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1. “Our job is memory” - Lily Hyde


The title is from this fascinating article from the NewYorker, which gave me much food for (rambling) thoughts about words and reality, libraries and the Internet, memories and memorials.

In it, the writer attacks the myth that what’s online stays online forever. Instead, she says, the Internet is intrinsically ephemeral. Unlike books, the Internet cannot be catalogued because it lacks the dimension of time; online, it’s always today. Academic and legal footnotes and references to books and documents (those painstaking page numbers, edition, publish date) have been replaced by web links. But what happens when those links no longer exist? The evidence disappears, the original source vanishes; anything could be true. 

Anyone who says we no longer need libraries because ‘it’s all online’ should read this article. It isn’t all online. Some of it might have been, yesterday, but that’s no guarantee that it will be today. Or it might look like what was there yesterday is still there today, but in fact it could have been completely rewritten since yesterday, and you’d never know.    

Funnily enough, I spent most of yesterday hunting for an online article about some Russian legislation, adopted in October last year, that retroactively legalises pro-Russian authorities in Crimea from February 2014 when Crimea, according to Russian law, was legally part of Ukraine. From a legal point of view, Russia rewrote history with that bit of legislation. 

The article, as far as I can see, is no longer on the Internet. It disappeared, and history is rewritten. 

I know, history is always rewritten, that’s what history is; a constant interrogation of the evidence from yesterday, viewed through the inescapable prism of today. But what if the evidence from yesterday no longer exists? What if it’s been written over, or just disappeared?

Two years ago I visited the museum of political history in St Petersburg. It used to be called the museum of the revolution (there you go, history rewritten). It’s full of fascinating exhibits, but the one that struck me most was a catalogue of exhibits that weren’t there.

It was a fat, handwritten ledger, open on a page listing all the documents and artefacts relating to Trotsky which had been removed in the late 1920s, when Trotsky was ‘rewritten’ as an enemy of the people. The museum staff had got rid of the historical evidence, yet they had kept a carefully catalogued record of the evidence that no longer existed. I really wonder why they did that. Despite orders to rewrite the past did they too believe, like the Internet librarians, that ‘our job is memory’?

Is that really what a library is – a repository of memory? As someone who uses libraries all the time as a reader and as a writer (just got my PLR statement, hurrah!) I started to wonder, do we write books, fact and fiction, because at least part of our job is memory? 

Libraries are repositories of facts and interpretations of facts to make versions of history, but they are also a storehouse for imaginary worlds and other people’s memories. We write things down so as not to forget them. We record them and we transform them through language, through fancy, through characters, into (in the best books) something unforgettable. 

Do we write (do we read) to remember, or to be remembered?

This is my last post for ABBA, for the moment anyway. Its been a privilege to contribute alongside such wonderful fellow writers, and a huge thank you to the administrators who keep it running. If you’re interested, you can follow my blog, updated mostly about Ukraine and Crimea affairs these days. Thanks for reading!   

https://rambutanchik.wordpress.com             

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2. PAPERCHASE PREVIEW - jungle fever

Our second Paperchase preview today is a forthcoming range called 'Jungle Fever'. This is an exotic mix of colourful jungle blooms on black, vivid birds and feathers, and spikey grass palms. There will also be quirky cockatoo ceramics for a really tropical summer look. Jungle Fever has not yet arrived in stores but this post gives us a sneak peek at what we can expect to see in Paperchase later

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3. Winter vs. Summer Who Would Win

winterWho Would Win: Winter or Summer?

Here in the New York City area, we’re pretty much sick and tired of being sick and tired of winter! Freezing temperatures and mushy snow make us long for summer. But will we feel the same way in summer? Will we long for the cool, magical, coziness of winter? Well, if you can’t decide, weigh in . . .

Winter vs. summer. Who’s the winner, in your opinion?

  1. Ice cream vs. Hot chocolate
  2. Snowboarding vs. Surfing
  3. Shovel snow vs. Mow the lawn
  4. Beach house vs. Mountain ski house
  5. Snowsuit vs. Bathing suit
  6. Ice pops vs. Icicles
  7. Winter holidays vs. summer vacation
  8. Hawaii vacation vs. Iceland vacation
  9. Building a sand castle vs. Building a snowman
  10. Frozen vs. Teen Beach Movie

And if you live in a part of the world where you are enjoying beautiful weather right now, then I am officially jealous!

Let us know your winter vs. summer winners in the Comments below!

-Ratha, STACKS Writer

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4. 2015 Mock Newbery discussions at Emerson, part 5: Nuts to You, The Red Pencil + Snicker of Magic

Listening and sharing ideas in our Mock Newbery discussions
In our Mock Newbery book club, students were able to choose which books they wanted to read. In order to vote, they had to read five or more of the nominated titles. I wanted to give them freedom to choose what to read, but I also really enjoyed listening to them recommend titles to one another. We had informal book club meetings once a week for lunch in the library, and then we met in January for our final discussions. Many students chose to read today's three books--I hope I can capture some of their comments.
Nuts to You
by Lynne Rae Perkins
Greenwillow / HarperCollins, 2014
Your local library
Amazon
ages 8-11
Right from the beginning, students started talking about how Nuts to You was both funny and full of adventure. After a hawk captures the unsuspecting squirrel Jed, his friends TsTs and Chai are sure that he's still alive. They set off following a trail of "buzzpaths" and "frozen spiderwebs" (electrical lines and utility towers) to rescue him. I love that the kids responded to the satirical footnotes and twists in language. Just take this example from near the beginning:
“To squirrels, ‘Are you nuts?’ is a combination of ‘Have you lost your mind?’ and ‘You remind me of the most wonderful thing I can think of.’”
Some students had trouble getting into this story and found the tone or perspective confusing. Maisy said at one meeting that she was half-way through the story and didn't quite see what's funny about it yet. McKenna told her that it starts getting funnier and funnier as you start getting more into the book--in fact, she wondered if it would be funnier the second time you read it. Talia and Gwen definitely agreed with McKenna.
The Red Pencil
by Andrea Davis Pinkney
Little Brown, 2014
Your local library
Amazon
ages 9-12
Students consistently mentioned The Red Pencil not only as a powerful, touching book, but also one that they could really understand what the characters were going through even though it was so different from their lives. When the Sudanese rebels attack her village, young Amira's home is destroyed and her whole life is upended. She escapes to a refugee camp, but what about her dreams of going to school?

