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1. Guest Post: Down the Research Rabbit Hole with Mindy McGinnis

Amie here first: Today we have a guest post from the lovely Mindy McGinnis, whose latest book, A Madness So Discreet, came out yesterday! She’s here to tell us about the entirely unreasonable demands of her muse, and the amazing book that resulted!

MadnessSoDiscreetCOVERUSEMy muse is fickle and unreliable, which is really frustrating for me because I’m the type of person that is constantly busy. I knit while watching TV because being still is not in my body’s repertoire. So when Miss Muse shuts down for a little bit, I tend to get frustrated with her, and she usually responds by dumping three to four great concepts into my lap at once, declares her job done, and disappears again.

She pulled this trick on me in 2013 when the barren waste land that had formerly housed my inspiration suddenly said, “Hey, you should write a Victorian Gothic novel set in an insane asylum about a girl who assists a criminal psychologist in catching killers. Also, she has to pretend to be lobotomized in order to escape her abusive father. That should be easy to deliver, ta-ta.”

To which I said, “Hey, thanks muse. Nice. How do I go about doing that?” But she didn’t answer because she’d already jetted off to wherever she goes when not spouting difficult-to-execute concepts at me. But I already knew the answer: research. I needed to know a lot of things in order to even come close to doing this the right way.

How did insane asylums operate in the 1890’s? How was criminal psychology executed then? How often was it right? Was the science accurate enough that a well-trained person could conceivably have caught a killer based on what they knew about the criminal mind at the time? How were lobotomies performed?

OOPS—snag. Lobotomies weren’t a medical practice in 1890. That’s a pretty huge roadblock for me since the plot hinged on my main character being (supposedly) lobotomized. Shifting the timeframe to 1936, when the first lobotomy was performed in the US, would screw up my plot even more. So instead I needed a feasible situation where a doctor could be aware of the benefits of a lobotomy-like procedure, without…you know…actually calling it a lobotomy. This train of thought ended with me reading this book, and this one. Yes, I was really popular on public transit.

I also read this book, and this book, this one (it has pictures—ouch), and to get the other side of that story, this one. And finally a slightly more relaxing one so that I was familiar with my setting. Then just to be thorough, I took a trip to the asylum where the book is set because I’m a big fan of knowing what the hell I’m talking about.

A year after Miss Disappearing Muse dropped the concept on me, I figured I knew enough to actually start writing the book. Except, no. This was the first time I’d ever attempted to write a historical, and because I despise anachronisms I had to get things as correct as I possibly could. From what kind of lighting was in the room my character waked into (Fire? Gas? Electrical?) to what she was wearing, to the question of whether she was working side by side with “policemen,” “cops,” or “constables,” I found myself in the position of not being able to finish most sentences without a quick fact check.

It was painful, torturous writing – and not only because of what I put the characters through. To make thing worse, I’d spent so much time researching that I’d painted myself into a pretty serious corner in terms of deadlines. I won’t tell you how quickly I wrote MADNESS because you’ll question my sanity, but I will tell you I gained almost fifteen pounds doing it because I basically shut myself in my room and wrote while slamming cheeseburgers. At one point I would’ve accepted a catheter just to get the job done more effectively.

A Madness So Discreet released yesterday, and I’m pretty proud of it. It marks a genre departure from my earlier works—Not a Drop to Drink and In a Handful of Dust are post-apoc survival—but not a departure from what I do best. Which apparently is write rather stomach-churning scenarios while eating.

Told you I’m a multi-tasker.

Amazon Head ShotMINDY MCGINNIS is a YA author who has worked in a high school library for thirteen years. Her debut, Not a Drop to Drink, a post-apocalyptic survival story set in a world with very little freshwater, has been optioned for film my Stephanie Meyer’s Fickle Fish Films. The companion novel, In a Handful of Dust was released in 2014. Look for her Gothic historical thriller, A Madness So Discreet on October 6 from Katherine Tegen Books.

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2. 5 Big Problems With ILLUMINAE by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

I recently read *ILLUMINAE by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. You may have already heard of this book, as everyone seems to be RAVING about it. But I thought I should just give you my thoughts, and a little caution before you decide to drop the big bucks on this one. THE 5 BIG PROBLEMS WITH ILLUMINAE  by Andye 1. The cover. Ok, yeah. The cover is freaking amazing. The problem, though, is

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3. Another Animator-Friendly Tablet: Microsoft Unveils Surface Pro 4 Line

The tablet wars are heating up, and the winners are artists and animators.

0 Comments on Another Animator-Friendly Tablet: Microsoft Unveils Surface Pro 4 Line as of 1/1/1900
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4. Microsoft Unveils Next-Generation of Surface Pro Tablets

The tablet wars are heating up, and the winners are artists and animators.

0 Comments on Microsoft Unveils Next-Generation of Surface Pro Tablets as of 10/7/2015 1:01:00 AM
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5. Schoolwork

I recently had a meeting with the Elementary Literacy Consultant at our local school board. Our library region covers the same area as the school board, so that is convenient for us (unlike some large library systems that may have more than one school district). I requested a meeting for a couple of reasons– to listen, and to find out how we can get more teachers using our collections. School libraries have small budgets (and library staff in schools is slim). Students still need access to a wide variety of quality books, and we have them! So how do I get them into the classrooms?alsc sign

After my meeting, I had a few takeaways and some work to do. I am preparing an invitation to all teachers at all schools to get a library card. I am trying to make it easy– sending them a registration form and outlining the services we have. Our library offers an “institutional” card to teachers — they can check out as many items as they need for their classroom, and keep them for 6 weeks (our normal check-out period is 3 weeks) — and they do not pay overdue fines. It is a good deal – but only if they know about it!

