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Results 20,676 - 20,700 of 471,440
20676. Interview with Sabrina Darby, Author of Woo’d in Haste and Giveaway

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

[Sabrina Darby]  Sultry, Dulcet, Ravishing, Innocent, Wanton. ;-)

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

[Sabrina Darby] Woo’d in Haste and Wed at Leisure are retellings of two sides of the same Shakespeare play, The Taming of the Shrew. Woo’d in Haste features Bianca Mansfield, whose father has decreed she cannot marry until after her older sister, Kate, does. Of course, enter the hero, Luc, who is determined to get around that decree at any cost.

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

[Sabrina Darby] Once I knew I wanted to write about Bianca and Kate, the next step was adapting the story to Regency England. I needed to find a reason that a father would demand the elder daughter marry first, particularly if the suitor for the younger was a wealthy heir to an earldom.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What did you enjoy most about writing these stories?

[Sabrina Darby] I loved exploring the relationship between the sisters. So often our siblings act as both a mirror and a contrast to ourselves.

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

[Sabrina Darby] For Woo’d in Haste, Luc, the hero, gave me the biggest trouble because he’s so young. He deceives the heroine in the name of love and having him rationalize this to himself in a way that makes him neither completely stupid or unheroic felt like a very fine line to walk.

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

[Sabrina Darby] This is a very hard one. The three songs that are played most frequently in my car at the moment are Do Re Mi, The Goatherd Song and Wheels on the Bus. I don’t think any of those are my theme song but they certainly crowd almost everything else out!

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

[Sabrina Darby] A cell phone.

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

[Sabrina Darby] Pistachios, a glass of wine and my computer.

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

[Sabrina Darby] I would have answered differently 7 months ago, but right now, I’d love to switch with my baby boy so I can see what he sees.

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

[Sabrina Darby] I really enjoyed Maggie Robinson’s In the Heart of the Highlander and Maire Clairmont’s Lady in Red.

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

[Sabrina Darby] I love traveling. In fact, I just returned from Yosemite where this Southern Californian actually got to see snow in April!

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

[Sabrina Darby] They can find me online at http://SabrinaDarby.com, Twitter.com/SabrinaDarby, and Facebook.com/SabrinaDarbyRomance and Goodreads.com/SabrinaDarby and they can join my mailing list at SabrinaDarby.com/contact.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

About the books: 

Woo’d in Haste & Wed at Leisure

Taming Series Books One and Two

By: Sabrina Darby

Woo’d in Haste- Releasing May 13th, 2014

Miss Bianca Mansfield is ready for her debut. If only her older sister didn’t insist on marrying first. She’s doomed to wait to find love. Until she meets … him. For Lucian Dorlingsley, Viscount Asquith, recently returned from an extended tour abroad, it is love at first sight. He’s determined to meet Bianca, even if it means masquerading as a tutor to her young half-brother. Soon Bianca is torn between love and duty and about to make a desperate decision. Can Lucian calm her fury over his betrayal when he reveals that he’s not nearly as improper a match as he seems? And will they ever be able to find a match for her older sister to turn this masquerade into wedded bliss?

Buy Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Wood-Haste-The-Taming-Series-ebook/dp/B00FJ3A8LO

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wood-in-haste-sabrina-darby/1117005052?ean=9780062304483


Wed at Leisure- Releasing May 27th, 2014

The stunning follow-up to Darby’s Woo’d in Haste.

In all of Sussex—scratch that—in all of England, there is no one prettier than Kate Mansfield, and Peter Colburn, heir to the Duke of Orland, has known that since the age of 15. But since her vivacious nature comes with a temper to match, Peter has always masked his hunger for her behind ruthless teasing. As far as Kate is concerned, there is no one as annoying or as incredibly handsome as Peter. So when he surprises her with a sudden and romantic courtship, Kate is sure this must be his idea of a sick joke.

After all, he’s the one man who knows how flawed she really is. And the only man to whom she has ever been so attracted. It’s only after she rejects him that she realizes he might actually have been serious. And she just might be regretting her hasty decision. As Kate’s determination wars with her traitorous heart, it may be too late. Now she’s putting everything, including her reputation, on the line to give this accidental tragedy a happy ending.

Buy Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Wed-Leisure-The-Taming-Series-ebook/dp/B00FJ3A8NC

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wed-at-leisure-sabrina-darby/1117005053?ean=9780062304513

Link to Follow Tour: http://tastybooktours.blogspot.com/2014/04/now-booking-tasty-virtual-tour-for-wood.html

Author Info

Sabrina Darby has been reading romance since the age of seven and learned her best vocabulary (dulcet, diaphanous, and turgid) from them. Her debut book with Avon Red, On These Silken Sheets, was a Favourite Erotic Romance finalist in the Australian Romance Readers Awards and a Best First Book finalist in the National Readers’ Choice Awards. Her new Regency novella, The Short and Fascinating Tale of Angelina Whitcombe, released July 31st from Avon Impulse and her first contemporary romance, Entry-Level Mistress, released February 2013.

Author Links

Website: http://SabrinaDarby.com
Twitter: @SabrinaDarby
Facebook: /SabrinaDarbyRomance
Blog: TheBallroomBlog.com
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2983567.Sabrina_Darby

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The post Interview with Sabrina Darby, Author of Woo’d in Haste and Giveaway appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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20677. Photography and social change in the Central American civil wars

By Erina Duganne

Many hope, even count on, photography to function as an agent of social change. In his 1998 book, Photojournalism and Foreign Policy: Icons of Outrage in International Crises, communications scholar David Perlmutter argues, however, that while photographs “may stir controversy, accolades, and emotion,” they “achieve absolutely nothing.”


Camera Lens, by Jkimxpolygons. CC-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

In my current research project, I examine the difficult question of what contribution photography has made to social change through an examination of images documenting events from the Central American civil wars — El Salvador and Nicaragua, more specifically — that circulated in the United States in the 1980s. Rather than measure the influence of these photographs in terms of narrowly conceived causal relationships concerning issues of policy, I argue that to understand what these images did and did not achieve, they need to be situated in terms of their broader social, political, and cultural effects — effects that varied according to the ever shifting relations of their ongoing reproduction and reception. Below are three platforms across which photographs from the wars in Central America circulated and recirculated in the United States in the 1980s.

(1)   In the early 1980s, the US government adopted a dual policy of military support in Central America. In El Salvador, they provided aid against the guerilla forces or FMLN while in Nicaragua they backed the contra war against the Sandinistas. Many Americans learned and formulated opinions about these policies through photographs that circulated in the news media. The cover of the 22 March 1982 issue of Time, for instance, featured a photograph of a gunship flying over El Salvador. Taken by US photojournalist Harry Mattison, the editors at Time used the photograph as part of their cover story questioning the use by the US government of aerial reconnaissance photographs of military installations in Nicaragua to establish a causal link between the leftist insurgents in El Salvador and Communist governments worldwide.

(2)   In addition to these reconnaissance photographs, the Reagan administration also turned to photography in an eight-page State Department white paper entitled Communist Interference in El Salvador, which was released to the American public on 23 February 1981. In this white paper, the US government included two sets of military intelligence photographs of captured weapons, which they believed would help them to further provide the American public with “irrefutable proof” of Communist involvement via Russia and Cuba in Central America, and thereby justify the escalation of US military and economic aid to the supposedly moderate Salvadoran government. The aforementioned article in Time also questioned the validity of the sources used in this document.

