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1. Poetry Stretch - Deibhidhe Variation

If orange is the new black, than Tuesday is the new Monday. My apologies for posting late. Here is this week's challenge.

Deibhidhe Guilbnech Dialtach is an Irish verse form written in quatrains. Here are the requirements.
  • lines are 7 syllables in length
  • rhyme scheme is a/a/b/b
  • end words should end in a consonant
  • each line has two alliterated words
  • poems can be any number of quatrains

You can read more about this form at Poetry Magnum Opus.

I hope you'll join me this week in writing this variation of the Deibhidhe. Please share a link to your poem or the poem itself in the comments.

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2. Nightbird (2015)

Nightbird. Alice Hoffman. 2015. Random House. 208 pages. [Source: Review copy]

What one word best describes Alice Hoffman's Nightbird? I'd go with atmospheric. Did I enjoy it? Yes, for the most part. It's not a perfect fit for me, I'm not the ideal reader--the ideal match--for this type of book. But I enjoyed it and can easily recommend it to others knowing that they probably will enjoy it even more than I did.

The heroine of Nightbird is a young girl named Twig. (I have to say that I quickly came to love Twig.) Twig's life is a lonely one. For her family has a super-big secret that would endanger them all if it became known. Her mom trusts her to do what is best for the whole family. She can't invite friends over to her house, and, knowing that, she doesn't feel exactly comfortable going over to other people's houses. She knows that any "friendship" she begins would only lead to frustration and disappointment and misunderstandings. But when a new family moves in next door, a new family that isn't exactly "new" to the town, a family with historical roots in the community, Twig takes a chance and makes her first friend. Her mother may not exactly approve, so some discretion is needed, but Twig's life will never be the same...

The less you know about this one, the better, in my opinion.

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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3. It's live!! Cover Reveal: Wanderlost by Jen Malone + Giveaway (US/Canada/International)

Hello, YABC!

Today we're super excited to celebrate the cover reveal for WANDERLOST by Jen Malone, releasing May 31, 2016 from HarperTeen. Before we get to the cover, here's a note from Jen:

Okay, so I live to travel and will talk about it, daydream about it, and write about it every chance I get. When I was twenty-two I took a yearlong solo journey around the world, visiting 43 countries, living on about $25 a day, and loving (mostly) every second of it. That trip changed me in a million ways and shows up in a lot of my books, but this time around I thought it would be fun to write about a girl who never had the wanderlust I did—Aubree is completely happy being a homebody and when she’s forced out of her comfort zone she’s pretty overwhelmed by the Big Wide World. She definitely has to earn that moment on the cover where she finally takes it all in. Can I just add that I also adore this cover for sooo perfectly referencing a scene from the book where Aubree first rebels and ditches the bus tour itinerary she’s been given to fangirl her passengers through all the Sound of Music sights in Salzburg, Austria. The hilltop where Fraulein Maria does her spinning in the movie is private property, so they have to sneak up there, but it’s worth a little law breaking… (And extra kudos to cover designer Kate Engbring for such swoony sunset colors.) I hope you guys love it as much as I do!
~ Jen Malone (WANDERLOST, HarperTeen)



Ready to see?

Scroll, YABCers! Scroll!


































Here it is!



*** If you choose to share this image elsewhere, please include a courtesy link back to this page so others can enter Jen's giveaway. Thank you! ***



by Jen Malone
Release date: May 31, 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen
ISBN: 978-0-06-238015-9
About the Book
Aubree Sadler can’t think of a better place to be than in perfectly boring Ohio, and she’s ready for a relaxing summer. But when her older sister Elizabeth gets into real trouble, Bree is talked into taking over Elizabeth’s summer job, leading a group of senior citizens on a bus tour through Europe. Never mind that Aubree has never left the country, or that the tour company still thinks they’re getting exceptional Elizabeth and not trainwreck Bree.  
Aubree doesn't even make it to the first stop in Amsterdam before their perfect plan unravels, leaving her with no phone, no carefully-prepared binder full of helpful facts, and an unexpected guest: the tour owner’s son, Sam. Considering she’s pretending to be Elizabeth, she absolutely shouldn’t fall for him, but she can’t help it, especially with the most romantic European cities as the backdrop for their love story. 
But her relationship with Sam is threatening to ruin her relationship with her sister, and she feels like she’s letting both of them down. Bree knows this trip may show her who she really is—she just hopes she likes what she sees.
To learn more about this book and see our review, go HERE.

b2ap3_thumbnail_jen-malone.jpgAbout the Author

Jen Malone writes books for tweens and teens, including At Service, the You're Invited series, and next year’s The Sleepover with Simon & Schuster, as well as Map to the Stars and the forthcoming Wanderlost with HarperCollins. She’s a former Hollywood marketing exec who once spent a year traveling the world solo, met her husband on the highway (literally), and went into labor with her identical twins while on a rock star's tour bus. These days she saves the drama for her books. You can learn more about Jen and her titles at www.jenmalonewrites.com.

Twitter | Web | Facebook | Goodreads | Pre-order | YABC Profile


Giveaway Details

One winner will receive an ARC of Wanderlost (when available - US/Canada only). 

Two winners will each receive an e-book copy of MAP TO THE STARS (International).

Entering is simple, just fill out the entry form below. Winners will be announced on this site and in our monthly newsletter (sign up now!) within 30 days after the giveaway ends.

During each giveaway, we ask entrants a question pertaining to the book. Here is the question they'll be answering in the comments below for extra entries:

What do you think about the cover and synopsis?

Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway:

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4. Phil Collins Lands Deal With Crown Archetype

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5. Camping Virgin

If there’s one thing I like, it’s money.

In fact, I like a lot of monies.

In fact that love, so near and dear to my heart, gave me an idea that’s going to make me RICH RICH RICH!!!




First, the person who’s paid for their ticket {$482 for children ages 0-5, $679 for kids 6-12, $5,119 for teenagers, $23,917 for grown ups…Babies under 2&1/2 weeks are free, of course…I’m not a miser!} Anyway, the paying participant stands in front of a giant pit of mud.


And is shoved into it.



Next, the participant stands under a bucket full of spiders, snakes and mosquitoes.




(I call this the “Lice Bucket Challenge.”)

(Hahaha!!  Get it??  Because “Lice” sounds like “Ice” as in “Ice Bucket Challenge”! Get it??  Get it??  Oh, you are a dead audience)


Anyway.  After that, the participant…









…is locked in a freezer.

That’s it!  Isn’t it a kick??  Aren’t I going to be rollin’ in the dough??

I AM.  I am gonna be rollin in the dough and do you know why??



Yeah you are!

