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Results 26 - 50 of 224,874
26. Free Book Trailers

YouTube has a free video editor you can use to make your book trailer.

http://www.indiesunlimited.com/2015/05/25/authors-can-make-book-trailers-with-youtubes-free-editor/

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27. reuniting with the sisters of Alaska, on Independence Day weekend

One year ago today I was on a small boat in Alaskan waters and the sky was our fireworks. Tomorrow, my husband, father, and I will have the great pleasure of reuniting with the two sisters we met on this trip—women who exemplify so much that is important, women who, even a year on, carry the traditions of friendship forward.

To our country tonight. To the safety of all those we love, and strangers, too. And to the friendships that sustain us, on Independence Day.

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28. your bill of writes

Photo by Vicky Lorencen

Photo by Vicky Lorencen

In the spirit of Independence Day, I present to you [cue the fife and drum please] . . .

A Writer’s Bill of Rights

You have the right to observe, but not follow trends.

You have the right to seek a second opinion.

You have the right to ask, “What if?”

You have the right to laugh at your own writing. Hey, if you’re funny, you’re funny.

You have the right to leave your beloved critique group if it’s no longer serving its purpose.

You have the right to say no when a friend of a friend asks for feedback on her 1,000-word non-fiction picture book about the history of toe jam.

You have the right not to feel guilty if someone asks for your honest opinion and doesn’t like your response (assuming you delivered the news graciously).

You have the right to try a new genre.

You have the right to read reviews, even if everyone advises against it. (And you have the right to admit it when everyone was right.)

You have the right to think a certain author or book (or movie based on that book) is lame, even if everyone else thinks it’s the greatest thing since WiFi.

You have the right to love a certain author or book even if no one else does.

You have the right to prefer printed books to e-books (or vice versa).

You have a right to take a break from writing (or the pursuit of publication) if you need to. Plus, you have the right to not feel guilty about it.

You have the right to scrap the whole darn thing and start over.

You have the right not to participate in every form of social or digital media imaginable simply for the purpose of following the crowd.

You have the right to be selective and protective of your time.

You have the right to ignore feedback if it does not ring true to you or serve your story.

You have the right to pass on an opportunity because you know it’s not right for you, even if (and especially if) you’re feeling desperate and needy.

Did I miss any rights? If so, you, my friends, have every right to add more.

Now, go exercise your freedom!

I was intelligent enough to make up my own mind. I not only had freedom of choice, I had freedom of expression. ~  Amy Tan

 


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29. Review: All Fall Down (Embassy Row #1) by Ally Carter

I am quite pleased with Ally Carter‘s latest book All Fall Down. I had high expectations since her NYT bestselling series, Gallagher Girls, is such an excellently hilarious series, but All Fall Down definitely stands on it’s own! It features Grace, snarky and bitter, and granddaughter of a powerful ambassador. Oh and she’s looking for her mother’s […]

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30. Breaking Tradition

We didn’t buy fireworks this year. I don’t know, we just weren’t into it this year. In years past, we bought fireworks at a place where Kevin’s parents knew the owners and we would get a really good deal. The owners would pack us a bag full of goodies (because let’s face it, fireworks look the same and you really don’t know what they are going to do, but the fireworks stand owners know and are a great resource if you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck. [pun intended]), and we would split the cost with Kevin’s parents.

We’ve gotten some REALLY good fireworks with that arrangement for the past several years.

We would then have a cookout at Kevin’s folks’ house then shoot off our awesome fireworks. Me, Kevin’s mom and dad would sit on their pergola and Kevin, Blake and Brandon would run their butts off and light the fireworks.

Then, when it was over, we would all go out with bags and pick up the aftermath.

Fun times.

We did this for two reasons: Kevin’s parents live outside of the city limits thereby giving us a venue to blow our money [pun intended] and it gave us a chance to spend the holiday with Kevin’s parents. Because for whatever reason, Kevin’s sisters have never included Kevin’s parents in their 4th of July festivities.

However, we broke tradition this year. Money is tight and having us over for a cookout is a lot of work for Kevin’s parents, who are getting up there in age. Everyone agreed with this plan except Blake – he was disappointed. I think 4th of July is his favorite holiday. He loves blowing things up.

(That desire has always sort of bothered me, to be honest).

This year, Kevin’s parents came over to Roy’s house (i.e. the rental house) and we, (i.e. Kevin) cooked hamburgers and curly hotdogs. Kevin, Roy and Blake swam and Kevin’s mom and I sat on the edge of the pool and chit-chatted. Kevin’s dad napped.

When it got dark, we drove over to the nursing school parking lot and mooched off the spectacular fireworks show at the country club.

I imagine that will be our 4th of July plans for many more years to come. Cheap and easy.

And now it’s way past my bedtime and my eyes are drooping. I have a lot of chores and studying to do tomorrow before the boys come over to swim and then have nachos with us.

Happy birthday, America. You’re not the same awesome country you were twenty years ago, but we still love you and haven’t given up on you. You’ll be great again someday …


Filed under: At the Moment, Life

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31. envy shouldn't fuel our conversations, good luck doesn't earn us pride: let us do some good in this world

Being an old woman now, being a veteran of hope and disappointments, promises made and not always kept, I've seen things. I've felt things. I've wondered.

