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1. Reading Matters 2015

Reading Matters 2015 - Student Day and Day 1

I love the Reading Matters Conference. It has been going for a long time and I've gone to all of them. I remember the first one, organised by Agnes Nieuwenhausen. Afterwards, we all went to dinner at a Greek restaurant somewhere in Lonsdale St. I forget which one, though it's probably still there. I was sitting next to Jack Dann, whose wife was one of the speakers. It was nice hearing this American SF writer telling the American next to him how wonderful it was to live in Australia and how safe he felt. They were living in South Yarra at the time, but have since moved to Foster, a beautiful coastal town where Jack can look at the sea as he writes.

There have been ten more since then and on Thursday I was able to take some students to the Student Day. They are all great kids, who didn't disappear and stayed together. One of them not only bought several books and got them signed, but discovered a place at Melbourne Central station where people drop unwanted books and pick up anything they want. It's called the Little Library and I think the two books she picked up were ex library books. They were also books she had been wanting, in a series she is reading. I heard the murmur of envy and admiration from the other students as she showed them off.

One of my students is an autistic lad who is mostly fine, but can explode if he gets upset. This time, he socialised nicely(normally he prefers to sit by himself in class), got his book autographed by Will Kostakis(I took a photo which I can't share with you due to the legalities, but it was a nice one)and generally had a ball. Now and then he asked me a question, but he whispered it and I replied. The integration aides had assured me he would be fine as long as I gave him some attention, so I sat next to him. When Jaclyn Moriarty was talking about how she created her universe for her series "The Colours Of Madeleine" she mentioned a childhood incident in the life of Isaac Newton and I whispered to my young friend that Newton had been autistic(he was, Asperger's, I believe, and that childhood incident confirmed that for me).

I think the highlights of the day were Jaclyn Moriarty, and Sally Gardner's talk about how she was dyslexic and how Dickens wouldn't have made it as a journalist today because he had very little education and the big newspapers refuse anyone without a degree from the major universities. She has written a timeslip story in which the hero time travels to pre-Victorian London. (I have since bought that and am thoroughly enjoying it). Another highlight was the panel with Will Kostakis and Amie Kaufman, which was after lunch. As one of my students said, "They left the best till last." Well, yes and no. Sally Gardner was before lunch. But I do have to say, they need to do something about those microphones in the State Library. The voices were blurred and you had to listen really hard to be able to make out anything the speakers were saying. The panel with the two American GoHs was very hard to make out. There was a motivational speech about following your dreams by Abe Nouk, a local poet and former refugee who has lived here for about eleven years. He is self published(though, to be honest, most poets these days are. Even Steven Herrick, who was selling verse novels to big publishers, has started writing prose these days)

Yesterday, which was at the ANZ Pavilion in the Arts Centre, the microphones were fine.

Anyway, we had a good day and the kids went to get a bit of lunch to take away and bs k we went to Sunshine. Some had notes to say they could be dismissed from the station. Some I dismissed from the shops near school since they live nearby. The rest came back and went home from school. And my autistic lad said, "Thank you for giving up a day of your time in the library to take us."

Is that sweet or what?

I tweeted instead of taking notes yesterday. I bought books! They will, of course, all go into the school library when I've finished reading them. I might review some.

The GoHs were better yesterday, when I could hear them properly. I downloaded two of Laurie Halse Anderson's books and bought in print editions a couple that weren't available on iBooks. Laurie H A gave a very good GoH speech - on the Student Day she was only on a panel. It makes a lot of difference, believe me. As well as contemporary fiction with a gay slant, she writes historical fiction. She spoke of her disillusionment with Benjamin Franklin, who had been her hero until she discovered he was a slave owner all his life. (Well, so were George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, and Washington was horrible to his slaves, while Jefferson's lived better than the free peasants, but that's not the point, is it?). Anyway, I bought both her historical novels. I didn't bother with autographs, since I won't be keeping them, and some were ebooks anyway.