(3)   While photography played a prominent role in debates over the existence of a communist threat in Central America, beginning in 1983, a number of artists and photographers — Harry Mattison, Susan Meiselas, Group Material, Marta Bautis, Mel Rosenthal, among others — put photographs from the Central American conflicts, some of which had circulated directly in the aforementioned contexts and others which had not, to a different use. Rather than employ photographs to perpetuate or even question the accuracy of communist aggression in the region, these artists and photographers instead used the medium to examine the imperialist underpinning of the Reagan administration’s foreign policy in Central America as well as the longstanding geopolitical and historical implications of US involvement there. To this end, they produced the following: the 1983 photography book and exhibition El Salvador: Work of Thirty Photographers, which was edited by Harry Mattison, Susan Meiselas, and Fae Rubenstein and toured various US cities in 1984 and 1985; Group Material’s 1984 multi-media installation Timeline: A Chronicle of US Intervention in Central and Latin America, on view at the P.S. Contemporary Art Center in Queens, New York, as part of the ad hoc protest organization Artists Call Against US Intervention in Central America; and the exhibition The Nicaragua Media Project that toured various US cities in 1984 and 1985. Together these three photography books and art exhibitions provided, what I call, a “living” history for photographs from the Central American civil wars.

In his 1978 essay “Uses of Photography” that was anthologized in his 1980 book About Looking, cultural critic John Berger argues that for photographs to “exist in time,” they need to be placed in the “context of experience, social experience, social memory.” Using Berger’s definition of a “living” history as a model, my research project offers a novel way to think about how, within the contexts of these exhibitions and books, photographs from the conflicts in El Salvador and Nicaragua functioned as dynamic, even affective objects, whose mobility and mutability could empower contemporary viewers to look beyond the so-called communist threat in the region that was perpetuated through the Reagan administration as well as the news media and begin to think more carefully about past histories of US imperialism and global human oppression in Central America.

Erina Duganne is Associate Professor of Art History at Texas State University where she teaches courses in American art, photography, and visual culture. She is the author of The Self in Black and White: Race and Subjectivity in Postwar American Photography (2010) as well as a co-editor and an essayist for Beautiful Suffering: Photography and the Traffic in Pain (2007). She has also written about her current research project for the blog In the Darkroom.

Oxford Art Online offers access to the most authoritative, inclusive, and easily searchable online art resources available today. Through a single, elegant gateway users can access — and simultaneously cross-search — an expanding range of Oxford’s acclaimed art reference works: Grove Art Online, the Benezit Dictionary of Artists, the Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, The Oxford Companion to Western Art, and The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms, as well as many specially commissioned articles and bibliographies available exclusively online.

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The post Photography and social change in the Central American civil wars appeared first on OUPblog.

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20678. Craft of Writing: Thinking With Your Hands by Julie Williams

Julie Williams' new book, DRAMA QUEENS IN THE HOUSE came out on March 25th and is the perfect book for the #WeNeedDiverseBooks tag that has been going around twitter and the blogosphere for a while now. With an LGBT POC protagonist, Drama Queen should satisfy everything you want.

Thinking With Your Hands by Julie Williams

Much has been said about the need to show up at the blank page with some kind of regularity whether you feel like writing or not. Different writers offer different suggestions for the hows and whys of honoring this aspect of the writing process. Some focus on the need for a routine schedule. Some share about magical writing appearing out of the void. Others talk about how even if what they write constitutes what writer Anne Lamott calls a “shitty first draft” it’s better than not showing up and it’s something you can work with. I get it.

In my own writing practice, I experience this in my first-thing-in-the-morning journaling. I do it no matter what. It’s an act of meditation, one where I try not to edit my thoughts or the words that flow onto the page. Sometimes it’s a jump-start on the novel I’m working on. A scene might emerge fully formed in the journal. Often I write pages and pages of back story that helps me to flesh out the characters and trim and hone the action. And I try to draft one poem each morning.

My journaling takes between one and two hours. Afterwards I eat breakfast and go to my computer for email and a glance at the news online. And then, depending on how I feel (yes . . . I admit it . . . on HOW I FEEL) I either open up a document and go to work on my current writing project OR . . . I go to my art table.

When I first started doing mixed media artwork I had a tendency to over-think the process so much that I could often get stalled before I even made a mark on the page. That doesn’t happen as much now that I have an art journal practice that’s nearly as regular as my writing journal. But when it does, I always find myself thinking about what my friend, Linda Townsdin (an author and visual artist) told me years ago when I was first dabbling in paint and markers and pencils and gel medium. “When I do artwork,” she said, “I think with my hands.”

At first I had no idea what she meant. Think with your hands? Then I began to experience it. My mind would go blank or fill with thoughts that had nothing to do with the canvas I was working on. And I would somehow know to add a dash of red over there, or glue down a bit of a map or a piece of vintage book in that corner. They weren’t decisions I made by thinking about composition or color balance or any rules I had learned. They just happened because I was relaxed and allowing myself to be in the creative flow.

Directors notebook for DRAMA QUEENS IN THE HOUSE, Character Chartfor the Jumbles, collage map of the setting/place

Okay, sure, that’s a great experience — but what does it have to do with writing? I mean, come on, you have to think with your mind in order to write, don’t you? Well, now that I know what it feels like to think with my hands I sometimes make the choice to let my mind and hands join forces in a way that’s different from typing or writing longhand in a notebook. In the novel-writing process (which, as you know, can be long and complicated and often frustrating), I intentionally stop writing to create visual objects that further the storytelling process. I keep what I call a “Director’s Book,” that is modeled after the notebooks I keep when I’m directing a theatrical production. This is filled with character notes, backstory jottings, plot points, descriptions of place. The notebook fills up with images that conjure emotions and inform my decisions about character and place and story action. Any time I’m stuck in the writing, I can open up the Director’s Book and absorb what I’ve already entered there and add to it as I like. I try to keep it playful, grabbing images from my image box, doodling, adding colorful bits of ephemera. There’s never any question here of whether it’s right or wrong. It’s about process and about visual stimulation. I also like to draw or paint or collage maps of the action or setting. And I sometimes draw character charts like the one in the above photograph of Jessie’s large and nontraditional extended family from my recently released novel, DRAMA QUEENS IN THE HOUSE.

There are other ways of thinking with our hands, too. All those times when we walk away from our computer or notebook and do something we consider mindless (we wash the dishes, we go pull weeds in the garden, we stitch something, we knit or crochet, we clean out a hall closet or reorganize a drawer, add some pieces to an ongoing jigsaw puzzle, give the dog a bath) we are thinking with our hands. I’d go so far as to venture that we are actually still writing. Something different is happening than when I go watch a TV show, pick up a book to read, get lost in email, or talk to my husband. Those activities can be refreshing and necessary. But I’m not writing while they’re happening.

Of course each of us has to find the manner of working that suits us best. For some people, staring at the blank computer screen for a set period of time does the trick. But we’ve all got closets that need cleaning out and weeds that need pulling. Pay attention to what happens to your writing after you’ve been absorbed in that kind of work. When you go to your computer again and the writing is now effortless, probably you’ve been thinking with your hands. Maybe you find a solution to a problem that had you stuck. Maybe it’s a brand new scene. What’s happened is that the creative force that works to tell that story was working somewhere outside of your conscious thought and the work of your hands helps it along.

Give it a try. And let me know what happens, won’t you? Happy thinking with your hands!

