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-Does the wit and humour of Julie's voice come naturally to you?
I'm told that I'm a funny guy but I honestly don't see myself that way. When I'm writing Julie, I'm trying to write her as I see the story evolving and I use things that I say on a regular basis - these usually wind up in her speech patterns, so if she's funny then I'm happy. I like to think of her as a realist in her world view.
-What kind of research regarding witches did you do, and what did you add to it for Poltergeeks?
The normal, check out a couple of books at the library and read a ton of Wiccan information from websites. I actually did read the Malleus Maleifacarum - the 16h century treatise on the persecution of witches. That it exists today as an historical document available freely via the Interweb is a source of wonder.
-Would any, if so which, of your characters would be your best friend if they were real?
Hmmm. I'm pretty reclusive actually so if I were to have a friend from the two books, it would probably be Betty. :)
-How important is family in YA fiction?
I think its massively important to have an accurate reflection of family life in YA fiction. There are a lot of books out there where the family are just a bunch of dolts who are in the way of the protagonist for one reason or another. But the fact is family is all you've got at the end of the day. Your friends can desert you but your family are part of what makes all of us who we are - for better or worse. I wanted to further explore the mother-daughter relationship which I think comes out as very genuine in both books - more so in STUDENT BODIES as Julie and her mom have to work together and fight together despite the tension that exists between the two.
-What´s your favourite thing the Poltergeeks series has been compared to or described as?
I really liked author Sara Grant's blurb where she says POLTERGEEKS is GHOSTBUSTERS meets SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH with a dash of X-FILES
-What´s next for Julie and Marcus?
A great deal of very bad stuff. Assuming there's a book III. I have a two-book deal with Strange Chemistry. The third and final book is plotted and outlined but I haven't started writing it yet.
-Do you prefer...
---Planning or pantsing? Planning - I'm a control freak
---Your witches or your ghosts? - Ghosts. I saw one during my visit to London last year.
---Twitter, facebook, blog, or other way or reaching readers? I'm a big Twitter nut. Facebook ... the jury is still out.
-Random question: If Poltergeeks and Student Bodies became a musical, what kind of sound would it have? Definitely not Rogers and Hammerstein. Probably it would have a bit of Andrew Llloyd Webber mixed with Iron Maiden and a large amount of Rush.
-Anything else you want to say? Nope - thanks for the interview. I really hope readers get a kick out of STUDENT BODIES. It's a very very dark book when compared to the first one -- and a heck of an adventure.
Sean can be found on twitter, and at his website. Student Bodies can be bought on amazon. Thanks to YA Book Bound Tours for organising this :)
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nerosunero At the Park, triptych 160x320cm, 2013
Upstart/Granby Park Dublin, August/September 2013
Blog: Silver Apples of the Moon (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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Question: You allude to writing emotions in a story with You'll know you have it right when the story flows in a way that is emotionally compelling. PleaseAdd a Comment
Minneapolis favorites are BACK!
Blog: Cartoon Brew (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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Japanese animation director Hayao Miyazaki, 72, has retired, say reports from the Venice Film Festival. The announcement was made by Koji Hoshino, the president of Studio Ghibli. “Miyazaki has decided that Kaze Tachinu will be his last film and he will now retire,” Hoshino said.
As industry observers know, this is not the first time that Miyazaki or someone from his camp has announced his retirement. We posed the question on Twitter, and most people seem to believe that Miyazaki has announced his retirement at least three times.
Is anyone keeping track of how many times Hayao Miyazaki has retired?
— Cartoon Brew (@cartoonbrew) September 1, 2013
Hoshino promised that more details would be revealed at a press conference next week in Tokyo.Add a Comment
Blog: Jennifer E. Morris (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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A Gluten-Free Birthday for Me! is officially out as of today!
I loved HATTIE BIG SKY by Kirby Larson. A story of a young woman trying to homestead on her own in Big Sky Country, fighting the elements, seeking to survive and finding some dear friends along the way. How could I fail to be inspired by this spunky girl?
