I think I might owe you an apology.
I may have accidentally abused my powers.
You see, on Monday, I posted the contest rules for the Pretty Much World Famous 4th Annual Holiday Contest. If you have read them, you will know that the subject matter is wild weather. I was merely thinking we could have tons of fun with that topic. . .
But here we are, within hours of that posting, and the temperature is 12 degrees in mid-November!
In New York! (not the Buffalo part! where there are already 3 feet of snow with 3 more predicted!) in the semi-civilized part not that far from NYC!
I'm afraid not.
I'm going to do my best to turn things around by buying a new pair of expensive warm winter boots (Sorel. Model: Women's Caribou. Color: Cinnamon. Or maybe Slate. Size: 7.5 - or maybe 7 since the reviews say they run large.) That should pretty much guarantee that we won't get any snow. But of course that will be unusual too... so there we are, back at wild weather!
I'm afraid I've caused it coming and going.
You just have to be sooooo careful when you have magical powers! One little moment of inattention, and whoops! you've unleashed Winter 2014-2015!
So yeah, sorry about that.
Let me try to distract you with a look at the fabulous pitches from October which await your voting pleasure for the October Pitch Pick.
#1 Tonia - Eat At Antonio's - PB ages 8+
A strange looking restaurant pops up in a small ho hum farm town offering fine cuisine. A real stir is created as these plain Jane folks can't swallow much more than meat and potatoes and common sense. The Grand Opening announces a real eating adventure. Once inside, Master Chef Antonio will transform the taste buds that will take them to exotic places with just one bite.
#2 Gail - Me Hungry - PB ages 4-7
Ted discovers a teeny-tiny zombie, and quickly learns that the little monster packs a big appetite. The little boy sets out to feed his famished friend, leading the pair on a whacky adventure — meat kabooms, a plate is pinched, and a restaurant is invaded! Ted's quick thinking sees Zombie's tummy finally fill, and his own dream of becoming a chef come true.
"Me Hungry!" is a fast-paced, 500-word picture book. A little “Master Chef Junior” meets “Goosebumps,” the story features Ted, a boy who learns that facing his fears is the first step in making his dreams come true.#3 Debbie - Exactly Ten Marshmallows - PB ages 4-8 (originally titled Your Friend, Conrad)
Finally, an invitation! According to the instructions, Conrad must bring a sword, a bow and arrows, and … exactly ten marshmallows?! He eagerly sets out for his best friend Fiona’s new home. But his journey quickly becomes complicated by a leaky boat, prickly brambles, and a sweets-loving dragon lurking in the moat. Will Conrad have the wits (and enough marshmallows) to make it to Fiona’s front door?
#4 Michelle - The Zoo Rules - PB ages 4-8
Miss Knaffle and her second graders all just want to have fun at school. But when her students take theiridea of fun too far—conducting a farting symphony during reading time, smuggling coffee beans to the class hamster, and using their desks for a bubblegum sculpture contest—Miss Knaffle decides that only a field trip to the zoo will avert classroom disaster. Once there, the canny teacher enlists irritable zoo animals to her cause. When Fátima tangles with a snake and Mario ends up on the wrong side of a baboon, the students quickly come to appreciate the zoo rules—and their teacher—in a whole new way.
Please vote for the pitch you feel most deserves a read by editor Erin Molta in the poll below by Sunday November 23 at 5 PM EST.
Now then, since the Mid-Hudson Valley is in the grip of the polar vortex (I know! My fault!) and I am therefore freezing ( I know! Still my fault!), we shall have something warming for our Something Chocolate today... Molten Chocolate Cake!!!
Don't you feel warmer already just looking at that molten flood of scrumptious chocolate? Plus, we really need the extra calories to keep warm, so it's actually GOOD for us to eat this :)
Now that we've averted the danger of freezing AND wasting away into skin and bones, let's jump into Would You Read It!
Today's pitch comes to us from Gail, whom you will remember from October with her pitch for Me Hungry. (Um, really you don't even need to remember since her pitch is above in the October Pitch Pick :)) She says, "Recently, I participated in the Making Picture Book Magic workshop and in the Telling Children Stories in Today’s Market intensive. I’m a member of SCWBI, and hold both a degree in Fine Arts from Wilfrid Laurier University and a diploma in Journalism from Cambrian College. You’re welcome to visit http://gailtalbot.com anytime to learn more."
Here is her pitch:
Working Title: Knights Of The Kids' Table
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-8)
The Pitch: Most of the Knights of the Kids’ Table found Flooted funny. After all, when he got nervous, Flooted tooted. But cranky Hugh couldn’t stand the smell, so he hatched a plan to get rid of Flooted…for good. When Hugh’s scheme flopped, the little knights giggled, the big knights enjoyed silly sword fights, and the grumpy little knight got exactly what he wished for.
