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Viewing: Blog Posts from All 1562 Blogs, since 2/23/2008 [Help]
Results 6,526 - 6,550 of 534,179
6526. Submit your fearless, unpredictable works

great weather for MEDIA (New York) seeks poetry, flash fiction, short stories, dramatic monologues, and creative nonfiction for their annual print anthology. Focus on the fearless, the unpredictable, and experimental. Welcomes submissions from international writers. Deadline: January 15, 2016. Guidelines.

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6527. ‘Animation’ by Kosai Sekine

Music video by Kosai Sekine for the single "Animation" by Young Juvenile Youth.

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6528. Happy Holidays and Books from my Bookshelf

My bookshelf holds two versions of The Glass Slipper. The first is a children’s play written by Eleanor and Herbert Farjeon.  

The Glass Slipper - Illustrations by Hugh Stevenson. 
Published by Allan Wingate, 1944.

The play was commissioned and produced by Robert Donat and performed at the St James Theatre, London in 1944 and 1945. Hugh Stevenson who illustrated and decorated the book also designed the scenery for the stage production. Geoffrey Dunn, John Ruddock, and Betty Baskcomb were all members of the original cast. 

Illustration by Hugh Stevenson 

The rise of the curtain discloses the kitchen in the dim light of dawn. Snow outside. A grandfather clock, a broom, a tap, a fireplace, a pump, a string of onions, a kettle, a rocking-chair, a table, a sink, fire irons, unwashed cups and dishes. Cinderella is asleep – a cock crows. The stage lightens a little. Cinderella sits up and rubs her eyes.

Oh! Oh!
Silly old rooster!
Crow, crow!
Shrilly old rooster!
Every morning Crow, crow!
“Time to get up!”
I Know!
Fire to light,
Kettle to boil,
Lamp to polish
and fill with oil.
Ashes to sweep
Up in a heap,
Oh Dear!
I’d ever so rather go back


In this the second version the play has evolved into a story with illustrations by Ernest H. Shepard.

The Glass Slipper by Eleanor Farjeon
Published by Geoffrey Cumberlege, 1955.

Outside the kitchen in the falling snow, the Rooster crowed: 'Cockadoodledoo!' Inside the kitchen in her narrow bed, Ella pulled the thin blanket over her ears and tried not to hear him. As well as being thin the blanket was short, so when she covered her head it left her little feet bare. They were not only the prettiest, but the littlest pair of feet that any girl of sixteen was ever blessed with; but when they poked out of the blanket they were blue with cold. The kitchen was a vast dark stony room, more like a cellar than a kitchen, which is often the cosiest room in a house; but nothing could make this cold vault cosy, even when the fire was lit on the wide open hearth...

Illustration by Ernest H. Shepard.

I'm a fan of Ernest H Shepard's artwork and while the price of an original illustration from Winnie the Pooh is beyond my budget, the following was more affordable; 

Auction catalogue entry  - ticks and scribble added by me in my excitement!

I'm also lucky enough to own a letter written by Eleanor Farjeon, which reads “Darling, I expect you know this already in its other form. If not – here it is – if so, here it is again. Love and blessings on you all from Eleanor! The letter was found inside the front cover of the book on the left of this picture.

The story of Cinderella and the glass slipper is familiar to most of us, while Eleanor Farjeon is perhaps less well known.   If you would like to find out more there is an excellent piece about her here.


As many of you already know our son, his wife and their two little daughters are spending Christmas and the New Year with us.  They arrive on the 6th December and return to Australia towards the end of January 2016, which means I will be away from my blog for a few weeks.

But … before I go I'm sending you a message, wishing a wish or two.
To let you know I'm thinking, this Christmas tide of you.

Kind thoughts  

and Yuletide greetings

I'm sending loud and clear.

To wish you a Merry Christmas and the happiest New Year.

I am very grateful to everyone who visits me here, thank you. I hope this coming holiday season brings you all much joy and happiness.
I hope to see you again in 2016.
With love, Barbara xx

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6529. Paying journal wants work that provokes, excites, entertains

The Humber Literary Review seeks submissions of essays, poetry, artwork, and comics for its fifth issue (Spring 2016). Pays $100 each for essays, fiction, reviews, and for 2-3 poems. Contributors receive two copies plus a one-year subscription. Deadline: December 15, 2015. Guidelines.

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6530. Seeking discourse on people & their environments

Online journal The Turnip Truck(s) seeks creative and critical submissions concerned with the dialectics of the human and its environment(s). Submit one essay/story or five poems. Deadline: Rolling. Guidelines.

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6531. Library Loot: Second and Third Trips in November

New Loot:
  • This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee
  • How Many Sleeps 'Til Christmas by Mark Sperring
  • Santa's Sleigh is On Its Way to Texas by Eric James
  • The Nutcracker retold by Stephanie Spinner
  • Winnie by Sally M. Walker
  • Waiting for Santa by Steve Metzger
  • The Night the Lights Went Out on Christmas by Ellis Paul
  • The Doldrums by Nicholas Gannon
  • Finding Fortune by Delia Ray
  • The Astounding Broccoli Boy by Frank Cottrell Boyce
  • Confessions of an Imaginary Friend by Michelle Cuevas
  • When Santa Was a Baby by Linda Bailey
Leftover Loot:
  • The Year of Fear by Joe Urschel
  • Bomb by Steve Sheinkin
  • The Tale of Hawthorn House by Susan Wittig Albert
  • Oh, the places you'll go! by Dr. Seuss
  • You're Only Old Once by Dr. Seuss
  • I Am Not Going To Get Up Today by Dr. Seuss
  • The Face of a Stranger by Anne Perry
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
  • Nurse Matilda by Christianna Brand
  • Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
  • The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
       Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Linda from Silly Little Mischief that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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6532. Seeking writing from Canadian university students

University of Windsor’s Generation Magazine is accepting poetry, prose and creative non-fiction from Canadian graduate and undergraduate students. Submit up to 5 double-spaced pages. Payment: Two copies of the magazine and $2 per published piece. Email to generationmagazinewindsor@gmail.com. Deadline: December 1, 2015.

