An Ode to Lauren Fox for her Book Friends Like Us
A pox! A pox!
A pox on Lauren Fox!
I read your book
I read all night
It felt so good
It felt so right.
But then the morning sun
I could barely ope
So a pox on you
is what I offer,
my new favorite author.
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Blog: Summer Friend (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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An Ode to Lauren Fox for her Book Friends Like Us
Blog: Writing and Illustrating (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Conferences and Workshops, Dawn Metcalf, Hazel Mitchell, Kami Kinard, Karen Calloway, New England SCBWI Conference, Sudipta Bardhan, Add a tag
Authors Sudipta Bardhan and Kami Kinard gave a workshop at the New England SCBWI Conference in April. I had SCBWI member, Karen Calloway ask me why I never put up anything about the New England SCBWI Conference a few days before it was held in April. I told her I would be glad to share her experience on my blog, since I know the New England Chapter does a great job with their conference. Karen put the conference to verse. Here it is:
It was late Sunday night when my friend Christi and I returned to our homes in western Maine. We had journey for twelve hours round trip to attend the New England SCBWI Art of Craft conference in Springfield, MA. We were bleary-eyed and exhaus-ted, but euphoric.
To say that my writing will be forever changed would be an understatement, but rather than write a long piece about every workshop I attended, who taught it, and what I learned, I offer the following verses.
What SCBWI Can Do if I Let It
by Karen Calloway
All my stories, every one,
the old, reworked, or just begun,
seemed more than perfect, skilled and deft,
yet somehow I was always left
with angst, confusion, doubt, and so -
off to a conference I did go.
It grew my brain and filled my heart-
an end, a middle, a whole new start.
I learned about metaphor, arc and rhyme,
character changes, voice sublime,
facebook, blogs, critiques and wine,
and illustrations I wish were mine,
indie publishing (self-help advice),
poetry, picture book (word-count precise),
young adult, middle grade, theories, craft . . .
new information to polish my draft,
authors, artists, new-found friends,
editors, agents, and newest trends.
Keynote speakers Lin and Creech
convinced me (again) that I must reach
to do my best upon this stage-
word by word and page by page,
for books are within me, daring, wild.
They will stir the heart of a waiting child.
Genre, genre, wish I might
have the wish I wish tonight . . .
to be courted by publishers, one, two, three,
considered a “find” by the industry.
Then certainly, surely, my luck will have flipped.
Perhaps even Spielberg will ask for the script?
It was awesome. Wished you were there. Maybe you were.
Hazel Mitchell and Dawn Metcalf showing off the doodles they did on their book table. I am not sure, but I think they auctioned it off at the end of the conference.
Thank you Karen for sharing, hope you keep the motivation you found and attend more SCBWI events.
Filed under: Conferences and Workshops Tagged: Dawn Metcalf, Hazel Mitchell, Kami Kinard, Karen Calloway, New England SCBWI Conference, Sudipta Bardhan Add a Comment
Blog: First Book (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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Our intrepid leader, CEO, and co-founder of First Book, Kyle Zimmer, shared some of the wit and wisdom that motivates the First Book Team on a daily basis with a crowd of graduates of St Mary’s College in Notre Dame this Saturday.
Adults Are Not Really Certain of Anything.
“In my own life, it took me far too long to figure this out. When I was young, I got distracted by adults who would swagger or bluster. I assumed that anyone who was that forceful MUST know what they were talking about.”
You Are Going to Fail.
“The truth is that, although you can fail without ever succeeding, it is impossible to succeed without failing. Every famous person who has ever succeeded has failed –- and usually significantly -– before contributing their success to the world.”
Grit Trumps IQ.
“Researchers have been confounded by the fact that having a high IQ does not correlate to success. Finally one woman, Angela Lee Duckworth, started performing wide-ranging analysis and she has discovered that, while it is certainly handy to have a high IQ -– grit is by far the better indicator of potential. She defines grit as ‘perseverance and passion for long-term goals.’ You are all blessed elevated IQs –- which will give you a leg up -– but your task now is to find your passion – and get gritty – and no one will be able to stop you.”
Community Is Everything. Build It and Be A Part of It.
