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1. Trauma happens, so what can we do about it?

By Carolyn Lunsford Mears, Ph.D.


Fifteen years ago, 20 April 1999, it happened in my community… at my son’s school. Two heavily armed seniors launched a deadly attack on fellow students, teachers, and staff at Columbine High School in Jefferson County, Colorado.

As the event played out live on broadcast TV, millions around the globe watched in horror as emergency responders evacuated survivors and transported the wounded. At first, a quiet sort of disbelief mixed with shock and anguish descended upon us. Hours later, when the final tally was released – 15 dead, 26 injured – the reality of the tragedy brought the entire community to its knees.

The Columbine shootings became a benchmark event for school violence in the United States. I thought surely this was the turning point; nothing like this would ever happen again. Yet, barely a month later, Conyers, Georgia was added to the list of communities devastated by a shooting. At an alarming rate more towns and neighborhoods join the list, which now includes shootings in theaters, youth camps, shopping malls, and churches.

Memorial quote NORMAL

In 1999, trauma counseling primarily addressed PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) among veterans and victims of domestic violence, abuse, or sexual assault. Few strategies addressed wholesale community trauma. Even less was available to help parents manage the day-to-day challenges of parenting traumatized teens or to advise traumatized educators on teaching students who had witnessed murder in their own school. My response to the situation was to learn as much as I could about what helps people recover from the crushing shock and grief that follows catastrophe, which led me to doctoral research and a continuing focus on trauma as a human experience.

Mass shootings like at Columbine, Sandy Hook, and Utøya, Norway are only one type of trauma we may face. Life has risk, and even the best planning doesn’t ensure invulnerability. Random events happen… accidents, sudden death of a loved one, natural disaster, assault; the list seems endless. Thankfully, effective approaches for promoting recovery are becoming more widely known.

Whenever a tragic event grabs headlines and non-stop media coverage, generous offers support and resources start flooding in. For personal traumas, the situation is different; survivors often suffer in silence as they try to find a way to a livable future alone.

Columbine Memorial

Research that offers insight into trauma’s effects can help us better understand the challenges people face. Efforts to promote public awareness of trauma and recovery offer a genuine benefit. Many are unaware that trauma is a natural human condition, a biologic response to an experience in which the victim feels powerless and overwhelmed in the face of life-threatening or life-changing circumstance.

The human brain is charged with survival, and traumatic response is its attempt to learn from a threatening situation in order to survive threat in the future. Humans try to make sense of their world, and when everything turns to chaos, the brain struggles to learn to identify future risks and to regain a feeling of competence and comfort in the everyday. Behaviors associated with traumatic stress include hypervigilence; extreme sensitivity to smells, sights, and sounds connected to the event; flashbacks; anxiety; anger; depression; and memory problems.

The good news is that even in the face of such challenge, people can successfully integrate their trauma-experience into their own personal history and reclaim their life with a renewed sense of purpose. Victims and their families find that this process takes time and sensitivity. For some, caring friends, family, clergy, and social resources are enough. Others, not everyone, may develop clinical PTSD that best responds to professional counseling. Unfortunately, some may try to “just forget about it” and “get back to the way things used to be,” thereby short-circuiting the process of real recovery. Unresolved trauma can take a high toll on relationships and quality of life.

I no longer take anything for granted

Trauma’s effect on our lives, as individuals and as communities, may be more widespread than commonly realized. It isn’t a problem faced only by the military; it is not uncommon among civilians. Estimates are that in the United States about 6 out of every 10 men (60%) and 5 of every 10 women (50%) experience at least one traumatic event in their life. For men, it is likely an accident, physical assault, combat, disaster, or witnessing death or injury. For women, the risk is more likely domestic violence, sexual assault, or abuse. A 2004 study reported by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network found that over 50% of children had experienced a traumatic event.

A sense of shame and perceived stigma from needing psychological counseling may keep people from seeking help. Perhaps with education to increase understanding of trauma, more will realize that traumatic response is not a sign of weakness or defect. Instead, it can be a sign of a healthy, normal attempt to reclaim a sense of well-being and safety.

Life after tragedy can bring a deeper sense of purpose and heightened appreciation for living. A former Columbine student I had first interviewed for Reclaiming School in the Aftermath of Trauma: Advice Based on Experience and again later for another study said,

I used to think I was a totally different person after Columbine. That there is no way I could have emerged without being radically altered. And trust me, I was. But what I realize now is that at my core, at my very center, there continues the essence of who I was before, and maybe more importantly, who I was meant to be.

Outcomes such as this are possible. People are slowly recognizing trauma as a critical health issue, not only in the United States but worldwide. Public dialogue can reduce the stigma and isolation felt in trauma’s aftermath. Increased recognition of the occurrence of trauma among civilians and the military, combined with greater awareness of trauma as a natural response, can make a profound difference in the lives of millions. That’s a goal that deserves attention.

Carolyn Lunsford Mears, Ph.D., is a founder of Sandy Hook-Columbine Cooperative, a non-profit foundation dedicated to trauma recovery and resilient communities. She is an award-winning author, speaker, and researcher. She is the author of “A Columbine Study: Giving Voice, Hearing Meaning.” (available to read for free for a limited time) in the Oral History Review. Her 2012 anthology, Reclaiming School in the Aftermath of Trauma, won a prestigious Colorado Book of the Year Award, given by the Colorado affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, alliance member of the National Centre for Therapeutic Care, Fellow of the Planned Environment Therapy Trust, and Board of Directors member for the I Love You Guys Foundation, and adjunct faculty at the University of Denver.

The Oral History Review, published by the Oral History Association, is the U.S. journal of record for the theory and practice of oral history. Its primary mission is to explore the nature and significance of oral history and advance understanding of the field among scholars, educators, practitioners, and the general public. Follow them on Twitter at @oralhistreview, like them on Facebook, add them to your circles on Google Plus, follow them on Tumblr, listen to them on Soundcloud, or follow the latest OUPblog posts via email or RSS to preview, learn, connect, discover, and study oral history.

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Image credit: All images of the Columbine Memorial courtesy of Carolyn Lunsford Mears. Do not reproduce without permission.

The post Trauma happens, so what can we do about it? appeared first on OUPblog.

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2. Together We Can Make a Difference

Imagine the impact if all of us who care about children and libraries arrived together in Washington urging our legislators to support the crucial work we do! Can’t make it to Washington? Neither can I. But you and I and children’s librarians everywhere can participate in Virtual Library Legislative Day (VLLD). Every one of us can let our Senators and representatives in Congress know how important we are to our communities and to our nation’s literacy. VLLD this year is May 6. No time on May 6 to write a note? Any day from May 5-9 will do. But let’s do it together on these days so our voices will be heard.

