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<<October 2016>>
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Results 901 - 925 of 663,278
901. Build Confidence as a Writer – 12 Ways To Do It

Writing confidenceGuest post by Suzanne Lieurance

It’s tough being a writer, especially if you’re just starting out.

Rejection can easily tear down what little self-confidence you have, so here are a dozen ways to build your confidence as a writer:

1. Do Something First Thing Every Morning That Makes You Feel Good About Yourself.

It might even make you feel powerful. Go for a jog, do some exercises, take a shower and get dressed even if you won’t be leaving the house all day. Clean your office, put flowers on your desk. Do one small thing that celebrates YOU.

2. Expect to Be Successful.

Once you do, make sure that every thought, statement, and action reflects that expectation all day long.

Another thing to consider: What someone says about you can help you create a totally different and new expectation for yourself – so get a friend to write out a positive statement about you. Then notice how you strive to LIVE according to that statment every day.

Eliminate the self-doubt and negative thoughts in your head. Also, monitor the statements you make to others.

Avoid statements that begin with:

I can’t…

I don’t…

I’m stressed…

I’ll try, but….

I have to…

3. Focus on others instead of yourself.

As a writer, who is your reader? Who is your customer? How can you serve this customer and how can you get better and better at serving him?

When you’re out of the house, make a point to give a stranger or a friend or relative a compliment. Focus on them. Ask them about their day. When someone asks you how you are or are things are going, immediately say “GREAT” and believe it!

4. Don’t think about success too much.

If you do, you’re actually thinking about failure, not success. Failure is about doubt and worry and stress. Success is about letting go, going with the flow, feeling vibrant, excited, and full of energy.

When you expect success, you can begin to focus on the actions you must take rather than wallowing in self-doubt over the actions you have already taken. Just keep taking action.

5. Avoid living, thinking, and working in a panic mode.

This is when negative statements creep into your head and your language that do not serve you or others well.

6. Don’t compare yourself to others.

You are unique. It might take you 10 years to accomplish something someone else did in 2 years, but so what? Maybe you will learn so much more along the way than that other person did.

7. Realize that GOD, the universe (whatever it is you believe controls the world) wants each of us to succeed because when we succeed we serve the world in greater and deeper ways.

Faith is not so much about faith in God as it is faith in the divinity within you. Trust yourself to be able to handle anything you need to handle, to be able to do anything you need to do when, and if, you need to do it. But don’t spend time worrying or even thinking about this ahead of time.

8. Fake it till you make it.

Act confident even if you don’t really feel that way at first. Make it a game. But haven’t you ever noticed that the people who are truly the MOST confident are not arrogant? In fact, some of the most confident people are the most gentle people you will ever meet.

9. Don’t be ruled by your ego.

If someone does something you don’t like, or says something to you that you find insulting, practice relaxing and let it flow right through you.

10. At the end of each day, make a list of the things you did that day that you are proud of.

This could be simple things like folding the laundry, making dinner, or writing one scene of your novel.

11. Every morning, be grateful for another exciting day full of pleasant possibilities.

12. Be sure you hang around successful, positive people.

Use this list today to start building your confidence as a writer. You can do it. Try it!

For more writing tips and resources delivered to your e-mailbox every weekday morning, get your free subscription to The Morning Nudge from Suzanne Lieurance, the Working Writer’s Coach.


Writing to Get Published – 5 Power Tips
Writing a Book – To Traditionally Publish or To Self-Publish
Writing, Submissions, and Working with Editors

Need Help With Your Story

Let me take a look at it. I’m a working children’s ghostwriter, rewriter, and editor. I can turn you story into a publishable and saleable book.

Shoot me an email at: kcioffiventrice@gmail.com (please put Children’s Writing Help in the Subject line). Or, you can give me a call at 834—347—6700

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902. Brexit and article 50 negotiations: What it would take to strike a deal

In the end, the decision for the UK to formally withdraw its membership of the European Union passed with a reasonably comfortable majority in excess of 1¼ million votes. Every one of the 17.4 million people who voted Leave would have had their own reason for wanting to break with the status quo. However, not one of them had any idea as to what they were voting for next. It is one of the idiosyncrasies of an all-or-nothing referendum.

The post Brexit and article 50 negotiations: What it would take to strike a deal appeared first on OUPblog.

