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1. Sneak peek, progress shot. #sketch

via Instagram http://ift.tt/1pc33Tu



via Studio Bowes Art Blog at http://ift.tt/1obLUEt

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2. Inside the Bus

Inside the bus, I just got beat
By someone for an empty seat;
But as she sat, a voice rang out,
A beat too late, this warning shout –

That seat is wet so don’t sit down!
The sitter jumped up with a frown
And sure enough, the seat was soaked.
What is it? Miss Wet-Bottom croaked.

The one who knew said something spilled.
Miss Wet was not exactly thrilled
But seemed relieved it wasn’t pee;
I’m glad she got that seat, not me!

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3. Ways to help Ferguson: Campaigns for Mike Brown

Ways to help Ferguson: Campaigns for Mike Brown:

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4. Connecticut Children's Literature Calendar Update

Author Lynda Mullaly Hunt will be making an appearance at the Barnes and Noble Bookstore in Glastonbury on Sunday, August 31st at 2:00 PM.

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5. Time Management Tuesday: Your Mindset Can Impact Procrastination

Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson wrote a post at her website last winter on procrastination called How to Make Yourself Work When You Just Don't Want To. Among her suggestions and my take on how they apply to writers:

Promotion vs. Prevention Focuses


A promotion focus encourages someone to work to better themselves. Will working today mean meeting a deadline or enable you to make a submission? Will studying today enhance the quality of your writing? Will just putting in time writing enhance the quality of your writing? That's all about promotion.

A prevention focus encourages someone to work to maintain what they have and prevent loss. Will working today help me to maintain my tenuous place on the writing career ladder? Will it help me to stay published? That's about prevention.

Halvorson argues that choosing a focus can keep you working.

Do You Have To Feel Like Working In Order To Work?

This is a question of particular interest to writers and other creatives because there is a stereotype that we have to be inspired in order to work. There are muses that are supposed to visit us. Personally, I think this is a very old-fashioned attitude, at least as far as creative people are concerned. I never hear it from published writers or anyone serious about publishing. Actually, I only hear it from people who don't do creative work, and even then rarely. I don't hear about writer's block, either. The realities of publishing have moved most of us past that.

If-Then Planning

Timothy Pychyl also talks about if-then statements, calling them implementation intentions.  You plan ahead to deal with problem situations--form an intention and plan how you'll implement it. I, for instance, plan to keep working until a timer goes off. Halvorsan says, "...if-then plans dramatically reduce the demands placed on your willpower... In fact,  if-then planning has been shown in over "200 studies to increase rates of goal attainment and productivity by 200%-300% on average."

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6. alexanderchee: One thing I’ve always wondered—why the fox never...





alexanderchee:

One thing I’ve always wondered—why the fox never got a card in the Tarot.

There should be a fox card.





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7.


Okay, I'm told firm pub date is now Sept. 11. Not an auspicious day, but exciting nonetheless!

Dictionaries Out of Order defies simple description. Its stories, which intersect at Portland's "City of Books," range from the silly to the sublime, veering expertly from philosophy to farce. At its heart, the book is a love letter to the awesome and mysterious power of words. As comical as it is profound, this unique and unforgettable collection confirms that David Michael Slater is one of the most versatile authors writing today.

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8. The Best American Comics Series 2014 Issue Drops in October

The 2014 edition of The Best American Comics comes out this October, a collection of the best comics and webcomics of the year.

The collection features pieces from Allie Brosh, Raina Telgemeier, Nina Bujevac, Charles Burns, R. Crumb and Aline Kominsky-Crumb, Jamie Hernandez, Gilbert Hernandez, Adrian Tomine and Chris Ware, among others.

Comics expert Scott McCloud edited the volume. The book goes on sale on October 7th. You can read more at this link.

 

 

 

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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9. Simin Behbahani (1927-2014)

       I last mentioned leading Iranian poet Simin Behbahani less than a year ago, on the occasion of her being awarded the Janus Pannonius Poetry Prize. Now she has passed away -- see, for eample, the IBNA report
       Some of her work has been translated into English -- your best bet is still A Cup of Sin: Selected Poems; get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk See also her official site.

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10. Powell’s Q&A: Richard Kadrey

Describe your latest book. The Getaway God is the sixth book in the Sandman Slim series. In it, the very unholy nephilim, James Stark, aka Sandman Slim, has made a few enemies. None, though, are as fearsome as the vindictive Angra Om Ya — the insatiable, destructive old gods. But their imminent invasion is just [...]

