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1. Helene Fischer - Atemlos durch die Nacht - Bambi 2013

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2. Happy Emancipation Day!

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;
None but ourselves can free our minds.
Have no fear for atomic energy,
'Cause none of them can stop the time.
How long shall they kill our prophets,
While we stand aside and look? Ooh!
Some say it's just a part of it:
We've got to fulfill the book.

Bob Marley, "Redemption Song."

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3. Writing 3-Dimensional Characters

Writing Life Banner


Susan Dennard

Character3DRecently, I received this question from Kaila in my inbox:

I was wondering, could you please do a post on your “For Writer’s” page about creating 3-dimensional characters?

At first, I was totally afraid to even TRY to tackle this question. I mean…gosh, are my characters 3D? Am I even talented enough or aware enough to talk about something so important?

But then I wrote in my newsletter last week about motivations and consequences, and I realized that–at least for ME–there are 3 things that make a character feel REAL when I’m reading.

#1: Motivation

Character motivation is the WHY of a character’s actions. It’s the WHY behind her goal, the WHY behind her inner and outer needs, and it’s even the WHY behind her short temper and her inability to commit.

But no, you say, that’s backstory! Backstory and history explain her short temper and inability to commit.

Ah, but not entirely. Yes, she’s been burned by men before, so it’s left her wary. But WHY does she  use sarcasm and shouts to make her point? She could just as easily be closed-off and cold. What motivates her to behave the way she does? What does she subconsciously (or in full awareness) hope to achieve by behaving the way that she does?

If you don’t understand these WHYS, then you’ll have characters do things for the sake of the plot…Which means characters will act out of character–and readers will spot that stuff. I promise.

An example: In Truthwitch (which comes out next fall from Tor), I had one of my heroines keep a giant secret from her best friend. I mean, for the plot’s sake, it worked to have her stay quiet, but on a motivation level, it just didn’t make sense. These girls are the CLOSEST FRIENDS you can ever imagine–why would Noelle EVER keep a secret from Safi? Well, a few savvy critique partners asked that very question, and so I finally examined Noe’s motivation for silence…

And it turned out she didn’t have one. I was making Noe stay silent for the sake of the plot. And although changing the story so that there was no secret would require major revisions, I realized that it had to be done. Otherwise, there would always be that lingering question in the reader’s mind of why Noelle did what she did. There would always be the nagging awareness that the character wasn’t behaving quite right.

#2: Emotional Dominoes

In order for me to revise the book with this new awareness–the awareness that Noe wasn’t motivated to keep secrets from Safi–I had to go back to the book’s very first scene and work through every emotional beat in the book. All over again.

Now, I’ve talked about emotional dominoes before, and I will often write in my notes, What are my emotional dominoes?, and then go through each emotion scene by scene. I find this method is incredibly helpful for unsticking my plot, and I also find it INVALUABLE for revising my characters and building real people.

In the Truthwitch example, I had to look at what it meant for Noelle to have told Safi her secret. If Safi knows this bit of history about Noelle, how does it change their interactions? How does it change how they view each other? How they behave in each scene?

And, once I had adjusted one scene to reflect this “new normal”, how did that effect the emotions in the next scene…and the next and the next?

Remember: every scene is linked. What happened before affects what’s happening now, and it will also dictate what happens next. If you try to force emotions to fit a plot, well…You end up with a book that feels forced! And as I mentioned above: readers WILL notice!

#3: Consequences

Consequences are hard. These are very much linked to emotional dominoes–in fact, you could say that “consequences” are just a form of emotional domino. Cause and effect, right?

But what I mean when I say “consequences” is going all the way. I mean digging deep into emotions that scare you and writing raw, honest stuff.

There is nothing I hate more than a character dying and then everyone just sort of moving on! Or a character who commits a truly horrible act (perhaps the heroine keeps a secret which thereby causes the death of her love interest’s family) and everyone just glosses over it–or worse, forgives her right away!

If an act is irredeemable in real life, it will also be irredeemable in fiction.

And if an act causes deep emotional response in real life, then it needs to cause deep emotional response in fiction.

So, as frightening as it may be to face the dark stuff in your heart, you’ve got to if you want your consequences to feel REAL.

If I return once more to the Truthwitch example, I realized as I was revising the book to incorporate Noe’s secret that the reason I’d failed to have it in the first place was because I’d been scared of facing the consequences. I hadn’t wanted to “go there” because “there” was a very scary place, and now that I had Noe’s traumatic childhood secret out in the open, I was going to have to build those consequences and emotions into every single scene.

It wasn’t easy, and I’m still not sure I got it right (thank goodness for multiple rounds of revision!). But I now understand Noelle’s–and Safi’s–characters so much better. I feel way more connected to them as people, and that in turn makes me care about and love the story even more.

Now, obviously we aren’t ALL writing dark characters with twisted backstories. But even books that are funny and “fluffy” have loads of heart and can hit us right in the gut. I remember reading Lucy Sullivan Is Getting Married as a teenager and suddenly bursting into tears at the airport. I felt what Lucy felt (oh, Gus! You bastard!), and she was as real to me as if she were sitting next to me, waiting for her flight too.

The reason I connected to Lucy–the reason she felt 3-dimensional–was because I understood WHY she wanted love in her life. I understood why she made the often hilarious and often DUMB choices that she did. I totally understood why her failures brought her low, and every scene toppled neatly into the next. And, above all, when Lucy was faced with the final, really tough decisions, I FELT all the emotional weight that those decisions were due. (If you haven’t read that book, I highly recommend it!! Romantic comedy at its finest!)

So there you have it: motivation, emotional dominoes, and consequences. Those are the 3 dimensions that make a real character for me.

What about you? How do you write 3-D characters?

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4. Practise run

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5. WD Poetic Form Challenge: Madrigal

Earlier this week, I hinted it was coming, and here it is: the next WD Poetic Form Challenge. Of course, we’ll be writing the madrigal, specifically the English madrigal, for this challenge. Click here to read the guidelines for the madrigal.

Once you know the rules for the madrigal, start writing them and sharing here on the blog (this specific post) for a chance to be published in Writer’s Digest magazine–as part of the Poetic Asides column. (Note: You have to log in to the site to post comments/poems; creating an account is free.)

The golden shovel challenge drew 750+ comments–so consider the bar raised.

Here’s how the challenge works:

  • Challenge is free. No entry fee.
  • The winner (and sometimes a runner-up or two) will be featured in a future edition of Writer’s Digest magazine as part of the Poetic Asides column.
  • Deadline 11:59 p.m. (Atlanta, GA time) on August 31, 2014.
  • Poets can enter as many madrigals as they wish. The more “work” you make for me the better, but remember: I’m judging on quality, not quantity.
  • All poems should be previously unpublished. If you have a specific question about your specific situation, just send me an e-mail at robert.brewer@fwmedia.com. Or just write a new madrigal.
  • I will only consider madrigals shared in the comments below. It gets too confusing for me to check other posts, go to other blogs, etc.
  • Speaking of posting, if this is your first time, your comment may not appear immediately. However, it should appear within a day (or 3–if shared on the weekend). So just hang tight, and it should appear eventually. If not, send me an e-mail at the address above.
  • Please include your name as you would like it to appear in print. If you don’t, I’ll be forced to use your user/screen name, which might be something like HaikuPrincess007 or MrLineBreaker. WD has a healthy circulation, so make it easy for me to get your byline correct.
  • Finally–and most importantly–be sure to have fun!
2015 Poet's Market

2015 Poet’s Market


Pre-order the Latest Poet’s Market!

The 2015 Poet’s Market is now available for pre-order at a discounted price. Get the most up-to-date information for publishing your poetry, including listings for book and chapbook publishers, magazines and journals, contests and awards, and more!

Plus, this edition includes information on poetic forms, poet interviews, articles on the craft and business of poetry, and so much more!

Click to continue.


roberttwitterimageRobert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). He loves reading poetry, writing poetry, and studying poetry–but he especially loves sharing poetry and is happy that Poetic Asides is a place that accommodates just that.

