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1. Doctor Who and Clara (link)

I recently read in Stubby the Rocket's column on Tor.com that Doctor Who's companion, Clara, may be moving on at the end of the season.  I shan't miss her, but she wasn't used well--and she was so perfect in the Dalek episode where she was introduced! Clara Oswald may be moving on soon...

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2. My friend Flurry saw this while he was out and about in San...



My friend Flurry saw this while he was out and about in San Francisco today. He wrote, “Title page of novel? Contents of package? Taped to teacher’s back?”

I really hope it’s the first. “Now I’d like to read a short section from my novel entitled … ,” etc.



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3. Studio Alexander

Studio Alexander on grainedit.com

I love this identity kit created for Carin Wilson by Auckland -based Studio Alexander.  The slick and well-polished system was recently announced as a finalist in this year’s Best Awards.

 

 

Studio Alexander on grainedit.com

Studio Alexander on grainedit.com

 

 

(via BP&O)

 

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Also worth viewing:

Chad Michael Studio
Sarp Sozdinler
Tom haugomat

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Thanks to this week's Sponsor // Bitrix24: Free account with 10GB extra storage






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4. Sponsor // IKEA Launches Hypnotizing Time Travel Experiment

IKEA time travel

 

It’s no ordinary illusion. Together with hypnotist Justin Tranz, IKEA let young couples experience their future in a fascinating time travel experiment.

In the experiment, world-renowned hypnotist Justin Tranz put a young couple in deep trance before they’re being exposed with potential life-changing events in advance. Guided by Tranz, the young couple embarks on a time journey where different life predictions awaits them – from celebrating a birthday for their imaginary 6-year old daughter, to an odd meeting in the bathroom with the same daughters future boyfriend, years later.

 

“The everyday is exciting! It’s on those seemingly ordinary days life happens and changes. And when it does, so does our home”, says Johan Wickmark, Global Catalogue Manager.

Justin Tranz has done well over 6,000 stage shows and is the only hypnotist in history to ever legitimately perform on Broadway. He has helped thousands in their bid to stop smoking, lose weight or attain other personal goals. He has also worked with medical professionals, corporate executives, and athletes in all sports and levels of competition.

With the Time Travel Experiment, IKEA collaborated with Tranz to put the spotlight on events that change how we live and our everyday lives. And in this film becoming parents is portrayed, which is one of the biggest transitions of them all.

“In the new IKEA catalogue you can find solutions for every episode in life”, says Johan Wickmark, Global Catalogue Manager.

 

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Also worth viewing:

Helmo
Timothy Hunt
Tom haugomat

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5. sfilzen: Jukebox last updated in 1980 (at Delta Lodge...



sfilzen:

Jukebox last updated in 1980 (at Delta Lodge Wisconsin)



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6. London and LonCon

Well, here I am, back from London and Loncon, with much to tell.  I combined my third foray to Worldcon (and my first as a Hugo nominee) with a family vacation, both of which were delightful if a little tiring--a classic "I need a vacation after this vacation" situation.  The experiences of both convention and city are already swirling in my head, so I'd better get them down while it's still

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7. Meet Jared Thomas, author of Calypso Summer

Jared Thomas, thanks for talking to Boomerang Books.  Calypso Summer (Magabala Books) gave me a break-through insight into a young Aboriginal man. Calypso is a brilliant character. He tries so hard to make his life, and the lives of those around him, work, but it’s tough. Could you tell us about him and his cousin, Run? Calypso […]

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8. Why Literature Can Save Us

Our title is, of course, a problem. "Why Literature Can Save Us." And of course the problem is one of definition: what those words mean. What is literature and what constitutes salvation? So I'll begin with a brief surface definition of the terms, since we probably all have our own and various ideas about what [...]

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9. Pitch Event Instructions

Only a few days left, WriteOnCon-ers! We hope you have your pitches prepped and your mouse ready to repeatedly refresh (if you’re anything like us, that is). We’re so excited to bring a great con this year, full of opportunities to get feedback from an awesome group of agents and editors.

Last year, we heard some frustration about how our pitch events were structured. We get it—repeatedly tweeting pitches is no fun, especially if you don’t get selected. So we’re doing things a little differently. First of all, our focus this year has been to create as many pitch opportunities as possible. Most of our events are pitch focused this year. If you don’t have something pitch-ready just yet, there’s still plenty to learn, though! Observing critiques and giving a little feedback can really make a difference when you’re ready to tackle it yourself.

We’re also adjusting our submission procedures. If you’d like to submit a pitch for our live events, here’s what you do:

  • Click here to go to the submission form, which is open NOW!
  • Submit your pitch using the instructions on the form. We are only accepting short, tweetable pitches via this form (140 characters or less including the #writeoncon hashtag). If you’re looking for feedback on a longer pitch or query letter, please post that in the forums.
  • THAT’S IT.

By following those instructions, your pitch will be submitted for all of the events. There’s no need to submit multiple times—please don’t! Select your best pitch and enter it into the form one time. We’re trying to get feedback for as many people as possible and will delete multiple pitches from the same person.

We’ll be selecting pitches at random during the event itself, although submitting early is a good idea. The earlier you get in, the more chances you’ll have of being selected. The reality is that in past years, we’ve received enough pitches to do 10 conventions. We’ll try to select as many of them as possible in the time that we have, but we simply don’t have time for all of them. You can help us to maximize the number of pitches we get through by following the rules!

During twitter events, we’ll tweet selected pitches from our @writeoncon account, using the hashtag #writeoncon. The agent will tweet their reactions from their account. We’ll make sure to post those twitter handles in advance so you know where to look, but in a pinch, always search the #writeoncon hashtag.

For our Google hangout, we will post links to the hangout on this blog, on the @writeoncon twitter, and on our facebook page. Those don’t go live until shortly before the event, so don’t worry if you don’t see them far in advance.

And you’ll find our live chats here, embedded right into a post on this blog. Again, that post will open shortly before the event begins to give you time to log in.

We’re still putting together a few last minute events, but the schedule will be posted as soon as we have it. Have any other questions? You can post them here in the comments, and there’s a question section in the forum as well. Let us know, and we’ll give you a hand.

Write on!

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10. Virals, by Kathy and Brendan Reichs | Series Review

In Virals, acclaimed mother and son writing duo Kathy and Brendan Reichs have created a captivating and enthralling series by incorporating science fiction and crime with a contemporary perspective, via 4 teens who are navigating an unusually adventurous adolescence.

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11. Pole-Caught

The sidewalk menu listed
All the specials of the day,
Inviting every passerby
With time and means to pay.

But one such item on the list
Elicited a grin
And made me wonder ‘bout the tool
That reeled that sucker in…

For “pole-caught tuna” was the dish
On which one might have dined;
Yet Huck or Jim upon their raft
Was what it brought to mind.

The restaurant wasn’t fancy
And I’m sure nobody thought
About the method used
To get that tuna snagged and caught.

If I were writing adjectives
To make that menu shine,
I guarantee that “pole-caught”
Wouldn’t be a choice of mine!

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12. Cate Blanchett & Christian Bale Sign on To Jungle Book Adaptation

Cate Blanchett and Christian Bale are the latest actors to sign on to star in Warner Bros.’ live action film adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book.

The two actors will star alongside Naomie Harris, Tom Hollander, Eddie Marsan and Peter Mullan in the Andy Serkis-directed film.

The Hollywood Reporter has the scoop: “Bale will voice Bagheera, a fearsome panther, both of whom save Mowgli from the killer tiger Shere Khan (Cumberbatch) and teach him the law of the jungle. Blanchett will voice Kaa, a sinister python who is also a friend to Mowgli, while Hollander will play Tabaqui, the jackal who is an underling of Shere Khan.”

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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13. Ahhh…

photo 2 (6)

Our insanely busy summer is winding down, and soon we’ll be back to just regular busy. Jane took the week off her internship because she landed a short-term gig at a community college bookstore—the very college at which Rose is now taking a Spanish class, though the store is not on campus. Nearby, though, and Scott’s and my taxi powers have not been, er, overtaxed. (Ba dum bump.) And only three doctor visits in the past two weeks: one long scheduled, one unanticipated, and one follow-up. Considering the records we set earlier in the summer, this tally is positively yawnworthy.

(I just peeked at next week’s calendar, and there are NO. APPOINTMENTS. SCHEDULED. Which means somebody will probably break an arm.)

(Not funny, Lissa.)

With Wonderboy back in school and Rose uttering heretofore unuttered phrases like “Here’s my syllabus if you want to take a look” and “I finished my homework” (!), we find ourselves comfortably returning to our high-tide rhythms—with a few innovations this year. I’ve marked out blocks of time (cleverly called Block 1 and Block 2, which has my inner Anne Shirley rolling her eyes in disgust) to focus on Rose and Beanie (1) or Huck and Rilla (2) with some planning and deliberation. That is, I want to make sure we get to the Fun Stuff and the Important Stuff, and I’ve set aside time for the purpose. Four nice chunks of Block 1 and three of Block 2 each week, tucked into specific corners of the day.

Today’s our third day, and so far I’m tickled pink. Yesterday afternoon ended with Huck and Rilla literally climbing on top of me, chanting “More Block 2! More Block 2!” One excellent development is that Rilla and I now have a dedicated time to work on art projects. She picked this toucan painting to start with, and to my amusement I was not merely expected to facilitate her efforts: I was required to undertake a painting of my own. Our works are coming along nicely. Today we put in the skies.

Also chalked in on the schedule is a regular park visit, an extremely important addition in the eyes of my younger children. Huck and Rilla anticipated today’s outing all week long. Finally the appointed hour arrived—and thirty seconds after hitting the playground, all three of us melted into puddles from the fierce heat. Cue general despondency. In times like this, there’s only one thing to be done: find a shady nook under the fringe of pine trees and build ourselves a Roxaboxen. We each made our own little round houses with a nice path connecting them. We’re all in suspense to see what will be left of our realm next week.

roxaboxen

 

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14. Guardians Of The Galaxy & Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Review + Guardi...

Well, I was going to post another one of Comicgirl19s videos BUT as I was about to post it I saw that Subzero over at Tales From The Kryptonian was intending on doing so.

Anyhoo, expect a few expletives but a few interesting insights!

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15. Player Profile: James Carol, author of Watch Me

James Carol, author of Watch Me Tell us about your latest creation: The next book in the Jefferson Winter series is WATCH ME. This time Winter is heading to northern Louisiana to investigate the murder of lawyer, Sam Galloway. All he has to go on is a video of Galloway being burnt alive… Where are you from / where […]

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16. Brendan Reichs: Confessions of a Dynamic YA Author

Brendan Reichs, co-writer of the YA Fiction Virals series, shares with us some insights, favorites, and confessions of his dynamic author life.

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17. Toon Thursday: Exciting and New! (Like the Love Boat!)

Difficult as it may be to believe, somehow I managed to come up with a NEW CARTOON today. It's been a while, and for that I apologize. Plus it's one of the sort-of weak ones where I recycle the part I already drew, and just add new text. (Do other... Read the rest of this post

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18. Separated at birth: Spider-Man and Spider-Woman?

spider-man 30

In commenting on his FB page on how drawing a sexy cover got attention at EW.com, artist J. Scott Campbell posted this classic Spider-Man cover, strongly reminiscent of the Milo Manara cover that everyone is STILL talking about.

It is true that the butt-in-the-air arachnid is a classic pose…

…but it is equally untrue that the covers are equivalent. Unless J. Scott Campbell has a forty year career drawing sexy men and is well known for his gay erotica…

Reading the EW comments, the false equivalency of the objectification of men and women in comics is brought up once again. As it is every five minutes. Obviously Spidey has always had a nice butt. But the men in comics are drawn HEROICALLY not sexually.

Can you see the difference?

Has this canard—which is brought up any time the over sexualization of women in comics is discussed—been given a name yet? The False Sexualization Fallacy? The Peter Parker Paradox? Wilma?

Any ideas?

[Thanks to Beat Spy Desert Storm for the link.]

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19. Persol Honors Frances McDormand at the 2014 Venice International Film Festival

Frances McDormand
(Venice, Italy) Frances McDormand has had a diverse and distinguished career so far, and it's about to reach new heights. Instead of complaining that Hollywood doesn't provide great roles for women -- especially older women -- she did something about it herself. McDormand optioned the Pulitzer Prize winning novel Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout, and is playing the title character in an HBO mini-series by the same name, which she also executive-produced, along with Tom Hanks, Gary Goeztman and Jane Anderson, who wrote the screenplay. Directed by Lisa Cholodenko,  Olive Kitteridge will air in on HBO starting this November. The official site is here.

I've always loved Frances McDormand's work, and admire her as an actress. When she was here during the Venice Film Festival in 2008 to promote Burn After Reading, she was witty, intelligent and funny. This year she will be honored with the Persol Tribute to Visionary Talent Award 2014 on September 1st, and then Olive Kitteridge will have its world premiere here in Venice.

Frances McDormand
Alberto Barbera, the Director of the Venice Film Festival said, “The originality and immensity of Frances McDormand’s talent is well reflected in Olive Kitteridge, a project which she herself initiated, optioning the novel by Elizabeth Strout, and of which she is also executive producer -- another great manifestation of her vision, which we honor today with this award. Thanks to her long-standing experience in theatre, film and TV, dedicated to the search for truth, the career of Frances McDormandis not only that of an extraordinary actress, but also reflects her consistent vision of art and of the world that is positive and aware, often in contrast with today’s prevailing value system”.





It always surprises my Hollywood friends to learn that the Venice Film Festival is the oldest international film festival in the world. Founded in 1932 by Count Giuseppe Volpi, the first festival brought celebrities flocking to Venice from all around the world. Greta Garbo, Clark Gable, Fredric March, Wallace Beery, Norma Shearer, James Cagney, Ronald Colman, Loretta Young, John Barrymore, Joan Crawford, Vittorio De Sica and Boris Karloff were all on hand to add dazzle to the event.


The first film to be screened in 1932 was Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Rouben Mamoulian. Back then, the Venice Film Festival was not yet a competition, but it presented such films as It happened one night by Frank Capra, Grand Hotel by Edmund Goulding, The Champ by King Vidor, Frankenstein by James Whale, Zemlja (Earth) by Aleksandr Dovzenko, Gli uomini che mascalzoni… (What Scoundrels Men Are!) by Mario Camerini and  A nous la liberté by René Clair. The audience selected what they liked best: Helen Hayes won favorite actress; Fredric March, favorite actor; best director was the Soviet Nikolaj Ekk for Putjovka v zizn, while the best film was René Clair's A nous la liberté.

By creating a new cinema division within La Biennale, Venice's international art festival, the Venice Film Festival helped to raise cinema to an art form. The official name of the festival is the Mostra Internazionale d'Arte Cinematografica della Biennale di Venezia or the "International Exhibition of Cinematographic Art of the Venice Biennale."



Nowadays the public can attend screenings for the 71st Venice International Film Festival by buying tickets with a click of the mouse. Visit La Biennale's website for the films that are screening, how to by tickets, and everything else you need to know by clicking here.

The 2014 71st Venice International Film Festival runs from August 27, 2014 to September 6, 2014. See you at the movies!

Ciao from Venezia,
Cat
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog 

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20. Walkies My Butt


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21. There's Always One...


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22. Poetry Friday - A review of On the Wing

Douglas Florian is a poet and artist who has created poetry picture books that explore a wide variety of subjects. Over the years I have greatly enjoyed reading these books, and it is interesting to see how he applies his considerable talent to take on a new topic that interests him.

Douglas Florian
Poetry Picture Book
For ages 6 to 8
Harcourt, 1996, 978-0152023669
Birds truly are remarkable animals. They come in a dazzling array of colors, live on every continent, and make their homes in all kinds of places. In this wonderful picture book Douglas Florian pairs short poems with his artwork to give readers a true celebration of birds.
   Over the millennia birds have evolved to suit many kinds of environments. Some birds, like the egret, sail on water and then rest on the beach making it seem as if there is a “feathered hat” lying on the sand. Dippers love to dip and dive in waterfalls. They are so aquatic that one wonders if they would be happy to “trade / Their oily wings for flippers.” They are such good swimmers that it is possible that the little birds might “think that they are fish.”
   Birds come in all shapes and sizes. The spoonbill is tall and thin with a beak that does indeed look like a long-handled spoon. In his poem about this rather odd looking species, Douglas Florian wonders if the spoonbill uses its bill “for stirring tea” or does it “use it as a scoop / For eating peas and drinking soup.”
   The stork has a bill that is perfectly suited for the environment it lives in. Wading through shallow water, the bird uses it rapier like bill to stab frogs and other creatures. Woodpeckers also have beaks that are perfectly adapted so that they can get to their chosen food - insects that live in wood and sap that runs through wood. Not only are these beaks perfect for creating holes, but woodpeckers also use them to communicate.
   With clever touches of humor and insightful descriptions, this collection of poems will give young readers a colorful picture of twenty-one bird speci

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23. The Nonfiction Minute



Get on the ground floor of the next big thing in nonfiction! THE NONFICTION MINUTE is a website where teachers will find a new short nonfiction article written by one of dozens of award-winning nonfiction authors including Dorothy Hinshaw Patent (winner of the 2014 Edward O. Wilson Biodiversity Technology Pioneer Award For Exemplary Advocation of Biodiversity Through the Authorship of Children's Science Literature), Jim Murphy, whose books have earned two Newbery honors, history writer/illustrator Cheryl Harness (and even me).

The NF Minute is the easy and accessible way teachers and students can incorporate nonfiction in the classroom. Passages are only 400 words long, and feature fun facts and true stories that can spark a discussion, illustrate a writing technique, or inspire a reluctant reader to investigate on his own.

If you like what you see, become part of the movement to bring quality NF to students everywhere. Visit the NF Minutes Indiegogo page and donate today.




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24. Early Look at 2014 Feature Film Award Contenders

With eight months of the year nearly passed, we're beginning to get a clearer sense of who the major contenders will be in the upcoming award season.

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25. Honoring Greg Djanikian in the pages of the Pennsylvania Gazette

I felt blessed when Pennsylvania Gazette editor John Prendergast invited me to write a 3,000 word story about Greg Djanikian, who trusted me to teach at Penn, who talks with  me many spring-semester Tuesdays when I arrive early to teach, who inspired a key character in my forthcoming Florence novel One Thing Stolen, and who writes some of the most gorgeous poetry anywhere. I wrote of his most recent book, Dear Gravity, here.

To write this story I spent an afternoon in Greg's beautiful home (filled with the artistry of his wife), interviewed Stephen Dunn, Julia Alvarez, Al Filreis, and others, and returned to a dear student, Eric Xu, who brought valuable insights to the Greg's beloved teaching.

The story can be found here.


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