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26. Release of Beauty’s Kingdom by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice)

Long before the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon, Anne Rice was writing a raunchy series of erotic novels in the 1980s under the pseudonym A.N. Roquelaure. The Sleeping Beauty series contained the following three novels: The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty, Beauty’s Punishment and Beauty’s Release. The trilogy has been very successful for Anne Rice, and in the 1990s, […]

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27. What have you got lined up in the coming weeks and months?

Where is Jon - compressed


Aside from two days of Fun with Fiction workshops at Millington Elementary School, and my teaching gig at the GCU, I haven't done any speaking events so far this year.

I do have a couple of talks lined up,
and I'll certainly be attending some writing group meetings, but for the most part, I've been keeping my head down, having a great time working on major revisions for Abraham Lincoln Stole my Homework and putting together the beat sheet/outline of Dead Doris (also middle grade).

Here are some of the talks and events I'll be giving/attending during the coming months:

2015 SPRING SEMESTER  
EN215: Creative Writing
Georgian Court University
Lakewood, NJ


2015 June 13th - June 14th   NJ SCBWI Summer Conference (attending)
https://www.regonline.com/builder/site/Default.aspx?EventID=1655217
Plainsboro, NJ

2015 July 11th - 12th   Summer Writer's Workshop (teaching)
Georgian Court University
Lakewood, NJ


2015 Late Summer - date tbc   Autism in the Family (7pm - 8:30pm)
Speaking on the Spectrum (SPotS)
Camden County Library (South County Regional Branch) 35 Cooper Folly Road, Atco, NJ 08004

I'm also likely to turn up at a GSSW or Monmouth Writers meeting throughout the year. They're both good, friendly writing groups. New members are always welcome.

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28. Interesting blog posts about writing – w/e May 8th 2015



Here’s my selection of interesting (and sometimes amusing) posts about writing from the last weekabout writing from the last week:

Using Story Structure to Your Advantage (Janice Hardy)
http://blog.janicehardy.com/2010/01/form-fitting.html

What Literary Agents Want to See Before Signing With a Writer (Mally Becker)
http://thewritelife.com/what-literary-agents-want-to-see/
by way of The Author Chronicles

6 Ways to Add Tension (Anna Elliott)
http://writerunboxed.com/2015/05/07/when-your-scene-is-dragging-5-ways-to-add-tension/

5 Tips For Avoiding POV Speedbumps (Diana Hurwitz)
http://bloodredpencil.blogspot.com/2015/05/5-tips-for-avoiding-pov-speedbumps.html

Finding the Humor: Jokes in the Midst of Tragedy (Rochelle Deans)
http://querytracker.blogspot.com/2015/05/finding-humor-jokes-in-midst-of-tragedy.html

Change (Donald Maass)
http://writerunboxed.com/2015/05/06/change/

Welcome to the Shark Tank (Rachelle Gardner)
www.booksandsuch.com/blog/shark-tank/

How Long is a Chapter? (Heidi M. Thomas)
http://bloodredpencil.blogspot.com/2015/05/how-long-is-chapter.html

Have Publishers Failed Authors? (Janet Kobobel Grant)
www.booksandsuch.com/blog/have-publishers-failed-authors/


If you found these useful, you may also like my personal selection of the most interesting blog posts from 2014, and last week’s list.

If you have a particular favorite among these, please let the author know (and me too, if you have time).  Also, if you've a link to a great post that isn't here, feel free to share.

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29. Interesting blog posts about writing – w/e May 1st 2015



Here’s my selection of interesting (and sometimes amusing) posts about writing from the last weekabout writing from the last week:

How Layers Can Deepen Your Story’s Impact (Kathryn Craft)
http://bloodredpencil.blogspot.com/2015/05/how-layers-can-deepen-your-storys-impact.html

Self-Publishing a Series after Its Traditional Start (Elizabeth Spann Craig)
http://elizabethspanncraig.com/3018/self-publishing-a-series-after-its-traditional-start/

7 Secrets of Highly Persistent Writers (Jordan Rosenfeld) Jon’s Pick of theWeek
http://writerunboxed.com/2015/04/30/7-secrets-of-highly-persistent-writers/

