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1. This is MY definition of success - HAPPY

Happy Makes Pharrell Cry | OWN
I love the song "Happy" by Pharrell Williams, but to know how it has affected people around the world, how it has truly created change if even for a moment of pure joy. Wow. THAT is what success looks like to me. I can only dream that A BIRD ON WATER STREET could ever have such an impact. Just WOW.

Click the image below if the embedded video gives you any trouble.

CLICK HERE to see the official video.
In its honor, I'm starting a new label for my blog: "Happy." Which is exactly what it sounds like - stuff that makes me so happy, I just have to share!
Thanks to SwissMiss for the heads up.

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2. The Revelator: The Bookworm Issue


The latest issue of that venerable, mercurial, deeply occasional magazine THE REVELATOR is now available online for your perusal. It is filled with nothing but THE TRUTH AND ALL!

The contents of this issue are so vast, variable, and vivacious that I can't even begin to summarize them here. There are excursions into history, into imagery, and into liquor. We attend the tale of a young man reading science fiction in Kenya. We discover the secret life of Elo­dia Har­win­ton, about whom I am sure you have heard much (but never this much!). For those of you who do not like words, there are not only some videos, but a wordless book(let) by the great Frans Masereel. And do not forget the Revelations, in which many secrets, some of them clearly obscene and pornographic, revealed!

Resist not, o mortal! Surrender yourself to the siren call of The Revelator today!

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3. Is CBD better than THC?: exploring compounds in marijuana

By Gary Wenk


Marijuana is the leafy material from Cannabis indica plant that is generally smoked. By weight, it typically contains 2%-5% delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive agent. However the plant also contains about fifty other cannabinoid-based compounds, including cannabidiol (CBD).

One Internet ad claims that “cannabidiol (CBD) can cure arthritis, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, schizophrenia, and epilepsy.” CBD is the main non-psychotropic cannabinoid present in the Cannabis sativa plant, constituting up to 40% of its extract. Somehow this one particular component of the marijuana plant has become much more popular than all of the sixty (at least) other biologically active molecules that have been isolated from this plant, to the point where growers are breeding marijuana plants with significantly higher levels of CBD.

750px-Marijuana

Why are people so excited about CBD? The answer lies in unpacking a series of complex truths, making distinctions between what is known and what is not known, and dispelling some false claims.

The human brain naturally possesses a pair of protein receptors that respond to endogenous marijuana-like chemicals. These receptors are incredibly common and are found throughout the human brain. When a person smokes marijuana, all of the various chemicals in the plant are inhaled, ultimately, into the brain where they find and bind to these receptors, similar to a key fitting into a lock. Which receptors are affected, and what parts of the brain are involved, differs for just about everyone, depending upon their genetic make-up, drug-taking history, and expectations regarding the experience; the last factor being commonly known as the placebo effect.

wenk figure

The images above come from Dr. Wenk’s research at Ohio State University, and demonstrate an increase in hippocampus neuron activity in rats following a cannabinoid treatment.

In addition, the chemicals inhaled into the brain also interact with a complex array of other neural systems; these interactions also contribute to the overall psychoactive experience, such as the marijuana’s ability to reduce anxiety, produce euphoria, or induce “the munchies.” My own research has demonstrated the positive effects of stimulation of the endogenous cannabinoid neural system in the aging brain.

Both CBD and THC are capable of interacting with this complex variety of proteins. However, and this is where things get interesting, they do not do so with the same degree of effectiveness. Scientists have shown that THC is over one thousand times more potent than is CBD, meaning a person would need to consume 1,000 “joints” of the genetically modified CDB-marijuana plant to get high. This chemical property of CBD has led to the accurate claim that CBD does not make one feel “high.” However, the low potency of CBD may also indicate that, by itself, it offers limited clinical benefits – currently- no one knows. Animal studies have discovered many beneficial effects of CBD but only when administered at very high doses.

What has become quite apparent is that no single component of the plant is entirely good or bad, therapeutic or harmful, or deserving of our complete attention. To date, all of the positive evidence supporting the use of medical marijuana in humans has come from studies of the entire plant or experimental investigations of THC. Given the very low potency of CBD within the brain it is highly unlikely that CBD alone will provide significant clinical benefit. Some small clinical trials are being initiated; until rigorous scientific studies are completed no one can claim that CBD is better than THC.

Gary L. Wenk, PhD., a Professor of Psychology & Neuroscience & Molecular Virology, Immunology and Medical Genetics at the Ohio State University and Medical Center, is a leading authority on the consequences of chronic brain inflammation and animal models of Alzheimer’s disease. He is also the author of Your Brain on Food: How Chemicals Control Your Thoughts and Feelings.

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Image Credit: First image is from United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

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4. Easter rites of initiation bring good news for American Catholics

By David Yamane


For many Catholics in America, waking up in the morning to find no news about the church is a relief. They won’t have to deal with stories about the lingering stench of the priest sexual abuse scandal, the consolidation of parishes and closing of schools, controversy over Catholic hospitals and the loss of Catholic youth, fewer and older nuns and more and younger “nones.”

But what if no news was not the only good news? What if Catholics turned on their TVs and opened their papers on Easter Sunday and heard some real good news instead?

