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1. November Quote of the Day #3

62170f03dd4db9b81c5a5177a9e16c03

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2. Writing Links

20141106_122026

Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling :: Ragan’s PR Daily

The Love for Children :: Avi

Ten Tips for a Perfect Author Visit :: Nerdy Book Club

On Getting to Work :: Dani Shapiro

Put Your Best Work Out There: Avoid These 25 Newbie Writer Mistakes :: Jody Hedlund

Querying 101 :: Ingrid’s Notes

The post Writing Links appeared first on Caroline Starr Rose.

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3. Why do we go to NCTE?

For the friends we have made, and keep on making.

For the quick lobby Lisa embrace. For the spontaneous crisp-night-air talk with Paul. Because Mark stops when you call his name. Because Michael is there. Because Ilene finds you, and Mary does. Because Susan is there, right there, in the atrium. Because a Freckled Librarian brings her megaphone. Because a friend from long ago surprises you. Because Joan has another Ted Hipple Special Collection book for you to sign. Because Jennifer and Susannah are in the house. Because Edie tells you stories and because Melanie really does have that color hair and because you have found Liz weeks after the panel she moderated and you can tell her (again) how intelligent she was. Because Michaela and K.E. are so talented, and because you have much to learn from Christine and Shanetia (and because you will come to covet Christine's coat and Shanetia's easy dancing heart). Because your sister is there.

Because Chronicle Books is that kind of company, the kind of company you deeply want to keep.

And because Debbie Levy is in the mix—Debbie with her wide intelligence and big heart, who drives you, when it is all said and done, to the shadows of the Capitol and to a reservation she has made in a restaurant called (appropriately) Art & Soul. Debbie, who has given you two of her most recent books—the award-winning We Shall Overcome: The Story of a Song, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton and utterly smart as it offers the biography of a rich and prevailing song; and Dozer's Run, illustrated by David Opie, the adorable true story of a dog that ran a marathon, and then ran home. Debbie, who has given you, as well, "Dark Lights," the original jazz recordings of Alex Hoffman, her very talented son.

We go to NCTE for the people we find there.

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4. Thanksgiving with Benjamin Franklin

“A Full Belly is the Mother of all Evil,” Benjamin Franklin counseled the readers of Poor Richard’s Almanack. For some mysterious reason this aphorism hasn’t had the sticking power of some of the inventor’s more famous sayings, like “he who lies down with dogs shall rise up with fleas.” Most of us are more inclined to see a full belly as one of life’s blessings. The offending epigram, however, can’t be described as an aberration. Franklin’s writings are filled with variations on this advice: “A full Belly makes a dull brain”; “The Muse starves in a Cook’s shop”; and “Three good meals a day makes bad living.” It’s no wonder that one canny writer has taken advantage of the unquenchable American appetite for both the founding fathers and diet books to publish The Benjamin Franklin Diet, a complete guide to slimming down, eighteenth-century style.

Franklin’s antipathy to a full belly reflected his Puritan upbringing, which stigmatized gustatory pleasures as low or impure. When he was growing up, he recalled in his Autobiography, “little or no Notice was ever taken of what related to the Victuals on the table, whether it was well or ill dressed, in or out of season, of good or bad flavour, preferable of inferior.” Franklin claimed to have thoroughly adopted this legacy of indifference to food, but there is good evidence to the contrary. He abandoned an early commitment to vegetarianism when, on board the ship that carried him away from bondage to his brother in Boston, he succumbed to the temptation to indulge in a catch of cod. As he confessed, “I had formerly been a great Lover of fish, & when this came hot out of the Frying Pan, it smeled admirably well.” Reasoning that fish ate other fish, and thus why shouldn’t he, the pragmatic Franklin “din’d upon Cod very heartily.” The famous portrait of Franklin by Joseph Siffred Duplessis, painted decades later in France, suggests that he gained no better control of his appetites as he matured. Not even a hero worshipper could call the man thin. A second chin falls heavy below his jaw line, his belly strains against the buttons of his sumptuous waistcoat, and his arms bear a resemblance to fattened sausages.

Rachel Hope Cleves - Ben Franklin

Not a total hypocrite, Franklin did include passages in his writing that treat the pleasures of the table more positively. Poor Richard’s advice that “Fools makes Feasts and Wise Men eat them” suggests that frugality, more than distaste, motivated Franklin’s advice be temperate. During his embassy in Paris, when Franklin sought to win France over to the American cause, he ate out six nights a week. And without a doubt he enjoyed many of the nice things he was served, such as îles flottantes and champagne.

A proud American, Franklin also sought to introduce his French friends to some of the glories of his native cuisine. He insisted that American corn flour could make a sweeter bread than wheat alone (several of the philosophes were engaged in pursuit of a more nutritious bread recipe to improve the condition of the peasantry, who derived the majority of their calories from the staff of life). Later, after his return to Philadelphia, Franklin sent his friends shipments of Pennsylvania hams – remarkable for the sweetness of their fat, which he attributed to the pigs’ subsisting on corn.

