What is JacketFlap

  • JacketFlap connects you to the work of more than 200,000 authors, illustrators, publishers and other creators of books for Children and Young Adults. The site is updated daily with information about every book, author, illustrator, and publisher in the children's / young adult book industry. Members include published authors and illustrators, librarians, agents, editors, publicists, booksellers, publishers and fans.
    Join now (it's free).

Sort Blog Posts

Sort Posts by:

  • in
    from   

Suggest a Blog

Enter a Blog's Feed URL below and click Submit:

Most Commented Posts

In the past 7 days

Recent Posts

(from all 1562 Blogs)

JacketFlap Sponsors

Spread the word about books.
Put this Widget on your blog!
  • Powered by JacketFlap.com

Are you a book Publisher?
Learn about Widgets now!

Advertise on JacketFlap

MyJacketFlap Blogs

  • Login or Register for free to create your own customized page of blog posts from your favorite blogs. You can also add blogs by clicking the "Add to MyJacketFlap" links next to the blog name in each post.

Blog Posts by Date

Click days in this calendar to see posts by day or month
new posts in all blogs
Viewing: Blog Posts from All 1562 Blogs, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 2,000
1. And here’s your X-MEN: APOCALYPSE Super Bowl ad

Psylocke munnWe’ve gotten trailers or spots of some kind from each of the superhero movies that are rolling out over the next few months. Here is the new ad for X-Men: Apocalypse, giving us some quick looks at a few of the younger members of the team that are being re-introduced:

1 Comments on And here’s your X-MEN: APOCALYPSE Super Bowl ad, last added: 2/7/2016
Display Comments Add a Comment
2. Save Our Libraries

I've had a crazy busy week.  My debut novel, More of Me, has been pushed into the world with a lot more ease than my babies were. Kind Of. The gestation period was considerably longer but the delivery a whole lot less painful. In fact, it was kind of wonderful. My friends and family ensured I had two sellout book launches and my publicists at Usborne have been shouting about my book from the rooftops. I've had some amazing reviews , so much so I can barely believe it's all happening. So, to ground myself firmly back on earth,  you'll be pleased to know I am  not going to talk about my book.


  If you want to read about the launch it's all here  but first...

I'm going to talk about libraries. 


I love libraries. A lot of authors do. In fact, very many notable figures are a major part of the campaign to Save Our Libraries because they are seriously under threat from financial cutbacks. Cathy Cassidy is a stalwart of the campaign, as is Philip Ardagh. 



Ah ha! I hear you say, of course authors want to keep libraries, they are rolling in cash from all the loans. Well, not exactly. Authors currently receive just over 7 pence per loan and the full amount you can receive is capped. No author is going to become a millionaire from public lending rights money, even fellow SCBWI member Paula Harrison whose Rescue Princesses books were borrowed almost 50,000 times last year! - in fact you need around 85,000 loans to take you to the current cap. I shall let you do the maths.

It is indeed a useful income supplement for authors whose average incomes have dropped to below £11,000 per year but not, you will agree, champagne and caviar money.

So why do authors keep gathering together and banging on about saving libraries? Surely they'd be far happier if everyone went out and bought the books?  Well...

No. Because most authors write to be read and the more people who read them, the better. And most authors understand that not everyone can afford a houseful of books and that not all children are born into households where books are considered important. If you want equality of education, of development, you need libraries. If you want all children to have access to the same level of resources, at the very least, you need libraries. If you want any kind of fairness in society, you need libraries.

Nick Gibb, our current minister for schools says: “Reading for pleasure is more important than a family’s socio-economic status in determining a child’s success at school,” 

Children learn so much from books. Books don't just inform us of facts, or teach us how to express ourselves, children who read become better empathisers as Natascha Biebow eloquently explains  on Picture Book Den. Books can comfort and distract older children from anxiety.  They can help them understand the hugely complex world they are growing up in.

 I know there are many adults that also rely on library services but three out of the top five library loans in 2015 were children's books. Go and visit the children's section in your local library  You'll maybe see mum's and toddlers for story time - brilliant for mum's to make contact with other mums, brilliant for kids to hear stories. You'll see teens in corners checking out whether they really want to read the book whose cover looked so attractive - or furtively checking out the guides to being a teenager. You might catch a few newly independent readers excitedly looking for the next Paula Harrison or Cathy Cassidy or Philip Ardagh book.  I can guarantee you, the library matters to those kids - to all teh people who use them:.

I was very lucky, I came  from a house where we did have books - not a huge number, there were four of us kids and not a lot of money, but I always had a book for Christmas and my birthday or if the book fair came to our school -  and  my Mum made sure we got into the library habit. Once a week, off we went - and I never lost that habit. I grew up in Portsmouth library. The books I wolfed down informed the writer I am today.  They really did.

I can trace the influences of all the classics: Hardy, Dickens, Bronte ( all three), Austen, Isaac Asimov, George Orwell, Frank Herbert - my appetite was voracious. Even if we'd have been a rich family, my parents wouldn't have been able to keep up. There are still kids  like me using libraries. They don't all have a kindle - the just don't. I'm sorry,  but you're a twit if you think they do.


So please, if you want a fair, informed, empathetic, equal society - back our libraries.

You can find out more on the Library Campaign Website. 


Kathryn Evans also blogs on My Life Under Paper and you can follow her mood swings on twitter: @mrsbung    Her debut novel, More of Me, is out now.

