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1. Redbubble Gift Guide

AndyWestface-Powerless

Powerless by Andy Westface

The holidays are approaching and with it the hustle and bustle of the shopping season. To help you the navigate the plethora of products that were produced over the past year we’ve prepared a series of gift guides aimed at designers and creative types. In this first guide we’ve teamed up with Redbubble, a creative community and marketplace, to create a curated list of prints and posters. Many of the illustrations featured in the list are available as t-shirts and tote bags as well. Happy shopping!

 

 

Karl James Mountford

I think we work well together by Karl James Mountford

 

Kai - Smile and Wave

Smile and Wave by Bykai

Kenny Poppins - Cold Furry

Cold Furry by Kenny Poppins

Znuese -  PolarBear

Polar Bear Coffee Break by Znuese

Reno Nogaj - Skate Space

Skate/Space by Reno Nogaj

 

 

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This Gift Guide is brought to you by Redbubble. See their complete collection here.

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Also worth viewing…
2013 Gift Guide
Recently Received Books: Nov
Recently Received Books: August

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Thanks to this week's Sponsor // Retro Font Bundle






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2. Teaser Trailer Unleashed For ‘Jurassic World’

Universal Pictures has unleashed a new teaser trailer for Jurassic World. Thus far, it has drawn more than 3.6 million views on YouTube.

The video embedded above offers glimpses of Chris Pratt as Owen and Bryce Dallas Howard as Claire. This movie, inspired by Michael Crichton’s hit novel Jurassic Park, is scheduled to hit theaters on June 12, 2015. (via Vulture)

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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3. encouragement is like hot buttered toast (gluten-free, of course)

Last week I sent the opening pages of my third middle grade novel to my critique group. My accompanying email read:

Photo by Vicky Lorencen

Photo by Vicky Lorencen

Here are the first measly, tender baby words of my new middle grade novel. Now, I will be completely transparent and say I’m really looking for encouragement here, but not the fake kind where you’re just making stuff up to make me feel good. I want you to be honest, but mostly focus on what’s going right (if anything no matter how small), so I can do more of that. You will be welcome to be much, much tougher once I’m further along.

Thank you so much for taking the time to look at my new baby. Remember to support her head, and for Gerber’s sake, keep your dang thumb away from that soft spot on her head would ya? (And I apologize in advance if she smells like poopy.)

Is it just me? You’ve been there, right? I was so vulnerable and needy (one of my all-time favorite states of being for sure). I knew my critique group would be fair and kind, but I was not prepared for the first comments I got back.

I got dark chocolate covered, name in neon lights, to Neptune and back, crazy ENCOURAGEMENT!!!

How did that make me feel?

Hopeful!

Energized!

Confident to push ahead!

As I see it, encouragement is more than good cheer or offering support. It’s fortifying a friend who is afraid–afraid to act, afraid to take a risk, afraid to speak up or afraid to ask. In other words, encouragement provides courage (See there? It’s right in the word itself. How ’bout that?) And that’s what my group gave me.

Photo by Vicky Lorencen

Photo by Vicky Lorencen

Encouragement is like . . .

  • Jumping through the sprinkler on an August scorcher.
  • Finding $20 tucked in your wallet.
  • Scoring a gorgeous pair of shoes (at 75% off).
  • Savoring a well-timed cup of tea (with a scone, of course).
  • Receiving an unexpected hug (or a wink).
  • Admiring December’s first snow.

Encouragement makes your soul say, ahhhhhh. You feel full, different, better and ready to take the next step. Little wonder Frog on a Dime‘s primary goal is to provide encouragement to writers.

Who’s been your biggest encourager lately? Who will you encourage today?

Remember, man does not live on bread alone: sometimes he needs a little buttering up. ~  John C. Maxwell


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4. Comic: A Quality Picture Book

A comic in celebration of Picture Book Month. Do check PictureBookMonth.com, where you can find daily inspirational essays by children's book authors and illustrators about the importance of picture books.

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5. Tonight in LA: David OReilly Retrospective

Tonight in downtown Los Angeles: Beyond 3D: The Animated World of David OReilly, a retrospective of work by the Irish filmmaker.

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6. One More Week: Staying Motivated at the End of NaNoWriMo

Let’s face it, writing is hard. Trying to focus and write a novel in a month? It sounds impossible. And exhausting. Here’s the good news, though: If you’ve stuck with your schedule during National Novel Writing Month, you’ve only got a week left.

Hitting the word count at this point should just be a formality. You’ve come this far, you can’t quit now. The hardest part over this final week is fighting the exhaustion (and the post-Turkey food coma you might hit on Thursday).

So what is keeping you motivated to finish? Is it how close you are to word count goal? Is it finishing NaNoWriMo for the first time? The excitement of turning to editing your work? Share how you are making it through this final week in the comments below!

Have you missed any of the other posts in our NaNoWriMo blogging series? Be sure to check the others out:

Question: What are you doing to not pass out from writing exhaustion this week? What’s keeping you motivated for the final push?


Natania Barron: Scheduling. Planning. Understanding that this isn’t about barfing out words on the page. It’s about re-igniting passion for a project, getting into the mindset where the book becomes everything. It’s sort of like falling in love. Except NaNo is a formula for falling in love—if you do it right.


Rachael Herron: Keeping me motivated for the final push is the knowledge that I know exactly how awesome it is making that blue bar change to a brilliant purple. I’m about 7k away from winning, and the thing that feels great is the knowledge that I could write all those words and finish today. But I don’t have to. To win, I can still amble forward and get there, and it’s going to taste sweet to do so. 


Nikki Hyson: Closing my eyes when I have to. Being so far behind has forced me into several marathon sessions which is really hard on my eyes, shoulders and writing hand. It’s tempting to turn a break into an internet surfing session that sucks away an hour of precious time. Getting burned out? I close my eyes for half hour, then put on a couple high tempo songs and dance around the living room. Follow it up with a big glass of juice (dehydration from all that coffee is an energy killer), pop a couple B vitamins (lasts longer than a caffeine pill), put on the tea kettle, and get back to it. What’s keeping me motivated? I pre-ordered the NaNo Winner Tee in October and just got the email that it is on its way. Yikes! Gotta keep going. Can’t wear it if I don’t earn it (and it really is a wicked cool tee).


