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1. Weekend Links: Great Booklists that are Just in Time for Summer Reading

Welcome to Weekend Links! This is my chance to share what I consider some of my my ‘top finds’ that I have discovered over the course of the week. This week there was a plethora of delightful and timely booklists for kids that are just in time for summer reading. Enjoy!

21 Picture Books with Diverse Characters from Erica at What Do We Do All Day.

Diverse Picture books

Children’s Books About Being Different at Cutting Tiny Bites

books about being different

Read and Learn About Mexico at Planet Smarty Pants

books about Mexico
Thirteen FUN Geography Books for Kids @edsnapshots

geography for kids
Kids Books About Telling the Truth  by @artsy_momma

Kids Books about Lying and Telling the Truth

20 Kids Crafts & Activities Inspired by Books at KCEdventures

Book Inspied Activities
12+ Books about Botany for Kids at Study at Home Mama

12+ Botany Books for Kids
Best Books for Middle School  at Research Parent

Selection of Best Books for Middle School

Top 10 Roald Dahl Book List ~ With Go-Along Activities @Creekside-Learning

Roald Dahl books
Over 20 Children’s Books about Weather (Fiction and Nonfiction) @buggyandbuddy

books about weather

The Spring Sale has been EXTENDED! I have two of my most popular books on a super special sale until May 31st!

book sale

The Waldorf Homeschool Handbook: The Simple Step-by-Step guide to creating a Waldorf-inspired #homeschool. And for a limited time, this best-selling book by Donna Ashton, The Waldorf #Homeschool Handbook is now only $17.95 until May 31st, 2015 ! http://amzn.to/1OhTfoT

Enjoy more month-by-month activities based on the classic children’s tale, The Secret Garden! A Year in the Secret Garden is a delightful children’s book with over 120 pages, with 150 original color illustrations and 48 activities for your family and friends to enjoy, learn, discover and play with together. AND, it’s on sale for a limited time! Grab your copy ASAP and “meet me in the garden!” http://amzn.to/1DTVnuX

 

The post Weekend Links: Great Booklists that are Just in Time for Summer Reading appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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2.

memorial-day-images-clip-art-free-2015

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3. How Teamwork Brought Me Closer to Teens

When I started working at a multi-branch system, my whole world turned upside down; I came from the craziness of a single library system with a large teen population to a smaller branch with a tiny teen population.  Although this has thrown me for a bit of loop, I decided that in order to stay in touch with teens, and not let my years of experience lay by the way side, I will work more closely with my colleagues who do serve a large teen population. In other words I’d outsource myself.

What I mean by “outsourcing” is literally working more closely with colleagues to provide and implement new programs and services. Through these interactions, I have been able to step out of my home library branch and visit other branches to present, and implement, new programs and services. Although I still need to build up teen programming, at my main branch, I sincerely believe that we should not let an obvious factors like location, or lack of a teen audience, keep our ideas from getting to our colleagues and teens all over the city. In fact, for this summer, I was able to get two of my colleagues excited about a no sew blanket program; this singular program will be at three branches instead of one! Furthermore, the best thing about working with your colleagues is that they are just a phone call, or e-mail away, and are willing to try new things, and/or help us out in any way they can. More importantly, by co-hosting programs at different branches, we have access to information that will help us gauge the interests of the entire teen community.

Through these exclusive opportunities, we can not only get suggestions from actual teens, we can also get very valuable feedback, which could easily change the way we evaluate our programs and services. Either way, this is definitely a win-win situation for all of us since we can take this valuable information back to our branches and plan programs and services that will get teens into our buildings. By establishing a stronger connection between ourselves and our colleagues, we have a much better chance of finding out what teens are really looking for at our libraries and in our city. Not to mention, this partnership will allow us to get know our colleagues interests and talents, which is very advantageous and re-assuring because we know there are other people in our systems who are just as passionate as we are about serving teens.

Along with co- planning, and co-hosting programs with our colleagues, I want to continue the dialogue about taking the extra step in getting to know our teens. Although we may try every social media outlet we know and make a million flyers, we need to remember that if we want to know what teens want, we have to go into our communities and find out from the source itself. Again, we have our standard outreach programs and resources, but we need to keep trying other methods of connecting with teens. For example, if schools are having a volunteer fairs, we can pick up the phone and ask if we can set-up a booth. Another example: if we know teens are flooding the local coffee shop to study, why not drop off flyers there or maybe host a passive program at the venue. The sky is the limit with ideas so try one and run with it. However, don’t forget about the obvious factors, which are working with teachers and school administrators to get the word out that the library does offer teens programs and services. I know it can be a pain communicating with teachers and administrators, but persistence really pays off. Whether we invade the local high schools, create Teen Advisory Boards, visit other branch libraries, or hang out at Teen Centers, the best way to find out what teens want is to ask! This is the best data we could ever ask for so let’s run with it and work together to make it known that teens have a place in public libraries and, more importantly, that they have people in their corner who truly care about their interests and well-being.