0 Comments on Save Our Libraries as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
3. फिल्मफेयर अवार्ड और दीपिका पादुकोण के पिता का पत्र

फिल्मफेयर अवार्ड और दीपिका पादुकोण के पिता का पत्र इसे कहतें है असली मन की बात … दिल से निकली बात अक्सर दिल पर ही लगती है… फिल्मफेयर अवार्ड्स कार्यक्रम में  पीकू फिल्म के लिए सर्वश्रेष्ठ अभिनेत्री का अवार्ड लेने स्टेज पर आई दीपिका पादुकोण ने भरी सभा में सभी दर्शकों से अनुरोध किया कि […]

The post फिल्मफेयर अवार्ड और दीपिका पादुकोण के पिता का पत्र appeared first on Monica Gupta.

Add a Comment
4. On Syliva Plath, Janet Malcolm and Molly Crabapple

When I reviewed Molly Crabapple’s illustrated memoir Drawing Blood for Booklist I included the following lines:

Jaw dropping, awe inspiring, and not afraid to shock, Crabapple is a punk Joan Didion, a young Patti Smith with paint on her hands, a twenty-first century Sylvia Plath cut loose from the constraints of Ted Hughes. There’s no one else like her; prepare to be blown away by both the words and pictures.

Booklist reviewers don’t comment when questions are raised about their reviews (we honestly don’t really interact with the public at all on them), but I noticed that while some folks understood and agreed with my comparisons to Didion and Smith, the Plath comment was a bit more confusing. This didn’t surprise me – everything about Syliva Plath seems to be confusing – but I knew why I put it in there. This past week I have been reading The Silent Woman: Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes* by Janet Malcolm and I think it has affirmed the aptness of the comparison.

Malcolm does a bit of a master class in this book about the biographer’s duty to the truth and how incredibly sticky that can be. (Especially in the case of Plath.) She reinforces so much of what I thought about Plath’s fierceness in her final writings and it was that unflinching writerly toughness that I was thinking of when I wrote the review for Drawing Blood. Here is a passage from The Silent Woman about life for Plath after she and Hughes broke up:

In a letter to her friend Ruth Fainlight, (which begins with the obligatory abuse of Hughes) Plath wrote, “When I was ‘happy’ domestically I felt a gag in my throat. Now that my domestic life, until I get a permanent live-in girl, is chaos, I am living like a Spartan, writing through huge fevers and producing free stuff I had locked in me for years. I feel astounded and very lucky. I keep telling myself I was the sort that could only write when peaceful at heart, but that is not so, the muse has come to live here, now Ted has gone.”

Malcolm also writes of the controversy Plath engendered by incorporating references to the Holocaust directly into her poems, most notably “Daddy”. Some reviewers at the time were deeply disturbed by her claim of suffering comparable to the Jews, (remember this was barely 10 years from the end of WWII) but what stood out for me in reading Plath, and what Malcolm writes of here, is that Plath didn’t think she had to ask permission. She had something to say, and she said it. Here is Malcolm again:

To say that Plath did not earn the right to invoke the names of Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen is off the mark. It is we who stand accused, who fall short, who have not accepted the wager of imagining the unimaginable, of cracking Plath’s code of atrocity.

It was that bold nature of Plath’s that resonated with me when I read Crabapple; that demand to be heard on significant subjects and the fearlessness to move forward with those demands. Plath found a stronger voice without Hughes, a voice that might have been hers much sooner without their relationship. It was that aspect of Sylvia Plath that came to me as I read Drawing Blood, and why I made her a part of my review.

*I’m reading The Silent Woman for the #wlclub on twitter. Check it out if you are interested in reading about women’s lives.

Add a Comment
5. Monday Mishmash 2/8/16


Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. Blues Bones Cover Reveal  I couldn't be more excited to share the cover of Blues Bones by Rick Starkey because this is the first book I offered on as an acquisitions editor for Leap Books, Seek. It's an AMAZING story, and the cover is just as awesome. Check it out and preorder the book here for a special discounted price. The book releases March 7th.
  2. Into the Fire's New Cover  Into the Fire's new cover has been revealed as well. This book has been heavily edited AND new content has been added. I'm really happy with the end result and think readers will be too. For now, check out my gorgeous cover designed by Deranged Doctor. And thank you to everyone who participated in the social media cover reveal this weekend.
     
    Preorder it here.
  3. Editing  More client edits and edits for Leap this week. :)
  4. The S-word  No, I don't mean spring, though I wish I did. I'd like snow if it was warm and melted within a few hours. ;) We're getting two storms this week and I'm not thrilled.
  5. Drafting  Because my editing schedule is crazy, I got an idea for another adult romantic suspense. Of course! So I'm literary jotting down snippets of dialogue and scenes while cooking, lying in bed at night, and any other time when I can spare a few minutes.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

Add a Comment
6. Valentine’s Day Poetry Generator

heart1Write a Valentine’s Day Poem!

It’s almost Valentine’s Day! If you want a quick gift idea that is thoughtful and creative, then here’s a little activity you can try. Write a poem!

Here are three types of poems with instructions how to write them. You pick the type of poem you like best and write one for someone you care about. It could be for a family member, a friend, or even a secret crush . . . shhh! Don’t worry! I won’t tell.

