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Blog: Read Alert
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Good Afternoon Everyone!
We’re off to help kick start the MWF today! We hope to see you during the course of the week.
Upwards and onwards to news around the book world.
1. Top Ten Must Reads for Parents
The University of Worcester recently held a survey on the patterns and influences on parents’ reading.
The top ten must read titles:
1.A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
2.The Harry Potter Series, JK Rowling
3.The Lord of The Rings, JRR Tolkien
4.Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
5.Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
6.The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, CS Lewis
7.Animal Farm, George Orwell
8.Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens
9.The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien
10.To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
The breakdown doesn’t have any real shockers on there; they’re pretty standard must read classics. I was interested to discover that Alice in Wonderland polled as their most read book.
2. Guardian UK: August Book Club
The Guardian’s Teen Book Club this month hosts Melvin Burgess (Doing It) and… Margo Lanagan (Tender Morsels). Over the next month there will be podcasts with the authors about their books. Might be worth popping by every so often to check on the discussions and comments.
3. Book Buddies
Canton Public Library (America) has a buddy reading program that is now in it’s fourth year.
The program pairs children and teenagers, who read together, make crafts and sing a few songs once a week for much of the summer.
The idea of bringing children together with teenagers and creating a reading experience seems a really unique one. Often a younger sibling will look up to or idolize an older sibling. It’s just more proof that reading is actually a very social activity.
4. Creation in the Classroom.
Bright Ideas has a blog post about creating interactive writing workshops in your classroom using Inklewriter.
This tool would be perfect in creative writing classes or even in other subjects like History, where students might explore the different options available to historical figures. When creating an interactive story students will have to examine the motivations of their characters carefully. It could also lead to some really good discussions about narrative structures, pacing and conversation.
5. Graeme Base and Elephants.
A short video unveiling of Mali, famous at the Melbourne Zoo, as designed by Graeme Base. The reveal was one of fifty Mali’s that will find itself around Melbourne for the Melbourne Zoo’s 150th Anniversary.
Happy Anniversary Melbourne Zoo!
6. 50 Books You Can’t Put Down
Get Reading is here! Get Reading is an annual book celebration held for the month of September. The aim is to encourage reading.
By: Daniel Olivas,
Blog: La Bloga
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Borrowing the words of the legendary baseball player Lou Gehrig I am the luckiest man in the world. At eighty I will begin another semester at the end of the month. Again I will have the opportunity to teach working class students. A basic lesson that I teach my students is that they have to have a reason for everything they do. Their struggle cannot be based on hating gringos or hating the system. They always have to ask why? To use an overworked maxim, “everything happens for a reason.” I have been motivated to struggle by injustice and stupidity that trigger a moral outrage. But I also have to have a reason for that anger. For example, the burning of the Mayan and Nahuatl codices and the destruction of Native American religions always infuriates me. I am not be flippant when I say that Europe did not invent science and mathematics but benefitted from the Greeks who in turn acquired sources of their knowledge from the East through India, the Middle East and Africa. Everyone knows the story of Polish astronomer Nicholaus Copernicus (1473-1543) and his “discovery” that the earth revolved around the sun. His now historic book was suppressed by the Church. How much further would we be today if Copernicus had known Archimedes’ work on the universe? (Or for that matter the Mesoamerican astronomers?) He would not have had to delay publication of his work and then be forced to recant his findings. No doubt this lack of knowledge retarded the progress of western science. It doesn’t take a genius to draw parallels between what happened to Copernicus and the destruction of the codices and other indigenous knowledge. Recently I got into trouble for criticizing the movie “For Greater Glory: The True Story of Cristiada,” the so-called story of los cristeros in Mexico. Some accused me of hating Catholics and basing my arguments on my biases. However, that is just not so. I am against the cristero movie, not because I dislike Andy García’s politics, but because the movie is based on bad history. The fight over the separation of Church and state dates back to ancient times. It includes Copernicus. The Protestant Revolt succeeded because of secular dissatisfaction with Church’s monopoly of economic, social and political resources. The struggle between the church and state in what later became the cristero movement has its origins in Colonial times and was partly caused by the Church’s monopoly of Indian lands and labor. It broke out during the 18thCentury as the Bourbon monarch’s sought to control the religious orders. It erupted again after Mexican Independence with wars between the federalists and the centralists, i.e., liberals versus the Church Party. Liberals won and the Mexican Constitution of 1857 was adopted. This touched off ten years of civil wars that saw the Rise of Benito Juarez and Liberal control of Mexico to the Mexican Revolution. It ended with the adoption of the Constitution of 1917 which once more reaffirmed the principle of the separation of church and state. As in previous revolts