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1.

Coming from Charlesbridge in March!


2. Walking doodles


0 Comments on Walking doodles as of 11/26/2014 10:18:00 AM
3. The Enchanted Castle (1907)

The Enchanted Castle. E. Nesbit. 1907. 291 pages. [Source: Bought]

I really enjoyed reading The Enchanted Castle by E. Nesbit. I had started this one at least twice before, but, I had never been in the right mood to properly appreciate this children's fantasy novel. I was in the right mood this time.

If you enjoy adventure fantasy novels, you'll probably enjoy spending time with Jerry, Jimmy, Cathy, and Mabel. Jerry, Jimmy, and Cathy are siblings. When these three first meet Mabel, they mistake her for a princess. At the time, they are having an adventure looking for an enchanted castle. So finding a princess within that castle makes complete sense! Mabel is actually the niece of the housekeeper. She confesses that a bit later on. That first meeting is magical enough! She shows them a secret room behind a paneled wall. This room is fabulous if you're looking for treasures. While in the room, the children find (and pick up) a ring. This ring is central to all their further adventures. And Mabel is their new best friend. She's always part of the group.

This one was a very fun read. It reminded me of why I love E. Nesbit in the first place. It wasn't a perfect novel. But flaws and all, it worked well enough for me. It was a joy to read of their adventures and misadventures. The ring gets them into trouble more often than it gets them out of trouble.

Favorite quotes:
“Go then, and be not more naughty than you must.”
“If we were in a book it would be an enchanted castle — certain to be,” said Kathleen. “It is an enchanted castle,” said Gerald in hollow tones. “But there aren’t any.” Jimmy was quite positive. “How do you know? Do you think there’s nothing in the world but what you’ve seen?” His scorn was crushing.
“I think magic went out when people began to have steam-engines,” Jimmy insisted, “and newspapers, and telephones and wireless telegraphing.” “Wireless is rather like magic when you come to think of it,” said Gerald. “Oh, that sort!” Jimmy’s contempt was deep. “Perhaps there’s given up being magic because people didn’t believe in it any more,” said Kathleen. “Well, don’t let’s spoil the show with any silly old not believing,” said Gerald with decision. “I’m going to believe in magic as hard as I can. This is an enchanted garden, and that’s an enchanted castle, and I’m jolly well going to explore.
“I am so hungry!” said Jimmy. “Why didn’t you say so before?” asked Gerald bitterly. “I wasn’t before.” “Then you can’t be now. You don’t get hungry all in a minute. What’s that?”
“Well, then — a detective.” “There’s got to be something to detect before you can begin detectiving,” said Mabel. “Detectives don’t always detect things,” said Jimmy, very truly. “If I couldn’t be any other kind I’d be a baffled detective. You could be one all right, and have no end of larks just the same. Why don’t you do it?” “It’s exactly what I am going to do,” said Gerald. “We’ll go round by the police-station and see what they’ve got in the way of crimes.” They did, and read the notices on the board outside. Two dogs had been lost, a purse, and a portfolio of papers “of no value to any but the owner.” Also Houghton Grange had been broken into and a quantity of silver plate stolen. “Twenty pounds reward offered for any information that may lead to the recovery of the missing property.”
You know pretty well what Beauty and the Beast would be like acted by four children who had spent the afternoon in arranging their costumes and so had left no time for rehearsing what they had to say. Yet it delighted them, and it charmed their audience. There is a curtain, thin as gossamer, clear as glass, strong as iron, that hangs for ever between the world of magic and the world that seems to us to be real. And when once people have found one of the little weak spots in that curtain which are marked by magic rings, and amulets, and the like, almost anything may happen.And what more can any play do, even Shakespeare’s?

© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

0 Comments on The Enchanted Castle (1907) as of 11/26/2014 11:00:00 AM
4. Teaser Trailer Unveiled For ‘Pan’

Warner Bros. Pictures has unveiled a new teaser trailer for Pan. Deadline reports that “the fantasy actioner retells the tale of an orphan boy snatched from turn-of-the-century London and transported to a magical land ruled by a moustache-twirling pirate.”

The video embedded above offers glimpses of Hugh Jackman as Blackbeard, Amanda Seyfried as Mary, Rooney Mara as Tiger Lily, Garrett Hedlund as Hook, and Levi Miller as Peter Pan. This movie will hit theaters in July 2015.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

5. Flogometer for Sherry—are you compelled to turn the page?

Submissions Wanted. 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.

A First-page Checklist

  • It begins connecting the reader with the protagonist
  • Something is happening. On a first page, this does NOT include a character musing about whatever.
  • What happens is dramatized in an immediate scene with action and description plus, if it works, dialogue.
  • What happens moves the story forward.
  • What happens has consequences for the protagonist.
  • The protagonist desires something.
  • The protagonist 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—what happens next? or why did that happen?

Sherry sends a first chapter of Undefeated. The rest of the chapter follows the break.

By the time I hit 16 I'd been playing football for ten years. Two things kept me connected to football. My dad and my hope for a scholarship to a Division One school. Lately, those two things hadn't felt like enough. I'd had enough of football, and really, enough of my dad. And now I suspected my coach would risk anything to win this football season.

Dad had shown up unannounced, as usual, at Nan’s today. Nan is his mother, my grandmother, and I've lived with her most of my life. After Dad divorced Mom, he'd lived all over the place, leaving Mom behind in the cottage on the back of Nan’s property and me behind with Nan. Mom had been too sick with cancer to take care of me. He'd done me a huge favor when he'd left me behind. Today he just happened to be in Kentucky.

We always ended up outside tossing the ball around. Dad never stayed indoors any longer than he had to. Today was a balmy late summer day, just enough breeze to rustle the leaves and control the sweat of playing hard. Late summer in our neighborhood smelled like chlorinated pools and new-mown grass.

“Go out for a long one, Hunter,” Dad said as he threw the football. Blasting in the background was Dad’s latest CD from his band, not bad if you like pop rock in the nature of Maroon 5.

I caught that long throw and a few dozen more before Dad said, “I'm going on the road (snip)

Were you compelled to turn Sherry's first page?

Once again, we see good writing and a good voice, but no story question raised. There’s exposition and backstory here that, while some contributes to character, none seems to contribute to story. The actual story later in the chapter seems to be about the protagonist’s concern about doping on the football team. Here’s an alternative opening using material from the next page.

By the time I hit 16 I'd been playing football for ten years. Two things kept me connected to football. My dad and my hope for a scholarship to a Division One school. Lately, those two things hadn't felt like enough. I'd had enough of football, and really, enough of my dad. And now I suspected my coach would risk anything to win this football season.

Dad had shown up unannounced, as usual, at Nan’s today. Nan is his mother, my grandmother, and I've lived with her most of my life. After Dad divorced Mom, he'd lived all over the place, leaving Mom behind in the cottage on the back of Nan’s property and me behind with Nan. Mom had been too sick with cancer to take care of me. He'd done me a huge favor when he'd left me behind. Today he just happened to be in Kentucky.

We always ended up outside tossing the ball around. “Go out for a long one, Hunter,” Dad said.

“Did you ever get tired of football, Dad?”

“Hell no, best time of my life. Don't you let anything get in your way. College football is golden. You'll be big man on campus, all the women you want…”

“It's different now, they expect you…” I said, before he interrupted me. I wanted to tell him my suspicions about Coach dosing players.

“You just do whatever your coaches tell you to do, you hear me. Whatever they tell you, they're the boss, no questions asked.”

What do you think? For me, it introduces conflict on more than one level.Would the opening page be stronger with this content on it?

Would you turn the page with that as the opening?

Comments, please?

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.

Flogging the Quill © 2014 Ray Rhamey, story © 2014 Sherry

(continued)

for at least two months.”

I wasn’t surprised that he'd leave for two months, but during football season, that shocked me.

“What's up with that?” I asked.

“The SkreeminDemons got a long-term gig in Chicago, in a decent bar. Good money,” he said, “But I know you'll do me proud this season. You're on the fast track to follow in my football footsteps, boy.”

“Did you ever get tired of football, Dad?”

“Hell no, best time of my life. Don't you let anything get in your way. College football is golden. You'll be big man on campus, all the women you want…”

“It's different now, they expect you…” I said, before he interrupted me. I wanted to tell him my suspicions about Coach dosing players.

“You just do whatever your coaches tell you to do, you hear me. Whatever they tell you, they're the boss, no questions asked.”

When one of the senior players I really liked ended up in the hospital right after football practice one day recently, I was afraid I knew why. He’d been hinting around that he was pumping up in a big way at his new gym. I'd thought he meant with weights, but maybe there was something pharmaceutical involved.

“Marcel is in the hospital. They think it was drugs,” I said.

“That’s what happens when college gets close. He's a senior right?”

“They say he's in bad shape,” I said.

“Nothing you can do about it. Keep your own nose clean and don't worry about it.”

“It just seems really dangerous if someone is hooking players up with drugs…” I wanted to tell him how scared I felt.

“Mind your own business. Things happen. Players use stuff sometimes. No big deal.”

Dad picked up the football and headed toward the house to say his good-byes.

“Will you be able to come home for any games?” Not sure why I even asked, I'd learned not to expect anything from Dad. His last remaining  thread of commitment to me had been football and now that was getting cut, too.

“Naw, we’re not getting paid enough to travel back and forth. But I'll come home for Thanksgiving for sure,” Dad said, “I'll be ready for some of your Nan’s turkey and dressing.”

And that quickly, Dad was gone again. I was left on my own to find out if Coach was playing fair, before someone else got hurt, or killed.

6. Characters I am Thankful For

Tomorrow we celebrate Thanksgiving here in the US so of course I had to come up with a list of things I'm thankful for. Instead of the usual list of my clients, my BookEnds team or all of the blog readers, writers and editors who make me better at my job (see how I slipped that in) I thought I'd put together a list of characters who helped shape the me I am today.

Like anyone in the publishing business I spent most of my childhood with my nose in a book. I went to bed reading, falling asleep with the light on, and spent Saturday mornings curled up under a blanket reading a book from beginning to end. I'd actually hide in the corner so my parents wouldn't notice me and force me to go outside. During those years there were so many characters who shaped me and who I wanted to be like, characters who refuse to leave my head and in many ways have become my role models. People (because that's how I think of them) I still think of today.

Anne Shirley, that tenacious, spunky redhead who wanted to be a writer. I loved Anne of Green Gables and really, really wanted to be her. Well, honestly, I think I wanted to be all of these characters. Anne always said what she believed and despite so many obstacles that would make many sad, Anne was optimistic and confident. She was also determined and wanted to be a writer. Who wouldn't be inspired by that?

Jo March, if you read this blog you'll see Jo's name (or at least Little Women) come up again and again. In some weird way I feel like Jo is a good friend, someone I haven't seen in a while and miss dearly. Jo, like Anne, was spunky, tenacious, brave and determined to be the woman she wanted to be and not the woman everyone thought she should be. It broke my heart when Jo said no to Laurie, but part of me cheered her on. It was a shocking bit of bravery for anyone who dreamed of romance (which I did).

