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I'm so happy to see that The Haunted Ghoul Bus in which I illustrated is back on the shelves at Barnes and Nobles this year. If you need a Halloween book for your little one, it is a great sturdy book with thick and embossed pages. Check it out (it is at a great price right now at BN.com for $5.76!)
The 6th annual KidLitCon was held on September 28 and 29, 2012, but it was the first time I have been able to attend so I was super excited, especially since it was held in my favorite place - New York City and in my favorite library - the research branch of the NYPL. What could be better? At KidLitCon, bloggers from all over the country gather to talk about all kinds of issues relating to blogging and kitlit. It is both social and information, and a great way to meet people you sometimes only know in cyberspace.
Here is some of what I did during KidLitCon:
On Friday, September 28th, there were visits to publishers. In the morning, I, along with some of my fellow bloggers, went to the offices of Holiday House
, where we were graciously welcomed by Hayley Gonnason and some of the talented people who work there. First, we were shown some of the incredible artwork done by different illustrators over the years and then we were told about some of the exciting new books coming out in 2013. This was followed by a visit from the husband and wife team of Betsey and Ted Lewin. Both have new and wonderful books due out in 2013, too.
In the afternoon, I was off to HarperCollins
wth more of my fellow bloggers. There, we were welcomed by Mollie Thomas and several of their terrific editors. HarperCollins gave us a really in-depth survey of all the different books coming out in Winter 2012 and Spring 2013. And, may I say, there are some pretty exciting books to look forward to reading.
|(Grace and baby -|
csrtsey of Sondra Elkund
At both publishing houses, we were given a bag of books and galleys, which should keep us busy reading and blogging for a while. In fact, their were so many that I decided to hop on a bus home before going off to dinner at IchiUmi, a very nice Japanese restaurant. At dinner, we had the pleasure of hearing Grace Lin
telling us about her new book Starry River of the Sky
as well as how she came to embrace her Chinese heritage and culture. Lin, like so many first generation kids in this country (myself included), wanted to be American and rejected all her parents efforts to introduce and educate her about things Chinese. It wasn't until she was in Italy studying art, that she suddenly realized that while she had been so intent on becoming an artist in the European tradition, her true art self was really to be found in her Chinese past. And so she began to study Chinese art and started writing wonderful books for young readers that reflected her Chinese art self. Grace was there with her husband and her really cute baby girl.
On Saturday morning, I arrived at the library around 9:30 and was welcomed by my two favorite NYC lions, Patience and Fortitude. But just beyond them, hanging out on the steps waiting for the library to open and KidLitCon2012 to officially, begin were a bunch of bloggers. There, I ran into some old friends (that's Pam of MotherReader
holding up a book) and met some new bloggers.
Eventually we made our way down to the auditorium, and I mean down. The library used to be the reservoir for NYC and as you go downstairs, you can see part of the wall from it that was preserved when the libary was built. After some opening remarks, we were off to our varying sessions. My first one was called Community-Building On and Off the Blog: Secrets, Tips, and Cautionary Tales, moderated by Sheela Chari, Sayantani Dasgupta, and Michelle Schusterman. They covered lots of helpful ways to attract readers and keep them coming back and they have posted a recap of what was said on their blog From the Mixed-Up Files...of Middle Grade Authors
My second session of the morning was with Greg Pincus and was called Avoiding the Echo Chamber: Bringing the World of Children's Literature to the World. Greg, whom I was so happy to finally meet, talked about finding your niche in kidlit blogging, so that you stand out from others. And he has also posted a recap of his talk on his blog The Happy Accident
(Greg also blogs about his thoughts, ramblings and original poetry at GottaBook
We broke for lunch for an hour and I walked over the Pret-a-Mange for a sandwich and ran into Donna Miskind, an artist
whom I had just met earlier. After lunch and conversation about what is fine art, we headed back for a panel discussion on How Nice is too Nice? Critical Reviewing and "Niceness." This was moderated by Jennnifer Hubert Swan (Reading Rants
), and presenters were Betsy Bird (A Fuse #8 Production
), Liz Burns (A Chair, a Fireplace and a Tea Cozy
), Monica Edinger (Educating Alice
), Marjorie Ingall (Tablet Magazine
), Sheila Barry (Groundwood Books
), and Maureen Johnson (author
). Niceness is an important topic for bloggers in view of some of the things which have occurred lately, such as one blogger being threatened by an author for less than stellar review. And each of the presenters had excellent, well thought out ideas on this topic. Perhaps Liz Burns summed it up best when she said you can be negative without being nasty. Luckily, there is a detailed recap written by Mahnaz Bar, which you can read at the School Library Journal
My final session of the day was The Benefits of Blogging with Diane Estrella. This was also an information-packed session, and we were given a very useful handout, which Diane has posted along with a great recap on her blog, That's What I'm Here For
The last event of the day was the keynote speaker who happened to be YA author Maureen Johnson. Well, it was really the anti-keynote. Maureen brought along her friend, YA author Robin Wassermann
(yup, you know her, she wrote The Book of Blood and Shadow
). So the keynote was really a conversation with them and the audience. And it was fun and funny and the best keynote I have ever heard.
