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1. Poems New and Collected

One of only 13 women to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature (out of 111 total laureates), Polish poet Wisława Szymborska (pronounced vees-WAH-vah shim-BOR-ska) was awarded the world's highest literary honor in 1996. A career-spanning work that features poems from eight separate collections, Poems New and Collected offers some four decades of the poet's finest [...]

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2. Song of Solomon

If the only book you've read by Toni Morrison is her Pulitzer Prize–winning novel Beloved, you're missing out. Known for her powerfully evocative prose, her grand mystical tales steeped in black history, her haunting (and haunted) characters, Morrison is an author whose body of work demands attention. Her third novel, Song of Solomon — Barack [...]

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3. To the Lighthouse

Reading Virginia Woolf is like stepping out onto a veranda, where the entire world unfurls before you in dazzling detail. Her unparalleled ability to paint a scene so exquisitely, and to inhabit her characters with such clarity and intensity, makes for an experience that is both awe-inspiring and deeply moving. To the Lighthouse, set in [...]

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4. Current Scratch: Join Us, Volunteer, Business Buzz, & Opportunity


During the dog days of summer, there's nothing better than hunkering down indoors working on your creative projects. Stay cool, my friends!

JOIN US!

Monthly Meeting. On July 29, 2015, we will have discussion, news, and encouragement. Topic: Meet Illustrator Garrett Hines. Meet us at Barnes & Noble in College Station. Gentle critique begins at 9:30 a.m. Bring copies of 5 double-spaced pages of your work in progress. Those who have time stay for lunch at a local restaurant. Members and friends welcome! Want a sneak peek of Garrett? Twitter: @garretthinesart!   Website: http://garretthines.com/

2015 Connections and Craft Workshop. Mark your calendars!  October 10! Full announcement soon. We have exciting speakers! A few hotel rooms will be available for our attendees. Registration opens soon! Watch your email! Email Liz Mertz at brazosvalley@scbwi.org if you don't think you are on the list. This will be a MUST NOT MISS event!

Follow this link to find out about our next regional webinar:  Date/Time 08/11/2015, 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm. Webinar: Children's Book Marketing with Kristen Cappy

VOLUNTEER

Do you have a desire to help young writers?  SCBWI Brazos Valley needs a new coordinator for our annual  Brazos Poets Contest for students in 6th through 8th grade and held in April of each year in conjunction with National Poetry Month. Contact Liz Mertz at brazosvalley@scbwi.org if you are interested.

BUSINESS BUZZ

What are thoughts on audio books? Find out what's new for the future of audio books.

Need some assistance writing emotion in your main character? IBM's new feature for its super computer Watson analyzes the language to determine emotion.  How cool is that?!

OPPORTUNITY

Have a story about witches? Just in time for Halloween. Cicada Magazine is looking for them! Deadline Sept. 9, 2015.


The views expressed here are my own, and not necessarily those of the SCBWI


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5. Faces in the Crowd

As sinuous a novel as Valeria Luiselli's Faces in the Crowd is, it is all the more remarkable on account of it being a debut — and a most assured one at that. The Mexican novelist and essayist's first fiction entwines multiple narratives and perspectives, shifting between them with the ease and gracefulness of a [...]

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6. On Photography

Sontag was good at pretty much everything related to language — she wrote novels, stories, plays, and memoirs. But the best of her efforts were her essays and critical writings. It's difficult to narrow down a single collection to represent her nonfiction work, which ranged from horror movies to encapsulating "camp" to exploring illness as [...]

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7. Illustrations

If you're a picture book writer, how do you handle the illustrations?

http://www.underdown.org/picture-books-illustrations.htm

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8. ‘White River’ by Manddy Wyckens, Anthony Lejeune and Lea Justum

This is a story of a vanished kingdom, a forgotten hero, and a once sacred place.

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9. Reader Means Carrier

One thing I've learned the last decade or so as a reader--make sure to have at least two things to read at all times when leaving the house and it's not a horrible idea to have something that you have been holding off starting sitting in the back seat of your car to boot.

Sparks - May We Shed These Human BodiesThe vast majority of the time I'm out and about, I don't care at all if I get to where I'm headed and there's a big line--that's reading time. Go out for a walk--reading time (be careful though). Even the dreaded traffic jam--while I'm usually a little more upset as I'll most likely be late to where I'm going, it's still reading time.

However, make SURE you have at least two things to read. A couple of books, a book and your eReader, at least a couple of new choices on the eReader, a journal or two. ONE TIME is all it took--maybe 7 or 8 years ago I only took one book with me to the  bank. It Henley - Other Heartbreakswas a Friday after work and there were probably 60 people in line ahead of me. I finished what I had been toting around with a good 20 people still ahead of me. I'm all for re-reading great stuff, but rarely do I start up the second I finish. Since then, at least two things with me every time I go out.

