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By: Terry Hooper-Scharf,
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Benoît Peeters in 2010. Photo: Georges Seguin (Okki) [ GFDL
| CC BY-SA 3.0
, via Wikimedia Commons
Kendal, 3rd March, 2015: Following up on the popularity of several Continental guests in 2014, the Lakes International Comic Art Festival is pleased to announce the appearance of its first four French artists coming to this year’s weekend-long event in Kendal.
(Vincent Paronnaud) is the successful author of Pinocchio
and the recently-released In God We Trust
, published in the UK by Knockabout Comics
, which won the Fauve d'Or prize in Angouleme in 2009. He also works as an award-winning director in France with such films as Persepolis
(2007 Cannes Jury Prize) and Chicken with Plums
Academic, writer, thinker and biographer of Herge and Derrida Benoît Peeters
is the author of the experimental Obscure Cities series (Les Cités Obscures
) and Tokyo is My Garden
(Tôkyo est Mon Jardin
). Since 2003, he has been head of Bang!
magazine with Fabrice Bousteau.
Published in the UK by Breakdown Press, Antoine Cossé
grew up in the Paris suburbs but, aged 20, moved to London to study at Camberwell College of Art. Mutiny Bay
– also published in French – is his most ambitious and substantial work to date.
Top French artist Boulet
– recently announced as a new patron for the Festival along with Stephen L. Holland, owner of the Page 45 comic ship in Nottingham – has over 25 graphic novels in print in his native country including the Raghnarok and Chez La boîte à bulles series for Glenat. Two books in the Donjon (Dungeon) series, created with Lewis Trondheim and Joann Sfar, are available in English.
These four French creators, each at varying stages in their careers, are just some of the international guests heading to Kendal this year alongside British creators such as Bryan Talbot
and Sean Phillips
, and the award-winning Canadian comic book writer, artist, cartoonist and animator Darwyn Cooke
This year’s Lakes International Comic Art Festival (16th - 18th October 2015) will feature a huge number of international comic creators - possibly more than any other comics event of its kind in the UK - and also include numerous programming strands. These include appearances by top shoujo manga
creators from Japan, Canadian creators, British comic writers and artists, along with the return of many popular events including the children-friendly Family Zone and eye-catching Windows Trail involving over 50 local businesses keen to support the Festival’s aim to be the “Angouleme of the North”.
In addition, the Festival is supporting a number of major commissioning initiatives, working in partnership with organisations across the UK and beyond, more on which will be announced shortly.• The Festival is grateful the support of the Institut Francais the Wallonie Brussels International in bringing these four guests to Kendal in 2015 • Tickets for this year's Lakes International Comic Art Festival go on sale from the Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal, from 1st June 2015
Pat Zietlow Miller is the author of the award-winning (and adorable!) picture book Sophie's Squash, illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf. Sophie's Squash is story that celebrates the special love between a child and her favorite toy--only in this case it's a butternut squash. On a trip to the farmers' market with her parents, Sophie chooses a squash, but instead of letting her mom cook it, she names it Bernice. Sophie's Squash has earned many accolades and honors, including four starred reviews, the Golden Kite Award, the Charlotte Zolotow Honor Book Award, and the Ezra Jack Keats Honor Book Award.
And fortunately for the children's book world, Pat has more books coming out in the world--SEVEN to be exact (at last count). Coming in April is Wherever You Go, illustrated by Eliza Wheeler. In Wherever You Go, join an adventurous rabbit and his animal friends as they journey over steep mountain peaks, through bustling cityscapes, and down long, winding roads to discover the magical worlds that await them just outside their doors. This book celebrates the possibilities that lie beyond the next bend in the road – the same road that will always lead you home again. Kirkus Reviews gave Wherever You Go a starred review with the praise: "Miller's verse, infused with musical momentum, communicates the emotional arch of a journey with beautiful brevity."
To learn more about Pat Zietlow Miller, visit her website.
Describe your workspace.
I write in one of two spots. At my kitchen table surrounded by the detritus of life in a family of four – books, papers, pens, calendars, mail, dishes – or at a desk upstairs that looks much more writerly. I’m probably in the kitchen more often just because that’s the way things seem to work out. Describe a typical workday. Most days, I’m at my regular job in corporate communications at an insurance company editing copy and writing about auto, home, and life insurance. (Hint: Having umbrella coverage is a good idea.) When I get home, I start dinner, talk to my husband and kids, and help with homework where I can. English and language arts are fine. Calculus and physics are not. Then, when the kids are studying and my husband is watching basketball, I flip open my laptop and get going. Of course if the kids have evening activities, I’m probably driving them there instead of writing. So when I do write, I tend to be pretty focused. I don’t have a lot of time to mess around. List three of your most favorite things in your workspace and why they are meaningful. These are all from my upstairs formal writing space.
