Sunday, 27 April 2014

9 Picture Books Every Adult Should Read


This week, my latest book, The Good Inn, co-authored with Pixies frontman Black Francis, comes out from HarperCollins. What excited me most about writing this book--besides working with two of my favorite artists on the planet--is that it takes part in the revival of the classic tradition of the illustrated novel, a tradition that has been relegated to the world of "children's books" for far too long.
The Good Inn is definitely not for children. It tells an arresting tale about art, conflict and the origins of pornographic cinema (did I mention it's not for children?). I like to describe it as the book version of a film--before the film is filmed. Hence, the illustrations by famed illustrator Steven Appleby, help to visualize the story before the movie is made.
In recent years, illustration has slowly been returning to books. The best example is J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, with Mary GrandPr√©'s illustrations appearing at the beginning of each chapter (and on the cover, of course), each one giving readers some insight into what was to come in those pages.
One can argue that Harry Potter marks the rebirth of illustrated novels for adults. Though originally treated as children's books, as Harry Potter matured and its appeal among the 18 and over crowd grew, the chapter-opening illustrations remained.
Over the last few years, there are even more examples of illustrated novels, some specifically for adult readers. So, novels with pictures are not just for kids anymore. And, actually, they never were.
And so, without further ado, here is the first official list of eight other illustrated novels for adults you should know about, from past to present.
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens - 1838: A book about an orphan in today's world would surely be labeled "Young Adult" fiction, and receive the Hunger Games treatment by a seasoned sci-fi screenwriter taking Oliver into deep space. When Dickens wrote it, however, it was illustrated beautifully to help tell the very dark tale of a gang of child thieves who inhabit the dark alleys of London.
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll - 1865: Probably the most well-known and beloved illustrated novel. Some might call it a children's book, but before Disney got ahold of it, it was one of the great works of surrealist absurdist literature.
The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien: Before Peter Jackson made The Hobbit a cinematic spectacle, it was one of the most recognizable stories in adult fantasy fiction, and a beautifully illustrated novel. The original edition of The Hobbit, published in 1937 featured drawings made by Tolkien himself.
The Best of Jules Verne: 3 Complete, Illustrated Novels: (*not the year of the original novels publication dates.) THE classic master of fantasy and science fiction, Verne used illustrations to enhance the fantastical journeys he would take readers on from the 1930s to centuries later.
V for Vendetta by Alan Moore and David Lloyd and Watchmen by Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons and John Higgins: Okay, I'm cheating a bit here as this list is about illustrated novels, not "graphic novels." But these "graphic novels" first elevated the art of comics to a deserving place among great works of "traditional literature."
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick: This illustrated novel is about a homeless boy who discovers that the great French filmmaker George Melies is working at a toy stand in the train station he calls home. It is a beautiful example of the fusion of images and story in a novel format and is described by its creator as "not exactly a novel," and it's not quite a picture book.
Hollow City by Ransom Riggs: This sequel to Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is a very cool reimagining of the "illustrated novel" using old photos and Photoshop magic to bring to life the characters in the text.
The Harlem Hellfighters by Max Brooks: This new book by Max Brooks, who wrote the very popularWorld War Z, comes out the same month as my new book. Again, this is more a "graphic novel" than a true illustrated novel, but it's still an excellent example of a "serious novelist" using the illustrated format to tell a very serious story.

