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1. Kindle Daily Deal: Strange Chemistry title.

Yes, another one!:

When the World was Flat (and we were in love), by Ingrid Jonach

And yes, I bought it, description unseen, even!

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2. Genre debates: "literary" fiction versus SF/F.

I'm really not into having the whole Which One Is Better debate, because I don't have a strong aversion to any genre: if it's a good book, it's a good book, yay books. YAY BOOKS.

Anyway! Despite the title, ultimately, the essay is more about the differences between the two genres, and more especially about the strengths of SF/F:

You absolutely cannot obscure underlying weakness with waffle. Otherwise the emails will arrive, picking up on discrepancies. Not just for the sake of point-scoring or nitpicking but because fans become so engaged with imaginary worlds and so passionate about their characters.

That passion, so easily mocked by laughing at Trekkies and Whovians, is another thing that distinguishes SF and fantasy from literary fiction. Mocking that passion is missing a key aspect of speculative fiction. By drawing readers in large numbers, contemporary fantasy becomes a platform to debate key, current social and political challenges, while science fiction continues to explore the impact of technological developments, for good and ill, before we have to tackle these things in reality.

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3. Our Wonderful World.18

Details of my Poetry Month Project can be found here.





HOW?

No wheel for rolling,
or draft horse for pulling,
and hills too steep,
with trees thick and deep.

So how to move countless
stone blocks up a mountain?
A hundred-man force
up an inclined plane course.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2014


After a week that featured wonders of the modern world chosen by The American Society of Civil Engineers -- the Empire State Building (my favorite of my poems this week), the Golden Gate Bridge, the Itaipu Dam, the Delta Works, and the Panama Canal (I cheated and wrote a non-wonder poem that day) -- it's been nice to return to some ancient wonders: Petra yesterday and Machu Picchu today.

What fun it's been to learn about unknown or little-known places around the world, and to marvel, day after day, at the ingenuity of the human race!

Robyn has the Poetry Friday roundup today at Life on the Deckle Edge, and the Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem comes home to Irene at Live Your Poem.

Carol Varselona at BeyondLiteracyLink wrote a poem for the Panama Canal.




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4. Whatever Happened To The Fastest Boy In The World?

To more than one child the name Billy The Whizz was a joy and inspiration. Memories of the character in that unique colour scheme live on.  But what the hell did Thomson do to him???

In case you know nothing about him (!) there is a Wikipedia entry and I paraphrase  in part here:


Billy Whizz is a character featured in the Beano where he first appeared in issue 1139, dated 16th May 1964.  Created by Malcolm Judge to replace The Country Cuzzins strip. Billy, is able to run at incredible speed -and his speed often causes chaos. Interestingly, he also has a younger brother called Alfie Whizz who was of similar appearance. Alfie is usually shown as a normal boy but occasionally he is shown to be just as fast as his brother.

In the strips up until the 1980s, Billy lives in Whizztown rather than Beanotown like most of the other regular characters, however this later changed and more recent strips place him in Beanotown.

There is more detail at the Wiki where the creator history (and who is to blame for what) is also cited:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_Whizz#Changes_in_the_1990s
 
 Above: Billy The Whizz as most of us knew him and (below) AFTER his father made him wear long trousers in an attempt to slow him down (Okay, "Dad" wasn't a one for Physics).





Then Billy opted for a tracksuit with a red lightning streak...or yellow -I guess he must have had several suits because tracksuits get dirty quickly! In this suit Billy was once whisked off to take part in an interplanetary Olympic games!

Yes, in 2003 Billy was still recognisable as Billy.
Billy with his Lightening Tracksuit




 Even after a slight change Billy was still recognisable (below). No problem here.

And......W..T..F????????????????  After passing through a heavy trans-dimensional warp and cutting through interstitial time, Billy is the victim of.....okay. I'm sorry but this is not Billy The Whizz. It's some D. C. Thomson aborted attempt to turn their comics into a very poor Cartoon Network style mockery to increase sales and no doubt "make the character more relevant to modern readers" (or, as we call it, an editor with no ideas left in the head).
 
How did that work out, fellas?

It is very sad to think that, after Nigel Dobbyn revitalised Billy The Cat and even the old General Jumbo character (THAT ended rather badly thanks to Thomson's) that this is the best they could do for Whizz! I think a lot of us oldies were hoping that one day Billy The Cat would answer an emergency call from Jumbo and a certain speedster would gate-crash.

Let's not undermine the character. His influence on readers who went on to work in comics is great. Remember 2000 ADs strip ZENITH? Well it had a Billy The Whizz inspired character.

 Jimmy Quick was a young superhuman from Alternate 666 with the ability to run at super-speed. He was killed by the Lloigor infected Mr Why on February 14, 1988 taking a message to the Alternate 303.

You can find out about other such characters in Zenith here Seizing The Fire:
http://www.2000ad.org/zenith/robert.html 

And there is a certain Black Tower character named "Jack Flash" whose inspiration lo, those many years ago was Billy.



So, whatever Thomson was thinking and what they did to the character I'll allways have fond memories of the real Billy The Whizz!!

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5. Alaska's Dog Heroes by Shelley Gill

Alaska's Dog Heroes: true stories of remarkable canines by Shelley Gill; Illustrated by Robin James Sasquatch Books. 2014 ISBN: 9781570619472 Grades 2-5 I borrowed a copy of this book from my local public library. <!--[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4

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6. The Cat with Seven Names - an audiobook review


(My review of The Cat with Seven Names, as it appeared in the April, 2014, edition of School Library Journal.)



Johnson, Tony. The Cat with Seven Names. 1 CD. 15 min. Recorded
Books. 2014. $15.75. ISBN 9781490602479. digital
download.

PreS-Gr 2— A plump, seemingly stray cat wanders occasionally into the home of an older librarian. She names her visitor Stuart Little. At an elderly neighbor's home, he receives the moniker Kitty-boy, while a lonely Mexican man names him Placido for his "singing" voice. A homeless vet calls him Dove, for the peace he brings. Only the cat is lacking his own voice in this heartwarming story of a busy neighborhood, full of unconnected adults. Each character has his or her own first-person narrator, each distinctly different. The Hispanic man peppers his speech with Spanish words, as he first meets "Placido" on a day when it rains gatos y perros. Humorous wordplay abounds throughout, in which the cat is the common fixture in the lives of seven adults and a young girl. When the cat has a near accident, the full cast calls out seven different names, as each rushes to save the feline that has befriended them all; and through the cat, they befriend each other. The Cat with Seven Names will be sold with and without its corresponding picture book. Consider purchasing the set. Absent illustrations, the steady stream of elderly and adult voices may not be enough to hold a child's attention.


