in all blogs
Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: News, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 4,958
This week on hbook.com…
Preview the November/December 2014 issue of The Horn Book Magazine
John Green’s 2014 Sutherland lecture: “Does YA Mean Anything Anymore? Genre in a Digitized World”
“Self service“: What self-publishers don’t know about children’s books (Nov./Dec. 2014 editorial)
“Board Book Roundup: Fall 2014 Edition”
Nonfiction Notes: Unexplained phenomena, memoir, domestic animals, big ideas, and cookery
Reviews of the Week:
- Picture Book:
- App: Millie’s Book of Tricks and Treats Vol. 2
Read Roger: “What’s Going On“
Out of the Box:
Lolly’s Classroom: “Science and stereotypes”
See overviews of previous weeks by clicking the tag week in review. Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook to keep up-to-date on our articles!
The post Week in Review, October 27th-31st appeared first on The Horn Book.
As a Halloween treat, J.K. Rowling has released her new story detailing Dolores Umbridge’s personal history. The story can be found in the “Dolores Umbridge” chapter of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. J.K. Rowling gives light to the parents Umbridge is so ashamed of, and tells of her back-stabbing climb up the ranks at the Ministry of Magic. Visit Pottermore now, to read the exciting full story!
Halloween is a very important holiday throughout the Harry Potter books–from a troll in the dungeon, to a Death Day Party, to the first Hogsmeade visit of the year. Halloween is cause for huge celebration in J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world. One can enjoy a great feast at Hogwarts, in a Great Hall decorated with Hagrid’s extra giant pumpkins. From all of us at Leaky, we would like to wish everyone a very Happy Halloween! Please share with us your favorite Potter Halloween stories below in the comments!
By: Heidi MacDonald
Blog: PW -The Beat
(Login to Add to MyJacketFlap
, Indie Comics
, NYCC '14
, Top News
, Alice Meichi Li
, Black Dynamite
, Daniel Jose Older
, Diana Pho
, Geeks of Color Go Pro
, Half-Resurrection Blues
, I.W. Gregorio
, LeSean Thomas
, The Boondocks
, Tor books
, Tracey J. John
, Add a tag
by Edie Nugent
From L to R: Diana Pho, LeSean Thomas, Alice Meichi Li, Daniel Jose Older, I.W. Gregorio and Tracey J. John
The main stage spectacles of NYCC saw panels filled with celebrity actors and moderators alike, whipping thousands of screaming audience members into a frenzy. No less intense or enthusiastic, however, were the panels scheduled towards the end of the night in the smaller conference rooms at the Javits Center. Once such panel —Geeks of Color Go Pro —filled its room to capacity with a diverse audience of fans and comic book industry hopefuls cheering just as passionately as fans in the rooms twice its size.
“Don’t be afraid to challenge the status quo,” declared Tracy J. John, writer for such marquee video game franchises as Oregon Trail and My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. This comment, which came later in the proceedings, proved to be a kind of mission statement for the panel as a whole. Moderated by Tor Books editor Diana Pho, the panel participants represented a diversity of gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Pho opened by asking the panel to tell their “origin stories,” referring to how they arrived at their current careers within an industry that has long suffered from a dearth of diversity. Tracey J. John kicked things off, saying: “a long long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…I went to NYU and got a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies.” She went on to say that she garnered an internship at MTV News, which led to a job working for MTV.com. “We wrote about these things called ‘music videos,’” she joked. This job placed her in the perfect spot to capitalize on her World of Warcraft addiction when MTV looked to launch a video game focused section of its website. She recalled thinking, “whoa, I can get paid to write about video games?” She later turned to freelance work for Wired, NY Post, and Playstation Magazine. Desirous of a more stable paycheck, she turned to a job at Gameloft and worked in game development. Recently she decided to shake things up again, and has returned to freelance work.
I.W. Gregorio, who claims she’s still getting used to being addressed by the pen name her day job requires, opened by speaking the question on the minds of many an audience member: “How did a urologist end up being a YA author?” She went on to explain she felt the better question to be “why would an aspiring author become a doctor?” She spoke of her racially isolated childhood where she knew immediately she wanted to be a writer, but felt family pressure “like a lot of kids of color” to enter either law or medicine to be deemed a ‘success’ culturally. Her talents in math and science led her to choose the path of medicine, “enough people had told me that I wanted to be a doctor that I ended up being one.” She did attempt, in her words, to “try to have my cake and eat it too” also studying English while in college. She went on to pursue medicine and take a 10 year break from writing before her passion was reignited during her residency. She is, however, grateful to be a doctor because it “enables my writing career…and gives me a lot of stories.” She described how her new book None of the Above was inspired by an intersex teenager she treated during her residency.
Daniel Jose Older, author of the upcoming Half-Resurrection Blues, the first book in what is to be an ongoing urban fantasy series for Penguin Book’s Roc imprint, began by saying that Gregorio’s story “actually really connects to mine. In 2009 I was a paramedic and community organizer doing work on gender violence and intersections of racism. I was trying how to figure out how to have a voice and what that meant as a writer.” He explained that he loved Star Wars and Harry Potter, but that he and the kids of color he was working work didn’t see themselves in those stories, “and there was a disconnect.” This inspired him to “sit down and write Shadowshaper which got picked up by the folks at Scholastic that put out Harry Potter, so it was this really big dream come true.” He went on to explain that the process of publishing that first work took over 6 years and that “publishing will make you learn patience” which drew a big laugh from the crowd. He continued to work on stories during that time, and work on adult fiction, which led him to Half-Resurrection Blues, due out in 2015. He explained that his background as a paramedic directed inspired the new book, saying: “a lot of this comes from being on the front lines…dealing with life and death.”