Betsy. I know Betsy has a last name, but I swear I have no idea what it is. Betsy was very similar to Anne and Jo. She wanted to be a writer, she spoke her mind and she stood up for what she believed. Betsy also had a thrilling imagination that often got her and her best friend Tacy, and later Tib, in loads of trouble. It reminded me a lot of me and my own best friend growing up. In the end though Betsy excelled and achieved her dreams. If you're unfamiliar with the Betsy-Tacy series by Maud Hart Lovelace please check it out.

Meg Murry is a little different from my other characters. Meg didn't want to be a writer, she wanted, if I remember correctly, to be a scientist. At least that's what her parents were in A Wrinkle in Time. Meg was one of the bravest characters I have ever known and everything she did she did for the love of her family. She was an adventurer, an explorer and such a cool nerd. Who wouldn't want to be Meg?

I'd love to hear who you're thankful for.

--jhf




0 Comments on Characters I am Thankful For as of 11/26/2014 9:54:00 AM
7. Preparing the table, at Thanksgiving

This photograph was taken a few short weeks ago, during our first slight snowfall, when the leaves on the trees that shelter my deck were still clinging to their limbs, or falling in red surges.

Today we watch rain turning to slush turning to snow and wait for those we love to find us.

These are restless days in our nation, and on our planet. I wish you peace as you wait, as you watch, as you wrangle with the news which is always, ultimately, personal.


0 Comments on Preparing the table, at Thanksgiving as of 11/26/2014 9:00:00 AM
8. Dinotopia Podcast, Episode 3

It's time for the new episode of the Dinotopia audio podcast adventure. Just click below or follow this link.





Arthur and Will Denison continue their adventures in Dinotopia. Lee Crabb tells them about his sneaky plot, and they follow him to Volcaneum.


Arthur meets Tok Timbu and learns about the ways of the island where people live alongside dinosaurs.


...and they meet again someone they saw when they first arrived.

The Podcast Series
This acoustic adventure was produced by Tom Lopez, mastermind of the ZBS Foundation, with an original music track by composer Tim Clark.

Episode 4 arrives in one week— Tuesday, December. Each 10-minute episode will only be live online for one week, and then it will disappear. So tell your friends, and be sure to check in to this blog each week. That way you'll be able to hear the whole production for free.

If you'd like to purchase the full two-hour Dinotopia podcast right now and hear all twelve episodes back to back in a feature-length production, check out Dinotopia at ZBS Foundation website for the MP3 download.

You can also order the original book from my web store and I'll sign it for you. It's the ultimate holiday gift for the imaginative person in your life. (US orders only for the book, please).

To listen to the full audio podcast, you can get a download at ZBS Production.

0 Comments on Dinotopia Podcast, Episode 3 as of 11/26/2014 9:26:00 AM
9. Monthly etymology gleanings for November 2014

As always, I want to thank those who have commented on the posts and written me letters bypassing the “official channels” (though nothing can be more in- or unofficial than this blog; I distinguish between inofficial and unofficial, to the disapproval of the spellchecker and some editors). I only wish there were more comments and letters. With regard to my “bimonthly” gleanings, I did think of calling them bimestrial but decided that even with my propensity for hard words I could not afford such a monster. Trimestrial and quarterly are another matter. By the way, I would not call fortnightly a quaint Briticism. The noun fortnight is indeed unknown in the United States, but anyone who reads books by British authors will recognize it. It is sennight “seven nights; a week,” as opposed to “fourteen nights; two weeks,” that is truly dead, except to Walter Scott’s few remaining admirers.

The comments on livid were quite helpful, so that perhaps livid with rage does mean “white.” I was also delighted to see Stephen Goranson’s antedating of hully gully. Unfortunately, I do not know this word’s etymology and have little chance of ever discovering it, but I will risk repeating my tentative idea. Wherever the name of this game was coined, it seems to have been “Anglicized,” and in English reduplicating compounds of the Humpty Dumpty, humdrum, and helter-skelter type, those in which the first element begins with an h, the determining part is usually the second, while the first is added for the sake of rhyme. If this rule works for hully gully, the clue to the word’s origin is hidden in gully, with a possible reference to a dupe, a gull, a gullible person; hully is, figuratively speaking, an empty nut. A mere guess, to repeat once again Walter Skeat’s favorite phrase.

The future of spelling reform and realpolitik

Some time ago I promised to return to this theme, and now that the year (one more year!) is coming to an end, I would like to make good on my promise. There would have been no need to keep beating this moribund horse but for a rejoinder by Mr. Steve Bett to my modest proposal for simplifying English spelling. I am afraid that the reformers of our generation won’t be more successful than those who wrote pleading letters to journals in the thirties of the nineteenth century. Perhaps the Congress being planned by the Society will succeed in making powerful elites on both sides of the Atlantic interested in the sorry plight of English spellers. I wish it luck, and in the meantime will touch briefly on the discussion within the Society.

Number 1 by OpenClips. CC0 via Pixabay.
Number 1 by OpenClips. CC0 via Pixabay.

In the past, minimal reformers, Mr. Bett asserts, usually failed to implement the first step. The first step is not an issue as long as we agree that there should be one. Any improvement will be beneficial, for example, doing away with some useless double letters (till ~ until); regularizing doublets like speak ~ speech; abolishing c in scion, scene, scepter ~ scepter, and, less obviously, scent; substituting sk for sc in scathe, scavenger, and the like (by the way, in the United States, skeptic is the norm); accepting (akcepting?) the verbal suffix -ize for -ise and of -or for -our throughout — I can go on and on, but the question is not where to begin but whether we want a gradual or a one-fell-swoop reform. Although I am ready to begin anywhere, I am an advocate of painless medicine and don’t believe in the success of hav, liv, and giv, however silly the present norm may be (those words are too frequent to be tampered with), while til and unskathed will probably meet with little resistance.

I am familiar with several excellent proposals of what may be called phonetic spelling. No one, Mr. Bett assures me, advocates phonetic spelling. “What about phonemic spelling?” he asks. This is mere quibbling. Some dialectologists, especially in Norway, used an extremely elaborate transcription for rendering the pronunciation of their subjects. To read it is a torture. Of course, no one advocates such a system. Speakers deal with phonemes rather than “sounds.” But Mr. Bett writes bás Róman alfàbet shud rèmán ùnchánjd for “base Roman alphabet should remain unchanged.” I am all for alfabet (ph is a nuisance) and with some reservations for shud, but the rest is, in my opinion, untenable. It matters little whether this system is clever, convenient, or easy to remember. If we offer it to the public, we’ll be laughed out of court.

Mr. Bett indicates that publishers are reluctant to introduce changes and that lexicographers are not interested in becoming the standard bearers of the reform. He is right. That is why it is necessary to find a body (The Board of Education? Parliament? Congress?) that has the authority to impose changes. I have made this point many times and hope that the projected Congress will not come away empty-handed. We will fail without influential sponsors, but first of all, the Society needs an agenda, agree to the basic principles of a program, and for at least some time refrain from infighting.

The indefinite pronoun one once again

I was asked whether I am uncomfortable with phrases like to keep oneself to oneself. No, I am not, and I don’t object to the sentence one should mind one’s own business. A colleague of mine has observed that the French and the Germans, with their on and man are better off than those who grapple with one in English. No doubt about it. All this is especially irritating because the indefinite pronoun one seems to owe its existence to French on. However, on and man, can function only as the subject of the sentence. Nothing in the world is perfect.

1024px-Sir_John_Vanbrugh_by_Thomas_Murray
Sir John Vanbrugh by Thomas Murray (died 1735). Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Our dance around pronouns sometimes assumes grotesque dimensions. In an email, a student informed me that her cousin is sick and she has to take care of them. She does not know, she added, when they will be well enough, to allow her to attend classes. Not that I am inordinately curious, but it is funny that I was protected from knowing whether “they” are a man or a woman. In my archive, I have only one similar example (I quoted it long ago): “If John calls, tell them I’ll soon be back.” Being brainwashed may have unexpected consequences.

Earl and the Herulians

Our faithful correspondent Mr. John Larsson wrote me a letter about the word earl. I have a good deal to say about it. But if he has access to the excellent but now defunct periodical General Linguistics, he will find all he needs in the article on the Herulians and earls by Marvin Taylor in Volume 30 for 1992 (the article begins on p. 109).

The OED: Behind the scenes

Many people realize what a gigantic effort it took to produce the Oxford English Dictionary, but only insiders are aware of how hard it is to do what seems trivial to a non-specialist. Next year we’ll mark the centennial of James A. H. Murray’s death, and I hope that this anniversary will not be ignored the way Skeat’s centennial was in 2012. Today I will cite one example of the OED’s labors in the early stages of work on it. In 1866, Cornelius Payne, Jun. was reading John Vanbrugh’s plays for the projected dictionary, and in Notes and Queries, Series 3, No. X for July 7 he asked the readers to explain several passages he did not understand. Two of them follow. 1) Clarissa: “I wish he would quarrel with me to-day a little, to pass away the time.” Flippanta: “Why, if you please to drop yourself in his way, six to four but he scolds one Rubbers with you.” 2) Sir Francis:…here, John Moody, get us a tankard of good hearty stuff presently. J. Moody: Sir, here’s Norfolk-nog to be had at next door.” Rubber(s) is a well-known card term, and it also means “quarrel.” See rubber, the end of the entry. Norfolk-nog did not make its way into the dictionary because no idiomatic sense is attached to it: the phrase means “nog made and served in Norfolk” (however, the OED did not neglect Norfolk). Such was and still is the price of every step. Read and wonder. And if you have a taste for Restoration drama, read Vanbrugh’s plays: moderately enjoyable but not always fit for the most innocent children (like those surrounding us today).

The post Monthly etymology gleanings for November 2014 appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on Monthly etymology gleanings for November 2014 as of 11/26/2014 10:04:00 AM
10. Celebrate Thanksgiving with a Picture Book And Not a Pocketbook

Thanksgiving Is a Time of Giving Thanks

 

Turkey Day is just around the corner and families are already making plans to gather.

Thanksgiving is a time of giving thanks for the many blessings we enjoy – our homes, our harvests and the time we spend with our families. In our current culture, that time seems increasingly to be disappearing with the rapidity of cranberry, turkey and stuffing off a Thanksgiving platter.

Many stores today are impinging on that ever closing window of family time, even on traditional family holidays such as Thanksgiving. They are opening on Thanksgiving Day itself to get a jump on the traditional kick-off of the holiday shopping season, termed by retailers as “Black Friday.” I often wondered why that particular term was adopted, but I guess it’s because retailers have a grand opportunity to get into “the black” or plus side of the profit ledger on THAT day, if they haven’t been all year. I am certainly NOT against retailers, profits by any means, nor a vigorous economy, but can we hold the cash register “ka ching” till AFTER the turkey has at least cooled?

Stores are starting to try and outdo themselves with earlier and earlier opening times on Thanksgiving Day. Macy’s may have been one of the first to kick it off following its grand daddy of all Thanksgiving Day Parades, with the air barely let out of those lofty balloons of Superman and Snoopy, than the doors of Macy’s swing open at 6pm, two hours earlier than last year, to shoppers jamming their store for bargains!

