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Friday, December 17, 2010

Feedback on Installment #2 6th grade boy

It looks like I have one kid that's a fan.

Demographic: 6th grade boy Northern California middle school, not related, blind (anonymous) feedback.

Installment #2 Feedback

One again you amaze me with your wonderful stories and vividly wonderful characters. If you keep on going with this series you will undoubtedly become a famous author.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

More Blind Feedback on Installment #1

Demographic: Middle school girl in TX
Blind feedback because I have no direct contact with the person nor do I know who they are. A librarian proxies this for me.
I liked the beginning because I'd never seen anything like that before (how the book was "talking" to you) but I think the beginning of the book was confusing, and it would help if it told a little more about the character's feelings. Another thing you could do to make kids want to read the book more is change the title to something cooler and maybe a little shorter. But, in general, I think what the book is about is pretty interesting.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Volunteer Editor's Favorite Character

After reading half way through installment #2,
here is what the volunteer editor has to say about
her favorite character:

I think if I have a favorite character it is Paul25. He is the smartest, most innovative and creative, powerful but funny, loving, emotionally attached to others and Earth creatures, independent thinking, and isn't afraid to take chances to help people or the situation or to achieve his ultimate goal.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

More Feedback on Installment #1 (MS3 I1)

Demographic: 26 yr old female college student, NY.

To start off, I love the prologue. I don't normally read them, but the start of yours caught my attention. It reminds me of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which is a good thing. :)

It took some time for me to get used to your writing style. This isn't good nor bad, but the style in which you wrote feels more like a play to me. I'm used to third person past tense being used. This is relevant, in that I felt that the start of the story was kind of slow, and I'm sure getting used to a style that I am unaccustomed to is part of it. The other part, is that it feels very science heavy in the explanation given the children of how the universe was created and related details. This isn't necessarily bad, but as an individual who has a fascination for astronomy and theories for the creation of the universe, even I had a bit of a hard time getting through it. Once I got through that explanation, however, it picks up a lot and it was able to suck me in. I can see this start deterring some readers.

[She is correct, some readers blow right through the initial science stuff with no problem and some just hit a brick wall. There is a small tinge of Plato's Republic, so it is very conversational. ]

In terms of the characters, it struck me as strange how Elof2 would, on occasion, retort with a sneer or in an otherwise jerk fashion, particularly since he cares for the boys as sons.
[Elof2 plays the role of a teacher at this point.]
For example, on page 21, line 353, Elof2 replies with "Whatever" to a comment from Ty. While it could simply be my personal interpretation, that seems much too... teenage-apathy for the character you are representing otherwise with Elof2. This type of reaction occurs several times in response to Ty or Tycho. I don't know if it is intentional that he responds on occasion with such hostility, given his history, but it strikes me as odd every time I encountered it in reading.

[Elof2 is a very odd and conflicted character. You might expect that for someone raised by an abusive parent. At this point he has a lot of suppressed fear that Ty and Tyco will be euthanized and he tries to hide it with his dismissive nature. ]

Monday, November 15, 2010

Blind Feedback on Installment #1 from 6th grader

This is my first bit of blind feedback. I call it blind feedback because I do not have any direct contact with the middle school student providing it nor do I know who they are. The review copies are made available by a middle school librarian. He finds readers and forwards feedback he receives.

Demographic: 6th grade boy in CA middle school containing smart and gifted children.

Excellent novel! Has great potential to become a bestseller. I loved the way it uses flashbacks and the idea of a "living book"(By the way I would never think of destroying it because it is so good).
[The book threatens to burn your brain out if you try and damage it.]
Two problems but otherwise good. One, it might hard to follow to some people because of the disrupted plot, I understood it just fine but it can be confusing at times. Two, elaborate more some things are left unexplained and therefore understandable until later in the book. I look forward to the next book!

He is correct in that the book can be confusing at times due to the jumping around in time. At one moment you may be talking to the present day character, at the next moment you might be reliving the past in something similar to a virtual reality setup, seeing the character in the past. If the character has time travel capability, the future version of the character may appear to make sure you interpret events correctly, so his future will occur. The effect is similar to Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse 5, which many people found confusing when it was first published.

