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…pushing out doubts, finding your STRENGTH, finding your center.
Confidence. Remember you’ve DONE this before, draw on the memories of HARD workouts.
“You survived then, you’ll push through the pain today.”
“Can we just START this thing already?!?!”
Funny the difference a mere workout makes.
Nervous energy before workouts and races are NORMAL…they actually help boost your performance if you use them right. Posts on NERVES HERE
Posts on finding your CONFIDENCE
More MENTAL TOUGHNESS TIPS
1) Give one adjective of how you felt before your last workout.
2) Give one adjective on how you felt after that same workout.
3) What is one of the last things you do or say to yourself before a hard workout or race?
Today’s post features two children’s book authors who traveled a less traditional route to publication by self-publishing their Picture Books. The first one is OSCAR HERNANDEZ. Here’s his story.
When looking into publishing (or self-publishing) a kid’s book, I quickly realized that the options are surprisingly complicated and really tough. Children’s book authors don’t have the technical prowess to create their own book that is modern, competitive with the market, and provides the feedback that they need. Lil’ Readers, is a children’s bookstore app for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Lil’ Readers allows you to bring high quality, beautifully illustrated and animated children’s books with you wherever you go. Essentially it’s a mobile bookshelf. It’s not an apple IBook, but and independent app through apple. I currently have 5 books in the app. I am still teaching in the classroom where I get to see all the reactions on kid’s faces from reading my books to my students.
I started writing mini plays for kids; some were good some were bad. Most of them made me laugh, so I kept writing more. Eventually I met a person that inspired me to write a lot; that person was Dr. Joe Robinette. Down to earth, but full of attention to detail, he made me love the art of writing. The writing didn’t have to be a long story; it didn’t even have to be a book. Often it was a two minute skit performed in front of about eight to ten children. He knew how to make stories come to life, but most importantly he knew what the reader wanted to see. By carefully placing words and phrases in a certain order he would capture a reader and an audience. For all that he taught me, I thank him a million times over.
Fast forward to my epic writers block and how my first book was born. I was thinking too hard one day, and so I continued to stare at a blank piece of paper. Five minutes went by, my phone rang, ESPN came on and my dog had to potty. The perfect storm of writers block and distraction forced me to put the pen down and go for a run. While on my run I came upon a dog. I also came upon its owner, who was yelling at me NOT to run! Now, I don’t know if you know anything about running for exercise; but running is a huge part of it! Long story short, the dog as old as he was, started to chase me. Luckily for me I was wearing my really, really short- shorts and was able to get a longer strides, leading to my escape.
While on the same run I met another lovely dog, and then another! I couldn’t wait to get home. I started telling that story to people and then it hit me. Stories shouldn’t be forced; it’s not how crazy they are. They are about relating to someone and taking them away into your story as they read it. As it turns out, I’m writing children’s books now. Some are good, none are bad, most of them make everyone laugh and so I will keep going. It hasn’t been the easiest thing I’ve ever done but it’s one of greatest things I will leave behind. My latest book “Just Us” was illustrated by the 2013 finalist of Doddle for Google. The Book came out fantastic; I can’t wait to see where my pen takes me next.
You can contact Oscar at the following: Facebook- Oscar Hernandez lilreaders
Instagram- oskhernandez email- email@example.com Twitter- @osk_hernandez
The second story comes from ADAM GIANFORCARO:
Adam Gianforcaro is the author of the poetry collection Morning Time in the Household, Looking Out and the children’s picture book Uma the Umbrella. He has had several other works published in print and online magazines, his most recent work forthcoming in the Los Angeles Review. Gianforcaro works as a writer in Philadelphia and lives in New Jersey.
I began writing Uma the Umbrella as an assignment in a class called Writing Children’s Stories at Rowan University. I wanted to portray a story of someone— or something— not fitting in, but finding his or her way somehow, someway. It’s quite an unoriginal idea, but it’s a feeling that is relatable and difficult to accept as a child. The main moral I wanted to portray was that there is no set way of doing things, no set way of living, no set way to find happiness and be content with who we are inside or outside. I can’t remember why I chose an umbrella, but I suspect it was raining that day, and I was likely walking to class clasping the handle of my own umbrella.
