Annabelle Adams

Annabelle Adams

If you haven’t been keeping up (who has?), we have published a book called The Real McCoys. It’s a great book, a book we like, blah blah blah, I feel like we’ve mentioned it here A. COUPLE. TIMES. BEFORE. But that’s just background intel for this post. If your curiosity is piqued, go on, go ahead and buy the book, but this post (this post!) is about Annabelle Adams, Girl Detective – Moxie’s favorite supersleuthing hero, who at least deserves her own blog entry! Annabelle Adams is a butt-kicking, feisty, smart and indomitable 12-year-old who gets conscripted to save the world from the ruinous machinations of Dr. Fungo, the short, googly-eyed madman, who, not to take the bad guy’s side, is kind of a creative genius. She’s recruited by the mysterious Em: the inventive Floyd: and the ninja-like ninja (named Ninja): Great hijinx ensue and many cats run wild, are tamed, and run wild again. The whole thing is kind of like if they took James Bond and went farther in the direction of “gondola hovercraft zipping through the streets of Venice” instead of “more and more sad faces with Daniel Craig”. And here’s the good news: The good news is, we are releasing Annabelle Adams chapter by chapter over on the Real McCoys blog. Every two weeks you’ll get a new installment. We totally forgot to update you over here, so lucky for you, you don’t have to wait for Chapters 1-5, which are currently up at THIS LINK. Go read, enjoy, and like the Real McCoys facebook page if you’d like to keep up-to-date on chapter releases....

Advice to a Young Writer

Not long ago, I received an email from a young woman (the daughter of a high school friend), asking me for insight on the writing process. It was fun (and  instructive) to take a few minutes to reflect on what it takes to do what I do. I figured that, since I took the time to gather these thoughts, I might as well share them with other young (or not so young) writers who might be out there wondering how to get started. Without further ado, here is my exchange with Margo: —– Matthew Swanson and Robbi Behr, I am doing a research project about Marco Polo at school. For our projects, we are supposed to reach out to an adult in the same professional field as our notable. Marco Polo was also an author, so I found you to be great candidates. The assignment is to ask you about what “soft skills” your job requires. Soft skills are attributes needed to be successful in your career. These skills are more aimed towards things that make a good leader, like participation or focus, not handwriting or geometry. What skills do writers need for every day work? Thanks you for your help. Sincerely, Margo T., 6th grade —– Hello, Margo, I have enjoyed the opportunity to think about the soft skills that make it possible for me to do my job as a writer. Here’s what I came up with. persistence (and patience) – Writing is something that you learn how to do little by little, over an extremely long period of time. Although you can certainly improve by taking writing classes...

The Most Wonderful Writing App

NOTE: This post is mostly for writers, though I suspect that anyone could benefit from the experience I’m recommending. But if you’ve come for family photos and don’t feel like reading for a few minutes, no hard feelings. We’ll be back again tomorrow.  I made a transformative discovery yesterday — a devastatingly simple computer program that shoots straight to the heart of that timeless, intractable state of mind and spirit known as writer’s block. Perhaps you are familiar with the following situation: It’s just you and the keyboard, sitting there together. You have a joint mission, but you find yourself at odds. The clock is ticking. It’s utterly uncomfortable. You’d rather be anywhere else in the world. You want (or need) to write, but you can’t. Something inside you is making it impossible. Is it fear? Indecision? Desire for a sandwich? Lack of inspiration? Surplus of doubt? We each have our own long list of explanations, but I suspect that the underlying problem is almost always the same: too much thinking involved. In my experience, the best writing comes from a deeper layer of our being, from a place beneath the conscious mind, where the glorious, unpolished goop emerges from an ample spring, a place of pure inspiration, of unimpeded utterance. But the spring is locked inside. The trick is getting it out. When we sit down to write, we are at the mercy of the fusty gatekeeper who will not let the riffraff through until it has taken a shower, until it has proven itself worthy. And while it’s true that unwashed words might not belong in a published manuscript, they can never be seen and considered and given a...