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Viewing: Blog Posts from All 1540 Blogs, since 1/28/2008 [Help]
Results 42,176 - 42,200 of 480,816
42176. P*CON at TLA 2013

The whole P*CON poet crew and me!

Michael Salinger

Rebecca Dotlich

Jane Yolen

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater

Charles Waters

Robert Paul Weston

Guadalupe Garcia McCall
Jane and Rebecca discuss collaborating on GRUMBLES FROM THE FOREST
Will Richey and teens rock the house; volunteers step up to participate

Our enthusiastic audience; Jane and Charles talking about process; poets in the audience

Thanks to the poets who spoke so eloquently and each stayed for the entire 4 hour institute. Thanks to Penguin and Boyds Mills Press for bringing several of our poets. Thanks to our lovely audience who were so committed, open, and enthusiastic. And special thanks to Dr. Marianne Follis, Chair of the Children's Round Table (of the Texas Library Association) for conceiving of P*CON (the poetry version of Comic Con!) and for all her support. This was TLA's FIRST post-conference institute and I think it was a big hit! One participant said it was the highlight of her entire conference experience!


Image credit: SylviaVardell

Posting by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2013. All rights reserved.

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42177. Electrocuted elephant!

Working on the scene, in Tesla's biography, where Edison publicly electrocutes an elephant - as part of his smear campaign against Tesla's AC current. I read a first hand account from someone who was at the scene, very sad. Such an elegant beast of huge proportions...

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42178. LITTLE VICTORIES: Or, The Serial’s a Killer


Today, I'm happy to welcome my publishing house sister, Stephanie Wardrop. She's the author of Snark and Circumstance, which released February 5, 2013 through Swoon Romance. Stephanie and I found ourselves in the same position of having to take a novel and break it up into a series of novellas. Stephanie's here today to tell you about her experience.

 Hi, everybody! I’m Stephanie Wardrop, author of Snark and Circumstance ,
checking in with my Swoon Romance serial sister Kelly Hashway about the subject of serialized e-novellas.
Like Kelly, I never set out to write an e-novella series. I did not, in fact, know such a thing existed. Because I am a .  I mean, I wasn’t even thinking about e-books at the time.  When I was writing Snark and Circumstance, I was thinking about NOVELS.  I was thinking Snark would come out looking something like this 
, something you would open up and then close and it would sit all nice and neat on a shelf somewhere, waiting patiently for you to open it again.
So when an editor at called to say she was interested in the book but wanted to publish it as a series of e-books, I was like this 
   
But then I thought about Jane Austen, whose Pride and Prejudice inspired Snark, and whose books, like most nineteenth-century novels, came out as TRIPLE DECKERS : one novel was divided into three books coming out months apart and each ending on a cliffhanger so that every reader would be counting down the days until they could buy the next installment.  And I thought 
  BRILLIANT! I’LL DO IT!

Now all I had to do was figure out how to cut the thing into four pieces, all equally engaging and action-packed and hilarious.
Right.
There are some definite advantages to serializing. For one, you get not ONE cover reveal, but FOUR!  I wish I could show you my second cover, because it is, as my publisher says, SASSY, but publishers guard unreleased covers the way Coca Cola guards its formula, the way 
 Colonel Sanders guards his eleven secret herbs and spices, so I can’t.

On the other hand, four covers means four titles. It took me three years to come up with the title of Snark and Circumstance, so to hear I had about forty-eight hours to come up with three more set me into a state of paralytic frenzy.  (Trust me – this term sounds oxymoronic and impossible, but I bet any writer who’s faced a deadline knows what I mean). I could fill the New York Public Library with all of my rejected titles, but I eventually came up with three more that didn’t totally suck!
But for me, the biggest challenge has been that four separate texts means four not-so-separate but individually complete narrative arcs.  Because each story has to simultaneously – and paradoxically, perhaps –
*further the plot and characterization from the previous installment
*be able to stand on its own as a separate self-contained text
*not bore anyone so much that they don’t want to read the next one!
How do you manage all of those things at once?  How do you catch new readers up to speed about who the characters are and what they want and how they feel about each other (and where they live and what they look like and how old they are) without boring the readers who were with you in the first installment(s)? How do you balance exposition (the background for the current installment) without falling into an information dump
It ain’t easy. But no writer worth reading shrinks from challenges, right?
Most of us remember this from ninth grade, the dreaded PLOT DIAGRAM:
If you recall, this is the arc of the whole novel, so in a regular novel, all the really exciting climactic stuff would be happening in the middle (well, in actuality, it’s much more likely to happen three quarters of the way through, if not even further in. Think about it. You’re not going to read another hundred pages AFTER the epic battle, after Harry Potter finally defeats the forces of darkness or Romeo and Juliet are both found dead. That would be like sitting in the movie theater so you could watch the kids in their uniforms sweep up your popcorn tubs and throw your discarded drink cups into garbage bags. Pointless.). At any rate, following this standard narrative arc in a series would mean that the middle two books would be nonstop action and the last one would be horrendously dull. But again, that’s not quite true despite what this little graph above says. In actuality the middle books of a series, if they followed this proscribed arc of a novel, would be kind of tedious. The main character would get themselves into all sorts of trouble, dig themselves in deeper and deeper, and there would be no relief for them at all until they got to Book Four.  Which wouldn’t work.  Even if you HATED the main character, you wouldn’t enjoy the experience, essentially, of seeing them flogged for two whole books – and you wouldn’t pay to see that happen (or to read it happening).
So the trick, for me, is to work with LITTLE VICTORIES in Books Two or Three.
  I’m learning that I have to get my main character into all sorts of smallish troubles -- misunderstandings, arguments, humiliations that don’t feel smallish at all to her – and get her out of them in each installment. (And in Books Two and Three my main character, Georgia, gets into some trouble involving  charming drunks, sightings in the family planning section of CVS, and scarlet letters.) But she cannot resolve the BIG TROUBLE that has gotten her into all of the smallish troubles in the first place until the end, Book Four. Such big troubles for main characters are often defined by fancy ninth-grade literary terms like HUBRIS, meaning excessive pride.  Or they may suffer an inability to a have sense of humor about oneself or a major lack of confidence that prevents them from emerging as the superhero they need to be until the last volume of the series.
So in Book Two I might resolve one or two smallish troubles. I may end it with two sisters no longer fighting like dogs or
.. But the sisters won’t come to appreciate each other for who they truly are yet.  Not until Book Four:
 

