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Viewing: Blog Posts from All 1540 Blogs, since 12/19/2007 [Help]
Results 37,176 - 37,200 of 161,226
37176. NYCC 2011: Behind the Green Door (or: I Am Curious (Black))


L SimpsonsSTGCC 200x150 NYCC 2011: Behind the Green Door (or: I Am Curious (Black))Lance Fensterman, “Chief Dude” of ReedPOP and the New York Comic Con, has been blogging like crazy the past few weeks, highlighting panels, announcing cancellations, and stuffing goody bags.

One thing which has been overlooked:  A new paradigm for dealing with the crushing crowds expected this week at the New York Comic Con.  100,000 attendees are expected.  New Yorkers have perfected the art of standing in line and consider it a sacred secular experience.

So, ReedPOP has created a map to help everyone navigate the convention center quickly and with a minimum of grumbling.  (Yeah, we like to complain.  About anything.  It allows us to let off steam while avoiding jail time.)  It involves doors and colors and when you got your ticket and what sort of ticket you have or need.

Here’s the post explaining the layout.

Here’s the map.

And here’s a copy, in case your Mother Box cannot handle PDFs.  North (uptown) is to the right.

NYCC 2011 Queue Maps NYCC 2011: Behind the Green Door (or: I Am Curious (Black))All of these booths are on Level Two, where the big long concourse is located.

I could explain who goes where with what, but you really should read Lance’s post.  He also answers any question you may have.

One warning:  Friday, there will be no queueing inside the building.  Dress accordingly.

2 Comments on NYCC 2011: Behind the Green Door (or: I Am Curious (Black)), last added: 10/9/2011
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37177. What have you read recently that’s great?

Each year at the midwinter ALA conference, a variety of children’s books and media awards are announced at the ALA Youth Media Awards. This press conference is attended by 1500 or so interested children’s librarians, book publicists, editors, and other children’s literature enthusiasts. It is the culmination of a year’s worth of reading by dedicated committees committed to selecting the best of the best.

Called by some the “Oscars of children’s literature,” these awards create much speculation by book lovers around the country. Much of the fun of these awards is all the reading and talking in the months leading up to the announcements about the excellent new books being published.  The speculation about what might win these major awards – especially the Caldecott and the Newbery – has spawned a wide range of blogs and conjecture focusing on these topics. At my library, we use a Mock Caldecott blog and a  Mock Newbery blog  to help our customers begin to think about titles which may be contenders. The speculation about what might win has spawned a wide range of blogs around the country which focus on these topics. Here is a sampling:

And, of course, there are the well-known and equally well-loved bloggers who post their own predictions like Elizabeth Bird over at Fuse # 8 Productions or Laura, a 6th grader who blogs about books at Laura’s Life.

It’s time for the discussions and speculation to begin in earnest. Are there blogs you follow to stay on top of great new books to read?  What books have you read that you think are really strong this year?

1 Comments on What have you read recently that’s great?, last added: 10/11/2011
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37178. Four Widows and an Opening

At tonight's opening of a group show at the Swains Lane Gallery, London N6 6 QX, where I'm exhibiting four watercolours from the Scottish Widows series.

2 Comments on Four Widows and an Opening, last added: 10/9/2011
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37179. Unslakeable Process

These are the sketches I provided to the art director for The Unslakeable. This lover of dark magic didn't have nearly enough melted skin, so I had to fix that for the final.

1 Comments on Unslakeable Process, last added: 10/9/2011
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37180. This Sunday's round-up of middle grade fantasy and sci fi

Every week, I scour the blogs (at least, those that are in my reader, a list that is getting longer and longer) to extract posts of interest to fans of middle grade fantasy and science fiction. Here's what I found this week (please let me know if I missed your post, or the posts of your friends and family! Send me links at any time during the week!)

But first. Nominations for the Cybils close on the fifteenth of October. Many fine books have been put forward in middle grade sci fi/fantasy, but I've pulled together a list of books that haven't been nominated, just to remind people who might love them passionately that they aren't on the list yet.