Many conclusions I've kept to myself. Some I've shared privately, quietly, with friends. Never in a bookstore gathering, nor on a panel, nor in a public forum, nor in a passive-aggressive social-media way have I thought it okay—from a human perspective, from the perspective of career advancement, even—to strike back or out at others. To put one writer or book down in order to promote another. To laugh at the person not in the room, or at the person sitting just a few stools down.

These are books we are writing, and if we are writing them for the right reasons, we're not writing them to win, we're not writing them to be famous, we're not writing them to put ourselves on an endless tour away from home and family. We're not writing so that we will own the headlines. We're writing because within the deep of us, something stirs—idea, character, language. The stuff of the soul.

Good luck in our own careers doesn't earn us entree to prideful pronouncements. Bad luck shouldn't put us on a battleground. Envy shouldn't fuel our conversations.

Our country trembles. Our planet stands at desperate risk. Dangers lurk and hearts are broken. People are dying too soon and for no other reason than that they were in a church at a wrong time, or on a beach when terror came, or in a museum when someone raised a gun, or in a hotel when a plane fell.

May we write books that explore, expose, ponder, transcend, heal. May we live, as authors, with the ambition of doing some measurable good in this world.



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32. "Don't you be a show-off," and other lessons from Kent Haruf, in his final quiet novel

We lost the great Kent Haruf way too soon. I was privileged to review his final book for the Chicago Tribune—privileged to have the excuse to go back and read Haruf interviews and profiles in preparation for the assignment.

Oh, he had so much to say. I wish he were still here, saying.

My full review can be found here.


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33. Free 1st 5 Pages Workshop is Now Open!

Our July workshop is now open. We'll take the first five Middle Grade, Young Adult, or New Adult entries that meet all guidelines and formatting requirements. Click here to get the rules. I will post when it opens and closes on Adventures in YA Publishing and on twitter (@etcashman), with the hashtag #1st5pages.

In addition to our talented permanent mentors, we have Ava Jae, author of the forthcoming BEYOND THE RED, and Patricia Nelson of the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. So get those pages ready!

Read more »

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34. A Rainy 4th

A rainy 4th, but I don't care -
My grandson's come to visit.
No matter what the weather is,
The day will be exquisite.

With endless possibilities
For fun as he's exploring, 
The time inside, to me and him,
Is anything but boring.

Of course, I'm thrilled as well to see
Both Henry's mom and dad.
They've given me a 4th which is
The best I've ever had.

So here's to you, America!
I celebrate your birth
By spending time with the most precious
Boy upon the earth!

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35. #BookADay: MINRS by Kevin Sylvester (Simon & Schuster, Sept/2015)

Appropriately enough, I began and finished Kevin Sylvester's MiNRS underground. It was soOooOooOOoo good that I missed my subway stop. Twice.

MiNRS is Kevin's upcoming action-adventure sf book for middle grade ... though honestly, I believe older readers will enjoy it as well. The premise: A 12-year-old boy and his friends have to survive in the mining tunnels after their new space colony are attacked during an Earth communication blackout.

Love the unexpected plot twists.

Loved the action and adventure, sense of real danger. The darker bits are part of what helps set this sf middle grade apart from others.

Love the main character, Christopher, and how his character develops throughout the story. Love the fact that he's just an ordinary boy (no superpowers, etc.) who has to use resources available to him to figure things out and learn how to be a leader.

Loved the depth of the character interactions and complexity of some of the relationships.

Loved the strong female characters.

Loved the fascinating tech/science behind the asteroid mining process.

Just ***LOVED***.

Can't wait until MiNRS comes out this September from Margaret K. McElderry Books/Simon & Schuster.

And Kevin: I want MORE, PLEASE.

Read about MiNRS on the Simon & Schuster website.

Find out more about Kevin and his work at KevinSylvesterBooks.com.

---------------------

More info: Donalyn Miller's Summer Book-A-Day Challenge | Archives of my #BookADay posts

0 Comments on #BookADay: MINRS by Kevin Sylvester (Simon & Schuster, Sept/2015) as of 7/4/2015 10:24:00 AM
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36. God Bless What’s Left of America

We have our American Flag hanging outside our house and I can’t help but wonder, will someone report us? Will someone in our neighborhood be offended that we proudly display our American Flag?

To which I reply: Tough shit. good-morning-merica

I’m so SICK of people being offended by everything nowadays.

Get over it.

People are offended because some whack-job worshiped a confederate flag and was high on anti-psychotic drugs and shot a bunch of people in a church (notice I said PEOPLE – we’re all PEOPLE, color is irrelevant), and now the confederate flag offends people so we’re going to go completely berserk and obliterate every last trace of the confederate flag from the face of the Earth.

Idiots. The confederate flag didn’t MAKE that nut-job shoot those people, it was simply a trigger for his crazy delusions. What if his trigger had been a black cat? Would we suddenly want to eradicate black cats from existence? If you need to be “offended” by someone, be “offended” by the act and the person who committed the act, not an inanimate object.

Geez louise people …

You have the right to dislike the confederate flag – I’m not crazy about that flag, either. I think it represents a sad, mixed-up time in our history. I have never understood people who buy that flag and then proudly display it. Why? Do they wish they could go back to those times? Well too bad, it’s not happening. We learned our lesson the first time. Right?

Right??

But I’m not offended if they choose to fly it. It’s their right to do so. And it does serve to remind of us of the mistakes we made during that time period. This isn’t about me and my feelings, it’s about other people’s CHOICE to make bad decisions.

People need to grow a backbone and stop being such emotional cry babies.