the friction was over whether the Catholic Church was to receive special rights, i.e., the maintenance of ecclesiastical courts and to remain the state religion. Finally at issue was the freedom to practice other religions. I urge students to base their decisions on reason. That is why we study what is happening in Arizona and have made trips there. We invited Asian American students along on these trips because we want them to also take ownership. I support the struggle to save the Tucson Unified School District’s Mexican American studies department based on reason. This judgment is not based on nationalism or a whim but because it is pedagogically sound. My decision is based on the same principles that guided my reasons in condemning the destruction of the codices and defending the principle of “freedom of religion.” The Tucson struggle also has to be put into the context of our history to achieve literacy and the failure of the schools. We cannot be free; we cannot live in a democratic society, without literacy that is the cornerstone of reason. The struggle of the 1960s and 1970s produced the Chicana/o middle class and marked advances in education. Before these events inferior schools were taken for granted as was the proposition that Mexican schools did not deserve the same quality of support as white schools. We struggled to correct this inequality and corrected many of the de facto and de jure injustices. An important victory for Mexican Americans was the change in the mindset of students. They believed that they could and should pursue a higher education. They had the right to be taught by teachers who believed in them. Consequently a sí se puede mentality developed and many grew to expect a quality education. I am one of the few educators who has seen these changes first hand. I have taught classes from K-12 and at the university level. The results although lagging behind the rest of society are nevertheless like day and night. About twenty years ago I successfully sued the University of California at Santa Barbara. One of my greatest fears was that I would have to leave California State University Northridge, a working class university. At UCSB I loved the Congreso students but the campus itself reminded me of a country club. It was overwhelmingly white and everyone appeared as if they had just finished a set of tennis or were going to a match. In contrast, the first Chicano students we recruited at CSUN (then San Fernando State College) were really rough around the edges. Very few of them would have been candidates for a sorority or fraternity rush. They were not prepared to make it in colleges; in the fall of 1968 only fifty were attending which changed with the student takeovers of the spring semester. In the fall of 1969, close to 300 Chicana/o students entered SFVSC. Dr. Warren Furumoto who mentored United Mexican American Studies (UMAS) students summed it up in the documentary “Unrest” on the founding of Chicano Studies at San Fernando State. He said that the Chicano students differed from white radicals and even black students. Their parents had not attended institutions of higher education and they did not have the vocabulary to understand liberal or much less radical concepts. Attending college got them out of the barrio and in many cases they got a stipend. I remember one student who is now a judge complaining that he had lost over fifty pounds in the first semester. We sent him to the Health Center that concluded that it was because of a change in diet. Now he only ate the proteins at the cafeteria; he had all the starches he wanted at home. Many had not planned to stay in school but after a semester most were hooked. It was another life and words took on meaning. Once you get an education it is hard to go back; you have seen how the other half lives. I saw this same transformation in students who I spoke to in Tucson. They wanted an education but even more they wanted to know the meaning of words, they wanted to be somebody, to be respected. This is all changing – not only in Tucson – but throughout the country. The better prepared students, those that have parents with some college will continue to come to school. The dreamers have no choice but to succeed. The Latino population is too large to completely ignore. So the institutions will recruit them because it looks good on paper. However, those in the lower two thirds of barrio schools will be squeezed out. Unlike the students in 1969 they do not know that si se puede. Then tuition was $50 a semester. It is now approaching $10,000 an academic year. Increasingly students will look acceptable enough to be recruited into Greek societies. They will no longer say East LAy. They will know the meaning of the words, but democracy will have suffered as everyone will look like they just played a set of tennis. [Rodolfo Francisco Acuña, Ph.D., is an historian, professor emeritus, and one of various scholars of Chicano studies, which he teaches at California State University, Northridge. He is the author of Occupied America: A History of Chicanos, which approaches the history of the Southwestern United States that includes Mexican Americans. It has been reprinted six times since its 1972 debut (the seventh edition was published in January 2010). He has written for many publications including the Los Angeles Times, The Los Angeles Herald-Express, La Opinión, and numerous other newspapers. His work emphasizes the struggle of the Mexican American people. Acuña is also an activist and he has supported the numerous causes of the Chicano Movement.]
School officially starts for ALL students here this week. Because of this I thought it would be fun to highlight a product that works for students of all ages - vinyl stickers.
For the Elementary School age kid, check out their huge variety of RoomMates available online at Wall 2 Wall Stickers.
The RoomMates stick to any smooth, dry surface and would be a perfect way let your child personalize their notebooks, binders, or other school supplies.