When we were discussing plot and pacing, Corina expanded on why she thought The Red Pencil was so effective:
"I felt like I always knew what was going on even though it wasn't familiar to me. Each small moment, the author would break it down so you knew how everyone was feeling about it. You didn't know what was going to happen next -- you felt like you were in the present of the story and were right there with the characters."--Corina
I just went back and checked -- it's fascinating that Pinkney writes this in the present tense. Amira's emotional journey was important to students. She had to escape her war-torn home, and she also had to discover how to navigate following her own dream of learning to read and write despite her mother's traditional views.
Snicker of Magic
by Natalie Lloyd
Scholastic, 2014
Your local library
Amazon
ages 8-12
Just look at all those post-it notes--so many kids read Snicker of Magic. We all agreed that kids liked it, but during our Mock Newbery discussions we tried to explore why the story and writing were especially good. When Felicity Pickle moves to Midnight Gulch, Tennessee, our readers could tell right away that she was lonely--but Nia's comment to book club back in October was: "She think the word lonely is really really strong to say." Time and again, students mentioned how Felicity sees words, but they also noticed how the author really shows readers how Felicity feels. This magical element helped them see deeper into Felicity's feelings and Lloyd's themes.

This mix of magical fantasy elements in a real-life setting appealed to many readers. They loved the details like blueberry ice cream that helps you remember lost memories, and they could relate to many of the characters. A few mentioned that the pacing seemed a bit uneven ("sometimes it speeded up and then other times it was really slow or went off into something that didn't go with the plot") but others strongly disagreed and liked the way different plot elements wove together.

In our discussions we didn't have enough time to explore the themes of the stories, but I firmly believe that those underlying themes are a major reason why these different stories all appealed to readers. Whether it's TsTs' loyal friendship in Nuts to You, Amira's resiliency in The Red Pencil or the Beedle's generosity in Snicker of Magic, each of these deeper themes resonated with readers in lasting ways.

The review copies came from my home collection and our library collection. Early review copies were also kindly sent by the publishers, HarperCollins, Little Brown and Scholastic. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Great Kid Books. Thank you for your support.

©2015 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books

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5. Harry & Winnie: Friends Forever and even longer …


“In 1919, just before Harry returned to Winniepeg, he made another hard decision.
He decided that Winnie would stay at the London Zoo permanently.
Harry was sad, but he knew Winnie would be happiest in the home she knew best.”

This week over at BookPage, I’ve got an interview with author Sally M. Walker. Her newest picture book is Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh (Henry Holt, January 2015), illustrated by newcomer Jonathan D. Voss. It’s a fascinating story and one I didn’t know.

Our Q&A is over here at BookPage, and below I have some art (and backmatter images) from the book.


“When Harry Colebourn looked out of the train window,
he couldn’t believe what he saw ….”


“… The cub climbed into Harry’s lap and licked his chin.
‘She’s for sale,’ said the man holding her leash. …”


“Harry could care for a bear; he was a veterinarian.
‘How much?’ Harry asked. …”



“Sometimes Harry went places where Winnie couldn’t. The other soldiers cub-sat.
They photographed Winnie. They took her for walks.”


“But no matter where Winnie went during the day,
she slept under Harry’s cot every night.”


“… For seven weeks, Winnie watched soldiers practice marching. …”


“Harry visited Winnie whenever he could, but the war lasted four years.
During that time, the zookeepers took good care of his bear. …”


“One day, when Winnie was nearly eleven years old, a little boy visited her.
‘Oh, Bear!’ cried the boy, whose name was Christopher Robin.
He hugged Winnie and fed her milk.”


“… The zookeepers treated her kindly, friendly visitors scratched her back,
and gentle children spoon-fed her milk. …”



Front and back endpapers
(Click each to enlarge)

* * * * * * *

WINNIE. Copyright © 2015 by Sally M. Walker. Illustrations © 2015 by Jonathan D. Voss. Published by Henry Holt and Company, New York. All images here are reproduced by permission of the publisher.

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6. A brief history of Data Privacy Law in Asia

The OECD’s Guidelines on the Protection of Privacy and Transborder Flows of Personal Data (1980) were an early influence on the development of data privacy laws in Asia. Other bodies have since also been influential in the formulation of data privacy laws across Asia, including the 1981 Council of Europe Data Protection Convention, the United Nations Guidelines for the Regulation of Computer Data Files, the European Union’s Data Protection Directive, and the APEC Privacy Guidelines.

This timeline below shows the development of data privacy laws across numerous different Asian territories over the past 35 years. In each case it maps the year a data privacy law or equivalent was created, as well as providing some further information about each. It also maps the major guidelines and pieces of legislation from various global bodies, including those mentioned above.


Featured image credit: Data (scrabble), by justgrimes. CC-BY-SA 2.0 via Flickr.

The post A brief history of Data Privacy Law in Asia appeared first on OUPblog.

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7. Living next to a Superfund site


We don't really hear much about Superfund sites anymore but they haven't gone away. From last month's National Geographic Magazine:

Money remains a constant problem. The Superfund program once had two pillars: rules that held past polluters liable for cleanup and a "Superfund"--financed by taxes on crude oil and chemicals--that gave the EPA the resources to clean up sites when it could not extract payment from the responsible parties. Congress let those taxes expire in 1995; the program is now funded by taxes collected from all Americans. It's low on staff. The Superfund itself is nearly empty.

Superfund sites have entered a mostly benign but lingering state, dwarfed in the public's eye by issues like climate change, says William Suk, who has directed the National Institutes of Health's Superfund Research Program since its inception in the 1980s. "It's not happening in my backyard, therefore it must be OK," is how Suk sees the prevailing attitude. "Everything must be just fine--there's no more Love Canals."

Check out the full photo gallery here.

[Post pic by Fritz Hoffman via Nat Geo: "The municipal water supply in Hastings was contaminated by landfills--and by the FAR-MAR-CO grain elevator. Fumigants sprayed to control rodents and insects leached into the ground. The city closed some wells, but cleaning the groundwater will take decades."]