When the class adjourned at the end of the semester, I filed the story away on my computer. I found it two years later when I was rummaging through old files. I sent it away for publication to several places to no avail. I was not used to writing for the children’s market, and it was difficult for me to find its way into publication. Ultimately, I went through Halo Publishing International who helped me find an editor and illustrator for my work.
The book is available in paperback or e-book through the Halo website http://www.halopublishing.com/bookstore/index.php?route=product%2Fsearch&filter_description=true&filter_name=gianforcaro, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.
Hi, It's us again. I know we still keep harping on about our great giveaway. It is great. You'll find that winning a copy of 'It's a ruff life' (Childrens Secret Agent, Spy, Action, Adventure Books for 8 to preteens) is really fun.
A ten year old boy, who's read the book, told his mum he wants all the other books to read. He loved the story and so will you. It's like other's have said very funny, very crazy and a thrilling and exciting read, which is the story of our lives!
You have just 1 DAY and 2 hours LEFT. Take advantage of it. Click on the link below and ENTER TO WIN!
Bella & Max
A couple of weekends ago I was in New York City at the SCBWI winter conference. (If you don't know about SCBWI, I will happily explain it to you.) One of the most memorable talks for me was Kate Messner's examination of the power of failure.
We writers are certainly familiar with failure. How many rejections have you received? How many revisions have you had to make? How many published books failed to sell out? It happens.
Sneezle Beezle: He runs on diesel by Bruce Laybourn, illustrated by Vincent de Jong
Sneezle Beezle is a small mechanical boy crafted in the workshop of a monastery high in the Himalayas. He earned his name through the funny little noises that he makes.
At the age of three months (which is six years in human terms)
Sneezle Beezle sets out to discover his place in the world.
This is the story of his adventure.
We are introduced to the maker before Sneezle Beezle makes his journey across seas into the bedroom of six-year-old Dylan. Dylan must work out how Sneezle Beezle runs - a little sneezle gives the answer.
Written in rhyme with assonance (junk, bunk, trunk) placed in the middle and end of each line, makes it fun to read aloud to young children. The illustrations of Dylan are modelled on the real-life son
of the author - which is a real interesting story on its own (written on last page). Dylan was kidnapped by his mother and taken to Turkey. Author Bruce Laybourn wrote the stories as a means to help he and his son communicate from opposite sides of the world.
The artwork by Vincent de Jong is sometimes quite moody capturing the severe weather in the Himalayas, and later on in the book, quite light - when showing Sneezle communicating with his new-found friend. The illustrations look like they have been drawn on the computer, and sometimes include photograph backdrops.
Note: The layout of the app is in printed book format so you need to flick past several pages before getting to the start of the story.
See the website
Available to buy on iTunes for $7.99
I have a cover reveal and giveaway for Killing Ruby Rose by Jessie Humphries this morning, but first, here is some info about the author:
About Jessie Humphries: Jessie Humphries was born and raised in Las Vegas, NV. She received a BA from San Diego State University, where she cultivated her love of the beach, then lived in France, where she cultivated her weakness for shoes, and finally earned a law degree from UNLV, where she cultivated her interest in justice. After practicing law for several years she began writing, and, appropriately, her debut novel Killing Ruby Rose is a thriller about vigilante justice set in sunny southern California with a shoe-obsessed protagonist. Jessie currently writes and practices law in Las Vegas, where she lives with her husband and children.
Social media links:
And now the cover reveal!
About KILLING RUBY ROSE: In sunny southern California, Ruby Rose is known for her killer looks and her killer SAT scores. But ever since her dad, an LAPD SWAT sergeant, died six months ago, she’s also got a few killer secrets.
To cope with her father’s death, Ruby has been trying to stay focused on school (the top spot in her class is on the line) and spending time with friends (her Jimmy Choos and Mahnolo Blahniks are nothing if not loyal), but after months of therapy and more than a few months of pathetic parenting by her mom, District Attorney Jane Rose, Ruby decides to pick up where her dad left off and starts going after the bad guys herself.
But when Ruby ends up killing a murderer in defense of another, she discovers that she’s gone from being the huntress to the hunted. There’s a sick mastermind at play, and he has Ruby in his sights. Ruby must discover who’s using her to implement twisted justice before she ends up changing Valentino red for prison orange.
