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1. Week in Review, October 27th-31st

banner weekinreview 550x100 Week in Review, October 27th 31st

This week on hbook.com…

Preview the November/December 2014 issue of The Horn Book Magazine

John Green’s 2014 Sutherland lecture: “Does YA Mean Anything Anymore? Genre in a Digitized World”

Self service“: What self-publishers don’t know about children’s books (Nov./Dec. 2014 editorial)

Board Book Roundup: Fall 2014 Edition

Nonfiction Notes: Unexplained phenomena, memoir, domestic animals, big ideas, and cookery

Reviews of the Week:

  • Picture Book:
  • Fiction: 
  • Nonfiction:
  • App: Millie’s Book of Tricks and Treats Vol. 2

Read Roger: What’s Going On

Out of the Box:

Calling Caldecott:

Lolly’s Classroom: Science and stereotypes

Events calendar

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

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The post Week in Review, October 27th-31st appeared first on The Horn Book.

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2. Comics Illustrator of the Week :: Basil Wolverton







375591-21388-129155-1-basil-wolverton-s-faWeird Mysteries #5





Wolverton Bible 6

The enigmatic comics legend Basil Wolverton(1909-1978) is celebrated this week with the release of IDW’s Artist’s Edition Basil Wolverton’s Weird Worlds. IDW’s series of art books collects the best examples of original comics art that still exists, and reproduces that art at it’s original size(15″ by 22″ for this edition), preserving the little imperfections, and notes that might have been left on the original page. These newly printed artifacts are a perfect way to enjoy work by one of your favorite artists, and it serves as a perfect introduction to new fans.

Wolverton reached the pinnacle of his fame when he won Al Capp‘s legendary ugliest woman contest, drawing Lena the Hyena, which was featured on the cover of Life Magazine. His work was prominently featured in the early issues of Mad Magazine, and his Spacehawk & Powerhouse Pepper strips were published in various Timely comics during the 1930’s & 40’s. In the 1940’s, Basil Wolverton became a minister for Herbert W. Armstrong’s Radio Church of God, which took a literal interpretation of the apocalyptic parts of  the Bible. Some of this point of view is reflected in Wolverton’s work, and that dark side certainly trickled into many of his commercial pieces, as well.

You can read more about the history of artist Basil Wolverton, and his interest in the end times here, which includes words from his son, Monte.

For more comics related art, you can follow me on my website comicstavern.com - Andy Yates

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3. ~HaPpY HaLlOwEeN~

©the enchanted easel 2014
love, sally...and her beloved kitty companion


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4. Artist of the Day: Juanjo Guarnido

Today we look at the work of Juanjo Guarnido, Cartoon Brew's Artist of the Day!

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5. Nick Cartoons Headed to Hulu

Hulu and Nickelodeon's parent company Viacom announced earlier this week a deal that will bring the Nicktoons library to the online streaming service.

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6. What’s up?!


Perhaps you’ve recently tried to access CrazyQuiltEdi only to get the message that the blog was no longer available. I know I was shocked when I tried to access my blog and had a hugely embarrassing messaging stating that I violated Terms of Service. I was forced to carefully read those terms (if you’re a blogger and haven’t recently you should. Many of those books tours are a violation!) It took about a day for WordPress to send me this message on Twitter.


In the meantime, I’m going to be more than a little bit overwhelmed in November. I’m presenting on diverse nonfiction in the Social Studies curriculum at Sycamore Educator’s Day this weekend; Brain Based Library Instruction at Brick and Click in Missouri next weekend and holding a diversity round table at the Indiana Library Federation annual conference in a few weeks. I’ll be be at ALAN at the end of the month and in DC for Thanksgiving.

Yes, this is my #57yearoftravel. Huh?? I was born in 1957 and to help with the math, I turn 57 this year. I’m claiming this as my #57yearoftravel. Since October, I’ve been to Sacramento, Indianapolis and Rogers, Arkansas. The Grand Canyon is my big wish (I missed it when I turned 50, opting rather for a typhoon in Taiwan) and I’d really like to throw in a trip to look at information seeking habits in India or teaching material collections in universities in South Africa or just go to Mozambique and explore children’s literature published there.

For now, for November, this blog may be a bit quiet and I’m sure you can see why. I’m still in business, just working hard elsewhere. I do intend to get up a list of November releases. Please let me know of any titles you’re aware of that I shouldn’t miss. Thanks!