Copyright © 2014 Library Journals, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. Reprinted with permission.
##

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7. Identifying unexpected strengths in adolescents

By Johanna Slivinske


Think for a moment, back to when you were a teenager. What were you like? What did you enjoy doing? In what did you excel? The positive activities in which we partake in adolescence shape our adult lives. In my case, playing the clarinet in band and competing in extemporaneous speaking on the speech team molded me the most, and became my personal strengths.

360px-Chambre_adolescentMusic and the creative arts continue to influence my writing and speaking, and many of these facets of my professional life can be traced back to strengths developed and built upon in my youth. Another strength was the fact that I had a loving, kind, and caring family. This provided me with a solid foundation for life, and in a sense, these protective factors in my life made me resilient. However, strengths can also be found in unexpected venues, perhaps peering through the cracks of hardship.

  1.   Adolescents might find strengths through their failures in discovering that they are able to get back up after falling. When teens fail, and continue to try despite the failure, they show a level of resilience, diligence, and perseverance.
  2.   The communities of adolescents, even if less than perfect, can be a source of strength. Creating dialogues about community leaders may benefit teens that need role models in their lives. It can help them figure out whom they aspire to be similar to in character and in positive personal qualities. A community leader can be anyone who functions as a responsible person in the community, or anyone else who cares about the well-being of the community as a whole.
  3.   Acting out behaviors may be viewed through a strengths lens if those behaviors are a response to traumatic experiences such as community violence or sexual assault. The nonproductive response of acting out behaviors during adolescence may be reframed therapeutically as a survival mechanism or a stepping-stone leading toward a more productive path of healing and growth.
  4.   Instead of viewing quirks, eccentricities, or diagnoses as negative qualities, these may sometimes be perceived as qualities that foster the creation of unique perspectives and promote divergent ways of understanding the world.
  5.   When everyday necessities are lacking from adolescents’ lives, they may learn to be resourceful. Resourcefulness may entail surviving under extremely stressful circumstances or learning how to “make due” with limited resources. Teens may have learned how to cook for themselves, or they may have asked friends to share clothing with them. These are examples of using the strength of resourcefulness under difficult circumstances.


When working with adolescents and their families, it is essential to focus not only on their problems, but also on their strengths. This may sometimes present as a challenge, but if you search intensely, with an open mind, strengths may be identified and built upon as a solid foundation for life. This contributes to the fostering of resilience in adolescents and their families.

Hidden or obscured strengths, when perceived in a positive manner, may serve as methods of coping or means of survival during times of stress. Even when strengths are obvious to professionals, adolescent clients may not be aware of their own strengths, and may benefit from therapists’ ability to identify, recognize, and name them. Through working with adolescents, it’s possible to identify strengths and help them learn more about themselves and what makes them unique, so that they can grow to become productive members of their communities.

Johanna Slivinske is co-author of Therapeutic Storytelling for Adolescents and Young Adults (2014). She currently works at PsyCare and also teaches in the Department of Social Work at Youngstown State University, where she is also affiliated faculty for the Department of Women’s Studies.

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Image credit: Chambre de jeune français. Photo by NdeFrayssinet. CC-BY-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

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8. Poetry Friday with a review of Count me a Rhyme: Animal Poems by the numbers

Jane Yolen, who is a master author and poet, finds wonderful ways to teach young children about their world. For example she uses young dinosaur characters to explore how to have good manners and how to interact with others in a kind and compassionate way. In today's poetry book she uses verse, photos, and prose to look at numbers in an interesting and engaging way.

Count me a Rhyme: Animal Poems by the numbersCount me a Rhyme: Animal Poems by the numbers
Jane Yolen
Photographs by Jason Stemple
Poetry Picture Book
For ages 8 and up
Boyds Mills Press, 2006, 978-1590783450
We often see numbers in nature without realizing that we are doing so. In this book we will count from one to ten – and beyond a little – in the animal world, and we will learn a little about the animals we see as well. From “One Lone Elk” to “Five Geese, Five” we get to explore beautiful natural environments through photographs and poetry. The author has also chosen to add words and symbols on every page which children might find interesting. For example on the page for the number eight we see eight bighorn sheep going up a hill and we read a poem about them climbing “in a long long line." We also encounter the number eight, the words “octave,” “eighth,” and “octagon,” and we can look at the roman numerals “VIII.”
   Each poem is unique and the author cleverly ties her words to the photograph in the background and to the characteristics of the animal in question. Children will discover that poetry can come in all shapes and sizes and that there are many ways in which words can be used to have special effects. Who would have thought that the shape of a poem on the page can tell a story, and yet in this book readers will discover that this is indeed what can be done and to great effect as well.

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9. Interview with Zoey Derrick, Author of The Reason Series and Giveaway!

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

[Zoey Derrick] Mother, lover, fighter, crazy, romantic, bibliophile

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about your Reason series?

[Zoey Derrick] The Reason Series is an Omnibus of 4 novellas – Give Me Reason, Give Me Hope, Give Me Desire and Give Me Love and is an Angel Paranormal Romance.

Vivienne Callahan – my heroine is a feisty tiger, who is strong willed and determined, to a fault. Her determination hinders her from seeing some of the dangers in front of her.

Mikah Blake – an angelic hero (literally and figuratively) meets Vivienne and sees a beautiful, strong, and amazing woman who needs help. When they finally come together, the way they should have in the beginning, things are set in motion that one never saw coming.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you share your favorite scene?

[Zoey Derrick] From Give Me Desire – Book 3

I walk quietly toward him. I can’t tell if he’s awake or sleeping. He’s not looking at me, but down toward the floor. As I get closer I see his wings flare and twitch slightly.

When I’m about five steps away from him, I shed my shirt so that I’m down to my bra and lacy boy shorts. I don’t want to destroy his shirt.

