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It has been a CRAZY summer! I am REALLY behind on posting here.
I went to Portland in July for ICON the illustration conference and just got back from 2 weeks in Romania. I am now digging out from under a TON of work.
So, enjoy these ICON and Portland sketches.
ICON was a great time. I met a lot of cool artists and got to visit LAIKA studios.
I do wish they had a set up that involved smaller groups rather than a lecture hall for all the presentations one after the other. I know there are a lot of challenges putting up an event like this, but there was an impersonal, lecture hall freshmen 101 feeling to it that would have probably been helped by everyone picking 3 or 4 smaller sessions a day to see.
It would have also been less overwhelming.
The speakers were very good for the most part; there was just a fatigue that set in when you watched so many in a day.
The workshops were set up more in that way and were excellent.
Michael Del Mundo is an artist who’s responsible for so many great comic book covers of late, but I didn’t realize, until recently, who he was. The new Marvel Now Elektra series features both cover art, and interiors by Del Mundo, and it’s received a ton of well deserved critical acclaim. In fact, he, and writer William H. Blackman have impressed Marvel so much with their work that they’ve been promised another project once Elektra ends.
Del Mundo has brought the same unconventional, and dynamic style to his interior artwork, that has made his covers so memorable. I’m looking forward to see what comes next for this exciting, young artist!
Michael Del Mundo is from the Philippines, and currently lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. You can follow his blog here.
For more comics related art, you can follow me on my websitecomicstavern.com- Andy Yates
Maggie Vaults Over the Moon is listed among the great reads on the 2014-15 Battle of the Books list in the Wichita Diocese Catholic Schools. The Battle of the Books is a popular reading contest for 5th and 6th graders … Continue reading →
“Her heart wept when she realized that the hardest part about loving him was the idea that his love was never meant for her.”
Walking with a pronounced limp all her life has never stopped fifteen-year-old Kiva Mau from doing what she loves. While most girls her age are playing sports and perfecting their traditional Samoan dance, Kiva finds serenity in her sketchbook and volunteering at the run-down art center her extended family owns.
When seventeen-year-old Ryler Cade steps into the art center for the first time, Kiva is drawn to the angry and misguided student sent from abroad to reform his violent ways. Scarred and tattooed, an unlikely friendship is formed when the gentle Kiva shows him kindness and beauty through art.
After a tragic accident leaves Kiva severely disfigured, she struggles to see the beauty she has been brought up to believe. Just when she thinks she’s found her place, Ryler begins to pull away, leaving her heartbroken and confused. The patriarch of the family then takes a turn for the worse and Kiva is forced to give up her dreams to help with familial obligations, until an old family secret surfaces that makes her question everything.
Immersed in the world of traditional art and culture, this is the story of self-sacrifice and discovery, of acceptance and forbearance, of overcoming adversity and finding one’s purpose. Spanning years, it is a story about an intuitive girl and a misunderstood boy and love that becomes real when tested.
Sieni A.M. is a coffee addict, Instagram enthusiast, world traveler, and avid reader turned writer. She graduated as an English and History high school teacher from the University of Canterbury and is currently living in Israel with her husband and two daughters. “Scar of the Bamboo Leaf” is her second novel.
Today I conducted a simple writing workshop at Fairway Park in Miramar, FL. This was my fifth visit to the park’s after care program as a teaching artist. With the first group of 30 kids, ages 5-8, the children wrote 1-3 sentence stories entitled, “My Best Day Ever” and drew pictures to go along with their stories. Then they read them out loud to their peers. There were lots of spelling questions, and one impressive six-year-old boy seemed to know how to spell just about every word. Stories included themes about Disney trips, Christmas day presents, birthdays, family outings and getting good grades at school.
Kindergarten through second graders
This adorable five-year-old’s handwriting was perfect, as was his grammar and spelling for his birthday party Best Day Ever story.
Sharing his artwork of a bus with superpowers with the group
Time to show off their hard work!
With the older group of 35 children, ages 9-13, the assignment was to write a letter to someone they know who has had a positive influence on them. First I read to the group a personal letter of thanks I wrote to my late grandfather as an example and so they were not the only ones pouring their hearts out.
