I'm author ELLE STRAUSS and welcome to my website!
I write fun, lower Young Adult (teen) fiction to do with whimsical things like time-travel, fairies and merfolk.
When my serious side peeks out, she's called LEE STRAUSS. She likes to write upper YA about real things that have happened in the past, or made up things that could quite possibly happen in the future.
This blog is about books, mine and other fab authors', but occasionally I'll share about other topics.
Thanks for dropping by!
Monday, December 20, 2010
I'm so happy to have all my kids home, I find myself just staring at them and smiling. I'm truly blessed. I do miss them as little kids though. When you're in those years, you can't ever imagine a day when they'll be gone, but then you wake up one morning and poof--they're all grown up. At least that's how it felt to me.
That's one of the reasons I love this youtube video, a really original remake of the Christmas Story and the kids are just so adorable. Plus, I just love the accents. Take a minute to watch this, you'll be glad you did.
Merry Christmas all my wonderful online friends!
I'll be back January 01 with my goals and confessions. Have a wonderful and peaceful week.
(Now, I have to go stare at my kids some more... :)
Friday, December 17, 2010
- Christmas begins the weekend after my second son’s birthday which is December 6th.
- We always get a live Christmas tree. My daughter and I go to the tree farm, pick a tree and then drink hot chocolate in the barn while we wait for it to get cut down.
- Every year I make Christmas granola. (pic) It’s the granola I make yearlong but at Christmas time I add a bag of chocolate M & M’s. The kids love this.
- My mother-in-law always sends us a package of homemade German cookies. The kids really look forward to this every year and it will be a sad day when this tradition ends.
- We set up a puzzle table with a puzzle ongoing that anyone can stop and work on.
- We attend a candle-light church service on Christmas Eve. Many times the music is led by my husband and several times the kids have been his band.
- We have a European heritage so we open presents Christmas Eve after church. We bring out all the snacks, put on the Christmas music and light the fireplace (the adults often have an eggnog and rum in hand). The presents are handed out one at a time, and we ohh and ahh over each gift and the gift receiver thanks the gift giver, often with a hug. Afterwards we just hang out and enjoy the evening.
- Stockings are opened on Christmas morning (I like to spread out the excitement). When the kids were younger, it gave them something to look forward to, and mom and dad got to sleep in. It was a win-win. Now we all sleep in. Still a win!
- Christmas day is Turkey day. When the kids were younger we’d build snow forts and go tobogganing. Now we crack open a board game like Cranium. We usually end the night by watching a movie together.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
SUPERCILIOUS (soo pur SIL ee ous) adj haughty, patronizing
* The supercilious Rolls-Royce salesman treated us like peasants until we opened our suitcases full of one hundred dollar bills.
* The newly famous author was so supercilious that he pretended not to recognize members of his own family, whom he now believed to be beneath him.
Note from me: those illustrations come from the book--I didn't make that last one up! Just to be clear :)
Monday, December 13, 2010
Friday, December 10, 2010
2. Q4U: What are blog Labels (tags if you're word press) really for? I'd assumed that they were to help the blog author to organize her blogs and to help blog readers find certain things. Though this is true, I've just read somewhere online that LABELS help your search engine find you. For instance, if you write a blog on Unique Christmas Tree Ornaments and put those words plus others, say the name of people you quoted in your blog or collectible decorations, the more words you put in the labels the better chance someone searching the web will come across your blog. IS THIS TRUE? (you'll note my label list as increased dramatically since reading this, but I want to make sure this is right. I'm not, as previously stated, a techie).
5. Fiddling with Tweetdeck. I've been using Hootsuite for a while, but I'm intrigued by some of the options Tweetdeck offers that I can't find with Hootsuite. Thanks to @roniloren and @rachellegardner for blogging about their twitter tips
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Need Some Writing Inspiration? Check Out the Now Free Paris Review Interviews--guest blog by Vanessa Jones
As noted before here on Elle Strauss' blog, there are millions of books on the craft of writing out there, and it does indeed seem that we could read about writing a novel forever before actually getting down to work. Still, reading writing advice from established authors is a fantastic way to get some inspiration from those who've done it for awhile and know more about the process than we do.
One terrific new resource for writing advice can be found in the iconic Paris Review, which recently "freed" its legendary collection of author interviews on its website. From Ernest Hemingway to Vladimir Nabokov to Ian McEwan and more, the Art of Fiction series features the world's best writers as they explore their craft. They also demonstrate to those of us who are trying to complete and publish our own first books that even the "greats" struggle with writing.
Here are some of my favorites:
Wolf, a writer of short stories, novels, and memoirs, describes in the beginning of his interview the importance of routine and hard work. He notes:
"[writing is] very hard work and it absolutely requires all the conditions that make one a bore: You have to be alone a lot, you have to be rather sedentary, you have to be a creature of routine, you have to fetishize your solitude, and you have to become very, very selfish about your time."
Paula Fox is renowned author of both adult and children's fiction. In her interview, Fox notes the importance of truth when writing. She describes a time when the idea that every word must ring true first struck her:
"I recall lying on a bed, looking at a manuscript on the floor as I reached to turn pages, and thinking to myself, I must mean everything I say, every word, and feeling it as a profound moment in my writing life."
Rick Moody is a contemporary American short story writer and novelist. He's most famous for his novel The Ice Storm, which was made into a movie in 1997. In his interview, Moody explains how he writes with a specific focus on language and voice, out of which thematic considerations grow organically:
"I think I’m trying so hard to fashion language and structure in ways that interest me that I never really bother to think about what I’m actually trying to say. I take it as an article of faith that each book has some specific set of thematic concerns and so forth, but I don’t really care all that much what they are. Eventually I sort of do, but most of the time I’m trying to work out issues of voice and language."
While it's very easy for writers to become bogged down by what other writers have to say about their craft, sometimes an established author can illuminate an aspect of the novel- or story- writing process that you may never have thought about before. Reading through the hundreds of now free Paris Review interviews is a wonderful way to get inside the heads of a variety of sensitive and articulate writers.
This guest post is contributed by Vanessa Jones, who writes on the topics of dating sites. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: email@example.com.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
PERFIDY (PUR fuh dee) n treachery
*It was the criminals' natural perfidy that finally did them in, as each one became an informant on the other.
*I was appalled at Al's perfidy. He had sworn to me that he was my best friend, but then he asked my girlfriend to the prom.
To engage in perfidy is to be perfidious (per FID ee ous).