JacketFlap connects you to the work of more than 200,000 authors, illustrators, publishers and other creators of books for Children and Young Adults. The site is updated daily with information about every book, author, illustrator, and publisher in the children's / young adult book industry. Members include published authors and illustrators, librarians, agents, editors, publicists, booksellers, publishers and fans. Join now (it's free).
Login or Register for free to create your own customized page of blog posts from your favorite blogs. You can also add blogs by clicking the "Add to MyJacketFlap" links next to the blog name in each post.
Viewing: Blog Posts from All 1552 Blogs, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 2,000
How to use this Page
You are viewing the most recent posts from the 1552 blogs currently in the JacketFlap Blog Reader. These posts are sorted by date, with the most recent posts at the top of the page. There are hundreds of new posts here every day on a variety of topics related to children's publishing. We have provided a variety of ways for you to navigate through the blog posts. Click the dates in the calendar on the left to view blog posts from a particular date. Scroll down through the list of Recent Posts in the left column and click on a post title that sounds interesting. Click a tag in the right column to view posts about that topic. You can view all posts from a specific blog by clicking the Blog name in the right column, or you can click a "More Posts from this Blog" link in any individual post.
Hello, Monday's Stories will be posted as soon as possible. I'm running behind due to power outages. My utilities just returned, so hopefully they will stay on, at least long enough for me to publish a post. Thank-you for coming by, and Monday's stories will be published today. Thank you for your patience, and I hope you will return.
In the first chapter of The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough, a baby boy is visited by the manifestation of Love. Appearing as a man in a fine gray suit, Love gives the boy a steady heart and these words: "Have courage." The next night, the manifestation of Death visits a baby girl across town and marks the child with a tear and whispered warnings. The first chapter is set in 1920; the next chapter skips forward to 1937, when the players are seventeen years old and the Game officially begins.
Told in third person, the book shuttles between the perspectives of the players - Flora, an African-American aviatrix who tends to planes during the day and sings jazz music at her uncle's club at night, and Henry, a scholarship student who lives with his best friend's well-to-do family - and the game runners - Death, a cynical feminine presence who would give Once Upon a Time's Queen Regina a run for her money, and Love, a masculine presence who believes in the transformative power of love. Other characters who come into play include Henry's best friend Ethan, Ethan's little sister Annabel, Ethan's cousin Helen, Flora's grandmother, Flora's uncle, and others at the jazz club. The third-person narrative permits the readers to know more about the characters, the events, and the overall big picture than the main players, who are unaware of their part in the Game. Revelations and connections lead to some tense page turns, especially as the story ramps up to the climax.
Death is a master manipulator, cunning and some would say cruel as she finds a way to get close to Henry and use him as a pawn. Meanwhile, Love is determined and hopeful, and his side story is something that made me want to give Brockenbrough a very strong high-five. The world would be a better place if all people were open-minded and optimistic and true to themselves.
The contrast between Death and Love is stark, but what's even more interesting is what they have in common. Consider, if you will, what they want; what they seek; what they are willing to sacrifice; and what they refuse to give up. It's eye-opening and tear-jerking and thought-provoking and other hyphenated things. If you are an emotional reader, you should probably have a box of Kleenex nearby. Also, perhaps you should sit in a comfy chair so you can grip the arm of it and/or curl up in a ball when necessary.
The writing throughout the novel is thoughtful. Every scene offers a complete picture of the setting and the people present. For example:
"Do you ever wonder," Helen said, walking down the stairs towards him, "if flowers feel pain when someone cuts them?" She lifted one from the basket. "Does it look like it suffered?"
"Oh, Helen," Mrs. Thorne said, "what a curious thing to say. I'm sure Henry has thought no such thing."
It was true. But, he realized, he would not be able to look at a flower again without wondering whether it had suffered, or whether anyone had cared. - Page 94
The word "someday" is introduced early in the book as something important to the characters, and it leads to an impactful song that I wish we could hear.
If you liked The Game of Love and Death, you should check out The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. Read the original book, then see the classic film. The book was written by Josephine Leslie, but she used a pseudonym: R.A. Dick. The book also inspired a TV series, a sitcom. You should also read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, which is directly narrated by Death, who is omniscient and genderless and more of an observer than a manipulator. Set on the European homefront during World War II, you'll need Kleenex to handle the tears you'll shed while reading that book, too.
Sloths Are So Talkative! Did you know #Sloths made this adorable sound? It's like they're calling out for us to hug them, too cute! What animals do you think they sound like? Tell us below and share the video if you want to see more #SlothSundays. Posted by Animalist on Sunday, May 17, 2015
Doable: the girls' guide to accomplishing just about anything
by Deborah Reber
Simon Pulse. 2015
Grades 10 thru adult
I borrowed a copy of this book from my local public library
I’ve been taking a class in Leadership; it’s really a course in Coaching. I took it with the intention of becoming a more effective manager at work, but also a supportive friend and mentor
Megan Morrison and I met in 2003, via our mutual friend Melissa Anelli of the Harry Potter fan site The Leaky Cauldron, and I read an early draft of Grounded in 2004. I liked its characters and action a lot -- Rapunzel descending from her tower against her will, and traveling across the land of Tyme with a thief named Jack -- but to my eye, it didn't have enough emotional and world-building depth to elevate it from "cute and smart" to "real and meaningful," and I thought Meg could do more with it. So I told her that, in a three-page editorial letter, and offered to look at a revision when she was ready.
