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By: Sara Burrier
Blog: warrior princess dream
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Monday officially sets the week in motion, and by Tuesday, I feel like I can best determine what kind of week it's going to be. Granted, things unexpected always happen, but this week Norah has a cold, which means a lot of play and a lot of snuggles. I need to keep my to do list simple and not expect to get everything done.
If she has a cold, I'm not too far from one, so self care (napping when she naps, eating well, etc) is just as important for me too.
Today I'm excited because I get to paint three lovely ladies sipping tea. I was going to do coffee (since I'm a coffee fanatic), but I wouldn't have been able to draw the wee tea flags that I adore so much. ^_^Tuesdays
are a day for creating. I do my best to reserve this day for painting or drawing. Sometimes if I am able, I will paint or draw Monday night to gear me up for Tuesday. Somehow that works for me.
Last night I was able to put 4 hours in (!!!) and got some Christmas art finished, and today is the reward by painting something fresh and new!
It could have been the Avengers of librarianing. All these powerhouses working together to help increase low-income childrens’ access to good reading material. But I don’t think that’s how it worked out. Here are my thoughts on last week’s press releases about this new set of programs. Written for The Message.
Aren’t libraries already doing that?
An Ember in the Ashes
by Sabaa Tahir
Told in alternating stories of two main characters on opposite sides, An Amber in the Ashes
is a suspenseful exploration of the effects of violence on both the conquered and the conquerors. Set in a Rome-like fantasy world, the Scholars are a subjugated people under the rule of the Martials. Laia is a Scholar living with her brother and grandparents. When her brother is arrested on suspicion of being a member of the resistance, and her grandparents are killed violently by Martial soldiers, Laia runs away in fear. To atone for her cowardice, Laia sets out to save her brother, and goes undercover as a slave to the cruel and sadistic commander of the elite military academy Blackcliff.
Elias is a student at Blackcliff, training to become a Mask, the most elite of Martial soldiers. Although he has lived most of his life as a student under the harsh discipline at Blackcliff, Elias still sees things differently than his peers because he spent the first six years of his life outside the Martial society. Elias is determined to escape the violent society and his role as an enforcer as soon as he graduates. Then a visit from the Augurs — the Martial's version of oracles — puts a difficult choice before Elias. But can he trust the prophecy, or is he being manipulated by the Augurs?
Sabaa Tahir was inspired to write An Ember in the Ashes
during her time at the Washington Post's foreign desk, when she was exposed to horrifying stories of the effects of violence on people around the world. An Ember in the Ashes
is an exciting dystopian story that shows how a violent society affects everyone, from the slaves to the highest levels. Even the resistance is divided by the question of whether they have an obligation to help those of their people in need, or whether such aid detracts from their mission of fighting back against the Martials.
I had some minor credibility problems, and the plot development was occasionally awkward. I thought that the addition of supernatural characters like djinn was an unnecessary device that muddies the waters. The augurs were fine and really drive the plot in many ways, but the djinn and other spirits made it start to feel like everything was thrown in, including the kitchen sink.
This isn't a subtle book: the message about the effects of violence is hammered pretty hard. However, as I write this in a Baltimore (and a nation) trying to figure out how to police our communities without unnecessary violence by police against the people they are supposed to protect, the message really resonates.
In spite of the minor issues, I found An Ember in the Ashes to be a thrilling and highly engaging plot-driven story with loads of teen appeal, especially for fans of dystopian fiction like the Hunger Games. I can understand why it's been optioned for film already.
Elias is described as having golden-brown skin. The identity of Elias' father is unknown, but it's likely that his skin color came from his father, since his mother is described as having pale skin. Other than that, skin color doesn't seem to play a role, although one of the more despicable characters is also described as having dark skin. The Martial empire appears to be generally diverse, with various ethnicities of people coming from the different conquered nations, although it's not significant to the plot.
Although the empire appears to be fairly patriarchal, female characters play a significant role. Besides Laia, there's Helene, who is also a student at Blackcliff and Elias' best friend. Helen is one tough cookie, in some ways one of the toughest students there. In spite of that, though, she's mostly relegated to the traditional female support role, and a subplot about an attraction leaves her acting "like a girl." There's also the female commander of Blackcliff, and several minor female characters including a cook who used to be an explosives expert.