In HATTIE EVER AFTER, we follow Hattie's adventures after the year of homesteading. When we first see her, she is working as a girl of all work in a rooming house. A troupe of entertainers comes to stay, and when the wardrobe mistress elopes with one of the lesser actors, the troupe has need of a new wardrobe mistress. Taking that job means that Hattie will get to San Francisco and a step closer to her dreams of working as a reporter at a big city newspaper, and finding out more about her mysterious Uncle Chester and Ruby, the woman he may have loved.
Hattie is willing to do what it takes, even if that means taking a job as a charwoman until she can get a break into writing. She hones her investigative reporting and writing skills, while dealing with her feelings for Charlie. As in HATTIE BIG SKY, we see much of the relationship between Charlie and Hattie through the letters they exchange.
I highly recommend this book. The setting of early 1900s San Francisco is fascinating. Hattie is a fully drawn character, complete with conflicting feelings and desires. The reader is right with Hattie in her quest for a dream, an identity, and a life. The mystery is compelling. The romance element is handled with great finesse, and we are able to see that a young woman has many dreams and must sort out how to pursue the ones most important to her in a way that creates a good life for her.
Hope you enjoy this as much as I did.
Blog: Crazy Quilts (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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Zero Fade by Chris Terry. Curbside Splendor, 10 Sept Zero Fade chronicles eight days in the life of inner-city Richmond, Virginia, teen Kevin Phifer as he deals with wack haircuts, bullies, last year’s fly gear, his uncle Paul coming out as gay, and being grounded.
Mira in the present tense by Sita Brahmachari; Whitman Press, 1 Sept Twelve-year-old Mira comes from a chaotic, artistic, and outspoken family in which it’s not always easy to be heard. As her beloved Nana Josie’s health declines, Mira begins to discover the secrets of those around her and also starts to keep some of her own. She is drawn to mysterious Jide, a boy who is clearly hiding a troubled past. As Mira is experiencing grief for the first time, she is also discovering the wondrous and often mystical world around her. An incredibly insightful, honest novel exploring the delicate balance–and often injustice–of life and death. But at its heart, it’s a celebration of friendship, culture–and life.
Chasing shadows by Swati Avasthi. Alfred A. Knopf, 24 Sept Chasing Shadows is a searing look at the impact of one random act of violence.
Before: Corey, Holly, and Savitri are one unit—fast, strong, inseparable. Together they turn Chicago concrete and asphalt into a freerunner’s jungle gym, ricocheting off walls, scaling buildings, leaping from rooftop to rooftop.But acting like a superhero doesn’t make you bulletproof…
After: Holly and Savitri are coming unglued. Holly says she’s chasing Corey’s killer, chasing revenge. Savitri fears Holly’s just running wild—and leaving her behind. Friends should stand by each other in times of crissi. But can you hold on too tight? Too long?
Inheritance by Malinda Lo. LIttle, Brown and Co. When teens Reese and David are kidnapped after revealing that they were adapted with alien DNA, Reese is forced to reconcile her new love for David, a human, with feelings for Amber, an Imrian, and make a world-changing choice.
Once we were: the hybrid chronicles by Kat Zang. Harper Collins, 17 Sept In this riveting sequel to What’s Left of Me, Eva and Addie struggle to share their body as they clash over romance and join the fight for hybrid freedom. With a powerful voice, an intense sibling relationship, and a sweet romance against the odds, this second novel in the Hybrid Chronicles is perfect for fans of Ally Condie, Lauren Oliver, and Scott Westerfeld.
Addie and Eva escaped imprisonment at a horrific psychiatric hospital. Now they should be safe, living among an underground hybrid movement. But safety is starting to feel constricting. Faced with the possibility of being in hiding forever, the girls are eager to help bring about change—now. The answer seems to lie within a splinter group willing to go to extremes for hybrid freedom, but as Addie and Eva fall ever deeper into their plans, what they thought was the solution to their problems just might be the thing that destroys everything—including their bond to each other.
