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1. Heat Wave


Below follows a brief excerpt from “Heat Wave,” Chicago magazine’s excellent, comprehensive oral history of the week of record-breaking temperatures in July 1995 that killed more than 700 people, became one of the nation’s worst disasters, and left a legacy of unanswered questions about how civic, social, and medical respondents were ill-equipped and unable to contend with trauma on such a scale.


Mark Cichon, emergency room physician at Chicago Osteopathic Hospital

I remember talking to friends at other hospitals who said, “Man, we’re in the middle of a crisis mode.” It was across the city. Our waiting room and the emergency departments were packed. We were going from one emergency to another, all bunched together, almost like a pit crew. The most severe cases were the patients with asthma who were so far into an attack we couldn’t resuscitate them. I remember a woman in her early 30s. The paramedics had already put a tube into her lungs. We were trying to turn her around, but there was nothing that could be done.

Eric Klinenberg, sociologist and author of the 2002 book Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago (to the Chicago Tribune in July 2012)

[Fire officials] did not call in additional ambulances and paramedics, even though the wait times for people needing help were long.

Raymond Orozco, commissioner of the Chicago Fire Department (at an Illinois Senate hearing in late July 1995)

Nobody indicated that we needed more personnel or supplies. Our field supervisors told us, “We’re holding our own.” We needed something to trigger the mechanism. Nobody pulled the trigger.


Klinenberg, who offers a line of commentary in the piece, explored those days in depth in his classic work of sociology, Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago, a second edition of which just published this past May, including a new preface by Klinenberg that situates climate change at the center of untenable weather events in urban centers and pushes for changes in infrastructure, rather than post-disaster responses. You can read more about the book here.

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2. ALSC Membership Meeting (abridged, in comics) at #alaac15



The post ALSC Membership Meeting (abridged, in comics) at #alaac15 appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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3. Amazon Makes It Easier to Share Passages From E-Books

Amazon is making it easier to share passages from Kindle books.

Kindle already allows readers to post passages from books to their social media feeds, but a new update is letting readers highlight quotes and send them to specific people through more channels. And it is easier for those friends to read the content. Essentially a reader can share highlights and quotes while they are reading a Kindle book via Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, email, text, etc. and determine the recipient.

The reader on the receiving end can read a free book preview from various devices be it a phone, tablet or PC without having to sign in or install an app. The new feature is now live in Kindle for Android, and coming to Kindle e-readers and other devices later this year.

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4. You Will NOT Earn A Living Wage Working In The Small Press

I mentioned the Small Press or Independent Comics as being the best area to look at the invest in comics but when I was doing the QRD interview a few of the questions made me think.

You see, buying short print-run titles from a Small Press publisher, or just one specific creator-publisher, might be a good investment if that is what you are looking for.  However, it does not do much for the actual creator.  You buy their book at £3.00/$6.00 and hold onto it a few years then sell it and make money.  The creator of that book doesn't earn anything other than that £3.00/$6.00 -unless they keep a couple of copies of each book back to sell when the value picks up -if it picks up because, remember, investment is a form of gambling.

And I knew I had written about this whole working in the Small Press because someone had asked that specific question.  So, here.  I hope it answers any questions!

Working For The Small Press -What's It Worth?

 I was thinking how things have changed over the years. Back in the 1980s/1990s, if I had a zine that was short of 3-4 pages I'd knock out a letter and send it off to other zine publishers/creators.  Within a week I could guarantee having enough material to fill 2-3 zines.  And, if contacted by other zine publishers looking for material, well, yes, I'd send something to them.

At no point did anyone ask "How much are you paying?"  It was simple fun -contributors got a copy of the zine their work was in. Again, no one asked: "If you make anything out of this what's my cut?"

We were selling our "end product" for 25 pence.  50 pence.  75 pence or, and, I tried and succeeded in never crossing this particular price barrier myself, £1.00.  Yes, £1.00 which back then was 50 cents? So, buy my zines and you got a lot of pages for little money.  I try to keep doing that still.

Although, via Zine Zone mail order or marts you could sell quite a few zines -in fact, it's odd but you would guarantee at least doing fairly well sales-wise back then where as now the attitude and expectation is that selling one or two books is a good day! In fact, zine publishers reported that they did far better sales-wise with Zine Zone than they did with Fast Fiction (which saw ZZ as a competitor though we never considered there to be any rivalry).

"Hey -I made £2.00!" Not bad -snicker-  now to divide that up between 10 contributors! Seriously, no one expected to make big money because it was all for fun. Also, a lot of the creators of the 1980s who made it into comics as writers or artists all started in the Small Press -it was seen as a place where you could hone your skills. It is interesting to note that a few of these creators when asked how they got started in comics tend to gloss over any mention of the Small Press!  It all seems to be "I started writing/drawing and used every opportunity to hone that skill and then DC/Marvel saw my work" I think that is actually shameful.

People ask me how I got started I'll tell them.  Putting together a school magazine (Greenway Boys School, Bristol, 1972) titled Starkers -The Magazine That Tells The Naked Truth which was a title suggested by our Deputy Head, Mr Wright. Getting everything together, drawing, typing on the stencils for the Gestetner copier and then....getting banned by the Head because one of the secretaries complained about the title (yes, there was more to it because I was seen as an "H-dropping" pain-in-the-ass by the snobbish head and his school kid cronies).

