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Viewing: Blog Posts from All 1562 Blogs, dated 11/5/2012 [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 160
1. CATH KIDSTON - summer 2013

here is another print for summer 2013 from cath kidston. the conversational print features a selection of british holiday destinations on tie-on labels and co-ordinates with a cheery stripe. the designs are part of their outdoor collection on bags, picnicware, garden chairs, beach towels, a parasol,  and even a tent designed to look like a pretty cottage.

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2. CATH KIDSTON - ss2013 : strawberries

as i mentioned earlier one of cath kidston's print themes for next summer is strawberries. these are some of the new products on dispaly at their press preview last week which featured the fruity motifs. items included embroidered bags, notebooks, mugs, tea towels, and cardigan.

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3. SkADaMo Day 5


Just got back from a wee trip and sneaking day 5 in under the wire. This guy is part of an idea I got for PiBoIdMo, so yay, killed two newts with one stone.

Also, I was finally able to post a list of the fine peeps who decided to join me in this fun little exercise, SkADaMo. Why not take a peek at what this talented bunch is churning out and root them on!

If I forgot anyone, misspelled anyone’s name or any other heinous act was performed, please let me know and I’ll do my best to correct it.

I’ll try to include the list of sketchers on every one of my SkADaMo posts throughout the month. Otherwise, there are no other rules, regulations, themes, daily words, Facebook pages or anything else resembling organization. Just lots of sketching, commenting back and forth and hopefully lots of inspiration and craft honing!

Carry on sketchers!
















8 Comments on SkADaMo Day 5, last added: 11/8/2012
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4. SkADaMo Day 5


Just got back from a wee trip and sneaking day 5 in under the wire. This guy is part of an idea I got for PiBoIdMo, so yay, killed two newts with one stone.

Also, I was finally able to post a list of the fine peeps who decided to join me in this fun little exercise, SkADaMo. Why not take a peek at what this talented bunch is churning out and root them on!

If I forgot anyone, misspelled anyone’s name or any other heinous act was performed, please let me know and I’ll do my best to correct it.

I’ll try to include the list of sketchers on every one of my SkADaMo posts throughout the month. Otherwise, there are no other rules, regulations, themes, daily words, Facebook pages or anything else resembling organization. Just lots of sketching, commenting back and forth and hopefully lots of inspiration and craft honing!

Carry on sketchers!
















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5. 'Reaching the World' festival

       Reaching the World -- "Bangkok's first international writers' showcase" -- runs through 9 November.
       It begins with a two-day summit that explores 'the value of literary prizes, and the need for quality literary translations to take writers to the global market'. The panel on 'Taking Writers Global through Translation' -- exploring: "ways to improve literary translations of books from South East Asia" -- sounds promising, and with Daniel Hahn leading the discussion I hope we'll soon find reports about the conclusions and ideas that emerge. (As I have often noted, this is an area of the world that, beside Central Asia, has been most overlooked as far as translation-into-English goes.)
       You can also listen to Bill Bainbridge's conversation with Adam Aitken about the festival at Radio Australia.

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6. Prix Femina

       The Prix Femina is almost as old as the biggest of the French literary prizes, the Goncourt -- it was first awarded in 1904, just a year after the first Goncourt -- and it's the first of the big awards to be announced (with the rest to follow shortly).
       Peste & Choléra by Patrick Deville took the (domestic) prize (see also the Seuil publicity page), while The Buddha in the Attic (well, Certaines n'avaient jamais vu la mer) by Julie Otsuka won the foreign category. See, for example, the France 24 report, US writer Julie Otsuka wins Femina foreign novel prize.

       This prize has a pretty good track record of having the prize-winning titles get translated into English -- and quite a few of them are under review at the complete review. See, for example, just the ones awarded since 2000:

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7. Tears in Rain review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Rosa Montero's Tears in Rain.
       This is an AmazonCrossing book and, as Chad Post recently noted in tallying up the number of translations published by various US publishers in 2012, with 25 AmazonCrossing is only behind Dalkey Archive Press .....
       It's an ... interesting selection of titles they've got -- heavy on popular German and ... Icelandic (really) fiction, for example -- but they're definitely filling a useful void (most of the small independents tend to focus on the more ... quirky/intellectual/'literary' stuff), and I'm glad to see it.

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8. Thankful for Readers - Book Giveaway

It's time for another giveaway.

I'm offering Something Old

Book one - Plain City Bridesmaids series.

Leave your email in a comment.

Please don't forget to do this. With each giveaway, I sadly have to

eliminate someone because they've left no contact information.

Giveaway ends Thanksgiving Day.

And just for fun, a Thanksgiving Day Poem:


May your stuffing be tasty,

May your turkey plump,

May your potatoes and gravy

Have nary a lump.

May your yams be delicious

And your pies take the prize,

And may your Thanksgiving dinner

Stay off your thighs!

- Anonymous

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9. Floricanto of Funny. Newsbits. On-Line Floricanto.

Call for Writers: Floricanto of Funny

Michael Sedano

Other than a good five-cent fair trade cigar, what this country needs is some seriously funny chicana chicano writing.

Not episodic teevee, and definitely not stand-up comedian patter. When writers struggle to be funny for 30 minutes on the tube, 90 minutes on stage, the low-hanging fruit of the funny tree gets picked clean, consumers coming away with the runs.

Chicana chicano literature is funny as a matter of culture; así somos. Humor fills novels and short fiction in bits and flashes woven into the texture of dramatic work. There are hundreds of choice instances: a purse-snatcher pinned against a wall by an irate driver in Naked Ladies; a laugh out loud barroom fight in Let Their Spirits Dance. What's your favorite scene?

Teatro tops anyone’s bill for entertaining writing producing sustained laughter. Richard Montoya and Culture Clash continuously produce seriously funny pieces. Zoot Suit and such Luis Valdez work as Los Vendidos, stand as classics of US literature (at link, acto starts at 05:38).

Fantasy realism comes replete with inherently funny possibilities, like the flying dead baby that launches So Far From God. Sandra Castillo, in fact, shines for infusing her work and characters with humor and funny stuff. Castillo’s stories featuring Carmen la Coja, the one-legged flamenco dancer, glow with warmth that keeps a good-humored smile on a reader’s face.

Full frontal humor comes from Hungry Woman in Paris, where Josefina Lopez cooks up a diet of grown-up erotica. Mario Acevedo starts with ribald and from there it's no-holds-barred in his chicano vampire detective series. And in the wider spectrum of latina latino humor, there's the ribaldry of Daniel Chavarria's Adios Muchachos.