Author Alice Meichi Li knew she wanted to be an artist since the age of five. “I grew up in a Chinese restaurant in a really rough part of Detroit,” she said. She explained how this kept her indoors for her own safety, drawing on the back of the placemats of her parents’ restaurant. She also felt pushed towards a career in more economically dependable fields like law, medicine, or IT technologies. “When faced with the prospect of applying for college, all I could think about was arts school. I was in Army Junior ROTC and my Staff Sargent saw some of my art and he said: what are you doing here? You should be taking art class, you should be pursuing this.” She eagerly took his advice, worrying her family regarding her future. As she graduated High School at the top of her class, they told her she should be making “six-figures somewhere”—not becoming a starving artist. She conceded that’s “pretty much what happened” to the amusement of the audience, “I did have to end up balancing a day job,” with her art career, working at the well-known comic book store Forbidden Planet. “But I was doing Artist’s Alleys and that’s how I made a lot of my connections. If you’re trying to be an artist in comics that’s pretty much your best bet.”
“Everybody’s got all these cool stories,” remarked Black Dynamite producer and director LeSean Thomas. “I was born and raised in the South Bronx, John Adams projects at 152nd Street,” some in the crowd applauded at this mention—then laughed as Thomas joked that he was in the part of the Bronx that exists “past Yankee Stadium” where most New Yorkers’ familiarity with the Bronx begins and ends. “I grew up watching Saturday morning cartoons, reading comics books, “ he recalled, saying that he felt comic books was a more realistic career path for him, as the tools used to produce comics were more affordable than that of cartoon animation: “they don’t sell light-boxes at the bodegas,” he quipped.
Thomas ended up in a High School arts program called Talent Unlimited. Following High School he took a job at a sporting goods store to make ends meet. While working there, he was spotted sketching by his store manager whose wife worked at a children’s accessories company. The company quickly employed him to work on designs for accessories featuring licensed characters. Through his work there, he met Joe Rodgers who mentored the young artist and eventually Thomas “became a flash artist/storyboard artist on this web-cartoon called WorldGirl, and it got picked up by Showtime, I think it was the first cartoon to get picked up by a major network.” His success there led to his meeting Carl Jones, who moved to Los Angeles and teamed with The Boondocks creator Aaron MacGruder on the now famous Cartoon Network series based on MacGruder’s comic strip of the same name. “He needed people who could understand Hip-Hop culture, Anime, and social political racial satire, and it was very hard to find that kind of talent in Hollywood,” he paused as the crowd laughed before putting it bluntly: “let alone somebody who could draw a black person.” This led him to move to Los Angeles to work on the show, which he feared would soon be canceled due to its controversial and sometimes “wildly inappropriate” content.
The series proved a critical and ratings success for Cartoon Network, and Thomas felt liberated by the mostly black racial makeup of The Boondocks’ creative team. “I grew up in a society where the White male was the dominant character…to be able to work on a show where my boss was Black, the characters we were creating were Black and we were saying the things we wanted to say without caring what other people thought, Black or White, was really liberating and was one of the best experiences for me.” He went on to comment that his experience working on The Boondocks “catapulted his career,” gave him the chance to move overseas, and opened many career opportunities for him-not the least of which was his teaming up producer Carl Jones to produce the Adult Swim series Black Dynamite. He noted how rare it was to have three shows in a row to his credit that found him working under Black people, on shows starting Black characters: The Boondocks, Legend of Korra, and Black Dynamite.
“I guess I should pitch in about myself, and I thought: oh, I’m the moderator—just sit here and look pretty,” joked Diana Pho, before continuing: “I grew up in New England, in a very White town. I was always the only Asian girl in my class and my family is from Vietnam: no one knew where Vietnam was, because actually in my High School they never talked about the Vietnam War.” This statement elicited shocked sounds from the assembled crowd, but also some knowing murmurs that appeared to understand all too well the sort of erasure her statement described. Pho explained that she found escape from her outsider status through books, especially science fiction and fantasy novels. While studying English at college, she knew felt her options for employment were limited to work as a teacher, continuing her studies of Russian-her minor field-in order to obtain her Master’s Degree in it, or something else. “I chose something else,” she said, “and that was publishing.”
She explained she felt publishing to be a small field, insular in nature-and a field where it “has to do with the connections you make, that’s what I learned” and mentioned that her first job involved editing test books for college admissions for a summer. “What it did provide me was internship experience in marketing,” Pho remarked, explaining that this led to her getting a job with Hachette Press. She worked there in sales and marketing for several years before a colleague recommended her for a position at the Science Fiction Book Club making catalogues. She ended up following this with a Master’s in Performance Studies-doing her thesis in Steampunk performance-and graduated to assume her current role at Tor Books.
The panel then opened up for questions from the audience where Pho asked that the questions be “tweet-sized” to try and get to everyone’s question , but the line for the microphone grew long enough that the panel was forced to wrap up with audience members still on line. When asked: “what was one thing that you wish you knew when you started out that you know now?” Gregorio explained that as a representative of the We Need Diverse Books campaign (weneeddiversebooks.tumblr.com) “I’d be remiss if I didn’t say that there are obviously challenges for diverse authors, the first book I wrote had and Asian-American multicultural protagonist-and three different editors said: oh, it’s too similar to another book with an Asian-American character.” She explained that she knew other authors of color who had run into enough of the same problem that they feared they might have to only write about White characters going forward. “The We Need Diverse Books campaign is most effective because it’s been showing the gatekeepers that they are wrong. Fifty percent of children in schools today are children of color, but only ten percent of books have minority protagonists.” She also called upon the audience to open up their wallets and support works by authors of color and/or featuring main characters of color.
John added on to Gregorio’s comments by telling the audience to not be afraid of the status quo, and gave an example of her work in gaming journalism. “Things that I did…aside from asking the questions I needed to do my job, I’d throw in some poignant questions, I’ve asked Shigeru Miyamoto: why does Princess Peach need saving again? Didn’t she get some self-defense classes by then? Or the developer of a family game why there wasn’t an option to be a Black person, they just had different tans? Ask those kinds of questions. It can be intimidating: Oh I have this opportunity to interview a game developer, I don’t want to screw it up. I’d say ask the normal questions and then save those for the end.”