“The institutions you will encounter will likely not have communities that are as strong and supportive as St. Mary’s. They will need you to build them up: at work, at home, with people who are kind and smart and have a great sense of humor. Wait — let me reorder that -– build with people who have a great sense of humor and who also are smart and kind. For heaven’s sake, prioritize the sense of humor. It sustains everyone.”
The Most Powerful Force in the World is Empathy.
“Empathy is powerful because it demands action. This world is a needy place and we cannot afford the luxury of inaction. Pledge yourself to empathy. It will require you — when you can — to take on monumental action on behalf of others, but it also requires you to take smaller actions every single day. Hold the door for the person behind you, smile at somebody who never gets a smile. Just do it. Our world needs you desperately.”
The post 5 Secrets Adults Won’t Tell You – Kyle Zimmer’s Commencement Speech at Saint Mary’s College appeared first on First Book Blog.Add a Comment
Blog: TWO WRITING TEACHERS (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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I’ve been working with Keith Bollman and his fifth grade class on a research project. The end result is a tour of the solar system, completely planned, designed, researched, and created by the… Read MoreAdd a Comment
Yesterday they announced that Lydia Davis wins the Man Booker International Prize 2013, as she becomes the fifth winner of this biennial would-be Nobel alternative, awarded: "to a living author who has published fiction either originally in English or whose work is generally available in translation in the English language".
What stands out immediately, of course, is that this is now the third time in a row that the prize has gone to a North American author (after Alice Munro in 2009 and Philip Roth in 2011), and that four of the five prizes have gone to English-writing authors (longtime -- nearly a quarter of a century -- US resident Chinua Achebe took the prize in 2007, and only Ismail Kadare bucked what became the trend, in 2005). Obviously, written-in-English fiction has a home field advantage, exacerbated by the fact that there have never been clear guidelines as to who should be eligible -- recall that in 2005 judge Alberto Manguel 'lamented' that they couldn't consider the likes of Peter Handke, António Lobo Antunes, Michel Tournier, and Christa Wolf, among others, because not enough of their books were available in English (see my previous mention), yet this year authors such as Marie NDiaye and Intizar Husain made the cut, more than two of either's books in English translation you're unlikely to find in any bookstore in the continental US (or insular Britain).
I think Davis is a fine choice, but the Man Booker International Prize obviously has a serious identity problem on its hands. This choice already makes it hard for them to keep their international credibility, at least internationally; one more time down this road and they'll lose any remaining credibility -- which isn't the kind of pressure that should be hovering over any literary prize. For all the whingeing that goes on about the Nobel-awarding Swedish Academy and its predilection for obscure, non-North American authors: from abroad, this has got to look considerably worse.
It was an interesting group of finalists, with seven of the ten authors with books under review at the complete review -- though not, regrettably, Lydia Davis (though I am a fan). I guess I really will have to finally get around to putting up a review of the marvelous The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis -- but go ahead and get your copy first (really -- it's worthwhile); see the Picador publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
Note also that the winner's name was leaked -- a Times of India report (since removed, but originally here; remnants visible here) had the report about three hours before the official announcement -- I'm curious to hear what happened there.
Here are ten ways to move your story from one scene to another.
Via I'm pointed to Debra Kamin's report in The Tower, which claims that The Greatest Living Hebrew Writer Is Arab.
No, it's not an exposé revealing that, say, Amos Oz is actually Arabic (whatever that might mean ...); rather, she's making the claim for ... Sayed Kashua.
Second Person Singular-author Sayed Kashua is certainly an interesting young writer (emphasis on the young -- he has three books under his belt, but writing-wise still a long way to go), but let's be clear: he's not anywhere near the top of the Hebrew-writing pantheon. Like nowhere close (there are a lot of really good Hebrew-writing authors.)
Still, I do really like hearing this:
I have a very strange feeling that my fourth novel will start in Hebrew, and then it will turn into a mix of Hebrew and Arabic, and it will end with Arabic.That could be something ..... Read the rest of this post Add a Comment
Over at BookRiot today, there's a post about personal reading rules:
When I started thinking about this piece, I thought about it as just a list of my (many!) seemingly arbitrary rules for reading. Once I got started, though, I discovered that those rules actually tell you so much about me that they double as personality traits. In fact, they say so much about me that I’m actually a little uncomfortable sharing them now, but I’m going to anyway because I’m done with the piece; this paragraph is actually, chronologically, the last one I’ve written, and who wants to waste all that effort?
