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16176. Ideas

Starting on November 1, Mom will be a part of PiBoIdMo.

piboidmo2013-participant-214x131

Yep. November is Picture Book Idea Month. That means she will have to get a picture book idea in her head every day for 30 days.  Last year, she wrote 30 ideas, and 8 of them are now either stories or poems. And one of them will be Mom’s first ever eBook, called What If I Don’t.

piboidmo2013-slogan-490x301

Ideas are a way of life when you’re an author. They are also a way of life when you’re a dog. Here are some ideas I have for stories….

Cupcake, the Best Dog in the World.

polka

Cupcake Gets Unlimited Treats

101 treats

When Cupcake Went for a Ride

car

Cupcake Looks Pretty

closet

Read to a Pet Night Starring Cupcake

pet night

Street Naps for Cupcake

street

Cupcake Turns Seven Years Old

birthday 7

That’s a week’s worth of ideas, right there! What’s the big deal? I wish November was named DogIdMo. I could totally do this!


11 Comments on Ideas, last added: 10/15/2013
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16177. iPhone 5s Outselling iPhone 5c Two-to-One

Asked during Apple's last earnings call if he feared the higher end of the smartphone market was nearing saturation, CEO Tim Cook said he did not. "I don't subscribe to the common view that the higher end, if you will, of the smartphone market is at its peak," Cook said. "I don't believe that."

Turns out Cook had good reason to take that view. In September, Apple launched a pair of new iPhones, the flagship iPhone 5s iphone cases otterbox black eyed susan and the mid-tier iPhone 5c, and a new analysis by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) shows that the higher-end 5s has been outselling the lower-priced 5c.

According to CIRP's survey of consumers who purchased Apple's latest iPhones during the last days of September, the 5s accounted for 64 percent of total iPhone sales following its launch that month. Meanwhile, the the 5c accounted for 27 percent, with the legacy iPhone 4S making up the remaining 9 percent.

So not only is the 5s outselling the 5c, it's outselling it more than two-to-one.

Welcome news for Apple, since cannibalization of the 5s by the 5c was a potential commercial risk for this iPhone cycle. CIRP's data suggests that the company has so far avoided it - though that's hardly surprising at this early stage. After all, the iPhone 5c was intended as a mainstream smartphone, the iPhone 5s as an enthusiast one - a "forward-thinking" device for forward-thinking folks. And enthusiasts are often early adopters.

What's more surprising is the iPhone 5c's sales performance relative to that of the iPhone 4S's following the debut of the iPhone 5. Despite the 5c's newness and its colorful design, it's not selling that much better than the 4S did when it was demoted to legacy iPhone by the flagship iPhone 5.

According to CIRP's analysis, the 5c accounted for 27 percent of iPhone sales during the time period surveyed - just slightly more than the 23 percent captured by the 4S during the same period last year. Remember, the new 5c is this year stepping into a role similar to the one the old 4S served last year: The $99 iPhone. But Apple has attempted to improve its value proposition, tricking it out with a new plastic chassis and color options.

Also worth noting: The iPhone 5 appears to have had a slightly more successful debut than the iPhone 5s, capturing 68 percent of new sales compared to the 64 percent captured by the 5s.

So, at launch, the iPhone 5s has proven more popular than the iPhone 5c. Will it continue to be into the new year? Or will sales slow a bit once the early-adopter binge has concluded?

"The relative performance of all three iPhones is generally in line with the performance of the similarly priced phones following the launch of the iPhone 5 in 2012," CIRP co-founder Josh Lowitz told AllThingsD. "Over time, the lower-priced phones have tended to gain share versus the flagship phone, after the initial rush of dedicated upgraders to the newest device. So we expect that the 5c will account for a higher percent of total U.S. iPhone sales in the coming months, but the design changes may alter that dynamic. The iPhone 5c may appeal to different buyers than the legacy 4S did last year, or the new 5s will this year."


Source: Allthingsd

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16178. Pumpkin Patch and classes start Friday

pumpkin2 pumpkin1 IMG_0262 IMG_0263 IMG_0264 IMG_0265 IMG_0266 IMG_0267 IMG_0268

Have Patience

In September, I only had leaves and lost hope.

Then the first little pumpkin showed up.

Then another. Some are still changing color from green to orange.

You are allowed to have.

You’ll see.

Just be patient.

Classes Start Friday

I’m in a bit of a transition right now, so I’m not sure if classes will be offered in November or not and which. I’m expanding and growing! So, if are interested in Fairy Online School classes, they start Friday! Here’s the catalog of classes to choose from. Hope to see you in class!


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16179. My Boys Never Did This

It was a busy weekend. Around here, that’s like saying the ocean was damp. It’s how we roll.

