Friday, February 29, 2008

Funny...and sad....and a little Odd.

Garfied Minus Garfield

It turns out that Garfield wasn't a comedy at all. It was a Tradgedy, with Jon as Hamlet and Garfield as the Gravedigger... or perhaps the Troup of Actors......

Monday, February 25, 2008

A Back from Vacation Present!

I just got back from vacation and went through my mail.

I found two impersonal rejections and...

A CONTRACT! I finally managed to write a story for Highlights High Five!

The 150-word or less genre is REALLY tough-- but it feels so good when all the hard work pays off! =)

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Story Behind "Time For Bed"

I was bumming around Mem Fox's website and found this:

http://www.memfox.net/time-for-bed.html

So I guess sometimes it does all come together in a flash of serendipity--- but it helps if you already have a relationship with an editor! =)


Also, I apologize for any misspellings in the last few days-- Blogger's spell checker seems to be down!

By the Way--don't screw up your kids!

So I've recently set my google alerts to let me know about any news articles involving "author" or "illustrator."

One thing I've noticed is that local papers are collossally ignorant about vanity publishing-- apparently they think that if someone has a book listed on Amazon (via PublishAmerica!) that it's worthy of note.

Now, a lot of these stories are along the lines of "six-year-old a published novelist!" and "eleven year old illustrates her first book!"



Look, parents - I know you want to encourage your kids' dreams. But by getting their book "published" at a young age, you're just setting them up for decades of swelled heads and unrealistic expectations... If they want to see their work in print, have them submit to the Highlights kids pages or something. Then they'll actually have to compete with other talented kids.

Letting them think that they've "published" when really all they've done is pay someone to print their work is just silly. And you're not going to make your money back. ever. No one is going to pay $20.00 for a paperback book illustrated by an eleven-year-old when they can pay 15.00 and get a hardcover illustrated by a Caldecott winner.

And telling your child that she's "just as good as all those other illustrators out there" is going to mess her up. Because she's probably not just as good. And, if by some incredible miracle she IS just as good at age 11, she should really keep working at her craft, because by 25 or so, she could be one of those illustrators that defines a generation.....

Ok. End of Rant.

Another totally awesome children's lit blog....

http://thelongstockings.blogspot.com/

You know, finding all these great blogs makes me realize what a rotten blogger I am. =)

Oh well... those who can, do awesome interviews and post neato-cool original content.

Those who can't, Link.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Percy Jackson Book 4 trailer....

http://youtube.com/watch?v=Vp7aodvB1p4

I can't wait--- this series is so much fun!

Books free on-line

http://books.guardian.co.uk/news/articles/0,,2255877,00.html

I think Harper has the right idea-- I wouldn't want to read a whole book on-line, but if I read a few pages and liked it, I might buy it on-line...

This seems to be a step in the direction of creating an internet version of the "browsing in a bookstore" phenomenom.

Sure, there may be a few folks who sit down and read the whole thing at the store and never buy it, but most people read a few pages here and there, decide that they like a book, and then buy it.....

Gaiman's analysis is spot-on......

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

One of my faves....

The new Ambassador for Kidlit

Interview with Eric Rohmann

At Seven Impossible Things

What an awesome blog! I'll have to read it more often!

Non-fiction help

THIS is a great article on writing queries for magazine articles. I'm going to put it to work right away! (Though given my time constraints, 1 a week is a better goal than 5 a week. )

Finally, a way to justify my constant consumption of interesting information! =)

Friday, February 8, 2008

A second start

I enjoyed this article about a woman who got into illustration as a second career -- She was 32 when she went to Art School! That means there's hope for me! =)

Holt's new President

Though apparently the new president, Dan Farley, used to be in charge of Harcourt's California operations, which included the children's division....


interesting....

(These updates brought to you by the power of Google News Alerts! They're super useful! Set some up for the subjects that you're interested in....)

Moves at Holt

I'm not sure how much the president affects the children's division, but:

Moves at Holt

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

I HATE Banned book week...

I absolutely LOATHE "banned book week". And even though I love Unshelved, today they did a great job illustrating WHY I hate it:

http://www.unshelved.com/archive.aspx?strip=20080206

Asking for a book to be removed from the collection or moved to the adult room is NOT the same as banning it.

And not everyone who has concerns about a book is an evil rube.

I supervise my children's check-outs. For instance, last week I returned one of my daughter's choices to the shelf and refused to let her bring it home.

I felt that "My Daddy Drinks Too Much" was a bit heavy for a four-year-old who thinks that everyone's daddy must be as great as hers.

Now, I wouldn't ask for the book to be moved -- I can see how some kids might need it, and I'm happy just previewing books for my daughter....

But I think it's wrong to treat parental concerns about a book with a knee jerk reaction of "Free Speech Forever, Fascist Pig!"

A lot of parents don't have the time or ability to screen their child's reading material. And parents tend to view school libraries and children's collections as "safe spaces" that won't destroy their child's innocence.

So of course they feel a bit violated when their five-year-old comes home with "My Daddy Murdered My Mommy and Buried Her in the Basement." And when a librarian treats them like a moron instead of dealing with their concerns, he turns the library into "The Enemy."

Read the "Banned Book" reports in the ALA magazine some day. And then tell me that "Banned Books Week" doesn't just fan the flames of information professional hysteria!