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1. Interview (Part 3) With Ashley Hope Pérez, Author of OUT OF DARKNESS

Happy Monday! We're back again today with the final installment in our interview with the wonderfully articulate and interesting Ashley Hope Pérez, who has stopped by on her blog tour for her forthcoming novel Out of Darkness. The story is based on... Read the rest of this post

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2. Which narration should I use?

Question: I intend to focus my story around an 19 year old boy who has suffered a lot of emotional and physical abuse at the hands of his family. I want

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3. Jervis McEntee Exhibitions

Jervis McEntee, The Woods of Asshockan, Catskills (1871), St. Johnsbury Athenaeum
Jervis McEntee (1828-1891), was a painter of the Hudson River School who has been largely overlooked until now. His work is being featured in two different museum exhibitions this fall, one in Kingston, and the other in New Paltz, New York.


The first exhibition is called "Jervis McEntee: Kingston’s Artist of the Hudson River School" and it's at the Friends of Historic Kingston gallery.


The Kingston exhibit is a small show, but it has a variety of attractions, including easel paintings, location studies in oil, pencil sketches, photographs, letters, and other documentary material, all of which puts McEntee in a historical context.


McEntee began studying with Frederic Church in 1850, and learned from him a love of painting faithful small studies of forest scenes, sunsets, and trees. They traveled together on painting junkets to Mexico and other locations throughout their lives. 


The son of an engineer who helped develop the bustling D&H barge canal that terminated in Kingston, McEntee himself avoided industrial subjects, and gravitated instead to the bucolic scenes that were fast receding in 19th century America. 

His circle of friends included notable writers, actors, architects. Among his artist friends were not only Frederic Church, but also Sanford Gifford, John F. Weir, and Worthington Whittredge. 

McEntee and his wife occupied one of the legendary Tenth Street Studios in New York, a fertile meeting ground for artists and illustrators in late 19th century America. 


In addition to his paintings, McEntee contributed a detailed daily journal of his observations about nature, art, and daily life. His journal was recently digitized by the Archives of American Art at the Smithsonian, and is available free online. 

He was frequently depressed as his fortunes ebbed. The journal makes for fascinating reading, because he had the same problems with galleries that contemporary painters do. On January 4, 1883, he wrote: "Beginning to be worried with money anxieties. They don't send my money for my picture sold in Brooklyn nor reply to my inquiries. I can't stand being asked for money when I have none."
Jervis McEntee, View Facing the Catskills, 1863, oil, Private Collection
The second exhibition just opened at the Samuel Dorsky Museum on the campus of the State University in New Paltz.

Jervis McEntee, Autumn Reverie, 1880, oil on canvas, David and Laura Grey Collection
It's a larger exhibition with more finished paintings, borrowed from the Metropolitan Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, and many other public and private collections.

Kingston Exhibition: "Jervis McEntee: Kingston’s Artist of the Hudson River School" is at the Friends of Historic Kingston gallery at 63 Main St. in Kingston and will run through October. The museum is only open Fridays and Saturdays from 11 am to 4 pm through Oct. 31, 2015. There will be "Noontime Conversations" by noted artists and art historians held on Fridays during the month of September.
The catalog of the Kingston show is called Jervis McEntee: Kingston's Artist of the Hudson River School. It's 62 pages, softcover, with contributions by Lowell Thing and Jane Kellar.

New Paltz Exhibition: The New Paltz exhibition is called "Jervis McEntee: Painter-Poet of the Hudson River School" It will be on view at the Samuel Dorsky Museum in New Paltz through December 13.
The New Paltz show catalog is titled Jervis Mcentee: Painter-Poet of the Hudson River School. This 130-page monograph presents new scholarship by exhibition curator Lee A. Vedder along with contributions by Kerry Dean Carso, a scholar of the historic Hudson Valley and professor at SUNY New Paltz; and American studies professor David Schuyler, the leading historian on McEntee.
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Jervis McEntee on Wikipedia

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4. Font Nerd Table comic, thoughts on font faces and my favorite Comic Sans song ever

For those interested, the Font Nerd Table comic above is now available as a greeting card in my card shop.

I do admit that I over-used Comic Sans and Papyrus when they first came out. Fontfaces are so much like fashion, aren't they? You have the basic fontfaces which never seem to go out of style, like Helvetica and Times Roman. But then there are the trendy fonts which are massively popular for a short period of time but then fall by the wayside.