I am happy to report that overwhelmingly the children wrote thank you letters to their parents and a few to teachers,- a few with impressive detail. Some were so incredibly thoughtful, I’m sure it will bring tears to the recipients’ eyes. It takes courage to stand up and read a personal letter to a large group of peers – especially at this age – and I’m proud of all who did!
Some lucky people will be receiving this kind, thoughtful letters!
A letter from a nine-year-old boy to his dad
What I learned today is that children want to be good writers. Some decided not to read their work out loud, and some others wanted me to read for them. All the children listened to the stories being read by their peers with respect. What surprised me most is that the children were excited to write by hand, although all printed and none used cursive.
The message I left with the children is, “Reading is the number one factor in determining your financial success in the future. The only way to become a good writer is to read a lot and practice writing a lot. Any worthwhile writing requires numerous revisions. No matter what career you choose down the road you’ll be a lot more successful if you are a good writer. Read what others have written and decide what you like – or don’t like – about it Then get inspired to write something amazing yourself.”
What a rewarding and fun day we all had. A big thank to Site Supervisor Randy Kaiser for inviting me back to visit today and to the dedicated teachers there who keep the children focused and learning. I look forward to another visit with Fairway kids!
Kick Lannigan, 21, is a survivor. Abducted at age six in broad daylight, the police, the public, perhaps even her family assumed the worst had occurred.
And then Kathleen Lannigan was found, alive, six years later. In the early months following her freedom, as Kick struggled with PTSD, her parents put her through a litany of therapies, but nothing helped until the detective who rescued her suggested Kick learn to fight. Before she was thirteen, Kick learned marksmanship, martial arts, boxing, archery, and knife throwing. She excelled at every one, vowing she would never be victimized again.
But when two children in the Portland area go missing in the same month, Kick goes into a tailspin. Then an enigmatic man Bishop approaches her with a proposition: he is convinced Kick's experiences and expertise can be used to help rescue the abductees. Little does Kick know the case will lead directly into her terrifying past…
Writing Chelsea Cain is one of my favorite thriller authors. I think she does a great job of creating flawed characters that the reader can truly root for, but believe at the same time. I mean, within limits - this is thriller writing, so yeah, we do have to suspend our disbelief a bit. She also does a great job of creating creepy, loathsome villains.
Entertainment Value This is where the novel shines. I read the entire book in one sitting, staying up till 2 AM to finish. I'm not typically one to sacrifice sleep for reading, so it says something about how much I was into the story. Loving the characters was just part of the pleasure - the book is also fast-paced and keeps the reader (or at least this reader) on the edge of her seat. Lots of fun, particularly with Kick, who knows how to do everything except take care of herself. And I loved her relationship with both her birth family and the family of her own creation.
Overall If you like Chelsea Cain, then you definitely have to try it. I also recommend it to fans of the thriller genre. In addition, I think it's worth giving a try if you're not looking for anything ultra-dark or intense. And by that I mean you're not going to get anything darker than the typical fare from shows like Criminal Minds or Law and Order. It does center around a child pornography ring, but there are no descriptions of child porn or abuse, just the knowledge that that is what is going on. If you're particularly squeamish about the subject, it may be one to avoid, but, again, you won't be exposed to anything not seen on the typical network hour crime drama.
Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a copy to review.
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Each year the SCBWI sponsors two student writer scholarships to the Summer and Winter Conferences for full-time university students in an English or Creative Writing program.
This is an invaluable opportunity for young writers! We are now accepting applications for the 2015 SCBWI Winter Conference in New York, February 6-8.
–Full tuition to main conference events including keynotes and breakout sessions. (Award does not include travel or hotel expenses.)
–Exclusive exposure to industry professionals at the conference.
–An SCBWI Conference advisor to help navigate the jammed-packed weekend.
NY Conference: Admission to the Writers’ Plot Intensive or Writers' Roundtables event.
Deadline: December 8, 2014
1. You must be at least eighteen years old to apply.
2. All full-time students enrolled in an accredited educational institution are eligible to apply.
One winner will be chosen from a graduate or doctoral program and one winner will be chosen from an undergraduate program.
Applicants are required to submit:
–Short cover letter stating why you want to attend the conference and a synopsis of your work.
–Five-page sample of a manuscript
–Copy of your student ID
–Letter of recommendation sent directly from a professor at your university.
Applications MUST BE electronically submitted as ONE PDF to:
kaylaDOTheinenATscbwiDOTorg (Change AT to @ and DOT to . )
Letters of recommendation can be sent separately as a Word document.
