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What writers write when they 1) aren't writing, 2) are avoiding writing or 3) need a word count to convince their spouses they are writing.

Origami n' Stuff 4 Kids

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Two Hawaiian Monk Seals Murdered, a Third Found Dead...

When I created a poster for NOAA in 2007 commemorating the launch of the Hawaiian Monk Seal Recovery program, there were 1200 monk seals remaining. Now there are 900. And now this: two monk seals have been killed on Molokai, and activist Walter Ritte, a long-time community activist on Molokai, reveals that:

"The elders are saying that these monk seals are not Hawaiian. Our young people are calling these seals an invasive species brought in by government. The seals are now the easy targets of blame for the many ills of our depleting fisheries. We need to stand up for the truth: These seals are not only Hawaiian, but have been here longer than the Hawaiians."

In addition, Republican Representative Cynthia Thielan has taken a stand against protecting the species: http://www.civilbeat.com/articles/2011/12/05/14137-thielen-takes-stand-against-added-protections-for-hawaii-monk-seal/

Auwe, Thielan. I thought you were cool. No more. Once these creatures are gone, they are gone.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Holiday Book Signings at Barnes & Noble!

Drop by to say hello, or have your books autographed in time for the holidays.

Saturday, November 19, 3-4pm
Barnes & Noble, Kahala Mall
Book Signing, Illustrating and Original Artwork in support of ASSETS School Book Fair
Lynne Wikoff
Tammy Yee



Saturday, November 26, 11am-noon
Barnes & Noble, Kahala Mall
Meet and Greet Mutual Publishing's Authors and Illustrators:
Michael Koyama
Deb McGuire
Matthew Kaopio
Marsha Gibson
Lynne Wikoff
Tammy Yee





Friday, October 21, 2011

Not to be Missed: Fiction Workshop with Donna Jo Napoli

I took a workshop from Donna Jo, and she's stellar:



Fiction Workshop with Donna Jo Napoli
Friday and Saturday, December 9 and 10, 2011
 Donna Jo Napoli, multi-award-winning author of dozens of middle grade and YA novels and picture books (and a university professor of linguistics) will be back by popular demand for another great fiction-writing workshop. (See her website at www.donnajonapoli.com) The workshop will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, December 9 and 10; Friday’s location is Paki Hale (adjacent to Kapiolani Park) and Saturday’s location is the Aina Haina Library meeting room. Cost is $200 for members, $225 to nonmembers. Enrollment is limited, and the workshop is almost full. Preference to members. To sign up and/or for more information, please email Lynne at lwikoff@lava.net.

THE WORLD OF CHILDREN'S LITERATURE WITH AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR AND YOSEMITE NATURALIST MICHAEL ELSOHN ROSS

Passing it on...

THE WORLD OF CHILDREN'S LITERATURE WITH AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR AND YOSEMITE NATURALIST MICHAEL ELSOHN ROSS

UHM Outreach College Noncredit Workshop

Writing Your Children's Book
with Michael Elsohn Ross
Tuesday and Thursday, Nov 3 & Nov 8 • 6:00-9:00pm • UHM George Hall 214 • $65 • To register: 956-8400 or www.outreach.hawaii.edu/noncredit

"What impresses me years later is that I wrote a kids' book without knowing much about children's literature. Ignorance was bliss, because I wrote and illustrated free of the constraints of trying to fit a mold. I created with kids in mind..."-- Michael Elsohn Ross

Writing books for children is very different from other genres since the audiences are kids and the publishers, buyers, and librarians are adults. Michael Elsohn Ross, naturalist and award-winning author of over 40 books for children, offers this entertaining and informative class for anyone with a love of children's literature, and an interest in writing or illustrating books.

In his 2-day workshop, Ross explores the wide variety of styles and formats of current books, and shares some useful writing and publishing tools gleaned from his extensive experience in the field. Participants will have a chance to write and edit short pieces, as well as gain an overview of the publishing process.

Michael Elsohn Ross lives on a bluff overlooking the Merced River, right next to Yosemite National Park. Since 1975 he has worked as a naturalist in Yosemite where he continues to lead field classes for the Yosemite Association. He is the educational director of Yosemite Guides and teaches writing workshops at Cal State Fresno and other US Mainland colleges.

