Laura L's Design Portfolio

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Laura Levatino Original Designs

“I Am Called L.”


fter studying illustration in college, graduating, and then serving beers and grilled cheeses to people for nearly a year, I finally got a real job! Sure it was temporary. Also part time. But still! In 2008, Simon & Schuster’s Children’s department needed someone to upload book files to their DAM, and I was that person. Nine months later, the position was eliminated and I was lucky enough to get hired as a production assistant in their Adult department. Five years later, I switched over to the Desktop department so I could explore something more aligned with my art background. Like a lot of people with creative ambitions, I had trouble finding time and energy to keep developing my art skills while holding down a full time job and keeping up with other life responsibilities. Projects that should have been fun became frustrating and caused me to doubt myself. Before long I started ignoring my creative impulses altogether. This caused a great emptiness, which coupled with ongoing depression. For years I felt uncomfortable interacting with other humans. I believed I wasn’t good enough for friends or a cool job or a good life. One day I was so upset the only thing I could do was sit at my computer and type my feelings into an email that I would then delete (cheaper than therapy and you don’t have to leave your house!). The moment I placed my fingers on the keyboard, I heard her voice in my mind as though she were sitting right next to me: I am called L. The fact that L was an alien was something I knew before I typed a single word. The fact that she was also me took longer to figure out. Exiled from her home planet for the crime of intergalactic shoplifting, she was sent to Earth to live among humans and report her findings to the Council of ­Interdimensional Species Activity, a group of highly-trained alien watchdogs, to gain insight on human behavior. She was not necessarily great at her job, nor was she ever truly comfortable blending in with humans, but she had a sense of humor, tried hard, and occasionally succeeded at things. L was my ticket back from creative purgatory. I write stories from her angsty and insecure yet self-­ aggrandizing perspective. I draw pictures of her. I let out all my feelings via this anxious visitor from ­another galaxy, with sperm-shaped antennae that are invisible to humans but that she constantly worries they’ll somehow be able to see. L has been my alien avatar for a while now, conquering fears real and imagined, and like me, she has evolved over time. Also like me, she really likes to dance it out.





I was a son to my father . . . And he taught me and said to me, “Let your heart hold fast my words. . . .” —Proverbs

CHAIM POTOK Introduction by Rena Potok


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From the day I entered Reb Saunders’s house to the day I left to go with my father to our cottage near Peekskill where he was to convalesce, I was a warmly accepted member of Danny’s family. Danny’s mother, who had some kind of heart condition and needed to rest frequently, was forever adding food to my plate. Danny’s sister, I noticed for the first time, was a very pretty girl, with dark eyes and long dark hair combed back into a single braid, and vivacious hands that seemed always in motion when she spoke. She was forever teasing Danny and me and referring to us as David and Jonathan. Danny’s brother, Levi, was forever poking at his food when he sat at the kitchen table, or walking ghostlike around the house, picking his nose. And Danny’s father was forever silent, withdrawn, his dark eyes turned inward, brooding, as if witnessing a sea of suffering he alone could see. He walked bent forward, as though there were some kind of enormous burden on his shoulders. Dark circles had formed around his eyes, and sometimes at the kitchen table I would see him begin to cry suddenly, and he would get up and walk out of the room, then return a few minutes later and resume eating. No one in the family talked about these sudden moments of weeping. And I didn’t, either, though they frightened and bewildered me. Danny and I did everything together that month. We would rise a little before seven, go down to the synagogue to pray the Morning Service with the congregation, have breakfast with the family, then go out onto his porch if the day was nice, or stay in his room if it wasn’t, and spend the morning studying Talmud. After lunch, we would go together to the library, where we would spend the early hours of the afternoon. Danny was reading Freud, and I was

