Wordnik Word of the Day for September 01, 2014
To take pains; labor assiduously with little progress.
This word can sometimes describe how certain blocked writers feel. It's a pungle out there.
Many Secret Readers wear the foolscap - because they are jesters. NOT slow or lazy! Well ... Mostly because we are jesters.
Here is an interview with The Impostor ... Possibly. Either way, Thanks to Macy and Zoe for bringing this to our attention.
Pseudonymous Bosch is the anonymous pseudonymous author of the Secret Series. Not much is known about him other than that he has a passionate love of chocolate and cheese and an equally passionate hatred of mayonnaise. Rumors of Boschian sightings are just as frequent and about as reliable as reports of alien abductions. We might have possibly had a chance to see him at the ALA conference in Las Vegas – but we are not sure.
MACI & ZOE:
Do you read books on an electronic device or a real book?
OH, ALWAYS A REAL BOOK. I AUTOMATICALLY ASSUME ALL ELECTRONIC DEVICES ARE BUGGED.
MACI & ZOE:
How did you get started writing?
JUST NOW? I OPENED UP MY COMPUTER AND…OOPS! THIS IS AN ELECTRONIC DEVICE, ISN’T IT? SHOULD I STOP ANSWERING YOUR QUESTIONS?
MACI & ZOE:
Do you read during meals, if so a book, newspaper or other?
YES, I READ DURING MEALS. I FIND MENUS VERY FASCINATING.
MACI & ZOE:
What is your favorite dessert, other then chocolate?
ANYTHING WITH CHOCOLATE ON TOP, BELOW, OR INSIDE…
MACI & ZOE:
What’s you favorite bookstore?
ONCE UPON A TIME IN MONTROSE, CALIFORNIA. THE OLDEST CHILDREN’S BOOKSTORE IN THE COUNTRY. ALSO ONE OF THE CLOSEST BOOKSTORES TO WHERE I…DON’T LIVE…AND NEVER HAVE LIVED. IN FACT, FORGET I EVER MENTIONED ONCE UPON A TIME. BUT IF YOU HAPPEN TO BE IN THE AREA, THEY WILL BE HOSTING A RELEASE PARTY FOR BAD MAGIC ON SEPTEMBER 16TH.
MACI & ZOE:
What do you use as a bookmark?
USUALLY A FINGER. SOMETIMES MY TEETH.
MACI & ZOE:
Is there a special procedure that you do when you write (eat chocolate)?
IT’S TOP SECRET BUT YOU’RE RIGHT IN THINKING IT INVOLVES EATING CHOCOLATE.
MACI & ZOE:
Is there anything else that you would like to add?
NO. OK. HOW ABOUT, THANK YOU FOR THE EXCELLENT QUESTIONS. I HOPE I HAVE SUCCESSFULLY AVOIDED ANSWERING THEM.
We have no idea how or when this happened - but apparently on July 15 The Impostor gave an interview to Publishers Weekly. Here's what they said about it, and just click on the photo to go to their page and listen - IF YOU DARE. Personally we think you should steer clear of this. Who knows what the Impostor said over the course of these 20 minutes. I'm certain it's all too revealing, but I can't bear to listen myself. Maybe after lunch. Here's what they said:
The pseudonymous Pseudonymous Bosch talks with PW KidsCast about his new book, ‘Bad Magic,’ as well as deserted islands in literature and TV, staying one step ahead of his “enemies,” and the possibility of writing books under (gasp) his given name.
John Sellers - FOR SHAME!!! You're on our list.
Clay is a go along to get along kind of guy. Almost thirteen, he is a fairly typical adolescent; he likes to skateboard, wears hoodies, and has a sustained interest in graffiti style art. Not that he would ever do something illegal, like tag a building, but he does like to practice and the walls of his room are covered in his art work. So, it comes as a great shock to him to walk into school and find one of his 'pieces' written distinctly on the wall (MAGIC SUCKS!), and signed with his name.
Understandably, the school believes that Clay has defaced their property and makes 'a punishment' a condition of his return to school for the following year. They allow Clay's parents to decide what form that punishment will take. In essence, this means that Clay gets to decide.
Wait, let's back up a little... You see, both of Clay's parents are psychologists. Clay has a much older brother, Max-Ernest, whom his parents believe they parented too actively. So, when Clay is born 12 years later, they decide to go completely hands-off. So Clay is raised mostly by Max-Ernest...until he disappears. Now Clay is essentially raising himself. Which leads to the explanation for MAGIC SUCKS! being a piece of Clay's work. Max-Ernest's abiding passion was magic tricks, and he taught Clay many of them. When Max-Ernest leaves the family with virtually no explanation, Clay needs a focus for his anger and resentment - he chooses magic.