Elaborating on some of the unexplained details can be difficult because some of the unexplained details can form the punch line in the next book when they are explained. Still, I can take a look around and see if there are any that I can go a bit further on without revealing the surprise.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Early Feedback on Installment #1

The first version of "The Children of Sophista : The Saeshell Book of Time" that I tried to query was a monster: 248,000 words. Even targeting this novel toward gifted kids, I realized no teen wants to read a novel that big. So based on the feedback from the kind chief editor at @BrighterBooks and from my gifted 7th grade reader in TX, I split the novel into four installments and fleshed out Installment #1: The Death of Innocents, making it much more experiential and providing much more in-depth development of some of the characters. The installment is now 69,000 words long, which is pretty much dead-center on the word count target for YA fiction.

The current feedback campaign includes an older college student, a gifted seventh grade reader in TX, and a blind feedback (I don't communicate directly with the students) being conducted by a middle school librarian in CA. I actually continue to try to expand the early reader network, but it is a very difficult task.

One of the more interesting phenomena I have noticed is that the most unexpected feedback I get are from people who I wasn't soliciting feedback. These are people who just saw a feedback copy lying around (they know the person I was asking for feedback) and just pick it up and read it. The feedback, I am sharing below, is from such an unsolicited person. It was so positive that I couldn't believe it initially. So below the feedback, you will see some followup questions I asked to be sure the reader had really thought about the novel and their feedback they were giving.

Demographic: Older adult female in NY. Not in publishing or any book related activities. Not related to me. Unsolicited.

Steph let me read your book and she said that I should let you know what I thought about it. I think it is a brilliant piece of literature and I enjoyed reading it very much. I hope to read more in the future and will be keeping my eye out for your books. Thank you for sharing your talent and imagination with the rest of us mortals.

The reference she makes to mortals is from many of the characters in the book being immortal.

The followup questions:

1. So who was your favorite character?

My favorite character was Elos2 (not sure if I spelled correctly). [actually it's Elof2] He touched me as a loner and I was very interested in learning how he got to where he was.

This is very unexpected. I had been told that women would identify strongest with women characters. Perhaps this a different between teen verses adult readers. Perhaps adult women identify more with the male characters, like reading a romance novel.

2. Some people have told me that the first part of the book is a little slow.
What did you think?
As for being a slow start, I didn't feel that. It grabbed me right from the beginning. I like a good book that engages my imagination and is different than anything else I've read.

3. If you had picked up the book at the bookstore and looked through it like you normally would, would it have caught your eye?

Yes I would of bought it. Hope everything goes well getting in print.

My takeaway:

1. Eof2 is a very independent loner male (20 year old) character who is the teacher to a couple of young teen characters. Independence, complexity, and favorable interaction with kids. Perhaps that is the formula making a male character appeal to adult women.

2. The book was targeted toward gifted teens. It seems that perhaps there is a wider appeal lurking that I didn't realize. Even though most of the characters in the book are kids (Elof2, 20 yrs old, is the oldest character outside of the minor parent characters), perhaps it still has an appeal to adults (outside of the adults who like living as kids again in their imagination).

This small bit of feedback shows how these feedback campaigns unfold. The people targeted in these campaigns are typically not book reviewers. So the feedback is scanty and requires the author to carefully think about what the little tidbit handed to them means. It's almost as if you build a character in your mind to fully simulate the reader. With enough of these small feedbacks, you can tune your mental image of how your novel is received to be more inline with reality.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Ty's Lament

One of the problems with writing a science fiction/fantasy blend novel is that it is hard to give people a true sample of how the novel feels. People have preconceived ideas about what a certain genre should sound like. Perhaps science fiction conjures up visions of spaceships and ray guns and fantasy, fairies and wizards locked in some kind of a battle. Its difficult to convey the feeling of a novel which turns these unusual realms into realms of ordinary people just trying to make it through the day in their ordinary life. Never mind that these people are fairies or beings of great superpowers. In the end, they just trying to have a reasonable life where the comforts that people normally aspire to are theirs. To convey that feeling, without totally giving away the story, I came up with the idea of a character poem. I basically take the feeling one would get about a character during part of the story and distill it down to a poem that provides a strong feeling of the nature of the character. This poem was my first attempt. The character, Ty, is a fairly mysterious third grade boy living in the UK. And no, he is not purely human.