“When you’re starting out as a writer there’s a lot of advice given out to you, like: you have to build your platform, you have to network! And there’s this very common, very White Western narrative of breaking out as an author. Where you’re that singular rocket ship that flies away to become famous overnight…what it requires us to do, especially as writers and creators of color, is to really reimagine what success means to us anytime we’re entering into any kind of project or career.” He went on to emphasize the need to build community, outside of a “putting points on your resume” style of thinking. “What will sustain you is unity. That’s what will have your back when things are hard, and things will be hard.” He noted that more than fans, writers need people who will tell them the truth-people who will give them the “hard critique.” He also said he wanted to shout-out to: fanbros.com, nerdgasmnoire.net as well as blackgirlnerds.com, saying of the organizations: “these groups are collectives of people of color, proudly nerds, proudly of color, talking about racism, talking about Sleepy Hollow. We need to talk about these things because that’s community” to many loud cheers.
Li wished to add “a piece of advice I hear a lot: you are the average of the five people you interact with most in life. So if you have a bunch of people who are ambitious, who are trying to do what you’re trying to do you’re going to kind of automatically get lifted up with them. So you want at least three of them to be in a place where you aspire to be. I add that you should look for someone who is: 1) an older mentor, to get advice from, 2) an equal, that you can be a comrade-at-arms with and share you career path with and 3) someone you can mentor, because you can learn a lot from teaching.”
“The thing that I wish I’d known before getting into animation, that I do now is that all the animation jobs are in California,” said Thomas, to the laughter of the crowd. Thomas clearly meant the comment seriously, adding: “I wouldn’t have stayed in New York as long if I’d have known there were no real animation jobs in New York the way there are in California…I probably would’ve made my pilgrimage a lot sooner.”
Another attendee asked how the artists dealt with accusations of racism. “I just got called racist the other day, so that was fun,” recounted Older, saying that because the bad guys in a recent story were White he had the accusation leveled at him. “There’s no easy answer, but you have to go with your gut and trust your instincts because when the shit flies, you have to be able to stand up for your work. I know what I did in that story—and I have much worse stories about White people than that,” he said, laughing.
Gregorio added: “publishing is a team sport, you’re going to have editors and marketing people-they’ll catch anything really bad. And also you have to realize we’re all going to get criticism. Haters are gonna’ hate, it’s alright!”
A reporter asked if the panel felt any responsibility towards social justice storylines. Thomas replied, “You know on Black Dynamite me and Carl Jones, the executive producer, always used to joke that we were like social workers in animation, not to belittle social work, but we liked to joke that because we were one of the few [shows] that touched on those issues. The most important thing for us is that it has to be funny, that’s the golden rule. The second rule is that it has to be genuine. If it’s honest, if it comes from a good place there’s always humor in it….and the third is to make people uncomfortable, not in a negative way but to make them think outside what they normally expect.”
The final question came from a Bleeding Cool reporter who asked, “Why are we still having this conversation? I feel like we’re constantly having the same conversation: do you see an end to it, do you think? Where we’re not going to need to have ‘Geeks of Color’ in the corner at 8:00pm?”
“So you’re saying Geeks of Color needs to be at noon, is what you’re saying? I agree I think it should be much earlier.” Thomas joked.
Pho added: “we’re going to keep having this conversation until we hit critical mass,” she explained that critical mass was not when people stopped asking questions, but rather that “we need a critical mass of answers from all over the place, not just from us but from you guys—not just from you guys but from everyone at this convention, and not just this convention—about how pop culture functions, how media functions…we all have to hit that critical mass point and that’s when the conversation stops.”
“I feel your point a lot,” Older added, indicating the reporter, “we do need this and part of the reason is the industry is still very racist, still very White, and so we need to have these conversations…the job and the struggle and the challenge for us is to push the conversation forward so it’s not so circular. So that’s why we need diverse books, which is such an important way to get everyone together. We need to talk about power analysis.” Older also stressed that he felt there were necessary conversations that weren’t had before this generation of creators and it was important to recognize: “we’re here because the folks before us fought their fight, so we’re fighting our fight for the next generation of artist of color, writers of color…and that involves getting together and having ‘geeks of color’ panels which makes people uncomfortable, which is good, as it should.”
Dan Radcliffe participated in an AMA today on Reddit and answered fan questions about filming the Harry Potter series and more. You can see the questions and answers here, but please be advised that there is strong language throughout.
By: Susanne Gervay
Blog: Susanne Gervay's Blog
(Login to Add to MyJacketFlap
, Literary events
, A J Betts author
, Hank Zipzer: The World's Greatest Underachiever by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver
, I Am Jack by Susanne Gervay
, John Green The Fault in our Stars
, Linda Morris Sydney Morning Herald
, No to Bullying
, The Protected by Claire Zorn
, Wonder R.J.Palacio
, Add a tag
The Fault in Our Stars
has connected with teens.
Book-jacket designer Raquel Jaramillo never intended her first book to take a stand against school-yard bullying.
Wonder is the fictional story of August Pullman, a fifth grader born with a chromosomal abnormality that disfigures his face.
From Australia, New Zealand, Britain and the tiniest corners of rural United States, Jaramillo, writing under the pen name R.J. Palacio, has received thousands of letters and emails from children saying Wonder has made them want to be better people.
by R.J. Palacio. Photo: Supplied
“That’s amazing to hear from 10-year-olds,” says the New York-based writer, whose book has been revised to include the bully’s perspective.
There is now an entire shelf of children’s and young adults’ fiction that model difference and tolerance. It’s not just bullying. Cancer, depression, autism, gender confusion and learning difficulties are making their way into children’s books.
Teachers, parents and librarians have picked up these books-with-a-cause as a reading resource to help children and teens rehearse ways they can confront taunts, social exclusion and violence. And they have turned them into unexpected best sellers.
Wonder has sold more than a million copies worldwide, 33,000 copies in Australia. John Green’s The Fault in our Stars, a romance about teens with cancer, has notched up 10 million sales worldwide.
Anti-bullying campaigner Susanne Gervay is certain a literature-based approach can break down stereotypes and save lives.
Gervay is the creator of the I am Jack series. She describes her books as part survival manual, part fiction, which distil issues of difference, tolerance and anxiety into digestible bits by which young readers can reach some understanding of their problems.
Too often children are given too much credit for being able tocommunicate their feelings, says Gervay.
“I go into schools and children tell me their stories,” she says. “When I hear a 12-year-old ask, ‘what is the point of life?’, I want to hug them and tell them it’s going to be alright. I had one girl who muttered under her breath, ‘I want to die’, and, you know, I took her by her hand and brought her friends around her and made them vow that they would be there for this girl whenever she felt lonely or upset.”
