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1. Final Draft – Family of Five Illustrated – Drawing A Day

Previously I did a rough draft of our new family of Five. Here is the updated final version to be produced into a stamp. Drawn on Corel Draw X3.

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2. No Fee: Real Simple Life Lessons Essay Contest

Real Simple’s Life Lessons Essay Contest

Prize: $3,000.00.
Entry fee: $0.00.
Deadline: 09-18-2014.

WRITING CONTEST WEBSITE

Real Simple magazine is seeking entries for its annual Life Lessons Essay Contest, which awards $3,000 to the writer who has written the best essay of non-fiction. Second-place wins $750, and third-place wins a $500 cash prize.

The theme is on sharing a “Eureka!” moment–a powerful thought that made you suddenly realize that something or someone had contributed to the happiness and/or success in your life.

To enter, submit online a nonfiction essays of no more than 1,500 words. The editors of Real Simple will judge all entries according to the these rules: novelty, creativeness, writing style, and relevance of theme.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Contest, opportunity, Places to sumit, publishers, Win, writing Tagged: A Eureka Moment, No fee Contest, Non-fiction, Real Simple Essay Contest

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3. Thoughts on the CCSS

How ironic that the more fluid the study of math and science becomes, the more rigid becomes the study of language and literature…

Solve for x

© L Taylor

…in which math becomes form and reading becomes function.

0 Comments on Thoughts on the CCSS as of 8/27/2014 2:27:00 AM
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4. Help Me Out of My Slump

I am in a huge reading slump.  One of the worst in my life.  Even SSR is not working.  I am reading, but I am not reading.  You know what I mean?  I have more than a few books I have started that I am liking, just not really loving.  So, please recommend me a book, one of the best you've read in awhile.  I would like to keep it in the young adult/middle grade level but if you have read a fantastic adult book give me the title.

Labor day is coming up and I would like to spend a little bit of time reading!

0 Comments on Help Me Out of My Slump as of 8/27/2014 2:39:00 AM
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5. The Winter Guest by Pam Jenoff


WWII was still going on, and Poland was suffering along with all the European countries as families struggled to survive.

Helena and Ruth were left in charge of their three younger siblings since their father was killed by a runaway wagon and their mother was put in the hospital.  Both girls were hard workers but had different views about the war and safety as well as being jealous of each other for everything.​  

As the book continued, something unforgivable happened between the two sisters that led to more jealousy even though the incident was not spoken about but felt by the sisters.   ​

THE WINTER GUEST puts you right into the heart of the war with the fears and hardships the population was enduring.  As Helena and Ruth struggle to keep themselves and their younger siblings fed and safe, Helena then finds something out about her mother's heritage that she had kept secret her entire life and a secret that puts their family in more danger because of their mother's secret.

As you follow the Nowak family through their daily routine, you learn what they had to go through worrying about the Germans storming into the town and knocking on the door or stealing what they had, worrying about hunger, worrying about the children, and worrying about staying alive.​

Ms. Jenoff has written yet another wonderful, heart wrenching account of WWI​I.  The beginning pages grab your attention immediately, and the suspense and interest continues throughout the entire book.

​You will fall in love with the Norwak children.  Ruth and Helena are a bit difficult to like, but they beautifully carry the story to the end with its intrigue and ​revelations.  There is also a tender, sweet love story inside all of the pain and terror.

If you have never read a book by Ms. Jenoff, you need to.  Ms. Jenoff perfectly depicts what happened in Europe during WWII in all of her books that I have read.  


THE WINTER GUEST is no exception.  Do not miss reading this book or any of her other books.  

The only thing I don't understand is how the cover portrays "the winter guest"  because I thought the guest was a male.  :)  5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review. 


