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Viewing: Blog Posts from All 1562 Blogs, dated 11/12/2012 [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 157
1. PAPERCHASE - xmas cards part.6

these are some of designer cards found in the christmas shop at paperchase in london and online. all of these have a hand painted and often retro mid-century look.

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2. PAPERCHASE - xmas cards part .7

and finally today a few quirky sketchy fun character style cards by sooshichacha, lisa jones and the art file amongst others. all spotted in paperchase.

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3. Ostrich Trivia Quiz

Guess the answers to this Ostrich Trivia Quiz and behold the true awesomeness of the ostrich!

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4. Negative pedo. USC Centro. Banned Books Update. On-Line Floricanto

Movimiento Veteranos Resolve Negative Pedo

Michael Sedano

Update! • Late Monday, La Bloga received this email from Joe Razo:
As a previous editor of La Raza Publications which included La Raza Newspaper and Magazine plus Chicano Student Newspaper, Raul Ruiz and I met this morning and cleared our misunderstanding of facts. We are in accord and stand united as La Raza and El Barrio Communication Project Staff. The photographers mentioned in the prior letter also are in accord and will soon meet with me to claim ownership of their negatives. We hope that this valuable history of our movement will soon be accessible to educators, researchers, and the community.

Long-simmering tensions boiled over last week between a who’s who of movimiento photojournalists seeking access to historic photographic negatives. When LatinoLA published Luis C. Garza's Open Letter pointed at Raúl Ruiz, settlement quickly ensued.

The pedo arises from Ruiz’ apparent refusal to return to the photographers negatives of fotos published in La Raza newspaper and magazine. La Raza stands as paper of record for the chicano movement. It  published in Los Angeles from 1967 until it folded in the early 1980s, with Ruiz its closing editor.

Pitted against Ruiz are a dozen contributing photographers--former staffers--who want their images back. The collective of aggrieved photogs includes such notables as USC J-school profe Felix Gutiérrez, media magnate Moctezuma Esparza, and celebrated photographer Oscar Castillo.

Such negatives are cultural treasures. Through their prints today’s readers can witness only once removed the only extant participant observer images of pivotal moments in U.S. history. It was the incarnation of a political awakening that has grown into today’s electoral landslide for Obama. This is important material.

Here are the street level frames taken by students in high school student walk-outs, marchers with the Brown Berets, and Catolicos por La Raza giving the archbishopric hell. Garza's Open Letter claims the trove to be “likely the largest collection of photographic documentation produced of the Chicano urban movement in the United States.”

Negatives hold not only an image of a moment but also, to the photographer, something of personal importance. Given access to one’s old negatives opens those images to modern tools and materials, permit one to re-imagine an expression for today. There is no way to express the personal pain from loss of one’s youthful work, nor measure the regret for what might be done to make new prints using today’s abilities. Abelardo alludes to something similar, one thousand masterpieces hanging only from his mind.

In many ways, this negative pedo stands in sad epitaph for the chicano movement pictured in those negatives. La Raza newspaper and magazine, according to the artists, represented a collective effort of grass roots gente enfrentando the establishment for la gente.

Detail, O'Gorman, Castillo de Chapultepec, Mexico DF, 

Back then compañeras compañeros didn’t sign waivers and declare their rights, and all that establishment crap. It was la causa, and their burgeoning skills and a la brava energy got the work produced.

Now matured and seasoned, some may have strayed from that idealism, vencido, perhaps.

Ruiz enjoys a solid reputation as a scholar and has the lasting gratitude of history for being in the right place at the right time with his lens when that Sheriff Deputy fired his tear-gas gun into the Silver Dollar. Ruiz' lens told the truth, so it must hurt to be seen as a sin vergüenza, or worse, over these missing negatives.

I do not know Ruiz' motive. The foregoing summarizes the feelings of twelve photographers named in Luis C. Garza’s “Open Letter to all concerned,” published November 10 at the popular LatinoLA. I include the full text, below. Ruiz did not reply to La Bloga’s inquiry via email, so I can draw no firm conclusions but like any pedo, it stinks.

See the Update at the top of this column. Ruiz' actions Monday now put the pedo in the past. It's good to see matters righted and the negatives headed home. La Bloga will update the conclusion of the agreement.

Here’s the Open Letter La Bloga has via email from Luis C. Garza. Leave a Comment below to share your views on ownership of the fruits of collective labor, these events, documenting the movimiento:

Chicano Movement Photographic Negatives

Open Letter to all concerned
Contact: Luis C. Garza

We write to inform you of an extraordinary community resource of photo archives containing thousands of photographic negatives and related document materials, which cover the Chicano movement and community from the late l960s through the l970s. Yet this invaluable archive is unavailable to either the photographers who created these materials and hold legal copyright, or to the large number of scholars, community organizations, filmmakers and others who have attempted to access this resource over the past forty years.

Why? Raul Ruiz, a Chicano Studies Professor at Cal State Northridge, and also at Santa Monica Community College, took physical possession of these archives as a co-editor of La Raza magazine, when former editors Eliezer Risco, and then Joe Razo passed the responsibility on to his safekeeping in 1971, for temporary custody (not ownership). Since the demise of the magazine, in early 1980s, he has refused all requests to return the negatives to the photographers who created them or to make these materials available to these photographers, researchers or the community.

