What is JacketFlap

  • JacketFlap connects you to the work of more than 200,000 authors, illustrators, publishers and other creators of books for Children and Young Adults. The site is updated daily with information about every book, author, illustrator, and publisher in the children's / young adult book industry. Members include published authors and illustrators, librarians, agents, editors, publicists, booksellers, publishers and fans.
    Join now (it's free).

Sort Blog Posts

Sort Posts by:

  • in
    from   

Suggest a Blog

Enter a Blog's Feed URL below and click Submit:

Most Commented Posts

In the past 7 days

Recent Comments

JacketFlap Sponsors

Spread the word about books.
Put this Widget on your blog!
  • Powered by JacketFlap.com

Are you a book Publisher?
Learn about Widgets now!

Advertise on JacketFlap

MyJacketFlap Blogs

  • Login or Register for free to create your own customized page of blog posts from your favorite blogs. You can also add blogs by clicking the "Add to MyJacketFlap" links next to the blog name in each post.

Blog Posts by Date

Click days in this calendar to see posts by day or month
new posts in all blogs
Viewing: Blog Posts from All 1540 Blogs, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 2,000
1. Money matters

By Valerie Minogue


Money is a tricky subject for a novel, as Zola in 1890 acknowledged: “It’s difficult to write a novel about money. It’s cold, icy, lacking in interest…” But his Rougon-Macquart novels, the “natural and social history” of a family in the Second Empire, were meant to cover every significant aspect of the age, from railways and coal-mines to the first department stores. Money and the Stock Exchange (the Paris Bourse) had to have a place in that picture, hence Money, the eighteenth of Zola’s twenty-novel cycle.

The subject is indeed challenging, but it makes an action-packed novel, with a huge cast, led by a smaller group of well-defined and contrasting characters, who inhabit a great variety of settings, from the busy, crowded streets of Paris to the inside of the Bourse, to a palatial bank, modest domestic interiors, houses of opulent splendour — and a horrific slum of filthy hovels that makes a telling comment on the social inequalities of the day.

Dominating the scene from the beginning is the central, brooding figure of Saccard. Born Aristide Rougon, Saccard already appears in earlier novels of the Rougon-Macquart, notably in The Kill, which relates how Saccard, profiting from the opportunities provided by Haussman’s reconstruction of Paris, made – and lost – a huge fortune in property deals. Money relates Saccard’s second rise and fall, but Saccard here is a more complex and riveting figure than in The Kill.

Émile Zola painted by Edouard Manet

It is Saccard who drives all the action, carrying us through the widely divergent social strata of a time that Zola termed “an era of folly and shame”, and into all levels of the financial world. We meet gamblers and jobbers, bankers, stockbrokers and their clerks; we get into the floor of the Bourse, where prices are shouted and exchanged at break-neck speed, deals are made and unmade, and investors suddenly enriched or impoverished. This is a world of insider-trading, of manipulation of share-prices and political chicanery, with directors lining their pockets with fat bonuses and walking off wealthy when the bank goes to the wall — scandals, alas, so familiar that it is hard to believe this book was written back in 1890! Saccard, with his enormous talent for inspiring confidence and manipulating people, would feel quite at home among the financial operators of today.

Saccard is surrounded by other vivid characters – the rapacious Busch, the sinister La Méchain, waiting vulture-like for disaster and profit, in what is, for the most part, a morally ugly world. Apart from the Jordan couple, and Hamelin and his sister Madame Caroline, precious few are on the side of the angels. But there are contrasts not only between, but also within, the characters. Nothing and no-one here is purely wicked, nor purely good. The terrible Busch is a devoted and loving carer of his brother Sigismond. Hamelin, whose wide-ranging schemes Saccard embraces and finances, combines brilliance as an engineer with a childlike piety. Madame Caroline, for all her robust good sense, falls in love with Saccard, seduced by his dynamic vitality and energy, and goes on loving him even when in his recklessness he has lost her esteem. Saccard himself, with all his lusts and vanity and greed, works devotedly for a charitable Foundation, delighting in the power to do good.

Money itself has many faces: it’s a living thing, glittering and tinkling with “the music of gold”, it’s a pernicious germ that ruins everything it touches, and it’s a magic wand, an instrument of progress, which, combined with science, will transform the world, opening new highways by rail and sea, and making deserts bloom. Money may be corrupting but is also productive, and Saccard, similarly – “is he a hero? is he a villain?” asks Madame Caroline; he does enormous damage, but also achieves much of real value.

Fundamental questions about money are posed in the encounter between Saccard and the philosopher Sigismond, a disciple of Karl Marx, whose Das Kapital had recently appeared — an encounter in which individualistic capitalism meets Marxist collectivism head to head. Both men are idealists in very different ways, Sigismond wanting to ban money altogether to reach a new world of equality and happiness for all, a world in which all will engage in manual labour (shades of the Cultural Revolution!), and be rewarded not with evil money but work-vouchers. Saccard, seeing money as the instrument of progress, recoils in horror. For him, without money, there is nothing.

If Zola vividly presents the corrupting power of money, he also shows its expansive force as an active agent of both creation and destruction, like an organic part of the stuff of life. And it is “life, just as it is” with so much bad and so much good in it, that the whole novel finally reaffirms.

Valerie Minogue has taught at the universities of Cardiff, Queen Mary University of London, and Swansea. She is co-founder of the journal Romance Studies and has been President of the Émile Zola Society, London, since 2005. She is the translator of the new Oxford World’s Classics edition of Money by Émile Zola.