Ross' nature and science books include Sandbox Scientists, a guide to setting up science activities for 2-8-year-olds; Cycles, a series of books introducing young people to various cycles in nature and the environment; You're the Scientist books, providing a creative outlet for young experimenters; and The Happy Camper Handbook, a guide to help kids prepare for camping in the great outdoors. Picture books include Snug as a Bug, Baby Bear Isn't Hungry, and What's the Matter in Mr. Whisker's Room?  Turning from science to art, Ross wrote Nature Art with Chiura Obata, a biography of a Japanese-American artist who was interned during World War II and
a related title, Salvador Dali and the Surrealists: Their Lives and Ideals. Ross also added to the "World's Children" book series with Children of Northern Ireland and Children of Puerto Rico.

Visit the author's website at: http://www.bugauthor.com/


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

New ways to embarrass your child...ideas for fathers everywhere


This guy wins my vote for best dad, ever. From the Telegraph:

"It can be embarrassing when your parents wave you off to school, but you have to feel especially sorry for 15-year-old Rain Price, whose father insists on dressing in a different comical outfit every day. Dale Price has adopted 170 wacky costumes to see off the school bus as it passes the family home in American Fork, Utah."

View full slideshow here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/picturegalleries/howaboutthat/8559331/Father-waves-at-his-sons-school-bus-wearing-a-different-costume-every-day.html

It transforms, but can it save the world from Megatron?

Mind-blowing transforming, space-saving furniture from Italian designers--though I do wonder how durable they are. I'm just disappointed the Swiss Army didn't think of it first:

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Oregon Coast Children's Book Writers Workshop

Passing it along, from http://www.occbww.com/:

OREGON COAST CHILDREN'S BOOK WRITERS WORKSHOP, SUMMER 2011


This summer, July 11-15 we will proudly present the ninth Oregon Coast Children's Book Writers Workshop, www.occbww.com, in the exquisite Oregon coast town of Oceanside.  At this time the class is three-quarters full.  If you care to join us, probably it would be a good idea to sign up soon by using the registration form at the site.


The instructors for the workshop will include five established children's book authors (between them, specializing in YA and middle school novels, picture books, non-fiction, magazine pieces, and poetry), two children's book editors from major houses, and one children's book agent.  Summer Workshop 2011 promises to be our best yet because:


- The instructor-student ratio will be a maximum of one to seven
- Each day you will meet with an instructor for at least one comprehensive consultation
- You can have one-on-one informal meetings with instructors each day as well
- Every student who wishes can have an anonymous first page manuscript critique by all eight instructors in front of the class
- We will offer at least twelve instructional lectures on various aspects of writing and publishing
- There will be two evening presentations by instructors
- Out-of-class consultations with instructors are available
- There will be at least three guest lectures/writing workshops
- There will be two wonderful parties (quite appropriate for friends, partners, spouses, children)


If you are ambitious to publish a children's book (or simply adore children's books) this is the workshop for you.   It will allow you to connect directly with authors, editors, agents who are active in the children's book business. If you go to the website and look under Evaluations, you'll see that it's received extraordinarily high praise.


The course is available for graduate credit.


For complete information visit www.occbww.com


Marines lip dub Britney Spears' "Hold It Against Me"

However you feel about the situation in the Middle East, pray for our sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters. I love them all.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Physiology of a Broken Heart

"The course of true love never did run smooth."

~William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream

A recently published study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has confirmed what we, and legions of poets, playwrights and troubadours have known all along—that being dumped hurts. Hurts like your heart is being ripped out. Literally.

Researchers at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, studied 19 men and 21 women, all of whom had experienced an unwanted breakup within the past six months. Brain imaging (MRI) scans were used to map each subject's response during two painful tasks. In the Physical Pain Task, participants experienced the application of painful and non-painful heat to their left forearm. In the Social Rejection Task, participants first viewed a photo of a friend while recalling a positive experience. Next, they viewed a headshot of their ex-partner as they recalled being rejected. Through MRI scans, researchers demonstrated that rejection and physical pain stimulated shared regions of the brain.

And how, one might ask, could one volunteer for such a lively experiment?
"Participants were recruited via flyers posted...on Facebook and Craig's List. All participants were right-handed (recall the burning left forearm) and received $175 for their participation."
That must have been a hellova flyer.

