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Results 26 - 50 of 226,823
26. My tweets

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27. Ghosts

Ghosts by Sonia Goldie and Marc Boutavant

by Sonia Goldie and Marc Boutavant (Enchanted Lion, 2013)

If you listened to my conversation with Matthew Winner and Julie Falatko on the Let’s Get Busy podcast this week, you might have heard me say something like, “the books keep coming.” 

It’s true, and this book is a perfect example of that. I’m a big fan of the books Enchanted Lion makes, and this one is two years old in America, and I just stumbled across it recently. Better late than never, right?

So, these ghosts.

The front endpapers here show a small spot illustration of a sheeted, ball-and-chained spook. On the title page, another ghost confronts him with disbelief in his ghost-ness, and the story is off. The two, a self-proclaimed ghost and a maybe-ghost, star in a series of pictures where the real ghost explains the reality of ghosts.

They don’t only inhabit creepy places, and they don’t drag around the old ball and chain.

And they definitely don’t go around saying, “Boo…Boo…Boo” all day.

No.

These ghosts are different.

Ghosts by Sonia Goldie and Marc Boutavant

They live in your kitchen. See the name of this ghost, spelled out by the items on the shelf? The Ghost of the Kitchen is clumsy, spilling poofs of flour and traipsing through spilled milk. And he really likes angel food cake and creamed rice. He’s up there on your light, judging you as you snap some peas.

Ghosts by Sonia Goldie and Marc Boutavant

This one wakes at night, scatters your clothes around, and makes your toys sing. He’ll slither into your teams and nightmares, and disappear in the morning.

Ghosts by Sonia Goldie and Marc BoutavantThe Ghost of the Parents’ Bedroom does not like messes as much as his nighttime friend. But I don’t think he’s as intimidating or successful either.

(Also, I do think that’s a dirty magazine under the bed, no?! Maybe something worth hiring a ghost to protect? Maybe the first I’ve ever seen in a picture book!)

Ghosts by Sonia Goldie and Marc BoutavantGhosts by Sonia Goldie and Marc BoutavantThe Ghosts of the Attic and Gray Days are my favorites. The one in the attic is ‘wrinkly yet twinkly’ and ‘likes to spend his time remembering the good old days.’ He smokes a ghost pipe, reads old newspapers, and listens to scratched records. He scares spiders away by wearing silvery scarves.

And the Ghost of Gray Days is a lumbering fellow, joined by a driving slug and an elephant carrying a plate for an umbrella. Of course.

The details in these pictures is astounding. Each spread has quirky spooks and spooky quirks, and each of these ghosts has enough character to erase that old, boring ball and chain.

Perfect for anyone who likes mini-stories, visual feasts, and the fun of being scared.

ch

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28. लडाई झगडे

लडाई झगडे

दो दिन पहले भावना मिली. भावना हमेशा के लिए दिल्ली रहने चली जाएगी. असल मॆ, उसका अपने पति से लडाई झगडा चल रहा है. कारण इतना  है कि  वो नौकरी करना चाह्ती है जबकि पति चाह्ते हैं कि बेटा अभी छोटा है इसलिए अभी बच्चे पर पूरा ध्यान दे और घर सम्भाले.  

घर पर रह कर जो भी काम करना चाहे कर सकती हैं नेट और वाई फाई की भी सारी सुविधाए घर पर थी. चाहे तो घर पर ही छोटा सा आफिस भी बना सकती है. कभी कोई रोक टोक नही थी. ये बात तो भावना भी मानती है पर ना जाने किसलिए अपने सातंवी क्लास में पढने वाले बेटे को छोड कर हमेशा के लिए जाना चाह रही है. इसी सिलसिले में मेरे पास भी आई थी. मैने भी उसे बहुत समझाया. जाने के बाद बच्चे पर क्या बीतेगी कौन करेगा उसकी देखभाल. इस बात का भी हवाला दिया. पर शायद वो मन बना चुकी थी. आज, अभी थोडी देर पहले वो घर पर आई और रोने लगी.

मेरे पूछ्ने पर उसने बताया कि आज उसने एक गाजियाबाद मे रहने वाले बच्चे की खबर पढी. बच्चे की मम्मी दुबई नौकरी करने चली गई थी. पति बीमार रहता और बच्चे अपनी नानी के घर रहते. वो बच्चा कक्षा नौं में पढता था. माता पिता के बिखराव से लडाई झगडे से बहुत दुखी था और अपने जन्मदिन से एक दिन पहले 13 साल के शानू ने  वट्स अप पर अपना प्रोफाईल फोटो डाला और खुद को श्रधांजलि दी और फांसी लगा ली. बच्चा अपने माता पिता के अलगांव से बेहद दुखी था. उसे उस फांसी में अपना बच्चा नजर आया. वो ऐसा कभी नही होने देगी इसलिए उसने मन बना लिया है कि घर पर ही रह कर कोई काम शुरु करेगी पर बेटे की परवरिश पर पूरा ध्यान देगीं. इतने में भावना के पति भी आ गए.

मै चाय बनाने के बहाने वहां से बाहर चली गई. दोनों की बातचीत हुई और शायद दोनों ने एक दूसरे से माफी भी मांगी. हमने बिल्कुल चुपचाप चाय पी और जाते जाते एक बार फिर वो भावुक हो गई. मैने उसके गाल पर प्यार से चपत लगाई और बोली बस … वरना अब मैं भी रो दूंगी… दोनो अपने घर चले गए एक आशा के एक उम्मीद के साथ .. मुझे खुशी इस बात की हुई कि बेशक दर्दनाक खबर ही सही पर उसे पढ कर भावना का मन पसीज गया और एक और बच्चा मरने से बच गया.

वैसे आपसी लडाई झगडे में कई बार अहम इतना आगे आ जाता है कि हमारी आखों में पट्टी सी बंध जाती है और हमें कुछ नजर नही आता. जबकि ये फैसले बहुत सोच समझ कर लेने होते हैं.. इसलिए अगर आपके मन में या आपके किसी जानकार के मन में भी कुछ ऐसा चल रहा है तो उन्हें एक बार समझना और समझाना आपका फर्ज बनता है कोई भी कदम उठाने से पहले एक बार अपने मासूम बच्चे की ओर एक बार जरुर देख लेना कि आपके इस लडाई झगडे में मासूम क्या कसूर …थोडी सी समझदारी से काम लेने से बिखरता घर बच सकता है.

और फिर मैं भी उस खबर को गूगल सर्च करने लगी जिसमें बच्चे ने खुदकुशी की थी…!!

 

Student gives tribute himself on WhatsApp before committing suicide – Navbharat Times

पुलिस सूत्रों से मिली जानकारी के अनुसार, सोमवार देर रात जीटीबी हॉस्पिटल से पुलिस को सूचना मिली थी कि एक लड़के को मृत हालत में हॉस्पिटल लाया गया था, उसने फांसी लगाकर जान दी है। सूचना मिलते ही पुलिस मौके पर पहुंच गई और शव को पोस्टमॉर्टम के लिए भिजवाया। पूछताछ में खुलासा हुआ कि मृतक लड़के का नाम शानू है। वह अपने बड़े भाई शिखर के साथ वैशाली, गाजियाबाद में रहने वाले अपने नाना-नानी के पास रहता था। वह वहीं के एक पब्लिक स्कूल में नौंवी क्लास मेंपढ़ता था, जबकि उसका भाई दसवीं क्लास में पढ़ता है। स्कूल में खेलते समय उसके पैर में फ्रैक्चर आ गया था। इस कारण वह 19 अगस्त को अपने बड़े भाई के साथ कबीर नगर गली नंबर-4 में रहने वाली अपनी मौसी के घर आया हुआ था।

पुलिस को यह भी पता चला कि शानू के पैरंट्स अलग-अलग रहते हैं। वह इस बात को लेकर भी परेशान रहता था। उसने इसका जिक्र वॉट्सऐप पर भी किया था। बताया जाता है कि उसकी मां पैसे कमाने के लिए दुबई चली गई। पिता अक्सर बीमार रहने लगे। लिहाजा वे दोनों भाई अपने नाना-नानी के पास रहने लगे। परिवार वालों ने पुलिस को बताया कि शानू पढ़ाई में बहुत तेज था। Student gives tribute himself on WhatsApp before committing suicide – Navbharat Times

लडाई झगडे पर अगर आप भी अपना कोई अनुभव सांझा करना चाहे तो बताईएगा हो सकता है आपकी आप  बीती सुनकर किसी की जिंदगी बदल जाए…

The post लडाई झगडे appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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29. Gurney Museum Exhibition in Philadelphia

A new exhibition of my original art has just opened at the museum of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. The Art of James Gurney includes more than 25 oil paintings from the Dinotopia books, as well as natural science science illustrations, preliminary sketches, and maquettes. 