For over 100 years Oxford World’s Classics has made available the broadest spectrum of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford’s commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more. You can follow Oxford World’s Classics on Twitter, Facebook, or here on the OUPblog.

Subscribe to the OUPblog via email or RSS.
Subscribe to only Oxford World’s Classics articles on the OUPblog via email or RSS.
Subscribe to only literature articles on the OUPblog via email or RSS.
Image credit: Émile Zola by Edouard Manet [public domain] via Wikimedia Commons.

The post Money matters appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on Money matters as of 4/16/2014 5:43:00 AM
Add a Comment
2. The Overending, by Rick Johnson | Dedicated Review

In the Overending (the second book in the Wood Cow chronicles), author Rick Johnson continues his story of an intricately detailed world where danger and mystery lurk.

Add a Comment
3. Afterworlds Special ARC Cover

As you know, I’ve already revealed the cover of Afterworlds, three posts ago. But I also wanted to show you the cover of the special advanced readers’ copies (ARCs) sent to bookstore owners and the like, because it’s seriously my favorite promotional object of my entire career:

afterworlds ARC

Now, I know that looks like the back cover, but it’s the FRONT, because the blurbs were so funny that Sales was like, “Put them on the front!” (And yes, they are real blurbs. Thanks to John, Maureen, and Shannon!)

Alas, only 200 copies of this were printed, and they are hard to acquire. I only own three, and you can’t have them!

For those of you in the trade, there will be many more ARCs with the real cover, at places like Book Expo America. (I’m signing there!) But I love that these silly ones are in short supply.

So collectible.

Also, I knew this thing was long, but now that it’s here in physical form and 599 pages, I realize how THICK that is:

IMG_2447

As you can see it’s 5cm (2 inches) thick, almost twice as fat as Justine‘s next book, Razorhurst. Which is her longest book yet.

Of course, I’m cheating because it’s really two books (Darcy’s book and the book about Darcy). But still, I win.

0 Comments on Afterworlds Special ARC Cover as of 4/16/2014 2:53:00 AM
Add a Comment
4. Snuggle the Baby by Sara Gillingham

<!-- START INTERCHANGE - SNUGGLE THE BABY -->if(!window.igic__){window.igic__={};var d=document;var s=d.createElement("script");s.src="http://iangilman.com/interchange/js/widget.js";d.body.appendChild(s);} Sara Gillingham is yet another designer and art director who continues to bring her talents to the happily expanding world of quality board books. Her most most recent work as an

0 Comments on Snuggle the Baby by Sara Gillingham as of 4/16/2014 6:19:00 AM
Add a Comment
5. Spoiling Spoily Spoilers

I used to hate spoilers. I didn’t care what it was—a book, an ad, a shopping list—I didn’t want to know what happened until it happened. I wouldn’t read the back of books or movie posters or reviews. I wanted to know as little as possible before going in. I thrived on surprise.

Now this would sometimes backfire. If I’d known a bit about Taken (2008) I would never have watched it on the plane. I just saw that Liam Neeson was in it. I used to like Liam Neeson. He was dead good in Rob Roy.1 But Taken? Worst. Most Appallingly Immoral. Movie. Of. All. Time. If I could unwatch it I would.2

Taken and a few too many hideous final seasons of TV shows like Buffy and Veronica Mars3 have made me more inclined to be spoiled so I know which shows to stop watching. I still wish I’d known not to watch the final season of The Wire. Such a let down after four brilliant seasons. Especially that fourth season. Wow!

I also don’t enjoy books that deal with people dying of diseases. Especially cancer. I’ve lost too many people I love to that disease and I just can’t deal. The few times I’ve accidentally read such a book I have been deeply unhappy about it. And, no, it doesn’t matter how good the book is. Me no want to read about it.

Gradually, I have become considerably less hardcore about spoiler avoidance than I used to be. Partly for the reasons mentioned above and partly because in this world of Twitter, and friends who can’t keep their bloody mouths shut,4 it’s getting harder and harder to avoid them.

My spoiler stance has also shifted because the last few times I was spoiled—on both occasions it was a TV show—it made my viewing experience more pleasurable, not less.5 Which was quite a surprise let me tell you.

Rest assured I will stick to my policy of not spoiling here. I was once 100% in the no-spoilers camp. I understand!

Besides there are plenty of books/TV shows/movies that if you know what’s going to happen next you might not bother. Because what-happens-next is the main thing they have going for them. Don’t get me wrong those books/TV shows/movies can still be fun but they don’t make me want to read/watch them more than once.6

I’ve been enjoying HBO’s Game of Thrones largely because I’ve read the books. I like seeing how it translates to screen. Knowing that the red wedding was imminent made watching it more tense not less and I got the added pleasure of seeing other people’s reactions. On the couch next to me and on Twitter.

I think another shift in my opinion of spoilerfication was writing Liar: a book written specifically to have more than one way of reading it. I made a big song and dance of getting folks not to spoil it because I felt that knowing ahead of time what the big secret was would shift how a person read the book. Particularly as there’s no guarantee that the big secret in the book is true. So if you went in knowing what that big secret was you read the book with that in mind and likely with the expectation that the big secret was true. I wanted readers of Liar to be open to figuring out how they felt about the big secret as they read, not to go in with their minds already made up.

It was a pain. I was chastised several times by people who said my call for readers not to spoil was me being a hypersensitive author trying to control my readers. That once my book was published it was no business of mine whether people spoiled it or not. And they’re right. But I was requesting, not ordering. It’s not like I have the power to stop anyone from spoiling if they want to. There are no spoiler police I can call.

