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<<May 2015>>
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1. me and my shadow I mean notebook

Over at Sharing Our Notebooks, Amy LV is collecting summer notebook and journal ideas for writers of all ages.  I contributed this little snip from my current notebook and  can't wait to see all the cool suggestions she's collecting.  I always look forward to summer break and having more time to spend with my notebook, and now I'll have lots of new adventures to take it on.

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Try This!  Doodle Your Listening

Heidi Mordhorst

I debated for a long time about  how many notebooks to keep:  one for school, one for poetry, one for my calendar/agenda, one for everyday household business, one for—yep, that was too many notebooks to juggle.

In the end, I do keep a separate binder for my teacher stuff, but for all other purposes I have Just One Notebook.  I use it for intentional sitting-down-to-write, but it’s also the one that I take to writing conferences, to services at my congregation, to a political meeting, to a wellness workshop.  The pages below are from a workshop called “Redefining Health,” and they definitely do not capture the organized thread of the presentation!  Instead you see my doodled, fonted, decorated, designed version of  it.  I have recorded certain turns of phrase, questions for myself, pairings of words, tangents, direct quotes, and there are lots of possibilities for mining poems from the graphic details.

I’m calling this thing you might also like to try “DOODLE YOUR LISTENING.” Carry your notebook anywhere you’ll be sitting and listening--in the car with the radio on, in church, at a meeting, at the pool where people don’t know you’re listening!  Design and decorate your notes to see what happens!

Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) had it right:

“A commonplace book is what a provident poet cannot subsist without, for this proverbial reason, that ‘great wits have short memories:' and whereas, on the other hand, poets, being liars by profession, ought to have good memories; to reconcile these, a book of this sort, is in the nature of a supplemental memory, or a record of what occurs remarkable in every day’s reading or conversation. There you enter not only your own original thoughts, (which, a hundred to one, are few and insignificant) but such of other men as you think fit to make your own, by entering them there.”
                                                  —from “A Letter of Advice to a Young Poet”

Matt Forrest Esenwine continues his Big Year of Breakout by hosting Poetry Friday today at Radio, Rhythm and Rhyme.  Go congratulate him on his first book contract!

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2. Reflecting: What kind of writer am I?

Before you plan to ask your students to reflect on the kinds of writers they are (for their end-of-year self-assessments), be sure you ask yourself "What kind of writer am I?"

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3. Publishing on Social Media Networks - 3 Powerhouse Optimization Tips

Some social networks, like Facebook, LinkedIn, and GooglePlus, have optimization features for shared blog posts. It’s kind of how you’d optimize your blog posts on your website. Below is a list of 3 social network features to be aware of (and take advantage of): 1. The post title. Along with creating a keyword effective and powerful blog post title, you need to keep the characters to 40.

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4. Translation pitching

       As part of European Literature Night, English PEN are having ELN VII: The Translation Pitch, and at PEN Atlas Rajendra Chitnis and Rosalind Harvey 'discuss their experiences of shortlisting for this year's ELN Translation Pitch event', in Lost and Found: Shortlisting for the European Literature Night Translation Pitch 2015.
       Interesting to get some background -- and the selected projects sounds pretty interesting. And I'm pleased/amused to note that I reviewed one of the finalists -- Разруха ('Ruin') by Vladimir Zarev (now being presented in Angela Rodel's translation) -- some six years ago.

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5. The Meursault Investigation review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Kamel Daoud's The Meursault Investigation, due out soon from Other Press (in the US) and Oneworld Publications (UK).
       This variation-on-Camus (The Stranger/The Outsider (with a dash of The Fall, for good measure)) is surely one of the most-anticipated translations of the year -- and it will undoubtedly sell like hotcakes (and quickly become a college-course-staple). Racking up literary prizes left and right -- most recently: the prix Goncourt du Premier Roman -- this is bound to get a great deal of attention in the English-language press as well (beyond what's already out there, like Adam Shatz's recent profile in The New York Times Magazine).

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6. (Another) Mafhouz literary prize ?

       AUC Press have been awarding a Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature since 1996, and it has a good track record (with the winning titles translated into English).
       Now, apparently, as Ahram Online reports, Egypt might launch Naguib Mafhouz literary prize -- "an international literary prize named after Egyptian novelist and Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz".
       With the ministry of culture doing the considering one has to wonder what kind of prize this might turn out to be -- state authorities rarely excel in the cultural-awards department (though there are exceptions -- see the Austrian State Prize for European Literature, for example). And the culture minister was consulting with Gamal El-Ghitany about this, so maybe they can come up with a decent concept.

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7. Press Release Fun: The 2015 Anne Izard Storytellers’ Choice Awards

The Anne Izard Storytellers’ Choice Awards Committee is pleased to announce the recipients of the 12th biennial Awards.  The awards will be presented in a ceremony on Tuesday, June 16, 2015, at the White Plains (New York) Public Library. The program is open to the public.

The Anne Izard Storytellers’ Choice Award was established in 1990 by librarians, storytellers and educators in Westchester County, New York, to honor Anne Izard, an extraordinary librarian, storyteller, and Children’s Services Consultant in the Westchester County Library System. The Award seeks to bring the riches of storytelling to greater public awareness by highlighting and promoting distinguished books on storytelling published for children and adults. Folklore, fiction, biography and historical stories must be entirely successful without consideration of graphic elements. Books which enrich a storyteller’s understanding of story, folk traditions, aesthetics, and methods of storytelling are also eligible. Books considered for the Twelfth Award were original material, reprints, or new English translations published in the United States between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2014.

Recipients of the 12th Anne Izard Storytellers’ Choice Awards are:

Beyond the Briar Patch : Affrilachian Folktales, Food and Folklore by Lyn Ford [Parkhurst Brothers 2014]

The Boy Who Loved Math by Deborah Heiligman [Roaring Brook Press 2013]

Every Day a Holiday: A Storyteller’s Memoir by Elizabeth Ellis [Parkhurst Brothers 2014]

The Golden Age of Folk & Fairy Tales: From the Brothers Grimm to Andrew Lang by Jack Zipes [Hackett Publishing 2013]

The Grudge Keeper by Mara Rockliff  [Peachtree Publishers 2014]

The King of Little Things by Bil Lepp [Peachtree Publishers  2013]

Mysterious Traveler by Mal Peet and Elspeth Graham [Candlewick Press 2013]

Ol’ Clip Clop: A Ghost Story by Patricia C. McKissack [Holiday House 2013]

Once Upon a Time: A Short History of Fairy Tale by Marina Warner [Oxford University Press 2014]

Story by Story: Creating a Student Storytelling Troupe… by Karen Chace [Parkhurst Brothers 2014]

Teaching with Story by Margaret Read MacDonald, Jennifer MacDonald Whitman and Nathaniel Forest Whitman [August House 2014]

Whiskers, Tails & Wings: Animal Folktales from Mexico by Judy Goldman [Charlesbridge 2013]

You Never Heard of Willie Mays?! by Jonah Winter [Schwartz & Wade Books 2013]

For more information, please contact Tata Canuelas, Chair, at tcanuelas@whiteplainsny.gov,  or  Ellen Tannenbaum, Co-Chair, at storyteller29@gmail.com .


