Category Archives: Guests

Guest Post: Fall Swirls by Gail Bartel

Standard
Guest Post: Fall Swirls by Gail Bartel

A great big thank you to artist and instructor Gail Bartel for this fabulous painting tutorial. Check out more of her artwork on her blog, that artist woman.

FALL SWIRLS

The trees are a swirl of brightly coloured leaves, or at least they were until we had some really strong winds and they all blew away.

Here is a great little fall project.

1

 

MATERIALS REQUIRED:

– nice paper for painting on

– green masking tape (painter’s tape) optional
– acrylic or liquid tempera paints
– pencil or black pencil crayon
– oil pastels

 

 

 

PROCEDURE:

Tape paper onto art board using masking tape.  This will give us a nice white border.

2

Using white and blue paint your background.  You want a white oval off centre and then light blue and darker blue.  Have the kids paint in a circular motion.

Set aside to dry.

This one was with acrylic.

3

 

 

 

I did this one with disk tempera to compare.

 

 

 

Starting with brown, paint dashes around our oval.4

With brown we stay away from the white oval.

5

 

 

 

We then add orange covering some of our brown dashes and work a little closer into the oval.

 

 

After orange we add yellow.
6

7

 

 

As we get into the centre with the yellow add a little white paint to mix a really light yellow.

Set aside to dry.

 

 

 

 

 

When the paint is dry remove the tape.

8

With a pencil or black pencil crayon draw your tree trunk.  You want to come from the corner closest to the centre of your swirl.

You want it to look like you are looking up into the tree.

9

 

 

 

Using black oil pastel go over your tree trunk lines and fill in.

Now you could just leave it at this point but oil pastel looks better if you blend it a bit.

10

 

 

In my studio I would just use a paper tortillion but at school we don’t have them around so the kids use a q-tip.

If my lines are quite fine I will take the q-tip and break and use the little broken end to blend my fine branches.

 

 

 

Here is a comparison of acrylic vs liquid tempera.

11

The acrylic covers better (more opaque) so your lights are brighter.  For the liquid tempera I added some dashes in pencil crayon in orange, yellow, and light yellow to help with this after the paint was dry.

Gail

 

 

 

Guest Post: Ten Amazing Authors You Should Read Right Now  

Standard

This article has been reprinted with the permission of Writer’s Relief, a highly recommended author’s submission service. We assist writers with preparing their submissions and researching the best markets. We have a service for every budget, as well as a free e-publication for writers, Submit Write Now! Visit our site today to learn more.

authors you should read

Contemporary literature offers us so many well-written books with unique, fresh perspectives on the world we live in, it can be hard to decide which one to read first. To help you choose, we present ten amazing authors you should be reading right now.

 

Ten Authors Whose Books You’ll Want To Read

davidsedarisNYorker
David Sedaris: Author and humorist Sedaris’s essays and short stories are autobiographical and cover events from his youth through present day. His succinct, witty writing style offers an entertaining view of growing up in middle-class America and of his later adventures abroad.

 

JohnGreenJohn Green: An author of young adult fiction, Green has recently been in the spotlight due to the film based on his novel The Fault In Our Stars and his work with Mental Floss. John Green’s writing is fairly well-paced and unburdened by complex plots or verbiage. His novels speak to the hearts of his teenage audience while offering adults new insights into the lives of young people.

 

MalcolmGladwell
Malcolm Gladwell: A staff writer for The New Yorker, Gladwell’s books and articles deal with the unexpected implications of research in sociology, psychology, and social psychology. His books explore the truths hidden within marketing and consumer data to bring an insightful, new understanding of the things we usually overlook or take for granted.

 

GillianFlynnGillian Flynn: A former television critic and current author of three novels, Flynn’s work has received high praise. One of her most notable efforts, Gone Girl, has been made into a feature film. Her books are suspenseful and detective-like, offering unique perspectives on crime and the people caught up in its dangerous web.