Like teatro, there's a lot of good old stuff. La Bloga recently celebrated humorist José Antonio Burciaga’s classic collection, Drink Cultura. Click here to watch Ron Arias reading his comedy piece, “The Interview,” at the first Festival de Flor y Canto in 1973. 

Michael Jaime-Becerra, Sandra Ramos O'Briant, Estella Gonzáles, all serious at the Autry.
Contemporary writing offers excellent comedic writing. Michael Jaime-Becerra, for example, had the audience in stitches at a recent Latinos in Lotusland reading. Rudy Garcia’s fantasy novel The Closet of Discarded Dreams warpspeeds from one funny-to-odd episode after another, page after page. Olga Garcia’s collection, Falling Angels, has some gems written to be funny and that work.

So there’s quite a range of raza funny, from warm gentle feel-good stuff to funny ha-ha to wild and woolly, and it's out there pa'lla.

All those hangdog faces. We won. They won. They're going to get even. Sheesh. Cut the drama, move to joy. What these times call for is an extended dose of funny. A book that has funny ha-ha to warm fuzzy to Out There, in one place at one time. The first, and only, anthology of chicana chicano humor.

And to give the book a life of its own beyond the pages, do a floricanto; bring all the living writers together to read their best ten minutes. Hence, the following La Bloga project:

A La Bloga Project: “Floricanto of Chistes and Chortles”

Can la raza produce twenty or thirty writers to occupy a two- or three-day festival of chicana chicano humor, plus contribute pages of the first-ever anthology of Chicana Chicano humor?

A ver.

Here’s step one bringing to light an anthology and floricanto of chistes and chortles: nominate yourself or another writer's work.

Call for Writers
La Bloga invites writers to submit work for consideration for Floricanto of Chistes and Chortles, appear in the videolog of the floricanto, and publish in a first-of-a-kind anthology. If you’re a writer with a finished humorous work, published or not yet, send it. If you have a greatly funny idea, send a 25-word proposal and get to writing. The final submittal date is April 1, 2013. By the way, if you feel Floricanto of Chistes and Chortles is a funky name, please suggest away. Take the first step by email. Append your work in PDF or Word-compatible format to Michael Sedano.

Call for Jurors
Maybe you don't write funny but you know funny when you see it. You oughta join the judges panel to help identify work meriting an invitation to the funny floricanto. If you're willing to put in the time--and you guarantees you recognizes funny when you sees it--email here.

Take the Idea and Run!
If there’s a C/S Departamento jefa jefe who wants to jump in at the get-go and sponsor this floricanto of funny, let’s get that ball rolling, too. Ideally, the floricanto will enrich author readings with interactions between writers and audience like workshops and discussion panels, and published proceedings. Trailblazing opportunities like Floricanto of Chistes and Chortles are few and far between, gente. Carpe diem.

Veterans Day Chowhounds, Bennies

Vietnam era Veteran Bob Handy sends along a list he's compiled of restaurants offering free food to uniformed military and military Veterans.

Some offers are for Sunday, November 11, others for Monday, November 12. With proper ID, an ex-GI can eat free both days, with Sunday pancakes at IHOP, lunch at Chili's, and dinner at Applebee's, and Monday pancakes at Denny's, lunch at Golden Corral, and dine at Olive Garden or TGIF.

My aching knee won't get me anything, but my DD-214 probably qualifies me--and any aging Vet--for boneless service at Hooters. They're not kidding, but your local Hooters might not be joining in the discounts.

Veterans need to check their local franchise in case there's no free lunch at that location. For Handy's full PDF, click here.

Veterans Day is Sunday, November 11. 2012.

Sylmar Links With Kansas City on November 10

La Bloga friend and Guest Columnist Xánath Caraza makes a whirlwind tour to the West coast, stopping long enough in Sylmar, California, to conduct a poetry writing workshop and a reading from Caraza's recently celebrated collection Conjuro.

La Bloga friend Palabra Literary Magazine provides details of the poet's activities at Tia Chucha's Centro Cultural Bookstore at the northeastern leg of the San Fernando Valley.

When: Saturday, November 10, 2012
What: Writing Workshop led by Xánath Caraza
Where: Tia Chuca's Centro Cultural Bookstore
Time: 12:30-3:30p.m.

What: Xánath Caraza reading from her book, Conjuro
When: (same day--Saturday, November 10th)
Time: 5p.m.
Where: Tia Chuca's Centro Cultural Bookstore

For Tia Chucha's website and contact datos click here.

Innovative Fundraising Idea: Don't Share Donations With Banks

Bloguero René Colato Laínez recently shared news  of La Bloga friend and Guest Columnist Claudia D. Hernandez' project to produce an empowering book about mujerismo for young women.

As with most fundraiser/kickstarter programs, anyone who wants to donate money is forced to contribute to Meg Whitman's purse via PayPal, or see some of the donation stick to the fingers of the credit card company blocking your gift until the bank takes its cut.

Just send a check, or cold hard cash? While donors would love to fund directly to the artist, it's genuinely unsafe for an artist to disclose residential datos. There are some really sick stalkers out there.

Claudia comes up with a perfect solution--an electronic bank transfer. In fact, Hernandez' plan is perfect for people who would like to make a direct donation to the project without having to pay a % to Paypal or credit card processors.

Hernandez emails me:

I nicknamed the account- PROJECT FUNDS. I'm going to try to persuade my bank to make a donation as well. Wish me luck!

Here's the information people need:

So here's a way to support Claudia's important project Revolutionary Women of Color and see 100% of your donation go to the artist. Contact your bank and learn how to do an electronic payment.

Here's hoping your bank doesn't charge you for the privilege of spending your own money to help Claudia's project.

La Bloga On-Line Floricanto for November’s First Tuesday
Carmen Calatayud, Avotcja, Iván Torres, Sharon Elliott, Erika Garza-Johnson

La Bloga's On-Line Floricanto endeavors to provide an opportunity for poets to showcase themselves via their work, a mug shot, and biographical details. While each poem stands on its own, readers generally appreciate knowing more about the poet and the context within which one works. La Bloga apologizes for the absence of supporting materials from some of today's floricanto poets.

"Commitment Otra Vez" by Carmen Calatayud
"Ancestral Reflections" by Avotcja
"Los Muertos" por Iván Torres
"Staircase" by Sharon Elliott
“Waiting for the Apocalypse (or My Poetic Nightmare)” by Erika Garza-Johnson

"Commitment Otra Vez"
by Carmen Calatayud

For R.V.