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6. 8 Reasons I WON'T Visit Your Blog

I recently did a post called 8 Reasons I Visit Your Blog, so I thought I'd do a little opposing post to talk about the things that make me not want to visit your blog (or not return once I have visited).  These are my own personal reasons, and may not reflect the masses.  Thanks to Meg Ryan for helping me illustrate. 1. Automated music or sound effects. I seriously hate this. Most of the time,

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7. Mostly Ghostly R. L. Stine

R. L. Stine, Goosebumps authorMeet Goosebumps author R. L. StineGoosebumps

 series by R. L. Stine. The movie, out on Blu-ray and DVD on September 2nd, stars Bella Thorne (from Shake It Up), Calum Worthy (from Austin & Ally), Madison Pettis, Roshon Fegan, and Ryan Ochoa.  Ryan plays Max, a boy who’s finally gotten his crush Cammy (played by Bella) to go with him on a date. What could possibly go wrong? Well, when evil ghosts, ghouls, and other sinisters creatures get involved, a LOT does. It’s up to Max and his ghostly friends Tara (played by Madison) and Nicky (played by Roshon) to set things right in time for Max’s big date on Halloween!

Read what R. L. Stine has to say . . .

Q: Max loves magic. Did you like magic when you were a kid?Q: Did you believe in ghosts when you were a kid?Bella Thorn, Madison Pettis, and Roshon Fegan in Mostly Ghostly

Bella Thorn, Madison Pettis, and Roshon Fegan in Mostly Ghostly

Q: Did you discuss the movie with the cast? 

R. L. Stine: I read the script and gave the writers and producers some notes, but I never get very involved with the films and TV shows based on my books. I know that my job is to write books. I leave the movies and TV shows to the professionals. And it’s worked out pretty well.

Q: Do you have a favorite book that you wrote?

R. L. Stine: I am best known for books that are scary and funny. But what I really love most is the funny stuff. That’s why I love Mostly Ghostly: it has as many laughs as gasps. My favorite Goosebumps books are the ones with funny characters like Slappy the Dummy and Murder the Clown.

Q: What is your real-life favorite book?Q: What’s your advice to a kid who would like to become a writer?upcoming Goosebumps movie

! What do you think? Are you going to see Mostly Ghostly: Have You Met My Ghoulfriend? Are you a fan of the book series? Share your thoughts in the Comments below!

image from kids.scholastic.com — En-Szu, STACKS Staffer

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8. Your Adventure Personality Revealed

Adventure Books Bash

Choose Your Own Adventure Personality Quiz Results!

Hey, y’all! Have you been participating in our Choose Your Own Adventure series this month? In case you missed it, check out Part 1

Part 2 Part 3, and Part 4! At the end of each chapter, you had a few choices of what the character should do next. The answers you chose at the end of each segment were really part of a larger personality quiz. So, wanna know what your adventure hero personality is? Check out the answers below!Percy Jackson

. Even in the absolute worst scenarios, you’ve got the strength to not only keep your own chin up but also encourage everyone else on your team! You are balanced, trustworthy, and dependable. Even if you sometimes behave impulsively, you take full responsibility for your actions. You’re an excellent listener, a real people-person, and are up for almost any kind of adventure . . . even the super-bizarre!

If you picked mostly B’s: You are THE FAITHFUL SIDEKICK.
You are Fred or George Weasley from Harry Potter

. You’re a bit of a troublemaker, and you just want everyone to lighten up and stop taking everything so seriously! Even if you sometimes cause more problems than you help solve, you’re a key part of the group. Your heart is in the right place and you’re loyal to the very end, which is really all that matters!

If you picked mostly C’s: You are THE MASTERMIND.
You are Amy Cahill from The 39 Clues

. You’d like to avoid the spotlight at all costs and you’re the brain of the group. You like to look before you leap, and you are a wizard at digging up information on just about anything. You’re a bit of a bookworm and while you prefer to leave risk-taking to other people, if someone you care about is really in danger, you’re not afraid to jump to his or her defense!

If you picked mostly D’s: You are THE LIFESAVER.
You are a character from the I Survived

series. Whatever mishap comes your way, you can handle it! If you’re on a group adventure, you’re definitely the practical problem solver and can be counted on to have extra snacks and a first aid kit in your backpack. You’re also probably the only one carrying a backpack.

If you picked mostly E’s: You are THE DAREDEVIL.
You are Sadie Kane from the Kane Chronicles

. When you’ve set your mind to a task, there is absolutely no stopping you, no matter what! You’re a real risk-taker and your bravery inspires everyone around you, even if they are a little worried that you’ll end up injured. Because of your adventurous spirit, you often find yourself discovering cool new things and making friends in the strangest of places.