The only thing I think of when I see that flag is slavery. And how that’s bad. And I’m truly perplexed that we thought, at one time in our history, that having one set of human beings serve another set of human beings was somehow acceptable. And then I roll my eyes and shrug my shoulders. I wonder more about the people behind these “offenses” than about anything else. People are idiots. What are you going to do?

Anyway, back to the American flag and our country.

I can’t get into this 4th of July. What, exactly, are we celebrating? Our freedoms? Our freedom to do what, exactly? Abide by the rules? Live under a supreme dictator or a group of tenured lawyers who have been given the right to make our decisions for us?

Freedom to “ignore its own laws and tear its Constitution to pieces?”

Freedom “to dismantle the institution of marriage in favor of legitimizing sexual perversion?”

What, exactly, are we celebrating nowadays? Our freedoms are slowly being taken away with each passing law and government decree.

If so, what’s so great about being great? Where is the optimism in that miserable greatness? Where is the hope for the future if moral bankruptcy, selfishness, confusion, stupidity, deviancy and failure are “great”?

This is why I’m surprised liberals are still out burning American flags. What are they upset about? This country has been reshaped in their image. They won the culture, the government, academia, the media, even the churches. This is their America. They own it. Yet they aren’t satisfied because liberalism, like its father Satan, is intent only on destruction and consumption. It will never be satiated.

You might say most of the examples I provided have to do with America’s people, not America herself. But the distinction is irrelevant because a democracy is only as great as its people. Meanwhile, our government is corrupt and feckless, and our political leaders are cowardly and self-serving. Yes, the Constitution is great, but it’s still just a set of laws. If laws are ignored, they might as well not exist. The Bill of Rights can’t make us great if we don’t follow it, just like your running shoes can’t make you fit if you don’t put them on and go for a jog.

So in what way is America great at the moment? Are we a moral beacon for the world now? Where is the rest of the world supposed to locate that shining light of moral clarity? Is it somewhere buried under the dead children and the perversion and the porn and the divorce and the drugs and the disease and the dependency and the Nanny State socialism? What about leadership in government, or education, or the home? Is American culture great in these respect

No, America Is Not a Great Nation. Not anymore.

I dare you to read Matt Walsh’s entire article. Read it completely through and tell me you don’t disagree. This country is slowly being flushed down the crapper. With every flush, we compromise another belief and/or ideal. Like a stone sculptor, decency is being chipped away, slowly, oh so slowly, and then suddenly, we see the finished product and wonder, what happened? How did we get here? What happened?

Like sleep walkers, we are suddenly shaken awake.

We got here by being outraged over the confederate flag. We got here by being distracted by Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner. We got here by not paying attention to what our educational system is doing to our children. We got here by being too busy playing with the newest and coolest electronic gadgets. We got here by putting all of our energies and time into being offended by the stupidest, most insignificant things.

It’s like people don’t WANT to really know what’s going on. It’s like people purposefully look the other direction in order NOT to see and/or deal with the bigger issues. Because talking about big changes is too uncomfortable, it’s too hard. And now we’ve reached a point of no return – can you IMAGINE trying to cut benefits to people who now solely rely on the nanny state to take care of them? Can you IMAGINE overhauling an education system so that we get back to teaching children and not indoctrinating children?

We’ve dug our grave, it’s time to lie in it.

Why should we celebrate the mess we created?

I think Matt summarizes this hopelessness best:

Here’s what I do know, and here’s the hopeful part: Our priority has to be our families and our souls. The fate of the country or the globe has not been put entirely, or even mostly, in our individual hands. But we have profound jurisdiction over the fate of our families, the spiritual state of our children, whether our households serve the Lord, and whether we serve the Lord. That’s our hope for the future. Right there.

We can find greatness if we strive for holiness. We have to. We are entering an age where only the great Christians will spiritually survive. It’s a scary time, but if we heed the call to holiness, we can find immense joy. That’s what I want for my children, though I fear for them quite a bit these days. I can’t imagine what this country will look like in 30 or 40 years. Maybe things will have turned around, but honestly I really doubt it. So all I can do is hold them close, try to be a better father to them and a better husband to my wife, and equip them as best I can for what comes next.

I believe strongly that real persecution awaits us down the road. I think my children will face hostility and opposition and maybe even violence on a level I haven’t yet seen. We are heading into very challenging times, but if we keep our families together and our hearts with God, we’ll be OK. No matter what happens, we’ll be OK. And, by extension, if we pour ourselves into our families and into our faith, we might be able to rescue this culture and this country from the clutches of progressive annihilation. It won’t happen quickly, and I don’t know if it will happen at all, but I know there’s a chance. America is not lost completely. Not yet.

So find strength in the Lord. Love your spouse and your children like Christ loves the Church. Be a leader in your home. Be willing to sacrifice everything for your family. Be unwilling to sacrifice your soul for anything. Confront the reality of our current state and accept that you will be asked to endure a lot of pain and persecution. Pray. Remember what America was. Remember who God is. Remember who you are and why you’re here and that you were put here in this time for a reason.

God bless what’s left of America.

And may God have mercy on your soul.

Amen.


Filed under: Politics

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37. Weekend Links: Celebrating Our Wonderful Earth with Booklists (and a Giveaway!)

