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1. Flamethrower Kitten takes a river ride

"Duck Boat"

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2. A fine blend of non-sense engineering and cats. #sketch #pencil...

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3. Aurealis Shòrt Lists 2014

And here it is, as posted on the AA web site. Congratulations to all short listed folk. I have to admit, I've only read those on the children's list, though I bought one of the other short listed books at Continuum last year and have another in my school library and one more on my TBR review pile and another I've started, in ebook. Time to get reading! 


Meanwhile, here they are and well done to everybody on the list. 

2014 Aurealis Awards – Finalists


BEST FANTASY NOVEL

Fireborn, Keri Arthur (Hachette Australia)

This Shattered World, Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (Allen & Unwin)

The Lascar’s Dagger, Glenda Larke (Hachette Australia)

Dreamer’s Pool, Juliet Marillier (Pan Macmillan Australia)

Afterworlds, Scott Westerfeld (Penguin Books Australia)

Daughters of the Storm, Kim Wilkins (Harlequin Enterprises Australia)

BEST FANTASY SHORT STORY

“The Oud”, Thoraiya Dyer (Long Hidden, Crossed Genres Publications)

“Teratogen”, Deborah Kalin (Cemetery Dance, #71, May 2014)

“The Ghost of Hephaestus”, Charlotte Nash (Phantazein, FableCroft Publications)

“St Dymphna’s School for Poison Girls”, Angela Slatter (The Review of Australian Fiction, Volume 9, Issue 3)

“The Badger Bride”, Angela Slatter (Strange Tales IV, Tartarus Press)

BEST SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL

Aurora: Meridian, Amanda Bridgeman (Momentum)

Nil By Mouth, LynC (Satalyte)

The White List, Nina D’Aleo (Momentum)

Peacemaker, Marianne de Pierres (Angry Robot)

This Shattered World, Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (Allen & Unwin)

Foresight, Graham Storrs (Momentum)

BEST SCIENCE FICTION SHORT STORY

“The Executioner Goes Home”, Deborah Biancotti (Review of Australian Fiction, Vol 11 Issue 6)

“Wine, Women and Stars”, Thoraiya Dyer (Analog Vol CXXXIV nos 1&2 Jan/Feb)

“The Glorious Aerybeth”, Jason Fischer (OnSpec, 11 Sep 2014)

“Dellinger”, Charlotte Nash (Use Only As Directed, Peggy Bright Books)

“Happy Go Lucky”, Garth Nix (Kaleidoscope, Twelfth Planet Press)

BEST HORROR NOVEL

Book of the Dead, Greig Beck (Momentum)

Razorhurst, Justine Larbalestier (Allen & Unwin)

Obsidian, Alan Baxter (HarperVoyager)

BEST HORROR SHORT STORY

“The Executioner Goes Home”, Deborah Biancotti (Review of Australian Fiction, Vol 11 Issue 6)

“Skinsuit”, James Bradley (Island Magazine 137)

“By the Moon’s Good Grace”, Kirstyn McDermott (Review of Australian Fiction, Vol 12, Issue 3)

“Shay Corsham Worsted”, Garth Nix (Fearful Symmetries, Chizine)

“Home and Hearth”, Angela Slatter (Spectral Press)

BEST YOUNG ADULT NOVEL

The Astrologer’s Daughter, Rebecca Lim (Text Publishing)

Afterworld, Lynnette Lounsbury (Allen & Unwin)

The Cracks in the Kingdom, Jaclyn Moriarty (Pan Macmillan Australia)

Clariel, Garth Nix (Allen & Unwin)

The Haunting of Lily Frost, Nova Weetman (UQP)

Afterworlds, Scott Westerfeld (Penguin Books Australia)

BEST YOUNG ADULT SHORT STORY

“In Hades”, Goldie Alexander (Celapene Press)

“Falling Leaves”, Liz Argall (Apex Magazine)

“The Fuller and the Bogle”, David Cornish (Tales from the Half-Continent, Omnibus Books)

“Vanilla”, Dirk Flinthart (Kaleidoscope, Twelfth Planet Press)

“Signature”, Faith Mudge (Kaleidoscope, Twelfth Planet Press)

BEST CHILDREN’S FICTION

Slaves of Socorro: Brotherband #4, John Flanagan (Random House Australia)