Well, who’d you get?? Share your result in the Comments below! And join the Readathon

tomorrow, too!

Thanks for playing, guys. Till next time,

image from kids.scholastic.com — En-Szu, STACKS Staffer

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9. KING BRONTY UPDATES! Pirates and Dinosaur Knights!

Nearly 5,000 people viewed "KING BRONTY and the PIRATE'S TREASURE, Part 1" and nearly 4,000 viewed a mid week adventure called "The Raptor's Claw, Part 1" ! 


Hot Dang!  That's a lot of King Bronty in one blog!

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10. New Children's Books from Piñata Books- Arte Público Press

Estas manos: Manitas de mi familia / These Hands: My Family’s Hands

by Samuel Caraballo
Illustrated by Shawn Costello
ISBN: 978-1-55885-795-7

Publication Date: 10/31/14
Bind: Hardcover

Pages: 32

Ages: 4-8

In this heart-warming ode to family, the young narrator compares the hands of family members to plants in the natural world. “Your hands, the most tender hands! / When I’m scared, / They soothe me,” she says to her mother. The girl compares her mother’s hands to rose petals, which represent tenderness in Latin America.
Her father’s hands are strong like the mahogany tree; her siblings’ friendly like the blooming oak tree. Grandma Inés’ are the happiest hands, like tulips that tickle and hug tightly. And Grandpa Juan’s are the wisest, like the ceiba tree, considered by many indigenous peoples of Latin America to be the tree of life and wisdom and the center of the universe. His are the hands that teach his granddaughter how to plant and care for the earth and how to play the conga drum.
She promises to give back all the love they have always given her, “Dad, when your feet get tired, / My hands will not let you fall.” Samuel Caraballo’s poetic text is combined with Shawn Costello’s striking illustrations depicting loving relationships between family members. An author’s note about Latin American symbols will introduce children both to the natural world and the idea that one thing can represent another.


Cecilia and Miguel Are Best Friends / Cecilia y Miguel son mejores amigos

by Diane Gonzales Bertrand
Illustrated by Thelma Muraida
ISBN: 978-1-55885-794-0

Publication Date: 10/31/14

Bind: Hardcover

Pages: 32

Ages: 4-8

Cecilia and Miguel are best friends, and have been since the third grade when he gave her bunny ears in the class picture. Their life-long friendship is recorded in warm recollections of bike races and soccer games, beach time and fishing from the pier.
Their closeness endures separation, “even when he drove north to college and she drove west.” The relationship evolves and grows, but remains strong even when … he dropped the ring and she found it inside her flan … he set up one crib and she told him they need two … the twins climb into their bed and beg for another story. In this celebration of friendship, best friends forgive mistakes, share adventures and—sometimes—even become family!
Popular children’s book author Diane Gonzales Bertrand teams up with illustrator Thelma Muraida to create an album of memories that reflect their shared Mexican-American childhood in San Antonio, Texas: swinging at birthday party piñatas, breaking cascarones over friends’ heads and dancing at quinceañeras. Young children are sure to giggle at the adventures of Cecilia and Miguel, and they’ll be prompted to ask about their parents’ relationship as well as explore their own.
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11. End of Day 1!

Whew! So we made it through day one! Even through the glitches and changes and everything. That’s the great part about technology — you never really know if you can count on it!

We’re thrilled with your patience, and your kindness, as we work behind-the-scenes to put on the best events we can. We realize that we cannot meet everyone’s needs, so every “thank you!” and “you’re doing great!” mean a lot to us.

