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1. Navigating Sharque Infested Waters: gifts to agents and editors


I am extremely fortunate to have an agent I love (yea!) and, recently, a brand-spanking new editor (new to me; not new to the business)! So excited that my novel will—after lots more work—see the light of day. Here’s the question: the holidays are approaching. What is an appropriate token of appreciation from an author to an agent and to an editor? I feel like especially now I should be sending a holiday/thank you gift, but don’t know what is considered nice and what is considered too much. Is there something I should definitely NOT send (like teachers who have cabinets full of “Greatest Teacher Ever” mugs)?


Any advice you have for the holiday season would be most appreciated. We writers do tend to stress over the little things. :-)

First, congrats on your pending publication. This is a terrific achievement!

Gifts, even at the holidays, are not needed or required. It is NOT rude, forgetful, impolite or socially unacceptable to not give gifts to business associates.

If you are moved to send something, a lovely card with your own words of appreciation would be very nice.  {I save those.}

What you don't want to send is food or perishables of any kind. Deliveries slow down in NYC due to weather and volume.  Agents aren't in the office every day of the week, and particularly not during the holidays.  For example, this holiday week, I was out of the office the entire week.  Most people didn't know it because I was still "working" but if you'd sent something fresh or perishable, well, my minion would have enjoyed it very much but I would not have seen it.

I can't tell you how awful it is to get lovely boxes of what had been fresh fruit on January 3rd.  That happens more than you think.

If you absolutely must send something to say thank you, it's really hard to go wrong with a gift card. Starbucks, Barnes and Noble, all good things.

But I strongly encourage you to not send gifts. Save that for when we do something above and beyond the call of duty like bail you out of the hoosegow after you and Jeff Somers decided to re-enact the bathtub scene from We Are Not Good People.



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2. A poem for Black Friday

Last week I was at the NCTE conference (so fun!) presenting alongside Janet Wong and Eileen and Jerry Spinelli on the topic of kindness. Here's a tiny glimpse of our session-- a video of Eileen reading her original poem, "Get a Life" from The Poetry Friday Anthology (K-5). It's perfect for this crazy Black Friday, too.


And here is the text of the poem:

Get a Life
   by Eileen Spinelli

There are books to read.
And birds to feed.
And awesome facts for learning.
There are yards to weed.
And friends in need.
And dreams to set us yearning.
There are trails to hike.
And films to like.
And stories made for swapping.
What I mean to say in this poem today
is there’s more to life than
shopping!

And here are the Take 5! activities that accompany this poem:

1. Prior to sharing the poem, jot numbers on a piece of paper or list on the board (1, 2, 3, etc.) as if you are making a to-do list. Then read the poem aloud, pausing for a moment after each line. 

2. Share the poem again, inviting students to join in on the final two lines (is there’s more to life than / shopping!) while you read the rest aloud.

3. For discussion: What are some of your favorite activities to do during holiday breaks?

4. Lead students in considering how repeating key words and phrases, particularly at the beginning of each line (There are; And), helps build a poem and can add to the distinctive rhythm of the lines. Then read the poem out loud together again, listening for the patterns.

5. Link this poem with another thoughtful poem by Eileen Spinelli, “Today” (4th Grade, Week 29, page 215 in The Poetry Friday Anthology).

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3. Spic-And-Span! Lillian Gilbreth’s Wonder Kitchen – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Title: Spic-And-Span! Lillian Gilbreth’s Wonder Kitchen Written by: Monica Kulling Illustrated by: David Parkins Published by: Tundra Books, 2014 Themes/Topics: women industrial engineers, inventor, psychologist, Lilian Moller Gilbreth Suitable for ages: 7-11 Biography, 32 pages Series: Great Idea Series Opening:  The first page is a beautiful … Continue reading

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4. Thanks, teacher: musicians reflect on special ways a teacher helped them learn their craft

“I was lucky all the time in having great teachers,” says clarinetist Richard Stoltzman. When I asked him about special ways his early teachers helped him, he mentioned his elementary school band director who was “enthusiastic and cheerful, no matter what,” and also a private teacher he had in high school who taught him how to practice with purpose. But the teacher who seems to have had a life-changing impact was his first private teacher, with whom he studied for about a year during junior high at a music store in San Francisco. That teacher instilled in young Mr. Stoltzman the idea that he could indeed become a musician.

