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watchmebe September 25 2014, 20:43

Your tax dollars at work

So, I am pretty horrified (like most acceptable humans are) by this whole Sam Pepper thing. If you don’t know what that is, see below:

I’ll totally admit that as I’ve stepped back from the YouTube community in the past year due to time restraints, I totally missed that stuff like this is a THING. Like, I had no idea people DID THIS and put it on YOUTUBE. I thought this was the sort of stuff perverts did quietly in the shadows, you know?

And anyhow, I thought I’d share a story with you:

Back in 2007, I was a few weeks shy of graduating college, and had been querying agents daily with a book called THERE ARE NO STARS IN CALIBAN– a book that later was bought by Harper Collins and became AS YOU WISH. I was fortunate enough to get offers from two agents. That evening, I called my mom to debate both agents; mid-phone-call, I decided to run to a nearby grocery store and get Pull-N-Peel Twizzlers, because they are delicious and as we all know, candy helps your decision making skillz.

So I’m standing there in the candy aisle, talking to Mom, getting my Twizzlers, and my eyes drift to the tiny little natural foods section. And there, about thirty feet away from me, is some guy’s penis.

Like, right there. He has pants on, but he’s got them unzipped and it’s just THERE, bouncing away as he peruses the whole grain cereals.

My first thought is: OMG THAT POOR GUY HE DOESN’T KNOW!!!!

I tell my mom what I see, and her first thought is: THAT GUY IS A PERVERT GET OUT OF THERE NOW

And suddenly I realize she’s RIGHT. This dude IS a pervert, and his penis isn’t hanging out on accident, and by this point he KNOWS I’ve seen it and I can tell this is PLEASING.

So my second thought is: OH #$%(#$ NO.

So I spin around and march to the customer service desk, where some poor kid who’s maybe 17 is working. I ask to see a manager.

Him: I’m sure I can help you, ma’am!
Me: I REALLY need to see a manager, and fast.
Him: Why don’t you tell me what’s bothering–
Me: There’s a man exposing himself by the Toastie-Os.
Him: I’ll call a manager.

By this time, of course, Pervert Dude realizes that I am ratting him out, and hurriedly rushes toward the exit, zipper up. I point and tell 17-year-old THAT’S HIM and 17-year-old frantically calls a manager and has no idea what to do.

Me third thought: WHAT WOULD BATMAN DO? (or something similar)

So I hurry outside after this guy (a safe distance, btw) and memorize his license plate/car make as he drives off. Then I call 911 and tell the police what happened, and all the info I have.

Now, to be honest, I figured that was the end of it. I mean, the guy was GONE before the cops got there. Hell, even I had left before the cops got there. But damn if a week later, the cops didn’t call me and ask me to come in and identify him in a photo line up, and ask me some questions, and get a “victim impact statement”. They’d actually used the store’s surveillance video, the license plate I’d given them, and my description (which included the LOGO-BEARING WORK SHIRT he wore to this little fiesta) to arrest him. He was being charged with a smattering of things, and apparently admitted to even more once they had him in custody.

Anyhow, the point of this story is: If someone exposes themselves to you, or touches you, or does ANYTHING YOU DO NOT WANT, CALL THE POLICE. Whip out your cell phone and GET SOME $&#* ON VIDEO. It does NOT take much to get the police to look into something, and what’s more, it’s important the police get this sort of information on file, even if they don’t make an arrest. THIS IS PART OF WHAT YOU PAY TAXES FOR- A POLICE FORCE THAT WILL PROTECT YOU. You don’t have to HOLD THE CREEP there to prove to the police that he’s a creep. I didn’t even have a picture of the guy who exposed himself to me, and he got arrested– and this was in a small college town with limited resources.

Obviously, I know in some cases coming forward can be difficult, and I’m sympathetic to those. The point of this post is more about– don’t think calling and reporting a creep is pointless. It’s important, it’s helpful, and moreover, it’s your RIGHT. Use your phone if it’s safe, get photos and video, and don’t be shy about the fact that you’re doing it– you have nothing to hide or be ashamed of, after all. Even if you aren’t particularly traumatized by seeing some random dude’s junk, call in support of the woman or child he might do it to in the future who WOULD be traumatized by it.

Mirrored from JacksonPearce.com.

kimmiepoppins September 25 2014, 13:58

I Read for Ten Miles

Originally published at Kimberly Sabatini. You can comment here or there.