Ophelia and the Marvellous Boy, Karen Foxlee (Hot Key Books)

The Last Viking Returns, Norman Jorgensen and James Foley (ILL.) (Fremantle Press)

Withering-by-Sea, Judith Rossell (ABC Books)

Sunker’s Deep: The Hidden #2, Lian Tanner (Allen & Unwin)

Shadow Sister: Dragon Keeper #5, Carole Wilkinson (Black Dog Books)

BEST COLLECTION

The Female Factory, Lisa L Hannett and Angela Slatter (Twelfth Planet Press)

Secret Lives, Rosaleen Love (Twelfth Planet Press)

Angel Dust, Ian McHugh (Ticonderoga Publications)

Difficult Second Album: more stories of Xenobiology, Space Elevators, and Bats Out Of Hell, Simon Petrie (Peggy Bright Books)

The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings, Angela Slatter (Tartarus Press)

Black-Winged Angels, Angela Slatter (Ticonderoga Publications)

BEST ANTHOLOGY

Kisses by Clockwork, Liz Grzyb (Ed) (Ticonderoga Publications)
Kaleidoscope: Diverse YA Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories, Alisa Krasnostein and Julia Rios (Eds), (Twelfth Planet Press)

Amok: An Anthology of Asia-Pacific Speculative Fiction, Dominica Malcolm (Ed) (Solarwyrm Press)

Reach for Infinity, Jonathan Strahan (Ed) (Solaris Books)

Fearsome Magics, Jonathan Strahan (Ed) (Solaris Books)

Phantazein, Tehani Wessely (Ed) (FableCroft Publishing)

BEST GRAPHIC NOVEL/ILLUSTRATED WORK

Left Hand Path #1, Jason Franks & Paul Abstruse (Winter City Productions)

Awkwood, Jase Harper (Milk Shadow Books)

“A Small Wild Magic”, Kathleen Jennings (Monstrous Affections, Candlewick Press)

Mr Unpronounceable and the Sect of the Bleeding Eye, Tim Molloy (Milk Shadow Books)

The Game, Shane W Smith (Deeper Meanings Publishing)

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4. UNA/EXTENSIÓN UNIVERSITARIA



A partir del 3 de marzo, retomamos con Irene Singer el curso teórico práctico de ilustración editorial.
Este cuatrimestre, las clases prácticas estarán a mi cargo.

Inscripción previa online o personalmente en
Departamento de Artes Visuales
Secretaría de Extensión
Bartolomé Mitre 1869 - Subsuelo. Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires
(54.11) 2056.9876

Más info en este enlace: http://visuales.una.edu.ar/extension/cursos/2164-ilustracion-editorial


Se agradece difusión.

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5. {Indie Spotlight} Bullying is No Laughing Matter

THE SONG OF THE BULLIED Have you ever gotten a song stuck in your head? You know, a song you haven't heard for a while. Suddenly and unexpectedly it pops into your head and goes into repeat cycle. It is funny, but a little frustrating. Over and over it plays, making you want to sing along. Often it is at inopportune moments, like when you are at work or school. When you are supposed to be

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6. pictures mean business: 'after careful consideration...'

So here's my latest update on the #PicturesMeanBusiness campaign. Like most illustrators, I still don't know very much about why we regularly get left out of being credited for the books we illustrate, but I'm discovering more and more that it's not a complete lack of respect from people in the publishing industry. It all keeps coming back to two things:

1. Tediously faulty data systems, or 'meta data'
2. People who don't think to question this faulty data

That's why we had an article in The Bookseller quoting Axel Scheffler feeling undervalued for his work, right above a listing where he's not mentioned with the picture book he illustrated (Superworm). It wasn't deliberate, someone just didn't put two-and-two together:



It happened again today: the Red House Children's Book Awards were announced and when I clicked over to their award page of their website, only the writers of the books were listed. Which is odd, because you can see a little picture of illustrator Oliver Jeffers on their home page. So they were obviously thinking about him, they just forgot to put his name into the listing.



Now anyone who looks at Drew and Oliver's book sees it's highly dependent on illustrations and Oliver's hand-drawn lettering. And you may think, does this even matter? Everyone knows Oliver illustrated that book. ...Well, yes, it does. That press release will have gone out to the media and there's a good chance many of them will plug the data into their articles without even checking to see the illustrator's been left out. Illustrators rely heavily on brand identity for ongoing sales, and this doesn't help.




