Grab a Book- It’s National Readathon Day

Load up your ereaders, pull that book you meant to read but never go to from the shelf. It’s National Readathon Day.The National Book Foundation, Penguin Random House, Goodreads, and Mashable are partnering together to host the first ever National Readathon Day. You can get involved by joining readers across America in a marathon reading session on Saturday, January 24. From Noon – 4 PM in our respective time zones, we will sit and read a book in our own home, library, school or bookstore.

Join us and read a book on Saturday, January 24th from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

More details can be found here.

~Till next time. Helen


Storyline – Archaeology Gets Technical

Archaeology is not all Indiana Jones and a bullwhip. Modern technology has a place alongside maps and exploring in the jungle. Metal detectors have uncovered the secrets of battlefields yielding artifacts and insights into troop movements. Now x-rays are helping unlock the secrets of a scroll from what is called the Villa of the Papyri. The scroll is among hundreds retrieved from the remains of a lavish villa at Herculaneum, which along with Pompeii was one of several Roman towns that were destroyed when Mt. Vesuvius erupted in A.D. 79.

Some of the texts have been deciphered since they were discovered in the 1750s. But many more remain a mystery to science because they were so badly damaged that unrolling the papyrus they were written on would have destroyed them completely. Enter technology and phase contrast tomography. The process had previously been used to examine fossils without damaging them.

Phase contrast tomography takes advantage of subtle differences in the way radiation — such as X-rays — passes through different substances, in this case papyrus and ink. Using lab time at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble, France, the researchers found they were able to decipher several letters, proving that the method could be used to read what’s hidden inside the scrolls.

More of the story at x-rays-unlock-secrets-ancient-scrolls-buried-volcano-160136061.html.

Just because the present works with the future, doesn’t mean we have to eliminate the past or the human. For myself, I’ll take technology and Indiana Jones.

Till next time.  ~Helen

What’s In A Cover – Pt 5, Hatchlings Curse

I’ve discussed a form for use as a thought tickler, and showed the results of one effort. I do want to stress that the Cover Art Sheet is a tool, to be used as little or as much as needed.

For an author-created cover, the production section provides more use than if using a designer cover. The designer would be the one to track the sources of the images they used. However, if there are attributions that need to be made in the book or restrictions on the images use, the Cover Art Sheet could keep that information close at hand for you.

Just because you filled out a Cover Art Sheet as a means to organize your thoughts, the detailed sheet does not necessarily have to be handed to your designer, a summary of the pertinent items could be sufficient. An example of a precise generated from a Cover Art Sheet is in the sidebar.

And now for the result, courtesy of Fantasia Frog Designs.

Drum roll please.


Thank you for following this series on creating book cover. And as a final reminder, a copy of a Cover Art Sheet can be downloaded at Just click on the writers resources tab.

And if you want to learn more about Hatchlings Curse, excerpts, buy links, and  free read of the first chapter is found here.

~Till next time. Helen