Silent, cold oasis
The moonlit dog barks itself hoarse
At a shadowless silhouette
Hier of the Night by Helen Lowe
"The Heir of Night" (the novel in Helen's Wall of Night series) has made the final shortlist for the international Gemmell Morningstar Award for Best Fantasy Newcomer.
In fact, it's the only Southern Hemisphere work to do so in either of the two book categories ('Legend' & 'Morningstar'.)
But although the original longlist is curated, both the final shortlist and eventual winner are decided by public vote--and the final round of voting to determine the Morningstar winner is now in full swing. (Closes 31 May.)
So New Zealanders we need to vote for The Heir of Night to win. :-)
All you have to do to vote now is click Here
Then click again in the circle immediately above "The Heir of Night -- Helen Lowe"
And by way of added incentive, no book by a woman--or from south of the equator for that matter--has yet won in either the Legend or Morningstar category. So your support may well make a difference!
In The Telegraph Mick Brown profiles Martin Amis: over-60 and under-appreciated, as the Lionel Asbo-publicity machine gets rolling (look for some fun, outlandish Amis pronouncements as it progresses and he finds (or his publishers complain) he isn't getting enough attention; for anyone to think this guy is 'under-appreciated' ... surely there's no writer whose every fart gets as much attention as his do).
I am looking forward to Lionel Asbo, which sounds ... intriguing; it's due out in the UK shortly -- get your copy at Amazon.co.uk -- and in the US in August (pre-order your copy at Amazon.com).
Of course, because "huge" Nigeria has no singular language that is our official language, we cannot speak in terms of a Nigerian national culture, strictly speaking, in the same way that Russians, for example, can speak of a Russian national culture.Sure, one can't speak of a national Nigerian culture in the same way one can speak of a national Russian one -- but do you really have/want to ? And I certainly disagree that Wale Okediran (et al.) can't write in Yoruba and still 'pass as a Nigerian writer'. I realize there are difficulties in writing (and trying to publish ...) in languages other than English in Nigeria -- and many other countries --, but I think the market and possibilities are growing; I wish/hope more give it a try ..... Read the rest of this post Add a Comment
This is the reason why Wale Okediran, a Yoruba, has not or cannot write his stories, novels and essays in Yoruba. To pass as a Nigerian writer, to pass as a national writer writing about a national culture, he must write in English language, the colonizer's language. Yet Wale Okediran must attempt to de-colonize in his writings Nigeria's political culture. Okediran's problem is the problem of all Nigerian's writers, distinguished and un-distinguished.
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Enrique Vila-Matas' new novel, Dublinesque.Add a Comment
This was a book I never meant to write. When I say ‘meant’ there were none of the usual scribbled plans and dodgy diagrams and imaginary family trees that usually precede starting a book. I hadn’t dreamed about writing it, or worked out various versions of it inside my head. It simply started as a plan for myself, as I realised with a jolt that I’d more or less stopped reading poetry and it was about time to start again. So – a new poem every day – that was my plan. Still didn’t mean to write a book. Of course I had to keep a list of the poems I’d read, and I had to jot down my impressions, otherwise with my fairly rubbish memory, I’d forget everything.
Write Integrity Press has announced their Books of Hope Contest. They are seeking books in series of three, and winners could receive a three-book publication contract! The series of books can be fiction or nonfiction, but must carry a message of HOPE in some form or fashion. Be creative. Give them characters they can love in your novels, and issues they can care about in your nonfiction.
One First Prize FICTION Winner will receive a $500 Cash Prize and their standard publication contract for the three-book series.
Two runners-up in fiction will receive their standard publication contract for at least one book, and perhaps all three.
One First Prize NONFICTION Winner will receive a $500 Cash Prize and their standard publication contract for the three-book series.
Two runners-up in nonfiction will receive their standard publication contract for at least one book, and perhaps all three.
There will be two rounds of judging:
1) Entries must include ALL of the following for Round One Judging by June 15, 2012. (These are just the basics – see the Nitty-Gritty details at the bottom of the post.)
2) Finalists will be selected from these entries and notified by July 31st. In Round Two:
Final Winners will be notified in January 2013.
Now for the Nitty-Gritty details (and these have been deal-breakers in the past, so please follow the guidelines – they’re here for a reason):
Your attached entry should include:
Final manuscripts should be in the 50,000-80,000 word range. Writers may enter manuscripts in bDisplay Comments Add a Comment
This week our theme in Preschool Storytime is "Frogs." Every year I go out to a pond near our house and scoop up some tadpoles. I keep them in a little plastic fish/frog/lizard tank and tote them back and forth to Storytime for a few weeks. The kids have a blast watching them grow back legs. Then, (I just realized this last year) their front legs pop right out of their heads. I always thought they developed slowly, just like their back legs. But actually they form under their skin, then just pop out all at once. I was privileged to watch it happen one time. One minute the frog had back legs, the next it had one front leg, then a few minutes later it had all four. Amazing!
