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Viewing: Blog Posts from All 1562 Blogs, since 12/19/2007 [Help]
Results 37,176 - 37,200 of 164,809
37176. What To Do With Windfalls

sometimes whirlwinds blow in
intrude on those carefully crafted goals
send sacred mud
in spades 
and shovels

do i sigh and grumble over my lost tasks? 
truthfully? too often. 

but when i'm paying attention, 
i stop and look at my happy wildebeests, 
soak them up with my eyes
douse them with kisses

and then we go play in leaves 

gather up our thankfulness by the armful

press them flat in big books
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37177. Are You Connected with WOW?

Recently, I had a Twitter conversation with one of our followers and she asked how she could get more involved with WOW! I'm asked this question by several of my WOW! online students also; and so I thought I'd take a little time today to highlight some of the ways you can interact and connect with other WOW! fans, readers, and team members. You want to stay connected!
  • Newsletter: We have a free newsletter when a new issue comes out and periodic e-mail blasts about special opportunities for WOW! subscribers. To sign up, go to our home page at http://www.wow-womenonwriting.com . On the top right-hand side, you will see a box that says, "Sign up for our free newsletter." If you were already signed up, you would have been notified about our new issue, our special offers from our sponsors, and what we are looking for from freelancers this week!
  • Facebook: Like us on Facebook! We allow fans to post information about their blogs, books, or businesses once a week. We let you know about all our new classes. We respond to questions on what type of submissions we are looking for and when contest notifications go out. Our Facebook page is a great place to ask us questions and let us know what YOU are up to with your writing. You can also meet other women writers here for networking and support. Anytime we have a special offer or new blog tour with a book giveaway--we post it here.
  • Twitter: We have two Twitter accounts you can follow--our general one at http://www.twitter.com/womenonwriting or one specifically for WOW! blog tours at http://www.twitter.com/WOWblogtour  On both, we interact with followers; on our general account, we tweet links to helpful articles and contests as well as updates to our class lists and the freelance job board. We point out our sponsors whom we have checked out, and we encourage writers through the hashtags #amwriting and #nanowrimo. Our WOW! blog tour account lets readers know where our authors are appearing and when people can win a prize or learn important information.
  • The Muffin:  Our blog, which you are reading now, can be subscribed to through e-mail or RSS feed. We update The Muffin each day, so you don't want to miss one thing our bloggers have to say. You can also become a part of our blog through the Friday Speak Out program. For more information, click on a post written on ANY FRIDAY, read it, and then contact Marcia at marcia (at) wow-womenonwriting.com
Finally, don't forget about our quarterly flash fiction contest, judged in the final round by a literary agent, or the WOW! classroom, where the 2012 classes are now listed--there are some new ones to check out. And if you are freelancer, we are accepting queries (send them quick!) for our January/February issue--it's an open theme, but anything about beginning a new year, edit

7 Comments on Are You Connected with WOW?, last added: 11/23/2011
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37178. Giving Thanks

It's one of my favorite holidays—Thanksgiving here in the U.S.—so don't expect anyone to respond to your emails this afternoon, tomorrow, or Friday. We'll be cooking, eating, and shopping, all in that order.

I think it's fair to start by saying what a crazy year it's been. So much turmoil, so much drama, so many people turning on each other, and yet, so much excitement, so many opportunities, and such a great time to be in publishing if you're allowed to stop and catch your breath.

When I sit down to my lentil roulade, gluten-free stuffing, and bottle of red wine (I'll share, I promise), I am so grateful to see how much I have to be thankful for. There's no doubt that at the top of that list are the family and friends who will be joining my feast this year, as well as those who have seats at other tables. I am thankful for the BookEnds team and the successes each of them are having in building their own client bases and in the sales they've made. I'm thankful for the huge number of successes BookEnds and our clients have had this year. At last count I believe we had six books hit the New York Times bestseller list and a large handful of others hit various other lists. We've made a record number of deals this year for both debut authors as well as brand-name authors and we've added close to twenty new clients to our roster.

