Monday, August 25, 2008

Tuesday's Special Is ... Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains


Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains by Laurel Snyder

Laurel's Website


Release Day!
Coincidence? Hardly. Well, only a little. The Book Roast crew is delighted to have Laurel Snyder here with us on the day her first middle-grade novel, Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains OR The Search for a Suitable Princess, lands on the shelves.

Um, Laurel, can you came back down to earth for a few minutes, please?

Well, at least we know she'll be in a good mood for us today -- if we can keep her from dashing off to the bookstores!

Laurel is one of those people who always want what they can't have. Take her two small kids, for instance. They leave her no time to write. So, of course, that just makes her want to write -- 24 hours in a day be damned. Lucky for us, she somehow finds a way to compromise and, while her kids still get all the love and attention they need, we get to read Laurel's lovely poetry, personal essays, and children's fiction. Yay us!

Oh, and if anyone wants to provide the seed money (suggested amount is a mere billion dollars), Laurel will be happy to set up and run a kibbutz-style writing colony. You know, one where CHILDREN are welcome. It will, she promises, be wildly successful. Just ask any writer-parent.

OK, getting down to business. Our topic today is (un)suitability. What makes a thing suitable or unsuitable for a particular purpose? Why is a milkmaid an unsuitable match for a prince? Even when said milkmaid, Lucy, and said prince, Wynston, are best friends? And do prairie dogs and milk cows make suitable traveling companions? Let's find out! To be eligible to win a hardcover copy of Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains, read the excerpt then answer the 3 questions at the end.

------------------------

Lucy never spoke at all. She was silent as a stone until one night when she was two years old. Lucy’s mama was putting her girls to bed, and as she tucked them in she began to sing the goatherd song. “Though winter snows may freeze us…” she began.

Suddenly, Lucy sat up bolt-upright in bed and opened her mouth. “… and spring-storms flood our beds,” she sang in a warbling little-girl-voice.

Lucy’s mama shrieked and clapped her hands to her mouth. Sally shrieked too, and Lucy’s papa came running from the next room. “Hello? What’s all this screaming about?”

Lucy’s mother pointed and stammered, but Lucy kept right on singing. She had never said Papa or Mama. She had never said yes or no or dog or cat or Lucy or uh-oh. She had never uttered a word, but now she was making up for lost time. Lucy sang the entire song from memory as her family stared in surprise. When she was done she lay back down, stuck her thumb in her mouth, and closed her eyes. She had sung herself to sleep.

In the long silence that followed, Sally turned over like the good four-year-old-girl that she was and went to sleep. But then, the very next day, something terrible happened. To Lucy and Sally, who barely remembered, and to their poor Papa, could never forget.

Yes, in the time shortly after Once-Upon-A-Time—in the little white stone house beside the dairy—in the walled village of Thistle—in a corner of the world known as the Bewilderness—in the shadow of the Scratchy Mountains where the goatherds sing—something terrible happened.

Just as it was getting dark, and with no warning whatsoever… Mama was there, and then… she was gone.

----------------------

Questions:

1) Laurel, unlike Lucy, talks and talks and talks. What is Laurel's favorite word?

2) If Bewilderness is one corner of the world, what are the other three corners? (Yes, yes, the world is really round and 3-dimensional -- just work with us here, okay?)

3) Is Laurel more suitable to be a goatherd or a milk maid?

55 comments:

Stephen Parrish said...

A kibbutz-style writing colony? Count me in! And of course children should be welcome; somebody has to do the chores and tend the fields.

Phoenix said...

My thoughts, too, Stephen :o). Such "suitable" work for children!

Laurel said...

Yes, and at my "writing colony" there will be bloody mary brunches every day, served by toddlers! Hurrah for procreation!

Phoenix said...

Hehe. Welcome Laurel! Thanks for stopping by this evening. We're looking forward to tomorrow.

Chumplet said...

1) Children

2) Beguiling, Bewitchiness and Beforeland.