The ALSC Advocacy and Legislation Committee and ALSC’s Everyday Advocacy web site are supporting our members so that we can all participate in VLLD 2014. Find contact information for your Senators and Representatives at http://www.contactingthecongress.org/. Then, think about the issues that are most important to you. In the coming days, the Advocacy and Legislation Committee will be providing you with talking points on such issues as Library funding through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS); libraries, early learning, and the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) program; and support for school libraries in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Now, check our Everyday Advocacy VLLD page at http://www.ala.org/everyday-advocacy/take-action-vlld-14 for a growing wealth of resources.

Do your Senators and Representatives know that LSTA funds provide libraries with databases that are essential for students doing their homework and to citizens looking for help in writing resumes and finding jobs? Do they know that the IAL program is vital to students learning to function in the digital age? Will they support an ESEA bill that will maintain dedicated federal funding for school libraries and move us toward school libraries with state-certified school librarians in every public school? Do they know the work you are doing to prepare children for entering school and to foster literacy as they grow into lifelong learners?

Do your librarian colleagues know about VLLD? Perhaps not, but you can help spread the word to friends and fellow librarians. Through local listservs, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social media, you can help us swell the call for library support. The goal is to contact legislators between May 5 and May 9.

As funding for libraries is threatened, who among us cannot find five or ten minutes to let legislators know that our work is crucial to our country’s future? Participate in VLLD 2014. You’ll feel good about your participation. Together we can make a difference.

**************************************

Rita Auerbach, member of the ALSC Board and of the Coretta Scott King/Virginia Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award Committee, and the Co-Chair of the Pura Belpré 20th Anniversary Task Force, wrote this post on behalf of the ALSC Advocacy and Legislation Committee.

 

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3. The 2014 Hugo Awards: Thoughts on the Nominees

The nominees for the 2014 Hugo awards were announced last night, and now I can reveal the news that I've been sitting on for one of the longest weeks of my life: I am nominated in the Best Fan Writer category!  I want to congratulate my fellow nominees, Liz Bourke, Kameron Hurley, Foz Meadows, and Mark Oshiro (who together make up what I think is the most female-dominated slate in the category's

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4. (Mis)translation into Korean

       In The Korean Times Yun Suh-young reports on Lost in translation: New book explores mistranslation in Korean literature.
       I'd love to see more studies on mistranslation ! Though, of course, it's really just a matter of perspective, isn't it ? All translation is mistranslation, and it's just a matter of whether your focus is on the miss or the translation, so to speak.
       Still, interesting that, for example:

In Korea, writer Ahn Jung-hyo, was one of the first movers in translating his Korean work into English on his own. The English works of Ahn are significantly different from the Korean version because in writing the Korean novel into English, he freely translated, added and re-wrote some parts into the foreign language.
       (Not really the kind of thing I want to hear, I have to say.)

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5. THINGY THINGS: Crabby Crab and Cowy Cow by Chris Raschka

Back in 2000 Caldecott Medalist Chris Raschka published eight Thingy Thing books that eventually went out of print in 2006. Now abrams appleseed has revived the series and plans to publish four new Thingy Things books! Raschka originally conceived the series for his son, now a college freshman, when he was three. As Cecily Kaiser, publishing director of abrams appleseed, and the person

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6. Appy Hour Book Apps for Kids: Happy Easter, Little Critter

Send to Kindle

Happy Easter, Little Critter by Mercer Mayer

Happy Easter from all of us at Jump Into a Book!

It’s Easter and Little Critter is ready to celebrate! Join Little Critter and his family as they enjoy traditional Easter activities. Plus, go on your very own Easter egg hunt to find 100 eggs hidden throughout this charming story. Can you find all 100? Mercer Mayer’s Little Critter stories, which address all the major issues of growing up, are perennial favorites of parents and children.

Little Critter

OceanHouse Media has this wonderful and festive ebook for kids available for only .99. Perfect for a quiet read in the car on the way to Grandma’s house :)  New features only available in this interactive omBook include professional narration, background audio and enlarged artwork for each scene.

Little Critter

To promote reading in young children, individual words are highlighted as the story is read and words zoom up when pictures are touched. By combining the original text and artwork of author Mercer Mayer with features that entertain and promote reading, this omBook appeals to readers of all ages.

Recommended Ages: 2 – 5

Something To Do

We love these free Little Critter coloring pages!

critter

Looking for more Little Critters Activities? To enjoy more Little Critter stories, go here.

happy easter

 

 Source

Send to Kindle

The post Appy Hour Book Apps for Kids: Happy Easter, Little Critter appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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7. It's Easter day! Happy Easter!



Happy Easter! I hope the Easter bunny doesn't pass you by this year, but if he does, just remember, he will not forget your children. This cartoon reminds me of what my brother used to do to me- He would take the eggs I found, put them in his Easter basket and RUN.
                                         


So, to the kids who have older siblings, who are egg snatchers, go and look for your eggs before they're awake, and do not let your basket out of sight. The Easter bunny wants all children to look for the eggs he's hidden, besides, can you imagine how long it took him to hide them just for you? But, I do not think you will have that problem.- For one thing this bunny looks like he might trip on his shoe laces any minute. I wish my brother would have had shoes like that.-
                                                   

Once again, Happy Easter to adults and children alike, and thanks for stopping by A Nice Place In The Sun.

Oh yeah, don't forget to let me know 'What Song is in your head today?' Mine is posted in the sidebar.

Thanks again-

Thank-you Google Cartoon images and thanks www.wpclipart.com

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8. Happy Easter!!!

The following is my annual Easter re-post.


Every so often, a reader will tell me their impression of something I wrote in a way that deepens my own understanding of my own words. Someone in Florida once told me how a decision one of my characters made helped her illustrate a sentiment she'd been trying to get across to her friends.

Here's what she told me:

In the past, I've had to help friends realize that life goes on even after you've made a poor decision. Not because you move on or get over it, but because you grow as a result of it. You build something new, something with a higher purpose, using what you've learned as one of your bricks.

When I read that, my heart leapt! Since there was no way I could say it any better, I immediately knew I'd be using her words in future speeches (and blog posts).

So what does this have to do with Easter?

One of the most beautiful ideas surrounding this holiday is that we're all given an opportunity to make corrections if we find ourselves traveling down a road we don't want to (or shouldn't) be on. In fact, we're given that opportunity to change every day. Every second! But sometimes we need a calendar to remind us.

Refresh. Repair. Rebirth. Whatever you want to call it...