But golly gee, it is hard to give a recap of this "speech" because I was so caught up in enjoying it so much that I didn't take any notes, but luckily, Maureen Johnson posted her really informative outline for the speech on her Twitter feed (Betsy Bird apparently also found it).
AND, lucky us, we were all give a copy of Maureen's latest book, The Name of the Star
All in all, it was a wonderful KidLitCon and I can see why people might want to travel far and wide to attend it. And I would like to extend a really big thank you to the organizers Betsy Bird, Monica Edinger and Liz Burns, who all did such a fantastic job of making it all work so well. And thanks to the NYPL for letting us use the library's facilities for free.
And one last thing: the most frequently heard comment on Friday and Saturday - "I wish it were in New York every year."
One more last thing. if you happen to be in NYC, Betsy runs a Children's Literary Salon once a month at the NYPL The next one will be on Saturday, October 20th at 3:00 PM and the topic will be Bullying in Books for Youth. I have always enjoyed going to the Children's Literary Salon whenever I can.
This weekend has been overwhelming. I've been blown away by the well-wishes on Facebook and Twitter, the emails and blog posts. It's moments like these that all the years of late-night writing, tears over rejections and fighting self-doubt become worth it. Writer's Pack
I'm so excited to celebrate my book deal with you that I'm giving away three prize packs. I know some of you are readers, some are writers and some are travelers, so I've created a pack for each of you.
- Critique of your first 10 pages by me
- $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card- your choice!
- $10 Starbuck's gift card
- Journal and writing pens
- Query critique from my writing partner, Kate Fall, who has just opened her own editing business
- Copies of my writing partner's books: autographed copy of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE by Beth Revis, I'M BORED illustrated by Debbie Ridpath Ohi, and a preordered copy of PROPHECY by Ellen Oh
- A Samjokgo amulet (or some spell it as Samjogo)- this represents strength and was considered the most powerful symbol in Korea during the Koguryo Kingdom. This amulet has a big role in my book!
Fill out the Rafflecopter form below to win! a Rafflecopter giveaway
- Traveler's journal and writing pens
- "Woman On the Go" traveler kit
- Kindle or Nook (your choice!) versions of these great YA books: TEN by Gretchen McNeil and DEFIANCE by C.J Redwine.
...which is this: 87MRZE2NN5JFSplendors and Glooms, by Laura Amy SchlitzAges 9 and up The Crowfield Curse, by Pat WalshAges 8 and up The Giver, by Lois LowryAges 12 and up
...which is a bit of administrative weirdness.
...which you can ignore, Dear Readers.
But, so this awkward bit of a post isn't wasting your valuable web browsing time, how about a trio of quick book recommendations?
Have you read these books? I have, and they're just wonderful! Hopefully, you'll see full reviews here at Bugs and Bunnies for each of these sometime in the coming months, but until then, go find them and read them. It will be time well-spent.
|This fall has been beautiful.|
|Everyone is talking about it.|
|But we know it is not going to last.|
|Tonight a cold wind is going to blow.|
I've been a huge fan of Holly Becker's for a long time now, and love her Decor8 blog, her personality and style. So when I decided that it was time my life, art, business and blogs needed a huge reorganization and revamp, I leapt at the chance to enroll in her Blogging Your Way Boot Camp online course.
Of course it's a bit insane that I decide to take these courses on when I have so much on my hands at the moment, but that's really the point -- as it's time I took everything, especially my art and business, up to the next level. And to do so I have to first make sure that all my foundations are firm and in place, which means shaking things up a bit, and getting them to fall back into their intended spots so that I can steer myself in the right direction (with fingers tightly crossed). So I'm really looking forward to inspiration and great tips from the class. I shall let you know how things go ...
By: James Gurney,
Blog: Gurney Journey
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(Continuing the Pteranodon series) I've often preached at art schools about how you should do plenty of research, and then do lots of preliminary sketches and not get to attached to any of them, because the idea is going to change.
Today's post is about the old man taking his own medicine.
With the first painting completed, the goal of second illustration for the Pteranodon article was to show a hatchling Pteranodon. If some dinosaurs nested in protected colonies, wouldn't Pteranodons, too? I reasoned that they would be so vulnerable after hatching that they would need to be looked after by their parents.
I did five little sketches of Pteranodons in a nesting colony. Here are my notes to the art director:
A. Tender scene with warm colors showing female with downy chick in nest build of dried ferns and sticks. The rest of the nesting colony visible out of focus behind.
