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1. My Monster Mama Loves Me So by Laura Leuck - Murray Library Story Time

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2. Nine Halloween Reading Recommendations!

Book Recommendation banner

by Team PubCrawl

HAPPY HALLOWEEN, READERS! Some of the members of Team PubCrawl wanted to share our recent Halloween-esque favorites! I hope you’ll let us know what spooky reads you’ve discovered recently in the comments section.

ADAM SILVERA: Rooms by Lauren Oliver breathes new life into ghost stories. There’s an ensemble cast, and my favorite narrators were Alice and Sandra, two ghosts inhabiting the walls of this old house. There are family secrets, the sudden appearance of a new ghost, stunning prose, surprising humanity from the ghosts, and a glowing ending. It’s not a tale of vengeance or a typical journey toward redemption, but it’s definitely a unique kind of ghost story you should check out.

ERIN BOWMAN: Between the Spark and the Burn by April Tucholke, which just came out in August! It’s the sequel to Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea and both are incredibly creepy, haunting and atmospheric. Perfect Halloween reads for anyone craving a little gothic horror.

SUSAN DENNARD: So…I might have devoured the entire Fever series by Karen Marie Moning recently. What with the brooding dudes, terrifying monsters like you can’t (and don’t want to) imagine, and the whole plot revolving around Samhain (a.k.a. Halloween), I cannot imagine a more atmospheric (and smexy!) read for Halloween.

JULIE ESHBAUGH: I recommend Susan Dennard’s Something Strange and Deadly trilogy for Halloween season! The series is set in a fantastic, alternate-history world with a thrilling gothic feel. I loved traveling from nineteenth-century Philadelphia to Paris to Egypt with the amazing Eleanor as she battled an evil necromancer (all with romance thrown in, of course!).

JORDAN HAMESSLEY: I recommend the Women Destroy Horror issue of Nightmare Magazine edited by Ellen Datlow featuring great horror short fiction and non-fiction discussing women in the genre. It’s totally badass.

S. JAE-JONES: I recommend Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan, the final book in the Lynburn Legacy trilogy. A spin on gothic tropes, it has a mixed-race Japanese heroine in a picturesque English town. The town, of course, has dark, dark secrets. Oh, and invest in some Kleenex stock because SARAH REES BRENNAN WILL WILL OUT YOUR HEART AND EAT IT. She thrives on the tears of her readers, like a YA Erzebet Bathory.
KAT ZHANG: I just finished The Madman’s Daughter, and it’s definitely Halloween creepy!
JANICE HARDY: Servants of the Storm by Delilah S. Dawson! Very creepy, wonderful demon-gothic setting in a post-Katrina-esque hurricane devastated Savannah. Demons cause natural disasters and steal people’s souls :) Fun! Good scary book for Halloween.
JOANNA VOLPE: The Dead Boys by Royce Buckingham. This middle grade book was a little slow to start, but it definitely got super creepy and it’s stuck with me. It’s about a giant sycamore tree that is sapping the life of boys it’s lured into its roots over the past 80 years. It keeps them just alive enough to continue feeding on them. TOTALLY CREEPY.
Hope you all have a fun and safe Halloween! Let us know what spooky books you’re reading!

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3. Night Creatures


Here's a gouache painting I did over 30 years ago when I was putting together a portfolio of science fiction samples. It has never been published before.


I imagine encountering these night creatures in a dark bar. I accidentally offend them by asking an innocent question about their feeding tentacles. I apologize, and they return to their drinks, the veins on their temples throbbing for a while.

That's my little treat for you on Halloween!

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4. A Halloween horror story: What was it? Part 5

Every Friday this October we’ve unveiled a part of Fitz-James O’Brien’s tale of an unusual entity in What Was It?, a story from the spine-tingling collection of works in Horror Stories: Classic Tales from Hoffmann to Hodgson, edited by Darryl Jones. Today we’re wrapping up the story with the final installment. Last we left off the narrator, Harry, and his friend, Hammond, tied up an invisible entity, shocking the boarders of the haunted home where they had been staying. Will they learn more about the mysterious creature?

We watched together, smoking many pipes, all night long, by the bedside of the unearthly being that tossed and panted until it was apparently wearied out. Then we learned by the low, regular breathing that it slept.

The next morning the house was all astir. The boarders congregated on the landing outside my room, and Hammond and myself were lions. We had to answer a thousand questions as to the state of our extraordinary prisoner, for as yet not one person in the house except ourselves could be induced to set foot in the apartment.

The creature was awake. This was evidenced by the convulsive manner in which the bed-clothes were moved in its efforts to escape. There was something truly terrible in beholding, as it were, those second-hand indications of the terrible writhings and agonized struggles for liberty which themselves were invisible.

Hammond and myself had racked our brains during the long night to discover some means by which we might realize the shape and general appearance of the Enigma. As well as we could make out by passing our hands over the creature’s form, its outlines and lineaments were human. There was a mouth; a round, smooth head without hair; a nose, which, however, was little elevated above the cheeks; and its hands and feet felt like those of a boy. At first we thought of placing the being on a smooth surface and tracing its outline with chalk, as shoemakers trace the outline of the foot. This plan was given up as being of no value. Such an outline would give not the slightest idea of its conformation.

A happy thought struck me. We would take a cast of it in plaster of Paris. This would give us the solid figure, and satisfy all our wishes. But how to do it? The movements of the creature would disturb the setting of the plastic covering, and distort the mould. Another thought. Why not give it chloroform? It had respiratory organs,—that was evident by its breathing. Once reduced to a state of insensibility, we could do with it what we would. Doctor X—— was sent for; and after the worthy physician had recovered from the first shock of amazement, he proceeded to administer the chloroform. In three minutes afterward we were enabled to remove the fetters from the creature’s body, and a modeller was busily engaged in covering the invisible form with the moist clay. In five minutes more we had a mould, and before evening a rough fac-simile of the Mystery. It was shaped like a man,—distorted, uncouth, and horrible, but still a man. It was small, not over four feet and some inches in height, and its limbs revealed a muscular development that was unparalleled. Its face surpassed in hideousness anything I had ever seen. Gustave Doré, or Callot, or Tony Johannot, never conceived anything so horrible. There is a face in one of the latter’s illustrations to Un Voyage où il vous plaira, which somewhat approaches the countenance of this creature, but does not equal it. It was the physiognomy of what I should fancy a ghoul might be. It looked as if it was capable of feeding on human flesh.

Having satisfied our curiosity, and bound every one in the house to secrecy, it became a question what was to be done with our Enigma? It was impossible that we should keep such a horror in our house; it was equally impossible that such an awful being should be let loose upon the world. I confess that I would have gladly voted for the creature’s destruction. But who would shoulder the responsibility? Who would undertake the execution of this horrible semblance of a human being? Day after day this question was deliberated gravely. The boarders all left the house. Mrs Moffat was in despair, and threatened Hammond and myself with all sorts of legal penalties if we did not remove the Horror. Our answer was, ‘We will go if you like, but we decline taking this creature with us. Remove it yourself if you please. It appeared in your house. On you the responsibility rests.’ To this there was, of course, no answer. Mrs Moffat could not obtain for love or money a person who would even approach the Mystery.

The most singular part of the affair was that we were entirely ignorant of what the creature habitually fed on. Everything in the way of nutriment that we could think of was placed before it, but was never touched. It was awful to stand by, day after day, and see the clothes toss, and hear the hard breathing, and know that it was starving.

