July 5, 2007

And in the beginning . . .

Welcome to Wild About Words.

I’m a children’s book author (among other things) and today is my birthday. (I’m 42, Jay.) It seemed a good day to begin my new blog about children’s literature, the writing life, parenting, the wonder of words and other stuff.

Since this is about beginnings, I thought it would be fun to share the beginnings of a handful of wonderful books.

AL CAPONE DOES MY SHIRTS by Gennifer Choldenko: Today I moved to a twelve-acre rock covered with cement, topped with bird turd and surrounded by water.

THE TIGER RISING by Kate DiCamillo: That morning, after he discovered the tiger, Rob went and stood under the Kentucky Star Motel sign and waited for the school bus just like it was any other day.

THE TEACHER’S FUNERAL – A COMEDY IN THREE PARTS by Richard Peck: If your teacher has to die, August isn’t a bad time of year for it.

THE CHOCOLATE WAR by Robert Cormier: They murdered him.

OUT OF THE DUST by Karen Hesse:

As summer wheat came ripe,

so did I,

born at home, on the kitchen floor.

Ma crouched,

barefoot, bare bottomed

over the swept boards,

because that’s where Daddy said it’d be best.

MILLICENT MIN GIRL GENIUS by Lisa Yee: I have been accused of being anal retentive, an overachiever, and a compulsive perfectionist, like those are bad things.

CHARLOTTE’S WEB by E. B. White: “Where’s Papa going with that ax?” said Fern to her mother as they were setting the table for breakfast.

HOLES by Louis Sachar: There is no lake at Camp Green Lake.

ELLA ENCHANTED by Gail Carson Levine: That fool of a fairy Lucinda did not intend to lay a curse on me.

REGULAR GUY by Sarah Weeks: “I know it’s a long shot, but I don’t feel I can just eliminate the possibility that I was raised by wolves without at least considering it for a second, do you?”

Share YOUR favorite first lines . . . or your grocery list or anything else you’d like.

Thanks so much for stopping by.




Anonymous said...

I'm so proud - the first person I know with a blog. :) I can't wait for the book to come out.
Happy Birthday, little cousin.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday... i just know this is going to be a fabulous year for you, Donna!!! I owe you an opening line, not that i can top your selections... but right now I'm late for an appointment!!!

Christina W

Stephanie J. Blake said...

Happy birthday! Looking forward to reading more about your adventures!

The TB Children's Book Writers and Illustrators said...

Hey Donna! I love reading exceptional first lines. They always inspire! Thanks for opening your blog with them. Congrats on your book and a very Happy Birthday! Sue LaNeve

Disco Mermaids said...

Happy B-Dday!!! (And that stands for birth as well as blog.)

I can't wait to

- Jay

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday to one very talented,
creative writer. I am so glad that I had the opportunity to discover new ways to create art from your creative use of words. Best wishes for more success.


Sandra said...

Hello Donna Dear!

Happy Birthday! I wish I were only 42. You're just a kid yet with a ton of books to write. Opening lines were great and surprise of all surprises, I'd actually read a few of them--the books, not just the opening lines. AND can't wait to read your opening line for "12-3/4." I know it'll be a good one.


Anonymous said...

Hey, Donna!

Your book cover looks FABULOUS! Can't wait to rush out and purchase it!! (To think, I read the first pages lying on a hotel bed while we were at SCBWI Los Angeles. I'm so proud!)

Happy birthday, and many more -- great idea to launch your blog on your birthday -- and, now I have a way to check in with you.

Much success,


Anonymous said...

This is wonderful--and so are you! Happy Bloggin' Birthday!


Anonymous said...

Hi Donna,

I love the blog!

Here's a beginning from a book called: The Book of Story Beginnings.

He was up late reading Treasure Island for the hudredth time when the story idea came to him. Like all of his ideas, it was only the beginning of a story. But a beginning was better than nothing at all.

Have a fabulous Birthday!!!

Jill N.

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

Maybe I'm biased, but I'd say this is one of the top ten:

'The Bee. I'm sitting on a wooden folding chair, hoping I don't get a splinter in my derriere, as Chester Fields tries to spell "thoroughly." Chester Fields is an idiot. "Thoroughly" is an easy word.'

oxox Tina

Anonymous said...

What a way to celebrate your birth-day! And your list of first lines is terrific. It will send all of us searching for our favorites. If you don't already own a copy of Donald Newlove's "First Paragraphs", I'll loan mine to you.
Meanwhile, keep writing so we can keep reading.

Dan R.

Beth said...

Happy birthday! Your blog looks great!


Anonymous said...

Hope you had a great 42nd Birthday!!! Love your blog site... Can't wait til your book comes out!! From your #1 FAN :-)

Anonymous said...

A gift to us on your birthday in the form of a blog, a great present. Happy Birthday. Most of my reading lately is about making art .....sooo I've chosen this first line from the book Visual Intelligence - How We Create What We See by Donald Hoffman - "You are a creative genius".


Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Donna! Your blog site is great! I loved reading all your quotes.

Anonymous said...

happy birthday mom. great blog.

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday and happy blog-birthday!

Your book looks adorable! I love the title. What's the first line?

I like the first line from my Stuck in the 70s: "There's a beautiful naked girl sitting in my bathtub."

Anonymous said...

First lines:

Pride & Prejudice (my current favorite book): It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.

The Tale of Peter Rabbit (loved it as a kid, and still do): Once upon a time there were four little Rabbits, and their names were Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail, and Peter.

Barb said...

Happy 42nd Birthday, Donna! We miss you up here in PA!! Congrats on the new book and blog!!! Can't wait to read your new book...and your first line!!!!

Fran said...

How is it that we went to school together and you are 42...and I'm still thinking I'm somewhere approaching 30? I guess I was never too hot with numbers! H B to you anyway!