In case you missed some of the awesome today, here’s where you can go to get caught up:

Keynote by Literary Agent Peter Knapp

Twitter Pitch Event with literary agent Katie Reed (see if yours was selected; go to #writeoncon to read the feedback)

Twitter Pitch Event with literary agent Amy Stern (see if yours was selected; go to #writeoncon to read the feedback)

Live Chat with literary agent Molly Ker Hawn

Live Google Hangout with the editors at Spencer Hill Press

 

And we have another day of awesomeness lined up for tomorrow! We hope you’ve been hanging out in the forums, getting and giving feedback, and maybe doing a little Ninja stalking…

 

And if you can, we’d love for you to donate to WriteOnCon. It takes thousands of dollars each year to update the forums, purchase the plans we need for chatting, and increase our server capacity. NONE of the organizers behind the scenes get a dime — it all goes to making sure we can keep bringing you these great events.




Thanks!

 

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12. #644 – The Adventures of Lovable Lobo, #5: Lobo Goes to the Galapagos by C.L. Murphy

Lobo cover

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The Adventures of Lovable Lobo, #5: Lobo Goes to the Galapagos

Written and illustrated by C.L. Murphy
Published by C.L. Murphy         8/22/2014
978-0-9883187-5-5
Age 4 to 8        32 pages
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“Lobo returns in this adventure, sweeter and a bit salty this time. This lil’ wolf pup finds that there’s nothing like a little sea air to bring out the best in him and his unlikely tag-alongs. Take a trip to the Galapagos with Lobo and his right-hand raven, Roxy, as they help an injured, new feathered friend return home. Lobo faces some fears and witnesses the joy that comes from helping others in this “birds of a different feather DO flock together” tale.”

Opening

 “Ohh …….Rooooxxxyyyy . . . Roxy…..Roxy?”

The Story

After a stormy night, Lobo finds a bird lying upside down in the grass. It has blue feet, which worries Lobo, but it turns out the bird, named Bobby is a blue-footed booby. The storm blew Bobby all the way to Lobo’s home, hurting his wing in the process. Lobo’s friend Roxy the raven splints Bobby’s wing and then the two take Bobby home. He lives by the ocean, but none of the beaches Lobo arrives at is the correct beach. Bobby lives on Wolf Island—wolf population zero—an island of the Galapagos Islands. The islands are across the ocean rom Lobo’s forest. Lobo does not swim well and is afraid a sea creature might attack the group—or him. What does he do know? How will he get the injured Booby back home?

Review 

I have loved The Adventures of Lovable Lobo ever since Lobo ventured into a barnyard full of animals trying to make friends. He was a cool wolf pup when he refused to hunt and kill in his first adventure. Lobo was wonderful with a young Bigfoot. In Lobo Goes to Galapagos, Lobo must be maturing. He takes the lead, transporting an injured boobly bird, a depressed seagull, and a lonely crab by himself. Roxy helps by flying most of the time instead of landing on Lobo’s back for a free ride. Lobo never complains. These are his friends (even the sad seagull and the blue-footed boobly both of which he just met) so he steps out.

I loved the unexpected bits of humor, such as when Sandra popping onto the beach with the perfect timing of a great comedian One f the best lines is this one,

LoboGalapagos_page33_image38

“The water was so clear that if Lobo looked down he could see many things swimming around,   so he tried not to look down.”

Poor Lobo, he endures one fear to take a new friend, injured in the storm, home. The nice thing about Lobo’s stories is the lack of a message. Lobo is a good wolf, a wolf to aspire to be, and a friend to every animal without prejudice. This is Lobo’s makeup, not his message. Still, I take friendship, honesty, loyalty, and courteousness away from Lobo’s adventures.

LoboGalapagos_page33_image10

I was disappointed that Lobo Goes to the Galapagos was only to drop off a new friend. I thought he would go there to explore and show me creatures I did not know existed. True, I had never heard of a blue-footed boobly—and yes, it is real—but I wanted more.

The illustrations are once more fantastic. My favorite and one that Ms. Murphy will find hard to top, is her gorgeous sunset, sunrise beaches. I have been to the Caribbean many times and have seen many outstanding sunsets and rises, but none were as magnificent as the ones in Lobo Goes to the Galapagos. Ms. Murphy the magic touch. All of her illustrations are bold, bright, beautiful renditions of her stories. If the images are not hopping off the page at you, they bathe you in phenomenal patterns of color. She is a fantastic artist.