Now that we have an idea of what teens want, and have a team of people who are willing to help makes these ideas a reality, the next part is to enjoy ourselves. Despite the countless amounts of hours we put into implementing programs, the real payoff is to see teens enjoy themselves and actually say they want to come back for the next program. More importantly, it’s imperative that we show our teens that we really enjoy these programs so get involved with them! Whether it’s an art project, a fitness program, or a presentation, become part of the program as well. One program that I had the most fun with was our Silent Library program, which involved a lot of prep and organization; I was literally exhausted, but, when I saw what these teens had to go through, my sides hurt from laughing so much, which made them laugh even more because I was in pain from laughing. Planning, and implementing programs, is only is a step towards having fun; the real fun is watching, and interacting, with our teens so dream big, don’t be afraid to ask for help, and enjoy!

 

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4. #BookADay | YOU NEST HERE WITH ME by Jane Yolen, Heidi Stemple and Melissa Sweet (Boyds Mill)

Heidi and Jane were kind enough to answer Three Questions for me earlier this year:

Three Questions With Jane Yolen: Advice For Young Writers, Books, Tea and YOU NEST HERE WITH ME

Three Questions With Heidi Stemple: Advice For Young Writers, Owls and YOU NEST HERE WITH ME

---------------------

More info: Donalyn Miller's Summer Book-A-Day Challenge | Archives of my #BookADay posts

 

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5. Comic: Plot For Sale

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6. Library Loot: Fourth Trip in May

New Loot:
  • One Crow Alone S.D. Crockett
  • After the Snow by S.D. Crockett
  • Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
  • Alice's Tulips by Sandra Dallas
  • Return to Gone-Away by Elizabeth Enright
  • To All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
  • Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Biography by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Leftover Loot:
  • Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss
  • I Wish That I Had Duck Feet by Dr. Seuss
  • Fox in Socks by Dr. Seuss
  • I Had Trouble Getting to Solla Sollew by Dr. Seuss
  • Miles from Nowhere by Amy Clipston
  • Dear Hank Williams by Kimberly Willis Holt
  •  Stella by Starlight by Sharon Draper
  • Evidence Not Seen by Darlene Deibler
  • The Cottage in the Woods by Katherine Coville
  • Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams-Garcia 
  • The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights by John Steinbeck
  • The Midwife's Tale by Sam Thomas
  • Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas, translated by Richard Pevear
  • Murder at Mullings by Dorothy Cannell
  • Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George
  • Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George
  • Princess of the Silver Woods by Jessica Day George
  • The Black Cauldron by Lloyd Alexander
  • Cursed in the Act by Raymond Buckland
  • Here There Be Dragons by James A. Owen
  • The Search for the Red Dragon by James A. Owen
  • Indigo King by James A. Owen
  • The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
  •  Dr. Seuss's Sleep Book
  • The Far Side of Evil by Sylvia Louise Engdahl
  • The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914 by Margaret MacMillan
  • The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
  • One Summer by David Baldacci
  •  Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
    Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Linda from Silly Little Mischief that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries 

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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7. Superstition/ face book

Blind Faith … Superstition …

एक फेसबुक मित्र बहुत समय से फेसबुक पर नही दिखी तो मैने उसे मैसेज करके पूछा तो वो बोली कि पिछले दिनों उसने अपनी  एक  दो  तस्वीरे डाली थी  उसपर 200 से ज्यादा लाईक और कमेंट मिले उस दिन के बाद से उसकी तबियत खराब हो गई … मैने पूछा कि तबियत खराब और तस्वीर का आपस में क्या ताल मेल.. तो वो बोली कि नजर लग गई … फोटो बहुत सुंदर आई थी ना नजर लग गई … उसने  बताया कि उसकी सासू मां  भी यही कह रही है कि इसलिए अब वो कुछ दिन फेसबुक पर नही आएगी और आएगी भी तो अपनी फोटो नही  डालेगी.वही कुछ दिन पहले  एक फेसबुक सहेली ने बताया था  कि फेसबुक पर उसने भगवान जी की फोटो शेयर नही की इसलिए उसका दिन बहुत खराब गया. बास से लडाई हो गई और  नौकरी छोडनी पड  रही है.

