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1. Starting to #ink my #comic The Boyler Kat. #sketch (at 17th...

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2. Weightless Books Interview with Jennifer Lyn Parsons

Jennifer Lyn Parsons is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Luna Station Quarterly, a magazine that publishes speculative fiction by emerging women authors. LSQ is celebrating its 5-year anniversary, and what better way to get things started than with a wonderful interview by the fine folks at Weightless Books. Click here for the interview.

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3. GlobalPost Seeks Funding to Hire War Correspondents

Digital news organization GlobalPost is hoping to raise $95,000 on Kickstarter in order to hire a senior conflict correspondent and a dedicated conflict editor.

“War reporting is expensive and dangerous, yet it is vital to the public interest,” explains the project’s Kickstarter page.” We need you to help us keep it going through the financial challenges of a rapidly-changing media landscape.”

The video below explains more.

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4. a peek...

©the enchanted easel 2015
at some flaxen haired royalty...

©the enchanted easel 2015
who happens to don a blue ball gown. 

{painting-officially DONE! can't wait to share it next week....:)}

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5. The 2015 Hugo Awards: My Hugo Ballot, Media Categories

Last year when I wrote about this group of categories, I noted that it consisted of two categories in which I didn't feel that my vote mattered much, and two in which I didn't feel knowledgeable enough to nominate well in.  That hasn't changed much this year--in the case of the Dramatic Presentation, Long Form category, in fact, my vote feels even more useless than usual.  2014 was full of so

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6. Wombat christmas roughs-

I like my roughs- often more than the finished thing.
So here is a dump of Wombat roughs from last year.I've just about finished the book itself now.








































Looking at these and other stuff- I can see I was getting stuff done last year- just those last few months last year and most of January where I couldn't get my working week....

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7. Join Me Saturday at the New Children’s Museum in San Diego

Inch and RolyI’ll be doing a Storytime event at 2pm tomorrow (Saturday, March 7). Hope to see you and your kids there!

 

 

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8. What Did You Do This Week, Gail? March 6 Edition

Goal 1. Mummy Book. Moving on! Including some timeline work that included historical research for a particular character's story. I am still working on that revision objective, though.

Goal 2. Short Pieces. Put in some time on an essay.

Goal 4. Make Submissions. The submission I planned to make this week fell apart in a big way. However, I found two new submission possibilities to try out. I also continued with the agent search for a couple of manuscripts that aren't ready yet.

Goal 5. Community Building. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Twitter work. Goodreads. Some posting to Google+ communities.

Goal 6. Marketing STP&S. I contacted a couple more blogs about possible Earth Day posts.

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9. New Puzzles

Here are my two new puzzles for Crocodile Creek, featured in their 2015 catalogue.




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10. Fabric Sighting

Just spotted my Minky Fly Away bird print on a company's product that was just featured on the Shark Tank.



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11. Viewpoint Selection

Here's a simple explanation of the pros and cons of each point of view.

https://henryherz.wordpress.com/2014/12/14/the-ten-commandments-of-picture-book-writing/

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12. Reaching for the Light

In the waiting room, the plant
Sat near the windowsill.
Purple leaves were nodding
Like they had their own free will.

Their skinny stems supported
What were leaves split up in threes;
All were dancing to the music
From the radiator breeze.

Outside the sun was shining
Though the day was brisk and cold.
That brightness drew the plant
And like Svengali, had a hold.

For every leaf was straining
To get closer to the light.
I wondered if they’d loosen up
When day turned into night.

I guess we’re not so different
‘Cause it’s natural to yearn
For whatever makes us cozy
And it’s to that source we’ll turn.

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13. #663 – OMG . . . Am I a Witch?! by Talia Aikens-Nuñez

 

OMG…Am I A Witch?!

Talia Aikens-Nuñez, author
Alicja Ignaczak, illustrator
Central Avenue Publishing/Pinwheel Books          8/06/2014
978-1-77168-025-7
148 pages      Age 7+
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“April Appleton is s annoyed at her older brother that she searches the Internet for a spell to turn him into a dog. When it works, April realizes she has more power than she ever dreamed of! Now she has to figure out how to turn him back to normal before her parents find out.”

About the Story

April turns her older brother Austin into a little soft, poofy dog when he harasses her on the school bus. Yep, she is wearing huge red glasses and braces, but that does not give Austin the right to tease her. Now realizing she cannot keep Austin cute and cuddly forever—lest mom and dad will be unhappy—April tries in vain to turn Austin back into an annoying brother.

Things do not go well for April, who is getting better at opening and closing doors at will, but could not get the reversing spell to work. With the help of help best friend Grace and new friend Eve (her grand-mere is a witch doctor), April must perform some nasty tasks before the undo-spell might work. The Old Magic Book’s paper-thin pages are so dusty, reading might be difficult—and it is in French!