The Reviews:

Airborn, by Kenneth Oppel, at The Secret Adventures of Writer Girl

The Apothecary, by Malie Meloy, at Karissa's Reading Review, Shall Write, and Boomerang Books

A Beautiful Friendship, by David Weber, at Book Aunt (Kate, aka Book Aunt, wrote to tell me that this is a good one for middle grade readers, even though it's listed as YA, so here it is)

Behemoth, by Scott Westerfeld, at YA Bibliophile

The Blue Umbrella, by Mike Mason, at Back to Books

Bigger than a Breadbox, by Laurel Snyder, at Stacked

Breadcrumbs, by Anne Ursu, at A Backwards Story, The Book Rat, Galley Smith, and The Book Smugglers

The Cheshire Cheese Cat, by Carmen Agra Deedy and Randall Wright, at My Reading Frenzy, Random Musings of a Bibliophile, and There's a Book

The Crimson Shard, by Teresa Flavin, at Nayu's Reading Corner

Darwen Arkwright and the Peregrine Pact, by A.J. Hartley, at Lucy Was Robbed

Diamonds and Doom (The Raven Mysteries) by Marcus Sedgwick, at Wondrous Reads

Down the Mysterly River, by Bill Willingham, at The King of Elfland's Second Cousin

Flood and Fire, by Emily Diamond, at Charlotte's Library

Icefall, by Matthew Kirby (it might not

3 Comments on This Sunday's round-up of middle grade fantasy and sci fi, last added: 10/12/2011
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37181. Show of hands: Who colors?

I spent a couple of FANTASTIC days this past week at Austin Academy for Excellence, a magnet middle school in…

10 Comments on Show of hands: Who colors?, last added: 10/10/2011
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37182. Meet PACYA

I’m excited to help spread the word about a new organization dedicated to promoting poetry for young people: Poetry Advocates for Children & Young Adults or PACYA for short. It’s the brainchild of poet, teacher, and blogger Steven Withrow and includes an advisory board of 17 people (including yours truly). Steven has ambitious plans and has already established a lively blog (“Poetry at Play”), web site, and presence on Facebook. Look for heaps of information including resource booklists, a “Poet of the Week,” a calendar, and related links. There’s even a Suggestion Box, so please chime in.

Poetry at Play: http://poetryadvocates.wordpress.com/

As you’ll seen on the site, PACYA’s goals are BIG!

We are dedicated to:
1. Speaking out for the need to engage with poetry at every age level—and addressing the challenges of doing so.
2. Creating a global online hub for news, reviews, essays, and interviews; learning/scholarly resources; communication and networking; audiovisual archives; collaborative projects; and more.
3. Organizing and promoting readings, awards, workshops, and conferences in North America and internationally.

PACYA has several projects underway, including the development of teaching guides and a comprehensive listing of 2011 titles with commentary and links. I expect great things, so stay tuned!

Image credit: Steven Withrow

Posting by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2011. All rights reserved.

3 Comments on Meet PACYA, last added: 10/11/2011
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37183. What Do I Do With My Writing Time? The 80/20 Equation

I recently read an issue of The Writer Magazine at the library, and one of the articles caught my attention. The main point of the article was that you should spend most of your writing time on what you write for money like magazine articles, business newsletters, blog posts, or whatever writing income stream you have found. According to the article, about 80% of your writing time should be spent on pieces that will make you “instant” money, instead of royalties later on down the road.

The other 20% should be reserved for your creative side—that poem you’ve been thinking about since you went for a walk in your old neighborhood, the novel you’re rewriting, or a short story to send to a contest.

This “theory” makes perfect sense until I try to put it into practice. One of my main problems is that I want the pieces I write during my 20% “creative time” to be my main income stream, but I don’t feel like I spend enough time on them. How will these stories and novels ever be successful if I’m only spending 20% of my time on them? The real problem is that this creative time is probably more like 3 to 5 percent of my writing time, instead of 20, when I figure in e-mail, marketing, and networking, too.

So, as writers do, I decided to make a list, full of tips and tricks to make sense of balancing my writing income work with my creative, hopefully-someday-income-gathering, writing. I hope that some of these tips and tricks can help you if you face this same dilemma, and together we can become more balanced writers.

Plan With Your Daily Calendar
If I sit down at the computer without a plan, I waste a lot of time. So, this year, I invested in a calendar with large spaces for each day where I can clearly write what I want to work on. The calendar has two days on every page, so a two-page spread shows four days of the week. This calendar’s organization really helps me see if I’m planning to write for money and creativity in the same four-day spread.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy writing, any writing. So, I’m not saying this 80% "business writing" is not fun and enjoyable--it’s just a different type of writing. If you write fiction and poetry AND you write non-fiction articles, you know what I’m talking about. I just love writing!

On each day of my four-day calendar spread, I make a note to work on some sort of creative, currently non-income writing, such as writing a chapter of my YA novel or revising and sending out a picture book manuscript. This is my 20%. Now, I haven’t mathematically figured out if m

9 Comments on What Do I Do With My Writing Time? The 80/20 Equation, last added: 10/11/2011
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37184. PiBoIdMo 2011 is coming!

Yes, it’s almost time for the 30-picture-book-ideas-in-30-days challenge, otherwise known as PiBoIdMo! The picture book writer’s alternative to NaNoWriMo will kick off the last week in October and continue through the month of November.

In late October you’ll be able to sign up, grab a badge for your blog and social networks, and get ready for some awesome prizes! There will be critiques from published authors, feedback from literary agents, original illustrations by picture book arists, signed books, jewelry, journals, and who knows what else! You’ll also be able to purchase PiBoIdMo merchandise with the proceeds benefitting book charities. So get those notebooks ready!

In the meantime, here’s a Halloween greeting. I hope to see you for PiBoIdMo soon!

6 Comments on PiBoIdMo 2011 is coming!, last added: 10/12/2011
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37185. Failure Floats

Sinkers and Floaters.

This summer we made an entire fleet 
of homemade boats.
We wanted to see which would be the most seaworthy.

If you're an artist or writer, you may be able to relate.

How do you view what you've made - 

as experiments, 
or tiny pieces of your soul?

Too often as a writer, 
I send out tiny pieces of my soul I like to call 

My manuscript souls wobble out into the blue -

some of them proud and brave, 
others nervously checking their rigging,
desperate to sail smooth waters.

But when those manuscript soul pieces,
(dare I call them horocruxes?)
hit bad seas 
or... or...


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37186. This Week in Books 10/8/11

This week! Books!

What a week.

Now that I'm the social media manager at CNET rather than a literary agent (Note for emphasis: Not a literary agent. No more queries, pleaaasssseeee!!!), I'm at the whims of the tech news cycle and it doesn't get much bigger than this week. I've had my nose to a screen pretty much nonstop.

The life of Steve Jobs has been endlessly parsed and discussed and debated since his passing (here's a massively comprehensive roundup from CNET), and it's amazing how deep his influence runs. To just take one little corner of the world, the publishing industry, he had a massive impact. For someone who famously said that no one reads anymore, he sure shook up the book world.

The iPad ushered in a completely new way of reading that will transform books forever. Sure, e-ink readers are still popular, but tablets will soon be ubiquitous and we'll increasingly do our reading not on paper but on screens.

And even beyond the reading experience, the app store model is now how the Big 6 publishers sell their e-books, resulting in curiosities like e-books sometimes costing more than hardcovers. His influence is everywhere.

We lost a great innovator way too soon. He'll definitely be missed.

Meanwhile, I managed to snag some links from the past few weeks in between all the frantic tweeting and Facebook posting I've been doing for work, and here they be. Oh, and for all the latest tech news (and to see what I do for my day job, follow CNET on Facebook and Twitter!)

First up, it sure seems that interest in self-publishing is running very high, if the fantastic comments on last Thursday's post are any indication. And agent Sarah LaPolla had a really awesome week of posts on all things self-publishing. First was her own take on the self-publishing landscape (along with three valid worries about it), and then some really great interviews with Marilyn Peake, Tracy Marchini, Karen Amanda Hooper, and Michelle Davidson Argyle. Check it out!

Dare I say blog fatigue is setting in among the bloggerati? Author Natalie Whipple admitted that she's tired of blogging (Internet negativity being a big factor), and none other than J.A. Konrath is taking an indefinite hiatus, saying he's tired of screaming. I'll post more about this on Monday - speaking personally I haven't lost the blogging love, but logistically it's definitely hard to keep up.

In writing advice news, the Children's Literature Network has an amazing collection of thoughts on voice, editor Alan Rinzler has advice on 18 Comments on This Week in Books 10/8/11, last added: 10/11/2011

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37187. Finding Inspiration

No Longer Needed, 16 x 20" o/c
On Monday I went back to the nursery to get another quick shot of something I had planned to paint, then guiltily lingered a bit and at the last minute noticed this chair. The owners really have an eye for placing old things in beautiful settings, and I couldn't pass up such a great subject. Which goes to show that allowing ourselves our "artist's dates" and time to wander really is productive.

While I did flop my photo and manipulate a number of things, I probably did not simplify it as much as I should have. Ironically, the more the pressure is on to "produce," the more I tighten up. I don't know how to classify this. Is it a landscape or a still life?

2 Comments on Finding Inspiration, last added: 10/9/2011
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37188. Real Simple Article on the Best Pens

This headline caught my eye!

"The Best Pens" 

Ahhh, I can hear my writer's heart singing at these beauties. Time to go shopping for a new pen, I think.

1 Comments on Real Simple Article on the Best Pens, last added: 10/9/2011
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37189. 1st 5 Pages October Workshop - Entry #5, Rev 1

Linda Jackson
Middle Grade

My best friend Danielle frowns and yanks her lip gloss from my hand.
“Where were you when God was giving out lips?” she asks.

But before I can answer, she takes a tissue from her purse and starts scrubbing my lips like a crazy woman. “You got lip gloss everywhere, girl. I swear you got the thinnest lips I ever saw.”

I lean forward and let her fix my lips. “I don’t get to practice all the time like you do,” I mumble.

My mama never lets me wear makeup, not even lip gloss. She says eleven is too young for makeup, because it might draw attention from the wrong people. She really means boys.

Danielle’s mama has been letting her wear makeup since fifth grade.
She’s cool like that. My mama, I’m sorry to say, has been around my great-aunt Millie too long. And those old-fashioned ways have rubbed off on her. So that’s why every morning I meet up in the restroom with Danielle and her second best friend B. J. and put on some of Danielle’s makeup.

Since Danielle is glossing my lips, B. J. has to throw in her two cents. She hates being ignored. So she smiles a mean smile and says, “She was probably off somewhere looking for a doughnut. And by the time she looked up, God had run out of lip-making material.”

Now that was stupid. I don’t even like doughnuts. She always says the dumbest things. So I say something smart back to her. “I might’ve been in the same place you were when he was giving out cute faces.”

But before I can pat myself on the back for roasting her, B. J. plants her hands on her hips and looks me up and down. I know she’s found something to crack on me when that ugly smile pops up again. She pops her gum real loud then nods and says, “I see you came around twice when he was giving out chins though.”

Then she just cracks up, like her jokes are so funny.

“Whatever,” I say.

But B. J. is still cracking up. I could check her again about her ugly face. But she already knows that I hate being plump way more than she hates being ugly.

B. J. looks just like her grandma. And I don’t mean she has her features. I mean B. J. has an old woman’s face, but without wrinkles.
It’s hard to explain. But trust me. B. J. looks like an old woman—an old woman with Beyonce’s body.

“There,” Danielle says, turning me to face the mirror. “Perfect.”

I nod and smile. Danielle has the magic touch.

B. J. frowns at me in the mirror but doesn’t say anything.

“You look good, Ken Kim,” Danielle assures me.

B. J. smirks.

“Whatever,” I mumble.

B. J. leans back and gives me that look again. She crosses her arms over her perfect chest and sneers. “Maybe you can get some of that fat sucked out of them cheeks and injected into them paper-thin lips,” she says, cracking up again.

It doesn’t even bother her that she’s the only one laughing.

“Stop hatin’, B. J.,” Danielle says.

B. J. slings her purse over her shoulder and heads toward the door.
Victory is written all over her ugly face. “Ain’t nothing to hate,”
she says.

Danielle sees the tears coming before I can turn my head. “Girl, you better not start crying. You know that mascara ain’t waterproof.”

She snaps open her purse and hands me a tissue.

I carefully dab my eyes. “Why does she hate me?” I murmur.

Danielle puts her makeup back into her purse and gives me her you-know-you’re-my-best-best-friend smile. And I try to smile back.

“She doesn’t hate you,” Danielle says. “She’s just jealous.”

“Jealous? Seriously, Danielle.” I step back and let her take a good look at my blouse hugging the roll of fat around my waist.

Danielle flashes a devilish grin. “Yeah, but look at that face,” she says.

We both

7 Comments on 1st 5 Pages October Workshop - Entry #5, Rev 1, last added: 10/12/2011
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37190. In My Mailbox (35)

What is "In My Mailbox"?In My Mailbox is a weekly meme. What is a meme, you ask. The simple description is  "an idea that spreads quickly." Usually the creator of the meme asks for other people to participate and ultimately link back to the person that started the meme. Memes shouldn't be confused with "features." There are some features that are somewhat exclusive to certain blogs, be courteous and don't steal content.

The idea of In My Mailbox is to bring books to the attention of our blog readers and to encourage interaction with other blogs.  Here's what I got this week, how about you?

                     I'm going to start with the big one!
A tremendous amount of thanks and lots of *hugs* for
Crimson Oak Publishing!
Thank you to all of YOU out there as well for helping me earn it! :)
HUGS for everybody!

For review:

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37191. In My Mailbox 10.9.11

In My Mailbox is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. For In My Mailbox, book bloggers post about the books they got that week in the mail, from the book store, the library, etc. Here's our IMM for the week of 10.2.11 - 10.8.11.

Sweetly by Jackson Pearce (signed)

Thanks to Jackson Pearce.

For review/giveaway:
In the Forests of the Night by Kersten Hamilton
If I Tell by Janet Gurtler
I'm Not Her by Janet Gurtler
Going Underground by Susan Vaught

Thank you to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Sourcebooks, and Bloomsbury Teen

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles
Shut Out by Kody Keplinger
The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore
A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan
Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick
Modelland by Tyra Banks
The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

xoxo and love always,

Shelbie and Amanda

3 Comments on In My Mailbox 10.9.11, last added: 10/9/2011
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37192. Items Found Above the Bathroom Ceiling in Room 215, Best Western North, Wichita Kansas

1.      Areceipt from Wal-Mart, smudged and illegible except for the date, 5/6/11, andthe word “bakery”
2.      Twocondoms, without wrappers, dry
3.      Arazor blade, two-sided, rusted with a dark brown crust on one side
4.      Aplastic bag, quart size Ziploc, containing $5,000 in small bills (20s, 10s,5s), bound with a rubber band
5.      Threeempty syringes, 100 cc, plastic tube with stainless steel needles, empty
6.      Onehuman finger (presumably female), severed from the 1st metacarpo-phalangeal joint,wrapped in plastic, fingernail painted (chipped) with candy apple red
5 Comments on Items Found Above the Bathroom Ceiling in Room 215, Best Western North, Wichita Kansas, last added: 10/11/2011
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37193. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #240: Featuring Kevin Hawkes

“The strange old owl awakens / in the middle of the night, / looks up at the moon / that’s already out of sight, / polishes his glasses, / gives the cat a wink, /
and writes these silly poems / with invisible ink.”

(Click to see entire spread)

I’m happy to be highlighting a wonderful poetry collection today, a picture book called A Little Bitty Man and Other Poems for the Very Young, published by Candlewick in August. This is poetry from Danish poet Halfdan Rasmussen, who was known during his career for his playful children’s verses, as well as his poetry for adults, often about social issues and human rights issues. Before his death in 2002, he granted Marilyn Nelson—poet, children’s book author, translator, and National Book Award finalist—permission to produce English versions of his works. Pamela Espeland joined Marilyn in translating this collection of verses for children, and illustrator Kevin Hawkes provides the altogether joyous and inviting pastel illustrations, rendered in acrylic and charcoal pencil.


14 Comments on 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #240: Featuring Kevin Hawkes, last added: 10/11/2011
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37194. The Cat's Table/Michael Ondaatje: Reflections

What is it that I want from a Michael Ondaatje novel?  What is it that I get?  Why, in a week of grave disappointments and disillusionment, did I feel that little could save me from my own dark sink except for this man and his words?

Does he write perfect novels?  No, perhaps not; wouldn't that be a bore?  Does he write atmospheric, human ones—books that, with their slow spill of language, their lush So So So, their abutted chapters and strange place names, their oddities of plant life, their sacred spectral skies, swoon beneath the reader's eye?  Yes.  He does.  Has Ondaatje himself always been there, right beneath the lines—so close you can hear him breathing?  God, yes and absolutely.  Michael Ondaatje is that rare, rare thing:  a writer crushingly alive. 

I don't care if he gets the plots right.  I don't care what the plots are.  I will let someone else tell you about the voyage that is his brand-new book, The Cat's Eye.  How it is a first-person story with a narrator named Michael who comes from a place called Ceylon.  How it is fiction nonetheless, a story about three boys, 11 of age or so, who spend 21 days on a boat called the Oronsay.  They eat at the Cat's Table, where the lesser among the passengers sit.  They make trouble of their own and find the trouble others make.  It awakens them.  It crushes and folds and shapes them. It lives with them, later—close to the surface or buried deep.  There are mysteries involved.

Let others tell you this.

All I want is to say that, yes, Michael Ondaatje saves me.  It is the way he conducts his portrait-making.  The simple. The exotic. The yearned after.
What was I in those days? I recall no outside imprint, and therefore no perception of myself. If I had to invent one photograph of myself from childhood, it would be of a barefoot boy in shorts and a cotton shirt, with a couple of friends from the village, running along the mildewed wall that separated the house and garden in Boralesgamuwa from the traffic on the High Level Road. Or it would be of me alone, waiting for them, looking away from the house of the dusty street.
It's the way he captures, in all he writes, the power of the word:
I would visit that smoky room if the day was dull, and he would at some point begin reading to me. It was the anonymity of the stories and the poems that went deepest into me. And the curl of a rhyme was something new. I had not thought to believe he was actually quoting something written with care, in some far country, centuries earlier. He had lived in Colombo all his life, and his manner and accent were a product of the island....
It is the way he teaches that we can all rise again. That we can reshape ourselves and be reshaped.  We can be reborn:
...because in a breaker's yard you discover anything can have a new life, be reborn as part of a car or railway carriage, or a shovel blade.  You take that older life and you link it to a stranger.

6 Comments on The Cat's Table/Michael Ondaatje: Reflections, last added: 10/10/2011
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37195. Author Interview & Book Giveaway: Crossroads by Mary Ting & Necklace

Welcome to Author Mary Ting.

Mary Ting resides in Southern California with her husband and two children. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Writing Crossroads was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother. It was inspired by a dream she once had as a young girl.

Author's Blog. http://marytingbooks.blogspot.com/
Website: http://www.marytingcrossroads.com


What is one book everyone should read?
The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. I cried so much!!! I can’t imagine writing this book knowing you will never see your family again. As my kids grow up, I would urge them to read this book.

If you could have any superpower what would you choose?
I would love to be able to fly. I could fly to Paris for lunch…hehe!!!

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
Crossroads is about love and friendship know no boundaries.

Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
I am currently working on the sequel to Crossroads.

What inspired you to want to become a writer?
I was never inspired to become a writer. Writing Crossroads was a way for me to heal the death of my grandmother. Stephenie Meyer has also inspired me as well. Twilight was based on her dreams and I based my story on my dreams.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
I’ve meet so many wonderful people around the world. Many of them have become my friends. Friendship knows no boundaries for sure.

What is your dream cast for your book?
Claudia-Nina Debrov
Michael-Ben Barnes
Davin-Channing Tatum
Vivian-Megan Fox
Caleb-Chase Crawford
Patty-Amanda Seyfried
Philip-Orlando Bloom
Agnes-Courtney Cox
Margaret-Angelina Jolie
Gamma-Susan Sarandon
Aden-Huge Jackman

What was your favorite book when you were a child/teen?
I loved reading Judy Blume and V.C. Andrew series.

What's one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
Write all your thoughts down. Ask your friends to read your draft. And most importantly, believe that you can!!!

What is your favorite Quote?
I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. Maya Angelou

Can you see yourself in any of your characters?
Though I don’t like to admit it, Claudia is just like me. Her experiences are my personal experiences…first car, first job, first time camping, but too bad there was so Michael when I was in high school…lol!!!

Hidden talent?
I oil paint. I once painted the cover of New Moon. I sold it for $100 at a Twilight convention. I also make jewelries. My friends and I started a website called www.inspiredbytwilight.com I also love to dance. I teach a dance routine every year for a talent show for my daughter’s group, the school I work at.

Favorite Candy?
Giant Chewy Sweet Tarts. I can eat one pack as I write…lol!!!

What movie and/or book are you looking forward to this year?
Breaking Dawn

How do you react to a bad review?
I know that my book will not please all. It’s impossible!!! I think about the reasons why I wrote this book

10 Comments on Author Interview & Book Giveaway: Crossroads by Mary Ting & Necklace, last added: 10/12/2011
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37196. Voices by Margot Justes

People often ask where do writers get their ideas? It seems intriguing to come up with a scene, develop characters, plot out the story, bleed repeatedly over every page and finally have a final product.

As the saying goes-truth is stranger than fiction-how many times do we hear a news story and say "I never would have thought of that, or seriously, someone did what?" Talk about suspending your disbelief-just pick up the paper or listen to the news, fiction has nothing on real life.

I don't think I'm the only writer out there in fiction-land that hears voices in my head, and listens as characters hold their own conversations, and clamor for their own stories.

I find it entertaining, and at the same time somewhat of a challenge, because at the most inopportune times they pop in and hold a conversation. That is how a premise for my new novella came about. The secondary characters from A Fire Within demanded their own story, and they will get it.

I don't even have a working title yet, but there have been so many stories about art recently that I won't have a problem selecting what kind of fraud, theft, or forgery I want to write about. The best part, it may be another joint venture with Amy Alessio and Mary Welk, set around Halloween 2012.

I wonder how many of us hear those voices that refuse to remain silent, and wind up in a story.

Till next time,
Margot Justes
A Hotel in Paris

3 Comments on Voices by Margot Justes, last added: 10/8/2011
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37197. BOOKSELLER SUNDAYS – The Essence of the Process, by John Newman of the Newham Bookshop

My Dad always said I should open a bookshop and although we disagreed a good deal about what I should do with my “education” he was absolutely right about me and books. I have been very lucky to have had a relationship with the Newham Bookshop since 1983 after we had set up home in East Ham. It was also around this time that I met Vivian Archer who then ran the Paperback Centre in nearby Green Street and who in 1987 moved over to the shop in the Barking Road where she has presided ever since. I initially worked part-time in the shop but when our second child came along I returned to social work.

It was Vivian who encouraged and supported me to return to bookselling when John and Jean, stalwarts of the children’s shop, began to plan for their retirements. I have never regretted the move for one moment and despite the almost ceaseless changes within the publishing industry I never ever wake up reluctant to go to work! I love living and working in a vibrant and diverse part of London where I spend most of my day enthusing and sharing information about books and reading. My mission has always been to try to bring the best books to the community and to endeavour to ensure children see themselves in the stories and pictures. I value the conversations I have with customers of all ages and the feedback I receive on what worked and what did not! We have been privileged to have been supported by our local community as we look ahead to our 34th year of trading in 2012.

There is a process which I have been involved in on countless occasions. It begins with the arrival of a manuscript or proof copy which I usually open with all the excitement of a child anticipating a long awaited birthday present. It can then lead to attending a launch event where it might be possible to congratulate the new author and wish them and their book well. An event might follow which wherever possible is carefully planned and executed in an effort to ensure everyone benefits from the experience. If all goes well there may be other events with a successive title or even a new series. The venue may need to change to accommodate a bigger audience. The quality and quantity of questions may then encompass matters relating to plot or characters rather then simply the usual round of probing for details of earnings accrued or how long it takes to write a book.

We have been supported by many authors over the years who have regularly returned for events and signings. One of our earliest and most important supporters was the writer and compiler of oral histories Gilda O’Neill who very sadly passed away last year. Gilda was always generous with her time and never missed an opportunity to point people in our direction. Benjamin Zephaniah and Michael Rosen have also been hugely supportive of what we do and our work with them was inspirational in giving us the confidence to develop the events work which is now integral to our business. It is a must for bookshops to cultivate relationships with authors and illustrators and develop mutually supportive ways of working together. It is also vital to have contact with sales reps and it is sad to witness them becoming a diminishing part of the trade. I always look forward to being shown new titles and love the fact that this will often spark off ideas for promotions and activities both within and outside the shop!

Some years ago now Bali Rai was being his usual entertaining self in an event at the central library here in Newham. A young and dedicated teacher had managed to persuade three teenagers who were not keen readers to come along to the after school session. As B

19 Comments on BOOKSELLER SUNDAYS – The Essence of the Process, by John Newman of the Newham Bookshop, last added: 10/10/2011
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37198. a reading, and a play!

Here is Ava!

Her mom tells me Ava's kindergarden class did a play of A Pet for Petunia for some preschoolers. Now that is perfectly awesome!

1 Comments on a reading, and a play!, last added: 10/10/2011
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37199. Three New Editors Added to November 5th & 6th

Daniel Nayeri is an editor at Clarion Books an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. He is interested in picture books, novels, and graphic novels. He is the author of STRAW HOUSE, WOOD HOUSE, BRICK HOUSE, BLOW, published by Candlewick Press. Before that he worked as a professional pastry chef and a stuntman. You will be able to get a signed copy of his book at the end of the day, when we do the book signing with Cheryl Klein, Adam Gustavson, and Leeza Hernandez.

He teaches a senior-level intensive undergrad course for the New York Center for Arts & Media Studies every Fall semester titled, “Publishing and Getting Published,” and he will be coming in on Saturday November 5th to do a picture book workshop for us. He will attend dinner at the end of the day and will conduct one-on-one critiques at our Mentoring Workshop the following day.

TAMRA TULLER, Editor at Philomel Books.

After working for several years in education as an English as a Second Language instructor at Rutgers University, Tamra first got her publishing feet wet in the Scholastic Book Clubs, and then moved on to Scholastic’s trade division at Blue Sky Press. In 2006 Tamra moved to Philomel Books, an imprint of the Penguin Young Readers Group, where she is currently an editor.

She is interested primarily in modern, literary middle grade and young adult fiction as well as story-based picture books. She has worked with such authors as Ruta Sepetys, Kathryn Erskine, Renata Liwska, Beth Kephart, and Barbara Joosse.

Lisa Cheng – Lisa Cheng is an Editor at Running Press Kids, an imprint of Running Press Book Publishers, which is a member of the Perseus Books Group.

Lisa has previously worked at HarperCollins Children’s Books, Atheneum BFYR and Margaret K. McElderry Books at Simon & Schuster, and PlayBac Publishing USA. She has had the pleasure of working with such authors and artists as Michael Spooner, Susan Shaw, Adrienne Maria Vrettos, Lee White, E. B. Lewis, Toni Buzzeo, Joan Hiatt Harlow, and Barbara Odanaka. She is currently seeking novelty and picture books (particularly with fun added elements), and middle grade and teen novels. For novels, she is interested in strongly grounded, compelling voices with broad appeal that immediately connect with the reader.

So we now have 5 editors, 2 agents, an art director, and renowned illustrator joining us on Nov. 6th.

Hope to see you soon,


Filed under: Conferences and Workshops, Editors, Events, How to Tagged: Clarion Books, critiques, Daniel Nayeri, Lisa Cheng, Philomel, Running Press, Tamra Tuller 2 Comments on Three New Editors Added to November 5th & 6th, last added: 10/9/2011
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37200. KidLitCon Seattle: Sessions and Stuff IV

Well, this is embarrassing. I thought I'd finished/posted this and have not been paying attention to notice that was not the case. Kinda shows how things have been going lately. While I could be critical of myself, I will instead focus on the session I attended on critical reviews. (See what I did there?)

Presented by Kelly Jensen and Julia Riley in the room and Abby Johnson and Janssen Brandshaw through the wonders of technology (Skype, I mean. They weren't like robots or anything.), the session took on what we've only spoken about in whispers: what if the book isn't good? The team immediately reframed the conversation from "negative" to "critical" reviews, putting the emphasis on analysis of the book. They covered ways to pull out discussion of pacing, characters, dialogue, plotting, language, phrasing, voice, and content. They reminded us of the need to notice and address whether to share specific content or spoilers, and to think of the audience of both the book and the review in making these decisions. The talked about avoiding snark, which is a little sad for me as my best line is from reviewing a glittery picture book and stating that my hands looked like I had bitch-slapped Tinkerbell.

Jen Robinson and Carol Rasco did a great job covering the many ways to get your blog out into the eyeballs of readers. Jen went through subscriber emails, newsletters, Facebook, Twitter, and Feedblitz. She also talked about following lists and keywords on Twitter - like #kidlit and #cybils - to keep in and be part of the conversation. Carol talked about her own rule-breaking experience in her organization blog for Reading Is Fundamental.

The last session of the day was highly energized, both by the topic of diversity and the moderator, Lee Wind. With incredible authors Brent Hartinger, Sara Ryan, Justina Chen, and Sarah Stevenson. The panel discussion started with the provocative question, "Who has the 'right' to write a minority story?" And it stayed with that honest tone throughout, pointing me to resources like Writing the Other and Microagressions.com. It gave me the idea what is dangerous about stereotypes is that it is a single story that limits, while putting out a multitude of stories expands the experience for the reader. There was much talk about speaking your own truth, and yet also turning to research. Honestly, this is an incredibly hard session to capture as the discussion, the fact that we can have the discussion, was a huge component in itself.

The day ended with a pre-dinner happy hour, where I spent some time with 1 Comments on KidLitCon Seattle: Sessions and Stuff IV, last added: 10/23/2011
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