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Viewing: Blog Posts from All 1562 Blogs, since 2/23/2008 [Help]
Results 6,526 - 6,550 of 545,045
6526. Bunnies and Gardening

This cover painting was just right for the theme of Bunnies and gardening, which seem like a most logical combination for a springtime illustration.

by John Nez

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6527. Why Is Children’s Poetry So Invisible?

Late last year, I was surfing the Internet looking for articles about children’s poetry when I came across a piece in The Guardiantitled Why is children’s poetry so invisible? In the article (dated 28 April 2015), Chrissie Gittins, an award-winning British children’s poet, said that it was time “to get confident about children’s poetry…” because children love it. She suggested that publishers, bookshops, and libraries should stop hiding it and start celebrating it.

Chrissie Gittins:

Hoorah for the just-out CLPE poetry award shortlist! What treasures! In fact it’s the only award for a book of children’s poetry in this country. Lucky for writers of children’s fiction there are at least 10 opportunities for them to submit to prizes which are solely for fiction. But, is poetry eligible for the Carnegie Medal, the Costa Book Awards, and the National Book Awards? Yes it is! Have you ever seen poetry shortlisted for these awards?

The last time a poetry collection was shortlisted in the children’s section of Costa prize was in 1999 when it was still called the Whitbread Book Awards. This year, out of 91 nominations for the Carnegie prize, only one was for a poetry collection, and that book didn’t make the longlist. (Any professional librarian can nominate a book and it is added to the nominations.) 

Certainly children’s poetry doesn’t win these prizes, even on the very rare occasion it is shortlisted. Why is that?

If you read summer and Christmas book round-ups, or lists of top 10/50/100 book recommendations, they hardly ever include poetry. If you go into bookshops and libraries, do you see signs for children’s poetry? Not many? Is it perhaps because in many bookshops poetry is likely to be found under signs which say “Fairy Tales and Gifts”, “Jokes”, “Rhymes and Giggles” and “Hobbies”? Do you see much stock of children’s poetry? No? Why is that?

Click here to read to the full text of Why is children's poetry so invisible?


It appears that children’s poetry is treated much the same way “across the pond” as it is here in our country. Children’s poetry books are pretty much invisible in book stores. They rarely win a Newbery Medal or Newbery Honor Award. Although novels in verse get more attention these days, poetry collections—especially those for younger children—rarely get serious consideration for the “big awards.” What is the reason for that? Do children’s librarians think that poetry is a fringe literary genre that is, for the most part, unworthy of awards?

I’m glad that the National Council of Teachers of English acknowledges America’s most gifted children’s poets with its NCTE Award  for Excellence in Poetry for Children and that there is a Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award for the best children’s poetry books of the year—but neither of those awards is broadcast on the Internet like the ALSC awards. They are only “big deals” to poetry lovers like me.


Back in 2006, I wrote Children’s Poetry and the Cinderella Syndrome, my first post for the Blue Rose Girls blog. Here is an excerpt from Part I:

Poetry is the Cinderella—pre-fairy godmother—of children’s literature. It is often a neglected genre in the school curriculum. It is usually relegated to the servants’ quarters of education. Schools do not purchase multiple copies of poetry books for teachers to share and discuss with children in reading groups. Many teachers—and, sad to say, librarians—are unfamiliar with the names of some of our most accomplished children’s poets and their works. And most administrators consider poetry a frill, as literature to be shared with children—if shared at all—when there is that rare free moment in the school day.

Alas! Children’s poetry usually doesn’t get invited to the royal ball either. It is seldom honored with the “big” award. To my knowledge, just two poetry books have been recipients of the Newbery Medal since 1922: Nancy Willard’s A Visit to William Blake’s Inn in 1982 and Paul Fleischman’s Joyful Noise in 1989. Surely, there have been other poetry books published over the years worthy of acknowledgement. Am I mistaken to infer that the people who are most knowledgeable in the world of children’s literature also perceive poetry as a genre that is less important than fiction and other nonfiction? Why are there so few Prince Charmings willing to squire Cinderella Poetry around town unless she’s all dolled up for a special event? If I were Rodney Dangerfield, I might opine on the state of poetry for children: It don’t get no respect.

Over the years, I witnessed how the reading and writing of poetry with my students helped them to reach inside themselves, to unlock original ideas and thoughts, and to find their own unique voices. There were times when I was awestruck by the poetry they created. Some of my second grade students even modeled their poems after the works of such esteemed authors as Myra Cohn Livingston, Valerie Worth, Barbara Juster Esbensen, Marilyn Singer, and Alfred Lord Tennyson. Poetry definitely enriched my classroom and the lives of my students. I know this not only from what I observed in the classroom—but from letters I received from parents and students at the end of each school year.