“The Knights of the Kids’ Table” is a 554-word, humorous myth set in a time when swords were silly, and playing cards were the hottest toy. Little readers will be sure to chuckle when they learn the unlikeliest and silliest way some of today’s gaseous gags were coined.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 Gail 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've got a little time to polish up your pitches and send yours for your chance to be read by editor Erin Molta!
Gail is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch! I am looking forward to Spring :)
Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone!!! :)
Gail is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch! I am looking forward to Spring :)
Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone!!! :)
Flooted tooted- ha! I think the pitch reads very well. I would take out the 2nd paragraph.ReplyDelete
Geez, magical Susanna, take it easy on us!
So, *you* are the one responsible for the bad weather! And here I thought it was a combination of the earth's orbit, pressure gradients, and errant lobes of circumpolar vortex. I will have to inform my climatologist husband. :DReplyDelete
Voted! I find it interesting there are 2 food/cooking-related pitches.
Gail's pitch sounds like a hoot! I would read it and I think the first paragraph is a pretty good description. I had the same thought as Iza. I did not care much for the second paragraph and didn't think it needed it. Good luck with your story, Gail! p.s. you're the only person I have heard of who attended the eponymous university of our former Prime Minister! :) It was one of the places I had thought about for doing grad school.
Susanna - do they make chocolate-colored sorrels? Just askin'.... And I want to point out that 75% of the choices upon which to vote involved food. Does that say something about us? OK, the knight who tooted set me to hooting. Yeah, I would raise my tankard for that story.ReplyDelete
LIke the rest, I think the second paragraph unnecessary but definitely would read it. I don't have any thing to add to the pitch as I think it is pretty good the way it stands. It grabbed me from the first sentence which is what we want. :)ReplyDelete
Oh you poor deluded thing, thinking the weather all your fault! Don't you know it was because Eyore got his way?
Thanks so much for the chocolate cake Susanna! So glad ciber calories don't add up. My pot can't take much more, :)
Anything to do with 'tooting' sends my boys rolling with laughter, so yes I would definitely check out this book.ReplyDelete
Susanna it looks like Mother Nature is submitting her own holiday pitch with the storm of the century!
Thanks so much for your comments for Gail, Jean! And yes - I have to agree with you! I wonder what will happen if Mother Nature doesn't win?!ReplyDelete
Thanks so much for your thoughts for Gail, Clar! And I'm very glad you're enjoying the cake :) As for Eeyore... I don't think he has the kind of power I have, but I'll be glad to shift the blame :)ReplyDelete
Alas, no, Sue! Of course if they came in chocolate that would be my absolute first choice! :) And funny... I hadn't noticed that about the pitches, but you're right... I guess is DOES say something about us :) Thanks so much for your enthusiasm for Gail!ReplyDelete
Sorry, Teresa! I didn't mean to cause trouble! As for all that other gobblety-gook you spouted, it is obviously nonsense :) Thanks so much for your helpful comments for Gail!ReplyDelete
I'm sorry! It was an accident! I'm trying to fix it! :)ReplyDelete
Aha, Susanna, you are too powerful for the weather forecasters. Humbling bowing to you! Yes, I would read this. Love the humor! And the age group will too.ReplyDelete
Oh, I'll just go ahead and say it--I'm not a fan of bodily function humor, and I'll bet I'm not the only one. So I'm a "maybe" on reading this pitch. I'm also not keen on the name Flooted, which seems to have been invented solely to rhyme with tooted. I think the thing that grabs me most in the pitch is the fact that Flooted has a reaction when he's nervous. There's some interest in that, because I wonder what makes him nervous--does it happen when he's drawing his sword? riding his horse? fighting a dragon? There's potential for humor in those situations, and this might be a detail to touch upon in the pitch. Also, from the description of the ending, I get the sense that there will be a gag at the end, but no sense of whether the story includes any deeper theme. Hm...also, there must be a reason why you chose knights as your characters, but the pitch doesn't include any other knight-related imagery. Sorry my review isn't all roses, but I hope it's constructive.ReplyDelete
Way to go, Susanna, with your weather power (and by the way, I'm originally from Buffalo--so the photos are all over my FB feed). I voted, and I also read today's pitch. I'm a maybe. I like some of the word choices--it's clear that Gail can write. The pitch also makes the story seem fun and kid-centered, which is good. But, several things stopped me. You mentioned it was a myth--but what about the story is a myth? Also, when were swords ever silly? Your last line makes it seems like it's a nonfiction book about where some of today's gags come from originally. So, I'm left a little puzzled--I'm not really sure what happens in this story, but I know that there is clever language! :)ReplyDelete
The last sentence of the second paragraph intrigues me a lot, and I agree that kids will enjoy the toots. I'm confused about the time when swords were silly.ReplyDelete
If you can dig out of the snow, we have beautiful weather waiting for you in Arizona.
