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1. Harts Pass No. 228

I managed to stay free and clear of the internet yesterday, but Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Harts Pass! #movember

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2. Holiday Book Signing this Saturday!

Hey Austinites! Happy Thanksgiving!

If you happen to be out and about in the Austin area this weekend, I have a book signing, and I'd love to see you all there!

Also,

BOOKS MAKE GREAT GIFTS!

WHEN: Saturday, November 29, 2014, 2:00-4:00
WHERE: Arboretum Barnes & Noble, Austin, TX

Thank you!



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3. How Do You Find Time to Read During Family Events?

It’s not easy being a bibliophile around the holidays. The Epic Reads YouTube channel has posted a video detailing the problems that come with “trying to read at family events.”

Over at the Epic Reads blog, the team offered a few tips for this issue such as: “sports are your friend” and “wait until everyone has eaten.” What do you think?

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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4. Which Books Must You Read in Your Lifetime?: INFOGRAPHIC

GumtreeHave you ever made a bucket list for books? Gumtree.com has created an infographic called “12 Books You Should Read Before You Die.”

Some of the classic titles being featured include The Catcher in The Rye by J.D. Salinger, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, and To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. We’ve embedded the entire graphic after the jump for you to explore further. (via The Mile Long Bookshelf)
(more…)

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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5. Until Cyber Monday

etsyshopsale

 

And November Classes Start this Weekend! Catalog is HERE to reserve your seats!


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6.


Hello everyone!
I am finally ready to start posting again after a long break working on numerous commissions.
I have a lot of new artwork to share over the coming weeks so be sure to check back frequently.
As always please let me know what you think below!

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7. Do authors put in symbols and stuff?

Mette Ivie Harrison's tumblr post:

My teenage niece asked me about her high school English teacher who had been teaching her students to find symbols in novels and poetry. Since I am an author, she wanted to know if I really put that stuff in there on purpose or if her teacher (as she suspected) was making it up. It seemed hard to believe that it was real.

I told her that

1. It doesn’t matter if the author puts that stuff in on purpose. It can still be there. The work of the author is often to let the unconscious speak, and the author does not always control how the unconscious forms thoughts. Therefore, the author is often speaking for the culture rather than for one person.

2. Don’t ask the author what the book means. The author doesn’t know what the book means. That’s not the job of the author. The job of the author is to create. If an author says that a book means this or means that, do we take that as guaranteed? Of course not. If the author of a book insisted that there was no racism in it, but there is clearly racism in it, does the intention erase it? No.

3. The job of the critic is just as creative as the job of the author, and it is to find meaning where no one had seen it before. I talked a bit about Dadaism and how the point there was that anyone can be an artist, using ordinary kinds of text and image, and that the creativity was in bringing the same kind of vision to ordinary life as to that deemed “high art.”

4. Be kind to teachers of literature and writing. It’s a hard job and it’s an important one. I believe that art of every kind is important. As important as food. As important as shelter. I know not everyone agrees with me, but the ability to make life make sense matters a lot. Also, the way that we can change the world by first imagining the change in art is the way humans work. Why do you think that we landed on the moon after we imagined we did?

----------------------------

I agree with all that Mette says here. I will also add that like many writers, I am very thoughtful about the words I use and how I tell the story. I’ve had quoted to me ad nauseam the (apocryphal?) Robert Frost story about the woman who praised his poetry and told him all the deep meanings, allusions, and metaphors she found there, and he said that he didn’t put any of those things in on purpose. Many tell me this with the assumption that Frost just put down words and readers accidentally found meaning. But of course Frost was a thoughtful, careful poet. The fact that someone might make connections in his poetry that he didn’t intend doesn’t negate all the other thoughts he explored with purpose.

Readers can and should find their own meanings and truth in art, irrelevant to what authors intended. But that’s more likely to occur when authors take care, time, hones their skills, and reads widely.

1. Like Mette says, I don’t think that for readers, it should matter what the author’s intent was. Read and find what you need there. Study and learn what you can there.

2. For authors, I’d say write carefully, rewrite constantly, read and craft and learn and think and discover layer upon layer that you didn’t know would be there when you started out.

3. And thank you, English teachers! Careful analysis of texts taught me how to think, question, and find my own voice.

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8. PiBoIdMo Day 28: Aaron Reynolds Doesn’t Judge (plus prizes!)