एक अन्य जानकार ने अपने हजारों दोस्तों को डिलीट  कर नया एकाऊंट बनाया और अपने नाम की स्पैलिंग बदल दी. पूछ्ने पर बताया कि ये ज्यादा शुभ है और इससे ज्यादा दोस्त बनेंगें. मैने देखा कि इतने दिन हो गए और अभी तक उसकी दोस्ती का आकंडा 200 को भी पार नही कियाjail by monica gupta

Oh God ! तभी मुझे याद आया कि कल जय ललिता जी की  CM शपथ लेने के दौरान  राष्ट्रीय गान बीच में ही रुकवा दिया गया ताकि शुभ मुहुर्त न निकल जाए और फिर  शपथ ली. वैसे ये किसी चैनल पर तो नही देख पाई,  आया  होगा, पर अखबार मे जरुर पढा और पढने के बाद दुख हुआ कि आज 21 वीं सदी मॆं हम किस तरह का संदेश देने का प्रयास कर रहे हैं . हमें इन पर रोक लगाने का सोचना चाहिए या वाकई में  बाते मायने रखती है.

The post Superstition/ face book appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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8. Prayer for Memorial Day


On this Memorial Day, we pray for those who courageously laid down their lives for the cause of freedom.  

May the examples of their sacrifice inspire in us the selfless love of Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Bless the families of our fallen troops, and fill their homes and their lives with Your strength and peace.

In union with people of goodwill of every nation, embolden us to answer the call to work for peace and justice, and thus, seek an end to violence and conflict around the globe.We ask this through Christ our Lord.Amen.

(Credit http://www.diocesepvd.org/a-prayer-for-memorial-day/) 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Multi Award-winning Children's Author

Ignite curiosity in your child through reading!

Connect with

A Sandy Grave ~ January 2014 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ 2014 Purple Dragonfly 1st Place Picture Books 6+, Story Monster Approved, Beach Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, Reader's Favorite Five Star Review


Powder Monkey ~ May 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Hockey Agony ~ January 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ New England Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Literary Classics Silver Award and Seal of Approval, Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention and Dan Poynter's Global e-Book Awards Finalist

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9. How an #ink #drawing starts. #Sketch #studio #bookart (at 17th...


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10. Heather Dixon, author of ILLUSIONARIUM, on writing on a train

We're thrilled to have Heather Dixon here to tell us more about her latest novel ILLUSIONARIUM.

Heather, what was your inspiration for writing ILLUSIONARIUM?

Terry Pratchett.  The Discworld books are stories that I can read over and over and over, and so a lot of that humor transferred over into Illusionarium—including wry footnotes.  He has recently passed on, which broke my heart.

What scene was really hard for you to write and why, and is that the one of which you are most proud? Or is there another scene you particularly love?

I’d say every scene I’ve gotta write is like being bled by leeches.  It’s an agonizing process. Definitely the scenes where Jonathan’s sister was getting hurt, those were hard for me—she never really had a way to fight back.  But I absolutely adored the scenes with the character Lockwood in them.  He stole the show.

What book or books would most resonate with readers who love your book--or visa versa?

Possibly fans of the "Larklight" series by Phillip Reeve, or the "Airborn" series by Kenneth Oppel would like Illusionarium; also fans of steampunk in general.  And of course, those who love Terry Pratchett!

How long did you work on ILLUSIONARIUM?

About four years.  Crazy.

What do you hope readers will take away from ILLUSIONARIUM?

Mostly I just hope readers are entertained and enjoy the humor!  Esp. the footnotes, lol.
At the core, Illusionarium is a story about inner compasses.  So what people take away from that is up to them, I think.

What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?

I write on the train.  My commute is about 2 hours a day, so that's great writing time.  When I'm on deadline, I spend entire Saturdays on the train too--just going end-of-the-line to end-of-the-line, typing away.  The train is a great place to write.  I can't get any writing done at home...too much other work to do!

What are you working on now?

I'm working on a retelling of the Nutcracker.  We'll see if it goes anywhere!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Illusionariumby Heather Dixon
Hardcover
Greenwillow Books
Released 5/19/2015

What if the world holds more dangers—and more wonders—than we have ever known? And what if there is more than one world? From Heather Dixon, author of the acclaimed Entwined, comes a brilliantly conceived adventure that sweeps us from the inner workings of our souls to the far reaches of our imaginations.

Jonathan is perfectly ordinary. But then—as every good adventure begins—the king swoops into port, and Jonathan and his father are enlisted to find the cure to a deadly plague. Jonathan discovers that he's a prodigy at working with a new chemical called fantillium, which creates shared hallucinations—or illusions. And just like that, Jonathan is knocked off his path. Through richly developed parallel worlds, vivid action, a healthy dose of humor, and gorgeous writing, Heather Dixon spins a story that calls to mind The Night Circus and Pixar movies, but is wholly its own.

 Purchase Illusionarium at Amazon
Purchase Illusionarium at IndieBound
View Illusionarium on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


386042Heather Dixon grew up in a large family with four brothers and six sisters. She is a storyboard artist as well as a writer, and lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Viennese waltz is her dance of choice. She is the author of the novel Entwined.



What did you think of our interview with Heather Dixon, author of ILLUSIONARIUM? Let us know in the comments!