Ten, twelve days, a fortnight passed, and it still lived. The pulsations of the heart, however, were daily growing fainter, and had now nearly ceased. It was evident that the creature was dying for want of sustenance. While this terrible life-struggle was going on, I felt miserable. I could not sleep. Horrible as the creature was, it was pitiful to think of the pangs it was suffering.

At last it died. Hammond and I found it cold and stiff one morning in the bed. The heart had ceased to beat, the lungs to inspire. We hastened to bury it in the garden. It was a strange funeral, the dropping of that viewless corpse into the damp hole. The cast of its form I gave to Doctor X——, who keeps it in his museum in Tenth Street.

As I am on the eve of a long journey from which I may not return, I have drawn up this narrative of an event the most singular that has ever come to my knowledge.

Missed a part of the story? Catch up with part 1, 2, 3, and 4 for a frightening Halloween read.

Featured image credit: What happened by Thomas Mues. CC 2.0 via Flickr.

The post A Halloween horror story: What was it? Part 5 appeared first on OUPblog.

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5. My tweets

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6. Sharecropper’s Troubadour: songs and stories from the 2014 OHA Annual Meeting

OHA2014 Header The 2014 Oral History Association Annual Meeting featured an exciting musical plenary session led by Michael Honey and Pat Krueger. They presented the songs and stories of John Handcox, the “poet laureate” of the interracial Southern Tenant Farmers Union, linking generations of struggle in the South through African American song and oral poetry traditions. The presentation built on Dr. Honey’s article in Oral History Review 41.2, “’Sharecroppers’ Troubadour': Can We Use Songs and Oral Poetry as Oral History?,” as well as his recent book.

The audio below was graciously recorded and provided by the faculty of the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program at the University of Florida.

Image credits: Oral History Association Annual Meeting flyer courtesy of the Oral History Association. Michael Honey headshot courtesy of Michael Honey.

The post Sharecropper’s Troubadour: songs and stories from the 2014 OHA Annual Meeting appeared first on OUPblog.

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7. Guest Post from Paper Lantern Lit Co-Founder Lexa Hillyer: Character WANTS and NEEDS

 

From Debbie: Thanks to Paper Lantern Lit for letting Inkygirl premiere their new series of GET LIT videos. In this video, former Harpercollins and Razorbill editor Lexa Hillyer talks about how to establish the right WANTS and NEEDS for your characters:

Hello from Paper Lantern Lit, the "story architects!" We're so excited to premiere our new video series, Get Lit, on InkyGirl. Each Get Lit video will explore the blueprints to each of PLL's secrets of the storytelling trade.

http://www.paperlanternlit.com/

In this video, watch PLL Co-Founder (and author of PROOF OF FOREVER, out June 2015!) Lexa Hillyer talk about the Wants and Needs of characters, and how they form the essential basis on which to build your story. We hope these videos will be helpful to aspiring writers– especially all of you prepping for NaNoWriMo tomorrow!

If you missed the introduction to Get Lit featuring PLL Co-Founder and New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver (The Delirium Trilogy, Panic, The Spindlers) click here.

You can subscribe to the Get Lit videos here, and never miss an update.

If you want more content like Get Lit, check out PLL's Blog! We post lots of info for writers in our Toolbox series, which breaks down different parts of the storytelling craft.

On Monday November 3rd, check out Fic Fare for the next Get Lit video, and become the architect of your BEST story!

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8. 2 NYC Library Organizations Team Up to Win the Battle of the Book Sorters

NY & BK library book-sortingThe New York Public Library and Brooklyn Public Library teamed up for the 4th Annual Battle of the Book Sorters. The two New York City organizations went up against the Washington state-based King County Public Library.

Here’s more about the contest: “New York Public Library and Brooklyn Public Library share a state-of-the-art, automated book sorter (as well as all book delivery operations), so they form one team. King County, which has its own book sorter, won last year, and is currently leading the annual contest with two wins to New York’s one.”

In one hour’s time, Team New York sorted 12,570 items and emerged victorious. The winning competitor received the “Lyngsoe Sorting Cup” prize package which includes beans from Seattle’s Best Coffee and salmon. If the King County team had won, they would have collected cheesecake from Junior’s and pastries from Ferrara’s.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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9. TBTTAUA writing contest!



In honor of the paperback edition of THE BEAUTIFUL THING THAT AWAITS US ALL by Fabulous Laird Barron, let's have a writing contest!




The usual rules apply:












1. Write a story using 100 words or fewer.






2. Use these words in the story:

beautiful
thing
await
paper
back





3. You must use the whole word, but that whole word can be part of a larger word: so backboard is ok, but black is not.

4. One entry per person. If you need a mulligan (a do-over)  erase your entry and post again. It helps to work out your entry first and then post.

5. International entries are allowed.

6. Titles count as part of the word count (you don't need a title)


Contest opens: Saturday 11/1/14 at noon

Contest closes: Sunday 11/2/14 at noon


Questions? Tweet to me @Janet_Reid


Ready? SET?


NOT YET!



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10. Friday Linky List - October 31, 2014

Via Cynsations: Emma Dryden's I Want What She's Got: The Disastrous Comparison Game - a must read for all creators!

At Writers Helping Writers (via Cynsations): How Image Systems Can Supercharge a Novel by C.S. Lakin - interesting!!

From Flavorwire (also via Cynsations): 50 Best Films About Writers, Ranked. I've seen many of them but for the rest - hulu here I come!

From School Library Journal: Hostile School Environments the Norm for LGBTQ Youth, Says GLSEN Report - education is KEY!

At PW: Children's Sales Stay Hot in July!

From Bustle (via PW): 11 Reasons Why Young Adult Fiction Is Even Better When You Read It As An Adult

From the New York Times: The 10 Best Illustrated Picture Books of 2014

At PUB(listing) CRAWL: Holding Yourself Accountable & Staying Motivated by Susan Dennard

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
CLICK HERE to find more Halloween-themed coloring pages!

At The Onion: Author Promoting Book Gives It Her All Whether It's Just 3 People Or A Crowd of 9 People - HA!

At Wild Things! Sneaky Peeks Video #21: Candace Fleming discusses THE FAMILY ROMANOV and writing talismans - what a great idea!

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11. Can You Compare Dolores Umbridge to Lord Voldemort?

Dolores UmbridgeFor a Halloween treat, J.K. Rowling has published a new essay on Pottermore about the infamous witch Dolores Umbridge.

Harry Potter readers first meet Umbridge in the fifth book, Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix. Actress Imelda Staunton plays this character in the film adaptation.

According to the press release, Rowling feels that Umbridge’s cruel nature is comparable to He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. She feels that the antagonist’s “desire to control, to punish, and to inflict pain, all in the name of law and order, are, I think, every bit as reprehensible as Lord Voldemort’s unvarnished espousal of evil.”

SPOILER ALERT: If you don’t want to know more, you should stop reading now!

(more…)

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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12. Rio de Janeiro: ATREVIDA – Revisão crítica da exposição artevida

Organizada em quatro seções – corpo, política, arquivo, parque - a exposição artevida, com curadoria de Adriano Pedrosa e Rodrigo Moura, incluiu uma grande quantidade e qualidade de trabalhos vindos dos recônditos do globo, com a ambição de “desenvolver conexões e leituras a partir de certas práticas artísticas do período [final dos anos 50 ao início dos anos 80], mediante diferentes conceitos, referências e enquadramentos além dos eurocêntricos”, resume o folheto da exposição.