About The Author

Julie Williams is the author of the young adult novel, DRAMA QUEENS IN THE HOUSE (Roaring Brook/Macmillan 2014) and ESCAPING TORNADO SEASON: A Novel in Poems (HarperCollins 2004). She has published in many small press journals and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. For twenty years she was an adjunct professor at California State University, Northridge teaching for the communication studies and theater departments and retiring in 2003 as the Assistant Director of CSUN’s Educational Opportunity Program. She and her husband live in Minnesota.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads

About The Book

All of Jessie's world is a stage, and she's determined to become a player, in Drama Queens in the House by Julie Williams.

Sixteen-year-old Jessie Jasper Lewis doesn’t remember a time in her life when she wasn’t surrounded by method actors, bright spotlights, and feather boas. Her parents started the Jumble Players Theater together, and theater is the glue that holds her crazy family together. But when she discovers that her father’s cheating on her mother with a man, Jessie feels like her world is toppling over. And on top of everything else, she has to deal with a delusional aunt who is predicting the end of the world. Jessie certainly doesn’t feel ready to be center stage in the production that is her family. But where does she belong in all of this chaos?

Amazon | IndieBound | Goodreads

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20679. A God In Every Stone by Kamila Shamsie – Giveaway


9781408847213We love A God In Every Stone by Kamila Shamsie so much we want to give copies of the book away.

1914 and a soldier is returning from Ypres to his home in Pakistan. His loyalty to Britain is about to be challenged. Also in 1914 a young English woman is following an interest in archaeology and travelling in Peshawar. She too is about to have her views challenged, Both of these people, in their own way question the very different societies they live in. Where do your loyalties lie? To your own country rather than another? To your family? To God? To yourself?

The first 15 people who purchase a copy of Kamila Shamsie’s A God In Every Stone we will get a 2nd copy for free to give to a friend, family member, neighbour or whoever they want!

We know you are going to love this book just as much as we did and we want you to help us share the joy of such a great read.

Buy the book here…

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20680. Fly, Eagle, Fly! An African Tale – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Title: Fly, Eagle, Fly! An African Tale Retold by by Christopher Gregorowski Pictures by Niki Daly Foreword by Desmond Tutu Published by Margaret McLederry Books, 2000 Ages: 5-8 Themes: parables, eagles, freedom Quote, page 10:  He climbed up a gully in case the calf had … Continue reading

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20681. Teens Today! They Don't Read!

This week's panic about teens is reflected in two articles, NPR's Why Aren't Teens Reading Like They Used To? and Time's Study: The Number of Teens Reading for Fun Keeps Declining. Both are based on Common Sense Media's research, Children, Teens, and Reading.

Disclaimer the first: long time readers of this blog know I'm suspicious of Common Sense Media, dating back to the early, biased reviews. I'm skeptical of a set up that says, if you don't agree with their ratings, or research, you don't have "common sense" and there is something wrong for not agreeing. That said, with the corrections to the earlier reviews, I do pass along the website to those parents who want to count curse words and kisses.

Back to the research and the news stories. I wish there had been more thought put into them.

I have little patience with "the kids, they are not reading like they used to" because any type of dismissal of teens today has to be done by selecting a time period and socioeconomic section that is selected to make today's teens look bad. The article, 120 Years of Literacy (the National Center for Educational Statistics), explains that "However, in the late 19th century and early 20th century, illiteracy was very common. In 1870, 20 percent of the entire adult population was illiterate, and 80 percent of the black population was illiterate." Or let's go up in time a bit, to 1940: "In 1940, more than half of the U.S. population had completed no more than an eighth grade education."

According to the History Channel article on Child Labor, in 1900, 18% of all American workers were under 16.

These types of reports can never go too far back in time if they want today's teens to look bad, because the further back you go, the less literate the population was, the less time teens had for recreational activities, and the less access people had to books. (In terms of access to literature and the cost of books, see The Smithsonian's How the Paperback Novel Changed Popular Literature.) (And then there is the history of public libraries in the US, and reading and literacy.).

So -- yes -- I'm not going to panic when teens today may read less than they did 30 years ago but more than they did 80 years ago or 100 years ago or 150 years ago. Whether that is even true is something Kelly Jensen is examining in her post on this over at  Stacked.

Let's say, for the sake of argument, the thesis is true: kids read less now.


Common Sense Media reaches the conclusion that the fault is in "reading environments" -- "electronic platforms on which children read also hold a host of divisions that are only a click away."

From NPR: "The studies do not say that kids are reading less because they're spending more time online. But [Jim Steyer, CEO and founder of Common Sense Media] is convinced that's at least part of the answer."

Time gives a nod to another possibility: "The decline in reading for fun is most easily explained by technological advances (i.e., kids would rather text than read), but education could have something to do with it as well. It’s no surprise that 53% of 9-year-olds read for fun every day, but only 19% of 17-year-olds do. Yes, the teenagers have more Instagrams to post, but they also have more homework to do."

Common Sense Media looks only at studies other groups have done on time spent reading, not on "why". Their report only talks about one possible reason: electronic distractions. (And in talking about ebooks, Common Sense Media does not acknowledge that ebooks have given the print disabled access to books they otherwise wouldn't have.)

Here is a quick list of some of the other reasons teens today may not be reading as much.
  • Increased homework, as Time points out.
  • Increased testing and emphasis on testing in schools.
  • Elimination of school libraries and librarians.
  • Decreases in funding for books for school libraries. 
  • Closings of public libraries.
  • Decreases in funding for books in public libraries.
  • A recession that resulted in less spending money by families (parents and teens) for books.
  • Bookstores going out of business.
  • Increased emphasis on extracurricular activities to get into college.
  • Teen burn out during the school year.
  • Teen employment.
  • A culture that views reading as passive and consuming, rather than active and creating, so doesn't support reading as an acceptable recreational activity.
I'm sure you can add one or two things to this list

What most of these have in common? They are things beyond the control of a family; and they don't have to do with ereading and devices.

One last point. And I say this as someone who loves reading and books.

When it comes to kids and recreational reading, here are the questions I have. Look at those readers from 30 years ago. Look at them now. Do they have better jobs? Are they earning more money? Did they go on to higher education? Are they happy? In other words, does reading for pleasure mean anything other than.... someone likes to read for pleasure?

Amazon Affiliate. If you click from here to Amazon and buy something, I receive a percentage of the purchase price.

© Elizabeth Burns of A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy

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20682. Content Marketing – What Does RSS Stand For?

According to Search Engine Watch (SEW), “RSS is a method of distributing links to content in your web site that you'd like others to use. In other words, it's a mechanism to ‘syndicate’ your content.” So, it's an important part of your content marketing strategy. Interestingly, I did a search for “RSS.” I wanted to verify what the acronym stood for and found an article by SEW that provided

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20683. Best Young Adult Books with Anna Banks, Author of The Syrena Legacy

Anna Banks’s first two novels in the Syrena Legacy trilogy, Of Poseidon and Of Triton (a New York Times Bestseller), have won her many fans. Her latest work is Of Neptune, the stunning conclusion to her bestselling Syrena Legacy. She lives in Crestview, Florida, with her husband and their daughter. Here are her picks for 5 YA must-haves ... Read the rest of this post

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20684. Mystery Challenge Number 3

Mystery Challenge Number 3

Mia was quietly reading one afternoon when Morris pulled away from his research on the computer and turned to her. 

"I have another challenge for you, if you are of mind to accept."

 "Of course, I am always up for a challenge," she replied.