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6533. Sensory Storytime On the Road

Over the past few months, my library has partnered with a local resource center that provides early intervention and lifelong support to individuals with a variety of developmental disabilities, including cerebral palsy and autism spectrum disorders.  The resource center originally reached out to us looking for a librarian to read a few stories to their clients. I knew a sensory storytime would be a great fit, but in their experience, visits to offsite locations were rarely successful.  Any activity we planned would have to take place at their location.  So I took my sensory storytime on the road, and got a chance to really put my skills to the test.

I’m fairly new to sensory storytimes.  Before this, I had incorporated concepts into my regular programming, and made real efforts to make those programs universally designed, but I certainly wasn’t actively promoting this. Partnering with the resource center gave me the opportunity to refine my skills and try new activities.  My first visit wasn’t without hiccups. For example, sign-up sheets and library card applications became problematic due to HIPAA and patient privacy concerns.  We also ended up with a lot more kids in attendance than we were expecting. But in the end, like Pete the Cat taught us in our story that day, “it’s all good.”

In taking these special programs out into the community, we’ve found that children and their caregivers can have a library experience in an environment that is comfortable for them, surrounded by people they trust. Plus, our partner organization has developed a better understanding of what we can offer.  It has inspired other collaborations, with new programs and training for children’s librarians in the works.

There is a lot of information on the ALSC Blog to help you prepare sensory and special needs storytimes. I found Ashley’s Waring’s Sensory Storytime Tips and Jill Hutchison’s overview of Renee Grassi’s Beyond Sensory Storytime presentation to be particularly useful posts for providing information and talking points for communicating with the center’s directors and staff.  In addition, an ALSC course I took this spring taught by Kate Todd, Children with Disabilities in the Library, was an amazing resource, and I recommend it for anyone interested in creating more inclusive library programs, or reaching out to children with disabilities in clinical settings.

Brooke Sheets is a Children’s Librarian at Los Angeles Public Library’s Children’s Literature Department and is writing this post for the Early Childhood Programs and Services Committee.

The post Sensory Storytime On the Road appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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6534. Pinterest for Writers

How can you best use Pinterest to market your book?


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6535. Winnie

Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie the Pooh. Sally M. Walker. Illustrated by Jonathan D. Voss. 2015. Henry Holt. 40 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: When Harry Colebourn looked out of the train window, he couldn't believe what he saw: a bear at the station!

Premise/plot: This picture book is the 'true story' of the real bear named Winnie that was eventually given to the London Zoo. The book ends by introducing readers to a young Christopher Robin who enjoys visiting Winnie at the zoo.

My thoughts: Most of the picture book takes place during World War I. You probably can't think of many picture books about World War I or set during World War I, I know I can't think of any others at the moment! Harry Colebourn is a soldier, a Canadian soldier, and the war is in the background. As an adult reader, I felt the war was rightly in the background. I'm not sure if young readers will read the book in quite the same way. Winnie, the bear, is a friend, companion, mascot, not just to one soldier--though Harry is his favorite--but to a regiment. When Harry's called to fight overseas in Europe, Winnie is left in the care of the London Zoo. An author's note fills in the details of Winnie's life after the publication of A.A. Milne's classic children's book.

Text: 4.5 out of 5
Illustrations: 4.5 out of 5
Total: 9 out of 10  

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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6536. Introducing Itty Bitty Wouldn’t Budge a picture book written by Victoria Martin and illustrated by Caitlyn Knepka

Introducing Itty Bitty Wouldn’t Budge a picture book written by Victoria Martin and illustrated by Caitlyn Knepka | Storytime Standouts

Itty Bitty Wouldn't Budge a picture book written by Victoria Martin and illustrated by Caitlyn KnepkaItty Bitty Wouldn’t Budge written by Victoria Martin and illustrated by Caitlyn Knepka
Picture book published by Mascot Books

At the front of my suburban house, I have a Little Free Library. With an emphasis on children’s books, at any given time, the library has three or four board books, a dozen or so easy readers, twenty chapter books for middle grade readers and twenty five picture books. This is our second year in existence and the library has been a wonderful way to meet neighbors and celebrate community. Many people speak to my husband and me about the library and we have received many generous donations. Throughout the week, I rotate books in and out of the library as I try to keep the selection fresh.

This week, while my husband was working in our garden, someone stopped by to donate a new picture book to the library. She explained that her friend, who is an author, had sent it along and asked her to drop it off. This is a “first” for the library – an author-autographed picture book!

Itty Bitty Wouldn’t Budge

is a perfect match to the community spirit of a Little Free Library. Nana is a well-known and very popular elementary school teacher. She and her Newfoundland dog often walk through Maplewood Village. They pass local landmarks including a church, a park and the railroad station. Along the route, they see familiar faces and speak to friends.