The author is a woman of color.
Who would like this book?
Anyone who enjoys a thrilling, suspenseful plot-driven story, particularly fans of The Hunger Games and other dystopian fiction. In keeping with the theme, An Ember in the Ashes
is fairly dark and violent, so sensitive readers may want to take a pass.
Buy from Powells.com:FTC required disclosure:
Review copy sent by the publisher to enable me to write this review. The bookstore links above are affiliate links, and I earn a very small percentage of any sales made through the links. Neither of these things influenced my review.
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Unseen D-Gruppe art.....
By: Maryann Cocca-Leffler,
Blog: Princess Kim the Musical
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Princess K.I.M. The Musical
OPENS MAY 8TH
Here's a teaser:
Tehachapi Community Theatre
(Full edition- 2 Acts)
May 8, 9, 15, 16, 22 and 23 at 7:30 pm
May 17 and 24- 2pm
Tickets Now on Sale:
XO Maryann and Princess KIM Team
By: Terry Hooper-Scharf,
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Within 30 minutes of posting about D-Gruppe and German comics -over 50 hits from Germany for that post.
Beats the heck out of me.
Coinciding with the celebration of Cinco de Mayo and for a very limited time, the good folks behind the University of Chicago Spanish–English Dictionary (Sixth Edition) app have dropped the price to $0.99 (usually $4.99). You can a basic screenshot of the app’s functionality above—from breezing through recent reviews, it seems like the app’s ability to generate words lists, along with its word-by-word notetaking feature, has proven especially popular.
From the App Store description:
The Spanish–English Dictionary app is a precise and practical bilingual application for iPhone® and iPod touch® based on the sixth edition of The University of Chicago Spanish–English Dictionary. Browse or search the full contents to display all instances of a term for fuller understanding of how it is used in both languages. Build your vocabulary by creating Word Lists and testing yourself on terms you need to master with flash cards and multiple choice quizzes. Whether you are preparing for next week’s class or upcoming international travel, this app is the essential on-the-go reference.
You can watch a demo of the app here:
The app is, of course, a companion to the (physical book) sixth edition of the University of Chicago Spanish–English Dictionary, praised by Library Journal as, “comprehensive in scope, but simple enough to use for even the most tongue-tied linguist.” Limited time means limited time, so if you’re looking for an “an important contribution to update the traditional dictionary to the new digital era,” visit the App Store today.
Author Celeste Nghe will kick off the #TwitterFiction Festival next week as she tells a love story from a note that she found hidden in the Cambridge Public Library.
The online writing marathon will begin on Monday, May 11 at 9 a.m. The festival will feature the works of 24 #TwitterFiction Festival contest winners from seven countries and sixteen states. The five-day event will include participation from authors including: Margaret Atwood, Jackie Collins, and Lemony Snicket.
Stories will range from a thriller starring a CIA agent on the hunt for a terrorist told from multiple Twitter handles to love poetry from one Star Wars character to another in iambic pentameter. The event will also include an in-person event in New York City on May 13 in which writers and artists will live tweet stories in front of a live audience.
Here are some literary events to pencil in your calendar this week.
To get your event posted on our calendar, visit our Facebook Your Literary Event page. Please post your event at least one week prior to its date.
Pinkalicious series creator Victoria Kann will make an appearance at Books of Wonder. Meet her on Saturday, May 9th from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. (New York, NY)
Young adult author Kiera Cass will discuss her newest book, entitled The Heir, at the 92Y (Lexington Ave. branch). Join in on Saturday, May 9th starting 7:30 p.m. (New York, NY)
The next session of the Macaulay Author Series will feature a conversation between Better Than Before author Gretchen Rubin and journalist Anne Kreamer. Check it out on Monday, May 11th from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. (New York, NY)
Kathryn Huck will serve as a senior editor at Simon & Schuster’s North Star Way.
According to the press release, North Star Way is a “a new publishing unit that will offer authors an expanded suite of profile-building, ancillary services that extend beyond the boundaries of traditional publishing.” The company announced the launch of this venture back in January 2015.
Prior to this development, Huck worked as a freelance editor. In the past, she has held editorial positions at St. Martin’s Press and HarperCollins.