If you have a child in high school, vinyl stickers are a great way to decorate a locker. Wall 2 Wall Stickers carries locker skins, peel and stick mirrors, and even dry erase products that would work perfectly.
The Black and white Chalkboard and Dry Erase Dots Removable Wall Decals
would be a great choice.
My husband doesn't have access to one of the lockers at the high school, but I was really curious to see how they would work on a non-coventional surface. So we used them to transform a table.
They were super easy to apply and leave no residue behind when moved. Plus they are fun! In high school I would have loved to have a dry erase board in my locker so I could jot down assignments or write notes to my friends.
In college it's all about the dorm room, and maximizing your space. For this I love the Pink and Orange Wallpockets Removable Wall Decals
. These are fun, because they take the classic dot design to a whole new level.
Some of the dots are cut so you fold the inner circle down to actually form a pocket. The pockets can hold memos, concert stubs, cds, or any other flat object. Other dots are designed so the middle can be removed completely. These dots make great picture frames!To Buy -
The Wallpockets retail for only $13.99, and the Chalkboard Dry Erase Dots for just $15.99. Both are great affordable options to help your student stay organized this school year. You can also follow them on facebook or twitter (@w2wstickers) to receive updates, product info, and special offers. And if you join their mailing list through facebook
you get a 15% off code!To Win - Wall 2 Wall Stickers loves to see what you’ve done with your removable wall decals! Send them pictures of how you’ve used our products in your home, dorm, office, or anywhere else to firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured on their web page and win prizes! The more creative the better!
I received a product to review from the above company or their PR Agency. Opinions expressed in this post are strictly my own - I was not influenced in any way. I received no monetary compensation for this post. By entering this giveaway you agree to my giveaway/disclosure guidelines
I’ve been travelling recently, meeting new people along the road with all the introductions and casual chit-chat that entails, and of course that includes the dreaded question “What do you do?”
I usually answer (feeling a bit fraudulent, because really this is only one of the things I do) “I’m a writer”.
“Really? That’s so interesting!” they cry. “That’s so much more interesting than my job. What kind of writer?”
“Novels and stories…” I hesitate, not really wanting to say the next bit, but what can I do, I’m a truthful person “…for children and teenagers.”
That’s when some of those people who thought my job was more interesting than theirs switch off. It’s as if I’ve cheated them. I’m not really a writer. I’m more like a primary school assistant maybe, or a child-minder – one of those jobs that is not respected in this country.
“How lovely,” they say, insincerely. “But you’re not JK Rowling, are you.” Or they frown and ask accusingly, as if I must only be in it for the easy money, or because it’s easy, “Why do you write for children?”
I only get this reaction in the UK. In other countries, people tend to be much more positive. But I’ve also noticed that in totalitarian countries like China and Russia, it makes me ‘safe’. Writers in general are to be feared, journalists even more so (I used to travel as a journalist). People are hesitant to talk to me. But say I am a children’s writer and all those fears and inhibitions vanish. If I write for children I must be a good and kind, honest and completely harmless person.
And yet I still feel I am taken seriously in a way I’m often not in the UK. In China, people told me there is no literature at all for children, and all of them grew up reading just a few Chinese classics like Journey to the West. Come and write books for Chinese children, they invited. We have nothing to read to our kids, no tradition of bedtime stories. That seemed so sad to me. And they felt it was sad, this great lack in their own lives, and this yearning to give their own children what they never had.
In Britain, everyone says something about Harry Potter.
In Britain, people ask “Should I have heard of you?”
Fellow writers, how the hell do you answer that question?*
On my latest trip round Scotland I’ve been put firmly in my place by a lady who lives next door to Julia Donaldson. An elderly Norwegian gentleman recited his poetry to me. Two delighted Italians demanded that I write my name down so they can look me up later and tell everyone they gave a famous author a lift (they’re going to be so disappointed if they do look me up). A lovely lady, mistaking my statement of fact for an expression of wishful thinking, told me she hoped all my dreams of being a children’s writer came true. And one Scottish university professor told me I was doing an important job.
Stick at it, he said. It’s so hard for kids today to find a space where they can really concentrate and be alone, at the same time as escaping into and thoroughly inhabiting the other worlds of fiction, with all their peoples and relationships and landscapes and habits… The books you write give them that space, if they want to find it.
I think that was one of the nicest responses I’ve ever had.
*I'll be travelling again when this is posted but will try and check your comments - I really do want to hear your answers!
August Illustration was submitted by Kim Dwinell. She is a freelance illustrator who also teaches in the illustration/ animation departments of California State University Fullerton and Long Beach. She likes to dabble in both illustration and animation worlds, and has found what she feels is the perfect combination of both in the medium of graphic novel. You can check up on her current project, “Surfside Girls, The Secret of Danger Point” at www.surfsidegirls.com.You can see more of her work at www.kimdwinell.com.