Renewal is a wonderful blessing!

Easter 2014

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9. Question of the Week: Have You Ever Quit Writing?



Hey everyone! Clara Kensie here. Pretty much the only thing writers love as much as books and writing is talking about books and writing. So each week at Adventures in YA Publishing, we’ll post a question for you to answer. The questions cover all topics important to writers: craft, career, writers’ life, reading and books. Together we’ll become better writers by sharing tips and discussing our habits and practices.

Question of the Week
April 20, 2014
Have you ever given up writing? Why? What brought you back?



Jan Lewis: Yes! I gave up on writing when I was pregnant with my youngest. Between the exhaustion and the morning sickness that lasted the entire pregnancy, I just didn't have the energy for it. And of course while I wasn't writing, the doubts crept in. "Am I really a writer if I haven't written for a year? Maybe I don't have what it takes." What brought me back? Martina did.

Martina Boone: This is one of the biggest regrets of my life. I am horrible about trusting myself. I started writing seriously when my son was a baby, and I wrote a few picture books that came close to publication. I snagged a wonderful agent, a superstar agent, who intimidated the crap out of me. And then I decided to write an adult novel. My first adult novel. Without a clue what the heck I was doing. Seat of the pants stuff.

Needless to say, my superstar agent dropped me after reading it, without saying why or providing any feedback. I was devastated and figured I wasn’t meant to be a writer. We were short on money then too, so I started a business and worked about 18 hours a day for a while on top of having two little kids. I told myself that I was too busy to write. I made all kinds of excuses. Then my daughter started reading young adult books, and I fell in love with the genre and started to dip a toe back in. I started Adventures in YA Publishing to learn how to write an actual novel, and I’m still learning from our wonderful guest authors and from Clara, Lisa, and Jan. Not to mention all the wonderful bloggers and authors online. If you want to be a writer, if you want to write a book, if you want to reach people because you have something to say, then here’s my advice. DON’T give up. Don’t diminish your dreams. Write and you’re a writer, even if you’re only managing to write 50 words a day.

Lisa Gail Green: We've all had those feelings that surface when we reach the bottom of the roller coaster where we feel like throwing in the towel. But if you do that then you can NEVER achieve your dreams, so why not try? I am, have always been, and will always be a proponent of encouraging others to work hard and keep trying. I've had points in my life where I put writing on hold, but I hadn't truly committed yet. Since I started doing it seriously? No. I have come close as anyone, but have not quit. I've kept moving forward, sometimes at a slower pace than others, like when I had my third child, but I've never given up and I have no plans to!

Clara Kensie: I met with some author friends recently, and we discussed this topic. The takeaway from that discussion was a quote from author R.A. Salvatore: “If you can quit, then quit. If you can’t quit, then you are a writer.” That quote really resonated with me. Yes, there have been times I’ve wanted to quit. Times when I wonder why I got myself into this. Times when I wonder if the struggle is worth it. Last February, my agent (the amazing Laura Bradford) was the unfortunate recipient of an email in which I poured my heart out after a particularly discouraging month. Her frank response got me back on track, and it still keeps me afloat: “Would you stop writing (because of this)? Of course not. You are going to keep writing no matter what.” Yes, I am going to keep writing. No matter what. I can’t quit, even if I tried.

YOUR TURN: Have you ever quit writing? Why? What brought you back?

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10. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #378: Featuring Laurie Keller

Happy Easter and Passover to one and all. You’d think I’d have bunnies for you today, given the Easter holiday anyway, but nope. I’ve got doughnuts. Lots of doughnuts.

Back at the beginning of the month, I chatted with author-illustrator Laurie Keller over at Kirkus about her new chapter book series about Arnie the Doughnut. The first two books in the series are Bowling Alley Bandit, published last year, and Invasion of the Ufonuts, released in February of this year. These are published by Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt and were inspired by Laurie’s beloved 2003 picture book, Arnie the Doughnut. We talked (here) about writing funny books for children, slapstick humor, schools visits, and Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Today, I follow up with some treats from Laurie. She shares some sketches and, well … she pretty much shows us how she does what she does. And I really appreciate her sharing. It’s fun stuff, and it’s neat to get an inside look at it all.

Without further ado, here’s Laurie …

* * *

Laurie: These are the opening two spreads for Bowling Alley Bandit (Book 1) that show Mr. Bing and Arnie laughing about how Mr. Bing tried to eat Arnie in the original picture book.


“Hey, Mr. Bing, do you remember the time you tried to eat me?”
(Click to enlarge)




 

I needed a way to show why Arnie wouldn’t be a doughnut-dog all the time in this series (like he turned out to be in the original picture book), so he explains:




 

I like adding extra jokes on the sidelines that have nothing to do with the main story:

 


“If you spell BOWL backwards, you get LWOB. I’m a LWOB.”
(Click to enlarge)

This spread introduces Peezo, Arnie’s new favorite bowling alley friend. He’ll be in each book in the series.




 

In each book, a famous person makes a cameo appearance a few times. In Bowling Alley Bandit, it’s Albert Einstein.


In Invasion of the Ufonuts, it’s George Washington.

 




 

This spread introduces Betsy, Mr. Bing’s new purple bowling ball. Unbeknownst to everyone, she gets stolen, which sets all the trouble in motion.

 




 

To create the art for these books, I do line drawings, then scan them into the computer and add textures and the gray values in Photoshop.

 



 

The finished illustration:

 




 

Sketches of bowling pins and bowling balls used to complete one of the illustrations:

 




 

Bowling ball return sketch and pattern I used to do the finished illustration:

 


(Click to enlarge)




 

Bowler sketches (first two images) for finished illustration:

 






 

Sketches of people and parts for the bowling alley tournament night illustration:

 



(Click each to enlarge)




 

Photo reference, sketch, and close-up illustration:

 


(Click to enlarge)


 

I use variations in type size and style to break up longer blocks of text.

 





 

This was one of my favorite jokes in the book, but I took it out when my friend’s 3rd- and 5th-grade kids didn’t know who Marilyn Monroe was.

 


(Click to enlarge)


 

These are early sketches while I was trying to get the right “voice” for the story. It takes me a while to get into the groove. (These are all wrong, by the way!)

 






 

The first chapter of Invasion of the Ufonuts:

 









 

Finally, how to speak UFONUT:

 



THE ADVENTURES OF ARNIE THE DOUGHNUT: BOWLING ALLEY BANDIT. Copyright © 2013 by Laurie Keller. Published by Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt, New York.

THE ADVENTURES OF ARNIE THE DOUGHNUT: INVASION OF THE UFONUTS. Copyright © 2014 by Laurie Keller. Published by Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt, New York.