- A dictionary and bookmark I got from my high school English teacher Gladys Veidemanis after I was voted “Most Likely to Be Published” by my classmates. It took more than 20 years after I graduated, but it did happen.
- A nameplate that belonged to my aunt, Faye Clow, who was director of the Bettendorf Public Library for many years. She was a huge proponent of books and literacy, and I always loved her and admired that. My upcoming book, Sophie's Seeds (Schwartz & Wade, 2016), is dedicated to Faye.
- The F&G [publishing term that means folded and gathered--they are fancy colored proofs] of whatever my next book is. Right now, I have Wherever You Go, which is coming from Little, Brown on April 21 and Sharing the Bread, which is coming from Schwartz & Wade on Aug. 25. Getting the F&Gs always makes the book finally seem real.
Do you have any rituals in your work habits? If so, describe them. Open lap top. Sit down. Start typing. Ignore any tears, arguments, or requests for help finding lost items until the young person involved either goes away or asks my husband. While some writers follow very organized processes when writing, I’m a little more haphazard. I wrote a post about this for Tara Lazar’s Picture Book Idea Month. What do you listen to while you work? Everything listed in my answer to the previous question. I really prefer not to have music playing while I write. It impedes my ability to focus on the story. (When you read my answer to the next-to-last question, you’ll see that this can be a problem.) What is your drink and/or snack of choice while you’re working? I normally don’t eat or drink while I’m writing. I tend to eat and drink when I get up and walk around because I’m temporarily stuck. Then, dark chocolate is always good. But I have standards. It’s got to be top-of-the-line stuff. What keeps you focused while you’re working? Getting the story done and making it the best it can possibly be. Finding the perfect combination of words is really important to me. And I love critique partners and editors who really challenge me if they think I haven’t quite done it. Do you write longhand, on a computer, or another way? Nearly always on a computer. Very rarely, I’ll write longhand if I’m on a plane or a bus and a pad of paper is all I’ve got to work with. But I do jot down notes longhand, usually phrases that I think sound intriguing. How do you develop your story ideas? Do you use an outline, let the muse lead you, or another technique? It sounds terribly boring, but I’m afraid I just sit down, open my laptop and start writing. Sometimes, I stare at my manuscript for a while before starting. While I certainly have been inspired, I don’t really believe in waiting for inspiration, because I could be waiting a long time. I find that the mere act of beginning to write usually kick-starts my inspiration. If you were forced to share your workspace but could share it with anyone of your choosing, who would it be? My husband. He’s a sportswriter and works out of our house. On days that I’m not at my day job, we often work in adjoining rooms. He’s fun to have around, although he sometimes plays really, really bad music while he works – like “My Girl Bill.” If we ever worked next to each other long term, this could become problematic. What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve heard or received?
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It’s what I learned in a high school journalism class taught by Ron Harrell. The end of your story has to have some element of the beginning in it to provide satisfying closure. He said it was like wrapping a ribbon around a present and tying a big bow. I wrote a blog post about this concept on Picture Book Builders.
As the Maker Movement gains momentum across the country in schools and libraries, YALSA’s Cultural Competence Task Force is encouraging organizers to think about ways to expand the scope of maker programs to broaden their appeal to all kids. Making isn’t just about robots and Legos, and it’s not just for the “nerdy” boy. In fact there are many developments and initiatives that are changing the definition of makers and making that we want to highlight. From Black Girls Code, New York City’s Mouse.org, DreamYard’s DIY Dream it Yourself, the Community Science Workshop Network, to programs like Able Gamers and the Washington D.C. Public Library’s “DIY Fair for People with (and without) Disabilities”, we are seeing a concerted effort to engage and include children from underserved communities so they may envision a future for themselves in the tech world.
Another important direction for the maker movement is to step away from the robots and find opportunities to include maker activities that tap into a broader range of cultures and traditions. A research group at MIT called High Low Tech is a wonderful source of information about this topic and offers tutorials for some amazing and unique projects. We take particular inspiration from Leah Buechley, a designer, engineer, and educator who likes to create tools and programs that mix together cutting edge technology with traditional art forms (her inventions include the Lilypad Arduino). A great discussion of equity and the maker movement, and a nice shout out to Buechley’s work, can also be found at Rafi Santo’s blog.
If you’ve been thinking about how you can incorporate the maker movement into your library programming, we encourage you to take some time to explore these resources and find ways to connect with kids who may not think “making” is for them.
submitted by YALSA Cultural Competence Task Force
The mission of the YALSA Cultural Competence Task Force is to help you incorporate cultural competence into your everyday work, and to increase the relevance and value of our libraries as partners in our communities, especially in reaching traditionally underserved young adults. Kim Dare, 2014-2015 Chair
This was fun to see the comparison between the computer screen outcome and the printed page outcome. It really is like magic that the two technologies are almost identical - even allowing for the different lighting conditions.
