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Results 7,951 - 7,975 of 231,800
7951. Orion and the Dark – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Title: Orion and the Dark Written and illustrated by: Emma Yarlett Published by: Templar Books, an imprint of Candlewick Press, 2014 Themes/Topics: fear of the dark, fears, the dark Suitable for ages: 4-7 Hardcover, 40 pages Opening: My name is Orion,     … Continue reading

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7952. The Criterion: When a Theater Reopens

It is a space for stories.
            At its grand reopening Thursday night, the 1932 Criterion Theatre hosted a slew of Bar Harbor locals as well as visitors who drifted through the art deco halls, ducked into the 88-seat balcony, stood on the stage, descended into the basement and made this grand theater their home.

           Since 1932, the Criterion has been a part of this seaside community; its stage hosted bands, dancers, and shows. Its theater screen became a pilgrimage for local people who all had stories to share during the reopening.
            “The last movie I saw here was the First Harry Potter.”
            “Mine was Jurassic Park.”
            “Do you remember…?”
            “Do you remember…?”
            “Do you remember…?”
            People talked about the restoration, gobbled down the appetizers, spoke about the beauty of the place, but it was the stories that they kept coming back to.
            “It used to be that if you couldn’t see in the ticket booth, the woman who owned the theater would call your mom and make sure you were really the age you said you were,” said one local taxi driver.
            That woman was BH (Betty) Morison and she also would hold out her hand and make you spit your gum into your palm before she’d let you into the theater.  Maybe that’s part of why the restoration of it has been such a success. This place tucked amid the retail shops of Cottage Street where cruise ship passengers buy t-shirts and stuffed animal lobsters, has always been loved.  People have gathered here for decades. Kids saw their first movies here. People kissed their first kiss. Sang their first sing-a-long. Made memories.
A few days earlier while speaking to the Rotary Club of Bar Harbor Maine, Abbe Museum Director Cinnamon Legutko said, “I am a passionate advocate for community, intrigued by what makes community.”
            What makes community is a place like the Criterion. It is a gathering spot, a memory-making spot, a place where kids and adults can be exposed and re-exposed to the arts, all of the arts. It is a place to tell stories.
           “The one time I got pulled over my the police was after I was here,” a woman says, “it was in 2001 or 2002, I think. I’d gone to a concert, had a hard apple cider at six before it started and got stopped at a road block when I was driving back home to Ellsworth. It was after midnight. I was cold. They sheriff deputy asked me if I had drank anything tonight and I told him. I shouldn’t have told him. I was obviously fine to drive. It had been six hours.”
            Her story is especially fitting since the Criterion began in 1932 because of  George McKay, a bootlegger who decided to go ‘straight.’ He built the theatre as part of that venture, creating a 1,000-seat venue full of art deco details and glamour.  After extensive restoration thanks to a two million dollar anonymous gift as well as Board Chairman Michael Boland’s passionate advocacy and vision, the theater is open again, already hosting a Saturday children’s program and blockbuster movies. It continues to live. And it continues to inspire more stories like any good theater should.

*All these photos are from the Criterion's website.

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7953. Stirring the Plot: Fish Tales and Whoppers

Fish tales are stories a character relates that have a basis in reality but have been embellished to make the tale more entertaining, to make the teller sound better, or to make the object of the tale sound worse, than they really were.

Everyone tells a fish tale at some point, consciously or subconsciously: not to deliberately mislead or harm, but because it is human nature to flesh out stories. A story told often enough becomes a memory, even if it never happened or didn’t happen in quite the way it is related.

Dick might relate a conversation that didn’t actually take place the way he says it did. Characters tend to think of the funny or wounding line they should have said after the conversation is over, or the threat they should have made, or the punch they should have thrown in a heated situation. If a fish tale is told and embellished often enough, the embellishments replace the truth.

A fish tale starts out simply enough. Dick relates the tale of going fishing and turns his three-inch carp catch into a seven-foot catfish. The other diners will laugh. Jane might point out that seven-foot catfish don’t actually live in the pond in question. Sally might point out that a seven-foot catfish is too big for Dick to pull out alone. Ted might just call him on his crap and say he never caught a fish in his life. 

Dick might laughingly admit that he was exaggerating, but it was a catfish and it was big. The gentle ribbing may wick Dick into fury and the evening could turn ugly. If Dick is trying to warn them that giant radioactive catfish are living in the local lake, his friends will regret that they didn’t listen to him. If he is a serial killer, he will choose his next victim from amongst the dinner guests making fun of him. The ribbing can turn into fish tales of their own. Fish tales can make your character uncomfortable at a dinner party or create massive problems for all involved.

Let’s send Dick and Jane to a dinner with friends or family. Dick relates an innocent tale of something rather mundane that happened at home that morning. It can be something Jane did by accident (maybe she dropped a skillet full of food) or something she said about a situation or a person. If Dick embellishes the tale, he can unintentionally (or intentionally) humiliate Jane by exaggerating the outcome of the event or the content of the conversation. If he puts words in Jane’s mouth that come across as insults or puts a negative spin on her actions, he could get her in trouble or place her in danger. Dick was just trying to be funny but in Jane’s mind he made her look bad. The ride home will not be pleasant. Jane may sit and stew and plot a payback. Jane may start a tirade about all the stupid, hurtful things Dick has done. If Dick counter-attacks, the argument can escalate and lead to the demise of their marriage or to a really frosty winter of discontent.

If Dick embellishes a story about his skills or experience, he may be asked to do a harder task at work than he is prepared for. He may be asked to utilize his talents to solve a mystery or stop a crime. Dick’s fish tale can land him in waters way over his head.

The embellishments of Dick’s fish tale could be lethal if they mirror something that actually occurred. His comments may make someone at the dinner party squirm and change the subject. His exaggerations could turn lethal if they get too close to a crime that has been committed or imply that he has seen or heard something he didn’t and should not have.

Siblings sitting around a dinner table listening to a family member relate a story from their past might not remember the situation in quite the same way. This can spark friendly, or not so friendly, arguments. It could spark a mystery that needs to be solved. The same is true at a business lunch or a social get together among friends. When the false story is perceived as truth, you have unlimited potential for conflict.

As a tale gets repeated, and the embellishments become “facts”, the story takes on a life of its own. It becomes an “urban legend.” The time Dick went into the woods and got lost for five seconds becomes the time Dick went into the woods, was missing for a week and found his way home after seeing Big Foot. Family urban legends can reveal a lot about your characters. They can reveal what others think Dick is capable of, guilty of, or ashamed of. The arguments about what did and didn’t happen can be funny or extremely tense and very revealing. If the family urban legends hint at a darker truth (they’re all vampires) in front of a guest, the evening can end abruptly. If Dick takes his new girlfriend to dinner with friends or family and they use the urban legends to embarrass him in front of her, there will be plenty of conflict.

Conversely, fish tales could be used to make Dick look like a true hero. He saved a baby from a burning building when all he really did was put out a small blaze caused by a candle falling over. If Dick is a superhero and really did save a baby from a burning building, that’s an entirely different tale. He may squirm and worry about his family blowing his cover.

You can use the concept of fish tales and urban legends in any genre to develop plot, to reveal character, or to complicate the scene.

For more on how to motivate your characters based on personality type, check out:

Story Building Blocks II: Crafting Believable Conflict in paperback and E-book.

Story Building Blocks: Build A Cast Workbook in paperback and E-book.

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7954. June is for Life and Living


I’m taking my blog sabbath a month earlier than I usually do. This is a practice I started four years ago, and it’s something that refreshes and resets me in more ways than I know how to explain. In addition to the blog, I will also be off social media.

I’ve chosen June over July this year for a couple of reasons. First, I’m on deadline this summer. These early weeks, when I’m finding my way back into my manuscript, feel especially important. I don’t need any other computer time vying for my attention.

Second, we have a lot of family things going on next month. My boys are home from school. My parents are moving back to town. My husband and I are going on a cruise to celebrate our twentieth anniversary. This is a perfect time to step away.

Finally, I have a book coming out in July, and I want to be here to share its story.

I’ve scheduled some posts to re-run — a “new” one each week — that I hope will interest you. Enjoy your summer, friends! I’ll see you again soon.

