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1. The Difference Between Dreamers and Achievers

Editor’s Note: The following content is provided to Writer’s Digest by a writing community partner. This content is sponsored by American Writers & Artists Inc. www.awaionline.com.

Bootcamp2014Last week was our annual FastTrack to Copywriting Success Bootcamp and Job Fair

Over the last 17 years, it has become THE copywriting event of the year. And this year, 400+ aspiring and professional writers joined us in Delray Beach, Florida to have industry legends teach them how to build successful copywriting businesses — and to meet with over 75 marketers looking to hire AWAI-trained copywriters.

A lot happened in those 4 days … too much to cover in a simple blog. But I do plan to bring you some of the best ideas you can use on your journey to making a very good living as a writer.

Today I want to share with you something my partner Katie Yeakle — one of the Founders of AWAI — shared during her opening remarks …

She started by asking the audience a simple question:

         How do you explain why some people are able to achieve things    that seem impossible — while others only dream about changing    their lives?

And then followed it up with some of the popular examples of AWAI members who have achieved real success …

How does someone like AWAI member Joshua Boswell go from being over $200,000 in debt, with creditors knocking at his door and 7 children to feed — to making $20,000 a month working 20-30 hours a week?

         How does AWAI member Sean McCool go from being a guy who    failed English in both 7th and 10th grades to being a highly-respected writer who contributes directly to the bottom line of multimillion-dollar companies?

         How does AWAI member Starr Daubenmire go from being down-sized at age 60 … to a brand-new career that let her live her dream of spending 3 months in Italy … writing in the mornings, painting and exploring in the afternoons?

         How does AWAI member Cindy Cyr go from being in a job where   she couldn’t take time off to be with her sick sister … to today   where she spends half her time traveling the country with her 14-year old recording artist son, while still earning six-figures?

         Why is that some people succeed at copywriting … yet so many others don’t?

         What accounts for the difference?

         Is it education?

         Sean would deny that. So would million-dollar copywriters Clayton Makepeace and Dan Kennedy. Those guys didn’t go to college.

         Is it a natural talent for copywriting? 

         Cindy liked to write. But she didn’t even know what copywriting was.

         Is it sales experience? Not for Starr. She was a quality control  coordinator in an office. No selling going on there.

Master Copywriter Will Newman was a math teacher for kids with special needs; Krista Jones, AWAI’s very first $10K Challenge winner was an engineer …

         So what is it?

         The real answer to that question is right here in this room …

         The answer is: they took decisive action to change their lives

And then what Katie talked about next is what I’d like to talk to you about now. And, that’s the decisions that need to be made before you can successfully move forward towards living the writer’s life.

Before any of the people Katie mentioned took action, they had to make the very first decision of all … and that was if they truly wanted a change in their lives.

They all answered yes.

Next, they needed to decide how they were going to accomplish it.

Joshua, Sean, Starr, and Cindy all wanted to make a living writing and decided the best way for them to accomplish that was to pursue copywriting.

So they decided how they’d learn the skills …

They decided what support they needed …

And they decided what changes they’d need to make in their current lives to make that happen.

Next, they decided to follow through.

At every stage it was the same — a decision followed by action.

So today, I want you to give some more thought to what your version of the writer’s life looks like … what will your life look like when you’re making a living as a writer?

And then start making decisions and taking action …

If you’re just starting out, the first decision you may need to make is whether or not you want to make a change in your life. Is now the time?

rebecca_matter-150Or it may be deciding which path you want to take … whether it’s copywriting, content writing, web writing, or something else. (Check out my recent post on the top 7 opportunities for writers.)

And then comes the critical (and exciting!) part: taking action.

I’ll help you with that in the coming weeks!

 

Until then …
Rebecca

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2. Air New Zealand Creates a New ‘Hobbit’-Themed Safety Video

Air New Zealand has unleashed “The Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made” on their YouTube channel. The video embedded above features the airline’s new Hobbit-themed safety video with appearances from actor Elijah Wood and filmmaker Peter Jackson.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, “the video is, in itself, a sequel to the airline’s 2012 safety video, An Unexpected Briefing, which brought actors and characters from the Tolkien story onboard one of Air New Zealand’s 777-300ER planes.” Follow this link to watch An Unexpected Briefing.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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3. Harga Dan Spesifikasi Asus Zenfone 5 Terbaru 2014

Asus Zenfone 5 merupakan varian smartphone android terbaru kaluaran dari vendor Asus yang menyasar para segmen menengah.

review dan harga asus zenfone 5

Dengan di bandrol sekitaran 2Jutaan ponsel satu ini memiliki spesifikasi yang terbilang cukup tinggi. Yang berbeda dari smartphone android lainnya keluaran asus ini yaitu pada processornya yang memakai procssor dari intel.
Prosesor tersebut adalah intel atom dual core dengan kecepatan 2 Ghz, sehingga memungkinkan kinerja yang responsif.

