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1. The World of Publishing: 1991 vs. 2014

The Diamond Lane, published in May 1991, was my second novel, and what is most striking about the difference between the publishing process 23 years ago and now is not that the book was written on a Kaypro, Xeroxed at Kinko's, and sent overnight in a FedEx box to G. P. Putnam's Sons, but that [...]

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2. Inspirational Artists: Victoria Ying and Mike Yamada

Husband and wife duo, Mike Yamada and Victoria Ying, are both tremendously talented Visual Development artists in Animation. They share some life experiences and give advice for those interested in making art as a career. Their film credits include Disney’s Frozen, Big Hero 6, Dreamworks’ Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon.

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3. Love My Library

I was quoted on The Geeky Blogger's Book Blog during her "LOVE YOUR LIBRARY" month.



Stop by to see all the quotes if you like...use this link.


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4. Bone, Fog, Ash & Star: The Last Days of Tian Di, Book 3

Bone, Fog, Ash & Star: The Last Days of Tian Di, Book 3 | Storytime Standouts

Storytime Standouts guest contributor @1prncs writes about Bone, Fog, Ash & Star: The Last Days of Tian Di, Book 3Bone, Fog, Ash & Star: The Last Days of Tian Di, Book 3 written by Catherine Egan
Young Adult fiction published by Coteau Books









Read our interview with Catherine Egan

The lengthy title of Catherine Egan’s third book, The Last Days of Tian Di: Bone, Fog, Ash, and Star, alludes to the depth and complexity that is wrapped up within the story. Like the characters of this book, I felt myself immersed in unfamiliar, amazing worlds, pulled back and forth between them by the common thread: Eliza. A story of friendship, loyalty, strength, and finding the truth, Egan isn’t afraid to make her characters suffer to reach reward. In fact, it is understood and stated that “there is loss and gain with every act”. I think what was most powerful, for me, was the way this book echos life. There are consequences to every action and we do the very best we can at the time, but then we must go from there, from the result of our decisions. It is a heavy burden on the main character’s shoulders, knowing that the choices she makes will lead to her own heavy heart. But I think it is an important message for readers, particularly the young adult ones who are, in some ways, facing a similar journey. At the age of sixteen, they are making choices that feel right at the time, but have long term consequences that need to be weighed and judged. Sometimes, life really is choosing the lesser of two evils and this is a lesson that Eliza faces constantly.

In this third book of her series, Catherine Egan pulls the reader in with intense action right from the start. When Eliza’s friend, Charlie, becomes the victim of an assassination attempt, just as she’s trying to tell him she has feelings for him that go beyond friendship, the reader is immediately hooked. Aside from the action, the magical realism, the vivid imagery that drops you right inside of the book, the characters are connectable.

I realized within the first chapter that I was drawn in because when the first major event happens, I literally gasped out loud. At that point I thought, wow, I already care about the characters and I can totally see the scene. As a writer and a reader, I know that this is not an easy combination to present on the page. From there, Egan takes us on a journey to save her friend that is met with seemingly insurmountable challenges.

Like the title, the story seemed to always have one more tangent. Whether you’re thinking that they cannot possibly escape the next vicious attack or they are finally safe, the reader is constantly surprised. The term magical realism is an interesting one to me: if done poorly, you can distance yourself from the book because it’s fantasy and you know that everything is okay. If done properly, as Egan has done, you can forget that transforming, shape-shifting, and spell-binding aren’t a possibility. I saw the characters as regular teenagers– Eliza with too much responsibility on her young shoulders, Nell with the exam she desperately wanted to ace, and Charlie with the youthful irritation of someone stuck in a situation they cannot control.

Even in the magical, there is a sense of the real: the faeries’ overall disdain of humans, the faery mother who can’t abide by her son, Jalo helping a human because he’s in love with her, the oracle grandmother, saved by the ancients, who shares her knowledge in riddles, the fight for power between the Mancers, and each character trying to choose between good and evil, trying to find their way out of a situation that is bigger than themselves.Through it all, we are reminded, as are the characters, that best laid plans often go astray and the things we truly believe we want and need in life are not necessarily what we end up getting. Accepting that and moving forward anyway is not easy, but it can be done, as Eliza shows us.