On Sunday, I dropped Maggie off at her AAU basketball’s coach’s house in Castleton at 9:00, because she had a 10:00 practice in Troy and I couldn’t get there, since I had to be in Schenectady to coach a travel baseball game at 10:30. It was my son Gavin’s team, but he wasn’t able to be there because he was spending the night in New Hampshire (taken by my wife, also in NH) for a Regatta. Gavin recently joined the Albany Rowing Club, you see. The college-age son, Nick, visiting for the long weekend, picked up Maggie at the end of practice and brought her out to lunch and then, finally, home.

By the time I returned, everyone was gone. Maggie to her friend’s house, Nick at some other place. I don’t believe my family is all that different from anyone’s else. We’re all running around. That’s not the point of this post anyway.

On the kitchen counter, I found this pad.

(Sorry for the sideways shot, it’s one of the kinks in the Apple dynasty, an impossible thing to solve — the ordinary photo sent from an iPhone that shows up sideways on certain blogs.)

Obviously: Maggie was home alone, grabbed some markers and the nearest pad, and wrote out the names of everyone in her family. It wasn’t a gift, it wasn’t intended for anyone. Just something she did to pass the time, the names of the folks she loved, made to look pretty.

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16180. Available this month from Scholastic Book Clubs!


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16181. Me thinketh that I shall rehearse it here

canterburypilgrims

The girls and I are having a good time with Chaucer. We’re making our way through the Prologue—slowly; this is a slow reading—using the Norton Anthology of Poetry because it’s conveniently marked up with my notes from college, as well as having decent footnotes and margin gloss to help us along with the Middle English. I was delighted to discover I could still quote the opening lines, thanks to my wonderful Medieval Lit prof, Dr. John Krause of the Institution Formerly Known as Loretto Heights College. Now Rose and Beanie are learning them, which makes me six kinds of happy.

I’m reading aloud relevant bits of Marshall’s English Literature for Boys and Girls for background and color, some of which gives us a good laugh, since Marshall feels compelled to reassure her young readers that she isn’t going to scandalize them with the unsavory stuff, but perhaps they will appreciate it in context when they are older. Today this led to a discussion of Victorian* sensibilities and occasional outbursts of “Your ankle is showing!” (Perhaps you had to be there. We were crying laughing.)

(*English Literature for Boys and Girls was published in 1909, so isn’t itself Victorian, but Marshall’s tone very often is, and amusingly so. “Some of these stories you will like to read, but others are too coarse and rude to give you any pleasure. Even the roughness of these tales, however, helps us to picture the England of those far-off days. We see from them how hard and rough the life must have been when people found humor and fun in jokes in which we can feel only disgust.” Er, no, Henrietta, I think a casual meandering through YouTube will make a strong case for the enduring appeal of “coarse and rude” content.)

This morning’s reading was some more of the prologue—we haven’t met all the travelers yet; we’re doing a slow reading—and then “The Complaynt of Chaucer to His Purse,” which my daughters, the offspring of two freelance writers, understood all too well. ;) After we finish the prologue, we’ll read two Tales together. Chanticleer, I think, because the girls know it from the Barbara Cooney book and I expect they’ll enjoy hearing the original, and one other I haven’t decided upon yet. And then they can read the rest on their own, if they like.

My favorite part of our discussion today was in regard to Chaucer’s apologia for the Miller’s Tale:

What should I more say but this miller
He would his words for no man forbear,
But told his churls tale in his manner.
Me thinketh that I shall rehearse it here;
And therefore every gently wight I pray,
For Goddes love deem not that I say
Of evil intent, but for I might rehearse
Their tales all, be they better or worse,
Or else falsen some of my matter…

(To borrow Marshall’s translation, since I had the tab open already)

We talked about how every writer of fiction (and biography, memoir, many other forms) has to grapple with this same challenge, and how gratifying it is to me to see Chaucer dealing with it way back in the 14th century. Sometimes our characters must say and do things we, personally, find distressing or even offensive. This has been the hardest part of writing my current novel, actually. It’s historical fiction and though I wish my characters were more enlightened on several points, I must be true to the time, must let these people tell their stories authentically “or else falsen some of my matter.” One of the chief parts of my job is climbing inside these unfamiliar skins and attempting to walk some miles in them. I battle my way in and find Chaucer has already been there.

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16182. The Ten Stages Of Life With An Agent

I have lived through each and every one of this stages and have the battle scars and cholesterol readings  to prove it.

1. You email your agent and she emails you because you're getting to know each other and you both want to make a good impression.

2. You email her and she emails you but it takes a day or two because she's no longer quite as interested in making a good impression.

3. You email her and she doesn't email you so you email her again to ask if she got your email and maybe she emails you back to say she did and maybe she doesn't and you'll never ever know and you eat more donuts than usual.

4. You email her even though  you know she won't email you back because self-flagellation is so much fun.

5. She emails you. You email back because you can't believe there's actual good news and she emails you in return with a :).

6. You email her with a question and she emails the answer right back even though she's away from the office.

7. You email her and get one of those I'm away from the office responses but her assistant emails you back, albeit not instantaneously.

8. You email her and get one of those I'm away from the office responses, and she emails you back days later when she returns from wherever she was hiding.