All images here reproduced by permission of Laurie Keller.

* * * * * * *

Note for any new readers: 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks is a weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week, whether book-related or not, that happened to you. New kickers are always welcome.

* * * Jules’ Kicks * * *

I’m so glad Laurie visited and gave us a peek into her sketchbooks, too.

Instead of listing seven separate kicks this week, I’m gonna scott on outta here and eat me some hard-boiled eggs on this sunny day. If anyone is around on this holiday, I hope you’ll share your kicks, though. I’d love to read them.

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11. Maureen Grenier Discusses Her Latest Soccer “Whodunit”

Maureen Grenier is a free-lance writer, editor and researcher, which gives her the time to write mystery stories. She has finished several and finalized three—two mystery books for children, which she also illustrated, and a murder mystery for adults. With plenty more to come from Grenier, we know you'll enjoy getting to know her in this interview about her "Viking Club Mystery" series.

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12. Look What the Easter Bunny Dragged: Pedacitos of Literary Greats


Olga Garcia Echeverria

 
I don't have much to say about Easter. Like Thanksgiving and Santa Claus Day, it's a holiday that makes me feel awkward and rebellious. Pastel colors and Catholic mass make me nauseous. I've never been into wicker. I hate fake grass. I confess I have in my lifetime eaten my good share of chocolate bunnies and yellow marshmallow chicks, but nowadays I mostly feel resurrected by the literary word. Here are a few treats to sink your teeth into on this Easter Sunday. Enjoy!
 
Marquez On Writing from Gabriel Garcia Marquez: A Life by Gerald Martin 
(Alfred A. Knopf 2009).
 
GGM on his 1st Birthday
     I am a writer through timidity. My true vocation is that of magician, but I get so flustered trying to do tricks that I’ve had to take refuge in the solitude of literature. Both activities, in any case, lead to the only thing that has interested me since I was a child: that my friends should love me more.
     In my case, being a writer is an exceptional achievement because I am very bad at writing. I have had to subject myself to an atrocious discipline in order to finish half a page after eight hours of work; I fight physically with every word and it is almost always the word that wins, but I am so stubborn that I have managed to publish four books in twenty years. The fifth, which I am writing now, is going slower than the others, because between my debtors and my headaches I have very little free time.
     I never talk about literature because I don’t know what it is and besides I’m convinced the world would be just the same without it. On the other hand, I’m convinced it would be completely different without the police. I therefore think I’d have been much more useful to humanity if instead of being a writer I’d been a terrorist.
 
 
David Sedaris: An Easter Excerpt
 
 
One of the funniest stories I have ever read is "Jesus Shaves" by David Sedaris. His entire collection Me Talk Pretty One Day (Little, Brown and Company 2000) is hilarious and highly recommended. In "Jesus Shaves," Sedaris describes his experience as an adult second language learner in a French class in Paris, France. In their limited French, Sedaris and fellow students attempt to explain the meaning of Easter to a Moroccan Muslim classmate.  
 
    The Italian nanny was attempting to answer the teacher’s latest question when the Moroccan student interrupted, shouting, “Excuse me, but what’s an Easter?”
     It would seem that despite having grown up in a Muslim country, she would have heard it mentioned once or twice, but no. “I mean it,” she said. “I have no idea what you people are talking about.”
     The teacher called upon the rest of us to explain.
     The Poles led the charge to the best of their ability. “It is," said one, “a party for the little boy of God who call his self Jesus and …oh, shit.” She faltered and her fellow country-man came to her aid.
     “He call his self Jesus and then he be die one day on two…morsels of …lumber.”
     The rest of the class jumped in, offering bits of information that would have given the pope an aneurysm.
     “He die one day and then he go above of my head to live with your father.”
     “He weared of himself the long hair and after he die, the first day he come back here for to say hello to the peoples.”
     “He nice, the Jesus.”
     “He make the good things, and on the Easter we be sad because somebody make him dead today.”
     Part of the problem had to do with vocabulary. Simple nouns such as cross and resurrection were beyond our grasp, let alone such complicated reflexive phrases as “to give of yourself your only begotten son.” Faced with the challenge of explaining the cornerstone of Christianity, we did what any self respecting group of people might do. We talked about food instead.
     “Easter is a party for to eat of the lamb,” the Italian nanny explained. “One too many eat of the chocolate.”
     “And who brings the chocolate?” the teacher asked.
     I knew the word, so I raised my hand, saying, “The rabbit of Easter. He bring of the chocolate.”
     “A rabbit?” The teacher, assuming I’d used the wrong word, positioned her index fingers on top of her head, wriggling them as though they were ears. “You mean one of these? A rabbit rabbit?”
     “Well, sure, “ I said. “He come in the night when one sleep on a bed. With a hand he have a basket and foods. “
     The teacher sighed and shook her head. As far as she was concerned, I had just explained everything that was wrong with my country. “No, no, “ she said. “Here in France the chocolate is brought by a big bell that flies in from Rome.” 
     I called for a time-out. “But how do the bell know where you live?”
    “Well,” she said, “how does a rabbit?”
     It was a decent point, but at least a rabbit has eyes. That’s a start. Rabbits move from place to place, while most bells can only go back and forth-and they can’t even do that on their own power. On top of that, the Easter Bunny has character. He’s someone you’d like to meet and shake hands with. A bell has all the personality of a cast-iron skillet. It’s like saying that come Christmas, a magic dustpan flies in from the North Pole, led by eight flying cinder blocks. Who wants to stay up all night so they can see a bell? And why fly one in from Rome when they’ve got more bells than they know what to do with right here in Paris? That’s the most implausible aspect of the whole story, as there’s no way the bells of France would allow a foreign worker to fly in and take their jobs. That Roman bell would be lucky to get work cleaning up after a French bell’s dog-and even then he’d need papers. It just didn’t add up. 
     Nothing we said was of any help to the Moroccan student. A dead man with long hair supposedly living with her father, a leg of lamb served with palm fronds and chocolate; equally confused and disgusted, she shrugged her massive shoulders and turned her attention back to the comic book she kept hidden beneath her binder.

Adios Querida Doris Pilkington Garimara author of Follow the Rabbit Proof Fence

Doris Pilkington Garimara and her mother Molly

It's midnight, Easter Sunday, and I've just heard that author Doris Pilkington Garimara passed away last week of ovarian cancer. Among the many books she wrote, Pilkington Garimara documented her Australian aborigine mother's escape from a government camp and her amazing 1,500-mile trek home. Her book, Follow the Rabbit Proof Fence, brought to light the systematic racist policies to forcibly assimilate Australian natives by tearing them away from their families. Her book was later made into the highly acclaimed film, Rabbit Proof Fence. Like all great literature and art, Rabbit Proof Fence is a story that touches the heart in powerful and timeless ways. Through the years, I have returned to it numerous times--for its bravery, its mastery, and its poetic resilient spirit.
 
