Monthly Archives: May 2017


Delicious Books from Childhood

Juliet and Jon fire up the time machine, (or is it the nostalgia machine?) and each read from one of their favorite books from their childhood.
Our selections couldn’t have been more different.

For Juliet, it’s from ‘Old Man Kangaroo’ from Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling.

He was grey and he was woolly, and his pride was inordinate: he danced on a sandbank in the middle of Australia, and he went to the Big God Nqong.
He went to Nqong at ten before dinnertime, saying. ‘Make me different from all other animals; make me popular and wonderfully run after by five this afternoon.
Up jumped Nqong from his bath in the salt-pan and shouted, “Yes, I will!”
Nqong called Dingo—Yellow-Dog Dingo—always hungry, dusty in the sunshine, and showed him Kangaroo. Nqong said, “Dingo! Wake up, Dingo! Do you see that gentleman dancing on an ashpit? He wants to be popular and very truly run after. Dingo, make him so!”
Up jumped Dingo—Yellow-Dog Dingo—and said, “What, that cat-rabbit?”
Off ran Dingo—Yellow-Dog Dingo—always hungry, grinning like a coal scuttle,—ran after Kangaroo.
Off went the proud Kangaroo on his four little legs like a bunny.
This, O Beloved of mine, ends the first part of the tale!
He ran through the desert; he ran through the mountains; he ran through the salt-pans; he ran through the reed-beds; he ran through the blue gums; he ran through the spinifex; he ran till his front legs ached.
He had to!
Still ran Dingo—Yellow-Dog Dingo—always hungry, grinning like a rat-trap, never getting nearer, never getting farther,—ran after Kangaroo.
He had to!

From Jon, we have the beginning of Buckminster Fuller’s Nine Chains to the Moon.

Some of the books mentioned in this show (Amazon Links):

Nine Chains to the Moon by Buckminster Fuller.

Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

The Borrowers by Mary Norton


Longline of My Dreams

Loglines are usually associated with TV and movies but as an ever-resourceful writer, but they can be quite useful for novelists.

Juliet and Jon define, dissect, and discuss loglines. Jon shares one that he’s working on and with for a current writing project.

David Macinnis Gill is an associate professor of English education at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, specializing in young adult literature. We talk about his very useful blog post about loglines:

Uses #1
Log lines are very useful to you. They allow to you answer the question, “so what’s your book about?” with a succinct phrase, rather than beginning with the stock, “well, see there’s this guy….”
Use #2
A second good use for the log line is the pitch. This handy, dandy quick summary of your story is very useful in persuading agents, editors, and even your dentist that you’ve hit on a “wow” premise that simply MUST be written. Better yet, if it’s already written, then it MUST be read. Think of a pitch in terms of advertising: You’re trying to hook a reader the way a commercial tries to hook a detergent user. Seriously. Alan Gratz, author of Samurai Shortstop and several other excellent novels for teens, calls this the elevator pitch, under the assumption that if you’re riding four stories with an editor, you can finish your delivery before the doors open.
Use #3
The third use for a log line is you. A novel is a big thing. It’s difficult to hold the whole story in your mind, especially when you’ve finished a first draft and are still giddy from the flow of creative juices. Writing a log line helps you define—for yourself—the essential elements of the plot. It was also let you know immediately is major components of the plot are missing. This prevents episodic plots that are a string of (interesting and exciting) events that lack a complete story spine.

Check out one of David Macinnis Gill’s books at Amazon. Soul Enchilada.

Juliet mentioned one of her favorite books, Earnest Hemmingway’s at Amazon A Moveable Feast.