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1. 5 Tips for Defining Characters

In addition to describing a character's phyical appearance, the words you use to describe the character reveal a lot about how he or she feels about herself and others.

1. A situation can cause Dick to view Sally in a different light. He might have a negative opinion of her at first and change his mind later. You can illustrate the shift in Dick’s opinion of Sally through description.

First impression: The chick stalked into the conference room, wearing a tight gray dress that crackled like stiff paper. Her pale hair was cinched in a tight bun that made her skin look too tight. She met his glance with cold, dark eyes and a clenched jaw. Dick straightened in his chair and ran a finger inside his collar. This witch would not be an easy sell.

Final impressionSally slipped into the conference room. Her navy dress was wrinkled after having spent the night balled up on his bedroom floor. A few of her whiskey-colored curls escaped a hastily gathered knot. Her smile flickered then faded. Dick squirmed in his chair and ran a finger inside his collar. The memory of all that hair spread out across his body left him flushed and shaky. He shuffled the papers in front of him. Sally had yet to sign on the dotted line, the tantalizing witch.

2. Personality clashes may cause Dick to view Sally in a negative light, even if she is runway model gorgeous. If Dick and Sally have a turbulent history, Dick thinks Sally's designer dress and shoes are an affectation rather than a turn on. These moments create tension.

3. Looks and personality are not synonymous. A character may not have symmetrical features or a svelte waistline, but she is lovely to know and a joy to be around. Her good nature makes her attractive to the viewer. A well-manicured, stately matron may have gutter sensibilities and a lewd sense of humor. Stereotypes are boring. Shake it up. I, for one, am tired of the perfect hero with sculpted abs and the tall, stacked heroine in four-inch heels.

4. Characters project a false self to protect their inner child. An insecure person might make sure every hair is in place. A secure person might not care how she looks.

If Dick's socks don't match because he accidentally pulled a blue and a black sock out of the laundry basket, how secure he is determines whether he delivers a blistering counter-attack when Sally points it out or bursts into genuine laughter over the error. Make sure your characters are multi-dimensional.

5. Look for instances where your point of view character analyzes another character. How does he feel and react when that person is around? Is there a dichotomy between his reaction and how he should feel? Dissonance creates tension.

For more information on character building, check out:

Story Building Blocks II: Crafting Believable Conflict in e-book and paperback.

Story Building Blocks: Build a Cast Workbook in e-book and paperback.

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2. ‘We Don’t Tell These Stories For Fun’ Poetry Video Goes Viral

How do you deal with sharing difficult stories? Writer Meaghan Ford (pictured, via) recited a poem called “We Don’t Tell These Stories For Fun” at the 2014 National Poetry Slam.

The Button Poetry YouTube channel posted a video (embedded above) featuring her performance and it has drawn more than 27,000 views. Click here to listen to another one of Ford’s pieces.

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3. Professional Development Opportunities for Serving Special Populations

Earlier this week ALSC held an online forum to continue the Day of Diversity conversation from Midwinter. I chair the committee, Library Services to Special Population Children and Their Caregivers, so I thought about the conversation in terms of special populations served by our libraries. “Special populations” is rather weird terminology (“underrepresented” may be a better term). What is considered a special population really depends on each library’s community. A special population in Richmond, CA may not be a special population in Nashville, TN. Even within a city, special populations may vary from branch to branch.

Forum attendees generated lots of suggestions about how to make our libraries more diverse, welcoming places for everyone in the community. This is a huge task – one that requires ongoing assessment to learn who is underrepresented in your community and at your library, one that requires ongoing training of library employees. To this end, I searched library-related continuing education websites for upcoming professional development opportunities focused on services or resources for diverse or underrepresented populations.

Here are some upcoming professional development opportunities:

Library Juice Academy
Bilingual Storytime at Your Biblioteca
March 2-27, 2015 $175
“Participants will discover new books, rhymes, songs, plans and resources that they can immediately put to use in their bilingual storytime programs.”

Texas State Library and Archives Commission
Technology Planning for Patrons with Disabilities – Where Do I Start?
March 12, 2015 FREE
“Learn about resources…including low-cost or free basic assistive equipment [to] download immediately.”

University of Wisconsin – Madison
Library Services for the Hmong Community
March 10, 2015 FREE
This webinar will discuss “barriers that prevent Hmong from using libraries and share the Appleton Public Library’s successful outreach strategies for reaching out to Hmong patrons.”

ASCLA
Improving Library Services for People with Disabilities
March 2-29, 2015 Registration fee varies
Attendees “will review the current level of service to people with disabilities then explore materials and sources that provide additional support or new ideas.”

RUSA
Spice it Up with Pura Belpre!
April 30, 2015 Registration fee varies
In this session attendees will learn about these award-winning titles and “discover how they enhance multicultural collections as well as contribute to instructional strategies.”

These are but a few online opportunities for you to learn more about diverse populations that may seek library services in your community. Another way to learn is to get out of the library and into your community. Attend cultural meetings, local chapter meetings of the (insert special population here) association, and special events. Think about who you don’t see in your library and find a way to learn more about that population. Then make a plan for proactively invite them in.

Africa Hands is chair of the Library Services to Special Population Children and Their Caregivers committee and author of Successfully Serving the College Bound (ALA Editions). She’s @africahands on Twitter.

The post Professional Development Opportunities for Serving Special Populations appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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4. 3x3 annual

Here is my illustration in the 3x3 Annual 11

They have the annual online as well


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5. Paige Shelton's Cozy Reading Corner

This is the reading chair. It’s huge and we all - husband, son, and I take turns reading or napping in it. It’s in a strange location though - a corner of the kitchen. We like the sun that comes in during the day but the lamp is good for night. It’s a good place to either read in while you’re preparing dinner or hang out with whoever is. 





Paige Shelton
IF CATFISH HAD NINE LIVES is most recent. BUSHEL FULL OF MURDER pubs in June.
http://www.paigeshelton.com

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6. Free Online Laura Ingalls Wilder Course: Part 2

2015-02-16 10.57.51Author, teacher, and editor Pamela Smith Hill will begin the second part of Missouri State University’s Laura Ingalls Wilder course on April 6, 2015. The course runs for eight weeks and will cover the second half of Wilder’s Little House series, starting with By the Shores of Silver Lake as well as the second half of Hill’s Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Writer’s Life. Wilder’s recently released autobiography, Pioneer Girl, (edited by Hill) is recommended reading.