Lucky for me it's the innate charm of the concept and design along with the talent of drawing that makes the difference in any image... so that a robot can't do it.
Matthew Cordell is the illustrator of over 25 books for children including picture books, novels, and works of poetry. Several of which he has also written, including New York Times Notable picture book, HELLO! HELLO!. Matthew lives in a suburb of Chicago with his wife, author Julie Halpern, and their two children. Visit him online at matthewcordell.com. You can also find him on Facebook and Twitter.
Matthew's two newest books are SPECIAL DELIVERY, written by Philip C. Stead and illustrated by Matthew (Roaring Brook Press), and WISH, written and illustrated by Matthew (Disney-Hyperion).
SPECIAL DELIVERY synopsis: Sadie is determined to deliver an elephant to her Great-Aunt Josephine, who lives completely alone and can really use the company. With the help of some interesting characters, she tries mailing the elephant, flying it over, hopping a train, and even an alligator boat ride. This eccentric and hilarious story will surprise and entertain from beginning to end.
WISH synopsis: As an elephant couple embark on a life together, thoughts of children are far away-at first. But as the desire for a child grows, so do unexpected challenges. And it's only after thwarted plans and bitter disappointment that their deepest wish miraculously comes true.
Q: Could you please take a photo of something in your office and tell me the story behind it?
This is a corkboard that hangs in an awkward spot on the wall--kind of hard to reach--between my computer desk and my drawing table. At one point or another over the years, I've tacked up bits of stuff I was working on at the time, images by favorite artists to inspire, and personal photos. Most of the things on the board are ridiculously out of date (I should really put up some photos of my two beautiful children!), but I am rather proud of myself for having the motivation to hang the thing on the wall in the first place.
Q: What advice do you have for young writers and/or illustrators?
I'm not sure how original this is, but I think it's good advice and I wish I had followed it much earlier in my career. Which is this: figure out what makes you unique, interesting, weird, and you. Think about the things that sculpted you in your life, past and present that made you the individual that you are today--your interests, passions, personality quirks, etc. And use this as much as you can in your writing, art, etc. Do not be afraid to let this stuff come out. It's what makes you you and not look like and read like other books that are already in print. It's incredibly hard not to be overly influenced by authors and illustrators from all times (and you will be influenced, and you should embrace that) but you can use that and manipulate it to your advantage too.
Q: What are you excited about right now?
My wife (YA author, Julie Halpern) loves to plan family vacations. I love taking her planned family vacations because she does exhaustive research, plans things out full tilt, and does such an incredible job to insure we get the most of out these trips. We are taking our kids (our daughter's 6 and the boy's 20 months) to Disneyworld this coming fall. Julie updates us everyday on all the stuff we can do together there, how we'll make things work with a toddler, scoring the best deals on stuff, etc. Really looking forward to it. I love books and I love art intensely. But time away with the family is what I really enjoy the most in life.
For more interviews, see my Inkygirl Interview Archive.
Unwrapping the first two books in, "How Do You Do Music Series."
Quotes about music:
"Where words leave off, music begins." - Heinrich Heine
"Music touches us emotionally, where words alone can't." - Johnny Depp
"Music is the universal language of mankind." - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow"
"Music can change the world because it can change people." - Bono
Unwrapping Book # 1 - "A Song for the Birds"
This charming book is a delightful way to introduce reading music to young children. Sisters Leah Wells and Naomi Rosenblatt team up to write, illustrate and publish Unique Music Story Book for Early Readers. The book is designed to introduce pre-schoolers and beginning readers to music through stories and pictures. Notes on the treble clef bring individual birds who sing their own notes (C for canary, D for duck etc.) and then under the direction of the Birdwatcher the whimsical little flock compose a melody, using all their notes together making a song. The illustrations orchestrate the power and magic of the music for the reader to behold.
Unwrapping Book # 2: "The Rainbow Remembers the Music"
Unwrapping some illustrations for you...
Guess what? You can actually see songs from the birds on the rainbow," Grandpa tells his grandchildren, Doug and Daisy. The rain had stopped and they donned their rain gear to go out fishing together. The sun peeked through and low and behold a beautiful rainbow appeared in the sky prompting Grandpa to impart the information that you can see the bird songs on the rainbow. How ever could that be? And why? Grandpa explains that then they all can sing along as the rainbow is a gift from the birds, and they tell us the notes to sing. But what happens when the rainbow disappears? How do you keep the music to enjoy? The kids find an ingenious way to keep the music alive and shares it with the all young music lovers everywhere.
