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1. cakes in space: a peek at the illustration process

Some of my illustration in my new book with Philip Reeve, Cakes in Space, are quite complicated, so here's a breakdown of how I've made one of them. This scene shows a battle between a strange, black-spaghetti-like alien, astronaut Astra, Pilbeam the robot and a host of mutant killer cakes. (Such a traditional children's book scene, right? I love being able to dream up this stuff with Philip.)



Thumbnails: First I start by making rough 'thumbnail sketches' of possible scenes in the book. They're called thumbnails because they're tiny, just large enough to give our designer at Oxford University Press an idea of where things might go on the page, so she can figure out where the text could fit in. You can spot these two pages in the middle of the bottom row. (I drew lots of thumbnails all on one page together.)




'Who was your designer?', you may ask. Well, here she is, the lovely and talented Jo Cameron, on the left, in her wonderful colour-coordinated orange and black dress. The other two people are Liz Cross, our publisher (in the centre), and our editor, Clare Whitston, on the right (wearing the fascinators Jo made).



Back to work.... I added a bit of blackness on the stretched-out spaghetti alien to show Jo that I didn't want the text to go on its body. And she e-mailed it back like this, with text.



Pencil roughs: Then I made a more detailed version in pencil (called a 'pencil rough'). It's still scratchy and full of mistakes, but I have a much better idea of what's going to go on the page. (This is the version that a lot of reviewers saw, in the 'Uncorrected Proof Copy', a printed version of the book with only about half of my artwork completed.)



Going to INK: This is my favourite bit, the inking. I love it because I've already made the big stressful decisions about where everything will go, and I can have fun with the details and focus on making the line look nice. I dip an old-fashioned metal nib into India ink and trace over the pencil on a lightbox. I like doing it this way because I don't have to go back and erase the pencil, and risk smudging the ink.

A good tip, if you're drawing with a nib and India ink: the ink clogs the nib very quickly, so have a little jar of water nearby. Every few minutes, you can dip the nib into the water and wipe off the extra ink and water on a cloth or some kitchen roll. If you let the ink dry on the nib, you'll need to boil the kettle and swish the nib around in your teacup with a toothpick, until the ink comes off.



This is a different page, but it's a closeup of me inking some of the mutant cakes. They were super-fun to draw! I didn't use expensive paper, just cheap drawing cartridge. If the paper was too thick, I wouldn't have been able to see through it clearly enough to trace.



And here's what the page looks like, all inked up. (Feel free to try colouring it yourself, if you like.)



Next, I scanned the inked page into my computer.

Scanning breakdown: For this one, I scanned it in 'Bitmap', which is total black and white, no gray areas. That makes it very, very clean. And I think I scanned it at 1200 dots per inch, which is probably a higher resolution than I needed (600 dpi would have been fine), but I wanted to make sure I didn't lose any line quality. I then opened it in Photoshop, converted it to Grayscale and shrunk it down to 600 dpi, so it wouldn't be so big that it would crash my computer.

I don't have a photo of myself, working on exactly that page, but here I am with my laptop and the Wacom mouse pen that I use for colouring. (Note the scarf: it was the dead of winter and very cold!)



Here's a coloured-up version! When I coloured the previous book, Oliver and the Seawigs, I only let myself use blue and light blue. And in this book, I tried to stick to just orange, but I struggled with that; light orange isn't orange anymore, it's peach. I didn't want a whole book full of peach colour, it might look like some horrible old bathroom. So I also used gray in this book, and then added a few extra colours just for the human skin tones, so Astra's mum could have a rich chocolatey-colour skin, and Astra could be a little bit darker than peach.

Limited palette: Even though the book was printed using a full-colour technique (so I could have had ALL the colours of the rainbow!), I was still very strict with myself about keeping a very limited colour palette. I just like the look of limited colours, and that decision gives the artwork a slight retro feel, like space stories from the Sixties. Philip and I liked that era's positive spin on things, how people were still optimistic about building new worlds and new societies, and we wanted to capture that feeling.



Adding texture: I was looking at that coloured scene and I thought, Hmm, this is a big cakey, crumbly battle... it still looks too tidy. So I added texture. I had already scanned in a bit of texture for some of the cakes, but the splotchy background texture comes from a big piece of watercolour paper with stains all over it that I made with over-brewed tea. After the tea had dried, I scanned in the sheet (full colour, I think, so I could use it with other things), turned it gray in Photoshop, then added it to the digital image, as a layer all over everything.

That's the thing about digital artwork, I always have to make sure it doesn't look bland because everything's a bit too tidy and clean, so I'm constantly scanning in handmade textures. People ask me if I draw by hand or work digitally, and you can see that it's really a mixture of both.



Here's a little peek at the rest of the book, and I've included several How-to-draw Activity sheets on the Cakes in Space page on my website, so do go over and have a look!

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2. Circle, Square, Moose



Circle, Square, Moose
by Kelly Bingham
illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky
Greenwillow Books, September 23, 2014
review copy provided by the publisher

Did you love Z is for Moose? Moose disrupted Zebra's presentation of the alphabet in that book. He's back, this time causing problems in a shape book.

Zebra comes to the rescue to extract Moose from the shape book, but that doesn't go so well.

Leave it to Moose to patch up his friendship with Zebra AND end the book with a rhyme.

Want to hear Paul O. Zelinsky speak? Come to the Dublin Literacy Conference on February 21, 2015! Consider presenting about your literacy best practices!


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3. Viva Frida


Written and illustrated by Yuyi Morale
Photography by Tim O'Meara

Roaring Brook Press


Frida Kahlo, one of the world's most famous and unusual artists is revered around the world. Her life was filled with laughter, love, and tragedy, all of which influenced what she painted on her canvases.  

Distinguished author/illustrator Yuyi Morales illuminates Frida's life and work in this elegant and fascinating book.