Then I got work with a printer.  I then started working with the early photocopiers.  I wrote articles on everything from nature to astronomy and history and then I decided I wanted to get into publishing so I got friendly with those folk as well as editors and distributors and even stupidly spent money buying rights to certain characters/publications (see one of my previous big posts -they are there somewhere).

Putting all of this together helped in making dummy copies of proposed titles to submit to publishers.  Some of those titles, such as Preview Comic got a few people into permanent comics work both in the UK and US.  Then there were scripts for London Editions, Fleetway/Egmont, Marvel UK and so on.  And even while doing my comic work (and the officially unofficial other job) I was writing comic articles for publications such as Comics FX and other publications promoting comics and particularly the Small Press which has never gotten even 2% of the publicity 'real comics' do.

Today, obviously and I never ever do this any other way, all art is (c) the artist. If the contributor wrote and drew something then it is all (c) the creator. Even if I lost out I made sure contributors got something.  But then you hit the big problems.

You learn, quite by accident, that an artist you have written a script  for and who then with no explanation break all contact, are actually trying to sell the strip with a couple of character name changes.  When found out and contacted over this there is either silence or "Oh, I thought you'd left comics" -right.  Then you have the artist who wants to have full control over the end product which includes changes made "to make it better" and believe me I have had artists change characters names, sex and even whole chunks of story because they feel they know better.  That just is not on.  The writer writes and the artist draws -perhaps making an odd change to make action flow.

I have had one artist ask me to draw character sketches because he just could not understand what I meant by stating the right hand side of a characters body was all robot while the left was wholly human.  Another had to have a sketch when I described a central tower in a city had, at the very top,  a clock face on each of the four sides...?


Then you get an email out of the blue "I don't want this published unless I get a 60% royalty deal, a page fee and creative rights"  hmmm.  Or, you publish after putting a lot of work into a book and the artist then says he doesn't want to be associated with it because it might affect his work prospects with Marvel or DC???

You will also get artists who email every single week asking about sales.  "You can't be doing enough to promote the book!" And then there are the artists who complete books and simply vanish.  They no longer answer emails and so the book HAS to be withdrawn.  Or the families of people you have worked with....don't even get me started on that.

There are no huge profits in Small Press publishing and Independent comics will not make you rich!  So, as a publisher you have to make decisions that affect your output.  Books are withdrawn. Decisions are made so that you no longer have to rely on other creators and all the problems associated with them.

Black Tower no longer accepts proposals from creators.  Everything is in-house and there are only two creators...and a very large selection of books to buy.  No distractions or problems other than those you get normally as the UK largest Independent comics publisher.

The small Press rely far less on collaborations these days.  There are some but more and more it's an individual thing with the creator writing, drawing and publishing the book.  No profit no problem. A profit -nice.

 Above: If you remember this you are old...like me!
 I think the anthology titles of old with any number of contributors will eventually vanish because unlike the doing -it -for- fun days where publishing was smooth and creators did not scream out "I'm a star! Pay me!" 

If you ask what money you are going to get out of the Small Press as an artist or writer then the true answer is that you'll be lucky to make any.  And the proof is there if you don't believe me: publish yourself and see all the 'joys' first hand!

So if you go to this weekends Small Press event remember: no one there is getting rich!

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5. Know Your Oscar Voters: A List of the Academy’s Animation Members

Cartoon Brew has put together a list of all the known members of the Academy's animation branch.

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6. Anti-Bullying Comics Anthology RISE to Release Third Volume

by Melanie Burke

Images courtesy of Northwest Press

“It’s like an after school special but it’s a good one,” says Adam Pruett of the anti-bullying comics anthology RISE. “I’m not just saying that because it’s my book and I want to promote it—I actually believe in the material.”

Born from a frustration with caustic attitudes and gatekeeper mentalities within the comics community, RISE is the collaborative effort of editors Joey Esposito, Adam Pruett, Erica Schultz and Kristopher White. With hundreds of different contributors from all over the globe, the book currently has two issues out with Northwest Press and a third is slated for digital release this summer.


“Out of that [frustration] came this idea, ‘Let’s do an anthology of celebrating being yourself’ and if there’s any place where that should be acceptable it’s the comics community,” says Esposito of the book’s initial inception.

The editorial team began working together in 2010 and approached Northwest Press several years later, launching a Kickstarter to fund printing costs in October of 2014. The Kickstarter platform, in addition to the for-sale issues on the Northwest Press website, made it possible to fund a book that is largely given away for free.

In addition to being available for free download at risecomics.org, RISE is distributed at all-ages events and school tours by Stand for the Silent and Prism Comics.

“It feels like we’re contributing to society,” says Esposito. “In a small but important way.”


Part of the goal for the editorial team was to approach the issue of bullying from all sides—hence the power of an anthology that delivers such a diverse voice and wide range of art styles. The individual narratives range from tales of redemption and forgiveness between reformed bullies and their former targets to frustrated scientists with singing plants to aliens admonishing their peers for participating in late-night cow tipping.

