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1. Sing Along Construction Song

Sing Along Construction Song - Cover

We really enjoyed this tale about various construction vehicles and the job they do.  Each vehicle describes their function and then happily sings a song set to the tune of “London Bridge” about their work.  At the end they all sing together about how they work as a team to get the job done.  Great message for young children about having a positive attitude and teamwork.  You can purchase this ebook for $2.99 at Amazon or get it for FREE using Kindle Unlimited which is a new subscription service by Amazon to read up to ten books at a time for a monthly fee of $9.99.  They are currently offering free 30-day trials if you want to check it out.  As always all of our children’s books are available in the Kindle Unlimited program as well.

**We received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.**


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2.

LATEST NEWS

Artie’s previously published children’s poem Ceiling to the Stars is being published in a book by Orient BlackSwan in India this October. More to come.

orient-blackswan-150x78

Part 7/7 of Living Green: A Turtle’s Quest for a Cleaner Planet was published in the August issue of Jabberblabber Magazine. To read the entire story with illustrations, please click on the illustrated cover below. The series is featured on pages 28-32.

LG Cover

View from a Zoo was released in a flash-animated video through Animatus Studio. To watch the video, please click on the link below.

The Southern Newspapers Publishers Association is offering several of Artie’s children’s stories to newspapers across the United States. The latest is his story titled The Hummingbird Who Chewed Bubblegum.  To read the stories, please click on the title link above.

Use of any of the content on this website without permission is prohibited by federal law 

COPYRIGHT © 2014 ARTIE KNAPP               

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3. Bimonthly etymology gleanings for August and September 2014. Part 1

I was out of town at the end of this past August and have a sizable backlog of unanswered questions and comments. It may take me two or even three weeks to catch up with them. I am not complaining: on the contrary, I am delighted to have correspondents from Sweden to Taiwan. Today I will deal with the questions only about the two most recent posts.

Kiss

Our regular correspondent Mr. John Larsson took issue with my remark that kiss has nothing to do with chew and cited some arguments in favor of the chew connection. We should distinguish between the “institute of kissing” and the word for the action. As could be expected, no one knows when people invented kissing, but, according to one theory, everything began with mothers chewing their food and passing it on to their babies from mouth to mouth. I am not an anthropologist and can have no opinion about such matters. But the oldest form of the Germanic verb for “chew” must have sounded approximately like German kauen (initial t in Old Norse tyggja is hardly original). The distance between kauen and kussjan cannot be bridged.

Also from Scandinavia, Mr. Christer Wallenborg informs me that in Sweden two words compete: kyssa is a general term for kissing, while for informal purposes pussa is used. I know this and will now say more about the verbs used for kissing in the Germanic-speaking world. Last time I did not travel farther than the Netherlands (except for mentioning the extinct Goths). My survey comes from an article by the distinguished philologist Theodor Siebs (1862-1941). It was published in the journal of the society for the promotion of Silesian popular lore (Mitteilungen der Schlesischen Gesellschaft für Volkskunde) for 1903. Modern dialect atlases may contain more synonyms.

Below I will list only some of the words and phrases, without specifying the regions. Germany: küssen, piepen, snüttern (long ü), -snudeln (long u), slabben, flabben, smacken, smukken, smatschen, muschen, bussen, bütsen, pützschen, pupen (some of these words are colloquial, some verge on the vulgar). Many verbs for “kiss” (the verb and the noun) go back to Mund and Maul “mouth,” for example, mundsen, mul ~ mull, müll, mill, and the like. Mäulchen “little mouth” is not uncommon for “a kiss,” and Goethe, who was born in Frankfurt, used it. With regard to their sound shape, most verbs resemble Engl. puss, pipe, smack, flap, and slap.

Friesland (Siebs was an outstanding specialist in the modern dialects and history of Frisian): æpke (æ has the value of German ä) ~ apki, make ~ mæke, klebi, totje, kükken, and a few others, borrowed from German and Dutch. Dutch: zoenen, poenen (both mentioned in my previous blog on kiss), kussen, kissen, smokken, smakken, piper geven, and tysje.

Siebs became aware of Nyrop’s book (see again my previous blog on kiss about it) after his own work had been almost completed and succeeded in obtaining a copy of it only because Nyrop sent him one. He soon realized that his predecessor had covered a good deal of the material he had been collecting, but Nyrop’s book did not make Siebs’s 19-page article redundant, because Nyrop’s focus was on the situations in which people kiss (a friendly kiss, a kiss of peace, an erotic kiss, etc.), while Siebs dealt with the linguistic aspect of his data. It appeared that kiss usually goes back to the words for the mouth and lips; for something sweet (German gib mir ’nen Süssen “give me a sweet [thing]”); for love (so in Greek, in Slavic, and in Old Icelandic minnask, literally “to love one another”), and for embracing (as in French embrasser). Some words for kissing are onomatopoeic, and some developed from various metaphors or expanded their original sense (I mentioned the case of Russian: from “be whole” to “kiss”; Nyrop cited several similar examples). We can see that chewing has not turned up in this small catalog.