Smartphone Zenfone 5 bisa kita sebut juga sebagai phablet,karena memiliki ukuran layar sebesar 5 inch HD beresolusi 720 x 1280 piksel. Layar tersebut sudah disempurnakan dengan tehnologi IPS (In Plane Switch) yang akan menampilkan layar bersudut pandang luas serta lebih tajam. Lebih jelasnya, spesifikasi, harga, kelebihan dan kekurangan asus zenfone 5 ini silahkan lihat di bawah ini. Baca juga Kelebihan Dan Kekurangan Asus Zenfone 4.
Spesifikasi Asus Zenfone 5

    Sim Card : Dual Sim
    Dimensi : 148.2 x 72.8 x 10.3
    Berat : 145 g
    Layar : 720 x 1280 pixels, 5.0 inches (~294 ppi pixel density)
    Jenis layar : IPS capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors, Corning Gorilla Glass 3
    Warna : Charcoal Black, Pearl White, Cherry Red, Champagne Gold, Twilight Purple
    Memory : Internal 8 GB, Slot microSD, up to 64 GB
    Ram : 1 GB RAM
    Internet : HSDPA, 42.2 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps
    Wi-Fi : 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot
    Konektivitas : v4.0 with A2DP, EDR, microUSB v2.0
    O.S. : Android OS, v4.3 (Jelly Bean), upgradable to v4.4.2 (KitKat)
    CPU : Intel Atom Z2580, Dual-core 2 GHz
    GPU : PowerVR SGX544MP2
    Sesnor : Accelerometer, proximity
    Kamera belakang : 8 MP, 3264 x 2448 pixels, autofocus, LED flash, Video
    Kamera depan : 2 MP
    Baterai : Tipe Non-removable Li-Po 2110 mAh battery

Kelebihan Asus Zenfone 5

    Keunggulan Asus Zenfone 5, Sudah mendukung jaringan 3G/HSDPA
    Tersedia slot Dual Sim Card.
    Layar HD IPS 1280 x 720 dengan Gorilla Glass 3 dan Anti Sidik jari, juga bisa Glove touch (bisa disentuh walau pakai sarung tangan)
    Kaasitas memori yang disediakan yaitu memori internal 8GB, dan bisa anda tambah memori eksternal hingga 32GB.
    Pada dapur pacunya memakai prosesor dari intel yaitu Intel Z2560 (1.6GHz) 2X2 Core Quad-Thread Hyper Threading Technology
    RAM yang disediakn yaitu 1GB.
    GPU atau unit pemrosesan grafis mengusung PowerVR SGX544MP2
    Pada sistem operasiya mengunakan Android Jelly Bean v 4.3
    Sebuah kamera yang di pakai pada ponsel ini yaitu kamera utama berkekuatan 8MP, di bekali fitur autofokus dan lampu flash led.
    Pada kamera depan memiliki kekuatan 2MP.
    Menggunakan Sonicmaster untuk kualitas suara lebih jernih
    Fitur lainnya yaitu, Wifi, Radio FM, Bluetooth v 4, GPS.

Kekurangan Asus Zenfone 5

    Kelemahan Asus Zenfone 5, Lumayan panas saat dipakai lama.
    Baterai terhitung boros
    Ukuran fisik yang termasuk besar sehingga agak ribet jika dimasukkan ke dalam saku pakaian

Harga Asus Zenfone 5
Harga Baru : Rp 2,099,000
Harga Bekas : -

Note : Mungkin harga di atas dapat berubah, setiap toko dan daerah berbeda-beda. Jadi hanya untuk referensi saja.

Itulah dia sedikit informasi yang bisa kami sampaikan untuk Anda, semoga artikel di atas tentang Kelebihan Dan Kekurangan Asus Zenfone 5, dapat bermanfaat untuk Anda.

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4. Barnes & Noble to Shut Down its Only Branch in The Bronx

barnes_and_noble_logoThe Barnes & Noble at Bay Plaza, based in the Bronx, will close at the end of the year.

According to David Deason, the vice president of real estate, the decision was made to shut down operations because the landlord plans to raise the price of rent. This branch is the first and only bookstore within this particular New York City borough. It opened in 1999.

Here’s more from The New York Times: “Stephen B. Kaufman, who was a state assemblyman from the Bronx in the 1990s, said he led the three-year community effort to bring Barnes & Noble to the borough after he tired of traveling to Manhattan or Westchester County for his books. Barnes & Noble mostly ignored the entreaties, he recalled, until he and other organizers took their campaign public with petitions that garnered thousands of signatures and contentious news conferences in which they called the chain ‘Barnes & Ignoble.’” (via Bustle)

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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5. Thoughts from a sensitive #6: Self

thoughtsfromsensitiveself


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6. ‘Leaving Time’ Joins iBooks Bestsellers List

Leaving TimeJodi Picoult’s new fiction book, Leaving Time, has joined Apple’s Top Paid iBooks in the U.S. this week at No. 2.

Apple has released its top selling books list for paid books from iBooks in the U.S. for week ending October 20, 2014. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks are occupying the first and third spots on the list this week.

We’ve included Apple’s entire list after the jump.
(more…)

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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7. Sky Jumpers: Forbidden Flats (2014)

The Forbidden Flats (Sky Jumpers #2) Peggy Eddleman. 2014. Random House. 288 pages. [Source: Review copy]

In the first book, Sky Jumpers, readers are introduced to Hope, Aaren, and Brock. Three kids who risked their lives to save their community of White Rock. Bandits had come, threatened everyone, threatened to steal the drugs that keep them safe from a deadly plague. Against all odds, these three manage it all. They take risks. They take chances. They face the elements. They cling to hope. They think of the people they love whom they are trying to save. It's an intriguing, dramatic read.