Like Comic Sans. And speaking of Comic Sans, here's my favorite Comic Sans music video ever:

Insider kidlit trivia: Andrew Huang, who makes a guest appearance as a rapper in the video above, is also the voice in Greg Pincus's book trailer for The 14 Fibs Of Gregory K.

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5. कलाम बनाम औरंगजेब

कलाम बनाम औरंगजेब

सभी चैनल वाले मुद्दे से भटक गए हैं बहुत हैरानी की बात है कि आज सडक के नाम पर  औरंगजेब और कलाम साहब की  तुलना हो रही है… और बहस के दौरान अंट  शट बोला जा रहा है वैसे इस संदर्भ में मुझे ज्यादा समझ तो नही पर मेरा  मानना  यही है कि कलाम साहब के नाम अगर कोई नई सडक बना कर समर्पित की जाती तो बेहतर होता… किसी के नाम को बदलना और फिर विवादों मे पडना … विवादों में तो कलाम साहब भी कभी नही पडे थे तो अब उनके जाने के बाद ये ओछी राजनीति किसलिए :( शान से कोई नई सडक बना कर उसका नाम कलाम मार्ग रखते तो बहुत बेहतर होता .. !!

 

news monica gupta

 

सबसे पहले तो दोनों की तुलना करना अजीब है … दूसरा जो इस बहस को तूल दे रहा है वो हास्यास्पद है और तीसरा अगर जालिमों को हटाने की इतनी ही बात है तो बहुत जल्द यह मुद्दा भी उठेगा कि दशहरा किसलिए मनाते हैं क्यो रावण को हर साल याद करते हैं क्यो राम लीला होती जब कि वो इतना जालिम था… बात ये है ही नही बात सिर्फ इतनी है कि अगर कोई नई सडक बनाकर कलाम साहब का नाम दिया जाता तो अच्छा था … खैर !!

पता नही क्या हो गया मीडिया को, एकंरिग करते करते  एंकर इस बात की पैरवी करने लगते हैं कि कलाम साहब के नाम पर रोड सही है औरंगजेब के नाम पर सही नही है… लडते भिडते चिलाते,  नेता , आखं दिखातें अलग अलग चैनल के  एंकर … दुखद … अफसोस !!!

मुद्दा भटक गया है … हां पर टीआरपी जरुर बढ गई है यानि की उद्देश्य सफल हुआ चैनल वालो का !!!

 

 

 

The post कलाम बनाम औरंगजेब appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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6. The Survivor by Tom Doyle. Sydney: Macmillan, 2015

                                                     


George rescues a baby in a burning building and, as a reward, wins a trip to Australia on an adventure trip run by a company called Ultimate Bushcraft. They send two young group leaders to collect the group of boys from the airport and, right from the time the plane leaves, nasty things begin to happen, starting with an anaphylactic attack suffered by a boy who has an allergy to nuts - an attack that is no accident. One by one the boys die in the wilderness. As the story is told in statements by various people - and the rants of the killer - the reader knows that it is over and that George has been accused of the murders.  

The author, a school principal(my guess is that it's a boys' school) who is writing under a pen name, knows how to keep boys turning pages. As a thriller it works well and I have no doubt that they will enjoy it; there are two other thrillers by this author that are doing very well. 

 The reader is fed quite a few red herring clues along the way as to who the killer might be, then they are all killed. That's fairly standard in a murder mystery, but it is usually possible to go back and realise the clues were there all along. I didn't feel that way this time. 

I also had my doubts as to the plausibility of a number of things that happened, not so much the killings as the group leader's response to them. I can't discuss many of them without spoilers, but one example is that when the first boy falls seriously ill(poison), he is left behind with a carer but not immediately sent off to hospital - flown off if necessary. I would have thought that the group leader would have a lot of first aid and possibly paramedic skills that would make him ask questions, check the symptoms and call for help, then wait until help arrived. But this doesn't happen; the rest of the group continue with their activities and leave without him. He goes to hospital too late. I realise that the whole point of the novel is for everyone to die except the hero(hence the title), but it just didn't make sense to me. 

In all fairness, I also thought a lot of things made no sense in The Da Vinci Code - it must be a thriller thing! They simply fall apart if the reader tries to make sense of them. 

Will work well for boys from about thirteen up. I already have one waiting for this when I finish reviewing it.

