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Yes, they really do wear them here. I've been trying to collect random shots to prove it, which is actually rather hard to do as they are usually passing me on the sidewalk and I'm just not that fast with my camera phone. At any rate, I did collect a few. Here's my documentary of my first three months in Scotland, via kilts. The old men and wedding party members in kilts you might expect. I stopped both of these fine gentlemen on the sidewalk and took their pictures with permission. The first was heading to some sort of ceremony at a local, ancient church near Greyfriar's Pub. (I LOVED his bright yellow, purple, and blue - worn with pride!) The second gentleman was on Albany Street near our neighborhood. He was going to a wedding. You see a lot of that here - whole wedding parties wearing formal, matching plaids. It's quite a sight - so handsome! (And if you're really lucky you'll see the horse and carriage too - matching steeds in ostrich feathers - stunning!)
I often see older men in full regalia on what seem like perfectly normal days.
Then there are the average kilt wearers - like Rugby players. These were walking in front of the College of Art on Lady Lawson.
And the random Scottish dude - wearing a kilt because, y'know, he's just Scottish and all that. This one passed me on the sidewalk on the way to school one day on Lothian Road.
I'm sharing these now because the weather has recently taken a turn and legs are obviously getting cold - on the men at least. I'm not seeing as many kilts as I did just a few weeks ago, although I still see plenty of heels and tiny pumps on the women. (How DO they do it!?) At any rate, I do love the kilts. Scottish men have great legs - and it takes a macho dude to make a skirt kilt look sexy. They all work it well. I enjoy the kilts - like this one spotted while heading home towards Broughton one evening.
Stan still says I'll have to bury him in one to ever see him in a kilt, but I'm still working on him...
November is always such a gallop, what with mammo/onco appointments, parent conferences, report cards, 5th grade concert...but lookie there...I took time for a coloring page at The James, a concert at Natalie's, a bonfire, and a bike ride before NCTE, plus a lovely afternoon at the Audubon Metropark as our Black Friday #OptOutside after NCTE. And of course, NCTE was all kinds of loveliness in the middle of all that other craziness!
You can see the images in this mosaic on Flickr here.
Lots of things to recommend that caught my eye in recent days. Have a look:
1. As it is the holiday gift giving season and whether or not you are shopping for yourself or others, I recommend you check out my friend Liz’s blog where she is reviewing not only YA titles but also a lot of mighty fine romances for adult readers. I guarantee you will find some books to buy there (and I second her recommendation of author Tessa Dare).
2. Jenny Davidson’s blog is another I highly recommend. I’ve mentioned it here before but if you haven’t checked it out, please be sure to do so. Not only do you get a ton of great reading recs of all kinds of books, you also gets links to tons of fascinating articles/sites online.
3. Just finished reading Outwitting History: The Amazing Adventures of a Man Who Rescued a Million Yiddish Books and I can not recommend it enough. If you enjoy reading cultural history titles at all, and regardless of whether or not you are Jewish (I’m not), you will find the story of Aaron Lansky and how he tracked down and saved Yiddish books (creating a book center to preserve and share them) to be absolutely riveting. Lansky is a great writer and he combines a ton of anecdotes with a lot of intriguing history around the Yiddish language and how it was developed. Great stuff.
4. This also caught my eye–Baby Birds: An Artist Looks Into the Nest by Julie Zickefoose. This oversized nature book is not due out until April 2016 but an advanced copy came my way and it is one to keep an eye out for if you are a bird lover (or artist). The author digs deep into natural history, references her daily diary and observations and complements the text with some truly lovely full color illustrations of (of course) baby birds.
5. And for Cyber Monday, we have reopened the Book Fair for Ballou High School Library for the day! If you have some time in the midst of your holiday shopping, please take a look at the Ballou wish list and send a book or two their way. Your generosity would be most certainly be very much appreciated.
Sally Ride: a photography of America’s pioneering woman in space
Roaring Brook Press. 2015
I received a copy of this book from the publisher
This review reflects my own opinion and not that of the 2015 Cybils Committee.
The story of Sally Ride is lovingly shared by her friend and life partner, Tam O’Shaughnessy. The two met when
Recently, my hubby and I just got back from vacation. We went on a Caribbean cruise for our 30th Anniversary—a trip that had been on our bucket list for such a long time. We also spent a couple of nights in New Orleans—love the energy and party atmosphere down there! This was also the first long vacation we took together (read: no kids in tow) in twenty-five years. Um, yeah. You read that right. Twenty-five years? That’s like 175 in dog years!