9. You email her and you don't get one of those I'm away from the office responses but it takes her as long to answer your email as it would have if she had been away from the office.

10. You email her and a week passes and she doesn't email you back, but life is short and you have money in the bank so instead of emailing her to see if she got your email, you chuckle and write a blog entry. Oh, and eat a donut!

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16183. iPhone 5s and Samsung Galaxy S 4 Wallet Cases Now Available

<5s iphone cases otterbox black\/pink defender case iphone iphone 5s & 5sp>OtterBox's Commuter Series Wallet Case is now available for the iPhone 5s and Samsung Galaxy S 4. The protective wallet case is equipped with a sliding drawer that can hold up to three cards and extra cash. The drawer features an audible click closure system so you'll always know that your personal items are safely secure.

The case also includes an interior slip cover to protect against bumps and falls, a sleek exterior shell that easily fits into your pocket, and a self-adhesive screen protector that guards against scratches and smudges.

The OtterBox wallet case for the iPhone 5s and Galaxy S 4 is now available from OtterBox.com for $45. It is comes in black, glacier and primrose.

Here is a video of the case in action.


Source: Iphonefaq

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16184. BLOG TOUR

At the 2012 SCBWI-CAROLINAS conference, I had the chance to hang out with a lovely woman named Ann Eisenstein. I had known her online for years… but felt like I really got to know her more that weekend! I also got to spend time with her at this year’s conference. She is a hoot! And […]

3 Comments on BLOG TOUR, last added: 10/16/2013
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16185. A Fun Thriller With Ghosts

I am not a fan of ghost stories, but Spirit and Dust by Rosemary Clement-Moore is more of a thriller than it is a ghost story. It's certainly not any particular ghost's story.

It could also teeter into that adult thriller retooled for YAs category that I've been noticing recently. Daisy Goodnight (a great name) is a freshman in college and the two guys she's not quite torn between are twenty-somethings. Daisy's story is entertaining and engaging, but there's no compelling reason for these characters to be as young as they are. The story could easily be flipped for older, even much older, characters.

As I said, Daisy is a college freshman, which is a neat way of making her available to FBI agents who want her assistance. It is easier for a person that age to be off having adventures, than a younger one, even a younger one who is an orphan like Daisy. The FBI is interested in Daisy because she can communicate with the dead, helpful when investigating murders. The world of the book is one in which any number of people can do magic to one degree or another, and while it may not be common knowledge, even a criminal mastermind may use magical assistance. The Goodnight family is full of hedge witches and other magical sorts.

The book begins with a murder and involves the story of how Daisy gets drawn into a scheme to take advantage of the dead. I got lost a few times in the plot, but Daisy is definitely a charmer.

Another interesting point I must mention--No blurbs on the cover! The back cover simply says, "Daisy Goodnight can talk to the dead. And something has them terrified." And that's why I read a book about ghosts when I don't care for them.




1 Comments on A Fun Thriller With Ghosts, last added: 10/15/2013
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16186. What Happens When . . .

by Delphine Chedru

{published 2013 (in English), by Tate Publishing}

I’ve been thinking a lot about visual storytelling lately. Well, I pretty much am always thinking about visual storytelling. And that’s why I was so tickled and touched by this book. Thanks to Rebecca at Sturdy for Common Things for introducing me to this lovely find!

I bought it because of that cover. I didn’t know I’d open page after page of wow.Instantly, I was drawn to the simplicity of each layout. A spare white page on the left, graced only with one line of text. And on the right, a richly colored illustration to match the text. On this very first spread, you get a clear sense of Delphine Chedru’s suggested shapes and mastery of negative space. It’s graphic and bold and beautiful.

So what does the text say?

What happens when my balloon floats up, out of the zoo . . . ?

And then, this:Rather than turning the page, you unfold it. The text is still there to remind you of the story that gurgled up out of that wonder. Do you see your red balloon?The pages that follow are just as curious, and just as surprising. It’s impossible to not create a scenario for each posed question, and then be awed by the illustrator’s solution. And to my bucket when I leave it behind on the beach . . . ?What you might not be able to see in that picture is a WANTED sign for the shark, and a tiny red fish with a sheriff’s hat leading his capture, all with that bucket that you left on the beach. Adore.

And wouldn’t it be fun to create your own pages like this? Or respond to these pictures in writing? Isn’t all creativity answering ‘What if?’What happens when my left sock slips behind the radiator . . . ?

Well?What happens to Teddy when I leave him behind . . . ?

That bird on the boing-boing horse is just too much. Makes me laugh every time.

And then, a big, huge, monster question:What happens to stories once a book is closed . . . ?
This last page doesn’t unfold. This answer is up to you.

