December 12, 2012

Would You Read It Wednesday #69 - Oyster And Pearl (PB) And Something Special :)

Would You Read It is here.  I promise :)  And anyone who wants to can skip the special first part of this post and scroll right down to the pitch, which is pretty close to the bottom.  But for those of you who are up for a little insanity fun... :)

Once upon a time, I had a hairbrained scheme to send Phyllis on a World Tour.  During the tour, it came up somewhere along the line that the treasure hunt in April Fool, Phyllis! was based on the birthday hunts my dad used to make for us when we were kids, which I now do with my kids.  A dear friend of mine, who welcomed Phyllis into her Saskatchewan home during the tour, remarked that a birthday hunt sounded like fun, and she'd really like to give it a try sometime.

Beth Stilborn is a pillar of our writing community.  She writes a wonderful blog about writing and the arts, with a special love of theatre.  She, along with Emma Walton Hamilton, established The Children's Book Hub Face Book page.  She is incredibly supportive to all of us in the writing community, and she is always up for a hairbrained scheme :)  And she's a nice person :) and kind to groundhogs :)

So, Beth, Happy Birthday from me, and Phyllis, and a whole bunch of your blogging family.  Here is your birthday hunt :)  It's not quite the way my dad did it, but hopefully it will work and be fun.  And of course, anyone else who likes solving puzzles is welcome to play along!  It's not too hard because it is a bit long (12 clues because your birthday is 12/12 :)) but should you have any difficulty, there are hints :)  Many hints can be found right here on my blog too, in the side bars or recent posts.

Instructions:
Solve each clue in order.  When you have cracked the code and figured out what the clue says, do what it tells you.  When you get there, you will find a word in colorful bold-face font.  Write it down!  Then come back here for the next clue.  Eventually all the words will make a message and lead you to your present :)  If you need a hint, click the HINT button :)

#1

ashowy omet whowt swithe ipositivet aparentall oparticipationg

egor etherel

HINT #1

#2

LEVI   GSV   ML   DZGVI   IREVI  ZMW   GSILFTS

GSV   DLLWH  GL   IVMVV'H   YOLT  DV   TL!

HINT #2

#3
HINT #3

#4
Go there!

HINT #4

#5

1-18-20-9-19-20,  23-18-9-20-5-18,  23-9-6-5,  1-14-4

8-15-13-5-19-3-8-15-15-12-9-14-7  13-15-13  12-9-22-9-14-7

9-14  20-8-5  23-15-15-4-19  15-6  13-1-9-14-5  -  19-20-15-16

9-14  6-15-18  1  22-9-19-9-20!

HINT #5

#6

A3 C4 C2 A5     B3 A1 E3 A5     D3 C4 C2 A5     B1 D5 C3     A1 D4

D4 B3 A5     B3 A1 A2 B4 D4 D5 A1 C1     D2 B3 E4 C2 A5 D2 ' D3

HINT #6

#7

...-   ..   ...   ..   -

-   ....   .

-   .-   .-..   .   -.   -   .   -..

.-   .-.   -   ..   ...   -

.--   ....   ---

-.-.   .-.   .   .-   -   .   -..

-   ....   .

.--.   .   .-.   ..-.   .   -.-.   .

.--.   ..   -.-.   .   ..-   .-.   .

-...   ---   ---   -.-

.-..   ---   --.   ---

HINT #7

#8

golf oscar foxtrot india november delta alpha papa lima alpha charlie echo whiskey hotel echo romeo echo charlie hotel india lima delta romeo echo november' sierra bravo oscar oscar kilo sierra hotel echo alpha lima

HINT #8

#9

Cubomube crubeubatube cuburubiuboubus wubith Kubirstuben!

HINT #9

#10 (apologies, I ran out of secret codes and time so I'm reusing one! but no hint since you've already done it :))

HLNV  KVLKOV  ZIV  ZIXSRGVXGH,

VMTRMVVIH,  XLLPH

YFG  GSRH  LMV  RH  HKVXRZO -

GSRH  PRW  IVERVBH   YLLPH!