Photo of family watching tv

Family watching television 1958. Image credit: CC 2.0 via Flickr.

At Easter Vigil Masses on Saturday night, 19 April, something truly remarkable will take place. Tens of thousands of adults in thousands of parishes across the United States became Catholic. For most of them, this rite of passage is the climax of a months- (and in some cases years-) long process of formation called the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA).

As I have written previously, the implementation of this modernized ancient process of initiation is an excellent example of the contemporary re-invention of rites of passage and a fruitful legacy of the Second Vatican Council. It is a Catholic success story.

Sign reserving pews for the Catechumens.

Sign reserving pews for the Catechumens. Photo by John Ragai. CC 2.0 via Flickr.

Although based on a single, universal ritual text, the way the RCIA process is implemented differs from parish to parish. We do well to remember a variant on Tip O’Neill’s quip that “all politics is local.” All Catholicism is local. In some parishes we find elaborate and beautiful rituals, rich with fragrant oils and soaring hymns and full body immersion in the waters of baptism. In some parishes, we see minimalistic ceremonies that strain the use of the term ritual.

Regardless of the quality of the celebration, however, through the sacraments of initiation—baptism, confirmation, and Eucharist—individuals become Catholic. When the officiating minister speaks the words and performs the actions of the sacraments—“I baptize you…” and “Be sealed…” and “Receive the Body of Christ”—from the perspective of the church, they have the intended effect. It does not matter if the priest says the words excitedly, sincerely, or in a monotone while yawning under his breath. It does not matter if a team of 20 catechists and thousands of parishioners welcome the new Catholic warmly and profusely, or if a single deacon rushes through a minimalistic ceremony while a few dozen assembled individuals wait impatiently for communion. It does not matter if the symbols of the initiation ceremony are rich or sparse. An individual who receives the sacraments of initiation in a Catholic Church is a Catholic. The individual now can check the “Catholic” box, join a parish, receive communion, get married in the church, and so on.

Pink Floyd album cover

Dark Side of the Moon album cover. Via pinkfloyd.com.

This fact reminds us that, at the same time that all Catholicism is local, we can also say that no Catholicism is only local. Without the universal church, there would be no RCIA process in local parishes. The Vatican II document Sacrosanctum Concilium (promulgated in 1963) led to the editio typica of the Ordo Initiationis Christianae Adultorum (issued in 1972), which led to the vernacular typical edition of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (published in 1988), which has gradually been implemented in US parishes. Understanding this movement from universal to local is important. I think of this as being like the image on the cover of Pink Floyd’s album, “Dark Side of the Moon.” The album cover shows a beam of white light hitting a triangular prism, which refracts it to create a rainbow of colors. The culture and resources of local parishes do act as prisms, but without the light, you have no rainbow.

With unprecedented opportunities to choose a religion (or no religion) and to choose how to practice that religion (or not practice), the fact that tens of thousands of people still voluntarily chose Catholicism again this year is indeed good news for American Catholics.

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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5. 2014 April PAD Challenge: Day 20

I’ve been playing with forms a little this month. It’s something I do when I start to feel a little stuck in my writing. Imposing rules–oddly enough–seems to free me up a bit. So far this month, I’ve written a villanelle, sestina, a couple sonnets, and even a couple haiku on the side. As you’ll see below, I went all triolet on today’s prompt.

For today’s prompt, write a family poem. I’ve actually written a few poems about my family this month already, but you don’t have to restrict yourself to your own family. There are any number of human families, of course, but also animals, insects, and other organisms. Plus, there are “families” of other types as well. As usual, feel free to bend the prompt to your favor.

*****

Get feedback on your poetry!

If you want some professional feedback on your poeming efforts, the Writer’s Digest Advanced Poetry Writing course is a great place to start.

Click here for more details.

*****

Here’s my attempt at a Family Poem:

“dinner”

Tammy asks us all to hold hands
as Will and Hannah lead the prayer
so fast that no one understands
Tammy asks us all to hold hands
and the boys make their food demands
while I start to growl like a bear
Tammy asks us all to hold hands
as Will and Hannah lead the prayer.

*****

Today’s guest judge is…

Scott Owens

Scott Owens

Scott Owens

Originally from Greenwood, SC, Scott holds degrees from Ohio University, UNC Charlotte, and UNC Greensboro. He currently lives in Hickory, NC, where he teaches at Catawba Valley Community College, edits Wild Goose Poetry Review and serves as vice-president of the NC Poetry Society.

His 11th book of poetry, Eye of the Beholder, was recently released by Main Street Rag.

His work has received awards from the Academy of American Poets, the Pushcart Prize Anthology, the Next Generation/Indie Lit Awards, the NC Writers Network, the NC Poetry Society, and the Poetry Society of SC.

Learn more here: http://www.scottowenspoet.com/.

*****

PYHO_Small_200x200Poem 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 thinks family is very, very important–no matter what structure that family takes. Learn more about Robert here: http://www.robertleebrewer.com/.

*****

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6. Practice Query #6


Dear Evil Editor,

After faking his own death, Dan Duggen learns that a distant relation has left him a stock portfolio worth millions. Now Dan wonders how he can fake his own resurrection without attracting too much attention.

