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1001. Andi Zeisler for the Seattle Review of Books

 

 

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1002. Certain Songs #533: Grand Funk Railroad – “We’re An American Band”

grand funk we're Album: We’re An American Band
Year: 1973

Fuck yeah, I owned this single. I mean, gold vinyl, right!? But of course, that wasn’t the reason that “We’re An American Band” became a #1 hit single in the early fall of 1973.

40 years later, it seems improbable that a song which was this much rawk, both musically and lyrically, ever scaled the charts. Hell, even at the time, it felt pretty weird.

I mean, first off, “We’re An American Band” starts out with a short cowbell-lead drum solo which leaps directly into a guitar solo. Not normally the stuff of pop glory.

All of that happens before they even get to the actual riff, which is equal parts big, stupid and gnarly. In other words, totally awesome! And already we’re an unimaginable 30 seconds into the song before Don Brewer even opens his mouth to sing. By this time, most monster hits have already finished their first chorus.

Out on the road for forty days
Last night in Little Rock, put me in a haze
Sweet, sweet Connie was doin’ her act
She had the whole show and that’s a natural fact

Oh, that’s right. First verse, and we’re inundated with sex, drugs and rock n roll. The basics of life.

And maybe it’s the first time you’re hearing this song on the radio, and after that long intro and first verse, you’re intrigued. As they continue to the second verse you wonder who could these righteous dudes be? These rock ‘n’ roll fellas who are playing poker with Freddie King and boozing it up with the ladies?

And you wonder: are they yet another one of those British bands you’ve been reading about that drive cars into swimming pools and wreck hotel rooms?

Hell no!!

We’re an American Band
We’re an American Band
We’re comin’ to your town
We’ll help you party it down
We’re an American band

U!S!A! U!S!A! U!S!A! U!S!A!

That’s right: the great message of “We’re An American Band” was “American rock ‘n’ rollers could tear it up, too.” Damn straight. We can take illegal drugs, bang groupies and party all night and then still get up on stage and rock the fuck out, too!

Kiss just wanted to rock and roll all night and party every day. Grand Funk Railroad did it!!

Even better, Grand Funk Railroad somehow had it both ways. Listening to “We’re An American Band” now, it becomes clear they were both celebrating and taking the piss out of their own bad behavior. While inspiring kids like me to want to become rock stars so we could behave that badly as well!

But, of course, I was 10 years old, so it wasn’t like I was going to meet some fine ladies and tear down a hotel with them, no matter how much fun that sounded like.

But what I could do was sing that irresistible chorus over and over again. Guessing that ringer producer Todd Rundgren had more than a little to do with adding the manly harmonies and killer one-note piano that made “We’re An American Band” utterly leap from the AM radio and into the hearts of right-thinking Americans everywhere.

Promo film for “We’re An American Band”

Every Certain Song Ever
A filterable, searchable & sortable database with links to every “Certain Song” post I’ve ever written.

Check it out!

Certain Songs Spotify playlist
(It’s recommended that you listen to this on Spotify as their embed only has 200 songs.)

Support “Certain Songs” with a donation on Patreon
Go to my Patreon page

The post Certain Songs #533: Grand Funk Railroad – “We’re An American Band” appeared first on Booksquare.

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1003. Presidential Polar Bear Post Card Project No. 145 - 5.10.16


Congratulations to the American Bison - our first official National Mammal!

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1004. Program in a Post: Glow Stick Party!

Glow wheelsWith this post and $25 you can create an awesome glow-stick-party for kids and families at your library!

Supplies:

  • Glow bracelets (you can get 12 for $1 in the dollar bins) we used 18 containers for 90 people
  • A couple bags of large marshmallows
  • Music

Set glowstickracersup: Turn a few tables into ramps, put out some glow sticks and marshmallows, and make some sample wheels. Turn the lights (mostly) out and put on some groovy music.

For our glow stick party we had 90 kids and grown-ups dancing to the music, going crazy with glow sticks, and making wheels and sending them down the ramp. It was glow-tastic!

The post Program in a Post: Glow Stick Party! appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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1005. ‘Ratchet & Clank’ Screenwriter Doesn’t Want Any Credit For Writing The Film

Here's something that happens rarely in Hollywood: someone trying to NOT take credit for work they did.

The post ‘Ratchet & Clank’ Screenwriter Doesn’t Want Any Credit For Writing The Film appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

0 Comments on ‘Ratchet & Clank’ Screenwriter Doesn’t Want Any Credit For Writing The Film as of 5/11/2016 6:36:00 PM
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1006. The Proper Way to Cough

When I was young, we learned the drill
On how to cough; I do it still
Until my brain gives me a nudge,
Reminding me that others judge.

For I was taught to cough in hand
So that’s where all the germs would land
Instead of floating in the air
To be breathed in by others there.

We never thought about the fact
That all those germs would stay intact
Contaminating all we touch
Like doorknobs, subway poles and such.

And back when we lived pre-Purell,
Bacteria we would expel
Would coat our palms, a big mistake
If someone gave his hand to shake.

Today, to keep us off the hook
Our coughs should go into the crook
That’s formed by having elbows bent;
The spread of germs this might prevent.

Just one thing isn’t really clear.
If to this tactic, folks adhere
Then why are colds still being caught?
So many sleeves be-germed for naught!

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1007. 一个转贴 我会推荐什么漫画书?

 不知怎的,这个职位是“丢失”,所以我在这里再次张贴我们的中国读者

 真诚的道歉,如果这个翻译以任何方式有缺陷


我认为盖可能会送人。任何猜测? 那是1969年,我曾走进报刊亭在亚士厘道,斯托克斯克罗夫特(布里斯托尔明显)我曾经用我微薄的零花钱橡皮泥和/或漫画(S)的数据包。我大约11岁,我看到封面和标题复仇者“在那些日子里,除了黑色和白色(每个故事的每一个问题,并只有几页)每周英国重印,越来越像一个普通的跑什么任何美国漫画是几乎不可能的。



我记得赶回家,然后坐在那里,在一个奇妙的,但迷糊状态。第61期由...罗伊·托马斯有艺术约翰双树Buscema和油墨由乔治·克莱恩和故事。那叫一个标题:“有人说世界将结束在火...有人说在冰!” 开裂。那么,为什么我困惑?


因为一开始的封面上,谁是飞人在蓝色的字?谁到底是红脸男子绿色和黄色?是谁,在所有覆盖蓝装?而且......是不是......鹰眼和黑骑士?但他们 是坏人!那么,想象当我读到的漫画,发现飞行的人在蓝得怪医生戴着口罩。鹰眼和黑骑士(不是原来的黑骑士谁袭击复仇者)是英雄了。好吧。黑 豹......!而且,男孩,视觉!

我怀疑,我都无法捕捉到的兴奋与惊奇漫画又和感(我太老了,并且厌倦了)。

与此要领标题第3卷包含问题和人,猿的同样经典的第一次亮相。事实上,这本书再现问题47-68年和2 - “和时间湍急的河流”的又一经典故事。忽略对亚马逊(负面评论谁是基本上没有,因为他们有一个观众对自己发牢骚的看法:这个集合的第一个部分是无聊! 这是一个黑暗时期的球队,其核心成员是巨人和黄蜂,经常。缺席,鹰眼,水银和猩红色巫婆和美国队长,另一个缺席了大量的时间,新的球员 ​​都留给了它在战斗等等。作为一个孩子,我曾经希望在战斗不会分手的球队(这是很好的写作和我年轻!)。



但看看发生了什么事在这些问题:新的黑骑士和他的出身被提出。磁威胁联合国大会一般性,而大力神面对反对龙卷风。然后雷神和钢铁侠的战斗出来,复仇者面临 的收藏家...和歌利亚是能够再一次改变大小(长的故事)。那么死神'杀死'复仇者和豹被诬告..那么它的复仇者承担的X战警(不是第一次,但最好的之 一,因为即使是X战警都经历一个粗略的补丁)。然后...的邪恶攻击的新主人,并捕获复仇者被出卖了贾维斯管家后!!和ULTRON 5计划于...