Regina Kammer: Well, my ballet classes are on hiatus for Thanksgiving week, so there’s an extra 5 hours…to sleep. LOL.

Other than that? Well, I do have some outlined points I have to cover and I have to remind myself I still have story yet to writei.e., I’m not without plot or motivation or conclusion. The biggest writing motivation comes from my character Charles who has yet to find his Happily-Ever-After. I really need to get him to that satisfying conclusion. Right now, he’s still in the midst of evaluating the options set before him, and I’m in the midst of discovering who he really is.

I am also motivated to get to the end of the story, and I mean literally get to the end of the story, not just to the goal of 50,000 words. I’ve discovered over the years of doing NaNoWriMo that revising and editing is so much easier when there is a complete story to work with. Plus, I’d like to get this story published next year, so that’s pretty motivating!


 

November/December 2014 Writer's Digest

 The November/December 2014 issue of Writer’s Digest
is packed full of the kinds of expert advice you need to
finish off NaNoWriMo strong.


Kathy Kitts: I’m now in the homestretch. Breaking 40k is the moment when I know I can make it. I’ve been doing this for three weeks and have developed the habit of writing. I brush my teeth without a big production. I do the same with writing. I just sit down and do it.


Kristen Rudd: Who says I haven’t passed out from exhaustion? Oh, it is hard to stay motivated right now. Fatigue has definitely set in. I didn’t write for three days during Week Three, and I’m grateful that I’ve managed to not fall behind. My husband started some new, seven-minute workout program this month, and he keeps asking me to join him. Ha. Ha. Ha. Right. Like I’m going to work out in November. I’m beginning to think I should write him in and kill him off.

I had planned out over 20 scenes at the beginning of the month that I thought would be the daily scenes I would write, setting me up for most of the month. So far, I’ve written four of those 20. The rest of what I’ve written has been a complete surprise. Knowing I’ve still got stuff to get to, that I haven’t run out of things to write, and that I am going to win NaNo this year, dammit, are keeping me focused. And I have to say, knocking out these surprise scenes is kind of satisfying. Like Whack-A-Mole.


EJ Runyon: It’s boring but, really All I Did  to not feel exhausted this week was to just come back. Every week of NaNoWriMo hits you with new emotions about your work. So really, coming back to a new week of writing is like a reboot, emotions-wise. Nothing exhausting about it. I feel like each week brings a new dimension of “writer” out of me. I kind of look forward to each one’s seven-day span.


Jessica Schley: Spending more time with friends. I have a great NaNoWriMo community where I live, and I find the closer we get to the final push, the more I head off to write-ins and gatherings to stay motivated. It’s more fun to spend time with people that way rather than be locked up in front of my own computer trying to crank out the words.

The other thing I do is spread my writing time out. Sometimes this is a necessity—I just can’t find two solid hours in the day. But other times, it’s just so that I get up and do something else in between sessions. So I’ll write for 30 minutes four times throughout the day rather than try to pack one long session into my day. 

*     *     *     *     *

First Draft in 30 DaysSay goodbye to writing and rewriting with no results. Starting—and finishing—your novel has never been easier! First Draft in 30 Days provides you with a sure-fire system to reduce time-intensive rewrites and avoid writing detours. Award-winning author Karen S. Wiesner’s 30-day method shows you how to create an outline so detailed and complete that it actually doubles as your first draft. Flexible and customizable, this revolutionary system can be modified to fit any writer’s approach and style. Plus, comprehensive and interactive worksheets make the process seem less like work and more like a game.


Cris Freese is the associate editor of Writer’s Digest Books.

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7. Never-Before-Seen Eyvind Earle ‘Sleeping Beauty’ Concept Art Headed to Auction

The upcoming Profiles in History animation art auction, that will take place on December 18-19, includes numerous Eyvind Earle concept paintings that you may have not seen before.

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8. Mixtape and Mashup — A Brief Guide to Books Born from Other Works of Art

Fade in on the Mission Dolores, the fictional gravesite of Carlotta Valdes in Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo. One block away, two writers with their first jobs teaching creative writing (okay, it was us!) decide to collaborate on a book of short stories that respond to classic and cult movies. We try — and fail — to [...]

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9. Hickman & Bodenheim Bring ‘The Dying And The Dead’ To Image Surprising No One

by Zachary Clemente

dyingdead Hickman & Bodenheim Bring The Dying And The Dead To Image Surprising No One

“The last story of the Greatest Generation”

Don’t let the semi-snarky headline fool you – I love me some Hickman Madness. Secret with artist Bodenheim was one of my favorite short series releases of the past two years and I adore both Manhattan Projects and East of West. Beyond his actual work, what really excites me is that Hickman seems to be utilizing Image’s platform in a way (or at least at a rate) that I wasn’t expecting. I shouldn’t be surprised though; he’s been doing it from day one. After releasing The Nightly News in 2006 with Image, we saw Hickman crank out Pax RomanaTranshumanRed Mass for Mars, and The Red Wing all within a few years. It’s explosive and exhilarating and hopefully a trend that other creators will be afforded.

New York Times bestselling and award-winning writer Jonathan Hickman (EAST OF WEST, THE AVENGERS) teams up with explosive artist Ryan Bodenheim (RED MASS FOR MARS, SECRET) for an all-new adventure series fraught with mystery, intrigue, and exotic end-of life care in THE DYING AND THE DEAD, coming from Image Comics on January 28.

The adventures begins in THE DYING AND THE DEAD #1 when a murder at a wedding sets off a series of reactions, unraveling secrets hundreds of years old. At great cost, a man with a dying wife is given the opportunity to save her. A lost tribe is reborn in another time. Seemingly unconnected events that force relics from the Greatest Generation to come together for one last hurrah.

“It’s not often that you work on something that feels almost perfect from day one, but working with Ryan again and how we’re both so in sync regarding the story, it really does feel like it could be something special,” said co-creator Hickman.

THE DYING AND THE DEAD (Diamond Code NOV140534) is a massive, over-sized, 60-page Indiana Jones-style high adventure that arrives in stores this 1/28 and will be available for $4.50.