Bone, Fog, Ash & Star: The Last Days of Tian Di Book 3 at Amazon.com

Bone, Fog, Ash & Star: The Last Days of Tian Di, Book 3 at Amazon.ca

Storytime Standouts - Raising Children Who Love to Read

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5. nerosunero at Galerie Lauth (exhibition preview)

Exhibition:
Mario Sughi (nerosunero)
Short Stories
Ludwigshafen (Germany)
10 October 2014 - 1 November 2014

Read preview on
Likeyou (Zurich, Switzerland, 1 X 2014)

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6. Fun Fall at the Farm


It's getting to be pumpkin picking time. Illustrations from PICK A CIRCLE, GATHER SQUARES, A Fall Harvest of Shapes. Written by Felicia Sanzari Chernesky, illustrated by Susan Swan
     



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7. Shark Baby

Shark Baby
Author: Ann Downer
Illustrator: Shennen Bersani
Publisher: Sylvan Dell
Genre: Children / Animals
ISBN: 978-1-60718-6342
Pages: 32
Price: $9.95

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

Shark baby is snug in his egg case, tied to a strand of kelp, wondering what’s outside. But when a storm hits, the rough ocean waves break the case loose, tearing it slightly. Shark baby can now see where he is and who he is encountering as he drifts about. But now he has a new question – what kind of shark is he?

Shark Baby introduces children to the life cycle of a shark and shows them a variety of shark species. A discussion guide with questions is also provided for classroom use. This book would be a great resource for science lessons.

Reviewer: Alice Berger


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8. Giraffosaurus


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9. Face-Lift 1226


Guess the Plot

Recoveries' Fall

1. When the Library of Zesty Gravy plummets into the Abyss, carrying with it every recipe for boat-filled succulence ever invented, only Doug "The Gazelle" Mooperton and his squadron of uniformed acrobats can hope to salvage mankind's wisdom from the depths. But will the UNIFORMS be ready IN TIME?

2. When aliens attack Sam and Ben, the two recovery operators (tow truck drivers) escape in undetectable stasis pods. 600 years later they wake up and must adapt to a world in which recovery operators work the entire galaxy.

3. When the body of rock star David McGurdy is found dangling from the fence at superselective detox center Recoveries, homicide detective Zack Martinez knows two things. One, McGurdy didn't tie his own intestines into a noose; and two, his daughter will be heartbreaken to learn her guitar hero is dead.

4. Three small words, splashed across the front page of the International Vegan Decorator, and his business was in shambles… Paisley Is Out! read the headline. His life was over. Now he’d never be able to afford the GI Joe with the Tofu grip for his wife’s birthday.

5. It was the biggest ding-dang couch he’d ever seen; bigger than most people’s living rooms. Bigger than some people’s houses. He was gonna need a taller ladder. As he went into his little shop to check on his insurance deductible, Jack Slayer wondered if it was too late to get into farming. Perhaps beans…

6. Each time he got the cast removed, he fell coming out of the Doctor’s office. Each and every time. It had happened six times in a row, now. But as ace detective Zack Martinez sat on the steps of the clinic, looking at his latest cast and listening to the animal noises from the zoo next door, he knew two thing for certain. Somebody was out to get him him. And that big sloppy ape had a banana fetish as well.



Original Version

Dear Evil Editor:

I’ve written a science fiction novel, the first of a projected series, which I’d like to submit for your consideration. The accompanying synopsis of Recoveries’ Fall will outline the basics. [Not sure what "the basics" are, or why they need to be presented in outline form, but a synopsis, by definition, summarizes the novel, so there's no need to inform us what it will do.]

1). The book is nuts [That's true of most books that get queried here; it doesn't bother us.] and bolts military science fiction involving space battles, androids, cybernetics, alien blood suckers, blasters, a little alien hanky panky, strong but flawed characters, and humor. [Lists are more interesting with three items than with eight. I recommend going with aliens, alien blood suckers and alien hanky panky.]

2). [No need to number your paragraphs.] The protagonists, Sam Garrett and Ben Corbin, are two disgruntled former soldiers turned interplanetary recovery operators (space tow truck drivers) and salvagers working the shipping lanes between Earth and a partially terraformed post war Mars. [Post which war?] Until fate or bad luck kicks them in the ass as they are attacked by aliens (as far as humans knew didn’t exist). After a pitched battle they are forced to take refuge in stasis pods to avoid detection. [If we didn't even know aliens existed, why did we go to the trouble of making our stasis pods undetectable by them?]

