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1. wishing you the bright joy and hope of Easter




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

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2. ‘Ping Pong’ Recap: ‘Smile is a Robot’

Determined to unleash Smile's potential, Coach Koizumi devises a relentless schedule of training that culminates in a death match pitting old veteran versus young hopeful. Smile's resistance finally cracks under the pressure, and he begins to get serious. Meanwhile, the appearance of a new rival - the tough-looking Ryuichi Kazama - sets the stage for a later showdown.

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3. Happy Easter

Happy Easter!

May the chocolate bunny overflow your basket  with goodies.


Filed under: Children's Books

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4. 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.

The post The 4/20 update appeared first on OUPblog.

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5. Is CBD better than THC?: exploring compounds in marijuana

By Gary Wenk


Marijuana is the leafy material from Cannabis indica plant that is generally smoked. By weight, it typically contains 2%-5% delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive agent. However the plant also contains about fifty other cannabinoid-based compounds, including cannabidiol (CBD).

One Internet ad claims that “cannabidiol (CBD) can cure arthritis, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, schizophrenia, and epilepsy.” CBD is the main non-psychotropic cannabinoid present in the Cannabis sativa plant, constituting up to 40% of its extract. Somehow this one particular component of the marijuana plant has become much more popular than all of the sixty (at least) other biologically active molecules that have been isolated from this plant, to the point where growers are breeding marijuana plants with significantly higher levels of CBD.

750px-Marijuana

Why are people so excited about CBD? The answer lies in unpacking a series of complex truths, making distinctions between what is known and what is not known, and dispelling some false claims.

The human brain naturally possesses a pair of protein receptors that respond to endogenous marijuana-like chemicals. These receptors are incredibly common and are found throughout the human brain. When a person smokes marijuana, all of the various chemicals in the plant are inhaled, ultimately, into the brain where they find and bind to these receptors, similar to a key fitting into a lock. Which receptors are affected, and what parts of the brain are involved, differs for just about everyone, depending upon their genetic make-up, drug-taking history, and expectations regarding the experience; the last factor being commonly known as the placebo effect.

wenk figure

The images above come from Dr. Wenk’s research at Ohio State University, and demonstrate an increase in hippocampus neuron activity in rats following a cannabinoid treatment.

In addition, the chemicals inhaled into the brain also interact with a complex array of other neural systems; these interactions also contribute to the overall psychoactive experience, such as the marijuana’s ability to reduce anxiety, produce euphoria, or induce “the munchies.” My own research has demonstrated the positive effects of stimulation of the endogenous cannabinoid neural system in the aging brain.

Both CBD and THC are capable of interacting with this complex variety of proteins. However, and this is where things get interesting, they do not do so with the same degree of effectiveness. Scientists have shown that THC is over one thousand times more potent than is CBD, meaning a person would need to consume 1,000 “joints” of the genetically modified CDB-marijuana plant to get high. This chemical property of CBD has led to the accurate claim that CBD does not make one feel “high.” However, the low potency of CBD may also indicate that, by itself, it offers limited clinical benefits – currently- no one knows. Animal studies have discovered many beneficial effects of CBD but only when administered at very high doses.

What has become quite apparent is that no single component of the plant is entirely good or bad, therapeutic or harmful, or deserving of our complete attention. To date, all of the positive evidence supporting the use of medical marijuana in humans has come from studies of the entire plant or experimental investigations of THC. Given the very low potency of CBD within the brain it is highly unlikely that CBD alone will provide significant clinical benefit. Some small clinical trials are being initiated; until rigorous scientific studies are completed no one can claim that CBD is better than THC.

Gary L. Wenk, PhD., a Professor of Psychology & Neuroscience & Molecular Virology, Immunology and Medical Genetics at the Ohio State University and Medical Center, is a leading authority on the consequences of chronic brain inflammation and animal models of Alzheimer’s disease. He is also the author of Your Brain on Food: How Chemicals Control Your Thoughts and Feelings.

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Image Credit: First image is from United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

The post Is CBD better than THC?: exploring compounds in marijuana appeared first on OUPblog.

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6. 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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7. 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.

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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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8. Easter Wishes!

Happy Easter!

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9. 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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10. 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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11. 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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12. This is MY definition of success - HAPPY

Happy Makes Pharrell Cry | OWN
I love the song "Happy" by Pharrell Williams, but to know how it has affected people around the world, how it has truly created change if even for a moment of pure joy. Wow. THAT is what success looks like to me. I can only dream that A BIRD ON WATER STREET could ever have such an impact. Just WOW.

