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Tips for parents: To post or not to post?

AP Business News - Tue, 08/19/2014 - 7:07am
Tips for parents: To post or not to post? Associated Press - 19 August 2014 15:07-04:00 News Topics: Business, General news, Lifestyle, Technology, Parenting, Relationships, Social media, Online media, Media Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Tens of thousands march on Pakistan's parliament

AP Top news - Tue, 08/19/2014 - 7:02am
Tens of thousands march on Pakistan's parliament Associated Press - 19 August 2014 15:02-04:00 News Topics: General news, Protests and demonstrations, Political resignations, War and unrest, Government and politics, Legislature, Political and civil unrest People, Places and Companies: Nawaz Sharif, Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan, Islamabad, South Asia Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Deb: One Author's Publishing Success - An Interview with Autumn Dawn

49 Writers - Tue, 08/19/2014 - 7:00am
Author Autumn Dawn, a former student from North Pole High School.Like many writers, I was a teacher first. Following a news article on my latest novel, I received an inspiring email from a former student, now a fellow author who writes under the name Autumn Dawn.
I wanted to thank you again for teaching my North Pole High School class,” she said. “I’ve made good use of it. It makes me emotional thinking about what I would have done without teachers like you. So many stories would have gone untold, and I have over twenty works published now. Two were published in NY, two are with Amazon’s publishing arm and the rest are self-published.”
As teachers all over the country prepare to start a new year, I hope they’ll find encouragement in this example of what a difference they’ll make in the lives of their students. Not every one of them will find the success Autumn has, or take the time to acknowledge how you’ve helped them along the way, but your creative efforts in the classroom do have an impact.
After reconnecting, Autumn and I thought it would be fun to swap interviews; you’ll find her interview with me on her blog.
You pointed out that the two of us had something in common: school counselors/academic advisers told us that we’d never make a living as writers. How did you get past that?
I’m stubborn and competitive, and I like a challenge. Writing made me happy, and the stories didn’t stop just because someone disapproved. For the record, I was almost forty before my parents saw any sense in it. My father admitted he thought I was wasting my time with writing, which I knew, but at least he didn’t say it out loud.
Also, my husband and high school sweetheart, John, is extremely supportive. We’ve been married since 1994 and every day is a blessing.
You’ve not only made a living as a writing, you’ve also earned a six-figure annual income from your books. Tell us a little about that journey, and what the money does and doesn’t mean to you as a creative individual.
It was a huge validation, of course. Someone wanted to read my books! We’d just moved to Washington and I hoped to make some money to help with groceries, and suddenly my sales numbers shot up! We watched in amazement, and all the guys at John’s work were cheering like it was a sports event as John shared the latest stats. I could say “HA!” to all all the doubters.
As for the money, I had to find a good accountant to help with that. We did our best to be practical, opened a Roth, bought our first new car ever and paid it off quickly. I also got some professional book covers and editing, which were a huge part of my success. It paid for plane tickets to see family in Alaska, things like that. I’m a practical girl, and did my best to bring value to our lives. 
You’ve managed to write twenty books while raising three active children. What advice do you have for other moms who write?
A book is a good place to hide when the toddlers are running rampant. Invest in a set of headphones and place the computer so you can see the kids but not the TV. Also, I’m not a soccer mom. We keep things simple and relaxed here without a lot of running around. I simply don’t have the temperament for it. Sports are fine and every kid should learn to swim, but there should be balance. We eat dinner together every night and the house is clean. We talk about our day and if one of the kids is having a problem, I notice and we talk about it. I can’t do that if everyone is running full tilt at all times, and I can’t write if I’m stressed.
Honestly, housekeeping, cooking and dealing with teens is a big job, so I have to stay organized if I want to write. And sometimes, John cooks.
You said, “I didn’t know until I was an adult that I was a gifted person, but writing was always an outlet for a kid that wasn’t quite in sync with the others.” What encouragement do you have for other kids who aren’t “quite in sync” with the rest?
Skip childhood. Kidding! Best case scenario, I’d love to see gifted kids discovered in school and given the help they need. To my school’s credit, I believe they tried. I actually needed counseling as an adult, and once I suspected I was gifted, I devoured books on it and haunted websites. I read things and think, what? That’s unusual? I could do that, why didn’t someone tell me? My mother said I was a weird kid, and she hated to see me “waste all my time reading”. Little did she know I was preparing for my future job.
If your kid gets a 99% verbal on the PSAT, she’s probably gifted. It won’t matter if she doesn’t know how to sew. You should discuss college or a good tech school, however.
I didn’t realize it was odd to carry books from the library stacked to my chin. I finally learned to drive at seventeen so I could spend time in the bookstore. I didn’t know how to talk to kids my age, and later Mom told me that they wanted to skip me ahead a grade. She refused that and the gifted program because she didn’t want me to feel “pressured.” ARRRGH! I wondered what happened to my friends; they seemed to all disappear from my classes in middle school, and now I know they were in the gifted program.
I saw some of them again in the AP and honor classes, but by then I hated school. High school was a prison sentence and I wanted out. Being an adult was much better.
I don’t regret not attending college. If I want to learn something, I pick up a book and read. While you can’t learn to dance that way, it’s great for teaching yourself website design, Photoshop, computer stuff and gourmet baking. We tell our kids that apprenticeships, tech school and the military are excellent ways to get an education that won’t put you in debt for years, but never stop learning, and never give up. You were custom made for a job, and if it doesn’t exist yet, create it! 
You’re incredibly imaginative and prolific. How have readers discovered you and your books? After twenty books, do you find you still have to work to promote your new titles, or do your fans find them?
Thank you. I’ve always enjoyed creating worlds no one else has dreamed of, and I’m very careful not to repeat myself. I like to keep things fresh, and my readers appreciate that.
I post new books on my site, blog and Facebook. That’s it. I should have a mailing list, but I don’t. I find that frequent releases are the best way to generate sales, and I usually have at least one ebook free. I think happy readers are the best word of mouth.
Autumn is a professional writer and stay at home mom with three kids, a dog and an active imagination. She’s married to her high school sweetheart, John, who is known to bring her flowers "just because.” After 34 years in Alaska, she moved to Washington with her family to enjoy a state with actual seasons. She started self-publishing in 2010 after a string of rejections that read, “We love your writing, but we’re not sure how to market it.” She published on Smashwords, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble, which lead to a number of bestsellers. After The Charmer hit #1 on Barnes & Noble for fantasy romance, she threw herself into editing and uploading her backlist.
Her income for 2011 was $100,000, far exceeding her best year with traditional publishing. In 2012, Amazon acquired Dorchester Books, which had picked up two of her books, and Autumn gave Amazon the rights to publish When Sparks Fly and No Words Alone (from the Sparks Series), believing that diversification is good business. While Autumn is grateful for the opportunities traditional publishing provided, she remains passionate about self-publishing. 