I am so under the spell of this weighty book with the lighthearted illustrations. I’m not sure how to answer that last question, and sitting with the ‘What if?’ is both challenging and satisfying, isn’t it?breakerWant more Delphine Chedru? Me too. I found this book trailer, and although I can’t understand the words, I can read the pictures. So charmed.

ch


Tagged: color, delphine chedru, illustration, negative space, shape

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16187. Thoughts on the New TV Season, 2013 Edition, Part 2

By most yardsticks, I suppose, this year's fall pilot season isn't much worse than previous years.  But it is much more boring.  For every show I've written about this year, there are two or three about which I had nothing to say that I haven't said a million times before--unoriginal plots, underdeveloped characters, blandly beautiful leads, indifferent procedural stories, poorly defined

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16188. Reading and Signing Africa is My Home at Bank Street Book Store

I will be doing my first event for Africa is My Home this coming Sunday, October 10th, at 2:30,  at the Bank Street Book Store.  I’ve been to so many of these over the year, but never as the featured author! Maybe I’ll see some of you there?

Screen Shot 2013-10-15 at 5.38.39 AM


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16189. STAINED Book Tour and Interview with Cheryl Rainfield

 

STAINED header

 

Hi all–I’m so excited to help spread the news about Cheryl Rainfield’s new book, STAINED! Cheryl is an amazing person and the fantastic author of SCARS and HUNTED. (I wish SCARS had been published back when I worked with teen girls because many of them engaged in self-harming behavior and would have benefited greatly from her book). In celebration of STAINED’s release, Cheryl is giving away a GRAND PRIZE of an eBook Reader as well as other goodies (details below). Here is the chilling cover for STAINED:

16158181

 

Description from Goodreads: An intensely powerful account of a teen, bullied for her port-wine stain, who must summon her personal strength to survive abduction and horrific abuse at the hands of a deranged killer.

Sixteen-year-old Sarah Meadows longs for “normal.” Born with a port wine stain covering half her face, all her life she’s been plagued by stares, giggles, bullying, and disgust. But when she’s abducted on the way home from school, Sarah is forced to uncover the courage she never knew she had, become a hero rather than a victim, and learn to look beyond her face to find the beauty and strength she has inside. It’s that-or succumb to a killer.

Cheryl was kind enough to answer some questions of mine for her readers.

1) Where did you get the idea for STAINED?

From my own life. I drew on my trauma experience–and the healing–to write STAINED. Because I’m a ritual abuse survivor–my parents were part of cults–and I went through such extreme abuse and torture, I have so much that affected me, so much I need to talk about. I choose a few experiences for each book so that I don’t overwhelm readers.
For STAINED, I focused especially on being held captive, the effects of trauma and rape, and body image. Like Sarah in STAINED, I know what it’s like to be held captive, to be withheld food and water, to be repeatedly raped, and to have my life be threatened. Like Sarah, I was bullied, found it easier to protect others than myself, loved comics and writing, and struggled with body image and self esteem. And like Sarah, I had to save myself–over and over again–until I got safe.
I also put a lot of my emotional strength into Sarah–my dogged perseverance to survive, my ability to keep my soul intact even when my abusers tried to twist and destroy it, my fighting back psychologically, especially, and sometimes physically, and finding creative ways to cope and survive. It’s so important to me to write strong-girl characters–there’s so much sexism in our society–and it’s also important to me to write LGBT characters into each story, even if they’re not the main character. I also always try to show some healing in my characters. I think healing, and facing painful issues, helps make our world a kinder place.

2) I can’t even imagine what you’ve been through. You’re an incredibly strong person to endure such trauma and then use that experience to help others. What’s the most rewarding part for you about sharing your story with readers?
It’s incredibly rewarding and healing to receive letters from readers telling me that because of my books they felt less alone, got help, felt understood, or kept from killing themselves. I get reader letters every week, and even though I can’t always respond to them all I treasure them. I care so much about making a positive, healing difference in the world–especially with my experience and perspective from abuse and trauma–so it’s a huge, wonderful thing for me.
Another really rewarding thing is that by having my books published and having people respond so positively, having so many people read my books, I feel heard. I actually have a voice now! My abusers used to tell me that they would kill me if I talked–and I saw them murder and knew they could do it, so I used to be too afraid to even talk. I’d talk too fast or so quietly that people couldn’t hear me, and I wouldn’t say much. Writing (and art) was my safe way to speak–but that didn’t always mean being heard. I have a voice now through my books where I can help others, and it’s such a healing and wonderful thing.

3) You are so inspiring and it must be amazing to get letters from the many people you’ve helped. (NOTE: Check out Cheryl’s blog for links and resources about a variety of issues pertaining to young women.) To switch gears from readers to writers,  what advice do you have for aspiring writers out there?
Write what you need to write. Write what you care about deeply; I think that makes a more powerful book. Study writing technique and editing through books, conferences, classes, articles, etc., and join a good critique group (online or in person). Your writing will get so much better, faster, if you do. You can see some of the books on writing technique that I recommend here: http://astore.amazon.com/rainfield-writing-books-20 I’ve read hundreds of books on writing technique and it’s helped my writing a lot–and I always try to learn more. It helps to learn technique and read advice, but make sure you stick to what makes sense for you; not everything will be right for you. Read a LOT. That will also help you write better. Get feedback on your work and polish it before you send it out; try to make sure it’s the best you can make it. Make sure you research publishers and agents before you submit to them, so that you know they publish your kind of work before you send it out–you’ll get less rejections that way. And if you really want to be published, don’t give up. Keep sending your work out. It took me more than ten years and hundreds of rejections to get Scars published, but I finally did. You can’t get published if you don’t keep sending it out.