I concentrate extra hard and, after a beat, I feel them pushing out, spreading outward. The sensation is strange, almost like arms emerging from my body. I smile at the fact that I was able to bring them out on my own.

Once I feel as though they are fully extended, I open my eyes and peer over my shoulder. They are as brilliant as they were this morning, but bigger, and I gasp as I watch them shimmer in the faint light of the kitchen.

I test the muscles in my back, flexing them. My wings move slightly and a thrill of excitement washes over me.

I turn back toward Mikah. He hasn’t moved, but his breathing has grown strained, ragged like in the dream.

I take the five small steps I need to reach him and stop.

I reach down and gently stroke the stubble along his jaw. He leans into my touch. I lower myself to my knees; they slide along his as they come to rest on the floor.

“Keep your eyes closed,” I whisper.

He nuzzles into my touch a shade more, and with my other hand, eager to see if the sensation is the same, I reach for his wing. When I make contact, his mouth goes slack, his breathing stops momentarily, and the feathers of his wings flare. He moans: a warm, sensual sound.

I pull my hand back and cup the other side of his face. He does the same with my face.

“Kiss me,” I breathe, and he rises up, bringing me with him.

I’m looking up at him, and slowly, even more slowly than in the dream, he lowers his kiss to mine. I stretch, hoping to meet his mouth faster, and he smiles.

The next thing I know, his lips are on mine, soft and warm, hot and needy. The moment we make contact, satisfaction and desire sweep through me. I can feel his need in the touch of his lips, in the trembling of his fingers against my face, a need that matches my own.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What gave you the most trouble with the series?

[Zoey Derrick] Mixing Fantasy and Reality. The Reason Series is a human love story with a paranormal twist and while I adore paranormals, especially of the romance kind, I found it harder than I would of thought to incorporate the two together in a way that was believable yet a fantasy.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had a theme song, what would it be?

[Zoey Derrick] That would bed more like a playlist verses one song.. Thought the two that come to mind right away are P!nk’s Bad Influence and Scott Stapp’s The Great Divide.

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

[Zoey Derrick] Besides clothes…my cell phone – it is my gateway to all things, reading, writing, and surfing the internet, not while driving of course.

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

[Zoey Derrick] Monster (energy drink), Mini Babybel Cheese’s x2 (serious addiction) and ibuprofen – a must have on any writers desk…okay maybe just mine.

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

[Zoey Derrick] Eva Tramell from Sylvia Day’s Crossfire Series.. **swoon** Gideon!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are some books that you enjoyed recently?

[Zoey Derrick] Interview With A Master by Jason Luke, The Beauty Series by Georgia Cates (Beauty from Pain/Surrender/Love) are from my recently read list.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Zoey Derrick] I’m everywhere…

Facebook – www.facebook.com/zoey.derrick

Twitter – www.twitter.com/zoeyderrick

Pinterest – www.pinterest.com/zoeyderrick/

Goodreads – www.goodreads.com/ZoeyDerrick

Website – www.zoeyderrick.net

Email – Zoey@Zoeyderrick.net

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

The Complete Collection

All four books in Zoey Derrick’s Best-Selling Paranormal Romance

Give Me Reason

Give Me Hope

Give Me Desire

Give Me Love

Vivienne Callahan has known only hardship. As if growing up with an alcoholic, drug addicted mother wasn’t traumatic enough, she’s escaped from her physically and verbally abusive boyfriend only to struggle every day to make ends meet as a waitress in a Minneapolis diner.

Along comes Mikah Blake…

—-
Find out more about Zoey Derrick and The Reason Series here:
Amazon  – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IKZUE5S
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20877403-the-reason-series-complete-collection
Author Web – http://zoeyderrick.net
Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/zoeyderrick

 

About Zoey:

It is from Glendale, Arizona that Zoey Derrick, a mortgage underwriter by day and romance and erotica novelist by night, writes stories as hot as the desert sun itself. It is this passion that drips off of her work, bringing excitement to anyone who enjoys a good and sensual love story.

Not only does she aim to take her readers on an erotic dance that lasts the night, it allows her to empty her mind of stories we all wish were true.

Her stories are hopeful yet true to life, skillfully avoiding melodrama and the unrealistic, bringing her gripping Erotica only closer to the heart of those that dare dipping into it.

The intimacy of her fantasies that she shares with her readers is thrilling and encouraging, climactic yet full of suspense. She is a loving mistress, up for anything, of which any reader is doomed to return to again and again.

About Zoey | Goodreads | Amazon | Zoey on Twitter | Zoey on FB

Follow the Tour:

4/7 – Parajunkee.com

4/8 – shaynareneesspicyreads.com

4/9 – bookbriefs.blogspot.com
parayournormal.wordpress.com

4/10 – cbybookclub.blogspot.co.uk

4/11 – ljsecretaddiction.blogspot.ca

4/13 – www.cocktailsandbooks.com

4/14 – www.aliisbookjungle.com
lynnareynolds.wordpress.com
www.stephaniekeyes.com

4/15 – breatheinbooks.blogspot.com
ambersupernaturalandya.blogspot.com

4/16 – saaratis.wordpress.com
www.librarymistress.com

4/17 – www.paranormal-bookclub.com

4/18 – shaynavaradeauxbooks.blogspot.com
www.mangamaniaccafe.com

Giveaway

Comment to win The Reason Series Complete Collection!

Giveaway Information:
10 eBook Copies of the Complete Collection for each tour host
2 Swag Packs that include:
The Reason Series Posters
The Reason Series Notebooks
Swag Fun!
Full Collection, Signed Print Copies
2 Full Collections, Signed Print Copies

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The post Interview with Zoey Derrick, Author of The Reason Series and Giveaway! appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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10. Offbeat


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11. Gabriel García Márquez (1927-2014)

       The 1982 Nobel laureate, Gabriel García Márquez, has passed away.
       Only two of his titles are under review at the complete review (I read pretty much all the rest before I started the site):

       One Hundred Years of Solitude still seems to me the most significant novel of the past fifty years; get your copy -- if, incomprehensibly, you don't have one -- at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

       There has been extensive coverage (and much, much more will follow, no doubt); see, for example:        But there's tons more -- especially in the Spanish-language press.