One June a mother wrote: “When Kate sits in our window and responds to the moon and stars by writing poetry, I glow with happiness.” Another mother wrote: “Thank you so much for helping Alex discover his ‘new eyes’ in your class. Your love of poetry and music enriched him…” In his letter, Sam said: “…And I love the poems you read to us.” Noah wrote: “When I read poetry, that encourages me to write poetry. Writing poetry gets my imagination going.” Notes such as these reinforced my belief that poetry—all kinds of poetry—should be an integral part of every child’s education.

Poetry has been a genre too long neglected and too often overshadowed by other children’s literature. For years, I have been on a mission to bring it out of the shadows and into the limelight. Unfortunately, there is only so much enthusiasts like me and a few respected anthologists and advocates like Lee Bennett Hopkins and Paul Janeczko can do to achieve such a goal. I encourage all bibliophiles—teachers, librarians, authors, illustrators, editors, publishers, reviewers, parents, booksellers, children’s literature bloggers, and experts who sit on awards committees—to join in an effort to see that poetry for children is acknowledged as an equal, is invited to the royal ball more often, and when it arrives at the palace, is escorted down the red carpet to the grand hall where it can bask in the attention that it truly deserves.


Do you think children's poetry is invisible? Do you think it should receive more attention from teachers and librarians...and from ALSC? Do you think that children really do enjoy poetry?

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6528. Author Visit for The Case of the Missing Sock and my Crypto-Capers Series

The Case of the Missing Sock!

Thank you to Sequoya Elementary for the great author visit we had this week. The students read my book The Case of the Missing Sock. It is book 1 in my Crypto-Capers Series. The students asked me questions about the book and about being an author. What a great day!


The Team: In this story siblings Max and Mia Holmes, along with their good friend Morris and their flamboyant Granny Holmes, are known as The Crypto-Capers. They are a group of detectives who unravel crimes by solving cryptograms that criminals leave behind. Mia is an expert puzzle solver. Max is great at deduction and reasoning. Morris is a computer genius, and Granny . . . well, Granny is the muscle of the group. Don't let her size or age fool you she is quite handy. 

The Stolen Items: An antique sock (just one) and Prada sunglasses. 

The Assignment: The Case of the Missing Sock leads the Crypto-Capers to Florida, where they are hired by a Mr. Delacomb. The mystery leads the team to different locations. Clues flourish throughout the mystery. Suspects by the handful seem to pop up at every turn, but who committed the crime? Help the detectives solve the case by solving the cryptograms and puzzles. Good luck!

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6529. Certain Songs #494: The Geraldine Fibbers – “Seven or in 10”

geraldine fibbers butch

In 1996, Rox and I saw The Geraldine Fibbers at Slim’s in San Francisco. And they killed, with a sound that was a little bit country, a little bit Siouxsie, and a whole lotta noise, as led by guitar genius Nels Cline.

So there was a lot of anticipation — at least in our household — for the the Fibbers second album, 1997’s Butch, and they fully delivered. Butch was darker and moodier than Lost Somewhere Between Earth and My Home, but it also featured one of my top 5 songs of the 1990s, the jaw-dropping “Seven or in 10,” one of the only songs on the album co-written with Cline.

Musically, “Seven or in 10” is kind of a punk rock “Go Your Own Way”, with Nels Cline speeding out ahead of the rest of the band the same way Lindsay Buckingham did his band. Lyricall, “Seven or in 10” was about a zillion times darker, an abuse survivor revenge song with Carla Bozulich just spitting out the chorus of “Not so fast, FUCKER!!” as Cline does everything he can to surround her with the protection of a thousand guitars.

Not that she needs it:

Now I’m a little thing
You think you’re so tough
Let’s play rough
Your tactics suck
I’d rather die then let you rule my life

Gaining the upper hand as the song speeds through a plethora of stinging leads and crashing drums, Bozulich looks her abuser straight in the eye and lets them know she’s not afraid:

Should’ve killed me while you had the chance
Should’ve killed me while you had the chance

Should’ve killed me while you had the chance
Should’ve killed me while you had the chance
Should’ve killed me while you had the chance
Should’ve killed me while you had the chance
You should’ve killed me

And on that last “You should’ve killed me,” the song just stops dead, as you have to assume that he’s turned and started running for the hills.

“Seven or in 10”

“Seven or in 10” performed live in Austin, 1997

Every Certain Song Ever
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The post Certain Songs #494: The Geraldine Fibbers – “Seven or in 10” appeared first on Booksquare.