“It’s not us and them, it’s not good guys and bad guys,” says publisher Charles “Zan” Christensen.“I think that the stories do a good job of showing that it’s not just there are bad people who do bad things, but that people sometimes do bad things.People can change, people can learn and do the right thing in the future.”

Tackling such a sensitive subject in a grand-scale way produced its own unique challenges—like coordinating such a large group of contributors.


“We’re working on four different time zones, two or three continents, god knows how many countries,” says Schultz.“You’ll send an email off [and it] will be the end of the night, and then the next person who gets it is replying the equivalent of 2am for me.”

“It’s like herding cats,” says Esposito, laughing.

Additionally, the team had to make decisions regarding language and content for a young audience, without sacrificing the sometimes brutal realities depicted within the anthologies.

“That process was really illuminating,” says Christenson.“It was good to have those discussions and figure out how to strike that balance.”

Schultz says that the trade off to the chaos is “being introduced to creators who I wasn’t familiar with. And not just comic creators but people who work in different mediums as well coming on to write comics. That’s always great, getting to meet new people, getting exposed to different styles.”


For Esposito, the excitement from contributors helped fuel the process. “[Seeing] the enthusiasm from everybody but seeing these really established creators come on board—donating their time and artistic talent to do something like this—was really exciting for me.”

The third and last issue of RISE will release sometime late June or early July of this year. After that, the team hopes to see the project continue in any variety of ways—potentially a once-a-year anthology.

“I hope it takes on a life of its own,” says Schultz.

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7. Winging My Way Back from #alaac15

I write this blog post as I’m sitting in the San Francisco Airport, waiting to depart for home. My shuttle got me here about 3 hours before my flight is scheduled to leave. Luckily, I have some great books to occupy my time while waiting and while on the plane.

Photo by Abby Johnson

Photo by Abby Johnson

Here are a few of the great books I picked up at the Exhibit Hall and at publisher events during the conference. These are some of the books that I’m looking the most forward to and make sure to pack in my carry-on for airport/plane reading.

Fellow conference-goers, what books are making it into your carry-ons for the trip home? I would love to know!

— Abby Johnson, Youth Services Manager
New Albany-Floyd County Public Library
New Albany, IN

The post Winging My Way Back from #alaac15 appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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8. Agent Contracts

Things that should be covered in your agency contract.


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9. Grump (2001)

Grump. Janet Wong. Illustrated by John Wallace. 2001. Simon & Schuster. 32 pages. [Book I Bought]

Look how tired this Mommy is
Tired and frumpy
Grouchy chumpy
Oh, what a grump!

Look at Baby
Smart, good Baby
Happy Baby
Making gravy
Applesauce and ketchup gravy
Not too lumpy
Not too bumpy
Squish squish

Grump is one of my favorite, favorite, favorite books. I almost don't even need to make the qualification of favorite picture book. It's a book that begs to be read aloud again and again and again. The rhythm of it is almost magical--at least to me! I love the use of language, I do. I love the way it sounds, the way it feels on my tongue. It's real life. It's poetry. It just works.

The story of this one is simple. It's been a LONG, LONG, LONG day for this Mom and her Baby. And even if the Baby doesn't think he needs a nap, he needs a nap. But will this baby go down for a nap? Not without an all-too-familiar-struggle!

Baby's going to take a nap now
Baby's going to take a nap now
Baby's going to take a nap now
Take a nap now
Little lump.

She puts him in his crib and...

And oh of course that baby cries
Cries and whimpers
Cries and whimpers
Cries and whimpers
Play with me!
So Mommy sits 
And reads to Baby
Reads so pretty
Reads so softly
Reads and reads and reads until--

Can you guess what happened to the oh-so-tired, oh-so-grumpy Mommy?

This one is such a GREAT book. I loved how true-to-life it was. Not only for the baby, not only for the mommy--but it captures the ups and downs of the whole relationship.

This one has been a favorite going on ten years. Today I was looking to review some board books, hoping to find something great to share with you, when I thought again of Grump. Why isn't Grump still in print? Why hasn't it been reprinted? Why??? It's just a WONDERFUL book. And it would be a great board book!!! The combination of this story with that format would be just perfect!!!!

Text: 5 out of 5
Illustrations: 4 out of 5
Total: 9 out of 10

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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10. New Line to take over Vertigo adaptations

Morpheus," god of Sleep

Creating a shared universe on-screen is tough work, especially if you’re starting at the ground-level like Warner Bros is doing with their DC Comics properties.

Currently the studio has nine films currently either in production or in pre-production stages, which are slated to establish the DC Cinematic Universe (The Flash, Green Lantern, Cyborg, etc…).

With all that in mind, it left many to wonder about the status of films like Sandman and Guillermo Del Toro‘s long simmering Dark Universe. According to THR, the former, and most other Vertigo adaptations, will now be handled by WB’s sister arm New Line, which they absorbed many a moon ago.

Strangely, Dark Universe will remain at Warner Bros, and will conceivably continue to be attached to the DC properties that surround it. The bad news? Del Toro is off the project, which sadly, is not a new feeling where he’s concerned. On the other hand, Shazam! will continue to be developed by New Line, meaning much like the Vertigo properties they’re working on, Shazam! may very well not be connected to the DC Cinematic Universe either.

