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Viewing: Blog Posts from All 1547 Blogs, dated 4/12/2012 [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 234
1. Who's been colouring my drawings?


I was about to colour my drawing, but HELLO, looks like someone beat me to it... with her MARKERS!!!

As much as I'm enjoying the sleep-ins and hanging in my pjs 'till lunch time, I'm pleased it's back to school on Monday.


My first drawings are usually not the best, so most of my rejects go to the kids to colour in anyway. On the occasion, a good one gets coloured in markers. This is 'Take Six' of Lucy and her talking beaver friend. Can never get enough drawing practise I suppose. I'm hoping to colour it next week, when my pesky kids are back at school. Although, I have enjoyed our little baking and drawing sessions together. Kids are great company when they're not fighting, screaming, whining or colouring your originals.

I told my daughter her colouring was wonderful—so wonderful—I'm going to post it on my blog. She doesn't know what a blog is, but she seemed pretty pleased.

6 Comments on Who's been colouring my drawings?, last added: 4/13/2012
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2. querulous

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for April 13, 2012 is:

querulous • \KWAIR-yuh-lus\  • adjective
1 : habitually complaining 2 : fretful, whining

Examples:
“Are we there yet?” asked a querulous voice from the back seat of the car.

"In his personal affairs [Joseph] Roth is querulous here to the point of annoyance. He complains about everything: his health, his squabbles with editors, the shabby hotels where he lived, the bad translations of his work, his problems with women and, most of all, his unending financial woes, some of them self-inflicted by the penchant for drink that contributed to his early death." — From a book review by Larry Rohter in the New York Times, March 4, 2012

Did you know?
English speakers have tagged fearful whiners "querulous" since late medieval times. The Middle English form of the word, "querelose," was an adaptation of the Latin adjective, "querulus," which in turn evolved from the Latin verb "queri," meaning "to complain." "Queri" is also an ancestor of the English words "quarrel" and "quarrelsome," but it isn't an ancestor of the noun "query" (meaning "question"). No need to complain that we're being coy; we're happy to let you know that "query" descends from the Latin verb "quaerere," meaning "to ask."

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3. C2E2012: Getting Around McCormick Place

.

2012 04 12 07.46.59 200x266 C2E2012: Getting Around McCormick PlaceOkay… you’ve made it to McCormick Place for C2E2!  You’re staring at the big red sign, and quivering with anticipation!

Head up the stairs.  You’ll be on the second level.  There’s another staircase of similar grandeur which will take you to the third level.  There will be signage directing you… you want to head to Hall B1.  (Yes, it’s on the Third Floor.  B is the Hall, 1 is the hall in front of B2, where the Artist Alley is located.)  B1 is the main show floor.  Registration is located right up front, the “stockyards” (the queue hall) is to the left, everything else will be front and center.

Once you’ve got your credentials, you’re set to explore!

Remember when you entered the convention center?  See the picture to the left?  On the left side is the entrance to the Hyatt Hotel (site of the CBR Bar), as well as the coat check.  On the right is the main concierge desk.  They can answer almost any question!  If you head to the right, past that desk, you’ll discover all the stuff on the first level of the South Building.  Most importantly, that’s where the hotel shuttles are located.  The Grand Ballroom is the IGN Theater.  Quidditch is at S103.  The Press Office and Programming Office are also located right behind the ballroom.  Underneath the two massive escalators which rise to the Third Level (closed) are vending machines.  The rest of that huge hallway is mostly empty, so it’s a good place to escape from the crowds.  Lots of restrooms as well. Ignore the signs which suggest a path to the panel rooms on the Fourth Floor.   The doors are locked when the South Hall is not in use.

S level 1 C2E2012: Getting Around McCormick Place

Panels?  Most of them are located up on the Fourth Floor.  Keep walking towards the Lakeside Pavilion (where C2E2 2010 was held) via the Grand Concourse, on your right will be the staircase and escalator to the Fourth Floor.

