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16176. Call for Submissions: 3Elements Review

We are now accepting submissions for our second issue! Call for submissions! 3Elements Review is currently accepting fiction, poetry, art, and photography submissions for issue two! They are due on December 1 and the issue will be released on January 1
 
View submissions guidelines here.

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16177. Back from the Blog Dead.

posted by Neil Gaiman
My whole tour is done, and I am tired and happy.

I just saw a beautiful, moving play called THE EVENTS at the Young Vic, starring Neve McIntosh and Rudi Dharmalingam (and a choir). It was about empathy and violence, and I highly recommend it.

Tomorrow, I will tell you about the last week in the UK, about FORTUNATELY THE MILK, about the astonishing show last night at Westminster Central Hall, about Breakfast TV and the Reading Agency Speech.

I will give you some tidbits first, though. Here's my BBC Breakfast Time appearance
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01jq6kd

The Saturday Live Radio 4 programme with me (and Tori, and a yeti) http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03ccvtp

Here's the Guardian's edited text of my speech: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/oct/15/neil-gaiman-future-libraries-reading-daydreaming

And here's the School Library Journal on the Alamagordo N.M. attempted banning of NEVERWHERE: http://www.slj.com/2013/10/censorship/neil-gaimans-neverwhere-banned-at-new-mexico-high-school/

But now... I hand this blog over to the lovely Amanda Palmer. Who is very beautiful and wise, but uses capital letters only when she has to:


neil and i did a kickstarter about two years go, to sell pre-orders/pay for a tour recording of our “evening with neil gaiman and amanda palmer” tour up the west coast in fall 2011.
the kickstarter raised over $100k with about 3k backers, and we took two engineers on the road with us (many of you know jaron luksa, my veteran sound guys…he was one of them, and he brought his pal ken). they recorded every show in HIGH FIDELITY and then neil and i spent the rest of the fall and winter picking out our favorite tracks from what was probably about twenty+ hours of recordings. (that was slightly agonizing). that tour was pretty magical, and lots of unexpected things happened…including a fan of ours dying at occupy vancouver a few days before we got to town. one of the songs is dedicated to her. neil combatted his stage fright. i tried to work on my stage-control issues. we both learned to give each other space. we took questions every night from the audience and surprised ourselves, and each other, with some of the answers (so now there’s a “best of ‘ask neil and amanda’” on the record). mostly, we watched our fanbases merge, like a giant family wedding, and were relieved that no brawls broke out.
we asked our friend cynthia von buhler to make the art (it’s a hand-made cut-out, and gorgeous) and we packaged the whole she-bang onto 3 CDs.
around christmas 2011 – to tide them over, since the kickstarter backers were waiting for their discs (it took a WHILE) – we sent everybody a digital collection of material that didn’t make the final cut. it was called “a prelude to an evening with…”
here’s the variant cover (still cynthia’s art, adapted by @indeciSEAN):

and then eventually everybody got their discs in the mail and everybody was pretty happy, so yay.
this was the original artwork on that first kickstarter-edition:

then we didn’t do anything…..we didn’t release it online to the public or put it on sale in stores….no iTunes, no bandcamp, no topspin, no nothin. we wanted the kickstarter backers to enjoy it and i was already in the full throes of preparing “Theatre is Evil”. so we waited.
NOW – or, well, next month – is the moment we’ve picked (ta da) to release it to the general public…ALMOST the same tracklisting, but all-new packaging (so that the kickstarter edition stays super-special).
we also made VINYL. the whole album would have taken up (gulp) 6 sides, so we pared our favorites down even further and condensed everything onto two records.
this is the NEW packaging:

we also thought long and hard about what kind of merch to offer along with the album – since we know you love good merch, and christmas is coming.
we picked things we’d give each other and our friends and families: moleskine jounrals (blank, of course, cuz fuck lines), teapots & tea towels, mugs, and fuzzy velvet posters. we tried to bundle things in such a way that made the ordering pretty simple. the pre-sale of these bundles will end around november 1st. some of these items will make it to the webstore, but some may not – it all depends on order quantities. here’s the “super deluxe” bundle with all this awesomeness:
SO, your best bet is to order NOW before halloween night…all orders placed during this period will definitely arrive in time for the holidays.
(while we’re on the topic: all orders made from the webstore by december 1st SHOULD also be good for holiday delivery, but we can’t control international customs so…)
i deliberately chose songs for this tour that i HADN’T ever released but was aching to…songs like “dear old house”, “gaga, palmer, madonna”, “i want you but i don’t need you”, and “look mummy no hands” have been huge live favorites but didn’t quite fit on “Theatre is Evil” so they were burning a hole in my pocket. i consider these the official versions.
there’ll be plenty more noise on the socials to remind you, and i DO hope you all pre-order, but if you’re holding out for any reason…
on november 19th, the album should be available in stores (more on where as we get details) and online in the usual spots (bandcamp,amazoniTunes, etc.)
we’ll have the ENTIRE digital collection (the three disc’s-worth and the “prelude” EP – over 5 HOURS of material) up on my webstore for $10+
if you *ARE* one of the 3k kickstarter backers, WE THANK YOU SO MUCH for making this project possible. we wouldn’t have done it without you.
and if you want to help the cause and push the album forward, write some thoughts/reviews about it all (you’ve had it for a while, you’re entitled) down in the comments (or anywhere on the web) to help us, please. and include the pre-order link – bit.ly/EveningWithPreOrder – anywhere you are talking up the record.
here’s the final track listing:
Disc 1: NEIL SOLO1 – My Last Landlady
2 – The Rhyme Maidens
3 – The Day The Saucers Came
4 – Feminine Endings
5 – The Winter Gardens
6 – In Relig Odhráin
7 – The View From The Cheap Seats
8 – I Will Write In Words Of Fire
9 – The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury
10 – Making A Chair
11 – 100 Words
Disc 2: AMANDA AND NEIL1 – Margaret Cho Introduces the Show
2 – Makin’ Whoopee
3 – (Introduction to “The Problem With Saints”)
4 – The Problem With Saints
5 – Jump (for Jeremy Geidt)
6 – Ask Neil And Amanda
7 – (Introduction to “Broken Heart Stew”)
8 – Broken Heart Stew (by Amanda)
9 – Poem for Amanda (by Neil)
10 – Poem for Neil (by Amanda)
11 – Electric Blanket (a duet, feat. Amanda Palmer & Jason Webley)
12 – Psycho
13 – (Introduction to I Google You)
14 – I Google You
Disc 3: AMANDA SOLO1 – I Want You, But I Don’t Need You
2 – (Introduction to “Dear Old House”)
3 – Dear Old House
4 – (Introduction to “Gaga, Palmer, Madonna: A Polemic”)
5 – Gaga, Palmer, Madonna: A Polemic
6 – (Introduction to “Judy Blume”)
7 – Judy Blume
8 – I Don’t Care Much (with Lance Horne)
9 – Map Of Tasmania
10 – (Introduction to “Do You Swear To Tell The Truth, The Whole Truth & Nothing But The Truth So Help Your Black Ass”)
11 – Do You Swear To Tell The Truth, The Whole Truth & Nothing But The Truth So Help Your Black Ass
12 – (Introduction to “I Will Follow You Into The Dark”)
13 – I Will Follow You Into The Dark (for Ashlie Gough)
14 – Look Mummy, No Hands
15 – Ukulele Anthem
Bonus: A PRELUDE TO AN EVENING WITH… (which is available with the digital)
1 – Intro
2 – Ampersand
3 – Runs in the Family
4 – Shoggoth’s Old Peculiar
5 – Blake Says
6 – Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Secret House of the Night of Dread Desire
7 – Do You Swear To Tell The Truth, The Whole Truth & Nothing But The Truth So Help Your Black Ass
8 – Zombies and Shy People
9 – Drinking With John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester
10 – Making Mixtapes
11 – Everyone Should Have a Hobby That Could Kill Them
12 – It Was All Going So Well
13 – On-Stage Dating Service
YOU CAN ORDER HERE.
AGAIN, ORDER BY NOVEMBER 1st FOR THE XMAS DEADLINE!!!!!!!!!
if you have any questions not covered here, eric’s being a dear and helping out HERE on the forum.
also, do us a solid: ONCE YOU ORDER, share the joy & link, spread the word! please? make friends jealous of velvet posters!
BONUS for OZ/NZ: @POSstore has 1 of 10 LIMITED EDT 7″ vinyl that you have a chance at winning…more info at bit.ly/AFP7inchOH!! and ONE MORE LAST THING!!
NEW YORK (and surrounding areas): to celebrate the release of the record, we’ve added a (second) EVENING WITH NEIL & ME show on FRIDAY NOVEMBER 22nd at town hall (since the first night sold out super-quick). there ARE still tickets available, but they’re moving fast. you can grab yours HERE. it’s gonna be a fun couple o’ nights.
.....

