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Viewing: Blog Posts from All 1547 Blogs, dated 11/14/2012 [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 166
1. I Love To Write Day!

This is the 10th year for I LOVE TO WRITE DAY! created by author John Riddle. He has suggested activities on his website: http://www.ilovetowriteday.org/.

Whatever you do–make writing fun on this day and give kids, teens, adults–whoever!–time to write!

I also want to quickly share Mary Horner’s book: Strengthen Your Nonfiction Writing (High Hill Press). This is an excellent resource writers and teachers SHOULD have. Check out more at the Amazon link. (Sorry for the quick post–it’s been one of those weeks. :)

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2. Una misma noche




La novela Una misma noche de Leopoldo Brizuela, además de una narración intrigante y perturbadora, es una reflexión sobre los mecanismos del terror y la complicidad del miedo.

Galardonada con el Premio Alfaguara 2012, la novela explora la marca persistente del trauma en quienes presenciaron las atrocidades de la última dictadura militar en Argentina.

La historia se narra a dos tiempos, desde el presente de la narración en 2010 y desde los recuerdos del pasado entre 1976 y 1977, los primeros y más brutales años de la dictadura.

El narrador, Leonardo Bazán, es un escritor platense, como el autor, que una madrugada presencia algo fuera de lo común: un hombre sospechoso en estado de alerta y una patrulla de la policía científica a unos tres metros de su habitación.

Al atar cabos con lo que le cuentan los vecinos, se da cuenta de que había sido testigo de un asalto en la casa de al lado, la misma donde en 1976 había presenciado de niño un episodio brutal que lo marcaría para siempre.

El texto describe el terror que se queda grabado en el recuerdo y que los hechos del presente sacan inesperadamente de lo profundo para volverlos a vivir.

Los relatos del pasado nos remontan a los años de las mudanzas furtivas, tiroteos nocturnos, estallidos que vuelan casas enteras y personas que desaparecen sin dejar rastro.

Sin emoción anota en su cuaderno el recuerdo de cómo él y sus amigos hurgaban en los escombros de la casa vecina, destruida por un estallido, para ver qué podían rescatar.

"La obscena tentación de los bienes del prófugo", escribe, haciéndonos pensar desde la inocencia de los niños, en la apropiación de bienes de los desaparecidos que tomó lugar por parte de los mismos secuestradores.

Brizuela no escatima en detalles en las descripciones del terror.

"Calle 17 y 532. Una embarazada aparece acribillada y queda allí tendida, casi veinticuatro horas, entorpeciendo el tránsito, rodeada de soldados que cuidan el espectáculo a modo de advertencia", escribe. Mediante estas anotaciones del recuerdo, Bazán trata de armar la historia de cuando entraron en la casa de la familia Kuperman, los judíos de al lado.

Reconoce, sin embargo, su incapacidad de reconstruir lo acontecido porque el día en que entraron a su propia casa a interrogar a sus padres, él, nervioso y confundido, se había sentado a tocar el piano. Presume, sin embargo, que su familia negoció esa noche, cambiando su suerte por la de los vecinos. La vecina Diana Kuperman desaparece y meses más tarde, para la sorpresa de todos, reaparece después de haber sido secuestrada y torturada.

Años más tarde, el narrador recibe copia de la declaración de Kuperman durante los Juicios de la Verdad y los detalles le abren la puerta al recuerdo.

Es así cómo se va construyendo la historia, no solo la del personaje, sino la colectiva de aquellos años: de retazos de experiencias vividas, testimonios leídos e historias escuchadas.

Cada intento de darles coherencia a estos fragmentos conlleva la posibilidad de caer en la ficción.
A lo largo del relato, Bazán se pregunta una y otra vez, qué hubiese dicho si lo hubiesen llamado a declarar.

Pese a sus muchos apuntes, es evidente que nunca sería capaz de hacerlo.

En esta ambiciosa e intrigante novela, Brizuela aborda temas como el peso del sobreviviente, la complicidad del silencio, el antisemitismo, el abuso del poder, y la imposibilidad de dar un testimonio coherente y verificable.