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It’s been a few weeks and the spice grinder that I am so sure we bought at Target has not turned up. Bookman stopped at Target on the way to work the other morning to pick something up and thought he’d get a spice grinder too since we couldn’t find it anywhere. He looked around the kitchen tools area for a bit before flagging down a store employee to ask where they kept them. “Spice grinder?” said the employee, “we don’t sell them.” When Bookman told me this I wanted to sputter that it couldn’t be right, the person he talked to didn’t know anything because we had already bought one from Target! But all things considered, I had to admit defeat. Ouch.
Friday night we went grocery shopping (yes we lead a wild life, don’t we?) at our natural foods co-op and in theirextensive and fabulous bulk spice aisle they sell all sorts of marvelous things including spice grinders. It sat on the shelf next to a lovely marble mortar and pestle. I tried to hint that maybe we want the mortar and pestle instead because — pretty! — and very old fashioned cool, something a kitchen wizard should definitely have. Bookman was so busy scooping powdered onion into a bag that he just sort of grunted at me. I took that to mean you’re kidding right? So I reluctantly put the spice grinder into our cart and left the mortar and pestle on the shelf. One day, maybe.
Later at home I am looking at this little spice grinder packaging and it cracks me up. On the sides of the box in big letters it says Spice it Up! and Tulip Spice Grinder great for flax seed. And then in little print right above where it says spice grinder, it says ideal size for grinding spices. Really? Doesn’t that kind of go without saying cuz it’s a spice grinder and aren’t they all pretty much the same size? I have no idea why I find this so funny but see note earlier about the wild life I lead for a possible explanation.
Now we really do have a spice grinder and we can grind up and use the black cumin we grew in our garden. Yay! I swallowed my pride and told Bookman I had been mistaken about having bought a spice grinder at Target. He was kind enough to only gloat a little.We had six days in a row this week with temperatures over 90F (32C) and tropical humidity. One night it only cooled off to 81F (27C). Friday we “cooled off” to 88 (31) and then got hot again Saturday. But the heat finally broke last night and we even got rain. Today has been cloudy and a cool 73 (22). Until last night we hadn’t had rain in so long our rain barrel was bone dry. With the heat we had to water the garden every day from the hose. I do not look forward to the water bill. But even though we watered, the garden suffered. Bossy and Bingo dropped lots of apples and Bea, our honeycrisp that had one apple on her, well, it fell off too. Even Walter the crab apple dropped two of his four apples. The beans hung on as best they could but were pretty stressed and didn’t produce as many beans this week as in the past. Some of the beans that were really small shriveled up and went crispy. There aren’t many flowers on the plants anymore so I think I will get a few beans next week and that just might be it.
The plants that suffered most were the pumpkins. Those big leaves can’t take hot sun beating down on them. The whole vine did not die but the bigger leaves all did. So sad looking, poor things.
What liked the heat? The tomatoes, bell peppers, cantaloupes, morning glories and sunflowers. The tomatoes are still greenbut they got bigger. The bell peppers, we only have two, also got bigger as did the cantaloupes which are all still small and so far behind that I am not sure they will ripen before frost. The morning glories exploded. We only planted heavenly blue, the rest in the yard are seeded from last summer and they are everywhere. It’s crazy fun.
This week the downy sunflower, a native perennial sunflower, burst into bloom. It doesn’t mind the heat at all. And the garlic chives are going crazy too. I know lots of people complain that these are invasive and yes, they do get out of control and seed themselves everywhere, but there are so few white flowers in my garden that I very much like them. Plus they seem to be able to grow anywhere, like a weed. Better to have a plant that isn’t a weed and that I can actually use for cooking growing like a weed than one that is a weed going crazy everywhere.
With today’s cool weather Bookman and I spent some time working on the garden path and it is almost done. Tomorrow is a holiday and supposed to be cool as well so I think we just might finish it. If we do, I’ll have a picture of it next week. Yay!
