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<<August 2014>>
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Results 901 - 925 of 592,291
901. Makes Me Happy - Owls

With the recent release by Enchante Accessories, of some fun journals and notebooks, using one of my owl designs, I decided to make owls my theme for this week's Makes Me Happy post. I grew up in a house with a lot of owls in it, so I guess I have always known owls to be something to admire. My Mom liked them, so every birthday and Christmas, we always got her something with an owl on it. She probably grew to loathe them over time, but she never let on and we happily just keep buying more owl gifts every year. LOL! Here are the links to the owl themed goodness shown here and to see more owls visit my Owl Always Love Owls Pinterest page.

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902. The Sad Lad Pad

I know a few regulars are aware I once had a VERY brief career as a Punk Rock star with a record titled "**** You You ****!"  I was also a masked wrestler until Giant Haystacks did my knees in!  BUT how many of you recall the 1990s boom in cable TV channels such as Bravo?  Anyone recall "The Sad Lads Pad" featuring myself?  The studio being set on fire after lightning struck put an end to the series after six episodes though one vicar (WHY was he watching?) called it "An act of the Almighty!"

Low res scans but enjoy. 

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903. Toward a Theology of Love’s Energies: A Second Discovery of Fire

Using Dreams and Intuition to harness the energy of love

Harnessing the Energy of Love

“Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.”
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Reading this quote this morning made me more aware that a future direction of Christian theological reflection will be, as it is in physics and medicine, on the nature of energy.  Energy is what underlies everything.  Energy is what make the universe tick (e=mc²), energy is what gives life to the body and creates abundant health, and energy is the active component of both intuition and love.

I personally believe that as we explore the depths of human intuitive capabilities as they are grounded in empathetic love rather than in the showy but superficial distractions of ESP and some other extraneous psychic phenomenon, we will rewrite a new theology.  Just as Thomistic theology and liberation theology represent significant philosophical and political points of view, I believe there will be a Christian theology of energy that may one day unite religion and science.  Developing intuition and observing nature as concurrent and equally important tasks, along with being inspired by revelation, will be the keys for this unfolding.

Everything we have ever learned and will learn will come through our marvelous bodies which are receptors and communicators of healing energy.  As humans we also have the ability to observe and reflect upon that energy and how it works, especially through intuition and dreams.  They tap us into the universal power source and inform of us of this underlying energy that drives us both as individuals and as beings who are connected with every other being in the universe Our challenge will be to integrate our new understandings of energy, especially the healing and loving kind, with divine revelation.  Just as we have learned to harness atomic power, I do hope we learn to harness the power of intuition and dreams and use the insight we gain in the service of love.  Then, we will have harnessed an exponentially greater fire than our ancestors did.

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904. The gender gap in pay in Spanish company boards

Is there gender gap in pay on the boards of listed Spanish firms? If there is, what are the factors behind the gender gap in pay? We sought to find out the answers to these questions.

Over the last few decades, payments for men have been consistently higher than those for women, even when they hold the same post and have been educated to the same level. This has created a gender gap in pay. Several studies have analysed the existence of such gender gaps in pay in national and international contexts and have shown that this gender gap in pay was caused by occupational segregation and various other factors that can be explained by human capital theory. Occupational segregation meant that women were being excluded from certain kinds of work, and tended to be concentrated in occupations with low salaries (Bayard et al., 1999; De la Rica, 2007). On the other hand, the human capital approach is focused on individuals investing themselves; i.e. adopting certain strategies to increase their own knowledge, experience and skills over the years (Amarante and Espino, 2002; Varela et al., 2010).

Spanish society was traditionally characterized by a strong ideology based on the idea that women should be dedicated to family life, which explained the low numbers of women in the labour market. However, between the 1970s and the 1990s, many changes in legislation governing the treatment of men and women were introduced. There has long been a general belief that one of the fundamental characteristics of the Spanish labour market was, and is, the persistent and strong wage gender discrimination in similar jobs: men are clearly paid more than women. To solve this problem, organisms and regulators have developed a set of standards and regulations to guarantee that women are employed under equal conditions to men and to prevent male-female director’s compensation discrimination. Among these regulations, Article 14 of the Spanish Constitution of 1978, the Workers’ Statute Act of 1980, the 3rd Plan for Equal Opportunities for Men and Women (1997-2000) and the Act 3/2007 for Equality Law have all been produced.


We posit that the percentage of female directors on boards, the presence of female directors on Nomination and Compensation Committees, the presence of well-qualified independent female directors on boards of directors (BDs), the firm sector and the geographical region have an effect on the gender wage gap. When we observe the variable presence of women on the Nomination and Compensation Committee, we find that there is a gender gap in pay in Spanish listing firms. However, the presence of well-qualified independent women directors on BDs reduces the gender gap in pay. A similar pattern occurs with the firm sector since the male-female compensation difference between directors is smaller in the boards of financial services and property sector firms. The remainder of variables analysed have no effect on the gender gap in pay.

This has special relevance in a country like Spain because the previous literature is based on that of English-speaking nations, as well as certain Eastern European and Asian countries. Moreover, previous empirical findings on the gender gap in pay use data from the European Structure of Earnings Survey (ESES).

Our results provide evidence that there is gender gap in pay in Spanish BDs. This study should encourage regulators and politicians to strive to bring about changes in legislation in order to reduce or eliminate the gender gap in pay. Moreover, they need to provide effective and strong sanctions for non-compliance with laws.

Image credit: Madrid, Cuatro Torres Business Area, by Hakan Svensson. CC-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

The post The gender gap in pay in Spanish company boards appeared first on OUPblog.