We are writing to alert you to the theft of this Intellectual Property, explain the development of this problem, and to make clear our commitment to have the negatives returned to the photographers who hold the legal rights, and to finally make this resource available to the broader community through a university archive.

Under the auspices of the publications, Chicano Student Movement and La Raza magazine (newspaper and then magazine), an archive of photographs and written materials were compiled between 1967 and mid-1970s. This work reflects the efforts of magazine staff members and primarily that of twelve photographers who documented the civil rights struggle of the Chicano movement in the city of Los Angeles, Southern California, and the southwest United States. Our collective work is contained in this LA RAZA archive and is likely the largest collection of photographic documentation produced of the Chicano urban movement in the United States.



These publications and the related photographic archive were started as a grass roots community endeavor and not for the enhancement of a single individual’s career. Raul Ruiz’ appropriation of this material is a tremendous disappointment to all of us who know him, and certainly does not live up to the ideals within the Chicano Movement that we fought for. We did not struggle to replace an oppressive and inequitable system with another one controlled by a brown face. Raul’s actions are incongruous with, and contradictory to what he is supposed to stand for as a Chicano Studies Professor and have significantly damaged the cause of the Chicano Movement and the communities that it serves.

We intend to challenge this problem in two ways:
• Generate community support to pressure for the negatives’ release to their rightful owners via a Los Angeles University archive, where materials will be available for public access.
• Work through all legal means to obtain rightful possession of the negatives.

LA RAZA staff-photographers: (partial list)

Pedro Arias Manuel Barrera Patricia Borjon Oscar Castillo Moctezuma Esparza Luis Garza
Felix Gutierrez Fred Lopez Ruth Robinson Rivera Devra Weber Eliezer Risco~Editor 1967-1970
Joe Razo~Editor 1967-1971

La Raza photographic archived events: (partial list 1967-1978)
• East Los Angeles high school student walkouts
• Board of Education Los Angeles educational issues
• Board of Supervisors Los Angeles mental & health facility demonstrations
• Chicano Moratorium demonstrations against Vietnam War
• August 29, 1970 anti-war rally; murder of LAT journalist Ruben Salazar
• Brown Beret demonstrations
• Catolicos Por La Raza, Saint Basil Church demonstrations
• Police brutality and local/regional/national incarceration issues
• Political suppression, reapportionment & representation
• Teatro Campesino and UFW Farm Movement
• Mexican-American stereotypes, and its negative media overload
• La Raza Unida political party origins, influence and impact
• Corky Gonzalez-Crusade For Justice, Colorado
• Reies Lopez Tijerina- Land Grants, New Mexico

How to Comment on This Open Letter

Google's blogger software--that's what makes La Bloga look like this--makes adding your views on issues like artist intellectual property and ownership somewhat easy.

1. Scroll to the bottom of this post, below the biographies of On-Line Floricanto poets. If someone's already begun a conversation, the space resembles the image below. Click the pencil. To email the column, click the envelope.

2. If no one's joined in yet, the bottom of the post looks like this:
3. Click on "Post a Comment".

4. Stay in touch. When you're at the Comment screen, click the "Email follow-up comments to" box. La Bloga notifies you when someone's left a follow-up comment.

El Centro Chicano at USC Celebrates 40 Years

I arrived on the USC campus for grad school in 1972, with some trepidation. I figured I'd once again be the only Chicano in sight. Wrong.

Living in LA since exiting the Army in 1970, I elected to exit the world of work into full time grad school. The GI Bill covered tuition and fees--twelve units at $75 a hit.

That first year of grad school coincided with the first year of El Centro Chicano. Frank Sifuentes QEPD engaged recruiters who brought 110 raza students to USC. That such an organization would exist countermanded the popular stereotype of USC’s insular exclusivity.

Over the next couple years I would photograph centro activities, usually on Daily Trojan assignment. I especially looked forward to the frequent tardeadas, which meant free food and the laughter of the serving line.

I recently learned that, being I was an older vato--and one who always had a camera pointed at them--the youngsters thought me a narc. That explains why the women wouldn't let me help in the kitchen, I guess.

December 1, 2012 marks an opportunity for that group of 110 suspicious kids to return for the 40th Anniversary of El Centro’s existence. Not only that crew but all USC alumni looking to recognize and celebrate forty years of centro history at USC, and help raise money to promote another 40.

The original centro occupied the most prominent spot on campus, a storefront space where Hoover Street ended at the gate to campus. Everyone walking onto the University of Southern California campus from nearby student housing passed el centro’s parking lot mural and the wraparound mural crowning the façade.

Led by Sy Abrego, that group of students breathed new energy into campus life. On Cinco de Mayo, MEChA held festivities in the student center patio as well as the lawn of el centro. President John Hubbard came for a formal update and left more convinced than ever to support el centro.

Thost years, at the emcee mic of most centro public events was locutor and student Marco Antonio Dominguez. Dominguez would read his poetry at chicano literature's first floricanto in 1973, then return in 2010 for the reunion floricanto, when Marco Antonio shares the stage with his poet son.

