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HAPPY HALLOWEEN, READERS! Some of the members of Team PubCrawl wanted to share our recent Halloween-esque favorites! I hope you’ll let us know what spooky reads you’ve discovered recently in the comments section.
ADAM SILVERA:Rooms by Lauren Oliver breathes new life into ghost stories. There’s an ensemble cast, and my favorite narrators were Alice and Sandra, two ghosts inhabiting the walls of this old house. There are family secrets, the sudden appearance of a new ghost, stunning prose, surprising humanity from the ghosts, and a glowing ending. It’s not a tale of vengeance or a typical journey toward redemption, but it’s definitely a unique kind of ghost story you should check out.
SUSAN DENNARD: So…I might have devoured the entireFever series by Karen Marie Moning recently. What with the brooding dudes, terrifying monsters like you can’t (and don’t want to) imagine, and the whole plot revolving around Samhain (a.k.a. Halloween), I cannot imagine a more atmospheric (and smexy!) read for Halloween.
JULIE ESHBAUGH: I recommend Susan Dennard’s Something Strange and Deadly trilogy for Halloween season! The series is set in a fantastic, alternate-history world with a thrilling gothic feel. I loved traveling from nineteenth-century Philadelphia to Paris to Egypt with the amazing Eleanor as she battled an evil necromancer (all with romance thrown in, of course!).
JORDAN HAMESSLEY: I recommend the Women Destroy Horror issue of Nightmare Magazineedited by Ellen Datlow featuring great horror short fiction and non-fiction discussing women in the genre. It’s totally badass.
S. JAE-JONES: I recommend Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan, the final book in the Lynburn Legacy trilogy. A spin on gothic tropes, it has a mixed-race Japanese heroine in a picturesque English town. The town, of course, has dark, dark secrets. Oh, and invest in some Kleenex stock because SARAH REES BRENNAN WILL WILL OUT YOUR HEART AND EAT IT. She thrives on the tears of her readers, like a YA Erzebet Bathory.
JANICE HARDY:Servants of the Storm by Delilah S. Dawson! Very creepy, wonderful demon-gothic setting in a post-Katrina-esque hurricane devastated Savannah. Demons cause natural disasters and steal people’s souls Fun! Good scary book for Halloween.
JOANNA VOLPE:The Dead Boys by Royce Buckingham. This middle grade book was a little slow to start, but it definitely got super creepy and it’s stuck with me. It’s about a giant sycamore tree that is sapping the life of boys it’s lured into its roots over the past 80 years. It keeps them just alive enough to continue feeding on them. TOTALLY CREEPY.
Hope you all have a fun and safe Halloween! Let us know what spooky books you’re reading!
The First Five Pages Workshop for October has ended. Thanks so much to all of our participants for their hard work! And a big thank you to our wonderful guest mentor Paula Stokes, author of THE ART OF LAINEY, to our first guest agent, Jordy Albert, of The Booker Albert Literary Agency, and of course to all of our fabulous permanent mentors! You can check out the final revisions here: First Five Pages October Workshop
Our November workshop will open for entries at noon, EST on November 1, 2014. We'll take the first five Middle Grade, Young Adult, or New Adult fiction entries that meet all guidelines and formatting requirements. Remember, participants must be available to comment on each other’s pages each week. In addition to our wonderful permanent mentors, we have the talented J. R. Johansson’s, author of INSOMNIA, PARANOIA, and the forthcoming novels MANIA and CUT ME FREE, as our guest mentor, and free lance editor Pam Glauber will be our guest editor! So get those pages ready – First Five Pages November Workshopopens tomorrow! Click here to get the rules!
The New York Public Library and Brooklyn Public Library teamed up for the 4th Annual Battle of the Book Sorters. The two New York City organizations went up against the Washington state-based King County Public Library.
Here’s more about the contest: “New York Public Library and Brooklyn Public Library share a state-of-the-art, automated book sorter (as well as all book delivery operations), so they form one team. King County, which has its own book sorter, won last year, and is currently leading the annual contest with two wins to New York’s one.”
In one hour’s time, Team New York sorted 12,570 items and emerged victorious. The winning competitor received the “Lyngsoe Sorting Cup” prize package which includes beans from Seattle’s Best Coffee and salmon. If the King County team had won, they would have collected cheesecake from Junior’s and pastries from Ferrara’s.
Today I'll be Medusa, hosting the annual preschool Halloween storytime and parade at the library, but on the way to work, I'll be enjoying Neil Gaiman's Halloween gift to the world, Click-Clack the Rattlebag.