Valentine's day poetry generatorLyric: a rhyming poem that expresses personal feelings. It can be as many lines as your heart desires. Here’s an example:

Your love is warm and holds me tight,
Making our moments together just right.
So thank you, Mom, for being you.
Being your daughter is a dream come true.

Haiku: a Japanese poem that has 17 syllables divided into three lines consisting of 5, 7, and 5 syllables on each line. Here’s an example:

The color purple
Reminds me of an orchid.
It’s pretty like you.

Acrostic: a poem where the first, last, or other letters of each line spells out a word or phrase. The word or phrase can be as long as you like. Here’s an example:

LOVE
Like the way the sun caresses my skin,
Our friendship is warm and comforting.
Vividly, I remember our happiest moments
Eating cupcakes and sharing jokes.

YOU
You’re my best friend for so many reasons.
Obviously, we make the best pair.
Uniquely, being you is perfect.

Now it’s your turn. Which type of poem will you write? Leave a Comment with your new poem below. When you’re finished, copy it in a card and send it to the person you wrote it for. Good luck, poets!

-Sandy

Add a Comment
7. vinylfromthevault: We’ve been doing a significant amount of...















vinylfromthevault:

We’ve been doing a significant amount of reorganization over at the Vault and in the process I stumbled across a folder for which I’ve been searching for years. In it I found the results of a dot matrix printed Duran Duran survey I wrote for a Duranie party hosted sometime during 1985 by my friend Allyson (her survey is the second pictured above - she loves John - and helpfully gave me suggestions for revamping the survey which I must have done at some point). The girls who filled out these surveys were between 13-15 years old, which is fairly obvious when you read them. I cannot believe I said I didn’t like Power Station! (Mine is the first one pictured - I love Simon! I think I was just pissed at John and Andy for temporarily leaving Duran Duran). And that my friend Angela (she’s the one who likes Andy) doesn’t like Arcadia but loves Power Station (probably for the same reasons as me). The nicknames that we chose! That was TOTALLY a thing - choosing special Duranie names to call ourselves and finding Duranie penpals so we could write to other nuts like ourselves from around the world.

The last two scans are the list of Allyson’s Duran vinyl collection as of September 4th, 1985. Impressive! I was hardcore jealous of her albums, especially the 12″ singles.

A few years ago, I co-wrote an article for The Awl with my friends Sarah and Allyson about the Duran Duran party that Allyson hosted in 1984. The article mentioned surveys we’d filled out the night of the party as well as an epic mix that Sarah and ALlyson created one feverish weekend, and other important artifacts considered long-lost. I’M SO GLAD THESE IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS HAVE BEEN UNEARTHED!!!

My survey is the third one down. It says that John is my favorite member, which is strange because it was almost always Nick Nick Nick Nick Nick. The heart is fickle!















0 Comments on vinylfromthevault: We’ve been doing a significant amount of... as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
8. STATIONERY - accessorize

We begin the new week with a look at some of the latest arrivals at Accessorize. There is a colourful new painted floral design called 'Fleur' which features on notebooks, notecards, gift bags and more. For younger shoppers there is a fun new design called 'Mermazing' on stationery and some lovely wild meadow style florals on various bags and purses. Here are a selection of patterns that caught

0 Comments on STATIONERY - accessorize as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
9. Happy New Year!

Year of the Monkey

0 Comments on Happy New Year! as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
10. 'Literature that takes a peek into the forbidden world'

       In the Times of India Priyanka Dasgupta considers the burning issue: Does regional erotic literature have takers when online offers free adult content ?
       But no worries:

The rise of the popularity of e-books will not wipe away the trend of reading printed books. Similarly, craze for MMS and adult movies will not take away the charm of adult literature. There is nostalgia in holding a book, browsing through the pages. People won't get over this habit in a hurry.
       Good to hear, right ?

Add a Comment
11. Avoid this Platform-Building Mistake

Write without Crushing Your Soul 500 longGuest Blogger: Ed Cyzewski

 
New authors routinely hear that they should build their marketing platforms by publishing articles in print magazines. There’s one problem with this advice: it rarely helps authors actually sell books.
 
There are exceptions to this, and I’ll get to them. But I’ve spoken to publicists and authors, and examined my own book releases, and I’m convinced that print magazine articles rarely convert into book sales or fans who will eventually buy a book. If a platform is supposed to help you sell books, then publishing in print magazines should be a low priority on your “platform building list.”
 
One award-winning reporter and widely published magazine writer I know noted that she rarely sees growth to her online platform through her magazine or newspaper work. “People just read the articles,” she shared. “They rarely look for the by-line.” One popular print and online magazine columnist shared the same experience with me after her second book failed to hit sales goals.
 
What should aspiring and experienced authors do to grow their marketing platforms if they aren’t writing for magazines? Are online magazine articles more effective than print magazine articles? And is there any hope for authors with experience writing for magazines?
 
Invest in what You Can Do
 
I’m not the best magazine writer around, but I genuinely enjoy blogging and have invested significant time into it. As a result, I’ve been approached by at least five editors from Christian publishing houses based on my blog. These days I aim to write something relatively long, audience-specific, and “evergreen” each week.
 
While I’ve seen no notable gains in my platform or my book sales from my articles in top print magazines, each blog post provides readers an opportunity to either join my email list (in exchange for two free eBooks) or follow me on social media. Blogging is a slow build, but it is a build that is working toward a viable end.
 