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8. How Do Award Judges Feel About the Books They Were Unable to Honor?

Best YA and Middle-Grade novels selected by Pete Hautman. His latest book is Eden West, the story of a boy growing up in an isolated doomsday cult in Montana.

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9. Poetry Friday

Flickr Creative Commons Photo by Sarah Browning


Just when the story's getting good,
I must close the book and return it
to the rightful owner.

I have marked up the text a bit:
underlined key phrases,
jotted notes in the margins.

I've dogeared some pages,
left smears of optimism,
streaked whole paragraphs with my tears,

slept with the book under my pillow,
taken it with me everywhere,
thrown it at the wall in frustration (on more than one occasion).

You'd think by now I would have learned to live
with never knowing the ends of these stories.
I have not.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2015

There are just a few more days of school left, and I am getting ready to say goodbye, in most cases forever, to the people who have been my life for the past 9 months -- this crazy, quirky bunch of students who bloomed late, but bloomed GLORIOUSLY.

Matt has the Poetry Friday Roundup at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme.

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10. FABRICS - sarah campbell

Legendary designer Sarah Campbell has created a fabric collection called ‘Melodies’, produced with the US company Michael Miller. It features super colourful, painterly birds, leaves, florals, spots, dots, and geos. The collection features ten pattern designs in two colour groups will be available for shipping at the end of June.

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11. Election time Cartoons

cartoon Nabh छ्orcartoon nabh chorcartoon nabh chor 5cartoon nabh chor (3)cartoon nabh chor (2)

सांध्य दैनिक “नभ छोर” से प्रकाशित अलग अलग चुनावी  मुद्दों पर प्रकाशित कुछ कार्टून ..

The post Election time Cartoons appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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12. Interview and Giveaway: The End of Innocence by Allegra Jordan

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Good morning, Allegra!  Describe yourself in five words or less.

[Allegra Jordan] A generative, generous listener.

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

[Allegra Jordan]  Nothing. One of my greatest joys is walking outside and being fully present in nature.

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

[Allegra Jordan]  Whale figurine– to remind me to not be like Jonah and run from my calling.

A card from my husband.

“Wisdom cat” small statue – a cat that is sitting like a Buddha statue – reminds me to be centered.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What’s your favorite snack when you’re working on a deadline?

[Allegra Jordan]  Skinny girl popcorn with a dusting of shredded parmesan cheese. After I finish working on a big deadline, a St. Germain/Chopin Vodka martini with a twist of lemon – DELISH, but not more than one per week. It’s a treat, not a lifestyle.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you could trade places with anyone for just one day, who would you be?

[Allegra Jordan]  Marguerite Barankitse, the Angel of Burundi. She started Maison Shalom as a house of peace after a brutal massacre in her village. She has helped raise 30,000 people, including 10,000 children. I would love to know how she thinks about unbearable realities – because she really has changed a lot of things we thought never could be changed or done!


End of Innocence

By Allegra Jordan

Sourcebooks Landmark

Historical Fiction

May 1, 2015

ISBN: 9781492609933

$14.99 Trade Paperback

About the Book

In this enthralling story of love, loss, and divided loyalties, two students fall in love on the eve of WWI and must face a world at war—from opposing sides.

Cambridge, MA, 1914: Helen Windship Brooks, the precocious daughter of the prestigious Boston family, is struggling to find herself at the renowned Harvard-Radcliffe university when carefree British playboy, Riley Spencer, and his brooding German poet-cousin, Wils Brandl, burst into her sheltered world. As Wils quietly helps the beautiful, spirited Helen navigate Harvard, they fall for each other against a backdrop of tyrannical professors, intellectual debates, and secluded boat rides on the Charles River.

But with foreign tensions mounting and the country teetering on the brink of World War I, German-born Wils finds his future at Harvard—and in America—increasingly in danger. When both cousins are called to fight on opposing sides of the same war, Helen must decide if she is ready to fight her own battle for what she loves most.

Based on the true story behind a mysterious and controversial World War I memorial at this world-famous university, The End of Innocence sweeps readers from the elaborate elegance of Boston’s high society to Harvard’s hallowed halls to Belgium’s war-ravaged battlefields, offering a powerful and poignant vision of love and hope in the midst of a violent, broken world.

Purchase Here:


Amazon | B&N | BAM | IndieBound

About the Author

Allegra Jordan is a writer and global innovation consultant. A graduate with honors of Harvard Business School, she led marketing at USAToday.com for four years and has taught innovation in sixteen countries and five continents.

Connect with Allegra Jordan

Website – http://allegrajordan.com/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/allegrajordan1

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/allegrajordanauthorpage

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6590524.Allegra_Jordan

Praise for End of Innocence

“This engaging debut from Jordan tells the love story of two college students who pursue their romance as World War I begins.”

“Jordan does a terrific job of contrasting the superficial formalities of the initial chapters depicting New England social life with the grueling realities of life in the trenches. Also on display is her knack for taking what at first seem like throwaway or background details and making them central to the story’s last third…”

“A thoughtful look at a turning point in world history.”

Helen is a sympathetic and complicated main character. Her strengths and weaknesses keep the reader’s attention, making this a worthwhile read.” – Kirkus

“A thoughtful work that offers an interesting perspective on the period.” – Booklist

“Reminiscent of Jacqueline Winspear’s Maise Dobbs books without the mystery, this novel explores the complications involved when war becomes personal. Jordan builds empathetic characters and an intriguing story. Library Journal ” – Library Journal

“Allegra Jordan’s The End of Innocence is a moving ode to a lost generation. With lyrical prose and rich historical detail, Jordan weaves a tale in which love overcomes fear, hope overcomes despair, and the indelible human spirit rises up to embrace renewal and reconciliation in the face of loss and destruction.” – Allison Pataki, New York Times bestselling author of The Traitor’s Wife

“Love in a time of war….surely there is no more compelling or romantic theme in all of literature Yet this fine debut novel appeals to the brain as well as the heart. Allegra Jordan brings us historical fiction at its best.” – Lee Smith, New York Times bestselling author of Guests on Earth and The Last Girls

“A delicious, well-crafted historical novel.” – Daniel Klein, NYT best-selling co-author of PLATO and A PLATYPUS WALKS INTO A BAR

“Downton Abbey has found a brilliant successor in this spellbinding tale of love, death, and war. The finest war fiction to be published in many years.” – Jonathan W. Jordan, bestselling author of Brothers, Rivals, Victors

“An exquisitely beautiful novel.” – William Ferris, UNC-Chapel Hill professor and former chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities


Harvard Yard

Wednesday, August 26, 1914

It was said that heroic architects didn’t fare well in Harvard Yard. If you wanted haut monde, move past the Johnston Gate, preferably to New York. The Yard was Boston’s: energetic, spare, solid.