He makes a deal with Josh, an illusionist, and sets a simple plan: Josh has to pretend he’s a medium able to resurrect the dead.

While the Duggens are gathered in the family crypt, Josh puts on his show. But something goes wrong. Josh really manages to raise the dead, and Dan finds himself surrounded by zombie relations.

Whatever Josh has started doesn’t stop. Soon, all the graves in the cemetery are empty and zombies roam everywhere. And when Dan and Josh behead them, they rise again. Josh is one hell of a dead raiser.

Dan has to admit it; family reunions have never been much fun and old aunt Bessie trying to eat his brain is not an improvement.

And if Dan can inherit that money, why can’t aunt Bessie? Should she be discriminated against just because she has an eating disorder?

Now it’s up to Josh and Dan to send the dead back to their graves before all the dead of the world wake up or, even worse, one of Dan’s zombie relations gets the money.

Rest in Peace, Dan Duggen is a fanta-horror novel complete at 90,000 words and can be considered the prequel of World War Z.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


--anonymous

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7. Happy Easter

Happy Easter!

May the chocolate bunny overflow your basket  with goodies.


Filed under: Children's Books

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8. Happy Easter!

happy_Easter_bunny


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9. ‘Ping Pong’ Recap: ‘Smile is a Robot’

Determined to unleash Smile's potential, Coach Koizumi devises a relentless schedule of training that culminates in a death match pitting old veteran versus young hopeful. Smile's resistance finally cracks under the pressure, and he begins to get serious. Meanwhile, the appearance of a new rival - the tough-looking Ryuichi Kazama - sets the stage for a later showdown.

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10. 2 Ways to Make Sure Editors Are Impressed By Your Clips

surpriseBy Linda Formichelli

You’d think sending an editor a published clip or two would convince them that you can pull off the article you’re pitching.

But guess what? An editor may actually be leery of the clips you send.

Why? Because too many clips are actually crappily written articles that were edited to perfection by the writer’s editor. So the person you’re pitching doesn’t know if the clip represents your work — or the work of a great editor. Anyone can get lucky by landing a single assignment, so your clips prove nothing.

Then, you make things worse by sending a bunch of clips from different publications. You’re hoping to show off the fact that you’ve been hired by lots of pubs. But what the editor sees is that no one invites you back to write a second time.

So what to do? Can’t you ever make these freakin’ editors happy?

Here are my two tricks:

1. If you have them, send multiple clips from the same publication.


This shows that your writing is good enough that editors hire you to write for them again and again.

If you want to showcase your versatility, send a couple clips from one publication and then another one or two from other markets.

2. Send your final drafts.


This is a big one: Instead of sending in links to your published articles or PDFs with the beautiful layout and graphics in place, send the editor the ugly Word files of your articles as you handed them in.

That way, the editor can see that you turn in nice, clean drafts.

I came across this secret by being lazy. I wanted to send an editor a particular clip but didn’t have a PDF — and sure as heck didn’t feel like scanning it in.

So I sent my Word file and told the editor, “Here’s a clip from X Magazine. This is the article as I turned it in — so you can see what my writing looks like before the editor does his magic on it!” (Notice how I turned a negative into a positive?)

Believe it or not, the editor I was pitching loved this, and I started using this tactic regularly.

Clips aren’t about the layout and graphics. Sure, they look nice, but they’re just window dressing on what an editor actually wants — a snapshot of your writing.

But if you’re going to be sending ugly Word files, why not just send in unpublished work that you write up as clips? It’s because the fact that you were actually published shows that you know how to work with an editor, understand deadlines, and have been through — and survived — the editing process. So published clips are key, even if you’re sending in a plain vanilla Word doc.

How about you…have you ever sent an editor an unconventional clip? What happened? Let us know in the Comments below.

P.S. I’m thinking of running one session of Write for Magazines this year; if I do, it will probably be in May or June. This is the 4-week query writing class that has landed students in Woman’s Day, Spirituality & Health, GRIT, Washington Parent, E: The Environmental Magazine, Pizza Today, and more. If you want to get the details when I have them settled, become a member of my email newsletter list!

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11. This week's round-up of middle grade fantasy and science fiction from around the blogs (4/20/14)

Welcome to this week's round-up of middle grade fantasy and science fiction from around the blogs!  Please let me know if I missed your post.

The Reviews

Boys of Blur, by N.D. Wilson, at Fuse #8

The Bravest Princess, by E.D. Baker, at The Flashlight Reader

The Carpet People, by Terry Pratchett, at alibrarymama

Charmed Life, by Diana Wynne Jones, at Leaf's Reviews

Conrad's Fate, by Diana Wynne Jones, at Leaf's Reviews

Diego's Dragon, by Kevin Gerard, at Middle Grade Mafioso

The Dyerville Tales, by M.P. Kozlowsky, at Random Musings of a Bibliophile

Ever After High: The Storybook of Legends, by Shannon Hale, at Literary Omnivore

The Forbidden Library, by Django Wexler, at On Starships and Dragon Wings, Writer of Wrongs, and The Book Zone (For Boys)

