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Dear March, come in!
How glad I am!
I looked for you before.
Put down your hat-
You must have walked-
How out of breath you are!
Dear March, how are you?
And the rest?
Did you leave Nature well?
Oh, March, come right upstairs with me,
I have so much to tell!
I got your letter, and the bird's;
The maples never knew
That you were coming,-I declare,
How red their faces grew!
But, March, forgive me-
And all those hills
You left for me to hue;
There was no purple suitable,
You took it all with you.
Who knocks? That April!
Lock the door!
I will not be pursued!
He stayed away a year, to call
When I am occupied.
But trifles look so trivial
As soon as you have come,
That blame is just as dear as praise
And praise as mere as blame.
- Emily Dickinson
View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.
View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.
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Here are a few simple "rules" about writing young adult novels.
NoVaTEEN is coming tomorrow! The Arlington Central Library is partnering with One More Page Books and special guest sponsors Fall for the Book and Fairfax County Public Library to bring a FREE festival packed with books, authors, and special events to Arlington, VA. I'm really excited about this event and hope it's a huge success! If you're close, make sure you come one out! GreatAdd a Comment
I received a lovely e-mail from Jennifer Knauer who celebrated her son's 5th birthday by hosting a story walk birthday party with Red Hat! If you haven't heard of story walk, here's a link to learn more about it. This amazing activity for families to celebrate and embrace stories was established by Anne Ferguson (Montpelier VT) and The Kellogg Hubbard Library.
Following the story Board tradition, Jennifer laminated the illustrations from the book and presented them (in the same order as in the book) along the path. After Dylan's birthday celebration, they gave the Story Walk materials to the ParentChild Center in Orange County, Vermont, so that the families in that program may continue to use it.
I just love activities like this -- Dylan and his friends and all their families romping through the woods playing follow-the-leader and other silly twirling games as they followed the 1/2 mile of hiking trails to find each of the laminated spreads of the story, then ending with a picnic and hot cider. It sounded like the perfect scamper through the woods for everyone and it makes me very happy to think my book Red Hat was a part of this lovely day.
I hope more families discover this amazing program and enjoy!Add a Comment
I'm trying to bring some of the expressive squiggles from my Inky practice into my printmaking. Two pieces where I think it's working...
Loch Ness, Acrylic Monotype on Hot Press Paper, © 2014 Lisa Firke
Castle Loch, Acrylic Monotype on Hot Press Paper, © 2014 Lisa Firke.Add a Comment
This photograph of a 9,550-year-old Swedish spruce tree is one of several images shot by photographer Rachel Sussman, featured in a slideshow at Time magazine. The photos are drawn from Sussman’s latest project, The Oldest Living Things in the World, which chronicles the decade Sussman spent traveling the globe, taking stunning photographs of continuously living organisms that are 2,000 years old and older.
From the Time piece:
There’s a sense of wonder imbued in these photographs of organisms that seem to be a physical record of time, but there’s also a call to action. Many of these subjects of Sussman’s portraits are under threat from habitat loss or climate change or simple human idiocy. (Sussman has written movingly about the loss of the 3,500-year-old Senator tree in Orlando, destroyed in a fire that was almost certainly set on purpose.) “The oldest living things in the world are a record and celebration of our past, a call to action in the present and a barometer of the future,” Sussman has said—and the images that follow prove her out.
Read more about The Oldest Living Things in the World here.Add a Comment
Artist Matt Reedy designed Little Golden Books-style covers and interior art inspired by popular Japanese comics.
Comic Book Resources reports that Reedy’s “Little Golden Manga” pieces features re-imaginings based on the Attack on Titan, Death Note, and FLCL manga series.
New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.Add a Comment
Muggles Can Make Magic, Too! Turning Non-Readers Into Readers and Writers by Dennis Jolley (with Justine Jones) at Nerdy Book Club. Teachers, Media Specialists, and Librarians - you need to read this!!!
At PW Children's Bookshelf: How to Write YA by Seth Fishman. GREAT article!
Did you read my article: "You Are Not Lazy"? I think you should.