The Yard had evolved as a collection of buildings, each with its own oddities, interspersed among large elm trees and tracts of grass. The rich red brickwork of Sever Hall stood apart from the austere gray of University Hall. Appleton Chapel’s Romanesque curves differed from the gabled turrets of Weld and the sharp peaks of Matthews. Holworthy, Hollis, and Stoughton were as plain as the Pilgrims. Holden Chapel, decorated with white cherubs above its door and tucked in a corner of the Yard, looked like a young girl’s playhouse. The red walls of Harvard and Massachusetts halls, many agreed, could be called honest but not much more. The massive new library had been named for a young man who went down on the Titanic two years before. There were those who would’ve had the architect trade tickets with the young lad. At least the squat form, dour roofline, and grate of Corinthian columns did indeed look like a library.

The Yard had become not a single building demanding the attention of all around it but the sum of its parts: its many irregular halls filled with many irregular people. Taken together over the course of nearly three hundred years, this endeavor of the Puritans was judged a resounding success by most. In fact, none were inclined to think higher of it than those forced to leave Harvard, such as the bespectacled Wilhelm von Lützow Brandl, a senior and the only son of a Prussian countess, at that hour suddenly called to return to Germany.

A soft rain fell in the Yard that day, but Wils seemed not to notice. His hands were stuffed in his trouser pockets; his gait slowed as the drops dampened his crested jacket, spotted his glasses, and wilted his starched collar. The dying elms, bored to their cores by a plague of leopard moths, provided meager cover.

He looked out to the Yard. Men in shirtsleeves and bowler hats carried old furniture and stacks of secondhand books into their dormitories. This was where the poor students lived. But the place had a motion, an energy. These Americans found no man above them except that he prove it on merit, and no man beneath them except by his own faults. They believed that the son of a fishmonger could match the son of a count and proved it with such regularity that an aristocrat like Wils feared for the future of the wealthy class.

He sighed, looking over the many faces he would never know. Mein Gott. He ran his hands through his short blond hair. I’ll miss this.

His mother had just wired demanding his return home. He pulled out the order from his pocket and reread it. She insisted that for his own safety he return home as soon as possible. She argued that Boston had been a hotbed of intolerance for more than three hundred years, and now news had reached Berlin that the American patriots conspired to send the German conductor of the Boston Symphony to a detention camp in the state of Georgia. That city was no place for her son.

She was understandably distressed, although he was certain the reports in Germany made the situation sound worse than it was. The papers there would miss that Harvard was welcoming, for instance. If the front door at Harvard was closed to a student due to his race, class, or nationality, inevitably a side door opened and a friend or professor would haul him back inside by his collar. Once a member of the club, always a member.

But Boston was a different matter. Proud, parochial, and hostile, Boston was a suspicious place filled with suspicious people. It was planned even in pre-Revolutionary times to convey-down to the last missing signpost-“If you don’t know where you are in Boston, what business do you have being here?” And they meant it. Wils kept his distance from Boston.

Wils crumpled the note in his hand and stuffed it into his pocket, then walked slowly to his seminar room in Harvard Hall, opened the door, and took an empty seat at the table just as the campus bell tolled.

The room was populated with twenty young men, their books, and a smattering of their sports equipment piled on the floor behind their chairs. After three years together in various clubs, classes, or sports, they were familiar faces. Wils recognized the arrogant mien of Thomas Althorp and the easy confidence of John Eliot, the captain of the football team. Three others were in the Spee Club, a social dining group Wils belonged to. One was a Swede, the other two from England.

The tiny, bespectacled Professor Charles Townsend Copeland walked to the head of the table. He wore a tweed suit and a checked tie and carried a bowler hat in his hand along with his notes. He cast a weary look over them as he placed his notes on the oak lectern.

The lectern was new with an updated crest, something that seemed to give Copeland pause. Wils smiled as he watched his professor ponder it. The crest was carved into the wood and painted in bright gold, different from those now-dulled ones painted on the backs of the black chairs in which they sat. The old crest spoke of reason and revelation: two books turned up, one turned down. The latest version had all three books upturned. Apparently you could-and were expected to-know everything by the time you left Harvard.

It would take some time before the crest found its way into all the classrooms and halls. Yankees were not ones to throw anything out, Wils had learned. He had been told more than once that two presidents and three generals had used this room and the chairs in which they sat. Even without this lore, it still wasn’t easy to forget such lineage, as the former occupants had a way of becoming portraits on the walls above, staring down with questioning glares. They were worthy-were you?

Professor Copeland called the class to order with a rap at the podium. “You are in Advanced Composition. If you intend to compose at a beginning or intermediate level, I recommend you leave.”

He then ran through the drier details of the class. Wils took few notes, having heard this speech several times before.

“In conclusion,” Copeland said, looking up from his notes, “what wasn’t explained in the syllabus is a specific point of order with which Harvard has not dealt in some time. This seminar started with thirty-two students. As you see, enrollment is now down to twenty, and the registrar has moved us to a smaller room.

“This reduction is not due to the excellent quality of instruction, which I can assure you is more than you deserve. No. This new war calls our young men to it like moths to the flame. And as we know moths are not meant to live in such impassioned conditions, and we can only hope that the war’s fire is extinguished soon.

“If you do remain in this class, and on this continent, I expect you to write with honesty and clarity. Organize your thoughts, avoid the bombastic, and shun things you cannot possibly know.

“Mr. Eliot, I can ward off sleep for only so long when you describe the ocean’s tide. Mr. Brandl, you will move me beyond the comfort of tearful frustration if you write yet another essay about something obscure in Plato. Mr. Althorp, your poems last semester sounded like the scrapings of a novice violinist. And Mr. Goodwin, no more discourses on Milton’s metaphors. It provokes waves of acid in my stomach that my doctor says I can no longer tolerate.”

Wils had now heard the same tirade for three years and the barbs no longer stung. As Copeland rambled, Wils’s mind wandered back to the telegram in his pocket. Though a dutiful son, he wanted to argue against his mother’s demands, against duty, against, heaven forbid, the philosophy of Kant. His return to Germany would be useless. The situation was not as intolerable as his mother believed. These were his classmates. He had good work to accomplish. The anti-German activity would abate if the war were short-and everyone said it would be.

“Brandl!” Copeland was standing over him.


“Don’t be a toad. Pay attention.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Come to Hollis 15 after class, Mr. Brandl.”

Thomas snickered. “German rat.”

Wils cast a cold stare back.

When the Yard’s bell tolled the hour, Professor Copeland closed his book and looked up at the class. “Before you go-I know some of you may leave this very day to fight in Europe or to work with the Red Cross. Give me one last word.”

His face, stern for the past hour of lecturing, softened. He cleared his throat. “As we have heard before and will hear again, there is loss in this world, and we shall feel it, if not today, then tomorrow, or the week after that. That is the way of things. But there is also something equal to loss that you must not forget. There is an irrepressible renewal of life that we can no more stop than blot out the sun. This is a good and encouraging thought.

“Write me if you go to war and tell me what you see. That’s all for today.” And with that the class was dismissed.

* * *

Wils opened the heavy green door of Hollis Hall and dutifully walked up four flights of steps to Professor Copeland’s suite. He knocked on a door that still bore the arms of King George III. Copeland, his necktie loosened at the collar, opened the door.

“Brandl. Glad I saw you in class. We need to talk.”

“Yes, Professor. And I need your advice on something as well.”

“Most students do.” The professor ushered Wils inside.