3). I believe I’ve painted an imaginative picture of a human world much changed for Sam and Ben after spending over 600 years in stasis [It would have been six months in stasis, but the stasis pods were undetectable so no one could find them.] as well as a detailed and interesting backstory and environment for both humans and the aliens. [I assume the 600 years in stasis pods is the backstory. And the main plot is what happens afterward, which you have forgotten to summarize.] The aliens turned humanities allies that attacked them to begin with but also for the mysterious aliens they are now at war with. [I don't understand what that sentence means. Possibly I need a universal translator.]

4). Whether the market likes action, pure science fiction and technology, what I believe to be strong, smart male and female characters or even vampires and monsters this story should appeal to them. [The market likes beef stew, mint chocolate chip ice cream and guacamole, but not mixed together in a blender.]

Though this is my first book I’m willing to work hard and I understand this is not only an art but a business as well. I want to work with those that know what they are doing and that I can be successful with. [Apparently you think I know what I'm doing, so I'm confident you'll take my advice to get rid of this paragraph.]

I hope that you will agree to read the manuscript of Recoveries’ Fall. Your site was recommended to me by a literary agent I met on Twitter while I was researching agents. [If it was @AgentVader or @FakeLitAgent, you've been had.] As soon as I saw the death ray vision cartoon burning through a manuscript I knew I had [to] submit my query letter. [After eight and a half years someone finally compliments my self-portrait. Makes the twenty minutes I spent creating it seem worthwhile.] I will of course be sending queries to other agents and publishers but I will send the entire manuscript to only one agency or publisher at a time. As I understand it that is the way it is done and I do not want to waste your time or anyone else’s. [You are wasting your time and someone else's. The reader knows the way it is done, and doesn't care about your understanding thereof. The reader wants to know what happens in your book.] 

I look forward to hearing from you, kind of.

Sincerely,


[The title came from the term "Recovery" which in the protagonists time refers to a lost, damaged, salvaged or distressed space ship or the job of recovering them from whatever mess they've gotten into as the equivalent of space tow truck drivers. It means the same thing in modern terms in regard to towing and salvaging cars. 600 years later recovery or recoveries, since there are two of them, refers to not only derelict space craft but people who were stranded in them in stasis for abnormally long periods of time as humankind has reached out further in space and colonized other worlds. "Fall" is in reference to their seeming downfall.]


Notes


The title is going to make people think it's about rehab. Even if that weren't the case, it sucks. You need something catchy like Galaxy Salvage Crew or Alien Bloodsuckers from Mars.

Apparently you're planning to send this to someone who inexplicably wants to read a synopsis, and you figure since you're including a synopsis you don't need to summarize the book's plot in the query letter. But the query has to convince the reader to slog through the synopsis, and the way to do that is with a short synopsis (maybe ten sentences) that tells the story. All you've provided is a list of stuff that's in the book, a bit of backstory from 600 years before your story begins, and a few tidbits about your main characters. 

Start over.

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10. 2014 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Guidelines

In one month, we’ll begin another November PAD (Poem-A-Day) Chapbook Challenge. While I’ve always considered the April challenge as a free-for-all; November is when I try (though don’t always succeed) to write around a specific theme.

It’s not a requirement for other poets, but that’s how I usually roll with it. By the way, I have to give credit to years of completing this chapbook challenges for helping me finally put together my first book of poems, Solving the World’s Problems, which was published last year by Press 53. So even when you’re not a “winner,” you can still be a winner in terms of development.

The November challenge is a little different than the one in April. The guidelines in this post should help guide you through the month.

Here are the basics of the November PAD Chapbook Challenge:

  • Beginning on November 1 (Atlanta, Georgia time), I will share a prompt and poem each day of November on this blog.
  • Poets are then challenged to write a poem each day (no matter where you live on the planet) within 24 hours (or so) from when the prompt is posted. Don’t worry: If you fall behind or start late, you CAN play catch up.
  • Poets do NOT have to register anywhere to participate. In fact, poets don’t even need to post to this blog to be considered participants.
  • The Challenge will unofficially conclude around 24 hours after the final prompt is posted. That said…
  • This Challenge is unique, because I expect poets to take all the material they’ve written in November and create a chapbook manuscript during the month of December. (Yes, you can revise material, and yes, the chapbook should be composed mostly of poems written for the challenge–I’m using the honor system.)
  • Poets have until 11:59 p.m. (Atlanta, GA time) on January 7, 2015, to submit a manuscript that can be 10-20 pages in length (not including table of contents, title page, etc.) with no more than one poem per page. So if you wrote 50 poems in November, you have to narrow them down to the best 20 (or even fewer). Submit manuscripts to robert.brewer@fwcommunity.com with the subject line: 2014 November PAD Chapbook Challenge. (The subject line is very important, because I have a very busy inbox.)
  • The goal will be to announce a winning manuscript by Groundhog Day 2015. February 2, 2015, for those of you unfamiliar with that particular holiday.

