February 12

Birthdays: Charles Darwin (1809), George Meredith (1828), Fred A. Shannon (1893), Alan Dugan (1923), Donald Kingsbury (1929), Judy Blume (1938), David Small (1945), Ray Kurzweil (1948), Jacqueline Woodson (1964),

Fred Albert Shannon won the 1929 Pulitzer Prize in History for “The Organization and Administration of the Union Army, 1861-1865”

Alan Dugan was an American poet, National Book Award winner and Pulitzer Prize for Poetry winner for “Poems”

David Small won the 2001 Caldecott Medal for “So You Want to Be President?”

Jacqueline Woodson won the National Book Award and a Newbery Honor in 2015 for “Brown Girl Dreaming”

Quote: “I hate first drafts, and it never gets easier. People always wonder what kind of superhero power they’d like to have. I wanted the ability for someone to just open up my brain and take out the entire first draft and lay it down in front of me so I can just focus on the second, third and fourth drafts.” – Judy Blume

Tip: A redundancy is the use of a word or words that are not necessary and can be eliminated without losing the meaning of the sentence. “That” and “of” are often not needed. Go through your story and eliminate them where possible.

Jumpstart: Make a list of every place you’ve been in the past 24 hours. Describe each location in detail and the feelings associated with it. If you’ve not been anywhere, pick the last time you went somewhere and describe that, even if it’s just the grocery store.

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