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1. Shave

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2. relatable-images: feeling sad? look at this baby animal blog!



relatable-images:

feeling sad? look at this baby animal blog!



0 Comments on relatable-images: feeling sad? look at this baby animal blog! as of 1/29/2015 5:13:00 PM
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3. TOON THURSDAY: New and Probably Not Improved!

New cartoon today, as promised! I've had the sketch of this one sitting around for at least a week. I couldn't not draw this one. It made me snicker. Um, why, yes, it IS semi-autobiographical... Enjoy. This work is copyrighted material. All... Read the rest of this post

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4. H is For Hawk Takes 2014 Costa Book Award

H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald has won the 2014 Costa book prize. The author will take home a £30,000 prize for the memoir, which tells her personal account of training a goshawk in order to deal with the death of her father.

“All of the judges felt passionately about this book and its wonderful, muscular, chiseled prose,” explained Robert Harris, chair of the final judges, in a statement. “This is a clever, accomplished piece of writing that everyone will enjoy. It melds a memoir about grief, a biography of TH White and is a wonderful evocation of nature and training a hawk. It’s unique, unforgettable, haunting and a natural book to win this prize.”

Zoe Gilbert won the 2014 Costa Short Story Award for her story, “Fishskin, Hareskin.” She will take home £3,500 in prize money.

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5. Wild Brain Co-Founder Phil Robinson, RIP

Animation veteran Phil Robinson, one of the founders of the former San Francisco studio Wild Brain, has died.

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6. Book Review: Clear the Clutter, Find Happiness by Donna Smallin Kuper

From Goodreads:
Finally, a way to get rid of the clutter -- and keep it away -- without making the process a full-time job! Organizing and cleaning expert Donna Smallin shows you how to enjoy the happy, healthy, inviting home you long for with hundreds of time-saving tips and solutions to your clutter and cleaning problems. Her approach is manageable and simple, helping you focus on the things that will make the biggest difference with the least amount of effort and time. You'll discover small, quick routines that will keep your spaces clean and clutter-free over time, as well as lots of things that you can do to introduce order and serenity in just one minute! Clear away the clutter once and for all, and enjoy the happiness you'll find hiding underneath!
Writing
Not much to report here.  The way the book is laid out is very simple with one or two tips on each page.  The tips themselves are just a sentence or two long, so not a lot in terms of quantity of writing or any requirements for a particular level of quality.  They're de-cluttering tips, so Shakespeare is not wanted or needed.

Entertainment Value
I really, really love books that make me want to throw things away.  Especially at the beginning of the year or as the seasons change.  It's just so refreshing to get rid of junk.  This book completely succeeding in boosting my desire to get my chaos under control and, most importantly, throw a bunch of stuff out.  A few things I took away from the book that have helped as I've cleaned out my room and bathroom this week:

  • Recognize that you've changed as a person and only keep objects that mean something to who you are now.
  • Ask yourself, "If I were moving would this be worth packing/unpacking?"
  • Make it easy to put things where they belong.
  • Start with the biggest items and then move to the smaller ones.
For me, this meant getting rid of piles of magazines, old shampoo/toiletry/makeup items, and creating a clear path to my closet, dresser, and hamper.  I'm already feeling lighter and more organized and I've only done the master suite!

Overall
If you're looking for some quick inspiration and motivation, this is the ideal book to read.  It's quick and easy to read, without any unnecessary frills.  The simplicity of putting one or two tips on a page really keeps things moving.  I like that you could just choose to enact one page's principles each day if you choose, or you can read the whole thing and decide which ideas to put into action as a whole.  If you're looking for something quick, short on words (more organizing time!), and motivational, I think this is a good choice.

Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with a copy to review.

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7. Dog likes to lay down on my #sketchbook because she wants to be...



Dog likes to lay down on my #sketchbook because she wants to be the centre of attention. #illustration #twelveprincesses #artstagram



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8. NOW! New KING BRONTY, "Captain Crocker's Signal!"

