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<<August 2015>>
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1. Writitng Prompt: Reader Rejects

Writing PromptWriting Prompt: Do you give up on bad books?

You expect a book to be totally amazing, and you eagerly tear into the first few chapters only to discover . . . the book is utterly disappointing!!! Reader reject!

Either it’s completely boring, or not what you expected, or it started off great but now it can’t seem to hold your interest. What do you do? We want to know for today’s Writing Prompt . . .

Do you give up on bad books . . . or do you finish every book you start?

Bare your soul and tell us about your rejected reads in the Comments below!

- Ratha, STACKS Writer

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2. 'Difficult Fiction'

       The fine novelist Joanna Scott argues for The Virtues of Difficult Fiction in The Nation, discussing books including Naomi S. Baron's Words Onscreen -- and finding:

The surprising problem arising in our culture is that good, active, creative reading is on the decline.
       I'm not sure to what extent this isn't actually just another facet of the perennial problem/complaint, but, hey, I'm always up for some support of 'creative', careful, and engaged reading
       So I'm certainly on board with her conclusion:
Let's not stop reading the kind of books that keep teaching us to read.

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3. Being a responsible donor

Part I of this post addressed a familiar question: how should individuals concerned about international issues decide where to donate money? Here I turn to a second, less familiar question that follows from the first: what is entailed in being a responsible donor after the question of where to donate has been settled?

The post Being a responsible donor appeared first on OUPblog.

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4. DUMPLIN' by Julie Murphy \\ A Must Read

by Paola DUMPLIN by Julie MurphyHardcover: 384 pagesPublisher: Balzer + Bray (September 15, 2015)Language: EnglishGoodreads | Amazon Dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom, Willowdean has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American-beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always

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5. GRADUATES - abspd latest

The Make it in Design blog has recently been showcasing some more of their students design work. Featuring a selection from graduates who took the January 2015 module 1 of The Art & Business of Surface Pattern Design and I thought I would pick out some of my faves here on P&P to help promote these new designers. The first design to catch my eye (above) was by Leah Brandwood whose interesting

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6. Putting together proposals

Lately, I’ve been building a proposal for Cell Story, my work in progress.

Proposals are a surprising amount of work, mostly because there’s so much that I need to address that I don’t necessarily know about yet. Mine tend to be really detailed and have a lot of things others might not need, but my agent and I are on the more-is-better side of the fence when it comes to these things.

Here’s what we always include:

1. A sample of the writing.

Contracts for option projects generally say they require three chapters and a synopsis, but three chapters just isn’t enough for me. Again, I’m in the more-is-better camp, so for this project, I have about 30,000 words written and revised. That’s a third of the book. (I think. I hope only a third.) I figure, the more of the actual story I can offer them (editors and acquisitions people), the better idea they will have of the story I’m trying to tell.

And it’s not just for them. I want to make sure I’m enjoying the story enough to keep going. It’s a huge commitment, agreeing to write an entire book! I don’t want to get a few chapters in and discover it’s not a project I want to spend at least the next two years with. So I write as much as I can, because I want to be sure of it for myself, too.

2. Elevator pitch.

It’s important to be able to tell someone quickly what the book is about. When you’re doing a signing in a store and someone walks up to your table and asks what the book is about, they want a sentence, not a speech. Hook them with a short description to make them want to hear the longer version.

I try to hammer these out from the very beginning, because it’s useful to know how I’ll describe the book–and also because it’s something I can always refer back to if I lose focus.

3. Query/flap-copy description.

I usually write a query-style description of the book even before I start–it helps me get a better idea of the story I’m wanting to tell–so all I have to do for a proposal is get it polished up. (And make sure it still lines up with the story I’m going to tell. This time, it didn’t. I had to rewrite the description from scratch.)

Again, this is something I often refer back to any time I start to lose focus in the story.

4. Synopsis/es.

Synopses are one of the things most proposals will always include. Again, it’s to give the publisher people a sense that you know where you’re going with the story.