2 Comments on Hickman & Bodenheim Bring ‘The Dying And The Dead’ To Image Surprising No One, last added: 11/24/2014
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10. NaNoWriMo Tip #16: Write What You Don’t Know

Do you want to take your NaNoWriMo story in an unfamiliar direction? Back in 2013, Toni Morrison and Junot Díaz headlined a “Live From the NYPL” event.

The video embedded above features the entire conversation. During the discussion, Morrison shared this thought:

“I tell my students; I tell everybody this. When I begin a creative writing class I say, I know you’ve heard all your life, ‘Write what you know.’ Well I am here to tell you, You don’t know nothing. So do not write what you know. Think up something else. Write about a young Mexican woman working in a restaurant and can’t speak English. Or write about a famous mistress in Paris who’s down on her luck.”

This is our sixteenth 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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11. How to Effectively Price Writing Projects and Negotiate the Best Fees

Editor’s Note: The following content is provided to Writer’s Digest by a writing community partner. This content is sponsored by American Writers & Artists Inc. www.awaionline.com.

Win Win Puzzle ConceptThis month we’ve tackled two important steps to making a living as a writer:

  1. How to find the best-paying assignments.
  2. How to land the clients who have them.

And now, to wrap things up with a neat little bow, I want to close out this series by making sure you feel comfortable with the most uncomfortable subject for writers …

Pricing!

Specifically, how to get paid as much as possible, and get paid what you’re worth, but without overpricing yourself out of the running.

Today’s topic is a biggie, and while I’m going to give you some practical advice you can follow whenever you sit down to price a project, know this …

You’ll become more confident with pricing and negotiating the more you do it.

There’s no single “right answer” that works for everyone … because like writers, every project, every company, and every product or service is different.

Now don’t get me wrong, some paths come with pretty standard ranges clients expect to pay, where there’s only a tiny difference between the high end and low end of the scale. Things like case studies, press releases, non-selling video scripts, etc. …

But even then, you can add more services to the projects to increase their value — things like designing the case study, optimizing the press release and disseminating it to your press contacts, or preparing the slide deck for a video presentation.

But, if you’re doing anything where there’s a sale involved —where your copy directly increases the bottom line — there’s potentially going to be a wider range of “acceptable” fees.

(Note: If you don’t know the pay ranges for the services you plan to offer, don’t worry … I’ll give you some resources in a minute.)

Now, here are a few things you should consider before setting your fees:

  1. Are you pricing by the hour or the project?

Of course you need to decide what’s best for you, but my recommendation is to always price by the project …

As you gain more experience, you’ll begin to work faster and more efficiently. You’ll gain speed, and you’ll have solid processes in place to help you handle projects more competently.

For example, the first time you write a landing page, it may take you five hours. As you write more of them, each one should take you less time. If you charge by the hour, you’ll end up making less money each time! But if you charge by the project, you’ll be maximizing your earning potential the more experienced you get.

Bottom line is, you should be rewarded for the expertise you gain, and charging by the hour doesn’t work to your benefit.

  1. Are you trying to build up your portfolio or do you have a lot of experience?

When you’re just starting out, it may make sense to charge less. You’ll be able to build up your portfolio quickly. And, you’ll collect testimonials and promotion results to show new prospects.

On the other hand, if you’re a skilled copywriter with more work than you can handle, you should be working your way up the pay scale.

  1. Are you writing for small businesses or big-name clients?

You’ll want to consider the size of the business when quoting fees.

There’s a big difference between writing for a cabinetmaker in Austin and writing for the headquarters of KraftMaid® cabinetry. Not only will their marketing budgets be very different, the revenue they’re expecting from their marketing efforts will vary greatly, too.

Which leads me to the next consideration …

  1. What is the project value to your client?

Will the client potentially make $10,000 or $10 million from the promotion? Obviously, there’s a big difference, and the more your client stands to make, the more you’ll be able to charge.

  1. Is the project scope complex or on the simpler side?

If you’re writing a sales page for a brand-new investment advisory service, your copy will inevitably be more complex than if you’re writing a product description for a new book by a renowned financial expert. You should expect to charge a higher fee for a more complicated project.

  1. What is your time investment and long-term income goal?

While I never recommend you charge by the hour, you still need and want to “take home” a rate you’re comfortable with. For every project, you should estimate how much of your time it will take to complete, and make sure the rate you quote provides you with a reasonable return for your time invested.

Remember, as you get more efficient and can do the work faster, the value of each hour goes up! Don’t charge clients less simply because it takes you less time.

And, if a client balks at your fee, there are a few things you can do:

  1. Resell the value. Show them what they’ll get in return for the expense.
  2. Revise the proposal taking away some of the services.
  3. Walk away. It’s going to happen! You’re going to pitch clients who simply can’t afford your fees, or don’t value enough the service you provide. But understanding the value of your time is an important lesson in building a successful writing business. And you may be better off in the long run spending that same time finding a new potential client.

Just remember, as a professional writer, you offer your clients an incredibly valuable service …

They NEED you, and should pay you well for your time and words.

But it’s important that you understand your own value too. If the thought of charging high fees for your services bothers you … well, you’re going to need to get over it.

I say that with love!

Because it’s true, you CAN make a living as a writer. But the only way to do it is to get paid what you’re worth.

To your success,

Rebecca Matter

P.S. I almost forgot the pricing ranges …

Since there are so many ways to make a living as a writer, it would be impossible for me to list all of the fee ranges in this blog post, but at AWAI, we typically include them in every promotion about a writing opportunity, and go over pricing in more detail within the program itself.

So, a good place to start is with the AWAI catalog and inside any programs you’re taking.

You can also check out a webinar I did for Writer’s Digest, Get Paid to Write: How to Land Paying Gigs Writing Copy and Content, where I go over a few of the best writing opportunities, including how to price and land them.

And then finally, we published Pricing Guides for two of the larger niches for writers that detail the various projects and their respective fees:

How to Price and Land the Top 7 Web Copy Projects

rebecca_matter-150How to Price, Quote, and Win B2B Writing Projects

If you still can’t find what you’re looking for, by all means let me know! You can post a comment here, or connect with me on Facebook at any time.

