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Results 16,801 - 16,825 of 210,717
16801. Image Copyright Concern & Etiquette.. by: Aaron Barnhart

Image Copyright Concern & Etiquette.. by: Aaron Barnhart

There is no need to acknowledge any artist of a public domain artwork
unless you want to. Furthermore, your transformative use would be
acceptable under copyright law as fair use — a landmark case involved
copyrighted Grateful Dead posters (google Bill Graham Archives v. Dorling
Kindersley Ltd.).

Everyone who self-publishes owes it to themselves to understand the
fast-changing world of fair use. *Reclaiming Fair Use* by Aufderheide and
Jaszi is the best review of this subject. Jaszi has a nice summary of BGA
v. DK on page 7 of this:
http://centerforsocialmedia.org/direct/education-and-fair-use.pdf

Aaron Barnhart's new book: Take a ride on The Big Divide! http://thebigdivide.com/

0 Comments on Image Copyright Concern & Etiquette.. by: Aaron Barnhart as of 1/1/1900
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16802. Dad, Can I Help?

I've included this rhyming story before but I can't pass up using again on this day, the first Father's Day without my dad. He passed away in January and all of his family areis missing him today. But he wouldn't want us to be droopy-eyed about him missing this day with us. I had him for 65 years and even he would probably say, that's long enough. And then there were three generations: My son, Chris, and his son, Dylan, with me hiking Bodega Head in California last week on June 8.

Cherish the fathers who are still with us, wherever they may be. And hold in your hearts the fathers we can only remember this day. May the Lord bless you and keep you all and may we all be sons with whom our fathers are well pleased.

Dad, Can I Help?
By Bill Kirk

The long weekend beckoned—
I’d written my list.
And I was quite sure
There was nothing I’d missed.

No yard work distractions,
No carpools to do.
The weekend was mine
Until I was through.

I had all my hardware
And lumber galore.
I’d work on the deck;
Replace an old door.

I set up my saw
And tested my drill.
With anticipation
I felt quite a thrill.

“No holding me back,”
I thought, a bit smug.
Then all of a sudden,
I felt a slight tug.

Stopping my work,
I turned with a glance
To see my small son
Grab the leg of my pants.

What could I do?
Did I have any choice,
When my little son asked
In his little boy voice?

“Dad, can I help?
I just need some glue
And maybe a nail,
Some wood and a screw.”

“I’ll be very careful
And do what you say.
I promise, I’ll try
To stay out of your way.”

I felt the deck slipping
Right out of my grasp.
And the door would remain
On its very last gasp.

We built a small boat
With a deck and a sail
Out of two bits of wood,
An old rag and a nail;

Then battled some pirates
And found chests of gold.
With each new adventure
A story was told.

We sawed and we hammered
Until we were done
With all of our work—
Like father, like son.

I never did finish
My list on that day,
Instead I spent time
With my son, just to play.

And those weekend projects?
Sometimes they must wait.
For some life appointments,
A Dad can’t be late.

1 Comments on Dad, Can I Help?, last added: 6/16/2013
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16803. My First Google+ Hangout

So I am a total newbie to this Google+ stuff, but I was fortunate enough to be invited to be part of a Google+ hangout sponsored by Candlewick Press.

The theme of the hangout was "OTHER TIMES, OTHER WORLDS in YA LIT" and I was joined by some amazing other authors!

Here's the DL on it:

Other Times, Other Worlds in YA Lit Google+ Hangout On Air

Young adult authors Cynthia Leitich Smith (FERAL NIGHTS), P. J. Hoover (SOLSTICE), Janet Fox (SIRENS), Joy Preble (THE SWEET DEAD LIFE), and Candlewick Press editor and fellow YA author Deb Noyes (PLAGUE IN THE MIRROR) on a Google+ Hangout On Air. The authors partake in a dynamic discussion, exploring the challenges and joys of world-building, creating romantic elements, writing gender roles, and the parallel between fantasy and historical writing.

Deb Noyes: http://www.deborahnoyes.com
Cynthia Leitich Smith: http://www.cynthialeitichsmith.com
P.J. Hoover: http://www.pjhoover.com
Janet Fox: http://www.janetsfox.com
Joy Preble: http://www.joypreble.com

And now for your viewing pleasure, here it is!



I hope you enjoy!

0 Comments on My First Google+ Hangout as of 6/16/2013 1:39:00 AM
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16804. Pippin Now and Then

Yesterday on a whim I got a ticket for the matinée of Pippin (which took home a clutch of Tonys last Sunday) and it was money well spent. In particular, Patina Miller and Andrea Martin were fantastic as were all the acrobatics and other circus-centered actions. (I was especially impressed with a very casual-in-passing-knife act in the middle of one number and…Andrea Martin….boy oh boy!). There was even a Lucy-like-dog* at one point.

The original production was playing when my family moved to the NYC area from the Midwest and I vividly remember the following television ad with Ben Vereen and so shed a sentimental tear when the familiar music began.

Here’s Patina’s version (followed by “Glory”):

*Little black poodly-like thing.


7 Comments on Pippin Now and Then, last added: 6/17/2013
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16805. Ally Ant Searches For Answers For His Anger



Anger is described as feelings of displeasure or strong hostility. All of us at sometime may experience feelings of anger. ALLY ANT SEARCHES FOR ANSWERS FOR HIS ANGER is a short story about an ant that gets angry easily. So he tried to find ways to deal with his anger.

The story was written to help children find practical ways to deal with feelings of anger.



 

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16806.

LATEST NEWS

The North Carolina Press Foundation is offering four of Artie’s serial stories to Newspapers in Education (NIE) newspapers across the United States. This year’s theme is Dig into Reading. In addition to the NIE, the foundation will also be offering Artie’s work to libraries and other newspapers throughout the United States. To read the stories please click on the NC Press Foundation link listed above.

Ameba TV

Two of Artie’s children’s books will be featured on Ameba TV beginning this summer. Based in Canada, Ameba TV is presently streamed worldwide in million of homes.

Ameba TV’s rich, diverse content library delivers thousands of hours of educational, preschool, musical, and multilingual programming to children ages 2 to 12. The popular children’s streaming TV service features award-winning shows, like WordWorld, The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That, BusyTown Mysteries, and Ruby Skye PI.