I read for 10 miles yesterday!!! Wait that sounds a little weird. Let me clarify–I ran my longest run ever and the whole time I was running I was listening to a really awesome audiobook!!!!!! There are not enough exclamation points for a sentence like that. LOL! And it gets even better because I’ve acclimated to having a brain where half my attention is completely absorbed in the awesomeness of the story, but the other half is studying writing technique. *fist pump*


So, if I wasn’t clear about the awesomeness of what was going on, I spent about two hours of my busy day multitasking in the best of ways. I got to exercise while being simultaneously entertained and educated. And the bonus plan was that I didn’t have to feel bad about my Wednesday night bowl of ice cream because I burned 1,000 calories on that run. The only thing that was kinda tough was staying awake long enough to get my own writing done for the day–especially when everything (including my fingers) hurt LOL! I think today I’ll read the old fashioned way…snuggled up on the couch.

Anyone else reading for distance? Any audiobook lovers in the crowd? They are great in the car (can still be measured in miles) LOL! And they also make folding laundry a much better experience. Any guess about what book I finished on my run? I’ll give you a hint…it’s an adult apocalyptic novel getting a lot of well earned buzz. I really loved it.

megancrewe September 25 2014, 13:58

Earth & Sky quote graphic #1

Every Thursday for the next nine weeks (because 3 x 3 = 9, and that will be more meaningful once you’ve read the book) I’ll be posting a graphic featuring a quote from Earth & Sky. Happy to have you share them if you like! You can grab the image below…

…or share/reblog/retweet/etc. via these links:


Hope you enjoy the little glimpses inside!

Originally published at another world, not quite ours - Megan Crewe's blog. You can comment here or there.

slatts September 25 2014, 13:40


SO, THIS LEAVES Number Three as the only illustration left to finish on this page 15 image.

As I explained in earlier posts, I employed a very odd process in the completion of this page 15 illustration for my latest "graphic-poem," SAINT RINGO. One that sliced up the final piece into six sections. And each of the six sections were printed out on an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper and the colored pencil and ink work were done to each, then scanned, then assembled as one in Photoshop.

All six illustrations are done except Number Three. (What you're seeing in this detail of the inDesign page is illustrations Number One and Four.)

I won't be sharing Number Three nor the final page 15 image, as it's my hope you'll shell out the five dollars and fifty cents to buy my magazine, SAINT RINGO when it's printed.


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about kevin slatts slattery kevin slattery art kevin slattery's journal shop at kslatts.com contact kevin slattery

debbierfischer September 25 2014, 12:12

My tweets

debbierfischer September 24 2014, 12:11

My tweets

carriejones September 24 2014, 01:42

Sometimes Banning Happens Because of One Single Word

I originally posted this in 2007. I haven't changed anything in the original post, but I wanted to put it up again during Banned Book Week because I think it's important to remember that censorship happens in all sorts of ways. Sometimes it's loud. Sometimes it's quiet.

I worry about the quiet

Gay is not a dirty word.

It doesn't mean hate.
It doesn't mean pillage.
It doesn't mean war.

However, some booksellers are terrified of it.

That fear makes life a little bit hard for my book, TIPS ON HAVING A GAY (ex) BOYFRIEND, but it makes life really, really hard on gay teens and gay parents and gay grandparents.

Last weekend at the amazing New England Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators my book was on sale. A local children's bookstore sold my book (and the books of other presenters) to conference attendees.  On Saturday, author of awesome, Jo Knowles, bought my book.

This is what Jo wrote about what happened next:

And when I put it on the counter, a man who was working there said, "That book is really popular today!" And I said, "Oh good!" And he asked if I was the author and I said no my friend was. Note: People in room: Me, Bookseller, Guy helping, And one other person browsing the books. Anyway, then the assistant said to the bookseller, "Too bad you can't have that book in your store." or something along those lines. So I said, "Why not?" And he said, "Because it has the word "Gay" in the title. And the bookseller said, I'd never be able to sell them. She explained that her store only sells children's books and that grandparents shop there and might get offended.

Jo started shaking. She explained that it was a novel for young adults. She explained that grandparents have gay children. She fought.

Jo is a hero.

And I... I alternate between being horrified, irate and sad.  Some booksellers are afraid of controversy. They have bottom lines. They need to make them. I knew that places like Wal-Mart wouldn't stock my book because of that word, the GAY word. I had hoped that independent bookstores would be a little more, um, independent.  I had hoped that they would fight the good fight so that kids could get books that were different, that meant something, that had themes that made them think. I can understand that they are afraid that people might picket their bookstores, might cause a stir about a book that has the word 'gay' in it, and that could hurt their business, but what this comes down to really is pre-censorship.

What does this mean? It means that books with gay themes or even the word "Gay" in the title aren't as available. You have to hunt for them. Their authors might not sell as many books. That makes the authors a little less lucrative to publishing houses. Maybe their next book won't get published. Maybe it will. But it's harder.