Ty's Lament

The world hates me,

But so many love me,

It's a contradiction I have to live with.

My human dad's love

Surrounds me,

Enclosing me in a world

I never wanted to leave,

A world of stories and music,

A world devoid of hate and death.

My dad was the conveyor of the

Ancient knowledge,

A conveyor for the

Queen of the Distant Fairies,

A secret mom for now,

To replace my human mom who is dust.

My mom's love for me

I wanted to know,

For it was truly magic.

I felt her love before I was born,

My desire was to simply touch it.

But my dad was the trigger

And I was the bomb,

That took her love away,

I touched her mind

For so brief a time,

Before the knife swept me away.

Her brightly colored love fallen,

Like the leaves of autumn,

It's a contradiction I have to live with.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Stressing Over Novel Dramatic Stress and Violence

Things have changed a lot since I was young (don't wheel me to the old folks home yet!)!

Okay, I have to admit that some of my writing can be somewhat dark (well, maybe a good deal more than somewhat). It's one of those genetic things. I didn't grow up in a dungeon or have assassin parents. I did write something in high school that sent an English teacher into shock and now a days would have caused 911 to get dialed. Don't worry, she got even with me. She ripped the writing out of my hands, so to speak, and without telling me, read it to 100, maybe 200 students. I don't remember how many for sure. There was also that thing where she submitted it to a publisher without asking, too. But other than that bit of trauma, pretty normal childhood otherwise.

Actually, I'm pretty squeamish when it comes to gory books or shocking violence. My daughter encouraged me to read Ender's Game recently (which I really enjoyed) but she gave me the caveat that it really is not a good example of a children's book because it was so violent. I was braced for the worst but still I read it. And I guess due to the author's good writing, perhaps it wasn't nearly as shocking as I expected. Still I worried because some people thought it might be a bit strong for some kids.

I worried because I am writing a long story right now (four part serial) that has a pretty brutal undercurrent in it, yet is targeted for 12+, maybe younger. By tweaking how experiential the story becomes I can control how violent the story seems, newspaper article containing something third hand or viewing the violence through the characters' eyes. Shifting scenes back and forth between those two throttles the violence, drama, and shock factor of the book. So I decided to go acquire some data on violence in current children's literature.

The first thing I tried was looking at a book called "Raven's Gate" which was a favorite of a kid in my target readership. The book is actually targeted for 10+. Ten or so pages into this book, I realized that if I had read the book when I was 10 years old, I would have had weeks of nightmares. Even as an adult, it just tweaked me the wrong way.

So I realized I needed more data to make a decision. Well I tried asking around. One of the best ways to create silence in a room or make someone online go dark is to ask them what they think the acceptable violence level is in a 10+ or 12+ novel. Part of it, I think, is that people don't really know the answer many times. The current trend seems to be to remove as many restrictions on kids as possible. Part of it too is that no author wants to risk being called a censor with the current anti-censorship campaign going on. Censorship is repugnant to most authors and so being called one would be about the most vile insult of all.

Still, how do you get the data? I looked around and found a site: They compile book ratings on how appropriate a book is for a targeted age group. So I did a search for books that were rated iffy for my targeted age group. The site not only has ratings but allows both parents and kids to comment on the book. The trend I noticed about iffy books is that kids will read a book, no matter how violent it gets, as long as it's a really good book. The more violent, the better the book has to be to compensate for the violence of the story. That trend seems to go down to age 10 for sure, age 9 in some kids.

