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1. My NaNoWriMo Must-Have List


Here we are--the last few days of NaNoWriMo: time to face the music, finish or else, or maybe just be Thanksgiving-Thankful for whatever words we did manage to get on paper. I've still got a few thousand words to go before Sunday, but I'll get there (I can! I can!).

One of the ways I've kept myself energized these last weeks has been by ensuring I always have ready access to my favorite writing "must-have's." These include:
  1. Fountain Pen. I couldn't write (or live) without a great fountain pen. Over the years I've gone through all different sorts, from disposable (a mistake I won't repeat) to pricey and too precious to use (another bad idea). Right now I'm very comfortable with a black-barreled Retro 1951 Tornado model. It's a good weight and size for my hand and so far (about a year) has been problem-free, i.e. no ink leakage, etc.
  2. Colorful ink. Right now I'm alternating between violet and ebony brown.
  3. Uniball BLX gel pens. A great back-up to my fountain pen. I always keep a few of these gems in my purse, on my desk, clipped to my manuscript . . . I love them. The secret is the ink: the usual blue, violet, brown, etc. is infused with black, giving the various colors a mysterious, gothic appearance that fits my storyline perfectly.
  4. White legal pads. I can't get enough of these. I admit to stockpiling them in the dozens, just in case, you know, Office Max closes or it's the end of the world or something . . .
  5. Alphasmart. My trusty little portable word processor. Oh, how I love my Alphasmart!
  6. Plot Journal. Every manuscript I work on has an accompanying journal filled with notes, character sketches, and plot-lines all based on my:
  7. Magazine cut-outs. I don't think I could write without my very extensive visual references. The weirder, more obscure the photo, the happier I am. I keep my cut-outs in plastic sleeves inside my journals and play with them like paper dolls whenever I need some extra inspiration.
  8. A Writer's Book of Days, by Judy Reeves. This is my favorite book of writing prompts. There's a prompt for each day of the year plus a few extras tacked on to the end of each month just for fun. The prompts can be used over and over and over and never become stale. The book also has tons of super writing advice.
  9. The Voice of the Muse, by Mark David Gerson. I bought this book over the summer and saved it especially for NaNoWriMo. I'm so glad I did. I like to read a paragraph or two before starting my day's work and the message stays with me every step of the way. Reading it before my writing sessions gives me a gentle reminder to trust, to breathe, to stay grateful for the process, and enjoy my writing without judgment.
  10. Padfolio. Another new addition to my writing life. I bought this as a reward for exceeding my daily word goal last week. It's red and shiny and makes me feel very productive. It's the perfect way to carry around my beloved legal pads. Not sure how I ever managed without one.
  11. Salty snacks. I like to eat while I write--which can be a very bad habit. This year I've discovered popcorn chips--virtually calorie-free, with just enough snap, crackle, and pop to make me feel like I'm getting a real treat. They also keep me from roaming the kitchen in search of more food and distraction.
  12. Cuppa. Lattes when I'm at a bookstore cafe, Earl Grey or Jasmine Green tea when I'm at home or in my office. In fact, I could use one right now. Catch you later!
Tip of the Day: Writing can be a lonely, frustrating process, one that can make you wish you were anywhere but plonked in front of your laptop or Alphasmart. So why not make it fun with small (or big) rewards? Start planning today what you're going to give yourself for finishing NaNoWriMo '14 or any other creative project completed by the end of the year. After all, you deserve it! Happy Thanksgiving!

    0 Comments on My NaNoWriMo Must-Have List as of 11/26/2014 2:54:00 PM
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    2. Big Hero 6


    I went to see Big Hero 6 last week, and it was a truly fabulous film!   If you haven't seen it you should go soon.  The movie stays on point never wandering, building steadily on a message that is made very real as you see the characters respond to the action that whirls into their lives.  I won't give anything away here, but you get to see the distinct results of two decisions as the characters are paralleled.  Big sacrifices.  Great stuff!

    Also in an art related thing, I was glad to find that Jin Kim has a new tumblr page.  His blog had shut down some time ago, but the new page has some cool Big Hero 6 work on it.  From what I understand, these are sketches Jin Kim created translating the finalized character designs into multiple angle drawings for the model builders to reference.  Over the last few years I've really taken an interest in sculpture, so I enjoy these quite a bit, and I'm a big fan of Mr. Kim's work.