There are two kinds of people in this world: those who appreciate the dignity indoor plumbing can provide, and those who like to pretend they’re homeless.

I belong to the first group.

In fact, before this past summer, I hadn’t gone camping since I was a kid!  Which was years, and years, and years, and years, and years ago.

I don’t remember much.  I remember it rained and was so cold the spiders snuggled up to me for warmth.  It was


the worst.

The rest of the experience my brain very wisely blocked from my memory, but maybe one day I’ll remember how I lost all the toes on my left foot.

Anyway, I bring this all up because last year, I was called to be in the stake YW, which is a church youth leader position.  I really like it!

Except for this part…

















Ever since I was a kid I’ve managed to dodge anything that requires me to leave my house.  I’ve gotten pretty good at it.

PROSPECTIVE DATE:  Are you doing anything this Friday?  You wanna go on a date or something?

ME:  You bet I do!  I’m totally free!

PROSPECTIVE DATE:  I was thinking maybe going on a hike–

ME:  Hahaha just kidding!  Go away!

It’s bizarre how many guys don’t appreciate a girl who likes to stay inside all day staring at the wall!!

{They’re so shallow.}

Anyway, because this was a church calling, I decided to pony up.  My friend Joe, who’s a wilderness survival expert and actually likes camping, helped me draw up a list of supplies:




Thankfully, I didn’t have to spend *too* much to get the supplies I needed.  Definitely less than five grand.  But by george, those are the nicest socks I’ve ever had!


And we began the hike in good spirits!




About twenty minutes in, I realized I had made a grave, grave mistake.


For one thing, that was that big yellow glowy thing in the sky.  I forgot the name of it, but it was totally annoying.

For another thing….NO BATHROOMS????

This turned out to be the worst part of all, because as I breached the last hill to the campsite, this is what I found:


Apparently we weren’t the only people who thought that would be a great weekend hike.

This was not what I was promised.


Our camp leader had scoped this place out several weeks before.




But what could I do?  My eyeballs were swimming.

The moment camp was set up, I set out to find a tree.


This turned out to be a problem.  Every tree I found ended up having a friendly resident.




Things weren’t looking so good.

About four or so miles away from the campsite, I found something that might work.  No one was around.




This frame is totally inappropriate.  I apologize.

If it helps, you’re the only ones who are seeing it.






















Camping_4-24-5 copy




Aaaaaaaand…the rest of the camp was blocked from my memory.


…Except for the part where I drank ZERO WATER for the rest of the trip…including the hike back.












Remember the Fun Tent?

This hike inspired me.

I’ve decided to add a giant glass cage to it.  It’ll have a hornets’ nest, a bucket, and aaaaaaaaaalll the water you can drink!





I’m gonna be so rich.

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6. AJL Reads! A Virtual Jewish Book Discussion

Please join the Association of Jewish Libraries for a book discussion about the adventurous Jewish historical novel THE WAYWARD MOON by Janice Weizman on Sunday, October 18, 2015at 9pm Eastern/8pm Central/6pm Pacific Time via call-in show. We'll discuss the book by phone, and record the discussion for those who miss it.

Call (724) 444-7444 and enter the Call ID 139461to participate! The discussion will last approximately one hour.

This is Association of Jewish Libraries' first experiment with a virtual book discussion event. Please spread the word and please join us on Sunday to make it a success! Don’t worry if you haven’t read the book yet – the discussion will be a good introduction that will make you eager to read it afterwards.

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7. Audible releases Chapters 1 and 2 of “Career of Evil”

After a series of tweets (and retweets) this morning, Audible released two snippets of Robert Galbraith’s new mystery novel, Career of Evil. The first two chapters of the new Cormoran Strike novel can now be listened to, for free, on Audible’s twitter.

The first chapter of Career of Evil opens with the point of view of the antagonist of the story–the man who has a vendetta against strike, an unhealthy obsession with Robin, and a horrifying hobby of charming women and killing them among peach bath towels stained red with blood. He opens the book by stalking Robin and Matthew. We don’t know his name, but we do know that he has a particular loathing for rugby. Really, who is surprised that the sport makes an important appearance in J.K. Rowling’s very good friend’s novel? No one.

Chapter two takes a turn in point of view and settles on Robin and Matthew, the story being told by Robin of course. No big surprise, this not-so-happily engaged couple is in the middle of another argument on Matthew’s favorite subject: Cormoran Strike. Out of anger, Robin receives a package from an unknown carrier, and stops and signs for it without looking to see who is delivering it or who it is from. When she rips it open, it’s that woman’s severed leg we’ve been hearing so much about in the novel’s synopsis.

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8. Whats New in YA--October 13, 2015


Are you wondering what's new in YA today? Check out these wonderful new releases!





David Almond, recipient of the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award, a Printz Honor for Skellig, and the Printz Award for Kit’s Wilderness, has crafted an enchanting modern take on the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice.


Written in lyrical prose, this novel for fans of epic romances and mythology retellings explores themes of love, loss, fate, and destiny set against the dramatic and diverse backdrop of Northern England.


Claire and Ella and their friends are bound by ties so strong they seem unbreakable. Then the strange and handsome Orpheus strolls onto the beach, and he sings them all into an astonishing new understanding of themselves. Ella is caught the hardest, fastest, deepest—and Claire feels the pain of looking on.


Raw, emotional, lyrical, funny, and true, A Song for Ella Grey is a tale of modern teenagers and their joys, troubles, and desires. It’s a story of first love, a love that draws on ancient mythic forces. A love that leads Ella, Orpheus, and Claire to the gates of Death and beyond.






Zan is a politician’s daughter and an adrenaline junkie. Whether she’s rock climbing or shoplifting, she loves to live on the edge. But she gets more of a rush than she bargained for on a forced mother–daughter bonding trip to Turkey, where she finds herself in the crosshairs of an antiquities smuggling ring. These criminals believe that Zan can lead them to an ancient treasure that’s both priceless and cursed. Until she does so, she and her family are in grave danger. Zan’s quest to save the treasure—and the lives of people she cares about—leads her from the sparkling Mediterranean, to the bustle of Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, to the eerie and crumbling caves of Cappadocia. But it seems that nowhere is safe, and there’s only so high she can climb before everything comes tumbling down.








