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1. Descpription - Not enough?

Question: I'm currently writing a fanfiction and I have a friend of mine who says I don't have a lot of details. I describe what the character does, feels,

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2. Avengers: Age of Ultron Official Extended TV SPOT - Let's Finish This (2...

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3. Victoria Semykina Antolini's 'The Little Boat'












I love the work of children's illustrator Victoria Semykina Antolini, and now she has a superb project which needs a little help getting off the ground. She has a Kickstarter project and charming video for 'The Real Boat' a story about a little boat who dreams of the sea. The finished product will be a gorgeous, collaged and interactive, animated delight and it's just waiting to be launched, so please help her out!

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4. Investing In Small Press Is Paying Off....for ME!

Sadly, I see some of Brian "Bib" Edwards collection is for sale on Ebay.  These would have been great additions to an archive.  But....http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/6-alternative-small-press-comics-Misanthrope-Crazypants-Collection-B-Edwards-/371302855052?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item56735ff18c

I have a large collection which I hope will one day be deposited at the Bristol Central Library.  In fact, a stipulation will be that NONE are sold for any reason.  All sorts of printing, stapling and qualities means it is a very mixed bag and now valued at (get ready) £1000-1500.

Luckily, I have a lot of doubles and trebles because I invested money in them at the time.  I may sell these mail order at the end of 2015 but there is quite a selection of poetry, prose, gaming, strip and other zines.  You won't find 98% of them on any Ebay listing but the ones you will find are labelled "scarce"/"Classic UK Zine" (??)/"Rare" and they go for £4.50-£7.00. 

As I know that every comic and book I have is going to be sold off when I croak and what does not sell will be burnt (including artwork but it will be out of my hands!) I might as well make money from the duplicates -50p and £1.50 comics are already making four times their original value which is exactly what I was writing about in my comic investment post.

An example of my own books -people can still buy them cheaper but copies of The Mark Tyme and Purple Hood Collection are currently going for £14.99 on Amazon (I am NOT the seller these are what someone purchased for £8.50 a copy in 2011) not a bad investment.  Very annoyed people buy these second hand copies for more than it costs to buy a new copy.

Investment, though.

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5. Seuss on Saturday #16

Happy Birthday to You! Dr. Seuss. 1959. Random House. 64 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: I wish we could do what they do in Katroo. They sure know how to say "Happy Birthday to You!"

Premise/Plot: The narrator shares how birthdays are celebrated in Katroo. Every single moment of the day is packed with special fun just for you to celebrate how wonderful and unique you are. It begins with The Great Birthday Bird from the Katroo Happy Birthday Asso-see-eye-ation coming to your house. But his special birthday greeting is just the start.

My thoughts: Happy Birthday to You is not a book I really enjoyed. Oh, I love Dr. Seuss's silly rhymes in general. But I didn't find this one particularly wonderful. I hope other readers appreciate it more than I did.

Have you read Happy Birthday to You! What did you think of it? Did you like it? love it? hate it? Is it one you grew up reading?

If you'd like to join me in reading or rereading Dr. Seuss (chronologically) I'd love to have you join me! The next book I'll be reviewing is One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. 

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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6. Clearing My Bookshelves #Giveaway!

I'm in need of a little Bookshelf Spring Cleaning, and I'm also in need of some new Instagram friends! So, I thought I'd kill two birds with one stone and have an Instagram Bookshelf Cleaning Giveaway! The winner can pick FOUR books from the picture (or if you want to pay for shipping, you can have them all). Books on the left are hardcover, and on the right are paperbacks/ARCs.

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7. कार्टून – डकार

cartoon-doctor-monica guptaअब ये प्रोब्लम तो बहुत गम्भीर लगती है डाक्टर साहब !!! क्या होगा नेता जी आप ही बताईए

The post कार्टून – डकार appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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8. Week in Review: April 12-18

The Family Under the Bridge. Natalie Savage Carlson. Illustrated by Garth Williams. 1958/1989. HarperCollins. 123 pages.
The Bears on Hemlock Mountain. Alice Dalgliesh. Illustrated by Helen Sewell. 1952. 64 pages. [Source: Bought]
Ramona and Her Mother. Beverly Cleary. 1977. HarperCollins. 224 pages. [Source: Library]
Ramona Quimby, Age 8. Beverly Cleary. 1981. HarperCollins. 208 pages. [Source: Library]
Ramona Forever. Beverly Cleary. 1984. HarperCollins. 208 pages. [Source: Library]
Red Berries, White Clouds, Blue Sky. Sandra Dallas. 2014. Sleeping Bear Press. 216 pages. [Source: Library]