You get all that? In summary: all of Warner Bros. superhero movies except Shazam! will be developed by WB, all Vertigo movies except Dark Universe will be developed by New Line. I’m getting a headache just thinking about it.

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11. Impressions of ALA 2015

Thursday-June 25

I arrived in San Francisco on Thursday and the first thing I was excited to do was to see The Mix at SFPL.  I received a tour from the awesome Teen Librarian, Erich Haddon.  The Mix is the new digital media and learning lab for teens ages 13-18 where teens can explore their passions.  The Mix is partnering with five San Francisco, Bay Area organizations that will be offering programs for teens in areas of STEM, video creating/editing, music making and more.  There is also a makerspace where teens can create, make and collaborate.  The Mix is offering roughly 15 programs per week for teens.


Saturday June 27

I spent a couple of hours at the YALSA table with the fabulous Stephanie Charlefour, Teen Librarian at the Wixom Public Library.  It was the first time for me tabling at YALSA and it was a great opportunity to connect with other teen librarians focused on the meeting the mission of YALSA as well as connecting with librarians interested in joining YALSA.

Voices of Youth: Community Partnerships for video production session featured a panel of six teens involved in the San Francisco Public Library (SFPL) Board of Advising Youth and they talked about their involvement in working with the library, architects and other advisors in building and creating the new teen space; The Mix.  The partnerships that SFPL has built with five Bay Area organizations will bolster teen programming and expose teens to areas of video creation and editing through the organization BAVC, music creation and editing, a makerspace that has endless possibilities and STEM programs by the California Academy of Sciences

Empower Your Teens! Civic Engagement Strategies that Work.  Five teens from the Youth Leadership Council of the Oakland Public Library presented on their work with the library.  The presentation was a phenomenal, completely youth led panel where each member talked about what the YLC does; building leaderships skills by engaging with members of civic institutions, improving library services by having this group be so imbedded in a number of decision making endeavors for teens and bridging the gap between youth and library staff.  Hands down the best session I went to!  The teens took the lead to share what they do and what they’ve learned from their experience with the YLC.


YALSA President’s Program: Taking a Deep Dive Into Digital Literacy:  Shark Tank for Library Staff

I’m one of the members of the YALSA President’s Program Task Force and it has been a great experience serving on a committee with such dedicated teen services librarians.  The Shark Bowl program is based off the reality show “Shark Tank” that features aspiring entrepreneurs pitching their ideas to business experts, the YALSA version features six teen librarians pitching their digital literacy ideas to a panel of sharks-Susan Del Rosario (Tutor.com), Crystle Martin (Digital Media and Learning Hub UC Irvine) K-Fai Steele (National Writing Project) and David ten Have (Makey Makey and JoyLabz).  The winners are; Ricah Quinto, Shanna Miles and Erin Durrett with their projects.


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12. 48 days, day 17: multi-tasking, or not

{{ I am chronicling 48 days of writing before my July 31 travel. If you are chronicling your summer writing/days and would like to share, please link or comment so we can all cheer one another through. Strength to your sword arm! }}

"Now, you're either on the bus, or off the bus." -- Ken Kesey (photo by Joe Mabel at Wikipedia)
It's a short hop, in my imagination, from yesterday's Neil Diamond to today's Magic Bus. That traveling salvation show led me to think about Ken Kesey's bus, Further, the Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, and the many other trips Further made across the U.S., which led me to research The Merry Pranksters and the Hog Farm and the other busses of the sixties... and I thought: get yourself a school bus, paint it in psychedelic colors, fill it with hippies and returning Vietnam veterans, women who want a voice, a writer and a musician and... and maybe a 14-year-old, and you're set for the journey of a lifetime.

Wavy Gravy had a bus: Road Hog. Lisa and Tom Law had a bus: Silver. Lisa still has her bus, on her property in Santa Fe. She also has thousands of negatives she shot while living through some of the most amazing moments of the sixties. I read about Lisa and whispered to Jim: road trip.

The research of the past few days has led me to finding out more about Woodstock than I wanted to know, more about Vietnam than I can take in, more about the Haight and communes and Laurel Canyon and the Sunset Strip riots and the Kent State shootings than is good for anyone to know in three days' time.

I still have trouble appreciating "The Glorious Inconsistency of The Grateful Dead." Don't hate me.

My mind is wrinkled. Maybe Rachel has sat still long enough. Maybe I can switch gears and look at my picture book draft and complete a revision. Maybe not.

I have never been able to work on more than one writing project at a time. The Sixties Project has consumed me since 2008... well, the Sixties Project and the traveling I've done for work, for research, for family, for promotion of each book as it has arrived in the world. All good work. I've been grateful for every scrap of it.

I'm wondering if I can finish Rachel and maybe one other picture book I want to revise before I start writing Book 3 in earnest. I know it will swallow me once I start, just as COUNTDOWN and REVOLUTION did. Or maybe it won't, as I've committed to more time at home this year, in The Year of Exploration. Part of that year is being taken up (happily) with the water management project and the edible yard & garden project I'm documenting over at Instagram.