Which (obviously) made me think about my own set of personal reading rules.
1. I'm a note taker. If I don't have pencil and paper at hand—or am too lazy to get up and go find pencil and paper—I will dog ear pages. Yes, that's right, I AM AN UNREPENTANT DOGEAR-ER.
1a. Since I realize that this confession will probably result in you all shunning me forevermore—you're totally going to cross the street to avoid me at BookExpo next week, aren't you?—I'm going to go ahead and ADMIT ALL: Yes, I even dogear library books. (I always un-dogear before I return them, though.)
1b. If it makes you feel any better, I dogear the BOTTOM of the page, not the top.
1c. I don't write in books. Ever. I do use the Note feature on my Kindle a hella lot, though.
2. When Josh gets ready to read a new paperback, he preemptively breaks its spine, and I flinch every single time.
3. Halfway through any given hardback, the book jacket starts driving me bananas and I take it off and throw it behind the couch. I retrieve and replace when I'm done reading.
4. The only genre I seem to be capable of reading without going into Literary Analysis mode? Vaguely smutty historical romances.
5. I've said this before, but it should be included: I'm a really, REALLY visual reader. When I'm wrapped up in a book, it's like I stop seeing the words and have an actual movie playing in my head: therefore, I had to stop listening to audiobooks in the car because I kept running stop signs.
6. I'm a vocal supporter of Putting The Book Down If It Isn't Working For You, but I find that I rarely actively do that myself. More often, I realize months later that I set something down and never returned to it.
7. I'm a one-book-at-a-time girl. And I always have at least two back-ups in my bag, JUST IN CASE.
So. YOUR TURN.Add a Comment
Blog: prime time rhyme (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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Blog: Red Fish Circle (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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Summer is on its way!
In Haaretz Zvi Bar'el reports (a bit melodramatically ?) that Egypt's songs of revolution have given way to a literature of despair.
A lot of the article focuses on the to-do around minister of culture Alaa Abdel-Aziz, rather than 'the literature of despair' (which I'd love to hear more about ...).
Blog: Cartoon Brew (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Events, Warner Bros., A Corny Concerto, A Tale of Two Kitties, Baby Bottleneck, Bob Clampett, Book Revue, Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs, Draftee Daffy, Filmpodium Zurich, Kitty Kornered, Porky in Wackyland, The Great Piggy Bank Robbery, Classic, Add a tag
On Thursday, May 30, the Filmpodium Zurich in Switzerland will present a screening of nine Warner Bros. shorts directed by the legendary Bob Clampett. The show is being presented in honor of his centennial, which was earlier this month. Clampett’s work isn’t well known in Switzerland and the film lineup is a solid primer to his work:
- Porky in Wackyland (1938)
- A Tale of Two Kitties (1942)
- A Corny Concerto (1943)
- Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs (1943)
- Draftee Daffy (1945)
- Book Revue (1946)
- Baby Bottleneck (1946)
- Kitty Kornered (1946)
- The Great Piggy Bank Robbery (1946)
Better yet, each film will be introduced by Swiss animator and historian Oswald Iten, who will discuss different facets of Clampett’s visual style. Iten runs one of my favorite animation blogs Colorful Animation Expressions, where he has recently been writing some fantastically informative posts about Clampett’s art. Ticket and screening details are available on the Filmpodium Zurich website.
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I apologize for not blogging more frequently! It's been a crazy busy month!
I had a fabulous time at the Gaithersburg Book Festival with Jessica Spotswood, author of Born Wicked. We talked about world building, outcast females, girl power, research and books we love. It was a great time!
I also had a author hero worship moment when I got to meet both Walter Dean Myers and his son Christopher Myers. Guys if you don't have We Are America in your bookshelves, you should! It is beautiful and brilliant and the illustrations by Christopher Myers is gorgeous! It should be right next to Harlem, which you should have in your bookshelves also! After introducing myself to them and mentioning that we had the same editor, the brilliant Phoebe Yeh, I was rendered speechless. It is not every day that you meet the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature and his talented illustrator/author son.
I got to hear Mr. Myers speak and he was amazing! Funny, sincere, eloquent. It was such a pleasure. And then I got to go home where I found that my oldest had been playing around on her Instagram account and had made this photoset of me during my panel discussion.