Authors need not throw themselves into blogging. A personal note each week or every other week through an email newsletter or a niche podcast can prove just as effective. Author Seth Haines has invested a great deal in his Tiny Letters (Tiny Letter is a scaled down version of MailChimp), while bestselling author Tsh Oxenreider reaches her readers through her podcast.
 
Build an Email List through Short eBooks
 
Short eBooks are a tried and true way for both commercial and independent authors to build their email lists and to prompt new readers to check out their full-length books. If you swing by NoiseTrade Books, an eBook giveaway site that lets users download eBooks by entering their email addresses and zip codes, you’ll find many bestselling Christian authors sharing books there, including Don Miller and Ally Vesterfelt. I give away several eBooks through NoiseTrade and have more than doubled my email list.
New authors should be especially eager to publish a short eBook in the 10-20,000 word range. It will provide invaluable experience in writing for a specific audience and book marketing before you have a book deal on the line with a publisher that has specific sales goals.
 
Learn How to Advertise Your Books
 
If you go the short eBook route, then you may find that publishing a few short or long independent books will help prepare you for a longer-term career with a publisher.
 
For instance, independent authors and commercial publishers have used price promotions and discounts as ways to spark pre-sales, encourage early reviews, or to revive an older title. Along with these price promotions, there are many services and Twitter accounts that make it easier to share these deals and give them a longer lifespan that could translate into more print sales and a longer period of time on the eBook bestseller lists when your book returns to full price.
 
Whether you try out Facebook ads, guest posts on high profile blogs, articles for an online news site in your niche, or some other promotion, independently releasing a book or two before querying a publisher will provide some real life book marketing experience so that you have a better idea of what works best for you and your readers.
 
When I promoted Write without Crushing Your Soul to my email list, I quickly learned that readers were far more receptive to a personal note about the book’s writing process than a simple overview of the book’s content.
 
Authentically Connect with Readers on Social Media
 
I entered publishing back when authors were first getting shoved onto Twitter and Facebook. We were told this would help us sell books, and far too many of us found that this wasn’t necessarily always the case.
Rather, social media provides a place for us to authentically connect with our readers, and sometimes the sales will follow if we provide the right kind of book. I’ve found that the authors who connect with readers through hashtag conversations on Twitter or niche groups on Facebook have far more meaningful interactions that are much more likely to result in readers buying a book in the future.
 
For instance, author Cindy Brandt (now a client of Rachelle’s at Books & Such) created an amazing group called Raising Children Unfundamentalist around her next book project, and the group is already a thriving community. On Twitter, check out the way author Emily Freeman created a conversation around the hashtag #SimplyTuesday.
 
So… Should Authors Write for Magazines?
 
While there are many other ways to promote yourself and your work outside of traditional print magazine publishing, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider it. Some authors have built up a loyal following through writing for a particular magazine, especially in a niche market.
 
Authors with a background in journalism are especially suited for the research, querying, and unique style of writing that magazines require. In addition, a few published articles in relevant magazines can indicate to publishers that you have both the credibility and professionalism to write a book for them.
Most importantly, there’s a big difference between platform building and actively selling books. Many authors gain newsletter subscribers and social media followers through publishing articles for online magazines, but posting an article in an online magazine is not necessarily a sure bet for directly selling books from the article itself. In fact, strategies vary from project to project and from publisher to publisher.
 
Publicists Remain Divided Over Marketing
 
Having worked or spoken with several Christian publishers, I’ve found book marketing strategies and tactics vary from one publisher to another. Book marketing is a moving target, and there’s hardly a consensus on the best mix of new and old media marketing.
 
It’s true that some authors have used timely, shareable magazine or newspaper articles (especially online) to generate book sales. It’s especially helpful that these authors have books that are easy to find in the front of local bookstores or online retail sites!
 
Print magazine articles can help a few authors sell a few books. They can help most authors demonstrate credibility to an editor. They will not help the majority of authors sell books because far too many magazine readers will enjoy a well-written piece, think “That was nice,” and then go on with the day.
 
coffee-ed-cyzewskiThis is post adapted from Write without Crushing Your Soul: Sustainable Publishing and Freelancing.

 

Ed Cyzewski
is the author of A Christian Survival Guide, Pray, Write, Grow, and Write without Crushing Your Soul. He blogs about prayer and writing at www.edcyzewski.com.

The post Avoid this Platform-Building Mistake appeared first on Rachelle Gardner.

Add a Comment
12. #821 – Olga da Polga by Michael Bond & Catherine Rayner

Olga da Polga Written by Michael Bond Illustrated by Catherine Rayner Kane Miller    10/01/2015 978-1-61067-433-1 176 pages    Ages 6+ “With a head full of stories and a nose for adventure, Olga da Polga is also quite a handful. And when she moves into the Sawdust family’s garden, life for Noel the cat, Fangio …

Add a Comment
13. Travel to DC’s most famous cities in faux airline commercials for BATMAN v SUPERMAN

batman-vs-superman-trailer-cap-9.jpgTurkish Airlines is the official airline for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. As such, it produced the first fairly nifty set of Superbowl commercials this afternoon. Take a look below at these in-universe travel ads for Gotham City and Metropolis, with cameos by Bruce Wayne and Lex Luthor respectively.