More to come!

vfaz cover

View from a Zoo – Bored with her life, a housecat seeks out adventure in this new fully illustrated picture book coming in the summer of 2013. Written by Artie, the book is being illustrated by the incredibly talented Indian artist Sunayana Nair Kanjilal. More to come as the book’s release date gets closer….

COPYRIGHT © 2013 ARTIE KNAPP

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


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16807. Commas

Here are ten key rules for correct comma usage. 

http://bryanthomasschmidt.net/2013/05/06/write-tip-thou-shalt-not-sin-with-commas/

0 Comments on Commas as of 6/16/2013 10:13:00 AM
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16808. Sue Cowing Interview: YOU WILL CALL ME DROG

Sue Cowing is an award winning poet and author who’s lucky enough to live in Hawaii!  She’s also a lover of history, art and Asian culture which have found their way into YOU WILL CALL ME DROG, a fascinating story for young readers with a tiny bit of scariness but also bullies and aikido and a military academy and … well, you’ll just have to read it and see for yourself!

Can you tell us how this book, or any of your books, came to be published?

I had published lots of poems and stories, both for children and adults, but You Will Call Me Drog was my first novel, and I didn’t realize that I was submitting it to editors prematurely. As a result, I got a lot of enthusiastic and complimentary. . .rejections.  Then Drog, the puppet character in the story said to me: “So are you going to do this for the rest of your life?  Get me an agent!” As it happened, I found just the right one that same day.  She was smitten with Drog and with Parker, but she also asked questions that led to some big revisions, and when we were both happy with the changes, the book sold in a month.

Tell us why we should read this book.

Because I wrote it just for you!

Because you’ve never read anything quite like it.

Who or what has been the greatest inspiration for your stories?

I’d have to thank my Mom who read us lots of poems and stories—myths, adventures, fables, mysteries, fairy tales (I loved anything with a magic object in it)—and told us stories from her own life.  She taught us to love language, art, music, and the natural world and to use our imaginations.  Her motto was “make your own.”

You have the chance to give one piece of advice to teen readers.  What is that?

Well, since I spent most of my teenage years trying to be the kind of person to whom no one would give unsolicited advice, I guess I’d better not give any!

What’s an important “nugget” that you’d like readers to take away from your book?

Drog would sum it up as “Speak for yourself” or “You’re nothing without a voice. Nada.”   But then Drog doesn’t hesitate for a minute to give unsolicited advice.

The philosophy of Aikido is an important element in this novel, and Parker’s Aikido teacher sums it up this way:  It is wrong to hurt someone, so if you prevent someone from hurting you, you are doing them a favor.”  Parker’s eventual solution to his puppet problem is a kind of Aikido solution.

Why did you write this book?

To have some serious fun!  I love to read and write stories that are completely realistic except for one impossible element—in this case the talking puppet—so that things are always teetering a little.  Also I’m fascinated by the questions explored in this story, such has how to live with controlling, boundary-crossing people and how deal with violence without becoming violent yourself.  And Drog’s outrageous comments throughout inject a little humor into otherwise dire situations.

Why do you write?

I once heard Gary Hoffman, a master cellist, say: “If you do something you love and do it as well as you can a for as long as you can, you become more and more yourself, and what could be better than that?”  For me writing is that something I love.

Why do you write for young people?

Eight- to twelve-year-olds are my favorite people on the planet. I believe they’re  the growing tip of the human spirit.  They care so much about things, they’re open to possibilities and a little magic, and they love and enter into stories completely.  I know they can hear me.  Some adults, the wise ones I believe, retain a childlike joy and wonder and simply add to it as they learn from experience growing older.  I write for them, too.

Do you have a favorite quote?

Yes, it’s from poet Theodore Roethke’s notebooks and it’s framed on my wall:  “Trust all joy.”

Is there a sequel?

No, but some readers have urged me to write a prequel about Drog’s life before he ended up in the junkyard trash can.

What are you working on now?

I’m just finishing a story in three voices—one for each of two boys who are different from one another in almost every way, and the third, in graphics, a brilliant and funny dog named Bravo that both boys love. Of course the dog doesn’t actually speak.  Or does he?   I’ve also just finished a retelling of the Three Billy Goats in which the youngest goat, a girl, persuades the troll to go vegetarian.

Why should kids read books when there are so many other things to do?

Because there are so many wonderful stories in them!

Because identifying with the characters in books helps you imagine possibilities and think about different ways to live and be human.

Some favorite books?

Many, many, but here are a few:  The Book of Everything by Guus Kuijer, The Book Thief, by Marcus Zusak; Bud, Not Buddy, by Christopher Paul Curtis; Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy, by Gary Schmidt, Under the Baseball Moon by John H. Ritter, The Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote.

Can you deal better with wind or rain? 

I wouldn’t like to live where it doesn’t rain much.  I need my surroundings to be wet and green.  Rainy days make me want to write and make things. That’s why I’m happy living in Hawaii!

Favorite comfort food:

Right now it’s fresh strawberry mochi, the kind with a whole strawberry inside coated with azuki bean paste.  Yum!  Also just about anything dark chocolate.

Thanks, Sue!  You can learn more about Sue at her website.   Drog even has a blog!


3 Comments on Sue Cowing Interview: YOU WILL CALL ME DROG, last added: 7/12/2013
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16809. ‘Maggie’ Continues to Soar at Region’s No. 1 Bookstore

Boosted by enthusiastic reader recommendations and strong online sales, the popular teen novel Maggie Vaults Over the Moon continues to soar as a best-seller at Watermark Books & Cafe, the region’s No. 1 bookstore. Listed among works by world-class writers … Continue reading

0 Comments on ‘Maggie’ Continues to Soar at Region’s No. 1 Bookstore as of 6/16/2013 1:17:00 PM
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16810. Increase Your Blog Traffic With the Google Keyword Tool

We all blog about different things. Technical instructi […]

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16811. Superman’s many dads

Superman has had many dads, the most recent of which are these two (from Entertainment Weekly):


…and the first two were these two:


Hopefully by now you know their names as effortlessly as the names of the top two.

1 Comments on Superman’s many dads, last added: 6/16/2013
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16812. An Outdoor Wedding

When someone plans a wedding
And the venue’s out of doors,
There most often is a back-up
Just in case it rains or pours.