(UNA MISMA NOCHE. Leopoldo Brizuela. Alfaguara. 272 páginas)

1 Comments on Una misma noche, last added: 12/11/2012
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3. Happy Holidays from Elvira and me! 8)

Elvira Mistress of the Dark and Dain Fagerholm at Champion Party Supply. October 2012

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4. Countdown Wednesday

Since Mom is working on an idea challenge, today we’re counting down ways to get ideas.

 How I Get Ideas 

3. The window – I get ideas from looking out the window.  Mostly, the things I see out there scare me, but sometimes, I just need a closer look.

2. My toybox – I see lots of fun things to play with in there, but I haven’t figured out that I can stick my head in and pull out any toy I like.  I always wait for Mom to pick them up one by one and say, “What about this one?”  and “What about this one?!” and “What about THIS ONE???!!!”

1. Smells – When I smell treats or my dinner or Mom’s dinner, I get ideas about putting on my good girl face and sitting and giving my paw and dancing if necessary. I’ll do pretty much anything for food. 

How Mom Gets Ideas

3. The park and the neighborhood  – I love kids.  We watch kids at the playground and in the field. How they play (or don’t play) gives Mom ideas.

2. School – Whenever Mom visits a school to talk about being a writer or to visit one of her student teachers, she gets ideas.  Sometimes, she also gets a head cold when too many kids cough and sneeze on her.

1. Blogs – Mom reads a lot of blogs. Some are about dogs and cats and hamsters and guinea pigs and families and art and photography. But some are about being a writer.  She gets lots of ideas when she reads tips and talk from other writers.

Ideas are fun, unless they scare you.


10 Comments on Countdown Wednesday, last added: 12/2/2012
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5. November is Picture Book Month!


Join the celebration and party with a picture book!

I love November because it's Picture Book Month, as well as PiBoIdMo (see post below). In this digital age where people are predicting the coming death of print books, picture books (the print kind) need love. And the world needs picture books. I need picture books. I SO love picture books! There’s nothing like the physical page turn of a beautifully crafted picture book and no digital device can replicate that experience!

Visit picturebookmonth.com everyday in November for a new post from a picture book champion explaining why he/she thinks picture books are important. There's been some great posts so far. Come join the fun!

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6. Life as a writer - why (oh why) do we do it?

Disappointed writer

 I put this question to myself once every three months or so - usually when things aren't going too well. Why, why, why do I do it? Write, I mean - and all the stuff that goes with it.

I guess it has to be for love or something similar. It's certainly not for money. I've no wish to be a millionaire, though something in the way of royalties and PLR is always welcome. I suppose there's habit in there too. I write because it's what I do. To be honest, I think it's a kind of addiction. If I don't write for more than a few days, I feel dissatisfied and grumpy (just ask my family... though they might claim that I'm sometimes like that when I'm writing, too).

What part of writing, then, am I addicted to? I suppose it's those rare 'first draft' moments when everything goes well - when your characters take hold and run away with the plot and you're left struggling to keep up. For me, it's particuklarly those times when I feel fully tuned in to the thoughts and words (especially the words) of my characters, and I'm evaesdopping on their conversation, racing to get down every word they say. I think that's why I need silence when I write - I can't even stand good music in the background - because anything else distracts me from the voices in my head.

And that joy when you wake in a morning and realise that your brain has solved a knotty plot problem while you slept (though I realise this phenomenon isn't confined to writers). It's always a thrill, to be reminded that your conscious mind play a relatively minor part in what you create, and to realise that the brain has its own concerns you never even dreamt of.

Jumping ahead a few months (or years) - another wonderful thing is those times when your readers, especially children and young adults, tell you that they have read and enjoyed your books. And perhaps even better, when they ask you searching questions that make you realise that they have truly engaged with your characters and themes, perhaps in ways you never anticipated.

But there are also times when the whole process is so discouraging that you wonder why you go on. I'm in one now, in some respects. A project for young readers that I'm involved in is... not so much in peril as changing course, and my role in it may end up being rather different from what I expected. It's disappointing and frustrating, especially as I have no idea when the project will come to fruition. And I feel somewhat flattened - maybe I shouldn't, but I do. It's so easy, as writer, to lose confidence in your abilities. A bad review can run over you like a steamroller, in a way that you would never have expected. Being told by an editor: 'No, that's not what I want...' can take you back to being an eight-year-old at school, being sent away to do your homework all over again.