"Capital. Ponder then upon the words 'cabbaged' and 'fabaceae', the latter being of leguminous fame. What oddness do they share, and why might I remark upon it?"

Mia set to work on it right away.

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20685. Five on Friday: Picture Books Edition

Find out which five, NEW picture books I'm fawning over this Friday.

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20686. Mystery Challenge Number 2 Answer

Mystery Challenge Number 2

"Let's keep your mind on its toes," Granny said to me as I was looking out of the window one afternoon.

I made a protest, so she continued. "How many minutes are we now before 6pm, if fifty minutes ago it was four times as many minutes past 3pm?"

It can only be twenty-six minutes to six!

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20687. Watch 2 New CN Pilots By ‘Regular Show’ Staffers

Tonight, Cartoon Network quietly released two new pilots that were produced in 2013: "AJ's Infinite Summer" created by Toby Jones and "Long Live the Royals" by Sean Szeles. Both Jones and Szeles work on "Regular Show"Jones as a writer/storyboard artist and Szeles as a supervising director/writer/storyboard artist.

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20688. The Secret (Actually Forgotten) Origins Of The Special Globe Guard

Published by Martin Kelter Verlag, based in Duneburg, Germany (surprise!) the Checkpart series was a sub-series of futuristic thrillers. The subtitle was: World Super Crime 2000 or Checkpart Mit Dem Special Globe Guard Team.  The series itself was conceived by Kurt Brand. Published between 1970 and 1972  there were 54 of these 66 paged (double columned) prose stories.  

The series consisted of 54 booklets with the cover price of  90 Pfg, but at  issue 44 it rose 10 pfg to 1.00 DM. 

So, you might ask:"How do you have issues 151 and 153 then?"  Good question163 stories in the series -the ones I have are right toward the end of the run. A trifle brusque, but good question. You see, there were 54 issues featuring the SGG but as I mentioned, they were a sub-series that started in Kelter Krimi Nr. 57 with "Top Und Das Killer-Girl"  ("Top And The Killer Girl") by Torsten Reschke.

Got it? Good.

At the top of the posting you'll see the original title banner with World Super Crime 2000 and, below, the later banner with Mit Dem Special Globe Guard Team.


Nr. 153 "Ein Fuchs wie Aso Tokyo" ("A Fox Like Aso Tokyo")  by Konrad Schaef-another British actor but I cannot remember his name. Neither of the films these stills are taken from  have been on TV for a long time. 

I love the stills from movies used to sell the books -no doubt to attract the eye from all the other publishers' titles that used to fill news vendors shelves.  There was Richard Widmark, Adam West, Kirk Douglas, Lee Marvin, Jeff Bridges, David McCallum -you can list the movies the stills were taken from all day!

And, out of pure boredom I thought I'd check the interwebby-thing and see what I could find. Nothing. But then I thought why not use an old German publisher guide. Just a brief mention and then -SF Hefte Deutschland: BINGO!

Covers and numbers of all the books. And now you, too, can check out the covers (I know I'm going to):

Now, I can see you sat there and thinking "What has THIS got to do with the post title??"

Okay, a trifle brusque -again- and wanting things explained too quickly but, probably, a legitimate question (I need to change these tablets I'm taking).

Well, in the mid-1980s I thought that I needed a central body that a rotating team of characters could feature in. I had smaller groups of heroes -The Crime Club, Anti-Crime Squad, Crime Busters UK (a team that very nearly made it into a Fleetway comic!) and so on.  Global Guardians had featured elsewhere and I almost plumped for my old 1970s Legion of Law Enforcers -which kinda still gets used- but then I thought "Special Globe Guard" -excellent! 

As I had bought and read those two Kelter Krimis more than a decade before I had forgotten them. In fact, I have no memory of whether I thought "That's a good name I can use" or thought it was my original idea. Look, I am very, very old. But it stuck.

So when in (I think) 1987 I wrote and pencilled "Earth Scream" I used the SGG -an excellent UK artist, John P. Britton inked over my pencils (that makes him a saint!) and Ben Dilworth lettered.  It looks pretty rough now but I still love the team and story (parts 2-4 are lost thanks to a Fleetway editor).

The SGG were, of course, the vanguard in defence of Earth in Return Of The Gods: Twilight Of The Super Heroes -some giving their lives.

But this ramble would not be complete (unless I forget) withought a few of those original 1980s pages -IF blogger allows them to be shown.


ALL artwork/characters (c)2014 Terry Hooper-Scharf & Black Tower Comics & Books

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20689. Interview with Paige Tyler, Author of Her Perfect Mate and Giveaway

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

[Paige Tyler] Tinkerbell hyped up on caffeine!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Her Perfect Mate?

[Paige Tyler] I’d love to! It revolves around the Department of Covert Operations, a top secret organization that exists within the Department of Homeland Security at the whim of a handful of powerful Washington DC elites. They team up the very best soldiers, law enforcement people, and spies together with shifters—humans that possess special animal attributes found in their DNA.

The heroine is a sexy, but deadly feline shifter named Ivy Halliwell who gets teamed up with yet another soldier—something she isn’t thrilled about. Her previous partners hated her because she was a freak in their eyes, and she doesn’t imagine this new guy will be any different. But Captain Landon Donovan is Special Forces, so he’s used to taking crazy situations in stride. He’s also gorgeous, hot, hunky, and smells absolutely delicious.

HER PERFECT MATE is a paranormal shifter story that blends romance, action, suspense, and military elements into one exciting package that will keep you up reading late into the night—I promise!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you share your favorite scene?

[Paige Tyler] There are so many, but I don’t want to give too much of the story away, so I’m going to go with the scene where Landon first meets Ivy:

She was wearing a pair of black workout pants like his ex-girlfriend used to wear when she went to yoga class, and a form-fitting tank top. He couldn’t help but notice her curvy, athletic body, expressive dark eyes, and full lips. With little makeup and her long, dark hair pulled up in a ponytail, she looked like the girl next door. Only more exotic than any girl he’d ever lived next door to, that was for sure.

He didn’t care how tired and irritated he was, this was a woman he definitely wouldn’t mind stopping to appreciate. Hopefully, one of his new training officers would introduce them before she left to give them the room.

“Landon, meet Ivy Halliwell, your new partner,” Kendra said. “Ivy, Captain Landon Donovan, Special Forces.”

They were going to have to pick his jaw up off the floor because Landon was damn sure that’s where it was after hearing that announcement. No way this walking wet dream was his partner. She looked like she couldn’t hurt a fly, much less do any kind of covert ops. They had to be messing with him.

“Your first mission is to put her on her ass,” Todd said.

He’d had some big what-the-hell moments in his life—most of them within the past twenty-four hours—but this had to be the biggest.

Landon narrowed his eyes at the man. “Excuse me?”

“Take her down.”

Was this guy serious? This was his new partner and they wanted him to kick her ass? Ivy was about half his size and looked like she should be walking down a fashion runway somewhere, not trading blows with a trained combat killer.

Landon shook his head. “Forget it. I’m not going to take a swing at her, much less put her on her ass.” He folded his arms across his chest. “You want entertainment? Maybe I should put you on your ass.”

Kendra must have thought that was funny because she hid a smile behind her clipboard.

Ivy wasn’t so subtle. She laughed outright. And damn if it didn’t have a sexy sound to it.

“That’s chivalrous of you, Donovan,” she said. “You putting Todd on his ass is something I’d like to see, but he isn’t going to let us leave this room until you learn the lesson you’re here to learn. So, let’s get this over with.”