I try to have a good, detailed one for the first book. Sequels usually have something shorter and broader, closer to a query description but with an ending point, because I don’t always know how I’m going to get somewhere, but I need to know where I am going, at least.

5. Character list.

These are useful for giving a sense of the size of the cast, and simply as a reference for later. In my character lists, main characters get detailed descriptions, while minor characters get a line or two about their role in the story.

6. Location list.

Since I write fantasy, this is really useful as a reference–and for getting a quick idea of the scope of the world. Again, more important locations get longer descriptions, while minor locations get briefer descriptions. And in worlds that have a lot of moving parts and characters traveling places, this can be extremely useful for showing that there is a difference between the locations and they’re not all Generic Medieval Fantasyland.

7. Comp titles.

Comp titles are always a challenge for me, but they’re really useful for publishers when determining how to position the book and how to market it. “If you like X, then you’ll like Y!”


So there I was, buried under all these things I needed to put together when I realized how completely weird putting together proposals is. I dashed out a quick email to my agent, who responded that this needed to be a blog post. It’s a bit short for an entire post, so you get the above as a bonus. But here’s where this post began:

Proposals are kind of like announcing I’m going to decorate for Christmas.

Here’s a tree that’s decorated on one side, and I’m going to do the whole house like this! No, better than a partially decorated tree! I’ll finish decorating the tree, too, once I know what everything looks like and how the tree needs to fit in. I might have to move the tree over there. Or do you think it looks good here? I can’t tell anymore.

Scattered around are more decorations, some for the tree, but the rest for the house. It’s kind of a mess and it doesn’t look like much, but don’t worry, I have another order coming in any minute now. And a plan! This house is going to look ah-mazing. I swear. It’ll blind passersby and put all the other houses to shame. Now if only I could find the lights for the reindeer I want to put in my yard. Wait, did I order lights for that? I’ll just order some more.

Watch your step.

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7. #BookADay: CIRCUS MIRANDUS by Cassie Beasley (Dial Books For Young Readers)

‪#‎BookADay‬: CIRCUS MIRANDUS by Cassie Beasley ( Dial Books for Young Readers, June 2015). Finished this middle grade book on the weekend. It was one of those experiences where I was enjoying the book soooo much that I began reading slower when I got to the last few chapters because I DIDN'T WANT IT TO END. This would make a fantastic read aloud.

I was also lucky enough to meet Cassie at Nerd Camp in June. She's so easygoing and friendly, plus drew me a picture of an elephant butt! She says it's the only thing she knows how to draw. grin emoticon I keep her drawing in the front of my copy of her book.

More about the book - More about Cassie

p.s. If you have a copy of the book, don't forget to look under the dust jacket!!!!


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


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8. How much do you know about Nordic countries and international law?

Which Nordic state had sovereignty over Iceland until 1918? Which state was allowed to discriminate against a transgender woman by annulling her marriage? Who disputed ownership of Eastern Greenland before the Permanent Court of International Justice? In preparation for the European Society of International Law's 11th annual conference, this year held in Oslo, test your knowledge of Nordic countries in international law with our quiz.

The post How much do you know about Nordic countries and international law? appeared first on OUPblog.

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9. The One Thing That No Cartoon Creator Can Control

The families of artists often play a big role in maintaining the legacies of famous cartoon characters.

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10. A Legend is Reborn…

This month marks the re-release of the prequel to The Last Timekeepers series, Legend of the Timekeepers through my new publishers Mirror World Publishing! I found this story much harder to write because I was jolted out of my comfort zone of historical facts and into the fictitious civilization of Atlantis. Fantasy isn’t easy to write. You have to come up with a believable world to lure your readers in. And if you write something that doesn’t jive, you risk pulling your reader out of the world you’ve created and possibly out of your book. That said, I’m so grateful for the editorial crew I was gifted with on this book, and my hope is that you’ll appreciate and enjoy the journey we’ve all been through to make this book possible and believable.