    And keeping with the animation theme of this post, you should check out the short film Duet, by Glen Keane.  I had seen this a few months back and I recall reading an article where Glen Keane expressed an interest in exploring the possibility of keeping the integrity of the drawn line in animation.  Most completed films have the inked lines and colored cells, but the raw beauty of the gesture sketch is lost on an image refined to that point.  This film is one of the most beautiful things I've seen in animation.


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    3. A Self Fulfilling Prophecy: Tetsuya Tsutsui and The Social Media Strategy

    “The level of idiocy of some people in this world surpasses imagination.” *** Okuda is a long time temp worker at a computer software company in 2008, and after suddenly realizing that he was never going to get a long term, stable position, he eventually got fired for being “fucking useless,” or bringing up the ... Read more

    0 Comments on A Self Fulfilling Prophecy: Tetsuya Tsutsui and The Social Media Strategy as of 11/26/2014 11:40:00 AM
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    4. The Contemporary Jewish Museum Hosts Exhibit On J. Otto Seibold

    Mr LunchThe Contemporary Jewish Museum is hosting an exhibit shining the spotlight on children’s books illustrator J. Otto Seibold.

    The “J. Otto Seibold and Mr. Lunch” art show was organized to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Mr. Lunch book series. It focuses on the three books: Mr. Lunch Borrows a CanoeFree Lunch, and Mr. Lunch Takes a Plane Ride.

    Pieces of original artwork have been put on display. Seibold designed an interactive area so that visitors can explore new Mr. Lunch content. A closing date has been set for March 08, 2015.

    New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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    5. Cynsational News & Giveaways

    By Cynthia Leitich Smith
    for Cynsations

    Six Picture Book Biographies Show the Joy of Longer Lives by Lindsey McDivitt from A Is for Aging. Peek: "...these picture book bios offer huge benefits to kids—showing them adventure, creativity, and enjoyment, not only over the course of an evolving life, but well into old age."

    Outlining: Why I Made the Switch and Tips for Trying It by Elizabeth S. Craig from Writer Unboxed. Peek: "...I’d have to outline for the one editor anyway, and I’d either have to be super-organized and not make any mistakes to get the other two out…or else I could try outlining all three of them. I became a reluctant outliner."

    Three Tips to Surviving a Public Speaking Event by Becca Puglisi from Writers Helping Writers. Peek: "Whatever the occasion, when it’s your turn to stand up in front of an audience, make them wait. Not too long, though." See also The Online Presence That's An Extension of Who You Are and What You Do (Or Is It Just a Fantasy?) by Jane Friedman from Writer Unboxed.

    "Ya Gotta Pay Your Dues" by Donna Janell Bowman from The Writing Barn. Peek: "Even now, after a tiny bit of success in my publishing journey, I still find comfort in justifying a rejection as one step toward paying my dues (but I would love to receive a rejection addressed to Princess.)" See also Should Children's Authors Self-Publish? A Conversation with Two Literary Agents by Sangeeta Mehta from Jane Friedman.

    Fear and Killing the Muse by Linden McNeilly from Quirk and Quill. Peek: "...with all that trepidation around us, controlling our every anxious breath as we try to create stories, what can we do?"

    More Than Numbers by Megan Schliesman from CCBlogC. Peek: "...as we talk about numbers, which is an important dimension of the discussion about diversity and publishing, it’s important that we don’t lose sight of the terrific books by people of color that are published each and every year." Note: highlights top titles of the year by African Americans. See also Thoughts on Ferguson and Recommended Resources by Jason Low from Lee & Low and Justice on the Lesson Plan by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich from the Brown Bookshelf.

    Using Google Earth to Research Your Setting by Darcy Pattison from Fiction Notes. Peek: "...allows you to see the topography, or the terrain, of a setting. Is it hilly, flat, or somewhere in between?"

    My First Author/Illustrator Skype Visit, What I Learned and What I'd Do Differently Next Time by Debbie Ridpath Ohi from Inkygirl.com. Peek: "Make sure you leave time for a Q&A, and coordinate with the teacher ahead of time so that he/she is able to have students prepare questions in advance."