Tristram and Isolde by John William Waterhouse, 1916. Public domain via WikiArt
Tristram and Isolde by John William Waterhouse, 1916. Public domain via WikiArt

Siebs also ventured an etymology of kiss and included this word in his first group. In his opinion, Gothic kukjan “to kiss” retained the original form of Old Engl. kyssan, Old Norse kyssa, and their cognates. In Old Frisian, kokk seems to have meant “speaker” and “mouth” and may thus be related to Old Icelandic kok “throat.” Siebs went on to explain how the protoform guttús yielded kyssan. Specialists know this reconstruction, but everything in it is so uncertain that the origin of kiss cannot be considered solved.

In the picture, chosen to illustrate this post, you will see the moment when Tristan and Isolde drink the fateful love potion. Two quotations from Gottfried’s poem in A. T. Hatto’s translation will serve us well: “He kissed her and she kissed him, lovingly and tenderly. Here was a blissful beginning for Love’s remedy: each poured and quaffed the sweetness that welled up from their hearts” (p. 200), and “One kiss from one’s darling’s lips that comes stealing from the depths of her heart—how it banished love’s cares!” (p. 204).

The color brown and brown animals

The protoform of beaver must have been bhebrús or bhibhrús. This looks like an old formation because it has reduplication (bh-bh) and is a -u stem. The form does not contain the combination bher-bher “carry-carry.” Beavers are famous for building dams rather than for carrying logs from place to place. Francis A. Wood, apparently, the only scholar who offered an etymology of beaver different from the current one, connected the word with the Indo-European root bheruo- ~ bhreu- “press, gnaw, cut,” as in Sanskrit bhárvati “to gnaw; chew” (note our fixation on chewing in this post!). His idea has been ignored, rather than refuted (a usual case in etymological studies). Be that as it may, “brown” underlies many names of animals (earlier I mentioned the bear and the toad; I still think that the brown etymology of the bear is the best there is) and plants. Among the plants are, most probably, the Slavic name of the mountain ash (rowan tree) and the Scandinavian name of the partridge.

American Beaver by John James Audubon, 1844. Public domain via WikiArt.
American Beaver by John James Audubon, 1844. Public domain via WikiArt.

And of course I am fully aware of the trouble with the Greek word for “toad.” I have read multiple works by Dutch scholars that purport to show how many Dutch and English words go back to the substrate (the enigmatic initial a, nontraditional ablaut, and so forth). It is hard for me to imagine that in prehistoric times the bird ouzel (German Amsel), the lark, the toad, and many other extremely common creatures retained their indigenous names. According to this interpretation, the invading Indo-Europeans seem to have arrived from places almost devoid of animal life and vegetation. It is easier to imagine all kinds of “derailments” (Entgleisungen) in the spirit of Noreen and Levitsky than this scenario. Words for “toad” and “frog” are subject to taboo all over the world (some references can be found in the entry toad in my dictionary), which further complicates a search for their etymology. But this is no place to engage in a serious discussion on the pre-Indo-European substrate. I said what I could on the subject in my review of Dirk Boutkan’s etymological dictionary of Frisian. Professor Beekes wrote a brief comment on my review.

Anticlimax: English grammar (Mr. Twitter, a comedian)

I have once commented on the abuse of as clauses unconnected with the rest of the sentence. These quasi-absolute constructions often sound silly. In a letter to a newspaper, a woman defends the use of Twitter: “As someone who aspires to go into comedy, Twitter is an incredible creative outlet.” Beware of unconscious humor: the conjunction as is not a synonym of the preposition for.

The post Bimonthly etymology gleanings for August and September 2014. Part 1 appeared first on OUPblog.

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4. Top Secret Twenty-One: Review Haiku

Same old same old, but
I appreciate Steph's
tolerance of weirdos.

Top Secret Twenty-One by Janet Evanovich. Bantam, 2014, 352 pages.

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5. How To Turn Your Book into a Pumpkin

Fall is here! Don’t feel like carving up a traditional jack-o’-lantern from a pumpkin? YouTuber Lacey Keith shares an alternative idea with DIY book-themed pumpkins.

If you want to make a pumpkin statue out of your own, watch the video tutorial embedded above. For those who wish to play with a gourd, follow this link to view Nan Nethery’s “Pumpkin Book Characters” pinterest board. What book-themed Autumn decorations do you enjoy making?

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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6. Streaming Gilmore Girls

       Apparently it's big news that Netflix will be streaming the TV show Gilmore Girls starting today. As someone who does not use/have Netflix I don't really know what this actually means, but I've been impressed/amused by the copious amounts of Gilmore Girls-coverage that has popped online up surrounding this.
       For additional background reading, note that two show-related titles (aside from many of the books Rory reads ...) are under review at the complete review:

       (Yes, I enjoyed the show -- sharp writing, a great sense for dialogue, and by and large good fun --, and if I had Netflix would probably take advantage of the easy availability and dip back in.)