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Chaim Potok

The twenty-fifth anniversary edition of The Chosen! This seemingly fragile raft of a novel; this rarefied weave of signs, symbols, and metaphors; this odd tale of two boys from different backgrounds spinning out their adolescent lives in an arcane realm of Brooklyn homes, streets, playgrounds, libraries, houses of worship, and academies of learning around the closing years of the Second World War—still in print so many years after it first saw light. That it saw light at all is miracle enough. But that it has been read by millions over the decades and is now required reading in schools from America to Europe to Australia—how did this happen? Authors, beleaguered and bewildered and intuition-driven creatures, are probably the last to whom such queries about their books should be directed. But an account of the way this particular book was born might be of some interest to those curious enough about what the book has become. I wrote the first draft in Jerusalem during the fall and winter of 1963–64. My wife and baby daughter and I were there quite by chance: two of the leading scholars in post-Kantian epistemology—the subject of the doctoral dissertation I was at work on for the University of Pennsylvania—were then teaching at the Hebrew University. Unheated stone Jerusalem apartments are often mountain-cold in the fall and winter, the air dry and relentlessly penetrating. I would sit at an old desk in the small bedroom of our rented apartment, enveloped by a narrow circle of warmth thrown off by an aged kerosene heater. To step out of that

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PART ONE: The Story of The Chosen “The Birth of The Chosen” by Robert Gottlieb


“Foreword to 25th Anniversary Edition of The Chosen” by Chaim Potok


“Culture Confrontation in Urban America: A Writer’s Beginnings” by Chaim Potok


“The Culture Highways We Travel” by Chaim Potok


From “The Invisible Map of Meaning: A Writer’s Confrontations” by Chaim Potok


PART TWO: Other Voices The Novel:

Original book jacket.

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“A Zwischenmensch (‘Between Person’) in the Cultures” by Daniel Walden


From “The Chosen” by Edward A. Abramson


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interior hardcover book design DIANA, P R I N C E S S O F WA L E S



‘My Life Has Changed Its Course’

In Her Own Words






Wales was feeling sorry for herself. Her skiing

holiday had been spoiled by a nasty dose of influenza which confined her to bed for days. Early in the afternoon of 10 March 1988, the bedraggled figure of the Duchess of York appeared at her bedside in their secluded rented chalet at Wolfgang near the town of Klosters. Fergie, who was then pregnant with Princess Beatrice, was skiing


down the black Christobel run when she took an uncharacteristic tumble and landed ignominiously on her back in a mountain stream. She was examined by a local doctor and, pale and shaken, driven back to the chalet. As the girls were chatting, they heard a helicopter fly over. They were both filled with foreboding that there had been an avalanche which had somehow affected their skiing party. They were all on tenterhooks when shortly afterwards Prince Charles’s press secretary, Philip Mackie, came into the chalet. He didn’t know there was anyone upstairs and the girls could hear him saying: ‘There’s been an accident.’ When he had completed his telephone call they shouted down and asked him what was wrong. Mackie, a former deputy editor of the Edinburgh Evening News, tried to shrug off the

SIMON & SCHUSTER New york London Toronto


questions. ‘We’ll tell you soon,’ he said. For once Diana would not be

New Delhi

put off by a Palace courtier and was insistent he told them what was

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thought, ‘This can’t last, the energy of this creature is unbelievable.’

say my upbringing was able to handle that. It wasn’t as though I was

Meanwhile everybody looking at me—‘It’s a pity Diana has gone

picked out like My Fair Lady and told to get on with it. I did know

so introverted and quiet, she was so busy and trying to sort herself

how to react.

out,’ and then this holocaust arrived. I knew eventually she would

[On impressions of Buckingham Palace] I couldn’t believe how

turn round and say ‘Duch, how on earth have you survived all these

cold everyone was. I was told one thing but actually another thing

years?’ She’s said it now for the last two years. I never explain. I just

was going on. The lies and the deceit. For example, my husband

say it’s just happened.

sending Camilla Parker-Bowles flowers when she had meningitis. ‘To


Gladys from Fred.’