More action is going on below decks on the "Scurvy Shark"! Prior to this post the crew of cut throat Dinosaur Pirates waited for Cap'n Crockers' signal to attack, to kidnap King Bronty and Prince Podoee.








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9. Meet Elena of Avalor, Disney’s New Hispanic Princess

Disney's hugely popular Princess brand is about to get even more lucrative with the introduction of its first Hispanic princess.

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10. Ready For A Gag? And, NO -I Do NOT Mean It Like That!!

Back in the early 1990s I wrote  single gags to go into European newspapers and magazines for, amongst others, the German Baaske Agency.  Got paid once and heard no more since -these could be in constant reprint and I'd never know it!

Anyway, I scanned some on the old 1990s computer so quality ain't great but here -see if they give you a smile!

Artist on these was John "Sepp" Schiltz.








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11. character names

Question: I'm having trouble naming my characters. I want something unique and different. Any advice would be much appreciated. Answer: If you want an

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12. Simon & Schuster Debuts Marketing Unit For Authors

Simon & Schuster has created a new publishing unit called North Star Way which is designed to help authors find audiences and build their profiles.

The unit will work with authors to help them create strategies to expand their readership. The imprint will offer book publishing, as well as help online courses and subscriptions and seminars, workshops and panel discussions. In addition the company will help authors with mobile apps, video creation, audio book building and podcasting.

Vice President and Publisher Michele Martin will lead North Star Way. The unit will be dedicated to self-improvement and inspiration, mind-body-spirit, motivation, wellness and business inspiration and leadership titles.

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13. THERE BE DRAGONS HERE, STILL

via ILLUSTRATION ART http://ift.tt/1JOeXJt




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14. Goats baking muffins ...


Goats baking muffins are just right for a children's book. I'm having fun going for a simple vintage sort of look - or at least trying for that effect. I too am a muffin baker. Oh yes, I bake up a weekly batch to take on my bike rides. I'm getting pretty good at it by now.

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15. The 100 most sought after out-of-print books of 2014

Today we published the 2014 Bookfinder.com Report which features the 100 most sought after out-of-print books in America.  The big surprise this year annual report was that after years on the throne the Queen of Pop (Madonna)’s photographic escapade "Sex" was finally knocked off the top of the list, and the book(s) that took its place may surprise you.  There were in fact two, and you can read about them here.  What I wanted to talk about on the blog, however, are some of the usual suspects there were some interesting additions and subtractions to this year’s list.

Back In-Print:

Labyrinth-smith-2014
2014 edition

Avid readers will notice that A.C.H Smith’s Labyrinth novelization is noticeably missing from the top end of the report; the book has been a part of the BookFinder report since 2010 and was finally re-published in April as Jim Henson’s Labyrinth and contains updated cover art.  I’m not sure the books target age group would have any idea who David Bowie is anyway.  According to reviews the books both stay quite close to the movie’s plot line however the novel replaces Bowie’s musical interludes with additional dialogue; and Smith also draws out the dialogue in a number of scenes.

Another graduation was In A Dark Place: The Story of a True Haunting by Ray Garton who’s book has been on the BookFinder.com Report since 2008.  The fact that it was republished December 31st 2014 left me on the fence as to whether I should remove it from this year’s list, but considering precious few of you would have gotten to read an in-print copy in 2014 I decided to leave it on this year.  In 2009 the book became the basis for the hit film The Haunting in Connecticut (starring Virginia Madsen).

New to the BookFinder.com Report

An American Exodus: A Record of Human Erosion by Dorothea Lange this book was featured heavily in the photographer’s episode of PBS’s American Masters series (snippet below) which aired late August 2014.  The full episode covered Lange’s five decades photographic work which documented Great Depression, the Dust Bowl and World War II Japanese internment camps and more.  You can find a wide array of Dorothea Lange’s other work on BookFinder.com.