Don’t get me wrong if I was to publish a book like Liar in the future I’d still want people not to spoil it. To this day I am made uncomfortable when people describe Liar as a [redacted] book because for many readers Liar is not a [redacted] book. Those readers think the big secret is a big ole lie. And there’s loads of textual evidence to support them. I deliberately wrote it that way.

But the whole thing was needlessly stressful and made me want to write books where spoiling makes no difference. Like romances. Knowing ahead of time that the hero and heroine get together? Well, der, it’s a romance! It’s not about that, it’s about the how, and you can’t really spoil the how. Because the how is about the texture of the writing not about particular events.

I’ve also come across readers who were told that Liar was a [redacted] book who read it and decided that it was definitely not a [redacted] book and that being spoiled really didn’t affect how they read it.

I was unspoiled reading E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars and I’m glad because I had no idea where it was going. It was a very pleasurable and [redacted] surprise. I’m looking forward to rereading to see what kind of book it is when I know what happens. Double the pleasure!

And, Emily, you have all my sympathy for trying to get people not to spoil it. They will. Which is a shame cause it’s a hell of a surprise. But the book’s so excellent I think in the long run it won’t matter. Besides I know for a fact that there are plenty of readers who are going to enjoy it more knowing the big secret before they start reading.

TL;DR: I’m chiller about spoilers than I was but I won’t spoil you.

  1. What? I like movies with kilts.
  2. I find it very hard to stop watching a movie once I start watching it. It’s a curse. But Taken may well have broken me of the habit.
  3. Both of which are (mostly) otherwise genius.
  4. Youse know who youse are! *shakes fist*
  5. It also let me know when to close me eyes during a certain gruesome scene.
  6. Which is frankly a relief. There’s already too many books etc I wish to read/watch multiple times. I don’t have enough time!

0 Comments on Spoiling Spoily Spoilers as of 4/16/2014 4:17:00 AM
Add a Comment
6. EASTER 2014 - caroline gardner

It's Easter week here on Print & pattern and today we begin with Caroline Gardener where I found designs online from Ocado and Orchard cards. You can also buy all of Caroline's products direct including cards, wrap, gifts and homewares online here.

0 Comments on EASTER 2014 - caroline gardner as of 4/16/2014 4:05:00 AM
Add a Comment
7. Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy: Review Haiku

A few obvious
plot points, perhaps, but still,
a marvelous story.

Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee. Knopf, 2014, 240 pages.

0 Comments on Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy: Review Haiku as of 4/16/2014 6:07:00 AM
Add a Comment
8. You Are My Baby - Ocean and You Are My Baby - Garden by Lorena Siminovich

Last year Julie Bosman wrote an article for the New York Times about big changes for the humble, previously overlooked board book. Bosman, who noted that the board book was "once designed to be chewed as much as read," quoted Ginee Seo, children's publishing director at Chronicle Books on the changes. Seo noted that we are "in this era of mass good design for everybody. You're seeing good

0 Comments on You Are My Baby - Ocean and You Are My Baby - Garden by Lorena Siminovich as of 4/16/2014 3:23:00 AM
Add a Comment
9. top tip for putting together a picture book

My desk is a sea of paper, so yesterday I tried to tackle some of the mess and found these thumbnail roughs for You Can't Scare a Princess!, my picture book with Gillian Rogerson. Thumbnail roughs are called that because often they're very small, just a doodle that lets my editor and art director know how I plan to lay out the page before I draw a more complicated full-size rough in pencil.

If you know the book, you'll see that, except for pages 20-21 (the treasure digging scene), I pretty much followed these layouts in the final artwork.



Top tip: the grid here looks a bit dull, but if you've ever tried to get a picture book published, you'll know this template is solid gold. It takes most aspiring writers and illustrators ages to figure out this basic layout. If you go into a shop and count picture book pages, they'll vary slightly, which is confusing. That's because publishers have a little leeway with how they engineer the endpapers, so you might get some extra pages. But if you want to get published, this is the most cost-efficient way of cutting one big sheet of paper into a book, so an editor will be far, far more interested in your book if you work to this format.



In some ways, it can make your job easier, because you think Here's the set number of pages I have; how am I going to fill them? I often print out the grid and write the story right into it. Don't forget, you'll need a title page and a page for all that small-print information, so the words in your story may not really start going until page 6.



Often a paperback will have two more pages than the hardcover version because the endpapers aren't glued down to the covers. Here's There's a Shark in the Bath; you can see the paperback, top, has an extra page. In the hardcover version, bottom, this page would be glued down to the cover board, which holds the pages into the book.



You don't have to stick to the template exactly, with the title page on page 5. Sometimes people put the small-print information at the end of the book, and often the story starts right in the front endpapers, not after the title page. (I like to use the endpapers to set the scene for the book.) But if you stray from this format, it's good to have a well-thought-out reason why you've done it. Board books are usually shorter than this, since the pages are thicker. If you want to see the variations, get yourself down to your local bookshop or library and start counting pages.

Some useful terms:

Double-page spread: When you open a book and two pages look up at you, this is a double-page spread. You can either have a picture or pictures on each page, or you can have one big picture spanning both pages. These spreads can be very effective; think about the size of a child. When they're reading or being read to, the picture wraps around them, plunging them into the world you've made.

Gutter: This is the middle of the book, where the pages come together. Try not to put any very important things here, such as eyes, or text, because they might disappear down the gap.

