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” … which is exasperating boys like YOU.” (Click to enlarge)
This morning over at Kirkus, I’m doing something entirely different. I’m chatting with author Kekla Magoon about her upcoming YA novel, How It Went Down. Why is someone who always writes about picture books and illustration doing that? Because the events in Ferguson have weighed heavy on my mind, as they have for many. More about this great novel and my chat with Kekla are here.
Last week I wrote about Barbara Bottner’sMiss Brooks’ Story Nook (where tales are told and ogres are welcome!), published by Random House in August and illustrated by Michael Emberley. That link is here.
Today, I’m following up with some sketches from Emberley and art from the book. Michael tells me he typically does hundreds of sketches for each book. These below are just some. You can click on nearly every sketch below to see it larger and in more detail.
Michael has even more about the book, including more sketches, at this page of his site.
Until Sunday …
Some Final Illustrations
(Click second image to see spread in its entirety)
(Click second image to see spread in its entirety)
(Click second image to see spread in its entirety)
My grandmother, who my brothers and I referred to as "Nana," tortured her grandchildren and neighbors by taking outside showers in her garden clothes, well, that is, until the shower broke, and she couldn't find a person within miles to fix it. The shower or pipe stood about five feet long with a shower head, and a place where you could attach a hose on the side, like a shower/water faucet combination.
There was a concrete floor under the shower so your feet didn't sink in the grass and form a muddy mess while you bathed.
My grandmother's property was in an old neighborhood that accommodated the new world: for instance, her garden and ancient outside shower were next door to her neighbor’s tennis court and paved circular driveway, although Nana’s circular drive was gravel.
But, the ingredients of the old and new worlds did coexist, although sandwiched between my grandmothers back porch and the neighbor’s back door and tennis court, stood the outside shower.
My brothers and I played in the water pipe/shower, especially in the summer, and the outside water hose/pipe/shower, also functioned as a water supply to the garden and the rest of the side yard, when necessary.
My grandmother never understood why her grandchildren refused to take an outside shower, although, I think she did notice how eager we were to take a bath inside.
It never occurred to her that perhaps our reluctance, was due to the fact that her neighbors had a clear view of the garden shower, as well as the breakfast table. In other words, she could never grasp the fact that the people next door may not wish to view her soap her body, garden clothes or not, in the gleaming sun while they drank their morning coffee.
When her neighbors began to complain about their view from the breakfast table, we took it as one of the first clues that the best of both worlds were going to collide- It was just a matter of time-
I will never forget the evening we received our next clue...It is an evening that will remember until the end of my days:
I heard my older brother from Nana's back porch screaming, as if bitten by a snake, “Nana! Please stop!” he yelled, however impossible it was that she might hear, “I swear Nana, I’m never coming over here again if you don’t stop! Mr. Coors (her neighbor) is having a tennis party next door for some of his friends at the Country Club! They can see you, Nana!” he screamed so loud, you could see veins popping out of his neck, “They are watching you as we speak!”
I saw my brother jumping up and down waving his hands at my grandmother, while she slowly lathered the shampoo in her hair, oblivious to his shrieking! (Or pretending she was-)
My eyes followed my brother, who ran from the back porch to my grandmother's garden generating the attention of the tennis party next door from waving his hands back and forth, and jumping up and down in the the middle of the tomatoes; hence, the red juice from the fruit was splashing up in the air like firework, and to make matters worse, the garden was adjacent to my grandmother’s backyard shower and the neighbors tennis court.
Picture this image: My grandmothers neighbors guests playing tennis next door at their party, Nana's garden, my brother jumping up and down screaming, and my grandmother gently lathering her hair. I stood on her back porch wishing a nice family would rescue me from the insane one to which I had been born.
Although, now when I recall those memories I'm grateful our minds are capable of recording moments experienced long ago, because I can replay the voice and character of my best friend, who was also my grandmother, Nana. So often we forget the impact our family members have on our lives, until we think of a song, smell, or see something like an outside shower to help us remember a moment shared long ago.
Nana passed away eight years ago, and I still recall this shower drama as if it were yesterday. I hope that when we remember a shared experience of long ago that the ones we've lost remember as well, that would be my idea of heaven on earth.
The Daughter of Time. Josephine Tey. 1951/1995. Simon & Schuster. 208 pages. [Source: Bought]
Grant lay on his high white cot and stared at the ceiling. Stared at it with loathing. He knew by heart every last minute crack on its nice clean surface. He had made maps of the ceiling and gone exploring on them; rivers, islands, and continents. He had made guessing games of it and discovered hidden objects; faces, birds, and fishes. He had made mathematical calculations of it and rediscovered his childhood; theorems, angles, and triangles. There was practically nothing else he could do but look at it.