Categories: Arts & Culture

'Canadian Idol' contestant acquitted on terrorism

AP Entertainment News - Tue, 08/19/2014 - 6:55am
'Canadian Idol' contestant acquitted on terrorism Associated Press - 19 August 2014 14:55-04:00 News Topics: Arts and entertainment, General news, Television programs, Entertainment, Legal proceedings, Court decisions, Terrorism, Crime, Acquittals, Law and order, War and unrest People, Places and Companies: Michael Edelson, Avril Lavigne, Ontario, Canada, Ottawa, Montreal Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Stocks rise as US home construction rebounds

AP Business News - Tue, 08/19/2014 - 6:55am
Stocks rise as US home construction rebounds Associated Press - 19 August 2014 14:55-04:00 News Topics: Business, General news, Sales figures, Stock prices, Consumer prices, Earnings estimates, Currency markets, U.S. dollar, Residential construction, Corporate management, Stock indices and averages, Inflation, Economy, Stock markets, Financial performance, Corporate news, Leading economic indicators, Prices, Earnings, Financial markets, Building construction, Construction and engineering, Industrial products and services, Industries, Personnel, Euro People, Places and Companies: Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, United States Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Islanders announce sale of minority stake of club

AP Business News - Tue, 08/19/2014 - 6:46am
Islanders announce sale of minority stake of club Associated Press - 19 August 2014 14:46-04:00 News Topics: Business, General news, Sports, Sports team and league operation, Sports team ownership changes, NHL hockey, Sports industry, Media and entertainment industry, Industries, Sports business, Professional hockey, Hockey, Men's hockey, Men's sports People, Places and Companies: Charles Wang, Brooklyn, New York, New York City Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Former CEO Ballmer steps down from Microsoft board