Once a lost and confused princess, Serafina is now a confident leader of the Black Fin Resistance (BFR). While she works on sabotaging her enemy and enlisting allies for battle, her friends face challenges of their own. Ling is in the hold of Rafe Mfeme’s giant trawler, on her way to a prison camp. Becca meets up with Astrid and learns why the Ondalinian mermaid is always so angry: she is hiding a shameful secret. Ava can’t return home, because death riders await her arrival. And it is getting more and more difficult for Mahdi, Serafina’s betrothed, to keep up the ruse that he is in love with Lucia Volerno. If Lucia’s parents become suspicious, his life–and all of Sera’s hopes–will be extinguished. Political intrigue, dangerous liaisons, and spine-tingling suspense swirl like a maelstrom in this penultimate book in the WaterFire saga








For as long as Emmeline can remember, she’s longed to leave the isolated world of the settlement and explore the wilderness that calls to her in her dreams. And now that the Council has fallen, she will finally, finally get that chance. With First Peoples guide Matisa at her side, Emmeline rallies a brave group to join her on her quest into the unknown, including her beloved Kane and his two younger brothers.

But the journey soon proves far more dangerous than Emmeline anticipated—with warring clans, slavers, colonists, disease, and natural disasters seemingly at every turn. After putting so many lives in danger, she starts to doubt everything she once knew. Did she make the right choice to leave the settlement—and can her relationship with Kane survive the ordeal? Matisa insists that to set things right and to fight the evil that is bringing all this danger and turmoil to the forest, Emmeline must journey to Matisa’s people—even if that means leaving Kane behind.








Devon Tennyson wouldn’t change a thing. She’s happy watching Friday night games from the bleachers, silently crushing on best friend Cas, and blissfully ignoring the future after high school. But the universe has other plans. It delivers Devon’s cousin Foster, an unrepentant social outlier with a surprising talent for football, and the obnoxiously superior and maddeningly attractive star running back, Ezra, right where she doesn’t want them first into her P.E. class and then into every other aspect of her life.


Pride and Prejudice meets Friday Night Lights in this contemporary novel about falling in love with the unexpected boy, with a new brother, and with yourself.








It’s been three months since the Winterians were freed and Spring’s king, Angra, disappeared—thanks largely to the help of Cordell.

Meira just wants her people to be safe. When Cordellan debt forces the Winterians to dig their mines for payment, they unearth something powerful and possibly dangerous: Primoria’s lost chasm of magic. Theron sees this find as an opportunity—with this much magic, the world can finally stand against threats like Angra. But Meira fears the danger the chasm poses—the last time the world had access to so much magic, it spawned the Decay. So when the king of Cordell orders the two on a mission across the kingdoms of Primoria to discover the chasm’s secrets, Meira plans to use the trip to garner support to keep the chasm shut and Winter safe—even if it means clashing with Theron. But can she do so without endangering the people she loves?

Mather just wants to be free. The horrors inflicted on the Winterians hang fresh and raw in Januari—leaving Winter vulnerable to Cordell’s growing oppression. When Meira leaves to search for allies, he decides to take Winter’s security into his own hands. Can he rebuild his broken kingdom and protect them from new threats?

As the web of power and deception weaves tighter, Theron fights for magic, Mather fights for freedom—and Meira starts to wonder if she should be fighting not just for Winter, but for the world.







In New York Times bestselling author Walter Dean Myers’s last novel, he delivers a gripping story based on the life of a real dancer known as Master Juba, who lived in the nineteenth century.

This engaging historical novel is based on the true story of the meteoric rise of an immensely talented young black dancer, William Henry Lane, who influenced today’s tap, jazz, and step dancing. With meticulous and intensive research, Walter Dean Myers has brought to life Juba’s story.

The novel includes photographs, maps, and other images from Juba’s time and an afterword from Walter Dean Myers’s wife about the writing process of Juba!








In a near-future world of exurban decay studded with big box stores, daily routine revolves around shopping—for those who can. For Zoë, the mission is simpler: live.

Last girl Zoë Zindleman, numerical ID 009-99-9999, is starting work at AllMART, where “your smile is the AllMART welcome mat.” Her living arrangements are equally bleak: she can wait for her home to be foreclosed and stripped of anything valuable now that AnnaMom has moved away, leaving Zoë behind, or move to the Warren, an abandoned strip-mall-turned-refuge for other left-behinds. With a handful of other disaffected, forgotten kids, Zoë must find her place in a world that has consumed itself beyond redemption. She may be a last girl, but her name means “life,” and Zoë isn’t ready to disappear into the AllMART abyss. Zoë wants to live.








Lady Truthful will inherit her family’s most valued heirloom on her eighteenth birthday. Until the Newington Emerald is stolen.

Lady Truthful, nicknamed “Newt” by her boy cousins, discovers that to her horror, the people closest to her have been framed for the theft. But Newt won’t let their reputations be damaged by rumors from a false accusation. Her plan is simple: go to London to recover the missing jewel. Despite her best intentions, a young lady travelling alone is frankly unacceptable behavior. So Newt and her aunt devise another plan…one that entails men’s clothing and a mustache.

While in disguise, Truthful encounters the handsome but shrewd major Harnett, who to her amazement volunteers to help find the missing emerald under the assumption that she is a man, Henri de Vienne. But once she and her unsuspecting ally are caught up in a dangerous adventure, Truthful realizes something else is afoot: the beating of her heart.

Truthful has far more than romantic complications to worry about. The stolen emerald is no ordinary heirloom-it is the source of the family’s luck and has the power to yield vast magic. It would be completely disastrous if it fell into the wrong hands. The fate of England depends on Truthful securing the emerald.









Eddie thinks nothing ever happens in his small, boring town. Every day is exactly the same, down to what the bus driver will say when he picks each kid up in the morning. But then, one day, someone new, and very pretty, walks onto the bus. At least, Eddie thinks she’s new, but there is something oddly familiar about Scarlett. Intrigued (and smitten), Eddie starts to follow Scarlett—and what he discovers is odder still. Scarlett is a Senior Echo Time Agent from the future, come to his town to investigate the origin of time travel, which, unbeknownst to Eddie, was invented right in his hometown, by someone he knew. Soon Eddie is swept up in the investigation and in time. But time travel is a dangerous business, and Eddie will learn more than he wants to know about his long-dead mother.

This psychologically rich thriller redefines the time travel novel for a teen audience.








When seventeen-year-old Ishmael wakes up from stasis aboard the Pequod, he is amazed by how different this planet is from the dirty, dying, Shroud-covered Earth he left behind. But Ishmael isn’t on Cretacea to marvel at the fresh air, sunshine, and endless blue ocean. He’s here to work, risking his life to hunt down great ocean-dwelling beasts to harvest and send back to the resource-depleted Earth. Even though easy prey abounds, time and again the chase boat crews are ordered to ignore it in order to pursue the elusive Great Terrafin. It’s rumored that the ship’s captain, Ahab, lost his leg to the beast years ago, and that he’s now consumed by revenge. But there may be more to Captain Ahab’s obsession. Dark secrets and dangerous exploits swirl around the pursuit of the beast, and Ishmael must do his best to survive—if he can.








