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Monday, June 6, 2016

WONDERFUL WEEKEND AT NJSCBWI CONFERENCE

Had a great time at the NJSCBWI Conference this past weekend. Connected with old friends and critique buddies from The Poets' Garage.
POETS' GARAGE CRITIQUE BUDDIES
Left....Laura Sassi, author of Goodnight Ark and GoodNight Manger.




Middle...Diana Murray, author of City Shapes, Ned the Knitting Pirate, and Griselda the Very Messy Witch.


                                            





Right.....Me, Gayle C. Krause, author of Rock Star Santa.





Two of the Four JAGR's


Me and Julie Hall Gonzalez, author of Could A Bear Sleep Here?


Monday, May 9, 2016

Winner of Signed Copy of Pat Thomas' Green Beans! Green Beans!










CONGRATULATIONS!




Melissa Estes. You've won a signed copy of Pat Thomas's new picture book, Green Beans! Green Beans! Please send me your physical address so I can mail the autographed book to you and your children.

Enjoy your green beans!


Sunday, May 1, 2016

Rhyming Review of Green Bean! Green Bean! and Signed Picture Book Giveaway

Ms. Thomas' rhyme has stood the test of time from STAND BACK SAID THE ELEPHANT I'M GOING TO SNEEZE, (1971) which is still in print, to her latest, GREEN BEAN! GREEN BEAN!



GREEN BEAN! GREEN BEAN!
By Patricia Thomas

Ms. Thomas’ poetry, clever and clean,
brings us the life cycle of a green bean.

She starts with a seed that grows to a shoot and also discusses the valuable root.

The sun on the leaves producing the green that eventually leads to our yummy green bean!

Freckles and speckles and bugs seeking lunch.
Ms. Thomas’ internal rhyme packs a punch.

The back matter’s full of info for kids
And teachers can help track bean’s growth on math grids.

Or have children write their own vegetable poem
about their favorites in their gardens at home.

Wonderful words in a cumulative tale
and great illustrations in exquisite detail.

I recommend Green Bean! Green Bean!
and perhaps it will lead to green bean cuisine!

Green Bean! Green Bean! Review by Gayle C. Krause @2016


Patricia Thomas grew up on a farm in Pennsylvania where she learned the delight of summers spent barefoot and hands digging in garden dirt. From her teacher parents, she also learned the joy of books, reading, poetry, and rhyme. The gardening part paid off when profits from 4-H tomato projects helped finance tuition at Penn State University. She married her PSU sweetheart, became a copywriter/editor, raised a family, and discovered she was a children’s writer. Today, nearly 45 years later, her first book, Stand Back, Said the Elephant, “I’m Going to Sneeze!” still sends kids around the world into gales of laughter. Her books, stories, and articles cover wide-ranging poetic and prose styles. She has presented workshops, writing courses, lectures, and teacher-education seminars.




Comment below: Share your favorite vegetable that you grow (or tried to grow) in your own garden.

Winner will be selected by random.org and I will notify you to send me your address. Good luck to all!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Repetitive Redundancies


 Hi folks:

I wrote this article for the SCBWI National Bulletin a few years back, yet I see in my critique partners' writing this very thing. I thought I'd refresh your memory.  Enjoy!



Repetitive Redundancies
By Gayle C. Krause


What kind of title is that? It means the same thing. Exactly my point! Many new writers are absolutely certain that they have assembled together a manuscript adhering to the basic essentials of good writing, combined together with creative imaginings, or true fact, which in my own personal opinion, is exactly the same as stamping it with a negative rejection form before it even gets sent out.

Redundancies are common in the writing of new authors; even some seasoned ones let them slip by. A writer must be aware of words that say the same thing twice. Being a writer in several critique groups, both live and online, I often see simple phrases written by fellow authors, which employ double words that have the same meaning. Sometimes writers, especially new ones, tend to get caught up in the content of their story or article, and fail to realize their wordiness simply destroys the flow. Readers then must reread the paragraph to understand what the writer was trying to say.

Some manuscript doctors suggest you slash and burn, cutting out unneeded words to make the piece more efficient. Although clarity and conciseness is our goal as writers, cutting out our favorite words or passages is not the key, however, checking for a few simple ways to reduce wordiness is.