I also plan to create more online booklists with teachers in mind. I asked for (and received!) a curriculum outline–a simple guide to the subjects that are being studied, for each grade. As new books come in, I can now target them for lists or for adding to my blog, which I started with our own library staff in mind. The new books cross my path before they hit the shelves, and as I am addicted to picture books, I can’t help taking piles of them home and making notes. Now I have new ways to look at these books, and I’ve added a section “Of Interest to Teachers” in upcoming blog posts.

With a new focus on teaching from children’s books rather than textbooks, I see this as a win-win opportunity. I’m always looking for ways to make our collection more accessible to our community, and now I have a few ideas for reaching out to teachers. What do you do? How do you partner with schools? How do you get the books into the hands of teachers and students? Let’s hear your ideas!

The post Schoolwork appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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6. Writer Wednesday: Time For Another Confession

It's been a while since I've made a confession, so here it is. As much as I love writing, this industry makes me sad. I see authors I love go from being on bestseller lists to not selling well. The question I ask is why? Where are the readers? And when I go into a store and have to spend at least $5 on a greeting card, I can't help but think, "I'd rather buy a book." Most ebooks are so much cheaper than greeting cards, yet ebooks aren't selling like I'd hoped they would.

The bottom line is that it's really tough to be an author today. You have to love what you do and let that carry you through each day. I often remind myself that I choose to write for me and not to trends. I have a loyal fan base and I love them. Will I ever achieve my big dreams as a writer? Maybe. Maybe not. But it's not why I write. I write because it's who I am. I've been a writer since I could hold a pencil. So that's what I'll continue to do. Even on the days when I feel like crying. Even on the days when I question if anyone will ever read the book I'm pouring hours, days, and months into. And I'll continue to hope that the readers come and that they treasure the written word as much as I do.

*Remember: If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.

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7. Writing in ... Nigeria

       In the Financial Times Tolu Ogunlesi writes about A new chapter in Nigeria's literature, describing a literary scene both vibrant and chaotic, where even success is problematic -- as well as relative ("publishers consider a book that shifts 5,000 copies to be a bestseller") -- as:

Commercial success for writers and publishers can be a curse -- attracting the attention of pirates, who are estimated to control 90 per cent of the book, music and film publishing industries in Nigeria.
       Check out also the list of 'Bright stars' at the end of the piece -- a relief not just to find the usual well-known names.

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8. "Yes, We Really Do Want to Take Your Guns"

"In other words, yes, we really do want to take your guns. Maybe not all of them. But a lot of them."
—Josh Marshall, Talking Points Memo

Okay. All I've got's an antique rifle that would likely explode if fired, so no big deal to me. I would love to live in a country with far, far fewer guns. One of the reasons I think the NRA should be considered complicit with murder is their careful collusion over the last few decades with gun manufacturers to keep a flooded market profitable by using every scare tactic they could imagine to encourage people to keep buying. (I've written about all this, and other aspects of gun culture, plenty of times before.) I'm quite comfortable around guns, since I grew up with them as an everyday object (everything from .22 pistols to fully-automatic machine guns), and I have many friends who are gun owners, even gun nuts. But though I sometimes find guns attractive, even fascinating, I don't like them and I wish there were vastly fewer. The Oregon shooting happened at a place I'm familiar with, half an hour from the home of one of my best, most beloved friends. The present reality of mass shootings in the US is grotesque, and the easy availability of guns is a major part of the problem.

But I think Josh Marshall is delusional. No matter how much you wish for it, the guns in the United States are not going to be confiscated, and not just because of a lack of political will. The NRA sells the fear of confiscation to gun nuts all the time, but it is not just unlikely and not just politically difficult — given the amount of guns in the US, it is as close to impossible to achieve as any such thing is. The horse left the barn at least forty years ago.

Certainly, it's valuable for activists to come out and say what they want rather than to lie or, at best, hedge their commentary to appear less radical. I like radicals, especially nonviolent ones, so I'm all for being openly radical.

And the idealism in Marshall's blog post is nice. I understand the feeling. But it's fairy-tale utopian. You want to think big, to be honest about your ultimate goals, and so you want to stop talking about things that might actually be able to be accomplished like universal background checks and maybe some restrictions on certain sizes of magazines and certain styles of rifles. I get it. I would like to stop talking about how I'll pay next month's bills and instead dream about winning the lottery.

But at a certain point you have to explain how you want to go about achieving your dream. What are the actual mechanics? What are the mechanisms that would bring your dream to reality? The fact is, I have a vastly better chance of winning the lottery than the US has any chance of significant gun confiscation.

Let's pretend we live in a fairy land where somehow the government would pass laws like the ones Australia famously passed. For basic background on that and how it worked, here's an overview from Vox. There are a bunch of things in there that are pretty much politically inconceivable in the US, even if they would likely survive challenge in the courts. But we're playing Let's Pretend.