Praise for Viva Frida
"Morales artistically distills the essence of the remarkable Frida Kahlo in this esoteric, multigenre picture book." - Booklist

*"There have been several books for young readers about Frida Kahlo, but none has come close to the emotional aesthetic Morales brings to her subjects . . . an ingenious tour de force." - The Horn Book, STARRED REVIEW

"This luminescent homage to Frida Kahlo doesn't hew to her artwork's mood but entrances on its own merit . . . Visually radiant." - Kirkus Reviews

*"Kahlo's unusual life story, background, and art have made her a frequent topic of biographies. Morales's perception of her creative process results in a fresh, winning take on an artist who has rarely been understood . . . Morales's art and O'Meara's photographs take this book to another level." - School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

<!--[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false false false EN-US JA X-NONE <![endif]-->
STARRED REVIEW"Frida is presented less as a historical figure than as an icon who represents the life Morales holds sacred; Frida lives because she loves and creates." -Publisher's Weekly


Making Viva Frida

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4. No Teeth but an Eye for Art


I spent last Sunday painting in Sheffield with my Urban Sketchers Yorkshire chums. I ought to say right up front that, as far as I am aware, they all have plenty of teeth. It was our unexpected companions for the first draw of the day, in Fitzalan Square, who were dentally-challenged. I was warned that the area was wino-land, but I wanted to have a go at sketching the old, disused Post Office building:


To be fair, all three of the men were friendly, possibly too friendly. I was forcefully engaged in a very hands-on critique session with a man with matted dredlocks, beer-breath and, for some reason, wearing a paper hula-garland. I'd just finished the painting of the Post Office and the sketch was very wet. My new friend kept poking it, pointing out places in the sky where I should add in some birds, while I, in typical British style, tried subtly to wrest the sketchbook from him, without seeming rude.


We moved round the corner for sketch number two and left our companions behind. I loved this view from the traffic island, looking across the road to the tram stop. I was surprised though, it being Sunday, how many trams came through. And they stopped for annoyingly long periods, entirely blotting out my view. As soon as one going downhill had moved on, another coming uphill would arrive. I spent an hour doing the painting, but was only actually painting for 30 minutes, gritting my teeth and muttering for the other 30.


It was quite chilly (oh to be back in Brazil...), so we were all grateful for a lunch break at Zooby's cafe in the Winter Gardens. I was looking forward to a nice, hot coffee, but it was then that I discovered I had left my purse at home. There was an outside chance I had remembered it, but had it stolen, so I texted John at home and asked him to check. Being the sweetie that he is, he came all the way into town to bring it for me, so I wouldn't have to go without lunch.

For the next sketch-site we sat outside the Crucible Theatre. I was interested in the jumble of spires over this lovely old building:


It was getting pretty cold though. Various people peeled off. The remaining knot of us decided to go the the pub to draw and walked down to The Sheffield Tap at the station. It's an amazing pub. We've been sketching there before. It has one room with a really high-ceilinged and lovely, Victorian tiles, not to mention the massive mirrors, and the chandeliers, as well as all the shiny, copper, micro-brewing kit on display. You can even watch trains out of the windows - a visual feast.


I was experimenting with paint, trying to keep things wet and loose: lots of water and not too many colours - stuff I learned from sketching alongside people like Liz Steel in Paraty. No pre-drawing, no line at all. Quite a challenge, but I was pleased with the results, which seemed to conjure the atmosphere. 

We stayed quite a while in the pub (only drinking tea, honest...), sketching until nearly 5 o'clock so, when it came to the sharing at the end, we were whittled down to just 4 of us. I think we had at least 12 at lunch.


It was another fun day and actually dry for once. All that concentration takes it out of you though - by the time I got home, I was exhausted. 

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5. E is for Esoteric: 2014 Alphabet Books Get Creative

What is it about the alphabet that gives artists the license to get weird?  Historically, the alphabet book is one of the earliest American children’s book forms.  You know.  “In Adam’s fall, we sinned all.”  That kind of thing.  I’m certain someone has already written, or is in the process of writing, the full-blooded history of American abecedarian outings for the young, so I won’t delve into such matters to any great length.

Now every year we get some wacky alphabet titles in the mix.  The usual art books.  Coffee table picture books, if you will.  I’m used to seeing one of them, two max, in a given year.  So you’ll forgive me for being so surprised when I saw not one, not two, but a whopping FIVE esoteric picture books come out in 2014 to varying degrees of artsy fartsyness. They’re also rather hugely enjoyable in their own odd little ways.

With that in mind we’ll begin with the most accessible and work our way out from there.

Once Upon an Alphabet by Oliver Jeffers

OnceUponAlphabet E is for Esoteric: 2014 Alphabet Books Get Creative

You may have heard me mention this Jeffers title in my recent Newbery/Caldecott prediction list for the fall.  The book creates one short story per letter of the alphabet, making it a devilishly clever creation.  Definitely falls into the older kid category of picture bookdom, but I’d argue that the stories and art are so much fun that it won’t have a hard time maintaining a child’s attention.

Take Away the A by Michaël Escoffier, illustrated by Kris Di Giacomo

TakeAwayA E is for Esoteric: 2014 Alphabet Books Get Creative

And you thought they couldn’t come up with an original concept for a picture book anymore?  Ha!  Check this puppy out.  In it the book goes through the alphabet, taking away a single letter from each word so as to produce a new one. The text reads:

“Without the A
the BEAST is BEST.

Without the B
the BRIDE goes for a RIDE.

Without the C
the CHAIR has HAIR.”

Back me up on this when I say no one’s ever done this before.  They haven’t, right?  Just brilliant.

Work: An Occupational Alphabet by Kellen Hatanaka

Work E is for Esoteric: 2014 Alphabet Books Get Creative

Now we’re getting a little more design-y.  The book is ostensibly a listing of different jobs by letter (though, as my husband pointed out, just try and make a living as an “explorer” or “mountaineer” these days).  Hatanaka has this smooth digital style that’s easy on the eyes.  I did actually attempt this one with my three-year-old, thinking (for some reason) that the lure of the jobs would hold her attention.  It didn’t but that could just mean it’s for older children.  Certainly there are a lot of visual gags in here that will appeal primarily to them.

Alphabetics: An Aesthetically Awesome Alliterated Alphabet Anthology

by Patrick and Traci Concepcion, ill. Dawid Ryski

Alphabetics E is for Esoteric: 2014 Alphabet Books Get Creative

And here we go.  Your first clue that kids may or may not be the primary audience for this book?  Well, it contains a zombie smoking a cigarette (recall the recent cigar brouhaha with The Scarecrow’s Wedding?), a “sultry seafaring sailor” by the name of Stella, and a “hellacious Harley hog”.  On the other hand it had an entry on “Gus the gregarious giant with geek-chic glasses” which definitely appeals to the Portlandia in me.  This is sort of an Urban Outfitters alphabet book.  Looks nice in a small studio apartment.  Children need not necessarily apply.