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11. (African) literary prize debate

       In The Herald (Zimbabwe) Beaven Tapureta takes on the Caine Prize -- the leading (no doubt about that, for the time being) African short-story prize -- and literary prizes as a way of fostering (African) literature, asking What is an African story ?
       So they're wondering:

Are the Commonwealth Prize for Africa, Caine, Booker, and NOMA prizes doing more harm than good to the telling of a true African story ? On what basis are the works by African writers being judged at these prizes which in some cases have part of the juries coming from the continent ?
       And:
Zimbabwe's multi-award winning writer Shimmer Chinodya, who was shortlisted for the Caine Prize in 2000, its inaugural year, was bitter about the Prize for it has become.

One of the biggest crimes the Prize has committed is the way it has degenerated into gender and geographical issues. It has masqueraded as the prize 'for African writing', that's nonsense. We have had the NOMA Award for Publishing in Africa, the Commonwealth Prize for Africa although it has been downplayed by the Caine Prize which has made the short story look an easier genre to write than a novel. African tradition is not a minimalist tradition. I think the Prize should grow out of the ten-page stories and do something," he said.
       I've long argued that the Caine Prize -- estimable though it is -- shouldn't be considered the 'Man Booker' of African writing because, after all it is 'just' a short story prize. Nothing wrong with that -- but still, something different from novels (and, as you know, I'm a novel-man, through and through and through ...). Nevertheless, I must point out that the repeatedly mentioned "Commonwealth Prize for Africa" (meaning, surely, the Commonwealth Writers' Prize-African region) and the Noma Award for Publishing in Africa both ... no longer exist, having given up their respective ghosts in 2011 and 2009. Other pan-African (sort of ... northern Africa always seem to get rather left out of these, as does non-English-writing ...) prizes have sprung up, but nothing has established itself as near-convincingly pan-African as the Caine Prize.
       (As always, I note that the bizarre policy of announcing the winner of the Caine Prize in Oxford is perhaps not the best way to sell yourself as an 'African' prize; it's a big continent and there are lots of nice places you could hold an awards ceremony .....)

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12. CONSTRUCTION by Sally Sutton Illustrated by Brain Lovelock


Construction by Sally Sutton and illustrated by Brain Lovelock.   This is the third book by these creators following Demolition and Road Work.  There are millions of books about building and children seem to love them all.  Children love seeing a tall crane at work or a hole being dug in the street.   Everytime I read a construction book I think of this catchy tune When I Build My House.  This book is not just about building a house.  There is a very special place built at the end(I will let it be a surpise).  This author uses lots of action words like Thonk, Clonk and Clap that kids will love acting out.  Plus a full follow-up page at the end on machine facts.  Children who are building fans will enjoy this title and they will love the place that is build at the end of the story.  

Get your copy September 9.  In the meantime enjoy the following tune -

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13. Rebel Light Canadian Publisher

REBELIGHT_LOGO_4C

Submission Guidelines

What we want:

  • Manuscripts for middle grade, young adult and new adult novels
  • Well written and edited stories of any genre with riveting plots, dynamic and developing protagonists and antagonists we love to hate.
  • Work from Canadian writers that appeals to a worldwide market.

 Emerging writers and experienced authors welcome! Published authors, feeling stuck writing in one genre for your publisher and want to try something new? We are all ears.

What we don’t want:

Holiday stories • Graphic novels • Poetry • Short stories • Illustrations • Picture books • Non-fiction • Erotica • Previously published work (including self-published works)

Some helpful hints:

  • Have your manuscript edited by a third party who has a strong understanding of writing for young people. Your mother does not count, unless her name is J.K. Rowling.
  • A couple helpful reads: Rivet Your Readers with Deep Point of View by Jill Elizabeth Nelson and  Writing Great Books For Young Adults by Regina L. Brooks.
  • Your work has a better chance of serious consideration if it is presented in a professional manner, so please follow our submission guidelines below.

Submission Guidelines:

  • Rebelight Publishing Inc. is environmentally friendly and accepts emailed submissions only. Mailed submissions will be shredded and not responded to, a waste of your money (& trees).