And just adding that the ordering window on the teapots is just about to close, so if you want a teapot, order now at http://bit.ly/AnEveningWithPresale.





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16178. SCBWI Agents' Party 2013 - or 'how to make someone fancy your book'

by Addy Farmer Hear what the lovely writers' agents said at the SCBWI Agents' Party 2013. It's all about the love ... Vicki Le Feuvre of Darley Anderson Hannah Shepherd of DHH literary agency Emma Herdman of Curtis Brown Sallyanne Sweeney of Mulcahy Associates So, once the crammed masses had settled down, we listened and learned... Here's what all those agents want. It's easy. '

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16179. Call for Submissions: Tapestry

The editors of Tapestry, the annual literary magazine of Delta State University, welcome poetry submissions that focus on the Mississippi Delta or small-town southern life. For the Fall, 2014 issue, submissions should be sent as Word attachment between October 15th and December 15th to:

tapestryATdeltastateDOTedu (Change AT to @ and DOT to .)

(Please include in the body of the e-mail complete contact information, including mailing address. Payment will be one copy of the issue in which the accepted work appears.)

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16180. Can We Save The Tiger? (Part 2)

tiger

Can We Save the Tiger?

By Martin Jenkins

Illustrated by Vicky White

Candlewick Press, 2011

Category: Picture book nonfiction

Today I’m sharing some thoughts on the structure used by author Martin Jenkins in his picture book, CAN WE SAVE THE TIGER? (For a more detailed introduction to this plan, read yesterday’s post.)

The story Jenkins shares in CAN WE SAVE THE TIGER is a broad one: we humans are changing the planet and the animals that live here are paying the price. The menagerie of species considered endangered by human activities is overwhelming, so Jenkins separates them into five loose groups. Using a single high-impact example from each group, he then shares the extinction story in small doses, one endangered animal at a time. The resulting structure—a collage of sorts—brings readers to an unforgettable conclusion: losing species is unbearable and we must act.

Let’s look at this collage structure more closely, shall we? Here’s how I see it …

Snapshot 1: Animals that are running out of room. In other words, big animals, like the titular tiger. Jenkins’ voice throughout the book is lovely, and here, early on, we see how his choice to speak directly to the reader is effective:

“… if you were a poor farmer trying to make a living with a couple of cows and a few goats, you might not be too happy if you found there was a hungry tiger living nearby. And if you knew that someone might pay you more for a tiger skin and some bones than you could earn in three whole months of working in the fields, then you might find it very tempting to set a trap or two, even if you knew it was against the law.”

Of course the reader wants to save tigers. But the reader can also understand a poor farmer’s motives. With this carefully chosen first snapshot, the reader is hooked.

Snapshot 2: Animals that are endangered as a result of human-introduced predators. Here Jenkins shows us a tiny snail, a satisfying juxtaposition to the tiger and, I think, a subtle nod to the idea that endangered species run the gamut from BIG to SMALL (and, of course, everything in between; see the UGLY addition below). In his image of the partula snail, we see how the movement of species by humans can have unforeseen and unintended consequences for other species.

Snapshot 3: Animals that are impacted not by movement but by other human actions. Here we add to the idea of running the gamut: even UGLY animals, like vultures, are vulnerable. By now the reader is wondering if there are animals that aren’t endangered.

Snapshot 4: Animals that were nearly extinct but came back. The reader is ready for this bit of good news. Bison were forced to the edge of the extinction abyss by human actions, but we managed to pull them back from that edge in time. This snapshot is a much needed and well-timed picture of hope.

Snapshot 5: Animals that were nearly extinct, that we are trying to help, but which are still in trouble. Here Jenkins makes it clear there is still much to worry about. If we are lucky, as with the bison, we can reverse the damage of our bad habits. But sometimes we will act too late. It’s still not clear if we will be able to save the kakapo.

Each of these snapshots is actually a distinct story, a small narrative starring the animal in question and its plight. Arranged side-by-side, however, and with Vicky White’s art, the snapshots give readers a deeper and broader view of animal extinction on planet Earth. They build a perfect collage.