It's hard for me to imagine that just a little over four years ago I was not a mystery reader. While I was willing to try a new genre and a new author based on my best friend's recommendation, I didn't think I'd actually enjoy it, as in LOVE what I'm reading. In July 2010, I read two Josephine Tey books: The Man in the Queue, which I've read only once, and The Daughter of Time, which I've reread again and again. This is the fourth time I've read The Daughter of Time!
The Daughter Of Time isn't a typical mystery. The hero, Inspector Grant, is stuck in a hospital bed with a broken leg. He sees visitors. He sees doctors and nurses. He could spend his time reading. But. He isn't really satisfied with the fiction close at hand provided by his friends. What he really wants is to have a case to solve. That seems impossible until someone suggests he solve a case from the past. He seeks out a mystery from history. He chooses Richard III. The action in the novel comes from thinking, reading, researching, and brainstorming with his friends.
Since I've read it four times, you have to know that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this one. I love it even more each time I read it! And this SONG is a must!!!!
It was brought home to him for the first time not only what a useless thing the murder of the boys would have been, but what a silly thing. And if there was anything that Richard of Gloucester was not, beyond a shadow of a doubt, it was silly. (137)
"Of course I'm only a policeman," Grant said. "Perhaps I never moved in the right circles. It may be that I've met only nice people. Where would one have to go to meet a woman who became matey with the murderer of her two boys?" "Greece, I should think," Marta said. "Ancient Greece." "I can't remember a sample even there." "Or a lunatic asylum, perhaps. Was there any sign of idiocy about Elizabeth Woodville?" "Not that anyone ever noticed. And she was Queen for twenty years or so." ... "Yes of course. It's the height of absurdity. It belongs to Ruthless Rhymes, not to sober history. That is why historians surprise me. They seem to have no talent for the likeliness of any situation. They see history like a peepshow; with two-dimensional figures against a distant background." "Perhaps when you are grubbing about with tattered records you haven't time to learn about people. I don't mean about the people in the records, but just about People. Flesh and blood. And how they react to circumstances." (151)
Only a starveling singer seeks The stuff of songs among the Greeks. Juno is old, Jove's loves are cold; Tales over-told. By a new risen Attic stream A mortal singer dreamed a dream. Fixed he not Fancy's habitation, Nor set in bonds Imagination. There are new waters, and a new Humanity. For all old myths give us the dream to be. We are outwearied with Persephone; Rather than her, we'll sing Reality.
Are you a fan of the show The Voice? If you are, you’re probably familiar with Mackenzie Bourg. Mackenzie has a very impressive story–before competing on the show, he spent two months in the hospital due to a heart condition. He went on to make it all the way to the last round of the show! Right now, the 21-year-old singer/songwriter from Louisiana is making waves with his catchy pop music. Have you heard his song ”Impossible Things
?” Click on the title to take a listen!
We were able to ask the rising star some questions about what he does, and more. Check it out!
Q: What did you like best about your experience on The Voice?
Mackenzie: What I liked best about being on The Voice was getting to perform on the unique stages and set-ups. From the crowd pits to the huge platforms, it was awesome seeing the different stages each round. What surprised me the most was how much CeeLo [Green, a judge on the show] showed love for me. Going into the show, I would have never thought that over a year later, I’d still be keeping in touch with my coach!
Q: What is the best part of being a performer?
Mackenzie: The best part about being a performer is getting to put your entire heart and soul into something for people that genuinely love. The feeling I get when the audience is into what I’m doing up there is really special.
Q: Who was your first celebrity crush?
Mackenzie: My first celebrity crush was on two people, actually: Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen. As a kid, we had all of their VHS tapes, and something about solving any crime by dinner time really tugged at my heart strings even at such a young age.
Q: Funniest or most embarrassing that’s happened to you recently?
Mackenzie: Last week I was headed to the studio and had to stop at a music shop quickly to get a new set of guitar strings. As I got out of the car, I pressed “lock” on my door and closed it, not realizing I had left the keys on the seat. Needless to say I was a little late!
5. What’s the strangest fan encounter you’ve ever had?
Mackenzie: I haven’t had any really strange fan encounters, but I did tweet something randomly about Skittles and someone had about 100 bags sent to me! It was the first time anything like that had happened to me, so I guess it was strange and really cool all at the same time!
Q: What are you most excited for in the future?
Mackenzie: The thing I’m looking forward to most about the future is the future. Seeing where this journey takes me, if the hard work pays off, and if my music makes a connection with people as I hope it does. Everything truly happens for a reason, and when it does finally happen, I’ll be ready to take it in stride.