This fun, inspirational and educational book acquaints the readers with elements of music. A wonderful addition includes 22 pages of enlarged staff paper to use. What a brilliant idea! This book has been nominated for a 2015 Family Choice Award and rightly so.
Leonardo DiCaprio will play Billy Milligan in The Crowded Room movie.
This film adaptation will be based on Daniel Keyes’ 1981 nonfiction title, The Minds of Billy Milligan. Milligan gained notoriety for being the first person to gain an acquittal by using multiple personality disorder as a defense.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, “DiCaprio has been interested in playing him stretching back to 1997.” In addition to his acting role, The Wolf of Wall Street star (pictured, via) will also serve as a producer. Jason Smilovic and Todd Katzberg have come on board as the screenwriters. (via The Huffington Post)
My question regards comp titles. You've spoken many times about the need to know what's selling in your genre right now, and to showcase this knowledge in your queries by naming successful comp titles. You've also said that if we can't find appropriate comp titles we're not doing the right research.
I write high concept YA, of which there are many, many on the market right now. My main character is also a lesbian. The number of YA novels featuring f/f romances is on the rise, but everything I've seen is exclusively contemporary or science fiction/fantasy (m/m romances are a different story). I've scoured Goodreads, Absolute Write, and many other forums, but the recommendations I get there tend to be obscure. Titles that receive more than a couple thousand reviews on Goodreads are rare. The most mainstream I've found are Malinda Lo's books, which were published by Little, Brown and have sold reasonably well. They are also fantasy novels. The lack of representation motivates me to finish my novel, but at the same time discourages me from ever hoping to be published by a large company.
My question is: Am I focusing on on the wrong aspects of my work when looking for comp title, i.e., should I list titles that are similar in concept and tone but with straight MCs? Yes. What you're missing here is the unique selling point for your novel: your character is a lesbian. AFTER you've done research and found few titles, then you know that you've got something that is probably fresh and new. That's a GOOD thing.You're on the right side of "there's nothing quite like mine" because you've found books that are similar to yours but without the main character being a lesbian. Comp titles aren't the same as clone or twin titles. Lee Child writes very different books than those of John Sanford. I love both authors and their books. Both are generally called crime novels. They appeal to the same readers. They're not similar books in plot, tone or character. You've also not mentioned utilizing one of the best resources available to you: your local library. Librarians live for this kind of question. Give them a shout.And while we're at it: writers, support your local library. Join Friends of the Library and volunteer to work at the annual book sale. Kick in some money to the fundraiser. Writer letters of support to the government body that funds the library. Libraries, like writers, are the foundation of democracy and we all need to make sure both stay strong.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Today's blog post brought to you by The Tao and The Bard by Phillip dePoy.
The Tao Te Ching or Book of the Way of Virtue is a touchstone of Eastern philosophy and mysticism. It has been called the wisest book ever written, and its author, Lao Tzu, is known as the Great Archivist.
Shakespeare, the Bard, was the West’s greatest writer and even invented human nature, according to some.
The Tao and the Bard is the delightful conversation between these two unlikely spokesmen, who take part in a free exchange of views in its pages.
By: Sinead O’Connor,
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, Feminist Allies
, feminist men
, feminist movement
, history of feminism
, Max A. Greenberg
, men in feminism
, men's position in feminism
, Movement to End Violence against Women
, Some Men
, women's liberation movement
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In the span of one week at the beginning of February, two of the largest cultural events in the United States featured prominent messages about ending violence against women. The NFL gave away coveted air-time to run this ad from the NO MORE campaign.
The post What can we learn from the lives of male feminists? appeared first on OUPblog.
By: Jeanine Henderson,
Blog: Illustration Friday Blog
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Post by Jeanine
I fell completely in love with the gorgeous work of illustrator and hand-lettering artist Kate Forrester as soon as I stumbled upon it. Her striking and versatile style has earned her an extensive list of international clients and diverse projects, including book jackets, packaging, greeting cards, advertisements, billboards, and much more. Kate combines dynamic hand-lettering with lovely illustrations to create flowing, organic images and often explores new & exciting mediums including wood, chocolates, tattoos, laser-cut paper illustrations—and even wedding cake!
Kate is based in the UK and her impressive list of clients includes Tiffany NYC, Victoria’s Secret, Random House, Penguin Books, Crate and Barrel, The Guardian, Little Brown, Walker Books, Moonstruck Chocolates and many more.
See more of Kate’s work here: Portfolio | Blog
By: Abbey Lovell,
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, american history
, gender equality
, Lucy Stone
, Lucy Stone: An Unapologetic Life
, Sally G. McMillen
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, women's rights
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Lucy Stone, a nineteenth-century abolitionist and suffragist, became by the 1850s one of the most famous women in America. She was a brilliant orator, played a leading role in organizing and participating in national women’s rights conventions, served as president of the American Equal Rights Association [...]