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7. PREVENTION AND PRE-SCHOOL

Today marks the 1st day of National bullying prevention month. I am often asked at what age should we talk to our kids about bullying and related behaviors. I am pleased to share that many pre-schools and early learning centers have asked me to read my books to their students and talk to parents about pro-social education. It is never too early to teach our kids to be kind. To share with them the importance of caring about others and to try to use practical examples to allow them to work on compassion development. As many of you know I have my own little tot and we are already working on feelings identification exercises. Bookstores and resource stores like Self-esteem shop carry many tools to begin this process. If we can teach young people early how to recognize emotions it is a great step in the process of pro-social learning. Does your center need assistance? Can your family benefit from a personal consultation on emotional understanding and prevention? Please let me know. This Friday I will be at Kindercare centers reading my picture book series to students and beginning the process of pro-social education. If you need an Unbully kit we send great resources through the mail that includes information, tools and resources that aid in prevention. -Read something great

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8. Review: He’s So Fine by Jill Shalvis

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

While I’ve read a few other Jill Shalvis titles, He’s So Fine is the first in the Lucky Harbor series that I’ve picked up.  I’m wondering why I waited so long.  Like Olivia, I was charmed by Lucky Harbor and the people living there.  Cole is a great hero, and his buddies Sam and Tanner kept him humble.  Mr. Fix It, Cole seems able to repair everything but the tattered remains of his heart.  Or was it his pride that needed a patch job?  Whatever it was, he didn’t have enough pockets on his cargo pants to mend the damage.  He needed a little help from Olivia to get the job done.

Heroine Olivia is in need of some mending, too.  A former child star, she went on a binge of bad behavior after her TV show was canceled.  When everyone in her life moved on, she lashed out, tarnishing her image and causing the creation of countless Youtube videos and online posts chronicling her bad behavior.  With her money-grubbing mother and jealous sister, I’m not surprised that she had no guidance and no rock to anchor herself to.  I really sympathized with Olivia.  She carried the careers and jobs of many people for years, and then, when her “cute” days were over, she was tossed to the curb like yesterday’s trash.  Her TV family moved on, leaving her adrift.  Her real family was never emotionally there for her.  How awful.  To realize with sickening clarity that the only worth you have to others is your ability to finance their paychecks.  Until you can’t.  And then you are washed up and not worth the time of day.  Ugh.

When Cole takes an unexpected dip in the frigid water of the marina while working on his boat, Olivia quickly jumps to his rescue.  She bravely leaps onto his head, almost drowning him, all the while thinking that she is saving him.  The start of He’s So Fine had me hooked.  How could I not be, after an introduction like that one?  Shivering with the cold, Cole quickly shepherds his would be savior onto the boat, demanding that she divest herself of her wet clothing before hypothermia sets in.  I loved this whole scene, and it set the tone for their relationship.  There’s humor, and hotness, and two genuinely nice people who you want to get together.  They are both broken, so it’s no surprise that it takes a freezing dip in the ocean to jump start their love lives.

I like small town romances because of the quirky characters that inhabit them.  In He’s So Fine, Cole’s friends and family liven up his life.  Not always in a good way, but Cole is unflappable and always willing to lend a helping hand.  He practically carries a tool box around with him in his cargo pants.  He has to fix things, which makes it all the more troubling when he refuses to fix himself.   After losing his best friend in a terrible accident, he also loses the woman he loved, when she walked away from him at Gil’s funeral.  Cole has never gotten over Susan’s betrayal, and he’s just not willing to put himself out there to be hurt again.  But then Olivia jumps on his head, and the man has absolutely no chance of escaping unscathed. 

He’s So Fine kept me entertained from the first dip in the cold waters to Cole’s eating humble pie act at the end of the book.  I have have two other Lucky Harbor books stashed away on my Kindle (I don’t even remember purchasing them!), so I’m looking forward to more visits to the town, and meeting more of its inhabitants. 

Grade:  B

Review copy provided by publisher

For Olivia Bentley, Lucky Harbor is more than the town where she runs her new vintage shop. It’s the place where folks are friendly to strangers-and nobody knows her real name. Olivia does a good job of keeping her past buried, not getting too cozy with anyone . . . until she sees a man drowning. Suddenly she’s rushing into the surf, getting up close and personal with the hottest guy she’s ever laid hands on.

Charter boat captain Cole Donovan has no problem with a gorgeous woman throwing her arms around his neck in an effort to “save” him. In fact, he’d like to spend a lot more time skin-to-skin with Olivia. He’s just not expecting that real trouble is about to come her way. Will it bring her deeper into Cole’s heart, or will it be the end of Olivia’s days in little Lucky Harbor?

HE’S SO FINE is available in mass market paperback, ebook and audio book formats wherever books are sold

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1B0Lc5P

iBooks: http://bit.ly/1p1HaDH

IndieBound: http://bit.ly/1qL9GMO

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1n3cobU

Google Play: http://bit.ly/1vUlsVJ

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1lkIft2

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1qbcfrn

The post Review: He’s So Fine by Jill Shalvis appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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9. Conrad Wesselhoeft, Author of DIRT BIKES, DRONES AND OTHER WAYS TO FLY, Talks About Place.