Today I was toting around a couple of story collections I probably should have been toting around at least a few years ago:  May We Shed These Human Bodies by Amber Sparks (Curbside Splendor) and Other Heartbreaks by Patricia Henley (Engine Books)--two great writers representing two fantastic publishers.

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10. A Big Post On The Way....

...I Hope!

So long as my eyes hold out I hope to get a longer than the average post out this week.  I have had a great deal of time these past two weeks to think about the current comic situation.  There are many countries out there that are not as well off as the UK but with no real comics industry and I'll be looking at that.

However, the UK, as it is, is dead as far as comics as a business is concerned.  But I'll go into this more later.

So keep checking back!

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11. Publishing Jobs: Smithsonian Books, Macmillan

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12. A Field Guide to Getting Lost

Solnit is one of the most eloquent, urgent, and intelligent voices writing nonfiction today; from Men Explain Things to Me to Storming the Gates of Paradise, anything she's written is well worth reading. But her marvelous book of essays A Field Guide to Getting Lost might be her most poetic, ecstatic work. Field Guide is [...]

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13. Artist of the Day: Jared Chapman

Discover the work of Jared Chapman, Cartoon Brew's Artist of the Day!

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14. Editorial Submission :: Victor Medina

Post by Natalie

Victor Medina is a freelance illustrator from Madrid, Spain. His dynamic work includes bright colors, hand lettering and loads of fantastic little details and textures. See more of Victor’s work on his website.

 

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15. Monthly Book List: Our Favorite Books for July

Once a month, our team of book enthusiasts share their picks for the best in children’s and young adult books.

This month, Lori, Alison, Matthew, Jenn and Miriam have selected tales on finding oneself, nurturing friendships, appreciating grandparents, adapting to change, and coping with loss — with adorable illustrations, silly stories and powerful narratives.

Pre-K – K (ages 3-6)

how_to_grow_a_friendHow to Grow a Friend by Sara Gillingham

Lori’s pick this month: “Colorful, eye-catching illustrations, and a diverse cast of characters make this a perfect read-aloud for preschool. A great book for back to school, springtime, or anytime!”

 


Grades 1-2 (ages 6-8)

grandmaGrandma in Blue with Red Hat written by Scott Menchin, illustrated by Harry Bliss

Alison’s pick this month: “I am so in love with this book! Clever and sweet, it’s a wonderful salute to grandparents that also offers a great lesson in art appreciation. Adorable!”

 

Grades 3-4 (ages 8-10)

alvin_ho_allergic_to_babiesAlvin Ho #5: Allergic to Babies, Burglars, and Other Bumps in the Night written by Lenore Look, illustrated by LeUyen Pham

Jenn’s pick this month: “I love Alvin Ho! He’s a super funny kid who worries about everything, and a lot of kids can relate to his feelings. You’ll love this laugh-out-loud story about family, siblings, and adapting to change.”

5-6 (ages 10-12):

five_lives_of_our_cat_zookThe Five Lives of Our Cat Zook by Joanne Rocklin

Matthew’s pick this month: “This hilarious and heartwarming novel about a cat with twenty six toes and the two kids who adore her is one of my favorite family stories. It’s a great book about coping with loss and caring for loved ones.”

 

7th & up (Ages 13+):

heaven_angela_johnsonHeaven by Angela Johnson

Miriam’s pick this month: “I first read this book when I was in 8th grade and it has stayed with me into adulthood. Quiet, powerful, and tender, this is a wonderful, award-winning novel about a girl who uncovers a big family secret and finds herself in the process.”

 

The post Monthly Book List: Our Favorite Books for July appeared first on First Book Blog.

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16. Frankenstein

In her short 53 years, Mary Shelley wrote novels, plays, short stories, essays, biographies, and travel books, but it's not surprising that she is best known for her novel Frankenstein. It's hard to separate the idea of Frankenstein's monster from the popular icon he's become, but everyone should read the original novel. Shelley's gothic masterpiece, [...]

