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Viewing: Blog Posts from All 1552 Blogs, since 12/19/2007 [Help]
Results 37,176 - 37,200 of 162,567
37176. 2011 Cybils: Divergent, by Veronica Roth

You know how some novels are like a long nightmare? That's my best description of this one -- a long, claustrophobic nightmare. Factions? Groups that have rules you're supposed to obey, and lifestyles you're supposed to emulate? There are two words... Read the rest of this post

3 Comments on 2011 Cybils: Divergent, by Veronica Roth, last added: 10/27/2011
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37177. Finding Balance

Given the CHAOTIC week I just survived trying to crank through my copyedits, I've been thinking a LOT about balance lately. Most specifically: HOW will I make time for everything I need to do without letting anyone down and/or snapping-and-running-around-with-manic-hair-and-wild-eyes-and-scaring-small-children???? 

(Which *might* be a tad counterproductive being that I'm a children's writer and all.) 

Cause I'll be honest. Lately, most days I feel like I'm doing this:

and like I'm doing this with my To Do List:

Seriously, I don't know how some authors do it. I don't have kids, I don't have a day job, and I am SLAMMED. (Mind you, my schedule has some SUPER insane things going on that I'm probably not supposed to reveal yet--but STILL) It. is. DAUNTING.

And while the awesome Jen Rofe (an agent friend of mine--ABLA FTW!) has been giving me some excellent tips on making "winning" to do lists and setting priorities and stuff, (btw, Jen will actually be interviewed on my blog tomorrow--make sure you stop by!!!) I still can't help feeling like there's this MOUNTAIN of things to do and clearly not enough hours between now and the release of my book to do them all. 

But... I'm starting to realize that that's okay. 

I'm pretty sure there ARE going to be things I don't have time for, and that it's not going to necessarily be so much about juggling and trying not to drop balls as it will be about learning which ones to set down for a moment and pick back up when I can.

Like last week, for example. I HATE taking blogging breaks. (I miss you guys!) But... it had to be done. So I set that ball down and picked it back up again this week when I had the chance. And when something else gets thrown at me that I need to make time for, I'll set it down again. 

So I guess the point I'm trying to make (because re

16 Comments on Finding Balance, last added: 10/27/2011
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37178. Workshop Wednesday

By repeated request we've started Workshop Wednesday. It will definitely play out through 2011, and beyond that we'll just have to see. We've received well over 200 queries at this point, but we are choosing at random, so don't be afraid to participate as per the guidelines in our original post.

For anyone wanting to comment, we ask that you comment in a polite and respectful manner, and we ask that you be as constructive as possible. If you can be useful to the brave souls who submitted their query and comment on the query, that's great. Please keep any anonymous tirades on publishing or other snarky comments to yourself. This is and should remain an open and safe forum for people to put themselves and their queries out there so that everyone can learn. I'm leaving comments open and open to anonymous posters, as I always have; don't make me feel the need to change that policy.

And for those who have never "met" Query Shark, get over there and do that. She's the originator of the query critique, the queen, if you will.

Dear Ms. Faust,

Sixteen year old transfer student Hannah Slaughtery never imagined her future would involve fighting against monsters she doesn’t believe in with people she’s not even sure she likes.

I like this opening. It grabs my attention and I think it works. If I wanted to get picky, although I don't know that it matters in the grand scheme of your query, I would wonder why you bother to mention that she's a transfer student. I don't know that it matters for a query.

But when she and four other students attend a retreat at Piaculum Academy, they discover they are the next generation of Partizans, a band of supernatural warriors dating back to the dawn of man. Each must decide how much of themselves they are willing to sacrifice as they stand against the Formorians, a ruthless and tyrannical empire of demons who have been wiping out the Partizan lines for generations in order to make way for their own ascension.

I like this, I only wonder if you aren't complicating things too much by over-describing. Do you need to name the groups in the query or can you simply say that they discover they are the next generation in a line of supernatural warriors charged with standing against an empire of demons . . . ? I also wonder, for the book's sake, if you need a bigger conflict. In other words, if they don't know if they are willing to sacrifice themselves, do they care about their own ascension (I assume you mean to power)?

All of that pickiness aside, I think this paragraph works.