In the past, vacations were usually centered around family. We journeyed to our cottage with our son or camped up north with our daughters. Ah, the good old days of black flies and mosquitoes! That said, when you own a vacation home, you really become popular to family, friends, and long-lost relatives, especially in the hot, summer months. But when it’s time to pull in the boats and docks or put away garden furniture for the colder seasons, you can’t see their butts through the dust. Wink.
My writing seemed to flow with the seasons too. I’d wrap up stories and schedule a pile of blog posts by the end of June in anticipation for school wrapping up, the hot weather, and onslaught of summer guests. Although I loved seeing family and friends, it wasn’t much of a ‘vacation’ for me. You know what I mean. Someone has to cook, clean, fetch drinks, feed the pets, wash the clothes, grocery shop while others are sitting on the dock, sunning themselves with a cold one. By mid-October, I was finally back in my writing groove, working on the next novel, doing research, or picking up where I left off with my story. Oh, and don’t forget about all the book promotion and marketing an author has to do. No wonder many writers burn out!
I believe 2015 was my turnaround year—click HEREto read the full story. Every writer needs a year that shakes up things like one of those snow globes until everything settles and you can see clearly. What I saw was one stressed-out author who barely kept it together. We writers can only do so much. We need down time just as much as a doctor or accountant or a plumber. Vacations are meant to recharge us, take us away from our same old routines. We all need a period of renewal to calm our minds and rejuvenate our bodies. Play time is just as important as work time, even if you can get away for only a few days.
I found it - the 7th Arch of Atlantis!
Since I’ve returned, I feel renewed and relaxed, and certain things don’t bother me as much. I even unplugged from my phone during the entire seven day cruise. Egad! And you know what? Life went on, and the world didn’t stop turning because I wasn’t tweeting or sharing. Being away from my keyboard also gave me a fresher perspective on my work-in-progress too, and I was able sit down with no distractions and make a plan for the rest of the year. I’d forgotten why I started writing in the first place—yes I want to supplement my income (what writer doesn’t?), but also want to follow my dream, and do what makes me happy. And isn’t that why we’re all here on Earth in the first place?
So what about you? Do you have any plans for a vacation in the future? Are you ready to unplug and relax? Would love to hear your comments! Cheers and thank you for reading my blog!
My Crazy Inventions Sketchbook: 50 Awesome Drawing Activities for Young Inventors by Andrew Rae and Lisa Regan is GENIUS! Rae has worked for many clients worldwide in advertising, print, publishing and animation and Regan is an accomplished author of children's non-fiction with over 300 titles to her name. The beauty of My Crazy Inventions Sketchbook is that it is more than a doodle book that will appeal to kids who may have never even considered inventing or designing something. This book is so engaging and inviting that readers will step outside the box or be inspired to step even further out, if they are already creatively inclined. Regan and Rae detail and bring to life a wide array of inventions from hundreds of years ago, like Leonardo daVinci's 1485 design for wings for humans to 21st century craziness like the man in Brazil who built a machine that changes from a van to a robot and back again in about two minutes.
My Crazy Inventions Sketchbook is a great gift for a kid who is a tinkerer, doodler or both, but it is also a gentle guide for kids who might really feel a passion for invention. The "Getting Started" page takes this seriously and tells junior inventors to keep a notebook, always make sure you are not inventing something that already exists and to "learn to let go" when you are the only one who thinks your inventions is a winner.
My Crazy Invention Sketchbook introduces kids to actual inventions, from the useful to the life changing to the ridiculous then invites them to think up their own inventions along the same lines or principals or adapt and improve something that already exists. Inventors can invent something to help them practice their favorite sport, a faster method of long distance travel or ways to make a boat fly. They are invited to invent a toilet, a toy, a brand new candy and a better bed. They are also asked to customize a bike and accessorize a car. Leaning into the less than possible (but hey, who am I to say?) kids are also asked to design a shrinking machine and a device that would help you do your homework.
The final pages of My Crazy Invention Sketchbook introduces readers to the concept of patents and has a two page "Application for Patent of My Crazy Invention" that, while far from the real thing, is a great place for young inventors to organize their thoughts and get them on the page. Finally, a very cool certificate of patent makes up the last page of the book. My Crazy Invention Sketchbook is guaranteed to spark ideas and inspire creativity in any one, of any age, who opens the covers and starts turning pages!