The smell of stale ash permeated the room. The clouds cast shadows into the sitting area around the fireplace. Rings on the ceiling above the glass oil lamps testified to Copeland’s refusal of electricity for his apartment. The furniture-a worn sofa and chairs-bore the marks of years of students’ visits. A pitcher of water and a scotch decanter stood on a low table, an empty glass beside them.

Across the room by the corner windows, Copeland had placed a large desk and two wooden chairs. Copeland walked behind the desk, piled high with news articles, books, and folders, and pointed Wils to a particularly weathered chair in front of him, in which rested a stack of yellowing papers, weighted by a human skull of all things. Copeland had walked by it as if it were a used coffee cup.

“One of ours?” asked Brandl, as he moved the skull and papers respectfully to the desk.

The severe exterior of Copeland’s face cracked into a smile. “No. I’m researching Puritans. They kept skulls around. Reminded them to get on with it. Not dawdle. Fleeting life and all.”

“Oh yes. ‘Why grin, you hollow skull-‘”

“Please keep your Faust to yourself, Wils. But I do need to speak to you on that subject.”


“No, death,” said Copeland. His lips tightened as he seemed to be weighing his words carefully. His face lacked any color or warmth now. “Well, more about life before death.”

“Mine?” asked Wils.

“No. Maximilian von Steiger’s life before his death.”

“What the devil? Max…he, he just left for the war. He’s dead?”

Copeland leaned toward him across the desk. “Yes, Maximilian von Steiger is dead. And no, he didn’t leave. Not in the corporeal sense. All ocean liners bound for Germany have been temporarily held, pending the end of the conflict in Europe.”

Wils’s eyes met Copeland’s. “What do you mean?”

“Steiger was found dead in his room.”



Wils’s eyes stung. His lips parted, but no sound came out. “You are sure?”

As Copeland nodded, Wils suddenly felt nauseous, his collar too tight. He had known Max nearly all his life. They lived near each other back in Prussia; they attended the same church and went to the same schools. Their mothers were even good friends. Wils loosened his tie.

“May I have some water, please, Professor?” Wils finally asked in a raspy voice. As Copeland turned his back to him, Wils took a deep breath, pulled out a linen handkerchief, and cleaned the fog from his spectacles.

The professor walked over to a nearby table and poured a glass of water. “How well did you know Max?” he asked, handing the glass to Wils.

He took the tumbler and held it tight, trying to still his shaking hand. “We met at church in Prussia when we were in the nursery. I’ve known him forever.”

“Did you know anything about any gaming debts that he’d incurred?”

Debts? “No.”

“Do you think that gaming debts were the cause of his beating last week?” asked Copeland, sitting back in his desk chair.

Wils moved to the edge of his seat. The prügel? Last Wednesday’s fight flashed into his mind. There had been a heated argument between Max and a very drunk Arnold Archer after dinner at the Spee dining club. Max had called him a coward for supporting the British but not being willing to fight for them. It wasn’t the most sensible thing to do given Archer ran with brawny, patriotic friends. On Thursday at the boathouse Max had received the worst of a fight with Archer’s gang.

“It was a schoolboys’ fight. They were drunk. Max was beaten because Arnold Archer was mad about the Germans beating the British in Belgium. Archer couldn’t fight because America’s neutral, so he hit a German who wouldn’t renounce his country. These fights break out all the time over politics when too much brandy gets in the way. People get over their arguments.”

“Didn’t Max make some nationalistic speech at the Spee Club?”

Wils’s back stiffened in indignation. “If Max had been British it would have gone unnoticed. But because he was German, Archer beat him.” He paused. “Max was going to tell the truth as he knew it, and thugs like Archer weren’t going to stop him.”

Copeland tapped a pencil against his knee. “How well do you think his strategy worked?”

Wils’s eyes widened. “Being beaten wasn’t Max’s fault, Professor. It was the fault of the person who used his fists.”

“Wils, Arnold Archer’s father is coming to see me this evening to discuss the case. His son is under suspicion for Max’s death.”

“I hope Arnold goes to jail.”

“Arnold may not have been involved.”

Wils set the glass down on the wooden desk and stood up. “He’s a pig.”

“Wils, according to Arnold, Max tried to send sensitive information about the Charlestown Navy Yard to Germany.” A faint tinge of pink briefly colored the professor’s cheeks. “Arnold said he knew about this and was going to go to the police. Max may have thought that he would go to jail for endangering the lives of Americans and British citizens. And if what Arnold said was right, then Max may have faced some very serious consequences.”

“America’s not at war.”

The professor didn’t respond.

“Why would Max do such a thing then?” asked Wils curtly.

“Arnold says he was blackmailed because of his gaming debts.”

“What could Max possibly have found? He’s incapable of remembering to brush his hair on most days.”

Copeland threw up his hands, nearly tipping over a stack of books on the desk. “I have no idea. Maybe America’s building ships for England. Maybe we’ve captured a German ship. Apparently he found something. Sometime later, Max was found by his maid, hung with a noose fashioned from his own necktie. His room was a wreck.” Copeland looked at him intently. “And now the police don’t know if it was suicide or murder. Arnold might have wanted to take matters into his own hands-as he did the other night after the Spee Club incident.”

Wils ran his hands through his hair. “Arnold a murderer? It just doesn’t make sense. It was a schoolboys’ fight. And Arnold’s a fool, but much more of a village idiot than a schemer.”

“Don’t underestimate him, Wils. He’s not an idiot. He’s the son of a very powerful local politician who wants to run for higher office. His father holds City Hall in his pocket.”

“Are you speaking of Boston City Hall?”


“I could care less about some martinet from Boston. I’m related to half the monarchs in Europe.” Wils sneered.

“City Hall has more power over you right now than some king in a faraway land,” said Copeland. “Arresting another German, maybe stopping a German spy ring-that would be exactly the thing that could get a man like Charles Archer elected to Congress. I’d recommend you cooperate with City Hall on any investigation into Max’s death. If you have information, you will need to share it.”

“If Arnold killed Max-” He stopped, barely able to breathe. Max dead by Arnold’s hand? Unthinkable. “Was there a note?”

“No, nothing. That’s why the Boston police may arrest Archer even if his father does run City Hall. Either it was a suicide and it won’t happen again, or perhaps we need to warn our German students about…a problem.” Copeland’s fingers brushed the edge of his desk. “That was the point of my summoning you here now. It could’ve been suicide. Therefore, the police want to talk with you before innocent people are accused, and I’d recommend you do it.”

But Wils had already taken the bait. “Innocent people? Arnold Archer? Is this a joke?” asked Wils.

“He may not be guilty.”

Wils paused. “I’m not sure how much money his father’s giving Harvard, but it had better be a lot.”

“That’s most uncharitable!”

“And so is the possible murder of a decent human! Where’s Professor Francke? I’d like to speak with him. He is a great German leader here on campus whom everyone respects. He’ll know how to advise me.”

“You are right. Professor Francke is a moderate, respected voice of reason. But he’s German and the police questioned him this morning. He is cooperating. His ties to the kaiser have naturally brought him under suspicion. City Hall thinks he could be a ringleader of a band of German spies. The dean of students asked me to speak with you and a few others prior to your discussions with the police. They should contact you shortly regarding this unpleasantness.”