I dunno. I'm mulling how to manage my time, now that I actually HAVE SOME. My late-blooming heart says, hurry up! don't dawdle! you don't know what time you have left!

I worry, like I always do, that on a day - days -- weeks -- when I have read and researched so deeply, so widely, I'm not getting any writing done. I trust that I am, but I worry that I'm not. Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself. I am large. I contain multitudes. (Thank you, Walt. And The Aurora County All-Stars.)

In possibly-related news, I am eating multitudes of frozen strawberry fruit bars these days (thank you, 4-year-old Abigail) in an effort to stave off melting completely in this heat wave.

Do you work on more than one project at a time? How do you do it? Do you recommend it? Do you eat multitudes of strawberry fruit bars to sustain yourself?

Thank you for all your mail. I so appreciate it. I'm sitting on the fender, below. xo Debbie

The Road Hog, Fourth of July Parade, El Rito, New Mexico 1968
"Road Hog" photo by Lisa Law

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13. Penguin Random House Upgrades Author Portal

Penguin Random House has introduced an upgraded version of the Penguin Random House Author Portal, an expansion on Random House Author Portals which now includes Penguin authors, as well as new features.

The tool allows authors and agents to access weekly sales and rights information about their titles, as well as check out royalty statements. The update brings a new design which is optimized for mobile, along with a tool for authors to view sales data on their dedicated-portal home page. The platform also includes a community contacts directory which allows authors to connect with other authors.

Follow this link to check out a video demo of the new platform.

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14. Venice Biennale Dance 2015 - Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and The Golden Lion

Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker & Tale Dolven in FASE - La Biennale Danza
(Venice, Italy) Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, the Belgian dancer, choreographer, and founder of the Rosas dance company, was the recipient of this year's Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement for Dance awarded by the Venice Biennale. De Keersmaeker is so original that Beyoncé "borrowed" some moves to create the dance steps for her Countdown video. Here are the two dancers side by side:

When De Keersmaeker got a Facebook message about the Beyoncé videoclip -- which is the way she learned that her work Rosas danst Rosas had zapped its way into pop culture -- she commented:

...People asked me if I’m angry or honored. Neither, on the one hand, I am glad that Rosas danst Rosas can perhaps reach a mass audience which such a dance performance could never achieve, despite its popularity in the dance world since 1980s. And, Beyoncé is not the worst copycat, she sings and dances very well, and she has a good taste!

On the other hand, there are protocols and consequences to such actions, and I can’t imagine she and her team are not aware of it.

To conclude, this event didn’t make me angry, on the contrary, it made me think a few things.

Like, why does it take popular culture thirty years to recognize an experimental work of dance? A few months ago, I saw on Youtube a clip where schoolgirls in Flanders are dancing Rosas danst Rosas to the music of Like a Virgin by Madonna. And that was touching to see. But with global pop culture it is different, does this mean that thirty years is the time that it takes to recycle non-mainstream experimental performance?

And, what does it say about the work of Rosas danst Rosas? In the 1980s, this was seen as a statement of girl power, based on assuming a feminine stance on sexual expression. I was often asked then if it was feminist. Now that I see Beyoncé dancing it, I find it pleasant but I don’t see any edge to it. It’s seductive in an entertaining consumerist way.

Beyond resemblance there is also one funny coincidence. Everyone told me, she is dancing and she is four months pregnant. In 1996, when De Mey‘s film was made, I was also pregnant with my second child. So, today, I can only wish her the same joy that my daughter brought me.

Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker & Tale Dolven
De Keersmaeker's extraordinary performance on Saturday night, June 27, of her 1982 piece FASE, Four Movements to the Music of Steve Reich, received a standing ovation. According to Biennale, "this piece exploded onto the scene and is still considered to have been the starting point of the contemporary dance movement that developed in Flanders during the eighties."

De Keersmaeker was born in 1960, which made her about 22-years-old when she created Fase 33 years ago. Fase is a sophisticated masterpiece, danced to complex phasing music created by minimalist pioneer, Steven Reich.

Before the show - Outside Teatro alle Tese, Arsenale
To appreciate how extraordinary the evening was, we must first understand what phasing means when applied to music. According to Wikipedia:

Phasing is a compositional technique in which the same part (a repetitive phrase) is played on two musical instruments, in steady but not identical tempi.

Steven Reich experimented with this technique back in 1967 to create the first piece of the evening, Piano Phase, which is easier to define by listening, rather than explain with words, but the folks at Wikipedia give it a shot:

Reich's phasing works generally have two identical lines of music, which begin by playing synchronously, but slowly become out of phase with one another when one of them slightly speeds up. Reich had previously applied this technique only to sounds recorded on magnetic tape, but experimenting in his studio, he found it was possible for humans to replicate the effect.

In Piano Phase, he has the two pianists begin by playing a rapid twelve-note melodic figure over and over again in unison (E4 F4 B4 C5 D5 F4 E4 C5 B4 F4 D5 C5). After a while, one of the pianists begins to play his part slightly faster than the other. When he is playing the second note of the figure at the same time the other pianist is playing the first note, the two pianists play at the same tempo again. They are therefore playing notes at exactly the same time, but they are not the same notes as they were at the start of the piece. 