In Cicero's day authors ready to launch their newest work would gather their friends at home or in a public hall for a spirited recitatio, or reading. Audiences would cry out when they liked a particular passage. Nervous authors enlisted their friends to lend support, and sometimes even filled seats with hired "clappers." They were keenly aware of the importance of networking to get influential acquaintances to recommend their works to others. The creation of books started off as something both personal and social; the connection embodied in that dual nature is at the heart of what makes books so good at refining and advancing thought. It was just that the practicalities of publishing in the printing-press age made the personal connections a bit harder to see.
"From papyrus to pixels: The digital transformation of the way books are written, published, and sold had only just begun" — The Economist, October 11, 2014
(This fascinating in-depth reporting on self-publishing, book formats, and sales figures can be read here.)
Every Friday this October we’ve unveiled a part of Fitz-James O’Brien’s tale of an unusual entity in What Was It?, a story from the spine-tingling collection of works in Horror Stories: Classic Tales from Hoffmann to Hodgson, edited by Darryl Jones. Today we’re wrapping up the story with the final installment. Last we left off the narrator, Harry, and his friend, Hammond, tied up an invisible entity, shocking the boarders of the haunted home where they had been staying. Will they learn more about the mysterious creature?
We watched together, smoking many pipes, all night long, by the bedside of the unearthly being that tossed and panted until it was apparently wearied out. Then we learned by the low, regular breathing that it slept.
The next morning the house was all astir. The boarders congregated on the landing outside my room, and Hammond and myself were lions. We had to answer a thousand questions as to the state of our extraordinary prisoner, for as yet not one person in the house except ourselves could be induced to set foot in the apartment.
The creature was awake. This was evidenced by the convulsive manner in which the bed-clothes were moved in its efforts to escape. There was something truly terrible in beholding, as it were, those second-hand indications of the terrible writhings and agonized struggles for liberty which themselves were invisible.
Hammond and myself had racked our brains during the long night to discover some means by which we might realize the shape and general appearance of the Enigma. As well as we could make out by passing our hands over the creature’s form, its outlines and lineaments were human. There was a mouth; a round, smooth head without hair; a nose, which, however, was little elevated above the cheeks; and its hands and feet felt like those of a boy. At first we thought of placing the being on a smooth surface and tracing its outline with chalk, as shoemakers trace the outline of the foot. This plan was given up as being of no value. Such an outline would give not the slightest idea of its conformation.
A happy thought struck me. We would take a cast of it in plaster of Paris. This would give us the solid figure, and satisfy all our wishes. But how to do it? The movements of the creature would disturb the setting of the plastic covering, and distort the mould. Another thought. Why not give it chloroform? It had respiratory organs,—that was evident by its breathing. Once reduced to a state of insensibility, we could do with it what we would. Doctor X—— was sent for; and after the worthy physician had recovered from the first shock of amazement, he proceeded to administer the chloroform. In three minutes afterward we were enabled to remove the fetters from the creature’s body, and a modeller was busily engaged in covering the invisible form with the moist clay. In five minutes more we had a mould, and before evening a rough fac-simile of the Mystery. It was shaped like a man,—distorted, uncouth, and horrible, but still a man. It was small, not over four feet and some inches in height, and its limbs revealed a muscular development that was unparalleled. Its face surpassed in hideousness anything I had ever seen. Gustave Doré, or Callot, or Tony Johannot, never conceived anything so horrible. There is a face in one of the latter’s illustrations to Un Voyage où il vous plaira, which somewhat approaches the countenance of this creature, but does not equal it. It was the physiognomy of what I should fancy a ghoul might be. It looked as if it was capable of feeding on human flesh.
Having satisfied our curiosity, and bound every one in the house to secrecy, it became a question what was to be done with our Enigma? It was impossible that we should keep such a horror in our house; it was equally impossible that such an awful being should be let loose upon the world. I confess that I would have gladly voted for the creature’s destruction. But who would shoulder the responsibility? Who would undertake the execution of this horrible semblance of a human being? Day after day this question was deliberated gravely. The boarders all left the house. Mrs Moffat was in despair, and threatened Hammond and myself with all sorts of legal penalties if we did not remove the Horror. Our answer was, ‘We will go if you like, but we decline taking this creature with us. Remove it yourself if you please. It appeared in your house. On you the responsibility rests.’ To this there was, of course, no answer. Mrs Moffat could not obtain for love or money a person who would even approach the Mystery.
The most singular part of the affair was that we were entirely ignorant of what the creature habitually fed on. Everything in the way of nutriment that we could think of was placed before it, but was never touched. It was awful to stand by, day after day, and see the clothes toss, and hear the hard breathing, and know that it was starving.