Halfway through the serialization process for Snark, this is what I have learned so far, through the process of writing and revising.
But I have also learned, as you can see in this post, that there is nothing
NOTHING
that cannot be best illustrated on the web by pictures of kittens.

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42179. Review of The Great Garage Sale

Here's an excerpt from The Great Garage Sale written by Marilyn Helmer and Illustrated by Mike Deas: "You're pulling out flowers, not weeds." His mouth curved into a lopsided grin. "Don't you know the difference between a weed and a flower?" "Of course I do," said DJ. Who was this smart-alecky kid anyway? "Weeds don't have flowers on them." The kid rolled his eyes. "See those buds? You're pulling out plants before they're big enough to bloom." This is a description of just one of DJ's mishaps that he has throughout this entertaining chapter book! He sells a jewelery box at a garage sale that wasn't meant for selling. He gives up his skateboard, Speedwell, to get the jewelery box back. He has good intentions but things seem to go awry for him. Somehow things turn around and the Superstacker (his favorite kind of deluxe sandwich) always seems to smooth things out for him. This Orca Echoes chapter book is written with pizzaz and flair which is sure to entertain young readers! Published by Orca Book Publishers.

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42180. Susan Bernofsky Q & A(s)

       Shaun Randol interviewed translator-from-the-German Susan Bernofsky, and the conversation is divided up between Words without Borders -- his Interview with Susan Bernofsky -- and The Mantle, where there's PEN 2013: Susan Bernofsky and Franz Kafka.
       Among the responses of note:

SR: For you is there a Holy Grail book to translate ?

SB: Uwe Johnson's Anniversaries. His prose is extraordinarily difficult, but some of the most beautiful writing I've ever read in my life. On the sentence level it's phenomenal and the story is great.
       As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, the previously-available-only-in-English-in-half-its-glory text is being re-translated -- unabridged ! -- by Damion Searls, with publication slated for 2017 from NYRB Classics
       Bernofsky has apparently completed translating another old standard -- Kafka's Die Verwandlung (the title generally translated as, sigh, The Metamorphosis ... (that word has an exact German equivalent -- 'Metamorphose' -- and if that's what Kafka had meant, that's the word he would have used ...)).

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42181. The Strange Woman

Usually a novelization of a play retains a fair amount of the original structure. The author of the novel may add in new locations and stuff, but you can still tell that, say, one particular group of chapters used to be the second act and originally took place entirely on someone’s front porch, or that one lengthy bit of narration used to be a monologue, or something. The Strange Woman, adapted by Mary McNeil Fenollosa (writing as Sidney McCall) from a play by William Hurlbut, puzzled me because I couldn’t see the underlying structure of the play, and none of it seemed like it had come from a play — until more than halfway through the book, when John Hemingway returns from Paris with his fiancée. Or his sort of fiancée.

Now that I’ve read a couple of reviews of the play, though, everything makes sense. The last third or so of the book, the section full of unpleasant people and awkward situations that made me wonder why I had liked anyone or been invested in the book up to that point — that was the bulk of the play. The first half or so, in which John Hemingway goes to Paris and is desperately lonely until he meets and begins a relationship with American-born Inez de Pierrefond is apparently original to the book.

John is a nice but occasionally super depressed architect studying at the École des Beaux-Arts. Inez is from Louisiana, and is about as French as one can get while still being an American, and is technically a widow, although she left her horrible and possibly German husband before he died. They meet in a treehouse, which is kind of great. Their relationship is pretty interesting. There’s a lot of very trite bits, but John is pretty convincingly torn between his attraction for Inez and his morals. He’s also pretty convincingly a massive dork. And Inez is pretty awesome, and eventually wins him over to her way of thinking, including the idea that marriage is a prison.

