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<<October 2016>>
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1. I’m randomly giving away a print of my upcoming “The...

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2. I don’t know what these two are getting on about....

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3. lock and key

Autumn, it seems, is finally setting in around here. The breeze carries a chill. The leaves are color. My son is home, for a few essential days. He comes by when I am standing here. A kiss on the cheek. Hey, Mom.

How hard it is to anticipate how much we'll miss our children when they are grown up and mostly gone.

But today, this Sunday morning, everything I need is right within reach—my husband, my son, our small home. We'll eat cookies, take a walk, watch a movie, talk—and that is all, because that is all we need.

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4. I enjoy the simple clean lines on this #sketch. #inktober2016

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5. Inktober So Far

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6. FREE kindle ebook for children: SILLY MONSTERS ABC

Another day, another FREEBIE!
SILLY MONSTERS ABC now free (23rd - 25th October)
Perfect alphabet book for little monsters everywhere!
Download for your kindle here:


picture of an amblemoose
A is for the amblemoose,
who ambles aimlessly.
picture of a buzzlesnout
B is for the buzzlesnout,
who buzzes like a bee.
picture of a crocododo
C is for the crocododo,
who eats carrot cake.
picture of a dampwottle
D is for the drooling dampwottle,
who dribbles by the lake.

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7. Formatting Your Novel

Here are the basics of formatting your novel for submission, including submitting via email.


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8. Anne's House of Dreams

Anne's House of Dreams. L.M. Montgomery. 1919. 227 pages. [Source: Bought]

First sentence: “Thanks be, I’m done with geometry, learning or teaching it,” said Anne Shirley, a trifle vindictively, as she thumped a somewhat battered volume of Euclid into a big chest of books, banged the lid in triumph, and sat down upon it, looking at Diana Wright across the Green Gables garret, with gray eyes that were like a morning sky.

Premise/plot: Anne Shirley marries Gilbert Blythe in this oh-so-lovely, oh-so-charming book by L.M. Montgomery. Technically, it is the sequel to Anne of the Island! Anne of Windy Poplars was written in the 1930s, decades after Anne's House of Dreams. In this Anne book, the happily married couple settle down in their first home together near Four Winds Harbor and Glen St. Mary. 

Anne's House of Dreams introduces many new characters--some of my favorites I admit--Captain Jim, Miss Cornelia, Leslie Moore, Owen Ford. Marshall Elliot. Susan Baker. Who would ever want to forget their stories? Captain Jim's life-book. Leslie Moore's tragic past but enduring spirit. Miss Cornelia. She's got to be one-of-a-kind. Just a truly spirited character with so much heart and full of gumption. Practically everything out of her mouth is quotable. She sure is great at banter!

My thoughts: I love and adore this one!!! I love how emotionally satisfying it is. The Anne books may have sweet moments, but they pack in reality as well. No one can make me cry like L.M. Montgomery.

“Stoutness and slimness seem to be matters of predestination,” said Anne.
Jane was not brilliant, and had probably never made a remark worth listening to in her life; but she never said anything that would hurt anyone’s feelings — which may be a negative talent but is likewise a rare and enviable one.
“I’ve heard you criticise ministers pretty sharply yourself,” teased Anne. “Yes, but I do it reverently,” protested Mrs. Lynde. “You never heard me NICKNAME a minister.” Anne smothered a smile.
Their happiness was in each other’s keeping and both were unafraid. 
“Miss Cornelia Bryant. She’ll likely be over to see you soon, seeing you’re Presbyterians. If you were Methodists she wouldn’t come at all. Cornelia has a holy horror of Methodists.”
“I know we are going to be friends,” said Anne, with the smile that only they of the household of faith ever saw. “Yes, we are, dearie. Thank goodness, we can choose our friends. We have to take our relatives as they are, and be thankful if there are no penitentiary birds among them. Not that I’ve many — none nearer than second cousins. I’m a kind of lonely soul, Mrs. Blythe.” There was a wistful note in Miss Cornelia’s voice.
“Were you able to eat enough pie to please her?” “I wasn’t. Gilbert won her heart by eating — I won’t tell you how much. She said she never knew a man who didn’t like pie better than his Bible. Do you know, I love Miss Cornelia.”