One day, Itty Bitty decides stop partway along the route. She simply does not want to move. Nana does her best to persuade Itty Bitty to finish their walk but she’s a very large dog and quite stubborn. Passersby and community helpers ask Nana if she needs help but Nana knows her best and eventually solves the challenge.

I want to thank Victoria Martin and her friend (who lives not far from me) for this donation to our neighborhood library. I know it will be appreciated and enjoyed by many children.

Read about the author and the inspiration for this picture book here.

Itty Bitty Wouldn’t Budge at Amazon.com

Itty Bitty Wouldn’t Budge at Amazon.ca

Storytime Standouts - Raising Children Who Love to Read

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6537. My Husband Wants Chicken

Certain holidays have foods
You cannot do without,
Like turkey on Thanksgiving
‘Cause that’s what it’s all about.

A vegetarian might try
To substitute tofu
Or any other recipes
For which I have no clue.

But otherwise, there’s no excuse
To do without the bird.
Just contemplating such a thing
Is patently absurd.

For the stuffing, yams and other sides
Without the proper fowl
Would cause all the guests (including me!)
To holler “Foul!” and scowl.

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6538. Get 'Em Once! Get 'Em Twice! Get 'Em....well, you know.

WILBERFORCEYep, available one place only and many -MANY- £s/$s cheaper!


You  can also find some on Amazon and other sources but they do not make me much money so, come on, buy from the online store and remember that at least these books will be collectibles! 

To contact me please check out "About" at the top of the page -thanks!


Black Tower Comics began in 1984 as a Small Press publisher of A5 (US -Digest size) titles such as Adventure,Presents,Windows and Hanley's Garage.  Then came the news, reviews, previews and interviews publication backed up by the mart and mail order service -Zine Zone (later Zine Zone International).

In 2009, with the innovation in publishing of Print On Demand (POD), Black Tower jumped in head first!

One of the first titles to see print in the new comic album format (A4) was The Bat Triumphant! This saw the complete story, begun in Black Tower Adventure vol. 1.  William A. Ward's long lost 1940s character once again saw print as he fought a host of  enemies in an attempt to reclaim his homeland.


And while The Bat may have fought fist and nail to reclaim his homeland, another 1940s Ward creation, Krakos the Egyptian, seemed far from willing to claim a new Egyptian Empire as promised to him by the Gods.  Tackling a number of foes and even encountering the Many-Eyed One, Krakos turned his back on the gods and the final panel of Krakos -Sands Of Terror, delivered a true twist!

Krakos -Sands Of Terror!

Of course, the flag-ship title had to return!  And so Black Tower Adventure -eventually reaching new heights when the legendary Ben Dilworth jumped on board!  Volume 2 consisted of  ten issues. Just look at these covers....

Black Tower Adventure 1Black Tower Adventure 2BLACK TOWER ADVENTURE 3Black Tower Adventure 4Black Tower Adventure 5Black Tower Adventure 6ADVENTURE 7Black Tower Adventure 8BLACK TOWER ADVENTURE 9Black Tower Adventure 10

And, with something like 40 years worth of files and investigation reports could all that much delving into UFOs, lake and sea creatures and many other mysteries not result in a book or two...or three? Some Things Strange & Sinister, Some More Things Strange & Sinister as well as Pursuing The Strange and Weird: A Naturalist's Viewpoint set a precedence.

Whereas for decades those involved in "UFOlogy", "Cryptozoology" and "Forteana" declared many mysteries, that photographs were lost "to history" and so on, these three books swiped away the false claims.  Alleged lost photographs -found.  'Mysteries' solved by doing actual research work and reading the sources -something others had never done.
Some Things Strange & SinisterSome More Things Strange & SinisterPursuing The Strange & Weird:A Naturalists Viewpoint

And, of course, mention natural history and Black Tower Books broke new ground with that in The Red Paper: Canids.

The Red Paper: CANIDS

But not all the prose books covered mysteries and wildlife.

And if there is one thing "Herr Professor" loves it is discovering and presenting long lost UK Golden Age (1939-1951) comic strips and characters from publishers such as Gerald Swan, Foldes, Denis M. Reader, Cartoon Art Productions and others.

Scanned and restored as best as can be considering the poor print quality of the rationing years -especially red, orange, yellow, blue and purple ink printing!

Ace Hart The Atomic Man!  The Tornado!  TNT Tom!  Dene Vernon!  Acromaid!  Cat-Girl! Bring 'Em Back Hank! Robert Lovett:Back From The Dead and so many other action heroes and humour strip characters -William A. Ward, Jock McCaill and a host of known and unknown creators contribute -either in single volume " Black Tower Gold" albums or all six collected into the 400+ pager -The Ultimate British Golden Age Collection!

The Ultimate British Comics Gold CollectionBlack Tower British Gold Collection 1Black Tower British Gold Collection 2Black Tower British Gold Collection 3UK GOLD COLLECTION 4Black Tower Gold 5:Back From The Deadblack tower gold 6

Another great love is Centaur Comics from the United States.  Right at the very start of the American Golden Age of Comics Centaur had creators who were ahead of the others!  Before Plastic Man there was Plymo!  Before The Human Bomb there was TNT Todd!  Before Green Arrow and waaaaaaay before Hawkeye there was the mysterious red hooded archer called The Arrow!  And, to just break your comic mind world there was even a Black Panther -decades before Kirby came up with his character of the same name.