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Blog: Crazy Quilts (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Me Being Me, ALA publication, car, diversity in YA, guest reviewers, NAPA-south, Add a tag
I was running just a little late yesterday, looking forward to meeting with a colleague for breakfast yesterday morning. I still swear I’m not a morning person, but I enjoy early morning workouts and breakfasts! I was a bit surprised to see that a tree had fallen overnight and was quite shocked when I stood next to my car and saw all the damage! I stayed home and spent the day working through insurance, car rentals and tree removal. My entire day was off!
When I finally made it to my email account this morning, I found several items of interest.
First, thanks to librarian friend Nichelle Hayes for sharing information about Dial-A-Pacer!
Children of all ages and families are invited to hear members of the Indiana Pacers read their favorite stories in children’s literature during “Read Like a Pro — Call-a-Pacer 2013″ on The Indianapolis Public Library’s 24-hour Call-a-Story telephone line.By dialing 275-4444, or toll-free at 877-275-9007, callers will hear recorded stories from Pacers players who demonstrate their love of reading as a way to encourage young ones to develop the habit.
At New Augusta, the school library program and Lauren Kniola, the school librarian, help to fulfill this mission. In the letter of support from Principal Mary Kay Hunt, she writes, “Under the leadership of Mrs. Lauren Kniola the library program flourishes. She prepares our students to become outstanding members of a global society. She works side by side with the classroom teachers to help the students learn in multiple ways: inquiry based projects, distance learning, in addition to help the students develop a love of reading. Mrs. Kniola has built a learning environment that is stimulating, student centered, and a flexible schedule so that our library can enhance their learning and be the hub of learning.”
Edited by Jamie Campbell Naidoo and Sarah Park Dahlen, this contributed volume presents chapters on the representations of culture groups that are often ignored in examinations of diverse youth literature, while also examining more common cultural groups through a new lens or perspective.
Emma Karas was raised in Japan; it’s the country she calls home. But when her mother is diagnosed with breast cancer, Emma’s family moves to a town outside Lowell, Massachusetts, to stay with Emma’s grandmother while her mom undergoes treatment.
Emma feels out of place in the United States.She begins to have migraines, and longs to be back in Japan. At her grandmother’s urging, she volunteers in a long-term care center to help Zena, a patient with locked-in syndrome, write down her poems. There, Emma meets Samnang, another volunteer, who assists elderly Cambodian refugees. Weekly visits to the care center, Zena’s poems, dance, and noodle soup bring Emma and Samnang closer, until Emma must make a painful choice: stay in Massachusetts, or return home early to Japan.
Everyone knows that pretty equals mean, and Evelyn Ryder used to be a beautiful movie star—never mind that it was practically a lifetime ago. There’s no time limit on mean. So if you think I feel guilty about mugging her, think again.
But for something that should have been so simple, it sure went horribly wrong. See, I think I might have killed that old movie star. Accidentally, of course. And I’m starting to believe that my actions have cursed me, because nothing in my life has gone right since then.
That’s why I’m returning to the scene of the crime. To see if there’s any chance that old lady might still be alive. To see if I might be able to turn my luck around. Maybe my life can be different. But if I want things to change, I’m gonna have to walk the straight and narrow. And that means no more revenge.
Filed under: Me Being Me Tagged: ALA publication, car, diversity in YA, guest reviewers, NAPA-south Add a Comment
The Guardian prints an edited version of Atiq Rahimi's keynote speech to the Edinburgh World Writers' Conference which I mean(t) to point you to -- but they note that 'the full transcripts of all the speeches' are available at the Edinburgh World Writers' Conference site and I can't believe I've never seen this trove.
Yes, there's not just Rahimi's speech in full but, for example, all the keynote speeches on The Future of the Novel, and sure I'd like to comment on the Rahimi and some of the others but who cares what I have to say -- if you haven't seen this stuff just dive in there -- a holiday weekend is approaching in the US, right ? well, this seems a good site to explore in that time -- I think that's what I might be doing.
I'm excited to share this interview with Ben Kane, the author of the Spartacus series. I'd previously read and reviewed the first three books in the series. The latest book, Spartacus Rebellion, has just come out.