The value of literature as a therapy tool has long been recognised by the Australian Association of Family Therapy which this time every year honours books that help children deal with divorce, disability and other difficulties.
This year’s winner in the young adult category is Aimee Said’s Freia Lockhart’s Summer of Awful, about a girl who must cope with her mother’s diagnosis with breast cancer. It was selected for its realistic setting, strong role models and positive outcomes.
One of last year’s winners, I’ll Tell You Mine by Pip Harry, shows how parents deal with their teenage daughter’s difficult behaviour while the other, Violet Mackerel’s Personal Space by Anna Branford, was praised for its positive depictions of step-parenting.
Linda Stock, amember of the book awards’ panel for nine years, has studied the benefits of reading for children who have spent long periodsin hospital and usesGoing Home by Margaret Wild and Wayne Harris as her text.
While she was reading to young patients in Royal North Shore Hospital, one boy told her books helped him “get out of his hospital bed and into his imagination”.
Stock says she avoids books that are glib or contain glaring stereotypes and likes Pip’s Magic by Ellen Stoll Walsh, which is about dealing with fear but is code for the message “we have the skills we need, and are already brave”.
The spoken-word artist Shane Koyczan is the latest writer to put his own pain into print. His anti-bullying poem To This Day describes the life-long repercussions of school-yard bullying. Koyczan was the fat kid at school and has been haunted by taunts of pork chop. His message is: names do hurt but, if you can’t find beauty in yourself, “find a better mirror”.
Books that use humour, provide hope and offer a positive outcome are most helpful as a teaching tool. But the story must have integrity, says Jaramillo.
“Kids eyes’ glaze over a bit nowadays when they’re told in any kind of didactic manner, don’t be a bully. Very few kids see themselves as bullies. They don’t identify what they’re doing with bullying if it doesn’t fit into the cliches of bullying.
“They don’t see how socially isolating someone is a form of bullying. They don’t recognise themselves in that label. And neither do their parents.”
Books that make a difference
As recommended by Susanne Gervay
Two weeks with The Queen - Morris Gleitzman
The Fault in Our Stars - John Green
Zac & Mia - A.J. Betts
Depression and mental illness
Lockie Leonard, Legend – Tim Winton
His Dark Materials trilogy – Philip Pullman
The Illustrated Mum – Jacqueline Wilson
Autism and aspergers
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – Mark Haddon
Dolphins Dance – Jutta Goetze
I Own The Racehorse – Patricia Wrightson
Hank Zipzer: The World’s Greatest Underachiever – Henry Winkler and lin Olivers
Hill’s End – Ian Southwell
Death and grief
The Protected – Claire Zorn
Wonder - R.J. Pallacio
I am Jack – Susanne Gervay
The post Children’s books become a healing tool – Linda Morris feature writer Sydney Morning Herald appeared first on Susanne Gervay's Blog.
Writing and the Web go hand-in-hand, don’t they? […]
The post Aksomitis.com on the List of Top 100 Books Related Blogs! appeared first on aksomitis.com.
So I've been doing some traditional art classes here
. Starting at the top are my most recent exercises, and then progressing towards the bottom are the earliest. The first image is a cast drawing still in progress.
By: Kathy Temean,
Blog: Writing and Illustrating
(Login to Add to MyJacketFlap
, Gayle Aanensen
, Hallee Alderman
, HarperCollins Childrens
, Lexa Hillyer
, Proof of Forever
, Senior Editor Karen Chaplin
, Add a tag
CALL FOR ILLUSTRATIONS: Please email to me any illustrations (at least 500 pixels wide) you think I could use with November and December posts. It is a nice way to keep your name out in the public. Please make sure you include a short blurb about yourself with your website link.
DO YOU HAVE A HALLOWEEN POEM? I will be posting an Halloween poem from Eileen Spinelli on Thursday this week and will post a few other Halloween poems that same day, if I receive any. I need them by 5 pm on Wednesday in order to post for Thursday.
Hallee Adelman and Gayle Aanensen
Hallee Adelman is represented by Jill Corcorcan.
Gayle Aanensen has a new book coming out next month for the holidays.
Lexa Hillyer reveals the cover of PROOF ABOUT FOREVER that is coming out June 2, 2015.
At Harper Children’s, Karen Chaplin has been promoted to senior editor, In addition, Alex Arnold has been promoted to assistant editor, Katherine Tegen Books.
At Carina Press, Kerri Buckley has been promoted to senior editor.
At HarperCollins Children’s, Christopher Hernandez and Stephanie Stein have been promoted to associate editor, while Alice Jerman moves up to assistant editor.
Filed under: Agent
Tagged: Gayle Aanensen
, Hallee Alderman
, HarperCollins Childrens
, Lexa Hillyer
, Proof of Forever
, Senior Editor Karen Chaplin
chalkboard custom lettering….it’s time to ramp up for Pig Iron Theatre’s annual benefit cabaret! The theme is set…more news as it develops
A community school – a selective school – a school that embraces reading – LOVE IT and LOVE the kids.
Kids from everywhere – they understand ‘Elephants Have Wings’ – where we’re all different but part of the same humanity.
Thankyou for the beautiful email I received from a student after my talks at Sefton:-
It’s amazing to have a compassionate author coming into Sefton, and talking about the hard journey of a writer, making us understand what it is to be a writer, that being a writer doesn’t mean being famous, being rich, e.t.c.
I also would like to say, even though you probably have heard this a million times, your books, especially Butterflies (my favourite) and That’s Why I Wrote this Song (2nd favourite), have touched my heart, and inspired me.
It taught me to be empathetic, looking at different sides of a challenge, and also to trust and give second chances.
It was beautifully written, and I admire the way you plunge into you writing with commitment and passion, and being the character, making the story authentic. I understand it is hard to being a published author, which is why I love and admire you so much, and you are quite easy to talk to, like a friend.
Here’s a question from me: If you are friends with an author’s book, are you friends with the author?
My answer: YOU ARE MY FRIEND!
The post I Love Sefton High School appeared first on Susanne Gervay's Blog.