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6530. Emotional Wounds Thesaurus Entry: Being Raised by Overprotective Parents

When you’re writing a character, it’s important to know why she is the way she is. Knowing her backstory is important to achieving this end, and one of the most impactful pieces of a character’s backstory is her emotional wound. This negative experience from the past is so intense that a character will go to great lengths to avoid experiencing that kind of pain and negative emotion again. As a result, certain behaviors, beliefs, and character traits will emerge.

Characters, like real people, are unique, and will respond to wounding events differently. The vast array of possible emotional wounds combined with each character’s personality gives you many options in terms of how your character will turn out. With the right amount of exploration, you should be able to come up with a character whose past appropriately affects her present, resulting in a realistic character that will ring true with readers. Understanding what wounds a protagonist bears will also help you plot out her arc, creating a compelling journey of change that will satisfy readers.

NOTE: We realize that sometimes a wound we profile may have personal meaning, stirring up the past for some of our readers. It is not our intent to create emotional turmoil. Please know that we research each wounding topic carefully to treat it with the utmost respect. 


Courtesy: Randen Pedersen at Creative Commons

Examples: Being raised by parents or caregivers who…

  • rarely let one experience freedom apart from them
  • worried constantly about one’s safety
  • enforced confining rules out of a desire to keep one safe or within their sights (early curfews, approving or denying the child’s choice of friends, not allowing dating, etc.)
  • discouraged experimentation and taking risks
  • made all of one’s decisions
  • constantly hovered
  • intervened before mistakes could be made, removing the opportunity for one to learn and solve problems

Basic Needs Often Compromised By This Wound: love and belonging, esteem and recognition, self-actualization

False Beliefs That May Be Embraced As a Result of This Wound:

  • I’m incapable of making my own decisions.
  • They don’t trust me to do the right thing.
  • The world is a terrible place where bad things are likely to happen to me.
  • Being safe is the most important thing.
  • Mistakes and failure are bad and should be avoided at all costs.
  • I need someone looking out for me.
  • Those in authority know what’s best for me and shouldn’t be questioned.

Positive Attributes That May Result: adaptable, cautious, easygoing, innocent, introverted, loyal, obedient, pensive, protective, traditional

Negative Traits That May Result: childish, controlling, cynical, devious, dishonest, evasive, gullible, ignorant, indecisive, inhibited, insecure, irresponsible, lazy, needy, nervous, obsessive, oversensitive, paranoid, pessimistic, possessive, rebellious, resentful, subservient, suspicious, timid, ungrateful, weak-willed, withdrawn

Resulting Fears:

  • Fear of failure or making mistakes
  • Fear of risks
  • Fear of making decisions
  • Fearing that one is incapable or inept
  • Fear of the outside world or specific portions of it that one’s parents worried about
  • Fear of being responsible or in charge

Possible Habits That May Emerge: 

  • Experiencing difficulty making decisions
  • Relying on others to make important decisions
  • Blindly trusting those in authority
  • Rebelling against those who would enforce rules or offer advice
  • Becoming sneaky or devious as a way of getting around the rules
  • Avoiding risks; always taking the safest path
  • Being overprotective of one’s own children
  • Overcompensating with one’s own children by being overly permissive
  • Ruling others through fear tactics and manipulation
  • Doubting one’s abilities and capabilities
  • Developing mental disorders (panic attacks, phobias, anxiety)
  • Not learning from one’s mistakes as an adult since one was not able to make and learn from them as a child
  • Avoiding responsibility
  • Becoming a follower rather than a leader

TIP: If you need help understanding the impact of these factors, please read our introductory post on the Emotional Wound Thesaurus. For our current list of Emotional Wound Entries, go here.

For other Descriptive Thesaurus Collections, go here.

The post Emotional Wounds Thesaurus Entry: Being Raised by Overprotective Parents appeared first on WRITERS HELPING WRITERS™.

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6531. Absolutely One Thing

Absolutely One Thing. Lauren Child. 2016. Candlewick. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: I have this little sister, Lola. She is small and very funny. Sometimes for a treat, Mom says, "We are going to the store and you may choose one thing." "One thing EACH," I say, "or ONE thing between two?" And Mom says, "Each."

Premise/plot: Charlie and Lola are brother and sister. Charlie takes great care of his little sister. And he's surprisingly very patient, very kind, very tender with her. Lola is without a doubt a handful! In this new book, Charlie and Lola are going to the store. If they can get ready and out the door. If LOLA can get ready and out the door that is. Nothing goes quite as planned with these two... Which gives the author plenty of opportunity to sneak some math lessons into the story itself.

For example:
It takes me three minutes to brush my teeth, one minute to remember that I have forgotten to eat breakfast, four minutes to eat my puffa pops, three minutes to brush my teeth again and eight minutes to find Lola's left shoe. That makes us nine minutes late.
My thoughts: I love, love, love, LOVE Charlie and Lola. I thought I had made peace with the idea of there being no more new Charlie and Lola books. So I was surprised and thrilled to see a new one being published! This book is FUN and delightful. It is a very strong addition to the series. It isn't just an adaptation of a TV episode, a somewhat weaker imitation of Lauren Child's beloved characters. This book captures the heart and soul of what makes this series great.