Awesome! Can’t wait to see what Mackenzie does next. He has an EP coming out soon, and I’m really excited to hear it when it’s released! What about you? Do you want to hear his new music, too? Share your thoughts in the Comments below!
Owls and robots. Nature and computers. It might seem like these two things don’t belong in the same place, but The Unfinished Fable of the Sparrows (in an extract from Nick Bostrom’s Superintelligence) sheds light on a particular problem: what if we used our highly capable brains to build machines that surpassed our general intelligence?
It was the nest-building season, but after days of long hard work, the sparrows sat in the evening glow, relaxing and chirping away.
“We are all so small and weak. Imagine how easy life would be if we had an owl who could help us build our nests!”
“Yes!” said another. “And we could use it to look after our elderly and our young.”
“It could give us advice and keep an eye out for the neighborhood cat,” added a third.
Then Pastus, the elder-bird, spoke: “Let us send out scouts in all directions and try to find an abandoned owlet somewhere, or maybe an egg. A crow chick might also do, or a baby weasel. This could be the best thing that ever happened to us, at least since the opening of the Pavilion of Unlimited Grain in yonder backyard.”
The flock was exhilarated, and sparrows everywhere started chirping at the top of their lungs.
Only Scronkfinkle, a one-eyed sparrow with a fretful temperament, was unconvinced of the wisdom of the endeavor. Quoth he: “This will surely be our undoing. Should we not give some thought to the art of owl-domestication and owl-taming first, before we bring such a creature into our midst?”
Replied Pastus: “Taming an owl sounds like an exceedingly difficult thing to do. It will be difficult enough to find an owl egg. So let us start there. After we have succeeded in raising an owl, then we can think about taking on this other challenge.”
“There is a flaw in that plan!” squeaked Scronkfinkle; but his protests were in vain as the flock had already lifted off to start implementing the directives set out by Pastus.
Just two or three sparrows remained behind. Together they began to try to work out how owls might be tamed or domesticated. They soon realized that Pastus had been right: this was an exceedingly difficult challenge, especially in the absence of an actual owl to practice on. Nevertheless they pressed on as best they could, constantly fearing that the flock might return with an owl egg before a solution to the control problem had been found.
We have been writing Steampunk since 2009; and even after five years, we still face the question of the ages: What is steampunk? Perhaps a lazy, shallow way to look at the genre is to simply call it “Victorian Science Fiction” and that be the end of it. Truth be told, this is merely your first step.
While history looks at the 19th Century as the Industrial Age and the late-20th century as the Computer Age, the concept of computing devices were realized by mathematician, inventor, and engineer Charles Babbage as early as 1812. His mechanical computation devices at the time were considered more of a curiosity rather than innovation, but Babbage’s theories served as inspiration for The Difference Engine by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling. Best known for their offerings in cyberpunk, Gibson and Sterling created an alternative Industrial Revolution where Babbage’s inventions were the norm, creating a struggle between the working class Luddites (who fear technology) and an “enhanced” elite that wanted as much integration with these technological wonders as possible.
Column by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris, who have been writing professionally for over a decade, but The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series is their first collaboration as writers. Their first title in the series, Phoenix Rising, won the 2011 Airship Award for Best in Steampunk Literature, while both Phoenix Rising and The Janus Affair were finalists in Goodreads Best in Science Fiction of 2011 and 2012. In 2013, they released Ministry Protocol, an original anthology of short stories set in the Ministry universe. The collection won the Best Fiction category in Steampunk Chronicle’s 2014 Readers Choice Award. Following a Parsec win for their companion podcast, Tales from the Archives, Tee and Pip celebrate the arrival of their third novel, Dawn’s Early Light, released by Ace Books and Tantor Audio.
Here’s where Steampunk becomes far more than just “Victorian Science Fiction.” Steampunk envisions an Industrial Age that brought to fruition theoretical designs like Babbage’s analytical engines, flying machines, and advanced electrical engineering. How would society react? What would be the impact on a global scale? What would happen not only on a sociological level, but on a political one as well?
Early realizations of Steampunk, pre-dating author K. W. Jeter’s coining of the term, can be found on film. Walt Disney’s lush, lavish, and epic 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea serves as a warning of technological achievements potentially turning on society. Jules Verne was not a stranger in using science fiction as a vehicle for cautionary tales, but Disney’s 20,000 Leagues adaptation fulfills Verne’s intentions while remaining true to the luxuries and indulgences of the 19th Century. Another memorable motion picture encapsulating the definition of Steampunk is Nicholas Meyer’s Time After Time. In this film, H.G. Wells invents a time machine, intending to witness the futuristic Utopia he has speculated will occur. Instead, his best friend, Dr. John Leslie Stevenson (revealed as Jack the Ripper) uses Wells’ creation to escape capture by Scotland Yard. Here, the underlying theme of this adventure across centuries is responsibility and atonement, something Victorians rarely took in account in the pursuit of science or innovation. The question Wells faces is not “Can I build a machine that can travel through time?” but “Should I have invented a machine that can travel through time? Are we responsible enough to wield such technology?” Quickly, he discovers that some inventions, regardless of the intentions behind them, can affect not only societies of the present, but societies that have yet to happen.