In the body of the email (for security reasons attachments will not be opened), your submission should include:

  1. A one-page query letter
  2. Your author CV
  3. A one-page synopsis
  4. The first three chapters of your manuscript.
  • The email subject line should read as follows: “Submission – Your First Name Your Last Name, Manuscript Title.”
  • Do not send more than one manuscript at a time.
  • Address all emails, “Dear Editor:” (Yes, this goes against most advice given to writers… it’s OK. If your manuscript is accepted you’ll be introduced to your editor.)
  • We accept simultaneous submissions, however, as a courtesy, please let us know if your manuscript has been accepted elsewhere.
  • Should we request a full manuscript, it must be submitted in standard 8.5 x 11” format, typed in Times Roman 12 pt font and double-spaced. Submit as a Microsoft Word file.

Submissions are usually processed within three (3) months. Please do not contact us any sooner about your submission. Due to the volume of submissions, we cannot provide editorial comments on manuscripts. Email submissions to: editor@rebelight.com You’ve worked hard and shown perseverance to get a manuscript ready for submission. We look forward to hearing from you.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: authors and illustrators, Middle Grade Novels, opportunity, Places to sumit, publishers, Young Adult Novel Tagged: Canadian writers, email sumissions, Rebel Light, submission guidelines

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14. A BRAND NEW art print just added to my shop! :)

Sometimes, we just need someone to be there. This little girl sits in a field of Queen Anne's Lace with her favorite friend, her pet dog and instantly feels less alone.

If interested in ordering the giclee art print click on the art.




https://www.etsy.com/listing/200495223/wall-art-for-girls-be-there-available?ref=shop_home_active_1

NOTE: Most of my art is customizable! Please check the preferred Hair Color. Also, feel free to message me if you would like to add a favorite saying or a name to the print.

This 8.5" x 11" print is made using archival inks and a wonderful archival museum quality fine art paper (both of which are tested and guaranteed smudge, scratch, water, and fade resistant).

**Also available in an 11" x 14" print here:
https://www.etsy.com/listing/104817065/childrens-wall-art-print-any-11-x-14

***Also Available in a 13 x 19" print here:
https://www.etsy.com/listing/153110044/childrens-wall-art-print-any-13-x-19?ref=shop_home_active

**Available in a wrapped canvas here:
https://www.etsy.com/listing/115778663/canvas-childrens-wall-art-customized?ref=shop_home_active

- Art print created from a hand drawn & mixed media colored original illustration
- 8.5" x 11" prints fits in an 8 x 10 Mat opening for an 11 x 14" frame
- Printed on museum quality fine art archival paper with archival inks
- Ships flat packaged in a bend resistant mailer and a cellophane sleeve
- Ships within 3-5 days of payment
- Printed locally in the USA

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15. A LITTLE SOMETHING DIFFERENT by Sandy Hall

"Review My Books" Review by Ryann Dannelly  A LITTLE SOMETHING DIFFERENT by Sandy Hall Genre: YA Contemporary, NA, Romance My Rating: 5/5 stars Goodreads | Amazon The creative writing teacher, the delivery guy, the local Starbucks baristas, his best friend, her roommate, and the squirrel in the park all have one thing in common—they believe that Gabe and Lea should get together.Lea and

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16. CBTV Student Fest: ‘My Big Brother’ by Jason Rayner

What if your older brother was a giant? My Big Brother explores the reflections of a boy sharing a room with his twenty-foot tall brother.

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17. PEN/Heim Translation Fund grants

       They've announced the 2014 PEN/Heim Translation Fund grant winners:

From a field of 120 applicants, the Fund's Advisory Board -- Esther Allen, Barbara Epler, Sara Khalili, Michael F. Moore, Lauren Wein, and Lorin Stein -- has selected fifteen projects for funding.
       (That's a pretty impressive advisory board, by the way.)
       Some great-sounding projects, including work by some pretty big names -- Johannes Urzidil, Arseny Tarkovsky, Romain Gary, and Per Aage Brandt -- as well as a Richard Weiner, forthcoming from Two Lines Press (alas, too many of these other projects are still listed as: 'Available for publication' -- so check them out, publishers, some great things still up for grabs !).
       Among the intriguing projects: Sholeh Wolpé's translation of Farid ud-Din Attar's The Conference of Birds -- somewhat misleadingly presented as: "This artful and exquisite modern translation brings one of the definitive masterpieces of Persian literature to the English-speaking world". 'Definitive masterpieces' is right -- but of course it's hardly new to English-speaking audiences -- hey, there's a Penguin Classic's edition (Afkham Darbandi and Dick Davis' 1984 translation; get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk; my own dates to 1991, when I paid the then-list price of $6.95 for it at my local Barnes & Noble-- and even then I was reluctant to pay list, so a pretty significant book if I was willing to shell out that kind of money ...). Peter Avery's 1998 translation, published as The Speech of the Birds (see the Islamic Texts Society publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk), has long seemed the most definitive version, but after more than fifteen years perhaps the time is ripe for a new version.