Applications will be judged by a panel decided by SCBWI.
In the event that a recipient cannot attend for any reason, the grant committee should be notified as soon as possible. The scholarship may, in that event, be awarded to another applicant. The grant is not transferrable and cannot be postponed. SCBWI reserves the right not to award the scholarship in any given year.
One reason I love my high school library job is that I don’t have to tell people what to do all day. Sure, I’m always checking passes, giving instructions and directions, or pointing the way to obtain the desired outcome. But, when a teen walks through the doors of our school library the decision about what to do next is totally up to them. It is so unlike walking into a classroom where the next 90 minutes are highly structured and choices are circumscribed. The ability to provide an intellectually stimulating environment where teens get to make the choice of what to do next is empowering for our young people and deserves to be protected.
The high school library is one of the few places where students are given decision-making power. Sure, it is the decision-making power over their own actions, but, that is where empowerment starts. When they walk through that library door, decisions await. Where to sit, computer or table? Do they need to work, or socialize a bit? Should they listen to music while they work independently, or work with a group of classmates? Do they want to work with a group of our coders on the 3D printer or lounge in a comfy chair and read a magazine? Perhaps they stayed up late studying last night and just need to take a nap. The library is one of the few places on the high school campus where students can be self-directed.
The library is the third place for our teens. Described by Ray Oldenburg as neither work (classroom) or home the third place is where community building and a sense of place are fostered and nourished. I say it is also a place where youth empowerment occurs. In our library, where teens have choices and can create their own culture we have helped to foster this third place. It is the place where the 3C’s of the 21st Century learning paradigm come together: communication, collaboration and creativity.
In a time when school and district administrators, as well as city government, want to defund libraries, eliminate staff and cut hours it is time for librarians to show that keeping libraries open and accessible is valuable. Just because many of our students research online and are collections are more digital than ever, school libraries remain that third place where students can become creators rather than just consumers. School libraries and teen libraries are that place where kids can meet, create, and communicate. In fact, it is one of the few places left for students to be able to do this and we owe it to them to keep our libraries open and staffed.
I’ve always been interested in the ways writers think about family history—and especially about echoes, or the lack thereof, through the generations—if they do, as they work. I’m grateful to Tin House for allowing me to indulge this curiosity in a new series of brief but wide-ranging interviews with authors about ancestry. First up, Christopher Beha:
Maud Newton: When we first met to talk about the essay I eventually ended up writing for Harper’s, you mentioned an ancestral house upstate where your family spends time every summer. Do you think visiting that old homestead has influenced your thinking about ancestry?
Christopher Beha: Without a doubt. The house was built by the first Behas of my line to come to America from Germany in the second half of the nineteenth century. They farmed for a couple of generations on land my family still owns, and members of the family continued to spend a lot of time there after my great-great grandmother moved the family down to New York City. So there’s a lot of family history there. There are still some Behas living in the area (though they pronounce the name differently than my family does), and there is a Beha Road not far from the house. I can walk a mile down the road to the churchyard and see the graves of Matthias and Theresa Beha, my great-great-great grandparents, who brought their family over 150 years ago. All of this has influenced my sense of ancestry as something that is still present in my world, even if it is often invisible.
The rest is here. Future interview subjects will include Laila Lalami, Emily Mandel, Celeste Ng, Saeed Jones, and Katherine Faw Morris.
Who knew being brave would be so hard.
That’s a lesson Zippy learns when challenged by his older brother.
So he sets out to prove just how courageous he is.
Join Zippy on a nighttime adventure as he discovers not everyone in the forest is friendly.
Paperback: 50 pages
Publisher: White Bird Publications (September 2, 2014)
Hardcover: 50 pages
Publisher: White Bird Publications (September 2, 2014)
File Size: 24689 KB
Print Length: 50 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: White Bird Publications, LLC; 1 edition (September 2, 2014)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
When the royal family is brutally murdered, Princess Kazia alone is left to rule the kingdom. But how can she rule when her home has burned to the ground and at any moment the assassin may return to finish the job?
Under the protection of the Captain of the Royal Guard — her late brother’s childhood best friend — the princess must flee to protect herself and what is left of the royal line until the assassin can be found and brought to justice. First to her uncle’s estate and then to her betrothed’s kingdom, but the assassin seems to be one step ahead of them all along the way.
