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Viewing: Blog Posts from All 1540 Blogs, dated 4/18/2012 [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 260
1. KIDS DESIGN - rk design

rk design is the studio of riikka kantinkoski, a fotographer and designer from finland. riikka has created a vinyl play mat for children featuring a wonderfully illustrated town layout and has even added optional paper buildings.

1 Comments on KIDS DESIGN - rk design, last added: 4/19/2012
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2. WALL ART - christopher david ryan

i get a newsletter every now and then from designer christopher david ryan and so i thought i would share a few of his poster designs here on P+P. christopher is based in portland, maine where he creates his bold, illustrative work under his CDR label with a wide variety of posters available here.

1 Comments on WALL ART - christopher david ryan, last added: 4/20/2012
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3. R. Michelson Galleries and Is That You, Mr. Spock?

Yes, the R. Michelson Galleries is the place to go to see/buy art from the top names in children's literature, like this up and comer . . .

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However, there's also other art there, too. We asked, Richard Michelson how he got started with his gallery and his books (he's an award-winning children's book author). Here's what he said . . .

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Rich: "When I was young I wanted to be a poet. I wasn't good in school, but I had a high school teacher, Mr. Ketchum, who got me reading, and I fell in love with words."

After graduating, Rich went on to sell posters and art to college students out of the trunk of his car, not because he loved art, but because it was a job. On the side, he continued to work on his poems.

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One day, Rich went to an art museum, because he thought that knowing about "real art" would make him a better salesperson. It was there that he finally understood the power of art.

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"After that, I wanted to open my own gallery. My boss didn't want me to, so we played ping pong. If I lost, I had to work for him for three more years. If he lost, he'd stake me in my dream to open a gallery."

The boss lost.

The R. Michelson Galleries has grown since those ping pong days. It now inhabits a stately bank building in the heart of downtown Northampton, MA . . .

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4. Q is for Queens of the Stone Age

Today is the seventeenth day of the A to Z Challenge. I don’t really have a set theme, but I’ll be blogging about writing, favorite books, bloggers’ books, and music I listen to while I write. 

Q is for Queens of the Stone Age





In case you missed it yesterday, I posted a new book giveaway. Details can be found here.

14 Comments on Q is for Queens of the Stone Age, last added: 4/19/2012
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5. Busy Bees and Happy Clams




When I'm full sail into revisions, I want my wildebeests happy!
Especially the one who just had her tonsils out. 
So I made "Busy Bags." 


"Ready for A Good Yarn" Busy Bag:

What's easier than a skein of yarn, a pair of scissors 
and "looms" made out of cereal boxes? 

It's paired with the clever book
Extra Yarn  - by Mac Barnett, 
illustrated by Jon Klassen
(I am especially enamored of this book!
Must blog more about it later!) 

And weaving was a *hit*!


"Artists Can Have Fun, Too" Busy Bag:
Complete with sketch pads, 
new art supplies and some luscious library finds!
I loved these books so much I have to do 
a separate post about them later. 

Art & Max - by David Weisner
The Fantastic Drawings of Danielle - by Barbara McClintock
Charlotte in Giverny -Joan MacPhail Knight, ill by Melissa Sweet
Charlotte in Paris -Joan MacPhail Knight, Melissa Sweet


"I'm Game if You Are" Busy Bag:
Stuffed full of card games, homemade goo-in-a-bag,
flash cards, dry-erase board, kid magazines
and these books:
Mini Racer - Kristy Dempsey,
illustrated by Bridget Strevens-Marzo
My Many Colored Days - by Dr. Seuss,
illustrated by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher

See that goo? 
Who knew a little hair gel and food coloring 
would make for hours of fun?

The kids are busy as bees and happy as clams.
And now - full steam ahead to those novel rewrites!

Our Busy Bag books:

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6. Second Story Press Launches Hana’s Suitcase Anniversary Album on April 19th, Holocaust Remembrance Day

Last month at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair  I visited the stall of Second Story Press, a Canadian publisher dedicated to publishing feminist-inspired books for adults and young readers. One of their books on display that immediately caught my eye was the soon-to-be-released Hana’s Suitcase Anniversary Album.