To your success,
Rebecca Matter

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12. IDW Publishing to Release a U.S. Edition of ‘The Infinite Loop’

Infinite LoopWriter Pierrick Colinet and artist Elsa Charretier formed a partnership to create a comic called The Infinite Loop. The collaborators launched a crowdfunding campaign in France and raised €12,575 (approximately $15646.57 USD) for this project.

IDW Publishing has acquired the rights to release a U.S. edition. The first installment of this 6-issue mini-series will be released in April 2015.

Here’s more from the press release: “The Infinite Loop is a science-fiction series that asks the age-old question, ‘What would you risk for a chance at true love?’ Meet Teddy, a young woman who lives in a faraway future where time traveling is a common practice and her job is to maintain the status quo by correcting time paradoxes. But when she meets Ano, ‘a time paradox’ and the girl of her dreams, Teddy must decide between fixing the time stream or the love of her life, both of which have unique consequences.”

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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13. The Man Who Invented Christmas (2008)

The Man Who Invented Christmas. Les Standiford. 2008. Crown. 241 pages. [Source: Library]

Different readers will have different expectations when they see the full title of this one: The Man Who Invented Christmas: How Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol Rescued His Career and Revived Our Holiday Spirits.

The focus is not so much on Christmas, as it is on Charles Dickens: his private and public life, his writing career, his inspirations, his fears and worries, his relationship with his publishers. The focus isn't solely on A Christmas Carol. Yes, this work gets discussed in detail. But the same can be said of many of Dickens' novels. The book, despite the title, focuses on Dickens' career as a writer or novelist. This book mentions and in some cases discusses most of Dickens' published works. Not just his books published BEFORE A Christmas Carol, but his whole career.

A Christmas Carol gets special treatment in this one, perhaps, not because it has a Christmas theme, but, because it is a significant to his career. Before A Christmas Carol, he'd had a few really big bestsellers. But. He'd also experienced some failures. His last three books were disappointing to his fans. They didn't sell as well. The critics didn't like them. His publishers were discouraged and worried. Dickens needed his next book to be something wonderful, something that would sell, something that would be loved by one and all. He needed a success: a feel-good success, something to give him confidence and something to give his publishers confidence in him again, and a financial success, something to get him out of debt, something to pay his bills.

The secondary focus of this one is not Christmas. Readers might expect it to be related to Christmas, the history of Christmas, its invention, or reinvention. But. Something gets more time and attention than Christmas. And that is the writing and/or publishing industry. The book gives readers a history lesson in publishing. How books were written, illustrated, printed, published, sold. Not just what went on BEFORE it was published, but also what typically happened next. How novels were adapted to the stage by others, by many others. How little control--if any--that the publisher and author had over their books, their stories, their characters and plots. Plays could do justice, at times, to the books they were based upon. But they could also be absolutely dreadful. The lack of copyright laws or international copyright laws. How publishers in other countries could steal entire books, republish them, not paying the author anything at all. The book even has a chapter or two on fan fiction. Not that he calls it fan fiction. But he writes of how other writers could "borrow" characters and give them further adventures and publish them.

Does the book talk about Christmas at all? Yes. It does. It tells of two extremes: those in the past who celebrated Christmas too wildly, too wantonly, and those in the past who refused to celebrate it all, who would have it be illegal. Either extreme seems a bit hard to believe, perhaps, for modern readers. The book tells of traditions. Some traditions being somewhat established before A Christmas Carol, and other traditions becoming more established by being described in A Christmas Carol. What I probably found most interesting was his mention of how traditionally it was goose served for the Christmas feast UNTIL the publishing of A Christmas Carol. When Scrooge buys a turkey to give to Bob Cratchit and his family, it seems he inspired his readers to change their traditions. Turkeys becoming more and more popular.

For readers interested in the life and death of Charles Dickens, his whole career, this one has some appeal. It provides plenty of details about his books and the publishing industry, how he was received by the public.

For readers looking for a quick, feel-good holiday read, this one may prove to be a chore to get through.

I liked it well enough. I've read a good many of his novels. I have some interest in his life. It worked for me. It was packed with plenty of information.

© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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14. Tonight in LA: ‘Schoolhouse Rock! LIVE’

90-year-old 'Schoolhouse Rock!' composer and singer Bob Dorough performs live in Los Angeles tonight!

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15. Gabriel García Márquez Archive Finds a Home at the Harry Ransom Center

GabrielThe Harry Ransom Center, an institution based at the University of Texas at Austin, has acquired the archive of the late Gabriel García Márquez.

The Nobel Prize-winning writer had passed on earlier this year. Some of the items in the García Márquez archive include letters, photo albums, typewriters, computers, scrapbooks, drafts of his 1982 Nobel Prize acceptance speech, and the manuscripts for One Hundred Years of SolitudeLove in the Time of Cholera, and Memories of My Melancholy Whore.

Here’s more from the press release: “Highlights in the archive include multiple drafts of García Márquez’s unpublished novel We’ll See Each Other in August, research for The General in His Labyrinth (1989) and a heavily annotated typescript of the novella Chronicle of a Death Foretold (1981). The materials document the gestation and changes of García Márquez’s works, revealing the writer’s struggle with language and structure…The archive will reside at the Ransom Center alongside the work of many of the 20th century’s most notable authors, including Jorge Luis Borges, William Faulkner, and James Joyce, who all influenced García Márquez.”

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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16. Comic Cover

"Save the Kitty!" For an upcoming comic from Vanbreed Studios. Below is a peek at a little of the preliminary work:

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17. Fairy Card for this Week: I is for Indian Gardens

This week’s theme is BELONGING.Screen Shot 2014-11-15 at 11.27.51 AM

Holidays can be tough.

We aren’t with loved ones who are far away, and we are with loved ones that may be emotionally far away or don’t understand us. I picked the I is for Indian Gardens card, which is all about belonging for this week.

How do we know where we are supposed to be? Here’s a fun exercise to do. Here’s two lists. One, is the feelings you have when you are where you belong, and the other where you probably don’t fit. Recall a time when you felt a great sense of belonging. I always think back to Drama Club in high school. Those were a fun bunch of kids. Then think of situations or scenarios which felt the opposite. This is your “template” you can go to when you are feeling out of sorts or rejected, and don’t know why.

Here’s my lists.

Bliss and Belonging List

They just see you and think you are kinda cool.

You are in flow.

You feel creative.