Walks in the park, kissing after dark, watching Jimmy Stewart films–these are some of the other things that Robert enjoys. He writes nearly daily and is happy to sacrifice cable TV to continue this practice.

Robert is married to the poet Tammy Foster Brewer, who helps him keep track of their five little poets (four boys and one princess). Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.


Find more poetic posts that rock here:

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6. Me and Louisa May Alcott at the Philadelphia International Airport

A little over a year ago I had the tremendous honor of being included in the Philadelphia Literary Legacy at the Philadelphia International Airport, a year-long exhibition featuring 50 writers who had passed through or grown up in my region since the Constitutional Convention.

A highlight of my life. (For images from that day, go here.)

Not long ago, that exhibit was replaced with a fantastic portfolio of images about Philadelphia and its history of civil rights.

I had no idea, until moments ago, that portions of the Literary exhibition are still in tact at the airport. I know this because my good friend K.M. Walton took the time to snap this photo and to share it with me.

Thank you, Kate.

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7. El Deafo: Review Haiku

Stick this on your
Diverse Books About Kicka$$ Girls
shelf. (Don't have? MAKE ONE.)

El Deafo by Cece Bell. Amulet/Abrams, 2014, 248 pages.

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August, 1st 2014, Malta

Wicked Comics are proud to announce that internationally renowned creators Guillermo Ortego (X-Factor), and Steve Scott(Batman) as well as up and coming independent creator Mickey Lam will be joining Yishan Li (The Clique), Rufus Dayglo(Tank Girl) and Andrew Wildman(Transformers) as guests for the Malta Comic Con (MCC) 2014 which will be held on Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th November at St. James Cavalier (all floors), Valletta, between 10am – 6pm on Saturday and 11am – 7pm on Sunday.

There are a chosen few conventions out there that are something else, something where money-making is left aside in order to champion human interaction, but still achieve the same level. No distinction between super-hot artists and retired old-glories, no distinction between superhero pencillers and small press manga artists. It's all about the people. People talking comics, people reading comics, people making comics, people discussing comics as if they were deep philosophy.

Avilés, in the north of Spain, was the first place where I experienced this, and Malta, was the second. And it's these kind of shows, these kind of people, that make all the long working hours, the missed weekends and holidays and the angry girlfriends/boyfriends worth our while." (Guillermo Ortego, 2013).

Guillermo Ortego:

A Spanish creator currently residing in London Guillermo first started inking comic books professionally after studying History at university. Also working as a freelance illustrator on the side, he rapidly moved into the American scene breaking into Marvel Comics alongside Paco Díaz Luque on titles such as Wolverine Vs. Thor, Dark Wolverine and Wolverine: Mr. X. Then off to DC Comics with Green Arrow and JLA 80 Page Giant and back to Marvel with Italian artist Emanuela Lupacchino on Peter David’s X-Factor and, after a successful year run on the book, on Brian M. Bendis and Kelly-Sue DeConnick's Castle graphic novel based on ABC's acclaimed TV show. After its release on October 2012, they started working on the second story arc for Valiant Comics’ recently re-launched Archer & Armstrong to move onto Bloodshot and the H.A.R.D. Corps on the summer of 2013.

Apart from his monthly covers for Dynamite Comics with penciller Ardian Syaf, he's recently collaborated on Marvel's Infinity #06 and Original Sin #0 with Jim Cheung and DC's Justice League Dark #25-#27, Nightwing #30, Batman Eternal #13 and Grayson #02 with fellow Spaniard Mikel Janín.


Steve Scott:

In his over 18 year career American creator Steve Scott has illustrated titles such as; Batman, X-Men Forever, JLA. Marvel Adventures Hulk and many more while his work has been published by DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Image, Dark Horse, London Knight Studios, Malibu Comics and several independent publishers.

Steve has also worked in TV, Film, and most recently in video games. His work for television was aired in episodes of the popular TV series Smallville and ABC Family’s Kyle XY. In films, Steve illustrated the only adaptation of the 2008 Oscar winning film Batman the Dark Knight and his work was overseen and approved by director Christopher Nolan. This artwork was part of the packaging offered with the Special Blue Ray edition of Batman Begins. In that same year, George Lucas approved Steve to be the artist for Indiana Jones and the Tomb of the Gods. This series, written by Rob Williams, was very popular with Indiana Jones fans and the majority of the art from the series was purchased by Mr. Lucas himself and is now part of his permanent collection.

Steve has also provided graphics for Cognito Comics for their revolutionary interactive graphic novel "Operation Ajax” and in video games he is currently providing work for "The Bane of Yoto" from Leviathan Games.

His most recent work can be found in the upcoming adaptation of Neil Gaiman's, "The Graveyard Book". Steve was handpicked to be one of the few illustrators involved with this project. Additionally, he has been doing art chores on the IDW series Judge Dredd.


Mickey Lam:

Mickey is a London-based illustrator who also self publishes his own comics ranging from a school teacher who fights aliens to a banana and a strawberry who become best friends.


“I’ve had the pleasure to meet both Steve Scott and Guillermo Ortego, and besides their obvious talent as creators and the high profile work they’ve been involved in they are also fine individuals whom I’m proud/honoured to call friends. This will be Ortego’s third successive appearance as a guest to our show, and that in itself is testament to his ability as a creator as well as his pleasant personality that shines through when spending time with his fans, which has ensured a strong following in Malta. I’m also convinced that like Ortego, Scott will fit right in and his friendly approach and enthusiasm will add to the fun, relaxed and exciting atmosphere prevailing at the Malta Comic Con. He will surely return to the States with a healthy Maltese fan base. The presence of up and coming independent creator Mickey Lam further highlights Wicked Comics’ commitment to welcome guests from all walks of the industry and I’m sure that along with the other guests his participation will inspire local artists to continue to develop their talents and establish the exciting Maltese comics scene further. Consequently, we would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their participation and look forward to hosting them here” said Chris Le Galle co-founder of Wicked Comics.

As customary Wicked Comics have designed a number of packages for fans wishing to travel to the Malta Comic Con from abroad, which include heavily discounted accommodation rates and local transport from hotel to convention centre. Similarly Wicked Comics have a number of packages tailored for foreign creators who wish to exhibit at the Malta Comic Con including heavily discounted tables.

More Packages info:



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9. Kenneth Fearing/prose and politics

       At Tablet Ron Capshaw reminds readers that The Forgotten Founder of 'Partisan Review' Wrote Porn and Thrillers -- looking, sort of, at: 'What happened when Kenneth Fearing's Communist sympathies came up against his ideas about art ?'
       Best known as author of The Big Clock (you've heard about the movie versions -- read the book !), Fearing was sympathetic to the Communist cause -- apparently responding to the HUAC-posed question:

"Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party ?" -- he answered, "Not yet." While this was possibly a throw-away line or an attempt at humor, Fearing was more right than he knew. He never quite made the leap into social realism. Instead, when writing hardboiled mysteries, he served the story rather than the Party's aesthetic dogmas.
       Americans' ideological blinders (witness the claim: Obama-is-a-socialist -- an insult to every possible conception of socialism) continues to baffle me, but this is the kind that really bugs me. Communist sympathies can not be equated with an embrace of Zhdanovite (non-)aesthetics: just because authors were/are sympathetic to Communism or Marxism does not mean their writing must fit some simplistic template:
The typical proletarian novel had a protagonist, either apolitical or vaguely liberal, who watches a strike from the sidelines. The story usually ends with the murder of a union organizer friend by the bosses. The murder radicalizes the protagonist, who in Tom Joad fashion, pledges to carry on the work of the martyr.
       Certainly, that kind of 'literature' exists/existed -- especially in the Soviet/satellite states -- but as elsewhere the best literature was and is nowhere near as ideologically obvious or simplistic. (The laughable in(s)anity of Adam Bellow's Liberty Island is an example of seeing so-called 'conservative fiction' in a similarly ideologically blinkered fashion -- and where, predictably, there's also no art at all.)
       Capshaw's hypotheses of, for example: "a Marxist ending" are as limiting as the worst directives of Soviet-censor times; leftist/Marxist/Communist fiction could (and can) be, and often is, more nuanced than he allows for -- and the fact that Fearing's work is not simply categorizable as 'Communist fiction' speaks for it, without necessarily denying or undermining its author's ideological sympathies.