When I read Conrad Wesselhoeft's DIRT BIKES, DRONES AND OTHER WAYS TO FLY - if you haven't read it, do it NOW - I had to know how my friend, fellow author, and Seattle dweller was able to pull off a New Mexico setting so spectacular, I felt like I was riding on the back of his bike racing over those dusty trails. So I asked. His answer inspired me and taught me a great lesson on what makes a setting work. It's sure to inspire you. Thank you, Conrad! Got an extra helmet? Let's go for a ride.

In Praise of Place: Why fiction writers should light out for personal territory

By Conrad Wesselhoeft

In my mid-twenties, I fell in love with northeast New Mexico—the high plains, broken mesas, torn shadows, and rich, drifting light. I lived for two years in the town of Raton, working as a journalist for the local newspaper.

Working for a small-town paper meant doing every job in the newsroom: writing and editing stories; laying out the paper on a composing table; and taking and developing photos.

I took thousands of photos, criss-crossing the county with my sturdy Pentax K1000 camera—later moving on to a more nimble Canon AE-1.

The vistas of northeast New Mexico enthralled me. Much of the time, they looked flat and dull, but at certain times of day, under certain light, they exploded with beauty.

I’d reach for my camera, and all would go quiet.

Several years ago, when I started writing my young-adult novel Dirt Bikes, Drones, and Other Ways to Fly, I wanted to re-capture that special landscape—both the look and feel.

I started by creating a fictional town and calling it Clay Allison, after the 19th Century gunfighter who had lived in that area. I jotted these notes:

“Clay Allison is a town in northeast New Mexico located in the high desert snug up against Colorado’s mountainous ass. ‘Clay’ has a rusty, shoddy, past-its-prime look and feel. In reality, it has never experienced a prime.”

The surrounding landscape, I noted, “is a hundred muted shades. Nearby are Eagle Tail and Burro mesas, and to the north, the Sangre de Cristo (Blood of Christ) Mountains. Many small mesas are carved with dirt-bike tracks, an insult to Mother Nature, but a playground for Arlo Santiago and his friends.”

Arlo is the novel’s 17-year-old adrenaline-junkie narrator. He loves to blast across the mesas on his Yamaha 250 dirt bike, hitting the bumps and flying high.

I stretched my vocabulary when I wrote:

“The story unfolds under the cerulean emptiness of New Mexico’s slow-fuse sky.”

My goal was to have Arlo fit organically into this landscape. I wanted him to respond—consciously and otherwise—to the monotonous-one-minute, staggering-the-next horizons, just as I had. If he could do this, then maybe readers could, too. That was my hope anyway.

Whether I pulled it off is not for me to say. What I did learn, however, is how important setting can be to a story—so important, in fact, that it can become a galvanizing character in its own right, one filled with moods and fancies, passions and mysteries.

Writers often overlook setting in favor of more obvious characterization tools— for example, action or dialogue.

The result is that New York City appears no different in the mind’s eye than Portland, Oregon, and the Grand Canyon exudes all the gravitas of a touched-up postcard. Hasty writers like to locate Denver in the Rocky Mountains when, in fact, “the Queen City of the Plains” is located just east of the Rockies.

It’s as if the writer had carelessly stuck a pin on a map and said, “I think I’ll set my story here.”

But when setting works—when a writer taps into emotions associated with a place—it can be glorious, as in Huckleberry Finn (the Mississippi River), The Old Man and the Sea (the Caribbean), or To Kill a Mockingbird (small-town Alabama).

It’s no coincidence that Twain, Hemingway, and Harper Lee lived and worked where they set their stories, or that they acquired far more than an eyeful of land or water. By the time they embarked on writing their novels, they had mingled their souls with those places.

And therein lies the beauty of “place” or “setting” in fiction.

When a writer dips into his or her own life and bares emotions connected with a place the result can exalt a story and illuminate the characters.

Scott O’Dell’s love for California’s coastal islands shimmers on every page of Island of the Blue Dolphins, his 1960 young-adult novel about a girl left on a remote island to fend for herself. You more than hear the gulls cry, waves crash, and wind blow. The island on which Karana lives seems alive. You hear it mourn for all that is missing from her life, just as it rejoices in her victories over storms, hunger, and wild dogs.

Lois Lowry’s ambivalent memories of growing up on military bases darken the stark, regimented world of her 1993 dystopian novel The Giver.

C.S. Lewis based his sweeping Narnia vistas on the Mountains of Mourne in Northern Ireland. About them, he wrote: "I have seen landscapes . . . which, under a particular light, make me feel that at any moment a giant might raise his head over the next ridge.”

In every case the writer traversed a personal geography to inform a fictional one. His or her emotional connection to a real place grounded the reader in an imagined place.

Contemporary young-adult fiction writers traversing this personal geography include Molly Blaisdell, whose Plumb Crazy makes small-town Texas taste like a sweet-potato pie glazed with dust and peppered with grit; Louise Spiegler, whose historical novels capture the damp majesty of Puget Sound country; and Holly Cupala, whose Don’t Breathe a Word gives the midnight alleys of homeless America a heartbeat.

When a writer soaks up the spirit of a place—whether it’s a town, city, mesa, or just about anywhere else—that place can inspire a profound fictional setting.

A great story puts you there, so that you see and feel the landscape around you. Writers get there by digging into their personal geography—and listening for the heartbeat.