And, of course, in the early stages of a writer's career (and sometimes in the later stages, too), there are the inevitable knockbacks from agents, publishers, etc. There's the agent who gets all excited by your work and leads you to think she's about to take you on, but then changes her mind.  Even once you're published, there are (or can be, unless you're very lucky), those miserable afternoons sitting at a table in a bookshop, while no one stops to buy. There are the publishers who sign you up and then go out of business - or who decide that your books are not selling in Harry Potter quantities so they are going to pull the plug on you. It's all too depressing to think about.

Etc, etc, etc. Yes, I know that life itself can be a depressing business. And I know that there are (there really are) much more important things in life than publishing contracts. I really do know that! But it doesn't always help as much as perhaps it should.

What I will say, though, is that if you can keep writing when all around you is disappointment and despair, then you may just have it in you to be a writer. Whatever the 'it' is - I'm not quite sure. I suspect it's a kind of madness, but I wouldn't be without it. What's more, I'm very thankful to all those writers of wonderful books who have kept going in the face of discouragement and produced work, maybe, that would never have surfaced otherwise.

So let's take heart and struggle on in our communal craziness. Knowing you are not alone always helps - and I must say that reading this blog is one of the main things that assures me I am not alone and helps me to keep going.

I recently wrote a travesty of Rudyard Kipling's 'If' along these lines, if you'd care to take a peep here.

Best wishes - and don't let anything (or anyone) stop you writing.
Ros

Author of Coping with Chloe (age 11+ approx).
My Facebook author page
My website

11 Comments on Life as a writer - why (oh why) do we do it?, last added: 12/9/2012
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7. Gratitude Giveaways Blog Hop (11/15 – 11/25)

I am thankful for all of the readers, bloggers and others who have supported me this year and the past two years as I’ve done my best to make my mark. I really couldn’t have done it without you. Prizes Science Fiction Paranormal Thriller YA Fantasy MG/YA Fantasy YA Science Fiction  YA Paranormal Romance YA [...]

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8. Happy Thanksgiving!

Here's a few fall things we've done this month:
  • We went on a leaf hunt and made bunting with them and wax paper
  • The third photo is of my son grabbing some leaves from a tree in a secret hideaway place back in the woods behind our house.
  • My kids got poison ivy from the special hideway place that I mentioned above (so sad)
  • The last couple of photos is of a batch of colored sugar cookie dough that my kids are playing, eating a making cookies with. 

This is a drawing made by my daughter. She told me that the turkey's feathers match the colors in the words so that he can hide behind them. So cute!

I'm signing off of my blog early for the holiday.  Here's wishing you a happy Thanksgiving!

Blessings,

Jenni

4 Comments on Happy Thanksgiving!, last added: 12/7/2012
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9. Eruption! Discovering New Zealand Volcanoes


I have been so busy reviewing other people's books (and other writing) I forgot to promote my own on this site:
Eruption! Discovering New Zealand Volcanoes by Maria Gill (New Holland Publishers)
Enter the explosive world of New Zealand Volcanoes. You'll discover how they are made and whether they'll go off any time soon. If you're studying volcanoes or just crazy about them - you'll find: diagrams illustrating how volcanoes form, Maori creation stories linked to each volcano,  links to video footage and animations online, and flash facts for extra knowledge.  Volcanica, a reporter for Magmatic Press, pops up throughout the book to report on historic eruptions and expand your volcanic knowledge. She also has an investigation at the beginning of the book for young readers to engage with the text. 
The book is ordered around the type of volcanoes New Zealand has.  At the back of the book is information on how to get to volcanoes around New Zealand. Plus there are tips on how to be safe if a volcano erupts near you.
The book is bright and colourful with volcanic templates in the background, photographs and Volcanica's character with her roving reporter newspaper articles. 
Look at reviews for the book on Maria Gill's website, Facebook page, book pulse page or blog.
See an interview here.
ISBN: 9781869663629  RRP $21.00  48pages
 
 

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10. Interview: Dallas Clayton

Dallas Clayton wrote his first book, entitled An Awesome Book, for his son. After being turned down by publishers, he put the book online for anyone to see - and the rest is history. Like the works of Peter H. Reynolds, Clayton's stories offer positive boosts for all ages. His artwork, prose, and poetry are filled with bright colors and a can-do spirit. And critters. Lots of neat critters and creations.