Game of Clones, by M.E. Castle, at Ms. Yingling Reads

The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom, by Christopher Healy, at Sharon the Librarian (audiobook review)

Key to Kashdune, by Claudia White, at A Woman's Wisdom

The Last of the Dragons and some others, by E. Nesbit, at Jean Little Library

The Lives of Christopher Chant, by Diana Wynne Jones, at Leaf's Reviews

Lost Children of the Far Islands, by Emily Raabe, at Charlotte's Library

The Merman and the Moon Forgotten, by Kevin McGill, at This Kid Reviews Books

The Ninja Librarians: The Accidental Keyhand, by Jen Swann Downey, at Fanboynation

Northwood, by Brian Falkner, at The Book Monsters

The Orphan of Awkward Falls, by Keith Graves, at Good Books and Good Wine

The Pinhoe Egg, by Diana Wynne Jones, at Leaf's Reviews and Tales of the Marvelous

The Riverman, by Aaron Starmer, at 100 Scope Notes

Rose and the Lost Princess, by Holly Webb, at Debz Bookshelf (giveaway)

The School for Good and Evil, by Soman Chainani, at Fairytale Fandom

The Shadow Throne, by Jennifer Nielsen, at Cracking the Cover and Becky's Book Reviews

The Shadowhand Covenent, by Brian Farrey, at Book Nut

Smasher, by Scott Bly, at Charlotte's Library

The Spindlers, by Lauren Oliver, at Supernatural Snark

Suitcase of Stars, by Pierdomenico Baccalario, at Librarian of Snark

The Twistrose Key, by Tone Almhiell,  at Log Cabin Library

Who Could That Be At This Hour? by Lemony Snicket, at Reading the End

Witch Week, by Diana Wynne Jones, at Leaf's Reviews

Wonder Light, by R.R. Russell, at Sharon the Librarian


Authors and Interviews

Erin Cohn (Spirit's Key) at OneFour KidLit

Soman Chainani (A World Without Princes) at The Children's Book Review and The Enchanted Inkpot

R.R. Russell (Wonder Light) at The Hiding Spot

Delia Sherman (The Freedom Maze) at Big Blue Marble Blog


Other Good Stuff

Conversations about diversity were popping up all over last week, such as this post on Race, Power, and Publishing

For fans of the Queen's Thief series-Megan Whalen Turner has agreed to a video interview; if you have any questions for her you can submit them here.

It's Fairy Tale Fortnight; you can join the fun at this link up post at A Backwards Story

The pictures are copyrighted, I assume, but click through to see Fantasy Fiction Made Real aka a 13 year old Mongolian girl and the golden eagle she hunts with.   (Me--I would launch my eagle, my eagle would take off, and I would fall backward off the rocks.  Sigh).

And finally, here's a happy Easter greeting from days of yore, which I like because it shows the sport of rabbit jumping might be older than we had thought....

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12. Phineas Redux (1874)

Phineas Redux. Anthony Trollope. 1874. 768 pages. [Source: Book I bought]

Phineas Redux is the fourth in the Palliser series by Anthony Trollope. Previous titles include Can You Forgive Her?, Phineas Finn, and The Eustace Diamonds.

It has been a few years since Phineas Finn left the joys and sorrows of political life to settle down and marry. (For the record, he didn't really have much of a choice in giving up the politics). But now his luck, for better or worse, is changing. His wife has conveniently died, and there is a new opportunity for him to run for a seat in parliament. He's hesitant but as always ambitious. He leaps for it knowing that he could easily regret it.

It has also been a few years since Lady Laura has left her husband, Robert Kennedy, whom she detests. She is still very obsessed with Phineas Finn. She loves him dearly, she makes him--in her own mind--her everything. Phineas Finn, on the other hand, remembers her kindly but rarely. She is NOT his everything: she hasn't been since she turned down his proposal all those years again. He would never--could never--think of her like that again. He respects her, but, he's content to keep his distance. Her confessions to him are improper, in a way, and prove embarrassing to him.

Lady Laura is not the only woman who has given away her heart to Phineas. Madame Max Goesler still loves him though she's at least discreet or more discreet. At the very least, she has a life outside her daydreams; her social life is active and she has many good friends. She's not as isolated, so, her love for Phineas perhaps does not come across as obsession.

While I was indifferent to Madame Max in Phineas Finn, I grew to really like her in Phineas Redux. Other female characters I enjoyed were Lady Chiltern (whom we first met in Phineas Finn as Violet Effingham), Lady Glencora (whom we first met in Can We Forgive Her?), and Lizzie Eustace (whom we first met in Eustace Diamonds). It was interesting to me to see which heroines Trollope allowed a happily ever after. I was so very pleased to see Lord and Lady Chiltern settling down quite happily. It was LOVELY to spend time with both of them. I still adore Lady Glenora and Plantagenet Palliser together. Lizzie reaps what she sows, but is fortunate in many ways!

There was a new romance introduced in Phineas Redux. Two men are in love with Adelaide Palliser: Gerard Maule and Thomas Platter Spooner. Adelaide, of course, has her favorite. But the other is very persistent. 