Filed under: Me Being Me

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7. Baby Horn BOO! 2014

In “Horn BOO!” we recommend our favorite new Halloween titles for big(ger) kids; here are some new festive board books for the littlest trick-or-treaters. For more Halloween board books, check out last year’s “Baby Horn BOO!” — and for more great board books to share all year round, see our our fall board book roundup.

rockwell apples and pumpkins Baby Horn BOO! 2014Author Anne Rockwell and illustrator Lizzy Rockwell’s seasonal classic Apples and Pumpkins (1989) follows a pigtailed, rosy-cheeked little girl and her parents on a visit to a local farm, where they pick apples from the orchard and a pumpkin from the patch. On Halloween night, the family puts out their newly carved jack-o’-lantern, the girl’s mother hands out the shiny red apples, and the girl trick-or-treats on their street. As in the original picture book, this new board-book edition showcases the spare text and autumn-hued illustrations with plenty of breathing room. (Little Simon)

dewdney llama llama trick or treat Baby Horn BOO! 2014Anna Dewney’s Llama Llama Trick or Treat is one in a series of six board-book adventures starring the beloved little guy. Here Llama Llama, on a shopping excursion with his llama mama, excitedly scopes out Halloween decorations and other kids’ ensembles. He test-drives costumes (“An astronaut? A bumblebee?”) and picks out the perfect pumpkin. Back at home, he and his friends carve their jack-o’-lanterns and prepare candy to hand out. Llama Llama then goes trick-or-treating in vampire garb and with parents in tow. Dewdney’s brief rhyming text and textured paintings — full of her familiar anthropomorphized animal characters — make for a toddler-friendly introduction to Halloween festivities. (Viking)

fry itsy bitsy pumpkin Baby Horn BOO! 2014In The Itsy Bitsy Pumpkin written by Sonali Fry and illustrated by Sanja Rescek, the titular jack-o’-lantern accidentally rolls away from home. A little-girl witch on her broomstick stops to give the pumpkin a ride back to his patch, where the warm-toned illustrations show him reunited with his smiling jack-o’-lantern family and several friendly critters in Halloween attire. The “Itsy-Bitsy Spider”–based verse may be a bit twee for parents, but toddlers will catch on quickly and sing along. (Little Simon)

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The post Baby Horn BOO! 2014 appeared first on The Horn Book.

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8. Jack London Letter Found In Connecticut Library

Here's some local literary news I missed: A 1905 letter Jack London wrote to his publisher was found in a copy of White Fang among some "rare books in a storage closet" at the Pequot Library in Southington, Connecticut. The book had belonged to the publisher, George Brett, who had a connection to the library.

Either I had to read London's To Build a Fire, or one of my kids did. I recall it being kind of grim. I listened to an audio book of The Call of the Wild and rather liked it, but I was trapped in a car.

Nonetheless, a 100+ year old letter just found in a book... That's worth noting.

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9. I.N.J. Culbard: ‘I do take the story apart and reconstruct it again…’

I.N.J CulbardHave you ever written a scary story? In honor of the Halloween season, we are interviewing horror writers to learn about the craft of scaring readers.

We sat down with comics creator I.N.J. Culbard to discuss his new graphic novel, The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath. Culbard adapted the story from H.P. Lovecraft’s novel. Check out the highlights from our interview below…

Q: How did you land your first book deal?
A: Back in 2004 I was enrolled in The New Recruits programme set up by Dark Horse comics. I had two stories appear in an anthology there and a short while after that, 2000AD publisher Rebellion published a short strip of mine called “Monsters in The Megazine.” Following the work I did there I got in contact with artist D’Israeli, who put me in contact with a long time collaborator of his, Ian Edginton.


New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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10. Halloween boooOOOoooks roundup

all hallows read 2014 Halloween boooOOOoooks roundupHalloween is here — and so are Halloween books! Here are some recent recommended titles for you to share (perhaps through All Hallow’s Read?) with your little goblins.

Horn BOO! 2014

Baby Horn BOO! 2014: Halloween-y board books

Halloween-themed Notes from the Horn Book: 5Q for Julie Berry, eerie places, off-the-wall picture books, atmospheric audiobooks, and YA supernatural baddies

Millie’s Book of Tricks and Treats Vol. 2 app

Click on the tag Halloween books for previous years’ recommendations.