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905. Epiphany in Amsterdam

I was in Amsterdam because if you work on a rig in Dutch waters for an agency not based in Holland, you don’t pay any taxes. It worked out ok for me because it meant I could do a roustabout job for the same wages as for roughnecking in the UK. Roustabouting is easier than roughnecking. I got a job through the agency, caught a flight to Amsterdam, was at the heliport at the right time. I got to the rig, worked there a few trips before my knee went. It was something I just knew. Sometimes you get pains in your legs during twelve hour shifts on steel decks. Sometimes you get them, accept them as part of the job. But this was different. This one wouldn’t go away. I got through the shift, but when I woke up for the next one, my knee had swollen up to twice its normal size. It looked like a bag of fluid. I went to the medic, confirmed that it was a real injury, made arrangements to catch the next flight off. I said goodbye to the boys, was helicoptered on a regular flight to Amsterdam. I saw the skaters on the canals from the chopper window. Ironic when you come from Ottawa and the mother of all skating canals and they haven’t had a cold enough winter in Amsterdam for years to enable skating on their canals. And I couldn’t skate because of my knee. There had been enough cold, windswept shifts, big pieces of steel swinging my way on that job. It was time for a break. What better place to do it than in Amsterdam, on an oil company’s tab? I got in touch with the proper doctor who was a chiropractor and physiotherapist. I had to go to him once a week, then to an orthopaedic surgeon.I got a room on Huiderkoperstraat near Rembrandstplein. There was a sink, enough room for a bed and a chair. It was fine. I lived in that closet for months, drank large amounts of Courvoisier and beer. The smoke was legal. I bought an electric guitar, a small amp, some earphones. I blew up the cheap earphones the same day. It was a lonely time of freedom. I could lay in bed with my radio and guitar, read all the second hand books I wanted. I could make the rounds of the drinking bars or the stoner cafes or just wander around streets which were busy before North America was invaded by white men. I only had to show up at the doctor’s, once a week. I bandaged my knee in an elastic to walk around. The red light district got old very fast. There were some bars there that stayed open around the clock, places with good, cheap, live music, but the streets themselves were depressing. It all made sense, having the prostitution and soft drugs legalized, but it was commodifying some things which were sacred, in a way. The authorities could keep an eye on it, control it a little. It was so sensible that it was impossible to imagine the whole system moved to Ontario. The red light district was a nice place to visit when there was a special band or special dope or to play pool at the end of a drunk. There were so many blonde girls driving bicycles around Amsterdam that it was difficult to get enthusiastic about walking along canals after dark, seeing the groups of drunken men shopping in the windows. Some of the girls even had a rear view mirror reflecting their images out to the street when their windows faced the wrong way. I spent many hours, many days on that bed in that room near Rembrandsplein. The BBC World Service at night reminded me of England and Scotland. I thought of my old friends, wondered where they were. I thought of my recent months in Crete. There was an old theatre where I saw an African band. At the bar, a government approved house dealer worked out of a window on the second floor instead of coming around to tables. You could stand in the balcony, look down on the stage, drink beer and roll joints. The African guy had fifteen people in the band, not counting the chorus line of white girls. He, himself, played a big, gourd stringed instrument. He rocked, played the blues. I saw Eric Burdon there. He admitted to the audience that Amsterdam “freaked him out”. He yelled at a guy who was wired, climbing his speaker columns, “Hey man, do I show up on your work site and take bread out of your mouth?” The crowd was behind him, his band cooked, a good bass player. With a permanent address, I was able to get some mail from home. In my little room on Huiderkoppestraat, I received the news of my uncle Earl’s death. He was “the sheriff” to us as kids, retired to Sand Bay from Northern Electric in Montreal. He was the last of the Wheeler boys, the four brothers. Now, he was gone. In a few months, my leg was better, the doctors couldn’t see any reason why I shouldn’t go back to work. I played my guitar, drank, smoked and listened to BBC World Service. One night, I was drawn into a bar by the music. It turned out to be Salsa, but at that time, I had no idea what it was. I knew it had some Caribbean influences, but the centre of it seemed to be Spanish. It was an occasion which all the expats from the Caribbean celebrated. I drank my beer, stood at the bar, watched the band. A black guy, older, danced in the crowd near the band. He was surrounded by beautiful women, Dutch and otherwise, all night. In the men’s room I asked him what it was he was doing on the dance floor. “It’s Salsa, man. I’m not from there, but I lived in Cuba for years. I love it, man” It was a good enough explanation for me. He knew what I meant. I remembered the way he shook so freely, like a matador, took it all so seriously and enjoyed it. Above the sink in my room was a mirror. I shared the toilet and shower with some other people on that floor, took my clothes with me to wash in the shower. I stared into the mirror for a day before I decided to shave off my moustache. After that, I looked at myself without a moustache many times. I felt female when I saw the white slash of flesh above my mouth which had been covered for years. I felt naked. It was time to go back to the rig. I owed the doctors, I owed some rent on my room and I owed Fritz, a Dutchman who lived in England, a mechanic on the rig. I packed my bag, stowed my guitar and amp in my room, took a bus to Schipol Airport. The chopper was leaving for the rig in another hour. I watched people heading for their destinations in the sunny, cold morning. Holiday vacations, business trips, young, old, they were all going somewhere. I sat in a cafe in the main terminal, ate a Danish, drank coffee. There was no way I was going back to the rig. I changed that to include the North Sea on the bus back into Amsterdam. Amsterdam was even better in the next few days. I could only afford a ticket to London so I spent what I had left over in Amsterdam. I bought a Gibson in a second hand music store for the price of my amp and guitar, squandered what little money I had left. London was in the near future but my time in Europe was up. I knew I was going home.

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906. Guest Post and Giveaway with Betsy Bird and Julie Danielson, authors of Wild Things! Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature

Wild ThingsToday I’m thrilled to welcome two authors (and bloggers) whom I’ve admired for years, Betsy Bird and Julie Danielson. When I started blogging back in 2008 they had both been involved in the children’s literature world for years and were highly respected for their knowledge as well as their ability to find the absolute best books.  So, needless to say, when I was approached to share a post from the pair as well as feature their new book, Wild Things! Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature, I was thrilled! Enjoy their words of wisdom now and be sure to stick around to win a copy of this incredible book for your library as well!

Mention children’s literature to even the most jaded and sophisticated adult, and you sometimes get an “awww!” in response, as if the topic immediately conjures up cute, fluffy bunnies and gumdrops alike. This response, one that generally romanticizes and sentimentalizes children’s literature, is a curious phenomenon. Part of our aim in writing Wild Things! Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature was to explore the edgier side of children’s books – the books themselves (we three authors are fans of more subversive books), as well the lives of those who wrote and illustrated them. (There are double agents, those who also wrote for Playboy, those who also wrote erotic fiction, and in one case, an author who killed her own mother with a table knife.) Children’s literature, indeed, has a complex and sometimes slightly dark history that most texts and histories don’t explore.