3) She would make a lovely goatherd, since she loves mountains.

ChrisEldin said...

Sounds like a terrific book!!
It's nice to wake up to a fun roast....
;-)

Danette Haworth said...

If I were Laurel, my favorite word would be "Lucy."

The other three corners are named Bedazzlement, Bedeviled, and Beloved.

Laurel, having children, is already skilled at feeding, watering, and herding, so I say she'd make a pretty good goatherd.

Happy release day, Laurel! Hope I win!

Laurel said...

Good point, Danette. In fact, I just finished watering my kids JUST NOW!

Precie said...

1) Laurel, unlike Lucy, talks and talks and talks. What is Laurel's favorite word?

Listen


2) If Bewilderness is one corner of the world, what are the other three corners? (Yes, yes, the world is really round and 3-dimensional -- just work with us here, okay?)

Cosmopolis
Mazatlantis
Youthinasia (was that too much?)

3) Is Laurel more suitable to be a goatherd or a milk maid?

A goatherd...she loves using her shepherd's hook!

Whirlochre said...

1. Rumplestiltskinesquely.

2. Serenity, Sunrise and Bedtime.

3. Goatherd — those fingers of hers are for squeezing ink from biroes, not milk from nipples. Plus, the goats like her too much.

Phoenix said...

Excuse me for just a moment, Laurel, as I remind our roasting patrons about this week's Reach Out and Read (ROR) campaign. Look in last Wednesday's post to find information about this remarkable charity that donates books to and promotes distribution in pediatricians' offices across the U.S. If you'd like to make a contribution, click on the ROR logo in the sidebar.

Book Roast has no affiliation with ROR other than believing it's a really cool thing they're doing for kids.

Thank you -- now back to our regular roast...

Stephanie said...

Congrats on your release day! The excerpt is so intriguing, I wanted to keep reading. I think Laurel's favorite word is Newbery...

Laurel said...

LOL! Now Laurel's favorite word is "Stephanie"

Whirlochre, you have NO idea how much nipple-milk these fingers have seen. I actually went to farm camp one summer...

:)

laughingwolf said...

welcome, laurel!

1. laurel's fave word: write! ;)

2. the other three corners are, obviously, thoughtfulness, forgetfulness and happiness

3. laurel's definitely the goatherdess type, the wee beasties being much more gentle than are bovines, and nanny goat milk easily more digestible by tiny folk!

Brian Jay Jones said...

Congratulations on your release day! Savor and enjoy.

(1) Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis.

(2) Confuchetts, Bewitchedbotheredandbewilderness, and PooCorner. Ick.

(3)

Brian Jay Jones said...

Gaaah! I hit return before I answered the last question!

(3) Goatherd. Because that's what the dogs 'eared.

Jacqui said...

I want in on the kibbutz!

1. I think Laurel's real favorite word is "daycare."

2. The four corners of the world are Bewilderness, The Jealou Sea, Contraria, and the Amazementazon River.

3. I think Laurel is most suitable to be both.

Enjoy today!

Charles Gramlich said...

1) Laurel, unlike Lucy, talks and talks and talks. What is Laurel's favorite word?

Answer: "Bewilderness." What a great and wonderful word. I love it.

2) If Bewilderness is one corner of the world, what are the other three corners? (Yes, yes, the world is really round and 3-dimensional -- just work with us here, okay?)

Answer: Uncity, the chocolate desert, the North Poultry

3) Is Laurel more suitable to be a goatherd or a milk maid?

Answer: A milk maid with the profession of goatherd to fall back on.

Laurel said...

Oooh, Jacqui! I love your names. Contraria especially. I may have been born in Contraria myself.

xo

Susan McBride said...

Laurel, the book sounds fab! And sign me up for the kibbutz. Although my new hubby and I are still working on the kids part. Um, actually, just one kid would be fine. Maybe we'll have one in time for the writing colony's grand opening!