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The post Halloween boooOOOoooks roundup appeared first on The Horn Book.

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11. ‘The Cat with Hands’ by Robert Morgan

A cat wants to become human.

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12. ‘Sesame Street’ Team Parodies ‘Harry Potter’

The Sesame Street gang stars in a Harry Potter parody called “Furry Potter and The Goblet of Cookies.” Cookie Monster plays the title role; he is guided by the wise Professor Crumblemore.

We’ve embedded the funny clip above–what do you think? In the past, the team behind Sesame Street has created parodies inspired by The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Les Miserables, and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. (via Bustle)

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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13. Disney Employees Go All-Out For Halloween

Some Disney employees who work in Imagineering got an early jump on Pixar's next film "Inside Out" and dressed up as the film's main characters.

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14. October Reflections

In October, I read 52 books.

Board books, picture books, early readers:

  1. The Midnight Library. Kazuno Kohara. 2014. Roaring Brook. 32 pages. [Source: Library] 
  2. Say Hello Like This! Mary Murphy. Candlewick. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy] 
  3. The Good-Pie Party. Elizabeth Garton Scanlon. Illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton. 2014.Scholastic. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy] 
  4. My Pet Book. Bob Staake. 2014. Random House. 40 pages. [Source: Review copy] 
  5. A Bunny in the Ballet. Robert Beck. 2014. Scholastic. 40 pages. [Source: Review copy] 
  6. Frances Dean Who Loved To Dance and Dance. Birgitta Sif. 2014. Candlewick. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy]   
  7. Druthers. Matt Phelan. 2014. Candlewick. 32 pages. [Source: Review Copy]  
  8. Alexander, Who's Trying His Best To Be The Best Boy Ever. Judith Viorst. Illustrated by Isidre Mones. Simon & Schuster. 40 pages. [Source: Library] 
  9. The Way to the Zoo. John Burningham. 2014. Candlewick. 40 pages. [Source: Review copy] 
  10. The Mouse Who Ate The Moon. Petr Horacek. 2014. Candlewick. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy]    
  11. Can You Say It Too? Roar! Roar! Sebastien Braun. 2014. Candlewick. 10 pages. [Source: Review copy]  
  12. Can You Say It Too? Growl! Growl!  Sebastien Braun. 2014. Candlewick. 10 pages. [Source: Review copy]  
  13. Open Wide. Stephen Krensky. Illustrated by James Burks. 2014. Scholastic. 14 pages. [Source: Review copy] 
  14. Bizzy Bear's Big Building Book. Benji Davies. 2014. Candlewick. 8 pages. [Source: Review copy] 
Middle grade and young adult fiction and nonfiction:
  1. The Night Gardener. Jonathan Auxier. 2014. Abrams. 350 pages. [Source: Library]
  2. West of the Moon. Margi Preus. 2014. Abrams. 224 pages. [Source: Library]
  3. The Right Fight. Chris Lynch. 2014. Scholastic. 192 pages. [Source: Library]
  4. Gabriel Finley and the Raven's Riddle. George Hagen. 2014. Random House. 384 pages. [Source: Review Copy]
  5. Grave Mercy. Robin LaFevers. 2012. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 560 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  6. Sky Jumpers. Peggy Eddleman. 2013. Random House. 288 pages. [Source: Review copy]  
  7. Howl's Moving Castle. Diana Wynne Jones. 1986. 336 pages. [Source: Bought] 
  8. Sniffer Dogs: How Dogs (And Their Noses) Save The World. Nancy F. Castaldo. 2014. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 160 pages. [Source: Review copy]  
  9. The Case of the Stolen Sixpence. Holly Webb. Illustrated by Marion Lindsay. 2014. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 176 pages. [Source: Review copy] 
  10. The Only Thing To Fear. Caroline Tung Richmond. 2014. Scholastic. 288 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  11. The Forbidden Flats (Sky Jumpers #2) Peggy Eddleman. 2014. Random House. 288 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  12. A Creature of Moonlight. Rebecca Hahn. 2014. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 313 pages. [Source: Review copy]  
