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1. Grumbug! by Adam Stower

When you’re already giggling just eleven words into a story, you know you’re on to a very good thing.

grumbugAnd so it is with the delicious child- cake-eating-troll-quest to save a lost little sister that is Grumbug! by Adam Stower (@Adam_Stower).

Dolly, blissfully unaware of any danger that might be lurking out there, has wandered off. We have to keep our fingers crossed that she hasn’t ended up at the home of the “biggest, meanest, grumpiest and greenest troll of them all“, the troll which has all others quaking in their boots: GRUMBUG!

Determined to find her, and in the sure belief that anything can be sorted out with a jolly nice slice of cake, big brother Oliver and his old (blue) friend Troll set of to bring her back home.

Grumbug - LayoutsUK5.indd

Oliver seems utterly oblivious to the ominous signs that are all too obvious to us readers and listeners as we follow Dolly’s tracks further and further from safety. And just as the tension has been ratcheted up as far as we can take it… a gloriously theatrical page-turn has us all relishing in the relief, laughing as we realise we’ve been holding our breath.

Grumbug - LayoutsUK5.indd

But then comes a twist in the tale that makes for a particularly enjoyable readaloud (especially if you love a bit of acting it out or making silly voices) before we all find out whether or not cake really can save the day.

Grumbug!‘s encouraging message that bravery and kindness are able to solve all sorts of problems is delivered with bags of humour, in text, in pictures and in the interplay between the two of them, making this a book which remains a delight to read time and time again. (In fact, once you know all the surprises, they become even more enjoyable.) Then there are the little details which might only come to you after several readings; Check the endpapers for clues as to what you could find…

Delightful characterization, an upbeat take on life and – yes – plenty of cake make this a marvellously happy read, despite the looks of anxiety on the book’s front cover. I loved Troll and the Oliver enormously, and this second book with the same characters is a worthy successor. Here’s hoping Oliver and Troll with be back for a third outing to make us giggle and fill us with delight.

Grumbug - LayoutsUK5.indd

As I would so very much enjoy reading this book to a classroom of kids I wanted to come up with an activity which could be replicated fairly easily for 30 or so kids to join in with. I designed a simple mask (ideally to print onto card), which can be customised for either Troll or Grumbug.

You can download the mask (A4, pdf) here.

A bit of paint, some glue, tissuepaper and a few pipecleaners later…


…and here we have Troll…


And here we have GRUMBUG!


And here we have Dolly and Oliver and one ENORMOUS cake. Has Grumbug eaten that slice of cake or is he going to gobble up the kids?


Whilst making our masks we listened to:

  • Raised By Trolls by Key Wilde & Mr Clarke
  • Grieg’s March of the Trolls
  • Hello Dolly performed by Louis Armstrong
  • Other activities which would go well with reading Grumbug! include:

  • Creating a cafe role play area.
  • Making a chef’s hat
  • Creating your own family or class’s cake recipe book, packed with favourites contributed by everyone. You could even use it to fundraise so you could invite Adam Stower to visit your school!
  • If you liked this post you might like these others of mine:

  • Making animal masks for a ball
  • A wolf mask for a very funny story by former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen
  • Cat masks and hair bands and a book review in rhyme
  • masksroundup

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    Disclosure: I received a free review copy of this book from the publisher.

    1 Comments on Grumbug! by Adam Stower, last added: 9/3/2015
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    2. First Official Promo of Daniel Radcliffe in BBC2s ‘Game Changer’, set to air in September

    The first official promotion picture of Daniel Radcliffe as the Grand Theft Auto creator Sam Houser in Game Changer was published in the August issue of Edge Magazine and the article can be accessed from Snitchseeker. The BBC2 production is set to air sometime in September.

    Game Changer focuses on the rising prominence of the Grand Theft Auto series as well as the efforts of activist Jack Thompson (played by Bill Paxton) in attacking GTA for its violence and sex. The BBC2 production is written by James Wood and directed by Owen Harris.


    When talking about the process of getting into the character of Houser, known for his shunning of publicity, Radcliffe states:

    “Normally when I go to approach a character, the concerns are: where is he from? What was his upbringing like? And how different was it from mine?”.