The post Suffragist Lucy Stone in 10 facts appeared first on OUPblog.
By: Terry Hooper-Scharf,
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In His Cups is a complete collection of Phil Elliott’s comic strip, Tales from Gimbley featuring the eponymous everyman, Dave Gimbley. Gimbley recounts tales from his youth including his one-night stand with the Mona Lisa; a fight to the death with a sumo wrestler; deconstructing a de stijl chair; being an integral member of a Performance Art piece; meeting the Holy Man and many other surreal, humorous and often poignant adventures.
Eek. I told someone that I reviewed this book back around Christmas. I did. It was quite a longish review. Person gets back to me:"I can't find it -are you sure?" Well, of course I was sure because I had to make a couple corrections and post the link to my Yahoo groups....I've searched. It is gone. As are a couple other reviews. I love Blogger at times!
Elliott, of course, drew the excellent Second City
for Harrier Comics back in the 1980s.
I cannot remember what I wrote, of course, I'm lucky if I remember to change my pants. This book collects over 30 years worth of strip-work and it's interesting to see the change in styles and mediums Elliott used.
Believe me, you want to try to track down and buy the publications featuring the strip -give up. Go look for the Golden Fleece. That or buy this book which is easier and will give you a fun read!
Support Independent talent.
A new review from Amazon for my new Mastering the Craft of Compelling Storytelling:
A Must Read
"Mastering the Craft of Compelling Storytelling" is the only writing book -- and I own quite a few -- that I've highlighted. Concepts that I've struggled to understand make more sense, and my writing strengths are further improved. The section on "weak, wasted, and wrong words" is one of the many sections to reread when writing/rewriting a novel, short story, or any prose.
"This is now my go-to book when I'm writing or rewriting a story.
"Story/plot has always been something I struggled with, as far as understanding how to construct a good one. This book has been a big "aha" for me and was, within the first handful of pages, improving my storytelling.
"Definitely a must read for writers of all experience levels."
Signed paperbacks are available on my website (discounted price, free shipping), both Kindle and the paperback are available on Amazon.com.
Own. #gazianogirling #hove #vintageoak #dg70 #skoaktiebolaget #nofilter #mensshoes #classicshoes #menswear #shoegazingblog by shoegazingblog
By: Cathy Morrison,
Houses don't come in one shape or size. The mole lives underground, the seal lives in the ocean and the deer and fox live in the meadow.
These are illustrations from Pitter and Patter
written by Martha Sullivan, published by Dawn Publishing and illustrated by me, Cathy Morrison. It's one of their new spring releases.
Welcome Home and Happy Spring!
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Just when I was in despair about the state of the world because of our dependence on oil, I read The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World by Daniel Yergin. Whew. There is some hope. At least, that’s my interpretation of it. I am a glass half full type of person and that’s my view of it. I may be wrong. I’ve been wrong before. THE QUEST ENERGY, SECURITY, AND THE REMAKING OF THE MODERN WORLD DANIEL YERGIN 2011 774 Pages The Penguin Press ISBN 978-1-59420-283-4 It also Includes Acknowledgements, Photos and Photo Credits, Notes on each chapter, a Bibliography and an Index. This book gives me hope. Its message is simple and positive. It convinced me, through painstaking research, interviews and a recounting of recent history, that human beings will survive. Somehow, through some miracle, In some unpredictable, unknowable way, human kind will make it through. It is worth reading for that hope alone. The list of major events and their effects on human efforts to harness available energy is impressive. And it all happened within the span of a lifetime. Desert Storm, the collapse of communism, OPEC and Venezuela’s actions, the world recession and, of course, 9/11, the accidents at Chernobyl and Three Mile Island, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the Japanese tsunami and the Arab Spring. All of them and others are on the list. Daniel Yergin, a Pulitzer Prize winning writer, lays out this book in six sections. Part 1 is called The New World of Oil and is made up of ten chapters which deal with events which range from the Gulf War to the rise of China. The definition and examples of “the Dutch Disease” and “Petrostate” are contained in these chapters as well as an accounting of the creation of the “Supermajors” (giant companies like ExxonMobil) and their influence. Part 2 is called Securing the Supply and includes chapters eleven to sixteen. They deal with unrest in the Middle East, the uncertainty of Venezuela, the threats from Iran and the history and currency of “energy independence” from American and Chinese points of view. Part 3 is called The Electric Age and includes chapters seventeen to twenty which demonstrates that “the history of the oil and gas industry, as with virtually all industries, is one of technological advance”. It is here that human progress is tied inexorably to electricity which is produced, in large part, by burning carbon. Part 4 is called Climate and Carbon. It includes chapters twenty one to twenty-six which tell the story of how climate change went from the study of a few curious scientists climbing around glaciers to the main focus of the Kyoto Conference to the beginning move toward a carbon market and a cap and trade system. Those who object to “trading pollution” are reminded