And then there is the captain. With every mile they travel together, Princess Kazia must fight the feelings for him that she thought she had left behind long ago.
Surviving until her coronation seems like an impossible task. But survive she must…
With both her life and her heart at stake, the weak and seemingly helpless Princess Kazia still bears a secret. One that can either save her and her kingdom or take everything she has left.
My thoughts: This is a brand spanking new release from Wendy Knight. I have to say, I’m a huge fan of hers. After getting sucked into her Feudling books, and then her Riders of Paradesos, I jumped at the chance to read this one. She doesn’t disappoint! With an interesting world, and great characters (loved the wolf too!) you’ll get pulled right in. If you love fantasy romance spiced up with action don’t miss Wendy Knight’s Shattered Assassin!
Wendy Knight was born and raised in Utah by a wonderful family who spoiled her rotten because she was the baby. Now she spends her time driving her husband crazy with her many eccentricities (no water after five, terror when faced with a live phone call, etcetera, etcetera). She also enjoys chasing her three adorable kids, playing tennis, watching football, reading, and hiking. Camping is also big: her family is slowly working toward a goal of seeing all the National Parks in the U.S.
You can usually find her with at least one Pepsi nearby, wearing ridiculously high heels for whatever the occasion may be. And if everything works out just right, she will also be writing.
Right--in the interests of full disclosure, Gwenda and I have the same agent, and we've been blog buds for a number of years, so be aware that any viewpoints herein may or may not be free of personal bias. :) I received a review copy of this book... Read the rest of this post
The setting for Laika’s upcoming stop motion film The Boxtrolls takes place in in Cheesebridge, a fictional faux-18th century city that houses the underground dwelling Boxtrolls and everyone else, who live above ground under the political lead of the Lord Portley-Rind and his upper crust council The White Hats. To help visualize the world of The Boxtrolls, which is a mélange of German Expressionism, steampunk and tktktkt, they enlisted the aid of concept illustrator Michel Breton. Breton’s work possesses a nervous line quality that was kept in the final designs for not only the props and sets but also the costumes. “A lot of the linework in these costumes is slightly crooked which fits in perfectly with the sets,” said Deborah Cook, who designed the costumes for the film. “It comes from the original concept illustrations for the film, the line work is kind of wiggly and we just brought that through to combine everything into our own unique look for Cheesebridge. The Cheesebridge look.” Cook, who also designed the costumes for ParaNorman, Fantastic Mr. Fox and Corpse Bride, does technical fabric testing and character studies as well as working with the project designer, directors and character designer to help develop the film’s visual language and the color script. Eugène Delacroix’s “Liberty Leading the People”, 1830 To get a vibe for the colors used in an era, Cook begins by looking at art from the time period. The color palette for the costumes came from Delacroix’s “Liberty Leading the People”. “It’s just got little bits of turquoise and ochre and different shades of yellow and the browns and the touches of token red is where the Red Hats came in.” “We wanted some authenticity to the era so we’ve used some velvets and chiffons and things, but we back them in something [else]. We use the properties of two fabrics, for example, Eggs’ pants has got a non-stretch suiting on the top, but it’s backed with lycra.” In terms of construction, some of the sewing on the surface is done with machines, but the costumes are always fitted onto the puppets by hand. “All of the puppets are hand made so they’ve got a certain difference in them, so even though there might be duplicate [puppets] of Eggs, each one has got it’s own little idiosyncratic shape. It might only be a few millimeters out here or there but it’s a big difference [in stop motion]. If you did that all by machine and tried to fit it, each puppet would look so different, so you really have to line it up by eye and fit it by hand. (Costume Image #2) When with such small subjects, scale is always a concern. If a character is supposed to be wearing denim, you cannot use the actual fabric, because once it’s blown up to full size on the screen, it will no longer look like denim. Laika uses laser etching to create everything from pressed velvets, to lace, to cutting elaborate patterns into materials. Cook also did intensive research on military and gang clothing. This was particularly a great deal of inspiration for Cheesebridge’s high society TKTKT, The White Hats and Snatcher’s exterminator crew The Red Hats. “For the white hats, it’s kind of a distilled [military] presence; lot of medals and sashes. Lord Portley-Rind looks militaristic, he’s got his plate on the front, he’s got his tails and his top hat and his feather plume. As far as gangs, [it was] to try and get a feel for how people customized their own clothing and how much of it came from or are influenced by more sort of upper class clothing. [So] when it comes to the Red Hats, [the mark making is] done in a very different way, it still denotes them as a kind of gang or a team or as a recruited party of some kind but they’ve sort of customized their own jackets.” To compliment the contorted lines of the sets, crooked line work was implemented into the designs of the costumes. TKTKTKT still functional… “We put [the lines] in places where the pants needed to stretch so that when he’s not moving those lines are closer together and when he moves it gives him the stretch that he needs. It really helps the animators if he needs to kneel down so he’s got a lot of lines around his knees and up around his butt. Another thing we do in the costume [is] we line the seams up so everything’s got several purposes, they also need to pass over the puppet’s access points so they’re not twisting the costumes around or impairing movement.”