I met a few people I knew - Sharon, who used to work with me in the library, who now works at a Catholic girls' school down the road, and Vikki Wakefield, who said it was nice to be there just as a member of the audience instead of a speaker(nice to know, though I'd be thrilled if someone asked ME to speak at a Festival!) I ran into Ellie Marney, who writes that junior modern day Sherlock Holmes fiction, who saw my name tag and asked,"Aren't you on Twitter?" I said I was and that we were doing a panel together at Continuum next week. I'm also doing one with Amie Kaufman, but I think we've done one before. I also met Kirsty Murray, who said she wasn't going to be there today.  I told her one of my students is a big fan of hers and had acquired her latest book on Thursday - pity I couldn't get it signed for her. Oh, well.

I had a bit of egoboo in the morning when the first person I met said, "Hey, you're a writer!"

More today! I will add my photos tonight when I can download them to my computer.

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2. BookExpo America 2015: Day1

The main conference and exhibit halls for BEA 2015 started mid-day on Wednesday, and ran for half a day. This unusual late opening was convenient for travel, because I was able to drive up in the morning and save a day in the hotel. However, it gave an odd feel to the exhibit hall, almost as if it were a preview and not fully open for business. Although there were plenty of people in the hall, it seemed to me less crowded than usual, and the mood seemed subdued. It'll be interesting to see if things are different today, the first full day of the conference.

I spent most of the afternoon in meetings with publishers, talking about the Cybils Awards and Kidlitcon 2015, but I did find time to catch most of the Best in 2015 Fall Graphic Novels panel and the Marvel Presents: Star Wars panel.

The Best in 2015 Fall Graphic Novels panel

The graphic novel panel included Derf Backderf (Trashed), past Cybils Awards winner Ben Hatke (Little Robot), Jeremy Sorese (Curveball) and Maggie Thrash (Honor Girl). I was particularly interested in Ben Hatke's discussion about how working on a picture book in turn influenced his comics art style, and Little Robot looks adorable. Jeremy Sorese's Curveball sounds like a fascinating science fiction comic, and I'm glad I picked up a sample from the Nobrow booth.

The Marvel Presents: Star Wars panel

Marvel Editor Jordan White moderated the Star Wars panel, with writer Charles Soule and artist Alex Maleev. I've been a Star Wars fan since the original movie came out in 1977, (I was 13) and I was interested to learn about the new Star Wars comics coming out. Kanan: The Last Padawan tells the story of how Kanan from Star Wars: Rebels survived Order 66, and it's exciting to see Lando get his own comic series.

During the Q&A at the end of the panel, @MizCaramelVixen, creator of BlackComicsMonth.com, asked whether there would be an effort to increase diversity both within the Star Wars universe and among the creators. The panel's response to her very important question was disappointing. Editor Jordan White at least tried to address the question seriously, but Charles Soule basically dismissed the question by saying the Star Wars universe has always been diverse, and Alex Maleev asked whether it wasn't enough diversity to have a Bulgarian working on a comic about a black man (Lando). Both either missed the point or intentionally ignored it. Saying that the Star Wars universe is diverse is a smokescreen. Sure, there are many different species of beings, but all that CGI doesn't hide the fact that Lando has been, for a long time, the Star Wars universe's token person of color. And having a Bulgarian working on the comic does not address the very real need to have writers and artists of color working on the comics.

Much as I love Star Wars, how much more awesome would it be with a real diversity reflecting the glorious variety of people in our world? And one way to improve on that would be to employ more creators who represent that diversity in all its forms. (I do have hopes for The Force Awakens, and look forward to seeing John Boyega and Lupita Nyong'o, and I hope other diverse cast as well.)

After the exhibit halls closed, I headed to the Hudson Theatre in Times Square for a party and presentation about Brian Selznick's new book, The Marvels. The party started with wine and hors d'oeuvres, which wasn't as much fun as it sounds, because it mostly consisted of fighting through crowds and battling in Hunger Games-style death matches over trays of hors d'oeuvres. I've never enjoyed crowds, so I managed to get a glass of wine and then tried to stand out of the way in the corner until it was time for the presentation.

The presentation was worth it, though! Brian Selznick is a terrific speaker. He started with a video presentation of a series of art from the book. The art was incredibly beautiful, and the part of the story it told was so sad and moving that I wasn't the only one wiping my eyes at the end. Then he talked about the creation of the book, including spending time in London doing research at the Dennis Severs House, which was an inspiration for the book. He also showed his process of creating the art for the book, starting with tiny thumbnail sketches of each page which he then bound into a tiny book.