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In honor of Labor Day, we've compiled a list of books to share with children about the people who helped improve the lives of workers. Visit the U.S. Department of Labor site for more information about this history of Labor Day. Books to Share with Children on Labor Day Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers' Strike of 1909 by Michelle Markel and Melissa Sweet (reviewed byDisplay Comments Add a Comment
Blog: Books for Little Hands (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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I'm so excited to be included in Tania McCartney's blog tour reviewing her picture book, Eco Warriors to the Rescue! Make sure you jump on board the tour by clicking on the links on the bottom of this post.
Eco Warriors to the Rescue! is the latest picture book written by Australian children's author, Tania McCartney and published by the National Library of Australia Publishing.
Banjo, Ned and Matilda are curious everyday kids but they are also real life Eco Warriors. Join them as they search for the best ways to keep our Australian native plants in tip top shape and battle the enemies that threaten our environment such as litter and pollution.
Children will feel inspired to keep Australia green by the colourful glossy photographs of the Eco Warriors in action and will hopefully become proactive in protecting the flora and fauna in their local community.
Eco Warriors to the Rescue! is perfect for Eco Warriors young and old as there's plenty of interesting facts in the back pages to discover, appreciate and care for our beautiful Australian native flora.
This is another spectacular book for Tania McCartney and the National Library of Australia .
Blog: Bookshelf Confessions (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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Hosted by Lisa Loves Literature & I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
As part of my birthday celebration this month, I'm joining this fabulous giveaway hop.
The books below are from the series that I'd read, and what's great is you can win those.
Or if you have other taste, you can opt for any $10 book from the Book Depository, but it must be a sequel :)
[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
A school boy’s crayons are up in arms. They are fed up with the way they get used. Some complain of not being used enough, others just want a rest from over-use. One is embarrassed to be naked (the paper label has been torn off), whilst others are arguing over who is the best when it comes to colouring the sun.
Just how is this school boy going to keep his crayons happy? A very clever (unspoken) solution is found, and colouring can continue, keeping everyone happy, albeit with some surprising results.
Drew Daywalt’s text is instantly appealing. He takes something as simple and recognisable as the act of colouring and drawing (a relatively large part of many young kids’ lives) and injects it with high drama, and a sense of power (for the child gets to decide the fate of the crayons). There’s lots of scope for silly voices as each crayon complains, making it as much fun for the reader as the listener.
Jeffers was a perfect choice to illustrate this story; his apparently naive, sketchy illustrations will have kids looking at them thinking his drawings are just like theirs: Like the text, the illustrations are empowering.
A wickedly funny, spot-on picture book with bags and bags of kid appeal, I really can’t wait to share this will classrooms of kids.
As we were having tremendously hot weather when this book first arrived in our laps, we combined reading it with experimental science: was the weather hot enough to melt wax crayons?
We grated some stubs of crayons and then used them like rice in rangoli art.
We drew outlines with chalk and then filled them in with our crayon gratings.
The temperature rose and rose…
And gradually the crayons DID melt! They glistened in the sun, and once soft, we used our fingers to spread out the melted wax.
Our patio now has some unique decoration
Another day we tried drawing with crayons on sandpaper for a different sort of sensory experience.
Once the drawings were complete, we ironed them onto tracing paper (with a dishcloth under the iron, to prevent the paper from singeing).
This had an amazing pointillist effect, creating “ghost” images of the original drawing, made up of thousands of little dots.
As if you needed any more proof that The Day the Crayons Quit was a hit in our home, M couldn’t resist making a set of crayon characters with googly eyes and pipecleaners. She has visions of making another little stop animation film with them (which would be entirely appropriate given that the author of The Day the Crayons Quit is a film maker), so watch this space!
Whilst melting / drawing / ironing we listened to:
Other crayon activities we’d like to try out include:
When I read The Day the Crayons Quit at school I’ll be using it in a session with Eric Carle’s The Artist who Painted a Blue Horse, Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson, and What Colour is Your World? by Bob Gill.
What colour is your favourite crayon? (Mine is red )
Disclosure: I received a free, review copy of The Day the Crayons Quit.
