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Fear of Flowers Part 1


Great summer book!  The story of a blind French girl and a curious and intelligent German boy whose lives are coming together during the horrors of World War Two.  

Just finished this.  Great quick read that explores life on a small northern European island from the 10th century to the year 2073.  It’s got romance, violence, history and action.  Totally recommended!

I want to live here!!

(Source:, via sharanga)

Happy Birthday to garth Nix!!


Literary Birthday - 19 July

Happy Birthday, Garth Nix, born 19 July 1963

10 Quotes On Writing

  1. You can’t write if you don’t read.
  2. Just write one chapter at a time and one day you’ll be surprised by your own finished novel.
  3. Writing anything is better than not writing something perfect.
  4. A goatee and a garret are all very well, but you have to actually write to be a writer.
  5. I write chapter outlines. Writing a chapter outline is a great discipline for thinking out the story and it also provides a road map or central skeleton you can come back to if you get lost. I often write the prologue or initial chapter first to get the impetus for the story going and then write the outline. 
  6. I don’t believe authors need to keep any specific values or ideas in mind while they are writing for children, but I do think authors need to be aware of their audience, and of the effect their work may have. 
  7. If you like what you are writing, just write. Try to keep going before you stop to take a break. Keep going back before too much time has passed. And just stay with it.
  8. Read a lot, and read widely (not just in one genre or area). Write as often as you can, even if it’s only a few paragraphs at a time. Submit a lot, even if you only get rejections (all writers get rejections). Most of all, don’t give up.
  9. Most of my books seem to stem from a single image or thought that lodges in my brain and slowly grows into something that needs to be expressed. That thought may be a ‘what if?’ or perhaps just an image. Typically I seem to think about a book for a year or so before I actually start writing.
  10. Never believe the first twenty publishers who reject your work. For the twenty-first, submit something new.

If you want to know exactly how Garth Nix creates a book, click HERE

Nix is an Australian author of young adult fantasy novels, most notably the Old Kingdom series, The Seventh Tower series, and The Keys to the Kingdom series

Source for Image

by Amanda Patterson for Writers Write

I think this is hilarious


(Source: kittiezandtittiez, via hashtag-oconnorcrew)

Glowstick photography happened at CLP - East Liberty’s Teen Summer Reading Party in June! Check out more photos on our Facebook page.

You probably know about steampunk. But have you heard of Formicapunk? Read this Boulet comic to learn more….




On May 28th, my sister, Edna, turned 31.


Her mental age is about three years old. She loves Winnie the Pooh, Beauty & the Beast, and Sesame Street. Even though the below picture is unconvincing. 


Edna and “Cookie.” I think she was trying to play it cool. 

My name is Jeanie. I’m Edna’s younger sister. I’m also her guardian and caregiver. 


That’s me on the left. (Hey, you never know. After a year of writing a blog about online dating - Jeanie Does the Internet - I’ve come to learn that there are A LOT of fools on the internet.) 


ANYWAY, I’m not “doing the internet” anymore. I’m taking care of Edna full-time, after completing my MFA in Writing for Screen & Television at USC.


May 16, 2014. I wanted a picture. Edna wanted breakfast.

In case you’re wondering where our parents are, they’re dead. Our mom died of breast cancer when she was just 33. 


Us with mom before she died. (Obviously.)

As for our dad, he peaced-out around the time my mom got sick. His loss - we’re awesome. 


Here we are being awesome at the beach. Pushing a wheelchair in the sand? Not so awesome. 

In case you’re wondering “What’s wrong?” with my sister - as a stranger once asked me on the street  -  NOTHING. Yes, Edna has a rare form of epilepsy - Lennox-Gastaut syndrome - but I don’t know if that’s anymore “wrong” than people who don’t have manners. 

Basically, Edna was born “normal,” and started having seizures as a baby. They eventually got so bad that they cut off the oxygen to her brain, causing her to be mentally disabled. Or impaired. Or intellectually disabled. Or whatever you want to call it - except “retarded,” because in 2010, President Obama signed Rosa’s Law into effect, replacing that word with “intellectually impaired.” 

Which is cool and all, but services for the disabled and the people who care for them are SEVERELY LACKING. Also, there’s a bunch of people working in taxpayer-funded positions who are supposed to help families like us, but don’t. (Big surprise, I know.) They just fill out paperwork (whenever they feel like it) with asinine statements like this: 


YUP. I transport my sister down the stairs in her wheelchair, because that is not only safe, but TOTALLY PRACTICAL. Why doesn’t everyone in a wheelchair just take the stairs, for God’s sake? Stop being so lazy, PEOPLE WITHOUT WORKING LEGS! 

But, as it says above, Edna’s legs do work. Whether or not she wants them to, is another story. 


Edna refusing to go inside. 

These are the stairs that I have to carry her up - by myself - on a daily basis. That is, until one of my legs break and both of us are just sitting at the bottom of the stairs, helpless. 


