Welcome back from "summer break," dear readers. Your reward for checking in with Teaching Authors...another fabulous book giveaway. In this case, the book happens to be my latest picture book,
Those of you who have been reading this blog awhile have probably encountered my philosophy of "crock pot
writing." (Crock pot not crack pot.) I think of my creative mind as a slow cooker, simmering with various ingredients, on low heat. Every now and then I lift the lid, give the brew a taste test, to see if "it's soup yet?" (Those of us of a "certain age" will remember that line from the Lipton Cup of Soup commercials.) Mostly, the answer is no. The lid goes back on until next time.
The Roller Coaster Kid's "ingredients"come from such diverse sources, I didn't realize I was even writing a book, until the final "ingredient" presented itself in one of those rare Eureka! moments.
I have mentioned my storytelling family before, particularly my mother's side. I especially enjoyed the stories that involved their local amusement park, West View Park, in the northern suburbs of Pittsburgh. (West View Park appears in Jimmy's Stars.) Most of the male members of Mom's family, her grandfather and brothers, worked at
West View was one of the first amusement parks, built in 1906.
Since it was literally around-the-corner-and-down-the-hill from my Grandmother Smith's house, it was the only amusement park I knew as a child. Of course I had heard about Disneyland (this was waaaay before Disney World or any of the modern "theme parks") but that was in California, for crying out loud. I lived in Chicago and my relatives all lived in Pittsburgh. Only rich kids or Californians went to Disneyland. I didn't know anyone who had been to California let alone, Disneyland.
Growing up in Chicago, I did see TV ads for Riverview Park, which was roughly the same vintage as West View. Every summer I begged my parents to make the trek from the Southern Suburbs to the North Side of Chicago, but somehow I never got to Riverview. As my mother reminded me, "Why would you want to go to Riverview? It's just like West View, and you can go to West View with your cousins."
I do remember that most fearsome of all the rides, West View's gigantic wooden roller coaster, The Dips. Being tall enough to ride The Dips was a real milestone. And if you could ride The Dips without throwing up....well, you were practically a teenager. I think I rode it once or twice before the park was torn down in 1977.
I suppose you could say that my memories of West View Park were the basic "stock" of the soup that became The Roller Coaster Kid...a book I didn't realize I was writing.
To Enter Our Roller Coaster Kid Book Giveaway:
1. You must comment to today's post, telling us why you would like to win The Roller Coaster Kid. Will you be keeping it for yourself or sharing it with another young reader? Addition from Carmela: or you may enter by sending an email to us at teachingauthors [at] gmail [dot] com with "Book Giveaway" in the subject line.
2. You must include contact information in your comment. If you are not a blogger or your email address is not accessible from your online profile, you must send us a valid email address in your comment. Entries without contact information will be disqualified. Note: The TeachingAuthors cannot prevent spammers from accessing e-mail addresses posted within the comments, so feel free to disguise your address by spelling out portions such as "dot" and "at."
3. You must send us your post by 11 pm (CST), Wednesday, July 25. Winner will be chosen at random via Random.org. and announced on Thursday, July 26. Note: Winners automatically grant us permission to post their names here on the TeachingAuthors website.
4. You must have a mailing address in the United States.
5. You must respond to the notification e-mail and provide a mailing address within 72 hours, or the prize will be forfeited and an alternate winner chose.
Those are the official rules. If you feel like sharing an amusement park memory, that would be great, but certainly not required. I've already told you mine in today's post. I can't wait to hear your memories.
More on The Roller Coaster Kid Wednesday.
Posted by Mary Ann Rodman