A few years ago I found a cluster of eggs and brought them in. We got to watch them hatch and grow all the way into adults, but it took SOOOO long, I got kind of tired of carrying the tank back and forth from home. This time I found some nice fat tadpoles almost ready to sprout back legs, so it should just take a few weeks. I let them go back into the pond once they need to eat bugs. For now, I feed them plants from their pond and supplement with lettuce and spinach.
I think there are seven of them. Should I name them Sneezy, Grumpy, Sleepy, Doc, Happy, Bashful and Dopey?
This is a recurring column I’m calling “7 Things I’ve Learned So Far,” where writers at any stage of their career can talk about seven things they’ve learned along their writing journey that they wish they knew at the beginning. This installment is from New York Times best-selling writer Melanie Gideon.
GIVEAWAY: Melanie is excited to give away a free copy of her novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before.
Melanie Gideon is the author of the memoir The Slippery Year:
A Meditation on Happily Ever After, an NPR and San Francisco
Chronicle Best Book of 2009, and a New York Times bestseller,
as well as three young adult novels. Her latest novel, WIFE 22
(sold in 30 countries and currently in development with Working
Title Films) is forthcoming from Ballantine in June 2012. She has
written for the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle,
More, Shape, Marie Claire, the London Times, the Daily Mail
and other publications. She was born and raised in Rhode Island
and now lives in the Bay Area with her husband and son.
1. Don’t Google yourself. It can only lead to heartbreak. If you simply must know what’s being said about you and your work in the blogosphere, get a friend or spouse or sibling to do periodic Google searches for you. But, and this is very important, insist they curate. Suggest they say things like “Gosh, I don’t see anything but five star reviews. Okay, maybe a few four stars sprinkled in.” Suggest they don’t say things like “Why does @gogirlcrunchy hate you so much?” Tip: don’t be in the same room when said loved one is doing Google searches. And if you are in the same room, do not, I repeat do not look at the expression on their face as they scan the results.
2. Don’t compare yourself to other writers. Somebody will always be getting more. More promotion, better reviews, better ads (any ads!) in magazines, more cities (any cities!) on their book tour. And somebody will always be getting less than you. Schadenfreude. It’s a difficult word to both spell (I just had to Google it) and pronounce (I usually just refer to it as “that S thing when you feel really good about somebody else’s misfortune”) for a reason. Don’t indulge in it.
3. Celebrate other writer’s successes. A win for one of us is a win for all of us. It meaAdd a Comment
As children’s librarians, we do a great job of promoting early literacy, information literacy, reading for fun… why don’t we do the same for STEM subjects–science, technology, engineering, and mathematics? Children find STEM programs engaging and interesting, especially in a non-school environment like the library. They also love that most STEM activities are hands-on, maybe even a bit messy. Integrating STEM into your programs can be a surefire way to reach a large audience of children, both seasoned program-goers and new attendees.
Since I took over children’s programming at my library last fall, I’ve really focused on offering programs at the science end of the spectrum for children in kindergarten through fifth grade. I’ve hosted a handful of school-age science programs so far, all of which have been huge successes with participants and their caregivers. Below are three examples of the recent science programs enjoyed by school-age children at my library:
Children experience the world through their senses, so why not engage one of their favorites: taste! I opened this program with a little chat about how taste buds work and the four distinct tastes the human tongue recognizes. We then moved to our experimentation station for a taste test. Every child got a map of the tongue with the taste areas left blank as well as a bunch of cotton swabs for dipping into solutions that were sweet (sugar water), sour (lemon juice), bitter (tonic water), and salty (salt water). Using the cotton swabs, we tested which areas of the tongue are most sensitive to each taste. We then compared our findings to the official tongue taste bud map.
After our taste-testing, we talked a little about heat as it pertains to food. To demonstrate how heating food an affect its properties, we plugged in an iron to make some ironed cheese sandwiches. We looked at bread and cheese at room temperature compared to the pair after being heated up; then we ate the melty experiment results. The novelty of using an iron to make a favorite sandwich was a big plus for this program. We closed with an experiment to show how cold can also change the properties of matter. Using milk, vanilla, sugar, plastic bags, lots of ice, and salt, we made ice cream. Children got to watch the entire transition from liquid milk to solid (or at least icy) ice cream as the salted ice brought down the temperature of the mixture in the bags. What a tasty way to learn about how temperature affects foods!