That one, obviously, isn’t going to go over well in John’s hometown of Delphi, OH. And John’s transformation when they get back there makes sense, although it’s kind of disappointing. And I guess that’s how I feel about everything else that happens in Delphi, too. I keep wanting to say that everyone is out of character, but I can’t put my finger on any specific way in which that’s true. And it’s not terrible, but after the Paris section, which I was really enjoying, it’s disappointing.

Now that I know roughly what was in the play, I keep falling into the trap of thinking of the Delphi section as Hurlbut’s work and the Paris section as Fenollosa’s, which isn’t fair because Fenollosa wrote the whole book. Also, not having read the play, I don’t want to make assumptions. I guess I’ll have to try one of Fenollosa’s other books at some point, to see how she does on her own.


Tagged: 1910s, marymcneilfenollosa, paris, williamhurlbut

3 Comments on The Strange Woman, last added: 5/6/2013
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42182. KUDOS to All Crystal Kite Award Winners!

crystalkiteaward logoTHE SOCIETY OF CHILDREN’S BOOK WRITERS AND ILLUSTRATORS ANNOUNCES THE WINNERS OF THE ANNUAL CRYSTAL KITE MEMBER CHOICE AWARDS

The SCBWI is excited to announce the winners of the 2013 Crystal Kite Member Choice Awards for our fifteen regional divisions: 

Africa

  • Neil Malherbe – The      Magyar Conspiracy (Tafelberg Publishers)

Australia

  • Meg McKinlayTen Tiny Things (Fremantle Press)

California/Hawaii

  • Katherine ApplegateThe One and Only Ivan (HarperCollins Children’s Books) 

Florida/Georgia/South Carolina/North Carolina/Alabama/Mississippi

  • Augusta Scattergood - Glory Be  (Scholastic)

Kansas/Louisiana/Arkansas/Tennessee/Kentucky/Missouri

  • Sharon CameronThe Dark Unwinding (Scholastic)

Middle East/India/Asia

  • Benjamin MartinSamurai Awakening  (Tuttle Publishing)

Minnesota/Iowa/Nebraska/Wisconsin/Illinois/Michigan/Indiana/Ohio

  • Aaron ReynoldsCreepy Carrots (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)

Nevada/Arizona/Utah/Colorado/Wyoming/New Mexico

  • Jean ReaganHow to Baby Sit A Grandpa      (Alfred A. Knopf (Random House Children’s Books)

New England (Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire. Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island)

  • Jo Knowles – See You At Harry’s (Candlewick Press)

New York

  • Kate MessnerCapture the Flag (Scholastic)

Pennsylvania/Delaware/New Jersey/Wash DC/Virginia/West Virginia/Maryland

  • Ame Dyckman – BOY + BOT  (Alfred A. Knopf (Random House Children’s Books)

Texas/Oklahoma

  • Lynne KellyChained (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Inc.)

The Americas (Canada/Mexico/Central & South America)

  • Jennifer Lanthier - The Stamp Collector  (Fitzhenry and Whiteside)

UK/Europe

  • Dave CousinsFifteen Days without a Head  (Oxford University Press)

Washington/Oregon/Alaska/Idaho/Montana/North Dakota/South Dakota

  • Kim Baker – Pickle  (Roaring Brook Press (Macmillan Publishers)           

About the Crystal Kite Awards

The Crystal Kite Awards are given by the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators to recognize great books from the seventy SCBWI regions around the world.  Along with the SCBWI Golden Kite Awards, the Crystal Kite Awards are chosen by other children’s book writers and illustrators, making them the only peer-given awards in publishing for young readers.

About SCBWI

Founded in 1971, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators is one of the largest existing writers’ and illustrators’ organizations, with over 22,000 members worldwide. It is the only organization specifically for those working in the fields of children’s literature, magazines, film, television, and multimedia. The organization was founded by Stephen Mooser (President) and Lin Oliver (Executive Director), both of whom are well-published children’s book authors and leaders in the world of children’s literature.  For more information about the Crystal Kite Award, please visit http://www.scbwi.org, and click “Awards & Grants.”

Congratulations to everyone, but big Kudos to Pennsylvania/Delaware/New Jersey/Wash DC/Virginia/West Virginia/Maryland – my regional winner Ame Dyckman!

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: authors and illustrators, awards, children writing, Competition, Contest, Kudos Tagged: 2013 Award Winners, Crystalkite Member Choice Awards, SCBWI announces Crystalkite Awards

3 Comments on KUDOS to All Crystal Kite Award Winners!, last added: 5/1/2013
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42183. Friday, May 3 is School Lunch Superhero Day

Slshd_logo_high_resI don't believe that I've ever mentioned this before, but my grandmother worked as a school lunch lady when my father and my uncles were young. She was always quite proud of that fact. Perhaps that's one of the reasons why I enjoy Jarrett Krosoczka's Lunch Lady series so much (see my reviews here, here, here, here, and here). Certainly this is one of the reasons why I am pleased by the idea of dedicating a day to honor school lunch ladies. Yes, that's right. Jarrett Krosoczka, Random House, and the School Nutrition Association are celebrating School Lunch Superhero Day this Friday, May 3rd. 