“If that is all-” Wils bowed his head to leave, anger rising in his throat from the injustice of what he’d heard. First murder and now harassment were being committed against his countrymen, and somehow they were to blame for it? Not possible. Professor Francke was one of the most generous and beloved professors at Harvard. Max was a harmless soul.

“Wils, you had said you wished to ask me about something.”

Wils thought back to his mother’s telegram. Perhaps she’d been right to demand his return after all. He looked up at Copeland, sitting under an image of an old Spanish peasant. He seemed to have shrunk in his large desk chair.

“No, Professor. Nothing at all. Good day.”

Copeland didn’t rise as Wils turned to enter the dimly lit hallway. As his eyes adjusted, a famous poem Copeland had taught him in class-Matthew Arnold’s “Dover Beach”-came to him. Wils turned back to his teacher and said:

“For the world, which seems

To lie before us like a land of dreams,

So various, so beautiful, so new,

Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,

Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;

And we are here as on a darkling plain-”

Copeland brightened. “‘Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight, where ignorant armies clash by night,'” they finished together. Wils nodded, unable to speak further.

“Matthew Arnold has his moments. Do take care, Wils. Stay alert. I am concerned about you and want you to be safe. The world is becoming darker just now. Your intellectual light is one worth preserving. Now please close the door from the outside.” Copeland looked down again, and the interview was over.

* * *

The rain had driven the students inside their dormitories and flooded the walkways in Harvard Yard. As Wils left Hollis Hall, he removed his tie and pushed it into his pocket. The damned Americans talk brotherhood, he thought, but if you’re from the wrong side of Europe you’re no brother to them.

Max dead. Arnold Archer under suspicion. And what was all of that ridiculous nonsense about the Charlestown Navy Yard, he wondered, deep in thought, nearly walking into a large blue mailbox. He crossed the busy street and walked toward his room in Beck Hall.

In his mind, he saw Max trading barbs at the dinner table and laughing at the jests of Wils’s roommate, Riley, an inveterate prankster. And how happy Max had been when Felicity, his girlfriend from Radcliffe College, had agreed to go with him to a dance. But he’d been utterly heartbroken when she deserted him last year for a senior. This past summer Wils and Max had walked along the banks of the Baltic, when they were back in Europe for summer vacation. He said he would never get over her and he never really had. So what had happened to him?

Anger at the injustice of Max’s death welled up inside Wils as he opened the arched door of Beck Hall and walked quickly past Mr. Burton’s desk. The housemaster didn’t look up from his reading. Wils shut the door to his room behind him. His breath was short. His hands hadn’t stopped trembling. He had to find Riley and discuss what to do about Arnold.

What was happening to his world? His beautiful, carefully built world was cracking. Germany and Britain at war? Max dead? Professor Francke hauled in and questioned?

Wils felt a strange fury welling up inside of him. He wanted something to hurt as badly as he did. He picked up a porcelain vase and hurled it against the brick fireplace. It crashed and shattered, the blue-and-white shards scattering over the crimson rug.

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13. Pick of the Week for PET and This Week’s Topic


It’s Illustration Friday!

We’re excited to announce this week’s topic, but first please enjoy the illustration above by Oriol San Julián, our Pick of the Week for last week’s topic of PET. Thanks to everyone else for participating. We hope it was inspiring!

You can also see a gallery of all the other entries here.

And of course, you can now participate in this week’s topic:


Here’s how:

Step 1: Illustrate your interpretation of the current week’s topic (always viewable on the homepage).

Step 2: Post your image onto your blog / flickr / facebook, etc.

Step 3: Come back to Illustration Friday and submit your illustration (see big “Submit your illustration” button on the homepage).

Step 4: Your illustration will then be added to the participant gallery where it will be viewable along with everyone else’s from the IF community!

Also be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter and subscribe to our weekly email newsletter to keep up with our exciting community updates!


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14. MONSTER Giveaway, Including COMPULSION, SNOW LIKE ASHES, and ICE LIKE FIRE #ReadOrWriteAnywhere

I'm back from Dallas, and wow! I've never been to a convention that huge or that full of energy. There were fabulous workshops and bookish events. I got to embarrass myself at the YA slumber party in my pajamas. I met some die hard Eight fans, and hopefully created some new ones-- interacting with readers is always so much fun and one of my favorite things about being a writer. Plus I got to fangirl over some of my favorite authors and discover that they were the BEST people in person.

The AMAZING and gorgeous Brenda Drake, who was in one of our early First Five Pages workshops, went on to start Pitch Wars and get a fantastic pub deal. SO excited for all her success -- and she's the loveliest person ever.

With Mary Lindsey, Bailey Hewlett (ibbookblogging) and Lindsay Cummings,
and all of them are incredibly kind and lovely
With Zoraida Cordova, Tara Hudson, J.R. Johansson, Victoria Scott and Bree Despain. Talk about a brilliant and intimidating bunch, but they were all so warm and kind that I could almost forget to be overwhelmed. : )
The whole week was crazy, but also incredible. Now I have a year to recover before the next one!

In the meantime, I’ve teamed up with the YA Chicks and many participating authors on a global campaign to encourage readers, writers, students, and teachers to share pictures all of the places—both ordinary and extraordinary—where they are reading and writing. This is open to all readers/writers of both middle grade and young adult books!

You can also take part in...


I’ll be giving away a signed hardcover of COMPULSION plus a lovely bunch of swag plus a Skype visit.

Three plantations. Two wishes. One ancient curse.

All her life, Barrie Watson has been a virtual prisoner in the house where she lives with her shut-in mother. When her mother dies, Barrie promises to put some mileage on her stiletto heels. But she finds a new kind of prison at her aunt’s South Carolina plantation instead—a prison guarded by an ancient spirit who long ago cursed one of the three founding families of Watson Island and gave the others magical gifts that became compulsions.

Stuck with the ghosts of a generations-old feud and hunted by forces she cannot see, Barrie must find a way to break free of the family legacy. With the help of sun-kissed Eight Beaufort, who knows what Barrie wants before she knows herself, the last Watson heir starts to unravel her family's twisted secrets. What she finds is dangerous: a love she never expected, a river that turns to fire at midnight, a gorgeous cousin who isn't what she seems, and very real enemies who want both Eight and Barrie dead.

"Darkly romantic and steeped in Southern Gothic charm, you'll be compelled to get lost in the Heirs of Watson Island series." -- #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Jennifer L. Armentrout

"A fresh twist on the Southern Gothic — haunting, atmospheric, and absorbing.” -- Claudia Gray,
New York Times bestselling author of A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU and the Evernight and Spellcaster series

"Compulsion is a stunningly magical debut with a delicious slow burn to be savored. I want to live in this story world!" -- Wendy Higgins,
USA Today and NYT bestselling author of the Sweet Evil Trilogy


Every author participating in this campaign is giving away books, critiques, swag and/or Skype visits.

So are you ready?

Drum roll….

If you don't have this book on your TBR, you're going to be missing out!