In the second, Hope, Brock, and Aaren will have to do it all over again. The world-saving. Not from bandits, mind you. An earthquake has occurred. This quake changes their community. It opens up a crevice, I believe, that releases gases into the air which interact with the Bomb's Breath. Life as they knew it is over. The Bomb's Breath is dropping lower and lower and lower day by day. Within a month, their community will lose its healthy pocket of air. But there is a tiny bit of hope. One of the adults knows of a mineral (or metal?) that can counteract and reverse everything. Their town can be saved if a) they send a team to a far-away community in the Rocky mountains b) if the team is able to travel to the town and back within the time period c) if the trade goes well in the first place. They send adults. They send kids. It's a good thing they send kids. Their guide is Luke. And for better or worse, Luke seems to dominate most of this book. Luke and Hope. The book is their journey to and from. Will they be able to save White Rock?

Did I love The Forbbiden Flats as much as I loved the first novel in the series? No. Not really. I wanted to. I did. But I was a bit disappointed in the sequel.

As the title suggests, this one takes place almost exclusively out of the community of White Rock. As this group travels together new communities and settings are introduced. We get a glimpse here. We get a glimpse there. Nothing deep or substantive. Mainly what the book is about is Hope's newfound interest in rocks. Do you enjoy reading about a person who becomes passionately interested in rocks? I wasn't. The main relationship focus of this book is between Hope, the heroine, and Luke, the guide they hire. Hope's relationships with Brock and Aaren are less important, I'd say. Hope has struggled with belonging in her own community, and, I suppose this book is suggesting that maybe Hope will one day choose differently, that she may find where she belongs someplace out there.

So I said I was disappointed. That doesn't mean I hated it. That doesn't mean I disliked it. It means I didn't love, love, love it the same way as the first book.
© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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8. Igor

"hump… what hump?" #inktober day 23

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9. I asked PANDEMIC author, Yvonne Ventresca, to stop by and share some contagious facts about her book.

What is the title and genre of your book and a quick tag line?

Pandemic is a young adult novel published in May 2014 by Sky Pony Press. During a deadly contagious outbreak, one teenage girl must face disease, death, and her personal demons in order to survive.

Is this your first book? Second? Third. . .? (Feel free to list them all.)

Pandemic was my debut novel. I’ve also written two nonfiction books for teens: Avril Lavigne(a biography of the singer) and Publishing(about careers in the field).

(You can find more info on Yvonne's books here.)


Who is the intended audience for this book and why do you think they should read it?

Pandemic is for people ages 12+ who like survival stories. With Ebola in the news, Pandemic gives readers a way to think about a contagious disease in a fictional world. School Library Journal said, "This is an engrossing apocalyptic story, told through Lil’s eyes and newsfeeds as her neighborhood, then the East Coast, and finally the entire U.S. buckles to its knees as the pandemic spreads. . . . Themes of friendship and coming together in a crisis carry the novel."

What is your favorite thing about the main character?

Lilianna is resilient and good-hearted.

Where did the idea for this book spring from?

I find natural disasters and contagious diseases particularly worrisome, so these types of unpredictable situations have always been on my radar. When the Swine Flu pandemic occurred in 2009, it wasn’t particularly lethal, but it did make me wonder. What if a virus was extremely contagious and caused a high death rate? And what if a teen girl had to survive the outbreak on her own?

Tell us an unknown fact about the book.

Mr. B (the antagonist) was originally called Mr. D. During Pandemic’s final edits, my son switched to a school with a principal named Dr. D. Since the character is an evil man, I thought it would be wise to change the name. J

Tell us a little bit about you.

I grew up on Long Island and now live in New Jersey with my husband, two teens, two dogs, and some random fish. I write from home and am currently working on a psychological thriller set in Hoboken.

Give us a strange but true fact about you.

After attending an SCBWI conference and presenting a draft of Pandemic’s first page for critique, I returned home from the weekend with a horrible case of the flu. (The irony!) I took notes afterward and used parts of my delirium in later chapters of Pandemic.

If you could meet one famous person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?


When I’m not writing, I study karate. (You can learn more about my martial arts journey here.) I would love to go back in time and meet Tatsuo Shimabuku, the founder of Isshinryu karate.


If your main character could meet one famous person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Lilianna would want to meet the head of the CDC so she could learn the latest news about contagious diseases.

Thanks for stopping by Yvonne! 





To connect with Yvonne:
Facebook www.facebook.com/yvonneventrescaauthor

To buy Pandemic:
Book Depository www.bookdepository.com/Pandemic-Yvonne-Ventresca/9781628736090 

In person events:
October 26, 2014, Sunday, 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm
NJ Association of School Librarians Fall Conference
Authors' Alley
Long Branch, NJ

October 30, 2014, Thursday, 7:00 pm
Tour de Noir Author signing with Jennifer Murgia, Lisa Amowitz, Cyn Balog, Molly Cochran, Janice Gable Bashman, Dianne Salerni, Jessica Verday, Yvonne Ventresca and Elizabeth Keim.
Barnes & Noble, Easton, PA

November 1st and 2nd, 2014, Saturday and Sunday
NJ SCBWI Fall Craft Weekend, Faculty
Workshop: Revision Resources--Tools to Analyze Your Manuscript
Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, NJ
Saturday Craft Day is *free* to SCBWI members, but registration is required.