B. Looking a bit upward at the female sternbergi on a mud nest. Edge lighting from sunrise.
C. Variation of B with front lighting and the single chick protected by drooping wings.
D. Closeup of heads and faces of both mother and chick.
E. Female guards hatchling. Communal nesting colony could be visible behind. Golden lighting from behind.
Unfortunately all these sketches were based on wishful thinking and a lack of evidence, something one has to guard against in science. I did more reading about pterosaur hatchlings in David Unwin's 2006 book "The Pterosaurs From Deep Time." The book described three major discoveries of fossilized pterosaur embryos in recent years, which is remarkable, since there hadn't been any comparable finds for 200 years.
The new finds showed that the eggshells were probably soft and leathery, and they gave no support to the idea that the young were altricial (requiring nourishment), as opposed to precocial (active and mobile at birth).
I did a new set of sketches. Here are my notes to the art director:
"The hatchling picture is vignetted so it will fit in the lower corner of the page. I gave the egg the appearance of a soft reptilian-type eggshell, and made the hatchling comparatively precocial. I followed David Unwin's summary of the recent pterosaur hatchling fossil discoveries, which suggests they probably didn't need much if any altricial parenting. Also, apparently they could fly quite soon after hatching. This affects the way I paint the little guy. I'll make sure to make him look more flight-ready than he appeared in the sketch."
Now that I had taken it as far as I could with book and internet research, it was time to show the sketches to a scientist in the field. The editors were already working with Christopher Bennett, one of the most knowledgeable experts on Pteranodons, especially their ontogeny.
Dr. Bennett replied:
"I have marked up the babies drawing. Yes, they look very birdy, and they shouldn't other than the rounded skull and the goggle eyes. First off, there would be no trace of a cranial crest. I erased the crests on the left two babies and X-ed out the crest on the right one. The crests did not begin to develop until large and size and the beginnings of sexual maturity were attained. Jaws should not have tip hooks so, I have just drawn straighter lines. I think that the body posture of the right baby is spot on. I have added lines to indicate a bigger hand with three walking fingers in addition to the flight finger. The last problem is the biggest and birdiest of them all. The lower left baby has a pelican head-neck-trunk posture, and there is no way a pterosaur could do that. Yes, there could be a bit of an angle between the front end of the neck and the head, but the neck could not be bent back on itself at all. What I would suggest is replace the pelican neck and trunk with a lizard neck and trunk."
Tomorrow I'll show the final picture incorporating these corrections.
-----------------Part 1: Pteranodons / Thumbnails
Part 2: Pteranodons / Maquette
Part 3: Pteranodons / Step by Step
I went as far as my body would take me. My body finally revolted, crashed. An all-system failure. But before that happened, there was this long walk through and between ancient things, baby christenings, more weddings.
Tomorrow, home. I will resume my reporting on books I love, thoughts that overwhelm, people whose dreams I support. Sometimes there will be typos. You will, I hope, not mind. That is what enthusiasm looks like sometimes.
Thank you for embracing this photo tour in the meantime. It was so much more fun with you along.
Like we do most years, for my birthday weekend, we took a drive up to see the amazing colors of the aspen, cottonwoods and oak brush.
This year we stayed close to home and went up river through the Dolores canyon, over Lizard Head Pass and then down towards Telluride on the other side, but before getting there, we took a detour, to the high mountain town of Ophir...
Situated in the San Miquel Mountains, Ophir sits at just over 9,600 ft.
See the white line across the mountains in the back, that is Ophir Pass, a thin little road, over a shale slide and down the other side of that mountain is Silverton and Ouray. We have driven that, me closing my eyes, while Jon very expertly drives over the shale which makes a horrid sound under the tires, but today we stayed on this side and only looped around the little town...
It's really pretty in the summer and fall, but in the winter, snowed in with four or five feet of snow and a snowmobile the only way to get to the highway, "housewives might be looking for butcher knifes!"
Just kidding.... Ophir is a very well organized community and the road is open most days, after the plows go through, here is a run down of their population and stats...
Okay, the avalanches would get to me, not so much that I would be afraid of them burying the town, you can see the chutes where on the side of the hill below the town there is a stream of rocks and just little trees, cause they never get a chance to grow very tall, being stuck on one side of a snow slide for days, that would bother me...
It bugs me enough, here, down the mountain, when the grocery store shelves are getting empty because the trucks haven't been able to get through. But the population of Ophir and Silverton are use to that and have big freezers to freeze milk and bread, though on occasion the National Guard does fly in supplies.
Ibrahima Ndiaye, illustrated by Capucine Mazille, translated by Rebecca Page,
The Magic Formula
Bakame Editions (Rwanda), 2011.