The effectiveness of the collage structure, of course, is tied to the logic of its presentation. The order in which the individual images are presented to the reader must make sense, even if the reader only experiences that logic subconsciously. Jenkins shows us something big, moves on to something small, then adds something ugly, something hopeful, and something sobering. Another order of these images could, perhaps, build an effective collage. The point, however, is that there are certain orders that would not work at all … and Jenkins knew enough not to use them.

For example, starting with the kakapo, a squat and relatively unknown critter, is technically possible … but such an opening would have been much less compelling than the tiger opening. And Jenkins would have lost the lovely juxtaposition that so nicely relayed the breadth of the extinction problem. (That is, the big-small-and-everything-in-between gamut I mentioned earlier.) Starting with the tiger, an animal all readers will recognize and most will admire, gave the author a much stronger opening …  and plenty of room to transition into a second image.

Here’s something else that struck me about the collage structure: the importance of the order in which the snapshots were presented is very important, but it is not something I recognized on first reading the book. In fact, I didn’t give it a thought! On some subconscious level, the order worked for me, so, I sank into the book and enjoyed the read. The writer is the only one who needs to think the snapshot order logic through. If he does his job well, the structure will be invisible. Readers will read. Choose the wrong order, however, and readers are likely to stumble. I think Jenkins nailed it.

That’s a lot to digest in one post, so I’m going to stop here. Tomorrow I’ll share my final thoughts on this book and the collage structure. In the meanwhile, feel free to share your own thoughts in the comments; I’d love to hear them.


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16181. Call for Submissions from Undergraduate Students: Sun & Sandstone

Sun & Sandstone is open for submissions for the Spring 2014 issue. We are looking for undergraduate works of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and one act plays.

For submissions and guidelines, go to our website.

Deadline: April 15th, 2014

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16182. The Many Paths to Publication Part 6: An Interview with Tim McCanna

I first met Tim McCanna at an SCBWI conference in 2011. Back then he was an aspiring children's book author and a heck of a nice guy. Now he's still a heck of a nice guy but he's graduated from aspiring to published children's book author. How'd he do it? I was about to say "not in the usual way" but if you've been following these posts, you've probably gathered that there isn't a usual way. What I like about Tim's story is that he took pointers, tips and tidbits he gathered at conferences and combined them with some publicly-available tools and a few personal connections to forge a unique path to publication. It doesn't hurt that he, like Tim Myers from our last Paths to Publication Interview, is a multi-talented guy who writes songs, does voice-overs, and writes stories. Read on to learn about his just-released new book, Teeny Tiny Trucks, and how it developed from an idea to an app and a book.

Dashka: Tell me about Teeny Tiny Trucks! What was the inspiration?
Tim: Well, in late 2010 I attended an event hosted by SCBWI's San Francisco/South chapter. One of the speakers was Christy Ottaviano and she talked about how much her kids loved trucks and how she had unexpectedly ended up publishing a handful of "truck books." I had never really thought about it before, but there are a LOT of truck books out there. It's a whole category of its own. On the way home, I started brainstorming truck book ideas. Of course, most truck books celebrate how big and tough and loud they are. I knew right away I wanted to take it in a different direction and explore a world where trucks were super small. I also tapped into my childhood love of little truck toys, like Micro Machines and Tiny Mighty Mos.

Dashka: It sounds like you did some market research before you even started writing. Were there other things you learned from SCBWI or other sources that helped you hone your strategy?
Tim: As it turned out, the next regional SCBWI event I attended was the 2011 Golden Gate Conference at Asilomar near Monterey. One of the speakers was Rick Richter of Ruckus Media Group. Rick gave a great talk on apps and digital media and where the industry was headed. He assured us that apps and ebooks and printed books could all live together in harmony. But he also really encouraged us to jump on the app bandwagon. I had no idea how to do that, but I was excited to try. While considering ideas, I thought, "Hey, that Teeny Tiny Trucks picture book manuscript I wrote would make a cool app."

TTTrucks Cover

Dashka: How did you go about making an app proposal? How did you even know where to begin?
Tim: It's intimidating, right? For the first couple submissions, I just winged it. Cover letter, the manuscript, and very rough storyboard sketches with little notes on potential interactive elements. Uh, nothing came of those. Then last year, Julie Hedlund, who's a writer and creator of the 12x12 challenge, published an App Proposal Template based on the submission that landed her first story app contract. I would recommend it to anyone wanting to break into story apps. The template helped me create a much more robust and organized proposal with marketing strategies, a detailed app brief, and curriculum tie-ins.

Dashka: As an old-school, words-on-paper person, I sometimes find it hard to embrace the digital side of publishing. Were you pro-technology before you started? Anti-technology? Neutral?
Tim: Ah, well. I love a nice solid printed picture book as much as the next person. My wife and I read tons of traditional picture books with our kids and we have pretty strict "screen time" rules. But I've never shied from technology. If anything, my iPad has made me a reader again. I love the ease of downloading samples from the iBooks store to find new purchases, and being able to quickly look up big words I don't know! I read novels almost exclusively on my iPad. As far as the publishing industry goes, I can only hope that the future will bring lots of quality story apps for people to enjoy and lots of beautiful hardbound books, too.

Dashka: OK, so you've told us how you got the idea for Teeny Tiny Trucks. How did the book get its big break?
Tim: Gosh, everything is intertwined. So, I had my Trucks story and my first shabby proposal sitting in my Dropbox going nowhere. As I was participating in the 2011 Picture Book Idea Month, I heard about Julie Hedlund who was launching her 12x12 writing challenge, which I joined. I wrote this silly song for the mid-year celebration of 12x12 and had also written the opening show theme for Katie Davis' kidlit podcast, Brain Burps About Books. Meanwhile, Julie's publisher at Little Bahalia was considering adding a sing-a-long song version for the app they were developing for her book A Troop is a Group of Monkeys. My name came up and I ended up writing the song and narrating the app! Totally fun. Building that working relationship with Stacey at Little Bahalia gave me the confidence to revive my Trucks app proposal using Julie's template. I submitted it and had a contract in two weeks.

Dashka: Talk to me a bit about how personal relationships helped you along the way. You and I met at a conference for the first time and you've clearly met lots of other, more helpful, people too. Do you think writers need to get out more?
Tim: Oh yeah. Every bit of momentum I've gained since starting out four and a half years ago can be directly attributed to the people I've met by attending SCBWI events and participating in online writing challenges. My number one bit of advice to anyone--especially newcomers to the industry--wanting to make kidlit friends and expand their network is to volunteer at their local SCBWI chapter.