I did not think at the time--and nor did Meg--that this readiness would take eight years. But when she contacted me about the ms. again in 2012, she said that she had rewritten the book, "revised the rewrite, plotted the entire series in detail from back to front, and then revised it again. . . . Though the plot sounds similar to what it was, the book is very different, with a cast of characters who are fully realized and motivated, including the peripheral characters, who don't come to the fore until later books in the series. I love it and believe in it." I had never forgotten Grounded--and in fact had been hoping for this e-mail for eight years--so I asked to see it again.
And this time, I loved it and believed in it too, as Meg was 100% right in her estimation of her revised novel. I adore fairy tales in part because the transformations they contain speak to some of our deepest human stories and relationships, and my favorite retellings round out those transformations with complex psychology and world-building, while honoring the readerly pleasures of wonder or romance or connection at their heart. The new Grounded kept all the charm of Rapunzel and Jack's banter and the cleverness of the land of Tyme, whose history, geography, and even the resulting economics and sociology have all been fully thought through. But it achieved the reality and deeper meaning I'd been hoping for, thanks to Rapunzel's complex relationship with her Witch, whom she truly loves, and who has good reason to keep her in the tower; and Rapunzel's own process of growing up, finding out hard truths, and yet moving forward into wholeness. The book made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me intensely happy as a reader; and since it came out earlier this month, both Meg and I have been delighted by its critical reception -- including two starred reviews! -- which has praised both its many pleasures and that emotional depth. (It's also an Amazon.com Best Book of the Month for May.) Publishing it has reminded me yet again: Good things come to editors who wait.
Four more notes, before I share Meg's Five Questions:
You can actually see a rare scene of the editor and author at work, sort of, in Melissa Anelli's Harry, A History. Page 79 documents a writing weekend among the three of us that took place at my apartment, where Meg was working on Grounded, Melissa was writing for the Leaky Cauldron, and I was editing A Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth Bunce, another great fairy-tale retelling. (And also making pancakes.)
This entire series of five-question posts was actually inspired by Meg herself, as she's written "Five Reasons to Read _________" posts like this one on her blog for years.
Meg wrote about her side of this story at Literary Rambles and in this interview, which also reflects on her experience as a Harry Potter fan and a fanfiction author.
And Meg and her friend Kristin Brown, who's a professional geographer, talk about their collaboration in creating "plausible geography" for Tyme in this fascinating interview.
Five Questions for Megan Morrison
1. Tell us a little bit about your book.
It’s the story of Rapunzel – the hair, the tower, the witch – except that my Rapunzel loves her tower and doesn’t want to leave it. She has everything she wants and thinks she is the luckiest person in the world. Until things go wrong, and she learns otherwise.
2. If this book had a theme song and/or a spirit animal, what would it be and why?
If I were to choose just one song, it would have to be “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” (Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell). This is Witch’s promise to Rapunzel: that she will allow nothing to divide them – that she’ll rescue her from anything. It’s a very different song at the beginning of the book than it is at the end.
3. Please name and elaborate upon at least one thing you learned or discovered about writing in the course of creating this book.
Sometimes, the idea for a story will come before the writer is ready to meet it. That doesn’t mean that the writer should stop writing or give up on the idea, but it means that the story won’t mature until the writer does. I had the idea for Grounded long before I was equipped to write it well. Life experiences – in particular becoming a mother and a teacher – were necessary. Not that those particular experiences are prerequisites for writing. Far from it. They were just necessary for me. They changed me in big, important ways, and strengthened me as both a storyteller and as a professional. My work ethic and my openness to criticism are vastly improved over what they were ten years ago. I have hardened and mellowed both, in the ways that I needed to.
4. What is your favorite scene in the book?
Rapunzel’s conversation with Witch at the end.
That’s a hard question, though. Whenever Rapunzel and Jack are talking to each other, I am delighted.
5. What are you working on now?
The second book in the Tyme series! A different fairy tale, set in the same world. Many characters who appear in Grounded will show up again.
It seems people have been noticing how many characters you like get killed in Game Of Thrones. Some must have been complaining about it, because his response is rather grumpy. But I did chuckle when he pointed out that, among other things, Ned Stark is an idiot who warned his enemy - and then that they had cast Sean Bean in the role, what did people expect? Because, of course, he does tend to play roles in which he is killed off. I can think of two off the top of my head - Boromir in LOTR and a man who got on the wrong side of Henry VIII in the miniseries with Ray Winstone(I forget the character's name, but he was real, and Mr Bean got to use his Yorkshire accent). Though he also played Odysseus in Troy and Odysseus survived, didn't he, and came home to a faithful wife and a loyal son, unlike the other Greek heroes.
Then he went on to call William Shakespeare a psycho and argue that there are piles of bodies on the stage in Shakespeare tragedies. Well, yes. Though one play he describes with gruesome relish is Titus Andronicus, which was probably Shakespeare's first play, certainly early in his career. I must admit, that's one I can't watch. I had to read it at university and haven't read it since then and I didn't go to see the movie(what were they thinking, choosing that one?). It's too awful. There's even a scene where this man is standing making a beautiful, lyrical speech about his niece when she has just been raped and mutilated! But the thing is, it wasn't the only one of its kind. It was part of a very popular genre, the revenge tragedy. I guess he and his company must have decided to cash in on the craze,
And Shakespeare, like a certain American spec fic writer complaining about him, was a writer of popular stuff that everyone went to see. He was a commercial writer. If he was alive today he would probably be writing sensationalist stuff for TV. He wouldn't be getting invited to writers' festivals to talk about the deep and meaningful symbolism in his work. The fact that he wrote stuff that makes you laugh and cry and says for you things that you can't express yourself and has something to say about everything is beside the point. He would probably be shocked to find people running courses in his work. I had a very faint taste of that once, when I found an online review of a short story I had forgotten I'd written, reading into it all sorts of things that had never occurred to me when I wrote it.