Review

First, I am not a fan of texting “terms” used in a story, and most definitely not in the title. I also do not like the double sign (?!), and because of this, think the title needs polished. The back cover preview (above), contains a sentence ending in a proposition. A few more are in the story. The expertly drawn black and white line drawings, at the onset of each chapter, help mark each new beginning, but do not add anything to the story.

omg1a

With that out of the way, OMG . . . Am I a Witch is a cute story with energized dialogue. Read in one sitting, I found the story entertaining and it held my attention throughout. Most of April’s magic occurs as she thinks of what she would like, such as thinking her doggy-brother looks white and billowy as the clouds above, then he begins floating upward. April does a lot of thinking and worrying. The humor is light, which suits the urgency of the story.

“Austin is fluffy like those clouds. Ha ha. I could just imagine him floating off like a cloud . . . I just made him float. He floated like a cloud in my daydream. I am a witch. Wow. I am . . . a . . . witch.”

Girls will especially love the main character and her female sidekicks. OMG . . . Am I a Witch is a short 148 pages that can be read one chapter at a time or entirely in one sitting, making this a good story for younger middle grade kids. I believe this is Ms. Aikens-Nuñez’s first MG book. She has written a fine first foray into writing for the late elementary and middle grades. I would love to find out how April uses her newfound magic and how her friends will influence her choices. I loved all the characters.  I think OMG . . . Am I a Witch would make a fine series, especially if April ages along the way.

OMG . . . AM I A WITCH?! Text copyright © 2014 by Talia Aikens-Nuñez. Illustrations copyright © 2014 by Alicja Ignaczak. Published by Central Avenue Publishing, British Columbia, CAN and Point Roberts, WA.
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Purchase OMG . . . Am I a Witch?! at Amazon B&NBook DepositoryiTunesPublisher’s Website.
Find out more about OMG . . . Am I a Witch?! HERE.
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Meet the author, Talia Aikens-Nuñez, at her website:  http://talia-aikens-nunez.vpweb.com/
Meet the illustrator, Alicja Ignaczak, at her facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/alicja.ignaczak.102
Learn more about the publisher, Central Avenue Publishing, at their website: centralavenuepublishing.com
Learn more about Pinwheel Books: http://pinwheelbooks.com/

Interview with Talia Aikens-Nuñez: HERE
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Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews


Filed under: 4stars, Chapter Book, Library Donated Books, Middle Grade Tagged: Alicja Ignaczak, Central Avenue Publishing, chapter books, fantasy, magic, Pinwheel Books, Talia Aikens-Nuñez

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14. Some Great SF Movies of the 1980s!

There's a rather delightful post over at tor.com:


on the subject of fantasy movies of the 1980s, ranking eighteen of them. I must admit, there were some of the list of which I had not heard, probably with good reason, others which I remember with great fondness. This was the era of speculative fiction movies - there was at least one on every school holidays.

My favourites on that list were The Princess Bride, Excalibur, The Neverending Story, Labyrinth and Highlander, though I could understand adding Willow(one of Warwick Davis's first films - he was only 18 at the time, and was the head Ewok in Return Of The Jedi) and Clash Of The Titans, which was not a very good film, but was lucky enough to have the SFX of Ray Harryhausen and deserves to be seen if only for those. It was his last film. I found Conan The Barbarian a disappointment on a re-view. Dull, dull, dull!  Legend : another dull film that had fabulous effects. The unicorn was gorgeous and Tom Curry's make-up as the demon was wonderful, though he didn't have much to do. But go to the web site and check it out for yourself. 


It's a pity the list didn't include SF movies, because one of my favourites would have been The Last Starfighter, which I think may have been Robert Preston's last film; I still watch it occasionally. It's delightfully - intentionally - silly, with Robert Preston as an alien who has set up a computer game called Starfighter on Earth in hopes of recruiting real starfighters, gunners who can fight from spaceships against a real menace somewhere far off in the galaxy. The young hero, who is not quite good enough to get into his university of choice, is a fabulous computer game player and finds himself whisked off to fight the bad guys using those skills. Yes, I know, silly, but probably not much sillier than the premise of Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game, and that worked out fine, didn't it? And became a classic?


I was delighted to get Tron on DVD. Both this and The Last Starfighter  did some "firsts" in computer animation. But the stories were a delight. Pity someone made a sequel to Tron; it just wasn't as good. In the far superior original, Jeff Bridges was the computer game designer who is pulled into his own computer game, where he encounters Tron, the hero of his game, who helps other computer characters. The title role was played by Bruce Boxleitner, who went on to play the role of Captain John Sheridan, station commander, in Seasons 2-4 of Babylon 5, and in one scene Bridges encounters and has to fight a character played by Peter Jurasik, who, as  Centauri Ambassador Londo Mollari, got some of the best lines in Babylon 5.