Dashka: Another thing that strikes me about you is that you bring some extra talents to the table. How has being a songwriter helped you as a writer? And now it seems you can add voice actor to your resume.
Tim: Oddly enough, it took me a long time to figure out how to integrate my music and performance backgrounds into children's book publishing. I've recently done some book trailers, and I write goofy little jingles for my kidlit video series. And yes, I've gotten to narrate a handful of story apps, too. All these things I've done in my little home studio with a laptop, a keyboard and a microphone. When I decided to take Trucks in the app direction, I set my stanzas to a tune and added a catchy chorus. And considering the subject matter, I took another cue from my childhood and gave it a 1970's trucker song kind of vibe (i.e. Willy Nelson's "On the Road Again"). I included an mp3 of the Teeny Tiny Trucks song along with my app proposal and I'm told it pushed my submission over the top.

TTT Spread Weight

Dashka: TTT was originally going to be an app only, but now it's been released as a book too. How did that come about?
Tim: I'm so excited about that. The original plan was: app first, then maybe a book. I'm not a publisher, and I don't know all the numbers, but I think between having such a great looking product thanks to Keith Frawley's illustrations, plus the timing of publishing before the holidays, it just kinda made sense for Little Bahalia, our publisher. And we're making history in the process! A title releasing simultaneously in print and interactive app form. Gives consumers some fun choices.

Dashka: Did you ever think your first book would come via an app?
Tim: Nope. Never. I just followed the opportunities and my instincts. In my case, I wrote the story first, not even thinking of it as an app. I would recommend that process! Teeny Tiny Trucks was just one of many manuscripts in my portfolio, but due to its style and subject, it naturally lent itself to an interactive format.

Dashka: What are the advantages of entering the publishing world via an app?
Tim: Traditional publishing can be a notoriously slow process. My app, on the other hand is coming out roughly eight months after I sold the manuscript. And, in theory, an app will never go out of print! Plus, the interactive elements, when done well, can be amazing. The sky's the limit, really. An app format offers all kinds of special features like puzzles, music, and animation.

Dashka: Are there disadvantages?
Tim: Well, if someone doesn't have access to an iPad or an iPhone, then they ain't gettin' the app. That's a bummer. New apps are also at the mercy of "discoverability." Meaning, unless you're Angry Birds, you have to claw your way through the glut of apps flooding the market to reach the top charts. We're all competing against very sophisticated video game apps, many of which are free.

Dashka: What have you learned along the way that you wish you knew at the beginning?
Tim: There is no single path to publication, you have to be the driving force behind your success, and it will all play out quite differently than how you imagined.

Dashka: Yes! That's exactly what I've hoped to communicate with this series of blog posts. Do you have words of advice for somebody interested in following a similar path?
Tim: Anyone who is writing for children strives for strong characters, unique voice, interesting conflicts, and readability. Whether aiming for story apps or printed books, put your writing craft first. Have a great story be the foundation for whatever medium you want to work in. Bells and buttons come later.

Dashka: Last month I did some critique group matchmaking on my blog. Do you think it's important for writers to have critique partners?
Tim: Oh gosh, don't get me started on critique groups. To me, they are as essential as pen and paper. Seriously. I've had two groups and found both by meeting people at regional SCBWI conferences. My current group meets once a month. Writing is such a solitary art. Being in a critique group gives you a community to check in with, get support, and test material. If you can find folks that give quality feedback and not just "This is cute!" or "This isn't working for me." grab on to them and never let go. Being in a crit group can keep you motivated, but it also means you're ready and willing to hear the hard truth about your work and be open to cutting material and rewriting.

Dashka: What else do you have in the works? More apps? More books? More songs?
Tim: Yes, yes, and yes. I'd love an excuse to follow up Teeny Tiny Trucks with some other teeny tiny modes of transportation! We'll see... I switched gears this summer and started writing my first middle grade novel, which has been a fun new challenge.

Dashka: Thanks for coming by the blog, Tim! I hope you'll come back to tell us about it when it's done! In the meantime, Tim has graciously offered to send a signed copy of Teeny Tiny Trucks to one lucky commenter. He'll do the signing. I'll be responsible for picking a lucky winner. To enter the contest, make sure to leave a comment telling us why you need your own teeny tiny truck. I'll pick a winner on November 7. And for all you tiny truck fans, the book is available through Amazon or can be ordered through your local bookstore. The app will be out soon as well. 

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16183. Writing Competition: Great Plains Emerging Writer Prize


The Great Plains Emerging Writer Prize, from the Great Plains Writers’ Conference at South Dakota State University, is given annually to a writer of the Great Plains region who has not yet published a book, but whose work and career shows exceptional promise.
   
* The winner will receive a $1000 honorarium and a featured reading at the conference in Brookings, SD in March, 2014, as well as land travel and lodging. 
 
* Manuscripts will be judged anonymously by the GPWC committee.

* All genres open; include a maximum of 15 pages of poetry or hybrid-genre work, or a maximum of 20 pages of fiction, nonfiction, drama, or screenplay.

* Work submitted may be previously published, but must be stripped of all information identifying the author or the venue.

* Postmark deadline November 15, 2013.

* Entry fee $15, payable to SDSU / Great Plains Writers’ Conference. Mail to:
 
 
English Department 
South Dakota State University, Box 504 (SSB 014) 
Brookings, SD 57007

For queries, contact:

stevenDOTwingateATsdstateDOTedu (Change AT to @ and DOT to .)

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16184. Wednesday Writing Workout




Today's writing workout combines my Monday post with an exercise from Elaine Marie Alphin's Creating Characters Kids Will Love. That exercise is:

"Read the community news pages in your newspaper. Find an article about a kid who's done something special. Based on the information in the newspaper, plan how you would interview that particular youngster for an article for kids."

I hope you'll give this one a try. Magazines, especially, welcome articles highlighting kids who are making a positive difference in the world or their small corner of it.

Back in ye olden days (late 90s) when I was a green writer trying to build credits, I read an article in my local paper about a young man from a nearby city who had grown up in a home where the Mississippi River was literally in his backyard. He'd noticed lots of trash left behind by spring flooding, and, upon learning that nobody else was cleaning it up, he'd started spending his summer breaks doing so himself. When I interviewed him at age 23, he's just founded Living Lands & Waters, an organization dedicated to cleaning up not just the 2,300 miles of Mississippi River shoreline (4,600 miles, counting both banks!), but all American waterways.