Other musicians have cited similar confidence boosters when asked about the especially helpful things a teacher did for them. Here are teacher reminiscences from Mr. Stoltzman and other professional musicians.

Richard Stoltzman — “He taught me both saxophone and clarinet,” says Mr. Stoltzman of his first private teacher at that San Francisco music store. “He didn’t see any reason why I couldn’t play classical music and improvised music.” At this store, young Mr. Stoltzman played his first “crossover recital,” performing Hoagy Carmichael’s “Stardust” as well as a classical piece. “This was a big moment for me, that my teacher allowed me to do those things and encouraged them.” Then the Stoltzmans moved to Ohio. “I was so sad to leave that teacher. At my last lesson, he looked me in the eye and said something like, ‘You can do it. You can play music. Don’t stop.’ If somebody believes in you, that makes you say to yourself, ‘Well, this person believes in me. So even if I don’t think I can do it, I guess somehow I better keep doing it.’”

Isabel Trautwein — “My confidence was very low at the end of my undergraduate years. I was close to quitting because I was so uptight and just couldn’t stop worrying that I might play out of tune,” says Isabel Trautwein, violinist with the Cleveland Orchestra. “Then I went to Cleveland to study with Donald Weilerstein. He used the ultimate non-judgmental approach. He never used criticism. He would go through a piece line by line and wanted to know what I was trying to say, as a person. He would say, ‘In this phrase, where are you going?’ My eyes would open wide. I would think, ‘I don’t know. I’m just trying to play it in tune. I’m trying to play it well.’ But that’s a terrible goal. So he would say, ‘OK, but do you want it to be gutsy? Or dark? Are you going for the gypsy approach? Are you going for fantasy? ’ He had all these great words. He’d also say specific things like, ‘Feel your index finger when you play.’ It was a mixture of musical cues that have to do with the character and musical feel, and then physical cues that had the ability to take your mind away from that voice that says, ‘Oh, that wasn’t good,’ the critical voice. If I’m thinking about my fingertips, I’m not going to be able to judge myself on what just went wrong. Weilerstein’s lessons were only about the violin. Never psychoanalytical. It helped a lot.”

Paula Robison teaching at New England Conservatory.  Courtesy New England Conservatory and Andrew Hurlbut
Paula Robison teaching at New England Conservatory. Courtesy, New England Conservatory and Andrew Hurlbut.

Paula Robison — “I had been studying with Marcel Moyse for about five years, and was already in the professional world of music as well as the artistic one, but I still had many questions,” says flutist Paula Robison, who studied with this renowned teacher at the Marlboro Music School. “One day I came to a lesson with the Concerto in D of Mozart. I played the first movement. Mr. Moyse was silent. He puffed on his pipe, in deep thought. Minutes passed. I waited. Then he slowly said (in his wonderful French accent) ‘Paula, I have teach you many theeng, but now you MUST GO YOUR OWN WAY.’ I was shocked. I felt like a bird kicked out of the nest. But he was right. It was time for me to fly. And I did.”

Jennifer Undercofler — “I am so thankful to all my teachers for their tireless commitment and dedication, but the one lesson that stands out was the lesson I learned from the great Dorothy DeLay,” says violinist Anne Akiko Meyers, who studied with Ms. DeLay at Juilliard. “She told me to go to the library and listen to all the recordings I could get my hands on and attend concerts as much as possible, to listen and learn as much as possible. She thought it would be incredibly helpful to study the phrasing, tempi, sound, and technique of all performers so that I could imbue my own sound with this insightful study and thoughtfulness. This purpose of being able to teach oneself with the right tools, so as to ‘own’ your sound, was the greatest lesson of all.”

Jennifer Undercofler — “I’m probably most grateful to my first piano teacher, a graduate of the Paris Conservatoire, who was deeply creative, with a wonderful, wry sense of humor. She always expected more out of me than I thought I could give. I remember her assigning me an Ives etude (I must have been 10 or 11 years old), declaring that she hated it, but knew that I would probably love it. She proceeded to break it down with me over the coming weeks, with considerable gusto. She was right, of course—I did love it. I don’t know many teachers, even now, who would have taken that particular plunge with an elementary school student,” says pianist and music educator Jenny Undercofler, whose fascination with ‘new music’ has continued ever since. “In a similar vein, I remember Jerry Lowenthal calling me when I was a masters student at Juilliard, to tell me to make time to play ‘new music’ on the Focus Festival. I was so surprised and flattered by the call, and of course I then played in the festival, which further opened the ‘new music’ door. I think of this when I encourage private teachers to have their students play with Face the Music. Their ‘endorsement’ can make a world of difference.” Face the Music is a ‘new music’ ensemble for teenagers that she started as an outgrowth of her work as music director of the Special Music School, a New York City public school.