Whether it is The Wild, Wild West or the “Castle” episode “Punked”, the works of K.W. Jeter (Morlock Night) or Gail Carriger (The Parasol Protectorate), or the podcasts, role playing game, and novels from our Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, Steampunk offers you a variety of historical watersheds to choose from, now integrated with technology that can either be new, familiar, or exploited by your work’s protagonists and antagonists.
But where exactly does the “punk” comes into play in Steampunk?
Beyond romantic Victoriana, goggles, airships, and brass fixtures, the “punk” in Steampunk comes from going against convention, not necessarily in undermining establishment but through creativity and declaration of one’s individuality. That individuality can come across through style, gadgets, or attitude. In our own work, the “punk” is embodied in Eliza D. Braun, an agent from the farthest reaches of the Empire where women have the right to vote, where “natives” co-exist with “colonials,” and where everyone speaks their mind frankly and honestly. Eliza goes against the standard norms at the home office in London, England. She is everything her partner, Wellington Thornhill Books, Esquire—a man to the manor born now serving at the Queen’s pleasure—is not; and it is their chemistry and unorthodox approach to peculiar occurrences that make them unique within a society striving for conformity.
We’ve been a gateway for many people into Steampunk, but that doesn’t mean we have stopped learning, or even changed a few opinions, about the genre. Steampunk is a voyage into science, ambition, imagination, and adventure; and all we can hope for is that in the years to come, people will still want to undertake this journey with us into the Past That Never Was. It’s been a fantastic ride since 2009, and now with seven awards, two of them Reader’s Choice Awards from The Steampunk Chronicle, we believe we must be doing something right.
Why not see how far we can go together in this journey? Make yourself at home in the Archives. I’ll put the kettle on.
This debut novelist describes herself as "an avid reader of just about every genre (plenty of YA, a smidge of Sci-Fi, buckets of horror, a dash of literary, even some graphic novels)." Her familiarity with both horror and literary works shines... Read the rest of this post
I can't resist answering April's question about paper and pen vs. computer using her "Scribble-Dee-Dee." I'm so used to (and comfortable with) paper and pen that I almost never begin anything new on the computer. For me, most ideas form not in my head but in spiral notebooks with purple pens. In my usual approach, more polished, closer-to-final drafts belong on the computer.
I just discovered that every single one of my newsletter subscribers except for one, is signed up for my WEEKLY "e's news and coloring page Tuesdays" newsletter (plus book giveaways). As of today, that means 3,768 folks (the number is always fluctuating) get my newsletter in their in-box every week. WOW! I am so flattered! If weekly is too much, did you know I have a "Special Editions" option too, where you can just get my news every now and then? It only comes out every few months or so when I have big news to share. I try very hard not to inundate that group. Although, I thought there were more people subscribed to that option. Upon investigation this morning, I found that almost all the names in that group were redundant. Only one person had signed up that way!! ONE! Bigger WOW! That's a lot of loyalty I wasn't expecting to stumble across today. I'm so grateful! But I hope y'all know, signing up for my "Special Editions" is perfectly okay too! (You won't get the giveaway notifications, but we'll still be in touch from time to time.) Anyhow - for either one, you can sign up at http://dulemba.com/index_newsletter.html CLICK HERE to see an example of my latest newsletter!
PEN Center USA has unveiled some of the winners of the 24th annual literary awards. Each writer will receive a one thousand dollar cash prize.
At this point in time, the Graphic Literature Award winner and the recipient of the organization’s Award of Honor have not yet been revealed. The group will be honored at the 24th annual literary awards festival. Check out the list of winners below.
As summer winds down and the new school year looms, we look back on the year that was. Here are our senior superlatives for characters in the class of 2013-2014. What superlative would you award your favorite character?