I discovered Dallas' work when someone posted a quote and a link on Twitter. Shortly thereafter, I found his website and blog, and as soon as I read/saw this, I printed it so I could show to others and so I could memorize it and use for a monologue at a future audition.

I recently had the chance to talk to Dallas, who is celebrating the release of his brand-new book, Make Magic! Do Good!, and we discussed his artwork, his stories, and his family.

How long was it between the first day you set pen to paper for An Awesome Book, and the first time you had a bound, printed, published copy in your hands?

It's hard to say at this point. I mean when you do that sort of thing there's all kinds of drafts and versions and pressings, it all kinda blends together but I'd say on average a book takes me about 30 minutes to write, 2 months to draw, and then with printing and drafts/shipping, add another month - so all total, 4 months I'd say is a fair number, but that could slide two months in either direction.

Which part of the book is your son's favorite?

It's changed over the years. He's 9 now, so An Awesome Book is just as much a part of his life as it is of mine. When he was very young he was very into the dancing wild animals, but there's also a few pages in there loosely based on inside jokes between he and I that I think he gets a kick out of.

You followed up An Awesome Book with An Awesome Book of Thanks - happy early Thanksgiving, by the way! - and An Awesome Book of Love. What's the most awesome part of being an artist?

Being able to share ideas with people you've never met in places you've never been and have what you do make their lives better.

Now you have Make Magic! Do Good!, your first collection of children's poetry. Which piece is your (current) favorite to read out loud?

I don't think I've read the whole book out loud yet. I just started getting test copies recently and haven't had a reading yet. I'm curious myself. I'll let you know!

I particularly like Wishers. Thank you for that piece. Do you remember how old you were when you first started sketching and drawing and scribbling stories and creatures?

Awesome Book was the first thing I really ever drew. I doodled a bit before that, and was into vandalism as a kid but I never really drew anything until a few years ago.

What artists (poets, writers, painters, musicians, anyone) have inspired you?

Anyone making anything that makes them happy even though there is no other real reason to be making it.

Amen to that! Are you writing and illustrating full-time now?

Indeed.

That's fantastic. My favorite piece of yours thus far is The Boy in the Belly of the Dragon. What inspired this piece?

Oh, I don't really know, I just wrote that one night for fun. I have so much writing at this point and the book industry is so slow that I just post stuff online pretty much every day because I like sharing. I'm sure it will end up in a book some day.

What mediums/media do you use to create your pieces?

Pens and paper and markers and paints and a computer.

When working with text, do you tend to write first, then draw something to match, or draw something which then inspires what you write beside it?

I write first, I'm way better at writing than I am at drawing. Plus writing is way quicker.

What do you say to readers who need that extra YOU CAN DO IT! oomph, that upward movement and motivation to follow their dreams?

I mean, why not? Jobs, bosses, numbers, failure, pressure, routine - those things are only real if you allow them to be real or if you want them to be real. We are on a rock floating through space right now! Go sit by the ocean for a bit and remember how big and how small things are.

Visit Dallas Clayton's official website.

Make sure to drop by Bildungsroman on Friday to read another poem written by Dallas Clayton. It has a kitten in it, people. You're going to want to check it out.

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11. Magnus' Public Announcement.


8 Comments on Magnus' Public Announcement., last added: 12/4/2012
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12. The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It seems to me that this holiday season is arriving way too fast. I’m not really ready yet! But today I compiled a list of events going on in Greater Fort Lauderdale in December and it started to get me in the spirit of things. It made me think about my childhood and how my paternal granny took me and my sister to see the Nutcracker at McCormick Place in Chicago. It was always amazing, and I’ll cherish those memories forever.

Now to really get me in the mood, it’s about time for me to break out the holiday crafts!

