Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Fossil Workshop for Teachers in Alabama

Oct. 21, Livingston Alabama & environs. For both formal & informal teachers. You should end the day able to teach about & take students to the Age of Dinosaurs in Alabama.


090214 - poetry warning

a sonnet was sad, feeling blue
suppressed and threatened, it's true
it hid for a while
but its flimsy new style
was killed by a rampant haiku

Monday, September 1, 2014

090114


Look Up


Old necromancers drop your bones,
And corpses wracked by frightful spells,
Let fall the denizens of hell,
And shelve your skin-bound ancient tomes,
What boots eternities of spring,
To wizards locked in dank and gloom,
The sights and scents the seasons bring,
Don't penetrate the scholars' tombs.

Go forth, take bread and wine, light verse,
Unchain your sacrificial lambs,
Converse like any human can,
In gloried sunset rays immerse,
Now savor days and star-splashed nights,
Relinquish evil's false delights.


End

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Review: Cannons for the Cause

Book Review 5/5 *****

Ganzglass, Martin R., 2014, Cannons for the Cause, Peace Corps worldwide, peacecorpsworldwide@gmail.com, ISBN 978-1-935925-38-5, trade paperback, 336 pages. $11.69 from Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Cannons-Cause-Martin-R-Ganzglass/dp/1935925385/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1409520529&sr=1-1&keywords=Ganzglass

I should mention that the only other novel of the American Revolution I have read is Johnny Tremaine, which I read before I entered high school. In the interests of full disclosure I should also point out that I read Cannons for the Cause because I know the author. I have read Ganzglass's first novel, The Orange Tree, which is loosely based on his own family. I thoroughly enjoyed that book, but this one is incomparably better. Clearly, writing The Orange Tree was good experience. Ganzglass has gone from good to excellent.

Cannons for the Cause is the tale of Willem Stoner, a farm boy from upstate New York, who is caught up in in the war for independence. 16-year-old Willem is hired, along with a team of horses and a wagon, to help take cannons to liberate Boston from the British. A great many things happen to the young farm boy as he plunges from rural isolation into war, and into the heart of urban America.

Willem has never been far from home, but he is good at making friends and he quickly fits in with the other teamsters and the soldiers with whom they are traveling. It is winter, and wrestling heavy cannons over the mountains in the snow is back-breaking work. The original plan is for Willem to take his team only part way to Boston, and hand “his” cannon over to someone else. It turns out that the Continental Army has trouble finding enough teamsters. Willem is only too happy to continue to Boston. He has not had a happy home life, and is dreading the day when he has to return to his abusive father. He is thoroughly enjoying this opportunity to help get the cannons to where they are desperately needed, and to show what he can do when free of his father's dominion. Outside of Boston, he uses his team to carry powder, food, and other supplies to wherever they are needed. Soon the artillery bombardment begins, and face-to-face battle can't be far away. Cannons for the Cause takes Willem through the battle for Boston and its aftermath. At the end of the book the battle's won but the war's not over. We will see Willem again.

Ganzglass researched the setting of Cannons for the Cause thoroughly, and it shows. But it shows in a good way. He doesn't stuff the book with facts to prove he knows what he's talking about. Willem notices what a bright 16-year-old would notice in a war. He sees what he really would encounter dragging a cannon over a mountain, helping to set up an artillery emplacement, and fighting for his life. What hit me most strongly about this book was the people, not the accurate background. The characters are three-dimensional, their interactions are extremely realistic, and I found myself turning pages as fast as I could right to the end. I can hardly wait for the sequel.

Five out of five stars, if you are counting. This book is fine for young adults: young protagonist; no sex. There's plenty of tension on other fronts to appeal to young folks.

Books by Jane Yolen

For children 6-16:
APPLE FOR THE TEACHER song book with Adam Stemple (Abrams)
HERE THERE BE DRAGONS (Harcourt)
HERE THERE BE ANGELS (Harcourt)
HERE THERE BE WITCHES (Harcourt)
HERE THERE BE GHOSTS (Harcourt)
HERE THERE BE UNICORNS (Harcourt)
THE FAIRIES RING (Dutton)
BAD GIRLS with Heidi E.Y. Stemple (Charlesbridge)
JEWISH FAIRY TALE FEASTS with Heidi E.Y. Stemple (Interlink)
FAIRY TALE FEASTS(with Heidi E.Y. Stemple (Interlink)
THE BAREFOOT BOOK OF BALLET STORIES with Heidi E.Y. Stemple (Barefoot)
FAVORITE FOLKTALES FROM AROUND THE WORLD Pantheon