After the presentation, we all got copies of The Marvels ARC, which Selznick signed for us. They also gave us a surprise gift: an adorable tiny book of art similar to the one that Selznick had created as a mockup! The Marvels looks like an incredible book, and I look forward to reading it.

Storm in Times Square: Mother Nature upstages the neon

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3. Soft Science Fiction vs. Hard Science Fiction

Question: What is the difference between soft science fiction and hard science fiction? How do I know which one my novel falls under? Answer: In general

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4. ‘Feast’ Director Patrick Osborne Will Make His Next Film For Google

Google's interactive film division has announced four new animation projects, and introduced a developer's kit that allows anyone to produce interactive animation.

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5. Neck and Neck

In competition, neck and neck
They held each other's pace.
The crowd was rooting silently
The whole entire race.

The both of them so well-prepared,
They'd practiced and they'd trained,
So every possibility
Their brains had entertained.

The final minutes soon approached
And I was thrilled to see
Both Vanya* and Gokul* were winners
Of the Spelling Bee!

*Vanya Shivashankar and Gokul Venkatachalam
were declared co-winners of the 2015
Scripps National Spelling Bee last night.

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6. flowers in her hair....

©the enchanted easel 2015
and a few new drawings...underway.

{it's been a crazy couple of weeks....new drawings, commissions and my lovely little lily (see pic below) all trying to get done at the same time. busy, busy, busy....and loving every single second.}

lily...in progress
©the enchanted easel 2015

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7. How would you show slow progress without boring your audience?

Question: How would you show slow progress without boring your audience? By slow progress, I mean your character practices ballet/sword fighting/chess

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8. Getting Around San Francisco

Only a few weeks remain before the ALA conference draws thousands of librarians to San Francisco. San Francisco boasts a thriving literary scene, many exciting things to eat and do, and of course numerous ALSC events at ALA for learning, growing, and connecting.   But how will you get to and fro? Silicon Valley having yet to offer us a viable jetpack–they could call it Google Blast! Engineers, are you listening?!–check out the currently available options.

Transit tips from locals

  • Hold on to your ticket/transfer! Fare inspectors on MUNI may ask for proof of payment at any time, so don’t just drop it in the bottom of your conference tote bag.
  • Keep your eyes up and your phone and other valuables out of sight. Criminals love distracted riders.
  • The Google Maps, Routesy Free, and 511 transit apps can be very helpful in trip planning.
  • Due to the Pride Parade on Sunday, 6/28/15, all transit and traffic near Market Street will be rerouted. Expect major crowds and delays throughout the regional transit systems. If you are on foot and wish to cross Market Street during the parade, try crossing under instead: find a BART/MUNI station entrance, descend on one side of the street and come up on the other.

Getting around San Francisco


MUNI is San Francisco’s citywide system of buses, trolleys, and light rail. MUNI fare ($2.25) allows unlimited transfers between any regular MUNI vehicles for 90 minutes. While San Francisco’s signature cable cars are technically part of MUNI, they charge a higher fare and often have long lines. If you have the time, however, it will be $6 well spent: the cable cars have loads of charm and some lines offer spectacular views. Check out the SFMTA website for details on MUNI fares, routes, and schedules.

Taxicabs and ride services

Your best bet for hailing a cab is on a major street downtown or at a hotel’s taxi line. Otherwise, you can contact one of the taxi companies listed on SFMTA’s website here.   Besides licensed taxis, there are also private ride services such as Lyft and Uber where you will need to download the company’s app and create an account.   Remember that sharing a cab or ride service with a colleague is often safer, greener, and more affordable than going alone.


Didn’t bring your bike with you to SF? No problem: several companies offer bikes (plus helmets and locks) for avid cyclists. Try Blazing Saddles, Sports Basement, SF Bicycle Rentals, Bike and View or City Ride. A visitor favorite is to bike across the Golden Gate Bridge and then take the scenic ferry back.   For short trips within the city, Bay Area Bike Share has numerous stations downtown and near the conference center.