Barking Blondes: Mischevous dogs

Joanne Good and Anna Webb
photo Barking Blondes: Mischevous dogsHopefully, we all know our dogs. Their foibles along with their many winning ways. The responsible dog owner, when out walking in the park with dog off the lead, will scan the horizon for all potential hazards. The human radar should be alert enough to avoid such situations like a child with ice cream, a stray dog on heat, picnickers or anything else tempting to a dog.
The two of us pride ourselves on knowing, intuitively, what breed of dog annoys our own as well as what areas to avoid that may contain duck poo (yes, even that can taste delicious to a bull breed!)
So imagine our total humiliation this week when one of our beloveds ran off with another dog’s treasured ball! The colourful and obviously expensive toy belonged to a terrier whose stylish owner came from the posher side of the park. As our bulldog raced around the three of us, in circles, ball clamped firmly in her mouth like a grinning clown, it was obvious this was going to end badly. Nothing would entice her to drop it, and the more we attempted to bribe her with treats and endearments, the more she thought it was a game.
Whilst the terrier seemed unperturbed by this invasion on his property, its owner was furious.
“I can’t believe this”, she spat, “Is this how you train your dog? How do you ever manage to get round the park without similar disasters?”
It was pointless attempting to convince her that this was a one off. That we always had our own balls on us so that our dogs wouldn’t be distracted by other people’s property.
But as they say, “Every dog has it’s day” – and this day was obviously a red letter day.
Even the best-behaved dogs will have their ‘naughty’ moments.  Whether your mutt rummages through handbags looking for lipsticks to eat, barks when you’re on the phone, or humps your trouser leg, this will be a trained behaviour.
Unwittingly we reward dogs for doing undesirable things – even saying ‘no’ is the surest way to train a dog to do ‘it’. Without meaning to by making a ‘scene’ and shouting, we’ve masterfully taught Fido that stealing lipsticks from a handbag is OK!
What defines naughty is up to the owner. What an owner is prepared to put up with is fine until it affects somebody else.
When a bull terrier, in our care, ate the heel off an expensive pair of Louboutin stilettos we were duty bound to get the stiletto re-heeled – that’s only polite and accepting responsibility for your dog’s unfortunate and expensive urge to eat a designer heel.
It’s surprising how many dog owners don’t take responsible view on these issues. Whilst no one is harmed your pooches actions may well impact on other people and their property. So to have third party insurance is recommended since a stiletto heel is one thing, but chewing the interior of a friend’s new car is another. In our age of anti-dog legislation it’s advisable to be covered.
As dogs age it’s particularly heart warming to see their former youthful antics appear and it’s hard not to encourage them – but slacking on the ‘rules’ and letting dogs get away with things  can be a slippery slope. Dogs are not stupid and many are excellent opportunists – so if you give them an inch, they’ll take a mile.
We’ve tried to train our Bull Breeds to know how to behave in certain situations, but other dog’s toys can be too exciting to resist. It’s all about attention and dogs are experts at making sure we give them as much attention as possible. It’s just one of the things that’s so great about dogs.
And by the way, an hour later, we posted the ball through the owner’s letter box. A little worse for wear. Both the ball and us.
Barking Blondes by Jo Good & Anna Webb, published by Hamlyn, £12.99www.octopusbooks.co.uk


Saturday, 26 April 2014


Words of Wisdom: The Friend
“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.”
- Henri J. M. Nouwen, The Road to Daybreak: A Spiritual Journey
[Image: 'Fallen Angel' by Luis Royo. Visit this talented artist athttps://www.facebook.com/pages/Luis-Royo-Official/316625048371116]





Ceremonies, Rites and Rituals Defined
☆ Ceremony ☆
A ceremony is an event of ritual significance, performed on a special occasion. A ceremony may mark a rite of passage, such as birth, birthday, initiation, graduation, awarding, wedding, death or burial. Society-wide ceremonies may mark annual or seasonal events such as the vernal equinox, winter solstice, and other events.
☆ Rite ☆
A rite is an established, ceremonious, usually religious act. Rites generally fall into three major categories:
- Rites of passage, generally changing an individual's social status, such as marriage, dedication or graduation.
- Rites of worship, where a community comes together to worship.
- Rites of personal devotion, where an individual worships, including prayer and pilgrimages.
☆ Ritual ☆
A ritual is a set of actions, performed mainly for their symbolic value. It may be prescribed by the traditions of a community, including a religious community. The term usually refers to actions which are stylized, excluding actions which are arbitrarily chosen by the performers.
[Image: Circe Offering the Cup to Odysseus by John William Waterhouse (1849–1917). This is a faithful photographic reproduction of a two-dimensional, public domain work of art. Such reproductions are in the public domain in the United States.]







Vita Sackville-West’s Writing Tower
This writing room is located in the Elizabethan Tower at Sissinghurst Castle in Kent. It’s surrounded by the world-famous, romantic garden and was where Vita Sackville-West (close friend of Virginia Woolf ) did most of her writing.