How hard? In Arkansas approximately 21 % of all public libraries, 5 % of libraries in universities, and 1% or school libraries have books with gay, bisexual, transgender or lesbian themes or content.


I am willing to write  books with the word "GAY" in the title and not make a lot of money and not have libraries buy them. I just have my fingers crossed that they keep getting published because a lack of sales to libraries equates to a lack of overall sales. I also have my fingers crossed that people will actually be able to find my books on the shelves of stores.

That's the big problem.

What bothers me is how books can be silenced before they even hit the shelves. Gay books, or even my book, can be silenced because of fear that a grandparent will complain. Story doesn't matter. The fact that it's actually a love story between a straight girl and a straight boy doesn't matter. The fact that it deals with sexual discrimination and epilepsy stigma doesn't matter. The fact that it deals with a girl's quest to become her own person doesn't matter.

That one potential grandparent who might complain? That's what matters.

And that's wrong.

In an article for AfterElton, YA author Brent Hartinger wrote, " Overcoming these obstacles will not be easy. It will take more gay writers and producers willing to force the issue. It will take our standing up to entrenched forces every inch of the way. And it will take audiences stepping up and staring down the bigots."

He wrote that about gay themes in television and movies. It also applies to books. Jo was one of those people. She stepped up. She stared down. She tried to change a mind and she did it out of love. She's a hero.

She knows that gay doesn't mean hate. It doesn't mean war. It doesn't mean rape, molestation, abuse. But that word? It still scares people, and that scares me.

Here's the link to Brent's article: http://www.afterelton.com/columns/2007/1/lastgayword.html
And another to a livejournal post where he talks about the Arkansas study: http://brentsbrain.livejournal.com/34891.html
megancrewe September 23 2014, 23:48

The story of an author copies unboxing

So this happened today:

Yay, Earth & Sky author copies are here!

Really, Mom, I can have one?

Hmmm, the back cover description sounds intriguing…

But let’s see if it passes the all-important taste test!

Very exciting to have the two “projects” I’ve spent much of the last two years working on together at last. :D

Originally published at another world, not quite ours - Megan Crewe's blog. You can comment here or there.

kellyrfineman September 23 2014, 15:31

The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp

I first heard about this book about five years ago, when my friend Linda Urban told me about it, and about how Tharp's idea of the "spine" of each work really spoke to her. You can read Linda's thoughtful post about the meaning of this idea here. Both online and in conversation, Linda sang the praises of the book. Yet somehow, it didn't occur to me to read it. Until this month. (It was brought up again in a conversation I was having online with some other writers.)

Perhaps I wasn't "ready" for the information, or perhaps I was just a dolt who didn't think to look for the book, either because I thought it had something to do with dance (it doesn't, and Linda had told me that) or that I wasn't the sort of "creative person" to benefit from it. (Yeah, I have my own issues, just as all writers do, and there are times I feel like a complete hack while friends of mine are the true "artistes" among us. I'm working on it. But I digress.)

The thing about Tharp's book is that it is for ALL creative personalities, regardless of chosen means of expression. It's for choreographers and dancers, but it's for writers and poets and fine artists and pop artists and jewelry designers and songwriters and actors and muralists and fashion designers/costumers and, well, anyone who works in the creative arts, whether on a full-time or part-time basis.

Moreover, Tharp essentially believes that ALL people can learn to be creative, even if they don't consider themselves so, which is something I happen to agree with. The creative spark is inside every human being, if they have the time and the means and the encouragement to develop it. Of course, there are those who have had that spark nearly snuffed out by circumstances outside their control - if you're focused on survival, for instance, it's hard to develop artistic creativity, although doubtless you're using your creativity to stay alive.

Then there are those people who had the misfortune to be place among family or teachers who told them that they were no good at things - maybe just one thing, like singing or dancing or drawing, or maybe ALL the things. That's happened to more people than not, I think. I used to think I couldn't dance. Like, at all. I believed that until I went to college, in fact, and figured out that it wasn't true, but years of my mother laughing at my dance efforts at home, pointing out the clumsy bits and calling me "Grace" (sarcastically) had convinced me I couldn't do it. Not that I'll win any awards, mind, or that I could have been the next Twyla Tharp, but hey, I can dance, at least a bit. I also believed I couldn't draw. I don't recall why I thought that-- I think it may have been me comparing my efforts to someone else's in art class and deciding I was awful. But it turns out that's not the case, either, and that all I needed was a lot of practice. I'd say that I digress here, but these examples are probably familiar to you, whether they overlap specific areas in your own life or not.