She didn’t wait for a reply, but instead slowly circled around Landon on her bare feet. He instinctively turned to follow her. She moved with the sure-footed grace of a cat, making him think she was probably well-trained in one or more martial arts.

“Well?” she demanded.

He assessed her stance. “You’re not ready.”

Ivy rolled her eyes. “Tell you what. I’ll make it easier on you. I’ll hit you first. How’s that sound?”

“That implies I’d let you hit me.”

She shrugged her slim shoulders. “Oh, I’ll hit you all right.”

He laughed, but the sound was cut short as she twisted in a blur and her leg came around in a spinning heel kick that would have taken off his head if he hadn’t backed away just in time.

“Shit,” he muttered. He was way too tired for this crap. “Stop screwing around, okay? That kick would have done some damage if you landed it.”

Ivy didn’t heed his warning, though. Instead, she immediately followed up with the same kind of a kick, this time in the other direction. Landon quickly backpedaled to avoid her foot, only to smack against the wall. He dropped to one knee, instinctively thrusting out with his hands to
both knock her away from him and put some space between them. But instead of falling back, she moved out of the way, avoiding his hands. For a moment he didn’t realize what she’d done. Then it struck him. She’d darted sideways while she was in mid-kick. That shouldn’t even be
physically possible.

Ivy landed lightly on her feet, a smile curving her lips. “I knew I could get you to take a shot at me, even if it was lame. Then again, I didn’t expect much from another oversized grunt like you. I don’t know why they keep pairing me up with guys like you all the time. Can’t they find anyone with a brain?”

Landon rose from his crouch and moved to the center of the room. When she came at him again, he didn’t want a wall getting in his way.

“Guys like me? You’re trying to insult me now? Think that’s going to get me to take a punch at you? What are you, a masochist?”

Her smile broadened. “I already got you to do that. And I’d only be a masochist if you ever got your hands on me.”

He snorted. “Lady, that wasn’t a punch. You’d know it if I wanted to hit you.”

“All talk and no action,” she scoffed. “Isn’t that the Special Forces motto or something?”

Landon knew what she was trying to do and it wasn’t going to work. She must have figured it out, too. She gave up on the verbal jabs and resorted to real ones, coupled with those damn spinning roundhouse kicks again.

He stripped off his camo overshirt and threw it across the room, so he could get down to serious business.

He blocked most of her strikes with his hands and the others with his shoulders, biceps, and thighs. He sure as hell felt them, but he got the feeling she wasn’t hitting him nearly as hard as she could.

His plan was to lure her in close enough to get his hands on her. That way, he could put her down without being forced to throw a serious punch. She might be agile as hell, but if he connected with anything real, he’d break something. His best bet was to get his hands on her and
pin her to the floor so he could end this stupid game.

That was easier than it sounded. Ivy was faster than lightning and could twist her body into a pretzel to get out of his grasp. He had her in a perfect jujitsu take-down position several times only to have her spoil it by not going down like she should have. He even planted his knee in
her stomach and yanked her backward with him in a throw that should have landed her hard on her back, groaning in pain. Instead, she turned the move into some kind of gymnastic flip and came down as softly on her feet as if she stepped off a street curb.

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the two training officers taking notes as they watched. Kendra was actually smiling. Landon clenched his jaw. What a couple of asses.

On the other side of the room, Ivy spun around to face him. Eyes narrowing, she ran directly toward him. He automatically braced himself for another blow, but at the last second she darted to her right, jumping at the wall and rebounding off it like she was an extra in some Jackie
Chan movie, then ricocheting back at him, her right leg coming around in a roundhouse kick.

Instead of getting out of the way like any sane person would have, he moved closer, getting underneath her swinging leg and grabbing her shoulders. He avoided her foot, but ended up taking a knee to the left side of his rib cage. It hurt, but it got him inside her defenses. He was
going to get a grip on her, and this time she wasn’t going to get away.

That’s when he realized her kick had only been a distraction. He’d been so busy watching her feet he hadn’t even noticed her open hand coming toward him. He did a double take. She was going to slap him? His mind registered surprise for half a millisecond before her hand angled down to sweep across the front of his T-shirt.

Landon felt the fabric tug and swore he heard a ripping sound. He even felt a sting. But he ignored it. Tightening his grip on her shoulders, he spun them both around, letting the momentum from her rebound take them down to the floor.

He twisted at the last second, taking the impact of the floor on his right shoulder before yanking her to his chest in a bear hug. If he’d been trying to kill her, he would have crushed a hell of a lot harder. Instead he squeezed just enough to let her know he could hurt her if he wanted to.

They came to a stop with him on his back, Ivy pinned to his chest. She didn’t fight him, simply laid there with her face close to his neck, breathing deeply. Landon couldn’t help but notice how soft her body was against his, and how nice it felt to have her on top of him.

His cock noticed, too.

Shit. This was going to be embarrassing.

“Okay, you two,” Todd said. “I think we’ve gotten everything out of this demonstration I intended.”

It took a moment for the words to register—probably because all the blood had left his head to rush to another part of his anatomy. Landon reluctantly loosened his hold on Ivy. He waited for her to get up, but she stayed firmly planted on top of him, which alarmed him. He thought
she would have jumped up the moment he released her. God, he hoped he hadn’t hurt her with that take down.

He gently tilted her chin up with his fingers. “Hey. You okay?”

Ivy blinked at him, her beautiful eyes filled with something that looked almost like wonder. Then she gave herself a little shake. “I-I’m good. You?”

“Yeah. Fine.”


She gazed at him for a moment longer, then quickly pushed to her feet. She crossed the room to slip on a pair of flip-flops she had left there. When she turned back to him, her face was the perfect mask of composure he’d seen when he first walked in.

“No hard feelings, I hope?” she said as he stood. “That’s just the way the DCO likes to introduce me to my new partners. I don’t know why.”

He knew why. The DCO realized the fastest way to get a man to appreciate the talents of his female partner was to have her kick his ass. At least she hadn’t done it to him.

“Not at all,” he said. “I suppose we can call this match a tie.”

Her lips curved. “You think so?”

Reaching out, she flicked his shirt with her fingers, then turned and walked away.

Remembering the bizarre open-handed swipe she’d given him across the chest, he looked down to see four diagonal tears in his T-shirt. He pushed the material aside, frowning when he found four identical scratches on his chest. If he didn’t know better, he’d think he got scratched by a cat—a big cat. They weren’t deep or bleeding, but there was no mistaking what had made them—fingernails. Ivy’s fingernails. Not exactly standard-issue hand-to-hand combat technique. He got the feeling nothing about this place was standard issue. Especially his new partner.

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

[Paige Tyler] Probably deleting scenes during editing. There are so many cool ones that I wanted to show the reader all of them. But just because they didn’t make it into the final version doesn’t mean I won’t share them. Keep an eye out for some fun extras on my website, FB page, and blog!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What’s one thing you won’t leave home without?

[Paige Tyler] Just one thing? If you’re going to limit me to one thing, I’ll go with Purell. Yeah, I’m a little bit of a germaphobe.

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

[Paige Tyler] An Aragorn action figure, a Jar Jar Binks action figure, and a Batgirl action figure. Are you seeing a theme, here?

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

[Paige Tyler] I know this is kind of a non-answer, but I wouldn’t want to trade places with anyone. I love being me!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] You have been granted the use of one superpower for one week. Which power would you choose, and what would you do with it?