Winnie Flynn doesn’t believe in ghosts. (Though she wouldn’t mind a visit from her mom, explaining why she took her own life.) When her mysterious aunt Maggie, a high-profile TV producer, recruits Winnie to spend a summer working as a production assistant on her current reality hit, Fantastic, Fearsome, she suddenly finds herself in the one place her mother would never go: New Jersey.

New Jersey’s famous Devil makes perfect fodder for Maggie’s show. But as the filming progresses, Winnie sees and hears things that make her think that the Devil might not be totally fake after all. Things that involve her and her family. Things about her mother’s death that might explain why she’s never met Aunt Maggie until now.

Winnie soon discovers her family’s history is deeply entwined with the Devil’s. If she’s going to make it out of the Pine Barrens alive, she might have to start believing in what her aunt is telling her. And, find out what she isn’t.









In a pursuit that has spanned continents, Iolanthe, Titus, and their friends have always managed to remain one step ahead of the forces of Atlantis. But now the Bane, the monstrous tyrant who bestrides the entire mage world, has issued his ultimatum: Titus must hand over Iolanthe, or watch as his entire realm is destroyed in a deadly rampage. Running out of time and options, Iolanthe and Titus must act decisively to deliver a final blow to the Bane, ending his reign of terror for good.

However, getting to the Bane means accomplishing the impossible—finding a way to infiltrate his crypt in the deepest recesses of the most ferociously guarded fortress in Atlantis. And everything is only made more difficult when new prophecies come to light, foretelling a doomed effort….

Iolanthe and Titus will put their love and their lives on the line. But will it be enough?

With The Immortal Heights, Sherry Thomas brings the acclaimed Elemental Trilogy to its breathtaking conclusion.








Once upon a time, a girl had a father, a prince, a society of friends. Then they betrayed her, and she destroyed them all.

Adelina Amouteru’s heart has suffered at the hands of both family and friends, turning her down the bitter path of revenge. Now known and feared as the White Wolf, she and her sister flee Kenettra to find other Young Elites in the hopes of building her own army of allies. Her goal: to strike down the Inquisition Axis, the white-cloaked soldiers that murdered her love, the Crown Prince Enzo Valenciano.

But Adelina is no heroine. Her powers, fed only by fear and hate, have started to grow beyond her control. She does not trust her newfound Elite friends. Teren Santoro, leader of the Inquisition, wants her dead. And her former friends, Raffaele and the Dagger Society, want to stop her thirst for vengeance. Adelina struggles to cling to the good within her. But how can someone be good, when her very existence depends on darkness?








In this romantic sequel to Famous in Love, new Hollywood “It Girl” Paige must navigate love with her co-stars, both on and off screen and all in the public eye.

Lights, camera, love!

After being plucked from obscurity, Hollywood’s newest starlet, Paige Townsen, has a hit film to her name and Rainer Devon on her arm. But being half of the world’s most famous couple comes with a price, and soon Paige finds herself dodging photographers; hiding her feelings for her other costar, Jordan Wilder; and navigating tabloid scandals that threaten to tear her and Rainer apart-and end her career as quickly as it began.

Rebecca Serle’s sequel to Famous in Love is filled with the kind of celebrity drama and swoon-worthy romance fit for the silver screen.








Staying out of trouble isn’t possible for Julep Dupree. She has managed not to get kicked out of her private school, even though everyone knows she’s responsible for taking down a human-trafficking mob boss—and getting St. Agatha’s golden-boy Tyler killed in the process. Running cons holds her guilty conscience at bay, but unfortunately, someone wants Julep to pay for her mistakes . . . with her life.

Against her better judgment, Julep takes a shady case that requires her to infiltrate a secretive organization that her long-gone mother and the enigmatic blue fairy may be connected to. Her best friend, Sam, isn’t around to stop her, and Dani, her one true confidante, happens to be a nineteen-year-old mob enforcer whose moral compass is as questionable as Julep’s. But there’s not much time to worry about right and wrong—or to save your falling heart—when there’s a contract on your head.

Murders, heists, secrets and lies, hit men and hidden identities . . . If Julep doesn’t watch her back, it’s her funeral. No lie.









If there are any new YA books we missed, let us know in the comments below, and we'll add them to the list! 


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9. Cover Unveiled for Curtis Sittenfeld’s Retelling of Pride and Prejudice

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10. साहित्य अकादमी सम्मान

मोनिका गुप्ता( हरियाणा साहित्य अकादमी अवार्ड )

मोनिका गुप्ता( हरियाणा साहित्य अकादमी अवार्ड )

साहित्य अकादमी सम्मान

हरियाणा साहित्य अकादमी सम्मान

बात 2009 की है जब मेरी पहली पुस्तक” मैं हूं मणि” को हरियाणा साहित्य अकादमी की ओर से “बाल साहित्य पुरस्कार” मिला. इसके इलावा अभी तक दो अन्य लिखी किताबों “ समय ही नही मिलता”, “ अब मुश्किल नही कुछ भी”  को हरियाणा साहित्य अकादमी की ओर से अनुदान मिला.

पहली पुस्तक और उसे ही बाल साहित्य पुरस्कार  मिलना बेहद खुशी और गर्व की बात थी. ऐसी खुशी और गर्व उन सभी साहित्यकारों और लेखकों को होता होगा जिन्हे ये सम्मान मिलता है. अब मैं आती हूं आज की बात पर कि आज इतने साल बाद मुझे यह बताने की जरुरत क्यो पडी. वो इसलिए कि कई साहित्यकारों द्वारा मिला सम्मान लौटाया जा रहा है.

इसी बारे में, पिछ्ले एक दो दिन में बहुत लोगो को सुना और उनकी प्रतिक्रिया भी देखी. बेशक, हम जिस समाज मे रहते हैं हमे अगर अपनी बात रखने का हक है तो उसी तरह हमे किसी बात का विरोध करने का भी हक है पर सम्मान को लौटाने का ये  तरीका सही नही. हां एक बात हो सकती थी कि देश के सभी साहित्यकारों और लेखको को इसमे शामिल करके उनकी राय जानी जाती और फिर एक जुट होकर ऐसा कदम उठाया जाता जो समाज हित मे होता तो शायद कुछ बात बनती.

कोई कदम उठाने से पहले एक बात जरुर जहन में रखनी चाहिए कि ना मीडिया हमारा है और न ही नेता हमारे हैं हमें अगर अपनी बात रखनी है तो कलम को ताकत बनाए और उसी के माध्यम से अपना विरोध व्यक्त करें. टीवी चैनल पर  एक धंटे बैठ कर, बहस कर, लड झगड कर अपने स्तर से गिर कर बात रखने का क्या औचित्य है… !! धरना प्रर्दशन और भूख हडताल भी कोई समाधान नही जैसा कुछ लोग अपनी राय व्यक्त कर रहे हैं.