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7. August 31: On This Day

Well, it is the last day of August, the last day of winter - officially, anyway. The weather forecast for the rest of this week is still fairly cool - even with a bit of sun, it's likely to be windy. Thursday, my birthday, is predicted to be cold and wet. Rats!

Still, I thought it might be nice to have an on-this-day meme.

Not much in the way of books and writing., though poor Henry V of England died of dysentery, leaving his baby son, Henry VI, as king, and both of them were the subjects of Shakespeare plays.

Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed were chased by paparazzi and killed in a car crash, leading to thousands of words being written about it and a lot of fascinating conspiracy theories. Not the sort of writing history I'd like.

A lot of disasters happened on this day, which I'll skip here. 

Birthdays? A couple of Roman Emperors, Caligula and Commodus. Caligula had a chapter in The Twelve Caesars by Suetonius, and that book inspired I, Claudius and Claudius The God by Robert Graves. 

There was DuBose Heyward, whose novel Porgy became, first a play by his wife, then an opera by Gershwin. I've never read the book or seen the show, but who hasn't heard at least a couple of those glorious songs? And speaking of musical shows, it's also the birthday of Alan J Lerner! 

There were some other authors, but the only one I have read was Leon Uris. I've read QBVII, Mila 18 and the blockbuster, Exodus. Trivia I read about that one says it has sold as many copies as Gone With The Wind

I read Exodus when I was in my teens - actually, about the time I was reading Gone With The Wind, come to think of it. I'm not sure where the battered paperback came from; my family had a lot of elderly books and recordings lying around. But I read it cover to cover and then, when I was in my later years of secondary school, I acquired a hardcover copy for 20c at a school fete. It was clean and in very good condition; I think it must have had a dust jacket at some stage, but without it, you wouldn't know it from new. It must have been donated by the teacher whose name was on it. 

Anyway, it meant I could read it again. And again. And so I did. 

The movie was a classic in its own right, but I couldn't help but feel that Paul Newman was miscast in the role of Ari Ben Canaan, the hero. He was just not the way I imagined Ari - and as for that American accent...! If Ari did speak perfect English - and I'm not sure he would - it would be with a British accent, not an American one, because that's who he learned his English from. Oh, well. The novelist was American. 

I do have a copy of the movie, but three hours is just too much for me - I've fallen asleep during the Tolkien movies, so would drop off in that.

I'd rather curl up with the novel. Off to the shelves to search!

Meanwhile, happy birthday, Leon!





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8. Best Books of August 2015

August 2015: 13 books and scripts read

The Tenderness of Thieves by Donna Freitas was a thought-provoking novel.

I'm also enjoying the Wise Girl Daily Wisdom emails from Robin Brande that go along with her new non-fiction release, The Wise Girl's Guide to Life.

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9. reader-powered publishing


Monks and Scribes Guild Seeks Injunction
Against New Self-Publisher, Gutenberg
Recently we've discussed some of the attractions that no-cost self-publishing providers offer to book writers.  Amazon's KDP for e-books, and CreateSpace for printed books, were the focus of our earlier discussions, though there are also other providers.  I published a Young Adult novel, Leaving Major Tela, in both formats with these providers, and found it a generally interesting and encouraging experience.  Now, another new development has arrived: reader-powered publishing.

It reminds one of how the music industry's decades-long, rigid control of who gets to have their music made available to the public, and how much it should cost, crumbled with the arrival of internet alternatives.  Some, like pirating, were not valid alternatives, but others like You Tube gave artists a chance to gain an audience, and revenues, from a large, potential fan base without going through the major labels.  Here's how things have evolved in a related way for book publishing.

Legacy publishers are the long-serving, traditional publishers for the book industry.  Over time, many of these publishers and their imprints have been acquired and merged into a fewer number of mega-corporations.  The modern business practices and required profit margins imposed by the mega-corporations on their new publishing divisions have led to smaller editorial staff to acquire new manuscripts, guide them through the publication process, and conduct the marketing program.  Since they have trimmed their work force to far fewer skilled editorial staff to do this work, the initial acquisition process has largely been farmed out to private, literary agents, who now act as the industry's first-line gatekeepers--at no cost to the mega-corporation.