Toyin Spellman-Diaz — “The impetus for my interest in music came from my first public school music teacher in fifth grade,” says the Imani Winds oboist, Toyin Spellman-Diaz. “She inspired in me a love of seeing a project come to fruition. She put on musical productions. She would play the piano, rehearse the choir, have kids get costumes. She had crazy ideas and somehow made them come to life and did it with determination and joy. I remember watching her as a young child and thinking that even though it was a lot of work, she enjoyed what she was doing. I remember thinking, ‘I would really like to do something like this when I grow up.’ I sang in the choir. She introduced me to the flute and I played in the school band. I wanted to follow in her footsteps and be a music teacher,” says Ms. Spellman-Diaz, who has a studio of pupils now. She also serves as another kind of teacher during Imani Winds concerts, with the informative comments that she and others in the quintet share with the audience before each piece.

Headline Image: Sheet Music, Piano. Public domain via Pixabay.

The post Thanks, teacher: musicians reflect on special ways a teacher helped them learn their craft appeared first on OUPblog.

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5. Amanhã é dia de FLI Serrana! E caricaturas!

Amanhã é dia de FLI Serrana!

É um evento literário voltado à literatura infantil e juvenil, com curadoria da escritora Andrea Viviana Taubman, assessoria da professora e cineasta Regina Carmela e produção do professor Marcelo Pellegrino na Região Serrana Fluminense a partir de Teresópolis.
O que será feito:

A II FLI Serrana - Festa Literária da Região Serrana tem como precedente o sucesso do evento ocorrido em 2013, quando recebemos mais de 50 profissionais da cadeia produtiva do livro e um público aproximado de 500 pessoas ao longo do dia.

Na edição deste ano, homenageamos a autora Flávia Savary (na foto, com o copo de brigadeiro na mão!), ganhadora de mais 80 prêmios, moradora de Teresópolis há mais de 30 anos, que completa 40 anos de carreira em 2014.

Quando e onde será realizada:

Em 29 de novembro de 2014, na Casa de Cultura Adolpho Bloch
Atividades previstas:
• Abertura
• Show musical e sarau de poesia
• Oficina de mediação de leitura para docentes
• Contação de histórias com oficina de artesanato para crianças
• Autógrafos/encontro com autores/performances de ilustradores
• Teatro
• Circo
• Debate literário
• Homenagem à autora – mesa de encerramento com convidados de notório reconhecimento na literatura infantil e juvenil, como os agraciados com o Prêmio Jabuti Flávio Carneiro e Rosa Amanda Strausz, entre outros.
Público estimado: 1000 participantes, ao longo do dia.

Para cada apoiador que doasse mais que R$100,00 eu fiz uma caricatura, no estilo dos ilustrautógrafos que desenho nos lançamentos de meus livros.
Foram cinco apoiadores muito lindos que ganharam as artes exclusivas!
 Ei-los!



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6. O Canada!

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7. Three Weeks of Thanks-Giving Wrap-up


Today closes out our Three Weeks of Thanks-Giving. See below for my round-up of posts and thank-you notes. If you haven't shared your link/comment yet, you can still do so. I'll update this post later with any additional links/emails we receive. And don't forget--today's the last day to enter for a chance to win a copy of the 2015 Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market (CWIM) containing my interview roundup article, "Writing for Boys (and other 'Reluctant Readers')." See my November 7 post for all the details.


Thanksgiving is over for most people (and many are busy celebrating the more recent American ritual of "Black Friday"). However, I'm getting ready to celebrate our second Thanksgiving this week, this one with my husband's family gathering here in our home. This two-Thanksgivings-in-one-week tradition started years ago when my son was young. When my husband and I were first married, we actually spent Thanksgiving day with both our families, eating an early meal at one home and then driving to eat a second Thanksgiving dinner at another. After our son was born, we realized that was no longer practical. My in-laws came up with a simple solution: scheduling their family gathering on a different day, usually the weekend before or after Thanksgiving. Over the years, I've been very grateful to be able to celebrate fully with both sides of the family. So, while some of you may be gearing up for the December holidays, I'll be cleaning and cooking in preparation for Thanksgiving #2. That's why I'm keeping this post short. J     