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18. ‘Biology’ Joins iBooks Bestsellers List

Biology by Joseph S. Levine & Kenneth R. Miller has joined Apple’s Top Paid iBooks in the U.S. this week at No. 6.

Apple has released its top selling books list for paid books from iBooks in the U.S. for week ending 8/18/14. If I Stay by Gayle Forman continues to lead the list.

We’ve included Apple’s entire list after the jump. (more…)

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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19. Writer Wednesday: Deal Announcement


I had an exciting start to my week. Not only did I finally get to move back home, but I also got this picture from my amazing agent Sarah Negovetich.
If you're having trouble reading that, it's the deal announcement for Fading Into the Shadows, which will be published by Spencer Hill Press in 2016!

I love my editor at SHP. Trisha just gets me and the way my mind works, so I'm thrilled to work on another book with her. And this book was one that grabbed my attention from the start. It's actually the book that gave me the idea for the Touch of Death series. Yes, I drafted it before Touch of Death. I revised it after I completed the series though.

I can't wait to share more info with you, but for now I'll say it's fantasy and it involves a girl who will do anything to save her best friend after he goes missing. Of course she didn't realize "anything" involved another world of shadows and real life constellations trying to kill her.

Anyone else have good writing news to share this week? Tackle a difficult chapter, finish a revision, get a new book idea? Let's celebrate together.

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20. Mockingbird In Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2


The Executive Producers of "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." have sent a Morse code to say they've found their Mockingbird!

Adrianne Palicki will appear as Bobbi Morse, a.k.a. Mockingbird, in the second season of "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."--but whether she'll play friend or foe to Coulson and his team, we can't say. Known for her work in "Friday Night Lights" and "G.I. Joe: Retaliation," Palicki most recently appeared in several episodes of "About a Boy."

Adrianne Palicki set to appear as Bobbi Morse, a.k.a. Mockingbird, in Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (photo by Getty Images)

Palicki joins a number of new characters and guest stars on the series' second season, which premieres Tuesday, September 23 at 9:00 p.m. ET on ABC.

Joining Palicki will be the previously announced Lucy Lawless (Agent Isabelle Hartley), Reed Diamond (Daniel Whitehall), Nick Blood (Lance Hunter), Henry Simmons (Alphonso "Mack" Mackenzie), and Kyle MacLachlan (Skye's father), alongside the returning cast of Clark Gregg (Director Coulson), Ming-Na Wen (Agent May), Brett Dalton (Grant Ward), Elizabeth Henstridge (Agent Simmons), Iain De Caestecker (Agent Fitz), and Chloe Bennet (Agent Skye).

"Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." is Executive Produced by Joss Whedon ("Marvel's The Avengers," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"); Jed Whedon & Maurissa Tancharoen, ("Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." pilot co-writers ("Dollhouse," "Dr.Horrible's Sing-Along Blog"); Jeffrey Bell ("Angel," "Alias"); and Jeph Loeb ("Smallville," "Lost," "Heroes").

"Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." is produced by Marvel Television and ABC Studios.

Wow. Now that got you very excited...didn't it?  I know -'big' announcement with less info than a hobo zonked out on diesel.

We all remember Palicki was in that failed Wonder Woman TV series, right?  Anyway, below is (I believe) a current incarnation of Agent Barbara "Bobbi" Morse,
Barbara Morse (Earth-616) 0001

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21. Poetry Friday - A review of On the Wing

Douglas Florian is a poet and artist who has created poetry picture books that explore a wide variety of subjects. Over the years I have greatly enjoyed reading these books, and it is interesting to see how he applies his considerable talent to take on a new topic that interests him.