One of the featured images is "Waterfall City: Afternoon Light" from Dinotopia: Journey to Chandara. This is the only image that overlaps from the Delaware Art Museum exhibition a few years ago; the rest are all different.

The Art of James Gurney will be on view at the The Richard C. von Hess Gallery of Illustration is at 333 S Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA through November 16.

In connection with the exhibition, I'll be doing a public presentation on Thursday, October 29: 1 - 2:30 pm at Levitt Auditorium with a reception following.

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30. There and Back Again.

This blog has been so very quiet.

Here's what's been going on. I went home. 




A soft welcoming blanket of fog. People who knew how to drive safely   in lanes, and not stop for NO reason- (because in the U.S. you would get a ticket arrested for being a danger on the road to others and you have a freaking CLUE). Driving was stressless and fun- especially in Fred's car- Sasha. I relished it. 

There were California brown Pelicans  gently drifting overhead in clean smokeless air - they look like creatures that belong to another time. Glorious. 




And sunsets of the awe inspiring kind. 

I hung out with our neighbors who have been keeping watch over the casa. And I was grateful for having such kind, generous and caring people in our lives. All of them inspiring- we are the youngens on the street and the folks around us are farther on down the road, but   totally awesome. 

I took a quick trip to see loved ones in Minnesota. I was happy to see that my parents are looking great and getting better and better- you would never believe their age if you saw them. I admire that they are heading off on new adventures and this next year are venturing over here to visit and we are heading out on safari with them in Botswana.  I also popped down to Rochester to visit my sister and her family. She and her hubby have 3 teenagers now- all doing fabulous. Garrison Keillor's Lake Wobegon quote tag line , " Minnesota where the women are strong, the men are good looking and all the children are above average. "

Can you tell I loved being home? But I missed this guy 


he's good reason to cross a globe...but I had some more adventures in between...

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31. what is it that we really need? brief reflections following the reinvention of a family home

I have spent much of my summer at my father's side, working through the reinvention of his home of many years. Today, with the help of realtor extraordinaire, Marie Gordon, the reinvention comes to a close. The house is staged. In a matter of days it will be for sale.

We hold onto many things in this life—our third-grade reports, our fifth-grade medals, our computer-science grades, our uncle's letters, the pots and the pans, the ceramic bunnies and the glass ducks, the extra lamps and tea cups. This summer, working through the many shelves and drawers and boxes and closets and frames, the tools on nails, the orchids in pots, I reflected endlessly on the questions: What is it that we really need? What material objects mark and shape a life?

Today, following several morning hours of heavy lifting and flower arranging (and learning a thing or two about picture wire from Marie), I returned to my own modest house thinking about peace and peaceable space—the families we build inside the hope we create. My father and mother raised three children (and a cat named Colors) in this house of many years. We touched the things. We lived the life. The memories remain.




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32. New Map ~ After the Ashes

























I love getting snail mail, especially when it's a shiny new book with a map that I worked on earlier this year!

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33. pugs of the frozen north: helga hammerfest

Today's our official publication day for Pugs of the Frozen North!



With a dog sled team of 66 pugs, pug lovers will not be disappointed. But what about the other characters, which one is your favourite? Mine is Helga Hammerfest, a gentle giant of a women who's in tune with nature and instead of dogs for a sled team, has two polar bears named Snowdrop and Slushpuppy. She also has a luxurious beard, which comes in handy when the pugs get too cold:



When my co-author Philip Reeve and I were talking about characters we wanted in the story, Helga was top of my list. I'd set myself the #NonIdentikit challenge to draw attractive women who weren't beautiful in a Hollywood standards sort of way, and facial hair on women is such a taboo in our society. Which made me want to defy that standard, so I drew this girl:



I think this was Helga as a teenager, growing up in Anaktuvuk Pass, or whatever remote place she came from. After drawing that, I started making decisions about how the Helga in our book would look. Here's an early drawing I made of her for the book, in India ink and dip pen. (I'm tracing from the pencil drawning, on my light box. Helga's meeting Mitzi Von Primm, who very much plays up to fashion and finds Helga a bit disturbing:



When I first start drawing pages, they start as 'thumbnail roughs', which are small (but not quite as small as thumbnails, in this case). And then I move on to sketching it out in pencil, in the size I'm going to draw it for the book. (I drew most of the images at either 100% or 110% of their final printed size.) I sent scans of the pencil roughs to our editor, Clare Whitston, and our designer, Jo Cameron, to make sure that the drawings showed the right things and worked with the placement of the text.



Then I put the penciled page on my light box and trace over it with dip pen and ink. I have to be very careful not to smudge the ink! If I do, I can fix it later in Photoshop, but it takes time and is fiddly, and I like to get it right the first time if I can.



Next, I scan the ink drawing into my computer and open the file in Photoshop. I colour it using my Wacom pen. Here you can see the coloured layers under the ink! I'm only allowed to use black and one colour for the inside pages - blue - but I can use different opacities of the colour, which let me have darker and lighter blues, and a lighter shade of black (grey).



I e-mailed the picture file to Jo Cameron, and she placed the text around the picture and sent the book off to print. Huge thanks to our Oxford University Press team for all their work on this book! With our publisher Liz Cross, editor, head designer, design group, publicists, rights sales team, publicity tour coordinators, printers, it's quite a large team!



And big thanks to Stephen Holland, Page 45 owner, who's written an indepth review of Pugs of the Frozen North for his amazing blog! You can read about (and buy) the book from him online or in his Nottingham-based shop which sells comics and illustrated books.

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34. Wild Simplicity Daybook

wild simplicity daybook by small meadow press

As a member of Wisteria & Sunshine, Lesley Austin’s gentle online community for home-and-hearth inspiration, I’ve had the fun of watching behind the scenes as her beautiful new Wild Simplicity Daybook took shape. Today is a day to celebrate, because the Daybook has landed in her Etsy shop!

wild simplicity daybook cover at small meadow press

It’s a Midori-style cover made with the tender eco-friendly consciousness that suffuses all Lesley’s handmade wares, and she has created a selection of inserts to let you customize your Daybook for your own use. I’m particularly fond of Lesley’s monthly calendars (I’ve been using them in one form or another for almost a decade!), and her new weekly diary pages are the loveliest I’ve seen anywhere. She offers them in insert booklets spanning three months at a time, with the Autumn and Winter inserts currently available.

wild simplicity weekly calendar pages from small meadow press

Besides the monthly and weekly calendar inserts, she is also offering blank inserts for notes or journaling and a “Days to Keep” booklet for recording birthdays, anniversaries, and other special dates.

This probably sounds like a sponsored post, but it isn’t! And Lesley didn’t ask me to write it. I am a longtime fan of her paper goods who has had the pleasure of becoming Lesley’s friend as well, and I’m so excited to see her latest venture take flight. Recently I was chatting with another friend about things we love, and I said, “I think my aesthetic is one part Waldorf kindergarten, one part library, and one part Small Meadow Press.” :)

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35. Agent Alex Barba of Inklings Literary and How to Earn Major Points on Submissions

Alex Barba is an agent at Inklings Literary Agency. She joined Inklings after a stint as a literary consultant in New York City, having scouted the U.S. book market for film & TV clients and foreign publishers. Prior to that, she spent time in Los Angeles as an editor at a digital magazine, and doing story development on scripts with a literary management company.





What is it about a manuscript that excites you? 
Voice, pacing, compelling characters, unique storyline ... a writing style that is so smooth & digestible that I get completely pulled into the pages and forget I'm reading at all.
What is on your wishlist? 
I am looking for grounded contemporary YA, or a clever re-telling/re-spin of an old classic (a la Ella Enchanted, Gail Carson Levine). Some recent specific wishlist items: stories about girls who are uncertain of themselves coming into their own, stories about young performers (actors, singers, dancers), positive (non-angsty) stories with nerdy girl or boy characters, empowered girl protagonists in general, compelling stories of first love.
Are you an editorial agent? 
I look for projects that are polished as-is, but I am not averse to editing - if I find something I totally love but that just needs a few tweaks, I'll offer representation with the author's understanding that we'll do some editing before submitting!
Character, world, or plot? 
All of the above! But characters are what make me truly fall in love with a ms.
What advice do you have for writers getting ready to query you? 
Make sure you know what I'm looking for - and read the query directions on our website! Follow it to a T - that'll give you major points!