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8. News and Updates

NEWS Today is Monday, January 26th. There's a wicked snow storm just getting started here and it's predicted we're going to get 2-3 feet. Along with the snow and winds, there will most probably be power outages. Since I'm not sure how long we might be without power, I'm letting you know that if I'm not responding on social media or elsewhere online, that's the reason. I'm scheduling this to

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9. Meet Art

Library Dance,January 10, 2015 (Photo by Paige Bentley-Flannery )

Library Dance,January 10, 2015 (Photo by Paige Bentley-Flannery)

January at the Deschutes Public Library features Know Art!  In the past, I’ve created and presented a Meet Art series for children on famous artists such as Henri Matisse, Paul Klee, and Georgia O’Keeffe.  As a community librarian, I do programs for all ages.   I was so excited to hear that the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York has a traveling exhibit titled Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs.   I decided to re-create the exhibit through two art library programs for adults.  We had so much fun!  I also created a new list of resources for a children’s Matisse program.

Meet Henri Matisse: Cut-Outs:

Using the art medium gouache, paper and scissors, you’ll discover ways to explore Matisse’s cut-outs and interact with art using books, dance and apps all while creating your own masterpiece. This is a creative hands-on program.

IMG_3634 copyPaint:

While everyone is arriving, have them settle in by playing with gouache (an opaque watercolor paint). Paint one color on a piece of white card stock paper, covering the whole piece of paper, and set aside to dry. Have paint available in bold Matisse-like colors. (blue, orange, yellow, green…)

Dance:

Dance like Matisse with Matisse Dance for Joy by Susan Goldman Rubin. Everyone up! Read the board book and encourage people to act out the dance moves together. Shake, wiggle, and bounce! “Rumble, tumble with a friend” is my favorite page! Optional: Display images from the board book on a big screen.

Read:

Imagine you are Matisse! Read aloud Matisse’s Garden, Henri’s Scissors or Snail Trail. One of my favorite children’s Matisse books is Oooh! Matisse by Mil Niepold. Have everyone guess the shapes and together say, “oooooh! Matisse.”

 Matisse Cut-out  (Photo by Paige Bentley-Flannery)

Matisse Cut-out (Photo by Paige Bentley-Flannery)

Cut-Outs:

Create a BIG group cut-out. Spread out a HUGE piece of butcher paper on the floor (for smaller groups use a big piece of poster paper). Everyone cuts one shape, using a full 8” by 11’ piece of colored paper. Then place or drop the shapes onto the butcher paper. By now, the gouache papers will have dried so artists can create cut-outs from that paper too. Matisse used pins to secure and compose his shapes – but you can glue all the shapes onto the butcher paper. Decide as a group the title of your masterpiece and add the date at the bottom right corner. For example: Library Dance, January 10, 2015.

Most of all dance, create and have fun!

Extra Materials:

I love sharing postcards from different museums. If you know someone who’s visiting a museum, have them mail you a postcard! I ordered 40 Matisse postcards online at the MoMA store so participants could take home a postcard.

Books:

Children’s Matisse book recommendations:
https://read.rifflebooks.com/list/155760

My new favorite Matisse book this year is Matisse’s Garden by Samantha Friedman ; illustrations by Cristina Amodeo ; with reproductions of artworks by Henri Matisse.

Art and other supplies:

Gouache in a variety of colors, card stock paper, scissors, colorful butcher paper, a few pieces of poster size paper (or use butcher paper), glue sticks, paint brushes, newspapers, paper towels, small paper plates and small paper cups for water. (Extra: postcards, projector, iPad/Tablet…)

Matisse Websites:

For the full Matisse program descriptions, please email me at paigeb@dpls.us.

***************************************************************

Our guest blogger today is Paige Bentley-Flannery. Paige is a Community Librarian at Deschutes Public Library. For over fifteen years–from Seattle Art Museum to the New York Public Library to the Deschutes Public Library-Paige’s passion and creative style for art and literature have been combined with instructing, planning, and providing information.

Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

If you’d like to write a guest post for the ALSC Blog, please contact Mary Voors, ALSC Blog manager, at alscblog@gmail.com.

The post Meet Art appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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10. lines / wires



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11. Kvachi review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Mikheil Javakhishvili's early Soviet-era classic, Kvachi, a nice addition to Dalkey Archive Press' Georgian Literature Series (and translated by the leading Georgian-literature authority, Donald Rayfield).

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12. Writing Craft: Smells Make a Story Real by @RayneHall - #amwriting


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Special Guest Post




by Rayne Hall



Here’s three powerful techniques for immersing readers into your story: use the sense of smell.



Of all the senses, smell has the strongest psychological effect. The mere mention of a smell evokes memories and triggers associations in the reader’s subconscious.



Mention a smell, and the scene comes to life. Mention two or three, and the reader is pulled into the scene as if it were real.



A single sentence about smells can reveal more about a place than several paragraphs of visual descriptions. For example, the hero enters a home for old people. “The place smelled of boiled cabbage, urine, and disinfectant.” These nine words are enough to convey what kind of old people’s home this is, and it creates a strong image in the reader’s mind.



Or try these: “The room smelled of pizza, beer and unwashed socks.” “The room smelled of beeswax, joss sticks, and patchouli.” “The corridor smelled of mold and leaking sewage.” “The kitchen smelled of coffee, cinnamon, and freshly baked bread.” “The kitchen smelled of burnt milk, overripe pears, and bleach.” “The garden smelled of lilacs and freshly mowed grass.” “The cell smelled of blood, urine and rotting straw.”



Where and How to Use this Technique



The best place to insert a sentence about smells is immediately after the point-of-view character has arrived at a new location. That’s when humans are most aware of smells, so it feels right if you mention them.



Smells trigger emotions. If you want your reader to feel positive about the place, use pleasant scents. To make the reader recoil, mention nasty odors.



Also, consider the genre. Thriller and horror readers appreciate being taken to places where odours are as foul as the villain’s deeds, but romance readers want a pleasant experience, so treat them to lovely scents.





Variations



If you like, you can use this technique in almost every scene. To keep it fresh, vary the sentence structure and the wording. Here are some suggestions:



The place reeked/stank of AAA and BBB.

The odors of AAA and BBB mingled with the smells of CCC and DDD.

Her nostrils detected a whiff of AAA beneath the smells of BBB and CCC.

The smell of AAA warred with the stronger odor of BBB.

The air was rich with the scents of AAA and BBB.

The smell of AAA failed to mask the stench of BBB.

The stench of AAA hit him first, followed by the odor of BBB.

Beneath the scent of AAA lay the more ominous odors of BBB and CCC.

The scents of AAA and BBB greeted her.