Here are some quick tidbits about the event (from Random House):

  • INPSIRATION: Jarrett’s very own School Lunch Superhero, Jean Cariglia, inspired his Lunch Lady series. When Jarrett visited his school after the first book was published, he was astounded to see how much this recognition meant to Jean. This, and other acts of kindness he has seen while touring for the series, planted the seed for School Lunch Superhero Day.
  • WAYS TO CELEBRATE: The SchoolLunchSuperheroDay.com website has all kinds of activities to help schools celebrate – games, activities, valentines, you name it!
  • TEDx: Besides creating a really innovative take on superheroes, Jarrett is also a really amazing individual. Last Fall, he was invited to present a TEDx talk. His talk has over 500,000 combined views and is really inspirational. See the video here.
  • THAT'S A LOT OF FOOD: School nutrition professionals feed 31 million students every day.
  • NEW LUNCH LADY: LUNCH LADY AND THE VIDEO GAME VILLAIN is on sale now. This is an action-packed graphic novel series with fun food-related gadgets. The series is great for beginning readers.

Check out the SchoolLunchSuperheroDay website, as well as Jarrett's recent post on the subject at The Nerdy Book Club. And, this Friday, consider toasting my grandma with some cafeteria-style tater tots (if they still serve those). 

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42184. Press Release Fun: Crystal Kite Winners Announced

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 30, 2013

Sara Rutenberg

sararutenberg@scbwi.org

323-782-1010

THESOCIETY OF CHILDREN’S BOOK WRITERS AND ILLUSTRATORS ANNOUNCES THE WINNERS OF THE ANNUAL CRYSTAL KITE MEMBER CHOICE AWARDS

The SCBWI is excited to announce the winners of the 2013 Crystal Kite Member Choice Awards for our fifteen regional divisions:

Africa

      Neil Malherbe – The Magyar Conspiracy (Tafelberg Publishers)

Australia

      Meg McKinlayTen Tiny Things (Illustrated by Kyle Hughes-Odgers) (Fremantle Press)

California/Hawaii

      Katherine ApplegateThe One and Only Ivan (HarperCollins Children’s Books) 

Southeast (Florida/Georgia/South Carolina/North Carolina/Alabama/Mississippi)

      Augusta Scattergood - Glory Be  (Scholastic)

Mid-South (Kansas/Louisiana/Arkansas/Tennessee/Kentucky/Missouri)

      Sharon CameronThe Dark Unwinding (Scholastic)

Middle East/India/Asia

      Benjamin MartinSamurai Awakening  (Tuttle Publishing)

Midwest (Minnesota/Iowa/Nebraska/Wisconsin/Illinois/Michigan/Indiana/Ohio)

      Aaron ReynoldsCreepy Carrots (Illustrated by Peter Brown) (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)

 

Southwest (Nevada/Arizona/Utah/Colorado/Wyoming/New Mexico)

      Jean ReaganHow to Baby Sit A Grandpa (Alfred A. Knopf (Random House Children’s Books)

 

New England (Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire. Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island)

      Jo Knowles – See You At Harry’s (Candlewick Press)

 

New York

      Kate MessnerCapture the Flag (Scholastic)

Atlantic (Pennsylvania/Delaware/New Jersey/Wash DC/Virginia/West Virginia/Maryland)

      Ame Dyckman – BOY + BOT   (Illustrated by Dan Yaccarino) (Alfred A. Knopf (Random House Children’s Books)

Texas/Oklahoma

      Lynne KellyChained (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Inc.)

The Americas (Canada/Mexico/Central & South America)

      Jennifer Lanthier - The Stamp Collector  (Fitzhenry and Whiteside)

UK/Europe

      Dave CousinsFifteen Days without a Head  (Oxford University Press)

West (Washington/Oregon/Alaska/Idaho/Montana/North Dakota/South Dakota)

      Kim Baker – Pickle   (Illustrated by Tim Probert) (Roaring Brook Press (Macmillan Publishers)

About the Crystal Kite Awards

The Crystal Kite Awards are given by the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators to recognize great books from the seventy SCBWI regions around the world.  Along with the SCBWI Golden Kite Awards, the Crystal Kite Awards are chosen by other children’s book writers and illustrators, making them the only peer-given awards in publishing for young readers.

About SCBWI

Founded in 1971, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators is one of the largest existing writers’ and illustrators’ organizations, with over 22,000 members worldwide. It is the only organization specifically for those working in the fields of children’s literature, magazines, film, television, and multimedia. The organization was founded by Stephen Mooser (President) and Lin Oliver (Executive Director), both of whom are well-published children’s book authors and leaders in the world of children’s literature.  For more information about the Crystal Kite Award, please visit www.scbwi.org, and click “Awards & Grants.”

###

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42185. Realistic Fiction: Hunt, Quick, and Green

Three powerful books about kids dealing with major issues. Troubled kids, wise and compassionate kids. Be Someone’s Hero is the message on a sign that foster child Carley finds in her borrowed bedroom. She’s in need of a hero herself, having just been released from the hospital after being severely beaten by her mother’s boyfriend, […]

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42186. All Those Things We Never Said review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Marc Levy's All Those Things We Never Said.
       Year in, year out, Levy is one of the bestselling novelists in France (and this one reportedly quickly sold more than a half a million copies), but like other locally incredibly popular writers (Guillaume Musso, Katherine Pancol) has made little inroads with English-speaking audiences. Curious about his success, I'm glad to have been able to have a look at this; still, you can sort of see why it didn't really take hereabouts.
       Yes, he's a hack -- but not without talent of sorts.