AP Technology News - Tue, 08/19/2014 - 6:43am
Former CEO Ballmer steps down from Microsoft board Associated Press - 19 August 2014 14:43-04:00 News Topics: Business, General news, Technology, Executive changes, Corporate management, Corporate news, Personnel People, Places and Companies: Steve Ballmer Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Ukrainian forces press attacks on rebel-held areas

AP Top news - Tue, 08/19/2014 - 6:43am
Ukrainian forces press attacks on rebel-held areas Associated Press - 19 August 2014 14:43-04:00 News Topics: General news, Rebellions and uprisings, War casualties, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crash, War and unrest, Humanitarian crises, Diplomacy, Government and politics, International relations, Events People, Places and Companies: Petro Poroshenko, Angela Merkel, Vladimir Putin, Ukraine, Crimea, Kiev, Moscow, Russia, Donetsk, Belarus, Europe, Germany, Malaysia Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Former CEO Ballmer steps down from Microsoft board

AP Business News - Tue, 08/19/2014 - 6:43am
Former CEO Ballmer steps down from Microsoft board Associated Press - 19 August 2014 14:43-04:00 News Topics: Business, General news, Technology, Executive changes, Corporate management, Corporate news, Personnel People, Places and Companies: Steve Ballmer Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Somalia TV sales grow as many avoid public places

AP Entertainment News - Tue, 08/19/2014 - 6:28am
Somalia TV sales grow as many avoid public places Associated Press - 19 August 2014 14:28-04:00 News Topics: Business, Arts and entertainment, General news, Television programs, Entertainment, Satellite television, Militant groups, New products and services, War and unrest, Television, Media, Products and services, Corporate news People, Places and Companies: Somalia, Mogadishu Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Somalia TV sales grow as many avoid public places

AP Business News - Tue, 08/19/2014 - 6:28am
Somalia TV sales grow as many avoid public places Associated Press - 19 August 2014 14:28-04:00 News Topics: Business, Arts and entertainment, General news, Television programs, Entertainment, Satellite television, Militant groups, New products and services, War and unrest, Television, Media, Products and services, Corporate news People, Places and Companies: Somalia, Mogadishu Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

News Guide: Primary election highlights

AP Politics - Tue, 08/19/2014 - 6:14am
Strong DOJ response to Ferguson seeks truth, calm Associated Press - 18 August 2014 21:15-04:00 News Topics: General news, Criminal investigations, Shootings, Race and ethnicity, African-Americans, Racial and ethnic discrimination, Violent crime, Crime, Human rights and civil liberties, Assassination of John F. Kennedy, Police, Government and politics, Law and order, Social issues, Social affairs, Discrimination, Events, Law enforcement agencies, Assassinations People, Places and Companies: Michael Brown, Jay Nixon, Eric Holder, Barack Obama, Alberto Gonzales, George W. Bush, Valerie Jarrett, Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman, Missouri, District of Columbia Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

News Guide: Primary election highlights

AP Alaska News - Tue, 08/19/2014 - 6:14am
News Guide: Primary election highlights Associated Press - 19 August 2014 14:14-04:00 News Topics: Government and politics, Elections, Primary elections, State legislature, State governments, State taxes, State elections, Legislature, Cabinet appointments and nominations, Senate elections, Government taxation and revenue, Government finance, Government business and finance, Business, Cabinets, Government appointments and nominations People, Places and Companies: Mark Begich, Joe Miller, Sean Parnell, Sarah Palin, Mike Enzi, Liz Cheney, Richard Cheney, Matt Mead, Cynthia Lummis, Jan Brewer, Charlie Crist, Rick Scott, United States, Alaska, Wyoming, Arizona, Florida Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

News Guide: Primary election highlights

AP US News - Tue, 08/19/2014 - 6:14am
News Guide: Primary election highlights Associated Press - 19 August 2014 14:14-04:00 News Topics: Government and politics, Elections, Primary elections, State legislature, State governments, State taxes, State elections, Legislature, Cabinet appointments and nominations, Senate elections, Government taxation and revenue, Government finance, Government business and finance, Business, Cabinets, Government appointments and nominations People, Places and Companies: Mark Begich, Joe Miller, Sean Parnell, Sarah Palin, Mike Enzi, Liz Cheney, Richard Cheney, Matt Mead, Cynthia Lummis, Jan Brewer, Charlie Crist, Rick Scott, United States, Alaska, Wyoming, Arizona, Florida Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Alaska Shorts: A Last Walk in the Woods, by Dan Walker