that the internet exists because of electricity. Part 5 is called New Energies and includes chapters twenty-seven to thirty-two in describing alternatives to coal and oil such as wind, sun and other “Renewables”. Part 6 is called Road to the Future and includes chapters thirty-three to thirty-five. The last chapter (35) is called The Great Electric Car Experiment and the Conclusion is called “A Great Revolution”. Who could have known that last year China bought more new cars from American manufacturers than Americans did? And that 70% of all new housing in Japan will have to have solar panels on the roof by 2020? And that grow your own biofuels and electric cars are well on their way to commerciality? On November 12, 2014 China and The US signed an agreement to increase their use of “renewables” to 20% by 2030. Even if it is for show, as some say, it is a small, faltering, baby step in the right direction. When those two behemoths move, they get everyone’s attention. The landscape won’t change appreciably until the 2030’s. Coal, oil and natural gas will generate most of the power and car engines will become more efficient. When the people born now are sixteen years old, the 2030’s will be beginning a new age of energy and power generated by human beings with less pollution of the atmosphere with carbon and other waste. Here you can only hope that it’s not too little, too late. As Yergin demonstrates in this book, huge events like the Japanese tsunami and the Arab spring are as unpredictable as hurricane Katrina and the world recession in their effects on the energy picture. Yet the genius of human beings always finds an answer. Unimagined solutions to our present problems are waiting out there for us to discover them. We might not find them but someone will. This is not a book that encourages us to maintain the status quo. It is worth reading because it delineates the history of human progress and points out the many cases where people were too dedicated or determined to give up until they discovered solutions or partial solutions to our energy problems. No matter how humans try to see what the future holds, they can never quite get it right but somehow, in an unexpected way, they find the solution to the immediate problem and discover a way to attack the bigger problems. The Quest is a meticulously researched book which gives the reader a refreshing, unfamiliar, positive point of view on the big picture. But that’s just my glass half full interpretation of it. As a Canadian that’s the only way to look at it. “This is not a blind faith, by any means. There is no assurance on timing for the innovations that will make a difference. There is no guarantee that the investment at the scale needed will be made in a timely way, or that government policies will be wisely implemented. Certainly, lead times can be long and costs will have to evolve. As this story has shown, the risks of conflict, crisis and disruption are inherent. Things can go seriously wrong, with dire consequences. Thus, it is essential that the conditions are nurtured so that creativity can flourish. For that resource will be critical for meeting the challenges and assuring the security and sustainability of the energy for a prosperous, growing world. That is at the heart of the quest, it is as much about the human spirit as it is about technology, and that is why this is a quest that will never end.” P 717 The Quest
I know not every agent works this way, not even in our office, but I want to put it out there that if I send you a helpful rejection I am alway happy to see the material again should you make dramatic changes based on my suggestions.
In fact, my guess would be that most agents would rather see a query again than hear later how the book sold, with another agent, because on the suggestions she made.
So even if I fail to ask you send the book to me again, the door tends to be open. Because I hate to lose out on something I liked enough to give advise on.
By: Monica Gupta
Blog: Monica Gupta
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By Elisabeth Norton
for Cynthia Leitich Smith
's Cynsations Marietta Zacker
is an agent at Nancy Galt Literary Agency
Marietta has experienced children’s books from every angle – teaching, marketing, publishing and bookselling.
She thrives on working with authors who make readers feel their characters’ emotions and illustrators who add a different dimension to the story.
Some of the books she is championing in 2015 include The Lost Track of Time
by Paige Britt
(Scholastic), Something Extraordinary
by Ben Clanton
(Simon & Schuster), Just a Duck?
by Carin Bramsen (Random House), The Struggles of Johnny Cannon
by Isaiah Campbell
(Simon & Schuster), Ruby on the Outside
by Nora Raleigh Baskin
(Simon & Schuster), Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes
by Rick Riordan
Among other things, she is a proud Latina and the Agent Liaison for the We Need Diverse Books
campaign. Marietta is active on Twitter under the name @AgentZacker
She is interviewed on Cynsations today by Elisabeth Norton
for SCBWI Europolitan conference At Europolitan, you'll be presenting "Finding Seeds of Gold" and you will present about how to determine if your work is ready to submit. From your point of view as an agent, are most of the submissions you receive "ready?" What would you say is the biggest difference between the submissions you see that are "ready" vs. those that are not?
I believe that most people truly believe that they are ready to submit when they do, but one of the questions I typically suggest writers and artists ask themselves is: “If someone were to offer to publish this text or illustration tomorrow, would I be proud of seeing it ‘as is’ on the pages of a book?”