The process is repeated, so that the second pianist plays the third note as the first pianist is playing the first, then the fourth, and so on until the process has gone full circle, and the two pianists are playing in perfect unison again. The second pianist then fades out, leaving the first playing the original twelve-note melody. They then seamlessly change to a similar melody made up of eight notes. The second piano fades in again, only this time playing a different eight-note melody at the same time. The phasing then begins again. ...

Anne Teresa De Keermaeker, Dance Director Virgilio Sieni, Biennale President Paolo Baratta - Golden Lion
Now just try dancing to that. De Keersmaeker and the more-than-20-years-younger Tale Dolven started off in unison as if they were both pendulums on two different clocks, perfectly in sync. As the dance progressed, the women spun in a circle, skirts twirling, moving slightly out of sync, as did the music, until they were directly facing each other... The mathematics and skill involved were riveting. They never missed a beat. Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker is a woman who is tapped into the mystical, sensual female energy that never grows old, but teems with eternal life. No wonder Beyoncé stole her moves.

Dirty Hands and Beauty by Cesc Gelabert in Campo Sant'Angelo
Meanwhile, throughout Venice, Virgilio Sieni, the Director of the Biennale Dance Section had scattered the Biennale College of Dance throughout strategic campi in Venice, allowing tourists and locals alike to suddenly find themselves in the audience of a performance. I was impressed with the quality of the students -- I thought most of them were not only talented, but daring and courageous.

Tiny dancers
But what moved me the most was the amount of children -- the under 5-set -- that spontaneously moved into the empty campi just before the shows, in front of the eyes of the adults, and simply started dancing.

Ciao from Venezia,
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog

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15. Tsto


Tsto is a graphic design studio with offices in Helsinki and New York . In this identity work for TaideHalli, an art exhibition venue in Helsikni, Tsto pays homage to the the institution’s rich history and the building’s architectural elements. The logo was inspired by the main facade of the building and alternative versions were created to reflect Taidehalli’s ever-changing approach to contemporary art.









Also worth viewing:
Michael Driver
Strom & Jag
Nix Pro Sensor

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16. Interview and Giveaway: Last Chance Hero by Hope Ramsay

Hope Ramsay dropped by the virtual offices to celebrate the release of Last Chance Hero!  Find out what’s in her deadline survival kit.

Top 5 items in deadline survival kit by Hope Ramsay 

Here are the must-haves in my deadline survival kit:

1) A comfy chair, preferably a recliner, because it’s going to be a long night and my neck gets tired if I spend too much time sitting at a desk.

2) A supply of Diet Dr. Pepper because as noted above, it’s going to be a long night.

3) M & Ms.  Chocolate is an inspiration.  And it’s also loaded with caffeine.

4) The Georgia Good Ol’ boy (AKA the dear husband) because he gives really good neck rubs, and sends in food when I need it.  Also, when I get stuck and write myself into a corner he usually comes up with a crazy plot idea that’s so off the wall it might just work.  (Or it could be that my brain is speeding on caffeine.)

5) My iPod cued up with the playlist I create for every book that I write.  Music is essential for me to find the emotional thread in every story.


Ross Gardiner has had his fill of difficult relationships. Returning to Last Chance after a rough divorce, the town’s handsome new fire chief just wants safety and stability-a tall order given his dangerous job and the way he has the attention of all the single women in town. All except Sabina Grey, the girl who stole his heart when they were teenagers. Sabina knows a lot about playing it safe. Always the good girl, she’s now responsible for her antiques store and caring for her sister. But having Ross in town brings back the memory of one carefree summer night when she threw caution to the wind-and almost destroyed her family. Now that they are both older and wiser, will the spark still be there, even though they’ve both been burned?

About Hope Ramsay:

Hope Ramsay grew up on the North Shore of Long Island, but every summer Momma would pack her off under the care of Aunt Annie to go visiting with relatives in the midlands of South Carolina. Her extended family includes its share of colorful aunts and uncles, as well as cousins by the dozens, who provide the fodder for the characters you’ll find in Last Chance, South Carolina. She’s a two-time finalist in the Golden Heart and is married to a good ol’ Georgia boy who resembles every single one of her heroes. She lives in Fairfax, Virginia, where you can often find her on the back deck, picking on her thirty-five-year-old Martin guitar. 

Hope’s SM:






Buy Links:

Amazon – http://amzn.to/1CF3zww

Barnes & Noble – http://bit.ly/1LEeC1u

IndieBound – http://bit.ly/1RMF9IH

GooglePlay –  http://bit.ly/1SYyBca

iTunes – http://apple.co/1Lytcqj

Kobo – http://bit.ly/1KpxTmU


She wore a pair of faded blue jeans that clung to her hips and butt like they were part of her. Her green tank top looked like something she might have found at a tag sale. The slippery, clingy fabric was covered in Oriental flowers, and it was almost see-through.

Not to mention that it exposed her shoulders, which had freckles on them. As usual, Sabina had pulled her hair back into a ponytail. And as usual, wisps of hair had escaped around her face. He wanted to cross the room, pull that damn rubber band out of her hair, and bury his hands and his nose in all those amazing curls.