We went off skiing. I had flu, I had been in bed for two days. Third

[I met her] very early on. I was introduced to the circle, but obviously

1997 plunged the world into paroxysms of grief, despair and regret,

day in bed. Fergie came back in the afternoon at 2.30pm. She was

I was a threat. I was a very young girl but I was a threat.

unrivalled in the modern era. This spontaneous eruption of anguish


he tragic death of

diana, Princess of Wales on 31 August

carrying Beatrice then, she was four to five months pregnant. She

We always had discussions about Camilla though. I once heard

was a sign not only of her enormous personal impact on the world

landed upside-down in a ditch and had come back shaken, pale and

him on the telephone in his bath on his hand-held set saying: ‘What-

stage but of the potency of her position, of what she represented as

exhausted. I put her to bed and both of us were in the chalet and we

ever happens, I will always love you.’ I told him afterwards that I had

a woman and as a flag-bearer for a new generation, a new order and

heard this helicopter go up. I said to her: ‘There’s been an avalanche,’

listened at the door and we had a filthy row.

a new future. Even now we are still trying to come to terms not only

When I arrived at Clarence House there was a letter on my bed

with her loss but with what she meant to us, why those who never

We heard Philip Mackie [royal aide] come into the chalet. He

from Camilla, dated two days previously, saying ‘Such exciting news

met her felt moved to a depth of grief that they would not display

didn’t know that the two girls were upstairs. We heard him say:

about the engagement. Do let’s have lunch soon when the Prince of

even for their own kith and kin. By some indefinable alchemy she had

‘There’s been an accident,’ so I shouted down: ‘Philip, what’s going

Wales goes to Australia and New Zealand. He’s going to be away

come to embody the spirit of the age, so that when we buried her we

on?’ ‘Oh, nothing at all, nothing at all, we’ll tell you soon.’ I said:

for three weeks. I’d love to see the ring, lots of love, Camilla.’ and

also laid to rest something of ourselves. Those who came in pilgrim-

‘Tell us now.’ He said: ‘There’s been an accident and one of the party

that was ‘Wow!’ So I organized lunch. We had lunch and, bearing in

age to lay flowers at Kensington Palace, her London home, wept not

is dead.’ So we sat there, we just sat on top of the stairs, Fergie and I,

mind that I was so immature, I didn’t know about jealousy or depres-

just for her but for themselves. Ironically, she was once asked what

and we didn’t know who it was.

and she said: ‘Something’s gone wrong.’

sions or anything like that. I had such a wonderful existence being a

she would want as an epitaph on her grave. ‘A great hope crushed

Half an hour later it came through that it was a man and then

kindergarten teacher—you didn’t suffer from anything like that, you

in its infancy,’ was her reply, a phrase that unwittingly captured not

three-quarters of an hour later Charles rang up Fergie to tell her

got tired but that was it. There was no-one around to give you grief.

only her short life but the spirit she represented.

that it wasn’t him, that it was Hugh [Major Hugh Lindsay, a former

So we had lunch. Very tricky indeed. She said: ‘You are not going to

Amid the tears and the flowers, there was guilt, shame and anger

equerry to the Queen]. That really turned me inside out. So everyone

hunt are you?’ I said: ‘On what?’ She said: ‘Horse. You are not going

at the royal family who abandoned her and at the mass media who

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PReViouslY oN . . .

spoiler alert :



ur relationship was over before it began. Less than 15 minutes into our first date, I discovered that the tall drink of water sitting across from me by the name of Kit Cowan watched zero television, although he admitted to re-watching (over and over again) old episodes of AbFab on his VCR. This explained the glazed-over look in his eyes when I mentioned my favorite current series was Felicity starring my soul mate/kindred spirit Keri Russell. “Oh, wait—is she the one whose haircut almost got the show cancelled?” he exclaimed, way too proudly, as if bragging, “See, I know stuff !” “Yes,” I sighed with an exaggerated eye-roll that properly conveyed my half-serious contempt that he had just reduced Queen Keri to a Trivial Pursuit question. “I’m actually going to be on Felicity,” I boasted. “I’m going to make a cameo in the episode where she graduates, as part of a story I’m writing for TV Guide. I’m flying out to L.A. in January to shoot it.” “So you’re a bit of a celebrity?” he asked, rhetorically. “Hardly a celebrity,” I clarified, before deadpanning, “But, generally speaking, I am a pretty big deal. You should be aware of that.”