November 15, 2014, Saturday from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Author Day at the Hillsborough Library
Hillsborough Public Library, Hillsborough, NJ

December 13, 2014, Saturday from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm
Mary Jacobs Library Foundation Book Fest
Barnes & Noble, Princeton, NJ


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10. Excuse Me, You are a Rock Star.

cartoon computer by bob ostromHi readers its another busy week here at the studio. You may have noticed me posting a few videos last week. They are for a new class I have coming out starting November 6th. It’s called, Advanced Line Art Techniques and focuses on the methods I use to create line art with Adobe Illustrator. It’s a two part class and is for all skill levels. If you’re interested or would like to find out more about the class come see me at: BobTeachesArt.com

This time of year things tend to get busy for us illustrators. That can mean long hours and a lot of time spent organizing schedules, trying to find new projects and wondering where the last week went. Here’s a little tip for anyone who is feeling overwhelmed, out of sorts or needs a little pick-me-up. Go into your calendar and schedule a few positive reminders. Have your calendar send you those reminders on an alert at random times during the week. Next change the settings on your computer so it speaks your alerts. It’s hilarious and usually pops up right when you need it most.

Here’s how it works for me. I’m sitting at my desk after a long week of deadlines, maybe putting together some new ideas for a big program or something else I’m planning. The infamous artist’s self doubt starts to creep in and just as I begin to think maybe my high school guidance counselor was right and I should have considered a career as a pet waste fecal matter removal engineer my an alert goes off. My computer says in it’s slightly weird, slightly mispronounced computer voice, emphasis on all the wrong syllables ….” Excuse me Bob… You are a rock star!” 

Ok yeah, not quite as funny in print but I highly recommend trying it because even though it’s silly and ridiculous it reminds me to lighten up, get my head on straight and quit worrying about things I shouldn’t worry about. Thanks computer, you’re a rock star too…

 

 

The post Excuse Me, You are a Rock Star. appeared first on Bob Ostrom Studio - 919-809-6178.

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11. Waiting for Inspiration?

“Being a writer is not unlike being a medium; sometimes the message comes through loud and clear, sometimes it doesn’t,”   Joan Aiken said in a talk on writing ghost stories.  Perhaps this is particularly apt for those with a gift for sensing odd atmospheres or noticing the unusual in the everyday, as she certainly did, […]

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12. Close-out Shop Sale All this Week

Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 8.33.58 AM

SHOP here


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13. New Themes: Minnow and Cols

We’re happy to introduce two brand new free themes today!

Minnow

Minnow WordPress Theme

Designed by Mel Choyce, Minnow is a light, simple theme that puts your social presence front and center. A social links menu is displayed prominently below the site title and logo, so readers can easily find you on your favorite social networks.

When activated, the optional Custom Menu or Widget area appear in a slide-out sidebar, making secondary content accessible while keeping the focus on your content.

Learn more about the free Minnow theme at the Theme Showcase, or preview it by going to Appearance → Themes.

Cols

cols-featureimage
This theme is designed by yours trulyCols is a novel theme that lets you tell your stories without the layout getting in the way.

Standard-format posts are displayed in a newspaper-like layout, with three columns on large monitors, two columns on medium-sized displays, and a one-column layout on small screens like phones. Other supported post formats — Aside, Image, Video, Quote, Link, and Chat — are displayed in a simple single-column layout.

Learn more about the free Cols theme at the Theme Showcase, or preview it by going to Appearance → Themes.


Filed under: Themes

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14. Unveiling the cover for my new book: Blood Will Tell

BloodWillTellI'm so excited to share my new book cover with you. It's for Blood Will Tell, the second in my Point Last Seen series. When a woman’s body is found in a Portland park, suspicion falls on an awkward kid who lives only a few blocks feet away, a teen who collects knives, loves first-person shooter video games, and obsessively doodles violent scenes in his school notebooks. Nick Walker goes from being a member of Portland’s Search and Rescue team to the prime suspect in a murder, his very interest in SAR seen as proof of his fascination with violence. Then Nick's DNA turns up on the victim. How is this even possible? And can his SAR friends Alexis Frost and Ruby McClure find a way to help clear his name before its too late?

The series was inspired by the the real-life Multnomah County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue, which is a teen-led group that not only rescues people lost in the wilderness, but also does crime scene evidence recovery for local law enforcement. This particular book was inspired by two real life cases where innocent people ended up in jail after coincidences were seen as clear-cut evidence. One involved a person's behavior, the other DNA. 

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15. YA Historical Fiction: INFOGRAPHIC

The Age of YA 200Historical fiction writers set their stories in a number of different eras. Readers can explore anywhere from the medieval court of King Arthur to the Renaissance studio of Leonardo Da Vinci.