The Magic Formula is a retelling of an African folktale about a magic marula tree that won’t release its fruit until a certain long, complicated phrase is recited. Set during a drought in the land of “Farafinaland” in the year “nobody-knows”, the animals have all come together in their suffering. Nevertheless, their individual traits emerge in the course of the lively narrative: the lion is fierce; the hyena is sneering and excitable; and the elephant is wise.
One day, the elephant calls on the animals to journey together in search of food (also offering scope for the eye-catching illustration both within the story and spread across the book’s covers). The insects provide an “aerial escort”, and the chameleon with his “special eyes” takes on the role of scout perched on the giraffe’s head. Sure enough, he is the first to see the magic marula tree laden with fruit – and he also spots the old woman Mama Tenga under another distant tree. She gives the magic words to first the elephant and then the hyena – but each is distracted on the way back to the marula tree and forgets them. It is only when, at the elephant’s suggestion, they all work together in “solidarity” that they are able to remember the words and access the fruit.
Ibrahima Ndiaye’s retelling is slightly different from another recent version of the story from Tanzania, The Amazing Tree (North-South Books, 2009) by John Kilaka, whose work has also been published by Bakame Editions. These two versions compliment each other with their different sets of characters and the chant in Kinyarwanda in The Magic Formula and in Kiswahili in The Amazing Tree, as well as the contrasting styles of the illustrations. Here, Capucine Mazille’s watercolours add depth to the story with a wonderful mix of charaterful facial expressions. As well as the key characters, the line-up includes an exciting array of different African animals, including an aardvark and a pangolin – plenty to absorb young readers. The lively dialogue also makes this a great readaloud, and young listeners will probably soon pick up the magic formula quicker than the animals themselves, adding to their enjoyment of the story
The Magic Formula, under its Rwandan title Imvugo idasanzwe, is included in IBBY’s Honor List 2012, which highlights outstanding books from around the world. This translation into English offers us the opportunity to share this wonderful story too.
As reported previously, J.K. Rowling made an appearance at Cheltenham Literature Festival to promote her new, adult novel The Casual Vacancy. (Pictures of the author posing with The Casual Vacancy can be seen below). In an interview at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, J.K. Rowling responded to critic's accusations and confirmed that her next book would be for children. The Telegraph reports:
She said: "I am not a particularly thick-skinned person. It is true that a lot of what I am looking at in the book are certainly middle-class issues, but then I think that's fair and I am well-qualified as I am from the middle class, which I can empathise with.
"But I think some critics have misrepresented my views as more extreme or black and white than they really are. I don't think I am evangelical in my work."
Ahead of the book's publication last month, she said: "We're a phenomenally snobby society and it's such a rich seam. The middle class is so funny. It's the class I know best and it's the class where you find the most pretension." She added that she had "laid my friends bare".
The author said that she had decided to portray several troubled adolescents in The Casual Vacancy in order to attempt to remove the social stigma surrounding many teenagers.
She said: "We do stigmatise teens a lot and see them as scary and alien. It's a very fragile time of life. It is more difficult to be a teenager now than when I was a teenager. The internet has been a boon and a curse for teenagers."
The author, who has been reluctant to say whether she would return to children's fiction after finishing the Harry Potter series, confirmed that her next book would be for young children.
"As the writer of Harry Potter, I'm always nervous of committing myself to another children's book, but yes, the next thing I write will be for children," she said.
"I have a lot of things on my laptop currently, including a couple of things for children - for a slightly younger age group than Harry Potter was aimed at - which are nearly done and will, I think, be the next thing I publish. I have run them by my children and they seem to like them which is always a good sign.
"I also have some ideas for another book for adults but it isn't too far on [in development]."
The rest of the article can be read here.
Thanks to SnitchSeeker and Hypable for the heads up!
By: Evil Editor,
Blog: Evil Editor
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Guess the PlotThe Appren- tices
1. In Rothshire Village, young girls are sent to the witches' castle when they reach puberty. Those that are found not to be witches are killed. When Gwendolyn and Heather find out they are indeed witches, they jump for joy. But their BFF Yvonne is not a witch. Can G and H pool their power to overcome the old hags who run the castle and save Yvonne?
2. A normal student comes down with a fever and faints. When she comes to, she has mysteriously become one of Merlin IV's apprentices in Avalon, which has returned to the planet. Hilarity ensues.
3. Amber, first year law clerk. Dave, lone African-American TA in the Math department. Shanni, resident at St. Cecelia's Hospital for women. Chuck, sou chef. One apartment building. The lives and loves of... the Apprentices.
4. A group of ten rowdy steamfitting apprentices are accidentally locked in a workshop on their job site overnight. During the night they discover that one is an anti-union operative and another is a cultist. Who will convert whom? Can Dave get enough sleep to work the early shift next morning?