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903. Close to the Bone: KA

Hi, folks, I've been writing a series all about  a time in my twenties when I was part of religious cult. Last week I wrote a heart-breaking story from my past about G and his sad demise. This is my version of the Valley of Dry Bones from the Book of Ezekiel. I'm calling it Close to the Bone. This is the final in the series.

Toward the end of the dark days of the cult, I was failing around for purpose. A teacher from college, Dr. Van Riper, ran into me at the supermarket and demanded to know why I had three children instead of writing books for children. I had no answer. She'd told me what to do, and I'd ignored her.

 I was slowly waking up in these days. God's chosen people were now looking like a bunch of uneducated country folk, plus a bunch of kids that had choked on embracing the future after college. That's when I saw the ad in the newspaper about some group called SCBWI.

Fellow-shipping outside the church was forbidden in manipulative, oblique way, but this was business so I figured God would give me a pass. I remember heading to that first meeting and feeling so welcome. There were 8 or 9 women and they were so gracious and kind.  I remember the first conversation  in a long time without having to say praise the Lord or how God was directing me every third word.  I also remember KA. She was a real author and the leader of the SCBWI group. Her first picture book had come out but she talked to me like I was a colleague. Bam, I was in the inner circle.

I can not tell you  how much KA's leadership meant to me. I tried to keep secret from the church my fraternizing with the world.  KA was a Unitarian. That was something I was supposed to fear. Of course, by now, I understood that I was supposed to fear everything, and it was sort of ridiculous and tiring. KA believed in me as a creative person. She never let me feel like I was a little off with my long dresses and three kids in three years. She accepted me just as I was. It was the most Christian thing I'd ever experienced.

I remember being invited to another SCBWI member's house called DC. I had friends outside the church for the first time in almost eight years.  I was hanging out with a group of women, totally normal women with varied backgrounds. It was sort of dizzying. I was supposed to have left the world behind but now I sneaking back into it. Oh, and the big problem? I loved it.

SCBWI became an island of normal in my life. Like Phoenix, I was rising from my ashes. KA tried to convince me to go to Los Angeles for the annual conference. I chickened out but her encouragement planted a seed in me.  KA convinced me to volunteer for events, write letters to editors, and even submit my drawings to the SCBWI Bulletin.  My first credit was as an illustrator in the Bulletin.  I was so proud. I was engaged in the pursuit of liberty.  I had expressed myself.  I made $50.  It was mind-blowing.

When Tim and I decided to move away the place we had known such tragedy, KA continued to encourage me until I left town.  I have no idea if she had any idea of how lost I was, and how much I needed help to become a normal person again.  She never said anything when the sorry story of my entire life was reported in the local newspaper. KA encouraged me creatively, commenting on my work and giving me suggestions, and once she sent me a card stating there would be a day when she said she knew me when.  She bridged the way for me to absolutely normal. I turned into the funky person I had been before all the religious nonsense.  I came to my senses.

Well, this is end of these posts and also time for big news. My blog is moving over to Niume.com.  I hope you consider following me an my content there.  You will receive updates of posts if you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or tumbler.

One of those early drawings. I sent to the Bulletin on a notepad paper, a big no-no. Sm bought them anyway.

A quote for your pocket:

My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel.13 Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 14 I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord.

Ezekiel 37: 12b-14

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904. The development of urban nightlife, 1940s hipsters, & the rise of dating

Cities in the early days of the United States were mostly quiet at night. People who did leave the comfort of their own homes at night could often be found walking into puddles, tripping over uneven terrain, or colliding into posts because virtually no street lighting existed.With the advent of gas lighting, culture transformed in fascinating ways. Here are 12 interesting facts about urban nightlife, which show how times have greatly changed and, remarkably, how some things have remained the same.

The post The development of urban nightlife, 1940s hipsters, & the rise of dating appeared first on OUPblog.

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905. The quest for order in modern society

Opening the morning paper or browsing the web, routine actions for us all, rarely if ever shake our fundamental beliefs about the world. If we assume a naïve, reflective state of mind, however, reading newspapers and surfing the web offer us quite a different experience: they provide us with a glimpse into the kaleidoscopic nature of the modern era that can be quite irritating.

The post The quest for order in modern society appeared first on OUPblog.

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906. Writing about topics I don't know too well...

