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1. This Changes Everything

A landmark achievement by Naomi Klein, This Changes Everything is essential reading on the ways climate change creates opportunities for us to reexamine our entire free market system — and will hopefully provoke us into lasting, significant action. Books mentioned in this post This Changes Everything: Capitalism... Naomi Klein Sale Hardcover $21.00

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2. "I never had a plan. At least, not one that was longer than two hours."

“I never had a plan. At least, not one that was longer than two hours.” - Erik... Read the rest of this post

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3. Joy And Celebration: The Launch of WHEELS OF CHANGE!

Yesterday was a monumental and long awaited day for me: The Official Launch of my debut novel WHEELS OF CHANGE. I held the festivities at the local BARNES & NOBLE on the campus of Rowan University, in Glassboro NJ. It was a thrill to see so many people from all phases of my life turn out to show their support and help me celebrate.  Here are some photos of the day:   photo 2

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The "Arrival Survival" Team from B&N set everything up for a successful day.

The “Arrival Survival” Team from B&N set everything up for a successful day.

Friends make everything better...

Friends make everything better…

 

 

Having my daughter and husband at the event made it extra special.

Having my daughter and husband at the event made it extra special.

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BSA

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Teachers LOVE books...thank goodness! I LOVE teachers!

Teachers LOVE books…thank goodness! I LOVE teachers!

bs8bs29bs 23bs 15Many smiles brightened the day, many hugs were given and taken, many books were happily signed, many words of congratulations were heard.  It was a wonderful way to send my book out into the world.  Thanks to everyone who made the event possible.  You are ALL wonderful and I will be eternally grateful for your generosity, enthusiasm and love.

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bs4 bs13bs25bs6bs14It Was truly a “most Excellent Adventure” and a Five Star Day!      bs24bs21bs26bs37bs45bs38bs20

The first stack of books...came and went.

The first stack of books…came and went.


7 Comments on Joy And Celebration: The Launch of WHEELS OF CHANGE!, last added: 9/23/2014
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4. SCBWI Carolina’s Annual Event

Getting to Charlotte

Note to self…Charlotte North Carolina  is not 2 1/2 hours from Cary North Carolina its actually closer to 3 and the best time to figure that out is not 3 hours before you are due at an event. Luckily the sun was shining down on me and Siri guided me to my destination, arriving at a crisp 1:55. Just in time to walk in, grab a faculty badge and sit down at my table to review portfolios. And so it went through almost the entire weekend from one event to another until the late hours of the night. I had no idea what a jam packed weekend I was in for. 

It was super cool getting to meet everyone, after months of preparation, and to finally put some names to faces. Our breakout session came late in Friday. It seemed like the hour went by too quickly and we just barely had a chance to scratch the surface. Luckily Deb, Vanessa and I had a handout that went into much more detail than we were able to cover. I believe the pdf version will be available online soon for members to download. 

The WIN Group

We were finally able to announce our new WIN group which will be available to members soon. WIN of course stands for working illustrators network. If you are an illustrator and a member (or are considering becoming a member) of SCBWI than this group is for you. I will be writing more about the group in the weeks to come so stay tuned for some really great stuff you are not going to want to miss this.

I’ve got some crazy deadlines to catch up on this week so here are just a few more quick thoughts on the event before I sign off.

  • Met some great new friends
  • The accommodations were excellent 
  • Everyone was super friendly and super helpful 
  • The days were filled with activity starting at 7:30am and continuing until 10pm (and a little bit later for the the crew of friendly illustrators I had traded laughs with at the hotel bar)
  • I am looking into starting a new art group here in the Raleigh area for those who are interested. (More on that at a later date)
  • The Tom Carvell impression still kills at parties and events
  • I’m very happy and thankful for being invited to participate as a faculty member this year and hope to see everyone again next year.
  • Thank you so much to everyone who went out of their way to make me feel welcome and help me navigate my first ever SCBWI event.