LoboGalapagos_page33_image18

Lobo’s latest adventure, Lobo Goes to the Galapagos, will not disappoint his loyal fans. Young children new to the lovable wolf pup will enjoy the story’s soft humor and awesome tale of friendship. As of this tale, Kindle readers can finally enjoy Lovable Lobo. Once again, Lobo and his friends captivated me. I hope one day, Lobo will make a longer trip to the Galapagos Islands. He would make the perfect ambassador.

THE ADVENTURES OF LOVABLE LOBO #5: LOBO GOES TO THE GALAPAGOS. Text and illustrations copyright © 2014 by C.L. Murphy. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, C.L. Murphy.

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Purchase Lobo Goes to the Galapagos at AmazoniTunes—Ms. Murphy’s Website.

Learn more about Lobo Goes to the Galapagos HERE

Meet the author/illustrator, C.L. Murphy, at her website:     http://lovablelobo.com/

Pop in on the author at her Twitter, Facebook, or Blog.

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Also by C.L. Murphy

The Adventures of Lovable Lobo, #1:  Lobo & Popo Fool the Pack

The Adventures of Lovable Lobo, #1: Lobo & Popo Fool the Pack

The Adventures of Lovable Lobo, #2:  Lobo Visits the Barnyard

The Adventures of Lovable Lobo, #2: Lobo Visits the Barnyard


The Adventures of Lovable Lobo, #3:  Lobo Finds BigfootBarnyard

The Adventures of Lovable Lobo, #3: Lobo Finds BigfootBarnyard

The Adventures of Lovable Lobo, #4:  Lobo's Howliday

The Adventures of Lovable Lobo, #4: Lobo’s Howliday

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Review of Lobo #1

Review of Lobo #2

Review of Lobo #3

Review of Lobo #4

 

 

lobo galapagos
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Copyright © 2014 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews


Filed under: 4stars, Children's Books, Favorites, Library Donated Books, Picture Book, Series Tagged: Blue-Footed Boobly, C.L. Murphy, children's book series, childrens book review, friendship, Galapagos Islands, helping friends, Lovable Lobo, loyalty, picture book, wild creatures

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13. Time Management Tuesday: Minimalizing Instead Of Organizing

"No matter how organized we are, we must continue to care for the stuff we organize, sorting and cleaning our meticulously structured belongings."

You'll find that line in  A New Memoir About What Happens When You Get Rid of All Your Stuff , an excerpt from Everything That Remains by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus that appears in Slate. The point Millburn and Nicodemus are making is that so long as you keep the stuff, you have to continue to take care of it.

Taking care of stuff takes time.

Dealing with life's stuff may seem beyond the focus of this blog series, which is time management for writers. But, remember, "the boundary between professional and personal time is very thin and very wobbly," particularly for writers who often work without workstations outside the home and function as their own supervisors. The less we have to deal with in our personal lives, the more we'll have to give to our professional lives.

Millburn and Nicodemus say that organizers accumulate things, they just think they have control of the situation because they're organized. But organize is a verb. It's something you have to do. Minimalizing, simplifying, not having a lot of possessions to handle may be the more time and energy efficient way to go.

You can minimalize your work world, too. I tossed some writing books a month or two ago. And then there was the file purge I did a couple of years ago.

Of course, minimalizing takes time, too. But once things are gone, they're gone. Keeping them organized, on the other hand, goes on forever.

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14. Bhima review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Malayalam-writing M.T. Vasudevan Nair's Mahabharata-variation, Bhima.
       Glad to see a translation-from-the-Malayalam (hard to come by, hereabouts) -- but I would prefer to see more original work. (And this is the second translation of this work -- another version came out in 1997.)