Hi! I'm John (big fan of your page!), and I have a question that has been haunting me for a while and will not let me begin ANY book I try to write.

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907. In Memory: Lois Duncan

By Cynthia Leitich Smith
for Cynsations

Author Lois Duncan, died in June while Cynsations was on summer hiatus.

Lois Duncan Obituary: Bestselling author of fiction for young adults, including the thriller I Know What You Did Last Summer by Julia Eccleshare from The Guardian. Peek: "She was born Lois Duncan Steinmetz in Philadelphia, and grew up in Sarasota, Florida. Lois wanted to be a writer from childhood, and submitted her first typed manuscript to Ladies’ Home Journal when she was 10."

Obituary: Lois Duncan by Shannon Maughan from Publishers Weekly. Peek: "After attending Duke University for a year... She entered her YA project Debutante Hill in Dodd, Mead & Company’s Seventeenth Summer Literary Contest and earned the grand prize: $1000 and a book contract."

Lois Duncan, 82, Dies; Author Knew What You Did Last Summer by Daniel E. Slotnik from The New York Times. Peek: "Though her books had their share of violence, Ms. Duncan said she was 'utterly horrified' when she saw the [1997] film adaptation of “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” which...turned her novel, about a group of teenagers desperately trying to conceal an accidental killing, into a horror tale in which the same teenagers are systematically dispatched by their hook-wielding victim." Note: To clarify, I heard Lois speak about this at an SCBWI conference. It wasn't the violence per se but rather the way it was trivialized for cheap thrills. Her novel had a strong moral center that was absent from its film adaptation.

I Know What I Read That Summer by Carmen Maria Machado from The New Yorker. Peek: "Her prose is unfussy and clean. She centered her books on young women, and her writing considers themes that have come to obsess me as an adult: gendered violence, psychological manipulation, the vulnerability of outsiders."

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908. Multiple Points of View

Question: I've been told I'm head-hopping in my contemporary romance manuscript. How do you convey different characters' thoughts, feelings, or reactions

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909. VIDEO: They All Saw A Cat

I love this book, THEY ALL SAW A CAT by Brendan Wenzel. Check out the trailer on YouTube by clicking the image below.

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910. And Now for Something COMPLETELY Different: A New Way to Record History!

Another message from Deedy. But at least it's not about her OTHER KIND OF WRITING for a change. Love, the Izzy Elves

* * *

As some of you might know, I usually write posts about historical events, historical fiction, and the like about the 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. Today I am writing about an exciting new form of recording history in the 21st century to be done by Smock Media Holdings, a film production company based in Venice Beach, CA. This is a company created and run by my sons, Hawk and Nate Jensen.

Hawk is an experienced, award-winning documentary film-maker. He has come up with a groundbreaking idea for recording historical occurrences using VR360 (for an explanation, read the text below).

 To put this into practice, Hawk and his Managing Producer bro, Nate, need some help.

Please click on the following link to watch a video explaining what Hawk and Nate want to accomplish, and to connect to the crowdfunding campaign to make this happen. 
Support this 21st Century History Project!


Dorothea Jensen (Proud Mother)

P.S. Even  a dollar helps!


The award-winning documentary filmmakers at Smock Media in Venice Beach, CA are raising $57,500 for a virtual reality project called PRIME OBSERVER®.  Our goal is to build Camerasuits® for our team of zany photojournalist / documentarian / adventurers to capture full 360 degree footage of spectacular cultural and historical moments that place you INSIDE
these events as we experience them.
Ever wanted to go back to relive Burning Man or Coachella? Wanted to know what it's really like to be in the middle of a floor fight at a political convention? Wanted to stand between rival protest marches and form your own opinion of what happened? Wanted to surround yourself by all the glitz, glamour and glitterati at Fashion Week but couldn't get on the red carpet?  Prime Observers® Hawk, Ramblin' Tom, Kalia, Ben, Dakota, Nathaniel, Andylee and Abba Austin will put you there.     
Virtual reality is a whole new medium to record history.  With over 150 years of combined documentary production experience we know where to place the camera to capture "the moment" but now we ourselves will become that camera inside that moment.  Filmmaking will never be the same.  Come step into the scene with us!

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911. Protecting Student Writing Time

My students won’t become writers just because I want them to be writers. Writers need to wallow in new information, time to let all the words, ideas and questions wash over them, connect with their schema, and let the new information become their own.