ToysRUs is opening at 5pm not to be outdone. Best Buy will open also at 6pm on Thanksgiving Day and here’s one I had to blink to believe was true. Kmart shoppers attention: IT will open at 8am! That’s right, they will open in the morning, in case you would like to pop the bird in and then get a little shopping done BEFORE the guests arrive.

Maybe I am sounding just a mite peevish over this, but sometimes BIG changes in a culture happen so gradually, we rarely take issue until it’s a done deal. All right maybe this might be an over reaction on my part, and people should have the right to shop when they want to, even at the cost of family time. BUT, those stores must be staffed with OTHER people that might not have had the option to work on a day they might have preferred to lie on the couch after the turkey, and be lulled with tryptophan from the bird – with a good book. Great idea! and here’s a thought: maybe that shopping time could be better spent reading to a captive audience of small children gathered, and now sated at the feast, that famous six stanza poem by Lydia Maria Child, “Over the River And Through the Wood”. Plus, here are a great selection of others to choose from:

 

The Night Before Thanksgiving – Natasha Wing

In Every Tiny Grain of Sand – Reeve Lindbergh

Balloons Over Broadway – Melissa Sweet

Turkey Riddles – Katy Hall

I Know An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie – Alison Jackson

One Little, Two Little, Three Little Pilgrims – B.G. Hennessy

The First Thanksgiving Day: A Counting Book – Lauren Kraus Melmed; illus. Mark Buehner

Thank You Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving – Laurie Halse Anderson

The Firefighters’ Thanksgiving – Maribeth Bolts; illus. by Terry Widener

 

And so, as Dickens’ Bob Cratchit intoned to his family on another holiday, “To the founder of the feast!”, and as far as I’m concerned, those founders would probably agree with me, and ask us to put off our shopping for just one more day!!

11. Thank You For The Books

Throughout the year, we receive countless thank you notes from children across the country who receive books of their very own thanks to generous support from friends like you.  We hope you enjoy this note of thanks from Patricia, a student at Adrian Elementary in South Euclid, Ohio.

On behalf of all our young readers, we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and a wonderful holiday season.

Kid thank you note for pre-Thanksgiving copy

The post Thank You For The Books appeared first on First Book Blog.

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12. ‘Captivated By You’ Joins The iBooks Bestsellers List

Captivated By YouSylvia Day’s new book, Captivated By You, has joined Apple’s Top Paid iBooks in the U.S. at No. 1.

Apple has released its top selling books list for paid books from iBooks in the U.S. for week ending November 10, 2014. David Baldacci’s new thriller, The Escape, and Gillian Flynn’s suspense novel, Gone Girl, are occupying the second and third spots on the list this week.

We’ve included Apple’s entire list after the jump.
(more…)

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

13. Getting Rid of Stuff

With our impending move to Scotland, we're going through everything we own and starting to get rid of things. Downsizing in a big way. It's turning out to be a much bigger deal than I ever could have imagined, so I thought I'd document it.
      Stuff. Who knew I had so much of it? Collections from a lifetime. Some which I inherited from others, some from our own fancies and general journey through life. It's all got to go. Stan and I are streamlining, making ourselves more mobile. But some of these things are difficult to part with. So, we have a new hobby...
     Each weekend we choose another drawer, closet, nook or cranny to filter through and disseminate. Options: Trash, Consignment, eBay, Craigslist, future garage sale, donation. I'm already on a first name basis with the manager of my local consignment shop. Why? This past week was Christmas decorations. We have some lovely things - truly. But they don't ship well, and they take up a lot of storage space. So the big question has become, "Would you rather have this stuff, or take a weekend trip to (insert country name here)?" Guess what wins.
     Sometimes I can take a picture to remember the items that hurt to part with. Sometimes I can keep one small thing out of three if its symbolic of a set. The point being, I don't have to keep all of it for it to make me happy.
     Last night's project was a box of photographs. I went through three boxes and got them down to one. It wasn't as hard as I thought. There were a lot of duplicates, candids, photos of people I don't remember. Outta there! And I'm doing it in stages. I still have too many photos, but that was round one. Get rid of the obvious ones that don't need to stick around. Round two will be harder, I'm guessing. But that's where scanning will come in. My online photo albums will become much more thorough.
     I like the advice given at Houzz: 10 Steps for Saying Goodbye to Sentimental Objects. It says to never keep something that dredges up bad memories. I like that.
     And the big advice I use for all of this is a joke by Stephen Wright... He said something along the lines of "I have a very vast seashell collection. Perhaps you've seen it. I keep it scattered across the beaches around the world." The point being, I don't have to own something to make it special. Sometimes it's good enough that the thing just simply exists in the world.

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14. The GREAT Screamin Jay Hawkins - I´m Lonely - Live 1999

15. Interlude.....Screamin' Jay Hawkins - Little Demon

While I finish repricing books on the online store and sort out the total **** up lulu.com has made of some files and not even told me about (nice) time for an interlude.  Normal service will resume as soon as possible.

16. Thankful

I’m posting over on the Emblazoners site today. Come on over to see what I’m thankful for this holiday season :) http://emblazoners.com/thank-your-lucky-stars Tagged: lucky stars, shooting stars, thankful, thanksgiving

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17. My tweets

18. Winter weather!

ZOINKS!!
It's cold out here!!
The winter storm alert means we've
gone on vacation a little bit early.

What are you doing to stay warm?

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19. Wrestling Alligators: On Embracing Curiosity

AuthorPhoto_LizCrainBY LIZ CRAIN

GIVEAWAY: Liz is excited to give away a free copy of the second edition of her just released book, Food Lover’s Guide to Portland, to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in the US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before.


The summers that I was 6 and 7 years old in early ’80s, I went to a day camp in the woods maybe 30 minutes or so from the suburbs of Cincinnati where I grew up. There were a lot of memorable things about that camp, as there tend to be, but without a doubt the most memorable was Mr. Brady—the camp nature guide whose office was the old barn across the way from the open-air dining hall—and his resident alligators. The seven or eight alligators ranging in age from a couple years to several years lived in a large, maybe 10-foot diameter, round metal trough topped with a piece of plywood.

One day, every summer, Mr. Brady would take the youngest, or maybe just the most docile, alligator out of the trough, put it in the bed of his old beat-up blue pick-up truck and drive it down the hill behind the barn to the creek, where 15 or so of us would be waiting with our counselor. What happened next is not a dream. I am still friends with one of the campers and can verify that Mr. Brady—longish white beard, rubber pants and suspenders, boots—would then spend the next 40 minutes or so of our nature session wrestling with the alligator in the murky creek. Our task: watch. And in the process scream, laugh and hug each other tightly.

I’m sure there were some teachable moments that I’m missing that occurred during the alligator wrestling. There might have been words about habitat and behavior in the wild and maybe even a little bit about how humans are not typically a part of the alligator diet. Of course, all I remember, and all I am sure that most campers remember, is an old man wrestling an alligator in the creek. By choice. He seemed to have no fear, and he seemed to genuinely love doing it.

Although I have changed the names and some identifying details of the alligators what follows is my own story of wrestling with alligators, except that the alligators are humans and the wrestling is being done with writing.

When I first started freelance food writing shortly after moving to Portland, Oregon, in my mid-20s, I said yes to just about anything work-wise that came my way, including waiting tables, nannying and working in a Montessori after-school program. I also covered a lot of writing territory. I wrote a corporate fitness manual without ever having worked in an office, smoking cigarettes and drinking most nights of the week and never setting foot in a gym. Clearly I was an expert. I also wrote website copy for a few hotel and hospitality companies, health and fitness articles for a smaller circulation magazine in Arizona and movie reviews for an online art and culture startup in New York.


freelancebundle_1Do you want to make money with your writing? Do you dream of having your byline in magazine columns? Then the Freelance Bundle is for you. This kit offers two ebooks by our some of our most popular authors: I.J Schecter and Naveed Saleh. Then, use your Writer’s Market subscription and get the contact information you need to send your work to the right people.


I tried my hand at a lot of different types of writing and, in doing so, did the opposite of what most writing manuals tell you to do—write what you know. Instead, apropos of an ambitious 20-something-year-old, I wrote more often what I did not know.

I always brought my limited life experience and subjectivity to the page, of course, and I researched and dug as deep as my usually too-fast-approaching deadline would allow, but let’s just say I was in all of these writing endeavors far from an expert. And that lack of expertise led directly to lack of confidence. That first year of freelancing I spent a lot of time researching and educating myself, but my primary motivator was a little off. I wanted to know the right things that, in my 20-something year old mind, translated to all of the things that would make me not sound stupid.

Nobody likes a snoop and that’s exactly what I was that first year of freelancing. My regular gig was ghostwriting food and drink pieces for AOL Online. For that, I’d visit restaurants, bars, clubs and markets in and around Portland and then write short profiles of each. I took copious amounts of notes about menus, inventory, décor and service in my tiny black refillable notebook, and if I ever caught whiff that someone was on to me I’d commit the remaining visit to memory as best I could sacrificing any more documentation to save face.

I would only ask one or two questions per visit, and then only if I thought I could get away with it without revealing anything personal. I’d avoid eye contact. My heart would race and my palms would sweat as I took ridiculous notes under the table about things such as the microgreens topping my scallops (“What are the little purpley-green spade-like micros? Mustard?”). If you kicked all that fear-built subterfuge down, I wasn’t being Ruth Reichl-like, in disguise in order to maintain journalistic integrity. I just didn’t want to have a real conversation with anyone that might reveal all that I did not know. Instead, I would go home after dinner and suffer through mind-numbing Google searches of  microgreens until I settled on the variety that looked the most similar before ultimately deciding not to use it in the profile anyway. No time wasted at all!

On those rare occasions when I did find myself face-to-face and engaged with folks who I was interviewing or meeting with for some sort of professional reason, I showcased what I knew as best I could and tried to hide what I didn’t know. In other words, I was a bit like 20-year-old Ira Glass in his early interviews with members of the cast of MASH, which he talks about on the “Cringe” episode of This American Life. The worst is when Glass asks Harry Morgan, who played Colonel Potter, a series of needling questions about why he’s never been the lead on any show. So painful.

This sort of bravado is inherently juvenile, but we’ve all done it. Here’s how I got rid of being scared of not knowing: I stopped using my tiny black notebook to take notes in in public and I got a big notebook. I stopped sneaking away to the bathroom to take notes—I’m sure that a few waiters had me pegged as incontinent—and started writing them openly. I stopped muzzling my curiosity and ended more sentences with question marks. I had more and more face-to-face interviews that I needed to conduct for seasonal food stories with weekly deadlines that I was writing—more projects in general. I no longer had time to digest the latest study just enough so that I’d sound smart, to make obscure references that were only tenuously related to the subject at hand (references I’d secretly hope no one would actually try to turn into a real conversation). All of these things that we do from time to time to puff our feathers when we feel intimidated or unconfident, and as a result, hide our truer selves.