If you want to try Benjamin Franklin’s recipe for corn bread you can find it in the appendix to Gilbert Chinard’s wonderful 1958 essay “Benjamin Franklin on the Art of Eating.” This little pamphlet, printed by the American Philosophical Society, contains a number of recipes found among Franklin’s papers, few of which could be described as dietetic. Franklin’s recipe for roasted pig pays great attention to producing a delicious crackling. His oyster sauce is heavy on the cream. And his puff pastry, recommended for encasing his apple pudding, calls for a pound of butter. Frarnklin’s apple pudding makes a tempting proposition for a food historian on the eve of Thanksgiving, especially since, like many eighteenth-century recipes, Franklin’s terse instructions offer just enough detail to inspire certainty that the end result would be inedible by twentieth-century standards. What better reason could there be to break out the mixing bowl!

*   *   *   *   *

To make an apple pudding.

Make a good puff-paste, roll it out half an inch thick, pare your apples, and core them, enough to fill the crust, and close it up, tie it in a cloth and boil it. If a small pudding, two hours: if a large one three or four hours. When it is enough turn it into your dish, cut a piece of the crust out of the top, butter and sugar it to your palate; lay on the crust again, and send it to table hot.

*   *   *   *   *

The sense of the unfamiliar has always been what compels me about history, it gives me the feeling of discovery and assures me that I am not just finding my own reflection in the sources. I, for example, do not bring a love of boiling to my reading of dessert recipes. Baking I expect – hours of boiling, not so much. I boil few foods, and those only briefly. I boil pasta 7 to 12 minutes, always anxious to drain the pot while the noodles are still al dente. Sometimes I boil green beans, but just for a couple minutes and often I steam them instead. I boil eggs, but I like the yolks soft so I don’t leave them in for more than six minutes. I never boil dessert pastries. But Benjamin Franklin told me to, so for the sake of historical knowledge I threw all my cooking know-how to the wind and set out to slavishly follow his orders.

Difficulties confronted me long before I arrived at the boiling. To begin, Franklin directed that I make a puff pastry, mixing four pints, or a quarter of a peck, of flour with half a pound of butter. How much did eighteenth-century dry pints weigh? And did they weigh the same in the colonies as they did in England? Today the imperial wet pint is four ounces more than the American wet pint (20 oz vs. 16 oz). One thing is for certain, whatever the exact weight of an eighteenth-century dry pint might be, four of them is a whopping amount. I made the executive decision to weight a pint at 16 oz and cut the recipe in half so that I didn’t completely empty our flour bin. Halving the butter as well, I ended up with a very dry mix:

image#1

The next direction was to add cold water until a stiff dough formed. Having spent the past twenty-five years of baking trying to add as little water to my pie dough as possible to prevent it turning tough, I needed to tamp down all my better instincts to pour in the cup and a half of cold water that my dry mix required to come together.

image#2

The brick of paste that resulted was so hard that it had to be beat into submission to follow the next directions, which called for the dough to be rolled out, buttered, rolled up, rolled out, and buttered again, nine to ten successive times until another half pound of butter had been added.

image#3(1)

After an hour of buttering and rolling, I was left with a lovely, pliable, yellow dough, which I rolled out “half a thumb’s thickness” and set on a cheese cloth.

image#4

Franklin’s recipe calls next for chopped cored apples to be placed on the dough. No seasoning is done at this stage: no spices added to the apples, no sugar, no butter, no lemon. Just apples. How big? How many? Over how much of the dough? It doesn’t say.

image#5

Nor did the recipe explain how to seal the dough. I went for crimping and ended up with something that looked like a giant Cornish pasty.

image#6

At least until I wrapped it up in pastry and began the boiling, whence it commenced to look more like a brain. It was hard to commit willful destruction of this beautiful pasty, rather than pop the parcel into a hot oven where it might grow golden and crisp. What was the purpose of building up 10 layers of lamination only to melt out all the butter in a bubbling pot? Again, Franklin was mute.

image#7

image#8

The cooking instructions said to boil the pudding from two to four hours depending on its size. Unsure of the standard of measurement, I decided on three hours. There were no further cooking directions and perhaps I should have just let it be, but worried that the pudding wasn’t getting cooked on the top, which bounced above the bubbling water, I flipped the package each hour. Perhaps if I hadn’t, the pudding would have developed more of a crust.

For the final step, Franklin directs that the top of the pudding be removed, sugar and butter be mixed in with the apples, then the top replaced and the whole served immediately. When I cut away the muslin and lifted the soggy lid I found that the apples inside had reduced to a beautiful sauce within the boiled pastry casing. I added some chopped butter and brown sugar, then closed the pudding back up and let the flavors meld. I can’t say the result would win first prize in a pie contest, it wouldn’t even win honorable mention. But I can report that the mess tasted quite nice in a bland, comforting, soft, sort of way. Not a bad match for turkey at all.

image#9

Image#10

Image#11

 

Featured image: “The First Thanksgiving,” Jean Leone Gerome Ferris (c. 1912). Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

The post Thanksgiving with Benjamin Franklin appeared first on OUPblog.

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5. John August to Script ‘Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark’

Scary StoriesJohn August has signed on to write the script for a film adaptation of Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark.

August frequently collaborates with Tim Burton. Two of those movies were created for child audiences, The Corpse Bride (2005) and Frankenweenie (2012). At the moment, no director has been hired for this project.

Here’s more from Deadline: “The three-book children’s series that’s sold more than 7 million copies worldwide began with 1981′s Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark, continuing with More Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark (1984) and Scary Stories 3: More Tales To Chill Your Bones(1991). The collection of folk tales and urban legends also memorably haunted generations of youngsters with its surreal and nightmarish illustrations by award-winning artist Stephen Gammell.”

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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6. Birthday Rules - a book review



Quote of the day:






I've got a lot of presents

that I'd like to give to you.