The NCTE Orbis Pictus Award was established in 1989 for promoting and recognizing excellence in the writing of nonfiction for children. The name Orbis Pictus, commemorates the work of Johannes Amos Comenius, Orbis Pictus—The World in Pictures (1657), considered to be the first book actually planned for children. (from the NCTE website)
Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina & New Orleans is a spare, but powerful graphic novel account of the tragedy that befell the City of New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. Don Brown researches and illustrates Drowned City in his usual fashion. It has extensive Source Notes and a corresponding Bibliography. Every direct quote is sourced. The illustrations are serious and in muted colors to accurately convey the gravity of the events; but they are sufficiently vague to spare the individual horror experienced by victims, survivors, and rescuers. As he has done with other topics, Don Brown creates a focused, accurate, and powerful story - suitable for visual learners and for readers in a wide age range.
Other Hurricane Katrina books reviewed on this site:
These flyers have come in from design studio Pomelo & Pomelo who will be at Blue Print II which runs from this Wednesday to Friday, December 2-4 in New York. Following their success from the first Blue Print in May, owner Abby Zweifel set straight to work on new collections to present at the December Blue Print show. Using her signature bright colors and intricate line work, Abby has created
As we celebrate the 27th annual World AIDS Day, it is encouraging to note the most recent trends of worldwide reductions in new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths. However, the gains charted against the “disease that changed everything” are not equally distributed. In fact, the HIV/AIDS crisis has markedly widened gaps of inequality in health and wellbeing the world over.
Julie here! I am so excited to share the second part of a guest post from YA fantasy author Kathy MacMillan. Kathy’s debut novel, Sword and Verse, will be published by HarperTeen/HarperCollins in January 2016. Kathy also has lots of experience working with libraries, and she is back to share her insights with us! This is part two of two, so if you missed it, make sure you check out part one of Kathy’s tips for writers who want to work with libraries!
In part one, we looked at book signings and other programs. But how do you pitch your program to a library?
Showcases: Some state and regional library associations run performer showcases, where local authors and performers who wish to present in libraries can share a brief taste of their programs (usually 10-15 minutes). Participating in a showcase is a great way to put your presentation in front of lots of librarian eyeballs (and sometimes school contacts as well). You will likely be presenting alongside magicians, mad scientists, and naturalists with adorable fuzzy creatures, so share the liveliest parts of your presentation!
No showcases in your area? Consider creating your own! Join forces with other authors, illustrators, or children’s performers and propose a free showcase session for your state or regional library conference. This is a win-win: you get to promote yourself, and the conference gets a free program. And of course, don’t forget to hand out bookmarks, postcards, or brochures with your contact and booking information!
What kind of program?: If you can tie your program into library initiatives, you will make it easier for librarians to say yes to booking you. Some major trends:
Early Literacy: This is not early reading – rather, it is the constellation of skills, such as print awareness, vocabulary knowledge, and the ability to apply real-world knowledge to a text, that prepares children for the tasks of reading and writing. Check out the American Library Association’s page on Early Literacy and Libraries for more information: http://www.ala.org/advocacy/literacy/earlyliteracy
A Word about Meeting Rooms: Library meeting rooms are often available for use by community groups. This can cause some confusion when writing organizations want to hold programs at the library. If you approach the library about “using the meeting room” for a program, you will likely be given the standard community group reservation policies, which often include a ban on selling anything during the program. However, if you approach the library requesting that it sponsor or co-sponsor a program, new doors are opened. When the library sponsors a program, book sales are usually allowed and the event will appear in the library’s publicity.
Partnering with Other Community Organizations: Bring extra value to your program by brainstorming ways to connect with schools, community groups, and local businesses. Erin Hagar, author of Julia Child: An Extraordinary Life in Words and Pictures (Duo Press) had a group of middle school students perform a skit about the famous chef at one of her signings. Find local businesses related to your book’s topic and ask them to help get the word out to their customers about your event, through print or social media. If you are traveling some distance for the event, offer a discount if the librarian helps connect you with local schools willing to host a presentation on the same day. Invite the local independent bookseller to sell books at your program. If you’re not sure where to start in contacting these local groups, ask your librarians – providing those resources is their job, after all!
Swag and Selling Books: The number of books you sell can vary wildly from library to library, and you can’t necessarily judge the effectiveness of the program by the number of books sold. Depending on the location, audience, and timing of your program, the audience may not be in the frame of mind to purchase a book. (Case in point: When my nonfiction book, Little Hands and Big Hands: Children and Adults Signing Together (Huron Street Press) came out, I did a mini-storytime featuring American Sign Language to promote it. In libraries where the program was scheduled in place of the regular weekly storytimes, I sold few books – often the parents would tell me that they hadn’t even brought their wallets, because they were in storytime-attendance mode.)