TL  KZB  SRN  Z  ERHRG!

(I told you - no HINT :))

#11

g s jl rwn zch wh wrts llstrts nd rds chldrn's bks

HINT #11

#12

HINT #12

PHEW!  I hope Beth (and at least a few others) made it this far before next week :) and I hope everything worked as it was supposed to and there weren't too many glitches and/or mistakes.  Any complaints about execution may be directed to the management, who will probably refer you to the resident Seer Of Seers, Prognosticator Of Prognosticators, Weather Prophet Extraordinaire :)  (because she's cute and furry and hard to stay annoyed at :))

(Side note: this hunt will only work properly (assuming it ever does :)) on 12/12/12.  After that, when you follow the clue directions, you will have to scroll back to the bloggers' 12/12/12 post.)

Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming :)  Would You Read It!

The winner of the first ever tied pitch pick is:  LARISSA!!!

That was quite a hard-won win - congratulations!  Your pitch is on its way to editor Erin Molta for a read and comments!  And congratulations to everyone who wrote wonderful pitches and then made them even better.  You are all winners as far as I'm concerned :)

Now then, the runner up of the first ever tied pitch pick, has a new pitch!

Kim is "Mama" to a wonderful 8-year-old with multiple nicknames, wife of a genius, and has switched careers numerous times in her short (ha!) life. She has been passionate about picture books since her first encounter with Dr. Seuss, though it has taken her decades (don't ask) to realize that writing them is something that she can probably do for the rest of her life.  She writes a wonderful blog over at Kid Lit Dish and is a regular participant in PPBF.  She would love it if you'd like to follow her on Twitter or like her on Face Book!

Here is her new pitch:

Working Title: Oyster And Pearl
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-8)
The Pitch: Pearl is a tiny grain of sand that lives in the bottom of the ocean.  She feels insignificant in her world and both envious AND enamored of the star in the sky that she can see above her at night.  As she sets her sights on joining the star, she encounters many challenges... until finally, one night, she meets Oyster, who helps her become a star of her own.


So what do you think?  Would You Read It?  YES, MAYBE or NO?

If your answer is YES, please feel free to tell us what you particularly liked and why the pitch piqued your interest.  If your answer is MAYBE or NO, please feel free to tell us what you think could be better in the spirit of helping Kim improve her pitch.  Helpful examples of possible alternate wordings are welcome.  (However, I must ask that comments be constructive and respectful.  I reserve the right not to publish comments that are mean because that is not what this is about.)

Please send YOUR pitches for the coming weeks!  For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It or on the Would You Read It tab in the bar above.  There are openings in January, so you have time to polish :) for a chance for it to be read by editor Erin Molta!

Kim is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  And I am looking forward to seeing whether Beth can solve her birthday hunt and whether anyone else takes a crack at it!  If you solve it, let me know :)

Have a terrific day, everyone!  And happy birthday dear Beth, happy birthday to you :)

Reactions:

101 comments:

  1. Happy Birthday to Beth! Wow, my head is still reeling from that Birthday Hunt! Your Dad sounds amazing, Susanna, and you must be a genius to have grown-up solving these puzzles..phew!

    The story sounds sweet. I would just tighten up the pitch a bit. "In the sky that she can see above her at night,"for example, can be shortened by eliminating obvious words as "above" and "night." Love the idea!

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  2. Happy Birthday to Miss Beth, but the challenge puzzles made my eyes cross! As for Oyster & Pearl, a hearty YES! I can envision the characters, and the pitch suggests a twist that very often happens in life: you desire something with all your heart, but then fate intervenes with something better. Good Luck, Kim!

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  3. delores @ thefeatherednestDecember 12, 2012 at 8:22 AM

    I like it. I would definitely read this story. All of us feel insignificant at one time or another.
    The birthday challenge? Listen, I'm old. I may not live long enough for my petrified old brain to figure it out.

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  4. I would read it. I'm not sure if this has all the elements of a pitch, though. There's no conflict. But I'm already visualizing the illustrations (not that I'm an illustrator).

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  5. Susanna, you are simply amazing!