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10. Poetry Friday - A review of On the Wing

Douglas Florian is a poet and artist who has created poetry picture books that explore a wide variety of subjects. Over the years I have greatly enjoyed reading these books, and it is interesting to see how he applies his considerable talent to take on a new topic that interests him.

Douglas Florian
Poetry Picture Book
For ages 6 to 8
Harcourt, 1996, 978-0152023669
Birds truly are remarkable animals. They come in a dazzling array of colors, live on every continent, and make their homes in all kinds of places. In this wonderful picture book Douglas Florian pairs short poems with his artwork to give readers a true celebration of birds.
   Over the millennia birds have evolved to suit many kinds of environments. Some birds, like the egret, sail on water and then rest on the beach making it seem as if there is a “feathered hat” lying on the sand. Dippers love to dip and dive in waterfalls. They are so aquatic that one wonders if they would be happy to “trade / Their oily wings for flippers.” They are such good swimmers that it is possible that the little birds might “think that they are fish.”
   Birds come in all shapes and sizes. The spoonbill is tall and thin with a beak that does indeed look like a long-handled spoon. In his poem about this rather odd looking species, Douglas Florian wonders if the spoonbill uses its bill “for stirring tea” or does it “use it as a scoop / For eating peas and drinking soup.”
   The stork has a bill that is perfectly suited for the environment it lives in. Wading through shallow water, the bird uses it rapier like bill to stab frogs and other creatures. Woodpeckers also have beaks that are perfectly adapted so that they can get to their chosen food - insects that live in wood and sap that runs through wood. Not only are these beaks perfect for creating holes, but woodpeckers also use them to communicate.
   With clever touches of humor and insightful descriptions, this collection of poems will give young readers a colorful picture of twenty-one bird speci

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11. Thanks, Optimus Prime: What the Transformers Can Teach Us About Plot

The ALIENS have landed!

"amusing. . .engaging, accessible," says Publisher's Weekly

I am writing a science-fiction trilogy and I’d like it to have general appeal to kids and teens. So, recently, I went to see the new Transformers 4: Age of Extinction to see what I could learn. Here’s one of the official movie trailers.

If you can’t see this video, click here.

Transformer’s Major Plot Points

SPOILER ALERT: I analyze the plot of this movie, so if you haven’t seen the movie and don’t want to know what happens, stop reading!

Who? Yeager family POV
When? Five years after Chicago was destroyed in the Transformer battles.

  1. Inciting incident: Inventor-wannabe Cade Yeager and his friend, Lucas, buy a junk truck that turns out to be Optimus Prime.
    Cade’s promise to his long-lost wife: I will make sure our daughter graduates from high school; graduation is only a week away, so it seems like a slam-dunk. (The rules have changed: we are all targets now.)
  2. Plot Point 1: The evil guys—the Cemetary Wind macho dudes—come to collect Optimus Prime (to take advantage of the rare metal that transformers are made of) and threaten Yeager’s daughter, Tessa—the Yeagers all escape with the help of Tessa’s boyfriend, Shane (though Lucas is sacrificed to show the evil that chases them).
  3. First half of Act 2: Rescue Transformer named Brains from the KSI and the new warrior Transformer, Galvatron is activated to chase them.
  4. Midpoint: Galvatron and Optimus Prime battle. When Optimus Prime is captured, Tessa is also caught and winds up trapped in the alien spaceship owned by Lockdown, an alien bounty hunter. Yeager and Shane must rescue Tessa.
  5. Second half of Act 2: Optimus Prime and Tessa are rescued by Autobots, Yeager and Shane. Alien bounty hunter, Lockdown launches into deep space believing he has Optimus Prime on board.
  6. Plot Point 2: Optimus Prime reveals that Galvatron is really a re-birth of the evil Megatron, who will try to activate the Seed to destroy Earth. They must stop him. The bounty hunter transformer, Lockdown, (To Optimus Prime: You think you were born? You were built and they want you back.) gives KSI a “seed,” which they think will help them make more of the prized metal, but will really destroy Earth.
  7. Act 3. Optimus Prime releases the Dinobots (T-Rex Transformer robots) and attacks Galvatron and win (though Hong Kong, this time, is destroyed). Lockdown returns to claim Optimus Prime.
  8. Climax: Cade, Tessa and Shane take risks to help Optimus (thus proving the story’s theme, that humans can rise to the occasion), who is hurt, but ultimately defeats Lockdown.
  9. Promise kept: Tessa has lived to attend her high school graduation, and has a new-found respect for her Dad’s tinkering ways.

  • Theme: Optimus Prime: How many more of my kind must be sacrificed for humans.
    Yeager: It’s not who we are, but who we can be.
  • There are several main subplots and you could analyze the story from one of the other ones. Here, I’ve concentrated on Cade/Tessa as the main plot. If you want to argue that this is Optimus Prime’s story, I could go for that; however, I think readers/movie fans are more likely to identify with the human characters.

    In any case, my point is to learn something.

    Action/Adventure or a Quieter Story

    Looking at this plot analysis, I realize immediately that I’m not putting enough at stake early enough in the story. My Plot Point I involves the character making a decision. It’s not an action scene where the antagonists arrive to threaten a girl and to recapture a rogue transformer.

    Of course–different stories have different needs. I describe quiet stories as having a pastel palette and there is indeed a place for stories like this. Transformer’s palette, however, is bold.

    My question to answer: What sort of physical action/adventure palette do I want? Is my story a quiet story, or does it fall farther along the spectrum toward an action/adventure story?


    Glue for Act 2

    The dreaded sagging middle is always a problem for me. In Transformers, the whole of Act 2 is about Rescue: rescue Brains from the KSI; rescue Optimus Prime and Tessa from Lockdown’s space ship. Notice that the Midpoint twists the story in a tangent direction when Tessa is captured and taken to the alien space ship. Of course, we are worried about Optimus Prime! But he’s a strong and able transformer who is likely to fight his way free at some point. Tessa, however, is a high school senior and it’s not fair that she is caught up in this conflict. It’s a nice way to keep the action going, to up the stakes and to play on the audience’s emotions.

    My Act 2 hangs together well, and has a nice Midpoint twist. The same question lingers, though. Do I need/want more action/adventure?

    The Last Lap: Pumping up Act 3

    We transition into Act 3 with a revelation in Plot Point 3 that Galvatron = Megatron. With such an evil abroad, no one can relax. They MUST take the battle to him. And what a battle! Aliens v. aliens. Over Hong Kong! Dinobots, or a great combination of t-Rex with transformers! What’s not to like? We get lots of exclamation points!!!!

    This is indeed a movie built on action sequences and it’s almost non-stop in Act 3.
    No, I don’t want my story to be THAT action/adventure oriented. I’ll back off the Transformer’s palette a couple steps.

    However, there are a couple nice moments. In the Hero’s Journey, there is often a death scene, followed by a resurrection scene. It’s the death of the hopes of the protagonist, and a renewal of the hope. Optimus Prime is impaled and we think he is dying. One of the story’s themes is that humans have potential. It’s crucial here that Cade, Tessa and Shane work as a team to help Optimus: they remove the “spear,” and help him to defeat the evil Lockdown.

    My Act 3 has action, a chase, and some nice possibilities for physical action. As I write it, I must remember to include scenes that highlight the theme in an organic way. If I can find a reasonable Death/Resurrection moment, so much the better.

    Thanks for the help, Optimus Prime

    Studying popular movies like this can be one way to reevaluate your plot. I’m still early in the plotting process, so this is a perfect time to do this. It doesn’t solve my problems: but it forces me to ask the right questions. And at this stage, that’s what I need: questions that force me to think deeper about my story, the characters, and the plot.

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    12. How Georg Ludwig became George I

    By Andrew C. Thompson

    On 1 August 1714, Queen Anne died. Her last days were marked by political turmoil that saw Robert Harley, Earl of Oxford, and Henry St. John, Viscount Bolingbroke, struggle to assert their authority. However, on her deathbed Anne appointed the moderate Charles Talbot, duke of Shrewsbury, as the last ever lord treasurer. The queen’s death prompted a transition from the Stuart dynasty to the Hanoverian, and the succession of Georg Ludwig, elector of Hanover, as King George I of Great Britain and Ireland.