Clay's parents, for once, decide to choose 'a consequence' for him, and send him to Earth Ranch, which is advertised as a camp designed to help "children outgrow problem behaviors and reach their full potential." After reading the brochure, helpfully provided by the teacher that believes Clay tagged the school wall, he declares that it is "Alcatraz... on a volcano... with llamas!" He's not wrong. This is where most of the action of the book takes place.
What happens at camp, and indeed most of the book, is based loosely on William Shakespeare's play The Tempest. Being only vaguely aware of it myself, I can confidently say that lack of knowledge of Shakespeare, or The Tempest, will not impede young readers in their enjoyment of this novel.
This highly entertaining read reminded me of two things - Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events books, and Louis Sachar's book Holes. Narrated in third person omniscient, and often directly addressing the reader, it is somewhat similar in style and tone to the SUE. The whole 'weird camp that you don't understand where their is something else going on' thing is also a major component. Although, thankfully, the adults involved are all sympathetic to the protagonist. I really enjoy books that manage to pull this type of story off without making an adult evil. Not that it doesn't fully convey the adolescent sense of misunderstanding of adult motives and lack of personal agency. It has that in spades.
I highly recommend this engaging read to anyone serving Middle Grades students. It is scheduled to be available for purchase this September from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (ISBN 9780316320382).
Maci & Zoe read books says:
When I first learned that this book was coming out and it was from Pseudonymous Bosch I knew that it had to be good, and it was. Even though it is not related to the secret series, it makes some really cool references to it. This book is about Clay, his parents think that it is best to let him parent himself thinking that they over parented Clay’s older brother Max-Ernest. When Clay gets in trouble for supposedly graffitiing the school wall his parents for once decided to punish him for it by sending him to a camp for troubled kids. While Clay is wary of this camp, his parents are perfectly happy sending him there. At this camp Clay has to learn how to care for a pet llama and starts to think that there is more then meets the eye to the camp. This book always has you guessing even when you think that you have figured it out and it is captivating from the very beginning. The ending of the book is satisfying but leaves it open for the next one. If you liked the Secret Series by Pseudonymous Bosch or Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket, then you will like this.
Thanks again for these early first reviews!
We're not sure exactly where Agent ML got this picture from. Is the book entering our dimension?
Flying away through a vortex? We're not sure. It would be handy if one could open up a portal to hide the Secret Series in if someone is coming. We hope that's what's happening here!
Matt Pearce at latimes.com shares this story:
Fish are dying off en masse in the waters around Honolulu after hundreds of thousands of gallons of molasses spilled into Honolulu Harbor this week -- and there's nothing officials can do to clean it up.
Thousands of fish, suffocated by the sugary sludge, have been killed or threatened. Footage from local media showed fish floating in the harbor, with some seeming to gasp above the surface of the water, which was contaminated by the thick, syrupy sweetener.
"We're working with all the local officials, but as the [Hawaii] Department of Health said, there’s nothing you can do to clean up molasses," Jeff Hull, a spokesman for Matson Inc., the company responsible for the leak, told the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday. "It’s sunk to the bottom of the harbor. Unlike oil, which can be cleaned from the surface, molasses sinks."
Harris added of the disaster, "I’m not sure there’s anything to do. They do have officials out there removing the dead fish to keep potential sharks from gathering, but I think the damage was too quick – once it was reported, it was too late."
Health officials said they expect the molasses plume to go from Honolulu Harbor into the nearby Ke'ehi Lagoon and then dissipate in the ocean. Spokeswoman Okubo said there was no timetable for when that might happen.
In a statement, the company said it "regrets that the incident impacted many harbor users, as well as wildlife.... We are taking steps to ensure this situation does not happen again."
Uh oh! What horrible news.
No, not by us, silly. We no longer operate in legendary castle real estate.
Christopher Middleton at telegraph.co.uk shares this story about this famous castle, now up for sale:
The property comes with a long list of previous owners: everyone from Saxons to Hungarians to Teutonic knights. And although the facilities may not be exactly state-of-the-art (the plumbing is reported to require some work), there’s no questioning the detachedness of the property. It stands on top of a hill, and is most definitely not overlooked by neighbours.
