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Maker programming is a large trend in public libraries throughout North America. By researching kit options and planning for added costs, public libraries can develop successful steam programming.
Moose Jaw Public Library has invested in a number of Maker programming initiatives which have been well received, including MakeDo, Squishy Circuits, and Little Bits. Prior to purchasing we sought reviews from a number of sources, including communications with other librarians, makezine.com, and reviews at PLA and at other conferences. We funded our Maker programs through a grant and through donations from our local Friends of the Library.
MakeDo encourages children to explore basic engineering principles. Each kit comes with a plastic safe saw, and several pins and hinges. Each library supplies cardboard boxes and the paper supplies required by the kits. Children can build anything they wish, or follow the kit instructions. While they cannot take their creations home, they can display their works of art and turn your library into a gallery!
With electrical circuit kits, it is important to consider the actual ongoing cost of the maker kits, including replacement parts. Squishy Circuits and Little Bits are very popular, however both kits have hidden costs. Squishy Circuits offers a fun, tactile way to experience electricity. However, librarians will need to factor in the cost of extra dough, replacement wires and time for cleaning equipment. Little Bits are fun! Kids love assembling these magnetic circuits. Buy the largest pack in your budget, as you will want multiples for a larger group. Additional budgeting is a must, as some pieces at the time of our kit’s purchase were only sold separately.
The Acton-Agua Dulce Public Library has also invested in various maker kits, with special emphasis on Snap Circuits Jr. kits. Each kit comes with an instructional booklet with projects that a child could do alone or in pairs. The baseline Jr. kit comes with 100 available projects that start from a basic closed circuit where a light illuminates or a fan spins to more complicated series and parallel circuits. I used this set for a S.T.E.A.M. centered program for ages 8-14 and it was very well received. Some kids already had lessons on circuitry and knew how they worked so I allowed them to have complete freedom with the kits and focused more on those who were just learning how the circuits worked.
The Snap Circuits kits turned out to be excellent for passive programming as well as more structured, lesson-based programming. We now have a couple different types of kits at the library as part of our Homework Center, and the afterschool kids love setting them up and seeing what they can create. And don’t worry if a piece gets lost or broken because you can easily buy replacement parts through their website. The only additional cost to the kits is the use of AA batteries, two needed per kit.
Three questions you may want to ask before buying your maker kit: Will it be something that kids will ask for again, over and over? Can you do a whole program around the kit? How easy is it to get replacement parts? The biggest takeaway with buying maker kits is that you have to try them for yourself to see what will work for you and your community.
Our guest bloggers today are Amanda Cain and Tina Dolcetti.Tina currently works for the Moose Jaw Public Library as a Children’s Librarian. By night, Tina can be found in her community, mentoring an adult with a cognitive disability for the Saskatchewan Association for Community Living. Amanda is a Children’s Librarian who enjoys opening young minds with stories, rhymes and activities at the Acton-Agua Dulce Public Library.
Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do
Courtesy photo from Amanda Cain
not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.
If you’d like to write a guest post for the ALSC Blog, please contact Mary Voors, ALSC Blog manager, at email@example.com.
It's a bit of a strange thing to say, but I might have liked Captain America: Civil War better if it were a less good movie. When films like The Dark Knight Rises or Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice deliver rancid political messages wrapped in equally rancid plots and characterization, the reviewer's job is made easier. We can point to how a failure to recognize the actual complexity of a
When I was young and learned my father served in the Naval Air Corps during WWII, I became a voracious reader of anything and everything about the war, including the Holocaust, Pearl Harbor, Jackie Robinson, Rosie the Riveter, the WACs, and more. What I didn't find were stories about the Tuskegee Airmen. My young self would have been as thrilled as I am today with the release of an amazing poetry collection entitled You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen, written by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Jeffery Boston Weatherford.
You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen is a collaboration between award-winning children’s book author Carole Boston Weatherford and her son, debut illustrator Jeffery Boston Weatherford. They have woven poems and scratchboard illustrations into a history in verse inspired as much by World War II newsreels as by modern day graphic novels. The project was nearly ten years in the making. With starred reviews in Kirkus and Publisher’s Weekly, the book for middle grades is off to a flying start.
Here the mother-son/author-illustrator team interview each other.
Carole:When did you first hear about the Tuskegee Airmen?