I fear that too often I get caught in the daily minutia of life and sucked in by the bad news, forgetting to take time to rejoice in the good. Well, this weekend, for the entire weekend, I'm going to do nothing but rejoice in all that has been good this year, all I have to look forward to, and all that I have to be thankful for.

And at my table on Thursday I'm going to raise my glass in a special toast to all of those who have joined me over the years to build an agency I'm truly proud of; I'm going to toast my fellow agents at BookEnds who have been my right hand, my left, and sometimes my brain; I'm going to toast the editors we've worked with who have the same passion we do for books, especially our books; and most especially I'm going to toast the clients old and new who have climbed on to this ride with us, challenged us, and brought us books we love and are proud of.


Happy Thanksgiving.


18 Comments on Giving Thanks, last added: 11/25/2011
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37179. Verse Novels Not Your Thing?

For some people, verse novels are unappealing because of the way words are arranged on the page. Others find them too pretentious, too simplistic, too weird. And that's okay. Readers have the right to feel however they like about certain genres or styles. What I love, though, is when readers are willing to try something new.

I'm finding a number of those who have posted reviews of May B. on Goodreads start in a similar way:

I’ve never read a novel in verse before and wasn’t sure how I’d feel about it. I wondered if it would slow down my reading. 
Having never read a novel-in-verse, I intended to check out the first few pages... 
This is the first novel in verse I've read. 
I had never read a novel in verse before...
I generally don't like verse novels...
This is the first novel-in-verse I've read. 

8 Comments on Verse Novels Not Your Thing?, last added: 11/24/2011
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37180. Remember to Include the Holidays

Originally posted by Morgan Mandel at The Blood-Red Pencil blog, but still applies.

Holidays are a great opportunity to enrich your manuscript. The trick is not to just mention a holiday in passing, but to add vivid descriptions of how one is celebrated in your character's life.

You can draw on this by your own experience. Think of a holiday, such as Thanksgiving. What's the weather like outside? That will depend on where you live and/or the climate vagaries of the fictional year you create.

Which people get invited? Who prepares the meal? The mother, the wife, the son, the daughter, one, some, or all? Who helps? How is the table set? That may depend on the station in life of your characters, whether they're well-off or perhaps just-married college students.

What's on the menu? Does it reflect the main character's ethnicity, or perhaps some quirk? Many people eat turkey for Thanksgiving, but maybe your character is alone and eating spam.

hat about guilt? There are lots of possibilities for that, such as a dinner guest who forgot to bring a hostess gift. Then there's the working wife who feels bad because she uses canned gravy and ready-made dressing instead of making them from scratch.

Or, what about the eternal ying and yang of invitations to the husband's and wife's houses on the same day, at the same time? Where to go? Whom to please?

Can you think of any holiday descriptions from your own novel or someone else's that stand out in your mind? Please share.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Morgan Mandel

Morgan is also at www.morganmandel.com


http://makeminemystery.blogspot.com &


Morgan Mandel

5 Comments on Remember to Include the Holidays, last added: 11/26/2011
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37181. Victory Through Balloons - some Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade history

Early Parade Announcement
When we were kids, every Thanksgiving Day my mother would give each of us a bag of walnuts, a nutcracker and a bowl and place us in front of the television to shell the nuts and watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  We thought we were helping out somehow, even though walnuts never appeared in any of the dishes served that day.  Later, I discovered it was my mother's scheme to keep up out of her way and prevent any sibling squabbling. And it worked, and, to this day, every Thanksgiving I have an urge to watch the parade and shell walnuts.

The parade was always memorizing, punctuated with commercials for toys, games and dolls we were urged to want for Christmas.  I don’t think I have ever not watched the parade, or at least had it on while I did other things.  There has already been news coverage of this year’s parade, and it got me thinking about its history.

Felix the Cat 1927
The parade began in 1924, going from 110th Street in Harlem to Macy’s Herald Square on 34th Street. a total of 6 miles.  At first, it was just people dressed up in various costumes, animals from the Central Park Zoo and gaily decorated floats, but in 1927 Felix the Cat made his appearance as the first balloon.  In 1928, the parade’s balloons were released into the air, until they deflated.  They had name tags sewn in them, so the finder could return it to Macy’s.  This scheme didn't work very well, though.