By: Suzanne Lieurance,
Blog: The National Writing for Children Center
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Although these are not children’s books, what better time of year than Mother’s Day to showcase some of the most memorable fictional mothers in some of the best new novels? From loving, supportive mothers to complex, trailblazing mothers to selfish, vindictive mothers, this list has it all!
1) The Perfect Son by Barbara Claypole White (Lake Union, July 2015)
Ella Fitzwilliam, the mom in THE PERFECT SON, quit a successful career in jewelry design to be full-time parent, mental health coach, and advocate for her son, Harry, who has a soup of issues that include Tourette syndrome. She has devoted 17 years of her life to his therapy, to educating teachers, to being Harry’s emotional rock and giving him the confidence he needs to be Harry. Thanks to her, Harry is comfortable in his own skin, even when people stare. After Ella has a major heart attack in the opening chapter, her love for Harry tethers her to life. But as she recovers, she discovers the hardest parenting lesson of all: to let go.
2) Rodin’s Lover by Heather Webb (Plume, January 2015)
In RODIN’S LOVER, Camille’s mother, Louise Claudel, is spiteful, jealous, and disapproving of Camille’s pursuit to become a female sculptor in the 1880s. She also shows signs of mental illness. Because of this relationship, Camille struggles with all of her female relationships the rest of her life, and ultimately, to prove to her mother that she’s truly talented.
3) Imaginary Things by Andrea Lochen (Astor + Blue Editions, April 2015)
In IMAGINARY THINGS, young single mother Anna Jennings has a unique power that most parents only dream of—the ability to see her four-year-old son’s imagination come to life. But when David’s imaginary friends turn dark and threatening, Anna must learn the rules of this bizarre phenomenon, what his friends truly represent, and how best to protect him.
4) The Magician’s Lie by Greer Macallister (Sourcebooks, January 2015)
In THE MAGICIAN’S LIE, Arden’s mother is remarkable both for what she does and what she doesn’t do. As a young woman, she bears a child out of wedlock and runs away with her music teacher, never fearing the consequences. But later in life, her nerve fails her—just when her daughter needs her most.
5) Five Days Left by Julie Lawson Timmer (Putnam, 2014)
In FIVE DAYS LEFT, Mara Nichols is, in some ways, a typical mother: she loves her daughter fiercely, thinks about her constantly and goes to great lengths to balance her high-stress legal career with her daughter’s needs. But there are two ways in which Mara isn’t typical at all. First, she adopted her daughter from India, making good on a lifelong promise to rescue a baby from the same orphanage where Mara herself lived decades ago. And second, when Mara is diagnosed with a fatal, incurable illness that will render her unable to walk, talk or even feed herself, she has to make the kind of parenting choice none of us wants to consider—would my child be better off if I were no longer alive?
6) House Broken by Sonja Yoerg (Penguin/NAL, January 2015)
In HOUSE BROKEN, Helen Riley has a habit of leaving her grown children to cope with her vodka-fueled disasters. She has her reasons, but they’re buried deep, and stem from secrets too painful to remember and, perhaps, too terrible to forgive.
7) You Were Meant for Me by Yona Zeldis McDonough (Penguin/NAL, 2014)
In YOU WERE MEANT FOR ME, having a baby is the furthest thing from Miranda Berenzweig’s mind. She’s newly single after a bad break up, and focused on her promotion at work, her friends and getting her life back on track. Then one frigid March night she finds a newborn infant in a NYC subway and even after taking the baby to the police, can’t get the baby out of her mind. At the suggestion of the family court judge assigned to the case, Miranda begins adoption proceedings. But her plans—as well as her hopes and dreams—are derailed when the baby’s biological father surfaces, wanting to claim his child. The way she handles this unforeseen turn of events is what makes Miranda a truly memorable mother.
8) The Far End of Happy by Kathryn Craft (Sourcebooks Landmark, May 2015)
In THE FAR END OF HAPPY, Ronnie has hung in there as long as she can during her husband’s decline into depression, spending issues, and alcoholism and he will not accept her attempts to get him professional help. She is not a leaver, but can’t bear for her sons to witness the further deterioration of the marriage. She determines to divorce—and on the day he has promised to move out, he instead arms himself, holes up inside a building on the property, and stands off against police. When late in the day the police ask Ronnie if she’ll appeal to him one last time over the bullhorn, she must decide: with the stakes so high, will she try one last time to save her husband’s life? Or will her need to protect her sons and her own growing sense of self win out?