    Jacqueline Woodson: "I Don't Want Anyone to Feel Invisible" by Michelle Dean from The Guardian. Peek: "Woodson says she began writing the book when her mother died suddenly. She described the death as a “wake-up call that the people I love, and the people who know my story, and the people who know my history are not always going to be here.” Writing became a quest to make sure some kind of record existed."

    Writing Non-Human Characters by Cavan Scott from An Awfully Big Blog Adventure. Peek: "A race of non-humans should never have the same characteristics, unless perhaps if they are a true hive mind. Similar traits maybe, but there should be individuality there."

    Becoming a Better Writer in 2015 by Barbara O'Neil from Writer Unboxed. Peek: "Maybe one is that I’m going to write about things that scare me, or things that are secret. I might only write those things for myself, as an exercise, but maybe I’ll write them into the work of my novels, too."

    Picture Book Month


    "Founder Dianne de Las Casas (author & storyteller) and co-founders, Katie Davis (author/illustrator), Elizabeth O. Dulemba (author/illustrator), Tara Lazar (author), and Wendy Martin (author/illustrator), put together their worldwide connections to make this happen.

    "Every day in November, there is a new post from a picture book champion explaining why he/she thinks picture books are important." Each also features teacher guides and curriculum connections."

    Learn more from and about the work of:

    Arree Chung


    We Need Diverse Books

    The fundraising campaign is ongoing and will close Dec. 10. Thanks to all for donating, signal-boosting and participating in the larger conversation in children's-YA books!

    "First we announced that we reached our initial goal of 100K. Now we can announce we have reached both of our first two stretch goals! Thank you so much for making this possible, and now it's time announce our third stretch goal:

    $150,000 and beyond: Sustainability

    "The problem with diversity in children's literature won't be solved over night or even in a year. Battling entrenched barriers for diverse books takes sustained effort. Your donations from here on out, every single dollar, helps WNDB maintain our long-term viability and to continue to change the face of children's literature for years to come."

    See also The Problem with Ethic Heritage Months from Lee & Low and A Cheat Sheet for Selling Diversity from Grace Lin (PDF).

    Kid Lit for Haiti

    Kid Lit for Haiti is an online auction featuring talent donated by authors, illustrators, editors, art directors, and agents. 100% of the proceeds benefit the students supported by the 501c3 nonprofit organization called The Friends of Haiti Inc. All money from this auction will be used for scholarships for students in Haiti.

    Participants in the auction include: Stephen Mooser, co-founder of the SCBWI and author of more than 60 books; Melissa Manlove, editor at Chronicle Books; Ingrid Law, Newbery Honor author; Jen Rofe, agent at Andrea Brown Literary; Matt de la Pena, acclaimed author; Denise Vega, two-time Colorado Book Award winner; Giuseppe Castellano, art director at Penguin Random House; Dan Lazar, agent at Writers House, and many more (found on blog at Kid Lit for Haiti).

    Cynsational Giveaways

    See also a two-book giveaway of The Good-Pie Party by Liz Garton Scanlon, illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton from Tara Lazar at Picture Book Idea Month and a giveaway Utopia, Iowa by Brian Yansky from Goodreads.

    This Week at Cynsations


    More Personally

    It's a short week here at Cynsations! Lots to do around the house. I'm taking off early for the holiday and will be back on Monday. Cynsational readers, I am thankful for you!

    Playing at Alamo Drafthouse with fellow Austin authors Cory Putnam Oakes...

    and Greg Leitich Smith! Learn more about "Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1."

    See a review of "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1" by Shoshana Flax from The Horn Book.

    Rain talks about Thanksgiving...
    Link of the Week: Thanksgiving: What It Means for Native Americans: An Audio Interview with Suzan Shown Harjo from The TakeAway with John Hockenberry. Peek: After discussing the conflicting concepts of many Native people (a day of mourning) versus most others in the U.S. (a day of celebration) with regard to Thanksgiving, she says in part, "Giving thanks is a genuine Native tradition, and it's a wonderful tradition, and I especially like the idea of a feast that everyone's having that is comprised soley--if you do it right--of Native foods." See also Suzan Shown Harjo Receives Presidential Medal of Honor.