Here’s the tagline and blurb from Legend of the Timekeepers:
There is no moving forward without first going back.

Lilith was a young girl with dreams and a family before the final destruction of Atlantis shattered those dreams and tore her family apart. Now refugees, Lilith and her father make their home in the Black Land. This strange, new country has no place in Lilith’s heart until a beloved high priestess introduces Lilith to her life purpose—to be a Timekeeper and keep time safe.

Summoned through the seventh arch of Atlantis by the Children of the Law of One, Lilith and her newfound friends are sent into Atlantis’s past, and given a task that will ultimately test their courage and try their faith in each other. Can the Timekeepers stop the dark magus Belial before he changes the seers’ prophecy? If they fail, then their future and the earth’s fate will be altered forever.

When The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantisdebuted, I posted my Dedication and Acknowledgements from that book on my blog. So in keeping with this tradition, here is the Dedication and Acknowledgements from Legend of the Timekeepers:


For my mother, Peggy. You taught me to stand up for myself, and never forget my roots.


I said it before and I’ll say it again: Life is a team effort, and nothing is done without the help and support of others. The following people are in some way connected to the fabric of this work, to which I am eternally grateful:

Thank you to the staff at Mirror World Publishing, Justine Alley Dowsett, Murandy Damodred, and Robert Dowsett who gave this book a second chance.Hugs to my rock-star editor Tricia Schwaab who pushed my creative buttons so far I thought I was going through the change of life all over again. Seriously, Tricia, you made me a better writer. And finally, high fives to my book cover artist Kelly Shorten, who knew exactly what I wanted on her very first attempt at designing my beautiful cover—you are truly gifted.

A special shout out goes to my Wenches of Words family, especially to my cohort, Sloane Taylor. You Wenches have made this past year a special one with your show of kindness, support, caring, solidarity, and teamwork. Love you gals! May your lives be blessed with many bestsellers!

And last but not least, a big sloppy thank you to my hubby, Mike. You put up with enough of my melt-downs and tantrums to clear away any bad karma left between us. Again you acted as my pillar, my post, and more often than not, my anchor. God bless.

Cheers, hugs, and happy time traveling!


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11. Autograph Party

Martha Brockenbrough & Arthur Levine

Shannon Hale & Stacey Lee

Brandy Colbert

Paul Fleischman & Molly Idle

Greg Pincus & Varian Johnson

Mike Curato & John Rocco

Lin Oliver & Bonnie Bader

Mem Fox

Kwame Alexander

Dan Santat & Michelle Knudsen

Meg Wolitzer & Anna Shinoda

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12. March Of Time Books

March House Books is now closed.  It feels odd thinking that never mind writing it. It was a big part of my life for a very long time, but I know I've done the right thing. Just think, no more worrying about finding new stock, no getting up at 5am to travel hundreds of miles to auctions, no more packing parcels at midnight to make sure they catch the morning post. Oh dear, I miss it already!

Thank you to all the customers who became friends, I know we will remain in touch. Thank you to everyone who Tweeted, Facebooked and contacted me in numerous other ways. Special thanks to Claudine at Carry us off Books and Yvonne at Winter Moon for writing such nice things on their blogs. I also want to thank Sue at Green Meadow Books. She was the inspiration behind March House Books, and I will be forever grateful to her.

March of Time Books as suggested by my cousin John came top in the ‘rename this blog’ competition. March House Adventures suggested by Yvonne came a close second, and Willie came up with some interesting ideas ‘Beware the ides of March’ being one of them! Willie also mentioned giving a prize for the best name (why didn't I think of that?) hence this little book will soon be on the way to John.   John is a writer and a poet, so I feel sure he will enjoy it.  There is also a second prize for Yvonne and a highly commended for Willie. Both will be on the way in the next few days.