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13. November First Five Pages Workshop opens on November 1!

The First Five Pages Workshop for October has ended. Thanks so much to all of our participants for their hard work!  And a big thank you to our wonderful guest mentor Paula Stokes, author of THE ART OF LAINEY, to our first guest agent, Jordy Albert, of The Booker Albert Literary Agency, and of course to all of our fabulous permanent mentors! You can check out the final revisions here:  First Five Pages October Workshop

Our November workshop will open for entries at noon, EST on November 1, 2014. We'll take the first five Middle Grade, Young Adult, or New Adult fiction entries that meet all guidelines and formatting requirements. Remember, participants must be available to comment on each other’s pages each week.  In addition to our wonderful permanent mentors, we have the talented J. R. Johansson’s, author of INSOMNIA, PARANOIA, and the forthcoming novels MANIA and CUT ME FREE, as our guest mentor, and free lance editor Pam Glauber will be our guest editor!

So get those pages ready – First Five Pages November Workshop 
opens tomorrow! Click here to get the rules! 

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14. Halloween Reads & Taking the Horror out of Pitch Appointments

I have a confession to make. I don't think of myself as a scary book reader and, to the best of my knowledge, I've never (gulp) read Stephen King. I know, I know...

I have read Dean Koontz and loved Thomas Harris so its not like I've never ready a scary book. I just haven't read the King.

Recently I've been on a Chelsea Cain kick, as anyone who follows me on Twitter knows. And while she's not a horror writer those books are absolutely scary. In fact, I love dark books and I really love dark serial killer books. Years ago I had the absolute privilege of reading an edge-of-your seat manuscript that kept me turning pages well past closing time. The book was The Broken by Shelley Coriell.

I first met Shelley at an RWA National pitch appointment. It was one of the most memorable appointments I ever had. Shelley sat down across from me and announced that she already knew I was the agent she wanted, she just wanted to introduce herself so that I knew who she was. It was awesome. She finished up the appointment by handing me a recipe for her Blackberry Cobbler because she knew I loved to cook. Smart woman.

The minute I finished reading The Broken I knew I had to have it. I offered, Shelley said yes and together we determinedly set forth to find a publisher and bring that amazing book to readers. Sadly, we couldn't find an editor who agreed with us. Romantic suspense wasn't selling and while editors loved the book they just weren't convinced it was the right time. So Shelley decided to take a break from that and move on to writing something different. We parted ways. For a while.

A few years later I got a call from Shelley. She refused (thankfully) to let go of The Broken and since I was the agent who first handled it wanted to know if I wanted back on this wild ride. Of course I did! Within weeks (days really) we sold The Broken at auction to Grand Central.

The Broken published this past April and Shelley's second suspense, The Buried, published this week, just in time for Halloween. And these books are scary as sh**. I mean, they are amazing. So if you're looking for a great scary Halloween read, whether you think of yourself as a romantic suspense reader or not, these are the books you need to pick up.

And Shelley, feel free to correct me on any of this story. It's possible I embellished to make myself look good.




--jhf



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15. Pre-PiBo Day 6: Dianne de Las Casas and The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Title

Kid Chef Eliana and Mom Dianne de Las Casas July 2014by Dianne de Las Casas

I am the founder of Picture Book Month and it starts tomorrow, November 1. The website, PictureBookMonth.com, features essays from thought leaders in the children’s literature community. Each day in November, a new essay is posted. This year’s Picture Book Month Champions are: Chris Barton, Aaron Becker, Kelly Bingham , Sophie Blackall, Arree Chung, Anna Dewdney, Johnette Downing, Ame Dyckman, Jill Esbaum, Carolyn Flores, Lupe Ruiz-Flores, Robin Preiss Glasser, Deborah Heiligman, Marla Frazee, Stefan Jolet, Kathleen Krull, Rene Colato Lainez, Loreen Leedy, Betsy Lewin, Ted Lewin, Brian Lies, Kelly J. Light, Debbie Ridpath Ohi, Alexis O’Neill, Sandra Markle, Ann Whitford Paul, Aaron Reynolds, Judy Schachner, Linda Joy Singleton, and David Schwartz. Please join the celebration!

PBMLOGO-COLOR_WEBRES

As you prepare for PiBoIdMo, think about the titles of your picture books. In a recent interview for California Kids! magazine, Patricia Newman asked me, “How do you come up with titles for your books?” This started me thinking in depth about picture book titles. What’s in a title? How important is a title to a book? Can a book be centered around its title?

As it turns out, titles are vital to a book’s success. Author Scott Westerfield says, “Titles name a book, and names are important. A good name can make or break you.”

Brandi Reissenweber of Gotham Writers “Ask the Writer” column says, “A title is a story’s first impression. People make a first impression with appearance, wardrobe, and body language. Stories do it with a title.”

Eric Ode says, “Dan, the Taxi Man began as nothing more than a title. And one of the books I have coming out next year began as a title.”

PiBoIdMo founder and picture book author Tara Lazar says, “Most of my books begin as titles. It’s just the way my mind works. I want a BAM! concept, something that really hits you, and I find that people get HIT best with a succinct, powerful title.”

Corey Rosen Schwartz says, “I have written several books around titles! Like Tara [Lazar], most of my books begin that way. Goldi Rocks and the Three Bears, for example, was just a title on my PiBoIdMo 2009 list.”

 

Character-Based Titles

Many picture books have character-driven titles. The character of the book IS the title. Do you have a book character that is so compelling that the character’s name should be the book’s title? Here are some examples:

  • Olivia by Ian Falconer
  • Splat the Cat by Rob Scotton
  • Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown
  • Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish
  • Biscuit by Alyssa Satin Capucilli
  • Fancy Nancy by Jane O’Connor

Robin Preiss Glasser book cover

 

Clever, Punny Titles

I am a big fan of clever, punny titles. In fact, several of my books have punny titles. Here are some examples that are just too clever for words… almost.

  • Crankenstein by Samantha Berger
  • The Monstore by Tara Lazar
  • Little Red Hot by Eric Kimmel
  • Pinkalicious by Victoria Kann
  • Epossumondas by Colleen Salley

Crankenstein

 

Verbose Titles

I am generally a fan of the “less is more” title for a book but sometimes, a garrulous title is EXACTLY what the book calls for. Can you imagine these books with a short title?

  • Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
  • Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems
  • How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You? by Jane Yolen
  • There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly by Simms Taback (a folktale retelling)
  • The Fantastic Flying Books of Morris Lessmore by William Joyce

ALEXANDER_TERRIBLE_HORRIBLE

 

Plot-Based Titles

Some titles beckon you to open the book. These titles are based around the book’s plot. Yes, as short as a picture book is, it can still have a plot. In fact, these picture book plots were so inspiring that they were turned into Hollywood blockbuster movies!

  • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett
  • A Night at the Museum by Milan Trenc
  • The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf
  • We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story by Hudson Talbott
  • Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

 

Single-Word Titles

A picture book title can also be short and succinct, even one-word. These acclaimed picture books prove that a word is worth a thousand pictures.

  • Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
  • Blackout by John Rocco
  • Ninja! by Arree Chung
  • Carnivores by Aaron Reynolds
  • Hug by Jez Alborough

Arree Chung cover

Aaron Zenz says, “Hiccupotamus started with the title. I really wouldn’t have had any desire to write a book about a bunch of jungle animals chasing around a disruptive hippo if not for the title. In my mind, the pun ‘Hiccupotamus’ is the most important thing about that particular book.”

As you create and engage your imagination this month, think about your picture book’s title. In what way can an engaging title enhance your picture book? How can you use the title to attract readers? Perhaps you can be the Author with the Terrific, Tremendous, Oh-So-Grand, Very Remarkable Title.

As you celebrate PiBoIdMo and Picture Book Month, read LOTS of picture books. Comment below and share with us your favorite picture book titles and why you think they are so splendiferous. Here’s to Picture Books! Read * Share * Celebrate!

guestbloggerbio2014

Dianne de Las Casas is an award-winning author, storyteller, and founder of Picture Book Month. Her performances, dubbed “revved-up storytelling” are full of energetic audience participation. The author of 24 books, Dianne is the International Reading Association LEADER 2014 Poet Laureate, and the 2014 recipient of the Ann Martin Book Mark award. Her children’s titles include The Cajun Cornbread Boy, There’s a Dragon in the Library, The Little “Read” Hen, The House That Santa Built, and Cinderellaphant. Visit her website at diannedelascasas.com. Visit Picture Book Month at PictureBookMonth.com. Twitter & Instagram: @AuthorDianneDLC Picture Book Month Twitter: @PictureBkMonth Facebook: fanofdianne and PictureBookMonth. Dianne is the proud mom of 14-year-old culinary celebrity, Kid Chef Eliana.


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16. Monster Week: MARILYN'S MONSTER SNEAK PEEK!


And to conclude Monster Week '14, here's some preliminary art from my upcoming picture book, MARILYN'S MONSTER by the great Michelle Knudsen and published by the extraordinary Candlewick Press. Coming to a bookstore near you in MARCH 2015!




HAPPY HALLOWEEN!



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17. A Prayer of Holy Fire


Father, in this darkened hour

I pray for the hurting and lost.
Lord, remove the enemy's hold in their lives.
Purify their thoughts.
Remove the stone 
from their hardened hearts
Pour out
Your mercy, oh God.
For the warriors have spent too many hours
counting up the cost.
Many have walked away from their posts.
The watchmen are not on the walls.
I pray You send angels;
call the trumpet blast, 
throughout the Mighty halls.
The people sleep
in the hour of war-
they walk as the living dead.
How can the body remain on fire
when the enemy
has weakened the head?
Remove all plots of the wicked one, Lord
Come through for your people once again.
Send warring angels to smite the foe.
Wash their eyes, that they might see
he is not their friend.
He comes in smoothly
with flattering words,
he seduces them into sin.
But this is not the end oh people.
The war is about to begin.
The Lord shall come
in all His valor
and rightly correct the wrong.
The people will again return to their posts
and sing a praise-filled song.
They know they are wrong,
Oh Lord of mine.
They are merely afraid to return.
So blow Your winds of Holiness
and cause their hearts to burn.
Their spirits to yearn.
Their minds to learn.
You are Sovereign.
Holy.
Right.
Let them turn unto the day
and walk away from the night.
It's time for a new beginning, Lord.
A renewing over the land.
Those enemies who thought they'd won the battle,
are sinking in the sand.
Your people shall awaken, oh Lord.
And walk away from their sins.
I see it now as I type these words.
True revival is about to begin.
Not tambourines and money plates
but a changing of the hearts.
Where there was prosperity teaching-
repentance shall shake them apart.
Where there once was complacency and compromise,
there now shall be holiness and fire.
No more bondage tormenting them.
No more rolling in the mire.
They will turn from their gods of Mammon.
They will turn from their sin and shame.
You are faithful, 
I know this, oh God,
to take away their blame.
You are a forgiving God
because of your only Son.
Through You Father, and You alone
all battles shall be won.
The fire of Your Spirit
shall rise up in their bones,
it shall purge the unholiness,
and they will never be alone.
They will know you are with them
always leading, 
always good.
The ones who have walked away from their posts
shall return to the station of priesthood.
Jesus at the head of church and homes.
And not man's agenda oh Lord.
I cannot wait to see it God, 
I ask that as my earthly reward.
Let my eyes see you come in a blaze
to cleanse with Holy fire.
The devil will run with his tail between his legs
for he is King of Liars. 
In the name of Jesus Christ my Savior
I ask and I believe.
Amen to my heavenly Father,
Your fullness I receive.
Thank You, Jesus, for setting me free.
J. Susanna Watt
© 2014








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18. My Monster Mama Loves Me So - a book review



Quotes to make you smile:













Today's featured book:




Title:   My Monster Mama Loves Me So
Author:  Laura Leuck
Illustrator:  Mark Buehner
Ages:  4-7

Short peek inside today:







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19. Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween!  

Today I'll be Medusa, hosting the annual preschool Halloween storytime and parade at the library, but on the way to work, I'll be enjoying Neil Gaiman's Halloween gift to the world, Click-Clack the Rattlebag.


Today is your last chance to get a free download of Neil Gaiman's scary short story, Click-Clack the Rattlebag. It's available only through Audible.com.  Get yours before your time runs out! 

Have a great day.

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20. Reread #44 Frankenstein

Frankenstein. Mary Shelley. 1818/1831. Oxford World's Classics. 250 pages. [Source: Bought]

Almost every time I read it, I focus on something new, something that I might have missed, something that I hadn't considered before. I thought I would share my observations with you instead of a traditional review.

Stories. Frankenstein is a story within a story. But it's more than that. It's a text that utilizes stories and storytelling even within that framework. The first story, of course, is the one Robert Walton is communicating to his sister, Margaret, through letters. After the first few letters, Walton stops being so introspective and focuses on telling someone else's story. Victor Frankenstein's story. This is written in the letters in first person, as if Victor himself were telling the story--sharing it. Within that big story, are dozens of little stories. The story of how his parents met. The story of his birth and childhood. The story of how Elizabeth was adopted. The story of how he became interested in science. The story of his mother's death. The story of his going away to university. The story of his madness--his obsession--and how he came to create life. The story of his sickness and recovery. The story of his learning about his brother's death/murder. The story of Justine. You get the idea. Each story is crafted and shaped. These stories are how he sees himself and the world, his place in it. Some of the stories are personal and a vital part of the plot. Other stories are more like asides. But this isn't Victor's story alone. Midway through the book, readers learn the creature's story. Even though this is written in first person though the eyes of the creature--the monster--the words are for better or worse being filtered through Victor Frankenstein's memory. He's telling what the monster said. He's telling what the monster heard. And Robert Walton is then passing along Frankenstein's story of the events and conversations. The creature is a storyteller as well. He recalls his life, his memories, his desires and needs. But he also focuses in particular on one family, one French family living in exile. This section has multiple stories. Including one focusing on a young woman. Though it may seem like an aside to readers, the stories matter very much to the narrator, the creature. The stories are providing for him a framework of the world, of how it works, of what life and love are all about. The stories resonate with the creature. He has seen love. He has seen family. He has seen fellowship and community. Because he has seen this, he feels the lack of it in his own life. But it isn't just the unfolding story that he personally witnesses. He is also shaped by the stories--the words--in the books he oh-so-conveniently is able to read. Words and stories matter. The stories we tell ourselves about ourselves, the stories we share with others, they all matter. For example, I think the story the creature told himself over and over and over again was it is all Victor's fault. He made me. He gave me life. He made me this ugly, this revolting. He made me this large and strong. He left me--he abandoned me. He didn't love me. He never loved me. He rejected me. He made it so everyone would reject me. Why does everyone reject me? It's his fault. It's all his fault. He made me have killing-hands. He made me have killing-thoughts. He didn't show me a better way. He didn't teach me. He didn't raise me. I had to learn everything all by myself. It is his fault. I'm not responsible. Why would I be? It is his fault! If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't be so miserable, so alone, so full of angst. I wouldn't feel pain or hunger or thirst. I wouldn't feel at all. The monster has his Job moments. One last thing, Victor Frankenstein speaks of the power of words, of persuasion. He warns that the creature has a way with words, that he can manipulate people by his persuasiveness. He warns Walton not to let himself be manipulated by the creature's story--his words and pleas. Is there any truth to this? Is the creature trying to masquerade himself as an angel of light? His actions say one thing: he's a killer, a murderer, he premeditates at least some of his crimes. His words say another: no one loves me, everyone runs from me, it's all HIS fault.