1 Comments on Travel to DC’s most famous cities in faux airline commercials for BATMAN v SUPERMAN, last added: 2/7/2016
Display Comments Add a Comment
14. WALL ART - dunelm

I wanted to finish today with a wall art post after spotting this graphic floral design in Dunelm. In bright sunny colours it features a nice row of mid century style blooms. Also available a nice framed 3D cut out petal design and interesting type on a cushion.

0 Comments on WALL ART - dunelm as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
15. A Loathly Lady Story By Lois McMaster Bujold

Recently, I've been rereading all my LMB books, which I love as much as ever and it has occurred to me that the story of "Labyrinth", the Miles Vorkosigan novella, has definite connections to the Loathly Lady stories of the Middle Agrs.

In case you're not familiar with these, you'll find them in the story of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnell and even in Chaucer in the Wife Of Bath's Tale. What it boils down to is this: the hero finds himself with a terrifying huge, ugly woman who makes certain demands of him, including marriage, in exchange for something he needs desperately. He grants them to her and in the morning finds himself beside a stunningly beautiful woman - by giving her what she wanted, he has broken a spell. (And when you think of it, even the Disney movie Shrek plays with it, except that the beautiful woman turns into an ogre and happily goes off with her fellow ogre)

But I was thinking of the Child Ballad King Henry, which I first heard plated by Steeleye Span on my favourite album Below The Salt. In it, King Henry(no specific King Henry, just the standard Everyknight with a crown) gets lost hunting and finds his way to a "haunted hall" to spend the night. There, he is confronted with a huge, ugly fanged woman who demands of him food(his horse, hounds and hawks) and drink(wine sewed up in his horse's hide). Then she demands he sleep with her. Trembling, he lies down with her. In the morning, she has turned into the beautiful woman of his dreams, and tells him that his knightly courtesy and giving her all she wanted has impressed her. That's where Steeleye Span leaves it, except for a last chorus/verse about having an open heart and full of charity. 

So, we return to the story of Miles Vorkosigan and his own Loathly Lady, who eventually becomes a master sergeant in his fleet. Miles has been contracted to rescue a scientist whose skills will be useful to Barrayar and who has been having second thoughts about his employment on the dreadful planet Jackson's Whole, where pretty much everything is okay as long as it fits in with things capitalist. Including horrible use of genetic engineering for sexual slavery.

The scientist insists that a vital part of his research is embedded in the left leg of a "creature" he'd been working on and won't go without it. Kill the creature and take the material, he tells Miles.

Then Miles finds himself in the basement with an eight foot high being with fangs... and discovers it is female - and human - in fact, a sixteen year old girl - under all the genetic engineering. She has been created for a super soldier program that no longer exists and been abandoned and sold into slavery. Seeing her killing and eating a rat - about all there is to eat in that place - he offers her a ration bar. After the food, she wants water, which she has been without since being locked up. He finds a water pipe and she has her drink. Then she demands that he lie with her to prove he accepts her as human. Miles is at first shocked, but manages to give her what she wanted. making her happy - and inviting her to join his mercenaries, telling her that he had been sent to slay a monster and instead found a hidden princess.

 After that, they escape, wiping out the villain's entire gene banks of potential slaves as they go. The Loathly Lady, now called Taura, never becomes beautiful in a regular sense, but she cleans up well, with the help of a female soldier, and becomes beautiful in her own way.

Can you see the resemblance to King Henry? He gives her food, drink and himself, in other words "all her will", which is usually the point of these stories. Sir Gawain and the unnamed knight of the Canterbury Tale both have to find out what women want - which is to get their own way. King Henry doesn't have that problem, but he gives her her own way anyhow.

I wouldn't put it past Lois McMaster Bujold to have had a Loathly Lady story in mind when writing this.

0 Comments on A Loathly Lady Story By Lois McMaster Bujold as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
16. Helon Habila Q & A

       In The Sun Henry Akubuiro has a Q & A with Helon Habila: Every writer must grapple with big subjects of his generation.

Add a Comment
17. Coming Soon to a Golf Course Near Me: A Food Forest

Have I mentioned lately how much I love Minneapolis? It is by no means a perfect city and the winters are long and hard, but by golly how many other cities have a community advisory group that works with the city council on things like urban agriculture and food security issues? Homegrown Minneapolis is the name of the group and their latest newsletter included a map of all the vacant city lots that can be leased for community gardening and urban farms. Also in the newsletter is information regarding a proposal to turn a public golf course near my house into a food forest.

What’s a food forest? It is exactly what it sounds like. It is a designed landscape that mimics a natural ecosystem while incorporating food producing plants like nut and fruit trees, shrubs, perennial vegetables and herbs. Annual plants can also be grown in the mix. And of course it is a space that also utilizes native plants to attract pollinators and other beneficial insects, control weeds and build soil fertility.

The site of this proposed food forest is a public golf course near Lake Hiawatha. The golf course is very expensive to maintain not just because it was built on a wetlands and requires millions of gallons of water to be pumped out of it every year. It turns out the amount of water being pumped far exceeds the permit limits and is therefore illegal. A portion of the golf course has also been closed since 2014 when we had so much rain that the “back nine” was flooded and is still so soaked and damaged the park board can’t really afford to fix it. This golf course also drains into Lake Hiawatha which suffers greatly from water quality issues do to run-off into the lake. This golf course covers 140 acres and serves very few people, costing to my mind and many others, more than it is worth.