With a gun named Smith, a talent for martial arts, and a boyfriend with eyes to die for, Ruby is ready to face the worst. And if a girl’s forced to kill, won’t the guilt sit more easily in a pair of Prada peep-toe pumps?Add a Comment
I recently read a great article, “The Grandma Test and 4 Other Ways to Gauge Your Content,” over at PRDaily.com. The first thing that grabbed me was the title. Aside from the fact that I’m a grandma and could take offense to the author’s title, it did make me click on the link. And, that’s not the only reference to grandmas or elderly woman who just can’t grasp a marketing trend or message.Add a Comment
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Hey Austin Peeps!
16 Things I Thought Were True by Janet Gurtler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Morgan has her eyes and hands on her phone for a reason. Other than trying to achieve 5,000 Twitter followers, she’s avoiding people. Her former best friend posted a video of her dancing in men’s underwear and it went viral. One can imagine the looks and taunts she receives. At her summer job people smirk and make comments. She thinks she doesn’t have any allies, but she does. She makes friends with a jerk manager, Adam, who isn’t really a jerk, and perky Amy, who doesn’t censor herself and says the first thing that comes to mind.
It’s good that she has these two new friends by her side, because Morgan needs the support when her mom has a serious heart ailment. The idea that she might lose her mother propels her to search for her father, whom she’s never met. Amy and Adam accompany her on a road trip to Canada to meet him. Family secrets, friendship, and romance are found on this trip; some of these things bring pleasure, some bring more pain.
This YA contemporary novel is an amazing read. It has an equal balance of the serious and humorous. Morgan jumped off the page, and I loved her brothers, Amy, and Adam. Her family problems were intense and the slow romance with a new love interest was sweet. I read this via NetGalley, courtesy of the publisher.
Impossible by Nancy Werlin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Years ago, an elfin knight put a curse on a young, beautiful woman. Her daughter was cursed, her granddaughter was cursed, and so on, with all the females of this line carrying the curse. After giving birth to their first and only born, a daughter, these women went insane.
In the present time, there’s Lucy. She’s a teenage girl who lives with foster parents, because her mother has been mentally ill since she could remember. Piecing together the folksong “Scarborough Fair,” snippets of her mother’s diary, and the presence of a handsome but chilling stranger, Lucy realizes that she’s cursed. When she becomes pregnant with a daughter, she has to face the reality of going insane after the birth unless she follows the song to break the curse. She has to do three almost impossible things to save herself and the fate of her unborn child. With the help of her loved ones she sets to do these things, even though she’s running out of time and strength.
I adored everything about this book. It’s magical, suspenseful, and entirely engaging. Lucy goes through so much to figure out what she has to do to break the curse. The secondary characters, her boyfriend, foster parents, and others, jumped off the pages. I highly recommend this.
More Than Good Enough by Crissa-Jean Chappell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Trent has a Miccosukee father and English mother. Neither of them seem to be on his side, although he goes to live with his father, an ex-convict. A spiteful ex-girlfriend proves to be a pain in the butt, and he’s trying to get closer to Pippa, a girl he’s known for years who now seems incredibly gorgeous and cool to hang out with.
Yes, there are people in his way who aren’t looking out for his best interest, and Trent is imperfect himself, messing up in school and in relationships. He doesn’t feel good enough, he’s not a great student, he doesn’t fit in with many people his age, and he perhaps isn’t Miccosukee enough for the reservation. The setting and situations in this fast, YA contemporary read are realistic and kept me interested throughout.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The mysterious Willy Wonka will open his chocolate factory to five children who can find the five golden tickets hidden in his candies. I so badly wanted Charlie to get a ticket, since he seemed so deserving of one, and he eventually does. Wonka's factory holds both delights and dangers for these children. I loved this book. It's lots of fun and has that wonderful spark of childhood magic about it.
Suitcase of Stars by Pierdomenico Baccalario
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I loved the concept of this novel. A boy delivers mail in his village and meets a girl who’s affiliated with an emporium that has magical items. There are bad guys, a giant, many adventures, and the magical items are charming. I loved the illustrations, too. Unfortunately, I didn’t connect to the story or to the characters. I wonder if it’s because this was a translation, and sometimes I can’t sink into translated stories because of a loss of voice or some other element. With the title, cover, description, and illustrations I wanted to be enchanted, and I was only partially so. I’m giving this three stars, even though this could be four without my misgivings. I read this via NetGalley, courtesy of the publisher.
