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1. Try-Fail Cycle Brainstorming Tips

Bestselling author, David Farland is not only a great author, but he's a great writing instructor. If you're an aspiring author and do not subscribe to his writing tips, you should. Today he posted a writing tip on brainstorming obstacles for try-fail cycles that I love. Try-fail cycles play a critical role in creating tension and moving a story's plot forward. But often effectively executing the the try-fail cycle as a writer can have mixed results. David's post gives some great insight for those who struggle with try-fail cycles or just need a little more help coming up with more creative ideas to throw more obstacles in your protagonist's path.

Check it out. 12 types of obstacles to consider when creating try/fail cycles

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2. The official Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer is here

Batman_v_Superman_-_Dawn_of_Justice_(official_logo)

And as predicted, the official teaser for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has dropped via Zack Snyder‘s twitter feed:

 

What do you think? Sound off below, and have a great weekend!

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3. Nice Art: Behold Valiant Previews Featuring Ninjak, Divinity, and Ivar

Valiant has just debuted a brand new round of previews from some of their biggest and best books. First up is Ninjak #1, which contained a solid debut with incredibly smart writing and art from Matt Kindt, Clay Mann, and Butch Guice. The story revealed Colin King hunting down a group of individuals on assignment from MI-6, wasting no time dazzling fans with the exploits of Valiant’s premiere ninja. This is going to be another 40-page issue complete with two stories for the agreeable price of $4.99.

NINJAK #2

Written by MATT KINDT

Art by CLAY MANN with BUTCH GUICE

HUNTED BY THE SHADOW SEVEN!

International financier Colin King hasn’t just come to Tokyo to take the Rippongi club scene by storm. As the covert MI-6 operative codenamed Ninjak, he’s also tracking down the men who trained him to be a lethal weapon…the very same men whose movements have now aligned with the latest terror plot by the cybernetic crime cartel called WEBNET! But how do you detect killers who specialize in the undetectable? And how does he know that the SHADOW SEVEN haven’t caught up with him first? It’s all-out ninja-versus-ninja warfare as the deadliest men and women of five continents converge on the Tokyo underworld for a blood-spattered blowout!

$3.99 | 40 pgs. | T+ | On sale APRIL 22

NINJAK_002_VARIANT_PASTORAS NINJAK_002_VARIANT_ALLEN NINJAK_002_COVER-C_GUERRA NINJAK_002_COVER-B_JOHNSON NINJAK_002_COVER-A_LAROSA NINJAK_002_001 NINJAK_002_003 NINJAK_002_004 NINJAK_002_005 NINJAK_002_006

The first two issues of Divinity have been extraordinarily good, proving that Matt Kindt really has a good hold on the world of the Valiant. However, the most extraordinary part of the title for me is how the publisher found just the right job for Trevor Hairsine. The artist doesn’t have a typically clean Marvel style, but instead features more jagged lines and a specific style of pencilling. His artwork can almost be compared to that of Frank Quitely, an excellent storyteller whose art depicts a very specific style of tone.

DIVINITY #3 (of 4)

Written by MATT KINDT

Art by TREVOR HAIRSINE

The sci-fi saga of 2015 continues – from New York Times best-selling writer Matt Kindt (RAI) and blockbuster artist Trevor Hairsine (X-Men: Deadly Genesis)!

A being with the power of a god roams free in the Australian Outback, bringing life to the barren wasteland and making him a hero to natives who live there and the visitors that have sought him out. But can the global superpowers of Earth rely on this long lost cosmonaut not to abuse his seemingly limitless power? The entity called DIVINITY will put that trust to the test when he discovers what became of the life he left behind…and the family he once knew…

$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | VALIANT PRESTIGE | On sale APRIL 22

DIVINITY_003_001 DIVINITY_003_002 DIVINITY_003_003 DIVINITY_003_004 DIVINITY_003_005 DIVINITY_003_006 DIVINITY_003_COVER-A_DJURDJEVIC DIVINITY_003_COVER-B_MULLER DIVINITY_003_VARIANT_GILL DIVINITY_003_VARIANT_LAROSA

Ivar, Timewalker can be sort of compared to a dark Doctor Who, as the titular hero is hiding some big secrets throughout space and time. Fred Van Lente and Clayton Henry continue to craft the story of Ivar, that begins to grow darker as more time continues to pass. Henry’s art has been so clean and specific to the title, which is perfect as Ivar could possibly expanded with the female demographic that has been so keen on Doctor Who in the past couple of years. Henry’s clean linework and expressive characters make this title a joy to experience as the debut arc of Ivar comes to an end with the fourth installment of the series.