So a young, brilliant city resident has put up a proposal and taken up the challenge to advocate for repurposing the land. His vision allows for a much reduced golf course, fruit orchards, nut trees, and more. His vision even includes returning wild rice to Lake Hiawatha which, I just learned, used to be called “Rice Lake” because local Native Americans grew and harvested wild rice there before they were forced to move elsewhere.

The food forest would be grown on public land, would be tended by volunteers, and would welcome all from the community to go and harvest food from it. It would solve the water pumping problem and the lake’s water quality issues as well. And it would provide learning opportunities for both adults and school children. Plus it would be far cheaper to maintain than a full golf course not to mention more beautiful and useful.

This is such an incredibly exciting thing and if it goes through, if the Park Board decides to go along with it, it would mean Minneapolis would be home to the largest food forest in the United States. And yeah, you know I’ll find a way to be involved with the project even if it is only volunteering a few hours every month. There is a meeting being held on February 27th. It’s scheduled for four hours in the afternoon which is a big chunk of Saturday time for me, but I might just see if I can make it for at least a portion of the meeting. If not, I am sure there will be other opportunities as the proposal picks up steam.

In my own garden, I have a tray full of paper pots ready for onion seeds next weekend. I must continue working at making pots because at the end of the month I will need to get the peppers and tomatoes started. I love this time of year. While it feels so hectic getting everything started, it is also the most hopeful time of the gardening year because there is still so much possibility. The slugs haven’t eaten the greens yet, the squirrels haven’t dug up or stolen anything, there hasn’t been too much rain or not enough, too much heat or not enough. In my mind’s eye my garden is lush and green and perfect. Reality will kick in soon enough, but until then, everything is still perfect.

In chicken news, the same newsletter that brought word of the food forest proposal also informed me that the city council will be voting on the new chicken ordinance on February 12th! I wasn’t expecting anything from the city council until summer. But perhaps they want to get it all settled before spring when people who want to start keeping chickens will be looking to get underway. Bookman has not yet begun to collect neighbor signatures, it has been too cold and snowy. But now we will wait and see what happens come Friday. Bookman may just be saved the trouble of collecting signatures after all. Fingers crossed!

In cycling news, I am still riding in virtual races on Thursday nights. Each week is different and sometimes I finish first or second and sometimes I finish last. One thing for sure, my fitness has improved immensely. I am also in the final week of a 6-week workout program that has meant hour-long (or more) workouts four to five times of week doing intervals of varying intensities. This too has paid off. On a (virtual) ride after my workout yesterday I decided to see if I could beat my personal sprint records on the two sprint sections of the course and I blew each one away by several seconds! I even managed to ever so briefly hit 4 watts/kg, something I thought I would never manage. I also noticed I now frequently go over 3 w/kg which means that after this week I will start racing in group C instead of D. Technically I should start this week but I want to give myself one more “easy” week before I go to the next group and start coming in last all the time. I will be good incentive to work hard and improve, right?

Also this last week on Wednesday night I participated in my first virtual group ride. It was so much fun! I am part of a group on Zwift called ROL (Ride On Ladies — in Zwift you can give riders a “ride on” thumb’s up, it’s a way to offer support and tell other riders they are doing great or thanking them for a good ride, etc). There is an ROL group ride on Wednesday nights but I had not joined in because it is a fast ride and with the races I’ve been doing Thursday nights I didn’t want to overdo it the night before. Anyway, a slower group ride was introduced this week so I joined that one. We used an app called TeamSpeak which allows us to actually talk to each other while we ride. I rode with a couple people from Seattle and someone from Ohio and I think maybe Texas. Technology is awesome!

Also, there are enough ROL women who are interested in racing that we are going to have our own women’s race on Saturday upcoming. It will be a 30km race and I will have to race in group B which is both exciting and scary. There are not a lot of women on Zwift, I saw somewhere that women are only about 8% of the Zwift population, but among them are some really strong riders and racers. It is exciting to ride with them because it forces me to work harder and they are all supportive and encouraging so even though I feel intimidated, it comes from my own personal worries of not being very good rather than anything anyone else has said or done. Currently there are 24 women who have indicated they will be racing Saturday and 56 who have said maybe. We’ll see what kind of turnout there really is. I just hope I don’t finish last in my group. But hey, if I do, incentive to improve!


Filed under: biking, chickens, gardening Tagged: Food forest, Lake Hiawatha, Minneapolis, sustainable gardening

Add a Comment
18. Whatchu Worrying About, Book Nerd?

By Becca... BOOKISH WORRYING 1. To go out at night or stay home and read I don't know about you guys, but this is something I constantly worry about. I get asked to go doing something mundane, but but but this book that I'm reading is so good. I need to finish it like ASAP. I NEED TO KNOW WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN!! If I go out, all I'm going to be doing the whole time is

0 Comments on Whatchu Worrying About, Book Nerd? as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
19. Celebrate International Children’s Book Day

Every year at the beginning of April, we ceremoniously reflect on the joy of reading. There are many literary holidays this season, some spanning the entire month while others are observed for just a single day. April is both School Library Month and National Poetry Month, and has the following weeks or celebrations: National Library Week, Drop Everything and Read Day, National Bookmobile Day, and El día de los niños/El día de los libros.

And while the month is rich in options, we must do our due diligence to bring books to life for the particular audiences we serve. It is our professional responsibility and joy to kindle an interest in reading, and as Ranganathan summed up, “Every book its reader.”