Make sure you have bookmarks or postcards to hand out to each attendee with information about your book and your website. That way, there is a chance that person may purchase the book later (or at least leave the bookmark on a restroom counter and someone else will see it!)
It’s important to clarify whether books can be sold during the event, and if so, who will be responsible for bringing and selling them. The Friends of the Library may be on hand to sell books, or the library may have a pre-existing relationship with a local independent bookseller.
If the library expects you to handle book sales, bring a friend or family member to handle sales so you can focus on signing, or contact a local bookseller yourself. Don’t forget to account for sales tax, and to report your direct sales as required by your state. The Small Business Association has a handy guide for collecting and reporting sales tax here: https://www.sba.gov/blogs/sales-tax-101-small-business-owners-and-online-retailers
Making the event go smoothly: Communication is key! Confirm the event in writing. If you set up the event with a central coordinator, then call the branch where you will be presenting a day or two before the program and find out who your in-person contact will be. Make sure that person knows when to expect you and has your cell phone number to contact you en route if necessary. This day-before call seems like a small thing, easy to overlook, but it is HUGE for creating rapport with your host and showing your professionalism.
During the event itself, be a good guest. Don’t be a diva, and communicate clearly about what you need for the program to go smoothly. Understand that your host may not be able to stay in the room the entire time because the library is short-staffed, or someone is vomiting in the children’s department, or there is a crisis at the circulation desk. (There’s always an adventure happening in a public library!)
Afterwards, send a thank you note to your host as well as to the contact person. Post pictures from the event on your website and social media and tag the library. (Do not post any photos that show faces of attendees unless you have their written permission!)
Keep a record of the staff you work with at each library, so that, when your next book comes out, you can send a personal note – and perhaps secure another invitation to present!
Other Ways to Connect With Public Libraries
Getting the library to carry your book: Most libraries have centralized Materials Selection specialists who develop the collection based on reviews, the library’s budget, and community needs. Even if your book is published by a major publisher and is reviewed in national journals, it’s a good idea to reach out to your local libraries and let them know that you live in the area.
If your book is published by a smaller press, or if you are self-published, then you may have a tougher time. Libraries rely on review sources such as Booklist, School Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly, and if you don’t have trade reviews to show them, they may not consider purchasing your book. Many libraries have established a process for local authors to submit one or more copies for the materials selectors to review.
Patrons can also request that the library carry certain books, and the more requests the library gets, the more likely it is to purchase the material. Enlist the aid of your supporters to make these requests at their local libraries.
Public libraries can be an author’s best friend! I hope these tips have given you some ideas on how to start connecting with libraries far and near.
Got more tips for working with libraries? Share them in the comments!
KATHY MACMILLAN is a writer, American Sign Language interpreter, librarian, founder of The Sweet Sixteens (www.thesweetsixteens.com) and avowed Hufflepuff. Her debut young adult novel, Sword and Verse, is an epic fantasy that explores questions of power and prejudice. Find her at www.kathymacmillan.com and on Twitter at @kathys_quill.
Another selection to continue November’s celebration of Native American Heritage.
Title: The Chsitams Coat, Memories of My Sioux Childhood
Author: Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve
Illustrator: Ellen Beier
Publisher: Holiday House, 2011
Themes: Christmas, Native Americans, Sioux, generosity, gifts
Awards: American Indian Youth Literature Award
The frigid gale blew sideways across the South … Continue reading →
Yes, Julia Jarman and I have been campaigning to get Kangaroo's CanCan Cafe back in print (Julia has done most of the work to be fair), and the great news is, we succeeded!
Hachette have done a print run of 1000 copies - not many, but if they sell, they have promised more. So, to help keep the cancan alive, you know what you have to do!
Our book was originally published by Orchard Books, but this new edition is being put out by Hodder, publishers of Class Two at the Zoo, Class Three all at Sea and the new Class One Farmyard Fun, which I am working on right now. Both Orchard and Hodder are part of the bigger Hachette and it seemed more streamlined to have all our books under the same umbrella.
I am delighted to have this one back. It's always been one of my favourites for reading aloud in schools. I shall get my feather bower out again and dust off my cancan CD. Let the dancing begin!
As November draws to a close it's hard to believe the final month of 2015 begins tomorrow! There are a lot of fantastic books releasing this month, including NOT IF I SEE YOU FIRST, ALL WE LEFT BEHIND, and VIRTUALLY IN LOVE, of which we are giving away a copy each.