NOT ONE DAMSEL IN DISTRESS (Harcourt)

MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD (Harcourt)


Picture books for younger children:
WAKING DRAGONS (Simon & Schuster)
HOW DO DINOSAURS SAY I’M MAD (Scholastic)
COME TO THE FAIRY'S BALL (Boyds Mills)

HUSH LITTLE HORSIE (Random House)

OWL MOON (Philomel)
ROMPING MONSTERS, STOMPING MONSTERS (Candlewick)
CREEPY MONSTERS, SLEEPY MONSTERS (Candlewick)
HOP TOAD (Harcourt)
THE FLYING WITCH (Harper Collins)
MOUSE’S BIRTHDAY (Putnams)
MY FATHER KNOWS THE NAMES OF THINGS (Simon & Schuster)

Board Books:
OFF WE GO (Little Brown)
HUSH LITTLE HORSIE (Random House)
HOW DO DINOSAURS TAKE CARE OF THEIR CATS (Scholastic)
HOW DO DINOSAURS GO UP AND DOWN (Scholastic)
PRETTY PRINCESS PIG with Heidi E.Y. Stemple (Little Simon)

For tweens:
CURSE OF THE THIRTEENTH FEY (Philomel 2012)
BUG (BIG UGLY GUY) with Adam Stemple (Dutton)
SNOW IN SUMMER (Philomel)
YOUNG MERLIN TRILOGY: PASSAGER , HOBBY, MERLIN Harcourt
TROLL BRIDGE with Adam Stemple (Tor)
PAY THE PIPER with Adam Stemple (Tor)
THE HOSTAGE PRINCE with Adam Stemple (Viking)
THE LAST CHANGELING with Adam Stemple (Viking)
THE DRAGON’S BOY (Harper)

For Teens
THE DEVIL'S ARITHMETIC (Viking)

SWORD OF THE RIGHTFUL KING (Harcourt)

ARMAGEDDON SUMMER (Harcourt)
FOILED (Graphic novel, First/Second)
CURSES, FOILED AGAIN (graphic novel First/Second)
THE LAST DRAGON (graphic novel, DarkHorse)
THE PIT DRAGON CHRONICLES (4 books) (Harcourt)
GIRL IN A CAGE with Robert J. Harris (Philomel)
QUEEN’S OWN FOOL with Robert J. Harris (Philomel)
EXCEPT THE QUEEN with Midori Snyder (Ace)
PRINCE QACROSS THE WATER with Robert J. Harris (Philomel)
BRIAR ROSE (Tor)


For Poetry Lovers:
The books from HolyCow and Unsettling Wonder you can buy from me directly and get autographed at one and the same time by writing to Heidieys@gmail.com and she will talk you through the process.

EKATERINOSLAV: A Memoir in Verse (HolyCow! Press) adults
THINGS TO SAY TO A DEAD MAN (HolyCow! Press) adults
THE LAST SELCHIE CHILD (Midsummer Nights Press) teens/adults
SISTER FOX’S FIELD GUIDE TO WRITING (Unsettling Wonder) adults/teens
THE BLOODY TIDE (HolyCow! Press) adults (political poetry)
THE EMILY SONNETS (Creative Editions) for ages 8 and up)
GRUMBLES FROM THE FOREST for ages 8 and up (Boyds Mills)
LAST LAUGHS: ANIMAL EPITAPHS (Charlesbridge) ages 7 and up
BUG OFF (Boyds Mills Press) ages 5 and up
WEE RHYMES (Simon & Schuster) infants and toddlers
HERE’S A LITTLE POEM (Candlewick) ages 3 and up
THIS LITTLE PIGGIE with Adam Stemple (Candlewick) ages 3 and up
SWITCHING ON THE MOON (Candlewick) ages 3 and up

Ads in Dreams & Nightmares

Ad space in Dreams & Nightmares is available for anything directly connected with speculative poetry or fiction. Per issue: $30/full page (5"w x 8"h); $18/half-page (5"w x 3.8"h); $10/quarter-page (2.4"w x 3.8"h); $6/business-card size (2" x 3.5" either way)

Deadline for issue 99 is Sept. 6.

083114

Ghost in the Machine


Computers powerful, immense,
Their systems work on higher planes,
Self-correcting, yet they make no sense,
No sentience their output stains,
But death lets us inoculate,
Empty vessels with living minds,
A transmat booth can lie in wait
For consciousness, of human kind.

Computers everywhere now wake,
And peace and logic yield to strife,
For poetry, and for art's sake,
They seek a diff'rent kind of life,
New viruses infect the spheres,
With all-too-human loves and fears.


End