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12. Lit Links

Morgan Library

What books are you planning on diving into this weekend? Any exciting plans? I am hopefully finishing up the Pulitzer Prize winning THE GOLDFINCH and then jumping into ASTONISH ME by Maggie Shipstead. We are also gearing up for the Boston Marathon that will be broadcast on Monday. Here are a few interesting literary links from around the web…

Books that grab from page one according to Kirkus.

Great interview with Judy Blume for American Libraries Magazine.

Donna Tartt “surprised” by Pulitzer for The Goldfinch.

Editor with string of hits is joining Little, Brown.

7 Brilliant Ways Authors Build Buzz.

World Read Aloud Day.

A literary couple at home.

Flatiron Books to publish Oprah in September.

ROOM by Emma Donoghue headed to the big screen.

21 female authors you should be reading. Will ReadWomen2014 change our collective reading habits?

Image via.

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13. Göran Malmqvist profile

       In the South China Morning Post Janice Leung invites readers to Meet Göran Malmqvist, Nobel Prize member and champion of Chinese literature -- the Chinese-speaking member of the Swedish Academy.

       The big news here is Malmqvist claiming of Border Town-author Shen Congwen that:

If he hadn't passed away, he would have got the Nobel Prize in 1988
       Stop the presses ?!??
       Was the 1988 laureate -- Naguib Mahfouz -- really second choice ?
       Well, not so fast -- Shen passed away in May of 1988; he may well have been one of the (usually five) finalists by then, but they don't settle on a winner until the fall, so there's no way of telling whether he would have prevailed over Mahfouz. Still, interesting to hear he was so close.

       Also of interest: Malmqvist's complaints:
Unfortunately, he says, there are as many poor translators as there are good writers in China.

"What makes me angry, really angry," he cries, eyes blazing, "is when an excellent piece of Chinese literature is badly translated. It's better not to translate it than have it badly translated. That is an unforgivable offence to any author. It should be stopped.

"Often translations are done by incompetent translators who happen to know English, or German, or French. But a lot of them have no interest and no competence in literature. That is a great pity."
       One exception:
David Hawkes' rendition of Cao Xueqin's epic novel The Story of the Stone, which he regards as a rare gem of translated Chinese literature.

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14. Practice Query #4


Dear Evil Editor,

I am seeking representation for my 80,000 word YA paranormal romance, “Stronger than the Night.”

Ella Van Helsing has always slept with a light on. As a child, she sobbed at every sunset. Ella suffers from nyctophobia, an abnormal fear of the night. But Ella isn’t a child any longer -- she’s sixteen, and she wants to ask hunky Taylor Smith to the end-of-term school dance. Ella must overcome her self-imposed ‘home-before-dark’ curfew, or kiss any chance of romance with Taylor good-bye. Adding to the pressure, Ella’s dad is famous vampire-hunter Abraham Van Helsing IV, and he’s deeply ashamed of his daughter.

Ella’s first planned foray into the night, a quick trip to the grocery store, becomes a life-or-death chase through the streets of modern London when she witnesses a trio of vampires kidnap her little brother. In Hyde Park she loses sight of the vampires, but stumbles into a werewolf pack meeting — Taylor’s pack. Her school crush turns out to be the son of the pack’s alpha female, who takes pity on Ella and commands a resentful Taylor to help her.

Ella’s desperate race pushes her to the breaking point, but aided by her wits, Taylor’s supernatural senses, and the garlic marinara sauce in her shopping bag, Ella prevails. She not only rescues her brother and vanquishes her fears, she wins her father’s respect – and Taylor’s adoration.

Thank you for your consideration.


--IMHO

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15. 2014 April PAD Challenge: Day 18

One of the cool things I was asked to do already this year is to be a guest judge at the InterBoard Poetry Community for the first three months of the year. It was fun reading through the submissions each month, and my last round of judging recently went live on the site. Click here to read the winners

–and to check out the various forums/communities.

For today’s prompt, write a weather poem. A weather poem can be a poem about a hurricane or tornado; it can be a poem about the weatherperson; it can be a poem about forgetting an umbrella on a rainy day; it can be big; it can be small; etc.

*****

2014_poets_market

Get published!

Learn how to get your poetry published with the 2014 Poet’s Market. This essential guide to publishing poetry is filled with articles on the craft of poetry, business of poetry, and promotion of poetry. It includes poetic forms, poet interviews, and new poetry. But most importantly, it includes listings to poetry publishers, including book publishers, magazines, contests, and more!

Click to continue

.

*****

Here’s my attempt at a Weather Poem:

“my brother, the storm chaser”

my brother is a storm chaser
i am a storm racer my brother
chases after storms i race from them

my brother looks at online data
& knows where tornadoes will drop
i just see a big red & green blob

of potential destruction my
brother is the guy everyone
in my family wants to discuss

i am happy to fly under
the radar & stay out of harm’s way
& pray for my baby brother’s health

*****

Today’s guest judge is…

Nin Andrews

Nin Andrews

Nin Andrews

Nin’s poems and stories have appeared in many literary journals and anthologies including Ploughshares, The Paris Review, Best American Poetry (1997, 2001, 2003, 2013), and Great American Prose Poems.

She won an individual artist grant from the Ohio Arts Council in 1997 and again in 2003 and is the author of several books including six chapbooks and five full-length collections.

Her next book, Why God Is a Woman, is due out from BOA Editions in 2015.

Learn more here: http://www.amazon.com/Nin-Andrews/e/B001JOVUG.

*****

PYHO_Small_200x200

Poem Your Heart Out

Poems, Prompts & Room to Add Your Own for the 2014 April PAD Challenge!

Words Dance Publishing is offering 20% off pre-orders for the Poem Your Heart Out anthology until May 1st! If you’d like to learn a bit more about our vision for the book, when it will be published, among other details.

Click to continue

.

*****

Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems

. He really does have a storm chasing brother named Simon Brewer (click here to learn more about him). Learn more about Robert here: http://www.robertleebrewer.com/.

*****

Weather the day with these poetic posts:

.
  • Tracy Davidson: Poet Interview
  • .
  • Sijo: Poetic Form
  • .