The views are similarly uninterrupted. The original property particulars don’t survive, of course. But you can bet that the estate agents in the nearest town (Brasov) would have put plenty of emphasis on the number of miles away from which you could spot an advancing army.
“Archduke Dominic and his family care very much for the castle, and it’s in far better shape now than it was when run by the government,” says Meyer. “The aim, though, is to take the whole thing a stage further, re-route the road and make Bran a destination, the kind of place people will stay for two or three days.”
The question is, of course, how much will the castle cost? It’s been reported that Archduke Dominic offered it to the Romanian government for $80million (£47million), but Meyer is not prepared to quote a figure.
Click on the photo to read more.
Look at all these different meanings of the word sound, a word we appreciate for its SENSIBILITY. (get it?!?)
Sanden Totten from KPCC brings us this story on Jupiter's red spot. Uh oh! It's shrinking. Here's what Sanden tells us about the famous mark:
It's a powerful storm on the gassy planet's surface that's been observed continually since the 1800s, though it's likely much older than that, and has become the planet's most identifiable feature. But researchers now say the iconic spot is disappearing. Fast.
"It's at its smallest size ever," said Amy Simon, lead researcher of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.
The Great Red Spot is a hurricane-like weather pattern that blows 500 mph winds and swirls clouds of ammonia and ammonium hydrosulphide.
In the 1800s, the GRS, as it's known, was estimated to be 25,500 miles across. Today it's less than half that size.
While it's always been shrinking, Simon said that the process has speeded up dramatically in recent years.
Using data gathered by the Hubble telescope, she calculated the GRS is diminishing by about 580 miles a year.
"People have asked me, 'Is it going to disappear?' But we don't know that yet," Simon said. "It'll be interesting to follow over the next few years and see what it does."
As for the cause, Simon said that small eddies feed into the storm, and they may be changing its internal dynamics, causing the rapid shrinkage.
The real mystery, though, is how a single storm has lasted hundreds of years.
Simon said NASA scientists have tried to recreate the storm in a computer using mathematical models. But even their best efforts weren't able to replicate the longevity of Jupiter's distinctive red spot.
By observing the storm as it shrinks, Simon thinks her team will learn a lot more about how weather works on our solar system's largest planet.
BAD MAGIC comes out September 16. Until then, you can look at sneak peeks at the artwork done by Gilbert Ford.
We love Gilbert! We'll be posting some of his drawings. You can check out more about him on his website.
What is going on. An elevator ... A group - what's going on?!? We want to see more, Gilbert!
Nautical, a showery sprinkling of sea-water or fine spray swept from the tops of the waves by the violence of the wind in a tempest, and driven along before it, covering the surface of the sea; scud.
Spoondrift is the kind of thing you'd see at a tempestuous sea, as featured in BAD MAGIC. Look out!
We recently received this alarming missive:
Hello, Mr. Bosch.
I just sent a letter to the M.S.
What's that? You think that I'm being incredibly careless and idiotic?
Very well, call an ally that. You'll regret it when that baseball doesn't miss and I have to take the bullet for you.
I know the Secret.
And I'm waiting for the next to come.
Mr. Bosch, I know that September is not too long away (IT IS WHEN YOU'RE WAITING FOR A ESPECIALLY GOOD BOOK TO COME OUT), I felt I must have contacted you and tell you that I will give up my chocolate for just another look at what's gonna happen to Cass, Max-Ernest, and Yo-Yoji.
As well as telling you that the Midnight Sun--
THEY'VE FOUND ME! THEY'RE COMING AFTER YOU!
I'm running right now, Mr. Bosch. Save yourself while you can! They know I'm contacting you!
Now I'm in a crate. Hiding. I hope I don't get sent to a casino in Las Vegas.
I need to tell you-- I was the one who took your Ultimate Chocolate Bar Recipe and I'm REALLY sorry! I also would like you to have the rest of my chocolate supply. DON'T LET MY BROTHER HAVE ANY.
Mr. Bosch, please tell me you will reply… I have no other forms of entertainment in this crate, and my Wi-Fi is running out of ti--
And it was mysteriously (and accurately) signed: The Chess-loving Most Maddening Fan.
We're not at all certain why they would write to the Midnight Sun! We hope others learn from this lesson.
As for the book coming in September ... Wherever did you hear such BAD MAGIC?
WRITE THIS BOOK
Copyright © 2010-2013. All rights reserved. Illustrations by Gilbert Ford