 

TARTT
Donna Tartt: The author of three novels, Tarrt won the WH Smith Literary Award for The Little Friend in 2003 and the Pulitzer Prize (Fiction) for The Goldfinch in 2014. She was also named to the TIME 100: The 100 Most Influential People in 2014.
ChimamandaAdichieChimamanda Ngozi Adichie: A Nigerian author, Adichie has been called “the most prominent” of a “procession of critically acclaimed young anglophone authors [that] is succeeding in attracting a new generation of readers to African literature.” She is definitely a young author to watch!

 

Eleanor Catton
Eleanor Catton: A Canadian-born New Zealand author, Catton’s second novel, The Luminaries, won the 2013 Man Booker Prize, making her the youngest author to receive this award. At 832 pages, The Luminaries is also the longest work to win the prize in its 45-year history. The chair of the judges, Robert Macfarlane, commented, “It’s a dazzling work. It’s a luminous work. It is vast without being sprawling.”

 

IsabelAllendeIsabel Allende: Allende’s novels are often based upon her personal experiences as a Chilean-American. Imbued with passion, her works combine sweeping narrative with elements of the “magic realist” tradition. In 2014, Allende was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

 

DeepakChopra
Deepak Chopra: A prominent alternative-medicine advocate and author of more than eighty books, Chopra is one of the best-known advocates of the holistic health movement and has been described as a New-Age guru. His nonfiction work has been critically acclaimed.

 

KhaledHosseini
Khaled Hosseini: An Afghan-born American novelist, Hosseini released his debut novel, The Kite Runner, in 2003 to much acclaim. The novel was later adapted into a film. He has since published two more books which also offer seemingly simple tales of redemption set against the unforgiving backdrop of war, and he continues to be an important voice in American literature.

There’s Still More To Read!

These are just a few of the many authors blazing new trails through today’s literature. Start by choosing one whose voice speaks to you, and see where the pages take you!

Writer QuestionsQUESTION: Who is your favorite contemporary author?

Guest Post: Lovely Bones

Standard
Guest Post: Lovely Bones

Thank you to Donna from My OBT for sharing this startling artwork.

My OBT

skull Ali Gulec

View original post 119 more words

Guest Post: The Really Great Pumpkin

Standard
Guest Post: The Really Great Pumpkin

Thanks to Donna from My OBT for finding us such delightful stuff.

My OBT

@Edward Cabral Edward Cabral

View original post 126 more words

Guest Post: Turkey Tutorial

Standard

Just in time to make for Thanksgiving! See the finished product here. Thank you, Doreen, for this fabulous guest post and quilt project! Check out Doreen’s blog, Treadlemusic. She’s a free-motion quilting master.

Treadlemusic

I did find the directions for our feathered friend. I made this little piece 20+ years ago and am amazed I could come up with the pattern, since I can’t find things that I’ve just put away!!!!! It’s 2 pages and a tad putsy…not hard.  Turkey Pattern 1Turkey Pattern 2 I hope this is a “thumbs up” project for y’all but if there’s questions….I’m here for ya!!!!

View original post

Guest Post: Sculptor Transformed 100-year-old​ Norway Maple Tree Stump into Revolutionary Wartime Presbyterian Minister

Standard

Thank you to Ruth E. Hendricks, a photographer and former art teacher, for sharing this guest post featuring a historic graveyard. For more of Ruth’s work, see her blog.

Ruth E. Hendricks Photography

That lengthy title gives it all away -Another post of last week’s time in Philadelphia -

Sculptor and excellent ice carver,Roger Wing, transformed a 100 year old Norway Maple stump into an impressive likeness of Pastor George Duffield (b.1732-d.1790).

(ClickRoger Wing Sculptorand you can see more examples of his amazing sculpture.)

Walking back to the hotel, I passed byThe Old Pine Street Church Graveyard.

Architect Joseph G. Brin articledetails information about how this Revolutionary War Minister’s sermon inspired John Adams to sign the Declaration of Independence.


The wind made the flags billow and flap, making snapping sounds.
Unlike the Harmonist Cemetery I posted yesterday, these graves are marked.

Well, they were marked.

Years of erosion have made many names difficult to read.