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  6. I am a yes for the pitch and would agree with Iza's suggestions for a little tightening by word elimination. We can al relate to that feeling of being insignificant.


    Susanna, I am left speechless by your clues! Mindblowing. You're amazing!


    HAPPY BIRTHDAY dear Beth!

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  7. WOW, that was an amazing treasure hunt! I had such fun deciphering the clues (okay, okay, I confess to checking the hints for most of the codes...) and visiting the blogs. THANK YOU, Susanna, and THANK YOU everyone who participated. You've knocked my socks off with this wonderful birthday surprise! (For someone who used to exchange letters with her honorary nephew in Morse Code, having coded clues was perfect... although it's been several years since Wilson and I did that letter thing, and I did have to look it up! I knew the international aviation alphabet, though! Alpha bravo charlie delta...)


    THANK YOU!!!!


    And yes, I would read it, getting back to the pitch!

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  8. Susanna...kudos for the birthday treasure hunt puzzle...thanks for including me in the fun for Beth!

    I love this story idea, Kim. I would definitely read it...and agree that perhaps a little tightening might not be amiss...it's a great concept...most of us can understand and appreciate the feeling of envy AND adoration directed at the same object/person. :)

    Happy 12/12/12 everyone. :)

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  9. Yes I'd read it! Great message and very unique. :)
    And what an amazing b-day puzzle. My brain is on the sidelines cheering everyone on in the hunt!

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  10. Susanna, that is amazing hunt. Very cool and sweet of you. Happy Birthday Beth!


    Yes would read the story, but I think the pitch could be tightened up.

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  11. Trying to type with tears in my eyes. What a wonderful act of friendship for a dear friend. Happy birthday, Beth! How fitting that your birthday coincides with the 12x12x12 blogfest.


    Re Kim's pitch, Yes, I would read this story! It sounds so lovely. I do think, thought, that the pitch could be tightened a bit.

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  12. WoW! Beth certainly solved that quickly. Happy Birthday Beth. I only figured out 3 clues. Don't even know which clue led you to my blog, What was the treasure message?
    Congratulations Larissa! And, yes, I would read it. The pitch, needs to be a little tighter as others have suggested. Great idea for a story.

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  13. I love the pitch and the story idea. I love the idea of becoming something special from just a grain of sand and I love the idea of teaching actual science about how pearls are made. I do think the pitch could be tightened a bit, and my one hesitation when I read it was how relatable a grain of sand could really be? Good illustrations and good writing can go far, but I think I'd like to see some of that in the pitch so that I'm sold. Can you give a hint of Pearl's voice and character so I understand how I'm supposed to care about sand? :)

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  14. I'm no genius, Iza, but I did grow up solving these kinds of puzzles. They're not so hard when you know the codes :) Thanks so much for your helpful comments for Kim!

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  15. Hence the hints, Linda :) Just because I've done puzzles like these since I was little, doesn't mean they make sense to anyone else! :) Thanks for your comments for Kim!

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  16. Hahaha! You are funny Delores! I *PUT* hints... I'm sure you could do it! Thanks so much for your comments for Kim!

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  17. Muchas gracias for your comments for Kim, Stina! (Can you believe how well I speak espanol?)

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  18. Kind of you to say, but not that amazing :) Maybe your boys would have fun solving the codes :)

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  19. Thanks so much for your comments for Kim, Joanna! And the clues just look impressive - they're really pretty simple codes, and once you know them, not that clever :) I am not responsible for thinking up Morse code, for example :)

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  20. I'm glad you had fun, Beth! Excellent job flying through the clues :) And thanks so much for you comment for Kim. Happy Birthday!

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  21. Thank you so much for being a part of it Vivian - I couldn't have done it without you and all the others :) Thanks so much for your comments for Kim, too!

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  22. Thanks for your comments for Kim, Coleen! And as for the treasure hunt, the only one I know who tried it besides Beth was Renee :)

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  23. Well, you know me, Darshana - always up for puzzles and games :) Thanks for your comments for Kim!

