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This is the longest debate about reviews for authors.  Some people on Goodreads, or other sites where you can leave reviews of books, do not understand we are reviewing a book and not the author.  Author’s should not let these reviews feel like a personal attack. But how do you not?  Read more in the article below.

 

How Many Times Do I Have to Say This? Reviews Are for Readers, Not Authors | Mike Mullin.

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So I usually don’t write about what I am doing besides writing and reading.  I blog about what I read.  Or I blog about the latest piece I’m working on.  But I hardly ever talk about what I am learning.  I just finished a class on Astronomy.  It was elementary astronomy in my last semester of college.

I have always loved astronomy.  I have studied the stars, moon and other constellations ever since I was small.  Late at night my family and I would watch meteoroid showers shoot across the sky.  A shooting star is something I constantly wish upon.  How can anyone not be amazed by the heavenly sight we see at night?

sun 092614 2

A solar flare erupting.

 

 

 

I follow astronaut Reid on his Twitter page along with NASA on their Google+ and Twitter page.  How interesting it is to see the solar flares that shoot from the sun everyday of the week, or see pictures of the Earth as colors of fall change the face of the planet?  We can view photos of other stars colliding with each other.  And now we know a black hole sits in the center of our galaxy.  Our limited grasp of knowledge on the universe is like a grain of sand compared to how huge the universe really is.

Now compare this bit of information I have learned to the science fiction books I have read. When I finished reading the “Maze Runner” series, by James Dashner, I knew he must have researched the effects of CME’s or solar flares on Earth.  Most science fiction writers, who are smart enough, will do their research and make sure they are not making up a fantasy world.  It must be a plausible idea.  Whether a solar flare causes the equator to dry up like a desert or lightening storms cause massive damage, each idea must have a working theory.  Just like the idea of bug aliens who come to destroy us like in “Ender’s Game” by Orson Scott Card.   Each idea must stem from a piece of truth.

Truth #1 There is a possibility we are not alone in the universe.  Take SETI and their mission of finding life in space.  Research them on your own at www.seti.org

Truth #2  A solar flare can cause a communication black out on Earth.  Look at history and see what they say about 1859 and CME’s.  Also check out what a solar flare can do to you if you are on a plane when it hits Earth. http://science.howstuffworks.com/solar-flare-electronics2.htm 

Truth #3  A black hole exists at the center of our galaxy.  Astronomers can show proof that stars near the center of the Milky Way speed up at a central location.   https://www.nsf.gov/about/history/nsf0050/astronomy/milkyway.htm

The proof is in the pudding.  We have brilliant astronomers who have theories that they must prove right.  Can anyone argue with them?  I wouldn’t.  A theory refers to a framework of ideas and assumptions that must be continually tested.

I love astronomy and now I know a little bit more about the subject.  Never stop learning and reading.  Because if one day you decide to write a science fiction book about the sun imploding and turning into a black hole then you will need to go back to the drawing board and learn more about the sun.  There are 12 stages of a star, and we are in stage 7 of the main sequence.  If the sun reaches stage 12 (becoming a planetary nebula) then it has passed the stage of red giant and 100 million years has gone by.  All life had been destroyed when the Sun’s core heated up and expanded.  We would have died in stages 8 and 9.

October in North America means the Orionid meteor shower.  Don’t miss it.  Take out that dusty telescope and start searching the night sky for a spectacular light show.

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Jessica Wilson’s Reviews > Happenstance Found

Happenstance Found by P.W. Catanese
Happenstance Found (The Books of Umber, #1) 
by P.W. Catanese (Goodreads Author)

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Jessica Wilson‘s review

Jul 05, 14  ·  edit

bookshelves: favorites

Read from July 04 to 05, 2014

 

Wow! I have been searching for something like this for a long time (maybe years). This was a wonderful surprising cleverly written story that takes you on a journey to a world you never want to leave. I loved the main character Happenstance and all the mysteries surrounding him. Lord Umber is a character you root for and hope to see in the next installments as someone who will surprise you with more hidden bits of wisdom. Catanese is a great writer and has the ability to capture your attention with just a few lines. I am hooked and I am seriously going to invest in purchasing the series.
1 like ·  fla