IVAR, TIMEWALKER #4

Written by FRED VAN LENTE

Art by CLAYTON HENRY

Time is almost up!

Ivar has been keeping a secret from his partner-in-time, Neela, this whole time, and once she learns the truth their relationship will be history! Literally! Join New York Times best-selling creators Fred Van Lente & Clayton Henry for the epoch shattering conclusion of our first (time)arc!

$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On sale APRIL 22

IVAR_004_001 IVAR_004_002 IVAR_004_003 IVAR_004_004 IVAR_004_005-006 IVAR_004_COVER-A_ALLEN IVAR_004_COVER-B_MESSINA IVAR_004_VARIANT_VILLALOBOS

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4. World Hemophilia Day


Today is World Hemophilia Day. 

For many summers I had the privilege of taking care of young hemophiliacs at The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. Many of my pals outside of camp had these crazy misconceptions of the blood disorder. To put it simply, hemophiliacs have low levels of Factor VIII or Factor IX, the proteins needed to clot blood. As my friend and former camper, Conor, recently said in a post, "...it's a crappy disease that can leave you with a giant pile of complications if not managed appropriately."

Who's Conor? Conor is the kid who was the initial inspiration for Monkey Boy. Back in the fall of 1999 I was working at camp and started calling Conor "Monkey Boy" and he started acting the part...for the duration of our camp session! This photo was taken in 2001, shortly before Good Night, Monkey Boy was published. 

What is Conor up to now? He's studying to be a doctor! Seriously, what an inspiration. I'm in touch with many of Conor's peers, and they all grew up to do such amazing things. 

The CDC has posted a great summary of what hemophilia is all about here: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/hemophilia/facts.html?mobile=nocontent

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5. I’m enjoying working on this #PetPortrait #Commission of a...

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6. Illumination Sets Release Date for Louis C.K.-Starring ‘The Secret Life of Pets’

New York's favorite hangdog comic is set to play an actual dog.

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7. recognizing the detail smorgasbord (plus spring giveaway winners!)

 

Photo by Vicky Lorencen

Photo by Vicky Lorencen

This time of year is an absolute boon for children’s writers. If you have children or grandkids, you’ll soon be attending award ceremonies, field days, banquets, carnivals, graduations, end-of-year parties or picnics. Well, when you do, be sure to take notes. These occasions are an All-You-Can-Record Detail Smorgasbord!

Oh, I know you think you’ll remember. You are wrong. Even if you take photos, many details will be spirited away. I am the mother of a high school senior. Benefit from my experience.

Write.

It.

Down.

Jot down the names of the various awards and how students react to them, the food and amusements offered at the carnival, how the banquet was decorated and what was served, choice sound bites you overhear, and what teachers say to regain crowd control. Take note of the popular (and the not-so-popular) kids are wearing and how they talk, the words to songs that are sung, the music being played at a ceremony, the names of the games being played (and so on and so forth and what have you).

These notes will become precious to you when you sit down to write. You’ll have a stockpile of details to bring your work to life and ground it in a reality that is so familiar to your readers. (Oh,  and yes, you’ll have recorded dear details from your child’s school year, so there’s that too.)

The truth of the story lies in the details. ~ Paul Auster

Congratulations to the winners of the Frog on a Dime Spring Cleaning Giveaway . . .

Photo by Vicky Lorencen

Photo by Vicky Lorencen

Lindsay Fouts–winner of Writer’s First Aid: Getting Organized, Getting Inspired and Sticking to It by Kristi Holl

Danielle Hammelef–winner of Writing with Pictures: How to Write and Illustrate Children’s Books by Uri Shulevitz

Please contact me with your address and I’ll be delighted to send you your book!

 


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8. Check Out the World’s First Cartoon Network Waterpark

Slide down Jake's slippery fur coat at Cartoon Network's new waterpark in Asia.

