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1. 2015 Clallam Bay Comicon Panels and Events

 
To Add a panel:
Email me to make changes or put in a panel or event. FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED. Make up your own stuff, find your own panelists. PANELS ARE ONE HOUR - unless you want to arm-wrestle one of the other panel moderators on the Facebook site. 

Friday:

Caravan Road Trip: Attendees are planning car pools and caravan from Seattle, best along Highway 101 past Lake Crescent (visit recommended), then up Highway 113 to 113-112 junction to Clallam Bay. To schedule and organize, see the Facebook page.

Sol Duc Hot Springs: Cheap day admission. Bring your swimsuit. Let me know when you're coming. Let's solid up this event, for those arriving Friday on the road trip. Hit the Hungry Bear Restaurant for some solid eats to stoke up for the rest of the drive.

Horror Movie Night; Friday or Sunday (depending on body count): Bring your favorite DVD scare-fest. Because if you don't, I'll bring mine, and then it's "Prophecy 1" and "Warm Bodies." Or for something truly ghastly, guilty pleasure "Trueblood." Hallowe'en is huge up here, so it's never too early to kick off the Dark Times.

FRIDAY 8 pm: Guest of Honor Barbecue.  

SATURDAY 10 am - 5 pm

9 am-10 am: Show set-up (if you plan to get in Friday, you must contact me about  possible early set-up).

10 am: Show officially opens

10 am: Fun Days Parade Lineup. Those who wish to participate in the Fun Days parade, assemble at Weel Road Deli/Shell parking lot. Be fabulous. We need somebody to secure the hall if everybody else leaves. Donna has to cover the parade for local papers; she'll buy you coffee.

11 am-12 Noon: Fun Days Parade

Noon-1: Lunch break. Find Fun Days goodies, including the Lion's Club barbecue, and frybread and Indian Tacos in the bus barn. We have a kitchen. Potlucks and shairsies welcome.

2-2:50 pm: How To Draw A Horse Right, Damnit. Donna Barr reprises a classic from San Diego Comicon. Bring paper and pencil or tablets so you can follow along. Will give instructions upon request, so if you want to know about centaurs and ponies, just ask. The more drawings she does, the more she'll have to hand out at the end of the panel. Nonsense will abound. This will be filmed and posted on YouTube. Linda Medley says she's going to lead off with How To Draw A Horse Badly, dedicated to Josh Whedon. Not that I believe she can.

3-3:50 pm: How To Draw Cats Roberta Gregory shows everyone how to draw our favorite house tigers, as featured in her True Cat Toons book (available at her table).

4-4:50: Concert With Crime and the Forces of Evil 

5 pm: Show closes for the evening; hall locks up. All of us with tables make the hall sparkle, and Our Guy Jerry happy.

7-11:00 pm (with break for fireworks): *Clallam Bay Comicon Eigenbrötler Film Festival Celebrating strange, unusual, unique media


Dusk: Fireworks in Sekiu.

SUNDAY 10 am - 5 pm

10 am: Show opens.

Noon-1: Lunch break. What did you all bring?

5:00 pm: ARGGGHHH! Swab-The-Decks Event. Show closes, ALL participants  heave to and make the Lion's Club ship sparkle! Pirate hats optional. Jerry Our Guy loves us for this part.

7:00-11:00 pm: Dead Dog Party in the con suite.


Monday:

Caravan Road Trip: Head out along Highway 112 to Port Angeles to complete the road trip look. Take in the beaches! Stop in Port Angeles for a big breakfast someplace, and take off. I'll be along, for sure (I'll bus back home).


Gaming: Gaming has gotten so fun and noisy it will have to be on the porch. But the porch is open and needs plastic to block off the wind - and this will let you go all night, after I need to lock up the hall. So get some cheap rolls of painting plastic, or contact me about what you plan to do. Jerry says we can use hooks if we don't wreck the place (those threatening to turn the porch into a medieval great hall - we'll just get out of your way). 

Security: Absolutely do not leave any outside doors open unless Donna Barr KNOWS it, and why.

Participant Details:

*Building on the success of last year's Clallam Bay Comic Con, event organizers announced today the creation of the Eigenbrötler Film Festival, a program created to celebrate the unusual, unique, and unknown of the cinematic artform, to be held during the evenings of the Comic Con, scheduled for July 11-12.


"Everyone has a favorite movie, tv show, or video that seems a bit odd, but which is also unforgettable and quirky," states Torsten Adair, film festival director.  "It can be something as professional as Daffy Duck being tormented by an unseen animator, or as homemade as a video of a water-skiing squirrel.  If it catches your attention and makes you wonder 'what the heck?' then it's probably worthy for inclusion in our program."