I'll give you all my Brussels sprouts
and all my liver too.

I'll give you all my gym socks
when they really start to stink.
I'll give you all my pens when
they are running out of ink.

I'll give you all my broken toys
and empty jars of paste.
I'll give you all my bubble gum
that's chewed and lost its taste.

I'll give you all the dust balls that
I found beneath my bed.
I'll give you all my batteries
as soon as they are dead.

So have a happy birthday,
you're a special friend indeed,
and please accept this trashcan
full of stuff that I don't need.

--Kenn Nesbitt

Today's featured book:






Title:  Birthday Rules
Author:  Laurie Friedman
Illustrator:  Teresa Murfin

Let's pull back the curtain and see inside shall we?
















































About the book:


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7. [TAG] Liebster Award

[TAG] Liebster Award


Entrei na social dos blogs!
Aqui, você encontra informação sobre o trabalho autoral: direitos, contratos, técnicas, artes... Divulgue o seu material na rede junto!

   Provando que o ser humano é um ser sociável, fui indicada para responder uma tag. A tag consiste em escrever 11 fatos sobre mim, responder 11 perguntas do blog que me indicou, criar 11 perguntas para outros 11 blogs com menos de 200 seguidores - os quais eu vou taguear-, linkar de volta o blog que me tagueou e colocar meu selo do Leibster. Já perceberam que uma teia imensa de indicações e afins, né? Pois vamos lá. 
Perguntas que recebi da Ane Karoline do blog Rearteculando:


  1. O que te fez criar um blog? R: Difundir informação e buscar contatos.
  2. Qual o tema do seu blog? R: Minhas artes e dicas sobre carreira autoral e livros.
  3. Você tem o hábito de ler? Fale sobre isso. R: Sim, compulsivamente!
  4. O que você mais gosta de fazer? R: Conhecer coisas novas, artes, viajar.
  5. O que você mais faz no seu tempo online? R: Leio e estudo.
  6. O que é mais importante na vida, em sua opinião? R: Amizades, família.
  7. Indique alguma obra artística que você goste muito: uma música, uma banda, um filme, livro, espetáculo e etc. R: Livros da Diane Wynne Jones, por exemplo a série Crestomanci, ed. Geração.
  8. O que mais te irrita? R: Egoísmo da sociedade atual.
  9. O que é poesia para você? R: O que me sensibilize, transforme.
  10. Você fala algum outro idioma? Se sim, escreva uma pequena mensagem para mim nesse idioma. R: Avec plaisir, ma amie.
  11.  Diga um lugar no mundo o qual você quer conhecer e a razão. R: Patagônia (desconfio que iria querer morar por lá).


Minhas perguntas para os blogs que selecionei:

1. Já leu algum livro que te fez mudar sua vida?
2. Qual o melhor livro que já leu e por quê?
3.Qual o pior livro que já leu e por quê?
4. Se você fosse um livro, qual seria?
5. Em que mundo fictício da literatura gostaria de viver?
6. E qual seira sua profissão lá?
7. Qual o vilão mais irado da literatura?
8. Quais seus quatro autores favoritos?
9. Já escreveu um livro, qual?
10.Prefere cinema ou literatura?
11.Qual o melhor filme que já viu e por quê?

Os blogs para responder e tagearem:

  • Blogs para responder à tag

Escolhi os blogs com carinho, se curtiram, respondam. Grande beijo, nos vemos por aqui!

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    8. Yet One More Thanks-Giving Thanku!


    Finally it’s my turn to join my fellow TeachingAuthors in sharing Three Things for Which I Am Grateful and my 2014 Thanku.
    (And oh, how I delight in how we've kept alive this original poetic form - a Haiku that expresses thanks.)

    When folks ask me how I am, I often borrow the three-word response of former Ambassador Walter Annenberg, philanthropist and founder of the School of Communication I attended - i.e. “hopeful and grateful.”

    Each day I awake

    -         grateful I’m here, alive and well,

    -         grateful I’m loved by treasured family and friends,

    -         especially grateful for the chance to love them back.

    I also offer thanks for the joy my life’s work brings me and the non-stop opportunities the Universe delivers which I gladly pay forward. 

    As for that second adjective “hopeful,” like all Cubs fans, I always believe “Next year’s The Year!”  (And this time it really could be!)

    You can share your Thanku’s by commenting on any of our TeachingAuthors blog posts through November 28.

    You can also send them via email to teachingauthors@gmail.com, with “Thanks-Giving” as the subject, and even post them on your own blog, sharing the link with us via a comment or email. Carmela will list the links in a later post.

    And don’t forget our Book Giveaway of the 2015 Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market!

    And now for my Thanku to my soon-to-be-five bi-lingual (Brazilian Portuguese and English) lindo grandson who, though Rio-born, lives in my heart para sempre*.

     
    Obrigado to my Grandson Gabe
    My Carioca
    who snuggles up to tell me,
    “I love you, Vovo!”

     
    Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow TeachingAuthors and our TeachingAuthors readers!

    Esther Hershenhorn

    P.S.