Questions. It's hard to read Frankenstein without questions. Who is the real monster? Who should be held responsible? Is there anyone who shouldn't be held responsible? Why is human life valued so little by ego-obsessed people? Why does Walton idolize Frankenstein?

Victor Frankenstein, Robert Walton, and the creature share a few things in common. They are introspective, moody, obsessed, and lonely. True, there are differences in their obsessions. Robert Walton is obsessed with glory, with adventure, with discovering the Northwest Passage. Walton has spent years if not decades obsessed with the North Pole, with the arctic regions. This started as a boy with books, with stories and words. His dream shifted slightly for a brief period of time when he wanted to be a poet, but, ultimately he came back to his first love. He didn't give up his poetic personality/nature however. Victor Frankenstein is first obsessed with science, with electricity, with creating life. This playing God leads to no good--it leads to madness and murder. I believe the madness started long before he was successful. I have never understood how he could piece together this creature--this eight-foot creature--and it is only when he is alive that he realizes that it is monstrous and ugly and unnatural and threatening. Why make it eight-feet? Why make it so unhuman? Regardless, having created life, he then becomes obsessed with destroying it--with murdering his demon-creation, his monster. His only reason to live is to track down and kill the monster. The monster's obsession? Well, he's driven by anger and pain. He wants to HURT Frankenstein. He is acting out, having murderous temper-tantrums all to get the attention of the one who gave him life, his father, his creator. He wants what he can't have. He wants love and acceptance. He wants to belong. He wants companionship and family. He wants to be happy. He wants to be treated fairly and humanely. He doesn't want to be judged based on appearances. He taunts and haunts his creator. He wants Frankenstein to be just as miserable and desperate as he is.

Quotes:

Robert Walton meets Victor Frankenstein:
In the morning, however, as soon as it was light, I went upon deck and found all the sailors busy on one side of the vessel, apparently talking to someone in the sea. It was, in fact, a sledge, like that we had seen before, which had drifted towards us in the night on a large fragment of ice. Only one dog remained alive; but there was a human being within it whom the sailors were persuading to enter the vessel. He was not, as the other traveller seemed to be, a savage inhabitant of some undiscovered island, but a European. When I appeared on deck the master said, "Here is our captain, and he will not allow you to perish on the open sea." On perceiving me, the stranger addressed me in English, although with a foreign accent. "Before I come on board your vessel," said he, "will you have the kindness to inform me whither you are bound?" You may conceive my astonishment on hearing such a question addressed to me from a man on the brink of destruction and to whom I should have supposed that my vessel would have been a resource which he would not have exchanged for the most precious wealth the earth can afford. I replied, however, that we were on a voyage of discovery towards the northern pole. Upon hearing this he appeared satisfied and consented to come on board. Good God! Margaret, if you had seen the man who thus capitulated for his safety, your surprise would have been boundless. His limbs were nearly frozen, and his body dreadfully emaciated by fatigue and suffering. I never saw a man in so wretched a condition. We attempted to carry him into the cabin, but as soon as he had quitted the fresh air he fainted. We accordingly brought him back to the deck and restored him to animation by rubbing him with brandy and forcing him to swallow a small quantity. As soon as he showed signs of life we wrapped him up in blankets and placed him near the chimney of the kitchen stove. By slow degrees he recovered and ate a little soup, which restored him wonderfully. Two days passed in this manner before he was able to speak, and I often feared that his sufferings had deprived him of understanding. When he had in some measure recovered, I removed him to my own cabin and attended on him as much as my duty would permit. I never saw a more interesting creature: his eyes have generally an expression of wildness, and even madness, but there are moments when, if anyone performs an act of kindness towards him or does him any the most trifling service, his whole countenance is lighted up, as it were, with a beam of benevolence and sweetness that I never saw equalled. But he is generally melancholy and despairing, and sometimes he gnashes his teeth, as if impatient of the weight of woes that oppresses him.
 Robert shares his big, big dream with Victor:
I was easily led by the sympathy which he evinced to use the language of my heart, to give utterance to the burning ardour of my soul and to say, with all the fervour that warmed me, how gladly I would sacrifice my fortune, my existence, my every hope, to the furtherance of my enterprise. One man's life or death were but a small price to pay for the acquirement of the knowledge which I sought, for the dominion I should acquire and transmit over the elemental foes of our race. At first I perceived that he tried to suppress his emotion; he placed his hands before his eyes, and my voice quivered and failed me as I beheld tears trickle fast from between his fingers; a groan burst from his heaving breast. I paused; at length he spoke, in broken accents: "Unhappy man! Do you share my madness? Have you drunk also of the intoxicating draught? Hear me; let me reveal my tale, and you will dash the cup from your lips!"

And so it begins...
Yesterday the stranger said to me, "You may easily perceive, Captain Walton, that I have suffered great and unparalleled misfortunes. I had determined at one time that the memory of these evils should die with me, but you have won me to alter my determination. You seek for knowledge and wisdom, as I once did; and I ardently hope that the gratification of your wishes may not be a serpent to sting you, as mine has been. I do not know that the relation of my disasters will be useful to you; yet, when I reflect that you are pursuing the same course, exposing yourself to the same dangers which have rendered me what I am, I imagine that you may deduce an apt moral from my tale, one that may direct you if you succeed in your undertaking and console you in case of failure. He then told me that he would commence his narrative the next day when I should be at leisure. This promise drew from me the warmest thanks. I have resolved every night, when I am not imperatively occupied by my duties, to record, as nearly as possible in his own words, what he has related during the day. If I should be engaged, I will at least make notes. This manuscript will doubtless afford you the greatest pleasure; but to me, who know him, and who hear it from his own lips—with what interest and sympathy shall I read it in some future day! Even now, as I commence my task, his full-toned voice swells in my ears; his lustrous eyes dwell on me with all their melancholy sweetness; I see his thin hand raised in animation, while the lineaments of his face are irradiated by the soul within. Strange and harrowing must be his story, frightful the storm which embraced the gallant vessel on its course and wrecked it—thus!
I've reviewed Frankenstein several times in the past. 2007. 2009. 2010. 2011

© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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21. Poetry Friday with a review of If it rains pancakes: Haiku and Lantern poems

What I like about today's book, which is one title in a series of books about poems, is that in addition to giving us a splendid collection of poems to read, the author also tells us how haiku and lantern poems are constructed. Children can use this book to learn how to write their own short and sweet Japanese-style poems.