This Journal Belongs to Ratchet by Nancy J. Cavanaugh
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Ratchet lives with her father. Her mother died years ago and her father is homeschooling her. Ratchet would very much like a female touch, not just because she’s motherless, but because she’s a tomboy who helps her mechanic father fix cars. She wants to take a class called “get charmed” at the recreational center and make friends. This will be hard considering that she and her father are the joke of the town. Her father isn’t just greasy from working on cars all day, but he also wears funny t-shirts and is an environmental activist who gets in trouble with the law.
We learn all this because of a journal Ratchet is keeping. Through a variety of home school assignments, she writes life events, scenes of a play, poems, stories, and uses other writing formats to reveal her thoughts. One of her biggest goals is to find out what’s inside a mystery box her father has been hiding. She’s sure her mother’s keepsakes are in there.
There’s plenty of conflict surrounding the mystery box, Ratchet’s quest for friends, and the city’s plan to ignore the environmentalists and tear down a park. This is a fast read, both because of the short journal entries as well as Ratchet’s amazing voice, which will carry you swiftly through the story. She’s so real and endearing. This is an amazing debut.
Hi! I’ll introduce myself more in a future post, but I’m Laura Purdie Salas, a temporary Teaching Author. I’m so happy to be here!
Rituals. Hmmm…I was treadmilling the other night, listening to a lovely episode of NPR’s Backseat Book Club featuring Lucy Dahl, Roald’s daughter. Start at 3:40 for a fascinating glimpse into Roald’s writing setting and rituals. I wish I had such definite, comforting rituals. But I don’t.
I do have a few elements I return to, though: light, movement, and time.
|Photo: DuBoix, |
courtesy of Morguefile
The number of home sales in the metropolitan Puget Sound region dropped by 8 percent last month from February 2013, and some residential real estate experts say the fan frenzy surrounding the Seattle Seahawks was partly to blame.
Meanwhile, the median price of houses and condos that sold in February was up by as much as 13 percent, the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS) reported on Wednesday.
Limited inventory also hurt sales activity and is increasing competition among buyers. Mike Gain, CEO and president of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest in Seattle, said agents are "starving for inventory."
The result of the shortage is bidding wars, especially for houses and condos that are priced right.
It's common for sellers in markets with less than four months of inventory to receive multiple offers, said Dick Beeson, managing broker at Re/Max in Tacoma.
The inventory shortage is acute in King and Snohomish counties. Based on sales volumes, King County has enough inventory to last 2.5 months, while the supply in Snohomish County is enough to feed the market for just over three months, according to the NWMLS. Inventory also is tight in Pierce and Kitsap counties, which have enough residences for sale to last 4.4 and 5.1 months, respectively.
Prices are climbing the most in Snohomish County. Last month, the median price of closed house and condo sales was $294,000. That was 13 percent higher than in February 2013. In King County, the median price was up nearly 10 percent to $365,000. Median prices increased almost 11.5 percent to $195,725 in Pierce County, and 7 percent to $219,000 in Kitsap County. Gain thinks home prices will continue to rise.Marc Stiles covers commercial real estate and government for the Puget Sound Business Journal. Add a Comment
Thank you for hosting us today. We’re excited to talk about the alpha trait honor and our stories for the boxed set Tall, Dark & Alpha as we try to figure out: what IS alpha?
An Alpha is Honorable
An alpha man may not always act like a perfect gentleman, especially if he’s a bad boy or a little rough around the edges. But you can always count on him to be honorable and do the right thing, even if he has to put himself last. His code of ethics and conscience are even stronger than his muscles.
The alpha hero in Rock My Boat by Afton Locke, a paranormal romance, is a shape shifter. Even though Simon would lay down his life for Rhonda, he struggles with honor. He wants more than anything to be a normal man again, but to achieve that, he needs to take something from her. Can he trust her consent when it’s delivered under the influence of passion? (Once addicted to the sea, you can’t escape its pleasures.)