If you weren’t part of the 7,000 students who participated in the first course, no matter! Anyone can sign up. Click through to enroll.

 

The post Free Online Laura Ingalls Wilder Course: Part 2 appeared first on Caroline Starr Rose.

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7. The sombre statistics of an entirely preventable disease

Sore throats are an inevitable part of childhood, no matter where in the world one lives. However for those children living in poor, under-resourced and marginalised societies of the world, this could mean a childhood either cut short by crippling heart failure or the need for open-heart surgery.

The post The sombre statistics of an entirely preventable disease appeared first on OUPblog.

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8. Pick of the Week for METROPOLIS and This Week’s Topic

Metropolis web

Happy Illustration Friday!

We’re excited to announce this week’s topic, but first please enjoy the illustration above by David Lymburn, our Pick of the Week for last week’s topic of METROPOLIS. Thanks to everyone else for participating. We hope it was inspiring!

You can also see a gallery of all the other entries here.

And of course, you can now participate in this week’s topic:

REFLECTION

Here’s how:

Step 1: Illustrate your interpretation of the current week’s topic (always viewable on the homepage).

Step 2: Post your image onto your blog / flickr / facebook, etc.

Step 3: Come back to Illustration Friday and submit your illustration (see big “Submit your illustration” button on the homepage).

Step 4: Your illustration will then be added to the participant gallery where it will be viewable along with everyone else’s from the IF community!

Also be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter and subscribe to our weekly email newsletter to keep up with our exciting community updates!

HAPPY ILLUSTRATING!

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9. A Multicultural Children’s Book Day Recap (and some big THANK YOUs!)

As I look at my calendar today, it’s hard to believe it has been exactly one month since our huge global event; Multicultural Children’s Book Day.

Our second Multicultural Children’s Book Day: #ReadYourWorld {January 27th} was a HUGE success! Over 150+ bloggers , 17 major sponsors, 9 very special Co-Hosts, a boatload of generous book donators and many, many authors, teachers, parents, readers and librarians showed up to read, visit and enjoy the multicultural book titles, discussions and book-related activities.

Here is the scoop:

2015 Valued Sponsors

platinum

Book Donators

We were blessed with a ton of wonderful authors and publishers who generously donated review copies of books to our bloggers. Immedium Books , Hindi Gym , Author Jewell Parker Rhodes, Author Margo Sorensen, Author Shanequa Davis , Tuttle Publishing, Author Bill Pasani, Author Max Oliver, Author Jacqueline Jules, author Shana Bernabela Author Felicia Capers, Lee and Low Books, Peachtree Publishers, Author Gladys Barbieri, Author Sherrill Cannon, Author Susanne Aspley, Author Carla Torres, Author Frances Gilbert, Author Bernice Rocque Author Meera Sriram, Author Karl Beckstrand, Real Street Kidz The Magic Poof, Wisdom Tales Press, Chronicle Books, Lee & Low Books, Author Stephen Hodges and the Magic Poof Wisdom Tales Press,Daybreak Press Global Bookshop, Gold Sponsors: Satya House, MulticulturalKids.com Capstone Publishing

View the details of our highly successful twitter party HERE.

MCCBD Book Reviewers

Each blogger who participated has their own spin, thoughts, reviews and activities connected to Multicultural Children’s Book Day books, so please take the time visit the below blogs and read their posts. We are proud to say all of our bloggers went above and beyond and were instrumental in making this event a huge success.
A Book Long Enough·A Field Trip Life A Green Mouse A Wrung Sponge· Adalinc To Life Adventures of Adam Africa to America · All Done Monkey ·Annie and Aunt ·Anna McQuinn Artsy Craftsy Mom · Barbara Ann Mojica · Big Hair and Books Bilingual Eyes· ·Books, Babies & Bows Books My Kids Read ·Book Buzz 4 Kids Book Seed Studio · Children’s Books Heal · Crafty Moms Share Critters and Crayons Crystal’s Tiny Treasures· Creative World of Varya Discovering The World Through My Son’s Eyes Dad on the Loose Doodles and Jots· Edventures with Kids Emme Fandrich·Faith Seeker Kids · Franticmommy · GEO Librarian · Gladys Barbieri · Good Reads With Ronna ·Grammies Gang · Grogg.org Growing Book by Book ·How the Sun Rose I’m Not The Nanny ·Imagiread InCulture Parent Indian American Mom ·Hey Mama His Mama Java John Z’s Joye Johnson Journeys of the Fabulist· Journey of a Substitute Teacher ·Kathy’s Cluttered Mind Kelia Dawson · Kids Yoga Stories · Kid World Citizen · Kristi’s Book Nook KTIC Book Reviews La Cité des Vents·Learn to be a Mom Latina Book Club Learnimg Table Learning in Two Languages Lisa Rose Writes Live Your Poem Look at What You are Seeing Mama Lady Books · Mama Smiles Marie’s Pastiche·Mindjacked Miss Panda Chinese Mommy Means it·Mombian Monkey Poop ·Moments with Love Mother Daughter Book Reviews Mother of the World· Mommy Wife & Life · · Multicultural Kids Blog ·Muslimah Mommy · P is for Preschooler Parenting and Teaching Multiculturally·Pre-K Sharing Planet Jinxatron Planet Smarty Pants· Randomly Reading ·Reading Authors Reading Through Life Russian Step By Step· Si, Se Puede· Simply Bubbly Spifftacular·Spark and Pook Sprout’s Bookshelf · Squishable Baby SJS Writer at Large ·Sock Fairies Stacking Books Stanley and Katrina ·Something2Offer Strength of it all ·Sunrise Learning Labs · The Educators’ Spin On It · The Family-Ship Experience · The Good Long Road The Logonauts· ThePink Paper Doll ·The Preschool Toolbox Blog Things to Share and Remember This College Dropout This Is Mommyhood This Kid Reviews Books Tips-n-Tools for Schools-n-More Someone Maternal Tracy Marchini· Unconventional Librarian Unto Adoption Unite for Literacy·Vidya Sury Western New Yorker Wise Owl Factory Writing to Connect· · Wrapped in Foil

 

The Results

This wonderful day came to a close as bloggers, publishers and authors converged on the Multicultural Children’s Book Day site for one Big Gigantic Linky Party and Giveaway. To date we have over 200 different suggestions for multicultural titles for kids. Please check out our Link Party and create a new reading list for your family!