Ten, twelve days, a fortnight passed, and it still lived. The pulsations of the heart, however, were daily growing fainter, and had now nearly ceased. It was evident that the creature was dying for want of sustenance. While this terrible life-struggle was going on, I felt miserable. I could not sleep. Horrible as the creature was, it was pitiful to think of the pangs it was suffering.
At last it died. Hammond and I found it cold and stiff one morning in the bed. The heart had ceased to beat, the lungs to inspire. We hastened to bury it in the garden. It was a strange funeral, the dropping of that viewless corpse into the damp hole. The cast of its form I gave to Doctor X——, who keeps it in his museum in Tenth Street.
As I am on the eve of a long journey from which I may not return, I have drawn up this narrative of an event the most singular that has ever come to my knowledge.
Missed a part of the story? Catch up with part 1, 2, 3, and 4 for a frightening Halloween read.
I enjoyed The Bloodbound, so I was thrilled when Erin Lindsey dropped by the virtual offices to answer a few questions. Be sure to enter the giveaway for a chance to win a copy of her book!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Good morning, Erin! Describe yourself in five words or less.
[Erin Lindsey] Constantly daydreaming lover of words.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about The Bloodbound?
[Erin Lindsey] I wanted to write a classic fantasy adventure that was genuinely fun to read. A lot of the stuff out there in SF/F right now is pretty grim. That’s not a criticism – I’m including my own work in that category. The Nicolas Lenoir novels, which I write as EL Tettensor, are about as dark as it gets. But sometimes you’re looking for something lighter, something you can take to the beach on your summer vacation and enjoy every page. A cast of flawed, likable characters caught up in a heroic struggle, with enough romance and humour to keep the mood balanced. That’s what I was going for in this book.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you share your favorite scene?
[Erin Lindsey] This is tough, because I don’t want to give anything away, but there’s a scene about halfway through the book where the heroine, Alix, has just been reunited with someone important in her life, and she ends up really pouring her heart out. Up to that point, she’s been struggling with a lot – her new role as the king’s bodyguard, her first taste of real battle, some pretty tough personal decisions – and to have this person back in her life to share that with comes as a tremendous relief. The scene feels a little like sitting on the foot of your best friend’s bed, chewing over the things that are most important to you. It’s comfortable and intimate and peppered with laughter, and it leaves the reader feeling almost as relieved as Alix. It really came out well.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
[Erin Lindsey] Everything! Okay, I know that’s not an answer, but really – it was a joy to write. I’ve never written anything so fast, so flowing, in my entire life. I think I had the whole thing done in about three and a half months, which for a novel of 120K+ is pretty crazy. Part of that, I think, is that I was finally getting to tap into some themes that I’ve wanted to play with for a long time. Some of my favourite moments in literature, films, and even comic books inspired certain scenes in The Bloodbound. A relationship, say, or a particular type of dilemma, trying to capture the feel of that moment in a different way. There’s a lot of real-life history in there too. It felt like finally getting to play with a bunch of toys you’ve coveted for a long time.
I think, I hope, that the fun I had writing it comes through on the page, and will infect the reader as well.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What’s one thing you won’t leave home without?
[Erin Lindsey] Chapstick. I know, I know! I’m trying to cut down, but it’s just so addictive!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name three things on your desk right now.
[Erin Lindsey] A stuffed gorilla, a chunk of black crystal from the Congo, and an extremely smug feline called Charlie Richard Parker.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What’s your favorite snack when you’re working on a deadline?
[Erin Lindsey] Biltong. It’s a South African type of beef jerky. If you haven’t tried it, DON’T; it’s even more addictive than Chapstick.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you could trade places with anyone for just one day, who would you be?
[Erin Lindsey] Sherlock Holmes. Oh, wait – does this have to be a real person? In that case, Benedict Cumberbatch. Or his coat.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] You have been granted the use of one superpower for one week. Which power would you choose, and what would you do with it?
[Erin Lindsey] I already have a superpower. I am Logic Woman, able to jump to a conclusion in a single bound. One day, I would like to do an appearance on Fox News. We’ll see if they’re as impervious to logic as they appear to be.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are some books that you enjoyed recently?
[Erin Lindsey] My editor at Ace/Roc, the lovely Danielle Stockley, recently turned me on to Guy Gavriel Kay. I’ve read several of his books now, and enjoyed them all, but I particularly recommend A Song For Arbonne.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?
[Erin Lindsey] Through my website, www.erin-lindsey.com, where you’ll find ways to reach me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, and email. Stop by and say hi!