    Radcliffe also points out to the similarities he shares with Houser – upbringing in the same part of London and at least one parent in the entertainment industry – saying that he feels like his sensibilities are similar to Houser’s.

    Despite the legal action taken by Rockstar to shut down the production of Game Changer, claiming BBC is using its intellectual property without a warrant, the film is set to premiere at some point in September at BBC2.

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    3. Check Out our Felt Stories

    When our library created its strategic plan, many of the goals concerning the Children’s Room fell under the category of “Create Young Readers”, so we’re always looking for ways to engage our youngest patrons and the adults who work with them.

    I’ve posted before about our School Collection program where we circulate boxes of books to teachers for classroom use. This year, we have debuted another facet of our School Collection program: circulating felt stories.

    We had gotten requests for circulating felt stories from teachers over the years, and this year we decided to go for it. I have a particularly crafty staff person and I made this one of her goals this year to create felt stories to add to this collection.

    Felt 1

    Photo by Abby Johnson

    Each felt story/rhyme is housed in a simple ziplock bag. A piece of cardboard in the bag helps give them shape.

    Felt 2

    Photo by Abby Johnson

    On one side of the cardboard we print the words to the rhyme or story, the contents of the bag, and we place the barcode for checkout.

    The felt stories are a special perk for teachers, so only teachers with a School Collection card may check them out. We have tried to provide a good selection and have made multiples of felts that fit popular themes (seasonal, etc.).

    As the felt stories circulate and come back, our staff check the bags to make sure all the pieces have been returned. If we’re missing something, we can contact the teacher to see if it’ll turn up or we can pretty easily make a new piece.

    We’re still growing our collection, but hoping that this will entice more early childhood teachers to check out School Collections and use them with their students!

    Do you have any special circulating collections that are popular with your patrons?

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

    The post Check Out our Felt Stories appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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    4. Harry Potter Limited Edition PEZ Collector Set Now Available in U.S.

    Warner Bros. and PEZ Candy Inc., have announced a limited edition collector set of Harry Potter PEZ figures, report Snitchseeker and Mugglenet. Only 100,000 sets will be released with each set having its own number indicated on the box.


    The set will consists of six Harry Potter character PEZ dispensers, including Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Albus Dumbledore, Rubeus Hagrid and Lord Voldemort along with two six-packs of PEZ candies. Christian Jegen, the CEO and president of PEZ has stated:

    “We are very excited to welcome Harry Potter to the line of PEZ Collector Sets. Harry Potter has been a recurring request from fans, young and old, for quite some time … We know this set will be on top of their holiday wish lists!”

    The 100,000 sets are currently shipping to retailers in the United States and the set will hit the shelves later in 2015 with a suggested retail price of $17.99 USD.

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    5. Railroad Ruminations

    Rode on a railroad (narrow gauge)
    Along the scenic coast,
    A little taste of life gone by,
    When folks used trains the most.

    We sat on benches, facing out,
    The car with open side
    And school kids joined the tourists
    For an old-time railroad ride.

    Pedestrians on nearby paths
    All paused to glance our way
    And as we rumbled past, we waved
    And grinning, so did they.

    A train has charm we seldom see -
    The whistles and the clacks
    Of choo-choo noises as it moves
    Along the metal tracks.

    No matter if they're very young
    Or closer to the grave,
    When people see a train chug by,
    It makes them want to wave.

    0 Comments on Railroad Ruminations as of 9/2/2015 10:03:00 PM
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    6. Interview with Fiona Ingram, author of 'The Search for the Stone of Excalibur'

    Fiona Ingram was born and educated in South Africa, and has worked as a full-time journalist and editor. Her interest in ancient history, mystery, and legends, and her enjoyment of travel has resulted in the multi award winning The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, the first in her exciting children’s adventure series—Chronicles of the Stone. Fiona has just published the second book entitled The Search for the Stone of Excalibur, a treat for young King Arthur fans. She is busy with Book 3 entitled The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper.

    Do you consider yourself to be a born writer?

    I think so. I have always scribbled something, either plays for the family, stories to entertain my young brothers, poetry to amuse family members, and then later writing a book just came naturally. Being an avid reader also helps!
    Tell us about your recent release. What was your inspiration for it?