Alphabetabum: An Album of Rare Photographs and Medium Verses by Chris Raschka and Vladimir Radunsky

Alphabetabum E is for Esoteric: 2014 Alphabet Books Get Creative
(Not to be confused with the other Chris Raschka alphabet book Talk to Me About the Alphabet)

Apparently these photos are from Radunsky’s personal collection with Raschka providing three line verses per letter.  They primarily feature West European, white kids and Kirkus was down on the book because it found it too snarky.  Not a problem I particularly had, though again I question whether or not an actual child would want to have anything to do with this book.  Rather, I would hand this to teen fans of Edward Gorey that buy old photos in antique stores for fun (which is to say, myself circa age 15).

Any others I may have missed that are in the same vein?  Surely there’s another one out there sporting a 2014 publication date.  Surely.

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6. African encounters in Roman Britain

Hadrian’s Wall has been in the news again recently for all the wrong reasons. Occasional wits have pondered on its significance in the Scottish Referendum, neglecting the fact that it has never marked the Anglo-Scottish border, and was certainly not constructed to keep the Scots out. Others have mistakenly insinuated that it is closed for business, following the widely reported demise of the Hadrian’s Wall Trust. And then of course there is the Game of Thrones angle, best-selling writer George R R Martin has spoken of the Wall as an inspiration for the great wall of ice that features in his books.

Media coverage of both Hadrian’s Wall Trust’s demise and Game of Thrones’ rise has sometimes played upon and propagated the notion that the Hadrian’s Wall was manned by shivering Italian legionaries guarding the fringes civilisation – irrespective of the fact that the empire actually trusted the security of the frontier to its non-citizen soldiers, the auxilia rather than to its legionaries. The tendency to overemphasise the Italian aspect reflects confusion about what the Roman Empire and its British frontier was about. But Martin, who made no claims to be speaking as a historian when he spoke of how he took the idea of legionaries from Italy, North Africa, and Greece guarding the Wall as a source of inspiration, did at least get one thing right about the Romano-British frontier.

There were indeed Africans on the Wall during the Roman period. In fact, at times there were probably more North Africans than Italians and Greeks. While all these groups were outnumbered by north-west Europeans, who tend to get discussed more often, the North African community was substantial, and its stories warrant telling.

Birdoswald Roman Fort, Hadrians Wall (8751341028)
Hadrian’s Wall, by Carole Raddato. CC-BY-SA-2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Perhaps the most remarkable tale to survive is an episode in the Historia Augusta (Life of Severus 22) concerning the inspection of the Wall by the emperor Septimius Severus. The emperor, who was himself born in Libya, was confronted by a black soldier, part of the Wall garrison and a noted practical joker. According to the account the notoriously superstitious emperor saw in the soldier’s black skin and his brandishing of a wreath of Cyprus branches, an omen of death. And his mood was not further improved when the soldier shouted the macabre double entendre iam deus esto victor (now victor/conqueror, become a god). For of course properly speaking a Roman emperor should first die before being divinized. The late Nigerian classicist, Lloyd Thompson, made a powerful point about this intriguing passage in his seminal work Romans and Blacks, ‘the whole anecdote attributes to this man a disposition to make fun of the superstitious beliefs about black strangers’. In fact we might go further, and note just how much cultural knowledge and confidence this frontier soldier needed to play the joke – he needed to be aware of Roman funerary practices, superstitions, and the indeed the practice of emperor worship itself.

Why is this illuminating episode not better known? Perhaps it is because there is something deeply uncomfortable about what could be termed Britain’s first ‘racist joke’, or perhaps the problem lies with the source itself, the notoriously unreliable Historia Augusta. And yet as a properly forensic reading of this part of the text by Professor Tony Birley has shown, the detail included around the encounter is utterly credible, and we can identify places alluded to in it at the western end of the Wall. So it is quite reasonable to believe that this encounter took place.

Not only this, but according to the restoration of the text preferred by Birley and myself, there is a reference to a third African in this passage. The restoration post Maurum apud vallum missum in Britannia indicates that this episode took place after Severus has granted discharge to a soldier of the Mauri (the term from which ‘Moors’ derives). And has Birley has noted, we know that there was a unit of Moors stationed at Burgh-by-Sands on the Solway at this time.

Birdoswald eastern wall
Hadrian’s Wall, by Midnightblueowl. CC-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Sadly, Burgh is one of the least explored forts on Hadrian’s Wall, but some sense of what may one day await an extensive campaign of excavation there comes from Transylvania in Romania, where investigations at the home of another Moorish regiment of the Roman army have revealed a temple dedicated to the gods of their homelands. Perhaps too, evidence of different North African legacies would emerge. The late Vivian Swann, a leading expert in the pottery of the Wall has presented an attractive case that the appearance of new forms of ceramics indicates the introduction of North African cuisine in northern Britain in the second and third centuries AD.

What is clear is that the Mauri of Burgh-by-Sands were not the only North Africans on the Wall. We have an African legionary’s tombstone from Birdoswald, and from the East Coast the glorious funerary stela set up to commemorate Victor, a freedman (former slave) by his former master, a trooper in a Spanish cavalry regiment. Victor’s monument now stands on display in Arbeia Museum at South Shields next to the fine, and rather better known, memorial to the Catuvellunian Regina, freedwoman and wife of Barates from Palmyra in Syria. Together these individuals, and the many other ethnic groups commemorated on the Wall, remind us of just how cosmopolitan the people of Roman frontier society were, and of how a society that stretched from the Solway and the Tyne to the Euphrates was held together.

The post African encounters in Roman Britain appeared first on OUPblog.

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7. Mortal Danger, by Ann Aguirre | Book Review

When unpopular, ugly Edie steps out on the ledge, the last person she expects to stop her from jumping is the most beautiful guy she's ever seen.

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8. Scots wha play: an English Shakespikedian Scottish independence referendum mashup

THE DATE: 18 September 2014, Fateful Day of Scotland’s Independence Referendum

THE PLACE: A Sceptred Isle

DRAMATIS PERSONAE:
Alexander the Great, First Minister of Scotland
Daveheart, Prime Minister of the Britons
Assorted Other Ministers, Attendant Lords, Lordlings, Politicos, and Camp Followers
Three Witches
A Botnet of Midges
The Internet (A Sprite)
A Helicopter
Dame Scotia
St George of Osborne
Boris de Balliol, Mayor of Londres
UKIP (An Acronym)
Chorus

ACT I: A Blasted Heath.