The post June is for Life and Living appeared first on Caroline Starr Rose.

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7955. On Writing About Grief and Staring at Trees by Margo Rabb

We're delighted Margo Rabb stopped by to share more about her latest novel KISSING IN AMERICA. Additionally, her publisher is offering amazing prizes in a contest you can enter here.

And don't forget -- our Free First Five Pages Workshop opens June 6. Find out all about it here and make sure you submit!

On Writing About Grief and Staring at Trees: A Craft of Writing Post by Margo Rabb

Margo, what was your inspiration for writing KISSING IN AMERICA?

Kissing in America was inspired by thinking about how, when I was a teen and in my twenties, I believed that falling in love would change my life. I thought that if I was with the right person, then many of all the sorrows I felt so deeply—grief over my mother, who had died very suddenly, and then over my father, who died seven years later—would be easier to bear. In many ways, love does change and alleviate grief—but it’s also very complicated. In Kissing in America, Eva, the narrator, finds solace in many of the things that have comforted and helped me: poetry, which I loved to write and read; travel (I spent half of my teen years on buses and trains); and feminism, which I first learned about as a teen, and which changed the way I thought of myself and what I dreamed my life could be.

What scene was really hard for you to write and why, and is that the one of which you are most proud? Or is there another scene you particularly love?

The scene with Eva and her mother at the end was difficult to write, but also the most gratifying. That’s one of the most pivotal scenes in the book, and as I wrote it I kept thinking of the love I had for my parents, and that I have for my children, and how deep and overwhelming it is.

How long did you work on KISSING IN AMERICA?

I started the first draft in 2008—I handwrote it in notebooks—and this book took me many years to finish. It really was a labor of love.

What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?

I like quiet when I’m writing, and I love having a view out the window. I spend a lot of time pacing around the house and staring out the windows. I need to be able to look at a tree—at least one tree. In my twenties, I once rented an apartment in Manhattan where I couldn’t see any trees out the window, and I felt depressed. I realized how much I like to stare at trees.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?

Don’t give up! It may take years to finish a novel and a million drafts, but keep going—the only difference between many books that were published, and those that were not, is the hard work of revision and perseverance.


Kissing in Americaby Margo Rabb
Released 5/26/2015

I loved romances because when you opened the first page, you knew the story would end well. Your heart wouldn't be broken. I loved that security, that guaranteed love.

In real life, you never knew the ending. I hated that.

Sixteen-year-old Eva has never been in love. But when she meets Will, everything changes. With him, her grief over her father's death fades, and she can escape from her difficult relationship with her mother. Then, without any warning, Will picks up and moves to California. So Eva—with the help of her best friend, Annie—concocts a plan to travel across the country to see him again. As they leave New York City for the first time and road-trip across America, they encounter cowboys, kudzu, and tiny towns without stoplights. Along the way, Eva and Annie learn the truth about love and all its complexities.

Purchase Kissing in America at Amazon
Purchase Kissing in America at IndieBound
View Kissing in America on Goodreads


Margo Rabb is the author of the novels Kissing in America and Cures for Heartbreak, and she's written essays, articles, book reviews, and short stories for The New York Times, The New York Times Book Review, The Atlantic, Slate, The Rumpus, Zoetrope: All-Story, Seventeen, Best New American Voices, New Stories from the South, and One Story, and elsewhere. She grew up in Queens, NY, and recently moved from Austin, TX to Philadelphia, PA. She writes about grief a lot (her mom died when she was in her teens and her dad died when was she was in her twenties). (Here's a link to an essay she wrote recently, about the death of her cat and the death of her mom (it was published, coincidentally, on the 24th anniversary of her mom's death)).
website: www.margorabb.com
Twitter: @margorabb

What did you think of our interview with Margo Rabb, author of KISSING IN AMERICA? Let us know in the comments!

Happy reading,

Martina, Jocelyn, Shelly, Jan, Lisa, Susan, and Erin

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7956. No smoking please



cartoon smoking by monica gupta

No smoking please

एक जानकार बहुत  स्मोक करते हैं वो हर बार अपना टारगेट रख लेते है कि बस होली के बाद कभी लूंगा… फिर राखी पर बात आती है फिर दीपावली पर और फिर नए साल पर … साल दर साल गुजरते जा रहे हैं पर छोड नही पा रहे. मुझे  एक बात याद आई कि एक आदमी ने पेड पकडा हुआ और जोर जोर से चिल्ला रहा कि बचाओ पेड ने मुझे पकड रखा है .. जो देखता हंसता कि भई पेड क्या पकडेगा. तूने ही पेड को पकडा हुआ है. हमारे जानकार भी हालत भी ऐसी ही है. सिग्रेट को पकडा उन्होनें हुआ है और चिल्ला रहे हैं कि बचाओ सिग्रेट ने उन्हें पकडा हुआ है … ह हा हा !!! वैसे हंसना नही चाहिए क्योकि बात बहुत गम्भीर है.

31 मई को वर्ल्ड नो स्मोकिंग डे है सोचा आज इसी पर अपने विचार लिख डालू  smoking  पर सर्वे करने के बाद हैरानी ये पढ कर हुई कि नशे की लत में महिलाएं भी पीछे नहीं हैं और तो और महिला स्मोकर्स की तादाद में तेजी से बढ़ोतरी हो रही है। एम्स के डॉक्टरों का दावा है कि पिछले पांच सालों में महिलाओं में स्मोकिंग 11 पर्सेंट से बढ़कर 20 पर्सेंट तक पहुंच गया है। डॉक्टरों का यह भी कहना है कि महिलाओं में स्मोकिंग की यह लत साल दर साल बढ़ती ही जा रही है.

ग्लोबल एडल्ट टोबैको सर्वे (गैट्स) के अनुसार भारत में कुल जनसंख्या के लगभग 35 पर्सेंट लोग नशा करते हैं। इसमें युवाओं की संख्या सबसे ज्यादा है। मौजूदा समय में 20 पर्सेंट महिलाएं नशे की गिरफ्त में हैं। 31 मई को वर्ल्ड नो स्मोकिंग डे है। स्मोकिंग को लेकर एम्स के डॉक्टरों का कहना है कि आजकल अगर कोई नशा करता है, चाहे वह महिला हो या पुरुष, अब वे स्मोकिंग को अपना स्टेटस मानते हैं और मजबूरी नहीं, बल्कि शौक से पीते हैं। यही शौक उनकी लत बन जाती है और फिर यह लत एक दिन उन्हें बीमार करती है। अब पुरुषों की तरह महिलाएं भी कम उम्र में सिगरेट पीना शुरू कर रही हैं। कहीं-कहीं तो यह भी देखा गया है कि महिलाएं पुरुषों के मुकाबले ज्यादा सिगरेट पीती हैं। उनकी यही आदत स्वास्थ्य को बहुत ही ज्यादा नुकसान पहुंचा रहा है। इसकी वजह से उनमें फेफड़ों के कैंसर का रिस्क और भी ज्यादा बढ़ जाता है।

इस बारे में राष्ट्रीय दवा निर्भरता उपचार केंद्र (एनडीडीटीसी) के हेड डॉक्टर एस. खंडेलवाल का कहना है कि तंबाकू का यूज चाहे किसी रूप में किया जाए, उसका नुकसान तो होना ही है।

एनडीडीटीसी में अडिशनल प्रोफेसर डॉक्टर सोनाली ने कहा कि आजकल बच्चे भी नशे के आदी होते जा रहे हैं। बच्चों में नशे की लत इतनी तेजी से बढ़ रही है कि अगर उसको रोकने के लिए जल्द ही कुछ कड़े कदम नहीं उठाए गए, तो उसके नतीजे काफी खतरनाक हो सकते हैं। क्योंकि अगर बच्चे दस साल की उम्र में कोई नशा करते हैं तो वह लंबे समय तक इसका यूज करेंगे और उसे खतरनाक बीमारी होने की आशंका ज्यादा होती है। डॉक्टर ने कहा कि अब स्मोकिंग छोड़ने के कई उपाय हैं जिनमें मेडिकेशन, काउंसलिंग और जरूरी दवा के जरिए अपनी इस लत से छुटकारा पाया जा सकता है

No smoking please….