Click the image below if the embedded video gives you any trouble.

CLICK HERE to see the official video.
In its honor, I'm starting a new label for my blog: "Happy." Which is exactly what it sounds like - stuff that makes me so happy, I just have to share!
Thanks to SwissMiss for the heads up.

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13. 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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14. This week's round-up of middle grade fantasy and science fiction from around the blogs (4/20/14)

Welcome to this week's round-up of middle grade fantasy and science fiction from around the blogs!  Please let me know if I missed your post.

The Reviews

Boys of Blur, by N.D. Wilson, at Fuse #8

The Bravest Princess, by E.D. Baker, at The Flashlight Reader

The Carpet People, by Terry Pratchett, at alibrarymama

Charmed Life, by Diana Wynne Jones, at Leaf's Reviews

Conrad's Fate, by Diana Wynne Jones, at Leaf's Reviews

Diego's Dragon, by Kevin Gerard, at Middle Grade Mafioso

The Dyerville Tales, by M.P. Kozlowsky, at Random Musings of a Bibliophile

Ever After High: The Storybook of Legends, by Shannon Hale, at Literary Omnivore

The Forbidden Library, by Django Wexler, at On Starships and Dragon Wings, Writer of Wrongs, and The Book Zone (For Boys)

Game of Clones, by M.E. Castle, at Ms. Yingling Reads

The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom, by Christopher Healy, at Sharon the Librarian (audiobook review)

Key to Kashdune, by Claudia White, at A Woman's Wisdom

The Last of the Dragons and some others, by E. Nesbit, at Jean Little Library

The Lives of Christopher Chant, by Diana Wynne Jones, at Leaf's Reviews

Lost Children of the Far Islands, by Emily Raabe, at Charlotte's Library

The Merman and the Moon Forgotten, by Kevin McGill, at This Kid Reviews Books

The Ninja Librarians: The Accidental Keyhand, by Jen Swann Downey, at Fanboynation

Northwood, by Brian Falkner, at The Book Monsters

The Orphan of Awkward Falls, by Keith Graves, at Good Books and Good Wine

The Pinhoe Egg, by Diana Wynne Jones, at Leaf's Reviews and Tales of the Marvelous

The Riverman, by Aaron Starmer, at 100 Scope Notes

Rose and the Lost Princess, by Holly Webb, at Debz Bookshelf (giveaway)

The School for Good and Evil, by Soman Chainani, at Fairytale Fandom

The Shadow Throne, by Jennifer Nielsen, at Cracking the Cover and Becky's Book Reviews

The Shadowhand Covenent, by Brian Farrey, at Book Nut

Smasher, by Scott Bly, at Charlotte's Library

The Spindlers, by Lauren Oliver, at Supernatural Snark

Suitcase of Stars, by Pierdomenico Baccalario, at Librarian of Snark

The Twistrose Key, by Tone Almhiell,  at Log Cabin Library

Who Could That Be At This Hour? by Lemony Snicket, at Reading the End

Witch Week, by Diana Wynne Jones, at Leaf's Reviews

Wonder Light, by R.R. Russell, at Sharon the Librarian


Authors and Interviews

Erin Cohn (Spirit's Key) at OneFour KidLit

Soman Chainani (A World Without Princes) at The Children's Book Review and The Enchanted Inkpot

R.R. Russell (Wonder Light) at The Hiding Spot

Delia Sherman (The Freedom Maze) at Big Blue Marble Blog


Other Good Stuff

Conversations about diversity were popping up all over last week, such as this post on Race, Power, and Publishing

For fans of the Queen's Thief series-Megan Whalen Turner has agreed to a video interview; if you have any questions for her you can submit them here.

It's Fairy Tale Fortnight; you can join the fun at this link up post at A Backwards Story

The pictures are copyrighted, I assume, but click through to see Fantasy Fiction Made Real aka a 13 year old Mongolian girl and the golden eagle she hunts with.   (Me--I would launch my eagle, my eagle would take off, and I would fall backward off the rocks.  Sigh).

And finally, here's a happy Easter greeting from days of yore, which I like because it shows the sport of rabbit jumping might be older than we had thought....

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15. 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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16. 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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17. (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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18. Practice Query #6


Dear Evil Editor,

After faking his own death, Dan Duggen learns that a distant relation has left him a stock portfolio worth millions. Now Dan wonders how he can fake his own resurrection without attracting too much attention.

He makes a deal with Josh, an illusionist, and sets a simple plan: Josh has to pretend he’s a medium able to resurrect the dead.