And this is why April 2nd, International Children’s Book Day, must be one of my favorite literary holidays to observe. It is totally aligned with what we do in our professions. Widely celebrated in schools, public libraries, and literary centers around the world, it’s essentially a love letter to reading. It transcends beyond literary trends, publishing appetites, or cultural preferences because it embraces a global approach to literature. Books are mirrors and books are windows. We, as humans, love to read because of our innate desire to share stories and understand one another. Universal experiences distill into beloved fairy tales, and we see the patterns of archetypes emerge.

This year, Brazil is the National Section of International Board on Books for Young People, which determined both the theme, author, and illustrator for this celebration, which is respectively “Once Upon a Time”, by Luciana Sandroni and Ziraldo. You can promote this important work by sharing the materials and resources featured on the International Board on Books for Young Children website, who have hosted this event since 1967. For even more program ideas, articles, and resources that you can pin now and read later, visit the USBBY blog.

How do you like to celebrate April with your young readers?


Christine Dengel Baum is formerly a children’s librarian and a school and library liaison. She works in Atlanta as a content strategist but continues to volunteer in libraries. She wrote this post for the Public Awareness Committee. You can reach her at christine.dengel@gmail.com.

The post Celebrate International Children’s Book Day appeared first on ALSC Blog.

0 Comments on Celebrate International Children’s Book Day as of 2/8/2016 1:20:00 AM
Add a Comment
20. The Heart review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Maylis de Kerangal's highly acclaimed novel, coming out as The Heart (translated by Sam Taylor) in the US -- and as Mend the Living (translated by Jessica Moore) in the UK.
       I've mentioned how ... odd I find that the US/UK publishers couldn't agree, if not on the same translator at least on the same title, and I wonder whether this will impact the reception/success of the book. On the other hand, it would be kind of neat to see the two translations compete for the major translation prizes in their respective territories (say, the Best Translated Book Award and the (new incarnation of the) Man Booker International Prize).

Add a Comment
21. Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock's THE SMELL OF OTHER PEOPLE'S HOUSES

When I learned that Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock's The Smell of Other People's Houses has Native characters in it, the title took on a dark connotation. Central to European and US racism towards Native peoples was their characterization of Native peoples as primitive, dirty, and in need of "civilizing."  Thanks to a friend who was at the American Library Association's Midwinter meeting last month, I was able to read an advance reader's copy of it.


Most of Hitchcock's story takes place in Fairbanks in 1970. Here's the synopsis:

In Alaska, 1970, being a teenager here isn’t like being a teenager anywhere else. This deeply moving and authentic debut is for fans of Rainbow Rowell, Louise Erdrich, Sherman Alexie, and Benjamin Alire Saenz. Intertwining stories of love, tragedy, wild luck, and salvation on the edge of America’s Last Frontier introduce a writer of rare talent.
Ruth has a secret that she can’t hide forever. Dora wonders if she can ever truly escape where she comes from, even when good luck strikes. Alyce is trying to reconcile her desire to dance, with the life she’s always known on her family’s fishing boat. Hank and his brothers decide it’s safer to run away than to stay home—until one of them ends up in terrible danger.
Four very different lives are about to become entangled. This unforgettable book is about people who try to save each other—and how sometimes, when they least expect it, they succeed. 

The story is told in alternating chapters, by Ruth, Dora, Alyce, and Hank. This review is primarily about Dora.

It starts out with Ruth. Her little sister is named Lily. They live with their grandmother. As the story begins, Ruth and her friend Selma, and Lily and her friend Bunny (Lily and Bunny are 11 years old) are about to sit down to eat together. Bunny gets to talking about fish camp. Lily asks Gran why they don't have a fish camp, and gran says "because we aren't native."

To that, Bunny says (on page 17 of the ARC):
"I'm not native, I'm Athabascan." 
Ruth and Selma laugh at her. Lily (Ruth's little sister) responds:
"What's so funny? She is Athabascan," says Lily. "Natives are the people like Dora's mom, the ones who hang out all day at the bar--they're too drunk to even bother fishing."
Remember--Lily is eleven years old, but she apparently holds some rather stereotypical ideas about Native people. Maybe because she's eleven, we're meant to excuse her remark.

Later on that page we learn a little more:
Fish camps are pretty much handed down from family to family, but maybe Gran shouldn't have lumped all Alaska Natives together. It didn't seem to make Bunny very happy. Especially because Bunny and Dumpling actually have the nicest parents in Birch Park. 
Are there tensions in Alaska between different Alaska Native groups that would cause Bunny to be upset? Are they specific to alcoholism? Are we to understand that "natives" in Alaska are more likely to be alcoholic than Athabascans? A few pages later, we learn from Dora that most people in Fairbanks "lump all native people together" and that she (Dora) is Eskimo or Inupiat, while Dumpling is Athabascan, or Indian (p. 27-28).

As the synopsis indicates, Dora is one of the main characters in the story. Her escape is from her own home. Her dad, we read, drinks, too. But there's more: her dad sexually abuses her, and her mother knows about it. Near the end of the story, he beats up her mother and threatens to shoot Dora. By then, Dora has been living next door with Bunny and Dumpling's family for awhile.

When Dora wins some money, her mother pesters her for it so she can buy more beer. When her dad gets out of jail for shooting up the bar, he wants her money, too.