At PW: Voices of Experience: Advice from Publishing Veterans
Also from PW via Josie Leavitt: A Board Book Love Affair
At SLJ: Riding High: Brian Floca on the Remarkable Process Behind His Caldecott-winning 'Locomotive'
It's More Than Shopping Local by Josie Leavitt at PW
From Cynsations: Project Mayhem: Considering Common Themes in Middle-Grade Books
Again from Cynsations: Metteivieharrison: Everything You Need To Know To Be a Published Author
From Mary Kole at Kidlit.com: Why an Agent May Not Submit Widely
Wangari Maathai won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for her work helping women throughout Africa planting trees to improve the environment and their quality of life. As we celebrate Women's History Month, I make sure to introduce students to women from throughout the world who have worked hard to improve their communities.
Although it was unusual for girls to receive formal education in rural Kenya, Wangari’s parents agreed to send her to school. Wangari’s determination and hard work continued as she went first to high school in the city, and then to university in the United States to study biology.
Seeds of Change
Planting a Path of Peace
by Jen Cullerton Johnson
illustrations by Sonia Lynn Sadler
Lee and Low, 2010
your local library
It's been one week since Janet (Wong) and I released our latest project, The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science, and we've been blown away by the response! We're so proud of the book and so excited about the crossover possibilities for science and poetry in the classroom.
But we're also very excited about the latest innovation: Student Editions for each grade level!
Let’s be clear of one thing right from the word go: this is not in any useful sense a historical movie. It references a couple of major historical events but is not interested in ‘getting them right’. It uses historical characters but abuses them for its own dramatic, largely techno-visual ends. It wilfully commits the grossest historical blunders. This is in fact a historical fantasy-fiction movie and should be viewed and judged only as such. But in case any classroom teachers of Classical civilization or Classical history should be tempted to use it as a teaching aid: caveant magistri — let the teachers beware! Here are just five ways in which the movie is at best un-historical, at worst anti-historical.
(1) Error sets in with the very title: the ’300′ bit is a nod to Zack Snyder’s infinitely more successful 2006 movie to which this is a kind of sequel, and there is not just allusion to but bodily lifting of a couple of scenes from the predecessor. But which Empire is supposed to be on the rise here? I suppose that it’s meant to be, distantly, the ‘Athenian Empire’, but that didn’t even begin to rise until at least two years after the events the movie focuses on: the sea-battles of Artemisium and Salamis that both took place in 480 BCE.
(2) The movie gets underway with a wondrously unhistorical javelin-throw — cast by Athenian hero Themistokles (note the pseudo-authentic spelling of his name with a Greek ‘k’) on the battlefield of Marathon near Athens in 490 BCE, a cast which kills none other than Persian Great King Darius I, next to whom is standing his son and future successor Xerxes. Actually, though Darius had indeed launched the Persian expedition that came to grief at Marathon, he was not himself present there, nor was Xerxes.
Themistocles, on the other hand, was indeed present, but rather than carrying and throwing a javelin he was fighting in a dense phalanx formation and wielding a long, heavy pike armed with a fearsome iron tip made for thrusting into the Persian enemy hand-to-hand.
(3) From the Persians’ Marathon defeat, which (historically) accounts for their return revenge expedition under Xerxes, the scene shifts to the Persians’ fleet — in fact, a whole decade later. Connoisseurs of 300 will have been prepared for the digitally-enhanced, multiply-pierced and bangled Rodrigo Santo reprising his role of ‘god-king’ Xerxes. (Actually Persian king-emperors were not regarded or worshipped as gods.) Even they, though, will not necessarily have expected the Persian fleet to be under the command of a woman, and a Greek woman at that: Queen Artemisia of Halicarnassus (modern Bodrum), who is represented (in the exceedingly fetching person of Eva Green) as the equal if not superior of Xerxes himself, with her own court of fawning and thuggish male attendants, all hunks of beefcake.
Here the filmmakers are indeed drawing on a properly historical well of evidence: Artemisia — so we learn from Herodotus, her contemporary, fellow-countryman, and historian of the Graeco-Persian Wars — was indeed a Greek queen, who did fight for Xerxes and the Persians at Salamis. She did allegedly earn high praise from Xerxes as well as from Herodotus for the ‘manly’ quality of her personal bravery and her sage tactical and strategic advice.
But she was far from being admiral-in-chief of the entire Persian navy. She contributed a mere handful of warships out of the total of 600 or so, and those ships of hers could have made no decisive difference to the outcome of Salamis one way or the other.