By 1939, the first year of the war in Europe, the parade was shortened, beginning at 106th Street in Harlem.  That year, there were several balloons, including a crowd pleasing 50 foot Santa Clause and a very large Uncle Sam, who had to be re-pumped a little during the parade. Over one million men, women and mostly children lined the parade route, watching Macy's employees dressed up in costumes, the balloons and the 26 floats.  And for the very first time, the parade was televised on NBC from a camera mounted on the Museum of Natural History.

2 Comments on Victory Through Balloons - some Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade history, last added: 11/25/2011 Display Comments Add a Comment
37182. WOW Wednesday: Inara Scott on Writing Like a Lawyer

Given Inara Scott's love of argument, it was really only a matter of time before she ended up in law school. The mossy forests and volcanic beauty of Oregon led her to Lewis and Clark Law School and Portland, where she finally decided to settle down. It took another five years for Inara to screw up the courage to quit her lawyer job and devote herself to writing and teaching. Today, she writes anything and everything, including children’s books, young adult fiction, and adult romance. Her debut novel in the fabulous Delcroix Academy Talents/Candidates/Marked series was published in 2010 by Disney-Hyperion Books for Children, with the second book released in 2011.

Writing Like A Lawyer

by Inara Scott

I know, I know. You had a visceral reaction to the title of this blog. It probably wasn't a nice reaction. It probably went something like, "Ew, why would I want to write like a lawyer?"

Here's the problem: I am/was/will always be a lawyer. Regardless of whether I am practicing law actively or not, it is part of my DNA. My lawyerly-ness influences my writing more than I want to admit. So obviously, I couldn't write a column on my journey to publication without talking about it. :-)

Being a lawyer is both a blessing and a curse. The curse part has to do with people hating your profession, and occasionally hating you because of your profession. The blessing has something to do with why so many lawyers end up as successful authors. And really, it's related to the curse. Because part of what people hate about lawyers makes us really good writers. The great thing is, you don't have to be a lawyer to enjoy these blessings. I've extracted them from my DNA and am ready to hand them over to you.

1) Care about words. A lot.

Lawyers are trained to pay enormous attention to words. Why does a statute use the word "shall" in one section, and "may" in another? Why does one case paraphrase another, instead of quoting it? What is the definition of the word? What was the definition when the statute was written?

Lawyers treat words like individual, precious beings with distinct personalities and meanings. Writers must, too. When you say your character has "auburn" hair, you convey one meaning. If you say her hair is reddish, chestnut, or sable, you convey something else. Be precise. Slender and lean are different words. So are cruel, mean, and vindictive. Don't allow yourself to become sloppy when it comes to your most precious resource.

2) Care about punctuation. Even more.

We've all seen the fantastic book, "Eats, Shoots, and Leaves." (If you haven't, go read it right now.) Everyone should know that the placement of a comma can dramatically change the meaning of a sentence (i.e., Eats shoots and leaves; Eats shoots, and leaves.) I once litigated a case over the placement of a comma. When your livelihood can turn on a semi-colon, you don't throw them around lightly.

Learn your punctuation. Dashes are powerful weapons. Commas can be confusing. God help us if you start throwing in semi-colons. Be thoughtful and learn from your copy-editor. You will get these things wrong. I do all the time. Don't try for perfectio

14 Comments on WOW Wednesday: Inara Scott on Writing Like a Lawyer, last added: 11/23/2011
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37183. Mastering His Stuff

I help out in the Homework Club after school three days a week.

Yes, the euphemism makes me laugh, too. 
Join our club! It rocks! 
Trust me, I didn't name it.

A few days ago, one of the 2nd graders raised his hand to ask a question. I headed over to his table to help him. He was sitting next to a couple of older boys from my daughter's class.

As I got there, one of the older boys leaned over to the 2nd grader and said, "If you need help, you can ask us. We're in 4th grade. We've mastered all that 2nd grade stuff."

I bit my tongue to keep from laughing. I wasn't needed here. That boy was in good hands. The hands of a master.