The smells of AAA and BBB made his mouth water.

He braced himself against the stink of AAA and BBB.





Professional Examples



These examples show how authors have used this technique in their fiction.



The room smelled like stale smoke and Italian salad dressing. (Michael Connelly: The Poet)



I took a couple of deep breaths, smelled rain, diesel, and the pungent dead-fish-and-salt stench off the river. (Devon Monk: Magic to the Bone)



The place smelt of damp and decay. (Jonathan Stroud: The Amulet of Samarkand)



A rare south wind had brought the smell of Tyre to last night’s landfall: cinnamon and pepper in the cedar-laced pine smoke, sharp young wine and close-packed sweating humanity, smoldering hemp and horse piss. (Mathew Woodring Stover: Iron Dawn)



The smell hit her first: rotting flesh, ancient blood. (Kristine Kathryn Rusch: Sins of the Blood)



The air reeked of hot metal, overheated electronic components, scorched insulation – and gasoline. (Dean Koontz: The Bad Place)



The air held the warm odours of honey and earth, of pine resin and goat sweat, mingled with the scents of frying oil and spice. (Rayne Hall: Storm Dancer)



Your Turn



Have a go. Whatever story you’re working on right now, whatever scene you’re writing, think of two or more smells that characterize the place. Write a sentence about them. If you like, post your sentence in the comments section. I’d love to see what you come up with. 


About the Author 

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Rayne Hall has published more than fifty books in several languages under several pen names with several publishers in several genres, mostly fantasy, horror and non-fiction.  She is the author of the bestselling Writer's Craft series and editor of the Ten Tales short story anthologies.

She is a trained publishing manager, holds a masters degree in Creative Writing, and has worked in the publishing industry for over thirty years.

Having lived in Germany, China, Mongolia and Nepal, she has now settled in a small dilapidated town of former Victorian grandeur on the south coast of England where she enjoys reading, gardening and long walks along the seashore. She shares her home with a black cat  adopted from the cat shelter. Sulu likes to lie on the desk and snuggle into Rayne's arms when she's writing.

You can follow here on Twitter http://twitter.com/RayneHall where she posts advice for writers, funny cartoons and cute pictures of her cat.

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13. Spotlight and Giveaway: Filthy Rich by Dawn Ryder

This morning I have an excerpt and giveaway for Filthy Rich by Dawn Ryder.  Enjoy!

Filthy Rich By Dawn Ryder

Sourcebooks Casablanca

Erotic Romance

February 3, 2015

ISBN: 9781402287152

“Tantalizing” – RT Book Reviews on Out of Bounds

SHE’S FIGHTING FOR CONTROL…

Celeste Connor swore that she’d never be a victim again. After the hell of her abusive ex, the last thing she needs is to be under another man’s thumb. But when she catches the eye of fiercely dominant Nartan Lupan at her best friend’s wedding, Celeste finds herself drawn into a glittering world of wealth and power that has her body aching and her mind reeling.

HE’S FIGHTING TO MAKE HER HIS…

Nartan is a filthy rich businessman who works hard, plays harder, and doesn’t take no for an answer—and he wants Celeste with a hunger he’s never before felt. He’ll do whatever it takes to have her. But Nartan didn’t expect that he’d want still more…

Buy links: Amazon | Apple | B&N | BAM | !ndigo | IndieBound

Dawn Ryder is the erotic romance pen name of a bestselling author of historical romances. She has been publishing her stories for over 8 years to a growing and appreciative audience. She is commercially published in mass market and trade paper, and digi-first published with trade paper releases. She is hugely committed to her career as an author, as well as to other authors and to her readership. She resides in Southern California.

Connect with Dawn Ryder: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Excerpt from FILTHY RICH by Dawn Ryder

A howl woke her.

Celeste sat up and looked around the room.

The sun had finally gone down sometime after ten. Now the stars were brilliant, and a yellow moon was casting an amazing level of light in the nighttime hours.

There was a whimper and then another long howl.

Alaskan wolves.

She could sleep when she got back to Southern California.

She got up and hurried into her jeans. Only the range light was on in the kitchen, but with so much moonlight coming through the windows, it was easy to get to the mudroom and lace up her boots.

She opened the outer door slowly, sliding through to keep from moving it too much. A howl sounded, so much louder now that she was outside. She pressed the door shut and knelt down.

The starlight illuminated the wolves. At least six of them were pawing the ground as they moved along the road that connected the house with the test facility offices. Those offices weren’t even in sight.

But the wolves were.

And so was Nartan.

He was crouched down twenty feet away. Her breath caught as she took in the way he blended with the moment. The wolves made yipping sounds as they came closer, smelling the road and the air as they went.

Nartan lifted his hand and beckoned her toward him. Her steps seemed too noisy, the crunching sounds grating on her ears. A wolf looked toward her and she froze.

Nartan beckoned again, turning to look at her.

The animal was still fifty feet away, but it was looking toward her. She bit her lower lip, afraid of spooking the animal.

Nartan closed in on her, moving right up next to her.

“He can smell you. You’re upwind. Come down here with me. He won’t worry about you then.”

“Oh…”

Nartan clasped her hand and pulled her down to where he’d been. He lifted his head, judging the wind. The wolf let out a yip and joined the rest as they scratched at the dirt and one another. Two of them would circle another, lowering their heads and yipping. The wolf in the center was the one who lifted its head and let out a long howl.

“The alpha…” Nartan whispered.

He had his arm draped around her, his scent filling her senses.

Why did he smell so good?

Not that it really mattered. He was still as pond water but his skin was warm. His attention was on the wolves, but she felt like it was on her as well. He shifted just a bit, and inhaled next to her hair.

Fresh from bed, it was a soft cloud. She reached up, self–conscious about how messy it was. He caught her hand and stopped her as the alpha looked at them. The animal’s eyes were pools of moonlight. Its mouth was open, giving her a glimpse of its long canine teeth. It made a low sound before pushing its front paws out and stretching its neck up and tilting its head until its nose pointed at the moon. A long, mournful cry filled the night.

It felt like she was suspended in time. They might have been anywhere, in any year.

“Lower your head.”

He tucked his chin and cupped her nape.

“To show submission…”

Celeste stiffened. Nartan chuckled in a bare whisper next to her ear. “To the alpha.”

She bent, the wolf watching her before losing interest and moving along with the pack.