    Another Link of the Week: Writing Native Lives in YA: An NYPL Discussion by Matia Burnett from Publishers Weekly. Peek: "Thinking in conventional editorial terms, Klein sought solutions to what she perceived as persistent questions in the book, and looked to other works of young adult literature as models. But many of these models, she came to realize, derive from western literary archetypes..." See also a full recording of the event.

    Even More Personally


    What a thrill it was yesterday to celebrate fellow Austin children's writer Betty X. Davis's 99th birthday--still playing tennis, still writing, still quick with a joke. Betty: "People ask me what's my secret to a long life." Dramatic pause. "I started young."

    Personal Links


    Cynsational Events

    Cynthia Leitich Smith will speak at the American Library Association MidWinter Convention in Chicago from Jan. 30 to Feb. 3. Details TBA.

    Now Available!
    Pre-order Now!
    Cynthia will speak on "Writing Across Identity Markers" at 10 a.m. Feb. 14 at the Austin SCBWI monthly meeting at BookPeople in Austin.

    The SCBWI Austin 2015 Writers and Illustrators Working Conference will take place March 7 and March 8 at Marriott Austin South. Note: Cynthia will be moderating a panel and offering both critiques and consultations.

    Cynthia will appear from April 14 to April 17 at the 2015 Annual Conference of the Texas Library Association in Austin.

    Cynthia will serve as the master class faculty member from June 19 to June 21 at the VCFA Alumni Mini-Residency in Montpelier, Vermont.

    Cynthia will speak from June 25 to June 30 on a We Need Diverse Books panel at the 2015 Annual Conference of the American Library Association in San Francisco.

    http://taralazar.com/piboidmo/

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    6. NaNoWriMo Tip #18: Use Strong Metaphors

    Writers are often advised to “show, not tell.” That’s why metaphors can be so very helpful.

    The animated video above features a TED-Ed lesson called “The Art of The Metaphor.” When it comes to crafting a strong metaphor, keep in mind that “a metaphor isn’t true or untrue in any ordinary sense; metaphors are art, not science.”

    This is our eighteenth NaNoWriMo Tip of the Day. To help GalleyCat readers take on the challenge of writing a draft for a 50,000-word novel in 30 days, we will be offering advice throughout the entire month.

    New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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    7. Slam Poet Performs a Piece in Response to the Ferguson Tragedy

    Danez Smith, an author and poet, wrote a piece in response to the tragedy in Ferguson called “Not an Elegy for Mike Brown.” Smith recited the poem during the preliminary rounds at the 2014 Individual World Poetry Slam.

    The Button Poetry YouTube channel posted a video (embedded above) featuring Smith’s performance earlier this month and it has since drawn more than 17,000 views. What do you think? (via Upworthy)

    New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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    8. App of the Week: Steller

    Name: Steller
    Cost:  Free
    Platform: iOS

    Steller

    Digital storytelling apps have a tendency to be cumbersome and not so conducive to telling stories on the go.  Not so with Steller, which lives up to its name by letting users combine text, photos, and video to create stories with the ease of an Instagram or Twitter post.

    Users build their stories page by page, choosing the type (text, photo, or video) and layout before tweaking things like colors and fonts.  Design choices are limited, but result in a modern, professional-looking story that, once published, uses the parallax effect in iOS to produce an impressive 3D page-turning experience.

    Publishing your story adds it to Steller's home page, where other users can like, comment, and follow your profile.  The stories can also be embedded into blogs or websites, emailed, or posted to Pinterest, Facebook, or Twitter.

    So far, stories posted to Steller run the gamut from travelogues and fashion lookbooks to illustrated recipes and even short works of fiction, but the potential uses for libraries and teens are exciting:  book reviews, booklists, school projects, and portfolios would all be at home here.  Or, you could turn all the photos you take this holiday season into beautiful stories to share with your family and friends.

    Have a suggestion for App of the Week? Let us know. And find more great Apps in the YALSA Blog's App of the Week Archive.

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    9. How 'bout we all pan NBC's PETER PAN and Warner Bros PAN, too.