Conrad Wesselhoeft worked as a tugboat hand in Singapore and Peace Corps Volunteer in Polynesia before embarking on a career in journalism. He has served on the editorial staffs of five newspapers, including The New York Times. He is the author of the young adult novels ADIOS, NIRVANA (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010) and DIRT BIKES, DRONES, AND OTHER WAYS TO FLY (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014). His ancestors were doctors to Emily Dickinson, Louisa May Alcott, and Harriet Beecher Stowe. His three children are in various stages of university study or job searching. He lives in West Seattle with a poodle named Django (the "D" is silent). Druid Circle cookies (from Trader Joe’s) are his weakness.








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10. Samar Yazbek Q & A

       At Qantara.de Claudia Kramatschek has a Q & A with Syrian author Samar Yazbek, Divided society, divided souls.
       The book they discuss, which has just come out in German, is available in English as Cinnamon; see the RAYA information page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

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11. Clement on the Can — New CLEMENTOONS Adventure


In this brand new episode of CLEMENTOONS, Clement makes a sled out of a crushed soda can and embarks on a wild ride. (Direct link to video)

CLEMENTOONS is my stop-motion animated adventure series about a little cartoon person on a perilous journey through the real world to the toyland of Melville. 


The animation is painstakingly shot frame by frame and then compiled into a movie. In this shot, a geared-down Lego motor pulls the sleds at a constant but very slow rate, while a still camera shoots at five second intervals.


There's no green-screen and no digital effects. When Clement goes through the brambles, he's really going through them.

The episodes will be released out of order. Each one begins with an escape and ends with a cliffhanger. 
------
Previous videos:
Clement Meets Miss Bubbles
Clementoons: Behind the Scenes
Song by Frankie Trumbauer "There'll Come a Time," 1927,
Clementoons theme music by The Yanks, "If There Weren't Any Women in the World" 

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12. Forward Prizes for Poetry

       They've announced (warning ! dreaded pdf format !) the winners of the Forward Prizes for Poetry, with Kei Miller's The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion taking the £10,000 best collection prize; see the Carcanet publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
       Stephen Santus' 'In a Restaurant' -- third-place finisher in last year's Bridport Prize -- took the prize for 'best single poem'.

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13. on the road with Stephen Fried

At the Pennsylvania Library Association Convention on Monday, Stephen Fried and I talked, with considerable conviction and some debate, about nonfiction and its various permutations. We talked about research—why and how we do it, why we love it, how we wouldn't exist without our libraries and primary sources. As always, Stephen was impressive—his deep need to know, his great defense of nonfiction, his glorious insistence on getting to the root of the matter. To read the document through. To hold the thing in one's hand. To locate, for each fact, a context.

But perhaps it was the drive to and from Lancaster that I treasured most—the winding way through farm country, the roadside attractions of Bird-in-Hand, the horses on the roads before us, and the talk, the always talk, about what we do and what we yearn to do, the students we've taught, the questions about what yet lies ahead.

A long-time friend. Treasured.

Thank you, Karl and PaLA, for inviting us.

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14. Productive and Profitable Content Creation - STOP Doing THAT and Start Doing THIS (Content Daily)

Guest Post by Jeff Herring Profitable Content Creation is the foundation of being successful online over the long haul. And you do want to be successful online for a long time, right? Pay no attention to those who say the time of content creation is over. Think about it: while they are saying this, what are they doing? Creating content! At the same time, there are many practices online

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15. the corners of my mind

Today I start a month of sobriety, in an initiative by the wonderful MacMillan Cancer Support called Go Sober For October - which not only raises money for them but also gets us, taking part, to look at our own drinking habits.

My feelings about it change like the weather. One minute I'm really looking forward to it. Excited about the break. No alcohol for a month. I know I'll be more productive, I know I'll feel so much better, I hope the house will get cleaned.

Then it comes over me like a wave, a tsunami actually; NO WINE FOR A MONTH. And, it terrifies me. What will I do? It's those moments, those routines; Thursday after finishing work for the week; Friday night; chatting on the phone with Tim; early Sunday evening; whilst cooking; chatting on the phone with Mark. FRIDAY NIGHT!!!

From the far blurry corners of my mind I remembered something that I saw in one of Danny Gregory's books. I can't remember which, unfortunately, an Illustrated Journey maybe. In it, he gives tips on journaling and one of the ideas he shares is to go without something for a day (chocolate, alcohol, smoking, tv, the internet, etc) and journal about it. I think I may try this over the next 31 days. It would be the most fitting way of me to document the month ahead.

I'm not expecting the next month to be easy but then I remember the cause and it puts it into perspective. If your life had ever been touched by the amazing, and humbling job, that MacMillan do (or if the thought of giving up alcohol for a month terrifies you, too) please donate/sponsor me. You can do that HERE.
Cheers!

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16. Feral Nights by Cynthia Leitich Smith Wins Writers' League of Texas (MG/YA) Book Award

By Cynthia Leitich Smith
for Cynsations

From the Writers' League of Texas: "The 2013/2014 Writers' League of Texas Book Awards, awarded in 2014 and recognizing outstanding books published in 2013, honor Texas authors across five categories with three distinctions: Winner, Finalist, and Discovery Prize Winner, all of whom will be celebrated at the WLT booth at the Texas Book Festival in October."