Jeffery: I first heard about them when I was a young boy. We took family trips to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington and to Tuskegee Institute, Alabama where we toured exhibits about the Tuskegee University’s founder Booker T. Washington, botanist George Washington Carver and the Tuskegee Airmen. I always had dreams of flight.
Jeffery: Why did you want to write this book? Carole: I first learned of the Tuskegee Airmen in a magazine article in the 1980s. I was so moved by their story that I saved the magazine. My literary mission is to mine the past for family stories, fading traditions and forgotten struggles. The Airmen’s saga is historically and politically significant. As a children’s literature professor, I knew of at least one historical fiction picture book and of several informational books about the Tuskegee Airmen. I felt that the story would lend itself well to a poetic treatment.
Carole: Tell us about your family’s military ties?
Jeffery: My great great great grandfather Isaac Copper fought in the U.S. Colored Troops during the Civil War. He was one of 17 veterans who founded the town of Unionville on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. My mother’s father Joseph Boston Jr. served in World War II. He was a technical sergeant in the Army Corps of Engineers in New Guinea and the Philippines. My grandmother still has his uniform and medals.
Jeffery: Which poem was most challenging to write?
Carole: “Operation Prove Them Wrong” was by far the toughest to write. It was like plotting scenes for a war movie. I had to boil down Operation Corkscrew and Operation Diadem to a few lines that captured the battles. It might have been easier if I were gamer like you or at least a World War II buff.
Carole: You were a serious gamer growing up. Did your background as a gamer influence how you illustrated the battle scenes?
Jeffery: Yes, absolutely. I had lots of residual visual references from battles across galaxies.
Jeffery: What is your favorite illustration from the book? Carole: I like the one opposite the poem “Routines.” It shows a dogfight in which one plane gets bombed and explodes. The explosion is quite animated, like something out of a comic book. I almost want to add an action bubble: Boom! Carole: Describe your creative process. Jeffery: For inspiration, I viewed documentary photographs from the Library of Congress and National Archives collections. While researching picture references, I had some dreams of meeting Tuskegee Airmen. I also watched the movie Red Tails. For each illustration, I drew a graphite study to layout the composition. Once that was completed and approved by the publisher, I refined the image and transferred it to scratchboard. I used various nibs for different effects.
Jeffery with Airman portrait
Jeffery: What do you want readers to take away from the book?
Carole: I want them to be inspired by the courage and determination of the Tuskegee Airmen. I want them to understand that the sky is no limit if they are willing to prepare themselves, practice and persevere. The book aims to lift the ceiling off of young people’s dreams.
P-51 Mustangs flying in formation over Ramitelli, Italy.
The poems in this volume are moving, vivid, and packed with information. The poem in the Epilogue describes the race barrier breaking moments that came after the Tuskegee Airmen paved the way for integration of the U.S. military. The backmatter includes an author's note, timeline, and extensive list of additional resources and primary sources.
This article popped up on the feed the other day, and I was reminded about the presence of and representation of witches throughout time, in a society that has pretty much commodified witchcraft into a visual and figurative only culture, i.e. Halloween, rather than a metaphoric one. The W.I.T.C.H. group was collective performance, an agitation and ripple to the world of conventionality. They aligned their ideals through direct actions, mailings, printed matter, and spoken activism. Like many other political aggregates of the time, we are fortunate to have propaganda ephemera validating action and disruption:
W.I.T.C.H. Women’s Liberation [Women’s International Terrorist Conspiracy from Hell], c. 1969, mailing list card [#9011]
“We promise to love, cherish, and groove on each other and on all living things. We promise to smash the alienated family unit. We promise not to obey. We promise this through highs and bummers, in recognition that riches and objects are totally available through socialism or theft (but also that possessing is irrelevant to love)….We pronounce ourselves Free Human Beings.”
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Welcome, poetry friends! I'm happy to host Poetry Friday once again right here. Jump to the bottom and link your post below courtesy of Mister Linky. Meanwhile, Mother's Dayis coming up, so I thought I might take a moment to share some poetry resources for celebrating the moms and grandmoms in our lives-- and other women who are special to us. So, in that spirit, here is a list of 10 of my favorite books of poetry about mothers. (You can find many more in my Poetry Teacher's Book of Lists. FYI) Diverse Poetry Books about Mothers <!--[if gte mso 9]>Normal0falsefalsefalseEN-USJAX-NONE<![endif]-->
What better tribute for a mother, aunt or grandmother than a well-chosen poem? Poets have given us words with which to honor the women in our lives in many poetry books in picture book form or in novels in verse or in anthologies of poems by many poets.