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36. More Praise for Maggie Storyteller Tavia Gilbert!

How did you spend your summer vacation? A huge highlight for Margaret (Maggie) Wheatley was her dream visit to Grain Valley, Kansas. The South Florida resident traveled there by listening to Maggie Vaults Over the Moon on audio book performed … Continue reading

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37. Railroad Ruminations

Rode on a railroad (narrow gauge)
Along the scenic coast,
A little taste of life gone by,
When folks used trains the most.

We sat on benches, facing out,
The car with open side
And school kids joined the tourists
For an old-time railroad ride.

Pedestrians on nearby paths
All paused to glance our way
And as we rumbled past, we waved
And grinning, so did they.

A train has charm we seldom see -
The whistles and the clacks
Of choo-choo noises as it moves
Along the metal tracks.

No matter if they're very young
Or closer to the grave,
When people see a train chug by,
It makes them want to wave.

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38. September- Wonders are Forever, kids, books, movies, and dogs

   
  HowlsCastleCastle
                
 
Depending on where and when you live, the world can be a dangerous place.
 
Howl's Moving Castle, the award winning fantasy wonder tale, takes place during a time of war. A film for children and adults filled with magic and incredible visuals...it is set in the past,  an anti-war film that features a romance with a flawed wizard, and an incredible moving castle. 

HowlsMovingCastlePosterVertical
Freely adapted by Hayao Miyazaki from a children's fantasy novel by Diana Wynne Jones, it is another masterpiece from the creator of My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, and Spirited Away. 
 
A.O. Scott, writing in the New York Times, said," Not that children are the only viewers likely to be haunted and beguiled by "Howl's Moving Castle" - all that is needed are open eyes and an open heart." 

Here is a YouTube Link to see this wonderful film dubbed in English: Howl's Moving Castle 
 
Here is a link to Disney's trailer. There is no reference to war in this preview.
 
 
 
They Tell Us What We Need 
 
Hayao Miyazake, at the time he was adopting Howl's Moving Castle, was very concerned about the USA going to war in the Middle East. With his extraordinary
talent and 
imagination, Miyazaki created an anti-war film that is balanced by humor, Howl Rescuewizardry, and romance.
 
Much has been written about how the experiences of real life influence literature and all the arts, including children's stories, film and theater. Jack Zipes, quoted below, expresses the many dimensions of this concept. I feel that Howl's Moving Castle is a wonderful example of a tale of wonder portraying the human struggle to not succumb to violent power. Here is an excerpt from  Zipes' comments:

"At their best, the storytelling of fairy tales constitute the most profound articulation of the human struggle to form and maintain a civilizing process. They depict metaphorically the opportunities for human adaptation to our environment and reflect the conflicts that arise when we fail to establish civilizing codes commensurate with the self-interests of large groups within the human population. The more we give into base instincts – base in the sense of basic and depraved – the more criminal and destructive we become. The more we learn to relate to other groups of people and realize that their survival and the fulfillment of their interests is related to ours, the more we might construct social codes that guarantee humane relationships. Fairy tales are uncanny because they tell us what we need and they unsettle us by showing what we lack and how we might compensate for lack."

Vinnie & Coach 2Fairy tales map out possible ways to attain happiness, to expose and resolve moral conflicts that have deep roots in our species. The effectiveness of fairy tales and other forms of fantastic literature depends on the innovative manner in which we make the information of the tales relevant for the listeners and receivers of the tales." 

 
This article was excerpted from Jack Zipes  remarks on The Art of Storytelling Show 
The photo is of Jack Zipes and his poodle, Vinnie.

 ....................

It All Began With A School Boy
 
Howl's Moving Castle, released in 2004, was freely adapted by Hayao Miayazai from a book
of the same name, published in 1986, by Diana Wynne Jones (1934-2011). The prolific author HMCWynneJonesBook Coverof many books for children and adults (primarily fantasy), Wynne Jones said that the idea for the book came from a boy, Stephen, on one of her school visits. Stephen asked her to write a book about a moving castle. The book she wrote was very well received internationally and won  several prizes.
 
When Wynne Jones was asked about the major differences between writing for adults and children, she replied, "Writing for adults, you have to keep reminding them of what is going on. The poor things have given up using their brains when they read. Children you only need to tell things to once."

Wynne Jones also said,"Things we are accustomed to regard as myth or fairy story are very much present in peoples lives." 
 

-Hayao_MiyazakiPortraitWhen the film was completed, Miyazaki flew to England and arranged a private showing for Dianne Wynne Jones. Her comments: 
"It's fantastic. No, I have no input—I wriThe book cover is of Dianna Wynne Jones original version of Howl's Moving Castle. The photo is of Hayao Miyazake, courtesy of Ghibli Studios.te books, not films. Yes, it will be different from the book—in fact it's likely to be very different, but that's as it should be. It will still be a fantastic film."
 
The biggest change made by Miyazake was in creating an anti-war film. Howl becomes a major force in helping to bring about the end of war.  
 
A delightful montage of Miyazaki's film magic, created by DONO ,is on Vimeo.
 
The book cover is of Dianna Wynne Jones original version of Howl's Moving Castle. The photo is of Hayao Miyazake, courtesy of Ghibli Studios.
 
......................
 

 "War was the weather system of my youth"...

 The twentieth century was filled with upheaval and wars and millions of children today continue to face the chaos and pain of war.Alexandra Fuller, author of the very well received Leaving Before the Rains Come , published in January 2015, grew up in war-torn Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). 

In a fascinating interview with Simon Worrall (Book Talkin the National Geographic, she DianaWynneJonesChildreninGardenspeaks of the effects of growing up amidst "the traumas of war and the non-stop incidents and accidents where I was raised"...Here is an excerpt from the interview: 

"But the biggest effect was that war was the weather system of my youth. The war was everywhere. And what came with that was death and the insanity of war, which leaks on even after a cease-fire has been declared. I think the hardest thing it did was to make childhood innocence, those precious years until you're about 11 or 12, not exist for us. War makes you cunning and a survivor. It can make you very damaged or very resilient. But it never leaves you.

Dont lets go to the dogs tonight3You spend the rest of your life trying to redress what happened to you in those first years, even though it's not your fault. But your body doesn't know that, your limbic system doesn't know that. You're always waiting for the next trauma to happen—or drama. You're constantly on watch."

In her first book, the very well received bestseller, Don't Let's Go To The Dogs Tonight, Fuller wrote of her childhood in Rhodesia... a world where violent death was an everyday reality; where her family compound was surrounded by razor-wire, and where young Alexandra's father trained her in shooting a rifle. Alexandra Fuller now lives in Wyoming.

The photograph is of Alexandra (on the right) with her sister, Vanessa. It was taken in 1972, just before the family moved to the then Rhodesia. I don't know who the little girl is on the book cover.

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The Awesome PAL
 
I am awed by the list below...a list of hospitals, Veteran's care facilities, children's centers, libraries, retirement facilities, and rehab facilities all served by PAL.
 
This is a list of places where people young, old and in-between find affection, solace and support from the dogs of PAL (People Animals Love) based in Washington DC.
 
PalVolunteersPal is not for profit. PAL is a volunteer organization. PAl is people -- dog owners who want to help others.
 
The logistics of bringing therapy dogs and their owners to all these places must be difficult. Situations change, needs change, and schedules change. Please take a moment and consider this awesome list and the wonderful work of PAL to bring comfort, solace, and, often, inspiration, to so many people.

