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<<May 2015>>
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1. Cartoon_ Being Human

cartoon- being humanBeing human or buying human … who will win??? lets see

The post Cartoon_ Being Human appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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2. So Many Happenings...

This has been a busy month. Lots of book projects rolling. 

6 months seems to be an interval that that has me feeling like I want a change of pace. And soon- it will happen. Fred and I are heading out to explore Cape Town as well as Namibia and then I'm heading home for a few weeks to check in  with friends family and out lovely case in California. 

Yesterday I found out that STAR STUFF: Carl Sagan and the Mysteries of the Cosmos is a finalist in the California Book Awards!

The next few weeks promise to be a whirl wind of activity- deadlines, events among many other things. Life is never dull it seems. 

So- onward . 

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3. quick sketches during the classes

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4. quick sketches during the classes

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5. Pip Bartlett’s Guide to Magical Creatures

Pip Bartlett's Guide to Magical CreaturesDo you love books like Harry Potter, Wings of Fire, and The Spiderwick Chronicles? Then we think you will love this brand-new series Pip Bartlett’s Guide to Magical Creatures (for ages 8 and up)!

Meet Pip and her world full of magical creatures and whimsical adventures! Click to read an excerpt, watch the trailer, and take the quiz to see which magical creature matches your personality!

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6. stratford-upon-avon and space suits

This weekend, the Reeve & McIntyre Roadshow hit the home of England's greatest playwright at Stratford-upon-Avon Literary Festival! (It's also where Shakespeare lived...)

Here I am, back in the blue wig and flight cap for Cakes in Space shenanigans with the festival's director Annie Ashworth and one of our top-level space cadets from Oxford University Press, Elaine McQuade.

These kinds of events are usually pleasant, but working together as a team on books with Reeve makes them loads of fun. We were pleased to see that while we were busy at the festival, The Guardian ran an article on co-author teams, with a good emphasis on illustration and comics:

And Reeve and I got a mention, hurrah! Thanks, Imogen Russell Williams!

Speaking of all things space-themed on May the Fourth (be with you), Philip's just written a blog on Star Wars and why it's been such a big influence on his work:

(And if you're looking for more good Star Wars reading material, check out these models cut from single sheets of paper.)

But back to Stratford Lit Fest! One of the best things about a festival is when we hear afterward how people in the audience have been inspired to go away and make their own drawings and stories. Philip and I led them in drawing Pilbeam the robot and a killer cake, and a girl named Erin went away and started her own Pilbeam-inspired comic! Yay! I hope she keeps going with it. (Thanks to @KathrynEMarsh for tweeting it.)

While we were in town, Philip could feel the bard looking down over not one, but both of his shoulders:

And he signed copies of the Uncorrected Proof edition of his new book, RAILHEAD, which is coming out about the same time this September as our Pugs of the Frozen North book.

One of the fun things about a festival is getting to meet other authors. (In fact, it's how I met Philip, at the Edinburgh book fest.) Here's Philip getting served his asparagus starter on a plank, with a bit of fake grass, next to Elaine and Professor David Crystal.

We got to meet David, his wife/manager Hilary and their actor/writer son Ben Crystal, who worked with his dad to create an Illustrated Shakespeare Dictionary for young teenagers.

Other fab people we saw at the festival: Nick Butterworth! I love Nick's work and studied it quite a lot when I first started out. And funnily enough, he looks so much like his characters, including Percy the Park Keeper:

Here are Ashley Harrold and Philip swapping books in the Green Room:

Ashley, Steven Lenton and Tracey Corderoy all came to our Cakes in Space event (thanks so much!) but I didn't manage to snap a picture of Steve before he had to run and catch his train. But here's his fab co-author Tracey, with some of their charaters:

A quick hello with Chris Riddell:

And somehow I entirely missed seeing the marvelous Neill Cameron, but here's a photo tweeted by the festival. (Hope to catch you next time, Neill!!) He's come straight from taking part in the Phoenix Fest in Oxford, which sounded amazing. (Check out some of the tweets from that festival here!)