Dragon Slippers. Jessica Day George. 2007. Bloomsbury USA. 324 pages. [Source: Library]
Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl's Courage Changed Music. Margarita Engle. Illustrated by Rafael Lopez. 2015. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 48 pages. [Source: Review copy]
Never Ask a Dinosaur to Dinner. Gareth Edwards. Illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees. 2015. [April] Scholastic. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy]
Happy Birthday to You! Dr. Seuss. 1959. Random House. 64 pages. [Source: Library]
Isaiah: God Saves Sinners. Raymond C. Ortlund, Jr. R. (Preaching The Word Commentaries). Crossway. 2005. 496 pages. [Source: Bought]
Bringing Narnia Home: Lessons from the Other Side of the Wardrobe. Devin Brown. 2015. Abingdon Press. 144 pages. [Source: Review copy]
Cross: Unrivaled Christ, Unstoppable Gospel, Unreached Peoples, Unending Joy. General Editors: John Piper and David Mathis. 2015. B&H Publishing. 224 pages. [Source: Review copy]

This week's recommendation(s):

I loved, loved, LOVED The Family Under the Bridge. It was a complete surprise how much I adored it! I am enjoying reading the Ramona series, and Ramona Quimby, Age 8 is fantastic! The commentary I read on Isaiah was AMAZING as well.

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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9. PLUMB CRAZY Journey -- The Ugly

Hi, folks, this month I'm focusing the blog on the writing journey of PLUMB CRAZY. I'm calling this series: PLUMB CRAZY Journey -- The Good, The Bad, The Ugly and The Transcendent. I'm going to dig deep into the generation of my novel and dynamics of that creative journey. Be aware that I write as Cece Barlow for this work. It will be released at the end of this month.


I chatted last week about the BAD of writing PLUMB CRAZY, this week I'm going touch on the UGLY. No one want unpleasantness. No one. First I want to admit, writing PLUMB CRAZY was no chore. I loved it. I laughed so hard while writing it, I fell off the couch a few times. It was a joyous journey for me, but there were a few ugly moments.

First up, I love to prose on about the joys of plumbing. You may thank my critique group partners that my book is not  weighed downed with LENGTHY descriptions of how to bust out concrete with a jack hammer and the minute details of measuring lengths of pipe. Cutting my darlings was UNPLEASANT! Like any pruning experience in writing it hurts at first but then it is all good.  

Next, never start a story with a sunrise, unless that sun is about to go supernova.  You must be a seasoned writer with many awards to start with a sunrise (cough, Noman by William Nicholson) or a dark and stormy night (cough, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle). Believe me these writers got away with it; they didn't improve their stories with their choices. So, yes, PLUMB CRAZY began with a sunrise until I so got over it. Too many readers snoozing for the first five minutes. Start as close to something happen as you can.  Avoid the so-so, mundane, average start.  

Last of all, did you know readers like to know what your character is thinking? I am so close to my character Elva Presley Hicks that I feel like she may be one of my kids. So, this turned out to be some ugly stuff in early drafts of my book. Readers wanted to know what she was thinking. Um, did you know readers are NOT mind readers? It turned out that I wanted to protect Elva.  This is a human reaction but it is ugly in fiction. Making Elva vulnerable was an UNCOMFORTABLE experience.  I could NOT keep her safe. Remember that when you write: Don't do the safe thing. 

Next week I will dip into the transcendent of writing PLUMB CRAZY. I hope that you will come back. 

Here is a doodle: 


Here is a quote for your pocket: 

Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone.
― Dorothy Parker

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10. RhyPiBoMo Week 3

Here are the fun books I read this week:



I really enjoyed all of these books, but I think my favorite is TOM'S TWEET.  STANZA is really cute, too – both are written by Jill Esbaum. I just had to pick TOM"S TWEET because it's about a cat (LOVE them) and is so wonderfully illustrated by Dan Santat (LOVE his work!) That little bird is too darn cute!

I'm really excited because one of the optional writing prompts gave me a great idea for a book.

Still working on my new poem for the contest, which has a deadline in a week.

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11. cartoon-Neta

cartoon-neta-monica guptaवैसे एक बात तो माननी पडेगी … नेता जी ने सौ फीसदी सच बोला !!!

