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writer, portrait, tea

It is the weekend of Gaudete Sunday, so Im posting this. Here's the incomparable Maddy Prior and Steeleye Span, singing "Gaudete". Someone has kindly provided a translation of the verses in the comments; the chorus is "Rejoice, rejoice! Christ is born of the Virgin Mary! Rejoice!"

Let us remember that, in spite of the state of the world, there is much to rejoice about. Whatever you celebrate, I hope you'll have a happy, healthy winter festival.

A demonstration dance - American waltz

writer, portrait, tea
My sister and her teacher doing American waltz. I think they did a lovely job - and, honestly, I'm proud of the job i did filming, too! It's just a phone camera, but I managed to keep them in the frame all through the dance. Enjoy!
flute, mary
I read on twitter that Galway Kinnell was dead. Years ago, I read a poem of his, "Saint Francis and the Sow", in The Rattle Bag — an anthology Ted Hughes and Seamus Heaney put together. It's one of the loveliest poems I've ever read - so full of love, and compassion, and truth. You can find the poem at the poetry foundation online, among other places. Here is a link to the full text. I wept when I first read it, and it makes me cry every time. I hope I may someday  write something as profound as this.

Saint Francis and the Sow by Galway Kinnell : The Poetry Foundation

Clarion West Write-a-thon

library, girl, books, Niki
Some thoughts on the write-a-thon:

The Clarion West write-a-thon took place this summer, and I signed up, thanks to the awesome Lara Campbell McGehee, whose blog you can find here: http://lcmcgehee.com/

It was a good experience - for one thing, it's fun to know that you're writing along with some of your favorite authors! For me, it's also helpful to commit, in public, to writing every day. I managed to do that during the six-week session, and I made some forward progress on novel 3 and a new short story, as well as writing two blog posts - one of which I'll be posting here shortly. My other goals were to clean up my query and synopsis for HONOR, and I did that with some excellent help from my lovely beta readers. So - here's my question:

Is it legit to post a synopsis to your blog? Is this something people would be interested in seeing? Or is this a professional tool that should be kept private? Thoughts?

If it seems okay to post such a thing (I'll check in a few more places), and if people would be interested in reading it, I'll be glad to post it here, as well as on my author page.
Drive of Dragons, Verity, Sigune
I am deeply upset by the news of the world, and thus I'm posting something rather controversial. One of the driving forces in U.S. politics is Christian Zionism. I have many problems with that philosophy, if philosophy it can be called.

First, as a Jewish friend noted, it is profoundly anti-Semitic. Christian Zionists believe that all Jews, everywhere, should go and live in Israel. That is not what I believe. I believe Jewish people should be able to live, as free and equal citizens, in any country they choose. Israel might be one of those countries; it might not. If a majority of Jews choose instead to live in the U.S., that is their absolute right! When Christian Zionism arose in late 19th-century England, one of its goals was to get all the English Jews to leave and go "back" to Palestine.Read more...Collapse )
library, girl, books, Niki
My first professional library job was the one I hold now – young adult librarian in a small to mid-sized public library. It has been a joy to work there. But the administration has changed, and it may be that I won’t be a teen librarian from this summer onward. (NOte: It happened. My position was eliminated in April.) If that is the case, I want to list what I accomplished in my position over the last twenty years.


  • School – library cooperation:

I got the entire fifth grade to the library to hear Marybeth Weston, a local author, read her play, The Squaw with Blue Eyes.
 Along with the English teachers  in the middle school, I instituted the kid’s choice awards. Children suggested and then voted for their favorite books in a variety of genres, designed bookmarks, and chose their favorite designs. The bookmarks were professionally printed for distribution in the school and the public library. We did this for several years.
 I contacted the high school geology department and arranged for author Mike Mullin to do a booktalk centering on the Yellowstone supervolcano.
 With the middle school librarian's support, I came into the school library every month to do booktalks with the kids. I did this for several years.
 The Interact Club at the high school worked with me to hold a Halloween parade and costume judging every year at the end of October. This, too, was a regular program for many years. This brings me to:Read more...Collapse )

I think we have a winner!

Kiril, Science Fiction, Honor
terri_testing suggested "A Sword Against the Gods" as a possible title. Opinions?
Poll #1960395 A Sword Against the Gods

What do you think of this title?

I love it! I'd read that book!
5(83.3%)
Pretty good
1(16.7%)
Not sure
0(0.0%)
Something else, which I'll suggest in the comments
0(0.0%)
I promise, I'll stop playing with polls now! And I really do appreciate everyone's feedback - especially those of you who haven't read the book. Thanks very much to all of you.

Follow - up poll

kiril sword
So - it seems most people like A Drive of Dragons. Cool! I do, too. But there's a split opinion on a good title for the YA SF book. So here's another poll, because deirdrej and I thought of another option. Here goes:
Poll #1959562 Possible Titles for YA SF novel?

Which title do you like more?

His Mother's Sword
1(25.0%)
To Fight with Heaven
0(0.0%)
Longsword
2(50.0%)
Honor
0(0.0%)
Something else, which I'll explain in the comments
1(25.0%)

Title problems - a poll or two

Drive of Dragons, Verity, Sigune
Okay - I grant you, there are very few people in the world who have actually read my books! But this isn't about content. It's just about titles, and what you think is evocative or interesting. So here are a  couple of polls.

My first book for which I'm seeking an agent and/or publisher is literary YA SF. The working title is HONOR. It's a pretty good title, I think; it gets at what motivates the MC and drives his actions. But it's also just a little generic, perhaps. So-
Poll #1959242 Possible titles for YA SF novel?

What's your favorite title?

Honor
2(25.0%)
Longsword
2(25.0%)
His Mother's Sword
3(37.5%)
The Five Blows
1(12.5%)

And for book two - a humorous middle grade fantasy?

A Drive of Dragons
6(75.0%)
The People of Stone
2(25.0%)

Another Visdare, courtesy of Angela Goff!

Drive of Dragons, Verity, Sigune
This one is called Magic Enjoy!178736678932738663_hJbOWNY3_c

Charles practiced magic every day. The coolest thing was making things disappear, but it bugged him that it was all just illusions. Where were the real powers? Why couldn’t’ he mess with peoples’ heads for real, like Darth Vader and the other Sith?

Then he found it. “Charlene!” he whispered to his twin, “look at this. Look what I can do!”

“What?” Charlene rolled her eyes. She was five minutes older, and a girl besides, and she always claimed to be so much more mature than he was. “Another stupid magic trick?”

Charles didn’t answer. He was focusing too hard. You had to concentrate, to be totally in the moment, or it wouldn’t happen. He pedaled down the sidewalk, leaning back a bit as if he were planning to pop a wheelie. He was so focused he didn’t even hear his sister scream as he began to vanish.

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