49 Writers - Mon, 08/18/2014 - 7:00am

The consensus among people I know is that we wait too long before we finally put our sick, old pets to sleep.  That was on my mind when I finally decided to put my old dog Nelson down.  I saw that his mind was more confused than ever, and as he paced around the yard overlooking the lake, I knew he had reached a point from which he couldn't return.  We had already decided that this was the place he should end his days, had been preparing ourselves for a year.   Now, it seemed the time had come.  After a final family conference, I walked him up away from the cabin and the lake, away from Madelyn shut in the cabin with radio turned up, and away from the trail that lead back to the car. 
The rain-soaked tall grass wet us quickly as we pushed through the devil’s club and wild raspberries that clutch at us with their tiny claws.  Sometime the leash would catch on a stalk of devil’s club or Nelson would go the wrong way around, so I would stop untangle us then move on forward, following the moose trails through the alder and birch forest.   Nelson came along willingly as always, and I didn’t need the leash, but I didn’t want to have to chase him down if he wondered off or decided to go back to the cabin and the dry straw bed beneath it that he refused to use.  He so hated the rain and this would not have been his choice for a walk, but he was followed me willingly with confusion thick in the big black soul of his eyes. 
I wanted to find a good spot away from the cabin and wanted a hole I could roll him into and cover with logs and leaves without digging something to scar the wild dense forest floor with my grief, so I carried the axe instead of the shovel.  Then I found a downed birch that had fallen away from another tree, lifting and pulling it’s rots so the standing tree had bit of a cave beneath it, a den there under the arch of the roots big as a dog, and dry too.
That’s where I made my stand, talking soft words to those big black eyes, and crying a bit as I gave him half a slice of ham and then the rest of it and while his head was down I felt a great surge of motion and I put the gun to his head real quick like I was in a rush and the body lurched with the shot behind the ear then I fired five or four more time times fast and muffled against the wet white hide.  The body thrashed and twitched then was limp.  I moved with planned efficiency of a criminal, lifting the limp carcass by the feet -- two in each hand-- and slid my old friend down into the dry dark den where he lay down out of the rain in the loamy odor of forest earth surrounded by the birch roots and me looking down with my share of guilt then saying something like,   “Here you go, get out of the rain, old boy.”    I knew it was a good place where maybe the bears wouldn’t do the work of digging him out or the wolverines.  I took the axe to some alders and laid them over the dog and hacked up some root from the fallen tree and layered that over the opening with chunks of birch branch and more alder to fill in the holes until there was bower of green alder dripping its rain leadened leaves on me.  I was wet all through by now even under my raincoat because I had left my hood down and the zipper open so only my shoulders and back were covered, really.  The woods were wet all around me except in that den under the roots with that crazy old dog white dog that hated the rain, and I wondered if I should bring in some fresh moose shit I had seen on the way up to cover the blood place where he died, but the rain was already washing it. 
I picked up my 22 rifle and the axe, noticing then those shaking hands trembling in the evening wet woods where I was leaving a dog who had given me ten good years and more.  I walked back to the cabin and stood in the downpour before the lake by the porch thinking how right my son-in-law was when he said, “Every good dog deserves a last walk in the woods.” 
Dan Walker is a homesteaders’ son who grew up to become a teacher and a writer in Seward.  He has published essays, professional articles, and fiction in magazines and literary journals such as the Journal of Geography and the old We Alaskans. Now, when he is not training writing teachers, he is working on two book length projects, a memoir and an autobiographical fiction.  Dan is the 2014 winner of first prize for fiction in the Alaska Daily News/UAA Writing contest. 
Would you like to see your work published here? Check out our Alaska Shorts guidelines and submit today!


Categories: Arts & Culture

Found

What Turtle Blood Tastes Like - Sun, 08/17/2014 - 8:28pm
Found this found poem at twitter where i rarely roam as the shack_poet. Thanks Emily Wall for the prompt. knife found in muskeg, peat, rust browned blade fashions paper lantern into wings my departure under their power requires no jumper cablesFiled under: community, energy, experiments, Poetry, Storytelling, Writing
Categories: Arts & Culture

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