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1. Crowdfunding 101: INFOGRAPHIC

Thinking about launching a crowd funding project? HiveWire has created an infographic which explores trends in crowd funding based on numbers from Kickstarter and Indiegogo.

The graphic includes analysis of all campaigns on Kickstarter and Indiegogo completed by August 7th, 2014. According to the graphic, donors pledged $1.17 billion on projects on the two sites combined in 2013. That number is expected to reach $4.35 billion by 2015. The graphic also reveals that about 26 percent of writing projects met their goal. This is based on about 26,000 projects tracked.

We’ve embedded the entire graphic after the jump for you to explore further.

 

(more…)

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2. Why is Middle Grade better than Young adult?

Why do I write Middle Grade? Good question, faceless reader, and one I will answer forthwith.

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3. Marvel Reboot On The Way....well, d'uh!

Avengers_35_Cover

MONTHS ago I stated that  this year (September/October) Marvel Comics were going to reboot their comics line....again.  Just google "Marvel Comics reboots" and it comes up with Marvel Comics reboot 2011...Marvel Comics reboot 2012 and so on and so on.

Now -no pun intended -"Marvel Now"- fans are up in arms as they hear everything is being rebooted from the start with...more #1s ("Number Ones" is a euphemism for peeing -you realise that, right?). I have just been reading some furious die-hard Marvel fans screeching "enough is enough!" and even some bloggers like Hippycollectibles has declared his anger at another reboot and that he is going to instead concentrate on completing his Silver Age collections.

DC reboots all the time.  They're dead in the water.

Does Marvel Disney care?  No. "Hey, those jerks will spend even more money cus its more number ones and their such dumb-asses they'll buy the lot!"  How can I adequately explain what Disney (there is NO Marvel Comics any more) is doing to you comic buyers?

It's 03:00 hrs (that's 3 am) and you wake up.  Some man in a suit is taking all the money out of your wallet/purse whatever.

You: "Who-who the hell are you? How'd  you--?"
Suit: "Ah, shut the **** up, moron. I wanted your money so **** you!"

Suited man throws something onto your bed.

You: "What was THAT???"
Suit: "I just crapped on your bed and needed to wipe my ass. You had plenty of first issues so I used those"
You: "You...you can't do that!"

Suit moves over to you, leans right in and pokes you in the eye.
Suit: "Listen shit-for-brains -spend your money, when you get more, buy them again. Got it?"
You: "But you can't just break in here, steal my money and crap on my bed and then use my comics as toilet paper -who gave you the right?!!"
Suit: "You did you dumb-ass. Oh. I butt-*****  "Namor" your goldfish, too."

"You" goes out next morning and withdraws more money from the TRM cash machine. "You" goes to his comic shop where he has to pay extra for the, uh, 'old' comics. As "You" sits at home wondering where it'll be safe to put his comics - his eye catches the rather sluggish goldfish. "You" feels momentarily ashamed.  "You" feels guilty but realises that at least he got those comics!

Even later online he reads "Marvel To Reboot entire line next month!"  "You" shrugs: "I'll have to make sure I set up a standing order for those!"

Two months later "You" wakes up at 03:00 hrs. A suited man is taking money ........

In an office at Disney a lot of men in suits are barely concealing their sexual arousal as they rub themselves in $ bills. One laughs out loud: "We got them bitches whipped -reboot in three months, guys!"

There.

I warned you all last time.  "What does he know?"  I warned you THIS time.  "BS, man!" So here is a snippet of more BS for you. At a "Marvel" meeting a lot of discussion was going on about rebooting and "restructuring the (comics) line" --around May 2015.

At this very moment "You" is getting ready to draw up his standing order list....unaware that in the background a man in a suit.....

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4. Warner Bros. Moves Forward with ‘Acme’ Feature

Warner Bros. is moving forward with "Acme," a new Looney Tunes spin-off centered around the fictional weapons supplier Acme Corporation.

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5. In the swing of things...



I'm afraid that projects and deadlines have kept things quiet on the blog lately.  And an especially beautiful Colorado summer has meant most of my free time has been spent outdoors.

The SCBWI Summer Conference in L.A. was amazing and inspirational and a bit overwhelming. It's taken me awhile to get back into the swing of things.  Meg Rosoff was especially wonderful, as was the writer's intensive.  And it's always great to see old friends and to meet new ones!