Middle Grade/YA Winner

(Candlewick, 2013)

Finalists

Discovery Prize Winner

Picture Book Winner

(Pelican, 2013)

Finalists

Discovery Prize Winner

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17. WOW Wednesday: Don’t Dream Big, Write and Live Big by Lisa Schroeder



Lisa Scroeder's newest young adult novel, THE BRIDGE FROM ME TO YOU, explores friendship, family and life in a simply beautiful way. Her advice below is equally as beautiful, and we are so excited to share what she has to say.

Don’t Dream Big, Write and Live Big by Lisa Schroeder



According to dictionary.com, to “encourage” is to inspire someone with the courage or confidence to do something.

So with this blog post, I’m supposed to inspire you to do something.

What is it that you want to do, I wonder, when it comes to your writing, your career, and/or your passion for books?

When it comes to myself, there are many things I’d like to do, if I’m honest. I’d like to write a book that wins awards. I’d like to be invited to the National Book Festival in DC and/or the Los Angeles Festival of Books. I’d like to write a book that has movie producers fighting over it. I’d like to…

I could go on and on, couldn’t I? And I bet you could too. I think it is human nature to live in that state of wanting. If we didn’t, I wonder if we would be motivated to do anything at all?

Part of me believes dreams are good things to have. I think dreams often keep us moving when we feel like stopping. But I wonder, is there a point where dreams become detrimental? Where we spend too much time, fixated on the dreams, that other, more important things, fall by the wayside?

It can be especially hard when we are reminded on twitter every day of other people’s dreams coming true. If your dream is to have a book published by a traditional publisher, you will see book announcements almost daily on twitter. Still, you hold on to your dream, knowing other people’s successes doesn’t have anything to do with your own. But still, it can sting a little bit sometimes. Why them and not me, you might wonder.

Before my first novel was published, I really, really wanted to be published. I now realize I spent way too much time thinking about it and worrying about it. I scoured writers’ message boards again and again, hoping, perhaps, that people’s wisdom and good luck would rub off on me. It was like if I spent all of my time on it, maybe it would happen. Maybe I could figure out the magic code or secret spell to make my dreams come true.

I see this happening with promotion sometimes too. Once the contract is signed and that dream comes true, the author dreams of more, and so she spends tons of time and money on promotion, hoping she can make big things happen for her book. But it’s hard for one person to affect much change, and so what often follows is disappointment.

If there is one thing that is certain in the publishing industry, it is this – there is no guarantee of anything, ever. There is no magic code, no secret spell, no formula as to what makes a book succeed. I’ve always believed luck (that is, right time/right place) plays a bigger role than any of us can really understand.

So today, whatever it is you might want when it comes to your writing, whatever dreams you have in your heart, I say, try to forget all of that. Or most of it, anyway. Write them down, if you’d like, and stick them away in a safe place, and then, move away from those dreams to doing what it is you should be doing as a writer.

Writing.

Yes, that’s what I want to inspire you to do with courage or confidence. I want to inspire you to write.

Write because you love the act of putting words to the page.
Write because you love stories.
Write because you have a story to tell that only YOU can tell.
Write because it brings you joy.
Write because it helps you make sense of the world.
Write bravely.
Write honestly.
Write with everything you have.
Write.

And when you are done writing for the day, get up from your computer or your notebook, and live your life and enjoy the people and things that matter to you.

ABOUT THE BOOK


The Bridge from Me to You
by Lisa Schroeder
Hardcover
Point
Released 7/29/2014

Lauren has a secret. Colby has a problem. But when they find each other, everything falls into place.

Lauren is the new girl in town with a dark secret. Colby is the football hero with a dream of something more. In alternating chapters, they come together, fall apart, and build something stronger than either of them thought possible--something to truly believe in.

Purchase The Bridge from Me to You at Amazon
Purchase The Bridge from Me to You at IndieBound
View The Bridge from Me to You on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Lisa Schroeder is the author of more than a dozen books for kids and teens. Her latest young adult novel is THE BRIDGE FROM ME TO YOU, and the latest series for 8-12 year olds is called CHARMED LIFE. She lives in Oregon where she spends her time reading, writing, baking yummy treats, and hiking with her family.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads

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18. Author/Photographer Interview – Cat Urbigkit

About three years ago I saw Cat’s photos popping up regularly in my friend Terri Farley’s Facebook feed (Terri is a fabulous advocate for wild horses and a children’s author). I quickly friended Cat and look forward daily to her … Continue reading

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19. Multicultural Children’s Book Day Needs Book Reviewers!

This project is picking up speed and gaining momentum!

multicultural children's book day

We are so excited to announce our 2nd Multicultural Children’s Book Day January 27th, 2015 because we’ve added …

Multicultural Children’s Book Day Blogger Co-Hosts

These Amazing Co-Hosts to help us spread the word about diversity books for kids on Multicultural Children’s Book Day:

Africa to America

Africa to America

All Done Monkey

All Done Monkey

Growing Book by Book

Growing Book by Book

InCultural Parent

InCulture Parent

Kid World Citizen

Kid World Citizen

Mama Smiles

Mama Smiles

Sprout’s Bookshelf

Sprout's Bookshelf

Multicultural Children’s Book Day Non-Profit Collaborators

We’re also partnering with First Book to be able to offer a Virtual Book Drive that will help donate multicultural children’s books through their channels during the week of the event. We want to help get diversity books into the hands of kids who most need it and now we have a way to do it!