After a year of freelancing, I was too busy with assignments to keep up appearances anymore. The real, vulnerable, curious and often ignorant me stepped out into plain view. It turns out that first year of freelancing I’d wasted a whole lot of time getting in my own way. I simply got out of my way and the decade since I’ve been more than willing to often be the fool or even, from time to time, when it seems helpful to the interview and subject at hand, play the fool.

In general, people love to be asked questions—personally and professionally. Ask away. Be brazenly curious. Be proud of not knowing. The less you know means the more you have to learn and that’s a big part of what’s most fulfilling, fun and interesting about writing—the learning. Don’t be a bore and always try to prove yourself and outwit others. No one is impressed and it’s tiresome. Show how ignorant you are—we all are!—and you’ll have a lot more fun and be a much better writer as a result. The best writers are the most curious risk-takers who want to burn and learn and live
life to the fullest. Stop being scared and be one of them. In other words, wrestle those alligators in the creek. By choice. See, I knew I could bring it back to the alligators.

*No alligators were harmed in the writing of this essay.


Cover_FoodLover'sGuidetoPortlandLiz Crain is a fiction writer as well as the author of Food Lover’s Guide to Portland and Toro Bravo: Stories. Recipes. No Bull. A longtime writer on Pacific Northwest food and drink, her writing has appeared in Cooking Light, Budget Travel, VIA Magazine, The Sun Magazine, The Progressive, The Guardian and The Oregonian. She is also editor and publicity director at Hawthorne Books as well as co-organizer of the annual Portland Fermentation Festival.

You can find more from Liz Crain on Twitter (@foodloverPDX) and her website, lizcrain.com.

20. Picture Book Month: Kids Sheriff and the Terrible Toads

Kid Sheriff and the Terrible Toads by Bob Shea, illustrated by Lane Smith

Add to Goodreads

About the Book: The Terrible Toads are causing havoc all over Drywater Gulch. They are in need of a hero to solve their toad problem. Enter Sheriff Ryan, riding into town on his turtle. He might not know a lot about robbery and roping, but he sure knows a lot about dinosaurs. And that has to come in handy when catching criminals.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: This is a perfect picture book pairing bringing together a hilarious duo. Lane Smith captures the Western-style wonderfully with brown and beige hues makes the reader feel as though they've landed in Drywater Gulch. Bob Shea's text is written to be read aloud. This book just begs to be read aloud with various accents and voices.

The reader will laugh along as the oblivious (or is he really?) Sheriff Ryan makes many observations about dinosaurs along the way. The humor comes from the Toads wanting the credit for their crimes and Sheriff Ryan and the Toads each outdoing each other with what really caused each incident.

Is Sheriff Ryan a smart sheriff who knew who to catch the criminals all along? Or does he just love dinosaurs? The book has such a hilarious twist that readers will be laughing and talking about it long after the book is finished. This is the perfect read aloud for school visits!

Full Disclosure: Reviewed from advanced copy sent by publisher for review

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21. PiBoIdMo Day 26: Ruth McNally Barshaw Makes Affirmations (plus a prize!)

by Ruth McNally Barshaw

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RuthMcNallyBarshawcolor72dpiRuth McNally Barshaw grew up in the Detroit area. When she was little she wanted to be an artist. She thought books were written by companies, not real people, so she didn’t want to write books. She changed her mind in 2002, and three years later connected with a fabulous agent who sold the first Ellie McDoodle book to Bloomsbury Children’s Books. Then it became a series.

She is the author-illustrator of the six Ellie McDoodle Diaries (often compared to Diary of a Wimpy Kid). She’s the illustrator of Leopold is Lost, by Denise Brennan-Nelson, due out in 2015 with Sleeping Bear Press. And she is author-illustrator of several other picture books currently in various stages of development.

She and her writer-husband Charlie frequently take their story creation workshop on the road to schools, libraries and conferences. Otherwise you can find them at home or at a local bookstore, writing.

View Ruth’s artwork, books, and workshop details at RuthExpress.com and connect with her on Twitter @ruthexpress.
prizedetails2014

You can win a signed-and-doodled copy of Ruth’s latest Ellie McDoodle book! It’s not a picture book, but it does have art on every page.

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This prize will be given away at the conclusion of PiBoIdMo. You are eligible for this prize if:

  1. You have registered for PiBoIdMo.
  2. You have commented ONCE ONLY on today’s post.
  3. You have completed the PiBoIdMo challenge. (You will have to sign the PiBoIdMo Pledge at the end of the event.)

Good luck, everyone!

 


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22. Illustrator Interview – Olivier Tallec

Apart from greatly admiring his work, my impulse to interview Olivier was three-fold: firstly, my author -illustrator friend Julie Rowan-Zoch urged me to, secondly Olivier is published in the US by one of my favorite publishers (who are right here … Continue reading

23. Have More Than One CTA Link in Your Emails (to make sure it’s seen)

This power-packed marketing strategy involves sprinkling links throughout your emails. The idea is to make sure your CTA link is not just at the end of your email. You need one or two earlier on, for those readers who don’t read to the end of the content. It’s important to give them the opportunity to see your links by having another one or two within the email. A lot of readers are ‘skim

0 Comments on Have More Than One CTA Link in Your Emails (to make sure it’s seen) as of 11/26/2014 7:54:00 AM
24. The Classical world from A to Z

For over 2,000 years the civilizations of ancient Greece and Rome have captivated our collective imagination and provided inspiration for many aspects of our lives, from culture, literature, drama, cinema, and television to society, education, and politics. With over 700 entries on everything and anything related to the classical world in the Oxford Companion to Classical Civilization, we created an A-Z list of facts you should know about the time period.

Alexander the Great: He believed himself the descendent of Heracles, Perseus, and Zeus. By 331 he had begun to represent himself as the direct son of Zeus, with dual paternity comparable to that of Heracles.

Baths: Public baths, often located near the forum (civic centre), were a normal part of Roman towns in Italy by the 1st century BC, and seem to have existed at Rome even earlier. Bathing occupied a central position in the social life of the day.

Christianity: By the end of the 4th century, Christianity had largely triumphed over its religious competition, although a pagan Hellenic tradition would continue to flourish in the Greek world and rural and local cults also persisted.

Democracy: Political rights were restricted to adult male Athenians. Women, foreigners, and slaves were excluded. An Athenian came of age at 18 when he became a member of his father’s deme and was enrolled in the deme’s roster, but as epheboi, most young Athenians were liable for military service for two years, before at the age of 20, they could be enrolled in the roster of citizen who had access to the assembly. Full political rights were obtained at 30 when a citizen was allowed to present himself as candidate at the annual sortation of magistrate and jurors.

The goddess Juno
The goddess Juno. Photo by Carole Raddato. CC BY-SA 2.0 via Flickr.

Education, Greek: Greek ideas of education, whether theoretical or practical, encompassed upbringing and cultural training in the widest sense, not merely school and formal education. The poets were regarded as the educators of their society.

Food and drink: The Ancient diet was based on cereals, legumes, oil, and wine. Meat was a luxury for most people.

Gems: Precious stones were valued in antiquity as possessing magical and medicinal virtues, as ornaments, and as seals when engraved with a device.

Hephaestus was the Greek god of fire, of blacksmiths, and of artisans.

Ivory plaques at all classical periods decorated furniture and were used for the flesh parts of cult statues and for temple doors.

Juno was an old and important Italian goddess and one of the chief deities of Rome. Her name derives from the same root as iuventas (youth), but her original nature remains obscure.

Kinship in antiquity constituted a network of social relationship constructed through marriage and legitimate filiation, and usually included non-kin — especially slaves.

Libraries: The Great Roman libraries provided reading-rooms, one for Greek and one for Latin with books in niches around the walls. Books would generally be stored in cupboards which might be numbered for reference.

Marriage in the ancient world was a matter of personal law, and therefore a full Roman marriage could exist only if both parties were Roman citizen or had the right to contract marriage, either by grant to a group or individually.

Narrative: An interest in the theory of narrative is already apparent in Aristotle, whose Poetics may be considered the first treatise of narratology.

Ostracism in Athenian society the 5th century BC was a method of banishing a citizen for ten years. It is often hard to tell why a particular man was ostracized. Sometimes the Athenians seem to have ostracized a man to express their rejection of a policy for which he stood for.

Plato of Athens descended from wealthy and influential Athenian families on both sides. He rejected marriage and the family duty of producing citizen sons; he founded a philosophical school, the Academy; and he published written philosophical works.

Quintilian, a Roman rhetorician, advised that children start learning Greek before Latin. The Roman Empire was bilingual at the official, and multilingual at the individual and non-official, level.

Ritual: The central rite of Greek and Roman religion is animal sacrifice. It was understood as a gift to the gods.

Samaritans, the inhabitants of Samaria saw themselves as the direct descendants of the northern Israelite tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, left behind by the Assyrians in 722 BC.

Temple of Zeus
Temple of Zeus. Photo by David Stanley. CC BY 2.0 via Flickr.

Toga: The toga was the principal garment of the free-born Roman male. As a result of Roman conquest the toga spread to some extent into the Roman western provinces, but in the east it never replaced the Greek rectangular mantle.

Urbanization: During the 5th, 4th, and 3rd centuries, urban forms spread to mainland northern Greece, both to the seaboard under the direct influence of southern cities, and inland in Macedonia, Thessaly, and even Epirus, in association with the greater political unification of those territories.

Venus: From the 3rd century BC, Venus was the patron of all persuasive seductions, between gods and mortals, and between men and women.

Wine was the everyday drink of all classes in Greece and Rome. It was also a key component of one of the central social institutions of the élite, the dinner and drinking party. On such occasions large quantities of wine were drunk, but it was invariably heavily diluted with water. It was considered a mark of uncivilized peoples, untouched by Classical culture, that they drank wine neat with supposed disastrous effects on their mental and physical health.

Xanthus was called the largest city in Lycia (southern Asia Minor). The city was known to Homer, and Herodotus described its capitulation to Persia in the famous siege of 545 BC.

Zeus, the Indo-European god of the bright sky, is transformed in Greece into Zeus the weather god, whose paramount and specific place of worship is a mountain top.

Featured image: Colosseum in Rome, Italy — April 2007 by Diliff. CC-BY-SA-2.5 via Wikimedia Commons.

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25. Novella Review: Sweet Cowboy Christmas by Candis Terry

 

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I have been struggling with this review, and I don’t know why.  I thoroughly enjoyed Sweet Cowboy Christmas, but I just can’t seem to put my thoughts down in any coherent manner, so I will instead give you my Top 5 reasons why you should read it

1.  This romance will put you in the mood for the holidays.  I read it last week, and afterwards, I was geeked for the holiday season.  Christmas plays a big part in the story, because Chase lost his father on Christmas years ago.  He’s still not over his loss, and he dreads the holidays, because he certainly doesn’t share in the holiday cheer that surrounds him.  Faith loves Christmas and giving to others, so she wants to help Chase regain his love for the holidays

2.  Both Chase and Faith are running unsuccessfully from their pasts.  Chase can’t get over the loss of his father, and now he’s just had a health scare himself.  He’s not sure who he is anymore, because he’s been told he has to give up his fast-paced, stressful life or he’s not going to be around much longer.  Faith is still smarting from a romance gone bad.  Her ex belittled her and she still hasn’t recovered her confidence after his contemptuous treatment of her.