*****

Win $1,000 for Your Poetry!

Writer’s Digest is offering a contest strictly for poets with a top prize of $1,000, publication in Writer’s Digest magazine, and a copy of the 2015 Poet’s Market. There are cash prizes for Second ($250) and Third ($100) Prizes, as well as prizes for the Top 25 poems.

The deadline is October 31.

Click here to learn more.

*****

What do poets get out of this challenge?

If nothing else, they get several new poems, but I’ve heard plenty of success stories over the years from poets who have gone on to publish individual poems from these challenges and even complete collections (mostly inspired by the challenges).

Plus, the winner gets recognized on this blog, along with many honorable mentions. That’s a good thing.

Regarding comments, this blog has a history with commenting problems, which why I don’t make it mandatory for poets to post on the blog to participate. However, I think poets who do comment get a lot out of it by sharing their work and creating a community on the blog. Just make sure you save all your work elsewhere too–like in a notebook or Word doc. It’s good to have backups.

If you have any additional questions, shoot them to me in the comments.

I can’t wait to see everyone in November.

*****

roberttwitterimageRobert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of the poetry collection, Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). He edits Poet’s Market, Writer’s Market, and Guide to Self-Publishing, in addition to writing a free weekly WritersMarket.com newsletter and poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine.

This will be his seventh year of hosting and participating in the November PAD (Poem-A-Day) Chapbook Challenge. As much as he loves the hustle and bustle of the April PAD Challenges, November is nice for a few reasons, including the focus on creating a chapbook and just the laid back feel. Some of his favorite poems have come out of the November challenges, and he can’t wait to get started again.

Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.

*****

Find other poetic posts here:

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11. ‘Snap Judgment’ Storytelling Show is on Kickstarter

Glynn Washington, the host of NPR‘s Snap Judgment, hopes to raise $150,000 on Kickstarter.

The funds will be used to cover the cost of producing the storytelling radio show’s sixth season. We’ve embedded a video about the project above. Here’s more from the Kickstarter page:

“Snap was born of love, and we have balanced on a razor’s edge since the very beginning. Your contribution goes directly toward making the most amazing season of Snap the world has ever known. Together, we’ve surmounted the obstacles before, and created the first five seasons of Snap. Let’s do it again.”

(more…)

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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12. It’s a Hard Knocks Life

hannigan72_robertaBaird
He smells.

– What’s his name? – Guess.

Fifi?

That ain’t a name for this mutt.

Rover.

She’s coming. She’s coming.

Hide him.

I love you, Miss Hannigan.

And you will love the paddle closet.

And this…

…will love the sausage factory.

– No, Miss… – What?

We love you, Miss Hannigan.

www.robertabaird.com

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13. An open letter to the self-published author feeling dissed, from Roger Sutton

http://www.hbook.com/2014/09/blogs/read-roger/open-letter-self-published-author-feeling-dissed/






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14. New Releases - A Little Something for Everyone

Life got the best of me in September and I realize I have several books to post about now... so I'll do the new releases all in one to save your eyeballs!

For the Picture Book crowd: 
Mara Rockliff's CHIK CHAK SHABBAT is a wonderfully inclusive picture book about the multi-ethnic residents of an apartment building who, when a neighbor is too sick to cook, improvise a meal cobbling together their own unique traditions to celebrate the true spirit of Shabbat. The book is illustrated by the amazing Kyrsten Brooker and really has the feel of a modern classic already - Candlewick did a great job!

And lest you assume that this is a "niche" book, I have to tell you -- there is so much warmth, humor and heart to be found in these pages, it doesn't matter if you don't know Shabbat from Shinola, you'll get it. :-)

Buy the book: IndieBound - Powells 

For Middle Grade readers:

Kate Messner's WAKE UP MISSING, the edge-of-your-seat science thriller, is now available in paperback!

WAKE UP MISSING is about a group of kids from different parts of the country and different walks of life. In fact, they have only one thing in common - they are all hospitalized in an elite institution for brain science after having experienced head trauma. When the kids realize that something VERY sinister is going on at the so-called "research" facility, they must run for their lives -- making their escape through the dangerous Florida Everglades. This is one seriously EXCITING read - and it's especially good for any kid interested in science/medicine.