    King George I by Sir Godfrey Kneller, 1714. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

    King George I by Sir Godfrey Kneller, 1714. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

    We now look back on the Succession as one of decisive dynastic change — one that came about as a result of the Act of Settlement (1701). This act set out how, following Anne’s death, the throne was to be inherited by the children of Sophia, Dowager Electress of Hanover, and granddaughter of James I and VI. The act had named Sophia and “the heirs of her body being protestants” as next in the line of succession precisely because William III – King from 1689 to 1702 — had been anxious to ensure that Protestant monarchy would be preserved within Britain. William’s invasion of Britain in 1688 had been, in part, justified on the basis that the ruling monarch, James II, had put himself at odds with the political nation through his espousal of “popery and arbitrary government.” Moreover, the birth of James’s son in June 1688 raised the prospect of a permanent reversion to dynastic Catholicism into the next generation.

    Although William and his wife Mary had quickly established themselves in their new roles, they failed in one particular respect. They did not produce an heir. Queen Mary’s premature death in 1694 was widely mourned, but William did not rush to re-marry and ensure that the succession would be perpetuated into the next generation. Instead, attention turned to Mary’s sister, Anne, the younger of James II’s Protestant daughters. Anne was the victim of frequent gynaecological misfortune. She gave birth to many children but few thrived. In 1689 she and her husband, George, prince of Denmark, had a son, William, Duke of Gloucester. His birth was widely seen as an indication of divine approval for the recent changes on the throne, but William was a sickly child. In July 1700 he contracted smallpox and died shortly afterwards. It was his death that pushed William into formalizing succession arrangements through the Act of Settlement.

    Sophia of Hanover by her sister, Louise Hollandine of the Palatinate, c. 1644. Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

    Sophia of Hanover by her sister, Louise Hollandine of the Palatinate, c. 1644. Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

    Naming Sophia as heir to William and Anne, on the basis of her Protestantism, excluded more than fifty closer blood relations who happened to be Catholic. Thus, it is easy to see why a shift from the Stuart line to the Hanoverian seemed momentous. Yet, it’s also important to remember that contemporaries talked not in terms of the Hanoverian but of the Protestant succession, stressing continuity over change. Likewise, following its arrival in England in September 1714, the new dynasty was keen to emphasise its Stuart ancestry. This can be seen in the refurbished state apartments at Hampton Court where visual representations of the Hanoverians stood alongside portraits of James I and VI, his wife Anne of Denmark, and their daughter, Elizabeth of Bohemia.

    Sophia, the matriarch of the new Hanoverian dynasty, had married the youngest son of the cadet branch of the dukes of Brunswick in 1658. The fortunes of her husband, Ernst August, had risen rapidly. Through a combination of marriage, negotiation, and luck he was able to acquire the duchy of Calenberg-Göttingen and ensure that his son, Georg Ludwig — the future George I — would inherit the Duchy of Celle. In 1692 Hanover was granted electoral status, so joining an elite club with the right to elect the Holy Roman Emperor. On his father’s death in 1698, Georg Ludwig therefore inherited a major German state; three years later his status was raised further with the prospect of succession to the British thrones. In addition, Georg was an accomplished commander who served as allied supreme commander for a period during the War of the Spanish Succession that raged in Europe between 1702 and 1713/14.

    During Anne’s reign (1702-14), it was unclear whether the Act of Settlement had, in fact, resolved the succession question. Support for the exiled Stuarts persisted while Anne was unwilling to allow her Hanoverian relations to come to England to represent their interests personally. The Hanoverians did, however, find staunch supporters among members of the whig party. Polemicists such as George Ridpath worked hard to promote the Hanoverian cause. Protestant dissenters also tended to support the Hanoverians. On 1 August 1714 the dissenting minister Thomas Bradbury was preaching in his meeting house in Fetter Lane, when — alerted to Anne’s death by a handkerchief dropped from the gallery — he claimed the honour of being first to pray publicly for the new king.

    George I was proclaimed king without much trouble on 1 August 1714. The plans, long in preparation, were quickly put into action. A Regency council was formed, made up of whigs and some Hanover tories. Hans Kaspar von Bothmer, one of George’s Hanoverian ministers, co-ordinated the transition. The new king was sufficiently relaxed to spend several weeks sorting out governance arrangements for his German lands before departing for London. He stopped to hold talks in the United Provinces en route and only arrived at Greenwich in late September.

    Having spent a day meeting key figures, George I was transported into London. A long procession of coaches followed the royal party, soldiers lined the route, and cannon fire accompanied the new king. In the immediate aftermath of their arrival George and his family were highly visible on the London social scene, seeking to emphasize their qualities and advantages over the Stuart, or Jacobite, pretenders. They were clearly Protestant, they were numerous (ensuring that the succession was secure for the immediate future), and they seemed willing to adapt. It is worth remembering that George I was 54 years old when he became king in August 1714. He had behind him a long political and military career and could easily have arrived in Britain set in his ways. Instead, in the coming years he demonstrated a willingness to work hard and take on new responsibilities—qualities that would make George a very successful immigrant.

    Dr. Andrew C. Thompson teaches history at Queens’ College, Cambridge, and is the author of Britain, Hanover and the Protestant Interest (2006) and George II: King and Elector (2011). His article on the Politics of the Hanoverian Succession was recently published in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, alongside two further essays — on Literary Responses to the Succession (by Abigail Williams) and Legacies of the Hanoverians (by Clarissa Campbell Orr) — to mark the tercentenary.

    The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography is a collection of 59,102 life stories of noteworthy Britons, from the Romans to the 21st century. The Oxford DNB is freely available via public libraries across the UK, and many libraries worldwide. Libraries offer remote access allowing members to gain access free, from home (or any other computer), 24 hours a day. You can also sample the ODNB with its changing selection of free content: in addition to the podcast; a topical Life of the Day, and historical people in the news via Twitter @odnb.

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    The post How Georg Ludwig became George I appeared first on OUPblog.

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    13. Attack! Boss! Cheat Code! contest: What is D for?

    Attack Boss Cheat Code - May 2014Attack! Boss! Cheat Code! A Gamer’s Alphabet — written by me, with illustrations by Joey Spiotto — will be published this fall. It’s pretty obvious what letters A, B, and C are for, but what about the rest of the alphabet?

    Our publisher, POW!, will be giving away one advance copy of the book for every letter between D and Z. How do you win one of those copies? Just guess correctly what one of those letters stands for.

    We’ll start today with D. In Attack! Boss! Cheat Code! A Gamer’s Alphabet, what gaming term is represented by D? As a clue, here’s a bit of Joey’s art for that letter:

    D is for ... ?

    D is for … ?

    You can share your guess in the comments of this post, or via email, or by tweeting at me. Then POW! and I will draw one correct guess at random and get in touch with the random-correct-guesser for mailing info.

    Tomorrow, we’ll start taking your guesses for the advance copy we’re giving away for E, and so on until we get to Z. Good luck!

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    14. Celebrating

    Flickr Creative Commons Photo by Will Clayton

    Even though our blog birthday was on January 1, we are celebrating it all year! On our 8th Birthday, we decided to celebrate 2014 by celebrating others who inspire us every day. Each month, on the 1st (or so) of the month, we will celebrate a fellow blogger whose work has inspired us. We feel so lucky to be part of the blog world that we want to celebrate all that everyone gives us each day.

    This month, we are celebrating the amazing author and educator, Kate Messner. We have learned from Kate Messner in so many ways. Real Revision: Authors' Strategies to Share with Student Writers was important for both of us as writers and teachers of writing. Her children's books resonate with readers and have an important place in our classroom libraries. And as a former teacher she shares generously --she is an advocate of classroom visits by authors, offering free Skype visits to classes for many of her books, and maintaining an extensive list of children's, YA, and adult authors who will also Skype for free.