Oh yeah, and his hands itched to touch her breasts through that silky fabric. Which is why he balled them into fists and jammed them into his pockets. Then he pretended that his feet were set into concrete.

A man could get hurt by lust like this.

And that didn’t even count the damage his feelings for Sabina might do to Lucy or Henrietta or even the folks in Last Chance who were all invested in him marrying Lucy.

He didn’t want to feel this way.

About anyone.

Lust like this was just crazy. It made a man do stupid things, and he had been there and done that. He much preferred the cool, calm feeling he had for Lucy and her lists.

Sabina stood there staring at him for a moment, her lips soft and parted. The afternoon sun coming through the dusty window, lit up her hair. Her voice sounded squeaky when she started talking, and she stammered, which was not like her at all.

“Uh . . . I . . . Uh. I got a call from Bubba Lockheart. I gather y’all moved the trunk down from the attic?”

“Oh, yeah, you came for the trunk.” He had the twin sensations of being relieved and disappointed all at the same time.

She nodded.

“It’s in the living room. Let me get the hand truck.” He hurried out onto the back porch and snagged the dolly and wheeled it into the living room.

Sabina was waiting for him.

“So, did you search through it? What else is inside?” She tilted her head, and for an instant, she resembled a little kid on Christmas morning, so excited to be unwrapping a present.

“Uh, no. We were kind of busy today.” He kept his words sharp and short. He shoved the dolly under the trunk and tilted it back. Then he wheeled it all the way out to the porch and down a make-shift ramp that had been set up over the front steps. Sabina followed him and opened the tailgate of her van.

“Can you lift it yourself or do you need help?” she asked.

“I can do it.” He wanted her to leave. Fast. But the trunk was awkward and he almost tilted it sideways when he tried to lift it. Before he could stop her, Sabina bent down and grabbed one of the handles and helped.

Together they got it up into the van. But in the process they ended up side by side and their shoulders touched.

He’d never been burned by a fire. He was practically religious about keeping his gear in topnotch form. But that touch scalded him. It would have been normal to jump back from all that heat. After all, he’d been trained to know the danger of uncontrolled fires.

But his training went right out the window, along with his common sense. Instead of running like hell, he turned toward her. She looked up at him, the fire dancing in her eyes. Oh, man, this was so wrong.

And so right.

“Ross,” she whispered, her voice so damn sultry.

His mind told him to stop. But his heart had a completely different idea. His heart had been waiting decades to kiss Sabina Grey. And there she was, right in reach, and her mouth looked so ready to be kissed that he couldn’t help himself.

He leaned down and pressed his mouth to her lips, and even though this wasn’t exactly the hands-on, bodies-pressed-together, hot and heavy kiss he’d once fantasized about, the heat of the moment still swept through him.

He wanted to pull her close. He wanted to explore her mouth a little deeper. He wanted to do a lot more than dance with her.

But Sabina pushed back.

“We can’t do this.” Her look was stunningly sober.

“Right,” he said on a deep exhalation. “Right.” He repeated the word because his mind had sort of checked out for a moment. “I’m sorry.”

She didn’t accept his apology. She just gave him one of those female looks that were so hard to decipher. This one was pretty bad ass.

And then she backed away, ran to the driver’s side of the van, and took off, sending the gravel on the driveway flying.

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17. My Art Wall

I've been having fun watching #alaac15 updates via social media this weekend for the ALA conference in San Francisco. (I'm saving the recently posted speeches from the award winners as my reward for reaching my writing goals today.) I thought this would be a good time to share a photo of the art wall in my office, as you'll see there's a "Caldecott 2015" connection so the timing seems appropriate:

That upper right print? That's a Lauren Castillo print that I asked for as a Christmas gift in 2009, I believe. And the bottom left? That's a Dan Santat print that he sent as a gift to anyone who pre-ordered his graphic novel Sidekicks from his local independent bookstore. I've been a long-time fan of both, so you can imagine how excited I was to hear their names announced last February during the ALA Award announcements.

And in case you are curious, the other artists are:

top left: my nephew, fifth(?) grade
middle left: New Orleans artist Jamie Hayes
middle middle: Joanna Wright, an illustration done in memory of the YA author Bridget Zinn
middle right: Elisa Kleven, an illustration from her book The Lion and the Little Red Bird, which I adore
bottom right: my niece, fourth(?) grade

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18. Weekend of celebration at #alaac15

In addition to the Gay Pride celebrations in San Francisco this weekend, we  also had an opportunity to celebrate & honor award-winning authors as they accepted their well-deserved accolades.

You can now read the acceptance speeches online.  (How cool is that?) Just click to download and read the speeches.

Batchelder  [PDF – 652K]

Belpré  [PDF – 595K]

Caldecott  [PDF – 616K]

Carnegie  [PDF – 936K]

Geisel  [PDF – 1MB]

Newbery  [PDF – 2MB]

Sibert  [PDF – 1MB]

Wilder  [PDF – 1MB]


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19. AASL Reveals Best Apps for Teaching and Learning

The American Association of School Librarians (AASL), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has revealed a list of the best apps for teaching and learning.