Gatekeepers--there appear to be many literary agents available to do this job, but they all must compete to sell to the same mega-corporations.  The marketability of any manuscript may depend on genres and themes that are currently in vogue, as researched by the mega-corporations, and a new writer working with a theme in any other area has difficulties getting past the gatekeepers.  Agents, without a sufficient number of well-known writers contributing material to them, may choose to resort to passing along part of their overhead and operating costs to their hopeful, new writers--an increased price of admission for the writer.

The mega-corporations also depend to a much greater extent now on enlisting the free services of authors in their marketing campaigns, such as making book-signing tours.  Some authors may relish this, others may not.

The early business models of the new, self-publishing providers seem designed to give authors greater access to getting their book produced in e-book or printed versions, with minimal gatekeeping hurdles, and at essentially no cost to the author.  However, there has been little marketing followup by the self-publishing provider, aside from displaying an attractive webpage wherein the book description and its contents may be sampled online by the prospective reader, and which provides the reader an opportunity to click on the ordering button.  But how to coax the reader to find that page?  Providing links on your own blogging pages, or getting the book reviewed by other bloggers, are typical author strategies.  An author can also make his book more attractive to the casual web surfer by publicizing favorable reviews from prominent readers' websites, like ReadersFavorites.com, or GoodReads.com.    Such marketing is hard, and requires a degree of luck to get a following, but it can be done in a writer's available time, and from his own office.

The newest business model of "reader-powered" publishing" is the (Amazon) Kindle Scout venture.  In this model:


Authors who want to get their books published submit to Kindle Scout and accept the Submission & Publishing Agreement. The first pages (about 5,000 words) from each book are posted on the Kindle Scout website for a 30-day scouting period where readers can nominate up to three books at a time. The more nominations a book receives, the more likely it gets discovered by the Kindle Scout team. If selected, the book will be published by Kindle Press and all the readers who nominated the book will receive an early, free copy and be invited to leave reviews. 

When an author's book is selected by this process,  Kindle Press offers a $1,500 advance and 50% e-book royalties.   Kindle Press books will be enrolled and earn royalties for participation in the Kindle Owners' Lending Library and Kindle Unlimited, as well as be eligible for targeted email campaigns and promotions.  The advance and e-book royalties seem acceptable, but the proposed Lending Library and Kindle Unlimited compensation is not specifically given.  In the past my opinion of those programs in the earlier (and ongoing) business model has been they provide library content to serve as free perks to attract subscription-based customer programs, but provide little or no compensation to the writers.

I think I might like to submit a manuscript to Kindle Scout, and if so, would report more on the experience later.

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10. Diagnostic criteria

Me, answering a question distractedly: That’s just, um—

Rilla, shocked: That’s just dumb?

Me: No, just ‘UM’—I was thinking.

Rilla: That makes more sense. If you had really said ‘that’s just dumb,’ I would have thought you had a bad sickness.

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11. My tweets

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12. Read This Terrific Letter to Teachers from a District Superintendent in NY.

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-

I’m sharing this letter that’s been going around the interwebs today. I wish for all teachers that they can experience this level of support.

Have a great school year!

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13. Jo’s Journey 2015 and Welcome Back to the Fall Blog Schedule

“Traveling is never a matter of money, but of courage.”—Paulo Coelho Sometimes it’s financial security that holds us back, other times it’s emotional security, but it takes courage to step outside your front door and head out into the world. … Continue reading

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14. Character Names

Don't make these mistakes when you're naming your character.

http://scbwi.blogspot.com/2015/08/a-guest-post-on-naming-your-characters.html

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15. How Much Magic?

All of my books to date have one thing in common: some aspect of the fantastic which, if looked at from the right angle, might not be fantastic at all. I’m using the “removed from reality” meaning of the fantastic: those things which, by definition, do not exist (because if they do, they are not fantastic). A decades-long rain, a kindred serpentine spirit, a fungus run amok, and even the fate-changing baseball cards could have both supernatural and natural explanations. The magical is usually a human interpretation of what’s going on. They are improbable but not impossible events.

When I am second guessing myself, I wonder if I should inject more fantasy in my books, to be a bigger hit with readers, and their insatiable appetite for superheroes and mythic beasts. Or, conversely, if I should abandon the fantastic all together and write strictly realistic books, and be a bigger hit with tastemakers. Either road would be better than wandering aimlessly between them, I figure.

Why not write both, some well meaning person will suggest. And some writers do, but I don’t work that way. It takes quite a bit of effort to finish a book, and the ones I see through are the ones that reflect the deep indecisiveness of my soul.