Endpapers: the pages holding the book into its cover. These might be made of a single-coloured piece of paper with nothing printed on it (the cheapest method), decorated with pictures in one colour of ink (mid-price) or full colour (the most expensive).

Pagination: Anything to do with pages. Traditionally in a 32-page picture book, the front cover is page 1. Left-hand pages are always even-numbered, right-hand pages always odd-numbered.

Bleed: When you do the final artwork, you'll slightly need to extend the edges of the picture (let it 'bleed') if you're doing a picture that goes right to the edge of the page. So paint your picture a little longer and wider than the page itself, or if you're laying out the page digitally, give extra room around the edges. Talk with your designer; the bleed will be anything from 5mm - 15mm each side. This is in case the printer doesn't cut the paper exactly right, there won't be white bits showing on the edges of the pages. Or if there's a problem fitting text, your designer will have a bit of wiggle room to move things around. (I must confess that this term made me smile while I was working on the shark book.)

Right, hope that might be helpful for a few people! I wish I'd been given the 32-page template when I first started making books; it would have saved me a lot of time. You can find a few more tips over on the FAQ section of my website.


Other news: this year's Manchester Children's Book Festival is all Sea Monkeys! I was thrilled when they asked us to give the entire festival a Seawigs theme. If you're near Manchester on Sat, 28 July, do drop by, learn how to draw your own Sea Monkey and have us sign and draw in your book! (Booking details here).



Last thing: one of my university friends posted this video on her Facebook page (via Sploid) and it is so, so wonderful. It follows the adventure of two elderly ladies, An and Ria, as they take go on their very first flight. One of them has a laugh that's so contagious, I was laughing out loud while I was watching it.

Add a Comment
10. The ‘New Yorker’ Discovers ‘Adventure Time’ After Five Seasons

This week's issue of "The New Yorker" does something that they rarely ever do: review an animated TV series. The show they elected to discuss is "Adventure Time."

0 Comments on The ‘New Yorker’ Discovers ‘Adventure Time’ After Five Seasons as of 4/16/2014 6:23:00 AM
Add a Comment
11. EASTER 2014 - meri meri

The next Easter selection is from Meri Meri, a paper goods company that began in Los Angeles and is now based in Cheltenham, England. Easter products include baking gifts such as tea towels (above) and cookie cutters (below) along with crackers, decorations and cards. Meri Meri is sold in stockists all over the world including Selfridges, John Lewis, and Amazon. See here for their UK shop or US

0 Comments on EASTER 2014 - meri meri as of 4/16/2014 4:05:00 AM
Add a Comment
12. New Asymptote

       The April issue of Asymptote is now out -- and worth your while, top to bottom. Nevertheless, a few of the highlights:

       But don't overlook the rest, either !

Add a Comment
13. Best Translated Book Awards - poetry finalists

       As a judge for the fiction category for the Best Translated Book Awards (and, let's face it, someone whose reading is entirely dominated by fiction (as I noted recently, 91 of the past 100 titles reviewed at the complete review were of works of fiction)) I focus almost exclusively on that half of the BTBA (see also yesterday's mention) -- but, of course, there's also a poetry half to the BTBA, and the finalists for that were also announced yesterday.
       I've only even seen one of these -- but that one is under review at the complete review: The Unknown University by Roberto Bolaño.

Add a Comment
14. Me And My Cat?



Review by Ariadna Sánchez

While waiting for the train at 7th Street/Metro Center station in Downtown Los Angeles, a young lady approached me for help. She was confused and worried at the same time; she needed to catch the train toward Long Beach. She was visiting Los Angeles for the first time to meet her nephew. Her words were filled with great expectation and excitement, but her spirit seemed intimidated by the speedy trains that passed by. Finally, we looked at the screen showing the Metro Blue Line schedule. The next departing train to Long Beach opened its doors welcoming all passengers aboard. When she got inside the train, it took only a few minutes before the train began moving. The young lady waved at me as the train vanished into the dark tunnel. I sat down for a moment in the waiting area for my train to arrive thinking about this experience. I put myself in this lady’s shoes and realized that life is a unique adventure full of amazing trips.

Me And My Cat? written and illustrated by Satoshi Kitamura is a story that narrates the abruptly transformation of Nicholas and his cat Leonardo. Late one night, an old lady in a pointed hat climbs through the window into Nicholas’s bedroom. She brandishes her broom, fires out some weird words, and leaves. The following morning Nicholas is living “inside” his cat Leonardo and Leonardo is living “inside” Nicholas. Nicholas is shocked to look at himself in the mirror with long whiskers, sharp claws, and purring like a sweet little kitten, MEOW! Outside the house, Nicholas, who is inside Leonardo’s body, realizes that life is tough and complicated for a cat when he is chased by three mean cats and Mr. Stone’s furious dog. Hours later, Nicholas sees himself coming back from school and acting like Leonardo, the cat.  This behavior makes his mother very upset, so she decides to call the doctor. The doctor recommends sending Nicholas to bed early. That night, the old lady in the pointed hat pays Nicholas a second visit. She apologizes for throwing a spell at the wrong person. The old lady brandishes her broom and blurts out some mysterious words disappearing as quickly as a thunder. The next day everything is back to normal, Nicholas is ready for school and Leonardo is actively climbing over the shelf. At school Mr. Gough, Nicholas’ teacher sits on the table, scratches his back, licks his cheeks, and falls asleep.

Can you guess who the old lady in the pointed hat visited last night? Be careful, you might be next!

