September 8

Birthdays: Ann Beattie (1947), Frederic Mistral (1830), Jon Scieszka (1954), Lang Leav (1970s), Michael Frayn (1933)

Tip: Avoid indirect negatives. For instance: He wasn’t very nice to us. Vs. He was rude to us. (The second one is better.)

Thought for the day: “My ideas come from all different things: my kids, kids I’ve taught, kids I’ve learned from, watching movies, playing with my cat, talking to my wife, staring out the window, and about a million other places. But what turns the ideas into stories and books is sitting down and writing and re-writing and throwing away writing and writing some more. That’s the hard part.” – Jon Scieszka

Jumpstart: “The only way to keep a secret between two people is if one of them is dead,” she said as she pulled a gun from her pocket…

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