I’m pleased to announce that our wildebeest time-lapse video has been commended in the new time-lapse category of the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.
I have edited a new version of this footage, which you can view below:
The scenes shown in this footage are among the most awe-inspiring I have ever witnessed! We found that time-lapse was the only medium that allowed us to convey the magnitude of the migration. This footage was shot over five days in Northern Serengeti, Tanzania. It shows the migrating wildebeest crossing the Mara River while moving south into Tanzania from Kenya.
The Serengeti Ecosystem supports 1.5 million wildebeest. These wildebeest are forced to migrate around a 40,000 square kilometre area in order to find fresh grazing pastures. The migration is full of danger and hardship for these resilient creatures. Thirst, hunger, exhaustion, predation and the Mara River are just some of the challenges they must face.
You can read more about this project in my free ebook: My Top Ten Wildlife Experiences.
“I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all...
Read the rest of this post
My visual summary re. musings about Life. There’s a bit that could be noted about tango dancing & eating sorbet, but this covers the basics.
My son and I are instant fans. We have taken to making fan art in our spare time. Shown here are Peppermint Butler & Cinnamon Bun (who always seems to be melting?)
Rachel Brooks from the L. Perkins Agency is looking for fun picture books in addition to novels.
A short list of tweets from the past week of interest to teens and the library staff that work with them.
Do you have a favorite Tweet from the past week? If so add it in the comments for this post. Or, if you read a Twitter post between October 17 – October 23 that you think is a must for the next Tweets of the Week send a direct or @ message to lbraun2000 on Twitter.
Yesterday, Warner Bros. confirmed that the first “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” film will be directed by David Yates, who directed the final four Harry Potter films. Producers David Heyman and Lionel Wigram, and screenwriter Steve Kloves will also be back for “Fantastic Beasts.”
As reported previously the films will be a trilogy, with release dates in 2016, 2018, and 2020.
You can read more here.
We reviewed MUDBLOODS, a documentary about the UCLA Bruins Quidditch team and their dream of competing in the 2011 Quidditch World Cup in NYC. It was a pretty great film. Today, MUDBLOODS is officially available to the world, with a digital release available at mudbloodsmovie.com. We recently had the chance to do a Q&A with the director of MUDBLOODS, Farzad Sangari. Without further adieu, here are his answers to all of our pressing questions:
1) How do you think the Quidditch scene differs from other subcultures?
Sub-cultures in general have a lot in common because they are isolated as being different or “other” than mainstream culture. I think what makes quidditch unique however is that the Harry Potter series is such a recognizable part of mainstream culture. Everybody knows what is, or at the very least has heard about it. They might not know what quidditch is, but they know where it came from and that immediately affects their view of it – either positively or negatively. I found there wasn’t much middle ground. I think what differentiates the quidditch scene is that in the face of this cultural phenomenon, they are looking to distinguish themselves as something distinct. Added on top of that is the fact that they are also fighting for legitimacy as a sport within the sporting world. In the end, I think the quidditch sub-culture, like any group that is marginalized, labeled and misunderstood, deserves a chance to be presented in a true and honest way.
2) What challenges did you face as an outsider trying to capture this form of fan culture?
I think another thing that makes quidditch unique is how open and inviting the people associated with it are. They actively desire to share quidditch with anyone who is interested because they know they’ve created something special. Being an outsider was something I was initially very concerned about because I didn’t want the players, organizers and fans to feel like I was coming at it with any pre-determined agenda. That’s happened to them in the past, which makes how open and inviting they continue to be even more revealing about their character. However, once the people I met understood where I was coming from, I developed such strong relationships with them that there were no issues in terms of access.
3) What was it like making the film, knowing there was a very real chance that the Bruins wouldn’t win the World Cup?
This was the first time a good number of west coast teams went to the World Cup, so there was definitely a risk that the team might not do well. We didn’t really know what would happen. Nobody knew, but that’s what made it exciting. We also got lucky in who the team was matched up against and how dramatic the games were. If this wasn’t a documentary, and UCLA played the teams they ended up playing, and the results ended up the way they did, I think it would actually feel fake. But the fact that it was real made the journey that much more incredible.
4) Similarly, how do you think the narrative of defeat and perseverance in the face of loss speaks to the greater quality of Quidditch?
One of the things that most impressed me about quidditch was the level of sportsmanship I observed not just on each team, but between the teams. All the teams are part of this larger community so they share a level of understanding with each other that supersedes the outcome. That doesn’t mean they don’t want to win because they very clearly do, and they are willing to sacrifice themselves for their teammates in remarkable ways. Yet, because of the idiosyncratic nature of the game, and also I think because of its connection to Harry Potter, there’s a strong level of respect even amongst the teams that play the hardest against each other. In terms of dealing specifically with defeat, I think the UCLA team (and I think this stems from the way Tom Marks, their captain, ran the team) provides a wonderful example of how sports approached in this manner can shape your life in positive and meaningful ways.
5) What has the reception to the title of the film been like?
Overall the reception to the title has been positive especially among quidditch players who are very self-aware and approach their sport with as much humor as competitiveness. I understand that some fans of the series have expressed concern about the title. They are as passionate and protective about the series as quidditch players are about their sport because both of these things have had a profound impact on their lives. However, it’s important to note that while the series and the sport are connected, they are also distinct. Moreover, if you watch the film, you will see right away that we are not using “mudblood” in its original, derogatory tone. It is being adapted to fit the needs of this film in a new context in the same way that this group of brash yet imaginative individuals have adapted a fictional game based on magical elements into a new, real-life sport.
6) Any funny stories from filming/behind the scenes?
One thing that was an inside joke for us as we were shooting in New York is that the location of the World Cup, Randall’s Island, is a place with a lot of athletic fields that also hosts large outdoor events and concerts. Yet the island also happens to be the home of a massive sewage treatment plant as well as a psychiatric hospital. Both of these are very near the fields where they held the tournament. We thought this (especially the psychiatric hospital) was an amusing backdrop for an event where thousands of spectators came to watch hundreds of quidditch players run around on broomsticks. I tried to put as many shots of the hospital into the film as I could.