I figured the word “slime” would draw lots of children to the library during spring break, and I was right. I started by mixing a big batch of cornstarch-and-water slime while we talked about the states of matter, and the slime was ready just in time to demonstrate a non-Newtonian fluid. Children came up to dip a finger into the slime (easy) and then try to yank it back out quickly (not as easy). Convinced that this slime was in fact a strange and wonderful substance, children gathered supplies to make their own jars of slime. To get this program to work logistically for 30+ participants, I had prepared baby food jars with cornstarch ahead of time. Children then added their preferred color of food dye and enough water to get the slime mixture going. After stirring for about seven minutes over more science chat, everyone had their very own jar of slime to pour out, try to roll into a ball, and let drip. Slime Science took place
Last night I received a phone call from Jules Danielson of the Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast blog and one of my co-writers on a book for Candlewick. We’d been working on it for a couple years now with our fellow blogger, Peter Sieruta of Collecting Children’s Books and had turned our edits in not too long ago. Saturday night phone calls were not a normal thing for us, though, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Whatever it was, I didn’t expect this. Jules informed me that on Facebook she had just learned that Peter, our friend and co-writer, has passed away.
The details are still being released at this time, but what I can say is that this loss is beyond devastating. I’m lucky enough to say that I’ve never experienced a friend’s death. Peter is the first. He worked cataloging children’s books for Wayne State University and his life was dedicated to the history, the cultural import, and the criticism of children’s literature. That’s the dry explanation. The heart of the matter is that he loved kids books. Loved them more than anyone else I know. Some of us talk about dedicating our lives to them. Peter actually did it and with his death there is absolutely no one to fill his shoes. Peter didn’t just know the history of children’s literature, he made it accessible to the masses. When I discovered his blog Collecting Children’s Books all those years ago it was like stumbling on a veritable goldmine. His writing wasn’t just smart. It was funny, infinitely witty, and easily put my own to shame. Nobody knew as much as he did or was as good at conveying that info in such an engaging way.
Peter, Jules and I had a book contract with Candlewick to create a book about the true stories behind your favorite children’s books and I believe Jules joins me in saying that of the three of us Peter left us in the dust. His passages came to us like they’d been in books for years yet he never seemed to show any much deserved pride in them. He was such a professional, modest to a fault, zero ego, always willing to help us out when we were feeling stuck. It is intolerable to lose him.
Author Helen Frost recently shared one memory of Peter with me. If you have others you’d like to share, please consider posting them here or on Jules’ blog where she has offered up her own memories of Peter. Said Helen:
“I met him in person a couple of months ago, at a book launch for STEP GENTLY OUT. It was hard for him to make himself socialize to that extent–he posted about that on facebook–but once he got there, we had such a lovely evening in a little room at the back of the Bookbeat bookstore. He sat in a chair and conversed with me, Kathe Koja, Sarah Miller, Rick Lieder, and my husband for over an hour, as others came in and out, and Rick and I signed books–surprising himself, I think, by how comfortable he became after a few minutes. I treasure that memory. He asked me if I’d like to see his book collection–so sweetly asked, and I said I’d love to.”
You can see that amazing children’s literary collection here.
And here’s the video he took of his Newbery books:
Goodbye, Peter. I think you were my friend. I was yours.Display Comments Add a Comment
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COPYRIGHT © 2012 ARTIE KNAPP
Use of any of the content on this website without permission is prohibited by federal law
Well, this marks the first time in 7-Imp history—at least since 7-Imp started doing weekly “kicks” posts on Sundays—that I’m not kickin’ on a Sunday, but it’s Saturday night as I write this and I just received the news that the one and only Peter D. Sieruta, with whom Betsy Bird and I have been researching and writing a book since 2009, passed away Friday night. I’m still lacking details about what exactly happened, but his brother has announced the news.
I am still shocked about the brand-new, intractable fact that there’s a Peter-shaped hole in the world now, and I don’t really want to accept it, to imagine further manuscript conversations without Peter, as much as I adore working with Betsy. I have no doubt she feels the same.
(In fact, Betsy has written a tribute as well, and readers can also leave memories/comments at that post on Sunday. Betsy chose just the right words and remembers him well.)
I had planned on featuring an illustrator tomorrow, listing kicks, and inviting others to do so, as I do every Sunday. But it seems only right now to say some words about Peter and invite those who knew him to do the same.
It was my pleasure to work and write with Peter over the past three years. He had a keen wit, a kind heart, and a brilliant mind. He was an avid reader; every time we turned around Betsy and I were amazed, but not surprised, by the number of children’s lit-related stories he had stored in his brain and the knowledge he held on the subject. I remember one of us asking him early on in our research, seriously, Peter, how do you KNOW all this stuff?, and he replied simply, “lifelong interest in kids’ books!”