You feel expansive and hopeful.

You feel supported.

You feel like you can just be you and it’s enough. You can let go and relax.

All that you offer is more than enough.

They compliment you and you compliment them.

butterfly.jpg

Where You Might Not Belong List

You feel like you need to jump up and down to be seen.*

You keep trying.

You feel like you have to give to get what you need.

You want to change yourself to belong.

You might feel shame.

You contract and feel less hopeful.

You don’t feel understood. You have to explain yourself.

This applies to your social circle, your work, your job and even using social media. If you are feeling you are invisible in certain social media, go where you are seen! It’s an awful, awful feeling when you hear the crickets sounding and nothing else in the room when you are offering a lot. That’s a sure sign you aren’t supposed to be there; that isn’t your audience. But you might find that certain things match one medium better than another. For instance, my posts for classes works great on my blog, but not always on Facebook, but I found a welcome home on Pinterest for them. My art digs being on Instagram and there’s lots of love there, but when I post on Facebook sometimes I feel ignored and then I slowly experience the second list.

Have fun making your lists today. This is a great tool to get you out of funk and back to where you belong.

*BIG indicator

————————————–

Healing Fairy Alphabet Deck available here, by the way


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18. Book Review: The Mockingbird Next Door by Marja Mills

From Goodreads:
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is one of the best loved novels of the twentieth century. But for the last fifty years, the novel’s celebrated author, Harper Lee, has said almost nothing on the record. Journalists have trekked to her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama, where Harper Lee, known to her friends as Nelle, has lived with her sister, Alice, for decades, trying and failing to get an interview with the author. But in 2001, the Lee sisters opened their door to Chicago Tribune journalist Marja Mills. It was the beginning of a long conversation—and a great friendship.
 
In 2004, with the Lees’ blessing, Mills moved into the house next door to the sisters. She spent the next eighteen months there, sharing coffee at McDonalds and trips to the Laundromat with Nelle, feeding the ducks and going out for catfish supper with the sisters, and exploring all over lower Alabama with the Lees’ inner circle of friends.
 
Nelle shared her love of history, literature, and the Southern way of life with Mills, as well as her keen sense of how journalism should be practiced. As the sisters decided to let Mills tell their story, Nelle helped make sure she was getting the story—and the South—right. Alice, the keeper of the Lee family history, shared the stories of their family.
 
The Mockingbird Next Door is the story of Mills’s friendship with the Lee sisters. It is a testament to the great intelligence, sharp wit, and tremendous storytelling power of these two women, especially that of Nelle.
I'd be remiss to review this without sharing with my reader friends that there is some controversy around this book.  Upon its acquisition by Penguin in 2011 and again at its release in 2014, Harper Lee's lawyers issued a statement on her behalf saying that she had not agreed to participate in the writing of this book and that Mills, the author, took advantage of Lee's elderly sister, Alice, in order to get the information she uses to write the book.  USA Today has a pretty balanced article on the whole issue that you can read here.

My own brief thoughts: I really, really want to believe that Lee was not taken advantage of.  The fact that I wanted this book to exist so badly may have influenced my decision that I don't have an issue with the author's publishing it.  But here are a few legitimate reasons believe support that:

  • If the book isn't just complete fiction, and there's no reason to believe that it is - no one has claimed any of it is untrue, then it's evident that Lee was not avoiding Mills as she later claimed.  
  • Close friends of both Lee sisters who don't have anything to gain financially from the sale of the book verify that Lee had given her permission for Mills to write the memoir and that Mills respected all stories Lee wished to be off the record.
  • Lee has had numerous problems in the past few years with lawyers and managers and family members making statements on her behalf.  Evidence I've seen points to Lee being in a position where she's relying on others to speak for her - others who DO have a financial stake in keeping information about Lee within the estate.
To be fair, I do have to say that I think it's sad that Mills' relationship with Lee has deteriorated this badly and that the book about a sweet friendship is tainted by the controversy.  I wonder a bit if Mills and Penguin might have waited to publish the book after Lee's death, in order to be sure to respect Lee's wishes.  But it's a hard issue.  Because historically and literarily, Lee is hugely important.  If the world hadn't largely ignored the wishes of many authors who make up the literary canon, we'd be without some of the most important works and historical context for that canon.  Basically, what I'm saying is that while I, with my limited amount of knowledge, can imagine that the publisher or author may have handled things differently, I'm glad this book exists.  On to the review!

Writing
I've read many critiques of the writing in this book, and while I understand where the reviewers are coming from, I think it's important to understand that this book is not purporting to be a biography of Lee.  And if you're looking for in depth analysis of her life and works, you will certainly be disappointed.  It's not high literature and it's nothing near a portrait of Lee's life.  It does focus a lot on Mills herself and many of the stories she shares are mundane.  For me, this wasn't a problem.  I knew from the beginning it wasn't a tell-all and I was fascinated to know what Alice and Harper Lee's day to day lives were like.  I loved the stories about feeding ducks and stopping for coffee at McDonalds.  Don't expect a thrilling or super-revealing story.  Expect exactly what the book claims to be - stories about Alice, Harper, and their friendship with Mills, and I think you'll be satisfied.

Entertainment Value
Again, I just loved this book.  I thought it was charming and sweet and I particularly appreciated how careful Mills is to avoid sharing anything Harper Lee requested be off the record, even if that means we don't get any exciting or scandalous inside scoop.  I think Mills does a great job of respectfully portraying how Alice and Harper have spent the later years of the lives.  She also does an amazing job of showing us Monroeville, AL, their home and the basis for TKAM's Maycomb County, and the ways it has changed since Lee was a child.  My love of all things Southern and small town really drew me to this aspect of the book.  

Overall
I thought it was absolutely charming.  I hate that it has caused hard feelings, but I think it's a valuable book that's worth reading if you're a fan of Harper Lee.  It's also just a great story about small towns, older people, and the changes they've seen as the world has progressed.  The author portrays Lee in a very positive light and refrains from sharing anything unsavory or critical regarding her or her family. 

Thanks to Penguin for providing me with a copy to review.