[Paige Tyler] Teleportation. I’d go to every Disney park, even the ones in Hong Kong and France (well, as long as I could teleport hubby with me).

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

[Paige Tyler] I love Suzanne Brockmann’s Troubleshooters Series. They have everything I look for a romance, including those oh-so-important hunky heroes. And Tracie Puckett’s Just a Little Series. If you love YA with adult-themes, and a hero and heroine you can’t help but fall in love with, you have to read it!

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

[Paige Tyler] Website: http://paigetylertheauthor.com/

Blog: http://paigetylertheauthor.blogspot.com/

Facebook Profile Page: http://www.facebook.com/paige.tyler.9

Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/PaigeTylerAuthor

Twitter: http://twitter.com/PaigeTyler

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

Google+: http://plus.google.com/u/0/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2300692.Paige_Tyler

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/BBrEP

Email: paigetyler@paigetylertheauthor.com


He’s a High-Octane Special Ops Pro
When Special Forces Captain Landon Donovan is chosen for an assignment with the Department of Covert Operations, he’s stunned to find his new partner is a beautiful woman who looks like she couldn’t hurt a fly, never mind take down a terrorist.
She’s No Kitten
Ivy Halliwell isn’t your average covert op. She’s a feline shifter, and more dangerous than she looks. Her feline DNA means she can literally bring out the claws when things get dicey. She’s worked with a string of hotheaded military guys who’ve underestimated her special skills in the past. But when she’s partnered with special agent Donovan, a man sexy enough to make any girl purr, things begin to heat up. He doesn’t think she’s a freak-and he’s smokin’ hot. Soon they’re facing a threat even greater than anyone imagines…and an animal magnetism impossible to ignore.


“An absolutely perfect story-one I honestly couldn’t put down. One of the best books I’ve read in years. I hope this is the beginning of a very long series, because I definitely want more of Paige Tyler’s shifters.” – Kate Douglas, author of the bestselling Wolf Tales and Spirit Wild series
“A wild, hot, and sexy ride from beginning to end! I loved it!” – Terry Spear, USA Today bestselling author of A SEAL in Wolf’s Clothing
“Once I began, the outside world ceased to exist. It’s exciting and fast paced.” – Paranormal Kiss
“I love a good paranormal romance and this series has started off with a bang!” – Hopeless in Literature Reviews

Available Online and in Bookstores Everywhere

Buy Links:







Paige Tyler is a USA Today Bestselling Author of sexy, romantic fiction. She and her very own military hero (also known as her husband) live on the beautiful Florida coast with their adorable fur baby (also known as their dog). Paige graduated with a degree in education, but decided to pursue her passion and write books about hunky alpha males and the kickbutt heroines who fall in love with them.

She is represented by Bob Mecoy.

US shipping addresses only, please

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The post Interview with Paige Tyler, Author of Her Perfect Mate and Giveaway appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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20690. Poetry Friday -- Encyclopedias

Wikimedia Commons

Yard Sale

by George Bilgere

Someone is selling the Encyclopedia Britannica
in all its volumes,
which take up a whole card table.

It looks brand new, even though it must be sixty years old.
That's because it was only used a couple of times,
when the kids passed through fifth grade
and had to do reports on the Zambezi River
and Warren Harding.

Der Fuhrer was defunct.
The boys came home,
and everybody got the Encyclopedia Britannica,
which sat on the bookshelf
as they watched Gunsmoke
through a haze of Winstons.

these people grew old
and were sent to a home
by the same children who once wrote
reports on Warren Harding.

And now the complete and unabridged
Encyclopedia Britannica,
bulging with important knowledge,
is sitting on a card table in a light rain.

I couldn't resist keeping with the theme of my posts from Wednesday and Thursday.

Liz has the Poetry Friday roundup this week at Elizabeth Steinglass: Poet.

0 Comments on Poetry Friday -- Encyclopedias as of 5/16/2014 7:08:00 AM
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20691. Poetry Friday with a review of Goodnight Songs

When my daughter was little I used to sing her a lullaby at bedtime. She got so used to hearing the song that she refused to go to sleep if someone did not sing it for her. Even her father, who does not like to sing at all, had to give in and sing the song when he put her to bed.

Today's poetry title is full of poems that can be spoken or sung to comfort children who is about to go to sleep.

Goodnight SongsrtistsGoodnight Songs
Margaret Wise Brown
Illustrated by twelve Award-Winning Picture Book Artists
Poetry Picture Book with Audio CD
For ages 4 to 6
Sterling Children’s books, 2014, 978-1-4549-0446-5
Many years ago author Margaret Wise Brown noticed that many children hum or sing little songs as they go about their day. She decided to write the words of songs that she hoped would “capture the spirit of a children’s world,” and collaborated with famous musicians of the time to create songs that would best compliment her words. Unfortunately, Margaret’s songs were not published in her lifetime and for many years they lay forgotten in a trunk full of Margaret’s writings. Thankfully, her songs were discovered by an editor and now, many years after they were written, they are presented to the world in this beautiful picture book.
   The poems chosen for this collection are all perfect for bedtime. We read about a little goat on a hill who “drank his supper and drank his fill” before going to sleep. We visit a little wooden town at night when there is “no one around.” The streets in this town “ran up” and “ran down” and everywhere “there wasn’t a sound.” We find out what someone sees “When I close my eyes at night.” The person sees “Blue clouds in a big white sky,” and a place where “bright green birds go flying by.”
   Packed with soothing images, gently rhythmic phrases, and verse that calms and quietens the heart and mind, this book would make a wonderful gift for families with a young child. The accompanying artwork is beautifully rendered to compliment Margaret Wise Brown’s words, and to bring the poems to life so that young children have something special to look at as they explore the book.
   When they are sung the poems in this book serve as lullabies that offer children a soothing close to their day, and the accompanying CD features recordings of these lullabies, giving young children and their grownups a special way to enjoy Margaret Wise Brown’s lovely words.

0 Comments on Poetry Friday with a review of Goodnight Songs as of 5/16/2014 9:06:00 AM
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20692. First Chapter Review: The Luthier’s Apprentice by Mayra Calvani


The first chapter of this young adult dark fantasy novel was sent to me by the author. You can read it online at http://www.twilighttimesbooks.com/LuthiersApprentice_ch1.html


BLURB: When a psychopathic violinist starts kidnapping other violinists around the world, 16-year old Emma must hunt her down before her own beloved violin teacher is killed.

COVER: This is a stunning cover. From the stormy sky to the rolling waters to the beautiful young woman to the contrast of the red on her lips and dress, every book cover should capture the eye as well as this one does.

FIRST CHAPTER: In present day Brussels, Emma gets off at the bus stop and is stunned by a newspaper headline at the news stand. Her violin teacher has disappeared. She races home to discover more bad news. Her world is quickly turned upside down by what she has learned in the past few minutes, but she has other news she hasn’t even shared with her mother that makes preparing for the upcoming violin competition ever harder.

KEEP READING: I’ve never been disappointed by one of Calvani’s books, so it’s no surprise that she opens The Luthier’s Apprentice with a strong first chapter that encourages the reader to continue. The author drops the reader into the action with an excellent hook and keeps the tension high throughout it all. We meet Emma and her mother, but also get information about other people in Emma’s life: her violin teacher and his wife, her grandfather, and her mother’s eccentric sister. I’m eager to see what happens next.

