Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Night The Moon Ate My Room Blog Tour

The Night the Moon Ate My Room Blog Tour
 I'm thrilled to be the next stop on the The Night The Moon At My Room blog tour. You can find a complete tour schedule here. Today's post features an excerpt from author Jesse Wilson, along with a giveaway.
Excerpt from “The Night the Moon Ate My Room!” 
by Jesse Wilson

I started playing the violin for my class today… but I forgot the music. I mean, it just wouldn't come to me!
Everyone laughed at me.
I tried playing the music again… they laughed even harder.
I walked off the class stage, I was so embarrassed.
On my way home, I told myself I would never, ever, play the violin, ever again.
It was the worst day of my life.
I was so angry, I punished myself. I decided not to eat my own dinner.
“Eat!” Mom said.
“Eat!” Dad said.
“No!” I said. “I stink. I’m the world’s worst violinist!”
“I was just about to ask, how did the recital go?” Dad asked.
“Awful!” I said. “Worse than awful!” I marched myself up to my own bedroom without even saying goodnight to mom and dad, and slammed the door shut.
I couldn’t sleep, I was so angry. I stayed angry for a very long time…
    It felt like it was really late at night. I stared up at the stars. Or where the stars should have been, because there weren’t any. It wasn’t even foggy out. That was kind of weird. But the moon was bright and full that night, bigger than I could ever even remember it.
Maybe because it was moving towards me…
Was I going out of my mind?
It kept moving towards me, getting bigger and bigger… And then it was right in front of my window!
    The moon kept coming, getting bigger and bigger… and biggerbigger… oh man, was that moon huge! And then, craters and all, it was right in front of my window. 

    It just floated in front of the window, staring at me. I stared back at the moon, my mouth as open and as wide as the moon. Suddenly, the moon began to shake and quiver... then, like a volcano about to erupt, it opened its giant moon mouth. Instantly, light poured out of the moon's mouth into my room. Squinting from the light, I saw that it had huge, jaggedy moon rocks for teeth. “This is it,” I thought. “It’s been a nice life on this planet until now… Goodbye Mom and Dad…” Like a vacuum cleaner switched on, my entire room slowly rolled into the moon’s mouth… gulp!
    The moon ate my room whole!
    I shut my eyes tightly, too scared to breathe. Well, now I was a goner.
    A few minutes passed. Opening my eyes, peaking over the covers, I saw my entire bedroom sparkling white. Like taking a bath without the water, I was in a world of warmth. I felt tingly all over. I couldn’t see anything except for the glinting moonlight. Once my eyes adjusted to the brightness, I looked out my bedroom window... From the inside of the closest moon crater, I saw that I was flying, flying above my home... far above the city... above the dark clouds... Flying, flying… Now, I was looking down at the face of the Earth. I knew you couldn’t breathe in outer space, but for some reason, I could breathe just fine inside my room... inside the moon.
    Inside the moon, I saw a lot of insides of other craters, and discovered they were like telescopes, and that's when I saw the close-up views of other people sleeping inside their bedrooms. When I looked longer at them, I was able to look inside their dreams... It was like looking inside a ton of paintings at a museum. Many dreams were beautiful, and many were scary.
Suddenly, the moon spoke to me. “How ya doin’?”
“Fine,” I replied. “Uh… How are you?” I mean, what are you supposed to say to the moon after it eats your room? The moon sounded friendly enough, though. That was a relief. Its voice was big and echoey, but only because it was really big in there. Mainly, its voice sounded cool. It sounded like a friend.
The moon said, “You don’t seem fine.”
“Well… I guess I’m not,” I said.
The words just burst out of me. “Well, I played my violin horribly in Ms. Fletcher's class, and I’d been practicing for ever and I sounded awful and everyone laughed at me. I’m a failure.”
“Well, I can certainly see why you’re so angry,” the moon said. “But did you know that some of the greatest things in life come from what you call ‘failure?’ How would you like to hear some stories that will maybe make you feel better about playing the violin again?”
“Sure,” I said, although I was pretty sure I wasn't ever going to play the violin again. (I couldn’t possibly imagine saying “No” to the moon. That would have been rude. )
“Long before you were born, I’ve been up in the sky, watching… Many things have happened on this planet, and I’ve seen it all,” the moon explained. “If you think about all the people in the world, at one time or another, they have looked at me. It’s a neat thought, if you really think about it.”
It occurred to me that the moon had been there for a pretty long time, and that it probably knew what it was talking about.
    I'm positive that everybody in history has looked at the moon.
    Dinosaurs have roamed beneath the moon.
    Great battles have been fought beneath the moon.
    Baseball games have been played beneath the moon.
    Symphonies, plays, operas and ballets have been performed beneath the moon.
People have laughed and cried beneath the moon.
    “I've always been up here,” the moon said. “I’ve also been here when pirates flew across the night sky instead of the sea, you know…”
    “What?!” I exclaimed. That really got my attention.
    “Oh yeah,” the moon said. “I've lived in real worlds and dream worlds. I’ve also been here when strange, winged creatures lived on other planets. I’ve been here when lonely galaxies yearned for the majestic beauty of other galaxies. I’ve been here when a painter saw his future in a blank canvas... and I’ve been here when a boy thought he would never dream again. Do you have any idea who that might be?”
I didn’t say anything. Of course, I knew who that was.
Shining on the wall now, I saw the images of lot more people. And do you know what? They were behaving very childishly. I saw painters angrily destroying their paintings! I saw writers throwing their writing out their windows! I saw musicians smashing their instruments to smithereens (I could relate to that one—I wanted to do that to my stupid violin). I saw people who wrote music (they were called composers) tear up their music. It actually was sort of funny. I saw a lot of people doing a lot of very silly things. But then, in one flash on the wall, I also saw all these people turn their anger into symphonies, plays, operas, and ballets…  
And now on the wall, I saw audiences laughing and crying and clapping their hands beneath the moon.
“Imagine if all those artists had given up because they were angry,” the moon said.
I didn’t say anything, but I thought that was pretty cool.
“More?” the moon said.
“Sure,” I said. I really did want to see more. I wasn’t just saying that to be nice to the moon.
    “All those people you see on your wall had dreams,” the moon said. “Your dreams are always inside you. Even if you can’t see them, your dreams are still there. Whether you remember them or not. Just like me, the moon. But the older we get, the harder it is to remember our dreams are still there. We forget that they are the greatest things in us...”
And that’s when the moon shared with me its first story.