Enter THREE WITCHES

When shall we three meet again,
In thunder, lightning, or in rain?

When the referendum’s done,
When the battle’s lost and won.

That will be when Salmond’s gone.

Where the place?

Hampstead Heath.

Better Together unto death!

Is that your phone?

Daveheart calls: anon! –
Fair is foul, and foul is fair:
Hover through the plebs and filthy air.

[WITCHES vanish.]

ACT II: The Scottish Camp (Voters at Dawn)

Enter a SMALL FOLKS’ CHORUS, Botnet Midges,
Who flap their wings, and then commence this chant:

See here assembled in the Scottish Camp
The Thane of Yes, Lord Naw-Naw, Doctor Spin.
Old folk forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But we’ll remember, with advantages,
This Referendum Day. Then shall that name
And date, familiar as our household words –
Alex the Great, the eighteenth of September –
And many, many here who cast their votes,
A true sorority, a band of brothers,
Long be remembered — long as “Auld Lang Syne” –
For she or he who votes along with me
Shall be my sibling; be they curt or harsh
This day shall gentle their condition:
Scots students down in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed, they were not here,
Casting their votes in this our referendum.

ACT III: On Arthur’s Seat, a Mount Olympus
Near the Scots’ Parliament at Holyrood

Proud Edward Milibrand, Daveheart, Nicholas Clegg,
And Anthony a Blair perch on the crags
With English Exiles. Now Lord Devomax speaks:

Stands England where it did? Alas, poor country,
Almost afraid to know itself, a stateless
Nation, post-imperial, undevolved;
Still sadly lacking its own Parliament,
It commandeers to deal with its affairs
The British Parliament, whose time it wastes
With talk of what pertains to England only,
And so abuses that quaint institution
As if it were its own, not for these islands
Set in a silver sea from Sark to Shetland.

[Exit, pursued by A. Blair]

ACT IV: The Archipelago (High Noon)

Enter THE INTERNET, A Sprite, who sings:

Full fathom five Westminster lies;
Democracy begins to fade;
Stout, undevolved, John Bull still eyes
Imperial power so long mislaid;
England must suffer a sea-change
Into something small and strange,
MPs hourly clang Big Ben:

DING-DONG!

Come, John Bull, and toll Big Ben.

ACT V: South London: top floor of the Shard

Boris de Balliol, St George of Osborne,
Attendant Lords, and Chorus Bankerorum,
Et Nympharum Tamesis et Parliamentorum

Sheet lightnings flash offstage while clashing cymbals
Crescendo in a thunderous night’s farrage.

ST GEORGE: Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! Rage! Blow!
Ye exit polls and hurricanoes spout!
Come, Boris, here’s the place. Stand still.

How fearful

And dizzy ’tis, to cast one’s eyes so low!
The crows and choughs, that wing the midway air
Seem gross as bankers’ apps: here from this Shard
See floors of smug short-sellers, dreadful traders
Inside a giant gherkin, and the City
Fraternity of inegalite
Spread out around us while its denizens
Appear like lice.

ATTENDANT LORDS: Scotia and Boris, hail!

BORIS: O Bella, Bella Caledonia,
Hic Boris Maior, Londinii Imperator,
Ego –

Fanfare of hautboys, bagpipes, and a tucket.

ST GEORGE: A tucket!

BORIS:                             Tempus fugit.

CHORUS:                                                    Fuckaduckit!

Pipers, desist! Your music from this height
Has calmed the storm, and, blithely, while we wait
For the result to come from Holyrood,
So charms the ear that, clad in English tartans –
The Hunting Cholmondesley, the Royal Agincourt,
And chic crisscrosses of the National Trust –
Our city here, ravished by this fair sound
Of tweeted pibroch, YouTubed from the Shard
To Wapping, Westminster, and Heathrow’s tarmac,
While gazing up from bingo and Big Macs,
Brooding upon our disunited kingdom,
Stands all agog to hear Dame Scotia speak.

Scotia descends, ex machina helecopteris

HELICOPTER: Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

SCOTIA: O England, England, your tight cabinet’s
Sly Oxbridge public-schoolboy millionaires
Fight while your country sinks beneath their yoke;
It weeps, it bleeds; and each new day a gash
Is added to those wounds: new Europhiles
Repulsed, the world repelled; England whose riots
Failed to stop students’ fees for your own folk
Or to contain their escalating cost.
Sad, catastrophic, calculating drones
Miscalculating loans, kicking the arts,
England betrayed by Scoto-Anglish Blair
Into wrong wars and then to Gordon Brown,
Jowled lord of loss and light-touch regulation.
O England, England! Rise and be a nation
United under your own Parliament!
Methinks I am a prophet now inspired
And thus, inspiring, do foretell of you:
Your Europhobia must not endure,
For violent fires must soon burn out themselves;
Small showers last long, but sudden storms are short.
Learn from the Scots: plant windfarms, make yourself
A Saudi Arabia of tidal power,
Though not of gender; learn, too, from the French,
There is no need to stay a sceptred isle,
Scuffed other Eden, demi-paradise;
No fortress, built by UKIP for themselves,
Against infection in their Brussels wars;
Be happy as a nation on an island
That’s not England’s alone, a little world,
This precious stone set in a silver sea,
Which serves to link it now with all the globe,
Or as the front door to a happy home,
Be, still, the envy of less happier lands,
And set up soon an English Parliament,
Maybe in London, Britain’s other eye,
Maybe in Yorkshire, so you may become
A better friend to Scotland whose folk love
This blessed plot, this earth, and independence.

She zooms northwards.

Heading image: Macbeth by John Martin (1789–1854). Scottish National Gallery. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

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9. Would You Read It Wednesday #145 Special Edition - Taffeta: Diary Of A Supermodel (PB)

Howdy, folks!

Guess what?

We have a very special Would You Read It today!  It's a little less of a pitch and little more of a jacket blurb, and it's for a great cause!