(4) For some reason — perhaps because they were conscious of the extreme sameness of most of their material, a relentless succession of ultra-gory, stylised slayings, to the accompaniment of equally relentless drum’n'bass background thrummings — the filmmakers of this movie, unlike of 300, have felt the desire or even the need to include one rather prolonged and really quite explicit heterosexual sex-encounter. Understandably, perhaps, this is not between say Themistokles and his wife (or a slave-girl), or between Xerxes and a member of his (in historical fact, extensive) harem.
But — utterly and completely fantastically — it is between Themistokles and Artemisia in the interim between the battles of Artemisium (presented as a Greek defeat; actually it was a draw) and Salamis. Cue the baring of Eva Green’s considerable pectoral assets, cue some exceptionally violent and degrading verbal sparring, and cue virtual rape — encouraged by Artemisia at the time but later thrown back by her in Themistocles’s face as having been inadequate on the virility front.
(5) The crowning, climactic historical absurdity, however, is not the deeply unpleasant coupling between Themistokles and Artemisia, but the notion that in order for Themistocles and his Athenians to defeat the Persian fleet at Salamis they absolutely required the critical assistance of the massive Spartan navy which — echoes here of the US cavalry in countless westerns — turned up just in the nick of time, commanded by another Greek woman and indeed queen, Gorgo (widow of Leonidas, the hero of 300), again played by Lena Headey.
Actually, Sparta contributed a mere 16 warships to the united Greek fleet of some 400 ships at Salamis, and like Artemisia’s they made absolutely no difference to the outcome, which was resoundingly and incontestably an Athenian victory. The truly Spartan contribution to the overall defeat of the Persian invasion was made in very different circumstances, on land and by the heavy-infantry Spartan hoplites, at the battle of Plataea in the following summer of 479. But that is quite another story, one in which the un- or anti-historical filmmakers show not even a particle or scintilla of interest.
Paul Cartledge is the A.G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture at the University of Cambridge and the author of After Thermopylae: the Oath of Plataea and the End of the Graeco-Persian Wars (OUP, 2013). He hastens to make clear that he was not in any way a consultant on ’300: Rise of an Empire’, as he had been, in a minor way, on ’300′.
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Image credit: 300: Rise of An Empire. (c) Warner Bros. via 300themovie.com
MANHATTAN, Montana – The Manhattan Tigers’ pole-vault squad will transport their poles in style this season in a new pole bag from Fuzion Athletics! The bag, valued at $175, is being made especially for Manhattan High School, thanks to Coach … Continue readingAdd a Comment
Respect Your Process: It’s the Only One You’ve Got :: Kimberly McCreight
A Brief History of Young Adult Literature :: CNN Living
Wise Words from Anne Lamott :: Lisa Schroeder
Top Ten Tips to End Writer’s Block Procrastination :: Psychology Today
False Starts :: Kate Griffin
What Happened to Your Book Today :: Kate Messner
Writer Imaging: Your Vision of Success :: Writer’s First Aid
9 Ways to Undermine Your Characters’ Best Laid Plans :: Writer Unboxed
I Don’t Want An Honest Critique :: Darcy Pattison
getting good at it: the three secrets of writing (and pretty much everything else) :: “Nothing is wasted on the writer.” (Crescent Dragonwagon)
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Saigon Survival by Simon Miller: “This condensed volume combines the essentials of both a guidebook and travelogue in one indispensable package. Save thousands of dollars, avoid countless scams and never have to wonder what that bucket of water in the bathroom is for. Take it from an experienced traveller who spent over a year in Saigon and learned so much about life there he had no choice but to put pen to paper to bring you this book.” (September 2013)
New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.Add a Comment
There is a sale in my Society 6 shop this week - free shipping and $5 off.
Here are some samples of what I have in the shop.
Cynthia Leitich Smith
For the teens at The Haven, the outside world, just beyond the towering stone wall that surrounds the premises, is a dangerous unknown. It has always been this way, ever since the hospital was established in the year 2020.
But The Haven is more than just a hospital; it is their home. It is all they know. Everything is strictly monitored: education, exercise, food, and rest. The rules must be followed to keep the children healthy, to help control the Disease that has cast them as Terminals, the Disease that claims limbs and lungs—and memories.
But Shiloh is different; she remembers everything. Gideon is different, too. He dreams of a cure, of rebellion against the status quo. What if everything they’ve been told is a lie? What if The Haven is not the safe place it claims to be? And what will happen if Shiloh starts asking dangerous questions?