那么美国上尉说服复仇者使用注定博士的时间机器回到第二次世界大战,并在那里泽莫杀死....巴基通向哪里,他们已经采取了所有其他年度和它的“复仇者另类”时间线点超级英雄的血色百夫长, 然后......看哪愿景!是的,ULTRON 5S synthezoid刺客攻击复仇者但后来转而反对ULTRON,我们发现....好了许多。并且有经典的最后一页,今天仍然打动了我:“即使是机器人可以哭!”



下一个问题,我们看到了引进耶洛贾基特的!其次耶洛贾基特结婚黄蜂! 谁能忘记,当使用鹰眼巨人成长配方以拯救黑寡妇?更加精彩的 ​​艺术从基因Colan和乔治·克莱恩。然后,我们被介绍给鹰眼(克林特·巴顿)骗子兄弟,因为他们面对的蛋头。那么剑士和他的鹰眼起始部分显露! “伟大的背叛”看到了ULTRON的一部分控制了他的远景总体规划,这三款舞伴锯部分1和2由巴里·史密斯和婆罗双树Buscema和Sam的最后一部分绘制格兰杰。这是我已经笼罩了三部史诗,虽然我很“马马虎虎”与巴里温莎史密斯的作品当时它看上去闪闪发光! 哦,再有就是幽默“Avenjerks组装!” 在这种赖皮罗伊·托马斯各地旅行赶上多方面的,呃,“偏心”奇迹的艺术家。我喜欢这个当时我还在做。


这是复仇者的历史时期,虽然我已经通过在Essentials系列从量的1-9读了这么多次,这是我的回头率卷。 它是一家集我推荐给任何人。这是典型的周期。

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1008. Fusion Compositing Software Is Now Free And Available On Macs

There’s never been a better time to composite your vfx/animation projects and do color grading -- for free.

The post Fusion Compositing Software Is Now Free And Available On Macs appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

0 Comments on Fusion Compositing Software Is Now Free And Available On Macs as of 5/11/2016 6:36:00 PM
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1009. Self-Publishing a Novel too Soon - #WriteTip



Quote: “I love the rewriting and redrafting process. Once I have a first draft, I print the whole thing out and do the first pass with handwritten notes. I write all kinds of notes in the margins and scribble and cross things out. I note down new scenes that need writing, continuity issues, problems with characters and much more. That first pass usually takes a while. Then I go back and start a major rewrite based on those notes...” —Joanna Penn, The Creative Penn blog


If you’ve finished writing a novel or short story, then congratulations! That is a huge accomplishment to be very proud of, but now comes the revision work that will really make your story shine…
When I was growing up, the only thing I ever dreamed about was being a professional author. I realize for self-published and indie authors that it’s an on-going struggle to get your books out into the world, and hopefully make some money in the process.
Like every writer, I am incredibly passionate about my work. The main reason I write is because I like to do it. Not for the money. No, because I love creating characters. I love crafting suspense. And I love telling stories—mykind of stories.
Best-selling author, Tracy Hickman was quoted as saying, “Don’t seek to be published, seek to be read.”
Simple words. Great advice. Write for your readers. Write what you love. Write every day and don’t give up.
I’ve written a lot of books. Some good, and some, well, not so good. My first three novels were traditionally published without a literary agent. And I hate to tell you that the advance was dismal and I didn’t sell as many books I’d hoped.
Looking back, I know what I did wrong. I didn’t have any critique partners. The manuscript wasn’t tightened up and polished enough. I didn’t hire a professional, freelance editor.
A first or second draft should never, ever be what a writer self-publishes. As a matter of fact, the first draft or two should be ruthlessly edited. Personally, I do at least ten or more drafts on my own fiction stories.


Please do not rush to publish your book!
If you have a slower scene that readers might think is boring, but you feel is vital to the plot, then find a way to Deepen the POV and the characterization, and also ramp up the tension.
Learn to self-edit if you can’t afford to hire a professional editor. Find a few good critique partners (and if you don’t know what this is, then that’s a red flag that you might not be ready to self-publish yet), and really take the time to study story structure.

I recommend that new writers read books in the genre that you want to write in and dissect them. Devour them. Analyze every aspect of the writing. Be patient and never stop improving your craft. As you write, and read, and study, you’ll get better at including Deep POV in earlier drafts.
Once you’ve finished the fifth draft of your manuscript, then you’re ready to use the Deep POV method. This is when you will go through each scene and find all the shallower writing and revise the heck of it.
As always, I wish everyone much success on their writing journey!

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1010. Equipment for a Free Range Artist – Part 1

The term “plein air” basically means “outdoor.” When I was in France I saw this term used on packages of eggs in the way that we might write “free range” here. So perhaps a translation of the plein air artist could be a free range artist. Like the chickens, I’m tired of being cooped up in the studio and am ready to head out into the great outdoors!

If you remember from this post, my free range painting equipment has so far been pretty much nonexistent. I was tired of precariously balancing everything on my lap and frustrated that I could only paint in places with an adequate place to sit, so I decided it was time to bite the bullet and equip myself properly. There are plenty of options out there, but I wanted something a bit more specific: a setup for mountain bike plein air painting. (Definitely the world’s most popular hobby, let me tell you.)

My crazy motives aside, I needed a backpack that could fit an easel and art supplies but would still provide a sturdy hip strap and large reservoir of water suitable for long rides and hikes in the back country. There were plenty of good hiking packs out there, but none were quite big enough to hold even the smallest tripod and easel. After a long search, I finally found my ultimate plein air pack:

backpack2

As my friend Rose observed: "it's so... dainty."

Meet the Camelbak “Motherlode,” a military-grade pack that can, so they say, survive decades of abuse unscathed. I’m pretty sure plein air painting was the last thing the designers had in mind, but whatever. It’s plenty large enough to fit everything the free range artist might need: tripod, easel, art supplies, stool, umbrella, snacks, hat, and three liters of water with room to spare. You could probably fit several small children inside of it if you wanted to. Happily, this is the discontinued (i.e. discounted) model. These puppies ain’t cheap.

There are some unforeseen advantages of the Motherlode: the material is IR reflective, so I will be slightly less visible to infrared cameras while I’m plein air painting. You never know when that will come up. I can also upgrade to have a gas mask compatible water reservoir, in case I’m painting outdoors in chemical warfare situations. Plus, it blends right into the foliage:

backpack3

Where's my pack again?

One of the coolest things about this bag are the velcro-covered slits on the top that allow a 24″ umbrella to fit inside the pack. My husband has suggested these slits are actually for radio antennas, not umbrellas. Psh.

backpack1

Just the tip sticks out.

With the pack taken care of, it was time to choose some lightweight equipment. I was looking for a simple easel to work with the tripod I already had, and this “Traveler Watercolor” setup seemed to fit the bill.

After my blinding St. Malo painting experience, I knew that I needed an umbrella to shade my paper and palette. There are lots of options for silver and black, but I figured that if white worked for the likes of Monet and Sargent, it would work for me. I went with the BestBrella version. It’s vented to help mitigate wind issues and connects to the tripod with a sturdy clamp that allows it to extend at nearly any angle.