If there’s not, it’s rather daring,
Like a gauntlet has been thrown;
Will the gods take up the challenge
Or leave well enough alone?

So the wedding I attended,
In the evening, on a roof,
Was a testament to chutzpah
And the party was the proof.

Though a rainy week preceded,
It was glorious and dry,
With a breeze to stir the senses
And a sunset in the sky.

As we watched the glowing couple,
Filled with love we all could see,
We just shook our heads and marveled
At the absence of Plan B.

Mother Nature gave her blessing
So we danced and dripped with sweat,
Feeling giddy with relief
That we weren't soaking wet!


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16813. “Interesting. Very interesting.” (Father’s Day)

A little over a year ago GIANTS BEWARE came out.  Around the same time, my papi was getting very sick with cancer and would eventually pass away in October.

papi2

My papi was old school, and was never very quick with the compliment.

I remember years ago, over dinner, we were talking about my career and he said, “Well, I guess leaving law school was not as big a mistake as I thought you’d made.”   That was his way of offering a compliment, and of course I took it.

IMAG1200 2

Last year, I flew into Columbus to see him.  Coincidentally, Rafael was doing an event at

Cover to Cover with our colorist and friend, John Novak.  I was reluctant to go.  At that point, my dad’s cancer was affecting his coordination and it was difficult to get him in and out of the car, and he tired quickly.  Rafael encouraged me to join him and when I asked my dad if he wanted to go he just said, “It sounds interesting.”

@ Cover to Cover Event, Columbus Ohio

@ Cover to Cover Event, Columbus Ohio

It took some work getting him there, but we went and the event was amazing.  It was packed.  Old friends from Columbus were there, college professors, family friends.  My dad was in the front row watching with his usual inscrutable expression.  It was the first time my dad had been at an event for one of my creative endeavors.  He got to see kids and adults who had read our book, enjoyed it, and were happy to have us sign their books.  He got to see the joy our book was bringing people.

Afterwards, I asked him what he thought of the event.  “It was interesting,”  he said.  I went fishing for a compliment,  “But what did you think of all those people there, for our book?  Neat, huh?”  He responded.  “Yes, it was interesting.”   I pushed him even further,  “But papi, isn’t it pretty cool to see a book your son wrote, out in the world and people seem to like it?”  He thought about it for a moment and said, “It was VERY interesting.”  For him, that was high praise, and I took it.

(Thanks to Darlene Rosado and Chip Kocel for the photos)


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16814. Dad, Can I Help?

I've included this rhyming story before but I can't pass up using again on this day, the first Father's Day without my dad. He passed away in January and all of his family areis missing him today. But he wouldn't want us to be droopy-eyed about him missing this day with us. I had him for 65 years and even he would probably say, that's long enough. And then there were three generations: My son, Chris, and his son, Dylan, with me hiking Bodega Head in California last week on June 8.

Cherish the fathers who are still with us, wherever they may be. And hold in your hearts the fathers we can only remember this day. May the Lord bless you and keep you all and may we all be sons with whom our fathers are well pleased.

Dad, Can I Help?
By Bill Kirk

The long weekend beckoned—
I’d written my list.
And I was quite sure
There was nothing I’d missed.

No yard work distractions,
No carpools to do.
The weekend was mine
Until I was through.

I had all my hardware
And lumber galore.
I’d work on the deck;
Replace an old door.

I set up my saw
And tested my drill.
With anticipation
I felt quite a thrill.

“No holding me back,”
I thought, a bit smug.
Then all of a sudden,
I felt a slight tug.

Stopping my work,
I turned with a glance
To see my small son
Grab the leg of my pants.

What could I do?
Did I have any choice,
When my little son asked
In his little boy voice?

“Dad, can I help?
I just need some glue
And maybe a nail,
Some wood and a screw.”

“I’ll be very careful
And do what you say.
I promise, I’ll try
To stay out of your way.”

I felt the deck slipping
Right out of my grasp.
And the door would remain
On its very last gasp.

We built a small boat
With a deck and a sail
Out of two bits of wood,
An old rag and a nail;

Then battled some pirates
And found chests of gold.
With each new adventure
A story was told.

We sawed and we hammered
Until we were done
With all of our work—
Like father, like son.

I never did finish
My list on that day,
Instead I spent time
With my son, just to play.

And those weekend projects?
Sometimes they must wait.
For some life appointments,
A Dad can’t be late.

0 Comments on Dad, Can I Help? as of 1/1/1900
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16815. Happy Father’s Day & Monstore Kudos

Tracy Campbell - Father's Day Card (1)

This Father’s Day card was sent in by Tracy Campbell to help wish all you Dad’s and single Mom’s a Happy Father’s Day. Tracy was featured on Illustrator Saturday on May 18th.

I missed getting Tara Lazar’s debut book THE MONSTORE at the conference last weekend. I took too much time, before I tried to buy her and all the books were gone, but Amazon has plenty in stock. I am sure I will see Tara soon at another event to have her sign it for me. Looks like a great picture book.

Tara Lazar is a children’s book author, foodie, mother and boogeyman assassin (currently booked at 3:00 a.m. nightly).  She writes quirky, humorous picture books featuring magical places that adults never find. Her debut THE MONSTORE releases in June 2013, with I THOUGHT THIS WAS A BEAR BOOK and LITTLE RED GLIDING HOOD to follow in 2014. She’ll also debunk the rule “Grow Up, Be Serious” in BREAK THESE RULES, a YA anthology due in September 2013. Tara lives in New Jersey with her husband and two daughters. Discover original stories, book reviews, giveaways and boogeyman extermination advice at www.TaraLazar.com.

monstore

The Monstore is a one-stop shop for all your monsterly needs in this enormously funny story that’s full of friendly, kooky creatures.

At the back of Frankensweet’s Candy Shoppe, under the last box of sour gumballs, there’s a trapdoor.

Knock five times fast, hand over the bag of squirmy worms, and you can crawl inside The Monstore.

The Monstore is the place to go for all of your monsterly needs. Which is perfect, since Zack definitely has a monsterly need. The problem? His pesky little sister, Gracie, who never pays attention to that “Keep Out” sign on Zack’s door—the one he has made especially for her.

But when Zack’s monsters don’t exactly work as planned, he soon finds out that the Monstore has a few rules: No Refunds. No exchanges. No exceptions.