The Eye Sees All.  The Owl. The Iron Skull.  Amazing Man. The King of Darkness.  The Invisible Terror. The Blue Lady. The Shark. Mini Midget & Kitty.  Mighty Man. Super Anne.  The company may have been short-lived but it's characters -oh boy!

The two volume Centaur Heroes Collection has been compiled into one sweet 140 page comic collection!
The Ultimate Centaur Collection 2011

Horror. Ghost stories.  The twist-in-the tale.  Did you think that a publisher who is a big horror comic/film fan would ignore these?

Nope.  Each year since 2010, BTCG has published a Tales Of Terror anthology album and 2014s included some fun and spooky lost Swan Comic strips.  I mean how can you go wrong -even Ben Dilworth is in these!

 Tower Tales Of TerrorTales Of Terror 2TALES OF TERROR IIITales Of Terror 4

The Church Of England has it's own basher of dark forces in the Reverend Merriwether -"God's Demon0-Thumper" as the press billed him.  From an ancient Egyptian demon to a village of the damned and Varney the Vampyre, werwolves and a final confrontation with Satan himself -Merriwether pulls no punches and offers no compromise.  And in those last few seconds between life and death, Merriwether's mind recalls past cases -thanks to Ben Dilworththe Tall Man of Osaka.

Merriwether: God's Demon Thumper and Merriwether: The Test Of Satan are available as individual comic albums or in one swanky book The Collected Merriwether: God's Demon Thumper.

 Merriwether:God's Demon-ThumperMerriwether:The Test Of SatanMerriwether: Gods Demon Thumper

Oh, did I forget to mention Dene Vernon -British comics' first investigator of the supernatural and strange mysteries?  I did? Unbelievable since Gavin Stuart Ross drew the 1948 based Dene Vernon: The Thing Below!

 Dene Vernon:The Thing Below

 And did you know Ross also drew the two adventures of Victorian mystery man Chung Ling Soo? Chung Ling Soo: The Curse Of The Jade Dragon and Chung Ling Soo: The Case Of The Thames Serpent were two cracking tales of magic, adventure, murder and deception -still available as single comic albums or collected together to form The Adventures Of Chung Ling Soo!

Chung Ling Soo 1Chung Ling Soo Man Of Mystery


Ben Dilworth is no slouch either!  Chung Ling Soo's police "counter-foil" isnone other than old London "Jack" (police man) Inspector Wilberforce and when Dilworth says "Here's a Wilberforce one-off: PUBLISH IT!" you do not argue!


And did you know you can be a Gold Master of Japanese Haiku?  Well, neither did I -but guess what?  Ben Dilworth is such a master and his Osaka Brutal features his Haiku in English!

 Osaka Brutal

Old saleman that he is, Dilworth just keeps on going.  He produced Aesop's Fables -a darker version of the childrens tales and then went on to write two well illustrated prose albums looking at spirits and demons -Dilworth's Japanese Yokai and Dilworth's Western YokaiOsaka and the Yokai books were combined with Aesop's Fables into the one volume The Collected Ben R. Dilworth -though the single volumes are also still available.

The Collected Ben R. DilworthDilworth's Japanese YokaiDILWORTH WESTERN YOKAIDilworths Aesop's Fables

Horror comics yes but also some nice illustrated prose from Dilworth in...Dilworth's Horror & Ghost Stories but for the connoisseur those stories were collected together with the Phantom Detective comic strips into The Complete Phantom Detective!
Dilworth's Horror & Ghost StoriesTHE COMPLETE PHANTOM DETECTIVE

And could anyone forget the sensational Iron Warrior Versus Big Bong:When Giants Fought? But add to that the various Iron Warrior strips from Adventure and you get The Iron Warrior Collection -When Giants Fought!  In the 1940s, William A. Ward's creation was to be the most graphically violent comic strip seen until the 1970s.  That is some legacy. It continues....with a touch of fun!


In case you are wondering, yes, obviously there are super heroes.  Mix in ancient pantheons of gods, giant robot, alien invasion, Lovecraftian dark ones and so much more that the book runs to over 320 pages then you have part 1 of Terry Hooper-Scharf's Invasion Earth Trilogy" or as it is titled Return Of The Gods: Twilight Of The Super Heroes!  And epic ending with the words: "Dr Morg has killed us all" -and if you have never read the mind altering counter actuality that is The Dr Morg Trilogy you may be saying "What? Who-?"

And part 2 of the trilogy The Cross Earths Caper ought to get you in the mood for 2015s big 31st Anniversary third part of the trilogy The Green Skies.

 The Return Of The Gods:Twilight of the Super HeroesTHE CROSS EARTHS CAPERJourney Of The ID:The Dr Morg Trilogy

If you pass the ESTC (Epileptic Seizure Test Cover) on Dr Morg well, you are fit and healthy enough to read it and to check out all the Black Tower Comics and Books at the online store -see why we are the UKs largest publisher of  Independent Comics!

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6539. Artistic, beautiful, and satisfying reads wanted

Online quarterly Lunaris Review, a Journal of Art and the Literary (Nigeria), publishes work that brings “together creative minds to a common platform of artistry and beauty while providing the audience a satisfying read”. Publishes fiction (flash fiction and short story), creative nonfiction, essays, and poetry. Accepts international submissions. Deadline: Rolling. Guidelines.

