Dec. 8th, 2013 | 07:03 am
posted by: professornana
Nurturing, tending, growing, planting, feeding, caring: there are many gardening metaphors at work in teaching. That does not mean teachers are all the same sort of gardener. Some of us have small plots we plant near the house so we do not have to venture too far from home. Some of us plant huge acres of land. Some specialize in one crop; others plant a veritable banquet.
So we plant the seeds. But we are not done. The seeds must be nourished and the plant watched carefully as it sends out its first stems and shoots and leaves. Day after day we continue to work: some plants needs a little more encouragement than others. I had a houseplant (this was before Scout who considers anything green to be HIS garden) that loved to be moved from one end of the bookcase to another. College Girl still has a cactus that leans like the Tower of Pisa. It is in his (she has named it Carl Cactus) nature to lean. No matter how often we try to train Carl to grow upright, he resists. And perhaps it is this allusion that works when it comes to talking about the difference between being an examiner and a nurturer: we know that not all seeds will yield the same plants, that not all plants will grow to be the same height and width, etc. We know there will be variety, and that is something we actually value. So it is with kids. They all need care and nourishment, but not all of them will need the exact SAME care and nourishment. We do not expect them to be the same. But those outside of the classroom who call for performance as the means to measure teacher effectiveness do not see the variation (and do you not wonder what kind of blinders they must be wearing?). They expect kids to come in one door (and they see them as tabula rasa when they do) and exit the other door at the end of their time in school like little cutout widgets that have been pressed from the same mold, one indistinguishable from the other.
My BH took a photo of me and Donalyn and Karin and Katherine at a dinner in Boston. Donalyn and I are obviously engaged in a deep discussion (hands waving, mouths flapping, faces animated) while Karin and Katherine listened to BH and actually looked up to the camera. This snapshot encapsulates this post. Not all kids are in the same place at the same time. Nor should they be. We need to allow for the variation. Perhaps THAT is the essence of being a nurturer?
Dec. 8th, 2013 | 08:24 am
posted by: cynthialord
My first industry review for Half A Chance, and it's a STAR! Thank you, Kirkus. :) I danced around the kitchen when I saw it.
For fun and to celebrate, I played myself one of the videos that I listened to over and over while I worked on this book (and hadn't listened to since). It's strange to hear loons in December, but listening to this video brought back long summer days of writing.
Dec. 8th, 2013 | 07:02 am
posted by: carriejones
Dec. 8th, 2013 | 06:06 am
posted by: p_m_cryan
"How mutable are our feelings, and how strange is that clinging love we have of life even in the excess of misery!”
― Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
Randomalia, after two months of journalling silence...
* It's three years since my mother died. I feel the weight of heavy chains, still. Time is not making it easier. Our relationship was complicated, and thus I'm still trying to find my way through.
* I have a knitted/stuffed Cthulhu at work, made for me by Jan Koslowski, and he's been getting a LOT of cuddling lately. Taking my therapy where I can get it.
* In the past three months, I've managed to alienate two different people in my offline life who were more than acquaintances to me but not yet full-blooded friends. My unguarded acid tongue did me in both times. You'd think that dealing with people all day would teach me tact.
* To end this on a happier note, yesterday I got to watch someone who *IS* a friend glow and shine... Trisha Wooldridge had her debut book launch for THE KELPIE in a castle, and I coordinated her book sales for the event.
Dec. 7th, 2013 | 02:15 pm
posted by: frost_light
Hi, all! I’ve heard back from my publisher, and here are the cities I’ll be traveling to while celebrating Up From The Grave‘s release on January 28th. For every store except Malaprops, author Pamela Palmer will be my tour partner as she celebrates the release of Wulfe Untamed.
January 28th Malaprops Book Store in Asheville, NC at 7pm. Event will be live-streamed online; link to follow.
January 30th: Barnes and Noble in Cary, NC at 7pm
January 31st: Laurelwood Books in Memphis, TN at 6:30pm
February 1st: Joseph Beth Book in Lexington, KY. Time to be determined
February 2nd: Books and Co. in Dayton, OH at 2pm
February 4th: Barnes and Noble in Homestead, PA at 7pm
February 15th: Turn The Page book store in Boonsboro, MD at 2pm. (I believe Nora Roberts and other authors will be at this signing, too. Confirmation to come.)