If it rains pancakes: Haiku and Lantern poemsIf it rains pancakes: Haiku and Lantern poems
Brian P. Cleary
Illustrated by Andy Rowland
Poetry
For ages 6 to 8
Millbrook, 2014, 978-1-4677-4412-6
Haiku poems have been around for more than four hundred years. For many of those years westerners had no idea that these gem-like short poems existed. Haiku were not really appreciated and created by westerners until the early 1900’s. These days haiku are popular with children and adults alike. Every haiku has three lines, with the first line having five syllables. The second line has seven syllables, and the third line has five. Traditionally haiku poems focus on something that exists in nature, but in this book the author also give young readers poems about animals, food, school days and much more.
   After reading twenty haiku poems, readers get to learn about lantern poems, which is another short poetry form that originated in Japan. The first line in these poems has just one word, which is always a noun and must have one syllable. The next four lines describe that noun with 2 syllables on the second line, three on the third, four on the fourth, and one syllable on the last line. After reading a description of what a lantern poem is, children can go on to read fifteen of these spare poems which look at bees, a cat, a hug, stars, a bed, dawn, and much more. Some of the poems are lyrical in nature, while others are amusing.
   What is wonderful about this collection is that the author describes in detail what haiku and lantern poems are and then he gives us many examples of each poetry form. We are able to see how such poems are written, and some young readers may even be inspired to write some haiku and lantern poems of their own. As the author says, “Poetry’s not just a spectator sport.” Anyone can write poems that explore or describe things that they care about.


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22. Dynamic Weekend in Venice - Lunch at Aman Canal Grande, Peace at Palazzo Ducale, Pianist Prizes at La Fenice

Cat Bauer at Aman Canal Grande
(Venice, Italy) The Aman Canal Grande, where George and Amal Clooney were married, would like you to know that you are very welcome to come in for lunch, drinks or dinner. I had heard some local gossip -- that Palazzo Papadopoli was only open to guests of the hotel; that the food was not up to par, etc. That was not the situation when I had visited in August of last year when I featured the Aman Canal Grande in CNN Travel. So when a friend recently expressed an interest in seeing the fabulous palace, I made arrangements for a tour and lunch on Monday so I could see firsthand what the situation was. I am pleased to report that the food was exceptional  -- fresh, delicious and reasonably priced, and the palace was as welcoming as I remembered, elegant and homey.

At the close of the 19th century, Vera Papadopoli Aldobrandini married Count Giberto Arrivabene, with Palazzo Papadopoli as part of her dowry. Today, the palazzo is owned by her grandson, Count Giberto Arrivabene Valenti Gonzaga; he and his wife, Bianca di Savoia Aosta, and kids still live on the top floor.

Alcova Tiepolo Suite - Aman Canal Grande
We were graciously showed around the palace, which was originally built in 1550 by the architect and follower of Sansovino, Gian Giacomo de Grigi, as commissioned by the Coccina Family. The palazzo was sold to the Tiepolo family in 1718 after the death of Francesco Coccina, the last descendant. The Tiepolos were avid art collectors, and also employed the painter Giambattista Tiepolo to decorate rooms with frescoes, which still remain to this day. (Of course, I had to know if the Clooneys had stayed in the famous Tiepolo Suite, which is complete with a genuine Giambattista Tiepolo ceiling, and the answer was: Yes, they did.)

Yellow Dining Room - Aman Canal Grande
There are two piano nobile floors, and one rumor could have started because the fourth level of the palazzo is reserved only for hotel guests. But the public is absolutely welcome to enjoy the dining rooms and bar in the first piano nobile with stunning views of the Grand Canal. Also, there is a new chef from the oldest Michelin-starred restaurant in Italy, so any kitchen concerns have been addressed. My friend and I each ordered the most expensive thing on the menu (€35), grilled fish -- a sea bass and a sole -- which were grilled to perfection and shared for us at the table, and accompanied by a generous assortment of grilled vegetables. There are not many places in Venice on the San Polo side of town where you can have a reasonably-priced lunch in such magnificent surroundings, so don't be shy -- just ring the bell and go on in!

<!--[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 14 false false false IT X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 <![endif]-->
1760, marzo 15. Venezia.
Francesco Loredan, doge di Venezia, rilascia la commissionea Giovanni Domenico Almorò Tiepolo, eletto ambasciatore ordinario a Luigi XV re di Francia.
There is an incredible exhibition over at Palazzo Ducale entitled FOR THE SAKE OF PEACE - The Long Walk from the Peace of Bologna to the Declaration of Human Rights (1530-1789). Dario Franceschini, the Italian Minister of Culture, and Gianpaolo Scarante, the Italian Ambassador to Turkey, were among the luminaries present at the inauguration on October 25th. On show are about 70 documents that illustrate that the quest for peace is the supreme value of European culture.

I have known Alessandra Schiavon of the Archivio di Stato di Venezia for about 15 years, back from the time I first visited the immense Archives next to the Frari when I was writing for the International Herald Tribune's Italy Daily. It was deeply moving to see how hard she had worked to gather such pivotal documents together to illustrate the value Europe places on peace. Schiavon said it used to be that wars had beginnings, and wars had ends, and wars had specific territories -- not like today when we find ourselves constantly at war with enemies who have no borders, in wars against a concept like "terror," in wars that stretch on without limits. Ambassadors and diplomats worked hard for peace -- that was their occupation. (That image above is a March 15, 1760 document issued by Francesco Loredan, the Doge of Venice, commissioning one of those wealthy Tiepolos -- Giovanni Domenico Almorò Tiepolo -- to be the ambassador to Louis XV, King of France.)

1641, 24 gennaio-2 febbraio. Costantinopoli.
Capitolationi rinovate sotto sultan Ibraim, re al presente degli Ottomani.
Archivio di Stato di Venezia
The documents and names involved are riveting, and the captions have been translated into English. Some examples: January 5, 1530: "Emperor Charles V solemly ratifies the peace treaty concluded during the Congress of Bolona with the Pope and the rulers of Europe." March 5, 1684: "The plenipotentiary ministers of Pope Innocent XI, the Hapsburg Emperor Leopold I, King of Poland, John III Sobieski, Doge of Venice, Marc Antonio Giustinian sign a defense treaty." February 8, 1697, "Peter the Great, the Czar of Russia, Leopold I, the Hapsburg Emperor, Frederick Augustus II of Saxony and Silvestro Valier, Doge of Venice stipulate a reciprocal non-aggression and peace accord."

                                                                         1755, marzo 14. Vienna.
Maria Teresa imperatrice e Francesco Loredan doge di Venezia stipulano accordi in materia di confini e servizio postale.
Archivio di Stato di Venezia
Wars over territories. Wars between religions. One side groups up against another side, changes sides, changes back again. After viewing all those documents inside the Doge's Palace, and the many powers behind those documents, and the very serious disagreements and battles that had been hammered into compromises to achieve peace, it really made me wonder why we are having such a difficult time today just getting a moment to catch our breath.