4) Great tips! I love the “read a lot” advice, and think that reading is just as important as writing. Speaking of writing, what are you working on next?
I’m working on two different realistic YA suspense novels (again drawing on my trauma experience), and I also have the sequel to Hunted sitting there for me to finish up, and another YA paranormal.

5) What’s something fun about you that most people don’t know (it doesn’t have to be book related)?
I love superhero stuff-I have a LOT of Wonder Woman and Superman stuff in my place; I even have a Wonder Woman outfit for my little dog Petal (grinning). That’s where the superhero thread came from in STAINED. And I (ahem) also love Super Grover from Sesame Street. I always loved Grover’s kindness and gentleness and his insecurity, and his desire to help others (even if he didn’t always get it right); I related to all of that. I also love fairies and dragons, unicorns and pegasuses. Fantastic creatures like that gave me hope and helped me dream as a kid.

Thanks so much for the interview, Cheryl! Don’t forget to enter HERE by Oct. 31st for a chance to win an eBook Reader as well as other goodies!!! Leave a comment below for a chance to win an eBook of SCARS!

Or you can buy here: Buy this book: Amazon | B&N

About the author:

I love to read. Books nurture me, helped me survive the abuse I endured as a child and teen. I also love to write. I write fantasy books and edgy, realistic fiction for teens.
My fantasy books often hold hope that I need, and feel others might need, too, while my realistic fiction is gritty, intense, and emotional. All of my books have fragments of the abuse I experienced. I write about some of the harsh things teens go through…things that I think shouldn’t be hidden. But I also write about healing, hope, and love, and finding courage and strength. [Source: Author's website]

Social Media: Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

 

 

Next up in the STAINED book tour:

Be sure to check out YA Bliss tomorrow, Oct. 15th, for a $15 gift card giveaway and review of STAINED.

Then, on Oct. 16th, Shooting Stars Magazine is giving away an eBook.

 

 

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16190. Using The Where in a novel



 Many writers  have said they consider setting as a character. Joyce Carol Oates talks about it in the linked youtube below, but there's a large crowd of writer's to whom setting is significant to their work.  Of course,  setting is essential to most high fantasy novels: Harry Potter, Tolkien's Middle Earth and so on, but it's also essential to some writers of kitchen sink realism, for example, Raymond Chandler and Los Angeles.  For some writers the setting of their book becomes a character. For others it is essential to the development of character.   In On Becoming a Novelist John Gardner wrote, "Setting exists so that the character has someplace to stand, something that can help define him, something he can pick up and throw, if necessary." 
I think the importance of setting varies from writer to writer. If you're a writer who has a strong connection to place though, I think you can use setting to give your writing another level of connection to character and story. It will give the reader a deeper understanding of what your character is going through if where he is going through it is vividly rendered. 


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgJ809QKmas

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16191. Agents vs. Editors

I’ve had a few writers recently come to me with questions similar to this one (summarized):

Help! I am querying agents and publishers simultaneously and I’ve noticed something strange. All of the agents seem to say complimentary things about the writing but reject my idea. Some have even said that they wouldn’t know how to sell it and that there’s no market for it. One went as far as to say, “Give up already, nobody is going to buy this.” Meanwhile, the editors I’ve reached out to rave about the writing and say that it’s a really good idea. Does this happen often? Who’s right?

I’m going to try and address this intelligently without insulting too many people. Agents and editors are different and represent different steps in the publishing process. Agents can often be accused of taking more mainstream projects with an eye toward the market and current trends. That comes from the way that agents make money: They want to attract as many buyers to your project as possible so that you, your project, the agent, and the agency get the most favorable outcome, which usually tends to happen to “bigger” or “commercial” projects that inspire a bidding war. Then they want to use this momentum to sell even more rights, like foreign and film. They take a percentage of the sale (sometimes with a salary, sometimes working only on commission) so they have to do a lot of big sales in order to profit.

Editors, on the other hand, often seem more sympathetic to more marginal projects without paying as much attention to market trends. They know that their publishers service many audiences, including schools and libraries, and that there are many different slots that a potential book can fill. They are willing to look at things that aren’t as immediately marketable and see their potential. They also don’t have to hustle for their money. Sure, they are under pressure from their bosses to acquire profitable projects. But they have more job security they can take more time and be more charitable with feedback for things that come across their desks. (This is not to say that editors don’t work hard. They work incredibly hard! But they, in general, are also more secure financially because they work for large companies that pay a salary.)