The story Me and my Cat? stimulates deep perceptions to the young readers. Thinking about others’ needs creates mature and responsible children. Teaching values like respect, tolerance, and acceptance are some ways to show sympathy to new generations for a better community and for a better world. Visit the local library today. Reading gives you wings! Purr


0 Comments on Me And My Cat? as of 4/16/2014 6:35:00 AM
Add a Comment
15. EASTER 2014 - sainsbury's

For their design theme this Easter Sainsbury's have gone for a fun Humpty Dumpty theme which features on beakers, cups, plates, napkins and cards. Here are a few Easter items spotted in my local store.

0 Comments on EASTER 2014 - sainsbury's as of 4/16/2014 4:05:00 AM
Add a Comment
16. Would You Read It Wednesday #129 - Roy G. Biv And The Amazing Castle Moat (PB)

Sometimes a box arrives on your doorstep.

If it looks like this



you know it is a very very good kind of box!!!

When you open it, you'll see this

and then this

and then this

and finally - squeeeeeeee! -

SOMETHING CHOCOLATE!!!

Please, help yourselves!

And thank you, Kirsten, for your very thoughtful gift!  I'd like to say there were some left, but that would just be lying :)  I can say in complete truthfulness, however, that they were delicious!!! :)

Now that we are all happily munching on the proverbial bonbons, let's have a round of applause (because it would be impolite to yell "Congratulations!" with a mouth full of Godiva chocolate truffles!) for the winner of the March Pitch Pick which is. . .

Ann!
with her pitch for Sk8r Boy!!!

Congratulations, Ann!  Your pitch has been sent to editor Erin Molta for her thoughts.  I'm sure you'll hear from her shortly.

And congratulations to our other brave pitchers who also did a terrific job!  I hope you all gained from the Would You Read It experience, and I also hope you'll take a few extra congratulatory truffles :)  Best of luck with your stories!

Now then.  Onward!

Today's pitch comes to us from Charlotte who says, "When I was a little girl, a childless older couple who lived across the street gave me an oversized picture book, written in wonderful rhyming couplets.  More than a half century later, I can still recite the entire story of “The Children That Lived in a Shoe” from memory, as I visualize the pictures of the cherub-like little ones going about their daily routines. I still love this book.  Twenty-first century children deserve access to their own favorite stories that will endure for them throughout their lifetimes. I keep this in mind when I work on my PB manuscripts."

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: Roy G. Biv And The Amazing Castle Moat
Age/Genre: Picture Book (ages 5-8)
The Pitch: Sophie senses there’s magic in the world of nature, while Sam is more of a what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of kid. She likes building fairy houses but agrees to help her brother construct his sand fortress.  When a sudden summer rainstorm spares their beach castle, the overflowing moat delivers a surprise visitor, Roy G. Biv.  Sam thinks someone is playing a trick on him when he hears the guest’s voice share a rhyming, rhythmic poem about the rainbow’s colors. Sophie is delighted at how Sam finds out that Roy G. Biv is not only rather magical, but is also real.

So what do you think?  Would You Read It?  YES, MAYBE or NO?

If your answer is YES, please feel free to tell us what you particularly liked and why the pitch piqued your interest.  If your answer is MAYBE or NO, please feel free to tell us what you think could be better in the spirit of helping Charlotte improve her pitch.  Helpful examples of possible alternate wordings are welcome.  (However, I must ask that comments be constructive and respectful.  I reserve the right not to publish comments that are mean because that is not what this is about.)

Please send YOUR pitches for the coming weeks!  For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It or on the Would You Read It tab in the bar above.  There are openings in July so you've got a little time to polish up your pitches and send yours for your chance to be read by editor Erin Molta!

Charlotte is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to the upcoming Illustrators Contest which is barely a week away now!  It will open on Thursday April 24th!  I am really, really hoping that at least a few people will enter, because I would so love to see how they bring the amazing March Madness Writing Contest winners' ideas to life!  Please feel free to spread the word to all your illustrator friends and join me in looking forward to visiting some new blogs, getting to know some fabulously talented new people, and seeing some amazing art!!!

In the hope that you CAN actually teach an old dog new tricks, let's try this and see if it works.  At all.  For anyone! :)

Tweet: Grab your paint, pencils or medium of choice and join us for the First Ever Contest for Children's Illustrators! http://ctt.ec/ULddZ+ #illustration

Tweet: Contest for children's illustrators! Opens April 24! First prize portfolio critique by Michael Garland! http://ctt.ec/O1a99+ #kidlitart


Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! :)


0 Comments on Would You Read It Wednesday #129 - Roy G. Biv And The Amazing Castle Moat (PB) as of 4/16/2014 4:55:00 AM
Add a Comment
17. 2014 April PAD Challenge: Day 16

I can’t help it. Days 15 and 16 of these challenges always gets a certain song stuck in my head. You know, this song by an American rock band from New Jersey that used to be kinda cool in the ’80s. You know, that song, “bada, bada, whoooaaaahhh, we’re half-way theeeerreee; ooooooo, livin’ on a prayer; take my hand and we’ll make it I sweeaaarrrr; oooooo, livin’ on a prayer (livin’ on a prayer).” If you have no idea what I’m talking about, don’t worry; it just means you’re either older or younger than me and haven’t fully enjoyed Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” yet. Click here to watch the video on YouTube

.

For today’s prompt, write an elegy. An elegy doesn’t have specific formal rules. Rather, it’s a poem for someone who has died. In fact, elegies are defined as “love poems for the dead” in John Drury’s The Poetry Dictionary. Of course, we’re all poets here, which means everything can be bent. So yes, it’s perfectly fine if you take this another direction–for instance, I once wrote an elegy for card catalogs. Have at it!