In general, what really was required and appreciated by the kids was that the violence of the story fits the story line. The story is not gross just to be gross or violent just to lasso the few kids who measure the value of a book by how much blood is spilled. If the story is about a violent subject, then kids adverse to violence will not read it. If the story implies a mellow narrative and you include serious violence, the kid will be surprised and never trust or read you again. Ever.

So, unless you are deliberately trying to write a gory book, the guideline seems to be: the amount of violence to put in the book is the amount of violence that conveys the emotion of the story you are writing and nothing more violent than that. It's not a very satisfying measurement. But at least it is a measurement of some kind.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Increasing the Experiential Nature of Writing

As a new writer, everyday is a learning experience for me. I decided to share a little tidbit that I just picked up. I apologize to those experienced writers who may find this a kind of duh moment.

As I finished a 248,000 word manuscript, the first reaction of someone looking at all that paper might be, "Gee, were you verbose enough?" Surprisingly, the answer was "No!".

In trying to cram a very long story arc into a single book, I rushed in numerous places. I realized that, "This thing is getting way too long." I ended up taking the quick route, especially in the beginning, not taking the time to allow the reader to truly "experience" the story. This was never so apparent as when I took the story and started splitting it into a serial novel, about 4 installments (at this point in time). Okay, I have to admit at this point, that perhaps the kind senior editor at Brighter Books led me down the path a bit (imagine stubborn donkey with nose-ring being pulled).

The thing you need to know about the clips I am about to show you is that people in these clips are telepathic and can receive mental images via a computer called the Guardian. The stars at the beginning of the paragraph mean that they are receiving a mental image or are having a virtual experience. I apologize in advance for how long these clips are.

----------Original Clip-----
“Yeah, Teach,” answers Tyco.

Elof2 places his hands on the Guardian Interface and links.

* “Contact made with Elof2, Tyco, and Ty,” announces Guardian.

* “Guardian, show everyone the clip about hyperspace that I have prepared,” commands Elof2.

* “Are you sure this is wise, Elof2?” warns Guardian. “The clip is very intense and painful.”

* “Go ahead Guardian”.

Ty and Tyco begin to scream as if they are being slowly slaughtered by some animal.

* “End the clip, Guardian,” commands Elof2.

* “Confirmed Elof2.”

Everyone takes their hands off of the Guardian Interface. Tyco is badly shaken up and Ty is gently crying. Tyco’s chair floats up off the floor, moves over close to Ty and sets back down.

Elof2 watches the chair, somewhat surprised. “Well Tyco, that is a new talent.”

Tyco looks down surprised and says, “Huh, yeah, I guess it is.”

Tyco puts a hand on Ty’s shoulder. “Come on. Don’t wimp out on me now. It wasn’t really like it was happening to us.”

Ty, with tears on his face, says, “I felt with certainty that I was there. It hurt so badly. My skin was burning yet I was so cold. It was profoundly dark and lonely.”

“Yeah, it looked like smoke was coming up off my skin,” smirks Tyco.

-------End of Clip------

Unfortunately, it wasn't really happening for the reader either. It was a very efficient way of communicating what happened. But it was "newspaper'ish". After the fact news.

-----Corrected Clip-------

“Yeah, Teach,” answers Tyco.

(:::The connection, why will this event have an impact on the characters' lives :::)

Ty experiences a wave of fear every time he places his hands on the Guardian Interface. He fears that the faint tingling he feels will turn into excruciating pain as the device sucks the life out of him. He does not trust devices built by humans or their evolutionary descendents. One slight mistake on their part, in what seems to him to be primitive technology, could end his short life. It also worries Ty that he can feel Tyco’s aggression heightening every time he is stimulated by the device, as if Tyco is a lizard moving in for the kill. Ty hides his sudden startle as he feels the light caress of an invisible hand brushing his hair.

(::: The mystery to entice the reader to enter the experience :::)

* For a fraction of a second, invisible Stefan is linked to Ty and says, “It will be okay, little Ty; I know your story and it doesn’t end here. Hide my presence; Elof2 needs to build his confidence.”

