Tofu can be frightening. Even for a vegan like myself, if isn’t served in a sauce, if it hasn’t been basted in something sweet or spicy, the consumption of tofu can be an unbearable culinary experience. It’s the same with chicken. What meat eater wouldn’t prefer a drumstick dipped in barbecue sauce to just plain poultry?
Similarly, a mind marinated in Middle Grade literature produces stories that are far more delicious to the reader’s palate than a mind that isn’t. This is why we writers are constantly reading, to marinate our imaginations in a steady flow of beautiful phrases. The problem is that many of us are so busy we simply don’t have enough time to read.
Well, we may not have time to read but we certainly have time to listen. One iPod or iPhone can store dozens of audio books. I listen to Middle Grade when I’m in the car, on a plane, in the bathtub, shaving, cooking, exercising. I let the iPod baste my brain with the brilliance of E.B. White, P.L. Travers, Katherine Hess, Jack Gantos, etc.
Audible.com is a fantastic resource. They have hundreds of MG novels, unabridged thank God. The readers are professional. Some of them are astounding. Check out ‘Bud Not Buddy’ if you want to be hypnotized by a powerful storytelling voice.
Another way to use your i-phone as a writing tool is by recording your own writing. Recite a chapter or two into your voice recorder and listen to it in your car. It’s uncanny how the strengths and weaknesses of your writing will reveal themselves when you’re listening to your work, not just reading it.
Many of us lament the proliferation of gadgets. We blame technology for our distraction. But technology is a blessing when used properly. Use your iPod as a cooking utensil!
Marinate your brain in Middle Grade!