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Do you ever stop learning? I don’t. I may be able to teach a number of things and bring out the best in my students, but for myself, I keep learning.
Here are some things I’ve learned lately.
Sometimes we need a good dose of cute!
Yep! I did it! I made it through another colonoscopy with flying colors! I will let you in on a little survival secret. How to drink the yucky liquid without tossing your cookies.
Try this method. This is all you need:
1. 9 – 8 oz paper cups with straws
2. “The drink”
3. A timer
4. A computer and the Pinterest website
My colonoscopy required me to drink 9 glasses of “the drink”. One glass every 10 minutes! EEeeeek!
Simply pour the liquid into the 9 cups. Next, go to the Pinterest website. Most of you who know Pinterest, know, that it is a great sucker of time. That is what you want, you want to be taken away to Pinterest Land and lose track of what you are doing until the timer goes off! Soon you will be ready for cup #2, then #3 and on to # 9! Viola! You are done! Thank you Pinterest!!!! …. and yes, everything came out just fine! haha!
Filed under: Kicking Around Thoughts
Lyra McKen launches a new blog tour with us today. She has a little something to say about her chosen craft. It is a good message for any writer!
But, I'm a Writer
I have made this the title of one of my boards on Pinterest, which is totally addictive by the way, because I think it adds up to the struggle writers have on a daily basis. That struggle is just believing in yourself.
I have a mild panic attack when I upload to Amazon. I briefly think to myself that it isn’t good enough, it needs ten more beta reads, or a fourth edit, but I just have to let go…
I have that struggle to believe in myself daily when I write a new chapter, or someone reads my book. I feel like I am just pretending to be good at writing and they are going to hate it. That nagging little voice in the back of my head says, "But, I'm a writer." This is when I snap out of it. I am a writer because I write. It's the same thing that happens when an editor sends me my work back covered in comments and corrections. "But, I'm a writer." I know they make it better, and my editors do an amazing job, but it still gives you that momentary what am I doing feeling.
Putting yourself out there and being vulnerable is hard, your work is your baby and you are metaphorically feeding it to the wolves. I have learned a lot about the writing process over the year I have been working on it and I am beyond thrilled to have great friends and publishers that have helped me along the whole way.
So when you find yourself knee deep in edits or someone gives you a two star review and you say, “But I’m a writer,” remember that we all struggle with the same feelings of inadequacy. You just have to suck it up and take out the ‘but.’ Declare it loud and believe in yourself.
“I am a writer!”
Lyra McKen (aka, Emily Walker) resides in the mountains of North Carolina. She lives on top of a mountain quite literally with her other half of nine years and her fur baby, Rebel. After a couple of jobs ghost writing for other successful authors she embarked on her own journey to write a novel.
Zombified available on Kindle:
By: Mark Miller,
Blog: From the land of Empyrean
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Today, I am hosting a fellow Floridian author, Keith Rommel. He's originally from New York, but he moved to sunny climes and is hard at work on his series Thanatology. With the release of the second book in the series, Keith is having a contest on Pinterest. Read below to find out how you could win!
What happens after we die? Are we given choices based on how we lived our lives? It’s an age-old question pondered by just about everyone.
Author Keith Rommel dared to explore the answer by creating his newest novel The Lurking Man
, a story of dark suspense that unmercifully reveals the life of a self-deluded, neglectful mother who caused irreparable damage to her family and ultimately struggles with death as much as life. It’s the second novel in his suspenseful and thrilling Thanatology
series that began with the eerie, spine-tingling The Cursed Man
“Imagine Death knowing your deepest, darkest secrets and all of your private pain,” said Rommel about The Lurking Man. “Now imagine it wants to use what it knows against you so that you bend to its will.”
In The Lurking Man
, main character Cailean stands beneath a spotlight in a blinding snowstorm. She has no idea where she is or how she got there, but she senses something moving around her in the darkness outside the light.
When the ominous presence calling himself Sariel makes himself known, he declares that he is Death Incarnate and that Cailean has died. He has taken her to the Aperture, a place between the living and the dead, where he will force her to face the sins of her past in exchange for twenty-four hours of life to try and right her wrongs. But what she must do in return for this precious time is unthinkable.