Cheers,
Susan
Thursday's Roastee

Sarah Laurenson said...

Woo Hoo, Laurel! Way to go on the release of this fun book. It's going on my list of must reads.

1) Laurel, unlike Lucy, talks and talks and talks. What is Laurel's favorite word?

Scrumptious! (or today's fave word: Publication!)

2) If Bewilderness is one corner of the world, what are the other three corners? (Yes, yes, the world is really round and 3-dimensional -- just work with us here, okay?)

Bedesert
Becity
Bemountain

with the Beocean in the middle

3) Is Laurel more suitable to be a goatherd or a milk maid?

Neither. She's much more suitable to supervising those munchkins doing all the work.

jason evans said...

Welcome Laurel! Happy roast day, and even more, happy book release!!

Being kind of partial to mountains myself, what makes these particular ones scratchy? I'm thinking Stinging Nettle, but that's just me.

Mary Cunningham said...

1) What is Laurel's favorite word? Newbery

2) If Bewilderness is one corner of the world, what are the other three corners?

Befuddleness, Bemusement, Belightning

3) Is Laurel more suitable to be a goatherd or a milk maid?

Oh, I say she'd want the freedom of being a goatherd.

Mary Cunningham said...

Crud! Noticed that somebody already used "Newbery." Maybe for good reason!

Good luck with the launch, Laurel. See you in Decatur!

Danielle said...

congratulations, laurel! can't wait to buy it and read it!!

sdhitch@gmail.com said...

Shannnon said:

Laurel's favorite word is author.

Losteria, Witchell, and Hidden Hills

milk maid to feed her hungry children

VE said...

1. schnauzer. It has to be! Who doesn't chuckle when saying that word!

2. Well if Bewilderness is a corner of the world then I have to assume that this is wilderness world and the other four corners are Awilderness, Cwilderness, and Dwilderness. Of course statistically you'll be more correct living in Cwilderness...

3. Probably a milk maid. It's tough to get into the goat herder's union...

Laurel said...

Memusement! I'm loving all of the "corner" names.

Am I allowed to steal from Book Roast for future projects?

;)

Kathy said...

Ok, I say her favorite word is one of mine - FABULOUS!

the other 3 corners - everyone else took all the good ones - umph - ok how about: corner one, corner two and corner three - I am not very creative right now!

I say Goatherd - if you can herd children, goats are a piece of cake!

good luck with the book, hope to see you this weekend at the DBF!

Kathy said...

Ok, I say her favorite word is one of mine - FABULOUS!

the other 3 corners - everyone else took all the good ones - umph - ok how about: corner one, corner two and corner three - I am not very creative right now!

I say Goatherd - if you can herd children, goats are a piece of cake!

good luck with the book, hope to see you this weekend at the DBF!

blueviolet said...

1.Laurel's favorite word is clearly "caffeine."

2.Exasperation, Contemplation and Euphoria.

3.She needs to be a goatherder because the goats will tolerate her excessive chattiness and she'll be out in the hills and meadows away from any other people who would tire of her talking.

This is fun!

doot65{at}comcast[dot]net
Elizabeth

Laurel said...

Blue, I don't know if my favorite word is caffeine, but it's certainly true I cannot live without it.

And yeah, I like goats.

Suzanne said...

1. PUBLISHED!
2. Beloved, Bedecked, Becalmed.
3. Goatherd - goats are far more interesting than cows. (My goats made me say that.)

Word said...

What a beautiful excerpt!


1)"NoIwillnotgetoffthecomputerGetyourownglassofwaterandifyouinterruptmeagainwithouteitherbeingdeadorbleadingreallybadIwillputthebothofyouontimeoutandIdon'tcarewho'sfaultitis"

(oh,oops,that's mine actually)


2) Be-youtiful,be-orring, and be-zusandramona.

3) Laurel is a milkmaid.

Cheers!

Laurel said...

Word, that is NOT my favorite word, but I seem to say it a LOT!