9) Your Perfect Life by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke (Washington Square Press, 2014)
In YOUR PERFECT LIFE, long-time friends, Rachel and Casey wake up the morning after their twenty year high school reunion to discover they’ve switched bodies. Casey is single with no children before becoming an instant mom to Rachel’s two teenagers and baby. Despite her lack of experience as a parent, and her often comedic missteps with the baby in particular (think: diaper blow outs and sudden sleep deprivation) Casey’s fresh perspective on her new role helps her connect with each of the children in a very different way than Rachel. And when the oldest, Audrey, is almost date raped at her prom, it is Casey’s strength that she draws from an experience in her own past that ultimately pulls Audrey through. Although it is hard for Rachel to watch her best friend take care of Audrey when she so desperately wants to, she realizes that Casey can help her daughter in a way she can’t. And Casey discovers she might have what it takes to be a mom to her own children someday.
10) The Life List by Lori Nelson Spielman (Bantam, 2013)
Elizabeth Bohlinger, the mother in THE LIFE LIST, is actually deceased. But she still has a big presence in her daughter’s life—some may say too big! With heartfelt letters, Elizabeth guides her daughter, Brett, on a journey to complete the life list of wishes Brett made when she was just a teen. Like many mothers, Elizabeth has an uncanny ability to see into her daughter’s heart, exposing buried desires Brett has long forgotten.
Andrea Lochen is a University of Michigan MFA graduate. Her first novel, The Repeat Year (Berkley, 2013), won a Hopwood Award for the Novel prior to its publication. She has served as fiction editor of The Madison Review and taught writing at the University of Michigan. She currently teaches at the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha, where she was recently awarded UW Colleges Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. Her second novel, Imaginary Things (Astor + Blue Editions, 2015) is recently released and has garnered wonderful praise. With features on Barnes & Noble.com, Huffington Post, and Brit + Co., her work is being introduced to thousands of new readers. Andrea currently lives in Madison with her husband and daughter and is at work on her third novel. For more information visit www.andrealochen.com.
Book Links for Imaginary Things:
Chipotle Mexican Grill has launched the Cultivating Creativity Student Essay Contest.
According to the press release, the winning entries will be published on the restaurant’s cups and bags some time in 2016. Each of the winners will receive $20,000 in prize money which will be “deposited into a 529 savings account, to support their continuing education.”
Jonathan Safran Foer, an author and the curator of this series, and Laura Esquive, a novelist and screenwriter, will serve as the judges. The submission deadline has been set for May 31st. Follow this link to submit a story.
I am using my May Days to put a lot of time into one project, something I've done the last two May Days. The same project, I'm sorry to say. But, once again during this May Days I am experiencing the value of trying to write every day on the same project. It's incredibly helpful for organic writers like myself. We have trouble isolating plot and planning out what we're going to do for an entire story. We deal with stories as a whole organism. If we have to stay away from that organism too long, it takes us a while to come back up to speed, because while we have a feel for our whole story, we aren't good on the details that are coming up. It's hard for us to pick up where we left off.
The May Days project forces us to write every day. For me, this meant spending some time at my laptop in a motel room between biking excursions this past weekend. Writing every day increases chances of having a breakout experience (at least it increases my chances), and I had one on a bike the next day. This led to taking notes on it while having lunch in a sandwich shop (my work for the day) and that led to a much easier transition back to work on Monday.
Whenever I find myself in a situation where I'm writing every day, even a tiny amount, I think, I've got to keep this up! Not because I accomplish so much (I did mention that I've been working on the same May Days project three years in a row, right?) but because it keeps my head in the game.
That is a huge plus for time management.
Look Mama We Made It is the hot single from Eric D.Graham, which comes off of his highly anticipated album Pocket Full of Ghetto Poems. For more info. contact Eric at firstname.lastname@example.org
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By: Grant Overstake,
Prolific voice actress Tavia Gilbert and first-time author Grant Overstake share the spotlight in a 4.5-star review of the audiobook version of Maggie Vaults Over the Moon. The reader and writer make “a great duo” according to reviewer Kira Moody, … Continue reading
F I N A L L Y.