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42187. Grace Lin -KBWT

It's Tuesday!! Time for a Kids' Book Website.

Check out  Grace Lin's website.  Grace wrote Starry River of the Sky, which was a Battle of the Kids Book contestant.  I loved it.  But I have liked Grace's picture books and chapter books for several years.  Her Where the Mountain Meets the Moon was a Newbery Honor Book.

Her website offers activities based on her books, Chinese lessons, a link to her blog and a bio.

And here is a book trailer for her novel for 3rd and 4th grades, Dumpling Days, the third novel about a Chinese American girl named Pacy.

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42188. OIK Tuesday returns! kindergarten poetry

Today Overheard in Kindergarten Tuesday extends into Poetry Friday!  My eighteen Mighty Minnows spent the week of April 15 meeting poems by Langston Hughes, Lilian Moore, Arnold Adoff and Beatrice Schenk de Regniers to learn what poets do.  On the Friday they worked to compose their own poems.  I'm excited to share this work from children at varying stages of independent writing ability.

My proudest accomplishment as a teacher is that EVERY child knew what they wanted to write and felt competent to write a poem, and that EVERY child chose a different small thing to write about (with one exception, and that was my fault; I gave homework the night before to write a little poem about pockets). How's that for Thinking and Academic Success Skills




Animals 

I found a cat
I found another cat
I found three cats

by Nadja
 

Mosquitoes

 
I hate
mosquitoes
They bite
people
They give me
rashes 

by Bertrand
 

Flowers

 
I like flowers
You do too 
They can be colors
Well, you can like them
too   
Everybody can

by Karina


I Am Pretty 

I walk
to a big butterfly
I wear
my green dress
I go
to my castle

by Janie
 

Pockets

I really like pockets
and what you can put
inside 
you can take it out
and show it
or you can keep it in
and hide
 
by Briella 

unleashing the undead
 
the night unleashes
the dead: vampires,
zombies, ghosts, ghouls
ripping your throat.

by Beck
[Beck and I mutually agreed that while this is a cracking poem,
it isn't quite appropriate for a kindergarten anthology.  He's written
a new one about shoes, but I wanted to post his original creation here.]


Scaring Carrie
 
BOO!
I’m a giant.
and she goes
away!

by Santiago 
 

Dominoes
 
dominoes
put them in a row
flick really soft
flick with your finger
watch them tumble
see them tumble!

by Mikael
 

 Fast 
 
Fast brings
  speed.  fire
  brings
super
            speed!
     super super
   super speed!
    speed   That’s what
I call it!
 
     by Arden
 

Popcorn
 
popcorn
in my pocket
popcorn
in my pocket
then my popcorn
pops away! 

by Antonio 


Why 
 
Why do you think
you’re going to
bed?   I don’t think
I am going to bed.
Ohhhh!
 
by Tonya
 

To the Sun 
 
I flew to the sun
and was gone
forever and
I said   NOOO 

by Tiago 



Sing
 
Sing me
and everybody
sing and
the world
can sing
too

by Henderson 


A Horse

the wind is going fast
when the horse goes fast
the wind goes blowing
through her hair
when the grass blows
the horse goes away fast
the horse stops
to get a drink 

by Le’Ann
[Can you see the influence of Christina Rossetti here?  One of our
anthology poems was "Clouds," with the white sheep walking away
slow.]

Paul’s Pockets
 
pocket skirts and
pocket shirts and
pants and pretty dresses
all have pockets
but I like Paul’s pockets
best

by Cora



 
Cats
 
cats are furry
cats are cuddly
cats are friendly
cats are hairy
cats are mean sometimes.

by Merrilee 



The Pockets

the pockets
are very important
why?  they help you
carry things when you
need them 

by Indi 



My Shiny Bow

Shiny shiny!
Shiny bow
I like it
I like it
It’s very low
Very very
Very very
Very very
Very low

by Susye

***************
 

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42189. Baby Grand Piano Pop-Up Card

I designed one card with a heart, the other with a music note

.1054_1_Baby_grand_piano_ popup

1053_grand_piano_heart

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42190. Couple Walking Dogs - Business Card Sculpture 10552

10552_couple_walk_dogs

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42191. Executive Female Business Card Sculpture 10536A

Executive Female Business Card Sculpture 10536A10536_1_Exec_Female

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42192. This is a video introduction to Quikly: an online company that...













This is a video introduction to Quikly: an online company that showcases short term offers for brands and places. I illustrated the frames sending them down to genius animator Chad Thompson to make them look awesome in motion with Keith Thompson finalizing the sound and music. This project was so much fun to work on!

Check out the full video online at: http://vimeo.com/64638255













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42193. How To Catch a Ladybug: the process for my May/June 2013 spread

Ladybug Magazine, published by Carus Publications, is one of the most prestigious literary magazines for kids. This is the story of how I got my first illustration with them. Without a doubt, the first step was the hardest one: work very hard for a loooong time to be good enough to catch the attention of the editors and art directors. I mentioned in this post about how long that took for me.