All joking aside, the study furthers our understanding of how we process pain in the complex somatosensory cortex, with implications for the management of chronic pain. A. D. "Bud" Craig, principal investigator/director at the Atkinson Pain Research Laboratory, describes how pain is processed when we stub our toe:
"Sensory neurons flash a message to the spinal cord, spinal cord neurons relay the message to the brain, and the brain decides (a) damage has occurred, (b) it has been inflicted on the toe, and (c) something needs to be done (we start hobbling, raise the foot, utter an expletive). It may feel as if our toe is throbbing, but the experience is all contained within a mental projection of the condition of our toe within our brain."
Thus pain, as explained by Dr. Donald A. Ranney, is not a sensation, but a perception:
"This perception is real, whether or not harm has occurred or is occurring. Cognition is involved in the formulation of this perception. There are emotional consequences, and behavioral responses to the cognitive and emotional aspects of pain."

"Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence."

~Henry Louis Mencken
This perception of pain brings me back to love, for what condition is more prone to misperception? From heart to lips and ears to heart, we stumble in love—and this is where my science-loving mind deviates from the U-M study. Something lacks in comparing a scalded forearm to a broken heart. You don't pine for a forearm—your heart won't race, your breath won't quicken—and you don't plan your life and future around it. Certainly, you won't be grieving six months later over the minor discomfort you suffered for answering the university's Craig's List ad.

How does one explain the physical symptoms—the chest pain, palpitations and shortness of breath— of heartbreak? According to Robert Emery and Jim Coan, professors of psychology at the University of Virginia,
"Emotional pain involves the same brain regions as physical pain...the anterior cingulate cortex may respond by increasing the activity of the vagus nerve—the nerve that starts in the brain stem and connects to the neck, chest and abdomen. When the vagus nerve is overstimulated, it can cause pain and nausea."
This association of physical pain with emotional pain may be related to the survival of our species. Whether on the Pleistocene savannah or in New York City, we thrive in social groups, with friends and family to watch our backs. As Naomi Eisenberger at UCLA explains,
"The social attachment system is piggy-backed onto the physical pain system to make sure we stay connected to close others. Being wrenched from another or rejected by a group is painful, so we avoid it."
The problem arises when emotional pain persists. An inability or unwillingness to move through the stages of bereavement can progress to what neuroscientist Mary Frances O'Connor calls "complex grief":
"They experience a lot of bitterness and anger, that their future is senseless. They don't adapt with time as others do."
Like physical pain, emotional pain can lead to chronic, debilitating heartbreak.

"You say that love is nonsense.... I tell you it is no such thing. For weeks and months it is a steady physical pain, an ache about the heart, never leaving one, by night or by day; a long strain on one's nerves like toothache or rheumatism, not intolerable at any one instant, but exhausting by its steady drain on the strength."

~Henry Brooks Adams

©2011 Tammy Yee

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Southampton Writers Conference

I don't endorse workshops that I haven't personally attended, but I can attest from having participated in SCBWI conferences in LA and Hawaii, the Maui Writer's Conference (where I secured an agent), and the Big Sur Children's Writing Workshop, that these events can be energizing opportunities to learn from professionals and network.

Here's information I received about the upcoming Southampton Writers Conference, focusing on writing, playwriting, screenwriting and writing for children:

Be one of the 240 writers who visit our bucolic campus this summer to study with Pulitzer Prize, Guggenheim Fellowship, and National Book Award winners in poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, memoir, novel, personal essay, short story, playwriting, children’s literature, YA novel, screenwriting, and the musical book.  

12 to 1 student-faculty ratio
9 am to 9 pm emersion in workshops, electives, and evening events
5 and 11 day conferences
A thriving community of writers
Graduate credit available

Now in its 36th year, The Southampton Writers Conference is excited to announce its summer lineup:

Southampton Writers Conference - July 13-24, 2011
Creative Nonfiction with Matthew Klam
Fiction with Melissa Bank
Memoir with Roger Rosenblatt
Novel with Meg Wolitzer
Poetry with Billy Collins
Poetry with Mark Doty
Poetry with Julie Sheehan
Personal Essay with David Rakoff
Short Story with TBA

Southampton Playwriting Conference - July 6-10, 2011/ July 13-24 2011
Session I: July 6-10 (5 days) Playwriting with Adam Bock
Session I: July 6-10 (5 days) Playwriting with Leslie Ayvazian
Session II: July 13-24 (11 days) Musical Book with Marsha Norman
Session II: July 13-24 (11 days) Playwriting with Emily Mann
Session II: July 13-24 (11 days) Playwriting with Jon Robin Baitz