Hope to see some of you there!
Also, I’ve been promising to post a scene from Up From The Grave, so here you go. Don’t worry, there aren’t any plot spoilers, which is why it’s been hard finding something to post since so many scenes have spoilers. Also, since Ian has a lot of fans, I chose one with him in it . As a brief setup description, Cat and Bones are staking out someone with important information, and Ian has chosen to tag along. Hope you enjoy!
Copyright UP FROM THE GRAVE by Jeaniene Frost:
“We could follow her home, take her there,” I suggested.
“She doesn’t live around here,” a sleep-thickened voice stated from the backseat.
Ian. I’d almost forgotten he was here, probably because he’d been napping the past seven hours while Bones and I staked out the parking garage. Now he sat up in a slouch, sliding his black satin sleep mask up to his hairline.
“She’d live near the pickup point, not the drop-off location,” he continued, blinking at the bright sunlight streaming into our car. “Which one is she?”
“The brunette wearing the UPS uniform,” I said, pointing at her as she walked briskly toward the elevator. From our parked position on top of a hill across the street, we had a good view of the multi-level garage, which was why we’d chosen the spot.
Ian stared until she disappeared inside the elevator. Then he glanced back at me.
“Don’t fret, poppet. I’ll get her.”
“We need to do this discreetly. If I wanted to make a colossal scene, I’d just drag her off kicking and screaming now,” I said, not adding, “dumb ass” only because he was family.
“She’ll come without a fuss,” Ian said with confidence.
“You can’t green-eye her in the elevator, it’ll have video surveillance. So will the garage,” I retorted.
“I don’t need these,” Ian said, flashing emerald in his turquoise gaze for a split second, “when I have this.”
With a casual swipe of his hand, he ripped his shirt open, causing buttons to fly everywhere. Another swipe took his sleep mask all the way off. Finally, he finger-combed his shoulder-length hair and smiled at his reflection in the rearview mirror.
“I am, after all, irresistible.”
I couldn’t contain my snort. “I resisted you just fine the day we met, or don’t you remember me sticking a knife in your chest?”
Ian smiled with lazy wickedness. “I remember, but you seem to have forgotten that you kissed me first. And thoroughly enjoyed it.”
Caught off guard, I flushed. Hey, I’d been celibate for over four years at the time—I hadn’t been thinking clearly!
“Ian,” Bones drew out warningly.
He waved a hand. “Stop growling, Crispin. I’m well over my former attraction to your wife, but the point remains that I’m stunning.”
With that, he got out of the car and sauntered off with his open shirt flapping behind him like twin mini capes.
“Get back here,” I hissed, not shouting only because we were still trying to be incognito.
Ian blew a kiss over his shoulder and kept walking, heading down the hill toward the parking garage. Bones stayed my hand when I would’ve yanked the car door open to go after him.
“Let him try, Kitten. Hooks work best when they’re baited.”
They did, but the female courier came off as too shrewd to bite into this particular piece of bait. I only hoped Ian didn’t blow our cover after his bare-chested sashaying failed to sweep her off her feet.
“For the record, I tried to stop this,” I said grimly. Then I turned my attention back to Ian.
The afternoon sun gave his copper-hued hair golden highlights and he made sure that the hard lines of his chest and abdomen were on full display as his pace kept his shirt billowing behind him. Grudgingly, I had to admit that several heads turned, and more than a few cars slowed down as female drivers gave him a second, third, and fourth look. Ian responded by flashing them a dazzling smile, making him appear almost angelic to anyone who didn’t know that he was a conscienceless slut.
As he crossed the street, a downward tug on his waistband had his jeans sitting even lower on his hips. Another couple inches, and he’d be flashing groin cleavage, and from the avid stares aimed his way, that could be met with spontaneous applause.
“Have some dignity, ladies,” I muttered.
Then Ian surprised me by grabbing the nearest bystander who wasn’t gawking at him and yanking the man close enough to kiss. For a second, I wondered what the hell he was doing, but Bones said, “She’s back,” and my gaze snapped to the parking garage elevator again.
The brunette got out on the street level and headed straight to the sidewalk where she’d parked. No surprise to see that the briefcase she’d arrived with was now gone. From her thoughts, she was less watchful since the drop had been successfully made, but she still gave her surroundings a thorough once-over as she walked toward her car.