About the Book:
The moon was bright and full that night, bigger than I could ever even remember it. Maybe because it was moving towards me... After giving the worst violin recital of his life, and being laughed at by the entire school, the boy vows to never play music again. Later that night, when the moon swallows up his bedroom, it shares the secrets of being a true artist, helping the boy re-claim his self-confidence, overcome the pitfalls of perfectionism, and believe in his own dream. Each of the five stories in The Night the Moon Ate My Room! is designed for young readers to experience the joy of self-discovery, valuable life lessons, and the adventure of turning their greatest dreams into reality.

 Book Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Book Depository

Jesse Wilson is an author, motivational performer, illustrator, and teacher. A life-long involvement with theatre and film as both performer and writer began early, growing up in Hollywood, CA, where he performed in plays, TV shows and commercials. A graduate of the LA High School for the Performing Arts, Jesse traveled east to attain a BFA for theatre in the prestigious Juilliard School. Remaining in New York, and later Philadelphia, he developed material for his one-man shows, performed throughout the region. 

His most recent production, “Face the City,” written for high school and college audiences, combines visual and animation projections in a multimedia presentation of the artist's journey to find themselves in the "real world." “The Night the Moon Ate My Room!” written and performed with music for young audiences to experience self-discovery, is created with the support of The Kennedy Center’s Imagination Celebration and Pikes Peak Library District. 

Coming soon this year, building upon the success of “The Night the Moon Ate My Room!” a series of empowering books for children, written and illustrated by Jesse Wilson, will be published under the title “Brilliant Mistakes!”

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

 GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment along with your email address to be entered to win an ebook! For the GRAND PRIZE giveaway, Enter to win a signed paperback copy of The Night the Moon Ate My Room along with an "11 x 15" custom illustration!
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I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves. ~ Anna Quindlen

Good children's literature appeals not only to
the child in the adult, but to the adult in the child.
~ Anonymous ~