Atkins, Jeannine. 2010. Borrowed Names; Poems About Laura Ingalls Wilder, Madam C. J. Walker, Marie Curie, and Their Daughters. Henry Holt.
Grimes, Nikki. 2015. Poems in the Attic. Ill. by Elizabeth Zunon. New York: Lee & Low.
Holt, K. A. 2015. House Arrest. San Francisco: Chronicle.
Lewis, J. Patrick. 2005. Vherses: A Celebration of Outstanding Women.Mankato, MN: Creative Editions.
McCall, Guadalupe Garcia. 2011. Under the Mesquite. New York: Lee & Low.
Mora, Pat. 2001. Ed. Love to Mamá: a Tribute to Mothers. New York: Lee & Low Books.
Smith, Hope Anita. 2009. Mother: Poems. New York: Henry Holt.
Thomas, Joyce Carol. 2001. A Mother’s Love: Poems for us to Share.New York: Joanna Cotler.
Wong. Janet S. 1999. The Rainbow Hand: Poems about Mothers and Children. New York: McElderry.
Yolen, Jane and Heidi E.Y. Stemple. 2001. Dear Mother, Dear Daughter: Poems for Young People.Honesdale, PA: Wordsong/Boyds.
Plus, I hope you'll also indulge a plug for the many poems about mothers in The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations, including the poem that Janet Wong wrote especially for Mother's Day. (And yes, that is my own mom and holding me as a newborn in the photo!)
Now, let's see what poetry goodness awaits us at other lovely blogs! Mister Linky will gather all our posts below. Thanks for sharing!
Today, I'm excited to share Sarah Jude's latest book, which just released on Tuesday. Sarah is awesome and her book looks amazing! Check out The May Queen Murders.
Stay on the roads. Don’t enter the woods. Never go out at night.
Those are the rules in Rowan’s Glen, a remote farming community in the Missouri Ozarks where Ivy Templeton’s family has lived for centuries. It’s an old-fashioned way of life, full of superstition and traditions, and sixteen-year-old Ivy loves it. The other kids at school may think the Glen kids are weird, but Ivy doesn’t care—she has her cousin Heather as her best friend. The two girls share everything with each other—or so Ivy thinks. When Heather goes missing after a May Day celebration, Ivy discovers that both her best friend and her beloved hometown are as full of secrets as the woods that surround them. Excerpt:
Kerosene slopped from the rusty pail and splashed against the abandoned stable. Fumes burned my eyes but didn’t blur my father’s silhouette as he faced the building, bucket in hand. It would burn and, with it, the body inside.
“Go to hell!”
Papa’s shoulders twisted as he wheeled back, shouting, sweeping the pail around. More kerosene rained against the wood while bile scorched my throat. I was too tired to get sick on the hay, my body wasted from screaming. I wiped my hand over my mouth and something snagged my lip. My fingernail was missing, a ragged root jutting from the bloody bed. Bitten off and swallowed by someone who wanted me dead.
This ain’t real.
Yet I smelled the kerosene and felt the spring air and the dust in my nose, my feet firm on the ground. No matter how my mind ached to fly away, it tethered to a stark truth. This was real.
“Ivy, stay back,” Papa warned, and then looked to Mama, close by with an antique lantern shedding dim light. The night sky swelled with clouds like spiders’ egg sacs ready to burst, but the storm would miss Rowan’s Glen. The hay, the ground, the stable were kindling-dry, and every movement kicked up brown clouds. Mama pulled me until we were safely away. The clink of her silver bracelets racked together as she eased her arm around my shoulder.
“Don’t worry.” Mama’s still-thick Mexican accent lilted her voice, but her expression was stoic except for a pinch around her eyes. That blankness scared me.
“This must be done,” she whispered.
I wadded my fingers into my long skirt. The blue patchwork was smeared with blood and dirt. Last summer, my cousin Heather and I sewed peasant skirts together. They flared when I spun, round and round, always with Heather.
The last time I saw Heather, she was wearing a skirt with red ruffles.
Papa trailed kerosene on the ground and retreated from the stable before tossing the pail inside. I couldn’t see into the shadows. The body lying on the stone floor might yet have a pulse. A shiver tugged at my neck, my chest rising and falling with shallow breaths. One clear thought pierced my mind’s muddle, and it sickened me.