I (rather nervously) brought it up with the award's hosts, The Book People, on Twitter, and they're like most of us, they're people who love books and want to get things right, they're just rushing a bit and don't have the latest software.



It wasn't just illustrators; even a co-writer (Amanda Swift) got left out because they couldn't fit two names on the date entry line.

But the whole point of these awards is publicity and raising the profile of children's books, so it would make sense for awards people to stop and think how they're presenting this information ('after careful consideration') to the public. I'm sure the judges put a lot of thought into the selection, and the website people are separate from the judging process, but it makes the awards look slapdash, like the people involved haven't actually sat down and looked at the physical books, to notice that they're illustrated. I'm sure this isn't true, but it's not a clever way to present the public face of the award.

I was happy to see a few hours later that the website had already been updated to include Oliver's name. Hurrah! So it IS possible, it's not too much of a programming nightmare. But there are several other illustrators who need added - David Tazzyman (illustrator of Demon Dentist), Thomas Flintham (Baby Aliens Got my Teacher), and Bruce Ingman (Let Loose the Leopard). And throughout the website, there are lots of other illustrators left unlisted (for example, David Tazzyman and Sarah Horne in their Pick of the Year list). Here's the fixed entry:



Kudos to the rep at The Book People for replying so quickly and starting to get on the case! I realise they honestly do mean well.



But it's a call for people to think when they get book data. I'm hoping very much we can fix some of the most cumbersome systems (Nielsen - and Biblio/Virtusales, which I only just heard about) and encourage publishers enter all the right information. (Good ol' Nosy Crow...)



But until then, publishing world and media, if you love book illustration, please stand by us and fix this faulty data manually.

Keep an eye on the hash tag and add your comments: #PicturesMeanBusiness

. . .
NOOOOOOOO!!!! Just as a saved this blog post, I saw a tweet from wonderful writer Caryl Hart. And I love The Reading Agency, they hosted me as last year's Summer Reading Challenge illustrator, but guess what, they've forgotten to credit a lot of illustrators on their book list. And again, it's most likely a data problem. And people not paying attention. ARGHHHHHHH. Please, someone just make it stop...!



(See the picture book list here.)

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7. Cover Reveal: NEED ME, Tessa Bailey

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Tessa Bailey, comes the next fun and sexy novel in her Broke and Beautiful trilogy!

On Sale 4/21/15

“How did this tweed-wearing English professor turn out to be my dirtiest hero ever? Cause he really is.”--Tessa Bailey

When Honey Perribow traded in her cowboy boots for stilettos and left her small Kentucky town to attend Columbia University, she never expected to find a dirt-cheap apartment or two new best friends. No stranger to hard work, Honey’s sole focus is a medical degree...until she sees newly-minted Professor, Ben Dawson, and her concentration is hijacked. Honey is fascinated by her gorgeous, young English professor and vows to find a crack his tweed-wearing, glasses-clad exterior.

While at an off campus party, an accident lands Ben in a dark, locked closet with a sexy-sounding southern belle...and their chemistry is explosive. But when he discovers that the girl in his arms is the same beautiful student he can’t stop thinking about, he is stunned. Student-teacher relationships are strictly forbidden…yet no matter how hard he tries, Ben can’t stay away from Honey.

And when his attempts to fight their attraction nearly ruin the best thing that ever happened to him, Ben will do anything to prove how much he needs her.



About Tessa Bailey

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Tessa Bailey lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and young daughter. When she isn’t writing or reading romance, Tessa enjoys a good argument and thirty-minute recipes.

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8. and with the appearance of the horrible monster, the #pencil...

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9. this little guy....

©the enchanted easel 2015
i "heart" him! :)

{having a bit of a love affair with some mice this week....}

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10. Daredevil Duck

Here is a children's book that you will NOT want to miss!  This is a riot that sitting down and sharing with your little ones will not disappoint.

Daredevil Duck by Charlie Alder is nothing but fun - it follows the story of D.D. - Daredevil Duck - as he goes out into the world and is literally afraid of EVERYTHING!  He tries so hard to be brave - but his fears always seem to get the best of him.  The story is humorous and told in a fun way as the layout of the book leads to some half pages, some foldout, etc. and it all just lends to the lovability of the story!  You really must follow his sweet story as D.D. tries to find something that he can do that is BRAVE.