Happy reading,
Martina, Jocelyn, Shelly, Jan, Lisa, Susan, and Erin

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11. Revisiting Palace of Stone

Palace of Stone. (Princess Academy #2) Shannon Hale. 2012. Bloomsbury. 323 pages. [Source: Library]

I definitely enjoyed rereading Shannon Hale's Palace of Stone, the sequel to Princess Academy. It was great to read these two books back to back. Having that continuity certainly helped me appreciate it all the more.

Miri is the heroine of Palace of Stone. Princess Academy concludes with Prince Steffan choosing Miri's friend, Britta, to be his wife. Britta and Steffan had known each other before and had fallen in love with each other. But Britta was not from Mount Eskel. Not until her father pushes her into a big deception: she MUST go live a year on Mount Eskel, she must be an orphan sent to live with oh-so-distant relatives on the mountain. She must attend the academy. No one but Miri and Britta and Steffan know the absolute truth. (Well, obviously her ambitious parents know.)

Palace of Stone opens with Miri and a handful of other Princess Academy graduates preparing to go with traders to the capital city. They have all been invited by Britta, they are her ladies. Miri will have an extra privilege as well. She'll be the first person from Mount Eskel to go to university. (Queen's Castle) She is thrilled and anxious and overwhelmed. She really WANTS to learn, to keep on learning, to absorb as much as she possibly can, so she can return to the village she loves and teach others what she's learned in her year away. She is a most eager and motivated student. She's also a great listener. She tries to stay close to Britta and the others, but, it isn't always easy since she's so busy.

And then there is of course her spying. Katar, the representative of Mount Eskel, her former classmate, has begged for Miri's help. She KNOWS that many are discontent and eager for revolution. But she can't seek these 'traitors' out herself and spy for the royal family. But Miri, well, she can be her eyes and ears. She may quite naturally come across these people at university or in the community. (Miri does have greater access, wider access, than some of the other girls.)

Miri learns all about the cause of 'the shoeless.' What she learns about the royal family, what she learns about the nobility, changes her. How can she LIKE such despicable people who are so cruel, so smug, so unfeeling?! She loves Britta, and, she wants to believe that Steffan isn't just like his father, but, she sees the rightness of the cause...

What will Miri do? What can she do? Will revolution come and change the kingdom forever? Or will Miri find a way to save the day?

Readers definitely meet a lot more characters in Palace of Stone. And the book is a quick, satisfying read. Her love of Peder remains strong throughout despite the fact that she's tempted a few times to entertain the attentions of another young man--a fellow student.

The book is beautifully complex in its characterization. It's easy to recommend both books. 

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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12. Swimming in the Dark

For years I’ve held an image in my head of a plant growing toward the light as a way of understanding the writing process. It was an image that a beloved writing teacher shared with me years ago, and the image of my work growing toward the light--drawn to the light--helped me through some dark passages in my life as I tried to sort out which direction to follow in terms of what I wanted to

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13. Mike Curato Interviewed by Martha Brockenbrough: The #LA15SCBWI Pre-Conference Interview

Click on over to read this chat between SCBWI Team Blog's Martha Brockenbrough and debut author/illustrator Mike Curato.


They talk day jobs and publishing dreams, polka dot elephants and shows at cupcake stores. Martha even gets Mike's time-traveling advice to himself years ago, which includes this gem:

"Make things that make you smile inside."

Mike's publishing journey is one of our "SCBWI Success Stories" featured at the upcoming 2015 SCBWI Summer Conference on a Friday afternoon panel (that I'll be moderating, and that will also feature Martha herself!)

Mike will also be co-leading a Saturday Breakout session with agent Brenda Bowen on "The Artist Agent Relationship!"

We hope you can join us for #LA15SCBWI – and perhaps it will be the path to your own SCBWI Success Story! Detailed conference information and registration here.

Illustrate and Write On,
Lee

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14. OLW 2015 Check-In

How is your OLW serving you?

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15. On the wall

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16. Color Photography from 1913

In its informal pose and rich color, this photograph looks like it was shot in 1973, but actually it was taken in 1913. 

It used the Autochrome process, developed in 1903 by the Lumière brothers, using glass plates covered with potato starch. Motoring pioneer Mervyn O’Gorman took the photo, with his daughter Christina posing. The lack of era-specific costume details adds to the sense of timelessness.
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This and seven other photos of Christina at Bored Panda

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17. On Seller Greed And Buyer Stupidity

An up-date.  I know you are all anxious to find out what the £50 reduced to £25 concrete gnome sold for at a VERY frosty auction.  £5.00.  Chancers luck.
****************************************************************************



This item has been re-listed several times on Ebay and from the description you will see why:


SLICK-FUN-ALBUM-1954-VARIOUS-Acceptable-1111111111




Item specifics


Condition: Acceptable : Split the cost with friends

Seller notes:“Dust jacket absent with major damage to the spine and boards including a missing spine, bumped corners and soiling. Inscribed on the front and back end-papers. A number of the images have been coloured in, with annotations and underlinings throughout. The page edges are tanned and a little dusty with foxing creeping into occasional pages. This book is beginning to show its age with usual signs of wear and damage to the binding, including damage to the hinges inside both boards. GRADED COMMENSURATE WITH AGE OF BOOK DUST JACKET ABSENT PLEASE BE AWARE THIS BOOK IS PRE 1965 AND THE GRADE WILL REFLECT IT'S AGE”


To which I can only respond with a derisory "bollocks, mate!" And I am being serious here though I am not naming the 'trader' because I found others linked to Ebay and Amazon asking anywhere from £25-£65.00 for this and another Swan album.