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15. Review – The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman

The third and final volume in an absolutely brilliant series is a truly fitting finale. It is everything you want from the final book in a series. Loose ends are tied up, the gang gets back together for one last, possibly world ending, epic quest. Grossman throws you straight back into the world of Quentin […]

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16. (Not) reading in ... Pakistan

       Muzaffar Mukhtar reports in The Express Tribune that there's been a Slump in sales: Booksellers going out of business -- an article that could be written about most any place right now but, in this case, is about Pakistan, and specifically Islamabad and Rawalpindi. The problem, of course: "the absence of a book reading culture", the lament:

People are now too occupied with TV channels, social media and the internet to find time for books.
       Good to see that they could find support for that thesis:
Muhammad Ali, a student at the Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi, said there is no need to buy prints when you have an internet connection. "Reading books is boring in today's fast-paced world. There are other ways available to acquire information."
       (I have to admit I'm tickled at the thought that there's actually an 'Arid Agriculture University', but I'll be damned -- there is. Still, nice touch, getting that quote from someone from a so-named institution.)
       Also interesting:
Umaira Ahmad and Nimra Ahmad are the most popular fiction writers with the youth these days. "Writers such as Intizar Hussain, Saadat Hassan Manto and Ismat Chughtai are not the choice of the people. While most girls like Wasi Shah, hardly anybody knows about Noon Meem Rashid"
       Not sure what it means that Hussain (Basti, etc.), Manto (Bombay Stories; see the Vintage publicity page, and Chughtai (e.g. The Crooked Line; see the Feminist Press publicity page) are the authors that have recently been made available in the US; the Ahmads and Wasi Shah, not so much ..... Read the rest of this post

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17. “A quick one,” she said. Ha!

summerflowers

Last night’s talk on habits seemed to go over very well. I was astonished that we had forty moms in attendance! We set up chairs and blankets in my backyard. Several of you have asked for a write-up of the talk, so I’ll work on that during the week. Thanks so much for your interest!

Playing catchup tonight, so this will be another quick one. I’ve been making my way through Mystie Winckler’s Simplified Organization eCourse (affiliate link, and I think the “backtoschool” discount code still works), and I really enjoyed her video on Google Calendar. Same thing happened with gCal as happened with Evernote when I read Mystie’s Paperless Home Organization book: in both cases I thought I was already using the platform in question in a fairly savvy manner, but Mystie taught me some tricks I didn’t know. In the case of Google Calendar (my lifeline for years now), I already had multiple calendars set up that I toggled on and off for various views: Appointments, Kid Activities (including, this summer, Jane’s work schedule; also includes family birthdays), and a Deadlines calendar I share with Scott. But now I’ve added:

• a Household calendar for tracking my daily chores, the ones assigned to specific days of the week a la Flylady;

• a Readalouds calendar (a brainstorm that came to me after Mystie’s video; I’ve tried many ways of logging our numerous picture book readalouds through the week and I always wind up dropping the ball; we’ll see if this one works );

• and a very simple Zones calendar that displays the Flylady zone of the week. I’ve been using Flylady’s schedule, modified, on and off for some fifteen years now! When I follow it, the housework flows so much more smoothly. Until now I never thought of having a gCal dedicated solely to announcing the week’s zone.

The Household calendar has already proven its merits. I created it over the weekend and made recurring entries (not pegged to a specific time, so they appear in bands of color) for the rotating daily chores. Then, for extra tasks such as the ones associated with hosting a houseful of moms, I assigned times (somewhat arbitrary, but I did find it kept me progressing through the tasks through the day) so that those would show up without the orange background.

zones

I’ve never tried anything like this before—listing the individual chores necessary for a non-routine event—and it worked amazingly well for me. I was able to work through the list in a pretty calm manner, not the frazzled frenzy that is my usual state when preparing for company. :)

I didn’t put our regular morning/afternoon/evening chores on this calendar because those are routine now, for the kids and me. This is only for my jobs that come around weekly or less often.

***

I got carried away there and wrote more than I meant to. :) I’m thinking about adding yet another gCal for our High Tide studies. I have it marked out in colorful chalk and propped on the mantel where I can see it from my favorite chair, but I think I might enjoy seeing it laid out this way too.

This morning we returned to our (still new) schedule. We’re having a good time with Latin, brushing up on what we learned last go-round. For some reason Latin brings out the merry in all of us. Rose and Bean and I are back to our Romantic poets, so you know I’m in heaven. We’re reading Lear aloud—Rilla is doing a bang-up job as Cordelia—and today (at long last) Rose and I started Paradise Lost. Beanie and I, meanwhile, are spending a few weeks in the company of my beloved Mr. Twain. She’s knee-deep in Connecticut Yankee at the moment. I need to catch up to her.