Step Two was just like any other project. It starts with the assignment on my drawing table and a blank sketchbook.


The assignment was for a silly illustration involving a May Day picnic with all kinds of fairy tale characters. Some of the characters would be doing traditional fairy-tale-y things others would be doing zany, silly things for the kids to find and laugh at.

Right away I decided I would knock it out of the park on the silliness. My goal was to put no less than twenty silly things into this 10 x 18 spread.



Here's what the first sketch I sent looked like:

"Whoa nelly" was the response from Ladybug.

Apparently twenty silly things is a little bit of overkill.

They explained, and this made all the sense in the world, that too much crazy stuff made it hard for young readers to figure out where the punch line is. So I de-sillyed.

Here's the second sketch I sent:


With just a couple more tweaks this sketch was approved. As I mentioned, I was swamped with work right about this time but I was determined to give 110% of my attention to this piece so everything went on hold. I estimated it would take me three uninterrupted days to get the final done. I started by transferring the sketch to watercolor paper via my light table and penciling in the tonal values. I think of this process as a pencil "underpainting." It helps me map out - in an editable medium - where the lights and darks will go:




















Finally I could procrastinate no longer. I was going to have start painting it and keep my fingers crossed that I didn't spend the next three days completely messing it up.

Obviously, since it's a giant scene of an outdoor picnic, there was going to be a lot of green involved. Let me tell you something about green.... it has a way of being a bad influence on every other color in a palette. It makes reds look brown and blues look washed out. Since I knew that the background color would have a huge effect on the rest of the painting, I did it first. That sure is a lot of green:























Then little by little I started to fill in the rest of the characters:























Finally it was finished on the drawing table. Time to bring it into Photoshop and work out some of the details as well as increase the saturation on certain colors. But here I ran into a problem... my scanner was only 8.5 x 14, too small to fit the whole painting on the bed. Two awesome illustrator buddies Susan Eaddy and Wendy Lawrence had offered to let me use their large format scanners but at the last minute Susan came down with a stomach bug and Wendy was out of town. So two days before the piece was due I sat down at my scanner and scanned it in four sections. Doing it in that many sections allowed plenty of overlap so I was able to piece it together seamlessly in Photoshop.

Then I worked on the colors, including the sky and the details on the tea cup. I made the queen's skin tones a little more creamy, and darkened the leaves around the cup. I paid extra special attention to the right side because I plan to use it as a promo mailer later this year, the composition on that side is strong enough by itself.

At last, the finished piece:



Off it went to Ladybug and a few days later I got back the best response I think I have ever gotten on a project:

I always wanted to be funny. And yes I really did pin it to my bulletin board. Frankly a key step in an artist's career is keeping inspiration and encouragement close at hand.

That was the first of February. Last week I got the contributor copies in the mail. The color reproduction was stunningly good and I couldn't be happier with how it turned out. Then Baby Sprout got her subscription copy in the mail. Possibly the best part of the whole process was sitting with her to look at the magazine. Sprout's copy showed up just a few days shy of my "freelance anniversary." The issue is currently in bookstores and libraries and the original piece is on display at Nashville's Public Library (I'll tell that story next.) All in all not a bad way to celebrate 15 years as a children's artist.

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42194. Bink & Gollie : Best Friends Forever, by Kate Di Camillo and Alison McGhee, illustrated by Tony Fucile, 96 pp, RL 1.5

<!-- START INTERCHANGE - BINK GOLLIE BEST FRIENDS FOREVER -->if(!window.igic__){window.igic__={};var d=document;var s=d.createElement("script");s.src="http://iangilman.com/interchange/js/widget.js";d.body.appendChild(s);} <!-- END INTERCHANGE --> I think that Bink & Gollie : Best Friends Forever just might be the third and final title in  Bink & Gollie series. The first two books,

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42195. Words from the Weary


When writing a poem every day,
You shouldn’t let time slip away.
            For what is required
            Gets lost when you’re tired
And thoughts tend to wander and stray.

Yet hours at times disappear
When events and constraints interfere.
            So you dash off some lines
            Hoping when the sun shines
They won’t sound quite as bad as you fear!

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42196. How To Catch a Ladybug: the process for my May/June 2013 spread

Ladybug Magazine, published by Carus Publications, is one of the most prestigious literary magazines for kids. This is the story of how I got my first illustration with them. Without a doubt, the first step was the hardest one: work very hard for a loooong time to be good enough to catch the attention of the editors and art directors. I mentioned in this post about how long that took for me.

Step Two was just like any other project. It starts with the assignment on my drawing table and a blank sketchbook.


The assignment was for a silly illustration involving a May Day picnic with all kinds of fairy tale characters. Some of the characters would be doing traditional fairy-tale-y things others would be doing zany, silly things for the kids to find and laugh at.

Right away I decided I would knock it out of the park on the silliness. My goal was to put no less than twenty silly things into this 10 x 18 spread.



Here's what the first sketch I sent looked like:

"Whoa nelly" was the response from Ladybug.

Apparently twenty silly things is a little bit of overkill.