They all use the con-man phrases of "Very rare" or "THE GRADE WILL REFLECT IT'S AGE" -meaning it is old and tatty but you will never find another bargain like this.  The implication is also that the book(s) are so rare that if you buy it you can later sell it for what you want.

The fact that this particular seller has re-listed the book three times to my knowledge proves the lie in that.

This is like going into W. H. Smith and being offered a 2013 Dandy annual for £40 that they found battered and moldy in a corner: "Well, you know how popular the Dandy is and you will NOT find another 2013 annual in shops....oh, someone scribbled in it and the spine is battered but this reflects its age."  As an example a 2013 Dandy Annual is going for 99p to £2.80 on Ebay but there is this item:

"THE DANDY COMIC THE LAST EVER ISSUE AND THE DANDY ANNUAL 2013 - BRAND NEW"

"Only" £19.95 but you can get the gift set 2013 Beano and Dandy Annuals (2 annuals!)  for £2.00 and a copy of the last ever Dandy comic will cost you between £2.35-£3.00 that is all three for £4.35 -£5.00. Where the feck do you get £19.95 (oh, and add the postage) from?

Chancers and con-men.
Take a look at my copy of the same 1954 Slick Fun Album that arrived yesterday.  Shiny cover, no damage and apart from a 1 inch tear of one page margin near the spine, perfect.  The paper quality is great, not 100% but we were still on paper rationing back then.  

Cost? £7.50 WITH postage and packaging.  That is correct because there is no "huge collectors market" for Swan books -I've picked up comics for £2.00 in pristine condition.  

The most I ever paid for a Swan album was £10.00 which included p&p and I paid that because there was something specific within I needed.  As it turned out I got a complete refund when I found 4 pages missing but the strip I wanted was intact.  The dealer:"These pop up all the time I just never checked inside this copy"

There were THOUSANDS of these books printed and I have talked with reputable dealers who handle comic annuals and we all agreed that, based upon the market interest (usually people fooled into believing they are buying printed gold!), quality of paper/print and the fact that about 99.9% of the creators had never been major names (on that I disagree as E. H. Banger -pronounced as in "ranger"- was a major contributor to Platinum, Golden and even Silver Ages comics though his work has been belittled by many morons who claim to be comic historians) then £5-7.00 for an annual is a decent price.

If you, as comickers, keep buying these books at over-inflated prices then the crooks will keep increasing the prices.  It just means they make a huge profit and you have lost money and have a book worth £5-7.00 and unless you are an over zealous fan it is just an over-priced book.

It's rather like the 1970s "banned" UK Action weekly comic issues -one for sale on Ebay had reached £700 an hour ago.  Here is a truth that I was told by the bosses at the company: they still sold the banned issues but "one had to pretend to maintain order".  So, there are many more "banned" issue copies out there than you think because the whole industry was crooked and had its ways -burn books that cost money?  Yeah. Right.

'Rare' Alan Class copies going for £20-35 each.  That's a crook trader and a VERY dumb buyer. For any Class comic a standard price would be £2.50 max if you really wanted that issue.  Fantastic weekly "Ultra/Very rare Silver Age"...the joke is that thousands of copies of this comic are sold every month on Ebay...that is a LOT of very rare/ultra rare comics! 

Some utter moron, I'm sorry but he/she is, purchased a copy of the old print Comic Bits as a "rare silver age fanzine" -"rare"/"silver age" and "fanzine" being very false for the first two and "shady" with the third. I still have copies.  Oh, the moron paid £28.00 and £5.00 postage (???? for an A5 42 pager).

I remember about five years ago a BBC TV day time antique show (sell your old junk mainly -Cash In The Attic?) had their expert ("X" =the Unknown and "spurt" is a drip under pressure) look at a 1969 Star Trek Annual.  "Well, it's 1960s and Star Trek so you can ask £30 for it!" he declared as only chancers do.  Did it sell? No.  

In charity shops and two comic shops the same annual was on sale for £1.50.  

Similar price on Ebay...until Leonard Nimoy died and prices hit £25-40.00....why???  Leonard Nimoy did not write nor draw nor have any connection with these reprints of Gold Key comics other than there was a character called "Mr Spock".  Go on, sell the annual for the price you paid on Ebay.