The new paulapertile.com is live!
It needs 'more' (mostly, art samples), and a couple of fiddly tweaks, but over all I'm pretty happy with it. I used the godaddy
website builder, mostly because I have my domain name registered there already, and also had a credit. So it made sense. I wanted something simple, and I like the scroll-down design rather than fancier bells and whistles. I went with the business site option, which lets you have a lot of pages. They have several templates you can choose from, and I chose the "Freelance Portfolio" one - and then completely changed it (of course). Its all 'drag-and-drop' and really easy to use. They give you a lot of options for little design-y things (I got so excited over the 'make rounded corners' thingy!), most of which I didn't even use. So I would recommend this. (*godaddy is not paying me to say any of this, by the way)
Besides the business option, they have a simple and inexpensive 5 page option, and also upgrades for SEO optimizing, as well as a store-builder. It can add up, but they have sales often so I plan to wait for one of those before I sign up for anything else.
There are so many options for website building software these days. Squarespace
, come to mind. They're all beautiful and modern and fancy and hip. I kind of like the idea of not being so trendy though, and sticking with something a little more classic. It fits my style.
Another really good thing with this is that its mobile-friendly! (All those other options I listed are too, I'm sure.) I looked at my old site on my phone and it was microscopic. The godaddy website builder lets you preview how your site will look on a desktop and a phone as you go along, so you know exactly what you're doing. On a phone, it arranges all the images in a single file 'up and down' scrolling thing, which are sometimes a little out of sync with how they're arranged on the page, but its still 100% better than what I had before, so I'm fine with it.
Full disclosure: there are
a couple of things I'm not 100% thrilled with, and wish I could change.
1) You're allowed 2 drop-down pages for each main page. Which is great. But. Normally, if you hover over a page title that has drop-down choices, you just pick one of those and go to that page. With this design, the main title page is also 'clickable', and is still a stand alone page by itself. So you need to have stuff on there as well as the drop down pages, which feels a little redundant, and I'm not sure how to get around that. (Like, if you hover over "Children's Books", "Color" and "Black & White" pages come up as the drop down options. I think most people would just click on one of those, and not the actual main page - does that make sense?).
2) Another thing is, the way I designed my pages, every element - image, or type - is independent, and can be dragged around to go anywhere on the page. Which I love! But, when I decide to update the site with new work, which will go on the top of the page, I'll have to rearrange the whole rest of the page downward, one piece at a time
, rather than selecting the whole lot and dragging it as one thing. Pretty sure anyway. There might be some way to do it easier that I haven't figured out yet, so don't quote me on this.
Still, I'm super happy to have this done, and it will be fun to update things and fiddle around with it as I go. I know several people who are re-doing their websites right now. It must be "website re-design season"! Its soooooooooooooooooooo much easier now than it used to be - remember using (or trying to use) Dreamweaver or . . . what was the other one? Go Live, that was it. Blimey! I never did figure those out.
Please let me know if you find any links that don't work, or if anything feels clunky or 'off' or weird.
Happy Website Building!
The film could be released in 2018 in time for the FIFA World Cup.
I've seen all types of Top Five's for different areas of education, but rarely do I see a Top Five for school libraries (or libraries in general!) So I combed through then scoured Youtube looking for what I think are the top five videos about and for libraries and this is what I found. My criteria were:
1. Had to be about school libraries
2. Definitely no cheesiness! It has to have importance attached to it
3. Well done format.
So, here are the Top Four. I searched as much as I possibly could for a fifth and couldn't find one, so if you do, please add a comment with the link! :)
School Libraries Matter: The Changing Role of the School Librarian
Principals Know: School Librarians are the Heart of the School
School Libraries from NJASL
What Are Databases and Why You Need Them
The film could be released in 2018 in time for the FIFA World Cup.
There is a new genre emerging..."New Adult" fiction for older teens aka college-aged readers. You never stop growing up, but little in the market seems to address the coming-of-age that also happens between the ages of Nineteen to Twenty-six. Life changes drastically once high school is over, you have college, first jobs, first internships, first adult relationships…Part of the appeal of NA is that the storylines are about characters who are taking on adult responsibilities for the first time without guidance from their parents. And the storylines generally have a heavy romance element.