*****

Workshop your poetry!

Click here to learn more

.

*****

Here’s my attempt at an Elegy:

“betty”

i began collecting things
foil and pizza boxes and
country western vhs tapes
and lighthouses and native
american figurines and i
piled them up beside your
grave that grew less fresh
every day and still i ran
out into the street asking
for donations at red lights
and bringing treasures to pile
up in the elements and then
i climbed to the top of this
massive mound to proclaim
myself king and to pray and
to sacrifice and to feel winds
weather me but i’ve come
to realize the days begin and
end the same the trees still
blossom and birds arrive and
depart and nothing i can do
will bring you back to me




















*****

Today’s guest judge is…

Bob Hicok

Bob Hicok

Bob Hicok

Bob is the author of several poetry collections, including This Clumsy Living, Words for Empty and Words for Full, and most recently Elegy Owed

. He teaches creative writing at Virginia Tech and before teaching owned and ran a successful automotive die design business.

His poems have appeared in Poetry, The New Yorker, and Best American Poetry. His collections Elegy Owed and Animal Soul have been finalists for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Learn more here: http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/1126

.

*****

PYHO_Small_200x200

Poem Your Heart Out

Poems, Prompts & Room to Add Your Own for the 2014 April PAD Challenge!

Words Dance Publishing is offering 20% off pre-orders for the Poem Your Heart Out anthology until May 1st! If you’d like to learn a bit more about our vision for the book, when it will be published, among other details.

Click to continue

.

*****

Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems

. That book includes a poem titled “betty,” which is about the same person, but it’s a different poem (or Robert’s discovered the secret of time travel and has just kick-started a complete unraveling of the time space continuum). Learn more about Robert here: http://www.robertleebrewer.com/.

*****

Console yourselves with these poetic posts:

.
  • Sara Tracey: Poet Interview
  • .
  • Triversen: Poetic Form
  • .

    Add a Comment
    18. EASTER 2014 - round-up

    And here are a selection of Easter bits and pieces that have caught my eye around the web. Above and below two Easter cards by Fays Studio. Below : Easter decorations from The Contemporary Home. Below : Lovely spring pastel colours on Egg Cosies from Little Ella James. Below - paper cut printables including Easter bunny, card and basket available as a set of instant downloads from

    0 Comments on EASTER 2014 - round-up as of 4/16/2014 4:05:00 AM
    Add a Comment
    19. Spotlight and Giveaway – Plain Jayne by Laura Drewry

     

     

    Plain Jayne  By Laura Drewry

    Publisher: Loveswept Contemporary Romance

    Publication Date: April 8, 2014

    ISBN: 978-0-8041-7773-3

    In Laura Drewry’s funny, heartwarming Loveswept debut, a man and a woman learn the hard way that a little bit of love makes staying friends a whole lot harder.

    Worn out from the long drive back home, Jayne Morgan can only smirk at the irony: Of course the first person she sees from her old life is Nick Scott. Once best friends, they lost touch when Jayne left town at eighteen, but nothing could keep them apart forever. Jayne has returned to take over her grandmother’s bookstore, determined to put all her bittersweet memories and secret disappointments strictly in the past—until, that is, Nick insists she bunk at his place.

    Nick never did care what people thought about having a girl for a best friend—or the “scandal” she caused by showing up to his wife’s funeral four years earlier—so he’s got no problem with the gossips now. Jayne was always the one person he could count on in his life. Now Nick is starting to realize that he never wants her to leave again . . . and that being “just friends” isn’t going to be enough anymore.

    Available 4/08/14:

    Random House: http://www.randomhouse.ca/search/node/laura%20drewry

    Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Plain-Jayne-Laura-Drewry-ebook/dp/B00FUZQZZO/ref=la_B00J6PQ8EW_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1396072181&sr=1-1

    B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/plain-jayne-laura-drewry/1117135307?ean=9780804177733

    iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/book/plain-jayne/id737586209?mt=11

     

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

    Laura Drewry had been scribbling things for years before she decided to seriously sit down and write. After spending eight years in the Canadian north, Laura now lives back home in southwestern British Columbia with her husband, three sons, a turtle named Sheldon, and an extremely energetic German Shepherd. She loves old tattered books, good movies, country music, and the New York Yankees.

    Website: http://www.lauradrewry.com/

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Laura-Drewry-Author/229599547078623

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/lauradrewry

    Excerpt from Chapter Two of PLAIN JAYNE by Laura Drewry

    “Well I’m sure as hell not staying in that apartment, Nick, so unless you’ve got a better idea . . .”

    “As a matter of fact . . .” Was he crazy to even suggest it? Probably. Would she agree to it? Probably not. “I know a great place with plenty of room, kitchen’s available 24/7, open bar, flat screen, free wireless, and easy access to laundry services.”

    A moment’s hesitation, a frown, then her blue eyes flew open. “No way.”

    “Why not? It’s perfect.”

    “No.”

    Nick ignored her and kept driving. What could she do—jump out?

    “To make up for being such a prick the last time he saw you, the owner’s offering free room and board for as long as you like.”

    He could hear the arguments building behind her open-mouthed gape. Best to cut her off before she started.

    “What’s the big deal? You need a room, and I’ve got one. Big one, too, with your own bathroom and a butt load of closet space.”

    “Seriously?” She lifted her hands, palms up, and exhaled a snort that pretty much covered how stupid she thought he was. “What’s the big deal? You mean besides the fact it’s just flat-out weird?”