It took me awhile to understand the second paragraph, but I think I get it. If I'm right, I'm a YES.ReplyDelete
Silly Swords sounds like a toy from bygone days, and "cards were the hottest toy" helps me think that. It's a myth like "Just So Stories" about how sayings can get coined from the craziest places.
Why did I puzzle so long on the second paragraph? Because I like the first one so much! But I advise not taking your chances with an agent or editor. It may be a risk that doesn't work.
Susanna, thinking about coming out west? We could use some of those cosmic powers to alleviate the drought. :)
Oh Great and Powerful Susanna! Pay no attention to the woman behind the curtain!! It's about time winter dropped its curtain. Thank you!ReplyDelete
Now, about the pitch. Hmmm. I'm on the fence.
First reaction: I find the pitch synopsis and the following paragraph confusing. What does Flooted do to take charge of his gaseous destiny? Is it a story about Hugh or Flooted?
Second reaction: This story seems to be about too many things. Is it about a boy who gets nervous and embarrasses himself then figures out how to overcome that issue? Is it about a bully who gets his come-uppance? Is it about the history of fart gags? Is it in some way a fractured fairy tale?
Third reaction: There's a Knights of the Lunch Table series for slightly older kids that buyers/readers may confused with this title.
Fourth: I also don't like how "Flooted" appears to have been created to rhyme with tooted. Perhaps if it were spelled "Fluted," I would like it better.
Fifth: Yes, it's clear that the author can write and loves wordplay, so that's a big plus!
Love it! The pitch and the cake not the weather lol.ReplyDelete
It's way too c-c-c-c-old to think, even in G-G-G-Georgia, but here goes, anyway. I'd read this for the concept, though the pitch needs something...it should be funny and uh, fartsy, right? :-)ReplyDelete
Suzanne, thanks for one of my all-time favorite chocolate dishes! Maybe extended training time in Orlando (Hogwarts Universal) is required for you to obtain perfect control of your abilities. But it is good to know who did it! ;-) [Maybe if you start ordering bulbs, Spring will come early?]ReplyDelete
I have to say I am a maybe, also. Neither of my kids, nor I, am fond of gas humor. I am also not enthusiastic about "Flooted" as a name, largely because of the apparent forced rhyme. Since few knights would consider their sword fights "silly," this also diminishes my incentive to read it, rather than enhancing it.
I am a bit curious to see the story, as I have to agree with Jill and Pam that I am a bit unclear as to exactly what the end result is. I am also not sure the second paragraph helps the pitch.
I can relate to the wacky weather. We had snow at the beginning of September. You know, when it was still summer.ReplyDelete
I figured snow in summer was just par for the course in the wilds of Canada :)ReplyDelete
Thank you so much for your thoughtful impressions for Gail, Maria! And yes, perhaps some training would help me to control my astounding power :)ReplyDelete
That is because so many cool people live in Georgia, Cathy! :) Wasn't Fartsy one of the seven dwarves? :)ReplyDelete
Well, 2 out of 3 ain't bad :)ReplyDelete
I very much like being referred to as Oh Great And Powerful Susanna! I think I'm going to ask everyone to call me that from now on - thank you for suggesting it, Jilanne :) And thanks for your very thoughtful comments for Gail!ReplyDelete
Thank you for your helpful thoughts for Gail, Jen! And thank you for the invitation to come out west. I would like an opportunity to use my powers for good :)ReplyDelete
We don't actually have any snow left - just frigid temperatures! But I've heard Arizona is lovely so I might come visit because we're bound to get snow...! :)ReplyDelete
Thank you so much for your helpful thoughts and suggestions for Gail, Pam! And I'm glad you're not in Buffalo right now!ReplyDelete
I'm sorry for Gail that your review isn't all roses, but it is helpful and thoughtful and makes some good points (and you were not mean :)) so I think it will be helpful to her. Thanks, Heather :)ReplyDelete
Oh golly, Linda! Don't bow! I might accidentally freeze you that way :) Thanks for your enthusiasm for Gail - I'm sure she'll be pleased :)ReplyDelete
Well, now I know who to send my bill for the new heavy-duty snow blower I'm gonna have to buy! ;)ReplyDelete
Thank you everyone — all of the feedback here is very helpful. I'm convinced; the second paragraph has just gotta go!ReplyDelete
I've gone back and forth on the spelling of "Flooted/Fluted;" my intention was ultimately to include an illustrator note so that the logic for that nickname would be expressed without words.
