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Intercontinental Hotel: Lijiang

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Adjacent to Lijiang’s Ancient Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Intercontinental hotel offers style, comfort and outstanding service. All the villas are modern and comfortable with rooms and architecture based on local ethnic crafts and culture making the Intercontinental an ideal place to stay, especially if you can pay with points. I really hated to leave this sanctuary. It would be an ideal place to come to finish editing a writing project.

The service was friendly and efficient. The staff all seemed genuinely eager to help. There were always enough staff with fluent English on hand to help.

The food in the executive lounge was beautiful and ample. I was upgraded to an executive room so I could have afternoon tea, cocktails and appetizers and breakfast in the lounge. They always offered a choice of Chinese and Western fare.

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Let the Aspiring Screenwriter Beware

I’m waiting for my writing friends to finish reading and critiquing a script I’m working on. As their volunteering their time, I feel I can’t rush them. Yet I was getting antsy about moving forward on it. So I decided to get a professional service to do this.

Act One, whose workshop on screenwriting was quite good, offer script consultancy at various prices. I hesitated about spending $250 dollars because I wasn’t sure who’s currently doing the reading there now that Jack Gilbert their long time writing guru has passed away. Well, their $125 reading seemed very sketchy and I didn’t want to spend $450 on an unknown consultant. For $250 I was promised a 7 day turn around and a specific critique. It irked me that my report wasn’t done in 7 business days. I organized my schedule so that I’d have the report back in time to begin rewriting on a Thursday and then have all of the weekend to rewrite too.

I didn’t get the report by Thursday. I now know I should have complained immediately. I thought they’d get it to me by my Saturday. They didn’t. I complained and got four emails on Sunday apologizing and promising a report by Sunday. I would have liked a rebate of some sort too as I had explained how I’d organized my time.

The report was rather useless, sadly. The script reader had several grammatical errors and mistook my six act television show for a 3 act film. That was annoying and led me to think whoever did the work did it as fast as possible. Instead of suggestions, I got a slew of generic rhetorical questions. Who should I love? Who should we hate? The work was just so generic and expensive.

I’m not looking for someone to gush over every word I write, I want someone who’ll offer a critique that’s useful and can help me perfect the story.

My friends will provide specific insights and suggestions, for free in exchange for my critiquing their work. Act One is cheaper than a few other services, but it was a waste of money in this case. According to LinkedIn, the guy who read my script is their Webmaster cum Script Consultant. He’s never studied film or sold a script himself. If you’re saying that your consultants are “professionals,” you ought to have some standard of professionalism. You shouldn’t hire any average Joe with a B.A. in psychology, who’s never worked in Hollywood, and whose greatest film accomplishment was behind the scenes of his pal’s 5 minute film about a guy who digs holes and is losing his job.

Peninsula Hotel, Beijing

I know I have more photos . . .

I know I have more photos . . .

For years, since it opened actually, I’ve wanted to stay at the Peninsula Hotel in Beijing. This five star hotel group is outside my price range in the US, Europe or Hong Kong. I’ve considered booking a room in the past, but the rate was usually around $300 and that was just too rich for my blood.

Through Hotels.com I noticed a discount rate of $147 and that I could manage. I stayed there a couple weeks ago. I stayed in the “Deluxe” room for $158 thinking for a little more I could get even more luxury.

Fitness Center

Fitness Center

The room was fine, on par with a Sheraton or Intercontinental hotel. I was satisfied, but also glad I hadn’t paid $300. The decor is sleek and you get cable and a DVD player. There’s free wifi and a good fitness room. The Peninsula offers turn down service though I’m old fashioned and longed for a mint or some sweet on the pillow. The staff was courteous and I had no problems at check in or checking out.

I walked around the hotel and hoped to find a bakery so I could get some scones since the Peninsula Hong Kong’s scones are the best I’ve ever had. They didn’t have such a shop.

I ordered room service, duck confit and key lime pie. The duck disappointed as it was rather salty and dry. The pie was good and all the food was well presented. I guess other duck in China has been much better.

Homework: Bibliography Questions

1. Who is the editor of School Library Journal?

The Editorial Director of School Library Journal is Rebecca T. Miller. I found this by going to slj.com and when I didn’t see a masthead on the About Us page, I looked for a column since many periodicals have a column by the editor and this is no exception.

“Rebecca T. Miller.” (2014). School Library Journal. Web. Retrieved from http://www.slj.com/author/rmiller/ on March 21, 2014.

2. I need a review of The Lightening Thief by Riordan.

I first searched Book Reviews Online and found 14 reviews for this novel and more for its other formats, e.g. audio book and graphic novel.

