Pages & Paws

Writing, Reading, and Rural Life With a Border Collie


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Don’t Be This Author – or – How to Get a Negative Review in 3 Easy Steps

Shhh! Mom’s snoozing. So it’s just us, okay?

Can we talk? Like, about book reviews? Cuz Mom and I are getting flooded with requests for book reviews. We love it! But we also want to be efficient. So we decided to set and clarify some basic ground rules. As in, what to avoid. Or Don’t Be This Author. With this kind of book.

So, here’s how to get a negative review in three easy steps (Examples taken from actual events. Names and places sort of changed to protect the not-so-innocent.):

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Who’s #1 & A New Reading RECORD!

Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas!

Kimber here. Her Momness  – aka: ‘Ole Bleary Eyes – would send Christmas greetings herself. But she’s just settled her brains for a long winter’s nap.

“Why is Mom napping during The Most Wonderful Time of the Year?!” you ask.

Good question.

25 in 8

Short answer: Mom just bested her own book reading record.  The new trophy reads: 25 Books in 8 Days.

#1, Baby!!

I’m not makin’ this up.  In fact, she wears the crown for Top Reviewer at Reedsy/Discovery this month. And I don’t mean in the top ten. Nope. Mom is THE Top Reviewer. As in, #1.

See:

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Thanks! You’re PAWsome!

Mom and I wanted to take a moment to thank those who’ve recently joined our little Pages & Paws community. Glad to have you. You’re like, totally PAWsome! So Welcome Aboard!

A few FYIs:

  1. The holidays are just around the corner. We traditionally focus on the holidays during the holidays. We’re just funny that way. So stay tuned for further flashes of seasonal brilliance and frivolity.
  2. If there’s a particular genre, title, or other things bookish you’d like to see on the blog that fits our submission guidelines, holler.
  3. Bookish guest posts are encouraged. We sometimes offer select authors guest posts, too. (If we really, really like you.) For more info., click here. Be sure to put “Pages & Paws Guest Post” in the subject line so we don’t miss it.

Thanks again. Don’t be a stranger!


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Author Ann Kiemel & How Do You Spell “Success”?

 

Pssst! Hey, writer! Yeah. You. Over here. I have a question for ya. Well, a few:

  • What’s your goal as a writer?
  • Do you want to sell millions of copies of your book (who doesn’t?)?
  • Make the New York Times Bestseller list?
  • What’s your definition of “success”?
  • How will you know when you’ve arrived?

Or does “bestseller status” seem like an elusive dream, a “happily ever after” fairytale?

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44 Best Fantasy Books for Kids

We’re not big fans of Halloween. But we do enjoy a good fantasy story sans ghoulish ghastliness. (Isn’t that a great word? Mom thought it up.)

Anyway, with Hallo-yuck coming up, Mom and I decided rather than focus on ghoulish tricks, we put together a list of treats instead: 44 Best Fantasy Books for Kids. Because, woof! Nobody does ‘imaginating’ better than kids! (Well, there was that one Labradoodle who…) Wait. That’s another story.

Kindly note that we’re using “fantasy” in its broadest sense. Like: Anything that could not exist within our own world. Make-believe in its purest form. Usually includes something supernatural or magical as primary elements of the plot, theme, or setting. Like talking animals. (One of us is super big on that.)

It’s easy to get Fiction and Fantasy confused. (One of us who shall remain nameless does that, too.) So here’s a basic primer describing the differences between the two genres. There are three main diffs, via Difference Between:

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Look Who’s a “Top Reviewer”!

Kimber here.

Isn’t it fun to toot someone else’s horn? I get to do that today! Cuz I’m braggin’ on Mom! (Do you think I’ll get some extra bacon outta this? Hmmm…)

You didn’t think Mom does book reviews just for this blog, did you? Naw! Mom loves books so much, she does reviews all over the place, including this outfit called Reedsy/Discovery.

Top Reviewer!

Did you know that Mom was recognized as a Top Reviewer for Reedsy/Discovery last month? (Well. It was mostly me. But Mom helped. A little.)

Anyway:

Mom says, “C’mon, Kimmi. Don’t get your water warm. It’s no big deal, okay?”

No idea what that means. But I’m still tooting Mom’s horn! Cuz she’s like, PAWsome! (I’m still waiting for that bacon!)

Happy Wednesday Friends! Thanks for Reading!

See you again soon! Cuz you’re Seriously PAWsome, too!

 

 

 


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5 Favorite Authors for Autumn

As the calendar crosses the bridge from summer into autumn, now is a good time to find and snuggle up with a good book! But what to read? What to read? Hmmmm…

Not worry. Kimber and Mom have you covered. (You knew that, right?)

Looking for high quality, well-crafted stories that are wholesome and uplifting without being preachy? Have we got a deal for you! These authors never disappoint. (They also know that vulgarity is no substitute for wit. Yea.) They offer heaping helpings of inspiration, hope, and grace.

So, without further ado, here are five great authors for autumn. Or anytime. In no particular order:

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Are You Writing “On the Way Down”?

“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.”

—Kurt Vonnegut

Kimber here. Mom is still trying to figure out where June went. And here we are, halfway through September! You know Mom is always trying to figure something out, right? The weather. Time travel. Splitting the atom. How some people get elected to office… But anyway…

While Mom’s trying to figure that out, can we agree that fall is Seriously Awesome? You know. Like me!

“But fall comes at a price,” says Her Momness: “A sigh and a sense of loss – always flavored with amazement. As in, Where, oh where, did summer go?”

 When You Aren’t Lookin’

Mom says it’s easy to say the same about writing. In fact, if you’re reading this you’re probably a book lover. And most book lovers we know are also writers. You know. Also Seriously Awesome. So this one’s for you.

As in, why do writers so often sigh and say, summer-like, I was going to finish chapter twenty-two today, but…  I haven’t actually finished the proposal… I planned to, but… thought about… talked about… considered… Well, maybe…

Yet the novel, article, story, essay, or outline sit on your desk or in your hard drive unfinished. Poised to creep out the back door when you aren’t lookin’.

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Why Visiting a Library is Like Coming Home

Kimber here. With a question: Where do your best friends live?

The Book Place

Some of our BFFs live at The Book Place. Where they have row after row of books! All lined up on shelves, just waiting to be checked out and read Also…. Oh. Wait. Mom is butting in again. So I’ll let her tell you more and give you some additional background:

Mom: There’s something inspirational about a library.  Being in the massed presence of so many authors is like snuggling under a cozy quilt on a snowy day.  It’s like Christmas, Independence Day and the First Day of Summer all rolled into one.

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Which is Better: Book or Movie?

“Kimber, what do you think is better? Book or movie?”

Depends, says I, Kimber the Magnificent. Usually on whether we’re reading or watching before or after dinner. Lemme backtrack for a min and explain-ish.

Book Memories

Her Momness has been skipping down Memory Lane via books for much of the summer.  She’s re-visited a ton and a half of old favorites. See: The Dog Days and Children’s Classics.

Poppins?

The other day Mom re-read Mary Poppins, by P.L. Travers. Just a few days after watching the Disney movie with Julie Andres and Dick Van Dyke. Having read and watched both versions within a few days of each other, Her Momness was somewhat astonished. At how far apart they are.

Granted, there are things you can and can’t do on the silver screen that you can do in a book. Some book scenes just don’t translate well onto film. But in the case of Mary Poppins The Book vs. Mary Poppins the Movie, the two are almost oceans apart. (We loved Saving Mr. Banks, thank you very much.)

Here are some select examples from Mom:

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