Thursday, September 24, 2009


Here is a peek at Chris Steininger's cover concept for the Harper Canada edition of the second book in Art Slade's steampunk series THE HUNCHBACK ASSIGNMENTS. Random House U.S. is cooking up something cool, too.

The Dark Deeps includes an underwater city (New Barcelona) and an invisible no-goodnik. Also a hunchback!

THE HUNCHBACK ASSIGNMENTS is already a Canadian best-seller (after Twilight) and reviews are marvelous: "A terrific entertainment" Quill and Quire (Canada's PW)— a starred review; "an excellent start to a promising series" Kirkus; "thrilling . . . more than the straightforward adventure it may appear" PW.

Checkout the website!

"Stringent," Explained by Saunders

We often say we're looking for "stringent" writing. To better explain what we mean, here's a fantastic essay by George Saunders on precision. The first example he sites? Johnny Tremain.

An excerpt:

"When a person resolves to improve his prose, everything he is and everything he believes in, consciously or unconsciously, must be brought to bear. The movements from vagueness to precision, from generality to specificity, length to brevity, passivity to activity, involve, mysteriously, a corresponding movement from falsehood to truth."


Saturday, September 5, 2009

A Back-to-School Rhyme

Nouns name things.
Adjectives describe them.
Verbs act up.
Adverbs poke and jive them.

Construct a sturdy sentence
From your toolbox of good grammar,
And if your sentence wobbles,
Smartly smash it with the hammer.

A Back-to-School Rhyme

The prize winning project at the state Science Fair
Was a clay pot of radishes, growing human hair.

The prize winning student, with her parents both in tow,
Shocked those attending the ceremony show.

The audience could see they displayed horrid grooming—
Upon all three heads? Rows of radishes were blooming!

A Back-to-School Rhyme

One, two, three—
Counting for a fee.
Four, five, six—
Kids don't learn for kicks.
Seven, eight, nine—
A dollar will be fine.
Ten is the end—
Off to go to spend.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Rhyme, for our kind

There was an ugly duckling who became a lovely swan.

— Oh! The goings on!

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