हमारी ताकत हमारी लेखनी है और सोशल मीडिया एक खुली किताब है. इस पर  हम सब मिलकर अपनी बात दमदार तरीके से रखे तो सोच मे जरुर बदलाव आएगा.

साहित्य अकादमी सम्मान

मोनिका गुप्ता( हरियाणा साहित्य अकादमी अवार्ड )

मोनिका गुप्ता( हरियाणा साहित्य अकादमी अवार्ड )

मोनिका गुप्ता( हरियाणा साहित्य अकादमी अवार्ड )


The post साहित्य अकादमी सम्मान appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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11. The Otter, the Spotted Frog and the Great Flood Book Review & Extension Activity

Over the years my family has enjoyed reading a variety of “great flood” tales from our local Blount County Library. This month found us enjoying the Creek Indian version called, The Otter, the Spotted Frog and the Great Flood by Gerald Hausman and beautifully illustrated by Ramon Shiloh.

The Otter the Spotted Frog and the Great Flood

In this version, spotted frog announces to the world that a great flood is coming which will destroy all of their homes. All of the animals ignore spotted frog’s warning, except an otter named Listener.

Ridiculed by all the other animals, Listener heeds spotted Frog’s warnings and begins to build a raft to try and survive the coming flood.

Wisdom Tales

As the story progresses and Listener survives the flood, he learns via a mosquito and a fish about his future wife who becomes “First Woman”.

Listener the Otter, and First Woman the mosquito turned fish, both become the first two-legged beings to walk on earth.

From that time on, the earth was good to them and they always listened to Spotted Frog, who everyone knew was the frog who saved the world by singing.

Our family and friends alike have greatly loved this book. First because the story is told brilliantly by Gerald Hausman. It uses simple and concise language while sharing the story in a simple manner. Also part of this storytelling adventure are the exquisite paintings and illustrations of Ramon Shiloh. There is a nice even flow between story and text forming a single cohesive unit of storytelling magic.

wisdom tales

This beautiful book is one we will come to again and again.

Something To Do

Discover the Creek Indians

Knowing very little about the Creek Indians we decided to spend some time on the internet to learn more about them. The Creek Indian Nation is named after the Ocmulgee Creek in Georgia. They originally called themselves Isti or Istichata, but began to identify themselves as Muskogee soon after Europeans arrived.

The Creeks live in the Georgia, Alabama and Florida and are part of the Seminole people. To learn more about them and their culture have a look at these websites.

Native American Facts for Kids

Want to know more Creek Stories and Myths have a look here.

Just like Otter we thought building a raft was a really good idea. We got our inspiration here.

duct tape raft  duct tape raft 2

Duct tape raft 3

We are VERY proud to announce that, for the 3rd year, Wisdom Tales Press is a Platinum Sponsor for the upcoming Multicultural Children’s Book Day!! We are incredibly honored to have them (and our other sponsors-more details to come!) on board to help us spread the word on the importance of getting multicultural books into the hands of young readers. More details on MCCBD 2016 sponsorship can be found HERE.

Wisdom Tales Press

***Some of these links are affiliate links. I was given a copy of this book for review. The opinions expressed are purely my own.

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Follow Valarie Budayr @Jump into a Book’s board Jump Into a Book Kidlit Booklists on Pinterest. Follow Valarie Budayr @Jump into a Book’s board A Year In The Secret Garden on Pinterest.

Do your young readers love nature and all of nature’s critters? Experience the magical story of a family of foxes that took up residence right in the front yard of the author and publisher, Valarie Budayr. The Fox Diaries: The Year the Foxes Came to our Garden offers an enthusiastically educational opportunity to observe this fox family grow and learn together.

The Fox Diaries

From digging and hunting to playing and resting, this diary shares a rare glimpse into the private lives of Momma Rennie and her babies. Come watch as they navigate this wildly dangerous but still wonderful world. Great to share with your children or students, The Fox Diaries speaks to the importance of growing and learning both individually and as a family unit. It is a perfect book for story time or family sharing. Not only can you read about the daily rituals of this marvelous fox family, there is an information-packed resource section at the end of the book that includes lots of facts and even a few “fox movies” that you can enjoy with your family. Grab your copy of this beautiful and inspiring book HERE.

The post The Otter, the Spotted Frog and the Great Flood Book Review & Extension Activity appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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12. An Open Letter to People Who Are Not "Fans" of "Call Out Culture" on Social Media

Dear People Who Are Not "Fans of "Call Out Culture" on Social Media,

Today (October 13, 2015), The Guardian ran an article on Meg Rosoff's "row" over her remarks on Edith Campbell's Facebook page. There, Rosoff wrote that there are thousands of books out there where kids can see themselves. In The Guardian, writer James Dawson said that he disagrees with Rosoff's remark that there are thousands of books, saying there are "numerous" books and that they're hard to find. Then, he said this:  

Just in case you didn't realize it, Mr. Dawson and others who aren't fans of "call out culture," you're asking me to shut up with my critiques of the ways that Native peoples are depicted in children's and young adult books. 

Some of you are like Dawson, and think that buying books by diverse writers is enough. You think the mirrors in those books are enough.

But you forget, don't acknowledge, or maybe you don't even know, that the mirrors that Native kids get in classic, popular, and award-winning books aren't those nice shiny things you have in mind.

Far and away, what Native kids get are fun house mirrors like the ones we see at carnivals, fairs, and theme parks. The ones that take your image and distort it. That make it look funny. Or uber cool. Or scary. Or stupid.

Source: http://www.dianasprinkle.com/2011/12/funhouse/

We have to call out these distortions, and you should, too. Lift books that give kids accurate representations of Native people, but call out the ones that are not ok, too, so that your buds will know those books are not ok. So they won't be put onto those school reading lists.

I'm talking about Ghost Hawk. And Island of the Blue Dolphins. And Little House on the Prairie. And Brother Eagle Sister Sky. And The Education of Little Tree. And Walk On Earth A Stranger. And... I could go on and on and on.

Your silence affirms their existence. Your silence harms what Native kids get, and what non-Native ones "learn" from those distorted images.

Join me. Call out the bad. You're not being a "fan" of call out culture. You're being a person who cares about what kids get in books.

Debbie Reese
American Indians in Children's Literature

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13. How should you paint a maquette?