Obviously we’re going heavy on Lit at the moment. There are other things afoot, of course. Including a whole lot of D&D character-building among the girls. For Rose’s birthday last week, I gave her a new adventure module with a promise to DM for them. In a momentous gesture, Rilla has been invited by her big sisters to join the game. This necessitated a lot of poring over manuals to find the perfect combination of character race and class. I believe she settled upon half-elf paladin. Backstory in progress. I think Rose may enjoy creating characters and fleshing them out even more than playing the game. A girl after my own heart.

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18. New Books!

I treated myself to a new book right before going on vacation. I’ve wanted to read the series for a while, but only bought the first book because I got such a deal on it. I really have too many books here to justify buying more.

pretty

 

Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer–they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one terrible and wonderful summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.

 

While we were away, this one arrived in the mail. I’ll be reviewing this book for the author.

little author

Many girls in elementary and middle school fall in love with the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. What they don’t always realize is that Wilder’s books are autobiographical. This narrative biography describes more of the details of the young Laura’s real life as a young pioneer homesteading with her family on many adventurous journeys. This biography, complete with charming illustrations, points out the differences between the fictional series as well as the many similarities. It’s a fascinating story of a much-celebrated writer.

 

Hope you had a great week.


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19. LIVE EVENT: Google Hangout with Danielle Ellison, Asja Parrish, and Patricia Riley of Spencer Hill Press

Danielle, Asja, and Patricia are looking for specific manuscripts. PLEASE DO NOT PITCH DURING THIS EVENT IF YOUR NOVEL DOES NOT MEET THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA:

  • -Only YA.
  • -Realistic (Contempoary) ONLY.
  • -Completed, revised MSs ONLY.

We will be TAKING YOUR PITCHES FROM TWITTER using the hashtag #wocshp. These are TWITTER PITCHES, meaning they must be 140 characters or less.

One of the cool things about the Google Hangout is that we can stream parameters into our feeds and thus, display them for our pros.  You’ll be ON TWITTER to pitch, once again using the hashtag #wocshp. We have it set so that all tweets with that hashtag come into our Hangout, where one of us will put the pitch on the screen for the pros to read.

You’ll then get to see their honest reactions. So be prepared! You’ll get to see their faces as they read, hear their voices as they react.

Watch on YouTube, or Google+.

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20. Jonathan Franzen Q&A with Daniel Kehlmann

       Jonathan Franzen tries to give his buddy Daniel Kehlmann a helping hand, now that Kehlmann's new novel, F is out (without, so far, having made much of an impression, it would seem) by engaging in a Q & A with him ("an edited transcript of a conversation he and I had by phone last month") at Salon.
       It's of some interest -- first in what Franzen reveals, like that he thinks his books are funny (or at least means them to be):

The first thing I put in every email to my German editor about my own fiction is "try to remember that this is supposed to be funny."
       And that Franzen is a fan of ... Thomas Brussig (Heroes like Us; Am kürzeren Ende der Sonnenallee) and that:
If I had an extra five hours in my day, I'd be translating some of Thomas Brussig's novels into English. He's hilarious and I think it's a tough sell on both sides of the water.
       Meanwhile, Kehlmann reports:
I'm "world famous" only in Germany. But when it comes to the U.S., it is still extremely difficult to be a novelist not writing in English. I'll never forget the radio host who asked me on my American book tour with genuine incredulity: "So is it true that this book was actually not written in English ?"
       Well, it's a nice anecdote, and depressingly has a ring of plausibility.
       He certainly has a point in noting a basic American problem:
Any young writer from Brooklyn who writes about the Holocaust gets a lot of attention, whereas a true genius like Imre Kertész, who even got a Nobel Prize and arguably wrote the best Holocaust novel in the history of literature, doesn't get much attention in the U.S.

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21. Writer Wednesday: Frequently Asked Questions

I've decided to add a Frequently Asked Questions feature on my website and blog as part of my Press Kit. So today, I'm asking for your help. What questions would you like me to answer? It can be anything about my writing or my books.   Things like when I started writing, how I choose my genres, why I span age groups. Whatever you'd like.