Big thanks to Annie and her team which made the festival run so smoothly! I hope lots of people went away inspired.

And I went back home to Stuart, and we spent a day in Kent visiting the bluebells and eating wild garlic. (Whiffy!)

I promise no bluebells were harmed in the making of this photo.

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7. The Book of Beginnings review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of François Jullien's The Book of Beginnings, a non-fiction work in Yale University Press' always worthwhile Margellos World Republic of Letters-series.
       An interesting look at looking at Chinese culture/thought -- with some good discussion of translation-issues along the way.

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8. RT Teen Day Preview Edition and an RT Teen Day Five Book Mystery Box Giveaway!

I can't believe that it's less than a week before the RT Convention! What is RT, you ask? It's a HUGE book fair with workshops, parties, and book signings. This year, it's in Dallas, TX, and--the best part--there's an enormous Teen Day program.

Want a sneak peek?

11-2pm Giant Book Fair and Author Signing (I'll be in Row 1 with swag--Come find me! : ) )

2-3pm Fierce Reads Pizza Party, including many/most of the authors who will be at Teen Day as well as the Fierce Reads authors.  (I'll be there)

3-4:15pm Author Speed Reading (I'll be there)

3-4:15pm Strong Heroines: Writing Fictional Girls Who Can Save Themselves

3-4:15 YA Family Feud: Test your knowledge of YA books!

4:30 - 5:45 Humble Beginnings: YA Authors Share Their Teen Writing

4:30 - 5:45 The Match Game: Authors and Readers Team Up to Answer Lit Questions

4:30 - 5:45 Writing Tips & Techniques

6-7:45 Teen Day Party -- Come hang out with the authors!

What authors will you find?

Ann AguirreSusan DennardAaron KaroStacey O'Neale
Karen AkinsKimberly DertingBrigid KemmererErica O'Rourke
Jennifer L. Armentrout  (aka J. Lynn)Bree DespainCiara KnightLauren Oliver
Brodi AshtonShannon DuffyDebra Kristi  (aka Deborah Krager)Danielle Paige
Kathleen BaldwinSusan EeMichelle KrysNatalie Parker
Jenna BlackMichelle N. FilesTonya KuperStephanie Perkins
Martina BooneBecca FitzpatrickJustine LarbalestierTamora Pierce
Kate BrauningKami GarciaVicki LeighAprilynne Pike
Killian BrewerTessa GrattonMarie LuLissa Price
Patricia BurroughsClaudia Gray  (aka Amy Vincent)Shawntelle MadisonSara Raasch
Meg CabotBethany HagenMichelle MadowBrendan Reichs
Rachel CaineCynthia HandMari MancusiKathy Reichs
Erica CameronRachel HarrisMelissa MarrVictoria Scott
Kiera CassColleen HouckB. L. MarshJ.A. Souders  (aka Bailey James)
Sona CharaipotraAmalie HowardGretchen McNeilMargaret Stohl
Lizzy CharlesTara HudsonRichelle MeadTamara Ireland Stone
Dhonielle ClaytonC.C. Hunter  (aka Christie Craig)Jodi MeadowsRachel Vincent 
Susane ColasantiTonya HurleyPage MorganKasie West
Katie CotugnoJ.R. JohanssonJulie MurphyScott Westerfeld
Andrea CremerSophie JordanL.H. NicoleIlene Wong  (aka I.W. Gregorio)
Kady Cross  (aka Kate Locke)Stacey KadeAlyson NoëlNicole Zoltack
Lindsay CummingsLydia KangLea Nolan
And if that's not enough, there's TONS more going on all week.

Want to know what I'm looking forward to?