Douglas Florian
Poetry Picture Book
For ages 6 to 8
Harcourt, 1996, 978-0152023669
Birds truly are remarkable animals. They come in a dazzling array of colors, live on every continent, and make their homes in all kinds of places. In this wonderful picture book Douglas Florian pairs short poems with his artwork to give readers a true celebration of birds.
   Over the millennia birds have evolved to suit many kinds of environments. Some birds, like the egret, sail on water and then rest on the beach making it seem as if there is a “feathered hat” lying on the sand. Dippers love to dip and dive in waterfalls. They are so aquatic that one wonders if they would be happy to “trade / Their oily wings for flippers.” They are such good swimmers that it is possible that the little birds might “think that they are fish.”
   Birds come in all shapes and sizes. The spoonbill is tall and thin with a beak that does indeed look like a long-handled spoon. In his poem about this rather odd looking species, Douglas Florian wonders if the spoonbill uses its bill “for stirring tea” or does it “use it as a scoop / For eating peas and drinking soup.”
   The stork has a bill that is perfectly suited for the environment it lives in. Wading through shallow water, the bird uses it rapier like bill to stab frogs and other creatures. Woodpeckers also have beaks that are perfectly adapted so that they can get to their chosen food - insects that live in wood and sap that runs through wood. Not only are these beaks perfect for creating holes, but woodpeckers also use them to communicate.
   With clever touches of humor and insightful descriptions, this collection of poems will give young readers a colorful picture of twenty-one bird speci

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22. Yawn

I recently began reading Far from the Madding Crowd on my Kindle. I am so glad I am finally getting around to reading Hardy. Why did I wait so long? Please don’t answer that.

Anyway, after work today on the train I was reading and Oak, the main character thus far, was playing Peeping Tom, watching an older woman and a young lady he had just seen for the first time earlier that day feed a cow and take care of her new calf. The hour was late, somewhere around 1 a.m. by the stars Hardy tells us. The young lady yawns (but not in an inappropriately large way, she does have manners) and Oak, peeping through the gap in the barn boards is overwhelmed and suddenly yawns too. And I, reading the book, found myself attacked by a yawn.

Has this ever happened to you before? You are made to yawn by a character in the book yawning?

Or what about when a character is really thirsty, have you ever suddenly found yourself thirsty too? Of hungry? Books make me hungry all the time and there doesn’t even have to be a description of a great meal that makes my mouth water. I am currently reading The Memory Garden and there is an amazing dinner scene. I was doing fine, until they had blueberry sorbet. Oh that sounded good, give me a some please! I could even taste it and feel the cold in mouth even though the author didn’t spend any time actually describing it. But what has really gotten me is the chocolate cake that was mentioned a couple times. I was struck by a sudden craving. I came really close to asking Bookman if he would make one.

Other times while reading I have felt hot or cold or found myself squinting along with the character in an imagined bright sun. And of course tears. There have also been tears springing to my eyes as quickly as they spring to the eyes of the character in the book.

Being so affected probably has something to do with an active imagination and mirror neurons. When you see someone pick up a cup, for instance, mirror neurons supposedly fire in your brain in the same areas that would go to work if you were actually picking up the cup yourself. I’m wondering if I start reading books in which people get lots of exercise whether that means I am exercising too? Wouldn’t that be nice? Reading about someone running a marathon does not equal me actually running one. Very much wishful thinking but you can’t blame a girl for trying.


Filed under: Books, Reading

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23. Moving


I'm moving my blog over to my
 website...check it out here

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24. Announcing… our Ninja Agents for 2014!

We’re so excited to be bringing you our NINJA AGENT program again this year!

This program will take place in the forums–so you must be registered and using the forums to participate. If you haven’t already done that, go HERE.

Here’s what you’ll do:
1. Post your absolute best, polished query letter or writing sample in the appropriate critique threads in the forums. (Please look carefully and ask questions if you’re unsure about where to post, and make sure you follow all our forum guidelines)
2. Don your thick dragon skin, cross your fingers, and keep checking your forum posts, because our Ninja Agents will be sneaking around, leaving feedback on whatever strikes their fancy–which could very well be YOUR QUERY.
3. Pray you’ve perfected your work enough to generate a request. Some agents may be requesting from the posts they read.
4. Remember your manners. Please don’t engage in hurtful behavior toward an industry professional because of feedback they might leave on your query. Remember, publishing is SO SUBJECTIVE.

That’s it. That’s all there is to it. All you have to do is use our forums the same way you should be using them anyway (because they’re AWESOME) and you could have a super-cool Ninja-Agent critique your work. And even if they don’t comment on your work (they promise they will try to comment/critique on as many as they can) you can learn SO much from the comments they leave for others. Because really, the best part about the forum is that you can go read the feedback whenever your schedule allows.