Okay, you can ask me some silly questions too. Why not? I have a few quirks I'm willing to share for your amusement. Maybe I'll answer those as part of a vlog for fun. Sound good? 

You're up. Leave me your questions in the comments. I won't answer them there though. I'm compile a list and share all the answers once I've finished. Thanks!

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22. Special events and the dynamical statistics of Twitter

A large variety of complex systems in ecology, climate science, biomedicine, and engineering have been observed to exhibit so-called tipping points, where the dynamical state of the system abruptly changes. Typical examples are the rapid transition in lakes from clear to turbid conditions or the sudden extinction of species after a slightly change of environmental conditions. Data and models suggest that detectable warning signs may precede some, though clearly not all, of these drastic events. This view is also corroborated by recently developed abstract mathematical theory for systems, where processes evolve at different rates and are subject to internal and/or external stochastic perturbations.

One main idea to derive warning signs is to monitor the fluctuations of the dynamical process by calculating the variance of a suitable monitoring variable. When the tipping point is approached via a slowly-drifting parameter, the stabilizing effects of the system slowly diminish and the noisy fluctuations increase via certain well-defined scaling laws.

Based upon these observations, it is natural to ask, whether these scaling laws are also present in human social networks and can allow us to make predictions about future events. This is an exciting open problem, to which at present only highly speculative answers can be given. It is indeed to predict a priori unknown events in a social system. Therefore, as an initial step, we try to reduce the problem to a much simpler problem to understand whether the same mechanisms, which have been observed in the context of natural sciences and engineering, could also be present in sociological domains.

Courtesy of Christian Kuehn.
Courtesy of Christian Kuehn.

In our work, we provide a very first step towards tackling a substantially simpler question by focusing on a priori known events. We analyse a social media data set with a focus on classical variance and autocorrelation scaling law warning signs. In particular, we consider a few events, which are known to occur on a specific time of the year, e.g., Christmas, Halloween, and Thanksgiving. Then we consider time series of the frequency of Twitter hashtags related to the considered events a few weeks before the actual event, but excluding the event date itself and some time period before it.

Now suppose we do not know that a dramatic spike in the number of Twitter hashtags, such as #xmas or #thanksgiving, will occur on the actual event date. Are there signs of the same stochastic scaling laws observed in other dynamical systems visible some time before the event? The more fundamental question is: Are there similarities to known warning signs from other areas also present in social media data?

We answer this question affirmatively as we find that the a priori known events mentioned above are preceded by variance and autocorrelation growth (see Figure). Nevertheless, we are still very far from actually using social networks to predict the occurrence of many other drastic events. For example, it can also be shown that many spikes in Twitter activity are not predictable through variance and autocorrelation growth. Hence, a lot more research is needed to distinguish different dynamical processes that lead to large outburst of activity on social media.

The findings suggest that further investigations of dynamical processes in social media would be worthwhile. Currently, a main focus in the research on social networks lies on structural questions, such as: Who connects to whom? How many connections do we have on average? Who are the hubs in social media? However, if one takes dynamical processes on the network, as well as the changing dynamics of the network topology, into account, one may obtain a much clearer picture, how social systems compare and relate to classical problems in physics, chemistry, biology and engineering.

The post Special events and the dynamical statistics of Twitter appeared first on OUPblog.

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23. harvesting bamboo shoots


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24. Chu's First Day of School by Neil Gaiman & Adam Rex

Earlier this year in a Literary Celebrity Guest Review, Elissa Brent Weissman reviewed the charming Chu's Day, written by Neil Gaiman and brilliantly illustrated by  Adam Rex. Now, just in time for fall, Chu is back and headed to school in Chu's First Day of School! Chu is nervous. School is starting and he worries whether the other students will like him and what will happen. His

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25. Business 101

Are you ready to officially set up shop in the illustration industry?  Check out my new post on Once Upon A Sketch about starting a small business for your freelance illustration.

http://onceuponasketch.com/2014/08/business-101/

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