"Kate Messner combines a fascinating concept with page-turning suspense . . .  Reading this book is like a wild roller-coaster ride through the Florida swamps." —Margaret Peterson Haddix, author of The Missing and the Shadow Children series

Buy the book: IndieBound - Powells  

For the YA fans:
I wrote about Gwenda Bond's GIRL ON A WIRE  last month so I won't belabour the point, but I will say, if you think a mystery-magic-romance mashup sounds great and/or you appreciate the dazzling world of the Circus... you will probably love this book.

"The circus and its theatrical characters provide a fresh, vibrant backdrop as Bond impressively describes a range of circus performances, while threading enticing slivers of magic and romance into her story. It's a fascinating and enjoyable foray into circus life as seen through the eyes of an ambitious and talented performer."  -- PW

"The mystery is tense and nerve-wracking, and the acrobatics are gorgeously hair-raising." -- Kirkus

"With a thrilling mystery, a hint of magic, and a touch of romance, "Girl on a Wire" takes readers into the fascinating world of circus performers." -- SLJ

Buy the book: IndieBound - Powells

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15. Libraries, Peanut Butter, and Bears

School has started, and with it, I'm back in the classroom once a week, reading to second graders. So far we have read these picture books:

Tomás and the Library Lady, written by Pat Mora and illustrated by Raul Colón. A friendly bookseller at Manhattan's charming La Casa Azul recommended this one, which is sprinkled with Spanish words. Tomás, the child of migrant Texas farm workers, find a place of refuge in an Iowa library and enjoys the attention of two mentors in the "library lady" and his grandfather. It's based on the childhood experiences of Tomás Rivera, who went on to become a university chancellor.

Peanut Butter and Homework Sandwiches, written by Leslie Broadie Cook and illustrated by Jack E. Davis. A silly tale of a kid who just can't get it right, homework-wise, through no fault of his own.

The Three Bears, written and illustrated by Paul Galdone. Before hearing Mo Willems' parody Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs, the second graders needed some familiarity with the fairy tale, and Galdone's is a straight-forward rendering. Of course some knew the story already, but the discussion afterward was our longest so far. Among the kids' contributions were Destiny's keen observations about the illustrations and Miguel's announcement of his birthday. Oh, and Huynh will soon have a baby brother or sister.

Some years ago I found Galdone's work through the recommendations in Esmé Raji Codell's How to Get Your Child to Love Reading. Along with Jim Trelease's Read-Aloud Handbook, Codell's guide is a must-have resource for people who share books with young children.

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16. Fall Fell

One of the final images from my recently completed Profile Picture Project.

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17. Three-Act Structure

Whether you're writing picture books or novels, the three-act structure is a common way to plot your story. 

http://ingridsnotes.wordpress.com/2013/03/29/three-act-structure-a-pair-of-spanx-for-your-novel/

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18. Lions Gate Invites Female Filmmakers to Make ‘Twilight’ Short Films

twilightcoverLions Gate will host a contest for aspiring female directors to create short films based on characters from Stephenie Meyers’ Twilight saga. The participants will consult Meyers’ 2011 encyclopedic tome, The Twilight Saga: Official Illustrated Guide.

Deadline reports that five winners will be selected to receive production advances to finance their short films. The five installments of “The Storytellers — New Creative Voices of ‘The Twilight Saga’” series will be released exclusively on Facebook in 2015. From there, fans will vote on which filmmaker deserves a grand prize which includes cash and career opportunities.

Here’s more from The New York Times: ”A group of female panelists, including the Twilight actress Kristen Stewart and Ms. Meyer, will select the winning shorts and mentor participants, Lions Gate said. Other panelists include the actresses Kate Winslet, Octavia Spencer and Julie Bowen; Catherine Hardwicke, who directed the first Twilight movie; the film producer Cathy Schulman; and Jennifer Lee, who co-directed Frozen. Certain contest details, including the length of the shorts, are still being worked out and will be made available on Tongal.com, a crowdsourcing platform.”

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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19. Building Self-Respect through Dreamwork and Intuitive Meditation

What do I rely on to get respect?

Where Does Self-Respect Come From?

