Friday, May 30, 2003

On the Treadmill

So I was working out last weekend, and I was channel surfing, as I often do while I work out. I came upon one of those bookstore author talks that are often televised on weekends. (Notice I have no names of programs or cable stations. I never hesitate to discuss things I barely know anything about.) This one involved a book called The Best Children's Literature, and it was written by a woman named Ellen Trachtenberg, who was doing the speaking. I haven't read the book, and I took no notes at all because, remember, I was working out. But I thought the author gave a nice talk. So there you are.

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

And Where Am I On This List?

As usual, I was hunting for something totally unrelated when I stumbled upon this site--Children's Bestsellers for 2002. You will notice none of my books appear on this list. I'm being mature and open in linking to it, inspite of being slighted. I also want credit for typing in the unbelievably long URL for this thing. What's more, I got it right on the first try.

Friday, May 23, 2003

A Profound and Moving Work

I just finished reading Louise Rennison's Knocked Out by My Nunga-Nungas (see 5/20 post), though I should have been finishing chapter thirteen of my own important literary work. Anyway, I've read a review of Knocked Out that suggested that not much happens in the book. (Though the reviewer wasn't complaining. Who would ever complain about one of these fabby fab fab books set in Big Ben-a-gogo Land?) The reviewer was right. Not much happens. But isn't that like life? Not much happens most days. Not many authors can write about the nothingness of life as entertainingly as Rennison. Sacre bloody bleu! She is a genius!

Thursday, May 22, 2003

Was That Embarrassing or What?!

I just noticed that in my May 1 post I spelled Lois Lowry's name Lawry all the way through. In the headline. In hyperlinks. Everywhere.

Fortunately, I am accustomed to being embarrassed. In fact, it is my normal state. What's more, to my knowledge only one person has ever been to this weblog. So my faux pas is probably not getting around much. (Sure hope I spelled faux pas correctly.)

The Library Song

Yesterday I spent an hour or so with some first graders at my local elementary school. We had an author yakfest--I told them about my first book and they all showed me the books they'd written and bound this spring. Just before I left they sang me The Library Song. I thought that would be a neat thing to link to, but guess what? There is more than one Library Song! In fact, there are a number of them posted on the Internet. Who'd have thought? None of the songs I found was the song those sweeties sang for me. I liked theirs much better.

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

The Fabby Fab Fab Georgia Nicolson

I should be totally bummed today because tonight is the last episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, though it has been pretty lousy all year as anyone will tell you. However, I went to the library today and what should I see on the shelf but Knocked Out by me Nunga-Nungas by Louise Rennison! I love Georgia! She is every mother's nightmare, but what a great character. Who cares what happens to Buffy? (Personally, I think she is going to die. Again. Which will be okay because she likes being dead.)

Georgia has her own Web site! Go there! Immediately!

I love Georgia so much that I am not even jealous of her creator, Louise Rennison, who is "an internationally best-selling author" while even the people at the bridal shower I went to on Sunday one town over didn't know who I was.

Friday, May 16, 2003

Just Checking In

It's been more than two weeks since I've updated this weblog, and I don't have time to do much today. I just wanted to let all my legions of readers (I know one person read this thing because she e-mailed me) know that I have not abandoned the site.

So today I am linking you to a Teen Ink article, written by a teen, about Martial Arts because, well, I study tae kwon do. However, I wasn't wasting time surfing the net for my own personal interests instead of doing a real update for this weblog. No, I was looking for a way to describe a dobak, the traditional white tae kwon do uniform (Oh. Look. I just described it.) to use in Happy Kids!

Thursday, May 01, 2003

Great Lois Lowry Article

The Boston Globe recently ran a great article on Lois Lowry. Lowry's most famous work may be The Giver, though it is not her only Newbery winner, and she is the author of a well-known humor series. The Giver is one of my favorites, though I will admit to not understanding the ending. That may be a big part of why it's one of my favorites.

One of the things Lowry talks about in this article is how children speak to her about publishing--how they can get their stories published, how they can get an agent. Lowry says, ''I tell them what they don't want to hear: They shouldn't even be thinking about that. If they want to be writers, they should be practicing writing; they should be reading writing;" To which I say, "Thank God. I thought I was the only person who felt that way."

Over and over again I'm hearing talk about "publishing" in grade schools. Sometimes they're talking about school papers, school literary magazines and literary boards, sometimes they're talking about "books" the kids make in class, sometimes they're talking about publishing in some kind of forum outside the school. Getting "published" seems more important than learning to write, learning to be open-minded about what's going on around you so you'll recognize writing subjects, and accepting that at the age of 8, 10, 14, 18, and, let's face it, 20 and up, you still have lots and lots to learn.

But don't take my word for it. Lois Lowry is a two time Newbery winner. Check out what she has to say about it.