 **I was provided a copy of the book by the publisher for an honest review.

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11. How to Write for a 3 Year Old

Metafiction:
a literary device that poses questions about the relationship between fiction and reality.

Not the kind of thing you would ever find in a book for 3-year-olds.

Until now, that is. I didn’t intend to, honest.

It happened like this:

SSX b&w smallWhile writing Story Structure Expedition (which launches in two weeks) I found myself the unwitting protagonist in a Congo River nightmare.

Narrator — that’s the role I signed on for. From Brazzaville we would head upriver in search of the heart of a story. My thesis would prove first of all that the story heart exists, then explore its deadly nature.

Something happened. The essay morphed, it went rogue. Characters showed up uninvited and soon I found myself in  a novella. I didn’t ask to become fictional. I suppose it’s my fault for not blowing the whistle, which left me to face the consequences that befall any worthy protagonist.

I didn’t quite get it — me, a  fictional protagonist in my own story.

Would I have to suffer the story heart myself? The facts of fiction demand that the hero suffer a massive failure. Meaning what exactly—that my book wouldn’t get written? I would rather die.

I wanted to escape from my own story.

How meta is that?

OffYourBum, Columbus!Anyway, for comic relief I distracted myself by writing a children’s picture book.

I called it, Off your bum, Columbus! Explore the world!

A series of photographs would depict a woolly little character named Columbus who reluctantly abandons his storybook heroes to see the world with his own two eyes.

(Oh, yeah — Una Kitt — that’s my pen name.)

“Be a storybook hero yourself, Columbus!”

Do you see what’s happening here? My cute little alter ego is being made to suffer my surreal ordeal.

DSCN5539“If I was in a storybook,” Columbus asks himself, “what would I do?  Storybook heroes do something.”

Columbus confronts the very same metafictional existential dilemma. It’s a book for three-year-olds, for goodness sake!

“If this was a storybook, I couldn’t lie here all day, could I?” says Columbus. “If this book was about me, I’d get off my woolly whatsit.”

DSCN5544Columbus doesn’t have to wonder very long. The tide comes in!

Now he’s in trouble. Now up the Congo River!

I’m betting—in both these books—that readers young and old have a soft spot for the unwilling anti-hero.

I’m already finding out. Columbus launched this week and it’s already heading for #1 in its category. One reviewer liked the “ingenious concept that connected straight to the heart of my child’s imagination and to the way he already plays.”

Metafiction for kids. Who’d have thought?

If you have kids, or are a kid, or just want to see Columbus hit #1, here’s the Amazon link to save Columbus:

Go Columbus!

 

 

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12. IOS Programming – Codea – The Calculator

A friend of mine talked about LUA for game programming, so I got curious and looked some stuff up and happen to stumble on a IOS app that allows you to program using LUA for an IOS app. It is called Codea. I was skeptical at first due to the major limitations and constraints this […]

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13. Bound and Unbound

I’m sure you’ve never heard of her –
Her name was Judith Scott.
The cards were stacked against her
So she didn’t have a shot.

Both Down’s and deafness were her lot;
Her twin was not affected.
An institution was her home
Where nothing was expected.

When she was in her 40’s though,
Her sister got her out
And only then did she first taste
What life was all about.

A center for disabled folk
Taught art and Judith thrived.
In sculpture using cloth and objects,
Artistry arrived.

Her colorful creations now
In Brooklyn* can be found.
Together they’re displayed and titled
“Bound and” yes, “Unbound.”

No one knew what Judith Scott
Was thinking while creating,
But she’s the proof within us all
Potential might be waiting.


*Brooklyn Museum

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14. DreamWorks Loses $263 Million in Fourth Quarter and Will Sell Glendale Campus

DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg says that it has been "the hardest, most difficult, most painful eight weeks in our 20-year history."

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15. What Did You Do This Week, Gail? February 27 Edition

Goal 1. Mummy Book. Still working on revising early chapters. I am satisfied with what I'm doing, though. Cutting a lot. Cutting is always good, in my experience.

Goal 4. Submissions. I spent time researching agents and have a journal lined up for a submission. I wanted to make it tonight because I have an objective to submit a short piece every month, and I've already missed January and now I'm pretty close to missing February. But this particular journal closes for part of each month, and doesn't open again until the first. So I have to wait until Sunday or Monday.