View original post

Guest Post: How and Where to Submit Creative Nonfiction for Publication

Standard

This article has been reprinted with the permission of Writer’s Relief, a highly recommended author’s submission service. We assist writers with preparing their submissions and researching the best markets. We have a service for every budget, as well as a free e-publication for writers, Submit Write Now! Visit our site today to learn more.

creative-nonfiction

Creative nonfiction is fast becoming one of the most popular literary genres. But it’s important to find the right publisher(s) for your creative nonfiction (aka narrative nonfiction). Start by following these three easy steps!

Step One: Determine Your Subgenre Of Short Nonfiction Prose

Is your work a witty commentary? An op-ed with a political bent? A true story about your family life as a child? A work of academic exploration that straddles the line between narrative nonfiction and a scholarly tract? Or is it something entirely different? The tone, style, and topic of your nonfiction writing will determine your submission strategy. Learn how to identify the niche market that best fits your creative nonfiction piece.

Step Two: Know Your Options For Publishing Creative Nonfiction

There are many different literary markets to look into if you’re writing creative nonfiction. Here are a few:

Commercial magazines. These are the magazines you find next to the checkout at the supermarket, and they often print short works of creative nonfiction. Most of the time, the nonfiction personal essays that are published by commercial magazines are accessible (easy-to-read), short, and inspirational. The focus is often on emotional lessons that the writer has learned. To submit a personal essay to a commercial magazine, first review the submission guidelines. If you can’t find any guidelines, send the editor a query letter that includes a short write-up about your piece, as well as your author bio.

News websites. Many websites that focus on news and current events will also publish short op-ed pieces or essays (examples: Salon or Slate). If your writing is smart, incisive, and vibrant, and your story taps into contemporary insecurities or explores today’s complex conundrums, you might be able to earn a great online publication credit for your nonfiction.

Blogs associated with major newspapers. Many traditional newspapers curate popular online blogs (like the Wall Street Journal’s arts blog, Speakeasy). If your creative nonfiction piece feels contemporary and casual (and if it’s short), consider submitting it to a blog for publication. Here are 17 reasons not to underestimate the power of having online publishing credits.

Literary journals. We love literary journals for their dedication to publishing thoughtful, emotional nonfiction that other magazines tend to eschew due to word count or content limitations. Some literary journals (like Fourth Genre or Creative Nonfiction) specialize in true stories that have an emotional, literary bent. If your creative nonfiction is too “quiet,” too “difficult,” or just plain too long for commercial magazines, try submitting your work to literary journals.

Writing contests. Literary journals often host writing contests for creative nonfiction. But so do editors associated with writing conferences and other writing organizations. If your writing has literary overtones, consider submitting your narrative nonfiction to a writing contest sponsored by a literary magazine or other writers’ group.

Calls for submissions from editors who want true stories. Many editors put out calls for submissions seeking work from writers in order to compile an anthology of narrative nonfiction essays on a given subject. For example, an editor might call for creative nonfiction personal essays about dealing with addiction or about fatherhood. The style of these nonfiction essays can range from casual to literary, depending on the editor’s tastes. Wondering where you can find calls for anthology submissions from nonfiction writers? Check out our Writers Classifieds.

Step Three: Polish Your Creative Nonfiction Submission And Stick To Submission Guidelines

Finally, remember that even the best personal essay submission might fail to connect with an editor if it is not submitted properly. Follow the publishing industry submission etiquette for your genre. And if you need help identifying the precise markets that would be suitable for your creative nonfiction piece, learn more about how Writer’s Relief can help you publish your personal essays.

Writer Questions

 

QUESTION: Can you add to our list? Where else can a writer publish creative nonfiction? Post your idea (or titles of markets) below!

Guest Post: Eight Tips For Sustainable Blogging

Standard
Guest Post: Eight Tips For Sustainable Blogging

Many thanks to Andrea Badgely and the good folks at The Daily Post for these wonderful hints. I especially like #1.