Last but not least, I threw in a folding stool, for those rides where I’m too tired after a long ascent to stand while painting. (Sitting on the ground just isn’t a great option because you are inevitably up to your eyes in grass and can’t see the view that you wanted to paint.) This one is made in Sweden and seems pretty sturdy.

A mountain biking trip is already in the works, so I’ll let you know how all of this works. To be continued in part 2!

p.s. Just to be clear, this is not a sponsored post, this is simply me rambling about what I decided to buy.

 

 

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1011. New ‘Trolls’ Clip With Cloud Guy Is Sillier Than Usual For Dreamworks

And trolls poop cupcakes!

The post New ‘Trolls’ Clip With Cloud Guy Is Sillier Than Usual For Dreamworks appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

0 Comments on New ‘Trolls’ Clip With Cloud Guy Is Sillier Than Usual For Dreamworks as of 5/11/2016 9:46:00 PM
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1012. ‘Soup Leprechaun’ by Graham Annable

Careful what you order.

The post ‘Soup Leprechaun’ by Graham Annable appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

0 Comments on ‘Soup Leprechaun’ by Graham Annable as of 5/11/2016 3:30:00 PM
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1013. Certain Songs #533: Grand Funk Railroad – “We’re An American Band”

grand funk we're Album: We’re An American Band
Year: 1973

Fuck yeah, I owned this single. I mean, gold vinyl, right!? But of course, that wasn’t the reason that “We’re An American Band” became a #1 hit single in the early fall of 1973.

40 years later, it seems improbable that a song which was this much rawk, both musically and lyrically, ever scaled the charts. Hell, even at the time, it felt pretty weird.

I mean, first off, “We’re An American Band” starts out with a short cowbell-lead drum solo which leaps directly into a guitar solo. Not normally the stuff of pop glory.

All of that happens before they even get to the actual riff, which is equal parts big, stupid and gnarly. In other words, totally awesome! And already we’re an unimaginable 30 seconds into the song before Don Brewer even opens his mouth to sing. By this time, most monster hits have already finished their first chorus.

Out on the road for forty days
Last night in Little Rock, put me in a haze
Sweet, sweet Connie was doin’ her act
She had the whole show and that’s a natural fact

Oh, that’s right. First verse, and we’re inundated with sex, drugs and rock n roll. The basics of life.

And maybe it’s the first time you’re hearing this song on the radio, and after that long intro and first verse, you’re intrigued. As they continue to the second verse you wonder who could these righteous dudes be? These rock ‘n’ roll fellas who are playing poker with Freddie King and boozing it up with the ladies?

And you wonder: are they yet another one of those British bands you’ve been reading about that drive cars into swimming pools and wreck hotel rooms?

Hell no!!

We’re an American Band
We’re an American Band
We’re comin’ to your town
We’ll help you party it down
We’re an American band

U!S!A! U!S!A! U!S!A! U!S!A!

That’s right: the great message of “We’re An American Band” was “American rock ‘n’ rollers could tear it up, too.” Damn straight. We can take illegal drugs, bang groupies and party all night and then still get up on stage and rock the fuck out, too!

Kiss just wanted to rock and roll all night and party every day. Grand Funk Railroad did it!!

Even better, Grand Funk Railroad somehow had it both ways. Listening to “We’re An American Band” now, it becomes clear they were both celebrating and taking the piss out of their own bad behavior. While inspiring kids like me to want to become rock stars so we could behave that badly as well!

But, of course, I was 10 years old, so it wasn’t like I was going to meet some fine ladies and tear down a hotel with them, no matter how much fun that sounded like.

But what I could do was sing that irresistible chorus over and over again. Guessing that ringer producer Todd Rundgren had more than a little to do with adding the manly harmonies and killer one-note piano that made “We’re An American Band” utterly leap from the AM radio and into the hearts of right-thinking Americans everywhere.

Promo film for “We’re An American Band”

Every Certain Song Ever
A filterable, searchable & sortable database with links to every “Certain Song” post I’ve ever written.

Check it out!

Certain Songs Spotify playlist
(It’s recommended that you listen to this on Spotify as their embed only has 200 songs.)

Support “Certain Songs” with a donation on Patreon
Go to my Patreon page

The post Certain Songs #533: Grand Funk Railroad – “We’re An American Band” appeared first on Booksquare.

0 Comments on Certain Songs #533: Grand Funk Railroad – “We’re An American Band” as of 5/12/2016 7:48:00 PM
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1014. StoryMakers | Susan Verde and Emily Arrow

STORYMAKERS - Susan Verde and Emily Arrow Featured Image

Yoga isn’t only for adults. More American parents are introducing their children to the ancient practice which originated in India. Preliminary studies show it is beneficial for reducing stress and improving mood. Certified yoga instructor and author Susan Verde wrote I Am Yoga, a picture book which helps children explore mindfulness through relationships and movement. The book is one of several kid lit collaborations between Verde and the New York Times bestselling author and illustrator Peter H. Reynolds. His relaxed illustration style helps convey Susan Verde’s message of peace, stillness of mind, and tranquility.

Reflecting the swelling ranks of adult yogis, a growing number of kids are now doing yoga, as health experts, researchers and educators note the promise of initial research suggesting the ancient meditative movement practice may help little ones relieve stress, calm anxiety and improve mood – along with helping address ADHD, without drugs.

Susan Verde and StoryMakers host Rocco Staino were joined by — via satellite —  kid lit singer and songwriter Emily Arrow. Arrow has written and performed songs based on children’s books. Together, Verde and Arrow collaborated on a song and music video for I Am Yoga. Emily Arrow’s song lyrics draw heavily from the book. Arrow’s latest CD, “Storytime Singalong, Volume 1”, is a combination of songs based on popular kid lit and tunes for young readers.

Watch Susan Verde’s interview at the Westchester Children’s Book Festival.

We’re giving away three (3) prize packs including of copy of Susan Verde’s picture book, I AM YOGA and Emily Arrow’s STORYTIME SINGALONG, VOL. 1 CD. The giveaway ends at 11:59 PM on May 25, 2016. ENTER NOW!

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StoryMakers - Susan Verde and Emily Arrow (I Am Yoga) Pinterest

 

ABOUT ‘I AM YOGA’

I Am Yoga - Susan VerdeI Am Yoga
Written by Susan Verde, illustrations by Peter H. Reynolds
Published by Harry N. Abrams

An eagle soaring among the clouds or a star twinkling in the night sky … a camel in the desert or a boat sailing across the sea yoga has the power of transformation. Not only does it strengthen bodies and calm minds, but with a little imagination, it can show us that anything is possible. New York Times bestselling illustrator Peter H. Reynolds and author and certified yoga instructor Susan Verde team up again in this book about creativity and the power of self-expression. I Am Yoga encourages children to explore the world of yoga and make room in their hearts for the world beyond it. A kid-friendly guide to 16 yoga poses is included.

ABOUT SUSAN VERDE

Susan Verdeis an award-winning children’s book author, elementary educator, and a certified children’s yoga instructor. Her books highlight the unique manner in which children see the world. Her stories focus on their interactions with their surroundings with emphasis on problem solving in a calming and mindful way. Susan’s books are used to teach children how to express gratitude and to support each other.

Susan became a certified kids yoga instructor and children’s book author, after several years in the education field. “Her stories inspire children to celebrate their own, unique stories and journey. Her writing also inspires adults to let their inner child out to dream of infinite possibilities… and maybe come out for a spontaneous game of hopscotch every now and then.”

Susan’s latest book, The Water Princess, will be published in late 2016. The book is another collaboration with he bestselling, award-winning, author and illustrator, Peter H. Reynolds. Peter and Susan have collaborated on The Museum, You & Me, and I Am Yoga. Susan lives in East Hampton, New York with her three children and dog.

Read more, here.