Readers. Readers are why I write, and when I get a chance to hear what readers thought while reading Compulsion, that's an amazing, humbling, gratifying, and uplifting experience for me. I also love connecting with authors (okay, fangirling over them in deeply embarrassing ways) whose work I love. And finally, I allow myself one weeklong craft workshop to focus on improving my writing per year. This is it, so I'm looking forward to attending the workshops, learning, going back to my room and applying what I learned, and hopefully getting stronger as a writer.

Want to know what other authors are looking forward to?

"I love Teen Day. It's a whirlwind of a day, where we get to meet readers in a more casual atmosphere, and this year we're playing games too (I'm play Family Feud!). So basically, I'm super excited about pretty much everything!!:
~Kimberly Derting

"Great clothes, great costumes, amazing writers and wonderful fans!

That's what I found last year, at least, and I'm REALLY yearning for another dose!"
~Tammy Pierce

I got a bonus sneak peak for you, too--something you might hear Marie Rutkoski say in one of her session:

"I'm looking forward to Maggie Stiefvater's last book in the Raven Cycle series (The Raven King), Lindsay Smith's Dreamstrider, Mary Pearson's The Heart of Betrayal, and Becky Albertalli's Simon vs The Homo Sapien Agenda."
~ Marie Rutkoski

"I'm looking forward to meeting readers (always!), and seeing old authors pal (it's been too long!). Oh, and maybe indulging in some giggle-inducing, memory-making, 'I shouldn't have done that' parties with fellow book junkies. I love RT!"
~Victoria Scott

"I'm looking forward to the Teen Day party - nothing like free books and teen fans! Oh, my horror panel on on Thursday!"
~Gretchen McNeil

"I'm looking forward most to the networking: hanging out with other authors, industry professionals, and, most of all, READERS! Bring on the Twitter-worthy shenanigans!"
~Sara Raasch

"I'm most excited about the panels! I love learning about craft and industry--hearing what work for other people, or how they cope with similar problems I face. Or just listening to writers talk about writings--that's PURE BLISS to me!!"
~Susan Dennard

And now for the GIVEAWAY!

How about a mystery box of FIVE books from RT Teen Day authors? (Mix of signed and unsigned)

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9. Best Translated Book Award - fiction finalists

       They've announced the fiction-finalists for the Best Translated Book Award (for which I am a judge), and they are:

  • The Author and Me, by Éric Chevillard, tr. Jordan Stump

  • Faces in the Crowd, by Valeria Luiselli, tr. Christina MacSweeney

  • Fantomas versus the Multinational Vampires, by Julio Cortázar, tr. David Krunick

  • La Grande, by Juan José Saer, tr. Steve Dolph

  • Harlequin's Millions, by Bohumil Hrabal, tr. Stacey Knecht

  • The Last Lover, by Can Xue, tr. Annelise Finegan Wasmoen

  • Pushkin Hills, by Sergei Dovlatov, tr. Katherine Dovlatov

  • Things Look Different in the Light, by Medardo Fraile, tr. Margaret Jull Costa

  • Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, by Elena Ferrante, tr. Ann Goldstein

  • The Woman Who Borrowed Memories, by Tove Jansson, tr. Thomas Teal
       A nicely varied lot (with just a bit of a Spanish-language tilt), and it'll be interesting to see what winner emerges.
       The winner will be announced 27 May (at BookExpo America).

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10. UNDERTOW by Michael Buckley

Review by Leydy UNDERTOW Undertow #1by Michael BuckleySeries: UndertowHardcover: 384 pagesPublisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (May 5, 2015)Language: EnglishGoodreads | Amazon First, we feared them. Then we fought them. Now they might be our only hope.

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11. Would You Read It Wednesday #173 - A Case Of Cane-Syrupy-Sugar-A-Bitus (PB) PLUS The April Pitch Pick!

Guess what???

It's time for everybody's favorite writerly game: Would You Read It?!

***cue game show music and wild applause from the overly excited audience***

"And what do we have for our contestant today Helmut?"