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17. Small Press show/CAF news briefs: APE, TopatoCon, CXC

A lot of information on small press, indie. CAF evets have piled up in my inbox. Here’s some of the news: • The newly revamped APE (Alternative Press Expo) in San Jose has put out a call for programming— The Alternative Press Expo (APE), taking place in San Jose’s Convention Center on October 3 and […]

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18. Interview with Author Michelle Houts

Michelle Houts, author of Kammie on First: Baseball’s Dottie Kamenshek, shares how her book highlights Kamenshek’s life of integrity alongside her professional achievements.  Houts, also the editor of Missing Millie Benson by Julie K. Rubini, reflects on the role nonfiction plays in shaping children’s reading interests and how librarians serve these readers, researchers, and writers.  I received a complimentary copy of these two books in the Biographies for Young Readers series published by Ohio University Press before this interview.     

Author Michelle Houts (Image provided by Ohio University Press)

Author Michelle Houts (Image provided by Ohio University Press)

1.  How did you first learn about Dottie Kamenshek, the famous baseball player loosely based on Dottie Hinson from the popular movie A League of Their Own?  What inspired you to write your book for young readers, Kammie on First: Baseball’s Dottie Kamenshek?

I first read about Kammie in a one-page entry in the book Profiles of Ohio Women. As soon as I read about her, I knew she would be a perfect first subject for the new biography series Ohio University Press was planning. She was a pioneer in women’s sports, a humble leader, and an outstanding person, on and off the field.

2.  Kammie on First is the first book in a new series, Biographies for Young Readers.  What unique challenges have you found when writing this type of nonfiction for children?  What makes biographies a unique and valuable resource for children to access in a public library?      

After three fiction books, I was so excited to be writing biographical nonfiction! That’s because I can remember selecting from the biographies section of my own local library. I loved those matching books about different historical figures. I wanted to replicate that excitement I felt, but I wanted the books to have an altogether different look and feel. The books I remember had a few line drawings, were text-heavy, and somewhat drab in their appearance. I was challenged to create a narrative arc in this new series and create a book that was factual and interesting all at once.

3.  What intrigued you most about the life of Dottie Kamenshek as you learned more about this athlete? What have children found to be most intriguing about her life after reading your book?        

Kammie on First: Baseball's Dottie Kamenshek by Michelle Houts (Image provided by Ohio University Press)

Kammie on First: Baseball’s Dottie Kamenshek by Michelle Houts (Image provided by Ohio University Press)

 Dottie was two things: a stand-out athlete and a humble leader. Sometimes it’s hard to find both those qualities in one person. Most young readers are fascinated by the fact that Dottie and her contemporaries played baseball in skirts, even if that meant sliding injuries were common. The readers are getting a history lesson about life in the 1940s and early 1950s when we begin to discuss the reasons the AAGPBL players wore skirts, had chaperones, and went to beauty school.

4.  In the author’s note from Kammie on First, you share a childhood memory about listening to baseball on the radio. How do you believe children’s memories shape their reading interests?  What should the role of children’s librarians be in encouraging these interests?

 What a privilege and responsibility librarians have when it comes to young readers! To be able to converse with a child, detect what sparks his or her interest, and to then suggest a great book is nothing short of magical. I’m not sure it’s children’s memories as much as their experiences that shape their reading interests. A positive experience with one book can lead a child to quickly choose another in the same genre or on the same topic or by the same author. I recall that as a child, once I’d found mysteries, I had to read every Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden book I could get my hands on.

5. How have public libraries impacted your process of gathering research? What do you believe the role of librarians is in providing accurate information for children and teens?

Since Kammie on First was my first nonfiction title, I started into my research alone and uncertain. It didn’t take long before I found the first research librarian eager to guide me along the path to discovering more about Dottie. Dottie had passed in 2010. She had never married and had no children. She was also an only child, so I would find no siblings or nieces or nephews. With the help of those well-versed in research methods, I was able to find her school yearbook, some early pictures, and eventually, two first cousins. I’m quite certain that libraries provide many children with their first experiences in research – how to look something up and discover more information. It’s a skill they’ll use their entire lives, and they most often learn it from a librarian.

6.  Kammie on First features a great variety of photographs to provide a snapshot into the life and times of this era.  Are there any particular images from your book that you recommend librarians share with a young audience when highlighting this athlete’s life?

 Students always seem to gravitate toward the picture of Lois Florreich being treated for a sliding injury. To me, it speaks to the fact that these women weren’t just out having fun. They were professional athletes, giving it everything they had, and sometimes enduring painful injuries. That’s a photo that tells a great deal about the grit of all the women who played in the AAGPBL.  My favorite picture of Dottie is one of her signing an autograph for a young girl outside the locker room. Even though they are both looking down, you can see that Kammie and her young fan are smiling. It was an important moment for both of them, I’m sure.

