Nevada SCBWI

Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators


The Slow Group

A slow group for YA novelists. Slow but steady wins the race if it doesn't put us to sleep first. We sit around the digital bonfire to share our tales.

Members: 16
Latest Activity: Jan 18, 2010

Keepin' It Reals

Hello Friends and Welcome!

It takes a cyber village - thankya Heather for the link to the Slow Group's discussions page:

Slow Group Discussions

On the upper right you will see a drop down box called Sort By: Select Newest Discussions to find the latest chapter postings.

When posting to the discussion forum, use the convention Chapter Number, Book Title to situate the reader where they are in the story.

Thankya, thankya.

Comment Wall

Comment by Lynda Sandoval on December 10, 2008 at 8:25pm
I can't wait until March. It starts the day after my birthday, too.
Comment by Andie Mock on December 12, 2008 at 12:02pm
Hey Lynda - Far out. See you at the Big Sur en Monterey in March. It's terrifffffff you'll be there.

Tracy and Heather - just wanted to leave a note that I am swamped with day yob until Tuesday but after that I'm excited to focus my best eyeballs on your new chapter postings. I want the time to do them justice.
Comment by Tracy Clark on December 15, 2008 at 5:12pm
Hi Heather. Hi Andie. Instead of making a bunch of different replys, I just wanted to thank you so much for you time, attention, and encouragement. I've been printing out your comments, which are all so helpful, and using them during revisions. It's such a busy time, which makes it even more wonderful that you've shared some of it with me (and Talon). I look forward to more of your work as well. This Slow Group thing rocks!
Comment by Andie Mock on December 15, 2008 at 5:40pm
Hi Tracy,


Hi Heather -

Tomorrow I get to read your Camp Wylde additions. I'm looking forward to it!

Comment by Heather W. Petty on December 16, 2008 at 7:25am
As much as I want to keep things going, I hope no one lets this stuff stress them out at all. It's the holidays and crazy busy. I think most critique groups take this month off anyway. My job is really slow this month, so I have the extra time at work (so far). But i think you guys are amazing, and I can't wait to read more all around!

I hope you're all enjoying some family time!
Comment by Andie Mock on December 31, 2008 at 3:11pm
Wishing all Slow Group members a Hoppy Holly Daze and New Year. I think of you and your books often.

It's been a hunerd years since we've had a New Year's party - inspired this year by Lynda Sandoval's New Year's posting. Okay, maybe nine years -- since daughter Lily was born. While I'm writing I'm also dusting off our booze bottles waiting for the hubster to return with martini olives and triple sec.

This party we'll doing 2009 collages to visualize what we want for the coming new year. Personally, I want more communing with community - whether local and virtual.

Martin Buber wrote another book I haven't read called "I and Thou". This year I want more thou and less "I", including more thou in nature and finding ways to balance that more this year. Thou is fired up and ready to go.

Best new book is John Truby's "The Anatomy of Story"...good stuff and now in paperback! Thou got it off Link + , a great way to access 27 libraries in Nevada and California. Check if your library has link plus - best thing since sliced oranges for writers - ordered up four very obscure books and it had them all!!!

Libraries are one of the best thou concepts ever.

Best wishes for happy writing in 2009!

Comment by Zoe Miller on January 4, 2009 at 3:08pm
Hello all,

The Great Basin Food Co-op requested a book review, and I've written one (below). Any suggestions about how to make this better would be much appreciated. I'm not asking for a lot of your time on this one - the review is a freebie that will almost certainly get published - but any help you can give will help me become a better writer and editor.


(The book titles are in italics in the original, but I am not seeing a way to make them italic here)

book review:
Not on the Label: What Really Goes Into the Food on your Plate, by Felicity Lawrence
In addition to interviewing and touring, Felicity Lawrence has done actual research in order to find out about food. I really appreciate that! She worked as a laborer in a chicken processing plant, traveled with food, and figured out how many leaves go into a bag of greens, among other adventures.
Ms Lawrence goes into detail how:
- Many organic chickens are processed on the same line as typical chickens, and they are dunked into a scald tank which is described as "a brown soup of feces and feather fragments." 180 chickens pass through each minute, and the water is changed once a day - ew!
- Chicken meat was repackaged by the distributor with a later sell-by date.
- Bagged lettuce is rinsed in water that has 20 times as much chlorine as a swimming pool
- Wheat has been traditionally been made digestible by a lengthy fermentation process when making bread, but today's bread is made with extra gluten, extra water, extra yeast, chemicals, and very little time. Excerpt: "The flour ends up very fractured and grey. Then it absorbs water like a sponge. It's critical to modern baking to get lots of water in."
- Processed chicken is mixed with pig protein and waste from cows. The DNA is deliberately broken down so the fraud is hard to detect. This fraud also allows more water to be absorbed, which boosts manufacturer profits, as most buyers consider price per pound.
- Prawn farming in Vietnam involves cutting down mangroves, lining holes with plastic, applying lots of chemicals including antibiotics, and feeding wild fish to the prawns. Worse, the process is prone to die-offs, and most local farmers are unable to successfully raise prawns. The land isn't good for much else after, as other crops are poisoned by the residual salt.
- An industry trade show displays spray-on aromas for restaurant chefs to apply as food leaves the kitchen, and other frauds.
- Ingredients listed on food labels don't include additives which are "processing aids."
- How all this is making people sick. (I believe that factory food, produced with haste, is the main reason that I am allergic to gluten and other foods.)
The only thing that I didn't love about the book is that it was written for the U.K. But, I suspect that the same food shenanigans happen here. In reading book reviews on a popular UK website, I can see that this book has changed many people's way of shopping. Many people even vowed to start growing their own food!
Having already read Fast Food Nation and many other sources, I didn't really expect to be personally shocked. However, when I read this book a year ago, it affected me powerfully. While Fast Food Nation reveals ugly truths about fast food restaurants and prepared food, Not on the Label deals with food at grocery stores and health food stores.
This book also introduces us to a coffee-growing family in Africa who were unable to buy medicine for their children, four of whom had malaria. The farming father started to cry when he was told that one cup of coffee in London costs 5,000 Ugandan shillings - the same price as the unaffordable medicine.
This book appears to be well-researched and has a significant notes and references section. It is well-written. The author finishes with a statement about how she buys food. I know you, my fellow co-op members, will approve.
Comment by Ellen Hopkins on January 4, 2009 at 5:41pm
Hey Zoe, Try to open with something more creative.... maybe a quote from the book about something interesting.... that is your lead or lede. Something to draw readers in. From there, segue into a paragraph about finding that quote in the book, and something about the author. Then the stuff about the book that interested you.
Comment by Andie Mock on January 10, 2009 at 8:12am
This paragraph at the beginning brought me in. :

Having already read Fast Food Nation and many other sources, I didn't really expect to be personally shocked. However, reading Not on the Label affected me powerfully. While Fast Food Nation reveals ugly truths about fast food restaurants and prepared food, this book deals with food at grocery stores and health food stores.
Comment by Andie Mock on January 10, 2009 at 8:20am
Hi Zoe -

What I meant was, that paragraph, if placed at the beginning of the piece, would bring me in more.

Follow Ellen's suggestions, though, they're better.

Also maybe find a fresh way to say, 'affected me powerfully'...uh like uh I don't know...After reading Not on the Label, my stomach lurched like Frankenstein doing the macarena....something better than that ;-)


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