Text: 5 out of 5
Illustrations: 5 out of 5
Total: 10 out of 10

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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6532. Turbulent flight

An unusually turbulent flight from Barcelona to Zurich, the pilot blamed France for some obscure reason.

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6534. Seeking writing about interacting with women/girls (pays)

Theories of HER is an experimental anthology open to submissions of poetry, streams-of-consciousness, flash fiction, micro non-fiction (essays, opinion pieces, personal anecdotes). Theme: What it means to be, admire, and/or interact, etc. with women and/or girls. Payment (upon acceptance): $5 per poem; .025/word for flash fiction, excerpts and non-fiction (up to 700 words); $20-$35 (visual art). Deadline: May 11, 2016.

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6535. Bustle names STORY OF YOU a top April YA novel; thank you

Bustle, thank you for including This Is the Story of You in your 18 of the April 2016's Best YA Books To Read During the Month of Rain Showers list.

I bet you don't know how much that means to me.

This isn't your ordinary disaster story, as any fan of Beth Kephart can already see.

And Sarah Laurence—writer and blogger and reader superb—thank you for letting me know. Such a lovely discovery on the Twitter feed.

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6536. Inflight meal

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6537. Do you need a round rock?

Do you need a round rock today? I found this one while I was running.

When I was a toddler, my folks were having hard times. My dad was working at an all-news radio station that was going down the tubes (and would soon fire all the reporters and become an all-rock-and-roll station). He had chased jobs across four states, and my parents were so broke they couldn't even afford a stroller.

My grandmother came to visit and later went for a walk. She bounded back into the house, calling, "Nora, guess what?" She was so excited that my mom thought she must have figured out some way to solve their problems. Instead, she handed my mom a rock, exclaiming in amazement over how round it was.

After she left, my mom laughed until she cried (or maybe it was cried until she laughed). She carried that rock in her purse for years, and there were times there was no money in the purse, just the rock. But she always said, if all else failed, she had a round rock.

In my family, it's an honor to go through hard times and earn your round rock. So if you're in need of a round rock today, think of this one as yours.

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6538. Science + Poetry = Life in the Pond

For the month of April (National Poetry Month), I'm featuring science poetry tied to science-themed picture books. My graduate students (in my "Poetry for Children" class) are each selecting a science-themed picture book (or pair of picture books) from the series of professional resource books, "Picture Perfect Science Lessons" by Karen Ansberry and Emily Morgan (and published by the National Science Teachers Association). Here's the first example (created by me) and centered around the food web of the pond. The focus picture book pair is:

  • White Owl, Barn Owl by Nicola Davies 
  • Butternut Hollow Pond by Brian Heinz

The poetry book that works perfectly with this book pair is Song of the Water Boatman by Joyce Sidman. Plus Pond Circle by Betsy Franco is a great "bonus" selection to connect with this topic too. Below is a graphic featuring those books, followed by a featured poem from Song of the Water Boatman and Take 5 activities to accompany the poem along with a "bonus" poem, "Alligator with Fish" by Jane Yolen, from The Poetry of Science. Here's heaps of science + poetry fun. Enjoy!

Copyright Sylvia Vardell 2016

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6539. Hamelin Associazione Culturale Newsletter

31 marzO 2016


Dal 4 al 7 aprile 2016 si terrà a Bologna la Fiera del Libro per Ragazzi.
Ecco l'agenda degli incontri e delle inaugurazioni a cui non potete assolutamente mancare.


Hamelin sarà presente, come ogni anno, presso il Padiglione 25 - Stand A3.
Al nostro stand troverete il nuovo numero della rivista, Dove vanno le anatre d'inverno, ma anche tutti gli arretrati. Avrete inoltre la possibilità di fare o rinnovare il vostro abbonamento.
Troverete anche i cataloghi della mostra Tolle Hefte. Libri folli e bellissimi e Racconti di città. Torino/Berlino.
Sarà presente inoltre una selezione delle guide bibliografiche e di tutte le nostre pubblicazioni passate.

Per informazioni: www.hamelin.net


Per festeggiare, vi presentiamo il nostro nuovo progetto: una WEBZINE, spazio per riflettere non solo sui libri, albi illustrati e fumetti, ma su infanzia e adolescenza in senso più ampio, come chiave per leggere il presente.
Il progetto sarà presentato martedì 5 aprile alle ore 15.30 in Fiera, presso Sala Suite - Blocco D (centro servizi, primo piano). Verrà inoltre lanciato il CROWDFUNDING per sostenere le attività della webzine.


