Category Archives: Stacy Mozer

Stacy Mozer: New Blogger Blah

From: It’s All About the Journey
October 13, 2012 at 07:38PM

If you have noticed a lack of posts on my blog since the end of summer, thanks for reading. It would be easy to assume that I haven’t had time to blog, but that’s not it. I actually have a number of posts written and not posted.  My problem? The new Blogger.

I consider myself tech savvy. I taught myself html language back before templates existed. But the new blogger — I simply can’t figure out. I’ll be in the middle of writing and it will add space, change my formatting, change font, create posts that look one way in preview and a completely different way when posted. I have just about had it.

Is it me?


Stacy Mozer: Growing an Idea

From: It’s All About the Journey
September 30, 2012 at 08:00PM

Sometimes the books I write go through their own journeys. My baseball novel started out as a story about a camping trip. It was based on a trip I took when I was eight. Here’s a picture diagram I made for my students about how the story changed:

The original idea, first written as a boy mc and then changed to a girl, was a quiet story that my parents and sister still enjoy. After all, they lived it. As I nurtured this idea and watched it grow, rewrites and critique changed it into something completely different. The story the seed became is about a character who only exists in the world I created for her. But her world is as interesting, exciting, and full of drama as I could write it. Hers is a story to share. 
Have you ever started out with one idea and ended up with something completely different?

Stacy Mozer: New Authors: Great Books

From: It’s All About the Journey
September 27, 2012 at 08:35PM

I hope you will join me in congratulating some of my writer friends on publishing their first book. I can’t wait to see them in stores!

Susan Hood recently published not one but THREE first picture books, The Tooth Mouse, Spike the Mixed Up Monster, and Just Say Boo!


Mike Jung’s middle grade novel, Geeks, Girls, and Secret Identities, releases on October 1.


Tiffany Schmidt‘s young adult novel, Send Me a Sign, releases on October 2 

Kimberly Sabatini‘s young adult novel, Touching the Surface, releases on October 30.
Touching the Surface
Visit these author’s websites to find out all of the exciting release date and publication events. Have you read any of them yet? Pre-ordered? Leave a comment and tell me about it.

Stacy Mozer: Camp NaNoWriMo – Who’s With Me?

From: It’s All About the Journey
August 01, 2012 at 08:35PM

NaNoWriMo has opened a summer camp and I am an enthusiastic registered participant.

If you are not familiar with NaNoWriMo, it stands for National Novel Writing Month, which is held every year during the month of November. But I’ll be honest, even though I participate, November is not the best time for a teacher to focus on being a writer. I find time to write during the school year (I really can’t stop myself from writing down the voices in my head), but trying to get to the goal of 50,000 words in a month… that’s a lot to ask for.
But August, now this is my writing month. When I learned the NaNoWriMo has opened a summer camp I signed up right away. I just hope they get more camp t-shirts in soon.
50,000 words here I come!
Will you join me at camp? Go to Camp NaNoWriMo for more details. If you do sign up, please come back and leave a comment with your username so I can find you there.
(A shout out and thank you to Hazel Mitchell for posting details about this camp on Facebook.)

Stacy Mozer: When Two Stories Call

From: It’s All About the Journey
July 23, 2012 at 06:50PM

In two days I enter the writing portion of my summer: three and a half uninterrupted weeks when both of my kids are at camp.

I can’t wait!

My only problem? TWO works in progress can’t wait either. Every time I sit down to start planning one, the other’s voice gets stronger. If I switch, the same thing happens in reverse.
So what am I to do? Work on both? One in the morning and one in the afternoon? Lock one up until the other one is finished? But how do I decide?
What do you do when more than one story calls to you?

Stacy Mozer: Silencing the WIP What Ifs…

From: It’s All About the Journey
July 09, 2012 at 07:55AM

When I first started writing I wrote because I had to, because I loved it, because the voices in my head could not be quiet until I wrote them down. Now I find that I am filled with what ifs…
What if it is not as good as the last book I wrote?
What if the character has the same voice as my last character?
What if I can’t figure out where it is going?
What if no one likes it?
What if my critique group likes it, but my agent hates it?
What if my agent likes it, but editors don’t?
What if another idea was a better one to follow?
What if…
So now that I got that all down I am going to print it, rip it up into a million pieces, and go back to listening to the voices in my head, writing them down, and realizing that most of my writing happens in revision anyway.
Do you have what ifs? What do you do to silence them?

Stacy Mozer: Using Track Changes Without Losing Your Mind

From: It’s All About the Journey
July 01, 2012 at 08:57AM

Track Changes is a mode in Word that allows you to keep track of every insertion, deletion, space removal, and even make notes on your writing. It can be a great way to share your thoughts with others in a critique group or show your agent/editor what changes you have made.