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9. The Stately Beat Manor Comics Pull: 4/22/15

Egg_Fu_Earth-One_001

Comics, comics, and more comics — the Beat Staff is a little obsessed with their own supply. The only way in which to satiate our immense need for the written word and illustration is for our supply to grow…larger. A group of the Beat’s most favored (desperate) staff members banded together to make this list after finishing off every single graphic novel and floppy in the mansion, (it was the only way for the team to quench the thirst for knowledge!) While others call it unhealthy, we deem our staff picks as a public service announcement to gather the masses together and enjoy the wild world of comics.


Alex’s Picks: Convergence: Swamp Thing #1

Writer: Len Wein Artist: Kelley Jones Colorist: Michelle Madson

STARRING HEROES FROM CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS! The dome has cut off all the heroes from their powers – but what happens when Swamp Thing is cut off from his life source in The Green?

Author Len Wein is returning to one of his greatest creations Wolverine Swamp Thing! Joining him is classic horror artist Kelley Jones for one of the wackier Convergence tie-ins. After reading author Charles Soule’s ingenious take on the hero, we simply can’t get enough of Alec Holland’s mysterious monster-based alter ego.

STK668474


Matt’s Picks: Kaptara #1

Writer: Chip Zdarsky Artist: Kagan McLeod

A space expedition goes horribly wrong because if it didn’t there would be no story! Reluctant explorer Keith Kanga and his crew crash land on KAPTARA, a world filled with danger and weird danger and dangerous weirdos! And if he can’t survive then earth, the place where YOU live, is doomed! Join CHIP ZDARSKY (Sex Criminals the Duck) and KAGAN McLEOD (Infinite Kung Fu) as they put the ‘fi’ back into ‘sci-fi’ and pretty much disregard the ‘sci’ part in this epic story of punching and love!

Yes, the first issue hasn’t come out yet. No, I don’t have an advance review copy. So how is this recommendation not premature? Because Chip Zdarzky’s solicitations and relationship with his local Applebee’s alone have me excited for Kaptara. Two issues of Howard the Duck further demonstrate that Chip is a helluva writer, and, as long as his scripting isn’t eating into his time drawing Sex Criminals, I am totally on board for Kaptara and anything else that comes out of his demented head.

STK669383


 

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10. Tennessee Will Not Adopt Bible as Official Book

Tennessee joins Louisiana as a state that will not make The Bible its official book.

Despite approval from the the House State Government committee and the House Calendar and Rules Committee, a bill to make the good book the official book of Tennessee was killed by the State Senate this week. The Tennessean has the scoop:

Bolstered by opposition from Republican leadership, the Senate voted 22-9 to send the Bible to committee, effectively killing the bill a day after it was adopted by the House.

“This isn’t the time or place now in the full Senate floor to delve into that. We really need to look into it in committee,” Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, R-Collierville, said about two hours before the vote.

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11. back to school

On Being a Late Bloomer is here.

The Year of Exploration is here.

 It occurred to me yesterday: I am intuitively doing what I did when I was so young and a single mom, uneducated, needy, and wanting a life for my kids, for myself, wanting to understand the world and to find my place in it. I went to school. I got my undergraduate degree from the many libraries I haunted during those years.

I was barely 22, I was broke, I was alone with two small children, but I had a library card. I still have a library card. Now I have two (we made peace). Suddenly, in this year of exploration, I am back to school and in much the same way. Let's call it a graduate degree.

I'm following my intuition, pulling on strings when an idea comes to me or someone mentions something that rings a "year of exploration" bell. I am truly following my nose here, as well as my list of things I want to explore. These notes are the ones I took when listening to Malcolm Gladwell's THE TIPPING POINT from my library system's Overdrive account. I *love* Overdrive.And my library.

I don't know what I'll do with what I learn from THE TIPPING POINT, but that's not the point. I know I will use it. I know it's part of the year of exploration. It will tie in with everything else. I've always been a learner; I rarely have a stretch of time in which to learn in depth, intensely. That"s where I am now.
I finally excavated my office. I've been on the road for the past six months -- I've traveled in six months as much as I usually do in a year. I have bought myself some time off the road. My sabbatical starts June 1. I'll still travel. But that travel landscape is going to look different going forward.