  13. The Madman of Piney Woods. Christopher Paul Curtis. 2014. Scholastic. 384 pages. [Source: Review copy]  
  14. The Magic Half. Annie Barrows. 2007. Bloomsbury. 212 pages. [Source: Library] 
  15. Magic in the Mix. Annie Barrows. 2014. Bloomsbury. 288 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  16. The Orphan and the Mouse. Martha Freeman. Illustrated by David McPhail. 2014. Holiday House. 220 pages. [Source: Library] 
  17. Thursdays with the Crown. (Castle Glower #3) Jessica Day George. 2014. Bloomsbury. 224 pages. 
Adult fiction and nonfiction:
  1. An Autobiography. Agatha Christie. 1977/1996. Berkley. 635 pages. [Source: Bought] 
  2. Children in the Holocaust: Their Secret Diaries. Laurel Holliday, ed. 1996. 432 pages. [Source: Library]  
  3. Silver Like Dust. Kimi Cunningham Grant. 2012. Pegasus. 288 pages. [Source: Library] 
  4. Frankenstein. Mary Shelley. 1818/1831. Oxford World's Classics. 250 pages. [Source: Bought] 
  5. Lady Susan, The Watsons, Sandition. Jane Austen. 1975. Penguin. 211 pages. [Source: Bought] 
  6. A Tale of Two Cities. Charles Dickens. 1854/2003. Bantam Classics. 382 pages. [Source: Bought]
  7. Dancers in Mourning. Margery Allingham. 1937. 337 pages. [Source: Bought]
  8. The Eye of the World (Wheel of Time #1) Robert Jordan. 1990. Tor. 814 pages. [Source: Bought] 
  9. All Clear. Connie Willis. 2010. Random House. 645 pages. [Source: Bought]
Christian fiction and nonfiction: 
  1. The Night Gardener. Jonathan Auxier. 2014. Abrams. 350 pages. [Source: Library]
  2. The Hiding Place. Corrie Ten Boom. With John and Elizabeth Sherrill. 1971/1984/1995. Chosen. 228 pages. [Source: Bought] 
  3. Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God. J.I. Packer. 1961/1991. IVP. 126 pages. [Source: Bought]
  4. The Wall Around Your Heart: How Jesus Heals You When Others Hurt You. Mary DeMuth. 2013. Thomas Nelson. 256 pages. [Source: Bought]  
  5. Key Words of the Christian Life. Warren W. Wiersbe. 2002. Baker Books. 130 pages. [Source: Bought]
  6. The Adventure of Christmas: Helping Children Find Jesus in Our Holiday Traditions. Lisa Whelchel. Illustrated by Jeannie Mooney. 2004. Multnomah Books. 72 pages. [Source: Library] 
  7. When Love Calls. (The Gregory Sisters #1) Lorna Seilstad. 2013. Revell. 338 pages. [Source: Bought] 
  8. While Love Stirs. Lorna Seilstad. 2014. Revell. 341 pages. [Source: Bought]  
  9. Loving Jesus More. Philip Graham Ryken. Crossway. 176 pages. [Source: Crossway.]  
  10. Rich Mullins: An Arrow Pointing to Heaven (A Devotional Biography). James Bryan Smith. 2000. B&H. 272 pages. [Source: Bought]
  11. Read the Bible for Life: Your Guide to Understanding and Living God's Word. George H. Guthrie. 2011. B&H Books. 338 pages. [Source: Bought]  
  12. A Bride in Store. Melissa Jagears. 2014. Bethany House. 363 pages. [Source: Review copy]
© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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15. Flogometer for Yvonne—are you compelled to turn the page?

Submissions Needed. None in the queue for next week. If you’d like a fresh look at your opening chapter or prologue, please email your submission to me re the directions at the bottom of this post.

The Flogometer challenge: can you craft a first page that compels me to turn to the next page? Caveat: Please keep in mind that this is entirely subjective.

Note: all the Flogometer posts are here.

What's a first page in publishingland? In a properly formatted novel manuscript (double-spaced, 1-inch margins, 12-point type, etc.) there should be about 16 or 17 lines on the first page (first pages of chapters/prologues start about 1/3 of the way down the page). Directions for submissions are below—they include a request to post the rest of the chapter, but that’s optional.

A word about the line-editing in these posts: it’s “one-pass” editing, and I don’t try to address everything, which is why I appreciate the comments from the FtQ tribe. In a paid edit, I go through each manuscript three times.