It can also drive you crazy.
If you are like me and you revise the same sentence or paragraph over and over, track changes can make your manuscript look like gobbley goop. Red marks, arrows, boxes, highlights all over the place. Here is a tip for using track changes without losing your mind:
1. First step is to turn on track changes. Do that by going to TOOLS>TRACK CHANGES>HIGHLIGHT – Now every change you make will be tracked.
2. To the far left on the reviewing toolbar that says track changes, there is a pull down menu that says FINAL SHOWING MARKUP. Switch this to FINAL and your highlights have now disappeared from view. They are still there, but you can now work in a clean, clear, space. You can also use this pulldown menu to look back at the original document.
Do you use track changes and have other tricks/suggestions? If not, how do you see what you’ve changed in your work?

Stacy Mozer: Full of Crap

From: It’s All About the Journey
June 26, 2012 at 09:38PM

I recently had an interesting conversation with my third graders about the use of bad words in books. And by bad words, I’m not talking about the traditional curse words. They objected to words like crap, hell, and damn. The problem, they said, was that these are words that they are not allowed to say in front of their parents and they often read books to their parents.

What would they rather the characters say? Here are some of their suggestions:
– fudge muffins
– poop on a stick
– peacock
– fiddlesticks
– Go eat pie.
Darn it seemed to be okay as well.
What do you think of the use of bad words in middle grade books? Do you have any other substitution suggestions?

Stacy Mozer: Must Read This Summer

From: It’s All About the Journey

Every year as I set up my third grade students’ summer reading goals, I like to set my own. Here are the books I must read this summer. It’s a good thing that I am a fast reader. There’s so many great new books to read!

One For the Murphys by Linda Mullaly Hunt
Capture the Flag by Kate Messner
Son by Lois Lowry (completed June 10)
Pie by Sarah Weeks
Winterling by Sarah Prineas
The Land of Stories by Chris Colfer
Spaceheadz Books 2 and 3 by Jon Scieszka
Sisters Grimm Book 9 by Michael Buckley
One Dog and His Boy by Eva Ibbotson
Floors by Patrick Carmen
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
Interesting that they are all middle grade this year. A shout out to the publishers for working to get middle grade kids some really amazing books!
Here’s a fantastic list from The Mixed Up Files of Middle Grade Authors of other middle grade books that will be around to read this summer.
What are your Must Reads This Summer?

Stacy Mozer: Encouraging Summer Reading

From: It’s All About the Journey

It’s been called “the summer slide,” the downward spiral of kids’ reading level because they spend two months avoiding books. As a third grade teacher, I’ve worked with those kids. The ones that can’t sit still long enough to get through a page or two of a book until at least a month of school has passed. Here are some things teachers and parents can do to keep kids interested in reading during the summer.

1. Make sure kids know about great books
We end the year by having our local librarian come to the school to give book talks and launch the library’s summer reading program. Then I continue that work by spending the last two weeks sharing book talk videos, trailers, talking books, and having each child give a book talk on a book they loved reading during the year. Hopefully by the time we’re done sharing, kids will have a list of a few books they want to read.

2. Set summer reading goals
Our last unit is a unit of reflection and goal setting. Students take a look at the skills and strategies they learned throughout the year and rate themselves on the ones they use all the time, some of the time, and almost never. Then they set a goal for practicing an unused or rarely used skill/strategy and one for determining the books they will read. Some kids say that they’ll read a certain number of books. Others list very specific titles, many of which have been discovered during all the book talking. Once my students have finished setting their goals, I laminate their sheet and send it home along with questions parents can ask their kids when they read.

3. Host summer reading competitions
Along with encouraging my students to take part in the local library’s program, this year I started a summer reading and writing blog for my students to share their summer book reviews (and stories). In the fall blog participants will be thanked with an after school ice cream party.

1. Sign your kids up for your library’s summer reading program and make it a priority to get there.

2. Allow your kids book choice.
Summer reading is not about challenge, it’s about interest. Kids don’t learn to be better readers by reading Lord of the Rings going into third grade. They get to be better readers by reading, discussing, and thinking about books they can understand and enjoy.

3. Keep track of summer reading.
Kids can get very busy during the summer. Starting some kind of sticker chart or calendar to show when your child is reading can remind them (and you) to do at least 20 minutes of reading four days a week.

What do you do to get your kids reading over the summer? Do you have any summer reading sites, book talks, or trailers to recommend? Leave a comment below and tell me about it. Happy summer reading!