More on that later. For now, I've spent the most lovely, rainy Friday afternoon going through ephemera of the past six months on the road. Letters from students, student writing, receipts, little gifts and remembrances, bills and business stuff... "Oh! There's my parking receipt!"... and photographs to remind me of good work done with new friends.


I got on the road 15 years ago when I became so suddenly single, and I've done a good job of taking care of me and mine, I've done good work on the road -- I've learned so much -- and I've written some good books. Now is the time for stillness and learning to love my new hometown, and writing, and learning, and being. Becoming. Something. I don't know what yet. I am trusting the process.

Have a great weekend, friends. I'm going to be off exploring....

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12. Social Media Etiquette

What not to do when using social media.


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13. Student Interview Video



Here's a short video of students from Gibson-Neill Memorial Elementary School in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.



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14. Why these books should win (the BTBA)

       I hope you've been following the daily installments of the 'Why This Book Should Win' (the Best Translated Book Award)-series at Three Percent as the judges (and a few others) make the case for each of the twenty-five longlisted titles.
       Yesterday was my (first) turn, making the case for Leopoldo Marechal's Adam Buenosayres.

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15. टूट चुका हूँ


टूट चुका हूँ मन से मैं,
ना तन का बोझ सहा जाए,
जब भी आस लगाई मैने,
केवल अंधेरे पाए,

अपनो ने तोड़ा मुझको,
जीवन बचपन से रूठा है,
खून भी ना छोड़ा सबने,
कुछ ऐसा मुझको लूटा है,

बस्ती है ये तन्हाई की,
जीने की आस यहाँ किसको,
है नर्क से भी बत्तर ये युग,
कहते है कलयुग हम जिसको,

यहाँ मोल नही कुछ इन्सा का,
बस कष्ट ही मिलते है हर पल,
प्यार ही करता है निश्चित,
अब कैसे तू यहाँ पल पल जल,

और नही तड़पना मुझको,
कुछ पल का आराम तो दे,
हे भगवन!, धरती के बदले,
चाहे नर्क का धाम तू दे |    

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16. NPM Project: Jumping Into Form - Interview with Avis Harley

In preparation for sharing forms this month, I wrote to a number of poets and asked if they would respond to a short list of questions on poetry, writing, and form. I'm thrilled every time one responds positively and find they have all been extremely generous with their time.

Today I'm sharing the thoughts of Avis Harley, a former teacher and author of 5 books of poetry for children, including African Acrostics: A Word in Edgewise (2009), The Monarch’s Progress: Poems with Wings (2008), Sea Stars: Saltwater Poems (2006), Leap into Poetry: More ABCs of Poetry (2001), and Fly with Poetry: An ABC of Poetry (2000).

How do you begin a poem? 
Avis: It varies.  It can be a visual image, a musical thought, a physical sensation, or perhaps just a single word.  But before I start writing, I like to immerse myself in someone else’s poetry. Sometimes an idea might come from this reading, but mostly I return to my earlier inspiration.  A word grows into a phrase that grows into a line, and slowly, over time and many, many rewrites, a poem might emerge.


How do you choose the form of your poems?
Avis: 
It’s crafty business, poetry writing,
But poetic forms are so inviting!

Should it be free verse?  Rap?  Haiku?
Intravista?  Sonnet?  Clerihew?
Limerick?  Villanelle?  Elegy?
A Couplet?  Acrostic?  A parody?

A myriad of forms from which to choose,
but the content decides which one to use.


What tools do you use in writing poetry?
Avis: I enjoy playing with rhyme, and have three different rhyming dictionaries. My Penguin Rhyming Dictionary is a well-thumbed paperback.  Another book is A Rhyming Dictionary and Poets’ Handbook by Burges Johnson, where the words are grouped into one-syllable rhymes, two-syllable rhymes, three-syllable rhymes, and so on – a double-dactyl-delight.  I also like Walker’s Rhyming Dictionary.  It is a reverse-order dictionary and a handy source for eye-rhymes, where endings are the same in spelling but not in sound.  I love eye-rhymes, and wrote a whole book of them, but recognize this obscurity is hard to sell.  But they were fun to write, and here’s one of them:

TOUGH

Dandelions plough
straight through
cement.   Although
just a golden hiccough
shining in its tiny trough,
for Dandelion, that is enough.