The original book Hana’s Suitcase, written by Karen Levine,  tells the story of Japanese educator Fumiko Ishioko’s search for information about a young Jewish girl who was murdered at Auschwitz. In the spring of 2000, Fumiko, the curator of a small Holocaust education centre for children in Tokyo, received a shipment from the Auschwitz museum that included an empty suitcase marked “Hana Brady, May 16, 1931, Orphan”. Fumiko and the children at the centre decided to find out what became of Hana. The heartbreaking story they uncovered of a brave young girl killed in the Holocaust and survived only by her brother, George, was captured in Karen Levine’s book that the world took into its heart. Hana’s Suitcase was published in 2002 and became an immediate international sensation. It has since been published in 40 countries and 29 languages, and has spawned many stage and screen adaptations around the world. It is Canada’s most awarded children’s book of all time and remains a school staple around the world. The United Nations uses it in over 100 outposts, Archbishop Desmond Tutu wrote a foreword for the book, and Michelle Obama was presented with a copy during an official visit to Prague.

Hana’s Suitcase Anniversary Album celebrates the 10th anniversary of the publication of Hana’s Suitcase with 60 pages of additional material – including artwork and writing by children, parents and teachers inspired by the book; memories from Hana’s childhood neighbours; images from the book’s foreign editions and stage and screen adaptations throughout the world; and updates from author Karen Levine; Hana’s brother, George Brady; and Fumiko Ishioka. It will be published on Holocaust Remembrance Day, April 19th, and will also be available as an enhanced eBook via the iBookstore (visit www.itunes.com/hanassuitcase or www.iTunes.com/iBookstore). In celebration of the launch check out this feature on the CBC Books website, visit www.hanassuitcase.ca and also visit the the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre’s website to see their education program around Hana’s Suitcase at www.mhmc.ca/en/pages/elementary.

0 Comments on Second Story Press Launches Hana’s Suitcase Anniversary Album on April 19th, Holocaust Remembrance Day as of 4/19/2012 1:27:00 AM
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7. Mother Of Many by Emma Lazenby

Just because I think this animation deserves the widest possible audience... Very fine work:

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8. The Sonic Screw Driver (Doctor Who) Is Now REAL

By Todd Allen

sonicscrewdriver The Sonic Screw Driver (Doctor Who) Is Now REALIf you’ve watched Doctor Who at any point in the… last several decades, you’ll likely be acquainted with The Doctor’s favorite tool, the “sonic screwdriver,” which gets him out of all sorts of jams.  Guess what?  Scientists at Dundee University have finally gotten around to inventing the real thing.

From the BBC:

“The sonic screwdriver device is also part of the EU-funded nanoporation project where we are already starting to push the boundaries of what ultrasound can do in terms of targeted drug delivery and targeted cellular surgery.

“It is an area that has great potential for developing new surgical techniques, among other applications, something which Dundee is very much at the forefront of.

“Like Doctor Who’s own device, our sonic screwdriver is capable of much more than just spinning things around.”

The results of the sonic screwdriver experiment are published in the American Physical Society’s journal Physical Review Letters.

More at the BBC site.

3 Comments on The Sonic Screw Driver (Doctor Who) Is Now REAL, last added: 4/20/2012
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9. threshold

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for April 19, 2012 is:

threshold • \THRESH-hohld\  • noun
1 : the section of wood or stone that lies under a door 2 a : the means or place of entry : entrance b : the place or point of beginning 3 : the point or level at which a physical or mental effect begins to be produced

Examples:
She fell in love with the old house from the moment she first stepped across the threshold.