Silver Tongued Devils by Dawn Montgomery, a sci-fi romance, has two alpha heroes. Na’varr has given up everything to protect those under his command. He will never stoop to the level of his cousin and murder innocents. Despite his status as a mercenary, a space pirate, he will follow his own code until the end. Raesa’s situation is something he couldn’t ignore, and he would fight against the Imperial command or his cousin’s Advarian Republic to keep her safe.
Brom Raine would die to protect his captain and the woman they’ve taken on board. His half-human/half-feline DNA has blended his mind into a perfect balance. He will never let anyone else harm Raesa. (She was always one step from hell until she found redemption in their arms.)
The alpha hero in Crazy by Eve Langlais, a paranormal romance, is a vampire. Zane thinks he’s such a bad-ass, but when he meets innocent Ella, he can’t help but protect her. (Ella hears voices and they don’t like anyone.)
In Sex With an Ex by Eve Vaughn, a contemporary romance, the alpha hero is a lawyer. Ethan waited for Riley when he didn’t believe she was ready for the kind of relationship he wanted with her. He was even willing to walk away if it meant Riley’s happiness. (When two divorcees reunite in the bedroom, the sex is hotter than ever, but can their hearts survive the second time around?)
The alpha hero for In Her Wildest Dreams by Farrah Rochon is a CEO chocolatier. Even though he’s wanted her physically for years, Gavin has respected the boundaries of his friendship with Erica, because he knew she just wasn’t ready to go there yet. (When the woman of his dreams asks him to create a Valentine’s Day fantasy, Gavin plans to show her just how sweet their reality could be.)
In Two Cops, a Girl and a Pair of Handcuffs by Paige Tyler, a contemporary romance, the heroes, Reed and Hayes, are both cops, so they come with their own handcuffs. The heroine, Cilla, is eager for them to make her their prisoner, but she’s also a little nervous. Reed is quick to reassure her that everything they do will be for her pleasure. (Working the late shift just got a whole lot more fun!)
The alpha hero in Chase and Seduction: Hot Country Series, Book 1 by Randi Alexander, a contemporary romance, is a musician. Chase Tanner is a country western singer who donates his time singing kid’s songs to the sick little patients at children’s hospitals. He funds charities in honor of his mother, and is always available to do whatever needs to be done to help neighbors in need. When Chase realizes he is a detriment to Reno’s career, he chooses to back away from the woman he wants in his life, and give her the space she needs. (Come backstage and get your hands on country superstar Chase Tanner!)
In Tall, Dark & Apocalyptic by Sam Cheever, a paranormal romance, the alpha hero is a bounty hunter. Audie’s view of the world is black and white—good or bad. When he meets Yeira, the lines between black and white blur. But despite the dictates of his heart, Audie still strives to do the honorable thing. (A grand passion in an apocalyptic world. A love beyond reason and without boundaries.)
Tall, Dark & Alpha boxed set
*Releases March 8th from Amazon and other online retailers.*
He makes your heart pound and melts your resistance away. He promises you a world of passion and you find it impossible to resist his dark charm. When he catches your eye across the room, you know he means business. He could be an executive, cop, shape shifter, or a bad boy looking for a little fun. Once he has you in his sights, you can’t get away—and after one sizzling night in his arms, you won’t want to. He’s Tall, Dark & Alpha. The alpha male is the ultimate indulgence…the richest dark chocolate…and we’re offering him to you in abundance.
Delve into the sensual worlds of award-winning authors: Randi Alexander, Koko Brown, Sam Cheever, Delaney Diamond, Eve Langlais, Afton Locke, Dawn Montgomery, Farrah Rochon, Paige Tyler, and Eve Vaughn. Immerse yourself in the alpha male experience.
Featured Story – Rock My Boat by Afton Locke
Workaholic CEO Rhonda Simms embarks on a Caribbean cruise to create an ad campaign for a big maritime freight client. She finds it impossible to concentrate, however, when Simon Mann, a blue marlin shifter, sets his sights on her. From a private, hands-on safety briefing to a wild ride in the ocean, he rocks her ordered world.
Simon drowned years ago in a shipwreck caused by Rhonda’s client, and he’ll do anything to be a normal man again. As his mate, Rhonda is the only person who can help him.
Tired of being so responsible, Rhonda is ready to let loose with a shipboard fling. Mating with Simon could cost a lot more than her virginity, however. Will she stick to her present course or will she let this sexy alpha rock her boat?