Which meant she saw Ian the moment he staggered into her path, the stranger he’d accosted now shoving him and ripping at his pants. My brows went up, but then the man snatched Ian’s wallet out of his front pocket and, with a final shove that sent him sprawling, ran off.
“Blasted sod stole my wallet!” Ian shouted.
The brunette paused about a dozen feet away. I was focused on her thoughts, so I knew the moment when her natural—and correct!—wariness was trumped by something else. She stared at Ian, who was on his back with his legs splayed and head bent. Then he flipped his hair back, revealing his face as he sat up so slowly, you couldn’t help but notice the muscles rippling across his chest and abs.
Oh yeah, he was piling it on thick.
“Do you have a mobile?” he asked, his English accent more pronounced. “I should call the police. I’ve just been robbed.”
“Mobile? You mean cell phone?” she asked while Stop STARING, Barbara! flashed across her mind.
Barbara. Now we knew her real name. No one used an alias to talk to themselves.
“Yes,” he said. Then he looked down at his bare chest, as if he hadn’t ripped his shirt open himself.
“What a state I’m in,” Ian continued, actually managing to sound rueful and shaken at the same time. “Bloke near tore my clothes off trying to get my wallet. Drugs, I suspect.”
Caution urged Barbara to leave the gorgeous stranger alone, but she ignored that and came closer anyway. I was both glad and disgusted. Way to blow up Ian’s ego and deflate feminism at the same time, Barb!
Then a cluster of people blocked them from view. I tensed, ready to spring into action, but in the next moment, feminine choruses of “You poor thing!” “Are you okay?” and “Let me help you!” rang out.
Ian’s other admirers had descended on the scene.
“Unbelievable,” I breathed. By merely walking down the street shirtless, he’d managed to round up a harem.
“Ladies, thank you, but I’m well taken care of,” Ian said. Barbara’s thoughts split between logic telling her to leave and pleasure over the handsome man’s confidence in her. When Ian continued to rebuff the other women in favor of her, her indecisiveness crumpled.
“Are all of you deaf?” she snapped, her authoritative voice rising above the others. “Leave, before he calls the cops for harassment, too!”
With a few final grumbles, the would-be harem dispersed, allowing me to see the look of gratitude mixed with sensual promise that Ian bestowed on Barbara.
That did it. She closed the last few feet between them without hesitation, holding out her cell phone. When his fingers curled around hers as he took it, “Cold hands,” drifted through her mind before his gaze locked onto hers and lit up with bright, mesmerizing green.
Oh shit, was her last conscious thought.
“I told you this would be easy,” Ian said, and he wasn’t talking to her.
Bones started the car. I looked away, not needing to see Ian climb into Barbara’s to know that the two of them would soon be following us.
“There’ll be no living with him now,” I said under my breath.
Bones grunted in amusement. “As always, Kitten.”
Mirrored from Frost Light.
Dec. 7th, 2013 | 12:00 pm
posted by: shadowhelm
Dec. 7th, 2013 | 09:40 am
posted by: goldmourn
Naples, Pompeii, a set on Flickr.
After the bad tour guide experience in Rome (I'll tell you about that when I finish the Rome set) I was sick of tours. But since we booked this trip through a travel company, tours were part of our "we've never traveled anywhere overseas before" package and so off we went, this time taking our luggage.
It was a long bus ride and I was burnt out on traveling by this time. I missed my cats and I wanted to go home. But we were going to see the ruins of Pompeii! (They spell it with only one 'i', did you know?) and it was there that my enthusiasm for the adventure of this trip returned.
First though, Naples. The Bay of Naples was beautiful and we could see the mountains, THE volcano in the distance. Our tour guide was great this time (whew) but I was sort of disheartened as we began to walk away from the water. The first thing I noticed was a lot of stray dogs. And lots of graffiti. The dogs were being fed near a statue (that had graffiti on it) and it was likely a daily ritual for them because they seemed well prepared for it. It's good that they have people who feed them (construction workers? I'm not sure?) but why are there so many strays?
We walked on. More old buildings. Another square. As I said, at this time I was feeling a bit meh about the surroundings. I took photos anyway. A figure all in white appeared, statuesque, a performer, and creeped me out.
