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The summer solstice and the strawberry moon. 24 hours of daylight and a sun that never sets on the #Arctic #saveourseaice #wearetheartctic #summersolstice #monumentsforall
By: Jarrett J. Krosoczka,
Blog: the JJK blog
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Another school year is coming to a close, another year of drawing on my daughters' lunch napkins. I archive the doodles on a Tumblr so the girls can look back at them some day.
Another post that includes one of my daughter's excellent Father's Day cards :) In this case, she painted a quite fashionable lady bear -- note the scientifically accurate thinner neck in addition to the fabulous dress -- so I decided to create a paper dance partner! Pretty cool to have these cards already in hand to make my own inspirations even easier. And the beat goes on...
स्टार्टअप इंडिया और सच का सामना स्टार्टअप इंडिया से भारी उम्मीदें हैं देश को पर इसकी धीमी रफ्तार एक बार फिर सवालिया निशान खडे कर रही है … शायद इसी लिए अब इस ओर बदलाव के सकेंत दिए जा रहे हैं … PM Narendra Modi’s dream project ‘Startup India’ to be revamped to […]
The post स्टार्टअप इंडिया और सच का सामना appeared first on Monica Gupta.
Today's topic comes from Sheena-Kay, who asked how to keep the line between your MG and YA works separate, especially when it comes to knowing to what extent you can go with MG vs. YA.
Okay, so we all know the age difference for MG vs. YA. YA is targeted at teens and the characters tend to be fifteen to eighteen. MG is targeted at the nine to twelve age group with the characters typically around the age of eleven to fourteen. (Keep in mind there are exceptions to every rule, but this is a good rule of thumb to go by.) Voice and content are the other two big distinctions.
One of the biggest differences I see is that middle grade is typically more hopeful with happy endings while young adult tends to have a lot of angst. While it's true that many middle grade readers might be cursing and doing things we ourselves didn't do at that age, you don't typically see that in MG books. The stories focus more on the adventures and the character's immediate surroundings—their relationships with family and friends. YA is more about finding your place in the world. There's a lot more self-reflection by the characters, and profanity and even sex can have a place in the story.
I like to think of middle grade as more innocent. A time when you believe the world consists of you, your friends, and your family. YA, on the other hand, is more realistic. You know there's this big world out there and you are struggling to fit into it.
Sheena-Kay, I hope that answers your question. If anyone has any tips for distinguishing between MG and YA, please feel free to leave them in the comments.
*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.
By: Sue Bursztynski,
I'm now sitting at Ganache, a lovely chocolate and tea shop, having a well earned cuppa and three choccies. It's my usual reward for going out to buy books for the kids.
It was hard enough to get them to request what they felt like reading next - I have had more enthusiastic book clubbers in previous years. I mean, yes, they turn up at meetings and chat quite happily about things bookish, but there aren't the same cries of joy as they dive into a box of new books and too many of them read one book at a time and firmly refuse to borrow another one till it's finished.
But in the end, I had a decent shopping list from them - and, oddly, from some non members who turned up today, just in time, asking for such things as the next Magisterium novel(Holly Black and Cassndra Clare) and a series by a Polish gentleman which inspired a video game. And I found both! I bought the first novel in the series, and Book 2 of Magisterium(it was in the children's section instead of the YA and the Polish novel was in the SF). In the SF also I easily found a Terry Goodkind book for one of my book clubbers who wanted to read it because she had seen a TV show based on it. Fine. I imagine some of my spec fic lovers will read it after her.
There was a request for "more Diary of A Wimpy Kid, miss" from a Year 7 - I bought the latest, which we don't have.
I'm afraid the vampire fans will miss out yet again. I did find a couple of the requested books, but not all, and the only Morganville Vampire book they had was the first, which we have. I must ask our bookseller if she can get hold of some more. I keep disappointing that young lady.
My young history lover, who was in my class in Year 8 the other year, asked for "anything about war." I found a couple of books about WWI which he should find of interest but which Year 9 students can also use after him. One of them was actually on the CBCA short list a few years ago, but I must have missed it - I mostly read and buy the Older Readers books.
Speaking of which, I suddenly realised that they had some of this Year's Short List which I had missed. Two were Younger Reader books, but I bought them anyway. It's surprising what turns up there.
Anyway, time for tea and we will have some lovely new books early next term!