Can you guess where I am? (I'll give you the restaurant part, but I actually snuck away to read in the middle of the event for which I'm providing the clues below. Just name the week-long event I recently attended!)
  • Home of the Cowboys . . . 
  • Romance cover models walking around all week . . . 
  • Over 600 authors attended . . . 
  • Over 2500 eager readers were there . . . 
  • Teen day with signings, pizza, and parties with free books galore . . . 
Once you’ve figured out where I’m reading, head over to the YA Chicks site and officially enter the giveaway by inputting each author’s name and your guesses about our locations. 
  • Every author location you guess correctly increases your chances to win. 
  • For even more chances, post a picture of yourself reading or writing on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #ReadOrWriteAnywhere (must have the hashtag). 
For writer prize packs:
  • Post pictures of yourself writing in a fun location on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #ReadOrWriteAnywhere. 
  • Follow the directions on the Rafflecopter giveaway to let us know you did it. 
For even more chances:
  • Gather your writer friends together and post a group shot with the hashtag #ReadOrWriteAnywhere (must have the hashtag). 
  • And hey, since you're already together, why not host a write-a-thon? 
For teacher prize packs:
  • Post pictures of your class reading or writing on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #ReadOrWriteAnywhere (must have the hashtag). 
  • Let us know you did it when you enter the Rafflecopter. If you don't have a Twitter or Instagram, you can email your picture directly with the picture pasted directly into the email (no attachments--we won't open them) AND the subject, “Read or Write Anywhere.” 
  • You can also check out the YA Chicks Read or Write Anywhere lesson plan, available on their site
Now, what are you waiting for? Get out there and READ OR WRITE ANYWHERE!



I've got a hardcover of Sara Raasch's SNOW LIKE ASHES and an ARC of the sequel ICE LIKE FIRE. Are you a fan? Jump in and grab them for yourself. And don't forget to stop by the blog every Monday and Tuesday for lots more giveaways!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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15. Google- Thank You

google cartoon - monica guptaGoogle Search cartoons

Monica Gupta

While searching  my cartoons  on net . I pressed Google search… i found so many cartoons of mine … as it was not possiple to share all cartons  so i am sharing some of these cartoons

You can also type Monica Gupta cartoons on Google search and see many more  … :)

Thank You Google …

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16. FABRICS - art gallery : playing pop

Art Gallery Fabrics have listed some of their forthcoming collections for 2015, and showcased them at the Quilt Fair this week. One of those that really appealed to me was Playing Pop. This lively collection was designed in house by the AGF Studio and features two different colour groups. Here's how AGF describe the collection "Bits and pieces of upbeat sounds get illustrated on the same page

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17. Perfect Picture Book Friday - A Special Occasion

Today is a special day, so I'm going to depart slightly from my usual Perfect Picture Book post and tell you a (very condensed :)) story.

Once upon a time, I had a house full of babies - diaper-clad, chubby-limbed, crawling, walking, running, climbing, lap-snuggling, bedtime-reading, dressing-up, imagining, adventuring, singing, dancing, laughing, mile-a-minute children who filled our home with energy, love, and joy.

And they did what kids will do.

In what feels like a heart beat, they grew up.

This weekend, we will celebrate not one, but two graduations.

While they mark wonderful new beginnings, they also mark the end of an era, and it's making me a wee bit nostalgic.

So I want to share a special Perfect Picture Book Collection - a round-up of the family favorites that made up so many happy hours of reading at nap time and bedtime, on rainy afternoons or long car drives, with parents, grandparents, and older siblings - a little glimpse of those golden childhood years which seem to have flown by far too quickly.

(Many have been reviewed for Perfect Picture Books and link to their reviews on the blogs of the wonderful PPBF bloggers who shared them.  And a few I realized, had been reviewed at one time, but the links are no longer active - so they could be done again :))

Goodnight Moon

Dear Zoo

Each Peach Pear Plum

The Itsy Bitsy Spider

The Cat In The Hat

The Cat In The Hat Comes Back

Green Eggs And Ham

Go, Dog, Go! (was reviewed but link is no longer active)

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

Make Way For Ducklings (was reviewed but link is no longer active)

Blueberries For Sal (was reviewed but link is no longer active)

Harry The Dirty Dog

Bedtime For Frances (whole series)

Madeline (whole series) (has been reviewed twice but don't have links on hand)

Curious George

All The Places To Love

The Camel Who Took A Walk

Mike Mulligan And His Steam Shovel

George And Martha (whole series)

The Story Of Ferdinand

Flap Your Wings

Contrary Bear

Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon (has been reviewed but don't have link on hand)

Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse

Julius The Baby Of The World


Cowgirl Rosie And Her Five Baby Bison

The Giant Jam Sandwich

The King, The Mice, And The Cheese

The Best Nest

The House On East 88th Street (whole series)

Mole Music

Of course there were many others, but those are some of the tried-and-true, beloved by all the kids regardless of age, stage, or gender, that were read over and over so often that I used to be able to recite many of them by heart.  If you're looking for a list of best books to give as a baby gift, or just want a field-tested group of favorites, I highly recommend all of the above :)

Today's picture-book-aged kids likely have a different set of favorites, but I'm curious: how many of these are on your list of family favorites?

This weekend's graduations are scheduled for the same day... same time... different states, which means neither child will have her whole family in attendance, and none of us will be able to attend both milestone moments (which, as you can imagine, is causing a great deal of heart wrenching.)  It also means that in order to attend at least part of each child's momentous occasion, there will be a lot of traveling, so please forgive me if I fail miserably to visit your blogs and read your choices this weekend.  I will try to catch up next week!

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

PPBF bloggers please be sure to leave your post-specific link in the list below so we can all come visit you!

Have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend, and enjoy whatever events you may have planned, or just happy time with your families!

Happy beginning of summer :)

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18. That weird story-planning stage

Right now, I’m in the planning stages for a new series. I’ve barely started writing — just enough to get a good feel for the voice — and I’m making lists and lists of things I know I want to include. It’s a weird part of the process. There’s not a lot to say, “Okay, I did this today.” Ideas come randomly, and there’s not much to show for it besides a lot of daydreaming. Here’s how I’m trying to harness it all. (And make myself feel better about all that daydreaming time.)

1. A notebook. 

I picked out a pretty notebook for this story. a) Pretty notebooks make me happy. b) It’s proven very useful for jotting down random ideas. (You know, those ideas you think, “There’s no way I’ll forget this!” and then immediately forget them. Know thyself. Write down those ideas.)

To be honest, getting a notebook for this story started out as an excuse to buy a notebook. But while traveling last month, I stuck the notebook in my purse — then found myself reaching for it when I experienced something that might fit with the book. I wrote down things I saw, heard, felt — and wrote lists of questions for myself. Almost out of nowhere, I wrote descriptions of fictional places I’d previously had no thoughts on.

I’ve been making note of title ideas, figuring out the story structure across the series, and stories about the world’s history. Every story-related thought that occurs to me ends up in this notebook. Unless I have my computer with me, and . . .

2. Scrivener.

I know it isn’t for everyone, but it’s definitely for me. I vaguely remember how I wrote before Scrivener, and let’s just say it wasn’t pretty.