We toured a building that looked like it was built long ago but turns out it was made in the 1980s. Later, a castle we didn't go into but walked around, construction cranes in the distance, a subway system being built nearby. Then we were back on a bus and off to Pompeii!
Along the way I could see through the bus windows just how poor that Naples was - it looked impoverished on the outskirts, honestly, devastatingly so. I thought of this later when hearing of the protests, when watching the news from a hotel room when we were back in Rome again.
Pompeii is also a poor place. A poor place that happens to have the largest most wonderfully fascinating ruins of an archaeological site ever. Our tour guide explained she would only be able to show us a few places during the two hours we'd be wandering there. A very tiny bit in comparison to how massive the site is - which apparently took another tour guide I spoke with at least four visits to see much of it! - and although I was disappointed that we wouldn't be able to wander more, I could understand when seeing the map how logistically it wouldn't work.
There was an earthquake at some point that ruined the ruins a little bit more. I thought that was interesting to hear. Also, they're working on preserving what they have uncovered so far, which means there is still so much more to unearth but they just don't have the ability to do it. Think of all that is still to be discovered - incredible!
She showed us a house where paintings were preserved quite beautifully on the walls. These people really knew how to decorate! The decorating was gorgeous and puts our blah white painted walls to shame.
I wonder if we'll ever be able to uncover all of Pompeii? The volcano is still active, though dormant. It's more likely it will go off again before they ever get it done. And yes, there are people living "illegally" close to the mountain (because it was cheaper) but there is a warning system in place. One thing is for sure, the people of Pompeii don't live so lavishly as they did back in the time Pompeii was covered in ash. Not at all.
I felt excited again about the trip once we were walking the strips of the Pompeii ruins. This was what both my parter and I had wanted to see when we originally decided Italy was a place we'd like to visit.
You'd see much more of the excavations if you watch a documentary but after being there for yourself, I think we'll get more out of the documentaries now that we've visited it for ourselves.
The reason why we had our luggage with us was because after this part, we'd be off to Sorrento for the night with a day trip the next day to Capri. I haven't sorted through those photos yet but I will soon! After that, it's back to Rome --- and then finally, home.
related: post for Florence, Tuscany here!
& look at dreamy Venice, Italy here!
& I loved Como, Brunate, Lake Como here!
Dec. 7th, 2013 | 04:43 am
posted by: professornana
I would like to suggest to the author of the article that he might apply (or, more accurately, misapply) this textual analysis to any 3 works from the bestseller list for adults and come up with much the same sort of conclusions. For this is not textual analysis as the author suggests. Instead this is an exerccise that looks only at words without their full context. Most frequently occuring adjectives, etc. is interesting for certain. But what does it really mean in terms of analyzing text and, as the author of the article suggests, in terms of the audience for said works? What it means in this case is that the author has the chance to sneer at the books he purports to analyze. The analysis in this case is pretext for pointing out the "silliness" or "simplicity" of YA books. And it misses the point entirely because it focuses on PARTS and not the WHOLE.
This is the problem with levels and lexiles as well: we reduce a work to components, analyze syllables, stence length, syntax, semantics. We dissect and then pronounce the viability of the work. Thus, NIGHT is determined to be at an elementary school reading level. Levels and lexiles do not and cannot come close to "measuring" how the reading of NIGHT (or any other book for that matter) might affect the reader. Measuring is a curious thing. I learned to cook many things by watching my Mother and then by cooking with her supervision. There were no real recipes for soup and sauce and such. And I never make the same soup or suace or such twice. When baking, though, measurement is rather key. But even in baking, there is room for some variation from recipes.
I know this post is wandering. I am trying to work through why someone would use such an analysis to discuss the appeal of movies. It seems to me that this is a pointless exercise: it does not provide much insight. If he had read the books, perhaps he would not label THE HUNGER GAMES as having spare descriptions or HARRY POTTER as "Waiting for Voldemort" but might have noticed classic motifs and archetypes that are, perhaps, also part of the appeal of the books. A true content anaylsis would be more illuminating. A careful reading and discussion might have yielded more in terms of examining audience, complexity, etc. However, this glimpse into pieces does little to elevate the discourse about these (and other) books.