    *beautiful
    **forever
    ***Thank You
    ****a native of Brazil
    *****endearing Portuguese name for Grandmother

     

     

     

     

     

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    9. New Beginning 1034


    To men who study war, and Col. Baron Patrick Callahan had been a student all his life, these great conflicts have a definite pattern. In the beginning, it is all hearts bursting with pride and dreams of glory. Too soon the gleaming brass buttons on crisp uniforms tarnish. Feet that marched smartly to a vibrant, tattooing, drumbeat grow weary and plod from one battle to another, scuffing up puffs of dust or sucking through mud deep enough to bury a good size mule and wagon. The days of family picnics on the hillsides as opposing armies gathered below to deal death were long over and the reality, the work, of war had set in.

    Callahan had settled into war easily. It was as if something he had waited for all his life had finally arrived, wide-eyed and faunching at the bit to be off on the grand adventure. He would have loved it more, if that were possible, if its arrival hadn't also delayed something he had waited for just as eagerly, his marriage to Lorena Dobbs McKenzie.

    His chest ached with the knowledge that they would have to move the date, losing, he was sure, the deposit on the church, so he distracted himself from the disappointment with the work at hand. 

    This seashell brocade was completely wrong for a mountain pass battle after Labor Day, camouflage or no, and he wouldn't use it, no matter what General Carter had to say about it. Seafoam, though—that was a color for an epic battle. But not in bursting hearts this time; that pattern was so last season. No, this conflict's pattern definitely would be plaid and then, if he could talk the General into a second campaign . . . nautical! He just hoped his bolts arrived in time to redo the uniforms. Of course, he and his cadets still would be up all night stitching on buttons and polishing the boots, but they always managed in time for the carnage. 

    And then, he promised himself, it was right back to designing the bridesmaids' dresses. 


    Opening: Julie Weathers.....Continuation: anonymous

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    10. My tweets

    • Mon, 02:05: Whenever I watch the #WalkingDead, my dog stares out the front window... like she's waiting... And then she moves to the back door and barks

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    11. Indies First Day

    See this?

    It’s IndieBound’s list, by state, of which authors and illustrators will appear at their local indies as volunteers on Saturday, November 29, for Indies First Day. Nashville folks, I’ll be volunteering at Parnassus Books from 10 to 11, and I’ll do story time during that hour with my friend, author Jessica Young. Bring your wee ones to us!

    Sherman Alexie started Indies First Day last year, encouraging authors to work a shift in their local independent bookstore on Small Business Saturday. This year, Indies First is being spearheaded by Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer.

    Hope to see you there!

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    12. Place of the Year 2014 nominee spotlight: Ukraine

    With only one more week left until we announce Place of the Year 2014, we’d like to spotlight another one of the places on our shortlist: Ukraine. The country entered the news early in 2014 when a referendum held in Crimea resulted in the peninsula uniting with Russia. As the twenty-first edition of the Atlas of the World notes, Crimea currently remains under Russian control, though this union is not internationally recognized.

    For a little more information about Ukraine, take a look below at the eight facts we compiled about the country’s history, places, and people.

    1. According to OxfordDictionaries.com, the origin of the name “Ukraine” is “from Old Russian ukraina ‘border region,’ from u ‘at, beside’ + kraĭ ‘edge, border.’”

    2. Ukraine’s capital, Kiev, has been an important settlement since the Middle Ages, when it was the capital of early Slavic civilization, Kievan Rus.

    Kyiv_at_night
    Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, at night. By Anton Molodtsov/Tony Wan Kenobi. CC-BY-SA-2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

    3. Out of all the countries in Europe, Ukraine is second only to Russia in geographic size, with an area of 233,089 square miles, or 603,700 square kilometers.

    4. The most common religion in Ukraine is Ukrainian Orthodox.

    Nova_Kakhovka_Orthodox_Cathedral
    Orthodox cathedral in Nova Kakhovka. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

    5. An overwhelming 78% of the country’s population is ethnically Ukrainian, with the next largest ethnic group in the country being Russian (17%).

    6. Prypiat, Ukraine remains a ghost town to this day as a result of the Chernobyl disaster in 1986 that left the city uninhabitable.

    Swimming Pool Hall 4 Pripyat by Timm Suess. CC-BY-SA-2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
    Swimming Pool Hall 4 Pripyat by Timm Suess. CC-BY-SA-2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

    7. Although he is often grouped with Russian authors like Alexander Pushkin, Leo Tolstoy, and Anton Chekhov, Nikolai Gogol was born in Velyki Sorochyntsi, modern-day Ukraine, and is ethnically Ukrainian and Polish.

    Ivanov_gogol
    Nikolai Gogol by Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov, 1847. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

    8. Ukraine has been independent since the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991. Currently, Ukraine’s government is a multiparty republic, and Petro Poroshenko is president.

    Do you think Ukraine should be Place of the Year? Cast your vote!


    The Place of the Year 2014 shortlist

    Don’t forget to vote and follow along with #POTY2014 until our announcement on 1 December to see which location will join previous Place of the Year winners.

    Image credit: Flag of Ukraine by UP9. CC-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

    The post Place of the Year 2014 nominee spotlight: Ukraine appeared first on OUPblog.

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    13. Why I am the REAL Elf on the Shelf

    It's a l--o--n--g story!

    Deedy (Dorothea Jensen) actually wrote down the story in 1991 of how I was packed by accident inside a bookcase and delivered to children by Santa and then they had to figure out how to use their imaginations to get me back home. She called my story The Elf on the Shelf. Yes,  in 1991. She even formally copyrighted it in 1999. (Of course, it was actually under copyright in 1991. That's twenty three years ago!)

    Then much, much later she realized that those kids in my story were actually her grandboys, Alex and Owen. By the time my tale was ready to be published, she found out that someone else had used that title!