He watched, dumbfounded, as she unfolded some towels and spread them out on the dry part of the balcony floor. When she straightened, he grabbed her arm.
“Wait. I have to explain something. I would have done it in the theater, but I ran out of breath.”
She tugged on her dark, erect nipples, setting fire to every logical thought in his brain. For a virgin, she sure knew how to seduce a man. To think he planned to seduce her. Rhonda was obviously in charge here. She stepped closer.
Her tongue circled his ear while her bare breasts pressed his chest. “I’m about to give you a gift. Why can’t you just accept it?”
He forced himself to take a step back. “Because mating with me will change you forever.”
She pointed at the stormy water and laughed. “You’ve already changed me. Those are my emotions. See what you’ve done to them?”
Grabbing her again, he held her against the wall. “I’m not just talking about emotions. If you do this, you’ll never be the same again physically.”
For the first time, her brow puckered with doubt. “I won’t turn into a fish, will I?”
“Then I don’t care.”
She pulled his hand to her bare thigh then to the edge of her panties, which were just as damp, but hot. Unable to help himself, he sampled her swollen flesh with his finger. She was even wetter than she’d been this morning.
With his heart racing out of his chest, he glanced at the sea, realizing Poseidon would know everything that happened here tonight. Rhonda had given her consent, hadn’t she? Hadn’t she?!
More importantly, was it good enough for him? If he lived, his conscience would follow him for the rest of his life.
Afton Locke Links:
Web site: http://www.aftonlocke.com
Facebook profile page: https://www.facebook.com/afton.locke
Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/AftonLockeAuthor
This post is part of the What IS Alpha? Blog Tour.
The grand prize for the tour is a $25 Amazon gift card.
To be eligible, leave a COMMENT on this post. It MUST relate to the alpha trait discussed in the post.
The winner will be announced at http://www.aftonlocke.com/tdatour.html on March 20th.Add a Comment
I'm jumping for joy! Rather than the usual struggle defining the Crisis of their stories, most of the writers today in our 16-week A PATH to PUBLISHING Plot Whisperer Workbook Series, not only nailed the crisis, they are also writing, facing fears, standing up for themselves, and one writer today even announced she felt not only is her writing improving, her entire life is, too. Oh, I am over-the-moon. I know, cliche. I'm giddy. I'm just so darn happy for the writers not only having survived this week -- defining and writing the crisis often sets off a personal crisis as well -- actually flourishing and transforming, too.
This workshop series is the first time I've had the pleasure of taking a group of writers page-by-page through Plot Whisperer Workbook: Step-by-Step Exercises to Help You Create Compelling Stories identifying, planning, plotting, doing the exercises, considering all the various plot elements, filling in Plot Planners and Scene Trackers for their own individual stories (along with Literary Agent Jill Corcoran with her amazing insight). Incredible experience for me. I'm so happy and fulfilled to believe the experience is proving helpful to the writers, too. I wish all writers using the workbook had such support. The urge to go back rather than forge ahead into the hell of the crisis is tough to overcome. Yet all the writers today proved that it's not only possible, the effort brings forth unexpected gifts.
Oh, and also today! My other inspired/inspiring cohort Jordan Rosenfeld and I are giving away Amazon gift cards as thanks for your patience while the WRITER PATH PLOT and SCENE RETREATS website was down. We're up and running again! Really looking forward to a blissful weekend at the end of May in the Redwood forest of the Santa Cruz mountains.
Today I write.
PLOT WORKSHOPS and RETREATS
A PATH to PUBLISHING using the Plot Whisperer Workbook: Step-by-Step Exercises to Help You Create Compelling Stories
Choose the NOVEL TRACK or the PICTURE BOOK TRACK for 4, 10 and 16-week workshops to ensure you understand concept, plotting, character development, scene development, action and emotional arc development, as well has how to pitch your work to agents, editors, and readers. Live online video chat technology. I recommend writers of all genres and all ages take at least one picture book plot workshop. Narrows all plot concepts down to 28 pages and 500 words for clarity.
WRITER PATH PLOT and SCENE RETREATS in the heart of the Santa Cruz MountainsYour story deserves to be told. Your writer’s soul needs to be nourished. Over a weekend you’ll learn how to identify and write the key lynch-pin scenes that build a page-turning story, master crucial scene types and go deeper into your plot by applying the three key layers that run through all great fiction: action, emotion and theme. Reserve your spot now for the 1st Annual Writer Path Retreat.