Hee.

Word said...

Hey Laurel -

Me too! Your book looks great and from the sounds of the excerpt - the voice is very fitting.

What age group would you think would most enjoy this one?

I can see this going over well in the class room as a read-a-loud.

:-)

Laurel said...

They say it's 7-11, but really I think the same. That it's a read-aloud for little ones. An 11 year old would really ahve to like fairy takes to read it.

The fun thing is that it has pictures and a wide trim size, so it really works well for a side-by-side mommy/kid reading, as a bedtime book.

The crappy thing is that the male main character didn't make it onto the cover, and I fear boys will be put off by the girliness, though I do think they'll like it if they read!

strugglingwriter said...

This books sounds lovely!

Here are my answers:

1) Shrubbery

2)Bewilderment, Bewildering, Bewilderless

3)Milk maid

Grinagain said...

1) very

2) Bewitchness, Botherness – oh, wait, that’s only two.

3) Either, as long as she can wear pajama pants and drink her morning coffee at home.

Laurel said...

Grainagain knows the SCRE!

Phoenix said...

So, Laurel, you also have another book coming out: Inside the Slidy Diner. Care to give us any tidbits about that one? Or maybe share some of your adult poetry? (Down, roasters, it's not adult in the triple X sense! But should you have any of that stuffed in a drawer somewhere, Laurel...)

Laurel said...

Really? You guys want dirty poems? Here's a teaser from a book of poems about being a mom, a snippet from a poem called, "It's a Boy"


Sex when you’re pregnant

Is like sex when you aren’t

Pregnant, but with extra people.

Too many. Which is why the

Alone and the quiet and the OH

And the OHH. “Oh, Alone!”

I need a room— a small one,

Quiet, just me for as long

As I can be.

There’s a dick inside me right now.

This very minute.

It’s been there for weeks.

Laurel said...

Or maybe that's not apropriate now that I'm a children's author?

Ahem!

Did I mention I have a picture book coming out in time for Halloween, a story about a lonely little girl who lives in a creepy diner full of lady fingers that really are...

INside the Slidy Diner...

Whirlochre said...

Thank goodness it wasn't rhyming triplets.

There's only so much you can do with an oooh.

Phoenix said...

Well, of course it's appropriate. Mommy, Daddy, cute little baby appendages. Definitely a boy ;o)

My gosh, we had a day-long discussion about cannibalism yesterday and we have real lady fingers on the menu today. Can we really be talking YA and picture books? Parents, do you know what your children are reading? (And if you do, be glad they ARE reading - whatever it is!)

Laurel said...

I actually think that parents tend to be way more freaked out by weird/scary/creepy than kids. Parents today are afraid of everything.

Except Purell and organic snack crackers.

ChrisEldin said...

AHHAHA!
I love your poem!
This is sooo AWESOME--"Release Day!"
I hope you feel loved and beloved today...
:-)

Chumplet said...

If any kids drop by, we can just say the baby's name is Dick.

Laurel said...

Is there another way to read it?

I'm puzzled...

;)

Phoenix said...

Well that wraps another day at the grill. Laurel, you were a real trooper (really, though, how many bookstores did you just drop by today inbetween comments, hmm?)!

Please pick your winner and the winnee can contact you via the info on your Web page.

Everyone else, hie thee up and down to your favorite bookstore. I bet everyone has a kid in their life with a birthday or a friend with a birthday or some other special gifting occasion coming up ;o)

Laurel said...

Thanks so much, everyone. This was so much fun!

I think I have to give it to Jacqui, for the combo of daycare and Contraria!

THANKS!

Jacqui said...

Hey! I never win anything! Thanks, Laurel. I can't wait to read the book.

Phoenix said...

Never say never, Jacqui. Woot and congratulations!

Thanks again, Laurel -- you were super! And I think you escaped with only some minor burns.

laughingwolf said...

grats j!

thx laurel, and the rest....

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