A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Other Four-Letter Words

Michael ausiello






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Kit and I had no interest in marriage. Even when gay unions had recently become the law of the land, our position remained unchanged. Kit already, you know, had a toaster. And I didn’t want to rock a boat that already had taken on a fair amount of water from bouts of infidelity and co-dependency and sexual dysfunction and pot use and just general malaise of being together for more than a decade. Also, I had a profound fear of failure. Most of the major life decisions I had made carried with them a high probability of success. I didn’t want a divorce to stain my “perfect” record. But if the events of the past two weeks had crystalized anything for me, save for the fact that the universe was totes evil and praying was a complete waste of fucking time, it was that Kit was it for me. He was my family. My best friend. My soul mate. My comedic partner. My travel companion. My cuddle buddy. My everything. I wanted—no, I needed —to enter into this scary, uncertain chapter not as his boyfriend or partner or longtime companion but as his husband. And dammit, I was going to find a silver lining in this awful mess.

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“Thanks,” I said, as I closed the door behind me. The bathroom still had all of its pre-war bones, giving it a classic New York bathroom vibe. There was subway tile lining the walls, a huge ceramic tub, a tank-less toilet. It was a sea of white. And what few surfaces existed were completely bare. As I stood and peed, I continued my visual inspection. I noticed the mirrored medicine cabinet. I wondered what was hiding behind it. I also questioned why it mattered so much. Was I looking for a second toothbrush-type smoking gun? Was I trying to sabotage my own happiness? “Chill the fuck out and just enjoy yourself,” I said to myself. I finished tinkling, flushed the toilet and . . . opened the medicine cabinet. Much like the rest of the bathroom, its contents were sparse. There was a stick of deodorant, a tube of toothpaste, your standard-issue toothbrush—just the one, thank heavens!—a small jar of mouthwash, all of which had been (curiously) stripped of their labels. In the bottom shelf tucked into the corner were two miniature plastic dinosaur figurines hugging each other—adorable! Oh. . . hold up a second. On closer examination, they weren’t hugging at all. The Triceratops was brazenly riding the Apatosaurus from behind in what appeared to be a consensual act. Hmm . . . Slightly disturbing but not a deal-breaker. On the top shelf, I noticed what appeared to be some sort of a wooden paddle with red and black illustrations etched into the wood. Only after picking it up and reading the words “Peter Meter”—and noticing that it was shaped like a cock—did I realize it was a measuring stick. A penis measuring stick. The units (in ascending order) were as follows:

fore me, I got now why Kit was so determined to debut it before we left for Sloan. He was flipping cancer the proverbial bird and he was doing so on Day 1 of the war. Dr. Cercek’s dispiriting, demoralizing diagnosis be damned, my husband was in it to win it. With “The Lurker” diorama assembled, I asked Kit if he was up for reading and (hopefully) approving the first dispatch of our Facebook Cancer Diary. I could see him mentally shift gears, before hesitantly saying, “OK.” He took the laptop, placed it on the kitchen counter and started reading.

• • • • • • • •

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Michael Ausiello

March 24, 2014 •

Some big news to share – some of it good, some of it less so. Let’s get the crappy news out of the way first. Two weeks ago, Kit was diagnosed with an extremely rare, rather aggressive, high-grade neuroendocrine cancer. Because it’s such an unusual form of this disease, there is little in the way of data about prognosis, but his doctors at Memorial Sloan Kettering are hopeful that an aggressive chemo cocktail will melt away the fist-sized tumor currently nestled in the lower part of his gastrointestinal tract. Treatment begins today and continues through Wednesday (all of the outpatient variety), and then, after a three-week respite, the three-day on, three-week off cycle continues. This could go on for anywhere from three to four months.

Should have been a girl Just a water spout 95% imagination. Seen better days, but not much. Just a teaser. Woman’s home companion. A secretary’s delight. For large girls and small cattle.

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One variable: Docs detected two tiny nodules in his lungs that could be related to the primary tumor. They’re too small to biopsy, so his docs are taking a wait-and-see approach on that front: If the nodules vanish during chemo, then it’s obvious there has been spread. And if they stick around, it’s probably unrelated. Again, the goal is for the chemo to wipe away any/all of the cancer. Surgery is being billed as a last resort, so we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.