Storytelling Checklist

Before you rip into today’s submission, consider this list of 6 vital storytelling ingredients from my book, Flogging the Quill, Crafting a Novel that Sells. While it's not a requirement that all of these elements must be on the first page, they can be, and I think you have the best chance of hooking a reader if they are.

Evaluate the submission—and your own first page—in terms of whether or not it includes each of these ingredients, and how well it executes them. The one vital ingredient not listed is professional-caliber writing because that is a must for every page, a given.

  • Story questions
  • Tension (in the reader, not just the characters)
  • Voice
  • Clarity
  • Scene-setting
  • Character

Yvonne sends a first chapter of Fugue The rest of the chapter follows the break.

Lakeview Neighborhood, Chicago

Even the rain was just a broken thing in her screwed up mind; Lake Michigan transmogrified into suicidal shards. The deluge coated her picture window at dawn, materializing in Viola Collier’s dream as syncopated percussion gone wrong. 


The nightmare music had felt so real that Viola was certain she had been working still. She massaged her neck, cranked at an unnatural angle from sleeping in her chair as a bombastic measure of thunder rattled her studio apartment, assuring her she was awake now to deal with her real nightmare.

Ugly peg stubs. Nasty skin comb-over. Disgusting.

Viola surveyed her legs, never getting used to the fact that they ended at her knees now. Three years and she still woke each morning believing she was whole, phantom feet ready to bolt for a quick shower before rehearsal. But everything had ended with her accident: Her career, her ease of life, her bourgeoning relationship with Andrew… everything.

The train: She needed more from the horns to bring it to life. And the rhythm that had seemed so perfect last night was all wrong this morning. The rain had shown her that.

 Courtyard light cast shadows of fat raindrops onto her bedroom walls. The light was murky, as if coffee tracked down her windows in continuous rivulets, but it was just bright (snip)

Were you compelled to turn Yvonne's first page?

Very nice writing and voice, and you introduce a hugely sympathetic character. Yet there’s no story question raised, nothing happening other than waking up. If you can do without the dream reference and just get into something happening that raises a story question about what’s going to happen to her next, this would be a winner. I gave it an Almost tending to Yes. Notes:

Even the rain was just a broken thing in her screwed up mind; Lake Michigan transmogrified into suicidal shards. The deluge coated her picture window at dawn, materializing in Viola Collier’s dream as syncopated percussion gone wrong. 


The nightmare music had felt so real that Viola was certain she had been working still. She massaged her neck, cranked at an unnatural angle from sleeping in her chair as a bombastic measure of thunder rattled her studio apartment, assuring her she was awake now to deal with her real nightmare.

Ugly peg stubs. Nasty skin comb-over. Disgusting. This briefly took me out of the story. Yes, the next line fills in the gap, but I still had to stop and think about it. I suggest you try preceding this paragraph with the first sentence of the next one, then return to the “three years…”

Viola surveyed her legs, never getting used to the fact that they ended at her knees now. Three years and she still woke each morning believing she was whole, phantom feet ready to bolt for a quick shower before rehearsal. But everything had ended with her accident: Her career, her ease of life, her bourgeoning relationship with Andrew… everything.

The train: She needed more from the horns to bring it to life. And the rhythm that had seemed so perfect last night was all wrong this morning. The rain had shown her that.

Courtyard light cast shadows of fat raindrops onto her bedroom walls. The light was murky, as if coffee tracked down her windows in continuous rivulets, but it was just bright (snip) I would cut these two lines to get the reader more imbedded into what’s going on by going directly to this from the next page:

She needed to hurry before the lines of the last movement dissipated into smoke. The distorted rhythm of her dreams presented her with what was lacking: The adagio was too harsh. A softer reticence to act as portent, that’s what Viola needed.

 Comments, please?

For what it’s worth.


Submitting to the Flogometer:

Email the following in an attachment (.doc, .docx, or .rtf preferred, no PDFs):

  1. your title
  2. your complete 1st chapter or prologue plus 1st chapter
  3. Please include in your email permission to post it on FtQ.
  4. Note: I’m adding a copyright notice for the writer at the end of the post. I’ll use just the first name unless I’m told I can use the full name.
  5. Also, please tell me if it’s okay to post the rest of the chapter so people can turn the page.
  6. And, optionally, include your permission to use it as an example in a book on writing craft if that's okay.
  7. If you’re in a hurry, I’ve done “private floggings,” $50 for a first chapter.
  8. If you rewrite while you wait for your turn, it’s okay with me to update the submission.