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6540. Sunday Funnies #22: Superheroes in Gotham

Anyone who has read The Children's War knows that I have a soft spot for one of my favorite childhood pastimes - reading the Sunday funnies and comic books.  So naturally, I was pretty excited when I heard that the New York Historical Society was planning an exhibit called Superheroes in Gotham.  The exhibit is open now through February 21, 2016.  I was particularly interested in seeing it because, as you know, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman were all WWII superheroes, doing their bit for the war.  But the exhibit goes way beyond that.

How many remember George Reeves as Superman?  I must have watched Superman rerums a million times each when I was growing up.  Well, one of the old Superman suits from this show is there and it looks more like thick, woolen underwear that the kind of slick suit you see today:

There's even one of Adam West's Batmobiles from the 1960's Batman show:

The exhibit also contains some original art pieces original comic books, TV, movie, cartoon and audio clips of favorite comic superheroes, as well as comic characters you may never have heard of.  For me, that was Will Eisner's Private Joe Dope, a character who is like a combination of Beetle Bailey and Sad Sack.  Eisner, a talented artist, joined the army in 1942.  Every post has a newspaper and Eisner became an artist on the paper his post in Maryland produced.  But, Eisner quickly realized that soldiers needed training in preventative maintenance and Joe Dope became the bumbling incompetent solider whose mess-ups were lessons in how to not do something.  Eisner's Joe Dope was so popular that he was soon appearing monthly in Army Motors, a maintenance magazine (and I was happy to discover that the NYPL has original copies of Army Motors to explore after the holidays).  

For more on Will Eisner and his comic characters, see the article Rare Eisner by Ken Quattro
at Comicartville
After the war, in 1951, Joe Dope was resurrected and began to appear in another publication called PS Magazine.

Of course, no visit to the New York Historical Society would be complete without a visit to the museum shop, and that's where I found two books that were exactly what I was looking for:

Both volumes contain complete comic book stories from the war years (more about these later).

If you would like to know more about Superheroes in Gotham, you can find a great article with extensive photos from the exhibit by Jen Carson at the Gothamist

If you are going to be in NYC this holiday season, after you've seen all the stores windows and the tree at Rockefeller Plaza, you might want to journey uptown a bit and see this exhibit, as well as the Historical Society's annual Holiday Express: Toys and Trains exhibit.  Both of these exhibits are totally kid-friendly and somewhat interactive, and not on that, but they even have a wonderful,very interactive Children's History Museum to visit. 

Where is the NY Historical Society?  It's the one with the statues of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass outside their doors, on Central Park West and West 77th Street, right across the street from the Museum of Natural History.  Go this coming Wednesday, and you can even see the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons being blown up.

Available for selfies

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6541. The Letter Writer

Scholastic News Kids Press Corps The Letter Writer by Adedayo Perkovich

Olivia B. is only 12 years old, but she has already gotten the attention of a presidential candidate. Last month, she wrote a letter to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton about the importance of a good education for children with learning disabilities. Olivia’s letter went viral after Secretary Clinton posted it on Twitter. Olivia even got to go to Clinton’s birthday party and take a selfie with her.Olivia (left) and her dog, Shelby, with Adedayo in New York City

“I thought it would be important to me to actually write to her and reach out,” Olivia said. “I was happy that I did.”

Olivia lives in New York City with her two dads and her twin brother. She has dyslexia and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), and attends Mary McDowell Friends School in Brooklyn. There are 12 students and 2 teachers in each class.

“My school makes it so that the teachers are really connected [with the kids], and it’s so much easier to learn,” Olivia said in a recent interview.

Olivia told Secretary Clinton that her private school is “fairly expensive.” That’s one reason Olivia hopes to enter politics—after fulfilling her dream to be a professional soccer player. She already has some ideas for education policies.

“We need more money for public schools to be built and to hire extra teachers so that we have smaller classes for more students with learning disabilities,” she said. “Putting more kids in a class isn’t good for someone like me because it’s too distracting, and I can’t ask my questions.”


Olivia told Clinton that she’d like to help out in her campaign headquarters after school. “They haven’t offered me a job, but I have done some things to help,” Olivia said. “I did a video—a campaign video—so I guess that’s the closest to a ‘job.’”

Olivia is surprised by the amount of attention her letter has received. “You can kind of do whatever you want, if you try,” she observed.

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6542. Wanted: Writing that comments on today’s world

whimperbang (US), an online journal of artistic commentary, published three times a year, invites the submission of serious, directed artistic expressions that reflect or comment upon today’s world. All literary and visual genres will be considered. Deadline: Open. Guidelines.

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6543. Going Nuts and Ginger

Over at Ginger Nuts of Horror, Jim McLeod has started listing his best of the year and he's included my novella The Bureau of Them, which was published by Spectral Press in July.

This make me happy.

The Ginger Nuts of Horror folk are very supportive of the horror community and it's a great honour to appear on the list alongside Simon Bestwick, Adam Nevill, Willie Miekle, Simon Kurt Unsworth, and others.

You can purchase The Bureau of Them in ebook from Amazon or the paperback from Spectral Press.

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6544. Seeking reviews for science fiction novel

Hiding MagicI will soon publish a science fiction novel titled Hiding Magic, a story of the Hidden Clans, and am looking for people who will review it in return for an ebook copy. By the way, while I feel that it is science fiction, some see it as contemporary fantasy, perhaps because “magic” is in the title. Whatever.

I can email you a PDF, Kindle, or epub. Just specify which when you email your commitment to do a review.