There are characters in the story that might be Eskimo or Inupiat (not sure what Dora's preferred term is). George, the old guy who works at Goodwill, knew Dora's great grandparents, but I can't tell if he's Eskimo/Inupiat or not. Nick, the bartender with nice teeth might be, too. Dora's mom dated him for awhile. If these two men are Eskimo/Inupiat, that would be cool, because they're likeable. But--we don't know.

And then there's Dora's mom's friends, Paula and Annette. Paula has a beaded wallet, so maybe she's Eskimo/Inupiat. The three woman are loud and drink together, a lot. Paula seems nice enough but the vibe I get of them is not good. In that scene in which Dora's father threatens to shoot her, Paula and Annette came running out of the house, abandoning Dora's mom.

The contrast between the Bunny and Dumpling's Athabascan family and Dora's Eskimo or Inupiat family, is striking. In the Athabascan home, Dora feels safe and cared for. Dumpling's family may be shown that way so that we'd have more than one image of Native peoples, but I wish that we were given more information about Dora's parents so that we might understand them as more than the stereotypical drunken and violent Indians. Why do they throw pictures across the room, cracking the glass and putting them back on the wall, with that cracked glass? What is the backstory on them? Without it, I think this story confirms troubling stereotypes. I'm also unsettled by the sexual abuse. Sexual abuse of Native women is rampant, and while there's no doubt that incest is part of that, I wish that wasn't part of Dora's story.

I'd also like to know more about Indigenous peoples of Alaska. Hitchcock gestures to complexities in terms used but I'm reading and re-reading those passages trying to make sense of it. Due out in 2016 from Random House, I'm marking this as not recommended.

0 Comments on Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock's THE SMELL OF OTHER PEOPLE'S HOUSES as of 2/7/2016 6:14:00 PM
Add a Comment
22. 3 Tips To Give Yourself a Kick-In-The-Butt

Because January is now behind us, let’s be honest to ourselves. How are you doing on those new year’s resolutions? Are you still sticking to them?

Last Monday, my online workshop ‘Awesome Art Journaling’ has started. Some of the participants are there because their new year’s resolution was: make more art. They took action by taking the class!

Struggles I see a lot in my classes are things like:

‘I really want to make art, but I don’t have time’, ‘I procrastinate, even though I know I feel happy when I make art’, ‘I think of sitting down to draw, but then I don’t’.

Is any of the above slightly familiar perhaps?

Here are 3 tips to give yourself that extra push and take action

20150718_shoes kopie


1. Take responsibility

You can wait for something to miraculously happen, like the week suddenly turning into 8 days, life getting less busy, or an hour consisting of 80  instead of 60 minutes. But who are you fooling anyway?

I can THINKabout going to the gym, but that’s not going to make my butt any thinner, is it?

The only person who can make it happen is YOU. Don’t blame circumstances or make up excuses. There is always a way.

2. Stop being scared

20160201_JustDoItNow, of course I don’t know what kind of challenge you are aiming for on tackling, but assuming it’s related to creativity: step out of that comfort zone and go for it. You need to follow new paths to learn and grow. And after all: what can REALLY go wrong? It’s just pen and paper. Or paint and canvas, or whatever your poison is.


3. Just Do it.

With every step you take, you will get such a great feeling of accomplishment. Another result: you don’t need to beat yourself up for making excuses. Because you don’t make them anymore.

Need an extra kick-in-the-butt?

Be quick then! ‘Awesome Art Journaling’ started last Monday, and if you haven’t already, this week will be the last chance for you to join in a whole month of making art every single day!

Click here to join now!

The post 3 Tips To Give Yourself a Kick-In-The-Butt appeared first on Make Awesome Art.

0 Comments on 3 Tips To Give Yourself a Kick-In-The-Butt as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
23. Deeply Dapper Dispatches Week 22 - The Review - X-Files

3D Week 22 - THE REVIEW - We review the first two episodes of the new X-FILES season, Episode 5 of SUPERGIRL and Kris reviews SAVAGE LANE by Jason Starr Our hosts this week: Kris, Devon and Ben This is the Second installment of the week, the "Reviews" portion of 3D, where we review everything in depth with spoilers and bad jokes - Caution: Here There Be Spoilers!!! On iTunes: http://

0 Comments on Deeply Dapper Dispatches Week 22 - The Review - X-Files as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
24. DESIGNER - magnus riise

Print & Pattern has another new designer joining the Designers for Hire directory this week - Magnus Riise. Magnus is based in Oslo, Norway and creates surface patterns, illustrations and graphic design. He studied a BA in visual communication at the Bergen Academy of Art and Design in Norway, and also attended the Kolding School of Design, in Denmark. Magnus describes his work as "colourful,

0 Comments on DESIGNER - magnus riise as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
25. Marvel wants you to Choose Your Side with a new CIVIL WAR Super Bowl spot

civilwarsmall  Marvel Studios is getting in on the “picking your favorite hero hashtag” game, with this new short Super Bowl spot for Captain America: Civil War. It doesn’t debut much new footage, but you do get to see Ant-Man as a part of the gathering of heroes now. Get to hashtagging and you can see […]

0 Comments on Marvel wants you to Choose Your Side with a new CIVIL WAR Super Bowl spot as of 2/7/2016 7:40:00 PM
Add a Comment

View Next 25 Posts