Cutest couple: Emily and Sam (from Just Call My Name by Holly Goldberg Sloan), Amy and Matthew (from Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern), Devorah and Jaxon (from Like No Other by Una LaMarche), Mouse and Mole (from Mouse and Mole, Secret Valentine by Wong Herbert Yee)
Most complicated love triangle: Alix, Swanee, and Liana (from Lies My Girlfriend Told Me by Julie Anne Peters)
Most likely to elope in Vegas: Holly and Dax (The Chapel Wars by Lindsey Leavitt)
BFFs: Rose and Windy (from This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki, illus. by Jillian Tamaki), Sophie and Bernice (from Sophie’s Squash by Pat Zietlow Miller, illus. by Wilsdorf), Pom and Pim (from Pom and Pim by Lena Landström, illus. by Olof Landström)
Best frenemies: Dog and Cat (from Dog vs. Cat by Chris Gall)
Best artist: Emily (from Emily’s Blue Period by Cathleen Daly, illus. by Lisa Brown), girl with red crayon (from Journey by Aaron Becker), prehistoric child (from The First Drawing by Mordicai Gerstein)
Best knitter: Needles (from When I Was the Greatest by Jason Reynolds)
Most likely to be a vet: Lulu (from Lulu and the Rabbit Next Door by Hilary McKay, illus. by Priscilla Lamont)
Most likely to win an Oscar: Kate Walden (from Kate Walden Directs: Night of the Zombie Chickens by Julie Mata)
Most eco-concious: Kate Sessions (from The Tree Lady: The True Story of How One Tree-Loving Woman Changed a City Forever by H. Joseph Hopkins, illus. by Jill McElmurry)
Most traveled: cat (from City Cat by Kate Banks, illus. by Lauren Castillo), dad (from Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman, illus. by Skottie Young)
Most likely to get abducted by aliens: Robbie and Marilee (from The Summer Experiment by Cathie Pelletier), Aidan, Dru, and Louis (from Little Green Men at the Mercury Inn by Greg Leitich Smith, illus. by Andrew Arnold)
Cutest siblings: Gaston, Fi-Fi, Foo-Foo, and Ooh-La-La/Antoinette, Rocky, Ricky, and Bruno (from Gaston by Kelly DiPucchio, illus. by Christian Robinson)
Weirdest siblings: Merciful and Gospel Truth (from Engines of the Broken World by Jason Vanhee)
I didn't have a camera this morning, (this is a photo I found of another little girl and edited) but my little angel got up bright and early as usual. We turned on some kid's worship music on youtube. She loves to watch other kids worship the Lord. But she loves to dance even more. I am so proud to have children in my life who aren't afraid to talk about Jesus.
When we are in restaurants, she grabs the waitress/waiter's hand and says when they bring her food, "We pray now." It's not like she is commanding them to join us, but more of a sweet invitation. Childlike faith. And I love my babies.
Doodlebug talks to Mimi about Jesus. We pray together and read stories when she's with me. And when Little Man gets bigger, Mimi will definitely be there to teach him as well. I want them to know real faith. Not just something they read in a book. I am grateful I have an opportunity to teach them while they are young and innocent. I pray I am as good an influence in example to them as I am in showing them the Word, though. They learn more by what they see you doing and saying than they do you teaching them straight out.
I am grateful this morning for the wisdom of the Lord. He has been showing me many revelations lately. Knowledge is power. Within that power of the Blood of Jesus lies all the answers to life.
It is Fall 1942 and the Nazis have been occupying Holland since Spring 1940. Beatrix, 6, and her mother are Jews who have been running and hiding from the Nazis for that long. But now it is time to hid Beatrix in a safer more stable place.
Sitting on the tram, on their way to meet the woman who would take Beatrix to safety, her mother is suddenly taken away by the Nazis who regularly board and search the trams looking for Jews. Beatrix is left sitting on the tram by herself.
Brothers Lars, 63, and Hans Gorter, 65, both life-long bachelors, work together on a tram - Hans driving it while Lars collects tickets. When it looked like the Nazis were also going to take Beatrix away, Lars suddenly told them that she was his niece. The war and all the rumors they had heard about Nazi treatment of Jews suddenly became real for the brothers.
Now, these kind, well-meaning though naive brothers must learn how to care for a little girl, who has been traumatized by the loss of her mother and who must become someone different than who she really is - if only for the duration of the Nazi occupation. Luckily, Hans and Lars have help from their elderly neighbor Mrs. Vos, 80, and from a new, younger neighbor, Lieve van der Meer, 30, who husband is rumored to have escaped Holland and is flying for the RAF.
Why would two older men who have made it a point to always live quietly and keep a low profile, suddenly risk everything, including their lives, for a little girl they know nothing about? That is the question at the heart of The End of the Line and Canadian author Sharon McKay answers it eloquently as the story of Beatrix and her new uncles unfolds.
There are lots of books about Jewish children who were rescued by people during the Holocaust and who did what they did simply because they believed it was the right thing to do. But these stories are generally written from the point of view of the child. What makes The End of the Line stand out is that it is written from the point of view of the two brothers. and yet it is a thoroughly appealing, totally engaging book for young readers accustomed to reading about protagonists their own age.