Aaron Headshot 2, croppedby Aaron Reynolds

“Where do you get your ideas?”

This is the question that kids and aspiring writers ask me the most. And the answer is kinda lame: I have absolutely no idea.

I recognize that many people think about ideas as elusive endangered species that love to play hide-and-go-seek with us writers. But I disagree. I think ideas are everywhere! They fill the air around us like hyperactive dragonflies, just waiting to be snatched out of the air, captured, and put to work. Our job is to collect them. The problem is…we don’t always.

Instead…

We JUDGE our ideas. And then we DISMISS them.

How many times have you done it? An idea buzzes your way at the most unexpected time. Maybe during breakfast. You’re happily eating away on your raisin-crunch oatmeal, not thinking about picture books at all, and suddenly you find yourself thinking,

“I wonder what would happen if this spoon….ATTACKED ME???!!!”

It’s just a blip on your imagination, and in the micro-second that it takes you to think “That’s stupid.”, you dismiss it and continue chomping.

HELLO? THAT’S A PICTURE BOOK!

(Not yours though. Hands off…that one’s mine.)

That little dragonfly of a idea buzzed into your head for a reason…it wants to be used. It wants to be put to work, to be brought into being. Your job was to capture that little sucker, but instead, you judged it and dismissed it as inconsequential. And then, horror of horrors, you forgot about it.

And the idea dies. Unused. And unwritten.

When I first got the idea for a story about a bunny being stalked by evil root vegetables, don’t you think my first thought was “Dumb idea”? It totally was. But that didn’t stop me from capturing the idea that later became CREEPY CARROTS.

Creepy Carrots cover

A lion, a wolf, and a shark all feel terrible about their meat-eating ways. Until they get some great advice from a wise old owl…who then meets a grisly death at their hands. What a TERRIBLE IDEA for a picture book! But when that idea showed up in my brain, I was on it like a fat kid on Cinnabon (and being less-than-svelte myself, you’d be surprised how quickly we can move when frosting-drenched cinnimon is around). That idea became my book CARNIVORES.

Carnivores owl shot

I am a collector of ideas. And so are you. Every idea you can get your grubby little mitts on.

How you keep them is up to you. I don’t keep my dragonflies in a cage. Or even a journal. I put them under a rock. Literally. (I know…weird. Maybe it’s a boy thing.)

I have something in my office called an Idea Rock.

idea rock 

And EVERY idea that flits my way gets captured, no matter where I am, no matter what I’m doing. You can see in the picture…there are ideas captured on 1000-Island-Dressing-stained-napkins that I got while eating rueben sandwiches. There are post-it-note ideas. There’s even a wedding program with an idea on it under there (man, that wedding was boring). I go through life with the assumption that every idea holds book-worthy potential, that no idea is inconsequential, therefore, they all get captured. They get put under the rock, and from there, they’re going nowhere (that rock is really heavy). And so, even if they do get momentarily judged (as ideas and dragonflies will), they never get dismissed, so they never get forgotten.

I have hundreds of ideas under there…more than I’ll ever be able to write in ten lifetimes. They’re not all gold. They won’t all become books. But they are all CAUGHT.

So put your judgement away and get your net ready. Because that buzzing you hear may just become your next book.

guestbloggerbio2014

Aaron Reynolds is a New York Times Bestselling Author and has written many highly acclaimed books for kids, including Here Comes Destructosaurus!, Carnivores, the Joey Fly – Private Eye graphic novel series, and the Caldecott Honor Winning Creepy Carrots! He has a passion for kids’ books and seeing kids reading them. He regularly makes time to visit schools where his hilarious hands-on presentations keep kids spellbound. Aaron lives in Chicago with his wife, 2 kids, 4 cats, and anywhere between zero and ten goldfish, depending on the day.

You can visit him at www.aaron-reynolds.com.

prizedetails2014

Aaron is giving away one signed copy each of CREEPY CARROTS, CARNIVORES and HERE COMES DESTRUCTOSAURUS!

These prizes will be given away at the conclusion of PiBoIdMo. You are eligible for these prizes if:

  1. You have registered for PiBoIdMo.
  2. You have commented ONCE ONLY on today’s post.
  3. You have completed the PiBoIdMo challenge. (You will have to sign the PiBoIdMo Pledge at the end of the event.)