CONNECT WITH SUSAN VERDE
Website | Twitter

ABOUT ‘STORYTIME SINGALONG, VOLUME 1’

Storytime Singalong CD cover Storytime Singalong, Volume 1

Emily Arrow is the 2015 winner of the John Lennon Songwriting Contest in the Children’s Category for her song “The Curious Garden Song”. The song was inspired by the book THE CURIOUS GARDEN by Peter Brown. Emily was also a finalist in the 2015 Great American Song Contest and the 2014 John Lennon Songwriting Contest. Emily Arrow creates literature inspired music for children, cultivating an appreciation and love for singing, songwriting, literature, and art. She performs storytimes of her original music regularly in Los Angeles at Once Upon A Time Bookstore and Children’s Book World. Emily is touring in support of the album at schools, bookstores, and libraries around the country!

Click here for a track listing.

ABOUT EMILY ARROW

Originally from Ohio, Emily played the piano, read a lot of books, and led a neighborhood “kids only choir.” Fast forward to now and…she’s still silly, she still sings incessantly, and she still loves books! She is a graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston and earned her graduate-level teaching certification in Orff-Shulwerk Levels I & II. After graduating Emily became a K-6 music teacher at a performing arts-based elementary school in Los Angeles. During her time teaching, she found that her passion was collaborating with the library, art, and technology departments. Which led her to her current career as a kidlit singer/songwriter!

Read more, here.

CONNECT WITH EMILY ARROW
Website | Twitter | YouTube

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StoryMakers
Host: Rocco Staino | Executive Producer: Julie Gribble | Producer: Kassia Graham

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3 Comments on StoryMakers | Susan Verde and Emily Arrow, last added: 5/13/2016
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1015. Civil War Blog Party

This was supposed to start May 10th, but first of all, Mother's Day. Second of all, Mother's Day withdrawal. Lastly, Mother's Day. So, my blog party participation started a day late, but whatever.

Before I begin, let me post the Blog Party rules:

    • You must link back to Bella! No exceptions!
    • You must tell Bella when you post so she can read your Civil War Wonders!!! (She even Pretty Pleases the request, so maybe give her a head's up.)
    http://mellolostboi.tumblr.com/

    • You should follow her! (She Pretty Pleases this with ice cream on top, so yeah, give her a follow.)
    • You shouldn't be mean to people who are on the opposite team! No being mean! There's nothing wrong with a little friendly banter and what not, but No. Being. Mean!!!!! Meanness is not allowed!
    • You must absolutely must choose a side! (even if, in your humble opinion, there IS no side, just two stupid men who refuse to compromise a teensy bit in favour of maintaining friendship.) You don't have to feel guilty about this. This isn't about who you like better, (though that can obviously come into the equation.) This is just about who you would most likely join because you agree with them.
    • You have to have fun! Have lots of fun!

      (For participants, the list of what to do each day is available on this post of Bella's. Okay? Okay.)

      Day One is PICK A SIDE (even if you don't feel that there is a side - just two stupid men unwilling to compromise a little in the name of friendship).

      Here's my problem. Iron Man and Captain America are my TWO FAVOURITE AVENGERS. The stupid thing about Civil War, it pitted my TWO FAVOURITE AVENGERS against each other.

      WHAT?! NO!


      I admit to being more of an Iron Man fan. His was the first actual Avenger movie I saw, and I fell in love with his character arc. The first Iron Man movie was probably the best, but in every single one of his movies, as well as the Avenger movies, he always has this character arc that I ADORE. So I loved him, and was prepared for Civil War, being Cap's movie, to be skewed in favour of Cap and I was bracing myself against an onslaught of Iron Man hate.

      That was not the case. I was surprised at how even the "sides" were. 
      Thank you, Marvel, for giving us a perfectly balanced, incredibly clear look at two sides that are equally wrong and equally right.

      Even still, I probably ended up agreeing more with Tony.

      I totally get both sides. For Steve, he has this Brooklyn tough guy attitude that absolutely will not lie down and let the bad guys beat on the small guys. He has to step in and DO SOMETHING, even if that something may be a little outside the boundaries of the law. He has to DO SOMETHING, and I love that about him. In this case, his DO SOMETHING attitude ended with Wanda, the Scarlet Witch, saving his life, but accidentally killing dozens of people in the process. So to have the governments all siding against the Avengers and demanding they be kept in check - I didn't really blame the governments, but I didn't like the idea.

      "While a great many people see you as a hero, there are some who prefer the word vigilante. You've operated with unlimited power and no supervision. That's something the world can no longer tolerate." - General Thaddeus Ross

       I don't blame Steve for not wanting to sign the Accords.

      "Our job is to save as many people as we can.
      Sometimes that doesn't mean everybody."

      However, and I say this with total and complete understanding, if it weren't for Bucky, I don't think the Civil War would have happened. Whenever Steve hears the name "Bucky," he loses all perspective, and I get that. I do. For him, it's only been something like five years since he thought Bucky died, and only about two years that he's known Bucky is alive, but still lost in the persona of the Winter Soldier, and that grief and loss is still sharp. He wants to save Bucky so badly, and he will do anything it takes to do so, even if it means splitting the Avengers apart.

      "You know I wouldn't do this if I had any other choice. But he's my friend." - Steve Rogers

      In my opinion, Steve was willing to risk everything to save Bucky, and I love that, but if you look at the repercussions, this could cause some serious international incidents. I mean, he goes into a foreign country, dressed as the obviously American superhero, to protect a suspected terrorist responsible for the death of Wakanda's king. That's some serious crap.

      "He said 'Bucky' and suddenly I was that 16-year-old boy from Brooklyn again." - Steve Rogers

      So, at first I kind of agreed with Steve. I wouldn't want to sign the Accords. I wouldn't want the government telling who I can or cannot save. 

      "What if this Panel sends us somewhere we don't think we should go? What if there's somewhere we need to go and they don't let us?" - Steve Rogers

      http://screenrant.com/captain-america-civil-war-stills/

      BUT...

      Let's take a look at Tony's side.

      First off, we see him struggling with guilt over the death of his parents, that he didn't properly say goodbye to them before they were gone forever. Right after that, he is confronted by a woman who blames him for the death of her son, when the Avengers were trying to stop Ultron in Sokovia and pretty much decimated that city. Directly after that, all the active Avengers are called into a meeting with the Secretary of State, who shows them a film chronicling all the casualties of the wars they've fought, which hits everyone pretty hard. The Secretary then proceeds to lay down the law - either the Avengers agree to sign the Accords, which will put them under the supervision of a governmental panel, or they retire. Tony suspects that if they don't sign now, they will be forced into an Accord that will give them zero ability to assist people. (Plus, he's also got the guilt of the Sokovian boy weighing on him, and I think that played into his distrust of himself - the fact that he feels there needs to be someone the Avengers are accountable to.)

      "Oh, that's Charles Spencer, by the way. He's a great kid. Computer engineering degree. 3.6 GPA... He decided to spend his summer building sustainable housing for the poor. Guess where? Sokovia. He wanted to make a difference, I suppose. I mean, we won't know because we DROPPED a building on him while we were KICKING ASS... There's no decision-making process here."
      - Tony Stark

      "We need to be put in check.
      Whatever form that takes, I'm game."

      Through the whole movie, I kept swaying back and forth between Steve's point of view, and Tony's. They were both acting in the way their consciences dictated, so neither of them was at fault. However, there did come a point where it seemed that Tony was more focused on keeping the Avengers safe, keeping them together despite the Accords, keeping the team alive while appeasing the governmental powers, and Steve was entirely focused on saving Bucky and no-one but Bucky.

      That's when I sided with Tony.