One of the first things I do when I open a new Scrivener project is make a bunch of chapters, character sheets, and location sheets. They don’t need to be filled in right away. It’s just nice to have them. I also open a bunch of documents under the “research” section with things like the original idea for the story (whatever it was that intrigued me enough to write a whole novel/series about it!), any notes I’ve taken, broken down by subject, a query-style pitch, and a synopsis.

It just makes me feel good to have all those things there, ready to be filled in when I know what needs to go there.

For this particular project, since the structure is a little different than I typically write, I pulled out the index card function and used the labels to help me keep track of point of view and timeline. (So some say “so and so’s past” while others say “present.”) And because it was difficult for me to wrap my brain around writing a synopsis for such a weird timeline, I began filling in the index cards with a chapter’s worth of story each. It may not stay that way in the end (few things do make it until the final draft), but it really helped me settle on how the various stories would work and overlap and influence each other.

3. Time. 

This one has been difficult for me. I get excited about projects and want to dive right in, but I’ve been forced to take this one a little more slowly. (Mostly because I haven’t had the opportunity for diving. Every time I vanquish a deadline, two more take its place.)

But taking my time with the planning stage of this project has also been incredibly useful. In my experience, the more I try to force story to happen, the less likely I am to be pleased with the results. I’ll forget details. Skip the sort of depth that I want to write about. Cause the characters to do uncharacteristic things.

Giving myself the space to dip in and out of the story — forgetting about any self-imposed deadlines — is letting me dig deeper. After all, the goal isn’t to win some imaginary race, but to write a book I’m proud of.

So, what do you think? Anything to add? Anything you do differently in this weird pre-writing stage? I want to hear it!

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19. Oh God

घर के सामने से पिछ्ले चार पांच दिन से एक सहेली का बेटा जाता दिखता था. वो शायद अभी नौंवी क्लास में आया है.  कभी उसके हाथ में सब्जी लिए टोकरी तो कभी प्रैस के कपडे… मैने देख कर सोचती अरे वाह !!! कितना अच्छा बच्चा है घर के काम करता है आजकल तो बच्चों से घर का काम तो करवा ही नही सकते … कुछ भी कहो और उनका इंकार सुनने के लिए तैयार रहो … वही एक तरफ ये बच्चा है  तो घर के काम  बिना शिकन या थकावट लाए खुशी खुशी कर रहा है

By chance शाम को मेरी सहेली भी मिल गई. मैने उसे कहा कि उसका बेटा तो बहुत समझदार है घर के सारे काम करता है. आजके बच्चे तो सुनते ही नही किसी की . इस पर वो हैरान हुई और बोली … घर का काम … मतलब ही नही …. किसी दूसरे बच्चो को देखा होगा …

दो दिन बाद पता चला कि उनका बेटा  ट्यूशन जाता था और टयूशन वाले सर अपने घर का कम करवाते थे और हैरानी की बात ये भी है उनका काम वो खुशी खुशी करता जबकि घर पर अगर मार्किट से प्याज लाने को भी कह दो तो बच्चे बिदक जाते हैं पर टयूशन के सर को खुश करने के चक्कर में बच्चे उनका काम खुशी खुशी करते है … हे भगवान …


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20. Suicide Squad Struggles To Replace Tom Hardy?


It looks as though DC’s ‘Suicide Squad’ is struggling to find a replacement for Tom Hardy… but Will Smith and Margot Robbie seem confident that things are going well.

Suicide Squad Struggles To Replace Tom Hardy?
It’s likely to be one of DC’s most important films of the next few years – ‘Suicide Squad’ sets up a number of iconic villains and might even feature a certain Dark Knight. But there’s already a bit of a problem. Following the departure of Tom Hardy, it looks as though Warner Bros. is having trouble finding an actor to step into his shoes.

But can they find their Rick Flagg Jr. before it’s too late?

During an interview with USA Today, Will Smith and Margot Robbie discussed the upcoming ‘Suicide Squad’ movie… and why there’s still no Rick Flagg after Tom Hardy’s departure.

“We’ve still got to get it right,” said Smith. And he’s not kidding. Rick Flagg Jr. is one of the main characters in the upcoming DC adaptation… and if it’s anything like the comic books, it seems they’re currently without a leader.

But Margot Robbie explains that she’s really not concerned.

“This happens all the time,” she said. “People act like, ‘Oh my god, the movie must be ending!’ It’s just the deal with movies.”

Of course, it’s certainly not unheard of to find actors dropping out of big budget Hollywood blockbusters… but with ‘Suicide Squad’s April start-date looming, they’d better pull their socks up.
We’ve already heard that Jake Gyllenhaal has been approached for the role, but ultimately passed. And since then, it’s been all quiet on the western front. But with Rick Flagg Jr. as a relatively unknown character to the movie-going masses, will WB find someone to take it on?

“A lot of the characters haven’t been portrayed before so it’s a pretty big undertaking,” said Robbie. “And it’s a big undertaking for the people who are going to play the characters who have been played, like the Joker [played by Jared Leto]. It’s big shoes to fill.”

I can’t help thinking that for the time being, the biggest shoes to fill are those of Tom Hardy. And if the movie stands a chance at staying on time and on budget, they’re going to need to find their replacement pretty soon.

Let’s just hope that whoever takes over is the perfect fit to lead the squad.

‘Suicide Squad’ heads to cinemas on 5 August 2016.

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21. What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week, Plus What I DidLast Week, Featuring Bénédicte Guettier,Patrick McDonnell, Daniel Salmieri, and Charlotte Voake

– From Meet the Dullards
(Click to enlarge spread)


– From The Skunk


“Unfortunately, an octopus is not a very suitable pet.
You should see the mess he makes in the bathroom!”
– From
Melissa’s Octopus and Other Unsuitable Pets
(Click to enlarge spread)


– From I am the Wolf … And Here I Come!


Today over at Kirkus, I write about the coolest picture book award you’ve never heard of, the Bull-Bransom Award from the National Museum of Wildlife Art. That link will be here soon.

* * *

Last week I wrote (here) about four new picture books — Sara Pennypacker’s Meet the Dullards, illustrated by Daniel Salmieri (Balzer & Bray, March 2015); Mac Barnett’s The Skunk, illustrated by Patrick McDonnell (Roaring Brook, April 2015); Charlotte Voake’s Melissa’s Octopus and Other Unsuitable Pets (Candlewick, April 2015); and Bénédicte Guettier’s I am the Wolf … And Here I Come! (Gecko Press, January 2015). Today, I follow up with art from each book. (Note: Sorry about the lines in the art from Guettier. Those lines indicate the gutter of the book.)

Enjoy the art …


Art from Sara Pennypacker’s
Meet the Dullards,
illustrated by Daniel Salmieri:


“After they finished painting the room, Mr. and Mrs. Dullard tried not to look at the walls. But it was no use—they were completely mesmerized.
All day long, the Dullards watched the paint dry.”

(Click to enlarge spread)


(Click to enlarge)


“That night, Mr. and Mrs. Dullard fell asleep right away,
secure in the knowledge that their children were perfect bores.”