Welcome to Weekend Links! This is my chance to share the best-of-the-best thanks to my online travels of the course of the week. This week has been filled with wonderful booklists and activities surrounding loving and celebrating our Earth and all that inhabit it. Here are some of my top picks this week.

weekend links

This week we’ve been celebrating the planet we live on, Earth. Earlier this week I created a very Love the Earth  booklist which honors amazing people preserving and restoring areas on our planet as well as others reusing items to accomplish great feats. The great thing about this list is that I am giving it away!

Love the Earth booklist

Enter to win the Giveaway HERE and don’t delay! It ends July 13th

Seems to me it’s SharK Week on Animal Planet so I though this booklist from Brain Power Boy was very fitting :)

shark booklist

Sharks!  They can be so fascinating and just a bit scary as well. We found some great non-fiction shark books for your boys.

{just for fun}

sharkweek

Mia at PragmaticMom had a wonderful book review of a book that lets young readers readers explore the ocean floor. Explore Ocean Forests with Non Fiction eBook

Explore the Ocean Floor

Since we are looking way down low into the ocean floor, let’s look way up high at the sky. Here’s a great past JIAB post that will help get your family interested in stargazing! Stargazing & Astronomy Booklist for the whole family.

stargazing booklist

I loved encouraging kids and families to GET OUTSIDE! That’s why I adore this Backpack Nature Books and FieldGuides Booklist from KCEdventures! “Outdoor guides for kids to take on their next hike — what a fun way to encourage reading this summer!”

field guides for kids

Speaking of “getting outside”…did you know that my book A Year in the Secret Garden is filled with all sorts of outdoors activities inspired by the classic children’s book The Secret Garden?

SecretGardenCoverLeft-e1407422792456

Enjoy more month-by-month activities based on the classic children’s tale, The Secret Garden! A Year in the Secret Garden is a delightful children’s book with over 120 pages, with 150 original color illustrations and 48 activities for your family and friends to enjoy, learn, discover and play with together. AND, it’s on sale for a limited time! Grab your copy ASAP and “meet me in the garden!” More details HERE! http://amzn.to/1DTVnuX

The post Weekend Links: Celebrating Our Wonderful Earth with Booklists (and a Giveaway!) appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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38. हद हो गर्इ

कई बार….  हमारे देश मॆं जिस तरह से भूण हत्याएं हो रही हैं मन विचलित हो जाता है और उसी विचलित मन से बन जाती हैं ऐसी कविता कि हद हो गई … बस बहुत हो गया …

अब बहुत हो गया

बस
अब बहुत हो गया
हद हो गर्इ
टी.वी. हो या समाचार पत्र
कविता प्रतियोगिता हो या राज्यस्तरीय विवाद
पर लगा नहीं पा रहे
भ्रूण हत्या पर लगाम
कह कह कर थक गए हम
पर हम अडि़ग हैं कि
कन्या नही…… कन्या नही
बस चाहिए पुत्र रत्न ही
कोर्इ बात नही

ज्यादा दूर नही है, देख लेंगेें
आज से बीस साल बाद
जब…..
लड़की नही मिलेगी कोर्इ
आपके कुल दीपक से ब्याहने को
आपका वंश चलाने को
ना होगी तब नवरात्रि में कंजको की पूजा
ना होगी पति की लम्बी उम्र के लिए उपवास पूजा
ना छम छम पायल से किसी का घर आँगन चहकेगा
नाना-नानी बनने का शौक अधूरा ही रह जाऐगा
ना रहेगा प्रेम, ना होगी करूणा
क्योंकि यह तो है नारी का गहना
बेबस मन कन्यादान से वंचित रह जाऐगा
हरा भरा घर मकान बन कर ही रह जाऐगा
मनु, इंदिदरा, कल्पना का नाम पन्नों में ही रह जाऐगा
बस……….
कुछ ही सालों की है बात
हैरान, परेशान हताश खुद ही कह उठेंगें आप
कन्या थी अनमोल रत्न
पर तब तक शायद बहुत देर हो चुकी होगी
हमें इन्तज़ार करना होगा
शायद फिर से बीस सालों का
पर तब तक सब कुछ बदल चुका होगा
खामोशी,उदासी, मायूसी का फैल चुका होगा आतंक
तो फिर………..
क्यों हो रही हैं ये भ्रूण हत्याएँ
ठान लो
बस बहुत हो गया
जानते हो
हम भारतवासी……… एक जुट हो क्या है कर सकते
मुसीबत पडने पर दे सकतें हैं जान
चीर सकतें हैं धरती की छाती
उधेड़ सकतें हैं पहाड़ों का सीना
जब ला सकतें हैं हरियाली बंजर धरा पर
फिर क्यों है रोक कलियों के प्रस्फुटन पर
चलिए लें संकल्प
आज, अभी, यहीं
भ्रूण हत्या पर लगाए
कस कर लगाम सभी
मत ड़गमगाने दें भारत का आधार
नर और नारी से ही है हमारा घर संसार
उठो, जागो, चलो
बनाए संसार में भारत की अलग पहचान
ताकि फिर से ना पड़े कहना कि…….
मोनिका, अब बहुत हो गया
हद हो गर्इ

कैसी लगी आपको ये कविता … जरुर बताईगा…

The post हद हो गर्इ appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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39. The Best Podcasts


The last decade has witnessed a flowering of podcasts. Here are the best story-driven audio documentaries and long-form interviews, chosen with visual artists in mind.