Rommel’s series is titled due to Thanatology
being a study that explores death and dying. Rommel has taken this science to a fictionalized, gothic-style horror level that may leave you breathless and unable to stop your mind from contemplating how you live your own life.
The books are grouped in the series due to the nature of the theme, but each book may be read independently. “Those who read in order will be able to catch glimpses from previous book(s), but it is not dependent upon each individual story,” Rommel said. The Cursed Man
and The Lurking Man
are released by Sunbury Press. Book three in the Thanatology
series is on schedule for a summer 2013 release. The Cursed Man
is currently being considered as a feature film.
Get involved in Keith Rommel’s book tour by taking part in his Pinterest contest! If you don’t have Pinterest go to www.pinterest.com
For those of you already pinning, make a board titled something like “Book Contest~The Grim Reaper”
or you can make your own title. It doesn’t have to be morbid, just make it fun! Especially with Halloween month upon us, there are all kinds of things out there that will make it fun.
You MUST at least pin the photos with link to The Cursed Man
and The Lurking Man
, Keith Rommel’s two books in his Thanatology
series, and pin the link to his blog tour dates.
You can find the books with links to re-blog on the example board at: http://pinterest.com/erinalmehairi/book-contest-the-grim-reaper/
You can find the blog tour schedule to pin at http://keithrommel.weebly.com
You have until 11:59 p.m. EST the final day of the tour to create your post. Be creative, the best board wins an ARC paperback copy of The Cursed Man
, an e-book of The Lurking Man
and some cool bookmarks! This is for USA and CANADA only.
You must leave a comment back here, or under the post at Keith’s blog, that you did the contest with the link and with your email so we can get in touch with you! And if you had a great time and read the book be sure to click "like" on book seller sites and let us know what you think.
Some ideas to get you started:
*Think outside the box!
*Think about all the psychological horror movies relating to cheating Death.
*Think about fun creatives like food or clothing for a book party (for a book launch or book club).
*Think about colors, art, music, visuals that relate to stories of the Grim Reaper.
*It doesn’t have to be morbid, make it fun especially with Halloween parties coming up!
Keith Rommel’s books are about how Death comes in different bodily forms and shapes—sometimes in the shadows…hiding in the darkness, hiding in our minds, making us think back on our lives, yet sometimes in the daylight, haunting and maddening our mental state.
About the Author: Keith Rommel is a native of Long Island, New York and currently lives with his family in Port Saint Lucie, Florida. Rommel is a retail manager and has enjoyed collecting comic books since he was a child (a hobby inspired by a teacher in grade school to help overcome a reading comprehension disability).
Rommel is the author of two books in his Thanatology
series entitled The Cursed Man
and The Lurking Man
. The Cursed Man
is currently being considered as a feature film. He enjoys offering his experiences to other authors, writing several articles about writing and publishing, and is currently fast at work on the third novel in the Thanatology
series which is scheduled for a summer 2013 release.
He also has several other novels in the works. Besides writing, he also enjoys watching the New York Giants, scary stories, and spending time with family.
You can get The Cursed Man on Kindle here:
You can get The Lurking Man on Kindle here:
Both books are also available in paperback.
You can find Keith here:
By: Betsy Bird
Blog: A Fuse #8 Production
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The best books lists are abundant and here! So very exciting, yes? I do love this time of year, and so it makes sense to begin with the cream of the crop. I refer, of course, to NYPL’s 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing 2012. Split into seven different categories (Picture Books, Folk and Fairy Tales, Poetry and Song, Stories for Younger Readers, Stories for Older Readers, Graphic Books, and Nonfiction) the list has been around for precisely 101 years and is decided by the NYPL children’s librarians who go above and beyond the call of duty in reading EVERYTHING they can get their hands on. Seriously, those folks are the best. I tip my hat to them.