Last but not least, and in honor of our recently departed Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Doris Pilkington Garimara, I leave you with a few lines from one of my favorite Pablo Neruda poems. What is there not to love about Neruda?
 
 
 
This excerpt is from "Ode to a Few Yellow Flowers," which is translated by Ilan Stavans in All The Odes: Pablo Neruda.   
 
Polvo somos, seremos.
 
Ni aire, ni fuego, ni agua
sino
tierra,
solo tierra
seremos
y tal vez
unas flores amarillas.
 
 
We are dust, we shall become.
 
Not air, or fire, or water
but
earth,
we shall be
mere earth
and maybe
a few yellow flowers.
 

 

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13. Happy Easter

Happy Easter!

May the chocolate bunny overflow your basket  with goodies.


Filed under: Children's Books

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14. PFAS: “Climate vs. Weather” by Joan Bransfield Graham

Lauren S. has gotten children involved in reading aloud the poem for her movie adaptation of Joan Bransfield Graham’s poem, “Climate vs. Weather.”

Look for it here.


You’ll find this interesting poem in the 5th grade section of The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science in Week 17: Weather & Climate.


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15. Someone’s Trapped—A Kids’ Soccer Whodunit—Is the 2nd Viking Club Mystery

Children will benefit from the critical thinking prompted by a soccer-themed whodunit for kids 8-12 in this second book in the Viking Club Mystery series.

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16. wishing you the bright joy and hope of Easter




(at Chanticleer Garden, with the men in my life)

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17. Happy Easter!

easter2104-Kathy

Ana Ochoa sent in this cute Happy Easter illustration to help me wish all of you a Happy Easter. Ana’s illustrations have been exhibited in many countries around the world. Her art is represented by Chris Tugeau and she was featured on January 11th 2014 on Illustrator Saturday. Click here to see her feature.

Easter Parade

This Easter Parade illustration was sent in by Joanne Friar. She has been creating art for children’s books for over 18 years, researching history and nature from ancient civilizations to the Great Depression, from wetlands conservation to endangered species. Her books have won awards such as the CBC Notable Social Studies Book, the CBC Outstanding Science Book, and John Burroughs Nature Books for Young Readers. Joanne is represented by Christina Tugeau and was featured on Illustrator Saturday on March 10th, 2012 - Click here for the link.

easteregg

You never know what is in those Easter Eggs, but Lisa Falkenstern used her imagination to show us in this illustration. Lisa has been a professional illustrator for more than thirty years. She’s illustrated The Busy Tree, published by Marshall Cavendish, and My VeryOwn Pirate Story, published by I See Me, written and illustrated A Dragon Moves. You can read about her new book, “Professor Whiskerton Presents Steampunk ABC”. Here is the link to Thursday’s Post about the book, which includes illustrations. Lisa was also featured on Illustrator Saturday on October 2, 2010. Here is the link to visit her feature.

 

easter bunny bird

This cute Bird in bunny pajamas was sent in by Jennifer Geldard from one of her series illustrations in watercolor, black fine-tip marker and white gel pen. She is a glass artist by trade, and new to the world of illustration. I’m still getting my bearings, and learning the business end of things, but she says, “painting is pure joy for me, and I’m enjoying every minute of my education.” Her website is www.glassgirl.com

easterbulbgarden

Susan Detwiler is the Illustrator Coordinator MD/DE/WV SCBWI illustrator of several picture books including On The Move and One Wolf Howls. She is the author/illustrator of Fine Life For A Country Mouse, which will be published by Penguin in September. Susan was featured on Illustrator Saturday March 9, 2013. www.susandetwiler.com

eastereggsandhen

Katia Bulbenko has been drawing ever since she can remember. After studying printmaking andpainting at Tyler School of Art, she pursued her interests in sculpture and silk painting, then worked as a freelance textile designer for many years, her specialty being “conversationals”—paintings of things like coffee cups and hats, mostly for pajamas ortable linens. In addition to spending her time teaching art to grades pre-k through 8 and creating beaded fiber pieces, Katia is an aspiring children’s book illustrator. Her favorite mediums are watercolor, colored pencil, and gouache. 

I want to thank everyone who sent in an illustration. I loved them all and will be using the rest with my posts in the next few weeks. Please keep sending me your illustrations. They add so much interest to this blog. 

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: authors and illustrators, illustrating, Illustrator Sites, Illustrator's Saturday, inspiration Tagged: Ana Ochoa, Happy Easter, Joanne Friar, Lisa Falkenstern, Susan Detwiller

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18. WonderCon ’14: Warner Bros. Presentation

Into the Storm(Some minor spoiler ahead)

Located in the Arena of this year’s Anaheim Wondercon, Warner Bros. treated us to a sneak peak of three upcoming movies that will be hitting the big screen in the next few months. On June 6th, the 70th anniversary of “D-Day,” Edge of Tomorrow will hit theatres nationwide. Starring Tom Cruise and Bill Paxton, this futuristic world on the edge of ruin has Tom Cruise’s character waking up in handcuffs on what appears to be an army training base. He is then approached by Bill Paxton’s character, an army official. It is explained that Tom Cruises character was charged with impersonating an army officer, and is told he is going to have to join the fray for his punishment. As a surprise guest, Bill Paxton himself emerges on stage of the Anaheim Convention Center’s Arena to outcries of cheers. “My character decides that [Tom Cruise] will be reborn again through battle,” says a grinning Paxton. “It’s his nuts and his life on the line.”

Through the trailer, we are led to believe that Earth has come under an attack from a mechanical alien threat, and that this army base is one of the units brought together to fight them back. “I head a unit called J unit, a rag tag collection of men and women,” says Paxton. Along with some heavy duty weapons, J unit comes complete with exoskeleton like armor suits that the characters run around in for what I imagine is for increased strength. “I had just arrived on set, my first day, and Tom was running around in a prototype of the suit. He yells at me, ‘Hey Bill! Have you been working out? Cause these things are heavy.’” Paxton said that the suits needed to be aided by chains because of how heavy they were for the actors. “It was Brutal.”

But what is the ringer for this movie is that Tom Cruise’s character dies in this movie. A lot. Every time he does, he wakes back up in the past, finding himself again in handcuffs. This Groundhog’s Dayish loop adds an interesting twist to this Sci-Fi flick.