Oh one more quick reminder. My adobe Illustrator class starts this week at Wake Tech so if you are interested in learning this program hop on over to the wake tech website and do what all the super cool. kids are doing sign up for my class. You only have one more day so hurry!!!!

photo scbwi carolinas event 1 photo scbwi carolinas event 4 photo scbwi carolinas event 5 photo scbwi carolinas event 3 photo scbwi carolinas event 2

The post SCBWI Carolina’s Annual Event appeared first on Bob Ostrom Studio - 919-809-6178.

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5. I’m just trying to post some color for a change. A quick...



I’m just trying to post some color for a change. A quick glance at my imagery, one might be tempted to conclude that I hate color. Which is not true. I am merely at odds with it.



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6. Hypothetical Creature, painting entitled...



Hypothetical Creature, painting entitled ‘Crustaceofleur’



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7. How We Feel About Amazon

Jason LowIn this post, Publisher Jason Low shares his feelings on the Amazon vs. Hachette battle, the future of publishing, and the view from here as a small publisher.

Since the great Amazon-Hachette feud of 2014 started this summer, many people have asked where we stand. It is no secret that we do business with Amazon—almost every publisher does. At the same time, what I see from Amazon, and where I see the book industry heading as a result, worries me.

To me, Amazon is a different animal. It is unlike any other corporation out there because of the way it treats the bottom line. The problem is, Amazon’s bottom line is growth, not profits. In sacrificing profits they have made a conscious decision to sell books at unsustainable prices, undercutting any and all competitors who are still operating under the profit model, which is everyone.

The consequences of this are twofold. First, it puts other companies out of business, straight and simple. We have seen the continual decrease in the number of independent and even chain bookstores over the last several years as Amazon increases its market share.

Second, selling books cheaply exacts a considerable price from the entire publishing industry. Books still require substantial capital to create, print, and ship. While the cost of doing business goes up, any price increases to help offset these costs are compromised by a major player who is not concerned with making money. Publishers are being squeezed for all they are worth, in a business that already operates with a great deal of risk and razor-thin margins.

Before Amazon, publishers and distributors had a symbiotic relationship. The distributors needed the books to sell and publishers relied on distributors to sell the books. Amazon is looking to upend this entire system.

Here is where I see the publishing industry in the next couple of years: Amazon will control the majority of retail bookselling. Currently, Amazon has 65% of all online book orders, which includes print and digital. As a result, they will have a say as to what gets published and will dictate book pricing. Can you tell me another industry where a distributor has this kind of control over content creators?

The Amazon-Hachette battle is a pivotal moment in our industry. If you are not familiar with this issue you should bring yourselves up to speed because this concerns everyone who cares about books. You should consider carefully the impact that rock bottom prices and free shipping will have on the publishing ecosystem in the near and long term. Here are a few good articles to start, which offer arguments on both sides:

As Publishers Fight Amazon, Books Vanish (NY Times)

Plot Thickens as 900 Writers Battle Amazon (NY Times)

Amazon vs. Hachette: What Would Orwell Think? (New Yorker)

In Defense of Amazon: An Author’s Dissent (Salon)

My Week as an Amazon Insider (The Guardian)

In Defense of Amazon (The New Republic)

Agree? Disagree? We’d love to hear your thoughts.


Filed under: Publishing 101 Tagged: Amazon, ebooks, Jason Low

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8. Its Fall!


I've been tempted to do this a time or two; at a Wayne Thiebaud exhibit, with a Holbein at the Frick, some stuff at the Met. Didn't try it though.

Its FALL, finally. Now if it would just rain . . .


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9. The Hundreds Continues To Rip Off Animation Artwork For Its Clothes

The Los Angeles fashion label The Hundreds has been caught in the past selling merchandise with traced images from animated films. Is it legal? Is it ethical?

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10. Learning about Africa: Time lapse: Driving through Freetown’s Ebola Lockdown

As heart-wrenching as it is for me, I have been watching this obsessively as the places are so familiar to me.  Just imagine your city or town so deserted for such a reason.


