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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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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!!!
Robert 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.
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:
Changes: A Child’s First Poetry Collection by Charlotte Zolotow, ill. Tiphanie Beeke (9781492601685)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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
Treasury of Norse Mythology by Donna Jo Napoli
Welcome to Mars by Buzz Aldrin
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:
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)
A classic horror novel set in a Swedish furniture store, written like an IKEA catalog.
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)
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
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)
Just consider it an oversized board book for the budding little astronomers in your life.
I’m Not Reading by Jonathan Allen(978-1910126240)
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)
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)
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).
The Birthday Cake: The Adventures of Pettson and Findus by Sven Nordquist (978-0735842038)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Review copy provided by publisher
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.
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
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.
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!
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.
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.
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
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 atnightingalechronicles.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 that’ll 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 Itor 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)!!! :)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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 →
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.
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