The Daily Post

I’m going to take a wild guess and say that if you are reading this, you’re interested in blogging, not just today, but for the long haul. Maybe you’re thinking about starting a blog. Or maybe you already have one and are wondering, I started this site, now what? I’m pretty sure I can post this week, but what about next week, and the week after?

Alec Nevala-Lee publishes five hundred words per day, and has done so for more than five years. He shares his approach in this Discover interview with editor Cheri Lucas Rowlands.

We’ve got you covered. Here are eight ways long-term bloggers sustain their blogs not only through the first few weeks, but through the years.

1. Blog like nobody is watching.

Have you heard the expression “Dance like nobody’s watching”? It’s always been a favorite quote of mine, especially when I’m on a dance floor…

View original post 1,105 more words

Guest Post: Christina Farley on Writing YA, Gilded and Silvern, Plus Advice for Aspiring YA Authors by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

Standard
Guest Post: Christina Farley on Writing YA, Gilded and Silvern, Plus Advice for Aspiring YA Authors by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

Note from Andrea: Many thanks to author and illustrator Debbie Ridpath Ohi for this wonderful article about Christina Farley. I especially love Christina’s videos. We writers can learn a lot about marketing from her. Also, I am adding the book trailer for her newest book, The Princess and the Page, to the end of this article. Enjoy!

June 5, 2017 Update: Christina Farley now has a wonderful middle grade novel out from Scholastic! See her website for more info about THE PRINCESS AND THE PAGE as well as her GILDED trilogy.

I met Christina Farley through my critique group, the MiG Writers. Christy’s one of the most productive writers I know, and she recently left her teaching job so she could write fulltime.

Christina’s contemporary fantasy novel for young adults, GILDED, launched from Skyscape earlier this year. Its sequel, SILVERN, launches on September 23rd, 2014. You can read the first chapter of SILVERN here.

Other places to find Christy:

WebsiteTwitterFacebookYouTube – TumblrPinterest

Synopsis of GILDED:

Sixteen-year-old Jae Hwa Lee is a Korean-American girl with a black belt, a deadly proclivity with steel-tipped arrows, and a chip on her shoulder the size of Korea itself. When her widowed dad uproots her to Seoul from her home in L.A., Jae thinks her biggest challenges will be fitting into a new school and dealing with her dismissive Korean grandfather. Then she discovers that a Korean demi-god, Haemosu, has been stealing the soul of the oldest daughter of each generation in her family for centuries. And she’s next.

But that’s not Jae’s only problem.

There’s also Marc. Irresistible and charming, Marc threatens to break the barriers around Jae’s heart. As the two grow closer, Jae must decide if she can trust him. But Marc has a secret of his own—one that could help Jae overturn the curse on her family for good. It turns out that Jae’s been wrong about a lot of things: her grandfather is her greatest ally, even the tough girl can fall in love, and Korea might just be the home she’s always been looking for.

Q. What was your writing process for GILDED? 

Coming up with ideas for books can be a challenge, but the idea for GILDED stemmed from the Korean myth of Haemosu and Princess Yuhwa. It left me wondering what happened after Princess Yuhwa escaped Haemosu’s clutches.

The what ifs inspired me to write the story of GILDED. But to writing a full length novel isn’t easy.

1. First I plotted out the story.

See my plot grid for GILDED here:

I also did a blog post on more specifics on how to plot out books here and you can use my templates to get you started here.

 

2. Next, I prepare to write the book.

I often use aromatherapy (a scented candle) to write as well as create a soundtrack for each book. I love keeping a journal for each book as well. This will have all the names of my characters in it, nuisances, research I’ve done on the book, notes, and illustrations. The journal became extremely useful when I went to write the sequel and had to remember all the small details for characters or the rules of my world. For more ideas, you can check this video I made here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3chpYaMLYxg
 

3. Once everything is prepped, then I write my first draft. It’s sloppy and a complete wreck, but the structure of the book is in place.

For GILDED I had to do a lot of research of Korean mythology. I also found that since Jae Hwa was a martial arts expert, I had to learn Korean archery and taekwondo because I wanted the book to be as authentic as possible.