The team at EpicReads.com has created an infographic called “The Age of YA.” It lists 140 young adult books that could help in picking out your next read.

(more…)

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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16. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Lynn Cahoon, Author of Return of the Fae

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18063459-return-of-the-fae



In RETURN OF THE FAE, Book 2 of The Council series, Parris and Ty take off on a road trip to Cincinnati, Ohio to the stay at The Riverglen, the only magical specialty hotel in the downtown area.  Even though the hotel is warded against a guest using their magic to keep warring factions from using the facility as a hot zone, the staff members are skilled in the hospitality craft. Including those in charge of preparing the food guests ordered from the room service menu.


Parris brought road food along on the trip, munching on peanuts and Skittles during the drive up from St. Louis, but Ty disappeared before they could order real food. So she went crazy with the appetizers list for lunch and ordered one of each, hoping he arrived before the food either cooled or she ate her way through the trays of yummy-ness. The chicken fingers were to die for, but Parris loved the onion rings, their crispy outside reminding her of food from the best drive-in back home, The Hungry Onion.


Later, the couple ordered dinner and Parris had one of my favorite entrées of all time. Shrimp and grits.


With my recipe, I add crumbled spicy sausage, onions, and a touch of garlic to the mix before adding in a cup or so of whatever wine is open in the fridge. Then I let the shrimp steam on top while the grits are cooking. I just use the recipe on the box to cook my grits, with maybe just a tad more salt. Then as they’re finishing, I add a cup of various types of shredded cheese and a quarter cup of sour cream mixing until smooth.


Line a deep soup bowl with the grit mixture, then ladle the shrimp and sausage mixture into the middle with a lot of the pan drippings.


Heaven.

I’m sure the version the hotel gave Parris was just as yummy. And as fattening. Of course, as a witch in training, the one thing she’s realized is she never-ever has to worry about calories again. Now that’s one magic trick I’d love to learn. 



Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Lynn!




USA Today and New York Times best-selling author Lynn Cahoon is an Idaho native. If you’d visit the town where she grew up, you’d understand why her mysteries and romance novels focus around the depth and experience of small town life. Currently, she’s living in a small historic town on the banks of the Mississippi river where her imagination tends to wander. She lives with her husband and four fur babies.



You can find Lynn here:







Return of the Fae – Book 2 of The Council series

A witch in training, a hunter on the prowl, and a world in jeopardy. Learning the rules of being a witch takes years, but Parris McCall needs to master them in only weeks. Ty Wallace is going mad with his desire for Parris, but she’s a distraction in his quest to find Coven X before they take The Council and everyone he knows down. The couple searches for Ty’s missing mentor. Their only clue comes from a banished witch. Upon returning, a new life hangs in the balance.

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17. Mr. Squirrel and the Moon - a book review



"You're never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child."   -Dr. Seuss



Today's featured book:





Title:  Mr. Squirrel and the Moon
Author and Illustrator:  Sebastian Meschenmoser
Ages:  4-8

Let's take a peek inside shall we?


























About the book:

This book is clever, whimsical and the illustrations really drive the whole story.  A little squirrel wakes up one morning and finds the moon has crashed into his tree.  How in the world could the moon fall out of the sky and land right near his home?  He starts pondering and then gets scared because what if someone thought he stole it?  Oh my.  He may be labelled a thief and end up in jail.  What is he to do?  

He decides to roll that big, old heavy moon (which is really a runaway wheel of cheese that has gone rogue off a farmer's cart and finally plunks down on Mr. Squirrel's branch) out of sight so he has no chance of incrimination by the other animals around him.  

Unfortunately the moon drops with a thud and lands right on top of Mrs. Hedgehog and gets quite stuck in her bristles.  Oh my.  How to set her free from such a heavy burden?  Along comes a billy-goat who takes it upon himself to butt the moon with his horns, thus relinquishing Mrs. Hedgehog to freedom.  The cheesy moon hangs on to Billy Goat really tight and won't give him his head back.  Oh my.

Enter a swarm of mice ready to save the day, and save the day they do!  They eat the goat to freedom, a very tough job but someone has to do it right?  All the animals feel conviction and feel that if they do not return the moon to it's rightful place in the sky they ALL might end up in jail. Together they devise a creative plan to wing it back into the night sky where it belongs. After a hectic, worrisome, successful adventure the animals settle down to look up into the sky and see the fruits of their labor....well really not fruit ..... but the cheese of their labour.  I think this is a book that both adults and kids will throughly enjoy.


About the author:




Sebastian Meschenmoser was born in 1980 and both authors and illustrates his books.  He has many children books to choose from and is highly acclaimed for his talent and creativity.  





Book review rating:  8 (Fantastic!)

Read on and read always!  



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18. The Flat Rabbit

Let me say it right away: This is one strange book. After a first read, I was pretty sure I would not be reviewing it. Then a few weeks passed and I picked it up again and reread it. It's still a strange book, but this time I saw its appeal.

The Flat Rabbit has a simple plot. A dog and a rat come across a rabbit on the side of the road. The rabbit is obviously deceased, run over no doubt by a car. Yet this fact is never mentioned. The crux of the book is the dog and rat deciding what to do with the rabbit. They knew her vaguely but weren't close. Yet something must be done; they both feel they can't leave her carcass lying there. After pondering the problem, the dog comes up with a solution. He and the rat peel her body from the road and attach it to a kite. Then they fly the kite until is high above them and release it to continue its journey skyward.