And I really don’t know, at least as far as fiction goes. There are uses for enchantment but also epistemology. Personally, I feel like the real world has plenty of miracles that surpass the imaginations of our most fanciful authors, but these miracles take patience, pondering and closer observation to appreciate.

I’m thinking about it now as I look into the abyss of “what’s next,” with one manuscript (which has the least magic of any book yet, but not quite none) almost ready to send out into the world. I have a ghost story that needs revising, an utterly fantastic/fairy tale kind of book I started in a fit of excitement, and a gritty magical-realistic book written in draft form that is probably inappropriate for children. I’ve also considered writing nonfiction, but kind of like the way I’ve considered marathons.

I’ll have to pick one project and see it through, or (more in line with past experience), one of them will pick me.

 

 


Filed under: Miscellaneous

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16. MY SCHEDULE AT DRAGONCON 2015




Atlanta, GA Labor Day Weekend

Convention Dates are Fri(9/4/15), Sat(9/5/15), Sun(9/6/15), and Mon(9/7/15)
Cinda Williams Chima

FRIDAY Sept 4, 2015
-------------------
Title:Autograph Session
Time: Fri 02:30 pm Location: International Hall South - Marriott (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Cinda Williams Chima)
The Missing Volume Books will have my books for sale during the con. Visit them at Americasmart Building 2
Booth 1301-1303 1400-1402
Bring your own books or you can buy from them!

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Title: YA Urban and Contemporary Fantasy
Description: Fantasy isn't just dragons and knights - come see how contemporary characters and places feature in young adult fantasy!
Time: Fri 04:00 pm Location: A707 - Marriott (Length:1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Delilah S. Dawson, Gwenda M Bond, Zac Brewer, Christi J. Whitney, Cinda Williams Chima, A. J. Hartley)

SATURDAY Sept 5, 2015
-------------------
Title: LGBTQA in YA
Description: Our popular annual panel about LGBTQA characters and themes in YA, including loads of book recommendations!
Time: Sat 11:30 am Location: A707 - Marriott (Length:1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Zac Brewer, Shaun David Hutchinson, Alexandra Duncan, Cinda Williams Chima)

-------------------
Title: Finding the Teen/Middle Grade Reader Within
Description: How does an adult develop strategies and write novels that kids will relate to? Is the YA market feasible for you?
Time: Sat 01:00 pm Location: Embassy D-F - Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Stephen L. Antczak, Cinda Williams Chima, Mari Mancusi, Lisa Mantchev, E. C. Myers, Sara Raasch, James Hugh Reeves)

SUNDAY Sept 6, 2015
-------------------
Title:Reading: Cinda Williams Chima
Time: Sun 11:30 am Location: Marietta - Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Cinda Williams Chima)
Will be reading from FLAMECASTER (coming 5 April 2016)

Title: Autographing
The Missing Volume
Time: Sunday  3:00 PM
Location: Americasmart Building 2
Booth 1301-1303 1400-1402
They will have books for sale!


I will be giving away a limited number of FLAMECASTER ARCs during the con as well as a few other goodies. .


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17. Three Questions For Christian Trimmer: Advice For Young Writers, Ben Clanton and SIMON'S NEW BED

Christian Trimmer photo credit: Walker Brockington.

In addition to being a debut picture book author, Christian Trimmer is an editor at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. I love his enthusiasm for kidlit/YA on his Twitter feed, plus he's edited some pretty amazing books. Like THE DEATH AND LIFE OF ZEBULON FINCH by Daniel Kraus (here's what I posted about the book), which comes out from S&S BFYR this October.

You can find Christian Trimmer on Twitter at @MisterTrimmer, his website at Christiantrimmer.com and the Simon & Schuster BFYR team page.

Synopsis of SIMON'S NEW BED, written by Christian Trimmer and illustrated by Melissa van der Paardt:

"After a lazy afternoon of watching cat and dog videos, I was inspired to write this harrowing tale of the deep-rooted tension that exists between siblings. Much like Cal and Aron Trask or the daughters of King Lear, Simon and Miss Adora Belle are in a never-ending battle for supremacy. Also, cats stealing dog beds!"