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13. TV time is sketching time. #sketch



via Emergent Ideas http://studiobowesart.tumblr.com/post/35744431532


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14. Books for Post-Election Learning and Discussion

The Election Is Over!
Check Out Our Book Recommendations to Keep Kids Engaged in Presidential History

The election may be over, but presidential and congressional politics will continue to remain a hot topic on the national agenda. There are hundreds of fabulous books--both fiction and nonfiction!--to help you engage kids in stories of White House residents past and present.

An excellent, authoritative list to find the right book for your kids or class is "Presidents, the President's House, and More: A Select List of Books (and a Few Web Sources) for Children and Young Adults" compiled by librarian Maria Salvadore and available on OurWhiteHouse.org

This extensive list includes annotations and publication information for each book, as well as recommended age levels to help guide your choices. Books are grouped into several categories.

Categories include:

  • The White House and Its Residents
  • The Early Years of the White House and the Presidency
  • Civil War and Post Civil War Presidents and Eras
  • Books About Voting Rights
  • Books that Are Just for Fun!
You are certain to find a great book for even the most reluctant reader in these lists!    

And, we also suggest you check out our award-winning anthology Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out, which features poems, essays, stories, illustrations, and photographs by over 100 of America's most gifted writers and artists.  Our White House is available in both hardcover and paperback. 

To complete the Presidential Timeline created by artist Bob Kolar in Our White House, click here.

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15. Gratitude GIVEAWAYS!



This hop, organized by All-Consuming Books and I Am A Reader, Not A Writer, features over 200 (!) participating blogs offering book-related giveaways! We're all linked up together so you can hop easily from one giveaway to another; see the full list here: Gratitude Giveaways Hop.

Winner here at BWATE? gets a Signed Copy of either:
 "Solid" (Solid Series Book #1) or "Settling" (Solid #2)



To enter to win, just follow this blog and leave a comment/question,
along with a way to contact you.


PLEASE NOTE: This hop is different than other previous giveaways!
Since this is a way to thank followers (not ask them to do stuff ;), there is only
ONE entry per person, which you get by FOLLOWING THIS BLOG
(GFC or Networked Blogs).

AND to further show my thanks for your support, I will send a bookmark
to every person who follows this blog and enters the giveaway!

Giveaway runs from Nov. 15 to Nov. 25; last day to enter is Sunday, Nov. 25.

25 Comments on Gratitude GIVEAWAYS!, last added: 11/30/2012
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16. Does your practice reflect your beliefs?

Lately I’ve been involved in a lot of professional development where I’m providing space and time for teachers to consider their teaching beliefs. I’ve been nudging teachers to consider: 1. What makes you… Read More

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17. My TEDx talk: Imagining Beyond Your Circumstances

Hi folks,


If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you may already know this story. Last month I had the great opportunity to give a TEDx talk. And it was completely unexpected. Gina and I were planning the rest of the Friday workday and then the evening when around 2 pm the phone rang.  It was a friend who worked at Hampshire College. She ran the TEDx talks at the school and would I like to give a talk? Of course, I would. In a few months? Somebody had cancelled and they were hoping I could fill in . . . for a TEDx talk that started in FOUR HOURS! 

Fortunately, I had a slideshow filled with childhood artwork at the ready. The talk, however, was unlike any I had given before. I talked very candidly and openly about growing up as I did.

I really love how TEDx summarived my talk: "Jarrett J. Krosoczka tells us how imagination and the encouragement to pursue artistic expression transformed his life."

I hope that you all enjoy the video.

Most sincerely,
JJK

6 Comments on My TEDx talk: Imagining Beyond Your Circumstances, last added: 12/2/2012
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18. Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm, Pullman style

Still sick, so that means short reviews. And if anyone has a cure for serious nasal congestion, please send it my way. 


I haven't read through this entire book yet, but I can tell you already that it would make such a neat gift for someone who really loves fairy tales. Philip Pullman puts his own spin on 50 of his favorite stories, originally written by the Brothers Grimm, keeping the creep factor high and the beautiful details he's known for front and center. His versions are much more readable than the originals too... something I appreciated. 