And there was Star Trek 4: The Voyage Home, still my favourite of all the Trek movies. That's the one with the whales, and that joyous music as the whales romp in the ocean of 23rd century Earth. The one where Kirk doesn't get the girl and Spock experiments with swearing and Chekhov, lying on a hospital trolley and not quite awake, implies he's after Kirk's job. Walter Koenig, by the way, was another Babylon 5 cast member, and made a great villain. And Scotty, in a glass factory, tries to speak to the computer using a mouse, then uses the keyboard with great proficiency.

I watch that to cheer me up when I'm feeling low.

Another one I watch to cheer myself is the 1980 movie of Flash Gordon. It's great fun, played with tongue firmly in cheek. Chaim Topol, best known as Tevye in Fiddler On The Roof, was scientist Dr Zharkov, the delectable Tomothy Dalton, a future James Bond, was Prince Barin, Brian Blessed was Prince Vultan of the Hawk Men- you may have seen him in Blackadder 1 as King Richard IV, or in   I,Claudius as the Emperor Augustus or even in Dr Who as a barbarian chieftain... No, probably not unless you're my age...   and Max Von Sydow, star of many a Swedish movie and Jesus in The Greatest Story Ever Told, was Ming The Merciless. And that score by Queen is absolutely perfect! You can see the actors are having a ball. I once won a prize at a SF convention masquerade as a lady of the court of Ming The Merciless, back in the days when I was embroidering a lot with sequins and I had the figure to carry it off. 

And who could forget the classic Back To The Future? Michael J Fox as Marty McFly and Christopher Lloyd as the delightful Dr Emmett Brown? Lea Thompson and Crispin Glover, who played as his parents, were actually not much older than the teenagers they played in the 1950s scenes and had to be made up to look middle aged. Lea Thompson said she wore her make up home once to shock her own parents! You couldn't do a remake now, not with the 1950s settings because the 1950s are too far away. 

What about you? Any favourites?

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15. "...like a memory recalled or a dream put to page.



You know what makes one a very happy author? Reading an analysis of your book as thoughtful as the  one Desmond White just wrote for Sequart. Go read it!




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16. On This Day - March 7

A meme for March 7, which it us here Downunder.


Events: 


321 – Sunday becomes the day of rest in the Roman Empire. The weekend is created! Yay!

1876 – Alexander Graham Bell patents his invention, the telephone. The rest is history.

1994 – Copyrighta Law in the US: it is decided that parodies of an original work are covered by "fair use". Probably just as well or we wouldn't have quite a lot of comedies and we would have a lot more court cases.

2009 – Launch of  The Kepler space observatory, which is there to find Earth-like planets orbiting other stars. 

Birthdays! 

1792: John Herschel, son of the Astronomer Royal, William Herschel, nephew of the amazing Caroline Herschel, and guess what? He was a big name astronomer himself and named some of the moons of Uranus, with names they still have. He was also a big name in photography and, with his wife Margaret, worked on some botany while they were in South Africa doing astronomy. Go look him up on Wikipedia. I did.

1875: Maurice Ravel. If you've never heard his Bolero, you must have had your head in the sand.

1944: Stanley Schmidt, American SF writer. I can't remember if I 've read anything of his, but I've certainly read Analog, the U.S. hard SF magazine, of which he was editor between 1978 and 2012.  For me, hard SF is the source of my sensawunda.

1946: The wonderful Elizabeth Moon, whose space operas I discovered while waiting for more Lois McMaster Bujold. LMB is a fine fantasy writer, but I prefer SF - and I haven't read any Moon fantasy either, for the same reason. But plenty of space opera to read in the Serrano, Esmay Suiza and Vatta's War series. More, please! 

Today is Teacher's Day in Albania. Nice to know teachers are appreciated in some parts of the world. Here in Australia the perception seems to be that teachers are useless lazy good for nothings who have these cushy jobs with short hours and long holidays. Interestingly, no one who says this in newspaper letters pages ever says, "I think I'll go and train as a teacher to show them how it's done and get all those holidays." Or seems to know that uni entrance scores are about demand, not about how good you are. And teacher entrance scores are low because, despite all those holidays, not many people want to teach. I wonder why?

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17. Christian Grey Costume Deemed Inappropriate For School Kid

Christian Grey, the main character in the salacious book 50 Shades of Grey, has been deemed an inappropriate favorite book character by school officials in the UK.