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Taylor, she’d never find out about the rest. Then she crafted a branch for each of the other problems in her life and tried to figure out which leaf to prioritize for each branch. She came up with the following list:

Taylor: Me Bruce: Intel Russ: Obey Joyce: Ignore



The tree worked. She did feel less overwhelmed. She just had to obey Russ for a bit, while she got some intel on Bruce (she would decide what to do with it later). And she would definitely figure out how to get closer to Taylor. Like the AA folks suggested, she would keep her promise to Taylor and take her to the mall at 4:45. As if from above, though, she could hear the voice of the shadowy woman she kept bumping into at AA. Amanda imagined the woman leaning over her shoulder and looking at the notebook, saying, “There’s no branch for yourself. What happened to fixing yourself?” Oh right, but there’s no time for that right now, Amanda thought. And then she realized a little eerily that Carrie Fisher had become her higher power. Ken must have done a good job convincing Russ to let Amanda back into the Mark because he asked few questions when she showed up for her shift at 10 and he even let her out front on the register next to Lupita. She kept a low profile. Nose to the grindstone and all that. She tried to make things more interesting by figuring out the story behind people’s purchases. Like the guy who bought butter, wd40, a metal cutter, a six pack of beer and pork rinds. His wife just left him, she thought, and he’s trying to saw off his wedding ring. The next customer had white gumballs, poster board, green paint and a basketball net. School project. Replica of a soccer field. This occupied her mind until she got to hot sauce, cat food and puff pastry. And then, child







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Marcello was fine, a surface wound, Stevens didn’t kill him. But that little incident made her loathe to do what she had to do next. She couldn’t believe Stevens would actually shoot at a kid on a bmx bike. But she had to do what she had to do. For family. She arranged to meet Agent Stevens across the street from the McDonalds on Lincoln because, she said, that’s the new place Bruce went for his Thursday Filet-o-Fish. “I think he has some big plans today,” she told Stevens. “We’ll follow him. I heard something too about the airport? Might be a big shipment.” He was already there when she arrived and she abandoned the minivan and climbed in to his SUV. “Couldn’t you have rented something a little less ‘secret service?’ ” she asked him. “We’re conspicuous.” In ten minutes Bruce arrived in his Acura and climbed out of it, not without difficulty because it was so low to the ground. They watched as he scooted into the Golden Arches and stood in line behind the other unkempt seniors in their crumpled Dockers and sturdy white Reeboks (where do they even buy those? Amanda wondered) and ordered his filet-o-fish. He then sat near the window and leisurely read the paper during his lunch, wiping his mouth between bites with his paper napkin, torturing her. Damn him, Amanda thought. This wasn’t funny. She didn’t want to spend any more time than she had to with Agent Stevens. During their meeting in storage unit 53, Bruce had showed her his

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The Art of Baking Blind The Farm at the Edge of the World

Kate 31 October 2016

I lay my copy of The Times down on the clear surface of my galley kitchen and work through it methodically then do the same with the Sun, the Mirror and the Daily Mail. Plenty on the foiled Mile End terror plot, more too on the allconsuming story of the week: a Egyptian beachside bombing. But nothing on James Whitehouse, ‘the PM’s mate caught bonking’ as the Sun described him, last week; or ‘Liv’s lover in the lift’. I double-check the tabloids, pilfered from the clerks’ office. Not one single word. It’s bizarre how swiftly that story has sunk: buried by proper, earthshattering news and yet its complete absence is unsettling. Something doesn’t smell right, as my mother would say. The prime minister has said that he stands by his colleague. That he has the utmost confidence in him; that this is a private matter, now resolved. But other junior ministers, caught having sex with a junior member of staff, would be hung out to dry. So what has inspired this loyalty? It bothers me, this old boys’ favouritism, but I don’t have time to obsess. Nine o’clock on a Monday night and, just like every other night, I have a wheelie-case of documents nudging, like a loyal dog, at my heels. I scan through the notes for Blackwell, tomorrow’s hearing, at Southwark Crown Court. I’m prosecuting a recidivist sex offender who, at 2 a.m. one morning in March, abducted an eleven-year-old. His defence? He

Sarah Vaughan

New York

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Anatomy of a Scandal


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New Delhi

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the trick

the trees, he understood, with sudden clarity, that he owed this man more than just his life. The Great Zabbatini had given him a glimpse of the wonders and beauty of the world. This wasn’t a trick, Max realized. It was a miracle.