How to Find a Literary Agent for Your Book (Jane Friedman)
www.janefriedman.com/2015/04/29/find-literary-agent/

When You Hit A Brick Wall (Rachelle Gardner)
www.booksandsuch.com/blog/hit-a-brick-wall/

Book Trailers: Purpose and Worth (Kerry Gans)
https://authorchronicles.wordpress.com/2015/04/28/book-trailers-purpose-and-worth/

Inside the Mind of an Author a Week Before Her Book Publishes… (Sarah McCoy) www.writerunboxed.com/2015/04/28/inside-the-mind-of-an-author-a-week-before-her-book-publishes/

Yay! Your Story Was Accepted (or Not). Now What? (Lori Sambol Brody)
www.everydayfiction.com/flashfictionblog/yay-your-story-was-accepted-or-not-now-what/

Playing Around the Edges (Wendy Lawton)
www.booksandsuch.com/blog/playing-around-the-edges/

10 ways to tell if your book is ready for publishing (Sarah Juckes)
http://elizabethspanncraig.com/3013/10-ways-to-tell-if-your-book-is-ready-for-publishing/



If you found these useful, you may also like my personal selection of the most interesting blog posts from 2014, and last week’s list.

If you have a particular favorite among these, please let the author know (and me too, if you have time).  Also, if you've a link to a great post that isn't here, feel free to share.

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30. The Trouble with Money

Money makes the world go around in the most delightful and not so delightful, ways. 


Somewhere long ago and far away someone traded something of limited value (shell, bead, stone) for something of essential value (food, clothing, shelter). From that seed grew tribal chieftans, pharaohs, kings, queens, aristocracy, industry barons, and Wall Street tycoons.

If I had a time machine, I would go back and bump their heads together. What were they thinking?

Once humans formed communities large enough to support a parasitic structure, i.e. those who did not have to work or contribute to survive, there have always been those on the top of the pyramid living off of, and profiting from, those on the bottom. Why did humans ever agree to this system?

If you write Fantasy, Science Fiction, or Historical fiction, you could explore the thematic question: How does one gain control over the many? Why do people willingly offer up things they have worked for, things that have essential value, to people who offer nothing of essential value in return? Some might say protection was given in return. Since the people form the armies that protect themselves, the argument is questionable at best.

Gold, diamonds, and paper currency only have value because we assign them value. Someone, somewhere along the line, convinced us that this was a good idea. All kinds of nonsense followed. 


Why is gold of higher value than bone? Humans tend to value things that are rare, but when the first chunk of gold was found, people didn’t know it was rare, only that it was new. We believe we have found all of the gold, but have we?

Particularly when writing Science Fiction and Fantasy, it is important to decide what your characters value. How do they buy and sell things or trade things. Do they use money as we know it? What are their fiscal rules? What do they value in terms of thrift or extravagance? What happens if their rules are broken? What are the consequences or the cost? Do they have a Wall Street? Do they allow the people at the top to profit from those at the bottom? What is the cost to their society for doing so?

It is even more important in a Historical tale that you get the details right for the time and place. When was the currency put into circulation? What kind was it? If you write about a remote tribe in Borneo, how do they go about bartering? What do they barter? What kind of bartering infractions are there and what is the punishment?

Money is a perceived need. Dick might feel comfortable with a small savings account, or he may not feel comfortable without a very large one. He might cheat, steal, or kill to get what he considers enough. Sometimes there is never enough. Jane might be happy with a little. Put Dick and Jane in a relationship and you have massive conflict.

Some without money resent those who have it. Some with money look down on those who don’t. Some characters work for their money, some inherit it, some win it. Disparities in income cause conflict in schools, social groups, charitable organizations, neighborhoods, families, marriages, between countries, and between friends.

Who should have it? Why should they have it? Should Dick, who spends his days throwing a football, earn more than doctor Jane who spends her days saving lives? Should a pole-dancing Sally earn more than the guy that picks up the trash?

Money trouble is one of the top killers of marriages. It can create an imbalance of power between the one who earns the most or all of the money and the one who isn’t given equal control over it.