2015-01-28_10-24-05

In Conclusion

Our mission for this event was to not only raise awareness for the kid’s books that celebrate diversity, but to get more of these of books into classrooms and libraries. Thanks to extended media attention, social media and the help of all involved with Multicultural Children’s Book Day, we feel we achieved all of that {and then some!} and we couldn’t be prouder!

thankyou

The post A Multicultural Children’s Book Day Recap (and some big THANK YOUs!) appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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10. Facts + Poetry = Creative Nonfiction

In this series of Teaching Author posts, we’re discussing the areas of overlap between fiction and nonfiction. Today, I’m thinking about creative nonfiction.

What is Creative Nonfiction? According to Lee Gutkind (known as the “Father of Creative Nonfiction”), “The words ‘creative’ and ‘nonfiction’ describe the form. The word ‘creative’ refers to the use of literary craft, the techniques fiction writers, playwrights, and poets employ to present nonfiction—factually accurate prose about real people and events—in a compelling, vivid, dramatic manner. The goal is to make nonfiction stories read like fiction so that your readers are as enthralled by fact as they are by fantasy.”

One critical point about writing creative nonfiction is that creativity does not apply to the facts. Authors cannot invent dialog, combine characters, fiddle with time lines, or in any other way divert from the truth and still call it nonfiction. The creative part applies only to the way factual information is presented.

One way to present nonfiction in a compelling, vivid manner is to take advantage of the techniques of poetry. When I wrote the nonfiction picture book Flip, Float, Fly: Seeds on the Move (gorgeously illustrated by Pam Paparone), I made a conscious effort to use imagery, alliteration, repetition, and onomatopoeia while explaining how seeds get around. When she called with the good news, the editor called it a perfect blend of nonfiction and poetry. Yippee, right?

Fiona Bayrock’s “Eleven Tips for Writing Successful Nonfiction for Kids” lists more helpful and age-appropriate methods for grabbing kids’ attention, starting with “Tap into your Ew!, Phew!, and Cool!”

Marcie Flinchum Atkins has compiled a helpful list of ten Nonfiction Poetic Picture Books. She points out that these excellent books (including some by Teaching Authors friends April Pulley Sayre, Laura Purdie Salas, and Lola Schaefer) can be used in classrooms to teach good writing skills. We can all learn from such wonderful examples!

Heidi Mordhorst has this week’s Poetry Friday Roundup at My Juicy Little Universe. Enjoy!

JoAnn Early Macken

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11. Are you as smart as a dolphin? [quiz]

Dolphins are famous not only for their playful personalities, but also their striking level of intelligence. After half a century studying their minds, scientists have learned a lot about how dolphins think, and the nature of their intelligence. You’ve probably heard a lot about dolphins over the years, but how much do you know about the latest scientific research into dolphin cognition? Take the quiz and find out!

The post Are you as smart as a dolphin? [quiz] appeared first on OUPblog.

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12. Entertainment Round-Up: Blade Runner 2, Supergirl gets a potential Cyborg Superman, new Daredevil images, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

blade-runner-flyby

Hooray, it’s Friday! My weekend is going to be filled with Cowboy Bebop and early Miyazaki as I try to give anime a proper go. Hopefully your plans are even more fun! Here are your Friday morning headlines:

– It’s now official, Harrison Ford is returning for a sequel to Blade Runner, and replacing Ridley Scott in the director’s chair will be Academy Award nominated director Denis Villeneuve (Enemy, Prisoners). The new film will be scripted by Hampton Fancher, who co-wrote the original, and comics-scribe/Green Lantern screenwriter Michael Green (who is also working on the sequel to Prometheus). This story will take place several decades after the end of the first and is based on an idea of Scott and Fancher’s.

Does the world really need a sequel to Blade Runner? Probably not, and I say that as someone who thinks Blade Runner is the best science fiction film ever made. Though I can’t help but be curious as to what Villeneuve may bring to the table visually.

– CBS’ Supergirl continues to add to its cast as David Harewood (Homeland) will be joining the cast as Hank Henshaw, better known to comic fans as Cyborg Superman. In this series, Henshaw will be an ex-CIA agent that now heads up the Department of Extra-Normal Operations which monitors extraterrestrial threats to the planet. Sounds like an antagonist to me.

The series has also enlisted Chyler Leigh (Grey’s Anatomy) to play Alexandra “Alex” Danvers, Kara’s adopted sister. It’s worth noting, that every cast member added to Supergirl thus far has either been a female or a person of color, which I find to be a wonderfully exciting development.

– By way of the folks at Latino Review, here are some new Daredevil images from Empire:

daredevil empire 8 daredevil empire 7 daredevil empire 6 daredevil empire 5 daredevil empire 4 daredevil empire 3daredevl empire 2

– Last up, we have a nice poster by Gabrielle Dell’Oto for the upcoming March 3rd mid-season premiere of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. focusing on the changes occurring in Skye and Raina:

agents-of-shield-poster-600x960

 

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13. Query Question: responding to suggestions in a rejection letter





I received a few requests for my full manuscript about six months ago. One agent told me that she liked the story, but one specific part at the end seemed a bit unrealistic to the situation. I thanked her for her time, said I was sorry it couldn't work out, and went off to go weep in my keyboard. A couple of days went by, and I started to think about what she said a little more. I realized that the issue she had with the ending could have been fixed with a few added sentences of explanation, or something of the like. It really think I could have made it work. I kicked myself for not realizing it sooner, and even though I've moved on from that novel (it never worked out), I still keep thinking about it.

So my question to you is:

Would it have been out of line to email the agent back with my suggested fixes? Or is a rejection on a full manuscript considered the end of the line?

I tried to convince myself that if the agent thought the manuscript would work with a few changes she would have said something, but I can't help wondering just the same.

It's the end of the line. Absent the phrase "revise and resend" or "fix this and send it back" or "if you fix this, I'll take another look" the agent has said No, thanks. In other words, absent a specific request to get in touch after revisions, don't.

Often I can point to one or two things that will help a manuscript improve and I try to give that info to writers when I'm passing on their work.  The piece of information you're missing here though is this: that's not the only reason the ms is not right for me.  There are a lot of good manuscripts out there that aren't right for me. A pass from me (or any agent) doesn't mean anything except it's not right for them.

Expand your query search. It's really easy to focus on the agent who wrote back, but you need to look for other agents because the right one won't know about you till you query her. 