The Magic Shop


adMiT one

hortly before eight, Max arrived at the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Cherokee Avenue. It was already dark. A light rain had descended on Los Angeles. After the argument with his mother, he had climbed out the window and walked to the bus stop. His plan was as simple as it was daring. He was now officially a runaway child. How exciting! The police were probably already after him, maybe even the FBI. His mom would be worried, but he couldn’t think about that right now. He had to find Zabbatini, no matter what. If the man was even alive. And if not . . . dear God, Max hardly dared to think about it. He had taken the 181 East bus, all the way to the final stop in front of that large, kitschy theater where they seemed to be showing Cats all the time. Two years before, Max had gotten the idea that he absolutely had to see that musical, and finally his








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The man who had introduced himself during the meeting as Roberts was actually William Duke. He waited for the walk-in to leave the room in the company of the security guard, stood up, stretched his aching back, ran his fingers through his hair and returned to his office. With a brief glance at the photograph of his wife and children on the desk and a despairing look at his watch, he retrieved a yellow notepad from one of the drawers and began writing up his report on the meeting that had just ended.

Dresden, September 2012 The cold had taken up permanent residence in Marlene Schmidt’s bones. Her layers of clothing were of no help, and the same could be said for the piping-hot heating system in the small public housing apartment in which she lived on the outskirts of the city. At the age of 87, with terminal bone marrow cancer nesting in her body, feeling warm and comfortable wasn’t an option for her that gloomy winter. The coming spring, and the summer to follow, with the apple trees in full bloom and the magnificent flotilla of white swans on the river, wouldn’t be hers to see again. Her days on earth were drawing to a close, thus dryly said her sharp mind, and she felt no sadness or sorrow about her dwindling life, only a bitter sense of disgruntlement, like a mild heartburn that rises up from the stomach to the throat. So many years of service and loyalty down the drain, service and loyalty to a country and an organization that were the essence of her life, that were supposed to survive for all eternity and to create – yes, despite everything – a new and more just world. Marlene lived on the fifth floor of an enormous public housing project, seemingly infinite, put together with concrete and asbestos, one of the many built in keeping with the finest traditions of Stalinist architecture in Moscow and Leningrad, in Irkutsk and Tashkent, in Warsaw and Budapest, in East Berlin and Dresden, and in dozens, if not hundreds, of other cities throughout the Soviet Empire and its allies. Immense structures, eyesores, starkly uniform and utterly devoid of charm, but homes that were certainly inhabitable, that offered shelter, and in which one could live a complete and full life. Marlene

jonathan de shalit translated by steven cohen

1. Attached hereto are the questionnaire forms containing the complete particulars of the individual in question. See comments below. 2. Intelligent, calculated, knows what he wants, determined. 3. Appears to be motivated primarily by money. The subject is looking for a long-term relationship that would ensure him a steady income. If he does indeed rise through the ranks of the Israeli establishment as he intends to do, his price is expected to rise accordingly. Although still early days, it’s safe to assume already at this point that if his aspirations bear fruit and he truly finds himself walking the corridors of power and influence, we’d probably be happy to pay. 4. The deal the subject is offering us reflects a profound degree of cynicism, which, based on my initial impressions, forms a significant aspect of his personality. 5. The subject appears eager to be a part of “something” bigger