The list includes lists of apps in five different categories that are aimed at learning. The categories include: books; science, technology, engineering and math (STEM); organization & management; social sciences; and content creation. The apps include: David Wiesner’s Spot by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Loose Strands by Darned Socks Production; iBiome: Wetland by Spring Bay Studio; Remind by Remind 101 Inc.; and Amazing World Atlas by Lonely Planet, among others.

Here is more about the list from AASL’s site:

The apps recognized as Best Apps for Teaching & Learning are of exceptional value to inquiry-based teaching and learning as embodied in the AASL’s Standards for the 21st-Century Learner. The apps foster the qualities of innovation, creativity, active participation, and collaboration and are user friendly to encourage a community of learners to explore and discover.

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20. The Choose Your Own Adventure Book Club (Adventure 3)

This month's Choose Your Own Adventure Book Club (click here if you're new to the idea) theme was Frienemies and BFFs.  Halina showed up with homemade apple sharlotka and of course we had lots of coffee and tea and book talk.  I'm going to jump right in with the list of what we read.

Rachel read Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
It's pretty quickly making its way through the book club lending circle (I had my turn last week) and it's becoming a favorite of everyone.  I love reading a graphic novel with a believable female protagonist and the friendship/rivalry between Ballister Blackheart and Amborsius Goldenloin is so adorable I can barely stand it.  It's a must read and I'll have a review posted at some point in the future.

Stephanie read The Precious One by Marisa de los Santos
The friendship in this one is between sisters, which is one of my very favorite relationships to explore in books.  I've got a copy of this one and I'm a fan of de los Santos' other books, so I'll be boosting this one up the TBR list for sure.

Halina read Reunited by Hilary Weisman Graham

Ex-best-friends go on a road trip to see a reunion show played by their favorite boy band.  What's not to love here?  I've added it to my list - it sounds like a perfect summer read.

And I read The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma
You can click here to see my full review of the book, but the long and short of it is that it's an intriguing and shocking story about two ballet dancers, a vicious murder, and a mysterious mass murder at a prison for young girls.  You should definitely read it.

A few others I've read recently that I think would make good choices:
All the Rage by Courtney Summers (or really any of her books, including Some Girls Are and Cracked Up to Be)
My Antonia by Willa Cather
Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson

And a few things we spent a good bit of time discussing that are totally and completely unrelated but worth mentioning:

Gilmore Girls (if you haven't watched it, do, and if you don't like it, never tell Stephanie).  Somehow this one seems to come up at pretty much every meeting, so you can go ahead and assume it was discussed at some point during every meeting we've ever had.

Doctor Horrible's Sing Along Blog

Next month's adventure is Books Set in a Boarding School.  As always, I'd love to see any of your own recommendations for books about BFFs and Frienemies OR for books set in a boarding school!

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21. U is for Ukulele

U is for Ukulele meetup#alaac15 provides space for meetings of all kinds. Although we’re apparently not that “uncommon,” yesterday I attended a meet-up of ukulele-playing librarians at the ALA Networking Uncommons.  We exchanged emails, discussed creating a group FB page and played a few songs.  Perhaps next year, we can have an ALSC session on Using your Uke for Story Time and Outreach. Wouldn’t that be fun?  Check out today’s gatherings at the Networking Uncommons. http://www.alsc.ala.org/blog/

U is for Ukulele

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Summary: I don't know why I put off reading this one for so long. I really love A.S. King's writing, and every time I read one of her books I'm pretty much blown away. This one's no exception. Trying to summarize it is only going to make it sound... Read the rest of this post

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23. The Wicked + The Divine’s Fandemonium Trailer Will Have You Losing Your Head

Once again, we return to the end of another arc in Kieron Gillen’s, Jamie McKelvie’s, Matthew Wilson’s, and Clayton Cowles’ Image hit, The Wicked + The Divine.  The trade that collects the “Fandemonium” story will hit store shelves on Wednesday, July 1st.  To celebrate, designer James Leech has put together an expertly animated trailer featuring sad songs and even sadder gods.


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24. Soundtrack of Macau: Roger Hobbs’s Playlist for Vanishing Games

My new novel, Vanishing Games, is a heist thriller set in the gambling city of Macau, China. I lived there briefly while researching the book and was taken aback by the incredibly eclectic sounds of the city. For those of you who have never been, let me fill you in — Macau is like Las [...]

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25. O Magazine’s Best Beach Reads of 2015

Oprah’s O Magazine has released its summer reading list. The list of “42 Amazing Beach Reads You Won’t Be Able to Put Down,” is featured in the magazine’s July issue, which has just hit newsstands.

The list includes reviews from Natalie Beach, Hamilton Cain, Leigh Haber, Sarah Meyer, Elyse Moody and Richard Nash. The leading book on the list is Bennington Girls Are Easy By Charlotte Silver, followed by In a Dark, Dark Wood By Ruth Ware and Stalin’s Daughter By Rosemary Sullivan.

Andrea Gilles’s new novel, The Enlightenment of Nina Findlay, and Blackout By Sarah Hepola, are among some of the other selections.

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