QUIRKY QUILL is for and by young writers and readers, hosted and moderated by me, Sharon Kirk Clifton. Welcome!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Guest Review: RAPUNZEL

GUEST REVIEWER: Danielle Dodge

It's a pleasure to welcome Danielle and her review. At fourteen, she already has several credentials. She has written two novellas, a novel, and several guest blogs. She also has placed in numerous writing competitions. Her goal is to write and traditionally publish YA that will "make a change in teen fiction."  

Title: Rapunzel by Jessica Kaye
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing 
180 Pages
  • ISBN-10: 1460988949
  • ISBN-13: 978-1460988947

          Rapunzel is a girl with impossibly long hair.  She’s locked in a tower by her Granny Aunt who only wants to protect Rapunzel from the evil men in the world.
          When a young man climbs into her tower, Rapunzel finds out not all men are evil.  The two fall in love but Granny Aunt finds out about Brendan and chases him away.
          Later on, her granny stops coming to bring food for Rapunzel.  Unsure what’s happened to her, Rapunzel escapes her tower only to find Granny Aunt on her deathbed.
          Rapunzel must take her fate into her own hands.  When her new life is threatened, can she save herself and her new-found friends?
* * *
          This was an enjoyable, easy read that kept my attention.  Several unexpected things popped up throughout the story to keep it moving.  I found Brendan sweet and funny and overall, a very nice guy.
          All the characters could have had more personality and be more 3-D.  As it was, the characters’ voices didn’t sound  unique or distinct.
          Throughout the story, I didn’t sense an overall goal that Rapunzel was striving to achieve or see the stakes raised for her, making her life harder.  If there had been more obvious goals, the stakes probably would have been raised, making her achievement of the goal more difficult.
          I was expecting there to be a revelation as to why Granny Aunt locked Rapunzel in the tower.  I knew that the granny wanted to keep her safe from evil men, but seeing that Rapunzel didn’t meet too many evil men in the story, I found that a rather pathetic reason.
          There were several moments when I was really looking forward to and expecting something dramatic or romantic.  As it was, they were a bit anticlimactic and disappointing.
          Overall, the story was a light read and I would give it two out of five stars.

Have you read a book recently that you'd like to review for Quirky Quill? Submit your review to me at sharonkirkclifton (at sign, no spaces) yahoo (dot) com. Be sure to type QQ BOOK REVIEW in the "Subject" box.
Write on!
Because of Jesus,
Miz Sharon

Friday, August 17, 2012

Writer's Nudge: What a Bunch of Characters!

On my "Faces and Folks" page at, I have a collection of people images that I find interesting. Some will inhabit my stories. A few already do. I'm posting a smattering of those intriguing faces here for you to think and write about. Choose as many as you wish, give them fictional names, and tell something about them. What do they do? Where and when do they live (you can move them around in history)? What are their personalities like? If you want to have even more fun, choose two or three and write a short story that features these characters. Then submit your writing as a comment. You may post more than one story. I'd love to read your work. Be sure to let me know which ones you're writing about. I've numbered them to make that easier. Have fun!

Write on!
Because of Jesus,
Miz Sharon 

Picture 1
Picture 2

Picture 3
Picture 4

Picture 6

Picture 5
Picture 9

Picture 7
Picture 8
Picture 10
Picture 11
Picture 12
Picture 13
Picture 14

Picture 15

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Building a Town (No Legos Involved)

The Roost and Crow Café, at the corner of Main Street and Apple, is the focal point of Mt. Vista, Indiana, population 931-and-a-half (Mr. and Mrs. Pfennigan are expecting their fifth baby). Leora Frumple is chief cook and owner of the restaurant, well-known for its black raspberry pie and strong coffee. Daughters Dorsy and Gertrude help their mama out.

Across the street is Earl and Bett London's Candy Kitchen, open from April Fool's Day through Thanksgiving Eve, and Wildman's 5 & 10. Before the Depression set in, Earl's brother Bill owned London Department Store, but he had to sell out. Now it's the Mt. Vista Public Library, though the sign over the door still reads London Department Store.

* * *
Is Mt. Vista a real place? Depends on how you define "real." It's real to me. And to the folks who live and work there, including Matilda (Tillie) Rose Pickle, main character of my third middle-grade novel, The Daddy Letters. 

I'm doing the pre-writing grunt work right now--drawing out the plot, planning the dastardly deeds that plague Tillie, giving a pulse to the people in the story, and building the town. This is fun stuff.

Tillie Pickle's house.
In my two previous stories, the protagonists interact with a limited number of secondary and peripheral characters. They're both set in very rural areas. In this third work, Tillie and her family live on a small farm just outside the town limits of Mt. Vista. On her rusty green bike it takes three minutes to get from her house to the "Welcome to Mt. Vista" sign. Another five minutes and she's past the "Thanks for Shopping in Mt. Vista! Please come back!" sign and on her way to Pearlie June Firkins's place. Pearlie June--poor thing--is Tillie's number one best friend.

Did I happen to mention that this is fun stuff? Feel free to leave comments. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!

Because of Jesus,
Miz Sharon