It seems Snowmageddon is hitting around the country, and much of Minnesota is digging its way out, again. It’s going to hit here in Ohio later today. We get good snows in Cleveland, thanks to Lake Erie, and it always reminds me of my Minnesota youth. I remember last year there were snow days for the kids at a fairly regular pace here and I felt bad for the parents. Now I am one of those parents, and I’m guessing I’m not going to get much work done until the end of the week. To Virginia Woolf’s Room of One’s Own I’d like to add Reliable Day Care. But I guess a load of Blue’s Clues DVDs will have to suffice.

A few links for your Tuesday’s pleasure:

Betsy Bird has compiled her Top 100 Middle Grade Books, and is beginning to run them down. She gives some history of each book. It’s incredibly cool.

I was cyberstalking the editor for my last book, who is brilliant, and ran across this round-up of a first pages workshop he did (scroll down a bit). Since we’ve been talking about beginnings, I thought I’d share:

Three most important things to have on the first page: Introduce the MC, Establish voice and character, Tell us what’s going to happen.

We can do that, right?

Our Lisa Jahn-Clough has a great essay up on Hunger Mountain, So You Want to Write About Sex?

I like it when my characters grapple with wrong choices, but figure out a better choice—and when I say better, I mean a better choice for them, not necessarily for all. This is what, I hope, gets readers to think: “Would I make the same choice as Penelope or Phoebe? If not, what would I do in the situation? What is the best choice for me?”

Hamline MFA alum Loretta Ellsworth has a new book out, In a Heartbeat. Loretta, like Ron, is doing a blog tour and has a really cool post here on the inspiration for the book:

I’d never heard of the theory of cellular memory, which is the idea that memory is stored not just in our brains, but at the cellular level. If every cell in our body has its own mind and if you transfer tissues from one body to another, then the cells from the first body will carry memories into the second body.

The whole thing is worth a read. Now, I better get back to work before the Snowpocalypse hits.