Here are the links to the Three Weeks of Thanks-Giving blog posts:
Also, I want to thank the two readers who were unable to post their Thanks-Giving comments but took the time to email them to us:
  1. Wendy, who blogs at An Education in Books, who wrote: "I am thankful for my family and for the unexpected snow!"
  2. And Julie Phend, who said, "I am grateful for: 
A wonderful network of writers through SCBWI.
My two challenging, supportive writers groups: one in Illinois and one in Virginia.
My family, who provide inspiration, encouragement, ideas, and yes--distractions."
Don't forget to check out today's Poetry Friday round-up over at Carol's Corner.

Happy writing!
Carmela

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8. Comics Friday: Soppy by Philippa Rice and V-Wars by Jonathan Maberry

The wildly popular web comic SOPPY--with more than half a million notes on Tumblr--is the illustrated love story of author Philippa Rice and her real-life boyfriend. True love isn't always about the big romantic gestures. Sometimes it's about sympathizing with someone whose tea has gone cold or reading together and sharing a quilt. When two people move in together, it soon becomes apparent that the little things mean an awful lot. The throwaway moments in life become meaningful when you spend them in the company of someone you love.

SOPPY is Philippa Rice's collection of comics and illustrations based on real-life moments with her boyfriend. From grocery shopping to silly arguments and snuggling in front of the television, SOPPY captures the universal experience of sharing a life together, and celebrates the beauty of finding romance all around us.
This book, you guys.  Oh man.  Honestly, I can't even tell you what prompted me to request it from NetGalley, because this is not a cover that would typically appeal to me.  It's very simplistic artwork and I wasn't sure if I'd be into it.  And then I read page one and fell in love.  This is the most adorable, whimsical, sweet romantic story of two people falling in love and moving in together.  Nothing happens, there isn't a plot.  It's just scenes from a relationship that are so perfectly spot-on I dare you not to relate.  Here are just a few pictures I took while reading and immediately texted to Luke because THIS IS US:









The warm fuzzies here are out of control.  I seriously can't rave enough.  I want prints of these to put on my wall and I will own a book in print on December 2, the minute it comes out.  Because it makes my heart so happy.

From Goodreads:
New York Times best-selling author Jonathan Maberry takes you on a non-stop thrill ride of action, horror and suspense! Welcome to the V-WARS! These all-new tales chronicling the early days of the Vampire Wars offer the first salvo in the battle between humans and hundreds of new species of vampires! No matter how it ends, the world is going to bleed.
I wish I had more to say about this one as a whole.  I was super excited to see it because I'm a fan of vampires, especially those caused by a virus/contagion and I'm an even bigger fan of Jonathan Maberry.  So I had super high expectations for this comic series.

Unfortunately, it just didn't hit the spots I was looking for.  I was not a fan of the art - it just wasn't my style and didn't seem particularly well-done to me.  I'm seriously hesitant to even say that given how little of an expert I am on comic book art, but this one just didn't appeal to me visually in the same way others have.

As far as the writing was concerned, I thought it was good, but not memorable over-all.  Even now, just a week or two after having finished the comic, I'm having a hard time remembering all of the plot points.  It was an enjoyable read, but I don't anticipate finishing the series, or at least not going out of my way to find copies of new issues.  I could take it or leave it.

Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with copies of both comics.

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9. The Bloom of Friendship - a book review








Poking a little fun at the country I love!
















These are a few of our favourite things.......



Today's featured book:


 
Author:  Anne Renaud
Ages: 9-12

About the book:

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10. To The Insane Magic is Bestowed

nicole richie candidly nicole
Magic doesn’t come out of thin air, the moments that ARE magical are born from will, work, determination, and often times a bit of absurd belief that you’re capable of goals far greater than anyone sane would believe. Magic exists, it’s just only the insane are lucky enough to find it.

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11. 2015 Genre Decades Reading Challenge

I'm excited to host the Genre Decades Reading Challenge. Here's how it works:

1) Choose a decade. I'd recommend starting with one. If you finish you can always come back for another! You will be reading TEN books. One book for each year of the decade you choose. You may choose to sign up for more than one decade from the start. But it's ten books per decade you choose. So it would be committing to twenty books if you choose two.