"The protracted delegate fight has raised the possibility that none of the three contenders will reach the threshold needed to secure the nomination before the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., in August." — From an article by Michael Finnegan and John Hoeffel in the Chicago Tribune, March 14, 2012

Did you know?
The earliest known use of "threshold" in the English language is from Alfred the Great's Old English translation of the Roman philosopher Boethius's De consolatione philosophiae. In this translation, which was written around 888, "threshold" appears as "þeorscwold" (that first letter is called a thorn and it was used in Old English and Middle English to indicate the sounds produced by "th" in "thin" and "this"). The origins of this Old English word are not known, though it is believed to be related to Old English "threscan," from which we get the words "thresh," meaning "to separate seed from (a harvested plant) using a machine or tool" and "thrash," meaning, among other things "to beat soundly with or as if with a stick or whip."

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10. Solving Problems...

I'm REALLY glad that the mural is being painted on panels which allows me to work in the garage around my schedule during odd hours!  I don't feel rushed, yet I feel like I'm still getting things accomplished (even with daytime demands).

This evening, I played around with the grape colors, bringing them closer to what I want.  I still need to build up layers and values.


Before
After
I also worked out a couple of issues with the figures - particularly the man.  I dealt with the NCS, or Narrow Chin Syndrome, as well as the Big-Footitis that he suffered from.  He really had too much heel - the heel was more profile while the front of the foot was more 3/4 view.  Anyway, he's been healed - Hallelujah!  (And "heeled," I guess).




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11. 'Coraline' Animators Nab Rights to 'Goblins'

New Philip Reeve Book To Be Animated

According to Hollywoood Reporter:

Laika, the Portland-based animation company behind 2009's Coraline, has optioned Goblins, an upcoming children's book by Philip Reeve, and has attached Mark Gustafson, the animation director of Fantastic Mr. Fox, to helm the adaptation.



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12. Sick Day Geo-Caching

The tonsil fairy whisked away those pesky tonsils, and what did she leave in her wake....?

A sparkling surprise awaited Winnie after surgery.
A glittering envelope,
handmade flower paper,
and a nearly invisible note!
Thank you, Tonsil Fairy!
White paint pen scrawled on clear vellum
made for a very secret missive from our new friend!

No dimes or quarters from this gal. She left fairy dust.

And a little cranky dust.

I guess that's what you get when you mix Spring Break,
four kids,
one with a sad little throat,
and a nine-days of bed-rest!

Wait, doctor -
did you just say we can't leave the house for NINE days?
Right. No car rides. Keep it mellow. Gotcha.
Nine days' wonder. That's us.

So, since Winnie was confined to the couch,
I did my best to keep the gang entertained with "busy bags"
and...
A book treasure hunt.

Much like geo-caching, except without the GPS, and with less physical exertion.
 

The girls had to read a clue,
figure out which book the clue described,
and find "coordinates" hidden on a post-it note in that book.
Each coordinate was made of
a Page number, Sentence number, Word number,



which gave them one word of a mystery message.



Then they hunted through the book for a new clue,
which led them to another book, with coordinates and clues...



And at long last, a secret message:


Even Sugar Snack joined in the fun.

And Winnie smiled.


So, if you're thinking about hosting
a tonsil extraction anytime soon,
go for the popsicles.
and maybe a word hunt...




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13. Fun Quiz



Where did the Mennonites get their name?



A) From a  group of 16th Century Knights who revolted against the established state church because they didn't believe that Christians should participate in a holy war.



B) Followers of a 16th Century Catholic priest named Menno Simons who left the church because of his views on infant baptism.







C) A group of 16th Century Christian men who met for worship at night because the state church was persecuting them for some healing miracles that were traced to their community.



D) All of the above



E) None of the above



What do you think? Use the comments section to leave your choice. The answer will be revealed in the next post.

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14. “There has never been a time when more peoplewith talent were clamoring to make picture books…”

This morning over at Kirkus, I’ve got a short Q & A up with author, historian, and critic Leonard S. Marcus. We’re discussing his (wonderful) new Candlewick title, Show Me a Story! Why Picture Books Matter: Conversations with 21 of the World’s Most Celebrated Illustrators. This will be released in early May. And picture book fans won’t want to miss it. Not if you can help it at all.