3.  Chase is a caring guy, who realizes a good thing when he sees it.  When he learns that Faith’s confidence is still suffering from her past disastrous relationship, he isn’t shy about letting her know how special she is.

4.  The interactions between Chase and Faith are humorous, sweet, and romantic.  The ranch setting is the perfect backdrop for their budding romance.  How can galloping across a field and then sharing a kiss not be romantic?

5.  Sweet Cowboy Christmas is a novella, so you don’t have to invest a lot of time to reach the happy ending.  This is a great choice if you have some free time in between your own holiday preparations.  Who knows?  It may even get you in the mood to put out some extra Christmas decorations.

Grade:  B+

Review copy provided by publisher

From Amazon:

Mistletoe, holly, and cowboys, oh my! Christmas in Texas has never been sweeter.

Years ago, Chase Morgan traded in his dusty cowboy boots for the shimmering lights of New York City and a fast track up the corporate ladder. But when his shiny life is turned on end just in time for Christmas, Chase knows he needs to reevaluate—even if that means going home to Texas to endure his least favorite holiday.

When Mr. Tall, Dark, and Smoking-Hot walks through her door at the Magic Box Guest Ranch, Faith Walker sees just another handsome, rich exec looking to play cowboy for a week—at her expense. She’s sure the grumpy-but-sexy-as-hell Scrooge will put a crimp in her holly jolly plans. Until a sizzling kiss has her seeing him in a new light.

Chase is haunted by secrets, and even though it goes entirely against her “hands off the guests” rule, Faith is tempted to help him leave the past behind. As the magic of the season swirls around them, she is determined to succeed, because now she is certain one sweet cowboy Christmas will never be enough.

The post Novella Review: Sweet Cowboy Christmas by Candis Terry appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

26. WoW Wednesday: Conquering One of the Biggest Obstacles in Writing: You by Tonya Kupper

Tonya Kupper is the debut author of ANOMALY, which just hit shelves yesterday! Tonya is here today to share her experiences dealing with something every writer struggles to get past and her advice is something I think we can take beyond writing and into our every day lives as well.

Conquering One of the Biggest Obstacles in Writing: You by Tonya Kupper



I’ve been writing for five years and my first published book just released so I’ve had my share of ups and downs, rejections and successes, breakthroughs and slumps. The path to publication, no matter what that path looks like, is riddled with road blocks, sink holes, and a host of other obstacles. Sometimes though, the biggest obstacle is you – the writer.

One of the hardest things to do as a writer is checking our ego and expectations at the door. For some of us, myself included, we need to set attainable goals and this helps with our continued success moving forward as a creative person. But there is a difference between setting goals and expecting to be a best-seller right out the gate. As writers, we’re also often our worst critiques. As we craft, I think we need to let those expectations of writing the cleanest first draft or whatever “our thing is” go. Along with unreasonable expectations, the ego seems to get in the way. Sometimes us writers like to compare ourselves to others. DON’T. Our work, whatever it may be at the time, is OUR work. We don’t need to figure out if: we’re better at <insert craft skill> than our critique partner, if someone in our agency has a better platform, who sold more, who got what reviews, and so on. It works the opposite way, as well. We’re not “better” than anyone else just because we’re with a particular agency our publishing house. What matters is that we are continuously growing as a writer. 

As writers, our discipline practices can get in our own way. If we don’t make the time to write the dang story, someone isn’t going to write it for us. Sometimes it might come down to consistency, a chunk of time like a writing retreat, a writing/accountability partner. We have to figure out what we need to do in order to reach our goal. And sometimes, it’s as simple as sitting our butts in a chair and making ourselves write.

One of the biggest challenges I, and many other writers, face is the gnarly beast of Self-Doubt and his little weasel friend named Fear. That duo can drag down self-esteem and amp up the anxiety like nothing else. It’s almost impossible to be creative when we question our skills and abilities. We can’t let self-doubt and fear cripple our ability to do what we love to do – write. It takes strength and determination to move past self-doubt. Sometimes that strength comes in the form of taking time off and sometimes the determination is writing when you know you could delete it all the next day. It’s going to be different for all of us. No matter what, we need to be aware of our doubt and fear and face it, head on.

For me, I’m still learning how to get out of my own way. If I let go of my ego, stay disciplined, and squash my self-doubt, I will allow myself to be the best writer I can be. And I have to remind myself of this. Every. Single. Day. 

ABOUT THE BOOK
Anomalyby Tonya KuperPaperback 
Entangled: TeenReleased 11/25/2014 

Reality is only an illusion.
Except for those who can control it…
Worst. Birthday. Ever.

My first boyfriend dumped me—happy birthday, Josie!—my dad is who knows where, I have some weird virus that makes me want to hurl, and now my ex is licking another girl’s tonsils. Oh, and I’m officially the same age as my brother was when he died. Yeah, today is about as fun-filled as the swamps of Dagobah. But then weird things start happening…

Like I make something materialize just by thinking about it.

When hottily-hot badass Reid Wentworth shows up on a motorcycle, everything changes. Like, everything. Who I am. My family. What really happened to my brother. Existence. I am Oculi, and I have the ability to change reality with my thoughts. Now Reid, in all his hotness, is charged with guiding and protecting me as I begin learning how to bend reality. And he’s the only thing standing between me and the secret organization that wants me dead…

About The Author

Tonya Kuper is a young adult author living in Omaha, Nebraska with her two cool boys and husband. ANOMALY, the first in the Schrodinger’s Consortium trilogy, is her debut novel and releases November, 25, 2014 by Entangled Teen. Tonya is a music junkie, Star Wars dork, and Sherlock lover.

0 Comments on WoW Wednesday: Conquering One of the Biggest Obstacles in Writing: You by Tonya Kupper as of 11/26/2014 6:34:00 AM
27. Thank You for Being a (Writing) Friend

Writing Life Banner

by

Janice Hardy

Janice Hardy RGB 72Writing is a solitary endeavor, but that doesn’t mean we do it all alone. We have writers’ groups, beta readers, crit partners, and online friends to help motivate and support us. And since it’s the time of year to be thankful for things, now’s a good day to let those folks know how much you value them.

Give hugs to all your writer pals, especially the ones who have stood by you through rejection after rejection, bad reviews, or terrifying bouts of writer’s block. Celebrate their successes and remind each other of the victories you’ve had along the way.

Tell your critique partners why you find their feedback so helpful and how much it aids you in making your stories the best they can be. Be specific about their strengths and what unique view they bring that no one else can. Make sure they know their value, both to you, and as a critiquer.

Let your beta readers know their insights and observations are always just what you need to fix the problems in your manuscript. If they’re not writers, they might feel they have little to offer, and knowing that a reader’s opinion can be even more valuable than another writer’s can make them feel appreciated and confident.

Thank your online bloggers for their advice and generosity, as most of them blog because they love it and enjoy helping their fellow writers. Let them know they’re appreciated and how their words have helped you (and how many of their posts you might have saved or bookmarked).

Show a little love to your commenters. Let them know that they brighten your day with their questions and comments, and that you look forward to those daily (or weekly) discussions.

And last, but not least, give thanks for those in your life who don’t understand this whole writing thing but stick by you anyway, give you time to write when you need it, don’t mind when you drop everything to scribble down a plot idea or a great piece of dialog, who don’t even roll their eyes anymore when you rip apart a bad plot on TV.

It’s easy to get caught up in our work and our lives, so sit back, take a look around and see all the wonderful people you have by your side.

Thank you all.

Who are you thankful for?

Janice Hardy is the author of the teen fantasy trilogy The Healing Wars, where she tapped into her own dark side to create a world where healing was dangerous, and those with the best intentions often made the worst choices. Her novels include The Shifter, Blue Fire, and Darkfall from Balzer+Bray/Harper Collins. The first book in her Foundations of Fiction series, Planning Your Novel: Ideas and Structure is out now. She lives in Georgia with her husband, one yard zombie, three cats, and a very nervous freshwater eel. Find out more about writing at her site, Fiction University, or find her on Twitter @Janice_Hardy.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indie Bound

28. Dory Fantasmagory: Review Haiku

Clementine's spark for
a younger crew: My First
Magical Realism?

Dory Fantasmagory by Abby Hanlon. Dial, 2014, 176 pages.

0 Comments on Dory Fantasmagory: Review Haiku as of 11/26/2014 7:26:00 AM
29. Thankfully Reading Weekend and 2 quick reviews


One of my blogging besties, Jenn, over at Jenn's Bookshelves, is hosting her annual Thankfully Reading Weekend (starting tomorrow!!)


and I just signed up! I wasn't sure if we'd be traveling for the holiday, but since we're just staying at home and eating with friends, I know I can spend some time relaxing and reading. I'd love to get another 10 books or so read before the end of the year and this is a great, laid-back, way to starting that challenge off.

Let me know if you decide to sign up!

I recently received a couple of books from BookLook to review and I wanted to sneak them in here before Thanksgiving.

The first, Every Bitter Thing is Sweet by Sara Hagery is one I'll be giving to several of my friends this Christmas! Her writing, reminiscent of Ann Voskamp, made me tear up in the middle of every chapter, speaking truth to my soul. Despite every setback - no matter how big or small - the hope the author exhibits is both intense and inspiring. She constantly recognized that God was present in her life and helped lead her to the adoption of her beautiful children. If you have a friend going through a rough patch (or you are!), read this book and it will change your heart.

The First Christmas Ever, illustrated by Dennis Jones, a book sent for Elliott to "review," unfortunately didn't please either of us. Though he seemed intrigued by the silly illustrations, the text was much too wordy to hold his attention. I was disappointed in the writing style, as the words and message seemed too 2014 (possibly to reach for higher appeal...?) and dumbed down. There are lots of excellent books on the Christmas story out there, so we'll pass on this one.

Not every book can be a winner!






0 Comments on Thankfully Reading Weekend and 2 quick reviews as of 11/26/2014 6:48:00 AM
30. The Raging River Of Responses.

Comments are enable, right?  Yes.  Hmm.

Well I am guessing that my postings and reviews from Saturday to last night have left the comics industry in a whirlwind of-of......

Let's face it: no one was interested.  I try and try and postings on the comics industry -the troubles and tribulations- do appear to be popular.  They tend to get very high viewing figures.  But thoughts? Responses? Not a one.  You do know that I could just as well go sit in the bathroom and say these things aloud to myself which is satisfying but does not take a lot of typing/editing?

Hmm.  From now on I am going to review books while seated 'pon the lavvie.  You don't hear my reviews then that is your fault.

Honestly.  Burned out.  Type/post and just watching the visitor numbers climb is boring beyond belief.  Should be a lesson there for me.  My books go the same way.  Years of research, editing, typing, editing and then design followed by publishing and...no one reads them.

Will I be back?