How should a reference maquette be painted? Here are four options to consider:

The first option is to paint it white, or leave it white, as in the case of this maquette bust of Dinotopia's Arthur Denison, which I sculpted out of Sculpey polymer clay. White is best if you're using it for direct observation, because you can really see the subtle plane changes and the effects of reflected light. 

Gray is the best color for photographing because it tends to stay within the range of the camera's sensor against normal backgrounds. White objects often exceed the sensor's range, leading to clipping. I generally use a matte gray spray primer because it's fast and gets into all the small cracks.

If your maquette has a variety of surfaces and textures, you can paint the maquette to look as real as possible. When you photograph or observe the polychromed surface, a lot of subtle color interactions become apparent. 

This maquette of Waterfall City is made from cardboard, styrofoam, modeling paste and two-part epoxy sculpting compound for the sculptural details. I used acrylic paint for most of it, and metallic enamel for the dome. 

For this one, I just used two colors of acrylic, tan and gray, with the gray stippled on with a big brush. It's made from foam-core board, cardboard, styrofoam eggs, modeling paste, gesso, and two colors of acrylic.

The silver Christmas tree ball provides a record of the entire surrounding light environment, a trick I learned from the world of visual effects, where they always shoot a mirror ball and a gray ball in principle photography to record the lighting information for the digital team in post-production. You need this lighting information to really understand the combined effects of various light sources on any given object in the scene.
The original archway maquette, along with the Arthur Denison and Lee Crabb sculpts are on view at "The Art of James Gurney is an exhibition of about 25 original paintings on the UARTS campus in Philadelphia, through November 16.
Dinotopia: The World Beneath from Amazon

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14. Should we ‘consent’ to oral history?

All of those presidential candidates who promise to change the world on “my first day in office” have a lot to learn about the federal government’s glacial pace. The government does tend to do the right thing, so long as you have the patience to wait a few years (or decades).

The post Should we ‘consent’ to oral history? appeared first on OUPblog.

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15. New Voice & Giveaway: K.C. Maguire on Inside the Palisade

By Cynthia Leitich Smith
for Cynsations

K.C. Maguire is the first-time author of Inside the Palisade (Lodestone, 2015). From the promotional copy:

Omega has grown up surrounded by women – literally.

Inside the palisade, women fall in love, marry and raise daughters, relying on an artificial insemination process known as the Procedure. But something goes horribly wrong.

One day, Omega comes face to face with a mythical monster – a man – within the society’s walls. Men had been eradicated long ago to protect women from the threat of violence. But this boy is not what Omega has been led to believe. And he needs her help.

She soon finds herself embroiled in a manhunt headed by a vigilante Protector, Commander Theta.

When she falls into Theta’s clutches, Omega realizes that there’s more to the banishment of men, and to her own past, than she’s ever known. Ultimately, she is forced to make a choice between betraying the lost boy and betraying her society, a decision complicated by the realization that she has more in common with him than she cares to admit, and the fact that she is developing feelings for him.

Could you tell us about your writing community – your critique group or partner or other sources of emotional and/or professional support.

Because I’ve moved around a lot for my day job in recent years, it’s been a challenge to find a writing community that works for me. Lately, one of the most important sources of support and inspiration has been the amazing VCFA community. I’ve managed to find a network of friends, colleagues, and beta readers who are always there for questions, comments, reads, and general support.

I’m predominantly a YA writer, so I’ve also found writing groups through the regional branches of SCBWI in cities where I’ve lived. I have two amazing groups of writing friends in Houston, TX, one of which is an SCBWI critique group that meets weekly and provides as much friendship and support as thoughtful critiquing. It’s a wonderful mixture of picture book, middle grade, and young adult writers who experiment with different genres and are always willing to read something new. The other is a marketing support group where we experiment with different approaches to cross-promotions of our work whether traditionally, independently, or self-published.

HarperTeen, 2016
As I’m currently living in Ohio, I’ve also been lucky enough to find some wonderful writing friends in the Midwest. North East Ohio is a great place for YA writers many of whom are extremely generous with their time and thoughts. Particular shout-outs here to Cinda Williams Chima and Rebecca Barnhouse!

It’s always a blessing to find new people who “get” your work and your process, and it’s wonderful when you can develop a shorthand way of critiquing with people who are familiar enough with your writing tics to be able to go for the jugular (in a good way) and shake you out of bad habits without pulling their punches. Sometimes people who try to be too kind are not actually doing you a favor. A strong critique partner will be prepared to tell you honestly what you’re doing wrong.

Professional support, friendship, and critiquing are one of the best ways to “pay it forward” in a field like fiction-writing that can feel incredibly isolating and emotional from time to time. Everyone has their good days and their bad days, and it’s important to be available to others and share around the goodwill on your own good days, because someone else is always sure to need to feel the love!

As a science fiction writer, what first attracted you to that literary tradition? Have you been a long-time sci-fi reader?

Other than "Star Wars," "Star Trek" and "Doctor Who" (the original series as well as the reboot), I wasn’t a huge sci-fi fan growing up. I certainly didn’t read sci-fi books. That felt like the dominion of the “male” complement in my family.

It was when I started writing that I became attracted to the genre and began to read anything I could get my hands on both in the YA and adult sci-fi areas. I spent several years reading everything from the more “classic” canon (Asimov, Philip K. Dick, Heinlein, Bradbury, Willis, etc) to some of the more recent writers (Nalo Hopkinson, N.K. Jemison, Ann Aguirre, Karen Lord, John Scalzi).

Margaret Atwood has also written some amazing dystopias in recent years, not to mention her classic The Handmaid’s Tale (McClelland and Stewart, 1985). While many agents and editors talk about the death of the YA dystopian craze since the Hunger Games and Divergent frenzy seems to be playing out, I still feel that dystopian narratives have a lot to tell us.

Emily St. John Mandel’s recent take on a dystopic future after a plague has killed off most of the earth’s population (Station Eleven) is a powerful contemporary musing on the nature of humanity, using a dystopian society in new and unexpected ways to achieve that end.

One of the things I like best about sci-fi is that it’s one of the most effective ways to ask foundational “what if” questions about human nature. Sci-fi writers can pick an element of our world and change it to ask “what would happen if [fill in the blank].”

For example, what would happen if …

a) society was divided into factions based on personality types?

b) criminals were released into the public with their skin stained different colors to denote their crimes?

c) technology became so advanced that we could no longer tell humans apart from androids?

d) the earth become so polluted or over-populated that humans needed to find a new home?

* Bonus points for naming at least one book/story that matches each of these descriptions. Suggested answers below.

The sky is not even a limit with sci-fi. Not only are these kinds of stories fun and engaging (if written well), but they also raise issues about who we are at the most fundamental level.