So let's pretend those laws pass. We can't, though, forget the fundamental, awful, maddening, bizzaro truth: including both legal and illegal weapons, by even conservative estimates, there are somewhere around as many guns as people in the U.S. Numbers are notoriously difficult to get, but let's say 300 million, just to have a nice even number to play with. (It could be 250 million, it could be 350 million. What's fifty million here or there when counting deadly weapons?)

Let's pretend Australian-style laws pass, which would mean the goal is to get to 20% of guns bought back, as Australia apparently did. We're talking, then, somewhere around 60 million guns. (Router and Mouzos in their study of Australia say it would be 40 million, but, again, estimates always differ, and a lot depends on whether you're also including the black market, antique guns [some of which, unlike mine, shoot quite well], etc.)

How do you collect and destroy between 40 and 60 million guns?

If it's a buyback, how do you pay for the guns you're buying back? In 1996 in Australia, the average price paid was US$359. For 60 million guns, that would be $21,540,000,000. Not an impossible amount, given that we casually spent at least that per month of war in Iraq, but still. Twenty-one-and-a-half billion dollars is not small change, and that's 1996 dollars.

What do you do with people who won't turn their guns in? I could be wrong, but I doubt most American gun owners would turn in their guns, at least not the guns they cared about. Sure, they might turn in stuff that was in bad shape, or that they didn't especially want anymore. You want to give me good market value for a gun I don't care about? Great! Here it is. Enjoy. Thanks for the cash.

What about the rest? The guns you want to confiscate are not the ones most gun owners are likely to turn in for even a mandatory buyback. And what does mandatory mean? How do you make it mandatory? Who enforces it? How?

You'd need a registry, but how would you create a registry? You could mandate a registry of all new sales of guns, but that doesn't do anything about the 300 million, give or take 50 million, already out there. You could try using data from Form 4473, but by the time all the laws get passed and Federal Firearms License holders are notified that they have to turn all of their 4473 info over to the ATF, most of those forms, I expect, will have somehow mysteriously gotten destroyed in floods and fires, have been misplaced, etc. You could say, "All gun owners are now required to register their weapons!" and the laughter would be cacophonous.

So what will you do about civil disobedience?

Send the police!

Great idea. The police. The nice (white) liberal's fallback answer to every problem. Tut tut occasionally about the cops' embarrassing habit of killing black men every day, then turn around and advocate for giving the police even more power.

The fact is, to collect even a small percentage of the guns currently in circulation in the US, you would have to institute highly authoritarian laws, strongly empower the police and military to take action against otherwise law-abiding citizens, punish any disobedient police and military members strongly (and there would be a lot of disobedience within the ranks, I expect), and violate a bunch of civil liberties so you could find out who owned what weapons. And imprison lots of people. (Yay, prisons!)

If you're going to be honest about what you want, then you have to be honest about how you would like to get what you want. The complete statement Josh Marshall and others should make is this one: "We really do want to take your guns, and we are willing to empower the state to do so via the police and, if necessary, the military. If you resist, we will imprison you."

Not quite so rosy a fairy tale now, is it?

Do I have a better fairy tale? Not really. I have no solution, certainly nothing short term. Various small, achievable regulations might do a little bit of good. The best I can imagine is a change in culture, a change in attitudes where gun ownership is viewed the way smoking is today, as an unfortunate, smelly, lethal vice/addiction, that, despite whatever momentary pleasures it may offer, is harmful to individuals and society.

Start pitying gun nuts. Listen to their macho power fantasies and nod your head sadly and say, "I'm truly sorry you feel so terrified all the time, so inadequate. I'm so sorry that you feel the only way to get through your days is to keep the power of life or death over other people with you at all times. If you ever want help, please ask. I know the withdrawal will be incredibly hard and painful, but the results will be worth it. We'll all get to live a little longer."

Imagine encouraging doctors to talk to people about the statistics on guns and public health. (Imagine better funding for research on guns and public health!)

Imagine interventions for people with NRA Derangement Syndrome (the mental disorder that results in a person believing NRA propaganda, needing to stockpile tens of thousands of rounds, needing to own dozens and hundreds of guns just in case one day the gun grabbers succeed with their nefarious plans and/or the zombie apocalypse occurs).

Imagine cognitive behavioral therapy for hoarders of deadly weapons.

Imagine alternatives to toxic masculinity and warrior dreams.

Imagine movies and TV shows and video games where guns are portrayed not as sexy and awesome, but as the last refuge of the weak and deranged.

Imagine— Well, go ahead, we're talking fairy tales, so imagine whatever you want. But think, too, about how we get to fairyland.

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9. A Look at Gender Swapping of Native Characters in Meyer's LIFE AND DEATH

Today (October 6, 2016), fans of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight saga were ecstatic about her new book Life and Death. In it, she "gender swapped" the characters. Bella is now a guy named Beau. Edward is now a gal named Edythe, and Jacob (the Quileute character) is now a girl named Jules (Julia). 

Here's part of Meyer's interview with CNN: 

Meyer said she was motivated to make the switch because of questions she received at signings about Bella being a "damsel in distress."
"It's always bothered me a little bit, because anyone surrounded by superheroes is going to be in distress," Meyers explained. "I thought, 'What if we switched it around a bit and see how a boy does,' and, you know, it's about the same."