Publishers Weekly

Debut author Lazar takes readers to an underground emporium, the Monstore, which trades in “the most useful monsters, just right for doing tricky things around the house.” Tricky things like handling “pesky little sisters.” However, the monsters that Zach purchases aren’t working as advertised. Instead of scaring Gracie, the enormous, three-eyed, orange-furred Manfred teams up with her to frighten Zach. And because the Monstore’s return policies are none too friendly, Zach purchases more monsters (“Add another,” suggests the wild-eyed shopkeeper. “A monster threesome is more gruesome than a twosome”), all of which wind up tormenting Zach. Readers shouldn’t be surprised that Gracie is delighted, not frightened, by the blobby, tentacled additions to the household—Burks’s (Beep and Bah) colorful creatures are firmly in the scary-cute vein of Monsters, Inc. (in one scene, they use a purple snake monster to jump rope with Gracie). Zach gets a chance to prove himself as a capable older brother, but this story really belongs to Gracie.

Ages 4–7. Author’s agent: Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary Agency. Illustrator’s agent: Kelly Sonnack, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (June)

ISBN-13: 9781442420175
Publisher: Aladdin
Publication date: 6/4/2013

Tara Lazar wished there was a Monstore when she was a kid so she could’ve spooked her pesky little brother. Her mischievous imagination led her to write picture books, and she founded PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month). She lives in New Jersey with her husband and her two daughters. Visit http://www.TaraLazar.com for stories, giveaways, and contests for kids of all ages (like Tara!).

James Burks started drawing as a little kid and hasn’t stopped since. Along the way he’s written and illustrated some books of his own, including Gabby and Gator, Beep and Bah, and Bird and Squirrel on the Run. James lives in southern California with his two little monsters.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: authors and illustrators, Kudos, Picture Book Tagged: Ammi Pacquette, Debut picture book, James Burks, Monstore, Tara Lazar, Tracy Campbell

2 Comments on Happy Father’s Day & Monstore Kudos, last added: 6/17/2013
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16816. My week in pictures

April Sean Spar Tuesday.  I love to spar. And I hardly ever say "sorry" when I hit someone now.
1004733_10201363077629190_288370316_n Wednesday: Reading at Powells from my new book, The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die.
971975_471451909606950_500659664_n Friday:If I was going to sprain my toe, couldn't I do it doing something cool?  But no, I ran it into a door frame on my way into the bathroom.
1008515_471799416238866_31744303_o Saturday: Got back from the launch party for Teri Brown's Born of Illusion and heard weird noises from under the car.  this is possibly a broken sway bar, something whose very existence I was blissfully unaware of.  

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16817. Living Your Covenants Every Day Blog Tour


living covenantsLiving Your Covenants Every Day The little things we v do on a daily basis don’t just matter—they can make all the difference. Intentional daily acts focused on covenant-keeping will bind us to the Savior as we are deliber- ate and determined to follow Him in small and simple ways. Drawing upon the teachings and lives of ancient and modern prophets, author Jennifer Brinkerhoff Platt identifies patterns of truth that encourage increased commitment to covenant relationships while diminishing the binding grip of the adversary. Included are chapters on the need to be consistent in covenant- keeping, on recognizing Satan’s tactics and lies, on undoing self-destructive routines, on the role of the Spirit to help us both feel and follow promptings, and on the power of daily scripture study and prayer in establishing habits that reinforce and sup- port our commitment to the Savior.
  Jennifer pAuthor Jennifer Brinkerhoff Platt Jennifer Brinkerhoff Platt is currently an assistant visiting faculty member at Brigham Young University and a recent addition to Deseret Book’s Time Out for Women events. A former seminary and institute instructor, she earned a PhD from Arizona State University in lifespan developmental psychology, focusing on women and social issues. She is married to Jed Platt, and the couple lives in Pleasant Grove, Utah.
  Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 6/27/13 a Rafflecopter giveaway  

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16818. I'm Surrounded by Angels


~*~
I truly believe God has his Angels looking after us. Even though, I have never seen one myself, except for the sweet angels like these in my photos, I can sense their presence around me.





I'm Surrounded by Angels


There are angels everywhere

with glorious, dainty wings

in every shape and color

such lovely little things.

.

Pretty angels in every size 

are everywhere I look.

There is one on each table

oh, even one on top of my book.


Angels in a row up on the shelf

wearing their heavenly costume.

Some are sleeping peacefully

in every corner of the room.


Angels peeking through my window

watching every little move, I make.

I know there are some on my bed

guarding me when I'm asleep or awake.


Girls and boys with sweetest smiles

with pair of wings, white as silvery snow.

Angels everywhere, in every room

with shimmering halos spreading its glow.


I'm surrounded by angels, so sweet

each so very precious, you'll see.

But the sweetest angel of them all

is God's angel who's looking after me.



© Copyright 2013 by Sannel Larson. All rights reserved


~*~


Thank you my friends and followers at HP for your lovely and kind feedback on my work. 
God Bless you all,
Sannel

You are a beautiful human being my friend. Another hubber always ends her messages to me by saying...."sending angels your way".....that is my message to you today. Thank you for your friendship and for the beauty you bring into this world.

bill


What a sweet and beautiful poem, Sannel. It must be nice to be surrounded by angels. Happy New Year to you! Hugs..............Made


wow so beautiful.. I believe that God has angels watching over us.. I have some stories.. but that's for another hub. Happy New year sweet lady. I love love love your poem.

I am sharing this lovely piece.

Debbie


I know that an angel wrote this poem.

I love you, Sannel. Happy and peaceful 2013 to you, my dearest friend,

Maria


Well, here is some poetic irony. One angel writing about others! This is lovely, Sannel and it's reassuring to know that there are angels watching over you. I'm sure there is a very special one assigned just to you! Thanks for sharing this beautiful piece from your heart! Voted up and more!

Rick


Like the out stretched arms of the rising sun, this poem offers a gentle hug to all who read. Nice.

Mitch

I agree with Maria, that an angel wrote this beautiful poem. (smile)

I have always loved angels, and could sense them around me, though, like you, I've never actually "seen" one. When I was 5, my Mom hung a picture of a "Guardian Angel" over my bed because I was having nightmare and she told me that the angel would protect me. That did foster a strong belief in the power of angels, that persists with me into the present time.
Thanks for sharing this and also the lovely pictures.
May the Angels sing in your ears in 2013.