Goal 5. Community Building. I completed and posted the CCLC and launched the CCLC newsletter. I've been involved with the 10-Minute Novelists this month as well as another Facebook group, and I did some Twitter maintenance. I'm going to look into another Facebook group I heard about this past week. Because you can't be a member of too many, right?

Not a great week, but I'm in a good position for next week. Not so much because of what I did this week, but because we don't have so many nonwriting things going on next week.

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16. On Lying.

Confucius said, "I do not see what use a man can be put to, whose word cannot be trusted. How can a wagon be made to go if it has no yoke-bar, or a carriage if it has no collar-bar?"

14. Confucianism. Analects 2.22
From: http://www.unification.net/ws/theme062.htm

We all do it, even though we know we shouldn't. Every major religion condemns lying; you can see for yourself if you click on the link above. If it's so universally frowned upon in practically every culture on Earth, then why is it so common?

Let's be honest. (Ha.) Who hasn't made their lives a little bit easier with the occasional untruth? "I love your new haircut!" "My cell phone was dead." "Oh I didn't know you were coming into town!" Or, my favorite: "No. I'm not mad." Lies make our day to day existence a little easier. They can smooth over hurt feelings. They allow us to better get along with each other. So how can they be so bad?

I was raised a very strict Catholic, and I took the whole "Ten Commandments" thing seriously. Thou Shalt Not Lie? Okay. From God's lips to my ears! Even if a lie could have gotten me out of a tight spot, I refrained. I softened the truth, perhaps, but I always told it. Almost always, anyway. And if I was weak in the moment, and I did tell a lie, I would later confess it and explain myself, hoping for forgiveness. But to my parents, and I'm being honest here, I hardly ever lied. I'm sitting here trying to remember a single lie I told them, and I cannot. I was a very truthful kid. I took truthfulness so seriously that my honesty became widely known and appreciated about me. Guys in my college told other girls they liked me because I seemed like I'd always be straight with them, (which I was.) And my boss was fond of exclaiming about me: "Amy is the most HONEST person you'll ever meet!" I liked being known for that. It made me feel really good.

Then, shortly after I graduated from college, my parents began divorce proceedings. My brother and I were both young adults living on our own so there was no custody battle, and our parents had been separated for years, so it ought to have been a somewhat amicable negotiation, but it was NOT. Nasty secrets were dragged from the war-chest; accusations and denials flew through the air like ballistic missiles. Two people I'd have sworn were fairly mature individuals turned into spitting screaming toddlers. I was shocked, and then I was numb, and then I was confused. There were so many accusations flying around that I realized at one point: One or both of my parents are lying to me.

I realize this is common behavior during a divorce. Legal lawsuits rarely bring out the best in people, but when the plaintiffs used to sleep together and know each other's secrets, things can get evil. Even knowing this truth didn't help me cope with the idea that my parents, whom I'd struggled my entire life to be completely honest with, were telling me lies, and about really big important things too.

Then I began to realize that all the adults around me lied, a LOT. My coworkers lied, my friends lied, the frigging President of the United States was telling some whoppers... It seemed like I was the ONLY person in the world who really cared about telling the truth. I was fed up, and I started trying it out. I started lying.

It was about little things at first. "Sorry I'm late but my car broke down." "I can't come to your wedding because I have to work." "Yeah, I've got a cold. Can't come to work today." THEN, the party fund happened.

The party fund.

I worked in a jewelry store for that same boss who was always proclaiming my honesty. Sometimes women would bring their diamond rings in to be steam cleaned. It was kind of fun putting on the safety gloves and getting out the rubber-grip pliers to hold the ring under the vapor that jetted through a tiny spigot, blowing all the dirt and crud off someone's shiny diamond. I loved doing it. It cost the person a couple bucks, but instead of keeping track of such a tiny sale in the register our boss had us put the cash in a coffee can for later use as a party fund. WELL, one day I rushed in to work at the last second and discovered I had no money for a cup of coffee at the nearby coffee stand. I didn't want a caffeine headache, so I borrowed a couple bucks from the party fund to be paid back later. Only... did I pay it back? I couldn't remember. And I was late a few more times, and borrowed a little more, until I lost track of how much money I'd borrowed in the first place. Basically, I was stealing. Little Miss Honesty had graduated to the big time. Yep. That's right. I had become a petty thief.