Arleigh Burke Pavilion Nursing & Assisted Living, Arlington Central Library, Arlington Library-
WomanDogShirlington Branch, Arlington Library- Columbia Pike Branch, Arlington Library- Westover Branch, Alexandria Library- Beatley Branch, Alexandria Library- Duncan Branch, Armed Forces Retirement Home, Burnt Mills Elementary School, Capitol Hill Supportive Services, Chinn Park Regional Library, Culpepper Garden, Episcopal Center for Children, Goodwin House Alexandria, Goodwin House West, Grand Oaks, Heritage Hall Nursing & Rehab, Inova Behavioral Health, IONA Senior Services, Knollwood Retirement Home, Little Sisters of the Poor, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library, Mount Pleasant Library, National Rehabilitation Hospital, Northern Virginia Mental Health Institute, PAL Club at Stanton Elementary, Pohick Regional Library, Sibley Hospital Center, Specialty Hospital of Washington, Stoddard Baptist Home, St. Coletta's of Greater Washington, St. Elizabeth's Hospital, Veterans Administration Medical Center, Washington Home, Woodbine Rehab & Healthcare Center
 
Here is a link to one of their many brief PAL videos:
 
Here is a link to a 5 minute homemade video of their wonderful PAL Club at Stanton Elementary School. Stanton is located in Southeast Washington, a poor, underserved, neighborhood.

 The top photo is of PAL therapy dogs and their dedicated owners. The bottom photo below of two friends was taken in one of the facilities on the PAL list. 

 
............................
 
Do you think that it is possible for dogs to stop a war?

This was the lead-off sentence in Wayne Walker's review of Castle In The Mist. I was delighted to read it, for not only was it provocative, it went to the core of the story...

Castle in the Mist is an anti-war story. The Planet Of the Dogs series is anti-war. In each CITM-Prince Ukko-blog sizebook, the dogs help humans to find non-violent solutions to ruthless rulers, invaders, and the abuse of power.

Here is more of what Wayne Walker wrote:

 “Author Robert J. McCarty has created a charming fantasy-allegory that can be read and understood on at least two different levels. Children will enjoy the story about dogs who come from another planet to help people on earth. But under the surface are the important messages of friendship, love, loyalty, and how to overcome evil with good.” The same things are true as the story continues in Castle in the Mist. The book is well written and easy to read. It will keep you turning the pages to find out what happens next, and, as with Volume I, leads to a satisfying conclusion. You can learn more about the series and read sample chapters at www.planetofthedogs.net."

Wayne Walker's complete review appeared on the Home School Book Review; the Home School Buzz; and Stories fof Children Magazine.

..........................

We have free reader copies of the Planet Of The Dogs series  for therapy Jordyn2dog organizations, individual therapy dog owners, librarians and teachers...simply send us an email at planetofthedogs@gmail.com and we will send you the books.  

Our books are available through your favorite independent bookstore, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Powell's and many more.

Planet Of The Dogs is now available in digital format at

Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Kobo, Oyster, Inktera, Scribd, and Tolino.

Librarians, teachers, bookstores...You can also order Planet Of The Dogs, Castle In The Mist, and Snow Valley Heroes, A Christmas Tale, through Ingram with a full professional discount. 

The illustration by Stella Mustanoja-McCarty is from Castle In The Mist. The little girl reading Castle In The Mist is Jordan; the photograph is by Jennifer Wickham. 

...........................

 
Mcguffy'sReaderHeader
 
This review by Ann Morris of the second edition of Born Without a Tail appeared in McGuffy's Reader 
 
"For much of her life, C. A. Wulff was involved in animal rescue. In this memoir, she shares
Bwtcoversamp_sm (2)her own personal rescue stories. As is the case with animal rescue, some of these tales are funny and others are poignant. However, all of them are true.
 
From early childhood, Cayr was drawn to animals. She sought connections with each animal that entered her life. She helped those that she could, including ill, injured and difficult to place animals. Many of them found a permanent place in the author’s home. Her heart has always been in the right place..."
 
To read it all, click this link:MCGuffy's Reader
 
We are having a lotto and giving away of 3 paperback copies of the second edition of Born Without a Tail. To enter, please send an email to Books4DogLovers@gmail and place the word "entry" on the subject line.  

............................. 

"Fairy tale and film
enjoy a profound affinity because the cinema animates
HowlScarecrowOldladyphenomena, no matter how inert; made of light and motion, its illusions match the enchanted animism of fairy tale; animals speak, carpets fly, objects move and act of their own accord."
Marina Warner, in her book, Once Upon A Time.
 
 The illustration is from Howl's Moving Castle.
..........................
 
The KIngdom of Dreams and Madness

Mami Sunada has created a fascinating documentary about the world of Hayao Miyazaki and Ghibli studios. I highly recommend it for readers of this blog who want an in-depth picture of KIngdomofDreamsMadnessthe complex nature of creating animation; and an intimate visit with Miyazake and the world of Ghibli.

Miyazaki storyboards every film from start to finish; he times every shot on the storyboard; yet he often doesn’t know where or how will end. He is very hard working,  a perfectionist who pays attention to every detail; he is also a caring idealist. 

Here are two of my favorite Miyazaki quotes from the film:

“The world isn’t simple enough to explain in words”….

“Children are what keeps me going” 

 
 
.............
 

MisForMagicGaiman
 
 “Stories you read when you're the right age never quite leave you. You may forget who wrote them or what the story was called. Sometimes you'll forget precisely what happened, but if a story touches you it will stay with you, haunting the places in your mind that you rarely ever visit.” 
― Neil GaimanM Is for Magic
 
 
 .................
 
 Little Man -- A Brilliant Retelling of Rumpelstiltskin

Michael Cunningham, is an acclaimed American author of seven books. His novel, The Hours, won a Pulitzer prize and a PEN/Faulkner Award. He has now reimagined several fairy tales from the past in a new book, A Wild Swan: And Other Tales, to be published November 10, 2015). One story from the book,Little Man, published in the New Yorker, is a wonderful retelling
of Rumpelstiltskin. Here is an excerpt:

"Having a child is not, however, anything like ordering a pizza. Even less so if you’re
a malformed, dwarfish man whose occupation, were you forced to name one, would be . . . RumpleAnneAndersonWhat would you call yourself? A goblin? An imp? Adoption agencies are reluctant about doctors and lawyers if they’re single and over forty. So go ahead. Apply to adopt an infant as a two-hundred-year-old gnome.

You are driven slightly insane—you try to talk yourself down; it works some nights better than others—by the fact that, for so much of the population, children simply . . . appear. Bing bang boom. A single act of love and, nine months later, this flowering, as mindless and senseless as a crocus bursting out of a bulb.

It’s one thing to envy wealth and beauty and other gifts that seem to have been granted to others, but not to you, by obscure but undeniable givers. It’s another thing entirely to yearn for what’s so readily available to any drunk and barmaid who link up for three minutes in a dark corner of any dank and scrofulous pub.

You listen carefully, then, when you hear the rumor. Some impoverished miller—a man whose business is going under (the small-mill owners, the ones who grind by hand, are vanishing; their flour and meal cost twice as much as the big-brand products, which are free of the gritty bits that can find their way into a sack of flour no matter how careful you are), a man who has no health insurance or investments or pension plan (he’s needed every cent just to keep the mill open)—that man has told the King that his daughter can spin straw into gold..."

Read it all: The New Yorker

The illustration is by Anne Anderson

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Little Man Honors Tradition
 
Maria Tatar edited and annotated a wonderful book of Classic Fairy Tales which includes a version of Rumpelstiltskin by the Grimms. Her comments regarding Rumplestiltskin are in
harmony with the story as reimagined by Michael Cunningham in Little Man.


RumpelstiltskinPaulOZelinsky"Here is an excerpt: (Rumpelstiltskin is) 
"a misshapen gnome of questionable origins, who is probably one of the least attractive of fairy-tale figures.Yet Rumpelstilskin come off rather well in a world where fathers tell brazen lies about their daughters, marriages are based on greed, and young women agree to give up a firstborn child. He works hard to hold up his end of the bargain made with the miller's daughter, shows genuine compassion when the queen regrets the agreement into which she has entered, and is prepared to add an escape clause to their contract even though he stands to gain nothing from it."
 
 
 The illustration by Paul O. Zelinsky is from his Caldecott medal winning version of Rumpelstiltskin.
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TooloChildreninParkwalking2015SpringSesame Street Partners With HBO 
 
Sesame Street needed funding. In the past, they received most of their funding through DVD sales. Times have changed and those sales have diminished as more and more people have turned to Internet streaming. Emily Steel, in the New York Times, wrote a comprehensive article, including the pros and cons, about this major shift in Television for kids 2-5. Here is an excerpt:


"The letters of the day on “Sesame Street” are H, B and O.

Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit group behind the children’s television program, has struck a five-year deal with HBO, the premium cable network, that will bring first-run Sesamecastepisodes of “Sesame Street” exclusively to HBO and its streaming outlets starting in the fall.

The partnership, announced Thursday, will allow the financially challenged Sesame Workshop to significantly increase its production of “Sesame Street” episodes and other new programming. The group will produce 35 new “Sesame Street” episodes a year, up from the 18 it now produces..."

Here is a link to read it all: Sesame Street.

 

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..

 Turning Point for Young American Readers

Brookline_public_library_Massachusetts1899"The rise of American children's literature is, to a large degree, inseparable from the rise of the public lending library, and by the 1870's librarians had become the guardians of children's reading. The fact that it is the American Library Association that gives the major children's book awards makes clear that in this country, there is a unique relationship between the worlds of children's reading, and the structures of the library...The first children's room in any public library opened in Brookline , Massachusettes, in 1890... (and librarians) made the library a place of imagination..."

Seth Lerer, Children's Literature, A Readers History from Aesop to Harry Potter

The photo is of the Brookline Public Library built in 1899 with a new children's room.

 ......................

BacaLogoI nominate The Guardian, always vigilant, to be welcomed as an honorary member of BARCA, Bloggers Against Celebrity Authors. Here is an excerpt from an article written by Tom Lamont and Robert Muchamore when Russel Brand announced that he was writing children's books...

Madonna-grammys-09feb15-03"A celebrity – Kylie, Sting – announces his or her intention to write for children, and I instinctively feel for the career-pledged writers who have been huffing away with their thesaurus and watercolour brushes for years. Beneath them, the hopefuls with worthwhile manuscripts hustle for interest... And, uh oh, here's another celebrity, lolloping into the game. They've noodled out an idea on a Groucho Club napkin. Their agent has swivelled at the bar to arrange a six-figure deal. The published result, you can bet, will absorb more than its share of publicity budgets, review space, shelf space.

Given the subject under discussion, I'll express this in short sentences. Stop it, celebrities. Go away, celebrities"...Here is the link to read all of this article: Guardian

The photo is of the well known children's book celebrity author, Madonna.

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Yelodoggie 

I happen to be a Yelodoggie fan.

YelodoggieCanisBorealisHave  you seen the delightful yelodoggie artwork video celebrating dogs? Here is the YouTube link 

There are  birthday cards, cups, clocks, shirts, mouse pads, and a multitude of other delightful Yelodoggie designs at Cafe Press. 

 

New paintings are appearing in the  Yelodoggie etsy shop.  These are original watercolors and a great bargain.

Yelodoggie is joyous.

 

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Sunbearsquad-logo

Anna Nirva is the guiding light at Sunbear Squad, a leading source for information and guidance in dog rescue and care. Here is an excerpt from their site about the rescue of abandoned hunting hounds.

Anna has found that abandoned hunting dogs perish daily of exposure and starvation all across America. Here is an excerpt from a Sunbear Squad rescue story: "An ice storm was bearing down in the southern United States and a pack of 3 adult Beagles and 5 puppies were sighted in a rural Arkansas forest. Concerned animal lovers sent numerous emails to locate a rescuer who could take immediate action to save the dogs, and two compassionate women rose to the challenge.

It's not like they didn't have anything else to do that day. Desiree had successfully lobbied for felony animal cruelty laws and had just been informed of the law's passing, and Carol worked full-time. But later in the afternoon, after learning of the ice storm coming, they gathered their gear and drove 45 miles to the woods where the dogs had been sighted." Here is a link to read all of this story: Rescue

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"Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't have evil or jealousy or  discontent." -- Milan Kundera
 
 
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39. Interview with Fiona Ingram, author of 'The Search for the Stone of Excalibur'

Fiona Ingram was born and educated in South Africa, and has worked as a full-time journalist and editor. Her interest in ancient history, mystery, and legends, and her enjoyment of travel has resulted in the multi award winning The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, the first in her exciting children’s adventure series—Chronicles of the Stone. Fiona has just published the second book entitled The Search for the Stone of Excalibur, a treat for young King Arthur fans. She is busy with Book 3 entitled The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper.

Do you consider yourself to be a born writer?

I think so. I have always scribbled something, either plays for the family, stories to entertain my young brothers, poetry to amuse family members, and then later writing a book just came naturally. Being an avid reader also helps!
 
Tell us about your recent release. What was your inspiration for it?

The Search for the Stone of Excalibur is the second book in my Middle Grade adventure series The Chronicles of the Stone. Book 1 began the adventure after my mother took me and my two young nephews on a family trip to Egypt. I came back and penned The Secret of the Sacred Scarab right away and, when I reached the end of the book, I realised my young heroes hadn’t saved the world yet; they needed more books! The second adventure takes the heroes to Britain, where King Arthur’s sword has been discovered and there is a powerful stone embedded in the hilt. Could this be the source of Excalibur’s legendary powers?

Tell us about your children's books.

I never imagine that one book, which began as a short story filled with anecdotes about our trip to Egypt, would end up as a book, and then a book series. The series is extremely gripping: young heroes Adam and Justin have to locate seven ancient Stones of Power scattered throughout the known world of several thousand years ago. Adam has a special connection with the stones. United, the stones enable someone to read the legendary Egyptian Book of Thoth, the most powerful book in the world, and thus learn the secrets of ultimate knowledge, achieve immortality, and control time, eternity, and the creatures of the land, sea and air. Of course there are baddies who also want these stones, and they pursue our heroes as they travel the globe in search of these powerful objects. Each book takes the kids to a new country, exploring ancient history, geography, culture, mythology, legends, and archaeology within each story. It’s an amazing adventure for the heroes as they meet people who help or hinder them on their quest. 

What are you working on now?

Book 3: The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeperis non-stop adventure! Continuing the adventure that ended in Britain just a short while ago, cousins Adam and Justin Sinclair, with their friend Kim Maleka, are now hunting for the third Stone of Power, one of seven mysterious stones lost centuries ago. This stone might be located in an ancient city, hidden in the depths of the Mexican jungle. When their small plane crashes in the jungle, Adam, Justin, Kim, and James – their archaeologist friend - are rescued by an uncontacted tribe. James, who is wounded, must stay behind as the kids, with only a young boy, Tukum, as their guide, make their way through the dense and dangerous jungle to find the city. Raft riding on a crocodile-infested river and evading predators are just part of this hazardous task. Of course, their old adversary Dr. Khalid is close behind as the kids press on in search of the lost city of stone gods. But he is not the worst of their problems. This time Adam will clash with a terrible enemy who adopts the persona of an evil Aztec god, Tezcatlipoca, and is keen to revive the ancient tradition of human sacrifice. Adam, Justin, and Tukum must play a dreadful ball game of life and death and maybe survive. Will they emerge alive from the jungle? Will Dr. Khalid find the third Stone of Power before they do?

What type of book promotion works for you? Any special strategies you’d like to share?

It’s an understatement to say I have tried everything because I have. I work very hard at marketing my books. Some options have been a waste of money; others have yielded mediocre results. However, a hugely successful strategy for me is what I am doing right now; going on a blog tour. It is organised; the hosts are keen to have you; their readers are interested in the genre you write; you can tell potential readers things that maybe you don’t get an opportunity to do otherwise; and also you have a chance to offer readers something special as a thank you, and to encourage them to read further. You can also get reviews from hosts interested enough to read your book/s and give their opinion. It’s also a way of creating a following of people who will continue to read your books and will look out for them in the future. Another very successful strategy is entering book awards because that tells people your book is of a high quality. I was fortunate that my first MG adventure, The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, won a bunch of awards, and that certainly influenced my getting international publishing contracts. 

Is there anything else you’d like to say to our readers?
If you are a parent or have young relatives just getting into reading, the greatest gift you can give them is to instil a love of reading. Enjoying reading is a learned process, and a young child associates the pleasure of reading with a parent or beloved relative with the pleasure of reading as they grow older. Literacy is priceless, and reading and loving books will set that child’s feet firmly on the path to a successful future.