That centro structure was razed years ago, the site today uncommemorated, buried under lovely landscaping and a parking lot.

Today’s centro occupies a beautiful penthouse suite in the nearby architectural gem of the campus church.

Town and Gown, where the original Festival de Flor y Canto sponsored by el centro took place, hosts the 40th Anniversary celebration of El Centro Chicano. Director Billy Vela notes:

For 40 years, we’ve been providing invaluable services and programs to USC Latino students and we’re excited to announce that we will be having a 40th Anniversary Gala on Saturday December 1st, 2012 from 6:00pm to 9:00pm at Town and Gown.

Full details on attending, corporate sponsorships, contacting Billy or El Centro, are at the event website: http://sait.usc.edu/elcentro/

Banned Books Update

The books are still banned in Arizona, but the Special Master has opened the policies--but not the hearts and minds--of the Tucson Unified School District.

The original 1974 desegregation order led to implementing the successful raza studies core curriculum. Then the court took the district's word that it had straightened up and was flying right. Federal oversight lifted, the district dismantled the raza studies program and banned their materials from classrooms. Bureaucrats and teachers pulled the titles from classroom shelves while children looked on in stunned silence. "I thought she was our friend," one student sadly related.

The current court orders admitted the foolishness of trusting these tipos, and returned community sensibilities to TUSD's core. The court goes a step further, demanding the program's expansion to the K-12 gamut.

In the long-awaited report, the Federal Court's Special Master reinstates a core curriculum that restores openness and cultural appropriateness to the curriculum. The story is not burning up the presses, so in addition to the order reproduced by Tucson Sentinel, check out Three Sonorans, whose ongoing reporting has kept the news alive over the long slog to today's status quo ante snafu.

Ironically, per Three Sonorans, fighting the progressive court order are prominent members of Arizona's Democratic Party establishment. Instead of tearing up the banned books list, these people are fighting for the right to ban books.

The voters gave Obama four more years to cure Unitedstates ills like Arizona disease. After Obama brings the troops home--next week would be fine--he needs to clean up the mess in Arizona.

Santa Ana Bowers Museo Fêtes Oaxaca

Click image for a larger size, or visit the Bowers website for details of what looks to be a holiday gift bonanza so early in the shopping season.

La Bloga On-Line Floricanto Day 13 Month 11 Year 2012
Tara Evonne Trudell, Iris De Anda, Sonia Gutiérrez, Esmeralda Bernal, Andrea Mauk

La Bloga celebrates six poems from five poets in the month's second On-Line Floricanto:
“Border Song” by Tara Evonne Trudell
“500 Years” by Iris De Anda
“Herencia / Legacy” por Sonia Gutiérrez
“Rosita” by Esmeralda Bernal
“Mudos Across the Ocean Divide” by Andrea Mauk

Border Song
by Tara Evonne Trudell

will I be
the border song
you sing
rusty tall
will I be
the warm
you ache
to feel
in cold
will humanity
ever comprehend
how deep
can feel
so many years
taking fear
and crafting it
to the masses
keeping souls
in far away
continual stealing
taking earth
killing her people
will children die
playing sticks
and stones
into living
a walking dead
tireless ancestors
spirits fighting
over and over
in an America
that doesn't care
to question
will I be
last border

tara evonne trudell c/s november 4, 2012

500 Years
by Iris De Anda

Amputated thought discarded in delusion
of too much money
too much gain
Sell you ideas of futuristic dreams
things unseen
& you will never see
Sell the cycle to the middle class
think you're made of glass
made of extremes
Keep the poor in the dark alley
covered with the newspaper that tells of your greed
on them you feed
Radicals seek to misshape your kingdom of doom
for them you have no room
Liberals fight to magnify your lies
try to inform of the underprivileged cries
Labels drown in the abyss
of ultimate creation
Because before
there was or were or is a name
Everything became one in the same
So who's to blame
Present day, month, & fears
It's been 500 years
It's been 500 years
It's been 500 years

por Sonia Gutiérrez

Soy la lengua de Frida—vulgar
como la de mi abuela.

Y la punta del bolígrafo azul,
doblegando al papel callado.

También soy la flor de tuna,
asomandome por la madrugada.

Soy orejas de olla de barro, escuchando
el paladar de mis antepasados.

Mujer de cara redonda
como la tortilla de maíz y nopal.

Cuerpo de abeja punzante
de donde nace el mañana.

Y soy, por supuesto, letras armadas
con azadones arreando nuestro destino.

La mariposa sedienta, bebiendo
del sudor de una mano humedecida.

Soy las garras del jaguar, rasgando
las líneas esclavas del bufón de vista corta.

Soy la poeta que las leyes escupen muy lejos—
al exilio de los poetas.

Soy herencia—que pinta de mil matices
de verde a esta nuestra tierra natal.

Pero definitivamente soy una manita de puerco
si tu horquilla del diablo asoma su rostro feo.

A esos los vestimos de esqueletos
y los ponemos a bailar por las calles, eternamente.

by Sonia Gutiérrez

I am Frida’s tongue—vulgar
like my grandmother’s.

And the tip of a blue ballpoint pen
kowtowing shy paper.

I am also the prickly pear flower
peering at dawn.

The ears of a clay pot, listening
to the palate of my ancestors.