I’m looking for honest reviews, of course. The most helpful places for you to post one are Amazon and Goodreads, but your own blog and other sites are most welcome.

Full disclosure: this is a new version of a previous title, Finding Magic, but it has been extensively revised. The old title was duplicated, and I think this cover is stronger. And, upon reworking it, I found it to be a powerful and touching story—but I’m just a teensy bit biased, I suppose.

From the back cover:

When is magic not magic? It is when the Hidden Clans control living energy to do things that appear magical to us—cure disease, slow aging, and heal a heart from the inside—or incinerate an enemy’s as it beats. And those abilities have deadly consequences for the Clans.

Annie, a gifted healer, has kin who were burned at the stake as witches. She must conceal herself from the lessi, “normal” people who would persecute the Clans. But she and many other clansmen also venture freely among us, in disguise, to satisfy their needs for art, entertainment, science . . . and for love.

Homeland Security breaks Annie’s cover—branded a terrorist, she runs, desperate to keep the secret of the Clans. And then a clan leader launches a horrific plague to end lessi tyranny by eliminating us—all of us, including people Annie loves. She has a chance to stop him, but Homeland Security is closing in . . .

The first page:

In keeping with what I do here, I’m posting the first page followed by the rest of the chapter. There’s even a poll. I’m always eager to learn about what works. For example, I suspect there will be readers who are put off by the use of present tense for the narrative, and there are folks for whom science fiction/fantasy is not their genre. So be it (BTW, I asked an agent about present tense and she didn’t care a whit as long as the narrative engaged her).

Here you go . . .

As I mount the steps to the Chicago Art Institute, the winter wind, called the Hawk by the people of this city, whips the long tails of my coat around my ankles and thrusts icy talons under my dress, greedy for my warmth. Last I was here it was a sweet summer breeze; today it is a harbinger of death.

Ahead, a massive bronze lion stands guard, a snow blanket white on its back. As I close on the beast, a lean man in a black overcoat steps from behind it and eyes me. Then he targets me with a video camera—fear clutches at me; his camera will see through my disguise.

Instead of my “Annie the tourist” glamère, the illusion of freckles and springy red curls I project when among the lessi, he will see the true Annie unmasked, milky white skin and straight brunette tresses.

I snatch the sides of my hood together to shield my face. Who will he tell if he perceives my truself? His tale of my two faces would ripple outward until someone took notice. I can’t let that happen. With so many killed in witch hunts through the centuries, the Clans hide from exposure that could spark a pogrom. Pulling my hood tighter, I trot up the stairsteps. Pulling my hood tighter, I trot up the stairsteps.

Please, no trouble.

The lean man’s lips move and the wind carries his words to me. “I think I got one.”

Were you compelled to turn the page?

Please give comments.

The rest is after the fold.

Let me know if you’d like to give it a read and a review. I’ll appreciate it a ton. Email me here.


When I glance at him, he jerks the camera away. Bilious yellow-green threads stream through the aura around his head—his actions are a lie in full bloom. He seeks to hide his purpose.

But how can it have anything to do with me? I can’t be known to him, and I have done him no harm.

Besides, today I die.

Above my head, the Hawk tears at a banner strung across the front of the Institute. It announces a 19th Century American Art exhibit. I need to see a painting there—a portrait of Graeme and me done by the extraordinary John Singer Sargent in . . . was it 1874 that we did that? There’s no knowing if I will see Graeme on the “other side,” or even if there is another side, but I want to leave life with the image of that happy time in mind. A last comfort for my soul.

My soul. I have not felt alive in the months since my Graeme was the random victim of a crazed homeless man. I so miss my man’s little-boy-lost vulnerability, the hold-me look that made me want to wrap my arms around him.

But Graeme’s murder wasn’t random, was it?

I was there. I was more than there.

If only I had  . . . If only I had not  . . . They say pain diminishes with time, but I can testify that the ache of guilt grows until it eats your life.

Today it gets its last bite of mine. After my final look at Graeme, I will surrender to the winter cold and let the eternal chill that I brought upon my husband be the waiter that serves up my just deserts.

But that’s a lie, isn’t it? To die is not my punishment, it is my escape.

When I pass the lean man, he again trains his camera on me. This time the lessi doesn’t bother to pretend that I am not the focus of his interest. Burgundy tendrils of hostility join the nasty green of deception in his aura.

A sense of being prey prickles the back of my neck. I hurry up the steps. He tracks me with the camera, but I don’t think it has caught my face.


A tinny whisper shivers in KB Volmer’s earbud. “Hey, you hear me? I think I got one.” She steps out of the gallery of art by Irish kids. Their stuff didn’t look any better than the crap she’d done as a kid that her mom had taped up on the refrigerator.

Speaking just loudly enough for her collar mic to pick up her words, she says, “Again.”

“It looks like I got one.”

She snaps into focus. There’s only one thing he can be talking about.

The whisper comes. “It’s heading for the entrance.”

KB zings him. “It would be helpful if I knew who this was and where you’re stationed.”

“Schultz, by the lion outside the Michigan Avenue entrance.”

Does Schultz’s voice shake from the cold or from excitement? His words sure as hell send a thrill through KB. She hopes to be the first of the couple-hundred Homeland Security agents staking out museums across the country to catch one of the perps she calls Raiders—she knows in her gut that they are bad guys.

She says, “You’re sure it’s a Raider?”

“Gotta be. Compared to everybody else out here, infrared output looks like a bonfire.”