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epub design


Temptress Unbound

“I still think he’s using it as an excuse to get between your

thighs,” Terix said, riding beside me. “Maerlin doesn’t think about sex that way. It’s a means to an end, nothing more.” Terix snorted. “He’s more clever than I thought, if he’s got you convinced of that.” We were riding together—along with the ever-present Bone— to the forge, where my father, Brenn, waited along with apprentice blacksmiths and several men to handle the sails, and where Maerlin had set up a private shelter for us to call the storm. Or, more accurately, to increase the storm. We’d waited for the signs of approaching bad weather, knowing that it would be far easier to whip the winds of an existing storm up to the power of a hurricane than to start from nothing on a calm day. And right now, a brisk breeze was setting the tree branches swaying, and dark, swiftly moving clouds spoke of our approaching weather. “You think Maerlin cold-hearted, so why wouldn’t it make sense to you that he approaches sex the same way?” I asked. “He’s male. When he thinks of having you naked under him, neither heart nor head has anything to do with how he’s making his choices. And he knows Arthur cares for you. How could he do this to his own brother?” “He’s doing this for his brother,” I said. “Don’t you hear how crazy that sounds? I almost think you’re


Pocket Star Books New York

London Toronto


New Delhi

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Seeking Mr. Wrong

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I WAS DREADING the convocation. I’d been vague about my recent wedding combustion on social media, so lots of my colleagues were going to want to know why I was still Ms. Osbourne and not Mrs. Abbington. I had trouble falling asleep. Then I couldn’t eat breakfast. Then my hair dryer caught on fire. “Dammit!” I unplugged the smoking appliance and threw it into the bathroom sink. A small flame burst and then expired. It took me a minute to absorb the event. My hair was soaked, and my hair dryer had passed on. On the first day back to work. I noticed some bite marks on the cord. “Odin!” I marched into the living room and brandished the hair dryer at him. “No chew! No! You’ve just earned yourself obedience school, mister.” He cocked his head at me and thumped his tail, never fazed by my scolding. This was no good. I pulled my uncooperative hair into

Na t a l i e Ch a r l es






DREW: Went for a run


and headed to work. ME: Ah, the parentals. DREW: Roger that. So I was thinking. Dinner? After dinner? ME: I’ve got nonstop work. Sunday night? DREW: It’s a date. Pick you up?


My thumb hovers over the screen, waiting for my decision. Picking me up would mean coming into my home, not a quick drop-off in the middle of the night. It would mean sharing more, letting go of some of my privacy. I type my answer before I lose my nerve.


ME: Okay. 2P_Charles_MrWrong_LL.indd 1

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1/23/17 6:32 PM

1/23/17 6:33 PM

DREW: Sweet!


I exhale, my decision sealed. My heart pumps hot beats through me. Another date and yet my brain is sending panic signals. It’s saying You can’t hide specifics when he’s in


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Note that the Substituted Glyphs option highlights all instances of ligatures, which may not be helpful unless working on a file that contains widespread use of another language(s).


WHAT TO DO WHEN INDESIGN IGNORES YOUR LEADING COMMANDS Do not question everything you thought to be true about life as an InDesigner. There are three possible forces at work. 1) Align to Grid: When editing paragraph style options, review the Align to Grid drop down menu under the Indents and Spacing tab. If it is set to All Lines, change it to None to ensure this particular paragraph style will not automatically adhere to the grid when you don’t want it to.

A newsletter featuring bite-sized tips, tricks, and updates to make your S&S design experience more satisfying! Please enjoy these tasty tidbits.

Customizing Your Workspace What IS a Workspace? InDesign offers several preset workspaces. You may not even be aware of which workspace you’re using! To find out, go to Window > Workspace. The default preset is Essentials, but you can also try working in the Digital Publishing, Book, or Advanced presets. Each workspace preset has a slightly different panel display, but all panels are accessible in the presets under Window. If you consistently find yourself using panels that are not included in any of the workspace presets, a helpful timesaver is to customize your own workspace. Under Window, activate your panels of choice (i.e. Layers, Links, Preflight, or Paragraph Styles). Arrange them on the pasteboard how you would like them to appear every time you open a file. Go to Window > Workspace > New Workspace.

Then name your workspace! Make sure both Panel Locations and Menu Customization are checked.


A newsletter featuring bite-sized tips, tricks, and updates to make your S&S design experience more Note that when None is selected, the TXB leading can be adjusted freely. satisfying! Please enjoy these tasty tidbits. 2) Check that there isn’t a local override applied to the paragraph: With the cursor somewhere in the paragraph, go to the Paragraph Formatting Control Panel and make sure the Align to baseline grid button is not highlighted (which automatically means the Do Not Align button will be highlighted, and vice versa).

using quick apply

InDesign will save your workspace preferences and you will find everything intact the next time you open a file. Less time rearranging things!