S level 4b C2E2012: Getting Around McCormick Place

North is to the left

This is the fourth floor of the North Building (on the left) and the South Building (on the right).  There are two bridges over the concourse below.  The only staircase/escalator is located near the eastern bridge.  If you wander westward to that other bridge, the only safe way down is one of the elevators, which can be crowded.  It’s a long walk back to the escalator.   Need to figure out the scale?  See those little boxes with X’s in them?  Those are elevators, and hold about ten people.  You can also see the escalators (

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4. Nim's Island e-Activity & Cookbook

A while ago I posted on FaceBook a picture of a Nim's Island cookbook, that a school had made me. There was so much interest that I decided to make a proper Nim's Island Activity and Cookbook, in an ebook as my project for  the Australian National Year of Reading 2012. And what could be better than to raise funds at the same time, for a cause I believe in passionately?

Well, the paperwork to make me an official fundraiser for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation is now all done, and I'm ready to start.

I say 'I'... but I'd love some help. Over the years, many people have blogged about activities they've done with Nim's Island, or written to me with links to videos of school projects. I would love to include some of these, as well as recipes – anything inspired by Nim's Island, or Nim at Sea.

Contributors will receive a copy of the ebook, and of course their contribution will be credited to them. Burpengarry School, who started the whole idea, has asked that for privacy reasons I simply credit the class instead of the individual children, and I think this is an excellent idea for any classes who would like to send something in.

If you're sending a recipe, please make sure that you have the right to enter it, and that you're not breaking someone else's copyright. (That means, please don't copy it straight out of a recipe book or cooking site).

With your help, we should be able to earn some money to help more people enjoy books and reading!
You can email me at wendyorr1(at)mac.com





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5. Growing and Changing...

There wasn't as much time to work today as I had an art class to teach and we're getting ready to go out of town again.  What I did do today was focus on panel #4 and some changes that I wanted to make. 

Figures are about 1 foot taller than before

The first thing that was bothering me was the scale of the toasting figures.  I like to sit back and observe (analyze) what's in front of me - what I've done and what I have yet to do.  The figures looked fine in the smaller proposal painting, but something didn't seem quite right on the full-size panels.  They seemed kind of wimpy and small.  I felt that they needed to be more of a presence in that panel.  So, part of today's work involved "growing" the figures.  Since I didn't have any mushrooms from Wonderland, I had to redraw them, adding about a foot to their height.  I think it was a good call.

In my original design, the grapes were dark purple (like Concord grapes) and green.  But, with all of the green leaves and veggies, I decided to change the green grapes to red.  This required a field trip to the produce department at the grocery store to study the color of red grapes.  Upon close inspection, there are a lot of colors happening in red grapes - purple, reddish purple, and even green.  I've mixed some color options but, they're not quite right...yet.  So, know that what you see is NOT what you will get.

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6. Ernelia Choker by Nocturne Handcrafts - Close 2 Home Etsy Feature

Store Feature - NocturneHandcrafts - http://www.etsy.com/shop/NocturneHandcrafts

About -
Hi everyone! We Kathy & Aris, we are a couple and we run together the Etsy shop. We are 20 and 26 years old respectively and we live in Athens, Greece.
We started in 2010 making jewelry and sell them locally until in 2011 we found Etsy.com and started our shop.

It all started as a hobby and Kathy's passion for gothic jewelry. Most of our jewelry are gothic/victorian style-oriented because we both adorn gothic culture.  Our favorite kind of jewelry is the metallic ones we make because there are endless possibilities and imagination goes wild!

The product featured is our newest design from this category - a necklace/choker named "Ernelia".


A majestic metal choker featuring a red rose cameo on the center. It is accompanied by three red tear drops and wonderful filigree designs.

Support Homemade - It is available for sale in our shop and soon we will make it with different colors.

Thanks for taking time to read this product feature and remember to heart or bookmark our shop if you like our creations!

Kathy & Aris


Have your etsy/home business shop featured here in our Close2Home Friday Weekly Feature!
Clode2Home Fridays

This post is written by the Etsy Shop Owner as part of my Close to Home Feature.  I received nothing for this post. 




3 Comments on Ernelia Choker by Nocturne Handcrafts - Close 2 Home Etsy Feature, last added: 4/16/2012
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7. Lucrecia Guerrero Wins Premio Aztlán

Melinda Palacio

Lucrecia Guerrero


Lucrecia Guerrero won the 2012 Premio Aztlán for her second book, Tree of Sighs.

