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6526. Back to Basics

This past Saturday I staffed my library's booth at the local fall festival. I have two takeaways from the experience. One, never to accept the booth location downwind from the barbecue. It's hot and you'll be soooo hungry. Two, children do not know nursery rhymes. Or kids songs. Or much about books.

To encourage visitors to our booth, we had a trivia game to win a free book from our book sale donations. Given that we had brought a very very lot of books, we were very very disposed to the kids answering correctly. This turned out to be harder that expected.

The five year old who didn't know the story of Little Red Riding Hood had a hard time picking out the wolf as the bad guy. A preschooler couldn't identify "wool" as the product that the black sheep might provide. I gave up on asking the color of Madeline's dress or even - most sadly for me - what the pigeon wanted to drive. (THE BUS!)

The older kids were spotty in their knowledge, but I got better at sifting through my question choices to find easy ones. I thought the kids would know the author of Fudge and Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. I thought teens would know the author of Twlight. These were the questions I thought were fairly easy - and were multiple choice, by the way - but instead revealed the Book Bubble that we occupy where everyone is a reader.

I helped at this festival last year as well, finding the same thing, and it changed the way I do story times. I stopped looking for clever ways to incorporate fall leaves into "Old MacDonald" and started just singing "Old MacDonald." I went back to the basics with songs and rhymes. I brought in more classics that I hadn't been using because I figured everyone knew them already. Spoiler alert: they didn't.

Another thing on the songs and rhymes. I've noticed a difference in the participation of the kids and parents from when I started doing this. Ten years ago I had more kids sing along a bit, and definitely more parents. Now the kids look at me blankly as if they've never heard "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and the parents are looking at the handout for the words.

My fellow storytellers, I love all that is new and exciting in our book world, but it might be time to go back to the basics. What do you think?

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6527. Review of Poisoned Apples

hepperman poisoned apples Review of Poisoned Applesstar2 Review of Poisoned Apples Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty
by Christine Heppermann; 
photos by various artists
High School    Greenwillow    106 pp.
10/14    978-0-06-228957-5    $17.99    g
e-book ed.  978-0-06-228959-9    $9.99

For this poet, there is no dividing line between fairy tales and reality: “You can lose your way anywhere,” claims the poem with which she begins this collection of fifty pieces on the devastating conjunction of girls’ vulnerability, the rapacious beauty industry, and fairy tales. Caustic, witty, sad, and angry, Heppermann (a former Horn Book reviewer) articulates what some of her readers will no doubt perceive already but what may be news to others: the false promises, seductions, and deathly morass of popular culture’s imagery of girls’ bodies. What makes Heppermann’s poetry exceptional, however, is not the messages it carries but the intense, expressive drive that fuels it. In “The Anorexic Eats a Salad”: “Mountains rise, fall, rise again. / Stars complete their slow trek into oblivion. / A snail tours the length of China’s Great Wall / twice. / All those pesky cancers — cured…She has almost made it through / her first bite.” Or, in “The Wicked Queen’s Legacy”: “It used to be just the one, / but now all mirrors chatter. / In fact, every reflective surface has opinions / on the shape of my nose, the size / of my chest…” These poems dwell fiercely and angrily within the visual and verbal cacophony heard and seen by girls, offering an acerbic critique, mourning, and compassionate, unrelenting honesty.

From the September/October 2014 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

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The post Review of Poisoned Apples appeared first on The Horn Book.

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6528. First Second Books to Publish a Pénélope Bagieu Graphic Novel in English

ExquisiteFirst Second Books will publish an English-language edition of Exquisite Corpse by Pénélope Bagieu. A release date has been scheduled for May 05, 2015.

While Bagieu is unknown in America, she has become a well-regarded artist in her native France. The story follows a young woman named Zoe who gets caught up with a famous author that faked his own death.

In an interview with The Mary Sue, Bagieu gave her own description about this graphic novel: “It’s about two worlds that were never meant to meet: The Parisian literary scene, and the hard-working twenty-something who’s never entered a bookstore. They’re two worlds that I’m sort of made of, and that I have a lot of tenderness for. What happens when these two planets collide, let alone fall in love? I really liked the idea.”

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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6529. Create an Author Website in 24 Hours or Less – Sept. 11 Webinar with Jane Friedman

jane-friedman-writer-mediaIt’s indisputable: All authors must have their own website. It’s critical for effective marketing (online AND offline), as well as long-term career growth. Even unpublished authors can benefit greatly from establishing a starter site. Why? You work through the learning curve, you build online awareness, you make contacts in the writing and media world, and more opportunities open up to you.

In this live two-hour intensive webinar — titled “Create an Author Website in 24 Hours or Less” — you’ll learn the simplest, most robust, and FREE tools to get a site up and running in a day or less—often in one evening! You don’t have to know any code, understand any technical jargon, or have previous experience with websites or blogs. You also don’t need to own your own domain or have hosting, although advice will be given on those issues.

While several different site-building options will be discussed, this session offers a step-by-step tutorial on setting up a site using WordPress—a best-in-class system that underpins 1 of every 6 websites on the Internet. WordPress is free to use, open source, and continually improving. It all happens at 1 p.m., EST, Thursday, September 11, 2014, and lasts 120 minutes.

Click Here to Register

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN:

  • 5 simple services that help you create a codeless website, for free, in an hour or less (plus what services to avoid)
  • Absolute must-have elements for every author site, even if you’re unpublished
  • The difference between a blog and a website, and whether or not you need a blog
  • How to get started with WordPress, either at WordPress.com or on your own domain
  • What WordPress themes are best to use, plus what premium themes you might consider investing in
  • Basic and free WordPress plug-ins that you need, plus how to extend the functionality of your site with more advanced plug-ins
  • How to add multimedia to your site (audio, video, photos, etc.)
  • How to integrate social media sharing tools onto your site
  • What site upgrades or additional features you might want that necessitate further investment
  • An easy-to-understand explanation of domains and hosting (but you don_t need to own a domain or have hosting to get started!)
  • Common mistakes and pitfalls of websites and blogs
  • When you should hire a professional designer or site developer, and how much you can expect to spend
  • All these points and more will be answered in this nuts-and-bolts webinar about creating a model author website

Click Here to Register

V7647INSTRUCTOR

Jane Friedman is the former publisher of Writer’s Digest, who now serves as web editor for the Virginia Quarterly Review (VQR). She spent more than a decade evaluating book proposals and manuscripts for publication, and continues to evaluate pitches through her work at VQR and at writing conferences across the country. Her blog for writers at JaneFriedman.com has more than 35,000 unique visitors every month and was named one of the Top 10 Blogs for Writers in 2011/2012. Find out more at JaneFriedman.com.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND?

  • Writers who want to establish a new website from scratch
  • Writers who want to learn how to use WordPress to build a new website
  • Writers who have tried to use WordPress but need a tutorial
  • Writers who want to transition from a blog-only site, such as Blogspot or Tumblr, to a full-featured, long-term site on WordPress

Click Here to Register

HOW DOES THE WEBINAR WORK?

The webinar is broadcasted via the internet with live audio delivered through your computer speakers or over your telephone. The live webinar’s visual presentation is displayed directly from the Presenter’s computer to your computer screen. The Q&A is managed through a chat-style submission system with questions being read and answered by the Presenter for the entire class to hear. In the event some questions are not answered during the live session, an e-mail with questions and answers will be sent to all webinar attendees. By attending the live webinar and/or asking questions, your full name may be stated during the live event and captured in the recording.

Click Here to Register

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6530. ‘Cat’ Anthology Featured On Kickstarter

Coffee House Press intends to publish an anthology entitled Cat Is Art Spelled Wrong. The inspiration for this project came from the well-attended 2012 Internet Cat Video Festival.

Some of the funds will be used to compensate the contributing writers and to give a donation to the Humane Society. The book features essays with various answers to the question, “Why can’t we stop watching cat videos?” A publication date is set for September 2015. Here’s more from the Kickstarter page:

“We left the festival that night thinking about cats, and for the last two years Coffee House Press has been collaborating with the Walker Art Center to put together a project that might capture that fascination and say something interesting—not just about cat videos, but also about how we decide what is good or bad art, or art at all; about how taste develops, how that can change, and why we love or hate something. It’s about people and the internet and why there are so many more cat videos than dog ones.”

(more…)

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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6531. What Is YA? (HTWYA pt 1)

My next novel, Afterworlds, is about a young writer reworking her first novel after NaNoWriMo. I thought a fun and useful promotion for it would be a series of writing advice posts. I got carried away.

So between now and November, this blog will host excerpts from a non-fiction book I’m releasing next year, called How to Write YA. You can’t buy it yet, because it’s not done, but you can preorder Afterworlds on the bottom of this page. It comes out September 23.


What Is YA?
Young adult fiction has exploded over the last two decades. Once a small and sleepy corner of publishing, YA has become a major part of the industry, the only category to have grown by double digits every year since the mid-1990s. YA is now a profit center that helps keep the rest of the industry afloat, and the primary engine for creating new readers. The massive sales of YA mega-hits like Twilight, Hunger Games, and The Fault in Our Stars have also help kept a lot of bookstores from going out of business.

I have some theories about why this sudden explosion of young adult literature came about, but I’ll come back to those later. First, let me clear up a really important misconception: The genre of YA is not “fiction for teenagers.”

Partly, this is a matter of fact. Studies suggest that about half the YA audience is adult. But more important, the idea that YA is for teenagers is a conceptual error about the definition of genre itself. Genres are sets of practices, techniques, and stylistic conventions. Genres consist of shared assumptions and shared canon. In other words, a genre is not an audience. When someone tells you that they write “novels for men,” or “novels for old people,” or “novels for urban youth,” they aren’t talking about genre.

So what are YA novels, then, if not books for teenagers?

They are novels about teenagers, from a teenage perspective.

It’s pretty simple, really. YA is the set of all stories about what it’s like to be a teenager. Not from an adult looking on (or looking back) but from inside the teenage years while they are happening. YA is literature (or movies, TV, comics, video games, ballet, or whatever) that takes us into the hearts, minds, and lives of teenagers.

So how did this particular genre get so huge? Why would so many readers want to inhabit the lives of people who aren’t quite children, nor really adults?

To understand that, you have to know what a teenager is.


What Are Teenagers?
A couple of hundred years ago, there was no such thing as teenagers. The word did not exist, nor did the concept. There were only children and adults.

When people turned thirteen or so, many joined the navy, or got married, or went into the mines and factories. Many young people worked sixty-hour weeks, and child soldiers were common. (Some were rather good at their jobs. In the US Civil War, an eleven-year-old named Willie Johnston won the Medal of Honor, the highest his country bestowed.) I spew these facts not to outrage you, but to make a simple point: teenagers didn’t always exist. We had to invent them.

It happened slowly. Britain, in the throes of industrial revolution, often led the way. There, the workday for eleven through eighteen year-olds was shortened to a mere twelve hours in 1833. (Progress!) In 1844, the age for joining the navy as a midshipman was raised to 14. The minimum age of marriage was raised to sixteen in 1929. Over two centuries, a space opened up between the complete dependence of infancy and the rigors and responsibilities of adulthood. We had to give this space a name.

The Oxford English Dictionary gives the first appearance of the word “teenage” as 1928. The word “teenager” did not appear till 1949. By then, things were changing quickly. In the decades after the Second World War the industrialized world created nothing less than a new stage of life. We invented teenagers.

So what the hell are they?

The legal definitions are too long to list here. In most countries, at some point in the teenage years citizens reach the age where they are allowed vote, consent to sex, drink alcohol, smoke tobacco, sign contracts, leave school, drive cars, marry, gamble, join the military, or work at other dangerous jobs. Exactly at what age these all happen depends on geography, and is the subject thousands of pages of law. These laws change all the time, buffeted by social mores, by new technologies, and by moral panics whipped into existence by some of the silliest people on the planet.

In other words, it’s all a bit of a muddle.

The cultural aspects of being a teenager are just as tangled. Whatever teens flock to—skateboards, file sharing, hoodies, rock music, rap music, MySpace—will soon become the subject of a moral panic. This is because teenagers frighten adults.

Five little kids in a store is cute. Five adults, good business. But when five teenagers gather, it’s loitering. It’s time for a curfew, or closed-circuit cameras, or a device that emits annoying high-pitched sounds that only teens can hear. (Seriously. Just google “mosquito teens.”) To put it simply, adults see teenagers as big enough to be dangerous, but not old enough to have been civilized yet.

They are uglies, if you will.

Here’s the weird thing: Despite this underlying terror, popular culture celebrates the teen years as carefree and happy, a time of consequence-free exploration. And in our youth-worshipping commercial world, teenagers (those with perfect skin and symmetrical faces, at least) are put on a pedestal. Images of teens are used to sell everything from clothes to food to music.

And let’s not forget the drama of those years—the time of firsts. Somewhere in all this muddle is when most people experience their first sexy kiss, tell their first meaningful lie, and suffer or commit their first real betrayal. Often for the first time, someone close to them dies. Most people drink their first beer, break their first law, and have their first political awakening as teenagers. These years see our first jobs, our first glimpses of independence, and our first life choices so serious that we can never completely undo them. And, of course, our first loves.

So let us recap. We have a global culture inventing an entirely new phase of life, engaged in a messy, noisy conversation about what it means to be an adolescent. We have an oppressed class, whose passions are harassed and banned, whose rights are curtailed, even while their customs are celebrated and their images ever more glorified and sexualized. We have an age of drama and emotion and reversal, where good days are transcendent, and bad days can feel like the end of the world.

Seems like there might be some pretty interesting stories in there.


Later this week, Part 2—”What Are Stories.”

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6532. Portable Boiler

We spent Monday morning at the South Park City historical museum in Fairplay, Colorado, a place where Jeanette and I sketched over 30 years ago.

I liked the Steampunk spirit of rust, rivets, and spokes of this portable boiler, used by 19th century miners to operate the rock crushing machines.

I painted the study in gouache, with a few accents of colored pencil and fountain pen. Gouache is well suited to this sort of detailed study of a machine, because of the way you can paint light details over dark.

The dried paint surface of gouache also accepts touches from the water-soluble colored pencils, where casein doesn't so well.

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6533. Guest Post: Three tips to increase productivity when writing from home

Industry Life

michelle-krys-final-4x6-200x300

by

Michelle Krys

Here’s a story that might sound familiar. A few years ago, after I got a book deal, I dropped down from full-time work at my day job, to working just a few shifts every two weeks. I was ecstatic about all the writing I’d surely get done. But when I started writing every day, I made a disturbing discovery: I wasn’t getting any more work done in my eight new hours of free time than when I had to cram it all into the one free half hour I had all day. I would write 1000 words no matter how long I had to do it.

Last year, I blogged about some tricks I picked up to increase productivity when working from home (internet blocking apps and what have you), but since then, I’ve learned a few more helpful ways to kick my butt into gear when the pull of the internet is strong and another episode of Big Brother is on the PVR (don’t judge). And because I’m nice like that, I’ll share them with you.

1. Use a calendar system to record progress. (Red dot sticker for 1000 words, blue dot for 500, yellow for 250, etc). To give credit where credit’s due, I got the idea from Victoria Schwaab. It seems so juvenile, dare I say kindergarten-esque, to want to work hard for a sticker, but . . . I really want that sticker. A calendar with only a few pathetic red dots is so motivating. Conversely, a great week with many red dots is also motivating—I don’t want to sully my awesomely-full calendar with a bunch of yellow dots, or worse, no dots at all. It also doesn’t hurt that the calendar is in a prominent location in my home, there for all to see should I start slacking off.

2. Take more frequent breaks. It sounds counterintuitive, but there’s all sorts of research out there that says more frequent breaks improves the quality of work. I won’t bore you with that research, but basically: it’s a lot easier to focus on one thing when you’re only doing that thing for thirty minutes. Because I have epically horrible focus, I like to work for twenty minutes, then I’m “allowed” to take five minutes to unwind, check email, tweet, or what have you, before I start another twenty-minute session. After I reach 1000 words, I break for lunch, and then it’s back to work. Since I’ve started doing this, I’ve noticed a huge improvement in both my focus while writing and the quality of my work.

3. Push past “writer’s block”. When the words just aren’t coming, it’s easy to put it down to writer’s block and give up. And honestly? Sometimes I do that. Sometimes I just need a break. But since contracts and deadlines mean I don’t have the luxury of being able to take breaks every time I’m stuck, I’ve had to learn techniques to push forward. What I’ve learned is that most of the time, it’s just a matter of figuring out why the words aren’t coming. Maybe it’s that I don’t really know what I want to achieve with the scene, or maybe I’m not sure how I want to achieve it. Sometimes, it’s because I’m not sure where the scene will take the plot next, because even though I’ve outlined, my outlines are often written in broad strokes and finer details can cause major problems. Once I’ve figured out the reason I’m stuck, I can usually find my way back to the words. Laini Taylor says it best: “Never sit staring at a blank page or screen. If you find yourself stuck, write. Write about the scene you’re trying to write. Writing about is easier than writing, and chances are, it will give you your way in.”

HExedMichelle Krys is the author of HEXED and the upcoming sequel CHARMED. She works part-time as a NICU nurse and spends her free time writing books for teens. Michelle is probably not a witch, though she did belong to a witchcraft club in the fifth grade and “levitated” people in her bedroom, so that may be up for debate. Visit her at michellekrys.com or follow @MichelleKrys on Twitter.

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6534. News!

I'm so thrilled to finally be able to share this news!

"Tamar Brazis at Abrams has bought author-illustrator Jennifer Thermes's Charles Around the World in a preempt. The picture book biography tells of Charles Darwin's adventures on the HMS Beagle, featuring maps illustrating the route of his travels and his discoveries in each location. It is scheduled for fall 2016. Marietta B. Zacker of Nancy Gallt Literary Agency brokered the deal, which includes a second book, for world English rights."
– from Publishers Weekly Rights Report: Week of September 8, 2014

 


















(Charles Darwin is one cool dude!)

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6535. Creativity, Inc.

Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration Ed Catmull with Amy Wallace

Part Pixar-history, part management how-to, Catmull lays out his management philosophy with examples of how he’s implemented it.

One of the things that Catmull really values is candor and building a culture where everyone feels free and safe to give honest feedback, and where speaking truth to power is welcome and encouraged. He shows this well in his book, because he illustrates his ideas with real-life examples, and he is very honest about his missteps and what happened when things didn’t work.

And I think that’s what I appreciated most about this book--Pixar isn’t a perfect company. Many beloved movies failed multiple times before hitting the theaters. I don’t want to say this is a “warts and all” because it’s not a tell-all airing out the dirty laundry, but, at the same time, it is very honest. Catmull shows where things have gone wrong and then parses it to try to examine why and what they changed to make things better.

One the other big underlying themes is letting go of ego. When people point out ways your project isn’t working, it’s not personal. (Of course as he readily admits, not taking it personally is really hard and much easier said than done, but it’s something to strive for). You should hire people smarter than you are, and then trust them to grow and you should listen to them. I think another very good point he makes is that when managers first learn about problems in meetings, or when told about something not-in-private, it’s not a sign of disrespect and that they need to GET OVER IT.

Personally, this is something I strive for in my own management. I told everyone who works at the library in my first few weeks here that if something isn’t working, I need to know. If I’m doing something that’s not helpful, they need to tell me. I have bigger things to worry about and deal with than being personally offended when you rightfully call me out on my bullshit. (Easier said than done, but I’ve been working on separating stuff out. Dealing with the issue, and then going home and acknowledging my sad feelings and wallowing a bit, and then getting on with it.)

He’s also a big proponent of creating a culture where it’s safe to take a risk and it’s safe to fail. (As Robert Reich said in his commencement speech when I graduated from college, if you’re not occasionally failing, you’re not reaching far enough or trying hard enough.)

I like that he gets into the specifics of culture clash issues when Disney bought Pixar and he became the head of Disney Animation. He then talks about what he did to change the Disney culture and that, like most things worth doing, it didn’t happen overnight and it wasn’t always smooth.

But, one of his big things, and I think this is a good take-away for libraries is that everyone’s responsible for quality. And this ties back with his points on candor--everyone should feel empowered to look for quality issues and to go ahead and fix them or bring them to the attention of someone who can help fix them. Problems are not solutions. Often the person who notices the issue won’t have the solution, because often solutions aren’t that easy, but everyone is responsible for quality. One of the ways they foster this is to bring people from different areas and departments together. When movies are in progress, works-in-progress are routinely shown to, and commented on, by people who aren’t involved in the movie. When Pixar had grown so big some of the candor was being lost, they had a notes day where people from all across the company (including kitchen staff) got together to talk about issues and possible solutions.

I spent a number of years in a large library where departments were very separate--the children’s staff had a different work room than the adult services staff, which was different than circ, etc. Since switching systems, I’ve been at branches, which are smaller. At my last branch, only 1 person could physically be on the desk at a time, so they did reference and circ, and helped people of all ages. There’s much more fluidity between departments because that’s how we need to function. I love it. We all have the areas we specialize in, but we all have our fingers in other things, which makes us understand each other a lot better, and we have a bigger pool of people to bounce ideas off, because even if it’s not their department, they know the basics of your resources and constrictions. It doesn’t always work and it’s not always good, BUT one of things I really want to do as a manager is foster this type of cross team collaboration and minimize some of the us vs. them dynamic that I often see in libraries that can get really poisonous really quickly. And this is where Creativity, Inc. really spoke to me, both with ideas on how to nurture this, but in just reaffirming its great importance. (And, here I’m going to plug my friend Rachel’s new blog, Constructive Summer: Building the Unified Library Scene which is about this very thing)

So, overall, obviously, I loved this book. I found a lot of inspiration, but it was also just a fun read (let’s face it, when your examples are about making Toy Story, I will find it more engaging than an example about making a car.) Also, the Afterword: The Steve We Knew made me cry, which was embarrassing, because I was on the bus. Steve Jobs (owner of Pixar) came up frequently in the bulk of the book, but the afterword really looked at his role, but more importantly was Catmull talking about a friend who died. Catmull really looks at the biographical books and articles about Steve and talks about how they jived and did not jive with the person he knew. As someone who’s read Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different a countless number of times, it was really interesting to see some of the big points directly rebutted.


Book Provided by... my local library

Links to Amazon are an affiliate link. You can help support Biblio File by purchasing any item (not just the one linked to!) through these links. Read my full disclosure statement.

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6536. Strategic Planning: Your Opinion Matters

Utter the phrase “Strategic Planning” and many of us cringe a little at the daunting process these words imply. YALSA is at the beginning stages of this task and needs your feedback in our member survey. The information you provide will be used to help the YALSA Board of Directors develop the association’s next strategic plan.

Being a member driven organization, your opinion matters! What services, tools, or resources do you need to be best librarian you can be? Are there challenges you are encountering in serving teens and young adults in your library? How can YALSA continue to be relevant to you and the profession? Help us answer these questions and more, by taking a few minutes to answer a few questions in our member survey.

The member survey will be open for just one more week, until September 17, so take time now to complete it. Also, if you choose, you can enter your email address at the end of the survey for a chance to win a free teens and technology training kit (a $199 value).

We look forward to your feedback and your awesome ideas!

The YALSA Strategic Planning Task Force

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6537. Audio Teachings: The Errors of the Trinity: Session Twelve

trinity

Click the arrow to listen.

Do you have to believe in the Trinity to be saved? The short answer is no. The Bible does not mention a “Trinity,” let alone state that one must believe in it in order to attain salvation. Furthermore, no verse in Scripture says you must believe that Jesus Christ is God in order to be saved.

1. Jesus is the son of God – NOT GOD.
2. Soul is breath life; it’s what animates you and makes you a LIVE person. You lose your soul, your breath life, when you die.
3. Holy Spirit is the gift of salvation that is bestowed upon you when you do one simple thing:

Romans 10:9
That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Salvation is of the utmost importance, so let’s be sure we understand God’s instructions, which are really quite simple. To be saved, you must confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord. What does that mean? It means that you say what the Bible clearly declares—that Jesus is the Son of God who died for your sins, was raised from the dead, and highly exalted to the right hand of God. Have you ever opened your mouth and said, “Jesus is Lord?” Why not say it right now? It’s simple: “Jesus is Lord.”

Romans 10:9 goes on to say that along with confessing that Jesus is Lord, you are to believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead. What is it to believe in your heart? It means to really believe it. Is that difficult? No, not at all. You probably believe that George Washington was the first president of the United States, even though you never saw him. In the same way, there are many, many valid reasons to believe that God raised Jesus up from the dead.

For proof, read our article, “23 Arguments for the Historical Validity of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.”

Once you have confessed with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believed in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you are saved. Salvation is very easy because God wants all men to be saved (1 Tim. 2:4), and He is offering it as a free gift. The reason it is free to you is because Jesus Christ paid the price for it with his life.

[For further study, click here]

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6538. A Timely Reminder

Well, it seems some folk have this idea that I suffer from short term memory loss. These include people who KNOW full well the position on review books.

CBO ONLY accepts hard copy books. Do NOT ask me to get a pdf from a file share site because I am NOT going to go through the process of joining another file share service.  Also, as was proved again recently, a lot of these share sites are used to try to launch virus attacks.  Oh, and, NO I will not accept a dvd for review, especially if it turns up out of the blue and all it says on the disc label is a titlevI've never heard of and "Review copy".

Just no.

DVDs, books, comics, etc., are reviewed based on actual copies. EVERYTHING I receive is reviewed whether it be from bigger companies or the Small Press.

Oh, that disc that turned up? Just went in the bin.

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6539. Planet Waves Considered

“In this age of fibreglass I’m searching for a gem” Planet Waves B. Dylan I don’t know who started it or how it started but it became a tradition and a ritual. We (Dave, Robin, Frank, Norm, Paul, Al and Mike to name some of the main participants) lived in a house on the corner of 4TH Ave and Balaclava in the Kitsilano neighbourhood of Vancouver. They say it has become very exclusive and expensive there now. Then we had a single mother with an almost teenage daughter living next door to us. She was convinced that the RCMP (she called them “The Horsemen”) had killed her husband who had been a heroin dealer. The tradition was turning a Saturday (if we were working or any afternoon if we weren’t) into a Tequila Sunrise or Bloody Caesar or Harvey Wallbanger day. We all supplied the ingredients if we could plus whatever beer and smoke were available, threw open the doors and windows and cranked up the stereo. It is incumbent upon residents of Vancouver to take advantage of every sunny day there. Even the British climate doesn’t seem as depressing as the long, grey, cold, wet stretches of days and weeks which occur in Vancouver winters. Maybe it’s not so bad for natives but we weren’t natives and knew very few. Everyone was from somewhere else. I remember Meddle and Band on the Run and Peaceful Easy Feeling blaring out across the postage stamp lawn as we played frisbee or catch with a football. The one which was played the most on those days was Planet Waves. It was the last time Dylan recorded in a studio with The Band. They had already toured with him as The Hawks and they toured again in support of Planet Waves. Not a bad backup band. They honed their chops in Toronto backing up Rompin Ronnie Hawkins, The Hawk. In The Last Waltz (1978) Robbie Robertson describes Ronnie Hawkin’s pitch upon hiring the talented teenagers as something like, “the money ain’t great, but you’ll get more pussy than Frank Sinatry”. The Hawk was from the southern US and had plenty of experience in small bars there where the band onstage was separated from the audience by chicken wire to protect them from missiles like beer bottles thrown their way. He says he was a hard taskmaster. He didn’t want a backup band which learned songs on stage or made a lot of mistakes. He made them practice and practice hard. The Hawk was recently interviewed by George Stroumboulopoulis on Canadian tv about his miraculous recovery from pancreatic cancer. A young healer (an underground healer, one not recognized by the established system) heard of his plight and helped him recover. Now he’s still laughing about the miracle and, as he tours, sharing his joy. The best known song on Planet Waves is Forever Young. It’s obvious when you listen to the lyrics why Rod Stewart covered it. I don’t know whether he added some words of his own, but every parent, rock star or not, can understand the sentiment behind the lyrics of the song. On side 2 of Planet Waves The Band whipped up one fast version with their electric jug band style, but the slow version on side 1 with Robbie Robertson’s tasty licks is one of the best rock songs ever written in my opinion. I know some people can’t stand Dylan’s music and his voice even though it’s in key and timed properly, but anyone who admires the power of the English language has to, at least, respect him as a writer. “Twilight on the frozen lake, North wind about to break...” are ten words which open Never say Goodbye and an instant image is conjured up in the listener’s mind. Planet Waves also contains Going, Going, Gone which is another song created with great lyrics and the collaboration of musicians which doesn’t overpower the lyric content. It is a good example for all bands who have realized that the most beautiful music is created by individuals contributing to the song, not trying to stand out from everyone else. There were a lot of women around that house but, unfortunately, one look at the state of the kitchen and bathroom discouraged most from living there. I have to admit that someone only making it to the kitchen sink before they threw up on a Tequila Sunrise Day was a little much. Naturally, none of us had washed any dishes for a long time and that made it worse. The sunny days got fewer when Fall hit and gradually petered out. The occupants reached a low point in January when we watched the Superbowl on acid with no food and the sound turned up to drown out the sound of the wind and rain lashing the street outside. Then someone got out of jail and landed there, bringing quick visits from cops when he ran outside and threw beer bottles at motorists passing by on 4th Ave. The carefree, sunny days of Planet Waves were gone. “My dreams are made of iron and steel, with a big bouquet of roses hanging down, from the heavens to the ground” Planet Waves B. Dylan

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6540. Two Ducks Theatre Company's Rainbowtown: Teaching young children about colors, emotions, and perseverance

My 4 year old and I had the pleasure of learning together in a unique way this past weekend, thanks to Two Ducks Theatre Company's original play titled Rainbowtown.



The plot of Rainbowtown focuses around Queen Annie who lives in  "graytown" where everything is "fine". But, she wants life to be a little more than just fine, so she sets off in search of a new place to call home. As she travels from town to town looking for her new residence, children are taken on a colorful, interactive journey that includes music, audience participation, and lots of laughs.

Where does Queen Annie decide to build her castle? Experience the fun yourself to find out!














You can catch a performance of Rainbowntown at Radnor United Methodist Church in Bryn Mawr:



What's the real value of Rainbowntown

At at the heart of the play is a lesson for children on emotions and perseverance - two important topics in early childhood.

Talking about feelings with children is important to their social and emotional development. By doing so, children can better understand and interpret their own feelings and the feelings of others. Children with emotional competence also tend to have strong social skills which are necessary for successfully interacting with adults and peers. Rainbowtown provides a unique opportunity for families to begin a discussion about feelings which can strengthen skills in children that are not only necessary for learning new information, but for succeeding in life.

Rainbowtown also teaches children skills about how react in the face of adversity. Despite becoming discouraged after visiting a few towns that do not suit her liking, Queen Annie never gives up until she finds the place that is best for her to build her castle. Children may identify with her situation and reflect on how she copes and perseveres. By helping children learn how to react in difficult situations, parents can foster emotional skills, namely resilience.

Learning Tips and Activity Extensions for Rainbowtown

It's always fun to discuss a movie or a play after you view it. Here are some conversation starters and activities based on Rainbowtown for promoting emotional development in young children.

  • How did Queen Annie feel at the beginning of the play?
  • How did Queen Annie feel at the end of the play, and why?
  • Can you describe a time when you felt like Queen Annie?
  • Which characters in the story did you like or dislike, and why?
  • Have you ever given up on something you've tried to do? Why? How did it make you feel?
  • Identify all of the colors and feelings in the play. Why do you think a particular color was paired with a certain feeling? Would you add any colors or feelings to the story?
  • Draw a picture of a time when you showed determination and perseverance like Queen Annie.
  • Queen Annie was upset in parts of the play. What would you have said to her to help her feel  better?
  • Identify and discuss what traits Queen Annie possessed that allowed her to persevere. 
  • Read a book with your child about feelings such as My Many Colored Days by Dr Seuss or The Way I Feel by Janan Cain

I hope you get the opportunity to enjoy Two Ducks Theatre Company's Rainbowtown with your child in the coming weeks, and take advantage of the play as not only pure entertainment, but also a cool learning experience!

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6541. Hanselmann, Deforge and Kyle on tour

cute bos tour1 Hanselmann, Deforge and Kyle on tour

Simon Hanselmann, Patrick Kyle and Michael DeForge are going on tour together, an event that will doubtless span a thousand autobio comics. DeForge is the best known of the group, acclaimed for Lose, Ant Comix and many more of his abstractly horrifying enquiries into social systems human and animal. Hanselmann’s Megahex presents a sit-com for millennials, as an owl a witch and a cat struggle with depression and ennui. I have read Kyle’s Distance Mover yet, but the blurb has me sold:

Mr. Earth can move incredible distances in his improbable Distance Mover, a wondrous vehicle that reflects the fantastic world it traverses. He, and his young art-star protégée Mendel, explore culture-rich crystalline cities, challenge the mighty Council of the Misters, try to overcome the all-conquering Ooze, and much more!

The crew kicks off on Thursday at Atomic Books, travels to SPX, hits Bergen Street, the Brooklyn Book Festival, Secret Headquarters, Floating World, Fantagraphics and even Vegas. Here’s the whole schedule:

September 12th – Baltimore, MD – Atomic Books
(with Charles Burns, Ed Piskor, Noel Freibert and more!)

September 13-14th – Bethesda, MD SPX

September 15th – Charlottesville, VA – Telegraph Gallery
(with Noel Freibert)

September 16th – Philadelphia, PA – Locust Moon Comics
(with Farel Dalrymple, Annie Mok and Noel Freibert)

September 20th – Brooklyn, NY – Bergen Street Comics
(with Eleanor Davis, Jesse Reklaw, Matthew Thurber, Mark Connery, Alex Degen and Noel Freibert)

September 21st – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Book Festival

September 23rd – Manhattan, NY – The New School

September 24th – Pittsburgh, PA – Copacetic Comics
(with Annie Mok and Noel Freibert)

September 27th – Columbus, OH – Kafe Kerouac

September 30th – Chicago, IL – Quimby’s

October 2nd – Minneapolis, MN – Boneshaker Books

October 4th – Las Vegas, NV – TBA

October 5th – Los Angeles, CA – Secret Headquarters

October 7th – San Francisco, CA – Mission Comics

(with Ed Luce)

 

October 9th – Portland, OR – Floating World

October 10th – Portland, OR – Gridlords

October 11th – Seattle, WA – Fantagraphics Bookstore and Gallery
(with Lane Milburn and Conor Stechschulte)

October 12th – Vancouver, BC – Pulp Fiction
(sans Simon Hanselmann)

tourposter Hanselmann, Deforge and Kyle on tour

 

The Floating World event takes place on October 9th and here’s some more info:

Celebrating the release of each of their own new comics, Hanselmann’s Megahex (Fantagraphics Books), DeForge’s Lose #6 (Koyama Press), and Kyle’s Distance Mover (Koyama Press), the trio are traveling from coast-to-coast starting at Small Press Expo (SPX) in Bethesda, MD and ending at The Fantagraphics Bookstore in Seattle, WA. Going from state-to-state, they will be signing books and selling an exclusive tour poster collaboration, silkscreened by Telegraph Gallery.

These cartoonists represent the new generation of underground comics. All contributing to the medium in different ways with very stylized humor comics, they each gained popularity posting their comics online before branching out onto the printed page. Now together and in planes, trains, and automobiles, Simon, Michael, and Patrick are taking their comics on the road to meet the fans (and crash on their couches). A few other special guests will join them along the way so find your city and plunk your butt down in front of the store for a good time.

You’ve been warned!
WHO: Simon Hanselmann, Michael DeForge, and Patrick Kyle
WHAT: Book release party
WHEN: Thursday October 9th, 5-8pm
WHERE: Floating World Comics, 400 NW Couch St

 

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6542. Post 450, descriptive of how the Oxford Etymologist spent part of this past August

Yes, this is Post 450. The present blog was launched on March 1, 2006 and has appeared every Wednesday ever since, rain or shine. Another short year, and the jubilant world will celebrate the great number 500.

In summer, when there are no classes, I put in my bag one thick book in German or Icelandic and one thick book in English (those in Russian are taken for granted). This past August, the German book I picked up (as a matter of fact, I read two) was particularly depressing, in consequence of which I decided to return to The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club. So I checked out the original edition and plodded joyfully through all 609 pages of it. Like most linguists, I usually pay attention not only to the plot but also to the writer’s language. Although I read the Pickwick Papers when I was sixteen years old, I remembered fairly well what happened there, but I have learned a good deal about Dickens since I was a schoolboy and therefore noticed a few things that escaped me then. For example, I was amazed to discover the amount of spirits everybody consumed, not excluding Mr. Pickwick. The characters of Erich Maria Remarque and Ernest Hemingway look rather sober in comparison. It was also curious to observe how true Dickens remained to some of his favorite types and situations (winsome widows entrapping silly men, swooning and weeping ladies, arch maids, henpecked husbands, misfits sent to the colonies to make good, and so forth) and to the mannerisms of his younger days, but I don’t think he ever produced an equal of Sam Weller’s touching oration in which he refused to leave his master.

A few notes on Dickens’s usage may not be wholly uninteresting to our readers, though I realize that 177 years after the appearance of that novel nothing I can say about it will be new.

A few morsels of grammar.

It will be remembered that Peggotty, David Copperfield’s nurse, pronounced the name of her nephew Ham “as a morsel of English grammar” (that is, without an ‘h). Some other morsels are also “worthy of remark,” as Dickens might say.

  • “…and there was a dinner which would have been cheap at half-a-crown a mouth, if any moderate number of mouths could have eat it in that time” (p. 375), and “Here Mr. Sam Weller, who had silently eat his oysters with tranquil smiles, cried ‘Hear!’ in a very loud voice” (590);
  • “…Sam having ladled out, and drank two full glasses of punch in honor of himself, returned thanks in a neat speech” (p. 400).
  • One of the footmen says: “In fact, that’s the only thing between you and I, that makes service worth entering into” (p. 398).
Mr. Pickwick Picnics by Fred Barnard, 1870s. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.
Mr. Pickwick Picnics by Fred Barnard, 1870s. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Favorite words.

Indefatigable assiduity. Not too long ago, in connection with the phrase indefatigable assiduity that occurs in the opening paragraph of the Pickwick Papers, it was pointed out in our discussion that similar phrases were common in Dickens’s days. So they were, but Dickens used their components with rare assiduity indeed.

  • “…she… would have gone off, had it not been for the indefatigable efforts of the assiduous Goodwin” (p. 183);
  • “…three or four fortunate individuals, who… were staring through it [a grating] with the same indefatigable perseverance with which…” (p. 255);
  • “‘It looks a nice warm exercise that, doesn’t it?’” he inquired of Wardle, when that gentleman was thoroughly out of breath, by reason of the indefatigable manner in which…” (p. 312);
  • “Mr. Weller communicated this secret with great glee, and winked so indefatigably after doing so, that…” (p. 346).
  • “It must not be supposed that any of these people have the least shadow of business in, or the remotest connexion with, the place they so indefatigably attend” (p. 456);
  • “‘No, I don’t, Sir’, replied Mr. Weller, beginning to button with extraordinary assiduity” (p. 474);
  • “…which the fat boy… expressed his perfect understanding of, by smirking, grinning and winking, with redoubled assiduity” (582).

Another favorite word is peremptory, which turns up even more often than indefatigable. Dickens’s characters occasionally “sally forth,” “fall into a violent perspiration,” and have cadaverous faces. Villains, when attacked, already then were in the habit of saying: “You will smart for this” (here Dodson and Fogg, and later Uriah Heep). However, none of those phrases became clichés with him.

Ajar. Mrs. Cluppins testifies: “‘I was there, …when I see Mrs. Bardell’s street on the jar’.” ‘On the what?” exclaimed the little Judge. “‘Partly open, my lord’,” said Sergeant Snubbin. “‘She said on the jar’,” said the little Judge, with a cunning look. “‘It’s all the same, my lord’,” said Sergeant Snubbin. The little Judge looked doubtful, and said he’d make a note of it” (p. 361).

Odds and ends. “The cloth was laid by an occasional chairwoman.…” (p. 408). Chairwoman for charwoman is supposed to have died out by the nineteenth century. Apparently, it did not. Skates is regularly spelled skaits, and visitor appears once as visiter (perhaps a misprint). Badinage, which also occurs only once, was in 1837 still printed in italics, and the most common synonym for exclaim was ejaculate (in grammar books, as late as the end of the nineteenth century, the usual term for interjection was ejaculation). Obviously, no dirty mind objected, for in the preface Dickens expressed his conviction that “throughout the book, no incident or expression occurs which could call a blush into the most delicate cheek.” The attributive use of slang “impertinent, etc.” was not too rare, but Dickens picked it up and ran away with it: “…a man… was performing the most popular steps of a hornpipe with a slang and burlesque caricature of grace and lightness…” (p. 441). Sam Weller’s father was sure that only an alibi could save Mr. Pickwick in the trial, and he, like most of us, had ideas about word origins: “…if your governor don’t prove a alleybi, he’ll be what the Italians call reg’larly flummoxed, and that’s all about it” (p. 345).

On America.

Here is what that gentleman (I mean Mr. Weller) thought of America. He proposed a plan to smuggle Mr. Pickwick out of prison and send him overseas: “The ‘Merrikin’ gov’ment will never give him up, ven vunce they finds as he’s got money, to spend, Sammy. …and then let him come back and write a book about ’Merrikins as’ll pay all his expenses and more, if he blows ’em up enough” (p. 485). Did Dickens remember this advice while writing Martin Chuzzlewit?

Election season.

Finally, now that our election season is coming to a head, we should not ignore the experience of our predecessors. The scene is set in Eatanswill, in which two parties, the Blues and the Buffs, fight. The honorable Mr. Slunkey, a Blue candidate, seems to have greater support, but at the moment the future of the seat is undecided. He is ready to greet the populace and is advised that “nothing has been left undone… there are twenty washed men at the street door for you to shake hands with; and six children in arms that you’re to pat on the head, and inquire the age of; be particular about the children, my dear Sir,—it has always a great effect, that sort of thing.” “…and perhaps, my dear Sir—if you could… manage to kiss one of ’em, it would produce a very great impression on the crowd.” “‘Would it have as good an effect if the proposer or seconder did that?’”… “‘Why, I am afraid it wouldn’t’,” replied the agent” (pp. 128-129). The candidate kissed them all and won. Both crowds were terribly excited, and Mr. Snodgrass did not know with which to shout. “‘Shout with the largest’, replied Mr. Pickwick. “Volumes could not have said more” (p. 122).

This is what I have scribbled for myself while reading the Pickwick Papers. Even if I happened to pursue my subject “with a perseverance worthy of a better cause,” I hope you have read my notes with “unruffled composure” and “unimpaired cheerfulness,” because they were “calculated to afford [you] the highest gratification.” And now that I have divested myself of all I know, I am empty and will have to go hungry, as the Big Bad Wolf said after Little Red Riding Hood and her grandmother jumped out of him undigested.

Headline image credit: Mr. Pickwick addresses the club. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

The post Post 450, descriptive of how the Oxford Etymologist spent part of this past August appeared first on OUPblog.

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6543. Trailer Unveiled For ‘Walt Before Mickey’

A new trailer has been unveiled for the Walt Before Mickey movie.

This film adaptation shares the same title as Timothy S. Susanin’s 2011 nonfiction book which features a forward written by Diane Disney Miller. The video embedded above offers glimpses of Thomas Ian Nicholas as a young Walt Disney and Jon Heder as his brother Roy Disney.

Here’s more from Deadline: “Disney fans got a peek at the 1960s-era Walt in last year’s Saving Mr. Banks, but Walt Before Mickey offers up the pre-Depression Era ‘missing decade’ during which he launched four studios and moved from Missouri to California, with varying degrees of success. Jodie Sweetin (Full House) and David Henrie (Wizards Of Waverly Place) also star for first-time feature helmer Khoa Le, who directs a script by Arthur L. Bernstein and Armando Gutierrez.”

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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6544. Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 279

I’m on vacation this week, which means I’ve been trying to stay as far away from the computer as I can most of the time. Mostly, I’ve just been messing around in the garage, the yard, the basement, and trying to design a haunted house for the kids. Fun stuff!

For this week’s prompt, write a messing around poem. There are a number of ways to take the phrase “messing around,” and I expect y’all will explore that territory well. For me, I’m going to write my poem and get back to messing around. Happy poeming!

*****

2015 Poet's Market

2015 Poet’s Market

Publish Your Poetry!

Learn how to get your poetry published with the latest (and greatest) edition of Poet’s Market. The 2015 Poet’s Market is filled with articles on the craft, business, and promotion of poetry, in addition to poet interviews and original poetry by contemporary poets.

Plus, the book is filled with hundreds of listings for poetry book publishers, chapbook publishers, magazines, journals, contests, grants, conferences, and more!

Click to continue.

*****

Here’s my attempt at a Messing Around Poem:

“Haunted House”

It started with cleaning the garage and fixing a chair
that might look nice in the office. Before long, I found
some old folding doors and poles. I made a were-
wolf, inspired by a plastic chair and TV tray. The sound

of little ohs and ahs filled my ears like it was Halloween,
so I started to design a maze and find the big box of
costumes and decorations. With the garage clean,
I could see clearly a future of trick or treat love.

*****

roberttwitterimageRobert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of the poetry collection, Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). He edits Poet’s Market, Writer’s Market, and Guide to Self-Publishing, in addition to writing a free weekly WritersMarket.com newsletter and poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine.

He has been designing a haunted house in his garage for Halloween and is still overwhelmed and excited that he even has a house that allows him to do such fun stuff. When he’s not messing around in the garage, he’s usually messing around with a pen and paper.

Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.

*****

Find more poetic tricks and treats here:

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6545. Every Writer's Mantra

Show don't tell is every writer's mantra and one of the first stumbling blocks a beginning writer encounters. Come time to revise before writing the next draft, writers with little background in the craft of writing a story with a plot find they've told the story rather than shown the story through scenes. Both writing in summary and in all dialogue, writing from a distance seems easier to manage. Even in first person POV, writers often unwittingly separate from the intimacy of sensuous story moments by narrating or telling the story.


This is fine, in the first draft. More than fine actually. I advise writing your story anyway you can from beginning all the way to end before going back and rewriting. This way you know what happens at the end which directly influences what comes in the beginning.

As you begin to understand how to write a scene, you find yourself overcompensating by following up your scenes with explanatory summaries.

Plot tip: Trust your writing
Plot tip: Trust your reader
Plot tip: Never repeat. Deepen.

You also struggle with issues that come up about the overall presentation of the story.

What POV is best for your story?
Where to put memories?
How to incorporate flashbacks
What is the optimum length your readers will enjoy?
What to put in?
What to leave out?
What are you trying to say; what do all the words add up to?
What will your reader be left with?

These are questions every novelist, writer grapples with when learning the craft of writing a story with a plot.

Today I write!
~~~~~~~~
For help: Read my Plot Whisperer and Blockbuster Plots books for writers.
~~~~
Ready to rewrite your story? First revise. 

  • Looking for tips to prop up your middle with excitement? 
  • Wish you understood how to show don't tell what your character is feeling? 
  • Are even you sometimes bored with your own story?
  • Long to form your concept into words? 
PlotWriMo help you with all of that and so much more! View your story in an entirely new light. Recharge your energy and enthusiasm for your writing.

PlotWwiMo: REVISE YOUR NOVEL IN A MONTH
PlotWriMo: Revise Your Novel in a Month includes 8 videos  (5.5 hours)  + 30 exercises

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6546. Everything on a Waffle (2001)

Everything on a Waffle. Polly Horvath. 2001/2008. Square Fish. 176 pages. [Source: Review copy]

There were things about Polly Horvath's Everything On a Waffle that I liked. I liked the heroine, Primrose Squarp. I liked how unique she was. She had a unique way of seeing the world around her, a unique perspective on just about everyone in town. The novel opens with tragedy, what most people would call tragedy. Primrose loses her mom and dad to a storm. Her dad was out sailing, her mom saw how horrible the storm was, got worried and left in another boat to go find him. Every single person in town, and, most every person from out of town who hears the story, concludes that Primrose's parents are dead. Their bodies have not been recovered, but, they are most certainly dead. Primrose arrives at the opposite conclusion. Her parents are not dead. They are not. They may be marooned on an island. They may be missing for a time. But her parents are most definitely alive. Many well intentioned folks in town encourage Primrose to come to terms with what has happened, to grieve her parents, to react and feel. But instead of Primrose coming to terms with her loss, it is the town who ends up coming to terms with Primrose and her unending optimism. No one is quite sure what to make of Primrose, she's just Primrose.

After a few weeks, Uncle Jack comes to stay with Primrose. Uncle Jack doesn't demand much from Primrose. He doesn't demand that she get in touch with her emotions and talk it all out. He lets Primrose be herself. And he accepts Primrose pretty much as is. And she does the same. Both are flawed beings, if you will. They seem to fit together well enough.

Miss Honeycut watches Primrose closely. She does not think Primrose is doing well at all. She thinks Primrose needs something that Uncle Jack could never give her.

One of the things that sets the book apart are the recipes at the end of every chapter. Also the small town quirky charm. I absolutely loved the idea of THE GIRL IN THE SWING restaurant. I loved the owner. I loved the idea that EVERYTHING on the menu came with waffles. Very unique.

As I said, I liked this one. I didn't love it.

© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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6547. Interview with Gwen Jones, Author of Kiss Me, Captain, and Giveaway

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Good morning, Gwen!  Describe yourself in five words or less.

[Gwen Jones] Big, tall ball of contention.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about your book?

[Gwen Jones] French billionaire Marcel Mercier loves women. And there’s a string of broken hearts across two continents to prove it. But as CEO of Mercier Shipping, he’s got more important things to worry about…like why the charter company he just purchased in the United States is suddenly the center of an international media firestorm. Now that big, bad Mercier Shipping owns Captain Dani Lloyd’s ship she’s sure her job is at stake. Not that she won’t go down without a fight—even if it means chaining herself to the mast of the Esther Reed and refusing to set foot on shore. The delectable captain and her news-worthy dramatics are a PR nightmare, but Marcel is happy to let Dani prove her skills on a week-long sail to Boston. He knows no woman can resist him for that long…in fact, he’s counting it. But Marcel’s plan to seduce Dani backfires as sparks fly between the billionaire playboy and the passionate captain. Which leaves Marcel realizing that winning her heart is a challenge he can’t afford to lose.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Gwen Jones] If you’ve read the first book in the “French Kiss” series, Wanted: Wife, you would have met Andy Devine’s half-brother, Marcel Mercier. The plot device used in Kiss Me, Captain comes from the family business. Now hurry and go get that first book! Now!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

[Gwen Jones] The book is set on a Delaware Bay schooner, which is patterned after New Jersey’s official tall ship, the A.J. Meerwald. The absolute best thing about that was getting to spend some time on the Meerwald, and doing the accompanying research. Research is always fun. Plus it’s tax deductible!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What gave you the most trouble with this story?

[Gwen Jones] Learning all that nautical stuff! Before I approached this project, I couldn’t tell my bow from my stern, let alone how to gauge distance in nautical miles or steer by the stars. Still, it was fun, and know it makes me sound really smart.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had a theme song, what would it be?

[Gwen Jones] “On Top of the World” by Imagine Dragons

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing you won’t leave home without.

[Gwen Jones] My self-confidence.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name three things on your desk right now.

[Gwen Jones] A Creative Writing textbook, a cup of Twining’s Orange Bliss tea, and a promo lip balm I got from Damon Suede at BEA.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you could trade places with anyone for just one day, who would you be?

[Gwen Jones] Myself, twenty years ago. I was a bookseller then, and man..was that was a great job. Sigh

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are some books that you enjoyed recently?

[Gwen Jones] I just got off deadline for two books since February, so my reading’s been mostly academic (I’m also a college professor) or The New Yorker. But now that I can breathe again, I’ll tell you what’s on my TBA pile: Written In My Own Heart’s Blood, by Diana Gabaldon, When the Marquess Met His Match, by Laura Lee Guhrke, and Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls, by David Sedaris. Plus other academia-related and non-fiction, but I don’t want to bore you to death!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Gwen Jones] Are you referring to what’s called “free time?” Interesting concept. I’m going to have to explore that sometime.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Gwen Jones] Oh, I’m all over the place like a cheap suit

Website: www.gwenjoneswrites.com

Facebook fan page https://www.facebook.com/gwenjoneswrites

Twitter: https://twitter.com/gwenjones25

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/gjones043 (though I’m still working on this one)

Readers can also visit my page at Avon/HarperCollins for links to books, insider info, blogs, contests and all kinda fun stuff! http://www.harpercollins.com/cr-107501/gwen-jones

Kiss Me, Captain: French Kiss # 2

By: Gwen Jones

Releasing August 26th, 2014

Avon: Impulse

Blurb

French billionaire Marcel Mercier loves women. And there’s a string of broken hearts across two continents to prove it. But as CEO of Mercier Shipping, he’s got more important things to worry about . . . like why the charter company he just purchased in the United States is suddenly the center of an international media firestorm.
Now that big, bad Mercier Shipping owns Captain Dani Lloyd’s ship, she’s sure her job is at stake. But she won’t go down without a fight—even if it means chaining herself to the mast of the Esther Reed and refusing to set foot on shore.
The delectable captain and her newsworthy dramatics are a PR nightmare, but Marcel is happy to let Dani prove her skills on a weeklong sail to Boston. He knows no woman can resist him for that long . . . in fact, he’s counting on it.
But Marcel’s plan to seduce Dani backfires as sparks fly between the billionaire playboy and the passionate captain. Which leaves Marcel realizing that winning her heart is a challenge he can’t afford to lose.

Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2014/07/kiss-me-captain-by-gwen-jones-french.html

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20827366-kiss-me-captain?from_search=true

Buy Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Kiss-Me-Captain-French-Novel-ebook/dp/B00ICN508E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1406660322&sr=8-1&keywords=kiss+me+captain

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Kiss-Me-Captain-A-French-Kiss-Novel?store=allproducts&keyword=Kiss+Me%2C+Captain%3A+A+French+Kiss+Novel

iTunes : https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/kiss-me-captain/id824151710?mt=11

Author Info

Gwen Jones has an MFA in Creative Writing from Western Connecticut State University and is an adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Mercer County Community College. Gwen is a fabulously talented and creative writer who mirrors the style of Nora Roberts with depth of character, intelligence and humor. She is currently working on another brilliant romance, with an expected completion in the Summer of 2013. She is a member of Liberty States Fiction Writers, The Romance Writers of America, and blogs at http://gwenjoneswrites.com.