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11. ‘In the Beginning’ by Arthur Metcalf

A short film about a little girl's hand in Earth's creation.

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12. The Summer Wind by Mary Alice Monroe

cover46837-medium

 

The Summer Wind is the second book in Monroe’s Lowcountry Summer trilogy, following the New York Times bestselling The Summer Girls. This series is a poignant and heartwarming story of three half-sisters and their grandmother, who is determined to help them rediscover their southern roots and family bonds.

It’s midsummer and Eudora, nicknamed Dora, is staying at Sea Breeze, the family’s ancestral home on Sullivan’s Island. For years, Dora has played the role of the perfect wife and mother in a loveless marriage. Now her husband filed for divorce, her child is diagnosed with autism, and her house is on the market. Dora’s facade collapses under the weight of her grief and she suffers “broken heart syndrome.” Mamaw and the girls rally around Dora—but it’s up to Dora to heal herself as she spends the summer prowling the beach, discovering the secrets of the island and her heart. This is a summer of discovery for all the women of Sea Breeze. Carson returns from Florida to face life-changing decisions, Lucille confronts a health scare, and an unexpected visitor has Harper reconsidering her life’s direction.

When tropical storm winds batter the island, the women must band together and weather the tempest—both the one outside their windows and the raging sea of emotions within each of them. They must learn again what it means to be a sister. It is up to Mamaw to keep the light burning at Sea Breeze to guide the girls through the lies, the threats, and the rocky waters of indecision to home.

A great novel to help you keep those fleeting summer feelings alive and well as we approach fall and winter. Monroe easily transports her readers to a summer-state-of-mind. She also tackles very real, very poignant life issues. You will find yourself learning and growing through Dora’s journey. I could not put this one down!

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13. Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric

I noticed a few of my concept paintings I did for the Sonic the Hedgehog game was up on the Sonic Wikia page so might as well post it here too.  The game Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric comes out this Novemeber for the Wii U.  I'll post some more paintings after the game is released.











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14. Interview with Golden Baobab Prize Longlist Author Ricky Ansong

Originally posted on Creative Writing Ghana:

This week, we will publish short interviews with some of the Ghanaian authors on the Golden Baobab Prize longlist released a few weeks ago. It is our hope that this introduces the authors to you. As this is only the longlist, we are not looking to pose probing questions, but rather intend the questions to be quite cursory in their outlook.

Today, we start with Ricky Ansong, a young Ghanaian writer and author of Koryor and the Sea. We (CWG) started by asking Ricky how he heard about the prize and why he decided to send in his entry.

Ricky Ansong

Ricky Ansong

Ricky Ansong (RA): I heard about the Prize through Twitter. I decided to enter this category because I love writing for children and I wanted validation from Golden Baobab. I wanted to know if what I wrote for children was good enough.

CWG: How did you receive the news about the longlist, where were you and how did you feel?

RA:I received the news about the longlist through an email. I was then at the Vodafone Café at Cantoments. I felt like my heart would explode. I had to take a walk around the compound to calm my racing heart.

CWG: Is this your first time making a Longlist? What are writing at the moment?

RA: Yes, this is my first time making a longlist. I am working on a young adult novel currently.

CWG: In the past prizes, very…

View original 28 more words


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15. Wattpad Contest Invites Fans to Collaborate On a R.L. Stine Short Story

Fear Street ContestWattpad is running “The R.L. Stine Fill In The Fear Contest.” This allows fans to collaborate on a short story called “Let’s Make a Trade” with R.L. Stine.

Stine wrote the beginning and now it’s up to the participants to fill in the middle; Stine will be responsible for the ending. Writers have until October 9th to turn in a submission.

Both the winner and the finished piece will be unveiled on October 31st; readers will be able to access the entire story on Stine’s Wattpad profile. Follow this link to learn all the rules for this contest.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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16. When the Publishing Industry Looks at Itself in the Mirror, Does It Like What It Sees?