Flogging the Quill © 2014 Ray Rhamey, story © 2014 Yvonne



enough for her to work.  She needed to hurry before the lines of the last movement dissipated into smoke. The distorted rhythm of her dreams presented her with what was lacking: The adagio was too harsh. A softer reticence to act as portent, that’s what Viola needed. 

Time to summon Andrew back to her.

Viola inhaled a deep breath, taking in the same air that Andrew too breathed somewhere else in the city. It was the only connection they shared now, across neighborhoods and skyscrapers and trains and Chicago’s thriving pulse that continued to beat without her, somewhere he breathed her air. Loving a ghost is what it was.  His absence was present in every note but her music returned him to her too, an irony she could never explain:  The slight hollow beneath his cheek bones commissioned by the spot light, the wild halo his hair formed in mid-pirouette, the soft rage emanating from him when he danced, when he approached her. These were her worst moments, when Andrew was so real again. They created her most inspired work.

They say you’re Balanchine’s grandson. Is it true?

The pen was still in her hand, a relic from last night’s furious pace. Her fingers ached when she stretched them.  Wheeling herself to the back corner where the wall met the window, Viola allowed a cool draft gusting through the closed window to dry her sweaty face. Wall space was running out and soon she would need to shimmy to the floor to work from there.  But for now, she remained seated, last night’s work pleading with her to be completed. Again, she lost herself to her music.

More intensity. Impending ruin…grinding. Just more. The wall as her pallet was no longer before her.  Viola waited at the Diversey Street Station now, standing on the platform with ichor and blood running through her legs, the hinge of her ankles neatly propelling her upright. She smiled into the warm air of the arriving El train as it blew back her hair on the day she was going to rehearse with Andrew, but instead, never saw him again.

Outside, the wind blew and the courtyard trees danced a tribal dance and the sky boiled in the dark, but Viola was elsewhere as the room sobbed and sobbed and sobbed around her.

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16. Dialogue

How to make your dialogue sound as kids would really say those words. 


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17. What if Cats Had Starred in ‘Gone Girl’?

What would have happened if director David Fincher had casted cats for the Gone Girl adaptation? The feline fans that run the Pet Collective YouTube channel posted a “cute kitty version” of Gillian Flynn’s thriller story. We’ve embedded the full short film above—what do you think? (via Vanity Fair)

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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18. Boo! Happy Halloween!

Wishing you a happy and safe Halloween!

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19. Sweet News in Diversity

Happy Halloween everyone! We’ve got something even better than treats today: great news in diversity!

Appltim cooke CEO Tim Cook recently came out in an editorial published by Bloomberg Businessweek, saying that he is “proud to be gay,” and making him the first openly gay leader of a major U.S. company. This was the first time Cook addressed his orientation publicly, saying, “I don’t consider myself an activist, but I realize how much I’ve benefited from the sacrifice of others,” Cook wrote. “So if hearing that the CEO of Apple is gay can help someone struggling to come to terms with who he or she is, or bring comfort to anyone who feels alone, or inspire people to insist on their equality, then it’s worth the trade-off with my own privacy.” With more states and people accepting gay marriage and supporting LGBTQ rights, Cook’s move is inspirational and will hopefully lead to more acceptance within the workplace.

Marvel announces next phase of superhero movies

From left: Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther), and Chris Evans (Captain America) at a Marvel event in Hollywood

Marvel just recently announced their next phase of superhero movies and we’re excited to see that it’s going to include a Black Panther movie! The Black Panther (T’Challa) was the first black superhero in American comics. We’re also looking forward to seeing Jason Momoa as Aquaman and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman! DC announced that Momoa would be playing Aquaman in the highly anticipated “Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice,” and the Wonder Woman movie will premier in 2017.

Have you heard more good news in diversity? Let us know in the comments!