What I found compelling the second time around was the questioning attitude of the dog and rat. Much like children, neither one had answers--or even were sure of the questions. Yet they didn't flinch from the subject of death and how best to honor a life.

Marita Thomsen translated Oskarsson's text from Faroese, and to my ears has done a good job. The minimalistic text is understated and at times droll.

"They could leave her outside number 34, but what would the people there think if they saw a dog and a rat bringing back their rabbit, totally flattened? No good would come of that."

Oskarsson's illustrations, done in pastel watercolors, are equally spare. Everything isn't spelled out for young readers; they'll have to make connections by closely looking at the pictures. Is the gray car on the facing page that shows the flattened rabbit responsible for its condition? The author/illustrator isn't saying.

Honest, secular books for children about death are rare indeed. Margaret Wise Brown and Remy Charlip's The Dead Bird springs to mind. My favorite, though, is Duck, Death and the Tulip by Wolf Erlbruch. (Read my review.The Flat Rabbit has joined this short list. I'm glad I gave it another chance.

The Flat Rabbit
by Bardur Oskarsson
Owl Kids, 40 pages
Published: september 2014

  

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19. apples, stars...and cake

©the enchanted easel 2014
...because cake is always important! ;)

{a piece of my painting in progress...to be released on november 1st in honor of a special character who is turning the big 4-0. *hint*-she's a girl dressed in a cat costume. not quite sure i get that, but i love her anyway. ;)}

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20. New Tutorial: King Crown Art Pancake

 Exodus 20:3
Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

Wow, it's been awhile since I've posted a tutorial for art pancakes, but I've still been making them for my kids behind the scenes.  If you've checked out my YouTube channel recently, you may have noticed that I re-uploaded quite a few of my videos.  I wanted to re-translate the Bible scriptures that I was using in Arabic and in Thai (2 of my top countries that watch my channel are Saudi Arabia and Thailand). In the past, I've used Google translate but recently I've found actual Bibles in Arabic and Thai to use so this was an answer to prayer for me! Anyhow, that took awhile to fix and re-upload my videos.

Another thing that I've been doing since Spring, but haven't mentioned yet on this blog is that I've been enjoying teaching a children's all-girl Sunday School class at our church. I use art projects and art pancakes to teach the Bible. I just love teaching this class so much!  I would like to start sharing some of the fun things we've been doing in my class with you. I also use the same lessons from my Sunday school and teach them to my children at home and also the kids on YouTube. It's been a blessing to be able to share my love of God and use my gifts for him in these areas. 

Anyhow, I have been praying about what to teach next to my own kids, my Sunday school class, and the kids on YouTube and I really feel led to teach the 10 Commandments. If you've been on this blog for a few years, you'll know that I taught my own kids the 10 Commandments 2 years ago (and it took a year to complete) using art pancakes but I know that this is something that God wants us to talk about continually with our children and I'm looking forward to tackling this again! This time, I'm going to try to come up with new ideas for teaching this in art pancakes and this might be a challenge but I'll pray my way through........

Here is the link to my new video on YouTube or you can watch it here on my blog:



Ok, about the pancake tutorial...this King Crown is actually a sandwich that I made for my own kids' lunchboxes. I also let my Sunday school class make their own crowns in pancake art so that is definitely something you can do if you don't want to make the pancakes yourself. I can almost guarantee that your kids (boys too) will love pancake art.  It amazes me how much kids universally love pancake art because I've tried it with such a variety of children in school classrooms, playdates, and church. I shouldn't be so amazed though, since I love pancake art also!

Anyhow, this King Crown represents God because he is the King of Kings and with the 1st Commandment, we are to worship and serve him only and put him first in our lives. I had my SS class tell me a list of their favorite people and things and then I told them that they are to put God above all those things. 

If you're curious, Here is the link to all of my past art pancakes for the 10 Commandments.

Let me know if you give this tutorial a try!

Blessings,
Jenni

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21. The glorious Dracula as presented by the Brandywine Ballet, and co-starring the stunning Emma Yasick




We drove through the rain to West Chester University—just the right mood, just the right weather—where we were granted the very special privilege of watching the dress rehearsal of "Dracula," a ballet for which the Brandywine Ballet has become rightly well-known.

This "Dracula" belongs to Nancy Page, a former dancer, a beloved Brandywine teacher, and the choreographer who brilliantly fit the essence of the Bram Stoker story upon the light limbs of delicate dancers, into the mauves and peaches and creams of fluid fabrics, and beneath the spackled lights of the Asplundh stage. It is a mesmerizing spectacle, perfectly steeped in visual and aural seductions. It makes room for dancers of many ages, asks the young to carry flames, bends into itself without repeating itself. The dancers wear masks, but we in the audience do not. We are open to this story, vulnerable to the talent, looking for the light inside the moody backdrop blues and purples and grays.