      He wanted to save his team. He didn't want any of them to be forced to "retire." He wanted to protect everyone, and if that meant bowing to the will of the Accords, he was going to (and this is a man who doesn't bow to anyone). I think if it had just been a matter of the Accords, the trust and friendship between both sides would never have been questioned. It was the way everything escalated, building off one set of incidents, which led to another, and to another, until finally it was no longer just a difference of opinion and conscience, but complete disregard for the law and a duty to uphold the law, even at the cost of friendships.

      "If we can't accept limitations, we're no better than the bad guys." - Tony Stark

      I liked how Steve did his best to solve the Bucky problem on his own, only assembling his team when the only other choice was to admit defeat and sacrifice his best friend. But I hated that he turned on Tony to do so.

      Tony - "I'm trying to keep you from tearing the Avengers apart."
      Steve - "You did that when you signed."


      I liked how Tony did his best to protect Steve from the repercussions of the law, and how he tried to protect the entire Avengers crew, even at the cost of coming off as arrogant and self-serving. But I hated that he lost Steve's friendship to do so.

      http://forums.boxofficetheory.com/topic/21208-civil-war-under-325m-dom/?page=20
       
      So I guess I'm Team Iron Man, because everything Tony did was to try and assure a better outcome for his team. He kept Wanda housebound, not only to protect the world from her, but also to protect her from people who would see her as a threat.

      "She's confined in a compound currently - She's not a US Citizen and they don't grant visas to Weapons of Mass Destruction." - Tony Stark

      He tried to keep Steve safe, to talk the Secretary of State into overlooking Steve's few misdeeds which occurred after the signing of the Accords. He even tried to assure a better future for Bucky, despite all Bucky's crimes done as the Winter Soldier. (Yes, I know he was brainwashed and he wasn't himself, nonetheless, as Bucky himself said, "But I did them.")

      "We need you, Cap. Until nothing further happens that can't be undone, please... sign. We can make the last 24 hours legit. Barnes gets transferred to an American psych center instead of a Wakanda prison." - Tony Stark

      When it was discovered that Bucky had been framed for the Wakandan King's death, it was Tony who admitted he had been wrong in believing Bucky was the terrorist, and tried to make peace with Steve. And it probably would have all been smoothed over then, if it hadn't been for a certain video (played by the movie's antagonist intent on destroying the Avengers from the inside out), which shows Tony's parents getting killed by the Winter Soldier, thus destroying all attempts at peace.

      https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwiJwbfii9PMAhUE8GMKHRU2CZAQjxwIAw&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.pinterest.com%2Fpin%2F383509724498403212%2F&bvm=bv.121658157,d.cGc&psig=AFQjCNHjh2V0IamnAmOXvHiux5eLCHS9jQ&ust=1463092629003779&cad=rjt

      (I'll be honest - I totally understood Tony's reaction.
      Watching Bucky kill his parents - that had to hurt.)


      I REALLY REALLY REALLY wanted this movie to end with friendships restored, and while it didn't exactly end the way I wanted it to, at least it left it open enough to show there was some healing going on, and that eventually friendships would be resurrected and mended. (At least, they'd better be, Marvel!) I still wouldn't say there was a Team Captain America or Team Iron Man. Both Tony and Steve had totally valid points as to why they would or wouldn't sign. But all in all, I think Tony's actions were more what I would follow. I don't know if I'd be willing to step outside the law to save someone who has been an assassin for years, no matter how much Captain America believed in him. I think I'd rather side with Tony and try to protect my team at all costs - even if it meant giving up some freedom of action.

      And that's a wrap! I'll do my best to do Day 2 tomorrow, but depending on how busy I am, that may or may not happen. Until next time...

      God bless!

      Cat


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      1016. Flogometer for JA—are you compelled to turn the page?

      Submissions Welcome. If you’d like a fresh look at your opening chapter or prologue, please email your submission to me re the directions at the bottom of this post.


      The Flogometer challenge: can you craft a first page that compels me to turn to the next page? Caveat: Please keep in mind that this is entirely subjective.

      Note: all the Flogometer posts are here.

      What's a first page in publishingland? In a properly formatted novel manuscript (double-spaced, 1-inch margins, 12-point type, etc.) there should be about 16 or 17 lines on the first page (first pages of chapters/prologues start about 1/3 of the way down the page). Directions for submissions are below—they include a request to post the rest of the chapter, but that’s optional.

      A word about the line-editing in these posts: it’s “one-pass” editing, and I don’t try to address everything, which is why I appreciate the comments from the FtQ tribe. In a paid edit, I go through each manuscript three times.

      Mastering front 100WshadowBefore you rip into today’s submission, consider this checklist of first-page ingredients from my book, Mastering the Craft of Compelling Storytelling. While it's not a requirement that all of these elements must be on the first page, they can be, and I think you have the best chance of hooking a reader if they are.

      Download a free PDF copy here.

      Were I you, I'd examine my first page in the light of this list before submitting to the Flogometer. I use it on my own work.

      A First-page Checklist

      • It begins engaging the reader with the character
      • Something is happening. On a first page, this does NOT include a character musing about whatever.
      • The character desires something.
      • The character does something.
      • There’s enough of a setting to orient the reader as to where things are happening.
      • It happens in the NOW of the story.
      • Backstory? What backstory? We’re in the NOW of the story.
      • Set-up? What set-up? We’re in the NOW of the story.
      • What happens raises a story question.

      Caveat: a strong first-person voice with the right content can raise powerful story questions and create page turns without doing all of the above. A recent submission worked wonderfully well and didn't deal with five of the things in the checklist.

      Also, if you think about it, the same checklist should apply to the page where you introduce an antagonist.


      JA sends the first chapter for The Keeper and the Stone, a fantasy novel. The rest of the chapter follows the break.

      The deeper Alaric rode into the woods, the more something felt… off. This forest had always fit like a well-worn cloak. But tonight, the way forest wrapped around felt familiar, but not quite comfortable, as though it remembered wrapping around a slightly different shape.

      “This path used to be easier to follow,” Alaric said to his horse, Beast, as they paused in a patch of summer moonlight. Alaric peered ahead, looking for the trail leading to the Stronghold. He found it, running like a scratch through the low brush to the right. “If the Keepers weren’t too meek to hold grudges, I’d think the old men were hiding it from me.”

      All the usual smells of pine and moss and dirt wove through the air, the usual sounds of little animals going about their lives, but Alaric kept catching the hint of something different. Something more complicated than he wanted to deal with.

      Around then next turn, the trail ran straight into a wider tree trunk. Alaric leaned as far to the side as he could, but he couldn’t see around it. “I could be wrong about the Keepers holding grudges.”

      Well, if they didn’t want him at the Stronghold, that was too bad. He didn’t need a warm welcome. He just needed to find one book with one antidote. With a little luck, the book would be easy to find and he could leave again quickly. With a lot of luck, he’d get out without having to answer anyone’s questions about what he’d been doing for the past year.

      Were you compelled to turn the page?

      I like the writing and voice, for sure. JA introduces us to a fantasy world smoothly, not throwing too much at us. But, despite that, I see a lack of a compelling story question. Oh, there are story questions, but there’s not much in terms of stakes, so far. If Alaric is unlucky, he’ll have to answer questions. Doesn’t sound like too dire a consequence. He seeks an antidote, but we don’t know what it’s for—could be just a poison ivy rash.

      Later we seem to learn that it’s an antidote to save the life of someone named Evangeline—but even then we don’t know the relationship between Alaric and Evangeline.