My favorites? "The Bremen Town Musicians," "The Brave Little Taylor," and "Iron Hans." The atmosphere is perfect for reading on these dark, dreary, and cold days and I've been savoring a little at a time in between taking care of a teething boy and attempting to take care of my sick self. 

The cover is fantastic and will look great on my shelves next to the other creepy stories! I have a couple of people in mind to pick this up for during the holidays... if you love fairy tales, stop reading this now. You may be ruining your Christmas gift ;)

Thanks to Candlewick for sending along a copy. 

1 Comments on Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm, Pullman style, last added: 12/2/2012
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19. TWO AUTHORS YOU SHOULD KNOW: Jim Averbeck and Dashka Slater

Princesses and dragons have been staples of children’s literature since the very first fairy tales.

But as fairy tales have evolved, so have the kinds of princesses and dragons you’ll see. Case in point are two recent picture book releases — Dangerously Ever After written by Dashka Slater and illustrated by Valeria Docampo (Dial, 2012) and Oh No, Little Dragon (Atheneum, 2012) written and illustrated by Jim Averbeck.

How are these characters different? For starters, the princess in Dangerously Ever After has a pet scorpion and a taste for danger. And the dragon in Oh No, Little Dragon is a sweet fellow who gets into normal childhood mishaps, only to find there’s nothing his mother can’t fix.

Today, we’re lucky enough to have Dashka and Jim visiting Read, Write, Repeat to talk about their books.

Dashka SlaterFirst, let’s talk to Dashka about her princess book.

I hear you and Jim are on a “Dragon and the Dangerous Princess” blog tour. Isn’t it usually the other way around?
Don’t believe everything you read. Dangerous princesses have been making life exceedingly difficult for sweet little dragons for centuries! Hunting them nearly to extinction with their demand for dragon-skin handbags, raiding dragon hoards whenever they need spending money, insisting on equal time in the dragon-battling arena, and in Amanita’s case, stealing plants out of their gardens.

Is Princess Amanita friends with other nontraditional princesses in children’s lit? Who do you think she’d get along best with – the Paper Bag Princess? Princess Bossypants? The Princess Knight?
Princess Amanita loves sharp things, so she particularly enjoys hanging out with The Princess Knight, who always has a good supply of swords, daggers and lances. She has a good time with The Apple Pip Princess too, since they share an interest in all things botanical.

How much of her is inspired by you? Do you like dangerous things and thorny roses? What about humongous noses?
I’m actually a gibbering coward when it comes to many dangerous things — I tend to close my eyes on the roller coaster, and I’m perfectly content skiing on the bunny slopes. But I am attracted to dangerous characters, spiky plants, edgy humor, bad language and spicy food. And now that you mention it, my husband does have a pretty big nose.

What do you hope young princess readers will take away from this story?

That there’s a vast difference between smelling good and smelling well.

What’s the story behind your story? How did it come to be?
One day, my then-six-year-old son announced he was going to write a story about a queen who meant to plant rose seeds, but planted nose seeds instead. I couldn’t wait to read it! But when a couple of weeks had gone by and he still hadn’t written it, it seemed the only way I might get to read it is if I wrote it myself. That’s motherhood in a nutshell, isn’t it?

Jim AverbeckNow, let’s talk to Jim about his dragon book:

Who’s Little Dragon’s literary dragon hero? The Reluctant Dragon? The dragon in My Father’s Dragon? The dragon in the basement of Gringotts that Harry Potter frees? Someone else?
Smaug from The Hobbit.  Little Dragon respects his pure destructive power but also recognizes his largely ignored tender side. In fact, in a sequel I am writing to Oh No, Little Dragon!, Little Dragon’s father is reading a story about the lies the hobbit spreads about dear Uncle Smaug.

Little Dragon sounds like quite a handful. What was the worst thing you ever did as a child? Could your mother fix it?
I was a most helpful child, actually. I mean, the vase and ash tray were much more difficult to knock off the coffee table once they had been glued down. And I understand that two dozen raw eggs, thrown from a great height onto the driveway, are a good conditioner for the concrete. And it furthered science to find out that you could chop down a tree with the claw side of a hammer, given enough time. And since I learned that the firemen are our friends, it was an act of friendship to give them a reason to take the hook and ladder truck out for a spin.  So there was really no reason for mom to fix any of it, even had she been able to.