Per il bene della Pace
Il lungo cammino verso l’Europa dalla pace di Bologna alla Dichiarazione dei diritti dell’uomo (1530-1789)
Venezia, Palazzo Ducale, Sala dello Scrutinio
25 ottobre 2014 – 12 gennaio 2015
Alesandro Marchetti - winner Premio Venezia
One of my favorite annual events is the PREMIO VENEZIA, a national pianist competition held by the Fondazione Amici Della Fenice at La Fenice. Every year, young pianists throughout Italy compete for the top prize, which includes substantial sums of money to continue their studies, as well as concerts in prestigious venues. The Premio Venezia is funded entirely with private money, and is one of the most important events of the season, always drawing a full-house invitation-only crowd. This year the Premio Venezia was won by Alessandro Marchetti, who was born in Pavia, Italy in 1998, the year I arrived in Venice, which makes him, astonishingly, only 16-years-old. Adrian Nicodim, who was born in Galati, Romania in 1992, won second place, which also includes a good chunk of money and concerts. Both young men exhibited composure, grace and talent, and performed admirably.

In a planet filled with chaos and strife, it is an honor to have the privilege of living in La Serenissima, a city that still focuses on the highest principles the civilized world has to offer.

Ciao from Venezia,
Cat
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog

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23. A page from FLOW whisks across the face of the Water Works

FLOW Festival 2014 / Architectural Projection Model from Greenhouse Media on Vimeo.

When the good people of the Fairmount Water Works asked if they might borrow the first prose page from Flow: The Life and Times of Philadelphia's Schuylkill River for a festival finale, I said yes, of course. This movie (rendered here) was projected onto the entrance house facades of the Water Works building as night fell a few weeks ago. The words come from the prose poem, "Rising."

Credits:
Habithèque Inc.— Creative Direction
Greenhouse Media— Video and Editing
refreshtech and LUCE Group— Lighting
Blair Brothers Music— Original Soundscape
Beth Kephart—The poem "Rising" from her book Flow

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24. You’re Not Alone: NaNoWriMo Experts Share Their Stories & Experiences

We are only hours away from the month of November, which means many writers will be participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Whether you’re a veteran or a rookie at NaNoWriMo, tackling the goal of writing 50,000 words in a month is just a tad bit intimidating.

That’s why Writer’s Digest has brought together some NaNoWriMo experts who will be joining you in your quest this November. From a variety of different backgrounds and writing styles and genres, these folks are all attempting to write 50,000 words and will be reporting in on their progress twice per week. Currently, they’ve taken time out of their busy writing schedules to introduce themselves below. After you read their bios, be sure to check back in every Monday and Thursday during November for a progress update from our writers. They’ll have tips and thoughts on tackling stumbling blocks, hitting your goal, and more, throughout NaNoWriMo.

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo? Let us know! Give us your own bio and progress reports in the comments section!

*     *     *     *     *

Jonathan WoodNatania Barron and Jonathan Wood are, most of the time, speculative fiction writers. They share common affinity for video games, RPGs, action films, and caffeinated beverages. The rest of their lives is something of a study in contrast. Natania is a four-time participator, a two-time NaNoWriMo winner, while Jonathan’s never been daft enough to try it. Jonathan prefers an outline and a great deal of planning when writing novels. Natania prefers the “win and wait” model.

Natania BarronWhen it comes to influence, Natania often cites George R.R. Martin, but Jonathan “just doesn’t get those books”; Jonathan quite enjoys Robert Jordan, but Natania’s quite certain they’re best used as doorstops. While they’ve both published (separately) in Weird Tales and, collectively, in Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters, Jonathan’s known for his No Hero Series, published by Titan Books, which includes the tagline, “What Would Kurt Russell Do?” Natania’s debut novel, Pilgrim of the Sky, had floating mansions, parallel worlds, and absolutely no sign of Mr. Russell. Either way, they’re hoping to cobble together a weird fantasy novel, or at least the bare bones of one, during NaNoWriMo 2014.

They will be chronicling this mad collaboration at their blog, Two Brain Space.


Rachael Herron

Rachael Herron is a NaNo success story: NaNoWriMo 2006 was her first NaNo attempt, her first win, and thatbook turned into her first published novel. She is the internationally bestselling author of the novel Pack Up the Moon, the Cypress Hollow series, and the memoir, A Life in Stitches. Her next mainstream standalone, Splinters of Light, will be out in March 2015 from Penguin.

She teaches people how to stop sabotaging their own writing practices, and can’t wait for this year’s NaNo, in which she’ll start her 2016 release. She received her MFA in writing from Mills College, and when she’s not busy writing, she’s a 911 fire/medical dispatcher for a Bay Area fire department.

Rachael is struggling to learn the accordion and can probably play along with you on the ukulele. She’s a New Zealander as well as an American, and she’s been actively blogging since 2002.


Nikki HysonNikki Hyson writes modern fantasy with a classical twist. Currently unpublished, she’s in the process of querying agents while she second drafts a sequel. An avid support of NaNoWriMo, this will be her fifth year of literary abandon (and hopefully a 5th win). Also, for the past 2 years, she’s participated in Camp NaNo.

A confirmed “pantser,” she generally lets a question seed itself in her subconscious, germinating for weeks to determine if it has the goods to sprout. Usually, she’s just as surprised by her endings as any reader. Never satisfied with writing by accident, she loves “how-to-write” books. Some of her most used are: Tell Me (How to Write) a Story by EJ Runyon, On Writing by Stephen King, Wired for Story by Lisa Cron, and No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty.

You can visit Nikki at her Facebook page.



November/December 2014 Writer's Digest

 

The November/December 2014 issue of Writer’s Digest
is loaded with advice, tips, and strategies
to help you survive—and thrive—during NaNoWriMo.


Regina Kammer HeadshotRegina Kammer writes historical, contemporary, and Steampunk erotica and erotic romance. Her short storiesand novels have been published by Cleis Press, Go Deeper Press, Ellora’s Cave, House of Erotica, and her own imprint, Viridum Press. She began writing historical fiction with romantic elements during NaNoWriMo 2006, switching to historical erotica when all her characters suddenly demanded to have sex.

Regina has done—and won—NaNoWriMo eight times and has published four of those novels (with a fifth in her publisher’s editing queue): the Amazon best-selling Victorian erotic romances The Pleasure Device and Disobedience by Design; the award-nominated erotic romance The General’s Wife: An American Revolutionary Tale; and the erotic epic Hadrian and Sabina: A Love Story.

Regina approaches NaNoWriMo with an outline leaving enough room for character flights of fancy. She frequently gets lost in Thesaurus.com, the OED online, or historical clothing websites wondering what her characters are wearing before she can get them naked.

You can visit Regina at kammerotica.com, follow her on Twitter @Kammerotica, and like her on Facebook.


Kathy KittsKathy Kitts (AKA Apollo16) is a retired geology professor who served on the science team for NASA’s Genesis Mission. She had dozens of nonfiction publications, from professional papers to textbooks, but is no longer interested in “what is,” but rather, “what if.” Her latest publications include short literary fiction (Storyteller’s Anthology) and speculative fiction (Ad Astraas K. Eisert, and Mad Scientist, as K. Kitts). For more links and NaNoWriMo related goodies, visit her website.