They explained, and this made all the sense in the world, that too much crazy stuff made it hard for young readers to figure out where the punch line is. So I de-sillyed.

Here's the second sketch I sent:


With just a couple more tweaks this sketch was approved. As I mentioned, I was swamped with work right about this time but I was determined to give 110% of my attention to this piece so everything went on hold. I estimated it would take me three uninterrupted days to get the final done. I started by transferring the sketch to watercolor paper via my light table and penciling in the tonal values. I think of this process as a pencil "underpainting." It helps me map out - in an editable medium - where the lights and darks will go:




















Finally I could procrastinate no longer. I was going to have start painting it and keep my fingers crossed that I didn't spend the next three days completely messing it up.

Obviously, since it's a giant scene of an outdoor picnic, there was going to be a lot of green involved. Let me tell you something about green.... it has a way of being a bad influence on every other color in a palette. It makes reds look brown and blues look washed out. Since I knew that the background color would have a huge effect on the rest of the painting, I did it first. That sure is a lot of green:























Then little by little I started to fill in the rest of the characters:























Finally it was finished on the drawing table. Time to bring it into Photoshop and work out some of the details as well as increase the saturation on certain colors. But here I ran into a problem... my scanner was only 8.5 x 14, too small to fit the whole painting on the bed. Two awesome illustrator buddies Susan Eaddy and Wendy Lawrence had offered to let me use their large format scanners but at the last minute Susan came down with a stomach bug and Wendy was out of town. So two days before the piece was due I sat down at my scanner and scanned it in four sections. Doing it in that many sections allowed plenty of overlap so I was able to piece it together seamlessly in Photoshop.

Then I worked on the colors, including the sky and the details on the tea cup. I made the queen's skin tones a little more creamy, and darkened the leaves around the cup. I paid extra special attention to the right side because I plan to use it as a promo mailer later this year, the composition on that side is strong enough by itself.

At last, the finished piece:



Off it went to Ladybug and a few days later I got back the best response I think I have ever gotten on a project:

I always wanted to be funny. And yes I really did pin it to my bulletin board. Frankly a key step in an artist's career is keeping inspiration and encouragement close at hand.

That was the first of February. Last week I got the contributor copies in the mail. The color reproduction was stunningly good and I couldn't be happier with how it turned out. Then Baby Sprout got her subscription copy in the mail. Possibly the best part of the whole process was sitting with her to look at the magazine. Sprout's copy showed up just a few days shy of my "freelance anniversary." The issue is currently in bookstores and libraries and the original piece is on display at Nashville's Public Library (I'll tell that story next.) All in all not a bad way to celebrate 15 years as a children's artist.

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42197. 30 Poets/One Day - 2013 Edition

Logo by Carter Higgins
I miss April already! Thanks so much to the 30 poets who shared their work here this month - 30 Poets/30 Days couldn't happen without you. Big thanks, too, to Carter Higgins for her logo. And to all of you who read along... I can tell you that all the poets and I appreciate you hanging out with us.

In case you missed anything (or even if you didn't), here's a review of the 2013 edition of 30 Poets/30 Days:

Mary Lee Hahn - The Green Door
Kelly Fineman - Where Are Your Shoes
Andrew Fusek Peters - Blackbird
Heidi Bee Roemer - 3-D Geometry Geek
Sonya Sones - Hayfever 
Doug Cushman - Olympic Sprouts
Tamera Will Wissinger - The Judge of Fudge
Jill Corcoran - Sing it Loud
Robert Schechter - Mistaken Identity
Nancy Bo Flood - Immigrant's Song: Coal Dust, Peppers, and Tomatoes
Debbie Levy - The Garden Secret
Jon Agee - High Jump
Thalia Chaltas - Today's Topic
Stephen W. Cahill - Scatterpillars
Emily Jiang - Painting with Sound
Laurel Snyder - Bluster
Robert Paul Weston - Freddy and the Yeti
Irene Latham - Octopus Postcards
Kristin Elizabeth Clark - Pronoun
Jenny Whitehead - The Litterbug
Maria Testa - First Game Ever, Perfect
Steven Herrick - Climate Change
Renée LaTulippe - A Council of Cats
Guadalupe Garcia McCall - Under the Awning/Debajo del Toldo
Joyce Lee Wong - Wedding Photo
G. Neri - June Bug Bash
John Foster - Add a Letter, Find Another Word
Lesléa Newman - Teen Angels
Dave Crawley - Eye of the Hawk
Naomi Shihab Nye - Driving Back

For even more poetry, you can check out prior years' editions of 30 Poets/30 Days:

Logo by Debbie Ridpath Ohi
Logo by Mary Peterson
30 Poets/30 Days - April, 2010
Logo by Bonnie Adamson
30 Poets/30 Days - April/2009

Again... thanks for being part of the fun. I hope you stay in touch!

And as always, you can can join my poetry list and get all the poems that appear here emailed out the day they hit my blog. Enter your email address below and click subscribe:
Here's to poetry!

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42198. The Queen of Hearts

A posting of a personal piece.
My never ending attraction to this story is obvious.


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42199.