“Our library isn’t very extensive,” said Anne, “but every book in it is a FRIEND. We’ve picked our books up through the years, here and there, never buying one until we had first read it and knew that it belonged to the race of Joseph.”
A woman cannot ever be sure of not being married till she is buried, Mrs. Doctor, dear, and meanwhile I will make a batch of cherry pies.
“I wonder why people so commonly suppose that if two individuals are both writers they must therefore be hugely congenial,” said Anne, rather scornfully. “Nobody would expect two blacksmiths to be violently attracted toward each other merely because they were both blacksmiths.”
The p’int of good writing is to know when to stop.
There’s only the one safe compass and we’ve got to set our course by that — what it’s right to do.
Logic is a sort of hard, merciless thing, I reckon.
“Since you are determined to be married, Miss Cornelia,” said Gilbert solemnly, “I shall give you the excellent rules for the management of a husband which my grandmother gave my mother when she married my father.” “Well, I reckon I can manage Marshall Elliott,” said Miss Cornelia placidly. “But let us hear your rules.” “The first one is, catch him.” “He’s caught. Go on.” “The second one is, feed him well.” “With enough pie. What next?” “The third and fourth are — keep your eye on him.” “I believe you,” said Miss Cornelia emphatically.
Cats is cats, and take my word for it, they will never be anything else.

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Dog Smarts!
By Mary Nida Smith©

Doggone dog
acts like a hog.
He eats everything
without thinking.
He torn up the house,
never touched the mouse.
I sat him down for a talk
he took me for a walk.
No one out smarts this dog.
The old boy lives in a fog
living his life his way.
I am still in a daze.
No telling what he’ll do
when I introduce the cat

… to you know who.

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11. A Little Nibble

I saw a little nibble
In my mini-pumpkin gourd,
But one small bite is more than
What that gourd can well afford.

The likely culprit (chipmunk?)
Didn’t like the taste he got,
Though just a tiny hole’s enough
To welcome in the rot.

What’s meant as decoration
For a Halloweeny mood
Is, to all non-human creatures,
Nothing more than gratis food.

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12. ‘Trolls’ Launches With $18 Million Internationally; GKIDS Expands ‘Miss Hokusai’ in U.S.

"Trolls" debuted at No. 1 in nine markets.

The post ‘Trolls’ Launches With $18 Million Internationally; GKIDS Expands ‘Miss Hokusai’ in U.S. appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

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13. Cubs Win!

Every Cubs fan is ten years old tonight.

For the first time since 1945, the Cubs are in a World Series.  They haven't won one since 1908.  In that year, Harriet Tubman was still alive.  So was Mark Twain.  And Leon Tolstoy. And Geronimo. And Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

My high school was founded that year.

It's just baseball, yes, and I have philosophical objections to the culture of professional sports in this country and elsewhere.

But let me repeat: in this, the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand and Sixteen, the Cubs are in the World Series. For all the years since '08, for all the years they had great players like Ernie Banks and Billy Williams and Ron Santo and Ryne Sandberg, this time, they finally, finally made it. 

For fans who remember 1945 and bovid mammals of the genus Capra; for those who recall the implosions of 1969 and 1984 and 2003, this time, they did it (Yeah, there were a couple other times they were in the playoffs since '84, but those never felt like their year).  This time, they finally did it.

I remember, in the 70s, my mother taking me and my brother and our friends to the Cubs games, especially on Fridays, which was Ladies' Day and tickets were cheap (Fridays didn't become popular until the 80s).  It was the era of Reggie Jackson and the Pirates and the Big Red Machine of Cincinnati. 