I entered the article in a contest and did well, so I sent it on to Highlights for Children. They accepted the piece, publishing it in 2002. Since then, they've resold it 8 times, and that young man, Chad Pregracke (Google him. He's all over the internet.) has gone on to win dozens of awards, give countless interviews (mine was the first article written for kids), and spoken all over the world urging others to environmental activism. In fact, he has just been named one of the ten finalists for CNN's Heroes 2013 - Everyday People Changing the World award. You can read about that here (and vote for him!).

Back to writing....You never know when something you spot in your local paper could spark an idea that could pay off for you in ways both large and small (satisfaction and monetary compensation, in that order, ha). So keep your eyes peeled, and in the meantime, practice your interviewing and writing skills with Elaine's exercise.

Success = preparation + perseverance

Jill Esbaum






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16185.


Anyone attending the 2013 Nevada Library Association Conference--I'll be presenting "How to Get Lucky: One Author's Unconventional Path to Publishing" from 3:40 - 4:30 tomorrow. See you there!

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16186. 5 Rules for Runners and Self-Massage: Stave off injuries, don’t cause them

The longer that you’re a runner the more time it takes to keep yourself healthy to run. I know I’m not the only one with a laundry list of to-do’s to keep this creaky body on this side of moving. Soon it becomes that the time you actually spend running is outpaced by the outside ‘extra’ work you do to keep you running!

angry runner injured

Don’t make this you.


My latest article up on Competitor: “3 Things Under 5 Minutes Every Runner Should Do Daily” explains the importance of including these strength, flexibility, and injury-preventative work into your day. But let’s be straight-up, lots of people have lives and getting the time to just RUN is pushing it. (I’m boring and don’t really have a life, juuust kidding…I have to work and pay ‘dem bills too, bummer. And I think I still have one or two friends rolling around this green Earth.)

But I’m betting you can find a spare 5 minutes SOMEWHERE during the day…waiting in line at Starbucks could take longer. Am I asking you to bust out some planks right there in line? If you do and take a picture of you rocking the core routine in line I’ll totally post it, so send it my way!

Injury issues aside, getting a stronger core and increasing your flexibility will translate into running faster too. Get stronger = Get more efficient = Get faster. I harp on that enough around the blog too.

The self-massage part of the injury prevention is also really important, it gets more-so the longer we run too. I may be 27 but I’m strapped in the body of a geriatric, I’ll probably be rascal-bound by 30…but I’ll take getting my miles fix up until I’m legless. I wish I could afford a professional massage therapist on my ‘staff’, but I’m not there yet and most other people are in the same boat.
peacock runner
In reading the article, I want to follow-up here with just HOW important it is that you know what you’re doing before you go digging around on yourself. You can make injuries worse and cause injuries if you’re not careful. Here are our self-massage rules of the road:

1) Ease into it: Just like you need your muscles warm before you stretch, make sure you’re not massaging cold muscles. Likening your pressure to stretching again, start with gentler strokes and gradually increase the amount of pressure. Your muscles will FREEZE-UP if you go in like a wrecking ball right away. [One guess what song was stuck in my head earlier.]
2) 5-10 Minutes: Limit the amount of time you spend on each area of your runner bod to only 5-10 minutes. You don’t want to go over-board.
3) Cross-Wise Passes: I have tons of hamstring issues, when I’ve got a sore spot I rub cross-wise over the area first and finish up with some flushing lengthwise passes. Don’t forget the horizontal plane, rub side-to-side and then move to the foam roller.
4) Wait 24: The most common time runners self-massage their way to worsening an injury is when they get a new soreness, freak out it’ll be an injury, then go to town massaging and stretching like a madman. This is NOT what you should do. If the pain is so bad it’s tender to the touch, wait a day to let things simmer down. Go the icing route. After that, be gentle, don’t go until you’re about to cry. Refer back to steps 1 and 2. You can self-massage yourself away from an injury if you do it right and are smart.
5) Consistency: Just like you can’t expect to PR running one day every third Tuesday, self-massage works best when you’re consistent. In fact, if you’re spooning (just kidding) spending time with your foam roller daily, you get to the point where it DOESN’T bring you near tears…miraculous, I know. ;)

Until we’re Lady Gaga rich, let’s self-massage ourselves, Runners, to stay healthy. Even just 5 minutes a day. Hey, triple points to the person who walks into Starbucks with their foam roller under their arm! :)

1) Will you commit to doing at least 5 minutes of some core/flex/self-massage work I talked about in my article?
2) Who is consistent with their self-massage and foam rolling?
3) Did you learn some kind of nugget of wisdom from my bloggy-blabberings?

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16187. Where’d she go?

courtroom_xs_25248150

She got summoned for jury duty and never came back . . . well, it felt like that for a while at least. I got called in for jury selection on the morning of September 18 and wasn’t released until the afternoon of October 3rd. Would you believe I was juror 46 out of 51 and I still ended up sitting as an alternate for the trial? I think by the time they got to me, they were desperate.

And what a trial. 1st degree murder. I won’t go into the details because honestly, the people involved don’t need any more publicity. AND the sooner this event fades from my own memory the better. Let’s just say I know more about deciphering blood splatter evidence than your average citizen. For all you fans of trigonometry, this is your field!

So, I’m back going through the motions of my normal routine, thirteen dollars a day richer, with the thanks of the county, worn out and weepy, trying to catch up on the mountains of grading that piled up unattended while I was attending to my civic duty.

You see, substitute teachers teach, they don’t grade, so tests, reports and assignments waited patiently for me to get back and NOW THEY ALL NEED TO GET DONE. Yikes! 112 hours got sucked out of my life; it’s already two weeks later, and still I haven’t figured out how to squeeze them back in.

Photo © Aleksandar Radovanovic

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16188. Sam Smith

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16189. Whimscal Moments In Paris

Have you seen the French movie  Amélie ?  One of the cutest, charming whimsical shows I've seen. When researching things to do and places to see while in Paris, I found a web site called The Worldwide Guide to Movies. For this particular movie it gave nine different locations in which the movie had been filmed around Paris.
 So while we were there we especially wanted to visit a couple of the locations.
Café des 2 Moulins, Montmartre, Paris
 The place that made me smile and feel giddy was the café where Amélie worked. It is Café des 2 Moulins. We sat in the exact place they filmed! Ordered drinks and took lots of pictures. The poor staff  must get so tired of all the visitors taking pictures of them and every thing there, including  the bathroom where  one scene took place. To my surprise and delight as you entered the bathroom they had a little glassed-in area where they had props and paraphernalia from the  movie. What a place to put this right?! This just tickled me.

This was the enclosed museum stuff in the bathroom.