St. Martin's Press
Spartacus has already done the impossible—not only has he escaped from slavery, he and his seconds have created a mighty slave army that has challenged Rome and defeated the armies of three praetors, two consuls, and one proconsul. On the plain of the River Po, in modern Northern Italy, Spartacus has defeated Gaius Cassius Longinus, proconsul and general of an army of two legions. Now the road home lies before them—to Thrace for Spartacus, and to Gaul for his seconds-in-command, Castus and Gannicus.
But storm clouds are gathering on the horizon. One of Spartacus's most powerful generals has defected, taking his men with him. Back in Rome, the immensely rich Marcus Licinius Crassus is gathering an unheard-of Army. The Senate has given Crassus an army made up of ten legions and the authority to do whatever it takes to end the slave rebellion once and for all.
Meanwhile, Spartacus wants to lead his men over the Alps and home, but his two seconds have a different plan. They want to march on Rome itself and bring the Republic to its knees. Rebellion has become war. War to the death.
I thought that it would be a great time to touch base with the author. He's been kind enough to spend time to talk about his writing. Please welcome Ben Kane!
(1) Your first Spartacus novel developed into a whole second book. Was this something that you'd planned when you wrote the first book?
(Please can the question be rephrased as above or similar? Otherwise it implies that there are more than two books. Thank you.)
Initially, I sold the idea of one Spartacus novel to my UK publishers. Once I had begun it, I found that the story itself was bigger than I had imagined. I realised at about 100,000 words of the first book that there was no way on this earth that I could finish Spartacus’ story within 30-40,000 (the amount that was left if my novel was to come in at normal length) – without having to cut loads of wonderful detail about what he’d done. I rang my editor and asked her if I could write a second book, to finish the story. I’m happy to say that she gave me the green light, which freed me up to pen the second volume. I wrote both books in a frenzied twelve month period.
(2) How have you adjusted to expand the adventures and keep the main characters and relationships throughout?
It was easy, I am glad to say. Spartacus did so many amazing things in the two years of his rebellion that I had no trouble keeping him and his fellow characters very busy indeed. Having two novels to write also meant that I had more time to develop the character of Ariadne, his wife, which I really enjoyed doing. It’s unusual for ancient texts even to tell that he had a wife, let alone that she was a priestess of Dionysus, the god of wine and ritual mania. he moment that I read those details, I knew that Ariadne also had a great story to tell.
(3) What are you currently working on? Would you like to tell us a bit about projects that you have brewing?
Currently, I am writing Clouds of War, the third in my Hannibal series. Enemy of Rome, the first book in this series will be published in the USA next year. It’s a series that opened a year before the outbreak of the Second Punic War (218-201 BC), which details the stories of characters from both sides of the conflict. Originally, I just planned to write a trilogy, but the sheer scale of the war and my publishers’ backing means that I’ll write at least five if not more books about it. Before I write the fourth one, however, I plan to start a new series, set during the Hundred Years’ War, which took place between England and France from 1337 – 1453. After that, I have plans to return to Spartacus’ boyhood, as well as to write about other time periods that I won’t mention just yet.
About the Author
Ben Kane was born in Kenya and raised there and in Ireland. He qualified as a veterinary surgeon from University College Dublin, and worked in Ireland and the UK for several years. After that he travelled the world extensively, indulging his passion for seeing the world and learning more about ancient history. Seven continents and more than 65 countries later, he decided to settle down, for a while at least.
While working in Northumberland in 2001/2, his love of ancient history was fuelled by visits to Hadrian's Wall. He naïvely decided to write bestselling Roman novels, a plan which came to fruition after several years of working full time at two jobs - being a vet and writing. Retrospectively, this was an unsurprising development, because since his childhood, Ben has been fascinated by Rome, and particularly, its armies. He now lives in North Somerset with his wife and family, where he has sensibly given up veterinary medicine to write full time.
To find out more about Ben and his books visit www.benkane.net.
To celebrate Spartacus Rebellion's release, the publisher and Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours have sponsored this giveaway of 1 copy of Spartacus Rebellion. Enter the giveaway below - the giveaway ends on June 15, 2013.
To enter the giveaway, please comment below and share what book you're looking forward to reading this summer. For an extra entry, tell us about a book that you loved recently and why. Contest ends on June 15, 2013.
(1) You must be a follower of the blog to enter.
(2) Limited to U.S. residents only.
(3) Maximum of two entries per household.