      For me, establishing his journey as a quest to save the life of Evangeline on the first page would go a long way toward getting a page-turn. If there could be a time urgency as well, that would help—what if he needs to return with the antidote before the full moon fades? In short, nicely done narrative needs, for me, stronger tension, clear needs or desires, and stronger consequences for failure. There's no sense of urgency, and I think there should be. The writing tells me that JA can do that. Even lacking that, having read on, it’s a story I’d be interested in reading. Just grab the reader with a stronger grip on this first page.

      Your thoughts?

      For what it’s worth.

      Ray

      Submitting to the Flogometer:

      Email the following in an attachment (.doc, .docx, or .rtf preferred, no PDFs):

      1. your title
      2. your complete 1st chapter or prologue plus 1st chapter
      3. Please include in your email permission to post it on FtQ.
      4. Note: I’m adding a copyright notice for the writer at the end of the post. I’ll use just the first name unless I’m told I can use the full name.
      5. Also, please tell me if it’s okay to post the rest of the chapter so people can turn the page.
      6. And, optionally, include your permission to use it as an example in a book on writing craft if that's okay.
      7. If you’re in a hurry, I’ve done “private floggings,” $50 for a first chapter.
      8. If you rewrite while you wait for your turn, it’s okay with me to update the submission.

      Were I you, I'd examine my first page in the light of the first-page checklist before submitting to the Flogometer.

      Flogging the Quill © 2016 Ray Rhamey, prologue and chapter © 2016 by JA

       

      Continued:

      Beast circled the tree and found the path again, snaking out the other side. As his hooves thudded down on it, a howl echoed through the woods.

      The horse froze and Alaric grabbed the pouch hanging around his neck, protecting it against his chest. He closed his eyes, casting out past the nearest trees and through the woods, searching for the blazing energy of the wolf. He sensed nothing beyond the tranquil glow of the trees and the dashing flashes of frightened rabbits.

      “That’s new.” Alaric opened his eyes and peered into the darkness.

      A louder howl broke through the night. Beast shuddered.

      “It’s alright.” Alaric patted Beast’s neck as he cast farther out. The life energy of an animal as large as a wolf would be like a bonfire among the trees, but there was nothing near them. “It’s not wolves. Just disembodied howls.” He kept his voice soothing, hoping to calm the animal.

      “That didn’t sound as reassuring as I meant it to. But a real wolf pack wouldn’t keep howling as they got closer. If we were being tracked by wolves, we wouldn’t know it.”

      Beast’s ears flicked back and forth, alert for another howl.

      “Ok, that wasn’t reassuring either.” Alaric nudged him forward. “C’mon we’re almost to the Wall.”

      A third howl tore out of the darkness right beside them.

      Beast reared back, whinnying in terror. Alaric grabbed for the saddle and swore. He pressed his hand to Beast’s neck.

      Paxa,” he said, focusing energy through his hand and into Beast. A shock of pain raced across his palm where it touched the horse.

      Mid-snort, Beast settled and stood still.

      Alaric shook out his hand and looked thoughtfully into the woods. This wasn’t about a grudge, or at least the howls weren’t directed at him. Any Keeper would know there were no wolves. Even a one as inadequate as himself would know there was no energy, no vitalle, behind the sounds. So what was the purpose of it? The path had never been like this before.

      With Beast calm, Alaric set him back into a steady walk. Two more howls rang out from the woods but Beast ambled along, unruffled. Alaric rubbed his still tingling palm.

      Beast paused again as the trail ran into another wide tree.

      Alaric growled in frustration. The path to the Keepers’ Stronghold shouldn’t be this troublesome for a Keeper.

      Unless it no longer recognized him as one. That was a sobering thought.

      As they skirted around the tree a white face thrust itself out of the trunk. Alaric jerked away as the hazy form of a man leaned out toward him. When the figure didn’t move, Alaric reined in Beast and forced himself to study it. It held no life energy, it was just an illusion—like the wolves.

      The figure was a young man. He had faded yellow hair and milky white skin. Once the initial shock wore off, the man was not particularly frightening. He looked healthy and friendly.

      “What are you supposed to look like? A ghost?” Alaric asked.

      It hung silent on the tree. Alaric leaned forward and backward, but the ghost remained still, staring off into the woods.

      “The howls were more frightening than you.” Alaric set Beast to walking again.

      “You are lost,” the ghost whispered as he passed.

      Alaric gave a short laugh. “I’ve been lost many times in my life, but this isn’t one of them. And if it’s your job to scare people off, you should consider saying something more chilling and less…depressing.”

      Beast kept walking and Alaric turned to watch the ghost fade into the darkness behind them.

      A rasp pulled his attention forward. Another white form slid out of the tree they were approaching. This one was a young woman. She was rather pretty, for a ghost.

      “Hello.” Alaric gave her a polite nod.

      “You have failed,” she whispered. “You have failed everyone.”

      Alaric scowled. The words rang uncomfortably true.

      Alaric stopped Beast in front of to the ghost. Behind the woman’s face Alaric saw thin silver runes carved on the bark. He couldn’t read them through the ghost, but he didn’t need to. Narrowing his focus, he cast out ahead of them along the trail, brushing against the trunks with his senses. Now that he knew what he was looking for, he felt the subtle humming runes dotting the trees ahead.

      Alaric sat back in the saddle. This wasn’t what he expected from the Keepers. The old men protected their privacy like paranoid hermits, but they’d never tried to scare people away before. Except he had to admit that these ghosts weren’t frightening. If the Keepers were going to make ghosts, this is the sort they would make.

      Years ago, during his lesson on ‘Defeat by Demoralization,’ Keeper Gerone had raged, “Control the emotions, control the man!” Gerone was probably responsible for the depressing ghosts.

      The ghost runes were on almost every tree now, faces appearing every few steps.

      “Your powers are worthless,” the next whispered and Alaric flinched.

      “It’s your fault,” another rasped. “All your fault.”

      Alaric clenched his jaw and stared ahead as the whispers surrounded him.

      When he passed close to one large tree, a ghost thrust out close to him. Alaric turned  toward it and saw his own face looking back at him. A pale, wasted version of himself. His black hair was faded to a lifeless grey and his skin, far from being tanned from traveling, was bleached a wrinkly bone white. Only his eyes had stayed dark, sinking from a healthy brown to deep black pits.  

      Alaric stared, repulsed, at the withered apparition of himself—it was decades older than his forty years. The ghost looked tired, a deep crease furrowed between its brows. Alaric reached up and rubbed his own forehead.

      The ghost leaned closer.

      “She’s dead,” it whispered.

      Guilt stabbed into him, deep and familiar. He shuddered, grabbing the pouch at his neck, his mind flooded with the image of Evangeline’s sunken face.

      Alaric slammed his palm against the rune on the trunk.

      Uro!” Pain raced through his hand again. He poured energy into the tree, willing it to burn. The bark smoked as he seared the rune off.

      Out of the corner of his eye, pulses of white light appeared along the path ahead of them. He glanced at them, but the distraction had consequences and the pain flared, arcing up each finger. He gasped and narrowed his focus back to the energy flowing through his palm. The pain receded slightly. The ghost stared a moment longer, then faded away. Alaric dropped his arm, leaving a hand-shaped scorch mark on the trunk where the rune had been.

      “She’s dead.”

      Alaric’s head snapped forward.

      The trees ahead of him were full of ghosts, each a washed out version of himself.

      “Dead…She’s dead…Dead.” The words filled the air.

      Alaric clutched the pouch at his neck until he felt the rough stone inside.

      A ghost reached toward him. “She’s dead…” Its voice rattled in a long sigh.

      Alaric spurred Beast into a gallop, trusting the horse to follow the trail. The whispers clung to them as they ran. Alaric shrank down, hunching his shoulders, wresting his mind away from the memory of Evangeline’s tired eyes, her pale skin.