Friday, 25 April 2014

Friends




Dogs live here




Bull Terrier




Sun




10 Quotes to Turn you & me On.

Via on Apr 23, 2014
fortuneadventures

10 Quotes to Turn you & me On.

What turns us on? Sex. Food. Adrenaline. 
But what really turns us on? Joy. Feeling genuine. Just being. Appreciating the real things in life. A cool breeze. Love. Coffee. Community. Sunshine.
Or, at the Buddhists would put it, waking up to what is, and serving others, helping to awaken our own innate goodness in the process.
In the end, only kindness matters
So, in that spirit, here are 10 Hot & Steamy Quotes to Turn you (Truly) On…to Life, to Love, to Service, to Sacrifice, to Sadness, to Truth.
~
Regarding our daily life as a sacred ritual turns us on:
We could learn to stop when the sun goes down and when the sun comes up. We could learn to listen to the wind; we could learn to notice that it’s raining or snowing or hailing or calm. We could reconnect with the weather that is ourselves, and we could realize that it’s sad. The sadder it is, and the vaster it is, the more our heart opens. We can stop thinking that good practice is when it’s smooth and calm, and bad practice is when it’s rough and dark. If we can hold it all in our hearts, then we can make a proper cup of tea.” ~ Pema Chodron
~
Jesus, and other heroes of peace, compassion and tolerance turn our hearts on:
“For some reason, the most vocal Christians among us never mention the Beatitudes. But, often with tears in their eyes, they demand that the Ten Commandments be posted in public buildings. And of course that’s Moses, not Jesus. I haven’t heard one of them demand that the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes, be posted anywhere. ‘Blessed are the merciful’ in a courtroom? ‘Blessed are the peacemakers’ in the Pentagon?” ~ Kurt Vonnegut
~
Letting go and moving on turns us on:
“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” ~ Lao Tzu 
~
A life of service, inspired and fueled by compassion, turns us on:
“And while I’m here I’ll do the work.  And what’s the work? To ease the pain of living — everything else, drunken dumbshow.” ~ Allen Ginsberg
~
Heartbreaking, unthinking heroism turns us on:
“My son made his mother cry, but saved hundreds of mothers from crying for their children.” Mujahid Ali, the father of Aitzaz, who tackled a suicide bomber, saving the lives of his schoolmates. He was 15. 
~
Imagination turns us on. Refusing to give up turns us on:
“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” ~ Muhammad Ali
~
Joy, and Pain, Sadness and Love turn us on:
“What do you want out of life?” I asked, and I used to ask that all the time of girls.“I don’t know,” she said. “Just wait on tables and try to get along.” She yawned. I put my hand over her mouth and told her not to yawn. I tried to tell her how excited I was about life and the things we could do together; saying that, and planning to leave Denver in two days. She turned away wearily. We lay on our backs, looking at the ceiling and wondering what God had wrought when He made life so sad.”  Jack Kerouac
~
A sense of humor about ourselves turns us on:
“I’m so glad I never feel important, it does complicate life!” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
~
Fearlessness turns us on.
“This is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” ~ Winston Churchill
~
And, yes, Love turns us on.
“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.” ~ Dr. Seuss 



For he has taken the goddess within
In the green wood they dance, they embrace and spin
The power is building in the dark of night
All dance round the fires than now burn bright
Tonight we celebrate the union of life
The winter has now gone with all of the strife
Warm days now beckon so we play in the fields
Giving power to the land and encouraging the yields
The Goddess has taken her consort in hand
And now together they walk their land
For young they are and pleasures they seek
And I join them in the dance that’s not for the meek
This is a time to enjoy the pleasures of the flesh
Lay down in the orchard to your lovers caress
Beltane is a time for love and the union it brings
With the power of creation all life awakens and sings
It’s a time to laugh, make merry and cheer
Gone are the cold winds and the dead of the year
Now I walk into summer with my head held strong
And dance in the Witches circle where I have always belonged
Tonight is a time when freedom is sought
At the hands of the goddess and her loving consort
They teach us to be ourselves, find freedom within
Casting away the notions that are often called sin
Enjoy tonight the merry time of year
Enjoy yourself without redemption or fear
Tonight we are free to follow the path; the air is cool as we leap in the grass
The green man is watching from the every blossom bower
Dancing to the tunes of the pipe this midnight hour
Dance to drums on the distant hills
Dance to the Beltane songs and never be still
Dance in the fields where the power is strong
Dance in the open where you truly belong



Thursday, 24 April 2014

I'm not a bully! Heartwarming portraits of rescue pit bulls hope to challenge harsh misconceptions about the breed

  • Photographer Douglas Sonders runs the Not a Bully organization
  • 'Dog whisperer' Cesar Millan poses with his own pit bull Junior to lend weight to the cause
  • 22 per cent of pit bulls are automatically euthanized in shelters, regardless of their disposition