When money loans are made, the stakes are raised. You have intense conflict whether you are writing about mob money or the cash dad gave son to help him start a business. The game begins when it can’t be paid back.


For more on how to create believable conflict, check out:

Story Building Blocks II: Crafting Believable Conflict in paperback and E-book.

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31. Seconds: Review Haiku

If she could turn back time . . .
she'd probably not tick off
the house spirit.

Seconds by Bryan Lee O'Malley. Ballantine, 2014, 336 pages.

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32. Review of The Boy in the Black Suit

reynolds_boy-in-the-black-suitThe Boy in the Black Suit
by Jason Reynolds
Middle School, High School   Atheneum   257 pp.
1/15   978-1-4424-5950-2   $17.99
e-book ed. 978-1-4424-5952-6   $10.99

High-school senior Matt wears a black suit because he has a job at Mr. Ray’s funeral home (setting up chairs and food for services), but also — metaphorically — because he himself is in mourning, for the mother who died just before the book begins and the long-on-the-wagon father who has returned to drink. Although his work responsibilities end when the funerals begin, Matt finds himself sticking around to find “the person hurting the most,” hoping that his or her expression of grief will perhaps help him deal with his own. While all this sounds like heavy problem-novel territory, it isn’t. Matt is a good kid with a good best friend, Chris; their Bed-Stuy neighborhood is gritty but also a place of true community. There’s even a sweet romance between Matt and a girl he meets at her grandmother’s funeral. With When I Was the Greatest (rev. 1/14) and now this book, Reynolds writes about urban African American kids in a way, warm and empathetic, that the late Walter Dean Myers would have applauded.

From the March/April 2015 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

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33. Interesting blog posts about writing – w/e April 24th 2015



Here’s my selection of interesting (and sometimes amusing) posts about writing from the last weekabout writing from the last week:

Deciding What to Put in Your Query Letter (Janice Hardy)
http://blog.janicehardy.com/2009/08/query-week-step-one-what-heck-do-i-say.html

Wake Up and Stop Writing Dream Sequences (Max Booth III)
https://litreactor.com/columns/wake-up-and-stop-writing-dream-sequences

Be a More Productive Writer While Also Achieving Balance (Jordan Rosenfeld)
http://janefriedman.com/2015/04/23/productive-balance/

Check, Recheck, and Then Check Again (Mary Keeley)
www.booksandsuch.com/blog/check-recheck-and-then-check-again/

10 Tips For Agents (Rachelle Gardner)
www.booksandsuch.com/blog/tips-for-agents/

When It Feels Like Everyone Is Getting What You Want (Natalie Whipple)
http://betweenfactandfiction.blogspot.com/2015/04/when-it-feels-like-everyone-is-getting.html

Taking Care of Business: The Author Biography (Ash Krafton)
http://querytracker.blogspot.com/2015/04/taking-care-of-business-author-biography.html

Confessions of a Serial Non-finisher (Jan O'Hara)
www.writerunboxed.com/2015/04/20/confessions-of-a-serial-non-finisher/

Pathetic Level of Optimism (Laurie Boyle Crompton)
http://yaoutsidethelines.blogspot.com/2015/04/pathetic-level-of-optimism-laurie-boyle.html

That Awkward Moment When… (Erika Mitchell)
http://writerunboxed.com/2015/04/19/that-awkward-moment-when-2/



If you found these useful, you may also like my personal selection of the most interesting blog posts from 2014, and last week’s list.

If you have a particular favorite among these, please let the author know (and me too, if you have time).  Also, if you've a link to a great post that isn't here, feel free to share.

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34. Lumberjanes: Review Haiku

Kicka$$ girls go camping,
fight monsters, and set up
for new adventures.

Lumberjanes Vol. 1: Beware the Kitten Holy by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, and Brooke Allen. BOOM! Box, 2015, 128 pages.

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35. Hold Me Closer: Review Haiku

I really need to
see someone put this show on
for real. Curtain up!

Hold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story by David Levithan. Dutton, 2015, 208 pages.