23rd ANNUAL REUBEN ROSE POETRY COMPETITION
- The competition is general and not necessarily on Jewish or Israeli subjects.
- Challenging, humorous and/or curious poetry is welcome.
- Poems should be unpublished, no more than 40 lines, including stanza breaks but not including title.
- Poems arriving after the closing date will be automatically entered into the next year’s contest.
- Deadline: September 30th. 2012.
- Entry Fees: Voices members:
1 poem NIS19, $5, €4, or £3;
3 poems NIS38, $10, €8, or £6;
6 poems NIS57, $15, €11, or £9
1 poem NIS23, $6, €5, or £4;
3 poems NIS46, $12, €9, or £7;
6 poems NIS69, $18, €13, or £11
How to Submit
You may submit 1, 3 or 6 poems per entry. You may send more than one entry if you wish but each entry must be submitted separately.
- Pay the entry fee by PayPal or by check (see below)
- Send your poems by typing or pasting them into the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS PLEASE).
- All your poems should be typed into a single email.
- The subject line of the email should contain your name plus the words Reuben Rose entry.
- Please include all your contact details: full name, physical address and phone number at the top of the email. No identifying information should appear on or next to the poems themselves as they will be extracted and judged anonymously.
- Please NO FANCY FORMATTING – USE TIMES NEW ROMAN LEFT ALIGNED – poems are judged on their content and fancy formatting only makes things difficult to send to the judges.
- Note that the poems must be unpublished and not more than 40 lines long.
- Please also state in your email whether you have paid by PayPal or will be sending a check.
- Send your email to email@example.com
Filed under: authors and illustrators
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Tagged: Kim Dwindle
, Poetry Contest
A Type Of Teen blog interview
Something very special about being interviewed by one of my readers! Audrey is 13 and runs the very impressive atypeofteen wordpress blog. She recently interviewed me about my writing, and Raven's Mountain
When did you decide you wanted to be an author?
I dreamed of being a writer from the time I learned to read and write in English, when I was nearly 7. (I started school in France,so had learned to read and write in French, though English was what we spoke at home.) All through school I wrote plays, poetry and stories – including one about a girl who lived alone on an island. One day at work a friend told me she’d written a book, and I decided it was time to do what I’d always dreamed of, too. I started writing, and year later, in 1988, my first book, Amanda’s Dinosaur, was published.
What gave you the idea for Raven’s Mountain?
The first image that came into my mind to plant the seeds for this book were of a girl experiencing oxygen lack while mountain climbing, (as I had, as a twelve year old, at 3000 metres, which my pilot father explained was the height at which pilots of unpressurised planes needed to start using oxygen). I think the point of this image was the feeling of confidence as I regained my breath and went on to finish climbing the mountain. The second image was of a girl smashing a house window, being torn between feelings of wickedness at doing something so uncharacteristic, and hoping that a security camera would pick up her actions and alert someone that she needed help. I have no idea where that thought came from, but the dilemma was interesting to play with.
Like many people, I’ve long been fascinated by the white Kermodes or spirit bears, who live on an island and small section of coast north of Vancouver. As they are a subspecies of black bear, so that a white mother may have one white and one black cub, it struck me as likely that their whiteness was a recessive gene. And as the mountains at this coast run into the Rockies, it seemed likely that Kermodes bears might occasionally turn up in other mountain ranges. In fact, while I was working on a later draft, I saw a newspaper report that a Kermodes bear had in fact turned up in Banff, a couple of thousand km southeast of where they’re known to live.
I’ve also been fascinated by the North American ravens, ever since I got to ‘know’ an orphaned one who was being raised by a friend. Its intelligence was extraordinary, and I understood why it plays the role of Trickster and Creator in the First Nations mythology.
What is your first memory of writing?
Sitting at the coffee table in the living room when I was seven, writing “Glossy the Fairy Horse or Shetland Pony.”
Of all the books you’ve written, which is your favourite?
I can’t really choose; they’re all special in different ways. Nim is my favourite character in some ways, but Raven is my favourite realistic character; I think Ark in the Park is the book that is closest to exactly how I wanted to write it… and I know that many people believe Peeling the Onion is my best, but it’s too personal for me to know.
What age group do you prefer to write for?
10-13, if I absolutely had to choose. But I love the freedom of just writing a story the way I feel it wants to be written, and letting my publisher worry about what age group that seems to be.
What style of writing is your favourite?
Another tricky one! I love the fun light touch but it’s usually very hard work to do.
