Why is my first book in The Chronicles of Nathaniel Childe named Sea Cutter? On the surface, the book seems to be named after Wayland's sloop, Sea Cutter. But on a deeper level Nat himself is the sea cutter. He must learn how to cut his way through the sea of life: "I began to think how much I was like a small boat on a storm-tossed ocean. How should I stay afloat? You stay afloat by facing right into the waves, I thought. Maybe that was like always facing right into the truth—telling the truth straight on. You didn’t know where telling the truth would take you, by you trusted that it would be the right place because it was the only way to keep your boat afloat."
Sunday, August 28, 2011
One morning when I was ten, I climbed to the top branches of a large elm in our front yard. Lunchtime rolled around, but I decided to see what would happen if I stayed in the tree. My mom came out and called for me first. Then my dad. I watched, with a strange feeling of power. Then my folks got the neighbors looking for me. I was delighted. An hour later, the police arrived. They scribbled some notes, barked on their radio, and left. Fascinating. But by this time my scheme was starting to backfire—hunger. When my mom and dad went to search the woods by the creek, I slipped down the tree and raided the fridge. When my parents returned, they found me sleeping (fake) in my bed, terribly ill (fake). But the ruse didn’t work, and my dad told me that I could just stay in bed until breakfast! A little bit of this incident found its way into Red Stone.
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Friday, August 26, 2011
Let me introduce my writing team. Lily, brown tabby, naughty. Jacques, black and white long hair, mellow alpha cat. Russell, 17 lb orange tabby, a good boy. Daisy, 4 lb orange tabby--we took her in from the street and are keeping her alive and happy as long as we can. Teddy, 12 lb Papillon mix, always be a puppy in his little head. Bertilak, Carolina box turtle with an attitude. Bertilak doesn't really help much with the writing, but the cats enter suggestions by walking back and forth on my keyboard and sjx8j qdk.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
When I finished Perlas Grandes, I had the entire book memorized. That's because I rewrote Perlas Grandes five times. I wanted to make sure that there were no place where a child reader could get the least confused and miss the suspense. Then, when I turned Perlas Grandes into Sea Cutter: Book I in the Chronicles of Nathaniel Childe, I rewrote the book three times. Sometimes, I would spend hours contemplating the way I wanted two sentences to work together. But I was having fun! I could imagine a child not wanting to put the book down, with no place to trip him or her up even for a second. So, aspiring authors--rewrite! Not as a chore, but as a delight. And kids, I hope you have as much fun reading Sea Cutter as I had writing it.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
My wife and I were eating macaroni sandwiches on the beach yesterday, when a whale wiggled his way up and begged for some. He ate two sandwiches, a pack of Sun Chips, and our Snickers bar. We patted him the meanwhile. But then, when we walked home, he followed us! We didn't want to hurt his feelings, so we invited him in. Ever try to make polite conversation with a whale? At bedtime, he insisted on sleeping with us, which made the bed kinda crowded. This morning we are trying to think of tactful ways to suggest that he go back to the sea. Or, anyone want a whale?
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
In my first year of college, I took a "what should you do as a career" test. The answer came back that I was best equipped to tell stories to children! And that's what I love to do. But writing for children requires special skills, or you may lose your reader. For example, I must make sure that each sentence follows logically from the previous sentence, so I don't lose a slower reader, while keeping the writing style up to a level that will satisfy smart readers. It's a tricky game, but I always imagine a kid who is reading the book under his or her covers at night, and this inspires me to keep the writing level and suspense up.
Monday, August 22, 2011
Sea Cutter was accepted at YABC . I'm going to see if I can get them to write a review of it. Last night I saw an endangered animal eating an endangered plant. I didn't know what to do. What would you do?
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Oof. An 18 lb orange tabby, named Russell, landed on my chest this morning while I was still sleeping. But I managed to go back to the dream world, until -- splutter -- he started licking my lips! That woke me up (as Russell knew it would). "Purr. Purr. Feed me!" he said to me. Well, what could I do? Russell's a sweet cat who cuddles and licks me all the time (and I like it). I didn't want to dissapoint him, so I fed him. What tricks do your cats have to wake you up?
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Monday, August 15, 2011
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Not much has been happening out here. Except yesterday I was out surfing when I saw a tsunami towering on the horizon. I swam out to catch the wall and caught it right in the curl. What a ride. I didn’t know how far it was going to take me, but I saw the tip of the San Francisco pyramid peaking out of the water as I flashed by. After a few hours I saw the Rockies looming ahead and that’s where the tsunami finally broke. I think I might have been crushed in the break if I hadn’t been lucky enough to get tossed onto a ski slope. I flashed down the slope at about 120 miles per hour. When I got off it took two miles to slow me down with sparks flying off the bottom of my surfboard. I finally stopped on the outskirts of Denver, pretty exhausted and hungry from my ride. I decided to abandon my surfboard with much regret--all that was left of it was the logo. I walked into Denver as the sun was setting, feeling pretty foolish in my wetsuit. I had no money with me, so I spent the night in a mission where the preacher preached about Little Orphan Annie, then gave us some cold grass soup and a slippery plastic hammock. The next morning I tried to hitchhike back west, but nobody would pick me up. I decided it was because of the wetsuit. So I pawned the wet suit for $10 and ran in my swim trunks to the thrift store, where I bought some plaid pants and a polka-dotted shirt. Then I found a grocery store, but only had enough money left for a can of beans. Still no luck with the thumb! So I walked to a train yard and hopped into an empty boxcar on a train pointing west. I had been savvy enough to gather wood for a fire before I got in the boxcar, and also picked up a newspaper for kindling. You know, it was that special edition New York Times in which the Republicans and Democrats both admitted to vast corruption and resigned, handing the government over to Venezuela. I used that paper to start a fire on the steel floor, and warmed up the car as the freight trained rolled west. I ate my beans, dangling my legs out the door and thinking philosophically. In the morning I was in the Oakland freight yards and only had to swim across the bay to get back home. Otherwise, nothing much has happened here.
Thursday, August 4, 2011
Hi Young People. Go to my website http://www.glowingstar.net/Timothy.Davis/index.html to get Sea Cutter and Red Stone for free until August 11, 2011. I hope you enjoy them!
Monday, August 1, 2011
Hi Young People. Sea Cutter and Red Stone were accepted into the Smashwords Premium Catalogue today. This means they are available in all e-reader formats, and will soon be available through Barnes & Noble, Apple, Sony etc. Or, you could buy Sea Cutter or Red Stone at Smashwords today.