East Bay, North Bay, and South Bay transit


BART is a commuter rail system that runs from Millbrae and the SF airport through downtown San Francisco and under the San Francisco Bay to outlying cities in the East Bay. A great option for traveling to either the SF or Oakland airports and for visiting East Bay destinations.


Caltrain, our other commuter rail, runs through San Mateo and Santa Clara counties in the south to San Francisco in the north. If you’d like to visit San Jose, Palo Alto, or other towns on the peninsula, Caltrain makes it easy.

AC Transit

While primarily offering bus routes throughout Alameda County (Oakland, Berkeley, Hayward, etc.), AC Transit also runs Transbay buses that connect San Francisco and the East Bay. This is your public transit choice if you have missed the last BART train across the Bay, since Transbay buses run all night.

Golden Gate Transit

Golden Gate Transit operates mostly north of San Francisco proper (Santa Rosa, Sausalito, San Rafael, etc.) and also runs bus lines across the Golden Gate Bridge. Visitors often enjoy taking the bus to one end of the bridge and walking back across it.


Ferries are a beautiful (if windy) way to travel from San Francisco to Oakland, Alameda, and Vallejo to the east (SF Bay Ferry) and Larkspur or Sausalito to the north (Golden Gate Ferry). There are also tourist ferries to destinations like Alcatraz as well as Angel Island and Tiburon.   Ferries offer unrivaled views of the bay; bundle up and give them a try!

Just for fun

And because we are children’s librarians, I can’t resist sharing two charming SF-connected children’s books about transit: Maybelle the Cable Car, written and illustrated by Virginia Lee Burton and Last Stop on Market Street, by Matt de la Peña with Christian Robinson illustrations. Happy reading and riding!



Today’s blog post was written by Sarah Stone, a librarian in the Collection Development Office at the San Francisco Public Library, for the ALSC Local Arrangements Committee.

The post Getting Around San Francisco appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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9. dinosaur police: hay festival 2015

I had my first Dinosaur Police event yesterday, at the Hay Festival in Wales! And I got to wear my brand-new dinosaur-inspired hat! My sculptor friend, Eddie Smith created it (the same guy who helped me build the giant Seawig and talking cake hat), and my local tailor, Esther Marfo, made the dress. (Oh, and I made the book!)

This photo's by Jay Williams for Telegraph Books, and I was awfully excited to be included in the gallery between Pam Ayres and Virginia McKenna, both of whom I got to meet in the Green Room. Here's a doodle of my awesome Scholastic UK publicist, Dave Sanger, bravely helping me on stage to lead the audience in a very rousing rendition of the Dinosaur Police SONG. It might not have been the most tuneful number on the day, but we all sang it with great gusto. (Thanks, Philip Reeve, for writing the lyrics, and Sarah Reeve, for teaching me some ace uke chords to play with it!)

Here's Dave, sheltering from the rain under the umbrella of my enormous hat. Oh... and I have some exciting news about David!

Not only is he a fab publicist, but he's signed a book deal with Quercus for a book for adults, All Their Minds in Tandem, coming out next spring. Yay, Dave! I can't wait to read it.

So for our event, we did some drawing, and some roaring, comics, and general mucking about.

I showed everyone my way of drawing Trevor the T-Rex, and here's one of the drawings from a girl in the audience named Grace. We discussed various possible dinosaur professions, and this one's a dinosaur astronaut. (Here are some guides on my website to drawing dinosaurs, if you want to have a try.)

And it wasn't just people in Wales drawing dinosaurs; here's a picture tweeted in from South America of Inspector Sarah Tops at the same time by Mercedes Ortiz!

And then I got to sign and draw in lots of books. Thanks so much, everyone who came along! (Photo tweeted by Steph Roundsmith at @kidsrwreview.)

Big thanks to the other Sarah, who managed our event, and Glyn Morgan (@GR_Morgan), who was working another event but made me feel very famous by pulling me aside for a photo to tweet.

Actually, a lot of us had fun with the hat. Here are authors Ed Vere, Holly Smale and Tom Moorhouse.