He would get a bit anxious at times about the editing process—joking about all of his portions of the book getting hacked and removed altogether from our manuscript—and this would leave me shaking my head in wonder. And that’s because his writing was very tight and always entertaining. I often turned to him to help me find more economy with my own words. Oh, RIGHT. Why didn’t I think of that? I’d wonder, after Peter got a hold of one of my sentences. (Or, as Betsy wrote, “He was such a professional, modest to a fault, always willing to help us out when we were feeling stuck. It is intolerable to lose him.”)
Ever curious, he seemed to be always reading, writing, and learning. And his blog, Collecting Children’s Books, was a true delight, where his unique voice as a writer was on display weekly.
Peter also adored his family. This I know. He spoke so fondly of them. His brother and parents remain, and I’m sure they are devastated. I extend my deepest and most heartfelt sympathies to them. Peter and I were writing partners but also had conversations of a personal nature about friends, family, and … life in general. And I know that he loved his family more than my words could possibly say here.
It was also clear to me and Betsy that Peter was very excited about our book’s publication, and it won’t be the same at all now. Not with his absence.
If anyone else would like to share memories of Peter here or leave a tribute, please know that you are welcome to do so.
I re-read these beautiful words from Walt Whitman just last week, and the least I can do is offer them up now in Peter’s honor, though I do so in shock and sadness:
All goes onward and outward, nothing collapses,Display Comments Add a Comment
Here’s my question about gay superheroes (and superhero sexuality in general)…
How many characters are actually in relationships, or have made their orientation known in comics? Has Superboy or Supergirl stated their preference? (Perhaps Kryptonian society has a different system of courtship and gender identity. And pregnancy, as viewed by Superman’s birthing matrix.) Even if a character has stated his/her/shklir preference, could that be a ruse (such as Daken or Power Girl)? Just another secret identity to keepDisplay Comments Add a Comment
This is a new little piece I'm working on.
Its cherry season, so I bought I nice bag of pretty red ones, and had to draw at least one.
I decided to try a little something different with the background. Rather than copy photo reference of something, I made up my own kind of 'loosey goosey' gingham check.
So here is the first pass, with a Prismacolor Carmine.
It's a holiday weekend, and I'm taking it easy for a few hours. Time for some NESCBWI blog visits!
I met Brendan Gannon last month. His blog, Brendan Gannon, deals with "writing, reading and technology." He hasn't updated since the NESCBWI conference, but if you scroll back a bit, you'll find the tech talk you crave.
Marlo Garnsworthy (a Facebook Friend) is a writer, artist, and editor. This past winter, she was writing at her blog, Wordy Birdie about her progress on a novel--she's writing it, not reading it.
A.C. Gaughen's debut novel, Scarlet, was published this past February by Walker Books, a division of Bloomsbury USA. Many of her blog posts this past spring have been about the launch of her book. Check out her charts relating to The Apocalypsies.
Caroline Gray is a student at the Rhode Island School of Design and a greeting card designer. Her blog, Caroline Gray Illustration, includes a lot of images of her beautiful work.
I am a fan of Tommy Greenwald's first book, Tommy Joe Jackson's Guide to Not Reading. (Tommy is another Facebook Friend.) His blog covers a lot of info about what's going on publishing-wise with his books, but there's also thoughts on writing.
Slice of the Blog Pie is a bit of a mystery. The blogger is Alicia Gregoire, but who is Alicia? What is the Campaigner Roll Call. Or, for that matter, what's the campaign? Recently, Alicia has done a number of reviews, but there are also posts on her writing and...ah...zombies. Those are written by a zombie expert.
Okay. That's enough Memorial Day relaxing. I need to go do some other kind of relaxation now.
fat boy? Well, he's still at it apparently. My illustration originally published in The Fanatic.
"Andy and Spirit in Search and Rescue" by Mary Jean Kelso. I have finished the illustrations for this newest story in the series which will be published later this year. This story is an adventure for Andy, Tracy, and Spirit who rescue an abandoned family. However, something, or someone, is missing!
* Major changes/additions to the Canterwood Crest Website
* A book signing on August 25 in West Chester, PA (details on sidebar!) :)
* A few other fun things (*teases*)
They're in planning stages and will be coming to you this summer/fall! Right now, I'm on Super Deadline Mode with MASQUERADE. Don't want to be late and keep you guys waiting.
ABE books had a great post about minimalist covers that's worth a gander if you like covers. .
Here's one example:
[Full disclosure: I posted about this book before, and I'm pretty sure the author wrote me back. http://aprilhenry.livejournal.com/174262.html]
And here's another:
Which reminds me of these dueling covers: