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Viewing: Blog Posts from All 1553 Blogs, since 4/24/2008 [Help]
Results 20,676 - 20,700 of 495,013
20676. Benny and Penny in Lost and Found! by Geoffrey Hayes, RL: 1.5

Benny and Penny in LOST and FOUND! is the fifth book in this wonderful series of leveled reader graphic novels from Geoffrey Hayes and the amazing people at TOON Books. Hayes's soft, colored pencil illustrations and his big-eyed bickering siblings charmed me from the start. There is something richly old-fashioned and even, if I may say, Beatrix-Potter-esque about the flora and fauna Hayes

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20677. YALLFest 2014 | Event Recap

The heart of Young Adult Fiction descended into picturesque Charleston, SC on November 7, 2014 as 60 Young Adult authors, including 37 New York Times bestsellers, joined together for the 4th Annual Charleston Young Adult Book Festival (“YALLFest”).

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20678. Guest Post and Giveaway: Tina Wainscott, Author of Wild Nights

Welcome Tina Wainscott back to the virtual offices!

Top 5 things you would never find in Saxby’s duffle bag by Tina Wainscott

Saxby Cole is a Southern charmer, dubbed the “prince of Cole, Louisiana” by the ladies in his hometown. While he was supposed to head up his family’s grill company, Sax is all about doing bigger things … like fighting for his country. And now, fighting for justice outside the bounds of the law. He’s been told, since he was knee-high to a mudbug, that Cole men are incapable of monogamy, so Sax is committed to never committing and breaking a lady’s heart.

I’m going to let Sax himself tell you the Top 5 things you would never find in his duffle bag:

“One of those protein bars. Haven’t found one yet that tastes like food and doesn’t remind me of MRE’s—meals ready to eat. That’s the stuff we ate when we were deployed, like spaghetti in a bag. If I’m throwing a snack in there, it’s a Snickers bar. Chocolate, caramel, and peanuts … all good.”

“Sweatpants. Not that I’m a prima donna or anything, but baggy ole sweats are just damned ugly. And I don’t like them on a lady either.”

“Flip flops. While I’m no pretty boy, I do value a classy pair of shoes. Flip flops are for girls, sissies, or surfers.”

“A care package from my sisters. Man, did I get teased about that when I was in the SEALs. They’d pack obnoxious things like nose hair clippers, a portable urine holder, and homemade cookies with smiley faces on them and goofy sayings. It was sweet but embarrassing at the same time.”

“A CD with a love song mix. I don’t do mushy music. For one thing, if I’m with a lady, it gives her ideas. And it makes me kinda sad, too, that I won’t have that ‘everlasting love’ thing. You know who has sexy music without it being obvious? Led Zeppelin. Yep, some Zepp, some Kings of Leon, a little Maroon 5, and we’re rockin’.”

 

Wild Nights

The Justiss Alliance #3

By: Tina Wainscott

Releasing: Nov 4th, 2014

Loveswept

Blurb

The courageous men of USA Today bestselling author Tina Wainscott’s Justiss Alliance series never give up and never make a promise they can’t live up to—especially when love is on the line.

The only commitment Saxby Cole has ever made is to the SEALs. He follows a long line of Southern charmers who swear monogamy isn’t in their blood. He’s never met a woman who made him want to swear his allegiance—until, while undercover for a Justiss Alliance assignment, he finds a woman who makes him think twice.

When Jennessy Shaw’s boyfriend dumps her right before their vacation to a hedonistic Caribbean resort, she goes without him to explore her wild side. Throwing caution to the wind, she propositions Saxby—only to suffer his gentle rejection.

When she wakes in Saxby’s room with no memory of the night before, Jennessy discovers his real purpose: to sniff out an operation where women like her are drugged and prostituted to resort guests. She goes from victim to his investigative partner . . . but getting too close to the sexier-than-sin Saxby may be her wildest move yet.

Praise for the Justiss Alliance series

“Tina Wainscott delivers high-octane suspense and red-hot romance! Full of edge-of-your-seat action and red-hot passion, Wild on You is a souped-up roller coaster of a page-turner.”—Julie Ann Walker, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Black Knights Inc. series

“Bad boys breaking rules and hearts and dishing up justice—Tina Wainscott nails it!”—New York Times bestselling author Cindy Gerard

Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2014/08/wild-nights-justiss-alliance-3-by-tina.html

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22234180-wild-nights

Buy Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KAFVOGE?ie=UTF8&tag=randohouseinc-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B00KAFVOGE

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wild-nights-tina-wainscott/1119471240?ean=9780345548368&itm=1&usri=9780345548368&cm_mmc=Random%20House-_-Wild%20Nights-RandomHouse-9780345548368-_-Wild%20Nights-RandomHouse-9780345548368-_-Wild%20Nights-RandomHouse-9780345548368

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/wild-nights-6

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/wild-nights/id877158042?mt=11

Or, Purchase at Amazon | Barnes | iBooks | Kobo

Author Info

USA Today bestselling author Tina Wainscott has always loved the combination of romance and suspense, because nothing complements falling in love better than being hunted down. The author of more than thirty novels and novellas, Wainscott creates characters with baggage, past hurts, and vulnerabilities. They go through hell, find love, and, at the end, find peace in who they are and everything they’ve gone through. And isn’t that what everyone wants?

Author Links

Website: http://www.tinawainscott.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tinawainscottbooks
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Tina_Wainscott
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4731539.Tina_Wainscott

Or,

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Rafflecopter Giveaway ($25.00 Choice Book Seller eGift Card and Loveswept Mug & Tote)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The post Guest Post and Giveaway: Tina Wainscott, Author of Wild Nights appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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20679. on the science of poetry

<!--[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE <![endif]-->CLA Master Class: Poetry Across the Curriculum
NCTE 2014


Within both poetry and science beat the twin hearts of observation and imagination. In my kindergarten classroom, we talk about Noticing and Wondering--about how using your five senses to attend to the world all around, and about how asking questions and testing out guesses, make you smarter.



Both poets and scientists begin their work with close observation.  The most striking poems stand on the poet’s ability to help us notice something familiar in a new way.  Ground-breaking, life-changing science is built on the scientist’s ability to wonder how something familiar works or might be put to work. Both pursuits are deeply creative.



I emphasize this broader view of the scientific process because it can be difficult to achieve the right conditions for laboratory experimentation in the elementary classroom--but it is always possible to facilitate observation and imagination.



Poetry is a powerful tool for inspiring a scientific turn of mind: on the front end as introduction, and later as a means for recording and summary.  Let’s look at how a series of well-selected poems can lead into, enrich and then expand a study of leaves—an easily accessible, versatile and essential natural resource.



For the youngest students, begin with something simple and active like Amy Ludwig VanDerwater’s “Raking.” (2011)  For older students, start with the intoxicating “Plenty” of autumn leaves (Mordhorst 2009).  Next, draw children’s attention to a single leaf with Merriam’s “Reply to the Question: How Can You Become a Poet?” (Hoberman 2009).



Already in the first lines of this poem students are coached in how to really look at a thing, and in becoming both scientist and poet.  By the end, they have used all their faculties to consider the lowly, perfect leaf.  Now is the time to fetch bags of leaves into the classroom and to compare, sort, identify and label quantities of (free!) leaves.



“A hole is to dig,” (Krauss 1952) but what is a leaf?  Laura Salas provides plenty of answers in A Leaf Can Be (2012)— “Shade spiller/Mouth filler/Tree topper/Rain stopper”.  What else can your students think of?  Challenge them to engineer new uses for different kinds of actual leaves. 



Does your curriculum include life cycle and ecology studies?  Share “In Hardwood Groves” (Frost 1926), emphasizing the cyclical nature of “the same leaves over and over again” going “down into the dark decayed.”



Finally, offer students the opportunity to write their own leaf poems. Some will describe, some will invent, some will teach in their poems. If you have children who need a scaffold, open their twin hearts of observation and imagination with the line, “I thought I knew leaves, but now…”  Answering this question of how we know what we know is the poetry of science.

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20680. Anxiety in non-human primates

Anxiety disorders adversely affect millions of people and account for substantial morbidity in the United States. Anxiety disrupts an individual’s ability to effectively engage and interact in social and non-social situations. The onset of anxiety disorders may begin at an early age or occur in response to life events. Thus, the effects of anxiety are broad ranging, affecting both family and work dynamics, and may limit an individual’s quality of life.

While there has been a great deal of research focused on anxious behavior and anxiety disorders in the past few decades, there is still much we do not know. In order to better understand anxiety disorders, and to develop novel options for those who are nonresponsive to current treatments, scientists need to investigate the biobehavioral mechanisms that underlie the expression of anxiety related behavior. Research with humans subjects is one strategy used to gain insight on how to effectively treat anxiety disorders. However, there are inherent difficulties with such studies, including complex life histories and differences in access to resources (such as health care), as well as ethical issues. Common physiology between humans and other animals allow for the development of animal models that allow scientists to examine the neurobiological underpinnings of anxiety disorders. The non-human primate (NHP) has been used in the study of anxiety due to the physiological, behavioral and neural commonalities we share.

One type of anxiety assessment in non-human primates relies on direct behavioral observations, either in the animal’s ‘home environment’ or in a situation in which the animal is mildly challenged to induce an anxious state. In these procedures, observers typically look for the presence of behaviors indicative of anxiety, including fear and displacement behaviors (normal behaviors that may occur at seemingly inappropriate times). For example, in certain stressful situations, macaques may pick at their hair, a behavior similar to hair twirling in humans. Importantly anxiolytic drugs that reduce the occurrence of these behaviors in humans have been shown to reduce these behaviors in non-human primates, suggesting a common biological mechanism.

One commonly used procedure to assess anxiety in non-human primates is the “Human Intruder Test” (HIT). This procedure was designed to evaluate an animal’s response to the “uncertainty” of the presence of an unfamiliar human. The species appropriate response when presented with this mild challenge is to remain still and vigilant; however, there is a range of responses, with some animals showing little response and others excessive freezing behavior. Variations of this procedure have used similar stimuli, including unfamiliar conspecifics and predatory threats (e.g., stuffed predator) to measure anxiety-related responses. Animals that exhibit heightened anxiety responses in the Human Intruder Test also show alterations in the same neurobiological systems affected in humans with anxiety disorders.

Barbary macaque. CC0 via Pixabay.
Barbary macaque. CC0 via Pixabay.

Another class of anxiety tests in non-human primates relies on measuring physiological response following the presentation of an unexpected auditory or motor stimulus. For example, anxious people are more likely than others to react to a brief, unexpected sound with an exaggerated heart rate. Researchers have adopted similar methodology to assess startle response for nonhuman primates using a wide range of stimuli and physiological parameters.

Other research has focused on the cognitive processes involved in the regulation of anxiety responses. These tests of “cognitive bias” are based on the idea that an individual’s tendency to attend to potentially noxious stimuli tell us something about how the individual processes or weighs the experience. Therefore, an individual’s “anxious” state can be by assessed from his or her judgment about or attention to stimuli with different potentials to evoke anxiety. Cognitive bias procedures have been adapted and successfully employed in humans and other animals with similar response strategies across species, making these tests valuable comparative tools in our understanding of anxious behavior behavior.

Our review presents non-human primate models used by scientists in an effort to understand the biobehavioral mechanisms that mediate anxiety. The cross-species approach of modeling human psychopathology aims to discover targets for treatment toward the goal of reducing human suffering caused by anxiety disorders. Additionally, the knowledge gained from our investigation of anxiety-like behavior inform captive care of non-human primates. The studies reviewed have refined our understanding of factors that may result in anxiety-like behavior and provide information on how to manage them. Modeling psychopathology in non-human primates is necessary and critical to our understanding and treatment of these disorders in humans and nonhuman primates.

The post Anxiety in non-human primates appeared first on OUPblog.

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20681. Agent Looking to Build List

CSLOGO

Lana Popovic

lana-popovic-literary-agent

Lana Popovic

Lana Popovic holds a B.A. with honors from Yale University, a J.D. from the Boston University School of Law, where she focused on intellectual property, and an M.A. with highest honors from the Emerson College Publishing and Writing program. Prior to joining Chalberg & Sussman, Lana worked at Zachary Shuster Harmsworth, where she built a list of Young Adult and adult literary authors while managing foreign rights for the agency.

Lana’s clients include Leah Thomas (Because You’ll Never Meet Me, forthcoming from Bloomsbury), Rebecca Podos (The Mystery of Hollow Places, forthcoming from Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins), Michelle Smith (Play On, forthcoming from Spencer Hill Contemporary), and Marie Jaskulka (The Lost Marble Notebook of Forgotten Girl and Random Boy, forthcoming from Skyhorse).

With an abiding love for dark themes and shamelessly nerdy fare—Battlestar Galactica and Joss Whedon are two of her great loves—Lana is looking for a broad spectrum of Young Adult and Middle Grade projects, from contemporary realism to speculative fiction, fantasy, horror, and sci-fi. For the adult market, Lana is interested in literary thrillers, horror, fantasy, sophisticated erotica and romance, and select nonfiction. An avid traveler, she has a particular fondness for stories set in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia, although she also loves reading about American subcultures.

Lana is accepting:

  1. Young Adult/Middle Grade Fiction: Contemporary/realistic, mysteries, thrillers, fantasy, historical, horror, sci-fi
  2. Adult Fiction: Literary thrillers, sci-fi, horror, romance, erotica, women’s literary fiction
  3. Adult Nonfiction: Pop culture, blog-to-book, literary memoir

Twitter at @LanaPopovicLit.

To query Lana, please email lana@chalbergsussman.com with the first ten pages of the manuscript included in the body of the email. Lana accepts queries by email only.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Agent, Editor & Agent Info, inspiration, opportunity, Places to Submit Tagged: Boston University School of Law, Chalberg & Sussman, Lana Popovic, Yale University

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20682. Ten facts about cumbia, Colombia’s principal musical style

In celebration of tonight’s Latin Grammy Awards, I delved into Grove Music Online to learn more about distinct musical styles and traditions of Latin American countries. Colombia’s principal musical style is the cumbia, with its related genres porro and vallenato. In the traditional cumbia proper, couples dance in a circle around seated musicians, with the woman shuffling steps while the man moves in a more zigzag pattern around her. The cumbia usually takes place at night while women hold bundles of candles in colored handkerchiefs in their right hands. Although traditional cumbia is now primarily performed by folklore troupes at Carnivals and other festivals, cumbia has contributed significantly to the development of related musical styles. Below are ten interesting facts about the cumbia.

  1. The cumbia is accompanied by one of two ensembles: the conjunto de cumbia (also known as cumbiamba) and the conjunto de gaitas. The former consists of five instruments, while the latter includes two duct flutes, a llamador and a maraca.
  2. The conjunto de cumbia includes one melody instrument called the caña de millo (‘cane of millet’), locally known as the pito, which is a clarinet made of a tube open at both ends with four finger holes near one end and a reed cut from the tube itself at the other end.
  3. Other instruments include the gaita hembra (‘female flute’) and the gaita macho (‘male flute’). While the gaita hembra is used for the melody, the gaita macho provides heterophony in conjunction with a maraca.
  4. The bullerengue and the danza de negro are two other musical genres of the region, which have African characteristics. The bullerengue is an exhibition dance, filled with hip movement, performed by a single couple. Meanwhile, the danza de negro is a special Carnival dance performed by men who paint themselves blue, strip to the waist, dance in a crouched position with wooden swords, and demand money or rum from passerby.
  5. In the early 20th century, town brass bands began adapting the cumbia to a more cosmopolitan style. Between 1905 and 1910, musicians in numerous towns began these adaptations, which were strongly developed in the town of San Pelayo. Thus, the terms pelayera or papayeraare commonly used in reference to this type of ensemble.
  6. Vallenato, a genre related to traditional cumbia, also originated in the Colombian Atlantic region. Performed by an ensemble consisting of accordion, vocals, caja (a small double-headed drum) and guacharaca (a notched gourd scraper), vallenato is similar to cumbia in accenting beats 2 and 4, but places a stronger emphasis on the crotchet-quaver rhythmic cell.
  7. Another style of music related to cumbia is Música tropical, which developed from the dance band arrangements of Afro-Colombian styles during the 1930s and 40s. Música tropical is similar to the ballroom rumba popular throughout the Americas and Europe, although with it maintains a simpler rhythmic base and more florid melodic style.
  8. Música tropical also offered a response to the international vogue for Cuban Music, which was both Caribbean and uniquely Colombian at the same time. By the late 1950s, música tropical had found its way into the leading social clubs and ballrooms of the country.
  9. Throughout the 1960s, música tropical remained the national Colombian style. Recordings by groups like La Sonora Dinamita, Los Corraleros de Majagual and Los Graduados enjoyed a brief national popularity, but had a greater impact outside the country, spreading a simplified form of cumbia to Mexico, Central America, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Chile, where the style became very important.
  10. During the 1940s and 50s the musical pioneers Lucho Bermúdez and Pacho Galán composed and arranged big-band adaptations of cumbias, among other genres, popularizing the sound which became the new national music of Colombia.

Finally, watch a well-known cumbia — La pollera colera:

Headline image credit: Monumento a la cumbia, 2006. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

The post Ten facts about cumbia, Colombia’s principal musical style appeared first on OUPblog.

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20683. New Book: Letters from Heaven / Cartas del cielo


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Celeste is heartbroken when her grandmother dies. But everything changes when a letter mysteriously comes in the mail—from Grandma! As letters continue to arrive from the beyond, each with a recipe of a favorite food her grandmother used to prepare, Celeste consoles herself by learning how to cook the dishes.

Meanwhile, without Grandma’s Social Security check Mami needs to get a second job to make ends meet. Celeste has to quit dance lessons, and a bully at school gloats that she will replace Celeste as the star in the upcoming recital. To top things off, her friends think that she has gone crazy . . . dead people can’t send letters!

Soon Celeste realizes that all the recipes combined make an entire meal: café con leche, guava and cheese croissants, congrí, plantain chips, ropa vieja and flan. Can she really make a Cuban feast to celebrate her cherished grandmother’s life?

Published in bilingual "flip" format by Arte Público Press, this middle-grade novel celebrates the cultural traditions of the Spanish Caribbean while tackling challenging subjects, such as trouble with friends and the death of a grandparent. The book includes six traditional Cuban recipes with easy-to-follow instructions.

 “A tender depiction of a child’s acceptance of the death of a beloved grandmother and the cultural importance of traditional foods.”
—Kirkus Reviews

 “This delightful novel is a Like Water for Chocolate for young readers. Celeste rises out of her grief by replacing her sadness with el sabor of life, by living as her grandmother did, with love and flavor."
— Judith Ortiz Cofer, author of Call Me María

 “Add one girl who misses her abuelita to a handful of coveted Cuban recipes, stir in a pinch of magic and you get a heartening tale of love, loss and the healing power of family and friendship.” 
—Laura Lacámara, author of Dalia’s Wondrous Hair / El cabello maravilloso de Dalia

 “A poignant and uplifting story about the special bond only a grandmother and a granddaughter can share. Delicious and magical!” 
—Reyna Grande, author of The Distance Between Us



Letters from Heaven / Cartas del cielo
by Lydia Gil ISBN-13: 978-1-55885-798-8
Available now from Piñata Books, Arte Público Press

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20684. Will We See You?

We are excited to present at #NCTE14 this year. Come check out our session G.07, Saturday at 9:30!

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20685. Interview with Children’s Book Author – Melissa Moraja

Can you guess what time it is? Of course you know…Its Author Interview Thursday!Melissa Moraja - Children's Book Author Today’s special guest has a very full plate but took some time out of her busy schedule to be with us today. I met her on a book giveaway we were both involved in earlier this year. Her popular book series about the Wunderkind Family has been shared with multiple audiences at book events and schools. Her mission is to create books that promote self-awareness, self-development, creative learning and leadership with the family in mind. She runs two successful blogs and its been a delight getting to know her in the build up to today’s interview. Please join me in welcoming Melissa Moraja.

 

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and the first time someone complemented you on something you had written? 

First, I’d like to thank you for this wonderful opportunity! Your children’s books are such a fun read, with learning lessons that add great value to parenting. Thank you again! And now a little bit about me…

I’m a Mom to four active kids, an author and illustrator, and social media and digital marketing strategist. I also coach soccer and fast pitch softball, hand paint wine glasses, and blog!

The first time someone complemented my writing. I would say it was in 2007. I had sent my very first manuscript titled “Empower Your Soul” to James Van Praagh, Spiritual Medium, author and producer who said it was the most comprehensive self-help book he ever read. He was right! I had a lot of content in it.

 

What can a reader expect when they pick up a book written by Melissa Moraja?Isabella Babysits Baxter

Every book I have written is focused on self-development, including my children’s books. The way I teach it to children is through humor.

 

What role would you say social media plays in building an author’s platform and have you found it helpful in marketing your book?

Social Media is key in every profession, especially authors and illustrators. It helps spread the word without a huge investment to your target audience. What better medium can you use to be able to simply use a #hashtag to bring awareness to your brand. If someone finds your product or brand of interest, then they will share it with their friends who hopefully will share it with more friends. It has endless possibilities such as gaining a following and fan base, to obtaining reviews, to learning more about other’s successes!

 

What were some of your favorite books as a child? 

I loved Dr. Seuss. But who doesn’t? I also have always been a fan of Judy Blume’s books. It was the Fourth Grade Nothing that caught my interest in reading.

 

What tips would you offer children’s authors with regard to working with an illustrator?Melissa Reading to a School Audience

I actually am fortunate that I haven’t had to hire an illustrator. I illustrate and design all my books. However, when I first started, I did look into hiring someone and then chose to do it myself. While I was looking, one of the most important things for me was the illustrators style. You have to like their style of art. In addition, you need to be able to work and communicate effectively together. This is a relationship and the illustrations on the page need to fit the authors writing style.

 

How do you reward yourself once your book is published?

My biggest reward has been showing my published books to my four kids and seeing their reaction! I have an 11 year old boy, 10 year old boy, 10 year old girl, and 3 year old girl. They have been my biggest fans and supporters. They’ll jump around a bit and then they run over to me to give me a big hug! Later in the evening, I treat myself to a nice glass of wine and a big Cadbury chocolate bar!

 

Toy Story or Shrek?

Definitely Shrek! I love the old classic tales with a spin. Shrek is just funny, where I found Toy Story to be much more serious. I also wasn’t a huge fan on the voices of the characters in Toy Story.

 

What do your four children think of Mommy the Author?Josh and the Gumshoe News

They are so proud of me! And its inspired them and their friends to write and draw. My daughter tells everyone that her mom can do anything if she puts her mind to it. I’ve been telling her that since she was a little toddler. I want my kids (and other kids) to know and believe that they can create any dream that they have. Some dreams and goals may take longer to create because they don’t have all the skills or resources. But if they put their mind to it, they can accomplish anything!

 

You have several active blogs. Can you give us some tips on maintaining a blog and attracting a loyal readership?

Content is one of the most important things. Some of my blog posts get a lot of views while others don’t. I pay attention to that, writing what my followers and friends like to read. Another is getting involved with reviews and giveaways. It’s another way of attracting visitors who then can become followers and may even end up as friends!

 

What can we expect from Melissa Moraja in the next 12 months?

I’m a little behind on the Wunderkind Family chapter books. Come the new year, I’ll be rolling up my sleeves to begin writing and illustrating two books – the first will be a chapter book starring Josh and the Gumshoe News Crew; the second will be another Wunderkind Family picture book starring Isabella and Baxter which I plan to publish fall of 2015.

 

Where can readers and fans connect with you?Melissa Moraja at School Event

Website: http://www.melissaproductions.com

Blog: http://www.notyourordinarypsychicmom.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/melissaproductions

http://www.facebook.com/notyourordinarypsychicmom

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/melissaprod

Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/melissamoraja

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/melissamoraja

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/melissaproductions

 

Any advice for authors out there who are either just starting out or getting frustrated with the industry? 

Don’t give up! It takes time. One of the first things I suggest is try to figure out why you want to be published. Are you looking to have a career in writing or is this just a hobby? That can help a lot with determining your next steps such as should you find a literary agent or self-publish. Also, make sure you have someone edit and review before you publish. Critique groups are extremely beneficial to new writers and illustrators. There are many online Critique groups now.

 

Thanks for sharing so much with us today Melissa. I like the fact you ended by encouraging us not to give up and to be aware that success sometimes (dare I say, most times) does take time and to have a clear reason and focus as to why we do what we do. Please connect with Melissa at the links she provided and share this interview using the social media buttons below. I believe one of her books would make an ideal Christmas gift so click the link below to grab one for a loved one.

Melissa Moraja Books on Amazon

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20686. Poetry and Imagination



Poem-Mobiles: Crazy Car Poems
by J. Patrick Lewis and Douglas Florian
illustrated by Jeremy Holmes
Schwartz & Wade, 2014

As I noted last Wednesday, J. Patrick Lewis' anthology title says it all: "Everything is a Poem." Last Thursday, we looked at science in poetry, Monday we looked at nature in poetry. Tuesday, the focus was on history in poetry, yesterday we took a look at biography in poetry. Today, let's have fun with imagination in poetry.

The subtitle of this book says it all: "Crazy Car Poems."

If that didn't get your attention, check out the co-authors -- J. Patrick Lewis and Douglas Florian. Now you KNOW you're in for some fun, right?

If you're still not sure, here's a bit from the introduction poem, "Introduction:"

"...But someday our fantastic cars
Might look like cool dark chocolate bars,

Banana splits, hot dogs or fish --
Or any kind of ride you wish..."

This book is all kinds of imaginative fun. The plays on words are groan-worthy, and the illustrations are a blast.

Poem-Mobiles was reviewed by Jama at Jama's Alphabet Soup (check out the picture of the Teddy-Go-Cars -- doesn't that make you want to use up some of the leftover Halloween candy making Snickermobiles?)


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20687. The Sound of Music Movie Review

The Sound of MusicThe Sound of Music (rated G) Movie Review

My favorite movie would have to be The Sound Of Music! I love the story that it tells and how it does it in such a creative way. The characters sing songs to express their feelings, which is not something you see in an everyday movie. The music is what I love most about the movie. I get the songs stuck in my head for days after watching it!

I would recommend this movie to children my age for various reasons. To begin with, if you are a music lover like me, then this is what to watch because there are many different types of songs. Some songs are happy or funny, while others are romantic or sad. The actors and actresses are so talented.

In addition, the movie is all about the love that the nanny, Maria, gives to the seven kids she cares for. They learn to love her even though they want to be mean to her at first. It shows you that sometimes things work out differently than you planned. Also, the romance between the father of the household and Maria will leave you on the edge of your seat.

Lastly, this movie informs as much as it does entertain. I learned a lot about what happened during World War II, which is a very important time in history. I love The Sound Of Music, and I bet others will too. It is a classic, but also an original! I recommend it to everyone. I think this is the best movie of all time, and I can’t wait for more people to enjoy the thrill that I had when I first saw it!

Grace, Scholastic Kids Council

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20688. Will We See You?

We are excited to present at #NCTE14 this year. Come check out our session G.07, Saturday at 9:30!

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20689. Luciano Floridi responds to NYROB review of The Fourth Revolution

In the October 9th edition of the New York Review of Books, philosopher John Searle criticized Luciano Floridi’s The Fourth Revolution, noting that Floridi “sees himself as the successor to Copernicus, Darwin, and Freud, each of whom announced a revolution that transformed our self-conception into something more modest.” In the response below, Floridi disputes this claim and many others made by Searle in his review of The Fourth Revolution.

John Searle’s review of The Fourth Revolution – How the Infosphere is Reshaping Human Reality (OUP, 2014) is astonishingly shallow and misguided. The silver lining is that, if its factual errors and conceptual confusions are removed, the opportunity for an informed and insightful reading can still be enjoyed.

The review erroneously ascribes to me a fourth revolution in our self-understanding, which I explicitly attribute to Alan Turing. We are not at the center of the universe (Copernicus), of the biological kingdom (Darwin), or of the realm of rationality (Freud). After Turing, we are no longer at the center of the world of information either. We share the infosphere with smart technologies. These are not some unrealistic AI, as the review would have me suggest, but ordinary artefacts that outperform us in ever more tasks, despite being no cleverer than a toaster. Their abilities are humbling and make us revaluate our unique intelligence. Their successes largely depend on the fact that the world has become an IT-friendly environment, where technologies can replace us without having any understanding or semantic skills. We increasingly live onlife (think of apps tracking your location). The pressing problem is not whether our digital systems can think or know, for they cannot, but what our environments are gradually enabling them to achieve. Like Kant, I do not know whether the world in itself is informational, a view that the review erroneously claims I support. What I do know is that our conceptualization of the world is. The distinction is trivial and yet crucial: from DNA as code to force fields as the foundation of matter, from the mind-brain dualism as a software-hardware distinction to computational neuroscience, from network-based societies to digital economies and cyber conflicts, today we understand and deal with the world informationally. To be is to be interactable: this is our new “ontology”.

The review denounces dualisms yet uncritically endorses a dichotomy between relative (or subjective) vs. absolute (or objective) phenomena. This is no longer adequate because today we know that many phenomena are relational. For example, whether some stuff qualifies as food depends on the nature both of the substance and of the organism that is going to absorb it. Yet relativism is mistaken, because not any stuff can count as food, sand never does. Likewise, semantic information (e.g. a train timetable) is a relational phenomenon: it depends on the right kind of message and receiver. Insisting on mapping information as either relative or absolute is as naïve as pretending that a border between two nations must be located in one of them.

The world is getting more complex. We have never been so much in need of good philosophy to understand it and take care for it. But we need to upgrade philosophy into a philosophy of information of our age for our age if we wish it to be relevant. This is what the book is really about.

Feature image credit: Macro computer citrcuit board, by Randy Pertiet. CC-BY-2.0 via Flickr.

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20690. Korean Literature Translation Awards

       The Korea Times prints the judges' report -- by Brother Anthony, Jung Ha-yun, and Min Eun-kyung -- for the 45th Modern Korean Literature Translation Awards.
       One of their more positive reports in recent years -- though sad/interesting to note: "In the poetry category, only four entries were received". But at least fiction-translation seems to be thriving.

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20691. Fuse #8 TV: Eric Carle Museum Tours and Absolutely Lisa Graff

Top of the morning to you, folks!  I’m happy to release my second Fuse #8 TV episode.  This time around I thought it would be a bit of fun to take a trip to the Eric Carle Museum.  Not everyone has ever had a chance to visit and it’s just the loveliest place.  After that, I sit down with the truly delightful Lisa Graff to talk a bit about the slow burn of her career and her latest book Absolutely Almost.  Enjoy!

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20692. Renée Treml Reveals Answers About Her Picture Book, ‘The Great Garden Mystery’

Renée Treml is a talented artist and author, originally from the States, now residing in Melbourne. She creates her stunning illustrations primarily using the scratchboard technique, setting her work apart with its unique qualities. Her artwork can also be seen at design markets and art exhibits through a range of gorgeous products. Renée has three […]

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20693. Kertész Q & A

       At hlo they reprint an excerpt from An interview with Imre Kertész by Thomas Cooper from The Hungarian Quarterly.
       See also my review of Kertész's The Holocaust as Culture, which is mentioned here and surely deserves to get more attention than it has so far.

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20694. Mockingjay: Part 1 (AKA All The Feelings)

I turned up to watch the Mockingjay: Part 1 film today, its official day of release, without any prep. I’d like to say that’s because I deliberately withheld re-reading the book or reading advance film reviews, but the reason is much more pedestrian: I’ve been so otherwise occupied with speedbumps I’ve hit in life that […]

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20695. The Three-Body Problem review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Liu Cixin's The Three-Body Problem -- one of this year's most anticipated translations, as the first blockbuster science fiction title out China to make it into English.

       Interesting publishing side-notes: after some back-and-forth publisher Tor went with a Western-style arrangement for the author's name on the cover: 'Cixin Liu'. While Japanese authors' names have long been written 'Western' style ('Yukio Mishima', 'Haruki Murakami') only recently have publishers ventured to 'westernize' Korean names ('Young-ha Kim' and 'Kyung-sook Shin' are the first to get the Western treatment, while, for example, Dalkey Archive Press' Library of Korean Literature still adheres to the Korean-(/Chinese-/Japanese-)style of writing family names first ('Mao Zedong')), and I can't recall seeing it used for a translation-from-the Chinese (well, excluding also-English-writing authors like Zhang Ailing). (House style at the complete review is home-turf style wherever the book was first published -- hence: 'Liu Cixin' (and 'Kertész Imre, etc.).) I am curious to see whether this takes.

       On a more troubling note: the work is translated by Ken Liu -- but the copyright page insists:

English translation © 2014 by China Educational Publications Import & Export Corp. Ltd
       That's just outrageous.

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20696. Trippin'

At the moment, I am using a canson sketchbook. I often use Moleskine books, because of their wonderful quality, and because they are easy to find here in the Netherlands. 
But every now and then, I want an extra challenge, and when I find new sketchbooks that look and feel right, I buy and try them. 
In fact, when I was in New York a few weeks ago, I visited 3(!) art supply shops and came back to Amsterdam with a huge stack of sketchbooks, so I have a supply for quite a lot of months to come.

Back to my Canson sketchbook. I'm not too fond of it. The paper is a bit too thin, so watercolorus make the pages wrinkle. I don't mind that really, but somehow, the book and I haven't become the best of friends, even though often, when I try a new book, it takes a few pages of getting used to each other. this one: not so much. Maybe it's also because I've been in a rollercoaster of things happening in my life, and many pages in this sketchbook are filled with half-hearted drawings or hasty sketches. Which is a shame. 
On the other hand, it's a reflection of my state of mind as well...
And then there is this unwritten rule I keep: I need to fill a sketchbook before I start a new one. So I keep on going, taking the challenge.

Anyway, this drawing here, is my favorite drawing in this sketchbook so far.
It was in Switzerland. We (my husband, his cousin, and I) had a few hours drive from Bern to Davos. Road trippin'!
I requested to sit in the back ("are you sure?"), so I could retreat a little to do some work on my laptop without being anti-social, with a rewarding amount of time left, to make a drawing of my travel companions. Glad I don't get car sick! Lucky me.
 Done with a brown fineliner and a pentel brown ink brushpen.



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20697. (American) National Book Awards

       They've announced the winners of the 2014 (American) National Book Awards.
       Redeployment, by Phil Klay, won the fiction prize; I can imagine almost no circumstances under which I would review this title, but see the Penguin Press publicity page or get your copy at Amazon.com, or pre-order it at Amazon.co.uk.

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20698. World Philosophy Day reading list

World Philosophy Day was created by UNESCO in 2005 in order to “win recognition for and give strong impetus to philosophy and, in particular, to the teaching of philosophy in the world”. To celebrate World Philosophy Day, we have compiled a list of what we consider to be the most essential philosophy titles. We are also providing free access to several key journal articles and online products in philosophy so that you can explore this discipline in more depth. Happy reading!


Free: Why Science Hasn’t Disproved Free Will by Alfred R. Mele
9780199371624
Does free will exist? The question has fueled heated debates spanning from philosophy to psychology and religion. The answer has major implications, and the stakes are high. To put it in the simple terms that have come to dominate these debates, if we are free to make our own decisions, we are accountable for what we do, and if we aren’t free, we’re off the hook.

Philosophy Bites Again by David Edmonds and Nigel Warburton
This is really a conversation, and conversations are the best way to see philosophy in action. It offers engaging and thought-provoking conversations with leading philosophers on a selection of major philosophical issues that affect our lives. Their subjects include pleasure, pain, and humor; consciousness and the self; free will, responsibility, and punishment; the meaning of life and the afterlife.

Think: A Compelling Introduction to Philosophy by Simon Blackburn
Here at last is a coherent, unintimidating introduction to the challenging and fascinating landscape of Western philosophy. Written expressly for “anyone who believes there are big questions out there, but does not know how to approach them.”

What Does It All Mean? A Very Short Introduction to Philosophy by Thomas Nagel
In this cogent and accessible introduction to philosophy, the distinguished author of Mortal Questions and The View From Nowhere brings the central problems of philosophical inquiry to life, demonstrating why they have continued to fascinate and baffle thinkers across the centuries.

Riddles of Existence: A Guided Tour of Metaphysics by Earl Conee and Theodore Sider
Two leading philosophers explore the most fundamental questions there are, about what is, what is not, what must be, and what might be. It has an informal style that brings metaphysical questions to life and shows how stimulating it can be to think about them.
9780199603572

Killing in War by Jeff McMahan
This is a highly controversial challenge to the consensus about responsibility in war. Jeff McMahan argues compellingly that if the leaders are in the wrong, then the soldiers are in the wrong.

Reason in a Dark Time by Dale Jamieson
In this book, philosopher Dale Jamieson explains what climate change is, why we have failed to stop it, and why it still matters what we do. Centered in philosophy, the volume also treats the scientific, historical, economic, and political dimensions of climate change.

Poverty, Agency, and Human Rights edited by Diana Tietjens Meyers
Collects thirteen new essays that analyze how human agency relates to poverty and human rights respectively as well as how agency mediates issues concerning poverty and social and economic human rights. No other collection of philosophical papers focuses on the diverse ways poverty impacts the agency of the poor.
9780199338870
Aha! The Moments of Insight That Shape Our World by William B. Irvine
This book incorporates psychology, neurology, and evolutionary psychology to take apart what we can learn from a variety of significant “aha” moments that have had lasting effects. Unlike other books on intellectual breakthroughs that focus on specific areas such as the arts, Irvine’s addresses aha moments in a variety of areas including science and religion.

On What Matters: Volume One by Derek Parfit
Considered one of the most important works in the field since the 19th century, it is written in the uniquely lucid and compelling style for which Parfit is famous. This is an ambitious treatment of the main theories of ethics.

The Emergent Multiverse: Quantum Theory according to the Everett Interpretation by David Wallace
Quantum physics is the most successful scientific theory we have. But no one knows how to make sense of it. We need to bite the bullet – it’s common sense that must give way. The universe is much stranger than we can think.

The Best Things in Life: A Guide to What Really Matters by Thomas Hurka
An engaging, accessible survey of the different things that can make life worth living: pleasure, knowledge, achievement, virtue, love, and more. A book that considers what really matters in one’s life, and making decisions around those values.

9780192854216 What should I do?: Plato’s Crito’ in Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction by Edward Craig
Plato, born around 427 BC, is not the first important philosopher, with Vedas of India, the Buddha, and Confucius all pre-dating him. However, he is the first philosopher to have left us with a substantial body of complete works that are available to us today, which all take the form of dialogues. This chapter focuses on the dialogue called Crito in which Socrates asks ‘What should I do?’

A biography of John Locke in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
A philosopher regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers, John Locke was born on 29th August 1632 in Somerset, England. In the late 1650s he became interested in medicine, which led easily to natural philosophy after being introduced to these new ideas of mechanical philosophy by Robert Boyle. Discover what happened next in Locke’s life with this biography

‘Computing Machinery and Intelligence’ from Mind, published in 1950.14602113
In this seminal paper, celebrated mathematician and pioneer Alan Turing attempts to answer the question, ‘Can machines think?’, and thus introduces his theory of ‘the imitation game’(now known as the Turing test) to the world. Turing skilfully debunks theological and ethical arguments against computational intelligence: he acknowledges the limitations of a machine’s intellect, while boldly exposing those of man, ultimately laying the groundwork for the study of artificial intelligence – and the philosophy behind it.

‘Phenomenology as a Resource for Patients’ from The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, published in 2012
Patient support tools have drawn on a variety of disciplines, including psychotherapy, social psychology, and social care. One discipline that has not so far been used to support patients is philosophy. This paper proposes that a particular philosophical approach, phenomenology, could prove useful for patients, giving them tools to reflect on and expand their understanding of their illness.

Do you have any philosophy books that you think should be added to this reading list? Let us know in the comments below.

Headline image credit: Rays at Burning Man by foxgrrl. CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0 via Flickr.

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20699. 2014 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 20

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “I’ll Never (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write the new poem. Possible titles include: “I’ll Never Write an Excuse Poem,” “I’ll Never Go to Disney World,” “I’ll Never Tell a Lie,” or “I’ll Never Understand People Who Like Rush.”

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I’ll Never Be Able to Pick Your Poem If You Don’t Enter!

Writer’s Digest has extended the deadline to their Writer’s Digest Poetry Awards competition to November 21. And the winner will receive $1,000 cash!

The winning poem will also be published in a future issue of Writer’s Digest magazine. And the winning poet will receive a copy of the 2015 Poet’s Market.

Even poets who don’t win can win, because there are prizes for 2nd through 25th place as well, though only if you enter.

Click to learn more.

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Here’s my attempt at an I’ll Never Blank poem:

“I’ll Never Remember”

the combination to the lock on my high school locker
but I still know my first phone number from kindergarten

and maybe many of the kisses I’ve had over the years
though nice on their own have blended into one long

French kiss ether but that first time I kissed my wife
in the parking lot our hands holding our unbuckled

seat belts as planes arrived and departed from Dayton’s
International airport is something that will always stick

or if I reach a point at which it does not then may I
lose touch completely with the ground and reality

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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 remembers the moment like it was yesterday, the moment his life twisted down a new and wonderful path.

Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.

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Find more poetic goodies here:

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20700. Cubanabooks

       The number of recently and newly-founded presses devoted to literature in translation continues to impress -- the promising Deep Vellum just released its first title, for example, and the still very young Hispabooks has already done an impressive job of bringing literature from Spain to English-speaking readers in a very short time.
       New to me is Cubanabooks, but a just-received stack of their six fiction titles easily wins me over. With a focus on: "contemporary literature by Cuban women writers" they offer the sort of things we're unlikely to otherwise see -- and, impressively, their books are bilingual editions; in a country (the US) where Spanish is widely spoken and read, that seems like a great way of making these works accessible to the largest possible audience, from native speakers more comfortable reading the originals to those without any Spanish who can rely entirely on the translated versions.
       Surely worth a closer look -- the just-released The Bleeding Wound, by Mirta Yáñez looks like a great place to satrt; see their publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

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