Little did I know that one of my coworkers was keeping close track of the party fund, and she brought it to my boss's attention that something like twenty bucks was missing, and it came out at an employee meeting. My face went cold, and I sat there embarrassed and feeling like a jerk, but did I own up to it? I should have. I really should have explained I'd just needed some coffee and I'd always meant to pay it back. I didn't, though, and the mystery remained unsolved. Ever after, I had a hard time holding my head up at work. I felt miserable about it. You know what? I still do.

I'd gone from being painstakingly honest to a thief in a few short months.

If I hadn't told those little lies, would I have worked my way up to wholesale thievery? Who can say? Now that I'm older I can recognize how young and confused I was, and I can see that I was acting out. I felt disillusioned with the world, disappointed and let down by people who were very close to me, and I wanted to lash out. I wanted to take advantage of other people's trust the way I felt I'd been taken advantage of. It might've felt good in the moment, but in the long term it feels bad. It's one of my more painful memories.

After that, my boss stopped proclaiming my honesty because, of course, she figured it out. I think all my coworkers kind of realized it must be me. I lost face with them. I lost their respect. I felt degraded, and then I started feeling left out of conversations, and not really "in" with people anymore. Of course the stealing didn't help my image, but if I'd owned up to it, if I'd just been honest in the moment and said, "Oh, that was me. I needed some quick cash and I was going to pay it back on payday. Sorry." People might've been weirded out by it, but I would have been redeemable after that. Because I lied, no redemption for me.

My parents' divorce went through, they settled out of court, the dust settled, and then... There I was. Somehow not the same person I'd been when the whole thing began, but I don't think it was my parents' actions that changed me. My actions, my decision to experiment with being a liar, put a mark on me, and it was a mark that I thought everyone around me could see, and I was ashamed.

So now I'm back to being painstakingly honest, or at least I try to be. Somehow I don't have the same discipline that I did as a kid, maybe because I woke up to how much I was being lied to on a daily basis, because we all do it, right? Ever since I had a taste of how much easier it is to lie, though, it's harder. I struggle more with the temptation. The big one for me is being honest with friends when I'm mad at them. I'm too afraid of losing the friendship. But I try to always tell the truth to everyone. And if the truth is too painful? I try to say nothing at all.

I think that lying is considered a sin in every religion because of this effect it has on the human spirit. There is no dignity in lying, and that's the truth. When you lie you are skirting responsibility, trying to avoid the consequences of your actions, or you're trying to manipulate the people around you, using them as pawns. Lying never comes from a place of strength. It's a sniveling, crawling, sneaking way of wriggling out of the difficulties in relating to other people. Lying is weak. It takes strength and courage to be honest, it really does. That's why so many people lie so much of the time. Honesty is hard. But the person who is honest can always hold their head up. They can always be proud of who they are. And other people usually respect that integrity. In fact, I believe honesty is the only way to deserve the respect of others, but perhaps more important, it ensures the respect of self. Believe me, solid self-respect is worth suffering through those uncomfortable moments of truth telling.

Whether you believe in God or not, whether you believe in the existence of sin, honesty is the more practical route. In the long run, owning the truth is safer, and much more dignified. Honesty is the path to good social standing. Lying is a certain path to disrepute.


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17. Matt Wayne on What Dwayne McDuffie Meant To Comics

dwaynephoto

Although it’s in Playboy, it’s SFW and a must read: former Milestone managing editor Matt Wayne on his friend, the late great Dwayne McDuffie:

“I’m 22 and I haven’t done anything with my life!”

That was my friend Dwayne, speaking to me in his dorm room in February 1984. Nine years after he got his name in the papers by attending the University of Michigan at age 13 (but only for a year — turns out, even genius kids need to be around their peers). Seven years after the Detroit News named him one of its All State high-school basketball players. A year after a crisis of conscience turned him away from his undergraduate research into the properties of thermocouples — he learned his work had been applied to missile guidance systems — which started his writing career in earnest. And three years before he became the first African-American to create a Marvel comic.

 
There was only one Dwayne, but his memory lives on with the Dwayne McDuffie Award being presented this weekend at the Lonb Beach Comics Expo. I’m extremely proud to have been associated with this first award, and thrilled with the final list of nominees. We have a long way to go to live in the world that Dwayne may have dreamed of, but that doesn’t mean we should give up.