Blog: prime time rhyme (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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There are sometimes when you don't want to write or talk about a few topics. And there can be a number of reasons why you may not want to do so. Even as I write this blog post, I wonder if it will make any significance at all. Yet, I cannot let go of the nagging feeling that tugs at my heart when I read the news about a juveline ( the accused from the dec 2012 rape incident) being released of aAdd a Comment
Blog: Children's Author Artie Knapp (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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A new children’s book by Artie will be out in late September!!!
View from a Zoo – Thea is a house-cat that seems to have it all… she has a warm home, plenty of food and a family that loves her. But something is missing in Thea’s life. Where is the excitement? Where is the adventure?
From children’s author Artie Knapp & illustrator Sunayana Nair Kanjilal, comes a new picture book that answers the question that kids everywhere like to ask… I am bored. What should I do?
FIND OUT THIS SEPTEMBER!
To read early reviews of the book, please click on the book’s cover above. Published by MightyBook Inc, Houston, TX.
More updates to come soon!!!
The North Carolina Press Foundation is offering four of Artie’s serial stories to Newspapers in Education (NIE) newspapers across the United States. This year’s theme is Dig into Reading. In addition to the NIE, the foundation will also be offering Artie’s work to libraries and other newspapers throughout the United States. To read the stories please click on the NC Press Foundation link listed above.
A new short story by Artie was published this month titled Summer at the Drive-in. To read the story on the Teachers.net Gazette, please click on the image below.
COPYRIGHT © 2013 ARTIE KNAPP
Use of any of the content on this website without permission is prohibited by federal law
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MaddAddam is the third book of the trilogy which began in 2003 with Oryx and Crake and continued with The Year of the Flood . Judging by the thanks offered by Atwood in her ‘Acknowledgements’, without the encouragement of her readers, “including those on Facebook and Twitter”, it might never have been written. But it does not matter if you have not read either of the first two books, this one can stand alone. In fact, I found the outline of the earlier books, which prefaces MaddAddam, totally confusing in spite of having read them, and I resorted to making a sort of flow-chart of the characters who had already appeared. It was unnecessary.
“There’s a story, then there’s the real story, then there’s the story of how the story came to be told”, says Toby, who is the writer-protagonist of this book. And this is the way the book unfolds, with the back-story of several of the characters and events from the earlier books being told, as well as a more detailed account of Toby’s own story. She is one of the few survivors of the ecological/biological disaster which has destroyed most of humankind, and her ongoing diary begins with the final events of The Year of Flood. Amongst the survivors are the murderous Painballers, the injured Jimmy, The Snowman, and a small group of Crakers, bio-engineered, gene-spliced, human-like beings who are “free of sexual jealousy, greed, clothing and the need for insect repellant”. The Craker males are also sexually voracious and this becomes the cause of distress and curiosity amongst the few human women, but with potentially hopeful results for the whole group.
In 2003, Oryx and Crake described seemingly outlandish inventions, corporations and social changes, and Atwood had fun inventing appropriate names: such as ‘Pigoons’ for “gen-mod” pigs with human characteristics; the powerful ‘CorpSeCorps’ technocrats; and ‘BlissPluss’ pill for sexual energy and prolonged youth. Now, bioengineering is well established, gated communities and powerful technocrats are common, and ecstasy and other ‘life-style drugs’ have taken on the agenda of BlissPluss. In fact, as Atwood remarks in the ‘Afterword’ to MaddAddam, although the book is fiction, she has not included “technologies or bio-beings that do not already exist, are not under construction, or are not possible in theory”.
In fact, MaddAddam is less science fiction than the earlier books and more a gripping adventure thriller and love story. The chapter headings suggest the story-telling nature of the book: ‘The Story of How Crake was Born’, Snowman’s Progress’. ‘Moontime’, for example. ‘The story of Zeb and Fuck’ is particularly funny, as Toby tries to support the Crakers’ assumption that the exclamation “Oh Fuck!” calls on a God of Misfortune for help.