Who knows.

Who knows, indeed.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAkoff koff....oh my throat....

31. Flash drafting our way to a “best first draft”.

We are trying something new in our memoir unit this year: flash drafting our way to a “best first draft”.  The main reason for this is that for as long as I’ve taught… Continue reading

32. A December Filled With Poetry




Santa Clauses: Short Poems from the North Pole
by Bob Raczka
illustrated by Chuck Groenink
Carolrhoda Books, 2014

This is a very fun book.

You might have seen it reviewed (with a spotlight on the author) by Michelle at Today's Little Ditty. It's worth looking at again.

Bob Raczka Santa has written a haiku a day for the entire month of December, and they are collected here to give readers a peek into the secret life of Santa, beyond what we know of him in his workshop and sleigh. We get to know his love of nature, the way he and Mrs. Claus decorate for the season, and (through the illustrations) that he has a big orange cat that looks much like the one that lives in our house!

Buy a copy and make this a December tradition in your house! Maybe you could write companion haikus each day in December from the point of view of the elves or the reindeer!


0 Comments on A December Filled With Poetry as of 11/26/2014 6:58:00 AM
33. Interview and Giveaway: Jennifer Delamere, Author of A Bride for the Season

Please welcome Jennifer Delamere to the virtual offices this morning!

[Manga Maniac Café] Describe yourself in five words or less.   

[Jennifer Delamere] Travel-loving history geek

[Manga Maniac Café] What’s one thing you won’t leave home without?      

[Jennifer Delamere] My CamelBak water bottle. I’m a big believer in the benefits of drinking lots of water.

[Manga Maniac Café] Name three things on your desk right now.   

[Jennifer Delamere] My RITA® finalist pin (taped to my computer);

a coffee cup filled with bookmarks from my favorite authors;

an engraved silver bookmark with the George Eliot quote: “It is never too late to be what you might have been.”

[Manga Maniac Café] You have been granted the use of one superpower for one week.  Which power would you choose, and what would you do with it?    

[Jennifer Delamere] I’d stop time long enough to catch up on my writing and all my home projects!

[Manga Maniac Café] What are some books that you enjoyed recently?

[Jennifer Delamere] “The Anatomist’s Wife” by Anna Lee Huber; “The Girl Who Came Home,” by Hazel Gaynor; “Sailing Out of Darkness,” by Normandie Fischer

About A BRIDE FOR THE SEASON

London’s most scandalous bachelor has finally gone too far. Caught in a situation that was innocent but too compromising, James Simpson is forced to admit that he must do the honorable thing and marry the lady. Unfortunately, marriage alone will not be enough to appease her father. He won’t agree to a dowry unless James can find a suitable husband for the lady’s elder sister-the shy and awkward Lucinda Cardington.
Lucinda doesn’t care that she is close to being “on the shelf”; she has more serious pursuits in mind. She enjoys the friendship she and James share over their love of photography, but she leaves dreams of romance to silly young ladies like her sister. James does manage to find a match for Lucinda, and his efforts to get them together are about to succeed…until James comes to the distressing realization that he doesn’t want Lucinda in anyone’s arms but his own.

Amazon

B&N

iTunes

BAM!

Goodreads

About Jennifer Delamere

The youngest child of a Navy pilot and a journalist, Jennifer acquired a love of adventure and an excitement for learning that continues to this day. She’s lived in three countries and traveled throughout theU.S. An avid reader of classics and historical fiction, she also enjoys biographies and histories, which she mines for the vivid details to bring to life the characters and places in her books. She resides with her husband in North Carolina–where, when not writing or dreaming up romantic adventures for her characters, she can be found fantasizing about her next ski trip or European vacation.

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Website

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The post Interview and Giveaway: Jennifer Delamere, Author of A Bride for the Season appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

34. Thanksgiving and the economics of sharing

For this American, my favorite holiday has always been Thanksgiving. Why? I have an image in my mind of Native Americans and colonists meeting and sharing food together; they share knowledge and stories. In the midst of their concerns about each other, they found respect for each other. Their spirit of sharing is a great inspiration.

As an economist in this upside-down world of people stressing over their future and present, I find answers in that image of Thanksgiving. People eventually survive by sharing with each other as a community. The poor are fed. The sick are cared for. The struggling are helped, and communal ties are strengthened.

Thanksgiving morning at Lake Tahoe. Photo by Beau Rogers. CC BY-NC 2.0 via beaurogers Flickr
Thanksgiving morning at Lake Tahoe. Photo by Beau Rogers. CC BY-NC 2.0 via beaurogers Flickr

There is a term in economics, social capital. This term refers to the cultural interactions within a society forming cohesion, coordination, and cooperation that allow an economy to function better. An economy relies on people from diverse backgrounds talking, sharing concerns, negotiating, making plans, and working toward common goals. The social quality of their communication determines the true strength and potential of their economy.

When the Native Americans and the colonists met and shared, I see social capital being built. The society became stronger. People would be better able to have their needs met. There would be less conflict and more enjoyment of work. The societuy would be able to grow in potential.

The focus of my research as an economist is in the area of labor share, which is the percentage of the income from production that is shared with labor. I research how changes in labor share affect such things as potential production, employment, productivity, investment, and even monetary policy from a central bank.

In almost all advanced countries, even in China where labor share was already low, labor share has fallen in an exorbitant way since the turn of the century. What has been the effect of labor receiving less share of a national income? Potential output has fallen. Unemployment will be higher than before. Productivity growth will stall much quicker, or even fall as in the United Kingdom. Nominal interest rates from central banks will be stuck near 0%.

The fall in labor share represents a problem in the social capital of advanced countries. Labor is being excluded from economic development. Their concerns are not being heard, while corporate profits extend to new records. Labor’s wages are expected to fall in order for companies to be more competitive globally.

Stop. Take a moment of silence.

Acknowledge the growing problem of inequality, and return now to celebrate this holiday of Thanksgiving. Within this day exists the answers to our economic concerns. As societies, we only need to share more. And in sharing, we show our respect for the value of people within society.

A man can’t get rich if he takes proper care of his family.

The Navajo, or Diné, have a saying: “A man can’t get rich if he takes proper care of his family.” The wisdom embodied in this saying is immense. The wisdom not only assures the strength of each member of the community by building social capital, but it assures a stronger economy.

Now we need to answer the question: Who is family?

Here comes the true meaning of Thanksgiving: We are all family. The poor, the rich, the uneducated, the educated, the powerful, and the powerless, as well as those of different races and cultures. Families, friends, and strangers are invited into our homes to celebrate Thanksgiving. The abundance is shared and ties of respect are celebrated.

The extent to which a society can see everyone within the society as family determines the potential of their economy and eventually the quality of life. So Thanksgiving is a moment to celebrate how different people can embrace each other in a spirit of sharing. In that sharing, a broader vision of family is cultivated. In that vision, sick economies can be healed.

Featured image ‘Home to Thanksgiving’ litohraph by Currier and Ives (1867). Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

The post Thanksgiving and the economics of sharing appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on Thanksgiving and the economics of sharing as of 11/26/2014 7:24:00 AM
35. Wonder Woman Movie - Breaking Bad Director Michelle MacLaren

More movie news.  Hmmm. Could it be these people flock to the big budget super hero flicks because they KNOW it will mean big bucks and huge publicity?

Michelle MacLaren has signed on to direct ‘Wonder Woman’ for Warner Bros according to fresh reports.

The Hollywood Reporter claim the Canadian was always the studio’s first choice, and will guide the project with Zack Snyder, Deborah Snyder and Charles Roven on board as producers.
Wonder Woman Hires Breaking Bad Director Michelle MacLaren

MacLaren has had her hand in a number of major television shows, having directed four episodes of ‘Game of Thrones’, three episodes of ‘The Walking Dead and eleven episodes of ‘Breaking Bad’, which she also executively produced from season three.

She also produced 46 episodes of ‘The X-Files’ at the turn of the century.
‘Wonder Woman’ is Warner Bros’ first major property to launch following the release of ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ in 2016, and will star Gal Gadot as the Amazonian superhero. Gadot will make her debut as the character in the ‘Man of Steel’ follow-up.MacLaren is the third director to be brought into Warner Bros’ growing DC Comics Universe after Snyder and ‘Suicide Squad’ director David Ayer.

image
THR says Warner Bros had felt pressure to hire a woman to direct due to Wonder Woman’s theme of female empowerment, but were concerned that no woman has ever directed a CG-laden big comic book tentpole movie.

Thankfully they ignored the pressure and hired MacLaren anyway, who aside from being a woman is also clearly qualified to handle such a big production. 

Recent reports suggested that the ‘Wonder Woman’ films will act as prequels to the character’s introduction in ‘Dawn of Justice’ – with solo films set in the early 20th Century, including World War Two.

‘Wonder Woman’ will be released on June 23 2017.

Picture Credits: WENN/Warner Bros/DC Comics

36. A Snowy Visitor!

I could hardly believe this one....look who came to peer into my window! It's Fluffsters, the pretty wild cat that I was talking about in my recent post HERE.  So far, this is as close as she will let me come, but hey, it's a start right?!


We recently had our first snow for the winter, which is really rare for us this early. They are calling for a very cold winter here so I'll likely need to find some time to do a bunch of extra cooking and stock up our deep freeze.

With the cold coming in, it's easier to get into the Christmas spirit!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!
Jenni

0 Comments on A Snowy Visitor! as of 11/26/2014 6:06:00 AM
37. 2014 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 26

For today’s prompt, write a same poem. I guess it could be the same old poem, but it could be a completely different poem that looks at a person or thing or system that is still the same. Or maybe a poem about how all people are the same. Or take the “same” concept and show how things are not the same. And that opens up a universe of possibilities.

*****

2015 Poet's Market

2015 Poet’s Market

Get your poetry published!

Learn how to get your poetry published with the premiere book on publishing your poetry: the 2015 Poet’s Market, edited by Robert Lee Brewer.

This essential resource includes hundreds of listings for book publishers, magazines, journals, contests, grants, and so much more. Plus, there are articles on the craft of poetry, business of poetry, and promotion of poetry. Beyond that, there’s an hour-long webinar, a subscription to the poetry slice of WritersMarket.com, original poems, poet interviews, resources galore, and more-more-more!!!

Click to continue.

*****

Here’s my attempt at a Same poem:

“popsicle”

a popsicle does not stay the same

if you remove it from the freezer

especially on a hot summer day

when it immediately starts to melt

either on your fingers or within

its packaging that will eventually

contain sugary water and a stick

*****

roberttwitterimageRobert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of the poetry collection, Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). He edits Poet’s Market, Writer’s Market, and Guide to Self-Publishing, in addition to writing a free weekly WritersMarket.com newsletter and poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine.

He is a fan of popsicles, especially orange.

Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.