A woman with a round face
like the corn and cactus tortilla.

Body of a throbbing bee
where tomorrow is born.

And I am, of course, armed letters
with hoes spurring our destiny.

The thirsty butterfly drinking
from the sweat of a moist hand.

I am the claws of the jaguar, tearing
the enslaved lines of the nearsighted fool.

I am the poet whom laws spit far away—
to the exile of poets.

I am legacy—who paints this our homeland
a thousand shades of green.

But I am most definitely an arm twist
if your devil’s pitchfork shows its ugly head.

To those, we dress up like skeletons
and make them dance through the streets, eternally.

by Esmeralda Bernal

if I had a thick accent
my words, in your mind,
would flow with memories
of mexico and
your ears would love
the sound of their hands
cleaning house

in your mind
every spanish tinged word
would be a once a year call
back to the fence
your white bread smile
an approval of Rosita
climbing over the fence
directly to your services

if my words were
unbarbed metallic
sounds without
an English cusped in
a spun dream
you would combust
in outrage and
send Rosita packing

© Esmeralda Bernal 11/4/12

Mudos Across the Ocean Divide
by Andrea Mauk

I shed the flag in which I'm draped
so I can see myself bare breasted
unadorned by donkey tails and elephant tusks.
I pluck the stars one by one
from the field of blue
and launch them out the window sill
wonder if they can still
but they twirl back to earth
in a tailspin
and melt like snowflakes
as they touch down.

I come from an island
a goddess
of red, white and blue
Spain's last outpost,
one star, her voice
washes between
loudly unheard,
testing ground
for the pill,
breeding ground of
beauty queens...
And here, we are hemming skirts
and stocking shelves
rolling up sleeves,
as they're trading coffee beans
and sugar cane
for tax-free trade
and tourism.
Would you like an umbrella with that?

I sew the stripes together
and wind them 'round me
walk to the nearest polling place
enthusiasm of a mummy,
close the curtain
and cast my net across the wide
froth of Atlantic blue
catch my fill of calamar
and octopus,
fry them up with
Green Party platano
but loving arms, tostones and tentacles aside,
I am awash in my own
milk and honey land,
they call me
that other kind
of Mexican (?)

I am not a slave but I am owned,
possessed like a noun
watched over by the eye
and the pyramid.
And I question the Goddess,
does she really want
to be a state
when the state of the nation
is unraveled, just broken
coming unglued
link by link
on the partisan spine
and the laborious backs,
to be owned by the
boardroom masters on the
87th floor?

I run down the stairs
out the front stoop
to gather the stars
that have yet to dissolve
upon the bodega's
place them in my eyes,
their sparkling hope
let the ribbon of stripes sewn
red after white
fly towards home from the boardwalk
on this starless night,
send my voice
spinning out to sea,
a gift to those who stayed behind.

We are citizens both here and there.
We are mudos across the ocean divide,
our borders drawn by Poseidón.
We are peripheral,
between the shores.
I have given away my stars and stripes
left only with the yellow fringe
belted around my nakedness.
It doesn't really matter.
No one will even notice me
on this election eve.

“Border Song” by Tara Evonne Trudell
“500 Years” by Iris De Anda
“Herencia / Legacy” por Sonia Gutiérrez
“Rosita” by Esmeralda Bernal
“Mudos Across the Ocean Divide” by Andrea Mauk

Tara Evonne Trudell has resumed writing poetry after a break of almost ten years and is passionate about combining poetry and film to create a visual art form of her own. She is a mother of four children and raising them to be socially aware and conscious of the injustices that plague our society. This is a top priority of hers as a she rediscovers her own word in a world that only attempts to silence the Indigenous spirit.

Iris De Anda is a writer, activist, and practitioner of the healing arts. A native of Los Angeles she believes in the power of spoken word, poetry, storytelling, and dreams. Follow her story @ http://irisdeanda.typepad.com/la_writer_underground/

Sonia Gutiérrez, a promoter of social justice and human dignity, first contributed her poems to Poets Responding to SB 1070 in 2010. Sonia teaches English at Palomar College, where she advises the Palomar Poets. Her poetry and vignettes have appeared in the San Diego Poetry Annual, contratiempo, CRATE, Mujeres de Maiz, City Works Journal and La Jornada Semanal de México. Sonia’s poem, “La Maza y cantera de una poeta”/“A Poet’s Mallet and Quarry,” was selected “10 Best Poems of 2011” by La Bloga. Sonia’s bilingual poetry collection, Spider Woman/La Mujer Araña, is forthcoming; she’s at work on her novel, Kissing Dreams from a Distance, among other projects.

Esmeralda Bernal resides in Phoenix, Arizona. She strongly supports the dreamers and their valiant efforts to have the Dream Act become a reality. Her poetry has appeared in La Bloga, HaLapid, Yellow Medicine Review and recently in Nahualliandoing Dos: An Anthology in Nahuatl, Espanol and Engish.

Andrea García Mauk grew up in Arizona, where both the immense beauty and harsh realities of living in the desert shaped her artistic soul. She calls Los Angeles home, but has also lived in Chicago, New York and Boston. She has worked in the music industry, and on various film and television productions. She writes short fiction,
poetry, original screenplays and adaptations, and is currently finishing two novels.