For more: Read my Plot Whisperer and Blockbuster Plots books for writers.
Well, it's Friday, and guess what? It's still zero!
Every morning I wake up all hopeful that today will be warmer. The light is coming earlier (well, at least until daylight savings times throws a monkey wrench in that on Saturday night :)), and the angle of the light says spring is coming. The robins are incurably optimistic. But every morning I walk downstairs and check the thermometer and it's still COLD.
The novelty has worn off.
I've forgotten what grass looks like.
But it is March! Time is on our side! And to help us throw off the winter doldrums, we have the amazing March Madness Writing Contest to distract us, with the fantastic first prize of a read and critique by Karen Grencik of Red Fox Literary! So I hope you're all busily concocting stories :)
Chins up, everyone! It's technically less than 2 weeks until spring AND the contest fun! :)
And now, how about a Perfect Picture Book or two or twenty to get us through the weekend?
Pip Harry is a freelance journalist who has worked on magazines for many years, including chasing celebrities as Entertainment Editor for NW and Deputy Editor for TV Week before turning herself into a yoga-loving frequent flyer as Health & Travel Editor for Woman’s Day. She’s the co-founder of relationships website, realitychick.com.au and has had short stories published in the UTS Writer’s Anthology and Wet Ink. She became a published author with her debut YA novel I’ll Tell You Mine. Her second YA novel, Head of the River is arriving in 2014, along with a non-fiction ebook about relationships, co-written by Rachel Smith. Pip lives in Sydney with her partner and their gorgeous daughter, Sophie. When not at a keyboard, she can be found searching for the perfect flat white and competing in ocean swimming
Can you remember the first story you ever wrote and, if so, what was it?
It was a fantasy picture book about faeries and magical lands. Lots of world building and illustration. I was seven when it was self published and distributed amongst my friends and family. Reviews were glowing.
Four. One adult, two YA and a middle grade. All not quite there, but great practice.
What sorts of books do you love to read?
Contemporary YA and adult fiction. Real, funny, gritty and relatable writing always grabs me. My writing buddy Pam Newton also turned me onto smart crime fiction like Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter.
If you were forced to co-write a novel with someone (as we’re not presuming that you’d want to co-write with anyone necessarily) who would it be?
Is John Green available? We could write a YA love story set in the US & Australia. I’ll have to give him a call and set that up. I’d also love to co-write with my brother Michael, who is a brilliant young writer and editor. We just need to get less busy!
What are you working on now and next?
Now I am putting the finishing touches on a contemporary YA set in the world of competitive school rowing called Head of the River. It’s out in 2014 with UQP. Next I have co-authored a relationship non fiction ebook with Rachel Smith for Xoum publishing.
Author website: http://www.pipharry.com/
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Yesterday I was over the moon after learning that Africa is My Home had been honored with a 2014 Children’s Africana Book Award (also know as CABA). I have long been familiar with these awards and have often discovered new books through them. So to be honored with one myself is amazing.
Here’s more about them:
In 1991, Africa Access in collaboration with the Outreach Council* of the African Studies Association created the Children’s Africana Book Awards with three major objectives (1) to encourage the publication of children’s and young adult books that contribute to a better understanding of African societies and issues, (2) to recognize literary excellence, and (3) to acknowledge the research achievements of outstanding authors and illustrators. The first CABA was presented in 1992. Today over seventy-four titles have been recognized and more than 100 authors and illustrators are members of our Winners Circle. Each winning title has been vetted by our awards jury which is composed of African Studies and Children’s Literature scholars.
There will be an award ceremony on Saturday, November 8, 2014 the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in Washington, DC. From this cool slideshow of last year’s celebrations, I’m expecting that it and the other related activities are going to be wonderful.
My great thanks to the committee for honoring Africa is My Home this way.
BELOW IS THE MARCH FIRST PAGE PICTURE PROMPT for anyone who would like a little inspiration to spark their first page.
Always thought there was a story with this picture illustrated by Mark Meyers. Mark spends his days drawing and painting pictures filled with kids, escaping circus monkeys, and everything in between. He was featured on Illustrator Saturday. Here is the link: http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/10/05/illustrator-saturday-mark-meyers/
I was not able to confirm our guest critiquer for March in time for this post.