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912. Sumatra: Brain Fever

I chalk it up to heat-induced temporary insanity. It could happen to any Canadian crossing the equator. I had a strong desire to make my way to Germany, dye my hair orange and drum for a punk band which specialized in industrial music. The desire passed as the bus followed the road through the lush jungle vegetation past rice paddies and wilted looking livestock. When I thought about summoning enough energy to listen, I was convinced I could hear the plants grow in the humidity. The whole island was a hothouse. The single minded bus driver seemed to be the only one expending energy as he missed pedestrians, livestock and other vehicles, leaned on the horn. We were used to the danger by now. A sort of fatalistic resignation takes over on breakneck bus rides through the countryside of Sumatra. It was too hot to care. We had left the craziness and heroin of Penang behind. The sweat dripped off of our noses. Everyone on the bus, even the natives, had a worn out, washed out look. We were travelling from Medan, where the ferry from Penang had taken us, down the spine of Sumatra to Lake Toba, thence to Padang, about halfway down the island, on the coast. In Padang we spent hours at the consulate waiting to get our visas renewed because it was cheaper there than in Bali. Of a dozen uniformed clerks, two were reading, the rest inspected the Western girls or stared into space, a paper clip twisting in their fingers. When they did stir to attend the sweating crowd of travellers they wanted to first see proof that you had a return ticket. It’s the only legal way to enter Indonesia. It didn’t matter that we’d entered days before at Medan. The passports and applications lay in a pile on a desk. They didn’t have to worry about an overwhelming influx of immigrants heading south since the island of Java is the most thickly populated place on earth, but it was one way for the government to get money from travellers. A Japanese girl told Joyce that she had tonsilitis and that they didn’t have toilet paper even in hospitals in Padang. Seventy-five cents for dormitory beds at the local hostel. Officially marrying before getting to Asia saves a lot of problems. Single women are targets. At Lake Toba, we recovered from the bus ride during which it was too hot to sleep. The soaking heat deprived us of every traveller’s last resort, the final escape from the tedium and discomfort ... sleep, oblivion. There, time stood still, then went backward. We had landed in a timeless, primitive existence. Surrounded by the jungle and jungle sounds. Old men wailed their night songs in the dark. It sounded like a Tarzan movie. Wild boar lived in the jungle, endangered humans occasionally, provided meat and tusks more often. Snakes and mongooses and their spirits were part of the diet and the mythology. Ancient Sumatran devils caused poor sleep, restless dreams. All the dwellings had horned roofs which intruded, then dominated. A reminder that no matter what it was like in the outside world, this was here and now. This primitive existence was the present. Reality. No luxuries, no concrete, no advanced plumbing or electricity. Rats made nests in the roof so when you woke up into the flickering darkness from a dream of ancient enemy skins hanging by the fire, you could hear them running along the rafters over your head. You could see their shadows on the thatched roof when the candle light caught them. Sleep again became a refuge along with a short prayer for the balance of rats. We finally boarded a freighter, in Padang, the cheapest way to travel from Sumatra to Java. The beginning of our sea voyage was normal. We watched the port, then the island of Sumatra fade into the distance behind us and with it, the confusion and brain fever. Deck space, a place to sleep beneath the canvas strung across the deck for protection from the sun and rain, was what we paid for. Two big, deeply tanned Aussies who were obviously used to the sea and travelling by sea, probably lived by the sea, told us they had accompanied fishermen from an island near Bali on an early morning trip. They witnessed, then tried, the eating of the raw hearts of the fish they caught. They found it to be a life giving experience with aphrodisiac powers. Meals were cooked in the tiny galley below deck; a green vegetable which had obviously been boiled, over a bed of rice, on a tin plate. Tasteless but necessary to settle the queasy stomachs everyone felt The sea looked calm enough. But a rhythmic sway began to get to everyone. Coconut oil smoke made it worse. Even the regular crew and the Aussies were hit by sea sickness. They laughed and made wise cracks between spews. The rest of us weren’t so lighthearted about it. Soon there were travellers and crew members staggering to the rail to vomit over the side. The unwary ones stood downwind from others puking over the side near the front, got splashed. One grain of rice, well soaked in the stomach’s digestive juices, inadvertently snorted while vomiting, causes untold misery in the nasal passage and a long lasting, unpleasant reminder of how sick you really were. Finally, that particular movement of the ship passed and so did the seasickness. The travellers and crew wobbled about unsteadily for a while, then settled down. No one offered the travellers rice after that. Our diet became the fruit we had brought on board with us. We settled down on the deck, tried to sleep through the hot days and windy nights. Serge from France, tanned dark brown, curly hair down past his shoulders, wispy goatee, regained his happy smile as he recovered from the seasickness. He wore a sarong like a native, always carried a flute attached to his backpack. Everyone commiserated with him when we found out he was on his way back to France to fulfill his military obligations. He had been drafted. These were his last few days of freedom. He had made his choice. He was tempted to keep travelling, but he knew that eventually he’d want to return to France. The army was one step above jail. He couldn’t go back on the run. He was a proud Frenchman, but that had nothing to do with the government’s army. His ideas and life were far from conformity, uniformity, the military. One night, in a Tull like performance, he started playing. Under the canvas, starry night above, the sea breeze blowing his hair in time with the tempo of his song, Serge captivated everyone. All the travellers stopped talking or sat up to look and listen, even some crew members, smoking by the dark rail, paid attention. He started in the familiar pose which we had all adopted... leaning, laying back against our packs and bedrolls, then he seemed to find something as he played the first few, hesitant notes. He stood up, still playing. His flute came alive. His song gained and lost volume and speed as he breathed life into it. It wasn’t recorded, probably forgotten even by Serge, a few days later. There was the soft soughing of the ship as it made its way through the water, the sea breeze in the wires, occasionally something would flap in the southern night wind. The notes of Serge’s flute seemed to linger and then be snatched away by the other sounds. His eyes closed, Serge stood and played to the night, to his humble companions, listened to the sounds around him and echoed them. He didn’t stand on one leg, but he carried us all away as he talked to the wind in its own language. Selamat Jalan...Good Journey. A fitting Indonesian goodbye to Sumatra. Then someone told us that we were passing Krakatau which erupted in 1883 killing thousands of people. It was just a lump on the horizon from the deck of the ship. A famous volcano which the world knew about because of the tragedy. Later that day, we landed in Djakarta.

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913. Wagon Wheels

Wagon Wheels. Barbara Brenner. Illustrated by Don Bolognese. 1978. HarperCollins. 64 pages. [Source: Bought]

First sentence: "There it is, boys" Daddy said. "Across this river is Nicodemus, Kansas. That is where we are going to build our house. There is free land for everyone here in the West. All we have to do is go and get it."

Premise/plot: Wagon Wheels is an early chapter book based on a true story. Set in the late 1870s, the book follows the adventures of the Muldie family as they settle in Kansas. First the family settles in Nicodemus, Kansas, a black community. Then the father leaves the boys behind and searches for a better place to settle down and call home, this time near Solomon City. The boys--all on their own--travel to rejoin their father. (The father disliked the flat land and missed trees and hills.)

The book is narrated by Johnny, one of four boys being raised by a widower. The text is simple, and the action is straight-forward. Though simple, it was packed with just the right amount of detail. This book is much, much shorter than any of the Little House books, but, it is just as vivid.

My thoughts: I really liked this one. The edition I picked up is all black-and-white illustrations. I could not tell based on the cover alone that it was a black pioneer family. So I was very pleasantly surprised when I started reading the text to find some diversity. The family--and the community--are saved from starvation by the generosity of Indians--Osage, I believe. Unlike the Little House books, the Indians are portrayed positively. Yes, they are referred to as "Indians" but not savages or redskins or the like.

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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914. Juncture Notes 07: coming soon

We're still in a bit of a farm-induced haze here at Juncture. Missing those writers we came to know on that slice of Central Pennsylvania earth. Imagining those stories flowing forward.

Our next issue of Juncture Notes will feature the scenes from and lessons of that workshop, as well thoughts on a new bestselling memoir. We'll send it out to our list in a day or so. If you'd like to be on that list, just sign up here. Juncture Notes, which combines Bill's art with my memoir obsession, is free.

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915. A History of my Archive in 10 Objects. No.2: The Last Voyage of Henry Hudson, 1975

Number 2 in the discoveries made at my dad's house from long hidden archives of my work. In my wildest dreams I never thought I'd ever see this picture again, but there it was, in my dad's loft, warts and all, the very first drawing I ever attempted in pen and ink, from 1975, aged 16.

School project: The Last Voyage of Henry Hudson, copy of an engraving in The Graphic, after the painting by John Collier. Pen & Ink with watercolour on paper. 73cm x 51cm. 1975.

Prior to this drawing I'd worked steadily but quietly at school on assigned projects. It was acknowledged that I was "good at art", but this was post modernist, late hippy mid 1970's, most of the art classes were light on drawing skills, heavy on texture and tactility, I found little to inspire me. Batik tshirts? Organic bio-plant patterns? Yeuk! No, I wanted to draw! Draw people! Things!

Away from school however I'd long since discovered the joy of the BIC biro, and filled old unused school exercise books with drawings, copied or inspired by WW2 Commando comics. After my dad bought me a couple of Adrian Hill guides to drawing and sketching I'd taken a sketchbook with me everywhere I went, and on every holiday over the previous year filled it with directly observed sketches from life in biro. This was all entirely independant from school. Finally a confrontation with a school bully ended up with the contents of my school bag scattered across the classroom floor, and my sketchbooks were discovered by my form tutor (and art teacher) Al Sayers.

Everything changed from then on. My wonderful art teacher Jackie Asbury (where is she now?) introduced me to a dip pen and a bottle of indian ink for the first time, and told me to draw something challenging. A 19th engraving of Collier's The Last Voyage of Henry Hudson seemed to fit the bill.  I knew absolutely nothing about Henry Hudson or John Collier, or for that matter pen and ink drawing, but I set to and produced this clumsy, tentative piece, little knowing that pen and ink was to become my chief medium for the next 40 years.

Well, this is what I wanted it to look like....

The source engraving, The Last Voyage of Henry Hudson, after the painting by John Collier

It's embarassing - those terribly badly drawn hands... it bears little resemblance to the source image, how could I hope to reproduce an engraving with a dip-pen? I had a lot to learn, but it was a start, and I never looked back.

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916. भारत और पाकिस्तान के बीच संबंध

भारत और पाकिस्तान के बीच संबंध में लगातार खटास बढती जा रही है और इसका जीता जागता उदाहरण है न्यूज चैनल जो दिन रात युद्द कराने की फिराक में हैं   भारत और पाकिस्तान के बीच युद्ध भारत और पाकिस्तान के बीच संबंध में बढती खटास के चलते अब  भारत और पाकिस्तान के बीच युद्ध […]

The post भारत और पाकिस्तान के बीच संबंध appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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917. Back to philosophy: A reading list

Are you taking any philosophy courses as part of your degree this year? Or are you continuing with a second degree in philosophy? Then look no further for the best in philosophy research. We’ve brought together some of our most popular textbooks to help you prepare for the new academic year. From Plato to Descartes, ancient wisdom to modern philosophical issues, this list provides a great first stop for under-graduate and post-graduate students alike.

The post Back to philosophy: A reading list appeared first on OUPblog.

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918. डॉक्टर कैसे बने – मरीजो से किस तरह पेश आएं सीख रहें हैं डाक्टर्स

डॉक्टर कैसे बने पढ कर आपको हैरानी नही हुई होगी क्योकि कोई भी डॉक्टर बन सकता है पर यहां बात अच्छा डॉक्टर कैसे बने की हो रही है अच्छा डॉक्टर बनने का तरीका डॉक्टर कैसे बने – मरीजो से किस तरह पेश आएं सीख रहें हैं डाक्टर्स… यकीनन एक हट कर खबर है … आज अखबार में एक […]

The post डॉक्टर कैसे बने – मरीजो से किस तरह पेश आएं सीख रहें हैं डाक्टर्स appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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919. Show, Don't Tell

We've all heard the advice to show, don't tell, but how do you do that?


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920. Hummingbird Farewell

The feeder's full; the hummingbirds
Have likely flown away
To find a better climate
For their wintering foray.

I've read that they fly solo,
Not like others, in a swarm,
To Mexico or Panama
In search of someplace warm.

I wonder how they fare in flight,
Their frenzied wings a'blur
And what they do if storms or winds
Or hurricanes occur.

I'll take my feeder down and dump
The sugar water out 
And hope next summer once again
I'll see them flit about.

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921. Book Review: George by Alex Gino

Title: George
Author: Alex Gino
Published: 2015
Source: Local Library

A note: While she's called George through most of the book, Melissa is the name she's chosen for herself, so that's what I'll use in this review. Please see: How to Talk About George at AlexGino.com

Summary: Melissa knows she's a girl, even if the whole world seems to think she's a boy named George instead. She's scared to tell anybody - her mother, her brother, even her best friend - the truth that she knows in her heart. But when the chance to play Charlotte in Charlotte's Web comes her way, she realizes that this may be a way to be who she is.

First Impressions: This was so quietly sweet, and yet so comprehensive in how the world was enforcing gender on her. I keep getting the sniffles over it. I also loved how unexpected some of the reactions were.

Later On: The thing that kept running through my head was how thoroughly this is a children's book. Melissa is in the fourth grade. The class play is Charlotte's Web. There's little to no discussion of sexuality or attraction - it's this vague, misty thing that feels as far away as the moon. There's a little discussion of genitalia: she hates taking a bath and having to see "what's between her legs", and she talks briefly and vaguely about transitional surgeries and medication with her best friend. But Melissa is primarily and appropriately concerned with a child's world - her family, her friends, school woes, why nobody seems to know who she really is.

Her gender is a source of constant stress - not confusion. I think it's important to clarify that. She knows her own gender, even though everything from the bathroom pass to the play's casting call conspires to shout at her, boy boy BOY BOY BOY. It's this constant screaming that makes her miserable. When she gets the chance to be her real self, in public, with her loving and accepting best friend at her side, I swear that I felt a weight lift off my shoulders.

I know that strictly because of the topic, this will be shelved in some YA sections. That's the wrong place for this book. This is a tender, beautiful, relatable book for children of all gender identities.

More: Waking Brain Cells
Interview with Alex Gino at School Library Journal

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922. रक्तदान का महत्व – आईए नया जीवन दें

रक्तदान महादान है और स्वैच्छिक रुप से किया रक्तदान सबसे अच्छा दान है रक्तदान का महत्व समझते हुए हमें रक्तदान जरुर करना चाहिए क्योकि रक्त किसी फैक्ट्री में नही बनता और एक नेक कार्य करने का सबसे बेहतर तरीका है रक्तदान करना रक्तदान करना मानो किसी को नया जन्म देना आज का दिन रक्तदान के […]

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923. Library Loot: September

New Loot:
  • Stories from the Life of Jesus by Celia Barker Lottridge
  • Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
  • It's Not About Perfect by Shannon Miller
  • Won Ton by Lee Wardlaw
  • The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest
  • Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott
  • Louise & Andie: The Art of Friendship by Kelly Light
  • Won Ton and Chopstick by Lee Wardlaw
  • This Is My Dollhouse by Giselle Potter
  • March: Book One by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin
  • March: Book Two by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin
  Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Linda from Silly Little Mischief that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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924. Saturday Sunrise

I woke up a little early Saturday - or maybe the days are indeed getting shorter here. At any rate, I was so glad to capture this out our flat window:

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925. Alcatraz versus the Shattered Lens

Alcatraz Versus the Shattered Lens. Brandon Sanderson. 2010. Scholastic. 294 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: So there I was, holding a pink teddy bear in my hand.

Premise/plot: The fourth book in the Alcatraz fantasy series for children. Is Alcatraz brave or stupid in this one? He insists that bravery and stupidity are essentially the same. The free kingdom of Mokia is in danger of falling. Their capital city seems doomed to fall within days...if not hours. The royal family has been evacuated, so we're told, and unless a famous person whose life is so very, very, very valuable is there to be saved, no knights or soldiers will be endangered or sacrificed recklessly. Alcatraz's scheme? To go to Mokia so that the KNIGHTS will go to Mokia. Once he arrives, he learns, well, that would be SPOILERS. But he learns that he isn't the only person with Smedry blood to be stupid or brave. Bastille is along for this adventure....Kaz as well.

The new character introduced in this one is Aydee, and, her talent is being BAD AT MATH.

My thoughts: This one is definitely the best of the series perhaps. Or rereading all four books within two weeks has made me care so very much about these characters?! Either way, I recommend the series.

This book left so many unanswered questions. I had almost come to terms with having no true answers...when I learned that the fifth book will be released this year. So after years, I can finally know what happens next!

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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