The post cartoon-Neta appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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12. Groupement Defense Belgique Page (1987/1988)

I found some photocopies of art that Ben Dilworth inked "back in the day" (1987/1988?).  Also found some original Hooper-Scharf pencilled and  Dilworth inked pages from the same period of the aftermath of the Boarman Invasion!  Almost 30 years before Return Of The Gods but....no. That would be telling but I will scan and post the pages this week.

And this photocopied art is from a Groupement Defense Belgique story that never got completed.  The Tall One really made my pencils look good!

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13. Cartoon-Airlines

cartoon airlines

The post Cartoon-Airlines appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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14. The Drowning Pool (1987)

Back in 1987/1988 I published Previews -New Talent Comic which got a lot of creators their break into comics and DC comics actually employed some of the artists based on the work in this magazine.  I think there were four issues -I write "think" because my copies were stolen and people that got them as contributor copies tended to send the whole thing off rather than samples to publishers!

I have never found any copies so they are lost.

But I just found six pages that were in Previews.  They are A3 but would have been printed in A4 format. That NEVER did the art justice.  Now, in digital scanning the art looks beautiful and I intend publishing the strip as part of the 30+ years anniversary of Black Tower.

The artist was Jim McGregor.  He just seemed to vanish from the scene and I never heard from or of him again.  Sad, because his art was truly gorgeous.

Anyone know Jim or if he's still drawing? PLEASE get in touch.

These are tiny sneak peaks!





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15. Cartoon- Graph

cartoon graph - monicaजैसे जैसे महंगाई का ग्राफ बढ रहा है स्माईल का ग्राफ भी गिरता जा रहा है … अब क्या होगा

The post Cartoon- Graph appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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16. Social Media Etiquette

What not to do when using social media.


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17. This Guy Learned About Manga By Buying Over 400 Volumes Of It

28-year old Robert and his brother expected to go to their regular thrift store in O’Fallon, Missouri to pick up Nerf Guns for their game of Humans Vs Zombies on April 13. What happened was: They didn’t find Nerf Guns. They walked out with over 400 manga volumes instead. The catch? “I’ve never actually read ... Read more

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18. Never Ask A Dinosaur to Dinner (2015)

Never Ask a Dinosaur to Dinner. Gareth Edwards. Illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees. 2015. [April] Scholastic. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: Never ask a dinosaur to dinner. Really, never ask a dinosaur to dinner. Because a T. rex is ferocious and his manners are atrocious, and you'll find that if he's able…he will eat the kitchen table. He'll grow fatter while the rest of you grow thinner, so never ask a dinosaur to dinner.

Premise/plot: The narrator shares with readers why they should never ask a dinosaur to dinner, why they should never share a toothbrush with a shark, why they should never let a beaver in the basin, why they should never use a tiger as a towel, why they should never choose a bison for a blanket, and finally why they should never share a bed with an owl. All in rhyme of course. This is a book all about the bedtime routine. It's a silly book, as you can tell.

My thoughts: I liked it well enough, I suppose. I think the rhymes worked for the most part. I can be a bit picky when it comes to judging rhyming books. I can get annoyed quite easily when it doesn't sound right. That being said, I didn't love this one especially. It was nice, but, not an amazing read.

Text: 3 out of 5
Illustrations: 3 out of 5
Total: 6 out of 10

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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19. उलझन सुझाव

aricle-uljhan-bhaskerहमे बहुत बार अनेक उलझनों का सामना करना पडता है पर हल भी हमारी दुविधा में ही छिपा होता है इसलिए घबराना नही चाहिए. दैनिक भास्कर की मधुरिमा पत्रिका में ऐसी ही एक उलझन को सुलझाते हुए :)

The post उलझन सुझाव appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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20. Library Loot: Third Trip in April

New Loot:
  • The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman
  • The Story of the Trapp Family Singers by Maria Augusta Trapp
  • Memories Before and After The Sound of Music by Agathe von Trapp
  • Mary Poppins, She Wrote: The Life of P.L. Travers by Valerie Lawson
  • George, Nicholas and Wilhelm: Three Royal Cousins and the Road to World War I by Miranda Carter
  • The Beauty and the Sorrow: An Intimate History of the First World War, Peter Englund, translated by Peter Graves. 
  • Anastasia and Her Sisters by Carolyn Meyer
  • The Far Side of Evil by Sylvia Louise Engdahl
  • The War that Ended Peace: To Road to 1914 by Margaret MacMillan
  • Pete the Cat's Groovy Guide to Life by Kimberley and James Dean
  • Who Thinks Evil: A Professor Moriarty Novel by Michael Kurland
  • The Infernal Devices & Others: A Professor Moriarty Omnibus by Michael Kurland
  • The Empress of India: A Professor Moriarty Novel by Michael Kurland
  • The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson

Leftover Loot:
  • Enchantress from the Stars by Sylvia Louise Engdahl
  • A Life Observed: A Spiritual Biography of C.S. Lewis
  • Living by the Book: The Art and Science of Reading the Bible by Howard G.  Hendricks
  • War Bonds: Love Stories from the Greatest Generation by Cindy Hval
  • Emma: A Modern Retelling by Alexander McCall Smith 
  • The Upstairs Room by Johanna Reiss
  • The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights by John Steinbeck
  • The Midwife's Tale by Sam Thomas
  • Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas, translated by Richard Pevear
  • Happy Birthday to You by Dr. Seuss
  • Murder at Mullings by Dorothy Cannell
  • One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss
  • Green Eggs & Ham by Dr. Seuss
  • Princess of the Silver Woods by Jessica Day George
  • Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George
  • Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George
  • The Black Cauldron by Lloyd Alexander
  • Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, translated and with notes by Christine Donougher
  • A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
  • The Princess Plot by Kirsten Bole, translated by David Henry Wilson
  • Otis Spofford by Beverly Cleary
  • Back to School with Betsy by Carolyn Haywood
  • Betsy and the Boys by Carolyn Haywood
  • Betsy and Billy by Carolyn Haywood
  • Cursed in the Act by Raymond Buckland
  • The Search for the Red Dragon by James A. Owen
  • The Just City by Jo Walton
  • Here, There Be Dragons by James A. Owen
  • The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
  • The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
  • The Indigo King by James A. Owen
      Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Linda from Silly Little Mischief that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries.  

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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21. कार्टून – तिहाड जेल

cartoon-tihar jail

The post कार्टून – तिहाड जेल appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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22. A Passion for Writing – How to Rekindle Yours

NOTE: This post is for the Letter “P” as part of the Blogging A to Z Challenge.

As a professional writer, are you so concerned about the “business” of writing these days that you seem to have lost your overall passion for writing itself?

passion-1426574-m

This can happen when you feel overwhelmed by all you must to do on a regular basis to promote your writing and your writing business.

But here’s a way to rekindle your passion for writing.

Set aside just 30 minutes every day during the next week to work on something you’re most passionate about. This could be that novel you’ve put aside for a while because you’ve got too many other paying projects, or it could be that how-to book you’ve been meaning to write, or maybe it’s a short story you really, really want to write someday, yet “someday” has just never come.

Once you’ve set aside just 30 minutes for each day in the coming week, plan to write just ONE page (of this work that you’re most passionate about) each day.

Then simply show up each day in the coming week to write that ONE page. Use a kitchen timer and set it for 30 minutes each time you sit down to write your ONE page. If you finish one page BEFORE the timer goes off, keep writing, or go back and rewrite what you have already written.

You may think you’ll never finish this book or story if you write only one page at a time like this. But you’re wrong.

In a week’s time, you’ll have 7 pages. That’s longer than most short stories, so you’ll probably finish your story within a week. The next week you can go back and polish it for 30 minutes a day until it’s ready for submission. If you’re working on a book, 7 pages is probably a chapter, or most of a chapter – so a chapter a week is GREAT progress. In less than a year, you’ll have written a complete book!

A few words of caution here: Don’t spend more than 30 minutes a day on this project you’re most passionate about – even though you may be tempted to do so after a few days. If you do, chances are you won’t be able to stick with it after a while. If this happens, you’ll get frustrated and the project you’re so passionate about will go to the back burner, yet again.

So what are you waiting for? Rekindle your passion for writing. It only takes 30 minutes. You can start today.

Try it!

And for more writing tips, get your free subscription to The Morning Nudge at www.morningnudge.com.

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23. New Adult Fiction Genre - Contemporary Romance - #WriteTip



There is a new genre emerging..."New Adult" fiction for older teens aka college-aged readers. You never stop growing up, but little in the market seems to address the coming-of-age that also happens between the ages of Nineteen to Twenty-six. Life changes drastically once high school is over, you have college, first jobs, first internships, first adult relationships…

Part of the appeal of NA is that the storylines are about characters who are taking on adult responsibilities for the first time without guidance from their parents. And the storylines generally have a heavy romance element. 

