Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Mermaid Lit Summer Reading Challenge!!!


Welcome to the A to Z Challenge! This is my first year participating. Basically, we post every day except Sunday, which in April means we'll finish on the 30th. We blog about something each day which starts with the corresponding letter of the alphabet. So, day 1=A, day 2=B, etc. Visit the A to Z blog for more details.

My theme is writing and related bookish things. A pretty vague theme, I'll admit, but as this is a writing/bookish blog, I thought I'd clarify. 

Today's letter: O 

O is for 'Oh my!' moments.

I have a two-year-old niece that I watch nearly every day. Cheveya has picked up the phrase, "oh my!" from my sisters and I (her mom is a particular offender) and says it at the most hysterical times. She'll pretend to talk on her plastic, yellow phone to her cousin Stratton (also two years old) and say things like, "Hi Stratton. It's 'Veya. O-ho my!" It sounds so inappropriate coming from a toddler!

It got me thinking, though, about Oh My moments in writing. This phrase can be used to express any kind of emotion, really, but most often we use to express surprise--something we didn't see coming. Having a few moments like this in any story is crucial. Catch your readers off guard, surprise them, and leave them guessing at what twist will come next.

In any given scene, ask yourself what the reader would least expect. If you were reading the scene, what would you least expect? Who knows, it may end up taking your story in a whole new direction. Alternately, if you have something you're leading up to, but want it to be a surprise, try dropping subtle hints about it going the opposite way you intend, but don't make the hints obvious. In my experience, readers are shrewd and the most subtle you are, the more they'll pick up on the hints and think they know where you're going. Then wham! Pull the rug out from under them and leave them slack-jawed and devouring the remaining pages. (Oh-ho my!) Isn't writing great?

How do YOU put twists into your stories?

Mermaid Lit Summer Reading Challenge

Hello Everyone and Happy Wednesday!

I've been saying for months that I want to put together a summer reading challenge. I'm craving mermaid literature! I want to read lots of people's takes on the mermaid legend. So, here it is! The Mermaid Lit Summer Reading Challenge! This reading challenge will be hosted on both my blogs, this one and LKHill. The challenge will go for twelve weeks, from May 15th to August 15th. I was just going to go from June through the end of August, but I figured people might want to wrap things up before school starts for them or their kids.


Here are the rules:

1. Read as many mermaid-themed books as you can over twelve weeks. (Duh!)

2. Do an opening post for the Challenge and link to it in the Linky below. Spreading the word about the challenge any other way you can is appreciated.

3. Do some kind of review for each book you read. This can be anything from a paragraph to a long, formal review, but you must prove somehow that you've read the books.
I'll do a Mermaid Review post every week--probably on Fridays--and you can link any book reviews you've done over the past week to that post. 

Don't have a blog? No problem. Just do a 1-paragraph review of anything you read in the comments.

4. There will be prizes! I'm collecting lots of random prizes that will be drawn for. Depending on how many book you read, you'll be entered into a drawing for the prizes that correspond with each category. All prizes will be awarded separately. Categories are as follows:

    A. 0 BooksGuppie = No prizes. :( 
    B. 1-4 BooksAngelfish = Swag. Everyone who reads at least one book will get a bookmark. More books = more swag! 

    C. 5-9 BooksMermaid = Variety of mermaid-themed children's books, middle-grade books, coloring books, $10 Amazon Gift Cards, etc. Aren't they cute? 

    D. 10-14 BooksMermaid/Human Hybrid--Mermaid-themed books and films (i.e. Hans Christian Anderson's The Little Mermaid, the 1984 film Splash, Masterpiece Theater, $20 Amazon gift cards, etc. 

    E. 15+ BooksQueen of the Ocean--A DVD version of The Little Mermaid, Free Copies of Persistence of Vision (not mermaid related but I have them to give away), other book giveaways, etc. Grand Prize will be a $50 Amazon Gift Card.

I've collected quite a few titles on a Goodreads shelve I've entitled "Mermaid Lit." If you want to see the titles, click HERE. There are something like 21 titles on my shelf, and if you know more of and can recommend, please comment and let me know! I'd love a bigger variety. Of course many of these are only book 1 of a series, so there are potentially more than this anyway.

Just a word of warning, I've heard lots of people complain about poorly written mermaid books they've read. I only put a book on my TBR shelf if I've heard at least one good review for it, and often I have to hear many before I'm convinced. Of course, reviews are only one person's opinion, so look through the Goodreads reviews before choosing any book to read. Part of the reason for the reviews each week is so we can rave to each other about anything wonderful we've read, or warn people against the not-worth-our-time reads. (Let's hope we don't come across many of those. :D)

Questions? Comments? Problems? Feel free to contact me via email at 

**Once your opening post is up and linked, feel free to email me your physical address and I'll be happy to send you a bookmark now to use while actually reading the books, if you'd like me to. 

Below is the badge and HTML code if you want to put it on your blog. I made it wide enough to fit in my margin and show up well, but my margin is wider than most, so feel free to mess with it if you need to cut down the dimensions to make it fit better on your blog. Below that is the Linky for anyone who wants to participate! Thanks everyone! Bring on the mermaid lit!

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  1. Twists come from weaving details in early! Just stopping by for the A-Z Challenge. Please check us out and sign up to follow if you like what you see. Juliet atCity Muse Country Muse

  2. If I do continue writing, I have an idea for another story that is simple and straightforward and will be in desperate need of some oh-my moments.

  3. Yey, I'm so excited! I'm not sure how many mermaid books I'll be able to find/fit in, but I'm going to try :D

    1. Oh and my opening post is going to be going up later in the week, hope that's okay!