The point being that creative work is work, and that it requires practice in order to develop it. It requires other things, too, like stretching or challenging yourself, and coming up with new ideas or themes to explore. And Twyla Tharp's book is all about that--how to come up with ideas, develop ideas, explore new possibilities, find your own strengths, identify your weaknesses, etc.

This review is based on me getting 2/3 of the way through the copy I got from my local library. And yes, I usually read the entire book before posting, but truthfully, even if the last 1/3 of the book were blank, this book would deserve your time and attention. Meanwhile, I ordered my own copy of the book from Barnes & Noble, and it should arrive soon. I find I want to revisit the book from the start, and mark it up to my heart's content, and actually do the many exercises that are interspersed within it. If you check it out (in the library or otherwise), I rather suspect that you, too, will find inspiration (and comfort) and at least want to try some of the exercises. If you do, I hope you'll let me know how it goes, and what you think of the book.

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carriejones September 23 2014, 12:07

My tweets

  • Mon, 14:05: Sitting on the hotel floor, trying to think if it's worth it to stay another night just because I don't want to deal with Boston traffic.
  • Mon, 14:06: Also, it's Banned Books Week, so read something others don't want you to read.
  • Mon, 14:11: The art in my hotel room makes me wonder about all the Dougs who randomly stay here. What do they… http://t.co/2xPP3ans1Q
  • Tue, 01:02: I'm trying hard not to live tweet #TheVoice because... because...? Oh forget it.
  • Tue, 01:03: I kind of want to be a contestant on #TheVoice because I think they'd do my hair. I really need someone to do my hair. That's wrong, right?
  • Tue, 01:06: "You should stay in your lane but let me drive a little bit" sounds so naughty. #TheVoice It's all inneundos @adamlevine
  • Tue, 01:24: Taylor John Williams really should be a character in one of my books. #TheVoice Is it sad that I'm sad he's real? He's such a protagonist.
  • Tue, 01:25: "I was so in the moment. I was so moved." Also sounds pervy. #thevoice needs a pervy blog.
  • Tue, 01:34: I love when men sing Beyonce. #thevoice I have no idea why. I'm not big on men singing Madonna or Britney or Rihanna. Just Beyonce.
  • Tue, 01:36: If I were to make #thevoice a drinking game, I'd make people drink every time someone cries. Everyone would be super drunk by now.
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kimmiepoppins September 23 2014, 06:02

Book Auntie Braggery–WHEN REASON BREAKS by Cindy L. Rodriguez

Originally published at Kimberly Sabatini. You can comment here or there.

There are lots of things I’m super excited about–fall foliage, apple cider donuts, Thanksgiving stuffing and mashed potatoes, my first Christmas in my new home and of course–book babies. In 2015 I’m going to be a Book Auntie for a few of my very special writer friends and you’re going to hear me squeezing about all the book baby stuff. That’s what Book Aunties do–so be prepared.

Today’s act of Book Auntie Braggery is the very intriguing book trailer for WHEN REASON BREAKS by my good friend Cindy L Rodriguez. But before we get to it, here’s a little bit about the book…



13 Reasons Why meets the poetry of Emily Dickinson in this gripping debut novel perfect for fans of Sara Zarr or Jennifer Brown.

A Goth girl with an attitude problem, Elizabeth Davis must learn to control her anger before it destroys her. Emily Delgado appears to be a smart, sweet girl, with a normal life, but as depression clutches at her, she struggles to feel normal. Both girls are in Ms. Diaz’s English class, where they connect to the words of Emily Dickinson. Both are hovering on the edge of an emotional precipice. One of them will attempt suicide. And with Dickinson’s poetry as their guide, both girls must conquer their personal demons to ever be happy.

In an emotionally taut novel with a richly diverse cast of characters, readers will relish in the poetry of Emily Dickinson and be completely swept up in the turmoil of two girls grappling with demons beyond their control.

Age Range: 12 – 17 years
Grade Level: 7 – 12
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens (February 10, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1619634120
ISBN-13: 978-1619634121

And here is some early praise for WHEN REASON BREAKS…

“When Reason Breaks is infused with a rare blend of suspense and sensitivity, despair and hope. The poetic spirit of Emily Dickinson shines through the gloom of daily struggles faced by modern teens, as they discover the possibilities where they dwell.” –Margarita Engle, Newbery Honor-winning author of The Surrender Tree


WHEN REASON BREAKS is available for pre-order. I’ve already got my copy saved, but you can reserve yours here…
Indiebound | Barnes and Noble | Amazon | Powell’s | Book Depository | Books-A-Million


For ARCs & publicity, contact Lizzy Mason at Elizabeth.Mason@Bloomsbury.com or (212) 419-5340.