You all may recall back in November... sheesh, that was nearly a year ago, wasn't it?!  Where does the time go?... but anyway, you may recall we had a special Would You Read It for Faith The Heroic Pony.  It was written by Sue Weeding and introduced to us by Koren Helbig, a journalist who discovered Sue's extraordinary mission.  Today, I'm hoping we can once again put our heads together to help Koren and Sue ensure the success of Sue's new book, soon to be released.  I'll let Koren tell you all about it:

Sue and Rod Weeding moved to Spain from Britain aiming to slip into an easy sunshine-and-relaxation retirement. But all that changed in 2008 with Luceiro, a two-year-old stallion they found locked in a filthy and dark stable, his left eye badly injured and rotting, hurling himself repeatedly against the bars of his stall as flies drove him crazy. The Weedings brought him home and unwittingly created a much-needed horse rescue centre.
Now, at their Easy Horse Rescue Center in Spain’s southeastern province of Alicante, the Weedings care for more than 80 horses, ponies and donkeys saved from abuse and neglect. Some of the animal's remarkable stories have been told in this documentary.
Among their charges is little Faith, who became the first pony in Spain to be fitted with a prosthetic leg after her mutilated front leg had to be amputated.
Faith's journey inspired Sue to write a series of children's books telling the stories of the center's horses, aiming to raise awareness about animal abuse while generating additional funds to cover the center's hefty running costs. The first book, Faith: Dairy of a heroic horse, is available on Amazon. Now we'd love a little help putting together a snappy blurb for the second book, Taffeta: Diary of a supermodel. Thanks!
I know Koren and Sue have come to the right place!  There is no one better to help them than you guys.  Here is a little Something Chocolate to get you going.  Don't think of it as bribery... think of it as brain fuel :)

Ooh!  Scrumptious!
(And many thanks to Teresa for calling my attention to this deliciousness! :))

So without further ado, here is the pitch/blurb for Sue's soon-to-be-released new book, Taffeta: Diary Of A Supermodel.

Working Title: Taffeta: Diary Of A Supermodel by Sue Weeding
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 6-13)
The Pitch/Blurb:

Taffeta was a prized show pony winning rosettes in England when one day she was taken from her mother, loaded onto a strange trailer and driven many hours south to a hot and dusty paddock in Spain. When her new owner there fell ill, Taffeta was left without food and water until she grew so weak she couldn't even stand.
Luckily, this sad true story has a happy ending. Taffeta was saved by a local couple who run a horse rescue center and soon her beauty had propelled her to stardom in Spain. Taffeta became a supermodel and the star of many local fashion shows!
Share in the heartwarming story of Taffeta's rescue and rise to fame in this diary-style picture book packed full of beautiful real-life photographs.
All funds raised from the sale of this book help the Easy Horse Care Rescue Center Foundation in Spain care for its many rescued horses, ponies, and donkeys.
Taffeta: Diary of a supermodel is the second in a series of children’s books in which the horses and other animals saved by the Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre share their real-life rescue stories.
The Easy Horse Care Rescue Center is based in Rojales, along Spain’s famed Costa Blanca coastline in the Valencia province. The center opens to the public every Sunday all year round. You’re welcome to come along and meet the horses, ponies, donkeys, and many other rescued animals that reside at the center and hear their incredible stories.
For more information or to make a donation, visit www.easyhorsecare.net or email center founders Rod and Sue Weeding on rescue@easyhorsecare.net.
Thank you for your support.
And so you all can see the subject of this story:

Taffeta shortly after her rescue, getting treats for being brave
Sue Weeding with little Taffeta, shortly after her rescue
Taffeta all dressed up for a fashion show :)
Happy and healthy Taffeta today :)

So what do you think?  Would You Read It?  YES, MAYBE or NO?

If your answer is YES, please feel free to tell us what you particularly liked and why the pitch piqued your interest.  If your answer is MAYBE or NO, please feel free to tell us what you think could be better in the spirit of helping Koren and Sue improve their pitch.  Helpful examples of possible alternate wordings are welcome.  (However, I must ask that comments be constructive and respectful.  I reserve the right not to publish comments that are mean because that is not what this is about.)

Please send YOUR pitches for the coming weeks!  For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It or on the Would You Read It tab in the bar above.  There are openings in November so you've got a little time to polish up your pitches and send yours for your chance to be read by editor Erin Molta!

Koren and Sue are looking forward to your thoughts on their pitch!  I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this question (which I just thought of because of today's pitch :)):

Would there be any interest among the ranks here in expanding Would You Read It to include jacket blurbs?  I think it would be very helpful to writers who intend to self-publish, and it's very good practice to see if you've really got a handle on your book!  I don't think there would be as much call for it, so blurbs would be less frequent than pitches, but what do you think?  I would only want to try it if you guys thought it would be interesting and fun.  So let me know in the comments! :)


Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone, and definitely seconds or thirds on that cake up there :)


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10. Giant Vehicles by Rod Green, illustrated by Stephen Biesty

Giant Vehicles is the fantastic new book by Rod Green, illustrated by the master of cross-sections, Stephen Biesty. Eight enormous, real-life vehicles. From the Super Train to the Airbus A380 to the biggest helicopter, rocket, cruise ship, submarine, container ship and, of course, the massive dump truck on the cover, a Caterpillar 797F. Although this is a board book with flaps to

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11. Integrated


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12. NEW SEASON - john lewis

Judging by the amount of John Lewis posts I have made this week you might think I spent my whole holiday in their store. But there was so much good design to see, snap,  and research that I have had a lot to showcase from their new season prints. Today I am rounding off the coverage with one big post made up of  a mixture my photos and images from the John Lewis website. There are lampshades,

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13. Book Giveaway & Writing Workout for Rosh Hashanah--What Writing Sins Will YOU Cast Away?

.
The post below is refreshed and reprised from September 2013...the book giveaway of Barbara's picture book (about a slice of Golda Meir's childhood--and what an amazing leader she was even then) is NEW and ends September 26, 2014.

Howdy, Campers!

It's not Saint Patrick's Day, but we're lucky, lucky, lucky to open our doors and welcome Guest TeachingAuthor Barbara Krasner, who I interviewed last Friday, and who offers us her NEW picture book, Goldie Takes a Stand! A Tale of Young Golda Meir, to give away and a dynamite Wednesday Writing Workout for the New Year.