Quick Apply allows the efficient InDesigner to apply paragraph and char-

PFCP acter styles to text quickly, without searching through menus and panels.

Select the target text, then hit Command + Return. The Quick Do Apply window Not/Align will appear. Begin typing the style or function that you want to apply, and Quick Apply will locate possible matches. Highlight the selection and hit Enter. 3) If the mystery persists, it is likely the text box has been vertically justified. Vertical justification is a setting which pertains only to the text box (not the paragraph style), and it means that spacing between lines will automatically adjust to keep the first line at the top of the text box and the last line at the bottom while making all spaces between the lines equal.

Useful if you find the lighter-colored pasteboard native to earlier versions of InDesign easier on the eyes. Or if you just like fun colors. Go to InDesign > Preferences > Guides & Pasteboard


s & s design newsletter NOTE: Your new workspace will only be accessible in the version of InDesign in which it was created, so if you make it in CC 2015, you’ll need to make it again in CC 2014, etc.

Oh no! My toolbox disappeared! If this has happened to you, don’t panic! Go to Window > Workspace > Reset Essentials, Advanced, Digital Publishing, or your customized workspace. Select the Preview Background drop down menu andown choose a color. Once you Your OK workspace willPreview return tomode, normal. click and enable note the new color of your pasteboard, which, when saved, will travel with the file.

A newsletter featuring bite-sized tips, tricks, and updates to make your S&S design experience more satisfying! Please enjoy these tasty tidbits.

using COMPOSITION HIGHLIGHTER Composition highlighter helps pinpoint places in a document where text “violations” occur. These include instances of missing font, tracking / kearning, substituted glyphs, and violations of hyphenation, justification, or keep settings. Go to InDesign > Preferences > Composition

Oh no! My rulers disappeared! To make rulers visible, go to View > Show Rulers To hide rulers, go to View > Hide Rulers Or, for a shortcut, you can use the View Options panel.

what’s the view options panel?


A feature in the newer versions of InDesign that provides a shortcutJ uto s t viewing try it. or hiding Frame Edges, Rulers, Guides, Baseline Grid, and Hidden Characters.

Note that Substituted Fonts are checked off by default. (This is why text appears highlighted in pink upon opening a file that has missing fonts.)

+ +


Locked-In Spread View: Allows you to scroll through a document quickly while keeping the spread in the same location on the screen. This is especially helpful when checking for alignment and running head/folio consistency.

paste in place: it will change your world bites are better when shared!

Useful for duplicating the locations of ruler guides or links from one spread to another. If you have a special tip or little-known maneuver that others may find helpful, please let me know so it can be featured in the next newsletter. Ruler Guides: Select a ruler guide and copy it. Then scroll to the target spread where you want the rule to appear in the same position. Checking off all the options under the Highlight section can be helpful in visualizing exactly where and when these violations occur within a document.

Go to Edit > Paste in Place. The rule will appear in the exact same spot on the new spread.


Illustration and workbook design done in 2015 for Young Audiences of New Jersey to be distributed to audience members at their “Healthier Training with Tort Ever After” show, a series of fractured fairy tales that promote Exercise is great, but Hare isn’t c healthy living amongit’schildren in you fill in the any fun. Can Philadelphia schools.spell all the fun ways you can get e

Training with Tortoise Exercise is great, but Hare isn’t convinced it’s any fun. Can you fill in the blanks to spell all the fun ways you can get exercise? S__I__M__NG


R__NN__NG CL__MB__ N__







Sometimes we get exercise when we don’t even realize it. Re every day. That’s a whole hour! Staying active is an imp

CL__MB__ N__


What kinds of activities do you lik Draw a picture of yourself doing YOUR __AN__ __ __G __W__

Sometimes we get exercise when we don’t even realize it. Remember to play at least 60 every day. That’s a whole hour! Staying active is an important part of staying heal


pai nt i ngs



L the Alien

Moody Mermaids


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