Another French publication gets in on the 'books of the year'-game, with Le Point announcing Notre palmarès des 25 livres de l'année 2015
It's largely made up of the predictable usual suspects: Sansal's 2084 (which will surely be on absolutely every one of these lists), the Houellebecq, prize-winners by Binet, Énard, and de Vigan, etc.
Okay, there's that Boris Johnson, too -- didn't see that coming .....
Read the rest of this post
It was a clear sunny day. The type of day you knew everything was right with the world. Anthony married Pauline and saw his two children brought into in the world on a day just like it. So yes, with all he had done, and all he had seen and experienced; it only seemed right that it would also be a good day die.
When the local newspaper ran the obituary his wife received a notarized letter from the State Department requesting she postpone the funeral. Not understanding the request, but seeing how the letter came from the State Pauline obliged and held off the arrangements. Only Ralph, her son understood what was happening, and Ralph decided it was too early to say anything so he bit his tongue; intent to see how things played out first. Something's were better left unsaid, at least for now.
When the local paper ran a list of Dignitaries who where scheduled to attend the funeral the whole family was more then surprised. What could Anthony have done in his life to attract people of this nature? Why was the president of China, a New York Senator, one of the Cardinals from the Vatican and entrepreneur Richard Logan publicly announcing they were attending the funeral when none of them address the family personally? Pauline couldn’t decide if she was honored or insulted although she was leaning towards insulted. The obituary stated only that he died at 82 years old, born in New York City and ran a small construction company. He left behind his wife Pauline of 57 years and twins, a son Ralph and a daughter Dr. Bella Conte and four grand children. There was nothing about his military service, but that was because as far as Pauline knew Anthony had never served in the military, and so she never added it in when she wrote the obituary. Throughout the week Pauline received phone calls from various high ranking officials stating they were glad to hear Anthony had indeed survived the war and had lived a full life; for they were under the impression he had died years ago in a Korean prison camp. Confused, Pauline insisted they must have the wrong man. Her husband was never in a Korean prison camp, he never even went to war. He had asthma and so he failed the physical at the time of the draft. Still every one of the callers insisted they had the right Anthony and deep down Pauline knew they did because they knew things about him they could not know. Which only made Pauline wondered about her husband. What other secretes did he hide and why did he feel he couldn’t tell her? Call after call was the same. Men and women insisting they knew Anthony during the war; thrilled he had somehow made it home and how they would be honored to come pay their respects to such a man and his family.
(End of Section) By Ralph Di Filippo
I hope you enjoyed this first section of the first draft of my Uncle's Book. This is only the start of the first chapter. As well as working on my own manuscripts I am in the process of helping him edit his work. Please let us know what you think in the comments section. Thanks and Happy Monday- Cynthia
But, here’s the thing. You can ONLY enter if you subscribe to the STACKS Blast Newsletter. So first, you sign up for the newsletter. Then you must wait until December 15 when Hooray! the STACKS Blast will arrive in your e-mail inbox. Hurry up and open it! Inside, you’ll see a special section for the STACKS Giveaway. That’s where you enter. OK? Don’t forget to sign up for the STACKS Blast Newsletter and enter the sweepstakes. Good luck!
Despite promising at the start of his presidency to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, President Obama has yet to exercise the clear independent authority to do so. In a recent Washington Post op-ed, 2009 White House counsel Gregory B. Craig and Cliff Sloan, special envoy for Guantanamo closure 2013 and 2014, urged President Obama to abandon trying to get Congressional approval.
In this fast-moving field, legal academics and legal experts have an important task, now and ahead, in reflecting on how adjudicative processes are accommodating the disruption that climate change inevitably brings to legal systems.
In ampelographic collections, about ten living plants of each grape variety or clone are kept alive for future studies or plantings, which requires a large amount of time and money. Yet, in every collection we estimate an average of 5% of labelling errors. They can now be identified with DNA profiling and duplicates can be eliminated, thus saving time and money.
Garrett Oliver, the Brewmaster of the Brooklyn Brewery, weaves a nostalgic memory of food in his childhood in his foreword to the upcoming book, Savoring Gotham: A Food Lover's Companion to New York City, edited by Andrew F. Smith.
Designer Jessica Wilde joined Not on the High Street earlier this year and has been busy developing a range which includes cushions, art prints, notebooks, gift cards and handmade jewellery. Featuring bright botanicals and quirky creatures Jessica took her inspiration from rural Shropshire and her hometown of Shrewsbury where her studio is currently based. The products - including these