She’s been participating in NaNoWriMo since 2003 and has volunteered as an ML, ML Mentor, Moderator, and site debugger. In 2014, she’s going for her 12th win. She’s done NaNo as a “pantser” and a “plotter.” Knowing what to write next is helpful, but Kathy enjoys the energy of making-it-up as she goes, too. Recently, she’s outlined one third of the novel, written like mad, yanked the gems from that section to plot the next third, then rinsed and repeated. It’s saved her a lot of time during revision.


 

Headshot_Tiffany LuckeyTiffany Luckey is the associate editor of Writer’s Digest whose freelance work has been published in Cincinnati magazine, Quill and on the entertainment website Starpulse.com. She’s also the founder of the humor/TV site AnotherTVBlog.com. Tiffany has participated in NaNoWriMo only once before three years ago (and has lived to tell about it!), and she’s eager to do a modified version of it this year by penning a series of short stories in November. Her favorite types of books are suspense and thriller novels, and her favorite writing-related website (besides WritersDigest.com, of course) is JungleRedWriters.com. Some fun random facts about Tiffany: She loves watching horror TV shows, but not horror movies; she has an unhealthy obsession with handbags and chocolate; if she could be anybody in the world, past or present, it would be 1990s’ Janet Jackson; the cheetah is her spirit animal; and she listens to trickling water sounds via YouTube when she writes.  


Kristen RuddKristen Rudd lives in Cary, NC, and is a homeschool mom by day. By night, she’s exhausted. She lovesNaNoWriMo. Loves it. This is her 8th year participating and her 4th as an ML (Municipal Liaison). She’s won four times.

Kristen writes YA and adult fiction, and has one complete, will-never-see-the-light-of-day novel and a whole passel of unfinished ones. Pretty much everyone in her life has told her to just finally finish something already, so she’s rebelling this year to work on something already in progress.

Somewhere in between a planner and a pantser, Kristen starts outlining her story, then November hits, so she panics for a little while and dives right in. Mostly, she tries to hit word count and then set up a few scenes for the next day.

A few of her favorite YA authors are Kristin Cashore, Patrick Ness, Maggie Stiefvater, and Melina Marchetta. She’s also a big fan of Rob Kroese and Wayne Franklin. You can visit her at kristenrudd.com.


EJ RunyonNaNoWriMo’s been very good to EJ Runyon. She began in 2001, and in 2006 she quit Software, sold her house, and went back to University. Now it’s writing and coaching daily. It’s her life and she loves it.

NaNoWriMo set her on the path to writer’s nirvana. In 2012, six short stories pulled from various NaNo novels became part of Claiming One, from Inspired Quill (UK). Then, in 2013, her ’08 NaNo became Tell Me (How to Write) A Story, a writer’s guide. This year, ’03 NaNo’s became a debut novel, A House of Light & Stone.

She’s a Scrivener pantser all the way, and even created a jumpstart template for coaching clients. Cheeky, she suggests her writing site, Bridge to Story, for 52 free lessons.

It’s been everything wonderful you’d possibly dream. 2016 & 2017 will see another how-to and a novel. She alternates literary fiction with how-to guides.

Wordspeed, WriMos!


Jessica-SchleyJessica Schley is a former book publishing company peon turned grad student, bookseller, and contemporary YA writer. Though her freelance writing has all been nonfiction and runs the gamut from bible studies to test prep materials, her fiction is all about the craziness of real life of being a teen. Now that she’s almost finished with grad school, you can find her hanging out on Twitter and on the boards at Absolute Write.

When it comes to creating, especially creating fast, she’s always a bit of a “gardener,” to borrow George R.R. Martin’s wonderful analogy, but lately has discovered her books benefit from a bit of an architectural hand, too. This NaNo, she’ll be trying both—a solid outline but with freedom to run another direction as needed to keep the words flowing. 2014 will be her 10th NaNoWriMo, in which she’ll be trying to defend a (very slightly) winning record. Here’s to 50,000!

You can visit Jessica at jessicaschley.com.


Brian SchwarzBrian Schwarz is an author/musician from Minneapolis, MN. Spending most of his young adult life touring in a modern rock band, he rarely had time for writing anything more than song lyrics, let alone novels as he had so aspired in grade school

In 2013 (finding he had time on his hands for the first time in ten years) he wrote his debut novel—Shades (view the trailer here)—a 120,000 word pre-apocalyptic thriller during NaNoWriMo. His book won the NaNoWriMo and Lulu sponsored Let’s Go Wrimos award, and was debuted at Book Expo America in NYC.

This will be his second year participating in NaNoWriMo, where he hopes to finish his next project, a Young Adult mystery with a science fiction tilt. He goes about his writing as haphazardly as he goes about his life, with a general idea of beginnings and endings—making the rest up as he goes.

Recently he’s been reading Veronica Roth, Gillian Flynn, and George R.R. Martin.

You can visit Brian at BrianRSchwarz.com.

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Write-A-Thon

Find the focus, energy, and drive you need to start—and finish—your book in a month. Write-A-Thon gives you the tools, advice, and inspiration you need to succeed before, during, and after your writing race. With solid instruction, positive psychology, and inspiration from marathon runners, you’ll get the momentum to take each step from here to the finish line. You’ll learn how to: train your attitude, writing, and life—and plan your novel or nonfiction book; maintain your pace; and find the best ways to recover and move forward once the writing marathon is finished and you have a completed manuscript in hand!


Cris Freese is the associate editor of Writer’s Digest Books. He has never participated in NaNoWriMo, but has contemplated it at the prodding of his co-workers and writing friends. Whether he actually decides to try to write a novel during the month of November 2014 remains to be seen.

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25. PW names the 100 best books of 2014

PW_11_3_1Publishers Weekly today released its list of the 100 Best Books of 2014, for the first time including three translations among its top 10 books, which were written by Hassam Blasim, Elena Ferrante, Marlon James, Lorrie Moore, Joseph O’Neill, Héctor Tobar, Eula Biss, Leslie Jamison, Lawrence Wright, and Emmanuel Carrère.

The three translations include two works of fiction: The Corpse Exhibition by Hassan Blasim, translated from the Arabic by Jonathan Wright (Penguin), and Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay by Elena Ferrante, translated from the Italian by Ann Goldstein (Europa). Limonov: The Outrageous Adventures of the Radical Soviet Poet Who Became a Bum in New York, a Sensation in France, and a Political Antihero in Russia by Emmanuel Carrère, is nonfiction translated from the French by John Lambert (Farrar, Straus and Giroux).

“Every year when we put together our best books list, we understand why we’re in this business,” Publishers Weekly review editor Louisa Ermelino said. “It’s not just about the best books, but the fact that there are so many good books being published that we have to struggle to choose. We consider the game-changers, the brilliantly written pure entertainment, the clever, the well researched.”

Publishers Weekly’s selects for the best Young Adults books include: Meg Wolitzer’s Belzhar, We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, Beyond Magenta by Susan Kuklin, and Half Bad by Sally Green, among other titles.

Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi and Redefining Girly by Melissa Atkins Wardy are two of its best Lifestyle books of 2014.

Marlon James, featured on PW’s cover, is author of A Brief History of Seven Killings (Riverhead), a sweeping saga with the attempted assassination of Bob Marley at its center.

Descriptions of Publishers Weekly’s “100 Best Books of 2014” are available here.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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