First Book and Multicultural Children's Book Day

We are also collaborating with Children’s Book Council to highlight wonderful diversity books and authors on an ongoing basis all year.

Children's Book Council and Multicultural Children's Book Day

 Multicultural Children’s Book Day Sponsors

Our Platinum sponsor is back from last year, Wisdom Tales Press!

Wisdom Tales press and Multicultural Chlldren's Book Day

We have a new Gold sponsor: Satya House!

http://www.satyahouse.com/

We have a new Bronze sponsor: Rainbow Books

Rainbow Books

Multicultural Children’s Book Day New Website

And did I mention that we have a new Multicultural Children’s Book Day website as a year round resource to help parents, teachers, librarians and kids find the perfect diversity books they are seeking?!

Multicultural Children's Book Day website

 So what’s next?

We need YOU! Sign up to receive a multicultural children’s book to review and blog on here! As with our last event, we need a list of bloggers who are willing to receive multicultural books from our sponsors to review. These books will be shipped to our participants, and as a part of this national event, participants are asked to create reviews and activities around these books on their blogs. The week of the celebration (1/27/15) these same bloggers will be invited to link up their blog posts for a huge MCCBD Linky Party that will help parents, teachers, librarians and readers discover new multicultural children’s book titles.

To download a copy of our Multicultural Children’s Book Day: Read Your World Book Review Blogger Guidelines go HERE.

Bloggers: Sign Up To Review Book for Multicultural Children’s Book Day

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The post Multicultural Children’s Book Day Needs Book Reviewers! appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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20. Halloween Stickers - Free Printable

 
Hey, hey, October! Because Halloween's 'round the corner, here's a free printable for some spooky stickers. I've sized them to fit Avery's sticker paper, but you can always print them out on regular paper and glue them to what have you. These could also be fun printed on fabric transfer paper, added to t-shirts, trick-or-treat bags, etc. In short, have fun and enjoy!

   

 For personal, school and library use only, please. Copyright Abigail Halpin, 2014.

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21. Halloween Thrills & Chills: box of horror giveaway + Jonathan Stroud interview

Fall is in the air, and we’re celebrating by hosting a Halloween Thrills and Chills event! Some of our favorite blog friends will present fantastic guest posts and interviews by three Disney Hyperion authors with books releasing this year, including Mary: The Summoning‘s Hillary Monahan, Welcome to the Dark House‘s Laurie Faria Stolarz, and The Whispering Skull‘s Jonathan Stroud. Check out the full tour schedule below, and be sure to enter the giveaway at the very end for a box of horror books that will be delivered to you in time for Halloween reading! We’re kicking off the event tour with Jonathan Stroud, author of the The Bartimaeus Sequence and many other novels. His second book in his Lockwood and Co. series just came out, and if you like the idea of coolly competent young British ghosthunters with a Sherlock-type vibe, you’ll certainly enjoy this series. I love how the... Read more »

The post Halloween Thrills & Chills: box of horror giveaway + Jonathan Stroud interview appeared first on The Midnight Garden.

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22. Why Write Mid-Grade?

Most authors of mid-grade novels get the question at some point, "Why do you write for teens? Why not write for adults?" And within the kidlit community, "Why write mid-grade? Why not Young Adult?"
      As a picture book author/illustrator, I'd heard the stories of such conversations, but I thought it was a cliché, a myth of the writing community, until word about my new mid-grade fiction, A BIRD ON WATER STREET, got out, and I started getting the question too. Happily, I have an answer.
      Adult and Young Adult novels seem to me to be mostly about solving a problem, or finding that perfect mate, or re-discovering oneself. I skip all that and go back to the beginning, when a main character isn't re-discovering anything - they are discovering who they are for the first time.
      To me, it makes for an unpredictable scenario. A young mind is one that isn't yet set in its ways. A young teen doesn't yet know if they are good or bad, if they make good decisions or not yet. It's all new territory and the pendulum could swing either way. Are they a person who stands up for what they believe in, or somebody who goes along with the status quo - with what's expected of them?
      And if a first kiss gets thrown in there while we're at it, where's the harm in that? Because no kiss will ever again feel like that first kiss. It's all about firsts really, when the world is still a wonder. When a teen is trying to make sense of it all. Really, it's a sensation we never lose in life, which is why I find it especially profound to explore those emotions when they're happening for the first time. It's why mid-grade may very well be a sweet spot for me. I hope for my readers too!

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23. Characters with No Arc?

Since the release of our Character Trait Thesaurus books almost a year ago, Angela and I have gone kind of nuts with the characterization posts. We just learned so much in the writing of these books, and we wanted to share some of that character building info with you guys.