I also checked New Yorker and found they published a review as well:

Diones, Bruce. (2010). “Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief.” New Yorker 86.3: 14. Academic Search Premier. Web. 21 Mar. 2014.

I loved the ease of use of Book Reviews Online, but they don’t list reviews printed in newspapers and magazines, which can have value. This bibliography seemed accurate and worth returning to.

3. I need to find a library that holds the work Avvisi di Costantinopoli that was published in Venice in the 17th century.

I searched worldcat.org and found that Harvard University has Avvisi di Costantinopoli, which was published in 1684 in Venice. Even though I trust World Cat since our text and professor recommend it, I searched Harvard’s library and it is there, available for in library use.

4. I am looking for a copy of Pride and Prejudice in Romanian. Can you help me?

Using World Cat OCLC, I found that the following libraries have Jane Austen’s classic in Romanian.

I looked on AddALL.com, but there were no copies available in Romanian. Amazon.com has the Romanian Thesaurus Edition of Pride and Prejudice. Depending on my library’s policies, I might offer to acquire the book through Amazon. I tried Project Gutenburg Europe for a copy to download, but that site seems to be abandoned.

I trust World Cat OCLC, “a network leader,” because it’s widely used and recommended in our text and by several professors.

5. Is there really a publisher by the name of “Small Beer Press?”

First I searched Literary Marketplace’s database and found no listing of them. Then I searched Yahoo and did find Small Beer Press. They only accept paper manuscripts and queries and they promise to read all submissions, thus I think they’re a very small organization.
Small Beer Press: http://smallbeerpress.com/category/books/
Literary Marketplace: No listing. See link below:
http://www.literarymarketplace.com/lmp/us/publishersorglist.asp?Name=S&publicationid=1&xsectionid=1&whichpage=3&pagesize=50

6. I really liked Neil Gaiman’s ‘Good Omens. What other authors or titles might I like?

I used Novelist to find some books that this patron might like. Under similar authors, my search yielded nine titles. The first five are: Gil’s All Fright Diner by L. Martinez, Shades of Grey by J. Fforde, Sacre Bleu by C. Moore, Gravity’s Rainbow by T. Pynchon and four more. The Author Read-alikes included Michael Chabon, Steven Milhauser, Clive Barker, Charles DeLint, Stephen King and four more.

I like that each author or title is followed by a succinct explanation for the suggestion as well as the person who provided the suggestion. I consider this source reliable because my professor recommends it and both the UICU and Northbrook libraries subscribe to it.

Reader’s Online Advisory offered five authors that Gaiman fans might enjoy. To find title read-alikes, I had to click on Gaiman’s name and then the title. The sidebar didn’t offer this choice so at first I didn’t think Title read-alikes were availab.e
“Neil Gaiman or Good Omen Read-alikes.” (2014). Novelist. Web Retrieved March 24, 2014.
“Neil Gaiman or Good Omen Read-alikes.” Web Retrieved March 26, 2014.

7. Does the 11th edition of the Guide to Reference Books recommend the Bopp & Smith text used in this class? Speculate as to why or why not.
It lists this book, but doesn’t recommend our text but it does list it. I thought I’d see if it recommends other reference texts and I found the page (see next page). My best guess is that as a text, this isn’t a book that a library would seek to acquire for its collection or that some of the contributors may be editors for this guide.

My favorite source this week was Novelist because I could spend all day reviewing the various recommendations. It is easy to use and intriguing. I thought the Literary Marketplace had a poor, outdated web design also it didn’t yield Small Beer Press.

Good News

On a day when the world’s stunned by tragedy, I thought I’d share this: t was the last place Lois Prater’s children expected her to go – overseas to become a missionary.

At age 80, Ms. Prater, who had been a stay-at-home housewife all her married life, sold her Seattle-area home, her car, and other belongings to build an orphanage in the Philippines. She became the unlikely helping hand for hundreds of orphaned children over the years, many of whom were abused or abandoned.

“She sold everything,” says Bonnie Swinney, one of Prater’s three daughters. “The only things she kept were the things she could use in the orphanage.”

In 1991, Prater, with her own money, bought 12 acres of land covered with mango and coconut trees near Orion, a small town in the Philippines. Three years later, the doors would open to King’s Garden Children’s Home, a 2,000-square-foot, white stucco building, giving orphaned children from infants to teens new hope.

“I can’t imagine at my age going over there now,” says Ms. Swinney, who is 73. “What she did was amazing.”

For 13 years, Prater lived in the Philippines, enduring both physical and financial hardships. She had to overcome a number of challenging physical ailments along the way. And there was the difficult task of living in a foreign country, far from her family. Yet she refused to come home.

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