I interview a lot of people here at 7-Imp, but I have to say I was a bit nervous talking to Marcus. He’s only insanely talented in about seven hundred different directions (to be not-dramatic-at-all about it), and he writes so well about our special, beloved picture books. (”Our” meaning me and my dear impish blog readers, given that we’re all picture book junkies.)

So. Right. That’s all to say that I am a huge fan of his books and writings in general — and everything he has contributed to children’s literature.

The link will be here this morning. Come join the fun. I ask him about surprises, contemporary picture books, e-books, whether or not he thinks Don Draper is really ready to settle down, and what he’s researching now. I may not have asked him about one of those. You’ll have to read the Q & A to find out.

3 Comments on “There has never been a time when more peoplewith talent were clamoring to make picture books…”, last added: 4/19/2012
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15. A Zippy-Quick Q & Awith Kent Brown of the Highlights Foundation …


A Highlights writing session
(and that looks like an Eric Rohmann sighting to me, but I could be wrong)

I’m doing something a bit different for 7-Imp today.

This March, I had the pleasure of being a faculty member (well, sorta — I was a Special Guest instructor) at a Highlights writers’ workshop up in Honesdale, Pennsylvania. Highlights is changing the way they’re doing things, given the construction of a new facility at their Honesdale site, and wanted folks to help get the word out, and I said I’d be happy to contribute with a short Q & A with Kent Brown, Executive Director of the Highlights Foundation.

(If you’ve ever wondered about the Highlights faculty—for their writers’ workshops, that is—go no further than here and prepare to be impressed.)

So, here’s the deal, dear Imps: The Highlights Foundation has led in the past a week-long writers’ workshop at the Chautauqua Institution in New York state. However, at the Honesdale campus in Pennsylvania, Highlights is happy to have completed work on a brand-new facility. As a result, they decided to focus on what they can provide writers and illustrators using the Honesdale space alone. (more…)

3 Comments on A Zippy-Quick Q & Awith Kent Brown of the Highlights Foundation …, last added: 4/20/2012
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16. Más sobre EL GRAN TACO

Taco USA, el nuevo libro de Gustavo Arellano, explora los orígenes y sabores de lo que se considera cocina mexicana de Estados Unidos.

Autor de la popular columna semanal Ask a Mexican (Pregúntale a un mexicano), Arellano se ha distinguido por su estilo ingenioso y coloquial para informar a los lectores sobre la cultura mexicana y retarlos a que reevalúen sus ideas preconcebidas sobre la misma.
Con más de 2 millones de lectores en 39 periódicos estadounidenses, el alcance de la columna de Arellano es considerable, lo cual manifiesta un interés en lo mexicano aunque a menudo parta del prejuicio y la ignorancia.
En su nuevo libro, Arellano expone una vez más la ironía de esa obsesión de los estadounidenses con los sabores tradicionales de México y la aversión que muchos de ellos manifiestan hacia las costumbres y valores del pueblo vecino.
Una experiencia significativa para Arellano fue cuando le invitaron a debatir sobre la inmigración junto al líder conservador Tom Tancredo, exrepresentante republicano por Colorado.
Arellano cuenta que antes del debate, se sentaron a la mesa de un conocido restaurante mexicano de Denver, el Noa Noa, donde el político saboreó un plato de tamales de puerco con chile verde.
“Tancredo se despachó el plato, riendo y hablando entre bocados, abasteciéndose en preparación para condenar a la misma cultura que lo acababa de alimentar”, recuerda.
Un año después del debate, cuenta Arell

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17. Free Kindle Book Day! A total of 16 available!

Give Your Child A Free Kindle Book Day (Or 15 of Them!) 
 15 Free Kindle Books From Established 
Children's & YA Authors
Plus One Bonus E-Book in Multiple Formats!
April 19, 2012
ONLY!
Visit the Amazon Listmania list at http://www.amazon.com/lm/R1UOP8U7FVOU4P/ref=cm_lm_pthnk_view?ie=UTF8&lm_bb= for another way to browse the 15 Kindle Books.