Attendance to the Film Festival is free to all attendees of the Clallam Bay Comic Con.  Attendees are encouraged to bring food to share with the audience.  Those unable to prepare food are encouraged to bring a box of pasta and a jar of sauce.  Any excess food will be donated to charity.

For further information, or to submit or suggest a film for the festival, visit the Clallam Bay Comic Con website, or join the conversation on the CBCC Facebook page, "2015 Clallam Bay Comicon"

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2. No More Cruises, Spongebob

Nickelodeon and Norwegian Cruise Lines are breaking up.

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3. Free Book Trailers

YouTube has a free video editor you can use to make your book trailer.

http://www.indiesunlimited.com/2015/05/25/authors-can-make-book-trailers-with-youtubes-free-editor/

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4. reuniting with the sisters of Alaska, on Independence Day weekend

One year ago today I was on a small boat in Alaskan waters and the sky was our fireworks. Tomorrow, my husband, father, and I will have the great pleasure of reuniting with the two sisters we met on this trip—women who exemplify so much that is important, women who, even a year on, carry the traditions of friendship forward.

To our country tonight. To the safety of all those we love, and strangers, too. And to the friendships that sustain us, on Independence Day.

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5. Review: All Fall Down (Embassy Row #1) by Ally Carter

I am quite pleased with Ally Carter‘s latest book All Fall Down. I had high expectations since her NYT bestselling series, Gallagher Girls, is such an excellently hilarious series, but All Fall Down definitely stands on it’s own! It features Grace, snarky and bitter, and granddaughter of a powerful ambassador. Oh and she’s looking for her mother’s […]

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6. Billy Moron Sez: "I grabbed these Suicide Squads because of the film coming up so they'll be hot!"

http://www.nerdist.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Suicide_Squad_0028.jpg
Whoa.  There are some real arschlochs out there. I've been watching some videos of comic collectors.  Well, not real collectors but....well.

One is rude about someone he purchased lots of action figures and Silver Age comics from and adds "I'll be going back to his house  -he has no idea what he has"...so he's ripping the person off.

Then there's "I grabbed this. It has Darkseid in it -I'm jumping on board cus he's bound to be in a DC movie soon" and "This guy from the Flash TV series is going to be Vibe so I grabbed this comic!" Most of these people have no idea about the characters or history -"no one really cares". 

And the bitching about first appearances -"He was only in a couple of final panels so that's not his first appearance -that's the next issue where he's on the cover!"  Let me make this clear because there are MORONS in comics.  The established protocol is that if a character appears in #123 -even if it's only a panel or 3 panels- THAT is the FIRST appearance.  Scream and shout all you like but that is first appearance.  Not "NO! He's got to be on the cover!" Argue about it and you are an ass.

"I grabbed these Suicide Squads because of the film coming up so they'll be hot!" But, not the original Suicide Squad (Task Force X?) the newer versions cus, like, the old stuff is lame and the new comics have the movie characters in, y'know?

I despair.


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7. Art and the artis

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8. How much is too much when writing emotional situations?

Hello, good work here! Question: how do I make it so that I don't go overboard in detailing my character's grief but still have an effective emotional

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9. हद हो गर्इ

कई बार….  हमारे देश मॆं जिस तरह से भूण हत्याएं हो रही हैं मन विचलित हो जाता है और उसी विचलित मन से बन जाती हैं ऐसी कविता कि हद हो गई … बस बहुत हो गया …

अब बहुत हो गया

बस
अब बहुत हो गया
हद हो गर्इ
टी.वी. हो या समाचार पत्र
कविता प्रतियोगिता हो या राज्यस्तरीय विवाद
पर लगा नहीं पा रहे
भ्रूण हत्या पर लगाम
कह कह कर थक गए हम
पर हम अडि़ग हैं कि
कन्या नही…… कन्या नही
बस चाहिए पुत्र रत्न ही
कोर्इ बात नही