There were peanuts outside and hot dogs inside and vendors selling Old Style beer (which of course we didn't drink). There were Andy Frain ushers and no one had even thought about putting seats on the roofs of buildings across the street. There was that deliciously analog giant scoreboard in center field.  (And, of course, there were no big screen high definition TVs.).

I remember our neighbor's cousin from Japan coming to see a baseball game in America and being wowed by Wrigley Field.

I remember some of the coldest spring days of my life sitting along the unreserved seats of left field.

I remember when they installed lights and being relieved they architecturally matched the stadium.

I remember commemorating the 50th anniversary of my high school's new building and the seventy-fifth anniversary of its founding by walking down Addison to see the Cubs play.

And I remember when Hank Aaron came for his first appearance in Chicago after breaking Babe Ruth's home run record and the entire stadium stood and gave him a standing ovation even though he was on the other team. 

I remember Jack Brickhouse and being kind of disappointed when he retired and was replaced by Harry Caray who, of course, had covered the White Sox, which was just wrong.

I remember friends being fans of the Reds and the Pirates and the Dodgers and the White Sox, which was just wrong. (For the record, I was not opposed to their winning the World Series a couple years back.  I don't like their new stadium, though.  Or the fact that they took Comiskey off the name).

I totally shouldn't care about professional athletes making millions for their billionaire employers for mediocre performances over the course of a century.  And part of me doesn't. 

But it's the Cubs.  And today, every Chicagoan who remembers is ten years old again.  And tonight, that's sublime.

Even if they don't beat Cleveland.  But they will. Unless they don't.  In which case they will do so in the most heart-breakingly way possible. Because they're the Cubs.

And it's what they do.

And there will be a next year.

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14. दीपावली की रात्रि में टोने-टोटके – दीपावली की सफाई

दीपावली की रात्रि में टोने-टोटके – दीपावली की सफाई – दीपावली आती नही कि टोने टोटके से ना सिर्फ सडक, चौराहा बल्कि हमारा इंटर नेट भी ऐसी पोस्ट से भर जाता है. जिसमें जगह जगह लिखा होता है कि फलां टोटका करो लक्ष्मी प्रसन्न होगी… फलां करो ये बरकत आएगी… और हैरानी है कि हम […]

The post दीपावली की रात्रि में टोने-टोटके – दीपावली की सफाई appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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15. नेता और अभिनेता – राजनीति का फिल्मों में हस्ताक्षेप कितना जरुरी

नेता और अभिनेता – राजनीति का फिल्मों में हस्ताक्षेप कितना जरुरी – आज के समय का एक यक्ष प्रश्न है क्योकि जिस तरह से एक फिल्म के रिलीज पर अब करोडो रुपये देकर मामले सुलटने लगे ये सही रिवाज नही शुरु हुआ … आगे आगे तो इस तरह से तो अन्य बातों में भी शर्ते […]

The post नेता और अभिनेता – राजनीति का फिल्मों में हस्ताक्षेप कितना जरुरी appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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16. Artist of the Day: Kento Iida

Discover the art of Kento Iida, Cartoon Brew's Artist of the Day.

The post Artist of the Day: Kento Iida appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

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17. Snapshots From the NYSEC Conference

My time at the New York State English Council (NYSEC) Conference through snapshots!

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Today (October 23, 2016), via Twitter, I received a photo of a page from Horrible Harry and the Christmas Surprise by Suzy Kline, published in 1991 by Viking.

Here's the photo:

Mr. Cardini (the principal) asks Doug (one of the main characters) if he's finished with a get well card he's making for his teacher, Miss Mackle, who is in the hospital. Doug replies:
"I just need to color in my Indian's headband. I gave him 15 feathers."
"You're putting an Indian on Miss Mackle's get well card?"
"Well, sometimes the Indians didn't have a very good Christmas. It was cold and there wasn't always enough food. I just thought it would make Miss Mackle feel better if she knew the Indians had hard times, too."
"Good thinking, Doug. There's a saying for that--misery likes company."
I gather that Viking is part of Penguin Puffin. Horrible Harry and the Christmas Surprise was apparently part of Scholastic's offerings, too. There's a lesson plan for using it at the Scholastic website. Not a word there, of course, about the problems in that passage. Horrible Harry is a series... I wonder what I'd find in the other 24?!