5. Bold, cold and mean, Kurt and Morgan have guns and know how to use them--or they will when they've finished their training. Then an anthrax attack takes out all the MI5 regulars; Buckingham Palace is bombed; and 253 Members of Parliament are taken hostage. Hilarity ensues as the apprentices set out to save the day.
6. Alvin and Garth are idle trainee plumbers who are about to lose their jobs. When a time machine appears from the distant future they find out that they are needed to save the world from sewage outfall by inventing a new kind of toilet. Follow their hilarious journeys backwards and forwards through time visiting bathrooms of the ancient and modern worlds.Original Version
Dear Evil Editor:
After man almost destroyed our own planet, what will the returned land of Avalon do with the rumors of wars? Prepare their citizens with the apprenticeship program.
Jancey, an extremely "normal" student didn't know what she would do with her life. [I'm not sure why "normal" is in quotation marks. Sometimes that's done to indicate not normal. However, I'm guessing that she is normal, which leads me to wonder if one can be extremely normal. "Extremely" suggests there are few like her. Michael Phelps swims extremely fast: there are few who are his equal. But if there are few who are as normal as Jancey, this suggests that she isn't normal. The following graph should illustrate my point.
Normalness of StuffNote that the biggest section is "normal." That's because for stuff to be considered normal, there has to be plenty of it. But if I were to create a graph showing the normalness of normalness, the biggest section would be the "extremely normal" section, because by definition, being normal to the extreme is what makes something normal.
Normalness of Normalness
In short, to indicate that things or people are normal, just call them normal.]
Her skills were limited and she was not very talented. [No need to make both of those points.]
Her best friend, Sarah, is a fashionable cook. [I'm not sure if that means she cooks fashionable food or dresses fashionably while stirring the soup.]
Her enemy, Joseph, is the perfect gentleman. ["Enemy" is a strong word. In what way is he her enemy?]
Suddenly, after fainting over a fever, she is caught up with magic, and become's the apprentice of Merlin the IV (the king's head wizard). [You don't need an apostrophe in "becomes," and whattaya mean she "becomes" Merlin's apprentice? She's suddenly his apprentice, with no explanation?]
She is going to have to survive the magic program to achieve her dream [What is her dream? You said she didn't know what to do with her life, which suggests she doesn't know what her dream is.]
and learn the destiny of her fellow kingdom. [Her fellow kingdom?]
Thank you with all the apperication [Anagram: appreciation.]
of the "The Apprentices" [Anagram: apperication.]
Manuscript [Whether "appreciation" or "apperication," the sentence doesn't make sense.]Notes
Okay, fess up, you're Jack, age 14, who sent in one of the writing exercise scenes Sunday, right? Congrats on writing a book. If it gets published everyone else here will hate you, so instead of writing a query, work on improving the book.
A lot of errors, and not enough story. Is Jancey a normal student in Avalon or in the almost destroyed world? Are Joseph and Sarah in the book after Jancey becomes the apprentice? If not, they don't need to be in the query. If so, give them a bigger role in the query.
All we know about the story is that a girl becomes Merlin IV's apprentice. You need about ten sentences, each of which adds information and follows logically from the previous sentence. I assume the main plot is the Merlin section, so concentrate the query on that
We need to know how long the book is (in words) and who would want to read it (children, adults, teens).
If anyone reaches the conclusion that my graphs are in some way flawed, best to keep that to yourself rather than admit that you put much thought into the matter.Selected Comments
Dave F. said...The "normal" distribution is hysterical and deserves an award from something like the Annals of Improbable Mathematics. It's as much fun as the Periodic Table of Rejected Elements. This will be my nominee for Best Facelift of the year. However, the ghost of Carl Friedrich Gauss might rise up tonight and throttle you in your sleep. BBWWaaaahaaaaaaa
writtenwyrdd said...Okay, he-who-is-maybe-the-14-year-old-Jack, this query does have a lot of very distracting errors and misusage of words. These mark you as either a non-native speaker of English or as someone the agent might not want to read due to lack of writing skills.
Other than that, there's not a lot of story here, and what there is is confusing.
What I think is happening is you are falling into the trap of not wanting to give away too much. However, in this particular instance, you do want to share the story so you can convince someone to read it and sell it. So consider giving us more about what the problem with having magic is, what your protagonist's dream for her life is, and explain how she resolves this conflict and the problem of the story.
Whirlochre said...I'm with everyone so far. There's not much to go on here, apart from a consistency of errors and a vague notion of what might be happening plotwise, and since you omit to include details of story length and intended audience, I have to conclude you haven't done your homework on queries.
Conclusion — ver 2.0 has to be better.
As for the bell curve, I once discovered a dish on the menu of a very fine curry house whose overall heat was described as 'extra medium'.
