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<<August 2015>>
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1. Monsters Come to Life in the Goosebumps Trailer

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2. Are we there, Yeti?

Be warned.  This could be an ear-worm trailer.

Are We There, Yeti? by Ashlyn Anstee

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3. Cover Revealed for New Alexandra Sirowy Book

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4. Interview (Part 3) With Ashley Hope Pérez, Author of OUT OF DARKNESS

Happy Monday! We're back again today with the final installment in our interview with the wonderfully articulate and interesting Ashley Hope Pérez, who has stopped by on her blog tour for her forthcoming novel Out of Darkness. The story is based on... Read the rest of this post

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5. Take the Dog Out! - a bookwrap

Come on now....really? This is not what your dog had in mind I am sure.

Unwrapping a little humour for you...


Authored by Lynne Dempsey and Illustrated by Mandy Newman-Cobb

Unwrapping the illustrations...
( I just loved them)

About the book...

Anyone who is a dog owner can certainly relate to this charming tale.  Coco, an adorable puppy, is full of vim and vigor and NEEDS to go out for a walk.  She expresses her desire in doggie fashion by interrupting mom's baking session in the kitchen, annoying dad while he's trying to have some "me" time with his newspaper and harassing Grandma in the bathroom by swaddling her with toilet paper.  Coco causes chaos with the other family members as well and the entire family scrambles to right her energetic puppy wrongsdoings.

 Finally, after a family gathering consisting of chasing down and glaring at the poor little puppy, they and realize the error of their ways. Collectively they decide to go burn off some of that negative energy that has accumulated and decide that the whole lot of them needs to get outside on this beautiful day and take care of business...doggy business that is!  I love a happy ending!

The illustrations are playful, full of zest and zeal, and very expressive.  You love Coco the first time you meet her and you cheer her along as she goes from one fiasco to the next.  This story could be labelled educational as it is the perfect time to teach children about the responsibility of not only loving but caring for a pet.  

Be sure to read the back of the book first because you are thrown a challenge.  You are asked by the author to look for bones, barks and the colour red on every page.  There is also a word list there to challenge sight vocabulary skills and an star award that can be autographed claiming the book has been read.   I loved it!

About the author...

LYNNE DEMPSEY is the award-winning author of the TAKE THE DOG OUT series. 

TAKE THE DOG OUT! is a Readers' Favorite 2014 Gold Medal Winner, a 2014 USA Best Book Award-Winning Finalist, and a 2015 International Book Awards Finalist. NUMBERS! is also a 2015 International Book Awards Finalist.

Her pictures books have fun illustrations and sight words for ages 3-5. In addition to reading the story, a child can find hidden dog bones in the pictures. Her books include TAKE THE DOG OUT!, NUMBERS!, and COLORS!

"As a mother of two, I know it can be difficult to get children to read. Sometimes, they get frustrated. My goal is to build their reading confidence. I want to make kids giggle while they learn. Reading is fun!"

Lynne lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, their two children, and their dog, Coconut. Coco is the inspiration for the picture book series.

Visit her website and sign up for her free newsletter at www.takethedogout.com.

Read on and read always!

It's a wrap.

Conact me at storywrapsblog@gmail.com

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6. Marvel to Publish the Guardians of Infinity Series

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7. Fab Four Friends

Fab Four Friends: The Boys Who Became The Beatles. Susanna Reich. 2015. Henry Holt. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy]

I love the Beatles, have spent several decades loving the Beatles, so I was quite excited to read Susanna Reich's picture book biography of the fab four. She introduces each Beatle individually, starting with John, of course. As each one meets John and joins the band, his story is then told in some detail. It is a partial biography, not a full one. The book concludes circa 1963 with the Beatles just beginning to become HUGE in England. (Think Love Me Do and Please, Please Me.)

The details are age-appropriate, in case you're curious. If you're familiar with the Beatles--as a group, or as individuals--then you know that there is plenty that could have been said, could have been shared, for a mature adult audience. The book captures them at their innocent best.

I've read a handful of books about the Beatles--mainly biographies--over the years, and this one did a good job with the basics. I liked the simple approach for a younger audience. Though this one would definitely be a picture book for older readers, and not a book ideal for preschool read aloud.