Now I need to know–what was your favorite part of the trailer???

bbovenguy September 23 2014, 04:11

Trek for the Ages

It was two years ago, shortly after my hike up Mount Lukens that I decided I wanted to do something really special for my 50th birthday. A real challenge that I had never done before, and probably wouldn't do again. I was going to hike up Mount Wilson.

Everyone who's lived in the Los Angeles area knows Mount Wilson. Even if they don't recognize its name, just tell them it's the big mountain with all the antennas on top, and they'll know which one you mean. There's a famous observatory complex up there too, where some famous astronomical discoveries have been made. You can drive up there if you want to, or you can hike up one of many long, difficult trails. I chose the Mount Wilson Trail, the oldest and one of the toughest.

Mt Wilson 003

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One of the really interesting things about hiking Mount Wilson is the way people interact on the trail. It's like a small, constantly shifting community, where you befriend people you meet along the way and travel together for a while, only to split up again as you take your different routes or travel at your different paces. For a while on the way up, I met a young woman who was trying to beat her best time up to the summit. For a while on the way down, I met a man from San Jose who was asking me about all the other trails I'd been on in Southern California.

And then there was the man I met on the way down, who helped me out when I got disoriented climbing over some rocks and almost missed where the trail picked back up. He was slowed by a sore knee too, and reached the bottom just after I did. I said I went on this hike for my 50th birthday - he's 62. And he says that next year for my birthday, I should try going up Mount Whitney. Ummm... I'll have to think about that one for a while.
megancrewe September 22 2014, 13:26

Defining the Love Triangle

I’ve found it interesting that in the last few months, I’ve gotten two emails about the not-yet-released Earth & Sky inquiring whether the trilogy will have a love triangle, because the reader doesn’t like them and wants to be prepared. Interesting for a couple reasons:

1. This is the first time I’ve ever gotten asked this question (across the last three and a half years, no one has ever inquired about the Fallen World trilogy on this issue). Which makes me wonder if there’s a growing aversion to love triangles, which obviously become pretty common in YA–especially in trilogies and series, and especially in speculative fiction (paranormal, dystopian, etc.)?

2. It’s made me realize that I’m not entirely sure how to answer the question. Because I’ve become aware that different people define “love triangle” in different ways. I always thought of a love triangle as being where the main character (or, I suppose, any character) is torn between two people who are both interested in him/her, attracted to both and either struggling to decide who s/he wants to be with or struggling with temptation while committed to one. But reading comments from others on books I’ve read, I’ve seen other sorts of romantic situations called “triangles”: when two characters are vying for another’s romantic attention (regardless of that one character’s feelings for either), for example.

So what I’ve been answering, when asked, is that it depends. Certainly the romantic subplots in the Earth & Sky trilogy are less love triangle-like than in the Fallen World trilogy (which I would consider to have only a pretty mild form of triangle as it is). There is no angsting at all about romantic feelings for more than one guy at the same time. But across the trilogy Skylar does become romantically involved with more than one guy at different times. So maybe it could read that way?

Indulge my curiosity, blog readers: What do you consider a love triangle? A character deciding between two romantic options? A character troubled by conflicting romantic feelings? A character who has two different partners? Do only the feelings of the main character count, or do you still see it as a triangle if two people are competing for his/her attentions at the same time even if s/he is only interested in one of them? What about if the main character has feelings for two people, but only one of them reciprocates, so the other isn’t really an option?

I’d love to see the variety of answers this question gets. There obviously is no right one, only different perspectives! :)

Originally published at another world, not quite ours - Megan Crewe's blog. You can comment here or there.

slatts September 22 2014, 13:14


ON THIS DAY IN 1964 the TV show The MAN From U.N.C.L.E. debuted. Like so many kids my age, I was an instant fan. Secret agents were then what sexy vampires are today. So cool! And Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin were the coolest. Secret gizmos like radios in pens. All us spy-dweebs were saying "Open Channel D!" into our fountain pens at school. The nuns must have thought we were nuts!

As a tow-head ten year old, I thought Illya was it! Yes, finally, somebody my hair coloring matched. I could "make-believe" without too much make believe (he sometimes wore glasses, too—double bonus!)

So, when it came time to pick '60's heroes to "play me" in my story of FRANKENSTEIN Meets Sister Mary Shelley, Illya Kuryakin was at the top of the list!

kslatts logo
about kevin slatts slattery kevin slattery art kevin slattery's journal shop at kslatts.com contact kevin slattery

debbierfischer September 22 2014, 12:11

My tweets

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