I looked at specific passages in Twilight, comparing them to passages in Life and Death to see if Meyer made any changes to the Native content. In the passages I have below, I start each pair with Twilight first, because it was published first. Here they are:

Chapter 6: Scary Stories

This is the chapter where we meet Jacob/Jules, the Quileute character who is going to tell Bella/Beau scary stories about the werewolves and "the cold ones" (vampires).

Twilight (Kindle Location 7353-7355):
A few minutes after Angela left with the hikers, Jacob sauntered over to take her place by my side. He looked fourteen, maybe fifteen, and had long, glossy black hair pulled back with a rubber band at the nape of his neck. His skin was beautiful, silky and russet-colored; his eyes were dark, set deep above the high planes of his cheekbones.

Life and Death (Kindle Locations 1495-1497):
A few minutes after Allen left with the hikers, Julie came over to take his place by my side. 
She looked fourteen, maybe fifteen, and had long, glossy black hair pulled back with a rubber band at the nape of her neck. Her skin was really beautiful, like coppery silk, her dark eyes were wide-set above her high cheekbones, and her lips were curved like a bow.

Debbie's thoughts: Jacob sauntering conveys attitude. Julie, on the other hand, walks without attitude. Because... why? I don't know. The descriptions of hair and skin and cheekbones are familiar ones. Not all Native people have long, glossy black hair or high cheekbones but that's generally how we're depicted in children's and young adult books. This is a problem for Native people who do not look that way. People say--without batting an eye--"you don't look Indian." 


Twilight, Jacob speaking to Bella (Kindle Locations 7408-7411):
“Well, there are lots of legends, some of them claiming to date back to the Flood— supposedly, the ancient Quileutes tied their canoes to the tops of the tallest trees on the mountain to survive like Noah and the ark.” He smiled, to show me how little stock he put in the histories. “Another legend claims that we descended from wolves— and that the wolves are our brothers still. It’s against tribal law to kill them.

Life and Death, Jules speaking to Beau (Kindle Locations 1569-1572):
“There are lots of legends, some of them claiming to date back to the Great Flood— supposedly, the ancient Quileutes tied their canoes to the tops of the tallest trees on the mountain to survive like Noah and the ark.” She smiled, to show me she wasn’t taking this seriously, either. “Another legend claims that we descended from wolves— and that the wolves are our sisters still. It’s against tribal law to kill them.

Debbie's thoughts: That "legend" that Jacob talks about is supposed to be a Quileute one, but it that marks "the Flood" as a touchstone event. If it said "a" great Flood, that would work, but that "the" in there ties this story to Christianity. I've not done any research to see if the Quileute people have a flood story where they tied their canoes to tall trees. Maybe they do. Or, maybe this is something that Meyer made up. Regular readers of AICL know that I find it sacrilegious to twist Native stories to make them fit a narrative that a not-Native writer is telling.  Jacob has "little stock" in the stories; Jules doesn't "take this seriously." Is this dismissiveness on Jacob/Jules' part to throw Bella/Beau off track so that Bella/Beau don't know that these stories are real? The way Meyer presents this werewolf part of her story is not like the stories the Quileute's actually tell. As noted above, I think Meyer is twisting a Native story to fit her narrative, and I find that to be deeply disrespectful. (Updating to add this next line.) And as @travelingHeidi pointed out on Twitter, Noah isn't gender swapped! 


Jacob speaking to Bella (
Kindle Locations 7412-7416):
"There are stories of the cold ones as old as the wolf legends, and some much more recent. According to legend, my own great-grandfather knew some of them. He was the one who made the treaty that kept them off our land.” He rolled his eyes. “Your great-grandfather?” I encouraged. “He was a tribal elder, like my father. You see, the cold ones are the natural enemies of the wolf— well, not the wolf, really, but the wolves that turn into men, like our ancestors. You would call them werewolves.”

Life and Death, Jules speaking to Beau (Kindle Locations 1574-1578):
"There are stories of the cold ones as old as the wolf legends, and some much more recent. According to legend, my own great-grandmother knew some of them. She was the one who made the treaty that kept them off our land.” She rolled her eyes. “Your great-grandmother?” I encouraged. “She was a tribal elder, like my mother. You see, the cold ones are the natural enemies of the wolf— well, not the wolf, really, but the wolves that turn into women, like our ancestors. You could call them werewolves, I guess.”

Debbie's thoughts: That is another part of Meyer's book that I find especially problematic because of her use of the word treaty. Readers are asked to believe that Jacob/Jules' great grandfather/mother made a treaty with a coven of vampires. Treaties are made between heads of state. Are we to think of this group of Quileute's and this coven of vampires as nations? 

Chapter 7: Nightmare

After hearing those "scary" stories, Bella/Beau has a nightmare. 

Twilight (Kindle Locations 7477-7480):
But Jacob let go of my hand and yelped, suddenly shaking, falling to the dim forest floor. He twitched on the ground as I watched in horror. “Jacob!” I screamed. But he was gone. In his place was a large red-brown wolf with black eyes. The wolf faced away from me, pointing toward the shore, the hair on the back of his shoulders bristling, low growls issuing from between his exposed fangs.

Life and Death (Kindle Locations 1641-1643):
And then Jules dropped my hand— she let out a strange yelp and, suddenly shaking, she fell twitching to the ground. I watched in horror, unable to move. “Jules!” I yelled, but she was gone. In her place was a big, red-brown wolf with black eyes. The wolf faced away from me, pointing toward the shore, the hair on the back of her shoulders bristling, low growls issuing from between her exposed fangs.