- In other best books areas, over at Tablet we have the best kids books of 2012 containing Jewish themes and characters. How Marjorie Ingalls finds them all I do not know, but she is meticulous! I thought I’d seen everything but there were definitely a couple titles in there that flew under my radar (Sons of the 613, anyone?). Horn Book also came up with their Fanfare Books of 2012, and I was very very pleased to see Jimmy the Greatest on there. Woot! PW separated their top children’s books into the categories of Picture Books, Children’s Fiction (YA is sorta just crammed in there), and Nonfiction (only four titles?!?). Finally there was the Notable Children’s Books of 2012 list by the New York Times which has some truly eclectic ideas.
- By the way, if you want to see other best children’s book lists in this vein, there’s a Pinterest page of them up and running.
- In other Pinterest news (a sentence I can honestly say I’ve never written before), Nicole Deming of the CBC let me know about some cool children’s literature-related Pinterest lists they’ve created and that you might want to put on your radar. There’s Favorite Vintage Kids’ Books, Kids’ Book Creators, Kidlit Maps (maps from children’s books, old and new), and Kidlit Illustrators We ♥ . Thanks for the heads up, Nicole!
- I don’t usually do this but once in a while you meet a new or upcoming author who just catches your attention fully. I met a 6th grade schoolteacher in town the other day by the name of Torrey Maldonado. Torrey’s the author of the YA novel The Secret Saturdays. Knowing he worked in a public school I asked what he knew about Common Core. Quite a lot, it seems, since he created an entire page on his website dedicated to the Core and how to teach his book using it. To top it off, I’ve gotta say that I haven’t met an author with the sheer levels of enthusiasm and charm of Mr. Maldonado in a long time. Keep your eye on this fellow. I predict big things.
- Newsflash: Young Latinos don’t see themselves in books. Duh. Duh duh duh duh duh. It’s a really weird fact, and absolutely true. You go out there and find me an early chapter book series starring a Latino girl and I will give you a cookie. Go on. I’m waiting. I’ve got all day.
- Okay. Now I’m officially depressed. I was sorting through some books earlier today and I discovered the most recent “Amelia Rules” by Jimmy Gownley called Her Permanent Record. I own all of the Amelia Rules books except this one so I was pleased to down it during my lunch break. Then I went online just now to see when the next book in the series will be out . . . only to find that that was the LAST ONE. Hunhuna? Now that is depressing. I’ve deeply enjoyed this series for years and years now, and to think that it’s over fills me with a kind of strange dread. Gownley hasn’t entirely ruled out the possibility of more Amelias in the future . . . . but still, man. It’s kinda hard to take.
- The Dudes of YA, a “Lit-Erotic” Photo Spread. We would have also have accepted the term “The Hot Men of YA Literature”, but I suppose that would be copyright infringement or something, eh long-time readers who get my reference?
- Look me in the eye. Now tell me this amazing new invention will not now appear in hundreds of middle grade spy/mystery novels. A pity you can’t get them in time for Christmas.
- Friend and YA author Daphne Benedis-Grab writes an excellent article over at She Knows about raising a girl in a day and age where beauty standards have never been more impossible to attain. It’s called Raising a girl to be more than a pretty face. Testify!
- PW Children’s Bookshelf linked to some pretty thought provoking articles this week. My favorite: Leonard Marcus at Horn Book talking about book jackets . . . for picture books!
- In other news, PW did a very strange bit of reporting. It mentioned the recent 90-Second Newbery at Symphony Space, which was a packed house and a big success. However, there is a VERY odd lack of any mention about the organizer, YA author James Kennedy. Read the piece and you’ll have the distinct impression that it happened spontaneously and without his back-breaking work. Reporting fail, PW my dear.
- I got the following message from Jane Curley of the Eric Carle Museum and I am passing it on because it sound bloody blooming amazing: “I’m giving a talk for the Victorian Society on 19th century British picture books. It’s on Tuesday, December 11 at 6PM at the Dominican Academy, 44 East 68th St.It’s free, no reservations required, and I’ll be showing some gorgeous pictures! The link is below. Cheers, Jane http://metrovsa.org/calendar.htm“.