I have lots of ideas for this my new/old blog. One thing I really want to do is to make space for lots of guest posts. Do you have a favourite book, a fascinating hobby or collection or are you working on a new venture?  You don’t have to be a ‘professional’ blogger just someone with an interesting story to tell.  Maybe you are thinking of starting your own blog but have yet to take the plunge – why not post something here it just might give you the motivation you need.  Send me an email (via the email me button in the right-hand column) tell me what you want to write about, and I will do the rest.

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13. Kustom Komix

This is the cover of a webcomic that I put together from the artwork of kids in a cartooning class at the New London Maritime Museum where I was the instructor.  I drew the building, which is supposed to represent the old Customs House which houses the museum, and each of the kids in the class contributed the various details that I combined and colored in the computer.  I don't know if the kids learned anything, but I learned a lot.

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14. Guest Post and Giveaway: Tremaine’s True Love by Grace Burrowes

This morning I have am excerpt and giveaway for Tremaine’s True Love by Grace Burrowes, as well as guest post from Grace!

Message From the Author

What makes a man a gentleman?

For a romance writer, this question has to be answered in every book, because implicit in the term “hero” is something of the gentleman. Heroes need not be charming, handsome or wealthy, and they might not even be obviously heroic, at least at the start of the book, but they have to be worthy of our loyalty for the duration of an entire book. 

In the True Gentlemen series, I took three men who’d wandered across my pages in previous stories—Tremaine St. Michael, Daniel Banks, and Willow Dorning—and found them each a happily ever after. Tremaine is a flinty business man, Daniel is poor and pious, Willow finds polite society an enormous trial and would far rather be with his dogs. These fellows were not obvious choices as romance heroes, but they each had something that tempted me to write stories for them.

When we met Tremaine in an earlier book (Gabriel: Lord of Regrets), Tremaine was convinced that he’d found a good candidate for the position of wife. He offered marriage, listing all the practical advantages to both parties, and he congratulated himself on how much sense his proposed union would make.

The lady turned him down flat, and as a gentleman is bound to do, he graciously ceded the field. He didn’t like it, he didn’t entirely understand how or what he’d lost, but he wished the happy couple well.

Daniel’s role in David: Lord of Honor was to charge to London with sermons at the ready in an attempt to restore his sister’s honor. The very man Daniel accused of wronging that sister had already set her back on the path to respectability.

Oops. But again, being a gentleman, Daniel wishes the couple every happiness, even if doing so costs him the future he’d envisioned for himself and his loved ones. Like Tremaine, he’s a gracious and even dignified loser.

Willow’s appearance in Worth: Lord of Reckoning is brief, but he too is determined to see a sister rescued from a possibly compromising position, and again, rescue is simply not on the heroine’s agenda.

In all three cases, the true gentleman acts in the best interests of those he loves and is responsible for, regardless of the inconvenience or cost to himself. Because Tremaine, Daniel, and Willow were honorable, I liked them. I trusted them, I wanted them to have the happiness they clearly already deserved.

In the Nicholas Haddonfield’s sisters—Nita, Kirsten, and Susannah—I found ladies willing to oblige my ambitions for these men. In each case, our hero has lessons yet to learn, and in each case, his inherent honor wins the day. He might not be handsome, wealthy, or charming in the eyes of the world, but because he’s a true gentleman in the eyes of his lady, he wins her true love.

I hope you enjoy reading these stories as much as I enjoyed writing them!

Excerpt – Tremaine’s True Love

Wealthy businessman Tremaine St. Michael has concluded that marriage to Lady Nita Haddonfield would be a prudent merger of complimentary interests for the mutual benefit and enjoyment of both parties… or some such blather.

Tremaine rapped on Lady Nita’s door, quietly, despite a light shining from beneath it. Somebody murmured something which he took for permission to enter.

“Mr. St. Michael?”

Tremaine stepped into her ladyship’s room, closed the door behind him and locked it, which brought the total of his impossibly forward behaviors to several thousand.

“Your ladyship expected a sister, or a maid with a pail of coal?”