6 Ways Quitting Smoking Is Good for Your Heart| Everyday Health

One of the most important things you can do to keep your heart healthy — and to keep it beating for as long as possible — is to avoid or quit smoking. If you’re a smoker, kicking the habit can heal the damage nicotine inflicts on your heart and on your longevity in several striking ways. See more…

सस्मोकिंग की चाह जगे तो पुस्तक पढें, कसरत करें और ध्यान में मन लगाएं। सकारात्मक सोच और दृढ़ इच्छाशक्ति से ही इस बुरी आदत से मुक्त हो सकेंगे। आयुर्वेद विशेषज्ञों के अनुसार शतावरी, ब्राह्मी, अश्वगंधा जैसी जड़ी-बूटियां और त्रिफला व सुदर्शन चूर्ण शरीर से दूषित पदार्थों को बाहर निकालने का काम करते हैं। लिंग और जरूरी दवा के जरिए अपनी इस लत से छुटकारा पाया जा सकता है

best way to quit smoking

See more…

कुल मिला कर यही कहना है कि जो अखबार मे लिखा रहता है कि सिगेट पीना स्वास्थय के लिए हानिकारक है वो ऐसे ही नही लिखा हुआ … वाकई में बहुत भाव छिपा है इसके पीछे … अगर आप वाकई में … गौर कीजिएगा, वाकई में छोडना चाह्तें हैं तो आप इसे छोड सकते हैं क्योकि सिग्रेट  ने आपको नही बल्कि आपने सिग्रेट  यानि मौत को पकड रखा है…  और शुभ काम के लिए हर समय शुभ है और सिग्रेट छोडने से ज्यादा शुभ विचार कोई और हो ही नही सकता

No smoking please….

The post No smoking please appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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7957. Guest Author, Sally Yolanda... Talks about writers' block

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Welcome to guest author, Sally Yolanda as she takes over Write What Inspires You and chats about writers' block

How to Overcome Your Writer's Block with this New Perspective

by Sally Yolanda

What is the biggest fear among writers? It is not the fear of losing their job or the fear of losing money? It is the fear that they will run short of creative ideas and thus, experience a block. The dreaded writers’ block. The name of this terror can bring jitters to even the most experienced writer out there.

Reasons behind writers’ block

It can really sap the motivation of even the best writers out there. Why does it happen? There are a couple of views on this. It can happen owing to exhaustion; can happen because you are trying to force yourself to come up with neat ideas and that process is creating resistance to you, within you; it may happen owing to an intense, internal fear that the work you produce may never be good enough for people, that it may invite mockery and laughter and as a self defence, you subconsciously throttle your thinking process.

And within the factors, which give rise to this “block”, lie the answers to the question of how to solve the problem of writer’s block. The most important thing in this would be to change our perspective towards this issue as well as to methods we use to solve it.

Change our perspective, unblock the block!

One of the most important things we should realise is that we should stop fearing failure. Fear of failure is what makes a person even hesitate from starting on something new. So one great way of approaching writing challenges is to take them as stimuli to create something new. If something does not work out, use it as a starting point to explore other ideas, to stretch across different fields to find something that help the endeavour to go forward. Success need not come in one shot. Sometimes you have to try many different approaches that may take variable time to show their results. When a writer stops fearing failure, he may tend to develop patience. The ability to wait. For that creative spark, that idea. This would also help him or her to be open and receptive to all ideas that float across.

Stop taking things personally. Let Go.

Another way is to stop taking it as a personal threat to your ability to write. Maybe it is the way of telling the body to take it lightly or the mind to recharge itself. Use the opportunity to do other things, which had got pushed back to the back of your mind; go for outings, vacations. Take your problem off your mind. You can also engage in discussions with yourself or with a silent listener such as your pillow. Such kind of “pillow talk” may help you to reach within yourself to find out things or thoughts or attitudes that may be actually being a hindrance to your creative process.

Do creative relaxation.

Instead of forcing your creative mind to work under circumstances that it may deem unpleasant or unsatisfying, let it relax. Let ideas float in. Try out even the weirdest sounding ones. Sometimes, all it takes is a change in approach to the situation and bring it on from there.

Get rid of distractions!

It is all possible that your creative soul is not getting that space and silence it needs to chew on ideas in peace. Maybe all the noise from the electronic media, the Internet and the mobiles are distracting and leaving the mind in a state of overstimulation. In such a case, it would be useful to go on sabbaticals where you can stay away from all distractions in the world and work on your writing.

Reduce self-criticism

Another way of improving your writing is by decreasing unnecessary criticism of one’s own work. Changes can be made at any point of time. A great way of motivating the brain to work is through exercise and sleep. Getting lots of sleep, doing couple of runs in a day is sure to let those nerve cell gets recharged. Getting an outline of what you want to see in your writing and embarking upon it is a great idea to get the ideas coming and noting it down.

Experiment with new!

Changes in writing between routine, boring but necessary writing tasks may help you in recharging and refreshing your mind at regular intervals. This will reduce the kind of thoughts that lead to the occurrence of writers’ block.

Develop the habit of writing from consciousness first. Allow the thoughts, whatever they are, to pour out, to run out in whatever form they take. Do not try to force them in a particular direction. Edit them later. So, there are multiple ways of looking at the phenomenon of “Writers’ Block”. Changing your attitude towards it is a great way of overcoming it! So, go for it.

Bio: Sally Yolanda is an academic counselor at Assignmentwritinghelp.com. She has been teaching online courses for bachelor, masters, and doctoral level education programs. Her interests include online teaching and learning with focus on active students engagement.
Visit Sally at: 

Thanks for taking over the guest author spot. It's been a pleasure hosting you! 

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

Ignite curiosity in your child through reading!

Connect with

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. ~ Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Hockey Agony ~ January 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ 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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7958. Crowdsourcing and Content Marketing

Yep. There’s another marketing term and strategy, crowdsourcing. It’s important not to confuse crowdsourcing with crowdfunding Crowdfunding is the practice of funding your project through donations from people – a large number of people. Crowdsourcing does use lots of people, but to generate ideas, not funds. An article at CBSNews.com, explains, Despite the jargony name, crowdsourcing

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7959. Inspiration from the Library of Congress

As a researcher, one of the places that inspire me is the Library of Congress (LOC).   The building itself is a national treasure, but the collections it holds are even more precious.   No matter what you are interested in, chances are that the Library of Congress has some material that relates to it.  It is a gold mine of primary source material for teachers, students, and writers. 

The LOC has a vast amount of material online, but let me give you an example of just one small slice of it.  Let’s take photographs from the Civil War.  When I look at this collection I see powerful, amazing images of people on both sides of the war.  While I’m interested in photos of the famous people like Lincoln, Lee and Grant, I’m even more fascinated by images of average soldiers who are often unidentified.  When I look at their faces, I wonder what they experienced and if they survived the war. 


Photos of soldiers are not the only type of images in their collection; many are of women and children.  This touching image of a young girl in a dark mourning dress holding a photo of her father, says a lot-silently.


This morning I found an unexpected collection at the LOC:  eyewitness drawings of Civil War scenes.  There are lots of battle scenes and landscapes, but the one that drew my eye was this sketch of a soldier.  It makes me wonder who this man was and why the artist sketched his image.  Was he a friend or brother?   Was he a hero or a deserter?

Images like these can teach students a lot about history.  And they can inspire both fiction and nonfiction writers. 

Carla Killough McClafferty


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7960. Transitions

It's not enough to just leave an extra blank line or have a chapter break to transition between scenes.


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7961. buckle up

simulated daughter on closed course
If the Motor Vehicle Administration had been open on January 1, my little April Fool would have been there at 8am sharp to get her learner's permit.  As it was, she had to wait until she was 15 years 9 months and 1 day old.  Driving practice has been going well since January 2nd--short jaunts on neighborhood roads two or three times a week with one or the other parent.

But Memorial Day Weekend is traditionally one for family outings.  Ours took us around the DC metro area beltway--famous for requiring nerves of steel when it's flowing smoothly and the patience of Job the other 495% of the time.