Lunedì 4 aprile
H 10.00 - Conference Room (padiglione 32)
Transbook: Indagine sul digital switch-  Incontro con Christoph NiemannChristoph Niemann, autore versatile il cui lavoro spazia a 360 gradi nel campo dell’illustrazione, racconta il proprio approccio all’illustrazione e alla narrazione attraverso i media digitali, partendo dall’esperienza con Petting Zoo e proseguendo con CHOMP, entrambe app create per l’editore digitale Fox and Sheep.
H 15.00 - Caffè degli Illustratori
Tolle Hefte. Libri Folli E BellissimiIn occasione della retrospettiva dedicata al progetto editoriale Die Tollen Hefte,curata da Hamelin, Rotraut Susanne Berner e l’illustratore Henning Wagenbreth raccontano l’esperienza di una collana editoriale unica nel suo genere, e la figura del suo creatore, Armin Abmeier.
Martedì 5 aprile
H 10.00 - Caffè degli Autori
Incontro con Elisa Talentino, Nadia Budde e Giuseppe ZappelloniDue città, Berlino e Torino, e due visioni, quelle di Budde e Talentino, emergono dai quaderni di viaggio dando forma sulla carta a mappe personali che raccontano le suggestioni urbane delle due autrici. Grazie a una residenza artistica che ha ospitato Nadia Budde a Torino ed Elisa Talentino a Berlino, le artiste hanno potuto vivere le atmosfere delle due città, confluite in una mostra e pubblicazione comune.
H 14.00 - Sala Suite - Centro servizi primo piano, Blocco D
Transbook. Questioning the digital switch- Incontro con Silvia Borando/MinibomboSilvia Borando è un membro del gruppo di autori che ha dato vita nel 2013 al progetto Minibombo, piccolo ma innovativo editore, che si occupa sia di produzioni cartacee che su app digitali. Nonostante la giovane età, Minibombo ha già guadagnato numerosi premi e riconoscimenti per le proprie produzioni.
H 15.30 - Sala Suite- Centro servizi primo piano, Blocco D
HAMELIN 20Per festeggiare vi presentiamo il nostro nuovo progetto: una webzine, spazio per riflettere non solo su libri, albi illustrati e fumetti, ma su infanzia e adolescenza in senso più ampio, come chiave per leggere il presente. Vi aspettiamo per un brindisi.
Mercoledì 6 aprile
H 13.00 - Conference Room (padiglione 32)
Transbook: Indagine sul digital switch - Incontro con Cléa DieudonnéQuali sono le differenze quando si lavora sulla carta e “a schermo”? Cléa Dieudonné racconta come ha creato e sviluppato Le Mégalopole (L’Agrume, 2015), un progetto che fonde insieme due anime: un libro che si “spiega” fino a diventare lungo tre metri, e una app.
H 14.00 - Caffè degli Illustratori
Incontro con Silvia Rocchi, Alice Milani, Viola Niccolai, Francesca LanzariniLa provincia scrive appena evade, diventa bilingue, s’inventa storie, si dà un tono: sul retro delle vecchie cartoline tutto è rimasto intatto. Il collettivo La trama ha provato a dare un volto a queste storie in una mostra dove le illustratrici dialogano fra memorie e figure, fra passato e presente, giocando con vecchie cartoline.
H 15.00 - Caffè degli Illustratori
Incontro con Atelier Labor: Philip Waechter, Joerg Muehle, Zuni Fellehner – Von ZubinskiAchtung Kartoffel! è uno scoppiettante progetto sperimentale curato dal collettivo di illustratori, grafici e scrittori tedeschi Atelier Labor, conosciuti soprattutto per i loro folli activity books.
Gli autori presentano il loro lavoro e il laboratorio permanente che dal 1 al 6 aprile prenderà vita all’interno della Biblioteca Salaborsa.
Per informazioni: www.hamelin.net


In questi anni la narrativa “per giovani adulti” vive nel nostro paese una vistosa esplosione, è il settore in più rapida crescita; eppure non c’è praticamente ad oggi nessuna pubblicazione, studio, riflessione anche minima sulla situazione, sulle tendenze, sulle opere più importanti, sui temi e sulle tante questioni di ogni tipo che sollevano. Iperesposizione e assenza sono del resto il paradossale destino che caratterizza oggi l’adolescenza, protagonista dappertutto ma mai davvero considerata. Contiamo che questo nostro numero sia un primo passo in uno spazio che ha bisogno di attenzione, confronto, ricerca.
Per informazioni: www.hamelin.net/rivista