ज्यादा दूर नही है, देख लेंगेें
आज से बीस साल बाद
जब…..
लड़की नही मिलेगी कोर्इ
आपके कुल दीपक से ब्याहने को
आपका वंश चलाने को
ना होगी तब नवरात्रि में कंजको की पूजा
ना होगी पति की लम्बी उम्र के लिए उपवास पूजा
ना छम छम पायल से किसी का घर आँगन चहकेगा
नाना-नानी बनने का शौक अधूरा ही रह जाऐगा
ना रहेगा प्रेम, ना होगी करूणा
क्योंकि यह तो है नारी का गहना
बेबस मन कन्यादान से वंचित रह जाऐगा
हरा भरा घर मकान बन कर ही रह जाऐगा
मनु, इंदिदरा, कल्पना का नाम पन्नों में ही रह जाऐगा
बस……….
कुछ ही सालों की है बात
हैरान, परेशान हताश खुद ही कह उठेंगें आप
कन्या थी अनमोल रत्न
पर तब तक शायद बहुत देर हो चुकी होगी
हमें इन्तज़ार करना होगा
शायद फिर से बीस सालों का
पर तब तक सब कुछ बदल चुका होगा
खामोशी,उदासी, मायूसी का फैल चुका होगा आतंक
तो फिर………..
क्यों हो रही हैं ये भ्रूण हत्याएँ
ठान लो
बस बहुत हो गया
जानते हो
हम भारतवासी……… एक जुट हो क्या है कर सकते
मुसीबत पडने पर दे सकतें हैं जान
चीर सकतें हैं धरती की छाती
उधेड़ सकतें हैं पहाड़ों का सीना
जब ला सकतें हैं हरियाली बंजर धरा पर
फिर क्यों है रोक कलियों के प्रस्फुटन पर
चलिए लें संकल्प
आज, अभी, यहीं
भ्रूण हत्या पर लगाए
कस कर लगाम सभी
मत ड़गमगाने दें भारत का आधार
नर और नारी से ही है हमारा घर संसार
उठो, जागो, चलो
बनाए संसार में भारत की अलग पहचान
ताकि फिर से ना पड़े कहना कि…….
मोनिका, अब बहुत हो गया
हद हो गर्इ

कैसी लगी आपको ये कविता … जरुर बताईगा…

The post हद हो गर्इ appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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10. ‘The Synesthesia Ghost’ by Atsushi Makino

A music video from Japan for Sasanomaly's "The Synesthesia Ghost."

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11. Free 1st 5 Pages Workshop is Now Open!

Our July workshop is now open. We'll take the first five Middle Grade, Young Adult, or New Adult entries that meet all guidelines and formatting requirements. Click here to get the rules. I will post when it opens and closes on Adventures in YA Publishing and on twitter (@etcashman), with the hashtag #1st5pages.

In addition to our talented permanent mentors, we have Ava Jae, author of the forthcoming BEYOND THE RED, and Patricia Nelson of the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. So get those pages ready!

Read more »

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12. ALSC Online Courses Start in One Week!

Summer 2015 ALSC Online CoursesCheck your clock! You have one more week to sign up for ALSC online courses for summer 2015. Classes begin Monday, July 13, 2015.

Two of the courses being offered this semester are eligible for continuing education units (CEUs) by the International Association of Continuing Education and Training (IACET). ALSC online courses are designed to fit the needs of working professionals. Courses are taught by experienced librarians and academics. As participants frequently noted in post-course surveys, ALSC stresses quality and caring in its online education options. For more information on ALSC online learning, please visit: http://www.ala.org/alsced

NEW! It’s Mutual: School and Public Library Collaboration
6 weeks, July 13 – August 21, 2015

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Programs Made Easy
4 weeks, July 13 – August 7, 2015
CEU Certified Course, 1.2 CEUs

Storytelling with Puppets
4 weeks, July 13 – August 7, 2015
CEU Certified Course, 2.2 CEUs

Detailed descriptions and registration information is available on the ALSC Online Learning website. Fees are $115 for personal ALSC members; $165 for personal ALA members; and $185 for non-members. Questions? Please contact ALSC Program Officer for Continuing Education, Kristen Sutherland, 1 (800) 545-2433 ext 4026.

Image above provided by ALSC.

The post ALSC Online Courses Start in One Week! appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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13. Happy 4th of July!




"Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves." - 
Abraham Lincoln


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

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. ~ 2015 Purple Dragonfily 1st Place Historical Fiction, Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Hockey Agony ~ January 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ 2015 Purple Dragonfly Honorable Mention Picture Books 6+, 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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14. A Rainy 4th

A rainy 4th, but I don't care -
My grandson's come to visit.
No matter what the weather is,
The day will be exquisite.

With endless possibilities
For fun as he's exploring, 
The time inside, to me and him,
Is anything but boring.

Of course, I'm thrilled as well to see
Both Henry's mom and dad.
They've given me a 4th which is
The best I've ever had.

So here's to you, America!
I celebrate your birth
By spending time with the most precious
Boy upon the earth!

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15. कब छटेंगे बादल

ये मेरी पहली कविता थी.  मन में भाव तो हमेशा ही उमड घुमड कर आते रहते थे पर ये पहली बार थी जब इन विचारों की दिशा मिली …

 

कब छटेंगे बादल

दल में बादल, गहरे बादल, काले बादल
उथले बादल, क्षितिज में विचरते बादल,
पर्वतों के ऊपर छत्र की तरह छाए बादल।

बादल………. दलदल बादल,
आखिर………कब छटेंगे ये बादल
क्या बरसात में ही पैर बढ़ा दूँ मैं……….?
की रूक जाऊँ, ठहर जाऊँ मैं………?
ठहर जाऊँ………..??
जिंदगी वैसे ही है ठहरी,ठहरी
कौंधती बिजली………गर्जते बादल,
हलचल मचा रहे मन में,
अरे! बुलबुले बने, टूटे……..,
देख मन में आस जगी…..
काले घन में भी है बिजली चमकी……..
फिर…….. हे मन, तू क्यों है व्यथित……….
क्यों……… आंखों के आगे काले बादल बैठाए हैं…….
ज़रा अश्रू तो पोंछ, पलक साफ कर…….
देखा………..!! छट गए न बादल………
न बादल, न दल में बादल
पैर बढ़ा, चल मंजिल की ओर……….
ठहरी जिंदगी को दे नया बल……..
दल में बादल…….??
भुज बल में भी तो है आंधी…….
देखा…… छट गए ना बादल……….!!

 

नकारात्मक सोच से शुरु ये कविता आखिरकार सकारात्मकता पर खत्म हुई … आपको कैसी लगी … जरुर बताईएगा :)

The post कब छटेंगे बादल appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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16. Video Sunday: Living dolls, shark costumes, buried books and goats in pjs

As you may have noticed, I’ve not done a Video Sunday in a while.  It now appears that what I was waiting for all this time was Dan Santat’s parody of Serial, turning it into a reenactment of his Caldecott Award call.  I’m just ashamed that when he won it didn’t immediately occur to me that, “Wow. We’re going to get a really great video out of this.” Hindsight is 20-20.

Nice that he got to take the shark suit out of mothballs, right?

As a children’s librarian I associate American Girl dolls far more with their books than the actual dolls.  This American Girl Dolls: The Movie trailer from Funny or Die will satisfy any children’s librarian that has ever had to shelve those darn books (or struggle with the eternal question of where to shelve them).

Screen Shot 2015-07-04 at 4.33.30 PM

Shh! Don’t tell them Mattel owns both Barbie AND American Girls.  Thanks to Beth Banner for the link.

So this Meghan Trainor librarian parody video has garnered 77,963 views as of this posting.  And I have heard from more than one person that its creator resembles me.  Which is infinitely kind but she is (A) Younger (B) Cuter (C) Actually knows how to style hair.  Ever noticed that my hair is always a plain bob?  I don’t do hair.  This woman.  She’s all about the hair.

This next one’s a bit of a surprise. Not that it exists (tree to book, book to tree) but that I can’t think of a single American book that has gone a similar route.  Usually we just get “bury this bookmark” swag.  I think only a small publisher could get away with this.  Or an Argentinian one.  Wow.

Thanks to Gregory K for the link.

As someone who doesn’t know a thing about making book trailers, I tip my hat to anyone who is capable (or has offspring who are capable) of creating such a thing out of the ether.  With that in mind . . .

As for the off-topic video, I’m not entirely certain why I decided to go with baby goats in pajamas today.  Maybe it was something in the wind.  In any case . . .

Thanks to Aunt Judy for the link.

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17. Week in Review: June 28-July 4

From June:
The Silmarillion. J.R.R. Tolkien. 1977. 386 pages. [Source: Bought] 
The Semi-Detached House. Emily Eden. 1859. 172 pages. [Source: Bought]
Follow Your Gut. Rob Knight with Brendan Buhler. 2015. Simon & Schuster (TED) 128 pages. [Source: Library]
Grump. Janet Wong. Illustrated by John Wallace. 2001. Simon & Schuster. 32 pages. [Book I Bought] 
Board Book: The Doghouse. Jan Thomas. 2008/2015.  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 36 pages. [Source: Review copy] 
Peppa's Chalk ABCs. Scholastic. 16 pages. [Source: Review copy]
The Message of the General Epistles: Wisdom from James, Peter, John, and Jude. Brandon D. Crowe. 2015. P&R Publishing. 240 pages. 
Packer on the Christian Life. Sam Storms. 2015. Crossway. 224 pages. [Source: Review copy]

From July: 
Lost in the Sun. Lisa Graff. 2015. Penguin. 304 pages. [Source: Library]
The Great Good Summer. Liz Garton Scanlon. 2015. Simon & Schuster. 224 pages. [Source: Library]
My Brother's Secret. Dan Smith. 2015. Scholastic. 304 pages. [Source: Review copy]
How To Catch a Mouse. Philippa Leathers. 2015. Candlewick. 40 pages. [Source: Review copy]
Pete The Cat's Train Trip (I Can Read) James Dean. 2015. HarperCollins. 32 pages. [Source: Library]
Gingerbread for Liberty: How A German Baker Helped Win the American Revolution. Mara Rockliff. Illustrated by Vincent X. Kirsch. 2015. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy]
The Foot Book. Dr. Seuss. 1968. Random House. 36 pages. [Source: Library]
Funny Face, Sunny Face. Sally Symes. Illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw. 2015. Candlewick. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy]
Out and About: A First Book of Poems. Shirley Hughes. 1988/2015. Candlewick Press. 56 pages. [Source: Review copy]
The End of Me. Kyle Idleman. 2015. David C. Cook. 240 pages. [Source: Review copy]
Uncensored: Daring to Embrace the Entire Bible. Brian Cosby. 2015. David C. Cook. 208 pages. [Source: Review copy]
The Innocent. Ann H. Gabhart. 2015. Revell. 400 pages. [Source: Review copy]

This week's recommendation(s):

I read some really great picture books this week. I loved, loved, loved How To Catch a Mouse and Grump and Gingerbread for Liberty. But. Probably my favorite this week was The Silmarillion. 

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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18. Publishing in ... Nigeria

       In The Sun Solomon Ojehonmon writes at length about the dismal publishing situation in Nigeria, in Death of the last publishing house in Nigeria: Matters arising.
       While it seems premature to worry about every last publisher in Nigeria dying off -- indeed, there seem to be some promising efforts underway -- Ojehonmon's fundamental complaint, about a failed industry, rings true.
       He also argues that publishers themselves are to blame, because they bought into the concept of 'African Literature' and ignored the writers and stories of more obvious and immediate interest to a local readership (making this piece a nice companion-piece to Taiye Selasi's, mentioned above).
       He laments:

So our once popular fables on witchcraft, sorcery and other African myths went out of the window as well as African thrillers, mysteries, action adventures, science fictions and romances.

What we have, instead, are depressing books on politics, poverty, civil war, prostitution, adultery, disease, colonial era and slave trade. Nepotism, favoritism, accusations, counter-accusations, back-stabbings, lies and hatred now dominate the pages of our novels. I once submitted a book for consideration to an English publishing house. The editor replied that my novel is so un-African it cannot be accepted for publication, querying the absence of bloodshed, disease, noise, dirt, dust, poverty etc.
       While he goes overboard with some of his claims, it certainly can't hurt to nudge the powers that be -- publishers, especially -- to rethink some of their approaches. Of course other fundamental problems, especially of infrastructure (the printing and distribution/selling of books, in particular) also have to be addressed.

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19. your bill of writes

Photo by Vicky Lorencen

Photo by Vicky Lorencen

In the spirit of Independence Day, I present to you [cue the fife and drum please] . . .

A Writer’s Bill of Rights

You have the right to observe, but not follow trends.

You have the right to seek a second opinion.

You have the right to ask, “What if?”

You have the right to laugh at your own writing. Hey, if you’re funny, you’re funny.

You have the right to leave your beloved critique group if it’s no longer serving its purpose.

You have the right to say no when a friend of a friend asks for feedback on her 1,000-word non-fiction picture book about the history of toe jam.

You have the right not to feel guilty if someone asks for your honest opinion and doesn’t like your response (assuming you delivered the news graciously).

You have the right to try a new genre.

You have the right to read reviews, even if everyone advises against it. (And you have the right to admit it when everyone was right.)

You have the right to think a certain author or book (or movie based on that book) is lame, even if everyone else thinks it’s the greatest thing since WiFi.

You have the right to love a certain author or book even if no one else does.

You have the right to prefer printed books to e-books (or vice versa).

You have a right to take a break from writing (or the pursuit of publication) if you need to. Plus, you have the right to not feel guilty about it.

You have the right to scrap the whole darn thing and start over.

You have the right not to participate in every form of social or digital media imaginable simply for the purpose of following the crowd.

You have the right to be selective and protective of your time.

You have the right to ignore feedback if it does not ring true to you or serve your story.

You have the right to pass on an opportunity because you know it’s not right for you, even if (and especially if) you’re feeling desperate and needy.

Did I miss any rights? If so, you, my friends, have every right to add more.

Now, go exercise your freedom!

I was intelligent enough to make up my own mind. I not only had freedom of choice, I had freedom of expression. ~  Amy Tan

 


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20. Breaking Tradition

We didn’t buy fireworks this year. I don’t know, we just weren’t into it this year. In years past, we bought fireworks at a place where Kevin’s parents knew the owners and we would get a really good deal. The owners would pack us a bag full of goodies (because let’s face it, fireworks look the same and you really don’t know what they are going to do, but the fireworks stand owners know and are a great resource if you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck. [pun intended]), and we would split the cost with Kevin’s parents.

We’ve gotten some REALLY good fireworks with that arrangement for the past several years.

We would then have a cookout at Kevin’s folks’ house then shoot off our awesome fireworks. Me, Kevin’s mom and dad would sit on their pergola and Kevin, Blake and Brandon would run their butts off and light the fireworks.

Then, when it was over, we would all go out with bags and pick up the aftermath.

Fun times.

We did this for two reasons: Kevin’s parents live outside of the city limits thereby giving us a venue to blow our money [pun intended] and it gave us a chance to spend the holiday with Kevin’s parents. Because for whatever reason, Kevin’s sisters have never included Kevin’s parents in their 4th of July festivities.

However, we broke tradition this year. Money is tight and having us over for a cookout is a lot of work for Kevin’s parents, who are getting up there in age. Everyone agreed with this plan except Blake – he was disappointed. I think 4th of July is his favorite holiday. He loves blowing things up.

(That desire has always sort of bothered me, to be honest).

This year, Kevin’s parents came over to Roy’s house (i.e. the rental house) and we, (i.e. Kevin) cooked hamburgers and curly hotdogs. Kevin, Roy and Blake swam and Kevin’s mom and I sat on the edge of the pool and chit-chatted. Kevin’s dad napped.

When it got dark, we drove over to the nursing school parking lot and mooched off the spectacular fireworks show at the country club.

I imagine that will be our 4th of July plans for many more years to come. Cheap and easy.

And now it’s way past my bedtime and my eyes are drooping. I have a lot of chores and studying to do tomorrow before the boys come over to swim and then have nachos with us.

Happy birthday, America. You’re not the same awesome country you were twenty years ago, but we still love you and haven’t given up on you. You’ll be great again someday …


Filed under: At the Moment, Life

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21. Seuss on Saturday #27

The Foot Book. Dr. Seuss. 1968. Random House. 36 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence:
Left foot
Left foot
Right foot
Right
Feet in the morning
Feet at night
Left foot
Left foot
Left foot
Right
Premise/plot: Does The Foot Book have an actual plot? Probably not. It's a rhyming celebration of all sorts of feet, I suppose.

My thoughts: Probably not my favorite Seuss title. Not that I actively dislike it, mind you. It's just not going to make my top thirty.

Have you read The Foot Book? Did you like it? love it? hate it? I'd love to know what you thought of it!

 If you'd like to join me in reading or rereading Dr. Seuss (chronologically) I'd love to have you join me! The next book I'll be reviewing is I Can Lick 30 Tigers Today and Other Stories.

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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22. 'African' writing

       In The Guardian Taiye Selasi (author of Ghana Must Go) writes at some length, arguing that we should stop pigeonholing African writers (whereby she apparently means -- as almost always happens in discussions of 'African' writers and literature -- only Sub-Saharan Africa ...).
       A wide-ranging and interesting discussion, including some examples of the terrible domestic situations as far as any publishing and book-distribution/selling infrastructure goes:

I am often asked why Ghana Must Go, a story about a Ghanaian-Nigerian family, was not published in Ghana or Nigeria. The answer is: we tried. Ghana, where my parents live, has no credible local publisher. To launch the novel in Accra, as I was determined to do, we had to go it alone. After an attempt to form a partnership with a bookshop failed (not wanting to pay the customs fees, they abandoned the shipment of books at the port), we organised two public events. After the book sold out, my mother ordered more directly from Penguin and sold them from her clinic.

I know of what Nwaubani speaks when she writes: "Any Nigerian in Anchorage who so wishes can acquire my novel. But here in my country [my] book is available only at a few bookstores."
       The identity-politics/issues are, of course, more complicated -- and hardly limited to 'African' authors: writers from all regions of the world face many of the same questions and similar criticism.
       As she argues, however:
We need more stories about more subjects, more readers in more countries. Not fewer.

It is precisely because there are so few novels by African writers in global circulation that we ask those novels to do too much. No one novelist can bear the burden of representing a continent and no one novel should have to.
       And I'd certainly agree that:
African books for global eyes must be written by a broader range of Africans, including those writing in non-European languages.
       One marvelous resource to find at least some more names is the African Books Collective, which distributes books by many African publishers (currently 149), making them fairly easily obtainable anywhere (and offering titles you won't find at your local Barnes & Noble).
       See also the index of African literature under review at the complete review.

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23. God Bless What’s Left of America

We have our American Flag hanging outside our house and I can’t help but wonder, will someone report us? Will someone in our neighborhood be offended that we proudly display our American Flag?

To which I reply: Tough shit. good-morning-merica

I’m so SICK of people being offended by everything nowadays.

Get over it.

People are offended because some whack-job worshiped a confederate flag and was high on anti-psychotic drugs and shot a bunch of people in a church (notice I said PEOPLE – we’re all PEOPLE, color is irrelevant), and now the confederate flag offends people so we’re going to go completely berserk and obliterate every last trace of the confederate flag from the face of the Earth.

Idiots. The confederate flag didn’t MAKE that nut-job shoot those people, it was simply a trigger for his crazy delusions. What if his trigger had been a black cat? Would we suddenly want to eradicate black cats from existence? If you need to be “offended” by someone, be “offended” by the act and the person who committed the act, not an inanimate object.

Geez louise people …

You have the right to dislike the confederate flag – I’m not crazy about that flag, either. I think it represents a sad, mixed-up time in our history. I have never understood people who buy that flag and then proudly display it. Why? Do they wish they could go back to those times? Well too bad, it’s not happening. We learned our lesson the first time. Right?

Right??

But I’m not offended if they choose to fly it. It’s their right to do so. And it does serve to remind of us of the mistakes we made during that time period. This isn’t about me and my feelings, it’s about other people’s CHOICE to make bad decisions.

People need to grow a backbone and stop being such emotional cry babies.

The only thing I think of when I see that flag is slavery. And how that’s bad. And I’m truly perplexed that we thought, at one time in our history, that having one set of human beings serve another set of human beings was somehow acceptable. And then I roll my eyes and shrug my shoulders. I wonder more about the people behind these “offenses” than about anything else. People are idiots. What are you going to do?

Anyway, back to the American flag and our country.

I can’t get into this 4th of July. What, exactly, are we celebrating? Our freedoms? Our freedom to do what, exactly? Abide by the rules? Live under a supreme dictator or a group of tenured lawyers who have been given the right to make our decisions for us?

Freedom to “ignore its own laws and tear its Constitution to pieces?”

Freedom “to dismantle the institution of marriage in favor of legitimizing sexual perversion?”

What, exactly, are we celebrating nowadays? Our freedoms are slowly being taken away with each passing law and government decree.

If so, what’s so great about being great? Where is the optimism in that miserable greatness? Where is the hope for the future if moral bankruptcy, selfishness, confusion, stupidity, deviancy and failure are “great”?

This is why I’m surprised liberals are still out burning American flags. What are they upset about? This country has been reshaped in their image. They won the culture, the government, academia, the media, even the churches. This is their America. They own it. Yet they aren’t satisfied because liberalism, like its father Satan, is intent only on destruction and consumption. It will never be satiated.

You might say most of the examples I provided have to do with America’s people, not America herself. But the distinction is irrelevant because a democracy is only as great as its people. Meanwhile, our government is corrupt and feckless, and our political leaders are cowardly and self-serving. Yes, the Constitution is great, but it’s still just a set of laws. If laws are ignored, they might as well not exist. The Bill of Rights can’t make us great if we don’t follow it, just like your running shoes can’t make you fit if you don’t put them on and go for a jog.

So in what way is America great at the moment? Are we a moral beacon for the world now? Where is the rest of the world supposed to locate that shining light of moral clarity? Is it somewhere buried under the dead children and the perversion and the porn and the divorce and the drugs and the disease and the dependency and the Nanny State socialism? What about leadership in government, or education, or the home? Is American culture great in these respect

No, America Is Not a Great Nation. Not anymore.

I dare you to read Matt Walsh’s entire article. Read it completely through and tell me you don’t disagree. This country is slowly being flushed down the crapper. With every flush, we compromise another belief and/or ideal. Like a stone sculptor, decency is being chipped away, slowly, oh so slowly, and then suddenly, we see the finished product and wonder, what happened? How did we get here? What happened?

Like sleep walkers, we are suddenly shaken awake.

We got here by being outraged over the confederate flag. We got here by being distracted by Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner. We got here by not paying attention to what our educational system is doing to our children. We got here by being too busy playing with the newest and coolest electronic gadgets. We got here by putting all of our energies and time into being offended by the stupidest, most insignificant things.

It’s like people don’t WANT to really know what’s going on. It’s like people purposefully look the other direction in order NOT to see and/or deal with the bigger issues. Because talking about big changes is too uncomfortable, it’s too hard. And now we’ve reached a point of no return – can you IMAGINE trying to cut benefits to people who now solely rely on the nanny state to take care of them? Can you IMAGINE overhauling an education system so that we get back to teaching children and not indoctrinating children?

We’ve dug our grave, it’s time to lie in it.

Why should we celebrate the mess we created?

I think Matt summarizes this hopelessness best:

Here’s what I do know, and here’s the hopeful part: Our priority has to be our families and our souls. The fate of the country or the globe has not been put entirely, or even mostly, in our individual hands. But we have profound jurisdiction over the fate of our families, the spiritual state of our children, whether our households serve the Lord, and whether we serve the Lord. That’s our hope for the future. Right there.

We can find greatness if we strive for holiness. We have to. We are entering an age where only the great Christians will spiritually survive. It’s a scary time, but if we heed the call to holiness, we can find immense joy. That’s what I want for my children, though I fear for them quite a bit these days. I can’t imagine what this country will look like in 30 or 40 years. Maybe things will have turned around, but honestly I really doubt it. So all I can do is hold them close, try to be a better father to them and a better husband to my wife, and equip them as best I can for what comes next.

I believe strongly that real persecution awaits us down the road. I think my children will face hostility and opposition and maybe even violence on a level I haven’t yet seen. We are heading into very challenging times, but if we keep our families together and our hearts with God, we’ll be OK. No matter what happens, we’ll be OK. And, by extension, if we pour ourselves into our families and into our faith, we might be able to rescue this culture and this country from the clutches of progressive annihilation. It won’t happen quickly, and I don’t know if it will happen at all, but I know there’s a chance. America is not lost completely. Not yet.

So find strength in the Lord. Love your spouse and your children like Christ loves the Church. Be a leader in your home. Be willing to sacrifice everything for your family. Be unwilling to sacrifice your soul for anything. Confront the reality of our current state and accept that you will be asked to endure a lot of pain and persecution. Pray. Remember what America was. Remember who God is. Remember who you are and why you’re here and that you were put here in this time for a reason.

God bless what’s left of America.

And may God have mercy on your soul.

Amen.


Filed under: Politics

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24. कुछ देर

कुछ देर

 

मैं हँसी
तो फूल मुस्कुरा उठे
मैनें छेड़ा तराना
तो इन्द्रधनुष और खिल उठा……
जिसकी कामना की……..
वही मिलती चलती गर्इ….
मन सुख समुंद्र में
लगा गोते लगाने
चारों और खुशनुमा माहौल
लगा मन में अजब स्फूर्ति भरने
ये धरती……… ये आकाश
ये चाँद …………ये तारे
सभी लगे मस्ती में झूमने
तभी…………….
टूटी तंद्रा मेरी
बीमार काया
टूटा पलंग, सूखी रसोर्इ
यहाँ गरीबी का हो रहा था ताँड़व
अचानक
फीकी हँसी मेरे अधरों पर खिल उठी
चलो………….
कोर्इ नही कल्पना तो है मेरे साथ
जब चाहे उसे नया रूप देकर
खुद को बहला तो सकती हूँ
कुछ देर जी तो सकती हूँ………….
कुछ देर जी तो सकती हूँ……………

कई बार जिंदगी में ऐसे पल आते हैं जब मन एक दम अकेला और मायूस सा हो जाता है… अब ये अपनी ऊपर हैं कि दुखी मन को लेकर दुखी हो जाओ या फिर मनोबल बनाए रखने के लिए मन को खुश रखो … मैने मन को ही खुश रखा क्योकि उसने मेरा ही भला होना था … ज्यादा तनाव रखती तो तबियत खराब हो जाती और डाक्टरों के चक्कर , अस्पताल के चक्कर लगाने कौन से आसान है भई … इसलिए सकारात्मक सोच लिए जिओ और देखना समस्या का हल भी निकल जाएगा बस एक ही कंडीशन है कि आप अपने कार्यों के प्रति ईमानदार रहना होगा …

कैसी लगी मेरी ये कविता ” कुछ देर” … जरुर बताईगा :)

The post कुछ देर appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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25. Free First 5 Pages Workshop is Now Closed

Hi Everyone,

Sorry but the Free First Five Pages Workshop is now closed. Once again, we filled up in under a minute! I will email the participants that made it into the workshop today. If you don't hear from me, I'm sorry but you didn't get in this month. Please try again next month!

Erin

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