(::: The experience from each character's point of view :::)

* “Contact made with Elof2, Tyco, and Ty,” announces Guardian.

* “Guardian, show everyone the clip about hyperspace that I have prepared,” commands Elof2.

* “Are you sure this is wise, Elof2?” warns Guardian. “The clip is very intense and painful.”

* “Go ahead Guardian”.

* Ty and Tyco feel they have been plunged into a frozen lake of total blackness, with only a faint glimmer of light illuminating them. Ty, having never experienced pain in his entire life, struggles and screams frantically, only to have the sound absorbed by the black void. Tyco, while crying from the pain, is paradoxically exhilarated by it, feeling a ferocious hunger to find and kill whatever is causing is causing him to hurt. Elof2, while struggling to maintain his composure, is being faced with his nightmare vividly as it appears that both Ty and Tyco are dissolving, with the mist rising from their bodies being sucked into hyperspace. He can bare it no longer.

* “End the clip, Guardian,” commands Elof2.

* "Confirmed, Elof2."

(::: How did the characters internalize the experience. What did it mean to them? :::)

(::: The clip from here on is the same as the original. :::)

----End of modified clip----

Naturally, when I wrote the modified clip for the serial, I didn't think of the steps I outlined. But since it was a particularly painful transition for me to learn how to write like this, I thought it was useful to go back and figure out what I had done in the end. I'm sure there are more experienced writers who have better ideas on how to do this. But I thought what I learned might serve as a stepping stone for those of us just learning the craft.

( For those who like cliffhangers, I haven't finished the serialization. So I am sure there will be more discoveries. )

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Avatar Effect

I am one who likes to push the envelope on whatever I am doing. I did that somewhat with this book. Writing a story where the characters can carry on multiple conversations simultaneously (telepathic and out-loud at the same time) was a bit of a challenge since people just can't do that. We may sit back listening to a cacophony of sounds from numerous simultaneous conversations, picking out a word here, a phrase there to remember. But to carry on multiple conversations at the same time, to feed data selectively from one conversation to another while they are going on, is just unimaginable. Yet everyday, computers do this very thing. Your computer is figures out what conversations can occur at the same time and freezes those conversations in time which can't proceed simultaneously. Working in the software industry, I got very familiar with this since one of my talents was visualize how all the programs (conversations) would interact and to track down problems with programs that "talked" out of turn.

Computers come from our minds, right? So how big a stretch is it that one day, perhaps a hundred thousand years or so from now, a living flesh mind will be born from us (a better human, hopefully) that can do the same thing. Our minds came from evolution and one would hope that perhaps evolution might eventually catch up with what we can imagine.

So, like watching the Avatar movie, riding along in this new kind of novel was a bit wild and exhilarating; when the movie/novel is over, there is a bit of a let down effect. Just as when that new and fantastically realized world disappeared off the silver screen and you suddenly realize you are sitting in a cold, dark theater with a bunch of old rotting popcorn scattered everywhere, I am feeling the let-down from finishing the novel. But unlike the movie, I doubt anyone will experience the same thing unless they actually write a novel themselves. It's a bit unique. The only good thing I can say, is that unlike the next 10-15 years it might take to produce the next Avatar, my road to bliss is a bit shorter. Perhaps I can spend a couple of months of research and fixing up all of the real life activities I abandoned during the year of writing. Then if I can be lucky enough to write some more, I can be off on another year to year and a half trek on my own private Avatar adventure.

So, novelists out there, have you experienced an Avatar let-down when you have finished your novel???

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Chapter 4 Pass 2 Feedback

(This feedback is from the post 6th grade kid.)

The Saeshell Book of Time Chapter Feedback

Chapter: 4

Favorite character: Ty, because you can tell that what he is hiding is big.

Favorite part in chapter: Chapter was great, but I think I liked the middle of it all.

Feelings towards next chapter: I’m excited to read chapter 5 tonight, I’m trying extra hard to get everything done fast so I can go read in bed! Great job overall on everything so far.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Pass 2 Chapter 3 Feedback

This is from the GT end of 6th grade kid.