      The trees ended and they raced out into a silent swath of grass, running up to the base of an immense cliff. Alaric pulled Beast to a stop, both of them breathing hard. Gripping the saddle, Alaric looked back into the trees. The forest was dark and quiet.

      “I take it back,” he said, catching his breath, “the ghosts were worse than the wolves.” He sat in the saddle, pushing back at the dread that was enveloping him. She wasn’t dead. The ghosts were just illusions. He’d get the antidote tonight. She’d be fine.

      When his heart finally slowed, he gave Beast an exhausted pat on the neck.

      “This path used to be a lot easier to follow.”

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      1017. Modern Middle-Grade Classics

      This Thursday (May 11) the #mglitchat on Twitter will be about modern classics. If you want to join the discussion, hop on Twitter at 7 PM Mountain Time, 9:00 Eastern and search for #mglitchat.

      In case you haven't heard of #mglitchat before, I'll explain what it is. Several writers (many published--you might even recognize some of them) and even some editors and agents get together weekly to discuss a topic having to do with Middle Grade books. I usually keep Amazon open in another tab to keep track of all the book recommendations that come up in the chats.

      For those of you who do the #pitchwars thing, several of the mentors participate, so this is a good opportunity to get to know them and what they like.

      #mglitchat has become a part of my weekly routine. It is always worth the hour spent reading tweets.

      0 Comments on Modern Middle-Grade Classics as of 1/1/1900
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      1018. Do you know of any writing groups in New Jersey?

            fawg_icon_for_blog    NJ Writing groups - compressed

      I'm always looking to add some more New Jersey writing groups.

      Scroll down for a list of the New Jersey Writing groups I currently have on file, with links to websites where available.

      GROUPS WITH MEETINGS IN TWO OR MORE COUNTIES
      WOMEN WHO WRITE (open to ladies only)
      Various groups (see their groups link for full details)

      THE NEW JERSEY SOCIETY OF CHRISTIAN WRITERS
      Various Groups in Burlington, Camden and Salem Counties (see website for details)
      Contact: Dr. MaryAnn Diorio: drmaryann@njscw.org

      THE SCIENCE FICTION SOCIETY OF NORTHERN NEW JERSEY
      Various meetings (see Meetup page for more details)

      WRITING GROUPS BY COUNTY

      BERGEN COUNTY
      Bergen County Poets and Fictionaires
      Where? See Meetup page
      When? See Meetup page
      Contact: See Meetup page

      Mahwah Writer's Collective
      Where? 100 Ridge Road Mahwah, NJ 07430
      When? Tuesdays: 6:30pm - 8:30pm
      Contact: Mahwah Library (201) 529 2183

      Science Fiction Association of Bergen County
      Where? Bergen Highlands United Methodist Church,316 West Saddle River Road, Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458
      When? 2nd Saturday of the month (see www.sfabc.org for more info)
      Contact: sfabc@gmail.com

      BURLINGTON COUNTY
      Juliette Writer's Group
      Where? Barnes & Noble, Eastgate Square, 1311 Nixon Drive, Moorestown, NJ 08057
      When? Every third Thursday, 7:30pm
      Contact: Run by Dawn Byrne. Call store for details: (856) 608 1622

      CAMDEN COUNTY
      Writing Group
      Where?
      Barnes & Noble, Towne Place, 911 Haddonfield Rd, Cherry Hill, NJ 08002
      When? Every second Tuesday, 7:30pm
      Contact: Run by Susan Pitcher. Call store for details: (856) 486 1492

      Garden State Writers
      Where? South County Regional Branch Library, 35 Cooper Folly Road, Atco, NJ 08004
      When? 3rd Tuesday of each month, 7pm-9pm
      Contact: See website

      ESSEX COUNTY
      Montclair Editors and Writers
      Where? See Meetup page
      When? See Meetup page
      Contact: See Meetup page

      HUNTERDON COUNTY

      MERCER COUNTY
      Princeton Writing Group
      Where? Various Meet-ups (see the group's webpage for details)
      Contact: See website

      MIDDLESEX COUNTY
      New Jersey Romance Writers
      Where? Mercer County Public Library, Hopewell Branch, 245 Pennington-Titusville Road, Pennington, NJ 08534
      When? 4th Tuesday of each month, 6 - 8:30pm
      Contact: See website

      The Garden State Speculative FictionWriters (GSSW)
      Where? Old Bridge Public Library,1 Old Bridge Plaza, Municipal Center,Old Bridge, NJ 08857
      When? First Saturday of each month - see website for details
      Contact: See website

      Liberty States Fiction Writers
      Where? Edison Library, 340 Plainfield Avenue, Edison, New Jersey 08817
      When? 2nd Saturday of the month 10-10:30am (business) 10:45-11:45am (workshop) Noon-1:15 (roundtable sessions)
      Contact: See website

      The Princeton Writing Group
      Where? See Meetup page
      When? See Meetup page
      Contact: See Meetup page

      The Woodbridge Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers
      Where? See Meetup page
      When? See Meetup page
      Contact: See Meetup page


      MONMOUTH COUNTY
      Writing Group
      Where?
      ASBURY PARK Public Library, Children's Room500 First Ave - Asbury Park, NJ
      When? 3rd WEDNESDAY of Each Month (5.30-7.30pm)
      Contact: Neville - njansii_nj@yahoo.com

      Writing Group
      Where?
      Barnes & Noble, Lanes Mill Marketplace, 4831 US Hwy 9, Howell, NJ 07731
      When? 3rd Thursday of every month
      Contact store for more info: (732) 730-2838

      BelmarArts Creative Writing Group
      Where? The Boatworks, 608 River Road, Belmar, NJ 07719
      When? 4th Thursday, 7pm - 9pm
      Contact: See website

      Monmouth Creative Writing Group
      Where? Monmouth County Library (HQ), 125 Symmes Drive, Manalapan, NJ 07726
      When? 3rd Thursday of the month (7pm)
      Contact: ?

      Monmouth Writers
      Where? Howell Library, Howell Library, 318 Old Tavern Road, Howell, NJ 07731
      When? 2nd Saturday of each month
      Contact: Rick Kelsten See website

      Writing Group
      Where?
      NEPTUNE Public Library, Meeting Rm #225 Neptune Blvd - Neptune, NJ
      When? 2nd Saturday of each month (1pm - 3pm) (NB: Please check library's calendar before turning up.)
      Contact: - (732) 775-8241

      The Noble Writers
      Where? Middletown Library, 55 New Monmouth Road, Middletown, NJ 07748
      When? Wednesdays ((10am - 11:30am) (NB: Please check library's calendar before turning up.)
      Contact: TBA

      Writing Critique group
      Where? Middletown Library, 55 New Monmouth Road, Middletown, NJ 07748
      When? Wednesdays (7pm) (NB: Please check library's calendar before turning up.)
      Contact: TBA

      OCEAN COUNTY
      Manchester (NJ) Writers' Circle
      Where? Manchester Library, 21Colonial Drive, Manchester, NJ 08759
      When? 1st & 3rd Tuesday of the month (2pm-4pm)
      Contact: See website

      Berkeley Adult Writers' group
      Where? OCL (Berkeley Branch), 30 Station Road, Bayville, NJ 08721
      When? Last Monday of the month - 6:30pm start
      Contact: (Library) 732 269 2144

      The Jackson Writers' Group
      Where? Jackson branch of the Ocean County Library, 2 Jackson Drive Jackson, NJ 08527
      When? See website
      Contact: See website

      SOMERSET COUNTY
      New Jersey Writers' Critique Group
      Where? Barnes & Noble (Somerset Shopping Center, 319 Route 202/206, Bridgewater, NJ 08807)
      When? First Wednesday of the month, 7pm - check B&N website for latest info
      Contact: (B&N) 908 526-7425

      New Jersey Writers' Society
      Where? Franklin Township Library (Historical Room), 485 Dermott Lane, Somerset, NJ 08873
      When? Third Thursday of the month, 7pm - 9pm
      Contact: (Library) 732 873 8700

      UNION COUNTY
      New Providence Writers
      Where? Waterlilies Restaurant, 33 Union Place, Summit, NJ (parking free on Sundays)
      When? 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month, 2pm.
      Contact: Join and RSVP for meetings through Meetup group


      Want me to add your group?
      If you know of any statewide or local writing groups in New Jersey which aren't listed above, please let me have contact details and/or a website link, if possible. Also, if your group is listed, but I've got the information wrong, please let me know.