Shakespeare was the sort of guy you could have a beer with at the pub. And he wrote plays that are still performed, not because they're great literature(though they are)but because they still have things to say to us.
Then Mr Martin goes on about that dreadful, violent book, the Bible. Well, I can't deny that. I have always liked the Bible for that very reason, all the sex and violence ...;-)
I read The Game Of Thrones when it first came out. I liked it for the believable mediaeval stink and discomfort and for the fascinating weather conditions on whichever planet it is, oh, and for all the eating that goes on. Some fans wrote a wonderful cookbook, which I have at home. I have since read more, though I'm not sure I'll finish the series, not because of the violence and killing off your favourite characters, but because, IMO, it has turned into a soap opera. I'm not a fan of the soaps. I'm also not a fan, in general, of fat fantasy series, however good they might be. Terry Pratchett was another matter. His books weren't thick and it mostly didn't matter if you hadn't read the earlier ones, though you'd probably rush off to find them anyway.
To be honest, there are other books of his that I prefer. Tuf Voyaging, the space-based story of a man and his cats and their adventures in a seed ship. Fevre Dream, the story of vampires in the Old South and a vampire who is sick of killing people and wants to find another way of getting his nutrition, is my favourite. That was about to come out when he was in Melbourne for a very small convention at a tiny hotel in St Kilda, a suburb of Melbourne - the population is small here, so even US minicons would be huge compared to our conventions. I remember him saying that he chose that setting because it was a time and place where slaves could disappear and nobody would ask questions. He was working on the TV series Beauty And The Beast at the time. And I enjoyed his work. Fortunately, the early ones are still in print, no doubt because of the success of his later ones. Read them if you can.
It was known as Paris in the past.Today, it’s called the Sunken City where two classes live.Those that live the Upper City have the most splendid views as well as the prestige and money that accompanies their class.The Lower City is plagued with poverty and filth but is also the stage for the Razor, a contraption that beheads those of criminals or even wealthy family who go against the dictatorship of Allemande, a man small in stature but larger than life.Beside the Razor is the Tombs, where those awaiting death stay until summoned up by the evil LeBlanc, who is in charge of ensuring Allemande’s rule.
But little do they know Le Corbeau Rouge, also known as The Red Rook, has just entered the city…
Meanwhile, across the sea is the Commonwealth, where those who have enjoy a more pastoral life live.Sophia Bellamy has just entered the room, awaiting her Banns and the man she is to wed, a certain Monsieur Hasard, who catches the attention of all of the ladies in the room, except her.But she knows she must in order for her home to stay in the family.She will not be the ruination of her father and her brother Tom.
But she is hiding a secret most people don’t know.Lady on the outside, Red Rook on the inside…
Wherever they live, everyone lives in a world of no technology, where they watch as more and more useless satellites fall from the skies. The world has gone back to the simpler days of non-mechanized work, where most people are back to an agrarian lifestyle. The world is now a place where plastic sells high on the black market and a can with the strange word "diet" is sought after by collectors of the old world. There are things that haven't changed though. Greed, the need for power, tyranny, murder and war are still part of the landscape, and one that the evil LeBlanc intends to see to the end. The only obstacle is the Red Rook. LeBlanc pulls no stops when it comes to crippling Sophia, but she does have a back-up plan in place, or does she? Are those working with her for or against her? Sharon Cameron writes a dystopic novel set in future Paris with all the regale of the Revolution of its past in an excellent combination. People in ball gowns from the 1700s are still mystified by modern things of today's world, all set in a future that is as rich and full as the story itself. What is also unique about this novel is that Cameron parallels her newest novel to the classic, The Scarlet Pimpernel by weaving it into the story in subtle ways. Sophia is a strong female character who knows to rely on herself first while Rene Hasard, her betrothed, shares the same characteristics with a twist of slyness. If you have been looking for a great dystopia read, pick up this historical dystopia in all of its glory, romance, triumphs and downfalls. It will not disappoint.
If dinosaurs had any inkling as to how popular they’d end up, I’m sure they would have stuck around longer to enjoy their fame and fortune. Here are a few more new titles to add to your prehistoric, dino-inspired picture book collection, some serious, some silly. All fun. Dino-Daddy by Mark Sperring and Sam Lloyd […]
One of the many things I like about Facebook? You get to learn things about your family that you otherwise probably wouldn’t have known.
The man laying on the ground in the picture above is my grandfather – my dad’s dad. He fought in World War II.
I’m just going to post what my Aunt posted on Facebook …
Dan said his dad never talked about the war much (who could blame him) but he would tell us this story often.
One day there was an order to head out, so some of his buddies got into the jeep. Right before Leroy got in, his commanding officer said “Hutton you stay”. That jeep was hit and Leroy lost good friends. He would say to us, “If I would have gotten in, you all would have never been here, that saved my life”. Glad he didn’t get in!”
Isn’t it amazing to think that one moment in time, that one split second decision my grandfather’s commanding officer made, led us to this moment: Four children, ten grandchildren, nineteen (?) great grandchildren later.
It sort of boggles the mind when you stop to think about it.
My grandfather is in his early nineties now. We lost my grandmother, my dad’s mom, about … three years ago (?). She developed dementia toward the end of her life and it was a terribly sad way to say goodbye. It was very hard on my parents, I know. And now my grandfather is being moved to a nursing home today because we have reached the point where he can’t take care of himself and it’s physically too hard on my family to help. (He’s wheelchair bound and he requires physical assistance to get into bed, go to the bathroom, etc).
This is INCREDIBLY hard on my grandfather. He’s FIERCELY independent, has been his whole life, so now that he is being forced into this situation, well, it’s been difficult, to say the least.
My parents came over yesterday and they filled in the details. It was heartbreaking to listen to the anguish in their voices and watch tears gather in their eyes.
My grandfather begs them to take him home. He doesn’t want to go to the home. Who can blame him?? But though my family tried to take care of him in his home for one week, the situation is simply more than any of them can handle. They’re trying to make deals with my grandfather, work hard, participate in physical therapy, work on his strength so that he can at least walk on his own again and then they can take him home and work on a schedule to have someone with him at all times. But my grandfather is being stubborn. I’m sure the whole situation is embarrassing and humiliating for him. I see this in patients every day at work. It’s SO HARD to succumb to physical restrictions and have to rely on other people to help you when you’ve been so used to being on your own, taking care of yourself, your whole life.
This situation makes me think of my own parents a lot. They’re getting up there in age, too. Though they are still both relatively young and stay physically active (they go to a gym to walk and socialize every day), I can see early signs of dependency. It brings a lump to my throat to think me and my siblings may be in a similar boat one of these years. And though you can promise you’ll never, ever, put your loved ones in a home, you can’t TRULY promise that. I think this situation with my grandfather has taught me that. All you can do is the best you can do for the situation you find yourself in.
I also wonder how our boys will react when Kevin and I reach that age. Getting older has never really bothered me before, but honestly, seeing my grandfather’s situation has opened up doors I never really knew existed before.
I learned that being in a home, a DECENT home, is terribly expensive. This will likely put a huge dent in my grandfather’s money. I have no idea how much he has, it’s really none of my business how much money he has, but knowing my family, he likely has a nest egg somewhere he can rely on to help him through this stage. I feel terribly sorry for people that DON’T have that money to fall back on.
Kevin and I have talked about making sure we have a will. But I’m not sure we have ever really discussed our plan if one of us ends up in a nursing home. I have made Kevin promise me he will never put me in a home, and vice versa, but my grandfather’s situation has taught me, it’s never quite that black and white.
I worry that dementia runs in our family. I mentioned my grandmother had it and there are signs my grandfather might have it, too. I’ve always worried about my own memory – I have trouble remembering things NOW. What will I be like when I reach my twilight years?
I think that’s one big reason I refuse to retire. Which, I realize is unrealistic, my body will deteriorate … I realize this. But I hereby pledge to work on keeping my mind active. I’m not saying my grandparents did not do that, dementia is not something you can likely prevent, but I will do everything in my power to keep it at arm’s length.
In the meantime, life trudges on. All we can do is try and keep pace with it.
Happy Memorial Day! In honour of the day, Amanda, Teresa and I (with Christina on trumpet) have done a video!
It was absolutely gorgeous when we filmed. So many pictures were taken. I don't have them here, but I will share eventually. You will see most of the footage in the film.
HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY!!
Also... Today is Geek Pride Day! Who's excited? Who's excited?!
So, I usually post lots and lots of gifs with my posts, but as there are an inordinate amount of questions associated with this tag, I'm not going to post AS many. I will post where I deem it appropriate.
Without further ado... the Geek Day Question Fiasco! (Yep, that's what I'm calling it.)
1.) Who directed the first Star Trek Movie? Do we mean MOVIE, or TV show? If we are talking movie, I haven't the foggiest. If we're talking TV show, I'm pretty sure it was Gene Roddenberry.
2.) Where did the Winchester's live before Mary's death? Lawrence, Kansas.
6.) Who was the first goblin to guide Harry around Gringotts? No idea. I'm guessing Warwick Davis, in one of his innumerable roles in those movies. *Actually, it wasn't Warwick Davis... he played the bank teller. It was actually Verne Troyer, who played the role of Griphook the Goblin.
7.) In what Star Trek episode did the Tribbles FIRST appear? a.) Trials and Tribble-ations b.) Amok Time c.) Trouble with Tribbles. Wow, this is multiple choice? The answer is C., Trouble With Tribbles!
8.) Who played the First Doctor? That white haired gentleman. Hang on, let me think... Let... me... think... William. William something. I'll come back to this.
9.) What hits John on his way to see Sherlock in the streets in "The Reichenbach Fall"? A fella on a bicycle.
Which of the following knights did not betray Arthur? A.) Lancelot B.) Gwaine (Which, by the way, is spelled WRONG! I don't care if it IS a TV show... that name is spelled GAWAINE.) C.) Leon D.) Mordred E.) Elyan. And I would have to say, since this TV show is apparently pro Lancelot and NOT Gawaine, it was Lancelot who did not betray him. As I cannot find what the proper answer is to this, I'm afraid you'll have to discover the truth of it yourself.