99% Invisible
The pitch: A tiny radio show about design with Roman Mars
Sample episode: Johnnycab (Automation Paradox)

Note to Self (Formerly New Tech City)
The pitch: Host Manoush Zomorodi talks with everyone from big name techies to elementary school teachers about the effects of technology on our lives.
Sample episode: There's Just Something About Paper

Suggested Donation
The pitch: Artists Tony Curanaj and Edward Minoff talk art
Sample episode: Marc Dalessio

This American Life
The pitch: There's a theme to each episode of This American Life, and a variety of stories on that theme. It's mostly true stories of everyday people, though not always.
Sample episode: Batman--can a blind man see if he changes his thought process?

New York Public Library
The pitch: The New York Public Library Podcast features your favorite writers, artists, and thinkers in smart talks and provocative conversations.
Sample Episode: Werner Herzog on Greece and Wrestlemania

Radiolab
The pitch: Weaving stories and science into sound and music-rich documentaries.
Sample episode: Eye in the Sky

Invisibilia
The pitch: Explores the intangible forces that shape human behavior – things like ideas, beliefs, assumptions and emotions.
Sample episode: The Power of Categories

The Moth Radio
The pitch: True stories told live
Sample episode: Lewis Lapham, Rookie Reporter

WTF
The pitch: Comedian Marc Maron is tackling the most complex philosophical question of our day – WTF? He'll get to the bottom of it with help from comedian friends, celebrity guests and the voices in his own head.
Sample episode: Louis C.K.

Criminal
The pitch: Criminal is a podcast about crime. Stories of people who've done wrong, been wronged, or gotten caught somewhere in the middle.
Sample episode: Ex Libris

TED Talks 
The pitch: Ideas worth spreading
Sample episode: Why We Laugh

Snap Judgment
The pitch: Glynn Washington delivers a raw, musical brand of storytelling, daring listeners to see the world through the eyes of another.
Sample episode: Mystery Man

Savvy Painter
The pitch: The podcast for fine artists who mean business.
Sample episode: Errol Gerson--Sound business and marketing advice for the artist.

Sidebar
The pitch:  Comics, art, and pop culture
Sample episode: Brad Holland

VFX Guide 
The pitch: A visual effects and post-production community website founded by three visual effects artists, Jeff Heusser, John Montgomery, and Mike Seymour
Sample episode: The Visual Effects of Mad Max: Fury Road

The Memory Palace
The pitch: Historical narratives
Sample episode: I'm Still Alive

Have I've missed your favorite podcast? Tell me the name of the show and a sample episode in the comments.

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40. GJ Book Club, Chapter 13: Variety of Mass

On the GJ Book Club, we're looking at Chapter 13: "Variety of Mass" in Harold Speed's 1917 classic The Practice and Science of Drawing. The following numbered paragraphs cite key points in boldface. If you would like to respond to a specific image or point, please precede your comment by the corresponding number.

This chapter brings us to some Speed's best material about painting, with some insights that I haven't seen in other instructional manuals.


1. Variety of shape is one of the most difficult things to invent, and one of the commonest things in nature.

He brings up the excellent point that if you don't regularly study from nature, your work will contain "two or three pet forms repeated." I'm thinking of N.C. Wyeth's whipped-cream clouds, for example (sorry, N.C.) . I think this tendency to see forms in a standardized way can even be a problem for a plein-air painter if they aren't sufficiently patient and selfless to really observe carefully and slowly and vary their approach.

2. Nature does not so readily suggest a scheme of unity, for the simple reason that the first condition of your picture, the four bounding lines, does not exist in nature. 

Despite the fact that we must go to nature to appreciate the endless variety of nature, at some point we need to impose design order on it because we're operating within the artificial universe of a rectangular picture.

3. Variety of tone values

Speed defines tone value (light to dark on a gray scale) as a property of light on form, and also as an element of pictorial design. Both of these properties can influence the tone you choose for a passage, and alter it from the actual local color of the object you're painting. 

Twachtman at the Metropolitan Museum
4. This quality of tone music is most dominant when the masses are large and simple.

Another way to say it is: "big tones create mood." The Twachtman above has both big tones and simple shapes. Large, simple masses of similar tone are what give a picture poetic impact, but they can be hard to achieve. Speed mentions that mist or fog can help. I would add that backlighting can too, because it automatically reduces complex value patterns to simpler silhouettes. 

5. Tone relationships are most sympathetic when the middle values of your scale only are used, that is to say, when the lights are low in tone and the darks high. They are most dramatic and intense when the contrasts are great and the jumps from dark to light sudden.

This is a great truth in keying a picture. The value scale has a lot to do with lighting, as any photographer knows. Fashion or food photographers can control the lighting ratio and the softness of the light using fill lights and diffusers and thereby achieve an image well within the middle range. By contrast, film noir directors use lighting to emphasize dramatic contrasts between light and dark areas. 

But unlike photographers, painters have complete control over all the variables of a picture, and we can achieve effects that are almost impossible in photography.

6. Variety in quality and nature is almost too subtle to write about with any prospect of being understood.
C'mon, Harold! It's a bit of a cop out for him to bring up this point and then not really explain it. But I think he's talking about variety of textures within a painting, including the types of brushstrokes (dry vs. wet, large vs. small, thick vs. thin paint, etc.). He argues—and I agree with him—that many of the celebrated Impressionists suffer from an overall sameness of paint texture, which interferes with any sense that you're looking at nature's infinite variety. You just get stuck in the paint instead.