I only had time to go to one event, so I went to see Holly give a talk with Megan Farr and Arabella Weir. Holly and Arabella have both written stories about teenage girls very much like they were as teenagers, and it was kind of funny because I think it they'd met each other as teenagers, they would have loathed each other. Since they're both grown-ups now, they can talk about these things in a friendly sort of way, but I think the audience could still feel the undercurrent of their semi-fictional teenage selves at war. (Which made everything way more interesting than if they'd been very similar.)

The most surprising question actually came from a child in the audience, who said: "You're both obviously very intelligent women. So why are you writing books for children?" (Cue a big intake of breath from several people up front and in the audience who make books for children.) Holly and Arabella answered it well, saying that it can be even harder to write for children, because children don't let writers hide behind unnecessary literary nonsense: either a story works for them, or it doesn't. In fact, Holly didn't even set out to write for children. She made the Geek Girl protagonist 15 years old, and that's what made the editor decide it was a children's book. Both Arabella and Holly said they never dumb down allusions and jokes because they're writing for kids, and Holly pointed to Shakespeare references in her stories.

Both writers said it's harder to make people laugh than cry, which I very much agree with. It reminded me of a line tweeted recently by Ewa SR:

Being funny doesn't mean being dizzy or less talented, on the contrary, it takes more skill.

Another thing that takes a whole lot of skill is moderating talks. Big cheers to people who moderated MANY talks, including Daniel Hahn (who was compere for 18 talks during the festival!) and the Telegraph Book's Martin Chilton, who also had to read a whole lot of books and ask a lot of good questions. Here's Martin, looking lovely in the dino hat. (And yes, he DID suddenly sprout a lavish blond fringe.)

I was sad to miss illustrator Jamie Littler's event with Danny Wallace, but I hear it was a storming success. (Here he is, with the newspaper rose we were all given.)

One of the hardest things about this year has been not having enough time to catch up with friends. And this festival was wonderful for that. On the first morning, I came out of my bedroom at George House to find my great friend, writer Moira Young, also coming downstairs to breakfast. Yay! Here's Moira, with wonderful Shirley Smith, who lives in the house and turns it into a guesthouse once a year, just for the festival. I stayed with her in 2012 and was thrilled to be back.

And it was great to catch up with Moira and her architect husband Paul. Another big treat was getting to have a girly slumber party with Holly Smale, when she found she wouldn't be able to catch the last train home. After dinner, we stayed up WAY too late chatting in the pink bedroom, in our little twin beds, then came back together on the train. Good times.

And the other people who made it a fun visit was the group of Norwegians at the festival - a 'noggin' of Norwegians as I've decided they're called - and they took me out to dinner on the first night: Helga and John Rullestad (who hosted me in Norway for the SILK Festival) and their good friend Odd Henning Johannessen. (Thanks so much, Norwegians!)

Thanks so much to Mary Beard and Heather Salisbury at Hay Festival for inviting and looking after me, Shirley for putting me up, Dave for being my glamorous dinosaur assistant, the team at the Hay Festival bookshop, Dave and Harriet Bayly for the second night's dinner, drivers Darren and Mark, Sarah, the stewards and everyone who made the festival run so smoothly and be so much fun. And big thanks to Eddie and Esther for all the costume help!

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10. The Wicked + The Divine is being adapted into a television series


Deadline announced today that Universal Television has optioned the rights to Image’s Eisner-nominated The Wicked + The Divine. The comic, by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, and Matt Wilson, will be adapted via Matt Fraction and Kelly Sue DeConnick’s production company, Milkfed Criminal Masterminds.  This is the same deal that will bring about the TV adaptation of Sex Criminals – the two-year deal with Universal included adapting not only their own material into television shows, but also allows Fraction and DeConnick to spotlight other creators’ IP.

McKelvie took to Twitter with the announcement:

And then Chip Zdarsky, Illustrator for Sex Criminals, took it to another level:

The Wicked + The Divine focuses on members of the Pantheon, people with superhuman powers, a result of merging with the reincarnated spirit of a mythological deity. The first issue was released in June of 2014.

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11. Social Book Platform Glose Now on Android

Glose, a social tool for e-book readers, has launched a new app for Android devices. Prior to the release, the tool was available on iOS devices and via web apps.