Venerdì 1 aprile - Incontro con Rotraut Susanne Berner - Ore 11.00Aula Magna – Accademia di Belle Arti, via Belle Arti 54
Per informazioni: www.hamelin.net/tolle-hefte

Sabato 2 aprile
- ACHTUNG KARTOFFEL! - Inaugurazione dopo il laboratorio delle ore 16.00.
Biblioteca Salaborsa – Piazza Coperta "U. Eco", Piazza Nettuno 3

Per informazioni: www.hamelin.net/achtung-kartoffel/
Domenica 3 aprile - TOLLE HEFTE. LIBRI FOLLI E BELLISSIMI - Inaugurazione ore 19.30.
Sala d’Ercole - Palazzo d’Accursio, Piazza Maggiore 6

Per informazioni: www.hamelin.net/tolle-hefte
Martedì 5 aprile - Incontro con Benjamin Chaud - Ore 17.30CUBO - Centro Unipol ,Piazza Sergio Vieira De Mello 3
Per informazioni: www.cubounipol.it

- Inaugurazione ore 19.00.
Studio Legale Evolve, Strada Maggiore 10

Per informazioni: www.hamelin.net/berlino-torino
Mercoledì 6 aprile - VA TUTTO OKAY - Inaugurazione ore 19.30.
Hamelin, via Zamboni 15

Per informazioni: www.hamelin.net/la-trama

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6540. I Bet Kang The Conqueror Never Had These Problems!

So, "Why don't you do what your pals seem to do and have girlie pics and videos?" wrote Dough78.

Feck off, Dough78.

Sorry, but there are certain people who think suddenly opening up new accounts means you cannot see who they really are, right, Doug78?

Now, I've been up-dating the Alan Class blog as well as the Alan Class Face Book page -yesterday I uploaded about 300(?) cover scans, etc..  I have no idea why the disc with all the scans were at the very top of the thousand or so discs but it's the first bit of good luck I've had in a while.  Well, there was Margie but she turned out to be a 42 year old Baptist minister so let's not go there.

You see, there is the Yahoo Alan Class Group and a FreeServers site.  The first in the UK dedicated to this publisher (so there :-p). But, Yahoo keeps making changes without telling anyone and one of the changes was to make sure that even a group owner (me) could not download images from there.  Just how that makes sense I have no idea. Bunch of arses with highly paid jobs and no work "so let's screw it up for our users!"

So, Yahoo Group is an archive while the FB page is designed to be...well, a Face Book page!

What else? Oh, Metronidazole is not a good antibiotic for me. Never had a bad reaction to antibiotics before.

You'll notice, by-the-way, that Ebay sellers are discussed on the Class blog. I've tried to give a guide to roughly dating Class comics.  Claiming a title is a "1977 edition" is pure and utter old fanny.  There is a very good reason why Class comics have no dating info on them and if you do not know what that is then go look up the Class interview.

Also, someone in the UK advertising a Class title as "1960s?" is trying it on if the price on the cover clearly reads 55p. Before decimalisation day in February, 1971, Class Comics were 1/- (one shilling) but after went to 6p ....read the posting on the blog.  Seems con-men will try to screw money out of people on anything.

Hmm. People starting to join the FB group.  Good.

Anyways -a THANK YOU to Ben Dilworth for his package and also a big THANKS to Pekka A. Manninen for the copy of Tarzan Poika (Son of Tarzan) -in Finnish but fun.

Have a good weekend, folks!

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6541. 100 Writing Blogs

Here is a list of 100 writing blogs along with a description of their contents.


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6542. Micro Videos

Since joining Instagram, I've been having fun making micro-videos, which are limited to 15 seconds. (link to YouTube).

I went through some of my video files and found some stray clips that weren't long enough to make into full-blown YouTube videos. Because they're so short, I upload them to YouTube as unlisted videos. That way they can be embedded here on the blog, but they don't get announced to my YouTube subscribers. I also upload the micro videos to Facebook and Twitter, where I assume they reach a mostly non-overlapping audience.

Until recently, Instagram wouldn't let you upload a video longer than 15 seconds. I have enjoyed that strict limitation. It forces you to set a mood or to tell a story quickly. When it plays on Instagram, it cycles around several times. The effect is hypnotic and immersive, like being dropped for a moment into someone's else's world.