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14.

how-wonderful-it-is-that-nobody-need-wait-a-single-moment-before-starting-to-improve-the-world-kindness-quote

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15. Beaux-Arts Instruction (Part 2 of 4)


This is part two of a four-part series examining practices and principles taught the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris in the 19th century. (Part 1 here). This post is excerpted from an article by Earl Shinn, an American student in Jean-Léon Gérôme's atelier. Shinn wrote about his experience in an 1869 issue of The Nation.


Students painting from life at the École 
A Week-Long Academy
Students in the École who had graduated from cast drawing and drawing from the nude model were finally allowed to paint in oil from life. The resulting study was called an "academy." The model would typically be standing in a classical pose, lit from high north windows. Students would spend a full week on each study. Here, Shinn outlines how that week was spent.

Figure study or "academy" in oil
by Jean-Hippolyte Flandrin (1808-1864)
"What is really the week’s affair to the Beaux-Arts man is his 'academy.'

"On Monday he hits the pose, which is always vigorously pronounced and spirited, on the model's part, when first assumed; the dash that may be thrown into the attitude while the figure is perfectly fresh can never be caught up again if missed at the beginning.

"By Tuesday the artist has become absorbed in the complications of light and shade.

"On Wednesday the master comes, and perhaps rejects nearly everything that has been done, disfiguring and blotting the sketch from one margin to the other. The model, drooping upon his dais may bear little resemblance to the elastic attitude of the drawing, and the student is accused of attempting to idealize. 'You have been trying to modify nature from your reminiscences of the antique; you have ennobled the head, braced the shoulders,' etc. The study is altered, in the spirit of realism, until all the stark and pitiful ugliness of the model's lassitude is expressed.

"One of the difficulties of a life 'academy' is that, although the example before you is a moving, changing object, now braced, now drooping, now turned a little to the right and now a little to the left, your copy of it is expected to show all the purism of the photograph.

"If you were putting the same model into a historical picture, you would be expected to elevate the attitude and expression; and you would then begin to hear from your critics a great deal about the difficulty and responsibility of borrowing from nature, what to take and what to leave.

"'Only Phidias and Da Vinci,' I have heard declared,  'and perhaps Michelangelo, deserved to have received the revelations of anatomy.' If, on the other hand, you were copying the antique, you would have the full luxury of refining your line and your form, with no limitation of time and with
a rigid model. The life 'academy,' then, is expected to avoid the imaginative qualities of [a] picture, and to win, from a constantly deteriorating example, the accuracy which is so fascinating a quest in copying from statuary. A felicitous study is therefore a very desirable treasure, and old forgotten ones by [Thomas] Couture or [Hippolyte] Flandrin are preserved in the ateliers where those painters have studied, used as paradigms by teachers, or sold as something of unique value in the color-stores.

Albert Edelfelt (1854-1905)

"Another trouble is the variation in the color of the air on different days. 'The patron has accused me,' an energetically protesting youth will cry, 'of seeking the silver tint of Terborg; it was as far from my thoughts as silver from my pocket. But I established my key of color on Thursday, when there was a solid gray rain like slate-pencils; and the Italian turned blue and chattered; and how will you expect the tones of Titian in such a climate, my brothers?'

"On the closing day of the week I have known an incorrigibly gay lad to exhibit a canvas almost completely expunged by the blottings of the professor. 'This was to have been my masterpiece. I meant it for the altar of the church where I was baptized, whether as a St. Michael or a John in the Wilderness. The outline was good until Auguste changed it into a caricature of the Prince Imperial.'"

According to Albert Boime, "An experienced pupil could capture a head in a single session, but the others would often require several days. During the first session, the beginner sketched the head or figure, and then traced the drawing to canvas. When confronted with the live model, the pupil proceeded in much the same way as in rendering the head, only now he drew his pencil or charcoal sketch directly on the canvas. In the second session he traced the painted outline and established the principle masses of shadows in a diluted mixture of turpentine and red ochre. On the third day he prepared his palette carefully and rendered the flesh tones, as well as the hair and accessories. Finally the last session was devoted to completing the ébauche with respect to the tout ensemble." 
-----
Excerpts from The Nation, July 22, 1869, Page 68. "ART-STUDY IN THE IMPERIAL SCHOOL AT PARIS" by Earl Shinn
Final quote from The Academy and French Painting in the 19th Century by Albert Boime
More examples of academies at LARA (London Atelier of Representational Art)
Three excellent book sources:
The Lure of Paris: Nineteenth-Century American Painters and Their French Teachers
The Studios of Paris: The Capital of Art in the Late Nineteenth Century

Previously on GurneyJourney:
Beaux-Arts Instruction (Part 1)

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16. Seed beads, Indian Camps, and Black Indians in Cynthia Leitich Smith's RAIN IS NOT MY INDIAN NAME

A request for a blurb about a favorite book with a Native teen character prompted me to re-read Cynthia Leitich Smith's Rain Is Not My Indian Name. I've recommended it several times, here on AICL and elsewhere, but I haven't done an in-depth review essay about it yet.

Smith is a citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. "Citizen" means that she is amongst the people the Muscogee Nation counts as a citizen. Their page on Citizenship has a lot of useful information.

A lot of people don't know that each Native Nation has its own way of determining who its citizens or tribal members are. A lot of people claim they're Native but don't know what Nation. For them, it is more of a romantic idea based on a family story about an ancestor who someone in their family said was Indian. Often, that ancestor was "a princess." A common experience for me--indeed, for a lot of Native people--is the well-meaning person who approaches me at a lecture (or online) and tells me they are part Indian. If they reference an Indian princess, I--as gently as I can--tell them there was no such thing, that the idea itself is rooted in European's who erroneously viewed Native peoples with a European lens in which royalty was the rule. There's a lot to read about Native identity. I suggest Eva Marie Garroutte's Real Indians: Identity and the Survival of Native America. 

Quick! What comes to mind when you hear "American Indian" or "Native American"? Chances are, the image you have is one of Native peoples of the past, not present. And, that image in your mind is likely one that reflects a stereotype, not reality, in terms of who we were and who we are. Smith's book can interrupt that stereotypical imagery. Set in the present--not the past--it is a terrific story.

Let's take a look, together, at some parts of it that stand out to me.