As Hannah struggles to comprehend her legacy, she is distracted by the unexplainable, yet undeniable connection she feels toward Finn, another Partizan, who is obviously hiding something from her.

I think the problem I have with this is that I don't feel the action of the book or the big climax or conflict. I feel a little blah about all of this. You tell me the setup, but you don't really tell me a lot about Hannah's individual struggle, and I don't think her attraction to Finn is it.

Mentored by Garrett, a First Crusade era Catholic priest turned vampire, Hannah begins her metaphysical transformation to become a witch, knowing only one thing for sure: the carefree days of her youth have come to a screeching halt.

In the framework of your query this feels dropped in, and maybe this is the heart of the series. Maybe we need to learn more about this transformation. Maybe this is really the core of your query.

The Partizans, a YA paranormal is complete at 72,000 words and has series potential. Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to hearing from you.

Overall I think this is a good query and I definitely think you'll get some requests off it. I do, however, worry that it's a li

10 Comments on Workshop Wednesday, last added: 10/26/2011
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37179. Henry Cavill portrays Superman as super-fit, shirtless derelict

henry cavill shirtless greenscreen 01 Henry Cavill portrays Superman as super fit, shirtless derelict
We don’t know exactly what is going on in these set photos from the Vancouver shoot of the new Superman movie, but we approve.

We know from some previous spy photos that Superman/Clark Kent — as played by Henry Cavill – appear to grow a beard and become a homeless guy, leading us to suspect some kind of take on the “hero gets amnesia and wanders around” storyline. Also, “Superman gets beat up by bullies in a diner.” The appearance of tattered trousers gives a Hulkish vibe, but maybe he was just castaway on a deserted island or something. He still knows how to fight!

Although homeless, Clark has definitely had time to work out, and that’s awesome.

[Via Andrew Wheeler]

7 Comments on Henry Cavill portrays Superman as super-fit, shirtless derelict, last added: 10/26/2011
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By Ann Evans

On a recent school visit, one little chap innocently asked, “How old are you?” Now, I'll answer any question truthfully to a class of nine and ten year olds – even that old favourite: “How much money do you get?” Oh but the age thing. So out came my stock answer, which is to say that I started writing when my children were tiny and now they are grown up with children of their own. Then as they're busy calculating the years, I get on with telling them something more interesting.

But that old cliché 'out of the mouths of babes', certainly rings true whether you're talking to a class of junior school children or your own offspring and grand-kids. One bright spark at another school did a quick calculation – not about age this time, but on rejection. I always tell the youngsters that I had six different novels rejected before I finally had one accepted – stressing the need for perseverance. I'd earlier shown them a typical 60,000 word manuscript (I was trying for Mills & Boon and adult crime stories at the time). Out of the blue a little ten year old put his hand up and said, “Miss, you wrote 420,000 words before you got anything accepted!”

Put like that I was stunned. So thanking him for making my day, I reiterated the need for perseverance in whatever you choose to do. Fortunately almost half a million rejected words didn't seem to put anyone off wanting to be a writer when they grow up!

What would we do without the thoughts and comments of our young readers though? It was purely because of an email from a little girl that two of my books even got written. Shortly after my book The Beast came out, I received an email via my website from a little girl who said, “I enjoyed The Beast, what's going to happen to Karbel now?”

Karbel is my ghost o

12 Comments on OUT OF THE MOUTHS OF BABES, last added: 10/28/2011
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37181. News! News!

All sorts of people with great things to share:

Loretta Nyhan

Shannon Whitney Messenger

Shannon O'Donnell

Kimberley Griffith Little

Lydia Kang

Have I missed anyone? Fill me in!

8 Comments on News! News!, last added: 11/20/2011
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37182. A good day

© copyright Alicia Padrón

I'm so happy. A book that I thought would never come to be, will actually get to be. Kids will be able to hold it in their hands, blow out the candles and enjoy it!

I worked on this title at the beginning of last year. As soon as the book was done the publisher suddenly closed its doors. It happens. Not frequently thank God.. but it happens. I was left with this awful mixture of feelings, mostly sadness.

When you work on a book you put so much into it. Some people think they are just pretty pictures but they really are not.

You create characters that didn't exist before and you make them live in a world the author created. You think of the kids reading the book first and make the art for them. You know how important it is for kids to enjoy seeing the details and to "read" your images.