What is your tip to aspiring authors?
Go on writing. Just write whatever you want to, enjoy it, and throw yourself into it. And read a lot – the more you read of different authors, the more you’ll learn about writing, and about how you want to write.
If you could rule the world for one day, what would you do?
Set up literacy projects for children everywhere around the world – making extra sure that girls got their chance to learn to read and write.
By: Stephanie Roth Sisson,
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Living on the Ring of Fire...I read a book a few years ago about the big SF quake...we are due for another "big one" any time now....
Blog: Ink Splot 26
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Create a Caption: Pinkie the Pink Puppy
Pinkie's owners must sure like pink. Not only is Pinkie named, well . . . Pinkie, that's also the pinkest little doggie jacket I've ever seen. You can spot that from a mile away. So for today's Create a Caption, let's talk about Pinkie the Pink-Jacketed Puppy.
What does Pinkie think about all this pink? Here is my caption:
“Has it ever occurred to you that I might NOT like pink? Why does no one ever consult me on my wardrobe??”
What do YOU think Pinkie is thinking? Give us your captions in the Comments!
— En-Szu, STACKS Intern (a.k.a. MidnightMagic5)
A couple of years ago I found a marketing company called Hubspot. Even though I don't officially use their services I attended a webinar and learned a lot about website marketing. Ever since then I have received offers of FREE eBooks the company produces, which I download and read. These have been quite useful in my writing career. While Hubspot is not really a marketing company for writers, today we all have to market our wares and selling is selling, right?
I thought I would pass along two recent FREE eBooks from Hubspot for you to check out. Don't worry about giving them your email and such, they do not inundate with spam. Continue reading
By: Mary Voors,
Blog: ALSC Blog
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Have you seen the eBadge entries? Now’s your opportunity to vote for your favorite ALSC eBadge idea!
ALSC is looking for an idea that captures our spirit, who we are, what we do, and what we stand for. What is fresh, appealing and expresses the spirit of ALSC? To see all four entries and to vote, please visit the contest page.
The voting is part of ALSC’s eBadge Contest. The member with the top vote-getting submission will win a Nook and a book from the Friends of ALSC. Two runners-up will each receive an ALSC gift bag with ALSC swag. Voting is open to anyone.
Hurry! Voting ends Thursday, August 30, 2012 at 11:59pm Central.
After a long hiatus, the Monday Poetry Stretch is back! I hope a few of you are still out there and ready to take on some new challenges and forms.
The Lai is a French syllabic verse form consisting of one or more stanza of nine lines with two rhymes, though the rhyme can vary from stanza to stanza. Here are features of the form.
- 9 lines.
- Rhyme scheme is a-a-b-a-a-b-a-a-b.
- Lines ending with rhyme a are five syllables in length.
- Lines ending with rhyme b are two syllables in length.
Leave me a note about your poem and I'll share the results in time for Poetry Friday.
Happy Monday! Here's my mishmash of thoughts:
- First day of kindergarten The dreaded day has arrived. My daughter starts kindergarten today. I need a lot of tissues.
- Touch of Death in print Last Friday, I got a huge surprise in the mail. My bound proof of Touch of Death! I held my book for the first time. There were tears. Lots of tears, and I have video evidence.
- First round edits for Stalked by Death Also arriving on Friday, were my editorial letter and first round edits for the sequel to Touch of Death. I'm diving into Stalked by Death as we speak.
- New writing schedule With my daughter in school for 6 hours a day, I have 6 hours to write and/or edit.
- WIP on hold I was planning to write two more books this year, and I still hope to, but I have to put my new WIP on hold to work on edits for contracted books.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?
So here I am again, explaining why I haven't been blogging.
The good news is that I've been writing. And re-writing. And, yup, re-writing. And when I'm not doing that, I'm reading in a focused way that I hope will make the current re-write better. I keep thinking that any day now I'm going to blog again and write a brilliant post or at least a book review of one of the many books I've been reading. But duty calls: I get immersed in my WIP. And I need to, too! There is someone waiting for me to finish this rewrite.
I think while I'm so engaged in the WIP right now, I'll have to content myself with visiting your blogs and commenting and defer posting for awhile.
But, in the meantime, if you've stopped by, please share what you are doing and where you are in the writing process. I'm sure others who stop by will be just as interested as I am and will want to visit your blog to learn more.
I do hope to be doing it again before too long.
Until then, write on.