Filed under: Diversity, Diversity, Race, and Representation, Lee & Low Likes, Musings & Ponderings Tagged: apple, apple ceo, aquaman, batman vs superman, black panther, dawn of justice, DC, gal gadot, jason momoa, marvel, superheroes, tim cook, wonder woman

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20. A New Golden Age Of Storytelling


“This is the opportunity we all have in front of us: to redefine storytelling for an always-on world. It is a new Golden Age with an ever-changing set of disruptive technologies that offer creative talent the opportunity to try new things and figure out what works.”

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21. My Little Pony 24

My Contributor Copies for  My Little Pony #24 Arrived~! I was SUPER happy IDW gave me the chance to create in the world of Ponies and draw chickens! !~Thanks so much~!

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22. Smithsonian Picks An Interim Leader

Horvath, Albert (Acting Secy)

“The Smithsonian Institution has appointed Albert G. Horvath, its current senior finance official, as its acting leader for the first half of next year, until the incoming secretary, David J. Skorton, can take up his position in July.”

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23. Let's Go: Taiwan Trip with Artist Ming Franz

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Spring Garden; Splash Ink Watercolor
with Gouache on Mulberry Paper
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Happy Halloween! I can't believe it's been 3 weeks since my last blog post. Put it down to an overly-busy day job; going out of town for a bit; too many birthday parties to attend (including my blog's 6th anniversary--6 years!); getting ready for NaNoWriMo 2014 (cannot believe I've signed up again); and of course the fantastic Handsprings SCBWI conference here in Albuquerque last weekend--an amazing, and very tiring, event. I'll try to post some of my impressions from the conference next week, but for now my big news is:

I'm going to Taiwan next year! Best of all, there's still some room left on the tour for more friends of the arts to join up. Here's a sampling of info from the trip brochure:

Art and Scenic Tour of Taiwan with Ming Franz
March 25th to April 7, 2015

<!--[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE <![endif]-->Ming Franz is an artist who is a native of Taiwan. This is her second tour leading artists to Taiwan. This tour will take you to visiting museums, art galleries, art studios and beautiful tropical Taiwan. 2 days flight, 12 days tour. 

Fees includes round trip air fare from San Francisco to Taipei, 12 days 4-5 star hotels, restaurants, tour bus and guide, all park and museum fees and tax, also basic medical insurance. Total is $3500 USD.  

Please go to her website to see the travel itinerary at www.mingfranzstudio.com, click on "Events" section. Feel free to contact her for questions at mingfranz555@gmail.com or 505-281-4956.

So what do you think?? Fun, or what?

I met Ming Franz last year when I took her Splash Ink Watercolor class through the UNM continuing education department. The class literally changed my entire approach to art-making, allowing me to be much more comfortable with who I am as an artist, rather than trying to constantly live up to my often unrealistic expectations. I know this is going to be a wonderful trip; I've never had the opportunity to visit any part of Asia, and I've never had the chance to seriously travel with other artists. I can't imagine what it must be like to be allowed to sketch unhindered and at leisure--usually my experiences have been people telling me to a) hurry up, and b) why can't you just take a photograph and draw at home? 

I really can't wait to start packing. In the meantime, we still have several months ahead, and I'm sure there's plenty to do till then, beginning, of course, with National Novel Writing Month tomorrow. Start flexing those plot muscles!

A Little Bird Told Me; Splash Ink Watercolor
 with Gouache on Mulberry Paper

Tip of the Day: Even if you can't make the trip, you can still be an "armchair traveler" by reading Ming's book, Splash Ink with Watercolor; Looking East, Painting West and visiting her website. Her artwork will inspire you on many levels. Personally I think they make amazing writing prompts. Just place your characters in one of her settings and let the magic begin!

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24. Junket is Nice

Junket is Nice
Author & Illustrator: Dorothy Kunhardt
Publisher: New York Review Children’s Collection
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-1-59017-628-3
Pages: 72
Price: $16.95

Buy it at Amazon

Junket is a milk-based dessert, made with sweetened milk and rennet, the digestive enzyme which curdles milk. It might best be described as a custard or a very soft, sweetened cheese. And in Junket is Nice, an old man with a red beard and red slippers is eating it from a very large, red bowl.

When all the people of the world assemble around him, he asks them to tell him what he’s thinking. The first one to guess correctly will get something nice. But first he tells them three things he’s not thinking of. As they all make their guesses, a young boy on a tricycle watches and thinks.