Her writing and artwork has been published and viewed in a variety of places such as on The Late, Late Show with Tom Snyder; The Journal of School Psychologists and Victorian Homes Magazine. Both her poetry and artwork have won
awards. Several of her poems and a memoir are included in the 2011 anthology, Our Spirit, Our Reality, and her poetry is featured in the 2012 Mujeres de Maiz “‘Zine.”

She is a regular contributor to Poets responding to SB 1070. Her poems have been chosen for publication on La Bloga’s Tuesday Floricanto numerous times. She is also a moderator of Diving Deeper, an online workshop for writers, and has written extensively about music, especially jazz, while working in the entertainment industry.

Her production company, Dancing Horse Media Group, is currently in pre-production of her independent film, “Beautiful Dreamer,” based on her original screenplay and manuscript, and along with her partners, is producing a unique cookbook that blends healthful recipes with poetry and prose from the community.

1 Comments on Negative pedo. USC Centro. Banned Books Update. On-Line Floricanto, last added: 11/30/2012
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5. More on the IMPAC longlist

       So they announced the longlist for the 2013 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award yesterday: 154 books, including 43 by American authors and 42 translated out of 19 different languages (but none from the Chinese ? none from the Arabic ? none from the Russian ? only one from Japanese ? seriously ? out of 154 books ?).
       See the full list here -- unfortunately not presented as a simple list, but rather with cover-pictures, etc. (I'd be more impressed if they didn't misspell some of the author name -- 'Delphime de Vigan' ? 'Horatio Castellanos Moya' ? again: seriously ? the names are printed on the god damn covers, guys .....)
       As usual, it's a very, very mixed bag; as usual, too, far too many of the nominating libraries prove to be outrageously nationalistic (surely the most obvious step this prize should have taken long ago: no nominations of home-country authors permitted).
       Quite a few of these titles are under review at the complete review:

       And there are review-overviews of:        We'll have to wait until April for the shortlist (a lot of books for the judges to get through ...), but there are enough decent ones to choose from.

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6. Swiss Book Prize

       As love german books notes, they've announced that the Swiss Book Prize (which is, of course, merely the Swiss German Book Prize -- French, Italian, etc. works not welcome) has gone to the essay-collection, Das Kalb vor der Gotthardpost, by Peter von Matt; see also the Hanser publicity page.
       It beat out 75 other entries, and while it's disappointing to see that non beats out fiction (and also that they're lumped together here ...), von Matt is certainly a fine writer.

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7. Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction

       They've announced that the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction goes to Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory and the Conquest of Everest, by Wade Davis -- though they haven't yet announced that at the official site, last I checked, so see, for example, Mallory book wins Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction by Anita Singh in The Telegraph.
       See also, for example, the Vintage publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk

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8. Girl with green hair and jar of gumballs under rainbow clouds.

©2012 Dain Fagerholm

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9. The Call for Slice of Life Stories

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10. “Hide” by Mathieu Bétard

Very cool new video for Kris Meance and Miss Kittin involving rotoscope and abstract geometric animation. Entirely 2D and hand drawn by French artist Mathieu Bétard:

Director : Mathieu Bétard
Production : WIZZPROD / QUAD . Paris
Producer : Sonlan Tran
Animation : Mathieu Bétard, Jonathan Djob Nkondo, Pierre Ruitz

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11. PiBoIdMo Day 13: Carter Higgins Gobblefunks

When Tara launched this party, she quoted the fantastic Mr. Dahl:

And above all,
watch with glittering eyes

the whole world around you
the greatest secrets
are always hidden

in the most unlikely places.
Those who don’t believe in magic

will never find it.

That’s just plain inspiring, no?

Well. Here’s my favorite sentence that man said, from THE BFG:

But let’s ignore that sage advice and gobblefunk a bit. That pretty much sums up what we do as writers anyway, right? Stir this, mix that, add in this word, trash those dumb ones, those unneccessary ones, those boring ones.

I’m always (always!) noodling around words in my brain. Odd I know, especially because my day job is all about pictures and graphics and effects. So at work recently, one dude asks the Boss Man, “Boss Man, what shot number is the one with the volcano?”

Too easy. I pipe up with, “Probably number e-LAVA-n.”

Maybe that was a bit of a groaner, or even a lot of a groaner if you have no funny bone. But since you are on the other side of the internet, and because I know we are all best friends, I have a feeling you laughed a little.

Did I write down “Punny Counting Book about Earth Science-y Things” in my PiBoIdMo notebook that day? Maybe.

(My honey’s fantasy football team is called the Favre Fig Newtons. Runs in the family.)

I figure if you look at the world like it’s one monster crossword puzzle, something unexpected is bound to tumble out.


And why limit the gobblefunking to words? Why not gobblefunk with pictures?

I’m really no different than your average preschooler, because all day long I think about shapes and lines and color.

It’s when this:

Becomes this:

Which could easily become this:

OK, well maybe that’s boring unless you are in my line of work. But!

Couldn’t that same gobblefunking help us with ideas?

And since words are just pictures in different shapes, let’s do some of those, too.