I ran about the internet trying to find the perfect thing for today’s post but in the end I had to come back to the washable keyboard. The perfect gift for your favorite hypochondriac this holiday season.
Thanks due to AL Direct for the link.
Way back in March, I wrote a post about Pinterest. At that time, I had been contemplating using it to save images to use in my research. Given potential copyright issues, I decided it just wasn’t worth the bother.
That was then. This is now.
I still don’t use Pinterest to save images found while researching various writing projects. Instead, I use it to pick new topics. After these projects are published, I use Pinterest to attract new readers.
If you aren’t familiar with Pinterest
, members visit this site to do image searches on anything that interests them. There are categories for Animals, History and Science and Nature. You can also do keyword searches.
When I am researching new topics, I click on “Popular.” Granted, this isn’t as focused as a search on Photography or Weddings, but it does tell me what people are Pinning (this is the Pinterest term for copying an image to your own page, called a Board).
One of my primary writing gigs is for Education.com
. If I click on Popular and see numerous pins that involve initials or various words or blocks of text used in craft activities, I brainstorm something along these lines for grader school students. The same goes for string art, polymer clay and food served in ice cream cones.
Pinning Down New Readers
Once Education.com publishes my activities, I Pin the images back to my own boards. I have a board for Activities and Crafts
and another for Science Projects
. Because I took the photos and link back to Education.com, with their permission, there aren’t any issues with who owns what and thus no copyright hang ups. And, if someone repins an image to their own board, that’s more traffic driven our way.
I don’t stop there. I’ve been taking a lot of nature photos to use in my blog posts about writing. A board labeled, obviously enough, Nature Photos
links back to my personal blog
. Another board, What I’ve Been Reading
, links back to either my book review blog
or my personal writing blog. On days someone repins one of my photos, I see a bump up in traffic.
What if you don’t write book reviews or crafts? Then think about what you do write. If you write fiction, where is your novel set? If it is a real place, and it is someplace that you visited and took research photos, then put up a board.
Maybe you took scads of photos of clothing and furniture so that you’d be certain to get period details right. Create a board.
Food. Animals. Health and Fitness. Geek. All of these and more are categories on Pinterest. Not that this has to limit you in any way. After all, people can find you with a keyword search.
Get out your camera. Brainstorm about your book and start promoting yourself.
Author Sue Bradford Edwards blogs at One Writers's Journey
Augusta County Library has pinned 25 Best Books Lists on their Pinterest board. Boards like these prove that Pinterest can provide a true service.
It sort of makes my reviews and "best books" lists redundant. No worries. I still have a lot to say.
Stuff I've read recently.
One Year in Coal Harbor by Polly Horvath. I love Polly Horvath. This book includes romantic schemes run awry, environmental concerns, money problems, and the ever-popular recipes from the fishing town of Coal Harbor. (ages 10 through me)
The Peculiar by Stefan Bachmann. Steam punk/fantasy (Wait, Isn't most steam punk fantasy? Or is it more science fiction?) OK, this steam punk-ish novel includes fairies, goblins, and other magical creatures alongside automatons and utilities formed of mechanical and magical substances. A boy born of a magical father and a human mother - these despised children are known as Changelings - and a young member of the House of Lords are caught up in a mystery surrounding the deaths of several Changelings. Touches of horror echo through this suspenseful novel. (Ages 11 through adult. The writing is that good.)
Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz. Children trapped inside marionettes; An aging witch and a magic jewel; cruelty; grief; class snobbery; escapes and captures. And three very engaging children who form the nucleus of this action packed adventure. ( 12 and up. But a good 10-year-old reader who is not squeamish might really like this.)