Want to learn more about Ben Kane, Spartacus and the latest book in the series? Want more chances to win your personal copy of Spartacus Rebellion? Check out the tour schedule and/or follow #SpartacusRebellionTour
Link to Tour Schedule: http://hfvirtualbooktours.com/
Twitter Hashtag: #SpartacusRebellionTour
The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Ricardo Güiraldes' 1926 Argentine classic, Don Segundo Sombra: Shadows on the Pampas.
This is one reason I love going to used bookstores -- for finds like this. I paid a dollar for this 1948 volume (list price: one shilling and sixpence). Back then it was the first book by a Latin American author to make the Penguin Books paperback series (as volume 638). Nowadays -- well, you can find it if you seek it out, but otherwise you're unlikely to stumble across it.
Sure, it's not a book you need to stumble across -- but it's an interesting and not insignificant work, and certainly anyone who reads Argentine fiction should be familiar with it (as all the authors of those books they're reading are).
Blog: The (Mostly) Official Blog of Thurber House (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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by Victoria, Thurber House Intern
Hello again blog readers! This is a midweek update as to what I – Victoria the Intern – have been up to here at Thurber House.
Three days into my internship and I have learned a lot of things – the life and writings of James Thurber, the importance of organization, and the superiority of Nickles Donut Fair (absolutely true). I’ve also managed to start up my own collection of pens, become an Excel spreadsheet master (which is harder than it looks, let me tell you), test out every single marker/pen/glue stick within a five-mile radius, and do a lot of inventory.
But, mostly I’ve just been helping Thurber prepare for their Summer Camp, which looks like so much fun that I’m contemplating building a time machine and going back in time to when I was a 2nd - 8th grader just to join! Seriously – awesome games, interesting writing prompts, and stories galore – what better way to spend your summer?
For my summer, I plan on reading all the books I’ve been assigned to read for school next year. This should take about the entire summer since I decided to take four different English classes (I know, I’m crazy). Here are a few books not for school that I plan on reading:
On my Want to Read List: In Search of Lost Time (Marcel Proust), Nine Stories (J.D. Salinger), and The Fault in Our Stars (John Green).
On my Currently Reading List (AKA the books that are collecting dust in my room): Slaughterhouse-Five (Kurt Vonnegut) and a truck full of my guilty pleasure – Sarah Dessen novels.
And that was your midweek update! Check in on Friday for the final entry!
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Blog: Steph Bowe's Hey! Teenager of the Year (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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Literary snobs annoy me. They annoy me a lot.
I tire of the idea that the only "serious" writers are the ones writing literary fiction.
I tire of the idea that I am less real as a writer or work less hard or am somehow less important because I write books for teenagers.
And I think it is absolutely absurd when people say things like "That isn't what literature is about."
Like, the only stories of worth have to examine the human condition and be about death and some middle-class white bloke wandering about doing nothing for four hundred pages (as written by some narcissistic middle-class white bloke).
About 90% of the time when I read a critically-acclaimed, award-winning novel I am just baffled. (Generally of the books-for-adults variety. I usually like the YA award winners.)
A great deal of literary fiction seems to be about literary fiction which, to me, is very odd. It's like an entire genre of in-jokes.
I dislike the idea that all the important stories must be depressing. I think that literature can and should be about a lot of things. Entertainment and comfort and whatever it is the reader wants out of it. I don't know, I think there's enough depressing in the real world without every novel of "value" (how do we ascribe this value? how does this work?) being so incredibly depressing.
I think the idea of "serious" and "non-serious" writers is stupidly linear. (Maybe I should add "unserious writer" to my bio. I'm not sure I could ever be, or be considered, a "serious" writer.) I am, however, very uncool and not really part of any literary scene and likely not a future award-winner, so perhaps I am not the best person to listen to.
To sum up:
1. I have forgotten how to write blog posts.
2. People who talk about "serious" fiction are irritating.
3. Lots of novels are important and have value and bring people joy and make them think! Stories, I love them all! Stop acting like your genre is by default superior to mine!
Blog: Bergers Book Reviews (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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Billy is frustrated because everyone picks on him. One day he finds a magic pencil that lets him erase anything that annoys him. Over the course of the day, he erases them all, one by one. But suddenly he discovers he’s lonely and he misses them.
Luckily for Billy, pencils don’t just erase. He has to decide if he wants to draw these people back into his life again. After thinking things over, he makes the right choice and is finally happy.