Feeling lucky? Enter our latest book giveaway!
Details on this post.
Here's Barbara...

...and here's the Writing Workout she's cooked up for us:

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, comes early this year and I’m glad. It gives me the opportunity to reflect on the past year and think about the coming year even before the leaves fall. I’m giving you a Rosh Hashanah challenge in three parts.

Part One: Rosh Hashanah, literally translated as head of the year, is a perfect time to think about the beginning of your manuscript. How many times do we hear that if we can’t grab the agent/editor/reader within just a few seconds, he or she will just move on to something else?

Ask yourself the following questions:

•    Do you have a compelling title?
•    Does your first line grab the reader? (My all-time favorites are from M.T. Anderson, “The woods were silent except for the screaming,” and from Kate DiCamillo, “My name is Opal Buloni, and last summer my daddy, the preacher, sent me to the store for a box of macaroni-and-cheese, some white rice, and two tomatoes and I came back with a dog.”)
•    Have you presented the main character on the first page?
•    Have you presented the problem within the first page, the first chapter?

These questions apply to fiction and nonfiction alike.

What are YOUR first lines?

Part Two: The Rosh Hashanah holiday includes a practice called Tashlich, casting off our sins. The practice is exemplified in April Halprin Wayland’s New Year at the Pier (Dial, 2009), winner of the Sydney Taylor Gold Award for Younger Readers,  and the mother-daughter team of Susan Schnur and Anna Schnur-Fishman’s Tashlich at Turtle Rock (Kar-Ben, 2010).

My question to you: What writing sins will you cast off this year?

When I think about this for myself, I think about:
•    I will cast off my lack of organization – I will organize all those papers into folders with easy-to-read tabs and file the folders
•    I will cast off watching reality TV (TCM movies only) – I need more time to write
•    I will cast off working on a gazillion projects at once – I will focus on one genre at a time, and right now, that’s poetry, and okay, picture books
•    I will cast off reading several books at once – I commit to reading a book fully before moving on to another.

You get the idea. What will you cast off?

Part Three: Here’s a prompt you can write to: Recall a Rosh Hashanah (or New Year) scene from your childhood and write about it. Who was there? Where were you? What action and dialogue took place?

Thank you so much for your three-part Rosh Hashanah writing challenge, Barbara, and for mentioning my book (blush)... shana tovah!

posted by April Halprin Wayland

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14. Maggie Vessey: Queen of the homestretch runway

Last week may have been New York Fashion Week, but the 2014 track season was Maggie Vessey’s Fashion statement.
maggie vessey
No need to say more.

Vessey took the opportunity of being a ‘free agent’ to prove she’s got the creative talents to match her performance prowess on the track.

“I do want to draw attention to the sport and maybe give people who aren’t necessarily interested in track and field a reason to be interested,” Vessey told Runner’s World. “But it is a very authentic expression of who I am, and I now have this opportunity to be able to put that out there, be bold, and take a risk.”

To all those eating her fashionably savvy dust, heed the words: look good, feel good. ;)

——-
Related:
Excellent read on Maggie Vessey in New York Magazine

Oiselle was representing runners at New York Fashion Week, I caught up with Founder and CEO, Sally Bergesen

My story on Kate Grace, professional runner for Oiselle.

Runner Fashion is All the Rage: Legs to Crush a Runway

My own (expanding) line of running apparel: Ezzere

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15. Guest Post and Giveaway: Bec McMaster, Author of Forged by Desire

I know you are dying of curiosity, so this morning Bec McMaster joins us to give us a glimpse of her office essentials.  Check it out!

Writing can be a lot of hard work. There’s the hour or two each day that’s spent staring out the window, daydreaming about sexy and dangerous heroes; the hours poring over my hero and heroine’s Goals, Motivation and Conflict – or plotting just how much torture I can dish out on my poor hero – heh, heh, heh…

So, a writer needs to be fully supported by her office essentials, in order to work at peak performance. Here’s a list of my top five desk/office essentials when I’m writing:

1. Pinterest. The go-to place for heroes galore. Whether you prefer them covered in tatts, or beards, or clean-cut and ripped, there’s a hero for you. This is a vital part of the casting process when you’re working out who your hero is.

2. My ergonomic cushion support system. My boyfriend bought me the best ergonomic chair on the market – and I hate using it. Instead I prefer my much more sophisticated cushion-at-the-back to support my spine, and one tucked between the table and my hips. It keeps me upright and comfortable, and when you’re spending 9-10 hours a day in that chair, it’s a definite necessity.

3. Tea. I think I’m presenting a strong case for sponsorship by Twining’s, with all of the product placement at my desk (AKA empty cups, random spills, half-drank cups of tea). See also: the tea towel next to my desk for errant spills.

4. Notebook and pad, to jot down ideas, and random notes to myself. Often incomprehensible.

5. My word count journal. Absolutely essential for tracking progress.

Bonus essential: A pile of my books, just to give me inspiration and prove, yay-I-did-it!

FORGED BY DESIRE

BY BEC MCMASTER – IN STORES SEPTEMBER 2014

“You’re my breath when I feel like I can’t catch my own.”

Captain Garrett Reed of the Nighthawk guard has a deadly mission: capture a steel-jawed monster preying on women. He hates to put his partner, Perry, in jeopardy, but she’s the best bait he has. Little does he realize, he’s about to be caught in his own trap.

Perry has been half in love with Garrett for years, but this is not exactly the best time to start a relationship—especially when their investigation leads them directly into the clutches of the madman she thought she’d escaped…

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Award-winning author Bec McMaster lives in a small town in Australia and grew up with her nose in a book. A member of RWA, she writes sexy, dark paranormals and steampunk romance. When not writing, reading, or poring over travel brochures, she loves spending time with her very own hero or daydreaming about new worlds. Read more about her at www.becmcmaster.com or follow her on Twitter, @BecMcMaster.

To purchase Forged By Desire:

ORDER TRADE PAPERBACK

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

B-A-M

Chapters

Indiebound

Powell’s

The Book Depository

Sourcebooks

ORDER EBOOK

Kindle

Nook

Kobo

IBooks

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The post Guest Post and Giveaway: Bec McMaster, Author of Forged by Desire appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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16. Another Man's City review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Ch'oe In-ho's Another Man's City, one in the latest batch of titles Dalkey Archive Press is releasing in its Library of Korean Literature-series.

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17. Color for Baby: Four board books for baby featuring more than forty famous works by contemporary artists, Curated by Yana Peel

I'm not sure how much parents are thinking about cultural literacy when they are purchasing board books for toddlers. If this is something that matters to you or if you appreciate contemporary art, then you will seek out Color for Baby: Four board books for baby featuring more than forty famous works by contemporary artists, Curated by Yana Peel. If not, and you are fortunate enough to be

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18. China’s economic foes

China has all but overtaken the United States based on GDP at newly-computed purchasing power parity (PPP) exchange rates, twenty years after Paul Krugman predicted: “Although China is still a very poor country, its population is so huge that it will become a major economic power if it achieves even a fraction of Western productivity levels.” But will it eclipse the United States, as Arvind Subramanian has claimed, with the yuan eventually vying with the dollar for international reserve currency status?

Not unless China battles three economic foes. One is well-known: diminishing marginal returns to capital. Two others have received less attention. The first is Carlos Diaz-Alejandro. Not the man, but the results uncovered by his research on the Southern Cone following the opening up of its capital account that culminated in a sovereign debt crisis and contributed to Latin America’s lost 1980s. If the capital account is liberalized before the domestic financial system is ready, the country sets itself up for a fall: goodbye financial repression, hello financial crash. The second is the “reality of transition”: rejuvenating growth requires hard budgets and competition to improve resource allocation and stimulate innovation, counterbalanced with a more competitive real exchange rate. This is the principal insight from the transition in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), which was far simpler than anything China faces.

China was able to raise total factor productivity (TFP) growth as an offset to diminishing marginal returns to capital, especially after joining the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, and faster growth was accompanied by a rising savings rate. But TFP growth is hard to sustain. Any developing country targeting growth above the steady state level given by the sum of human capital growth, TFP growth and population growth (the latter two falling rapidly in China) will find that its investment rates need to continually increase unless it can rejuvenate TFP growth. China’s investment rates have risen from around 42% of GDP over 2005-7 (prior to the global crisis) to 48% in recent years even as growth has dropped from the 12% to the 7.5% range. Savings rates have hovered around 50%, reducing current account surpluses (numbers drawn from IMF 2010 and 2014 Article IV reports).

Hall of Supreme Harmony, Beijing.
Hall of Supreme Harmony, Beijing, by Daniel Case. CC-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

This configuration has forced China to choose between either investing even more, or lowering growth targets. It has chosen the latter, with its leaders espousing anti-corruption, deleveraging, environmental improvement and structural reform to achieve higher quality growth. The central bank, People’s Bank of China (PBoC), has reaffirmed its goal of internationalizing the yuan and liberalizing the capital account.

China’s proposed antidote is to “rebalance” from investment and exports to domestic consumption. But growth arithmetic would require consumption to grow at unrealistic rates, given the relative shares of investment and private consumption in GDP, even to meet scaled-down growth targets. Besides, households need better social benefits and market interest rates on bank deposits to save less and consume more. Hukou reform alone, or placing social benefits received by rural migrants on a par with their urban counterparts, could easily cost 3% of GDP a year for the next seven years as some 150 million additional people gain access to such benefits—quite apart from the public investment needed to upgrade urban infrastructure, according to calculations shared by Xinxin Li of the Observatory Group. And the failure to liberalize bank deposit rates has led to the rise of “wealth management products” in the shadow banking system. These “WMPs” offer higher returns but are poorly regulated and more risky.

Indeed, total social financing, a broad measure of credit, has soared from 125% to 200% of GDP over the five years 2009-2013 (Figure 2 in the July 2014 IMF Article IV report, with Box 5 warning that such a rapid trajectory usually ends in tears). Local government debt was estimated at 32% of GDP in mid-2013, much of it short-term and used to fund infrastructure projects and social housing with long paybacks. Housing prices show the signs of a bubble, especially away from the four major cities. Corporate credit is 115% of GDP, about half of it collateralized by land or property. While the focus recently has been on risks from shadow banking, it is hard to separate the shadow from the core. Besides, WMPs have become intertwined with the booming real estate market, a major engine of growth yet the centre of a “web of vulnerabilities” (to quote the IMF) encompassing banks, shadow banks, and local government finances. A real estate shock would ripple through the system, lowering growth and forcing bailouts. The gross cost of the bank workout at the end of the 1990s was 15% of GDP in a much simpler world!

2014 began with fears of a hard landing and an impending default by a bankrupt coal mine on a $500 million WMP-funded loan intermediated by a mega-bank. The government eventually intervened rather than let investors take a hit and risk a confidence crisis. And starting in April, stimulus packages were launched to meet the 7.5% growth target, a tacit admission that rebalancing is not working. But concerns persist around real estate. Besides, stimulus will help only temporarily and China is likely to be facing the same questions about growth and financial vulnerability by the end of the year.

With rebalancing infeasible, and investing even more prohibitively costly, virtually the only remaining option is to spur total factor productivity growth: China is still far from the global technological frontier. This calls for a package that cleans up the financial sector and implements hard budgets and genuine competition, especially for the state-owned enterprises (SOEs), while keeping real exchange rates competitive. The real appreciation of the past few years may have been offset by rising productivity, but continued appreciation will make it harder for the domestic economy to restructure and create 12 million jobs a year to absorb new graduates and displaced SOE workers.

In sum, China must heed Diaz-Alejandro. No one knows what the non-performing loans ratio is in China and few believe the official rate of 1%. If the cornerstone of a financial system is confidence and transparency, China is severely deficient. This must first be fixed and market-determined interest rates adopted before entertaining hopes of internationalizing the currency. China must also accept the reality of transition; the formidable remaining agenda in the fiscal, financial, social, and SOE sectors reminds us that China is still in transition to a full-fledged market economy.

The combination of a financial clean up and the policy trio of hard budgets, competition, and a competitive real exchange rate will improve resource allocation and force innovation, boosting total factor productivity growth. But doing this is hard—that’s the essence of the “middle-income trap”. Huge vested interests will be encountered, evoking Raghuram Rajan’s description of the middle-income trap as one “where crony capitalism creates oligarchies that slow down growth”. Dealing with this agenda is the Chinese leadership’s biggest challenge.

The era of cheap China is ending, while the ability of the government to virtually decree the growth rate has fallen victim to diminishing returns to capital. Diaz-Alejandro and the reality of transition are no less important as China seeks a way forward.

Headline image credit: The Great Wall in fall, by Canary Wu. CC-BY-SA-2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

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19. Why Graphic Novels Are Awesome

Hi!A Couple (or More) of My Favorite Things: A Highly Persuasive Article by Maggie B.Furthermore, art and words cannot always represent everything their creator wants them to. As a duo, however, they are unstoppable! One can give the general idea while the other elaborates, or both words and pictures can work together to become something they couldn’t be on their own, working in tandem to give an idea as well as the meaning behind it.graphic novel;

you might fall in love with them like I did.

Maggie, Scholastic Kids Council Member

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20. Novella Review: No Match for Love by Carol Cox

 

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I enjoyed Cowboy Unmatched, another A Match Made in Texas novella, so when I was browsing around on Scribd, I was delighted to see other stories from the same anthology on the site.  I quickly added No Match for Love to my library and read it Sunday night.  This is a cute story and now I want to read the all of A Match Made in Texas novellas.

Lucy’s father left her penniless after his death, and she’s relying on the charity of her friend’s family to keep a roof over her head.  Overindulged by her father, she has never learned useful skills; she can’t even make a pot of tea, let alone find employment to give her some independence.  Her only option is to marry Walter, a man who makes her uneasy and who she doubts she could ever develop feelings for.  Her friend is marrying soon, however, and she knows that she can’t live with her parents forever, so Lucy is desperate for any opportunity to present itself.

When she’s offered a job far away from Dry Gulch, she jumps at the chance to escape Walter and being a burden to her benefactors.  All she has to do is care for Andrew Simms’ elderly aunt.  Martha refuses to sell her ranch, the Diamond S, but Andrew has concerns about her mental health.  She firmly believes she saw a cow leaping over the moon, in addition to other impossibly odd occurrences at the ranch, and now Andrew is worried about her living by herself.

Lucy expects to find a doddering old woman, but instead she is introduced to an intelligent, capable woman.  One who doesn’t want a stranger living with her on her ranch.  Andrew convinces Martha that she’ll enjoy the company, and a thankful Lucy has a place to stay, at least for a while.

I enjoyed the friendship that develops between the women.  Lucy is hopeless in the kitchen, and she doesn’t know the first thing about running a household.  Gruff Martha teaches her all she knows, and the two become friends.  The only sticky point? Every full moon, something weird does happen at the ranch.  With Martha hollering into the night, brandishing her shotgun, Lucy fears for the woman’s sanity, too.  It quickly becomes clear that something, or someone, is responsible for the disturbances plaguing the ranch, and Lucy is determined to discover the reason behind them.

I thought that the romance was secondary to the mystery.  The mystery was solved a little too easily, too, but I still enjoyed the interactions between the characters, especially between Lucy and Martha.  This is a quick, satisfying read with a very sweet romance, so if you’re looking to fill a short period of time, No Match for Love is an entertaining choice.

Grade:  B

Review copy read on Scribd

From Amazon:

Andrew can’t fathom how refined Lucy ended up as the caretaker to his dotty aunt, and somehow her arrival has prompted even more bizarre occurrences around the ranch. When they join forces to unearth the truth, will the attraction between Andrew and Lucy develop into more?

The post Novella Review: No Match for Love by Carol Cox appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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21. Q&A with Robbe-Grillet-translator

       At The New Yorker's Page-Turner weblog Elisabeth Zerofsky has a Q & A with 'D.E. Brooke', the pseudonymous translator of Alain Robbe-Grillet's A Sentimental Novel, about Translating a Novel of Sadism.

       Oddly, while I have no problems with pseudonymous authors -- indeed I'd be (almost) perfectly fine with books being published entirely anonymously or namelessly ('almost' only because the lack of corresponding names would complicate categorization -- shelving, indices, etc.) -- but I'm slightly less comfortable with anonymous/pseudonymous translation. Part of that is probably in reaction to the fact that often translators still tend to get ignored anyway -- i.e. aren't named, even if they'd like to get and take credit for their work --, which seems patently unfair, but part of it is also that, if you're going to mess with an author's work (and that's what translators do, after all, for better and worse) you should own up to it.
       Sure 'Brooke''s excuse/explanation seems reasonable enough; still ..... (But, no, you aren't going to get any guesses out of me; if s/he chose to be 'D.E. Brooke' in public, that's their choice, and I won't pull back any curtains.)

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22. World Water Monitoring Day 2014

World Water Monitoring Day is an annual celebration reaching out to the global community to build awareness and increase involvement in the protection of water resources around the world. The hope is that individuals will feel motivated and empowered to investigate basic water monitoring in their local area. Championed by the Water Environment Federation, a broader challenge has arisen out of the awareness day, celebrated on September 18th each year. Simple water testing kits are available, and individuals are encouraged to go out and test the quality of local waterways.

Water monitoring can refer to anything from the suitability for drinking from a particular water source, to taking more responsibility for our own consumption of water as an energy source, to the technology needed for alternative energies. Discover more about water issues from around the world using the map below.

Image credit: Ocean beach at low tide against the sun, by Brocken Inaglory. CC-BY-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

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23. Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist

       They've announced the longlist for this year's Scotiabank Giller Prize, one of the leading Canadian fiction prizes ("The first word in fiction", so their tagline ...) which has impressively upped the ante by doubling its prize money, with C$100,000 going to winner (and C$10,000 to each finalist).
       The longlist was selected from 161 entries -- which are, alas, not revealed (bad form, guys)..
       The shortlist will be announced 6 October.

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24. Recent Hacking - This Time 5 Million Gmail Addresses and Passwords Compromised

Last week hackers got into Gmail addresses and passwords. This is just another in frequent hacking occurrences. It's getting pretty scary out there in cyberspace lately. Luckily for those affected by this hack, Google took care of it - no fuss, no mess. The hack was, if I understand correctly, a result of a hack of WordPress.com. The Gmail addresses and passwords from WordPress made Gmail

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25. NEW COLLECTION - audrey jeanne

Cat lovers will enjoy the brand new collection from Audrey Jeanne. Audrey is an illustrator based in Paris who has taken a lot of inspiration for these designs from her Siamese cat Mikado. New items include postcards, prints, badges and notebooks. See these designs and many many more online here.

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