    The Search for the Stone of Excalibur is the second book in my Middle Grade adventure series The Chronicles of the Stone. Book 1 began the adventure after my mother took me and my two young nephews on a family trip to Egypt. I came back and penned The Secret of the Sacred Scarab right away and, when I reached the end of the book, I realised my young heroes hadn’t saved the world yet; they needed more books! The second adventure takes the heroes to Britain, where King Arthur’s sword has been discovered and there is a powerful stone embedded in the hilt. Could this be the source of Excalibur’s legendary powers?

    Tell us about your children's books.

    I never imagine that one book, which began as a short story filled with anecdotes about our trip to Egypt, would end up as a book, and then a book series. The series is extremely gripping: young heroes Adam and Justin have to locate seven ancient Stones of Power scattered throughout the known world of several thousand years ago. Adam has a special connection with the stones. United, the stones enable someone to read the legendary Egyptian Book of Thoth, the most powerful book in the world, and thus learn the secrets of ultimate knowledge, achieve immortality, and control time, eternity, and the creatures of the land, sea and air. Of course there are baddies who also want these stones, and they pursue our heroes as they travel the globe in search of these powerful objects. Each book takes the kids to a new country, exploring ancient history, geography, culture, mythology, legends, and archaeology within each story. It’s an amazing adventure for the heroes as they meet people who help or hinder them on their quest. 

    What are you working on now?

    Book 3: The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeperis non-stop adventure! Continuing the adventure that ended in Britain just a short while ago, cousins Adam and Justin Sinclair, with their friend Kim Maleka, are now hunting for the third Stone of Power, one of seven mysterious stones lost centuries ago. This stone might be located in an ancient city, hidden in the depths of the Mexican jungle. When their small plane crashes in the jungle, Adam, Justin, Kim, and James – their archaeologist friend - are rescued by an uncontacted tribe. James, who is wounded, must stay behind as the kids, with only a young boy, Tukum, as their guide, make their way through the dense and dangerous jungle to find the city. Raft riding on a crocodile-infested river and evading predators are just part of this hazardous task. Of course, their old adversary Dr. Khalid is close behind as the kids press on in search of the lost city of stone gods. But he is not the worst of their problems. This time Adam will clash with a terrible enemy who adopts the persona of an evil Aztec god, Tezcatlipoca, and is keen to revive the ancient tradition of human sacrifice. Adam, Justin, and Tukum must play a dreadful ball game of life and death and maybe survive. Will they emerge alive from the jungle? Will Dr. Khalid find the third Stone of Power before they do?

    What type of book promotion works for you? Any special strategies you’d like to share?

    It’s an understatement to say I have tried everything because I have. I work very hard at marketing my books. Some options have been a waste of money; others have yielded mediocre results. However, a hugely successful strategy for me is what I am doing right now; going on a blog tour. It is organised; the hosts are keen to have you; their readers are interested in the genre you write; you can tell potential readers things that maybe you don’t get an opportunity to do otherwise; and also you have a chance to offer readers something special as a thank you, and to encourage them to read further. You can also get reviews from hosts interested enough to read your book/s and give their opinion. It’s also a way of creating a following of people who will continue to read your books and will look out for them in the future. Another very successful strategy is entering book awards because that tells people your book is of a high quality. I was fortunate that my first MG adventure, The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, won a bunch of awards, and that certainly influenced my getting international publishing contracts. 

    Is there anything else you’d like to say to our readers?
    If you are a parent or have young relatives just getting into reading, the greatest gift you can give them is to instil a love of reading. Enjoying reading is a learned process, and a young child associates the pleasure of reading with a parent or beloved relative with the pleasure of reading as they grow older. Literacy is priceless, and reading and loving books will set that child’s feet firmly on the path to a successful future.