While 16 drives
12 tells me he has
he can see the holes
in spinning hub caps
at 60 MPH
and what does SPF stand for?
16 holds steady,
only a few wobbles within her lane.
Nearly 50 is coaching her
and I--51--I'm wobbling
a little too in the backseat,
letting go, holding nothing
but a slippery pink glitter gel pen
she doesn't use anymore.

HM 2015
all rights reserved

The Poetry Friday round-up today is at Reflections on the Teche with Margaret, who must be celebrating the end of another satisfying year of teaching.  Cruise on over and enjoy the poetry scenery!

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7962. FOODFIC: Please Welcome Lorna Dounaeva, Author of May Queen Killers


My new novel, May Queen Killers, reads almost like a cosy mystery, but there is a psychological element and a pinch of humour at the heart of the story.

Mystery writer Jock Skone arrives in Fleckford, a small village on the English/Welsh border, where he instantly falls for tea-shop owner Sapphire Butterworth. Not long after they meet, Sapphire is presiding over the village’s May Day celebrations when she suddenly jumps down from her float and flees through the crowd.  Jock runs after her, but is unable to keep up.  Eventually, he trudges back to her tea-shop and a few minutes later, someone throws a brick through the window.

The mystery of the missing May Queen deepens as it is revealed that Sapphire was not the first May Queen to go missing. Jock and his new friend Dylan set out to solve the mystery over endless cups of Yorkshire tea and slices of Battenberg cake.  If you’re not familiar with Battenberg, it’s a light sponge cake made up of chequered pink and yellow squares, cemented with apricot jam and covered with marzipan. 

Sapphire’s tea-shop is 1950s themed, with tea cosies, fancy china and frilly table cloths.  By contrast, just over the road, is the Dragon pub, where Jock is staying. Its landlord, Neil would rather sit and eat a packet of salt and vinegar crisps, than serve his customers. And the only foods on his menu are microwaved shepherd’s pies and chips. I know where I’d rather eat…

Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Lorna!

You can find Lorna here:


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7963. Perfect Picture Book Friday - Baby Bear Discovers The World

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday!

It's May on Blueberry Hill, and you know what that means:

Baby goslings.

Baby foxes.

Baby snakes.

Baby rabbits.

Baby groundhogs.

And given the black bears wandering around, I'm betting there are some baby bears even though I haven't seen any... which is probably just as well because where there's a baby bear there's a protective mama bear not too far away! :)

In the spirit of baby animals, I have chosen this very delightful book for today.  I dare you and your young reading companions not to love the pictures :)

Title: Baby Bear Discovers The World
Written By: Marion Dane Bauer
Photography By: Stan Tekiela
Adventure Publications Inc, 2006, Factual Fiction with great photos

Suitable For Ages: 3 and up

Themes/Topics: wild animals, growing up, independence, nature

Opening: One fine spring morning Baby Bear said to his mama, "Mama, I'm a big bear now.  It's time for me to go out and discover the world.  Then he kissed his mama so she would know he meant business."

Brief Synopsis: From the jacket: "Follow Baby Bear's excursion into the big world as he tries to prove his independence, wandering closer and closer to places he doesn't belong.  Using twin cubs and the assistance of a handler, Stan [the photographer] succeeded in getting all the photos for this book from the cubs' natural reactions to their surroundings.  His ability to capture everything from their inquisitive faces to actually tumbling from a log is delightfully documented."

Links To Resources:  Everything you need is right here!  The back of the book has a section on bear facts - characteristics, activity, diet, cubs, and hibernation.  It also has a section on how the book was photographed, and another section of "outtakes and bloopers" photos - SO CUTE! :)  You can also go for a walk and look for signs of animals - paw prints, nests, etc.  City or country, you're likely to discover some fun things, just like Baby Bear :)

Why I Like This Book:  I just absolutely adore wildlife photography.  This book combines a fun story about learning independence with exquisite photography of lots of animals besides the bears along with the surrounding flora.  It's fun just to look at the pictures :)  The outtakes and bloopers photos are also tons of fun and make the experience of the book even better.  Wait until you see the picture of Baby Bear licking a mouse :)

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

PPBF bloggers please be sure to leave your post-specific link in the list below so we can all come visit you!

Oh, and just a quick heads up: June 12 (two weeks from now) will be our last PPBF before summer hiatus... just so you know for planning purposes.

Now then, I am off at an all day school visit, so I will see you all later or over the weekend, but stay tuned for a special post on Monday... it's about time we had some high jinx and shenanigans around here! :)

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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7964. Twitter

cartoon bird

Twitter … Twitter … हर कोई सोशल नेट वर्किंग साईट पर लगा टवीट किए जा रहे है पर रियल लाईफ में  tweet सुनना ही भूल गए. अब अगर आपको भी ये टवीट सुनना है तो घर की छत पर या आंगन में पानी से भरा बर्तन रखना पडेगा … सच मानिए भरी झुलसती गरमी मे जब पक्षी टवीट टवीट  करते आएगें तो दिल को सुकून मिलेगा … भई मुझे तो उस टवीट से अच्छा ये टवीट लगता है :)


PM Narendra Modis one year Twitter record: 8.5 million followers

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has garnered close to 8.5 million followers on Twitter in the span of one year, statistics from the popular micro-blogging network showed. The figures are an indicator of the Prime Minister’s efficacy on social media websites where he is very active. PM Modi remains the third-most followed world leader on Twitter after US President Barack Obama and Pope Francis. See more…

Twitter हो या सोशल मीडिया की कोई भी साईट … अच्छा है जुडे रहना चाहिए पर पक्षियों को भी पानी और दाना देते रहेंग़ें तो बहुत बेहतर होगा…

The post Twitter appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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7965. GJ Book Club: Speed on Mass Drawing

On the GJ Book Club, we're studying Chapter 9: Mass Drawing: Practical," from Harold Speed's 1917 classic The Practice and Science of Drawing.

The following numbered paragraphs cite key points in italics, followed by a brief remark of my own. If you would like to respond to a specific point, please precede your comment by the corresponding number. There's a lot of content here, so let's dive in!

1. Painting is drawing.
In this chapter, Harold Speed demonstrates his conception of monochrome painting as a form of drawing. He calls it "mass drawing," and unlike line drawing, there's a greater attention to shape, value, and edges.

2. Most objects can be reduced broadly into three tone masses, the lights (including the high lights, the half tones, and the shadows.
Speed's demonstration follows a process where he maps out the shapes in charcoal (sealed with shellac), then scrubs a thin layer of tone overall equal to the halftone.
a. Blocking out shapes, b. middle tone 'scrumbled' over the whole
Then the lights are painted into the wet halftone later. "Gradations are got by thinner paint, which is mixed with the wet middle tone of the ground."

c. Addition of the darks, d. finished work
Note the swatches of paint used at lower left. He's using raw umber and white. "Don't use much medium," he advises. This method is also discussed by Norman Rockwell in "Norman Rockwell Illustrator," where he calls it "painting into the soup."

3. The use of charcoal to the neglect of line drawing often gets the student into a sloppy manner of work, and is not so good a training to the eye and hand in a clear, definite statement.
I found this statement interesting. He seems to be suggesting that the monochrome painting leads to better results in students than the classic tonal charcoal study. But he admits that this particular method of painting into the halftone value isn't always useful for full-color painting because it can pollute the shadows. He'll get into color painting in later chapters (and in his next book), but basically he advises mixing up separate middle tone values for lights and shadows.

4. Try always to do as much as possible with one stroke of the brush.
This important statement leads off a discussion of the variable strokes and edges provided by various kinds of brushes. The brush adds the ability to place a definite shape, but also to feather the edges on the sides of the stroke. In addition, because of the amount of paint on the brush, it can leave a lighter (or darker) stroke relative to the value of the wet halftone layer.

5. Brush shapes.
Speed's chart shows rounds, flats, and filberts at the bottom, but the one in the third row he calls "Class C" seems to be a flat with rounded corners. Does anyone know whether that type of brush is still being made these days? From left to right are definite thick-paint strokes to feathery thin strokes.