An 11 year-old boy was forced to change after wearing the costume to school yesterday for World Book Day, a day in which kids in the UK and Ireland are encouraged to dress up as their favorite book character. The Guardian has more:

His mother, Nicola Scholes, a primary school teacher, accused the school of double standards. Talking to the Manchester Evening News, she pointed out that a teacher was dressed as the blood-splattered forensics-expert-turned-serial-killer Dexter from the book and US TV show.

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18. ‘A Brief History of Skateboarding’ by Antonio Vicentini

Some skateboarding history squeezed into a few minutes of visuals.

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19. 3D models

After years of procrastination I've finally taken the time to prepare a selection of my 3D models for online selling. You're invited for an impression (free 3D models included).

Other work: MetinSeven.com.

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20. First few passes of color. #comic #kidlit #illustration #sketch ...

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21. The Ship of Brides

The Ship of Brides. Jojo Moyes. 2005/2014. Penguin. 464 pages. [Source: Library]

Did I love absolutely everything about Jojo Moyes' The Ship of Brides? No, I can't say that I did. But I enjoyed it enough to read it in two days. I'll start with what I loved.

I loved the subject. I loved the idea of reading about a group of women--war brides--sailing together into the unknown. The book is about a ship full of Australian women--all war brides--sailing to England in 1946. It isn't any ship either. It's an aircraft carrier. The potential to mingle with the navy is definitely there, though obviously discouraged. There are over 600 women on board, though readers only get close to four women who share a room: Jean, Avice, Margaret, and Frances. They are sailing into the unknown in a way because they've never been to England, they've never met their in-laws, and they haven't seen their husbands in months or even years. Take into consideration, that some of these couples only knew each other a few weeks before they got married, and, yes there is plenty of unknown ahead. Even if they felt like they *knew* their husbands when they got married, they don't know how the war has changed them, if the war has changed them. The time on the ship is an in-between time: the first taste of a big change in all their lives. Will they be happy? Will it all work out? Are they still loved? Are they still wanted? Several women receive messages--telegrams, I believe-telling them NOT to come.

I liked the narration, especially of the time on the ship. The days/weeks are chronicled, and, one gets a sense of the experience, of the journey. The anxiety, the awkwardness, the heat, the opportunities, the stresses, etc. I thought the setting was well done, for the most part.

Did I love the characterization? Not as much as I hoped initially. I don't know if there was any one character that I loved. And some of the characterization felt a bit uneven.

What I didn't quite love was the framework. The beginning and ending felt a little off to me. Readers first meet a grandmother and a granddaughter on their trip in India. The two just happen to stumble upon a ship about to become scrap. It is THE ship, and it overwhelms the grandmother to see it. The rest of the book is about the four women--really, just three women if I'm honest--and tries, I suppose, to keep readers guessing which of the three is the grandmother of the future. The ending is part of that framework: readers finally knowing how it all fits together.

I liked it. I'm glad I read it. I am. I'm interested in the subject. I would be happy to read more books like it. But it wasn't love for me.

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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22. Writing Devices: Pros and Cons of Connectivity

By Joyce Audy Zarins Mobility increases productivity. Although you write B.I.C. (Jane Yolen’s famous rule #1 on writing: keep your “Butt in Chair”), that chair now has wings. With the right connectivity between devices, you can write anywhere you are. There are definite pros and cons to being connected through different devices, so be aware […]

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23. Sarah Andreacchio

andreacchiofloralpattern

 

Sarah Andreacchio is an illustrator living in France. Her playful patterns are packed with florals and happy critters in cheerful colorways. In all of her pieces there is an energy and rhythm that keeps a captive audience while eliciting a happy mood. Her work has appeared on journals, cards, silk scarves and even dimensional object such as rings, little sculptures and pendants.bl

bl3

card1

foulard3

forestbluepatternandreacchio

fox

hello3

mir

rabbitring

summerpattern
underwaterblogBe sure to follow along with Sarah’s creative adventures on her blog, or add some of her cheery prints to your art collection by visiting her shop.

Written by Bryna Shields.

 

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24. House of the Bishop

House of the Bishop by Ellen Beier, from Les Miserables
     In this image, Jean Valjean returns to the house of the Bishop: from the (abridged) text: “What a wretch I am!” he exclaimed, and he burst into tears for the first time in 19 years. Valjean realized that he had to change. When the church clock chimed three on that morning, he was kneeling in prayer at the bishop’s door.

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25. Week in Review, March 2nd-6th

Week in Review

This week on hbook.com…

From the March/April 2015 issue of The Horn Book Magazine: “Five Gay Picture-Book Prodigies and the Difference They’ve Made” by Barbara Bader

Floyd Cooper Talks with Roger

Reviews of the Week:

Read Roger:

Out of the Box:

Lolly’s Classroom:

Events calendar

See overviews of previous weeks by clicking the tag week in review. Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook to keep up-to-date on our articles!

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