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1468803_10151725873696533_2066499872_nIf you haven’t read “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Publishing Children’s Books” then stop reading now.  I read it and somewhat loved it.  The no-nonsense way of telling writers who they can query and who would give a flip is awesome.  I always thought that companies like Scholastic would be open to new authors.  Well they are not.  Even though they might look at your work, they are really closed to new work.  Theses companies want to publish only the authors they have had for years.  The same authors and the same series.  It is their bread and butter.  Sure J.K. Rowling was a new name over ten years ago and sure Scholastic picked her books up.  But does that mean you have the next “Harry Potter” series?  I am pretty sure it’s a “no”.

So the book breaks down what is trade, mass market and independent publishing.  It also breaks down what an agent does and doesn’t do.  Some of the things is pretty standard stuff.  But reading it I thought I would find a golden nugget instead I found flakes of gold through out it.  This is a good thing.  After reading this book you will see that you do have to have connections and everyone in the publishing industry are human and want to be treated as such.  Common sense, right?  Well it should be, but for some writers I know, they tend to think they should do something to stand out in the slush pile.  Big mistakes are made and bridges burnt.  Instead try to learn who is working where and see how great the company is doing.  Is the company getting bought out or the agency closing down?  Is an agent retiring or focusing on their own career?  I looked up an agent once.  I Googled him, facebooked him, and even read his Tweets.  He sounded really good and seemed to be the right fit for me and my work.  Well what I didn’t know until after I queried him was that he just wrote a book.  He asked for my manuscript but was more interested in how his new baby was doing in the market.  Researching agents is tricky because sometimes they are focused on things you don’t know about until they make an announcement.

Publisher’s doors are closed and special invitations are needed to attend the party.  Trying to get in the “in-crowd” is about as difficult as pulling your own wisdom teeth out.  So for all the pain, worry, work, and research you do on your own sometimes it might be best to read a book, like the one I am suggesting above, to give you a clue about what to do next.  This book tells you to join a writing group (I’ve done that), to find writing critique groups (done that too) and to read (done) and write (done) until you have perfected your craft before you query (sigh*).

Well read the book and then tell me what you learned from it.  I’d love to see new advice.

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A great post I stumbled upon today:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/harpercollins/10-life-lessons-from-oscar-wilde-9npd

 

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Jessica Wilson’s Reviews

 > The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

 

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
by Mark TwainGeorge Eliot (Afterword)

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Jessica Wilson‘s review

Mar 01, 14  ·  edit
Read from February 21 to March 01, 2014
A great adventure after another. Huck surprises you with his willingness of lying to protect a friend. The bonds of friendship as surpassed with Huck and Jim. In the end this classic novel is a part of history and culture that defines us as a country and of the type of people we are.

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Libraries seem to be an institute that was going the way of the dinosaur.  But now they have e-books for their members to borrow.  This has to be the saving grace that keeps them in  business by keeping with the times.  For those who do not use the library then how do you read without breaking the bank?  I must read more than twenty books in six months.  By the end of the year I am getting close to fifty books read.

The downfall of e-books from the library is the small amount of selection of books.  They do not have all the books on your list you are wanting to check out.  So now what?  You could wait and see if they can order it for you.  Or if you can’t wait, then buy the e-book through Amazon or Nook, whichever one is your preference.

A lot of companies will be disappearing by the end of 2014.  Those that made the list are: JC Penny and Barnes and Nobles Nook ( http://247wallst.com/special-report/2013/05/23/ten-brands-that-will-disappear-in-2014/2/ ).  It is daunting to see some of the companies go but we have seen them struggle for too long.

If you know of another business on it’s last leg share it here.  There have been many publishing companies merging with other companies but this seems to make good bedfellows.  No big publishing companies are even hinting of shutting their doors.  Thank goodness!

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