Debbie's thoughts: Here, I direct you to an excellent series of tweets by Jeanne (I don't know her personally but she is one of the people I learn a lot from by reading her tweets and blog posts). One that is especially insightful is this one: "The supernatural world of Twilight is a construct that makes an abusive white man look like a hero and Native American men look like animals."

Chapter 11: Complications 

Twilight (Kindle Locations 8589-8592):
Jacob was already climbing out, his wide grin visible even through the darkness. In the passenger seat was a much older man, a heavyset man with a memorable face— a face that overflowed, the cheeks resting against his shoulders, with creases running through the russet skin like an old leather jacket. And the surprisingly familiar eyes, black eyes that seemed at the same time both too young and too ancient for the broad face they were set in. Jacob’s father, Billy Black.

Life and Death (Kindle Locations 2926-2929)
Jules was already climbing out, her wide grin visible even through the darkness. In the passenger seat was a much older woman, an imposing woman with an unusual face— it was stern and stoic, with creases that ran through the russet skin like an old leather jacket. And the surprisingly familiar eyes, set deep under the heavy brows, black eyes that seemed at the same time both too young and too ancient to match the face. Jules’s mother, Bonnie Black.

Debbie's thoughts: More of that stereotypical descriptors, this time of elders. Note the word "ancient" in there? That's another word that gets overused.


Some overall thoughts: In Life and Death, Meyer just switched a few letters here and there to make the Native characters fit her gender swapping narrative. It is more evidence that she is clueless regarding Native peoples and cultures. In fact, her gender swapping of Native content strikes me as similar to all the people--male or female--who put on a headdress that is generally used only by men. It is superficial and adds a new layer of disrespect to what she's already done with the Twilight saga prior to today's release of Life and Death.  

I opened this post noting that people are very excited by Life and Death. Much of that excitement is because Twilight is credited with having launched young adult literature. That is something people who care about young adult literature can certainly applaud, but we must not lose sight of the problems in the series. 

There are plenty of young adult books out there that can counter the misogyny in these books. We cannot say the same thing about books to counter the misrepresentation of Native people. Indeed, Meyer's book also launched a slew of books that do precisely what she did: stereotype, misrepresent, appropriate. 

Meyer acknowledged concerns over the "damsel in distress" but the concerns over misrepresentation of Native peoples are just as important. 

Meyer, Stephenie (2015-10-06). Twilight Tenth Anniversary/Life and Death Dual Edition, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Kindle Edition. 

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10. One more day until the Nobel Prize in Literature announcement

       The Nobel Prize in Literature will be announced tomorrow, at 13:00 local time (Stockholm); you'll be able to watch the announcement live at the Nobel site.
       The Swedish Academy decides who gets the prize, and its (new) permanent secretary, Sara Danius, will make the announcement. (Oddly enough, they've just announced that Danius has received a literary prize -- the Gerard Bonniers essäpris; the SEK 100,000 isn't exactly Nobel-money, but it ain't bad. Former permanent secretary Horace Engdahl also won this, in 2010, a year after he had stepped down as permanent secretary.)

       Most of the media coverage takes the betting-lists as starting (and ending) point -- so, for example, we have Camille Bas-Wolhert's AFP report (here at Yahoo), The tough task of predicting a Nobel literature laureate, noting that: "The real experts are usually reluctant to make a prediction".
       In one of the more interesting variations on that, Christian Lorentzen admits to actually betting on the Nobel (and other literary prizes) -- and even finds he's: "still in the black" thanks to his Alice Munro punt -- in explaining My Book-Prize Betting Addiction: A User's Guide to Making Money Off Alice Munro. He has a system -- "I tend to make three categories of bet: (1) a likely winner; (2) a writer I really admire who's also a patriotic favorite; (3) a writer I've reviewed negatively" -- which sounds as good as any. (He also thinks Lyudmila Ulitskaya is a "more likely Russophone winner" than current betting-favorite Svetlana Alexievich.)
       In Svenska Dagbladet they offer a list of 12 heta kandidater för litteraturpriset -- most of whom are among the betting favorites, while Folkbladet gets a few wider-ranging suggestions (though Alexievich is also the most often mentioned name).

       Blogger-speculation includes:

       And extensive discussion continues at:        As to those in the discussion, I don't really have all that much to add, but here a few observations regarding some of them:
  • Svetlana Alexievich: is the betting favorite -- down to 3/1 at Ladbrokes as I write this. With pretty much only her Voices from Chernobyl to go on, English-speaking readers might find it hard to judge her (or see what the fuss is about), but it's worth remembering that she is big in Sweden -- a pile of her books have been published there in recent years -- and that her distinctive literary approach (documentary, basically) is a (perhaps welcome ?) change from the usually honored forms. (The prize almost never has gone to a non-fiction author, but the case for her is pretty good.) Throw in the politics -- she's from Belarus, and her critical stance is of the sort that seems to appeal to the Academy -- and the fact that she's a woman (people apparently do keep count, and Danius has mentioned the sex-imbalance among previous winners) and you have a lot of good reasons why they might give it to her. On the other hand, her (relative) overexposure in Sweden the past year or two might suggest it's just her high visibility that's making her all the rage among the bettors.