The Annotated Charlotte’s Web Peter F. NeumeyerOur original manuscript included stories about how not all of children’s literature’s most famous characters (in this case, creatures) were so well-received. In the introduction to The Annotated Charlotte’s Web, Peter F. Neumeyer discusses the books leading up to the publication of this American treasure, and one of those books is Stuart Little (1945), now widely regarded as a classic in the field and a story that came to White in a dream. Neumeyer notes how, by the end of 1946, the book had sold 100,000 copies—by 1975, it had sold half a million—and gained immense popularity, nation-wide. Except, that is, for some parents and librarians who took issue with Stuart Little’s very arrival.

Stuart LittleIt turns out that in the book’s first edition, released in October of that year, Stuart Little, the talking mouse who lives with a human family in New York, was “born.” If you pick up a copy of the book now, you will see in the opening paragraph of the first chapter that “Mrs. Frederick C. Little’s second son arrived.” Yes, cryptically arrived. The notion of a rodent springing forth from a woman’s loins was too much for some. White’s story was that, after the book’s release, New Yorker editor Harold Ross popped his head into White’s office to yell, “God damn it White, at least you could have had him adopted.”

Another of children’s literature’s most entertaining tales involves Stuart and Anne Carroll Moore, head of children’s services for the New York Public Library from the early 1900s to 1941. Moore infamously railed against some children’s books that are now considered classics, and Stuart Little was one. Thought she sent encouraging letters to E. B. White as he wrote, she was greatly disappointed in the novel once it reached readers — and made her feelings known, going as far as trying to persuade its editor to stop its publication.
Poor Stuart. He didn’t have an easy time of things, though his story remains well-read today.

What did Moore think of Charlotte’s Web, White’s second novel and the novel that many people consider the most perfect children’s novel on the planet? Well, we can’t give away all our book’s secrets, can we?

(This does leave us wondering what Moore would have thought of our book. Hmm…)


BetsyBird Julie-Danielson

Betsy Bird is the youth materials collections specialist for the New York Public Library and the author of Giant Dance Party, illustrated by Brandon Dorman. In addition to writing for The Horn Book magazine, she is the creator of the blog A Fuse #8 Production.

Julie Danielson is a regular contributor to Kirkus Reviews, and in her blog, Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast, she has featured and/or interviewed hundreds of top names in picture books. Julie Danielson lives in Tennessee.

Peter D. Sieruta (1958-2012) was an author, book critic, and frequent reviewer for The Horn Book magazine. His blog, Collecting Children’s Books, served as inspiration for his contributions to Wild Things!

Wild ThingsAbout Wild Things! Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature by Betsy Bird, Julie Danielson and Peter Sieruta

Secret lives, scandalous turns, and some very funny surprises — these essays by leading kids’ lit bloggers take us behind the scenes of many much-loved children’s books.

Did Laura Ingalls cross paths with a band of mass murderers? Why was a Garth Williams bunny tale dubbed “integrationist propaganda”? For adults who are curious about children’s books and their creators, here are the little-known stories behind the stories. A treasure trove of information for a student, librarian, new parent, or anyone wondering about the post–Harry Potter book biz, Wild Things! draws on the combined knowledge and research of three respected and popular librarian-bloggers. Told in affectionate and lively prose, with numerous never-before-collected anecdotes, this book chronicles some of the feuds and fights, errors and secret messages found in children’s books and brings contemporary illumination to the warm-and-fuzzy bunny world we think we know.


Thanks to the wonderful people at Candlewick Press I have ONE copy of Wild Things! Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature by Betsy Bird, Julie Danielson and Peter Sieruta to offer one lucky There’s A Book reader! Be sure to enter using the rafflecopter form below and be aware that this one is for US and Canadian residents only.

Find Wild Things! Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature by Betsy Bird, Julie Danielson and Peter Sieruta at the following spots:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Powell’s Books | Indiebound | Book Depository | Goodreads | ISBN10/ISBN13: 0763651508 / 9780763651503

Thank you so much to the publisher, Candlewick Press, for providing a copy of this book for review! Connect with them on Twitter, Google+ and on Facebook!
Purchasing products by clicking through the links in this post will provide us a modest commission through our various affiliate relationships.

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Original article: Guest Post and Giveaway with Betsy Bird and Julie Danielson, authors of Wild Things! Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature

©2014 There's A Book. All Rights Reserved.

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907. Christmas 2008....I Cannot Remember What Happened BUT....

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908. Going Over voted into 100 Children's Books to Read in a Lifetime: Readers' Picks

The 100 Children's Books to Read in a Lifetime/Readers' Picks begins like this: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Charlotte's Web, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Where the Wild Things Are, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Goodnight Moon, The Cat in the Hat, A Wrinkle in Time, Little Women, The Hobbit, Where the Sidewalk Ends, The Secret Garden, The Very Hungry Caterpillar....

And then, some sixty books in, Going Over, published by the ever-fabulous Chronicle Books. 

To those who have read, who have cared, who have taken a moment — you know who you are. To Tamra Tuller and Sally Kim and Lara Starr and Jaime Wong and Taylor Norman and Amy Rennert and Ellen Trachtenberg ....

I am incredibly grateful.

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909. 101 Dalmatians (1956)

The 101 Dalmatians. Dodie Smith. 1956/1989 Penguin. 192 pages. [Source: Owned Since Childhood]

I have been meaning to read this one for decades. The Disney adaptation is one of my favorites. It is. I love and adore it. Kanine krunchies can't be beat they make each meal a special treat. It's just a satisfying movie that is practically perfect in every way.

So. What did I think of the book? Well. It's different that's for sure. Missis and Pongo are the lovely dalmatian couple with fifteen adorable puppies. The human couple, Mr. and Mrs. Dearly, seeks out another dalmatian wet nurse, if you will. The vet says that no dog can successfully nurse fifteen puppies and have them all thrive. So seven of the pups become Perdita's to raise. The three dogs become quite close friends. The happy couple pities Perdita for she lost her love, Prince, and her own puppies. (Mr. Dearly does NOT write songs. He's an accountant or something along those lines. The book merely says he's a financial wizard who did something or other for the government.)