The thermal imaging cameras Homeland Security has been testing since a terrorist blew up a roomful of Goya masterpieces in Madrid’s Prado National Museum are about to pay off. Things got real exciting the day before when agents at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art spotted two bright infrared “blooms” strolling in—and then lost them in the crowd. KB isn’t going to make that mistake.

Excitement swells in her. Even Schultz sounds tight now; his voice has lost that lame whine—no more bitching about working in the cold, no more muttering that the Raiders haven’t done anything so why the big hunt?

Yeah, they haven’t done anything  . . . yet. That’s the way terrorists operate, staying low until it’s time to strike.

They aren’t going to get away with it on KB’s watch.

KB says, “What do you see? Did you look with your eyes?”

“Just a glimpse. Female. Red hair, curly. Tall and slender. Wearing a dress and a long black coat with a hood up. The camera just shows the glow.”

Oh, man, this is it. Reflex sends her hand inside the navy blue blazer. Just beneath the Art Institute logo, her Walther 9mm automatic waits, snug in its holster. Posing as an Institute security guard is perfect cover, but she hates the skirt—it makes her legs look heavy, and putting one on always feels like a demotion. Damn cold in the wind, too.

Her earpiece crackles. Schultz says, “It’s going in.”

Time to saddle up. She says, “I’m headed up to the lobby. All stations, be alert for a tall, slender female that lights up your camera.”


The Institute lobby welcomes me with an expanse of beige marble that prompts admiration for its grandeur, although I would rather see the meadow that once opened here, cloaked with snow in wintertime, its future a summer of green grass and golden flowers. There was a time I walked a deer path through that meadow to the lake beyond that seems as vast as an ocean.

Now the meadow is crushed by the Institute’s massive pile of stone, its future void of life. The lake no longer spills onto a sandy shore but lashes at concrete revetments, its waters the color of metal instead of crystalline blue. My old resentment at the unbridled swarming of the lessi rises in me—but soon it won’t matter anymore, will it?

A voice behind me calls out, “Jimmy! Stop!” A boy of about seven zooms past and glances back, grinning. His foot slips on a spot of melt from tracked-in snow, and I wince at the jagged red-orange burst of pain in his aura when his head slams the marble floor. Oh, poor baby!

Two quick steps and I kneel beside him. His eyes widen, tears spill, and a wail echoes from the marble walls. I cradle his head as I slip my sight under his scalp and locate a growing contusion. Gazing into his eyes, I say, “Shhh. The hurt will stop soon, sweet child.”

Drawing upon the golden streams of lledri energy coursing around me, I send my touch into the wound, stop the bleeding, and clear out the damaged cells. Soon pain nerves quiet and the injury is on the way to healing.

I stroke his hair and the boy stops crying just as his mother drops to her knees beside him. She says, “Are you okay?”

The boy sniffles, glances up at me—I smile—and he nods. The mother says to me, “Thank you.”

“I’m glad I was here.” And I am. A moment’s respite from my black life feels better than I’d like to admit. Blame my nature for that, the urge to help and heal that beats at my core. But this physician can’t heal herself.

I make my way to the cashiers. Having seen the boy fall, I instinctively take care on the slippery floor—and then grimace at the irony. What matters a bruise to a corpse?

I pay my admission and then find a sign for the early American art exhibit that directs me down the long hall that connects to the Institute’s other building.


Heading for the stairs to the main floor, KB aches to break into a trot, but she forces herself to keep to a hurried walk, as near as she can come to the dawdle of a real museum guard. But when she reaches the steps she charges up two at a time, electric with energy as if she goes into combat.

Who’s to say this isn’t combat? The war on terrorism is personal with her, and the enemy can be anywhere, is everywhere. She reaches the top and puts on the brakes. Now, if only Schultz is right about this.


Just ahead of me, a thick-bodied female museum guard bursts into the lobby from a stairway to the lower level. I have never seen an Institute guard hurry—they are usually older people who meander, wearing bemused half-smiles at their good fortune to be paid to spend their days surrounded by treasure.

This guard is younger than the norm. Thirtyish. Broad-shouldered. Short black hair. Like the thin man outside, her aura also radiates the yellow-green of dishonesty. And she too carries a video camera. A museum guard with a video camera? The woman sends her gaze prowling through the lobby.

Is she linked to the man out front? Did he see my truself with his camera and report my deception to her?

Shaking my head at my paranoia, I aim for the hallway lined with exhibits of medieval armor that look like little metal men.

My former father-in-law is much like them—short of stature and iron-hard. I wonder if Drago’s venom toward me has lessened in the last year. Though why should it? I led his son to his death, did I not?

Taking a deep, cleansing breath, I force myself to narrow my focus to this moment; Drago will have to find some other target for his rage and bitterness, and I’m sure that he will.


A tall figure in a long black coat, a hood hanging down the back, strides past KB. Curly red hair, a youngish woman, heading down the hall with the knights. KB follows.

She aims her thermal camera. A bright glow flares in the viewfinder. Gotcha! She hustles after her quarry. She wants to run, but doesn’t want to alarm her target.

When the woman gets close to the end of the hallway, she glances back and then increases her speed.

So does KB.


The guard moves toward me, leaning forward as if she runs even though she walks. Is she after me?

Nonsense, Annie. No lessi has known of our existence for centuries, and no word has come of a breach in our concealment. There will be no return of the persecution that took so many clan lives.

Unless I am exposed here.

My back tightens as if expecting a blow.