Good luck, everyone!


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9. Faster went the van, faster still, until, until, UNTIL ...

Mr. Man & The New Red Van written by Richard Forbes and published in 1963 by the Friday Press. Edgar Norfield provides the delightful illustrations using primary colours for extra impact.

While not written especially as a beginning-to-read book, the vocabulary is simple, and the few difficult words are repeated to give children practice.



Mister Man lives in a house with a dog, a cat and a small brown mouse. Now one wet day said Mister Man, "I think I will buy a new red van." A new red van, said the cat with a purr, "What fun we will have. It will make such a stir." "A van," growled the dog, "I like to walk."

The mouse had a cold, and could not talk. 

So Mister Man went into town with the cat, the dog and the mouse who was brown. 
The rain came down and the wind it blew. The cat grew cold, and the mouse did too.
"As you make such a fuss we will catch a bus. It will be dry inside, and we will have a nice ride."



The story follows Mister Man, the cat, the dog and the mouse into town and out into the countryside in their new red van.

The dog said, "Now we can go nice and fast," the van sped along. 

But the mouse was sad.
He knew it was bad, to speed when there is no need.


Faster went the van, faster still,
Until, until, UNTIL...

Out of the lorry got a great big man and he came across to the new red van.
And he said, "Am I Cross?"  "Yes, I am."

"It is wrong to go fast, do you see?"
"You'll be sorry you bumped into me."
And with that he gave an enormous sneeze
which blew the van right into the trees!

(This illustration reminds of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets where the flying car ended up in the whomping willow!)

At the top of the tree stood a big black bird,
he stared at the van, and said, "MyWord"



Poor Mister Man!

His lovely new van, red paint chipped, a new lamp ripped - pushed out of a tree, 
Oh, my goodness me!

But the black bird and his friends were eager to help, and it wasn't long before Mr. Man, the dog, the cat and the small brown mouse were on their way. 


A scarce vintage book with a moral tale and beautiful illustrations.  


This and many other vintage story books can be found at March House Books.

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10. Oh Yeah. Sure. Watch Out Cosplay Storm Troopers -or any cosplayer!

Boy left traumatised after street performer points a gun at his head in Birmingham

Boy left traumatised after street performer points a gun at his head
Connor burst into tears after the performer pointed a gun at his head (Picture: CATERS)
A young boy was left traumatised recently after an innocent encounter with a street performer.

Eight-year-old Connor May was shopping in Birmingham with his grandmother on Saturday afternoon when he spotted a gold painted ‘human statue’ interacting with the Christmas shoppers.

After the schoolboy gave the man a pound, the performer handcuffed the lad to his belt and pointed a fake gun at his head so his gran could take a picture.

However as soon as Connor was released he burst into tears, and now says he gets ‘flashbacks’ to that moment.


Connors mum Laura, 31, said she was ‘absolutely horrified when I heard what had happened’.

‘I looked at the photo my mum took and I could see that Connor seemed very uncomfortable with what was happening to him,’ she added.
Connor May, 8, with his mum Laura May, from Malvern, Worcestershire. While visiting the Birmingham German Market with his grandmother Helen May, Connor posed with a street performer there, only to have the performer hold a replica gun to his head for the photo. November 26 2014.  See News Team story NTIGUN; A grandma was left furious after a golden cowboy mime artist at Birmingham's German Market handcuffed her young grandson ñ and pressed a pistol to his forehead.  Helen Mayís picture shows uncomfortable eight-year-old Connor May harnessed to the human statueís belt, with the golden gun pointing at his temple. Throughout the Birmingham city centre ìactî grandmother Helen May feared the youngster, who suffers from attention deficit disorder ADHD, would suffer a panic attack. Street wardens who patrol the popular Christmas market later pledged to ìhave a quiet wordî with the wild, Wild West character.
Connor’s mum, Laura, says he has experienced ‘flash backs’ since the incident NTI / SWNS)
Grandmother Helen claims she didn’t realise Connor had been handcuffed, and said the crowd went silent as Connor, who suffers from ADHD, had the gun pointed at his head.

The family now think it is dangerous for street performers to carry toy guns, saying: ‘Who knows who this man could be, he’s just allowed to stand there with an imitation gun and no-one cares because he’s painted gold.’