Q. Could you please take a photo of something in your office and tell us the story behind it?

I’m a huge Ben Clanton fan. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers recently published his Something Extraordinary, which I was very fortunate to inherit from Julia Maguire (who is now at Random House). Ben’s stories are so sweet and playful, and his art is wonderfully expressive. He and I are working on a bunch more books together. He happened to be in New York for BEA this year, and we hung out at the Art Auction. He had donated a fantastic piece to the auction, and I put in a bid on it—I was desperate for more original art for my office, specifically Ben Clanton art. Ben saw my name on the sheet, and he was all, “Christian, you really don’t have to do that” to which I responded, “Ben, I want to do it” and he said, “I mean, you really don’t have to do that.” I thought he was just being modest or shy. At the last minute, someone outbid me. But as it turns out, which I discovered when we met at the S & S offices the next day, he had packed a different piece from the same series—this one—for me. All together now: Awwww!

Q. What advice do you have for young writers?

1. Be nice. To everyone.

I know that this is advice you give to a small child, but it’s really applicable when you’re an aspiring writer. Because when it’s time for your book to come out, the book that you’ve spent years perfecting, the story you’ve cried over and on, the manuscript that represents everything good about your mind and soul…you want people to think of you fondly. Because when people like you, they want to support you. So maybe they buy your book. Maybe they talk about your book with their teacher friends. Maybe they share your Facebook status update. More than that, you never know from where the next great opportunity is going to come. As an example, I recently ran into this restaurant manager that I’ve known for a couple of years. He’s a great guy and so good at his job, and I’m always happy to see him. This most recent time, I mentioned that my debut book, Simon’s New Bed, was about to come out. He was so genuinely excited for me, and not only that, he reached out to his mom who oversees the nursery division at one of the best schools in New York. Now, I’m scheduled to read to her students in October!

2. Everyone has her/his own path.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed in our glorious industry. Advice is flying at you from every direction, advice from editors and agents and other writers, published and not. But it’s important to regularly remind yourself that this is your journey, and it’s not going to look like anyone else’s. For a long time, despite hungering to create something, I resisted writing. As a book editor, I’m surrounded daily by gifted writers, many of whom have studied the craft for years, who have masters degrees, who have written for TV shows, who have won awards. I often thought, Don’t bother. Leave it to the real professionals. But something clicked one day, this acceptance that I had something worthwhile to say. So I finally took the chance. And I sold the first picture book manuscript I wrote, and then the second, and then the third. I still have moments of insecurity, but I’m getting better. So, listen to the advice that others are giving you and take the advice that makes sense to you. Then, go create!

Q. What are you excited about right now?

My Fall 2015 list is AWESOME. I’m, of course, excited for all of those books, which you can find here. But I’d like to single out a novel that my colleague Ruta Rimas is editing called The Way I Used to Be. It’s by Amber Smith, and it’s beautiful and devastating and empowering. It comes out this March.

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For more interviews, see my Inkygirl Interview Archive.

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18. Rich And Rare: A Sneak Peek Cover Reveal!

This Ford Street anthology, in which I have my Eugowra robbery story, is coming out in late October, earlier than originally planned, yay!  It will be launched at whichever school wins the privilege(last time it was Princes Hill). I do hope it's somewhere I can reach easily. The book is the third Trust Me! anthology, but they've changed the title and they have certainly changed the cover. Take a look: 


                                                     

It's by Shaun Tan. Not at all like the covers of the first two, with their photos of teenage boys! But Paul Collins said that the second anthology was so like the first in appearance that people were getting them mixed up and the second volume hadn't sold as well as the first. So here we are with a cover by one of Oz's top cover artists. 

What do you think of it?
   

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19. Have I Actually Been Eaten By A Bear?

posted by Neil Gaiman
Amanda is now 8 and a bit months' pregnant, and she wanted to have our baby off the grid, in the middle of the woods with nothing and nobody around but midwives, a doula, and me.

Which seemed like an odd idea when she first floated it by me, but has come to strike me as more and more sensible in the last few months, especially when I would look at my deadlines. It's been a mad year anyway, and more and more things have crept onto my schedule: the idea of going off to a cabin in the woods and writing, away from phones or emails or any distractions seemed increasingly attractive. So I get the best of all worlds: undistracted time with Amanda, undistracted time with Amanda and the baby (when he appears), and relatively undistracted time to write.

Photo by Kyle Cassidy,  last Friday.

Except, the birth-month is September. And September is the month when everything is happening.