The Subtle

Cassidy Rain Berghoff is the main character in Rain Is Not My Indian Name. When the story opens, it is New Year's Eve. Rain is minutes away from being 14. She's out with Galen--a childhood friend--but they're tentatively moving from friendship to a romantic relationship. He's got a birthday gift for her: a pouch that she immediately recognizes (p. 6):
I remembered seeing it last June, displayed on a Lakota trader's table at a powwow in Oklahoma City. Aunt Georgia had taken Galen and me on a road trip to visit family, and he had trailed after me down crowded aisle after aisle.
Later that day at the powwow, Galen had gone off to get popcorn, but clearly--he'd been observing Rain as they walked down those aisles and seen her linger over that pouch. Sweet! In her description of that pouch, Smith tells us it has seed beads. Most readers probably won't notice that detail, but Native ones do! There's a huge difference in a pouch made by a Lakota person and one you'd buy at a tourist shop that sells "Indian" beaded items. The one with seed beads is exquisite. The one from the tourist shop is tacky. Rain knows the difference; Native readers of Rain Is Not My Indian Name will know the difference, too.

After Rain and Galen say goodnight and head for their homes, Galen is struck by a car and dies on his way home. Rain learns about it the next morning (her birthday). The phone rings, waking her. She stretches, beneath her star quilt. She's devastated when her grandpa tells her about Galen. Of course, she doesn't say more about the quilt, but it is another point that Native readers will notice. Star quilts figure prominently in Native culture. Here's one (to the right) made by a dear friend, Chantelle Blue Arm.

I chose this one (Chantelle has done many) because she titled it Cotton Candy. In the moments before Galen gives Rain the pouch, she thinks back to second grade field trip when Galen had persuaded her to leave the group with him in search of turquoise cotton candy.


The Explicit

Understandably, Galen's death is a blow to Rain. She pretty much retreats from life for six months, which moves the story to the end of June. Her aunt, Georgia, is coordinating an Indian Camp. Her brother, Fynn, has been hinting that he wants her to sign up for it (p. 12):
But Indian Camp? It sounded like the kind of thing where a bunch of probably suburban, probably rich, probably white kids tromped around a woodsy park, calling themselves "princesses," "braves," or "guides."
My guess is that many of you--especially if you are regular readers of AICL--are nodding your head. Indian-themed camps are a mainstay of American culture that feed stereotypes! Rain's aunt, however, is not doing a camp for white kids. This one is for Native kids. Rain speculates that her aunt is thinking about what Native kids learn in school (p. 13):
At school, the subject of Native Americans pretty much comes up just around Turkey Day, like those cardboard cutouts of the Pilgrims and the pumpkins and the squash taped to the windows at McDonald's. And the so-called Indians always look like bogeymen on the prairie, windblown cover boys selling paperback romances, or baby-faced refugees from the world of Precious Moments. I usually get through it by reading sci-fi fanzines behind my textbooks until we move on to Kwanza.
Rain's got some attitude--and I love it!

See the baby-faced refugee to the right?! Rain is obviously indignant at having to deal with this sort of thing year after year.

She has a way to cope, but let's step into reality for a moment. Native kids in today's schools have to deal with this every year. Why should they have to deal with that at all?!

What Rain did was check out. She disengaged. I'm using "disengaged" deliberately. The word is in a 2010 report from the Civil Rights Project at UCLA, about Native youth and their experiences in school.


And the complexities of African American and American Indian history

Now let's take a look at a racial issue Rain struggles with.

The character, Queenie, is African American. Prior to the time of the story, Rain and Queenie were good friends. That started to shift when Rain learned that Galen and Queenie were interested in each other, romantically. In one of her journal entries (they open each chapter), Rain recounts a conversation she and Galen had about dating African Americans (p. 28):
Galen's bangs fell forward: "Would you go out with a black person?" he asked.
Somewhere in my memory, I'd been told it was okay to be friends with black people, but not more than friends. "I guess," I answered. "Worried about your mom?"
Later (but still in the time before the story opens), Rain and Queenie's friendship ends when Rain learns that Queenie has hurt Galen.

Rain ends up going to Indian Camp--not as a participant--but as a journalist. Her assignment is to take photos of the camp for a news story about the camp.  She is surprised to see Queenie there. The reporter, Flash, asks Queenie a question (p. 69):
"What brings you here?"
Queenie squared her shoulders and asked, "Don't you mean 'Why is an African-American girl at a Native American program?"
"Sure," the Flash answered, pen perched, "that's exactly what I meant."
The three Native kids at the camp and Rain observe this interaction, which suggests they have the same--but unspoken--question (p. 70):
Queenie spoke clearly, like she wanted to make sure the Flash didn't misquote her--like she'd have a lot to say about it if he did. "My aunt Suzanne has been tracing our family tree for the reunion next month at her place in Miami," she explained, "and, come to find out, one of my great-grandfathers was a Native American."
The word cousin sneaked onto my tongue, and I didn't like the way it tasted. As if stealing Galen hadn't been enough, now Queenie was barging in on my cultural territory. Granted, she was no guru-seeking, crystal-wearing, long-lost descendent of an Indian "princess," but still... 
Then, Flash asks her (p. 70):
"What tribe, Nation, or band?" 
We'll come to find out that Queenie's great grandfather was Seminole. The Black Indian thread in Rain Is Not My Indian Name is important. It speaks to Black readers with similar family stories, but it does so with integrity. Rain could so easily have been dismissive of Queenie, but Smith went elsewhere, smoothly describing what-to-do with that family story: research. Queenie's aunt is doing research.

More and more stories about Black Indians are appearing in the news media and taken up in museums and documentaries. Read, for example, Gyasi Ross's Black History Month, Indian Style: Natives and Black Folks in This Together Since 1492. See, too, the National Museum of the American Indian's exhibition, Indivisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas.

All of this makes the Black Indian thread in Smith's book especially important in today's society.

Coming out this year (2015) are two books in which writers take on Black Indians. I read--and love--Gone Crazy in Alabama--by Rita Williams Garcia. I'm waiting for the published copy to review it.

Already out is The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage by Selina Alko and Sean Qualls. I haven't read it yet, but what I can see online indicates that Mildred Jeter is identified as "part African-American, part Cherokee."