2) Choose your genre. Or genres. You may choose up to five genres for a single decade. (Two books per genre.) It is up to you if you want a single genre or multiple genres. Genre is different from audience. So if you choose fantasy, you may read fantasy for children, young adults, or adults. But "young adult" is not in and of itself a genre. You can definitely make this challenge your own. For example:
  • sci-fi from the seventies
  • fantasy from the eighties
  • historical fiction from the thirties
  • mysteries from the fifties
  • romances from the forties
  • paranormal from the nineties
3) If you want to make the challenge more difficult, you might consider reading one book per genre per year of your decade. So minimum of ten books, maximum of fifty.

4) Up to five rereads are allowed per decade. I love to reread I do. But part of a challenge is to discover new books and new authors.

5) Reviews are not required. But. They are fun to read! So if you do blog your reviews, you may share links. You may give updates on your progress by leaving comments if you do not have a blog. Definitely let me know when you finish the challenge. I'd love to see your finished list.

6) Sign up in the comments on this post.

© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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12. Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold by Joyce Sidman

Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold Poems written by Newbery Honor Award Winner, Joyce Sidman; Illustrations by Rick Allen Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2014 ISBN: 9780547906508 All ages; birth to infinity. To write this review, I borrowed a copy from my local public library. I am writing this review on the morning after a nasty snowstorm that caused massive power outages here in the

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13. A.B. Frost in Illustration Magazine

A.B. Frost "The Power of the Human Eye" from Stuff and Nonsense, 1913
The new issue of Illustration Magazine has a feature on A.B. Frost (1851-1928), known for his humorous pen-and-ink illustrations and his realistic wash drawings of the American rural scene.

I love the early days of humorous illustration, when standard cartoon conventions weren't really established, and "straight" illustrators were finding their own ways to make drawings funny.

The article contains 42 illustrations by Frost, some reproduced full page, along with a biography by Gary Land. He tells how Frost got started with his popular "Uncle Remus" illustrations, and how his studies under William Merritt Chase loosened up his painting style, even though he was color blind.

The issue also has features on Virgil Finlay, Tom Miller, and William Meade Price.

You can order the magazine online or find it at your local newsstand.

Illustration #46
Wikipedia on A.B. Frost


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14. TURNING PAGES: WAR BROTHERS, by SHARON E. MCKAY

This is a story about child soldiers in Uganda, in Africa, and about Kony Joseph. It's fictional, but based on a true account. Despite the boatload of honors and awards (Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults 2014, YALSA Great Graphic Novels for Teens... Read the rest of this post

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15. Neil Gaiman Announces Air Dates For ‘Good Omens’ Radio Adaptation

I have borrowed Aziraphale's flaming sword to let you know that Good Omens starts on Dec 22nd on BBC Radio 4. Look! pic.twitter.com/ST81u6tnBv

— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) November 27, 2014

BBC Radio 4′s Good Omens dramatization will air from December 22nd to 27th.

Neil Gaiman, who co-wrote the book with Terry Pratchett, made an announcement on Twitter. The cast includes Colin Morgan, Charlotte Ritchie, Mark Heap, Peter Serafinowicz, Paterson Joseph, and Louise Brealey.

Here’s more from RadioTimes.com: “Good Omens follows the attempts of an angel and a demon (Heap and Serafinowicz) to save the world from the antichrist, but all is not as it seems thanks to a bureaucratic mix-up. Soon, the fate of humanity is left to a gang of young children, a trainee witchfinder (Morgan) and a collection of garbled flashcards.”

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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16. Craft of Writing: Viewpoint Selection by Nikki Kelly

Today we welcome to the blog Nikki Kelly, whose first novel, Lailah, was published in October from Feiwel & Friends. Nikki has a most entertaining post for you today on how to choose the point of view of your protagonist.  As fun as those gifs may be, make sure you red until the end as she offers some really apt advice.

Viewpoint Selection by Nikki Kelly

Hi Nikki, I need your help! I have a story that I want to write but I’m a bit confused, I don’t know which point of view I should tell it from. How did you pick? What made you write your story from Lailah’s POV??? Please could you help me! I really want to get started but I don’t know what to do!



I originally posted my debut novel Lailah to wattpad, a community of readers and writers, back in December 2012. I am still very active on the platform and talk to young, aspiring writers every day. The above question hit my inbox a couple of weeks ago, but it’s not the first time I have been asked about viewpoint selection, and I’m sure it won’t be the last.