     For More Information
    About the Book:

    Title: The Search for the Stone of Excalibur
    Author: Fiona Ingram
    Publisher: Biblio Publishing
    Pages: 376
    Genre: Juvenile Fiction
    Format: Paperback/Kindle/Nook

    Continuing the adventure that began in Egypt a few months prior in The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, cousins Adam and Justin Sinclair are hot on the trail of the second Stone of Power, one of seven ancient stones lost centuries ago. This stone might be embedded in the hilt of a newly discovered sword that archaeologists believe belonged to King Arthur: Excalibur. However, their long-standing enemy, Dr. Khalid, is following them as they travel to Scotlandto investigate an old castle. Little do they know there is another deadly force, the Eaters of Poison, who have their own mission to complete. Time is running out as the confluence of the planets draws closer. Can Justin and Adam find the second Stone of Power and survive? And why did Aunt Isabel send a girl with them? 

    Join Justin and Adam as they search not only for the second Stone of Power, but also for the Scroll of the Ancients, a mysterious document that holds important clues to the Seven Stones of Power. As their adventure unfolds, they learn many things and face dangers that make even their perils in Egypt look tame. And how annoying for them that their tag-along companion, Kim, seems to have such good ideas when they are stumped. Book extras include some historical background on King Arthur, the Dark Ages, warfare and weaponry during Arthur’s time, and details on Excalibur. A fascinating peek into the life and times of the real King Arthur, perfect for young time travelers and budding archaeologists.

    0 Comments on Interview with Fiona Ingram, author of 'The Search for the Stone of Excalibur' as of 9/2/2015 9:17:00 PM
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    7. ...pretty much what we feel like every time we finish an AMAZING book and realize that it's the beginning of a series... and the next book ISN'T OUT YET...

    This work is copyrighted material. All opinions are those of the writer, unless otherwise indicated. All book reviews are UNSOLICITED, and no money has exchanged hands, unless otherwise indicated. Please contact the weblog owner for further... Read the rest of this post

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    8. Owl Diaries by Rebecca Elliott: short chapter book with big appeal (ages 6-8)

    Young children who are just ready to move beyond "beginning readers" need short chapter books with big appeal. These readers, often in 2nd grade, are still developing their reading stamina. Our students are loving Owl Diaries, a new series with big kid appeal.

    Eva's Treetop Festival
    Eva Sees a Ghost
    Owl Diaries series
    by Rebecca Elliott
    Scholastic, 2015
    Your local library
    read an excerpt
    ages 6-8
    When Eva gets a diary, she is sooo excited. She is so happy to tell all about her life at school, her best friend Lucy. Eva is a cheerful little owl, who acts and talks just like a bubbly little 7 year old girl. Eva begins by introducing herself, and this helps young readers build a sense of her world. Every page has drawings and only one or two short paragraphs.
    "Hello Diary, My name is Eva Wingdale."
    Eva is always full of ideas and enthusiastically pursues them. In the first book, she decides that her school should have a spring festival and undertakes planning it all by herself. In the second story, she's sure that she sees a ghost but is frustrated when no one will believe her. In both stories, Eva works to build her friendships and figure things out in a satisfying way.
    "My very BEST friend in the whole owliverse is Lucy Beakman."
    Rebecca Elliot's charming artwork is definitely the highlight. Eva and her friends have big, expressive eyes. The colors remind me of just the sorts of clothes that so many kids pick on their own. The text is simple to read, a bit on the overly cute side, but appropriate for the audience. 

    The perfect audience for this short chapter book are kids who have moved beyond Henry and Mudge, but are not quite ready for the Magic Treehouse or the Rainbow Fairy books.

    Illustrations ©2015 Rebecca Elliott. The review copy was kindly sent by the publisher, Scholastic. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Great Kid Books. Thank you for your support.

    ©2015 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books

    0 Comments on Owl Diaries by Rebecca Elliott: short chapter book with big appeal (ages 6-8) as of 1/1/1900
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    9. Moonbot Enters the Oscars Race with ‘Taking Flight’

    Premiering September 18 in West L.A., 'Taking Flight' is a whimsical tribute to the life of Radio Flyer wagon inventor, Antonio Pasin.

    0 Comments on Moonbot Enters the Oscars Race with ‘Taking Flight’ as of 9/2/2015 5:13:00 PM
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    10. A Well-Earned Rest (well sort of...)

    John and just got back on Sunday, from a smashing week away. We rented a static caravan on a tiny farm in the Lake District, to coincide with the deadline for my sketching-people book. I thought it would be great to get it all done and then go away, feeling cleansed. 