Nartan massaged her neck, his fingers working the stiffness from the muscles as she straightened. “Well done.”

It felt like there was innuendo in his comment. But maybe she was just being too sensitive.

To–be–dealt–with list.

She drew in a deep breath and forced herself to relax. The wolves were moving away now, heading toward a forested area. The alpha looked back at them before it disappeared into the timber.

“That was amazing,” she whispered.

Nartan’s hand was under her hair, the touch so intimate that she was loath to pull away. He threaded his fingers through her hair, pulling his hand free as he finger–combed the strands. He watched her as he did it, his eyes reflecting the moonlight just as the alpha’s had.

He was in his element.

Call it cheesy or lame but she couldn’t shake it.

So she rose, backing away from him as he stood. His shirt was open all the way down his front, his jeans sagging low on his waist because he didn’t have a belt on. And his feet were bare.

“Aren’t you cold?”

He slowly smiled and extended his hand. “Judge for yourself.”

She started to reach for him and froze. Indecision held her in its grip as the wind blew her hair around. One of his dark eyebrows rose as she hesitated.

Chicken…

She reached out and touched him. Allowed her fingertips to rest on his forearm for a moment that felt like a mini eternity. It ended when he twisted his arm around and captured her wrist. He stepped up to her, pulling her toward him. She could have broken the hold, if she was able to think.

Which she wasn’t.

Her brain seemed to have shut down. Somehow, she was caught in a storm of sensations, completely unwilling to think about anything. She simply wanted to experience the moment.

Well, it was quite a moment.

Rich with scents and sensations that were intoxicating. His breath teased her ear and then her cheek. A shudder shook her, sending a tiny gasp through her lips. Nartan took advantage of her parted lips, pressing his down on top of them and tasting them slowly.

God, how long had it been since she’d been kissed?

Pleasure flowed through her, gaining strength like a flame catching a wick. Sure, she knew that a candle was for lighting, but until it was lit, the memory of how bright it could shine was dim.

She stepped back. Startled by how much she liked his kiss.

She wanted more.

A hell of a lot more.

But she turned and headed back into the house before she could do anything impulsive.

Moon madness. That was all.

Only she wasn’t really sure if she would ever be sane again.

Rafflecopter Giveaway for 3 copies of OUT OF BOUNDS by Dawn Ryder:

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14. The Importance of Dreaming: Why Diversity Matters in Science Fiction and Fantasy – by C. Taylor-Butler

 

CTB

I’m a dreamer. I grew up in a lower middle class environment where the stretch goal was simply survival. Many of my neighbors had never ventured far from the city. Reading wasn’t a popular hobby. Dreams were for other people.

But my mother introduced me to every free or low cost cultural program she could find. I took art classes at the Museum of Art. Spent days sketching by a replica of The Thinker near the reflecting pond. And my weekends existed living in the stacks of the Public Library and carrying home as many books as I was allowed at the end of the day. Whenever I needed to escape my environment, books were there to guide me. I immersed in Barbar and envisioned myself traveling with the king to a far distant land. I was Madeleine lined up in a row of similarly dressed girls. All the while I doodled designs of futuristic cities while munching popcorn in front of Lost In Space. I imagined being tutored by the magical Mary Poppins. But in those books and movies the characters were animals or they were white. Other than Star Trek, people of various backgrounds didn’t exist in the imagined futures for our world. I loved Uhura, Checkov and Sulu. But I wanted them to be my Captain Kirks.

A few years ago, I spoke at a public library in Arkansas. Over the course of a week I talked about writing to 25 busloads of elementary school children. At the end of the week a teacher returned and said one of her students was perplexed that I had gone to MIT. The teacher, confused by the girl’s question, pressed her. The young girl wanted to know if she could go to a school like that, given that she was Hispanic. She wanted to know if it was allowed. And if so, could she tag along with the teacher who, herself, was studying for her Masters degree at a nearby college. In that child’s neighborhood, college wasn’t in the vocabulary. And in her literature, girls like her didn’t exist at all.

I want you to think about that a minute.

Decades after the multicultural Star Trek series debuted, contemporary literature and the media still play a large role in the perception that options for children of color are severely limited. Popular fiction and blockbuster movies center around children who are not Hispanic, or Native American or . . . (fill in the blanks). In the rare instance where they are, movie directors make a course correction. For instance, in writing Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula LeGuin created a world in which all of the communities were populated by people who were various shades of brown. No specific ethnicity is delineated. The hero is brown, the villain is blonde and blue eyed. In translating the book into a mini-series for the SyFy channel, Producer Robert Halmi of Hallmark Entertainment cast all the characters using white actors and said he had “improved upon the author’s vision.” Ursula LeGuin responded by saying he had wrecked her books.

In recreating the popular Avatar: The Last Airbender, director M. Knight Shamalayan cast all of the Asian heroes with white actors. The villain who was white in the series, became Asian in the movie. Children of color are tokens in the background of Harry Potter’s universe but not in his inner circle. The olive-skinned girl in Hunger Games becomes Jennifer Lawrence. See the trend? For children of color the message is clear: when it comes to being a hero in a fantastical adventure . . .

Not you.

But it also sends a more dangerous message to society. For people of a majority race it may imbed a subconscious message of “only you,” or worse . . .

“Not them.”

In watching the protests around the country starting with, but not limited to Ferguson Missouri, I found myself wondering if someone like ex-officer Darren Wilson grew up surrounded by images of people like him who were the heroes, the leaders, the enforcers and where people who didn’t look like them were villains to be feared. Police officers who are later assigned to patrol neighborhoods where gifted children are stunted because they were trained by society, and sometimes their own communities, to stop dreaming beyond the end of the street.

In crafting The Lost Tribes I envisioned a world where those children were integral to the story and allowed to take center stage. Children who were very smart, but not perfect. Children who bickered and made mistakes while they worked out solutions and came together as a team out of necessity but remained together out of mutual respect. I envisioned characters informed by their cultural backgrounds but not constrained by them. I wanted to create an environment where the characters faced frightening situations and had to work out the solutions without the use of magic wands or other tricks that would substitute for logic and team work. In a sense – if your world is falling apart what would an ordinary kid do with few skills and no training?