10.) What was Bones' first name? I think Leonard. Or wait. Sylvester?
11.) The Tesseract is one of six powerful "Infinity Stones." What are the other five?
12.) John Watson goes on a date with a girl in "The Blind Banker." What is her name? Sarah, but don't ask me her last name. I dinna ken it.
13.) What does TARDIS stand for?
Time And Relative Dimension In Space.
14.) Who killed Darth Vader? I *think* the Emperor guy? I'm not hugely into Star Wars, so my trivia on this point is a bit foggy.
15.) What does the inscription on the Colt say? All I know is Samuel Colt made it. I don't know the inscription. *Apparently the inscription reads, Non Timebo Mala, which is Latin for I Will Fear No Evil.
16.) What words did Moriarty carve into an apple as a message for Sherlock?
30.) Name the seven horcruxes. 1. Tom Riddle's Diary. 2. The Ring in Dumbledore's drawer. 3. The Locket in that weird cave. 4. The Goblet in Gringotts. 5. Rowena Ravenclaw's diadem. 6. Nagini the weird snake. 7. Harry Potter. That last answer sounded a bit weird, didn't it. :-)
31.) Name the movie that goes with this famous exchange: "I love you." "I know." Star Wars, the original second movie, I believe - what's it called? "The Empire Strikes Back"? - Anyway, it's that scene right before Han goes into the deep freeze thingy. Carbonite.
32.) In which episode did the sonic screwdriver first appear? Heh. It was with the second doctor, I think, but I'm not totally sure, y'all.
33.) Where was the HOUND group located?
34.) What is the Secret Word that opened the Gates of Moria?
36.) Who does Lavender give Ron for Christmas? I'm not really sure what to take from that question. Does she really give him someone? Who? Who? Not the Doctor, that's for sure! *That answer, apparently, isn't WHO, but WHAT. And it was a necklace that said "My Sweetheart."
37.) In Doctor Who, who is Davros?
*Seems he was the Chief Scientist of the Kaleds. Now you know. :-)
38.) In "The Blind Banker" which book does Sherlock use to crack the coded messages?
Some sort of A-Z atlas of London.
*A-Z London Street Atlas
39.) What action made Thor worthy of Mjölnir? He faced the Destroyer and sacrificed himself in exchange for the safety of the earth.
40.) In what episode was Arthur crowned King? Somewhere in the fifth season? * Nope, apparently it was season 4, episode 3, "The Wicked Day."
49.) In which classic episode did Sarah Jane leave the TARDIS?
*Appears to be Season 14, Episode 5, The Hand of Fear.
50.) What did Hagrid give Harry the first time they met?
A rather messy birthday cake.
51.) Who was the father of Legolas? Thranduil.
52.) Which three people does Moriarty have snipers set on in "The Reichenbach fall"? John, Mrs. Hudson, Lestrade.
53.) "Every life is a pile of good things and bad things...." complete this quote. "The good things don't always soften the bad things, but vice versa the bad things don't always spoil the good things or make them unimportant."
54.) What kind of car does Dean Winchester drive? DIS ONE!!
55.) What team played in the Quiddich World Cup that Harry attended?
All I know is that Viktor Krum was fabulous.
*He played for the Bulgarian National Quidditch Team, but I can't find the name of the team.
56.) When was Agent Phil Coulson first introduced? What were his first lines? He was introduced in the very first Iron Man. I'm pretty sure his first lines were, "I'm Agent Phil Coulson" or "I'm Agent Phil Coulson with the Strategic Homeland Intervention and Enforcement Logistics Division."
57.) In Merlin, what is the name of the evil spirits that attack Camelot at the beginning of Season Four? Sorry, haven't seen the show. Only the first season, and I got caught up in a multitude of other shows since.
58.) The despised character Jar Jar Binks (who first appears in "The Phantom Menace"), hails from what underwater society found on planet Naboo? He is despised. Why do we care? And I'm not looking it up. It's late. :)
And HARTNELL! William Hartnell was the name of the man who played the first doctor! :-) I REMEMBERED! :)
59.) What political office did Pippin have in Gondor after the War of the Ring? Thane, I believe.
60.) When was Lancelot first introduced? Somewhere in the first season. Like the fourth or fifth episode? It felt early on. I remember thinking I didn't despise him, for a change.
61.) What does Harry want to be after he Graduates from Hogwarts? An Auror.
62.) Which Avenger has no personalized/superhero weapon? This one is tricky, since neither Black Widow NOR the Hulk really have personalized weapons. The Hulk IS a weapon, and the Black Widow MAKES weapons out of anything.
63.) Which Supernatural character shares Dean's birthday? (hint: it's a girl.) Charlie? *Oh, Jess! That's cool. :-)
64.) What three items does Sherlock steal to impersonate a waiter for his clever surprise “reveal” to John Watson at the restaurant? A.) A comb, a fountain pen, and a boutonniere. B.) A monocle, sharpie, and a silk cravat. C.) A bowtie, glasses, and eyebrow pencil.
I'm going to say C., a bowtie, glasses, and eyebrow pencil.
65.) What are some other names used for Gandalf the Grey?
Mithrandir, Gandalf Greyhame, Gandalf Stormcrow. The Dwarves also called him something, and he was also called something like Olorin, somewhere, I think.
66.) What is the the licence plate number on the Winchester's car currently? (NO LOOKING IT UP!) CNK 80Q3? Whoa, I was RIGHT!!