6. How to fix errors, how to check accuracy.
He advises something like sight-size, namely setting the work next to the subject and comparing. He also suggests a "black glass," which is a "Lorraine mirror" mentioned in an earlier post of GurneyJourney. He discusses why the setting-out drawing must be accurately measured, but also urges students to be willing to "lose the drawing" under the paint. "It is often necessary when a painting is nearly right to destroy the whole thing in order to accomplish the apparently little that still divides it from what you conceive it to be."

7. Nothing is so characteristic of bad modelling as "gross roundness." 
"The surface of a sphere is the surface with the least character," he says. This is an extension of the earlier discussion about the aesthetic importance of retaining some straight lines and planes, the sense of the partially carved block.

8. Study from Life:

Blocking out the spaces occupied by masses.
Note: This is not a 'line drawing' but rather a map of masses.

Middle tone applied overall and lights placed.
Shadows added.

Completed head.
9. Importance of anatomy and cautions about overstating it.
Speed ends with a discussion of the importance of anatomical knowledge, but cautions against "overstepping the modesty of nature." He says, "Never let anatomical knowledge tempt you into exaggerated statements of internal structure, unless such exaggeration helps the particular thing you wish to express." When I worked with Frank Frazetta on Fire and Ice, he was always making this point, complaining about figure work that was overly musclebound.

10. Painting across vs. along the form.
Here he continues the point made in the previous chapter, but specifically talking about the brush.

11. Keep the lights separate from the shadows, let the half tone paper always come as a buffer state between them.
This is an essential point, extremely important in outdoor work under the full sun. In figure work indoors, mass drawing can also be done with red and white chalk on a tone paper where the paper equals the halftone value of the form.
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)

Original blog post Announcing the GJ Book Club

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7966. Luna and Me’s Birthday!

photo 2

I am perpetually late sending off birthday cards. Blogging is no different. It’s nearly June, and not only do I have a six-month old son who oozes sweetness, I have a new book that got its wings a couple weeks ago – Luna and Me: The True Story of a Girl Who Lived in a Tree to Save a Forest, based on Julia Butterfly Hill’s tree-sit in an ancient Redwood tree. Contrary to most kids guesstimate that it takes me one week or one month to make a book, Luna and Me took me longer to write and illustrate than Butterfly’s 738-day tree-sit. Ha. An epic journey for sure, but I loved it all.


We celebrated with a fun launch party Taos-style with a packed house of friends who braved the hail and COLD (yes, in May!) and were rewarded with Patrick’s spicy, hot chai, ginger owl cookies, and a book. :) The best part was when my friends’ son perfectly timed his desire to climb the carved “trunk” when I read, “To exercise, Butterfly climbed to the very top of Luna every day. With sticky sappy feet, she crawled like a spider up and down Luna’s trunk.” Hee!


I feel blessed and grateful every time I think of the long list of people who helped me with research (!!), editing, feedback, listening to me talk about it (!), childcare (so I could paint), turning my paintings upside down for new perspective, sharing cool collage papers, and so on.


And as much as my mind is focused on new books, it was important to stop for a moment and celebrate. Julia is an amazing example of how everyone can make a difference. We all have gifts to offer! I hope Luna and Me inspires readers to be caretakers for our magical and beautiful world and to take long walks with the trees.


P.S. I had the honor of being interviewed recently by the AMAZING, thoughtful, and Busy Librarian, Matthew Winner, about Luna and Me on his “Let’s Get Busy” podcast. I wish I had M.W. for a librarian when I was little!!

P.S. #2 Check out my summer schedule in the Midwest, CA, OR, WA, WY and NM. Hope to see some of you at an event!

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7967. Giveaway: a copy of John Roy Lynch signed by Don and me


Angie Manfredi, one of the most passionate librarians I know, is giving away a copy of The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch that’s been signed by both illustrator Don Tate and me.

Here’s a bit of what Angie has to say about the book:

Everything about The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch is special. It’s a book that asks children to think big thoughts and ask hard questions about eras of history that are too often glossed over and about the era we live in now. It’s ambitious, interesting, original and very beautiful. It’s meant to be shared and discussed with kids and I recommend it as a first purchase for public libraries looking to enrich their children’s non-fiction collection and especially for elementary school librarians and classroom teachers working with 3rd-6th grades. It’s a great supplement for history lessons and will hopefully make young learners even more curious about our country’s history, all the parts of it — the amazing and hard ones.

To enter the giveaway, all you have to do is go to this blog post at Fat Girl Reading and leave a comment.

But you’ll probably want to do more than that, like stick around a while and read what Angie has to say about this book and other things, because did I mention that she’s one of the most passionate librarians I know?

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7968. Three End of the School Year (or Summer Vacation) Poems

Happy Poetry Friday... and happy "school is almost over!!!!"

I figured it was the right time of year to link to the three end-of-the-school-year type of poems I've written and posted here. And just for fun... I'm including the first couple lines or so of each. Just click on the titles to see the whole poems.

(And if you're already done for the year or not dealing with school anymore, well, just try to enjoy 'em anyway, I say to you. And don't gloat!)

Hello, Summer!

Goodbye, classroom!
Goodbye, Teach!
You can find me at the beach...
Or in the park or at the pool
Or any place that isn’t school.

Counting Down (Always)

Counting down
Time goes slow...
Six long days of school to go.

It's June (And I Am Still In School)

I’ll tell you something most uncool –
It’s June… and I am still in school.

Not enough poetry? Too much? The wrong poems? Why not go check out the Poetry Friday roundup this week, hosted over at Reflections on the Teche.

And  if you want to get all my poems emailed to you for freeee as they hit the blog, enter your email address in the box below then click subscribe!

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7969. Cynsational News, Giveaways & Summer Hiatus

By Cynthia Leitich Smith
for Cynsations

Thanks so much for being a Cynsational reader! 

I appreciate your enthusiasm for and interest in the world of books for kids and teens.

Breaking news: Effective immediately, Cynsations is going on summer hiatus until September. 

In the meantime, you can keep up with children's-YA books news on my author facebook page and @CynLeitichSmith on Twitter.

See y'all in the fall!

More News  

Recommended on the We are the People List
We're the People Summer Reading List of 2015 from Facebook. Peek: "Are you looking for books to add to your summer reading list? Ones written or illustrated by Native Americans or people of color? Ones that include characters that are Native? People of color? Disabilities? LGBTQ? Take a look at these!" Note: Download a PDF (list of titles; annotated list) to take with you to the store of library.  See more information about the list from Debbie Reese at American Indians in Children's Literature.

Romanticizing Mental Illness by L. Lee Butler, S. Jae-Jones and Alex Townsend from Disability in Kidlit. Peek: "Ideally there would be plenty of stories within and outside of the perspectives of mental illness. Because lots of outsiders don’t really relate until they hear a story from the outside perspective."

Mary E. Cronin's Workshop on Gay (LGBT) & Questioning Characters in Middle Grade from Lee Wind at I'm Here. I'm Queer. What the Hell Do I Read? Peek: "There may be GLBT people in the character’s family, or they may have no role models or reference points at all. These factors will have a huge impact on a character’s trajectory."

The Mystery of the Hardy Boys and the Invisible Authors by Daniel A. Gross from The Atlantic. Peek: "If writing seems like a lonely profession, try ghostwriting children's books."

How to Secure a Traditional Book Deal by Self-Publishing by Jane Friedman from Writer Unboxed. Peek: "By far, the No. 1 consulting request I receive is the author who has self-published and wants to switch to traditional publishing. Usually it’s because they’re disappointed with their sales or exposure; other times, that was their plan all along."

What Makes a Picture Book a Mega Hit? by Elizabeth Bird from School Library Journal. Peek: "With that in mind, today I’m going to talk about some of the top picture book blockbusters to come out in the last ten years. Please note that I’m avoiding picture books with TV or other media tie-ins. These are the folks who got where they are on their own merits."

Interview: Jackie Morse Kessler on the Riders of the Apocalypse Series by Katherine Locke and Alex Townsend from Disability in Kid Lit. Peek: "I’m a former bulimic, and I still have self-image issues. The protagonist Lisabeth is inspired by someone I knew when I was younger; she’d been a very close friend, and she was the one who introduced me to bulimia." Note: This series is highly recommended.