I love his line "Nature is sufficiently vast for beautiful work to be done in separate departments of vision, although one cannot place such work on the same plane with successful pictures of wider scope." 

7. Every student should make a chart of the colours he is likely to use. 
The purpose of this chart is to see how the paint changes over time. In oil, the chart should have thick blobs of paint on one side thinned with the palette knife to a thin smear. There's a tendency, he says, for oil to rise up through the paint if it can't sink into an absorbent ground, and certain oils can darken. Can one of our paint material experts explain this a bit more?


8. Variety of edges.
He gives the usual advice to vary the edges around a given form—hard, soft, hard, etc. 

He then makes the more unusual observation that in some great works: "the most accented edges are reserved for unessential parts." In other words the face is handled with a lot of softness, and the accessory areas around the face, such as the costume, is given more hard-edge handling. He shows the detail from Velazquez's Surrender of Breda, but I think Sargent has many good examples of this, too.

It strikes me that this quality is the opposite of what you would do in focusing a camera on a face with a shallow-focus prime lens, where you'd want sharpness and detail in the eyes and the center of the face, and softer edges everywhere else. 

9. A picture that is a catalogue of many little parts separately focussed will not hang together as one visual impression.

Little bits separately focused is a common flaw in beginner's work. The unity of vision that he's setting up as a goal in picture-making is one of the marks of enduring masterpieces, and it requires conscious effort to achieve.

10. What perspective has done for drawing, the impressionist system of painting to one all-embracing focus has done for tone. 

We're talking about atmospheric perspective here, which he says is as radical a discovery as the discovery of linear perspective in the Renaissance. 

He continues, "Before perspective was introduced, each individual object in a picture was drawn with a separate centre of vision fixed on each object in turn. What perspective did was to insist that all objects in a picture should be drawn in relation to one fixed centre of vision." These days we've absorbed impressionist values so completely that it's hard to appreciate the impact that the revolution in vision brought to painting.


11. Treatment of foliage edges

Speed discusses the challenge of painting convincing foliage silhouettes. He says: "The poplar trees in Millais' "Vale of Rest" are painted in much the same manner as that employed by the Italians, and are exceptional among modern tree paintings, the trees being treated as a pattern of leaves against the sky. Millais has also got a raised quality of paint in his darks very similar to that of Bellini and many early painters."

He continues, "It is interesting to note how all the great painters have begun with a hard manner, with edges of little variety, from which they have gradually developed a looser manner, learning to master the difficulties of design that hard contours insist on your facing, and only when this is thoroughly mastered letting themselves develop freely this play on the edges, this looser handling."

12. Variety of Gradation
There's one more thing to consider when planning how to handle tone—variety of gradation. He concludes: "There you have only the one scale from black to white to work with, only one octave within the limits of which to compose your tone symphonies."

The Practice and Science of Drawing is available in various formats:
1. Inexpensive softcover edition from Dover, (by far the majority of you are reading it in this format)
3. Free online Archive.org edition.
and The Windsor Magazine, Volume 25, "The Art of Mr. Harold Speed" by Austin Chester, page 335. (thanks, अर्जुन)
GJ Book Club on Pinterest (Thanks, Carolyn Kasper)
New GJ Facebook page, credit Jenna Berry

Original blog post Announcing the GJ Book Club

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41. कब छटेंगे बादल

ये मेरी पहली कविता थी.  मन में भाव तो हमेशा ही उमड घुमड कर आते रहते थे पर ये पहली बार थी जब इन विचारों की दिशा मिली …

 

कब छटेंगे बादल

दल में बादल, गहरे बादल, काले बादल
उथले बादल, क्षितिज में विचरते बादल,
पर्वतों के ऊपर छत्र की तरह छाए बादल।

बादल………. दलदल बादल,
आखिर………कब छटेंगे ये बादल
क्या बरसात में ही पैर बढ़ा दूँ मैं……….?
की रूक जाऊँ, ठहर जाऊँ मैं………?
ठहर जाऊँ………..??
जिंदगी वैसे ही है ठहरी,ठहरी
कौंधती बिजली………गर्जते बादल,
हलचल मचा रहे मन में,
अरे! बुलबुले बने, टूटे……..,
देख मन में आस जगी…..
काले घन में भी है बिजली चमकी……..
फिर…….. हे मन, तू क्यों है व्यथित……….
क्यों……… आंखों के आगे काले बादल बैठाए हैं…….
ज़रा अश्रू तो पोंछ, पलक साफ कर…….
देखा………..!! छट गए न बादल………
न बादल, न दल में बादल
पैर बढ़ा, चल मंजिल की ओर……….
ठहरी जिंदगी को दे नया बल……..
दल में बादल…….??
भुज बल में भी तो है आंधी…….
देखा…… छट गए ना बादल……….!!

 

नकारात्मक सोच से शुरु ये कविता आखिरकार सकारात्मकता पर खत्म हुई … आपको कैसी लगी … जरुर बताईएगा :)

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42. Toilet – A Necessity

Toilet – A Necessity   कल एक खबर पढी कि दुमका झारखंड की 17 साल की किशोरी ने इसलिए आत्मह्त्या कर ली कि घर मे टायलेट नही था… इधर उधर खेतो में जाने से बहुत परेशान थी … लेकिन शायद परिवार ने इसकी मह्त्ता को कभी नही समझा कि ये भी  ज्यादा जरुरी है…. बेहद दुखद … महिलाओं की मान सम्मान आबरु शौचालय ही है … घर मे शौचालय होना बेहद जरुरी है. 