The Saeshell Book of Time Chapter Feedback
Chapter: 3

Favorite character:

Elof2, you can tell how he is getting closer to the kids.

Favorite part in chapter:

The chapter was so good; I can’t make a decision on which part was best.

Feelings towards next chapter:

Can’t wait! There was a perfect ending, and it makes me wonder what abilities Ty is hiding, and if it leads him to the “dark side.”

Monday, May 31, 2010

Chapter 2 Pass 2 Feedback

GT end of 6th grader feedback. This feedback is for Chapter 2, Pass 2.

Chapter 2 feedback

Favorite character- They’re all great, but I think I still have to say Ty.

What I liked best about the chapter- The opening to Elof2’s life.

Next chapter- Excited to see how you take advantage of the opening to chapter 3…you have a lot of thinking room to your advantage!

Other feedback- I don’t have too many negative things to say, just that Ty and Tyco’s jokes and teasing are getting better and better, always have a chance to laugh at something. I can see many young teens enjoying this book.

Chapter 1 pass 3 feedback

GT end of 6th grader feedback.

I think the feedback I posted previously from him must be for pass 2. This for pass 3 on Chapter1. Chapter 1 is the only one at Pass 3 level and there will have to be a pass 4 of it. Might have to go to pass 4 on some of the first chapters because I was well into editing the book when his feedback about says came in.

Here is his feedback

Chapter 1, Pass 3 feedback

Favorite character- Ty

What I liked best about the chapter- The introduction, definitely. Nice use of the prologue!J

Next chapter- Can’t wait! The ending was really good, and how you came about it was good, too.

Other feedback- You’re still using “says” too much, not sure if you’re changing that in your next pass, but it gets a little bothersome. Good job on putting the humorous sentences, that keeps me reading the book. It’s good that you’re keeping the correct traits with the right character. It’s easy to make Tyco the wimpy one and Ty the buff one.

(Actually, he has Ty and Tyco reversed in his comment.)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Excerpt(Spoiler) Book pass 2 Ch. 32 : Bo Bo Goes Home

I decided just to post a piece of this somewhat tear jerker chapter.
I think it is a very emotional passage but for some early readers, it doesn't
really even raise a blip. Anyway, you can taste a sample and see what you


Stefan is a 7th grader and the main character of the story. Aleah is his three year old sister, who can only eat energy. The energy comes from Stefan's glowing hand. Tova2 is Stefans's older lover. Anashivalia is Stefan's mom.
Tim is an artificially intelligent computer. Stefan's human dad is dead.
Bo Bo is the name Aleah refers to Stefan by. Tova2 is talking initially.


Evidently, Atreyeu helped your human dad record a message in a bottle for you.

“It won’t be easy to watch. But I think you need to. Perhaps Aleah has healed you enough so it won’t be as painful. Your mom and I have already watched it; we were waiting for the right time to show it to you. Since your human dad is also Aleah’s dad, perhaps now is a good time. Tim will start the message when you ask him to. Your mom and I will be down in the living room. You can come see us when you are ready.”

Tova2 and Anashivalia disappear. Stefan is left there, in the silence, with the star filled sky above, his hand glowing, and Aleah holding it tightly as if she wouldn’t let go.

Stephen whispers, “Aleah, this is our dada. This is the dada you have never seen; your dada who loved you as much as your Bo Bo does. Okay Tim, let’s play the video and get this over with.”

A thin screen appears mid-air facing Stefan; there on the screen is Stefan’s dad.

Aleah’s eyes are half open and she says, “He looks nice, like you Bo Bo.”

Stefan’s dad begins to speak, “Hello Stefan. I hope you will get this message. Atreyeu told me that when my death was close, this stone would begin to glow dimly. He told me that if I held it, a permanent message would be placed in my body that you would be able to see after I am dead.

