Illustrator Fills In Photographer’s Tale Of War

Illustration from graphic novel

In 1986, French photographer Didier Lefevre traveled illegally into Soviet-controlled Afghanistan with a medical team from Doctors Without Borders who were on a mission to set up a field hospital. Lefevre’s assignment was to document the difficulties of providing humanitarian aid — along the way, he captured 4,000 images.

At the time, only six of Lefevre’s photographs were published in newspapers. For two decades, his contact sheets languished in boxes. And they might have remained there had it not been for graphic novelist Emmanuel Guibert.

Guibert collaborated with Lefevre to produce The Photographer: Into War-Torn Afghanistan With Doctors Without Borders, an unusual graphic novel that combines Lefevre’s photos and Guibert’s illustrations with a comic-book style narrative.  >>>

An Introduction to Poetry Terms

poetry termsI know what you’re thinking. Poetry terms? But I’m a fiction writer! A blogger! An essayist. I don’t write poetry!

But before you click away, consider the vocabulary of a writer – not just a poet or a fiction writer – but any writer.

Have you ever noticed that some writers string words together seamlessly and beautifully? Have you ever read a sentence or paragraph and wondered how the author thought to put those words together in that order? >>>

Today’s must-read is a Pulitzer prize winner – Olive Kitteridge

Olive Kitteridge

by Elizabeth Strout.

Strout won The Pulitzer Prize for her collection of 13 short stories set in small-town Maine. The Pulitzer judges commended her for work that “packs a cumulative emotional wallop” held together by the “blunt, flawed and fascinating” character of title character Olive.

Strout’s book was a finalist for this year’s National Book Critics Circle award for fiction.

“Hell. We’re always alone. Born alone. Die alone,” says Olive Kitteridge, redoubtable seventh-grade math teacher in Crosby, Maine. Anyone who gets in Olive’s way had better watch out, for she crashes unapologetically through life like an emotional storm trooper. She forces her husband, Henry, the town pharmacist, into tactical retreat; and she drives her beloved son, Christopher, across the country and into therapy. But appalling though Olive can be, Strout  manages to make her deeply human and even sympathetic, as are all of the characters in this “novel in stories.” Covering a period of 30-odd years, most of the stories (several of which were previously published in the New Yorker and other magazines) feature Olive as  their focus, but in some she is bit player or even a footnote while other characters take center stage to sort through their own fears and insecurities. Though loneliness and loss haunt these pages, Strout also supplies gentle humor and a nourishing dose of hope. People are sustained by the rhythms of ordinary life and the natural wonders of coastal Maine, and even Olive is sometimes caught off guard by life’s baffling beauty. Strout is also the author of the well-received Amy and Isabelle (1999) and Abide with Me (2006). –Mary Ellen Quinn

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Video – focus your communication

Better Communication – Focus your Communication

Focus your communication on the needs of the audience

Today’s must-read is an eco-thriller – Zodiac


by Neal Stephenson

Sangamon Taylor’s a New Age Sam Spade who sports a wet suit instead of a trench coat and prefers Jolt from the can to Scotch on the rocks. He knows about chemical sludge the way he knows about evil — all too intimately. And the toxic trail he follows leads to some high and foul places. Before long Taylor’s house is bombed, his every move followed, he’s adopted by reservation Indians, moves onto the FBI’s most wanted list, makes up with his girlfriend, and plays a starring role in the near-assassination of a presidential candidate. Closing the case with the aid of his burnout roomate, his tofu-eating comrades, three major networks, and a range of unconventional weaponry, Sangamon Taylor pulls off the most startling caper in Boston Harbor since the Tea Party. As he navigates this ecological thriller with hardboiled wit and the biggest outboard motor he can get his hands on, Taylor reveals himself as one of the last of the white-hatted good guys in a very toxic world.

You can buy Zodiac online…

Editorial: The Book Is Not Dead

Print is dead, nobody reads anymore, the web rules, blah, blah, blah…. The throngs packing the aisles at the recent BookExpo America prove that the book is not an endangered species and that, in fact, online tools and digital formats bring readers and writers together as never before. » » »

June Comics Bestsellers

Jeffy Kinney’s Wimpy Kid: Last Straw rules the roost but Stephen King’s Dark Tower: Treachery; IDW’s Star Trek: Countdown and Marvel Zombies 3 all make the Top Ten.
more » » »

Me Myself or I?

[From Judy Vorfield]

Me, Myself, or I?
Have you ever wondered if you should say, “Jason and myself…” or “Jason and I…”? Wonder no more! I have the answer.
“Myself” is a reflexive pronoun, a personal pronoun that relates (think “reflect”) the action of the verb back to the subject. Examples: I drove the car myself. (I-myself.) He drove by himself (he-himself). They went by themselves (they-themselves).
CLUE: When using “myself,” make sure there is an “I” earlier in the sentence.Example 1.INCORRECT: Nancy will travel with Todd and myself.EXPLANATION: Let’s remove “Todd and” from the sentence. Nancy will not travel with myself. “Myself” must be a reflection of “I,” and there’s no “I” in the sentence.CORRECT: Nancy will travel with Todd and me.
Example 2.INCORRECT: Mother and myself will go to the store.EXPLANATION: Let’s remove “Mother and.” Would you say, “Myself will go to the store”?CORRECT: Mother and I will go to the store.
Reflexive pronouns like “myself” can’t be the subject of a sentence. They’re generally used to emphasize something. “I’ll do it” isn’t as strong as “I’ll do it myself.” Sometimes reflexive pronouns are called “self”ish pronouns.
Additional Resources:
* Reflexive Pronouns* Professor Paul Brians: I/Me/Myself* The Tongue Untied

Rowling’s Originality Under Question Again

I don’t even want to think about the possibility that J.K. Rowling ripped off the work of another author in creating her beloved and top selling Harry Potter series of books. However, since everyone else is thinking about it, I don’t have to. Here are some of those links: The New York Times, Coventry Telegraph, E! Online, CBC, Sky News, Entertainment Weekly and The Daily Mail who go to the trouble of encapsulating the whole mess:



[From THIS is TRUE]

EDUSPEAK: Forget “compare and contrast”; schoolchildren now learn “text-to-text connections”. They don’t go to “home room” but rather “Achievement Time” or, in some schools, “Time to Care”. The temporary classroom is now a “learning cottage” rather than a “trailer”. Even the humble essay is gone, replaced by the “extended constructed response”.
“If teachers want to talk in those terms among themselves, they’re welcome to,” says Vocabulary Review publisher Hartwell Fiske. “But introducing children to them is criminal, dehumanizing.” Students agree. “It’s like renaming a prison ‘The Happy Fun Place’,” complains a Maryland senior. “Tests should be called tests. ‘Brief constructed response’; you just wonder why they don’t say ‘paragraph’.” (Washington Post) …It’s nice that kids still get to learn about George Orwell.