Before you think that I’m calling agents mercenary art-killers and editors starry-eyed idealists, though, here’s another layer of complexity: In the real world, it is very difficult for either party to get what it wants. Blockbuster commercial projects that will go on to sell in the six- or seven-figures come around once in a blue moon. Everybody wants one, everybody fights for it when it appears, but only one agent gets it. The rest of the time, agents have to see the potential in more challenging concepts. And as fun as it is to hold a huge auction, it’s just as fun fun to sell a “quiet” book to the perfect editor who immediately “gets it.” Finding this fit is a lot more work for often less (monetary) reward, but it feels amazing, too.

And while an editor may love the idea of doing a book for a very limited audience or with a totally out-there subject matter, they have to answer to their bosses, their pub boards, their finance guys, their marketing departments, etc. etc. etc., and they sometimes get brought back down to earth by a “no” that comes from above. So while the editors in the sample question all seem to be much more amenable toward marginalized concepts, I didn’t hear that any of them were offering to buy the manuscripts in question, either. Liking something and saying nice things about it is very different from putting cold, hard money on the line. We all go into children’s publishing to help get amazing books into the hands of worthy young readers, but these aspirations often butt right up against the fact that publishing is a Business-with-a-capital-B. And sometimes a book with a challenging subject matter, or one without “high-concept” commercial potential will take more work to see in print.

Agents do have to focus on more commercial concepts sometimes to stay afloat. And editors have to jump through a whole lot of hoops and “sell” a book to their team before they can make an offer. For books where the potential to profit isn’t obvious, that means it will take time to place them witheither and agent or an editor. I don’t think it’s right for anyone to say “Just give up, this is a fool’s errand!” But I also don’t want to say that every book will get published, because some ideas are jut too far out there to invest in in a competitive market.

Part of trying to get published, however, is understanding the process. Here I hope I can offer some insight into why agents and editors sometimes seem at odds when it comes to their decisions. It’s never quite as black-and-white as it appears. A caveat: This post is NOT about drawing a line in the sand and saying “this type of book is commercial and this isn’t.” Part of the gamble of publishing is to look and imagine and take chances. I will never tell a writer that this idea categorically won’t work and that idea is a guaranteed bestseller. It doesn’t work like that. There are no certainties. My core message has always been that writers who focus on the craft and learn about the publishing business are setting themselves up for greater success. This post is instead about addressing a disparity between agent and editor responses that several writers have noticed, and trying to explain the possible reasons.

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16192. Hoopla Papercut

Hoopla
A papercut

Hoopla - a papercut by Gerald Hawksley

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16193. A snippet from The Cat, Bianca

I'm having a hoot and a half working on the third Snowy book. Here's a little snippet from today's writing session:


    Gladstone pressed a button on the remote control. A bright red dot appeared on the carpet. Moving slowly, it zig-zagged across the floor. Snowy watched, transfixed, his head turning to follow each change of direction. The dot picked up speed as it drew closer.

    Just a light, you can’t touch it. Just a light, you can’t touch it.
    The dot came within reach of his front paws, but drew no closer. It flitted to the left and right, taunting him. Snowy dug his claws into the carpet. It took every ounce of self-control to stop himself from pouncing. He barely heard the click, click, click, which heralded the opening of the door.
    Through gritted teeth, he said, “Tell him, ‘Nice try,’ Bill, but he must think I’m an idiot. Does he expect me to catch it?”
    When Bill passed on the message, a malicious grin spread across Gladstone’s face. “Oh no, Number Two, I expect you to try.”


How about you?

Care to share a snippet from your WiP?

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16194.

LATEST NEWS

vfaz cover

Artie’s new children’s book View from a Zoo is now out!!!

View from a Zoo – Thea is a house-cat that seems to have it all… she has a warm home, plenty of food and a family that loves her. But something is missing in Thea’s life. Where is the excitement? Where is the adventure?

From children’s author Artie Knapp & illustrator Sunayana Nair Kanjilal, comes a new picture book that answers the question that kids everywhere like to ask… I am bored. What should I do?

To read reviews of the book, please click the book reviews link at the top of this site. View from a Zoo is published by MightyBook Inc, Houston, TX. And look for the iPad edition later this fall from Reading Rainbow.

Artie is teaming up with the Southern Newspapers Publishers Association. They will be offering Artie’s stories to over 500 newspapers across the United States. First up, is his new story titled A Halloween Treat for Polly Peat. This story made its debut this month in a California newspaper. To read the story, please click on the illustration below.

A Halloween Treat for Pollly Peat

Use of any of the content on this website without permission is prohibited by federal law 

COPYRIGHT © 2013 ARTIE KNAPP


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16195. Counting by 7's - Newbery guesses, anyone?

It's never too soon to start wondering what middle grade novel will win the Newbery Medal in January, and which ones will be honor books. I rarely guess them right (except for the year When You Reach Me won the medal), but I always enjoy trying.

My pick for the medal this year goes to:




Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan (August 29, 2013, for ages 10 and up, Dial Books for Young Readers)

Source: I won the arc from Gina Carey. If you haven't yet visited her very cool blog, be sure to check it out. 