This question almost, always includes these exact words—‘which point of view is the right one?’

The answer, I say… well, there is no right answer.

I usually begin my reply by breaking down the most common, and simple, viewpoints:

First Person
Writing as if you are the character: I, me, my.

Third Person, limited
Writing with: he, she, they and pronouns such as his, hers, theirs.
Maintaining the narrative to the feelings, and ponderings of only the viewpoint character.

Third Person, omniscient
Still writing with: he, she, they and pronouns such as his, hers, theirs.
This time, however, the narrator is ‘all knowing’ of all the characters thoughts and feelings. Omniscient gives a broader view of the story.

I go on to highlight that there are Pros…



…and Cons



…to writing in each viewpoint:

First Person, the Pros include:
The reader has an immediate connection to the viewpoint character.
Believability due to being ‘inside’ the viewpoint character's head.
Clear, and concise perspective.

First Person, the Cons include:
Your reader can only know what your viewpoint character knows.
Limited perspective.
If your viewpoint character is unlikable, you have to live in his/her head for as long as it takes you to tell the story!

Third Person, limited, the Pros include:
Can add suspense as the thoughts and feelings of the other characters remain unknown (only interpreted through the viewpoint character).
Can still connect closely with the viewpoint character.

Third Person, limited, the Cons include:
As with first person, the perspective is limited and your reader can only know what your viewpoint character knows.

Third Person, omniscient, the Pros include:
Can connect with more characters in the story in a more intimate way.
Easier to manipulate the plot as there are more choices and options available.
Greater flexibility.

Third Person, omniscient, the Cons include:
The reader has more distance from your viewpoint character.
Multiple characters thoughts and feeling to juggle

I check in and ask if that all makes sense…



So then I suggest writing a paragraph from the story using all three viewpoints, and reading each one aloud. This helps to see which viewpoint comes most naturally when writing, and also helps to establish which works best for the story you are trying to tell.

Often, this then leads to…



I chose to write my debut novel Lailah in first person, as it came more naturally, and it worked well for the story itself. Lailah is on a journey of self-discovery, and I wanted the reader to only know what she knew, to learn the truth of Lailah’s undiscovered nature, right along with her. This also worked really well for the reveals (there was, of course, some bread crumb dropping along the way!), and it worked especially well for the plot twists at the end of the book.

About the Author:


Nikki Kelly was born and raised only minutes away from the chocolately scent of Cadbury World in Birmingham, England. Lailah is Nikki's first novel, and the first book in the Styclar Saga. She lives in London with her husband and their dogs, Alfie (a pug) and Goose (a chihuahua).

Visit her online at www.thestyclarsaga.com
Twitter: @Styclar
Goodreads





About the Book:


LAILAH (The Styclar Saga #1)
Nikki Kelly

The girl knows she’s different. She doesn’t age. She has no family. She has visions of a past life, but no clear clues as to what she is, or where she comes from. But there is a face in her dreams – a light that breaks through the darkness. She knows his name is Gabriel.

On her way home from work, the girl encounters an injured stranger whose name is Jonah. Soon, she will understand that Jonah belongs to a generation of Vampires that serve even darker forces. Jonah and the few like him, are fighting with help from an unlikely ally – a rogue Angel, named Gabriel.

In the crossfire between good and evil, love and hate, and life and death, the girl learns her name: Lailah. But when the lines between black and white begin to blur, where in the spectrum will she find her place? And with whom?

Gabriel and Jonah both want to protect her. But Lailah will have to fight her own battle to find out who she truly is.

Amazon  |   Indiebound  |  Goodreads

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17. Social Media - Should Facebook be Worried About the NEW Kid on the Block, Ello?

As someone who’s not a huge Facebook (FB) fan, it will be interesting to see if this new social media platform gives Facebook a run for its money. According to an article at Forbes, “The platform, which is still in public beta (meaning invite-only), has caused quite a stir; dubbed by some as the ‘hipster social network’, Ello offers a forever ad-free experience and promises to never sell its

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18. 5 Fears of Buying Manga From US Manga Publishers

There’s generally been a reason, a few reasons, or many reasons, why people don’t buy manga. What exactly are those reasons? Aside from potential translation/editing/product issues (which, well, IS a possibility), we’ve come up with 5 “fears” of buying manga from manga publishers, which takes into account the present and the future. Of course, this ... Read more

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19. Day 28 - kangaroos

drawing studies of kangaroos

drawing studies of kangaroos

drawing studies of kangaroos
Day 28
Topic - kangaroos

Today was another one of those days I wanted to keep my sketchbook to myself. This challenge has been both good and bad. On the one hand it has got me practicing drawing a lot more consistently, but on the other it has obliged me to show drawings I'm not exactly proud of. I do enjoy looking at the unedited sketchbooks of other artists though, so here's to the spirit of openness.