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  24. I'm pretty sure the one that led to your blog, Pat, was the international aviation code - you know, Alpha Bravo Charlie Delta. And I don't think I should tell you the message - you have to work a little harder than that :) If you solved 3, you've got 25% of the message, plus you already know your word :) Get back to me in a day or two :) Thanks so much for your comment for Kim, and for being game to join the birthday hunt - your message was lovely!

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  25. Thanks so much for your thoughts for Kim, Patricia! And I'm glad you liked the birthday hunt idea :)

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  26. Thanks so much for your very helpful comments for Kim, Wendy!

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  27. Thanks Susanna, for schlepping me along on (truly honored) on another hair-brained scheme! Congrats to Larissa. Yes, I'd read Kim's book! Great premise, and I imagine it would be a fun challenge to illustrate a grain of sand! And I'd buy the book for my mom, Pearl! But I would tighten the pitch. You could take out 'that she can see above her at night', because we can figure that already; and leave out the word 'finally', without changing much.

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  28. Well thank YOU for being willing to schlepp along, Julie :) And thanks for your helpful comments for Kim!

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  29. You're a nut and I love that about you! How do you find the time? What great birthday elves you have! What a fun birthday treat! I'm still trying to figure out the clues. Happy Birthday to the Amazing Beth! Also congrats, Larissa!

    As for the pitch, YES! I'd definitely read it. The journey and adventure of a grain of sand sounds exciting. The vastness of the sky and the ocean opposite the tiny grain of sand is poetic. I agree with everyone else about editing. For example, the tiny grain feels insignificant. She's envious, yet enamored of the night star and "sets her sights..." Your sentences won't be as naked as that, but you get the idea. Kim, it sounds like it's going to be a wonderful read. Please keep us updated on your progress.

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  30. What a FUN treasure hunt . . . I got #1 straight away, no hint required. ;)


    Happy Birthday to Beth.

    Congrats to Larissa.


    Happy 12/12/12 to ALL!

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  31. Well, you know, Pam - sometimes you feel like a nut :) Glad you enjoyed the clues. Let me know if you figure them out! And thanks so much for your comments for Kim!

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  32. Good for you, Nancy! The thing about these kinds of codes is that if you see them, they're so obvious, but if you don't they're so hard! :) I think #3 was the easiest :)

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  33. Thank you for posting my pitch, Susanna... And thank you, everyone, for your comments! I'm sorry for the delay-- crazy day! I'll review these now... Thanks again!

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  34. Thank you, Iza... Yes, I do see that now. Thank you for pointing that out!

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  35. Thank you, Linda! And -- yes, that was my intended "theme" for this one... It's one I started eons ago. It never finished. Appreciate your hearty yes! ;-)

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  36. Thank you, Delores! And LOL on your challenge comment!

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  37. You're welcome, Kim! And no worries - I know exactly how you feel! I wouldn't know where my head was today if it wasn't attached... wait a minute... :)

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  38. Thank you, Stina! I was thinking the conflicts would come along the way of Pearl's journey-- you know, all of those typical things we all run up against when we're trying to swim up from the bottom of an ocean (without arms or legs) in order to meet up with some elusive star... ;-). Seriously, I am envisioning conflicts aplenty in that ocean! Appreciate your feedback!

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  39. Congrats to Larissa and a Happy Birthday to Beth!

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  40. Thank you, Joanna!! And Happy B-Day to Beth, too!

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  41. Happy Birthday, Beth! Hope it was a great one!! And thank you!

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  42. Thank you, Vivian! And definitely agree on the tightening now... Can't wait to finish this one now!

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  43. Thank you, Coleen! I'll take unique!

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  44. Thank you, Darshana! I appreciate it!

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  45. Thank you, Patricia... and, yes, I agree and I will! :-)

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  46. OK OK I have to admit I've been busy decoding the clues and am getting back here to finally comment ;) This was a totally cool idea Ms. Hill... hey YOUR Birthday is in December too right?!? ;)
    I love the pitch. I think is sounds like a great bedtime story already!

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  47. Great thoughts, Wendy... thank you! I will do that when I revise!

