers pan the book, it’s okay. Because I *do* have a perfect reader out there somewhere.  The book found its way into the hands of the right person somehow.  And that’s the person I wrote it for!

Scratchy swag…

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

Weren’t you just saying the other day that you wished you had a tattoo of a red-headed milkmaid and prairie dog?  I’m pretty sure you were!

Weren’t you also saying that you don’t have enough vintage-y postcards adorned with pictures of castles?

Come to my party on Saturday at Little Shop of Stories and getcha some!

Review: School Library Journal

Monday, September 8th, 2008

It’s up at B&N, so I think I can unveil…


Is that weird?  That I’m so excited about being an author, even the dreaded “mixed review” feels like a good thing? I mean, it had to happen eventually…    So it’s a rite of passage.

(though it occurs to me that not every author posts negative press, I’m not every author. I’m me!)

An adventurous young milkmaid named Lucy decides to climb the Scratchy Mountains to learn more about her mother, who vanished many years before. At the top of a mountain she discovers a town dominated by unnecessary rules, where the weather runs on schedule, and the townspeople live in alphabetical order. Lucy’s friend Wynston, who is the prince of their small town, and who is supposed to be looking for a suitable princess to marry, follows her up the mountain and helps her rescue her pet prairie dog. As they work together, their spirited friendship blossoms. Ultimately, they discover that it’s okay to bend rules if not break them. This fairy tale, set in a time “before television and interstate highways” in the land of Bewilderness, has appealing characters who grow and develop; clear, accessible language; lively dialogue; and a light humorous tone. While the pacing is a little slow and the central message somewhat heavy-handed, children may enjoy the whimsical setting and the sweet friendship that blossoms between the protagonists.-Mari Pongkhamsing, St. Perpetua School, Lafayette, CA

The weird thing about reading this is that I don’t *totally* disagree.  In a word where Percy Jackson slays an evil beast on every third page, my book does have a slow pace, a kind of funny lopsided gait.  It’s old fashioned.  But that’s intentional.  If I had a different editor, we might have opted to “speed it up” by slashing out the little songs and the winding paths, the long dialogue bits and the chunks of expository writing.

And while I don’t think the book is heavyhanded at all, it does have “themes”.  It does have a discernible “message” by design.  I wanted to “say things” in my book, and so I did.

And it isn’t altogether frustrating to be read by a smart reader, and reviewed this way. It just means she wasn’t my perfect reader!

How’s that for Pollyanna? ( also a heavyhanded slow book)

Blog-tour stop #4: Baby Got Books!

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

I’m chugging a cold one and chatting it up over at BGB today. I absolutely adore this locally-run (but nationally read) litblog!  Come visit?

A big, big, BIG day!

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

Okay… so it’s officially official. I’m now an actual children’s author.  I stopped in at two local bookstores, and saw Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains face-out at both.

(here it is, at Little Shop of Stories!)

Then, in an odd coincidence, on Publisher’s Marketplace today, there was this…

Laurel Snyder’s PENNY DREADFUL, about a young girl who moves to a strange little town in the country  and has trouble making new friends amongst her rather odd neighbors, to Mallory Loehr at Random  House Children’s, by Tina Wexler at ICM (World).

So now I can shout about it. I’ve sold my third novel to my  awesome editor at Random House!!!

And to top it all off, Slidy Diner comes out in October!!!

I’m over, over, over the MOOOOOOOOOON!