    But the reason we are celebrating Kate today is because of her blog and her initiatives to support teachers--especially Teachers Write! Kate has worked tirelessly for the past several summers to support teacher writers. The community is a strong one and the Summer Camp is amazing.

    To honor Kate, we we are making a donation to one of our favorite local organizations, The Brian Muha Foundation. This is an organization that supports children in our local area. We love the story of the foundation and believe strongly in their mission. You can learn more about the foundation and the Run the Race Club on their website.

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    15. A Few Questions About BLUE BIRDS


    Please indulge me. I’m a bit gaga over my new book.

    Those of you who receive my newsletter have already read this, but I thought it might be fun to share here, too. Since the cover for BLUE BIRDS was revealed in June, I’ve gotten a few questions, the first being this:

    Where are the blue birds?

    There are two ways to answer: The cover has zero…or three.

    The wooden bird the Kimi and Alis share is a representation of the Eastern bluebird — a gift given to Alis by her Uncle Samuel. I sent the Balbusso sisterslink to John White’s watercolor of iacháwanes (the Roanoke word for this bird). I love the echoes of his work Anna and Elena have included, such as the shape of the blue bird’s tail.

    The other two blue birds on the cover? They are my girls, Kimi and Alis. Which brings us to the second question: How do you pronounce these girls’ names?

    Alis is the Elizabethan spelling for Alice (as is Alys or Alyse. Those Elizabethans, they never were consistent). I have to confess Kimi is a website find, a name simply listed as an Algonquian* girl name. I can’t speak to its veracity or even its proper pronunciation, but in my head Kimi is Keemee (and not Kimmy). Kimi’s name means secret, which was a huge draw for me, as the girls’ friendship is a forbidden one.

    For those of you interested, BLUE BIRDS is already available for pre-order. And if you’d like to receive my quarterly-ish newsletter, simply sign up here.


    *Algonquian is a language family with over two dozen dialects. The Roanoke spoke a now extinct Algonquian dialect.


    The post A Few Questions About BLUE BIRDS appeared first on Caroline Starr Rose.

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    16. Bookslut Jessa Crispin moves on

           The complete review went online way back in 1999, but it started solely a book review site; this Literary Saloon weblog was only added in August, 2002 (yes, the twelve-year-anniversary is around the corner ...) -- a place to report on daily literary news, comment on literary happenings, and link to book-related matter of interest. Among the handful of sites that inspired me to start it -- whose approach I basically copied -- were Dennis Johnson's original MobyLives (reincarnated -- and no longer just his baby, as it was back then -- as the Melville House house blog), MoorishGirl (as Laila Lalami then styled herself), Maud Newton, and Jessa Crispin's Bookslut (with an honorable mention to the sui generis wood s lot).
           I can't find my way into her archives (sigh), but the ever-helpful Wayback Machine offers Jessa's first posts -- beginning with the 26 February entry:

    I used to have a grand idea for a book-based website. Book reviews, articles about publishing trends, the life of a total bookslut. It all just kind of fell apart at some point. Probably the point where I realized I would actually have to do something. So here I am now, dipping in a toe to see what will come of it. Maybe it'll just sit as a blog. And maybe I'll finally get around to doing something again.
           Now Jessa has has announced her retirement from the weblog (though not from the monthly magazine). At least it will continue, with new 'bloggers' (central Europe based ...).
           As longtime readers know, I don't deal well with change -- hence the near unchanged look, and unchanged approach to what's on offer, at this site, over so many years -- and I am, of course disappointed that another old reliable is moving on. But I keep my fingers crossed that even with new programming/programmers the Bookslut weblog will continue to be a destination-to-bookmark (or have in your RSS feed, or whatever you do to follow it).

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    17. Poetry Friday with a review of Give me Wings

    When I was a child I dreamed about flying all the time. I never needed wings and the dreams were so wonderful that I was sorry when I woke up. Today's poetry picture book celebrates those dreams (or daydreams), allowing us to take to the air once more.

    Give Me WingsGive me Wings
    Poems Selected by Lee Bennet Hopkins
    Illustrated by Ponder Goembel
    Poetry Picture Book
    For ages 6 to 8
    Holiday House, 2010, 978-0-8234-2023-0
    For many people their favorite dreams are the ones in which they are flying. In these dreams they can soar in the air without needing any kind of mechanical aid to help them do so. With arms held wide, or with wings attached to their arms, they are able to fly high above the ground and feel the freedom of not being tied to the earth.
       In this delightful book, poet Lee Bennett Hopkins brings us a selection of poems that take us, at least for a little time, up into the air. He encourages us to imagine what it would be like if we were to wake up one morning to find that we had wings attached to our arms. He tells us the story of a boy who, at one time, was able to fly. Every night the boy lay on his bed and “willed myself to fly.” It was hard work, and sometimes an hour would go by before he finally felt himself float up above his bed. By using a “swimming motion” the boy would make his way over to the window and then he would go out into the night sky.
       Humans are not the only ones who dream of flying. In one of the poems we meet a cat who is just a “scruffy house cat,” but she “dreams all day / of wings and sky.” At night the cat climbs a ladder and swings back and forth on a trapeze until it is time to finish with “somersaults / to wild applause.”
       The wonderful collection wraps us with a poem by Lee Bennett Hopkins that describe how we should put our wings away into a wing box where they will lie, safe and sound, until we need them “for / tomorrow’s / flight.”
       This is a book for anyone who has dreamed (or daydreamed) about flying. Readers will enjoy a brief time when they can take flight through these poems and explore hopes and dreams that float as soft as downy feathers on the wind.

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    18. Confessions of a Serial Novelist (Part 3) by Clara Kensie

    Welcome to the final installment of the Adventures in YA Publishing series on serialized novels! Two weeks ago we discussed the surprising pleasures of reading a serial, and last week I gave you some tips on how to write a serialized novel. Today, we’re talking about how to market your serial. Serialized novels are making a big comeback! If you are considering joining the serial revolution, I hope these marketing tips are helpful to you:

    How do you find readers who will embrace your serial?
    Photo credit: Robbert van der Steeg via flickr


    We’re all word-lovers here, so hold on tight: I’m going to throw some numbers at you. According to my (admittedly unscientific) research, while there is no industry standard for price, traditionally-published serials tend to be priced at $1.99 per episode, regardless if the audience is adult, new adult, or YA. The number and length of installments, however, can vary greatly. To compare, I’ll give you four examples: one adult, one new adult, and two young adult:

    • Three of the books in Beth Kery’s BECAUSE YOU ARE MINE adult romance series (Berkley) have eight installments apiece. Each installment is priced at $1.99, and each installment is approximately 55 pages long. The installments of each book were released weekly.

    Jessa Holbrook’s new adult romance WHILE YOU’RE AWAY (Razorbill) has six installments of about 48 pages each, priced at $1.99 apiece (weekly releases).

    THE WITCH COLLECTOR by Loretta Nyhan (Harper Teen) is a YA paranormal novel serialized into two parts of 184 and 110 pages respectively, and priced at $1.99 each. Released monthly.

    The two books in my YA romantic thriller series, RUN TO YOU (Harlequin Teen), have three installments each, averaging 95 pages apiece. They are priced at $1.99 each. The installments of each book were released weekly.

    Notice that in the examples above, the YA serials have fewer installments and a much longer length than the adult and new adult serials. Personally, I’m happy that Harlequin Teen serialized my books this way. While it’s not a big deal for an adult to make six or eight purchases of $1.99, teens often don’t have their own accounts with online e-tailers (serials are usually published digitally). To make an online purchase, many teens must first ask their parent’s permission or ask their parents to order it for them—which means for an eight-part serial, they would have to ask permission eight times. Also, an installment of 95+ pages is long enough to leave the YA audience satisfied with both the length and the price they paid. If you are budget-conscious, you will be delighted to note that at $1.99 per installment, the total price of the two- or three-part YA books is still lower than the average full-length digital book. A great deal for the YA audience!

    The take-away: While adult and new adult serials have more, shorter installments per book, if you are considering publishing a YA serial, I highly recommend keeping the number of installments low, and the number of pages per installment high.


    Weekly releases seem to be the most popular release schedule lately (although there are exceptions). Why are weekly releases the most popular? Weekly releases give the readers enough time to finish one installment, and they don’t have to wait very long for the next. The book is still fresh on their mind when the next installment is released, so they don’t have time to forget about it and move on to a different book. Also, TV series broadcast their episodes weekly, so we’ve become programmed (pun intended) to enjoy our stories in weekly doses. Finally, for readers who prefer to read the entire book at once, they don’t have long to wait for all the installments to be released.


    Okay! You’ve determined the length, number, and price of each installment of your serial, you’ve set the release schedule of your serial, and you wrote your serial. Good for you! Now you have to find readers for your serial. I’m not going to lie to you: there are definite challenges to finding readers for a serial. Why?

    • Some people won’t read your book simply because of its serialized format. They will see that it’s a serial, and that’s it: they won’t even give it a chance. They want a complete book, and nothing else will do.

    • Many readers don’t want to make multiple purchases for the equivalent of one book. They assume every serial will eventually be released as a complete novel, and they’ll wait until then to read it. In my (non-scientific) research, this is by far the biggest reason most people give for not wanting to read a book in serial format. But for some serials, the publisher has no intention of re-packaging it into one complete novel, which unfortunately means those people will never read it.

    Other obstacles:

    • Some readers will be disappointed that an installment is shorter than a full-length book. They may leave a bad review or give it low stars—not because they dislike the writing or the story, but because they dislike the length or the serialized format. They are perfectly entitled to their opinion, of course. As the author, you just have to hope that they like the story enough to read the next episode. But those bad reviews and lower stars will affect the book’s overall rating.

    • All authors spend lots of time promoting their books. But because serials are new and different, you may spend more time explaining the serialized format of your book, rather than explaining what your book is actually about.


    But fear not, my friends. While there are definite challenges to marketing your serial, there are some unique benefits, additional audiences, and fun opportunities!


    • Multiple releases in a short time frame help get an author’s name out faster through consistent exposure week after week.

    • A serialized novel offers an author multiple opportunities to communicate with a growing and potential audience in a short time frame.

    • Serials offer more opportunities for reviews.

    • Multiple installments means multiple covers! Every author knows how hard it is to stand out from the crowd. The multiple, connected covers of your serial are a unique way to catch the eyes of readers.

    Additional audiences:

    • Serials appeal to busy people. If someone tells me they don’t read books, I often ask them why not. The most common reason: they don’t have the time. But most people have an hour here or there throughout the week, the perfect amount of time to read an episode of a serial.

    • Serials appeal to the reluctant and occasional reader. I’ll give you a personal anecdote: I received an email—one I will cherish forever--from a mother who said RUN TO YOU was the first non-school book her teenage daughter had ever read. Her daughter envied her “fangirl” friends who were obsessed with popular YA novels such as HARRY POTTER, THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS, and DIVERGENT. But those longer tomes intimidated her, and she felt excluded from the book fandom experience. Her mother discovered the RUN TO YOU serial and purchased it for her. Its weekly episodes of 95 pages each were perfect for the girl, who felt accomplished and proud after finishing each installment. Reluctant and occasional readers find serials to be incredibly gratifying.

    • Serials also can also appeal to voracious readers. While reluctant and busy readers may take a week to read an episode, avid readers will read an episode in a single sitting. If they still want more, they can wait for all of the installments to release, then read them all at once.

    Additional opportunities:

    • Serialized novels can make reading a social experience. Like with television series, your readers can read each installment of your serial, then discuss it with each other and online. They will anxiously anticipate the next installment together.
    • For example, you can utilize the fun social aspect of serials by having an online read-along! Your current readers will enjoy engaging with other fans, and the read-along will attract new readers as well. (Psst… we’re having a read-along of my serial right now! See the info at the bottom of this post.)


    So there you have it, folks: I’ve told you about reading, writing, and marketing serialized novels. Any questions? Ask away!


    Clara Kensie grew up near Chicago, reading every book she could find and using her diary to write stories about a girl with psychic powers who solved mysteries. She purposely did not hide her diary, hoping someone would read it and assume she was writing about herself. Since then, she’s swapped her diary for a computer and admits her characters are fictional, but otherwise she hasn’t changed one bit.

    Today Clara is the author of dark fiction young adults. Her debut series, the romantic thriller RUN TO YOU, is Harlequin TEEN’s first serial. Book One is First Sight, Second Glance, and Third Charm. Book Two is Fourth Shadow, Fifth Touch, and Sixth Sense.

    Her favorite foods are guacamole and cookie dough. But not together. That would be gross.

    Find Clara online: Website   Twitter   Facebook   Tumblr   Instagram   Goodreads  Newsletter

    About the books

    Good news! The first installment of my serial, RUN TO YOU Part I: FIRST SIGHT, is still free across all e-tailers! It won't last much longer, so get it before the price goes back up!
    In Part One of this romantic thriller about a family on the run from a deadly past, and a first love that will transcend secrets, lies and danger…

    Sarah Spencer has a secret: her real name is Tessa Carson, and to stay alive, she can tell no one the truth about her psychically gifted family and the danger they are running from. As the new girl in the latest of countless schools, she also runs from her attraction to Tristan Walker—after all, she can't even tell him her real name. But Tristan won't be put off by a few secrets. Not even dangerous ones that might rip Tessa from his arms before they even kiss…

    RUN TO YOU is Tessa and Tristan's saga—two books about psychic gifts, secret lives and dangerous loves. Each book is told in three parts: a total of six shattering reads that will stay with you long after the last page.

    Grab FIRST SIGHT now for free, then join Harlequin Teen and a whole bunch of book bloggers and fans at the RUN TO YOU read-along. It's not too late to join in the FIRST SIGHT and SECOND GLANCE discussions, and we're starting the THIRD CHARM week on Monday, August 3. We’re having a great time, and we have some fun prizes to give away. Get more details on my blog: http://bit.ly/readR2Y. I’d love to see the Adventures in YA Publishing gang at the read-along!

    For more about each installment of the RUN TO YOU series, click here

    Find RUN TO YOU at your favorite e-tailers, including:

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    19. Allison Williams to Play Title Role in NBC’s ‘Peter Pan’ Musical

    Girls actress Allison Williams (pictured, via) has landed the titular role in the Peter Pan musical.

    According to TheaterMania, this musical adaptation opened on Broadway back in 1954. Since then, several female actors have stepped into the shoes of the “boy who wouldn’t grow up” including Sandy Duncan and Cathy Rigby.

    NBC plans to air the live telecast on December 04, 2014. As we reported earlier, Oscar winner Christopher Walken will play the villainous pirate, Captain Hook. Who would you cast as Wendy Darling?

    New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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    20. The Queen whose Soul was Harmony

    By James Anderson Winn

    In 1701, one year before Princess Anne succeeded to the throne, musicians from London traveled to Windsor to perform a special ode composed for her birthday by the gifted young composer Jeremiah Clarke. The anonymous poet addressed part of his poem to the performers, taking note of Anne’s keen interest in music:

    Portrait of Anne of Great Britain by Charles Jervas, 1702-1714, Royal Collection, public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

    Portrait of Anne of Great Britain by Charles Jervas, 1702-1714, Royal Collection, public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

    With song your tribute to her bring,
    Who best inspires you how to sing;
    None better claims your lays than she
    Whose very soul is Harmony.
    O happy those whose art can feast
    So just, and so refined a taste.

    As the poet evidently knew, Anne’s just and refined taste was shaped by her own musical experiences. Her music teachers included Francesco Corbetta, the leading guitarist in Europe, and Giovanni Battista Draghi, the harpsichord player who composed the first setting of Dryden’s “Song for St. Cecilia’s Day, 1687.” Henry Purcell wrote the music for her wedding and for other occasions at her court; when he died, still in his early thirties, his widow dedicated a posthumous collection of his keyboard pieces to the Princess, thanking her for her “Generous Encouragement of my deceas’d Husband’s Performances in Musick, together with the great Honour your Highness has don that Science in your Choice of that Instrument, for which the following Compositions were made.”

    I have paid particular attention to music written for the often misunderstood Queen, a musician and lover of the fine arts. The four examples I offer here are especially rich and complex.

    We begin with an excerpt from Purcell’s last substantial work, an ode for the sixth birthday of William, Duke of Gloucester, Anne’s only child to survive infancy. The political situation at this moment was complex. After the armed coup of 1688, which deposed Anne’s father, James II, and replaced him with her sister Mary and her brother-in-law William, the two sisters had quarreled. Their estrangement continued until Mary’s death in 1694, and although William went through the motions of a reconciliation, his relationship with Anne was edgy at best. In praising the little Duke, the poet paid court to Anne in language that might easily be read as praising the Princess at the expense of the King:

    She’s great, Let Fortune Smile or Frown,
    Her Virtues make all Hearts her own:
    She reigns without a Crown.

    Evidently aware that the last line might be offensive to the King’s supporters, Purcell set it only once and surrounded it with two longer settings of the previous line—“Her Virtues make all Hearts her own”—a safer expression of Anne’s growing popularity. He devotes eleven measures to the line about Anne’s virtues, stretching it out with extensive melismatic treatments of the word all, disposes of the line about reigning without a crown in only six measures, and then returns to the words of the penultimate line for another eighteen measures. His setting thus alters the rhetoric of the poem, moving what had been a climactic and cadential line in the poem into a much less prominent position. Purcell had good reasons to look forward to the accession of Anne, who knew more about music than her predecessors, but he had far too much tact to crown her prematurely.

    Henry Purcell, excerpts from Who can from Joy Refrain? Performers: Bradford Gleim, baritone; Teresa Wakim and Brenna Wells, sopranos; Jesse Irons and Megumi Stohs Lewis, violins; Peter Sykes, harpsichord; Sarah Freiberg, cello.

    Our next example comes from the birthday ode of 1701. At this moment, Anne was just emerging from six months of mourning for her son Gloucester, who had died a few days after his eleventh birthday. In a touching and delicate aria sung by the tenor Richard Elford, who soon became Anne’s favorite singer, the words express the hope that she might bear another child.

    In her brave offspring still she’ll live,
    Nor must she bless our age alone;
    But to succeeding ages give,
    Heirs to her virtues, and the throne.

    After an innocent string ritornello in B-flat major, the vocalist enters in d minor; Clarke’s wistful expression of the hope for more heirs to Anne’s virtues thus delicately acknowledges her sorrow for the lost Gloucester. The contrast with earlier birthday odes, in which composers saluted Gloucester with martial fanfares, is striking.

    Jeremiah Clarke, excerpt from Let Nature Smith, birthday ode for Princess Anne (1701 ?). Performers: Owen McIntosh, tenor; Jesse Irons and Megumi Stohs Lewis, violins; Sarah Darling, viola; Peter Sykes, harpsichord; Sarah Freiberg, cello.

    Our third example is an anthem composed by John Blow for the thanksgiving service at St. Paul’s cathedral in 1704, celebrating the Duke of Marlborough’s victory in the Battle of Blenheim. The Bible reading for the day tells the story of the prophetess Deborah, who sent her general Barak to defeat the Philistines. As a married non-combatant who ruled her nation, Deborah was a close biblical analogue for Anne, and one detail in the song’s description of the battle matched the events at Blenheim with eerie accuracy: “The river of Kishon,” sings the prophetess, “swept them away,” and at the end of the recent battle, at least 2,000 French cavalrymen had drowned in the Danube. In constructing his anthem, Blow carefully rearranged a few selected verses from the recommended chapter. After one soloist sings verse 21 of the biblical story, the description of the river, the other joins him in verse 13, celebrating Deborah’s “dominion over the mighty” in a canonic duet involving several hair-raising dissonances, after which the first singer, again alone and safely back in triadic harmonies, declaims verse 31, which prays that all the Lord’s enemies will perish.

    John Blow, excerpt from Awake, awake, utter a song (1704). Performers: Owen McIntosh and Marcio de Oliveira, tenors; Peter Sykes, organ; Sarah Freiberg, cello.

    We end, as we must, with Handel, whose music the Queen clearly appreciated: she awarded him a generous pension of £200 a year (roughly £40,000 in modern money). Handel’s “Serenata” for the queen’s birthday in 1713 celebrates the impending Treaty of Utrecht, ending a long war on favorable terms. The text, by the Whig poet Ambrose Philips, has seven stanzas, each ending with the same couplet:

    The Day that gave great Anna Birth,
    Who fix’d a lasting Peace on Earth.

    In his first stanza, the poet asks the sun, the “Eternal Source of Light divine,” to “add a lustre to this day,” and for this aria, Handel featured Richard Elford, Anne’s favorite singer in her Chapel Royal, and wrote a trumpet obbligato for John Shore, a versatile and inventive musician who had served the queen and her late husband for years. At thanksgiving services during Anne’s reign, Shore and Elford often performed the prominent parts for high tenor and trumpet in Purcell’s Te Deum and Jubilate, so Handel was honoring the traditions of the Chapel Royal by using them as soloists, by writing in the same key (D major), and by composing a canon between the voice and the trumpet that imitates Purcell’s compositional practice. Like the other composers, he was evidently confident that the queen’s musical ear would allow her to hear and appreciate the compliment he was paying to English music.

    George Frideric Handel, aria from Eternal Source of Light Divine (1713). Performance: Jason McStoots, tenor; Robinson Pyle, trumpet; Dorian Bandy and Emily Dahl, violins; Anna Griffis, viola; Peter Sykes, harpsichord; Denise Fan, cello.

    Three hundred years ago, on 1 August 1714, Queen Anne died in the Kensington Palace in London. James Anderson Winn is William Fairfield Warren Professor of English at Boston University. His six earlier books include Unsuspected Eloquence (1981), a groundbreaking history of the relations between poetry and music; John Dryden and His World (1987), a prize-winning biography; and The Poetry of War (2008), praised by one reviewer as a book “for anyone who cares about war and truth.” His new book, Queen Anne: Patroness of Arts, includes 23 musical examples, each of which is printed in full score; a companion website allows the reader to listen to performances of each of the excerpts, many of them not heard since Queen Anne’s time.

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    The post The Queen whose Soul was Harmony appeared first on OUPblog.

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    21. Query Question: Dumped

    After a short query process, I was fortunate to sign with a new, young agent at an established literary agency. She and I worked out an explicit revision outline and timetable. I did my best to incorporate her suggestions; I turned in said revisions on deadline. I did three rewrites this way over the course of about a year. She was always effusive with praise and enthusiastic about my project. However, after reading the third revision (that I honestly thought was “the one”) she emailed me to say that her editorial vision was not guiding me effectively. She wished me well in finding a new agent for my next project and apologized for this “false start.” I was blindsided; I asked if she’d reconsider. She wished me good luck and godspeed.

    So my question is threefold: Is my current project washed up? (It never went on submission.) If not, should I mention that I was previously represented in my queries to other agents? Do I have to wait to query until our contract is void (sixty days after written termination of the contract)?

    Zoinks! Talk about blind-sided, dumb-founded, and caught flat footed.  That sounds like a pretty wretched day for you.  Ok...week.

    This is very bizarre behaviour on the part of the agent. Normally, (and I've had to do this) when a project isn't working, the client or potential client knows it cause we've had several back and forths,
    and it's gone on for a good long while. When "that call" comes, the most frequent reply from writers? "Yea, I saw this coming."

    So if you DIDN'T see it coming, my guess is that it's not about the work.  Two things to look at:

    The only way I can see this happening in my office is if the client was giving off the beeping sound of impending doom.  Were you too clingy? Did you call at weird times? Did you harass the agent about reply time (that more than anything else will sever a relationship with me)  Did you get snotty with the office staff (that's a firing offense here)

    So, was there anything else in play? I'm not asking you to fess up in the comments column or even in an email to me. Just look over your email communications and see if you had started giving off a crazy vibe.  It's hard to recognize your own crazy, but give it a shot.

    Be honest with yourself here.  If this is what happened, you need to be recognize it and resolve to NOT DO IT again.

    If you can't see anything amiss, well, this agent might be one of those that just went bonkers; I've seen it happen a lot recently and it's hell on all concerned.

    But regardless of why, now you have to deal with the situation at hand.

    In her termination letter to you (you have one, right? if not GET ONE) she'll say whether the 60 day period is being waived. If not, you should wait.

    And you never have to mention this to anyone, ever again. And I suggest you don't.  Your ms didn't go on submission, you have no ties to the agency that repped you, it's like an annulment not a divorce.

    This is brutal, no matter the reason it happened. Give yourself some time to be angry, and vengeful and all those wonderful writing prompts before starting back on the query trail.  The LAST thing you want is hot words of vengeance pouring out of your mouth when your next agent calls to discuss your work.

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    22. Get your gaming guesses (and your guesser-gamers) ready…

    For my upcoming book Attack! Boss! Cheat Code! A Gamer’s Alphabet, it’s pretty obvious which video game terms the letters A, B, and C are for. But what about the rest of the alphabet?

    In the Bartography Express newsletter sent to my subscribers this week, I announced that my publisher will be giving away advance copies of the book for correct guesses about D through Z. So, alert any gaming aficionados you know: For the next 23 days, on my blog and on Twitter, I’ll be offering clues in the form of bits of the illustrations for those letters, similar to the pieces of “A is for Attack,” “B is for Boss,” and “C is for Cheat Code” featured in Bartography Express.

    I’m also giving away a copy of Little Green Men at the Mercury Inn, a funny, twisty, middle grade sci-fi thriller by Greg Leitich Smith, to one subscriber to my newsletter. If you’re not already receiving it, click the image below for a look -— if you like what you see, click “Join” in the bottom right corner, and you’ll be in the running for the giveaway at the end of this week.

    20140731 Bartography Express

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    23. The 22nd Fall SCBWI Carolinas Conference

    SCBWI Fall Conference

    Hey did I tell you guys I’m going to be at the 22nd annual SCBWI fall conference of the Carolina’s this year? Yup, I’m gearing up to step out of the office and spend a couple of days down in Charlotte this September. Not only am I attending the event but I’ll be speaking and reviewing portfolios as well. How’s that for following up on my pledge to get out of the office and attend more events this year?
    This is a first for me so I thought it might be fun to chronicle the experience and talk a little bit about my take on things as a rookie SCBWI attendee/speaker. Let me just preface by saying I have never been to a SCBWI event before and I have absolutely no idea what to expect. I will be speaking along side two very talented artists. Vanessa Brantley and Deb Johnson about the business side of art. I also will be reviewing portfolios as I mentioned earlier. Both of which are super cool because as any of you follow me on the vid-cast I co-host Drawn By Success know this is right up my alley. 

    I’ll be updating you with posts about the event in the coming weeks including how I do with my speaking engagement. It should be quite an adventure and I’m really looking forward to it. If any of you are planning to attend the event please let me know and maybe we can plan a meet up. I always look forward to meeting new friends and saying hello to old ones.

    scbwi logo

    The post The 22nd Fall SCBWI Carolinas Conference appeared first on Illustration.

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    24. Content Marketing and Animation - A Successful Combination

    I'll start by saying I'm not very tech savvy, so having free programs or software that allows me to look more knowledgeable than I am, is super great. Inputting images and infographics, video, SlideShare presentations, and animations into your posts and website pages is becoming more and more essential. To make your content marketing effective you now need to use all these elements (at least

    0 Comments on Content Marketing and Animation - A Successful Combination as of 8/1/2014 9:28:00 AM
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    25. Guest Post and Giveaway: Grace Burrowes, Author of The Traitor

    Please welcome special guest Grace Burrowes to the virtual offices this morning!  Grace has a guest post to share, and then you can enter for a chance to win The Traitor!

    The Impossible Heroine by Grace Burrowes

    The baroness used silver tongs to put a flaky golden croissant on a plate. “So you are a lady fallen on hard times?”

    Milly was a lady who’d blundered, for the baroness shared with her nephew surgical skill with seemingly innocent question.

    “My mother was a lady fallen on hard times. I am a poor relation who would make her own way rather than burden my cousins any further.”

    “Kicked you out, did they?” Her ladyship’s tone suggested she did not approve of such cousins. “Or perhaps they realized that underneath all that red hair, you’re quite pretty, though brown eyes are not quite the rage. One hopes you aren’t delicate?”

    She passed Milly the pastry and shifted the butter a few inches closer to Milly’s side of the table.

    “I enjoy excellent health, thank you, your ladyship.” Excellent physical health, anyway. “I prefer to call my hair auburn.”

    The baroness snorted at that gambit, then poured herself more tea. “Will these cousins come around to plague you?”

    They would have to bother to find Milly first. “I doubt it.”

    “You wouldn’t be married to one of them, would you?”

    I set myself two significant challenges when I sat down to write The Traitor, though I’d only bargained for one. I knew that my hero, Sebastian St. Clair, had appeared in the predecessor story, The Captive, as a (mostly) bad guy. Redeeming Sebastian was great fun, for me, and for our heroine, Milly Danforth.

    What I came to realize is that an unusual hero needs an unusual heroine. Milly Danforth wasn’t wealthy, titled, or remarkably pretty. She wasn’t brilliant, had no virtuosic artistic talent, and came from humble antecedents. Milly wasn’t even very well educated.

    What was she doing in my book?

    Sebastian liked her, that’s what. Milly had common sense to go with her common origins, and she’d learned far more in the school of hard knocks than many higher-born ladies learned in finishing school. Sebastian could understand and respect her, and even, though it took a lot of courage on both of their parts, trust her.

    Then too, Milly shared with Sebastian a certain orphaned status. He was rejected by both his French mother’s and his English father’s societies, while Milly was literally orphaned, and treated poorly by the relations charged with taking care of her.
    Both Sebastian and Milly were reduced to relying on their wits to navigate an untrustworthy world, and both, by the time the book opens are darned sick of having to be so self-sufficient.

    Milly was also a joy to write, simply for herself. I could be less concerned with the ballrooms, conventions and fashions that typically characterize tales of the Beau Monde, and focus more closely with the love story—which, after all, the point of a romance.
    I liked Milly, too. For her pragmatism, for her tenacity, for her courage.

    The more I wrote, the more I could see that Milly was, in other words, perfect for a man tired of war and rejection, tired of being judged, and more than ready to be accepted, not as a villain or a hero, but simply as a man.

    Milly was the right lady for that job, and all the more a heroine for winning Sebastian’s love without a lot of wealth, power, or external trappings of attractiveness.


    Book Information

    Title: The Traitor

    Author: Grace Burrowes

    Release Date: August 5, 2014

    Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

    Genre: Historical Romance

    ISBN: 97881402294990


    As a young boy, British-born Sebastian St. Clair was abandoned in France and forced to join the French army to survive. Now that the war is over, he has returned to his beloved England and is determined to live a quiet life as a country gentleman. He’s struggling to make that wish come true when he falls for his elderly aunt’s practical and unpretentious companion, Miss Millicent Danforth. But an old enemy threatens this new love, and plots to destroy everything Sebastian holds dear. Sebastian will have to use all of his wits if he’s to hang on to his life, his honor…and Milly’s love.

    Buy Links:

    Amazon – http://amzn.to/1lG265E

    Barnes & Noble – http://bit.ly/1prqVny

    iTunes – http://bit.ly/1npkv6m

    Author Biography

    New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Grace Burrowes’ bestsellers include The Heir, The Soldier, Lady Maggie’s Secret Scandal, Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish and Lady Eve’s Indiscretion. Her Regency romances have received extensive praise, including starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist. Grace is branching out into short stories and Scotland-set Victorian romance with Sourcebooks. She is a practicing family law attorney and lives in rural Maryland.

    Social Media Links

    Website: http://graceburrowes.com

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Grace-Burrowes/115039058572197

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/GraceBurrowes

    Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4152482.Grace_Burrowes

    I have 3 copies of The Traitor up for grabs! US addresses only, please

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    The post Guest Post and Giveaway: Grace Burrowes, Author of The Traitor appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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