In my initial research about Jeter, I saw her described as Cherokee, but I also saw her described as Rappahannock. In my second round of research, I read a chapter about her in That the Blood Stay Pure: African Americans, Native Americans, and the Predicament of Race and Identity in Virginia by Arica L. Coleman, an assistant professor in Black Studies at the University of Delaware. I'll say this for now: in that chapter, Coleman chronicles the way that race and racial identity are put forth, used, and manipulated by the justice system and the media. It is astonishing.

~~~~~

I opened this post by noting that someone's question prompted me to re-read Rain Is Not My Indian Name. I read it when it came out in 2001. It won Smith distinction from Wordcraft Circle as one of 2001 Writers of the Year in Children's Prose.

That same year, Smith wrote an article for Book Links that offers incredible insights about developing Rain and Queenie, and about insider/outsider perspective. It is online at ALA: Native Now: Contemporary Indian Stories. In 2011, Smith wrote a reflection on the books tenth anniversary: 10th Anniversary of Rain Is Not My Indian Name.

Rereading it now--14 years after I first read it--I want to shout from the rooftops to everyone about Rain Is Not My Indian Name. If you don't already have it on your shelves, get a copy and read it. And share it. It is exquisite and has something in it for every reader.

Updating to include books I'll use as I research this topic more:

  • Chang, David. The Color of the Land
  • Forbes, Jack. Africans & Native Americans
  • Krauthamer, Barbara. Black Slaves, Indian Masters
  • Littlefield, Daniel. The Cherokee Freedmen; Africans & Creeks; Africans & Seminoles
  • Miles, Tiya. Ties that Bind
  • Miles, Tiya and Sharon Patricia Holland (Eds). Crossing Waters, Crossing Worlds: Diaspora in Indian Country
  • Naylor, Celia. Africans and Cherokees
  • Purdue, Theda. Slavery & the Evolution of Society
  • Saunt, Claudio. Black White & Indian


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17. Through the Woods: Review Haiku

CREEPY AS ALL HELL,
and wonderfully rich and
compelling to boot.

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll. McElderry/S&S, 2014, 208 pages.

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18. Mysterious Bright Spots Shine on Dwarf Planet Ceres -More Nuclear Attacks In Space?

Two interesting news reports.
 
An image of Ceres taken by NASA's Dawn spacecraft shows that the brightest spot on the dwarf planet has a dimmer companion.
An image of Ceres taken by NASA's Dawn spacecraft shows that the brightest spot on the dwarf planet has a dimmer companion.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA 
 
 Mike Balls, AV Chronicle  26 February, 2015

In light of the reported dark green skies over Canada and Russia recently and the growing conspiracy theories not to mention the increasing number of UFO sightings and mystery drones spotted over France since last October this latest news has fuelled more peculation.

Professor Peter Sidebotham from the European Space Agency Deep Space Project told a recent news conference in Lucerne: "There can be little doubt that there have been recent nuclear explosions on the surface of Mars"  and at a hurried meeting of the Deep Space Project, Sidebotham told a reporter for CNN: "I think we have visitors to our solar system and they are not friendly"  (CNN News 23 January, 2015.

There is now a statement from Professor John Chance of the Lucerne Deep Observation Agency that similar explosions have been seen on other planetary bodies in the solar system including Ceres and that these explosions are clearly seen on NASA photographs. 

Both NASA and the European Space Agency have denied observing large artificial objects moving near to Mars.   Asked about the claims of the two scientists both agencies released replies worded exactly the same: "We cannot comment at this moment."

__________________________________ and  ____________________________________


NASA's Dawn spacecraft will have plenty of mysteries to investigate when it begins orbiting the dwarf planet Ceres next month, as the probe's latest photos attest.

Dawn's most recent images of Ceres, taken Feb. 12 at a distance of 52,000 miles (83,000 kilometers) away, show an abundance of craters on the dwarf planet, as well as numerous bright spots that have scientists baffled.

"As we slowly approach the stage, our eyes transfixed on Ceres and her planetary dance, we find she has beguiled us but left us none the wiser," Dawn principal investigator Chris Russell of UCLA said in a statement. "We expected to be surprised; we did not expect to be this puzzled."

The new photos, which have a resolution of 4.9 miles (7.8 km) per pixel, are the sharpest ever taken of Ceres, NASA officials said.

A large, flickering white spot was also visible in photos Dawn took of Ceres last month.

"We can confirm that it is something on Ceres that reflects more sunlight, but what that is remains a mystery," Dawn mission director and chief engineer Marc Rayman, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, told Space.com via email at the time

Dawn could clear up the mystery soon. The probe is scheduled to enter orbit around the 590-mile-wide (950 km) Ceres, the largest body in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, on the night of March 5. Dawn will start studying Ceres in earnest six weeks after that; the probe is scheduled to work its way down to its first science orbit on April 23.

The $466 million Dawn mission launched in September 2007 to study the asteroid belt's two biggest denizens — the protoplanet Vesta, which is 330 miles (530 km) wide, and Ceres. Dawn orbited Vesta from July 2011 through September 2012, when it departed for Ceres.

Dawn's observations of these two planetary building blocks should help scientists better understand the solar system's early days, NASA officials said.

Dawn is scheduled to study Ceres from a variety of orbits through June 2016, when the probe's mission will come to an end.




This is a The Green Skies promotion NOT reality

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19. Guest Author and Illustrator, Kathleen Bullock Visits Write What Inspires You


I am delighted to host author/illustrator Kathleen Bullock. It's not too often that an author is also an illustrator. Come along for a glimpse into Kathleen's creative world. Take it away Kathleen...

In earlier days I worked my art in oils and watercolor, pencil and pastels, even the occasional collage. I’ve always been an illustrator at heart, rather than a classic ‘artist’. With a new world of electronics on the horizon, I saw that I’d have to adapt to creating artwork for publication in an electronic format, and I have. It’s a challenge to minimize the digital look of electronic art and give each piece the casual look of ‘top-of-your-head’ sketchiness that I so love, but I’m starting to get there.

I used Photoshop to create the artwork for Olive and the Great Flood. This meant that I could control the color and images on each page for consistency. Each separate piece of art is on its own invisible layer. I can eliminate or correct any of these images before I fix the art on a single layer. The pages then are sent to the publisher as individual jpegs for publication.

You can see my evolving styles on my portfolio web site, www.kathleenbullock.carbonmade.com

Also, look for my next book soon to be published by Guardian Angel,


I hope readers will enjoy reading Olive and the Great Flood as much as I did illustrating it.

Olive and the Great Flood tour schedule http://childrensauthorconniearnold.blogspot.com 

Guardian Angel Publishing 

Amazon  