I wanted that body to burn.
“Timothy.” Mama fished a book of matches from a pocket in her apron and gave them to Papa. He took the matches and stretched one hand to hold mine. He was strong. My throat ached when I swallowed, from being choked in an attempt to silence me. Now I said nothing as Papa struck the match.
The fire didn’t whoosh to life. First, the match hit the ground and breathed. Then a blue worm of flames emerged from the earth and devoured one blot of fuel before moving to the next. Upon reaching the stable, the worm bloated into a dragon that blazed yellow and orange. The wood planks hammered by my great-great-grandfather when he was young crackled, bone-dry from drought. Fire twisted through the stable while coils of smoke erupted from the windows. The pulse of the body inside thump-thumped in my head. Frantic. Dying.
“Mama?” I whimpered.
“It’s only fair,” she said.
Papa didn’t speak. Rage had made him do the unspeakable. For me, even though I’d survived. But also for those who hadn’t. Fire was cleansing. Fire was vengeance. The flames burned red, as red as the ruffles of Heather’s skirt. As red as Heather’s hair.
SARAH JUDE lives by the woods and has an owl that lands on her chimney every night. She grew up believing you had to hold your breath when passing a graveyard. Now she writes about cemeteries, murder, and folklore. She resides in Missouri with her husband, three children, and two dogs. When she's not writing, she can be found volunteering at a stable for disabled riders. Visit her website at www.sarahjude.com.
*Want your YA, NA, or MG book featured on my blog? Contact me here and we'll set it up. Add a Comment
Preparo o projetos, as artes e os arquivos para entrega nas gráficas, a partir de sua ideia original.
Também domino os recursos necessários para:
– restauro, alteração e retoque de fotografias;
– criação de logotipos / marcas / identidade visual;
– projetos de comunicação institucional;
– criação de projeto e diagramação de livros, apostilhas, cartazes, revistas, papelaria de sua empresa/escritório;
– criação de personagens "mascotes", para eventos, produtos, empresas;
– criação e diagramação de "Bíblias" para séries de TV, Cinema, quadrinhos – com elaboração de sinopse dos episódios, design dos personagens, descrição de universo de série, tag lines pra pitching de produção;
– criação de roteiros institucionais ou ficção;
– scriptdoctoring e leitura crítica de originais literários;
– criação de rótulos, banners, adesivos, camisetas, etc;
– criação de memes, quadrinhos, tirinhas.
Essa obra foi eleita a melhor do ano
pelo Insituto Brasileiro de Genealogia:
Esta obra recebeu o prêmio "Altamente Recomendável"
da Fundação Nacional do Livro Infatojuvel – FNLIJ:
Obra com arte, projeto e textos de minha autoria. Selecionado para o Programa Nacional Biblioteca da Escola – PNBE:
I visited four first grade classes (two visits -- two classes per visit) this week as the "visiting poet." One of the groups used the above picture as a prompt to start writing nonfiction poems. In my mailbox today, I found this:
And in this envelope was a whole packet of piggy poems!
Here are a few:
I am pink.
My nam is pig.
I am skrd you will
I liv in a farm.
And I slep in
(Stanzas!! And how about those pig balloons!!)
the pig are pink
they roll in mud
togther as a team
baby pig are piglets
snort oink snort oink
(I like how this writer improved on the "oink oink" ending!)
(never mind Cinco de Mayo...let's celebrate PIGS DAY!)
For decades many ALSC book and media award committees have observed time-honored confidentiality policies. The question has been brought to the ALSC Board: For research purposes, should there be a designated statute of limitations on these confidentiality policies?
That’s a big question to think about, and we want your input! Please complete the following survey by Wednesday, May 18:
This month the Poetry Seven crew wrote in the form of the tritina. The tritina is composed of 3 tercets and a final line (envoi) that stands alone. Similar to a sestina, though shorter, it uses a set of 3 alternating end words instead of six. The form is: ABC / CAB / BCA / A, B, and C (final line/envoi).
The words we chose from were selected by Tanita. They were: sweet, cold, stone, hope, mouth, thread
I think repeating words are hard, so this took some thought. However, it was the final line using all three words at once that proved to be the real challenge. I wrote two poems for this form. The first is a bit melancholy, but that always happens to me at this time of the year. My father’s birthday was yesterday (the 5th). He would have been 90 this year. And tomorrow (the 7th) is the 7th anniversary of his death, so he’s been much on my mind as of late. Therefore, the first poem is for/about him. The second is much lighter.