Some generations ago,
you were a Zapatista
inside your great-grandmother’s
womb, black eye sockets of
revolution, carrying roses
with the pink blown out,
dando gritos in earshot
of the Americas.

But now your doubt
is strewn across the room
like petals from dead maravillas,
even in this space you rent
where spiritual warriors
pray for your country
and you can finally sleep
through the night.

Listen, amigo de los desamparados,
this is your time, again,
beyond gut-level fear
and black and white film:
The explosions just keep coming,
and you are chewing on history,
and never let it be said
that all you could do was cry.

Copyright 2012 by Carmen Calatayud
Originally published in In the Company of Spirits by Press 53
and featured as Split This Rock Poem of the Week 10-19-12

In Honor of El Dia De Los Muertos
"Ancestral Reflections"
by Avotcja

calling in the Spirits of Anacaona, Papa Kémoko Sano, Nina Simone, Cortijo, Abdoulaye “Papa” Camara, Lord Invader, Melba Liston, Sabu Martinez, John Hicks, Olatunji, Linda Hill, Don Rafael Cepeda, Shirley Horne, Malonga Cascalourde, Eddie Moore, Jim Pepper, Pedro Juan Pietri, Hazel Scott, Sun Ra, Lucho Gatica, Bob Bray, Miriam Makeba, Syvia del Villard, Floyd Red Crow Westerman, Joy Holland, Pearl Primus, Eleo Pomare, Alicia Pierce, Arturo Schomburg, Ramito, Horace Tapscott, Eric Dolphy, James Baldwin, Caspar Banjo & Annalee Walker

Can you feel them???
Ancestral suggestion trying to guide us
They’re everywhere
Walking through us, right beside us
They are the essence of us
Got the intensity of their legacy in everything
All over our stuff
They’re in us, with us
All the time
Our Ancestors never sleep
They want us to know all they’ve ever known
Been trying to show the way so we don’t have to fall
They need us to feel them
Won’t let us go ‘til we let them know we need them
There’s still too much work that has to be done
They’ve got their busy fingers in all our business
Whether we want them there or not
And they’re always listening … watching … looking
Checking in on us … won’t let us forget
Got to make sure their existence made a difference
Can you feel them???
They’re sitting in on our everything
The Ancestors are always here … they’re everywhere
Making sure we’re making sure
Their influence is obvious every time we open our eyes
They need us to be aware
They gave their everything for us
They lived & died for us
They smile
Each & every time they see their lives alive in us
Feel them … they’re here
Crying for us … Singing to us … Laughing at us
And right now they’re dancing with us
As we carry the tradition of honoring their presence
And proudly praise & celebrate the vision they continue to give us
We humbly take on the mantle of the undying strength of their legacy
And pray always to be worthy of the gifts of their artistry
Can you feel them???
Insistent Ancestral suggestion on top of us, encouraging us
They’re everywhere
Agitating … trying through us to make a better way
Help us create a better day
Hardheaded, gregarious Spirits got their fingers in our everything
Relentless & instigating & they won’t go away
They’ve been in it for the long haul
Paid the price of their tickets in commitment & blood
And they’re in us … always with us
Can you feel them???
Our Ancestors are never asleep
And we
Got to make sure their existence made a difference

Copyright © Avotcja

"Los Muertos"
por Iván Torres

Dedicado a todos los que estuvieron aqui, pero que ya estan en todas partes...

Los muertos:
son vasijas quebradas,
raices cortadas.
Son polvo, son llama
son llanto y son calma.
Los muertos se entierran
descienden, luego vuelan.
Son aves, son luces
son piedras y cruces.
Los muertos no sienten
no hablan, ni mienten;
son misterio y verdad
son incierta ansiedad.
Los muertos nos cuidan
nos arropan, nos miran
desde arriba, a lo alto
o abajo, sobre el asfalto.
Los muertos son queridos,
son familia, son amigos.
Son quienes nos compadecen,
son eternos, no languidecen.
Ellos miran que sufrimos,
que no amamos, ni vivimos.
Ven como nos odiamos
nos herimos y despedazamos.
Los muertos no son los otros:
los muertos somos nosotros.

By Sharon Elliott

through the skull
of my pelvis

orbits shaped like crocodiles kissing
or horses rubbing noses
without any skin

a staircase of wonder
descending through hips and valleys
of a thousand turgid nights
evening caught in memories
between pubis and tailbone
a never ending transverse journey
follows graying links
of cartilage
into the unknown

I long for
open upon possibility
recumbent bowl of fleshless salvation
filled with absent organs
of pleasure and partition

everything soft has melted
leaving hard unyielding bone
picked clean by scavengers

yet flexibility lingers


I live at the top of the path
it takes only courage
to climb down and through
stay in the center
avoid the pitfalls on either side
better yet
gaze down into them
as a reminder of where not to go
forge ahead
until the pitfalls disappear
the only thing left
is where I am supposed to be

Copyright © 2012 Sharon Elliott. All Rights Reserved.

"Waiting for the Apocalypse (or My Poetic Nightmare)"
by Erika Garza-Johnson

Four horsemen walk into a bar.

Scratch that.

There are no more words. You stole them all. You.
Over there. Yes. The guilty one with the stack of poems.
Are those your poems? Where did you get them?

No. The words, they have been eaten
up by a fat, scary, hairy, politician.
No. A vampire. Yes. Chris Christie with fangs.

In that trash can, along with aborted fetuses,
hypodermic needles, last weeks leftover barbacoa.

My words, gone.

Words like azure, cobalt, esperanza, opalescent, jacaranda.

They are in my father’s garden that no longer exists.
They are hanging
on the lasso
with my childhood dresses.
Yes. On the frilly, yellow one I wore when I fell in the mud.

The words. Are gone. Are in a Depeche Mode song.

The river is dry. The river is soot and bones.
There is a wall and I can’t climb over it to see more words.

Over there.
A ghost accordion plays corridos, muertitos bailan.
Pero se acabaron los tacos. Corn won’t grow.
There are no more wooden crucifixes, strands of garlic.
No one is selling bejeweled bows or cat whistles.

My words have evaporated with the drought.
My words have been murdered by the cartel.
My words have been slain, hung, decayed.

Shit. I forgot my bayonet.

There is no end to this fear that the words have run out.
Time has run out.

The horsemen are here.