Taking as an example the popular conceit of humans colonizing another planet, not only can this narrative device play a “what if” role about the future, but it also may give us insights about the past.

What have humans actually done in the past when expanding their territories on earth and encroaching on lands inhabited by others, human and/or non-human?

Ray Bradbury plays this idea out on many levels in The Martian Chronicles, where the colonization of Mars and the Martian-human relationships can stand in for a variety of events that have already taken place within the confines of our own planet.

In my debut sci-fi novel for YA readers, Inside the Palisade, I pose the question: What would happen if men had been banned from society and women reproduced through an artificial insemination procedure using stored genetic material?

K.C. named Omega/Meg after her daughter (shown at the writing desk).
In this all-female society men have been demonized (literally referred to as “demen”) as the cause of a great apocalypse that has brought humanity to the brink of extinction. Teen protagonist (Omega/Meg) comes across a young man who has been hidden within the walls of the city, and he isn’t what she expected. She is forced to question everything she’s been told about the differences between men and women and ultimately learns the truth about why the men were blamed for everything that went wrong.

The men here stand in for the “other.” Because Caucasian men are typically not thought of as an oppressed group in a western society, the set-up is a non-threatening lens through which to confront issues of “difference.” The device can invite readers to think about oppression or victimization of others hopefully without the narrative seeming overly preachy or judgmental. It takes a weird situation that would likely never happen in real life (my “what if”), and use it to encourage readers to think about why we dislike or fear people who are different, why we sometimes think of others as “less than” ourselves.

Good sci-fi gives us the opportunity to turn a real world problem on its head, or at least look at it through a new prism, so we can encourage readers to think about it from a new perspective while telling an engaging and unusual tale in the process. I love all genres and am a very eclectic reader, but I have a special place in my heart for sci-fi because of the amazing perspectives it can bring to us all.

* (a) Divergent by Veronica Roth; (b) When She Woke by Hillary Jordan; (c) Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick; (d) The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury.

Writer cats on the job, so to speak.

Cynsational Giveaway

Enter to win one of three signed copies of Inside the Palisade by K.C. Maguire (Lodestone, 2015). Author sponsored. Eligibility: international.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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16. Teen Programming: Building Teen Futures with Community Partnerships

In our last Teen Programming post, we outlined the importance of outreach and how to integrate it into your programming arsenal. Since “outreach” can translate to a wide range of ideas and actions, narrowing it down will help you take your next step towards effective methods of community engagement. This is where partnerships come in! This, however, opens a whole new can of worms. How does one establish positive community partnerships? How do you ensure that your goals aren’t lost in translation? How do I secure beneficial opportunities for teens through partnerships?

When I first began working in my position, I was immediately overwhelmed by the need my community has for the library and its community organizations. During my first few months, I had grand plans to “do it all” and open up so many more opportunity and learning experiences for my community’s teens. What actually happened was that I got burned out and became discouraged. I realized very quickly that I was not going to be able to accomplish many of my goals alone. I needed support from others who were positioned in the community to help me achieve what needed to be done.

So let’s break it down. YALSA’s Future of Library Services report states that today’s teens need libraries to connect them to other community agencies, but how do you establish these connections? Network, network, network! This may sound simple, but community leaders need to know who you are. Start by attending committee and board meetings to get a sense of the issues and climate of your community. PTO (Parent Teacher Organization) meetings are another community body that is important to engage with as they are directly connected to the teens that your services will affect. Are there task forces or coalitions that are specifically directed at alleviating a specific need? Don’t be hesitant to insert yourself into the community conversation because you have your library’s resources to back you up. As a library representative in the community, you are an integral voice in the larger network of organizations that are committed to improving the lives of teens. Pinpoint individuals whose resources are in line with your goals and begin a dialogue with them.

When starting this dialogue, how do you make sure that your goals don’t get lost in translation? Communication is so important when you are making efforts to partner with an outside agency. Before any communication begins, make sure that you have your goals and plans clearly defined. What is it that you want to accomplish? What role do you see this partnering organization offering? Additionally, offer your resources and begin a dialogue about how this partnership would benefit both organizations mutually.

How do you make sure that your partnerships bring beneficial opportunities to teens? Last month we discussed ways to discover your community through outreach. During this discovery process, locate areas that your community needs more from your library. Is there a group that’s being under-served? Who can help you bridge that gap? A few months ago, I recognized a gap in the services that we were offering. At the time, we had reached out to just about every group of teens to make sure that our programs and services were reaching our diverse teens’ needs. However, we hadn’t reached out to teen survivors of domestic violence. I made a connection with the director of a local organization that acts as a transitional agency for teens and families who are leaving abusive situations. They offer temporary housing, counseling, and resources to help them take control of their futures and I wanted the library to be a part of this transition. My goal in partnering with this organization was to bring enriching programs to the teens at this facility, as they might not have access to these opportunities during this transitional period of their lives. Upon meeting with the director, my goals were clearly defined and I listened as she described how our organization could benefit these teens. We agreed upon a plan and programs were implemented at their location. We also offered books from our collection that we had discarded. We wanted to give the teens that she serves the opportunity to continue reading since many of them were temporarily not in school. This partnership was a simple way of offering integral library services to a new demographic while still connecting to the larger community.

Ultimately, libraries must work with partners to alleviate their community’s needs. Start small, make connections, and be diligent about following through. YALSA’s Futures Report pinpoints the shift that libraries are experiencing in the 21st century. We have gone from quiet, solitary locations that provided relatively uniform services to spaces, both physical and virtual, that offer a broad range of resources that empower teens and grow their skills, interests, and goals. Partnerships are integral to meeting this standard because they allow us to continue to broaden the services we offer, bridge gaps in your community, and build a better future for teens.

What are your partnership success stories? How do you bridge the gap in your community with partnerships?

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17. Orange pumpkins everywhere ...

          Rejected wrap around cover for PICK A CIRCLE,
and below, final front cover.
PICK A CIRCLE, GATHER SQUARES - written by Felicia Sanzari Chernsky, 
illustrated by Susan Swan

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18. 'Living the Weather' in Hebden Bridge

As promised, here is the sketchbook I created on the 2nd day of my residency, drawing the way in which weather conditions effect our life. I started another new concertina book, as I am going to do separate books for the various projects.

This time, I started by recording my journey to Hebden Bridge, as it was one of those annoying occasions, when the temperature seesawed between too hot and too cold. I waited in bright sunshine on Sheffield station, but thick mist enveloped everything, immediately I got underway. Ironically it was cold in the sun, but overheated in the train:

I was met at the other end by Professor Mason, whose research project I am contributing to. She first took me on a tour of Hebden Bridge, scouting out good cafes for the Living the Weather sketchcrawl we are organising for the end of the month. By then the sun was out and things were coming to life, so we settled down with a coffee, and I began by recording a busker with my Koh-i-Noor 'magic' pencil:

He was enjoying the unexpected warmth and the number of punters it was bringing out. It was just like July, sitting sketching in the sun, but then the shade of the building swung round and it was immediately freezing again, so we moved on.

