Monday, May 20, 2013

An Homage to The Sounds of Istanbul

Şerbet: Dried fruit, tea, herbs, and/or spices in any combination imaginable, concentrated into a syrup, and ideally served over shaved ice from the mountains. Find some great examples like violet, pomegranate mint, or tamarind on Saudi Aramco World

Şerbet takes on a certain magic when it's served to you by a traditional street vendor, but to really understand what I mean, you'll have to watch the following kidlit-friendly clip.

From the clanking glasses of the Şerbetci,
to the gulls crying,
to the backgammon dice rolling across the boards...
Every sound is something a girl (little or big) can enjoy.

My favorite: the purring kitty hills.
Istanbul is full of cats.


Monday, May 13, 2013


In 1917, Cartier acquired his New York City location in a famous trade: $100 and a double string of pearls valued at one million dollars, in exchange for a 5th Avenue address.

Meanwhile, across the globe, Tokichi Nishikawa patented his first cultured pearls. When Nishikawa married the daughter of Mikimoto, the union changed the pearl industry forever. Cultured pearls, created for a fraction of the price, in a fraction of the time, were destined to control the market ... with nacre just barely skin deep.

In 1957, that one million dollar Cartier double strand sold at auction for only $151,000.

So I ask:

How much authenticity is enough? Is a quick eye test the only valid gauge? (Rhetorical question, I'm afraid.)

The same concept applied to writing:

Details can be layered as deep as an author pleases, but those details better look pretty enough on the surface. A reader is most interested in the sheen, after that, they want to keep on flipping those pages. The only authenticity an author can't skimp on is character.

Well ...that last statement is not entirely true for every genre. *ahem*

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Where I've been lately...

I wish my news was exciting.
It's a day job.
I'm back to the daily grind.
I'm determined to make this work/writing thing balance.
As soon as I get settled.
Outside of work, I spent the past couple of weeks:
1) Learning and networking in a dialogue writing workshop with my editor/friends, Carin Siegfried and Betsy Thorpe of Two Editors and a Comma (Pics are on their page.)
 2) Browsing at the Tweet Up for the Charlotte Friends of the Library book sale (Look what I found! In German! I didn't buy them, but I did bring home two bags full of other good books.)

3) Distributing twenty copies of THE LIGHTNING THIEF for World Book Night


4) Watching my son play in two, weekend-long basketball tournaments.
(I might need a chiropractor soon. Those bleachers are unforgiving!)

Regular programming should resume shortly ...

I'm lining up some posts for the rest of the month.
I'm planning to finish edits for at least eight chapters of BA this month.

Hold me to it!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Istanbulive5 - gripin

My latest musical crush is on the Turkish band, gripin.
(gripin is also a med to cure the flu.) They were recently here in the US with Istanbulive, which I missed AGAIN. I need to plan better next year.

gripin has some good songs, but my favorite right now is called They Found the Cure for Loneliness - Yalnızlığın Çaresini Bulmuşlar. I planned to share the lyrics, but wow, lots of idioms and I didn't have enough time to straighten the words out. The long and short: One lie missing, one lie extra - either way it doesn't matter - the world keeps turning.


Monday, April 8, 2013

ARC Giveaway: DEAD SILENCE by Kimberly Derting

In continuation of last week's chaos, my life hasn't settled into any routine. I'm also waiting for betas to get back to me, and just - bluh!

I also forgot to post the winner for the FEARLESS giveaway - and the official result of the drawing is Theresa Brown Milstein.

In return for your patience, here's another ARC giveaway, this one for DEAD SILENCE by Kimberly Derting. YA magical realism is the best way to describe it - with some bodies and suspenseful catch-the-bad guy scenes. I haven't even had the time to crack the spine on this one, but I've read others in this series, and they're good, in a creepy way.
Leave a comment with a valid way for me to reach you, and I'll post the winner next week. Good luck!

Dead Silence

A Body Finder Novel
On Sale: 4/16/2013
Formats: Hardcover | eBook

Sometimes the Dead Can't Be Silenced.
Violet thought she had made peace with her unique ability to sense the echoes of the dead and the imprints that cling to their killers . . . until she acquired an imprint of her own. Forced to carry a reminder of the horrible events of her kidnapping, Violet is more determined than ever to lead a normal life. However, the people who run the special investigative team she works for have no intention of letting her go.

Violet will do whatever it takes to keep her loved ones safe—even if it means lying to her boyfriend, Jay. But when an echo calls to her, she stumbles upon a murder scene unlike anything she's ever witnessed. The murders are frenzied and twisted, and the killer left a disturbing calling card for all to see—a brimstone cross sketched in blood on the wall. And Violet finds herself pulled into a deadly hunt for a vicious madman with an army of devoted followers.

Violet has survived dangerous situations before, but she quickly discovers that protecting those closest to her is far more difficult than protecting herself.

Thanks to my indie bookseller, PARK ROAD BOOKS for providing this copy.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Istanbul's Olympic Bid

The International Olympic Committee is in the Turkish news right now:

Istanbul; 27 March 2013: The IOC Evaluation Commission concluded its inspection of Istanbul today with a final press conference to over 200 international and Turkish media and declared that they had an "excellent impression" of the Istanbul 2020 bid.

In a press conference at the Four Seasons Bosphorus Hotel, Chairman of the IOC Evaluation Commission, Sir Craig Reedie, said:

"The IOC 2020 Evaluation Commission has been very pleased to spend time here in the extraordinary city of Istanbul. We have an excellent impression of the Bid Committee, and we have witnessed the strong support that the bid enjoys from the government, which was highlighted by the presence of President Gül this week. It has been a great pleasure to meet with so many Olympians, Paralympians, athletes and the Bid Committee - we have seen the enthusiasm for the Olympic Games that exists here in Istanbul."

source: Istanbul 2020 press release

I may be biased, but just clicking around the Istanbul2020 website, I can tell you there's an amazing construction plan for top notch venues and services. All that plus amazing historic sites?
You might want to book your plane tickets now.

Here's the promotional video for Istanbul.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Dreams & Ice Cream

Maupin House
Last week a member of my SCBWI critique group sent out an email, wondering how to deal with the stress of submissions. I wrote her a (probably-too-long, from-the-heart) response.

Another member chimed in after me.

The head of our group, Carol Baldwin, asked for permission to share our group support experience, word for word, with the world.

Chasing Your Dream--With a Little Help from Your Writing Buddies and Ice Cream 

Please stop by and drop us a comment over on Carol's site. 
About Carol:
Dauntless leader of the Charlotte SCBWI critique group, at-large member of the Women's National Book Association Charlotte board, writing teacher, and great friend to all aspiring authors...
Since I was a child I have loved reading and have maintained a journal off and on for more than 30 years. My book, Teaching the Story: Fiction Writing in Grades 4-8 (Maupin House, 2007) reflects these twin passions of reading and writing. "If you want to write, read!"


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