  • A New York-based commercial photographer has launched a campaign called Not a Bully which aims to challenge the all-too-common view of pit bulls as a 'bully-breed'.
    Douglas Sonders, 32, himself the owner of a pit bull mix called Emma, feels compelled to speak up for a breed that is often neglected, mistreated and typecast as mean, aggressive or dangerous.
    'Despite what some bad humans have done to these dogs, they are inherently sweet and very trainable,' he tells MailOnline.
    Happy face: Photographer Douglas Sonders captures the charming characters of rescue pit bulls, for his Not a Bully campaign, which hopes to change the way people see the breed for the better
    Happy face: Photographer Douglas Sonders captures the charming characters of rescue pit bulls, for his Not a Bully campaign, which hopes to change the way people see the breed for the better
    In a stunning array of photographs, Mr Sonders captures a host of noble and gentle looking pit bulls, all of whom have touching stories and are now blessed with loving owners.
     
      Although it started off as a photo campaign, Not a Bully is growing. National Geographic Wild recently profiled Mr Sonders with Ceser Milan, the acclaimed TV dog trainer, who he describes as 'wonderfully enthusiastic about helping animals.'
      Mr Millan, who posed for Mr Sonders with his Pit Bull Junior, is now an avid supporter of Not a Bully's mission, and in return, Mr Sonders has been donating his time and efforts to the Cesar Millan foundation for abandoned and abused dogs.
      Famous friends: Mr Sonders (left) has gained support from TV dog trainer Cesar Millan (right) both seen posing with their handsome pit bulls for the campaign
      Famous friends: Mr Sonders (left) has gained support from TV dog trainer Cesar Millan (right) both seen posing with their handsome pit bulls for the campaign
      Noble: Pit bulls are often referred to as 'bully-breeds' - assumed to be mean, aggressive and dangerous, but many proud owners know them to entirely the opposite
      Noble: Pit bulls are often referred to as 'bully-breeds' - assumed to be mean, aggressive and dangerous, but many proud owners know them to entirely the opposite
      But it was Emma, the pit bull mix Mr Sonders adopted two years ago, who started it all.
      When his beloved boxer dog, Winston Churchull, died leaving Mr Sonders 'heart wrecked', he decided, following a period of intense mourning, to adopt a new canine companion.
      He didn't know quite what he was looking for, but he says he planned to avoid pit bulls, assuming, like many others, that they were a difficult breed.
      Not so scary: This pampered pooch, named London, was rescued from a life on the streets of Baltimore, and couldn't look less intimidating with her wonky ears and soft pink bandana
      Not so scary: This pampered pooch, named London, was rescued from a life on the streets of Baltimore, and couldn't look less intimidating with her wonky ears and soft pink bandana
      Inspiration: Emma is the two-year-old pit bull mix adopted by Mr Sonders, who taught him what a loving, gentle breed she comes from and sparked his Not a Bully campaign
      Inspiration: Emma is the two-year-old pit bull mix adopted by Mr Sonders, who taught him what a loving, gentle breed she comes from and sparked his Not a Bully campaign
      'I’ve since learned that “pit bull” is a bad word in society, which is a real tragedy,' he says, adding that over 40 per cent of dogs in shelters are 'bully-breeds' and 22 per cent of pit bulls are euthanized regardless of their disposition. 
      Still, the day he walked into his local Petco adoption drive and saw one-year-old Emma sitting quietly at the back of the room, he was in love.
      Emma had been rotated around foster care for nine months prior to finding a forever home with Mr Sonders. 'No-one wanted her because she was a pit-mix with black fur,' he recalls.
      Unfair: Mr Sonders says he 'tears up' every time he thinks about the fact that Emma (pictured) was nearly euthanized because of the way she looks
      Unfair: Mr Sonders says he 'tears up' every time he thinks about the fact that Emma (pictured) was nearly euthanized because of the way she looks
      Savior: Winnie (pictured) was adopted by a shy little ten-year-old girl, whom she helped 'break out of her shell' - the pair now compete in dog training competitions together
      Savior: Winnie (pictured) was adopted by a shy little ten-year-old girl, whom she helped 'break out of her shell' - the pair now compete in dog training competitions together
      'The thought makes me tear up when I think how she was nearly put to sleep because of how she looks.'
      Aside from her tendency to sneak into Mr Sonders' bed when he's away, Emma is 'perfectly behaved; naturally gentle, great with kids and other dogs, and an excellent running partner', according to her loving owner.