Christine Elizabeth Eldin (1966-2012) was an aspiring middle grade author. Her passion for learning, and for sharing her knowledge with young people, inspired her to earn a master's degree in education and dedicate her life to writing young adult literature. She co-founded "Book Roast," an online book promotion site that spotlighted the recent releases of dozens of authors. She also maintained a popular blog and actively supported her community of fellow writers. She was a loving mother, sister, and daughter, and a dear friend to many.
Chris left this world too soon when her life took a tragic turn. Her gentle soul, creative spirit, and generous heart will forever be remembered by the many people whose lives she touched and inspired. *
The Christine Eldin Memorial Fellowship ("Eldin Fellowship") has two purposes: 1. Honor the memory of Chris Eldin. 2. Provide recognition and financial assistance to an unpublished middle grade fiction writer whose work-in-progress reveals potential for a successful writing career.
The Lascaux Review will host an annual contest to choose a "best" middle grade novel work-in-progress, along with a short list of finalists, among entries submitted. The contest will be conducted initially in 2014 (for award of the 2015 fellowship) and scheduled annually thereafter. A middle grade novel is understood to mean a work of fiction, typically a chapter book, for readers between the ages of eight and twelve.
Any unpublished middle grade manuscript, in whole or part, for which no publication contract exists at the time of submission, is eligible. Only English language submissions will be considered.
Contestants cannot be previously published in middle grade book-length fiction. Other types of previous publications are allowed. Previously self-published works are allowed. Contestants may be of any nationality and reside anywhere.
Judging takes place in two stages. In the first stage contestants submit the first 5000 words of their manuscripts, along with a synopsis. The synopsis may be of any length not exceeding 2000 words, and it should describe the entire story, including how it ends. Contestants submit digital files (doc, docx, pdf, rtf, etc.) via Submittable. The entry fee is $10. Readers selected by the Eldin Fellowship committee will choose the finalists.
In the second stage, a judge selected by the Eldin Fellowship committee selects a winner.
The first year's fellowship is $1000 and a trophy. The first year's judge is Louise Hawes.
Deadline for submissions is 31 December. For more information contact:
lascauxreviewATgmailDOTcom (Change AT to @ and DOT to . )
To submit to the contest, click on the following link.
To contribute to a fundraiser presently underway, visit Indiegogo.
According to Andye
If you've hung out with me, or around this blog for any amount of time, you'll know that YA Fantasy is my absolute favorite genre. Every time I hear there's a new one being published I start going into freak-out mode, needing to have it in my hands NOW! So, not surprisingly, many people ask me for recs of the best. I don't think I've ever actually compiled a list, so I
Our parents beautiful Log Home is for sale. On a hilltop in Southern Vermont it is both a hideaway, a peaceful retreat, and a place where the family and extended family can enjoy 67 acres of beauty, sports, and fun year round.
Actor Matt Smith has been cast in the Pride & Prejudice & Zombies film adaptation. Smith is best known for playing the Eleventh Doctor on the Dr. Who TV series.
The book was originally envisioned by author Seth Grahame-Smith who transformed Jane Austen’s beloved novel into a mash-up story. Quirk Books released the book back in January 2008.
Here’s more from The Hollywood Reporter: “The long-in-the-works, on-and-off again project is finally going before cameras Sept. 24 with a cast that includes Lily James, Sam Riley, Jack Huston, Bella Heathcote, and Douglas Booth. Burr Steers is behind the camera.”