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19. PiBoIdMo Day 24 Part Two: Vesper Stamper Chooses a Reality

vesperstamperby Vesper Stamper

When I was growing up as a latch key kid in New York, two things formed my sense of place and identity in the world: my grandfather’s freckled arms and my picture books. There is something about visualizing a chosen reality that is so vital for kids as they transition from the Waldorf educational concept of the childhood dream-world to the brass-tacks world of adults. In a picture book, the world is presented as navigable, even through challenge. Whether the challenge is fear of closing one’s eyes to sleep, or losing a favorite bunny, or getting through the classic Grimms’ three-challenge arc, kids need to know that on the other side of something insurmountable is a green valley brimming with potential.

I am currently in the MFA program in Illustration as Visual Essay at School of Visual Arts, and most of the work I’m doing is a departure from my usual picture book work that you see here. I’m exploring my grandmother’s aging in one book project, and writing a love story set in post-Holocaust Germany which I will be illustrating this spring. I had a bit of a crisis about this, especially since I just signed with Rodeen Literary Management this summer and we’re just about to send one of my picture books out. But I realized that much of my work, even for kids, has to do with thriving after trauma, and that by exploring these more “adult” themes in my MFA, my picture book work will become more nuanced.

vesper_grandma_ink2arden-woods

Far from being just about cute stories, picture books are the vehicle for survival for many kids as they were for me. That is why they are so, so
important. And…they’re gorgeous to look at!

finding-nest

bedreader

batbird-8x10

 

bwaygirls

tomie-panel6

batbird3-promo

rodeen-announce

 

kickingleaves

babybear

downtheshore-sat

 

vespermonster_color

cranes

 

guestbloggerbio2014

Hopelessly lost among the wintry wardrobes of Pauline Baynes’ Narnia, Shaun Tan’s mysterious foreign lands, and the watery open spaces in Lisbeth Zwerger’s illustrations, Vesper Stamper’s calling as an illustrator began when she cracked open Hilary Knight’s Cinderella and spent the rest of her childhood meticulously copying each graceful page.

Vesper has a BFA degree in Illustration with Honors from Parsons School of Design. Her career has spanned fifteen years, dozens of album covers, four picture books and countless other exciting projects. Vesper brings a refined style and emotional depth to her work that pays homage to the rich illustrative tradition from which she comes.

Vesper was named the 2013 People’s Choice Finalist in the Lilla Rogers Global Talent Search and is the recipient of the 2012 Lincoln City Fellowship for her graphic novel, The Sea-King’s Children. She lives in Jersey City, NJ with her husband, filmmaker Ben Stamper, and their two children. She is the winner of both the 2014 NJ SCBWI Juried Show and People’s Choice awards, and is an MFA candidate in the Illustration as Visual Essay at School of Visual Arts, NYC.

Vesper is represented by Lori Kilkelly at Rodeen Literary Management, Inc.


10 Comments on PiBoIdMo Day 24 Part Two: Vesper Stamper Chooses a Reality, last added: 11/24/2014
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20. Never Visited a Place? You Can Still Writing About It – Here’s the Secret!


NOW AVAILABLE! 30 Days to a Stronger Novel Online Video Course



Two years ago, I wanted to write a story set in Campinas, Sao Paolo, Brazil.
I had never been there.
I only knew the name of two people who lived there.

Yet, I could convincingly write about the setting. Here’s the secret.

Google Earth

The free app, Google Earth, is immensely helpful to writers. I use the free, desktop version.

View satellite imagery, maps, terrain, 3D buildings, galaxies far in space, and the deepest depths of the ocean.

In 2011, Google Earth added the street view. They send out cars that drive along a certain road and take a 360 view of the landscape. That means you can put Google’s orange man on the street and look around. Today, the street view is available on all seven continents. See more on the background, scope and how to use Street View.

WhereisTheGoogleCar.com asks people to take a photo of the Google car when they see it and post the picture. It’s a “social experiment” to track the location of the car(s) on any given day.

Thank You, Google Earth, for Helping Me Write!

GPS Coordinates: Context.
When I wrote Abayomi, the Brazilian Puma, about a mother puma who died in a chicken coop trap near Campinas, Brazil, I was lucky enough to have an incident report that included GPS (Global Positioning System) coordinates. Google Earth immediately zoomed me into the right position, so that I was visually hovering right above the chicken coop. The context of the coop was crucial: Brazil has increased sugar cane production for use in making ethanol for automobile fuel, and the coop was nestled amidst the sugar cane fields. Pulling out some, though, it was also apparent that the sugar cane plantations were very close to large urban areas. This wasn’t a remote rural area. Instead, the pumas lived within sight of skyscrapers. How did I know this?

Abayomi was recently named a 2015 National Science Teacher's Association Outstanding Science Trade Book.

Abayomi was recently named a 2015 National Science Teacher’s Association Outstanding Science Trade Book.

Google Photos: Visual Details.
Google allows users to upload photographs that are marked with GPS information. On the maps, these are shown as tiny rectangles that when clicked open up the photos. Very near the chicken coop was such a photo that showed a skyline of skyscrapers of the city of Campinas.

Google Street Man and Maps: Topography
Google Earth also allows you to see the topography, or the terrain, of a setting. Is it hilly, flat, or somewhere in between? You can use the Street Man or simply fly around. We have a friend from India who flew us–through the miracle of Google Earth–over his parent’s house in the foothills of the Himalayas.

Distances: Measuring the Earth
I love the extra tools of Google Earth,too. For example, you can use the ruler to measure distances in kilometers or miles. I learned, for example, that a drone in a story would have to fly about 5 miles–as the crow flies. Very valuable information! I can then answer so many questions:

  • Is that within a drone’s range? Yes.
  • How long would the flight take, figuring 50 mph? 6 minutes.

That gives my hero a very narrow time window to locate the villain and disable the drone.

Other Options
Google Earth has in impressive area of other specialities: historical maps, Mars, the Moon, 3-D buildings, favorite places, maps about climate change and much more. See the range of services at their showcase.

I’m researching Mt. Rainier for a story: through Google Earth, I’ve gotten context, followed trails, found fantastic photos, and almost feel like I’ve been there. No, I haven’t felt the wind on my face or heard the chatter of birds. I’m adding to the Google Earth info such things as the flora/fauna of the region. I’ve hiked other areas in the Pacific Northwest, and I’ve hiked in mountainous areas. I’m pretty confident that I’ll be able to recreate this landscape for a reader. It won’t hurt to have a beta reader from the area vet it for me, but I think it will be close. For me, Google Earth is the next best thing to being on-site myself. Add to that Flickr Photos that are Creative Commons licensed, and my story take on an added weight of reality.