The Connection Between Emotional Wounds and Basic Needs by Becca Puglisi from Writers Helping Writers. Peek: "...she still feels the pain associated with the loss of her esteem and will subconsciously take steps to meet that need or make sure that it isn’t threatened again. Maybe she’ll throw herself into education, sports, or the arts as a means of gaining recognition for herself, since she feels unable to compete physically."

Emotional Wounds Thesaurus: A Parent's Abandonment by Becca Puglisi from Writers Helping Writers. Peek: "This negative experience from the past is so intense that a character will go to great lengths to avoid experiencing that kind of pain and negative emotion again. As a result, certain behaviors, beliefs, and character traits will emerge."

One Tweet Reminds Us Why Judy Blume Was the Sexual Revolutionary We Needed by Kate Hakala from Connections.Mic. Peek: "The children and teens of Blume's books didn't only normalize sexuality for so many young kids, they illuminated the more embarrassing, secret parts of sex — the blood, the touching — that many readers were too afraid to bring up in school or to their parents."

Industry Q&A with Charlesbridge Editor Alyssa Mito Pusey from CBC Diversity. Peek: "When I was recently looking up Asian and Asian American biographies, I was shocked all over again at how little there is out there—Lee & Low seems to be the only publisher consistently putting out these books."

Children's Book Council to Receive BookExpo America's Industry Ambassador Award by Yolanda Scott from CBC Diversity. Peek: "While this is the first year that the award is being bestowed on an organization in place of an individual, BEA show organizers note that the Children’s Book Council’s work is both personal and special for its dedication to fostering literacy, diversity and education, making it eminently qualified to receive the award."

Case Cracked: The Process of Editing Mystery Novels by Stacy Whitman from Lee & Low. Peek: "...we discussed how the inciting incident—the moment that gets Claire to veer her course to investigating whether her father and her stepdad ever knew each other—might be complicated and how those complications would have a ripple effect that would improve multiple other plot points, and increase the pacing." See also: Wouldn’t You Like to Know . . . Valynne E. Maetani by Stacey Hayman from VOYA.

The Godzilla Effect: How Climaxes, Twists, and Turning Points Work (and How They Don’t) by Harrison Demchick from Project Mayhem. Peek: "The climax, then, is the inevitable result—eventually, the effect—of that incident two hundred or three hundred or however many pages ago. It needs to be an organic development of the story."

Six Tips from Six Years of School Visits by Chris Barton from Bartography. Peek: "If you’ve got multiple books, don’t assume that your host wants you to focus on your newest one. Your host might not know much about it, and in fact may have led their students to expect something else."

Breaking Barriers: Alvina Ling, Editor-in-Chief of Little, Brown Books for Young Readers from TaiwaneseAmerican.org. Peek: "...ideally we have a nice balance between books that may have award potential, and books that are more commercial and have bestseller potential (although books that are both are even more ideal!). We also don’t want to have all fantasy books or all historical fiction, for example, so I help guide our acquisitions process and identify needs and gaps to our editors to keep in mind as they are reading submissions and acquiring."

Cynsational Awards

2015 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Winners from School Library Journal. Peek:

"The Farmer and the Clown by Marla Frazee (Simon & Schuster) has won the 2015 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award for best picture book, while Katherine Rundell’s Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms (Simon & Schuster) took best fiction title and Candace Fleming’s The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion and the Fall of Russia (Schwartz & Wade) was named best nonfiction book." See honor books and more information.

2015 South Asian Book Awards:

See honor books and more information.

Cynsational Giveaways
The winner of a set of signed books by Claire Legrand was Christina in Kentucky.

See also a giveaway of an author- and illustrator-signed copy of The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch by Chris Barton, illustrated by Don Tate (Eerdmans, 2015) from Fat Girl Reading.

This Week at Cynsations

More Personally

My Memorial Day view of Highway One; hang in there, Texas & Oklahoma!
At "Pretty in Pink" with authors Cory Putnam Oakes, P.J. Hoover & Mari Mancusi at the Alamo Drafthouse Ritz.
Happy Summer! Congratulations to spring 2015 graduates!

As all y'all can tell from my events listed below, I'm going to be coming and going for the next few months. I hope to see many of you on the road or here in Austin, and online you can catch up with me at my author facebook page and @CynLeitichSmith on Twitter.

So embrace the summer. Read, write, illustrate, champion books for young readers, and with each new day, remember to be the heroes of your own life stories.

Thanks again for being Cynsational readers! 

Link of the Week: How Insane Amount of Rain in Texas Could Turn Rhode Island Into a Lake by Christopher Ingraham from The Washington Post.

Central Texans! Summer Road Trip Release Party: Join Margo Rabb (Kissing in America) and Liz Garton Scanlon (Great Good Summer) at 2 p.m. May 30 at BookPeople in Austin.

Personal Links

Now Available!

Cynsational Events

Join Cynthia at 11 a.m. May 30 in conjunction with the YA Book Club at Cedar Park Public Library in Cedar Park, Texas.

Cynthia will serve as the master class faculty member from June 19 to June 21 at the VCFA Alumni Mini-Residency in Montpelier, Vermont.

Cynthia will speak from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. June 28 on an Association of Library Service to Children (ALSC) program--"We Need Diverse Books: How to Move from Talk to Action Panel"--at the 2015 Annual Conference of the American Library Association in San Francisco.
Learn more!
Cynthia will teach on the faculty of the MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts from July 8 to July 19.

Join Cynthia from July 30 to Aug. 2 at GeekyCon in Orlando, Florida. See more information.

Cynthia Leitich Smith will lead a YA Writing Retreat for A Room of Her Own Foundation from Aug. 10 to Aug. 16 at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico.

Cynthia will lead a breakout session on "Diversity in Children's and YA Literature" Aug. 22 at East Texas Book Fest at the Harvey Hall Convention Center in Tyler, Texas.

Cynthia will speak Sept. 19 at the Mansfield, Texas Book Festival.

Cynthia will speak Sept. 29 at Richardson Public Library in Richardson, Texas.

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7970. रक्तदान

रक्तदान महादान है

बात सन 1973 की है तब मैं हरियाणा के जींद मे रहती थी. हमारे घर के पीछे रेस्ट हाऊस  था वही हम सभी कालोनी के बच्चे खेलने जाया करते थे. उस पार्क में एक छोटा सा तालाब था जो हमेशा पानी से भरा रहता था. एक शाम खेलते हुए मुझे आवाज आई कि बचाओ वो पानी मे गिर गई  है . सभी भागे उसके पास और देखने लगे पता नही मुझे क्या  सूझी कि मैने वहां लेट कर हाथ लंबा किया और उसे खीचं लिया. बहुत पतली दुबली सी लडकी को मैने बाहर निकाल लिया और  फिर उसे उल्टा करके मुंह से पानी भी निकाला. ये समझ मुझे कैसे आई कैसे नही इसका तो याद नही पर जब हम उसे घर छोडने जा रहे थे सारे बच्चे मेरे नाम की जय जय कर रहे थे और कह रहे थे कि मोनिका ने चोची तिवारी को डूबने से बचा लिया .

आज इस बात को ना जाने कितने साल हो गए पर वो धटना मेरे मन मे  जस की तस तब तक रही जब तक में कुछ ऐसे लोगो के सम्पर्क मे नही आई जो रक्तदान के लिए प्रेरित करते हैं. असल में, बचपन मे मैने एक लडकी की जान बचाई थी लेकिन जब से रक्तदान से जुडी. भले ही रक्तदान न कर पाई हूं पर लोगो को प्रेरित किया और रक्तदाताओ का नेट वर्क तैयार किया कि जिसे भी रक्त की जरुरत हो वो सम्पर्क करे और इस तरह से  अनगिनत लोगो की जान बच रही है  तो अब वो बचपन वाली बात अक्सर भूल जाती हूं

बात रक्तदान की हो तो महिलाए का  जिक्र तो आता ही आता है. एनीमिया की कमी से , महिलाए रक्त दान नही कर पाती. महिलाए मासिक धर्म के दौरान या स्तन पान करवाने की वजह से भी रक्तदान नही कर पाती इसलिए सबसे ज्यादा जरुरी यह है कि महिलाए अपना खान पान सुधार ले. अपनी डाईट सही कर ले तो कम से कम उसे तो रक्त चढवाने की जरुरत न पडे  और इसे के साथ साथ जो महिलाए टोका टाकी करती हैं यानि जो महिलाए अपने बच्चों या पति को रक्तदान के लिए मना करती हैं वो जागरुक हो और रक्तदान की महत्ता समझे जिसे वो लोग बिना डर के रक्तदान कर सके और जीवन बचा सके.

