Thursday, January 5, 2012

News on Operation Motivation: Sarah Weeks Wins: Beats Bikini Threat

Okay, so I think I am going to start my very own unofficial Sarah Weeks Fan Club for Adults. Who's with me?

She's amazing. Not only is the author's picture book, Mrs. McNosh Hangs Up Her Wash funnier with each read, but the woman's novels are FABULOUS!

As part of my "research" on becoming a writer, I just finished reading her work, Jumping the Scratch. The characters were warm and their stories were rich and beautiful. (Except for the creepy guy of course). So with a feeling of utter fulfillment in my gut after turning the last page of the book, I was ready to move to the next novel staring at me from "Dusty" my neglected, red nightstand.

I tried and tried and tried again to get into it, but the language did not compare with the beauty and ease of Weeks's words. It was flat and boring. (I know, I know, who am I to judge with my unfound voice and wackadoodle language? See "Voice" post.) So, I did something that I HATE to do... I just put it down.

Am I a quitter? Yup. A bad example to my children? Sure. But hey, life is short people! Please don't forget that my middle name is practically gumption (Please see: "Gumption Junction" post to fully grasp).

Because I have been in the mood to create, and bake, and be chubby, I went right over and picked up Weeks's Pie. (Insert family's singing of  incomplete version of  the song, "Pie" here...Pie, pie, me oh my...I love pie).

After clearing the book of what seemed to be a foot of dust and a few whimsical dust bunnies, I was reminded why initially I was turned off by the book: the cover art (a cat and a pie). Although much better than I could EVER do, did not appeal to me as an adult.

But as we all know, we shouldn't judge a book by its cover =), and from the very first page, I was hooked. This was when it occurred to me that something needed to be done to show this woman some appreciation.

Hence the formation of  the unofficial Sarah Weeks Fan Club for Adults, Population: 1.  Next book on my "Dusty" queue, another Weeks novel: So B It.  How can some human beings be SO good at what they do?

And so I reflect.

Inspired by the versatility of an author such as Weeks, I have decided that I want to develop as a serious writer of both picture books and books for tweens. Reading Weeks's work is more motivating than being told I'll have to sport a bikini during the upcoming Spring Break 2012!

(Doesn't this alternative just seem more comfortable?)

I am on a mission, ready to revise what drafts I do have, with the goal to polish and perfect the language. Even if it takes twenty years, it will be well worth the wait. Someday, folks. Someday.

So, with that said, as the self-proclaimed president and only member of the unofficial Sarah Weeks Fan Club for Adults,(AKA, SWFCA) I ask you two questions:

What is YOUR favorite novel for tweens? (What should I add to my "Dusty" queue?)
Who is one author you enjoy so much that you would consider creating an unofficial fan club for? (Uncomfortable ending sentence with preposition, but too lazy to rethink sentence).

Please do tell.


  1. I don't think you're a "quitter" for putting a book down. There's nothing wrong with deciding it's not for you! Why waste time on something that's not satisfying?

    One of my recent tween favorites is When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead. SO lovely! And I'd start a fan club for Shannon Hale. I went to one of her readings and she's the nicest person! (In addition to writing awesome books, of course.)

  2. I am with you all the way in the Sarah Weeks fan club. I haven't met a student who read So B. It and didn't connect with it (girl or boy). Jumping the Scratch is such a beautifully told story, but I think that one is as poorly packaged as Pie (they look much younger than I think they read).

    Immediately I thought of Kate DiCamillo when you mentioned your desire to start a fan club for Sarah Weeks, even though she writes a bit young for my 8th graders. I think reading her books is like being wrapped in a big fluffy blanket. I also love Neal Shusterman- he is brilliant and underappreciated. He should be winning awards left and right.

    I am so glad you found my blog so that I could find yours!

  3. Add me to the Sarah Weeks fan club, too. Also, I admire her versatility (add Jane Yolen to that club, by the way, and Paul Fleischman and many many more). But most of all, I want to say there's nothing wrong with putting down a book you don't like. Unless, of course, you have unlimited time in your life, in which case there's no excuse for not finishing everything you start :-)

  4. I love Sarah Weeks, too! And I'm a huge Patricia Reilly Giff fan!

  5. What a fun post - I have never read Sarah Weeks but I am going to be on the library lookout now. I am with the first two commenters - I love Shannon Hale and Kate DiCamillo.

  6. I haven't read Sarah Weeks, but you've certainly made me wonder why!

    One of my favorite tween writers is a Canadian writer, Kit Pearson.