Next up for Warner Bros. they have Into the Storm. Directed by Steven Quale, this New Line Cinema collaboration puts the audience in the middle of a fictitious small town as it is relentlessly hit by what seems like wave after wave of tornados. The film style switches between the use of traditional filming and handheld cameras, creating a more authentic like experience. Some of the actors which were present here at Wondercon were Max Deacon, Jeremy Sumpter, Arlen Escarpeta, and (brace yourselves) Richard Armitage. Yes, Thorin Oakenshield of The Hobbit movies.

After the crowd recovered from their near fainting spells, the director and cast discussed how it was to be on set. “We were in the middle of one hundred-a-mile fans, not to mention strewn debris and falling water,” says Richard. “The water was freezing,” added fellow cast member Max Deacon. Into the Storm will be out this August 8th.

And lastly for this presentation Warner Bros. showed what is undoubtedly one of this year’s most anticipated movies. Ever since the teaser at last year’s San Diego Comic-con, fans of Godzilla have been waiting patiently for its release. As it was announced to the audience, the name elicited cheers from everybody, including this reporter. Director Gareth Edwards was also greeted by equal praise. After showing us about five minutes from the movie where Godzilla meets with an almost equally tall but winged creature, Gareth talked about the overall experience of working on the film.

“I thought that out of everything, designing Godzilla was going to be the easiest part. Cause everyone has an idea of what Godzilla looks like. But it actually was the hardest part, because everyone has an idea of what Godzilla looks like. It took almost a year for his design.” Gareth had the idea to do the designing from silhouette. “Silhouettes are all easily recognizable for what they are supposed to be. I thought we should start with that. We started with a Rubik’s Cube like shape, black on white background. We prodded and pulled each piece, rotating as we went, till we felt we got it.”

Though all three movies do look quite promising, by sheer gauging of the crowd’s reaction I would have to say Godzilla is the most anticipated. The Warner Bros. and Legendary collaboration will be out May 16th of this year. I have faith that director Gareth Edwards with his love of monsters will do it justice, and wash from our collective mouths the bad taste left by its predecessor.

~Nicholas Eskey

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19. The Sunday Post and Stacking the Shelves–Happy Easter!

 

The Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba of The Caffeinated Book Reviewer.  This is a weekly meme where we can share news of the week and highlight new books received.

Happy Easter!  I think we are just hanging around the house today, though I would like to take the puppers to the park, and maybe head over to see the horses.  What do you have planned for the day?  Whatever is it, I hope you have a wonderful day!

Check out my current contests!  See the Contest Widget on the Sidebar to enter!

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews to share new additions to our library.  Click here to learn more about it.

New Arrivals at the Café:

Searching for Perfect

Inked Armor

Night Child

Dragons & Dirigibles

Stop Dragon My Heart Around

Desolation Angels

The Falling Woman

The Bad Boy Billionaire: What a Girl Wants

Woo’d in Haste

A great big thanks to the publishers for their continued support!

What did you get? Please leave links and share!

 Subscribe in a reader

The post The Sunday Post and Stacking the Shelves–Happy Easter! appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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20. Science Poetry Pairings - Rain

I may have grown up where snow was the weather that was most talked about, but my favorite form of precipitation has always been the rain. In our old house in the city I used to love to sit outside on the porch swing when it rained and rock to the beat of the drops, and sometimes the thunder. William and I still like to play in the rain in the summer and jump in puddles in our bare feet. My favorite rain is quiet rain, early in the morning.

Today's book trio celebrates rain in all its wonder. 

Poetry Book
One Big Rain: Poems for a Rainy Days, compiled by Rita Gray and illustrated by Ryan O'Rourke, is a collection of 20 poems about rain through the seasons. Beginning with autumn, each section opens with a haiku about the season. Four additional poems follow. Gray includes eight haiku, two poems translated from other languages (Norwegian and Spanish), works by well-known poets like Robert Frost, Carl Sandburg, and Eve Merriam, as well as works by poets whose names may not be familiar to readers. The illustrations in muted browns, grays, blacks and greens beautifully capture the mood and subject of the poems.

The book opens with an introduction that describes rain through the seasons. The introduction closes with these thoughts.
A gentle rain can shower, sprinkle, drizzle, or mist. Powerful rains beat down in storms and downpours, fall in streams and sheets, or race, rush, and gush in torrents. Rain can play a pinging beat as it falls will-nilly from the sky: pitter-patter, plip-plop, drip-drop, plink-plink. And puddles are perfect to splish-splosh. Poets have captured the language and rhythm of the rain, creating images that stay with us throughout the year.
          As you read about the rain, in various poetic forms,
          Ripple in it, float in it, boat in it.
          Go on, get wet.
Text © Rita Gray. All rights reserved.

Following the introduction is a note about haiku translations. Adapted from a work by poet and translator William J. Higginson, the emphasis is not on counting syllables, but on finding the best rhythm for the haiku in the new language.

Here's the poem that opens the season of spring.
Haiku—Rogetsu  
tree-frogs
calling . . . in the young leaves
a passing shower
And here's another poem from spring.
Little Snail—Hilda Conkling 
I saw a little snail
Come down the garden walk.
He wagged his head this way . . . that way . . .
Like a clown in a circus.
He looked from side to side
As though he were from a different country.
I have always said he carries his house on his back . . .
To-day in the rain
I saw that it was his umbrella!
Here's a sample spread from the book. You can download this from the Charlesbridge site as a double-sided poster.

The small trim size may make this one go unnoticed, but don't pass it up. It's a lovely little book of poems.

Nonfiction Picture Books
This Is The Rain, written by Lola Schaefer and illustrated by Jane Wattenberg, is a picture book about the water cycle that uses the familiar cumulative pattern of "The House That Jack Built." Bold, vibrant photo-collages accompany the text. It begins this way.
This is the ocean,
blue and vast,
that holds the rainwater from the past.
Can you guess where this goes? Next comes the sun to warm the oceans, which eventually forms vapor that fills the clouds, which produce the rain that falls. Here's the text from the page on rain.
This is the rain,
falling all day,
the forms in clouds,
low and gray,
full of vapor, moist and light
made when sunshine,
hot and bright,
warms the ocean, blue and vast,
that holds the rainwater from the past.
Text © Lola Schaefer. All rights reserved.

After passing through all stages of the water cycle, Schaefer circles back to the rain falling "somewhere every day." The book ends with a short note about the water cycle on planet earth.