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19. Green Island and the Great Barrier Reef by Margot Justes redux

Cairns is the getaway to the Barrier Reef, among other places. Ie booked a tour to Green Island and the Great Barrier Reef. According to the brochure, Green Island is a beautiful 6000 year old coral cay located in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

It’s a 45 minute boat ride to Green Island from Cairns. The boat ride to Green Island was peaceful, even a whale paid us a visit, checked us out and went on his merry way.

The ride from Green Island to the Barrier Reef was exhilarating. Let’s just say it was a choppy ride-really, really choppy, knuckle white choppy. Even the crew had to hold on. I like speed boats, but that day my knuckles really were white. I was on the top deck, and couldn’t have moved if I wanted to, and believe  me I didn’t. I clung to the railing with both hands, and didn’t let go until long after the boat stopped moving.

Green Island was beautiful. Lush with vegetation, unspoiled and protected. There is one resort with a swimming pool, but it was a bit chilly, and only the birds swam. There were a couple of gift shops, a restaurant, and a cafe; all part of the resort. After a walk about, I stopped for a cup of coffee-not a surprise-the setting was beautiful, right in the center of the entrance to the resort. Who could resist?  If you were not a guest, you couldn’t get to the resort property, but access was available to the restaurant, gift shop, scuba and snorkeling gear.

It is isolated, but there are plenty of snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities. Peaceful and serene, and cut off from the rest of the world, it’s a perfect place to commune with nature, and just relax, savor a cup of coffee, take a deep breath and enjoy.

After Green Island, it was on to the Great Barrier Reef. The boat docked along a pontoon, and we spend the rest of the day there. While the crew cooked our lunch, it was time to scuba dive, snorkel, take a helicopter ride, or a trip in a semi submersible to view the reef. I tried snorkeling once, but the water tastes terrible. Yes, I know you’re not supposed to drink the water.

I did go in the semi submersible, twice, because it was so incredible. I have never seen anything like the reef before, the vitality and variety of the life below was astounding,  because of the continuous movement of life, it seemed to dance. There are a few pictures, but they are cloudy, shooting through a thick pane of murky glass is not the best way to get great pictures. But I found Nemo. I really did.

More next week.

Margot  Justes
A Hotel in Paris
A Hotel in Bath
A Hotel in Venice
A Fire Within

Blood Art

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20. It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 10-24-16

Thanks to our dynamic hosts: Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kelle at Unleashing Readers. Head to either blog to find reviews as well as dozens of links to other blogs filled with reviews!

Books I Read This Week:

Also an Octopus by Maggie Tokuda-Hall, illustrated by Benji Davies
Candlewick Press, 2016
32 pages
Recommended for all!

You know how all pictures books are great for reading aloud? Well this one seems to NEED to be read aloud. Teach reading? Then read this book to your students, no matter the age. Humorous, whimsical-eye catching art, and a perfect tie in to how stories are set up. My favorite page: when the octopus sits down to play the ukulele, "because music is good for the heart." 

Du Iz Tak by Carson Ellis
Candlewick Press, 2016
48 pages
Recommended for all!

I love a good mystery and a good puzzle, and this book is a little of both. All the text is told in a language created by author/illustrator, Carson Ellis; who, by the way, creates some amazing artwork.
I imagine myself sharing this story with my students, asking them to imagine what is being said. Are there patterns in the language? How does the text connect to the images? What do you think is being said? Curious and creative readers will enjoy!
I love the spider. Well, I detest spiders, but I love what the presence of the spider does to the story.

We Found a Hat by Jon Klassen
Candlewick Press, 2016
56 pages
Recommended for all!