5 Signs You’re Not Respecting Yourself by Vironika Tugaleva  is a good article about the negative behaviors that can pull us down, indicating that our self-esteem is plummeting. If these behaviors become habitual patterns they can be very self-destructive and undermine our relationships with other people.

Usually these behaviors manifest because, for any number of reasons, we are not in touch with our true self, and so don’t respect who we are.  Dreamwork and accessing intuitive insight are great tools that can counteract any tendency to disrespect ourselves because the on-going practice of these exercises can lead to a healthy awareness of who we truly and uniquely are at the deepest emotional and spiritual levels. These exercises tap us into the root of our being and nourish us with information that gives the bigger picture, the grander vision and the substance of things. They can also give us specific answers to problems and concerns we may have. Instead of being buffeted around by the questionable and often enslaving pressures and opinions of those around us, we are fed by healing truths that are custom made for each of us in a way that meets the problem at hand while preserving our innate goodness and integrity.  The end result is that we can behave in a manner that is worthy of respect, both from others and from ourselves!

Example: When I start to feel jealous of someone’s life, thinking it is better than mine, I can ask for a dream will give me guidance on how I can get more out of my own life, being very specific in the questioning to indicate what makes me jealous of someone else and what I might need to fulfill my own life. Asking for a dream to help resolve an issue is called incubating a dream (Ask and You Shall Receive: Incubating a Dream), and it can become one way to work through an issue.

The same can be done by an intuitive meditation such as the Inspired Heart™ Meditation. Prior to doing the meditation I can ask for insight to come. During the meditation I observe the breath and quiet the mind. I then make a heart connection, and receive the insight that comes.

No matter if I work with a dream or in a meditation, the occasion may become a turning point in my life that encourages me to face my feelings, and work towards resolving my issues based on information I have received from a profound inner source and not someone’s opinion or outside pressure. With regular practice I will find that such empowerment will lead to a healthy self-respect. I will come to experience that I am a Child of God, fed and cared for by divine sources, and placed on this earth for an important purpose that only I can serve.  What better basis for self-respect can there be?


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20. Oops. S.C. Isn't Too Happy.

We don't really blame him.  He noticed all eight of us Izzies were hanging around Bizzy's Elfascan and Whizzy's Elfputer clicking over and over to refresh the total on this blog. (It's up to 5451 now.) He said we were a little teensy weeny bit obsessed.  He's probably right.

He says we all need to get back to work or we won't finish all the toys in time for Christmas.

So we've set up an IzzyElfBlog Surveillance System.

Bizzy and Whizzy take turns checking the total, then signal the number to the rest of us when Santa isn't looking.

Sorry, Santa.  Inquiring Elves want to know.

Oh, well, back to work.

(5456 now. Ho ho ho.)

Bizzy, Blizzy, Dizzy, Fizzy, Frizzy, Quizzy, Tizzy, and Whizzy

(Did anyone notice that there is NOT ONE exclamation point in this whole blog? Amazing! Oops. That one just slipped in there.)

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21. National Book Foundation Unveils 5 Under 35 Honorees

279-300x300From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant author Alex Gilvarry, Faces in the Crowd author Valeria Luiselli, Panic in a Suitcase author Yelena Akhtiorskaya, Redeployment author Phil Klay, and Night at the Fiestas: Stories author Kirstin Valdez Quade have been named this year’s 5 under 35 authors at the National Book Awards.

According to the press release, each honoree will receive a $1,000 cash prize. The National Book Foundation will celebrate these authors at an event at Brooklyn’s powerHouse Arena on November 17, 2014.

Musician and author Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson will play the host. The New Yorker editor Ben Greenman will jump behind the turntables to serve as DJ. Memoir writer Rosie Schaap will handle the drinks and shakers as the guest bartender for the evening. (via BuzzFeed)

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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22. Too Many Books, Movies, TV, Not Enough Time... How Do You Decide?

We're busy here at Casa Bradley. This doesn't make us special--everyone has their jobs, after-

hours activities, friends to keep up with. Never mind pesky domestic duties. There's only so much time to read, watch TV, go see movies...

Something I noticed lately (and I don't know if this is new, or if I just have less time) is that there is SO MUCH TV! Good stuff, shows I don't get around to. Same goes for books: I just took a look at the CYBILS award nominations, and there was already a GIANT list of books I'd love to read. Hat tip to the judges for reading so many books. I know I'll be lucky if I get around to reading just a few...

Which made me wonder: how do you cull the herd of entertainment options? Do you wait to see what others like, or do you only read/watch what's new?