Keep this in mind as you revise your wonderful story, New Adult books are mostly about that specific time in every person's life—the time when the apron strings are cut from your parents, you no longer have a curfew, you're experiencing the world for the very first time, in most cases, with innocent eyes. New Adult is this section of your life where you discover who you want to be, what you want to be, and what type of person you will become. This time defines you. This is the time of firsts, the time where you can't blame your parents for your own bad choices. An NA character has to take responsibility for their own choices and live with the consequences. Most storylines are about twenty-something (18 to 26) characters living their own lives without any parents breathing down their necks, and learning to solve things on their own as they would in real life. New Adult fiction focuses on switching gears, from depending on our parents to becoming full-fledged, independent adults.
I am a firm believer that if you’re going to write a certain genre that you should read it, too. So I’m going to recommend that you start devouring NA novels to get a real sense and understanding of the genre before you write one.
Here are some great recommendations: https://www.goodreads.com/genres/new-adult-romance and http://www.goodreads.com/genres/new-adult and https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/new-adult-romance
Just as YA is fiction about teens discovering who they are as a person, New Adult (NA) is fiction about building your own life as an actual adult. As older teen readers discover the joy of the Young Adult genres, the New Adult—demand may increase. This, in turn, would give writers the chance to explore the freedom of a slightly older protagonist (over the age of 18 and out of high school, like the brilliant novel, "BEAUTIFUL DISASTER" by the amazing talents of author, Jamie McGuire) while addressing more adult issues that early 20-year-olds must face.
Older protagonists (basically, college students) are surprisingly rare; in a panel on YA literature at Harvard’s 2008 Vericon, City of Bones author talked about pitching her novel, then about twenty-somethings, as adult fiction. After several conversations, Clare realized she had to choose between adults and teens. She went with teens.
Quote from the publisher, St. Martin’s Press: We are actively looking for great, new, cutting edge fiction with protagonists who are slightly older than YA and can appeal to an adult audience. Since twenty-somethings are devouring YA, St. Martin’s Press is seeking fiction similar to YA that can be published and marketed as adult—a sort of an “older YA” or “new adult.” In this category, they are looking for spunky but not stupid, serious but not dull, cutting-edge, supernatural stories.Quote from Georgia McBride, author (Praefatio) and founder of #YALitChat and publisher at Month9Books: "New Adult is a fabulous idea in theory, and authors seem to be excited about it. But in a world where bookstores shelf by category, to them, it is either Adult or Young Adult. Some booksellers even call their YA section “teen.” And when you have a character who is over a certain age (19 seems to be the age most consider the start of New Adult), it is received as Adult. In some cases, the designation by publishers causes more confusion than not.Let’s face it, YA is associated with teens, and at 19, most no longer consider themselves teens. So, it would support the theory of placing these “New Adult” titles in the Adult section. However, with the prevalence of eBook content, it would seem that the powers that be could easily create a New Adult category if they really wanted to...." There’s also a list on goodreads of New Adult book titles. These books focus on college age characters, late teens to early twenties, transitioning into the adult world.
Some popular authors of the NA category include:
- Jamie McGuire
- Jessica Park
- Tammara Webber
- Steph Campbell
- Liz Reinhardt
- Abbi Glines
- Colleen Hoover
- Sherry Soule
Would you buy New Adult books?
Does the genre appeal to you?
Does it sound better than YA (teen novels)?
Or are you happy with YA as it stands?
Do you consider YA to include characters that are over the age of eighteen?
The Fault in Our Stars author John Green delivered a speech at YouTube’s Brandcast conference.
The video embedded above features Green talking about the impact that YouTube has had on his careers as a writer and a video content creator. He encourages advertisers to devote less of their focus on attracting eyeballs.
Green has posted the piece in its entirety on The Huffington Post. Here’s an excerpt: “I can say ‘Our videos have been viewed more than a billion times’ and it sounds impressive, but it’s not actually an important number to me. I don’t care how many people watch or read something I make. I care how many people love what I make.” (via TechCrunch.com)
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Blog: Cartoon Brew
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The classic Looney Tunes star is now a New York City cab driver.