I also use the thesaurus, plus a Webster’s and an Oxford dictionary.  Canadians sometimes have different pronunciations and spellings to the Americans for certain words.  The ‘u’ in words such as honour, savour, humour, etc., disappears when my poems go over the border, bringing back childhood memories of a big red X on a spelling test if the ‘u’ were ever omitted.

But most of the time we both agree,
except when saying ‘zed’ or ‘zee.’

For forms, I often refer to The Harper Handbook to Literature, edited by Northrop Frye, et al.  Lewis Turco’s The Book of Forms: A Handbook of Poetics is a wonderful resource.  A book I encouraged my teacher/librarian students to read when I was teaching a poetry course at the University of B.C. is called The Teachers and Writers Handbook of Poetic Forms, edited by Ron Padgett.  It’s full of useful information and reader-friendly definitions.   I am somewhat addicted to collecting books of form, if only to discover new and obscure kinds of poems I’d like to try.


What would you like students or children to know about poetry?
Avis: It doesn’t always have to rhyme or be funny. Poetry is the most inspiring and beautiful arrangement of words language can offer. Poetry is a producer of the ‘ah-ha’ moment. Robert Frost said “Poetry begins in delight and ends in wisdom.” I would like children and students to discover this delight and wisdom by reading lots and lots of good poems – all kinds. Poetry is meant to be enjoyed; too many ‘simile-safaris’ can kill poetry. I would like them to know the wonder of language, and to try writing their own poems, and learn through this experience that poetry writing is not easy, but so rewarding.  It is a lifelong friend.


Are there any forms you haven't tried but would like to? Why or why not?
Avis: Yes, there are a lot of forms I have not yet tried!  I have experimented with many different ones in two ABC poetry books I’ve written, and do have my favourites – especially haiku, triolet, sonnet, limerick, and acrostic.  I’ve always been intrigued with puzzles and word games: crosswords, scrabble, anagrams, acrostics, words-within-words, rebuses, and any type of word fun that could be a springboard for a poetic form.  I like to create poems with messages inside, and enjoy inventing my own forms.


Finally, one of your esteemed colleagues suggested I ask for a poem in a foreign verse form. Would you be willing to share a poem for this project?
Avis: "Foreign" can mean unfamiliar, and my choice of verse form will be unfamiliar, as it is an original poetic form I have created.  I’ve called it the intravista, where words within words, arranged downward, make a poem within a poem.  Here is an intravista about our old cat, Sockeye:

                        THE CONTENTED CAT

                        A thermal cushion arrives on my lap,
                           spurred on by the thought
                   of a blissful nap.  She neatly
                          washes paws and chin – then lets
              her heartwarming purr begin.
                   So pleasant that murmur of purr and meow,
                            there’s enough contentment
                     to unfurrow my brow.

Her
purr
is
as
warm
as
her
fur. 

By hiding a word within another word, the intravista continually surprises me.  Coming up with an unusual word to envelop another one always seems to spark an unexpected idea, and it’s fun to have an inner voice give you two poems for the price of one.  As April is the month of blossoms, and also Poetry Month, I’d like to close with this poem:

                      IN THE KEY OF BEE

                      Blossom weather!
                           The sun-dappled
                                         street is alive
               with humming.  Listen
              to these trees blissfully thrumming
                                in the soft key
                              of honeybees!

The
apple
tree
is
full
of
                                                       bee!

Poems ©Avis Harley. All rights reserved.

A million thanks to Avis for participating in my Jumping Into Form project this month.

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17. Melissa Marr: BUNNY ROO, I LOVE YOU

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BUNNY ROO, I LOVE YOU by Melissa Marr; Illustrated by Teagan WhiteMelissa Marr reads Bunny Roo, I Love YouYesterday, I got to spend a delightful morning at Blue Willow Bookshop for a special story time with Melissa Marr. Melissa’s young adult novel WICKED LOVELY took the YA world by storm when it debuted eight years ago. Since then, she’s successfully ventured into the world of MG fantasy as well as books for adults. Now she’s breaking into what may be the toughest challenge for  a writer, picture books.