Here are the submission guidelines for Sending in a First Page.
To send in a First Page: Please attach your double spaced, 12 point font, 23 line first page to an e-mail and send it to: kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com. Also cut and paste it into the body of the e-mail.
Put “February First Page Critique” or “March First Page Picture Prompt Critique” in the subject line. Make sure you have your name on the submission, a title, and indicate the genre.
You can only send in one first page each month. It can be the same first page each month or a different one, but if you sent it to me last month and it didn’t get chosen, you need to send it again using the March directions. Of course, it doesn’t have to be the same submission. It can be a first page from a work in process or you can use the picture prompt above.
Please include your name, the title of the piece, and whether it is as picture book, middle grade, or young adult, etc. at the top.
CALL FOR ILLUSTRATIONS: Thank you to everyone would sent in an illustration last month. I still have a few in the folder that I plan to use, just looking for the right post, but I am running low, so please look to see if you have anything that you would like me to show off. I am looking for illustrations that would go well with the month or any illustration that might go with a writing or illustrating post. Same as always: At least 500 pixels wide, sent to kathy (dot) temean (at) gmail (dot) com, and include a blurb about you. Thanks!
VIZ MEDIA LAUNCHES NEW SHOJO MANGA SERIES PHANTOM THIEF JEANNE
From Famed Manga Creator Arina Tanemura, A Young Girl With Magical Powers Becomes An Art Thief To Steal Paintings Possessed by Demons
San Francisco, CA, March 5, 2014 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest publisher, distributor and licensor of manga and anime in North America, steals the hearts of manga (graphic novel) fans with the launch of the series – PHANTOM THIEF JEANNE. The new magical-girl fantasy by beloved creator Arina Tanemura, is now available from the Shojo Beat imprint with an age raging of ‘T’ for Teens and carries an MSRP of $10.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN.
A digital version is also available for $6.99 (USD/CAN) on VIZManga.com and through the VIZ MANGA App for the Apple iPad®, iPhone® and iPod® touch, Android-powered smart phones, as well as through the Nook, Kobo, Kindle, iBooks and GooglePlay stores.
The remaining volumes of the 5-volume fantasy adventure series are scheduled to debut every other month.
High school student Maron Kusakabe has a secret – she’s Phantom Thief Jeanne. She sneaks into private art collections to steal paintings in which demons reside. Jeanne’s task is to seal the demons before they can devour human hearts. So far she’s been able to evade the police on her midnight outings, but now another thief has come onto the scene – Phantom Thief Sinbad – and he’s trying to take the paintings before she does!
“PHANTOM THIEF JEANNE is our translated editions of the beloved Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne series in Japan,” says Nancy Thistlethwaite, Editor. “These books feature new covers by Arina Tanemura and color pages. They are must-have for new and current fans alike.”
PHANTOM THIEF JEANNE creator Arina Tanemura began her manga career in 1996 when her short stories debuted in Ribon magazine. She gained further fame with the 1997 publication of I•O•N, and she has remained a major force in shojo manga ever since with popular series such as Time Stranger Kyoko, Full Moon, and The Gentlemen’s Alliance † (all of which are published in North America by VIZ Media). Both PHANTOM THIEF JEANNE and FULL MOON have been adapted into animated TV series.
For more information on PHANTOM THIEF JEANNE or other popular shojo manga titles from VIZ Media, please visit http://www.viz.com/manga/print/shojo-beat.
About VIZ Media, LLC
Headquartered in San Francisco, California, VIZ Media distributes, markets and licenses the best anime and manga titles direct from Japan. Owned by three of Japan’s largest manga and animation companies, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions, Co., Ltd., VIZ Media has the most extensive library of anime and manga for English speaking audiences in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa. With its popular digital manga anthology WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP and blockbuster properties like NARUTO, BLEACH and INUYASHA, VIZ Media offers cutting-edge action, romance and family friendly properties for anime, manga, science fiction and fantasy fans of all ages. VIZ Media properties are available as graphic novels, DVDs, animated television series, feature films, downloadable and streaming video and a variety of consumer products. Learn more about VIZ Media, anime and manga at www.VIZ.com.Add a Comment