The Illustrations are by Adam Gustavson. I spent time looking at each spread of this picture book, absorbing the details in the text and in the illustration. I've spent plenty of time looking at photographs of the Beatles--I had a new Beatles calendar for several years in a row. So what did I think of the illustrations? I liked them for the most part. There were one or two that I thought were practically perfect. But I couldn't really say that of each and every page. Still, I liked the illustrations overall.

If used in a classroom, this one would pair well with the first Beatles Anthology album. Students could listen to "early" recordings of the Beatles.

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Atlanta, GA Labor Day Weekend

Convention Dates are Fri(9/4/15), Sat(9/5/15), Sun(9/6/15), and Mon(9/7/15)
Cinda Williams Chima

FRIDAY Sept 4, 2015
Title:Autograph Session
Time: Fri 02:30 pm Location: International Hall South - Marriott (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Cinda Williams Chima)
The Missing Volume Books will have my books for sale during the con. Visit them at Americasmart Building 2
Booth 1301-1303 1400-1402
Bring your own books or you can buy from them!

Title: YA Urban and Contemporary Fantasy
Description: Fantasy isn't just dragons and knights - come see how contemporary characters and places feature in young adult fantasy!
Time: Fri 04:00 pm Location: A707 - Marriott (Length:1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Delilah S. Dawson, Gwenda M Bond, Zac Brewer, Christi J. Whitney, Cinda Williams Chima, A. J. Hartley)

SATURDAY Sept 5, 2015
Title: LGBTQA in YA
Description: Our popular annual panel about LGBTQA characters and themes in YA, including loads of book recommendations!
Time: Sat 11:30 am Location: A707 - Marriott (Length:1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Zac Brewer, Shaun David Hutchinson, Alexandra Duncan, Cinda Williams Chima)

Title: Finding the Teen/Middle Grade Reader Within
Description: How does an adult develop strategies and write novels that kids will relate to? Is the YA market feasible for you?
Time: Sat 01:00 pm Location: Embassy D-F - Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Stephen L. Antczak, Cinda Williams Chima, Mari Mancusi, Lisa Mantchev, E. C. Myers, Sara Raasch, James Hugh Reeves)

SUNDAY Sept 6, 2015
Title:Reading: Cinda Williams Chima
Time: Sun 11:30 am Location: Marietta - Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Cinda Williams Chima)
Will be reading from FLAMECASTER (coming 5 April 2016)

Title: Autographing
The Missing Volume
Time: Sunday  3:00 PM
Location: Americasmart Building 2
Booth 1301-1303 1400-1402
They will have books for sale!

I will be giving away a limited number of FLAMECASTER ARCs during the con as well as a few other goodies. .

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9. Synopsis 45

The Actaids are the four gods who keep order in the world. The Lord of Life keeps domain over all life on Earth. The King of Corpses dwells over death. [Does "dwell over" mean what you think it means?] The Baroness of Balance keeps order and harmony among the people. The Girl of Gifts gives humans their animal forms by their eighth birthday. [Change their name to The Actaids of Alliteration.] Rae, the half-dog, and his sister Arella, the half-coyote, break every law trying to survive while their father leads the rebellion against the weasel King Nalvero. [Is King Nalvero a weasel or half weasel? (I assume there are full weasels on this world.)] The two cause as much trouble for Nalvero’s soldiers, the Red Guards, as they can.

One day, however, they go too far. [Not clear what that means. What did they do?] The Red Guards trap them in a forest and set it on fire. The pair is rescued by a strange, young girl who resides in the forest. This stranger however, turns out to be more than she appears; she is the only human teenager on earth. [Wait, we're on Earth? And there's only one human teenager?] Rae and Arella plan to use the girl’s unique fighting skills and frightening appearance to help break their father out of jail. [The father is leading the rebellion from jail?] The young girl agrees to go, under the impression they know of someone who can help her obtain her animal form and become normal. Having lived alone in the forest for quite some time, she refuses to even give the pair her name. [I don't see the connection between having lived alone and refusing to give her name.] The group encounters Red Guards, a bounty hunter, curses, and several battles on their journey. Throughout their adventures [Meanwhile], King Nalvero consults with the King of Corpses through black magic and places numerous obstacles to stop the group on their mission. The King’s plans fail as the young girl begins to open up as she slowly bonds with Rae and Arella. [I don't see the connection between the plans failing and the slow bonding,] On the night before their father’s execution, [If Nalvero wanted to stop their mission, he should have moved the execution time up to immediately.] the group finds shelter with a canine tribe. The young girl even reveals her name -Ana. However, she quickly retracts her trust as she learns of Rae and Arella’s plan to use her. [Unfortunately, it's too late to retract the crucial revelation that her name is Ana.] The tribe is then captured by King Nalvero, who pretends to care for Ana as a part of a scheme devised by the King of Corpses. The whole setup turns out to be a trap as Nalvero reveals his malicious plan to kill them all. Just when Rae is about to be executed, [Rae? What about the father? Was he executed?] Ana realizes she does care about them and a great power surges up from deep inside her. [It is the Custodian of Colons.] She levels Nalvero’s army with just a wave of her hand. The trio realizes Ana’s great power and appearance must be a part of a well-known prophecy. They decide to travel together and push forward towards their destinies as a team. [What about the Dogs of Defense? Did they get killed? If so, change it. No one will want to read about dogs or even half-dogs being killed.]


I don't see the point of starting with the Actaids. First of all, only the King of Corpses gets mentioned as part of the plot, so he's the only one worth mentioning. Secondly, his role in the plot is minor, so even he isn't worth mentioning. And thirdly, the name "King of Corpses" sounds so silly that even if he were worth mentioning, mentioning him would kill your chances of selling the book. In fact, all the Actaids have silly deal-killing names. If they play a big role in the book, give them real names. We don't say God of Thunder, God of the Sky, God of the Sea. We say Thor, Uranus, Aquaman.

I realize that Superman often teams up with Batman, but that's just because he feels sorry for the guy. He doesn't need Batman. Likewise, if Ana can level armies with a wave of her hand, she doesn't need to be part of a trio with Dogbert and Wile E. You've given Ana unlimited power, without showing anything the other two can do beyond annoying the Red Guards.

You could condense this into the brief summary you include within your query letter. Once you get rid of the Actaids and the unnecessary information (e.g. The girl refuses to reveal her name. The girl reveals her name.) it should be about the right length for that. I recommend querying those who want you to include a synopsis only as a last resort. Better to focus your efforts on your book than on a synopsis.

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10. Font Nerd Table comic, thoughts on font faces and my favorite Comic Sans song ever

For those interested, the Font Nerd Table comic above is now available as a greeting card in my card shop.

I do admit that I over-used Comic Sans and Papyrus when they first came out. Fontfaces are so much like fashion, aren't they? You have the basic fontfaces which never seem to go out of style, like Helvetica and Times Roman. But then there are the trendy fonts which are massively popular for a short period of time but then fall by the wayside.

Like Comic Sans. And speaking of Comic Sans, here's my favorite Comic Sans music video ever:

Insider kidlit trivia: Andrew Huang, who makes a guest appearance as a rapper in the video above, is also the voice in Greg Pincus's book trailer for The 14 Fibs Of Gregory K.

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11. Self-Help Author Wayne Dyer Dies at 75

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12. Pick of the Week for PEOPLE and This Week’s Topic


Happy Illustration Friday!

We’re ready to announce this week’s topic, but first please enjoy the wonderful illustration above by Tamara Cosendey, our Pick of the Week for last week’s topic of PEOPLE. Thanks to everyone who participated with drawings, paintings, sculptures, and more. We love seeing it all!

You can see a gallery of ALL the entries here.

And of course, you can now participate in this week’s topic:


Here’s how:

Step 1: Illustrate your interpretation of the current week’s topic (always viewable on the homepage).

Step 2: Post your image onto your blog / flickr / facebook, etc.

Step 3: Come back to Illustration Friday and submit your illustration (see big “Submit your illustration” button on the homepage).

Step 4: Your illustration will then be added to the public Gallery where it will be viewable along with everyone else’s from the IF community!

Also be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter and subscribe to our weekly email newsletter to keep up with our exciting community updates!


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13. Jervis McEntee Exhibitions

Jervis McEntee, The Woods of Asshockan, Catskills (1871), St. Johnsbury Athenaeum
Jervis McEntee (1828-1891), was a painter of the Hudson River School who has been largely overlooked until now. His work is being featured in two different museum exhibitions this fall, one in Kingston, and the other in New Paltz, New York.

The first exhibition is called "Jervis McEntee: Kingston’s Artist of the Hudson River School" and it's at the Friends of Historic Kingston gallery.

The Kingston exhibit is a small show, but it has a variety of attractions, including easel paintings, location studies in oil, pencil sketches, photographs, letters, and other documentary material, all of which puts McEntee in a historical context.

