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Results 901 - 925 of 661,593
901. My tweets

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902. What Are The Summer Olympics

What Are The Summer Olympics?  Gail Herman. Illustrated by Stephen Marchesi. 2016. 112 pages. [Source: Library]

I enjoyed reading Gail Herman's What Are the Summer Olympics? This short little nonfiction book for young(er) readers (think elementary school) covers all the basics. It provides a nice, little overview of the Olympics. Readers don't learn all there is to know about any one sport--or event--but readers learn a little bit about many of the most popular events. The chapters are actually arranged decade by decade. Each chapter typically covers two or three sports.

For example, the ninth chapter focuses on the 1980s. That chapter covers the U.S.A's boycott of the 1980 games, introduces readers to Mary Lou Retton (gymnastics), Carl Lewis (track), and Greg Louganis (diving).

Because over a hundred years worth of sports history is covered in this little volume, there isn't a lot of depth and substance. The book is a little over a hundred pages in length. BUT the book has a lot of illustrations.

Is it as FUN as Horrible Histories' Flame?!?! Sadly, no. But the book and song go VERY well together. The book, of course, covers A LOT more than any song parody could ever do it.

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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903. Child's Play

When a toy requires assembly,
There is danger up ahead
For it never will be easy - 
Doesn't matter what they said.

If instructions come in pictures,
Then this warning you can double,
'Cause deciphering them wrong
Will likely get you into trouble.

With three phone calls to the hotline,
We're still stuck on step eleven.
Anybody who can do this
Sure deserves a place in heaven.

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904. Poetry Friday: The Journey by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice--
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do--
determined to save
the only life you could save.

- The Journey by Mary Oliver

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

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905. Haven't I seen you someplace before? Dueling covers of ladies on the water

Unknown-5 Unknown-4
I think all these ladies must know each other. 

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906. A Sneak Peak at My First Poetry Book, THINGS TO DO!

Yesterday, a package arrived in the mail. It was an advance copy of Things to Do--my first published book! I have waited a long, long time to hold a copy of it in my hands. It was such a wonderful experience--especially because my granddaughter Julia was with me when I opened the envelope. She sat beside me while I read it to her. I also read her the dedication: For three special ladies who bring joy into my life--my daughter Sara, and her daughters Julia Anna and Allison Mary.

Here are some photos that I took of my book:







Now...I just have to wait until February 7, 2017 when my book will be released by Chronicle Books.

********************

Tara has the Poetry Friday Roundup at A Teaching Life.

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907. On the anniversary of the Mann Gulch wildfire

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Reader’s note: last year, to honor the anniversary of the Mann Gulch wildfire, we posted the below note, along with an excerpt from Norman Maclean’s Young Men and Fire. Today marks 67 years since the events of August 5, 1949, so in tribute, we repost the excerpt and its accompanying introduction. More on the matter, of course, can be gleaned from Maclean’s singular work, while additional background on its author can be found in this weekend’s New York Times Magazine, where a piece on fly-fishing in Montana turns into a meditation on Maclean’s writing and life.

***

August 5, 2015, marks the 66th anniversary of the Mann Gulch wildfire, which eventually spread to cover 4,500 acres of Montana’s Gates of the Mountain Wilderness in Helena National Forest, and claimed the lives of 12 of the 15 elite US Forest Service Smokejumpers, who acted as first responders in the moments before the blaze jumped up a slope and “blew up” its surrounding grass. Haunted by the event, Montana native, author, and former University of Chicago professor Norman Maclean devoted much of his life’s work to researching and writing an account of the events that unfolded that first week of August 1949, which would met publication posthumously two years after Maclean’s death as Young Men and FireThe book, now considered a classic reconstruction of an American tragedy and a premier piece of elegiac memoir qua historical non-fiction, went on to win a National Book Critics Circle Award in 1992. Below follows an excerpt.

***

Then Dodge saw it. Rumsey and Sallee didn’t, and probably none of the rest of the crew did either. Dodge was thirty-three and foreman and was supposed to see; he was in front where he could see. Besides, he hadn’t liked what he had seen when he looked down the canyon after he and Harrison had returned to the landing area to get something to eat, so his seeing powers were doubly on the alert. Rumsey and Sallee were young and they were crew and were carrying tools and rubbernecking at the fire across the gulch. Dodge takes only a few words to say what the “it” was he saw next: “We continued down the canyon for approximately five minutes before I could see that the fire had crossed Mann Gulch and was coming up the ridge toward us.”

Neither Rumsey nor Sallee could see the fire that was now on their side of the gulch, but both could see smoke coming toward them over a hogback directly in front. As for the main fire across the gulch, it still looked about the same to them, “confined to the upper third of the slope.”

At the Review, Dodge estimated they had a 150- to 200-yard head start on the fire coming at them on the north side of the gulch. He immediately reversed direction and started back up the canyon, angling toward the top of the ridge on a steep grade. When asked why he didn’t go straight for the top there and then, he answered that the ground was too rocky and steep and the fire was coming too fast to dare to go at right angles to it.