Bunny PicHow do you tell a beautiful, funny and touching story in under three hundred words? Take a look at BUNNY ROO, I LOVE YOU, from Nancy Paulsen Books, Penguin.

That’s how.

There is so much love in this book, maybe because Melissa wrote it while she Little Artistsstayed in the hospital with her newborn son for forty days. The beautiful hand painted illustrations by Teagan White are warm and sweet.

To put whipped cream and sprinkles on top, Melissa was great at story time. Her little listeners had a blast making animal noises (along with Melissa) and creating bunny pictures, complete with googly eyes and fluffy puff tails. She brought stickers of the VKNoseimages in her book which the children used to decorate their pictures when they were through drawing.

Blue Willow’s owner and manger, Valerie Koehler, was in top form, too, as she led the little ones in a song and then a hilarious game of Simon Says.

Melissa also just announced Nancy Paulsen Books will be publishing her new picture book. BABY DRAGON, BABY DRAGON is about a day in the life of an adorable, hyperactive baby dragon, who finally simmers down when he meets his match. This book is scheduled for release in May 2017, but you can start getting excited about it now by visiting the website of the chosen illustrator, Lena Podesta.

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18. Nigeria Prize for Literature

       The Nigeria Prize for Literature -- at US$100,000 more remunerative than many major American literary prizes (though you'd figure with the kind of cash they could get around to updating the official page to this year's competition ...) -- rotates through four genres (fiction, non, children, drama), and this year is a kid's-lit year.
       At This Day they now report that 109 Authors Vie for 2015 NLNG Literature Prize. Good to see there's that much eligible children's literature being written in Nigeria -- and hopefully the prize can help raise the profile of some of it.

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19. Artist of the Day: Weng Pixin

Discover the work of Weng Pixin, Cartoon Brew's Artist of the Day!

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20. Review – The Last Anzac by Gordon Winch and Harriet Bailey

The Last Anzac, Gordon Winch (author), Harriet Bailey (Illus.), New Frontier Publishing, March 2015. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing. For this significant Anzac Centenary, a myriad of children’s books have been released to teach our young ones about the physical, emotional and historical impact of war, and to celebrate our […]

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21. To do this weekend: Linework NW in Portland, OR

lineworks_nw_2015.jpg

Just as a reminder, this weekend is the first big West Coast Caf of the year: LINEWORK NW which is FREE to attend in Portland’s Norse Hall. Info in the above link but here’s the skinny:


Linework NW will take place on Saturday, April 18 and Sunday, April 19, 2015, at the Norse Hall in Portland, Oregon. Hours of operation are 12pm-8pm both days. Attendance is free and open to the public.

Harassment Policy: Linework NW will not tolerate verbal or physical abuse, derogatory or discriminatory language, sexual harassment, and disruptive or inappropriate behavior. Anyone who feels they have witnessed or have been subjected to inappropriate or abusive behavior at the festival is encouraged to report it to a Linework NW volunteer immediately. Linework NW organizers will be available to mediate conflicts at the festival, and we reserve the right to ask anyone we determine to be violating our policies to adhere to our community standards, up to and including excluding them from the event.

Linework NW is organized and operated by Sam Marx, Shanna Matuszak, Kinoko Evans, Tristan Tarwater, Zack Soto & François Vigneault. The show was founded by Zack and François.


 

Special guests include Dan Clowes, Lisa Conger, Lisa Hanawalt and Jay Howell.

Maybe Clowes will spill some beans about the new graphic novel he’s been teasing! Keep us posted.

And here’s the programming line-up:


12:30: Freelance Illustration: Work and Life
Ryan Alexander-Tanner
Steve Lieber
Meg Hunt
Pam Wishbow
moderated by Tristan Tarwater

1:30: Lisa Hanawalt Spotlight
Moderated by Tom Spurgeon

2:30: Jay Howell Spotlight
Moderated by Bwana Spoons

3:30: Free Speech and the Aftermath of Charlie Hebdo
Sean Aaberg
Suzette Smith
Sam Alden
Tom Spurgeon
moderated by François Vigneault

4:30: Modern Portraiture
Michael Horwitz
Nicole J. Georges
Hazel Newlevant
Jeannette Langmeade
Moderated by Sam Marx