But the greed goes on and as someone once wrote: "there is one born every minute" -a recent Batman issue had an asking price, on the same day as it was on sale in comic shops, of $12-19.00!  One long time comicker wrote online "F*** this. I'm waiting til it goes into the back issue bins!"  And guess what? Some of those selling the book at a high price were found to be shop owners who had not "been able to get hold of enough copies" for their standing orders...at the regular price.  And the old "I doubt we can get a copy as they've sold out" ploy was used.  One man purchased a copy online after being told this but next visit to the shop "We actually managed to get a copy for you after a lot of effort so its a bit dearer in price" -YES. The ploy I wrote about in a previous post.

When it was tried on me I said "Too bad. I got my copy online because you said you COULD NOT get a copy" (furious, whining shop staff).

You are an enabler if you allow this.  Seriously, draw a line!

I have a foot high concrete, mass produced gnome in my garden. An antique programme just on the TV had a dealer wanting £50 but he got knocked down to £25. 

Suckers.

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18. Now That You're Here Book Review

Title: Now That You're Here Author: Amy K. Nichols Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers Publication Date: December 9, 2014 ISBN-13: 978-0385753890 304 pp. ARC provided by publisher Here's another book in the current parallel universes mini-trend, Now That You're Here by Amy K. Nichols. There's dual narration by Danny, a street artist in Phoenix who lands in his doppleganger's body

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19. Ken Burns delivers the 2015 Commencement Address

Ken Burns recently shared a commencement speech important to all of us, not just this graduating class. I urge you to listen to every bit of it. Click the image to go listen on YouTube.

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20. Vogalonga 2015 in Venice - The World's Most Pleasant Boat Race

Vogalonga 2015
(Venice, Italy) The Vogalonga or "long row" has evolved into an international rowing event, with people who have a passion for boats that are propelled only by oars or paddles arriving in Venice from all over the world. It is one of the most beautiful days to be in Venice because there are no motorboats allowed -- not even the vaporettos run on the Grand Canal.

Vogalonga 2015
Rowing clubs from the Veneto and beyond fill the lagoon with the sweet sound of oars gliding into the water. Even though there are no cars in Venice, the noise the motor boats make with their grinding engines sometimes sounds as bad as the Los Angeles freeway. On Vogalonga, the loudest noises are made by human voices and the pounding drums that keep the dragon boats on track. The silence is awesome... and inspiring.

Vogalonga 2015
The Vogalonga began 41 years ago, back in 1974. A group of Venetians who were rowing enthusiasts wanted to draw attention to how motor boats run by fossil fuel were damaging the Grand Canal and lagoon by the violent waves they made -- something that Venetians still fight to bring to the world's attention today. They decided to have a long, non-competitive race, starting in the Bacino of San Marco in front of Palazzo Ducale.

Vogalonga 2015
The route is about 30 kilometers long (about 19 miles), winds out past the islands, and ends up on the Grand Canal -- really one of the most fantastic routes on the planet that a rower could hope to enjoy. It takes anywhere from 2 hours (if you're very fast) to 6 hours (if you want to kick back and see the scenery) to complete the race.

The event is entirely self-funded -- no sponsors, no government support -- just the €20 entry fee each rower pays to participate. These days there are thousands of participants; each year seems to set a new record.

Vogalonga 2015
For a few hours, on the day of the Vogalonga, it is easy to see how Venice came to be called La Serenissima -- the Most Serene Republic. How peaceful and serene the world seems without gasoline motors!

CLICK to go to the official Vogalonga website.

Ciao from Venezia,
Cat
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog

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21. Memorial Day 2015

This weekend we celebrate Memorial Day, a day to take some time and think about those men and women who served their country and are no longer with us.

I found this poem on the International War Veterans' Poetry Archives: War and its Consequences, a site where veterans' and their families can post poems about their experiences.  The poem below was written in 1981 by Kelly Strong when he was in high school.  It is a tribute to his dad who was a career marine and served two tours of duty in Vietnam.  I think this poem speaks for itself this Memorial Day.

FREEDOM IS NOT FREE

I watched the flag pass by one day,
It fluttered in the breeze;
A young Marine saluted it,
And then he stood at ease.

I looked a him in uniform,
So young, so tall, so proud;
With hair cut square and eyes alert,
He'd stand out in any crowd.

I thought…how many men like him
Had fallen through the years?
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothers' tears?

How many pilots' planes shot down
How many died at sea
How many foxholes were soldiers' graves
No, Freedom is not Free.

I heard the sound of Taps one night,
When everything was still;
I listened to the bugler play,
and felt a sudden chill;

I wondered just how many times
That Taps had meant "Amen"
When a flag had draped a coffin
of a brother or a friend;

I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands
With interrupted lives.