Synopsis (from Indiebound): Willow Chance is a twelve-year-old genius, obsessed with nature and diagnosing medical conditions, who finds it comforting to count by 7s. It has never been easy for her to connect with anyone other than her adoptive parents, but that hasn’t kept her from leading a quietly happy life . . . until now.

Suddenly Willow’s world is tragically changed when her parents both die in a car crash, leaving her alone in a baffling world. The triumph of this book is that it is not a tragedy. This extraordinarily odd, but extraordinarily endearing, girl manages to push through her grief. Her journey to find a fascinatingly diverse and fully believable surrogate family is a joy and a revelation to read.

Why I loved it:  Like Auggie in Wonder, Willow is one of those unconventional characters -- intelligent, observant, fragile, and yet strong -- who stay with you long after you turn the last page. The voice is perfect. There's a surprising amount of humor in what could have been a tearjerker. Chapters narrated by Willow in first person alternate with chapters in third person that give us insight into not only Willow's character but into the refreshingly real cast of secondary characters, a multicultural group of people who come to love Willow as much as you will.

Here's Gina's review.

What book do you hope will win the Newbery in January?


For other MMGM participants, see my sidebar or Shannon's links.

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16196. Life in Outer Space – the US blog tour

LiOS US coverLife in Outer Space is on the road! Check out these blogs for reviews and other LiOS hijinks…

Monday

Blue Owl Reviews

Tuesday
Maestra Amanda’s Bookshelf
Boys to Books

Wednesday
Gidget’s Bookworms

Thursday
A Word’s Worth

Friday
Check back right here for a chance to win a copy!

Monday (Oct. 21)
Random Chalk Talk

Tuesday (Oct. 22)
Dear Teen Me


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16197. “Two Dates” Featured in Sliptongue Magazine

My short story, “Two Dates,” has just been published by Sliptongue Magazine. Read an excerpt below, and follow the LINK for the full story. Warning: MATURE CONTENT.

Two Dates (excerpt)

by Sara Dobie Bauer

“Can I help you gentlemen?”

The ginger stood, and God, was he tall. She leaned her upper body back and gave him a funny look.

“We’re very sorry to interrupt your …” He pointed his finger toward the crowd of women. “Uh …”

“Blow job workshop.”

The ginger closed his dark blue eyes and said, “Right. Yes. Sorry.”

“Do you need help finding something?” Angie asked.

“Dude.” The shorter gent smacked the ginger on the shoulder. “They have lingerie. I’m gonna check it out.” Baldy disappeared around a stack of books about tantric sex.

“Are you guys a couple?”

This made the ginger look down at the ground and shake his head. “No. No. Look, it’s my friend’s bachelor party tonight.” He gestured toward the ladies’ underwear. “Not that idiot, but we all went to college together.”

“ASU?”

“Uh, no, Yale, and I’m the best man, and I’m not good at this.”

59a292592400b19bbbd5912a1e28bafc“Good at what?”

He held his hands out to her, palms up. “I need something that would greatly, greatly embarrass the bachelor in public.”

“I think we can make that happen.” She smiled up at the gawky ginger, and he smiled back. “Is your buddy metro? Manly? Homophobic?”

He seemed to consider this. “I think ‘manly’ might be the best of those choices. Much more manly than me.”

“Dude, you’re wearing Armani. There’s nothing more manly than that.”

He raised red-blond eyebrows at her, seemingly shocked by her comment.

“What’s your name?”

“Ben. Short for something humiliating.”

“Well, I’m Angie.” She reached out her hand, and they shook in honor of newfound familiarity. “I have just the thing for your manly pal.” She beckoned him around a corner with a crooked finger. Angie did a slow saunter, her eyes trailing over male enhancement pills and vibrators before she stopped suddenly, and Ben ran into her.

“Sorry. Had a couple pints already.”

“That much …” she laid her hand on his forearm, “is apparent, babe. Now. Here is what you need.” She pulled a gigantic penis pump from a hook. “I mean, probably not what you need personally. I’m guessing you’re too tall to need one of these.”

“What?”

“You don’t know what this is?” She handed it to him. She watched him read the box, and the more his lips mouthed the words, the more his eyebrows lowered until finally, he laughed.

Girl_tattoo_302 copy“This is perfect,” he said. “You’re a genius.”

“I know my penis products.”

He chuckled and bit his bottom lip while looking at her, which made her kind of want to bite it, too.

“What are you doing tonight?”

“Working.”

“I mean after that.”

“Dunno. What am I doing after that?”

He pointed the penis pump toward his compatriot, who, Angie noticed, had a pair of women’s underwear on his head. “Would you like to meet us out?”

“Why? Do you need a stripper?”

Ben’s face crinkled in horror. “No, I didn’t …” He shook his head.

“Oh, my God, I’m kidding.”

His skin turned bright red.