What the Ninjas will do:
1. Each Ninja Agent will be in the forum during the conference. You won’t know who, and you won’t know when…that’s the beauty of a ninja. They strike when you’re least expecting it.
2. Ninja Agents have been encouraged to leave feedback—as detailed or as vague as they want—on as many queries as they can. They can also request from the queries they read.

We are announcing who the Ninja Agents are, but not when they’ll be Ninja-ing or who’s who. So Ninja Agent Blue could be any of the following….

Our Ninjafied Nunchuckatorians are:

  • Pete Knapp, Park Literary
  • Victoria Marini, Gelfman Schneider Literary
  • Kathleen Zakhar,  Harold Ober Associates, Inc.
  • Katie Grimm, Don Congdon Associates, Inc.
  • Janine Hauber, Sheldon Fogelman Agency
  • Danielle Smith, Red Fox Literary
  • Jaida Temperly, New Leaf Literary
  • Danielle Barthel, New Leaf Literary
  • Jess Ballow, New Leaf Literary
  • Amy Sterm, Sheldon Fogelman Agency
  • Carlie Webber, CK Webber Associates
  • Renee Nyen, KT Literary
  • Laurie McLean, Foreword Literary
  • Laura Cummings, Foreword Literary
  • Brian Farrey-Latz, Flux
  • Alycia Tornetta, Entangled Publishing
  • Nicole Steinhaus, Entangled Publishing
  • Katie Reed, Andrea Hurst & Associates Literary Management
  • Jackie Lindert, New Leaf Literary
  • Alex Slater, Trident Media Literary
  • Annie Berger, Harper Collins
  • Rena Rossner, Deborah Harris Agency
  • Patricia Riley, Spencer Hill Press

The Ninja-Agent Program is open for business starting on Tuesday, August 26, though some of our ninjas may make an appearance before that!

We hope this program will benefit everyone, from those who post their query to those reading the comments/opinions from some of the top literary agents in the publishing world.

Questions? Ask them here!

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25. The Polite Writer

                                                                        Artwork by Melva Medina
                                                            found on the blog The Education Labyrinth

In the wake of a conversation about, well, just about everything, a son flagged up an article to me called "How to be Polite".  It was excellent and funny and true.  As I read, I thought "Yes!  This is such good advice!" and then also "Yes!  Politeness is the writer's friend!"

Listen, if you will, to this -

My ability to go to a party and speak to anyone about anything, to natter and ask questions, to turn the conversation relentlessly towards the speaker, meant that I was gathering huge amounts of information about other people.

Here’s a polite person’s trick, one that has never failed me. I will share it with you because I like and respect you, and it is clear to me that you’ll know how to apply it wisely: When you are at a party and are thrust into conversation with someone, see how long you can hold off before talking about what they do for a living. And when that painful lull arrives, be the master of it. I have come to revel in that agonizing first pause, because I know that I can push a conversation through. Just ask the other person what they do, and right after they tell you, say: “Wow. That sounds hard.”

Because nearly everyone in the world believes their job to be difficult. I once went to a party and met a very beautiful woman whose job was to help celebrities wear Harry Winston jewelry. I could tell that she was disappointed to be introduced to this rumpled giant in an off-brand shirt, but when I told her that her job sounded difficult to me she brightened and spoke for 30 straight minutes about sapphires and Jessica Simpson. She kept touching me as she talked. I forgave her for that. I didn’t reveal a single detail about myself, including my name. Eventually someone pulled me back into the party. The celebrity jewelry coordinator smiled and grabbed my hand and said, “I like you!” She seemed so relieved to have unburdened herself. I counted it as a great accomplishment. Maybe a hundred times since I’ve said, “wow, that sounds hard” to a stranger, always to great effect. I stay home with my kids and have no life left to me, so take this party trick, my gift to you.

A friend and I came up with a game called Raconteur. You pair up with another Raconteur at a party and talk to everyone you can. You score points by getting people to disclose something about their lives. If you dominate the conversation, you lose a point. 

And you lose a chance.  As a person and as a writer.

The next time you're asked where you get your ideas, try answering, "By being polite."  

P.S.  Please don't jump on me because you think I'm implying politeness is nothing more than a cynical tool for doing your job.  I'm not.  And really, I'd much rather hear about you ...

Joan Lennon's website.
Joan Lennon's blog.


                                                                                                

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