    So Deedy had to make up a new title for my story, Tizzy, the Christmas Shelf Elf. 

    I really don't like it that much, as it is a little tricky to say. (Try saying it 10 times really fast and you'll see what I mean.)

    So what do we Izzies think of this other interloper so-called Elf on the Shelf?

    We have our Opinion but don't like to talk about it.

    (Those of you who have read Blizzy, the Worrywart Elf might remember that Bizzy let slip his opinion on this subject in that story.)

    Bizzy is sometimes a Bit Indiscreet. But we love him anyway.

    Anyway, I just wanted you to know how my book got its name.

    And now you do.

    Much love,

    Tizzy (The Actual Original Genuine Elf on the Shelf)







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    14. Learn to Create Children's Picture Books!


    There are still a few openings left in what will be my last "Creating Children's Picture Books" class at the John C. Campbell Folk School for a while (since we're moving to Scotland!). CLICK HERE to read about this special long-weekend class, which runs December 3rd-6th, and which they only do once a year.
         Here's where you can learn about the class at the John C. website: CLICK HERE. And you can read about past classes by clicking on the year: 2012, 2011, 2009, and 2008. It's a 4-day long intense class on a gorgeous campus in the North Carolina mountains with fantastic family-style meal times. Camp for adults!

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    15. Bedbug Books Now Available at Facebook

    Bedbug and Mouse are excited to announce that Facebook users can now find Bedbug Books via a new store at Facebook. Jumping Bedbugs, how convenient is that? The store is new, so more books will be added over time but already, Bedbug and Mouse books are there! If you are at Facebook, visit Studio Seven Store. hit the Shop tab to see all the book listings. check out the Christmas deals!

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    16. Think Positive, Talk Positive, Feel Positive


    The word "positive" keeps popping up in my daily meditation and journaling and it's no wonder when I opened up to #61 in John Holland's book, 101 Ways to Jump-Start Your Intuition it read...

    "Try to think positively today and repel any negative thoughts. Try not to judge yourself or others... which may be harder than you imagine. However, by doing so, you'll change your reality, because thoughts are made up of positive and negative energy, and this directly affects your life." 

    There is more to this quote and I highly recommend you purchase Holland's pocket book. It's beyond worth it!



    Cheers to positive thinking!

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

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

    Ignite curiosity in your child through reading!

    Connect with

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

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

    Hockey Agony ~ January 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Story Monster Approved and Reader's Farvorite Five Star Review

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

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    17.


    I can't go a day without a little music. Music is like air to me. I need it. Hope that you are having a wonderful day? By the way, what are you listening too right now? Just wondering...

    0 Comments on as of 11/24/2014 10:36:00 AM
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    18. Come Meet Deedy!


    She'll be reading and signing our stories soon!

    (We Izzies will be there, too, but only IN PRINT.)

    At the Hopkinton Town Library in Hopkinton, NH, on Wednesday, December 3 at 3:15 p.m.

    At MainStreet BookEnds bookstore in Warner, NH, on Sunday, December 7 at 2 p.m.


    author of the 
    bestselling YA historical fiction 
    The Riddle of Penncroft Farm    

    will be with us   

    to present her new  Izzy Elves Series
    illustrated Christmas elves stories in verse.   
    In book and audio formats,  
    prepare for the holidays with these charming stories.  
    She will be reading and signing these, 
    as well as The Riddle of Penncroft Farm. 
    Join us in the Gallery!



    0 Comments on Come Meet Deedy! as of 11/24/2014 10:42:00 AM
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    19. Yen Press’s Abigail Blackman on Editing and Lettering, Consumers, and Challenges

    Hmm, not sure if this is a pardon my dust situation or what, but yeah, pardon the lack of articles from me recently, but work has been work, and I’ve done a terribad job of managing my time. That, and been reading Game of Thrones. Hopefully that time has past though, and I can manage my ... Read more

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    20. Picture Book Month: Mac Barnett

    Mac Barnett is having a very good 2014! He has three picture book releases this year, all of which are delightful! Be sure to check them out!


    Sam and Dave Dig a Hole

    Add to Goodreads

    About the Book: Sam and Dave are digging a hole and they won't give up until they find something spectacular.

    GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Mac Barnett teams up with Jon Klassen for another winner. Klassen's illustrations match the text perfectly and gives the feel of an outdoor adventure. Readers will spot the spectacular treasure that is hiding just out of Sam and Dave's reach and are sure to laugh when the get so close but then change directions. They'll also be sure to notice the dog is the only one who seems to have a nose for treasure hunting. A fun tale that is sure to inspire some digging of your own.

    President Taft is Stuck in the Bath

    Add to Goodreads

    About the Book: President Taft is stuck in the bath! How will he get out?

    GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Mac Barnett takes on a presidential tall tale with humorous results. The president is stuck in the bath and everyone has an idea of how to help. The ideas get more and more ridiculous, from butter to explosions. There are also plenty of textual humor from the secretary of the treasury who responds with "throw money at the problem" to "the answer is inside you" from the secretary of the interior.  Chris Van Dusen's illustrations are cartoonish and add to the humor of the tale. The end of the book provides some historical facts about President Taft and his bathtub. This would pair with King Bidgood's in the Bathtub for a silly bathtime storytime.

    Telephone

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    About the Book: It's time for Peter to fly home, but his message about dinner gets scrambled along the telephone line.