Gail

Sannel, this is one of those sweet, beautiful writings about angels that will convince me that angels are indeed all around us. . . 

Martie


Hello Sannel, you find peace with the angels, that is surely a sign of things to come in a far off distant future. Nice sentiment to start of this happy and prosperous year.

Mike

I love this. The angels are adorable. Thank you for sharing beautiful poetry.

always exploring


Happy New Year my angel. You are surrounded by them, may they keep close to you and you to them. I believe in angels and I am certain I've lived this long because of their protection and guidance in my life.Peace and blessings I send to you sweet friend. Hugs xo

Vincent


Sannel, I heard the angels singing while I read your beautiful poem.

Voted up and away and sharing

Sue


Thank you for this tribute to the ones who support us each day.

Martin


So much blessings reading this beautiful hub. I believe in angels - those who are assigned by God from heaven and the one we meet on earth physically to be with us forever :)

Fehl


Beautiful words to take to heart, bringing much comfort. I do believe in angels and know they have touched my life many times. Thank you!

God bless,

Sunnie


Beautiful Sannel! Such heavenly words can only come from a person such as you, an angel herself :)

Katrine


You are surrounded by sweet angels sure enough, Sannel. What a marvelous collection you have there. There are many ways to speak of such things and your pics with the accompanying poems must truly be the best way of all to present them. What a joy to see and read, thank you dear lady; and appreciate the link back - will put this on mine tonight. Up and all and certainly shared!

Alastar


Voted up and awesome. We are of the same thought Sannel. As more loved one's leave this world I know that there are so many more angels looking out for me. May the Lord and His angels guide you this year. Hugs. Passing this on.

Rasta



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16819. Sue Cowing Interview: YOU WILL CALL ME DROG

Sue Cowing is an award winning poet and author who’s lucky enough to live in Hawaii!  She’s also a lover of history, art and Asian culture which have found their way into YOU WILL CALL ME DROG, a fascinating story for young readers with a tiny bit of scariness but also bullies and aikido and a military academy and … well, you’ll just have to read it and see for yourself!

Can you tell us how this book, or any of your books, came to be published?

I had published lots of poems and stories, both for children and adults, but You Will Call Me Drog was my first novel, and I didn’t realize that I was submitting it to editors prematurely. As a result, I got a lot of enthusiastic and complimentary. . .rejections.  Then Drog, the puppet character in the story said to me: “So are you going to do this for the rest of your life?  Get me an agent!” As it happened, I found just the right one that same day.  She was smitten with Drog and with Parker, but she also asked questions that led to some big revisions, and when we were both happy with the changes, the book sold in a month.

Tell us why we should read this book.

Because I wrote it just for you!

Because you’ve never read anything quite like it.

Who or what has been the greatest inspiration for your stories?

I’d have to thank my Mom who read us lots of poems and stories—myths, adventures, fables, mysteries, fairy tales (I loved anything with a magic object in it)—and told us stories from her own life.  She taught us to love language, art, music, and the natural world and to use our imaginations.  Her motto was “make your own.”

You have the chance to give one piece of advice to teen readers.  What is that?

Well, since I spent most of my teenage years trying to be the kind of person to whom no one would give unsolicited advice, I guess I’d better not give any!

What’s an important “nugget” that you’d like readers to take away from your book?

Drog would sum it up as “Speak for yourself” or “You’re nothing without a voice. Nada.”   But then Drog doesn’t hesitate for a minute to give unsolicited advice.

The philosophy of Aikido is an important element in this novel, and Parker’s Aikido teacher sums it up this way:  It is wrong to hurt someone, so if you prevent someone from hurting you, you are doing them a favor.”  Parker’s eventual solution to his puppet problem is a kind of Aikido solution.

Why did you write this book?

To have some serious fun!  I love to read and write stories that are completely realistic except for one impossible element—in this case the talking puppet—so that things are always teetering a little.  Also I’m fascinated by the questions explored in this story, such has how to live with controlling, boundary-crossing people and how deal with violence without becoming violent yourself.  And Drog’s outrageous comments throughout inject a little humor into otherwise dire situations.

Why do you write?

I once heard Gary Hoffman, a master cellist, say: “If you do something you love and do it as well as you can a for as long as you can, you become more and more yourself, and what could be better than that?”  For me writing is that something I love.

Why do you write for young people?

Eight- to twelve-year-olds are my favorite people on the planet. I believe they’re  the growing tip of the human spirit.  They care so much about things, they’re open to possibilities and a little magic, and they love and enter into stories completely.  I know they can hear me.  Some adults, the wise ones I believe, retain a childlike joy and wonder and simply add to it as they learn from experience growing older.  I write for them, too.

Do you have a favorite quote?

Yes, it’s from poet Theodore Roethke’s notebooks and it’s framed on my wall:  “Trust all joy.”

Is there a sequel?

No, but some readers have urged me to write a prequel about Drog’s life before he ended up in the junkyard trash can.

What are you working on now?

I’m just finishing a story in three voices—one for each of two boys who are different from one another in almost every way, and the third, in graphics, a brilliant and funny dog named Bravo that both boys love. Of course the dog doesn’t actually speak.  Or does he?   I’ve also just finished a retelling of the Three Billy Goats in which the youngest goat, a girl, persuades the troll to go vegetarian.

Why should kids read books when there are so many other things to do?

Because there are so many wonderful stories in them!

Because identifying with the characters in books helps you imagine possibilities and think about different ways to live and be human.

Some favorite books?

Many, many, but here are a few:  The Book of Everything by Guus Kuijer, The Book Thief, by Marcus Zusak; Bud, Not Buddy, by Christopher Paul Curtis; Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy, by Gary Schmidt, Under the Baseball Moon by John H. Ritter, The Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote.

Can you deal better with wind or rain? 

I wouldn’t like to live where it doesn’t rain much.  I need my surroundings to be wet and green.  Rainy days make me want to write and make things. That’s why I’m happy living in Hawaii!

Favorite comfort food:

Right now it’s fresh strawberry mochi, the kind with a whole strawberry inside coated with azuki bean paste.  Yum!  Also just about anything dark chocolate.

Thanks, Sue!  You can learn more about Sue at her website.   Drog even has a blog!