7) Was everybody with the Bruins/IQA cool about the idea of doing the documentary? Were there any fears of misrepresentation?
I think I answered this with question #2 … but overall the team was very cool. This is because of the way Tom brought us in. We essentially became part of the team. We were at every practice, scrimmage, and event they had, so by the time we went to New York with them, the team had already accepted us as part of the group.
8) Anything you wish could have made it into the film but had to be cut?
We actually have some extra content available at mudbloodsmovie.com of things we could not fit into the movie for a variety of reasons. My personal favorite is the Wizards With Attitude clip. This is a little more background on the wizard rap group in the film.
9) You obviously spent a huge amount of time on this film. So after everything, how has Quidditch, and perhaps the greater Harry Potter fandom even, changed the way you view the world? Has it?
This experience has had a big impact on me personally. I was exceedingly impressed by the passion I witnessed from everyone involved in the film. This includes quidditch players, organizers and fans of both the sport and of Harry Potter. All of the people I met shared a willingness not only to commit themselves to what they cared deeply about, but to do so openly and without reservation. It’s easy to be moved and inspired by people with that kind of confidence.
10) I heard Harry and the Potters playing in the background of the film a few times. Did you actually get a chance to see them play at all, or was this pure happenstance?
This was more by happenstance. There was a stage at World Cup V and we did shoot some stuff from the performers who attended; however, my shooting partner, Jason Knutzen, and I were primarily focused on getting everything we could from the three storylines we were following; the team, Alex and Katie.
We’d like to thank Mr. Sangari for taking the time to answer all of our questions. You can learn more about the film at mudbloodsmovie.com.
2014 Nobel Peace Prize Winners
The Nobel Peace prize is a very important award given to particular people anywhere in the world who have worked to promote peace and understanding among nations. The prize is a HUGE honor and it is worth over $1 million! In the past, the prize has gone to famous presidents like Americans Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama, and South Africans F.W. de Klerk and Nelson Mandela. Organizations can win the award, too. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change won for its work to help the environment. And Doctors Without Borders won for its work to take care of sick people around the world.
The 2014 award was announced this week. It is being given to two people and one is a 17-year-old girl! She is the youngest Nobel Peace Prize recipient ever. Talk about Kid Power! Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi are the winners this year for “their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.”
Satyarthi is an Indian children’s rights activist. He campaigns to help poor children who are forced to work as slaves in factories, to get them out of the factories and into school. Believe it or not, there are children who have to leave their parents to go work all day long in faraway factories. They never even have the chance to learn how to read much less borrow a book from a beautiful library. According to the Bachpan Bachao Andolan website (“Save the Childhood Movement” in English), Satyarthi has set up schools and rescued thousands of children out of this slavery.
Malala has also campaigned to help all children go to school. You may have heard of her since she was in the news a lot a couple of years ago. She was writing a blog about living under the Taliban in Pakistan, especially how they didn’t want girls to go to school. Malala went to school anyway and continued speaking out against the Taliban. The Taliban actually tried to kill her, but she survived and continues to speak out for girls’ right to go to school and get an education. How brave!
So you see it doesn’t matter how young you are. YOU can change the world! Leave a Comment and let us know how you’re inspired to make a difference!
By: Heidi MacDonald
Blog: PW -The Beat
(Login to Add to MyJacketFlap
, Baby Groot
, guardians of the galaxy
, Breaking News
, No Comics Content
, NYCC '14
, Top Comics
, Top News
, Add a tag
By Alexander Jones
There has been a lot of hullabaloo on Marvel Studios not capitalizing on the ‘Grooting’ phenomena that has been sweeping the internet. This is in reference to the Guardians of the Galaxy character Groot dancing behind Drax the Destroyer a.k.a. actor Dave Batista’s back during the end credits of the film. In the meantime, the seedy underbelly of the arts & crafts internet websites, such as Etsy, have been taking advantage of the merchandising hole left by the lack of an official Marvel figure. Even internet videos containing cast members of the film like Michael Rooker (Yondu) and Dave Batista can be viewed reenacting the ‘Grooting’ moment. The figure was made by Marvel Entertainment and KIDdesigns, and the news broke via Mashable. Included with the figure, is a tiny speaker which allows fans listen to an alternate version of Jackson 5‘s I Want you Back, in order to get the full ‘Grooting’ experience. Each toy will set your wallet back by a light $14.99. Look for the figure on store shelves Christmas day, and be slightly angry that the toy’s arms don’t move! Also, make sure you keep this toy away from any talking Raccoons, in fear they might strike up an unlikely friendship!
Check out this video featuring Groot ‘Grooting': http://bcove.me/6p15csky
by Edie Nugent
AMC’s The Walking Dead panel was packed nearly past capacity on Saturday afternoon at NYCC. When the 3500 floor seats of the main stage hall were filled, fans stood along the sides of the room-shunning available balcony seating to be that much closer to their favorite TV stars. The panel was moderated by Talking Dead host and perennial fanboy Chris Hardwick who was red-faced with excitement as he introduced an exclusive clip showing the first few minutes of the season five premiere. Hardwick was joined by Greg Nicotero, director of the season five premiere, showrunner Scott Gimple, executive producer Gale Anne Hurd and executive producer and series creator Robert Kirkman.
Season five picked up right where season four left off, with Rick and the remaining survivors of his group being held prisoner in a boxcar inside the Terminus compound. They are ripping their clothes apart, fashioning weapons out of belt buckles and shoe laces. The group hears movement outside of the container, and all assume defensive positions near its entrance. Suddenly, the boxcar opens from above and a cannister is dropped inside leaking knockout gas. After succumbing to the fumes, the group awakens to find themselves bound and are made to kneel before a draining sink used for livestock slaughter. Terminus, it seems, is indeed a colony of cannibals.
The clip ended abruptly, and Hardwick remarked how much fun is was to listen to the shocked audience reaction live, joking: “we should get together as a group and watch it every week.” Director Greg Nicotero remarked that, as someone who has directed several premiere episodes of Walking Dead, it was nice to continue the momentum of the end of last season into the beginning of season five. He also mentioned he wanted to make the season opener “super intense…I’ve seen it ten times, and I still get chills.”