“I begin with an idea and then it becomes something else.” — Picasso
"If you want to find, you must search. Rarely does a good idea interrupt you." — Jim Rohn
"You get ideas from daydreaming. You get ideas from being bored. You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is we notice when we’re doing it." — Neil Gaiman
"The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas." — Linus Pauling
"If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking. Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk." — Raymond Inman
“Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.” — John Steinbeck
“That’s the great secret of creativity. You treat ideas like cats: you make them follow you.” — Ray Bradbury
"The question authors get asked more than any other is "Where do you get your ideas from?" And we all find a way of answering which we hope isn't arrogant or discouraging. What I usually say is ‘I don't know where they come from, but I know where they come to: they come to my desk, and if I'm not there, they go away again.’” — Philip Pullman
“Creative ideas flourish best in a shop which preserves some spirit of fun. Nobody is in business for fun, but that does not mean there cannot be fun in business.” — Leo Burnett
“First drafts are for learning what your novel or story is about. Revision is working with that knowledge to enlarge and enhance an idea, to re-form it.... The first draft of a book is the most uncertain—where you need guts, the ability to accept the imperfect until it is better.” —Bernard Malamud
“To get the right word in the right place is a rare achievement. To condense the diffused light of a page of thought into the luminous flash of a single sentence, is worthy to rank as a prize composition just by itself....Anybody can have ideas--the difficulty is to express them without squandering a quire of paper on an idea that ought to be reduced to one glittering paragraph.” — Mark Twain
“All words are pegs to hang ideas on.” — Henry Ward Beecher
“A book is the only place in which you can examine a fragile thought without breaking it, or explore an explosive idea without fear it will go off in your face. It is one of the few havens remaining where a mind can get both provocation and privacy.” — Edward P. Morgan
"An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all." — Oscar Wilde
“Every man is a creature of the age in which he lives, and few are able to raise themselves above the ideas of the time.” —Voltaire
“When we want to infuse new ideas, to modify or better the habits and customs of a people, to breathe new vigor into its national traits, we must use the children as our vehicle; for little can be accomplished with adults.” — Maria Montessori
“We have a powerful potential in our youth, and we must have the courage to change old ideas and practices so that we may direct their power toward good ends.” — Mary McLeod Bethune
“Cautious, careful people always casting about to preserve their reputation or social standards never can bring about reform. Those who are really in earnest are willing to be anything or nothing in the world's estimation, and publicly and privately, in season and out, avow their sympathies with despised ideas and their advocates, and bear the consequences.” — Susan B. Anthony
“Our heritage and ideals, our code and standards — the things we live by and teach our children — are preserved or diminished by how freely we exchange ideas and feelings.” — Walt Disney
“We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.” — John F. Kennedy
“Oh, would that my mind could let fall its dead ideas, as the tree does its withered leaves!” —Andre Gide
“A fixed idea is like the iron rod which sculptors put in their statues. It impales and sustains.” — Hippolyte Taine
“Apologists for a religion often point to the shift that goes on in scientific ideas and materials as evidence of the unreliability of science as a mode of knowledge. They often seem peculiarly elated by the great, almost revolutionary, change in fundamental physical conceptions that has taken place in science during the present generation. Even if the alleged unreliability were as great as they assume (or even greater), the question would remain: Have we any other recourse for knowledge? But in fact they miss the point. Science is not constituted by any particular body of subject matter. It is constituted by a method, a method of changing beliefs by means of tested inquiry.... Scientific method is adverse not only to dogma but to doctrine as well.... The scientific-religious conflict ultimately is a conflict between allegiance to this method and allegiance to even an irreducible minimum of belief so fixed in advance that it can never be modified.” — John Dewey
“A belief is not an idea held by the mind, it is an idea that holds the mind.” — Elly Roselle
“To die for an idea; it is unquestionably noble. But how much nobler it would be if men died for ideas that were true.” — H.L. Mencken
“The man who strikes first admits that his ideas have given out.” — Chinese proverb
“We should have a great many fewer disputes in the world if words were taken for what they are, the signs of our ideas, and not for things themselves.” — John Locke
"Ideas are far more powerful than guns. We don't allow our enemies to have guns, why should we allow them to have ideas?" — Joseph Stalin
"Beware of people carrying ideas. Beware of ideas carrying people." — Barbara Harrison
“What matters is not the idea a man holds, but the depth at which he holds it.” — Ezra Pound
“The only force that can overcome an idea and a faith is another and better idea and faith, positively and fearlessly upheld.” — Dorothy Thompson
When you live in a place for a long time, you tend to forget people from other states may be unfamiliar with your way of life. I thought about this in particular today as I sat inside my house waiting for Tropical Storm Isaac to pass and writing an article about 12 Things to Know When You Move to Broward County. We do have aspects of living here that are unique to many other parts of the rest of the country:
Isaac at my front door
- Hurricanes and tropical storms
- More lightning than other states
- High temperatures and humidity
- Abundance of sunshine
- Water, water everywhere
- A melting pot of cultures, languages and cuisines
- Amazing natural wonders (The Everglades and more)
- A long growing and gardening season
- Big public school districts
Have you ever thought about how your home town is unique to the rest of the country? What advice would you give newcomers who ware moving there from other states?
by Isaac - 13, Gracie - 12, Lily - 9, Elijah - 6, Evie - 4
A most happy 40th Anniversary to Grammy and Grandpa!