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36. Review of Shadow Scale

hartman_shadow scaleShadow Scale
by Rachel Hartman
Middle School, High School   Random   600 pp.
3/15   978-0-375-86657-9   $18.99
Library ed. 978-0-375-96657-6   $21.99   g
e-book ed. 978-0-375-89659-0   $10.99

With the dragon civil war closing in on Goredd, Seraphina (Seraphina, rev. 7/12) begins an uncertain mission: she and Abdo, a fellow half-dragon, embark on a journey to recruit other ityasaari like themselves, hoping that if they can learn to thread their minds together, they will be able to defend Goredd by forming a trap to stop a dragon in flight. Seraphina has misgivings — what if the attempt leads to another ityasaari taking over her mind? Jannoula, a half-dragon whom Seraphina contacted telepathically in a time before she knew there were others like her, once usurped Seraphina’s consciousness, and it was only by great effort and luck that Seraphina managed to fight her off. However, as Seraphina and Abdo travel through the neighboring lands, they are horrified to learn that Jannoula already controls the other ityasaari. The author’s generous and self-assured world-building effortlessly branches out to the different cultures the pilgrims encounter, unveiling fresh customs and new folklore with consummate ease. A subplot involving Seraphina’s hopeless romance with Kiggs, the man affianced to her friend and monarch, Queen Glisselda, takes on a love-triangle twist that most won’t see coming. From graceful language to high stakes to daring intrigue, this sequel shines with the same originality, invention, and engagement of feeling that captivated readers in Hartman’s debut.

From the March/April 2015 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

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37. These Are The Names

It never ceases to amaze me that every so often you come across a cultural product (in this case, a writer) you’ve never heard of, but that’s (who’s) immensely popular and bestselling in another country. Tommy Wieringa is an award-winning Dutch writer. He’s published many books to critical and award claim, and the book most […]

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38. Read Between the Lines: Review Haiku

Everyone you meet
is fighting a battle you
know nothing about.

Read Between the Lines by Jo Knowles. Candlewick, 2015, 336 pages.

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39. Interesting blog posts about writing – w/e April 17th 2015



Here’s my selection of interesting (and sometimes amusing) posts about writing from the last weekabout writing from the last week:

6 POV Hacks for Fiction (Susan DeFreitas)
https://litreactor.com/columns/the-minds-of-others-6-pov-hacks-for-fiction

Common Writing Pitfalls that Sabotage Your Book (Mary Keeley)
www.booksandsuch.com/blog/common-writing-pitfalls-that-sabotage-your-book/

Sponsorship At Writers’ Conferences: A Question of Awareness (Porter Anderson)
www.writerunboxed.com/2015/04/16/sponsorship-at-writers-conferences-a-question-of-awareness/

Writer's Retreat (Matt Q. McGovern)
https://authorchronicles.wordpress.com/2015/04/15/writers-retreat/

Making “Sense” of Your Characters (Janice Hardy) [Jon’s Pick of the Week]
http://blog.janicehardy.com/2015/04/description-tip-making-sense-of-your.html

The Story You Tell Yourself (Rachelle Gardner) [Jon's other Pick of the Week]
www.booksandsuch.com/blog/story-you-tell-yourself/

Taking Care of Business: Making Friends (Rochelle Deans)
http://querytracker.blogspot.com/2015/04/taking-care-of-business-making-friends.html

Amazon Takes On Fake Review Services (Victoria Strauss)
http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2015/04/amazon-takes-on-fake-review-services.html

Fooling Yourself (Tracy Barrett)
http://yaoutsidethelines.blogspot.com/2015/04/fooling-yourself-april-theme-fools.html

The Key Book Publishing Paths in 2015 (Jane Friedman)
http://janefriedman.com/2015/04/17/key-book-publishing-path/

The Hidden Meaning Behind a Rejection Letter (Rachel Kent)
www.booksandsuch.com/blog/the-hidden-rejection/

If you found these useful, you may also like my personal selection of the most interesting blog posts from 2014, and last week’s list.

If you have a particular favorite among these, please let the author know (and me too, if you have time).  Also, if you've a link to a great post that isn't here, feel free to share.