Junket is Nice is pure absurdity and nonsense in a whimsical package. It’s filled with repetition, silly pictures and concepts, and too much food at one time. Originally published in 1933, this classic has been out of print and only recently reintroduced by the New York Review. If this was one of the best-loved books on your childhood bookcase, it’s time to share it with your own kids.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

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25. How to Write and Sell Your Fantasy & Science Fiction — Nov. 10 Boot Camp (w/Critiques) Taught by Fuse Literary

There has never been a better time to be a Sci-Fi / Fantasy author. With television shows like Battlestar Galactica, Game of Thrones and Outlander each in turn becoming massive pop culture phenomena, and Marvel’s superhero films dominating the box office, SF/F has gone mainstream like never before. The SF/F literary marketplace has also become more open to a variety of stories and points of view.

The SF/F agents of Fuse Literary (formerly Foreword Literary) will help you perfect your new Sci-Fi, Fantasy or Horror masterpiece in this online boot camp titled “How to Write and Sell Your Fantasy & Science Fiction.” It starts on Nov. 10, and all registrants will get individualized agent critiques as well as have the chance to ask the agent instructors any questions they wish.

Among the topics that will be discussed:

  • How to build a unique and memorable fictional world that will entice an agent
  • How to craft a compelling, high-stakes plot that keeps the reader engaged
  • How to create refreshing and dynamic characters
  • How to find agents seeking SF/F manuscripts
  • How to avoid common pitfalls in your query letter and sample pages
  • How to rein in an out-of-control word count
  • How to lay the groundwork for an epic series in your first book. Sign up for the boot camp here.

After the seminar lecture, we will be available to answer any questions you may have about the SF/F market or the publishing process. Then the agents from Fuse Literary will critique the query letter and first five double-spaced pages from all registrants. Don’t miss this opportunity to get the inside scoop on genre publishing!

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PLEASE NOTE: A few works discussed as examples in our presentation will include A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin, Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey, Dune by Frank Herbert, and Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor. It’s not necessary to have read any or all of these books, but a passing familiarity with at least a few of them will be helpful.

Only registered students can access the discussion sessions. You’ll also be able to ask questions of your fellow students. Feel free to share your work and gain support from your peers

Please note that any one of the agents may ask for additional pages if the initial submission shows serious promise.

In addition to feedback from agents, attendees will also receive:

— Download of “An Agent’s Tips on Story Structures that Sell,” an on-demand webinar by literary agent Andrea Hurst
— 1-year subscription to the WritersMarket.com literary agent database

About Fuse Literary:

Fuse Literary is a full-service, hybrid literary agency based in the Silicon Valley with offices in New York City, Chicago, San Diego, and Vancouver. We blend the tried-and-true methods of traditional publishing with the brash new opportunities engendered by digital publishing, emerging technologies, and an evolving author-agent relationship. Sign up for the boot camp here.

Fuse manages a wide variety of clients, from bestsellers to debut authors, working with fiction and non-fiction for children and adults worldwide. We combine technical efficiency with outside-the-covers creative thinking so that each individual client’s career is specifically fine-tuned for them.

Agent Laurie McLean is a partner at Fuse Literary. She spent 20 years as the CEO of a publicity agency and 8 years as an agent and senior agent at Larsen Pomada Literary Agents in San Francisco. At Fuse, Laurie specializes in adult genre fiction plus middle-grade and young adult children’s books. Her SF/F clients include the New York Times and USA Today bestselling YA author Julie Kagawa, bestselling fantasy and science fiction author Michael J. Sullivan, and award-winning steampunk and fantasy authors Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris.http://www.writersdigest.com/wp-admin/post-new.php

Agent Connor Goldsmith is an associate agent at Fuse Literary, part of the firm’s New York office. He began his career in publishing as an associate agent at Lowenstein Associates. At Fuse, Connor specializes in adult genre and commercial fiction, in addition to select literary fiction and nonfiction titles. His SF/F clients include award-winning romantic fantasy author Jeffe Kennedy and upcoming debut SF/F authors Claire Humphrey, Alex White, and Cass Morris.

Please note: Both Laurie McLean and Connor Goldsmith will be participating in the online discussion sessions together on the same boards. There is no need to request to ask questions to one or the other beforehand. If you ask a question, both Laurie and Connor will be able to reply to you based on their expertise. However, only Connor Goldsmith will be critiquing submissions.

Sign up for the boot camp here.

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