The Event: Fill up your Kindle and get your children reading this summer with these 15 books, free on Kindle only on April 19 during the Give Your Child A Free Kindle Book (or 15 of Them!) Promotion. The list includes picture books, middle grade novels, and young adult books spanning a range of topics from sports, to paranormal, to historical, to educational. Selected books include the Florida Historical Society's Best Children's book of its year,  books that have been recommended in Best Books for Young Teen Readers Grades 7-10 and in an edition of Children's Book of the Year compiled by the Child Study Children's Book Committee in New York City, and a finalist in the Valley Forge Romance Writers Sheila contest and in the Florida Romance Writers Golden Palm contest.
Belgrave House has also offered a 16th bonus book, an Agatha-awarding winning novel, which will be free on that day and can be downloaded in the e-book format of your choice.

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18. Free Kindle Book Day! A total of 16 available!

Give Your Child A Free Kindle Book Day (Or 15 of Them!) 
 15 Free Kindle Books From Established 
Children's & YA Authors
Plus One Bonus E-Book in Multiple Formats!
April 19, 2012
ONLY!
Visit the Amazon Listmania list at http://www.amazon.com/lm/R1UOP8U7FVOU4P/ref=cm_lm_pthnk_view?ie=UTF8&lm_bb= for another way to browse the 15 Kindle Books.

The Event: Fill up your Kindle and get your children reading this summer with these 15 books, free on Kindle only on April 19 during the Give Your Child A Free Kindle Book (or 15 of Them!) Promotion. The list includes picture books, middle grade novels, and young adult books spanning a range of topics from sports, to paranormal, to historical, to educational. Selected books include the Florida Historical Society's Best Children's book of its year,  books that have been recommended in Best Books for Young Teen Readers Grades 7-10 and in an edition of Children's Book of the Year compiled by the Child Study Children's Book Committee in New York City, and a finalist in the Valley Forge Romance Writers Sheila contest and in the Florida Romance Writers Golden Palm contest.
Belgrave House has also offered a 16th bonus book, an Agatha-awarding winning novel, which will be free on that day and can be downloaded in the e-book format of your choice.

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19. Do You Know Which Ones Will Grow? By Susan A. Shea; Illustrations by Tom Slaughter

This is an amazing picture book in my opinion! Susan has written a rhyming text that is clever and teaches children the concept of living things! Tom Slaughter’s illustrations are wonderful, and this is even a bit of a “Peek-a-boo” book. Can a stool grow? No, of course not, but when you unfold the flap–Tom’s illustrations show how maybe it could grow into a chair? Peek-a-boo–there’s a chair under that stool’s flap and so on. :) (laughs) Your children at home and in the classroom will love this book with a sweet ending about our most important living things–them!

I would love to do my usual post with all my activities, but I have an 18-month-old daughter with an ear infection and medication that is upsetting her stomach. She is not sleeping, and all you parents out there are currently nodding your heads. :)

Share this book with your children. Conversations about living things will naturally progress. You can even categorize those living things into animals and plants. . .

Happy Reading!

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20. 5Q Poet Interview Series: Timothy P. McLaughlin

Our 5Q Poet Interview series for National Poetry Month continues with this interview with Timothy P. McLaughlin about his new book, Walking on Earth and Touching the Sky: Poetry and Prose by Lakota Youth at Red Cloud Indian School. Graduate student Stephanie Cacciavillani offers this interview (plus) with Tim.

Background on Timothy P. McLaughlin
I had the wonderful privilege of interviewing teacher and poet Timothy P. McLaughlin. Timothy just recently got his first work published titled, Walking on Earth and Touching the Sky: Poetry and Prose by Lakota Youth at Red Cloud Indian School. His book is a collection of writings by students who attended Red Cloud Indian School. Timothy’s students have won numerous awards including first place in the South Dakota State Media Fair in 1999 and 2000, New Mexico State Champion of the Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and multiple first, second and third place prizes in the US Office of Indian Education Student Artist Competition in 2008, 2009, 2010.