Among the dancers floats and lifts and reaches one Emma Yasick, the daughter of friends. She has been dancing much of her life. She is, even in a pair of jeans, a ballerina, pure. On a slender frame she carries her intelligence. With extraordinary poise she lengthens the distance between her chin and shoulderblades. She is integral to the dancing and she is very much herself, and when I sat there, beside her mother in the dark, I asked (a whisper):

Do you always see her at once when she enters the stage?

I always do, she said.

I am grateful that my husband was with us last evening. That he took his camera down to the edge of the stage and caught some moments on film. This is Emma Yasick dancing in "Dracula," with a company—the Brandywine Ballet—that is her second home.

I'm not sure if this extraordinary production is already sold out. It absolutely should be. But if tickets remain, and if you have time, I strongly encourage you to find out more here.

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22. "...and the local library matters." - Bill Moyers


One of the best books I read this year and a truly important reading experience is The Public Library, a photographic essay by Robert Dawson. Published by Princeton Architectural Press, this is a gorgeously designed book of photos and essays on American public libraries, which I could not stop paging through.

Right now, you are probably thinking you know what the book is and agree with me that it's important and yet you likely have no interest in paging through it. A book like this is a good thing, but you already value libraries, right? You think you don't need this one.

Allow me to convince you otherwise.

I know public libraries matter on many levels. My hometown library had a huge influence on my life and I know that sentiment is the same for a lot of other people. So I approached The Public Library expecting an appreciation and I certainly was not disappointed on that score. But there is a lot more going on in this book, in the essays (by Bill Moyers, Ann Patchett, Amy Tan, Barbara Kingsolver and more) and the photos.

Dawson shows libraries in a variety of situations: urban and rural, small communities and large, in remote locations and city centers. The design differences are amazing and the closed facilities are heartbreaking but what really got to me was seeing how really useful the libraries are in unexpected ways. Also, the issue of homeless patrons came up several times and the essayists were pretty blunt on that subject.

While I was reading The Public Library and pouring over the photos, what struck me time and again was that open, free libraries are not a gift for a community, but a necessity. They are an equalizing force between the rich and poor and as significant as schools and the right to vote. They can make the difference for so much that might be missing in your life and be a game-changer in so many ways.

The best case scenario would find all of our elected officials sitting down and reading this book. It's the type of title that makes you think and inspires action. (I feel like I'm getting almost silly about libraries right now but I can't help it; just looking at these pictures touched my heart.)

The Public Library--obvious choice for book lovers but an even more important one for folks who just don't get it yet and need to be persuaded.

Listen to an interview with Robert Dawson at NPR.

[Post pics from the book.]

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23. Synopsis 42


On her sixteenth-birthday, Junie’s best friend Joe warns her of her gangster-leaning, hip-hop singing, driving habits, but Junie won’t listen. She ends up crashing her birthday car into a ditch, almost killing herself. [Joe was right. The accident was caused by Junie's poor taste in music.] On top of her accident, Junie is attacked by a cello-toting homeless guy named Hagi who leaves her a cryptic note. When Junie gets to school the next day, [She has a car wreck so horrendous she almost dies, yet she's back in school the next day? I'd expect at least a two-week hospital stay.] she narrowly avoids a hair-pulling, nail-scratching catfight with her school’s bully, Rebecca Umpteenth, [Umpteenth? Really?] because Viscount appears in the school office. [Was she about to engage in this "cat fight" in the school office?] [And who is Viscount?] Viscount is one of the 25 immortals, [You're assuming I know who you mean by the 25 immortals, which I do, having read the query, but I think the synopsis should work independently.] and he tells her that she is in danger and she must leave the school now and go with him. [A stranger telling a 16-year-old to leave school is like a stranger telling a 4-year-old to come with him and he'll give her candy. Irresistible.]

Junie finds out from Viscount that because of her accident and almost-death the other day, the men become aware of her presence. She is the reincarnation of a witch named Riveya, who poisoned 25 men with her love potion in order to gain control of Crown Realm. [Whoa. And she buys this? Does he offer any evidence that this isn't just a wild fantasy story he made up to get her to follow him?] Viscount tells her that some men want to kill Riveya, and since she is her reincarnation, she is in danger. When Viscount leaves to protect Junie’s parents, [From what?] Junie searches through his base and finds evidence that she cannot trust his words. [This is backwards. If someone tells you you're the incarnation of a witch, you don't look for evidence that he's lying; you demand evidence that he isn't lying.] She finds evidence Viscount stalked her far earlier than her past birthday.

Eventually, Junie decides she can no longer be normal and teams up with Viscount, transporting herself to Crown Realm [Transporting herself? What does that mean?] to discover how to end the curse. Junie has to lie to her best friend Joe, who knows something is wrong and calls her trying to find out. [Apparently Crown Realm has excellent cell phone service. I was thinking it was in another dimension or something. Where is it?] She also has to lie to Rebecca, who has become suspicious and more aggressive following her kidnapping from Tev. [Tev? What's Tev?] Plus, Junie has no idea what to tell her parents about her sudden behavior. [I thought Junie was in Crown Realm. Where are her parents?] The police tail her [The Crown Realm police?] because of her connection with Tev's actions in kidnapping Rebecca. [You said Rebecca was kidnapped from Tev. Now it sounds like she was kidnapped by Tev.] [Why was Rebecca kidnapped?]