McEntee began studying with Frederic Church in 1850, and learned from him a love of painting faithful small studies of forest scenes, sunsets, and trees. They traveled together on painting junkets to Mexico and other locations throughout their lives. 

The son of an engineer who helped develop the bustling D&H barge canal that terminated in Kingston, McEntee himself avoided industrial subjects, and gravitated instead to the bucolic scenes that were fast receding in 19th century America. 

His circle of friends included notable writers, actors, architects. Among his artist friends were not only Frederic Church, but also Sanford Gifford, John F. Weir, and Worthington Whittredge. 

McEntee and his wife occupied one of the legendary Tenth Street Studios in New York, a fertile meeting ground for artists and illustrators in late 19th century America. 

In addition to his paintings, McEntee contributed a detailed daily journal of his observations about nature, art, and daily life. His journal was recently digitized by the Archives of American Art at the Smithsonian, and is available free online. 

He was frequently depressed as his fortunes ebbed. The journal makes for fascinating reading, because he had the same problems with galleries that contemporary painters do. On January 4, 1883, he wrote: "Beginning to be worried with money anxieties. They don't send my money for my picture sold in Brooklyn nor reply to my inquiries. I can't stand being asked for money when I have none."
Jervis McEntee, View Facing the Catskills, 1863, oil, Private Collection
The second exhibition just opened at the Samuel Dorsky Museum on the campus of the State University in New Paltz.

Jervis McEntee, Autumn Reverie, 1880, oil on canvas, David and Laura Grey Collection
It's a larger exhibition with more finished paintings, borrowed from the Metropolitan Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, and many other public and private collections.

Kingston Exhibition: "Jervis McEntee: Kingston’s Artist of the Hudson River School" is at the Friends of Historic Kingston gallery at 63 Main St. in Kingston and will run through October. The museum is only open Fridays and Saturdays from 11 am to 4 pm through Oct. 31, 2015. There will be "Noontime Conversations" by noted artists and art historians held on Fridays during the month of September.
The catalog of the Kingston show is called Jervis McEntee: Kingston's Artist of the Hudson River School. It's 62 pages, softcover, with contributions by Lowell Thing and Jane Kellar.

New Paltz Exhibition: The New Paltz exhibition is called "Jervis McEntee: Painter-Poet of the Hudson River School" It will be on view at the Samuel Dorsky Museum in New Paltz through December 13.
The New Paltz show catalog is titled Jervis Mcentee: Painter-Poet of the Hudson River School. This 130-page monograph presents new scholarship by exhibition curator Lee A. Vedder along with contributions by Kerry Dean Carso, a scholar of the historic Hudson Valley and professor at SUNY New Paltz; and American studies professor David Schuyler, the leading historian on McEntee.
Jervis McEntee on Wikipedia

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14. Summer in Amsterdam

A few art journal pages I made in August, while enjoying summer in Amsterdam:

Sipping cool drinks on a bridge over the canal

My husband playing the mandoline lying down in the park

Pretty park people

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15. Best Books of August 2015

August 2015: 13 books and scripts read

The Tenderness of Thieves by Donna Freitas was a thought-provoking novel.

I'm also enjoying the Wise Girl Daily Wisdom emails from Robin Brande that go along with her new non-fiction release, The Wise Girl's Guide to Life.

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16. Using Memes in Education: Library Orientation

This year, I decided to use memes in the freshmen orientation for two reasons: 1. kids can relate to these (since they use and make them all the time themselves) and 2. let students know the library is more than rules, guidelines, and shushing. It can be fun, imaginative, creative, and inviting. I did a test drive with our new teachers for new teacher orientation, and although it was unexpected, they thoroughly enjoyed it! :) Basically, it's all about relationships, and this is a fun way to do it. Most of the memes I created myself using imgflip.com SUPER easy!!

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17. Which narration should I use?

Question: I intend to focus my story around an 19 year old boy who has suffered a lot of emotional and physical abuse at the hands of his family. I want

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18. Storm Horse and reading with emotional investment

Storm-Horse-300pxA finely woven novel exploring grief, hope and friendship, Storm Horse by Nick Garlick moved me to tears, even though I started reading it with a great sense of wariness, my inner cynic poised to be proved right with the slightest hiccup in plot, writing or characterization.

Having recently lost his parents, a young boy can’t believe he’ll ever feel at ease with the relatives who have agreed to take responsibility for him. But all that changes when he makes friends with a horse. A growing sense of trust and (self) belief enables him to find a place where he’s happy to belong, even though in the process he comes face to face with some of his greatest fears, loss and sadness.

This page-turner, with dramatic, breath-taking scenes worthy of the vast gloomy shore skies under which it is set made me nervous before I turned the first page; Storm Horse is set on the Frisian islands off the north coast of the Netherlands and is partly inspired by a very emotive true life story about a lifeboat disaster that devastated an island community.

Surrounded by huge and exhilaratingly beautiful sandy beaches, the lifeboat on Ameland was traditionally launched by horses who pulled the boat over the sand and then into the tide, enabling launches where no pier existed. But in 1979 eight horses drowned during a lifeboat launch and in this small island community their terrible loss was felt deeply and powerfully and is still remembered with great sorrow, but also pride, for launching lifeboats with horses was something unique to this particular community, long after other Frisian islands had given up on this tradition.


As it happens I know Ameland and this story rather well (the photo above shows M and J visiting the grave and memorial to the eight horses back in 2012, whilst the photos below show a re-enactment I once saw of how the lifeboat used to be launched), and so when I found out about a novel set on the Frisian islands, centered on horses and lifeboat rescues I was both curious and anxious.



Starting a novel when you already have an emotional investment in it is a scary thing. What if it doesn’t live up to your hopes? What if you feel it betrays the beauty / the sorrow / the wonder you feel about certain events or places or times?

But I took the plunge and turned the first page and…

…Well here’s why I think you might enjoy this book as much as I did, even if you’ve never heard of the Frisian islands and have not one ounce of hope at stake when you come across it in your local bookshop or library:

  • Storm Horse is brilliantly plotted with chapter endings which demand you turn the page and read just a bit more. I actually read this book in a single sitting and couldn’t believe how the time and pages had whizzed by.
  • Garlick’s characterization is lovely, authentic and satisfying. From the most wonderful Aunt Elly, who exhibits the kindness, compassion and wisdom that we all wish we had, to the silent and imposing (and ultimately big hearted) Uncle Andries, via uncannily spot-on observations about life as a seven year old who wants to be a part of everything, to the thoughtfulness of old and lame Mr Bouten, the cast of this story is rich and not without humour.
  • Bereavement and how people cope with loss is explored in several different strands, each offering a different light and reflection on the grieving process and being able to eventually see light at the end of a sorrowful tunnel.
  • Quietly and powerfully Storm Horse gives its readers a sense that they can find a way to hold on to what matters to them, through perseverance, through patience, through resourcefulness and generosity. What a great gift from a book, don’t you think?
  • This is no literal re-telling of the terrible, heart-breaking events of the 14th of August 1979; Garlick sets his story on an imaginary island (though Ameland is briefly mentioned), and yet all the details ring beautifully true. The challenges of island life are not shied away from, but read this moving, convincing, vivid novel and I think you may nevertheless fall in love.

    Now… what will my lifeboat-mad, Dutch husband who spent every childhood summer on Ameland think of this book? Well, somehow I’m going to have to find the time to read it aloud to him and the girls as I now know I needn’t have worried: Storm Horse is a cracker.

    Disclosure: I was sent a free review copy of this book by the publisher.
    I would expect to find this book in the part of the bookshop/library aimed at 8/9 – 12/13 year olds.

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    19. What, exactly, is a “high-concept” story?

    MountainWhat the heck do literary agents mean when they specify wanting “high-concept” stories? I used to work in the film biz in Los Angeles and even I don’t know what it means. Luckily, an article titled “Writer Better: the 7 Qualities of High-Concept Stories” by Jeff Lyons is here to educate.

    This is the list, but I suggest digging into the article for greater understanding. Interestingly, he says that you don’t have to hit every point to still “qualify.” Check it out.

    1. High level of entertainment value
    2. High degree of originality
    3. Born from a “what if” question
    4. Highly visual
    5. Clear emotional focus
    6. Inclusion of some truly unique element
    7. Mass audience appeal (to a broad general audience, or a large niche market).


    © 2015 Ray Rhamey

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    20. कलाम बनाम औरंगजेब

    कलाम बनाम औरंगजेब

    सभी चैनल वाले मुद्दे से भटक गए हैं बहुत हैरानी की बात है कि आज सडक के नाम पर  औरंगजेब और कलाम साहब की  तुलना हो रही है… और बहस के दौरान अंट  शट बोला जा रहा है वैसे इस संदर्भ में मुझे ज्यादा समझ तो नही पर मेरा  मानना  यही है कि कलाम साहब के नाम अगर कोई नई सडक बना कर समर्पित की जाती तो बेहतर होता… किसी के नाम को बदलना और फिर विवादों मे पडना … विवादों में तो कलाम साहब भी कभी नही पडे थे तो अब उनके जाने के बाद ये ओछी राजनीति किसलिए :( शान से कोई नई सडक बना कर उसका नाम कलाम मार्ग रखते तो बहुत बेहतर होता .. !!


    news monica gupta


    सबसे पहले तो दोनों की तुलना करना अजीब है … दूसरा जो इस बहस को तूल दे रहा है वो हास्यास्पद है और तीसरा अगर जालिमों को हटाने की इतनी ही बात है तो बहुत जल्द यह मुद्दा भी उठेगा कि दशहरा किसलिए मनाते हैं क्यो रावण को हर साल याद करते हैं क्यो राम लीला होती जब कि वो इतना जालिम था… बात ये है ही नही बात सिर्फ इतनी है कि अगर कोई नई सडक बनाकर कलाम साहब का नाम दिया जाता तो अच्छा था … खैर !!

    पता नही क्या हो गया मीडिया को, एकंरिग करते करते  एंकर इस बात की पैरवी करने लगते हैं कि कलाम साहब के नाम पर रोड सही है औरंगजेब के नाम पर सही नही है… लडते भिडते चिलाते,  नेता , आखं दिखातें अलग अलग चैनल के  एंकर … दुखद … अफसोस !!!

    मुद्दा भटक गया है … हां पर टीआरपी जरुर बढ गई है यानि की उद्देश्य सफल हुआ चैनल वालो का !!!




    The post कलाम बनाम औरंगजेब appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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    21. Cardiff Independent Comic Expo


    We’re back!!
    Saturday December 12th 2015 
    We return to the Cardiff Masonic Hall with a mini-Expo – a ‘Showcase’ event just in time for Xmas – once again focusing on our exceptionally talented Small Press Creators and Publishers.

    Advance Tickets are now on sale – only £3.50 for the first 50 tickets, then rising to £4.50 once the first 50 have been purchased.  The first 50 ticket buyers will also receive a Goody Bag on the door.


      Website links for exhibitors on the CICE blog!




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    22. Three Questions For Christian Trimmer: Advice For Young Writers, Ben Clanton and SIMON'S NEW BED

    Christian Trimmer photo credit: Walker Brockington.

    In addition to being a debut picture book author, Christian Trimmer is an editor at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. I love his enthusiasm for kidlit/YA on his Twitter feed, plus he's edited some pretty amazing books. Like THE DEATH AND LIFE OF ZEBULON FINCH by Daniel Kraus (here's what I posted about the book), which comes out from S&S BFYR this October.

    You can find Christian Trimmer on Twitter at @MisterTrimmer, his website at Christiantrimmer.com and the Simon & Schuster BFYR team page.

    Synopsis of SIMON'S NEW BED, written by Christian Trimmer and illustrated by Melissa van der Paardt:

    "After a lazy afternoon of watching cat and dog videos, I was inspired to write this harrowing tale of the deep-rooted tension that exists between siblings. Much like Cal and Aron Trask or the daughters of King Lear, Simon and Miss Adora Belle are in a never-ending battle for supremacy. Also, cats stealing dog beds!"

    Q. Could you please take a photo of something in your office and tell us the story behind it?

    I’m a huge Ben Clanton fan. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers recently published his Something Extraordinary, which I was very fortunate to inherit from Julia Maguire (who is now at Random House). Ben’s stories are so sweet and playful, and his art is wonderfully expressive. He and I are working on a bunch more books together. He happened to be in New York for BEA this year, and we hung out at the Art Auction. He had donated a fantastic piece to the auction, and I put in a bid on it—I was desperate for more original art for my office, specifically Ben Clanton art. Ben saw my name on the sheet, and he was all, “Christian, you really don’t have to do that” to which I responded, “Ben, I want to do it” and he said, “I mean, you really don’t have to do that.” I thought he was just being modest or shy. At the last minute, someone outbid me. But as it turns out, which I discovered when we met at the S & S offices the next day, he had packed a different piece from the same series—this one—for me. All together now: Awwww!

    Q. What advice do you have for young writers?

    1. Be nice. To everyone.

    I know that this is advice you give to a small child, but it’s really applicable when you’re an aspiring writer. Because when it’s time for your book to come out, the book that you’ve spent years perfecting, the story you’ve cried over and on, the manuscript that represents everything good about your mind and soul…you want people to think of you fondly. Because when people like you, they want to support you. So maybe they buy your book. Maybe they talk about your book with their teacher friends. Maybe they share your Facebook status update. More than that, you never know from where the next great opportunity is going to come. As an example, I recently ran into this restaurant manager that I’ve known for a couple of years. He’s a great guy and so good at his job, and I’m always happy to see him. This most recent time, I mentioned that my debut book, Simon’s New Bed, was about to come out. He was so genuinely excited for me, and not only that, he reached out to his mom who oversees the nursery division at one of the best schools in New York. Now, I’m scheduled to read to her students in October!

    2. Everyone has her/his own path.

    It’s easy to get overwhelmed in our glorious industry. Advice is flying at you from every direction, advice from editors and agents and other writers, published and not. But it’s important to regularly remind yourself that this is your journey, and it’s not going to look like anyone else’s. For a long time, despite hungering to create something, I resisted writing. As a book editor, I’m surrounded daily by gifted writers, many of whom have studied the craft for years, who have masters degrees, who have written for TV shows, who have won awards. I often thought, Don’t bother. Leave it to the real professionals. But something clicked one day, this acceptance that I had something worthwhile to say. So I finally took the chance. And I sold the first picture book manuscript I wrote, and then the second, and then the third. I still have moments of insecurity, but I’m getting better. So, listen to the advice that others are giving you and take the advice that makes sense to you. Then, go create!

    Q. What are you excited about right now?

    My Fall 2015 list is AWESOME. I’m, of course, excited for all of those books, which you can find here. But I’d like to single out a novel that my colleague Ruta Rimas is editing called The Way I Used to Be. It’s by Amber Smith, and it’s beautiful and devastating and empowering. It comes out this March.


    For more interviews, see my Inkygirl Interview Archive.

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    23. I Wake Up And It Seems The World Is Still there -And I NEVER Imagined Kanye West (he's real!)

     As these photos are, apparently, really getting into certain peoples minds and making them angry I thought I'd upload this one again just for them!

     "Someone" told me to brace myself over some internet group chat going on about what can be done about me.  he seemed rather taken aback that I wasn't shocked!

    So part of the comments shared by some of those "really nice guys" of UK comics and passed along to me by someone I can't name for obvious reasons!

    "We all know the con organisers and if we keep chipping away we'll make sure the twatt never gets his much sought after table to sell his crap"

    The "twatt" by-the-by, is me.

    No such thing as a "UK comics Mafia"? They've helped destroy UK comics and try to pitch themselves the golden boys of comics to be admired and worshipped. Ask me again WHY I think the UK is dead comics-wise....

    On the lighter side of things the new trend amongst former comic 'die-hard fans' has emerged.  Live reviews of comics are in the minority now.  The "New Thing" is watching movies or TV programmes live -via Google chat where 3-4 people link up via video- so we can get their comments and views and even outrage at the way something was done.  We don't get to see the programme or movie just the, uh, 'reviewers' sitting there.   Some really do need to improve the decor of their basements/rooms because spending 2+ hours looking at them...well, I sort of went comatose.

    But it does get..."better" -reviews and thoughts on comic books series...from 30+ years ago. Yeah, everyone linked up and totally talking crap and confused because 30+ years ago they weren't even born so "don't get all this 1980s doom and gloom war stuff".  Right.  

    All very annoying -almost as annoying as the comment: "Until, say 2004, comics were not very original -Marvel and DC have thrown continuity out the windows and the reboots make comics fresh!"   I'm assuming that the person who said that has a mental illness.  He is talking about comics being "throw-away" -every time a new reboot comes in get rid of that old crap and buy the new.  This is why comics are in trouble: there is no emotional investment in characters or titles any more.

    No, I just can't write about it.  Pointless.

    Anyway, back to decorating.

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    24. Kai Bird Inks Deal for Jimmy Carter Biography

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    25. Take the Dog Out!

    0 Comments on Take the Dog Out! as of 8/31/2015 11:13:00 AM
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