There has been the tiniest bit of fall in the air the last few days.  I really love fall... a season of cozy cardigans and crock-pot dinners, of change and of quieting down.  This coming autumn holds new book projects as well as a new adventure for my husband and I (which I'll tell you more about later).

I hope that you're enjoying the last days of summer and that you're in the swing of things.

I'll see you again soon! :)

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6. D-Frag! Vol 1 Review

Title: D-Frag! Genre: Comedy Publisher: Media Factory (JP), Seven Seas (US) Artist: Tomoya Haruno Serialized in: Monthly Comic Alive Translation: Adrienne Beck Original Release Date: August 5, 2014 I follow a very simple rule when it comes to reading comedy manga: if I’m laughing because it’s legitimately funny instead of laughing while making up scenarios ... Read more

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7. My Zombie Hamster, by Havelock McCreely | Book Giveaway

Enter to win a copy of My Zombie Hamster, by Havelock McCreely. Giveaway begins August 28, 2014, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends September 27, 2014, at 11:59 P.M. PST.

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8.








The cover reveal for my new novel. I don't know if this is the shortest novel in the world but it is certainly a quick read. I hope it gives a feel for the longer version.




The 2-Minute Novel: UTOPIA, IOWA by Brian Yansky

Here is UTOPIA, IOWA, from the first few pages to the last (with a few parts left out). It should take you about two minutes to read.  You can fill in the missing words yourself and/or wait to read the whole story,  300+ pages, which comes out February 10, 2015.

11.     I learned a lesson that day: Real revolution needs more than creamed corn.

22.     But I wondered if skewed priorities were a bad thing—which was probably just further proof I had them.

33.     I was already dealing with detention, the start of senior year, and all kinds of questions about my future. I didn’t need a dead girl, too.

44.     “What do you think, Mr. Bell, is true love real?”

55.     “Nathaniel says The Matrix is like Philosophy for Dummies…”
That sounded like Nathaniel.

66.     “Does the Banshee always mean death?” Whisper Wainwright asked.

77.     Penny was a fortune-teller. She also had a nursery. She was very good with plants and visions of the future. It was a small town; a lot of people needed more than one talent to get by.

88.     She had many gifts/curses but she didn’t like to be specific about what they were.

99.     “…something dead—dead and old and very powerful—was controlling her. But here’s the really spooky part.”
“That wasn’t the spooky part?” I said. “That sounded like the spooky part.”
           
110. He had a glass eye that saw much further than his natural one.

111.  Ash softened…”Just don’t take your dead girls out on me…”

112. She told me she needed a friend not another boyfriend. Numerically this was true, but…

113. Next to Ishi the king looked small and weak. All the same Ishi would be dead before he took one step if the king felt threatened.

114. “A dream,” the detective said…He reminded me of Tommy Lee Jones in The Fugitive (1993…)

115. The next morning Mom and Dad didn’t fight. It was worse. They were polite.

116. She wasn’t fooling me. I knew she was using some kind of reverse psychology. Still it’s kind of disconcerting to have your mother advise you to hold up a bank.

117. The dead wanted to forget they were dead. It was best for everyone if they didn’t.

118.   “You must eat your mortal’s heart,” the king says.

119.  It was not at all The Breakfast Club (1985…)

220.  Love is madness.

221.  “The dead don’t bleed,” I said, trying to reassure her.

222. My fourth mistake was not riding away after I called the police.

223. I liked to think of myself as the loner-outsider type (See Cool Hand Luke and Junoand about a million other movies) but maybe I was just socially challenged.

224. “I’m so tired of this small town,” she said.

225.  Sometimes she could be a very irritating witch.

226. Gram drank her potion and gave a few drops to Captain Pike.

227. “A monster’s got her,” Amanda said.

228. The bell rang.

229. Thanks to Silence of the Lambs (1991…)

330. Ash drove us over to the Cowboy Guru’s house…

331. “It’s a place that was and can never be again,” he said. “Now you be careful. The young should never want the past more than the future.”

332. The Princess Bride, I think.”
“That’s a great one,” I said.

333. “Hollywood,” she said.

“The stuff dreams are made of…” (Maltese Falcon, 1941)

3        THE END

UTOPIA, IOWA is about a small town where the supernatural meets the natural. There’s some murder and mystery and mayhem in this novel. Ghosts and other creatures and humans abound.  Some funny moments. Some sad. At heart, it’s a story about a boy who wants to write for the movies and his struggle with leaving all he knows (family, friends, hometown) to pursue his dreams. Long version-300+ pages available FEB 10, 2015: Candlewick Press.