Of all those in the King of Alden’s retinue, the bloodbinders are the most prized. The magic they wield can forge invaluable weapons, ones that make soldiers like Lady Alix Black unerringly lethal. However, the bloodbinders’ powers can do so much more—and so much worse…
A cunning and impetuous scout, Alix only wishes to serve quietly on the edges of the action. But when the king is betrayed by his own brother and left to die at the hands of attacking Oridian forces, she winds up single-handedly saving her sovereign.
Suddenly, she is head of the king’s personal guard, an honor made all the more dubious by the king’s exile from his own court. Surrounded by enemies, Alix must help him reclaim his crown, all the while attempting to repel the relentless tide of invaders led by the Priest, most feared of Oridia’s lords.
But while Alix’s king commands her duty, both he and a fellow scout lay claim to her heart. And when the time comes, she may need to choose between the two men who need her most…
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Erin Lindsey likes her stories the way she likes her chocolate: dark, exotic, and with a hint of bitterness. She has visited fifty countries on four continents, and brought a little something back from each of them to press inside the pages of her books. Erin Lindsey is also the pseudonym for E.L. Tettensor, whose Darkwalker series is published by Roc.
I am the founder of Picture Book Month and it starts tomorrow, November 1. The website, PictureBookMonth.com, features essays from thought leaders in the children’s literature community. Each day in November, a new essay is posted. This year’s Picture Book Month Champions are: Chris Barton, Aaron Becker, Kelly Bingham , Sophie Blackall, Arree Chung, Anna Dewdney, Johnette Downing, Ame Dyckman, Jill Esbaum, Carolyn Flores, Lupe Ruiz-Flores, Robin Preiss Glasser, Deborah Heiligman, Marla Frazee, Stefan Jolet, Kathleen Krull, Rene Colato Lainez, Loreen Leedy, Betsy Lewin, Ted Lewin, Brian Lies, Kelly J. Light, Debbie Ridpath Ohi, Alexis O’Neill, Sandra Markle, Ann Whitford Paul, Aaron Reynolds, Judy Schachner, Linda Joy Singleton, and David Schwartz. Please join the celebration!
As you prepare for PiBoIdMo, think about the titles of your picture books. In a recent interview for California Kids! magazine, Patricia Newman asked me, “How do you come up with titles for your books?” This started me thinking in depth about picture book titles. What’s in a title? How important is a title to a book? Can a book be centered around its title?
As it turns out, titles are vital to a book’s success. Author Scott Westerfield says, “Titles name a book, and names are important. A good name can make or break you.”
Brandi Reissenweber of Gotham Writers “Ask the Writer” column says, “A title is a story’s first impression. People make a first impression with appearance, wardrobe, and body language. Stories do it with a title.”
Eric Ode says, “Dan, the Taxi Man began as nothing more than a title. And one of the books I have coming out next year began as a title.”
PiBoIdMo founder and picture book author Tara Lazar says, “Most of my books begin as titles. It’s just the way my mind works. I want a BAM! concept, something that really hits you, and I find that people get HIT best with a succinct, powerful title.”
Corey Rosen Schwartz says, “I have written several books around titles! Like Tara [Lazar], most of my books begin that way. Goldi Rocks and the Three Bears, for example, was just a title on my PiBoIdMo 2009 list.”
Many picture books have character-driven titles. The character of the book IS the title. Do you have a book character that is so compelling that the character’s name should be the book’s title? Here are some examples:
Olivia by Ian Falconer
Splat the Cat by Rob Scotton
Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown
Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish
Biscuit by Alyssa Satin Capucilli
Fancy Nancy by Jane O’Connor
Clever, Punny Titles
I am a big fan of clever, punny titles. In fact, several of my books have punny titles. Here are some examples that are just too clever for words… almost.
Crankenstein by Samantha Berger
The Monstore by Tara Lazar
Little Red Hot by Eric Kimmel
Pinkalicious by Victoria Kann
Epossumondas by Colleen Salley
I am generally a fan of the “less is more” title for a book but sometimes, a garrulous title is EXACTLY what the book calls for. Can you imagine these books with a short title?
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems
How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You? by Jane Yolen
There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly by Simms Taback (a folktale retelling)
The Fantastic Flying Books of Morris Lessmore by William Joyce
Some titles beckon you to open the book. These titles are based around the book’s plot. Yes, as short as a picture book is, it can still have a plot. In fact, these picture book plots were so inspiring that they were turned into Hollywood blockbuster movies!
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett
A Night at the Museum by Milan Trenc
The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf
We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story by Hudson Talbott
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
A picture book title can also be short and succinct, even one-word. These acclaimed picture books prove that a word is worth a thousand pictures.
Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
Blackout by John Rocco
Ninja! by Arree Chung
Carnivores by Aaron Reynolds
Hug by Jez Alborough
Aaron Zenz says, “Hiccupotamus started with the title. I really wouldn’t have had any desire to write a book about a bunch of jungle animals chasing around a disruptive hippo if not for the title. In my mind, the pun ‘Hiccupotamus’ is the most important thing about that particular book.”
As you create and engage your imagination this month, think about your picture book’s title. In what way can an engaging title enhance your picture book? How can you use the title to attract readers? Perhaps you can be the Author with the Terrific, Tremendous, Oh-So-Grand, Very Remarkable Title.
As you celebrate PiBoIdMo and Picture Book Month, read LOTS of picture books. Comment below and share with us your favorite picture book titles and why you think they are so splendiferous. Here’s to Picture Books! Read * Share * Celebrate!
Dianne de Las Casas is an award-winning author, storyteller, and founder of Picture Book Month. Her performances, dubbed “revved-up storytelling” are full of energetic audience participation. The author of 24 books, Dianne is the International Reading Association LEADER 2014 Poet Laureate, and the 2014 recipient of the Ann Martin Book Mark award. Her children’s titles include The Cajun Cornbread Boy, There’s a Dragon in the Library,The Little “Read” Hen, The House That Santa Built, and Cinderellaphant. Visit her website at diannedelascasas.com. Visit Picture Book Month at PictureBookMonth.com. Twitter & Instagram: @AuthorDianneDLC Picture Book Month Twitter: @PictureBkMonth Facebook: fanofdianne and PictureBookMonth. Dianne is the proud mom of 14-year-old culinary celebrity, Kid Chef Eliana.
The 2014 Oral History Association Annual Meeting featured an exciting musical plenary session led by Michael Honey and Pat Krueger. They presented the songs and stories of John Handcox, the “poet laureate” of the interracial Southern Tenant Farmers Union, linking generations of struggle in the South through African American song and oral poetry traditions. The presentation built on Dr. Honey’s article in Oral History Review 41.2, “’Sharecroppers’ Troubadour': Can We Use Songs and Oral Poetry as Oral History?,” as well as his recent book.
Got an email this morning that means Black Tower Comics & Books WILL have the money to continue! Seriously!! Don't believe me? Okay, here it is -weep suckers!
I am Prince Fayad Bolkiah, the eldest son of Prince Jefri Bolkiah, former Finance Minister of Brunei , the tiny oil-rich sultanate on the Gulf Island . I will save your time by not amplifying my extended royal family history, as you may know from the international media; the Sultan had accused my father of financial mismanagement and impropriety. This was as a result of the Asian financial crisis that made my father's company Amedeo Development Company and government owned Brunei Investment Company to be declared bankrupt during his tenure in office. Visit webpage.
In addition, before my incarceration, I went ahead to dispatch some cash under special arrangement into the custody of different private security and Trustee Companies for safe keeping abroad. The money was splited and kept in the following countries in different proportions in UK, Canada and the balance in United States of America .
Hence I seek your good assistance to invest these funds into profitable investment in your country to facilitate future survival for my family abroad. Please I count on your absolute confidentiality, transparency and trust, while looking forward to your prompt reply towards a swift conclusion of this transaction.
Harry Potter readers first meet Umbridge in the fifth book, Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix. Actress Imelda Staunton plays this character in the film adaptation.
According to the press release, Rowling feels that Umbridge’s cruel nature is comparable to He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. She feels that the antagonist’s “desire to control, to punish, and to inflict pain, all in the name of law and order, are, I think, every bit as reprehensible as Lord Voldemort’s unvarnished espousal of evil.”
SPOILER ALERT: If you don’t want to know more, you should stop reading now!
Split Lip is a long running—and critically acclaimed— horror comics anthology (ANOTHER)began online in 2006 and ventured into print in 2009. It’s the creation of writer Sam Costello, who enlisted artists including Kyle Strahm (Spread), John Bivens (Dark Engine), Sami Makkonen (Deadworld: Slaughterhouse), T.J. Kirsch (Amy Devlin Mysteries), Christine Larsen (Valentine), David Hitchcock (Springheel Jack), and Felipe Sobreiro (The Strange Talent of Luther Strode) to do the drawing. A new series of stories just relaunched on Wednesday, after having been retired in 2012 by Costello. But “even though I tried to move on to other things,” he writes. “I kept having ideas for new short horror stories. As I wrote them, I realized that these stories—in their tone, style, and approach—were Split Lip stories and that I had to relaunch the series.”
The relaunch includes five months worth of comics already completed and an additional four stories underway.