Instagram has just now lengthened its video limit to one minute, which gives a lot more scope for storytelling.
My Instagram feed has mostly different material from the blog.
Previous Posts:
Painting Landscapes in Iowa on Amtrak
Painting Tiny Landscapes from the TGV
Sketching on Moving Trains in Europe

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6543. Book Review: Daughters Unto Devils by Amy Lukavics

Title: Daughters Unto Devils
Author: Amy Lukavics
Published: 2015
Source: NetGalley
Summary: Pregnant (what was with me and the pregnant girls this month?) and trying to hide it, Amanda Verner goes with her parents and her family to what they think will be a wonderful new homestead on the prairie. AHAHAHA. They are soooooo wrong.
First Impressions: This was horrific. And the ending was a complete downer. Pitfall of the genre.
Later On: Somehow I keep reading horror novels even when I know how much I hate the darkness of them. So take this review with that particular grain of salt. It's not the gore I mind so much (although this one was pretty extreme in this book, both directly and by way of horrifying images), but the creeping feeling that the dark is undefeatable and only rarely escapable. However, if that's what you like, this is the book for you.
Aside from that, this didn't hang together terribly well for me, and the explanations furnished about why various characters acted the way they did were too little, too late. And I would have liked a little history about why that patch of prairie was particularly haunted or cursed.
More: Bookshelves of Doom reviewed this for Kirkus and she liked it a whole lot more than I did.

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6544. Presidential Polar Bear Post Card Project No. 119 - 4.2.16

A Polar Bear Post Card Happy Birthday to my bother Colby. Sorry, the actual card is in the mail to President Obama, but so it goes :) Have a good one Colb!

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6545. Has Northeast Texas influenced you? Poetry wanted.

The Paris Poets Society (US) is accepting entries for its group poetry and photography exhibition/book, What Brings You Here? The exhibition/book will explore the personal experiences and memories of those living in or visiting Northeast Texas and their artistic journeys — what brings them to the place they now find themselves. Deadline: June 30, 2016.

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6546. LBJ drops out of 1968 presidential race

By late March 1968, President Lyndon Johnson’s presidency lay in tatters. Anger over the war in Vietnam and Johnson’s growing credibility gap had created a full-scale insurgency at home, within the Democratic Party. Things soon went from bad to worse.

The post LBJ drops out of 1968 presidential race appeared first on OUPblog.

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6547. Fiction wanted for NS lit journal

Lost Documents, a literary journal from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, seeks prose submissions for their 3rd and 4th issues. Submit flash fiction and short stories to lostdocuments.ns@gmail.com.

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6548. To cursive or not to cursive? that is the question - a mind wrap

The death of handwriting - Part 3


In the small town where I grew up, population 1,000, in northern Ontario, Canada there was only one elementary school.  A road ran straight through the town and at the the end of it were two buildings.  One very old school probably built in 1920's (my mom went to that school and she and her classmates planted all the trees around it) had an actual school bell that teachers had to pull a rope  to get to ring.  The bell rang loudly across the town calling all the students to their classrooms.  It was located on one side of the road.  That quaint but antiquated building housed grades 1-4.  At that time there was no Kindergarten, you started school in Grade 1.  On the other side of the road was a more modern building inhabited by Grades 5-8. 

It was a milestone in your educational life when you finally passed  out of grade four and got to cross that road and enter the sacred "big kids" building.  Along with that honour came the reward of being able to learn how to write cursive and use a pen!  It truly was a big deal.  You had to buy ink (only blue was allowed) and a fountain pen... ahhh you felt like you finally had arrived. 

The Grade 5 teacher in the school for almost ever was my Aunt Ethel.  She had the most legible and beautiful handwriting I have ever seen.  She took her job of teaching her new rookies the proper way to form their letters very seriously.  Her ultimate goal was to make you proud of your own unique font and she succeeded. She saw to it that each and every student under her watch was going to master this art.  She did so in such a caring and loving way that everybody did. 

To us cursive was a huge deal, just like getting your first bicycle or your first watch.... you had made it.... you could finally write!  All these years later if you ask any of those kids that Aunt Ethel taught they will remember that learning to write cursive was a very positive and fulfilling experience because she knew how to teach it correctly.  

Every Fall season the town held their annual Fall Fair and one of the categories that was set aside for the elementary school was handwriting.  Specific passages from our readers like poems or designated paragraphs from stories were assigned to each grade level and the kids got to pen them and enter their version in handwriting.  It was an exciting event and every kid hoped to receive those coveted money prizes. All the town folk attending the Fair got to see the fruit of the handwriting submissions and they made it their business to seek those winners out and praise and encourage them.  I won first prize twice in the four years that I was eligible to enter.  I guess you could say I truly was old school.

Modern day educators often suggest keyboards as a solution to those who want cursive to be stuffed in a desk drawer and then closed tightly.  Yes kids will struggle with the mastery of good, legible handwriting complaining that typing is much easier... and it is, that's true, BUT isn't something so unique and personal worth holding on to and fighting for?  Can't we find creative and fun ways to teach it and have copias support groups (like my town folks and local merchants who donated the prize money) who are willing to be encouraging to our kids and will cheer them on to success.  If everyone got behind it's awesomeness the kids would be asking, no begging,  to write cursive. 