Atwood’s dark humour, her concern for our survival in a changing world, her intelligence, and her clear-eyed, wry, dry observation of human nature are always apparent. Some may find the Crakers too simple and too fanciful an invention but, for me, her loving depiction of them and of Toby’s humorous and gentle interactions with them as she tells her stories, are a delight. The innocence and curiosity of a young Craker boy, Blackbeard, and his pleasure at learning from Toby that the dark marks she makes on her pages mean sounds which can also be heard by other people who see them, is tempered by Toby’s concern for the results of this learning “What comes next? Rules, dogmas, laws? The Testament of Crake?”. It comes as no surprise that these people who purr illness and hurt away, sing joyfully at the slightest provocation (so that Toby has constantly to restrain them so she can continue her story) and can communicate with the Pigoons, ultimately save Toby and her companions from death.
Forget labels like ‘science fiction’, ‘futurist fiction’, ‘dystopian fantasy’, ‘ecological disaster novel’. MaddAddam is an imaginative book full of great characters, action, horror, humour and sadness, told by a masterly story-teller.
Copyright © Ann Skea 2013
Website and Ted Hughes pages: http://ann.skea.com/
Sylvia Plath, Ariel and the Tarot: http://ann.skea.com/
Blog: Kid Lit Reviews (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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Goodnight Baseball (Sports Illustrated Kids) by Michael Dahl Christina Forshay, illustrator Picture Window Books 5 Stars .. Back Cover: From arrival st the stadium to the last goodnight, Goodnight Baseball is a sweet, nostalgic tale—told in gentle, fun rhyme—taking readers through the thrill of a baseball game. With rich illustrations and careful rhythm, this is …Add a Comment
SADORUS, Ill. – Since she began pole-vaulting just two years ago, Taylor Millsap has soared to many personal records (PRs). Over the past few months, however, Taylor might’ve set the world record (WR) for the number of times anyone has … Continue readingDisplay Comments Add a Comment
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I'm participating in the September is For Sequels Giveaway Hop hosted by Lisa at Lisa Loves Literature.
I couldn't pass this giveaway up since Stalked by Death the sequel to Touch of Death just released less than a month ago. So guess what I'm giving away. Yup, a copy of Stalked by Death. The giveaway is open internationally. If the winner is in the US, he/she will receive a paperback copy of Stalked by Death. If the winner is international, he/she will be gifted an ebook copy of Stalked by Death.
Just enter the Rafflecopter form. Good luck to all!
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As my Facebook Friends know, I experienced another manic cooking episode this weekend. I've collapsed now and am hoping I'll be able to maintain enough energy to finally do a Weekend Links post.
While baking cookies last weekend, I listened to the Oct. 14, 2012 New York Times book podcast interview with Lois Lowry (scroll down). Lowry talks about her book, Son. She also discusses the death of her own adult son. I knew he'd died in a service-related accident, but not the details. In addition, the point is made that her book The Giver is considered the first dystopian novel for young people.
This will be old news for some, but 'Island of the Blue Dolphins' woman's cave believed found.
Lynda Mullaly Hunt did a guest blog post on a teaching writing mini-lesson earlier this month.
The Book Smugglers did a post on backlist middle grade books. It appears that it will be a weekly feature.
Mother Daughter & Son Book Reviews and Youth Literature Reviews are hosting a Best of Summer 2013 Giveaway Hop. Sixty-four blogs are giving away book-related stuff. This Hop runs through September 6th.
Speaking of things being given away, Little Hyuts has extended the giveaway period for Indie Author Spotlight Week to September 7th.
Early Reader is a fantastic personal essay in the NYTimes Book Review from Aug. 22. It describes a condition I'd never heard of called hyperlexia, in which children begin reading extremely early. This is not necessarily a good thing.
Hmm. I mentioned Facebook earlier. J. L. Bell picked up on one of our Facebook conversations and ran with it in A New Angle on Narrative Momentum at Oz and Ends.
The anti-resume is a great idea. While I do keep track of submissions, I predate spreadsheets and still don't use one. I can't even begin to imagine how much time it would take me to pull an anti-resume together. Or how long it would go on. By the way, I found this through one of Erika Dreifus's Friday Finds for Writers.
And that seems like enough reading pleasure for one weekend.
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