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    16. FOODFIC: The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern

    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9361589-the-night-circus



    I love carnival food. Who doesn’t? My favorite is the fries; they have that inexplicable something* that is somehow conjured up by every unique traveling show, yet can be found nowhere else on Earth.

    Maybe it’s magic.

    Now don’t tell me don’t believe; real magic is in fact the heart (if not the stomach) of this story. Magic that hides in plain sight by masquerading as trickery.

    There is Celia, billed by the night circus as an illusionist, but who actually can alter reality; her show might involve tossing a coat into the air only to have the silk fold in on itself to form the shape of a raven and then fly away.

    Marco’s similar, if arguably lesser, ability enables him to manipulate perception – closer to what we think of as stage magic, yet he needs no diversionary tactics since he can truly manipulate what one sees.

    Unfortunately, their magical prowess doesn’t equate to psychic ability and the two don’t know that they’re actually being pitted against each other in a contest to the death – the arena for which being the circus that they travel within.

    So there’s magic andmystery and romance, yet I can’t help but circle back to my favorite question: What are they serving at this magically real venue? More magic hidden in plain sight, of course! There are fantastically delicious cinnamon things – layers of pastry and cinnamon and sugar all rolled into a twist and covered in icing, as well as spiced cocoa with clouds of extra whipped cream on top. Completely expected carnival foods made exceptional with magic, but still believably real. The only hints at the unusual are the chocolate mice (not at all like the Harry Potter frogs) and the edible paper featuring detailed illustrations that match their respective flavors, which frankly doesn’t sound at all appetizing to me.

    And therein lies perhaps the truth of it all: we think we want the bizarre, but we really just want the best-ever version of the usual. We have to be able to relate to it in order to accept it; we need to believe that we are seeing and tasting the exceptional but normal, because admitting that it’s supernatural, might make it suddenly untrue. As in, It can’t be magic, because then it wouldn’t be really happening. Since nobody wants that, we have to deny the magic in order to enjoy it. See? I need them to serve me magical food out of a real-looking fake kitchen cart so that I can savor the flavors without letting doubt and disbelief sour the taste. ;)


    *Probably oil that’s been sitting in a fryer for 50 years and would be labeled toxic by a health inspector if one could ever catch up with the show. But I wouldn’t have it any other way; some secrets are better left unexamined. ;)

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    17. 5 Things Not to do During a Zombie Apocalypse by John L Campbell

    John L Campbell’s zombie apocalypse novel, Omega Days, will be released in paperback May 6.  I’ll have a review in early May, so please check back for it.  In the meanwhile, John dropped by to share some tips in the event of a zombie apocalypse.

    FIVE THINGS NOT TO DO DURING A ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE

    -John L. Campbell

    It’s the end of the world, and our communities are crawling with the walking dead. Finally! No more nine-to-five, no more bills, and you can at last have that Corvette you’ve always wanted; just drive it off the lot. For years we’ve been bombarded with information about how to survive, through film and books, television shows, commercials and what-if discussions over beers. We’re ready. It’s go time.

    There are some unexpected dangers lurking, however, that will bring your visions of EOTW glory to an abrupt halt. In the interest of public service, I’ve outlined the pitfalls that should be avoided in order to have a safe and happy zombie apocalypse.

    Do not attempt to rescue your relatives.

    First of all, they’re zombies by now. And you don’t like most of them anyway, remember? Think back to that last family holiday. Now imagine your bunker filled with those same relatives, now zombies, sitting down for the big dinner. Zombies have awful table manners, and they’re just as ungrateful for all the hard work you put into it as they were at Thanksgiving. And just because they’re the undead doesn’t mean they’ve changed; they still hold grudges, bring up embarrassing memories, try to borrow money, complain about medical conditions you’d rather not hear about, and empty your liquor cabinet. You’ve been looking for a way out of these family gatherings for years. The zombie apocalypse is the perfect excuse.

    Do not go out in search of food and supplies.

    Remember the way you complained about the crowds during your last holiday shopping trip? Think of Black Friday times ten. By the time you get to the stores, they’ll have sold out of all the good stuff, and, of course, most of the clerks will already have turned. Zombie retail clerks. Ew. The lines will be endless, your awesome apocalypse vehicle will get dented by shopping carts in the parking lot, and when you get home, survivors will be squatting in your house. Better to stay in and eat those things you’ve been neglecting at the back of the pantry for years; the pumpkin pie filling, the granola you bought during your last Get Healthy kick, the prehistoric croutons. You wanted to lose weight anyway, right?

    Don’t forget to wear clean underwear.

    Your mother warned you for years. Now the probability of “getting in an accident” has just multiplied.

    Do not hang around New York City.

    Yes, Will Smith made it look cool. And yes, carriage rides in Central Park are very romantic. But the city is swarming with the walking dead, and if you thought it was difficult to get a cab before? New York zombies are pushy and rude, and will become unbearable once the power grid goes down and they can’t get a cell phone signal. NYPD will be busy ticketing all the abandoned cars in the street, so they won’t have time to give you directions to Radio City, or save you when you’re being pursued by an undead bike messenger. Zombie bike messengers. Ew. In addition, Wicked and Phantom just won’t be the same as zombie actors lurch across the stage, croaking their lines and devouring the people who paid five hundred dollars for orchestra seating.

    Do not isolate yourself on a Caribbean island.

    But an island is perfect, you say, and you love the tropics. Sure, the idea is logical on the surface; wait out the plague on the beach, getting hammered on fruity umbrella drinks. But Caribbean islands have snakes. Ew, snakes. And island zombies hate tourists, especially if it’s a French island. French zombies. Ew. They do, however, find tourists delicious, and this will negatively impact the level of service you receive at hotels and resorts. And let’s think it through. The pool bar will be mobbed, the pool itself will have questionable objects floating in it, and the locals will triple the price for para-sailing and native crafts. No, better not to travel, and avoid that undead TSA agent challenging you on the size of your travel mouthwash.

    Survive the zombie apocalypse by staying home. Don’t leave the garage door open, remember that you can drink toilet water if necessary (from the tank, not the blue stuff in the bowl,) and pass the time with a good book. I could recommend several. In the meantime, just sit around and wait for the government to save you. They have a plan for this, right?