In terms of plot: A MURDER. A politician is murdered. There are two suspects. One suspect is Phineas Finn. He is put on trial for the crime...but the evidence is all circumstantial. Will he be convicted? Will doubt and uncertainty of his guilt prevent him from politics in the future? 

© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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13. wishing you the bright joy and hope of Easter




(at Chanticleer Garden, with the men in my life)

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14. Images of the Resurrection



William-Adolphe Bouguereau The Three Marys at the Tomb, 1876
Eugenè Burnand, The Disciples Running to the Sepulchre, 1898.


Happy Easter, everyone.
Thanks, Unknown for the link to the large file of John and Peter.
Images from Herman Toit, BYU

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15. Trauma happens, so what can we do about it?

By Carolyn Lunsford Mears, Ph.D.


Fifteen years ago, 20 April 1999, it happened in my community… at my son’s school. Two heavily armed seniors launched a deadly attack on fellow students, teachers, and staff at Columbine High School in Jefferson County, Colorado.

As the event played out live on broadcast TV, millions around the globe watched in horror as emergency responders evacuated survivors and transported the wounded. At first, a quiet sort of disbelief mixed with shock and anguish descended upon us. Hours later, when the final tally was released – 15 dead, 26 injured – the reality of the tragedy brought the entire community to its knees.

The Columbine shootings became a benchmark event for school violence in the United States. I thought surely this was the turning point; nothing like this would ever happen again. Yet, barely a month later, Conyers, Georgia was added to the list of communities devastated by a shooting. At an alarming rate more towns and neighborhoods join the list, which now includes shootings in theaters, youth camps, shopping malls, and churches.

Memorial quote NORMAL

In 1999, trauma counseling primarily addressed PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) among veterans and victims of domestic violence, abuse, or sexual assault. Few strategies addressed wholesale community trauma. Even less was available to help parents manage the day-to-day challenges of parenting traumatized teens or to advise traumatized educators on teaching students who had witnessed murder in their own school. My response to the situation was to learn as much as I could about what helps people recover from the crushing shock and grief that follows catastrophe, which led me to doctoral research and a continuing focus on trauma as a human experience.

Mass shootings like at Columbine, Sandy Hook, and Utøya, Norway are only one type of trauma we may face. Life has risk, and even the best planning doesn’t ensure invulnerability. Random events happen… accidents, sudden death of a loved one, natural disaster, assault; the list seems endless. Thankfully, effective approaches for promoting recovery are becoming more widely known.

Whenever a tragic event grabs headlines and non-stop media coverage, generous offers support and resources start flooding in. For personal traumas, the situation is different; survivors often suffer in silence as they try to find a way to a livable future alone.

Columbine Memorial

Research that offers insight into trauma’s effects can help us better understand the challenges people face. Efforts to promote public awareness of trauma and recovery offer a genuine benefit. Many are unaware that trauma is a natural human condition, a biologic response to an experience in which the victim feels powerless and overwhelmed in the face of life-threatening or life-changing circumstance.

The human brain is charged with survival, and traumatic response is its attempt to learn from a threatening situation in order to survive threat in the future. Humans try to make sense of their world, and when everything turns to chaos, the brain struggles to learn to identify future risks and to regain a feeling of competence and comfort in the everyday. Behaviors associated with traumatic stress include hypervigilence; extreme sensitivity to smells, sights, and sounds connected to the event; flashbacks; anxiety; anger; depression; and memory problems.

The good news is that even in the face of such challenge, people can successfully integrate their trauma-experience into their own personal history and reclaim their life with a renewed sense of purpose. Victims and their families find that this process takes time and sensitivity. For some, caring friends, family, clergy, and social resources are enough. Others, not everyone, may develop clinical PTSD that best responds to professional counseling. Unfortunately, some may try to “just forget about it” and “get back to the way things used to be,” thereby short-circuiting the process of real recovery. Unresolved trauma can take a high toll on relationships and quality of life.

I no longer take anything for granted

Trauma’s effect on our lives, as individuals and as communities, may be more widespread than commonly realized. It isn’t a problem faced only by the military; it is not uncommon among civilians. Estimates are that in the United States about 6 out of every 10 men (60%) and 5 of every 10 women (50%) experience at least one traumatic event in their life. For men, it is likely an accident, physical assault, combat, disaster, or witnessing death or injury. For women, the risk is more likely domestic violence, sexual assault, or abuse. A 2004 study reported by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network found that over 50% of children had experienced a traumatic event.

A sense of shame and perceived stigma from needing psychological counseling may keep people from seeking help. Perhaps with education to increase understanding of trauma, more will realize that traumatic response is not a sign of weakness or defect. Instead, it can be a sign of a healthy, normal attempt to reclaim a sense of well-being and safety.

Life after tragedy can bring a deeper sense of purpose and heightened appreciation for living. A former Columbine student I had first interviewed for Reclaiming School in the Aftermath of Trauma: Advice Based on Experience and again later for another study said,

I used to think I was a totally different person after Columbine. That there is no way I could have emerged without being radically altered. And trust me, I was. But what I realize now is that at my core, at my very center, there continues the essence of who I was before, and maybe more importantly, who I was meant to be.