*****

Find more poetic goodies here:

38. Librarian Preview: Sourcebooks, National Geographic Kids, Quirk Books, Sterling, NorthSouth, and Running Press Kids (Spring 2015)

BookBuzz 300x271 Librarian Preview: Sourcebooks, National Geographic Kids, Quirk Books, Sterling, NorthSouth, and Running Press Kids (Spring 2015)Recently I had the pleasure of attending the AAP Tri-State Book Buzz for Children’s and Teen Librarians here in NYC.  This is an event where a whole heaping helpful of publishers gather together to do a kind of massive librarian preview for folks like myself.  It’s a mix of big folks (Macmillan, Random House, etc.) and smaller houses you might not hear from otherwise.  With that in mind, I’ve either already attended or am about to attend some of the big guys, so I’ll leave them off of this particular preview.  Additionally, I had a meeting in the morning of the Book Buzz day so those publishers who just happened to present anything prior to 1 p.m. pretty much fell off of my radar.  Sorry, guys!

Even though I only spent a small portion of my time at the Book Buzz I’m just going to highlight the books that caught my particular attention.  Because honestly there were some truly interesting titles on display.  Here’s just a small sampling of what I happened to see. First up:

Sourcebooks 

 Changes: A Child’s First Poetry Collection by Charlotte Zolotow, ill. Tiphanie Beeke (9781492601685)

Changes Librarian Preview: Sourcebooks, National Geographic Kids, Quirk Books, Sterling, NorthSouth, and Running Press Kids (Spring 2015)

This year (2014) I had a great deal of difficulty finding good poetry books.  Honestly, at times it felt like I was pulling teeth to find anything halfway decent.  This shouldn’t be so hard!  So I was keeping a very sharp eye out for anything verse-like.  I was quickly rewarded by this, the first collection of ALL of Zolotow’s seasonal poetry.  You remember Ms. Zolotow, yes?  Worked under Ursula Nordstrom?  Mother of Crescent Dragonwagon?  Yep, well I’ve always been a fan of her book Seasons as illustrated by Erik Blegvad so this is just a natural follow-up.  It’s coming out in the same year when she would have celebrated her 100th birthday. If the illustrator (Tiphanie Beeke) looks somewhat familiar that may be because she was behind that rather lovely little book Fletcher and the Falling Leaves which came out a couple years ago.

Fairy Tale Reform School: Flunked by Jen Calonita (9781492601562)

Flunked Librarian Preview: Sourcebooks, National Geographic Kids, Quirk Books, Sterling, NorthSouth, and Running Press Kids (Spring 2015)

On the middle grade side of things we have Fairy Tale Reform School: Flunked by Jen Calonita.  Written by the author of  the YA novel Secrets of my Hollywood Life the premise behind this one is that when a villain is vanquished in a tale it’s time for them to go to reform school.  Our heroine is a normal girl who lives in a shoe with her siblings and is so poor that she’s forced to steal.  One thing leads to another and the next thing she knows she’s in a reform school where all the teachers are former villains.  Kinda writes itself, right?

This Book is Gay by James Dawson (9781492617822)

ThisBookIsGay Librarian Preview: Sourcebooks, National Geographic Kids, Quirk Books, Sterling, NorthSouth, and Running Press Kids (Spring 2015)

I don’t cover YA usually but for this book I shall make an exception. It was a little bit difficult to parse but insofar as I could tell this appears to be a handbook for dealing with sexual identity.  It’s a YA nonfiction title with a forward is by David Levithan and it’s full of sketches, illustrations, and jokes.  As they say, it’s for anyone exploring their own identity.

 

National Geographic Kids

Why’d They Wear That? by Sarah Albee (forward by Tim Gunn) (9781426319204)

WhydTheyWearThat Librarian Preview: Sourcebooks, National Geographic Kids, Quirk Books, Sterling, NorthSouth, and Running Press Kids (Spring 2015)

Now see, the reason I like National Geographic Kids is that they’re reliable.  Take Why’d They Wear That?, for example.  You know what you’re getting here, even if you don’t know the details.  Mind you, the details are where all the good stuff is.  Chronicling the history of the world through the lens of fashion, the book covers everything from the Syrian warriors who rode into battle in fishnets to an Archbishop of Canterbury who wore a hair shirt so full of bugs that they left his body and flew into the cold when he was assassinated.  From togas to mini skirts, this book talks about clothing and explains why folks wore one thing or another with plenty of historical context.

Untamed: The Wild Life of Jane Goodall by Anita Silvey (9781426315190)

Untamed Librarian Preview: Sourcebooks, National Geographic Kids, Quirk Books, Sterling, NorthSouth, and Running Press Kids (Spring 2015)

I think I heard about this book a little while ago and got very excited . . . until I realized that it wasn’t coming out until 2015.  Fortunately that year is breathing down our neck and so tis nigh! Nigh, I say, nigh!  From her childhood in WWII England to the jungles of Gombe this book covers everything Jane related.  Riveting and full of images (including the photography of Michael Neugebauer) this has lots of great content from the field.  It’s the most up-to-date title out there for kids.  At least for an older readership.

Dirtmeister’s Nitty Gritty: Planet Earth by Steve Tomecek (9781426319037)

DirtMeister Librarian Preview: Sourcebooks, National Geographic Kids, Quirk Books, Sterling, NorthSouth, and Running Press Kids (Spring 2015)

Steve Tomecek, the Executive Director and founder of Science Plus, Inc., and Digger his prairie dog sidekick talk all about dirt.  Or, put another cuter way, dish the dirt on dirt.  Tomecek had a New York Kids show on WNYC radio in New York City for eight years so he’s old school.  In his book, Fred Harper from Marvel illustrates multiple peppy comic book sections that start off each chapter.  Inside you’ll find DIY experiments, facts, and science bios along with lots of STEM connections.  Happy science stuff.

How to Speak Cat by Aline Alexander Newman and NPR’s Dr. Gary Weitzman (President of the San Diego Animal Humane Society) (9781426318634)

HowToSpeakCat Librarian Preview: Sourcebooks, National Geographic Kids, Quirk Books, Sterling, NorthSouth, and Running Press Kids (Spring 2015)

This would be a companion to the previously published How to Speak Dog.  The dog vs. cat voice in my head wonders which of the two books will sell better.  In any case in this tome you get, amongst other things, an explanation of what the 30 different cat poses mean.  Lots of expert cat training advice is in this one as well.

1000 Facts About the Bible (9781426318665)

1000FactsBible Librarian Preview: Sourcebooks, National Geographic Kids, Quirk Books, Sterling, NorthSouth, and Running Press Kids (Spring 2015)

You don’t have to be a library in a religious community to appreciate what National Geographic is going for here.  Big and small pieces of information give some great background.  Little facts include the tidbit that David was crowned with a 75-pound crown and, elsewhere, that the blue of the robes mentioned in the text came from sea snails.  Easy to understand words are helped in no small part by the Biblical scholars who were consulted.  Naturally this makes me wonder how long it took them to write the darn thing.  My suspicion: quite a while.

Maddeningly they also teased us with Fall 2015 titles as well.  With that in mind look for . . .

Book of Nature Poetry edited by J. Patrick Lewis

NaturePoetry Librarian Preview: Sourcebooks, National Geographic Kids, Quirk Books, Sterling, NorthSouth, and Running Press Kids (Spring 2015)

Treasury of Norse Mythology by Donna Jo Napoli

NorseMyths Librarian Preview: Sourcebooks, National Geographic Kids, Quirk Books, Sterling, NorthSouth, and Running Press Kids (Spring 2015)

Welcome to Mars by Buzz Aldrin

MissionMars Librarian Preview: Sourcebooks, National Geographic Kids, Quirk Books, Sterling, NorthSouth, and Running Press Kids (Spring 2015)

At this point in the proceedings, mention was made of a magazine I’d not heard of before.  It’s not like I’ve been following the periodical trends for teens and pre-teens since I was one myself.  So to hear that there’s a publication out there called Justine that contains “more teen book reviews than any other magazine” . . . well that’s just downright cool it is. Voila:

Justine 381x500 Librarian Preview: Sourcebooks, National Geographic Kids, Quirk Books, Sterling, NorthSouth, and Running Press Kids (Spring 2015)

Quirk Books

Based out of Philly. A quarter of this little publisher’s output consists of books for kids.  I often say that small publishers just need one book to sustain them for life.  Well Quirk produced Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children so I’d say they’re pretty much good to go.  For, like, ever.  Most of their children’s books coming out in 2015 are just sequels, but there was one adult title that actually caught my eye.

Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix (9781322126760)

Horrorstor Librarian Preview: Sourcebooks, National Geographic Kids, Quirk Books, Sterling, NorthSouth, and Running Press Kids (Spring 2015)

A classic horror novel set in a Swedish furniture store, written like an IKEA catalog.

Sterling

Next up, Chris Vaccari, a man clever enough to name drop his local library branch (Kips Bay).  Chris thrives in a BookBuzz atmosphere.  He is calm.  He is at ease.  And yet, all at the same time, he is capable of packing in loads of information about the books Sterling is producing soon.  Case in point:

Good Question: History Series: Did Christopher Columbus Really Discover America? by Emma Carlson Berne (9781454912590)

ChristopherColumbus Librarian Preview: Sourcebooks, National Geographic Kids, Quirk Books, Sterling, NorthSouth, and Running Press Kids (Spring 2015)

This is a series that dare to question history.  Particularly useful when we’re talking about that ever so controversial Italian Columbus.

Little Traveler series – How Tiger Says Thank You (9781454914976), How Penguin Says Please (9781454914969) by Abigail Samoun, illustrated by Sarah Watts

HowTigerSays Librarian Preview: Sourcebooks, National Geographic Kids, Quirk Books, Sterling, NorthSouth, and Running Press Kids (Spring 2015)

HowPenguinSays Librarian Preview: Sourcebooks, National Geographic Kids, Quirk Books, Sterling, NorthSouth, and Running Press Kids (Spring 2015)

These are the latest two books in this series to come out.  I should note though that my librarians are BIG fans of these books.  They’re finding them easy to hand sell and really filling a need for those parents that wish to get their small children interested in other languages.

ABC Universe – done in conjunction with the American Museum of Natural History (9781454914099)

ABCUniverse Librarian Preview: Sourcebooks, National Geographic Kids, Quirk Books, Sterling, NorthSouth, and Running Press Kids (Spring 2015)

Just consider it an oversized board book for the budding little astronomers in your life.

I’m Not Reading by Jonathan Allen(978-1910126240)

ImNotReading Librarian Preview: Sourcebooks, National Geographic Kids, Quirk Books, Sterling, NorthSouth, and Running Press Kids (Spring 2015)

Man. Way back at the beginning of my blogging career, around 2006 I reviewed the Jonathan Allen baby owl book I’m Not Cute.  It’s nice to see the series not only still kicking around but upgrading to a whole new board book form.

Ally-Saurus by Richard Torrey (9781454911791)

AllySaurus Librarian Preview: Sourcebooks, National Geographic Kids, Quirk Books, Sterling, NorthSouth, and Running Press Kids (Spring 2015)

Who says only boys get to love dinosaurs?  Yet when Ally starts school she finds she’s the only girl there who’s into dinosaurs.  She is subsequently snubbed by princess lovers (and on this, the 10th anniversary of Mean Girls).  I know I’ll be looking forward to this.