A Giant Pencil was written when Connor Wilson was nine years old. This heart-warming story will remind kids how much friends and family really mean to them.
Reviewer: Alice Berger
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Avenger (Halflings Novel, A), by Heather Burch
Black Helicopters, by Blythe Woolston
Dear Life, You Suck, by Scott Blagden
Going Vintage, by Lindsey Leavitt
If You Find Me, by Emily Murdoch
Impostor, by Jill Hathaway
Period 8, by Chris Crutcher
Shadow on the Sun, by David Macinnis Gill
Wasteland (Wasteland - Trilogy), by Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan
Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass, by Meg Medina
You Know What You Have To Do, by Bonnie Shimko
New paperbacks (that I've read):
A Touch of Scarlet, by Eve Marie Mont:
Emma's narration never really gels into a consistent, believable voice. She ranges from snarky-casual to super-duper stiff and formal (with the occasional infodump), and there's a lot of telling rather than showing, especially when it comes to the interactions and relationships between the characters. Michelle's storyline (along with the student protest and the alternaprom and the end of Dr. Overbrook's arc) never completely integrates with the rest of the story, and so it feels at best, like it should have gotten its own book, and at worst, extraneous. (And, in terms of plotting, very afterschool-specially.)
The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden), by Julie Kagawa:
Like so many Mysterious Vampire Heroes before him, [Kanin} is cold and aloof, but betrays his carefully hidden feelings through regular Eyebrow Quirks and Faint Smiles. He’s fond of long-winded exposition, tortured by a guilty past, doomed to forever obsess about righting the wrongs he’s done, says things like “My road must always be traveled alone,” and probably wears a lot of black silk shirts.
Masque of the Red Death, by Bethany Griffin:
While the atmosphere really is wonderfully done—Araby's narration fittingly shares that muffled, deadened quality—and I very much appreciated Griffin's writing, I can't say that Masque of the Red Death was an entirely enjoyable read. (Which isn't necessarily a necessity in a book, of course. But, you know. It's a factor in recommending it to other people.)
The Selection, by Kiera Cass:
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America is infinitely slappable, as are BOTH love interests. (Duh. OF COURSE Maxon falls for her, so there's a love triangle!) The characters act more in keeping with what is convenient for the storyline—for instance, when America tries to warn Maxon about the super-duper bitchitude of one of the other contestants, he pulls the I'M ROYALTY AND YOU'RE NOT, THEREFORE YOU CAN'T TALK TO ME LIKE THAT routine, even though up until then, he'd sought out her opinion about stuff like that—than with their own personalities, and most of America's major decisions seem to be based more on who she's angry with at the time than in any sort of logic.
As of November 20, 2012 (that is, Midnight Eastern Time tonight) I am closed to queries. I will reopen to queries January 7, 2013.
If I already have your work, you should hear from me by January 7. (That's the point of taking the break, I have to catch up!)
I'm sorry to say that I cannot respond to new queries sent during this time.
The exceptions will be: work that I've requested -- conference material -- client or editor referrals -- and people I actually know in real life. If this is you, please be sure you've said so, along with the word Query, IN THE SUBJECT LINE of your email. Otherwise, your query will be deleted.
For all other regular queries, please feel free to try any of my colleagues at Andrea Brown Lit, or else try me again in January.
Thanks again for thinking of me in regard to your work.
Wishing you all the best, and Happy Holidays,
Andrea Brown Literary Agency
Blog: Red Fish Circle (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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Waiting on the drive through pharmacy line today I saw these microscopic red bugs on this pink and brick background. Unfortunately they didn't show up in the photo as they were too small, but I loved these colors.
Blog: Cartoon Brew (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Epic, Tom LaBaff, Artist of the Day, Illustration, Blue Sky, Add a tag
Continuing our week of looking at some of the artists behind Blue Skey’s Epic, we focus on storyboard artist Tom LaBaff.
“Print illustration is one of Tom’s passions,” according to the bio on his website. Tom creates editorial and book illustration work in addition to working on animated features.
Tom extends the energetic, rough line often used during the animation process to his illustration work. He works with ink and watercolor washes and sometimes with a digital/analog hybrid technique demonstrated in this time-lapse video:
Tom also has a blog here where you can see large versions of his illustrations.
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