Without further ado, my tritinas.
My father pulled the hook from the mouth of the bass. I touched its cold scales, the thrill of catching it sweet.
Memories of my father are sweet, though sometimes I imagine him, mouth agape, my mother at his side touching his cold
hands. At the end, the world went cold. There was nothing sweet in death. My heart and mouth
slammed shut. Now I fish alone--no dad, no largemouth--just cold, sweet stillness.
Speed Dating Introduction ... A 30-Second Tritina
I relish the smoothness of a stone worn by water, the sweet smell of freshly mown grass, the cold
slide of ice cream down my throat. I long for winter cold, summer sun, the skipping of a stone across the lake, that first buttery taste of sweet
corn. I believe in the sweet hereafter, going cold turkey, that some things are set in stone.
About this book:
John "Smoke" Conlan is serving time for two murders but he wasn't the one who murdered his English teacher, and he never intended to kill the only other witness to the crime. A dangerous juvenile rehabilitation center in Denver, Colorado, known as the Y, is Smoke's new home...
I've been a blogger slacker; I confess. It wasn't meant to be this way.
But I've been rolling through and over rugged landscapes in these past weeks, and sometimes it's better to think and to do, rather than to speak.
But now I'm speaking:
Following thirty years of chasing projects in corporate America I am calling off the chase. I loved what I did, the people I met, the meaty, beautiful, complex projects I was entrusted with, the client projects that still sit proudly on my shelves. But in recent years too much has changed—a disheartening disrespect and disequilibrium has entered in. It's a demand and disappear environment out there these days. It's phones ringing after dinner with early AM deadlines, nights tapping away, and the next-day news: Whoops. Sorry. We were wrong. Didn't need that project after all.
Didn't need you.
I have lived my life putting my family and friends first, my students second, my corporate clients second, too, and me a distant something. I would do it all exactly the same way again; I have no regrets. But going forward I know what I want, where I am happiest, what I must be, must have. More time with books. More time with people who write and read with noble purpose. More time spent beneath a blooming, bursting cherry tree, or on a farm, or by the sea.
More time being the me I need.
Not long ago, in New York, I sat with someone I have grown to love, the great editor, Lauren Wein. Later, writing to me, she wrote words that ricocheted through me. After so much frank unkindness from corporate America, after too much time spent in the claw and crawl of it all, I had this sudden sense of being seen.
seeing you i thought again what i thought the other time---beth has such SHARP EDGES. in the very best way. your virtual presence is so much about generosity, encouragement, positive reinforcement--for other writers and artists, for your family, for your students. in person, the other side comes out. and it's equally compelling---it raises the stakes somehow, in the best way! it's still positive, lyrical, poetic Beth, but there's also a tension there--the sense of an oppositional pull. the bold, unexpected shoes to complement and subvert the elegant, basic black.
Being seen. How simple that sounds. How great the journey.
Me: Check out paragraph 2 of this press release I just got—
May 5, 2016, Mount Laurel, NJ: Four of the leading independent comic book publishers have come together with Groupees to offer fans a low cost entry into the world of original storytelling from some of the leading names in graphic fiction!
This cross-publisher pay what you want “Bundle of Independents” features approximately $300 worth of books by some of the industry’s greatest creators from Garth Ennis, Greg Rucka, Duane Swierczynski, Andy Diggle, Howard Chaykin, Peter Milligan, Andy Diggle, Jim Starlin, Jae Lee, Joshua Hale Fialkov, Tim Seeley, Jeff Lemire, Dustin Nguyen, Brian Wood, Rick Remender, Joe Hill, Sam Keith, Charles Soule, Cullen Bunn, and more!
brilliant editing, guys
Scott: that’s so embarrassing
The all-men lineup. Lower in the press release you learn that one of the items in the bundle is Saga.
Why on earth wouldn’t you mention Fiona (and BKV for that matter) in your summary???
Scott: that’s insane.
But you know what? They didn’t mention Darwyn Cooke, either. Or Bryan Lee O’Malley, Walter Simonson.