McLaughlin is the founding director of the Santa Fe Indian School Spoken Word Program (SFIS). Under Timothy’s leadership, the SFIS Spoken Word Team participated in the Brave New Voices National Youth Poetry Festival as Team Santa Fe from 2007 to 2010. He has been teaching and coaching in Native communities since 1997, beginning at Red Cloud Indian School on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, then at Arlee High School on the Flathead Reservation in Montana, and now at SFIS in New Mexico.

McLaughlin received his B.A. in English and French Languages from the University of Virginia in 1997 and his M.A. in Integrated Arts and Education from the University of Montana in 2003. In 2007, Timothy was named the University of Virginia Madison House Alumni of the Year for his outstanding dedication to community service. In 2008, Timothy was presented the Gonzaga DC Classic Pedro Arrupe Service Award for exemplifying the Jesuit motto “man for others.”

Timothy has also received a Writing Residency Fellowship from the Lannan Foundation in 2011. He also performs his poetry regularly and is featured on the album Return to the River by Madi Sato. He lives with his wife, Julie and their daughter, Anjamora, in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Walking on Earth and Touching the Sky: Poetry and Prose by Lakota Youth at Red Cloud Indian School
Walking on Earth and Touching the Sky: Poetry and Prose by Lakota Youth at Red Cloud Indian School is an anthology of poetry written by Lakota students in the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth grades at Red Cloud Indian School on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. The poems allow readers to learn about the different lives and hardships of students growing up in the circumstances and cultures on a reservation.


Simon

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21. Moonlighting – Writing Other Peoples Books

Here is a useful article that was written by Laurie Calkhovan and published in Sprouts Magazine in 2010.

We all dream of getting published the “traditional” way. An editor falls in love with our manuscript, makes an offer, and the next thing we know, we’re holding a shiny new hardcover and inviting our friends to book signings. I wish that for everyone who writes a children’s book. But there are other ways to see your name in print, and one of them is by writing what I call “other peoples’ books.”

I have been making my living as a writer for nearly seven years. Of the forty books I’ve written,
only a handful bear my real name. Primarily, these are work-for-hire titles—books for which I’m paid a flat fee. I don’t own the copyright or collect a royalty.

I was shopping around my first novel when an editor who liked my work took a job at a children’s television network. When they needed a writer for a new book series, I “auditioned” for the role. I studied the company’s “bible” of character descriptions, setting, and basic storylines, wrote three chapters, and crossed my fingers.

I got the gig and quit my job with a contract to write one book, and an option to write three more. Unfortunately, the company lost interest in the series even before I finished the first book, but that was the beginning of my new career. I contacted editors and sent my resume to anyone I thought could help. I studied Publishers Weekly, Children’s Writer, and the SCBWI Bulletin looking for leads.

I billed myself as the writer of the first book in an exciting new series from the television company and hoped no one would ask about the book’s chances for publication.

PERSISTENCE IS KEY

With persistence and much follow up—I sent e-mails to editors every six to eight weeks—I
eventually landed jobs. The first was an assignment to write two friendship quiz books for the Scholastic Book Clubs. The second was from a different Scholastic division for nonfiction titles based on History Channel programming.

I used those titles to generate other assignments. I wrote three more nonfiction titles for Scholastic over the next year. When I read they had licensed the book rights to a number Nickelodeon TV shows, I lobbied for more. I eventually wrote fourteen media tie-in novels for the company.

I updated my resume with each title, and constantly networked to make new contacts and stayed in touch with old ones. I sent my friendship quiz books to American Girl, which led to The Family Quiz Book. Sterling Publishing hired me to write for their biography series on the basis on my History Channel titles, and my media tie-in novels led to Hannah Montana assignments from Disney.