Hardwick asked Gimple if season five might unlock more of the backstories of the group- finding out more about who they were before the zombie apocalypse. Gimple said to expect to discover about the more recent past of the characters, “in some very deep ways, we’re also going to play with time a bit.”
Kirkman teased that there are “a lot of big moments from the comic book series that will be pulled into the show this season…we’re still going to be changing things up a bit…I think it’s safe to say this season is going to follow the comics much closer than we have in the past.”
When asked to describe the season in a few words, Hurd replied: “Kick-ass, utterly relentless, and totally heart-breaking.” She went on to announce that the second half of season five will premiere on February 8th, 2015.
Hardwick then brought out the cast one by one. The applause, screams and cheers that went up throughout the main stage hall were deafening. Present for the panel were: Andrew Lincoln (Rick), Steven Yeun (Glenn), Lauren Cohan (Maggie), Michael Cudlitz (Abraham), Danai Gurira (Michonne), Melissa McBride (Carol), Chad Coleman (Tyrese), Sonequa Martin-Green (Sasha) and Norman Reedus (Daryl).
Hardwick began his series of cast questions by addressing Lincoln: “We finally at the end of last season saw the transformative moment when Rick came back.” Lincoln agreed, saying “I think you meet a man very much at the peak of his powers. I mean, he just bit a guys’ throat out. I think it’s safe to say I’ve been listening to a lot of Prodigy and death metal.”
When Hardwick asked Yuen where his character was emotionally following the events of season four, Yuen explained that Glenn “woke up in a prison with all his loved ones gone. He has a moment to himself and says: ‘eff this-I’m going to go find everybody’ and he treks out and finds everybody.” Co-star Lauren Cohan added: “the amazing thing at the end of season four is that we found each other,” looking at Yuen, “ I felt like he was a soldier coming back from war.” Yuen asserted that he felt Cohan’s Maggie was “equally a soldier.” She went on to say that the next step for Maggie would be to find her sister Beth, and “keep everyone fortified.”
Michael Cudlitz emphasized that every character in the world of The Walking Dead has suffered massive loss: “so what we’re dealing with day after day is dealing with loss on top of loss” and that the supportive, safe environment the cast and crew create is essential to making those performances “ring true.”
Gurira thanked Kirkman and Gimple for imbuing her character Michonne with an “unapologetic strength to her, and you see that with a lot of the women characters on this show, which is really exciting.” She added that she felt Michonne’s strength hadn’t shifted through the events of the show, but rather but had gone through a transition because of her relationships with the group.
The deep, emotional connections the actors had with their characters was especially clear as McBride spoke of her experience playing Carol, saying “it’s something I’m so proud of, and for the character it’s been something I never saw coming, and I think I’m going to cry-because I love her.” Her eyes filled with tears, prompting Reedus to walk down the panel to hand her a tissue.
“Without the children, where is our future?” Coleman asked, explaining how his character Tyrese and Carol had gone through such a terrible experience in attempting to protect Lizzie, Micah and baby Judith in season four. “He’s hurting tremendously,” he added, saying that he felt Tyrese had forgive Carol for her decision to kill Lizzie after she murdered Mika-but that Carol was “on shaky ground.”
Martin-Green was proud of what she felt were “the prevailing messages being taught on a show like this, of hope and survival and family and love-making it through adversity.” These themes were especially resonant to her now, she said, as she is pregnant with her first child-due in January.
“A lot of times when Daryl has been killing things, he’s been crying while he’s doing it,” Reedus said, speaking to Hardwick about how his character had opened up over the previous season. “We really feel connected to these characters and feel connected to each other-we really care about each other-so teetering on that line of being ferocious and being vulnerable-it’s a real teeter-totter. Everything feels really real.”
It was clearly also “really real” to the thousands of fans in attendance-some of whom were moved to share their feelings with the cast during the fan Q&A portion of the panel. One such fan, Michael, told the of how he was badly injured while coming to the aid of a neighbor who was being attacked. He told the panel that the strength of the shows characters had helped him to have the courage to move forward in his life and recovery. Cohan was visibly moved hearing his story as was Guira who addressed the fan directly, saying: “to know that there’s any sort of message we’re conveying that gives you hope and courage-it makes it unbearable how wonderful it is to do what we do-to know that it resonates to you and emboldens you is really a blessing to us. You are the true survivor.”
Readers may recall that the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in London will be receiving its first permanent addition since it opened in 2012. This addition will focus on the Dark Arts and includes an expansion of Malfoy Manor, a model of Nagini, props from Borgin and Burkes, and a model of Umbridge’s office along with her costumes:
Previously not much more than a fireplace, the Malfoy Mansion set has had a serious revamp. The huge fireplace is lit up, with two vast chandeliers casting shadows over a number of unpleasant additions. Suspended above the table is the film’s model of Charity Burbage, the unlucky Hogwarts professor (uncanny, down to the ladders in the foot of her tights) while poised by the Death Eaters is the huge model of Voldemort’s snake, Nagini, which Bohanna and his team made specially for the exhibit.
The original latex Nagini had deteriorated, and this new model is made of hardier stuff: urethane skin and foam. “Basically what you have in your sofa cushions,” says Bohanna, “so it’s soft and easy to pose.”
The Dark Arts exhibit, like the wider tour, is a real show of imagination, creativity and talent. The Horcruxes, items where Voldemort stored parts of his soul, are displayed in a well-locked cabinet. As with many Potter props, huge numbers had to be made: 40 lockets, for example. “Jonathan, who made them, only thought he’d be making two or three. He ended up spending five months,” says Bohanna.
Stunts and close-ups present different requirements: the display version of the basilisk fang used to destroy Tom Riddle’s notebook is a rubberised one designed not to hurt if you accidentally stab yourself with it.
You can read more about the new additions here. The Dark Arts expansion opens on October 14th.
Demo reel of the Sacred Geo show (produced by the Runway Vigilantes troupe in Taos…I am at this point, a long-distance vicarious member!) There are a few snippets of geometrical animations I made in the background…need to still post full versions of those soon, but for now, here’s a taste.