(Click the photos to go to the original flckr.com sites.)
MtRainier1


MtRainier2


MtRainier3


MtRainier4

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21. Indies First & Gloria Steinem Get Booked

Indies FirstHere are some literary events to pencil in your calendar this week.

To get your event posted on our calendar, visit our Facebook Your Literary Event page. Please post your event at least one week prior to its date.

Children’s author Maureen Kanefield will appear at the University Avenue Discovery Center to deliver a reading. See her on Monday, November 24th starting 3 p.m. (Madison, WI)

(more…)

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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22. Podcast-tastic

 

Like most freelancers, I end up listening to a lot of podcasts. So I thought I'd put together a list of a few of my favorites.

1. After the Jump: Hosted by Design*Sponge's Grace Bonney, After the Jump is a terrific resource for freelancers, creatives, small business owners and the like. A balance of interviews, tips and how-to's, it's definitely given me a lot of food for thought.

2. Serial: When I first heard that This American Life was doing a spin-off, I'll admit I was skeptical. But Sarah Koenig's made a convert of me and I'm counting down the days until each new episode. What I really love about Serial is the way it takes a story and disassembles it, examining all the bits of information we typically zoom past in this soundbite age. Caveat: Season 1 deals with a murder, so heads up if you're someone who listens to shows with kiddos around.

3. BBC Radio 4 Extra: You guys have no idea how much of this I listen to. For reals. I'm a sucker for radio dramas, so Radio 4 Extra is my auditory Shangri-La. Modern book adaptations, classics in serial form, sci-fi, it's pretty much all here. And speaking of the BBC...

4. Desert Island Discs: Stranded on a desert island, what tunes would you take along? Desert Island Discs poses this question to a terrific range of guests, everyone from politicians to actors, humanitarians to academics. You can also search for shows where the "castaway" choses a particular artist (and yes, I did listen to every show where the castaway chose the Talking Heads).

5. Smart Creative Women: A treasure trove of interviews with women in a wide range of fields, everything from surface design to quilting to illustration and more.

And what else? I figure This American LifeRadiolab and All Songs Considered are a given for most people, but if you don't listen, get a move on ASAP. I don't listen as frequently to How to do Everything and 99% Invisible, but when I do, like 'em a lot. And if you have the slightest interest in comics, Jerzy Drozd's Comics are Great podcast is top notch.

Whew. So what did I miss?

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23. Books mentioned in the November 2014 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book

Social change

Captured History series

Burgan, Michael Tank Man: How a Photograph Defined China’s Protest Movement
Gr. 4–6     64 pp.     Capstone/Compass Point     2014
Library binding ISBN 978-0-7565-4731-8
Paperback ISBN 978-0-7565-4787-5

Nardo, Don Hitler in Paris: How a Photograph Shocked a World at War
Gr. 4–6   64 pp.     Capstone/Compass Point     2014
Library binding ISBN 978-0-7565-4733-2
Paperback ISBN 978-0-7565-4789-9

Cooper, Ilene A Woman in the House (and Senate): How Women Came to the United States Congress, Broke Down Barriers, and Changed the Country
Illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley
Gr. 46    144 pp.    Abrams     2014
Trade ISBN 978-1-4197-1036-0

Kuklin, Susan Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out
High school     182 pp.     Candlewick     2014
Trade ISBN 978-0-7636-5611-9

Levy, Debbie We Shall Overcome: The Story of a Song
Illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton
Gr. K–3      32 pp.     Disney/Jump     2013
Trade ISBN 978-1-4231-1954-8

Runstedler, Nancy Pay It Forward Kids: Small Acts, Big Change
Gr. 46     64 pp.     Fitzhenry     2013
Trade ISBN 978-1-55455-301-3

 

How things work

Lightning Bolt Books: How Flight Works series

Boothroyd, Jennifer How Do Hang Gliders Work?
Gr. K–3     32 pp.     Lerner     2013
Library binding ISBN 978-0-7613-8970-5

Boothroyd, Jennifer How Do Helicopters Work?
Gr. K–3     32 pp.     Lerner     2013
Library binding ISBN 978-0-7613-8966-8

Boothroyd, Jennifer How Do Parachutes Work?
Gr. K–3     32 pp.      Lerner     2013
Library binding ISBN 978-0-7613-8968-2

Silverman, Buffy How Do Hot Air Balloons Work?
Gr. K–3     32 pp.      Lerner     2013
Library binding ISBN 978-0-7613-8969-9

Silverman, Buffy How Do Jets Work?
Gr. K–3     32 pp.     Lerner     2013
Library binding ISBN 978-0-7613-8967-5

Silverman, Buffy How Do Space Vehicles Work?
Gr. K–3     32 pp.     Lerner     2013
Library binding ISBN 978-0-7613-8971-2

Enz, Tammy The Amazing Story of Cell Phone Technology: Max Axiom STEM Adventures [Graphic Library: STEM Adventures series]
Illustrated by Pop Art Properties
Gr. 4–6     32 pp.     Capstone     2013
Library binding ISBN 978-1-4765-0137-6
Paperback ISBN 978-1-4765-3457-2

Blazers: See How It’s Made series

Hammelef, Danielle S. Building an Airplane
Gr. 4–6     32 pp.     Capstone     2014
Library binding ISBN 978-1-4765-3978-2
Paperback ISBN 978-1-4765-5118-0

Omoth, Tyler Building a Motorcycle
Gr. 4–6      32 pp.     Capstone     2014
Library binding ISBN 978-1-4765-3977-5
Paperback ISBN 978-1-4765-5117-3

Macaulay, David Toilet: How It Works [My Readers series]
With Sheila Keenan
Gr. K–3    32 pp.     Square Fish/David Macaulay Studio     2013
Trade ISBN 978-1-59643-779-1
Paperback ISBN 978-1-59643-780-7

How Does My Home Work? series

Oxlade, Chris Heating
Gr. K–3     24 pp.     Heinemann     2012
Library binding ISBN 978-1-4329-6564-8
Paperback ISBN 978-1-43296569-3

