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American basketball star, Darsh Singh, a turbaned, bearded Sikh, featured this April in a Guardian Weekend piece on cyberbullying. He recalled how his online picture had been circulated with Islamophobic captions. Long before that he’d had to get used to people yelling things like "towelhead”. Since 9/11, Sikhs haven’t just been verbally insulted but have suffered ‘reprisal attacks’.
गर्मी का मौसम – पुण्य का काम- पक्षियों को दाना पानी गर्मी का मौसम शुरु हो चुका है और बहुत राज्यों में सूखा पडा होने की लगातार खबरे आ रही हैं . वही दूसरी ओर जहां सूखा नही है वहां भी पानी कम इस्तेमाल करने पर बल दिया जा रहा है. ऐसे में चारो […]
Both Madison (Mads) and Billy have their futures ahead of them - futures heavily shaped by their mothers. And, perhaps, by each other. But when the story starts, when their stories first intersect, only one of them is present: Mads, when her morning swim leads her straight into the path of a body, a woman who has taken her own life: Billy's mother.
Though the premise outlined above may sound grim, Essential Maps for the Lost by Deb Caletti is buoyed by hope: hope for better days, hope for positive change. The story is led by two characters who struggle to take control over their own lives while they search for reasons or answers related to recent events. Written in third person, the book flips back and forth between Billy and Mads, allowing the reader to see both perspectives - which is especially interesting when they are in the same scene, so the dual narrative allows us to be privy to both characters' thoughts. The third person style also permits a cool omniscient element, with occasional phrases directing the reader's attention to something - almost like a finger pointing, "Look there," "Remember this moment later" - that are more like gentle nudges than pushy wink-wink moments.
Billy and Mads, both post-high school and both innate caretakers, have found jobs they love: Billy works at a no-kill animal shelter and literally rescues dogs, while Mads babysits a baby girl that she wishes she could protect from the world. But neither of them are happy at home. Billy now lives with his grandmother, a woman full of cruel remarks and judgements about her late daughter, while Mads is staying with her aunt, uncle, and cousin for the summer while she takes real estate classes at Bellevue Community College - all part of her mother's plan for Mads to become her working partner the second she passes the licensing exam.
But once Mads and Billy meet, once their lives collide, their futures change. Or is it that their options change, and their true futures reveal themselves? It is not easy to alleviate the burdens of the abandoned or create a map for the lost. It takes courage to face the ogres of depression and loss. With strength of spirit combined with gut instincts and personal truths, Mads and Billy find their way out of the deep and onto their next journey.
I'm going to miss this family I've invented from random photographs and scraps of my own family's history. I plan to work on giving them a more proper storyline. Or perhaps I'll just collect them into an e-book. Time will tell. It always does, it seems.
Now, on to the story... So I returned to the studio after most of Spring Break passed only to discover that every locker in our room was open. (Except for the ones with actual locks on them.) That was weird. Then I noticed that my bag of peanuts and raisins was open. No way I left it like that. I looked at the other desks - food had been left out there too. In fact, on one desk there was a half-eaten ice-cream cone. Strange (on so many levels). I concluded that somebody had been pilfering through our things looking for something to steal and sell, and eating our food while at it. There had been some random thefts in the building, so I figured this ought to be on Security's radar. So, I reported it to the building's receptionist. She called security and soon after, they stopped by to talk to me and whoever else was there (not many folks had returned yet). Turned out, other departments had similar stories. Interior Design thought they had a rodent because of the food mess left behind, and the cameras caught somebody sleeping on the 5th floor that same night. We definitely had an intruder, but luckily, nothing of value was taken. Although, Security took a few items they felt probably had good fingerprints on them for documentation, just in case. They were on it. (I mean this positively - truly, they were on top of it.) As follow-up, we received emails to please be aware of who follows us into the building when we use our pass cards. Problem with that is, we are art students. Sometimes art students can look pretty rough, so who's to say who looks suspicious or not? I also got an email requesting that I file a police report. But, um, nothing was taken (except by security) other than food, and I just wasn't willing to go to bat on that one. No matter. A week later, who should show up but two officers of the Scottish Police Department. Our receptionist pointed them to me. Spring Break was way over at this point and the classroom was full. Can you say embarrassed? Why are police going to Elizabeth's desk? Gads! However, the officers were very nice and said that they really needed a point person on the police report (?!?) to use for future reference, and since the intruder took my nuts... *ahem* Ever so nicely I explained that I really didn't want to have my name in any police reports, and certainly not one where I complain that somebody stole my nuts. Imagine! If I ever needed to file a serious report and my name came up in their system with that! Well, they'd think I was... I was... (forgive me) NUTS! At any rate, the kind officer understood and said he'd try to find a work around. Meanwhile, Katy Wiedemann got a picture of the whole thing...