    GreenBeanTeenQueen: Remember the game telephone? Where what you start out saying ends up completely different? Mac Barnett and Jen Corace re-imagine the telephone game with a flock of birds on a telephone wire with hilarious results. Each new message gets more and more mixed up which is sure to leave young readers howling with delight. Each bird hears something new that makes sense to them and matches their own interests and hobbies. The illustrations reflect the each birds interests and helps the reader find clues as to why each bird heard what they did. A hilarious take on a the game of telephone perfect for reading aloud.

    Full Disclosure: Sam and Dave Dig a Hole and President Taft is Stuck in the Bath reviewed from finished copies sent by the publishers. Telephone reviewed from library copy.


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    21. Knowing Your Brand





    I came across this on Pinterest one day and it struck a chord with me because it speaks to a blog post I've been wanting to write for a while.

    Before we ever write a book or put ourselves out there as authors, agents and editors we're creating a brand. When we're in any public forum where we present as an author, an agent, an editor or whatever it is we are professionally, we need to think of that brand. 

    What does it say about you and your brand if you show up at an appointment in jeans? What about a suit? I think most of us choose something in between. What does it say to you about an agent who shows up to an appointment in jeans or a baseball hat versus the one that wears a suit versus the one who wears a skirt and simple top? 

    How we present ourselves is the first impression an agent or editor gets not just about us, but about our books. If you show up to an appointment in a baseball hat and yoga pants I'm going to wonder if you've bothered to polish your book or if you're really serious about your career. And I imagine if I showed up in workout clothes you're going to wonder where my priorities as an agent are.

    What I really like about this quote is the part on trademark. It's something I've often thought about, but never put words to. I hear stories all the time about agents who are nasty or harsh or scary or snobby or sweet or funny or charming.... What about authors? Are you kind and thoughtful? What kind of trademark are you presenting to other authors, readers, agents and editors? Are you too busy to stop and chat, are you kind and present even if the conversation is boring you to tears? All of this is part of your Author Brand and all of it needs to be considered beyond just the hook, title and writing.

    --jhf

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    22. PiBoIdMo Day 24: Agents Love Picture Books

    I asked the kidlit agents participating in PiBoIdMo as your “grand prizes” to tell us why they love picture books. Their answers are sure to inspire!


    Heather Alexander, Pippin Properties
    WrgGnwqk
    Picture books are easy to love because they are tiny little windows that offer beautiful glimpses out into the whole, wide, wonderful world, and into hearts like and unlike our own.

     

     

     

     

    Stephen Fraser, Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency
    stephenfraser
    I do love picture books! There is nothing more satisfying that to find a picture book manuscript which has been carefully crafted to share a story with the youngest readers.  The Impressionist painter Pierre Auguste Renoir said that painting is “making love visible” and I can’t help thinking that is why some picture books are so endearing and everlasting. They make the love we feel for our children, our grandchildren, and the children within us very visible. It is a true craft which needs to be learned and practiced. And I honor those who learn this craft and honor children.

     

    Kirsten Hall, Catbird Agency
    Kirsten Hall
    Picture books pretty much have me wrapped around their finger. I’m obsessed by the story-telling opportunities offered by this highly-visual genre! Picture books (as a format) seem simple at first blush, but they are often in fact quite layered and even poetic, displaying an elegant interplay between text and art. Best of all, picture books are accessible to everyone. You don’t have to be able to read in order to love them. They can be savored for what they offer visually, and when read aloud, until a reader has command over the written word. Simply, what format is better than the first one that takes children by the hand and turns them into book-lovers?

     

    Susan Hawk, The Bent Agency
    susanhawk
    The best part of picture books, for me, is way words and illustration marry together to create a sum greater than its parts.  I love the way art builds meaning in the story, and how the simplest of texts can be full of emotion and heart.  I remember so well the picture books that I poured over as a child — mystified and delighted to be invited into the world of reading and books.  For me, it’s an honor to represent picture books!

     

     

    Tricia Lawrence, Erin Murphy Literary Agency

    trishagentI love picture books because they celebrate a time in our life we all look back on so fondly. I love being a part of helping to create them because we’re creating books for kids who will look back on them for the rest of their lives.

     

     

     

    Erin Murphy, Erin Murphy Literary Agency
    erinmurphy
    I became a reader because of picture books, and I became an agent because of picture books. They are one of the richest and most influential forms of literature. So much feeling, so many laughs, in so few pages, meant to be read over and over again!

     

     

     

     

    Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary Agency
    joanagent
    I love picture books because they speak to the quintessential child in each of us. They reach across the gaps of age and culture and language and bring us under their spell. A perfectly-crafted picture book is a full-senses experience that can last a lifetime.

     

     

     

    Rachel Orr, Prospect Agency
    rachel_orr
    I love the breadth of story and emotion—from clever and comical, to poetic and pondering—that can be found within the framework of a 32-page picture book.  I love the right prose, the visual subplots, the rhythm and rhyme and repetition (and repetition, and repetition).  But, most of all, I love them because they’re short.

     

     

     

    Kathleen Rushall, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency

    kathleenrushallI love working with picture books because they remind me that the earliest literature we read in life can be some of the most memorable (and the most fun!).