Author web site: http://www.MayraCalvani.com
Publisher: Twilight Times Books, http://twilighttimesbooks.com
Genre: YA Paranormal Fantasy
Series: Book 1
Distributors: Amazon Kindle; Apple iBookstore; BN.com Nook; Kobo Books; OmniLit, etc
Release date: May 15, 2014 ebook; August 15, 2014 print
Pages: 184
Purchase links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00K93R3OO/

B and N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-luthiers-apprentice-mayra-calvani/1119467189

This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

2 Comments on First Chapter Review: The Luthier’s Apprentice by Mayra Calvani, last added: 5/16/2014
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20693. Challenge update: Sixth Grade Can Really Kill You.

Sixth grade can really kill you Sixth grade can really kill you reprintFrom TwinCities.com:

A panel of parents, teachers and Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan school officials voted unanimously Wednesday to keep a book that uses the word "retarded" in the libraries of nine district schools.

Jenna Boutain, a Farmington resident whose daughter attends a district school, requested in April that the book "Sixth Grade Can Really Kill You" by Barthe DeClements be removed from schools because it uses a derogatory term for students with special needs.


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20694. Create an e-Anthology to Show Off Your Body of Work

wolman-david-064BY DAVID WOLMAN
Bad news first. That page on your website so lovingly curated and carefully updated with links to your published work? No one reads it. OK, maybe your Mom and an editor who wants to see samples of previous work, but no one else. That doesn’t mean you aren’t a great writer and it certainly doesn’t mean humanity has lost interest in riveting tales or important topics like education, healthcare, and cat shampoo. It only means that you live and write in an age when the battle for attention is beyond ferocious. I, for one, am quite interested in your writing. Really. The thing is, I’m running to catch a plane. After that I’m facing a tough deadline, hurrying to get the kids from daycare, and—I’ll be honest—cuing up another episode of “Top of the Lake.” I could read some of your stuff later tonight, true, but at night I don’t care much for websites and scrolling to eternity. I want a book or an e-book.
The good news? With today’s digital publishing tools, you can easily transform your archive of work into an e-book. You not only can, you should. Articles, short stories, poems, books—your stuff is gathering e-dust in forgotten corners of the Web. Go find those favorites and (if you retain rights), breathe new life into them to create a unified and elegant product. Then—and here’s the radical bit—sell it. Your writing is a professional-caliber product, is it not? Then treat it like one, for heaven’s sake.
Preview and purchase FIRSTHAND by David WolmanNow, you could produce your collection merely by cutting and pasting text files and clicking “enter,” but that would be unwise. Readers will detect haste and a lack of attention to their experience with the prose and digital page. There is also the matter of value. Pulling disparate works into one place and format provides some value, but you can do better. The real added value in an e-anthology are the ingredients that make it new and different. The meat is previously published works, yes, but with footnotes, postscripts, photos, videos, and links, the selections become something more. Got a funny anecdote about the writing process that you share at cocktail parties? Include it! Is there a substantial update to some political or scientific idea addressed in a story from 5 years ago? Let’s hear it.
Just so there’s zero confusion on this point: Your Digital Age collected works will not make you rich. There’s long tail potential, though. A few years from now, when you publish your latest terrific magazine story, someone, possibly even a handful of someones, will wonder what else you’ve written. Maybe they will jump online and buy a book you’ve published. If you don’t have any books and haven’t put together a compendium, they might make their way to your website, but that will be the end of it. (See above re: harsh reality of your mostly ignored website.) Yet what if those readers instead found this aesthetically produced collection of stories available for a fraction of what they paid for Mother’s Day flowers? They might just buy it.
Irrespective of potential sales, you will also have this wonderful thing: a product to share with friends and family who’ve been nagging you for years to tell them when and where to read your stuff. (Don’t worry, Mom doesn’t have to pay; you can gift the collection or send a password-protected version.) Besides, you may find, as I did, that the experience of assembling, rereading, and remastering some of the work you’re most proud of will provide a rare opportunity to reflect on your career, not as a constellation of unrelated assignments, but as a body of writing that rather resembles an accomplishment.
David Wolman is an author and a contributing editor at Wired. His new collection, FIRSTHAND, is out this month. He used Creatavist to produce it, but the book is also available for Kindle and other e-readers. He lives in Oregon with his wife and two children. You can follow him on Twitter @davidwolman.

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20695. Free excerpts: BEA Buzz Books.

Publishers Lunch has released two new editions of Buzz Books: one for the adult market, and one for the YA market.

From the YA description:

Excerpts you can read right now include new work from established giants of the field (Ellen Hopkins; Garth Nix; Scott Westerfeld), authors best-known for their adult books (Carl Hiaasen; Michael Perry; Ben Tripp; Meg Wolitzer), and genuine newsmakers—including the first of James Frey’s attention-getting Endgame trilogy, which will include interactive elements developed in association with Google’s Niantic Labs.

From the adult description:

Highly-anticipated debuts include multi-generational family epic We Are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas, featured on BEA’s own “buzz books” editors panel alongside another highly-touted debut set for publication in over 30 countries, Jessie Burton’s The Miniaturist. We have Nayomi Munaweera’s novel longlisted for the 2012 Man Asian Literary Prize, Island of a Thousand Mirrors, and Audrey Magee’s The Undertaking, already shortlisted for the Baileys Women’s Prize in Fiction.

Well-established authors such as Tana French, Marlon James, John Scalzi and W. Bruce Cameron are represented with new work, as are excerpts from the last books in two popular series from Lev Grossman and Deborah Harkness.

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20696. Be Honest: Do You Like This Post? Gut Level Truth In Poetry...and in Life

Howdy, Campers!

Note the four exciting announcements at the bottom of this post (including this: today's the last day to enter our current book giveaway.)

Thank you, Elizabeth Steinglass, for hosting Poetry Friday today!

I had a wonderful poetry teacher, Tony Lee, who taught us about voice.

Describing something, as a journalist does, Tony said, is the reporting voice.
  That voice comes from the lips, the mouth, the throat.
from morguefile.com
Writing about feelings comes from the gut, a lower, truer, sometimes scarier place, he said.  

from morguefile.com
This is the deep voice.  The deep voice attracts readers.  It connects them to your story.  Be brave, he told us. Find the feelings. Go there.

So why do some blog and FaceBook posts get nine kazillion comments (not mine!) and some get zip?
from FaceBook

12,341,889 likes ~ 58,962 talking about this

Putting aside JoAnn's terrific post about social media and the perfect lengths for poems, posts, headings, etc. in various online media...

it seems to me that getting your work read (or, more to the point, getting your work read and passed on) is about superficial vs. deep.

Just like a book in which the author rips off her shirt and shows us her scars (as Anne Lamott does), FaceBook and blog posts that come from the gut are the ones that resonate.

I was at a meeting the other day; each of us had three minutes to talk about anything we wanted.  The first two minutes and 30 seconds I talked about some success I had had.  In the last 30 seconds, my mouth opened and an embarrassing truth popped out.  I said that Robyn Hood Black had very kindly gifted me homemade granola.  It was especially touching because Robyn knows I can't eat sugar, so she made it with sugar-free maple syrup.  I could actually have it.  Delighted, I sat down for lunch, thinking I'd taste just a spoonful, just to see what it was like.

Good granola is dense, so you don't need much.  And you and I know that you're supposed to eat two cups of granola over a period of several days--with fresh blueberries and your pinky finger raised, right?