It's still ridiculously cheap on Amazon, for three books you could not previously get in these editions in the US.




The last issue of Sandman Overture will come out in September (although not the hardback collected edition of the whole thing. That comes out on November 10th -- my birthday, oddly enough: details at http://bit.ly/OvertureDeluxe )



And, more personal for me even than these, it's the month that the Humble Bundle happens.

You know what a Humble Bundle is, don't you…? It's a bundle of Digital Stuff (usually games, sometimes eBooks or Graphic Novels) that goes out to the world on a Pay What You Like basis. Sometimes you can get hundreds of dollars of stuff cheaply.

But I think it's fair to say there will never have been a Humble Bundle like this before. Why ever is that? you wonder. Ah,  you will have to be patient. It's going to be remarkable.

But...

I'm going to be away. So I'm planning to learn how to use the various timed posting things on Twitter and Facebook and here on the Blog. People will think I am back from the woods, but no, I won't be. Magical timed postings will be going up to let people know what's happening.

(This may also result in a few tone deaf postings in September, as I apparently plug the Humble Bundle or Sleeper and the Spindle immediately after I hike into town to find internet to tell you that the baby has turned up. Forgive me if they happen.)  




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20. Dear DEAR Teen Me

As JoAnn shared in her Friday post, in this current series my fellow Teaching Authors and I are writing to our younger selves, inspired by the authors’ letters of the Dear Teen Me project.

At first, this letter-writing idea grabbed me.  For years I’ve tasked my writers to pen all sorts of letters – to their future selves to envision their journeys, to their characters to learn their stories more fully, to the author of the book that made them a Reader, to the author whose writing changed their lives.  I also believe in writing Thank You notes, in haiku or not. 

But then Second Thoughts took center stage, overwhelming me and holding me back.
Hmmmm….
Let’s see….
I could say….
No way!

So I considered sharing Jake Wizner’s new Stenhouse book WORTH WRITING ABOUT – EXPLORING MEMOIR WITH ADOLESCENTS.
Or Carolyn Mackler’s September-released Harper Teen YA novel INFINITE IN BETWEEN, in which “five ninth graders write letters to their future selves, promising to reunite on graduation day and read them together.”
Or even reviewing DEAR TEEN ME which gathered over 70 letters noted YA authors wrote their teenaged selves.

And then I saw my badge from my 50th High School Reunion (!) and I knew just what I wanted to tell that Earnest, Smiling, Tenacious, Hopeful, Enthusiastic and Resourceful about-to-enter-college voted “Likely to Succeed” Teacher-Writer Wannabe – the one (I've since surprisingly learned) her fellow classmates viewed as confident, even though she knew “Self-UNassured” was the more appropriate and telling S and that her metaphorical non-stop paddling feet beneath the water’s surface belied the appearance of smooth and happy sailing.

I wanted to riff on borrowed words from Dennis Palumbo’s WRITING FROM THE INSIDE OUT to tell her what I've spent a lifetime learning.  Palumbo wants the writer to know, “…you  - everything you are, all your feelings, hopes and dreads, fears and fantasies – you are enough.

Here’s my variation and Dear Teen Me letter.

Dear Teen Me:

As your Life unfolds, no matter the circumstance and the verb 
you choose/need/desire to undertake - to love, befriend, embrace
or honor, achieve, create, realize or become, confront, rebound,
overcome, triumph, I absolutely assure you:
you are MORE than enough!”

Really and truly. 

XOXO

Esther Chairnoff Hershenhorn

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21. Review: I Kill The Mockingbird by Paul Acampora

I Kill the Mockingbird by Paul Acampora is a gloriously witty and murderous book and I can’t love it enough! It’s a book about books (bookception!) and how can an avid bookworm not love and adore that?! If you geek out over books and authors — this was built specifically for you. Obviously it’s about the infamous To Kill a […]

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22. Vacationing in Maine

I'm vacationing in Maine
And surrounded by the sea.
As the season's winding down,
It's a lovely place to be.

There is sea food, there is beer,
Lots of ice cream, small-batch made;
Restaurants with outdoor decks,
Some where music's being played.

There are trails and boats and bikes,
Lots of stores with souvenirs,
Plus museums and historic homes
With old-time atmospheres.

It's a change of pace for me,
Some relaxing by the shore,
But of course that is exactly
What vacationing is for.