The humble author from Indiana says she has mixed feelings about competition and awards for authors. “I don’t like to feel like I’m competing,” she said, “but there are people out there who aren’t willing to hear new writers. Winning the prize gives you more gravitas and credibility to your writing. It shouldn’t be that way, but that’s how it happens.” Guerrero considers herself lucky for having won the prize and is looking forward to traveling to Albuquerque to read at the National Latino Writers Conference, May 16-19, 2012.

While the Premio Aztlán Literary Prize and National Latino Writers Conference focus on Latino themes, Guerrero says she is grateful that the organization exists to help Latino authors. However, she looks forward to the day when having a prize, specifically for Latinos, is no longer necessary.

“People see Latino writing as foreign. We still need extra support from each other. I’ve been in writing groups where I am the only Latina. It takes a while to understand that our stories are about people. Latino writers from the US are American. You can see that in the writing.”

The Premio Aztlán Literary Prize isn’t the first award for Tree of Sighs (Bilingual Press 2011). The novel was also awarded the Christopher Isherwood book in progress award. Tree of Sighs may have more awards lined up in its future. The novel is also Guerrero’s second book. Her first book, Chasing Shadows (Chronical Books, 2000), was also highly acclaimed. She is currently working on a new collection of linked stories, which just might turn into a novel. She recently finished reading The Book of Want by La Bloga’s Daniel Olivas.

Lucrecia Guerrero will receive her prize at the National Latino Writers Conference May 17-19th, 2012. Faculty for the 10th anniversary conference includes Jimmy Santiago Baca, Kathryn Cordova, Cristina Garcia, Rigoberto Gonzalez, Vincent Gutierrez, Tim Hernandez, Nicolas Kanellos, Gary Keller, Demetria Martinez, Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez and other. La Bloga’s Michael Sedano will be on hand offering free coaching for writers who want to spruce up their reading skills.


This weekend Poetry Month events abound:
In Los Angeles. PALABRA present Rigoberto Gonzalez who will be reading from his newest poetry volume, Black Blossoms, at The REDCAT lounge, Sunday April 15 at 2pm, 631 W. 2nd Street at Hope in the Disney Concert Hall Complex.

Over in Santa Barbara, Melinda Palacio will host Taxing Your Titanic, a celebration of poetry month by the Santa Barbara Sunday Poets at the Karpeles Manuscript Museum, 21 W Anapamu Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101 at noon, free admission and reception.

Next Weekend: Festivals
The Los Angeles Times Festival, April 21-22, 2012 at USC. Tia Chucha Press will have a presence at the Smokin' Hot Indie Lit Lounge on Sunday from 11:45 to 1:30 pm.

The Border Book Festival, The Shamanic Journey in Mesilla, NM, April 20-April 22.

ART Event for Earth Day: Love Letter to the Earth
with art by Margaret Garc

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8. 5Q Poet Interview Series: Carol-Ann Hoyte and Heidi Bee Roemer

Our 5Q Poet Interview series for National Poetry Month continues with this interview with Carol-Ann Hoyte and Heidi Bee Roemer about their new book, And the Crowd Goes Wild!: A Global Gathering of Sports Poems. Graduate student Abby Hancock offers this interview (plus).


About the Editors
Carol-Ann Hoyte is a “Canadian of Barbadian parentage and Guyanese heritage (Anansesem). She served as the Quebec regional coordinator for TD Canadian Children’s Book Week from 2002 to 2011 and first emerged as a children’s poet in 2008. She is an assistant librarian at an all boys’ private school in Montreal, Quebec, Canada (Anansesem). She has studied poetry under Laura Purdie Salas and Heidi Bee Roemer, her co-editor for And the Crowd Goes Wild. She has been featured in several publications including Stories for Children Magazine and Highlights for Children (SCBWI Canada East).