When Rain Falls, written by Melissa Stewart and illustrated by Constance Bergum, is a picture book that explains what happens to animals in different habitats when it rains. Each habitat section begins with the words "When rain falls ..." and goes on to describe how different animals respond. Stewart provides readers with glimpses of 22 different animals in a forest, field, wetland, and desert. The soft, watercolor illustrations are realistic and provide subtle details regarding each habitat.

Here's an excerpt from the section on a field.
When rain falls on a field . . . 
...plump little caterpillars crawl under leaves and cling to stems. Adult butterflies dangle from brightly colored heads. 
A raindrop knocks a ladybug off a slippery stem. The insect bounces into the air and then tumbles to the ground.  
A spider watches and waits as the rain beats down on its carefully built web.
Text © Melissa Stewart. All rights reserved.

The text is clear, concise, engaging, and easy to understand. Readers will learn much about how animals adapt to inclement weather.

Perfect Together
All three of these books explore rain in different forms. Whether studying weather or the water cycle (really, they should be taught together, but often aren't!) students can learn about what causes the rain and how people and animals react to the weather. In my classroom I'd start with Schaefer's book and look closely at the water cycle. Then I'd focus specifically on rain by reading a few poems and following up with Stewart's look at how animals respond to the rain.

For additional resources, consider these sites.

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21. Kunderian unbearability

       At Words without Borders Dispatches weblog Sean Cotter considers The Un-X-able Y-ness of Z-ing (Q): A List with Notes, riffing on how (variations on) the famous Kunderian title have taken hold.
       Among the interesting titbits:

  • Kundera's "book was not published in the Czech Republic until 2006"

  • "We might expect the presence of "the unbearable lightness of" to boom with the publication of the translated novel (1984) and the popularity of the movie (1988) and to wane as years pass. The opposite, however, is the case: through 2000, the frequency of "the unbearable lightness of" is rising."
       The piece is from: The Man Between: The Life and Legacy of Michael Heim, Translator forthcoming from Open Letter Books; pre-order your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

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22. The 4/20 update

By Mitch Earleywine


A lot has changed this year in cannabis prohibition. Science and policy march on. Legendary legalization laws in Colorado and Washington have generated astounding news coverage. Maryland is the latest state to change policies. A look at these states can reveal a lot about the research on relevant topics, too.

Colorado and Taxes


Colorado provides taxed and regulated access to recreational users for the first time since 1937’s Marijuana Tax Act. Money rolls into the state’s coffers (roughly $3.4 million in January and February) and the sky has yet to fall. Some observers grouse that the taxes on the recreational market are not generating as much as pundits predicted, as if economic wonks have never guessed wrong before. Apparently, fewer medical users switched from their medical sources to the recreational suppliers. Given that the tax on medical cannabis is 2.9% and the recreational sources cost an additional 25%, we shouldn’t be stunned. It’s nice to see that people behave rationally. It’s only been a few months (since 1 January 2014), but the anticipated spikes in emergency room visits, psychotic breaks, and teen use are nowhere to be found.

Washington and DUI


Washington State continues to hammer out details for how their legal market will work. A per se driving law there has generated controversy. All 50 states prohibit driving while impaired after using cannabis, but the majority require prosecutors to prove recent use and unsafe operation. In contrast, these per se laws essentially make it illegal to drive with a specified amount of cannabis metabolites in the blood. Perfectly competent, safe drivers with the specified amount of metabolites are still breaking the law. For Washington State, the specified amount is 5ng/ml. Unfortunately, this level does not say much about actual impairment and laws like these don’t decrease traffic fatalities. Medical users, who often have more than the specified amount of metabolites, are particularly worried. Though they have developed tolerance to the plant with frequent use and likely show fine driving skill, they remain open for arrest. Plenty of prescription and over-the-counter medications have the potential to impair driving, but comparable laws for these drugs are not on the books. Given the potential for biased enforcement, per se laws like these will undoubtedly face challenges. Standard roadside sobriety tests like those used for alcohol, though less than perfect, might be fairer.

bush of hemp stock

Maryland and Rising Change


A few days ago, the governor of Maryland signed bills removing criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of cannabis and setting up medical distribution. Citizens there caught with 10 grams of the plant risk arrest, a criminal record, a $500 fine, and up to 90 days in jail. After 1 October 2014, they’ll get slapped with a $100 fine for their first offense. Decriminalization can mean different things in different states, especially given the varied styles of police enforcement in each area. But comparable laws appear in Alaska, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, and others. These laws have the potential to free up law enforcement time to decrease serious crimes.

Maryland will also become the 21st medical cannabis state. Over a third of the US population lives in states with medical cannabis laws now, but the details of distribution remain perplexing. Markedly fewer have access than this statistic would imply. Medical marijuana laws have provided the plant for the sickest of the sick, but without increasing teen use. They also appear to decrease traffic fatalities, perhaps by decreasing alcohol consumption. Medical marijuana laws appear to lower suicide rates in men by 5%, perhaps also via the impact on drinking.

Reaching the Public


A Pew Poll earlier this month suggests that data like these and changes in state laws accompany altered public opinion.

More people than ever (52%) support a legal market in the plant. Less than ¼ think possession should lead to jail time. Over 60% think that alcohol is more dangerous than cannabis. With attitudes like these, comparisons to the repeal of alcohol prohibition are loud and numerous. Though no one has a crystal ball and it’s impossible to guess the implications of policies that haven’t been around long, everyone agrees we’re in for an informative and wild ride in the years ahead.

Mitch Earleywine, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Clinical Science and Director of Clinical Training in Psychology at the University of Southern California. He is the author of Pot Politics: Marijuana and the Costs of Prohibition and Understanding Marijuana: A New Look at the Scientific Evidence. He has received nine teaching awards for his courses on drugs and human behavior and is a leading researcher in psychology and addictions. He is Associate Editor of The Behavior Therapist.

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Image credit: Bush of a hemp. Lowryder 2. © Yarygin via iStockphoto.

