The Ink Splat: From Way Down Here


 The Ink Splat is our monthly activity letter filled with inspiration sparking challenges and resources guaranteed to inspire your creativity. In this Ink Splat, the book and author spotlighted is Oggie Cooder by Sarah Weeks along with an author interview! Submit a response to a challenge and you may have a chance to be published online! What are you waiting for?

The Challenge: From Way Down Here

Make a list of five activities you enjoy doing outdoors. Next time you have spare time go do one activity. Try describing the activity in writing from a different perspective than your own, perhaps from an ant crawling by.

Try using this new word in your writing:

Do you know what a whim is? A whim is noun meaning an impulse or a sudden idea! For example: John had a sudden whim to take a midnight walk in the forest.

Share your completed writing challenge by submitting HERE!

Published Submissions:

By M. Bailey

I flew overhead and saw two girls rolling in a fresh and green backyard. Then, like one of them had had a sudden whim, she changed direction and crashed into the other girl. I came back the next day and saw the same girl climbing a tree and trying to reach the highest branch. Every day I flew over the house with the big backyard and I saw the girl collecting moss and trying to grow seeds in it, having a picnic with her friends, or playing hide and seek when it was pitch black outside. I couldn’t wait to find out what she would do next.


 

Oggie Cooder by Sarah Weeks

Oggie Cooder is a chapter book for kids ages 9-12. Oggie is an unusual kid who suddenly becomes an unlikely hero based on his talent for “charving” (carving cheese with his teeth). Read the book and leave a comment below! Why do you think having an unlikely hero is appealing to readers?  

An interview with author Sarah Weeks:

“The two Oggie books have been a lot of fun to work on. Oggie is such a great character to climb inside of.  He’s strange for sure, but he’s got a big heart and in the end that’s what you really look for in a friend, isn’t it?”

“Kids always ask me why I wanted to write about someone like Oggie and I always say that unusual people are a lot more interesting to work with, than ordinary people.  An ordinary person uses ordinary words and has ordinary thoughts but not Oggie.  He’s full of “prrrrips” and “yeppers” and you never know what he might do next.”  

“As for Donnica Perfecto – I think we’ve all known somebody like her at some point.  I thought back to my school days and tried to take the most annoying characteristics I’d ever seen in a person and put them all into her character. She’s a real stinker!”

Thanks Sarah Weeks!

For more about the author and her books visit http://www.sarahweeks.com/index2.htm

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The Ink Splat: Cloud Gazing

 

The Ink Splat is our monthly activity letter filled with inspiration sparking challenges and resources guaranteed to inspire your creativity. In this Ink Splat, the book and author spotlighted is Shades of Truth by Naomi Kinsman. Submit a response to a challenge and you may have a chance to be published online! What are you waiting for?

The Challenge: Cloud Gazing

Go outdoors, lie down and gaze at the clouds outside for three minutes. How many images or objects do you see? Can you create a story or poem that includes what you saw in the clouds?

Try using this new word in your writing:

Do you know what a borborygym is? A borborygm is a rumbling of the stomach. For example: did you hear that big borborgym Grandpa made?

Submit your response HERE!

 

Shades of Truth by Naomi Kinsman

Sadie thought she’d have a perfect fresh start when she moved to Owl Creek, Michigan, but finding her place in her new school proves harder than she expected. In this divided town, Sadie’s father’s job mediating between bear hunters and researchers doesn’t help her social life. Sadie’s art instructor encourages her to explore her beliefs and express herself through her sketchbook, and things improve after Sadie befriends a kind girl from school and a researcher’s son—but she can’t stop worrying about the bears. As everything swirls around her, Sadie must learn what it means to have faith when you don’t have all the answers.

An interview with author, Naomi Kinsman!

Q: Have you always wanted to be a writer?