Junie’s efforts to uncover the cure for the love potion are thwarted by another boyfriend, Aren, who has is the reigning King of Crown Realm. Aren does not want to be cured of the love potion, because he likes being immortal. Aren wants to use Junie to kill the other immortals- or rather, immobilize them by decapitation. [The king should have an army at his disposal, which would be more efficient at decapitating 25 guys than one 16-year-old girl would.]

Finally, Junie comes head-to-head with Tev, saving police officers from his destruction. She wins with no help from anyone else. Her victory is cut short when she finds out her best friend Joe has been transformed into an immortal boyfriend himself by a witch from Riveya’s plan. [A witch from Riveya's plan? What does that mean?]


Notes

The synopsis seems highly disorganized. This will convince the reader that the book has the same problem. If you're convinced this book is ready to be published, I recommend going through an agent or publisher that doesn't require a synopsis.

A better idea might be to set the book aside while you work on another project or two and then read it and decide if it's salvageable. If the synopsis is an accurate summary of Junie's story, the plot may need an overhaul.

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24. Sebastian Robertson's ROCK & ROLL HIGHWAY: THE ROBBIE ROBERTSON STORY

Decades ago--and now, too--I revel in the music of The Band. I was amongst those who went to see the film The Last Waltz. Of course, I bought CDs, too. At the time, I knew Robbie Robertson was Native, but didn't know much else about him. Today, I'm pleased as can be to share Rock and Roll Highway: The Robbie Robertson Story. Here's the cover:



Thanks to this book, I've had the opportunity to learn a lot more about Robertson. Released this year (2014) by Henry Holt, the biography is written by Sebastian Robertson (yeah, Robbie's son). The illustrations by Adam Gustavson are terrific.

Robertson is Mohawk.

The second page of Rock and Roll Highway is titled "We Are the People of the Longhouse." There, we learn that his given name is Jaime Royal Robertson. His mother is Mohawk; his father is Jewish.

Allow me to dwell on the title for that page... "We Are the People of the Longhouse." That is so cool... so very cool... Why? Because this book is published by a major publisher, which means lots of libraries are likely to get it, and lots of kids--Mohawk ones, too!--are going to read that title. And look at young Robbie on the cover. Sitting on a car. Wearing a tie. The potential for this book to push back on stereotypes of Native people is spectacular!

In the summers, Robertson and his mom went to the Six Nations Indian Reservation where his mom grew up (I'm guessing that "Indian Reservation" was added to Six Nations because the former is more familiar to US readers, but I see that decision as a missed opportunity to increase what kids know about First Nations). There were lots of relatives at Six Nations, and lots of gatherings, too, where elders told stories. The young Robbie liked those stories and told his mom that one day, he wanted to be a storyteller, too.

That life--as a storyteller who tells with music--is wonderfully presented in Rock and Roll Highway. Introduce students to Robertson using this bio and his music. Make sure you have the CDs specific to his Mohawk identity. The first one is Music for Native Americans. Ulali, one of my favorite groups, is part of that CD. Check out this video from 2010. In it, Robertson and Ulali are on stage together (Ulali's song, Mahk Jchi, is one of my all time favorites. It starts at the 4:39 mark in this video):




The second album is Contact from the Underworld of Redboy. Get it, too.

Back to the book: Ronnie Hawkins. Bob Dylan. They figure prominently in Robertson's life. The closing page has terrific photographs of Robertson as a young child, a teen, and a dad, too.

Teachers are gonna love the pages titled "An Interview with My Dad, Robbie Robertson" in which Sebastian tells readers to interview their own parents. That page shows a post card Robertson sent to his mother while he was on the road. Things like post cards carry a good deal of family history. I pore over the ones I have--that my parents and grandparents sent to each other.

Deeply satisfied with Rock and Roll Highway: The Robbie Robertson Story, I highly recommend it.  

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25. Expectation, Event, Reaction

This month, as you pre-plot for NaNoWriMo, keep in mind that every story and plot idea you brainstorm encompasses 3+ potential scenes:


1) Anticipation
          Anticipation of an upcoming event, creates curiosity and sets up tension in the reader not knowing, will the protagonist be successful or not?

2) Event
          The actual event the protagonist has been anticipating with expectation creates external dramatic action

3) Reaction
          How the protagonist reacts to the event gives clues to the reader about how she internalizes what just happened

Today I write! Rather, today I pre-plot for NaNo!

For pre-plotting tips and tricks and how to write a novel in a month, check out my Plot Whisperer books: 

1)  The Plot Whisperer Workbook: Step-by-step Exercises to Help You Create Compelling Stories
2)  The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master
3)  The Plot Whisperer Book of Writing Prompts: Easy Exercises to Get You Writing.
  ~~~~~~~~
To continue writing and revising (and, lots of writers are finding PlotWriMo the exact right resource to help pre-plot for a powerful first draft. Knowing what to look for in a revision helps create a tighter first draft):
  •  
  • PlotWriMo: Revise Your Novel in a Month
 ~~ View your story in an entirely new light. Recharge your energy and enthusiasm for your writing. 8 videos (5.5 hours)+ 30 exercises


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