The garden gnome was one of the cutest parts of the movie.

A view from where we sat.

 


One of my favorite parts of the movie was Amélie secretly kidnapping her fathers garden gnome out of his garden, then giving it to her neighbor who was a flight attendant. The flight attendant  would then take pictures of the gnome in different locations around the world. In the movie the dad knew his gnome was missing, but adding to his confusion he started getting letters with  pictures of his gnome in front of the Statue of Liberty, and different places. This was Amélie's way of encouraging her father to travel.
 
 Katie and I had  gone to the Latin Quarter one day, and was walking back along the West bank of the Seine when a woman approached us holding a 'Flat Stanley', and asked if we could help her get a picture. For those of you who don't know about Flat Stanley, he travels the world in envelopes, then has pictures taken of him at different locations, and then writes a little bit of a journal about his adventures. Turns out that this woman was a flight attendant herself and  was doing this for her seven year old niece. It made me think of what  Amelie did with the gnome! How funny. When she asked if I wouldn't mind holding up the little 'Flat Stanley' in front of the signs by the Notre Damn I had to giggle and say yes. I felt a little like Amélie at that moment,  it was a whimsical moment, and one   that  made my trip extra fun.







Can you see the little gnome in different parts of the world?

Look hard and you can see the little Flat Stanley dressed in blue under the signs.
 

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16190. A Passion for the Real Thing at Easy Read



This week I wrote a guest blog post at Easy Read System about a few of my favorite nonfiction books for kids. Check it out. http://www.easyreadsystem.com/news/a-passion-for-the-real-thing/





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16191. Devilish Villains - Novel Writing Workshop 3

Every Protagonist has an antagonist: Every hero has a villain.  It is easiest to see in an adventure story, where the Protagonist is the Hero and the Antagonist is the villain.  In a love story the Protagonist and Antagonist are the two love interests and they can sometimes swap positions, sometimes more than once.  Alternatively, the Antagonist can even be the Protagonist’s own conscience or moral ghosts.

Russell T Davies, who resurrected the Dr Who series, says that ‘Your hero is only as good as your villain.’

Antagonists don’t have to be evil or nasty, they just have to want the same thing(s) as the Protagonist, but choose to obtain them in a different way.  The best Antagonists are also morally entwined with the Protagonist.

Remember your character interviews?  Now is the time to revisit them so you can write or revise your Antagonist interview.  Whatever your Protagonist loves your Antagonist hates; whatever your Protagonist hates your Antagonist loves; whatever your Protagonist values your Antagonist ...you get the idea.  Even if they value the same things, they go about achieving them in opposite ways.

Only by confronting their weaknesses and moral values can your Protagonist change and grow – your Antagonist, whatever form it takes, is the tool you use to achieve this change for your Protagonist.
Don’t forget your supporting characters, they can also have secondary Antagonists or even be the secondary Antagonists.

Let me know how you get on and any good question or ideas you might like to share.


Nick.

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16192. Writing Conference Scholarships: Winter Poetry & Prose Getaway

Four scholarships are being offered for first-time participants of the 21st Annual WINTER POETRY & PROSE GETAWAY, January 17-20, 2014 in the Atlantic City area. Recipients may choose from workshops in poetry, fiction, nonfiction, memoir and more, including special advanced sections with Stephen Dunn and Tony Hoagland. In addition, the conference also offers open mics, tutorials, talks, sunrise yoga, dancing at the Getaway Disco and writerly camaraderie.

There are two different categories of scholarships available:


+ The Toni Brown Memorial Scholarship, sponsored by the Getaway faculty and staff, will offer places to two poets or writers age 31 and over. Deadline: Nov. 15, 2013.


+ The Jan-ai Scholarship will sponsor two poets or writers between the ages of 18 - 30. Deadline: Nov. 30, 2013.

LEARN MORE AND APPLY TODAY
 
-+-+-
ABOUT THE WINTER POETRY & PROSE GETAWAY
Escape the distractions of your busy life. Advance your craft and energize your writing at the Winter Getaway. Enjoy challenging and supportive sessions, insightful feedback and an encouraging community.

The Winter Poetry & Prose Getaway is presented by The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and Murphy Writing Seminars, LLC.



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16193. Can We Save The Tiger? (Part 2)

tiger

Can We Save the Tiger?

By Martin Jenkins

Illustrated by Vicky White

Candlewick Press, 2011

Category: Picture book nonfiction

Today I’m sharing some thoughts on the structure used by author Martin Jenkins in his picture book, CAN WE SAVE THE TIGER? (For a more detailed introduction to this plan, read yesterday’s post.)

The story Jenkins shares in CAN WE SAVE THE TIGER is a broad one: we humans are changing the planet and the animals that live here are paying the price. The menagerie of species considered endangered by human activities is overwhelming, so Jenkins separates them into five loose groups. Using a single high-impact example from each group, he then shares the extinction story in small doses, one endangered animal at a time. The resulting structure—a collage of sorts—brings readers to an unforgettable conclusion: losing species is unbearable and we must act.

Let’s look at this collage structure more closely, shall we? Here’s how I see it …

Snapshot 1: Animals that are running out of room. In other words, big animals, like the titular tiger. Jenkins’ voice throughout the book is lovely, and here, early on, we see how his choice to speak directly to the reader is effective:

“… if you were a poor farmer trying to make a living with a couple of cows and a few goats, you might not be too happy if you found there was a hungry tiger living nearby. And if you knew that someone might pay you more for a tiger skin and some bones than you could earn in three whole months of working in the fields, then you might find it very tempting to set a trap or two, even if you knew it was against the law.”

Of course the reader wants to save tigers. But the reader can also understand a poor farmer’s motives. With this carefully chosen first snapshot, the reader is hooked.

Snapshot 2: Animals that are endangered as a result of human-introduced predators. Here Jenkins shows us a tiny snail, a satisfying juxtaposition to the tiger and, I think, a subtle nod to the idea that endangered species run the gamut from BIG to SMALL (and, of course, everything in between; see the UGLY addition below). In his image of the partula snail, we see how the movement of species by humans can have unforeseen and unintended consequences for other species.

Snapshot 3: Animals that are impacted not by movement but by other human actions. Here we add to the idea of running the gamut: even UGLY animals, like vultures, are vulnerable. By now the reader is wondering if there are animals that aren’t endangered.

Snapshot 4: Animals that were nearly extinct but came back. The reader is ready for this bit of good news. Bison were forced to the edge of the extinction abyss by human actions, but we managed to pull them back from that edge in time. This snapshot is a much needed and well-timed picture of hope.