You may ask yourself how it was that of the crew only Rumsey and Sallee survived. If you had known ahead of time that only two would survive, you probably never would have picked these two—they were first-year jumpers, this was the first fire they had ever jumped on, Sallee was one year younger than the minimum age, and around the base they were known as roommates who had a pretty good time for themselves. They both became big operators in the world of the woods and prairies, and part of this story will be to find them and ask them why they think they alone survived, but even if ultimately your answer or theirs seems incomplete, this seems a good place to start asking the question. In their statements soon after the fire, both say that the moment Dodge reversed the route of the crew they became alarmed, for, even if they couldn’t see the fire, Dodge’s order was to run from one. They reacted in seconds or less. They had been traveling at the end of the line because they were carrying unsheathed saws. When the head of the line started its switchback, Rumsey and Sallee left their positions at the end of the line, put on extra speed, and headed straight uphill, connecting with the front of the line to drop into it right behind Dodge.

They were all traveling at top speed, all except Navon. He was stopping to take snapshots.

The world was getting faster, smaller, and louder, so much faster that for the first time there are random differences among the survivors about how far apart things were. Dodge says it wasn’t until one thousand to fifteen hundred feet after the crew had changed directions that he gave the order for the heavy tools to be dropped. Sallee says it was only two hundred yards, and Rumsey can remember. Whether they had traveled five hundred yards or two hundred yards, the new fire coming up the gulch toward them was coming faster than they had been going. Sallee says, “By the time we dropped our packs and tools the fire was probably not much over a hundred yards behind us, and it seemed to me that it was getting ahead of us both above and below.” If the fire was only a hundred yards behind now it had gained a lot of ground on them since they had reversed directions, and Rumsey says he could never remember going faster in his life than he had for the last five hundred yards.

Dodge testifies that this was the first time he had tried to communicate with his men since rejoining them at the head of the gulch, and he is reported as saying—for the second time—something about “getting out of this death trap.” When asked by the Board of Review if he had explained to the men the danger they were in, he looked at the Board in amazement, as if the Board had never been outside the city limits and wouldn’t know sawdust if they saw it in a pile. It was getting late for talk anyway. What could anybody hear? It roared from behind, below, and across, and the crew, inside it, was shut out from all but a small piece of the outside world.

They had come to the station of the cross where something you want to see and can’t shuts out the sight of everything that otherwise could be seen. Rumsey says again and again what the something was he couldn’t see. “The top of the ridge, the top of the ridge.

“I had noticed that a fire will wear out when it reaches the top of a ridge. I started putting on steam thinking if I could get to the top of the ridge I would be safe.

“I kept thinking the ridge—if I can make it. On the ridge I will be safe… I forgot to mention I could not definitely see the ridge from where we were. We kept running up since it had to be there somewhere. Might be a mile and a half or a hundred feet—I had no idea.”

The survivors say they weren’t panicked, and something like that is probably true. Smokejumpers are selected for being tough, but Dodge’s men were very young and, as he testified, none of them had been on a blowup before and they were getting exhausted and confused. The world roared at them—there was no safe place inside and there was almost no outside. By now they were short of breath from the exertion of their climbing and their lungs were being seared by the heat. A world was coming where no organ of the body had consciousness but the lungs.

Dodge’s order was to throw away just their packs and heavy tools, but to his surprise some of them had already thrown away all their equipment. On the other hand, some of them wouldn’t abandon their heavy tools, even after Dodge’s order. Diettert, one of the most intelligent of the crew, continued carrying both his tools until Rumsey caught up with him, took his shovel, and leaned it against a pine tree. Just a little farther on, Rumsey and Sallee passed the recreation guard, Jim Harrison, who, having been on the fire all afternoon, was now exhausted. He was sitting with his heavy pack on and was making no effort to take it off, and Rumsey and Sallee wondered numbly why he didn’t but no one stopped to suggest he get on his feet or gave him a hand to help him up. It was even too late to pray for him. Afterwards, his ranger wrote his mother and, struggling for something to say that would comfort her, told her that her son always attended mass when he could.

It was way over one hundred degrees. Except for some scattered timber, the slope was mostly hot rock slides and grass dried to hay.

It was becoming a world where thought that could be described as such was done largely by fixations. Thought consisted in repeating over and over something that had been said in a training course or at least by somebody older than you.

Critical distances shortened. It had been a quarter of a mile from where Dodge had rejoined his crew to where he had the crew reverse direction. From there they had gone only five hundred yards at the most before he realized the fire was gaining on them so rapidly that the men should discard whatever was heavy.

The next station of the cross was only seventy-five yards ahead. There they came to the edge of scattered timber with a grassy slope ahead. There they could see what is really not possible to see: the center of a blowup. It is really not possible to see the center of a blowup because the smoke only occasionally lifts, and when it does all that can be seen are pieces, pieces of death flying around looking for you—burning cones, branches circling on wings, a log in flight without a propeller. Below in the bottom of the gulch was a great roar without visible flames but blown with winds on fire. Now, for the first time, they could have seen to the head of the gulch if they had been looking that way. And now, for the first time, to their left the top of the ridge was visible, looking when the smoke parted to be not more than two hundred yards away.

Navon had already left the line and on his own was angling for the top. Having been at Bastogne, he thought he had come to know the deepest of secrets—how death can be avoided—and, as if he did, he had put away his camera. But if he really knew at that moment how death could be avoided, he would have had to know the answers to two questions: How could fires be burning in all directions and be burning right at you? And how could those invisible and present only by a roar all be roaring at you?

On the open slope ahead of the timber Dodge was lighting a fire in the bunch grass with a “gofer” match. He was to say later at the Review that he did not think he or his crew could make the two hundred yards to the top of the ridge. He was also to estimate that the men had about thirty seconds before the fire would roar over them.