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40. The Last Polar Bear – Perfect Picture Book Friday

This is my last picture book in the series of books I wanted to suggest as part of your Earth Day celebrations next Wednesday. Title: The Last Polar Bear Written by: Jean Craighead George Illustrated by: Wendell Minor Published by: Harper, 2009 Themes/Topics: polar bears, … Continue reading

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41. Moonpenny Island: Review Haiku

More than your garden-variety
quirky middle-grade.
Trilobites!

Moonpenny Island by Tricia Springstubb. Balzer + Bray. 2015, 304 pages.

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42. What's Next?

I'm a bit behind on blogging about all the books I put stars next to when I'm doing collection development work. They're the books I want to read myself.



Sisters of Heart and Snow by Margaret Dilloway. It's a novel that explores the relationships between adult sisters and aging parents while weaving in the (true!) story of a female samurai. It pubbed last week.


She Will Build Him a City by Raj Kamal Jha. 3 stories (that I assume bump and touch against each other) in today's New Delhi in a style that Booklist compared to Gabriel Garcia Marquez's magical realism. Out now.

Black Diamond by Zakes Mda. A biting social commentary that examines race, gender, and class in contemporary South Africa, in a package with an enjoyable plot? Yes please! Out now.




God Help the Child by Toni Morrison. Um, it's by TONI MORRISON. Pubs on April 21.

Prudence by Gail Carriger. A new series about Alexia and Conall's daughter? That takes place in India? It's out now, and my hold just came in on it. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, start with Soulless.

All Involved by Ryan Gattis. Gangs use the 92 LA Riots as chaotic cover to settle old scores. Intriguing. It pubbed last week.



Diamond Head by Cecily Wong. Family secrets. Multi-generational saga. Wealthy shipping family in China and Hawaii. 3 catnips, 1 book. Out on the 14th.

Madam President by Nicolle Wallace. Awful cover aside, it's about what happens when major terrorist attacks happen while a crew is filming a day-in-the-life thing on the President. I'm hoping it's like the Access episode of West Wing, but cooler. Plus, it's by a former White House communications director. Pubs on April 28.

Garden of Lies by Amanda Quick. It's a romance that involves solving a murder among the wealthy elite. Nice. Pubs on the 21st.




Perfect Match by Fern Michaels. A former NFL player takes over a matchmaking business? I assume hijinks and smooching ensue. Out on April 28th.

The Thunder of Giants by Joel Fishbane. In 1937, Andorra stars in a biopic about Anna, who lived 100 years before. Both are giants, but led very different lives. Pubs on the 14th.

Meadowlands: A World War I family saga by Elizabeth Jeffrey. Aristocracy in WWI. Pubbed at the beginning of the month.



The Jazz Palace by Mary Morris. Jews and mobsters in Jazz Age Chicago. And all the catnip! Out now.

Orhan's Inheritance by Aline Ohanesian. A PEN finalist and debut about the Armenian genocide and family secrets. Out now.

The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen. A Viet Cong agent in LA int he 70s spies on refugees. I love stories that explore how wars never really end. Out now.



What's new or coming out this month that you can't wait for?

Links to Amazon are an affiliate link. You can help support Biblio File by purchasing any item (not just the one linked to!) through these links. Read my full disclosure statement.

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43. List of books with the word ‘boy’ in the title

I enjoyed writing the blog post Books with the word ‘Girl’ in the title so much, I thought I’d do one for books that have ‘boy’ in the title. At first glance, I thought this one might be easier, but let’s see how I go. The first book that comes to mind for me is […]

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44. Review of The Penderwicks in Spring

birdsall_penderwicks in springThe Penderwicks in Spring
by Jeanne Birdsall
Intermediate   Knopf   339 pp.
3/15   978-0-375-87077-4   $16.99
Library ed. 978-0-375-97077-1   $19.99   g
e-book ed. 978-0-307-97459-4   $10.99