Snapshot 5: Animals that were nearly extinct, that we are trying to help, but which are still in trouble. Here Jenkins makes it clear there is still much to worry about. If we are lucky, as with the bison, we can reverse the damage of our bad habits. But sometimes we will act too late. It’s still not clear if we will be able to save the kakapo.

Each of these snapshots is actually a distinct story, a small narrative starring the animal in question and its plight. Arranged side-by-side, however, and with Vicky White’s art, the snapshots give readers a deeper and broader view of animal extinction on planet Earth. They build a perfect collage.

The effectiveness of such the collage structure, of course, is tied to the logic of its presentation. The order in which the individual images are presented to the reader must make sense, even if the reader only experiences that logic subconsciously. Jenkins shows us something big, moves on to something small, then adds something ugly, something hopeful, and something sobering. Another order of these images could, perhaps, build an effective collage. The point, however, is that there are certain orders that would not work at all … and Jenkins knew enough not to use them.

For example, starting with the kakapo, a squat and relatively unknown critter, is technically possible … but such an opening would have been much less compelling than the tiger opening. And Jenkins would have lost the lovely juxtaposition that so nicely relayed the breadth of the extinction problem. (That is, the big-small-and-everything-in-between gamut I mentioned earlier.) Starting with the tiger, an animal all readers will recognize and most will admire, gave the author a much stronger opening …  and plenty of room to transition into a second image.

Here’s something else that struck me about the collage structure: the importance of the order in which the snapshots were presented is very important, but it is not something I recognized on first reading the book. In fact, I didn’t give it a thought! On some subconscious level, the order worked for me, so, I sank into the book and enjoyed the read. The writer is the only one who needs to think the snapshot order logic through. If he does his job well, the structure will be invisible. Readers will read. Choose the wrong order, however, and readers are likely to stumble. I think Jenkins nailed it.

That’s a lot to digest in one post, so I’m going to stop here. Tomorrow I’ll share my final thoughts on this book and the collage structure. In the meanwhile, feel free to share your own thoughts in the comments; I’d love to hear them.


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16194. Writing Competition: The Baltimore Review: The Future

The theme for The Baltimore Review’s winter contest: The Future. The future of—what? That's entirely up to you. Speculative—sure. Maybe a use of future tense. Simply thinking about the evening ahead. Or about the coming decade or millennium. We're always making plans for the future. We try to predict our futures. We gamble. But you know what they say about the best laid plans. 

Three winners will be selected from among all entries, regardless of genre. All entries considered for publication. Final judge: Reginald Harris. 

Prizes are $500, $200, and $100. 

Entry fee is $10. 

Deadline is November 30, 2013. 

Submit online.

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16195. Warrior Beautiful Cover Reveal

TODAY IS THE DAY TEAMNERD REVIEWS AND WENDY KNIGHT REVEAL THE BEAUTIFUL COVER FOR KNIGHT’S NEW BOOK, WARRIOR BEAUTIFUL!! *Eeeep!* 
 




Warrior Beautiful (Riders of Paradesos Series, #1)
Author: Wendy Knight
Check out on Goodreads!
Publication Date: October 15, 2013
Synopsis:Working with the ex you secretly love to save the souls of the innocent
is almost as bad as working with a mighty battle unicorn who would be thrilled
to watch you plummet to your death.

Scout is used to
pain. Her body has been broken, her heart has been broken, and the only thing
keeping her together is her relationship with her younger sister. Lil Bit
believes in unicorns and terrifying monsters she calls soul stealers. But
unicorns and monsters aren’t real…are they?

When Lil Bit falls
prey to the mysterious disease sweeping the country, Scout has two options –
believe the doctors who say it’s a pandemic or believe Lil Bit, who says it’s
the soul stealers. She chooses her sister and goes looking for the unicorns who
are supposed to save them. What she finds aren’t the cute pastel mythical
creatures she expects. Battle unicorns are big and tough and full of attitude.
Who knew?

Unicorns are real
and so are the monsters. Soul stealers are reaping the souls of the innocent,
and the unicorns are fighting to stop them. But to save the world, they need
the help of humans – the enemy they’re dying to protect. And first to sign up
for the fight is the ex-boyfriend Scout’s heart won’t stop loving, no matter
how determined she is to hate him.

 
TOP TEN QUOTES
 
*They’d broken up over a year ago.
She didn’t care. She wasn’t still in love with him. She wasn’t still devastated
over his complete and absolute crushing of her heart.
Not at
all.
 
*She
still used the same lotion — lilac scented. If he lived forever, that smell
would still remind him of her.
 
*He
watched her, watched those lips, fighting memories again. She’d been his first
kiss. And nothing since had ever felt as good.
 
*Trey
loved it when she forgot she hated him.
 
*“I
want someone to make me forget Scout ever existed.”
 
*Trey
had never been tempted to kiss his brother before, but he was pretty tempted
now.
 
*She’d
had only a brief glimpse, but it was seared into her brain: a gigantic black
horse with a burning horn in the center of its head.
 
*Scout
nodded, wishing she wasn’t trembling like a small, hairless dog in a hurricane.
*“Wait!”
Trey ran in front of them, holding his hands up like he could stop beasts the
size of small elephants. “I’m coming. I want to fight, too.”

“You’re kidding me.” Scout nearly fell off her unicorn.

 
*It
wasn’t possible. She couldn’t. She wasn’t brave enough. She wasn’t strong
enough.
“But
I am,” 
Ashra said quietly.
*“Forgive
me
,” she read in a whisper, her finger tracing the hard black letters
tattooed on his arm.
 
*“I
like it better when you call me Princess.” Scout smiled. “Things are a little
too real when you start calling me Scout.”
 
*My
heart belongs wherever you are. Even if where you are—” he paused and looked
around them, swallowing hard, “—is here.”


About the Author


 

 
Wendy Knight was born and raised in Utah by a
wonderful family who spoiled her rotten because she was the baby. Now she
spends her time driving her husband crazy with her many eccentricities (no
water after five, terror when faced with a live phone call, etcetera,
etcetera). She also enjoys chasing her three adorable kids, playing tennis,
watching football, reading, and hiking. Camping is also big: her family is
slowly working toward a goal of seeing all the National Parks in the U.S.
You can usually
find her with at least one Pepsi nearby, wearing ridiculously high heel for
whatever the occasion may be. And if everything works out just right, she will
also be writing.
Where to Stalk Wendy!
GIVEAWAY


**Must be 13 or older to enter**
**Winner has 24 HOURS to respond before new winner is selected**
**Opened Internationally**


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cover Reveal Tour Participants
 


Cover Reveal Set Up By TeamNerd Reviews

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16196. Kissing Scenes... Can't help but be cheesy!!!