घर में शौचालय न होने पर बारात का  वापिस चला जाना  या महिला का घर छोड देना या शौचालय बनवाने की जिद ठान लेना तो सुना , शौचालय की वजह से महिला का रेप होना भी होना सुना और अब मौत भी इसकी वजह से जुड गई है…

भले ही  फिलम अभिनेत्री विद्या बालन समझाए या खिलाडी विजेंद्र … पर जब तक लोगो की सोच नही बदलेगी … तब तक कुछ नही हो सकेगा … !!! ये मेरा गांव गांव जाकर महिलाओं से पूछ्ने का पर्सनल अनुभव भी रहा है जब महिलाए बताती थी कि मुहं अंधेरे या शाम ढलने पर ही खेत जाना पडता है दिन मे कभी कोई दिक्कत आने पर रोक कर ही रखना पडता है और मासिक धर्म के दिनों में तो बहुत मुश्किल से दो चार होना पडता है… बेशक मानसिकता यह भी देखने को मिली कि जो शौचालय के लिए पैसा मिला उसे किसी और चीज मे खर्च कर दिया … क्योकि शौचालय की अहमियत समझ नही आई …  बी ए पार्ट वन मे पढने  वाली  लडकी खुले मे शौच जाना नही सहन कर पाई और आत्महत्या कर ली  … बेहद अफसोस हुआ … जागो जनता जागो

  cartoon toilet by monica gupta

 Toilet – A Necessity

| Minor | Committed | Suicide | Dumka | | Hindi Latest News

घर में टॉयलेट न होने पर शादी टूटने और ससुराल छोड़ने के मामले तो आपने सुने होंगे, लेकिन अब ऐसी घटना सामने आई है, जो किसी को बेचैन कर सकती है. झारखंड में 17 साल की एक लड़की ने घर में टॉयलेट न होने पर फांसी लगाकर आत्महत्या कर ली. बताया जा रहा है कि झारखंड के दुमका जिले में रहने वाली लड़की ने माता-पिता … See more…

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43. लडते झगडे मुद्दे

लडते झगडे मुद्दे — मीठा मीठा गप्प गप्प कडवा कडवा थू थू … लडते, झगडे तो कभी सुलझे बच्चे की तरह टीचर(एंकर} के सामने कुछ पूछ्ने के लिए ऊंगली उठाते, बीच बीच में विज्ञापन और अगले कार्यक्रम की सूचना … इतना सब कुछ होता है आजकल न्यूज चैनल की भैंस … ओह क्षमा बहस में, बस पूछिए ही मत… ये शाम का समय तो बेहद ही क्रूशियल होता है. कितनी बार तो चैनल की आवाज ही धीमी करनी पडती है कि पडोसी ये न समझ लें कि हमारे घर में लडाई हो रही है…

हर चैनल, बहस में लडने भिडने मारने को उतारु सा प्रतीत होता है… इसलिए बस आज तो सोच ही लिया कि रोज रोज बुराईयां करने से अच्छा है आज से फालतू की बहस देखना ही बंद … ना होगी भैस ओह पुन क्षमा.. न होगी बहस और न वो पानी मे जाएगी… बस आज शाम टीवी ही नही चलाया… समय गुजर रहा था. गुजर रहा था..

मन मे बुरे बुरे ख्याल आने शुरु हो गए कि आज का मुद्दा क्या होगा. कौन कौन किस चैनल पर आया होगा. किस बात पर लड मर रहे होंगें. किस की खाली कुर्सी दिखाई जा रही होगी.  कुछ सूनापन सा महसूस होने लगा.

खैर ध्यान बटाया कि मोनिका तू कार्टून की बना ले कोई ,पर फिर सोचा कि कार्टून बनाने का आईडिया भी तो यही से मिलता है … बस फिर क्या था. अब मैं टीवी के सामने बैठी  चाय पीते हुए बहस एंजाय कर रही हूं और बार बार चैनल ही बदल बदल कर देख रही हूं और सोच रही हूं  बिल्कुल बेकार मुद्दे … आज तो देख लिया बस पर कल से बिल्कुल नही देखूगी…   :)

Cover story: Freedom for Women

लडकियां मोबाइल का प्रयोग न करें, जींस न पहनें। घर से बाहर निकलते हुए सिर पर पल्लू रखें, बाज्ार  न जाएं..।लडकियों की शादी कम उम्र में कर देनी चाहिए। इससे बलात्कार की घटनाएं कम होंगी और वे सुरक्षित रहेंगी..।

बलात्कार के 90 फीसदी मामले आपसी सहमति के होते हैं..।

लडकियों को देर रात घर से बाहर नहीं निकलना चाहिए..।

ये सारे बयान और फरमान देश के ज्िाम्मेदार लोगों द्वारा दिए गए हैं। ऐसे समय में जबकि स्त्रियां हर क्षेत्र में अपना वर्चस्व कायम कर रही हैं, ऐसे बयान हास्यास्पद हैं। ये स्त्रियों के प्रति संवेदनहीन नज्ारिए का जीवंत उदाहरण हैं। राष्ट्रीय राजधानी दिल्ली क्राइम कैपिटल में तब्दील हो रही है। सेंटर फॉर सोशल रिसर्च ने दिल्ली में जनवरी 2009 से जुलाई 2011 के बीच दर्ज मामलों के अध्ययन के बाद एक रिपोर्ट पेश की। रिपोर्ट में कहा गया है कि दिल्ली में महिलाएं दिन में भी सुरक्षित नहीं हैं।

See more…

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44. कुछ देर

कुछ देर

 

मैं हँसी
तो फूल मुस्कुरा उठे
मैनें छेड़ा तराना
तो इन्द्रधनुष और खिल उठा……
जिसकी कामना की……..
वही मिलती चलती गर्इ….
मन सुख समुंद्र में
लगा गोते लगाने
चारों और खुशनुमा माहौल
लगा मन में अजब स्फूर्ति भरने
ये धरती……… ये आकाश
ये चाँद …………ये तारे
सभी लगे मस्ती में झूमने
तभी…………….
टूटी तंद्रा मेरी
बीमार काया
टूटा पलंग, सूखी रसोर्इ
यहाँ गरीबी का हो रहा था ताँड़व
अचानक
फीकी हँसी मेरे अधरों पर खिल उठी
चलो………….
कोर्इ नही कल्पना तो है मेरे साथ
जब चाहे उसे नया रूप देकर
खुद को बहला तो सकती हूँ
कुछ देर जी तो सकती हूँ………….
कुछ देर जी तो सकती हूँ……………

कई बार जिंदगी में ऐसे पल आते हैं जब मन एक दम अकेला और मायूस सा हो जाता है… अब ये अपनी ऊपर हैं कि दुखी मन को लेकर दुखी हो जाओ या फिर मनोबल बनाए रखने के लिए मन को खुश रखो … मैने मन को ही खुश रखा क्योकि उसने मेरा ही भला होना था … ज्यादा तनाव रखती तो तबियत खराब हो जाती और डाक्टरों के चक्कर , अस्पताल के चक्कर लगाने कौन से आसान है भई … इसलिए सकारात्मक सोच लिए जिओ और देखना समस्या का हल भी निकल जाएगा बस एक ही कंडीशन है कि आप अपने कार्यों के प्रति ईमानदार रहना होगा …

कैसी लगी मेरी ये कविता ” कुछ देर” … जरुर बताईगा :)

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45. Happy Independence Day!

I hope your day is filled with celebration with friends and fireworks, hot dogs and apple pie! Click the image to the right to find Independence Day-themed coloring pages for the little ones.

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46. Go Set a Watchman

In honor of Harper Lee's July 14th release of Go Set a Watchman, there will be a documentary on PBS - Harper Lee: American Masters airing on July 10th (check your local PBS station for times). It looks to be good!

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47. Free First 5 Pages Workshop is Now Closed

Hi Everyone,

Sorry but the Free First Five Pages Workshop is now closed. Once again, we filled up in under a minute! I will email the participants that made it into the workshop today. If you don't hear from me, I'm sorry but you didn't get in this month. Please try again next month!

Erin

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48. How much is too much when writing emotional situations?

Hello, good work here! Question: how do I make it so that I don't go overboard in detailing my character's grief but still have an effective emotional

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49. Free 1st 5 Pages Workshop with Author Ava Jae and Agent Patricia Nelson Opens Today!

Our July workshop will open for entries today at noon, EST. We'll take the first five Middle Grade, Young Adult, or New Adult entries that meet all guidelines and formatting requirements. Click here to get the rules. I will post when it opens and closes on Adventures in YA Publishing and on twitter (@etcashman), with the hashtag #1st5pages.

And we have some exciting news here at the workshop! We have four fabulous new permanent mentors:  Brenda DrakeJanet B. TaylorStephanie Scott and Wendy Spinale.  All have wonderful books coming out in the next several months that I can't wait to read! (And if you want a chance to win one - make sure to add them to your shelf on Goodreads!) Also, the workshop will now run for 4 weeks.

  • Week One: Your two assigned permanent mentors plus Ava Jae provide feedback on your original entry, and you receive additional feedback from other workshop participants. You revise based on their comments.
  • Week Two: Permanent mentors and the guest mentor review and critique your 1st revision. You do another revision.
  • Week Three: Permanent mentors, the guest mentor, and the literary agent mentor review and critique your 2nd revision. 
  • Week Four: You provide a pitch (up to 200 words) that would be the core of a query letter and describes what your manuscript is about. Mentors and the agent mentor review it, consider whether it matches up to your first five pages, and recommend changes to make sure it matches up with your manuscript and answers questions while sounding enticing and marketable.

Another new feature we're introducing this month is that the guest agent will chose a workshop "winner" -- but, of course, you win just by joining the workshop, accepting the feedback, and working hard on revising your pages! The guest agent will review and comment on a partial of the winner's manuscript or work-in-progress!

In addition to our talented permanent mentors, we have Ava Jae, author of the forthcoming BEYOND THE RED, and Patricia Nelson of the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. So get those pages ready!

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50. Happy 4th of July!




"Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves." - 
Abraham Lincoln


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Multi Award-winning Children's Author



Ignite curiosity in your child through reading!



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A Sandy Grave ~ January 2014 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ 2014 Purple Dragonfly 1st Place Picture Books 6+, Story Monster Approved, Beach Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Powder Monkey ~ May 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ 2015 Purple Dragonfily 1st Place Historical Fiction, Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Hockey Agony ~ January 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ 2015 Purple Dragonfly Honorable Mention Picture Books 6+, New England Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Literary Classics Silver Award and Seal of Approval, Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention and Dan Poynter's Global e-Book Awards Finalist
















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