    Unfortunately, my publisher was behind schedule with the last stage of the book, so things didn't quite work out as planned. I was still getting pages coming through to work on, right up to the last minute. Even then, my designer didn't manage to get it all to me in time, so there were still a few spreads left hanging...

    I felt okay about it though, because the delay was not my fault, so we went away on schedule and left it all behind. It was great actually, because there was no signal where we were, so I couldn't even get emails. Enforced relaxation.

    Except, I don't really do relaxation, as such. I can't sit and chill: I have to be doing something. Which is why I had packed about 6 different sketchbooks and all my painting and drawing kit. The plan was for John to go out walking, while I sat on various hills and did my thing. Sometimes we went off for the day together, doing walks with lots of quickie sketching stops, where I whipped out my trusty Inktense watercolour pencils and waterbrush:

    The weather forecast was pretty appalling (especially for a sketching week): torrential rain for at least half the time and some really gusty winds. In the end though, we were really lucky. Most of the torrents happened during the evening or overnight. 

    We even got a couple of days of gorgeous sunshine. Much of the time though, I was wrapped up in layers, hunkered down against the wind. August in England! The dodgier days made for more dramatic skies though:

    I never cease to be amazed by the Lake District - so gorgeous. It can be crazy-busy at peak period, but it depends where you go: we were tucked away in the western Lakes, near Coniston, and it was wonderfully peaceful:

    I will show you some more later, but I really have to get back to work now as I am off to Denver VERY soon!

    0 Comments on A Well-Earned Rest (well sort of...) as of 9/3/2015 2:51:00 AM
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    11. Guardian Critic Trashes Terry Pratchett

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    12. Dmitry Bykov Q & A

           At Russia Beyond the Headlines Olga Mamayeva has a Q & A with Russian author (and visiting lecturer at Princeton) Dmitry Bykov.
           Some interesting responses -- and title-suggestions, including re. the Russian view of the United States:

    In modern literature, the prevalent image of the USA derives from Anatoly Ivanov's novel The Eternal Call (written in 1971-76).
           This has been translated -- but the Progress Publishers (i.e. Soviet) edition isn't too readily available; get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

           Dmitry Bykov's own Living Souls has been published by Alma; see their publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

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    13. Micky Moran Visits the Stately Beat Manor Staff Pull for 9/2/15

    Team Comics Beat, the world’s most important comic book website ever to grace the internet, sought out adventure and fun after a hard work week.  However, we were graced with the appearance of Micky Moran. As soon as he entered the halls within the residence of the Stately Beat Manor we knew that he was none-other-than […]

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    14. IKEA - new catalogue

    At the end of August an Ikea catalogue always comes through the letterbox and gives me the perfect excuse to see whats new in their textiles and prints. The first things to catch my eye are some fun bedding designs created by Edholm and Ullenius on the theme animals and music. Above and below is Flickoga followed by Silveroga which both co-ordinate with shaped cushions called Thorine.

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    15. what is it that we really need? brief reflections following the reinvention of a family home

    I have spent much of my summer at my father's side, working through the reinvention of his home of many years. Today, with the help of realtor extraordinaire, Marie Gordon, the reinvention comes to a close. The house is staged. In a matter of days it will be for sale.

    We hold onto many things in this life—our third-grade reports, our fifth-grade medals, our computer-science grades, our uncle's letters, the pots and the pans, the ceramic bunnies and the glass ducks, the extra lamps and tea cups. This summer, working through the many shelves and drawers and boxes and closets and frames, the tools on nails, the orchids in pots, I reflected endlessly on the questions: What is it that we really need? What material objects mark and shape a life?

    Today, following several morning hours of heavy lifting and flower arranging (and learning a thing or two about picture wire from Marie), I returned to my own modest house thinking about peace and peaceable space—the families we build inside the hope we create. My father and mother raised three children (and a cat named Colors) in this house of many years. We touched the things. We lived the life. The memories remain.

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    16. Library of America profile

           In Humanities -- the magazine of the (American) National Endowment for the Humanities -- David Skinner recounts some of the history of the launched-with-the-help-of-an-NEH-grant Library of America, in Edmund Wilson's Big Idea: A Series of Books Devoted to Classic American Writing. It Almost Didn't Happen, providing some interesting background.

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    17. The Well-Appointed Writing Space

    To write well, you don't need much equipment. An inexpensive pen or pencil and enough paper to hold whatever you are writing, and you're good. However, the modern writer, if he hopes to publish, needs a little more. Today, I'm going to write a little about my writing space.

    I love my writing space. I want to be in here. Loving that space is important, considering how much time I spend in here. I work from home most of the time in my day job, and this is my writing retreat for my creative time. I call my space my Schreibwinkl, or writing nook, and I've set it up to be a kind of refuge, which is not necessarily how we usually think of a work area. But if I'm going to spend a lot of time here, I want it to be comfortable, have what I need, and most importantly. be pleasant enough that I want to spend time in my room.

    We all have a different writing space. Some write on the kitchen table, or a small desk in the corner. I'm lucky enough to have a room of my own. It's a small room, about 9x10 feet, which presents some challenges when making the room both functional and welcoming.

    A shelf with books and toys can help personalize a room while being functional

    No matter how big your space is, personalizing it makes it more comfortable. I need my own space, so making this little room my own is important to me. When I moved into this room, it had basic dark brown carpet and brown 1980s paneling on the walls and fluorescent tube ceiling lights. I lived with that for a while, but I got tired of somebody else's decor, especially since it was dark and dreary. I tore down the paneling (and discovered unfinished drywall with huge gaps behind it. I finished the walls, painted, and replaced the light fixture with bulbs on a dimmer switch. I gave one wall a half-timbered look, as close as I could come to the real thing because I've spent a lot of time in Germany and Austria, and enjoy medieval stuff, and I enjoy the kind of rough, rustic look I created. This summer, I finally pulled the carpet and replaced it with durable vinyl planking that looks like wood. Real wood would have been nicer, but I roll my chair all over the place, so I need something that won't easily scratch. Some people might hate this decorating style, but that's OK. It's me, and it's comfortable. You'll want to do your space your own way.

    All of that's great, but this room is for working, and I need it to be a workspace, not just a place where I escape and hide out. For me, that means this is a TV-free room--but with plenty of music, thanks to a sizeable hard drive and decent-enough speakers--and it has plenty of work surfaces.

    I have two desks. One is a large corner desk with my personal computer and lots of empty surface space where I can lay out notes or tablets or whatever I need at the moment.

    Where the magic happens: the computer where I do much of my writing

    The other is an old, small, inexpensive wooden kitchen table, just big enough for the laptop and two monitors I need for my day job.

    Most of my day job duties are performed on an old table

    And, being me, I also need plenty of technical gadgetry to improve efficiency and help me overcome my natural tendency toward clutter and disorganization. This is where Amazon has been useful.

    For example, I have several tablets and other gadgets that I use as part of work and writing life. All of these gadgets need to be plugged in and charged, and that creates a spaghetti of tangled cords that takes up space and does little to add to the comfort of the room. So, I bought a 6-port USB charger that only requires one power outlet but can charge six devices at once.

    Organizing cables makes the desk less cluttered

    To further reduce the tangle of cords, I bought a pack of ten 7.5" microUSB cables. These cables replace many of my longer cables, and look about as attractive as you can make a cable look. For non-microUSB cables, like the one for my iPad, a simple twist tie helps keep the cable from taking over my desk.

    Also, because I always manage to run out of USB ports, I found a monitor stand that has four easy-to-access ports right on the front, and allows me to tuck my keyboard away when I need empty desk space.

    My monitor stand helps me free up desk space when I need it, and provides
    handy USB ports and a headphone jack

    Finally, because this is meant to be a creative space, I have little inspiration things wherever I look. Like my Goats In Trees calendar (hey, we're all inspired by different things) and objects that encourage me to be creative.

    I've scattered objects around the room that remind me why I'm here

    These are just a few of the things in my Schreibwinkl that help me make it my own and maximize my small space. Everything in the room is meant to facilitate work, make me feel creative, help solve my tendency toward clutter and disorganization, or help me enjoy being in the room. Writing takes a lot of time, and I need a space that is all mine, decorated my way (for better or worse), and makes me prefer to be in here doing what I need to do rather than Out There doing all the other things that compete for my time. Without this personal space that I enjoy, it would be difficult to keep my butt in my chair for the number of hours needed to live the writing life. 

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    18. Kurdish writing

           At Your Middle East Aras Ahmed Mhamad has a Q & A with Kae Bahar on Breaking new ground with Kurdish literature.
           As Mhamad explains:

    While Kurdish language has two major written and spoken dialects, it also has numerous sub-dialects such as Kelhuri, Hewrami, Zazaki, and Leki. Moreover, Soranis use Arabic script whereas Kurmajis use Latin script. The division of Kurdistan has not only affected the geopolitics of the Kurdish land, but it also negatively influenced its literature and language.
           No wonder Bahar wrote his novel in English .....
           (Get your copy of Letters from a Kurd at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.)

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    19. WORK by Beatrice Goh


    Submitted by Beatrice Goh for the Illustration Friday topic WORK.

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    20. कट्टी बट्टी नेताओ की




    नेताओ की कट्टी बट्टी

                                     नेताओ की कट्टी बट्टी

    कट्टी बट्टी नेताओ की

    चुनाव आते नही कि दल बदल, रुठना मनाना और कट्टी बट्टी का दौर शुरु हो जाता है .. ऐसा ही  कुछ देखने को मिल रहा है बिहार चुनाव में … शायद यही राजनीति है और यही होती रहेगी …


    कट्टी बट्टी नेताओ की

    Samajwadi Party can be free from Janta Pariwar in Bihar poll – Navbharat Times

    बिहार विधानसभा के चुनाव में सिर्फ पांच सीटें दिए जाने से नाराज समाजवादी पार्टी बड़ा फैसला ले सकती है। समाजवादी पार्टी के मुखिया मुलायम सिंह यादव ने गुरुवार को पार्टी मुख्यालय में बैठक बुलाई है, जिसमें बिहार चुनाव को लेकर चर्चा होनी है। कहा जा रहा है कि संसदीय बोर्ड जनता परिवार पर सीटों को बढ़ाने का दबाव डालेगा। अगर सीटें बढ़ाने पर बात नहीं बनी तो पार्टी खुद को बिहार चुनाव से अलग कर सकती है।

    मिलीं ठुकराई हुई सीटें

    बिहार विधानसभा चुनाव के लिए 243 सीटों पर चुनाव हो रहे हैं। इनमें जनता दल परिवार के अंग आरजेडी और जेडीयू ने खुद 100-100 सीटें ले ली थीं। 40 सीटें कांग्रेस को दी गई थीं। इनके अलावा बची हुई तीन सीटों के लिए जनता परिवार ने एनसीपी को चुनाव लड़ने के लिए आमंत्रित किया था, पर एनसीपी ने इन तीनों सीटों पर चुनाव लड़ने से मना कर दिया। यही ठुकराई हुई सीटों में लालू ने अपने हिस्से की दो सीटेें जोड़कर समाजवादी पार्टी को दे दीं। समाजवादी पार्टी इतनी कम सीटें मिलने से नाराज है।

    मुलायम ने जताई थी नाराजगी

    बिहार समाजवादी पार्टी के अध्यक्ष राम चंद्र यादव और प्रभारी किरनमय नंदा के अलावा समाजवादी पार्टी प्रमुख मुलायम सिंह यादव भी अपनी नाराजगी जता चुके हैं। पिछले सप्ताह हुई महारैली में मुलायम को जाना था, पर उन्होंने जाने से इनकार कर दिया। महारैली में सपा ने प्रतिनिधि के तौर पर मंत्री शिवपाल यादव को भेजकर खानापूर्ति कर खुद को अलग कर लिया। इसके बाद से लगातार किरनमय नंदा, पार्टी के महासचिव प्रो.रामगोपाल यादव के नाराजगी भरे बयान आ रहे हैं। इसके बाद ही संसदीय बोर्ड की बैठक बुला ली गई। Read more…

    The post कट्टी बट्टी नेताओ की appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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    21. My DC Comics Rant. 52 and You. Part 1

    YEAH, YEAH. hooper rants but I AM not the only one saying this stuff and here Howlermouse has his turn.  And, yes, it may well be that my age ain't making me "hip"!

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    22. Best Selling Middle Grade Books | September 2015

    This month, Girl to Girl: Honest Talk About Growing Up and Your Changing Body (Chronicle Books), a must-have for every girl navigating her way through the preteen years, is The Children's Book Review's best selling middle grade book.

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    23. THE IMAGE EFFECT: Are Editors Outdated?

    This is the first in a planned series of articles about the “Image Effect.” Over the past 20+ years Image Comics has grown from a vanity publisher for the top talents of the 90s into a trendsetter and home to a diverse range of popular titles and creators. How did they accomplish that? Image’s well-known […]

    8 Comments on THE IMAGE EFFECT: Are Editors Outdated?, last added: 9/3/2015
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    24. Written and Drawn by Liniers

    I never want to pander [to] or patronize kids. They aren’t idiots.
    They’re just below eye level.”


    This morning over at Kirkus, I talk to Argentine cartoonist Ricardo Siri, otherwise known as Liniers. We talk about a few things, including his newest book, Written and Drawn by Henrietta.

    That link will be here soon.

    Until tomorrow …

    * * * * * * *

    Photo of Liniers taken by Nora Lezano and used by his permission.

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    25. Book Reviews: The Three and Day Four by Sarah Lotz

    The world is stunned when four commuter planes crash within hours of each other on different continents. Facing global panic, officials are under pressure to find the causes. With terrorist attacks and environmental factors ruled out, there doesn't appear to be a correlation between the crashes, except that in three of the four air disasters a child survivor is found in the wreckage.

    Dubbed 'The Three' by the international press, the children all exhibit disturbing behavioural problems, presumably caused by the horror they lived through and the unrelenting press attention. This attention becomes more than just intrusive when a rapture cult led by a charismatic evangelical minister insists that the survivors are three of the four harbingers of the apocalypse. The Three are forced to go into hiding, but as the children's behaviour becomes increasingly disturbing, even their guardians begin to question their miraculous survival...

    From Goodreads:
    Hundreds of pleasure-seekers stream aboard The Beautiful Dreamer cruise ship for five days of cut-price fun in the Caribbean sun. On the fourth day, disaster strikes: smoke roils out of the engine room, and the ship is stranded in the Gulf of Mexico. Soon supplies run low, a virus plagues the ship, and there are whispered rumors that the cabins on the lower decks are haunted by shadowy figures. Irritation escalates to panic, the crew loses control, factions form, and violent chaos erupts among the survivors. 

    When, at last, the ship is spotted drifting off the coast of Key West, the world's press reports it empty. But the gloomy headlines may be covering up an even more disturbing reality. 
    These two are technically a series, but honestly could easily be read as stand alone novels.  They take place in the same set of circumstances and the twist at the end of Day Four is a lot more meaningful if you read them together, however.

    Very well done.  I love the more literary take on horror and the subtlety represented here.  While I'd definitely put this squarely in the horror category, it's not the blood and guts form of horror that you think of when the genre comes to mind.  It's a lot more beneath the surface, although the terror is definitely there in both books.  Lotz does a great job of creating massive amounts of suspense without resorting to cheap thrills.  Especially in Day Three, there is so much under the surface suspense regarding the children that I found extra creepy just because it wasn't as overt as many authors would have made it.

    Entertainment Value
    I first read The Three a year ago and somehow never got around to reviewing it.  I didn't remember enough about the ending to feel ok just jumping into Day Four, so I decided to give it a quick reread.  Funnily (and creepily) enough, I wound up starting it on the exact same day this year as I started it last year.  I'm glad I did the reread because it provided some details that enhanced aspects of Day Four's story.  Both books were finished in a matter of days because I just could not put them down.  The Three had me enthralled even as a reread, and Day Four kept me up super late finishing.  I'd classify both as "worth being exhausted tomorrow" books.

    I highly recommend both books to fans of horror who don't require lots of blood and guts to keep their interest.  In my opinion, they're best read in order, but if tales of the high seas interest you more than plane crashes, you'd be fine reading them in any order.  They're also perfect for reading this fall with the darker nights and cozy settings.

    Thanks to my local public library for providing me with copies to read!

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