Since essentially eradicating the need to print submissions in order to take to the post office, many send queries via e-mail to ‘test’ whether or not their work is good enough.
It’s true, the business is subjective and we have all passed on projects that went on to get published, but we read too many queries and can usually see, feel and read right through queries that, even if technically masterful, are missing the heart and the essence of the storytelling. And so we pass.
I highly recommend printing your work and holding it in your hands (whether it’s text or an illustration). It makes it more official, it’s tougher to convince yourself that it’s ready to go when it’s not, it also allows you to see the work in ways you never have before.
Hit PRINT first, review it, let it sit, review it again.
If you would be proud to see it published ‘as is’ the very next day, then go ahead and click SEND.You'll also be leading a session about "How and Why Characters Bloom" with a discussion of "character-driven" projects. Does "character-driven" mean "not action packed?" Would you say that "character-driven" projects are "quiet" projects? Where do "character-driven" projects fit in to today's market landscape?
You’ll have to come to Amsterdam to get most of these answers.
In all seriousness, though, the key to remember is that there is no magic bullet. One description does not negate the other, nor should anyone feel that their work must be described in one singular way.
Ideally, there are multiple layers within each project and a variety of ways to describe any story. I firmly believe that the stories that resonate most with readers are ones that are as complex, as diverse and as multi-layered as the children and young adults who made the choice to keep the book open and continue to read and explore.
The theme of Europolitan 2015 is "Creativity in Bloom: Growing Beyond Boundaries," and we will be exploring the topic of diversity in children's literature. Some authors express reservations about writing diverse characters because they themselves are not a member of the same community or group that their character is. They fear backlash if, despite their best attempts at research and having proof-readers from the represented community, they get something "wrong."
Do you have any thoughts as an agent for writers who may be anxious about getting diversity "wrong" in their project?
You have to be humble, you have to be willing to learn, you have to be empathetic. You wouldn’t want someone writing an account of your life without getting to know you very well first, understanding the depth of the life you’ve lived, attempting to walk in your shoes and comprehending how you felt during key moments.
The same applies when writing about someone or a group of people whose life or lives you have not lived.
It’s not about getting the facts right (or certainly, what you believe to be the facts). It’s about scratching deep beneath the surface and understanding the things that links us as beings on this planet – the feelings and emotions that make us each individuals, the way we are affected by being de facto members of any one group.
Understanding that this world is diverse and believing that this makes the world a better place is simply not enough to include characters whose experiences are different from yours.
Being willing to empathize with others is the first step.
Again, we’ll talk more in Amsterdam. Cynsational Notes Elisabeth Norton
was first published at age 16 when she had no idea what an “unsolicited submission” was. Seeing her byline on the subsequently published magazine article ignited her desire for a career as an author.
Once she realized she wanted to write for children, she joined SCBWI and now serves as Regional Advisor for the Swiss region
Originally from Alaska, she now lives in Switzerland between the Alps and the Jura and writes for middle graders.
This was a sketch hiding in my archives - a snow boarding dog! Kowabunga!!! CLICK HERE
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- winner of six literary awards. Click the cover to learn more! When the birds return to Water Street, will anyone be left to hear them sing? A miner's strike allows green and growing things to return to the Red Hills, but that same strike may force residents to seek new homes and livelihoods elsewhere. Follow the story of Jack Hicks as he struggles to hold onto everything he loves most. I create my coloring pages for teachers, librarians, booksellers, and parents to enjoy for free with their children, but you can also purchase rights to an image for commercial use, please contact me. If you have questions about usage, please visit my Angel Policy page.
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"PRODUCTS" BRACKET (Top Half)
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Game 10: Chefs vs. Look of Love
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Game 12: Ink vs. Spew Shield
Don't Go by Lisa Scottoline -
Although I felt that this one started slower and made it more difficult to stay involved - it ended strong! I came away surprised and shocked - and it felt resolved....great read! Scottoline has the ability to keep you on your toes while you read and take you for a great ride. This is the story of Mike, an army doctor serving in Afghanistan, who comes home to find his wife, Chloe, dead. His life and baby daughter are almost too much for him to bear. He is on a mission to find out how his wife died and becomes even more entrenched in the mystery when his wife's best friend is killed. It is at this point that his sister and brother-in-law try to get full custody of his baby daughter, Emily which becomes a large court case. Mike has to come to terms with the loss of an arm and, seemingly, his entire life as he knows it as he deals with the challenges in his life.