Late last week, Publishers Weekly released its 2014 Salary Survey. While many of the findings were what you would expect—i.e., overwhelmingly white, female employees working longer hours than the year before and with a little more pay—they still manage to leave you feeling, well… a bit disappointed.

Cue Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” and read on.

Let’s start with the (kind of) good news: 85% of respondents are at least somewhat satisfied with their jobs. We’ve also seem to have (modestly) overcome a fear of total sector collapse, with 54% of us reporting we are very or extremely confident in the industry’s future. (more…)

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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17. A Pre-Green Skies Jollity....

...minus the knives, hammers and copious amounts of blood.


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18. Bookfinds: A Wedding in Provence by Ellen Sussman

cover44230-medium

Ellen Sussman, nationally bestselling author of French Lessons, delivers a feast for the senses in A Wedding in Provence—a moving novel of love, forgiveness, and trust, set among the beaches and vineyards of southern France.

When Olivia and Brody drive up to their friend’s idyllic inn—nestled in a valley in the Mediterranean town of Cassis—they know they’ve chosen the perfect spot for their wedding. The ceremony will be held in the lush garden, and the reception will be a small party of only their closest family and friends. But when Olivia’s and Brody’s guests check in, their peaceful wedding weekend is quickly thrown off balance.

The first to arrive is Nell, Olivia’s oldest daughter from her first marriage. Impulsive and reckless, she invites a complete stranger to be her guest at the wedding—an enigmatic man who is both alluring and a bit dangerous. The next is Carly, Olivia’s youngest daughter, the responsible and pragmatic one. Away from her demanding job and a strained relationship, she feels an urgent need to cut loose—and for once do something brash and unpredictable. Then there is Jake, Brody’s playboy best man, and Fanny, Brody’s mother, who is coping with the fallout of her own marriage. And in the middle of it all is Olivia, navigating the dramas, joys, and pitfalls of planning a wedding and starting a new life.

A delicious, escapist, and utterly enchanting novel, A Wedding in Provence captures the complex and enduring bonds of family, and our boundless faith in love.

 

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19. Special Edition - RAVEN'S EVE

Raven's Eve - 2005
RAVEN'S EVE was painted in 2005. It is one of the last pieces in my 'dark' period, where I painted many vampires, gothic heroes, and my palette consisted of many reds, blacks, blues, and more blacks.

Grab this Special Edition print on my Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/listing/204576124/halloween-wolf-art-print-full-moon

She will be available until my birthday on November 19, 2014.

RAVEN is a character I designed in high school, who followed me all the way out of college. She was created after viewing the movie "The Crow", and was my way to express the depression and loneliness I was feeling at the time. Most teens do. Since her beginning she has come a long way.

Raven lost everything very young, including her soul. She spent years searching for purpose, looking for a way to fill the void within her heart, but finds no relief. She is immortal, but not fully vampire. She was human, but now there isn't a word for what she is. Raven has been a hired assassin...as her void and depression allow her to null out the emotions, and she has fought for justice as well. She is neither good or evil. 

This character is no longer needed in my life. I found the missing piece I was searching for, and it was and is Jesus. Love. When I painted this piece I was starting to transition from a practicing witch to a practicing follower of Christ. Surprisingly, it wasn't that big of a leap for me, as my story led perfectly into His.

The piece RAVEN'S EVE symbolizes her strength and confidence in who she is at the time she was painted. The wolves symbolizing gentleness, wisdom, and maybe some purity. The daggers...well....we all sin every day and they represent that. But also death, death to the old self...the self that has already been dead for so long.


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20. I visited a children’s book conference in the North of...















I visited a children’s book conference in the North of Michigan this past weekend and spent most of it sketching and listening. I’m not going to review the conference, but I’ve posted a few of the sketches I did (mostly of speakers but some audience members). You can also see the layout of my portfolio things which were on display during the weekend.

I really should mention though, that I did really enjoy painting in a butterfly garden (the watercolour & ink above) and getting to know a few really awesome people. 