“I wasn’t expecting you.” Lady Nita sat near the hearth in a blue velvet dressing gown. The wool stockings on her feet were thick enough to make a drover covetous. “Are you unwell, Mr. St. Michael?”

“You are not pleased to see me.” Did she think illness the only reason somebody would seek her out?

She set aside some pamphlet, a medical treatise, no doubt. No vapid novels for Lady Nita.

“I was not expecting you, sir.”

“You were not expecting me to discuss marriage with you earlier. I wasn’t expecting the topic to come up in a casual fashion either. May I sit?”

She waved an elegant hand at the other chair flanking the hearth. Tremaine settled in, trying to gather his thoughts while the firelight turned Lady Nita’s braid into a rope of burnished gold.

“You are pretty.” Brilliant place to start. The words had come out, heavily burred, something of an ongoing revelation.

“I am tall and blond,” she retorted, twitching the folds her of her robe. “I have the usual assortment of parts. What did you come here to discuss?”

Lady Nita was right, in a sense. Her beauty was not of the ballroom variety, but rather, an illumination of her features by characteristics unseen. She fretted over new babies, cut up potatoes like any crofter’s wife, and worried for her sisters. These attributes interested Tremaine. Her madonna-with-a-secret smile, keen intellect, and longing for laughter attracted him.

Even her medical pre-occupation, in its place, had some utility as well.

“Will you marry me, my lady?”

More brilliance. Where had his wits gone? George Haddonfield had graciously pointed out that Nita needed repose and laughter, and Tremaine was offering her the hand of the most restless and un-silly man in the realm.

The lady somehow contained her incredulity, staring at her hands. “You want to discuss marriage?”

“I believe I did just open that topic. Allow me to elaborate on my thesis: Lady Bernita Haddonfield, will you do me the honor of becoming my wife? I think we would suit, and I can promise you would know no want in my care.”

A proper swain would have been on his damn bended knee, the lady’s hand in his. Lady Nita would probably laugh herself to tears if Tremaine attempted that nonsense. Lady Nita picked up her pamphlet, which Tremaine could now see was written in German.

“Why, Mr. St. Michael?”

“I beg your pardon?” Tremaine was about to pitch the damned pamphlet in the fire, until he recalled that Nita Haddonfield excelled at obscuring her stronger emotions.

“Why should you marry me, Tremaine St. Michael? Why should I marry you? I’ve had other offers, you’ve made other offers. You haven’t known me long enough to form an opinion of my character beyond the superficial.”

This ability to take a situation apart, into causes, effects, symptoms, and prognosis was part of the reason she was successful as a healer. Tremaine applied the same tendencies to commercial situations, so he didn’t dismiss her questions as coyness or manipulation.

She wasn’t rejecting him either. She most assuredly was not rejecting him.


Book Information

Title: Tremaine’s True Love

Author: Grace Burrowes

Release Date: August 4, 2015

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Genre: Historical Romance


He’s had everything he could ever want…until now

Wealthy wool magnate Tremaine St. Michael is half French, half Scottish, and all business. He prowls the world in search of more profits, rarely settling in one place for long. When he meets practical, reserved Lady Nita Haddonfield, he sees an opportunity to mix business with pleasure by making the lady his own.

Nita Haddonfield has a meaningful life tending to others, though nobody is dedicated to caring for Nita. She insists the limitations of marriage aren’t for her, then Tremaine St. Michael arrives-protective, passionate, and very, very determined to win Nita’s heart.

Buy Links

Amazon: http://bit.ly/AmazonBurrowesTremaine

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/BNBurrowesTremaine

iBooks: http://bit.ly/AppleBurrowesTremaine

IndieBound: http://bit.ly/IndieBurrowesTremaine

Author Biography

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Grace Burrowes’ bestsellers include The Heir, The Soldier, Lady Maggie’s Secret Scandal, Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish and Lady Eve’s Indiscretion. Her Regency romances have received extensive praise, including starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist. Grace is branching out into short stories and Scotland-set Victorian romance with Sourcebooks. She is a practicing family law attorney and lives in rural Maryland.