...and we were all in tears laughing after the fact. What a way to start the day! P.S. - Nobody had any guns.
This is one of two titles -- along with the latest Elena Ferrante -- that is a finalist for both the Best Translated Book Award and the Man Booker International Prize this year, so it's hard not to consider it one of the biggest titles-in-translation of 2015.
Here is the final installment in my series of science poetry tied to science-themed picture books. My graduate student, Elizabeth Zelenak (in my "Poetry for Children" class) selected the focus on “earthworms” from the series of professional resource books, "Picture Perfect Science Lessons" by Karen Ansberry and Emily Morgan (and published by the National Science Teachers Association). Here are her three infographics centered around learning about earthworms. The focus picture book pair is:
Diary of a Wormby Doreen Cronin
Wiggling Worms at Work by Wendy Pfeffer
The poem that works perfectly with this book is“Reliable, Pliable Worms” by Celia Warren from her book Don’t Poke a Worm till it Wriggles.Below is a graphic featuring this book pair and others, followed by the featured poem, and then the Take 5 activities to accompany the poem along with a "bonus" poem, “Soil Inventory” by Kate Coombs from The Poetry of Science. Enjoy!
Science of poetry graphics created by Elizabeth Zelenak
Consider the following scenario: Two women both lost a son in a war. One returns to work immediately and starts volunteering at an organization helping families of fallen soldiers. The other is unable to leave home, spends most of her days crying and sitting in front of her son’s belongings that were left untouched. Who is more resilient? The answer largely depends on how one defines resilience.
Alicia Vikander to Star as Lara Croft in 'Tomb Raider'
Lara Croft has been found.
Alicia Vikander has signed on to star in Tomb Raider for MGM, Warner Bros. and GK Films, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
The movie project, which has Roar Uthaug (The Wave) on board to direct, will tell the story of a young and untested Croft fighting to survive her first adventure.
MGM and Warner Bros. are co-producing the film, with MGM overseeing production. They acquired the rights from GK Films, who had previously purchased the film rights in 2011 from Square Enix Ltd. Graham King is serving as producer.
Angelina Jolie famously starred in the two previous Tomb Raider movies, 2001's Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and 2003's Lara Croft: Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, which established her as a bankable, franchise-carrying international star.
Vikander, who won an Oscar for her turn in The Danish Girl, is hoping for a similar path, and the Tomb Raider movie gives the actress her own franchise after proving her salt in acclaimed dramas.
Last year was a turning point for Vikander, who won an Oscar for her performance in The Danish Girl while also starring in Ex Machina, Burnt and The Man From U.N.C.L.E. This year she will be seen in the drama The Light Between Oceans as well as the Matt Damon action pic Jason Bourne.
Virtually everybody has heard of the filmmaker, writer, graphic artist, and composer Satyajit Ray (1921-1992) but except for Bengalis, few know much about the exploits of his formidable ancestors and their kinsfolk. And yet, over years of versatile creative engagements, Upendrakishore Ray (1863-1915), his father-in-law Dwarakanath Ganguli (1844-1898), his brother-in-law Hemendramohan Bose (1864-1916), his son Sukumar (1887-1923), and daughter-in-law Suprabha (the parents of Satyajit) charted new paths in literature, art, religious reform, nationalism, business, advertising, and printing technology.
If you’ve seen the new show Stuck in the Middle, you’re probably a fan, because once you watch one episode you just can’t stop! At least this was the case for me. The show is about Harley Diaz and her six (yep six!) siblings and she’s the middle kid.
Rachael – the oldest, totally vain and into her looks and social media.
Ethan – Harley’s favorite sibling, budding musician, and partner in crime.
Georgie – basketball player who makes up for lack of “skill” with positive will (known to say “Negativity is loserville, my friend!”). Slightly annoying but kind of funny.
Twins Louie and Beast – crazy mini-ninjas.
Daphne – the youngest, usually wearing a tutu, tiara, and their mom’s high heels.
Her mom occasionally hides in the pantry to escape from the craziness of seven kids, and the kids often eat food from the garbage. But hey – this just happens sometimes with seven kids in one family!
Would You Rather. . .
Be the oldest of seven siblings OR the youngest?
Have your family forget your birthday OR totally embarrass you in front of your crush on your birthday?
Have your wi-fi cancelled OR your device/tablet broken?
Have a big family OR be an only child?
Be a rock star musician OR world famous scientist?
Only get 3 minutes in the bathroom in the morning OR have to share a toothbrush with your sibling?
Babysit three crazy 5-year olds OR change five poopy diapers?
Let us know what you’d rather in the Comments below!
You may have heard of people suffering from a broken heart, but Takotsubo syndrome (TTS) or “Broken heart syndrome” is a very real condition. However, new research shows that happiness can break your heart too. TTS is characterised by a sudden temporary weakening of the heart muscles that cause the left ventricle of the heart to balloon out at the bottom while the neck remains narrow
Back in 2009, I had this kinda nutty, out of the blue idea for Gottabook - what if I could share a never-before-published poem by a different children's poet every day during National Poetry Month? I had no real plan on how to get the poems, exactly, nor any inkling of whether people would be interested in me throwing this big event.
It turns out that everyone I asked said yes, with many poets writing brand new poems for the occasion. Thousands upon thousands of people visited the blog during April or subscribed to the poetry email list, and notes came from teachers around the world who shared these new poems every day with their students. There was coverage in School Library Journal and elsewhere. It was such a success that I turned it from a one-off idea into a series, continuing with new poems until 2013 and new poets every year but one.
From Jack Prelutsky, whose poem opened the whole thing, to Naomi Shihab Nye, whose poem closed out 2013's event, to everyone in between, the work that was sent in was incredible and a huge privilege to be able to share with you all. If you visit the blog, you can find all the poets for each year's 30 Poets/30 Days listed along the left hand side... with a click of a poet's name leading to their contribution.
You can also click on the logos below and arrive at a recap post for each year with links to all the poems. I truly can't say enough good things about the work you'll read, or about how amazing the people who write poetry for kids are. I do hope you'll check all the links out.
Once again I say thanks to the poets, the logo creators, and the folks who read daily. Without y'all 30 Poets/30 Days wouldn't have been a success and wouldn't have made it into my flashing back on 10 years worth of memories!
And if all the above isn't enough, I have good news: it's Poetry Friday, and you can find the roundup of this weeks' links at Buffy's Blog. I hope your Poetry Month finishes strong. Around these parts, every month is Poetry Month... so I look forward to seeing you back here in May, too.
“…What you said, you reminded me so much of Grandpa Joshua. The way you keep faith in people, even though so many awful things have happened to you.”
“That’s because Grandpa Joshua and I bother to do the math.”
“For every big, bad, attention-getting thing that happens, there are thousands of small good ones, acts that might even seem ordinary but really aren’t, so many that we can forget to notice them or to count them up. But it’s what has always amazed me: not how terrible people can be to each other, but how good, in spite of everything.”
Click through to sign up for my quarterly newsletter and you’ll receive a free printable from my novel, Blue Birds. Enjoy!