4. Revision is where the book comes to life. I revised GILDED so many times I’ve lost track. But each time, I strengthened the book’s structure, working on characterization, description, subplots and the arc of the book.

5. After I think the book is in good shape, I have my critique partners take a look. Debbie Ohi and I are part of the MiG Writers ( www.migwriters.com). I’m indebted to her and the rest of the group for their hard work in helping GILDED shine.

Q. How did GILDED get published?

Finding an Agent:

Once I finished GILDED, I realized I needed an agent for this book. So I did my research mainly on querytracker. I’d look up agents in my field and then research everything I could on them before I queried them. My agented friend’s warned me that a bad agent is worse than no agent, so I when I received offers of representation from agents, I made sure I had a phone conversation with them to see if they were the right fit. I talk more about that here: http://youtu.be/5Kebg57lUJs

Finding a Publisher:

I like to say it was tough work, but my agent, Jeff Ourvan of the Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency, LLC, is completely responsible for selling GILDED. He found the perfect editor for me and I’m thrilled to be working with Miriam Juskowicz.

Christina with her editor, Miriam Juskowicz

The biggest difficulty I had was decision making. Before signing with Amazon Children’s, there was another unexpected option with a different project. Jeff provided invaluable guidance of what to do for my career long term rather than just signing with the first book offer I was given. I think this all goes back in finding the right agent because the right agent looks out for you not just for the one book, but for your career.

Q. What advice do you have for aspiring YA writers? 

My advice for writers is to focus on your craft. Become not only a master of weaving words, but tap into your creative self. If others are writing it, you shouldn’t. Trend chasing will only leave you frustrated. Don’t be afraid to try something new. Challenge yourself to write outside of your comfort zone because in doing this, you are pushing yourself to become everything you can be as a writer.

Don’t base your success on others. You have your own path to follow. It won’t be all grassy fields and stunning mountain peaks. The writer’s journey is a lot like the path through Mirkwood in the HOBBIT. You may feel lost, confused, trapped in the feelings of depression; and if you, don’t be afraid to take a break. Follow Bilbo’s example and climb a tree, leave the forest behind, and breathe in the fresh air.

As Gandalf says, “DON’T LEAVE THE PATH!”

Q. How did the launch for GILDED go?

My launch was amazing. I actually had two launches, a virtual and a physical launch. The reason I did this is I have so many friends from all around the world, including my critique partners! This allowed me to celebrate this special day with them because they have been there with me every step of this incredibly hard journey. It meant so much to me to have them ‘there’ after all we’ve been through together. Link for the virtual launch: http://christinafarley.com/the-dream-team/

For my physical launch, I had it at the Windermere Library since it was the perfect location for all of my friends and family to come together. We had 120 people show up and it was overwhelming how kind everyone was to show their support of the book.

After I did a power point presentation about the history of how GILDED came to be, I read a portion of GILDED and then we ate cake and celebrated! While I was signing books, my husband gave away books and swag. It was definitely a day I will never forget. More photos from the physical launch: http://christinafarley.com/gildeds-launch-party-recap/

Q. What are you working on now? Any other upcoming events or other info you’d like to share?

I’m thrilled to say the sequel to GILDED is coming out this fall! SILVERN delves deeper into Jae Hwa’s world. You’ll find out more about the workings of the Guardians of Shinshi and new twists on the Spirit World.

Currently, I have three projects I’m playing with. I’m revising the third book in the GILDED series, drafting a new YA unrelated to the GILDED series, and researching for an historical adventure MG set in the early 1900’s.

View of Seoul from Christina’s desk where she wrote Gilded.

Note from Andrea: As promised, here is the trailer for The Princess and the Page:

And here is Christina reading an excerpt from the third book in the Gilded series, Brazen (spoiler alert):

SaveSave

Guest Post: Bottle Boys

Standard
Guest Post: Bottle Boys

If you’ve never heard these guys, you’re in for a treat. Many thanks to Donna of MyOBT for this guest post.

My OBT

bottle.jpg

View original post 184 more words