We just watched the latest Transformer movie, and afterward I kind of felt like someone owed me a few hours...

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23. The Orphan and the Mouse (2014)

The Orphan and the Mouse. Martha Freeman. Illustrated by David McPhail. 2014. Holiday House. 220 pages. [Source: Library]

I definitely enjoyed reading Martha Freeman's The Orphan and the Mouse, a fantasy novel inspired by E.B. White's Stuart Little. The book is set in 1949. (Note: I haven't read Stuart Little, but, this novel tempts me to seek it out.) This fantasy is told through multiple perspectives: a few mice, one cat who loves to hunt mice, a couple of orphans, and a practically evil orphanage director. It is illustrated by David McPhail.

I liked this one. I liked the setting. It took some time for me to get hooked on the actual story, but, no time at all to get hooked on the premise of the story. I liked the characters. Mary, the mouse heroine, was a great narrator. I also came to care for Caro, one of the orphans living at the Cherry Street Children's Home. The book offers some suspense and mystery, though often the reader knows much more than the characters in the book. Readers get to watch the characters put it all together and possibly maybe save the day.

I also really appreciated the length of the chapters!

© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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24. Welcoming the Newest Member of the TeachingAuthors Team!


Happy October, everyone!

A few weeks ago, I posted about this being a time of transitions here on TeachingAuthors as we said farewell to the wonderful Jill Esbaum and Laura Purdie Salas, and welcomed back Mary Ann Rodman, one of the original TeachingAuthors. Today, I'm happy to announce the name of the newest member of our team (drumroll please):


Bobbi at the wheel of the Lewis R French, an 1871 windjammer schooner and a National Historic Landmark.
JoAnn and I met Bobbi while we were attending Vermont College, and we were struck by her vibrant personality as well as her writing talent. If you're a longtime TeachingAuthors reader, you may recall that JoAnn shared a guest TeachingAuthor interview with Bobbi back in 2010. But Bobbi's been VERY busy since then, as you can see from her official bio posted on our About Us page. (If you haven't visited the About Us page lately, I encourage you to check it out--I've updated the bios for several TeachingAuthors.) Here's an excerpt from Bobbi's bio:
Bobbi Miller earned her MFA in Writing for Children from Vermont College, and was awarded honors with distinction for her Master of Arts in Children’s Literature degree from Simmons College in Boston. Her fifth book, a middle grade novel, Girls of Gettysburg (Holiday House) is recommended by Booklist as “a unique, exciting work.” School Library Journal calls the book a “riveting historical fiction.” The book is listed as a Hot Pick on Children’s Book Council for September 2014. Her first middle grade novel, Big River’s Daughter (Holiday House) comes recommended by the International Reading Association and was nominated for the Amelia Bloomer Project (American Library Association, 2013). The book is listed on A Mighty Girl’s Top 2013 Mighty Girl Books for Tweens and Teens. Bobbi has also written three picture books. Miss Sally Ann and the Panther (Holiday House) was selected to the Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People 2013 list, a cooperative project of the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) and the Children's Book Council. Her other two picture books, Davy Crockett Gets Hitched and One Fine Trade, also published by Holiday House, were listed on the Bank Street College of Education Best Books of 2010. When she isn't writing or researching, Bobbi teaches College Reading and Writing, Writing for Children, and Rhetoric and Professional Writing for local universities as well as online college courses. 
So, as you can see, Bobbi comes to us with impressive credentials! We're thrilled to have her join our team.

You can read more about Bobbi and her work at her website. Meanwhile, I hope you'll give her a hearty welcome when she posts here for the first time on Monday.

Happy Writing!
Carmela

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25. Visit With Syrian Refugees Influenced Neil Gaiman’s Take On ‘Hansel & Gretel’

4231596_origAuthor Neil Gaiman took away many ideas from an emotional visit to Jordan where he met Syrian refugees.

In an interview with CNN‘s Christiane Amanpour, Gaiman reveals that this experience affected how he wrote his re-telling of “Hansel and Gretel.” Gaiman sets this classic story of lost children in a world torn by war and famine; he feels this is highly reminiscent of the suffering endured by Syrian refugee children as well as the Grimm Brothers’ version of the tale.

Toon Books will release the finished graphic novel, which features illustrations by artist Lorenzo Mattotti, on October 28th. Click here to watch the entire interview. Follow this link to read Gaiman’s blog post recounting his trip.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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