5:30: Genre Through the Indie Lens
Malachi Ward
Sera Stanton
Zack Soto
Ian MacEwan
Moderated by Tom Spurgeon

6:30: The Intersection of Creativity – Balancing Comics/Illustration with Other Outlets
Ben Sears
Joseph Bergin III
Bwana Spoons
Jay Howell 
Moderated by Sam Marx









































• Sunday April 19 •

12:30: Collectives and Collaborations
Luke Ramsey
Sindre Goksøyr
Sean Christensen
Marc Palm
Seth Goodkind
Tom Van Deusen

1:30: Queering Up Comics
Michael Horwitz
Melanie Gillman
Virginia Paine
Genue Revuelta
Moderated by Taneka Stotts

2:30: Lisa Congdon Spotlight
moderated by Jason Strugill

3:30: Daniel Clowes Spotlight
moderated by Tom Spurgeon

4:30: The Modern Reality of Fundraising for Artists
Lucy Bellwood
Kory Bing
Taneka Stotts
Hazel Newlevant
moderated by Tristan Tarwater

























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22. New Adult Fiction Genre - Contemporary Romance - #WriteTip



There is a new genre emerging..."New Adult" fiction for older teens aka college-aged readers. You never stop growing up, but little in the market seems to address the coming-of-age that also happens between the ages of Nineteen to Twenty-six. Life changes drastically once high school is over, you have college, first jobs, first internships, first adult relationships…

Part of the appeal of NA is that the storylines are about characters who are taking on adult responsibilities for the first time without guidance from their parents. And the storylines generally have a heavy romance element. 

Keep this in mind as you revise your wonderful story, New Adult books are mostly about that specific time in every person's life—the time when the apron strings are cut from your parents, you no longer have a curfew, you're experiencing the world for the very first time, in most cases, with innocent eyes. New Adult is this section of your life where you discover who you want to be, what you want to be, and what type of person you will become. This time defines you. This is the time of firsts, the time where you can't blame your parents for your own bad choices. 


An NA character has to take responsibility for their own choices and live with the consequences. Most storylines are about twenty-something (18 to 26) characters living their own lives without any parents breathing down their necks, and learning to solve things on their own as they would in real life. New Adult fiction focuses on switching gears, from depending on our parents to becoming full-fledged, independent adults.

I am a firm believer that if you’re going to write a certain genre that you should read it, too. So I’m going to recommend that you start devouring NA novels to get a real sense and understanding of the genre before you write one.

Here are some great recommendations: https://www.goodreads.com/genres/new-adult-romance and http://www.goodreads.com/genres/new-adult and https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/new-adult-romance
 

Just as YA is fiction about teens discovering who they are as a person, New Adult (NA) is fiction about building your own life as an actual adult. As older teen readers discover the joy of the Young Adult genres, the New Adult—demand may increase. This, in turn, would give writers the chance to explore the freedom of a slightly older protagonist (over the age of 18 and out of high school, like the brilliant novel, "BEAUTIFUL DISASTER" by the amazing talents of author, Jamie McGuire) while addressing more adult issues that early 20-year-olds must face.

Older protagonists (basically, college students) are surprisingly rare; in a panel on YA literature at Harvard’s 2008 Vericon, City of Bones author talked about pitching her novel, then about twenty-somethings, as adult fiction. After several conversations, Clare realized she had to choose between adults and teens. She went with teens.

Quote from the publisher, St. Martin’s Press: We are actively looking for great, new, cutting edge fiction with protagonists who are slightly older than YA and can appeal to an adult audience. Since twenty-somethings are devouring YA, St. Martin’s Press is seeking fiction similar to YA that can be published and marketed as adult—a sort of an “older YA” or “new adult.” In this category, they are looking for spunky but not stupid, serious but not dull, cutting-edge, supernatural stories.

Quote from Georgia McBride, author (Praefatio) and founder of #YALitChat and publisher at Month9Books: "New Adult is a fabulous idea in theory, and authors seem to be excited about it. But in a world where bookstores shelf by category, to them, it is either  Adult or Young Adult. Some booksellers even call their YA section “teen.” And when you have a character who is over a certain age (19 seems to be the age most consider the start of New Adult), it is received as Adult. In some cases, the designation by publishers causes more confusion than not.
Let’s face it, YA is associated with teens, and at 19, most no longer consider themselves teens. So, it would support the theory of placing these “New Adult” titles in the Adult section. However, with the prevalence of eBook content, it would seem that the powers that be could easily create a New Adult category if they really wanted to...."