Goblin Secrets by William Alexander won a National Book Award this Fall. Rownie, one of the witch, Graba's, "children", looks everywhere for his older brother, Rowan. Rownie lives in a world where many people have clockwork limbs and organs and where humans are not allowed to wear masks or perform in theaters. Goblins, discriminated against, travel through the city with their theater on wheels and perform wonderful shows. Rownie steals from Graba so that he can see one of these shows in hopes of finding Rowan, who was a gifted actor. This is the set-up of this spell-binding book. If you like fantasies, and other-worldly settings, close-knit clans and secret societies, corrupt government and underground resistance, you will enjoy this book. (ages 14 and up)
Summer of the Gypsy Moths by Sara Pennypacker. Foster kids and a dead foster parent. Yep. That's what this book is about - along with summers on Cape Cod, blueberry bushes, interdependence and learning about asking for help. Two 12 year old girls decide to hide the sudden natural death of their care taker. One girl just doesn't want to go through the exhausting changes of yet another foster home. The other girl is related to the dead woman and hopes to make a home for herself and her irresponsible mother on Cape Cod. How they survive the summer and learn to tolerate and then value each other makes a good story. (ages 11 and up)
I am in the process of finishing Jepp Who Defied the Stars by Katherine Marsh. This one is historical fiction. It is amazing how many books with similar themes crop up every year. This book also concentrates on performances. These are the performances of dwarves who live to amuse wealthy nobility. More on this one later. This is for 14 and up.
This seriously made me laugh out loud...
I never feel skinny but I do feel like a busted can of buscuits most times.
Every girl deserves this...
GoodReads is currently sponsoring the Independent Book Bloggers Contest. Independent bloggers who live in the US, are over 18 and have a GoodReads account entered their blog to be voted as a readers favorite. Winners in each of the four categories will receive a trip to BookExpo America this summer. I entered my blog. I want to go to BookExpo, but I didn’t expect to win. I did expect to expose my blog to people who may never have heard of it, but for some reason, GoodReads didn’t put my blog in the running. I did look through the blogs that did get entered and found a couple that I found quite interesting.
I found the Hawaii Book Blog. Their mission statement reads
“The world’s books are as diverse as the people who read and author them. Hawaiʻi’s own literary landscape is beautifully unique because of the various cultures that inhabit its islands. Mark Twain, Robert Louis Stevenson, Jack London—these are well known names in literature, but they are also important to Hawaiʻi’s individual literary history. These great authors had much to say about our islands and there are many more authors like them to be found still. The main purpose of this blog is to provide people with a comprehensive platform to learn and discuss books about Hawaiʻi and the Pacific, books by local authors, or books published by local companies. Hawaiʻi’s books are multi-cultural and multi-generational with universal conflicts and themes.”
The blog announces many reading related activities on the islands such as the annual Celebrate Reading . To celebrate National Poetry Month, they’re collecting poems for Poems in you Aloha-shirt day on 24 April.
Also from Hawaii is Michelle and Leslie’s Book Picks.Michelle and Leslie are two sisters!
Michelle is 24 years old and I live in Hawaii. She has adegree in elementary education and is currently pursuing hermasters in library science. Her favorite books to read are young adult fiction and contemporary and historical romances. Leslie is a 14 year old high school sophomore. Her favorite genre is YA with paranormal and fantasy elements. (Take from their “About Us page”)
Have you found any noteworthy blogs in the contest, or is yours entered?
Do any of you Pinterest? I’ve avoided it for a long time, but recently got an invitation and am planning to put the May releases by authors of color on there.
Filed under: Diversity Issues
, Technology and Gadgets
, Independent Book Bloggers Contest
0 Comments on Blogging Diversity as of 4/18/2012 10:24:00 AM
Could you take a second to answer this question for me? If you need another option, just leave a comment. Thanks!
It IS Asian Pacific Heritage Month! The Hub is running a nice Asian themed series which began with Cindy Pon and most recently featured Asian themed books. How are you celebrating this month?
One of the main purposes of blogging is to speak what’s on your mind. I don’t expect bloggers to have my same perspective on anything, but if you’re going to put it out there, be willing listen to opinions that may challenge what you say. If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen, as my mom would say! Recently blogger Jen Doll was criticized for provided an all white listing of outstanding YA girl characters of color. After much criticism, she paused, reflected and shared this.
I was just this morning reading an interesting post on a library blog that took thoughts from outside the library world and did a very interesting job of applying the principles to how libraries should evolve. Well, until I got to this.