    Over the weekend, Heather (a reader of AICL) wrote to ask if I'd seen a Salon article about changes made to music and lyrics in the version of Peter Pan that NBC is going to air in December. Though I knew about the production, I didn't know about these changes. Thanks, Heather, for letting me know.

    In a nutshell, NBC hired Jerod Tate, artistic director of the Chickasaw Chamber Music Festival. He's Chickasaw but I don't know anything else about him other than what his bio (linked with his name) says.

    With his assistance, the song "Ugg-a-Wugg" was changed.

    Ugg-a-Wugg is a duet sung by Peter Pan and Tiger Lily. If either one is in trouble, they'll call on the other for help. The code word they'll use as a signal is ugg-a-wugg. If Tiger Lily needs help, she'll use that code word and Peter will come to save "the brave noble redskin." And if Peter Pan needs help, Tiger Lily will help him. They will be "blood brothers to the end." I think it was/is ludicrous but people love it. Do you remember it? Here. Take a look:



    Enter Jerod Tate. Here's what he said, in the Salon article, about that song: 
    And then the really big thing that we worked on was the replacement of [the lyrics] “ugg-a-wugg.” Just a little background: In general, what we all know is that the Indian tribe that’s represented in Peter Pan was influenced by knowledge of Northeast Indians of the United States. So we’re talking Iroquois, Huron, Wyandotte, Algonquin, these kinds of cultural regions. So what I did was I set out to find a replacement word for “ugg-a-wugg” that was literally a Wyandotte word.
    Tate won't say what the word is, but he does say it means "come here." The interviewer asked him if he also worked on the costumes, but he said he only worked on the music and lyrics for the songs. He thinks the change is great, because the phrase is accurate. I disagree. The show and story will always be one in which the point of view is of Indians as exotic and detribalized. In chapter ten of Barrie's book, the Indians prostrate themselves in front of Peter Pan, calling him "the Great White Father." That point of view is the foundation for Barrie's story.

    Now let's look at the new film from Warner Brothers.

    The trailer for the new movie due out next year has a scene where Pan is on the floor, spears aimed at him. It looks like he's about to be killed, but an older man (which I imagine the script says is an elder or maybe Tiger Lily's dad) stops them. In his hand is a necklace of some sort that Peter was wearing. The man says:
    "The little one. He wears the pan."
    Here's a screen capture of that scene in the trailer:



    The trailer cuts to Tiger Lily, played by Rooney Mara, who says:
    "The Pan is our tribe's bravest warrior." 
    Here she is in that moment: 


    Her line (Pan is our tribe's greatest warrior) points right at the foundation for Barrie's film. Indians who worship whites. That's not ok. It was't ok then, and it isn't ok to give that racist garbage to kids today. Right?

    Some of you know that there was a lot of discussion when Rooney was selected as the actress for the part. Many people said that a Native actress ought to be cast instead of Rooney. I disagree with that idea, too. 

    Fixing the words in the song, and/or casting a Native person in that role does not change the point of view(s) on which the story rests. These are, through and through, "the white man's Indian." There is no fixing this story or any production of it so that the Native content is authentic. 

    Attempts to do so remind me of the many schools that sought/seek to make their Indian mascots more "authentic" so that they could keep objectifying Native people, using their ideas of who Native people are for their own purposes. 

    Can we just let that stuff go? 

    Wouldn't we all be better off with a major studio production of a story written by a Native person? One that shows us as-we-are (or were if it is in the past), as human beings who do not say things about how we worship a "great white father" or a white guy who is our "greatest warrior"?  

    By remaking this story, and/or by staging it in schools and theaters, we're just recycling problematic, stereotypic, racist images. Why do it?! 

    Here's an irony. NBC released a promo featuring Allison Williams talking about the production. There's a part near the end where Williams is singing "it never never ends" as Tiger Lily drops to the stage:  



    I want it to end. Don't you?

    0 Comments on How 'bout we all pan NBC's PETER PAN and Warner Bros PAN, too. as of 11/26/2014 1:54:00 PM
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    10. CEO.com & DOMO Create ‘The CEO Bookshelf’ Infographic

    CEO logoHave you ever wondered what books the heads of Amazon, Facebook, and Google read? CEO.com and DOMO partnered together to create an infographic called “The CEO Bookshelf.” This piece showcases the reading preferences of 22 high-profile entrepreneurs including Marissa Mayer, Elon Musk, and Larry Page.

    Here’s more from CEO.com: “CEOs might be some of the hardest-working people in the business world, but the average chief executive still carves out a block of time every day to read. In fact, Warren Buffett admits to spending 80 percent of his day reading.” We’ve embedded the entire graphic after the jump for you to explore further.

    (more…)

    New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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    11. Holiday Stickers, Cards and Hang Tags

    Eight Hour Day

    Holiday sticker set by Eight Hour Day

    Looking to add some snazz to your holiday packages? Check out this brief, but beautiful selection of stickers, cards and hang tags. Included are items from Eight Hour Day, Juli Shore Design, Everlovin’ Press and Tom Froese.

     

     

     

    Eight Hour Day

    Decorate gifts for Christmas with these stamp and label stickers made to look as if your package came from over the river and through the wood.

     

    Eight Hour Day

    Also available from Eight Hour Day is this the colorful postcard set.

     

    Juli Shore Design

    Juli Shore Design

    The team at Juli Shore Design has created these lovely hang tags. Available individually or in a set of three, they add the perfect finishing touch to your holiday wrapping. To help keep things merry, each tag has a champagne cocktail recipe on the back.

     

    Tom Froese Holiday cards

    Tom Froese Holiday cards

    Canadian designer Tom Froese recently teamed up with Everlovin’ Press to create these festive greetings cards. Each card is printed on 130# white coronado cover with a vellum finish. In addition, the envelope comes with a branded and letterpressed insert.

    Looking for gift ideas? Check out our 2014 Holiday Design Book Gift Guide.

     

    ——————–

    Also worth viewing:
    2014 Book Gift Guide
    2013 Book Gift Guide
    Redbubble Print Gift Guide

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    12. How to Steal a Dog Movie Pics


    The cast and director of the Korean film, HOW TO STEAL A DOG, being interviewed;







    0 Comments on How to Steal a Dog Movie Pics as of 11/26/2014 2:58:00 PM
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    13. Happy Thanksgiving

    The pumpkin pie is done and so is the rhubarb strawberry crisp.  Soon I will start chopping onions and celery for the stuffing.  The bird is thawed and, for non-traditionalists, there's a ham in the fridge as well.

    Tomorrow, I will clean and set up and get down my mother-in-law's china - which is now mine. 

    And family and friends will gather.  We will eat and chat and laugh and maybe even quarrel, but I hope not.

    Snow has been falling all morning.  I feel warm, full, and grateful.

    Happy Thanksgiving, today and every day.

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    14. List of ‘Hollywood’s 25 Most Powerful Authors’ Unveiled

    rowlingHollywood has been chasing after popular books for inspiration. Titles such as the Harry Potter seriesThe Hunger Games trilogy, and The Fault in our Stars novel have been transformed into blockbluster film franchises.

    At this point in time, a diverse array of adaptation projects are being developed for YouTube, Hulu, and the silver screen. In recognition of book creators, The Hollywood Reporter has crafted a list of “Hollywood’s 25 Most Powerful Authors.”

    J.K. Rowling claimed the number one spot because arguably speaking, “no single creator has had so much influence on a megafranchise since George Lucas and the original Star Wars trilogy.” We’ve posted the list of the top 10 authors below—what do you think?

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    New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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    15. In the Sandbox

    Belonging to yourself…

    I used to have a post that was Sketchbook Saturday, because I draw like crazy on Saturdays. That’s probably why I love Saturdays so much. I’ve been feeling lately like my blog has lost its way a bit and has had less of me in it. And it dawned on my when I woke up this morning, “Hello! It’s YOUR blog!” So I am reclaiming it. And I want to play. And share. And invite you into my giant sandbox. Most of my stuff in my sketchbook has a purpose because I collect little pieces here and there for fun ways to teach. They make their way into books or classes, most the time. And hopefully, I will inspire you to make your own drawings.

    pizza

    the plight of the sensitive tummy

    colorfultrees

    magical forest: what kind of seeds would each tree make?

    3cupcakes

    fairy cupcakes made from magic


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    16.

    Coming from Charlesbridge in March!


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    17. Debbie Reese (me!) on CUNY's INDEPENDENT SOURCES

    Finally had a chance to watch the segment that CUNY's Independent Sources asked me to do with them about children's books and Thanksgiving. My belly is always in knots when I do something like this. But! The people I worked with there are terrific. Thanks, Nicole and Zyphus! I think it turned out great and hope AICL's readers will take a few minutes to watch/share it, and of course, get the books I recommend!

    Scroll down to see the video. Here's some screen captures of it. I'm sharing them because THEY LOOK SO COOL!








    And here's the video:






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    18. Book Review: Work of Art, Ruth Clampett


    Reading Level:Contemporary Romance
    Format:Ebook 
    Publisher:
    Self Published (Clampett Studio Collection)
    Nov. 4. 2014
    Rating:4


    One thing most people don't know about me is my love of art. There's something magical going to a museum and seeing the masterpieces that were created hundreds of years ago. The colors, the light, the sheer artistry of it all. I'm lucky if I can draw stick figures and even then, I suck at it.

    So when this story sorta fell into my lap, I had to read it. Art had a renaissance in the 70s, but I don't think we've seen one since then. I mean there's Banksy, but I really haven't heard a name that has inspired me quiet like Basquiat or even Warhol. Although I tend to prefer the Masters (Renoir, Monet, Caravaggio, Van Gogh, et al.) I can appreciate good art even in the 21st century.

    Which brings us to this story. Maxfield Caswell is your traditional emo-bi-polar, narcissistic artist. He's young so he's volatile. He's difficult, but brilliant. Yet he manages to piss people off. He's a typical artiste. But things change when he meets Ava Jacobs at a gallery in NYC. Ava works for another gallery in LA and the connection is immediate. She's immediately warned against him, and he's warned to leave her alone. Rule number 1: Never tell two somewhat soul mates to stay away from each other. It never works that way.

    When either a serendipitious or fortuitous opportunity arises for Ava, she jumps on it. Basically she's asked to write the text to Max's coffee table art book. Which means spending time with Max. Throughout the experience, she's made aware of all of Max's, well I'll call them, faults. He's a womanizer, he's depressed, and basically a mess. But the chemistry between them is palpable. She's in over her head and he's keeping her at arms length. She thinks he's not interested.

    Throughout this story I was waiting for something, anything. I liked the story enough, but I felt like it could've gone a bit further in the relationship. There's a side story going on with Ava's publisher that is pushing to have a relationship with her, but she's keeping  him at arms length. It's Max that has her heart. But he's too volatile, she retreats.

    I enjoyed this a lot. I love stories where the main character is so fucked up you're not sure if he can be redeemed. I had a hard time getting a bead on Ava. She came across as wishy washy and her back story isn't very fleshed out. The secondary characters help make the story work. As a spoiler, it ends on a cliffhanger, but I believe the next book will be out fairly soon.

    A good story and I am looking forward to the next book in the series.

    work of art full cover

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    In a life driven by passion, famed artist Maxfield Caswell lives in a world of brilliant color and drama, pushing his art and affairs to his emotional edge. He’s stunning, charismatic and celebrated in the art world, but are the trappings of fame also destroying him?

    For years intelligent and bright-eyed Ava Jacobs has worked diligently toward a career in the art world. Ava is swept off her feet when she meets the passionate artist. She soon realizes, however, that he’s on a destructive path—one she doesn’t intend to join him on.

    In the decadent world of patrons, art groupies, and predators, feisty and beautiful Ava knocks Max off his pedestal. A stunned Max sees something special in Ava and offers her an opportunity she can’t refuse. As their lives and passions collide, will he realize that she alone has the power to heal him? Can their hearts come together to create their own work of art?

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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GUlqCWyFfk



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    AMAZON US http://amzn.to/1wXiEaB

    AMAZON UK http://amzn.to/10hea47

    AMAZON CA http://amzn.to/1wVYMYX

    BARNS AND NOBLE http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/work-of-art-book-1-the-inspiration-ruth-clampett/1120672807?ean=2940150694187

    ITUNES https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ibooks/id364709193?mt=8
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    Ruth headshot C

    Ruth Clampett, daughter of legendary animation director, Bob Clampett, has spent a lifetime surrounded by art and animation. A graduate of Art Center College of Design, her careers have included graphic design, photography, VP of Design for WB Stores and teaching photography at UCLA. She now runs her own studio as the fine art publisher for Warner Bros. where she’s had the opportunity to know and work with many of the greatest artists in the world of animation and comics.