  • Jon Fosse: was much-discussed last year already, and as an immensely popular playwright (yeah, that doesn't really register in the US/UK, but elsewhere he is, really) as well as novelist is a plausible candidate too. On the other hand, the fact that he's Scandinavian probably doesn't help -- they're probably pretty cautious about giving it to the local authors. I could see them giving it to him -- but I'd be disappointed if he were selected over fellow Norwegian Dag Solstad.

  • Murakami Haruki: has been mentioned as a favorite for years now, but he probably also elicits the most opposition too, considered too lightweight for the Nobel. I think his output is varied and interesting enough to merit consideration, and I wouldn't be shocked if he won, but the Swedish Academy may well be holding out for a slightly weightier Japanese author to give the prize to (though you have to wonder who might be on the horizon -- perhaps A True Novel-author Mizumura Minae, whose attitude towards Japanese literature (which one might sum up as anti-Murakami; see The Fall of Language in the Age of English) might be exactly the sort of thing the Academy is looking for).

  • Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o: well, I've been saying for years Ngũgĩ would/should get the prize, and can still think of no good reason why he shouldn't. You can argue politics regarding some of his work, but I can't imagine that's really much of an issue, and given what he's written, as well as everything else (he's from Africa, writes in Gikuyu, has written significant non-fiction) I'm just surprised they haven't gotten around to giving him the prize yet. Not that that means they'll get around to it this year, but he still seems the obvious choice.

  • Philip Roth: I would be terribly disappointed if they gave it to someone who has stopped writing, as Roth claims he has. Not that he isn't deserving, but they had their chances to reward him and didn't, and I hope that ship has sailed.

  • Amos Oz, Adonis, and Peter Handke: might all be worthy winners -- some more than others -- but all already have piles of awards (indeed have been piling them on in the past few years) and at the same time can't get away from all sorts of controversies, including most recently the fuss about it being announced Adonis was to receive the Erich-Maria-Remarque-Peace Prize. While these choices might be defensible, you really have to wonder whether or not the Swedish Academy wants quite as much fuss as selecting one of them would kick up.

  • Ismail Kadare: has also been in the running seemingly forever, and also would be a bit controversial; still, he seems more likely than any from the Oz/Adonis/Handke group.

  • John Banville: has also received a ton of prizes recently, but I have my doubts that the Swedish Academy wants to honor a very European author who also dabbles in mysteries (as Banville does as Benjamin Black).

  • Krasznahorkai László: I'm warming to the idea of a Krasznahorkai win, but can't imagine this is his year -- the Swedish Academy surely doesn't want to follow the Man Booker International Prize so closely. (This won't be a problem in future years, since they're changing that from an author- to a book-prize.)

  • Joyce Carol Oates, Don DeLillo, Cormac McCarthy, Lydia Davis, Thomas Pynchon, and Marilynne Robinson: are the more or less usual American names tossed in the mix. Yes, they haven't given it to someone from the US in quite a while -- but I can't really see any of them getting it, for a variety of reasons (including simply too much variety (Oates) or relatively too little (Robinson). If anyone has a chance I suppose it might be DeLillo, but I can't really see it

  • Maryse Condé and César Aira: are new names on the betting lists -- something always worth a closer look. Both were also in the Man Booker International Prize running ... which is probably also one of the reasons their names have surfaced, and I don't rate either one's chances very highly.
       And, of course, there are the names that aren't on the lists -- Mahmoud Dowlatabadi, for one, who I would wish was among the favorites.
       If it were up to me I'd have the choice down to one between Ngũgĩ, Dowlatabadi, and the similarly deserving Juan Goytisolo -- but as to what the Swedish Academy might have up their sleeve, I really don't know .....
       Well, there are a few more hours left for speculation ..... Read the rest of this post

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11. लेख प्रकाशित

दैनिक भास्कर ( मोनिका गुप्ता)

दैनिक भास्कर ( मोनिका गुप्ता)

लेख प्रकाशित

दैनिक भास्कर की पत्रिका मधुरिमा मॆ आज अनुभव के अंतर्गत लेख प्रकाशित हुआ. अनुभव था.हिल स्टेशन यात्रा -एक अनुभव..एक हिला देने वाला अनुभव … जी हां मैने भी की हिल स्टेशन यात्रा… क्या ??? आपको विश्वास नही हो रहा ??? क्या मैं पूछ सकती हूं कि विश्वास न करने की क्या वजह है ??? फोटो ??? ओह … हां !!! ये तो सच है कि  कोई फोटो नही डाली पर इसका मतलब यह भी नही की हम गए ही नही… !!! असल में, कैमरा तो था पर तस्वीरे ली ही नही.. कैमरा बैग में ही पडा रहा.

पूरा पढने के लिए आप क्लिक कर सकते हैं …



The post लेख प्रकाशित appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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12. Welcome to Mars Buzz Aldrin

Earth from space photoSpace Pioneer Buzz Aldrin Shares His Vision For Exploring Mars In Welcome to Mars

Could Mars be our future home? Buzz Aldrin thinks so, and he should know! Buzz is one of the first people to walk on the moon, and was a member of the historic Apollo 11 crew. A renowned rocket scientist, he developed a futuristic space transportation system to reach Mars. He chairs his own educational organization, ShareSpace Foundation. And he also has a Toy Story character named after him! (Hint: “To infinity — and beyond!”)