Another new, and timely, entry to the list was Margin of Safety by Seth Klarman.  The books author, who has been singled out by Forbes as one of the most successful hedge fund managers of recent years, was quoted numerous times this year after his 2013 year end investor letter was leaked online.  In the letter he preaches caution and warns of today’s stock markets being too bubbly, and that today's investors should take warning.  The fact that his track record for posting huge growth has remained in tact all these years has lead to his 1991 out-of-print value investing opus to fetch four figures, when you can find it.

Every year I find stories about these books buried within the list, and every year I also miss some amazing stories.  Read the full list and let us know any of your interesting stories about the books within.

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16. Catalogging Consortium

Lots of great titles from lots of great small press publishers in the 2015 Consortium catalog - here are the ones that caught my eye with some catalog copy to describe them:

Three Kinds of Motion: Kerouac, Pollock and the Making of the American Highways by Riley Hanick (Sarabande Books). In 1943, Peggy Guggenheim commissioned a mural from Jackson Pollock to hang in the entryway of her Manhattan townhouse. It was the largest Pollock canvas she would ever own, and four years later she gave it to a small Midwestern institution with no place to put it. When the original scroll of On the Road goes on tour across the country, it lands at the same Iowa museum housing Peggy's Pollock, revitalizing Riley Hanick's adolescent fascination with the author. Alongside these two narrative threads, Hanick revisits Dwight D. Eisenhower's quest to build America's first interstate highway system. When catastrophic rains flood the Iowa highways with their famous allure and history of conquest, they also threaten the museum and its precious mural. In Three Kinds of Motion, his razor-sharp, funny, and intensely vulnerable book-length essay, Hanick moves deftly between his three subjects. He delivers a story with breathtaking ingenuity.

The Shark That Walks on Land....and Other Strange But True Tales of Mysterious Sea Creatures by Michael Bright (Biteback Publishing). When you dive into the sea, do you ever wonder what's down there, beneath you, poised to take an inquisitive bite? Author of Jaws Peter Benchley and film director Steven Spielberg certainly did, for below the waves lies a world we neither see nor understand; an alien world where we are but the briefest of visitors. The Shark that Walks on Land uncovers tales of ancient and modern mariners, with stories of sea serpents, mermaids and mermen, sea dragons, and the true identity of the legendary Kraken. But this book contains more than just a medley of maritime myths and mysteries for marine biologists; it celebrates wonderful discoveries by blending the unknown and the familiar in an entertaining miscellany of facts, figures, and anecdotes about the myriad creatures that inhabit the oceans. Along the way we meet the giants, the most dangerous, the oddballs, and the record breakers; and the shark that really does walk on land!

Enormous Smallness: The Story of E.E. Cummings by Matthew Burgess, Illus by Kris Di Giacomo (Enchanted Lion Books). Here E.E.'s life is presented in a way that will make children curious about him and will lead them to play with words and ask plenty of questions as well. Lively and informative, the book also presents some of Cummings's most wonderful poems, integrating them seamlessly into the story to give the reader the music of his voice and a spirited, sensitive introduction to his poetry.

In keeping with the epigraph of the book -- "It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are," Matthew Burgess's narrative emphasizes the bravery it takes to follow one's own vision and the encouragement E.E. received to do just that.


Mischief and Malice
by Berthe Amos (Lizzie Skurnick Books).
Set in New Orleans, Louisiana, on the eve of World War II, Mischief and Malice is a brand new work from an iconic figure in young adult literature. Following the death of her Aunt Eveline, fourteen-year old Addie; who we first met in Berthe Amoss's classic Secret Lives; is now living with her Aunt Tooise, Uncle Henry, and her longtime rival cousin, Sandra Lee. A new family has just moved into Addie's former house, including a young girl who is just Addie's age. Meanwhile, Louis, the father of Tom, Addie's lifelong neighbor and best friend, suddenly returns after having disappeared when Tom was a baby. Between school dances, organizing a Christmas play, fretting about her hair, and a blossoming romance with Tom, Addie stumbles upon a mystery buried in the Great Catch All, an ancient giant armoire filled with heirlooms of her family's past, which holds a devastating secret that could destroy Louis and Tom's lives. Once again, Berthe Amoss has created an indelible portrait of a young girl coming of age in prewar New Orleans.

The Astrologer's Daughter by Rebecca Lim (Text Publishing Company). Avicenna Crowe's mother is missing.

The police suspect foul play. Joanne is an astrologer, predicting strangers' futures from their star charts. Maybe one of her clients had a bad reading?

But Avicenna has inherited the gift. Armed with Joanne's journal, she begins her own investigation that leads into the city's dark underworld. The clock is ticking, and as each clue unravels Avicenna finds her life ever more in danger.


The Keeper's Daughter
by Jean-Francois Caron, Translated by Don Wilson (Talonbooks)
. Young Dorothea is appointed by the tourist bureau to direct a documentary film re-enacting life at a lighthouse off Quebec's North Shore in the 1940s and '50s. To obtain material for the film, she is advised to interview an old woman, Rose Brouillard, the daughter of a fisherman who grew up on a nearby island in the St. Lawrence. Rose is finally tracked down in Montreal. She is now old: her memory and grasp of reality are hazy; nevertheless she tells her story and takes Dorothea back to scenes from her childhood. We see fishermen on the docks with their nets, hard-at-work villagers with shirtsleeves rolled up to the elbow, leafy gardens and tree-lined streets, all recreated from Rose's failing memory. The problem is that many of these scenes are invented, not real. Does that matter? Or are the stories we tell more important?

(This one is listed as "Finding Rose" in the catalog but "The Keeper's Daughter" at the publisher and online booksellers - not sure what it really is, though.)

Load Poems Like Guns: Women's Poetry from Herat, Afghanistan compiled & translated by Farzana Marie (Holy Cow! Press). A groundbreaking collection of poetry by eight contemporary Afghan women poets in English translation en face with the original Persian Dari text. These poets live in Herat, the ancient epicenter of literature and the arts.


The Red Notebook by Antoine Laurain (Gallic Books). Bookseller Laurent Letellier comes across an abandoned handbag on a Parisian street and feels impelled to return it to its owner.

The bag contains no money, phone or contact information. But a small red notebook with handwritten thoughts and jottings reveals a person that Laurent would very much like to meet.

Without even a name to go on, and only a few of her possessions to help him, how is he to find one woman in a city of millions?

The Little Free Library Book by Margret Aldrich (Coffee House Press). Take a book. Return a book." In 2009, Todd Bol built the first Little Free Library as a memorial to his mom. Five years later, this simple idea to promote literacy and encourage community has become a movement. Little Free Libraries; freestanding front-yard book exchanges; now number twenty thousand in seventy countries. The Little Free Library Book tells the history of these charming libraries, gathers quirky and poignant firsthand stories from owners, provides a resource guide for how to best use your Little Free Library, and delights readers with color images of the most creative and inspired LFLs around.

Fanny Says by Nickole Brown (BOA Editions, Ltd). In this "unleashed love song" to her late grandmother, Nickole Brown brings her brassy, bawdy, tough-as-new-rope grandmother to life. With hair teased to Jesus, glued-on false eyelashes, and a white Cadillac Eldorado with atomic-red leather seats, Fanny isn't your typical granny in a rocking chair. Instead, think of a character that looks a lot like Eva Gabor in Green Acres, but tinted with a shadow of Sylvia Plath.

Chernobyl Strawberries by Vesna Goldsworthy (Wilmington Square Books). How would you make sense of your life if you thought it might end tomorrow? In this captivating and best-selling memoir, Vesna Goldsworthy tells the story of herself, her family, and her early life in her lost country. There follows marriage, a move to England, and a successful media and academic career, then a cancer diagnosis and its unresolved consequences. A profoundly moving, comic, and original account by a stunning literary talent.

The Surfacing by Cormac James (Bellevue Literary Press). Far from civilization, on the hunt for Sir John Franklins recently lost Northwest Passage expedition, Lieutenant Morgan and his crew find themselves trapped in ever-hardening Arctic ice that threatens to break apart their ship. When Morgan realizes that a stowaway will give birth to his child in the frozen wilderness, he finds new clarity and courage to lead his men across a bleak expanse as shifting, stubborn, and treacherous as human nature itself.

Well Fed, Flat Broke by Emily Wright (Arsenal Pulp Press). This collection of 120 recipes ranges from the simple (perfect scrambled eggs, rice and lentils) to the sublime (Orecchiette with White Beans and Sausage, Mustard-fried Chicken). Chapters are organized by ingredient so that you can easily build a meal from what you have on hand. Well Fed, Flat Broke has flavours to please every palette including Thai, Dutch, Indonesian, and Latin American-inspired recipes such as Kimchi Pancakes, Salvadoran Roast Chicken, and Pantry Kedgeree, reflecting a diverse array of affordable ingredients and products in grocery stores, markets, and delis.

Emily is a working mother and wife who lives with a picky toddler in one of Canada's most expensive cities. She offers readers real-talk about food, strategic shopping tips, sound advice for picky eaters, and suggestions on how to build a well-stocked, yet inexpensive pantry. Cooking every night can be challenging for busy families who are short on time and lean in budget; Emily includes plenty of one-pot dishes to keep everyone healthy, full, and happy.

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17. Trajectory Aims to Improve Book Discovery

Digital book distribution firm Trajectory has created a new algorithm that aims to make book discovery better online.

The tool users metadata and keywords to scan the texts of eBooks in order to give readers and book buyers book recommendations. Using its “Natural Language Processing Engine,” the tool categorizes books on a complex level with the promise to understand the personality of a book. The engine then uses this three-dimensional understanding of a text to make recommendations for other books that a reader might be interested in. It’s not unlike what you might experience on Netflix or Amazon.

This new service is now available for book retailers, as well as libraries and schools to license.

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18. Relief: The Kirkus Review of One Thing Stolen

“Rivetingly captures the destructive effects of mental and physical illness on a likable, sweet-natured teen.”—Kirkus Reviews

Something very bad is happening to 17-year-old Nadia.Ever since her family relocated to Florence for her father's sabbatical, she's been slipping out at night to steal random objects and then weave them into bizarre nest-shaped forms she hides from her family, and she's losing her ability to speak. The first section of the novel is related by Nadia in brief, near-breathless, panicky sentences that effectively capture her increasing disintegration. Switching smoothly between entrancing flashbacks of her promising past—"It was so easy, being me"and her painful, confusing present, which includes visions of a "fluorescent" boy with a pink duffle, real or imagined, Nadia relates her story in fragments. Her parents, remarkably slow to realize Nadia isn't just having trouble adjusting, finally contact wise, nurturing Katherine, a doctor, for help. The narrative switches to the voice of Maggie, Nadia's beloved friend and soul mate, who joins the family in Italy to help Nadia and to find the duffle boy, whose existence—or not—has become critically important. It is he who narrates the final brief section. With Nadia's jumbled personality slipping away, the change of narrative voice is especially disquieting, offering few guarantees of a happy outcome. Disturbing, sometimes unsettling and ultimately offering a sliver of hope, this effort rivetingly captures the destructive effects of mental and physical illness on a likable, sweet-natured teen.

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19. nine picture book topics to avoid

By Leslie Helakoski Boyds Mills Press

By Leslie Helakoski
Boyds Mills Press

While we’re still knee-deep in winter, it helps to have something GREAT to look forward to. Here’s what I high-as-a-snowbank highly recommend . . .

Children’s book author Darcy Pattison and children’s book author/illustrator Leslie Helakoski will co-lead a unique workshop, PB&J: Picture Books and All That Jazz at Highlight’s Foundation in Honesdale, PA on April 23-26, 2015. Join them and learn how to make your story rise above the fierce competition.

For a taste of what’s to come at the PB&J workshop, here’s a wisdom-filled article written by Darcy and Leslie . . . 

When people think about writing a children’s picture book, clichéd topics pop up. These classic themes are based on universal childhood experiences. It’s not that these topics are taboo. Instead, they are so common that competition is fierce. As they say, children’s publishing is a bunny-eat-bunny world.

Here are the top 9 topics to avoid. Also listed is a children’s book, published within the last 5 years, that is a fresh take on the topic. If you are considering writing a picture book about one of these topics, it will be a harder sale unless you can find an original way to approach it.

1. First Day of School. Everyone wants to get kids ready for the first day of school, and it’s hard to find a fresh approach.

Updated title that works:

Dad’s First Day (July, 2015), written and illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka.

2. Tooth fairy. People have 32 teeth, and losing baby teeth in early elementary school is a universal experience. The tooth fairy often has a place in a family story, which makes it a perennial topic for a children’s book.

Updated title that works:

The Dinosaur Tooth Fairy (2013) by Martha Brockenbrough, illustrated by Israel Sanchez.

3. Christmas/Halloween. Major holidays are often the focus on children’s books.

Updated Titles that Work:

Christmas Parade (2012) written and illustrated by Sandra Boynton.

Smudge and the Book of Mistakes: A Christmas Story (2013), by Gloria Whelan, illustrated by Stephen Costanza.

 4. Wanting a pet. From gerbils to dogs, cats to chinchillas—humans love their pets. It’s a natural topic for a children’s book.

Updated titles that work:

I Want a Dog: My Opinion Essay (2015) by Darcy Pattison, illustrated by Ewa O’Neill.

I Want a Cat: My Opinion Essay (2015) by Darcy Pattison, illustrated by Ewa O’Neill.

5. Dealing with a disability. With today’s cultural emphasis on diversity (#WeNeedDiversity), libraries are looking for stories with disabled characters.

Updated title that works:

My Three Best Friends and Me, Zulay (2015) by Cari Best, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton.

6. Visiting Grandma and Grandpa. Who buys books for children? Grandparents! And of course, grandparents want to encourage a close relationship with their grandchildren. Do this topic with humor and honest emotion and you’ll have a winner.

Updated titles that work:

How to Babysit a Grandpa (2012) by Jean Reagan, illustrated by Lee Wildish.

How to Babysit a Grandma (2014) by Jean Reagan, illustrated by Lee Wildish.

 7. New baby in the family. Young children often have to move over and make room for a new sibling. Books helps them work through the complicated emotions when a new baby arrives

Updated title that works:

You Were the First (2013) by Patricia MacLachlan, illustrated by Stephanie Graegin.

8. Barnyard stories/rural nostalgia. The rural roots of America are ever-present in children’s books. One of the first things kids learn is the sounds made by farm animals. From there, chickens and pigs rule!

Updated title that works:

Big Pigs (2014), written and illustrated by Leslie Helakoski.

9. Bedtime stories. Kids who are read to become better readers. What better time to read than bedtime? And if the story ends on a quiet note that encourages the kids to go to sleep faster, parents will love you.

Updated title that works:

Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site (2012) by Sherry Duskey Rinker, illustrated by Tom Lictenheld.

Not convinced that you should avoid these topics? Then put on your A-Game! Because the competition for children’s picture books about these topics is fierce. Yet, if you write a fantastic story about one of these topics, it might just become a classic.


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20. Why I Can Never Benefit From Groupie Groups

Literary crushes and book boyfriends--they're a thing. I was kind of stunned when I first heard about them a few years ago. Various bloggers would carry on about their book boyfriends, a popular one being Mr. Darcy, that narrow-minded stick-in-the-mud, from Pride and Prejudice. Crushes, I always thought, were sort of shallow, not something anyone would admit to. Especially crushes on imaginary people. Especially if you were an adult.

But book people do enjoy them and do like to talk about them, and writers can talk about theirs in Special Features that will get shared on social media and everyone will love reading it. And I will never be able to be part of that because I don't do crushes particularly on imaginary people.

And when I like a really terrific character I don't crush on them, I want to be them. But not Mr. Darcy. And not Elizabeth Bennet, either. Jane Eyre, okay. Jo Bhaer in Little Men, not Jo March in Little Women. I wanted to be Sherlock Holmes when I was a kid. Not so much now.

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21. Happy Birthdays to My Eldests

In November, Blondechick turned 22 on the 22nd--her "golden birthday." We had a party with all "gold" foods (yellow and orange) and also had a quiz on her favorite things ("Things Blondechick Thinks Are Golden").


And a week ago, our oldest turned 24! His only requests were pecan pie instead of birthday cake, and he wanted the whole family to watch "How to Train Your Dragon 2" with him. He also asked his dad to take him and B15 to Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner. It's the simple things!

In honor of their missed birthdays--a quick update. 

Blondechick has been working at a law firm since September, training to become a paralegal--and she absolutely loves it! Such an answer to prayer. She has been living alone, essentially, on the second floor of a friends' home, but she is about to move into a house with 4 other girls from her church--another answer to prayer! These girls not only cook and eat meals together, they pray and worship together too, so she is excited for that kind of fellowship! She remains involved with the church she began attending last year, when she was enrolled in its School of Worship. She continues to have her ups and downs, but she keeps clinging to Jesus through it all--praise God! We are thankful for how God faithfully keeps working in her life.

Bantam24 still lives at home and still works at a dollar store, usually just one day a week, where he stocks shelves from 5 AM to 10 AM. He may not be their most productive employee, but he is reliable! He sets his alarm for 3:30 AM and has never overslept. Instead of paying us rent, he contributes service at home. It is wonderful to have his help running kids around, picking up groceries, vacuuming, putting out the trash weekly and staying on top of the daily dishes. He runs daily on the treadmill and is at his lowest weight in years. He spends a lot of time gaming and editing/contributing graphic images for Halopedia and Destinypedia. He has many online friends that he games with, and he even began witnessing to one, a depressed veteran of Iraq.

We have recently applied for Social Security Income for him, since it doesn't seem like he's going to be very capable of supporting himself if something were to happen to both of us. We had a lot of testing done and it clearly supports our case. It was sad and sobering to read the report. Yet it made me so very grateful to God that B24 lives a life that is much richer than his diagnosis and abilities would indicate. He enjoys his family, and we enjoy him and his quirks so much. Even though he gets argumentative sometimes about helping, he feels needed and appreciated. (He has told others that his family really needs him--and it's the truth!) God knew what He was doing when he gave us B24 first!

The transition from having dependent children to having young adults hasn't been really smooth with these two (and we still need prayer, if you are so inclined). But God has been so faithful to walk with them and with us through these seasons.

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22. character appearance

Question: I have a pretty good idea of what I would like my character to look like, but it would really help to see it in front of me. I'm not the best

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23. Public Speaking

Here are some hints to help you survive public speaking at an event.

http://writershelpingwriters.net/2014/11/3-tricks-surviving-public-speaking-event/

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24. Happy 100th Birthday, Disney Legend Bill Peet! (Gallery)

Happy centennial birthday to Bill Peet (1915-2002) who was born in Grandview, Indiana exactly one hundred years ago today.

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25. Amazon’s Net Sales Up 20% in 2014

Amazon’s fourth quarter 2014 net sales reached $29.33 billion, a 15 percent increase compared to the $25.59 billion net sales the company reported in the fourth quarter 2013.

The company released its financial results for its 2014 fourth quarter, as well as its full year today. The company’s net sales were $88.99 billion, a 20 percent increase from the $74.45 billion it earned in net sales in 2013. Here is more from the press release:

Operating income was $178 million, compared with operating income of $745 million in 2013. Net loss was $241 million, or $0.52 per diluted share, compared with net income of $274 million, or $0.59 per diluted share, in 2013.

“When we raised the price of Prime membership last year, we were confident that customers would continue to find it the best bargain in the history of shopping. The data is in and customers agree — on a base of tens of millions, worldwide paid membership grew 53% last year — 50% in the U.S. and even a bit faster outside the U.S.,” stated Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com.

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