Birmingham City Council said there is no legislation restricting ‘human statues’, however they said they will be speaking to the performer in question ‘about his conduct’.

____________________________________________________________________________-

Newspapers love this sort of attention seeking because it fills pages. Yeah, make sure to throw in "suffers from ADHD"  because then he's a "vulnerable child" and people will go "ahh. Poor thing. And he's got THAT!" (they have no idea what ADHD is...some probably thought it was a type of plasma screen TV.

 This has ramifications for cosplaying though. 

I could upload 50 photos of con attendees on their knees, hands behind head as Star Wars troopers point guns at them. 

 Traumatised AFTER? Sue. 

This kid is NOT traumatised -look at his face- and also look at the man's gun hand -no finger in trigger guard and holding the handle at the end so it looks totally jokey. 

I'm guessing with Christmas looming Mum needs money to go to Iceland (the food chain in case you have no idea)?

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11. Overheard

(down the hall, top of the lungs) “I’m going to go see Mom!”

(thundering footsteps drawing nearer)

(cheerful bellow) “MOMMOMMOMMOMMOM!”

(in the doorway, casual everyday voice) “Hi, Mommy! Did I surprise you?”

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12. Neverhome/Laird Hunt: Reflections


"Also: it's not a Federal crime to put something in someone's mailbox, if you tell them, right? OK bye."

Wrote Kelly Simmons. In a text message. After she told me to be sure to look for the setting sun. While I trained back to Philadelphia from DC.

Not a crime, I thought. Not when it's Kelly Simmons.

It was dark when I outted Kelly's secret: a copy of the Civil War novel, Neverhome, by Laird Hunt. She'd read it not long ago and raved. She has exquisite taste. She knows what I love. She knows we often love the same thing (see Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See). There it was.

First sentence: "I was strong and he was not, so it was me went to war to defend the Republic."

Oh, Kelly, Kelly, Kelly, I thought. I'm a-gonna love this book. And so I read. Couldn't stop reading. Had soup to make, cranberry sauce, potatoes. Had gifts to (skim through and then) wrap. Had my gorgeous son home with me, but I just sat there reading. The story of a woman who goes to war as a man. Who emerges as a song and a myth. Who starts out with some tenderness in her heart and who hardens over time, temptation, warship. She's known as Ash Thompson. She can shoot a squirrel at many feet. She can crawl herself out from under the heavy load of a fallen tree. She can confuse most but not some. She can help a one-armed man carry the photographic plates from which a greenhouse will be built. (Oh, that image, one of my favorite ever found in a novel.) And she will never, really, get home again. She will tells us her story in her broken-poem way, even though she isn't trying for poetry, not even close. Poetry is just how her words come even when she's talking about the rut of damage on her arm:

The flesh of my arm crept each day closer and closer together. Like two ragged companies didn't know yet they were fighting for the same side.

Or what happens in a ruined asylum when she's trusted with a razor:

I shaved him, then shaved his friend, and every now and then after I got called on to scrape a face. Mostly it was guards but twice or three times there was a prisoner in the mix. These were big-bearded things attached to some flaps of skin, some ruins of shoulders, some piles of bones. When I shaved them up there was anything left to them. You could of just dug at the dirt and kicked them straight into the hole. They were happy, though. Smiled and winked.
Neverhome is a book magnificently well made, but that doesn't mean the story isn't hard to live with. The ending that you see coming isn't easy to take. But you take it because it's smart and vivid and so real that I started reading again at 3 AM last night and finished this morning so I could tell you, on Black Friday, that if you have to go out buying things, buy this book for a friend.

I'd have bought it for Kelly Simmons. But she's already read it.

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13. SkADaMo 2014

Attention shoppers! It is now 9:00 and our store is closing.
9:00! Great Scott! The store is gonna close!
Santa can’t wait all night.
Come on up on Santa’s lap.
Get moving, kid. Quit dragging your feet.

santaeyeoutsanta
And what’s your name, little boy?
Hey, kid, hurry up, the store’s closing!
Listen, little boy, we got a lot of people waiting here, so get going!
What do you want for Christmas, little boy?
My mind had gone blank.
Frantically I tried to remember what it was I wanted.
I was blowing it, blowing it.
How about a nice football?
Football. What’s a football?
Without conscious will, my voice squeaked out:
Football.
Okay, get him out of here.
A football!    Oh, no. What was I doing?
Wake up, stupid, wake up!
I want an official Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot… range model air rifle.