Powerful and emotional, The Haven takes us inside a treacherous world in which nothing is as it seems.
|Illustrated by Shadra Strickland|
|CLA Book of the Year for Children Short List|
|See Lesléa's recent post, In Writing I Trust.|
|With Varsha Bajaj; see more pics & learn more about the novel!|
|Clowning around at Mabis Patisserie in Houston.|
|Typewriter Cake by Akiko White|
|Preview the new Feral Curse & Feral Nights audio books (Brilliance) from Ambling Books.|
Author Stephan Eirik Clark thinks that he may have been a victim of Amazon’s algorithm rigging.
In a column for Slate, Clark claims that his book Sweetness #9 was not available in Amazon search results. The book, which is available for presale and ships in August, only showed up when he entered the title of the book and his name. But it wasn’t the top listing. In fact, it was at the bottom of a long list of books with the word “Sweet” in the title, buried under a number of Sweet Valley High books.
Clark theorizes that the poor search results had to do with deals that publishers make with Amazon to get ranked in search results. This practice is outlined in George Packer’s recent New Yorker article on Amazon. According to the story, search results are affected by fees that publishers pay to Amazon.
Unclear on what his publisher Little & Brown has paid to Amazon, Clark points out that his search results got better over time. Today, a search for “sweetness 9″ brings the novel to the top of the search results, but it’s not clear why.
New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.Add a Comment
I wrote a blog post in January on "under-appreciated pleasures." In it I focused on the pleasure of rolling over in bed, something my sister was temporarily unable to do because of shoulder surgery. I also offered up an ode of gratitude for the pleasure of walking briskly, a pleasure denied my mother at the end of her life. I pledged to enjoy these simple pleasures with heightened awareness, pleasures we tend to notice most when we're no longer able to experience them.
I wrote a blog post in February called "the last happy day," in which I vowed to notice every happy day as I was living it, because we never know when terrible tragedy might strike us. What if we had lived our last happy day and hadn't failed to savor it?
Obviously I was writing with a sense of impending doom, wouldn't you say?
Tuesday I was heading out for my usual walk with my friend Rowan, this time accompanied by little dog Tank. I stopped to get the mail and then dashed back the few steps to my house to drop it off before continuing on my way. I tripped. I fell, wrenching my foot. Deciding the injury was nothing, I proceeded to walk for an hour with Rowan and Tank, and then walked around campus all day on Wednesday. But by Thursday, when the foot was still so bruised and swollen, I decided to have it checked out at urgent care. As I have a high-deductible insurance plan, I knew I'd have to pay around $300 for the visit. But it was worth $300 to me for the reassurance that nothing was wrong, after all.
Diagnosis: a broken fifth metatarsal bone in my right foot.
No need for surgery, no bulky uncomfortable cast. But no weight-bearing on that foot for 4-6 weeks. No weight bearing AT ALL.
Okay. At least I can truly say that I appreciated weight-bearingness while I had it. Every single walk I took with Rowan we spent half the time marveling at how fortunate we were to be able to live in such a beautiful place, with such beautiful walking-conducive weather, with both of us in excellent walking-facilitating health. I did notice these things every single day.
Now I'm going to have to notice other things for a while. How lucky I am to have a desk chair with wheels on it. How lucky I am not to live alone. How lucky I am to have enough money to be able to order a little rental scooter-thing for $35 a week, as it's already exceedingly obvious that I will never be able to master crutches (given that I can't even walk to my mailbox without breaking my foot). How sweet it is today simply to have canceled or rescheduled everything I had to do at the university, so I can spend this whole rainy/snowy day at home hopping from desk to couch to bed, maybe even getting some writing and editing work done. Or maybe just taking it easy, for once. Why not?
It's going to be hard to sustain cheerful gratitude for 4-6 weeks, especially with no guarantee that I'll be fully healed at the end of that time period. I have two big trips between now and then: my annual trip to the children's literature festival in Warrensburg, Missouri (no walking with the other authors to look at the cows this year!) and a week of school visits in Michigan over spring break (I guess I'll have to roar into the gym on my scooter and then give my presentation while perched on a stool). How will I manage at the airports? How will I manage everything in my busy life that needs to be managed?
Well, I'm not the first person in the history of the world with a broken foot. I'm not even the first or second or third person in my circle of friends. As I head into Act III of my life, falls may become more common (though the first thing I plan to do upon recovery from this one is some balance training, as this is my third major fall in six months).
So I might as well work as hard as I can at practicing cheerful gratitude. Occasions for making use of it are unlikely to be few.