7.  How have public libraries shaped your experience as a reader growing up and as a writer today?

 I grew up in Westerville, Ohio, where we had – and still have – a fantastic public library. I can still tell you the exact shelf location of the first book I could ever read alone (I actually believe I had memorized it, but I was convinced I could read!) and the exact shelf that housed the Little House series, which I read through more than once. Going to the library was always a treasured experience as a child. I believe exposure to all kinds of stories at a very young age has really shaped the reader and writer I’ve become today.

8. How can librarians best promote nonfiction books to young readers?

Ah, well, it seems suddenly nonfiction is no longer playing second fiddle to fiction in a lot of situations. I think newer, narrative nonfiction reads more like fiction. I like to tell about how I was so engrossed reading Candace Fleming’s Amelia Lost a few years ago, that a small part of me forgot I knew the ending! As I read, the suspense was real, even though I knew the outcome of Amelia Earhart’s story. That’s what good nonfiction does to a reader. I think that if librarians are promoting great nonfiction right alongside fiction, the stories themselves will grab the reader and send them back for more.

9. What advice would you give to young people interested in a career in writing biographies? How can children’s librarians best support young writers?

 To the young writer, I would say, “Be observant. Be inquisitive.”  Great stories are all around you, and they don’t all belong to the famous. Your elderly neighbor, your teacher, even a classmate may well have had some amazing experiences worth sharing. Ask if you might tell their story and write it down. To the children’s librarians, I would direct young readers first to a book, but then also to the author or illustrator. Helping children realize that behind every book is a writer and sometimes an artist, and always an editor, just might lead a young person toward a career they will love.

10. The next book in the Biographies for Young Readers series,  

Missing Millie Benson by Julie K. Rubini (Image provided by Ohio University Press)

Missing Millie Benson by Julie K. Rubini (Image provided by Ohio University Press)

Missing   Millie Benson by Julie K. Rubini, chronicles the life of the author who wrote twenty-three of the first thirty books in the Nancy Drew Mystery series.  As you are the series editor, did Nancy Drew’s adventures resonate with you as a child?  Why do you think they are relevant to young readers today?

 When Julie Rubini approached the publisher with her proposal to write about Millie Benson, I was on board from the beginning. Nancy Drew has withstood the test of time. I’m amazed that young readers still know this fictional character. It’s very interesting that most of the qualities we love about Nancy are qualities Rubini found in Millie: independent, determined, confident, and hard-working.  Those qualities, whether they be found in fiction or in real people, will never become irrelevant.

Thank you for explaining your writing process and for sharing your perspective on the role libraries play in serving young readers, writers, and researchers!

The post Interview with Author Michelle Houts appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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19. Molly and Pim and the Millions of Stars by Martine Murray

Molly has a strange life. Her mama collects herbs at dawn and makes potions, her father and brothers have gone away, and her house feels like a gypsy caravan.

Molly doesn’t want to know anything about herbs and potions. She wishes she could be more like her best friend, Ellen, who has a normal family and a normal house. But she is also secretly interested in Pim, who is inquisitive and odd and a little bit frightening.

When Molly’s mama makes a potion that has a wild and shocking effect, Molly and Pim look for a way to make things right, and Molly discovers the magic and value of her own unusual life.

This novel is The Loveliest. Sweet and splendid and magical, while still being of-this-world. Molly longs to be as normal as her friend Ellen (who gets muesli bars in her lunchbox and doesn't have a mum that wanders about the woods barefoot, collecting herbs for potions) and this is something I think young readers will definitely relate to (everyone has thought at some point "my family is the weirdest" - eventually you realise everyone's family is weird and that's okay and sometimes even great).

Molly does work out that she's pretty lucky to have her slightly odd mum, but only once something pretty terrifying happens. I don't want to give anything away (I think it's better when stories are surprising), so I'll leave it at that. Even though Pim features in the title (and Pim, with his interesting trivia and perspective of the world, is a great character), he doesn't heavily feature in the book. It's a story about friendship, but most of all it's about Molly learning to appreciate her mum and their strange life. (The fact that her father and twin brothers had mysteriously vanished in Cuba was such an odd but intriguing detail, and one that makes me hope there'll be another book about Molly, in which she finds them!)

There are so many sweet characters (apart from the incredibly horrendous neighbours, Ernest and Prudence Grimshaw), but I especially love Molly's mum, and Ellen (I would be friends with Ellen. She is so nice and sensible). The lovely little illustrations and glossary of herbs and such at the end of the book are a beautiful touch. I really quite enjoyed it, and I would've absolutely adored it when I was ten.