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21. Plot is a Lot Like Sex: Beginnings Hook Readers/Audiences. Endings Create Fans

Recently, I tweeted one of my favorite bits of plot advice:
Beginnings hook readers. Endings create fans.



A writer tweeted back: Sounds a lot like sex. hehe.

This isn't the first time a writer has likened plot advice I give to sex.

The 4th Energetic Marker and crowning glory of the entire book, the Climax often elicits a comment or two about the parallels in the act of sex and ultimate release of energy to the climax of a story.

When such parallels are drawn, I simply smile in appreciation of how the Universal Story shows itself everywhere…

Today I write!
~~~~~~~~
For plot help:
Read my Plot Whisperer books for writers

Watch Plot Video Workshops Series:
Facebook group ask questions that come up in either series and share your progress.

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22. The Smallest Girl



Hardly anyone noticed young Sally McCabe.
She was the smallest girl in the smallest grade.


Shelley and I are big fans of Christian Robinson, so I was delighted to receive a copy of THE SMALLEST GIRL IN THE SMALLEST GRADE illustrated by Mr. Robinson and written by Justin Roberts.

THE SMALLEST GIRL will resonate with anyone who has felt ignored. Day after day tiny Sally McCabe surveys the schoolyard without a single person seeing her. Little do they know that Sally possess special powers—not the standard type of super powers, but the powers of observation and compassion. She goes unnoticed until the day she raises her voice in the lunchroom: "I'm tired of seeing this terrible stuff. Stop hurting each other! This is enough!"

The message of the book is front and center. Roberts's rhyme adds some bounce, and Robinson's simple colorful shapes and faces add humor and a sophisticated sense of style.


Hardcover40 pages
Published September 2014 by Putnam Juvenile 
0399257438 (ISBN13: 9780399257438)

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23. Tonight, we eat like kings!

squirrel-football-4501

Autumn! My favorite time of the year!

I’m not exactly what you would call a football fan, although I’m trying this year. And by trying I mean learning what a down is… yeah, I’m that behind.

I am, however, very excited by the prospect of cooler temps and therefore many forays into the kitchen to attack new recipes.

Oh, and Halloween! Did I mention Halloween?


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24. Good Things Come in Threes: three great tech tools!

There are tons and tons and TONS of websites out there so look at and use, but it can become very overwhelming. I have gone there and it seems like the first day of school is those times my mind and list grow and become frenetic. So, after I've sifted through everything, here are three of my favorite sites this year:

 1. Photosnyth: https://photosynth.net/Using your phone and the Photosynth app, take multiple pictures to create a 360 image. After saving it, go to the website to edit, publish and save. Think of the many things you can use with this app, including a tour of the facilities, posting where you are (famous places are great!), as a virtual field trip for those who couldn't go or to take a class with you.

2. Easel.ly: http://www.easel.ly/ I've always loved Piktochart, but sometimes it can get a little cumbersome.  I also love Smore, but it can be too elementary.  Easely is the perfect balance of the two!  It's definitely more of an infographic than a poster, but has the ease of use without all the bells and whistles you may need to know with Piktochart.  Easy to teach, it creates great infographics students and educators can share!

3.Duolingo: https://www.duolingo.com/ Want to learn a new language without having to spend a lot of money on a program? Why not try this site? You choose the amount of time you'd like to spend with Duolingo and the further you go, the more difficult it becomes. Contains 8 different languages. There's an app for that too


Okay, I'm stopping with the ones I've used (for now) and love!  Try one or all of them out - I recommend them for K-12. 


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25. Tonight, we eat like kings!

squirrel-football-4501

Autumn! My favorite time of the year!

I’m not exactly what you would call a football fan, although I’m trying this year. And by trying I mean learning what a down is… yeah, I’m that behind.

I am, however, very excited about by the prospect of cooler temps and therefore many forays into the kitchen to attack new recipes.

Oh, and Halloween! Did I mention Halloween?


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