Question: I'm writing a short story and there is a love sub-plot between two shy characters who discover that they have been secretly crushing on each

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16197. Too many writing ideas at once

Question: How do you write down ideas when they come quickly, and sometimes all at once? They also tend to be the whole story played out as a movie; I

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16198. In Memory of Barney Schwind

Barney Schwind is dead: the man known across the Toledo area as “The TV Repair Man.” He wasn’t known to me as that. I called him “Papa.”

Saturday night, October 5, Papa passed on. For years, we watched him lose weight, lose his appetite. We watched him physically shrink, the man he used to be shed like clothing on the floor. Yet, despite old age and dementia, he was still Papa, who loved gin and tonics, always had Tic Tacs in his pocket, and did magic tricks with pieces of tissue paper.

Barney Schwind and Sara Dobie BauerPapa never lost his spark. He still yelled, “Sara, baby!” every time I called the house. He still made bad jokes, and I still laughed. He still jokingly held blankets to the side of his face every Christmas and sucked his thumb like a little kid. Despite the dwindling physicality—the mind that forgot my husband’s name—he was still Papa. And we didn’t love him any less.

He’s gone now. He died Saturday night after a huge, Papa yawn. We, as family, are left with many memories of this great man who wore gold chain necklaces on the beaches of Long Boat Key; who visited the Jagermeister tent at the German American Fest to hit on chicks; and who kissed me on the cheek each time I arrived and left his house on Walnut Street.

My family has lost our patriarch; my grandmother has lost her husband. Perrysburg, you’ve lost Barney Schwind. You were lucky to have him for so long.

Papa taught me how to be an optimist every day. He taught me how to have a smile for everyone. He taught me how to love unconditionally—and love eternally. He will be greatly missed … but in a way, I feel like he’s still here, giving me a big Papa hug and telling me he’ll always be close.

(Thanks to the Perrysburg Messenger Journal.)


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16199. I've Got To Read Less. Seriously.

By "seriously" I mean that seriously I am overwhelmed with content.

The Problem


First, there are all the books I want to read on a variety of subjects. Children's and YA to keep up and because I do like a lot of this stuff. Adult fiction. Short stories, both anthologized and in journals. Essays, both anthologized and in journals.  Nonfiction, both long form and short, about time and marketing and zen and tai chi and writing process and French language and things I haven't thought of yet.

Then there are the masses of material that comes to me by way of Facebook, Google+, and Twitter, links to some good stuff. Because I have published an eBook with Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo, I now get a monthly periodical through each of them. I get Shelf Awareness through a local bookstore. I have an arrangement with my local library to get on-line periodicals, which hasn't been working very well recently, but now that I have my own laptop, I want to work that out so I can start reading Poets & Writers on a sort of regular basis.I subscribe to Yoga Journal and The Horn Book. The Kripalu catalog comes a couple of times a year. (I don't know why. I've never been there.) I read it the way one of my family members studies the Ikea catalog. Then there are the blog carnivals I take part in from time to time. I do make an effort to read what some of the other bloggers have to offer. Oh, wait. I thought of some more. There are all the blogs I visit researching places to promote Saving the Planet & Stuff and the lit journals I should be reading researching markets for my short form work. Oh, my gosh. My Feedly blog feed!

I taught myself to read in the car (when I'm not driving, ha-ha) years ago, and I read when I'm using a treadmill or stationary bike. I read when I have to stir something on the stove for a specific amount of time or beat something for X number of minutes. I read newspapers and magazines and on-line material for the hour or two when I'm sort of watching TV in the evening. I read in bed, at night and sometimes professional material in the morning before I get up.

No matter how much I read, there is always more to be read.

The Effort To Deal With The Volume


The Rule of One I considered just blowing off the newsletters from the eBook publishers, but I found a really good blog article through one of them just today. I'm going to do with them what I sometimes do with those terrific Cynsations News posts, just pick a couple of things to read and let the rest go. In fact, with the publisher newsletters, I'll probably be safe limiting myself to one. I've had to be selective with the Carnivals, too. I don't try to go to every site listed.

No Listicles Shelf Awareness carries a lot of what I've seen described as listicles. They're just lists of things, not articles with any meaningful content. I just gave those up a couple of months ago and have no interest in them if I run into them somewhere else. Shelf Awareness I skim for the new adult books.

Just Stopping I've been reading Salon for years, but I'm about ready to give that up. I did once before for at least half a year. It's extremely predictable politically, and even if you agree with its politics, how much of the same thing can anyone read? The ratio of political rants and overly personal personal essays to literary and popular culture content is too high for my tastes. Believe it or not, we'll also be giving  up our daily newspaper when the most recent subscription expires. They're running the thing with little in the way of local writing, so it's overwhelmingly made up of wire service stories and wire features. I can use that time for reading other things.

These are very minor efforts, but I feel I need to make some. You know, because I like to think I've got some control.

Does anyone else have systems in place to deal with their reading load?


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16200. Jazz hands and chocolate cubes: photos from the book tour

Just heard the news...EVER AFTER HIGH: The Storybook of Legends is a New York Times Best Seller! Callooh Callay!

A smattering of visuals from the first leg of my book tour. First, a video of me and Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket) before our NY Comic Con panel.

 

At the Provo Library last night, look at this amazing wall sticker:

IMG_2401

They do such lovely window displays at the Provo Library!

IMG_2403

Details from the window display. Raven and Apple emerging from a 3D book. Really pretty.

IMG_2405

IMG_2404

Posing with my fabulous apple purse in front of a HUGE cover of my new book at NYCC:

IMG_2386

Mr. Daniel Handler (Lemony Snicket) reacts to my dignified, mature observation that my book cover poster is larger than his:

IMG_2387

They told me this was the author green room:

IMG_2388

First sighted in public: the new, smaller trim size of Calamity Jack! (Rapunzel's Revenge has also been downsized.) I was impressed with how good these look. The text size is still very readable, and now these can fit on regular sized book shelves. These books have been hugely popular in libraries but hard to find in bookstores because they were hard to stock on shelves. Hopefully bookstores will carry them more broadly now!

IMG_2370

A dessert I ate at a NYC restaurant. It was called "Chocolate Cube." Yes, thank you.

IMG_2378

Filet mignon and mushroom wellington. Pretty much how I eat at home too.

IMG_2375

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