(How splendid is the cover? It's got lovely sparkly bits, in real life - have a look at Cait's review at Paper Fury for some lovely photos of it. Am I overusing the word lovely? That's what this book is. The Bookish Manicurist's painted a gorgeous manicure to match it. And now I'm linking to other reviews, I can't really stop myself: I love this review from a 9-year-old reader, as well as Danielle's thoughts at Alpha Reader on this book and middle-grade fiction in Aus.)

Molly and Pim and the Millions of Stars on the publisher's website

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20. Strangers on a Train

Highsmith is a master of stark, poetic prose, acclaimed for her relentless themes of murder and psychological torment. She is best known for her series of five Tom Ripley novels, popularly referred to as the Ripliad. Like the Ripley stories, Highsmith's debut book, Strangers on a Train, is most remembered for its adaptation to the [...]

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21. Truly Outrageous art: Stephanie Hans does Jem and the Holograms

Via Tumblr, the amazing painter Stephanie Hans has gone totally pink for this variant cover for IDW’s Jem comic. Written by Kelly Thompson, with art by Sophie Campbell, this comic is a nice throwback to the Jem and the Holograms most Gen Xers remember as opposed to the Pitch perfect 3 treatment the movie is […]

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22. Cat’s Eye

Atwood is a master at conveying the inner landscape of her characters, and her novels are frequently peppered with sharp and incisive social commentary. Adored by both readers and critics, she has published over 40 works, including many books of poetry, and has won countless accolades, including the Booker Prize and the Arthur C. Clarke [...]

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23. Entering the Zone: Psychologically Managing Impotence

premature ejaculation can make men very sadImpotence is among the greatest concerns encountering guys, specifically as we age, which is why we feel like it’s an extremely important subject to address. After a male has actually experienced erectile dysfunction when, it’s most likely he will certainly have anxiety concerning performing once again. ED can be an awkward as well as stressful encounter– even with the very best and most encouraging partner. There are always simpler remedies, like obtaining economical Viagra for your room concerns. Nevertheless, it’s beneficial to take a minute and get involved in the appropriate mood prior to climbing under the sheets.

Leave your work life outside of the bedroom

Have you ever before found yourself aiming to delight in something, but your mind insists on being a million miles away? If this is the case, I’m sure you have wondered how and if you can stop premature ejaculation from ever occurring. Well, we all know the anxieties of adult life– works, kids, costs– can usually sidetrack us from what’s right before us. This can be especially true in the bedroom. It’s easy sufficient to begin daydreaming regarding the project you have to turn into your manager in the morning, while you’re expected to be concentrated on your companion. Make it a habit to police your personal ideas throughout sex, or in the bedroom duration. By doing this, your mind will certainly identify the bedroom as a room for leisure, sleep, and also intimacy with your partner.

Good affirmation, for a firmer you

Think about duplicating everyday words of confirmation to on your own. Favorable affirmations are short, good keyword phrases that you duplicate to on your own over and over, in order to reveal adjustment in your life. If you were aiming to materialize better bed room efficiency, you might repeat phrases like “I am a sexually healthy and balanced and positive guy” or “I will have a firm erection!”.

Relax, do not do it … not yet anyway.

Prior to you choose to participate in sexual activity, aim to de-stress. There are plenty of methods to de-stress, as well as not everyone relaxes similarly. Cardiovascular exercise is one method of relaxation. It launches feel-good endorphins in the mind, as well as obtains blood moving through the physical body. Doing non-aerobic workouts like yoga, that need a lot of deep breathing as well as purpose, are another course to take. You can additionally try soaking in a warm bath-tub or spa. Or, you might trade massage therapies with your companion– which can function as a relaxer in addition to a catalyst for sexual activity.

Just what else can I do?

Take into consideration taking prescribed medication, and of course you will need to talk with your doctor if you decide to go this route. There are also topical sprays like promescent but read reviews first. Utilizing medicine for erectile dysfunction could relieve a few of the stress of trying to maintain an erection normally. For the best price Viagra, attempt browsing online. And one more point … relax!

More Info:

Best premature ejaculation tips

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The post Entering the Zone: Psychologically Managing Impotence appeared first on Health & Fitness Book Publishers.

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24. Collected Stories of Lydia Davis

It can be hard to pinpoint what makes Lydia Davis's writing so magnetic. Her precise, no-nonsense language combined with her liberal definition of the short story? Her attention to the overlooked, the mundane, the clutter in our lives that holds so much meaning? Her understated sense of humor, so deeply ingrained in her observations about [...]

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25. come out to play now the light nights are here


A few of my bike drawings here. You know when something kind of unintentionally becomes a theme? Well, that. And when a theme comes knocking on my door I do love to go out to play with it. 
Watch this space if you like bikes, or art, and specifically bike art. 

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