I thought about a graveyard
At the bottom of the sea,
Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
No. Freedom is not Free!

Used with permission ©Copyright 1981 by Kelly Strong
You can contact him at kellystrong@aol.com

In Memoriam
FCP 1955-2001

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22. News & Newsletter

sitting in my office, contemplating what to write...

I've been wanting to try out TinyLetter for a little while now, having subscribed to a few newsletters that use it, and so I took some time to create a newsletter aimed at sending out information, musings, etc. about my upcoming collection, Blood: Stories, which Black Lawrence Press will release in January.

Why create such a thing when I've already got this here blog? Because I think of this blog as a more general thing, not really a newsletter. I will put all important information about Blood here (as well as on Twitter, and I'll make a Facebook author page one of these days), but the newsletter will have more in-depth material, such as details of the publishing process, background on the stories, etc. There will be some exclusive content and probably even some give-aways, etc. I probably should have titled it Etc., in fact... And it's not all limited to Blood — if you take a look at the first letter, you'll see some of the range I'm aiming for. That letter is public, and some of the future ones will be, too, but for the most part I expect to keep the letters private for subscribers only. (I've always wanted to be part of a cabal, and now I've started my own!)

One of the things I note in that first letter is that Mike Allen is running a Kickstarter to raise funds for his fifth Clockwork Phoenix anthology, and all backers can now read a 2006 story of mine that Mike first published, "In Exile". This is, as far as I remember, the only story I've ever published set in the typical fantasy world of elves and wizards and all that. (To learn why, read the newsletter!) Mike made an editorial suggestion for the manuscript that completely fixed a major problem with the story, so I've always been tremendously grateful to him, and I'm thrilled that it's now available to backers of this very worthy Kickstarter.

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23. Brian Katcher, author of THE IMPROBABLE THEORY OF ANA AND ZAK, on avoiding distraction

We're honored to have Brian Katcher stop by to tell us more about his latest novel THE IMPROBABLY THEORY OF ANA AND ZAK.

Brian, what was your inspiration for writing THE IMPROBABLE THEORY OF ANA AND ZAK?

My editor called me up and asked me to write a book about nerds. I told her she had found her author. I didn't need to do ANY research.

What scene was really hard for you to write and why, and is that the one of which you are most proud? Or is there another scene you particularly love?

The hardest scenes to write were the ones where Zak talks about losing his father to cancer. I've never lost anyone before their time.  My favorite scene was the one where Zak has to fight his way through an SCA battlefield. It was funny and exciting, or at least it was to write.

What book or books would most resonate with readers who love your book--or visa versa?

David Levithan's NICK AND NORA'S INFINITE PLAYLIST was certainly an inspiration for this book. One crazy night, the sort of thing that happens very seldom in one's life. And if you like the crazy nerds having an adventure genre, there's Antony John's THOU SHALT NOT ROAD TRIP. And of course my PLAYING WITH MATCHES.

How long did you work on THE IMPROBABLE THEORY OF ANA AND ZAK?

About a year.

What did this book teach you about writing or about yourself?

That as long as I'm writing about something I'm passionate about, it's fun. When I tried to do something trendy (apocalypse books, etc), I failed.

What do you hope readers will take away from THE IMPROBABLE THEORY OF ANA AND ZAK?

That no matter how mainstream geeks and nerds have become, we're still just a bunch of awkward nice guys and girls who are too shy to talk to you.

How long or hard was your road to publication? How many books did you write before this one, and how many never got published?

I never wanted to be a writer, so it came as no surprise that my first book, PLAYING WITH MATCHES, was repeatedly rejected. It was published by literally the last place I sent it to, which, much to my surprise, was a division of Random House. My Second book, ALMOST PERFECT, won the ALA's Stonewall award. Then I hit a five year dry spell. My other published book, EVERYONE DIES IN THE END, came out last year. I have two and a half books that will probably never see the light of day, and one I'm trying to find a home for.

Was there an AHA! moment along your road to publication where something suddenly sank in and you felt you had the key to writing a novel? What was it?

I was down and out in Mexico, wondering what an American could do to mend a broken heart. It was either write a book or join the Zapatista rebels and try to overthrow the Mexican government. And, as I'm an abject coward, I chose the former.

What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?

I can't stand any distraction, not even music. I used to work at coffee shops because there I couldn't be distracted by the internet, but then they all got wifi. I usually write at home after my family has gone to bed. But how can I concentrate on my book when the Wikipedia entry for 'Ernest Goes to Camp' is so poorly written?

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?

Actually write your stupid book instead of just talking about it; get peer feedback, and stick with it.

What are you working on now?

Another assignment from my editor. It's about an idiot man-child who goes back to elementary school to prove to his wealthy father that he's responsible enough to inherit the family business.

That's actually an Adam Sandler movie. You'll just have to wait and see how my next book turns out.