Redundant phrases are the first place to look. Redundancies arise from three sources:
1.     wordy phrases
2.     obvious qualifiers
3.     using two or more synonyms together

One pair of words most commonly overused is repeat again. Either use repeat, or again, but not both. Below are a few others.

i.e. advance planning, invited guest, old adage, continue on, end result, final conclusion, free gift, identical match, new innovation, refer back, sudden impulse, sum total

It is also the author’s responsibility to choose powerful words for their writing. This technique is referred to as direct writing. They should make their words do their own work and not prop them up with over inflated phrases that don’t really mean anything. These phrases tend to make the piece wordy. Stronger words without supporting phrases make the piece more readable.

i.e. suggestions for replacements of wordy phrases

a considerable number of………………….many
at the present time………………………….now
based on the fact that………………………because
despite the fact that………………………..although
in connection with…………………………regarding

There are numerous strong words, which can replace weak ones or wordy phrases. The use of a thesaurus is essential in writing, and even then some phrases or words still need to be replaced.

            By keeping these few tips in mind as you write, or revise you will pare down verbosity and make your writing stronger, clearer and more concise. A writing style that is crisp and clear will attract an editor’s eye. J


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Book Review for Kara Thomas' THE DARKEST CORNERS

I'm pleased to present you with my review for Kara Thomas' new YA thriller titled, THE DARKEST CORNERS.


Kara Thomas’ The Darkest Corners is an amazing YA thriller. When Tessa Lowell left her small hometown at the age of nine she left so many secrets behind, but she didn’t know they were secrets until she returned nine years later. Memories of the Ohio River Monster, an evil murderer that killed her best friend’s cousin haunted her. Though she never saw the man, it was the memory of her own testimony that put the wrong man behind bars that plagued her.

The plot twists and turns. Red herrings abound, and when the reader is sure they have solved the mystery before Tessa, they are wrong. . . dead wrong! Just like the girls that were murdered. But not all of them were the victims of the Ohio River Monster. When Tessa and Callie put their heads together to compare their doubts about what adults persuaded them to say under oath when they were children, the results are surprising to Tessa, Callie, and the reader.

Thomas’ writing is dynamic, realistic, and wonderfully developed. The mantra on the front cover—Everyone has something to hide—describes the plotline perfectly!

Review by Gayle C. Krause

Author of RATGIRL: Song of the Viper

If you're looking for an exciting, fast-moving read, I highly recommend this book. :)

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Dancing with Bear and Suzanne Bloom in Florida



Today was a special day at Elsie Quirk Library in Englewood, Florida. 



Fellow author, and friend Suzanne Bloom did a presentation for children. Her drawing of Goose in Cowboy hat and boots enraptured the children as she began her presentation.






We danced with Bear.

 


 We drew with Goose, and we read with Suzanne.



She read A SPECIAL FRIEND, INDEED 


and then moved on to BEAR CAN DANCE.






The children, parents and grandparents danced along with Bear after his story was over.









Each child colored Bear, Goose, and Fox, while Ms. Bloom autographed the children’s favorite book.

Children listened. . .

Children danced . . .

Children colored . . .

. . .and a good time was had by all!



Thank you, Suzanne.

Monday, February 8, 2016

The Heart of a Grumpy Bear - The Valen-tiny Contest


So happy Susannah has developed another fun writing contest. My entry for the first "Valentiny Writing Contest" is below. Looking forward to reading all of the great entries.




The Heart of a Grumpy Bear

“I don’t want chocolate candy.
I do not want a kiss.
This is one holiday
I surely can miss.”

“But Bear, I made this valentine,
cause you’re my bestest friend.”
“Oh, Rabbit, don’t be silly.
It’s just a foolish trend.”

Rabbit trudged away.
She dragged Bear’s special gift.
Tears ran down her cheeks
as she sniveled, sobbed, and sniffed.

Squirrel waited, hand –on-hip,
as Bear strolled to his cave.
“What are you doing?
“That’s no way to behave.

You hurt Rabbit’s feelings.”
“But, I don’t want a heart of red.”
 “This isn’t about you.
It’s about your friends, instead.”

So Bear sat and pondered
the meaning of the day.
And set off through the forest
to celebrate his way.

He gathered wild carrots,
green herbs, and strips of hay,
then added nuts and acorns
in a “Special Friend” Bouquet.

He dropped a note in Rabbit’s hole,
and one in Squirrel’s old tree.
Then sat upon a rock and wondered,
“Are they mad at me?”

Rabbit hip-hopped towards him.
Squirrel scurried to his side.
“This is for you, my friends.
I’m sorry that you cried.

But I don’t need a special day
or a fancy Valentine,
to know we’re friends in every way.
I love you ALL the time.”