Not me... immediately my mouth opened, a vacuum turned on, my brain turned off, and nearly two cups of absolutely delicious granola were gone.  Gone!
This isn't Robyn's granola.
Hers had yummy bits of coconut in it.
But...um...I didn't have time to take a picture of hers.
So this is from morguefile.com
As we went around the room sharing, do you think others in the group commented on the nicely packaged pithy wisdom in my first two minutes and thirty seconds?  Nope.  Nearly ALL of them talked about my granola adventure.  It hit a familiar nerve. We've all been there.

It was no longer mine...it was all of ours.  

During Poetry Month this year, I had what I called a metaphoraffair--I practiced finding metaphors, posting one each day, both on my website (where, it turned out, the comment mechanism was broken) and on FaceBook and Twitter.

The metaphor which drew the most interest was my final post for Poetry Month 2014, written with and about my mother, who is 91 and not doing great.  It was hard for me to post; it was true. It was from my gut.

I drew this in November, 2010, after Mom and I walked around a park in Malibu...and suddenly I was the parent
I drew this in November, 2010, after Mom and I walked around a park in Malibu…suddenly I was the parent
The point is, be brave, cut deep beneath the skin, share from the gut, share your humaness. That's all we have.
                                                                             *   *   *   *
LAST CALL! If you haven't entered our current giveaway, it ends today!  To enter, go to Jill Esbaum's post to win your very own autographed copy of Jill's Angry Birds Playground: Rain Forest (National Geographic Books)!

Will you be in New York on May 18th? I'll be speaking on the Children's Books Panel of the Seminar on Jewish Story in New York City on Sunday, May 18th.  Here's my interview the seminar organizer, Barbara Krasner published on her blog.

For an example of a beautifully written post which hits a nerve, read Jama Rattigan's gorgeous and heartfelt Mother's Day post.

And, last but not least, happy Children's Book Week!  Be brave. Go forth and share the very thing that hard to share.

posted with love by April Halprin Wayland...but you knew that, right?

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20697. Five on Friday: Picture Books Edition

Find out which five, NEW picture books I'm fawning over this Friday. Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win one of the five titles.

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20698. Portland, I am in you.

I'll be presenting and critiquing at SCBWI-Oregon this weekend (in between sneaking out to visit Powell's and eat at the Kennedy School). Come find me!

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20699. The Royal We

I got a form reject from a particular agent at an agency. In her reject, she uses the collective when saying it's not a project they feel enthusiastic about. Am I to assume this means I should not query other agents at that agency because THEY are not interested? Or do agents sometimes use the collective when talking about themselves and their assistants. I don't want to unnecessarily cross off any agents from my list but nor do I want to miss out on other agents in an agency who might be interested. What say ye?

Ah yes, We see that a lot in rejection letters.

For some reason "we" feels safer than "I" when followed by "think your work isn't right for us."

Assume that We means only the one agent.

Besides We still haven't fully funded the Kickstarter campaign for the Query Policy. We soldier on.

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20700. Tom Toby written by Isobel St. Vincent with illustrations by Helen Haywood

Old Tom Toby was a dustman. His fur was ginger and his whiskers always looked as though they needed combing. His baggy grey trousers and russet leather waistcoat were tattered and spotty. And he wasn't very good-tempered. He was grouchy and grumpy to everyone – even to faithful old Tantams.

Tantams was a wooden horse bought from a vintage fair for sixpence. His black mane was very worn and one of his legs had been twice mended, but his eyes were still bright with kindness, and he had a very good heart.

“Dustman! Dustman!” yelled Tom Toby, stumping along with his paws in his pockets white Tantams pulled the cart. “Whoa! You!” miaowed Tom Toby harshly. That’s just like old Toby, Tantams thought to himself. I would have stopped, anyhow. Don’t we always stop at No. 16? It was true. Every Tuesday, when he started out on his rounds, Tom Toby always stopped first at No. 16. Now, as always, he cocked his check cap a little on one side, gave a hasty comb to his whiskers and looked expectantly towards the side door.

In the basement of No. 16 lived the only cat who got more than a surly growl from grouchy Tom Toby. This was Mrs. Maisie, a plump, tabby, widow-cat: housekeeper to the old Dowager Cat at No. 16. Mrs. Maisie liked company. Tom Toby was very partial to milk pudding. And, as friendly Mrs. Maisie was glad to offer a saucer of pudding in exchange for a little chat, the two had struck up a kind of friendship. In an unguarded moment, Mrs. Maisie had even told Tom Toby her “secret.” Up in the attic, unknown to her mistress, Mrs. Maisie kept her three kittens, Jill, Jacqueline and Little Giles.

As a rule, the back door opened as soon as the rumble of the rickety dustcart ceased. This morning, even though Tom Toby coughed accusingly, and loyal Tantams obligingly shook his head to jingle his harness, it remained shut. “Strange!” muttered Tom Toby. For a moment longer he stared hard at the door. Then his offended green eyes swept over the rest of the house. Suddenly, he stiffened – with every bristle aquiver. Leaning out from the railings was a board which said in very large letters:

For a little while Tom Toby just stared and stared, hardly able to believe his eyes. Besides, his tummy felt funny - disappointed of its warm, creamy, milk pudding. "Just like a she-cat," he grumbled to himself at last, "to go off without telling an honest Tom as regards her h'intentions." Still, he might as well empty the dustbin, he supposed. 

With a clang he lifted the lid. "Gr-owl! Nothing much in that! Trust the old Dowager not to throw away anything worth having." Grumbling and growling to himself, Tom Toby pawed over kipper bones, tea leaves and cinders. Then suddenly, under some screwed-up  paper, he saw it. A curiously decorated leather bag!  Holding the bag between his paws, Tom Toby looked at it closely. It was a good bag, made of real leather. Now what could be in it?

With a little click, the clasp came undone. Breathing hard, greedy eyes gleaming, Tom Toby stretched his thin neck and peered into the bag. The next second: “Puff!” A great cloud of golden-yellow  dust rose high in the air, making him stagger back, coughing and sneezing.

Up and up went the dust, swirling like gold mist in the morning sunlight. For a moment, it hovered before the first-floor window. Then a playful little breeze took it and tossed it up like a gay chiffon scarf. But with screwed-up eyes, and great big sneezes nearly shaking him off his feet, Tom Toby was too busy trying to find his grubby hankie to notice. He didn't see the golden dust cloud hover before the open attic window. He didn't hear the series of three atishoos that echoed his own. The yellow dust had reached the three little noses of Jill, Jacqueline and Giles, who were hanging out over the window sill. Eyes screwed up tight, tiny paws waving, they sneezed and sneezed. Then: 

Bump! Wallop! Crash!

 Picking themselves up, the kittens explain their mother left with the removal van. Crying and wailing they begged Tom Toby to help them.

Thinking only of the possible reward he might get from a grateful Mrs. Maisie, the surly cat agreed, and packed them in to the back of the dust-cart. And though nobody noticed it, the cloud of golden dust swirled high in the air above them, and because of it, a series of strange adventures began... 

A magical tale beautifully illustrated by Helen Haywood.

Tom Toby by Isobel St. Vincent Published in 1949.  Hardback book with dust jacket. Please follow this link if you would like further details.

Helen R Haywood is a little known artist of the mid-twentieth century. Primarily, a writer and illustrator of children’s books she created a series of books based on the character Peter Tiggywig and friends. Other works included Master Mouse, Animal Playtime and Animal Worktime, which appeared in the Look with Mother series, and Aesop's Fables (Wiki). The Helen Haywood Christmas Book, The Discontented Pool, Dawdles Duckling, and Patsy Mouse.

Thanks for calling in...

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