67.) Which Avenger movie did Hawkeye first appear in?
Thor, God of Thunder.
68.) What was the name of the waltz Sherlock played at John and Mary's wedding? The Blue Danube? *I think actually the Blue Danube was the one playing when he was practicing his dancing, but he played a song he composed for John and Mary.
69.) When was the One Ring destroyed? In the Third Age somewhere in the year 3000, I believe. March 25th.
70.) How many years had the Great Dragon been imprisoned when Merlin first entered Camelot? A huge amount of time! *About 20 years, I guess. I asked a sister who has seen it.
71.) Where is the Stark tower located? New York City. Manhattan area?
72.) Who voiced the computer in the TNG? Oh, wasn't it the nurse in the Original Series? What was her name... Nurse Chapel?
73.) There are five ranks of Wizards. What are they? White, Grey, Brown, Red, Blue. Or possibly two blue, no reds.
74.) How did Mary accidentally reveal her true identity to John? (This is for Sherlock, BTW) Didn't she shoot a coin or something that Sherlock threw in the air? And John, who was hiding in the house, saw and realized she was an assassin.
75.) Who is K-9? A mechanical dog belonging originally to the Fourth Doctor, I believe.
77.) What is inscribed upon each side of the sword Excalibur? A Just Question, My Liege. Possibly a variation of "Whosoever pulls this sword from the stone is rightful king of England."
78.) What is Bucky Barnes' full name? James Buchanan Barnes.
79.) What was the gift given to Boromir in Rivendell? In Rivendell? Or Lothlorien? 'Cause I don't recall him getting a gift in Rivendell, but in Lothlorien he received a gold belt and an Elven cloak.
80.) "You were right, okay? I see light at the end of this tunnel..." Finish this quote.
"And I'm sorry you don't." If there's more, I don't know it. :-P
81.) Where did "The Last Battle for Camelot" take place?
82.) What were the names of the Eagles who rescued Sam and Frodo from Mount Doom? A.) Orcrist, Sting and Glamdring. B.) Narsil, Glamdring and Hadhafang. C.) Sting, Anduril and the white Knife of Legolas. D.) Aeglos, Orcrist and Sting. None of the above. I know one was Gwaihir,but the others were Landroval and Meneldor.
AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST: How did Sherlock fake his death?
Don't we wish we knew?!
And that's the end of the tag, folks. Thanks for stopping by and giving it a read!
I came across the following micro-tension exercises by literary agent Donald Maass. He writes about how to create micro-tension in his craft books “The Fire in Fiction” and “Writing 21st Century Fiction.” I’m quoting the following from an article that I found here. I’ll admit to never (yet) consciously applying his ideas, but, since I’m now involved in both a stem-to-stern rewrite of one novel and beginning a new one, I think I’m gonna do it. One exercise that really interests me is the last one below. See what you think.
Micro-Tension exercises by Donald Maass
Pick a passage of dialogue. Strip it down. Increase hostility between the speakers. It can be friendly ribbing, worried questioning, polite disagreement, snide derision, veiled threats, open hostility, or any other degree of friction.
Repeat the prompt above 100 times.
Pick a passage of action—anything from high violence to a stroll in the park. Freeze the action in a sequence of three to five still snapshots. Select a detail from each frame. For each snapshot record your POV character’s precise feelings. Discard obvious emotions. Choose emotions that contrast or conflict. Rewrite the passage.
Repeat the prompt above 50 times.
Pick a passage of exposition. List all of your POV character’s emotions. List all ideas. Discard what’s obvious. Find emotions that conflict. Find ideas at war. Grab what creates unease, uncertainty, fresh worry, new questions, a deeper puzzle, or agonizing dilemma. Rewrite the passage.
Repeat the prompt above 100 times. (If you are a romance writer, repeat 200 times.)
Pick a moment when your protagonist is still, simply waiting or doing nothing. Look around. List three setting details that only this character would notice. Detail her emotions. Find those that conflict or surprise her. What’s this moment’s personal meaning? Write a passage combining snapshot clarity and roiling inner intensity.
Print out your manuscript. Randomize the pages. (In a workshop I attended he suggested throwing them in the air and then pick the randomized pages back up.) Examine each one in isolation. Does it crackle? Are the characters on tiptoe? What question arises that the reader can’t answer? What’s going badly or wrong for your POV character? How does this page tell the whole story? Revise until the tension level is unbearable.
Repeat the prompt above for every page. Yes, seriously.
The other day I watched the terrific documentary SIX BY SONDHEIM. (available streaming on HBO-Go, or on Amazon or iTunes.) It's part biography, part show-biz history, following Sondheim's career guided by six important songs in his life. It's excellent, and I was particularly struck by how many nuggets of wisdom I found, profound insights into not just Sondheim's creative process, but a creative life in general. Though he is writing musicals, obviously, I think that much of this is applicable to novelists as well. Just replace "put on a show" with "publish." You should watch the doccy yourself because I can't do it justice... but I can provide six things that I found worth remembering:
1) On "writing what you know": "Part of the author is always in what he writes, and partly [it's] a work of imagination. It's like what Faulkner said about Observation, Imagination and Experience - you can do without one of them, but you can't do without two."
Sondheim was paraphrasing Faulkner, but yeah. This is good advice. You may not have lived something yourself, but if you have good observation and imagination skills, you can still bring it alive on the page.