Living under Nazi occupation meant living under a daily shroud of fear and anxiety, never knowing if you were going to be singled out at any given moment. There are plenty of these moments portrayed in the story of Hans, Lars and Beatrix, like the time Beatrix whispers Geb Achting, Yiddish for be careful, to a young Nazi soldier. However, the story offers more insight into what it was like for the brothers in order to survive the war and the occupation of Holland, from dressing Beatrix as she grows, managing to find food when there is almost none to be had, even to buying her a doll to cuddle and comfort herself with may be new experiences for Hans and Lars, but keeping her safe from the Nazis turns out to be instinctual for these kind brothers.
The End of the Line is an interesting supplement to Holocaust literature written for young readers by an author who is part of the Canadian War Artist Program and has already written books about child soldiers in Uganda, young girls caught in the war in Afghanistan and short stories dealing with the Holocaust with Kathy Kacer, another Canadian artist who also writes books for young readers about the Holocaust. This should be a welcome addition to any library.
This book is recommended for readers age 9+
This book was received as an E-ARC from NetGalley
You can find more information and a very useful lesson plan for The End of the Line from the publisher HERE
Today we’re VERY excited to be hosting the talented Margot Wood on the blog! In Margot’s The Real Fauxtographer series she takes photos inspired by YA novels – sometimes a cool moment, other times a detail that jumped out as very visual to her, and even characters! It’s all awesome and I’m a big fan. And Margot is also exclusively premiering her latest YA fauxto, which you can find after our interview.
ADAM:What’s the genesis story of your fauxto series? Has photography always been a hobby of yours?
MARGOT: I didn’t get into photography until I was a senior in college at Emerson. I had to fill credits with bullshit courses and I thought, oh hey, photography seems like an easy A, I’ll do that. That class was one of the hardest and most challenging classes of my life. My teacher was such a hard ass and really demanding and I think the challenge of trying to create a photograph that she would be pleased with is what really got me into the craft. By the end of the semester I finally came up with a series of photos that she was happy with – a series of photographs of my Dad’s tin windup robot out on human adventures. Looking back on those photos, they aren’t my greatest works of art, but they were definitely the beginnings of my “fauxtography.”
The young adult fauxto series (which still needs a better name, if anyone has any ideas, holler at me) came about a few years after college, after I had moved to New York. I had developed a bit of a following in the city as an urban and graffiti photographer, but I quickly got bored with taking pictures of things that everyone else has taken pictures of. I wanted to find my “thing” that would help define me as a photographer but also continue to challenge me.
In late 2011 I discovered this book called THE HUNGER GAMES and this thing called Young Adult Novels and a new obsession was instantaneous. I was addicted. They became a drug, the bookstore, my opium den. But sadly, my new hobby required a lot of my time and attention and my photo hobby wasn’t doing much. So one day in January, while I was reading THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH by Carrie Ryan, an idea for a photo came to me. It just popped into my head. You know those moments of pure clarity when everything makes sense and the world inside your head lights up like a firework? That’s exactly what the moment was like for me. It wasn’t just the idea for that photo, it was the idea for the series as a whole. I had finally found a way to combine my two favorite hobbies in a never-ending, continuously challenging way.
Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
ADAM: Which shoot was the most difficult? And which was the costliest?
MARGOT: Every shoot I’ve done has been difficult in one way or another. A lot of the time I’m taking self portraits so the biggest pain in the ass is just getting the camera to focus on the exact spot I want it to, running into place and posing, just in time for the self-timer to go off. Then I’d run back over and review the shot, curse like a sailor because it wasn’t right and then do it all over again. . . for about 50 different takes.
The most expensive one to shoot was CODE NAME VERITY. I bought a $200 vintage French military parachute from the 1960s for that one. I’m not entirely sure how I would write that off on my taxes.
CODE NAME VERITY by Elizabeth Wein.
ADAM: Okay, own up: which fauxtos are your proudest of? If you say “all of them” expect pure destruction. And cancellation of all your favorite shows and book series. And more destruction.
MARGOT: No destruction needed. I actually am not proud of all of them, at least not anymore. I look back on some and think “You fool! This could have been better!” But the ones that stand out for me as my favorites are TIGER LILY, SABRIEL, DOROTHY MUST DIE, BEAUTY QUEENS, CODE NAME VERITY, and ACROSS THE UNIVERSE. To me, those are the ones that tell a story. They aren’t just random photos that may or may not be inspired by something, those are ones that are so specific to either the story of the characters that if you saw them, you’d have to ask what it was about in order to understand them.
DOROTHY MUST DIE by Danielle Paige.
ADAM: Have you ever considered being a cover designer?