(Ken Hultgren studies are noted, otherwise they were from photo reference.)

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20. First Five Pages December Workshop Opens Tomorrow at 12 EST!

Our December workshop will open for entries at noon EST on Saturday November 29, 2014. We'll take the first five Middle Grade, Young Adult, or New Adult entries that meet all guidelines and formatting requirements. In addition to our wonderful permanent mentors, we have the talented PETER SALOMON, author of HENRY FRANKS and ALL THOSE BROKEN ANGELS, and agent GINGER CLARK!  

So get those pages ready – First Five Pages December Workshop opens tomorrow, and last month we filled up fast!  Click here to get the rules! 

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21. Poetry Friday -- First Snow




FIRST SNOW

Not satisfied to trace
bare branches
and 
remaining leaves 
into lace,
this first snow
tries to fill the place
between 
my glasses
and 
my face.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014



Our first snow was a playful, fluffy couple of inches, not a destructive, multi-foot dump like Buffalo got, or a plan-changing Nor'easter like the one this week. One more thing to add to the list of my "Thankful For"s.

Today we're also thankful for Carol, at Carol's Corner, who is hosting the Poetry Friday roundup!



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22. Scroobius Pip Crafts Poem in Praise of Libraries

Are you a fan of libraries? Scroobius Pip (pictured, via), a spoken word poet and hip hop artist, crafted a poem to praise these beloved public institutions.

The video embedded above features an animated clip of Pip’s piece commissioned by Chris Hawkins for BBC 6 Music. What do you think?

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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23. Classic MG Readalong: Farmer Boy

Hello, friends! Welcome to this month’s classics readalong discussion, where we’ll be gleefully chatting about Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder. For those new to the series, this is a standalone historical fiction novel based on true people and events, written by the author about her husband’s boyhood on his family’s farm in the late 1800s. A reminder: You have ONE MONTH left to finish your classics readalong challenge for this year! Have you read and reviewed 8 books yet? Are you going to be able to? A little more on that below, plus info on the December/January books. We have so much pie to eat talk about, though, that we should just get started on our discussion! Wendy: I wanted to do this one for our readalong because it’s a nice standalone–plus it’s my favorite of the series! (Followed by The Long Winter, but for very different reasons–this one’s... Read more »

The post Classic MG Readalong: Farmer Boy appeared first on The Midnight Garden.

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24. Friday Feature: Wickedly They Dream


How far will Jordan go to save her mother? Will her deception cost her everything--Even her guardian angel, Markus?
After Seeley is possessed by an evil wraith, Jordan must dig deeper into the Satanic realm. Against Markus's direct orders, she offers herself, body and soul in a blood covenant to rescue Seeley from the clutches of hell. Jordan assumes her guardian angel will not leave her to fight alone. But there's trouble in paradise, and Markus has been reassigned. Can Jordan defeat both her internal and external demons to win him back. Or is he gone for good this time?


Title: Wickedly They Dream
Release Date: November 5, 2014
Genre: Paranormal Thriller/Fantasy

Buy it on Amazon.

Find Cathy online:
Want your YA, NA, or MG book featured on my blog? Contact me here and we'll set it up.

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25. Guest Post By G.K Holloway, Author of 1066:What Fates Impose


Today's guest post is by Glynn(G.K) Holloway, whose novel 1066: What Fates Impose I won some months ago on the English Historical Fiction Authors blog. 

                                                    
  
Glynn has kindly agreed to tell us about how he researched his book and why the period fascinates him so much. It's an era that fascinates me too; the entire history of Europe could have been very different if only a few things had gone differently in 1066. The very English language would have been different! 
But I'll let the author tell you all about it. Take it away, Glynn!