2) On harsh reality: At 15, he showed Oscar Hammerstein something he'd written.... Oscar was nice about it, but Stephen said he wanted to get REAL feedback, just like he would rate it against something professional. (Young Stephen thought his own work was terrific, and was pretty sure he was about to be the first 15 year old with a Broadway show.)
Oscar said,"Oh well in that case, this is the worst thing I've ever read." Sounds pretty harsh, but Oscar then went on to show young Stephen point-by-point how his work was failing, and Stephen had to agree. Awkward! But a learning moment. You may not want to hear that your work isn't good enough - but if you are submitting to agents and editors for publication, they will expect your work to be on par with that of a professional.
And even excellent professionals get a LOT of stinging rejections!
3) On imitation: "One of the things he [Oscar] told me to do was not to imitate him. 'If you write what you feel it will come out true. If you write what I feel, it will come out false. Write for yourself and you'll be 90% ahead of everyone else.'"
4) On learning to write: "You can't learn in a classroom and you can't learn on paper. You can only learn by writing and doing. Writing and doing. A friend says 'write something, put it on. Write something, put it on.' -- well, you can't always put it on, but that's the only way to do it. That's how everyone who's ever been good got good.
5) On failure: "I experienced real failure when I did I Hear a Waltz... we thought, well, this'll be an easy job and we'll make a quick buck. Those are reasons never to write a musical.
It was a respectable show. It was not lambasted by the critics. It was politely received by critics, and politely received by audiences, and had no passion, and no blood, and no reason to be. And I learned from that, the only reason to write is from love. You must not write because you think it's going to be a hit or because it's expedient, or anything like that.It's so difficult to write, it's so difficult to put on a show, that if you have the privilege of being able to write it, write it out of passion.
That's what failure taught me." 6) PROTIP: "I work entirely with Blackwing pencils for a number of reasons. One is, it's very soft lead, and therefore wears down very quickly, so you can spend lots of time resharpening. Which is a lot easier and more fun than writing." ;-)
"When I was younger, the future was... different." So says Frank Walker (George Clooney), one of the heroes of Brad Bird's Tomorrowland, in the opening narration that acts as a frame for the film's story. It probably says everything you need to know about this movie that Frank--and the film itself--seem entirely unaware of the irony and self-contradiction inherent in a statement like this, and
Archie Greene and the Magician’s Secret by D. D. Everest takes you into a world where bookshelves are enchanted, librarians have magical powers, and spells aren’t just something to read about in dusty tomes. It’s ideal for kids around the age of 10 who perhaps enjoyed the magic of Harry Potter, but it can also can be enjoyed as a family read with younger children who’ll be excited by mysterious apparitions and strange goings-on.
Various Archie Green covers – from L-R: UK paperback, UK hardback, US
Archie Greene receives a curious birthday present; an old wooden box containing a book written in a language he can’t read, along with the command to return this book to its rightful place on the shelves in the Secret Library. This is the first step on Archie’s journey to meet the family he never knew he had and a band of people dedicated to finding and saving magic books.
Atmospheric and exciting, I enjoyed this book so much I’ve since recommended it to several children in my 8-12 bookgroup. With a paperback edition hitting bookshelves early in June I took the opportunity to interview D.D. Everest about this book.
Playing by the book: Archie Greene and the Magician’s Secret is a wonderful fantasy novel. What is it about fantasy as a genre that appeals to you? I’m especially curious because of your background as a journalist and non-fiction writer, both of which seem to be about as distant as you can get from fantasy… which is maybe part of the answer?
D. D. Everest
D. D. Everest: You’re right. One of the (many) reasons I love the fantasy genre is that it is so far removed from my other work as a journalist. When you deal with dry facts all day it is such a treat to escape to another world of magic and adventure.
But I have always loved magical fantasy. My favourite books growing up were the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. What I love most about those books is the depth and detail that Tolkien gives to the world he creates, the layering of the stories and the myths and the cultures that he describes.
Playing by the book: I love books where true facts coincide with the story and this very much happens in Archie Greene and the Magician’s Secret; John Dee really did exist and was Elizabeth 1’s adviser, and there was indeed a Library of Alexandria which was destroyed by fire. What other truths have you smuggled in to your story? (What other truths did you discover during your research which you would like to have included in your story)
D. D. Everest: I think including real facts and places grounds a story. It connects it to the real world so it feels like you can almost touch it. It’s something I really wanted to do with the Archie books. Using history is a great way to give the story some of that depth that I mentioned before.
John Dee, who is in the first Archie book, was a real person. He was described as Queen Elizabeth I’s court magician. He really did collect books about magic and he did think he could talk to angels. The Great Library of Alexandria is also historically accurate, although the part about Alexander the Great’s magical book collection being kept there is just wishful thinking!
Another historical detail I included in the book is the Great Fire of London. In Archie’s world, the fire was started by a magical experiment that went wrong. That plays a big part in the second book Archie Greene and the Alchemists’ Secret.
Playing by the book: With another hat on you’ve written several non-fiction books. How has writing fiction compared? What’s been more difficult about writing fiction? And what has been more enjoyable? Do you still write non-fiction?
D. D. Everest: Writing fiction is much harder, especially fantasy because you are creating a whole world from your imagination. That world has to be plausible enough for people to believe in it and exciting enough for them to want to read about it.
Writing children’s books is the most challenging of all. Having said that, I don’t write for children as such. I write what I’d like to read. But I hope children will enjoy it.