There will be two drawings at Connie Arnold's blog tour conclusion on the 28th for a copy of Ms. Arnold's first children’s book, Animal Sound Mix-up and a dove wind chime.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Multi Award-winning Children's Author



Ignite curiosity in your child through reading!



Connect with

A Sandy Grave ~ January 2014 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ 2014 Purple Dragonfly 1st Place Picture Books 6+, Story Monster Approved, Beach Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, Reader's Favorite Five Star Review


Powder Monkey ~ May 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review


Hockey Agony ~ January 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ New England Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review


The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Literary Classics Silver Award and Seal of Approval, Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention and Dan Poynter's Global e-Book Awards Finalist
















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20. Interesting blog posts about writing – w/e February 27th 2015



Here’s my selection of interesting (and sometimes amusing) posts about writing from the last weekabout writing from the last week:

Overcoming Your Distractions (Rachel Kent)
www.booksandsuch.com/blog/overcoming-distractions/

Becoming a Student of Your Own Creative Process (Dan Blank)
www.writerunboxed.com/2015/02/27/becoming-a-student-of-your-own-creative-process/

Could You Benefit From a Website Redesign? (Chris Jane)
http://janefriedman.com/2015/02/27/website-redesign/

Writer Productivity Tip: Healthy Competition (Rochelle Deans)
http://querytracker.blogspot.com/2015/02/writer-productivity-tip-healthy.html

Two Video Tutorials on Nailing Your Concept (Larry Brooks)
http://storyfix.com/two-video-tutorials-nailing-concept

The Dark Side of Digital (Dario Ciriello)
http://blog.janicehardy.com/2015/02/the-dark-side-of-digital.html

Wrules to Liv By (Dani Greer)
http://bloodredpencil.blogspot.com/2015/02/wrules-to-liv-by.html

When You’re Missing the Mark (Rachelle Gardner)
www.booksandsuch.com/blog/missing-the-mark/

Multitasking is Death to Creative Writing (Michael McDonagh)
www.querytracker.blogspot.com/2015/02/writing-productivity-tip-multitasking.html

The Seven Deadly Sins of Dialogue (Susan DeFreitas)
https://litreactor.com/columns/the-seven-deadly-sins-of-dialogue




If you found these useful, you may also like my personal selection of the most interesting blog posts from 2014, and last week’s list.

If you have a particular favorite among these, please let the author know (and me too, if you have time).  Also, if you've a link to a great post that isn't here, feel free to share.

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21. Circular reasoning


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22. Sharing time at Storywraps.....




Community time here on Storywraps today.  Just sharing with you and thanking you for dropping by, visiting me, and saying hi.

Unwrapping... 




BookBub...what's that you ask?


Last year, Random House decided to give away Dan Brown’s bestselling novel, The Da Vinci Codefor free for one week. But millions of readers, including avid Brown fans, were not aware of the week-long giveaway.
Many of the readers who did take advantage of the promotion were using BookBub. BookBub is a daily email service that alerts readers to limited time promotions of free or deeply discounted ebooks across a variety of platforms. BookBub notified nearly 1 million readers of the free Da Vinci Code deal last spring.
“It’s the Groupon of books,” Dominique Raccah, the publisher of Sourcebooks, told The New York Times about deal sites like BookBub. “For the consumer, it’s new, it’s interesting. It’s a deal and there isn’t much risk. And it works.”
Why did Random House give away a national bestselling ebook that usually retails for $9.99? The promotion was very deliberate, with the goal of hooking new readers on Brown’s thrillers and drumming up interest in his new book, Inferno. In fact, the ebook included the prologue and first chapter of Inferno.
Publishers and authors also run free or discounted ebooks to hook readers on a series, or build a following for a new author.
“It makes it almost irresistible,” Liz Perl, Simon & Schuster’s senior vice president explained to the The New York Times. “We’re lowering the bar for you to sample somebody new.”
In order to get the word out on these promotions, publishers and authors feature their deals on sites like BookBub. BookBub is unique in that it does not list every single free ebook on the market. Instead, BookBub’s expert editorial team selectively curates only the best ebooks to be featured in their email and on their website.
In most cases, the deals can be purchased for any ereading device, including Kindle, iPad, Nook, Kobo and Android. Additionally, BookBub allows readers to select which genres they would like to receive, so each email is matched to subscriber preferences. With millions of readers already using BookBub’s service, this type of promotional concept seems to be resonating with both publishers and readers alike.
To find out more about the service, go to www.bookbub.com.
                                                      source -The Book Insider    
Check it out at http://thebookinsider.com (news,tips, and deals for book lovers)



Unwrapping a cool deal for you...

Mandy Harper, one of the meanest girls ever, viciously ruled the school. She decided who was in and who was out. At least until Kayla Littlebe started standing up to her. 

But one day Mandy found out she might need glasses. Would she still be able to rule the school or would her new glasses help her see the error of her ways?

Teddy O'Malley is offering this book free from Amazon Friday and Saturday so be sure to download yours now.

Unwrapping something exciting FYI...





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23. Friday Linky List - February 27, 2015

From The Guardian: Children's Books are Never Just for Children

From The Blabbermouthblog: Dish From a Literary Agent Intern... 5 Sites to Help You Write!

From the Official SCBWI Conference Blog: The Portfolio Showcase Award Winners

At PW: CCBC Stats Show Children's Books Shifting Toward Diversity

From HuffPost Books (via PW): The Best Is Yet to Come: An Early 2015 Picture Book Preview

From PW: En Garde: An Evening with Neil Gaiman and Daniel Handler

Recently spotted at Little Shop of Stories - by TinyDoorsATL.com

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24. Cynsational News & Giveaways

Discussion Guide
By Cynthia Leitich Smith
for Cynsations

Congratulations to Nikki Loftin on the release of Wish Girl (Razorbill, 2015). From the promotional copy:  

Annie Blythe is dying, but she can give Peter Stone the strength to live.

Peter Stone’s parents and siblings are extroverts, musicians, and yellers—and the louder they get, the less Peter talks, or even moves, until he practically fits his last name.

When his family moves to the Texas Hill Country, though, Peter finds a tranquil, natural valley where he can, at last, hear himself think. There, he meets a girl his age: Annie Blythe. Annie tells Peter she’s a “wish girl.” But Annie isn’t just any wish girl: she’s a “Make-A-Wish Girl.” And in two weeks she will begin a dangerous treatment to try and stop her cancer from spreading. Left alone, the disease will kill her. But the treatment may cause serious, lasting damage to her brain.

Annie and Peter hatch a plan to escape into the valley, which they begin to think is magical. But the pair soon discovers that the valley—and life—may have other plans for them. And sometimes wishes come true in ways they would never expect.