Outcomes such as this are possible. People are slowly recognizing trauma as a critical health issue, not only in the United States but worldwide. Public dialogue can reduce the stigma and isolation felt in trauma’s aftermath. Increased recognition of the occurrence of trauma among civilians and the military, combined with greater awareness of trauma as a natural response, can make a profound difference in the lives of millions. That’s a goal that deserves attention.

Carolyn Lunsford Mears, Ph.D., is a founder of Sandy Hook-Columbine Cooperative, a non-profit foundation dedicated to trauma recovery and resilient communities. She is an award-winning author, speaker, and researcher. She is the author of “A Columbine Study: Giving Voice, Hearing Meaning.” (available to read for free for a limited time) in the Oral History Review. Her 2012 anthology, Reclaiming School in the Aftermath of Trauma, won a prestigious Colorado Book of the Year Award, given by the Colorado affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, alliance member of the National Centre for Therapeutic Care, Fellow of the Planned Environment Therapy Trust, and Board of Directors member for the I Love You Guys Foundation, and adjunct faculty at the University of Denver.

The Oral History Review, published by the Oral History Association, is the U.S. journal of record for the theory and practice of oral history. Its primary mission is to explore the nature and significance of oral history and advance understanding of the field among scholars, educators, practitioners, and the general public. Follow them on Twitter at @oralhistreview, like them on Facebook, add them to your circles on Google Plus, follow them on Tumblr, listen to them on Soundcloud, or follow the latest OUPblog posts via email or RSS to preview, learn, connect, discover, and study oral history.

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Image credit: All images of the Columbine Memorial courtesy of Carolyn Lunsford Mears. Do not reproduce without permission.

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16. One Death, Nine Stories (one of ‘em mine)

One Death, Nine Stories official

The first thing I did upon hitting the exhibition hall at this month’s Texas Library Association conference was go straight to the Candlewick booth — not just because they produce great books in general, but because I wanted to grab an advance reader copy of one upcoming book in particular: One Death, Nine Stories.

Edited by Marc Aronson and Charles R. Smith Jr., this YA anthology weaves together a collection of interrelated short stories (as did their previous collaboration, Pick-Up Game: A Full Day of Full Court). Contributors to One Death, Nine Stories include:

Charles himself
Nora Raleigh Baskin (Anything But Typical)
Marina Budhos (Sugar Changed the World)
Ellen Hopkins (Crank)
A.S. King (Ask the Passengers)
Torrey Maldonado (Secret Saturdays)
Will Weaver (Memory Boy)
Rita Williams-Garcia (One Crazy Summer)
and me (Shark Vs. Train. No, wait — let’s say Can I See Your I.D.?)

One Death, Nine Stories will be published this August. My contribution, “Two-A-Days,” will be my first piece of fiction published for a YA audience. I loved the challenge, and I hope you’ll like the results.

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17. The Sunday Post and Stacking the Shelves–Happy Easter!

 

The Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba of The Caffeinated Book Reviewer.  This is a weekly meme where we can share news of the week and highlight new books received.

Happy Easter!  I think we are just hanging around the house today, though I would like to take the puppers to the park, and maybe head over to see the horses.  What do you have planned for the day?  Whatever is it, I hope you have a wonderful day!

Check out my current contests!  See the Contest Widget on the Sidebar to enter!

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews to share new additions to our library.  Click here to learn more about it.

New Arrivals at the Café:

Searching for Perfect

Inked Armor

Night Child

Dragons & Dirigibles

Stop Dragon My Heart Around

Desolation Angels

The Falling Woman

The Bad Boy Billionaire: What a Girl Wants

Woo’d in Haste

A great big thanks to the publishers for their continued support!

What did you get? Please leave links and share!

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18. Amsterdam SketchCrawl

Yesterday's Sketchcrawl in Amsterdam was fabulous!


The weather was gorgeous, and a wonderful group of people gathered in the afternoon at Wesetergasfabriekterrein, in Amsterdam, where I hosted the Sketchcrawl. The Urban Sketchers Amsterdam also hosted a Sketchcrawl and started earlier, at noon. They crawled from Cenbtral Station, to the industrial Amsterdam Noord, and ended up joining our group. We all sketched together and enjoyed the weather and the time we took for our sketches.
I actually chatted more than I drew, but that was okay. It was wonderful to meet all these new people and talk with them. I had a wonderful day!
Here is a collection of photos of that day, thanks to Gwenaelle Glotin and Frans Koene.


While kids were getting a kite in the air, we all scattered around to sit down and sketch, not minding the chilly wind.
At the end of the afternoon, we sat down in the cafe on the terrain, had a few drinks and peeked into each other's sketchbooks. Inspiring and fun!

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19. The 4/20 update

By Mitch Earleywine


A lot has changed this year in cannabis prohibition. Science and policy march on. Legendary legalization laws in Colorado and Washington have generated astounding news coverage. Maryland is the latest state to change policies. A look at these states can reveal a lot about the research on relevant topics, too.

Colorado and Taxes


Colorado provides taxed and regulated access to recreational users for the first time since 1937’s Marijuana Tax Act. Money rolls into the state’s coffers (roughly $3.4 million in January and February) and the sky has yet to fall. Some observers grouse that the taxes on the recreational market are not generating as much as pundits predicted, as if economic wonks have never guessed wrong before. Apparently, fewer medical users switched from their medical sources to the recreational suppliers. Given that the tax on medical cannabis is 2.9% and the recreational sources cost an additional 25%, we shouldn’t be stunned. It’s nice to see that people behave rationally. It’s only been a few months (since 1 January 2014), but the anticipated spikes in emergency room visits, psychotic breaks, and teen use are nowhere to be found.

Washington and DUI


Washington State continues to hammer out details for how their legal market will work. A per se driving law there has generated controversy. All 50 states prohibit driving while impaired after using cannabis, but the majority require prosecutors to prove recent use and unsafe operation. In contrast, these per se laws essentially make it illegal to drive with a specified amount of cannabis metabolites in the blood. Perfectly competent, safe drivers with the specified amount of metabolites are still breaking the law. For Washington State, the specified amount is 5ng/ml. Unfortunately, this level does not say much about actual impairment and laws like these don’t decrease traffic fatalities. Medical users, who often have more than the specified amount of metabolites, are particularly worried. Though they have developed tolerance to the plant with frequent use and likely show fine driving skill, they remain open for arrest. Plenty of prescription and over-the-counter medications have the potential to impair driving, but comparable laws for these drugs are not on the books. Given the potential for biased enforcement, per se laws like these will undoubtedly face challenges. Standard roadside sobriety tests like those used for alcohol, though less than perfect, might be fairer.

bush of hemp stock

Maryland and Rising Change


A few days ago, the governor of Maryland signed bills removing criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of cannabis and setting up medical distribution. Citizens there caught with 10 grams of the plant risk arrest, a criminal record, a $500 fine, and up to 90 days in jail. After 1 October 2014, they’ll get slapped with a $100 fine for their first offense. Decriminalization can mean different things in different states, especially given the varied styles of police enforcement in each area. But comparable laws appear in Alaska, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, and others. These laws have the potential to free up law enforcement time to decrease serious crimes.

Maryland will also become the 21st medical cannabis state. Over a third of the US population lives in states with medical cannabis laws now, but the details of distribution remain perplexing. Markedly fewer have access than this statistic would imply. Medical marijuana laws have provided the plant for the sickest of the sick, but without increasing teen use. They also appear to decrease traffic fatalities, perhaps by decreasing alcohol consumption. Medical marijuana laws appear to lower suicide rates in men by 5%, perhaps also via the impact on drinking.

Reaching the Public


A Pew Poll earlier this month suggests that data like these and changes in state laws accompany altered public opinion.

More people than ever (52%) support a legal market in the plant. Less than ¼ think possession should lead to jail time. Over 60% think that alcohol is more dangerous than cannabis. With attitudes like these, comparisons to the repeal of alcohol prohibition are loud and numerous. Though no one has a crystal ball and it’s impossible to guess the implications of policies that haven’t been around long, everyone agrees we’re in for an informative and wild ride in the years ahead.

Mitch Earleywine, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Clinical Science and Director of Clinical Training in Psychology at the University of Southern California. He is the author of Pot Politics: Marijuana and the Costs of Prohibition and Understanding Marijuana: A New Look at the Scientific Evidence. He has received nine teaching awards for his courses on drugs and human behavior and is a leading researcher in psychology and addictions. He is Associate Editor of The Behavior Therapist.

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Image credit: Bush of a hemp. Lowryder 2. © Yarygin via iStockphoto.

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20. Question of the Week: Have You Ever Quit Writing?



Hey everyone! Clara Kensie here. Pretty much the only thing writers love as much as books and writing is talking about books and writing. So each week at Adventures in YA Publishing, we’ll post a question for you to answer. The questions cover all topics important to writers: craft, career, writers’ life, reading and books. Together we’ll become better writers by sharing tips and discussing our habits and practices.

Question of the Week
April 20, 2014
Have you ever given up writing? Why? What brought you back?



Jan Lewis: Yes! I gave up on writing when I was pregnant with my youngest. Between the exhaustion and the morning sickness that lasted the entire pregnancy, I just didn't have the energy for it. And of course while I wasn't writing, the doubts crept in. "Am I really a writer if I haven't written for a year? Maybe I don't have what it takes." What brought me back? Martina did.

Martina Boone: This is one of the biggest regrets of my life. I am horrible about trusting myself. I started writing seriously when my son was a baby, and I wrote a few picture books that came close to publication. I snagged a wonderful agent, a superstar agent, who intimidated the crap out of me. And then I decided to write an adult novel. My first adult novel. Without a clue what the heck I was doing. Seat of the pants stuff.

Needless to say, my superstar agent dropped me after reading it, without saying why or providing any feedback. I was devastated and figured I wasn’t meant to be a writer. We were short on money then too, so I started a business and worked about 18 hours a day for a while on top of having two little kids. I told myself that I was too busy to write. I made all kinds of excuses. Then my daughter started reading young adult books, and I fell in love with the genre and started to dip a toe back in. I started Adventures in YA Publishing to learn how to write an actual novel, and I’m still learning from our wonderful guest authors and from Clara, Lisa, and Jan. Not to mention all the wonderful bloggers and authors online. If you want to be a writer, if you want to write a book, if you want to reach people because you have something to say, then here’s my advice. DON’T give up. Don’t diminish your dreams. Write and you’re a writer, even if you’re only managing to write 50 words a day.

Lisa Gail Green: We've all had those feelings that surface when we reach the bottom of the roller coaster where we feel like throwing in the towel. But if you do that then you can NEVER achieve your dreams, so why not try? I am, have always been, and will always be a proponent of encouraging others to work hard and keep trying. I've had points in my life where I put writing on hold, but I hadn't truly committed yet. Since I started doing it seriously? No. I have come close as anyone, but have not quit. I've kept moving forward, sometimes at a slower pace than others, like when I had my third child, but I've never given up and I have no plans to!

Clara Kensie: I met with some author friends recently, and we discussed this topic. The takeaway from that discussion was a quote from author R.A. Salvatore: “If you can quit, then quit. If you can’t quit, then you are a writer.” That quote really resonated with me. Yes, there have been times I’ve wanted to quit. Times when I wonder why I got myself into this. Times when I wonder if the struggle is worth it. Last February, my agent (the amazing Laura Bradford) was the unfortunate recipient of an email in which I poured my heart out after a particularly discouraging month. Her frank response got me back on track, and it still keeps me afloat: “Would you stop writing (because of this)? Of course not. You are going to keep writing no matter what.” Yes, I am going to keep writing. No matter what. I can’t quit, even if I tried.

YOUR TURN: Have you ever quit writing? Why? What brought you back?

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21. Easter Wishes!

Happy Easter!

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22. Appy Hour Book Apps for Kids: Happy Easter, Little Critter

Send to Kindle

Happy Easter, Little Critter by Mercer Mayer

Happy Easter from all of us at Jump Into a Book!

It’s Easter and Little Critter is ready to celebrate! Join Little Critter and his family as they enjoy traditional Easter activities. Plus, go on your very own Easter egg hunt to find 100 eggs hidden throughout this charming story. Can you find all 100? Mercer Mayer’s Little Critter stories, which address all the major issues of growing up, are perennial favorites of parents and children.

Little Critter

OceanHouse Media has this wonderful and festive ebook for kids available for only .99. Perfect for a quiet read in the car on the way to Grandma’s house :)  New features only available in this interactive omBook include professional narration, background audio and enlarged artwork for each scene.

Little Critter

To promote reading in young children, individual words are highlighted as the story is read and words zoom up when pictures are touched. By combining the original text and artwork of author Mercer Mayer with features that entertain and promote reading, this omBook appeals to readers of all ages.

Recommended Ages: 2 – 5

Something To Do

We love these free Little Critter coloring pages!

critter

Looking for more Little Critters Activities? To enjoy more Little Critter stories, go here.

happy easter

 

 Source

Send to Kindle

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23. What Does Bunny See? A Book of Colors Plus 6 Easy Color Activities for Kids



Teaching young children about colors can be fun if you get creative! Today I'm sharing a cute bunny-themed book of colors, plus 6 easy color activities for kids.


What Does Bunny See? by Linda Sue Park and pictures by Maggie Smith


Follow bunny along the garden path as she discovers a rainbow of flowers. Since the text is written in rhyme, you can even prompt your child to guess the next color before you turn the page. With its vibrant illustrations and adorable character, babies and toddlers will enjoy learning from this book. 

Be sure to follow up this story with one of these super simple color activities.

  

Repetition is one of the best ways for young children to learn new concepts, and presenting new concepts in different ways and in different contexts helps with the transfer of knowledge 
from one situation to another.

 

6 easy color activities for kids

1. Play "I Spy" with colors. "I spy something blue."

2. Sing a song about colors. "Spaghetti sauce is red, spaghetti sauce is red...I can think of lots of things that are the color red." Then try other objects and colors. 

3. Do the laundry. Sort the items by color {this is a great math skill builder too}.

4. Take a walk outside. Ask your child, "What do you see?" If he says "tree" - expand on that and respond, "Yes, a tree with green leaves and a brown trunk."

5. Create. Draw pictures with crayons, markers, or finger paints and name the colors as you go along.

6. Get moving. Play a game of tag by asking your child to run (or gallop, skip, or tip toe) to something of a particular color. Once they find and tag it, move on to another color.

If you are interested in trying a color mixing activity, check out this post.



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24. THINGY THINGS: Crabby Crab and Cowy Cow by Chris Raschka

Back in 2000 Caldecott Medalist Chris Raschka published eight Thingy Thing books that eventually went out of print in 2006. Now abrams appleseed has revived the series and plans to publish four new Thingy Things books! Raschka originally conceived the series for his son, now a college freshman, when he was three. As Cecily Kaiser, publishing director of abrams appleseed, and the person

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25. The 2014 Hugo Awards: Thoughts on the Nominees

The nominees for the 2014 Hugo awards were announced last night, and now I can reveal the news that I've been sitting on for one of the longest weeks of my life: I am nominated in the Best Fan Writer category!  I want to congratulate my fellow nominees, Liz Bourke, Kameron Hurley, Foz Meadows, and Mark Oshiro (who together make up what I think is the most female-dominated slate in the category's

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