The app allows readers to sample, purchase and read eBooks and recommend them to friends. The service has more than 300,000 books in its library with titles from more than 600 publishers. The site also includes curated recommendations from its staff editors, as well as from authors.

Readers can highlight passages and make notes in eBooks and then share these in their social reading stream.

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12. Monster

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13. Feline Friday- A Nap Before Breakfast

A Nap Before Band Practice
Happy Feline Friday. Feline Friday is a fun meme my friend Sandee with Comedy Plus  posts every Friday. The meme was created by Steve from Burnt Food Dude. This meme provides us humans with the opportunity to publish our own, and view others bloggers photographs, drawings, and videos of cats in their finest moments.

Camera's, videos, and human talent has opened a gateway into the adventurous world of cats, and boy are they photogenic.

I think the kitten in this photograph is taking a nap before band practice. While my feline is running around my apartment, jumping over furniture, intentionally scratching the back of my sofa, (instead of his scratch board), because I am writing.

Have a great day, and click on Sandee and Steve's link for more Feline Friday posts, they're terrific.

Note in reference to Monday's Stories: 

Jean from The Misadventures of Widowhood guessed the true story, congratulations Jean!  I truly appreciate all of you who participated, especially since I had to quit blogging for awhile, and lost a lot of readers. Your loyalty means the world to me.

Plus, I'd like to add that when my mother told me the story about the puppies, I didn't believe it either, and I still have questions, although she remains adamant that it's the truth.

Forgive me for any mistakes I may have made in this post, I'm racing the Louisiana rain. I have a desktop, and I'm afraid I may lose power.

Again, have a wonderful day, and don't forget to leave or read a comment. It's fun!

Oh, and you can still read Monday's Stories in the post below, and see which story you would have chosen.    
Bye again :)


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14. Harts Pass No. 251

Between finishing my next recent book and coaching at the State Track meet, I'm a little late in posting this week's comic. Lucky for me, it's guest cartoonist week here at Harts Pass :) After a recent Methow Arts residency at the local elementary school, I've put a few kids on the payroll for both this week and next. Kinda like Family Circus... except these kids are the real deal! Much thanks to Isaac Carlsen for this week's excellent unicorn strip.

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15. Welcome Moldova!

First appearance in the audience viewing CBO -and quite a few of you!


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16. More inky beginnings! #studio #bookart #Sketch #drawing #ink...

More inky beginnings! #studio #bookart #Sketch #drawing #ink #illustration #poetry #bordercollie #dog (at 17th Avenue Studios)

Original post by Brian Bowes via Emergent Ideas: http://ift.tt/1G9HRYz

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17. Lumberjanes is about to become a major motion picture


One of the big critical darlings of last year, Lumberjanes is a fabulous comic series written by Noelle Stevenson and Grace Ellis, with art by Brooke Allen and co-created by BOOM! Studios editor Shannon Watters.

For those unfamiliar, it follows a group of young women spending the summer at scout camp, where they encounter supernatural phenomena like Yetis, giant falcons and the like. It started out as an eight issue mini-series, but demand proved so high, that BOOM! decided to make it an ongoing. Lumberjanes is great fun and, for my money, a terribly important and accessible all-ages comic.

It’s no surprise then that Hollywood would eventually come calling, and so via 20th Century Fox in a report from The Wrap, a movie adaptation is on the way with Boom’s Ross Richie, Stephen Christy, and Adam Yoelin teaming up with Fox’s Kira Goldberg and Ryan Jones to produce the film. Will Widger, who is best known for his 2014 “Black List” script, The Munchkin, will take on writing duties for the film.

It’s a bit of a bummer that an all female created series, that focuses on female characters, has a male screenwriter; but his script for The Munchkin (which is pitched as a Chinatown type thriller about the world of The Wizard of Oz) sounds idiosyncratic enough that he may have a good spin on the material.

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18. Literary culture in ... Malaysia

       In The Malaysian Insider Ooi Kok Hin finds the local Lack of appreciation towards Malaysian literature a worrying phenomenon.
       Sadly, he reports:

Usually I'm reluctant to generalis [sic] my experience but in this case, I'm pretty sure that my ignorance of our national literature is shared by most of my peers, and perhaps Malaysians in general.