     

     

     

     

    Joanna Volpe, New Leaf Literary & Media, Inc.
    joannavolpe
    I love picture books because they’re fun to read aloud, and they’re meant to be read with someone else.They can’t not be shared! Even now, I don’t have kids, but when I read a good picturebook, my husband gets to be the audience. He’s very understanding. :-)

     

     

     

     


    10 Comments on PiBoIdMo Day 24: Agents Love Picture Books, last added: 11/24/2014
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    23. Watching Clouds Pass By

    Such a long absence (again). I have been loving island life for the first time since getting here since we moved away from the sugar cane fields. 

    Many mornings I go to the beach, since we live so close now, and I hop onto a stand up paddle board and head out into the inlets around this little island in the middle of the Indian ocean. Last week there was a particularly calm day and as I was navigating the bay out here, a stingray jumped out of the water just in front of me. It was nothing short of thrilling being out in these gorgeous turquoise waters under the billowy tropical clouds. 

    My afternoons I work. I have a book I am writing and two that I am illustrating and I head up into my studio and close the door for a few hours and focus. 

    We have found a way to do hot yoga here now too (if you remember I was missing that quite a lot before). There is a building that was used as an office during the construction of the houses in our developement and Fred and I cleaned it up and brought in some heaters and a fan. We call it Hot Dodo Studio. 

    Right now we are having a ball over here- working hard, but for the first time, playing and relaxing. It's a good balance- I'm sure it won't last, but it is delicious right now and I am enjoying every minute of it. 

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    24. Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 11/24/14: No one remembers this old DC series, but what it says could change yor life

    § In case you missed it, that half million dollar Tezuka Kickstarter missed the mark by a huge margin. Johanna Draper Carlson has commentary. DMP publisher Hikaru Sasahara will probably have more to say about his, as they are examining their whole Kickstarter policy.

    § A misleading headline obscures the fact that a piece of Corto Maltese art sold for a record amount—a record for a piece of HUGO PRATT art. A page from “Les Ethiopiques” sold for €391,800 ($485,500), more than twice the estimate.

    a38d32d0a83d5f126d0d9bfd3482d52b Kibbles n Bits 11/24/14: No one remembers this old DC series, but what it says could change yor life

    § John Kane looks back at TWILIGHT, a “prestige” mini series that came out from DC back in 1990, written by the greatHoward Chaykin and drawn by the great Jose Luis Garcia Lopez. DC is releasing a collected edition next month, and you may just want to pick it up.

    TWILIGHT is the story of a bunch of people who all get what they want and it ends up doing none of them any favours whatsoever. The bunch of people in question are mainly rejigged DC sci-fi characters who had lain mostly fallow since the ‘50s and ‘60s. Tommy Tomorrow, Star Hawkins, Manhunter 2070, Space Cabbie, etc. Even Chaykin’s own Ironwolf appears briefly, and his ridiculous wooden space ship proves pivotal to events. (If Adam Strange seems conspicuous by his absence; Richard Bruning had first dibs there). There are plenty of new characters but the gist of the thing was that these were yesterday’s characters of tomorrow, today. Oh, you know what I mean.


    So yeah, Watchmen for Adam Strange. In all the talk last week about Morrison and Quitely’s Pax Americana, I recalled that there have been a LOT of Watchmen-type reëxaminations of the superhero. Rick Veitch’s Brat Pack, John Ridley’s The American Way, Dawryn Cooke’s The New Frontier, The Twelve by J. Michael Straczynski. NOT all of them are even negative. CALLING ALL THESES.

    § First Second editor Calista Brill remembers late copy editor Manuela Kruger.

    § Juliet Kahn interviewed Noelle Stevenson who will probably be an even bigger breakout comics star in 2015.

    I don’t think that webcomics and Kickstarter and Patreon have made print comics obsolete by any means; god, no. If anything, we just have so many more paths to succeed. We’re defining this new wave of comics for ourselves. How can you not see how exciting that is? There’s no right or wrong way to do it. That’s why I like comics! They are limitless. There are people with webcomics who are pushing the limits of what comics can be — Emily Carroll, Ava’s Demon, etc. Some comics are made to be displayed digitally and it doesn’t degrade them. And there are innovations happening in print comics too. Anyone resisting that, clinging to some kind of idea of a golden age that we’re defiling somehow… well. That’s what’s becoming obsolete. Also I think one of the big sore points that the Sturm comic inspired — and honestly, the comic itself referenced this, so I think this may have been the point that it was trying to make — is that this idea of competition isn’t actually healthy for creativity. Someone else who succeeds isn’t ‘stealing’ your success. You gotta keep your eyes on your own board and do the best you can. The more good stuff exists, the better we make the field, and the more people can succeed within it.



    § I’m not sure if I linked to this before, but Megan Byrd has a very useful The Do’s and Don’ts of Pitching Your Comic For Review

    § Tom Spurgeon interviews Andrew Farago about his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles book and Farago touches on not TMNT affected so much of late-80s-early90s comics history

    I could have spent a lot more time talking about the black-and-white publishing boom of the 1980s, but had to settle for making sure that I fit Dave Sim and Wendy and Richard Pini into the book. There was probably another full chapter to be had on the dual influences of Jack Kirby and Frank Miller on Eastman and Laird. And Tundra! Can’t forget about that. I’d have loved an entire chapter on Tundra and The Words and Pictures Museum and all of the fun stuff Kevin Eastman did during the Turtles’ biggest years. Every cartoonist I know swears that if he had millions of dollars, he’d start a publishing house and give all of his buddies all the money they needed so that they could focus on making comics without having any financial worries or editorial interference. And Kevin Eastman actually did that, and it was a wonderful, amazing, chaotic mess. A few all-time great comics came out of it, at least. Thank Kevin Eastman the next time you read From Hell or pull a copy of Understanding Comics off your bookshelf.