In this fourth Penderwicks book, time has passed and the family landscape has changed. Mr. Penderwick has married the lovely Iantha; Rosalind is away at college; and Skye is fending off best friend Jeffrey’s romantic advances. (Aspiring author Jane, however, is as dreamy as ever.) And Batty, the impish little girl with butterfly wings, is now ten and the “senior member of the younger Penderwick siblings” — stepbrother Ben (seven) and half-sister Lydia (two). The story mostly belongs to Batty: already an accomplished pianist, she’s discovered a talent for singing. To raise money for (secret) voice lessons, she starts a neighborhood odd-jobs business. She’s employed as a dog walker, which sadly reminds her of her dear departed Hound. There’s a lot of melancholy (and some melodrama) in this book, with poor Batty suffering benign neglect from favorite-sister Rosalind (temporarily boy-crazy, and an insufferable boy at that) and bearing the brunt of some particularly hurtful words from Skye. On the plus side, Ben and Lydia, in their cheering-up efforts, emerge as formidable Penderwicks; across-the-street neighbor Nick (on leave from the army, older brother of Rosalind’s true love Tommy) provides no-nonsense advice; best friend Keiko remains true blue; and lovelorn Jeffrey finally snaps out of it enough to resume his role as Batty’s musical mentore. And at her climactic Grand Eleventh Birthday Concert, Batty rewardingly finds her voice.

From the March/April 2015 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

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45. Five questions for Nikki Grimes

nikki grimesApril is National Poetry Month, and what better way to celebrate than by talking with acclaimed poet Nikki Grimes? Her many books include narratives in verse, prose fiction, poetry collections, and nonfiction, frequently featuring African American characters and culture. In Grimes’s latest picture book, Poems in the Attic (illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon; Lee & Low, 5–8 years), a girl describes, in free verse, an exciting discovery: a box of poems her mother wrote during her own youth. Like a diary, the poems offer the daughter an intimate first-person perspective of her mother’s world travels as the child of an Air Force captain.

1. Your author’s note for Poems in the Attic says that you moved around a lot as a child. Did you have adventures similar to your characters’? What were some of your favorite places?

NG: My life was very different my characters’, I’m afraid. My frequent moving had to do with being in the foster-care system, and my adventures primarily took place between the pages of books! However, the challenges that result from a child frequently being uprooted, no matter the cause, are challenges I can relate to. As for favorite places of my childhood, I would have to say the public library, the planetarium, and Central Park. All three were magical.

2. How did you come up with the idea of having the mother write in a different poetic form than her daughter?

grimes_poems in the atticNG: I’d been wanting to do a collection of tanka poems for young readers for some time. I’d originally considered creating a collection of paired poems similar to A Pocketful of Poems (illus. by Javaka Steptoe; Clarion, 5–8 years), in which the character introduced haiku poetry, but using the tanka form. However, I came up with the idea for this story and realized it provided me a perfect opportunity to use two different forms to capture the voices of mother and daughter. I had tanka on the brain at that point, so it was an easy choice for me.

3. The daughter reflects, “My mama glued her memories with words / so they would last forever.” How does poetry help to glue down memories?

NG: Poetry is the language of essence. Through the use of metaphor, simile, and the rest, the poet paints a picture, catches the essence of a subject, and plumbs all of the senses connected with that subject. What better genre is there for capturing a memory?

4. As you travel and engage with children, how do you inspire in them an interest in reading and writing poetry?

NG: That interest is already in them. Poetry is a huge part of their childhood, from the ABC song to jump-rope rhymes to “Ring Around the Rosie.” Stoking that interest only requires sharing poems with them to which they can relate. One whiff of poetry about the stuff of their own childhood, their own lives, and they are off and running. Once they’ve gotten a good taste of poetry, just try and stop them from reading and writing it!

5. Which poets inspire you?

NG: Oh, my! That list is long. My library includes Lucille Clifton, Naomi Shihab Nye, Wendell Berry, W. B. Yeats, William Stafford, Jane Yolen, Pablo Neruda, Natasha Trethewey, Gary Soto, Helen Frost, Mary Oliver, Marilyn Nelson, Shakespeare (sonnets, anyone?), Langston Hughes, Mari Evans. Yikes! Okay, I’ll stop.

From the April 2015 issue of Notes from the Horn Book.

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46. Lucky Strike: Review Haiku

A sturdy middle-grade
with wacky characters
and some light magic.