Stacy Mozer: Skyping Into the Classroom

From: It’s All About the Journey

I LOVE author skype visits. So do my students. If you want to reach the elementary school market, I doubt there is a better way to reach a whole class of kids all at one time.

(Okay, sure, being able to meet the author in person is better. But author visits cost the author money and cost the school money. Skype visits are usually free and the only thing it requires is an internet connection.)

This year my class had five skype visits.

We made Origami Yoda with Tom Angleberger.
Thought about what we would wish for in a breadbox with Laurel Snyder.
Learned how to make large dragons out of duct tape with Jodi Moore.
Figured out ways to save the world with Marty McGuire and Kate Messner.
Visited the Monstore with Tara Lazar. You can head over to Tara Lazar’s blog so that you can see the  adorable and amazing monsters that my class created.

What’s in it for the author? Besides getting to meet a bunch of cool kids who may be fans already, you also get to reach kids that may not have heard of you. More than half my class (of 22 kids) have bought the books of the authors that have come in through my Smartboard. Even more than that have found the book to read at our school library or the local library. When they go to bookstores and bookfairs they ask for books by those authors. And even better than that, they have started following those author’s careers. They tell me when new books come out or if there are books by those authors that weren’t mentioned in the Skype visit.

How do you give a successful Skype visit? Here are some things I found that kids love (in no particular order):

1. Be funny. It’s really not a hard thing to do when your face is about a yard tall on our Smartboard screen.
2. Tell them about how you became a writer.
3. If you are Skyping from home, show them your pets or other special objects.
4. Read something from your book.
5. Don’t just talk about yourself. Ask about them.
6. Don’t be surprised when they ask questions like “How much do you get paid,” or “How old are you?” Have your answer ready, even if it is laugh and avoid the question.
7. Smile.

That last one may sound silly, but kids can tell if you love what you are doing and if you love listening to them. If you love them, they’ll love you. I promise.

If you are a teacher reading this and you want to find authors who Skype, visit Kate Messner’s Authors Who Skype With Classes and Bookclubs List.

Have you have an author Skype in? Have you been the Skyping author? Leave a comment below.

Stacy Mozer: A Great Week of #RAOKblitz

From: It’s All About the Journey
May 20, 2012 at 08:00AM

I had such a great time participating in the Random Acts of Kindness Blitz. I hope you enjoyed Joan Riordan’s poems. Thank you for reading and continue commenting. Don’t forget to visit The Bookshelf Muse blog to see more random acts by other writers.

Here are a few more poems by Joan Riordan

Babysitting Blues
By Joan Riordan
   My                           I
 energy                  wish this
is sapped.             kid napped.
Changing Seth’s Diaper
By Joan Riordan

Changing Seth’s diaper
Set the chandelier rattling.
It was like dinosaurs battling.
There was defensive bobbing,
Dodging, growling, sobbing.
The tabs got mangled.
The diaper dangled.
In the end,
I was breathless
And the diaper was-

Stacy Mozer: A Brother’s Plea by Joan Riordan #RAOKblitz

From: It’s All About the Journey
May 19, 2012 at 09:00AM

You want to share my bed?  Okay.
But first, I have some things to say:
Don’t toss and turn and flop and flip.
Don’t jab me with your bony hip.
Wear warm, thick socks, I’ll tell you why.
Touch me with freezing feet – you die.
Don’t grunt or grind, sniffle or toot.
If you do, you’ll get the boot.
If you wake, scared from a dream,
Chew on the sheet, stifle the scream.
Want to hog the blanket?  Don’t try it.
If you have to breathe, breathe quiet.
And if, by chance, you wet the bed,
You are totally, completely dead.
 You’re going back to your bed?
If you insist, go right ahead.
– Joan Riordan

Stacy Mozer: A Poem by Joan Riordan #RAOKblitz

From: It’s All About the Journey

Fast frogs
Jumping over old logs
Thorn bush
Sliding on a jeaned tush
Gray gook
Damming up a slow brook
Long Hikes
Everything a boy likes!

– Joan Riordan

Stacy Mozer: The Contrary Cat by Joan Riordan #RAOKblitz

From: It’s All About the Journey
May 17, 2012 at 12:44PM

The Contrary Cat
By Joan Riordan
Won’t capture mice
Thinks that they’re nice
Won’t climb a tree
Watches T.V.
No laps- instead
Perches on heads
Likes to get wet
And visit the vet
Allergic to yarn
Stays away from the barn
Chews on big sticks
Learns funny new tricks
Greets me each day
When I’ve been away
At times, I suppose
He’s a dog in cat clothes
The only thing
That’s as it should be?
I like him
                 and he likes me.

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