Girl

I had a vision, for instance, of who the character of Serise would be. She’s Navajo and I knew book research wouldn’t substitute for spending time in her environment. So I spent two weeks in Rock Point, Arizona. It is a small town on the reservation where I met two teens who were Goth and quiet. I met another who was quite outspoken. I came armed with books, including a lot of age appropriate fiction. They leaped for the nonfiction, showed me how to log on to a password protected satellite dish so I could check emails, and talked about their lives and dreams with me. And so Serise was reborn as a computer hacker, far from the stereotypes people have about Native American girls.

My protagonist, Ben, thinks basketball is the ticket to success. He eschews his parent’s scientific interests as the stuff of nerds. In working with urban students I learned that many hide being smart. It’s easier to be athletic. It’s expected. It’s often emphasized. So it is fascinating that a friend and librarian forwarded an excerpt of Neil deGrasse Tyson’s book in which he talks about fulfilling society’s expectations of aspiring to be a top athlete until he read a fascinating fact about the speed of light and black holes. He decided science was infinitely more interesting and became an astrophysicist.

Moai of Easter IslandMy characters, like my readers, crave adventure and as an engineer writing science fiction I understood that Earth already held much stranger backdrops than anything I could make up. For example the Moai of Easter Island or the Terra Cotta Army.

I wrote Tribes to say “Yes. You belong in the wider context of the universe.” “Yes. You can be the center of an adventure.” “Yes, children from different backgrounds can and do work together for a common purpose.” “Yes you can dream bigger than the landscape of your own neighborhood.”

 

“Yes.”  Terracotta warriors

“You.”

As we approach February, inevitably children across the country will be introduced to the same ubiquitous fare that adults provide every year. We’ll fill their reading lists with realistic fiction, historical fiction and angst based nonfiction centered around race. But we won’t tell them they can aspire to slay dragons, build castles or venture out into the great unknown. They won’t travel to outer space or even abroad to a foreign land. When they are looking at the stars, we’ll quiz them on books that go no farther than their own environments. And when some children are dreaming of the future, we’ll be drilling into their heads only visions of a painful past.

During Black History Month we’ll ask, “What are you doing to fulfill Dr. King’s dreams?” and therein lies the rub.

Because it’s the wrong question.

We should be asking, “What are you doing to fulfill YOUR dreams?” and then make it our priority to point them toward a path that will get them there.

I’m still a dreamer. I found my path forward in books and used the clues to figure out how to reach for the stars. Perhaps it is time for publishing to provide those clues forward without our readers needing a universal translator to see themselves between the pages. Perhaps it is time for a broader selection of children to be shown leading the way.

Tribe cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

C. Taylor-Butler is the author of more than 70 books for children. A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with dual degrees in Civil Engineering and Art and Design, she serves as Chair of one of their regional Educational Councils. After traveling the world and speaking to thousands of children with dreams of their own, she has decided children of color shouldn’t have to settle for second place.

The Lost Tribes Series
“Well-written and well-paced: a promising start to what should be an exciting and unusual sci-fi series. (Science fiction. 10-14)” Kirkus Reviews, Jan. 2015

To find more speculative fiction featuring children of color (sci-fi, fantasy, paranormal, time travel, alternate history, dystopia, horror, etc.), see the list compiled by Zetta Elliot.


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15. PAPERCHASE PREVIEW - safari park

Today we are lucky enough to be seeing a beautiful new Paperchase collection for Spring Summer 2015 that has not yet been released. 'Safari Park' is a full range of products featuring stylised safari animals such as elephants, giraffes, and zebras. The animal motifs featured really nice little bits of detailing such as dots and hatching whilst still remaining beautifully simple. The colours are

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16. working up a new set of #character #sketch (at 17th Avenue...

0 Comments on working up a new set of #character #sketch (at 17th Avenue... as of 1/26/2015 10:03:00 PM
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17. Libris Literatuur Prijs longlist

       They've announced the longlist for this year's Libris Literatuur Prijs, one of the leading Dutch literary prizes.
       The eighteen-title strong list was selected from the groslijst of eligible titles -- revealing quite a few familiar names who have had work translated into English and whose books didn't make the longlist cut, including: Kader Abdolah, Anna Enquist, Herman Koch, Tessa de Loo, Erwin Mortier, Dimitri Verhulst, and Tommie Wieringa.

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18. Review – WANTED! Ralfy Rabbit, Book Burglar

It is wise to start a new year on a positive note. Many begin with a resolution. A new book excites me. But how do you choose the perfect title that will not only entertain and enthral but also convince you to pick up another, again and again? Best to begin with a tale of […]

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19. Bestselling paperbacks in Germany, 2014

       At boersenblatt.net they look at the top-25 bestselling paperbacks in Germany in 2014 in both fiction and non -- alas only ranked, not with actual sales numbers.
       Translated-from-the-English works dominate both lists, with Jojo Moyes and James Bowen each placing three of the top five titles in their respective categories (fiction, non) -- two authors whose very existence I have only the fuzziest awareness of, and whose books I can not imagine reading.
       Wolfgang Herrndorf's Tschick -- bizarrely transformed into Why We Took the Car in English (see the Arthur A. Levine publicity page, get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk) -- is the top-selling domestic novel. And at least a Patrick Modiano slips onto the list, at 24th.
       The top non-fiction title is the legal reference book, the Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch (see the dtv publicity page) -- an almost 1000-pager --, while Florian Illies 1913 enjoyed success even in 2014 (15th), and Anne Frank's diary also made the top 25.

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20. 8 Hal Yang Tidak Boleh Anda Lupakan Sebelum Berwisata ke Pantai

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Pantai adalah salah satu tempat liburan paling populer, terutama selama musim panas. Tentu saja merencanakan perjalanan ke pantai sangat menyenangkan. Akan tetapi, juga bisa membuat kita stres jika tidak tahu harus bagaimana mempersiapkan segala sesuatunya.