    The Work of Art Trilogy is Ruth’s third publishing endeavor, following Animate Me and Mr. 365. She lives in Los Angeles and is heavily supervised by her teenage daughter, lovingly referred to as Snarky, who loves art and visiting museums as much as her mom.

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    0 Comments on Book Review: Work of Art, Ruth Clampett as of 11/26/2014 12:36:00 PM
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    19. Animators and Mirrors

    Though the work that animators create is often exhilarating, the actual process of animating, which involves sitting at a desk for hours at a time, is not particularly interesting to the general public. In the past, when studio publicity departments were tasked with creating publicity stills of animators, they often posed animators making an expression in front of their mirror while drawing a character with a similar expression. The mirror, it turns out, was not just useful to the animator’s own process but also to the photographer who wanted to compose a dynamic image of the animator at work. It never occurred to me what a common motif this was until I collected a few of them on Instagram a few days ago. Looking at more recent publicity shots of 2D animators, especially from the 1980s and ’90s, the animator-making-an-expression-in-a-mirror publicity shot was largely phased out in favor of a more generic pose of an animator drawing at a desk, looking at the camera while drawing and flipping, or the unnatural pose of holding a maquette while drawing. Enjoy this collection of legendary animators hard at work creating some classic characters:

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    20. Picture Book Starring Two Moms Featured On Kickstarter

    Christy Tyner hopes to raise $13,000 on Kickstarter for a children’s book about a family with two mothers called Zak’s Safari. The funds will be used to cover the cost of printing, designing the artwork, and shipping.

    The finished book will contain 34 pages of full-color illustrations. We’ve embedded a video about the project above. Here’s more from the Kickstarter page:

    “When the rain foils Zak’s plan for a safari adventure, he invites the reader on a very special tour of his family instead. Zak shows us how his parents met, fell in love, and wanted more than anything to have a baby—so they decided to make one…It’s my hope that this book will provide a starting place for many future conversations with your kids about their donor and conception story.”

    (more…)

    New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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    21. black friday SALE....

    starts NOW!!!

    i decided to start my black friday SALE a bit early. i mean why wait til friday to get a good deal?! ;)

    all ORIGNAL PAINTINGS in my shop are now 20% off until (cyber) monday at midnight! i am making room for 2015's stash and NEED to clean out my studio. not that i don't like being surrounded by beautiful little mermaids and cute little critters....but I'm willing to share the love and let them find a new home. :) so....

    0 Comments on black friday SALE.... as of 11/26/2014 2:42:00 PM
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    22. Oh, is that all?

    Wonderboy, perusing the family calendar as he is wont to do, observes: “We don’t have much going on in December. Just Ron and Larry’s visit, and Grandma and Grandpa’s visit, and Jane coming home from college, and my birthday and Dad’s birthday and your birthday, and the piano recital, and Christmas.”

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    23. The Collected Poems of James Laughlin

    Fall has brought us a true gift in the publication of the massive The Collected Poems of James Laughlin, published by New Directions in an exceptionally beautiful hardcover edition. The book includes an inexhaustible number of poems, in a lovely 1,214(!) page tome. Laughlin is best known as the founder of New Directions Publishing, the [...]

    0 Comments on The Collected Poems of James Laughlin as of 11/26/2014 1:16:00 PM
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    24. Target sightings

    I just ran to Target to do some last minute shopping and found two holiday items with my designs...
    First, I found Christmas cards with my fox design - there is also a giftwrap which I blabbed about earlier on Instagram and Facebook, if you want to see it.


    The other is a winter design on paper plates...




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    25. Picture Book Structure

    There are many possible structures for a picture book. 

    http://www.scbwi-illinois.org/pub/PrairieWind/?p=592

    0 Comments on Picture Book Structure as of 11/26/2014 2:26:00 PM
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