Social Media Links

Website: http://graceburrowes.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Grace-Burrowes/115039058572197

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GraceBurrowes

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4152482.Grace_Burrowes

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15. sweetness, it’s time you came out

I know. I know you don’t waaah-NUH.

Photo by Vicky Lorencen

Photo by Vicky Lorencen

But it’s time, my sweetness.

It is time.

Come, let me take your hand. (Wow. That is cold. We’ll talk about your circulation issues later.) We both know what needs to happen, and I’m here to help you do it.

Take a deep breath and repeat after me: “I am a writer.”

I can’t hear you, my little petunia. Try a-gain. Whisper it, if that helps. “I am a writer.”

See? I knew you could say it. (Do your hands always get this clammy?) Now, eat your cookie.

Earlier this summer I was at a conference where I met dozens of new writer kin and what ghasted my flabber was that several of these real writers (not dabblers or sometimers–the actual writing writer variety–with an agent no less!) were reluctant to call themselves a writer.

Now, I know the reasons for this reluctance are legion . . .

  • I’m “pre-published,” so I feel like an imposter. Writers are people who write. Authors are writers who are published. If you write novels/picture books/articles/manuscripts or copy of any kind, you, my darlin’, are a writer. If you’ve spent years thinking about/intending to/wanting to but never really writing, then sorry, you’re probably right not to call yourself a writer. You’re more of a writer in waiting. And that’s okay too.
  • I want to avoid the inevitable questions/unwelcome comments/unsolicited advice. You don’t want to be asked, “Where can I buy your book?” (if you don’t have one yet or it’s gone out of print). You don’t want to hear, “You’re going to be rich and famous! You’re going to be the next Harry . . .” you know the rest. Don’t deny who you are because you’re shy about silly, innocent, well-meaning questions or comments. Those will morph over time, but they won’t go away. Learn to nod and smile. You’re cool. You can handle this.
  • I don’t want the pressure. You know what? Maybe it’s not a bad thing. Instead of pressure, maybe let’s think of it as motivation. Show the world you’re for reals.
  • I’m not worthy of the title. Do you need a hard pinch? Stop that silliness right now. You love words. You care about craft. You’re willing to spend hours in isolation to revise and polish. You seek feedback. You take risks. You spend dollars you could devote to shoe-shopping so you can go to workshops to improve your skills. Heck, if you work any harder, you’re going to be OVER-worthy. You can wear the title of writer with pride. You’re stone cold legit.
  • I’m afraid I’ll be asked to perform an emergency tracheotomy. No, no, lamb chop. That’s what might happen if you say you’re a doctor. Stick with writer. No incisions needed.

You recognize your reluctance. Now, acknowledge your fear. Then do the right thing anyway. Come on out. Say it loud and proud–I am a WRITER!

Enjoy that feeling of empowerment. Your bravery will be rewarded. And, yes, of course, you can have a cookie.

The real things haven’t changed. It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures; and have courage when things go wrong. ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder

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16. Best Selling Middle Grade Books | August 2015

This month, Connect the Thoughts, an innovative journal from Chronicle Books, is The Children's Book Review's best selling middle grade book.

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17. Kwame Alexander: #LA15SCBWI Final Keynote

Newbery-winning author of THE CROSSOVER, Kwame Alexander, delivered a riveting final keynote for #LA15SCBWI. Using a poetry-slam style of call-and-response, he had the audience bopping along with him, interactively, throughout. His keynote, appropriately entitled, #Basketball rules, ended with an uproarious standing ovation. What a way to end #LA15SCBWI!

hustle dig
grind push
run fast
change pivot
chase pull
aim shoot
play hard
practice harder
work hardest!

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18. What’s Wrong with Your Illustration Business?