Buzz Aldrin welcome to marsBuzz Aldrin lives, eats, and breathes all things Mars. Buzz has a vision for not only traveling to Mars, but inhabiting it as well. In Welcome to Mars: Making a Home on the Red Planet, Buzz describes what it will take to build a permanent home on this far away planet.

Welcome to Mars reveals the ultimate in space transportation — the Aldrin Cycler Spacecraft – and what the space traveler will encounter upon arrival, including a detailed illustration of the Mars Lander Sequence and an ingenious method for removing the rusty dust stuck to the space suits. The reader is taken on a tour of the Spaceport, learns how dirt bikes and zip lines will be natural forms of red planet entertainment, and discovers how greenhouses will play a vital role in the colonization of Mars. Finally, after months of exploring and living in the rugged Spaceport, it’s moving day – Buzz ups the “wow” factor with high tech and forward-thinking living, eating and recreational quarters aptly named the Founders Dome.

What do you think? Will you sign up to go live on Mars? Tell us in the Comments.

Sonja, STACKS Staffer

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13. Genius Act - Raising the Bar of IQ

There are a wide range of IQ of the general population. Some of us like to think that we are at the upper end of the spectrum. How do you really know for certain what your situation is, right? Some people believe that it is just a matter of IQ test online. The problem is, if at all, only a few of those who are actually on the standardized test methods IQ. Many of them point in the same test procedure.

So how do you decide if a person is really a genius?

There is a way to know if someone who is a genius is absolutely clear. This means that the test limit bandwidth resources.

I'm sure most people at some point heard references to MacGyver. It was a television series about a man of devices that would be created using the basic and simple ingredients that can not take anybody really. Against expectations lower chance he could. This is the most obvious sign of genius, you will find far.

Note: MacGyver is a fictional character, and only in reference to the current correlation between the concepts in this article is passed.

Give me one example!

If you are a genius uneducated person, but also has a strong sense of ambition, with interest in a particular area and a man with 3 doctors and ask them both to a hypothetical application, while only build in the existing theory can be used to his surprise.

Candidate members with many years of training and discipline in this area is automatically provided with the best possible means to solve the problem. However, if he can not do it, and uneducated man could. It is clear that people without education in order smarter than the opponent.

Intelligence is not too good to keep to the tests or information from books. These elements of data storage simply a useful tool to the intellect, which directly helps to facilitate understanding. But the preservation of data is not smarter than the power of a parrot. This data and semantic knowledge, a true genius does come. The more information can be correlated likely success.

Can we increase our IQ?

A person can actively work to increase their IQ by semantic knowledge of information in a particular area. This can be partially relieved of research, but mainly depends on the development practices and the use of knowledge in the form of a solution for a particular problem.

In retrospect, the withholding of information from the doctrine that knowledge is to be attentive to the other person, which should visit the student's perspective. Act reformulation to make them understand the other person, the sense of your individual level of knowledge is probably the most effective ways of strengthening itself.

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14. NYCC’15: ReedPOP Rings the Closing Bell at the New York Stock Exchange

From the New York Stock Exchange calendar: The New York Stock Exchange welcomes representatives from ReedPOP to ring the NYSE Closing Bell® to celebrate the launch of New York Super Week and New York Comic Con in New York City from October 5-11. New York Comic Con is the largest pop culture convention in America, […]

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15. KIDS DESIGN - john lewis

There are lots of new season kidswear arrivals coming into stores for Winter and today I thought I'd take a look at some of the patterns and placement prints just in at John Lewis. Woodland prints are still popular along with plenty of bears and foxes. John Lewis have their own collection prints plus an exclusive Donna Wilson range. Other brands include Jigsaw Junior, Fat Face and the Swedish

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16. Artist of the Day: Courtney Garvin

Discover the art of Courtney Garvin, Cartoon Brew's Artist of the Day!

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17. The Story of Diva and Flea, by Mo Willems and Tony DiTerlizzi | Giveaway

Enter to win a BONJOUR, AMI prize pack that includes The Story of Diva and Flea, written by Mo Willems and illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi (Disney Publishing, 2015). Giveaway begins September 11, 2015, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends October 10, 2015, at 11:59 P.M. PST.

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18. Boomerang Book BItes: Zer0es by Chuck Wendig

On the surface this appears to be a cyber-thriller about hacking. But in the hands of Chuck Wendig it goes somewhere quite different. The book opens and we are introduced to five different hackers; an activist, a professional troller, an old-school hacker, a money skimmer and an amateur hacker completely out of his depth. They […]

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19. The One Stop For Writers Library Is Now Open!

Pass around the party blowers and get your confetti ready, because today we’re launching One Stop For Writers, a powerhouse online library to help writers elevate their storytelling.

This site has been in the works for a year, a collaboration between Becca, Lee Powell (the talented creator of Scrivener for Windows), and me. We are thrilled to throw open our One Stop library doors at last.

What will you find inside One Stop For Writers?