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16820. Pitcharama Pitch

Manuscript Title: Starspire
Author: Michael Young
Age group: (YA)
Genre: Fantasy
Word count: 80,000

Blurb:
When a tower to rival the Empire State Building appears on the fairgrounds overnight, no one suspects that a 13-year old boy is responsible. When Tyson was two, he swallowed a gem that fell from the heavens and now some of his dreams become reality while others fade.

After many disastrous incidents in Tyson’s childhood, Tyson’s parents keep him home-schooled and away from the world.  Tyson, however, pleads to be taken to the carnival for his birthday to see Markus Zauber, the self-proclaimed ‘Greatest Magician in the World’, and they finally give in. When Markus can’t even pull a rabbit out of a hat, Tyson falls asleep in the dark tent and dreams about the wizard he wishes Markus were. Suddenly, a new, improved version of Markus appears on stage and casts a powerful sleeping spell on Tyson to keep him dreaming forever. 

As a result of the wizard’s magic, Tyson’s dreams are contained in one place and form an growing tower in which a separate dream forms each floor. His parents enter the tower, bent on awakening and rescuing their son. As soon as they set foot in the tower, however, they revert to teenage versions of themselves and soon discover that the dreams of a 13-year-old are a dangerous place to be. The wizard knows he will lose his power the moment Tyson wakes and does everything he can to make sure that each of Tyson’s dreams will be darker than the last.

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16821. School Visit: Learning Community Charter School of Jersey City, NJ

DWEEB

Do you see that picture? Seriously, folks, do you understand the ridiculously awesome thing you’re looking at there? Click on it for closer inspection. That, my friends, is the blood, sweat and tears of three classes of 5th Graders at LCCS in Jersey City, NJ. These kids were kind enough to not only read DWEEB, but also create some amazing artwork based on the book. You are looking at movie posters! Cereal boxes! Comic strips! Character profiles! And hamburgers of all shapes, sizes and dimensions! Amazing? You better believe it.

I had the distinct honor of visiting these young readers and artists last Thursday. They welcomed me into their school with kindness, questions and pizza. A special thank you goes out to the teachers and staff who invited me, especially Ms. Litman, a friend from the days of yore. LCCS is a wonderful school with kids so smart and audacious that they are demanding a sequel to DWEEB (Random House, are you listening?) and a 150-million-dollar movie based on the book…starring them:

LCCS kids

P.S. One of these kids was wearing a Keith Richards T-shirt. He should probably be cast in the role of Elijah.

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16822. When I Was Eight

When I Was Eight (CAN, JP, US, INT)

Written by: Christy Jordan-Fenton and Margaret Pokiak-Fenton

Illustrated by: Gabrielle Grimard

Published by: Annick Press, Ltd.

Published on: February 4, 2013

Ages: 6+

Provided by the publisher for review through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

Yesterday I reviewed Red Kite, Blue Kite, a fiction picture book about a boy's experience in the Cultural Revolution in China. Today's book is nonfiction, but it too tackles a horrible part of history: residential schools in Canada.

Olemaun is an Inuit girl of great resilience who longs to read. She obsesses over the stories brought home from residential school by her older sister Rosie. She convinces her father to let her go to the school too and reluctantly he lets her go. But school is much harsher than she expected. She is stripped of her name, her language, and her hair, but she keeps her self worth.

Her one goal is to read, but first she must learn English, and prove to her sadistic teachers that they should teach her. They give her extra chores, stand her in the corner, and treat her terribly. This all culminates when she is given red socks that stand out and encourage the other kids to call her Fatty Legs. But Olemaun is as stubborn as the sharpening rock she is named after. Does she have the gumption to shut out the offending voices and achieve her goal to read?

When I Was Eight is a younger version of 2010's USBBY Outstanding International Book, Fatty Legs. The story of Margaret Pokiak-Fenton's time in a residential school is more detailed in the middle grade novel, but this picture book has the same message of the triumph of the individual no matter the circumstances.


Children just learning to read will relate to Olemaun's drive. I hope they are also grateful for the fact that they can learn while living at home, with their own names and languages, and hopefully without abuse. It is so important for Canadian children to learn about the residential school system and the attitudes that allowed this to happen to first nations children, so we don't repeat this with other children.  The Fentons sharing their story gives a voice to the children who can't speak, and the least we can do is listen to their stories.

This post is for Nonfiction Monday, hosted this week by Shelf-Employed.


This is the forty-first book I have reviewed for the Sixth Canadian Book Challenge.  


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16823. Who do you write for? confessions of a Rock Chick

by Teri Terry Blue skies at Wembley Stadium last night! I generally do my best thinking in one of three places: when I'm asleep; in the shower; and at concerts. My YA novel Slated began from a dream I had: the prologue is pretty much word for word what I wrote down early one morning after a vivid dream, of a girl running, terrified, on a beach. And I often find if I'm stuck or uncertain

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16824. Red Kite, Blue Kite

Red Kite, Blue Kite (CAN, JP, US, INT)

Written by: Ji-li Jiang

Illustrated by: Greg Ruth

Published by: Hyperion Book CH

Published on: January 22, 2013

Ages: 5 +







For Father's Day, I want to introduce a book about a father-child bond that not even Chairman Mao can break.

Red Kite, Blue Kite, one of my most anticipated picture books of 2013, takes place during the Cultural Revolution in China, when chaos reigned and families were broken up when members were sent to labour camps or labour farms or were just disappeared. Tai Shan is separated from his father, but at first it is so close that he can walk home on Sundays to share their favourite activity of kite-flying. But when that isn't possible, Tai Shan flies the kites for both of them so that they would look up at the sky and know the other one was looking too.

The Cultural Revolution is pretty heavy stuff for early elementary school students. But Jiang breaks it down into parts that any child could understand. Missing a parent is something that many children can understand, whether they are separated due to divorce, relocation, or one of the many conflicts going on in the world right now (I'm thinking of the children of the lawyers rounded up in Turkey these past weeks).

Focusing on the good in a situation (or the beauty in an area of pollution) is a very Asian concept, although not particular to Asia. It reminds me of the child-parent bond in the film Life is Beautiful. Two horrible situations, but you still have to live your life and might as well find the good parts- like two kites flying high above human worries.