"Well, Brunhilda, today's contestant will receive the priceless gift of advice from readers, writers, teachers, librarians, parents and even a few kids around the globe!  Not advice on their love life, or how to build their house so it won't get swept away during monsoon season or how to make a delicious casserole out of stale breakfast cereal, but much more valuable advice on their book pitch!"

"That IS a prize Helmut!"

"They will also receive an unopened jar of a mystery substance that may be jam, or possibly a fruit butter of some type, or possibly refried beans, or possibly (but probably not) the unidentified growth that was removed from Uncle Howard's big toe last spring because dang-it-all no one seems to know where that got to!"

"Oh, the excitement!  Imagine the thrill of getting to open that mystery jar!"

"Well, let's get right to it, Brunhilda, starting with the April Pitch Pick!"

That's right, folks!  It's time for 
the April Pitch Pick!  Here are the five fabulous pitches, revised and polished by their authors thanks to your generous and helpful advice.

#1 Lidia - Don't Pinch Me! (PB ages 4-8)

The pencil is always getting pinched as the preschoolers learn to write and he’s really cranky about it…until he realizes just how important his job is.

#2 Amelia - The Princess And The Pee (PB ages 1-4)

When little Addy discovers an unexplored room in the family castle, her big sister Millie informs her that it holds The Royal Throne - a special seat only true princesses can use.  True princesses who are so sensitive they just can't play one second in a dirty diaper.  True princesses who are so clever they can sense wiggles and tinkles moving around even before they come out.  True princesses like Millie.  Addy knows she's a princess too, but if she ever wants to see The Royal Throne for herself, she'll have to find a way to prove it!

#3 Ariel - The Octopus Wants What She Wants (PB ages 4-8)

Sea creatures beware! Billie the octopus wants what she wants and she takes what she wants. But when Billie takes a boy from a fishing boat and finds out what it's like to have a friend, she learns what she really wanted all along.

#4 Pat - Monster Bakery (PB ages 4-8)
Esme and her parents run The Ghoulangerie, a popular bakery where maggot and mince meat pies, booger bagels with brain cheese, and bloody orange cupcakes fly off the shelves daily. However, the monsters in their neighborhood start moving away and business is falling. As hard as Esme and her parents try to cater to the new human clientele, nothing is working. Then one day, they can’t find regular baking ingredients anymore and Esme has to use her smarts and creativity to solve the problem.

#5 Randy - The Last Race (MG)
Twelve year old Ben's life was all about racing midget race cars, until the day he hit a roadblock he didn't see coming: His mother dying of breast cancer.

Please vote for the pitch you think most deserves a read and comments by editor Erin Molta in the poll below by Sunday May 10 at 5 PM EDT.

Many thanks!

And now it's time for Something Chocolate, 
helpfully discovered and shared by one of my favorite little chocolate hunters who frequently supplies us with our Wednesday chocolate delights!  Thank you, Kathy!!!  It's called Skinny Almond Joy Poke Cake, but let's forget the "skinny" shall we, and just go all out.  Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, after all - we must be well fueled!  You never know when you're going to be called upon to open a mystery jar!

SKINNY ALMOND JOY POKE CAKE from Renee's Kitchen Adventures is an
easy low calorie dessert recipe that tastes like your favorite candy bar!

RECIPE--> http://bit.ly/1IEpHNE
PIN--> http://bit.ly/1IEpJVz

Now that we've bolstered our caloric intake to a functional level, today's pitch comes to us from Zainab Khan.  She is a pre-published author who writes picture books that are quirky or interactive. She also writes picture books that deal with serious issues like disabilities, homelessness, and diversity. In addition, Zainab is in the midst of writing a middle grade mystery about ancient civilizations.

Before venturing on a full time writing journey, Zainab was an elementary school teacher. Having an entrepreneurial heart, she ran her own in home based  preschool. 