"Commitment Otra Vez" by Carmen Calatayud
"Ancestral Reflections" by Avotcja
"Los Muertos" por Iván Torres
"Staircase" by Sharon Elliott
“Waiting for the Apocalypse (or My Poetic Nightmare)” by Erika Garza-Johnson

Carmen Calatayud's first poetry collection In the Company of Spirits was published in October 2012 by Press 53. Her book was a runner-up for the Academy of American Poets Walt Whitman Award. Her poetry has appeared in journals such as Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Cutthroat: A Journal of the Arts, La Bloga, PALABRA: A Magazine of Chicano and Latino Literary Art, and the anthology DC Poets Against the War. She is a Larry Neal Poetry Award winner and recipient of a Virginia Center for the Creative Arts fellowship. Calatayud is a poet moderator for Poets Responding to SB 1070, a Facebook group that features poetry and news about Arizona’s controversial immigration law that legalizes racial profiling. Born to a Spanish father and Irish mother in the U.S., Calatayud works and writes in Washington, DC.

Iván Torres was born on September 17, 1981, in El Paso, TX. Raised in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, he grew up in a middle class household and attended Mexican public school all the way up to high school. Afterwards, he attended The University of Texas at El Paso and earned a Bachelors degree in Print media with a minor in Translation and Interpretation Studies. His writing is influenced by life experiences, religion, myths, dreams and emotions. Having been raised by his grandmother, Ivan’s writing also reflects a passion for his ancestry and the traditions that characterize the Mexican culture, rife with sayings, customs and devotions

Born and raised in Seattle, Sharon Elliott has written since childhood. Four years in the Peace Corps in Nicaragua and Ecuador laid the foundation for her activism. As an initiated Lukumi priest, she has learned about her ancestral Scottish history, reinforcing her belief that borders are created by men, enforcing them is simply wrong.

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10. A WRITING TUTOR IN MY LAPTOP: Susan Price interviewed by Penny Dolan

For some months, my current writing project's been in a cold empty place. Then, explaining the plot in a pub to a play-writing friend, I suddenly saw how to re-imagine the setting of that last blocked third.  The wretched WIP may be coming to life again. 

Why did it take so long for me to see it? Mostly because it is quite hard to find both a good listener and good advice. A novel is bigger and longer than a chapter book, a picture book text or a folio of poems. I had no constant writing buddy or critique group on hand and even the courses at Arvon or Ty Newyydd seemed too general for what I needed.

During this time, I’d mulled about professional writing advice - the kind of services offered by Nicola Morgan, Emma Darwin and others - but felt way too wary. What was involved for the writer and the tutor? How did the process look from the other side? 

This post is an answer to such questions and. I’m really pleased to be interviewing author Susan Price, who is an award-winning writer and an experienced writing tutor. 
Susan Price signed her first professional contract with Faber at 16, and has earned her living as a writer ever since. 

Her best known books are The Sterkarm Handshake, which won the Guardian prize, and The Ghost Drum, which won the Carnegie Medal. 

She has taught creative writing in schools and colleges, and recently spent three very successful years at a university, as Royal Literary Fund Fellow, helping anyone who wanted to consult her, students or staff, to improve their writing skills.

You have helped students with essays and writers with novels, Sue. So I’m wondering if you find any similarity between the needs of the essay writer and the fiction writer? And how does this relate to the RLF?

Susan Price:
There’s far more similarity than I would have guessed when I started at De Montfort as a RLF Fellow. I soon saw that students struggling to write an essay or thesis face almost exactly the same problems as a writer struggling with a novel or play.

I think this is largely why the RLF Fellowship scheme is so successful. Writers have spent their lives struggling with these problems but – because it’s all part of the creative drive for them, and not just a chore – they’ve tackled them inventively and with verve.

Every writer comes up with their own solution but – as writers discover when they meet – they’ve often found solutions that are broadly similar, and have tested them to destruction on book after book. So when struggling students come to RLF Fellows, who are all professional writers, they come to someone who loves writing, who is practiced and fluent in writing, and has often already faced down any problem the student brings them.

The RLF sounds a very worthwhile service.  Are there any particular problems that both students and writers struggle with?

Susan Price:
From my own experience, and from seeing students, I’d say ‘writer’s block’ is a big one. Wanting to write, needing to write, but just not able to force yourself to do it. Fretting and pacing, chewing nails and pens and keyboards, feeling sick but still not getting a word written. I think every writer knows that feeling. It’s a huge waste of energy – and yet, if you can just break through that block, the words often pour out.

The second big problem, and one I saw often at university, was managing masses of material. It might be organising huge amounts of research so you can find the part you want – or the daunting task of pulling out the few relevant bits you need to answer the question, and shaping them into a lucid piece of writing.

Writers may be working on a novel rather than an essay or thesis, but they face exactly the same problems – for instance, this factoid I’ve discovered is fascinating but is it in any way relevant to my story?

Both writers and students often throw themselves on the rug in despair while struggling to turn research into a coherent work.

The third, and probably the biggest, is Structure, Structure, Structure – or, rather, the lack of it. I encountered this lack again and again in student’s work.
Everything else about your work can be outstanding, but if you don’t structure it well, you ruin it. It’s like hanging a beautiful painting in a dark corner, where no one can see it properly..

I saw many students who had managed to bypass writer’s block, and had hacked their way through the research and notes. They’d written their essay, and were despairing and exhausted when it was still marked low. It was nearly always because they’d structured it badly, making it hard to follow. They jumped from point to point, confusing the reader, or made an undiscriminating heap of points instead of structuring them to build a clear argument.

Can you give an example of this?

Susan Price:
Over the past few weeks I’ve been looking at a novice writer’s work and finding much the same problems, even though she’s writing a novel. Her book had great characterisation, excellent dialogue with instantly recognisable voices for each character, brilliant and atmospheric scene-setting.

I enjoyed reading it, and often wished I’d written passages – but . . 

Penny: But what? (This isn’t my novel in disguise, by the way!)

Susan Price:
Her structure was faulty. She muffled the impact of many scenes by not preparing for them, and ruined others by telling us too much, too soon. She had scenes where characters wandered about aimlessly with nothing to do, because she hadn’t planned her story-line carefully enough.

How to explain structure? It’s like telling a joke. You don’t tell the punch-line first. And often a joke depends on very careful ordering of words, in order to plant a certain idea before the punch-line disrupts it. This is structure, and a story is much the same.

Once you’ve subdued your mass of research and ideas into more or less the right order, you then have to very carefully fine-tune the opening and ending of every scene, consider every line of dialogue, every hint you give the reader…What information do you give them up-front, what do you hold back? What do you cut, because you don’t want to insult your reader’s intelligence – what do you expand because you haven’t given their imaginations enough?