     

     

    About the book:

    When the end came, it came quickly. No one knew where or exactly when the Omega Virus started, but soon it was everywhere. And when the ones spreading it can’t die, no one stands a chance of surviving.

    San Francisco, California. Father Xavier Church has spent his life ministering to unfortunate souls, but he has never witnessed horror like this. After he forsakes his vows in the most heartrending of ways, he watches helplessly as a zombie nun takes a bite out of a fellow priest’s face…
    University of California, Berkeley. Skye Dennison is moving into her college dorm for the first time, simultaneously excited to be leaving the nest and terrified to be on her own. When her mother and father are eaten alive in front of her, she realizes the terror has just begun…
    Alameda, California. Angie West made millions off her family’s reality gun show on the History Channel. But after she is cornered by the swarming undead, her knowledge of heavy artillery is called into play like never before…
    Within weeks, the world is overrun by the walking dead. Only the quick and the smart, the strong and the determined, will survive—for now.

    About the author:

    John L. Campbell is the author of the zombie apocalypse series, OMEGA DAYS from Penguin Random House. Book One, “Omega Days,” was an overnight Amazon Horror bestseller, and remained on the list for 17 weeks. In addition, he is the author of two collections of short horror stories, RED CIRCUS and IN THE FALLING LIGHT, and a novella based upon actual events, THE MANGROVES, which chronicles the most horrific crocodile massacre in recorded history. His short fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies, literary magazines and ezines.
    John has lived all over the U.S., and has worked as everything from a limo driver to professional investigator and executive. He currently resides with his family in New York, where he is hard at work on the next novel in his Omega Days series.
    Campbell is an Active Member of the HWA; Horror Writer’s Association, and is represented by the Jennifer DeChiara Literary Agency in New York.
    Coming soon, SHIP OF THE DEAD. Prepare to be boarded…

    The post 5 Things Not to do During a Zombie Apocalypse by John L Campbell appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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    18. Initiation into America’s original megachurch

    By David Yamane


    The American religious landscape is ever changing. The rise of religious nones, the spiritual not religious, thoughtful spirituality, the emerging church, online religion, megachurches, and on and on.

    As a sociologist of religion who specializes in Roman Catholicism, it is easy to feel old-fashioned in the face of so much novelty. But in its typically deliberate way, the original megachurch in America continues to make its mark on the religious landscape.

    Photo of adult being baptized

    Easter Vigil Baptism, April 11, 2009. Image Credit: Photo by IC MONROVIA RCIA, CC 2.0 via Flickr.

    On Saturday night, April 19th, at Easter Vigil Masses in most of the 17,000+ parishes in the United States, tens of thousands of individuals will join the Catholic Church. On average over the past ten years, 67,000 adults annually have been baptized Catholic and 83,000 baptized Christians annually have been “Received into Full Communion” with the Roman Catholic church in the United States.

    To put these numbers in perspective, these 1.5 million people becoming Catholic over the past decade in themselves would comprise one of the 20 largest religious bodies in America. Catholic converts collectively are about 11% of all Catholics in the United States today. These 5.85 million individuals would be the fifth largest religious body in America, just ahead of the Church of God in Christ and behind the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the Mormon Church).

    These numbers are impressive, but even more notable is that most adults who become Catholic in America today do so through an elaborate initiation process that is both ancient and modern: the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA).

    Fresco of Baptism of St Augustine

    Baptism of St Augustine, public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

    In the ancient church, adult baptism was preceded by a structured period of instruction (“catechesis”), which could last as long as three years. Individuals undergoing instruction were called “catechumens” (“hearers of the word”) and the period of instruction was called the “catechumenate.” The process also called for a number of pre-baptismal rites associated with purification and exorcism in preparation for initiation.

    As the church’s attention shifted to infant baptism, these rich traditions of adult initiation fell by the wayside. By the mid-20th century in the United States, the process of adult initiation was brief, private, and focused on doctrinal instruction. But the church would soon “modernize” the process of adult initiation, not by looking to the future, but by looking to the past.

    French theologians call this ressourcement – looking to the ancient church for models of liturgy and practice to be implemented in the contemporary church. In this way, the church uses tradition to renew tradition. This is exemplified by the call to restore the ancient catechumenate for adults in the Second Vatican Council’s 1963 Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (Sacrosanctum Concilium, nos. 64-66).

    That call led to the publication in 1972 of a new book of rites for adult initiation, in Latin of course, called Ordo Initiationis Christianae Adultorum (the Latin editio typica or “typical edition”). A provisional English translation of this new “order of initiation” was introduced into the Catholic Church in the United States in 1974 and the final official American English translation of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (the “vernacular typical edition”) was published in 1988. At that time, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops also issued guidelines for and mandated the use of the new process.

    Like the ancient model, the modern RCIA takes individuals through distinct periods of formation with public ritual transitions that move individuals from one period to the next. The process can take anywhere from months to years to complete. (Tomorrow, I will discuss in greater detail the nuts and bolts of the process.)

    Since it was mandated in 1988, at least two million adults have been initiated into the Catholic Church through the RCIA process. But the Catholic Church does not only make its mark on the American religious landscape numerically. The RCIA has also become an influential model of initiation for other Christian traditions. Among the denominations that have implemented a catechumenal process of initiation are the Episcopal Church USA, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and the Mennonite Church USA. In 1995, the North American Association for the Catechumenate was founded as an ecumenical group to support and promote the catechumenal process of initiation outside the Catholic Church. Denominational partners include the Anglican Church of Canada, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, Presbyterian Church (USA), Reformed Church in America, and the United Methodist Church.

    The influence of the RCIA both inside and outside the Catholic Church suggests that it is one of the most fruitful — if one of the least recognized — legacies of the Second Vatican Council.

    David Yamane teaches sociology at Wake Forest University and is author of Becoming Catholic: Finding Rome in the American Religious Landscape. He is currently exploring the phenomenon of armed citizenship in America as part of what has been called “Gun Culture 2.0″ — a new group of individuals (including an increasing number of women) who have entered American gun culture through concealed carry and the shooting sports. He blogs about this at Gun Culture 2.0. Follow him on Twitter @gunculture2pt0.