MARGOT: HELL YES. But I am like Jon Snow when it comes to actual cover design. I know nothing. I know what I think would look great on a cover, but I haven’t the faintest idea about typography or layouts or any of the actual skill that’s involved with making a book cover.
SABRIEL by Garth Nix.
ADAM: Finally, if money isn’t an issue, which book(s) would you love to do a fauxto for?
MARGOT: Your book Adam, obviously.For reals though, I would do ALL OF THEM. If I had unlimited funds, I would travel every weekend to new locations for these photos. I hate shooting indoors (I’m pretty terrible at it) and I’m a nature girl at heart so I would just travel to a different place each time for new fauxtos. I would also hire an assistant and models for these shoots (unless you want to volunteer as tribute, Adam) because there are a lot of shoots I want to do but I can’t be in them. I need someone else to be in them and I need someone else to help me shoot them. And then with my dream funds, I would buy a really fancy camera. I have a nice one now, a Nikon D7000, but that’s not a truly “professional” one. True, you don’t need a fancy camera to take fancy pictures, but you asked me about my dream funds and well, that’s what I want. So gimme it.Thanks for stopping by, Margot!
Now here’s the fauxto for EXQUISITE CAPTIVE by Heather Demetrios! Isn’t it beautiful? The gold! THE GOLD!
Have you been following Margot’s fauxto series? Which one is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!
Margot Wood hates writing bios but will oblige because it is Adam Silvera asking her to write it. Margot was born and raised in Cincinnati, OH but left for Emerson College in Boston. Since then, she has lived in LA, back in Ohio and finally, currently, New York City. You probably know Margot from EpicReads.com and all those Tea Time and YouTube videos. She has been the Community Manager of Epic Reads since it’s launch in May 2012. She likes candlelit dinners, long walks in lush forests and her favorite donut shop is Peter Pan Bakery in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. You can follow her on Twitter @margotwood.
Adam was born and raised in the Bronx where he wrote fan-fiction in between competitive online gaming and napping. He’s previously worked as a children’s bookseller and a marketing assistant at a literary development company. He currently reviews children’s and young adult novels for Shelf Awareness. He is tall for no reason.His debut novel, More Happy Than Not, will be available June 16th, 2015 from Soho Teen. Go say stuff to him on Twitter.
Young adult author Sarah Dessen has signed a deal to pen her twelfth novel Saint Anything. The story stars a young girl named Sydney who deals with the despair and consequences that follows from her older brother’s incarceration.
Viking Children’s Books, an imprint at Penguin Young Readers Group, will publish the book on 2015. Publisher Ken Wright negotiated the deal with Writers House literary agent Leigh Feldman. Editor-at-large Regina Hayes will edit the manuscript.
Dessen (pictured, via) had this statement in the press release: “This book has a bit of everything I love to write about: the joy and complications of family, first love and how one friend can sometimes change everything. I’m so excited for next summer, when I can finally share it with my readers. It’s going to be hard to wait!”
Many library’s are in a great position to help teens develop skills and experience they can add to their resume. Whether it be volunteering on a regular basis or honing graphic design or other useful technology proficiency, teens can gain that needed edge through the library for when they seek out other opportunities.
Last school year, I stumbled across a program at my local public school system that gives students school credit for being part of a library program such as volunteering! What a win-win situation for all! Read on for more details on how the program works.
The Academic Internship program is for high schoolers (though targeting 16-18 year olds) to receive work-based learning opportunities and earn school credit. Library programs that are ongoing such as tutoring, volunteering, creating a podcast program, reading to toddlers during storytime, etc. are some examples that would qualify teens for this opportunity. The credit appears on their transcript which in turn reflects their overall academic success.
Feel free to share if a similar program exists in your area. If it doesn’t already, a few suggestions to get started might be to seek out what kind of workforce development opportunities are in existence and bringing the library into the dialogue by sharing a portfolio of information about the programs you feel might qualify. Gathering anecdotes and outcomes from a program can show that it’s really making a difference in the lives of teens and helps connect them to their greater career goals and interests.
This is a post by our literacy and sales assistant, Veronica Schneider.
It was no major surprise who the big winners were on Monday evening’s 66th Primetime Emmy Awards, with Breaking Bad totaling five awards and Modern Family winning Best Comedy Series for the fifth consecutive year.
Cary Fukunaga accepts his Emmy
More importantly, the 2014 Emmy Awards really shocked us all by showing how progressive and diversified television has become.
We need to look beyond the fashionable red carpet looks and the Hollywood glam and instead discuss what is plainly missing: diversity. Diverse television may pull in viewers with hit shows like Sleepy Hollow, Orange is the New Black, and Scandal, but it isn’t necessarily being rewarded. In an interview with KCPP Radio,Darell Hunt, Director of UCLA’s Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies, said, “So far we haven’t seen a translation where the awards program reflects the increasing variety of things that are actually being made for the small screen.”