It’s very hard, and it nips your head! After a few hours of it, you can feel punch-drunk. But this is why writing is an art – it takes time, trouble, thought and the willingness to rewrite something more times than you ever thought you would spend on anything.

Penny: I agree. The writing and re-writing can take such ages and usually has to be struggled through alone..

Susan Price:
It’s very hard – as you know, Penny – to see for yourself exactly what restructuring and rewriting is needed. You get too exhausted with it. You become desensitised to your own writing, and so you pile on detail because you can no longer see that a hint was enough. Or, because you know your own story so well, you can’t see that the reader needs a little more explanation.

Then there are other things to consider, such as word rhythms, dialogue, description, but I’d say that writers’ block, rough-shaping large, daunting amounts of material, and the fine structuring are the three biggest bogie-beasts faced by novice-writers.

And I can help people overcome them all. I have done!

Penny: A satisfying feeling. But not everyone is able to travel long distances to meet a writing tutor. How effective do you think distance tutoring can be?

Susan Price:
Well, the Open University (OU) has been doing it very effectively since the 1960s! And I think most universities these days have distance learning courses.

Certainly, as an RLF, I saw foreign students who made appointments to see me as part of a short trip to the UK. They were living and working abroad, but taking a distance learning course. My cousin, for instance, did an MA with the OU in the UK, while living and working in Switzerland. He attended ‘virtual lectures’ on-line.

Penny:  I like the sound of virtual lectures, especially with the shorter days and how much frost there was on the car this morning. Online does have the advantage of being time-efficient for the busy student.. How exactly does the online process work with you?

Susan Price:
After our initial contact, writing students email me their texts, without any postage costs or using up expensive printer ink. As the tutor, I add notes and comments in Word, and email it back, again without any costs in postage or ink.

Additionally, using Skype, I can talk to students, using computer to computer software, so they only have to pay for my time and experience. Student and tutor can even talk face to face using Skype and web-cam, if they don’t mind looking ropey! This isn’t a beauty-contest, after all.

Also, it’s even possible, with a little fiddling, to use a shared Dropbox file, for both student and tutor to look at the same piece of writing at the same time. A high-speed broadband connection would be needed for this, and you need to log-off and log-on again to see any changes made in the shared folder – but it takes seconds.

Penny: And the tutoring is there, set up, ready for whenever a student or writer needs help, without any term-time boundaries? That’s a definite point in favour of online tutoring and mentoring as well as the way it can be shaped to the needs of the writer and the writing.

Thank you, Sue, for sharing your experiences on Awfully Big Blog Adventure.

You can find more about the writing critique service Susan Price offers at http://www.susanpriceauthor.com/professional-help-with-your-writing/

 Penny Dolan

6 Comments on A WRITING TUTOR IN MY LAPTOP: Susan Price interviewed by Penny Dolan, last added: 12/2/2012
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11. Celebrating picture books with Rosemary Wells (ages 3 - 7)

We have been celebrating Rosemary Wells' picture books with our kindergartners all fall. Two new books I've enjoyed sharing are Yoko’s Show and Tell and Hands Off, Harry! Here in Berkeley, we're thrilled that Rosemary Wells will be at our local independent bookstore, Mrs. Dalloway's THIS SATURDAY (November 10th) at 3:00 pm.

Yoko’s Show and Tell
by Rosemary Wells
Disney Hyperion, 2012
ages 3–6
available on Amazon and at your local library
When Yoko receives a special doll from her grandparents in Japan, she is so excited that she can’t wait to show her friends. She knows that Miki, the special doll that once belonged to her Mama long ago, would be perfect for show-and-tell at school. But Mama says, “Miki is too delicate to take to school.”

Young children will relate to Yoko’s feelings, as she finds the idea of sharing this special doll too hard to resist. They will share in Yoko’s horror as Miki is tossed about the school bus, and they will want to re-create Dr. Kiroshura’s doll hospital for themselves. The Yoko books are some of our absolute favorites.

Parents and teachers might be interested to know that Rosemary Wells has developed a "Kind and Gentle Week" guide that is available on her website.
Hands Off, Harry!
Kindergators Series
by Rosemary Wells
HarperCollins/Katherine Tegan Books, 2012
ages 3–6
available on Amazon and your local library
New kindergartners will be familiar with this story: a classmate is having trouble keeping his hands to himself. Harry just wants to have fun and be silly, but his classmates are bothered by the way he pokes, startles and tackles them.

Harry’s teacher, Miss Harmony, calls class meetings so that his classmates can express their frustrations, and Harry must sit in time-out to think about his actions. But nothing sinks in, and Harry continues being the joker and bothering people. Nothing seems to work until a classmate comes up with a new way to teach Harry about his personal space.

Kids will enjoy the balance of humor and compassion, relating both to Harry’s antics and his classmates’ frustrations. Best of all, children will like the sense of community and problem-solving in Miss Harmony’s kindergarten classroom. Kids, parents and teachers will appreciate Wells' new series that focuses on issues that new kindergartners and preschools have adjusting to school. Have fun watching this video to get a sense of this new series:

Meet the Kindergators! from Rosemary Wells on Vimeo.

As Rosemary Wells says, "Read to your bunny every day." We can't wait to see her newest book, Max and Ruby's Treasure Hunt. It's received a starred review from Booklist: "Packed with interactive fun, Wells’ latest story about the rabbit Max and his older sister, Ruby, is an exciting picture book with lift-the-flap clues that blend Mother Goose rhymes with playful suspense at home." Hope to see you Saturday to hear more about this much loved picture book author.

Have fun celebrating Picture Book Month with your children. Stop by the wonderful Picture Book Month blog each day for a new essay on why picture books are so important.

The review copies were kindly sent by the publishers, Disney/Hyperion Books and Harper Collins. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Great Kid Books (at no cost to you!). Thank you for your support.

Review ©2012 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books

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12. Exotic foods

A can of missing links
Pickled dinosaurs
Paste of language long dead
Moon dust bread

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13. The Call for Slice of Life Stories

Please link the Slice of Life Story you write today to this post by leaving a comment. Be sure to check out other bloggers’ writing by clicking through the links in the comment… Read More

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14. PiBoIdMo Day 6: Deborah Freedman Takes a Lesson from Frog and Toad

Frog came running up the path.
“What is all this noise?” he asked.
“My seeds will not grow,” said Toad.
“You are shouting too much,” said Frog. “These poor seeds are afraid to grow.”

“These poor seeds are afraid to grow.” Wait… seeds can be afraid to grow? I didn’t know that. I wonder if that is my problem. Are you talking to me too, Frog? Can stories be afraid to grow, too?

Maybe I am shouting too much: Now ideas, start GROWING—what will the critique buddies think? what will mr. agent, ms. editor think? what will bookstores, kirkus, random readers on goodreads think? what if I never, never have a good idea again? OMG! that really could happen! please, please, ideas—GROW, GROW, GROW!

Help—TOAD—I can’t stop the shouting! Where are you? What would YOU do?

Toad read a long story to his seeds.
All the next day Toad sang songs to his seeds.
And all the next day Toad read poems to his seeds.
And all the next day Toad played music for his seeds.
Then Toad felt very tired, and he fell asleep.

Oh! These all sound like easy things to do… thank you Toad, I will do them! I will read stories and poems and play music. And then maybe I will also look at art, and walk in the woods and stop on the footbridge to play Poohsticks. And then plant things, bake things, make things… make anything but books.

And then finally, I will lie on the couch and stare out the window, until… until there is no more shouting and it is quiet… except for some birds (what’s the gossip today, guys?), and a couple of squirrels (hey, what is the problem out there? stop bickering!), and my cat, Milo, snoring.

I will try all of these things because I have read, and read over many times again, FROG AND TOAD TOGETHER by Arnold Lobel, so I know that in “The Garden”—spoiler alert!!!—once Toad stops shouting, his seeds really do grow in the end. Hopefully, if I’m quiet and patient too, my ideas will stop being afraid to sprout, and if I have a good one—hooray!!—I will jot or sketch it down right away. And then, at last, I can reward myself by taking a lesson from the next chapter of Frog and Toad: “Cookies”.

Toad baked some cookies.
“These cookies smell very good,” said Toad.
He ate one.
“And they taste even better…”

Hey, did you have an idea today? Well then, have a cookie! And by the way, what do you do, to coax your ideas to grow?

Once-upon-a-time, Deborah Freedman was an architect, but now she prefers to build worlds in books. She is the author and illustrator of SCRIBBLE and BLUE CHICKEN, and THE STORY OF FISH AND SNAIL, to be published in June 2013, by Viking. Follow her adventures at Writes With Pictures or on Facebook and Twitter @DeborahFreedman.

And lucky you, it’s time to win something AGAIN! Deborah is giving away a signed copy of her book BLUE CHICKEN!

Just comment to be entered (one comment per person).

A winner will be randomly selected in one week.

Good luck! 

10 Comments on PiBoIdMo Day 6: Deborah Freedman Takes a Lesson from Frog and Toad, last added: 11/6/2012
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15. Go vote!

Go Vote by Oliver Jeffers

I don't usually post about politics here, but I will say this.

Today I am thankful for my friends and family who may disagree with me politically and religiously but who are awesome people just the same. You remind me every day not to demonize "the opposition" and relax into thinking of anyone who disagrees with me as idiots or bigots. At the end of the day we are all just human beings doing our best to protect those we love and what we believe in. I do not keep people around me who are stupid or intolerant. I keep people around me whom I admire and love. It's ok if we don't always see eye to eye. You are great anyway and I'm glad you are in this world.

If you are able to vote on November 6th, please do. Thank you.

Also, I love Oliver Jeffers. Too bad he can't be President. :)

1 Comments on Go vote!, last added: 11/30/2012
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16. O, THE SCANDAL!!!!!


Hooray… it’s finally time to vote, and luckily times have changed since pre-Revolutionary days when only white males who owned property could cast a ballot.   So let’s proudly get out there and go for it!  But does anyone think this was the dirtiest presidential campaign ever?  Are you tired of all the name calling?  Convinced that special interest groups have spent more money than ever before to spread lies and to buy your vote?  Think again….’twas ever thus.


As for name calling, that’s been going on ever since the U.S. of A. became a nation.  Thomas Jefferson secretly hired a Scottish scandal monger named James Callender to write scurrilous tales about John Adams, so Callender obligingly called Adams a repulsive, hideous, mentally deranged hermaphrodite who wanted to crown himself king.  (Later Callender got so mad at Jefferson that he printed the story of Jefferson’s affair with his slave, Sally Hemings.)  To carry on this interesting tradition, during the 1837 election, Davy Crockett accused Martin Van Buren of wearing women’s corsets, in 1861 Abraham Lincoln was accused of having stinky feet, and Teddy Roosevelt called William Howard Taft “a rat in the corner.”
During the 1880’s, presidential candidates and their backers were infamous for their dirty tricks.  In order to buy votes, Republicans sent a bunch of guys nicknamed “Soapy Sams” to grease the voters’ palms by passing out hundreds of thousands of dollars in two dollar bills.  In 1828, partisans of incumbent president John Quincy Adams and his challenger, Andrew Jackson, had lots of fun accusing the candidates of just about any false charge they could dream up.  Jackson had murdered 6 militiamen, they claimed! He suffered from an uncontrollable temper! And he committed adultery too!  Then they said John Quincy Adams was a pimp who procured an American woman for the Russian Czar.  And what's more, they accused him of using government money to buy a billiards table for the White House (oh, shameful game)!

A dirty presidential election in 1876 planted Rutherford B. Hayes in the White House under some highly questionable circumstances. The race was vicious from the start; Hayes’ opponent, “Honest Sam Tilden” was accused of making dishonest railroad deals and was mocked big-time because he never served in the Civil War. Samuel Tilden readily won the popular vote anyway, but due to some sneaky calculations and other shenanigans by the opposition, he came up one vote short of winning the electoral vote. Because Republicans controlled the US Senate and Democrats controlled the House, Congress set up an Electoral Commission that allowed seven Democrats and seven Republicans to decide the result.  But since the tie-breaking 15th member was a Republican Supreme Court Justice, Republican Rutherford B. Hayes was declared the winner. Thereafter he was jeeringly nicknamed "Rutherfraud" B. Hayes and "His Fraudulency."

More recently, Lyndon Johnson supposedly created a group of 16 pols called “The Five O’clock Club” to make his opponent, Barry Goldwater, look bad.  In a flash, they came up with an anti-Goldwater joke book called You Can Die Laughing and a coloring book that let kids color in a picture of Goldwater dressed like a member of the Ku Klux Klan. 

And then there’s the infamous political trickster named Dick Tuck.  Back in 1968 when Richard Nixon was running for president, Tuck paid a very pregnant black woman to roam around at a Nixon rally in a white neighborhood while wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with Nixon’s campaign slogan.  It said "Nixon's the One!"

I’m sorry to report that there’s plenty more where that came from, but may the cream rise to the top anyway.  See you later, my fellow Americans—I have to GO VOTE! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

4 Comments on O, THE SCANDAL!!!!!, last added: 11/30/2012
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Artie’s poem Ceiling to the Stars was published in the November print edition of California Kids! To read the poem online, please click on the illustration below.

Artie’s children’s story The Hummingbird Who Chewed Bubblegum is being published in a book collection by the Oxford University Press in India. More to come.


Use of any of the content on this website without permission is prohibited by federal law

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18. Advance Copies Arrive!

Advance copies arrived today. The cover is strikingly blue; I guess that's a good thing. Here are some photos to tease your toes (I made that up. I know, it's terrible). Sorry, can't read it until.... 2/12/13.

3 Comments on Advance Copies Arrive!, last added: 12/1/2012
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19. Jack Bosson, RIP

Word has come our way of the passing of a beloved artist, instructor and animation professional, Jack Bosson. Bosson was a practicing fine artist and freelance illustrator for over 35 years and had taught drawing and painting at Cornell University, College of New Rochelle, University of Southern California, Otis College of Art and Design, Gnomon, and Woodbury University. He did background painting briefly at Hanna-Barbera and was hired as a trainer in Feature Animation at Disney in 1995. In 1999, he continued as a training consultant to Disney and taught at various institutions until he was hired to set up an Animation Department at Woodbury University, which he chaired for three years. He retired last spring after eight years at Woodbury, as Professor Emeritus.

There can be no better tribute to the man, than this video of Jack creating a creature with only pencil in hand – via Sketch Theatre.

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20. This Friday in NYC: Documentary About Richard Williams’ “The Thief and the Cobbler”

This Friday, November 9th, New Yorkers can see the East Coast premiere of Kevin Schreck’s new documentary Persistence of Vision, about Richard William’s never-completed-as-envisioned The Thief and the Cobbler. Williams worked on the film from the mid-1960s through the early-1990s before it was taken away from him and finished by producer Fred Calvert.

I’m really looking forward to seeing Schreck’s film, which includes interviews with many people who worked on the film, though not Williams who declined to participate. If the film is playing at a festival near you, see it! The documentary likely won’t be released on home video anytime soon because Schreck didn’t obtain permission from the copyright holders whose animation appears in the film. Sadly, this is just about the only way nowadays to do honest projects of a historical nature since the handful of conglomerates that own vast film libraries don’t understand the value of cooperating with historians and researchers to present an accurate portrait of animation history.

The film screens on Friday at 9:15pm at the SVA Theater (333 W. 23rd Street, NY, NY). The director will do a Q&A after the film. Tickets cannot be purchased at the theater. They must be purchased in advance, either at the IFC Center or online HERE. There’s also a Facebook page for the film where you can bug the filmmakers to bring a screening to your city.

0 Comments on This Friday in NYC: Documentary About Richard Williams’ “The Thief and the Cobbler” as of 11/5/2012 11:06:00 PM
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21. How to Become Clairvoyant

When I finally got my hands on How To Become Clairvoyant, I could hardly wait to take it home and play it. I had to hear what Robbie Robertson had created, and was convinced that anything Robbie Robertson did with Eric Clapton would be good. And it is. How To Become Clairvoyant is a guitar player’s collection of songs. The songs are: Straight Down the Line: Where Robertson’s New Orleans delta affinity shines through. The man who wrote The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down displays his reverence of the spiritual south, whether it’s black magic or Southern Baptist gospel in this song. Robert Randoph, included in Rolling Stone’s Top 100 Guitar Players, plays a fiery solo on the pedal steel to answer Robertson;’s electric guitar solo. When the Night Was Young: My personal favourite, it’s got one of those hooky choruses that keep popping up in your head long after you’ve heard it. We had dreams when the night was young. We were believers when the night was young, We could change the world, stop the war, Never seen nothing like this before, But that was back when the night was young Angela McClusky, a native Glaswegian transplanted to L.A., replaces Richard Manuel’s vocals with hers and harmonizes perfectly with Robertson on some of the verses and all of the choruses. He Don’t Live Here No More: A song about addiction with appropriate wild guitar sounds as Clapton plays a solo on the slide guitar and Robertson surprises the listener, who is expecting a roaring electric guitar, by playing a solo on a gut-string guitar which starts with fine Flamenco picking. The Right Mistake: Of course Steve Winwood is a part of this project. He plays on three of the songs. He’s a multi-instrumentalist, named Singer of the Year in 1986 who’s been entertaining since before Clapton and Robertson had that visual spark in The Last Waltz in 1972. You can hear his organ clearly on this song which includes solos from Robertson and Clapton and Angela McCluskey’s soulful vocals. In the credits Bill Dillon is credited with playing the guitar and the guitorgan. A friend saw Steve Winwood at Bluesfest last summer and was very impressed with his live show. This Is Where I Get Off: Robertson’s first musical reference to the painful breakup of The Band wherein he and Clapton do simultaneous electric guitar solos and backup singers, Rocco Deluca, Angelyna Boyd, Daryl Johnson, Michelle John and Sharon White contribute as the song builds up to each chorus beginning, “So just pull over / To the side of the road.” Fear of Falling: “A mellow Clapton riff” is what I thought the first time I listened to this. Both Robertson and Clapton are credited with writing this song so only they know. It’s an easy going, well crafted blues based song where they both do electric solos and Clapton plays an acoustic guitar. The lyrics are sung back and forth in verses and the two men harmonize on the chorus. The lyrics give it the possibility of being a hit. Steve Winwood’s organ in the background is solid but not intrusive. The backup singers, Taylor Goldsmith of The Dawes, Michelle John and Sharon White supplement Robertson and Clapton’s harmonies on the chorus. Their blues roots shine through here. She’s Not Mine: “Anthemic” is the word which first came to mind when I heard this song, though that description sounds a bit grandiose now that I’ve listened to the song often. It’s very impressive with its strategic, distant drums, lyrical imagery and musical sound. It’s the only song in the collection which credits Jim Keltner (a mainstay for decades in the rock recording scene) on drums as well as Ian Thomas. The rest of the tracks feature Pino Palladino on bass and Ian Thomas on drums. Pino Palladino has played bass with everyone from The Who to Eric Clapton to Don Henley and Elton John, who has a Fender bass named after him. One of the best in the business. I became aware of fretless bass in Paul Young’s cover of Marvin Gaye’s Wherever I Lay My Hat (That’s My Home). I learn, all these years later, that Pino Palladino (from Cardiff) played the fretless bass on that song. Ian Thomas, also born in Cardiff, is as technically perfect as a rock drummer can get with just the right amount of emotion in his playing. Madame X: A gentle instrumental Clapton wrote. He plays it on a gut string guitar while Robertson plays electric guitar and Trent Reznor, former front man of Nine Inch Nails, adds “Additional Textures”. The song’s bridge evokes “Tears In Heaven.” Axman: In “Axman,” an homage to the tradition of the guitar slinger, Robertson names many of the old blues players, as well as Jimi and Stevie Ray, Doing the guitar solo on a song dedicated to “brothers of the blade” is an honour given to Tom Morello, of Rage Against the Machine. Won’t Be Back: A song by Clapton and Robertson, produced, as all of these songs were, by Marius de Vries, on which he plays keyboard and Eldad Guetta provides the horns. How to Become Clairvoyant: Written by Robertson, this song includes the playing of Robert Randolph on the pedal steel guitar as well as Robertson’s electric guitar with Marcus de Vries on piano. Pino Palladino and Ian Thomas provide the beat, while Dana Glover and Natalie Mendoza are the backup voices. Just when you think you’ve listened to some heavy guitar and it’s all very serious, Robbie Robertson speaks at the end of the song, “Now that would be a revelation / And I also enjoy levitation.” Tango for Django: It is natural and fitting that a guitar player’s recording contains a tribute to one of the greatest guitarists of all, Django Rhinehart. Robertson plays it on a gut string guitar as it leads with violins reminiscent of Stefan Grappelli, into a growing roll of kettle drums and on to the formal introduction of a slow tango. As he wrote a musically correct waltz for The Last Waltz, Robertson has written, with Marcus de Vries, a formally correct (I assume) tango using Frank Morocco on accordian, Anne Marie Calhoun on violin, and Tina Guo on cello in this tribute to Django. (I wonder if Henry Miller heard Django in Paris in the Thirties. I like to think he did.) There is always a texture to Robertson’s stuff, something a little wild and weird, usually in his intros. In The Last Waltz he is surrounded by extraordinary musicians so it shouldn’t be surprising that he’s again surrounded by the same. Eric Clapton isn’t named in “Axman” but he played on six of Robertson’s songs, co-wrote two and unveiled his Instrumental, Madame X, on How To Become Clairvoyant . His participation is his approval and his tribute. Even if you are not a rock guitar fan nor a fan of The Band or Eric Clapton, this collection of rock songs, sung unapologetically in rock language, is worth listening to. It has what all good rock ‘n roll has always had – surprise. They didn’t have to do it for money. Sometimes it’s as simple as two old guitar players having fun.