Magical Places by Nikki Loftin from Nerdy Book Club. Peek: "I spent countless hours standing on the crumbling limestone cliffs on the sides of my valley, singing into the constant wind, watching the trees sway and move below while turkey vultures wheeled above. It was the safest place I knew, and the most dangerous."

More News & Giveaways

Lerner Publishing Group Acquires Egmont USA List by Jim Milliot from Publishers Weekly. Peek: "According to Egmont Publishing, after it announced its plans to close the unit Lerner approached the company about buying Egmont USA’s remaining assets. Under the deal Lerner will fold the Egmont titles into different imprints including Carolrhoda Books, Carolrhoda Lab, Darby Creek, and Millbrook Press."

Becoming a Student of Your Own Creative Process by Dan Blank from Writer Unboxed. Peek: "Hours, days, and even years are spent in a state of confusion or frustration regarding how to write better, how to best publish, how to best develop a readership and encourage sales. Each of these, in its own way, is a creative process. Each filled with its own emotional complexity."

Carmen Oliver
Stepping Over the Threshold: The First Children's Book Contract by Carmen Oliver from Donna Janell Bowman. Peek: "I used to think about how incredible it would feel to say I’m published. And I won’t lie; it feels great to get to this point where I’m stepping over the threshold! But not because of the reasons you might think. It’s because I’ve learned so much more about myself."

Banish Stick-Figure Writing: How Concrete Sensory Details Make All the Difference in Fiction by Katherine Catmull from Yellow Bird. Peek: "In 1979, a revolutionary book called Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain pinpointed why so many adults and older children can’t draw. It’s because they aren’t drawing what they see—they’re drawing what they know. In other words, they’re drawing a category, rather than the thing itself."

Talents & Skills Thesaurus Entry by Becca Puglisi from Writers Helping Writers. Peek: "When one thinks of an incredibly strong person, the image of a muscle-bound body builder comes to mind. But while many times that can be an accurate representation, strength can also come in smaller packages."

No Boys Allowed: School Visits as a Woman Writer from Shannon Hale. Peek: "Should I have refused? Embarrassed the bookstore, let down the girls who had been looking forward to my visit? I did the presentation. But I felt sick to my stomach. Later I asked what other authors had visited. They’d had a male writer. For his assembly, both boys and girls had been invited."

Multitasking Is Death to Creative Writing by Michael McDonagh from QueryTracker Blog. Peek: "Multitasking impacts the creative process more severely than analytic processes. Writing fiction also involves an element of multitasking in itself."

Little, Brown Editor Alvina Ling: How I Got Into Publishing from CBC Diversity. Peek: "I worked full-time at B&N while doing both internships, and worked seven days a week for a 3-4 month period. Grueling, but worth it."

Interview with Cecil Castellucci by Stephanie Kuehn from YA Highway. Peek: "...I am always writing about the exiled and outsiders, about finding your true tribe and following your heart and about how art can save you. And about real true long lasting life long love, in other words, not necessarily romantic, but the people that you keep forever as you travel along." Watch the trailer!

Reminder: 28 Days Later: "During the twenty-eight days of Black History Month, we profile a different children’s or young adult author and children’s illustrator, looking for the best new and unnoticed works by African-Americans. From picture books to novels, books fresh off the presses to those that have lurked in the background unsung for months or years." See Awards and Grants for Authors of Color compiled by Lee & Low.

Why Literacy Teachers Should Care About Math by Jill Eisenberg from Lee & Low. Peek: "Reading teachers are also math teachers."

Lerner Acquires Egmont USA Titles by Jim Milliot from Publishers Weekly. Peek: "According to Egmont Publishing, after it announced its plans to close the unit Lerner approached the company about buying Egmont USA’s remaining assets. Under the deal Lerner will fold the Egmont titles into different imprints, including Carolrhoda Books, Carolrhoda Lab, Darby Creek, and Millbrook Press."

Can We Talk About Ageism in Picture Books? by Lindsey McDivitt from A Is for Aging, B Is for Books. Peek: "...only 200 picture books still in print showing older adults in positive, meaningful roles—this over a span of 30 years."

Why Digital Natives Prefer Reading In Print. Yes, You Read That Right by Michael S. Rosen from The Washington Post. Peek: "Researchers say readers remember the location of information simply by page and text layout — that, say, the key piece of dialogue was on that page early in the book with that one long paragraph and a smudge on the corner. Researchers think this plays a key role in comprehension. But that is more difficult on screens...."

Cynsational Giveaway

The winner of an ARC of Kissing in America by Margo Rabb is Deena in New York.

This Week at Cynsations


More Personally

Huzzah! The hardcover edition of Feral Pride and paperback edition of Feral Curse are now available in North America from Candlewick Press.

This means all the Tantalize-Feral universe series books are now available!

Read an excerpt of Feral Pride from Candlewick. Peek:

CLYDE

I won't be caged.

Not again. I tense at the crackle of the police radio. I check the side mirror. Not yet. I rub my eye-lids, look again. I’m not the only one who’s freaking out. The stink of shock and fear is weighty. I can hear my girl-friend Aimee’s heart thudding in her chest.

My heartfelt thanks to everyone who supported the series and this last North America hardcover launch. Most appreciated!

"Kayla is only baby steps into recovering from the death of her first boyfriend and Yoshi, who has legendary experience with ladies, is suddenly faced with the first one with whom he could have a real relationship, a real future, if they both survive." 

--Cynthia Leitich Smith, author of Feral Pride, on Fans Inspiring a New Series from Adventures in YA Publishing.

Learn more & enter the giveaway!


Personal Links

Now Available!

Cynsational Events

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

Now in Paperback!
Cynthia will sign the Feral series at 1 p.m. at Costo on March 14 in Selma, Texas.

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

Join Cynthia from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. at Saratoga Springs Public Library for a celebration in conjunction with Saratoga Reads! at Saratoga Springs, New York. Note: Cynthia will be presenting Jingle Dancer (2000), Rain Is Not My Indian Name (2001) and Indian Shoes (2002)(all published by HarperColllins).

Cynthia will serve as the master class faculty member from June 19 to June 21 May 2 at the VCFA Alumni Mini-Residency in Montpelier, Vermont.

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


http://www.memyshelfandi.com/2015/01/mmsai-tours-presents-third-twin-by-cj.html

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25. A Boy And A Jaguar – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Title: A Boy And A Jaguar Written by: Alan Rabinowitz Illustrated by: Catia Chien Published by: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014 Themes/Topics: jaguars, conservation, stuttering, big cats Suitable for ages: 3-7 Awards: Schneider Family Book Award for Children (2015) Autobiographical Opening: I’m standing in … Continue reading

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