Lucky Strike by Bobbie Pyron. Levine/Scholastic, 2015, 272 pages.

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47. The Terrible Two: Review Haiku

This avowed prank-hater
still found these guys kinda
charming. (But trouble.)

The Terrible Two by Jory John and Mac Barnett, illustrated by Kevin Cornell. Abrams, 2015, 224 pages.


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48. Interesting blog posts about writing – w/e April 10th 2015



Here’s my selection of interesting (and sometimes amusing) posts about writing from the last weekabout writing from the last week:

Do You Love Your Publisher? (Jane Friedman)
http://janefriedman.com/2015/04/10/author-survey-results/

Eleven Things You Should Know About Query Letters (Colby Marshall)
http://elizabethspanncraig.com/2954/eleven-things-you-should-know-about-query-letters/

Writing From A Place of Fear (Catherine McKenzie)
http://writerunboxed.com/2015/04/09/writing-from-a-place-of-fear/

Tips for Healthy Professional Relationships (Mary Keeley)
www.booksandsuch.com/blog/tips-for-healthy-professional-relationships/

The Freelance Scramble (Kristine Kathryn Rusch)
http://kriswrites.com/2015/04/08/business-musings-the-freelance-scramble/

When Your Premise is as Vague as a Campaign Promise (Larry Brooks)
http://storyfix.com/case-study-when-your-premise-is-as-vague-as-a-campaign-promise

Mirroring: An Easy Way to Deepen Your Novel (Janice Hardy)
http://blog.janicehardy.com/2015/04/mirroring-easy-way-to-deepen-your-novel.html

Thoughts on Backstory (Heidi M. Thomas)
http://bloodredpencil.blogspot.com/2015/04/thoughts-on-backstory.html

Ten Reasons Why You Should Write Historical Fiction (Stacey Lee)
http://blog.janicehardy.com/2015/04/ten-reasons-why-you-should-write.html

Four Questions To Ask When Your Writing Is Stuck (Cathy Yardley)
http://writerunboxed.com/2015/04/03/four-questions-to-ask-when-your-writing-is-stuck/

Some Query Tips from Victoria (Victoria Lowes)
http://jennybent.blogspot.com/2015/03/from-archives-some-query-tips-from.html


If you found these useful, you may also like my personal selection of the most interesting blog posts from 2014, and last week’s list.

If you have a particular favorite among these, please let the author know (and me too, if you have time).  Also, if you've a link to a great post that isn't here, feel free to share.

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49. Girls Like Us – 2015 Diversity Reading Challenge

I read and review a lot of books each year, and this one stands out for me as a story that changed me. I am telling you, it is a must read. If it is on your TBR list, shuffle … Continue reading

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50. Sass and Sorcery

Rat Queens Volume 1: Sass & Sorcery Kurtis J. Wiebe and Roc Upchurch

Palisade is a prosperous commerce town with several marauding gangs that keep the bad things away. Only, when the gangs get drunk, they have a habit of trashing the town. After a town meeting of angry merchants, the gangs are each given a minor quest to keep them out of jail--only the tasks are all set-ups and not all them survive.

The Rat Queens are one of the gangs--4 women--Betty's a Smidgen who likes candy and drugs, Hannah grew up in a squid worshiping cult and might be a goddess, Hannah's a bitter necromancer, and Violet just wants some blood on her sword. They fight, they drink, they party and hook up, and lovingly send up or subvert a lot of fantasy tropes. And they try to figure out who set them up and why.

Lots of wise-cracks, magic spells, and sword play, and a hell of a lot of fun. So much fun. I love these women and want to party with them and watch them kick a lot more ass.

The saddest thing about this is that a lot of the press and reviews are like “YAY! GIRLS!” (including several of the blurbs on the back of the omnibus, and bonus points for how they’re drawn) and given the state of the comic industry, yes, YAY! GIRLS! It’s an exciting breakthrough, but this isn’t a token volume and I fear it will become “oh, that girl comic” and it’s more than that. Read this book because it’s girls being awesome, but really, read this book because it’s just fucking awesome.

Book Provided by... my local library

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