    “Says who?” As far as he was concerned, it was a done deal. Hell, even if there were hotel rooms available, this made more sense.

    “Says me!” She made a sound like a wounded bear, which only made Nick laugh. “We haven’t seen each other in four years, Nick, and before that—”

    He rolled his eyes. “Before that you refused to stay with me because you thought Abby hated you.”

    “She did!” The growl sounded again, slower, longer. “There was no way she would’ve let me stay with you and there was no way in hell I’d even ask.”

    “Well, you’re not asking, and Abby’s not here to put up a fight, is she?”

    That shut her up for a second; but only a second. “What are people going to think?”

    “Who cares?” He followed the highway around past the ball field and over the bridge.

    “Hello!” she snorted. “Does the name Debra Scott ring a bell? Jeez, Nick—your mother has found a way to blame me for every breakup you ever had, so if it even looks like I’ve come back to shack up with her darling little Nicky, she’s going to have me strung up in town square faster than you can say ‘Holy flying axe throw, Batman.’”

    “Town square? Really?” He laughed, then pulled his arm out of reach when she made to smack him. “The gallows were dismantled a couple months back, so you’re probably pretty safe.”

    “Very funny.”

    From the corner of his eye, he could see she was shaking her head at him, but as he steered the truck into the exit lane, he caught the glimpse of a smile.

    “Didn’t you tell me you had a girlfriend?”

    Damn it. He’d been seeing Lisa for a couple months now, and even though he didn’t consider it anything serious, he knew Lisa did. He’d have to at least let her know what was going on.

    Jayne clicked her tongue. “I’ll take your silence as a yes.”

    “So?”

    “Oh my God, Nick, do you rent out that space in your head? No woman is going to be happy about her boyfriend inviting another woman to live with him.”

    “It’ll be fine.” It was more of a hope than a lie. “So unless you’ve got someone who’s going to kick my ass for even suggesting this . . .”

    He waited for her to answer, but when she didn’t, he laughed.

    “I’ll take your silence as a no. Any other excuses?”

    “I’m thinking.”

    “Think fast, because we’re almost there.”

    “This is crazy.”

    “No. Driving back and forth to Vancouver every day is crazy; this is nothing.” At the stop sign, he glanced over and watched her chew her bottom lip. “I’m not saying you should move in permanently, just stay until we get your place fixed up. And trust me, my place is a hell of a lot better than a hotel room we both know will never be clean enough, no matter how much you clean it yourself.”

    The second her nose wrinkled, he knew he had her.

    “How did you survive the hotel rooms on the trip out, anyway?” he asked.

    Her mouth twitched a little before she finally smiled. “I bought a sleeping bag.”

    “And how many tubs of Lysol wipes did you go through?”

    “Only two.” After a second, she sighed and lifted her left shoulder. “And a half.”

    Two and a half tubs of wipes. He could have pulled the I-told-you-so card, but didn’t. Instead, he just drove on, waiting for her to realize he’d won.

    “And what if your girlfriend freaks out?”

    “Her name’s Lisa, and she won’t.” At least he hoped she wouldn’t.

    “You don’t know that,” Jayne cried, fisting her hands against her knees. “What makes you think Linda’s going to feel any different than Abby did? I don’t want to screw this up for you.”

    “It’s Lisa.” Nick sighed quietly. “And no one’s going to screw anything up, Jayne. If she can’t handle you and me, that’s her problem.”

    “No, Nick, it usually ends up being my problem.” Jayne huffed so hard it was surprising she had any breath left to keep talking. “It’s not exactly normal that we’re . . . like this . . . and you can’t blame people for thinking the worst.”

    “What worst? If my best friend was a guy, there’d be no problem with him staying at my place, so I don’t get why it’s a problem to have you stay there.”

    “The problem,” she ground out, “is that I’m not a guy. In case you hadn’t noticed, you idiot, I’m a girl.”

    It was all Nick could do not to laugh out loud. They may have been best friends all these years, but he was still a guy. He noticed.

    Admitting it, though, would only prove her point.

    He wheeled the truck into the long driveway and threw it in park. “I’m telling you, Lisa won’t care. And if she does, that’s between her and me, it’s got nothing to do with you.”

    “Yeah, right. Until she goes crying to your mother and I end up on the top of the Debra Scott hit list again.”

    “Not gonna happen. Besides”—he pushed the button on his visor and the garage door jerked then started rolling up—“there’s someone else who wants you to stay.”

    A second later, his old basset hound came wobbling out from under the door, his tail swinging, his ears flapping along beside him.

    “Duke!” Jayne was out of the truck before Nick pulled the key out of the ignition. Cooing and laughing, she dropped to the driveway, arms outstretched.

    Nick climbed out of the truck and laughed as he walked over to where Duke had already climbed onto Jayne’s lap and was busy smothering her face in wet sloppy kisses.

    “Looks like we got us a houseguest, buddy.”

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    The post Spotlight and Giveaway – Plain Jayne by Laura Drewry appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

    Add a Comment
    20. New Story from Rick Riordan

    Rick Riordan photo

    “The Staff of Serapis”

    You might remember last year, Rick Riordan published “The Son of Sobek” as an extra crossover story in the The Serpent’s Shadow. The story featured both Percy Jackson and Carter Kane together in the same story. It’s crazy when characters jump out of their own series and into other characters’ series, right? Well, Riordan has done it again. He announced on his blog last week that the new U.S. paperback edition of The Mark of Athena in stores now features a story with Annabeth Chase and Sadie Kane! It has the awesome title “The Staff of Serapis.”

