Monday, October 08, 2012

Ghost Tour Stop #3 and SPELLBINDERS!

GHOST TOUR STOP #3 IS AT THE LINK! The lovely Brenda Drake is hosting.

Don't forget to go here to enter the Rafflecopter for all the gorgeous jewelry!

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October 8 , 2012
     Welcome to those who signed up to join us at the IRA conference in Chicago. Remember, you can always unsubscribe at any time. On the other hand, if you find the information useful and want to forward this newsletter please use the FORWARD button at the bottom of this email. Otherwise you may get unintentionally unsubscribed. If you have not had a chance to download the power points from the IRA conference, check out these links:
     The Secret Language of Stories is a twelve-step story analysis method I use both to plot my own stories and to teach writing and story comprehension to my students. A complete discussion of the twelve steps may be found on the SECRET LANGUAGE OF STORIES page on my blog.
Cedric Diggory and Harry Potter 
     Some of the most memorable characters in literature and film are the minor characters. Minor characters serve many roles. They often provide comic relief, give us a contrast to the hero, provide a slightly different point of view, demonstrate a rivalry, share insights into different cultures, and show us the motivations of antagonists. They might be a friend, sidekick, evil minion of the villain, or a "threshold guardian" momentarily preventing the hero from leaving the Old World to enter the New World. They often act as mentors, sometimes just for a scene or two, passing along vital information or giving aid to the other characters in the story.
 Often these are the characters who die at the MIDPOINT or DEATH AND TRANSFORMATION section of the story. We get to know them well enough that their demise causes us pain if they were friends or relief if they were evil. We feel the anguish of the hero, who has also come to value their friendship and support, or his sense of deliverance if they were trying to do him in. On the other hand, these characters are not significant enough to the tale that the journey cannot proceed without them.
     In contrast, the hero of the story rarely dies at the MIDPOINT, in fact I can't think of a single example. It would be difficult to carry the story forward if he did.
Here is fun activity for all ages for the ghostly month of October. Make headstones for minor characters. If they have actually died in the story, all the more fitting, though if you are doing this as a class project you might want to keep it ambiguous so it won't spoil a story if not everyone has read it.
     Write a two line couplet, an epitaph (a short text honoring a deceased person) or an epigram (a brief, clever, or memorable statement) that might befit a grave marker. An aphorism (original and memorable idea) that reflects the character's beliefs could also be used. The message could be humorous or might be profound. The headstone may be drawn on paper and include elaborate artwork or might be sculpted with clay, Play Doh, or Sculpey.
      Headstones are interesting because they use just a few lines to capture the essence of a person's entire life or belief system. You might want to start by exploring some examples on the Internet.
      Often these final words are poetic. Some poets even write their own epitaphs before they die. Check out the one below by W.B. Yeats.
Headstone for W.B. Yeats 
 Black Stripes

Meet the Spellbinders
CaCarolee Deanrolee Dean has made numerous appearances as a guest poet/author at schools, libraries, poetry events, and teacher/library conferences. She holds a bachelor's degree in music therapy and a master's degree in communicative disorders, and she has spent over a decade working in the public schools as a
Comfort Paperback Cover
speech-language pathologist.

Her first novel, Comfort,was nominated as a Best Book for Young Adults, was named the Best YA Novel of 2002 by the Texas Institute of Letters, and was on the TAYSHAS (Texas Library Association) reading list.
Take Me There is a YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers. Forget Me Not is a paranormal verse novel. Take Me There Cover
She conducts teacher trainings on inspiring reluctant writers including "The Secret Language of Stories" and "Random Act of Haiku."Forget Me Not

 Follow me on Twitter 

Caroline Starr RoseCaroline Starr Rose spent her childhood in the deserts of Saudi Arabia and New Mexico, camping at the Red Sea in one and eating red chile in the other. She's taught English and social studies to upper elementary and middle-school students in New Mexico, Florida, Virginia, and Louisiana. Back in New
Mexico, Caroline now writes middle-grade novels and picture books full time. 

To find teacher's guides, writing activities, and information about author visits, go to my website.


Kim Bio PhotoKimberley Griffiths Little is the recipient of the Southwest Book Award, The Whitney Award for Best Youth Novel of 2010, and the author of the highly acclaimed, The Healing Spell and Circle of Secrets, published by Scholastic Press. Look for her books at the Scholastic Book Fairs, as well Circle of Secretsas two more forthcoming novels in 2012 and 2013.
She lives on a dirt road in a small town by the Rio Grande with her husband, a robotics engineer and their three sons. Kimberley is a favorite speaker at schools around the country, presenting "The Creative Diary", a highly successful writing workshop and has been a speaker at many conferences.

Please visit her website to download free Teacher's Guides and Book Club Guides. 
Follow me on Twitter 

                 Upcoming Author Events

 October 27, 2012
6-7 p.m.
Carolee Dean
Alamosa Books
Albuquerque, NM

November 3, 2012
YALSA Literature Symposium 
"Author Research Panel"
Carolee Dean
and four other authors
St. Louis, Missouri

February 2, 2012
Montgomery Teen Book Festival
Carolee Dean
Kimberley Griffiths Little
Houston, Texas

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Spellbinders | 3 YAF Authors | Albuquerque | NM | 87181

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