GETTING STARTED
• Have a resume ready to go
• Play up your strengths
• Network
• Say ‘yes’ to projects that will help further your career
• Deliver what you promised and meet your deadlines

Laurie Calkhoven is part of our faculty at the June conference. She is contract 4 different workshops and is doing one-on-one critiques.
Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Conferences and Workshops, demystify, How to, inspiration, Tips, writing Tagged: How to get started,
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22. Drawing In Church- Belated Easter Edition


Just finished up my Easter drawing (on top of some xerox transfers I had done with my seniors in my sketchbook class the week before). I've never been able to get an Easter drawing I'm happy with. This one was fun. 

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23. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Part 2

Make_a_differenceEarth Day is coming and we need to do more to save Planet Earth! Not just recycling, we all need to REDUCE, REUSE, AND RECYCLE. Last week I described some ways you can Reduce waste. Today we'll talk about how you Reuse the things you have instead of throwing them away.

Reuse
Think about everything you throw away today. There might be ways you can reuse them instead of throwing them away to end up in the landfill. Here are some things to try.

Napkins/Paper Towels/Tissues
How to reuse: Here is one thing I did. I got a big stain on one of my cotton shirts and could seriously never wear it again in public, but it was still really soft and pretty, so I cut it up into 8-inch squares to use as handkerchiefs. I keep a little fabric square in my purse at all times instead of tissues. After I use it, I toss it in the wash and replace it with a clean one. You can do this with any fabric. Try worn out sheets, t-shirts, or even jeans! If you can sew, try hemming the edges and adding decorative details. Ooh, you should make a pretty set of napkins for your mom for Mother's Day!Double bonus - reuse old stuff and save money on gifts!

Cell Phone/Computer/Electronic Devices
How to reuse: Like I said last week, the greenest choice is to use your phone/computer/camera/iPod/whatever for as long as possible before you get a new one. But if you do happen to get a new one for your birthday, what can you do with your old but still perfectly good iPod touch? Use it as an alarm clock. Install an Alarm Clock app and make a cute little stand for it by your bed. Another idea is to make alphabet magnets out of keys from an old keyboard. Pluck off the letters and glue them to a plain magnet. Spell out your name or whatever you want.

Clothes
How to reuse: The hard-core environmentalists wear their clothes until they absolutely can't wear them anymore. Fashion plays no part in their clothing decisions. But you *can* be environmentally conscious and fashion conscious at the same time. If you're tired of a plain old t-shirt in your closet, don't get rid of it! You can draw cool designs on it with fabric markers (They come in awesome colors!), or cut the sleeves off to make it a tank top. Cut the legs off too-short jeans to turn them into jeans shorts. Glue sparkles and beads onto your tired, old flip flops. Cut the arms off a sweater you never wear and turn them into leg warmers. There are millions of ways to be crafty and creative while reusing old clothes that would otherwise end up in the landfill. 

Snack Packs
How to reuse: For one day, try to go waste-free like Moderator Elise on the Save the Planet Board. Don't bring anything for lunch that needs to be thrown away. See if you can do it. Pack your lunch in a thermos, or a reusable fabric bag. Bring a reusable water bottle instead of a disposable juice box. This one is not easy, I know. As I type this, I am about to throw away my chocolate bar wrapper, but at least I buy a giant chocolate bar and eat a little every day instead of throwing away mini snack size candy wrappers every day. That counts, right?

These are just a few ways to REUSE, but there are thousands more ways to reuse the stuff you already have instead of throwing it away and buying more stuff. What are YOUR ideas? Let us know in the Comments. And come bac

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24. Moonlighting – Writing Other Peoples Books

Here is a useful article that was written by Laurie Calkhovan and published in Sprouts Magazine in 2010.

We all dream of getting published the “traditional” way. An editor falls in love with our manuscript, makes an offer, and the next thing we know, we’re holding a shiny new hardcover and inviting our friends to book signings. I wish that for everyone who writes a children’s book. But there are other ways to see your name in print, and one of them is by writing what I call “other peoples’ books.”

I have been making my living as a writer for nearly seven years. Of the forty books I’ve written,
only a handful bear my real name. Primarily, these are work-for-hire titles—books for which I’m paid a flat fee. I don’t own the copyright or collect a royalty.