Scott: what a perfect expression
Me: He’s the Mr. Knightley to the Emma actress you looked up the other day, the one I knew SO WELL
from, you know, Emma
Me: Also Edmund from Mansfield Park
Me: You realize this is why nothing gets done in modern civilization
Today we're super excited to present a sneak peek from David Levithan and Nina LaCour's YOU KNOW ME WELL, releasing June 7, 2016 from St. Martin's Griffin. Check out information about the book below, the sneak peek, and a giveaway!
YOU KNOW ME WELL
by Nina LaCour, David Levithan...
With Mother’s Day this weekend, have you thought about what you are going to do to show your mom how much you love and appreciate her? If you still haven’t got a clue, here’s an awesome plan that you, your siblings, and your dad can do for the ultimate Mother’s Day gift from the heart.
On the menu is a classic breakfast of toast, eggs, strawberries, and any other cereal or yogurt you know your mom loves. What makes this breakfast uber-adorable is the heart-shaped toast and strawberries. Here’s how to make them:
photo credit: jenifoto/iStockphoto
1. Heart-shaped toast with egg
Ok, so here’s where art class might come in handy. Grab a piece of toast and use a butter knife to cut out a big heart shape in the center. Have a grown-up help you turn the stove to medium high and add butter to a non-stick pan. Place the bread with the cut out heart on the pan and slowly crack an egg into the middle of the heart shape, making sure the egg whites fill out the area. Cook as desired, either on one side or flip to get both sides cooked.
photo credit: talitha_it/iStockphoto
2. Heart-shaped strawberries
Have you ever noticed that strawberries look like hearts? They could make the cutest fruit garnish to top off Mom’s favorite bowl of cereal, oatmeal, or yogurt. To do this, hold the strawberry so that the flatter and wider side faces you. Have a grown-up help you cut the leafy stem off in a v-shape. Then carefully slice the strawberry down the middle, in the opposite direction of the v-shape, so that the strawberry looks like a heart.
Make sure you do a few trial runs first to perfect your technique. Also, don’t forget to wake up a little early that day before Mom wakes up so you have time to prepare. She’ll love waking up to a big breakfast surprise made by YOU.
Part 4 in Making Things Up: a blog series about the creative process.
The other day I was chatting with one of my fellow bloggers - Addy - and made a comment about Plot Bunnies, when she said....
What is a Plot Bunny? Just in case any other writers out there aren't in with the Plot Bunnies, here we go! And if this is all sounding rather daft to the sensible, here is the literary kudos. Although Plot Bunnies have been around since the beginning of time, Steinbeck phrased it rather nicely:
Ideas are like rabbits. You get a few and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen. John Steinbeck
Plot Bunnies inhabit your daydreams, your unconscious, your subconscious, everywhere you're not using logic or conscious thought, and they want attention. One bunny leads to another, and another, and another - and you never know where they might take you. They can be distracting, but ignore them at your peril. They are the lifeblood of being a writer.
It can be very tempting when you're deep in the writing cave to ignore your Plot Bunnies. You're a Serious Writer; you have a deadline, whether self-imposed or in a contract. You are focused, committed, and you will write 1000 words or whatever you've set yourself and you will finish chapter X. Serious Writers don't have time for the bunnies.
Plot Bunnies are your friends, and they must be cared for and nurtured. If they are, they refuse to go away until you write them. They are those ideas that wiggle and jump inside your head for attention; they must be written. They NEED to be written. They will make your writing better. They may make you waste time now and then, true, but if you routinely quash them down, they may not be there when you need them.
So, how do you encourage visits by these shy and elusive creatures? This depends on the writer and Plot Bunnies involved. My Plot Bunnies need the following:
Tea. Lots of tea, in mugs with interesting or inspirational messages (Don't Panic, above, is one of my favourites). Notebooks. usually brightly coloured, with or without frogs and hamsters.
Banrock - of course. As chief muse he is a Plot Bunny wrangler. The *right* pens. Appropriate T shirts: particularly favoured if actual bunnies are involved, as above. Naps.
Walks. Environmentally unfriendly long showers, where I'm so away with the Plot Bunnies that I can't remember whether I've washed my hair or not and have to start over again. Sometimes, even chocolate and wine!!
Banrock, Chief Muse and Plot Bunny Wrangler, has been there since the beginning: here he is with Slated proofs - back in 2011!
No matter how important and serious your writing is to you - and believe me, mine is to me - without enough of the crazy, it just doesn't work.