      Still, to his disappointment, Mr Sonders noticed his neighbors 'recoil' when they first saw him around the neighborhood with Emma - a knee jerk reaction he hopes he can shift with his project.
      Buddies: Cesar Millian (pictured with his dog Junior) appeared in the campaign and were filmed with Mr Sonders for a National Geographic documentary about pit bulls
      Buddies: Cesar Millian (pictured with his dog Junior) appeared in the campaign and were filmed with Mr Sonders for a National Geographic documentary about pit bulls
      Sleek: Mr Millan is well-known for his work with behaviorally challenged dogs, but his own four-legged friend poses no trouble at all
      Sleek: Mr Millan is well-known for his work with behaviorally challenged dogs, but his own four-legged friend poses no trouble at all
      Behind the scenes: Mr Millan can be seen attracting his dog's attention with a fluorescent ball as Mr Sonders dutifully snaps away
      Behind the scenes: Mr Millan can be seen attracting his dog's attention with a fluorescent ball as Mr Sonders dutifully snaps away
      Another portrait in the series stars Winnie, who was adopted by ten-year-old Gillie, a shy little girl who found she was finally able to break out of her shell after finding a four-legged friend in Winnie. The two now compete in dog training competitions together.
      London was rescued from a tough life on the streets of Baltimore, and nursed back to health by volunteers at Good Doggie Daycare. Her adoptive owner, Carolyn, discovered that London, her first pit bull, was 'gentle, smart and good with all other living beings.'
      Porter is undoubtedly the most heart-wrenching subject Mr Sonders has photographed. He was found on the street with his legs crushed and his jaw smashed by an unknown assailant.
      Disgrace: What looked like it would be a grisly ending for poor Porter (pictured) turned into a hopeful tale, when a rescuer at the Humane Society ensured he was nursed back to health following a brutal attack on him
      Disgrace: What looked like it would be a grisly ending for poor Porter (pictured) turned into a hopeful tale, when a rescuer at the Humane Society ensured he was nursed back to health following a brutal attack on him
      Heart of gold: Porter won everyone over by displaying nothing but love, despite his awful mistreatment, and now has a happy forever home
      Heart of gold: Porter won everyone over by displaying nothing but love, despite his awful mistreatment, and now has a happy forever home
      Child friendly: Mr Sonders seen visiting a local elementary school with his trusty Emma, to teach kids about the negatives of dog abuse and the importance of adoption, particularly with pit bulls
      Child friendly: Mr Sonders seen visiting a local elementary school with his trusty Emma, to teach kids about the negatives of dog abuse and the importance of adoption, particularly with pit bulls
      Despite his despicable treatment, Porter showed nothing but a warm, trusting heart to rescuers at the Humane Society. Instead of putting him to sleep, Julie Conway, an employee at the organization, paid out of her own pocket to save him. He now fronts one of the I'm Not a Bully campaigns ads.
      Hundreds of thousands of pit bull and other 'bully breeds' are put to sleep in the U.S. every year, and breed-specific legislation currently bans them from several states - essentially serving these dogs with a death sentence.
      The ASPA credits 'putative over-reporting and false reporting' of pit bull attacks on humans as a major cause for their public perception.
      Man's best friend: Mr Sonders (pictured with Emma) hopes he can get people to see the breed in a new light, so that more pit bulls can enjoy happy endings
      Man's best friend: Mr Sonders (pictured with Emma) hopes he can get people to see the breed in a new light, so that more pit bulls can enjoy happy endings
      In fact, it's the human attacks on what many insist to be a naturally gentle breed that perhaps need addressing; attacks mainly in the form those who abuse pit bulls, use them as 'bait' and force them into cruel dog-fighting rings.
      Mr Sonders points to the case of Michael Vick, the New York Jets quarterback who was jailed in 2007 for mistreating pit bulls as part of vicious dog-fighting racket. Almost all of Mr Vick's former fighting dogs were placed in family homes after positive training rehab, he reveals.
      At the end of the day, the Not a Bully campaign simply hopes to shine a very different light on this little-understood breed, so that more pit bulls can enjoy happy endings.


      Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2610527/Im-not-bully-Heartwarming-portraits-rescue-Pit-bulls-hope-challenge-harsh-misconceptions-breed.html#ixzz2zqEZMZqE
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