Illustration by Thomas James

Whether things are going really well for your illustration business, or really wrong, it’s always a good time to take a look at what you might need to change.

Finding the Weakest Links in Your Business

First I’d like to suggest zooming in a little closer on just the “problems”. Try and figure out what might be standing between you and the success you envision for yourself.

What might you be doing wrong?

What isn’t producing the desired results?

Is anything draining your time and money without offering something in return?

What is stunting your growth as a professional artist?

Once you discover the things that are dragging you down, you can choose to either remove them or make plans fix them, as needed. This may mean anything from making changes to your schedule, revising your promotional strategy, or upgrading your portfolio. Whatever the issue, it can be very useful to single it out, separate it from the pack, and make some strategic decisions about how to make a change for the better.

Identifying “problem areas” of your business can help you to make immediate improvements and potentially free up some valuable resources, which can then be devoted to something more productive elsewhere in your business.

Repairing Your Business

The most important step in this process is to actually do something about the broken parts of your business that are holding you back. This means setting aside time specifically for the purpose of fixing all those things that you promised you’d get to at some later date.

This is one of those aspects of being a freelancer that seems the least rewarding on the surface. It’s not often desirable to think about the negative things, but it’s easier than it sounds, and if you take action now you’ll feel instantly better about where your business is today, and where it’s going. You’ll have less problems affecting your business, and less undesirable tasks filling up your to-do list.

Once you focus on the broken pieces, you’ll be able to turn your attention to the things that are working well, and maybe even make them better with any resources you might have liberated from the wreckage of past mistakes.

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19. Monday Mishmash 8/3/15

Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. Our Little Secret Cover Reveal  I'm having a cover reveal this Thursday, August 6th. It's going to be a social media blitz, which means you don't need a blog to join in. You can share the cover on any social media site. If you'd like to be part of it, you can sign up here.
  2. Open Submissions For Leap Books Seek  I'm open to unagented submissions until August 14th. If you have a middle grade book between 30,000 and 40,000 words, you can submit your query (in the body of the email) along with your synopsis and first 3 chapters (as Word attachments) to kellyhashway.leapbooks@gmail.com. Your subject line should read OPEN SUBMISSIONS: TITLE OF YOUR BOOK.
  3. Editing  Somehow, I'm booked through the rest of the year with edits, so I'm editing all the time. LOL 
  4. Drafting  I'm trying to draft a novella in between editing. It's going very slowly, which isn't like me at all. I need some help from my muse on this one.
  5. Free Monthly Newsletter  My FREE monthly newsletter goes out this evening. If you aren't signed up to receive it, but would like to click here.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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20. Tade Ipadeola Q & A

       In The Sun Henry Akubuiro has a Q & A with Tade Ipadeola, NNLG laureate: I have no time for literary zombies -- which is certainly a nice headline.
       Admirable that he's translated (well, hmmm ... "more of 'traduction' in the sense of what translation means in a Romance language such as French. It was a whim" ...) Auden into Yoruba -- and disappointing that they're still:

unpublished translations of Daniel Fagunwa Yoruba classical novels, into English The Divine Cryptograph [Aditu] and The Pleasant Potentate of Ibudo [Ireke Onibudo].

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21. Creating Classroom Environments: Introducing Writer’s Notebooks

Four tips for introducing writer's notebooks this fall

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22. A Notable Summer

Source: www.chicagopubliclibrary.org

“The first week of August hangs at the very top of the summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning. The weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn, but the first week of August is motionless, and hot . . . These are strange and breathless days, the dog days.”

Natalie Babbit, Tuck Everlasting


Source: www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/notalists

Odds are that at least one of your Facebook friends will post the above quote this week—and for good reason, as this is, IMO, one of the best descriptions of summer ever to come from an ALSC Notable Children’s Book. Tuck Everlasting was named a Notable Children’s Book after its 1975 publication and is now widely hailed as a classic. Announced each year after Midwinter, the Notables lists of books, recordings, and videos, bring well-deserved attention to those titles which are “worthy of note or notice, important, distinguished, outstanding” and make superb resources for curating collections in libraries and homes. And Notables seals, just like those of the Newbery and its kin, help your library community discover these great titles. I’ve found that a great late summer project can be making sure that all of the Notables in the collection have this honor glinting from their cover, and you can buy Notables seals in sets of 24 here, or if you need 1,000 or more you can go here.