The best thing about writing for children is that they have such rich imaginations that you have lots of licence to be creative. So, you have a big canvas. But the other side of that is they have very high expectations. They question everything in a way that adults don’t, which means they could get ahead of the plot or find holes in the logic. So you have to work really hard at that.
Playing by the book: Can you share a little of the research you did for Archie Greene and the Magician’s Secret – I imagine you spent time exploring the back streets of Oxford and visiting atmospheric libraries, perhaps even learning some bookbinding skills?
D. D. Everest: Luckily, I was doing some work at the university when I was writing the first book so I was in Oxford quite a lot. I wandered around at night taking lots of photos with my phone. I sometimes show the pictures when I do school events. Again, it grounds the story and makes it feel real.
For example, there is a description of when Archie first goes to the magical bookshop and he crosses a cobbled square and goes into some narrow lanes. If you go to Oxford it is very easy to find that cobbled square!
Playing by the book: Libraries play an important role in Archie Greene and the Magician’s Secret. Can you share a memory/experience of libraries and the role they’ve played in your life?
D. D. Everest: Most of my memories of libraries are of being told to be quiet because I was talking too loudly! That’s probably why I wanted the Museum of Magical Miscellany to be a noisy place, full of children laughing. Books should be exciting and fun. And magical books should be even more exciting and fun, so that’s how I imagined the Museum.
I have been lucky to see some famous libraries like the British Library, which are fabulous places. I’ve always wanted to have my own library – with revolving bookcases and secret passages. Perhaps I will one day!
Playing by the book: Did you always want to be a writer? If you weren’t a writer, would you rather be? (A professional football coach, perhaps?)
D. D. Everest: I have always wanted to be a writer ever since I was very young. I didn’t really know it at the time but looking back I can see it now. I was the kid who wrote pages and pages when the teacher asked us to write a story. My stories were always too long and complicated to finish in the lesson time. I still do that!
When I’m not writing I manage a junior football team. Most of them have been with me since they were about six – they are now 17. They are a great bunch. I’m not sure how good a manager I would be but I do enjoy it, especially on match days.
Playing by the book: What’s the most magical (in any sense) book you’ve read recently?
D. D. Everest: I really enjoyed Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell. It is very imaginative and beautifully written. The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman, is so original. The other really clever book I’ve just read is Lockwood & Co. The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud. He’s a great writer – I loved his Bartimaeus series.
One of many interior illustrations by James de la Rue ffor the hardback edition of Archie Greene and the Magician’s Secret
Playing by the book: What magic trick would you most like to be able to perform?
D. D. Everest: I’d like to be able to vanish, so I could avoid people I don’t want to talk to. I’d love to have a permission wall around my study, too, like the one that protects the Museum of Magical Miscellany so that only people with the secret mark could come in. But best of all I’d love to be able to talk to magical books like Archie!
Playing by the book: Oh, yes I’m with you on that one! Here’s keeping our fingers crossed that such magic comes our way!
If you’d like to receive all my posts from this blog please enter your email address:
No, LumberJanes has nothing to do with purgatory, I’ll tell you a bit about that later.
LumberJanes: Beware the Kitten Holy by Noelle Stevenson and Grace Ellis is a fun graphic novel that brings together teenage girls and camp and adventure. The five girls each has her own special talent whether it be archery or math or puzzles, that she is able to use in their adventure to solve a mystery.
In the end the mystery doesn’t get completely solved, only partially, and we are left with a cliffhanger, which is fine because since this is volume one I presume there is going to be a continuation of the story in volume two. Only thing is, there is no volume two published yet so I’ll have to wait. More than the mystery though is the friendship between the five girls. They are in the adventure together and they work through the obstacles and problem-solving as friends not as individuals competing against each other. There is a section of the story that is very much a play off of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark where it would have been easy to split the group apart but instead we see them stick together, hat and all.
The book is broken up into chapters and each chapter begins with a badge —Up All Night Badge for example — and a page from the LumberJanes field manual talking about the badge and what is required for a LumberJane to acquire it. It should be no surprise that the plot of the chapter takes the adventure along a route that has something to do with the badge.
It’s all in good fun. A fast, easy read with an entertaining story and great artwork, it’s girl power on an every day sort of level. None of the girls are extraordinary nor are their adventures presented as something unusual. In fact, when they find themselves at the nearby boys’ camp, the boys offer them fresh-baked cookies and tea and there is no indication at all that this might somehow be not what boy campers would, should, or could enjoy doing. Check it out for a little afternoon entertainment and then hand it off to a tween/teen girl to enjoy.
Purgatory is deceptively pretty
I am not a LumberJane but I do enjoy a good bike adventure. Bookman was a good sport and took a ride with me today. We went to Purgatory Park. Purgatory has a creek too called Purgatory Creek. It is not a picnic and ballpark park but a wild-ish green patch in the midst of the outer suburbs. It is a trail around wetlands and the creek through trees and generally very nice and woodsy.
I was thinking Purgatory was a pretty pleasant place until we hit the hills. The hills are not big and long but short and steep. One in particular I struggled to get up and wished I had one more gear as I was pedaling as hard as I could and barely moving. I realized after I made it to the top that it might have been a good opportunity to practice standing up and pedaling. By the time I realized this it was too late and it turned out to be our last really hard hill. Oh well. Next time.
All in all, the trip to Purgatory and back was 41.7 miles/67km. Not too shabby.