A Dozen Cousins by Lori Houran, ill. Sam Usher (9781454910626)

DozenCousins Librarian Preview: Sourcebooks, National Geographic Kids, Quirk Books, Sterling, NorthSouth, and Running Press Kids (Spring 2015)

The plot is simple: one girl has a dozen boy cousins.  She loves them but they sure do bug the heck out of her.  Nice and multicultural, this is utterly pleasant (and more interesting than a lot of the other “big family” tales out there).

North/South

The Birthday Cake: The Adventures of Pettson and Findus by Sven Nordquist (978-0735842038)

BirthdayCake Librarian Preview: Sourcebooks, National Geographic Kids, Quirk Books, Sterling, NorthSouth, and Running Press Kids (Spring 2015)

I believe this is a reprint of an older title.  In it, Pettson is a forgetful farmer and his neighbor gives him a kitten named Findus.  So he reads the kitten so much that the cat starts to talk.  In this book it’s Findus’s birthday (which somehow happens more than once in a year).  The dilemma?  Our intrepid heroes need flour for a cake.  To get the flour they need a bike, to fix a tower they need to get into the shed, to get into the shed they need a ladder to get to the sunroof, and so on and such.  Phil Pullman did the blurb for the books and said that it has a folktale feel.  Noted.

Mr. Squirrel and the Moon by Sebastian Meschenmoser (978-0735841567)

MrSquirrelMoon Librarian Preview: Sourcebooks, National Geographic Kids, Quirk Books, Sterling, NorthSouth, and Running Press Kids (Spring 2015)

If you buy nothing else I mention to you today, buy this.  Show some of the art.  On the endpages you see a boy with his father and one of the man’s wheels of cheese is rolling down the hill and flies into the sky.  Later, a squirrel wonders how the moon got into his tree.  Worried that someone will think he’s the thief he tries to roll it off the tree.  The cheese next gets stuck on a hedgehog and a goat gets stuck in it.  The art is the real lure here.  A-maze-ing.

The Bernadette Watts Collection: Stories and Fairy Tales by Bernadette Watts (978-0735842120)

BernadetteWatts Librarian Preview: Sourcebooks, National Geographic Kids, Quirk Books, Sterling, NorthSouth, and Running Press Kids (Spring 2015)

Turns out, Ms. Watts is beloved in Europe.  They just call her Bernadette there.  In this book you will find thirty-eight timeless tales with an Eric Carle forward.  The result is a book containing pitch perfect, sumptuous backgrounds.

 

Perseus Books Groups (Running Press Kids)

Go, Pea, Go! by Joe Moshier and Chris Sonnenburg (978-0762456789)

GoPeaGo Librarian Preview: Sourcebooks, National Geographic Kids, Quirk Books, Sterling, NorthSouth, and Running Press Kids (Spring 2015)

I’ll give ‘em this.  I have never seen a potty book that used peas in some manner.  This book features one such rhyming pea.  He is told by his family to go.  See the world.  A potty chart and stickers are part of the ensemble.

Butterfly Park by Elly Mackay (978-0762453399)

ButterflyPark Librarian Preview: Sourcebooks, National Geographic Kids, Quirk Books, Sterling, NorthSouth, and Running Press Kids (Spring 2015)

A paper cut artist takes it to the next level.  In this story a girl moves next to a butterfly park and then goes and sees that there aren’t any there.  She then gets the community together to plant the plants that attract butterflies.

My Life in Dioramas by Tara Altebrando (978-0762456819)

MyLifeDioramas Librarian Preview: Sourcebooks, National Geographic Kids, Quirk Books, Sterling, NorthSouth, and Running Press Kids (Spring 2015)

In this tale a 12-year-old girl’s family is selling their red barn home.  She’s against this move so she creates dioramas of each room to best preserve her memories.  She also tries to throw a wrench in the works to prevent the sales.  One color illustrated dioramas for each chapter.  Essentially, it’s all about moving forward.

And that was that.  Phew!  I can’t imagine how tricky it would be to organize such a thing.  Many thanks to the folks who presented.  I’ve high hopes for these books.

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39. Crustacean sub

Crustacean submarine concept art illustration
Day 26
Topic - Crustacean sub

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40. I hadn't understood review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Diego De Silva's I hadn't understood.
       The second in De Silva's series is about to come out -- My Mother-in-Law Drinks; see the Europa editions publicity page, or pre-order your cppy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk -- but I figured I should get to this one first.

41. Nigerian Writers Series

       Hoping to emulate the success of the African Writers Series -- see, for example, my review of James Currey's history of The African Writers Series and the Launch of African Literature, Africa Writes Back -- the Association of Nigerian Authors.has launched a Nigerian Writers Series, now announcing the first ten titles (from fifty total and thirty-eight 'valid' submissions) that will be published by a variety of Nigerian publishers.
       See also Henry Akubuiro in The Sun on the New dawn for Nigerian writers this might facilitate.
       Sounds like a good idea, in any case, and I hope to eventually see some of these titles.

42. Athens Prize for Literature

       As Theodoros Grigoriadis reports at his weblog, they've announced this year's winners of the Greek Athens Prize for Literature, with Anthony Marra's A Constellation of Vital Phenomena winning the best translated category (dominated by translations from the English; see the shortlist, which included titles by Coetzee, McEwan, Banville, and Hollinghurst) and Tηλέμαχος Κώτσιας' Kώδικας Τιμής taking the Greek novel prize (see also the Ψυχογιός publicity page).

43. Bookselling in ... the US

       In The Los Angeles Times Frank Shyong describes how To Survive in the U.S., Chinese Bookstores Evolve Way Beyond Books.
       Yes:

Internet competition has forced bookstores across the nation to close, but in the San Gabriel Valley, they've evolved. Chinese bookstores ship packages, repair laptops, supply lottery tickets. One bookstore became a classroom, another a convenience store.
       Sadly:
As for books, they mostly gather dust.

44. Cast Away on the Letter A : A Philemon Adventure by Fred, translated by Richard Kutner, RL: 3

Cast Away on the Letter A by Fred, the pseudonym of Frédéric Aristidès, creator of one of the most famous graphic novel series in France (did you know that the French have long been huge graphic novel fans?) was originally published in 1972. This is the first time it has been translated in English, thanks to the amazing François Mouly and the fantastic people at TOON Books who are

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45. AMS/SMT 2014: Highlights from the OUP booth

We had a great time at this year’s AMS/SMT meeting! Milwaukee was a bit chilly, but we drank lots of coffee, cozied up with thrilling new books, and listened to some fantastic presentations!

Weren’t able to make it, or just feeling nostalgic? Take a tour through the eyes of OUP music, and check out some memorable highlights from this year’s joint meeting:

You can find out more information about the AMS/SMT 2014 conference by visiting their website. We already can’t wait for next year!

The post AMS/SMT 2014: Highlights from the OUP booth appeared first on OUPblog.

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46. Would You Read It Wednesday #154 - Got Your Nose (PB)

Well, dearies, you're about to get the most unembellished Would You Read It post ever!

That is because yesterday I had to drive to Boston... normally a 7 hour round trip, but what with Thanksgiving traffic and the fact that lots of people were traveling early due to the storm we're getting today, it took closer to 12.

By the time I got home, it was 11:20 PM, and I still had to write today's post...

But the important stuff is here :)

The winner of the October Pitch Pick was Michelle, with her PB pitch for Zoo Rules!  Congratulations, Michelle, well done!  Your pitch is on its way to editor Erin Molta, and I'm sure you'll hear from her soon.

And congratulations to our other brave pitchers as well!  Everyone did such a great job, and you are all winners just for writing and polishing your pitches and putting them out there for people to comment on!

Even in my zombie I've-been-driving-a-car-non-stop-for-nearly-12-hours stupor, I would not forget your Something Chocolate!  I think it should be something Thanksgiving-y, don't you?  In the spirit of giving, I offer you a choice of

milk...

or dark... :)

But anyway you gobble it, a chocolate turkey is delicious :)

Now then, today's pitch comes to us from Jean, who says, "I am a critical care nurse by day, and aspiring writer on my days off.  I write a nursing blog at nightingalechronicles.com, and have been published at inthepowderroom.com,  but I have always had a love of children’s stories.  I am a mother of three children ages 11, 9, and 7.  I look forward to submitting my pitch; this will be my first time putting my children’s work out there."

I'd like to add a quick note that Jean's schedule caused her to be on duty for her Would You Read It day, so please know that she will be reading your comments as soon as she can, and responding when she can, but it will probably take her a couple days.  She is very grateful for your help!

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Got Your Nose
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 4-8)
The Pitch: Who doesn’t love the game 'Got Your Nose’?  Jack doesn’t, that’s for sure; well, not anymore.  You see, Jack loved playing 'Got Your Nose' with his mom, but when bedtime came Jack wasn’t ready to quit.  Instead, Jack decided to see if he could play with his sleeping brother’s nose by stealing it right off of his face.  But when Jack heard the sounds of approaching footsteps he nervously tossed his brother’s nose sending it flying on a harrowing adventure thatll be bound to make you hold your breath, and your nose a little tighter.


So what do you think?  Would You Read It?  YES, MAYBE or NO?

If your answer is YES, please feel free to tell us what you particularly liked and why the pitch piqued your interest.  If your answer is MAYBE or NO, please feel free to tell us what you think could be better in the spirit of helping Jean improve her pitch.  Helpful examples of possible alternate wordings are welcome.  (However, I must ask that comments be constructive and respectful.  I reserve the right not to publish comments that are mean because that is not what this is about.)

Please send YOUR pitches for the coming weeks!  For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It or on the Would You Read It tab in the bar above.  There are openings in January so you've got a little time to polish up your pitches and send yours for your chance to be read by editor Erin Molta!

Jean is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to spending tomorrow with family!  AND I can say with truthfulness that it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas... since our trusty local weather predictors are forecasting 8-12 inches of snow for us today!

Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone, and I hope you all have safe travels (if you're traveling), and wonderful, happy, healthy, brimming with fun and family Thanksgivings (if you're celebrating)!!!  :)




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47. PAPERCHASE - sleepy owls

We are having a week of celebrating Paperchase here on Print & Pattern and today begins with their new 'Sleepy Owls' collection. Rows of graphic owls, all asleep with their eyes closed feature on notebooks stationery, cards, wrap, and mugs. The colour palette is reminiscent of mid-century modern with turquoise, orange and yellow most often used on a neutral stone ground. Available in stores and

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48. PAPERCHASE - mugs

Here are some of the other mug designs currently available at Paperchase along with the previously menttioned Sleep Owls design. There are colourful ponies, a parrot and peacock, The Owl & the Pussycat and a gold winged horse from the Cosmic collection.

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49. PAPERCHASE - 2015 diaries

The colourful ponies design see on a mug in the last post also feature on a 2015 diary at Paperchase. Scroll down for a selection of next years diary designs which include designs in all tastes and sizes.

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50. SkADaMo 2014 Day 21

catfishes

A pretty obvious one, but hey…

Wondering what SkADaMo is, check this out.


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