Not one person of color won in any of the lead or supporting actor/actress categories, with only 6 total African Americans amongst the 54 white nominees. Many were hopeful that Kerry Washington would take the win for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for ABC’s Scandal – she would have been the first African American to win in this category. Add to this the troubling fact that, as we reported last year, an African American woman has not been nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series since The Cosby Show (1986). Uzo Aduba, who plays ‘Crazy Eyes’ on Orange is the New Black, did take home an Emmy for Guest Actress in a Comedy, but that category was not part of the Prime Time Emmys and went largely under the radar.
Although we were certainly applauding Cary Joji Fukunaga’s win for Directing in a Drama Series for True Detective, people of color overall held a 22% representation in the directing categories.
Women were also not exempt from underrepresentation at the Emmys. According to the Women’s Media Center (WMC), 26% of the nominees were women, highlighting the consistent lack of representation maintained from the 2013 Emmy Awards’ 26.5% makeup of women nominees. Out of 62 possible award categories, 16 completely failed to include women. But wait, this isn’t the first time this has happened. Yes, according to the WMC, this is the third consecutive year that 16 categories were void of women. Oops.
Maybe that is why many viewers were not laughing as Modern Family actress, Sofia Vergara, slowly spun on a revolving platform while Bruce Rosenblum, CEO and Chairman of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, spoke about the academy being “more diverse than ever before.” While some found this play on sexual stereotypes humorous, the attempt at irony may not have been as successful for others who criticized the Academy for the cringe-worthy objectification. Instead, this failed attempt at irony reminded audiences of the still relevant and persistent issue of sexism and gender disparity.
“What a wonderful time for women in television,” Julianna Marguiles declared as she accepted her Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for The Good Wife.
We agree. There is more opportunity and diversity in television today, but it isn’t reinforced loud enough in what is being rewarded. Here is last year’s infographic on the diversity gap in the Emmy Awards:
Since then, the numbers haven’t changed. Let’s hope 2015 will be the year that moves the needle.
Here is a funny little story. D. C. Thomson is called the UKs last comic company (it isn't but let's go with the popular opinion people here).
This bastion of the 'industry' (please, I am trying to keep a straight face here) was so successful decades ago because it had its own printers and so everything was "in house". How does Thomson repay the loyal workforce?
This years annuals are, it seems, printed in Italy. But this next bit I found hilarious and I think Subzero at Tales From The Kryptonian will be a bit surprised. The Commando Picture Libraries are now being printed in Germany?? How that will work I do not know -all Swastikas removed from covers?
So, not only is Thomson not a big UK comic company -it barely rates as an Independent these days- but it is sending its books to European printers!
Thomson could, if it so wished and completely restructured its Juvenile department, and that means getting rid of current editorial staff for ones more comic savvy, actually be a force to be reckoned with in comics and that means earning a good profit from comic sales as opposed to the meagre pickings of toys with comics accidentally attached.
A teenage cop from a high-tech future is sent back in time to 1986 New York City. Dayoung Johansson is investigating the Quintum Mechanics megacorporation for crimes against time. As she pieces together the clues, she discovers the "future" she calls home - an alternate reality version of 2014 - shouldn't exist at all!
Writing So many choices made by the author that I really appreciated in this one! I loved the female protagonist, I loved both the 1986 setting and the potential future 2014 setting. You can tell from the beginning that it's supposed to be fun, and I think it lives up to that expectation. There are some serious problems faced by the characters, but it has more of a lighthearted take on dystopia than many others.
Entertainment Value Again, I feel like this is meant to just be a lot of fun - and it definitely follows through on that. There were a few scenes where I got a bit lost in the jumping back and forth between 1986 (the future) and 2014 (the past). I feel like I'm uncommonly confused by any kind of time travel, so it may not be the fault of the comic as much as my own difficulty following the trope.
Art And, as above, I have to go back once again to the fact that this is just fun to look at. Lots of bright colors, fun 80's styles, and futuristic cityscapes make for a blast as far as the illustrations (do you call them illustrations in a comic?) are concerned.
Overall I recommend giving this one a try, particularly for those new to comics. It's a fun take on the superhero story without going into mutations or powers - just a teenage girl from the future with a jet pack who can kick butt. I'll definitely be following the comics as new issues are released!
Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with a copy to review!
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I guess the month’s just about over. That pretty much means it’s time for looking back at the month and declaring what you read the best. Or something. Before that, with September upcoming, and then soon October, I’ll be looking forward to doing a bunch of things that I was not able to do last ... Read more