Southampton Screenwriting Conference - July 6-10, 2011
How to Write Stronger Scenes with Andrew Bienen
Structuring Your Screenplay with Christina Lazaridi
Finding Your Story with Frank Pugliese
Breaking The Back of Your Story with Paula Brancato
TBA with Stephen Molton

Southampton Children’s Literature Conference - July 6-10, 2011
You Don't Have to Choose: Lessons Learned While Balancing Playful Picture Books with Rigorous Research with Chris Barton
Hearing Voices: Writing YA Fiction with Patricia McCormick
The Write Stuff: Nonfiction and Historical Fiction with Andrea Davis Pinkney
How to Extract a Fable: Writing with Message and Mission with Peter H. Reynolds
All in the Telling: Writing the Middle Grade Novel with Tor Seidler

Visit www.stonybrook.edu/writers for more information, author bios and applications

Friday, March 11, 2011

Tsunami hits Kona Coast, Big Island of Hawaii

This is Ali'i Drive, the waterfront tourist center of Kona. Waves flooded the lobby of the King Kamehameha Hotel. The basement of Hulihe'e Palace is flooded, and damage to the first floor and its many artifacts is not known. Seven houses suffered extensive damage in Napoopoo near Kealakekua Bay, including one house which was washed out to sea.

Mahalo to our excellent Pacific Tsunami Warning Center for evacuating inundation zones.

Unbelievable footage from Ali'i Drive:




Check out triathlon.competitor.com for more photos (by Joel Noa) of Kona Coast damage:

This is the small bay/lagoon near the King Kamehameha hotel...normally there's a wide crescent of white sand curving from the hale (thatched house) to the wall at left. My boys kayaked and built sand castles in the sheltered cove.

Friday, February 11, 2011

SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators) Conference in Hawaii

2011 SCBWI-Hawaii Conference Preview



Reka Simonsen, executive editor at Houghton Children’s Books
Author John Ritter
Illustrator Michael Furuya

Our 2011 conference is set for Saturday, February 19, at the Ala Moana Hotel, Ilima Room, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Featured guests will be Reka Simonsen, executive editor at Houghton Children’s Books, author John Ritter, and illustrator Michael Furuya. Plan to come and “be with your people” at this inspiring annual event!

In addition, John Ritter will lead an optional fiction workshop, “How to Give your Stories Depth, Interest and Intrigue,” for conference attendees the day before the conference, Friday, February 18, at Paki Hale from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., followed by lunch and schmooze until 2:30 p.m.
We have emailed complete information recently, and it is also available at the link below, but here are some of the highlights.

For all:
  • “A Primer on Queries and Synopses and Postcards” with Reka Simonsen.
  • “How to Make Your Website Work for You (even if you don’t have one yet)” panel discussion with John Ritter, Tammy Yee, Sue Wyshynski and Elizabeth Oh.
  • first-pages/first look session with Reka Simonsen, John Ritter and Michael Furuya.
  • optional manuscript and portfolio critiques.
Especially for writers:
  • session with acclaimed novelist John Ritter (www.johnhritter.com ) “Is Your Issue Showing?: how to explore cultural or political themes in our books without sacrificing story”
  • optional fiction workshop with John Ritter (for novelists and picture book writers)
Especially for illustrators:
  • “From page to Stage and Beyond,” session with children’s book illustrator and ‘Ohi‘a Productions co-founder Michael Furuya.
Costs and Deadlines:
The cost of the February 19th conference (including lunch) is $90 for members, or $120 for nonmembers, with additional fees for optional manuscript, dummy, or portfolio critiques.

The cost of the optional February 18th fiction workshop with John Ritter is $60 for members and $85 for nonmembers (space available); optional lunch is an additional $15.  Please note: you must be registered for the conference to attend the workshop.

Postmark deadline to register for the conference with manuscript critique is January 18, 2011. You must send your manuscript(s) in with your registration and fee(s).
Deadline to register for the conference and fiction workshop is February 11, 2011.
Deadline to register for the conference alone or with portfolio critique is February11, 2011.

2011 SCBWI-Hawaii Conference Information and Registration



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