Tracey S. Rosenberg said...I have the horrible feeling that if this query letter were fleshed out enough to show the plot, it would also show that Jancey's middle names are Mary Sue. 'Normal average person is suddenly dropped into King Arthur's court/the faery lands/Middle-Earth/Hogwarts/a Washington town where there are h0tt vampires etc.' plots so frequently are.
December/Stacia said...Yeah, I have to agree with everyone else re the query. It sounds to me like this is your story:
Fourteen-year-old Jancey collapses with Dengue fever during chemistry class one day, and it changes her whole life.
Jancey wakes up in King Arthur's court, apprenticed to Merlin--one of only ten (or whatever) apprentices participating in an intense--and deadly--training program.
To get home Jancey must learn magic--real magic--like she's never seen before. To learn that magic she must survive not just the dangerous tasks ahead and the rigors and confusions of fifth-century life, but the wrath of her fellow apprentices.
Which stinks, but you get the idea.
Anonymous said...Boiled down to its essential elements, it's a lot like Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court...but for grade schoolers.
wendy said...This is not the 14 yr. old Jack!
Whoa! Missed this one. I've been very busy, so I haven't been joining in much lately.
Unless I figure out a new form of torture (he's immune to my current arsenal)we probably will not see words from Jack-age-14 again. In fact he considered the exercise itself to be torture. Too bad, though, I think he shows promise.
And yes, he really is 14,turned it on July 22.
Dave F. said...
Tell Jack to take if from a true brain, it's better to write at 14 and suffer than to have a boss demand you take "remedial" writing to learn to write up your scientific research.
JB Keyser said...Nay, I'm JB Keyser, age seventeen, female. Who, by the way, thought that Jack's writing blew mine to becoming bad stock.
Sorry, first time writing a summer for my book so I'm glad you dissected it for me. I need people who think more than I do to look at my summaries.
It's a Young Adult Novel and it's going to be the first of two books. How long it is will be when my friend stops chopping down on my grammar mistakes. So until then, It's about 10,963 words.
Definition of normal; would probably be extremely normal. Jancey is pretty much a talentless bum that gets talent injected into her without realizing it. And since it's from her perspective everyone else would think she's got magic which is the best talent in the world, but she can't see herself as talented.
Jancey in the first book is about sixteen and ends about eighteen.
Sarah and Joseph are before but I don't jump into them until really much after. I was thinking of skipping most of school so I gave you the last day toi start with so the reader can go on to the more interesting part.
Even if you guys all hate me I'll still be on the website. Thanks EE.
writtenwyrdd said...Hey, JB, it's not about hating you. The minions want to assist you to improve the query. At a little over 10K this is not a novel, it's a novellette. But do keep on learning the craft of writing and of writing synopses or query letters (which are entirely different things.) Best wishes on the journey.
sylvia said...It certainly is NOT about hating you! It's about a weak query - which unfortunately is what you have written. The paragraph you put in the comments here already says ten times more than your query did (which is where it is important). Personally, I'd love to see you rewrite this, taking the comments on board and including more details about the plot line.
Forget the cast of characters and focus on the story (I had the same issue). Ask your friend to check the grammar (query is as important as the novel!) and then post it here.
I would love to see it.
By Cynthia Leitich Smith
Check out this author video on Son
by Lois Lowry
(Houghton Mifflin, 2012). From the promotional copy:Told in three separate story lines, Lois Lowry's Son combines elements from the first three novels in her Giver Quartet—The Giver (1994 Newbery Medal winner), Gathering Blue, and Messenger—into a breathtaking, thought-provoking narrative that wrestles with ideas of human freedom. Thrust again into the dark, claustrophobic world of The Giver, readers will meet an intriguing new heroine, fourteen-year-old Claire. Jonas from The Giver is here too, and Kira, the heroine of Gathering Blue. In a final clash between good and evil, a new hero emerges.Cynsational Notes
Attention Central Texans! Lois will speak about Son and sign
at 6 p.m. Oct. 15 at BookPeople in Austin. Peek: "Tickets are required for the signing portion of this event and are available only with the purchase of a copy of Son from BookPeople. Books and tickets are now available. You can purchase a book and receive a ticket in-store or online." See more information
Where have you been spending your time during Banned Books Week? Maybe the best response is between the pages of a controversial book you've never read before. But I found another tempting alternative in the world I've inhabited for the past couple of days. Surrounded by indie booksellers, authors of new books and publishers, I'm in Minneapolis, Minn., where the Heartland Fall Forum, the first joint fall trade show hosted by the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association and the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association, ends later today.
I'll be writing more about the show next week, but I just wanted to share a little of the bookish magic that's in the air here, especially during a week in which we also contemplate the actions of people whose stated goal is denying access to certain titles. Any self-disrespecting, book-banning troll who dared to show up at HFF would immediately be banished into eternal, wordless exile. Forthwith, as they like to say in the best troll stories.