Cruella de Vil and her HUSBAND are social acquaintances of Mr. and Mrs. Dearly. She wears fur year-round. Her husband is a furrier, and, she doesn't hide the fact that she married him because of it.

The basics of the story are the same. Cruella de Vil wants the puppies and hires someone to steal the puppies. True, there are two nannies tending to the puppies instead of just one. But, the end result is the same. The puppies are gone. Pongo and Missis do the twilight bark, eventually they hear back that the puppies are found.

I liked this one.

© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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910. Flogometer for Mike—are you compelled to turn the page?

Submissions Needed. If you’d like a fresh look at your opening chapter or prologue, please email your submission to me re the directions at the bottom of this post.

The Flogometer challenge: can you craft a first page that compels me to turn to the next page? Caveat: Please keep in mind that this is entirely subjective.

Note: all the Flogometer posts are here.

What's a first page in publishingland? In a properly formatted novel manuscript (double-spaced, 1-inch margins, 12-point type, etc.) there should be about 16 or 17 lines on the first page (first pages of chapters/prologues start about 1/3 of the way down the page). Directions for submissions are below--new: I've added a request to post the rest of the chapter.

A word about the line-editing in these posts: it’s “one-pass” editing, and I don’t try to address everything, which is why I appreciate the comments from the FtQ tribe. In a paid edit, I go through each manuscript three times.

Storytelling Checklist

Before you rip into today’s submission, consider this list of 6 vital storytelling ingredients from my book, Flogging the Quill, Crafting a Novel that Sells. While it's not a requirement that all of these elements must be on the first page, they can be, and I think you have the best chance of hooking a reader if they are.

Evaluate the submission—and your own first page—in terms of whether or not it includes each of these ingredients, and how well it executes them. The one vital ingredient not listed is professional-caliber writing because that is a must for every page, a given.

  • Story questions
  • Tension (in the reader, not just the characters)
  • Voice
  • Clarity
  • Scene-setting
  • Character

Mike sends the first chapter for Dog Island . The rest of the chapter is after the break.

According to the United States Geological Survey, the event on the first day of February, 1995, lasted two minutes and twenty-seven seconds. The epicenter was listed as Latitude 30-25’23” N, Longitude 088-33’07” W. That put it twelve miles out from the gulf coast of Mississippi. It was just west of Horn Island in the chain of barrier islands that separated the waters of the Mississippi Sound from the Gulf of Mexico proper.

They called it an unclassified seismic anomaly. People on the gulf coast just called it the earthquake. Some believed it was a prelude to the terror that followed soon after.

As preludes go, it’s hard to beat an earthquake, but there were others who would tell you candidly that the real prelude was two years earlier. The day Manny showed up.


The park was scheduled to die in the morning. It would be a lingering death; there were four acres to kill.

By the end of the week, probably. Tristan Graaf stood eating frozen yogurt from a Styrofoam cup as he regarded the hulking, yellow executioners. Smelling of machine oil and diesel fuel, they were lined up like a squad of sentries, as if given an opportunity the prisoner could somehow flee.

With his almost-not-limping gate, he headed south on the well manicured St. Augustine (snip)

Were you compelled to turn Mike's first page?

Hmm. The writing is clear and clean (well, maybe a little tidying of punctuation). And, even though the opening segment is not the kind of scene that I prefer, it did give a sense of reality to the story to come, and that’s good. And it ended with a good hook—there is terror to come, and Manny has something to do with it. So I eagerly kept reading.

But then we don’t, it appears, continue with the story of terror and Manny. We go to Tristan eating yogurt as he contemplates what I guess are bulldozers (it wouldn’t hurt to be more specific in some way so we can visualize what he’s seeing, even if it’s a detail such as “their blades lowered and ready to scrape . . . etc.”). While the “death” of a park is unfortunate, it doesn’t seem like a terror, and where’s Manny? The tension sags and flickers out in the second half of the page—no drama in yogurt consumption and contemplation. This got an almost from me—the opening segment was a yes, the second part a no, so it didn’t really have the strength to compel a page turn.

Comments, please?

For what it’s worth.


Submitting to the Flogometer:

Email the following in an attachment (.doc, .docx, or .rtf preferred, no PDFs):

  1. your title
  2. your complete 1st chapter or prologue plus 1st chapter
  3. Please include in your email permission to post it on FtQ.
  4. Note: I’m adding a copyright notice for the writer at the end of the post. I’ll use just the first name unless I’m told I can use the full name.
  5. Also, please tell me if it’s okay to post the rest of the chapter so people can turn the page.
  6. And, optionally, include your permission to use it as an example in a book on writing craft if that's okay.
  7. If you’re in a hurry, I’ve done “private floggings,” $50 for a first chapter.
  8. If you rewrite while you wait for your turn, it’s okay with me to update the submission.

Flogging the Quill © 2014 Ray Rhamey, story © 2014 Mike



. . . grass. Horizontal rays from the sinking sun that made him shade his eyes bathed the palm trees and last minute visitors with a warm orange light.

The park sat on a massive concrete structure that was the gulf side border of Southern Star Marina. With the thirty-four acre marina between it and the shore, the park had a world class, panoramic view of the sound.

The Marina was in the shape of a rectangle with the west side pulled away, leaving a space in the upper northwest corner for the entrance channel. The east wall supported a two lane driveway that led to the park. Parking spaces along the driveway served the boat slips that lined the inside of the wall. The driveway on the west wall led to the harbor master's office, a fueling and service station, and a million candle power lighthouse.

Since he was four years old, Tris visited the park every week with his granddad. When Tris was older, his granddad pointed out different parts of the structure and told him marvelous stories about how it was built, the men he worked with building it, and the raucous adventures they had over the months from 1965 until it was finished two years later.

He looked past the marina to the empty lot on the other side of Beach Boulevard. The Southern Star Hotel had stood there until it burned down in 1990, a year after his granddad died. A much younger granddad had also helped build it in 1949, the year he met and married Laut Mom--what the family called his grandmother. Granddad was thirty and she was twenty-one.


"I just don't see the difference. They have volleyball at Southern and UNO. You could get a job there."

"And they have football in England, but they don't wear helmets," Olivia Ross said to her dad.

Avery Ross gave his daughter a quizzical look.

“It's irrelevant, Dad.” She made an impatient gesture; they had gone down this road so many times. “UCLA offered me a job. Southern and UNO didn't."

While earning a degree in physical therapy at LSU, she gained national recognition as a member of the volleyball team. LSU made it to the national final four her senior year, and during the tournament she got to know some of the UCLA players and coaches.

They tied up after a short cruise around the sound. Now, they stood facing each other on the Wild Weasel, a thirty-five foot converted Duffy lobster boat. The cruise was Avery’s idea. He wanted to give it one more shot.

The lull in the argument gave them a chance to retreat to neutral corners, sitting opposite each other on the bench seats.

Olivia watched headlights coming and red taillights going on the driveway. She understood her father's struggle. If she left for the west coast, he worried that she might not come back. The illusion that she was still his little girl would finally be shattered.

Avery studied the flickering "E" on the red neon EL CAPITAN that adorned the casino barge. He knew he was being foolish, but he couldn’t help himself. He was scared.

"So, bottom line, are you forbidding me to go?" Olivia smiled slightly. It was a familiar scene played out numerous times since she had turned eighteen. It was their tradition. She reached out with both hands and took his.

"You know you don't need a job," he said softly. He looked down as a smile that mirrored his daughter's came unbidden.

It was over. That was part of the tradition too. If he forbade her to go, his twenty-three year old daughter would seriously consider accepting his wishes. But he never once played that card, and both knew he wouldn’t now.

"An assistant coaching position at UCLA will look great on my resume. How can I pass that up?"

"I know."

She squeezed his hands. "It’s a chance to get me out of your hair for a while, and come on, it's California for Pete's sake."

A voice said, "Yeah, she looks like a California girl to me." It came from a bearded stranger carrying a red gym bag. He stepped onto the Wild Weasel from the pier followed by another man with a long beard. The second man held a gun.


Tristan’s roots on the gulf coast ran deep. His eclectic family tree read like a who’s who of the nationalities and ethnicities that forged the new world, back to the pirate Laurens de Graafe, who helped found the original settlement called Biloxi in 1699.

He wore a large, black wooden cross around his neck. He was told that it had been passed down through the generations from the reformed pirate himself——along with a treasure map he had never been shown.

But the park was a tangible part of his own history. He grieved for its loss.

The headlights of more late visitors came up from the entrance on Beach Boulevard. After a hopeless public campaign to keep the park, they were here to pay their last respects. They crept past the line of boat slips as the security lights buzzed and flickered in the dusk.

Tris turned and headed back to his car. His view of the shore was obscured by the gigantic box that was the El Capitan Casino barge, anchored where the slips for large sailing vessels used to be.

In a few months it would be the third casino to open for business on the Mississippi gulf coast. The patrons would need someplace to park, so, acting out the protest song from the sixties, they were about to pave paradise and put up a parking lot.

Full night arrived by the time Tris got in his car and headed down the drive toward Beach Boulevard. He glanced out at the dark outlines of boats in their slips under the formed concrete awnings. One by one in rapid succession, they briefly flashed as the lighthouse beam swept by.


Olivia thought they looked like the bearded brothers on an old cough drop box. She and her father stood up.

"Who are you?" Avery said. He gently pushed Olivia behind him.

"Just two friendly guys in need of a boat ride," the one holding the gun said. They were both wearing dirty coveralls and mud streaked Hunting boots.

"You want us to take you somewhere?" Olivia asked.

"Brilliant deduction, honey. Yeah, Gaillard Island."

"Gaillard Island?" Avery said. "Why?"

"That’s not your business."

"That’s in the middle of Mobile Bay. Even if we wanted to, we don't have the fuel to--"

"We're not asking." The man with the gun pointed to the west side of the marina. "There's a service area next to the lighthouse. You can gas up over there."

"Start the boat and let's get going. Now," The bagman said.

"Hey! Hey you!" Another voice in the night joined the conversation. "Tol' you two b'fore, stay off my boat."

They all turned to watch as the newcomer came aboard the already crowded boat. He was pointing at Avery and Olivia and seemed oblivious to the gun. He was tall, broad-shouldered, with a deep tan complexion. His shoulder length dreadlocks, and Jamaican accent pegged him for an islander. He swayed a bit as if the boat was in choppy seas and not tied up in a slip.

The gunman pointed his weapon at the unwelcome newcomer. "Hey, where the hell you think you're goin'?" The Jamaican moved next to the man holding the gym bag and put his arm around him. He shook his finger at Avery and Olivia.

"This is the sec--no third, third time I caught them on my boat." The Jamaican’s expression invited his new friends to be as indignant as he was. They looked on with confused fascination.

"Hey buddy, watch yourself," the gunman continued to aim at the Jamaican. "You wanna die tonight?"

"Ha!" The Jamaican slapped his thigh and stepped closer to the gunman. He still had his arm around the bagman, who staggered as he was pulled along. "I like you, mon--mons. I take you guys anywhere you wanna go."

The bagman stepped out from under the Jamaican's arm and pushed him away. Caught off balance, the Jamaican stumbled closer to Olivia and Avery.

Avery said, "What the hell? You're drunk--"

"You shaddup, mon." The Jamaican pointed at Avery and took a step. He stumbled and pushed Avery into Olivia. The momentum forced all three to move to the starboard side of the boat. "Stay here," The Jamaican whispered, then he turned to the gunman. "Sokay I get these assholes off my boat? Then I take you to Gal--where you said."

"No." The gunman pointed his weapon at Avery and Olivia. "They stay on the boat." He swung the gun around and aimed it at the Jamaican. "Get away from them and get over there." The gunman indicated the stern. "Move slow and careful."

"Sokay mon, sokay," said the Jamaican. He held his palms out and grinned as he swayed from his left foot to his right, then he backed unsteadily toward the stern.

The gunman turned and pointed the gun at Olivia and Avery. "Do you know this jackass?"

"Well," Avery said.

"I tol' you mon--"

"Shut up, you!" The gunman swung his weapon around and pointed straight at the Jamaican's chest. His finger was white around the trigger.

"Just shoot him and let's get goin'," the bagman said.

"Wait!" Avery looked at the Jamaican sheepishly. "I'm sorry," he said, then turned to the gunman. "He always hides his key in the same place." Olivia stared at him with raised eyebrows. "We just couldn't resist taking a little spin in your boat. Didn’t think you’d show up tonight."

The bagman's face was red. "What the hell is this bullshi--"

"I put the key back where I got it," Avery continued.

"Everybody shut up!" the gunman said.

"I don't see it here." The Jamaican had his back turned to them, looking over the transom. "Hey wait, what's this shit?"

"What?" The bagman stepped closer.

The gunman still kept his distance and tried to watch both the Jamaican and Avery, pointing the gun at one, then the other.

"Hey guys, guys, c'mere." The Jamaican, still looking down over the transom, made an exaggerated beckoning gesture with his arm. "Look at my engine. They got some crap all over my engine."

The two would-be boatjackers moved closer. "What's wrong?"

The Jamaican straightened up and looked at the gunman. He was on the verge of tears. He gestured vaguely toward the stern rail. "Look. Look what they done!" He took a couple of sobbing breaths.

The gunman stepped closer, trying to see over the transom, while the Jamaican rested his arms on the stern rail and laid his head on them, moaning something unintelligible.

The exasperated gunman was ready to shoot them all and try to drive the boat himself, but he was concerned that there might really be something wrong.

He moved next to the Jamaican and bent over the rail, trying to see into the darkness below. He lifted his head to ask if there was a flashlight, but instead, the Jamaican made three swift moves and the gunman said, "Oof!" as he jackknifed over the short rail and into the waters of the marina.

"Does he know how to swim?"

The remaining boatjacker stepped back and held the bag defensively in front of his body as the Jamaican pointed a semi-automatic at him.

At that moment two powerful flashlights lit up the scene.

A female voice said, "Police, don't move!"

A male voice said, "That's the worst Jamaican accent I ever heard, Tris."

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911. Evil Editor Classics

The All-Evil Editor Shopping Channel (part 1)

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912. Remembering Lauren Bacall Through Her Writing

Beyond being one of the greatest actresses of the 20th century, Lauren Bacall was also the author of three memoirs: By Myself; Now and By Myself and Then Some.

“Writing a book is the most complete experience I’ve ever had,” she told The Los Angeles Times. “I’m happily stunned with the results and astonished by the reaction.”

“When you have nothing but dreams, that’s all you think about, all that matters, all that takes you away from humdrummery – the fact that your mother was working too hard and didn’t have enough in her own life, that your grandmother, loving though she was, wanted you to get a decent job to help your mother, that you didn’t have enough money to do anything you wanted to do, even buy a lousy coat for $17.95,” she wrote in the 1978 By Myself. “Dreams were better – that was where my hope lay – I’d hang on them, never let go.”


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913. Call for Submissions: Illuminations: An International Magazine of Contemporary Writing

Illuminations: An International Magazine of Contemporary Writing is pleased to announce that it will resume publication after a one-year hiatus. The next issue, #30, will appear in May/June 2015.

lluminations made its first appearance in Columbia, South Carolina in 1982 under the editorship of Peter McMillan. The issue featured poems by Seamus Heaney, Stephen Spender, and newcomer Sam Boone. Subsequently edited from England, Japan, and Tanzania, the magazine returned to South Carolina in 1996 where it was edited by Simon Lewis and most recently by Meg Scott-Copses at The College of Charleston until 2011. Over these many years Illuminations has remained consistently true to its mission statement to publish new writers alongside some of the world’s finest, including Nadine Gordimer, James Merrill, Carol Ann Duffy, Dennis Brutus, Allen Tate, interviews with Tim O’Brien, and letters from Flannery O’Connor and Ezra Pound. A number of new poets whose early work appeared in Illuminations have gone on to win prizes and accolades, and we at Illuminations sincerely value the chance to promote the work of emerging writers.

As of August 1st, 2014, Illuminations is again accepting submissions of poetry. Please send no more than six poems at a time.

As a magazine devoted primarily to poetry we publish only one or two pieces of short fiction and/or non-fiction in any given year, and sometimes publish none at all.

Please make sure that anything you send us has not been published elsewhere already and is not currently under consideration elsewhere.

In the case of a piece translated from a language other than English, please send us the original along with your translation (this is for review purposes only; we generally publish the translation only).

Mailed submissions should be sent, with an accompanying SASE for response, to:

Simon Lewis, Editor, Illuminations
Department of English
College of Charleston
66 George Street
Charleston, SC 29424-0001

We also accept e-mailed submissions via Submittable. There is a $2:20 fee for e-mail submissions. 

For further information, please contact the editor Simon Lewis at:

lewissATcofcDOTedu (Change AT to @ and DOT to . )

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914. Q is for Queen

Here is one of my favorites from P is for Pirate, the notorious Grace O’Malley—Irish queen & pirate captain. She was a contemporary of Queen Elizabeth I and reportedly had an interview with Gloriana (who, after all, had a soft spot for buccaneers).

Queen Grace has been the subject of songs, at least one play and even a musical. So far as I know the swashbuckling Maureen O’Hara never played her in a movie, but what perfect casting that would have been!

I show Queen Grace in an Errol Flynn pose with her ruffians behind her. In the sketch I thoughtlessly drew a baroque-looking ship like we’re used to seeing from piracy’s golden age. In the final painting I used the Mayflower—much closer in style to a ship from Queen Grace’s time—as reference. Same deal with the costumes: they’re Elizabethan. I first drew her in men’s clothes but thought she looks much cuter in a dress.

Thumbnail sketch Errol Flynn in Captain Blood Tight sketch—in a man's costume In a dress with skirts hiked up for ease of movement Color sketch IMGP1534 IMGP1535 IMGP1622 IMGP1623 IMGP1624 IMGP1625 IMGP1626 IMGP1627 IMGP1628 IMGP1629 IMGP1630 IMGP1632 IMGP1633 IMGP1634 IMGP1635 IMGP1636 Queen

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915. 5 Things I Can't Wait to See in THE GIVER Movie {+ A Book Recap}

  I'm super excited for The Giver movie coming out August 15th. These are my top five things I really want to see come to life on the big screen; 1.  The way the Giver transfers the memories to Jonas. It was cool to read and I bet it'll be awesome to see put on the big screen. 2.  Jonas' first flashes of color. It was hard to picture in the book and now I can put pictures to words. 3.

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916. Meet the Finalists: Lauri Fortino

Lauri Fortino:

I was featured today on the MeeGenius blog!

Originally posted on MeeGenius Blog:

Lauri Fortino

Meet Lauri Fortino, author of “Dinosaur Tag”

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917. Doodles

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918. Call for Nonfiction by Veterans on Theme of Homecoming: So Say We All Anthology

Non-fiction submissions by Veteran writers welcome on the theme of, "Homecoming."

Veteran writers, let's get you published: in partnership with Cal Humanities and the Center for the Book, So Say We All requests non-fiction submissions on the theme of, "Homecoming," for a 2014 anthology to be published this winter. We aim to creation a collection from multitude of voices, across generations and branches of service, that examine the transition from military to civilian life. Various interpretations of the theme are welcome, from the literal to the more abstract. 

Average submission length is around 1,400 words but longer works will be considered (shorter is always welcome too.) All submissions will be considered as first drafts, and we expect chosen participants to work with our editors on a rewrite. Compensation is in the form of two copies of the book.

Deadline: September 1st, 2014.

Submit online here.

Visit our website for more information.

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919. Comics Illustrator of the Week :: Amanda Conner



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Artist Amanda Conner has been working in comics since the late 80′s. She’s been in the top tier of mainstream comics creators for a long time now, but with  DC Comics’ recent New 52 reboot, Amanda Conner got the chance to relaunch the new Harley Quinn series, and has in the process solidified herself as one of the greats, while also redefining one of today’s most popular characters.

Conner developed her drawing skills at The Kubert School in Dover, New Jersey, one of the first technical schools for sequential art founded by comics legend Joe Kubert. She met her future husband, and current collaborator on Harley Quinn, writer/inker Jimmy Palmiotti, in the early 90′s when he was an editor at Marvel.. The couple was also responsible for a recent popular run on DC Comics’ Power Girl. Throughout her career, she’s worked with some of comics’ top creators, including Warren Ellis, Peter David, Garth Ennis, and Darwyn Cooke.

Her work has also been featured in The New York Times, MAD Magazine, and Revolver.

You can follow Amanda Conner on Twitter here.

For more comics related art, you can follow me on my website comicstavern.com - Andy Yates

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920. ‘Vain – Part Two’ Leads the Self-Published Bestsellers List

Vain – Part Two by Deborah Bladon leads the Self-published Bestsellers List this week.

To help GalleyCat readers discover self-published authors, we compile weekly lists of the top eBooks in three major marketplaces for self-published digital books: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. You can read all the lists below, complete with links to each book.

If you want more resources as an author, try our Free Sites to Promote Your eBook post, How To Sell Your Self-Published Book in Bookstores post and our How to Pitch Your Book to Online Outlets post.

If you are an independent author looking for support, check out our free directory of people looking for writers groups. (more…)

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921. Lev Grossman, Hampton Sides, & Sally Hogshead Debut On the Indie Bestseller List

We’ve collected the books debuting on Indiebound’s Indie Bestseller List for the week ending August 10, 2014–a sneak peek at the books everybody will be talking about next month.

(Debuted at #3 in Hardcover Fiction) The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman: “Quentin Coldwater has lost everything. He has been cast out of Fillory, the secret magical land of his childhood dreams that he once ruled. Everything he had fought so hard for, not to mention his closest friends, is sealed away in a land Quentin may never again visit. With nothing left to lose he returns to where his story began, the Brakebills Preparatory College of Magic.” (August 2014)


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922. Genius At Work

Back in 2005...2005?!!- I was working on Worlds Within Words that I wanted to get ready for the Bristol Comic Expo.  2005....oy.  Anyhow, a photo was taken of me working on the pages to what was to become a classic meeting of historical importance....

Metaphysical Comics

It was the next evolutionary step in comics.  Quite obvious if you think about it.

Anyway, WWW was set to become book 1 of The Dr Morg Trilogy which will, again, be on sale at the Bristol Small Press and Comic event in October.

Sometimes my absolute incredible genius surprises even me. 

Oh, and the trilogy is an important part of The Green Skies book so....

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923. Anthropology and Christianity

The relationship between anthropologists and Christian identity and belief is a riddle. I first became interested in it by studying the intellectual reasons for the loss of faith given by figures in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. There are an obvious set of such intellectual triggers.

They were influenced by David Hume or Tom Paine, for example. Or, surprisingly often, it was modern biblical criticism. The big intellectual guns, of course, were figures such as Darwin, Marx, and Freud (and perhaps we can also squeeze Nietzsche in as a kind of d’Artagnan alongside those Three Musketeers). The so-called acids of modernity eat away at traditional religious claims.

As I accumulated and analyzed actual life stories, however, I hit one such trigger that had not been explored by scholars: the discipline of anthropology. It is not hard to find studies – sometimes daunting heaps of them – on Christianity and evolution or Christianity and Marxism and so on, but it was not clear to me what anthropology had to offer that was so unsettling to Christianity. Nor could I find where to go to read about it. Then there was the self-reporting of anthropologists. I’m a historian so I was coming at the discipline as an outsider. Every anthropologist I talked to, however, confidently told me that anthropology was and always had been from its very beginning a discipline that was dominated by scepticism and the rejection of faith.

Many were quite willing to go so far as to call it anti-Christian in ethos. They reported this whether they themselves were personally religious or hostile to religion – whether they self-identified as Catholic, evangelical, liberal Protestant, Jewish, secular, or atheist. If my random encounters were not profoundly unrepresentative, it seemed to be a consensus opinion. And it was not hard to find printed sources that also offered this assessment emphatically.

But then something strange began to happen. As I had shown interested in the relationship between anthropology and Christianity, my informants (to use an anthropological category!) would also casually mention as a kind of irrelevant, quirky novelty that a certain leading anthropologist was a Christian.


“Of course, dear old Mary Douglas was a devout Catholic, you know.” Purity and Danger Mary Douglas? One of the most influential anthropologists theorists of the second half of the twentieth century – no, I didn’t know. “Curiously, Margaret Mead, to the bemusement of her parents, chose to become an Episcopalian in her teens and was an active churchwomen for the rest of her life, even serving on the Commission on Church and Society of the World Council of Churches.” Coming of Age in Samoa Margaret Mead? One of the most prominent public intellectuals of twentieth-century America? That is curious.

“Strange to say, Victor Turner, who had been an agnostic Marxist, converted to Catholicism as an adult.” Really? The anthropologist who got us all talking about liminality and rites of passage and so on? The theorist behind the work of whole generations and departments of anthropology? Curiouser and curiouser.

“Oh, Catholic converts interest you? Well, of course, the presiding genius of the golden age of Oxford anthropology, E. E. Evans-Pritchard was one, as was Godfrey Lienhardt, and David Pocock, and . . .”

“What is that you say? What about Protestants? Well, Robertson Smith was an ordained minister in the Free Church of Scotland. Another fun fact was that the Primitive Methodist missionary Edwin W. Smith became the president of the Royal Anthropological Institute.” And so it went on.

What is one to make of the strong perception that anthropologists are hostile to religion with the reality of all these Christian anthropologists hiding in plain sight? The answer to such a question would no doubt be a complicated one with multiple, entangled factors. One of them, however, clearly relates to changing attitudes over time regarding the intellectual integrity and beliefs of people in traditional cultures.

Early anthropologists who rejected Christian faith such as E. B. Tylor (often called the father of anthropology) and James Frazer (of Golden Bough fame) were convinced that so-called “primitive” people had not yet reached a stage of progress in which they could be rational and logical. These pioneering anthropologists saw Christianity as a vehicle that was perniciously carrying into the modern world the superstitious, irrational ways of thinking of “savages”.

As the twentieth century unfolded, however, anthropologists learned to reject such condescending assumptions about traditional cultures. As they came to respect the people they studied, they often decided that their religious life and beliefs also had their own integrity and merit. This sometimes led them to reevaluate faith more generally—and even more personally. This connection is particularly strong in the life and work of E. E. Evans-Pritchard. He was both an adult convert to Catholicism and a major, highly influential champion of the notion that peoples such as the Azande were not “pre-logical” but rather deeply rational.

Victor and Edith Turner went into the field as committed Marxists and agnostics with a touch of bitterness in their anti-Christian stance (Edith had been raised by judgmental evangelical missionary parents). The Turners’ dawning conviction that Ndembu rituals had an irreducible spiritual reality, however, ultimately led them to receive the Christian faith as spiritually efficacious, true, and as their own spiritual home.

When anthropologists today glory in their discipline’s rejection of faith they often have in mind a very specific form of belief: a highly judgmental, narrowly sectarian version of religious commitment that condemns the indigenous people they study as totally cut off from any positive, authentic spiritual knowledge and experience. Evans-Pritchard and Victor Turner, however, are typical of numerous Christian anthropologists who were convinced that the traditional African cultures they studied possessed a natural revelation of God.

The riddle of anthropologists and the Christian faith is at least partially solved by distinguishing between “the wrong kind of faith”—the rejecting of which is a standard trope in the discipline—from an ethnographic openness to spirituality which can surprisingly often find expression in Christian forms for individual theorists.

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Image credit: Old Christian Cross, by Filipov Ivo. CC-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

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924. Sponsor // Free Bitrix24 Account with 10 GB Extra Online Storage

Bitrix24 is currently offering a free account with 10 GB of extra online storage. If you are not familiar with it, Bitrix24 is a unified collaboration and communication platform. In plain English, this means that all the tools that you typically use to collaborate with co-workers and communicate with clients and partners are available in one place.


Bitrix24 features:







Bitrix24 is 100% free for up to 12 users and is available in cloud or as a self-hosted software you can put on your server. Here’s how to get extra 10GB for your cloud account. Go to Bitrix24.com and enter your e-mail. When you confirm your e-mail address, you’ll be forwarded to a registration form. You’ll see «I Have Promocode» link in the lower right corner. Enter GRAIN10 there and after refreshing your browser, you’ll see your available storage space expand to 15 GB (this may take 5 to 15 minutes, so don’t sweat if you don’t see it right away).

This giveaway ends in two weeks, so don’t procrastinate.









Interested in sponsoring grain edit? Visit our sponsorship page for more info.


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925. Writing and Selling Middle Grade Fiction – AUG 14 Webinar With Jennifer Laughran

jlaughran-2012-photoWriting a Middle Grade novel can be fun, but writing a sellable Middle Grade novel can be a bit more challenging. Knowing the market is just as important as coming up with an great idea and writing an amazing novel. This webinar is here to help you do both of those things and more.

In this live 90-minute webinar — titled “Writing and Selling Middle Grade Fiction” —  instructor and literary agent Jennifer Laughran will talk about what’s happening in the exciting Middle Grade market, as well as examine some recently published titles to see what they got right. She’ll also talk revision tips and tricks to help you take your work-in-progress to the next level — she’ll also critique either your query letter or the first 500 pages of your MG novel. It all happens at 1 p.m., EST, Thursday, August 14, 2014, and lasts 90 minutes.


  • U9476What’s selling in Middle Grade… and what just isn’t.
  • The all-important “Hook”, and what “High Concept” looks like
  • Finding the elusive Middle Grade Voice
  • Common mistakes of Middle Grade submissions
  • Overused beginnings and clichés that can drag down a work
  • How to polish your work and stand out from the slush pile
  • What “core curriculum” guidelines for schools might mean for your book


Jennifer Laughran is a senior agent at Andrea Brown Literary Agency, the oldest children’s-only agency in the US. Before she joined the agency in 2008, she spent about a decade as a children’s book buyer and event coordinator for various successful bookstores. Her many years of experience in the children’s book field have made her one of the top kid’s book agents working today. She reps picture books through YA, but has a particular love for Middle Grade novels — the warmer and funnier the better. Clients include Daniel Pinkwater, Kate Messner, Jo Whittemore, Linda Urban, and many debut authors whose names you’ll know soon!


All registrants are invited to submit EITHER the query letter OR the first 500 words of their complete / work-in-progress middle grade novel for critique. All submissions are guaranteed a written critique by literary agent Jennifer Laughran. Jennifer reserves the right to request more writing from attendees by e-mail following the event, if she deems the writing excellent.


  • Writers currently writing or querying a middle grade novel
  • Published or unpublished authors considering making the jump to middle grade fiction writing
  • Writers who have been rejected by agents and editors, and want to evaluate why their novel didn’t make the cut
  • Writers who want a professional critique by a literary agent

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