  • 11 extensively developed Descriptive Thesaurus Collections, including content from the bestselling Emotion, Positive and Negative Trait books, as well as the upcoming Setting Thesaurus volumes (Spring 2016 release)
  • An Idea Generator that pushes Writer’s Block aside while helping you plan stunning, deep characters by exploring possible emotional wounds, fears, and areas of internal growth (along with other aspects of story development)
  • Unique Worksheets and Templates to assist with character building, setting planning, scene-by-scene emotional escalations, symbolism, and more (export and print friendly)
  • Tutorials that promote a greater understanding of story and character development and allow writers to do more with less when it comes to crafting meaningful description
  • The ability to customize descriptive entries by creating notes and ideas to save for future use
  • Intuitive links and an advanced search function to help writers find what they need quickly so they spend less time researching and more time writing

And this is only the beginning.

Becca, Lee, and I look forward to adding new enhancements, lessons, creative tools, and descriptive collections to help you grow into a stronger, more prolific writer!

Do you need One Stop For Writers? Pop in and find out.

Logo-OneStop-For-Writers-mediumRegister to check out the free version and get an idea of what we offer, and if you like, take advantage of this SWEET launch week deal by using this coupon:


to get 50% off any first-time subscriber plan…1 month, 6 months or 1 full year. 

Simply cut and paste the above code into the coupon box on the subscription page BEFORE selecting a plan. It’s that easy. You can find our pricing & plans here. Please note this coupon must be used by October 14th.

Win, Win Win!

Also, to help everyone get into the party mood, we’re paying-it-forward with some terrific writerly education. One winner will snag a seat in the extremely popular Lost Your Pants? The Impatient Writer’s Guide to Plotting a Story class, with writing coach and author Jami Gold. This winner will also receive Jami’s On Demand workshop: Beat Sheet Basics: Know Your Story Structure. These two phenomenal workshops will give someone a terrific window into how to create page-turners with tight story structure and deep character development—all while learning how to write faster, too. With NaNoWriMo coming up, this workshop could not be better timed!

Follow the links above for more information and please note: the Lost Your Pants class takes place in two parts on October 13 & 15th. Should the winner be unable to attend live, a recording will be provided. Draw closes October 11th, 6:30 PM EST.

Win, Win, Win! (Part 2)

You like to win things. We like to give things. It’s a perfect match, don’t you think? So, we’ve rustled up SEVEN 1-year subscriptions for One Stop. How many words could you get on the page with all these resources at your fingertips for an entire year? Let’s find out! Draw closes October 14 th, 6:30 PM EST.

As always, these giveaways are free to enter, no purchase necessary, and are open to anyone over the age of 18 unless prohibited by law. Just fill out THIS FORM to enter. Full legal details here.

The library is open, and your readers are waiting. Let us help you plan and create, so you can get those words down on the page.

Happy writing from your One Stop Librarians,

Angela_One Stop For Writers Becca_One Stop For Writers Lee_One Stop For Writers

Angela, Becca, & Lee

(If you are so inclined, feel free to share this post! And thank you for all your support of this crazy new adventure of ours.)


The post The One Stop For Writers Library Is Now Open! appeared first on WRITERS HELPING WRITERS™.

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20. Inktober 2015 - Day 6

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21. Prix Goncourt (less-)longlist

       The prix Goncourt -- the top French book prize -- goes through four rather than the usual three rounds, and they've now announced the deuxième sélection -- the not-quite-so-longlist.
       Boualem Sansal's 2084 and Simon Liberati's controversial Eva have made the cut, as have the books by Alain Mabanckou and Mathias Enard.

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22. Waiting on Wednesday \\ NOVEMBER 9 by @colleenhoover #WOW

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. Pick of the week: November 9 Author: Colleen Hoover Release Date: November 10th 2015 Publisher: Atria Books Amazon  | Goodreads This is a love story between a guy (me) and a girl (Fallon). I think. Can it even be considered

0 Comments on Waiting on Wednesday \\ NOVEMBER 9 by @colleenhoover #WOW as of 10/7/2015 1:02:00 AM
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23. No posthumous Wallanders (?)

       As I mentioned yesterday, Henning Mankell has passed away, and now AFP reports that his publisher insists there will no more Wallander books (written by others in Mankell's name, as the James Bond books now are, or the new 'Stieg Larsson', etc. etc.).
       "Nothing can be approved without my agreement" the publisher claims, but I suspect if the heirs really want to cash in -- and so often they do -- there won't be much that he can do about it. So I wouldn't be too sure that we've seen our last Wallander yet.

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24. #748 – The Shark Rider: Tristan Hunt and the Sea Guardians #2 by Ellen Prager

The Shark Rider Series: Tristan Hunt and the Sea Guardians #2 Written by Ellen Prager Illustrated by Antonia Javier Caparo Mighty Media Junior Readers     5/01/2015 978-1-938063-51-0 280 pages      Age 8—12 “After thwarting the dastardly plans of J. P. Rickerton, Tristan Hunt is having trouble keeping his newfound talents a secret. And …

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25. Walking and Talking With . . . Tim Federle!

Steve Sheinkin returns once more to write up and illustrate his “Walking and Talking” series.  As with other posts in the series, Steve will have a conversation with an author or illustrator and then pluck out and bring to life the parts that really define something about the process.  Part of the reason I love these is that Steve’s such a marvelous editor.  He knows how to get to the heart of a conversation.  And this week’s subject is near and dear to me.  Behold all that is Tim Federle!

TimFederle1TimFederle2Thanks to Steve for allowing me to showcase his work.  For previous entries in the “Walking and Talking” series, please be sure to check out the following:


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