Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Today is Tuesday, June 2. It is also: Nat’l Bubba Day, Nat’l Rocky Road Ice Cream Day, Nat’l Cream Puff Day, International Sex Workers Day, National Gun Violence Awareness Day, National Leave the Office Early Day, Yell “Fudge” at the Cobras in North America Day, Nat’l Rotisserie Chicken Day.

Birthdays: Thomas Hardy (1840), Dorothy West (1907), Barbara Pym (1913), Carol Shields (1935), Jack Gantos (1951), Norton Juster (1929), Helen Oxenbury (1938), David Bezmozgis (1973)

 Tip: Learn what writing terms mean. Genre, sub-genre, black moment, POV, GMC, etc. Knowing the jargon is as important as knowing what to do with it.

Thought for the day: “I love writing novels because the novel is such an accommodating form. You can do such a lot within one.” – Carol Shields

Jumpstart: You are cooking dinner for an important guest. This person can make or break you. Who is the guest? Why does s/he have such power over you? Write a scene where everything that could go wrong does. Write it first as a comedy, then a tragedy.


Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) was an English novelist and poet. Like Dickens, he was highly critical of Victorian society. He is well known for his novels, including Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Far from the Madding Crowd, and Jude the Obscure. He focused on tragic characters struggling against their passions and social circumstances.

Dorothy West (1907-1998) was an American novelist and short story writer during the time of the Harlem Renaissance. She is best known for her novel, The Living Is Easy.

Barbara Pym (1913-1980) was an English novelist. She wrote a series of social comedies, of which the best known are Excellent Women and A Glass of Blessings. Her novel,  Quartet in Autumn was nominated for the Booker Prize in 1977.

Carol Shields (1935-2003) was an American-born Canadian author. She is best known for her 1993 novel, The Stone Diaries, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and the Governor General’s Award in Canada.

Jack Gantos (1951) is an American author of children’s books. He is best known for the fictional characters Rotten Ralph and Joey Pigza. He won the 2012 Newbery Medal for Dead End in Norvelt.

Norton Juster (1929) i s an American academic, architect, and popular writer. He is best known as an author of children’s books, notably for The Phantom Tollbooth and The Dot and the Line.

Helen Oxenbury (1938) is an English illustrator and writer of children’s picture books. She is a two-time winner and four-time runner up for the annual Kate Greenaway Medal, the British librarians’ award for illustration. For the 50th anniversary of that Medal (1955–2005) her 1999 illustrated edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was named one of the top ten winning works.

David Bezmozgis (1973) is a Canadian writer and filmmaker. He is the author of Natasha and Other Stories, The Free World, and The Betrayers. He was chosen by The New Yorker as one of the best 20 writers under 40 in 2010

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