LATEST NEWS

The North Carolina Press Foundation is offering four of Artie’s serial stories to Newspapers in Education (NIE) newspapers across the United States. This year’s theme is Dig into Reading. In addition to the NIE, the foundation will also be offering Artie’s work to libraries and other newspapers throughout the United States. To read the works, please click on the NC Press Foundation link listed above.

Fans of Artie’s children’s literature that are on Facebook, can check out a new page dedicated to his work there. To visit the page, please click on the logo below.

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View from a Zoo – Bored with her life, a housecat seeks out adventure in this new fully illustrated picture book coming in the summer of 2013. Written by Artie, the book is being illustrated by the incredibly talented Indian artist Sunayana Nair Kanjilal. More to come as the book’s release date gets closer….

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

Artie’s children’s story The Sweet Smelling Skunk is being published in a coursebook by Orient BlackSwan in India. More to come.

COPYRIGHT © 2013 ARTIE KNAPP

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


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42200. Book Review: Grave Mercy


Grave Mercy

by Robin LaFevers

Plot: Ismae Rienne still bears the scars of the poison her mother took in an attempt to abort her. Her survival from that, and the scars from the incident, prove that she was sired by the god of Death. At seventeen, when her abusive father sells her to an equally abusive husband, she is spirited away by secret followers of the old gods to the convent of St. Mortain, the god of Death. The convent takes her in, gives her a home, and trains her in all the skills necessary to serve St. Mortain, from poison and weapons training, to history and "feminine artistry."

The convent is loyal to Brittany, and to its young Duchess Anne, who is fighting to retain Brittany's independence from France. When word reaches the convent that there may be a traitor in Anne's court, Ismae is sent on a mission to Anne's court, disguised as the mistress to the nobleman Gavriel Duval. Her instructions are to search for information on the traitor, assassinate anyone marqued for death by St. Mortain (or that she is ordered to assassinate by the convent), and to watch Duval, who may be the traitor. But when her instructions come into conflict with her heart. Ismae must make some difficult decisions.

Notable Characters:
  • Ismae Rienne. Ismae is the kind of character I love. Equally adept with poisons and the crossbow, this girl can kick some serious butt. She's not so adept at playing Duval's mistress, however, having skipped many of the lessons in the feminine arts for more time in the poison room. Ismae is a well-rounded and fully developed character who has to make some difficult decisions as the book progresses. The convent took her in and essentially saved her life, and she is sworn to serve them, but her instincts increasingly come into conflict with her instructions from the convent, and she has to choose between honoring her commitment to the convent, and doing what she thinks is right. 
  • Sybella. Sybella is a novitiate who starts at the convent at the same time as Ismae. Sybella seems quite mad when she is brought to the convent, but Ismae befriends her and she eventually becomes one of the convent's strongest novitiates. We don't learn much about Sybella; there's hints of a tragic past, and she plays a key role in a few places later in the book, but she's an intriguing character. I was happy to learn that the second book in this series, Dark Triumph, tells Sybella's story, and I'm looking forward to reading it.
  • Annith. Annith is another novitiate who was already at the convent when Ismae joins. Annith and  Ismae become good friends, but there are hints that there are some weaknesses in Annith's character. Perhaps we'll learn more about Annith in the third book.
  • Gavriel Duval. Gavriel is a nobleman, although a bastard, and appears to be fiercely loyal to Duchess Anne. Initially he dislikes Ismae as much as she dislikes him, but it probably will not surprise anyone that eventually the sparks fly between these two.
  • Anne, Duchess of Brittany. Although very young at the time of this story, (13, I think?) Anne is already a determined young ruler playing the political game and dealing with issues that would intimidate even older and more experienced leaders, including the fact that her father promised her in marriage to half a dozen different European nobles and that, as a woman, she had no right to rule. Anne is a historical figure, and her life makes interesting reading (see the link above to the historical note on the author's website for starters).
Worldbuilding: Because Grave Mercy is set in a historical time and place, in many ways the worldbuilding is more about creating a sense of place and bringing to life 15th Century Brittany. This LaFevers does excellently.

Things I liked: 
  • See my discussion of Ismae's character above.
  • Lots of court intrigue! In fact, as complex as the intrigue is and as numerous the betrayals, LaFevers says in her historical note, "Suffice it to say there were about twice as many schemes going on in real life as I used in the book, including additional suitors, competing claims for the throne, and additional double crossing."
  • The romance is credible and manages to be both sweet and hot.
  • For a book about assassins serving the god of Death, surprisingly Grace Mercy doesn't glorify death. Ismae discovers that sometimes death can be a mercy, and that redemption is possible.
Issues:
  • I can't think of any issues I had with this book, except perhaps that a few threads were left hanging, presumably for the sequels.
Who would like this book:
  • In many ways, Grave Mercy is historical fiction, and would appeal to readers who enjoy historical fiction. However, the court intrigue gives it a fantasy feel, and with the addition of fantasy elements (primarily relating to the god of Death), it would also appeal to readers of traditional fantasy, especially those who like both strong female protagonists and a little romance.
Get it from:
FTC required disclosure: Review copy sent by the publisher for Cybils Awards judging. The bookstore links above are affiliate links, and I earn a very small percentage of any sales made through the links. Neither of these things influenced my review.

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