While the Duggens are gathered in the family crypt, Josh puts on his show. But something goes wrong. Josh really manages to raise the dead, and Dan finds himself surrounded by zombie relations.

Whatever Josh has started doesn’t stop. Soon, all the graves in the cemetery are empty and zombies roam everywhere. And when Dan and Josh behead them, they rise again. Josh is one hell of a dead raiser.

Dan has to admit it; family reunions have never been much fun and old aunt Bessie trying to eat his brain is not an improvement.

And if Dan can inherit that money, why can’t aunt Bessie? Should she be discriminated against just because she has an eating disorder?

Now it’s up to Josh and Dan to send the dead back to their graves before all the dead of the world wake up or, even worse, one of Dan’s zombie relations gets the money.

Rest in Peace, Dan Duggen is a fanta-horror novel complete at 90,000 words and can be considered the prequel of World War Z.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


--anonymous

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19. 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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20. One Death, Nine Stories (one of ‘em mine)

One Death, Nine Stories official

The first thing I did upon hitting the exhibition hall at this month’s Texas Library Association conference was go straight to the Candlewick booth — not just because they produce great books in general, but because I wanted to grab an advance reader copy of one upcoming book in particular: One Death, Nine Stories.

Edited by Marc Aronson and Charles R. Smith Jr., this YA anthology weaves together a collection of interrelated short stories (as did their previous collaboration, Pick-Up Game: A Full Day of Full Court). Contributors to One Death, Nine Stories include:

Charles himself
Nora Raleigh Baskin (Anything But Typical)
Marina Budhos (Sugar Changed the World)
Ellen Hopkins (Crank)
A.S. King (Ask the Passengers)
Torrey Maldonado (Secret Saturdays)
Will Weaver (Memory Boy)
Rita Williams-Garcia (One Crazy Summer)
and me (Shark Vs. Train. No, wait — let’s say Can I See Your I.D.?)

One Death, Nine Stories will be published this August. My contribution, “Two-A-Days,” will be my first piece of fiction published for a YA audience. I loved the challenge, and I hope you’ll like the results.

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21. 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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22. 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

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23. 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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24. 2 Ways to Make Sure Editors Are Impressed By Your Clips

surpriseBy Linda Formichelli

You’d think sending an editor a published clip or two would convince them that you can pull off the article you’re pitching.

But guess what? An editor may actually be leery of the clips you send.

Why? Because too many clips are actually crappily written articles that were edited to perfection by the writer’s editor. So the person you’re pitching doesn’t know if the clip represents your work — or the work of a great editor. Anyone can get lucky by landing a single assignment, so your clips prove nothing.

Then, you make things worse by sending a bunch of clips from different publications. You’re hoping to show off the fact that you’ve been hired by lots of pubs. But what the editor sees is that no one invites you back to write a second time.

So what to do? Can’t you ever make these freakin’ editors happy?

Here are my two tricks:

1. If you have them, send multiple clips from the same publication.


This shows that your writing is good enough that editors hire you to write for them again and again.

If you want to showcase your versatility, send a couple clips from one publication and then another one or two from other markets.

2. Send your final drafts.


This is a big one: Instead of sending in links to your published articles or PDFs with the beautiful layout and graphics in place, send the editor the ugly Word files of your articles as you handed them in.

That way, the editor can see that you turn in nice, clean drafts.

I came across this secret by being lazy. I wanted to send an editor a particular clip but didn’t have a PDF — and sure as heck didn’t feel like scanning it in.

So I sent my Word file and told the editor, “Here’s a clip from X Magazine. This is the article as I turned it in — so you can see what my writing looks like before the editor does his magic on it!” (Notice how I turned a negative into a positive?)

Believe it or not, the editor I was pitching loved this, and I started using this tactic regularly.

Clips aren’t about the layout and graphics. Sure, they look nice, but they’re just window dressing on what an editor actually wants — a snapshot of your writing.

But if you’re going to be sending ugly Word files, why not just send in unpublished work that you write up as clips? It’s because the fact that you were actually published shows that you know how to work with an editor, understand deadlines, and have been through — and survived — the editing process. So published clips are key, even if you’re sending in a plain vanilla Word doc.

How about you…have you ever sent an editor an unconventional clip? What happened? Let us know in the Comments below.

P.S. I’m thinking of running one session of Write for Magazines this year; if I do, it will probably be in May or June. This is the 4-week query writing class that has landed students in Woman’s Day, Spirituality & Health, GRIT, Washington Parent, E: The Environmental Magazine, Pizza Today, and more. If you want to get the details when I have them settled, become a member of my email newsletter list!

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25. 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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