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  48. Thank you, Julie! If I ever finish this and get it published, *I* will send a copy to your mom! :-)

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  49. Thank you, Pamela! Yes, my first draft, although prose, was aiming for "poetic" because it just felt like that... kind of like one of my favorite PBs -- Kitten's First Full Moon. Simple yet poetic. Great thoughts!

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  50. The treasure hunt was amazing, wasn't it, Erik! I had such fun!

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  51. Thanks for the birthday wishes, Elaine!

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  52. Thanks for the birthday wishes, Nancy!

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  53. Thanks, Pam, for the birthday wishes! You're pretty amazing your own self!

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  54. Thank you, Julie, for participating in Susanna's wonderful scheme! I loved the treasure hunt, the way people worked their word into their blogs, and the whole experience!

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  55. Thanks, Pat! And if you use the hints so you get the idea of what the code is, it really helps! ;) And thanks again, so much, for your lovely post for my birthday.

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  56. Mum and I learned the international aviation code along with Dad when he was doing ground school before taking flying lessons (he got his pilot's license at age 62). Finally my knowledge of alpha bravo could be put to good use!

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  57. Thank you so much, Patricia! I have been overwhelmed by all the love that has been sent my way today! And the treasure hunt was amazing!

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  58. Thanks for the birthday wishes, Darshana! The treasure hunt was amazing. *Susanna* is amazing!

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  59. The hunt was such fun!

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  60. Thanks so much for being a part of my birthday celebration and treasure hunt, Vivian! It was such a delight!

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  61. Thanks, Kim -- it has been an amazingly awesome birthday!

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  62. Excellent job writing the clues, Susanna! And thinking it all up, and organizing it all, and making it all work. You ROCK! Thank you!

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  63. Thanks so much, Joanna! Isn't Susanna's clue-coding ability awesome? I had so much fun, and it meant so much to me that you'd all do something like this for me!

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  64. you can't be THAT old, Delores! ;) If I could do it, so can you!

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  65. Thanks for the birthday wishes, Linda! And the hints about the codes used were what got me through many of the clues! It was great fun!

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  66. Thanks so much for the birthday wishes, Iza! Isn't Susanna great!

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  67. Aw shucks! I'm just glad if you had fun :)






























    Beth Stilborn (unregistered) wrote, in response to Susanna Leonard Hill:

    Excellent job writing the clues, Susanna! And thinking it all up, and organizing it all, and making it all work. You ROCK! Thank you!

    Link to comment
    IP address: 65.87.233.107

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  68. To quote one of my friends, "I surely, purely did." :)

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  69. I'm glad you're having fun with the clues, Erik! And thanks for your comments for Ms. MacPherson! I think YOUR birthday is in December - is it? - but mine is in April :)

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  70. I like that :)





























    Beth Stilborn (unregistered) wrote, in response to Susanna Leonard Hill:

    To quote one of my friends, "I surely, purely did." :)


    Link to comment
    IP address: 65.87.233.107

    ReplyDelete
  71. Yes, I would read it. It sounds like a good story! I'd be a little concerned about how a grain of sand could be illustrated and believable as a character. Could Pearl be a small pebble or something? Just a thought. That probably doesn't work with the reality of how pearls get made.


    I think the pitch could be tightened a bit.
    For example, in the first sentence, you don't need to tell us she's tiny -- that's pretty much understood with a grain of sand. I'd also say "who" (rather than "that") lives in the ocean (no need to say she's at the bottom -- it doesn't really matter and it's also implied since where else would sand be?)


    See if you can shorten the other two sentences, too, and maybe tweak the ending to give it a little more mystery. For example the last sentence could read something like: Her quest proves difficult until she meets Oyster, who helps her find her own way to shine. (no need to tell us she meets Oyster at night -- it's not that important)

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  72. I tried earlier, but failed to comment. So, here I am. I agree with the comments about tightening it up a bit. What a wonderful Birthday treat. Happy Birthday Beth! You are a super friend Susanna!