The inspiration for my novel, 1066: What Fates Impose, came from reading a biography of Harold Godwinson. I’ve always been an avid reader and a history fan and I like to mix up my reading with biographies and novels. I knew something about King Harold from my school days and stories my Dad had told me, so when I found a biography about him by Ian Walker, I was intrigued enough to buy it. I found the book really opened my eyes to the era. Once I’d finished it I wanted to know more, so I read books about William the Conqueror, the Godwin family and then more and more about Anglo Saxon England. I found the history fascinating, full of marauding Vikings, papal plots, blood feuds, court intrigues, assassinations, so much so, I couldn’t believe the story of the era hadn’t been covered more in films, TV and, of course, books. So, I decided to do something myself. I researched everything I could about the period, including court etiquette, sword manufacturing techniques - everything. I also visited many of the locations that appear in the book, usually on family holidays and once I’d done all that - and it took quite some time - I wove together facts and fiction to produce the novel.  
The more I researched the more amazed I became about how events played out. For Harold, everything that could go wrong did go wrong, and I’m not just thinking of the power struggles in the north of England. For instance, Edward couldn’t have died at a worse time. For William the opposite is true; even when he has what appears to be bad luck, things works out for him or he makes them work. One of the times I’m thinking about is when William first sets foot on English soil and falls flat on his face. He stands up with two hands full of soil and says, ‘By the splendour of the Almighty, I have seized my kingdom; the soil of England is in my own two hands.’ You have to admire his quick thinking. But it’s not just one or two things, there’s a long, long list of things both in England and on the European continent that fell into place for William. To top it all, a comet even puts in an appearance!
When writing the book I decided to stick as close as possible to the events and be as true to the characters as possible. For me, it’s important to get the research right, so the reader has confidence in the story, knowing what they’re reading is the real thing. This is why Lady Godiva doesn’t ride naked through the streets of Coventry. It never happened. Besides, there was enough going on at that time for me not to have to add any additional spice to the story. Most of the events depicted in my book really happened with perhaps, one or two exceptions or manipulations.
How to present the story was another matter. I wanted the story to be as accessible as possible,  so the idea of writing in some sort of pseudo Shakespeare didn’t appeal. It was no use writing in Old English because for one thing I don’t speak it and for another neither do many other people. Those who do are already familiar with the events. So, I thought I’d use modern plain English and keep out as many anachronisms as possible. No one says, ‘OK’ or ‘Hi there’.
I’m very fortunate in having a wife who is so supportive and in a position to help as our children were still quite young and they were going to a child minder in the holidays and after school. When I left my full time job I was able to look after them at home. My wife has her own business; she is a tax consultant. This enabled me to work part time in her business and part time on my book. The money we saved on child care and employing someone in the business balanced out favourably. When the novel was completed, it ran for 297,000 words. An editor suggested cuts – a lot. So, many months later, I had a finished novel that ran to a mere 160,000 – almost a short story. I’m now working on a sequel.
I’ve explained briefly, what made me write the book but why would anyone want to read it? Well, the era is, I think, very exciting and the Battle of Hastings was such a close run thing - so close that if it had rained that day, William would probably have lost the battle. Some people might think, ‘So what? A fight in a field a thousand years ago on the other side of the planet; what difference does that make now?’
Well the answer is, think how much the outcome changed England’s history. In the mid eleventh century England had been just one of the kingdoms in Cnut’s Empire, which included Denmark and Norway. England looked to the north and was part of the north. The language and culture were very similar. England did not look south for ideas or inspiration and did not get involved with southern European affairs. After Hastings all that changed and for centuries England and France were at each other’s throats.
Some say that if it hadn’t been for the Normans, England would never have risen to prominence. If that’s true, there may never have been a British Empire. If it isn’t true, there might have been some sort of Nordic Empire that spanned even more of the world than the British ever did. 'What if the Normans had lost?'  is a very big question and that’s why I’m writing a follow-up. A Norman victory changed England for ever and consequently had ramifications that echo on through the centuries. It has to be an interesting story.

Bio
G K Holloway was born in a small anonymous town in the north of England. On leaving school he worked in a variety of jobs until he arrived at his mid twenties and decided it was time for a change.
Having always liked history, he thought he'd enjoy studying the subject for a degree, so enrolling in evening classes at his local college to take O Level and A Level courses, seemed the obvious thing to do.
After graduating from Coventry,  he spent nearly a year in Canada before returning to England to train as a Careers Advisor. After qualifying, he worked in secondary education before moving onto further education, adult education and eventually higher education.
You can buy 1066: What Fates Impose at Amazon, in either paperback or ebook , here. http://www.amazon.com/1066-Impose-G-K-Holloway/dp/1783062207


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