एनीमिया- कुछ रोचक जानकारियां-

एनीमिया- कुछ रोचक जानकारियां-  डाॅ0 एक0के0 त्रिपाठी की  किताब है. डाॅ0 ए0के0 त्रिपाठी जानकारी देते हैं कि एनीमिया एक रोग का नाम नहीं, वरन् अनेक रोगों या विकारों का लक्षण है। ऐसे में उपचार के लिये इसके कारणों को जानना आवश्यक है। खासतौर पर ससामाजिक सरोकार के तहत विशेषज्ञ लेकखक ने इन्हीं कारणों की जानकारी लोगों तक पहुंचाने का प्रयास इस पुस्तक के माध्यम से किया है। सामान्य पाठक भी इसे रुचि के साथ पढ़ सकता है। जबकि बीमारी की बातें गम्भीर विषय वस्तु के अन्तर्गत मानी जाती है।
एनीमिया हमारे देश की बड़ी समस्या है। दो से तीन चैथाई लोग एनीमिया से पीड़ित हैं। इसमें हर वर्ग तथा उम्र के लोग शामिल हैं। लेकिन साधारण जानकारियों से इससे बचा जा सकता है। एनीमिया अर्थात् रक्त अल्पता किसी बीमारी का नाम नहीं वरन् लक्षण मात्र है। जिसमें हीमोग्लोबिन की मात्रा में कमी होने की वजह से शरीर में तरह-तरह की परेशानियां उत्पन्न होती हैं। स्वस्थ पुरुषों में सामान्यतः 13-16 ग्राम प्रतिशत तथा स्त्रियों में 12-14 ग्राम प्रतिशत हीमोग्लोबिन होता है। यदि हीमोग्लोबिन इससे कम हो जाए तो उसे एनीमिया कहते हैं, इससे कमजोरी आ जाती है। भूख कम हो जाती है, खाना अच्छा नहीं लगता, याददाश्त व एकाग्रता में कम आ जाती है। हीमोग्लाकबीन जितना कम होगा, शारीरिक परेशानी उतनी अधिक होगी जांच के द्वारा इसका पता लगाया जा सकता है। लाल रक्त कोशिकाओं में बढ़ोत्तरी आयरन, विटामिन बी12, फोलिक एसिड, पायरीडाक्सिन बी-6, प्रोटीन आदि से हो सकती है।
पुस्तक में बताया गया है कि एनीमिया का प्रमुख कारण आयरन अर्थात् लौह तत्व की कमी है। लेखक ने इसे रोचक कहानी के माध्यम से समझाया है। लौहतत्व शरीर के लिये बहुत आवश्यक है, यह हीमोग्लोबीन के अलावा कई प्रकार के एनजाइम्स के लिये भी जरूरी है। भोजन में आयरन की पर्याप्त मात्रा होनी चाहिए। जैसे गुड़ में चीनी की अपेक्षा आयरन बहुत अधिक होता है। खजूर, धनिया-बीज, मेथी-बीज आयरन के अच्छे स्रोत है।
आयरन द्वारा एनीमिया का समुचित उपचार किया जा सकता है। इसकी कमी आयरन की गोली से भी हो सकती है। इसकी पूरी खुराक लेनी चाहिए। पूरा कोर्स करना चाहिएं खाली पेट दवा नहीं लेनी चाहिए। आयरन की गोली खाने के एक घंटे बाद लेना चाहिए। विटामिन सी युक्त पदार्थ के साथ आयरन नहीं होना चाहिए। एक अलग अध्याय में बताया गया कि विटामिन बी-12 की कमी से एनीमिया वस्तुतः आधुनिक जीवन शैली की देन है। इसे भी कहानी के माध्यम से बताया गया। पान मसाला, तम्बाकू, शराब आदि नुकसानदेह होते हैं। इससे आमाशय एवं आंतों की अन्दरूनी सतह खराब हो जाती है, जिससे व्यक्ति बी-12 की कमी का शिकार हो जाता है। दवाओं के कुप्रभाव से भी एनीमियां होता है। दवाओं के कुप्रभाव से भी एनीमिया होता हैं अनेक दवाएं ऐसी होती है, जिनका प्रयोग करने से दुष्परिणाम रूप में एनीमिया होता है। दर्द निवारक दवा भी विशेष की सलाह के बाद लेनी चाहिए। एप्लास्टिक एनीमिया का प्रकोप भी बढ़ा है। वातावरण एवं भोज्य पदार्थों में बढ़ रहे रासायनिक प्रदूषण या दवाओं के कुप्रभाव से ऐसा हो रहा है। वृद्धावस्था या दवाओं के कुप्रभाव से ऐसा हो रहा है। वृद्धावस्था में एनीमिया से बचाव हेतु विशेष सावधानी बरतनी होती है। इसी प्रकार गर्भावस्था  के दौरान भी विशेष ध्यान देना चाहिए। पर्याप्त व पूर्ण पोषण आवश्यक होता है। संक्रमण, गंदगी, हुक वर्म से भी बचाव करना चाहिए। यह बीमारी अनुवांशिक भी हो सकती है


Article- Blood Donation – Monica Gupta

See more…


Blood donation facts and advantages –

रक्त दान से जुड़े तथ्य एवं इसके लाभ स्वास्थ्य की देखभाल  रक्त दान से जुड़े तथ्य एक वयस्क पुरुष/स्त्री में 5-6 लीटर तक रक्त होता है| कोई भी व्यक्ति हर तीन माह में रक्त दान कर सकता है| रक्त में प्लाज्मा नामक प्रवाही होता है| 450 मि.ली. See more…

अंत में  मैं यही कहना चाहूगी …  रक्तदान करके देखिए अच्छा लगता है

जय रक्तदाता …

The post रक्तदान appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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7971. Three Questions With Russ Cox: Advice For Young Writers and Illustrators, Tigers and debut author/illustrator picture book FARAWAY FRIENDS


I first met Russ Cox through our mutual friend Hazel Mitchell, when we were both members of Pixel Shavings. I've been grateful to Russ for his encouragement and support, especially his tips re: Photoshop and Painter. He's one of the nicest people you could hope to meet. Plus check out the WONDERFUL and uncannily accurate drawing he sent me after I admired it online (and said it looked like me in younger days):

Russ lives in Maine with his wife and 4 furry art directors. When not creating children’s books, he enjoys playing the banjo, moose juggling, and debating Einstein’s theory that the speed of light is constant (only one of those is true). You can find Russ at his website, TwitterFacebook, Flickr, Google+ and Tumblr.


Faraway Friends is about Sheldon, a would be astronaut, and his sidekick Jet, who are looking for a lost friend through a space adventure only to find a weird alien creature and its furry friend.

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

I have lots of knicknacks in my studio that I like to look at but this little tiger might be the best thing I have in it. It was made for me by the super talented Jennifer Carson as a surprise gift. She made it from a doodle I posted:

I was stunned when she handed it to me at a NESCBWI conference a few years ago. I smile every time I see it. I think I will call him Otis.

2. What advice do you have for young writers and illustrators?

Being an illustrator for a very long time, I am rather new to the writing end of the book world. The few things I have learned are:

Don’t be afraid to put words to paper. Okay, this is one that I am still working on but I’m getting more comfortable with each attempt I make. I come from an illustration background so writing is outside my comfort zone. It was you, Debbie, who started me on this path after telling me to write a story from a doodle I shared. That nudge and doodle turned into Faraway Friends.

Share your stories with a few people or join a critique group. The fresh eyes and ears can help you find problem areas in your writing, and act as a great support network when the self doubt and fear start creeping in.