Raising two kids (one who is extra special) and a cat with her husband keep Zainab occupied at all hours of the day. When she gets a free moment, Zainab  runs on the elliptical or she'll eat a delicious bowl of Grater's raspberry and chocolate ice cream covered in chocolate shavings. 

Zainab loves sharing her sugary treats with her friends. You can connect with her on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/zainab.khan.967) or on twitter (@zainabzk).

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: A Case Of Cane-Syrupy-Sugar-A-Bitus
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-8)
The Pitch: When Samantha swallows too many sweet treats, she contracts a case of cane-syrupy-sugar-a-bitus (a.k.a. Sugar Bug). Will this high fructose bug send her home from school and end her dreams of becoming THE pirouetting star of the school talent show?

So what do you think?  Would You Read It?  YES, MAYBE or NO?

If your answer is YES, please feel free to tell us what you particularly liked and why the pitch piqued your interest.  If your answer is MAYBE or NO, please feel free to tell us what you think could be better in the spirit of helping Zainab improve her pitch.  Helpful examples of possible alternate wordings are welcome.  (However, I must ask that comments be constructive and respectful.  I reserve the right not to publish comments that are mean because that is not what this is about.)

Please send YOUR pitches for the coming weeks!  For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It or on the Would You Read It tab in the bar above.  There are openings in September so you've got a little time to polish up your pitches and send yours for your chance to be read by editor Erin Molta!

Zainab is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to seeing what's in that mystery jar!

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!!  And thanks for helping Zainab and voting for your favorite pitch!

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12. Will Agents and Publishers Accept This...?

Question: In my YA novel, there is a homosexual relationship. They're not the main focus of the plot, or even the subplot - but they are both MCs and do

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13. Goncourt du premier roman

       They've announced the winner of this year's Goncourt du premier roman -- the 'first novel'-Goncourt -- and it's yet another prize for The Meursault Investigation, Kamel Daoud's variation on Camus.
       It will be available next month in the US (and in two in the UK); see the Other Press publicity page, or pre-order your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

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14. King Bronty, Free Comics Day, Inexplicable Fun!

This past Saturday May 2nd, I'm sure you know, was "Free Comics Day" and I go to celebrate it at GROUND ZERO COMICS, the best comics shop I know, right here in my hometown, Tyler, Texas.
It was great experience! I made a lot of new friends and so did "King Bronty"!

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15. (Over)publishing in ... Iceland

       At Grapevine Elliott Brandsma wonder whether in famously book-friendly Iceland there might be Too Many Books: Do Icelandic Publishers Need To Chill Out ?
       When there was: "one year when the publishing companies collectively released almost a hundred new cookbooks" (this in a country with a total population of not much more than 300,000) one can argue that the industry/market maybe aren't functioning perfectly ..... Still, I hope they keep it up.

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16. "green eyes,

©the enchanted easel 2015
yeah, the spotlight shines upon you..."

this beauty, named Lily, is what's on the easel for the next week.  i "heart" her.
{couldn't resist the Coldplay lyrics, of course ;)}

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17. Marilyn's Monster by Michelle Knudsen, illustrated by Matt Phelan

Marilyn's Monster by Michelle Knudsen is a superb story perfectly illustrated by Matt Phelan. Phelan's soft watercolor and pencil illustrations tame the monsters that might have been frightening in this story about patience and perseverance. Marilyn's Monster begins, "Some of the kids in Marilyn's class had mosnters. It was the latest thing. Marilyn didn't have a mosnter. Not yet.

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18. Disneyland for Librarians

There’s a new library in Nova Scotia. Central Library in Halifax opened mid-December with great fanfare. Thousands of people turned out for opening day. Thousands! Now, Halifax is about a 2-hour drive from our small, rural community, but it is still exciting to me that we have this library. It is simply amazing.

photo by A. Reynolds

photo by A. Reynolds

I get pretty excited about a new library anywhere. We have a couple in the works in our region, and we plan to take a page from the Central Library book and create spaces that draw people in. The thing that I love about the new library in Halifax is that though it is not near us, we are still benefiting from the buzz. Libraries are on people’s minds.

Photo by A. Reynolds

Photo by A. Reynolds

The building is just amazing. Honestly I feel like I am in Disneyland for Librarians when I go there. And I am not alone—I’ve had parents tell me that they’ve taken their kids to the city for a museum trip, and the kids kept asking “When are we going to the library?” It is that cool. With a giant Lite-Brite wall, a play area that is downright fabulous, a LEGO table, iPads galore, and a space that makes you feel right at home, why wouldn’t they want to go there? There’s even a gaming area and a lovely built-in puppet theatre.

The Teen area is a big WOW as well. There’s a recording studio, a craft/maker room, tons of great programs, another gaming area, really comfy seating, and staircases that remind me of Hogwarts (though these don’t actually move). And the colors! So bright and happy. Go there on a weekend and you won’t find a spot to sit. After school the place just buzzes.

Photo by A. Reynolds

Photo by A. Reynolds


Photo by A. Reynolds

Photo by A. Reynolds

Photo by A. Reynolds

Photo by A. Reynolds

So what can a rural library take from this? Central Library is a million miles away from anything we will ever have in our region as far as size goes. But we can listen to our patrons, and if they ask for something, we should try to do it. We can make our library comfortable, with ample plugs for devices and spaces where people can work on whatever they need to work on. We can allow covered drinks and food. We can make the space bright, modern, clean, and welcoming. We can add local art. We can make play spaces and quiet spaces.

I want our libraries to be the place that kids and teens choose to visit. I think we need to figure out how that happens, without building a 5-story gem. The building is part of it, but the feeling is the real draw. We can all learn from other libraries, and continually ask our communities how we can better serve them.

The post Disneyland for Librarians appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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19. New World Literature Today

       The new issue of World Literature Today is (partially) available online, with a focus on 'New Hebrew Writing'.
       Most importantly: the World Literature in Review review-section is fully accessible -- always worth a look.

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20. Writer Wednesday: Write the Book

Okay, so it's no secret that I'm a bit of a dork. ;) So every time I hear Taylor Swift's "Shake it Off" I sing the words a little differently. I'm not going to sing for you all because I don't want you to run off screaming. Instead, I'm going to share my version of the song, which I call "Write the Book." Enjoy!

"Write the Book"

I write way too much, got stories in my brain

That's what people say mmm, that's what people say mm
I release too many books, but I can't make 'em sell

At least that's what people say mmm, that's what people say mmm

But I keep writing, can't stop, won't stop typing

It's like I got this story in my mind saying it's gonna be alright

'Cause the readers gonna read, read, read, read, read

And the bloggers gonna
 blog, blog, blog, blog, blog
Baby, I'm just gonna write, write, write, write, write
write the book, write the book

Reviewers gonna rate, rate, rate, rate, rate

And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate

Baby, I'm just gonna write, write, write, write, write

write the book, write the book

I never miss a word, I'm lightning on the keys

And that's what they don't see mmm, that's what they don't see mmm 

I'm writing on my own (writing on my own), make the words up as I go (words up as I go)

And that's what they don't know mmm, that's what they don't know mmm

But I keep writing, can't stop, won't stop typing

It's like I got this story in my mind saying it's gonna be alright

'Cause the readers gonna read, read, read, read, read

And the bloggers gonna 
blog, blog, blog, blog, blog
Baby, I'm just gonna write, write, write, write, write

write the book, write the book

Reviewers gonna rate, rate, rate, rate, rate

And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate

Baby, I'm just gonna write, write, write, write, write

write the book, write the book

write the book, write the book

I, I write the book, write the book

I, I, write the book, write the book

I, I write the book, write the book

Hey, hey, hey, just think while you've been getting down and out about the pirates and dirty, dirty cheats in the biz you could have been getting down to this sick book