    § This interview reminded me that TMNT co-creator Peter Laird has a very active blog.

    htdtreasury Kibbles n Bits 11/24/14: No one remembers this old DC series, but what it says could change yor life

    § The Comics Reporter also ran one of those weekend listicles about Howard the Duck and I was reminded that the above comic is the favorite comic of 13 year old me until the universe ends.

    § Speaking of Howard the Duck, Steve Murray, whose pen name is Chip Zdarsky, get the Hometown Hero story of the weekend with “Marvel revives Howard the Duck with help of Toronto artist/”

    § Many people in my social networks were sharing this Name that Comic Book Artist quiz. I got 21/25 which, considering m profession, is pretty bad. I confess, I guessed the ones I wasn’t certain of by thinking “Who would be most likely to make that drawing error?”

    § Along similar lines, CBR is poling people on their all time favorite Wonder Woman artist. The top vote getters will Shock you! NOT REALLY.

    § And as for Wonder Woman, the new creative direction continues to be…controversial. Geek Mom Corinna Lawson writes Memo to DC: Wonder Woman Likes People. Honest And J. Caleb Mozzocco writes:

    As a comics critic, I never quite know what to do with terrible comic books when I come across them. I never go out of my way to read a comic book that I suspect will be terrible without any mitigating circumstances, and, when I do read one, I then wonder if it’s better to just not mention it anywhere at all, under the ignore-it-and-it-will-go-away school of thought, or if I should go out of my way to discuss the book and its negative qualities, so as to not let the only reviews of the book to get written by positive ones.

    § KONVENTION KORNER. Rob Kirby went to Short Run in Seattle and wrote a super chatty, comprehensive piece for Festival Season:

    Tabling for me is above all a social event – I don’t make a living through my comics so I can be a little more relaxed and less mercenary about the money thing than others (though perhaps I could stand to be a little more mercenary, but let’s not talk about that now). MariNaomi and I have been friends for several years now, having met at APE back in 2008. She’s great to table with. She brought an extra tablecloth (I hadn’t thought to bring one) and shared snacks with me. She helped me through a couple of Square mishaps: I kept swiping the card wrong before finally getting the hang of it. I hadn’t tabled since SPX last year and was a little rusty. She didn’t mind if took off to take photos and hobnob a little (like John Porcellino, Zan Christensen and other cartooning people I know, Mari doesn’t like to leave her table too much). What more can I say, she’s the best. Her new book, Dragon’s Breath and Other True Stories (2D Cloud & Uncivilized Books), did brisk business all day long and yay, because it’s one of the finest books of the year and you should totally get it. And just because I’m biased doesn’t mean you shouldn’t listen to me on this.

    § BTW someone once complained to me about a con report here that began with getting up and getting to the train on time, and what he ate for breakfast and all that stuff. I find this kind of quotidian minutiae boring in most cases but for con reports it seems traditional! What do you think, readers?

    § Maia Kobabe has a list of Small Bay Area Comic Conventions that shows that the region isn’t entirely comics free.

    § 35,000 attended a comic in in Birmingham, UK that had nothing to do with comics, but did include stars from Red Dwarf and Breaking Bad. NEWSPAPER EDITORS: please include some teeny tiny mention of comics in your coverage of “COMIC CONS”.

    § Finally, according to my ancient obsolete RSS feed, John Jakala blogged for the first time in 10 months. Combine this with a coffee I had the other day with Matt Maxwell and the dream of the Aughts is alive in cyberspace.

    1 Comments on Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 11/24/14: No one remembers this old DC series, but what it says could change yor life, last added: 11/24/2014
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    25. Wedding and Thank Yous!

    I don’t really talk a lot about my personal life on here. Sure, I talk a lot about my thoughts on writing, and little anecdotes sneak through as I’m discussing various concepts. But it’s not like I’m on here spilling my guts about what goes on at home. However, since this is a week for gratitude and family, I wanted to share that I got married in October to a great guy named Todd who I’ve known since 2011. We met in our Brooklyn neighborhood of Carroll Gardens, and it turned out that we’d been living just a block away from one another for years! The night our paths crossed, I was coming home from the tremendous Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers conference in Utah, so I have them to thank!

    Todd is a very talented chef, and in 2013, we moved back to his hometown of Minneapolis to buy a house, start a family, and open a restaurant. We bought our own slice of south Minneapolis in July, and are still working on the other two. ;) We got married October 11th, 2014 down in New Orleans, one of our very favorite cities in the entire world. The whole thing was such a blast, and I’m very excited that the excellent photographer Sarah Becker Lillard was able to capture our day. You can see her blog post with some favorite shots here.

    So far, 2014 has been the best year of my life personally, and professionally as well. I am wrapping up my busiest months as a freelance editor and novel coach. I’m very grateful to all of my clients for allowing me to come into their writing journeys, guide them, and get to know their work. I’m currently considering expanding my business to add some different services that writers have shown a lot of interest in. Stay tuned for that!

    This week, I’d love to thank everyone reading this for your support. It has been an amazing journey to be able to bring you this blog for going on five years now. Wow! Have a wonderful holiday with your loved ones, and I’ll be doing the same over here. It’s such an amazing gift that we have all been brought together by the love of story and the written word. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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