“Oh, he’s blushing!” She reached her palm up and touched his cheek. “You are so cute. Yes, I would love to meet you out. Give me your number.” She smiled, surprised this gentlemanly geek could make her swoon when she was so used to leather and bondage.

***

Like what you’ve read so far? Full story HERE. (Mature content!!!)


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16198. PageSpring Publishing Book Launch!

We always feel so supported by our loyal volunteers, teachers, and patrons, so it’s great when we get to turn it around and support them as well!

Image

Image

This Thursday, October 17 from 7-8 p.m., PageSpring Publishing will be holding a book launch celebration and reading at Thurber Center. During this time, authors Suzanne Goldsmith and Tom Barlow will be sharing their newly published stories. Goldsmith’s novel, Washashore, is an adventure-love story aimed at ages 9-13. She has also published a variety of stories in magazines, as well as a non-fiction book, A City Year. Barlow’s collection of short stories titled Welcome to the Goat Rodeo, is designed to make you question the unexplored areas of human existence. He also has a science fiction novel coming out this fall titled, I’ll Meet You Yesterday.

PageSpring Publishing is an independent book publisher specializing in high-quality novels for adults and younger readers. [They] believe that the best part of reading is discovering a book that speaks to you, a book for which you will postpone dinner, or sleep, or even calling your mother . . . just to finish one more chapter.

We hope to see you there!

 


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16199. Ideas

Starting on November 1, Mom will be a part of PiBoIdMo.

piboidmo2013-participant-214x131

Yep. November is Picture Book Idea Month. That means she will have to get a picture book idea in her head every day for 30 days.  Last year, she wrote 30 ideas, and 8 of them are now either stories or poems. And one of them will be Mom’s first ever eBook, called What If I Don’t.

piboidmo2013-slogan-490x301

Ideas are a way of life when you’re an author. They are also a way of life when you’re a dog. Here are some ideas I have for stories….

Cupcake, the Best Dog in the World.

polka

Cupcake Gets Unlimited Treats

101 treats

When Cupcake Went for a Ride

car

Cupcake Looks Pretty

closet

Read to a Pet Night Starring Cupcake

pet night

Street Naps for Cupcake

street

Cupcake Turns Seven Years Old

birthday 7

That’s a week’s worth of ideas, right there! What’s the big deal? I wish November was named DogIdMo. I could totally do this!


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16200. Fall into Reading - 9 books at 99 cents

FALL into READING! .99 SALE on NINE HOT New Releases and 
Bestselling Titles!

The temperatures are dropping, and it's a great time to cuddle up 
with a new book!

So for One Week Only, we've dropped the price on NINE HOT 
New Releases and Bestselling Titles, and combined them with 
a chance to WIN Amazon gift cards, 
ebooks, and more!

Check it out and spread the word~




ALL for only 99 cents this week!

**The Only One by Magan Vernon -- "Sweet and sexy!! Loved it! 
This is the type of story you read again and again." --#1 New 
York Times best selling author Rachel Van Dyken


**Dominus by Christine Fonesca -- "A thrilling end to a 
fantastic supernatural series!" --Leigh Talbert Moore, bestselling 
author of The Truth About Faking


**Dragonfly by Leigh Talbert Moore -- "The characters were intriguing, 
the mystery and story were interesting and definitely have ME WANTING MORE!!!!!!!" --Mandy, The Romance Bookie


**Crossing by Stacey Wallace Benefiel -- "Beautiful. Heart wrenching. 
A true tale of love. It'll make you laugh, cry, and have you running 
out to buy a tube of red lipstick." --RaShelle Workman, bestselling 
author of the Blood and Snow series


**ClockwiseR by Elle Strauss -- A great follow-up to the super fun CLOCKWISE (ed note: Clockwise is free!)! More time-travel 
adventures, more scary cliffhangers. The writer's strength in 
describing battle scenes and war time add to the historical parts. 
The resolution was not what I expected. Great writing and a fun book! - Leigh Talbert Moore, bestselling author of The Truth About 
Letting Go


**Protected by Cindy Hogan -- "This anticipated sequel sizzles with 
equal parts thriller, suspense and romance. A spine tingling 
story I could not put down." - C.K.Bryant, author of Bound


**A Spy Like Me by Laura Pauling -- "Move over Gallagher Girls, 
there's a new spy in town! A Spy Like Me is a fast paced, high 
energy ride through Paris that left me almost as breathless as 
Pauling's hot hero. Super fun beginning, great story, and an 
ending that won't disappoint!" --Gemma Halliday, NYT best 
selling author of Spying in High Heels


**The Pack - Retribution by L.M. Preston -- "The action in this book 
was phenomenal! There was never a dull moment. Shamira 
and the group were always fighting off the bad guys and with 
style too." --P. Bradish, Amazon Reviewer


**Untraceable by S.R. Johannes -- "This thrilling story is a dramatic entanglement of mystery, deception and teen romance.  The 
action flows like a brisk mountain stream interspersed with 
rapids, holding suspense to last page." -- Kirkus Review 


* * *

Enter to WIN!



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