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  73. Would I read it? Yes I would! I could just imagine that tiny grain of sand wanting to become so much more, to stand out from the gabillion fafillion grains and be more...oh the beautiful PB that could unfold from this.

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  74. You are the queen of codes, Susanna. You'd better watch out; I'll bet the CIA will be pounding at your door soon. Happy Birthday Beth! And the pitch is a yes from me. It hits the right emotional notes without feeling too heavy handed. I don't think you need to capitalize AND. Also I would omit "one night." But really it looks great. Nice work.

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  75. I did 3 code puzzles, and I'll have to finish the rest some other time. But this is awesome and fun. I'll have to remember all these neat codes for my "educational writing." Again, happy birthday to Beth. What a surprise to have this hunt!


    Regarding Kim's pitch..Yes, I'd read the book. I like the friendship of a grain of sand and an oyster. I think the pitch should be shortened; it's a little wordy. For example, in the 1st line, we already know a grain of sand "lives" on the bottom of the ocean, so that could be deleted.

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  76. I won?! Aaaah, I'm so excited!!! Mostly, I am thrilled to have Erin's critique on the pitch. Thanks to everyone who voted!


    Kim, I would definitely read Oyster and Pearl. I am compelled by the protagonist being a grain of sand, which feels like a unique idea. And I think there's something poignant about the feelings of envy and admiration.

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  77. Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments for Kim, Carrie! Very helpful as always! :)

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  78. Thanks for your comments for Kim, Stacy! And you are too kind :)

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  79. Thanks for your comments for Kim, Angela! You know, I notice you often make very visually-oriented observations... maybe you should consider writing a picture book :)

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  80. Thanks for your comments for Kim, Hannah! And you know, it just so happens that the CIA is right down the road from me! Of course, that one is technically the Culinary Institute of America, but that's just splitting hairs :)

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  81. Thanks so much for your comments for Kim, Tina! And the codes really are fun, if you like that sort of thing :) We've gotten lots of birthday hunt mileage out of them :)

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  82. Thanks for your comments for Kim, Larissa, and congratulations again on your hard won victory! It will be interesting to see what Erin has to say! :)

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  83. Hmmm I thought yours was too... now I have to mark my calendar. ;) Thanks again Ms. Hill for doing the hunt!

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  84. I'm glad you enjoyed it, Erik!






























    This Kid Reviews Bks wrote, in response to Susanna Leonard Hill:


    Hmmm I thought yours was too... now I have to mark my calendar. ;) Thanks again Ms. Hill for doing the hunt!

    User's website
    Link to comment
    IP address: 173.86.13.47

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  85. Thanks, Larissa! And congratulations! Speaking of ENVIOUS, as your runner-up, I am green with envy! (Just kidding. Well, sort of. Not really.) ;-)

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  86. Good thoughts, Tina... thank you!!

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  87. Thank you, Hannah! Will do just what you suggested when I revise...

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  88. Thanks, Angela... I have a fabulous illustrator friend who would do AMAZING things with this story. Appreciate your thoughts!

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  89. Will do, Stacy... and thank you!

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  90. Very helpful comments, Carrie... thank you! Love your last line!

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  91. Thank you, Erik! You are da bomb!

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  92. Thanks, Tina -- I think it would be awesome to write a whole book about codes. I think kids would have a great time with it (there's likely books out there, but there's room for one more?)

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  93. Thanks, Hannah! Susanna is indeed the queen of codes. What a fun game!

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  94. Thanks, Stacy! And yes, Susanna is a wonderful friend! (and a clever one.)

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  95. How fun! I apologize completely, Beth, for being a day late to wish you a Happy Birthday! I did think of you on your actual birthday, but didn't make it over here!!! I imagine it was awesome with this wonderful, fun birthday hunt!
    Great Susanna!
    And the pitch hooked me right off!!! I would be a definite yes!

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  96. Well it was so nice of you to find time to come over, Penny - I know you've been crazy busy and have a lot going on. Thanks for stopping by with bday wishes for Beth and comments for Kim :)

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  97. POSTED FOR ELAINE

    Congrats to Larissa and a Happy Birthday to Beth!

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