 For More Information
About the Book:

Title: The Search for the Stone of Excalibur
Author: Fiona Ingram
Publisher: Biblio Publishing
Pages: 376
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Format: Paperback/Kindle/Nook


Continuing the adventure that began in Egypt a few months prior in The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, cousins Adam and Justin Sinclair are hot on the trail of the second Stone of Power, one of seven ancient stones lost centuries ago. This stone might be embedded in the hilt of a newly discovered sword that archaeologists believe belonged to King Arthur: Excalibur. However, their long-standing enemy, Dr. Khalid, is following them as they travel to Scotlandto investigate an old castle. Little do they know there is another deadly force, the Eaters of Poison, who have their own mission to complete. Time is running out as the confluence of the planets draws closer. Can Justin and Adam find the second Stone of Power and survive? And why did Aunt Isabel send a girl with them? 

Join Justin and Adam as they search not only for the second Stone of Power, but also for the Scroll of the Ancients, a mysterious document that holds important clues to the Seven Stones of Power. As their adventure unfolds, they learn many things and face dangers that make even their perils in Egypt look tame. And how annoying for them that their tag-along companion, Kim, seems to have such good ideas when they are stumped. Book extras include some historical background on King Arthur, the Dark Ages, warfare and weaponry during Arthur’s time, and details on Excalibur. A fascinating peek into the life and times of the real King Arthur, perfect for young time travelers and budding archaeologists.



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40. Dream Sequence

What works and doesn't work when incorporating a dream scene into your novel.

https://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/2015/07/06/when-dreams-go-bad-dream-sequences-what-works-what-flops/

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41. Spotlight and Giveaway: Broken Play by Samantha Kane

 
Enter to Win a
Select Loveswept Ebook Bundle

 
BROKEN PLAY
Birmingham Rebels #1
Samantha Kane
Releasing Sept 1st, 2015
 
 
Perfect for fans of Shayla Black and Lexi Blake, the deeply sensual new Birmingham Rebels series introduces an unforgettable team of chiseled football gods—and the daring, provocative games they play behind closed doors.
Birmingham Rebels offensive linemen Beau Perez and Cass Zielinski are inseparable, on and off the field. Cass, the captain with the cowboy swagger, is a loose cannon. Beau, the veteran tight end, is cool under pressure. And ever since they were caught on tape in a steamy threesome, their exploits have fueled more than a few tabloid headlines—and naughty fantasies.

Marian Treadwell knows all about the video. And now that she’s the Rebels’ new assistant offensive coach, she can’t look at Beau and Cass without picturing their hard, naked bodies—with her pressed in between. Marian would like nothing more than to indulge those impulses, but she knows better than to get too close to her players, a bunch of adrenaline-fueled alpha males who don’t always follow the rules.
Just the thought of sharing the gorgeous yet guarded Marian drives Cass wild. At first, Beau isn’t sure she’s right for them . . . and lately, all he desires is a little alone time with Cass to explore their new intimacy. But it’s only a matter of time before Cass breaks through both of their defenses. Because when seduction is the game plan, he always plays to win.
Broken Play is intended for mature audiences.
 
EXCERPT:

“Get. In. Here.” Marian spoke in that one-word-sentence staccato that had become so popular on television and that she’d sworn she’d never imitate. Now she knew it wasn’t a choice. She was simply so mad she couldn’t get more than one word out at a time. Beau didn’t argue. He simply slid sideways in through her office door, past where she stood holding it. She started to close it, but a hand grabbed it from the hallway and pushed it open again. Cass. Of course. “Can’t I even yell at him without your presence?” she asked coldly.

“Nope. Team captain. Got to be here.” Cass turned and closed the door behind him, then leaned against it, his arms crossed, that damn cowboy hat in one hand.

“Fine,” Marian said. “Since you piss me off, too, you can share the punishment.”

“I don’t take punishment,” Cass said, his usual charming smile gone as he gave her a heated stare that made sweat pop out along her spine. “I give it.”

It took Marian a moment to get past the images that flashed through her head at that outrageous claim. “On the field, not in my office,” she said a little unsteadily.

“Anywhere I choose,” Cass told her calmly.

“Maybe I should go,” Beau said from behind her.

Marian jumped and spun around to face him. She hadn’t been paying attention. She couldn’t believe she’d let him flank her like that.

“Settle,” Cass said quietly but firmly. “There’s no threat here.”

“You just made threats,” she countered, backing up until her back hit the wall a few feet off to Cass’s left.

“No,” he said, the charm back in his voice, a sexy little drawl making it sound like Naw. “Those were promises.”

She actually felt a bead of sweat slip down her cleavage, and she shivered.

“Stop it,” Beau said. “You’re scaring her.” She glanced at him and he looked a little sad, his eyes big and golden brown, and soft with some emotion she couldn’t name. Instinctively she knew he wasn’t the threat here, which threw her into confusion. Wasn’t he the one in charge?

“I’m not scared,” she said. It was a knee-jerk reaction, something she’d said so often in the past few years—to others and to herself—that it was second nature.

Cass sort of rolled himself along the wall toward her until he was leaning over her, not quite pressed against her, his hands on either side of her head, one still holding his hat. “Good,” he said, his voice rough and heavy with wanting. “I don’t want you scared.”

She was breathing too fast. “Move your arms,” she said, and she winced at the panic in her voice.

“Cass,” Beau said. She saw his hand on Cass’s shoulder and her heart nearly beat out of her chest. She had to put her hand up to her chest and press against it to make sure it didn’t.

“You know I’d never hurt you,” Cass said softly. He turned and tossed his hat onto the couch, against the opposite wall. Then he dropped both arms to his sides. He didn’t move back, though. He stayed close enough that she could feel his heat and smell his cologne and a hint of his sweat and deodorant and laundry detergent and shampoo, all the things that combined to be Cass’s scent. She hadn’t realized she knew his smell so well. It was an odd thought and made her frown at him. He frowned back. “Don’t you?” he asked.

It took a moment to remember what he’d said. “Yes.” She did know it. But that didn’t make her heart slow down, because she wasn’t afraid of him. She was afraid of herself, and what she’d let him do if she let go.

“Yell at me.” Beau’s soft words were lost in Cass’s gaze for a second and then they sank in.

“I should,” she said, standing straighter and tugging on the hem of her shirt nervously. “What in the hell do you think you were doing out there?” She pushed on Cass’s chest, but he wouldn’t budge, so she stood on tiptoe and glared at Beau over his shoulder.

“Speaking my mind,” Beau said. He walked over and dropped down on the couch, easily within her sight, making sure not to crush Cass’s hat. “It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to do that.”

“So you decide to do it on my watch?” Marian said in a strangled voice. “Gee, thanks.”

“On your watch?” Beau asked, obviously getting angry. “Now you’re my babysitter, too? Jesus, how many do I need?”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Cass said, turning to glare at Beau, hands on his hips.

“Don’t try to distract me with a lovers’ quarrel,” Marian warned them. “I’m still pissed about Beau’s big mouth.”

Cass slowly swung his head back around and pinned her to the wall with his stare. He had the bluest eyes, and they could go cold and hard as fast as they could turn hot and heavy-lidded. “Lovers’ quarrel?” he asked quietly. Too quietly. Marian tried to slide sideways along the wall, out of his reach.

“That’s right,” she said, full of false bravado. She thought for a second that this must be what the canary felt like before the cat pounced.

Suddenly Beau laughed loudly, a harsh bark that sounded more incredulous than amused. It broke Cass’s stare and Marian quickly moved over to lean against her desk, facing them on more solid ground. “What’s so funny?”

“We”—he gestured between him and Cass—“are not lovers. We’re friends and we fuck women together. That’s it.” He didn’t sound happy about it. Or was he unhappy that people thought they were?

“Beau.” This time it was Cass trying to yank on the leash with a warning in his voice.

“Forget it,” Beau said flatly. “I’ve come out of my shell today. I’m not crawling back in.”


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Samantha Kane lives in North Carolina with her husband and three children, two boys and one girl. With a master’s degree in American history, she spent seven years as a high school history teacher before becoming a full-time writer and mom.


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42. Extension Activities for Mama Panya’s Pancakes: A Village Tale from Kenya

We recently picked up a wonderful book from the Blount County library, this wonderful Kenyan Tale called, Mama Panya’s Pancakes: A Village Tale from Kenya by Mary and Rich Chamberlin, Illustrated by Julia Cairns.

Mama panyas pancakes

This beautiful heart warming story shares the great message of “give and you shall receive.“ As Mama Panya and her young son Adika walk to the market, Adika invites every friend he meets to come and eat pancakes with him and his mother.