By: Susanne Gervay
Blog: Susanne Gervay's Blog
(Login to Add to MyJacketFlap
, ACT Writers Centre
, Australian National Library
, Gina Newton
, Irma Gold
, Lina Silva
, Pauline Deeves
, SCBWI Australia East and New Zealand
, Suzanne Kiraly
, Tania McCartney
, Tracey Hawkings
, Add a tag
5.00 am early start – dragging myself out of bed – even chicken was squawking.
5.30 am – destination our capital city – hop in the BOOTIE-MOBILE – also known as my car.
Sun shining, car purring, radio on as I drive out of Sydney into the countryside with yellow fields of sunflowers and baa-ing sheep, eventually along Lake George to spring lined streets of Canberra - It’s glorious being a writer on the road.
First stop ACT State Library to a packed group of enthusiastic kids writing about – Werewolves, Wizards & Writers.
Next stop, Poppy’s Cafe at the National War Memorial listening to bagpipes while discussing everything with SCBWI Coordinator for ACT/Camberra – author Tracey Hawkings.
Then it’s the SCBWI Event at the ACT Writers Centre with the dynamic SCBWI ACT crowd – including authors Tania McCartney, Irma Gold (brilliant short story writer), best selling author Gina Newton, historical author Pauline Deeves, script writer Lina Silva and other committed authors and illustrators. It was great fun , great nibbles, great enthusiasm for creating story.
Saturday was brilliant – the ACT Writers Centre at Gorman House is old world with a lilac lined courtyard and Saturday markets and music – and I had the pleasure of running a short story course with some extraordinary writers.
Caught up with Suzanne Kiraly at Tilley’s Cafe where we talked writing and about the Literature festival Suzanne is organising 28 Feb next year – it’ll be brilliant.
Drove home through fields and sunshine.
Can’t wait to visit Canberra again.
The post Love being a Writer in Canberra! appeared first on Susanne Gervay's Blog.
By: Heidi MacDonald
Blog: PW -The Beat
(Login to Add to MyJacketFlap
, NYCC '14
, Top News
, agent carter
, Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D.
, Clark Gregg
, Jeff loeb
, Ming-Na Wen
, Add a tag
View Next 25 Posts
By Edie Nugent
The cast of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Photo Credit: ABC.Marvel Studios
If the response from the fans at NYCC is anything to go by, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. should delight viewers with “Face My Enemy,” the fourth episode of season two. Nearly 3,000 people lined up in advance of the Friday night screening to obtain bracelets allowing them to get an early look at the episode which airs tonight at 9pm on ABC. Once the doors closed to the exhibition hall, it wasn’t long before Jeff Loeb-Marvel’s Head of Television-stepped onto the stage. The fan response to the Eisner-award winning writer was warm, with extended applause from the crowd.
Loeb seemed genuinely excited to introduce the NYCC exclusive premiere of the episode, explaining that around the Marvel offices the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. franchise is referred to as “The Mothership.” When he expressed how proud he was that the show made it to a second season-something the show’s lackluster first season ratings in no way guaranteed-the cheering reached its’ zenith.
Loeb took full advantage of the atmosphere, saying “one of the things I hope that you learn about season one is, let’s put it this way: anyone can be Hydra.” Loeb opened his button-down shirt to reveal a Hydra logo-tee underneath. The audience booed and moaned, but their disapproval was short-lived. Actor Clark Gregg quickly jumped on stage and began yanking at Loeb’s shirt in disgust. The booing quickly turned to cheering as fans jumped to their feet to give the man who portrays fan-favorite Agent Coulson a standing ovation. Some even stood on their chairs and began a sweeping chant of “Coulson! Coulson!”
Gregg appeared to be humbled by the adulation. Loeb agreed with the response, saying: “the reason why we are here, the reason why there is an Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D. is because of the extraordinary talent of our friend Clark Gregg.” The actor shouted: “It’s good to be alive!” Whether he was speaking of his resurrection in Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D., his adoring fan base, or both was unclear. Gregg went on to thank his fans for sending emails and messages in support of his character following Agent Coulson’s death in Marvel’s The Avengers (2012).
Gregg revealed that when Loeb announced he’d be attending NYCC, Gregg begged to tag along. He explained that the announcement from “Jeff and Joss” that Coulson “wasn’t quite dead” was made at NYCC two years earlier, giving him a special feeling about the con. Gregg continued: “I love New York, I love this con…and my feelings have only gotten warmer because this is where I was resurrected.”
Gregg playfully teased Loeb for his Hydra t-shirt, prompting Loeb to offer to “make it up” to Gregg by showing “Face My Enemy” in its entirety to the crowd. As the episode played, the eager audience seemed to embrace the story at every turn, applauding when Agents May (Ming-Na Wen) and Coulson appeared on-screen. The episode continues SHEILD’s efforts to understand the strange carvings that both deceased Agent Garrett (Bill Paxton) and Agent Coulson created following their exposure to GH-325-the mysterious drug that brought Coulson back to life.
The audience reaction was one of deep emotional investment, by turns exuberant, amused, and-near the end of the episode-shocked. When Gregg and Loeb returned to the stage following the end credits, Loeb noted the crowd’s reaction and said: “I have to thank you, Clark and I were sitting back stage and your response to that was just extraordinary.” He also gave a shout-out to veteran television writer Drew Greenberg, of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Smallville fame, who penned the episode.
Gregg pestered Loeb further, asking “can we show them something from Agent Carter?” The resounding cheers spurred Loeb to comment that the series, had only begun shooting earlier that week. Agent Carter follows the life of Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell), founder of S.H.E.I.L.D, last seen in Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Solider (2014). Gregg then produced a CD allegedly containing some of the shows early footage. Moments later a short clip appeared on screen, which found Carter partnering with Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper), inventor, father of Iron Man Tony Stark & founder of Stark Industries. The teaser also saw Carter’s introduction to Edwin Jarvis (James D’Arcy), butler to the Stark family and inspiration for Tony’s Starks’ invention of J.A.R.V.I.S. Artificial Intelligence.
“Face My Enemy” premieres tonight, but fans will have to wait until January 2015 to see the premiere of Agent Carter. While the audience reaction to the early footage was overwhelmingly positive, whether Marvel Television can keep fans engaged and tuning into both of their S.H.E.I.L.D-based shows remains to be seen.