The new stories begin with “Victims,” a story of missing memories, twisted families, and emotional trauma written by Costello and drawn by Steven Perkins.
Upcoming stories include “Lone and Level,” a meditation of materialism and mortality, with art by Max Temescu, and “8 Days Alone,” drawn by Matthew Goik, in which a man believes that his girlfriend has come back from vacation a different person.
The relaunch of the series will be followed in November by a new design for the Split Lip website. The improved design will offer a better reading experience, less clutter, and a tablet-friendly size. The new stories are also optimized for display on high-resolution screens like Apple’s Retina Display, delivering the art and lettering in super-crisp detail.
“As every horror and comics fan knows, nothing really stays dead. I’m thrilled that Split Lip, whether undead, zombified, or simply relaunched, has risen from the grave and is back among the living,” said Costello.
What I like about today's book, which is one title in a series of books about poems, is that in addition to giving us a splendid collection of poems to read, the author also tells us how haiku and lantern poems are constructed. Children can use this book to learn how to write their own short and sweet Japanese-style poems.
If it rains pancakes: Haiku and Lantern poems Brian P. Cleary Illustrated by Andy Rowland Poetry For ages 6 to 8 Millbrook, 2014, 978-1-4677-4412-6 Haiku poems have been around for more than four hundred years. For many of those years westerners had no idea that these gem-like short poems existed. Haiku were not really appreciated and created by westerners until the early 1900’s. These days haiku are popular with children and adults alike. Every haiku has three lines, with the first line having five syllables. The second line has seven syllables, and the third line has five. Traditionally haiku poems focus on something that exists in nature, but in this book the author also give young readers poems about animals, food, school days and much more. After reading twenty haiku poems, readers get to learn about lantern poems, which is another short poetry form that originated in Japan. The first line in these poems has just one word, which is always a noun and must have one syllable. The next four lines describe that noun with 2 syllables on the second line, three on the third, four on the fourth, and one syllable on the last line. After reading a description of what a lantern poem is, children can go on to read fifteen of these spare poems which look at bees, a cat, a hug, stars, a bed, dawn, and much more. Some of the poems are lyrical in nature, while others are amusing. What is wonderful about this collection is that the author describes in detail what haiku and lantern poems are and then he gives us many examples of each poetry form. We are able to see how such poems are written, and some young readers may even be inspired to write some haiku and lantern poems of their own. As the author says, “Poetry’s not just a spectator sport.” Anyone can write poems that explore or describe things that they care about.
Publishers Weekly today released its list of the 100 Best Books of 2014, for the first time including three translations among its top 10 books, which were written by Hassam Blasim, Elena Ferrante, Marlon James, Lorrie Moore, Joseph O’Neill, Héctor Tobar, Eula Biss, Leslie Jamison, Lawrence Wright, and Emmanuel Carrère.
The three translations include two works of fiction: The Corpse Exhibition by Hassan Blasim, translated from the Arabic by Jonathan Wright (Penguin), and Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay by Elena Ferrante, translated from the Italian by Ann Goldstein (Europa). Limonov: The Outrageous Adventures of the Radical Soviet Poet Who Became a Bum in New York, a Sensation in France, and a Political Antihero in Russia by Emmanuel Carrère, is nonfiction translated from the French by John Lambert (Farrar, Straus and Giroux).
“Every year when we put together our best books list, we understand why we’re in this business,” Publishers Weekly review editor Louisa Ermelino said. “It’s not just about the best books, but the fact that there are so many good books being published that we have to struggle to choose. We consider the game-changers, the brilliantly written pure entertainment, the clever, the well researched.”
Publishers Weekly’s selects for the best Young Adults books include: Meg Wolitzer’s Belzhar, We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, Beyond Magenta by Susan Kuklin, and Half Bad by Sally Green, among other titles.
Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi and Redefining Girly by Melissa Atkins Wardy are two of its best Lifestyle books of 2014.
Marlon James, featured on PW’s cover, is author of A Brief History of Seven Killings (Riverhead), a sweeping saga with the attempted assassination of Bob Marley at its center.
Descriptions of Publishers Weekly’s “100 Best Books of 2014” are available here.
This morning, as hubby went to leave this house- he woke me to kiss me good-bye. He looked into my eyes and he said, "I love you very much."
"I love you honey. We have to do what it takes to get to this thing."
And he left.
I laid there for half an hour thinking about those two words.
As much as this house is a disaster because of all the things I have to do right now. As much as I nag him to do what is right. As much as I push him. As much as the pruning process we have been going through has pushed us to the wall. The absolute pressure of facing a room full of people I don't know to convince them they have to help us get this thing moving...