Author Links

Website: http://gwenjoneswrites.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/gwenjones25

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gwenjoneswrites

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1439257.Gwen_Jones

Rafflecopter Giveaway (Three Ebook Copies of KISS ME, CAPTAIN)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The post Interview with Gwen Jones, Author of Kiss Me, Captain, and Giveaway appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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6548. Natsko Seki: dynamic urban illustrations

Telephone booths

Bookshop

Westminster

Italy

Eating & Drinking

Natsko Seki collages lively, saturated scenes of urban life from her own drawings and photographs. Begging to be explored, each illustration is populated with human activity and contains clues left by a moment in time that—if only yesterday—is now lost. Iconic architecture stands as a grandiose reminder that Seki’s people are living in the shadows of history and are unknowing participants in the writing of their city’s centuries. Seki’s interest in architecture, fashion, and contemporary urban life has landed her commissions with Transport for London, Royal Historic Palaces, The Guardian, Bloomsbury, and Hermès. In 2013, Louis Vuitton published a book of Seki’s London illustrations as part of their travel books collection. Seki grew up in Tokyo and studied illustration in Brighton, UK. She now lives in London.

A look into Natsko Seki’s process | Online Portfolio

0 Comments on Natsko Seki: dynamic urban illustrations as of 1/1/1900
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6549. Natsko Seki: dynamic urban illustrations

Telephone booths

Bookshop

Westminster

Italy

Eating & Drinking

Natsko Seki collages lively, saturated scenes of urban life from her own drawings and photographs. Begging to be explored, each illustration is populated with human activity and contains clues left by a moment in time that—if only yesterday—is now lost. Iconic architecture stands as a grandiose reminder that Seki’s people are living in the shadows of history and are unknowing participants in the writing of their city’s centuries. Seki’s interest in architecture, fashion, and contemporary urban life has landed her commissions with Transport for London, Royal Historic Palaces, The Guardian, Bloomsbury, and Hermès. In 2013, Louis Vuitton published a book of Seki’s London illustrations as part of their travel books collection. Seki grew up in Tokyo and studied illustration in Brighton, UK. She now lives in London.

A look into Natsko Seki’s process | Online Portfolio

0 Comments on Natsko Seki: dynamic urban illustrations as of 9/10/2014 11:06:00 AM
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6550. New Voice: Rachel M. Wilson on Don't Touch

Book Club Guide

By Cynthia Leitich Smith
for Cynsations

Rachel M. Wilson is the first-time author of Don't Touch (HarperTeen, 2014). From the promotional copy:

A powerful story of a girl who is afraid to touch another person’s skin, until the boy auditioning for Hamlet opposite her Ophelia gives her a reason to overcome her fears.

Step on a crack, break your mother’s back. Touch another person’s skin, and Dad’s gone for good.

Caddie can’t stop thinking that if she keeps from touching another person’s skin, her parents might get back together... which is why she wears full-length gloves to school and covers every inch of her skin.

It seems harmless at first, but Caddie’s obsession soon threatens her ambitions as an actress. She desperately wants to play Ophelia in her school’s production of Hamlet. But that would mean touching Peter, who’s auditioning for the title role—and kissing him. Part of Caddie would love nothing more than to kiss Peter—but the other part isn't sure she's brave enough to let herself fall.

Perfect for fans of Laurie Halse Anderson, this debut novel from Rachel M. Wilson is a moving story of a talented girl who's fighting an increasingly severe anxiety disorder, and the friends and family who stand by her.

Could you tell us the story of "the call" or "the email" when you found out that your book had sold? How did you react? How did you celebrate?

Because of how things work at Harper Collins, there were many “calls” with several stages of increasing excitement: They’re interested! It’s going to an editorial meeting! It made it through editorial! It’s going to acquisitions!

All these different people have to sign off on the book, and on the days of those various meetings, it was surreal going to work knowing that in New York, people I’d never met were making decisions about my book.

We had other interest as well, so I had the opportunity to speak with the prospective editors.

“The call” I remember is the one in which I heard the final offers and needed to make a decision by end of day.

At the time, I was coordinating an after-school program. The kids would be arriving any minute, but I ducked into a classroom to hash out the pros and cons with my agent, Sara Crowe. I also called my friend Varian Johnson for moral support.

I’m terrible with big decisions—I always mourn the loss of the path not taken even when I’m confident I’ve made a good choice—and I needed to hear voices I trusted supporting my decision. I couldn’t really go wrong, but at the same time it felt like a Choose Your Own Adventure book where any path might lead to a swamp monster devouring my book deal.

After I made my choice official, I had to continue on with work and have a normal afternoon, and none of it felt real.

It finally hit me when a friend said she’d seen the announcement in Publishers Marketplace. I saw her message in a parking lot, started to drive away, and then had to pull over and sob.

It was the weekend of AWP in Chicago, so I walked around the conference all weekend with this secret knowledge, wanting to tell everyone.

Luckily, I had plenty of writerly friends in town to share the good news. A few of us went to The Magic Parlour at the Palmer House Hilton, and I went to the VCFA meetup at AWP and won a VCFA teddy bear in the raffle, which was the nicest coincidence since he always reminds me of how unstoppable I felt that whole weekend.

How have you approached the task of promoting your debut book? What online or real-space efforts are you making? Where did you get your ideas? To whom did you turn for support? Are you enjoying the process, or does it feel like a chore? What advice do you have on this front for your fellow debut authors and for those in the years to come?

How have I approached it? Like a mascot on ice skates, which is to say with much enthusiasm, limited foresight, and little regard for my personal well-being. It seriously feels like a full-time job, and it can become one if you let it.

Organization is key. A production manager friend of mine recently helped me overhaul my task management and email systems. For the first time in my life, I have an empty inbox, and I’ve been using Trello to track to-dos. I try to say "yes" to every opportunity, so anytime I’m offered an interview or guest blog, I add it to Trello and set a deadline so I won’t fail to follow through.

Remy Frankenstein
My main support system and fount of ideas has been the OneFour Kidlit debut author group. On our forum, we ask each other questions like, “What’s the deal with book plates?” “Where does one get book plates?” “What does one do with book plates?” “Do I seriously need book plates?” etc., etc.

For the record, I have not ordered bookplates.

I may regret that.

That’s the thing about promotion—there’s no end to what you could do, little agreement on what you should do, and definite limits on what you can do. This way lies madness.

Knowing myself, I’m more likely to follow through with something I’ll enjoy on multiple levels. And since there is limited time and money for all of this, I might as well spend it on the fun parts.

For example, I proposed a giveaway contest to Fashion by the Book. I enjoy that blog, I want to get more involved with Tumblr, and the contest is something I’d want to do—I like making outfits with Polyvore. After seeing several of my fellow debut authors running giveaways of annotated ARCs and thinking that would be fun, I decided to make my own.

I’m also making a book trailer. That might not be fun for every author, but as a theater person in a major city, I’m able to wrangle many helpful friends, including an amazing director and casting director, Matt Miller, whose webseries, "Teachers," was recently picked up for a pilot with TV Land.

Beyond getting organized and having fun, my advice is to brainstorm all the possibilities—even the ones that seem out of reach, make wish lists, prioritize, be generous in helping out other authors, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Reach out to bloggers and suggest promotional posts or giveaways; ask your friends and your publisher for support. As long as you’re being kind and respectful of people’s time, the worst they can say is "no," and I’ve found that "yeses" are far more common.

train tracks in Irondale, AL, where the book is set
Cynsational Screening Room

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