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23. Asbury Park Comicon 2014: My Highlights

AsburyParkCCJust some quick thoughts on last weekend’s Asbury Park Comicon…

  • The train takes two hours from New York.  If you are exhibiting, that means getting up before the sun.  I left after work, and checked in on Friday night.  Slept in, moseyed down stairs.
  • The hotel was engaged in a dispute with the restaurant manager.  So no bar or restaurant, not even a simple breakfast.  I had some snacks, and there were food trucks for lunch.  Otherwise, nothing nearby on the shore in the early morning.
  • Two levels at the hotel, but the rooms interconnect.  It was easy to move around… the crowds were not challenging, but it seemed lively.  I think the panels and food pulled people away from the booths.
  • I spent almost the entire convention chatting with exhibitors.  I did some shopping on Sunday, but all of Saturday was spent with artists.
  • J. H. Williams III is a very nice guy!  He had original art from Batwoman, way outside my price range, but fully inked!  No color needed!  Or text.  IDW or DC needs to do an artist edition off the boards.  Creator-owned work to come, but no news.
  • I bought two pages from Tim Truman, who is making his own comics as well as illustrating the Grateful Dead archive CDs.  I bought the pages for two reasons: the art is stunning, the thumbnails on the back.  A Justice League page had rough crayon sketches (in reverse).  For a more recent Hawken page, Truman took a thumbnail, then used a 3-D pose program to create each panel’s staging.  That was printed on the back of the page, then lightboxed for fully rendered inks.
  • Serendipity smiled… while chatting with R. Sikoryak and Kriota Willberg, I was privileged to peruse preliminary pages from an upcoming Kickstarter Windsor McKay project!  Keep an eye out!  It’s gonna be amazing!
  • I had lots of fun brainstorming with people!  Some ideas I gave freely to the creators, others I might develop myself!
  • Comics?  Oh yeah!
    • Jinx, Volume 2: Little Miss Steps (While Archie Comics does a great job with The Gang, this series is woefully ignored.  J. Torres!  Rick Burchett!  Terry Austin!  John Workman!
    • Astro City: Shining Stars (a duplicate, but on sale, and I’ll probably gift it onward)
    • The “Nam, Volume 3  (Hey, Marvel! When do you plan to reprint this series?)
    • The 100 Greatest Marvels of All Time, #21-18 (A “Best Of” series, from 2001, reprinting:  Avengers #1, Uncanny X-Men #350, Amazing Spider-Man #122, Captain America #109, )
    • Imagination Rocket: Sicence and Social Studies Volume (a comics textbook with some great creators!)
    • Band SAMSUNGErin Humiston, with his self portrait, and that of the author, Christine Humiston.
    • Dennis the Menace: Dennis and the Bible Kids: Moses (Published by Word Books, Dennis is taught about a biblical hero.  Drawn by Hank Ketcham, the pages alternate between Dennis and biblical full page illos.  The color registration is off, which is very noticeable in the “real” illustrations.)
    • Uncanny X-Men #401 (The “‘Nuff Said” issue.  Co-starring President Clinton!)
    • Wimmen’s Comix (#14) Presents Disastrous Relationships (1989!  What a list of creators!)
    • 1974 Comic Art Convention program book.  (Forty years ago!  Where are they now?)
    • San Diego Comic-Con Comics #3 (1994.  Dark Horse.)
    • Classics Illustrated #9: Tom Sawyer (adapted by Mike Ploog)
    • The Comic Reader #159 (August 197  “DC Axes 23 Titles!”)
    • God Nose: Snot Reel (Jaxon, 1971)
    • 9th Art Ink, by Jude Killory
    • Kid Blastoff #1 and Biff-Bam-Pow! #1 (Good clean wholesome fun from the House of Fun!)
    • Schmuck Comix #1
    • Invisible People S&N hardcover  (Only $35!)
    • Consumer Comix (A PSA comic funded by the government, produced by Kitchen Sink, detailing all sorts of frauds and cons.)
    • Abortion Eve (A 1973 comic explaining the new law.  Straightforward, without the baggage of forty years of arguments.)
    • Visiting NASA #1 (a mini-comic by Alison Wilgus, who has an upcoming book with First Second!)
    • boobage, by Monica Gallagher (good stuff!)
    • Kurtzman Komix (intro by R. Cummb!  Lots of early Kurtzman one-pagers._
    • Dirty Diamonds: Break-UpsSAMSUNG (Carey Pietsch, Kelly Phillips, Claire Folkman!  Next issue is about how they got into comics!)
  • Best cosplay?  Hunter S. Thompson

A great show… a mixture of MoCCA Fest, a hotel dealers show, and a comic-con.  Definitely attending the New York Comic Fest in Westchester June 14th!

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24. 2014 April PAD Challenge: Day 20

I’ve been playing with forms a little this month. It’s something I do when I start to feel a little stuck in my writing. Imposing rules–oddly enough–seems to free me up a bit. So far this month, I’ve written a villanelle, sestina, a couple sonnets, and even a couple haiku on the side. As you’ll see below, I went all triolet on today’s prompt.

For today’s prompt, write a family poem. I’ve actually written a few poems about my family this month already, but you don’t have to restrict yourself to your own family. There are any number of human families, of course, but also animals, insects, and other organisms. Plus, there are “families” of other types as well. As usual, feel free to bend the prompt to your favor.

*****

Get feedback on your poetry!

If you want some professional feedback on your poeming efforts, the Writer’s Digest Advanced Poetry Writing course is a great place to start.

Click here for more details.

*****

Here’s my attempt at a Family Poem:

“dinner”

Tammy asks us all to hold hands
as Will and Hannah lead the prayer
so fast that no one understands
Tammy asks us all to hold hands
and the boys make their food demands
while I start to growl like a bear
Tammy asks us all to hold hands
as Will and Hannah lead the prayer.

*****

Today’s guest judge is…

Scott Owens

Scott Owens

Scott Owens

Originally from Greenwood, SC, Scott holds degrees from Ohio University, UNC Charlotte, and UNC Greensboro. He currently lives in Hickory, NC, where he teaches at Catawba Valley Community College, edits Wild Goose Poetry Review and serves as vice-president of the NC Poetry Society.

His 11th book of poetry, Eye of the Beholder, was recently released by Main Street Rag.

His work has received awards from the Academy of American Poets, the Pushcart Prize Anthology, the Next Generation/Indie Lit Awards, the NC Writers Network, the NC Poetry Society, and the Poetry Society of SC.

Learn more here: http://www.scottowenspoet.com/.

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PYHO_Small_200x200Poem Your Heart Out

Poems, Prompts & Room to Add Your Own for the 2014 April PAD Challenge!

Words Dance Publishing is offering 20% off pre-orders for the Poem Your Heart Out anthology until May 1st! If you’d like to learn a bit more about our vision for the book, when it will be published, among other details.

Click to continue.

*****

Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems. He thinks family is very, very important–no matter what structure that family takes. Learn more about Robert here: http://www.robertleebrewer.com/.

*****

Share these poetic posts with your family:

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25. Easter Blessings!




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Award-winning Children's Author
Connect with


A Sandy Grave ~ January 2014 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.

Powder Monkey ~ May 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.

Hockey Agony ~ January 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.

The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.
~ Literary Classics Silver Award and Seal of Approval, Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention and Dan Poynter's Global e-Book Awards Finalist















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