Monday, November 30, 2015

Reading for Fun

I'm back from the Thanksgiving holiday and determined to get at least some things accomplished before the Christmas holiday. I got home Thanksgiving night (leaving early to beat the bad weather), then spent a cold, rainy weekend huddled on the sofa, watching Hallmark movies. Which inspired me to re-read that screenplay I wrote a couple of years ago. I was surprised by how good most of it was, but the ending needs work. I realized I was coming up against the time limit and just wrapped things up. Then again, that seems to be the way most of these movies end. I'm going to give it another pass and then I may ask my agent for advice. She doesn't handle film, but she has contacts and might be able to point me toward someone who does. Hallmark alone is going to start doing something like 20 new movies a year, and I think what I've written is at least as good as some of these, so I may as well give it a shot.

But that wasn't the big news of the holiday week and weekend. The big news was that Rebel Mechanics was named to the Lonestar List by the Texas Library Association. This list is books recommended to encourage reading for pleasure in young teens/preteens, and that's a cause near and dear to my heart. I hate that a love for reading tends to get driven out of kids in school unless they're getting outside support to encourage reading for fun. If your only exposure to books is what you're forced to read in school, you probably won't learn to love to read, and reading for pleasure has so many benefits. It makes people better readers for being able to read school stuff and anything else in life. It makes people more empathetic, because being able to put yourself in the shoes of characters in a novel gives you skills you can use to see the world through other people's eyes. It opens up other areas of knowledge if things in books encourage readers to look things up, like vocabulary words or historical or geographical details. I write books with the primary hope that they'll be fun to read, so it's a great honor to have my book on a list librarians will be using to help kids find books that are fun to read.

And it's really nice to be honored. I do spend a lot of time whining about not getting recognition, even though I seem to be doing at least as well as authors who do get recognized. I don't know how big this will be and if it will translate into sales or other honors, but making a list like this is really cool.

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