A: I always loved writing, as well as reading and telling stories. When I was a little girl, I spent hours in our elementary school library discovering new books. I lost myself in the lives of the characters, whether they lived in a real world or a fantasy one. When I was in third grade, I had the opportunity to attend a writer’s workshop because I won a writing contest in my school. The experience was overwhelming- to go to a college campus and learn about writing from professors! But, I also loved the theatre, so when I grew up I got an acting degree and pursued directing and teaching theatre. In the theatre, I bring all my favorite classic stories to life. Even so, I never let go of the dream to write a story that would end up being a book, a real book that I could set on my bookshelf next to the other books I love.

Q: Who is your favorite character in the From Sadie’s Sketchbook Series?

A: Sadie is my favorite character in the series, but Frankie is a close second. When you read the first book that will surprise you, but as you read the next books, I think you’ll understand why.

Q: What kind of research did you do for the From Sadie’s Sketchbook Series?

I had the amazing opportunity to spend some time with a scientist, Lynn Rogers, who studies black bears in their natural environment. I was able to learn a lot about bear behavior and biology from my experience. It’s funny, when I was a girl, my parents made me hike down a path to a creek, and on the path there was a sign warning us about bears, specifically that they would go after food if you brought it down the path. My parents knew we were relatively safe, but I just wouldn’t believe them. I could hardly eat, because I was so focused on listening for approaching monsters in the bushes. It’s hard to believe, then, that I had a complete 180 degree change of heart, after observing the black bears in person. I learned that they really aren’t as aggressive as I thought. Bears want food and safety, and mostly they just want humans to leave them alone. So, as long as we stay out of their way, and we keep our food in safe containers, we’re safe, and the bears are too.

Q: Do you draw, like Sadie does?

A: I LOVE to draw, and I try to sketch a little every day. I’m not a natural artist, though, so I have to work hard at improving my skills. One of the most fun parts of getting to know Sadie as a character was learning from books and illustrator friends and workshops how to draw. It makes me so very happy that lots of people who read the From Sadie’s Sketchbook series are inspired to learn how to draw, too!

Thanks, Naomi

Visit Naomi’s website HERE.

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The Ink Splat: Pop!

The Ink Splat is our monthly activity letter filled with inspiration sparking challenges and resources guaranteed to inspire your creativity. In this Ink Splat, the book and author spotlighted is Newsgirl by Liz Ketchum along with an author interview! Submit a response to a challenge and you may have a chance to be published online! What are you waiting for?

The Challenge: Pop

Imagine you are a kernel of popcorn. You have just been dumped into a large container. You hear a voice say, “Plug it in. It’s ready to pop.” Describe what happens as you are popped! Be sure to describe things you see hear feel and smell.

Try using this new word in your writing:

Do you know what svelte means? Svelte is another word for slim or thin! For example: Mr. Andy’s diet is working out well, he is looking mighty svelte.

Want a chance to be published on the website? Submit your response HERE!


 

Newsgirl by Liza Ketchum 

This historical novel is set in San Francisco in 1851. 12-year-old Amelia and her family arrive, penniless, but full of hope for their new life. Amelia’s first discovery– that newsboys make a fortune selling East Coast papers– sends her on an adventure of a lifetime, which involves chopping off her hair, membership in a boys-only gang, and a wild balloon ride. Liza Ketchum weaves fact with fiction, bringing Gold Rush California to life. How does she do this? Read the book and tell us what you think! 

Interview with author Liza Ketchum

Question: When writing non-fiction what techniques do you use to describe what a real person might have felt in that time period? Do you have any words of advice?

Response: “I try to read diaries and letters written by kids and adults who lived in the time period I’m writing about. I also read old newspapers (including the ads) to find vocabulary words and other terms from that time period. But figuring out emotions and thoughts is so much harder.  It goes to the heart of what it means to be human–right?  A child who was picked on or bullied in 1782 must have had the same feelings that a child today would show–except that they might use different words to show those feelings.  That is why my character, Daniel, calls Hiram “Buffle brain!” after Hiram ruins Daniel’s chance to catch a fish. (In Where the Great Hawk Flies.) That was an insult that I found in reading 18th century diaries.  But a kid today would probably feel the same way that Daniel did, if a bully caused him to lose something he wanted badly.”

Thanks Liza!

Want to learn more about Liza Ketchum and her work? Visit her website: http://www.lizaketchum.com

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