We love you!
And now for something a bit different — a glimpse into Nerija’s real-life shenanigans! I may do similar posts in the future, focused on my literary/folklore-themed real-life adventures (I’m inspired by the Inspired Adventures of Mandy, of Adventures in Borkdom fame). . . . . . My best friend and I have been going to [...]
Shadows On My Wall
No. Pages: 32 Ages: 4 to 7
The streetlight makes shadows on Kevin’s wall! In those shadows, he sees monsters, dragons, and all sorts of frightening creatures. Does he let them scare him or does he find imaginative ways of dealing with these creepy shadows? Kevin’s room and his imagination come to life in Shadows On My Wall.
Each night, the window in Kevin’s room throws shadows upon his wall. He sees all sorts of creatures, some scary, some funny, some simply odd. Like the pirates who appear and then look like they are arguing or the dragon that Kevin scares away with another dragon, he makes using the shadows from his hands.
Anyone who has ever seen a shadow that made them jump will appreciate this cute picture book. Kevin’s visitors upon his wall include Santa on Christmas, a giant robot, and strange wiggly aliens. At first, Kevin is afraid of these shadows. As time goes on, Kevin stands up to the shadows, often scaring them away.
I liked the way Kevin decides not to give in to these shadows and finds a way to turn things around. He takes the power back from these creatures that appear at night. He even turns the table on a few. Any kid who was ever afraid of the dark, or a monster under the bed, will like Shadows On My Wall. The author also gives a short lesson in shadow puppets at the end of the book.
This is the first of two picture books by Mr. Young. The second is titled They’re Coming!
No. Pages; 32 Ages: 4 to 7
They’re Coming! From dark, dusty tombs to deep, forgotten forests, strange creatures, spooky creeps, and frightful fiends that haunt your nightmares are coming! But why? Tension builds and builds . . . mounting horribly . . . Isn’t it time you found out why They’re Coming?
This picture book will make you wonder and worry. Who are these creepy fiends, slimy things, evil creatures and magical beings that are coming? Why are they coming tonight? Throughout the book, you will read about these ghoulish creatures, all coming together on a dark, mysterious night.
As these beasts of the night get closer and closer, where are they going? Well, you must endure the mounting tension of each page if you want to know the answer. Not until the very end will you know and I cannot tell you. I was much too scared to finish this picture book, written for grades pre-K to 4.
I know, as a reviewer it is my duty to read every word, but the weirdness of the night, the eeriness of the creatures, the gloominess of the pages, were too scary for me and I had to tightly shut the cover. Where do you think these devilish looking creatures are going on the scariest night of the year?
They’re Coming may not be the best bedtime story, but it is a wonderful story hour tale for the Halloween season. Reading this to a group sitting around a campfire would be even better. If you like scary stuff, then They’re Coming is the perfect book for you.
Parents: nothing in the pages of They’re Coming will cause nightmares—if you are under the age of twenty-five. That is why I could not finish, yet I am told this has a delightful ending that will make you laugh or groan. Maybe even cause a groaning-laugh.
Both They’re Coming and Shadows On My Wall, written and illustrated by Timothy Young, are great selections for the Halloween season. Perhaps, if read together, They’re Coming to be Shadows On My Wall, could be the highlight of a Halloween party. Oh, my. That is scary. If you love Halloween, you will love these two books, which are perfect for younger kids.
Shadows on My Wall
Author and Illustrator: Timothy Young
Publisher: Schiffer Books
Release Date: 2012
Number of Pages: 32
Ages: 4 to 8 Grades: Pre-K to 4
Filed under: 4stars
, Children's Books
, Library Donated Books
, children's picture books
, shadow puppet instructions
A while back my youngest son overheard my wife and I talking about not being able to create in a vacuum. He asked, "why can't you create in a vacuum cleaner?" We both busted up laughing and then moved to damage control when we could tell he didn't appreciate it.
But the question is valid...why can't you create in a vacuum?...or vacuum cleaner?
Everyone's heard that behind every good man is a great woman (so true in my case). I would submit the same is true that behind every good writer is a great critique group.