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About the Books
The Millionaire's Nanny Arrangement
We first met in high school. He was a rough, taciturn boy, yet everyone looked to him for leadership. I was a plain-Jane honors student with braces. Coincidence brought us back together again. Now, he's a big name in finance—any woman would want him—while I'm a widow who's lost my savings, my job and my house—not to mention I'm pregnant! Ryan was kind enough to hire me as a home tutor for his daughter, but I doubt he has any idea how much his generosity has affected me.
Bedded by Blackmail
In London, England, at the most glittering social event of the year, all eyes are on sexy South American billionaire Diego Saez. Already infamous for his astounding rise from rags to riches, Diego is convinced that everything and everyone can be bought....
Society heiress Portia Lanchester has been left penniless. Diego wants her. Now Portia's got only one chance of survival--if she'll surrender to his blackmail...and to him...in his bed!
Buy the Books
Here's what I'm giving it:
Rating: 4 stars (The Millionaire's Nanny Arrangement)
Rating: 3.5 stars (Bedded by Blackmail)
Disclaimer: I got this book from Overdrive and have received no compensation from the author or publisher for this honest review.
I got this bundled book and was all set for one story to be better than the other. I was pleasantly surprised to find that both books were well-written and had characters that I could stand behind.
The Millionaire's Nanny Arrangement was a tug on the heart strings. Newly widowed Kelsey finds herself without a home or job and a baby on the way. She encounters six-year-old, Mariah and her father, Ryan Storm. Ryan needs a nanny and Kelsey needs a place to stay. Thus the story is set for a sweet romance between two very different people. There are a couple of nicely done twists that kept me reading to the very end.
Bedded by Blackmail was a little bit darker than the other novel. Diego and Portia were interesting characters because what I perceived as their personalities and behaviors came with an unexpected twist. Blackmailing someone is never fun and in this case made me a little bit angry with the way Diego went about it. Yet, the twists more than made up for my anger at the leading man in this story.
Would I recommend this? Yes they were both good.
Wow, you guys. What an amazing week!
A huge thank you to everyone who participated in our big ROCK THE VAULT giveaway and to all those who shared the #myfavoritethesaurus pictures. I think we made thesauruses everywhere officially COOL. And also an enormous thank you to all the wonderful people who helped out with our launch, especially the Thesaurus Club (our street team). We are so blessed to have so many wonderful people support us. If you want to find some of these folks and their blogs, check them out here.
While we didn’t get to the 500 pictures shared that would unlock all prizes in the vault, we did see about 300 of them online, and so Angela and I, being the softies we are, unlocked most of the prizes. Winners have been drawn and are being notified. Once we have acceptance from these lovely people, Angela will post the list.
And for those of you who happened to buy our new books this week, thank you for welcoming our youngest offspring into the world! We hope that you have many light bulb moments when it comes to description and maximizing your settings.
They grow up so fast. *sniff sniff*
While Rock the Vault was a blast, Angela and I would be lying if we said we weren’t looking forward to getting back to a more normal routine. And today, that means me posting at the unbelievably awesome Kristen Lamb’s blog.
If you’re not familiar with Kristen, rectify that posthaste by following her on every conceivable social media platform. She’s one of the most prolific and knowledgeable bloggers out there as well as being an expert on all things networking and branding. If you’ve got a few minutes, drop in and see how Symbolism and the Setting Make a Perfect Marriage.
The post Settings and Symbolism appeared first on WRITERS HELPING WRITERS™.
By: Jarrett J. Krosoczka,
Blog: the JJK blog
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My first book was published fifteen years ago. Something that has been happening to me now on the road—I meet high school graduates who tell me they read my book when they were kids. Trippy.
On the day of publication, back in 2001, I walked into a bookstore to find my book in the wild. I walked up to a bookseller and said, "I'm looking for a book that was just published. I don't know the author's name, but the book is called Good Night, Monkey Boy." The bookstore employee typed the title into the computer and then grimaced. "What's the matter?" I asked worriedly. The clerk responded, "The author has a really weird last name." I smiled as they butchered my last name and then followed them to the bookshelf where my book was. My friend Erich Birkby was with me, we had the day off from working at the The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. We were both astonished—there was my book! On the shelf! In a bookstore.
I paid for the book with a credit card and walked away undetected. It's a tradition that I had with every on-sale date...until Punk Farm was published. Once they started saying, "Hey, Jarrett!" my jig was up...
Not that I'm excited or anything, but MY NEW BOOK IS COMING OUT SOOOOOOOON! The Homework Strike will be coming your way January 3, 2017, once again from Arthur A. Levine Books
(and once again with a stellar cover by Linzie Hunter
So many of you have been here from the time this was just a glimmer (yeah, I'm talking 2006, folks), and I'm thrilled to be able to share the cover here with you all. I'll be talking more about the content and story behind the book later. Today, though, I just want to scream happily a little if you don't mind. (Yay!!!!!! Thanks. Hope that wasn't too loud....)
If you're planning to query agents, should you be also be submitting to editors?
I am excited that Babl Books, whose mission is to offer bilingual picture books, including mine, to kids everywhere, will be at ALA this weekend. They are sharing a booth with We Need Diverse Books. Check them out if you go! BABL BOOKS will exhibiting at the ALA Conference in Orlando – Jun 24-27 Find […]
"Oh, darling, don't you know that saxhorn is breaking up our happy home?"
We’re in the middle of the year and 2016 has been one of competing emotions. We’ve lost musicians, artists, and heroes so that tugs at my heart strings. We’re still having to deal with the trauma of a mass shooting and my sympathy goes out to those families in Orlando. I also still very much miss my father who passed away in August 2014.
But there has also been some great things that have happened this year. Especially for my writer friends — publisher deals, agent matches, and book birthdays. Recently some good things have happened to me and I wanted to share that journey with you.
As many of you already know in late March I had major surgery and I was out on medical leave. In early February, I had heard about the #DVpit Twitter pitch contest, hosted by agent Beth Phelan. The event would focus on marginalized writers and the need for more diverse voices. For this event you would tweet a pitch of your book and if an agent favorited it, then it was an invitation to send a query.
At that particular time, I was still revising a YA manuscript and I knew that it wouldn’t be ready, but I had been thinking about revisiting a middle-grade project. I had just finished a swap with a good writer friend who told me the manuscript still had some fight and magic in it. So I figured if I felt like it, I could possibly revise while my body healed.
I had many near misses with this manuscript and I had put it away for a long time. When I took it back out, the overwhelming feelings of doubt came flooding back: How am I gonna make this better? How am I gonna fix this? Maybe I should just let this one go?
After my successful surgery and a few weeks into healing, I started revising. I fell in love with my characters once again and I actually started to believe what my writer friend had told me back in January: This book did have some fight and magic in it.
With the contest looming closer, I searched Twitter for successful pitches from past contests — anything with more than 10 favorites. I deconstructed them to figure out what made them work. Ya’ll, it’s hard enough to write a query letter that conveys what your story encompasses — but for a Twitter pitch, there is only 140 characters so to create one is almost like an art form.
I decided to use a mix of comparisons so that at a glance, an agent could see the heart of the book I was pitching. I decided on a well-known book series and a current TV sitcom — comps both easily recognizable to most people. Since my book is a ghost story with humor centering around an African-American family, this is the pitch I came up with:
BLACK-ISH + GOOSEBUMPS: Sarah & friends must use spunk and snoop skills to solve ghost mystery in Southern small town. #DVpit #MG #ownvoices
On the day of the #DVpit event, I was SO nervous but I put myself out there and to my amazement, I got over 45 agent favorites and I was also boosted by several editors. It was an overwhelming feeling and to be honest also kind of stressful.
I did my research and then only sent out queries to agents that I felt were a good fit not only for my middle-grade but for my other YA manuscripts and other projects I could write in the future. It was a crazy whirlwind. I got agent requests to read the full manuscript as well as several agent offers — but ultimately I went with the agent that I felt was the best for me.
A surreal experience to say the least!
It proves that ANYTHING can happen. For me, it was a mixture of timing, luck, and preparation. I had a completed manuscript, a polished query letter, and even a synopsis (bless my heart). I truly believe that having a manuscript ready to the best of my ability was the key. The query trenches can be very subjective and you will always get rejections but at the end of the day all you need is one YES.
I’ve always said that writing is what I love the most. It’s always what saves me when everything goes to hell and there is nothing else left. Even when I had to leave my words and characters on the sidelines when my life didn’t have any space, the writing was always there waiting for me. I never gave up. Now I can’t wait to see where this writing journey takes me next.
So thanks so much for letting me share my journey about getting my agent. :)
For those of you still on your agent journey: Keep striving. Keep writing. Keep revising. Most of all, don’t give up. Don’t throw away your shot. Your writing is important and you’re the only one in the Universe who can tell your story. And remember your story is just as important as all the others and also deserves to be heard. Best of luck to you in your writing. You got this.
A BIG HEART = AUTHOR SUCCESS
written by Carmen Oliver
illustrations by Jean Claude
Elizabeth talks about “Heart Art,” the part that makes the illustration magical. For a writer. For me, “Heart Art” or “Heart Story” is author intention. My heart is in everything I write. I believe it’s in every author’s work.
Embedded. Woven. Waiting to be discovered.
The real reason behind why the author wrote the book. And when a writer tells a story with their heart stitched into the fabric of a manuscript well, then, success. Magic. Bliss.
Donald Mass in his novel The Breakout Novelist
said, “Success as an author requires…a big heart.” I agree.
I think it takes a big heart to come back to the page, time and time again when things aren’t working. When you’re frustrated. When the doubts creep in. I think a big heart encourages the writer. Trust yourself. Begin again. You can do this. Go on, we’re in this together. A big heart can’t give up. It cares too deeply. About the story. About the characters. But most of all, about the readers. About delivering a story that matters to them. And yes, to you too.
A big heart reaches out and extends a hand to fellow writers. Knowing helping them achieve success is a reward unto its own. By serving them, you receive something too. A big heart knows there’s room for everyone.
I also believe a successful author is one that measures all the achievements, big or small. A page written today. A chapter finished. A novel outlined. It’s not always a book sold. #1 in sales. An award in your back pocket. Success comes from working day in and day out. Slow and steady. Writing when you don’t want to.
A big heart is open to all possibilities. Knowing that there is more than one way to get to the destination. Knowing that failure is needed to get to success. Knowing that humility and humbleness make us do our jobs better. A big heart knows anything is possible. And we don’t have to step on people to get there.
In my heart, I know there are no coincidences in life.
That if you allow your heart to be open, big and wide, well there’s nothing you can’t do. So let the people in. Learn from whoever is willing to teach you. Love the work. Lift others.
Don’t worry about success. It’ll find you. All you need is a big heart. If you’re in Austin, TX this summer, Carmen is teaching Perfecting the Picture Book I at The Writing Barn and later this September at Highlights with Don Tate’s workshop The Journey: Your Path to Publication with special guests, Alison Green Myers, and Kathleen Hayes. Carmen's fave writing spot at a lake house...
- Tue, 14:49: Rotary International has begun a huge push to enlighten and stop human trafficking and human slavery. It's one of... https://t.co/GTd4gQMEL1
- Tue, 15:20: So far, the most amusing typo I have found in my story today is: "The world tilts and I grown." Obviously, I am a super genius.
Saw a photo in The Times – With tall black hats and perfect posture – But on the ground nearby there lay Who’d fainted ‘cause his furry hat Most likely made him droop. The heat was quite intense that day. The fact that he was prone Was not a big surprise, but he Was passed out all alone. Not one stiff soldier broke the ranks For courtesy just doesn’t count A picture’s worth a thousand words, If that were me, I’d not forgive
The guards in those neat rows.
By: Jarrett J. Krosoczka,
Blog: the JJK blog
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All summer long on The Book Report with JJK on SiriusXM Kids Place Live
, Absolutely Mindy and I are throwing out summer reading prompts for the young listeners. When your kiddo has completed each mission, they can color in and decorate a badge. Hopefully, they will be well-decorated by the end of the summer!
Here are the archives for the first two challenges:...See More
For Father's Day, my awesome daughter gave me five polar bear post cards to send to the President this week :) Even better, she made them all as she patiently sat through an entire day of school visit presentations last Thursday! She thought that I might need a little help after a busy week -- and she was right that I got a little behind!!! But now that I'm back on track, President Obama will just get double the reminders to protect Alaska's coastal plain. Thanks so much kiddo. Love you!
By: Jarrett J. Krosoczka,
Blog: the JJK blog
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Every day I post a sketch to social media, this is my favorite this week!
Summer reading (and sketching) on a Saturday morning.
To see more visit http://www.studiojjk.com/dailysketch.html
age range: 8-12
genre: contemporary fiction from a dog’s point of view
setting: the suburbs
Victoria J. Coe’s website
Readers will relate to Fenway’s impulsivity and delight in descriptions from his dog’s-eye view. Teachers and adults will appreciate generous sprinklings of rich vocabulary. –School Library Journal
Fenway may not understand Hattie’s behavior, but readers looking through his uncomprehending eyes will follow her ups and downs easily as she adjusts to the move. They’ll also wince in sympathy as she tries, with mixed success, to train, or even restrain, her barky, hyper, emotional pet. —Booklist
This perky, pet-centered tale takes readers inside the head of Fenway, an energetic and perpetually hopeful Jack Russell terrier with a deep love for food, intense hatred of squirrels, and undying adoration of his “small human,” Hattie. . . A fun, fresh frolic that animal-loving kids are sure to enjoy.—Publishers Weekly
Please tell us about your book.
Fenway and Hattie is about a dog named Fenway and his girl Hattie who move from an apartment in the city to a house in the suburbs, where they each struggle with big changes. But you only get Fenway’s side of the story, because the whole book is told from his point of view.
What inspired you to write this story?
I was inspired to write this story when my own family experienced a move and our dog was afraid we’d leave him behind. The move was hard on all of us, but I was especially tuned in to my dog’s fears and insecurities. As we took long walks together, I noticed how he checked everything out and I started to wonder what was going through his mind. That’s how the character of Fenway was born.
Could you share with readers a few interesting tidbits you learned while researching?
I’ve learned a lot about how dogs experience the world! Here are some interesting tidbits:
Dogs smell! But dogs don’t just smell scents; they use their noses to gather information. By smelling, dogs can tell:
- What’s new vs. what’s familiar
- If a person or another dog is a male or female
- What foods you’ve eaten
- What places you’ve been
- If a scent is faint or strong (that’s how dogs tell time)
- What you’ve touched and what’s touched you
- Dogs can even smell people’s feelings
Dogs make sounds, but they primarily communicate by body language. How dogs carry their ears or tails, whether they’re panting or baring their teeth, and what posture they assume can tell another dog all kinds of information. And dogs read our body language, too. They know from our bodies how we’re feeling and what our intentions are.
Dogs are always studying people. They know our routines – maybe better than we know ourselves! They also pick up on cues, like grabbing the leash comes before going for a walk. Dogs know all of our habits and when something changes, a dog is usually the first to notice!
What are some special challenges associated with writing from a dog’s point of view?
Ha! How long is this blog, Caroline? I like to say that writing from a dog’s point of view is just like regular writing only with both hands tied behind your back!
Seriously though, since dogs don’t understand most human language, I can only write actions, sounds, or observations that a dog would know – I can’t rely on human dialogue.
There are so many elements of the human world that dogs don’t know. Fenway doesn’t know how old Hattie is or what town they live in. And he certainly doesn’t know what she does when she’s not with him — unless he can see, hear, or smell clues, and he often comes to the wrong conclusion!
For instance, early on in the story, Hattie is packing. Fenway remembers that he’s seen her do this before – right before she disappeared and left him alone. And something really terrible must’ve happened to her because when she came back she smelled like burnt marshmallows and squirrels.
What topics does your book touch upon that would make it a perfect fit for the classroom?
Fenway and Hattie is a perfect mentor text for both point of view and inference. My classroom guide contains both POV activities and exercises as well as a discussion guide for the book – which as you can see from the packing example I just described is a lot of inference!
The post Classroom Connections: Fenway and Hattie by Victoria J. Coe originally appeared on Caroline Starr Rose
समाज को झंझकोरती बिहार टॉपर धोटाला की खबर 20 लाख रुपये देकर टॉपर बने बच्चे आखिर कसूरवार कौन… बच्चे, माता पिता , शिक्षण संस्थान या हमारा समाज (तस्वीर गूगल से साभार) समाज को झंझकोरती बिहार टॉपर धोटाला की खबर 20 लाख रुपये देकर टॉपर बने बच्चे आखिर कसूरवार कौन… बच्चे, माता पिता , शिक्षण […]
The post समाज को झंझकोरती बिहार टॉपर धोटाला की खबर appeared first on Monica Gupta.
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