When the skill of handwriting is mastered it builds our kid's sense of competence.  Writing by hand makes the child the editor, the spell-checker, and the deleter.  Writing by hand requires organization,  clarity and the ability to think ahead and we want to hand that all over to a machine.  To me that seems very sad. Our kids deserve to understand and be able to record their own language in cursive just like all the other previous generations before them.  What do you think?  

Oscar Wilde's handwriting

J.K. Rowling's handwriting

Have a wonderful weekend everyone.  Read lots to each other, write a notes using cursive and  take time to kick-back and relax.  Next week Part 4 of handwriting (and the last) will be here for you to ponder.   Hope you had a wonderful yesterday.  So sorry my computer was on the fritz.  Hopefully it's sorted now and its onward we go into National Poetry Month......... yea!

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I put hours of work finding the best kid's books to review for you each day.  If you enjoy visiting Storywraps and would like to donate something for my time and effort I would greatly appreciate it.

Go to the top of my blog on the right hand corner (above my photo) and please donate what you feel lead to give.   The amount you donate and the frequency you donate is totally up to you.  I thank you in advance for your support.  I love what I do and appreciate any amount that you may give so I can make our Storywrap's community even better.  Thanks a million! 

Read on and read always!

It's a wrap.

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6549. Creating story cards. Because. #lisafirke #sorytellingart

Creating story cards. Because. #lisafirke #sorytellingart

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6550. #AtoZChallenge, B is for Buy a Butterfly

Happy Saturday, all! The perfect day for some art journaling and for today's topic: Buy a Butterfly, or, Sometimes it's Good to Shop.

In yesterday's post I emphasized the importance of using as much FREE STUFF as possible for your journal, but today I'm singing the praises of treating yourself to a trip to the hobby-, dollar-, thrift-, or art supply store. Nothing fancy, mind you, but every now and then your journal could use a little store-bought item or two. And taking yourself to buy some supplies makes the perfect Artist's Date.

My favorite way to do this is to set a budget of about $10 - $20 max, and then drive off with no expectations whatsoever, just an open mind and a sense of adventure. Some of the things I'll look for include: 
  • Bags of collage goodies: from paper scraps to die-cut card pieces, such as the butterfly featured above. I've bought collections that are based on a theme, such as beaches and ocean-side designs, or vintage clothing and Victorian sayings. Other bags have included a variety of fascinating but totally unrelated items; one bag I bought even had tiny little clothes-pegs and safety pins in the mix. None of these bags cost more than $5.00 and they were jam-packed with inspiration.
  • Old and very-bad-condition books. These are excellent for tearing up and re-using the pages of text and/or illustration for journal backgrounds. (Note: if the book isn't completely falling apart, it can be turned into your actual journal as an "altered book.")
  • Bags of ribbon scraps.
  • Pre-cut fabric quilting squares. These are usually bundled into small color-coordinated packages.
  • Stick-on pearls, rhinestones, and other blingy-type thingies.
  • Jewelry-making components such as pendants and miniature printed pictures for inserting into clear pendant-cases. (I don't know how to exactly describe these pictures, but they're wonderful for collage. Each sheet usually has about 20-30 different designs.)
  • Stickers! So many to choose from!
  • Scrapbook pages sold in tablets or as individual sheets. (The tablets can be pricey, but they're often on sale, especially at the discount stores.)
  • Origami papers.
  • Craft magazines. Good for inspiration and cutting up for a wealth of words and images.
And that's just for starters. After I come home with my treasures I usually sort them into different categories of size, theme, or color. I then keep everything in a series of cigar boxes for the smaller pieces, and photo-storage boxes (decorated of course!) for the larger bits.

On today's page I've used a background of watercolor crayon, some leftover strips of a scrapbook page, four pieces of die-cut card from a purchased package, and a lovely quote from a lovely member of my writer's group. She had included these in our Christmas cards a few years back and I always knew I'd use mine in some meaningful way down the road--like today. 

For the written part of my journal, I'm going to continue with "I remember. . ." recalling the time my first-grade teacher brought caterpillars to class and we placed them in an aquarium filled with leaves and branches. I'll never forget watching the "worms" (I was a rather squeamish child) form their cocoons, and then the wondrous day when the butterflies emerged to fly out the window. Some things stick with you forever, with or without the glue-gun.

Tip of the Day: The next time someone asks what you'd like for a birthday or holiday gift, why not suggest some supplies for your art journal? I love it when someone surprises me with a grab-bag of notions and "puzzle pieces." Not only does it give me some interesting insights into how other people think (i.e., why they chose particular items over others), but I enjoy the challenge of using things I may not have picked out for myself. Wishing you all a creative weekend!

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