Most of what we’ve written has to do with characters and their arcs—topics like The Four Types of Character Flaws, Using Quirks to Build Personality, Understanding Character Wounds, and The Duality of Character Traits. Angela and I (and most of the rest of the world) are suckers for a character with a good arc. We want to see a character struggle, fall, recognize her fatal flaw, and fight to overcome it in order to finally achieve happiness and peace. This is the textbook story that can be told a million different ways with a million different characters. When done well, it resonates with readers.

But one thing we haven’t talked about is the character with no arc. No change over time. No personal growth. You know who I’m talking about: Indiana Jones, James Bond, Ellen Ripley (in the first Alien movie), and the original Willy Wonka (just say no to creepy Johnny Depp). Clearly, people respond to these characters, or they wouldn’t appear in so many movies.

But how does that work, exactly?

K.M. WeilandWell, I was thrilled to open my inbox yesterday and find that K.M. Weiland has addressed THIS VERY ISSUE. So rather than try and reinvent the wheel, I’m pointing you to the post at Katie’s blog, where you can learn not only how to effectively write an arc-less character but you’ll find a ton of other writing tips, too.

WANaAnd while I’m here, let me also remind everyone that Angela and I are prepping for a new webinar called The Marketing Marriage: Creative Social Media Solutions to Help Your Book Event Get Noticed. It’s happening online October 13th at 8:00 EST. If you’re interested in learning more about how to put together a book event that will get people’s attention, click on the link above for more info. Can’t make the date? No problem! Register, and you can watch the recording when it’s convenient for you. 

The post Characters with No Arc? appeared first on WRITERS HELPING WRITERS.

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24. Can Cameron capture women’s votes?

After the Scottish Independence Referendum, the journalist Cathy Newman wrote of the irony that Cameron – the man with the much reported ‘problem’ with women – in part owes his job to the female electorate in Scotland. As John Curtice’s post-referendum analysis points out, women seemed more reluctant than men to vote ‘yes’ due to relatively greater pessimism of the economic consequences of a yes vote.

The Scottish vote should remind Cameron and the Conservative strategists who advise him of a very clear message: ignore women voters at your peril.

For several decades after UK women won the right to vote, Conservatives could rely on women’s votes and the gender gap in voting was consistently in double figures. However in recent decades this gap has diminished, particularly amongst younger women and party competition to mobilize female voters has become more important. Of course women voters have many diverse interests but understanding the concerns of different groups of women voters is crucial as female voters often make their decisions on voting closer to the election.

So what does Cameron need to do to firmly secure women’s votes at the general election? We argue the Conservative Party needs to make sure it represents women descriptively, substantively, and symbolically. On all three counts we see problems with Cameron’s strategy to win women’s votes.

Pre-election rhetoric and pledges to feminise the party through women’s descriptive representation have not been matched with clear and tangible outcomes. Cameron tried to increase the number of women MPs but still the share of women in the Conservative Party in the House of Commons is just 16%. As the latest Sex and Power Report highlights this looks unlikely to increase significantly in GE2015 as so few women have been selected to stand in safe Conservative seats despite the campaigning and support work undertaken by Women2Win.

Prime Minister David Cameron talks about the future of the United Kingdom following the Scottish Referendum result. Photographer: Arron Hoare. Photo: Crown copyright via Number 10 Flickr.
Prime Minister David Cameron talks about the future of the United Kingdom following the Scottish Referendum result. Photographer: Arron Hoare. Photo: Crown copyright via Number 10 Flickr.

Even where Cameron has strong power and autonomy to improve women’s presence – by fulfilling his pledge that one-third of his government would be women by the end of parliament – he has managed just 22%. Last July’s reshuffle did not erase the impression that women are not included at Cameron’s top table.

Without enough women representatives in Parliament and in Government to advise on policy proposals in development, there have been many problematic policy initiatives, such as the disastrous proposal to raise child care ratios. The Government’s approach to addressing public debt through austerity has been detrimental to women by reducing incomes, public services, and jobs, the effects of which even female Conservative supporters are more likely to express concerns about.

Cameron’s Conservatives in government also do not have the institutional capacity to get policies right for women. There are still not enough women in strategically significant places. For example in the Coalition Quad of Cameron, Osborne, Clegg, and Alexander control policy making. The gender equality machinery set up by the last government to monitor and address gender inequality in a strategic and long-term way has been stripped out. Even at the emergency post-referendum meeting at Chequers to discuss the UK’s constitutional future there was just one woman at the table.

Although the gender gap in voting, which currently favours Labour, is likely to narrow as the election approaches, the Conservatives have, we argue, inflicted significant psephological damage on themselves in their strategies to attract women’s votes: by not promoting women into politics, by not protecting women from austerity, and by stripping out the governmental institutions which give voice to women and promote gender equality.

Cameron’s political face may have been saved by Scottish women last month but for the reasons outlined in this blog post, we suggest that in the critical contestation for women’s votes at the 2015 general election there are long standing weaknesses in the Conservative Party’s strategy for mobilising women’s votes and restoring the Party’s historical dominance among women voters.

The post Can Cameron capture women’s votes? appeared first on OUPblog.

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25.

and wipe out again.....HELP!

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