A sign directs me through the Sculpture Court to the second level. I need to thwart the guard’s unwanted attention, so after I turn the corner from the hallway I change my glamère to the regal dignity of a white-haired society matron I once chatted with in Brussels. Now the museum guard won’t know me.

I decide not to change the appearance of my clothing so there’s no risk of an accidental touch revealing that the reality does not match the perception. When my childhood playmates and I practiced our glamères, we longed to change our bodies to become real wolves and pumas, or, my favorite, a pony. To our regret, our true forms persisted underneath our deceptions. We were stuck with being human, no matter what our seemingly magical abilities were.

I stroll past a bronze replica of the Abraham Lincoln memorial statue in Washington. It captures the man’s strength, but not his wit. How his dark eyes had twinkled, what mischief his quick, playful mind had devised.

How like the lessi to kill the best among them.


After the woman rounds the corner, KB stretches her legs to close the gap.

She says to her collar microphone, “I am in pursuit of a suspect, a real hot spot in my camera. Schultz, move inside and guard the Michigan Avenue doors. Use the camera on people leaving.” She’ll need evidence later. “Did you record this one coming in?”

His “damn” answers her question. She says, “Don’t forget to record if you see something. Bailey, you on the Columbus Drive exit?”

KB would know Bailey’s voice anywhere, deep and full of the rhythms of Chicago’s black south side. She says, “Yeah. I got the doors.” A pause, then, “This really it?”

“Looks like. Be on the lookout for a tall, skinny female, long hooded coat over long dress.” Might be smart to have backup. “Martinez, where are you?”

He whispers, “Second level, main building. They got a painting with a locomotive steaming out of a fireplace. Weird.”

“Get moving to the other side. I’ll locate the subject, then we’ll take ’er.”

“Okay. But what’s the big deal about these hot people? They don’t do nothin’ but go to museums.”

“Are you walking or talking?”

“Walking. I’m walking. Jeez.”

KB passes a suit of armor and feels a connection with the soldier who had worn the iron uniform. Like him, she’s a protector with a mission to stand between her country and evil. She’s vowed to do anything to carry it out. She touches her pistol again.

She can’t hold back a tight little grin.


After I climb the stairs to the exhibit, I look down. The female guard rushes into the Sculpture Court. She peers at the people there.

She can look all she wants, she’ll never see the real Annie. Now I can visit Graeme in peace. That’s all I want—to see his face, and then find solace within winter’s chill grasp.


Movement on the second level catches KB’s eye—someone tall in a black coat entering the American art exhibit.

She pounds up the stairs.

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6545. Wanted: Diverse poetry and prose

Polychrome Ink seeks submissions for Volume Three. Interested in diverse poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. Defines diversity as anyone who: does not consider themselves to be white, heterosexual, and/or cisgender; is Intersex; is neuroatypical, and/or who is physically disabled. Pays $15-$40. Deadline: December 27, 2015. Guidelines.

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6546. Lessons Learned in Master Writing Session with Lou Montello at TBEX at Sea

Conferences are great places to network and pick up tips that can make the difference between being good and great at blogging (or any other kind of writing), especially when the speaker is someone who has it mastered like Lou Mongello and the conference is with TBEX (Travel Blog Exchange). Who is Lou Mongello? For [...]
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6547. Long dragon

From the third in line: http://mattiasadolfsson.tictail.com/

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6548. INICIO

Bienvenidos -  Benvenuti - Bienvenus - Welcome

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6549. Lessons Learned in Master Writing Session with Lou Mongello at TBEX at Sea

Conferences are great places to network and pick up tips that can make the difference between being good and great at blogging (or any other kind of content creation), especially when the speaker is someone who has it mastered like Lou Mongello and the conference is with TBEX (Travel Blog Exchange). Who is Lou Mongello? [...]
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6550. Read Out Loud | Tad Hills Reads ‘R Is for Rocket’

Read Out Loud Tad Hills Image

Rocket believes reading rocks and kids will too after they hear Tad Hills read R Is for Rocket: An ABC Story. Rocket and his animal pals go on an alliterative journey from A to Z while introducing readers to art and nature. Your early reader will enjoy seeing Bella the squirrel balancing on a ball, Owl offering a cawing crow a cookie and a crayon, and a guest appearance from Tad’s most popular waterfowl friend!

Do you have the book at home? Open up the dust jacket to find a poster of the wondrous, mighty, gorgeous alphabet! Feel free to read along too.

KidLit TV’s Read Out Loud series is perfect for parents, teachers, and librarians. Use these readings for nap time, story time, bedtime … anytime!



From Random House Kids
R Is for Rocket: An ABC Book – Learn the ABCs with Rocket, the dog who inspires kids to read and write! This irresistible alphabet book from the creator of the New York Times bestsellers How Rocket Learned to Read and Rocket Writes a Story is sure to appeal to kids, parents, teachers, and librarians. From finding acorns, to balancing on a ball, to offering a cookie and a crayon to a crow, readers will love exploring the wonderful world of Rocket and his friends. The whole cast is featured, among them the little yellow bird, the owl, Bella the squirrel, and more. Even Goose from the beloved and bestselling Duck & Goose books makes a cameo appearance! With charming and delightful scenes for every letter, here’s an ode to the wondrous, mighty, gorgeous alphabet.


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Read Out Loud
Executive Producer: Julie Gribble
Producer: Kassia Graham
Director of Photography: Eric Lau

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