Release Date: 3/3/2015
Add to GoodreadsAbout the Book:
Did you know a gravy boat can change your life? Charlotte and Tobias Eggers do. After a prank on their terrible nanny involving gravy and tadpoles ends in a misunderstanding, Charlotte and Tobias's father packs them in the car, drives them to the desert, and leaves them outside of Witherwood Reform School. Before he can change his mind, a car accident leaves him with amnesia. Charlotte and Tobias have no choice but to enter Witherwood Reform School with is odd teachers, fierce animals, and unending chocolate pudding. But Witterwood is no ordinary school-the headmaster has perfected mind control. Can Charlotte and Tobias escape before it's too late?GreenBeanTeenQueen Says:
Obert Skye is a middle grade reader favorite at my library. He's a regular fixture at our local children's lit festival and he makes quite an impression on the kids. Each year I have a new group coming into the library asking for his books and eagerly wanting more. I'm delighted to report that Mr. Skye has a new series and it's one I know my fans will devour!
Charlotte and Tobias are pranksters and they're also very smart. They know to question things about their new school and they're determined to figure out the secrets of Witherwood. But what happens when the school gets the best of them and they get sucked in? And what happens when your father doesn't even remember that he's looking for you?Witherwood Reform Schoo
l is the first in a new series that is perfect for readers who enjoy their humor to be a little dark, their characters slightly mischievous, and mysteries with a side of suspense. Told in the vein of Lemony Snickett and Jason Segal's Nightmares
, readers who want something that's just a bit dark, just a tad creepy, and with a slight silliness will be sure to be lining up to get their hands on this one. There are plenty of questions remaining about this mysterious reform school so readers will be eagerly anticipating book two.Full Disclosure: Reviewed from galley sent by publisher
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In my senior year at North Plainfield High School, our "accelerated" English class was taught by the formidable Miss O'Brien. She gave us a "Great Books" curriculum: it was there that I first read John Stuart Mill's On Liberty and knew I wanted to major in philosophy in college. She taught us how to write the five-paragraph essay with the thesis statement in the last sentence of the first paragraph. She drilled us in rules of grammar. The one I still chant to myself is "One, of phrase, relative pronoun, plural agreement."
In one class, I don't remember the particular topic, I made an impassioned speech against compromise (these were the politically turbulent early 70s): I would never compromise on anything I believed in, ever, ever, EVER! As a result, Miss O'Brien gave me Sophocles' tragedy Antigone to read, in the adaptation by Jean Anouilh. In the play, Antigone, the daughter of deposed King Oedipus, defies her royal uncle Creon's edict to leave her dead brother Polynices unburied. Antigone refuses to compromise. Creon refuses to compromise. By the end of the play many characters, including Antigone herself, are dead.
I loved the play, though it did not make me any more inclined to compromise. Instead, at age seventeen, it made me yearn to be a tragic heroine. Even more than loving the play itself, I loved that Miss O'Brien gave it to me, that a teacher would think an ancient tragedy could be relevant to a 20th-century schoolgirl's life and way of being in the world.
At DePauw this spring, I'm in a reading group on Antigone. The Prindle Institute for Ethics sponsors a number of reading groups each semester. Some faculty member proposes a book on which he or she would like to lead a discussion. The Prindle purchases the books and the lovely snacks. Then the group members meet together for a period or weeks or months to discuss the book, over wine and cheese, by the Prindle fireplace. I just finished leading my own group on philosopher Susan Wolf's book Meaning in Life and Why It Matters. Now I'm in the group on Antigone, led by Keith Nightenhelser, who also happens to be my dearest friend from graduate school.
This group is erudite and intellectual beyond anything my youthful self every could have imagined. We've read Judith Butler's book Antigone's Claim: Kinship between Life and Death. Now we're on to Bonnie Honig's fabulous book Antigone, Interrupted. Both authors continue what I now know is a long tradition of thinking that the play is relevant to our way of being in the world. Hegel's famous reading of the play is as a dialogue between the opposing claims of sovereignty (Creon) and kinship (Antigone), the state and the family, the public and the private. Butler complicates this view considerably: Antigone, as the child of an incestuous union (her father, after all, was Oedipus, who unwittingly killed his own father and married his own mother), is hardly positioned to defend traditional family values. Honig focuses on "interruptions" in the play: which characters interrupt other characters, and why, and what does this say about the balance of power among them? She interprets Antigone not as crazed with lamentation for her dead brother, but as a political actor, committed as strongly to life as to death.
At my second meeting with the group last night, I loved thinking how happy Miss O'Brien would have been to have eavesdropped on our discussion. Oh, and how happy she would be that I could spot the error in the first sentence of Honig's first chapter: "I am one of those people who finishes other people's sentences." NO! One, of phrase, relative pronoun, plural agreement: "I am one of those people who finish other people's sentences." And how happy she would be that now I compromise all the time, probably too much, a result of all that has happened to me over the intervening forty-three years: wonderful things, terrible things, transformative things, things that make me much less willing to stake my life on any absolute.
The reading of Antigone has been a beautiful gift to me, then and now.