I do know that "potty" humour isn't for everyone, so some reactions are expected (I figured I would see at least 2 not be too thrilled); it's why I call this my 'risky' ms. That said, when I've test read it, the kiddos laugh and love the silly sword fights.
At heart, the story is a silly, funny adventure/myth. There remains underlying universal themes, the primary being 'be careful what you wish for.' And, for those who wonder, the myth encapsulates a fictional and absurd origin for certain of our silliest, smelliest sayings (i.e. he who smelled it). Yep — not for everyone lol.
Again - my warmest thanks :)
The chocolate treat looks delicious. I'm sorry, but I am a no on this book. I just don't find this kind of humor funny. The occasional fart joke in a middle-grade book is fine, but a picture book based on that doesn't work for me.ReplyDelete
Thanks Jill — you've inspired me to re-think the spelling of Flooted vs. Fluted :)ReplyDelete
Hi Jen - I'm dropping the second paragraph. Thanks for reading :)ReplyDelete
Thanks Sydney. I'm going to rework the whole pitch and see about incorporating the myth concept in the primary paragraph...without making it too long. Phew!ReplyDelete
Pam, you hit the nail on the head. I found it challenging to describe the myth concept without getting too wordy. I have to work on that...more lol!ReplyDelete
Hi Heather - I'm glad you were honest. I was expecting at least a few to frown on the potty humour. It's why I call this my "risky ms."ReplyDelete
Thanks Jean! You gotta love our little boys :)ReplyDelete
Thank you for your feedback. The second paragraph is history!ReplyDelete
Your feedback set me to hooting! A big thanks from me to you, Sue :)ReplyDelete
Thanks Teresa - I'm definitely losing the second paragraph :)ReplyDelete
You know, I started at University of Waterloo. It seemed so rigid, and studying the arts, it didn't mesh. So, I transferred up the street — it was such a good choice; Laurier was wonderful. My step-daughter is doing her undergrad degree there now (proud step-mom!).
Where did you end up doing your grad work Teresa?
Hi Iza — second paragraph is gone :)ReplyDelete
I think this is a well-written pitch that tells me what the story is about. I'm agreeing with taking out the second paragraph and it sounds like you've already rethought it, Gail.ReplyDelete
Thanks for that molten cake, Susanna. As usual, I ate more than one piece...but you always say you have plenty!
Could you send some rain to West Texas if you have a little magic left in you??? We are in a bad drought! Thanks :-)
Oh...and I voted!
Just so long as you don't start sending people on wild broom chases away from the Emerald City.ReplyDelete
I can't promise. That sounds fun :)ReplyDelete
Weighing in a bit late, here is my reaction(s): love snow, love molten cake, don't love farts, but do laugh at them (tho, I am a bit embarrassed to say so). The name Flooted -- being not a name from my experience, threw me -- requiring a read and re-read to get it. I would agree that the second "paragraph", as written, doesn't help me much in understanding the story. Actually, now that I am typing this, I am not certain what others are referring to as the second paragraph. I am speaking of where you start with , "When Hugo's scheme...." The part that is "... 554 word, humorous myth..." is what would actually result in my pulling this off the shelf. Bottom line -- the pitch itself didn't move me, but I would be in the --ok with flatulence in a book group --and would read it.ReplyDelete
I'm late to the party - and haven't read much below - so just my thoughts. I found "Flooted" off or weird - do you HAVE to give the character a name in the pitch? Might work fine without. Just a thought.ReplyDelete
Also not feeling the need for the second paragraph - though I wonder if you could work the info about the "Origin of fart gags" into the first somehow. Cuz it may just me, be but THAT grabbed my attention more than anything else.
And as you know, Susanna, we've got the polar vortex thing too - though not as bad as upstate NY! Hoping we aren't in for another winter like last year.
Thanks so much for your helpful impressions for Gail, Joanne! And I've heard mixed predictions for this winter - the doom and gloomers call for worse than last year, but others are saying maybe not as bad. I'm a glass half full kinda gal, so I'm going to go with Spring is right around the corner :)ReplyDelete
Thanks for your helpful reactions for Gail, Teresa (and there's no such things as late around here! :)) Glad you enjoyed the cake :)ReplyDelete
Thanks for your comments for Gail and for voting, Penny! :) And I'm so glad you enjoyed the cake - of course you may always have as much as you like - I try to be sure there's MIK (more in kitchen :)) I would be happy for the opportunity to use my powers for good, so I will trot down to West Texas in my fanciest sun hat... which is sure to bring rain immediately!ReplyDelete
Fair enough, Rosi - not all books are for everyone! I'm glad you enjoyed the cake :)ReplyDelete
I'm glad you're finding everyone's comments helpful, Gail. They're the best, aren't they? :)ReplyDelete
Surely you know an old windbag or two who could do it for free, Donna! :)ReplyDelete