Keep this in mind as you revise your wonderful story, New Adult books are mostly about that specific time in every person's life—the time when the apron strings are cut from your parents, you no longer have a curfew, you're experiencing the world for the very first time, in most cases, with innocent eyes. New Adult is this section of your life where you discover who you want to be, what you want to be, and what type of person you will become. This time defines you. This is the time of firsts, the time where you can't blame your parents for your own bad choices. 


An NA character has to take responsibility for their own choices and live with the consequences. Most storylines are about twenty-something (18 to 26) characters living their own lives without any parents breathing down their necks, and learning to solve things on their own as they would in real life. New Adult fiction focuses on switching gears, from depending on our parents to becoming full-fledged, independent adults.

I am a firm believer that if you’re going to write a certain genre that you should read it, too. So I’m going to recommend that you start devouring NA novels to get a real sense and understanding of the genre before you write one.

Here are some great recommendations: https://www.goodreads.com/genres/new-adult-romance and http://www.goodreads.com/genres/new-adult and https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/new-adult-romance
 

Just as YA is fiction about teens discovering who they are as a person, New Adult (NA) is fiction about building your own life as an actual adult. As older teen readers discover the joy of the Young Adult genres, the New Adult—demand may increase. This, in turn, would give writers the chance to explore the freedom of a slightly older protagonist (over the age of 18 and out of high school, like the brilliant novel, "BEAUTIFUL DISASTER" by the amazing talents of author, Jamie McGuire) while addressing more adult issues that early 20-year-olds must face.

Older protagonists (basically, college students) are surprisingly rare; in a panel on YA literature at Harvard’s 2008 Vericon, City of Bones author talked about pitching her novel, then about twenty-somethings, as adult fiction. After several conversations, Clare realized she had to choose between adults and teens. She went with teens.

Quote from the publisher, St. Martin’s Press: We are actively looking for great, new, cutting edge fiction with protagonists who are slightly older than YA and can appeal to an adult audience. Since twenty-somethings are devouring YA, St. Martin’s Press is seeking fiction similar to YA that can be published and marketed as adult—a sort of an “older YA” or “new adult.” In this category, they are looking for spunky but not stupid, serious but not dull, cutting-edge, supernatural stories.

Quote from Georgia McBride, author (Praefatio) and founder of #YALitChat and publisher at Month9Books: "New Adult is a fabulous idea in theory, and authors seem to be excited about it. But in a world where bookstores shelf by category, to them, it is either  Adult or Young Adult. Some booksellers even call their YA section “teen.” And when you have a character who is over a certain age (19 seems to be the age most consider the start of New Adult), it is received as Adult. In some cases, the designation by publishers causes more confusion than not.
Let’s face it, YA is associated with teens, and at 19, most no longer consider themselves teens. So, it would support the theory of placing these “New Adult” titles in the Adult section. However, with the prevalence of eBook content, it would seem that the powers that be could easily create a New Adult category if they really wanted to...."

There’s also a list on goodreads of New Adult book titles. These books focus on college age characters, late teens to early twenties, transitioning into the adult world.

Some popular authors of the NA category include:
  • Jamie McGuire
  • Jessica Park
  • Tammara Webber
  • Steph Campbell
  • Liz Reinhardt
  • Abbi Glines
  • Colleen Hoover 
  • Sherry Soule
http://www.wattpad.com/story/29486760-irresistible-mistake-new-adult-romantic-suspense


Would you buy New Adult books? 
Does the genre appeal to you? 

Does it sound better than YA (teen novels)? 
 
Or are you happy with YA as it stands?

Do you consider YA to include characters that are over the age of eighteen? 
 

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24. First Loon Sighting for 2015

 

Yesterday, as I walked the red-blazed trail through the campground and along the shoreline of Lower Range Pond, I looked out over the water and gasped!

My loons were back!

IMG_0798

The ice had only been out for a day!  Somehow, they always manage to time it perfectly.

 

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The pair called back and forth, location calls.  My eyes got teary hearing them, I hadn’t realized just how much I’d missed it.

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Whenever their call rings out, people stop what they’re doing to turn toward the sound.

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Hopefully, we’ll have a successful nesting season this year, as the last two years did not yield chicks. ( If you click on the Random Loon Tag on the right of this post, you’ll find the blog posts describing why.)

IMG_0846

I should be revising, channeling fox kits for book three, as the Mystery of the Missing Fox  is due to my editor next month.  But the sun has just poked its way through the clouds and I cannot resist going down to the lake to find these gorgeous birds and to hear their call again.

The manuscript will be there when I get back.

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25. Some spiffy new art...


Here's a collection of some spiffy new art I've painted up recently.






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