The rest is blah, unimportant business stuff. Of course work and pay matters but honestly, the most wonderful reward is knowing a kid will be in bed at night, eyes fixed on the book, dying to turn the page and see what comes next.

It's a good day today. :o)

7 Comments on A good day, last added: 10/26/2011
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37183. Proclamation

I know this is making the rounds - and I support that! (Click it to see it larger at the source.)

3 Comments on Proclamation, last added: 10/28/2011
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37184. WOW Wednesday: Greg R. Fishbone on Making the Jump from Writer to Author

Today's WOW guest is Greg Fishbone, author of the Galaxy Games, a  middle-grade romp through space, in which eleven-year-old Tyler Sato leads a team of kids representing all of Earth in a sports tournament against alien kids from across the galaxy. You can find Greg at on his web site or on Twitter.

Making the Jump from Writer to Author

by Greg R. Fishbone

Click on the Puzzle Piece for a  Chance to Win!
In law school, I was taught that there's a difference between a lawyer and an attorney. A lawyer is qualified to engage in the practice of law, while an attorney is engaged in the practice of law for somebody else. A lawyer becomes an attorney by taking on a client and representing that client's interests.

So what is the difference between a writer and an author? I think it's pretty much the same thing. A writer is a person who writes, while an author writes with a readership in mind. Being technically proficient in the craft doesn't turn a writer into an author. Having books in print doesn't turn a writer into an author. Attending book talks, receiving positive reviews, or winning awards doesn't turn a writer into an author. Putting the reader's experience first is the only thing that will ever turn a writer into an author.

Starting out, I wrote mainly for myself. I wrote stories because they were fun for me to write. I wrote stories because they were challenging and I wanted to hone my skills. I wrote books I would have enjoyed reading as a kid. I shared my writing with others and enjoyed their positive feedback, but I was a writer because I wrote primarily for myself.

Today I have two books in print and I'm still struggling with the transition from writer to author. I'm happy to report that I am making progress. While writing the upcoming sequel to The Challengers over this past summer, I was finally able to keep an imaginary reader in mind as I worked. I'm becoming more aware of certain phrases or characters that existed primarily because they amused me. "Aha!" I'd say. "So these must be the metaphorical darlings that Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch was urging us to murder!"

Not to say that authors can't have a little fun as well. I think a reader can tell when a story was written by somebody who was having a good time with the process. When you read The Phantom Tollbooth, you just know that Norton Juster had to have been pretty pleased with all the wordplay and puns. Lemony Snicket's books, with their heavy-handed, intrusive narrator, wouldn't have worked unless the reader was meant to be in on the joke. These and other fun-loving authors keep the reader in mind and still manage to have a blast with the writing process.

I'm still trying to strike the right balance, but it feels good to finish a new chapter and think, "I can't believe I just did that--the readers are going to love it." It really makes me feel like an author.

The Challengers - Book #1 in the Galaxy Games Series
Follow the Galaxy Games Blog Tour, al

3 Comments on WOW Wednesday: Greg R. Fishbone on Making the Jump from Writer to Author, last added: 10/27/2011
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37185. Tuesday Update

Had breakfast with Tebogo Khaas of the SMME Forum at Melrose Arch. I haven't seen Tebogo for years - not since I worked fulltime as a journalist. So it was great catching up with him and finding out what he's got planned for the forum. It's going to take time to implement some of his ids, but I am looking forward to it, because the resources and services that he plans to provide are very

1 Comments on Tuesday Update, last added: 10/26/2011
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37186. At the Firefly Gate by Linda Newbery

At the Firefly Gate is a simple romantic ghost story that seamlessly connects past and present, and age and youth together.

Henry, 11, is not happy when his parents move from London to the village of Crickford St. Thomas. His first night there, he sees a man standing at the garden gate, smoking a cigarette and with a cloud of fireflies flying around him, appearing to look straight at Henry.

The next day Henry and his parents are invited to tea by their neighbor Pat, whose daughter Grace is a little older than Henry. Also living there is Dottie, Pat’s elderly aunt. Henry and Dottie immediately feel the strangest connection to each other, despite their age difference.

That night, Henry dreams that he is at a mobile café, buying doughnuts and coffee, helped by a pretty girl who was flirting with him. And he knew the guy with him was his best friend, Rusty Dobbs. Yet, nothing about the dream made sense to him and, despite its vividness it slips away from him when he wakes up.

Henry begins to settle into his new surroundings. He is often invited to Pat’s home for tea and becomes friendlier with Dottie, bonding with her over games of Scrabble. All that spoils this is Grace telling him that Dottie is dying.

Meanwhile, Henry meets and becomes friends with Simon, who he will be going to school with. One hot Sunday, Henry and Simon go over the stream to cool off. They get lost along the way and discover an old, long abandoned airfield, which Simon recognizes as the one where his great-granddad was a pilot during World War II. He tells Henry the story about how his great granddad was in sick bay the night his entire crew went on a mission over Germany and never came back. Henry is stunned to learn that Simon’s great granddad’s name is Rusty Dobbs.

The past and present continue to overlap in Henry’s life, even as carves out a spot for himself in Crickford, making new friends and adjusting to life there. Dottie finally clarifies the identity of the man, explaining that he was also named Henry, a navigator in the RAF and best friends with Rusty Dobbs. He was also the love of her life and, after he didn’t return from the mission that saved Rusty’s life, she never was interested in marrying anyone else.

Newbery’s well developed Henry is a sweet, sensitive character, a rather ordinary boy who suddenly has this extraordinary experience. As pieces to the puzzle of the past present themselves, Henry increasingly becomes more determined to figure it all out. Dottie’s mind is still that of a feisty girl, even as she is physically limited simply by her age. She seems to bring out a confidence in Henry that wasn’t apparent before, acting as a catalyst for Henry’s ‘coming of age.’ Even sullen, angry Grace is well-drawn in her desire to become an RAF pilot against all the odds.

Though I thought the story started out rather slowly and with just a touch of confusion, in the end I enjoyed it very much. I think Linda Newbery has written a very nice refreshing book about friendship between generations that is unusual in books for young readers, where so often these age groups are at odds with each other instead.

The Book Cover: The cover of a book matters and can often influence a reader's decision about reading it.  In this case I think the cover is quite lovely.  The trouble is that on the book I read the details are so dark are hard to make out.  I made the picture of the cover a litt

3 Comments on At the Firefly Gate by Linda Newbery, last added: 10/29/2011
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37187. TYPOGRAPHY - helen lins

helen lins has created this "a year in caps: 2012 typography calendar" which is made from a series of twelve sustainably-harvested birch veneer cards, one month on each card. the design features funky, novelty fonts and expressive typography to express the mood of each month. priced at $32 its available from heather lins home.

1 Comments on TYPOGRAPHY - helen lins, last added: 10/26/2011
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37188. Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 10/26/11

201110260333 Kibbles n Bits 10/26/11

§ An interview with Gary Panter? Whoopie! It’s by Matt Seneca? Double whoopies all the way!

PANTER: Each medium has its characteristics, and I try to address those strengths or weaknesses in the medium; and also, to join the conversation of the medium. I’m interested in the conversation of art history, especially as this pertains to my lifetime or the twentieth century, and where I project that it might go. That’s one of the games that modern art plays: where does it go, and what does it affect by trying to go? And so, usually in fine art, you’re making a kind of pregnant or puzzling object, or some object that has presence and which calls to people, hopefully. It arrests them for a second and various things happen, whereas in a comic, I want people lying in bed reading it. I want people lying in bed and reading it, and you forget you’re reading it, and you go in the story, and you’re like, “Whoa! What happened?” And you either remember it or you don’t. Especially with this new comic, because I’ve done experimental stuff that doesn’t allow you to do that at all. You have to struggle the whole time. But this next comic is trying to be seductive in a conventional sense.

§ Along the same lines, at the prize-winning end of his book tour, Seth sums up the Graphic Novel MOment

“It’s a pretty clear sign that graphic novels or comic books have actually reached a point where they can be judged on their content rather than on their media,” the 49-year-old told the Toronto Star from New York City.

§ Sean T. Collins rounds up defenses of Habibi against Orientalism by Eddie Campbell and Leela Corman, , who both have strong arguments.

§ Despite some grumbling about the Mid-Ohio Con, overall it seems to have been a very successful show. Tony Isabella loved it!:

Wizard World did an outstanding job. I watched their staff handle several problems in swift satisfying manner the afternoon before the show and several times during the show. I confess I was one of those problems – a revised floor plan had my Artist Alley table so far back in the hall that I was barely in the convention – but they resolved the situation efficiently. I thanked them then for their kind consideration and I thank them again here.

§ Matt Tauber didn’t like the crowd and coined the term “future disappointees” for people standing in a line which they will not get to the end of, but overall he had a swell time too.

§ Is Frank Miller’s Holy Terror! an Islamophobic publication? the matter is getting aired:

“We are witnessin

3 Comments on Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 10/26/11, last added: 10/26/2011
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37189. JAPANESE - cocoena

cocoena is a japanese online shop that specialise in bringing products from america and europe to the marketplace in japan. they are currently stocking lots of lovely galison christmas lines as well as brands such as sukie, girl of all work, paperchase, and natalie lete.

1 Comments on JAPANESE - cocoena, last added: 10/26/2011
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37190. Reader tries digital comics, likes digital comics

201110260245 Reader tries digital comics, likes digital comics
Mike Romo writes over at iFanboy that things have changed since he purchased an iPad.

So, it’s been a little over a month since I really tried out digital comics on my iPad. Over this time, I have mentioned a few observations in my articles, and, much to my chagrin, over this time I have become a full convert to digital comics. With this article I wanted to share, hopefully one last time, some thoughts on what digital comics is bringing to fans of the medium.

Among the plusses — easier to find back issues, comics look better and…NO BENT PAGES.

There’s much murmuring and head nodding in the comments. Having recently purchased an iPad ourselves, it’s hard not to share his enthusiasm for a device which removes the need for a house full of comics boxes.

The paradigm shift is well underway.

15 Comments on Reader tries digital comics, likes digital comics, last added: 10/26/2011
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37191. YA Books I've Enjoyed

I love Young Adult Literature but I don't have time to read a ton of it. Keeping up with K-5 books takes up most of my reading life. But I LOVE YA so I try to read several each year.   Last year, I attended ALAN at NCTE and that helped get me a bit more up-to-date on the new titles and authors out there.   I looked back at my Goodreads account and I've read about a dozen YA Novels over the last year or so.  I feel like I've been lucky with my YA reads this year.  If you are looking for some great YA, here are some of the ones I've enjoyed this year:

MATCHED by Ally Condie was a favorite this year. My 12 year old and I both loved this one.

 We are VERY excited about the sequel, CROSSED, which comes out next week.

SHINE by Lauren Myracle was a powerful read.  Not an easy read but an important book.

MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN was a unique read and the way it was put together was fascinating.  The real photos embedded through the book made the book seem real.  A great fantasy.

A MONSTER CALLS by Patrick Ness is another powerful read.  It was the first book I'd read by this author and I am hooked.

THE PULL OF GRAVITY by Gae Polisner is another favorite.

And I LOVED my most recent YA Read, THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS by Rae Carson.

Two others I loved were CHIME by Franny Billingsley and ALSO KNOWN AS ROWAN POHI by Ralph Fletcher.

3 Comments on YA Books I've Enjoyed, last added: 10/27/2011
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37192. Author Spotlight on: Martha Alderson

I’ve written before about Martha Alderson and her helpful YouTube series on plot. Today I'm talking to Martha about her new book, THE PLOT WHISPERER: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master (Adams Media, October 2011). It's out just in time to inspire all of you getting ready to start National Novel Writing Month next week.

How did you become the Plot Whisperer?
The light bulb moment when plot became clear to me took about ten years to snap on. First came trial and error with my own writing, attending writing workshops and classes, and reading every book on writing I could get my hands on. But… the actual moment arrived when I volunteered at a writing workshop for children. Thanks to my background as a special education therapist, I completed a task analysis of the skills required of the students and developed a simple handout to support the children’s writing experience.

One of the first questions I asked the children to answer was who is the main character? (Character emotional development, inner plot)
The second question asked what does the main character want? (Dramatic action, external plot)

The simplicity of those two questions hooked me and since then I’ve been racing to keep up. I began analyzing all sorts of novels, memoirs and screenplays for plot and structure. I was so excited about my finding that I wanted to share the plot ideas with other writers. When I started plot consulting with writers from all over the world, I become the Plot Whisperer.

You’ve been teaching people about plot for nearly 15 years, through workshops, books and dvds. How is this book different from your previous offerings?
Thank you for asking this question! The plot bliss I’ve been swept up in for all these years has deepened as I began to deepen my understanding the universality of our shared journey together. Now I’m passionate to share the story beneath the story.

Just as a writer can push aside her words to see the deeper meaning of her story, anyone can push aside the drama of her own personal life to see the deeper meaning at play and what supports her efforts and what depletes her.

The Plot Whisperer book conveys that deeper meaning and points out how to direct your choices in ways that best supports you in achieving your personal long-term goals in life.

I watch your YouTube videos when I get stuck or need inspiration. What made you decide to create those – for free?

I’m so pleased you use the Plot Series as inspiration! A joy to hear. Thank you.

No, thank you! They've been so helpful.
13 Comments on Author Spotlight on: Martha Alderson, last added: 10/29/2011
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37193. Miscellaneous

Book Chat 44 is scheduled for Saturday, November 5, 11:00 AM eastern. The book is The Serialist, by David Gordon. It's a mystery/thriller about a writer and a man convicted of being a serial killer. The author plans to attend the chat.

Those who regularly attend the book chats may be interested to know that November 1 is the day I am Half-Sick of Shadows, the 4th book in the Flavia de Luce mystery series by Alan Bradley hits bookstores. We read book 1, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie earlier this year.

Also, The Marbury Lens (Book Chat 41) has won the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association Award for best children's novel, and its author (Andrew Smith) has a middle grade book titled Stick now out.

Anyone who's planning to do NaNo- WriMo this November could do worse than come up with your first sentence now and submit it to Hannah Rogers, Literary Agent. If your first sentence is a loser it'll drag the whole book down and you'll quit after 6,000 words. While Hannah normally gives feedback on the first sentence of completed novels, she's happy to help you hone your opening sentence for NaNo -- assuming her feedback and your sentence fit into one tweet. I know of people who waited till November 1 to start thinking about their first sentence, writer's block set in, and they had to write the whole novel in 11 days. Which was so discouraging they said, Screw it.

Openings and queries are in short supply. And as they trickle in, continuations and fake plots will be needed.

3 Comments on Miscellaneous, last added: 10/27/2011
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37194. MonsterFest 2011 and ROW80

MonsterFest 2011
In the 90’s I was frightened by the idea of aliens, greys to be specific. Several real-life alien shows about sightings and abductions were playing on TV. Also, I was reading Whitley Strieber’s non-fiction books on alien abductions…it was so hard sleeping at night after reading COMMUNION and TRANSFORMATION. I wouldn't look out the window at night because I thought they were out there, hovering above my house or lying in wait in my backyard. To top it off, I had sleep paralysis at the time. So, naturally, when I experienced this I thought the greys were in my bedroom ready to abduct me (but I assure you, this did not happen).

This is my second MonsterFest 2011 post and I decided to blog about these creatures. Greys are not traditional monsters—ghosts, witches, goblins, and the like—but they are scary. There’s something about their big, black eyes that creep me out, not to mention that they abduct people. Below is some information I dug up. Don't open the links if you're more of a scaredy-cat than me. 

Physical Attributes
  • about four feet tall
  • large head
  • large, dark, almond-shaped eyes
  • slender bodies
  • three or four fingers on each hand
41 Comments on MonsterFest 2011 and ROW80, last added: 10/29/2011
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37195. where the feeling stays

I've had the idea for this drawing in my head for so long now, for at least a year, but it's been a real struggle to get it down on paper.
As soon as the idea came to me, probably in the shower, I felt it could look really great.
I put an outline of a couple of pairs of legs on the page and then left it.
At some point later I coloured in those legs but I still wasn't feeling it. So, I left it some more.
When I'd decided that my next zine was going to be about drawing with a four colour ballpoint I knew that that's the direction I should go with this.
This would be one of the 'big' drawings of the new zine.
Finally, over the last few days I sat down and finished it.
Which was when I really got into it.
Then I found myself thinking "why didn't you get into this sooner? I'm enjoying this drawing sooo much".
Welcome to my world.

10 Comments on where the feeling stays, last added: 10/29/2011
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37196. DESIGNER - allistair burt

allistair burt is an architect/artist based in glasgow where he has worked with a colleague under the banner of 'hole in my pocket' on a range of different projects over the past few years from films to political movements. allistair has shown paintings, prints, sculpture and book art at exhibitions throughout the UK and has recently developed a range of greetings cards, mugs, t-shirts and other

2 Comments on DESIGNER - allistair burt, last added: 10/26/2011
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37197. Demystifying Genre

by Deren Hansen

In an early episode of The Appendix, a writing podcast, Robison Wells, Sarah Eden, and Marion Jensen discussed choosing a genre.

Marion Jensen said, "When you pick a genre, you've got to pick something  that you like. It's kind of like picking a career."

That's right, writers. No pressure. Just like the end of high school when well-meaning people like guidance counselors and parents say, "Now that you've spent your life listening to us tell you what to do, it's time for you to make a decision, oh and by the way, this decision will have life-long consequences."

Choosing the genre in which you'll write is a critical decision only if you succeed.


Because with each book you publish you create precedents and build expectations among your growing circle of readers. It's not that you can never try anything different, but imagine the hue and cry if J. K. Rowling decided she wanted to write gritty detective stories full of graphic sex and violence.

The advice about picking a genre is better understood in terms of setting up shop someplace where you're comfortable because you could be spending a lot of time there.

One of the reasons this seems like a big deal is because genre is to kind as veal is to beef. This is another in a long series of cases where we have two words in English with the same meaning, but the Latinate, or more specifically French, version sounds more sophisticated.

Repeat after me, "Genre means kind." It's nothing more or less complicated than deciding what kind of books your book ought to be shelved or grouped with.

And why does that matter?

Because you're hoping to take advantage of recommendation engines, whether human or automatic, that will suggest someone might like your book if they liked something similar.

Put another way, in terms of publishing being a market, genre is shorthand for your audience.

That's why you must decide on your genre: you must know your audience and their expectations.

Deren blogs daily at The Laws of Making.

1 Comments on Demystifying Genre, last added: 10/26/2011
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37198. Price drop

We have cut the price of my book The first in Line (due to the fact that the Dollar has become stronger towards the Swedish Krona). It now costs 44$ (thanks all who have already bought it)

3 Comments on Price drop, last added: 10/27/2011
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37199. It's Almost Halloween!

I found a few pieces of Halloween art I did a few years ago and I thought I would repost 1 or 2 of them again (since I haven't had time this month!)

1 Comments on It's Almost Halloween!, last added: 10/26/2011
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37200. The Wikkeling (MG)

The Wikkeling. Steven Arntson. Illustrated by Daniela J. Terrazzini. 2011. Running Kids Press. 235 pages.

Prologue: The Old City lies on a long, low hill. It is dangerous and dilapidated.

Chapter one: "Sensible students succeed splendidly!" said Ms. Span, a primly dressed teacher sitting behind a computer at the front of the class, her thick, black eyebrows arching over the top of her reading glasses. "Yes, Ms. Span!" said the students. They sat in neat rows that filled the room, faces lit yellow from the light of their own computers.

I'm not sure that The Wikkeling is right for every reader, but I think some readers will find it deliciously creepy and haunting. This dystopian fantasy focuses on education, on the education system. (Though the focus isn't exclusively on schools and classrooms and tests. We do get a wider glimpse of this society, and all the "corrections" they've made.)

In this society, almost every one lives in the Addition, lives in plastic houses, I believe. But that isn't the case for our heroine, Henrietta, or her much younger friend, Rose. She still lives with her family in an older house, though there is still pressure for them all to move to a safer house, a house that wouldn't be a 'danger'. And, Rose, well, she lives in a GREAT place. But that is a big, big secret. These two are friends with Gary, Ms. Span's son. And these three discover something mysteriously wonderful in Henrietta's attic. And it all begins with a discovery of a cat.

I enjoyed this one. I'm not sure I loved it exactly. It was a little too weird. (Like Coraline was a little too weird for me to love.) But I certainly enjoyed it; I'm glad I read it. I think this novel had a great blend to it. I definitely found it interesting. And the chapter on the test is a great example of that. (I also loved the relationship between Henrietta and her grandfather, and how he becomes involved in this mystery.)

© 2011 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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