No, that's not quite right. More likely, the troll would be loaded down with generous stacks of great new books and sentenced to spend some quiet time in the nearest available reading space: "You think that book you wanted banned was unsettling? Read these!"
"It is an honor and a joy to work in a world where ideas are still valued," said Hans Weyandt, co-owner of Micawber's bookstore, St. Paul, Minn., during HFF's opening reception Wednesday night. He is also the editor of Read This!: Handpicked Favorites from America's Indie Bookstores (Coffee House Press). Although Weyandt is now often introduced at events as an editor or author, he said (with a generous measure of bookish intensity): "First and foremost, forever and always, I will be a bookseller."
At breakfast yesterday morning, Emma Straub, a bookseller at BookCourt, Brooklyn, N.Y., whose debut novel Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures (Riverhead) was released earlier this month, echoed Weyandt's philosophy. Although she has taken a leave of absence while touring for her book, she lamented that "what I'll miss most is saying, 'Here, read this; read this!'.... I think every writer should work in a bookshop. I think publishers should require it."
Peter Geye, author of The Lighthouse Road (Unbridled Books), eloquently expressed his deep gratitude to booksellers during yesterday's breakfast event: "I look out across the room and see nothing but a room full of bookish saints.... Without you, I wouldn't exist as an author. How do you thank people for making a dream come true?"
He also talked about his own learning process in the world of books, noting that while being a "writer" is what he does in private to create his novels, "there's another part of the job description and that's being an 'author.' I think it's you all who have taught me how to be an author.... If I never wrote another word, I'd still have the gift of your friendship."
As is often the case when book people gather at these events, one speaker after another underlined the importance of indie bookstores. Justin Cronin, whose latest is The Twelve (Ballantine), praised booksellers for being "the opposite of hedge fund managers," while Christina Schwarz, author of The Edge of the Earth (Atria, April 2013), noted: "If every English teacher wants to be a writer, every writer dreams of being a bookseller." And Jami Attenberg, author of The Middlesteins (Grand Central), said that her part-time job at WORD bookstore, Brooklyn, "has changed my life," adding: "I thank you for what you do, and I also get what you do."
Jim Heynen, author of The Fall of Alice K. (Milkweed), said, "I haven't been mixing with people who love the same thing I do so much in a long time. I'm just amazingly grateful to those of you who have the boots on the ground and say, 'Hey, check this out.' "
There is, of course, more to write about all the book business that was conducted here, but it's also important to acknowledge the beautiful, if short-lived, theme park for book people that a regional booksellers trade show inevitably becomes. The concept of banned books is even more surreal when you're fully engaged in all this fine conversation about writing and publishing and bookselling and reading. Here a book is an absolute necessity, a way of life. Or, as Emma Straub put it, a book is "love pretending to be a subway companion." Take that, book-banning trolls.--Published in Shelf Awareness, issue #1843.
How to Be a Grouch- Book and Record
Oscar the Grouch (Caroll E. Spinney) ~ Sesame Street Records, 1981
There are still so many things I want to share with you guys! Like the lovely box that arrived yesterday from Drawn & Quarterly
(more later), and the fact that a cold front finally blew into San Antonio--a cold front so awesome and refreshing, it had my dogs wrestling until two in the morning. The fact that I'm in love with my new job
and feel so blessed to be there. The fact that I'm going to see the new Tim Burton
today! The fact that the boy is going to be Tintin for Halloween (pictures to come).
Not to mention the books piling up in my to-post pile.
Like this one, for example. I've been completely remiss in not posting this as part of my old school Muppet set. A few days ago, my son was in his room playing records on his Fisher Price, when all of a sudden, Carol Spinney's voice came dancing down the hall like an old friend calling me out to play. I don't think I can possible communicate how much I LOVED THIS BOOK AND RECORD when I was little. It is one of the most classic bits of Sesame Street memorabilia anyone can possibly own. A book all about how to be a grouch
. Not only was it written by Caroll E. Spinney
(aka Oscar the Grouch and Big Bird) but it was illustrated by him, as well, and it's his voice you hear on the audio.
Not to mention the fact that it's bloody hysterical. Case in point...
First of all -
If you want to be a grouch,
You'll have to stop being so
NICE AND CUTE!
Next - learn to frown!
Originally published in 1976 as a Whitman Tell-a-Tale book, it was also adapted into an onscreen short that will be released as part of the upcoming Old School: Vol 3 DVD set. Every page is full of crummy advice and situations: "Going to a Grouch Movie - First, you wait in a very slow ticket line, then a grouchy usher yells at you to get your feet off the seat. The best part comes when the movie machine breaks down!" It's so great to hear Oscar's voice spitting out all his rotten routines. Possible the most awesome sauce part comes with Oscar's last piece of advice.