You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.

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14. This is the trailer you’re looking for: Official Star Wars VII teaser is online at last

The teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been officially released on Youtube, Itunes and in theaters. THe film opens in 13 months, so don’t jump over the barricade just yet.

Nice opening shot with John Boyega showing that not all stormtroopers are Django Fett any more. And Shaky-cam tracking shotof the Millenium Falcon showing that this is not a George Lucas movie. Also brief shot os Daisy Ridley riding some kind of uncomfortable transport vehicle and  I think Domhnall Gleeson as a fighter pilot? 

And a t-shaped lightsaber just because.

starwarsviiteaser This is the trailer youre looking for: Official Star Wars VII teaser is online at last

One theater in Texas is showing this teaser on repeat for an hour or so.

0 Comments on This is the trailer you’re looking for: Official Star Wars VII teaser is online at last as of 11/28/2014 11:56:00 AM
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15. Being Professional

What writing mistakes will signal to an agent or editor you're not professional? 

http://fromsarahwithjoy.blogspot.com/2014/09/top-7-mistakes-that-make-your-writing.html

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16. Scroobius Pip Crafts Poem in Praise of Libraries

Are you a fan of libraries? Scroobius Pip (pictured, via), a spoken word poet and hip hop artist, crafted a poem to praise these beloved public institutions.

The video embedded above features an animated clip of Pip’s piece commissioned by Chris Hawkins for BBC 6 Music. What do you think?

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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17. Connections/ How to Make them in a Story


The connections between characters and plot situation and setting and their relationship to internal and external conflict is what drives a novel forward. I struggle with this all the time. I think this simple way (Use THEREFORE, BUT and not AND THEN) of looking at the relationship between what happens in a story is helpful.

Check out this very short video (about two minutes) by the creators of South Park—their # 1 Rule.

They say that what you’re doing is trying to link what happens in a story by either a “THERFORE” or a “BUT”; what you should avoid is the “AND THEN” because this will just lead to a sequence of unrelated events etc. I think this is a simple way to remember one of those larger guiding principles of propelling your story forward.
THIS HAPPENS Therefore THIS HAPPENS
But
THIS HAPPENS so (therefore) THIS HAPPENS

For example

Boy steals a car/Boy gets caught by police/Boy calls parents to come and get him out/ BUT parents won’t because they decide it will teach him a lesson/therefore-when he’s in jail he gets beat up so badly he gets put in the hospital/ therefore…. And on it and on.


Also giving away another ARC of Utopia, Iowa, at Goodreads—I’m down to one.

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18. Who Inspires You? Expressing Teacher-Mentor Gratitude

When you share your gratitude for someone's support, you give them energy and inspiration to keep on going.

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19. ‘The Beach Boys’ Singer Mike Love Inks Memoir Deal

Blue-Rider-Logo_200Mike Love, best known as one of the founding members of The Beach Boys, has inked a memoir deal with Blue Rider Press.

James S. Hirsch, a journalist and biographer, will help Love with writing this project. The publisher plans to release the book in the Summer 2016.

Here’s more from The Associated Press: “According to Blue Rider, the 73-year-old Love will discuss his ‘complex’ relationship with Brian Wilson, his cousin and the Beach Boys’ leader during their peak years in the 1960s. Love and Wilson have fought over songwriting credits and creative control of the group.” (via Entertainment Weekly)

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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20. Zazzle Black Friday 2014 Sale!

Zazzle is having a sale today only for Black Friday. Use the code ZAZBLACKDEAL to receive significant discounts on Zazzle products. I have added a new Christmas card to my shop:

 

Thank you for checking it out and happy shopping!

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21.

Dig Here! is a bunch of familiar elements — teenage girl best friends, missing treasure, a cranky aunt, and abandoned house, etc. — assembled in a way that didn’t feel familiar. I found myself wondering a lot whether this was the book Gladys Allen set out to write.