Thanks to all of the hard-working Notables committees over the years and best of luck to this years’!

Here are some other great summer-themed Notables from recent decades:

  • Blackout. By John Rocco, Illus. by the author. Disney/Hyperion Books (2012 Books list)
  • Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Summer Vacation. By Tommy Greenwald, read by MacLeod Andrews. Brilliance. (2014 Recordings list)
  • A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever. By Marla Frazee. Harcourt. (2009 Books list)
  • The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester. By Barbara O’Connor. Farrar, Straus & Giroux. (2011 Books list)
  • Garmann’s Summer. By Stian Hole, translated by Don Bartlett. Eerdmans Books for Young Readers. (2009 Books list)
  • Georgie Lee. By Sharon Philips Denslow, illustrated by Lynne Rae Perkins. Greenwillow. (2003 Books list)
  • Horse Song: The Naadam of Mongolia. By Ted and Betsy Lewin. Lee & Low Books. (2009 Books list)
  • Hot Day on Abbott Avenue. By Karen English, illustrated by Javaka Steptoe. Clarion. (2005 Books list)
  • A Long Way from Chicago: A Novel in Stories. By Richard Peck. Dial. (1999 Books list)
  • My Louisiana Sky. Based on the novel by Kimberly Willis Holt. Hallmark Entertainment (2002 Videos list)
  • One Crazy Summer. By Rita Williams-Garcia. Harper/Amistad. (2011 Books & Recordings lists)
  • The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy. By Jeanne Birdsall. Knopf. (2006 Books list)
  • Stanford Wong Flunks Big-Time. By Lisa Yee. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine. (2006 Books list)
  • Summersongs. By John McCutcheon. Rounder Records. (1996 Recordings list)
  • Sweet Corn. By James Stevenson. Greenwillow. (1996 Books list)

Congratulations to everyone who is now beginning to wind down their summer programming, and warm wishes for an enjoyable rest-of-summer, and here’s hoping that these titles whet the appetites of our southern hemisphere colleagues for the season headed your way. Happy reading, viewing, and listening to all!

My favorite spot on the Lake Michigan shore by my house to read in the summer. Photo source: Andrew

My favorite spot on the Lake Michigan shore by my house to read in the summer. Photo source: Andrew Medlar

The post A Notable Summer appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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23. PAPERCHASE - ruka ruka

I discovered these gorgeous Ruka Ruka age cards in Paperchase and thought they looked fabulously fun and bright. The designs have a retro look and a hint of the vintage circus style about them. With ages 1 to 10 the collection was designed by Ruka Ruka's founder Sinead Gray and was spotted in Paperchase on Tottenham Court Road in Lonon. You can also buy them online at Ruka Ruka or NOTHS.

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24. Untamed: The Wild Life of Jane Goodall by Anita Silvey, forward by Jane Goodall, 96 pp, RL 4

The introduction for Untamed: The Wild Life of Jane Goodall by Anita Silvey begins by noting that Jane Goodall "has been chosen as the most recognized scientist in the Western world." Regardless of how accurate that statement is, the fact remains that Jane Goodall is still alive, has been working in her field for over 50 years and her subject is something that is almost universally appealing

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25. This Year's Illustrator Mentees

The mentors and mentees

Hand picked from the portfolios submitted for review at this summer's conference, these illustrators are clearly up-and-coming! Here's examples of their work along with links to their websites:

K-Fai Steele

Meridth Gimbel

Nicholas Hong

Anne Berry

 Kisoo Chai


Molly Ruttan

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