Monthly Archives: September 2010

100 books!

This is worth another around the web this week post.

Little, Brown, the publisher of Twenty Boy Summer, has donated another 62 books to the Debs Speak Loudly giveaway, for a total of 100 books! Visit the 2009 Debutantes website to enter. All it takes is a comment. And with 100 books, your chances are very good.

In other news, Nathan Bransford talks about why so many dead/absent parents in children’s literature. Lazy writing? Or is there something more nefarious going on? Or, are there other, legitimate, reasons for this? Go have a read.

Thinking about dating a writer? Enamored by the meme going around tumblr about just how great that would be? You may want to rethink that. Look here for a point by point deconstruction. My favorite (although there are so many to choose from):

Writers are surrounded by interesting people. Every last one of whom is imaginary.

And … remember, I’ll be at the Minnesota Educational Media Organization (MEMO) fall conference on Friday, October 1st. If you happen to be there too, stop by and say hi!

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Filed under 2009 Debs, Books, Reading & Writing, Writing, YA

Debs Speak Loudly

Bringing you around the web this week, a day early.

From the 2009 Debutantes website:

Banned Books Week has special significance for the Debs this year. Our own Sarah Ockler and her debut novel, TWENTY BOY SUMMER, are under challenge right now in Republic, MO, along with Kurt Vonnegut’s SLAUGHTERHOUSE 5 and Laurie Halse Anderson’s SPEAK.

In response to this, the 2009 Debs are giving away thirty-eight (38!) copies of Twenty Boy Summer. Visit the Debs site for more details, but the contest is open between now October 2, 2010.  Entries open to everyone worldwide. We’ll ship anywhere!

For more information on what’s going on, visit Sarah Ockler’s site and read her blog. Additionally, check out Laurie Halse Anderson’s blog as well. You can also read Sarah’s wonderful response to the challenge here.

Unfortunately, Mr. Vonnegut is no longer with us and cannot respond to the challenge, but one can imagine what he might have to say.

I’ve seen a few suggestions around the web that the authors in question and their supporters not speak loudly about this–that only gives the challenger in question too much attention, a national platform.

Just ignore him and he’ll go away.

Except sometimes, people like that won’t.  Sometimes, they convince other, reasonable people that there is a threat contained between two covers of a book.

The thing is, children may learn facts from history, but they learn empathy and truth from fiction. How and where do we want our young adults learning about the harsh realities of the world? From the safe confines of a book–where they have the time and opportunity to think about the situations presented and the moral and ethical implications.

Or should we simply shove them out the door unprepared? Let them learn it on the street, from peers who may be as ill-equipped as they are. All under the guise of keeping them safe.

How do we expect our children to make good ethical decisions when we’ve shielded them from ethical dilemmas? Why do we decry the “me-me-me generation” and then take away the very thing that teaches empathy? We complain that children don’t read, then snatch away the very books that engage them.

So sometimes you have to speak loudly to be heard above the din. Like Sarah Ockler. And Laurie Halse Anderson.

Speak loudly, because some would prefer you not speak at all.

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Filed under 2009 Debs, Books, censorship, Reading & Writing, Writing

Around the web this week: writing advice

Cover of "Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Va...
Cover via Amazon

This week, around the web:

Nathan Bransford talks about the danger of getting too carried away with dreams of wild success and Oprah stickers for one’s (yet unpublished) books. Is it good to dream and aspire? Yes. 

Is it bad to let those dreams turn into expectations, that later, turn you bitter and craven and into a Dark Lord of the Sith. Probably. (No really, he says that. Go see for yourself.) 

John Scalzi is back from his blogging hiatus and is in fine form today, talking about writing and finding the time to do so. Excellent advice, but take a peek at the comments. One very astute commenter (#16 to be precise) talks about energy management vs. time management. Actually, many of the comments contain excellent advice. Have a look. 

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Filed under Reading & Writing, Writing

Teaser Tuesday: Ruby’s Slippers

From the blog Should be Reading comes Teaser Tuesday. What fun! I’ve seen this one a round for a while and finally decided to give it a try.

The rules:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

Judging by his car, which is about a third of the size of Nana Dottie’s and looks like it only drives one speed–fast–Papa Harry must’ve been very fun. Momma’s never really talked about him, and whenever I ask any questions, she simply kisses my head, says that sometimes grown-ups do very silly things, and offers to make me a double-decker grilled cheese sandwich.

~ p. 51, Ruby’s Slippers, by Tricia Rayburn


Filed under Books, Memes

Upcoming appearance

I’ll be at the Minnesota Educational Media Organization Fall conference on Friday, October 1st.

I’ll be signing in the vendor room (morning and afternoon) and also speaking on the afternoon authors panel. If anyone is planning on attending the conference, I’d love to chat with you. Stop by. I’m bringing Smarties and Nerds. Plus you can help me figure out what to say on the author panel. Those who know me in real life know that I’m all about the talking. (Ha.)

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Filed under Books, Geek Girl's Guide, Promo, Reading & Writing, YA