The main character, Sandy, is the daughter of missionaries. She’s sent to boarding school during the school year and to various relatives during the summers. When Dig Here! opens, she’s facing the prospect of spending the summer with Aunt Cal, who she’s never met, and who is related to her only by marriage. Aunt Cal says it’s okay for Sandy to bring a friend with her, so she invites her best friend, Eve, and it’s a good thing for her that she does. Eve is a much more forceful personality than Sandy is, and she’s also more adventurous, more sensible, and probably smarter. She’s even better at dealing with Aunt Cal, in part because she’s better at cooking and housework and, I don’t know, getting up on time than Sandy is.

This is one of the things that makes me unsure Allen knows what book she’s writing. Someone — maybe one of Sandy’s parents, in a letter? — talks about how sunny and sweet Sandy is, but all we actually see evidence of is Eve being better at everything. Towards the end you get a little more of a sense of Sandy as a person in her own right, but not much.

It’s an Augusta Huiell Seaman kind of setup. On their arrival at Aunt Cal’s the girls find that Sandy accidentally exchanged suitcases with a fellow bus passenger — a hair tonic salesman, judging by his luggage. A trip to exchange the suitcase for Sandy’s leads them to an old house, and hair tonic guy behaving suspiciously. Then the house turns out to be the one that Aunt Cal should have inherited from her uncle — and would have, if her shiftless cousin hadn’t hidden his will. There also may or may not be an emerald buried somewhere around the property. I’m not sure Eve and Sandy know which of these mysteries they’re investigating, but they investigate with a will, and with the help of cute farmboy Michael, and, eventually, the various hindrances provided by their school friend Hattie May and her brother Hamish. Hamish fancies himself as a detective.

I think what makes Dig Here! feel unusual is that books like these tend to have a very narrow focus. The kids solving the mystery are usually a small, tight-knit group. The crotchety relative exists to have their heart melted by the main character. You get your protagonist, his or her friends, whatever adults they live with, and maybe a villain. But in Dig Here!, everything’s part of a larger picture you don’t see. There are characters you never meet, like Sandy’s parents and Aunt Cal’s cousin. And the characters you do meet have stuff going on that the kids don’t know about. There are subplots that Sandy and Eve don’t find out about until the end, and then only as an afterthought. Aunt Cal is investigating on her own account, and doesn’t tell Sandy anything about it. And she doesn’t need to confide in Sandy — she’s not socially isolated, she’s got friends, and they probably know more about the mystery than Sandy does, too. It gives the book a different feel than you’d get from Seaman, or from any mystery where the kids hide what’s happening from the clueless grownups. And I enjoyed that.

The downside of the kids not having most of the story is that their side of the mystery isn’t that interesting, and the characters I enjoyed most were the ones Allen spent the least time on, but it was fun.I don’t think I need to seek out more books by Gladys Allen, but if I ended up reading another one, I wouldn’t be upset.


Tagged: 1930s, girls, gladys allen, mystery

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22. Tryptophan Generally Induces Fatigue.


TGIF.

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23. NaNoWriMo Tip #19: Keep The Reader’s Perspective in Mind

Some writers feel that they must create the story that they themselves want to read. Does that mean you should disregard your potential audience?

In the video embedded above, The Fault in Our Stars novelist John Green advises that one should remember the reader’s perspective while writing. By putting yourself in the reader’s shoes, you will be able to figure out what are the most interesting parts about your story.

This is our nineteenth NaNoWriMo Tip of the Day. To help GalleyCat readers take on the challenge of writing a draft for a 50,000-word novel in 30 days, we will be offering advice throughout the entire month.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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24. Critter critics rave about Animal Cracker

I invited some very special friends into my home to weigh in on Animal Cracker.  The result: unanimous raves!  To celebrate, I've lowered the price to $.99 for the Kindle.   I'd love it if you spread the word and shared the video with your friends.

Happy holidays to all!

Critics rave: watch the video

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25. New Traditions

Today we are still celebrating Thanksgiving in my family. My side on Thanksgiving Day, Brian's side on Friday, and Saturday is the day we set up for Christmas. These are our traditions.

I have strong views about consumerism mixed with Thanksgiving, and my heart isn't aligned to shop.

So I had this crazy idea, that on Black Friday, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, because I am so very thankful for all who follow, support, and encourage my work, I'd give something out for free. Instead of a sale promo in your inbox, you get something free as a Thank You!

I hope to create more down the road, but here are some free desktop wallpapers for your computer, tablet, and phone. Below that are three different coloring pages that you can print out to color with friends and family.

Now go have some fun already!

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