Oh, and I also do book reviews for www.foreveryoungadult.com  Stop by and say hi!

ABOUT THE BOOK

The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zakby Brian Katcher
Hardcover
Katherine Tegen Books
Released 5/19/2015

The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak is Stonewall Award-winning author Brian Katcher's hilarious he said/she said romance about two teens discovering themselves on an out-of-this-world accidental first date at a sci-fi convention.

When Ana Watson's brother ditches a high school trip to run wild at Washingcon, type-A Ana knows that she must find him or risk her last shot at freedom from her extra-controlling parents.

In her desperation, she's forced to enlist the last person she'd ever want to spend time with—slacker Zak Duquette—to help find her brother before morning comes.

But over the course of the night, while being chased by hordes of costumed Vikings and zombies, Ana and Zak begin to open up to each other. Soon, what starts as the most insane nerdfighter manhunt transforms into so much more. . . .

Purchase The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak at Amazon
Purchase The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak at IndieBound
View The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brian Katcher was born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1975. He attended the University of Missouri, Columbia, before dropping out of society and bumming around Mexico for three years. He’s worked as a fry cook, a market researcher, a welding machine operator, a telemarketer (only lasted one day), and a furniture mover. He lived on an Israeli military base one summer, and once smuggled food into Cuba. When he’s not writing, he works as a school librarian. He lives in central Missouri with his wife and daughter. He still hasn’t paid the parking ticket he got in West Virginia in 1997.


What did you think of our interview with Brian Katcher, author of THE IMPROBABLY THEORY OF ANA AND ZAK? Let us know in the comments!

Happy reading,

Martina, Jocelyn, Shelly, Jan, Lisa, Susan, and Erin

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24. How an #ink #drawing starts. #Sketch #studio #bookart (at 17th...



How an #ink #drawing starts. #Sketch #studio #bookart (at 17th Avenue Studios)


Original post by Brian Bowes via Emergent Ideas: http://ift.tt/1KfhZrP

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25. Francesca Zappia, author of MADE YOU UP, on writing what you love

MADE YOU UP is the debut novel by Francesca Zappia, and we're excited to have her here to tell us more about it.

Francesca, how long did you work on MADE YOU UP?

I've been working on MADE YOU UP for over ten years. It hasn't looked the way it does now until just recently, but the characters and settings have always been there, and they've evolved as the story evolved.

What do you hope readers will take away from MADE YOU UP?

I hope they'll take away from the book that it's okay to ask for help. Needing help isn't a weakness, and if you look, there will always be someone willing to help you, whether the issue is inside yourself or with some situation outside you.

What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?

I'll write just about anywhere as long as I have my computer and headphones. I do most of my writing from home, because public spaces feel too...well, public. Sometimes, if I feel like I'm hitting a wall, I'll switch from computer to a notebook and pen. Sometimes I have to go straight loose-leaf paper and let them fall on the floor after I write on them. I pretty much always have to have music though--each story has specific songs or genres of music that fit it best, and listening to those helps center me on that particular story.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?

Write what you love. If you're in a position where you can't write what you love, at least make it interesting to you. If you can't make it interesting to you, then come up with a new idea. If writing is what you love, then writing what you don't like will only depress and frustrate you, and that's no way to live.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Made You Upby Francesca Zappia
Hardcover
Greenwillow Books
Released 5/19/2015

 Reality, it turns out, is often not what you perceive it to be—sometimes, there really is someone out to get you. Made You Up tells the story of Alex, a high school senior unable to tell the difference between real life and delusion. This is a compelling and provoking literary debut that will appeal to fans of Wes Anderson, Silver Linings Playbook, and Liar.

Alex fights a daily battle to figure out the difference between reality and delusion. Armed with a take-no-prisoners attitude, her camera, a Magic 8-Ball, and her only ally (her little sister), Alex wages a war against her schizophrenia, determined to stay sane long enough to get into college. She’s pretty optimistic about her chances until classes begin, and she runs into Miles. Didn't she imagine him? Before she knows it, Alex is making friends, going to parties, falling in love, and experiencing all the usual rites of passage for teenagers. But Alex is used to being crazy. She’s not prepared for normal.

Funny, provoking, and ultimately moving, this debut novel featuring the quintessential unreliable narrator will have readers turning the pages and trying to figure out what is real and what is made up.

Purchase Made You Up at Amazon
Purchase Made You Up at IndieBound
View Made You Up on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Francesca Zappia lives in central Indiana and majors in computer science at the University of Indianapolis. She spends most of her time writing, drawing her characters, and reading. Made You Up is her debut novel.

(Note from the formatter: Made You Up is a phenomenal debut novel. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do!)




What did you think of our interview with Francesca Zappia, author of MADE YOU UP? Let us know in the comments!

Happy reading,

Martina, Jocelyn, Shelly, Jan, Lisa, Susan, and Erin

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