My take – Celebrate diversity: How interesting it is to read in Kawasaki’s article that “former teachers make the best salespeople because they ask a lot of questions”. Often times our library patrons forget that those of us working in school libraries are teachers. With the dual qualification of teacher and librarian, we hold a powerful range of skills to engage and assist. Don’t lose sight of it! With the essential support of librarians, library technicians, library assistants and a range of volunteers working hand in hand with teacher librarians, we present our patrons with a very diverse range of talent, knowledge and skill.
While we all certainly all have diverse views on what diversity is, I found this one to be quite limited. So I posted a response which said something like “I was really enjoying this list until I got to the fourth item. If librarians are not able to see the world outside their own race, religion or sexual preference then they’re limiting their effectiveness. Librarians should open the world to those they serve.”
I say my response was something like that because my response was deleted! The only ones that remained were responses that praised the author for such a nice post. Talk about lacking diversity, about limited perspective! I cannot assume any ethnic or religious identity on this person, but I can clearly see someone who is controlling and limiting what could be a dynamic and engaging conversation. It really felt like the hand of someone who feels rather entitled and maintains a rather limited view of how immensely diverse the work really is.
Then, there’s the issue of deleting comments. I’ve done that quite sparingly. Most notably, when I kept going back and forth with someone who disagreed with me because I didn’t like a book. I’ve also deleted comments when I’ve posted a grant or scholarship and someone thought I was providing the funding. Other than that (and spam), I provide an open mic.
Many librarians, educato
Librarians are always looking for new ways to gather resources that will make them more accessible to their users. We've always made bibliographies and pathfinders, but today, there are new ways! Let's explore Pinterest and see how we can use it to gather, organize and annotate web content, while we're creating a visual, interactive resource.
Video #1 - Pinterest - An Intro
Video #2 - How to Use Pinterest - A Tutorial
Video #3 - Add a Custom Facebook Pinterest Tab
Video #4 - How to Use Pinterest for Marketing
Video #5 - Why Visual Marketing?
Mostly because I was curious how much of it was out there in the last couple years with paranormal and dystopian being so popular, I made a list of high fantasy for young adults published in the last couple of years. I went as far back as 2010, and it’s still not that large a list. Feel free to suggest in the comments books I might have missed, but remember–only books from 2010 to the present. If you’re looking at a paperback, be sure the original version of the book was that recent.
Originally published at Stacy Whitman's Grimoire. You can comment here or there.
Apologies—just realized today that the link to my Pinterest with the up-to-date booklists on the old science fiction fantasy booklist page was broken and only linking to the picture of the page, not the page itself. Sorry!
Originally published at Stacy Whitman's Grimoire. You can comment here or there.
Last week I said if someone invented another social media site my head might explode.
Yes, we bibliophiles have a new social domain: !
Named after the sound book pages make when thumbed, Riffle has been dubbed “the Pinterest of book discovery” by Publisher’s Weekly. Could it potentially change the way we learn about great new reads? Absolutely! Could your head also detonate? Let’s put it this way—if you ever wanted to sport a mushroom cloud, you’re in luck.
The Publisher’s Weekly article didn’t reveal much, featuring jargon-heavy quotes by Riffle founder Neil Baptista, like this beaut: “We’re going to focus on bringing the audience to the table and curating the information. There’s a ton of online expertise, and we want people to push their content through Riffle.”
So what the heck does this all mean? How will Riffle work?
Well, yours truly worked in high-tech market research for a decade (from 1993 to 2003), so I called upon one of my smartest digerati buddies to give it to us straight.
Chris Rechtsteiner is the founder and chief strategist of blueloop concepts, a boutique research and advisory firm focused on the mobile and digital media market. Chris has worked on many publishing projects, so he’s very knowledgeable about the intersection of books and digital applications.
Here’s what Riffle may be:
- The idea is to build a truly Facebook-connected social reading group/platform. How this isn’t GoodReads is a mystery, but apparently the need to build a GoodReads 2.0 is there.
- The company behind Riffle, Odyl, already has templated/socially-integrated foundations for bringing content about books to consumers, so they have a fast and easy starting point.
- The core objective is to really bring forward the content being created/discussed about a book (that’s what the curation reference hits). When Tweets, Facebook posts, blog posts, etc. are posted about a title, they’ll all be “magically” brought together to give you a complete look at the “conversation” and “group” around a book. (Again, GoodReads, but with MORE noise.)
- Odyl isn’t a novice at this stuff as they’ve been able to do a really good job of building publisher relationships, so they’ll have the “blessing” of the publishers to do this right out of the gate. (Translation: they’ll have books featured with deep, rich content day one and it will grow from there.)
And here’s how they may do it:
- Supposedly the ”curated” information (e.g. people scanning blogs, reviews, Twitter, etc.) is going to be done by experts, so there won’t be “noise” (per se) but only the best information on a particular title.
- This means you’re going to have to have HUNDREDS of “experts” there to sift through everything in order to have any volume of books at all… which means scale is a serious issue because the books that get the Riffle treatment will be “selected” … and likely tied to the publisher relationships (read: publisher financed through marketing budgets/author marketing dollars). While that last p
Recently, I created a Pinterest account for the purpose of promoting selected literature by and about American Indians. Here's a screen shot of what I've loaded so far:
Pretty cool, huh? It allows me to visually
provide people with books that I find outstanding. They're tribally specific! They're award winning books! And of course, there are no stereotypes in these books! Wanna follow me on Pinterest? Here's the link:American Indians in Children's Literature on Pinterest
Blog: Publishing a Picture Book - Getting it all together
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"Researching the story's environment"
By happy accident, I discovered the way to travel interstate, overseas, inter-culturally and explore the ambience of remote towns, cities, country lanes and outback outposts. Air tickets - well that's the ideal, but no, I used Google Earth.
It started with trying to locate a lovely country home in West Hougham, Kent, England by using aerial satellite and 'street view'. It was featured in Country Life for September 7th, 2000, and was the
- Inspiration for "The Dolls' House in the Forest"
inspiration for my story "The Dolls' House in the Forest".
- West Hougham, Kent, country road, travelled via Google Maps street view.
I didn't find the house, but I had the most wonderfully inspiring time wandering down country lanes that were little more than wagon tracks, great boughs canopying overhead and wildflowers dotted in the fields...
Now, if I need to capture something of the 'feel' of an area. I seek out an address. Then in I go.
Exploring the Realtor advertisements
in the research area gives insight into the lifestyle and inhabitants of the town. Many homes give a slideshow
or even a video tour online.
Other ways to 'get in the setting' for free include YouTube clips
. This is even a Youtube video clip on West Hougham, Kent
. Sadly, it doesn't feature that house...
Other ways to 'get in the setting' for free include Flickr, photographic collections held in State Libraries and on places like Pinterest. For historical setting, try online Heritage listings and databases for Australia and UK.
An example of other useful research sites for historic buildings in Australia -
International settings - the virtual tour
Aside from a drop in to street level via Google Earth, many online sites feature virtual tours of historic settings, buildings, rambles around towns, cities and country areas. A few examples -
Whatever the historic building or the town, you are quite likely to find a youtube clip or at least flicker photos, then there is always Google Earth! Have fun!
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I love Pinterest
! It such an amazing way for us visual people to not only organize all those images we find inspiring, but also a great way to discover new images and websites through other people who have interests similar to our own.
The one thing I did wonder about when I first stated "pinning", was free reign. I mean it seams like anybody, can pin anything, from the whole world wide web without asking the creator if it's OK. How do you know who is using your art, and are they recognizing you as the artist? How can an artist hold on to the copyright
when they have no idea if there is infringement or not.
Sometimes I find images I want to "pin", but can't because the board I found them on didn't credit the artist. I will forgo pinning an illustration I love if I can't give the artist who created it due credit. If there are any clues I'll try to find out who the artist is first. But sometime there just aren't any clues. I wish everyone would follow these simple rules. Thank you Dani Jones
for posting these great simple guidelines! Follow that link I just gave you for Dani. She has more detailed info on exactly how to do this on her blog.