Having barely enough money to feed herself and her son, how will Mama Panya ever cook enough pancakes for everyone? Luckily, all the guests arrive with food gifts to further extend the feast.

The illustrations captivated my children with their bold colors, vivid patterns, and lush Kenyan scenery. It’s as if we were walking along with Mama Panya and Adika to market.

mama panyas pancakes

We thoroughly enjoyed this book and read it several times. We also enjoyed the recipe for Mama Panya’s pancakes. In the back of the book there is a map of Kenya, details of daily life, and facts about the Kenyan language called Kiswahili and general facts about Kenya.

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Mama Panya’s Pancakes makes for a fantastic read aloud. The text is written in little boxes making it easy for young readers to follow along or take a turn reading out loud themselves.

Somethings To Do

Make a batch of Mama Panya’s Pancakes

mama panyas pancakes activity

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 cups of cold water
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red chili pepper flakes

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, mix all the ingredients with a fork.
  2. Preheat a nonstick pan at a medium to low setting.
  3. Ladle 1/4 cup of batter into the center of the pan. Tilt the pan to spread the batter to about the size of a grapefruit.
  4. Cook until you see tiny bubbles in the pancake, then gently flip it over.
  5. When the second side begins to pop up from the heat, the pancake is ready.

Serving Suggestions

You can fill your pancake with jam, tuna or chicken salad, seasoned hamburger or roasted nuts. Anything at all will do. Place your filling on one half and then roll it up and eat it.

Kenyan Animal and Tree Guessing Game

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In the back of the book there is a section called Walking to Market. We photocopied both pages from the book, cut out the animal or tree, glued it to an index card. On the other side of the index card we wrote the African name. Turn the cards with the African name facing you and try and guess what it means.

Learn Kiswahili Greetings

Excerpt from Mama Panya’s Pancakes: “Kenyans speak many languages, but the main ones are Kiswahili and English………Kiswahili means “speaking the language of the coast people.” Kiswahili is a mixture of Bantu, a native African language, and Arabic, a Middle Eastern language.”

It isn’t uncommon for people like Adika and the people living in his village to speak three languages. Greetings are expected when you meet someone. Otherwise you will be considered rude. A simple hello is said like this in Kiswahili, “Jambo”. There are many more greetings at the back of the book. Take some time to enjoy saying them. The pronunciations are all there to make things easy for you.

This simple and engaging story leads to many days of fun activities as we explore Kenya.

Find it in Your Library!

  • Title: Mama Panya’s Pancakes
  • Author: Mary and Rich Chamberlin
  • Illustrator: Julia Cairns
  • Publisher: Barefoot Books
  • Genre: Easy
  • ISBN: 1905236646
*********************

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The post Extension Activities for Mama Panya’s Pancakes: A Village Tale from Kenya appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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43. Vintage Book Trailer Contest

 

BOOK TRAILER NINJAS AND RARE BIRD BOOKS HOST FIRST EVER VINTAGE BOOK TRAILER CONTEST

Book Trailer Ninjas and Rare Bird Books invite filmmakers to enter the first of its kind vintage book trailer contest. Entry is free and filmmakers may enter multiple times.

 

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Entrants will choose one novel from Rare Bird Books’ library or any book available in the public domain. Participants will then create and edit a vintage book trailer based on the chosen novel and submit the trailer by no later than November 30, 2015.

Author Peter Straub will be judging the contest. The first-prize winner will receive $500, as well as a paid three-trailer mission with the ninjas. Runner-up will receive $250 and a paid two-trailer mission. Third-place winner will receive $250 and a paid one-trailer mission.

 

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Filmmakers can visit Archive.org for available footage. Examples of successful vintage book trailers are viewable on the Book Trailer Ninja’s website.

Participants may enter the vintage book trailer contest here. Contact:
headninja@booktrailer.ninja 

 

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44. कट्टी बट्टी नेताओ की

 

 

 

नेताओ की कट्टी बट्टी

                                 नेताओ की कट्टी बट्टी

कट्टी बट्टी नेताओ की

चुनाव आते नही कि दल बदल, रुठना मनाना और कट्टी बट्टी का दौर शुरु हो जाता है .. ऐसा ही  कुछ देखने को मिल रहा है बिहार चुनाव में … शायद यही राजनीति है और यही होती रहेगी …

 

कट्टी बट्टी नेताओ की

Samajwadi Party can be free from Janta Pariwar in Bihar poll – Navbharat Times

बिहार विधानसभा के चुनाव में सिर्फ पांच सीटें दिए जाने से नाराज समाजवादी पार्टी बड़ा फैसला ले सकती है। समाजवादी पार्टी के मुखिया मुलायम सिंह यादव ने गुरुवार को पार्टी मुख्यालय में बैठक बुलाई है, जिसमें बिहार चुनाव को लेकर चर्चा होनी है। कहा जा रहा है कि संसदीय बोर्ड जनता परिवार पर सीटों को बढ़ाने का दबाव डालेगा। अगर सीटें बढ़ाने पर बात नहीं बनी तो पार्टी खुद को बिहार चुनाव से अलग कर सकती है।

मिलीं ठुकराई हुई सीटें

बिहार विधानसभा चुनाव के लिए 243 सीटों पर चुनाव हो रहे हैं। इनमें जनता दल परिवार के अंग आरजेडी और जेडीयू ने खुद 100-100 सीटें ले ली थीं। 40 सीटें कांग्रेस को दी गई थीं। इनके अलावा बची हुई तीन सीटों के लिए जनता परिवार ने एनसीपी को चुनाव लड़ने के लिए आमंत्रित किया था, पर एनसीपी ने इन तीनों सीटों पर चुनाव लड़ने से मना कर दिया। यही ठुकराई हुई सीटों में लालू ने अपने हिस्से की दो सीटेें जोड़कर समाजवादी पार्टी को दे दीं। समाजवादी पार्टी इतनी कम सीटें मिलने से नाराज है।

मुलायम ने जताई थी नाराजगी

बिहार समाजवादी पार्टी के अध्यक्ष राम चंद्र यादव और प्रभारी किरनमय नंदा के अलावा समाजवादी पार्टी प्रमुख मुलायम सिंह यादव भी अपनी नाराजगी जता चुके हैं। पिछले सप्ताह हुई महारैली में मुलायम को जाना था, पर उन्होंने जाने से इनकार कर दिया। महारैली में सपा ने प्रतिनिधि के तौर पर मंत्री शिवपाल यादव को भेजकर खानापूर्ति कर खुद को अलग कर लिया। इसके बाद से लगातार किरनमय नंदा, पार्टी के महासचिव प्रो.रामगोपाल यादव के नाराजगी भरे बयान आ रहे हैं। इसके बाद ही संसदीय बोर्ड की बैठक बुला ली गई। Read more…

The post कट्टी बट्टी नेताओ की appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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45. Australia Children’s Book Week 2015 YA Short List

I didn’t even realise the Australian Children’s Book Week awards were happening until I strolled into my library and ran face-to-face with the display. And better yet?! I’d read 5 out of 6 of the Young Adult short listed books! GO ME. (Clearly I’ve got monstrously good taste in books.) So obviously we need to have […]

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46. Cynthia Levinson's MY LIFE IN THE CIRCUS