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23. Links to Stretch Your Summer Reading and Writing

DSC_0766

Summer’s almost over, but that doesn’t mean the fun has to end. Here are some great links to keep you reading and writing far into the fall.

Summer Notebooking :: Amy Ludwig Vanderwater

Summer Road Trip! Five More Books Set in Connecticut, Louisiana, Missouri, Massachusetts, and Kansas :: Barnes and Noble (lovely to find Miss May here!)

Fifty Great Books for Kids to Read This Summer :: The Washington Post

31 Great Summer Books :: Real Simple

The post Links to Stretch Your Summer Reading and Writing appeared first on Caroline Starr Rose.

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24. FALL IS COMING!

Our weather has changed this week from sweltering heat to a pleasant 80's. We are very happy to have had some all too brief rainfall. 

Everyone is looking forward to fall. The occasional smell of   wood smoke from a neighborhood woodstove is accepted as pleasant, unlike the smoke from wildfires. Fall means colorful trees in oranges, yellows, and reds. It is soon followed by falling leaves that blanket the ground and crunch underfoot. There is a crispness to the air. 

Many around here grow their own vegetables and fruit in gardens of all sizes. Some dedicated homemakers can and freeze the harvest from their gardens. They will enjoy the results from now until it is time to plant again. Soon it will be time to put those gardens to bed except for those hardy farmers who will plant fall crops. 

It is time to start thinking of holidays like Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. This is a good time to put the children to work making homemade decorations, or homemade gifts for Christmas. Decorations may be used for many years and be pleasant reminders of past celebrations. Help your children to understand that gift giving should come from the heart not from an ad in the newspaper. Everyone will appreciate the treasure that comes from little hands.

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25. MMGM Links 8/31/15

I'm officially in that panicked home stretch, trying to race to The End of LET THE WIND RISE. So my brain is a blur of wind wars and sylph world building. But here's an attempt at this week's MMGM links:

- Mary Kincaid joins the MMGM fun with a feature on HOW TO SURVIVE MIDDLE SCHOOL. Click HERE to welcome her to the group.  
- Michelle Mason is casting her vote for DON'T VOTE FOR ME, with an author interview and a GIVEAWAY. Click HERE for all the fun.
- Cindy at Cindy Reads A Lot has chills for FIERCE WINDS AND FIERY DRAGONS, along with an interview. Click HERE to check it out.
- Sher A Hart is gushing about DRAGONS OF THE DARK RIFT. Click HERE to read her review.
- Jess at the Reading Nook wishes she could go to THE SCHOOL FOR SIDEKICKS. Click HERE to see why.
- Katie at Story Time Secrets  is sweet on THE FRIENDSHIP GARDEN: GREEN THUMBS-UP. Click HERE to see why.    
- Greg Pattridge is building a FORT. Click HERE to read his review.   
- Suzanne Warr is back and talking Mythbusters and 20 MASTER PLOTS and THE FIRST FIFTY PAGES. Click HERE to see what that's all about. 
- The Mundie Moms are always huge supporters of middle grade. Click HERE for their Mundie Kids site.   
- Joanne Fritz always has an MMGM for you. Click HERE to see what she's talking about this week.   
- Karen Yingling also always has some awesome MMGM recommendations for you. Click HERE to which ones she picked this time!


If you would like to join in the MMGM fun, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book you love on a Monday (contests, author interviews and whatnot also count--but are most definitely not required) and email me the title of the book you're featuring and a link to your blog at SWMessenger (at) hotmail (dot) com. (Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so it gets sorted accurately--and please don't forget to say what book you're featuring) You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening in order to be included in the list of links for the coming Monday. (usually before 11pm PST is safe--but if I'm traveling it can vary. When in doubt, send early!) (Also make sure the post you send me is a new post, not one from earlier in the week. I try to keep the content fresh)

If you miss the cutoff, you are welcome to add your link in the comments on this post so people can find you, but I will not have time to update the post. Same goes for typos/errors on my part. I do my best to build the links correctly, but sometimes deadline-brain gets the best of me, and I'm sorry if it does. For those wondering why I don't use a Linky-widget instead, it's a simple matter of internet safety. The only way I can ensure that all the links lead to safe, appropriate places for someone of any age is if I build them myself. It's not a perfect system, but it allows me to keep better control.

Thank you so much for being a part of this awesome meme, and spreading the middle grade love!


*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen reviews ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me.

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