    The Staff of Serapis book cover

    If you don’t want to buy The Mark of Athena paperback, the story will be available in e-formats, with the cover above, on May 20. Or you could, you know, rush to the library and see if they have the new paperback edition with the story at the end. Tell the librarian it MUST be the 2014 paperback edition!

    What do you think? Did you like “The Son of Sobek”

    enough to want a second story? Do you think Riordan should write an entire series combining all his characters?? Leave a Comment.

    Add a Comment
    21. Press Release Fun: Children’s Literary Salon – Podcasting Children’s Books

    I’m so pleased with this next Salon that I’m fit to burst.  Somehow I managed to wrangle THREE of our best children’s literary podcasters into one place at one time.  If I were a person prone to the term “squee” I would apply it here, now.

    New York Public Library is pleased to announce our next Children’s Literary Salon held this Saturday, April 19th at 2:00 p.m.:

    Podcasting Children’s Books: Ins and Outs, Ups and Downs

     

    Join podcasters Katie Davis (Brain Burps About Books), John Sellers (PW KidsCast), and Matthew Winner (Let’s Get Busy) in conversation about the world of children’s literary podcasting and their experiences with the form.

    Katie Davis is a children’s author/illustrator with titles ranging from picture books like Little Chicken’s Big Day to her latest, a young adult novel called Dancing With the Devil. She’s a video marketing maven and a “writerpreneur” with the #1 podcast in iTunes in the Children’s Publishing category Brain Burps About Books, and teaches tech-wary writers how to build and strengthen their platforms through video. She also coaches on social media and marketing, or as Katie calls it, “making friends and meeting people.”

    John A. Sellers is the children’s reviews editor at Publishers Weekly. He also hosts the magazine’s children’s books podcast,PW KidsCast, and edits its cookbooks e-newsletter, Cooking the Books.

    Elementary teacher and librarian Matthew Winner blogs at The Busy Librarian and is the creator of the Let’s Get Busypodcast.  In 2013 he was named one of SLJ’s Movers & Shakers.  Citing “his innovative ideas and boundless enthusiasm for student learning and engagement” SLJ also highlighted that Matthew is Maryland’s 2012 Outstanding User of Technology Educator, is a White House “Champion of Change,” and a published author.
    This event will take place in the Stephen A. Schwarzman building (the main branch of New York Public Library) in the South Court Auditorium.

    share save 171 16 Press Release Fun: Childrens Literary Salon   Podcasting Childrens Books

    0 Comments on Press Release Fun: Children’s Literary Salon – Podcasting Children’s Books as of 4/16/2014 6:39:00 AM
    Add a Comment
    22. PFAS: “Seeing School” by Kate Coombs


    Watch for the ending image of the smiling girl with glasses in this fun poem movie created by Shelly P. for “Seeing School” by Kate Coombs.

    Click here now.


    You’ll find this poem in Week 25 in the 1st Grade section of The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science.


    0 Comments on PFAS: “Seeing School” by Kate Coombs as of 4/16/2014 4:21:00 AM
    Add a Comment
    23. Don Bartlett Q & A

           At the World Literature Today weblog Sarah Smith has a Q & A with translator (of Knausgaard, among others) Don Bartlett, Translating Norway's Love of Literature.

    Add a Comment
    24. Street scene with a cool underpainting

    Warm air from the south has arrived in the Hudson Valley. The last remnants of winter have nearly vanished, except for one small pile of snow at the end of my neighbor's driveway. 

    I'm thinking about fire devouring ice when I start this street scene. How can I convey that feeling?

    I open my sketchbook to a page that is pre-painted with blue tones. The blue color is casein: titanium white mixed with cerulean blue. I allow it to dry for a couple of days so the paint surface is closed. The blue will serve nicely as a complementary base for a picture in browns and oranges.


    Here's what the surface looks like when I start. I sketch in the lines with a reddish-brown water-soluble colored pencil.

    Now I dive in with gouache. I could have used casein or acrylic—anything opaque. Starting with the sky, I apply warm colors with a flat brush. I cover the surface, careful to leave some blue areas showing through, especially on that windshield. I want that car to be the focal point.

    I don't hesitate to cover up the lines of the underdrawing. I can find everything again with the brush.

    I add more reddish-brown darks on the car and the awning at left. I try to keep any extreme darks from intersecting the sky. I want achieve the feeling that the skylight is flaring across nearby forms and devouring them, as if the sticks and branches are tossed into the furnace.

    Ralph Waldo Emerson writes about "the fire, vital, consecrating, celestial, which burns until it shall dissolve all things into the waves and surges of an ocean of light."


    Here's a detail about as wide the "shift" key on your computer. Those highlights on the car were blinding. 

    See, I'm squinting! You can scroll back up to see the final painting.
    -----

    0 Comments on Street scene with a cool underpainting as of 4/16/2014 4:31:00 AM
    Add a Comment
    25. The ballot for the 2014 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards...

    March book one...has been released.

    The YA contenders are:

    Battling Boy, by Paul Pope
    Bluffton: My Summers with Buster, by Matt Phelan
    Boxers and Saints, by Gene Luen Yang
    Dogs of War, by Sheila Keenan and Nathan Fox
    March (Book One), by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell
    Templar, by Jordan Mechner, LeUyen Pham, and Alex Puviland

    Click on through for the other categories!

    Add a Comment

    View Next 25 Posts