This is the high school football stadium up the road from me. I am obsessed with their signage. It’s strong and pretty, and it sparkles on Friday nights. I can’t explain my love for this tiny part of my town, I’m just drawn to it. (I secretly think Tami Taylor is in those bleachers, which may explain part of the love.)

So, switch around some letters, fire up the gobblefunking, and the leftovers might just be a flash of an idea.


Every day when I leave my house, these are the stepping stones I hop.

I hate them. They are awkwardly spaced, so in order to avoid the dewy grass I have to mosey with some serious cowboy swagger to land on each one. But remember that whole thing about being like a preschooler and thinking of shapes all day?

Maybe instead of stone circles they are actually…


Or this:

All I see is a pet rock factory. Or a cement skyscraper. You?

This will be the only time I ask you to listen to me and not Roald Dahl. But go ahead and ignore that advice above, and get busy gobblefunking.

Carter Higgins is a motion graphics designer and a former elementary school librarian. She spends her days creating graphics, teaching, gobblefunking, and writing picture books. All of these interests combine in her blog at Design of the Picture Book, or you can find her on Twitter @CarterHiggins.

Carter is generously donating a picture book critique to PiBoIdMo. And you don’t have to wait until the end of the month to win it! Anyone can enter, right here, right now. Just leave a comment and a winner will be randomly selected in one week. Good luck!

11 Comments on PiBoIdMo Day 13: Carter Higgins Gobblefunks, last added: 11/13/2012
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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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13. SkADaMo ~ Day 12

Hanging in there with day twelve of SkADaMo 2012!






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14. Bible Detective: A Puzzle Search Book by Peter Martin

5 stars Bible Detective: A Puzzle Search Book Peter Martin Lion Children's Books 48 Pages   Ages: 4+ .............. ……………………. Are  you a super sleuth? Have you got an eagle eye?  Back Cover:  This book is a treasure trove of fabulously detailed pictures from the world of the Bible. You’ll have hours of fun trying to [...]

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15. Stop Calling Books for Kids YA!

More and more I’m seeing “young adult book” used in popular culture as an umbrella term for a wide assortment of titles only some of which are actually teen books. In articles, favorites lists, and blog posts, books being identified as young adult are in fact books for younger readers, children that is.

For example, The Atlantic‘s post “The Best of the Young Adult B-Sides” includes Gregor the Overlander which is a book for children firstly even if teens read it too. Granted, the post’s writers do acknowledge that “…we have sought out the best ‘B-sides’ of some of your favorite Y.A. and children’s authors” but then why use only “Young Adult” in the title?  Or how about Flavorwire including two Newbery winners — an award for children’s books — Catherine, Called Birdy and The Westing Game in their “10 Best Young Adult Books for Grown-Ups“?

Telling is what happened last summer when NPR did a “Best YA Fiction Poll,” It caused a lot of controversy about many things among them questions about why favorite books didn’t end up on it. In a response NPR noted:

It turns out that a lot of the books we remember as YA are actually meant for younger kids. And librarians and educators recognize that those kids have distinct needs and tastes. If you look up many of the missing books, their publishers recommend them for children “8 and up” or “10 and up.” So if there’s a classic from your childhood that didn’t make the list, that’s probably why.

Bingo! Nostalgia is what is going on here and it isn’t fair. That is, it is all well and good that those adults who enjoy reading young adult books today like to reminisce about their favorite teen reads. But when they include children’s books among them and called them YA they are marginalizing the true readership of these books. My 4th grade students are children. They are not young adults. They are not teenagers. They are a separate group as are their books.  And they and their books matter too. So please, consider the children…books, that is.

10 Comments on Stop Calling Books for Kids YA!, last added: 11/13/2012
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16. Some Sebald, Science, Bombers and more.....

For my birthday I received the following:

Bomber County: The Poetry of a Lost Pilot's War
by Daniel Swift, which I read about in Booklist. It combines the search by the author into his grandfather's life, who disappeared in a bombing raid during WW2, and the wealth of poetry he discovered among the bomber squadrons of WW2. (NYTimes review.)

The Emigrants by W.G. Sebald. A zillion years ago I read part of it and then lost my copy and didn't find it and got sidetracked by other things and recently realized how nearly criminal it is that I have not read this book. So now I have it again, and I'll be very very careful this time.

Travels With Herodotus by Ryszard Kapuscinski. I can't even remember when I first heard about this one, but I've long been intrigued by both the author and subject. Seemed like the best way to learn about Herodotus is with Kapuscinski as a guide.

In the Shadow of the Cypress
by Thomas Steinbeck (yes, he is the son of John). A mystery set in CA that just sounded interesting - combines history, some archaeology, some oceanography...plus a blurb from Bradbury!!

Rebuilding the Indian
by Fred Haefele. A memoir about rebuilding an Indian motorcycle, writing, fatherhood and some midlife crisis. (All great subjects.)

Field Notes on Science & Nature, Edited by Michael Canfield. A book about taking notes which seems odd but is really gorgeous and interesting. It's peeking into the minds of scientists in the field and the illustrations they make while on the job. I read about this all over the place and I'm really happy to have it.