What should rambunctious little dragon readers take away from this story?
That it is very dangerous to take a bath, unless you are properly equipped.

What’s the story behind your story. How did it come to be? 
I’ve told in other interviews how, when traveling through China, my guide’s name was “Little Dragon” in Chinese. That’s what started me on the path to writing the book. But there’s another part. I was once teaching a class on writing picture books. We did an exercise where I put a character in the center of the page and asked people to cluster characteristics of that character around it.  When I wrote “9-year-old boy” in the center, all the characteristics that came back were negative: smelly, destructive, dirty, etc. I have to admit I was surprised and a bit offended. One mom in the audience raised her hand and said, “I have a 9-year-old boy, and I think he’s sweet and brave.”  This made me want to write a story about a rambunctious boy, but to show his emotional side too. I think that experience informed the creation of Little Dragon, whose greatest concern is that he be loved.

And finally …

What type of readers would enjoy both your stories?

Jim: I think any reader between ages 2 and 10 years of age, or less than 24 months old who is either a boy or a girl would enjoy both stories. Also people with at least one X chromosome.

Dashka: Any reader who likes swords as well as pretty dresses, fire as well as water, roses as well as thorns, peanut butter as well as jelly, hats as well as shoes, and princesses as well as dragons. All right-thinking people, in other words. Also people with allergic rhinitis and anyone who has suffered the heartbreak of an extinguished fire. Consult your doctor before reading any dangerous literature.

So if you get a chance, check out these delightfully dangerous picture books and share them with a child in your life.

Dangerously Ever AfterOh No, Dragon

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20. This cracked me up

The sexy men of YA.



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21. Most insightful review ever

Googling my name (I promise: I only do that a few times a day), I came upon this:

Sergio Ruzzier's deceptively mediocre livelihood drawings are a win enhance to these child-centered poems; I can't affirm of a improved approach to found a bairn to the pleasures of patter. Considering Kuskin writes, what separates each lone of us from unexpurgated the cattle again bugs and birds? In toto they presuppose feathers, fur further wings but we postulate words, besides words, also words?

What can I say? I'm flattered!

3 Comments on Most insightful review ever, last added: 11/30/2012
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22. Book Review: How To Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran


I wasn't familiar with Caitlin Moran before getting a review pitch for it from Harper Collins.  I am a huge fan of humorous essays/memoirs and seeing this compared to Peggy Orenstein, Tina Fey, and Jenny Lawson ensured that I'd be reading it.  It's basically a combination of memoir and thoughts on feminism and what it means to be a woman.  Moran's take on feminism is fairly unique.  Her basic guide for deciding whether or not a woman is being discriminated against is whether or not a response would differ based on gender.  She's everything but strident and harsh in her approach to feminism and she's obviously open-minded.  She doesn't advocate for single-mindedness, but she asks for people from all sides of charged arguments to be polite and let others be polite in return.

Writing/Entertainment Value (I combine the two for humor)
I love Moran's style.  It's intensely casual, very sarcastic, and very British, which, of course, appeals to me.  However, you should know that Moran's style is not necessarily...ladylike.  She can be immature and vulgar (in a very funny way), but you should be aware going into it that it's not always nice.  It's also very direct.  She writes about every.single.part of being a woman: the first chapter involves pubic hair, periods, and masturbation. 

I've seen several reviews, including one from Bestie, that were really put off by the tone and subject matter.  I, on the other hand, wasn't bothered by the not-for-mixed-company themes and the very frank discussion of bodies and sex.  I think in certain settings (a book I read in private for example) that discussing those things, and even laughing about them, can be quite appropriate.  For those of us who think it's funny.  What I'm saying is, if you don't like that kind of thing, that's cool, this isn't for you and I respect that.  But for me, this didn't cross the line into crude humor.  In my opinion, it was done in an intelligent and thoughtful way that made me think more deeply about the world's expectations for women - after I got done laughing.