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22. Activity Book for the Road

Kiwi Kids Road Atlas & Holiday Activity Book by Hema Maps

Do your kids get bored on long car or plane journeys? Do they constantly ask, 'Are we there, yet?'  Well, help is at hand.  Hema Maps have produced an activity book that has been thoughtfully made on plastic paper so children can draw their masterly creations with the attached whiteboard pen then wipe-off to start again.  There are instructions on how to read a map, puzzle games, mazes, maps so you can follow your own journey, join the dot activities  and lots of interesting facts such as, 'Did you know that the kiwi bird has nostrils at the end of its beak?' and questions like, 'Do you know the world's longest name?' which can easily be spotted on the map. They've even left space for children to draw their own squiggles, and make their own coat of arms.  There are several pages of activities listed in their areas - so kids can nag their parents to take them there too. 

An excellent resource for impatient kids and frazzled parents.  Could even be used in the junior and middle school classroom as a reward activity that is fun but also educational.  I wish this book came out when I was a child travelling in a caravan, or when I had my own kids and visited relatives around New Zealand.   Recommended for ages 4-8 years.

A4 size, paperback $12.99, ISBN:  978 1877 302 824

Buy it here or at your local book store.

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23. Let the Madness Commence

This post is a little belated but I thought, what the heck? Post it anyway. So here you go. It is that time again, ladies and gentlemen, when the writers (published and unpublished) around the world lose their minds. That’s right, it’s NaNoWriMo time! Now, if you are new to the NaNo landscape, here are [...]

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24. Book Review: Rudy, My Story

By Rudy Ruettiger, with Mark Dagostino
Published by Thomas Nelson.

This one was all for the hubster! He loves the movie RUDY! Loves it! (I like it too, but that’s besides the point!) Brant gets goosebumps when he watches it. It’s one of those seriously inspiration, motivational, feel good sports movies for him!

And so, the book!


When I saw this book available for review from Booksneeze.com, I knew I had to get it for him. He liked it, I think. He’s already making a list of people he wants to loan it to. I’ll let him tell you what he thought about it!

~I was given a free review copy of this book from Booksneeze.com~


“The inspirational real-life story of the man behind the beloved movie Rudy, his continued determination to make his dreams come true, and how you can dream big too.

How does a lower middle class kid, who suffered through school with undiagnosed dyslexia, get into Notre Dame and become the inspiration for millions in a Hollywood film that has become one of the most inspiring sport movies ever made? He never gave up.”

And so, Brant’s opinion:

It was interesting to read about the real story of his life and see how it fit in with the way they made the movie.  I remember growing up and watching and being inspired to work hard and go for my dreams by watching his movie.

The down side of the book was the way that it seemed making the movie was the biggest thing he has done in his life.  I always pictured him as someone who would have been able to be very successful and do great things.  The book seemed like he really struggled through with silly odd jobs as he worked on the dream of having a movie made about his success.  I hoped to know of greater things for him.  Oh well, it’s never like the movies right?

I would recommend this book to people who love the movie (like have watched it more than 10 times).  For a sports junkie like me it holds tidbits that are interesting to know the real story.  Side note:  I work with a guy who played lineman for Notre Dame.  In passing he didn’t seem to fond of Rudy.  I still need to find out more from him.

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25. What’s been happening . . .

One of the triplet eaglets is still hanging around . . .

In between teaching, some miscellaneous camp work and quick walks to the lake, I finished the copy edits on Cooper and Packrat’s adventure.  As I hit send on this final draft, I felt a mix of overwhelming pride and a little bit of pure terror.  This is really happening!  By next summer, I will be holding Cooper and Packrat; Mystery on Pine Lake in my hands.  I’ll be sharing it with family, friends and campers!

*falls to the floor in a faint*

I know from having talked to my writing friends that these feelings are somewhat normal and the only cure is to dig into a new story.  Soooo I’ve re-opened a Cooper and Packrat adventure I’d plotted last winter and I’m moving forward with it. I’d forgotten how much I like this storyline, too. It feels good to be first-drafting again!



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