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22747808-utopia-iowa

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9. Bruce Springsteen Has Written a Children’s Book

Rocker Bruce Springsteen has written a children’s book called Outlaw Pete, which is based on a song from his 1979 album Working on a Dream.

Outlaw Pete is “a modern legend of a criminal who starts out in diapers and confronts the roughest edges of adulthood,” explains the book’s description.

The book, which Simon & Schuster is publishing in November, is inspired by “Bruce’s Western loves, which now range from John Ford movies to Mexican music to Native American art.” The book features illustrations by Frank Caruso and includes a soundtrack of original songs by The Boss.

Simon & Schuster will publish the book in November.

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10. Last weekend for the Pop-Up Shop + Surprise Gifts!

Last weekend to visit the Le Petit Elefant Summer Shop, with surprises & silliness in store.
Wow, August flew by quickly! I can't believe the end of the month is already here! I'm so grateful for all the lovely folks who visited, from high school friends, long-time customers, Instagram followers, and people who just stumbled upon it on their way to Mrs. Field's cookies. THANK YOU for all the support & love!! I've had such a wonderful time running my very first pop-up shop, and fingers crossed, this won't be the last one this year (I'll keep you all posted ;).

In keeping with my promise, I'll have a couple new items debuting on Friday, and a really REALLY fun, surprise, parting gift for my customers this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (August 29-31). 
Remember those origami fortune tellers? Well, if you spend $35 or more, you get to have your fortune told, revealing your FREE surprise gift. It could be a free original illustration, a tote bag, a coupon for the online store, a limited edition print... who knows! Come by for the final weekend, say goodbye and leave feeling like a kid again :).

Le Petit Elefant Summer Shop

Pop-Ups by SJ Made
at Westfield Valley Fair
2855 Stevens Creek Blvd.
Santa Clara, CA 95050

M-F 10am-9:30pm
Sat 10am-9pm
Sun 11am-7pm
Immediately after the pop-up closes, I'm heading east for my last two fairs of the summer, Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago and Brooklyn. I hope I'll see you there. I'm bringing the tote bags! :)

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11. Bristol street artists mourn the 'King of Paint'

What with various problems I had completely missed this in July. Very sad. A new tribute image is also up in North Street, Bedminster.



By Sophie Prideaux  Bristol Post, 23rd July.

The mural in Chapter Street in St Paul's which features the face of  Matt Hibbert &ndash; aka Mibsy, the King of Paint
The mural in Chapter Street in St Paul's which features the face of Matt Hibbert – aka Mibsy, the King of Paint
  STREET artists from across Bristol have been paying tribute to the man they dubbed the King of Paint, Matt 'Mibsy' Hibbert, who died last week.

Mibsy, who was 39, had built up a strong relationship with many of Bristol's well-known graffiti artists after opening the King of Paint shop and gallery on Haymarket Walk, which supplied spray paint and other supplies to the city's street artists.


The death of Mibsy, whose face features on a large graffiti mural in Chapter Street, St Paul's, shocked the many people who visited the shop or knew him from the Stokes Croft area.


He had recently been staying at the Dean Neurological Centre in Gloucester, but after falling ill was taken to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital.


People have since taken to social media to pay tribute to Mibsy, who they said had a "heart of gold".
Bristol graffiti artist Tom 'Inkie' Bingle, who painted one of the arches on the Carriageworks in Stokes Croft, led the tributes, saying without Mibsy Bristol would be a "greyer place".


He said: "RIP Matt Hibbert aka Mibsy, the King of Paint. My deepest love goes out to all his family and friends, very sad news. As well as supporting the See No Evil events on Nelson Street, without Mibsy half of Bristol's graffiti scene would have gone without their materials to create such beautiful works and the city would be a greyer place."


See No Evil gallery in Nelson Street said: "Bristol has lost a true gent... rest in peace."


Felix 'FLX' Braun, part of Bristol's street art scene for more than 30 years, said: "I'm sure he had no idea how much his gentle nature and warmth meant to the hundreds of writers he got to know whilst working behind that counter."


Tom Deams has painted a large tribute to Mibsy in Stokes Croft. He said: "So Matty or Mibsy would have walked past this spot every day after closing up at The King of Paint graffiti shop... I felt he deserved to have his name painted big here and I feel blessed to have known him for the short period I did. Matty was a gentleman and such a nice person to know. Shine on Mibsy, we all love you."


Artist Fiv3r, who recently proposed to his girlfriend with a piece of Beauty and the Beast-themed graffiti, has also sprayed a mural for him. And Inkie said more memorial pieces are likely to be popping up across the city, including one he will be working on tomorrow with fellow artist Cheo in a mystery location in Bristol.

Read more at http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/Bristol-street-artists-mourn-King-Paint/story-21744399-detail/story.html#y3YR7EIVrMYMYB6Z.99

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12. Free Ebooks From This Site

If you take a look at the side of this page, among all the links to my reviewing policy and such, you'll find some things I've ebooked for you and put on Dropbox. I don't know how long it has been since anyone downloaded any of them - it's too easy not to notice stuff on the side - but there's some good stuff there. There are free samples from two of my books. There are some of my published stories. There is a book of interviews with the likes of Juliet Marillier and Marianne De Pierres, Charlie Higson and Mark Walden and Melbourne writer Gabrielle Wang and CBCA judges Tehani Wessely and Miffy Farqharson. There's a little book of student writing so you know what good stuff is happening in the western suburbs of Melbourne.

Help yourself! And do let me know what you think.

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13. In the Know: August 2014

I was having a serious Cady-with-a-d Mean Girls moment two weeks ago as I walked into my first day in a new Teen Librarian position. Would the teens like me? Would they pity laugh at my jokes like the kids at my old job did? Or would I be just another crusty shushing-machine to them? It’s the time of year when teens across the country make that same terrifying walk into new schools, new grades, and new hormone-fueled social challenges, so let’s give them some extra special love from the library this week.

As for me at my new job, I discovered that a level 50 in Skyrim and knowing the lyrics to “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark” can get you a long way. Sometimes all you need is to know a little bit about one thing that interests a teen and you can spark a relationship. Learn a little more, and pretty soon they’ll be saying “hi” to you by name. Keep at it, and they might start liking you enough to actually take your reader’s advisory suggestions.

It’s good to be in the know. Here’s some stuff teens are talking about in August 2014.

The band Five Seconds of Summer, or 5SOS (pronounced “5 sauce”), is currently touring the U.S. with One Direction and gaining popularity. The band, comprised of 4 Australian teenage boys, is often compared to their British your-mates, though they seem to be attempting a more punk rock image. (Attempting is a key word here.) Their self-titled debut studio album was released in the U.S. on July 22, and hit number one on the Billboard 200. Learn more about them here.

The 2014 Teen Choice Awards aired on August 10. Big winners were The Fault in Our Stars, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and Divergent (films); Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort (actors); Ariana Grande, Ed Sheeran, and One Direction (musicians); Pretty Little Liars, The Vampire Diaries, and The Voice (TV). Selena Gomez received the Ultimate Choice Award. The show also introduced a new set of web awards honoring a new breed of YouTube and social media stars. See the full list of nominees and winners here.

By now you’re not going to impress any teens by knowing what the Ice Bucket Challenge is, but you might earn some cool points by pointing out a few of the best examples of the fad. Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch gets naked in his (don’t worry, it’s safe for library viewing). Oprah Winfrey’s will appeal to those who enjoy a little schadenfreude, and Bill Gates works some STEM into his challenge. The Old Spice Guy, Homer Simpson, and Tina Fey are other winners. My personal favorite is Kermit the Frog. According to their website, donations to the ALS Association are at $94.3 million as of August 27. Looking for a research opportunity? Ask kids to find out how the Ice Bucket Challenge started; there’s plenty of info available online from reputable news sources.

The eighth season of the rebooted Doctor Who premiered on August 23, and was the first full episode in the run of the new Twelfth Doctor played by Peter Capaldi. Despite being “really old” (56) and less crushable than Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith, most fans are optimistic about the well-respected actor’s prospects in the role. The jury’s still out on whether good acting will attract as much teen attention as good looks did.

On August 18 Taylor Swift premiered her new single “Shake It Off.” The song abandons her country roots in favor of a power pop piece about how “haters gonna hate.” (That’s an old web adage that means roughly, “People are going to criticize you no matter what, so just ignore them.”) Swift also announced a new album called 1989, set to release on October 27. You can view the video for “Shake It Off” here.

Two of the YA lit-inspired movies of the summer, If I Stay and The Giver, premiered this month, both to lukewarm reviews and box office numbers. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is the top movie of the month and has rocketed leading man Chris Pratt to fame (building on his recent success as Andy Dwyer on Parks & Recreation and as the voice of Emmet in The Lego Movie). Ninja Turtles is also going strong despite mostly bad reviews. Check out www.boxofficemojo.com for box office info.

Fans are gearing up for the release of The Sims 4 for the PC on September 2. The newest installment in the classic life simulation game comes 5 years after the release of the vanilla (that is, the original, expansion-free) version of The Sims 3. The new title will have to work hard to win over players, as there has already been outcry over the exclusion of several of the former titles’ features from the new game (most notably, toddlers and swimming pools). No OSX release date has been announced. Read more about the unhappy fans here.

Translation time: the slang of the month is “shade” or “throw shade” (verb), which means to criticize someone in an underhanded of passive-aggressive manner. This term has existed for a long time in LGBT communities but came into wider use apparently about a year ago (although I didn’t hear it until this month). It was recently added to Oxford Dictionaries (the online database, not the hoity-toity print version). For a list of recently-added words and, through it, a remarkably comprehensive overview of modern culture, check out this article.

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14. ‘The New World’ Turns Novel Into Digital Experience

Chris Adrian and Eli Horowitz, winners of the Webby & SXSW Interactive Awards for their digital novel The Silent History, have a new digital novel out from Atavist Books that pushes the boundaries of the published word.

The story and the user experience of The New World  reflect the digital experience. The book tells the tale of a tragic love story between two doctors. The storytelling concept was conceived in cyclical structure, and is comprised of three cycles. Readers can swipe between pages and follow the story in different directions based on how they swipe. The reader reads through Cycle #1 and when they are finished, the content page reappears revealing Cycle #2.

Content-wise the story in Cycle #2 moves backwards in time, as readers swipe in the opposite direction. Readers might get the sense that the book has ended with Cycle #2, but once they have completed the text, Cycle #3 appears. This section of the book is read scrolling downwards.

 

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15. Reading


Joanne Friar

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16. The Sound of Letting Go by Stasia Ward Kehoe

Viking Childrens, 2014


There is no stronger bond than....what?  Daisy isn't sure about her life anymore.  She remembers her family and the memories they shared, the little brother that came into her life, the music, her parents' laughter.  Although those same memories exist today, it's a completely different dynamic, especially when the entire family's loyalties are put to the ultimate test.

Daisy has friends, and she has a boyfriend.  She's musically gifted (more like a prodigy) and has been asked to attend prestigious schools and academies.  Her grades are good and her parents allow her to go out, but it's all dictated by her little brother Steven, who is autistic.  While their mother takes care of him most of the time, she also needs time away.  Their father works long hours and comes home worn out, taking on the night time rituals, including the wrestling match that is more common than showers now. They all walk on eggshells, afraid to make any sudden moves, noises, or modifying a different routine that will spiral Steven into an outburst.  No longer a child, Steven has gotten stronger and while his autism was more controlled when he was little, it has now become dangerous.  When Daisy comes home one day, she sees what Steven's unintentional outbursts did to her mother. It wasn't an easy decision and one that wracked her parents longer than Daisy knew, but it's now come to a point where her mother doesn't feel strong enough to help Steven.  Something had to give, and Steven will be leaving soon. 

A part of Daisy wants to be happy.  She can have her freedom back.  This could mean sleepovers at her house, going out on dates without such stringent time limits, going to music camps, playing her trumpet in the house instead of the basement.  But Daisy is also struggling with the change.  How could her parents want to do this to their only son?  How could she have helped more to prevent this?  What could her parents do more of so Steven can stay home?  It's an emotional battle that only Daisy can fight, and it will be the most difficult one she's ever had to.  Can the family survive this huge change in their lives when Steven has been in their lives creating the familiar habits they are now accustomed to, or will they fall apart over this controversial decision that will make each one of them re-evaluate what their roles in life and family are?

Stasia Ward Kehoe writes a beautiful novel in verse about a topic that seems to only capture lurid headlines without looking at the entire situation a family goes through.  Daisy is the character in limbo throughout the story by trying to have as normal a teen life as possible while also holding the reins of responsibility of taking care of a teenage boy whose autism is creating an unsafe situation he isn't even aware of.  Kehoe writes about this emotional stage of life from all perspectives while being able to fluidly create a centrifugal force that isn't Steven, but is Daisy's life, before, during and after. This is a novel unlike any other and one that should be on YA shelves.  Recommended.

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17. WELCOME HUMPHREY!: BK Launch!

We at CAT agency are so happy to help Launch the wonderfully friendly new series about the Hamster Humphrey and his Tiny Tales from Penguin Putnam!  See his first two books here, and a little video about how he is created by our artist PRISCILLA BURRIS         https://vimeo.com/104481200

Humphrey1 (3)

Humphrey2 (3)


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18. Find Me Online

Books & SuchI blog every Wednesday at our agency site, Books & Such. To read my posts and participate in the comments, click HERE.

I have an agent page on Facebook. You can follow me on Twitter. Check out my Pinterest boards. Or connect with me on LinkedIn.

Scroll down for the latest posts here at my blog.

 

 

The post Find Me Online appeared first on Rachelle Gardner.

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19. Get Your Bookish Opinions Heard!

That wig is BIG.Let's face it--we're all in this because we love children's and YA books. We read them. We write them. We want to talk about them until we drive everyone nuts within a 10-foot radius. But sometimes it seems like the people who really... Read the rest of this post

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20. maudnewton: Dear ragweed: I almost typed rageweed by accident,...



maudnewton:

Dear ragweed: I almost typed rageweed by accident, even though I was going to try to come up with something fair-minded to say. Such as, theoretically I have nothing against you. But if you could just not pollinate? Or if you could thrive on the moon?

Ugh, yes. When I read today’s horoscope for Geminis, it left off, “You will accidentally take a Benadryl nap midmorning.”

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21. Butterflies and Changes

xcrossing

 

Lots of changes happening. I was greeted twice by a Monarch butterfly and I knew this was a sign of big changes were coming as I had just completed the X is for Crossings card in the Healing Fairy Deck. Right after Labor Day weekend, I will be announcing Preorders on the limited edition run on the deck (so exciting!), and relaunching the Fairy & Empath School with some changes and new additions. In the meantime, you might want to download this Sample Empath class from the Empath Skills class to whet your appetite, which starts September 26th and you can sign up here after you’ve seen the sample class and are totally excited about it (special blog/newsletter subscriber rate too!)


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22. Adding Depth

Adding more scenes is not the same as adding depth to your story. 

http://scotteagan.blogspot.com/2014/07/adding-depth-to-your-stories.html

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23. Writing Tip: Raising Plot Tension

Writing Instruction Video

Sometimes beginning writers struggle to engage and maintain the reader's interest in their stories. Sometimes this happens because the protagonist solves plot conflicts too easily or too early in the story. Sometimes it happens because the opposite occurs, that it seems to take forever for the hero to solve the problem. This video demonstrates a writing technique that helps writers strike just the right balance in order to raise plot tension, thereby engaging and maintaining the reader's interest.



For teachers interested in using this video as part of creative writing lessons, the instruction video along with slide handouts that can be used to review the raising tension technique can be found at www.kenbakerbooks.com/raising-plot-tension.html.

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24. A Kephart is the first American to scale Mount Kilimanjaro


From my cousin Libby, earlier today, this bit of family history, posted on the Cornell University news site. I didn't know this. I probably should have. I find it especially interesting today, as I finish reading the new Matt Higgins book Bird Dreams: Adventures at the Extremes of Human Flight, a magnificent chronicling of the men (and women) who choose to jump from planes, buildings, antennae, and cliffs, some wearing nothing more than flying-squirrel-shaped suits.

What people will do. What they can do. And apparently Leonard Kephart, my grandfather's brother, chose to scale Africa's great mountain all in a hunt for new glasses, and clover.
Aug. 30, 1927 Leonard W. Kephart, Class of 1913, is the first American to scale Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak. He was in Africa on a search for new grasses for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Kephart took four days to reach the peak, slogging through snow-covered gravel the last day. The climb was not entirely without scientific reward, reported the Cornell Alumni News (Nov. 10, 1927). Kephart discovered three new varieties of clover on the expedition.
Leonard (pictured standing with my grandfather and great aunts (and Laura Mack)) was one of his six children born to Horace Kephart, the librarian-turned-outdoorsman who helped found the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I've written about Horace here. But just moments ago, I found this lovely biography on the Horace Kephart Alaska Center Weblog.

I learn so much from those who do history well.

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25. For the Love of Lists

One guy that I dated a while back had a whole brigade of work to-do lists for various projects written in Sharpie on blank white paper. The moment I saw them all lined up on clipboards on his kitchen counter, he had my heart. Another fine fellow in my life left a to-do list out [...]

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