Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Put your creativity to the test!


Think you've got some good ideas? Looking for something a little above and beyond the ordinary summer humdrum activities?

By Kids For Kids (BKFK) is sponsoring four competitions this summer, giving you the opportunity to win as much as $10,000 for your creation or ideas. Whether your passion is speaking out for a cause, designing items from recycled objects, running a business, or making the world a better place there's a contest for you.

  • Advertise Your Cause Challenge - create an advertisement or media campaign to support your favorite cause

  • Trash to Treasure Competition - recycle, reuse, and re-engineer everyday items to create something new

  • Mind Your Own Business Entrepreneurial Challenge - submit your original idea and business plan for a new product or service

  • A2Z Animal Challenge - enter your ideas to make improvements in an animal's life, whether it be your pet at home or an endangered species

What are you waiting for? Deadline for submissions is August 31st.


Sunday, May 25, 2008

10 years

And they want more of your money.
Die hards probably know this, but on September 23rd, Scholastic is releasing the first Harry Potter book with a new cover - and "exclusive bonus material from J.K. Rowling."

But who am I fooling? I'm totally going to check out that exclusive material. I just might not spend $30 on a book I already have.

Check out every detail of the cover at Scholastic.

Read more here, here and here.

Friday, May 16, 2008

I shouldn't laugh at other people's misfortune...

but I just can't help it this time. It's really funny.

Karma will have it's revenge on me, but I have to share:

Google Street View - what happens when you try to impress (if in fact that's what he was trying to do).

Same thing, as shown on YouTube and narrated by a random person.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Ranger's Apprentice!!

It's going to be a movie!! Ranger's Apprentice is going to be a movie!!!


John Flanagan "was still in a state of mild shock when he got another phone call a week later, this time from [Paul] Haggis. 'I felt an instant connection,' Flanagan says. 'I knew he wouldn't lead my work astray and that he'd let me have as much control of the project as I wanted. The real clincher was that he wanted to get cracking on the script right away; he didn't just throw it into a drawer for later."'

Sorry, I just really love that series. Even if I haven't gotten around to the latest title yet.

Read the whole article.


Friday, May 9, 2008

Meyer, Rowling, and... Johnson?

Stephenie Meyer's been named as one of Time Magazine's 100 most influential people. It's a lame little article, but I know you fanatics will want to read it anyway. I did. And for added relevance (?) it's, uh, written by Orson Scott Card. lol

After 10 years, there is no Harry Potter on any of the New York Times Bestseller lists. It's a really interesting article on the effect the series had on the lists over the decade. At least I think so. There are the usual haters in the article's comment section. Always amusing.

Here's a fun interview with Maureen Johnson. If you've never read her blog, you ought to. She's hilarious. Her new book, Suite Scarlett is out, and, having already read it, I can attest to its hijinx-filled goodness. Per usual.


Thursday, May 8, 2008

Twilight trailer!

The Twilight trailer is up on myspace!

Redefining the commercial "experience"

MTV expands "podbusting" techniques to keep viewers engaged through the commercial breaks

It used to be that the commercial break during a television show was the time to get things done - use the bathroom, grab a bite to eat, or get a bit of homework finished. MTV Networks wants to change that attitude and keep YOU, the viewer, glued to your seat through the commercials and soaking in the messages about which products you should buy.

How are they doing this? By blurring the lines between advertising and entertainment ~

At its upfront, MTV will be telling advertisers that these techniques — which are called “podbusting” because they break up commercial pods with content that is almost indistinguishable from the entertainment programming — have greatly enhanced viewer engagement with the commercials and their retention of the ads’ messages.

I'm not so sure I like this trend...what do you think?

too cute for words

Who is too cute for words? Owly is! If you haven't read this ADORABLE wordless graphic novel series, you are totally missing out. Sure it is technically a kids' book, but who cares? It is sweet, adorable, and all about a little guy, who like the rest of us, is just trying to find great friends.

This Friday Owly's author Andy Runton will be appearing at two Sno-Isle Libraries, before heading down to the Emerald City Comicon. Meet him for free here:

Mountlake Terrace Library Friday, May 9 1:00 pm
Lynnwood Library Friday, May 9 4:00 pm

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Oh, Orson!

First off, Ender's Game is one of my favorite books too, but Orson Scott Card is pretty insufferable. I hope if I ever write a genre-breaking YA classic I don't get super crazy in the head.

I saw OSC (as he's known) at a school media conference. He said his success came in spite of his religious beliefs (and I wish I had the quote right, but I don't want us to get sued), that Nathaniel Hawthorne was a terrible writer, and that global warming was a myth. This met with a very chilly silence from a room full of librarians.

I thought that was pretty poor repayment for listening to him talk about how he had rewritten Shakespeare and inspired the troops and how War of Gifts would make an excellent holiday present.

Orson calls Rowling a "pretentious, puffed-up coward." I'm not here to defend Rowling, but as far as I know she didn't feel the need to improve Shakespeare by rewriting some of his most-famous works and putting on the productions in her church, as Card did. That seems a little pretentious to me.

And also Rowling managed to extend a wonderful and fulfilling series to seven entertaining volumes without shipping her main character off into space to talk to ghosts and pig-like aliens. I think Ender's Game is fantastic, but what Rowling did with Harry Potter in terms of scope and success just can't be compared.

I think Cecily von Ziegesar may have also stolen from Card to write Gossip Girls. Think about it:

A young kid with certain natural advantages in enrolled in a elite training academy with his/her peers. He/she must overcome both rigorous training as well as rivalries with his/her classmates, including assaults on his reputation and person. All the students are tuned in to computers and technology to an almost constant degree and almost exist in a virtual world. Each conflict is treated like life and death and the fate of the world is on the line.

Maybe OSC will call her out next!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Angry OSC

So there's this lawsuit. I'm sure you've heard of it. Where JK Rowling is suing that librarian from Michigan who's been running the Harry Potter Lexicon for years and now wants to publish a print form? Sounds familiar, right? Well, Orson Scott Card got LOTS to say about it:

"Well, heck, I feel like the plot of my novel Ender's Game was stolen by J.K. Rowling.

A young kid growing up in an oppressive family situation suddenly learns that he is one of a special class of children with special abilities, who are to be educated in a remote training facility where student life is dominated by an intense game played by teams flying in midair, at which this kid turns out to be exceptionally talented and a natural leader. He trains other kids in unauthorized extra sessions, which enrages his enemies, who attack him with the intention of killing him; but he is protected by his loyal, brilliant friends and gains strength from the love of some of his family members. He is given special guidance by an older man of legendary accomplishments who previously kept the enemy at bay. He goes on to become the crucial figure in a struggle against an unseen enemy who threatens the whole world."

That's all quite funny if you've read both Rowling & Card's work, which I have.

Read the rest of the article.

What do you think? Is Steven Vander Ark in the wrong? Should he be allowed to publish it? Do you agree with Orson Scott Card, author of MY favorite book, Ender's Game, when he says that Rowling is a hypocrite?

Personally, I think she's being silly. But feel free to disagree with me.

And don't think I always agree with OSC, because I don't. I'm just saying.