8-hal-yang-tidak-boleh-anda-lupakan-sebelum-berwisata-ke-pantai

Artikel berikut ini akan memberitahukan anda apa yang tidak boleh anda lupakan sebelum berwisata ke pantai.
Dengan begitu, maka liburan anda di pantai akan menjadi lebih seru dan lebih menyenangkan. Berikut adalah beberapa tips yang harus anda antisipasi dan persiapkan sebelum berlibur ke pantai.
1.       Jarak
Jarak adalah salah satu hal yang harus anda pertimbangkan sebelum anda melangkah menuju pantai yang ingin anda tuju. Cobalah untuk menemukan pantai-pantai yang indah dan tidak terlalu jauh tempatnya dari tempat anda menginap. Namun, jika anda harus pergi ke pantai yang jauh, pastikan anda mempertimbangkan budget, waktu, bensin atau bahan bakar untuk sampai ke tujuan. Selain itu, cobalah untuk mempertimbangkan berapa lama anda harus tinggal di pantai tersebut sebelum anda memutuskan kembali pulang. Karena anda tentu tidak ingin pulang kemalaman bukan?
2.       Baju renang
Jika anda berencana untuk berenang di pantai, baju renang adalah kebutuhan yang tidak boleh anda lupakan. Selain baju renang, mungkin anda juga ingin membawa sandal jepit untuk berjalan-jalan di sekitar pantai.
3.       Kantong plastik
Apakah anda ingin berlibur ke pantai dengan membawa segala sesuatu? Cobalah untuk menyesuaikan tas yang tepat untuk anda gunakan saat berlibur dipantai. Berlibur di pantai membutuhkan beberapa persiapan khusus seperti plastik. Plastik bisa anda gunakan untuk menyimpan baju renang anda yang basah agar tidak tercampur dengan pakaian kering yang lainnya.
4.       Pakaian ringan dan topi
Angin kencang dan cuaca panas adalah gambaran yang paling tepat untuk pantai. Oleh sebab itu, topi mutlak anda butuhkan, terutama jika anda ingin menghabiskan waktu berjalan-jalan di pantai pada siang atau sore hari di pantai.
Sedangkan pakaian yang ringan adalah pakaian yang cocok anda gunakan untuk berjalan-jalan di pantai yang memiliki angin lumayan kencang. Pakaian yang ringan juga akan membuat tubuh anda lebih mudah untuk bernafas dan tidak kepanasan.
5.       Tabir surya
Gunakan selalu tabir surya dengan SPF 30 setiap 2 jam sekali agar kulit anda aman dari bahaya sinar UVA dan UVB. Seperti yang telah disebutkan di atas, pantai biasanya memiliki udara atau cuaca yang panas. Oleh sebab itu melindungi kulit dari sengatan sinar matahari mutlak anda lakukan.
6.       Sunglass
Selain sunblock, mungkin anda juga membutuhkan sunglass yang bisa melindungi mata anda dari sinar matahari dan cerahnya suasana siang yang menyilaukan.
7.       Kamera
Tentu anda tidak ingin melewati beberapa momen indah di pantai bukan? Oleh sebab itu, cobalah untuk membawa kamera ketika anda berwisata ke pantai. Momen-momen khusus seperti sunriseatau sunset di beberapa pantai adalah momen yang wajib anda capture.
8.       Bola dan peralatan bermain
Pantai adalah salah satu tempat yang paling menyenangkan untuk bermain bola bersama teman-teman. Selain itu jika anda memiliki anak yang suka bermain di pasir, mungkin anda bisa menyediakan mereka beberapa peralatan yang bisa anak-anak gunakan untuk membangun beberapa kastil atau rumah-rumahan pasir di pantai.

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21. Guest Post and Giveaway: Bringing Home the Bad Boy by Jessica Lemmon

 

This morning I have an Top 5 from Jessica Lemmon, who is celebrating the release of her latest, Bringing Home the Bad Boy.

Top 5 things you’ll never find in Evan’s bedroom by Jessica Lemmon -

Thank you for having me! I had to think hard about this one, but I believe I came up with five fun answers for you. Here we go…

5: A gun. He’s a lover not a fighter. Okay, unless someone is giving Charlotte a hard time. Then he’s a fighter, but he’s all about the fists.

4: A television. Evan prefers a different kind of entertainment when he’s in bed.

3: Clothes on the floor. Evan is neat…unless Charlotte is there. Then, the clothes go wherever they fall.

2: Painted walls. Evan prefers a blank canvas.

1: A woman other than Charlotte. Evan is fiercely loyal, and he only has eyes for her.

What about you? What is the one thing you won’t ever find in your bedroom? My answer is Henry Cavill. More’s the pity…

About BRINGING HOME THE BAD BOY:

Creativity is his drug, painting is his escape, but she’ll be the addiction that brings him to his knees.

Evan Downey buried a part of his soul when put the love of his life in the ground. He knows he needs to get his shit together for the sake of their son, but escaping into his art is the only way he can begin to cope with Rae’s death. When the chance to move back to Evergreen Cove, one of the few places that has ever felt right to him, he knows it’s a chance he has to take. For his sake, and his sons. Charlotte Harris would give anything to have her best friend back. But if she can’t have Rae, then she vows she’ll at least be there to support the family Rae left behind. So when she learns that Evan is looking to move home, she does everything she can to help him and Lyon re-build their lives at the Cove. But when sparks start to fly between Charlotte and Evan it’s the first glimpse of something bright and beautiful either of them has seen in far too long. And they start to wonder if fate has offered them a second chance at happiness– if only their brave enough to take the risk and let love back into their lives. 


About Jessica Lemmon:

Jessica Lemmon has always been a dreamer. At some point, she decided head-in-the-clouds thinking was childish, went out, and got herself a job . . . and then she got another one because that one was lousy. And when that one stopped being fulfilling, she went out and got another . . . and another. Soon it became apparent she’d only be truly happy doing what she loved. And since “eating potato chips” isn’t a viable career, she opted to become a writer. With fire in her heart, she dusted off a book she’d started years prior, finished it, and submitted it. It may have been the worst book ever, but it didn’t stop her from writing another one. Now she has several books finished, several more started, and even more marinating in her brain (which currently resides in the clouds, thankyouverymuch), and she couldn’t be happier. She firmly believes God gifts us with talents for a purpose, and with His help, you can create the life you want. (While eating potato chips.)

Jessica’s SM:

@lemmony

http://jessicalemmon.com

https://www.goodreads.com/jlemmony

http://facebook.com/jessicalemmon

Buy Links:

Amazon – http://amzn.to/14RWHC3

BAM – http://bit.ly/1svdJQG

B&N – http://bit.ly/1AMECzW

IndieBound – http://bit.ly/14X3zO5

GooglePlay – http://bit.ly/1svdVzo

iTunes – http://bit.ly/1u2q3cp

Kobo – http://bit.ly/1CfMGZL

Excerpt:

“Know why I moved here?” he asked, keeping his voice low.