At Music & Literature they print Thomas Bumstead's translation of Enrique Vila-Matas' talk when he received the premio Juan Rulfo at the book fair in Guadalajara on 28 November of last year, The Future (original) -- well worth a read.
(Many Vila-Matas titles are under review at the complete review -- with the recent Because She Never Asked a particular favorite (which I don't think has gotten its due, critically or otherwise).)
In addition to a writer's preferred method of approaching the task of writing, there is a spectrum they fall on when it comes to the types of feedback they prefer.
Dick belongs to the Sensing tribe. He wants the facts and only the facts. He isn’t interested in Jane’s theories or flights of fancy. He keeps it real. He bases his opinions on what he thinks he knows to be true and dismisses anything that counters it. Critiquing Dick's work is challenging because he has already made up his mind about it. He listens (or pretends to listen) then says, “Yes, but.” At the extreme end, Dick can be so fixed in his position, he isn’t willing to change things that aren’t working.
Dick is good at pointing out factual inconsistencies in your plot. His critique is practical. He may get lost in correcting grammar and lose sight of the heart of the piece. He isn’t open to experimentation and thinks writers should stick to what has already been done, whether it is poetry or novels. Sometimes his advice is relevant. Sometimes his advice wastes your time.
Jane belongs to the Intuitive tribe. She doesn’t care how you come up with the idea. She is only interested in whether the idea is intriguing. She loves stepping outside the box. She loves experimental work. Her critiques focus on the possibilities. She makes suggestions that ask you to expand or deepen your idea. Sometimes they work. Sometimes they don’t.
Jane isn't attached to her own opinion, so she is willing to change anything. She struggles when she receives conflicting advice. Asking her to revise her work can send her into a terminal loop of self-doubt or cause her to stall. At the extreme end, she can get so lost in exploring possibilities she never finishes.
There are far more Dicks than Janes in the writing world. There is a 70/30 split in the general population. They face off in workshops, classrooms, and critique groups. Agents or editors paired with their opposites guarantees conflict, misunderstandings, and hurt feelings.
Dick thinks Jane is undisciplined, unorganized, and erratic. He dismisses her advice as unrealistic and impractical. He resents her creative suggestions for how he could fix his plot. Sometimes Jane has a point. He should open his mind a little and consider the merit of the advice before dismissing it. Jane can offer a global perspective when Dick gets too lost in the details. She can help him avoid major plausibility plot holes. She can explain the emotional context.
Jane thinks Dick is plodding, boring, and too rigid. She dismisses his advice as short-sighted and simplistic. She should listen occasionally because Dick can help her fix speed bumps and cause and effect plot holes. His nitpicking can force her to make her work tighter when she has strayed too far from the point or added too much filler.
These opposites can help each other shore up their weak side. They may wish to strangle each other at times, but by working together they encourage each other be the best they can be.
Next week, we will continue to explore writer temperaments.
For more tips on how to craft believable characters, pick up a copy of Story Building Blocks II: Crafting Believable Conflict available in paperback and E-book, and Story Building Blocks: Build A Cast Workbook, also available in paperback and E-book.
Jocelyn Proust will be exhibiting at Surtex for the first time this year and will be in Booth 229 with three other members of Four Corners Art Collective, (Emma McGowan, Beth Schneider and Kevin Brackley). They are a group of seven designers from around the globe. Two others in the collective, Pippa Shaw and Jules Anson will be showing their work at the Blueprint Show in May. Jocelyn's work
With the summer issue of the Oral History Review just around the corner, we are bringing you a sneak peak of what’s to come. Issue 43.1 is our LGBTQ special issue, featuring oral history projects and stories from around the country.
This morning over at Kirkus, I write about three new engaging picture books for the preschool set. That will be here soon. * * * Last week, I wrote here about Bethan Woollvin’s Little Red (Peachtree, April 2016), and I’m following up today with some spreads from the book. Enjoy! “And he made […]