I fell back asleep and I had a dream about the one thing that is holding me back. Hubby and I have been working together to rid my life of that "one thing". It comes back to haunt me every time good is about to come. I woke feeling torn and I am now more determined than ever that it is the one thing the devil uses against me most (in the form of a broken heart). I woke insisting that the one thing be removed from me forever. When I called my friend to tell her some good news, she shared a word with me. She said she knew it was for me and she had to read it. I listened carefully. She didn't send it to me in an email. SHE READ IT OVER ME. It was a word of encouragement from the Lord. And as soon as she began to read it, I felt God's love and anointing pour over me. I began to cry cleansing tears. I felt His words sink deep into my being, and in doing so, it ripped a large part of that ONE THING out of me. A clean and holy wind blew into me. I know we still have work to do. We are never a completely finished product until we meet face to face with Jesus Christ.
But I know the Lord loves me VERY MUCH.
Later I read that Word for myself. I sent it to a writer friend to share what God had done for me today. She immediately wrote me back and said it was a word for her as well. Praise be to the Lord our God!
Then I settled down for a bit of Psychology. Seven minutes later I had a pretty little girl on my lap wanting something to do. I found a tablet of drawing paper. I thought about it. She gets bored after a while with each project. But I couldn't find the glue stick. Within minutes she produced the basket that has the glue stick inside. I smiled. She got all excited. She's never used a glue stick before. I know this may sound ridiculously mundane to some who read this, but hear me. Please.
I went to the drawer with the hole punches inside. I pulled out the one with a flower punch on one side and a heart (her shrashorite shape). I got some pretty paper and I showed her how to use the hole punch and the glue stick. She could barely contain herself. I looked at her and said, "This is glue." I then pointed to the hearts and I said,
"LOVE is the GLUE that binds a family together."
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.- 1 Peter 4:8
When the good people of the Fairmount Water Works asked if they might borrow the first prose page from Flow: The Life and Times of Philadelphia's Schuylkill River for a festival finale, I said yes, of course. This movie (rendered here) was projected onto the entrance house facades of the Water Works building as night fell a few weeks ago. The words come from the prose poem, "Rising."
Credits: Habithèque Inc.— Creative Direction Greenhouse Media— Video and Editing refreshtech and LUCE Group— Lighting Blair Brothers Music— Original Soundscape Beth Kephart—The poem "Rising" from her book Flow
(Venice, Italy) The Aman Canal Grande, where George and Amal Clooney were married, would like you to know that you are very welcome to come in for lunch, drinks or dinner. I had heard some local gossip -- that Palazzo Papadopoli was only open to guests of the hotel; that the food was not up to par, etc. That was not the situation when I had visited in August of last year when I featured the Aman Canal Grande in CNN Travel. So when a friend recently expressed an interest in seeing the fabulous palace, I made arrangements for a tour and lunch on Monday so I could see firsthand what the situation was. I am pleased to report that the food was exceptional -- fresh, delicious and reasonably priced, and the palace was as welcoming as I remembered, elegant and homey.
At the close of the 19th century, Vera Papadopoli Aldobrandini married Count Giberto Arrivabene, with Palazzo Papadopoli as part of her dowry. Today, the palazzo is owned by her grandson, Count Giberto Arrivabene Valenti Gonzaga; he and his wife, Bianca di Savoia Aosta, and kids still live on the top floor.
We were graciously showed around the palace, which was originally built in 1550 by the architect and follower of Sansovino, Gian Giacomo de Grigi, as commissioned by the Coccina Family. The palazzo was sold to the Tiepolo family in 1718 after the death of Francesco Coccina, the last descendant. The Tiepolos were avid art collectors, and also employed the painter Giambattista Tiepolo to decorate rooms with frescoes, which still remain to this day. (Of course, I had to know if the Clooneys had stayed in the famous Tiepolo Suite, which is complete with a genuine Giambattista Tiepolo ceiling, and the answer was: Yes, they did.)
There are two piano nobile floors, and one rumor could have started because the fourth level of the palazzo is reserved only for hotel guests. But the public is absolutely welcome to enjoy the dining rooms and bar in the first piano nobile with stunning views of the Grand Canal. Also, there is a new chef from the oldest Michelin-starred restaurant in Italy, so any kitchen concerns have been addressed. My friend and I each ordered the most expensive thing on the menu (€35), grilled fish -- a sea bass and a sole -- which were grilled to perfection and shared for us at the table, and accompanied by a generous assortment of grilled vegetables. There are not many places in Venice on the San Polo side of town where you can have a reasonably-priced lunch in such magnificent surroundings, so don't be shy -- just ring the bell and go on in!