So it ends. The trilogy comes to a close as you turn the final page in this story. Remember the bear and the rabbit...and how the bear solved the problem of his hat being stolen? Some say smush, some say chomp, all agree, it didn't end well for the hat stealing rabbit. And remember the fish, that tiny hat stealing fish that brags about how clever and shifty he is. No remorse. Well, remember what happened to him? With thoughts of hat stealers getting what comes to them, readers will be delightfully curious about how two of the same creature will end this latest conundrum around one hat and two wanna be hat wearers. I mean, this thought will come to mind: Does that tortoise EAT his companion?! Or is that just me that thought that...?

I'm Currently Reading:

I have more books to read than I can make a dent in, and I'm not ashamed to admit that I chose this one based on its awesome title and fantastic cover art. Not ashamed at all! And much to my delight, I discovered by very own hometown featured in the first few pages! Thankfully I have yet to cross paths with the Evil Wizard Smallbone in real life...eek.

Thanks for visiting!

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21. Amazon as Deedy's Muse!

We almost hate posting this from Deedy because it is all about her Other Kind of Writing, but oh well.  Love, Bizzy, Blizzy, Dizzy, Fizzy, Frizzy, Quizzy, Tizzy, and Whizzy

* * *

This is the final installment of my "salute" to Amazon during the time Amazon is saluting Indy authors.

I've already posted about how finding out about Createspace and KDP liberated my creative inclinations so I could write and publish all the Izzy Elves stories as paperbacks, downloadable audio books, audio book CDs, and (soon) Illustrated Audio Books via Amazon Video Direct.

Today I'd like to add a different kind of salute, to Amazon as "muse." (I keep trying to make a pun-type thingy of A-muse-zon but that doesn't work too well so I won't.)  If I did, I would use this horrible pun to refer to the fact that even when I don't actually publish something myself using the Amazon platforms, just knowing that they are available in case I need them has served as a powerful inspiration to me as a writer.

Case in point: A Buss from Lafayette.

This is a story for which I conceived the main idea almost twenty years ago. I did a lot of reading about Lafayette during those years, but I couldn't make myself actually finish writing this book. As there was no guarantee that I could find a publisher for it, it just seemed rather pointless to complete this project.

Then I heard about Createspace and KDP.  Once I knew that I could publish A Buss from Lafayette myself if I had to, my whole mindset changed and I started working on it in earnest. It took about three years to do the necessary research and create the fictional bits.

In the end, I did find a publisher (thank you, BQB Publishing) which did a beautiful job of helping me polish Buss up for publication.

It was knowing that I had Amazon as a Back Up Plan that made it possible for me to write this story with confidence it would be published, no matter what.

The result? A Buss from Lafayette has received numerous wonderful reviews from Amazon readers as well as from "editorial" sources. Take a look at what's on its Amazon listing page :

 Finally, A Buss from Lafayette was just named a quarter finalist in the Booklife Prize in Fiction!

None of this would have happened without "A-muse-zon"!

Dorothea Jensen

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22. Announcing the Winner of the Children's Christmas Book: Operation Birthday Blessings

Congratulations, Janey G. from South Carolina! You've won a free copy of Angelika Martin's children's book.

I'll give Angie your full name as the winner from my blog. Go ahead and contact her on her website at http://www.jesseandbongo.com/contact.html. Contact her before the end of October so she'll have plenty of time to personalize your book for you.

Thanks to all who participated in the giveaway. I've got several more fantastic giveaways coming up soon!

I hope you all have a week full of joyful blessings and a peace that passes all understanding,


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23. Inktober Day 23: Tangled Relationship

Tangled Relationship. Day 23 of #Inktober2016.

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25. VIDEO: Never Alone

A classmate turned me onto this game available for iPad and iPhone (maybe Android too), NEVER ALONE. I don't really play games and I don't have the right device, but I was still able to enjoy the video about the story behind this gorgeous app. Click the image to watch a short video about it.

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