Darwin's Ghosts by Rebecca Stott. I've been interested in evolutionary theory forever but Stott is a writer who really approaches this topic from a unique perspective - she was raised in a creationist household! Tons of rave reviews, highly readable from the first paragraphs, it looks like it will easily live up to the hype. (And I love how there is hype about a book on the history of evolutionary thinking!)

And, what I'm reading right now:

Heroines by Kate Zambreno. I really wish I remembered where I read about this one, because I'd like to send some gratitude their way*. I was familiar with Zambreno's blog and it's connection with Francis Farmer (named for her in fact) always stood out for me. Heroines is her examination of the lives of several misunderstood women, from Farmer to Sylvia Plath to Vivenne Eliot, Virginia Wolf, Zelda Fitzgerald and on and on. (You get the thing they have in common.) She writes in short paragraphs, following a stream of thought about misunderstood women who were creative and vibrant and all too easily dismissed as hysterical or crazy by the men they loved and the larger world as well. It's really personal (Zambreno was having her own problems when she wrote this - she was actually using the writing to work through her own frustrations) and it's really direct and it's enormously compelling. I want to read a stack of books on all the women she writes about and I want to call all my former lit teachers who never mentioned these women in anything more than passing and SCREAM at them about how much we lost in those lectures about the "Great Men" and their books.

I have miles to go in this book and what I think of it but so far - wow.

*I remembered - it was this piece at Jezebel!

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17. Eric Carle on The Book Report with JJK - Wednesday at 5:40 pm!

On 11/14/12, Eric Carle will be on The Book Report with JJK. My mind is boggled that I'm even typing that, let alone that it is actually happening! I sat down with Eric at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art and man, what a conversation we had. Tune in to SiriusXM's Kids Place Live on Wednesday at 5:40 pm EST / 3:40 PST to listen in!

(OK, so I don't really wear suits for these interviews, but check out the photo below!)

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18. Jack and Mary in the Land of Thieves

Jack and Mary in the Land of Thieves: a Jack tale by Andy
Jones, with illustrations by Darka Erdelji

preview video at

[link] .

It is available from [link]
(click on in print then click on the book title) or

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19. Huck-and-Rillabooks

I’ve fallen behind with the reading logs again—it’s inevitable that I will, from time to time—but I can report that my Rilla-read-aloud time has taken a leap forward into snuggling in with long, text-heavy books of the sort she wasn’t terribly interested in a month or two ago. Brambly Hedge, crammed with all those detailed, pore-overable drawings, hooked her on tales of small, industrious, quaintly dressed animals with British accents (she was already a Potter fan); we’re now well into Tumtum and Nutmeg, and she hasn’t seemed to notice or mind that there are far fewer illustrations, and only black-and-white, at that. There are bustling, clever mice and I get to unleash my best Monty Python impressions on the dialogue. (Tumtum is Michael Palin, of course, and who else is Baron Toymouse but Cleese’s Black Night? My Nutmeg, on the other hand, seems to want to be the cook from the current Upstairs, Downstairs series.)

As for picture books, recent hits with my younger three include:

Rachel Fister’s Blister by Amy MacDonald, art by Marjorie Priceman.

Rachel Fister has a blister, and everyone around her has a cure. Silly, satisfying rhyming text; Rilla in particular enjoys this kind of linguistic fun.

Good New, Bad News by Jeff Mack.

This one’s a great pick for the 3-6-year-old set, all ye aunties and uncles and godparents out there. A rabbit and a mouse and a picnic gone bad. No, good! No, bad! No, good…The kind of bright, bold, funny drawings my littles are especially drawn to, and unpredictable twists within a highly predictable (ergo comfortable and appealing to preschoolers) structure.

It’s a Tiger! by David LaRochelle, illustrated by the wonderful Jeremy Tankard.

You know how much we love Tankard’s work. Gorgeous coloring in this book and so much humor and excitement in the drawings. I love that heavy outline on the tiger; Jeremy was an inspired choice to illustrate this particular book. It’s a rollicking jungle adventure of the best kind, with a suitably ferocious tiger lurking in all sorts of unexpected places, and a kind of “We’re going on a bear hunt” vibe to the text. Huck loves it, and not just because you get to shout “IT’S A TIGER! RUN!” every few pages.

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Paperback is out!

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21. What Are You Looking For?

STATUS: Doing meetings in New York all week.

What’s playing on the XM or iPod right now? I'M A BELIEVER by The Monkees

Good question. What am I looking for?

Because I'm rewriting content for our new website (and the submission guidelines are an integral part of that), this question is definitely on my mind as of late. Not to mention, when I attend a conference, invariably I get asked this question. By now, you'd think I'd have a good answer ready. To be honest, I don't.

We also have to answer this question on our new website for our submission guidelines. Since Sara's answer is different than mine, we are tailoring our "what are you looking for" list for our specific agent pages.

By the way, the launch of our new website is a bit delayed. Our web developer lives in New Jersey. Yep, Hurricane Sandy.  He actually emailed me to apologize for the delay as he didn't have electricity. Holy cow! No need for an apology there. We can wait a few more weeks.

But back to our website submission wish list. When I sat down to evaluate what I'm looking for, I find that I'm not interested in creating a nice, neat little list.

Right now our site says I'm looking for literary fiction with a commercial bent, commercial mainstream, women's fiction, romance, science fiction, fantasy, young adult and middle grade.