Ruth's illustrations and affecting use of colour highlight hope, represented by the brightly coloured kites. It's amazing how a colour can be intimidating on the arms of red guards but buoyant when it is a toy controlled by a small boy meeting his father after a week apart.

A great supplementary activity for this book is fashioning a grasshopper. We used bamboo grass but you could use a straw like in this tutorial.

This is a powerful book that highlights an amazing familial bond and the triumph of the human spirit over tragedy.

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16825. A Father’s Day Tale

I decided to repost this from two years ago because it involves the love of a father for a son. This experience from the toy store reminds me that gifts do not always come wrapped in pretty paper with spiral ribbon. They sometimes come in the shape of stories. This story was a gift I received, and one I will treasure as long as I live. Happy Father’s Day!

A WHALE FOR STEVEN

                                                    by Betsy Devany

 Closing time has come and gone at Olde Mistick Village, the sidewalks are filled with more ducks than people shopping. The neighboring stores are dark, their doors locked, and their employees on their way home. It is time for me to call it a night.

       The marionettes swing in the breeze; the pink flamingo seems to wink at me. I gather the puppets outside to carry them into the store. Behind me there is quacking. The three ducks who rule our front yard are on alert. The white leader honks at a lone male that slipped under the fence and entered their territory. The leader’s two sidekicks join in the chase, nipping at the uninvited younger mallard. The white duck pecks at the intruder’s neck; his wings flap with agitation.  I move towards the gang of birds, clapping my hands until they separate.

       “Do you break up fights every day?”An older man walks in my direction, followed by a younger man. With the same chiseled chins, the two are clearly father and son.

       “This is the first fight I’ve seen today.”

       “You still open? We won’t be long, I promise.”

       “Uh . . . sure, yes, come on in.” I smile.

       “We need to hurry, Steven. This woman wants to close.”

       Steven, who looks to be in his late thirties, dashes into the store. “Whales, where are your whales?” His attention shifts rapidly from shelf to shelf. “I need a whale.” He looks up. He looks down. Lions are pulled from their shelves. Tigers. Bears. Cats. Dogs. None of the stuffed animals are right. Hoping to locate the whale he remembered having as a child, Steven continues to push toys aside. He mutters, “Big. Brown. Brown with beans . . . Big. Brown. Brown with beans . . .”

       “He’ll never find it, not the way his was, with the fabric worn around the tips of the eyes and the end of the tail from his constantly caressing it.” His father adds. “And the head was flat from Steven leaning into it, night after night, when he was a child.”

       Steven, who has traveled over an hour to get here, is missing more than just a stuffed whale from his childhood.

       We do not sell brown whales in the toy store, nor do we sell giant whales. The largest we have is a 24-inch white beluga whale. I hand Steven the beluga.  He brings it close to his nose, leans his cheek against it, and slides his face back and forth brushing the fabric. “Do you have a bigger whale . . . brown whale . . . filled with beans?”

       “No, we don’t, I’m sorry.” While I search for anything close to what he describes, Steven paces . . . and paces . . . and then he notices the three-foot lobster displayed on a high shelf above his head. He stands on his tiptoes and reaches for the stuffed sea creature. “This will do,” he says.

       “No, Steven, we’ve done this before.  You’re not thinking clearly.” The father takes the lobster away and leaves the beluga whale in his son’s arms. He sighs—a long sigh. His hair is grey and thin. He removes his glasses and wipes them clean. He sighs again, and then says to his son, “We’ve made these trips over and over again, from New York to Massachusetts, and to anywhere else that might hold the promise of a brown whale. Steven . . .  Steven, look at me, son.”

       Steven’s hold on the beluga whale loosens. I catch it before it hits the ground. “We have catalogs. Perhaps I can find a large enough whale for you,” I say and hand him back the beluga.

       The ends of the father’s mouth turn up, forced out of kind appreciation.  “That’s nice of you, but we’ve been looking for a very long time. I never know what he wants.”

       I head to the back stock room, grab six catalogs, and carry them to the front desk. Steven follows me, his arms clutching the beluga.

       “How big of a whale do you want?”  I ask.

       “Very big.” Steven focuses on his shoes while clinging to the toy. We go back and forth.  I flip through pages. He peers at pictures. “No, not right,” he tells me over, and over, and over again.

       His father stands next to him. “Steven, look at me.  Look at me, please.”  Finally, Steven lifts his eyes. “We aren’t going to find a whale. Not like your whale.”

       “I want a whale,” says Steven. “I want a big, brown whale with beans.”

       “Steven, we need to leave. This kind lady wants to go home.”

       “My whale, we came to get my whale,” Steven reminds his father.

       The father turns away from the counter and gently tugs at his son’s arm. Steven digs his heels in. Thirty minutes have passed since they first walked into the store.

       “Tell me about your whale,” I say.

       “He doesn’t know what he wants. I’ve been looking and looking—they just don’t make toys like they used to.” His father tugs again.

       “Steven, what did you love most about your whale?”

       Steven turns, looks at me, and walks back to the oak counter. He runs his hands along the wood.  “I liked the way the beans inside felt.”

       “They don’t make animals with those beans anymore. Too many safety concerns,” I say.

       Steven swirls his fingers around the shape of a large knot in the oak.

       His father sighs. “Thank you for trying, but he’ll never understand.”

       I arrange the pens next to the register; straighten the shopping bags. I glance in Steven’s direction. “Besides the beans, what else did you love about your whale?”

       “Soft, it was soft . . . I could sleep on it.”

       We have a two-foot penguin, but it is not soft.  We have large stuffed dogs, but they are not whales. We have a three-foot lion, but the color is tan, like a pale honey.

      Then I remember Gus. “I have a bear, a large bear,” I tell him. “And it’s brown.”

       Steven studies the floor. “I want a whale. I need to bring a whale home tonight.”

       The three of us stand in silence. I check the time. The owners must be wondering why I haven’t called with the day’s sales.

       “Let me show you the bear,” I say.

       “It’s hopeless. We’ve kept you long enough,” the father says.

       “I’ll be right back.” From the stuffed animal room, I carry the three-foot floppy bear to the front desk. Gus has lived in the store for quite some time now. Before I close up at night, he gets an extra pat.

       “He’s very soft,” I tell Steven. 

       “It’s not a whale.”

       Now, I am the one studying my shoes. “I won’t be able to find you a large whale tonight.  Just hold the bear, see what you think.  He’s brown and soft. You can lean into him.”  I hand Steven the bear.  

       He pushes his nose against Gus.  He plops Gus against the counter and leans into him. “He is soft. I like him.”

       “Yes, I like this bear myself—very much.”

       The father pulls at the price tag. “The bear is $130. You didn’t bring enough money.”

       Silence returns.  I shift the catalogs together and form a single stack, place them on the floor.

       The father stares at the door.  Steven’s face is buried into Gus’s fur. 

       I want to buy him the bear, show him he can love Gus as much as the whale.  I want to watch him walk down the sidewalk with the bear in his arms, even though it’s always hard when I let go of a stuffed animal I’ve grown attached to, but Steven did not bring enough money.

      Then, holding the bear tightly in one arm, Steven reaches into his pants pocket.  He removes a black leather wallet, worn with holes visible at every corner. It is a wonder the wallet doesn’t explode all over our wooden floor. A penny pokes through one end, but does not fall out. His wallet is thick with papers, some yellowed, some coated in a worn plastic. There is almost five inches thick of paper memories.

       His father settles into a stance; feet spread apart, firmly planted on the wooden floor—a familiar routine, I imagine. His hands out of his pockets, he turns his palms upward, as if waiting at a communion rail.

       Steven pops the wallet open and forms the shape into what appears to be a triangular leather cup. “I want the bear,” he says. 

       “Let’s count,” says his father.

       Steven places two twenties on our wooden counter, then another crumpled twenty.

       “How much is that,” asks his father.

       “Sixty,” says Steven with confidence.

       I separate the bills. “Eighty, you have eighty dollars here.”

       Steven pulls out a five and a ten—ninety-five. When he stretches the leather further, the penny falls to the floor, where it remains. Next, come the one-dollar bills, all carefully folded into triangles, the points as worn as the wallet.

       “One. Two.  Three,” he counts.

       There is something magical about the wallet, which is not diminishing in size.  Instead of pulling rabbits from a magician’s hat, he conjures up one-dollar bills out of faded leather. How does the wallet hold all of the tightly folded shapes?  I expect him to run out of money, yet Steven continues to hand another and another dollar bill to his father, never looking up or breaking his rhythm. Not once.

       His father unfolds and flattens each bill, using a quarter to work out the creases.

       The stack of money on the counter grows higher.

       I wait and watch.  “Why do you fold the dollar bills into triangles?” 

       Holding one bill in his hand, Steven lifts it to the corner of his right eye. “When I’m sad . . . this makes me feel better.”  He taps the edge of the triangular shape against his skin. Three times. He passes the bill to his father.

       “May I ask what Steven has?”

       The father talks and talks and talks, like a dam overflowing. Like a man who hasn’t been noticed in years.

       I cannot tell you what the father was wearing that day, but I can tell you his words—his story. I can describe the medicine bottle he has carried in his pocket from the seventies, day after day, year after year. The label so worn that it barely reveals the name of the pharmacy. Except for the lingering chalky stink of medicine, the bottle remains empty. The father rolls the medicine bottle between his palms as he tells me that the colored dye in the medicine, administered when Steven was a baby, caused a cerebral allergic reaction. Steven has two markers of autism, and some mental retardation. Years later, they learned that the damage was irreparable—long after Steven’s mother left, taking his brother and sister with him. Steven was six years old at the time. The mother changed her last name, never contacting Steven and his father.

       The father talks and talks while Steven continues to pull one-dollar bills from his wallet. He earns $100 per month, emptying trash containers at a pharmaceutical company.

       “You really love that wallet,” I say.

       Steven nods, eyes still downcast, his larger lip protruding over his top lip—almost swollen looking.

       “When did Steven lose his whale?  Do you have a picture?”  I ask the two men, one talking and talking, the other pulling triangles of money from a worn leather wallet.

       His father quickly shakes his head.  “No, not with us; it upsets him.”

       “It makes me sad,” adds Steven.  He taps the corner of his right eye with another folded dollar bill.

       “How long ago did he lose this whale,” I ask.

       “Six, he was six years old,” his father says.

       I lose count of the money on the counter; imagine Steven as a six-year-old boy snuggled against his mother, the whale by his side until the two of them banished at the same time. Is his search for a whale or a mother who abandoned him?

       “You only have $128. Are you sure this is what you want?” the father asks.

       Steven hugs the bear to his chest. Gus’s feet dangle at his knees. “I want the bear. It’s a soft bear.”

       “You don’t have enough money,” his father tells him.

       Steven opens his wallet. He peers into it, pulls out the yellowed papers. 

       The magic is gone.

       “I . . . I can—give you 10% off.”

       “You don’t have to do that,” the father says.

       “Yes, I do.” I smile and ring up the sale, recount the money and hand him $4 change. I make a mental note to pay the difference after they leave. Steven immediately folds the dollar bills into triangles before tucking them into his wallet.

       “I hope the bear makes him happy.” The father strokes Gus’s arms. “I never see any emotion from him anymore, he’s on so much medicine; it numbs his emotions, his personality. At least he doesn’t scream and cry like he used to. But he never laughs or smiles, either.”

       “I’m hungry,” Steven says.

       “What do you feel like eating?” I ask.

       “Steak!” 

       I give the father directions to a nearby restaurant and recommend they walk through the village so they can stop at the pond to admire the newly hatched baby ducks. 

       “I have to put my bear in the car first, so he’s safe,” says Steven. 

       The two men step outside the store. I bend over to unlatch the door in preparation for closing, and as I do, Steven turns to me and smiles, revealing slightly yellowed teeth.

       “You have a beautiful smile,” I say.

       The ends of Steven’s mouth turn up even more. Now his father grins. “I haven’t seen him smile is such a long time. It is worth more than the cost of the bear, more than the time in the car and the price of gas.”

       “I hope your search is over. How long has he been hunting for the whale?” I ask.

       “Thirty years, just Steven and me, we’ve been looking for thirty years.”

       Steven’s smile is broad. He is thirty-six years old and no longer fixated on his shoes.

       “Thank you for listening,” the father says. “Thank you for allowing me to go on and on.”

       “That’s what I am here for. Have a nice night.”

       If  I could, I would have found them a large brown whale filled with beans. But all I found was a bear named Gus, and for once, it seemed to be enough.


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