Embrace rejection. It is okay to hear “no thank you”. It helps light that creative fire and you learn from it. Faraway Friends received a bunch of rejections before finding a home. Not everyone is going to love your story.

Turn off the modern world and go outside. There are stories outside your house and studio waiting to be heard and told.

3. What are you excited about right now?

I am really excited about doing some promotional events for Faraway Friends. I am in the midst of scheduling signings, festivals, and school visits for the summer and fall.

The projects on my drawing table at the moment are a book series for Penguin Random House called Puppy Pirates (written by Erin Soderbergh Downing) that I am illustrating . This has been a ton of fun to do. The first two books will be released this summer and the other two in the fall. I am also writing some new picture book stories and have begun putting together a graphic novel. That reminds me, time to turn off the computer and head outside.

For more interviews, see my Inkygirl Interview Archive.

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7972. Sadie Reviews & Interviews

A few new shiny things to share. I did an interview with the wonder that is Mr. Schu for Watch. Connect. Read.   

And Julie Morstad and I rode our tandem bike over to Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast to talk to the fantastic Julie Danielson. 

Julie shared some early sketches from This is Sadie

I'm having a hard time keeping up with all the kind words from bloggers and over on Instagram so if I miss anything, do please let me know. Here are a few responses from the past week.
Author Sara O’Leary takes a remarkably common premise –kids have wild imaginations, and can do wondrous things with nothing more than an empty box– and weaves something incredible. Her text harkens back to a day of unforced simplicity in children’s literature, when easy ideas were delivered with just a pinch of poetry to make them go down even easier. Kinderlit Canada
I don’t know if it was seeing Sadie in a box, on a boat, hammering, wearing a fox mask, sleeping in a blanket fort or looking for her wings that felt most like a connection to my younger self. I do know that reading the lines – “A perfect day is spent with friends. Some of them live on her street, and some of them live in the pages of a book” – made me want to give a copy to every family I know. The Book Jam
‘This is Sadie’ by the formidable picture book pairing of Sara O’Leary and Julie Morstad is a celebration of creatively quirky characters and positive affirmation of a wild and wonderful imagination. Pictures Book Blogger
In "This Is Sadie" the little girl with a big imagination sees the ordinary as extraordinary. The Waterloo Record
In this story Sara O'Leary has given readers a character to cherish.  Through Sara's words we see a girl who looks at her world, making it larger with her making, doing and being. Librarian's Quest
Sadie's imagination is so huge she can go anywhere, be anything, without leaving her room. With soft, whimsical illustrations and spare, lyrical text, This Is Sadie takes us on a sweet adventure and reminds us of how far and wide our own imaginations can go.Staff recommendation, Powell's 
Strap on your imaginations and take a trip with Sadie (I think you are going to fall in love with her). This gentle ode to creativity will make a nice addition to storytime. Don’t miss this little Canadian gem, beautifully illustrated by Julie Morstad. Valley Storytime
Earlier reviews and interviews can be found here.

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7973. Spotlight and Giveaway: A Kiss for Lady Mary by Ella Quinn

This morning I have a spotlight and giveaway for A Kiss for Lady Mary by Ella Quinn

A Kiss for Lady Mary
The Marriage Game # 6

By: Ella Quinn

Releasing May 26th, 2015

Kensington Books

Ella Quinn’s bachelors do as they like and take what they want. But when the objects of their desire are bold, beautiful women, the rules of the game always seem to change…

Handsome, charming, and heir to a powerful Viscount, Christopher “Kit” Featherton is everything a woman could want—except interested in marriage. So when he hears that someone on his estate near the Scottish border is claiming to be his wife, Kit sets off to investigate.

Since her parents’ death, Lady Mary Tolliver has been hounded by her cousin, a fortune-hunting fool after her inheritance. Refusing to settle for anything less than love, Mary escapes to the isolated estate of rakish bachelor, Kit Featherton. Knowing he prefers Court to the country, she believes she will be safe. But when Kit unexpectedly returns, her pretend marriage begins to feel seductively real…

Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2015/03/a-kiss-for-lady-mary-marriage-game-6-by.html

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24980059-a-kiss-for-lady-mary?from_search=true
Goodreads Series Link: https://www.goodreads.com/series/106521-the-marriage-game

Buy Links: Amazon | B & N | iTunes | Kobo | Publisher

Author Info
Ella Quinn lived all over the United States, the Pacific, Canada, England and Europe before finally discovering the Caribbean. She lives in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands with her wonderful husband, three bossy cats and a loveable Great Dane.



Lady Mary Tolliver heaved a sigh of relief. She’d been at her brother, the Earl of Barham’s, dower house with her grandmother, the Dowager Duchess of Bridgewater, and her widowed aunt, Lady Eunice Phipson, for two weeks now. Thankfully there was still no sign of her cousin, Gawain Tolliver. Perhaps he’d finally given up attempting to compromise her. She’d been taking her regular walks after breakfast for the past week. But this morning she had remembered advice given to her by a friend to vary her schedule as long as Gawain was after her and had decided to go earlier.

She was about a half mile from the house when a familiar male voice asked, “How much longer?”

Mary stopped and scanned the woods. Suddenly, the dark green she’d taken for leaves ruffling in the slight breeze moved revealing a jacket.

Blast it all! It was Gawain, and she’d almost stepped into his trap. She’d known her luck wouldn’t hold. She slipped behind a tree, and listened.

“About another half hour,” a man with a rougher voice answered.

“Have the coach ready,” Gawain ordered. “I want to get away as soon as we grab her.”

She backed up carefully, keeping the dense foliage between herself and her cousin, until she could no longer see Gawain clearly.

“Did you hear something?”

Mary stifled a groan. How far was it to the house, and could she outmaneuver them? She glanced around. It was eight, maybe nine, feet to the old oak tree where, as a child, she’d won many a game of hide and seek. Gathering her skirts, she dashed to it and hid in the hollow part of the trunk. Gawain would have to know exactly where to look to see her. Still, she could not remain in the tree all day. She would have to hope they gave up waiting for her and left, planning to return another day.

“Nah, sir, just a deer or something.”

Several minutes later, Mary shifted and dirt fell around her. This space had been far more commodious when she’d been younger. Something landed on her arm and began to crawl. Stifling a scream, she swatted at it, dislodging more debris. Her heart thudded, making it hard for her to breathe. It was certain her cousin wouldn’t leave until at least the time when she normally passed by. She would just have to run. As they began to converse again, she picked up her skirts and dashed out of the home wood. Once she reached the outer part of the curtilage she raced through the rose garden, staying off the flagstone and gravel paths to the nearest door and darted in.

“My lady,” Cook exclaimed. “You look like the devil hisself is after you.” The old woman narrowed her eyes. “What have you got into? Shake out your skirts before you come in any farther. Is that a dead spider on your arm?”

Mary leaned back against the door, sucking in great gulps of air as she caught her breath. “That might be an apt description.” She briefly considered asking Cook not to tell Grandmamma, but that would only insure her grandmother heard about it sooner. “I’ll be down for breakfast as soon as I wash my hands.”

Rafflecopter Giveaway (Three iBOOK copies of A KISS FOR LADY MARY)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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So, when Sir Terry Pratchett died in March, and we descended into the fifty year mourning period, there was the tiniest, infinitesimal twinkle of light in a dark place. All was not lost. There were other authors. One of them was even well versed in... Read the rest of this post

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7975. Friday Linky List - May 29, 2015

From School Library Journal's Fuse #8 - Betsy Bird shares: What Are the Great Children's Literature Writing Retreats?

From The Picture Book Den: The Fifties - Didn't we have them once already? by Jonathan Allen

From ThriveWire: First, Call Yourself An Artist: Career Advice From Artist Lisa Congdon

At Bookshelf: Follow the link to listen to Julian Barnes talk about the new book IMPROBABLE LIBRARIES

I want one of these - a book bed:

Click here to see more strange beds, although this was the only book-related one.

From The New York Times: Works in Progress: A very small sampling of the female artists now in their 80s and 90s we should have known about decades ago.

From tesconnect: 'Adults read books. Children devour them'

At the V&A (Victoria and Albert Museum, UK): Beatrix Potter: The Tale of Peter Rabbit

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