Overall
I loved it.  I loved how she talks to women who have children, how she talks to women who DON'T have children, how she addresses the media and the world's standards of beauty.  And she does it in a way that I think appeals to a wider audience than women who identify themselves as feminists.  Other than the too-crude critique, the other criticism I've seen is that it's not feminist enough.  Moran isn't taking an intellectual stand in the book, but that didn't bother me.  She's taking a social stand and a rational stand.  She not only appeals to the part of human nature that wants to be kind and fair, she also appeals to those who might stop listening to a lecture, but will learn from an open, lighthearted discussion.  I highly recommend giving it a try.

Thank you to Harper Collins for sending me a copy to review.  Look back here tomorrow for my review of Moran's recently published collection of columns and articles.

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23. Be-traeus


The C.I.A. guy spilled the beans,
Quite possibly, in bed.
He should have stuck to sharing secrets
With his wife instead.

Since national security
Might really be at stake,
He had to quit when they found out,
For who can trust a snake?

Advice to all philanderers:
You shouldn’t take a chance
Of blabbing news that’s classified
When you’ve removed your pants!

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24. Thankful for SCBWI!!!!!

People on facebook keep posting about thankfulness.  Each day, I see posts that say, "I am thankful for..."  It has made me think.

I'm thankful for so many things.  There's the obvious, my parents, husband, daughters, siblings. I could not be more fortunate in that regard.   I'm grateful that I have a job.  I'm grateful that I have a lovely home to live in.  I'm grateful for friends.

Today, though, I want to tell you why I'm grateful for SCBWI.

Seven years ago, I had written a couple of things that I thought were picture books, and a fantasy novel.  I sat alone in front of a computer and wondered how you did this stuff.  Then I bought a copy of Children's Writers and Illustrators Market.  One of the articles mentioned that it was a good idea to join this Society of Children's  Book Writers and Illustrators outfit.  So I went on line, found it and joined.  When a notice of an upcoming conference came in the mail, I signed up.  At that first  conference, I met some special people including Helen Newton and Anna Myers.

Just before Christmas, I went to Anna Myers' book signing. She invited me to the SCBWI Oklahoma Christmas party.  At the Christmas party, I met more people and heard about something called a "critique a thon."  I went to that event and met more people, and got feedback on a manuscript.  And I learned.  And I wrote.  

I went to the next conference and the next.  I have never missed an Oklahoma SCBWI conference since.  I met my wonderful critique group at another critique a thon.  I found out about other opportunities to learn, and took Anastasia Suen's Intensive Picture Book Class.  I traveled to attend a Bootcamp for Children's Writers.  And I learned.  And I wrote.

My critique group (and a few others along the way) gave me feedback.  And I learned.  And I wrote.

I went to a couple of conferences in Los Angeles.  And  I learned.  And I wrote.

And I made friends.  And with my friends, I learn.  And I write.

And my life is so much better.

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25. Gratitude Giveaways Hop (The Farm)



Hi all! And welcome to Uniquely Moi Books. I am participating in the Gratitude Giveaways Hop and want to thank all my lovely followers and all my supporters. Now, just what will I be giving away? Hmmm... how about this:








Life was different in the Before: before vampires began devouring humans in a swarm across America; before the surviving young people were rounded up and quarantined. These days, we know what those quarantines are—holding pens where human blood is turned into more food for the undead monsters, known as Ticks. Surrounded by electrical fences, most kids try to survive the Farms by turning on each other…

And when trust is a thing of the past, escape is nearly impossible.

Lily and her twin sister Mel have a plan. Though Mel can barely communicate, her autism helps her notice things no one else notices—like the portion of electrical fence that gets turned off every night. Getting across won’t be easy, but as Lily gathers what they need to escape, a familiar face appears out of nowhere, offering to help…

Carter was a schoolmate of Lily’s in the Before. Managing to evade capture until now, he has valuable knowledge of the outside world. But like everyone on the Farm, Carter has his own agenda, and he knows that behind the Ticks is an even more dangerous threat to the human race...
Since this is a gratitude hop, I do ask that you be a follower in some way. This is the only giveaway that I ask that of.
GFC
Linky Followers
Email
(Take your pick)

Other Rules:
13+
Winner must respond within 48 hours 
Open to everyone




a Rafflecopter giveaway

and don't forget to check out what's going on at the other blogs!


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