MY LIFE IN THE CIRCUS
Cynthia Levinson

      You might remember, from the wonderful Broadway musical “A Chorus Line,” the song called “What I Did for Love.” Now that my second middle-grade nonfiction book is out, I think, “Oy. What I did for research.”
      Watch Out for Flying Kids! How Two Circuses, Two Countries, and Nine Kids Confront Conflict and Build Community (Peachtree Publishers) tells the stories of nine otherwise normal teenagers who, when they’re not going to school and taking selfies with their friends, perform in the circus. Five of them are (actually, were, since they’ve graduated) members of the St. Louis Arches, the top performing troupe of Circus Harmony in St. Louis, Missouri. The other four tumble, acro, juggle, wire-walk, contort, and do other crazy things with the Galilee Circus in northern Israel. In addition to being professional-caliber performers, what makes these kids remarkable is that they’re about as diverse a group of young people as you could fit into a single ring, which is where you can regularly find them. (The image to the right is of Cynthia learning the ropes - literally.)
      The St. Louis Arches featured in the book include two black kids from Ferguson-like neighborhoods and three whites, two of whom live in the western suburbs. The Galilee Circus is composed of two Israeli Arabs and two Jews, who live in villages only three miles yet a world apart. Both programs call themselves “social circuses” because they pursue social justice through circus arts.
      Every other year, this mélange of Christian, Muslim, Jewish, secular, English-, Hebrew-, Arabic-speaking, and one fully covered, hijab-wearing contortionist get together in one country or the other. The circuses’ partnership goes back eight years, and, by now, the troupers are accustomed to learning each other’s tricks, and living together and communicating despite the lack of a common language or cuisine.
     For an aging nonfiction writer who likes to delve deeply into her subject matter, however, it’s been a different story. There were no secondary sources. So, through the three years it took me to research and write Flying Kids, I conducted over 125 hours of interviews, which entailed
• staying with families and relishing Middle Eastern hospitality in the two Israeli villages, Deir al-Asad and Karmiel.
• staying with the circus director and relishing Midwestern circus hospitality in St. Louis
• hiring Hebrew and Arabic translators
• working out which telecommunications technology—Skype, text, email, FaceTime, Facebook, or telephone—each teen preferred and could get access to
• calling Israel at odd wee hours Texas-time, often to find out that my source was unavailable for various reasons, including Facebooking with their friends, which I could watch in real time while they ignored my frantic posts to them
• calling St. Louis, often to find out that my source was unavailable for various reasons, including losing cell phone privileges
• trawling the kids’ Facebook pages and YouTube channels, and
• groveling for family photos.
     Most ridiculous of all was trying out circus tricks. You can watch me make a fool of myself falling off of both a mini-trampoline and a globe.
      Then, there was the matter of figuring out how to write a book with nine main characters, multiple secondary characters, and two settings, one of which was, apparently, exotic. When I asked writer friends who have kids what they know about the Galilee, one said,
“I asked my neighbor's daughter, who is 13. Said she, ‘Isn't that where Puff the Magic Dragon lived?’"
Me: "I'm fairly certain he frolicked in Honah Lee."
Her: "'Well I know it has to be a place. I just don't know where. Probably, far, far away, like Florida.’”
      Also, there were the tribal politics in Israel and racial politics in St. Louis. Weaving the line of fairness to everyone while not losing readers in a morass of despairing historical events was as tricky as wire-walking. I sent so many pathetic, whiny messages to my editor about why I couldn’t possibly write the book that she sent me a copy of The Little Engine that Could.
      But, ultimately, I did write Watch Out for Flying Kids. My short-hand synopsis goes, “Ferguson gets together with the West Bank—and they juggle.” I hope you’ll delve into it and see what that means.

Here's Cynthia's workspace. During this project she commandeered the dining room table.
Learn more about Cynthia and Watch Out For Flying Kids at her website: www.cynthialevinson.com.

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47. Comic: Picture Book Restaurant

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48. It's live!! Cover Reveal: The Cresswell Plot by Eliza Wass + Giveaway (US/Canada)

Hi, everyone!

Today we're super excited to celebrate the cover reveal for THE CRESSWELL PLOT by Eliza Wass, releasing June 7, 2016 from Disney Hyperion. Before we get to the cover, here's a note from Eliza:

 
We all have our story. Something that is unique only to us.
 
It isn’t always a happy story.
 
At least not all the time, but it’s personal, vibrant, heart-beating alive. And it’s scary to share.
 
The Cresswell Plot is that story for me. It was inspired by feelings of powerlessness, of being controlled, of fear, but also by laughter, lust and finding the strength inside to overcome any obstacle, even when you are fighting alone.
 
I wrote this book for people who feel alone, who question things, who stand up for what they believe in, no matter how powerful the opposition.
 
It’s just a book, but it’s about something that’s more than a book. It’s about standing up and telling YOUR story, whether it’s happy, sad or life-changing.
 
Thank you to Maria E. Elias for bringing this story such an exciting cover.
 
~ Eliza Wass (THE CRESSWELL PLOT, Disney Hyperion)
 

 

 

Ready to see?

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Here it is!

 

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*** If you choose to share this image elsewhere, please include a courtesy link back to this page so others can enter Eliza's giveaway. Thank you! ***

 

THE CRESSWELL PLOT

by Eliza Wass
Release date: June 7, 2016
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
ISBN: 978-1-4847-3034-0
 
 
About the Book
 
The woods were insane in the dark, terrifying and magical at the same time. But best of all were the stars, which trumpeted their light into the misty dark.
 
Castella Cresswell and her five siblings—Hannan, Casper, Mortimer, Delvive, and Jerusalem—know what it’s like to be different. For years, their world has been confined to their ramshackle family home deep in the woods of upstate New York. They abide by the strict rule of God, whose messages come directly from their father.
 
Slowly, Castley and her siblings start to test the boundaries of the laws that bind them. But, at school, they’re still the freaks they’ve always been to the outside world. Marked by their plain clothing. Unexplained bruising. Utter isolation from their classmates. That is, until Castley is forced to partner with the totally irritating, totally normal George Gray, who offers her a glimpse of a life filled with freedom and choice. 
 
Castley’s world rapidly expands beyond the woods she knows so well and the beliefs she once thought were the only truths. There is a future waiting for her if she can escape her father’s grasp, but Castley refuses to leave her siblings behind. Just as she begins to form a plan, her father makes a chilling announcement: the Cresswells will soon return to their home in heaven. With time running out on all of their lives, Castley must expose the depth of her father’s lies. The forest has buried the truth in darkness for far too long. Castley might be their last hope for salvation.
 

b2ap3_thumbnail_ELIZAWASS6.jpgAbout the Author

Eliza Wass is a freelance writer, editor and journalist. She has thousands of friends, all of whom either come in a dust jacket or post obsessively on Twitter. Eliza spent seven years in London with the most amazing man in the world, her late husband Alan Wass of Alan Wass and the Tourniquet, who inspired her to pursue her dreams and live every day of her life. Visit her website at www.elizawass.com and follow her on Twitter @lovefaithmagic.
 

Twitter | Web | Tumblr | Instagram

 

Giveaway Details

One winner will receive a signed ARC of THE CRESSWELL PLOT (when available). 

Entering is simple, just fill out the entry form below. Winners will be announced on this site and in our monthly newsletter (sign up now!) within 30 days after the giveaway ends.

During each giveaway, we ask entrants a question pertaining to the book. Here is the question they'll be answering in the comments below for extra entries:

What do you think about the cover and synopsis?

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49. ...pretty much what we feel like every time we finish an AMAZING book and realize that it's the beginning of a series... and the next book ISN'T OUT YET...

This work is copyrighted material. All opinions are those of the writer, unless otherwise indicated. All book reviews are UNSOLICITED, and no money has exchanged hands, unless otherwise indicated. Please contact the weblog owner for further... Read the rest of this post

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50. Writing Workshops

How important are writing workshops or conferences to writers? In my opinion, they are critical. However, we have to face facts that we can't all afford to attend them. I've found that some are very reasonable in price where others can be quite expensive. But the real question is are they worth it?

Almost every one I've attended has been worth it. Some more than others. I have to admit I've attended a few where I didn't learn much that I didn't already know, but I came out of there meeting a few new contacts or a few leads on book signing events. And both of those are critical to making it in this industry. And then there have been the workshops where I learned a ton of new stuff. So you just never know.

But to me, attending as many writing workshops or conferences that my budget and time will allow, has only benefitted me. They are a chance to "recharge" my juices and get me excited about the  writing process all over again. Each time I attend one, I come directly home and start a new story or edit an old one. My batteries are once again revved up and my imagination is raring to go!  There is nothing better than spending a whole day talking and listening to people who feel the same way I do about writing a book. 

It's also a new adventure for me. Never in school did I ever raise my hand to answer a question the teacher asked. I never wanted to speak up for fear that I would look stupid because I didn't know what I was talking about. But when I attend anything writing wise, my hand doesn't hesitate to raise even when I try to stop it. So it's a weird and new experience for me, but one that I love and am proud of myself for giving it my all. Heck, I've even been the speaker at a few of these myself! And for me, that's a big "gold star" for the day.

So to those of you who are thinking of attending a workshop or conference, think no more. Just do it! I guarantee it will pay off in some way and you'll be glad you did it.

So, when's your next writing workshop or conference scheduled?

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