I have known Alessandra Schiavon of the Archivio di Stato di Venezia for about 15 years, back from the time I first visited the immense Archives next to the Frari when I was writing for the International Herald Tribune's Italy Daily. It was deeply moving to see how hard she had worked to gather such pivotal documents together to illustrate the value Europe places on peace. Schiavon said it used to be that wars had beginnings, and wars had ends, and wars had specific territories -- not like today when we find ourselves constantly at war with enemies who have no borders, in wars against a concept like "terror," in wars that stretch on without limits. Ambassadors and diplomats worked hard for peace -- that was their occupation. (That image above is a March 15, 1760 document issued by Francesco Loredan, the Doge of Venice, commissioning one of those wealthy Tiepolos -- Giovanni Domenico Almorò Tiepolo -- to be the ambassador to Louis XV, King of France.)
1641, 24 gennaio-2 febbraio. Costantinopoli.
Capitolationi rinovate sotto sultan Ibraim, re al presente degli Ottomani.
Archivio di Stato di Venezia
The documents and names involved are riveting, and the captions have been translated into English. Some examples: January 5, 1530: "Emperor Charles V solemly ratifies the peace treaty concluded during the Congress of Bolona with the Pope and the rulers of Europe." March 5, 1684: "The plenipotentiary ministers of Pope Innocent XI, the Hapsburg Emperor Leopold I, King of Poland, John III Sobieski, Doge of Venice, Marc Antonio Giustinian sign a defense treaty." February 8, 1697, "Peter the Great, the Czar of Russia, Leopold I, the Hapsburg Emperor, Frederick Augustus II of Saxony and Silvestro Valier, Doge of Venice stipulate a reciprocal non-aggression and peace accord."
1755, marzo 14. Vienna.
Maria Teresa imperatrice e Francesco Loredan doge di Venezia stipulano accordi in materia di confini e servizio postale.
Archivio di Stato di Venezia
Wars over territories. Wars between religions. One side groups up against another side, changes sides, changes back again. After viewing all those documents inside the Doge's Palace, and the many powers behind those documents, and the very serious disagreements and battles that had been hammered into compromises to achieve peace, it really made me wonder why we are having such a difficult time today just getting a moment to catch our breath.
Per il bene della Pace Il lungo cammino verso l’Europa dalla pace di Bologna alla Dichiarazione dei diritti dell’uomo (1530-1789) Venezia, Palazzo Ducale, Sala dello Scrutinio 25 ottobre 2014 – 12 gennaio 2015
Alesandro Marchetti - winner Premio Venezia
One of my favorite annual events is the PREMIO VENEZIA, a national pianist competition held by the Fondazione Amici Della Fenice at La Fenice. Every year, young pianists throughout Italy compete for the top prize, which includes substantial sums of money to continue their studies, as well as concerts in prestigious venues. The Premio Venezia is funded entirely with private money, and is one of the most important events of the season, always drawing a full-house invitation-only crowd. This year the Premio Venezia was won by Alessandro Marchetti, who was born in Pavia, Italy in 1998, the year I arrived in Venice, which makes him, astonishingly, only 16-years-old. Adrian Nicodim, who was born in Galati, Romania in 1992, won second place, which also includes a good chunk of money and concerts. Both young men exhibited composure, grace and talent, and performed admirably.
In a planet filled with chaos and strife, it is an honor to have the privilege of living in La Serenissima, a city that still focuses on the highest principles the civilized world has to offer.
From Debbie: Thanks to Paper Lantern Lit for letting Inkygirl premiere their new series of GET LIT videos. In this video, former Harpercollins and Razorbill editor Lexa Hillyer talks about how to establish the right WANTS and NEEDS for your characters:
Hello from Paper Lantern Lit, the "story architects!" We're so excited to premiere our new video series, Get Lit, on InkyGirl. Each Get Lit video will explore the blueprints to each of PLL's secrets of the storytelling trade.
In this video, watch PLL Co-Founder (and author of PROOF OF FOREVER, out June 2015!) Lexa Hillyer talk about the Wants and Needs of characters, and how they form the essential basis on which to build your story. We hope these videos will be helpful to aspiring writers– especially all of you prepping for NaNoWriMo tomorrow!
If you missed the introduction to Get Lit featuring PLL Co-Founder and New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver (The Delirium Trilogy, Panic, The Spindlers) click here.
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If you want more content like Get Lit, check out PLL's Blog! We post lots of info for writers in our Toolbox series, which breaks down different parts of the storytelling craft.
On Monday November 3rd, check out Fic Fare for the next Get Lit video, and become the architect of your BEST story!