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      1019. Story Structure

      The three-part structure is a common way to plot your book.

      http://www.adventuresinyapublishing.com/2016/04/a-three-part-story-structure-step.html#.VwgJAvkrJlY

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      1020. WOO-HOO! Welcome Australia!!!

      Welcome to comickers down-under: first time CBO has a very large number of views recorded from Australia.

      Enjoy the read folks!

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      1021. Student Blurbs for WISH


      I adore these blurbs for WISH from Patrick Allen's awesome 4th graders in Colorado.



      "This is the best novel of the year!" --Kinsey 

      "Soon it will have a New York Times best seller stamp on it!" --Norah

      "I WISH it were out sooner!" --John

      "Wishes might not come true, but reading this book made mine come true!" --Michael

      "Great mix of comedy and emotion. This book makes wishes come true!" --Caleb/Hannah

      "Now I know what to wish on." --Ben

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      1022. So What Actually Happened To The New Atlas Comics?

       
      Well I was asked the above question and to be honest even the answers you can find online can get confusing.  In 2015, Jason Goodman (whose Nemesis Group joined forces with Arrden to produce the 2010 Atlas revival) told me that there was still the "possibility" that Atlas could be back.

      But there were rumours.  Firstly, that Disney, owners of Marvel Comics which was formerly Atlas Comics after having been Timely Comics, had taken legal action for using the Atlas title. As I pointed out on several comic sites, that made no sense. Disney bosses were ignorant of Marvel having been Timely so they probably had no idea it was also once Atlas.  Then it was suggested that the fuss was over the Marvel comic Agents of Atlas.

      I searched around but there seemed to be no problems coming from Disney.

      Secondly, there was the rumour that a group of creators from the 1970s Atlas Comics were suing over use of their creations. I asked around again. No. No truth to that rumour.

      So, was it likely that Atlas Comics and the series Atlas Unified were cancelled because someone else owned the "Atlas Comics" name?  It seemed ridiculous but it turned out that, indeed, someone had grabbed the name and ....well, this Wikipedia entry will explain:
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlas/Seaboard_Comics

      "Circa 2010, Martin Goodman's grandson Jason Goodman announced a partnership with Ardden Entertainment to relaunch Atlas Comics starting with two "#0" issues featuring the Grim Ghost and Phoenix. With another character, Wulf the Barbarian, they were the stars of a miniseries, Atlas Unified, announced in September 2011 for publication that November.

      "Jason Goodman's Nemesis Group Inc. belatedly discovered that one Jeffrey Stevens had acquired the trademark "Atlas Comics" for comic books on October 11, 2005. Nemesis filed suit on September 28, 2010, arguing that Stevens had no demonstrated use of the trademark, and on March 13, 2012, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board allowed the case to proceed to trial. The Board ultimately ruled against Goodman, and on August 10, 2014, Stevens assigned the trademark to Dynamite Characters LLC."

      So when Goodman told me that it was possible that Atlas Comics would be back he was, probably, being, shall we say, a little "optimistic"?

      But in December, 2015, someone (no, no names) told me that Goodman was getting Atlas Comics back as a name.  I pointed out that unless he paid Jeffery Stevens a lot of money for the name legally assigned to him he just couldn't. I was then sent (see why I won't name the person?) a scan of a logo but asked not to say anything until it all went "legal".
       
      Now, Bleeding Cool Comics, in February, ran this story -see the whole item here:

      "Is Martin Goodman’s Grandson Trying To Get The Name Of Atlas Comics Back?"

      Rich Johnson even had the logo in question and goes on to write:

      "... this month (February), the Nemesis Group has filed paperwork for this logo
      ImageAgentProxy (1)"for…
      Video game cartridges and discs; Video game discs; Video game software; Video and computer game programs; Computer game software for use with personal computers, home video game consoles used with televisions and arcade-based video game consoles; Computer game software for use with personal computers, home video game consoles used with televisions and arcade-based video game consoles; Computer programs for video and computer games; Vinyl covers specially adapted for cell phones, MP3 players, laptops, computers, portable satellite radios, personal digital assistants, remote controls, and television satellite recorders. Comic books; Comics; Graphic novels; Graphic art prints; Graphic art reproductions; Graphic prints; Framed graphic art reproductions. Graphic T-shirts; Graphic T-shirts; Halloween costumes. Appliques. Costume masks; Video game machines; Arcade video game machines; Arcade-type electronic video games; Coin-operated video games. On-line retail store services featuring physical and virtual merchandise for use by members of an online community in connection with a designated website featuring fictional characters; Subscriptions to books, reviews, newspapers or comic books. Imprinting messages on wearing apparel and mugs. Creating and developing concepts for television programs; Entertainment services in the nature of creation, development, and production of television programming; Providing online non-downloadable comic books and graphic novels; Providing online non-downloadable comic books and graphic novels; Providing online non-downloadable comic books and graphic novels; Screenplay writing..."

       The difference is Atlas TM Comics.  Yeah, I know.  But that "TM" can make all the difference. But it's typical comic industry shenanigans that someone would sneak in and register the Atlas Comics name without contacting the Goodman estate and then not use it.  From what I understand, the intention might have been to use the Atlas characters under the Dynamite-Atlas Comics banner but if the rumour mill is correct that would have resulted in creators being very unhappy and legal action.

      So, if Stevens plans were scuppered back in 2005 you might ask why when Goodman and Arrden did all the Atlas Comics relaunch press and news releases as well as interviews, did Stevens not clear his throat and say "Sorry -you can't.  The Atlas Comics name is mine now"?

      Sounds a dirty trick, right?  But nothing in comics surprises me.  What the motivation was or just what was going on behind the scenes we do not know. There's a suggestion that Stevens wanted to sell the name back to Goodman but Goodman said "**** you!" and the legal case opened.  There are a LOT of rumours.

      Goodman may well be able to adopt the Atlas TM Comics and that means Atlas could be back. If it does happen I can only hope that better writers and artists are used and -please- get some of the original creators and their creations involved not a reboot that fans did not like.

       Image result for Jason Goodman's Nemesis Group Inc

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      1023. The Tales of the Canterbury Rabbits Picture book Coming Soon!


      0 Comments on The Tales of the Canterbury Rabbits Picture book Coming Soon! as of 5/11/2016 6:46:00 PM
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      1024. Member Profile News Banner

      Insight-banner_my-home

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      1025. Featured Review: This Is My Brain On Boys by Sarah Strohmeyer

        About This Book:  Addie Emerson doesn’t believe in love, at least for herself. A straightlaced, brilliant girl, she’s more interested in getting an A than falling in love. But Addie is determined to prove the science of love—because Addie Emerson does believe in science.Science tells her that “love” is nothing...

      0 Comments on Featured Review: This Is My Brain On Boys by Sarah Strohmeyer as of 1/1/1900
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