Oxlade, Chris Water
Gr. K–3      24 pp.    Heinemann     2012
Library binding ISBN 978-1-4329-6567-9
Paperback ISBN 978-1-4329-6572-3

 

Indigenous cultures

Bruchac, James and Bruchac, Joseph Rabbit’s Snow Dance: A Traditional Iroquois Story
Illustrated by Jeff Newman
Gr. K–3
     32 pp.     Dial     2012
Trade ISBN 978-0-8037-3270-4

Charleyboy, Lisa, and Leatherdale, Mary Beth, Editors Dreaming in Indian: Contemporary Native American Voices
Middle school, high school
     130 pp.     Annick     2014
Trade ISBN 978-1-55451-687-2

Ellis, Deborah Looks like Daylight: Voices of Indigenous Kids
Middle school, high school    253 pp.     Groundwood (House of Anansi Press)     2013
Trade ISBN 978-1-55498-120-5

McLaughlin, Timothy P. Walking on Earth & Touching the Sky: Poetry and Prose by Lakota Youth at Red Cloud Indian School
Illustrated by S. D. Nelson
Gr. 4–6     80 pp.     Abrams     2012
Trade ISBN 978-1-4197-0179-5

Ray, Deborah Kogan Paiute Princess: The Story of Sarah Winnemucca
Gr. 4–6     48 pp.     Farrar/Foster     2012
Trade ISBN 978-0-374-39897-2

 

Geography and maps

Map Smart series

Brasch, Nicolas Community Maps
Gr. 4–6     32 pp.     Smart Apple     2012
Library binding ISBN 978-1-59920-413-0

Brasch, Nicolas Country Maps
Gr. 4–6     32 pp.     Smart Apple     2012
Library binding ISBN 978-1-59920-414-7

Brasch, Nicolas Land and Sea Maps
Gr. 4–6     32 pp.     Smart Apple     2012
Library binding ISBN 978-1-59920-415-4

Brasch, Nicolas World Maps
Gr. 4–6     32 pp.     Smart Apple     2012
Library binding ISBN 978-1-59920-416-1

Pebble Books: My World series

Cane, Ella Countries in My World
Gr. K–3     24 pp.     Capstone     2013
Library binding ISBN 978-1-4765-3122-9
Paperback ISBN 978-1-4765-3464-0

Cane, Ella Neighborhoods in My World
Gr. K–3     24 pp.     Capstone     2013
Library binding ISBN 978-1-4765-3119-9
Paperback ISBN 978-1-4765-3461-9

Cane, Ella States in My World
Gr. K–3      24 pp.     Capstone     2013
Library binding ISBN 978-1-4765-3121-2
Paperback ISBN 978-1-4765-3463-3

Kralovansky, Susan What Would You Do with an Atlas? [Super SandCastle: Library Resources series]
Gr. K–3     32 pp.     ABDO     2013
Library binding ISBN 978-1-61783-606-0

Mizielinska, Aleksandra Maps
Illustrated by Daniel Mizielinski
Gr. 4–6     110 pp.     Candlewick/Big Picture     2013
Trade ISBN 978-0-7636-6896-9

Walker, Sally M. Boundaries: How the Mason-Dixon Line Settled a Family Feud & Divided a Nation
High school     202 pp.     Candlewick     2014
Trade ISBN 978-0-7636-5612-6

 

Medicine and the human body

Arnold, Caroline Too Hot? Too Cold?: Keeping Body Temperature Just Right
Illustrated by Annie Patterson
Gr. K–3     32 pp.     Charlesbridge     2013
Trade ISBN 978-1-58059-276-6
Paperback ISBN 978-1-58089-277-3

Super Simple Body series

Halvorson, Karin Inside the Ears
Gr. K–3     32 pp.     ABDO     2013
Library binding ISBN 978-1-61783-610-7

Halvorson, Karin Inside the Eyes
Gr. K–3      32 pp.     ABDO     2013
Library binding ISBN 978-1-61783-611-4

Halvorson, Karin Inside the Heart
Gr. K–3      32 pp.     ABDO     2013
Library binding ISBN 978-1-61783-612-1

Halvorson, Karin Inside the Lungs
Gr. K–3      32 pp.     ABDO     2013
Library binding ISBN 978-1-61783-613-8

Jarrow, Gail Red Madness: How a Medical Mystery Changed What We Eat
Middle school, high school   192 pp.     Boyds/Calkins (Boyds Mills Press)     2014
Trade ISBN 978-1-59078-732-8

Murphy, Jim and Blank, Alison Invincible Microbe: Tuberculosis and the Never-Ending Search for a Cure
Gr. 4–6     149 pp.     Clarion     2012
Trade ISBN 978-0-618-53574-3

Ziefert, Harriet You Can’t See Your Bones with Binoculars!: A Book About Your 206 Bones
Illustrated by Amanda Haley
Gr. K–3     32 pp.     Blue Apple     2014
Trade ISBN 978-1-60905-417-5

Ziefert, Harriet You Can’t Taste a Pickle with Your Ear!: A Book About Your 5 Senses
Illustrated by Amanda Haley
Gr. K–3
     32 pp.     Blue Apple     2014
Trade ISBN 978-1-60905-418-2

These titles were featured in the November 2014 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book.

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24. Times running out to Win a copy of Ruff Christmas

How excited are you?

We are very excited at Ruff Life, especially with Ruff Christmas being released; it's got to be one of the funniest stories and greatest adventures, and it promises to have the whole family in stitches of laughter.

If you have a sweet tooth then go to our store and check out our cute chocolate dipped oreo cookie pops - they are really fun and will make a great decoration for any Christmas party table.  We also have some lovely gifts; our Ruff Life scarfs are stunningly fashionable. The link to the site is on the left or visit our website Ruff Life Online

Below is the link to enter the FREE Ruff Life book giveaway. Don't leave it too long to enter, or you will miss the opportunity!



Goodreads Book Giveaway

Ruff Christmas by B.R. Tracey

Ruff Christmas

by B.R. Tracey

Giveaway ends December 09, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

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25. David Mackintosh

David Mackintosh has a new and very charming book just out, 'Lucky'… 




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