Today is the next to last day of Black History Month. I don’t always mark it with content here at the Beat because I think there should be 12 months a year of black history and women’s history and queer history and Asian history and every kind of history. Confining any minority to their own month is ultimately counter productive. I don’t always succeed but at the Beat I try to create an atmosphere that invites diversity….and NOT just women writing about women or writers of color writing about those issues. I think that’s confining too.

That said, there were some good BHM pieces, and here’s one: Reggie Hudlin, Jamar Nicholass Jerry Craft and Brandon Thomas talking about comics with Danica Davidson. More to come.

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18. ‘Adventure Time’ Is Headed To Bigscreen

Finn and Jake are about to get a lot bigger.

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19. The Amazing Otto Fishblanket and his detachable talking head

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20. Diagram Prize shortlist

       They've announced the shortlist for this year's Diagram Prize for the Oddest Book Title of the Year.
       A fairly entertaining selection -- and readers have until 21 March to vote for the winner.

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21. #627: live long and prosper


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22. The Physics of Sorrow review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Georgi Gospodinov's The Physics of Sorrow, coming out soon from Open Letter
       Internationally acclaimed, this is definitely one of the most anticipated translations of the year.

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23. Review: Canary by Duane Swierczynski

It’s been awhile between drinks for a Duane Swierczynski novel but as always it has been worth the wait. Straight away its like jumping on a runaway train with that instant pleasure of having no idea where Duane Swierczynski is going to take you this time. After the brilliant insanity of the Charlie Hardie series […]

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24. Blurb ethics

       Much as I love Open Letter's books, and thrilled as I was to see Georgi Gospodinov's The Physics of Sorrow, I do have to wonder about the prominent placement of this blurb on the (front) cover of the book:

The Physics of Sorrow blurb


       'Well, how could you resist putting a blurb like that on the cover ?' you might ask. What great praise for a book to get !
       The problem is that surely anyone who sees the blurb assumes the obvious: that it refers to the book in hand -- after all, there are no indications otherwise. Alas, it does not: the blurb comes from a review in The New York Times Book Review from ten years ago -- long before The Physics of Sorrow was even written -- of Gospodinov's earlier novel, Natural Novel.
       Is it just me, or does this go way, way beyond even the usual ridiculously loose lines of blurbing-ethics ? Surely, this blurb could not be more misleading -- yes, the praise and description may apply equally well to The Physics of Sorrow, but ... it doesn't: as presented, this is just classic bait-and-switch.
       Mind you, I'm tempted to think maybe consumers should be baited in this way in this case -- Gospodinov, and this book, deserve the readers ..... But, no, that really is playing too fast and loose with readers' trust.
       I realize we don't, and can't, expect blurbs to be very reliable, or representative of what whoever is quoted actually wrote and meant, but this stretches things beyond breaking. The appropriate place for this blurb would have been on the inside-page of praise where other blurbs are collected -- there's a whole page of more general: 'Praise for Georgi Gospodinov', with a mix of blurbs taken from reviews of his earlier work as well as (foreign) reviews of this work. As is, however -- beyond dubious indeed.

       [Incidental observation: Among the 'Praise for Georgi Gospodinov'-quotes is one ascribed to the: "New Journal of Zurich"; it is taken from this review in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Okay, maybe the NZZ isn't as English-familiar as, say Le Monde ('The World'), Pravda ('Truth'), or Die Zeit ('Time' (but not Time ...)), but I'm still surprised the publication-name is translated -- especially when another quote is simply ascribed to the far less well-known and prestigious "Berliner Zeitung".
       Also: 'New Journal of Zurich' ? Huh ? Oh, wait, I see: that's what Wikipedia says ! Yeah, no, not the way to go/translate it.]

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25. Week in Review, February 23rd-27th

Week in Review

This week on hbook.com…

March/April 2015 Horn Book Magazine preview

March/April 2015 editorial: “The Difference That Made Them

From the March/April issue: Vaunda Micheaux Nelson’s HBAS 2014 keynote speech “Mind the Gaps: Books for All Young Readers

Reviews of the Week:

Read Roger:

Out of the Box:

Lolly’s Classroom:

Events calendar

See overviews of previous weeks by clicking the tag week in review. Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook to keep up-to-date on our articles!

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