Drop in at the Library to do your solitary writing in solidarity! Tue, Wed & Thu evenings from 7-9pm, and Fri from 10am-1pm. We’re also hosting an editing session on Sat. Nov. 30 from 10am-1 pm. Please visit our online event calendar for a complete list of events.
posted on behalf of Jennifer Mentzer
It’s eleven a.m. on November first, and how many words have I written? None. Nada. Zilch. A big fat zero.
On any other day, this is pretty much the way it’s supposed to be. I don’t make a point of sitting down to write something each and every day of the year. But this year is different. This is the year I’ve decided to participate in NaNoWriMo.
NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month. The challenge is to write a novel (or close to it) in one month. Fifty thousand words, to be exact. That works out to 1667 words per day – about seven pages in 12-point type. A challenge not for the faint-of-heart, that’s for sure.
It’s an idea that has caught on like wildfire. Started in 1999 with just over two hundred writers, NaNoWriMo has grown to include hundreds of thousands of people and billions of words. This year, some of those words will be mine.
Like many librarians, I have visions of being an author. Not a writer, so much, but an author. Someone whose work is found on the shelf at the library, someone who has published something that someone else actually wants to buy. There’s a picture book, a chapter book for kids and an adult novel all in embryonic form on my laptop at home. The picture book and the others are unrelated. The chapter book and the adult book, though, are two versions of the same story.
I’d wanted to write a children’s chapter book about something that happened to me when I was growing up. It was one of those times that is distinct in my mind, even though I couldn’t tell you much else about the year I was ten. Something very bad had happened in the world, and I was very curious about it. My parents, trying to do their duty, tried very hard to shield me from all the news. They hid the copies of Time and Newsweek, kept tight control on the TV (we didn’t have a remote yet) and deferred my questions. They stymied my every move and kept me in the dark, and I was mad. Protected, perhaps, but mad.
As I began to write the story of a young girl being shielded from the world she craved to know, I found that I needed to write the story of the tragedy. I needed to explore how someone who was there felt about being so close to something so powerful, so difficult, so life-changing. And thus, my adult novel was born.
Since I already have some words committed to the page, I’m not writing for NaNoWriMo in the purest sense. The ultimate object is to begin with a blank piece of paper and start from word one. In NaNoWriMo parlance, I’m a “rebel.” And I’m also a little afraid. This is a big challenge. Am I up to the task? Will anything I produce be worth reading? What happens when I go on vacation next week?
As the month goes on, I’ll find out. And, if you read here regularly, so will you. Hang on. It’s going to be fun!
The Library will be open on Thursday evening Oct 31–please stop by in costume to trick or treat! Miss Jennifer puts together a great goodie bag
Every once in a while, a new book leads to an old book. Or vice versa (which, in this case, means an old book leads to a new one.)
The Children’s Room has quite a few books that have links to others. If any of these are a book you enjoy, why not take a look at the one it inspired, mentioned or was visited by another book’s character?
Here are a few examples:
We also have a new book about an old character, Ruby Redfort. Ruby is the spy that Clarice Bean is always reading about in her books. It seems the author, Lauren Child
, had so many requests for the stories that Clarice was reading that she had to go ahead and write them down. Now you can ask yourself, “What would Ruby Redfort do?”
A terrific book on the list of nominees for the Massachusetts Children’s Book Award is Because of Mr. Terupt
by Rob Buyea. The sequel, Mr. Terupt Falls Again
, has his now sixth-graders reading lots of classic books including The Westing Game
by Ellen Raskin, The Whipping Boy
by Sid Fleischman and Wringer
by Jerry Spinelli. It’s also pretty cool how the students talk about The Westing Gam
e without giving away the mystery!
If you’re still reading from the Picture Book and Easy Reader sections, do not despair! There are plenty of authors waiting to help you find old friends in new books.
Who will YOU find?
Now that winter weather is here, programs may be cancelled or rescheduled for everyone’s safety.
The Children’s Room follows these guidelines:
If Grafton Public Schools are CLOSED, then all Children’s Room Activities are CANCELLED.
If Grafton Public Scools are DELAYED, then morning activities in the Children’s Room are CANCELLED.
As winter is also the season of sniffles and colds, we thank you for washing your hands frequently, and for keeping sick children at home.
If you are registered for a program and unable to attend due to illness, please give us a call so that someone else may have your place for the day.
Apple released iOS 7 yesterday and you may have upgraded your device(s), or may be planning to upgrade in the near future.
When an existing OverDrive Media Console (OMC) user upgrades to iOS 7, the app will fail when trying to open a DRM-protected eBook. New or first time users of OMC are unaffected by this issue.
OverDrive is resolving the issue, but in the meantime, here are immediate remedies for users:
- Re-authenticate the app with their existing or a new Adobe ID. Refer to the iOS section of this Help article for assistance. (Recommended)
- Uninstall and re-install OMC which will also require the user to re-authorize with Adobe.
IMPORTANT NOTE: A re-install will clear a user’s bookshelf, history, and app settings.
Audiobook users won’t notice that anything is different unless they attempt to download parts of audiobooks they already downloaded to OMC before upgrading to iOS 7. A user will receive an error message informing them to download the title again.
Apologies for any inconvenience, and thanks for your patience!
What happens to refugees of war-torn countries who must run for their lives before an oncoming enemy? Amanda Hodgkinson answers this question in her debut novel, 22 Britannia Road, with great success.
At the heart of this novel is Silvana, who is left with her infant son Aurek in Warsaw, Poland, as the Germans are advancing in World War II. Her husband Janusz has left to fight and becomes hopelessly lost. There is nothing for Silvana to do but run for the woods and hide out until help comes. It is years later when she stumbles onto a roadway as jeeps roll by. The soldiers tell her the war is over. How she finds her way to 22 Britannia Road in Ipswich, England, and to her husband and how they try to take up the threads of their life again makes for an important, engrossing, heart-rending tale.
There’s nothing new about what war does to families. The loneliness, worry, separation, and loss are unbearable. For Silvana, added to this burden is trying to assimilate to a new language, new customs, and a whole new way of life. Her young son was a child of the woods who was more at home climbing trees and making bird sounds than learning to behave at school in Ipswich. In addition, her reunion with her husband was not ideal since they both carried psychic scars, secrets, and haunting memories of the war years.
Of all the themes in this book, the overriding one was the depth of a mother’s love and the lengths she will go to to protect her own. In Silvana’s case, there emerges a surprising dimension to this love.
Through necessity the author jumps from locale and time periods with multitudes of flashbacks that break the continuity, but the story is too spell-binding to be weakened. What I came away with from this gripping first novel is the love of the homeland, the old country that these surviving refugees would never see again in addition to their families left behind. An emotional short epilogue just solidified the feeling of loss.
The reader cannot help but be moved by this incredible book. Be one of them.
I give 22 Britannia Road 4 bending birches.
Happy reading from Beverly!
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