Instead, I ran for a piece of paper. So I could write down what the 4th grader said.

Of course.  :)

12 Comments on Mastering His Stuff, last added: 11/25/2011
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37184. Prints For Sale!

Just in time for Christmas I've put three new prints in my Etsy store. Each one is 15 dollars plus shipping. I'm doing this in the hopes of making a bit of income through the holidays so I can work on Maddy Kettle with maybe a little less strain. Every purchase is a huge help to me and will help me complete the first book. If you have any questions feel free to email me at eric.orchard@gmail.com

The first 10 orders will receive a free Maddy Kettle minicomic!

Link to my Etsy store.

2 Comments on Prints For Sale!, last added: 11/23/2011
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37185. Book Trailers for Thanksgivings

Feliz día de acción de gracias for all the blogueros and blogueras. Tomorrow there is no diet. Enjoy you food with your friends and your loved ones.

Here are some book trailers for Thanksgivings

Children’s Books for Thanksgiving

Check these wonderful books at your local public library, bookstore or on line.

Gracias, the Thanksgiving turkey by Joy Cowley. Illustrated by Joe Cepeda.

Trouble ensues when Papa gets Miguel a turkey to fatten up for Thanksgiving and Miguel develops an attachment to it.

1 Comments on Book Trailers for Thanksgivings, last added: 11/23/2011
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37186. Being Thankful

This is the most beautiful TV ad ever. I don't how many times I've watched it, but I laugh and cry every single time. It's a little something to get you into that holiday spirit and to remind ourselves of the beautiful and important things in life.

This Thanksgiving we have to be thankful for many things.

© copyright Alicia Padrón

I know I am very thankful first of all for my husband and kids. They are my biggest joy and inspiration every day.

6 Comments on Being Thankful, last added: 11/24/2011
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37187. BOOSTER GOLD latest superhero to get his shot on TV

201111230258 BOOSTER GOLD latest superhero to get his shot on TV

Continuing the quest for a follow-up to Smallville, Booster Gold is the latest DC superhero to get a TV development deal, this time at the SyFy channel, under Greg Berlanti’s production banner. The script is being written by Andrew Kreisberg, formerly of Fringe.

Booster Gold appeared on the final season of Smallville, so he isn’t a complete TV virgin.

The story will center on Booster Gold, a washed-up athlete from the future who travels back to the present in hopes of becoming the greatest super hero of all time. Instead of chasing criminals, however, his main priority is chasing fame and money. But Booster Gold discovers that being a hero takes more than just a megawatt smile, and that the future doesn’t happen without first protecting the present.

Booster Gold’s co-creator Dan Jurgens was reached by ComicBook.com and had some thoughts on the move, although he isn’t involved:

DJ: Yeah, though at least Booster on Smallville was a definite thing. This is still in the development stage and may, or may not, happen. At the same time, it’s cool because Booster is standing on his own. Frankly, I think the concept can support it.

There have been many recent (post-Heroes) live-action attempts at getting superheroes on the small screen, but none of them have really stuck — The Cape, No Ordinary Family, the failed Wonder Woman pilot, and so on. But there is a ton of raw material and producers are going to keep trying hurling both Marvel and DC characters into the fray.

Other DC characters currently under TV development include Deadman and The Spectre. Of course, the best DC TV pilot was Fables, which never actually made it but instead got ripped off for two successful shows now airing as part of the current “fairy tale” boom.

3 Comments on BOOSTER GOLD latest superhero to get his shot on TV, last added: 11/25/2011
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37188. Books I Am Thankful For: Ramona the Pest

I have discussed my love for all thing Beverly Cleary many times before. (check out the pilgrimage my sons and I took in Portland one year). But, I just want to again stress how much I loved her books when I was growing up! So many things went into making me a reader, and these books had a huge part in it. These were the first books I remember being excited about a new one coming out. And I loved how the books kept up with the times.

I was also a little sister and was called a pest many a times by my older sister. Another reason I connected so strongly with these books.

Ramona the Pest was my favorite.

What are your Beverly Cleary memories?

1 Comments on Books I Am Thankful For: Ramona the Pest, last added: 11/25/2011
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37189. As Marvel Turns: Buzz and Business Factors

The business side of Marvel has been quite a wild ride lately.  First you had layoffs.  Then you had cancellations.  Then iFanboy wrote a piece about what other titles were falling into roughly the same sales range on the Diamond estimates, and could conceivably be in danger of cancellation.  Then Ivan Brandon got worked up about such talk of sales levels and cancellation.  Right on cue, a title on the iFanboy watch list (Daken: Dark Wolverine) got cancelled.  Bickering ensued.  Now Kiel Phegley is stepping back and taking a more measured look at Marvel’s line and business factors than we’ve seen, thus far.

Daken Dark Wolverine As Marvel Turns: Buzz and Business FactorsI’d like to add a few factors into the discussion of what goes into deciding a book’s fate.

1) Direct Market sales.  Yes, you typically need to add 10-15% to the estimates, but we have a rough idea how well these books are selling and a better idea how they’re selling in relation to each other.

2) Newsstand sales.  Yes, there still are returnable copies in circulation.  The demise of Borders didn’t help this channel, but you still have Barnes & Noble and a smattering of other outlets. Of course, not all books are going to be as well-placed on the newsstand _and_ newsstand buying habits have always had their quirks.  Since Marvel stopped having individual titles broken out in their circulation audits, this is a hard one to gauge accurately.  Here’s an example from ‘08.

3) Subscriptions.  This is another category that’s hard to get a reading on without individual titles broken out on the circulation audits. Here’s the current subscription list from Marvel’s website and X-Factor is on it, but Thunderbolts isn’t.  (More strangely, Wolverine and the X-Men isn’t.)  Going back to that example from ‘08, Spider-Man and “Marvel Adventures” titles generally do well with subscriptions.

4) Book editions.  Marvel is sort of the anti-Vertigo.  They don’t keep books in print like they should, so this ends up being more front-loaded and less rope is given to grow the series in this format.  You have a certain number of books that are targeted more towards this market like the literary adaptions (Stephen King, etc.), Marvel’s John Carter of Mars will doubtless tie in with the Disney (well, Disney’s name and Pixar’s director) film… and compete with the Dynamite books and the Dark Horse reprint.  The Ultimate books tend to get picked up by libraries, particularly Ultimate Spider-Man.  But if you can name a new-ish Marvel superhero title that had low monthly sal

9 Comments on As Marvel Turns: Buzz and Business Factors, last added: 11/23/2011
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37190. Cowboy Story

As it happens, I've started working on two digital picture books lately. One is of course the afforementioned sequel to "Pajama Girl." Here's a list of some possible titles we're working on:

Pajama Girl 2: Electric Boogaloo
Pajama Girl 2: Judgement Day
Pajama Girl 2: I Still Know What You Did Last Summer
Pajama Girl 2: The Search for Spock
Pajama Girl 2: Back 2 Tha Hood
or maybe just
Pajama Girl Strikes Back
As for the other story, it's a fun little western tale that should be pretty awesome, I think. Almost immediately after reading the text, I had a number of images in my head of many characters, settings, etc. Here's a bunch of sketches thrown together.

This is a tighter sketch of what I've decided on so far. I'll soon be doing some color testing, so things may change. Never know.

It just occurred to me these two could very well be discussing digging up gold, or the best place to bury a body.

1 Comments on Cowboy Story, last added: 11/23/2011
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37191. Hail & Farewell, Anne McCaffrey

All The Weyrs of Pern, by Michael WhelanThis was my computer desktop picture for much of the early 90's.Have a seat. Close your eyes.Go back in memory to your favorite Anne McCaffrey book.Does it include dragons?(Were you into dragons about the time... Read the rest of this post

4 Comments on Hail & Farewell, Anne McCaffrey, last added: 11/26/2011
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37192. Comics among top-grossing book apps on iPad

comics by comixology logo black text low res Comics among top grossing book apps on iPadEvery month, AppData releases a list of the top-grossing apps for the iPad, and once again
comics apps lead the pack for the book category. Predictably, comiXology is at the top, but it’s followed closely by DC, Marvel, and The Walking Dead. The chart represents purchases made THROUGH an app, not sales of an app itself — all of the above are free to download the app.

Tuesday November 22, 2011

1. Comics Comics
2. DC Comics DC Comics
3. Marvel Comics Marvel Comics
4. Peek-a-Zoo – by Duck Duck Moose Peek-a-Zoo – by Duck Duck Moose
5. Jesus Calling by Sarah Young Jesus Calling by Sarah Young
6. Princess Dress-Up: My Sticker Book Princess Dress-Up: My Sticker Book
7. Bible+ Bible+
8. The Walking Dead The Walking Dead
9. Cars 2 World Grand Prix Read and Race Cars 2 World Grand Prix Read and Race
10. NIV Bible NIV Bible

In addition to the widely heralded fact that comiXology is consistently the top grossing app OVERALL every Wednesday, it also fares pretty well on the general chart, coming in at #38 behind such things as Pages, Easter Bunny Oversleepm and the unstoppable force that is Pet Tap Hotel.

It’s not entirely clear how AppData goes about compiling this data — it’s not like Apple hands out numbers all over the place. There is more info in the form of rather stark charts at the app page for comiXology and all the other apps in the chart but we’re not sure what they are saying.

However real this metric is, it does back up the fact that there’s a pretty good audience of people who like to read comics on tablets — no wonder Amazon and B&N were eager to have comics apps front and center on the new Kindle Fire and Nook.

4 Comments on Comics among top-grossing book apps on iPad, last added: 11/23/2011
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37193. Waiting on Wednesday--Runelight, by Joanne Harris

I am somewhat surprised to find that I have never written a review of Runemarks, by Joanne Harris. Here's the crackerjack first line: 'Seven o’clock on a Monday morning, five hundred years after the End of the World, and goblins had been at the cellar again." And young Maddy Smith, marked by the runemark on her palm with magic, is off on a fanatic adventure in which the Norse gods play no small part.

I'll be going back to it for a re-read soon, because I just learned over at Seven Miles of Steel Thistles that its sequel, Runelight, is out in the world! Here's the blurb, from Amazon UK:

"The squabbling Norse gods and goddesses of Runemarks are back! And there's a feisty new heroine on the scene: Maggie, a girl the same age as Maddy but brought up a world apart - literally, in World's End, the focus of the Order in which Maddy was raised. Now the Order is destroyed, Chaos is filling the vacuum left behind... and is breaching the everyday world.

A chilling prophecy from the Oracle. A conflict between two girls. And with just twelve days to stave off the Apocalypse, carnage is about to be unleashed . . ."

I just might have to add it to my Christmas present list.

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

6 Comments on Waiting on Wednesday--Runelight, by Joanne Harris, last added: 11/23/2011
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37194. Drybrush technique for quick portraits

Contemporary Russian portraitist Igor Kazarin developed his drybrush technique while doing street portraits. The technique is speedier than pencil or opaque oil. A photo-real portrait is possible in a matter of an hour or two.

Kazarin typically works from photo reference, apparently projecting the outlines for the lay-in. But he has used the same methods while working from observation on the street, often under very challenging outdoor public settings.

Kazarin often covers the surface area-by-area (also called “windowshading”), going immediately for finished effect. This takes a strong sense of value organization and a lot of experience.

If the paint is thin enough, it allows scratching with a scalpel, soft-blurring with a brush, and even lifting out with an kneaded eraser. That’s how he pulls out the highlights in the hair.

Igor Kazarin
Time lapse of Britney Spears
Live portrait of a woman in Dubai
Previously on GurneyJourney: Area-by-Area Painting
Thanks, Keita

15 Comments on Drybrush technique for quick portraits, last added: 11/24/2011
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37195. I Love Dark YA - #YASAVES

I joined the I LOVE DARK YA blogfest. Every Wednesday in November I will be posting about dark YA. The definition of dark YA is subjective, but here's one blog post explaining it. Today all participants are blogging about a dark YA book that made an impact on their lives.

The dark YA book that had a big—or shall I say huge—impact on me is FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC by V.C. Andrews. It was categorized as adult when I was a child, but not too long ago I saw it in the YA section of a bookstore. Anyway, one of my middle school teachers had a shelf of V.C. Andrews novels behind her desk. I kept staring at them and then when I finally asked about them, she told me to go ahead and borrow them one at a time. So, I did.

She had most of the novels in the Dollanganger and Casteel series. I started with FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC, which is dark and disturbing. Even though the content is shocking, I always fell into the Dollanganger world as if it were real. Day turned into night, and I couldn’t pry myself away from that book. FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC was what got me hooked on reading. Before reading that novel, I was a proficient reader in the classroom, but I wasn’t much of a reader at home. After reading FLOWERS and the other books on my teacher’s shelf, I became a bookworm, which altered my life dramatically. I devoured books, couldn’t get enough of them, haunted the flea market for used books, and my favorite place became the library…I also dreamed of writing my own tales. That’s why I believe this book saved me—during a time when I didn’t know what to do with myself, it gave me purpose and led me to a wonderful path of readerly and writerly things.

I read FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC three times during my adolescence. It’s that good. Here

27 Comments on I Love Dark YA - #YASAVES, last added: 11/26/2011
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37196. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi PLUS Giveaway

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Genre: Dystopian/Superhero/Adventure/Science Fiction

Release Date: 11/15/2011

Add to Goodreads

About the Book: Juliette is dangerous. Her touch can kill. The Reestablishment locked her up for murder and she's been in isolation and hasn't spoken to anyone for 264 days. Until The Reestablishment decides they want to use Juliette and her powers. She could be the ultimate weapon. But there are murmurings of war, of rebellion. Juliette must decide just where her loyalties lie-be a weapon or be a warrior.

GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: Shatter Me is an exciting debut that will be a great book to booktalk to fans of romantic adventure stories. The book keeps getting compared to the X-Men and it's easy to see why-Juliette has special powers and she's viewed as a strange being (much like a mutant). While there is a dystopian setting, but the dystopian aspects are very light. There are lots of questions left unanswered about the dystopian world Juliette lives in, The Reestablishment, and how the world got to where it is. (Maybe these will be answered in books two and three as this is the start to a trilogy). So if you have hardcore dystopian fans, they may be disappointed in the lighter dystopian setting.

If you have romance fans, on the other hand, give this book to them now. Juliette and Adam have a steamy romance that is sure to please fans of epic romances. Juliette and Adam share a past, but there's still a bit of insta-love. There's also a lot of concentration on the romance aspect (I think there were just as many adventure scenes as there were make out scenes!) so make sure you have readers that want a book heavy in the romance and lighter on the dystopian. Not that I disliked this, (I like romance in my stories) but I wasn't expecting it to be such a heavy part of the story.

Even though there is a lot of romance, the book is still action packed and there are several memorable scenes that are just the right blend of action, adventure and creepy dystopia. Juliette and Adam were engaging enough to keep me reading-I liked learning about Juliette's powers and her story. I also found the strikeouts throughout the book that supposedly tell Juliette's inner thoughts to be an interesting plot device and I liked getting that extra peek into what Juliette was really thinking.

The character that was the real standout to me and what made me really enjoy the book was Warner. Warner is the "evil bad guy" to the story and man is he a creep! I thought of him as a cross between Lucius Malfoy and President Snow, so you can imagine what a crazy bad guy he is! We don't know much about Warner, but he made my skin crawl and he was so creeptastic that I loved it. (That doesn't make me weird, right?) I want to read more just because I want to know what he'll do next and how exactly Juliette plans to take him down.

The end of the book is very much a set up for the sequel, so readers will be left hanging with lots of questions. Shatter Me is a page turner that is sure to leave readers wanting more.

Book Pairings: The Quantum Prophecy by Michael Carroll, Hourglass by Myra McEntire

Full Disclosure: Reviewed from finished copy sent by publicist

Want to win a copy?
One lucky winner will receive a copy of Shatter Me!
45 Comments on Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi PLUS Giveaway, last added: 11/26/2011
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37197. Add one hour and you got yourself a new post

So now the spreads counts in just under nine hours....now what I demand from you is that you'll look at this image for nine hours (fare is fare)

5 Comments on Add one hour and you got yourself a new post, last added: 11/24/2011
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37198. scene from a novel in progress, a novel two long chapters from done

            Theday was breaking.  There was stillthe tooth of the moon in the sky and that black fringe of storm, and she couldhear the high slosh in the creek, the endless running forward to the sea.   When she reached the footbridge,she stood for a moment and looked back toward the house—the big rectangle andthe small one, the twin chimneys, the unsunk roof sloping forthright in twodirections, the garden like a moat. Slick and stone and root.
            Steamhad come in, a funnel of gnats and mosquitoes, the sudden gray heart of a squirrelon a limb above her head.  Beccaimagined the boy fishing for marlin in the stream, or sleeping on a bed ofhawk-tail feathers.  She imaginedhim alone in that room, that empty mirror, that barrette balanced on theapple’s glass stem, that jar of honey.  The trees unfurled, a belligerent green.  The crows were thick as thieves.  On the prickle of the forest floor, Beccasaw the wet back of a single beetle catching a nick of sun.   

3 Comments on scene from a novel in progress, a novel two long chapters from done, last added: 11/23/2011
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37199. day 465: jive turkey

1 Comments on day 465: jive turkey, last added: 11/24/2011
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37200. Testimonials and Forewords for Your Book

Today's guest post is by Dan Poynter and has it valuable information on getting valuable testimonials and forewords for your book/s.

Gathering Testimonials & Forewords
by Dan Poynter

More than 300 titles are published each day. There is no way anyone can know and rank them. That is why the book industry relies so heavily on blurbs.

A blurb is a short sales pitch or review of a book usually printed on the jacket or in an advertisement. The word was coined by Gelett Burgess, a Boston-born humorist and author [1866-1951).

Testimonials, endorsements and quotations or “blurbs” sell books because word-of-mouth is one of the most powerful forces in marketing. Anything you say about your book is self-serving but words from another person are not. In fact, when readers see the quotation marks, it shifts
their attitude and they become more receptive.

Harvey Mackay placed 44 testimonials in the frontmatter of Swim with the Sharks; he had endorsements from everyone from Billy Graham to Robert Redford. Did these luminaries buy a book and write unsolicited testimonials? Of course not. Mackay asked for the words of praise.

Your mission is to get the highest-placed, most influential opinion molders in your field talking about your book. You have more control than you think over whom you quote, what they say and how you use their words. The easiest and most logical time to gather blurbs is following peer review of the manuscript. Testimonials are not difficult to get if you follow this two-step process.

Most testimonials are superficial, teach the reader nothing and lack credibility.
—Ron Richards, President, Venture Network.

Step #1. Send parts of your book out for peer review. Smart nonfiction authors take each chapter of their nearly complete manuscript and send it off to at least four experts on that chapter’s subject.

Step #2. Approach your peer reviewers for a testimonial. Now the target is softened up. You are not surprising them by asking for a blurb for a book they haven’t even seen. In fact, since you matched the chapter to their individual interest, they have already bought into the project and
become familiar with your work.

Now, draft the (suggested) testimonial yourself. In order to get what you need and in order to control the blurb, draft a suggested testimonial. Then include a cover letter like this: I know you are a busy person. Considering your position and the direction this book takes, I need a
testimonial something like this: . . .

Drafting a testimonial is a creative act; it takes time and careful thought. Editing is easier than creating. Your endorser does not even know how long the blurb should be. So, provide help. Some 80% will just sign off on your words, 10% will add some superlatives and 5% will get the idea and come up with something much better.

Forewords are approached in the same manner as endorsements. What you get back from the writer is just longer.

Gather testimonials by putting words in their mouths.
Dan Poynter does not want you to die with a book still inside you. You have the ingredients and he has your recipe. Dan has written more than 100 books since 1969 including Writing Nonfiction and The Self-Publishing Manual. For more help on book writing, see 2 Comments on Testimonials and Forewords for Your Book, last added: 11/24/2011
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