My ex-fan brought his new book friend

She's like "oh my God," but I'm just gonna write it

And to the M.C. over there with the hella good hair

Won't you come on over, baby, we can write, write, write

'Cause the readers gonna read, read, read, read, read

And the bloggers gonna blog, blog, blog, blog, blog

Baby, I'm just gonna write, write, write, write, write

write the book, write the book

Reviewers gonna rate, rate, rate, rate, rate

And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate

Baby, I'm just gonna write, write, write, write, write

write the book, write the book

write the book, write the book

I, I write the book, write the book
I, I write the book, write the book

I, I write the book, write the book

write the book, write the book

I, I write the book, write the book
I’ve got to

I, I write the book, write the book

I, I write the book, write the book

And for anyone who doesn't know Taylor's song, here's the video:
I dare you all to sing along but with my version. ;)

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21. big sketch based on Michelangelo's sculpture

another big sketch I'm working on, based on a photo of one of the great
master's works. a rough sketch in pencil and I've adding some ink, still
have to finish it.

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22. 2015 National Puppetry Conference

I was accepted into the Marionette strand of the Eugene O'Neill National Puppetry Conference! I'll be building wooden marionettes with Jim Rose, a master puppeteer who greatly influenced my grandfather. It's my first time stepping into the string world. Fundraiser with all sorts of luck-related ThankQs here! http://www.gofundme.com/golinda2015

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23. New Adult Fiction Genre - Contemporary Romance - #WriteTip

There is a new genre emerging..."New Adult" fiction for older teens aka college-aged readers. You never stop growing up, but little in the market seems to address the coming-of-age that also happens between the ages of Nineteen to Twenty-six. Life changes drastically once high school is over, you have college, first jobs, first internships, first adult relationships…

Part of the appeal of NA is that the storylines are about characters who are taking on adult responsibilities for the first time without guidance from their parents. And the storylines generally have a heavy romance element. 

Keep this in mind as you revise your wonderful story, New Adult books are mostly about that specific time in every person's life—the time when the apron strings are cut from your parents, you no longer have a curfew, you're experiencing the world for the very first time, in most cases, with innocent eyes. New Adult is this section of your life where you discover who you want to be, what you want to be, and what type of person you will become. This time defines you. This is the time of firsts, the time where you can't blame your parents for your own bad choices. 

An NA character has to take responsibility for their own choices and live with the consequences. Most storylines are about twenty-something (18 to 26) characters living their own lives without any parents breathing down their necks, and learning to solve things on their own as they would in real life. New Adult fiction focuses on switching gears, from depending on our parents to becoming full-fledged, independent adults.

I am a firm believer that if you’re going to write a certain genre that you should read it, too. So I’m going to recommend that you start devouring NA novels to get a real sense and understanding of the genre before you write one.

Here are some great recommendations: https://www.goodreads.com/genres/new-adult-romance and http://www.goodreads.com/genres/new-adult and https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/new-adult-romance

Just as YA is fiction about teens discovering who they are as a person, New Adult (NA) is fiction about building your own life as an actual adult. As older teen readers discover the joy of the Young Adult genres, the New Adult—demand may increase. This, in turn, would give writers the chance to explore the freedom of a slightly older protagonist (over the age of 18 and out of high school, like the brilliant novel, "BEAUTIFUL DISASTER" by the amazing talents of author, Jamie McGuire) while addressing more adult issues that early 20-year-olds must face.

Older protagonists (basically, college students) are surprisingly rare; in a panel on YA literature at Harvard’s 2008 Vericon, City of Bones author talked about pitching her novel, then about twenty-somethings, as adult fiction. After several conversations, Clare realized she had to choose between adults and teens. She went with teens.