For six months, I have begged - BEGGED - the State of California to help my sister, which they are required by law - The Lanterman Act specifically - to do so. But they’ve told me “these things take time” and that I “need to amend my expectations.” (That was said to me when I refused to place Edna at AN ALL-MALE CARE FACILITY. Because yes, that was an “option” that was offered to me.) 

Prior to Edna moving in with me in my one-bedroom apartment, she was living with her amazing caregiver, Gaby, back in Tucson, where we went to high school and I did my undergrad. Edna’s reppin’ the Wildcats below. 


But back in November, Gaby also died from breast cancer. (FUCK YOU, BREAST CANCER!) This picture was taken a month before she died. She never even told me she was sick because she didn’t want me to worry. 

By the way, we were raised by our grandma. Edna and her were very close.


She’s dead, too. Surprise.

She died when I was 20 and Edna was 21. That’s when I became Edna’s legal guardian and Gaby stepped into the picture to help me out with Edna. 

So, six months ago, after Gaby died, I moved Edna to California, where I tried to get the folks over at The Frank D. Lanterman Regional Center to help me. I’ve told them I’m worried about our safety - that one of us could get hurt on the stairs -  I’ve told them I can’t afford to pay the private babysitters $15/hour because the ones social services sent me who make $9/hour were unreliable (they didn’t show up on time or at all so I could get to school and work), untrustworthy (one of them let Edna go to the bathroom in the kitchen and then took her into the bathroom because “that what I thought I was supposed to do.”) 

But the people over at the FLRC don’t return my calls, they don’t file the paperwork on time - and the first caseworker that was assigned to us actually LAUGHED AT my sister when he came to our home to evaluate her. When I reported him to his supervisor, she told me, “That’s just [insert name of said jackass].” 

He was one of the two caseworkers that contributed to the report I mentioned above, which also included this: 


So let me get this straight - I have to feed, bathe, dress and help Edna in the bathroom and you can’t deduce whether or not she is able to vote? What in the fuck?!

Now I realize I seem angry. And you can bet your balls I am. I’m also sad. Sad for those who don’t have family to stick up from them and who waste away God knows where, monitored by no one. Or monitored by people who physically and sexually assault them

I’m also sad for the caregivers who are SO EXHAUSTED - trying to take care of their loved ones - while also trying to take care of themselves and battling a system that is supposed to help, but does nothing of the sort. And I know a lot of people give up. They let their dreams, their marriages, their friendships slide. All while trying not to resent the very person you’re doing it all for.


Edna wanted to sit next to me the other day while I was writing. Clearly, she’s not impressed. 

Here’s the thing: I REFUSE TO GIVE UP. I’M NOT GIVING UP ON HER OR MYSELF. I’m going to pursue my dreams while taking care of her, AND while ensuring that the people paid to do their jobs ACTUALLY do them.

That’s where you come in. I need you to help me get my story out there. Because I know I’m not alone in this. I want to connect with families who are in similar situations and also show people who have no idea what it’s like to care for someone with a disability (or even a loved one who is sick) that it can be rewarding. Super fucking hard. Exhausting. Painful. Isolating. But, rewarding. 

I’m going to get help for my sister - and others. My hope is that by sharing our story, I can bring awareness to the lack of services and help for the disabled. 

Thank you, 



Twitter: @EisforEdna 

This made me cry

Boosting!  Have inothernews and newsweek seen this yet?

(Source: , via lettersfromhedwig)


"If you’re doing college right, you should be uncomfortable at some point…”

Digging this guy’s music.

FREE Journalism Course for Teens

Pittsburgh Black Media Federation will conduct a week-long workshop called the Frank Bolden Urban Journalism Workshop every summer from Sat. Aug. 2 - Sat. Aug. 9.

The purpose behind the workshop is to help train young students who
may be interested in pursuing a career in journalism. Nationally,
because only 4.65 percent of journalists in newsrooms are black, and
because many good students show a reluctance to enter the field, a
strong need exists for such a workshop.

Members of the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation, who work for the New
Pittsburgh Courier, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Pittsburgh
Tribune-Review, WTAE, WPXI, WQED, KDKA, KQV, WAMO, WPGH and others,
have decided to devote their time to the workshop as instructors.
Point Park University, Downtown, is the site of the seven-day
residential program, and many businesses and community organizations
donate time, money and effort to ensure the success of the workshop.

The program is COMPLETELY FREE to students, and is designed to
encourage high school youths from diverse backgrounds to enter the
profession of journalism. Students will meet with instructors, all of
whom are employed in the media, for a week of rigorous training in
meeting deadlines, producing and editing a paper and producing and
delivering a television and radio news program.

While our application deadline has technically passed, we still have
several slots available for interested students. If you have any
students you think might be interested in taking advantage of this
opportunity, please refer him/her to this application link -