Other Old Sesame Street Titles:
Announcing a special promotion for Reckless Rudy and the Green Vase:
On Columbus Day and the day after (October 8-9), Reckless Rudy and the Green Vase
will be available as a free Kindle download from Amazon through the KDP Select Program. If you have a Kindle, here’s your chance to try out Reckless Rudy
as a Holiday gift, or to add the book to your collection of Kindle eBooks absolutely free. Mark your calendar! Reckless Rudy
makes a wonderful gift for any early reader of easy reading chapter books.
By: Stacey Shubitz,
Blog: TWO WRITING TEACHERS
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Small Bunny’s Blue Blanket is one of my favorite new picture books, which I blogged about last week. The main character is adorable. He acts just like a little kid, but he’s a… Read More
By: Debra St. John,
I'm so excited! I just booked a cruise for my hubby and me to celebrate our fifteenth anniversary next year! We also took a cruise for our honeymoon, which makes this the perfect way to celebrate next year's 'milestone': almost like a trip down memory lane.
Our honeymoon ports of call almost fifteen years ago actually became the setting for Wild Wedding Weekend. Not only did I have first-hand experience with the places, which made my descriptions all the more authentic, but it kept me going with the plot. I knew I wanted to write a scene at each place my characters visited. It was a great way to keep moving forward and keep the pacing of the story. I had scenes off of the cruise ship as well, but a major part of the story stemmed from these visits.
I wonder what kind of inspiration I'll bring home this time? I can't wait to find out.
Until next time,
Debrawww.debrastjohnromance.comAn Unexpected Blessing
, coming November 21 from The Wild Rose Press
The Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba of The Caffeinated Book Reviewer. This is a weekly meme where we can share news of the week and highlight new books received.
Today’s post is going to be short; I’m in OKC at a horse show, and things are nuts. It’s about 50 degrees, which is the coldest I remember it being here, and the weather is kind of a downer. Good thing I have good friends around me to keep me laughing. I’ll try to share pictures once I get a bit more settled in. Yesterday was brutal! Up at 3:45 to catch our flight, and on the go until about 10pm. A good night’s sleep and several cups of coffee are working wonders this morning. What are you up to this weekend?
Check out my current contests! See the Contest Widget on the Sidebar to enter!
Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews to share new additions to our library. Click here to learn more about it.
New Arrivals at the Café:
A Feast of Souls by Hailey Edwards
Playing at Love by Ophelia London
Construction Beauty Queen by Sara Daniel
Phantom Shadows by Dianne Duvall
Red Sun Also Rises by Mark Hodder
The Flowers of Evil Vol 3 by Shiuzo Oshimi
The Drops of God: New World by Tadashi Agi & Shu Okimoto
Blood Prophecy by Alyxandra Harvey
A great big thanks to the publishers for their continued support!
What did you get? Please leave links and share!
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Author Evelyn Christensen provides links to submission guidelines for children's magazines.
Well, Ghosties was meant to be on offer for free today and tomorrow. So far I have had zero sales, and now I have zero free downloads, as well :(
Cover Shot! is a regular feature here at the Café. I love discovering new covers, and when I find them, I like to share. More than anything else, I am consumed with the mystery that each new discovery represents. There is an allure to a beautiful cover. Will the story contained under the pages live up to promise of the gorgeous cover art?
I’m not too enamored with the dress, but I love the title font and graphic for The Elite by Kiera Cass. Are you reading this series? What do you think of this cover?
In stores April 2013.
Small Bunny’s Blue Blanket is one of my favorite new picture books, which I blogged about last week. The main character is adorable. He acts just like a little kid, but he’s a… Read More
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I decided to reread The Hunger Games before watching the film adaptation of The Hunger Games. It was a great opportunity for me to revisit this great dystopia. I think I want to reread the rest of the series now, I'm curious to see if my feelings change as I revisit the story.
I thought the adaptation worked really well. In fact, it may be the best adaptation of a novel to film that I've seen in recent years. What details were changed in the movie seemed to make complete sense. While novels will always allow a reader more of a chance to get to know characters, I thought the movie did a GREAT job with the characters. (For example, I thought the movie did a GREAT job at portraying the relationship between Rue and Katniss. It was amazing.) While the "love triangle" annoyed me in the book, I wasn't as bothered by the portrayal on film. Perhaps because a few silent scenes can convey much more than
words on a page.
I do think the film was able to capture some things better than the book. I thought they did a GREAT job with the hunger games. I thought they did a great job at showing the corruption of the system, of how calculated, heartless and manipulative the games are. I thought the behind-the-scenes look at how the games are manufactured were great. As a reader you get a little of that, of course, because Katniss seems always aware of the fact that there is an audience, etc. But I thought the film did a great job at bringing everything to life.
Have you seen this one? What did you think? Do you prefer the book or the movie?
© 2012 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews