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37176. Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken

  • Reading Level: Young Adult
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: EgmontUSA; Reprint edition (June 28, 2011)
  • Buy The Book: Amazon

The day the rains came was like any other, blistering air coating the canyon in a heavy stillness...

Just as the rains come after ten long, dry years, a young wizard, Wayland North, appears, to whisk Sydelle Mirabil away from her desert village. North needs an assistant, and Sydelle is eager to see the country--and to join him on his quest to stop the war that surely will destroy her home. But North has secrets--about himself, about why he chose Sydelle, about his real reasons for the journey. What does he want from her? And why does North's sworn enemy seem fascinated by Sydelle himself?

Through a journey that spans a country, magic and hard-won romance are woven together with precision and brilliant design by a first-time novelist.


This book was AWESOMESAUCE! I loved the characters, the settings, the romance, all of it! This is definitely going to be added to my long list of favorites. I really especially liked how there were lots of different scenes, all in different places, it makes it more interesting to me when the author is explaining the scenes constantly. I also liked how the author didn't just instantly make the characters fall in love, they gradually discovered new things about each other and got closer before they fell in love. They only kissed like, twice or three times in the book, which made me happy, I like romance, but not excessive kissing. 

3 Comments on Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken, last added: 10/7/2011
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37177. October? October!


Today I walked to get coffee (PUMPKIN SPICE!) and the trees are turning (SAFFRON COLORED!) and of course it meant I had to break out the sketchbook (AND DRAW!).

Apologies for the effusiveness, but I really, really, really like this time of year. In addition to all the seasonal wonderful-ness, I have some new projects on the drawing table that I'm loving and a head full of ideas.

One of those ideas (one that's been percolating for awhile) is to put together more process videos like I did this Summer. I've had a few people ask about this and after much hemming and hawing, I've gone ahead and set up a Ustream account. If you meander over there, I have a video that I did earlier today, coloring the foliage-loving girl above. I'm hoping in time to do some live broadcasts, so keep an eye out for that as well.

Allright. There's things to be drawn and an apple galette to be baked. Enjoy what's rest of the week and Happy Columbus Day weekend!

2 Comments on October? October!, last added: 10/8/2011
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37178. Holiday Boot Camp

If you're a seller on Etsy...
then you probably know all about the Holiday Boot Camp. It started up two weeks ago, and I always look forward to it.

Original Watercolor Painting - "Lady of the Field
"
I look forward to someone else telling me what I should do to get my business in shape. It's hard running a business by yourself. I do everything (except my taxes, my sister comes over and helps me with the paper work). It's motivating to have a "To Do" list given by people I trust my business with. Now the work is here, and I'm busy as a bee.

But there lies the problem. I am more social this year, I believe, than any other year in my life. I am truly so overwhelmed with blessings that I can't keep up! I have two amazing families...mine and Brian's, a church family that I have bonded to like glue, and even at work I'm really creating relationships with my students...and with the kids at the youth group.

Bookmark - "The Grumpy Troll"
Where does the business fit in all of this? Heh, and I don't even have kids yet! I have a few hours every day to work on it. The "To Do" list feels too big for me.

I took almost 200 photos last week, but every one needs to be tweaked and cropped. Creating inventory takes quite a bit of time! I've come up with some packaging, but folding and cutting takes time. I'm making excuses in a sense, but truly, how do you make time?

I have also been trying to keep myself healthier this year. Brian and I quit smoking around March/April and began walking/going to the gym, eating healthier (which means cooking), and just making smarter choices. One of those is being sure to get at least 6 full hours of sleep every night. I would like it to be 7, but wow...I don't know where that hour is going to come from.

ACEO - "Hollyhock Princess"
Did I mention that I have to paint somewhere in there too? Have you noticed not too many paintings are popping up? And

2 Comments on Holiday Boot Camp, last added: 10/8/2011
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37179. Bella and Stella Go (went) to Washington


Clearly a past due update but still good news! I stole the post from my wife's (Anika Denise-author of many fine books for children) news section and may have added a comment or two.


Bella and Stella Come Home was chosen by the Rhode Island Center for the Book as the Rhode Island submission in the Pavilion of the States at the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C. (that took place) on September 24, 2011.

The book will be 1 Comments on Bella and Stella Go (went) to Washington, last added: 10/9/2011
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37180. iSad indeed




found here

9 Comments on iSad indeed, last added: 10/7/2011
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37181. Guest Post: Who Did What When?



Today I've got a guest post by author Jo Ramsey.  Thanks for contributing Jo!

I’ve askedmyself that question a number of times—about my own books. That’s one of theproblems you contend with when you decide to write a series.
I currently havetwo young adult series available, Reality Shift and The Dark Lines (bothpublished by Jupiter Gardens Press, http://www.jupitergardens.com).I’m currently, at an editor’s request, planning a third series forFeatherweight Press, and just submitted a novel to Featherweight that I suspectwill become a series.
That’s a lot ofseries, and the only one that was intended to be one was Reality Shift. Theothers just kind of happened.
Writing a seriestakes a lot of work, and only some of that work is actually writing thestories. The rest is all about organization. I’ve been amazed by how manyseemingly minor details in my books have turned out to be necessary for futurebooks—and how often I’ve forgotten to write those seemingly minor details downbecause, well, they were too minor. Like the name of one of my main character’sbrothers, who I thought would only appear in one book but who returned in alater one, by which time I’d completely forgotten his name.
For each of myseries, I now have a binder. The binder can be kind of fun to put together,because I get to decorate the covers, which gives me an excuse to procrastinatewriting. The Dark Lines and Reality Shift share a binder because there is somecross-over between the two series, including some shared characters, and thebinder is divided into sections. I’m not quite organized enough to furtherdivide things into character information, plot notes, and so on, although Iknow several authors who do that. I just keep notes from each book in the orderof the books, so that with each subsequent book I can look back. I plan to dothe same with the other two series, though I’m not quite at the point yet ofhaving much information.
When I reviseeach book, I jot down anything that looks like information I might need at somepoint. Even if I don’t think that character will reappear, or that I’ll need toknow what day of the week Jonah forgot his homework, I write it down. If Idon’t, it’s a pretty safe bet I will need to know. I type up my notes, justbecause I think it makes the information look prettier, and put it in thebinder.
I have atimeline, detailing what month and year each story takes place in and the majorevents of that story. In Reality Shift, a large portion of each book takesplace during Jonah’s and Shanna’s school days, so I developed school schedulesfor each of them and have those in the binder. I have each main character’sphysical and emotional description, and if I describe a secondary

2 Comments on Guest Post: Who Did What When?, last added: 10/6/2011
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37182. Habibi’s Orientalism: Exploration or exploitation?

Habibi0005 730x1024 Habibis Orientalism: Exploration or exploitation?
No one can deny that Craig Thompson’s HABIBI is a gorgeous work of linework and cartooning on a supreme level of beauty, much of it inspired by Arabic calligraphy. But it’s equally true that HABIBI is also a work that takes the tropes of Orientalism and uses them for the backbone of its story. Thompson has acknowledged as much in recent interviews, but says he used it as a fairy tale background, the way one would use cowboys and Indians.

Orientalism is a set of stereotypes and attitudes cataloged by critic Edward Said, defining it as “a manner of regularized (or Orientalized) writing, vision, and study, dominated by imperatives, perspectives, and ideological biases ostensibly suited to the Orient.” Everything from The Arabian Nights to The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad to The English Patient is Orientalist in view — a fairy tale world of efreets and harems and passionate desert nights.

Over at The Hooded Utilitarian, Nadim Damluji posts a very smart and thorough examination of how HABIBI stands up to the charges of Orientalism — and the answer is, it doesn’t. Damluji looks at the good and the bad:

Thompson uses Habibi as a venue to argue that Islam and Christianity are not at odds with each other, but interconnected to one another. On this mark, Habibi is a well-done and original contribution to the canon of contemporary Western comics literature. I applaud Thompson for humanizing a religion that many have been quick to vilify, and for managing to do it in a non-preachy way. In fact, because he approaches Islam with a clear compassion and level-headedness, I suspect many readers let Thompson off the hook for the Orientalist elements of the text.

Which brings us to the bulk of the book: the love story between Dodola and Zam spanning multiple decades, set predominately in the land of Wanatolia. While this story is drawn with the same detail-attentive pen that Thompson uses at the service of calligraphy and geometric patterns, here it predominantly captures the vagueness of stereotypes. Thompson contributes to (instead of resisting) Orientalist discourse by overly sexualizing women, littering the text with an abundance of savage Arabs, and dually constructing the city of Wanatolia as modern and timeless.


It’s well thought out criticism. Now, just nobody show Damluji HOLY TERROR.

9 Comments on Habibi’s Orientalism: Exploration or exploitation?, last added: 10/8/2011
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37183. Bookanista Buzz - The Pledge by Kimberly Derting

Okay, I love this book! And yay! It was just announced that 2 more are coming.....


I will go out on a limp and say I even love it more than The Body Finder!


And I stayed up all night in 2 nights to finish that one.


In the violent country of Ludania, the language you speak determines what class you are, and there are harsh punishments if you forget your place—looking a member of a higher class in the eye can result in immediate execution. 


Seventeen-year-old Charlaina (Charlie for short) can understand all languages, a dangerous ability she’s been hiding her whole life. Her only place of release is the drug-filled underground club scene, where people go to shake off the oppressive rules of the world they live in. There, she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy who speaks a language she’s never heard, and her secret is almost exposed. 


Through a series of violent upheavals, it becomes clear that Charlie herself is the key to forcing out the oppressive power structure of her kingdom….


What I loved about this book:


1) A fresh take on dystopia and fantasy all rolled into one.
2) It's creepy!
3) I love that the ruler is a woman - finally!
4) Max's little note - so sweet - love him.
5) The unexpected twists and reveals
6) I loved Charlie (MC) from the start. Felt sorry for her. Can't imagine hiding a gift so powerful it could cause your death.
7) The queen was nasty and it was scary what was going on in he

5 Comments on Bookanista Buzz - The Pledge by Kimberly Derting, last added: 10/6/2011
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37184. Halloween Town: American Horror Story

When I saw the trailer for FX’s new TV show, American Horror Story, I knew I had to watch it, especially since they chose to premiere it in, duh, October, and I love ghost stories. The trailer was enough to make me uncomfortable; the pilot episode, well … To say “Parents Strongly Cautioned” would be an understatement. Beware: sex, drugs, imagery that would give Stephen King nightmares. There’s nudity, too, which Jake was pumped about until it turned out to be a man’s bare butt. DOH!

So, simple plotline: husband Ben (Dylan McDermott) had an affair after his wife Vivian (Connie Britton) had a miscarriage. Lovely. To escape his indiscretions, Ben decides to move his family from Boston to Los Angeles, including his daughter Violet (newcomer Taissa Farmiga)—who may be the only character in the show with any redeeming quality. They move into a cheap old mansion; it’s cheap because the previous owners suffered from, of course, a murder-suicide. And so begins the madness, including a maid who is apparently dead, a homicidal patient of Ben’s who has a crush on Ben’s daughter, and an apparition that wears a bondage suit.

To me, American Horror Story felt like it was trying to be The Amityville Horror but with a modern, soap opera twist. This feeling increased with the introduction of a mysterious man covered in scars who tells Ben that he burned his family to death because “the house told me to.” Ah-hem: copywrite infringement much?

The creators of this show, Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, are best known for creating shows like Glee and Nip/Tuck, so I know they are capable of creating new and interesting television—and I’m not saying American Horror Story isn’t interesting. From the perspective of a Halloween hound, the show is horrifying. Within the first five minutes, two kids get brutally murdered by what I assume is an evil spirit in the house’s creepy basement. And Jessica Lange as the weird, aging actress neighbor with the Down syndrome daughter was so Evil (with a capital “E”), she made me cringe.

That said, Jake had a good point last night: he asked, how long can you continue a show like this? Sure, I’m interested to know why the house is haunted. Apparently everyone goes crazy there, but what started it all? I also want to see how many of the characters we met in the pilot are dead already (I suspect almost ALL of them). And yeah, it’s weird that the wife had sex with the bondage ghost—and now, she’s pregnant—so I guess I wanna see what kind of monster she gives birth to.

However, the characters aren’t very likeable, except the daughter. I think Ben is a weenie, and Vivian: do you really think your husband would wear a bondage suit and come to bed? I feel bad saying this, but the Down syndrome girl was just annoying, and I don’t know what’s going on with the maid who looks young sometimes and old other times. Plus, the show was just—so—weird. How many weird images do the creators have up their sleeves, and frankly, how long are audiences going to stick around without characters to root for?

I’ll give it this: American Horror Story is a horror story, and I do love haunted houses. I’ll watch it again, just to see if episode two gives these characters some engaging qualities. Plus, it’s October, and what better time to be haunted than the witching season?
2 Comments on Halloween Town: American Horror Story, last added: 10/7/2011

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37185. Drawbridge does Starfire

Starfire Drawbridge does Starfire

That didn’t quite sound right. Anyway, art blog DRAWBRIDGE is spotlighting everyone’s favorite Tamaranean, Starfire this week. Here’s Michel Fiffe’s post-swim take.

3 Comments on Drawbridge does Starfire, last added: 10/6/2011
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37186. Pre-NaNoWriMo Character Considerations

As you decide whether you're going to dive into NaNoWriMo again this year and find yourself mulling over story and character ideas, keep the following in mind.

An opening line or scene or conflict or dilemma may catch your fancy but rather than linger there for very long, take the inspiration you're given and stretch the ideas all the way to the climax of the story.

In other words, constantly ask yourself what the climax scene may look like. In so doing, consider the traits the protagonist will need to have in order to prevail at the climax.

Such a search opens possibilities for the traits she will be missing at the beginning of the story, the flaw she'll have to overcome to be triumphant in the end and what traits she now has at the beginning that are going to interfere with her forward progress toward her goal.

This exercise will serve you well during the first week of November, which represents the beginning writing portion of the entire project and the time you'll want to incorporate the traits she embodies at the beginning to foreshadow the journey she'll have to undertake.

For step-by-step guidance into pre-plotting your novel, memoir, screenplay, refer to:
The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master


For more about the Universal Story and writing a novel, memoir or screenplay, visit the Monday Plot Book Group series (A directory to this 2nd plot series is to the left of this post and scroll down a bit) and visit the first Plot Series: How Do I Plot a Novel, Memoir, Screenplay? on YouTube. (A directory of all the steps to the 1st plot series is to the right of this post.)
and visit:
Blockbuster Plots for Writers
Plot Whisperer on Facebook (we hope you "like" it)
Plot Whisperer on Twitter
37187. STRAW HOUSE, WOOD HOUSE, BRICK HOUSE, BLOW videos!

My Clarion editor Daniel Nayeri has a new book out this month from Candlewick -- a collection of four YA novellas, titled STRAW HOUSE, WOOD HOUSE, BRICK HOUSE, BLOW. 

Per the catalog copy:

This bold collection of novellas by Another series author Daniel Nayeri features four riveting tales. These modern riffs on classic genres will introduce young adult readers to a broad range of writing styles that explore universally compelling themes such as identity and belonging, betrayal and friendship, love and mortality.
Straw House: A Western sizzling with suspense, set in a land where a rancher grows soulless humans and a farmer grows living toys.

Wood House: This science-fiction tale plunges the reader into a future where reality and technology blend imperceptibly, and a teenage girl must race to save the world from a nano-revolution that a corporation calls "ReCreation Day."

Brick House: This detective story set in modern NYC features a squad of "wish police" and a team of unlikely detectives.

Blow: A comedic love story told by none other than Death himself, portrayed here as a handsome and charismatic hero who may steal your heart in more ways than one. With humor, suspense, and relatable prose, this hip and cutting-edge collection dazzles.

Written entirely on an iPhone, this quartet of YA novellas by Another Pan and Another Faust author Daniel Nayeri showcases four different genres.
Check out these awesome videos:

"Toy Farm"


Straw House, Wood House, Brick House, Blow - Toy Farm Commercial from Candlewick Press on Vimeo.


"Our Lady of Villains"


Straw House, Wood House, Brick House, Blow - Our Lady of Villains Commercial from Candlewick Press on Vimeo.


"Wish Police"


Straw House, Wood House, Brick House, Blow - Wish Police Commercial from Candlewick Press on Vimeo.


"Doom with a View"


Straw House, Wood House, Brick House, Blow - Doom With a View Commercial from Candlewick Press on Vimeo.

1 Comments on STRAW HOUSE, WOOD HOUSE, BRICK HOUSE, BLOW videos!, last added: 10/6/2011
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37188. You Are My Only: The Radnor Memorial Library Launch Party, Family Circle, BCCB

On this beautiful afternoon, I extend an invitation to all of you (oh come, please do) to the launch party for You Are My Only, which will be held at the Radnor Memorial Library on October 27 at 7:30 PM.

Radnor Memorial Library
114 W. Wayne Avenue
Wayne, PA  19087

I'm going to be sharing some of the images that inspired the book's making and talking about what happens behind the scenes as a book finds its footing.

And, but of course, there will be cake.

Thank you, Pam Sedor, for once again being the hostess with the mostest, and thank you Children's Book World, for always being there, making the good things happen.

I'm at work on my talk today.  In the meantime, I share two new reviews of the book:

"Kephart’s prose is poetry in motion—creating beauty out of everyday moments. This disquieting yet emotionally satisfying novel (written for young adults but a linguistic pleasure for any reader) alternates the stories of Emmy, desperate to find her missing baby, and homeschooled 14-year-old Sophie. The surprise is not in how these two soulful voices are connected but in the way they weave together to the book’s finely spun ending." — Darcy Jacobs, Family Circle (November 2011)

"This has a very different style from classic child-abduction melodramas such as Mazer’s Taking Terri Mueller (BCCB 6/83) and Ehrlich’s Where It Stops, Nobody Knows (BCCB 1/89); Kephart’s writing is a thing of beauty in its own right, and Sophie’s story earns its frequent and apt allusions to Rapunzel with its own fai

5 Comments on You Are My Only: The Radnor Memorial Library Launch Party, Family Circle, BCCB, last added: 10/9/2011
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37189. Portrait Noir

“I’ve never seen an October rain like this in all my years in LA,” says my friend David Starrett as we arrive for lunch yesterday at Gus’s Barbecue in South Pasadena. At the back door we drop our umbrella in a bucket full of other half-dead umbrellas.

David was one of my art teachers when I was a student out here. Later he was the model for Lee Crabb in Dinotopia. He’s the nicest 82-year-old gentlemen you’ll ever meet. His ear is the model for “subsurface scattering” on page 155 of the book “Color and Light.” He’s also a natural actor, and he obliges me by being a character actor while I sketch him.



He orders barbecued ribs and I order coffee. I unholster my colored pencils. Robert Johnson’s blues pour out the speakers. Rain gushes out of the gutters outside. David turns up his collar. I squeeze the handle of my black Niji brush pen. A drop of Higgins Eternal bleeds out of the tip.



Somehow he starts to look like a hard-boiled film noir detective, the kind of guy who works best after hours on rainy nights when the rest of the guys have gone home. “That’s when they dump the evidence,” he mutters, as he saws loose a rib.
--------
Previously: Clothespins and Crabb

11 Comments on Portrait Noir, last added: 10/9/2011
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37190. Steve Jobs (1955-2011)


You'll be greatly missed...

Done on iPad using Brushes app.



4 Comments on Steve Jobs (1955-2011), last added: 10/10/2011
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37191. Tips and Suggestions for the Ollie Virtual Storytime





On Tuesday I will be connecting with classrooms and libraries all over the country with the Ollie Virtual Storytime! I hope that you are as excited as I am, not just for my new book but for the opportunity to connect in a way that technology makes possible!


Here are a few suggestions to make the experience as seamless as possible:


• Ensure that you are able to access my UStream channel UStream.tv/channel/StudioJJK. Rest assured that I have a paid Pro account and commercials won't pop up.


• After each reading, I will be taking questions via the chat function. Consider using two computers, one to project the video feed for your students (which you can maximize to be full-screen) and one for you to submit the questions. It may be distracting for your students to see all of the question being submitted.


• I will be starting each storytime at the top of the hour from 9a.m. to 5p.m. EDT. You are welcome to attend every hour if you wish! But please connect just a few minutes ahead of each reading. I will begin the broadcast a few minutes ahead of time, so you can know that you are connected and the readings will start soon after.


1 Comments on Tips and Suggestions for the Ollie Virtual Storytime, last added: 10/7/2011
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37192. My Process: Lift-a-flap Books

I worked on this cute little paperback joke book for HarperCollins before I worked on Road Work Ahead. It was where I got the idea to start making dummies of the sketches. There were alot of lift-a-flaps inside to work out, and the art director had sent me this dummy that they did after I submitted the sketches to them. I thought it was really useful.

There were at least 2 flaps but 4 jokes on each spread. The biggest challenge was the layout. Leaving room for the text, but having the flaps work out too. Now I have a whole new appreciation for books with flaps (especially where there is art on the other side!)
Knock knock! Who's there? Ghouls! Ghouls who?
Ghouls and boys both love Halloween!
Overall, I love working on Halloween books, they give me a chance to do something funky and use a different color palette than usual. Grab a copy here :-)

5 Comments on My Process: Lift-a-flap Books, last added: 10/10/2011
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37193. Know Me Better 10/6




In my recent reader survey a couple people commented that they wanted to know more about me. I've been thinking about how I could share more about myself in a fun, interactive way.

I do a lot of author interviews on this blog. My interview questions are typically on the lighter side because those are the kinds of interviews I like to read.   I thought I'd start by answering some of the author interview questions I frequently ask.  So I bring you....

"Know Me Better"

Each week I will pick 5 questions off of my author interview list to answers. In trying to figure out how to share more about myself I got to thinking that I would love to get to know the readers of my blog better too.  I invite you to share your answers to these questions as well.  You can share them as a comment on this post or share them on your own blog and link up to this post.

Know Me Better 10/6 Questions
What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
Night owl, or early bird?
One food you would never eat?
Skittles or M&Ms?

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Chocolate Fudge Brownie (no nuts)
Although I'm trying to avoid refined sugar so I haven't had real ice cream in way too long.
I've found a couple healthy ice cream alternatives that my family enjoys including Maple Pecan (recipe) & Strawberry (recipe).

What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
Aebleskivers (recipe) are my favorite but most mornings it's a Green Smoothiefor me.

Night owl, or early bird?
I get a lot more done in my day when I follow the old adage "Early to Bed, Early to Rise".  Unfortunately I'm more of a night owl and have trouble getting to bed early and thus trouble getting up early too.

One food you would never eat?
I'm sure there are a lot of things but currently the only thing coming to my mind is persimmons.  I was recently "forced" to eat one at my aunt's house. It was overripe, super slimy and made me gag. I couldn't swallow it and couldn't get the taste out of my mouth.  I don't think I'll be eating one anytime soon.

Skittles or M&Ms?
I love chocolate but M&Ms are one of the last things I would choose in a candy aisle.  I would likely choose Skittles first.  On days when I cave and break my no refined sugar rule, I would probably g

8 Comments on Know Me Better 10/6, last added: 10/7/2011
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37194. And now for something completely different…..

One of the things I always find fascinating about many of the books I read regarding the various home fronts created by World War II is that they are so often based on actual events. But not necessarily the big events – most have their foundations in smaller, more local incidents. And that is what makes they so fascinating – at least to me, since my interest is always the impact of the war on the lives of people on the home front. This is also why I like to read and write about books that were written during the war – no one knew the outcome so they have a whole different perspective.



 And life on the home front naturally involved the popular culture of the time – radio programs, popular songs, food under rationing conditions, advertisements and, of course, comic strips of the time. Recently, I was at the library researching Superman and called up a book called Boys of Steel: the Creators of Superman, a fascinating 40 page book for young people interested in Superman, illustrated by Ross MacDonald and written by Marc Tyler Nobleman.

Now Marc Tyler Nobleman has written a book called 30 Minutes over Oregon. It is a World War II story about a very real, little known event. So I was pretty psyched to read and review this book when I heard about it, but it turned into a ‘not gonna happen’ situation. Why? Well, according to Marc, and, despite the fact that various children’s book editors had very positive things to say about the book, “no publisher has acquired this picture book manuscript. The most recurring reason I’m told is because nonfiction—especially nonfiction about someone who is not a household name—doesn’t sell.”

Apparently, they don’t know about Non-Fiction Monday

So, what’s a writer to do? Appeal to the book blogging world, of course. Here’s the deal:

Marc would like you to cruise on over to his website, Noblemania: the stories behind the stories I write and read the story behind 30 Minutes over Oregon in his post called Picture Book for Sale and please, please when you are done, leave a comment – but be honest. If you don’t think the book would work, say so.

And while you are reading, be sure to check out all eleven of the book covers designed by various people, from professional illustrators to kids with an interest.  They are all fabulous.


Left cover by Brad Sneed
Right cover by Alex, age 9
1 Comments on And now for something completely different….., last added: 10/6/2011
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37195. Announcement

You may have noticed the link in the sidebar to the Hannah Rogers Literary Agency.

Apparently Ms. Rogers is now replying to submissions only on Twitter. Whether this will become the new modus operandi for literary agents remains to be seen.

Submit on her "submissions" page, and expect a rejection or acceptance tweet within one day.



1 Comments on Announcement, last added: 10/6/2011
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37196. The Headless Horseman Rides Tonight

The Headless Horseman Rides Tonight
Jack Prelutsky ~ Arnold Lobel ~ Greenwillow Books, 1980


Sitting on my MacBook this mourning, thinking about all that was and will ever be. Halloween is swirling around us. Already the neighborhood homes are bedazzled in fake spider webs and the guy down the street has his creepy animatronic zombie up that drags its disemboweled self across his front lawn.

Good times.

The moment I saw this book on the library shelf yesterday, I knew the boy would be in love. One read down, a dozen to go, I'm sure, before the due date calls. (Though I logged on and bought one this morning. It's THAT good. Still in print in paperback, by the way.) This book has propelled Arnold Lobel into an entirely new realm of awesome for me. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.

And Mr. Prelutsky is pretty rad, too, conjuring up all sorts of rhyming wretches to freeze the soul. Poems entitled The Poltergeist, The Darkling Elves, The Spectre on the Moor, The Mummy....

Now it must unleash its fury,
spew the venom of its wrath,
and woe to those poor souls who cross
the mummy's mindless path,
for the mummy will destroy them,
they will perish, wracked with pain.
There is terror in the desert
for the mummy walks again.

All kinds of awesome. My son loves a particular Prelutsky book called Scranimals, and he's read it so many times and Mr. P's writing voice is so distinct, that now the boy can spot his lyrics a m

8 Comments on The Headless Horseman Rides Tonight, last added: 10/9/2011
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37197. Steve Jobs

2 Comments on Steve Jobs, last added: 10/8/2011
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37198. New TINTIN trailer: There will be punching

<a href='http://video.uk.msn.com?vid=2c3838fe-e91e-4ac1-86b8-af598432aa92&amp;mkt=en-gb&amp;src=FLPl:embed::uuids' target='_new' title='MSN Exclusive: The Adventures of Tintin - trailer' >Video: MSN Exclusive: The Adventures of Tintin &ndash; trailer</a>
A new international trailer for THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN has just been released, and it’s a lot more rock ‘em, sock ‘em than previous trailers, with punching, jumping, leaping, crouching, and other bursts of action that seem more typical of a Steven Spielberg film.

Watching this, I got a new idea about this movie, which does seem a bit problematic with its mocap CGI. However, TINTIN has been filmed many times before, in both live action and animation. Here’s one of the early Tintin cartoons:

It does look like Herge…but it also looks like poor animation. (A later series from the ’90s is considered to have been superior.) When I watch this trailer, I imagine Spielberg and Peter Jackson hashing over, late night after late night, how to do the movie that both have been obsessed with all their lives. And then, finally, Spielberg saying, aw, fuck it, let’s do it CGI. The kids like it, and no one’s ever done it before. This is a lively snippet, and it’s certainly not like anything we’ve seen before. That could very well be a bad thing but…well, at least they are trying something.

TINTIN opens this December.

1 Comments on New TINTIN trailer: There will be punching, last added: 10/6/2011
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37199. Book Review: Darklight by Lesley Livingston

Title: Darklight
Author: Lesley Livingston
Series: Wondrous Strange book 2 of 3
Released: December 22, 2009
Publisher: HarperCollins
Tags: Young Adult, Fantasy, Faeries, Romance

The Book Summary contains spoilers if you have not read Book 1: Wondrous Strange.
Much has changed since autumn, when Kelley Winslow learned she was a Faerie princess, fell in love with changeling guard Sonny Flannery, and saved the mortal realm from the ravages of the Wild Hunt.

Now Kelley is stuck in New York City, rehearsing Romeo and Juliet and missing Sonny more with every stage kiss, while Sonny has been forced back to the Otherworld and into a deadly game of cat and mouse with the remaining Hunters and Queen Mabh herself.

When a terrifying encounter sends Kelley tumbling into the Otherworld, her reunion with Sonny is joyful but destined to be cut short. An ancient, hidden magick is stirring, and a dangerous new enemy is willing to risk everything to claim that power.
Caught in a web of Faerie deception and shifting allegiances, Kelley and Sonny must tread carefully, for each next step could topple a kingdom . . . or tear them apart.

With breathtakingly high stakes, the talented Lesley Livingston delivers soaring romance and vividly magical characters in Darklight, the second novel in the trilogy that began with Wondrous Strange.

Lots of twists and turns in this sequel to Wondrous Strange. Although I enjoyed this book, it wasn't quite as good as the first book in the series. If I had read Darklight when it was released I would have been annoyed with the cliffhanger ending. Thankfully the third and final book Tempestuous is already out so I started on it as soon as I finished Darklight. It picks up moments after this book end.

I love the world and characters Lesley Livingston has created.




Rating: 4 Stars - Great Book

Content: A little language

Source: Audio download from Audible.com

1 Comments on Book Review: Darklight by Lesley Livingston, last added: 10/7/2011
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37200. Hello there!



© copyright Alicia Padrón 2011


I'm working on a beautiful story. I'm at the painting phase right now and loving it. I decided to work on this book in a style a bit more freely than usual if you know what I mean. I thought the story called for it. Sort of like let the sketch lines show through that type of thing. Let's see how it turns out.

When I paint I love to listen to music. Blind Pilot is what's keeping me company these mornings.

I can't say much about the project yet but I can say this book will be in Spanish. :o)

I'm also very excited about some other news... I will post about that when everything is settled.

Well, like pig, I'm grabbing my brush instead of a shovel and I'm getting back to work.

Wish you all are well.
Working hard towards your dreams I hope? :o)


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