Writer’s Corner

Thinking About Plot

School will be starting soon, and I’m gearing up to do some author visits.

One of the class presentations I’m developing is about plot.  It started me considering how I created the plots of the five books of the Karakesh Chronicles.  Each book involves one or more characters on a quest.  For me this theme is no surprise, as I view life as a quest.  We may not all be seeking the same thing, but I believe we do have some common goals.

In the beginning of Awakening Magic (Book III), Prince Emric knows what he doesn’t want.  He must defy his family and the social structure, and make a great sacrifice to achieve the life he desires.  True to the quest plot, Emric encounters obstacles and setbacks as he moves toward his goal.

Book IV, as yet untitled, stars Demara, a girl whose father is a selkie. Her mother is a Traveler.  Demara longs to be a pureblooded selkie, and to be able to live with her father in the ocean.  She, too, encounters obstacles and opposition, and in the end, discovers what she really wants to be.

In the fifth book of the Karakesh Chronicles, the main character, Bimi Lightfoot, longs to find his birth parents.  Bimi wants to know who he is, and where he came from.  All he does know is that his mother is a faerie, and that she let Liri Flare, her cousin, give Bimi away.  As he searches for his parents, Bimi experiences his own transformation.

young faeries.png

I’m looking forward to exploring the quest plot with students.  Writing with kids is fun and full of surprises.



Fabulous Flamenco

fullsizeoutput_1e81Anna Librada Georges

The musicians and dancers of the first Hudson Valley Flamenco Festival performed for a full house at the Rosendale Theater on August 11.  At the end of the show, the audience was standing, shouting, and stamping feet.

The director, my daughter Anna, managed to bring together a dozen local artists to dazzle those attending.  Most of the groundwork for the festival was laid from Anna’s home in Spain.  That she pulled off such an accomplishment speaks to Anna’s skills and determination.

UTdcPoNNS3KRC97czUYIYgMario Rincon and Mike Diago

Anna is already working on the second Hudson Valley Flamenco Festival.

If you missed the show on August 11, you’ll have another chance to enjoy great music and dance next year.



What I’m Reading

Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea

Back Bay Books, Little, Brown and Company, NY, 2009. (YA and Adult readers)

into the beautiful north

I loved this book.  LOVED IT.

After listening to an interview with Urrea in an On Being podcast, I was so impressed with his responses, his poetry reading, and his humor that I ordered the book.

When I was reading the end of the story, I think I actually shouted at our heroine, “No!  Don’t go away now!”  I was instantly struck by the fear that I was turning into my Aunt Helen who got so swept away during a Broadway play that she yelled advice to  the actors.

Urrea’s characters are broad and deep, original, and delightful.  I enjoyed the back-and- forth with English and Spanish, and the street talk.  Atomiko, in particular, was a stroke of brilliance.

Into the Beautiful North is a quest novel, but it also provides an education for those of us who don’t know of the conditions at the U.S./Mexican border.

These days, I firmly control my book-buying and use the library system.  However, I’m glad to own Into the Beautiful North, because I plan to read it again, more carefully.  The first read is for the story.  The second read is for the writer.  I kept asking myself, “How does he DO that?”  I want to write like Urrea, to be able to use description, devices, and humor in such a smooth, fresh way.

Regarding humor, my stories tend toward the serious, even though Archer and Carl the Third are amusing in Tangled in Magic. I just take the world too seriously, even worlds with talking birds and magic.

It’s tough to be learning a craft in my golden years, but certainly a welcome challenge that keeps me working.

Thanks, Luis Alberto Urrea, for a wonderful book.


Guided by Magic: Coming in September


GBMCoverBeeKim copy

Guided by Magic, the second book of the Karakesh Chronicles, will make its appearance this fall.  I’m still amazed that the characters who began in Book I, Tangled in Magic, multiplied and insisted that their stories be told, too.  I’ve stopped for now at Book V, although there are more characters with stories knocking at my door.

For me, the most significant theme of Guided by Magic is the bond between sisters.  And “sisters” includes females who are both related and not.  In the book, the sisters seek and support each other, and become strong women who know their minds.

I have a dear sister who lives in California.  For many years, she has “marched to her own drummer,” traveling the world and creating surprising, whimsical, and beautiful art of beads, fabric, paper, and fiber.

pgoat                                                         jan's collage

You can view her work at persimmon goat designs on Facebook.