She wrenched her eyes from his and focused on a spot over his shoulder.

“Because you didn’t want to live in Columbus anymore.” That’s what he’d told her. That he wanted a change. That he and Lyon had outgrown the house. And, she imagined it’d be hard to live in the house where Rae had passed.

“But why here?”

“Um…”

His fingers grazed her jaw and turned her head, his palm moving to her neck where he cupped her nape and forced her eyes to his.

Reluctantly, she met them.

“Rae’s more alive when you’re around, Ace.”

Her heart, oh her heart. Kicking against her chest in a confusing, hectic rhythm.

“You bring her to life for Lyon—more than anyone else. I need him to remember her because he can’t remember her alive.” His hold stayed, his palm warming her neck, his gaze unwavering.

She tried to separate the two feelings she was having—one that she was now talking about Rae with Evan and two, that he was touching her while talking about Rae.

Before she could, his lips closed over hers.

Her thoughts short-circuited.

This wasn’t anything like a soft peck hello. This was his lips moving over hers, slanting over hers, warm and firm and then his mouth opened and—

Oh my gosh!

His wet, warm tongue slid along the seam of her lips and she stopped being passive and started kissing him back. When she would have touched her tongue to his, he relocated it, running along her bottom lip instead and tugging with his teeth.

If she’d been standing, her knees would have given out and dropped her right on her butt.

And then there was the palm on her neck, now spearing up through her hair and clutching onto a handful of it. He held her captive, his hand fisting her hair as he angled his mouth again. In response to the soft whimper escaping her throat, he swept his tongue into her mouth. He tangled his tongue with hers once, twice, and released her.

When he pulled his mouth away, a long, satisfied sigh escaped her lips. Because that was a kiss. A kiss to rival all other kisses.

She opened her eyes to realize A) she’d closed her eyes and B) she’d at some point wrapped both hands around his forearms where she was holding tight and C) Evan looked as please as she felt.

“God damn, Ace. Your mouth.” His eyes flicked to her lips. Lips still tingling from the rough scrape from the stubble surrounding his.

She concurred with that sentiment. Not that she said anything. She’d gone dumb; completely mute.

He backed away, but held onto her chin and tweaked it lightly with the rough pad of one thumb. “That’s the way this is gonna go from now on.”

Her breathing went shallow, her thoughts went muzzy and her head blurred as her heart palpated to the point of panic attack.

“Sorry, Rae.”

She didn’t mean to say it, and it had only been a whisper, but by the look twisting Evan’s face—the angry look twisting his face—he’d heard. And he hadn’t liked what he’d heard.

“Sorry,” she said to him this time. “I should go.”

Unbelievably, he leaned closer. She pulled her chin back until she realized she likely had a double chin, then settled her head on her neck in a more reasonable position.

Gosh. He was making her crazy.

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The post Guest Post and Giveaway: Bringing Home the Bad Boy by Jessica Lemmon appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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22. Emma Watson To Play Belle in Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Live-Action Remake

The "Harry Potter" actress Emma Watson has been cast as Belle in Disney's live-action remake of its 1991 film "Beauty and the Beast."

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23. Today’s the Day! It’s Multicultural Children’s Book Day!

Are we excited or what!? Today is Multicultural Children’s Book Day and both Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom and I would love it if you’d celebrate with us.

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This is our second annual event and is bigger than ever before. Along with 17 sponsors , 9 blog co-hosts, and 150+ bloggers, we’re reading our world in many amazing and wonderful ways.

Head on over to www.multiculturalchildresnbookday.com/blog and have a look at our linky party. There you will find many great multicultural and diverse books to read.

Twitter Party! Join us for Multicultural Children’s Book Day Twitter Party on Jan 27th 9:00pm EST.

Use hashtag: #ReadYourWorld to win 10 book packages! This Twitter Party is hosted by myself and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom! View the prize list HERE.

How it all Began

So many times Mia and I are asked how “it all began” with Multicultural Children’s Book Day so we teamed up to make this video that answers that very question:

Let’s get LINKY! Link up your multicultural children’s book review and let’s create an amazing resource for teachers, parents and librarians!

 

 

[inlinkz_linkup id=485122 mode=1]

The post Today’s the Day! It’s Multicultural Children’s Book Day! appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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24. Call for Slices

Write, Share, Give

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25. A Blizzardy Update

Autumn and Ducks in Tallahassee

A longtime reader wrote to ask if everything’s okay. He was concerned because I post here so rarely.

Everything is okay! My stepdaughter, Autumn, turned twenty-one! Often I still think of her as the little waving girl in the photo above. But she is an astounding young woman, a clear and compassionate thinker, a poet, a gift, my only child. Also, my goddaughter and her mom moved away. I miss them tons. And my cats died, a few months apart. Oof, as my friend Carrie says. That was sad. 

After Emily’s death in July, we got Florian to keep Percy company, and then after Percy’s death in November we didn’t want Florian to be alone, so we got Wanda. They’re great — we’re so comforted by their companionship and antics — but losing pets is as awful as Laurie Anderson says. I actually got Emily after I lost my dog, Ripley, back in 1997. After Emily’s death, I finally felt ready to have a dog again, but our coop doesn’t allow them. Neither, for that matter, did Percy.

Right now there’s a blizzard outside. I’m drinking water and tea and working on my book, which is usually what I’m doing, unless I haven’t refilled the water and tea recently.

The manuscript is due in 2016, and I asked for regular installment deadlines with my editor to keep myself on task, and I’m so busy writing that I actually got excited when an app I use to keep myself from wasting time online malfunctioned for a few weeks. It cut off my access to half the Internet, including this very site. I’m also working on a related profile-essay thing that’s taking me a long time to finish to my satisfaction, and I’m very excited about it. And I’ve been doing a lot of weird, wide-ranging reading, which I’m sure will all be reflected in my book, if you’ve missed my meandering fixations.

I hope to fixate here, too, from time to time. Until that happens, or in case it doesn’t, you can as usual more frequently find me on Twitter, Tumblr, The Begats (my other Tumblr), Instagram, and Facebook. It’s also possible to sign up for my verrrry sporadic “ideas and intimacies” dispatches at Tiny Letter. And I’ll be speaking at A.J. Jacobs’ Global Family Reunion on June 6, if you’d like to catch up in person.

For now, we’ve just gotta get through January. And I keep reminding myself, so I’ll remind you, too: the days are already getting longer.

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