There’s also a list on goodreads of New Adult book titles. These books focus on college age characters, late teens to early twenties, transitioning into the adult world.

Some popular authors of the NA category include:
  • Jamie McGuire
  • Jessica Park
  • Tammara Webber
  • Steph Campbell
  • Liz Reinhardt
  • Abbi Glines
  • Colleen Hoover 
  • Sherry Soule
http://www.wattpad.com/story/29486760-irresistible-mistake-new-adult-romantic-suspense


Would you buy New Adult books? 
Does the genre appeal to you? 

Does it sound better than YA (teen novels)? 
 
Or are you happy with YA as it stands?

Do you consider YA to include characters that are over the age of eighteen? 
 

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23. Inclusive libraries? Odds and ends

*In an attempt to be inclusive in our public libraries, do we make an effort to speak to everyone??  Here's an article about serving our "conservative" young people, thanks to School Library Journal.
_http://www.slj.com/2015/03/collection-development/serving-conservative-teens/#_

*Want a free audio book?  Want a free audio book about one of the most charismatic and enigmatic Civil Rights leaders ever?  Read below for directions on a chance to download a FREE MP3 of the novel X: A Novel .

"The teen literacy program SYNC will feature X in its program from May 14 through May 21, in commemoration of Malcolm X’s ninetieth birthday. During that week, the audiobook version will be available as a free MP3 download through the SYNC website.

Starting now, you can text “xnovel” to the number 25827. The reply text will read:
“Meet Malcolm X before he was X. Free spoken word MP3 coming 2U 5/14. Get app for listening @ http://app.overdrive.com/”
 
On May 14, an additional text will arrive with a link to the download page and pointers on how to load the MP3 onto your player.
X: A Novel
Ilyasah Shabazz and Kekla Magoon
HC: 978-0-7636-6967-6
Also available as an e-book and in audio"



  

Thanks,


 

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24. Georgi Gospodinov profile

       With The Physics of Sorrow out in English this week Garth Greenwell writes about The Bulgarian Sadness of Georgi Gospodinov at The New Yorker's Page-Turner weblog.

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25. Miami Vice: Remix by Casey and Mahfood continues to be wilder than it has any reason to be

LionForge-MIAMI_VICE_REMIX_02_Cov.jpg

It’s almost quitting time here in EDT so let’s leave the week with something FUN for a change.

Why just do a comic book based on a classically of it time TV show when you can reinvent it as an acid trip that bends time and
space? And hooray for licensors who let you get away with it. Miami Vice: Remix by Joe Casey and Jim Mahfood is anything but a dull TV show comic…it’s an audacious tale on tropes and icons, and a gem in the Lion Forge line-up.

Last month, the TV classic Miami Vice came back in a whole new way with the neo-noir, ultraviolet, action-packed Miami Vice: Remix. The first issue left readers cliff-hanging but never fear — the next installment of car chases, palm trees, and mutation-inducing designer drugs is here!

When we last left Crockett and Tubbs (still Miami’s coolest cops) they were in a sticky situation with some South Florida zombies high on Miami Bath Salts. Now they’re in hot pursuit of the dealer of this horrific nose candy, which leads them to punching cracked-out monsters in the face while zooming through Florida Turnpike traffic. Just another day at the office! But while one situation explodes, another simmers; someone who’s got serious beef with our $600-suit-wearing-heroes claims that Crockett’s got a serious debt to pay — and they’re here to collect!

Writer Joe Casey (Godland, Wildcats, Adventures of Superman) and artist Jim Mahfood (Tank Girl, Ultimate Spider-Man, Grrl Scouts) take their off-the-wall trip to South Beach to the next level with another high-energy, neon-soaked installment, in-stores next Wednesday.

 

Issue #2
Pub Date: April 22, 2015
Item Code: FEB150372

Issue #3
Pub Date: May 13, 2015
Item Code: MAR150456

Issue #4
Pub Date: June 17, 2015
Item Code: APR150489
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