The wildlife by the canal was enjoying the sunshine too. Pigeons were hunkering in an odd way, apparently trying to maximise their contact with the warmed-up cobbles, and geese were pottering about. One sat down and spread its feathers, trying a bit of sunbathing. There was also a man taking advantage of the opportunity to do some work on his canal boat. I managed to capture him too:

We had lunch outside another cafe. It was actually slightly too hot, unbelievable on October 2nd, but there was no way we were going inside! Everyone else had the same idea - the centre of town looked like a weekend, with people in sunglasses pottering about and cramming themselves onto any outdoor seating. At our cafe, someone had a dog. It was trying to laze in the sun, but had fleas, so every couple of minutes it leapt up to bite or scratch itself - not ideal for sketching!

Professor Mason had to leave after lunch, so I found a pavement spot opposite this very typical Hebden Bridge mill. I figured that the weather was implicit in the fact that I was able to sit out comfortably and paint. Also, because it was so sunny, lots of people came up to take a look and say nice things. One man even offered to buy me a glass of wine!

I had a lovely journey home, all because of sketching. On my first leg, the student opposite me was asleep. All the people in the area were watching as I drew him. A little girl got really excited and demanded to draw. At which point he woke up, dug in his rucksack and gave her a bit of paper. I lent her a coloured pencil and she drew me a page of hearts.

On leg 2, I had a beautiful redhead sitting across the aisle. She had no idea I was drawing, but kept really still. Opposite me, a student was also drawing. We got into conversation and he dug out some fabulous sketchbooks from his bag - really gorgeous watercolours of the hills at Edale.

I did these last train drawings on the back of the main sketchbook, as they didn't have anything to do with the weather. In general though, I am only going to draw on the fronts, so we can exhibit the work at the end of the residency.

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19. Happy paperback bookbirthday to Linc!

I've been so busy writing, this kind of snuck up on me: Double Vision: The Alias Men is out in paperback today!

I'm a big fan of paperbacks, as you may know: perfect for the reader on a budget, and now you can buy all three for around twenty bucks. Pretty cool.

Have some virtual cake, all!

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20. MAX AND MARLA Book Birthday

Max and Marla are celebrating their book birthday!!
If you'd like to find out more, you may check out my new website and one more surprise is just around the corner..

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21. Filming of ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ moves to Liverpool

The filming of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them has moved to Liverpool, Mirror reports. According to Mirror’s article St George’s Hall in Liverpool has been screened off with metal fences in preparation for the shoot of the much anticipated Harry Potter prequel.

On 12th of October, 2015 Liverpool Echo exclusively revealed the news about the filming happening in Liverpool, stating:

“Liverpool is the only non-studio location that Warner Bros. Pictures is using for the film, with shooting due to start soon at key city centre locations.”

Since the film is set in 1920s New York, we can deduce that the key city centre locations of Liverpool will stand in for New York. David Heyman, the film’s producer, said:

“The architecture in this beautiful city works perfectly for our film, set in 1920s New York, and I know we will receive a very warm welcome.”

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will be released worldwide in 3D and IMAX on November 18, 2016.

The Pottermore Corespondent also took a trip to visit the set. Revealing details without actually revealing details, the “PMC” talks of what it was like to watch our favorite actors make a scene–well a small sliver of a scene over and over and over again (Take 25!). The PMC’s visit can be read entirely on Pottermore, a little is featured below.


Colin Farrell’s empty chair is right next to me. It is more charismatic than most of us can ever hope to be, this chair.

You know the ones I mean: those black canvas chairs with a name printed in white. All caps. Eddie Redmayne’s and Katherine Waterston’s chairs are sitting unoccupied about 11 me-sized steps away. They’re also surprisingly captivating for furniture.


Colin Farrell walks in – his floor-length black coat whipping at his feet. He’s taller than expected, or is it just his costume playing tricks?

The studio doors heave shut behind him and we’re all in the dark. Someone yells ‘Quiet on set!’ and I stop breathing for at least four minutes straight.

The camera switches on. Action happens.

Now, I can’t tell you exactly what goes down in this scene. Partly because I have no idea what’s going on and partly because it takes so long to get the perfect shot, we’re sitting there 25 minutes while the same frame is done over and over and over. But I do know this much: it’s a very important moment for Newt (Eddie), Tina (Katherine) and Graves (Colin) in New York. Very important indeed.

With perfect precision, Katherine Waterston gently places a significant object on the floor. Colin Farrell arches an eyebrow with extreme meaning. Other exquisitely dressed actors act and react to the same gestures until a fragment of the scene is done.

It’s painstakingly detailed, this film-making business, but beautiful. I could sit here all day and watch Katherine carry her object to the right spot, but it’s time to go.

It’s time to walk the streets of New York in winter, without leaving the UK.

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22. Painting a Blue Wing Fairy

Manelle Oliphant Illustration - Illustrator and Writer

Thrifted Frame

I went to the thrift store and found some fun picture frames. This one is one of my favorites. It’s just so darn cool looking, despite the fact that it’s actually made of plastic. The red velvet was a little worn but some fabric paint took care of that.

Thrifted Picture Frame

Painting The Fairy

Then I took some time and painted this blue wing fairy to fit in the frame. I’m really pleased with the result.


blue wing fairy watercolor painting by Manelle Oliphant.


Here’s a video of my painting process.

Selling the Art

I plan on selling the original art with the frame at a Christmas Gift and Craft show in a few weeks. Hopefully I’ll have some more fun framed art to share with you then as well. In the meantime if you really like this painting you can buy a print of it in my shop. 

Framed blue wing Fairy watercolor painting by Manelle Oliphant


The post Painting a Blue Wing Fairy appeared first on Manelle Oliphant Illustration.

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23. Literary Events This Week: Brandon Stanton of Humans of New York and More

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24. Pisces

"His head is made of stars, but not yet arranged into constellations." - Elias Canetti.

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25. New Project

Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 8.42.08 AMSometimes I get so excited about a project that I forget to post what I am working on. This little girl is named Charlie and she is the main character in a book about cerebral palsy. She has a service dog named Alexander and together they have many adventures. This afternoon I get to observe wheelchair bound children with cerebral palsy. This will help me get the body movements and facial expressions correct. Trimark Press contracted me for this job. What a wonderful way to make a living.


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