Dodge’s fire did not disturb Rumsey’s fixation. Speaking of Dodge lighting his own fire, Rumsey said, “I remember thinking that that was a very good idea, but I don’t remember what I thought it was good for.… I kept thinking the ridge—if I can make it. On the ridge I will be safe.”

Sallee was with Rumsey. Diettert, who before being called to the fire had been working on a project with Rumsey, was the third in the bunch that reached Dodge. On a summer day in 1978, twenty-nine years later, Sallee and I stood on what we thought was the same spot. Sallee said, “I saw him bend over and light a fire with a match. I thought, With the fire almost on our back, what the hell is the boss doing lighting another fire in front of us?”

It shouldn’t be hard to imagine just what most of the crew must have thought when they first looked across the open hill-side and saw their boss seemingly playing with a matchbook in dry grass. Although the Mann Gulch fire occurred early in the history of the Smokejumpers, it is still their special tragedy, the one in which their crew suffered almost a total loss and the only one in which their loss came from the fire itself. It is also the only fire any member of the Forest Service had ever seen or heard of in which the foreman got out ahead of his crew only to light a fire in advance of the fire he and his crew were trying to escape. In case I hadn’t understood him the first time, Sallee repeated, “We thought he must have gone nuts.” A few minutes later his fire became more spectacular still, when Sallee, having reached the top of the ridge, looked back and saw the foreman enter his own fire and lie down in its hot ashes to let the main fire pass over him.

***

To read more about Young Men and Fire, click here.

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908. Four pens

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909. Certain Songs #613: Hole – “Boys on The Radio”

hole celebrity skin Album: Celebrity Skin
Year: 1998

I mentioned this in my post on “Violet,” but in December 1994, Hole played Live 105’s “Green Christmas” being broadcast live from Berkeley, which I stayed home on a Friday just to tape off of the radio.

I was rewarded with a pretty ferocious and barely-together performance that twice featured a new song that seemed to be written in the wake of Kurt Cobain’s suicide & Hole bassist Kristen Pflaff’s OD, especially since it had the following lyric:

He said I’d never ever ever never go away
He said he’d always always he would always stay
They said they’d never ever never go away
They said they’d always always they would always stay

I found it incredibly aching, and wrote it down on the cassette label as “Never Go,” and was a little bit surprised when it turned up on their MTV Unplugged performance as “Sugar Coma,” and hoped that if they recorded it for the follow-up to Live Through This, it would have oomph than that particular performance.

What I didn’t count on was a complete revamp that ended up being my favorite Hole song, the ridiculously catchy “Boys on The Radio,” which takes the ache that powered “Never Go / Sugar Coma” and turns it inside out in with a multi-tracked chorus of Courtney Loves and Melissa Auf der Mars singing like the goddesses’ own angels:

All the boys on the radio
They crash and burn
They fold and fade so slow
In your endless summer night
I’ll be on the other side
When you’re beautiful and dying
All the world that you’ve denied
When the water is too deep
You can close your eyes
And really sleep tonight
Tonight

With Courtney’s crunchy rhythm guitar providing a platform for Eric Erlandson’s to toss siren-like hooks every which way, the chorus of “Boys on the Radio” is about how music can help us through shitty times, not exactly a new concept, but who cares when it’s this well done?

And I haven’t even gotten to the stop-time part. About halfway through the song, they repurpose the “never go” lyrics from 1994 and turn them into a multi-tracked overdubbed vocal juxtaposition worthy of “Fall on Me” or “Pilgrimage.”

Building and building and building.

He said he’d never, ever, ever go
And heavens, heavens, heavens know
And never, ever, ever go away
Baby

And just for a second, all of the music stops and sighs, before it continues.

I’ve gone away

And before they can finish the line, the chorus of angels swoops back in singing about “endless summer nights” and it’s gorgeous and transcendent and a million miles away from the fear and anger and aching that had to be at the root of the original song, and suddenly “Boys on the Radio” isn’t just about music as redemption as concept, it’s about music as redemption as fact.

It also just might be Rox’s favorite musical moment ever, as it’s not come up in the mix even once in the past decades without her singing along to it.

“Boys on the Radio”

“Boys on the Radio” performed live in 1999

Every Certain Song Ever
A filterable, searchable & sortable database with links to every “Certain Song” post I’ve ever written.

Check it out!

Certain Songs Spotify playlist
(It’s recommended that you listen to this on Spotify as their embed only has 200 songs.)

Support “Certain Songs” with a donation on Patreon
Go to my Patreon page

The post Certain Songs #613: Hole – “Boys on The Radio” appeared first on Booksquare.

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910. Educators and Families: A Powerful Partnership

Estrella

Looking for ways to get families more involved with your classroom or program? Or for resources to send home with them? The First Book Marketplace is the place to go!

Visit us for great family read alouds, resource collections for kids ages 0-12 and tips to arm caregivers with the skills they need. When educators and families are on the same page and pulling in the same direction it gives kids the confidence they need to keep building skills.

 

The family book

Build Strong Families with Stories

The books in this section model habits that families can adopt to grow stronger together. Each title is paired with a FREE downloadable reading guide designed for parents and caregivers. It includes activities, discussion prompts, and key ideas to take away from the story.

Tools to Get Families Involved

First Book proudly partners with content experts to provide easy-to-use tools to help you engage with families around subjects like healthy living, developing early literacy skills and building strong character. Our Family Engagement section includes 12 unique categories of books paired with free downloadable tip sheets, many in both English and Spanish.

 

The post Educators and Families: A Powerful Partnership appeared first on First Book Blog.

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911. Netflix Announces ‘Ask the Storybots,’ An Original Series from Jibjab

This new children's series from Jibjab mixes drawn animation, CG, stop motion, and live-action.

The post Netflix Announces ‘Ask the Storybots,’ An Original Series from Jibjab appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

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912. Back to Skool

You know every now and then I catch up with the world. Or the rest of the world catches up with me. It's all about how you look at it, I suppose. Well, there seems to be a real thirst for creative lettering out there, and if you're feeling thirsty I have the answer for you. I have a brand new lettering course starting at Sketchbook Skool right NOW!!
A whole month of daily exercises that'll improve your hand lettering. So, if you'd like to find out how to do this....
or this....
or this...
then head on over HERE now. What are you waiting for?

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913. Current Scratch: Join us, Events, Building a Multi Lingual Library, Gabito, Librarians



Howdy, y'all! Hope everyone has had a good summer full of pools and watermelon or airconditioning and Netflix. Whatever floats your summertime boat. Please enjoy this month's scratch with a scoop of icecream on top.  


Join us
JOIN US Wednesday, August 31st at 10 a.m. in the College Station Barnes & Noble for our monthly meeting. Our program is as follows: this month we'll discuss what happened at Summer Conference in LA, cover what editors and agents are saying and the general state of the industry. We'll also discuss news and provide encouragement. Gentle critique begins at 9:30 a.m. Bring copies of 5 double-spaced pages of your work in progress. Those who have time may go to lunch at a local restaurant. Members and friends welcome.



Local/Regional Events

August 15th: Brazos Valley SCBWI Social
This month we'll meet at the Starbucks on Rock Prairie Road & Hwy. 6 at 7 p.m.

August 30th: Author Platform webinar
Mark your calendars for the end of August when the Texas SCBWI webinar series presents "What is Author Platform Building Anyway? The Ins and Outs of Building Your Niche." With Elaine Kiely Kearns and Sylvia Liu of KidLit 411.
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

October 22nd: Houston SCBWI Annual Conference 
A day of great information, critiques, portfolio reviews, networking and more!

Agents

Ginger Clark, Curtis Brown, Ltd

Brianne Johnson, Writers House

Kelly Sonnack, Andrea Brown Literary Agency

Editors

Katherine Jacobs, Roaring Brook Press

Susan Dobinick, Farrar, Straus, & Giroux

Art Director

Maria T. Middleton, Random House

Registration and details at:

Building a Multi-lingual Library

Here are a couple of different types of books that help incorporate a new language into your reading library. All are useful whether you are trying to encourage readers to speak more than one language or are trying to add diversity to your library.

Direct translations


Direct translations of classic children's books are helpful since, as a reader, you are likely already aware of the story. If you are a beginner, start with board books (monolingual baby books are easily turned into multilingual books with a Sharpie and a dictionary). Personally I steer clear of books that use a lot of rhyme and word play (for example, Dr. Seuss books and The Phantom Toll-Booth) since a lot can get lost in translation.

Side by Side Translation 

These books include the full text in both languages. The two languages are placed in different areas of the page (columns, top and bottom half) and are sometimes printed in different colors.  Sometimes the same layout is followed throughout the book (including illustration placement) and other times things are more fluid.  Having access to both languages on the same page can be very helpful

Uneven mix

These books are written primarily in one language but include phrases or words in the second language. Another good place for beginners to start. Often the phrases in the second language are being spoken by characters.

Foreign Children's Books


These offer the greatest window into another culture, but can also be the most impenetrable for beginners (see note below regarding vocabulary). Again, start with baby books and work your way up. If you are unsure whether a Spanish language book is originally from a foriegn country, check the copyright information.  
 
Notes  If you are building an English/Spanish library you may begin to notice that books from different regions use different vocabulary.  Books printed in the US intended for primarily for readers with Mexican and Central American heritage use different words and phrases than those printed in say, Argentina. Comparing the language differences is a great way to expand your vocabulary. Do not feel bad about having to look words up. Keep a dictionary or your phone handy for reference. By looking words up you are modeling language learning for your audience (be it your kids or students). 

"Gabito"


One of my favorite bi-lingual books at the moment is "Me llamo Gabito/My Name is Gabito," writen by Monica Brown and illustrated by Raul Colón. This is one of a series of books Monica Brown has published in which she presents the lives of well known Latinos. Each book takes on the rhythms of its subject's life and personality distilling their experiences and thoughts into a few pages of text and evocative illustrations. The collection includes musicians Celia Cruz and Tito Puente, author Gabriela Mistral and brazilian soccer legend Pe. My favorite has been Gabito, which relates the life of Colombian author Gabriel García Marquez in a dreamy but pointed fashion that is fittingly reminiscent of his writing. Obviously this is a detail that will escape small children, but... at the same time reading this book could plant the seeds for a future love of magical realism (the illustrations will help as well). In fact, this would make a nice primer for anyone (teenage or older) ready to tackle Marquez. It will definitely set the mood. I loved reading it to my kids (and then re-reading it again later myself)  
Librarians: A Forgotten Resource

I recently heard an interview with Gwen Glazer, a librarian at the New York Public Library. In it she describes why your local (and not so local) librarian can be a great asset, whether you're neck deep in research for your next book or just looking for something new to read ( 0 Comments on Current Scratch: Join us, Events, Building a Multi Lingual Library, Gabito, Librarians as of 1/1/1900
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914. Stirring the Plot: Knowledge Obstacles

#writingfiction, #writingtips, #fiction, #critiquegroup, #genre, #novel, #storybuildingblocks, #screenplay, @Diana_Hurwitz,  #temperament, #storybuildingblocks
At each stage of the story problem, you have to decide what your character knows, when he knows it, how certain he is, and how hard it would be to convince him he is wrong.

Knowledge obstacles prevent understanding and complicate communication. 

How do your characters communicate?

Do they ask questions or give orders?

Do they listen to answers or brush them off?

Higher education teaches characters to think and debate, rarely does it teach them to get in touch with their feeling side. When it comes to our sweet sixteen, each could strengthen his weak side.

In previous posts, we discussed persuasion plot holes. Knowledge obstacles can create internal and interpersonal conflict. They often require your characters to persuade another to their way of thinking. When they are presented with knowledge obstacles, they can be forced to use persuasion tactics.

1. Missing information.

Some characters are fine with proceeding without all of the information. Others need lots of data to make decisions. Forcing opposites to work together or placing a character in a situation where they need to act outside of their comfort zone increases the tension.

2. Conflicting ways of obtaining information.

Some characters prefer facts, others prefer impressions. The dichotomy between solid and fuzzy data will make different characters uncomfortable. Pair opposites or force your characters to require the opposite of what they rely on. They can argue whether the information obtained was obtained correctly or incorrectly based on their opinion.

3. Receiving the same information but interpreting it differently.

Your characters can look at the same collection of facts, figures, or opinions but have completely different reactions to them. Their differences of opinion can cause low-level or explosive conflicts.

4. Conflicting information.

Information can come from conflicting resources, multiple resources, or inaccurate people. Muddying the waters will make some characters more uncomfortable than others. It will come down to who they trust or who they believe. How much do they like the person? What do they want to hear or believe? When the facts don't add up, it creates dissonance.

5. Inaccurate information.

Characters can be intentionally or unintentionally misled. How they feel about going forward with faulty information can result in guilt, recrimination, or resentment. It can result in a failure to meet their overall story or scene goals. This results in a need to gather new information or take action to fix the problem it has created. This moves the plot forward.


6. Inability to understand the information due to language differences.

Whether you are talking Mars and Venus, different ethnicity, or alien versus human, not being able to communicate effectively creates conflict. Attempts to overcome these differences can be comic, poignant, or frustrating.

7. Inability to deliver an important piece of information.

Your character can meet many obstacles when he needs to impart crucial information to another character. It could be lack of cell phone signal, being bound and gagged, or being physically prevented from approaching his target.

8. Knowing something he doesn’t want to acknowledge.

This can be a harsh reality for your character. As long as he refuses to accept the truth, he will be unable to solve the issue at hand.

9. Communicating what they know.

This comes back to persuasion techniques. He may not be taken seriously by his audience. He may not be considered a valid source of information. He may not be in a state to inspire confidence in his rantings.

10. Who he chooses to tell.

Your character can refuse to talk unless he is allowed to speak to someone he trusts. He can trust the wrong person. He can withhold important information which can lead to further conflict.

11. How and when he chooses to tell.

Delivery is half the battle. Does he try to appease or inflame the audience? Has he picked the worst possible moment to drop his bomb? Has he reached a point where he just can't keep the information to himself any longer?

Read more about persuasion techniques and pitfalls:

The Persuasion Plot Hole

Persuasion Tactics Part 1

Persuasion Tactics Part 2

Persuasion Tactics Part 3

For more information on crafting characters and plots check out my website and pick up a copy of Story Building Blocks II: Crafting Believable Conflict in print and e-book.

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915. Certain Songs #613: Hole – “Boys on The Radio”

hole celebrity skin Album: Celebrity Skin
Year: 1998

I mentioned this in my post on “Violet,” but in December 1994, Hole played Live 105’s “Green Christmas” being broadcast live from Berkeley, which I stayed home on a Friday just to tape off of the radio.

I was rewarded with a pretty ferocious and barely-together performance that twice featured a new song that seemed to be written in the wake of Kurt Cobain’s suicide & Hole bassist Kristen Pflaff’s OD, especially since it had the following lyric:

He said I’d never ever ever never go away
He said he’d always always he would always stay
They said they’d never ever never go away
They said they’d always always they would always stay

I found it incredibly aching, and wrote it down on the cassette label as “Never Go,” and was a little bit surprised when it turned up on their MTV Unplugged performance as “Sugar Coma,” and hoped that if they recorded it for the follow-up to Live Through This, it would have oomph than that particular performance.

What I didn’t count on was a complete revamp that ended up being my favorite Hole song, the ridiculously catchy “Boys on The Radio,” which takes the ache that powered “Never Go / Sugar Coma” and turns it inside out in with a multi-tracked chorus of Courtney Loves and Melissa Auf der Mars singing like the goddesses’ own angels:

All the boys on the radio
They crash and burn
They fold and fade so slow
In your endless summer night
I’ll be on the other side
When you’re beautiful and dying
All the world that you’ve denied
When the water is too deep
You can close your eyes
And really sleep tonight
Tonight

With Courtney’s crunchy rhythm guitar providing a platform for Eric Erlandson’s to toss siren-like hooks every which way, the chorus of “Boys on the Radio” is about how music can help us through shitty times, not exactly a new concept, but who cares when it’s this well done?

And I haven’t even gotten to the stop-time part. About halfway through the song, they repurpose the “never go” lyrics from 1994 and turn them into a multi-tracked overdubbed vocal juxtaposition worthy of “Fall on Me” or “Pilgrimage.”

Building and building and building.

He said he’d never, ever, ever go
And heavens, heavens, heavens know
And never, ever, ever go away
Baby

And just for a second, all of the music stops and sighs, before it continues.

I’ve gone away

And before they can finish the line, the chorus of angels swoops back in singing about “endless summer nights” and it’s gorgeous and transcendent and a million miles away from the fear and anger and aching that had to be at the root of the original song, and suddenly “Boys on the Radio” isn’t just about music as redemption as concept, it’s about music as redemption as fact.

It also just might be Rox’s favorite musical moment ever, as it’s not come up in the mix even once in the past decades without her singing along to it.

“Boys on the Radio”

“Boys on the Radio” performed live in 1999

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The post Certain Songs #613: Hole – “Boys on The Radio” appeared first on Booksquare.

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916.

W.I.P.-----Work In Progress... Flowers are from stencils I designed, cut, and applied with gel medium.  Applying more collage soon..... still a-ways to go.


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917. Review of the Day: Leave Me Alone! by Vera Brosgol

LeaveMeAloneLeave Me Alone!
By Vera Brosgol
Roaring Brook Press (an imprint of Macmillan)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781626724419
Ages 4-7
On shelves September 13th

Knitting. It shouldn’t be so hard. I say this as the grown daughter of a chronic knitterer (not a word). I grew up neck deep in roving. I know the difference between a gossip wheel and a walking wheel (these are different spinning wheels). I know that if you want a permanent non-toxic dye for wool you use Kool-aid, that wool straight from the sheep is incredibly oily, and that out there are people who have turned the fur of their dogs and cats into sweaters. Yet the simplest act of knitting is lost on a good 50% of the children’s book illustrators out there that year after year can’t even be bothered to figure out which way the knitting needles are supposed to go. Down, people. The ends go down. In 2016 alone we’ve seen books like Maggie McGillicuddy’s Eye for Trouble get it wrong. Fortunately 2016 has also seen correctly positioned needles in Cat Knit, Ned the Knitting Pirate, and the greatest knitting related picture book I’ve seen to date Leave Me Alone! A superb readaloud of unparalleled visual humor, this is a knitting picture book par excellence and a pretty darn good original folktale too, come to think of it. Allowing for the occasional alien, of course.

“Once there was an old woman. She lived in a small village in a small house . . . with a very big family.” And by big family we mean big extended family. One gets the feeling that all her grown kids just sort of dump their own children on her, because there are thirty small grandchildren running amok in her home. Winter is coming soon and the old woman is keen on getting some knitting done for her extended brood. Trouble is, knitting and small children do NOT mix. So she picks up her stuff and goes into the deep, dark forest. That’s where the bear family finds her. So she goes to the mountains. Where the goats find her. Next it’s the moon. Where curious aliens find her. That leaves a wormhole where the void turns out to be her saving. Only problem is, it’s lonely in the void. Once her work is done, she heads back and when she sees her grandkids again, she doesn’t have to say a single word.

Here is the crazy thing about this book: It’s Vera Brosgol’s first picture book. I say that this is crazy because this does not read like a debut. This reads like Brosgol has been churning out picture books for decades, honing her skill, until finally at long last she’s produced a true diamond. But no. Some people get all the talent apparently. This is not, I should not, Ms. Brosgol’s first book in general. Her graphic novel Anya’s Ghost got a fair amount of attention a couple of years ago, and it was good. But nothing about that title prepared me for Leave Me Alone! Here we have a pitch perfect combination of text and image. If you were to read this book to someone without mentioning the creator, I don’t think there’s a soul alive who wouldn’t assume that the author and illustrator are one and the same. This is due largely to the timing. Just open the book to the first page. Examine the old woman on that page. Turn the page. Now look how that same woman has been transposed to a new setting and her expression has changed accordingly. Basically this sold the book to me right from the start.

LeaveAlone2 copyFunny picture books. For an author, creating a picture book that is funny means doing two things at once. You must appeal to both children and parents with your humor at the same time. Do you know how hard that is? Making something that a five-year-old thinks is funny that is also humorous to their parental unit is such a crazy balancing act that most picture book creators just fall on one side of the equation or the other. Make it funny only to adults and then you may as well just forget about the kids altogether (see: A Child’s First Book of Trump). Opt instead to only make it funny to kids and you doom the grown-ups to reading something they’d rather eat hot nails than read again (see: Walter the Farting Dog). But I honestly believe Brosgol has found the golden mean. Both adults and kids will find moments like the older sister stuffing a yarn ball in her brother’s mouth or the presence of the samovar (even in a wormhole) or the bear tentatively touching its nose after the old woman’s vigorous poke very funny indeed.

And let’s not downplay the writing here. There is serious readaloud potential with this book. I’ll level with you. In a given year you’ll see hundreds and hundreds of picture books published. Of these, a handful make for ideal readalouds. I’m not talking about books a parent can read to a child. I’m talking about books you can read to large groups, whether you’re a teacher, a librarian, or some poor parental schmuck who got roped into reading aloud to a group of fidgeting small fry. Few books are so good that anyone and everyone can enrapture an audience with them when read out loud. But Leave Me Alone! may be one of those rare few. Those beautiful butterflies. Those little jewels. The language mimics that of classic folktales, bandying about phrases like, “deep, dark forest”. And there are so many interactive possibilities. You could teach the kids how to yell out the phrase “Leave me alone!” all together at the same time, for example.

LeaveAlone3 copyAs for the art, it’s perfect. There’s a kind of Kate Beaton feel to it (particularly when babies or goats have full balls of yarn stuffed into their mouths). As I mentioned before, Brosgol knows which way knitting needles are supposed to lie, and better still she knows how to illustrate thirty different, and very realistically rendered sweaters, at the story’s end. There are also some clever moments that you’ll notice on a third or fourth read. For example, the very first time the woman yells, “Leave me alone!” she’s exiting the gates to her home and her children’s homes. The only people who hear her are her grown children, which means we don’t have to worry about small ears hearing such a caustic phrase from their grandma. Smart. And did you see that the twins get identical sweaters at the end of the book? Finally, there are the visual gags. The goats that surreptitiously followed the old woman to the moon, nibbling on a moon man’s scanner, for example.

I’ve seen a fair amount of hand wringing over the years over whether or not a children’s book can contain a protagonist that is not, in fact, a child, an animal, or an inanimate object rendered animate. Which is to say, are children capable of identifying with adults? More precisely, an adult who just wants to be alone for two seconds? The answer is swift and sure. Certainly they can. Particularly if the kid reading this book is an older sibling. The concept of being alone, of craving some time for one’s own self, is both familiar and foreign to a lot of kids. I’m reminded of the Frog & Toad story “Alone” from Days With Frog and Toad where Toad has a dark morning of the soul when he learns that Frog would like to have some alone time. Because of all of this, we see a lot of picture books where a character wants to be alone, has difficulty getting that “me time”, and eventually decides that companionship is the way to go (Octopus Alone, A Visitor for Bear, etc.). A few celebrate the idea (All Alone] by Kevin Henkes) but generally speaking parents use these books to convince their perhaps less than socially adept children that there are benefits to the concept of friendship. And there is a place in the world for such books. Fortunately there is also a place in the world for this book.

Folks sometimes talk to me about current trends in picture books. Sometimes they’re trying to figure out what the “next big thing” might be. But of course, the best picture books are the ones that at their core don’t really resemble anything but themselves. Leave Me Alone! isn’t typical. It reads aloud to big crowds of kids with great ease, lends itself to wonderful expressions, pops off the page, and will make anyone of any age laugh at some point. It’s a great book, and if I have to write another 500 words to convince you of it, I can do so. But why delay you from seeing it any longer? Go. Seek. Find. Read. Savor.

On shelves September 13th.

Like This? Then Try:

Source: Galley sent by publisher for review.

Misc: Cute promotion or THE CUTEST PROMOTION?  As you can see from this Bustle interview, Ms. Brosgol knit twenty-five teeny tiny sweaters to promote this book.  I steal the image for my own nefarious purposes and show it to you here:

LeaveAloneSweaters

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918. Sale of First Novel

How long does it take to sell your first novel?

http://www.jimchines.com/2010/03/survey-results/

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919. Interview: Mark Osborne’s Personal Journey On ‘The Little Prince’

Mark Osborne talks about why he said no to directing the project at first and why working in CG can drive a director crazy.

The post Interview: Mark Osborne’s Personal Journey On ‘The Little Prince’ appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

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920. Tiny

“Remember, it's better to be a has-been than a never-was.”
Tiny Tim
Remember, it's better to be a has-been than a never-was. Tiny Tim
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/t/tiny_tim.html

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921. बाबा रामदेव, पतंजलि और भ्रामक विज्ञापन

बाबा रामदेव, पतंजलि और भ्रामक विज्ञापन महिमा ए  भ्रामक विज्ञापन खबर चल रही हो तो बाबा रामदेव का विज्ञापन , विज्ञापन हो तो उनका विज्ञापन , किसी कार्यक्रम को प्रायोजित करना हो तो बाबा जी … अचानक अभी एक online news की एक खबर पर ध्यान गया कि भारतीय विज्ञापन मानक परिषद ने प्राप्त शिकायतों की […]

The post बाबा रामदेव, पतंजलि और भ्रामक विज्ञापन appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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922. ‘Ed, Edd n Eddy’ Creator Danny Antonucci Named Artistic Director Of Okanagan Festival

The first edition of the festival will take place next year in Canada.

The post ‘Ed, Edd n Eddy’ Creator Danny Antonucci Named Artistic Director Of Okanagan Festival appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

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923.

Working, co-teaching, all week with kids 10-12 teaching them to illustrate their stories they write at Writers and Books. Very interesting ideas. Some very dark, apocalyptic themes. Taking photos today.

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924. Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom GUEST POST by author David Neilsen!


Today, something special is happening here. I am participating in a blog tour, but not just any blog tour. Sometimes you read a book and really love it, then you get to the author's notes or the acknowledgements and find something that makes you love it even more. That's exactly what happened to me when I read Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom by David Neilsen. Neilsen's debut is a marvelous mix of silly, spooky and creepy with a haunting plot point worthy of an episode of The Twilight Zone. Finishing the book, I learned that Neilsen, a professional actor, story teller and voice actor, was inspired by a pen and ink drawing by Trina Schart Hyman, a legendary illustrator who brought many fairy tales to life, winning a Caldecott in 1985 for Saint George and the Dragon, retold by Margaret Hodges. The illustrations of Trina Scahrt Hyman, longtime art director for Cricket magazine, take me back instantly to my childhood. I am thrilled and honored to have the author of a novel inspired by Hyman's work share here, in his own words, how his curiosity was piqued and how his creativity was sparked by this one work of art.

I hope you’re enjoying the blog tour for David Neilsen’s Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom! In case you missed yesterday’s post, head over to The Book's the Thing to check it out. The tour continues tomorrow on The Book Monsters. For my review of Neilsen's book, check back here tomorrow!


A Picture is Worth 46,000 Words
By David Neilsen


Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom started life as a reaction to an illustration. The picture, done by Children’s Illustrator Trina Schart Hyman, had been hanging on the wall of my in-laws’ home for as long as I’d known them. It was part of a 10-piece collection of drawings done years ago by some of the top children’s illustrators of the time. They were each asked to create a single image based on their favorite fairy tale or fable. Most of the pieces in the collection were based on stories I knew such as Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater or St. George and the Dragon. The one that caught my eye was labeled simply, “Dr. Fell.” I’d never heard of Dr. Fell, had no idea who he was or what he was about, but the more I looked at the picture, the more intrigued I became.
The image shows a little girl looking up warily at an old man in a suit and top hat. He is smiling down at her in a very creepy way, and on his back, unseen by the girl, is a basket filled with the arms, legs, and heads of little children. This was awesome! How had I never heard of this story before?
I asked my mother-in-law if she knew who Dr. Fell was. She was as stumped as I. So we turned to Google, and discovered Tom Brown’s four-line poem from 1680.


I do not like thee, Doctor Fell,
The reason why -- I cannot tell,
But this I know and know full well,
I do not like thee, Doctor Fell.


My first reaction after reading the poem?
That’s it?
I read the four lines again and again, finding them lovingly creepy but a far cry from arms and legs sticking out a wicker basket.
But then I read a bit more about the history of Doctor Fell. It turns out that those four lines had inspired a number of literary references throughout the ages. Robert Louis Stevenson mentions him in The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Author Thomas Harris had his most famous creation, Dr. Hannibal Lecter, use Dr. Fell as a pseudonym in the book, Hannibal. The original nursery rhyme has been quoted in multiple episodes of the cult-TV show Dark Shadows.
Something about these four lines has sparked a foreboding sense of unease for three and a half centuries. They’d sparked Ms. Hyman to draw a truly-creepy picture. Now they were sparking something in me.
Questions ran through my mind. Who was this guy? What did he want? What was he doing? How was he doing it? Doesn’t anyone notice? As each question popped up, the story began to take shape. What happens when Dr. Fell comes to town? I knew right away that this was a children’s story, so he couldn’t be chopping off the arms and legs of children. There had to be something else he was taking from them, something else he needed them for. When that plot point clicked into place, it was obvious. The playground came next, as the natural vehicle for his monstrosity.
In the drawing, Ms. Hyman has added a few other details; a raven atop a withered tree, the girl having stepped off the path to get out of Dr. Fell’s way, flies buzzing around the basket on his back. All of it combines to give the picture a very lively, magical feel. I took that quality and tried to get it into the story by using heightened language a touch above the normal and expected.
The hardest part for me was creating the heros. There had to be a little girl, because of that image, but one little girl didn’t feel right. One little girl, on her own, was simply not going to be able to defeat the Dr. Fell I was creating. I played with different combinations of boys and girls of different ages for a while, trying to fall upon the right combination. For a while I had only two heros, a brother and sister, but after a couple of false starts, I knew I needed a third, and the trio from the book was finally formed.
All of this came from that single picture. Looking at it now--my mother-in-law gave it to me for Christmas and it hangs on my wall--I still feel that slightly-queasy feeling it gave me when I first noticed it. I owe it, and the late Ms. Hyman, a great debt. Her single image planted a seed in my head that grew to become Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom.

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925. Interesting blog posts about writing – w/e August 05, 2016



Here’s my selection of interesting (and sometimes amusing) posts about writing from the last week:

5 Traits of Successful Writers (Mary Keeley)
www.booksandsuch.com/blog/5-traits-successful-writers/

The Waiting is (One of) the Hardest Part(s) (Liz Michalski)
www.writerunboxed.com/2016/07/29/the-waiting-is-one-of-the-hardest-parts/

Don’t Make This Mistake With Your Story Structure (K. M. Weiland) [Jon’s Pick of the Week]
www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/dont-make-mistake-story-structure/

How to Put More Drive in Your Plot (Brent Hartinger)
www.adventuresinyapublishing.com/2016/07/author-brent-hartinger-on-how-to-put.html

Three Words That Are Killing Your Manuscript (Janice Hardy)
http://blog.janicehardy.com/2016/07/three-words-that-are-killing-your.html

Warning: Before You Self-Publish (Jerry Jenkins)
www.jerryjenkins.com/warning-self-publish/

Keep at it. (Jane Lebak)
https://querytracker.blogspot.com/2016/07/keep-at-it.html

I'm the Bad Guy? (Cara Lopez Lee)
http://bloodredpencil.blogspot.com/2016/07/im-bad-guy.html

A Definition of Author Platform (Jane Friedman)
https://janefriedman.com/author-platform-definition/

Today’s query batch: how I replied and why (The Intern)
https://intheinbox.wordpress.com/2016/07/23/todays-query-batch-how-i-replied-and-why/



If you found these useful, you may also like my personal selection of the most interesting blog posts from 2015, and last week’s list.


If you have a particular favorite among these, please let the author know (and me too, if you have time).  Also, if you've a link to a great post that isn't here, feel free to share.

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