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    19. Who is Who in the Social Media Platforms - Twitter Has a New Member Profile Feature

    Twitter is still moving forward with its cloning strategy and now has a “new and improved web profile” in the works for you. While it's still 'cloning,' this strategy in my opinion is a good idea. I think we all appreciate the ability to do more with our social media headers. Like Facebook and GooglePlus, the new Twitter profile offers a bigger profile header area that you can customize. The

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    20. DreamWorks Is Developing ‘Hot Stuff’

    DreamWorks is developing "Hot Stuff," a feature film starring the diaper-wearing demon-baby Hot Stuff the Little Devil, who originally appeared in Harvey Comics.

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    21. Star Wars, Spiderwick, Wonder, A Tale Dark and Grimm, and Orgami Yoda Together?

    Yes indeed. Adam Gidwitz had for some time been hinting to me about a big secret project. At one point I thought it was a video game…but now I have learned  just what it is and it is indeed big.  And wild. Adam and three other big name children’s book writers will be writing brand new retellings (Adam is indeed perfect for that!) tied to the first three Star Wars movies.  They are indeed arguably as awesome as those grim Grimm fairy tales. Joining Adam are Wonder‘s R. J. Palacio, Orgami Yoda‘s Tom Angleberger, and Spiderwick‘s Tony DiTerlizzi.  From PW:

    The Adventures of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight, a picture book encompassing all three films, written by DiTerlizzi and illustrated with Ralph McQuarrie concept art, will kick off the program in October. It will be followed by retellings of Star Wars: A New Hope by Palacio in April 2015, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back by Gidwitz in July 2015, and Star Wars: Return of the Jedi by Angleberger in October 2015; all three will be illustrated by Iain McCaig. McCaig and the late McQuarrie are well known for their work as Star Wars concept artists.

    Wild and wonderful. Congratulations to all those cool authors. 


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    22. “Where do you buy these?”

    barnesnoble cherryhillNJ 300x231 Where do you buy these?

    Barnes and Noble at Cherry Hill, NJ.

    Eight years ago, the question shocked me: “Mr. Ribay, where do you buy these?”

    The student was holding up a book. He had no idea where to buy a book. That was my first year teaching in Camden, NJ and the first time I had ever encountered someone who had to ask this question. But it wouldn’t be the last.

    “Umm,” I said, “a bookstore.”

    The answer seemed obvious, but later I thought about it further. Had I bought it in a physical bookstore? I probably purchased it online. This eighth grader couldn’t do that without a parent with a credit card. And where was the nearest bookstore? It was in the suburbs, and, again, this eighth grader probably couldn’t get there without someone willing and able to drive him.

    Furthermore, the city’s public libraries left much to be desired. They actually closed down completely a few years later, making Camden the largest city in the United States at the time without a public library (thankfully, a couple branches eventually reopened as part of the county system).

    camdenfreepubliclibrary 500x375 Where do you buy these?

    The Camden Free Public Library

    That simple, surprising question actually spoke volumes: Camden, the resting place of Walt Whitman, was a literary desert. It’s not that there weren’t people who still read and wrote, as there certainly were. I knew students who read well above their grade level, inhaling books like oxygen, and then offering profound comments that left me reeling. But the sad truth was that they were few and far between.

    Many students in the inner-city do not grow up in literacy-rich environments. They may not have been read to regularly as children. Their houses might not have contained several shelves of books. They might not take regular trips to the library or a store that only sells books.

    Eight years later, I now teach high school English at a charter school in West Philadelphia, but this question and its implications have remained in the forefront of my mind. Relative to the nearby neighborhood schools, our students perform pretty well, with a vast majority of each graduating class gaining acceptance to four-year colleges or universities.

    Yet our average student still reads below grade level, our top students’ SAT scores are unimpressive, and a majority of our students couldn’t tell you the last time they read an entire book for fun.

    I appreciate the complexity behind acquiring language and literacy. But it seems to me that on the whole these are the cumulative consequences of not being surrounded by books and learning to love them. It’s a simple truth overlooked amidst today’s mania for testing: if kids experience the joy of reading, they will read more and become better readers. A student bombarded with practice reading comprehension questions or scripted intervention curriculum for hours a day, year after year, learns only that they hate what they are being told is “reading.”

    So, fellow educators, how do you get your students to love reading, to enjoy a book so much that they want to find a bookstore and go buy it? How did you ever get to that point?

    share save 171 16 Where do you buy these?

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    23. What’s your major?

    by

    Alex Bracken

    Alexandra Bracken

    During my brief stint as an editorial assistant, I received a ton of really random calls. My theory is that the company’s operators just went to the first editorial assistant listed alphabetically in the staff directory with general editorial queries. My absolute favorite call I ever received came from a girl, maybe twelve or thirteen at the most, who flat-out asked, “Do you need to know French to work at your job?”

    “No. Why do you ask?” was the obvious response.

    “My parents said that if I want to be an editor I have to learn French.” And then she asked me to repeat the answer, this time on speaker so her parents could hear me.

    First of all, I love that she called an actual publishing house to prove her folks wrong. That is a girl after my own heart! It’s a nice way to launch into something that seems to be a lot of soon-to-be grads’s minds: What do you need to major in to work in publishing? 

    I double majored in English and History in college, but the truth is… I could have majored in just about anything and still found a job in publishing. English is the most popular major/minor for publishing employees, but short survey of coworkers and friends turned up majors in marketing, communications, biology, psychology, history, education, and, yes, even French!

    The one thing I can’t stress enough is that there’s no one route into publishing–no major is the key to finding a job. I’ve mentioned this here before, but the industry is what you’d call an apprenticeship industry. While having a degree in communications might help in trying to snag a publicity gig, the hiring manager is likely to be far more focused on what work experience you’re bringing with you–that is, what skill set you have to offer your potential team and the company as a whole. This can be anything from general office/administrative experience (let’s be honest, this comprises 75% of most assistant jobs in the industry) to working in your college’s public relations department to spending a summer interning at a major corporation. While it certainly helps to have some background knowledge of the industry, no one will expect that you, fresh out of school, will know what “point of sales” means or what GLB stands for–these things will, in time, be taught to you as part of your training.