We read short stories and trimmed version of major literary works in our school. But we never really instilled a love for literature, let alone our own literature.
       And, amazingly:
For example, Tan Twan Eng's first novel was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and has been translated into Italian, Spanish, Greek, Romanian, Czech, Serbian and French.

One wonders why there isn't a Malay translation in spite of the fact that the story is set in Penang.
       One wonders indeed ..... Read the rest of this post

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19. "Cartoons & Comics" documentary (Boston Comic Con)

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20. More inky beginnings! #studio #bookart #Sketch #drawing #ink...

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21. Peek-a-Boo

I'm part of the group Fanartica and we are about to have a group exhibition Dungeons and Dragons at fan*alley in LA!

The opening is Saturday, June 13th, from 6-10pm.

This is my piece for the show. It is titled "Peek-a-boo" after Babysitter Beholder's favorite game.

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22. Read Russia Prize

       One more translation prize to close out the week: they announced that Oliver Ready's translation of Before and During, by Vladimir Sharov, has won this year's Read Russia Prize (and what a relief it is that a contemporary work and new translation and not one of those Tolstoy or Dostoevsky re-translations won -- not that they aren't estimable, too ...).
       This will be Best Translated Book Award-eligible for next year's prize, and it'll be interesting to see if it makes the cut.
       I do have a copy, and should be getting to it; meanhwile, see the Dedalus publicity page or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

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23. 3 Minutes With... M.G. Buehrlen

The Nerd Riders got to hang out with the awesome author of THE 57 LIVES OF ALEX WAYFARE, M.G. Buehrlen. There were questions asked, questions answered and swords drawn!


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24. Literary culture in ... Indonesia

       At Qantara.de Monika Griebeler reports that Indonesia -- this year's 'Guest of Honour' at the Frankfurt Book Fair -- is ... A land without readers.
       So, for example:

"Literature as it's known in the West isn't taught at schools. Children do learn when Jane Austen lived, but they don't usually read any of her books," says publisher John McGlynn, whose Lontar Foundation translates Indonesian works into English.
       I'm not really sure what to say about someone like Goenawan Mohamad, chairman of the national committee for Indonesia is guest of honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair (!), spouting stuff like:
We Indonesians are more sociable and love a good dose of noise. Aside from that, of course, we don't have long winters for sitting inside to read War and Peace for example.
       Okay .....
       No, not okay.

Most of what comes onto the Indonesian market is straightforward bestsellers translated out of English. That's what earns the publishers money, says John McGlynn. "The books with the largest print runs -- if we can call them that -- are popular novels and those with a religious leaning: a woman finds first God and then a husband," he says with a critical note. "More and more books are being published, but many of them are terribly written."
       Stil, I see some promise in that 'more and more' .....
       (Meanwhile, it's good to see guest of honour-status helping spotlight what there is coming out of Indonesia (beyond even Pramoedya Ananta Toer !) -- New Directions and Verso are each bringing out an Eka Kurniawan novel this fall, for example, and longtime readers have repeatedly heard me extol Lontar's 'Modern Library of Indonesia' (and for all the Southeast Asian literature under review at the complete review, see this index).)

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25. Poetry Friday: Ida Frickey

Nothing in life is alien to you:
I was a penniless girl from Summum
Who stepped from the morning train in Spoon River.
All the houses stood before me with closed doors
And drawn shades- I was barred out;
I had no place or part in any of them.
And I walked past the old McNeely mansion,
A castle of stone 'mid walks and gardens,
With workmen about the place on guard,
And the County and State upholding it
For its lordly owner, full of pride.
I was so hungry I had a vision:
I saw a giant pair of scissors
Dip from the sky, like the beam of a dredge,
And cut the house in two like a curtain.
But at the "Commercial" I saw a man,
Who winked at me as I asked for work--
It was Wash McNeely's son.
He proved the link in the chain of title
To half my ownership of the mansion,
Through a breach of promise suit - the scissors.
So, you see, the house, from the day I was born,
Was only waiting for me.

- Ida Frickey in Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters

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