My critique group is called Brotique probably due to the fact that we are a guys only group. Formed about three years ago - we meet about once/month at El Gallo Giro - a mostly authentic Mexican restaurant in Provo Utah. (A few of us are hiding out just for the food)
Now you might be tempted to think that we're sexist...stupid perhaps but the reason for keeping it guys only is to create an environment free from feminine based censorship - now hold on...we theorized that since most editors are female there is probably a bias in children's publishing away from certain topics or words, issues, etc. We wondered if this would be a good environment to test ideas and stories that might be deemed "inappropriate for children." Ironically we've come to realize that about the only benefit is being able to talk about ludicrous ideas without the fear of being labeled inappropriate, lewd, ribald, uncalled for, or crass.
Still - we feel that there are probably markets that are under represented or completely overlooked that would appeal to a demographic off the radar of some publishers. We like the ability to dream, write, and ponder these types of subjects. In the end we probably perform about the same amount of self censorship that we would get through editors - we just like the idea that we can be rebels - if we wanted to - but we might choose not to rebel - but we could...just so you know.
One thing for certain - we've found a magical combination of talented author/illustrators who are fun loving, thoughtful (when necessary), honest, smart, ingenious, hard working, and encouraging. The unspoken spirit of the group seems to be: "I'll help you - you help me - we'll both help them and in the end we'll all publish fun ideas that change the world for the better."
Meet the bros:
Guy Francis - can MacGyver anything - blog!
Adam Griffin - ghost - author/illustrator
Jed Henry - Young Gun - Larper - Amazing Project!
Neil Huges - can work the bowl - raises goats - writes really cool stuff!
Matt Loveridge - has largest collection of dust bunny critters - blog!
Jake Parker - internet entrepreneur - owns 5 small kids - Amazing Project!
Kirk Richards - unsuspecting - fine artist/ illustrator - Amazing Project!
Will Strong - strong - leaps small buildings with multiple bounds - blog!
Will Terry - immature - has been hit by two cars while riding bikes!
Rick Walton - is playing himself - written over 1000 picturebooks - site!
Jake Wyatt - jackhammer - buzzsaw - voltage overload - funny guy - blog!
By: Evil Editor,
Blog: Evil Editor
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Abigail Sharpe reports that her novel Who Wants to Marry a Cowboy
(most recently seen here as an Evil Editor Classic
) will be published by Grand Central Forever Yours. She of course credits us with her success.
Last week, Lauren Marino, my Gotham editor, shared what I think is a most stunning cover for Handling the Truth, which is due out from Gotham (Penguin USA) next August. To Lauren and to Susan Barnes, who has answered so many questions along the way, my deepest thanks. To Amy Rennert, who has cared so much about this work, thanks, too. This cover is sensational—a great blessing on a book that means so very much to me.
The catalog copy:
In the tradition of Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird,a critically acclaimed National Book Award finalist shares inspiration and practical advice for writing—and living with—memoir.
Writing memoir is a deeply personal, and consequential, undertaking. As the acclaimed author of five memoirs spanning significant turning points in her life, Beth Kephart has been both blessed and bruised by the genre. In Handling the Truth, she thinks out loud about the form—on how it gets made, on what it means to make it, on the searing language of truth, on the thin line between remembering and imagining, and, finally, on the rights of memoirists. Drawing on proven writing lessons and classic examples, on the work of her students and on her own memories of weather, landscape, color, and love, Kephart probes the wrenching and essential questions that lie at the heart of memoir. A beautifully written work in its own right, Handling the Truth opens Kephart’s memoir-making classroom—and thoughts—to all those who read or seek to write the truth.
Kephart is a very gifted and insightful writer.”— USA Today
“[Kephart] writes eloquently.”—The New York Times Book Review
A couple of weeks ago, my friend and c-worker Andy had a BIG birthday, and I made him a custom birthday card. Yes, Andy likes the ladies AND he likes to make the Sangria too, so I thought it would be funny to combine the two in his card. Of course, custom cards are basically inside jokes, so I'm just giving you a bit of background to help you appreciate the humor.
The card got a lot of laughs, I am happy to report. ;D
I just went through all 1927 of my posts to label ones about dragons as "dragons." So if anyone wants some nice dragon books (and there are some good ones!) they can be found. But there are only 33 of them...which seems wrong (on many, many counts), though that being said, some of the posts are lists.
But still, I wonder-- have I been avoiding dragons???? I know I tend to avoid mermaids and vampires and zombies (though there are good books about all three)...but I thought I liked dragons.
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Thanks to all who entered to win the personalized sketch! The winner is:
(a sample sketch)
Meradeth Houston Snow!