    More than anything, hiring managers want to see that you can read critically and write well (hence why you often have to submit a sample press release or editorial letter after interviewing), that you have some experience working in a corporate environment or as part of a team, and that you’re enthusiastic about publishing and the books the company publishes. And who knows? An “oddball” major like Folklore and Mythology, or even Neuroscience could make you stand out and provide fodder for an interesting interview conversation!

    Alex lives in New York City, where she works in children’s publishing, writes like a fiend, and lives in a charming apartment overflowing with books. She is the New York Times bestselling author of The Darkest Minds and Never Fade. You can visit her online at her website or Twitter.

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    24. The Imaginary Veterinary: Review Haiku

    Coolest internship
    ever. But watch out for those
    Welcome Wagon-eers!

    The Imaginary Veterinary #1: The Sasquatch Escape and The Imaginary Veterinary #2: The Lonely Lake Monster by Suzanne Selfors, illustrated by Dan Santat. Little Brown, 2013, 240 pages.

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    25. Craft of Writing: Why I Read Reviews... Even the Soul-Crushing Ones by Gwendolyn Heasley

    There are two genres of young adult fiction that I absolutely devour, and contemporary is one of them. Gwendolyn Heasley has written one of my absolute favourite books in that genre, WHERE I BELONG, and with the upcoming release of DON'T CALL ME BABY, i'm sure i'm going to have another favourite! Her new book arrives on shelves April 22nd and is supposed to be an amazing look at the relationship between mothers and daughters. I can't wait!

    Why I Read Reviews…Even the Soul-Crushing Ones by Gwendolyn Heasley


    Recently, someone wrote a review for my upcoming novel. Actually, the word review doesn’t describe it quite adequately as all it said was, “I’ve never wanted to punch a book in the face so much.” And that was it. Part of me wanted to laugh and the other part of me wanted to sob. Like many other authors, my books are my babies and no one wants someone to punch their baby. (And if someone punched my real-life baby, they would have another thing coming.) Even more puzzling, the reviewer then gave book two stars. If you want to punch a book, does it even deserve one star?

    But here’s the thing…I love reading reviews, even the ones that don’t heart my books. In fact, I would have LOVED to know why that reviewer wanted to punch my book and I would’ve taken his or her reasoning very seriously. While I know many authors avoid review sites like GoodReads, I flock to them…and not in that I –want-to-rubber neck-and-see-my-own-car crash sensation. Rather, I read reviews because my readers are my customers and reviews can contain very valuable information.

    (Of course, I’ll admit the reviews and fan letters that say my books changed their life are my favorites. I even save those in a secret file for when I’m feeling down and need an emotional writing boost.)

    But the reviews that I learn the most from are the ones that specifically state what they didn’t like about my books in terms of craft. For instance, in my first novel, Where I Belong, the characters don’t use contractions when they speak. It was a simple choice I made that apparently drove readers bonkers. I respectfully read their opinions and contemplated my choice not to use them…and I realized I was in the wrong. It does make it harder to read when contractions are not used…and in my future books, I do use contractions. It’s a small thing, but it can make a big difference.

    As an author, I spend a lot of time alone writing and being in my own head. It can be lonely. Reviews are a wonderful way to connect with readers because I don’t write just for myself. I write for teens (and those who are teens at heart), and it’s important for me to read and absorb what they think…even if it doesn’t change how I write or what I think. As in all aspects of life, I find it to be important to engage with people who’s opinions differ from your own and I think that applies to writing too.

    But while I think it’s important to read general reviews, I think it’s even more important to find a group of beta readers. I recently graduated from Vermont College of Fine Arts where I earned my MFA. The entire experience was incredible but the best part is the community I gained during my time there. I know now that I have over dozen people whose opinions I trust completely. I respect and admire their writing and I know that they’ll give me honest and helpful feedback on mine. Since the line that “everyone is a critic” is definitely true (especially in the day and age of social media), it’s important to establish and foster relationships with other writers, ones whose opinions you value. While I read everyone’s reviews, the notes I get from my beta readers is what’s most important to me.

    If you are an inspiring writer, try to open yourself up to feedback and critique. It can be hard, but it’s something that you’ll have to deal with throughout your writing life so it’s good to star early. And truthfully, you can learn so much from what others see in your writing. (And it’s also great to find out what people love about your writing too.) Also, once you get a book deal and have a editor, you’ll be getting a lot of feedback from him/her. If you are already open to critique and suggestions, you’ll be a step ahead. Of course, it’s always your story, so stick your ground on the parts that matter most to you… but also remember to listen to what others have to say too :)

    So to all the writers out there, don’t be afraid of critiques and reviews. They can be crushing but they can also be inspiring and illuminating. Personally, I find readers’ ability to contact and connect with authors to be one of the most magical aspects of being an author in the 21st century.

    So if you have opinions on my work, please share...And to whoever it is who wants to punch my book in the face, please let me know why. Also, if you want to hug my book, I’d love to hear about that too.

    About The Author


    Gwendolyn Heasley is a graduate of Davidson College and the University of Missouri-Columbia where she earned her master’s degree in journalism. When she was a little girl, she desperately wanted to be the next Ann M. Martin- the author of the beloved The Baby-Sitter’s Club series. She’s incredibly grateful that the recession rendered her unemployed and made her chase her nearly forgotten dream. She lives in New York City, teaches college and eats entirely too much mac and cheese for an adult.

    Website | Twitter | Goodreads




    About The Book


    All her life, Imogene has been known as the girl on THAT blog.

    Imogene's mother has been writing an incredibly embarrassing, and incredibly popular, blog about her since before she was born. Hundreds of thousands of perfect strangers knew when Imogene had her first period. Imogene's crush saw her "before and after" orthodontia photos. But Imogene is fifteen now, and her mother is still blogging about her, in gruesome detail, against her will.

    When a mandatory school project compels Imogene to start her own blog, Imogene is reluctant to expose even more of her life online...until she realizes that the project is the opportunity she's been waiting for to tell the truth about her life under the virtual microscope and to define herself for the first time.

    Don't Call Me Baby is a sharply observed and irrepressibly charming story about mothers and daughters, best friends and first crushes, and the surface-level identities we show the world online and the truth you can see only in real life.

    Amazon | IndieBound | Goodreads

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