Heidi Bee Roemer considers her job, a children’s author, the best in the world. In her own words, she says she considers herself lucky because her “’job is to read books, play with words, write poems, and tell stories” (Heidi Bee Roemer). Heidi found a love for books at an early age when she would do various jobs around the house in order to earn money to buy books. She later rediscovered this love for children’s literature when she had her own children and decided to make writing for children her focus. She has authored four books to date, has been included in several anthologies, even some compiled by Lee Bennett Hopkins, and sold many stories, poems, and articles to different children’s magazines (Heidi Bee Roemer). In addition to these accomplishments, Heidi also offers workshops to writers and is an instructor for the Institute of Children’s Literature.

Heidi Bee Roemer’s Website
http://heidibroemer.com/

And the Crowd Goes Wild!: A Global Gathering of Sports Poems Summary
And the Crowd Goes Wild is a compilation of forty sports-themed poems from various authors around the world, edited by Carol-Ann Hoyte and Heidi Bee Roemer. Sports covered in the poems include bowling, baseball, polo, ping-pong, and many more. Many different poetic forms are featured, including acrostic, haiku, riddles, and palindrome. The poems vary in subject and theme, from those that “pay tribute to an athlete’s determination, agony, and exhilaration, those that focus on the emotions of sports

7 Comments on 5Q Poet Interview Series: Carol-Ann Hoyte and Heidi Bee Roemer, last added: 4/14/2012
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9. Fiction for Junior Readers

Its been a slow start to the year but we are now back on track with some delightful new fiction titles that appeared late last year and early this year. these are wonderul reads.


Selby Sprung Duncan Ball (HarperCollins)
A book about a dog that can talk? Well that can only mean one thing – there is a new Selby book and here it is. For quite a while kids all over the country have been enjoying the exploits of Selby the talking dog and this new book continues his wonderful adventures. He has had many close shaves keeping his talkative nature a secret from the world but with this new Selby adventure his number could be up. The world’s richest man, Evil Genius, who Selby has encountered before, is on a mission, at whatever it costs and his company already owes billions of dollars, to get that dog! With thousands of agents compbing Australia – wide in search of Selby maybe this will be it!
But in the meantime Selby is hurled out of the world’s only sky-writing embroidery aeroplane to what should be certain death, he encounters Vampires that invade his peaceful town, and he is captured by a Shark Man on Death Island.

The 13-Storey Treehouse Andy Griffiths &Terry Denton (PanMacmillan)
For young readers who are ready for laughter and giggles and the comic cleverness of these literary funsters then this is the title to grab.
Andy and Terry, two new characters who just happen to have the same name as the creators of this book (even the likeness of the characters in the illustrations is remarkable) live in a tree hours that is 13 storeys high. It comes bowling alley, see-through swimming pool, a tank full of sharks, a library full of comics, a secret underground laboratory, a games room, self-making beds, vines you can swing on, a vegetable vaporiser and a marshmallow machine that follows you around and automatically shoots your favourite flavoured marshmallows into your mouth whenever it discerns you're hungry. And in this treehouse is where they now create th

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10. TEDxCollegeHill, April 19

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11. Independent Foreign Fiction Prize shortlist

       Another day, another international fiction prize shortlist: they've now announced the shortlist for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2012.
       The only title that is also a Best Translated Book Award finalist is New Finnish Grammar by Diego Marani -- does that make it a favorite ?
       (None of the other shortlisted titles are under review at the complete review yet -- though there is a review-overview of the inexplicably shortlisted The Prague Cemetery by Umberto Eco.)

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12. John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowships

       The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation has announced its 181 Fellows for 2012. Quite a few literary fellows, but amazingly there are more of my high school classmates (one) among the Fellows than authors under review at the complete review (zero).
       There are two translation Fellows -- Damion Searls and Richard Sieburth.
       Disappointingly, the information at the site offers more biographical information about each Fellow than information about their projects, which would surely be more interesting.

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13. Publishing in ... Saudi Arabia

       In Al-Arabiya Khaled Al-Shaei reports that Saudi writers publish abroad to escape censorship -- though there are also complaints that:

Many writers are only after more sales and use the censorship issue only for more propaganda even of the book faced no problems in the kingdom.

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14. Prague Writers' Festival

       The Prague Writers' Festival runs 14-18 April; among the featured authors: Juan Goytisolo, Tirza-author Arnon Grunberg, and Case Closed-author Patrik Ouředník.
       At Radio Praha Sarah Borufka has a brief Q & A with festival president Michael March, 22nd edition of Prague Writers' Festival brings international literature greats like Hanif Kureishi to Czech capital.

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15. Nadine Gordimer profile

       In The Telegraph Justin Cartwright has a profile of Nobel laureate Nadine Gordimer: 'I have failed at many things, but I have never been afraid'.

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16. Yearning to be a bold girl - an appreciation of Fire & Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones

This is the cover illustration of my [very tattered] copy of Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones. I have had my copy for fifteen years, since I purchased it used at Gulliver's Books, my then place of employment, in Fairbanks. (Gulliver's is still open and still the farthest north independent bookstore in the US.)

Fire and Hemlock is one of my favorite books of all time and I was thrilled when I learned that it would be reissued this month along with two other DWJ classics. (In celebration of their return, I reviewed F&H in my current column at Bookslut.) As much as I am happy that a whole new generation of readers will be discovering these shiny new editions however (with intros including one by Garth Nix for F&H), my excitement about Fire and Hemlock is much more personal. Once upon a time I decided to take a chance and be brave about the rest of my life. Fire and Hemlock is the book I read just at that moment and DWJ is the author who made me believe - when I really needed to - that being brave was the right thing to do.

I found my copy of the book when I was shelving a ton of recently arrived paperbacks in the used book section. The cover is, well, it's pretty striking, right? It was the description on the back though that made me plunk down the $1 to take it home. How do you resist this:

Polly struggled with her own childhood memories. Memories that reached beyond the familiar walls of her home, beyond logic or imagination. Visions of fire, of hemlock, of an old mansion and an eerie funeral procession clouded her thoughts and lured her into the dark heart of an elusive other world. A world where childhood fantasies had become all too real. Where an evil woman regal as a queen had trapped a man in her spell. And where Polly alone held the key to his freedom from the seductive web of....Fire and Hemlock.

Well I had to find out what the heck was going on with Polly!

From the very first pages it is clear that our nineteen year-old heroine, packing up for another year of college, has forgotten some critical parts of her childhood. Everything in her past seems normal, bland, predictable - nothing to suggest she has something to forget. She lives with her grandmother because her divorced parents are each a bit of a disaster. Her boyfriend, Seb, is entirely acceptable if a little smug and her future is bright if a bit pedestrian. There is nothing remarkable about Polly, except what she is starting to remember that she has forgotten and very quickly those memories prove to be startling, strange and everything anyone who ever yearned for adventure could want from a life. (Whew!)

I loved Polly. No, wait - I LOVE Polly.

She is Nancy Drew and Harriet the Spy and stubborn in the best way that Mary Lennox could be. She had moments of Buffy-like toughness and Rory Gilmore-like steadfastness and she is Meg Murray when she faces down IT. Polly strays where she should not, peeks in at what she shouldn't see and listens at doorways and notices things. She crashes a funeral in her Harriet the Spy moment and that sets her on a path with a musician named Thomas Lynn. Her conversation with him brings his complicated and dangerous associations into her life and little by little, over the years, she and Mr. Lynn become great friends (even though they meet when she is a child). It is clear that something bad is coming after Mr. Lynn and Polly finds herself in the midst of it all. What happens to him, and how she ends up forgetti

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17. Free Fall Friday – John Cusick

I am happy to announce that Agent John Cusick of the Scott Treimel NY Literary Agency has agreed to critique four first pages that are submitted for the First Page Picture Prompt for the month of April.

Besides being a great agent, John is also a great author.  If you haven’t read Girl Parts, you should.  I know everyone’s taste are different, but I totally loved it.  I thought it was well-written, very creative, clever, dramatic, and fun.

Want to meet John? He is part of this year’s New Jersey SCBWI June 8 -9 Conference in Princeton, NJ.

He is doing critiques and conducting two popular workshops:

Bad Guys Have More Fun: Villians, Antagonists, Anti-heroes

There’s a Whole Universe Out There: World Building 

 www.regonline.com/njscbwi2012conference  Don’t miss out!

Here is the picture prompt you should use to inspire your first page.

It is by illustrator Joanne Friar: http://www.joannefriar.blogspot.com/ I think her illustration gives you lots of room to let your imagination soar.

WRITERS: Deadline to submit is April 22nd.

Please attach your double spaced, 12 point font, 23 line first page to an e-mail and send it to kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com. Also cut and paste it into the body of the e-mail. Put “April 22nd First Page Prompt” in the subject line.

ILLUSTRATORS: Here is your chance to show off a little. I am looking for illustrations that celebrtes the month of April. This gives you a lot of leeway. I may post some as they come in during the, but I will definitely post all on April 30th, so I need to receive your illustrations no later than April 24th. Please make sure the illustration is at least 500 pixels wide and includes a blurb about you and a link to see more of your work. Please send it to kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com and put “April Illustration” in the subject box.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Agent, Writer's Prompt, writing excercise Tagged: Agent, Critique, Joanne Friar, John Cusick, Looking for Illustrations, Scott Treimel Literary Agency
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18. Free Fall Friday – John Cusick

I am happy to announce that Agent John Cusick of the Scott Treimel NY Literary Agency has agreed to critique four first pages that are submitted for the First Page Picture Prompt for the month of April.

Besides being a great agent, John is also a great author.  If you haven’t read Girl Parts, you should.  I know everyone’s taste are different, but I totally loved it.  I thought it was well-written, very creative, clever, dramatic, and fun.

Want to meet John? He is part of this year’s New Jersey SCBWI June 8 -9 Conference in Princeton, NJ.

He is doing critiques and conducting two popular workshops:

Bad Guys Have More Fun: Villians, Antagonists, Anti-heroes

There’s a Whole Universe Out There: World Building 

 www.regonline.com/njscbwi2012conference  Don’t miss out!

Here is the picture prompt you should use to inspire your first page.

It is by illustrator Joanne Friar: http://www.joannefriar.blogspot.com/ I think her illustration gives you lots of room to let your imagination soar.

WRITERS: Deadline to submit is April 22nd.

Please attach your double spaced, 12 point font, 23 line first page to an e-mail and send it to kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com. Also cut and paste it into the body of the e-mail. Put “April 22nd First Page Prompt” in the subject line.

ILLUSTRATORS: Here is your chance to show off a little. I am looking for illustrations that celebrtes the month of April. This gives you a lot of leeway. I may post some as they come in during the, but I will definitely post all on April 30th, so I need to receive your illustrations no later than April 24th. Please make sure the illustration is at least 500 pixels wide and includes a blurb about you and a link to see more of your work. Please send it to kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com and put “April Illustration” in the subject box.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Agent, Writer's Prompt, writing excercise Tagged: Agent, Critique, Joanne Friar, John Cusick, Looking for Illustrations, Scott Treimel Literary Agency 
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19. Clean Fantasy Romances for Growing Girls

For years, I waited for my kids to be old enough to appreciate The Princess Academy by Shannon Hale. I would pull it off the shelf now and then and consider it for our next read-aloud, but the right time hadn't arrived.

Until recently. We just finished reading this wonderful book last week.



My patience paid off. Both Bubs (8) and Welly-Bells (6) thoroughly enjoyed it, but Welly was absolutely triumphant as the sweet little romance wrapped up. Giddy even.  :) She pranced around a lot and giggled a little...and I thought, Oh Boy! My little girl is growing up.


I told her that she comes from a long line of love. Couples that are madly in love for life and beyond.

I certainly haven't grown out of sweet little romances like The Princess Academy. I'm still a sucker for a good, clean fairy tale.

That got me thinking about all the other wonderful fantasy romances that I'll be able to share with her over the years. Can't wait!

Gail Carson Levine's:


Ella Enchanted


and Fairest


Shannon Hale's:

Book of a Thousand Days


and Goose Girl series
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20. Beach bums

Last week we got some well deserved relaxation at Perdido Key beach over spring break. Some sketches from the trip... I felt the return of a tiny bit of that 5 o'clock feeling just scanning these in:

Fry and Sprout building sand castles

Sprout mesmerized by the waves

Fry scooping up a sandcastle

















































Sprout loved chasing seagulls. They did not love it back.

















Then came the dreaded.... the horrifying..... the Thing Which No Parent Will Speak Of Favorably.

It....

It was.....

It was the nine hour drive home.


Fortunately we survived thanks to cheap electronic bribery... er.. I mean, modern technology:

Sprout zoned out with earbuds watching a DVD























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21. Who are your mentors?

I’ve been preparing for the graduate course, “Children’s Literature in Teaching Writing,”  I’m teaching in June every time my daughter goes down for a nap, heads to sleep, etc.  I read through a… Read More

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22. Writing a True Story About Something That Never Happened
















The sinking of the Titanic was a heart-breaking disaster that the public couldn't -- still can't -- get enough of. This week, The New York Times has published a number of stories about Titanic coverage one hundred years ago. In 1912, The Times printed special sections of news articles and first-person stories, fueled by competition with The Evening World, and managing editor Carr Van Anda is credited with inventing disaster coverage because of the special section of articles and features the Times put out.
This past Tuesday's Times told of the competition between the Times and The Evening World to get the story of a reporter aboard the rescue ship, Carpathia. The leading papers hired tugboats that raced out to meet Carpathia as she steamed into New York; as the World's tugboat edged alongside, the reporter tossed a bundle into editor Charles E. Chapin's arms. SCOOP!
I learned a bit about the nature of the journalism surrounding the Titanic a few months ago when I began working on a new Humanimal Doodle for the Titanic-themed issue of Odyssey. I began by searching for a Titanic story with an animal in it. There were some pets aboard -- pampered pedigree dogs and cats, of course -- and rats, no doubt. And then there was Rigel.
Rigel (who shared a name with the dog star, which shone that fated night) went overboard along with the lifeboats, and stayed close to one, doing his doggy-paddle. People in the boat called encouragement to him, until, hours after the Titanic went down, they grew too cold to call out to anyone -- including Carpathia sailors searching the dark waters. But Rigel lifted his sodden furry head and barked back, and was credited for saving a boatload of people.
It's a wonderful story that is found among Titanic histories, on the American Kennel Club's Newfoundland breed site, and among collected stories about heroic dogs. But it isn't true. Entirely fictional, according to the experts. So, rather than digging up more of the Rigel story, I was left with the choice of ditching it completely. Instead, I decided to research how Rigel's story had endured for 100 years.
Titanic historian Tim Maltin filled me in on the public hunger for Titanic stories, and the do-or-die attitude of many so-called journalists of the day. Tim started with the scene in the Titanic film that shows the ship's kennel being broken open. "This is based on the fact that there was a cage for passengers' pet dogs on the deck," -- a cage that must have been broken open during the sinking. "A week later, First Class Passenger Johanna Stunke , traveling on the Bremen from New York to Europe, looked over the rail as they were passing through Titanic's wreck site and saw the body of a woman in a nightgown, d

2 Comments on Writing a True Story About Something That Never Happened, last added: 4/13/2012
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23. C2E2012: Transportation

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The Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, also known as C2E2, is set to begin Friday!  If you’ll be attending, here are some helpful hints on how to make your way to the North Building of McCormick Place!

Just so there is no confusion (at least from this website)…

C2E2 has changed locations once again at McCormick Place!  There are four buildings, and this year, C2E2 is in the NORTH Building (directly east of the Hyatt).

First, here’s the official link to Reed Pop’s info!  That includes car, taxi, train, and plane!  (I assume those using less traditional methods such as flight rings or rocket boots should approach low from the east over Lake Michigan–to avoid triggering area radar–and enter the convention center from the Lakeside Center.)

McCormick Place’s official directions page is here.

800px Soldier Field1 C2E2012: TransportationIf you’re using Google maps (or other map software), McCormick Place is located near the juncture of the Stevenson Expressway (I-55) and Lake Shore Drive (Highway 41).  If looking at a bird’s-eye-view of the city, follow the lake shore south until you hit the Shedd Aquarium and Northerly Island Park, which juts into the Lake.  Soldier Field is the other landmark there… it’s the building that looks like a UFO crashed on top of a stadium.  McCormick Place is south of the park, at approximately 23rd Street.  Or follow Interstate 55 east until you hit the Lake.  McCormick is directly north.

Here are a few tips on traveling to and from the C2E2 convention at McCormick Place.

c2e2 2011 poster 1119101 192x300 C2E2012: Transportation1)  The train (Metra). This is Chicago’s commuter train line.  The line you want to take is the Metra Electric line to McCormick Place.  If leaving from Millennium Park, the cost is $2.75.  HOWEVER, this is a commuter train, and runs less frequently on the weekends.  Also, on the weekends, McCormick Place is a FLAGGED stop; the train only stops if there are people on the platform, or if you notify the conductor ahead of time.  On the weekend, trains leave about every ninety minutes.  Metra does offer a weekend pass.

The platform is a bit spooky (the center is built over the platform), but walk northwards to the stairs, which will lead you directly to the Convention center.  When you enter the Center, turn left, and walk to the North Building.

Nice, but not convenient.  Info here.

If you’re a Green Lantern fan, you can replicate last year’s C2E2 poster at the Cloud Gate (AKA “The Bean”) located in Millenn

4 Comments on C2E2012: Transportation, last added: 4/13/2012
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24. Face-Lift 1018


Guess the Plot


Shadows in the Forest

1. Hiking in the forest, Ami finds a box of trinkets. Could each of them be a trophy from some killer's thirty-year murder spree? She thinks so. But can she avoid becoming the killer's next victim?

2. TV talking heads say people can’t see the forest for the trees. Nick figures it’s because the canopy creates shadows. So he strings lights in the forest to eliminate them. It irritates nocturnal creatures so much they kill hundreds of people.

3. Attempting to determine whether a tree falling in the forest with no one around makes a sound, philosopher August Pendragon sets up microphones and cameras and waits for a tree to fall. She never actually catches a falling tree on film, but does discover that trees in the forest have no shadows when no one's around.

4. When the body of former Disney kiddie star - turned - singer Amber Wallenski turns up in the trunk of a rental car, homicide detective Zack Martinez knows two things: She didn't get that poison oak rash in a recording studio, and maybe he really needs to talk his youngest daughter out of a Disney singing career.

5. In the great coast redwood forests lives a secret: a society of faeries, who have the chameleon-like ability to blend with their surroundings. When 13-year-old Kai catches DaNaShi in a bird feeder, will their world be exploited--or will he have the best Science Fair exhibit ever?

6. Midnight. Judy the Psychic gets contacted by two kids lost in a forest, being followed by something that makes a big shadow and growls and noisily gnashes its teeth. Maybe a bear. All her kindly henchmen are asleep so Judy sends an evil elf to the rescue.



Original Version

Dear Evil Editor,

With a typhoon raging overhead and a killer somewhere nearby, bound and beaten Ami Sato's certain of only one thing: she must survive.

To recuperate [Whoa. Is she still bound? Is the killer still nearby? What about the typhoon? Doesn't she have to escape from her hopeless predicament before she starts recuperating?] and get her head straight, Ami decides to spend the spring renting a remote cabin in Japan's countryside. [It's a decision she'll be acting on as soon as she manages to untie these ropes.] Here, she forces herself to confront [she confronts] the mistakes she's made in her life. [For instance, wandering alone in the Forest of Typhoons and Serial Killers.] While hiking in the woods, she finds a hidden antique, wooden box of trinkets. One item, a pendant with a name inscribed on the back, catches her eye.

With that pendant and the help of a friend, [How remote can this cabin be if she has a friend nearby?] Ami discovers a [an] unsettling pattern of murders in the area spanning thirty years, souls trapped between life and death, and just how strong her will to live really is. She must overcome her own inner weaknesses before she becomes the killer's next victim. [Is this the same killer she was bound and beaten by? Maybe after she escaped from the killer

9 Comments on Face-Lift 1018, last added: 4/14/2012
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25. Who are your mentors?

I’ve been preparing for the graduate course, “Children’s Literature in Teaching Writing,”  I’m teaching in June every time my daughter goes down for a nap, heads to sleep, etc.  I read through a… Read More

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