Quote from the publisher, St. Martin’s Press: We are actively looking for great, new, cutting edge fiction with protagonists who are slightly older than YA and can appeal to an adult audience. Since twenty-somethings are devouring YA, St. Martin’s Press is seeking fiction similar to YA that can be published and marketed as adult—a sort of an “older YA” or “new adult.” In this category, they are looking for spunky but not stupid, serious but not dull, cutting-edge, supernatural stories.

Quote from Georgia McBride, author (Praefatio) and founder of #YALitChat and publisher at Month9Books: "New Adult is a fabulous idea in theory, and authors seem to be excited about it. But in a world where bookstores shelf by category, to them, it is either  Adult or Young Adult. Some booksellers even call their YA section “teen.” And when you have a character who is over a certain age (19 seems to be the age most consider the start of New Adult), it is received as Adult. In some cases, the designation by publishers causes more confusion than not.
Let’s face it, YA is associated with teens, and at 19, most no longer consider themselves teens. So, it would support the theory of placing these “New Adult” titles in the Adult section. However, with the prevalence of eBook content, it would seem that the powers that be could easily create a New Adult category if they really wanted to...."

There’s also a list on goodreads of New Adult book titles. These books focus on college age characters, late teens to early twenties, transitioning into the adult world.

Some popular authors of the NA category include:
  • Jamie McGuire
  • Jessica Park
  • Tammara Webber
  • Steph Campbell
  • Liz Reinhardt
  • Abbi Glines
  • Colleen Hoover 
  • Sherry Soule

Would you buy New Adult books? 
Does the genre appeal to you? 

Does it sound better than YA (teen novels)? 
Or are you happy with YA as it stands?

Do you consider YA to include characters that are over the age of eighteen? 

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24. A Little Smackerel of Nothing

“I like that too,” said Christopher Robin, “but what I like doing best is Nothing.”

“How do you do Nothing?” asked Pooh, after he had wondered for a long time.

“Well, it’s when people call out at you just as you’re going off to do it ‘What are you going to do, Christopher Robin?’ and you say ‘Oh, nothing,’ and then you go and do it.”

“Oh, I see,” said Pooh.

“This is a nothing sort of thing that we’re doing now.”

“Oh, I see,” said Pooh again.

“It means just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.”

“Oh!” said Pooh.


We order wonderful little homemade soaps from Julie at The Parsonage, whom I met via Lesley Austin’s Wisteria and Sunshine community. Julie’s soaps smell heavenly and last a long time (much longer than the bottles of liquid soap we used to tear through). One of my favorite things about them is that they come wrapped in strips of fabric—so simple and pretty. Rilla saves these cloth strips and this morning she started to sew them into a little blanket. I was reading our chapter of House at Pooh Corner (we’re almost finished, sob!) and got such a smile out of the scene at my feet—these two each so intent on their separate pursuits. I couldn’t resist laying down the book and snapping the moment with my phone. Rose allowed Huck access to her Snap Circuits set a couple of weeks ago and he has played with almost nothing else since. He has worked through all the projects in the book and is beginning to invent his own whirring, buzzing, siren-blaring arrangements (and to drop extremely broad hints about needing more parts).

Then, suddenly again, Christopher Robin, who was Still looking at the world with his chin in his hands, called out “Pooh!”

“Yes?” said Pooh.

“When I’m–when– Pooh!”

“Yes, Christopher Robin?”

“I’m not going to do Nothing any more.”

“Never again?”

“Well, not so much. They don’t let you.”

I think I’m not going to read them the final chapter of Pooh Corner just yet. We started with this volume because I couldn’t find our copy of Winnie the Pooh, which comes first. But now I want to go back and read them that one (it’s bound to turn up). I flipped ahead to the end of Pooh Corner today and got teary at the goodbye scene…I’m not ready for these two, my last small fry, to contemplate leaving behind the Hundred Acre Wood. At least I know that no matter how Old they get, and how Busy with Important Things, they’ve been raised to appreciate the value of Nothing.

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25. quick sketches during the classes

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