Sure, that's accurate and true but you know what? That doesn't quite capture what I'm looking for. I want an intense, well-told story and the "genre" is incidental.

This summer I sold a literary cross-over novel that had a lot of horror elements - BIRD BOX by Josh Malerman.

Look at the list above? Do you see the word "horror" anywhere?

Not exactly. Yet, that story was perfect for me.

My book club is going to read Gillian Flynn's GONE GIRL.

That's totally up my alley. Do you see "thriller" on that above list? Nope. So what I'm looking for is not clearly defined by a neat little list that I can post on our website.

And today I had lunch with an editor from St. Martin's and a bubble tea with an editor from Random House. (I think the tapioca is still stuck in my teeth…) Both had great previous experience in working at genre imprints earlier in their careers and now, neither is a genre editor per se but both love a big story that has a genre element to it. That's what they are looking for.

And that's what I'm looking for.

I have to find a way to say that on my page that outlines my submission guidelines. Not an easy trick. I do know that I don't plan to post a handy little list because that doesn't really capture what I'm looking for.

I want a good story well told. How you tell that story doesn't need to fit in a neat little category.

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22. Wendy blogged about me!

And here it is. I cried when I read it.

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23. A blog about Children's Books of WWII

I just found this blog (thanks to Children's Literature Network), and am intrigued. It features books for kids that are about WWII. Set in, during, or around the time of the war, it's a great concept. What a wonderful resource for elementary teachers teaching about the war.

Selfishly, I'm hoping like crazy that Slider's Son gets purchased for publication in the near future...Then I can be a guest on this blog, too.

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24. Portrait of Kira

The lovely and amazingly talented Natalie Whipple created this gorgeous piece of fan art of Kira for Prophecy. It's brilliant, beautiful and absolutely perfect!!! These are the things in life that can make a person so very happy.

Thank you Natalie! I'm so blown away by it!!

5 Comments on Portrait of Kira, last added: 12/2/2012
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25. On Certainty - Andrew Strong

Most of the time, when I'm starting to think of what to write for this blog, I begin by confidently choosing a topic, then plunge in. I start writing, and before long, often within the first paragraph, I have the overwhelming sense that I have no authority whatsoever to speak on the subject I've chosen, that I'm deluded to imagine that anybody would want to read my thoughts, take them seriously, and even if they get that far, learn anything.

However, by the second paragraph, I've usually restored my self-confidence.  I've come to terms with my inadequacy by considering that if only adequate people wrote anything, then the world presented in the written word would appear even more frightening to those who, like me, don’t think they've really got that much to say, or who don’t know what they’re doing.  The world is already too full of people declaring their certainties or their conclusions.  I rarely have either, so if I can give comfort to those who share my failings, then I’ll have achieved something.

What I'm trying to get at here is this: uncertainty, doubt, confusion are rather splendid things, and should be nurtured. How to cultivate them, though, is a different matter, as I don’t think it’s a good thing for absolutely everyone. I don’t really want a surgeon to have such uncertainty, especially if it came to the matter of which of my legs he needed to remove.  (My legs are both perfectly fine, so there isn't really any serious matter at stake here.)  And I want mechanics, engineers, carpenters, electricians, and airline pilots to embrace certainty, especially when they are in my service.  Although, thinking again, I’d rather not.  I’d like to think these people are cautious, would make sure what they thought was correct, double checked and so on.  A little more self-doubt could save lives. 

But when it comes to matters of less urgency, I find I simultaneously loathe and admire people who are too certain.  These are often politicians, or they are selling something.  Politicians, like William Hague, for example, who made up his mind about what he believed long before he was eighteen, presenting his self-assured young self at a Tory Party conference, and he hasn't changed his mind since. A smug adolescent is determining British foreign policy.  Most teenagers think they know it all, but few of them get to run the world.

There is a wonderful scene at the very beginning of Howard Brenton and David Hare’s Pravda, in which a Rupert Murdoch figure addresses the audience.  He says something like this: 'I have over a ten thousand books in my library, but I don’t need to read any of them. I have already made up my mind.'  I remember laughing and feeling chilled to the marrow at the same time.  I was young when I saw that play, and felt I had to read at least all of the Penguin Classics and have a go at Wittgenstein before I was anywhere near to being educated enough to have a view on anything at all. 

Those of us who concur with Keats’ notion of ‘negative capability’, who are able to suspend judgement, who resist the need to draw conclusions, we are cast aside in the stampede towards the glittering prizes.  People who have made up their minds rule the world, and I am completely unable to make up mine.  It may be I'm timid, that I never like putting all my eggs in one basket, or it could be that I'm a ditherer, a moral coward.

And here is a paradox, for if we are to write fiction well shouldn't we be able to circle around an argument, see things from more than one point of view, to take the role of the omniscient narrator and claim an infinite perspective, rather than just trumpeting our own self-satisfied certainty?  But if we can never make up our minds, then nothing will ever get written.  It’s almost crippling. 

E M Foster wrote: 'How can I tell what I think until I see what I say?' And I sort of know what he meant.  I've finished my blog.  I can see what I've said. 

But I've still no idea what I think.

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