(Click to enlarge)



Art from Charlotte Voake’s Melissa’s Octopus
and Other Unsuitable Pets


“Sometimes he’s upstairs …
and he ends up downstairs by mistake.”

(Click to enlarge)



Art from Mac Barnett’s The Skunk,
illustrated by Patrick McDonnell:


(Click second image to see spread in its entirety)


(Click second image to see spread in its entirety)



(Click second image to see spread in its entirety)



Art from Bénédicte Guettier’s I am the Wolf …
And Here I Come!



* * * * * * *

I AM THE WOLF … AND HERE I COME! First American Edition published in 2015 by Gecko Press USA. Illustrations reproduced by permission of the publisher.

MEET THE DULLARDS. Copyright © 2015 by Sara Pennypacker. Illustrations copyright © 2015 by Daniel Salmieri. Illustrations reproduced by permission of the publisher, Balzer & Bray/HarperCollins, New York.

MELISSA’S OCTOPUS AND OTHER UNSUITABLE PETS. Copyright © 2014 by Charlotte Voake. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA on behalf of Walker Books, London.

THE SKUNK. Copyright © 2015 by Mac Barnett. Illustrations copyright © 2015 by Patrick McDonnell. Illustrations reproduced by permission of the publisher, Roaring Brook Press, New York.

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22. FABRICS - lewis & irene

For today's Friday eye candy we are taking at look at some of the lovely fabric prints available from UK company Lewis & Irene. Some of the designs are available right now, and others are due for release over the coming months.

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23. मैनेंजमैंट फंडा

article- monica guptaदैनिक भास्कर अखबार

Funda February 1 2013   BY  N Raghuraman

Resilience is a law of nature

Recently I went for a condolence. The family had suddenly shrunk from four members to three. But that one member who is no more today was enough to create a situation of a “band baaza bharat” everyday. All three members would be talking about the fourth member all the time. The conversations include where is she, hope she is not doing any masti, why she is so silent, what has been cooked for her, had she gone to her toilet or not, who will take her for a walk etc. Every human being will be talking about this member who is more than a human being and an apple of everyone’s eye.

The casual and sick leaves of the three were consumed only when this member was falling sick. In fact she was such stress buster at home no one else fell sick other than herself. All three members never grumbled to take leave to take care of this fourth member when the later used to fall ill.

That member who died was their 12-year-old female member of the family and a loyal companion was a watchman also. Nobody dared entered their house in their absence. It was a tiny brown and gold colour Pomeranian who used to run around the house all the time carrying something from somewhere to the main hall to attract to the attention of her masters.

Masters either used to pet and pat her for the job well done or would say that she should not carry that particular item hence forth. She understood every instruction and every word of her multiple masters.

Since last three months, she was very quiet, not eating food, not greeting people, no sniffing any new comer and his belongings. The house had become dead by and large. First they thought it is her general sickness. As the situation did not improve they tried different doctors, then they took her to the best of the doctors, every part of her body was scanned, nothing came out of those scanning.

Then they took her to the best of the animal hospital India can offer—Tata’s animal hospital at Parel in Mumbai found the reason for her inability to eat food. Her pancreas was strangulated by an organ growth which is not allowing the food to go. She was operated upon and found the growth is huge like a tumour but only thing is that the doctors at that time were not aware that it was cancerous or not.

She used to silently cry. The corners of the brown dog’s eyes were slowly getting black with flowing water. Doctors told the family that she is going through a terrible pain. They could not see her in pain and they requested the doctors not to treat her and allowed her to die.

I came back from the condolence and logged on to my computer. Cartoonist Monica Gupta from Sirsa, Haryana, had posted on her facebook page a picture of dry Tulsi plant, that she forgotten to water due to heavy winter. It became dry and there was not a single leaf. She decided to bring new sapling that evening to change. But the bad weather did not give her the courage to touch the mud. So she left the pot as it is.

Three days later when the weather subsided, she suddenly saw little green leaves spurting from the dried stems at different places. She was happy that the plant had come back to life. She immediately went to water the plant and feed with some manures. And she was happy she did not kill the plant three days before thinking that it died.

I don’t know why the dog came to my mind. Had they not stopped the treatment the chances of it coming back to life was there or not, I have no clue. Only doctors are the best advisors. But it certainly occurred to my mind. I clicked ‘like’ on Monica Gupta’s post, the first of that kind of an activity in my social networking life.

Funda is that life is resilient. Give it a chance and it will make every effort to repair itself and bounce back. Every creature or life inherently possesses the power of resilience. 

रधु रमन जी ने अपने  इस लेख में  Face book https://www.facebook.com/linkmonicagupta पर छ्पे एक लेख का जिक्र किया … मेरे लिए बहुत खुशी और आश्चर्य का विषय था …

The post मैनेंजमैंट फंडा appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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24. Dwayne Johnson Explains Black Adam’s Motives In Shazam


It looks as though Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is already getting into the spirit of ‘Shazam’… and explains that he can’t wait to play a different kind of villain.
Dwayne Johnson Explains Black Adam’s Motives In Shazam
During an interview with HeyUGuys, the 43-year-old wrestler-turned-DC-villain explained why he finds Black Adam so interesting…

“I can’t wait,” said Johnson when asked if he’s looking forward to playing a villain. “He’s a unique type of villain. When you start off as a slave, you’re not in a good mood!”

Of course, fans of DC’s New 52 will already know his backstory…

It turns out that Black Adam was a slave who was teleported from his prison cell by the wizard Shazam, and was granted superhuman powers – the same powers as the hero, Shazam.
A predecessor to the DC hero, his powers are accessed in much the same way – by uttering the magic word ‘shazam’ to transform himself into Black Adam. But it’s Adam’s origin that seems to interest Johnson the most.

“There’s a heavy wrath that a lot of people have to pay,” he said. “But when it’s fuelled by a righteous anger if you will, like Black Adam, then you open up to what the character can be which I’m really excited about. That’s why he’s not just a straightforward bad guy.”

And there’s been much speculation that Black Adam won’t end up being a bad guy at all.

During numerous interviews, Dwayne Johnson has hinted that Black Adam may eventually turn into more of an antihero… and that’s something that certainly fits with the character’s comic book origins.
“Kneel at his feet or get crushed by his boot,” he said via Twitter. “My honor to become.. #BlackAdam #TheAntiHero #DCComics”

Although originally a straight-forward villain of Shazam, he was eventually developed by Geoff Johns into an antihero who attempting to clear his name – even becoming a member of the Justice Society of America.

Will this version ever make it to the big screen? For now, we’ll have to wait and see. But I get the feeling that Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is going to have a lot of fun with this role.

‘Shazam’ heads to cinemas on 5 April 2019.

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25. Smile

Mona Lisa, Mona Lisa
Men have named you
You're so like the lady with the mystic smile
Is it only cause you're lonely
They have blamed you
For that Mona Lisa strangeness in your smile

Do you smile to tempt a lover, Mona Lisa
Or is this your way to hide a broken heart
Many dreams have been brought to your doorstep
They just lie there, and they die there
Are you warm, are you real, Mona Lisa
Or just a cold and lonely, lovely work of art

Nat King Cole //  Mona Lisa

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