I was shopping around my first novel when an editor who liked my work took a job at a children’s television network. When they needed a writer for a new book series, I “auditioned” for the role. I studied the company’s “bible” of character descriptions, setting, and basic storylines, wrote three chapters, and crossed my fingers.

I got the gig and quit my job with a contract to write one book, and an option to write three more. Unfortunately, the company lost interest in the series even before I finished the first book, but that was the beginning of my new career. I contacted editors and sent my resume to anyone I thought could help. I studied Publishers Weekly, Children’s Writer, and the SCBWI Bulletin looking for leads.

I billed myself as the writer of the first book in an exciting new series from the television company and hoped no one would ask about the book’s chances for publication.

PERSISTENCE IS KEY

With persistence and much follow up—I sent e-mails to editors every six to eight weeks—I
eventually landed jobs. The first was an assignment to write two friendship quiz books for the Scholastic Book Clubs. The second was from a different Scholastic division for nonfiction titles based on History Channel programming.

I used those titles to generate other assignments. I wrote three more nonfiction titles for Scholastic over the next year. When I read they had licensed the book rights to a number Nickelodeon TV shows, I lobbied for more. I eventually wrote fourteen media tie-in novels for the company.

I updated my resume with each title, and constantly networked to make new contacts and stayed in touch with old ones. I sent my friendship quiz books to American Girl, which led to The Family Quiz Book. Sterling Publishing hired me to write for their biography series on the basis on my History Channel titles, and my media tie-in novels led to Hannah Montana assignments from Disney.

GETTING STARTED
• Have a resume ready to go
• Play up your strengths
• Network
• Say ‘yes’ to projects that will help further your career
• Deliver what you promised and meet your deadlines

Laurie Calkhoven is part of our faculty at the June conference. She is contract 4 different workshops and is doing one-on-one critiques.
Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Conferences and Workshops, demystify, How to, inspiration, Tips, writing Tagged: How to get started

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25. No Signal Savita Kalhan






I’ve just returned from an old friend’s 50th birthday weekend in Shropshire where we stayed in a youth hostel, a first for me, for a weekend of walking, talking and celebrating. The hostel was in a valley without internet connection, mobile phone reception and television. We had taken books, walking gear, food and drink, and that was about it. It was a sort of reunion too, with many of us not having seen each other since Uni almost thirty years ago.




A twelve mile hike across the Long Mynd was the biggest challenge. Some of the hills felt like mountains, the ravines were deep and treacherous in places, but the views were stunning and the pub at the end of the walk felt like a haven. On a difficult descent one of the group lost his footing and slipped right in front of me. We both heard the doom-laden cracking sound his ankle made! With no phone signals, some of us trekked ahead until we found reception, and an air ambulance was called. He turned up later at the youth hostel with a pair of crutches supporting a broken ankle.
There were about 50 of us for the big dinner on the Saturday night, which was followed by a trip to the local pub where turns were taken by those of us who could sing a good story, and it turned out there were a few who could do it very well. I can’t sing, so I listened and wished that I could sing a story with as much aplomb!


What really struck me, apart from the beauty of south Shropshire, was how I’ve been spending much of my spare time over the past couple of years. I’ve been raising my profile as a new writer, tweeting, blogging, google plussing, tweeting some more... Some of that has been very, very helpful. I’ve made lots of wonderful friends through it, developed contacts, got to know the industry far better than I knew it before I began, all of which have been absolutely brilliant and much of it necessary. You do have to know as much as you can about the industry you are in. But the working day became increasingly stretched out so that writing and all the things associated with profile-raising and being a writer could be crammed in.


Spare time was no longer spare time, and somewhere along the line the balance tipped too far in that direction, and I almost wish I didn’t have a smart phone, which allowed me to access my emails, my twitter account and all the rest of it, at weekends and strange times of the day and night, or made me feel that I should be constantly checking in just in case I missed something im

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