“I just put you to sleep and your headache was extremely bad. I felt so helpless looking at you, knowing you were hurting, and not being able to do anything. Atreyeu told me that if I took you to a doctor, that you would die and so would the doctor. So I have kept you home, despite your suffering, and I hope you can forgive me for being so helpless.

“When you were first born, you were so frail. I worried that some flaw in me had been passed to you. I especially worried, as you grew, because you behaved so differently. I was afraid your niceness would not allow you to defend yourself, and that one day, some bad person would put an end to your life. But as you grew and I saw how much you helped those children who visited you, I began to realize that perhaps I didn’t have a flawed child, but a special child, one with special talents.

“When you got old enough to participate in team sports, I could see that your gentleness was not a flaw, but a temper, a temper of the edge of a very sharp sword. The sword was the sword of leadership. Most people with as sharp a sword as yours become ruthless despots. But the temper on your sword, your fanatical sharing, made your leadership one that promised to benefit those who were subject to you.

“Atreyeu told me that one day, you would have a family of leaders. It makes me happy to know that you will find a woman and know the happiness of raising children of your own. I’m sure you will find a special woman who has the same special gifts as yours; the combined gifts will concentrate in your children, making them very special to everyone. I wish I was going to be there to see that day.

“For now, I must be content to sit here, on the end of your bed, watching you sleep with that same smirky face that you have always had, since you were a baby. It is a look that says, ‘gentleness and wisdom lives in this body. Take care of this child. Help it to grow.’ With a son such as you have been, I could do nothing else.

“Take my love with you, always, and pass it on to your children. I may not get to see my grandchildren, with my own eyes, but perhaps your children will see me through the love I have tried to leave in you. Stay happy, my son, and know that even now, I am proud of you. Take care.”

The video ends. Aleah has some tears in her eyes and turns and buries her face in Stefan’s chest, still wrapped around Stefan’s glowing hand.

Stefan, with tears on his face, says, “I will love you forever too. Goodbye dad.”

Copyright 2010 by Rusty Biesele, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Fallacy in Blogging

I found one fallacy in trying to set up a blog for early readers, especially the kids. It's that most kids, especially ones who read lots of books, don't blog. Or if they are at the lower end of the age range of the book, their parents don't let them near the internet very much. I have to say, being in Silicon Valley, that being very far from the internet is not a concept I can understand. But that's my fault for being in Silicon Valley. In seventh grade my daughter was pounding the web and had people in Yahoo pursuing her for web tricks. And there were wonderful community sites where you would earn points in the site's reward system by writing things. Of course, a hacker, a hateful person, sent that site to an early grave. The site owner didn't help matters, obviously never having heard of an offline backup. He had no backup and so the hacker sent all the writings and belongings of the kids and the community to oblivion. Now the internet is polluted by highly addictive online games that prevent learning (at least learning of things in the real world). So, in some ways, I don't blame parents for being scared of the internet.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Chapter 4 Pass 2 Comments

If you want to post comments on the chapter, just click the word comment below. Since you probably don't have an account, just choose anonymous. If you put your first name in the feedback, it will help me know who is talking.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Chapter 3 Pass 2 Comments

If you want to post comments on the chapter, just click the word comment below. Since you probably don't have an account, just choose anonymous. If you put your first name in the feedback, it will help me know who is talking.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Chapter 2 pass 2

Have any young readers read Chapter 2 yet? If you want to post comments on the chapter, just click the word comment below. Since you probably don't have an account, just choose anonymous. If you put your first name in the feedback, it will help me know who is talking.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Chapter 1 Pass 3

Any young readers read Chapter 1 pass 3 (the new version). Click the word "comment" below and leave me your comments.


Welcome new manuscript readers. If you wish to post a comment reviewing a part of the manuscript, simply add a comment below. If you want to make things more organized, you can get an account and post a regular posting to this blog. Just ask me and I will tell you how.

To add a comment, just click the word comment underneath this posting. Comments are moderated, so they won't appear on the blog until I click okay.

The advantage to being able to do a regular posting is that you can put a sensible title on the top of your posting to identify what it is about.