You are currently browsing the monthly archive for July 2008.

I’m going to try not to over-analyze that “How to tell me my book stinks” has been my post with the most hits.  That was a week ago, and it’s time to move on.

This week has whizzed by in a blur of camping, toddler teething, wine drinking, laundry, reading, shopping, packing, and planning for upcoming SCBWI WWA happenings.  Oh, and writing.  Lotsa writing.

In the dead of the night, I’ve been busy with manuscript revisions.  The more I revise, the more work I create for myself with big changes to the plot.  I feel like I’m practically back to square one. I thought I would polish up the piece I sent down to L.A. for a manuscript consultation, but the more I dig into it the more obvious it is how far it is from presenting to anyone.  Sigh.

I read Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos by Robin LaFevers.  The first in a promising new series, Theodosia is like Indiana Jones if Indiana was a young English girl.  I’m looking forward to the next book, that should be out in the fall.


I am also looking forward to the sequel to Jellaby by Kean Soo.  Great, unique graphic novel that has great illustration layouts and broad appeal.  It was originally published as a webcomic that you can see at the Secret Friend Society.  What happens next?

Do you like papercuts?  The nonpainful, artistic, kind?  Then go to Beatrice Coron’s site here.  Beautiful, no? Thanks to Crooked House for the link.

The fall kid lit focused Publisher’s Weekly is out now.  You can see a bit here.  I went to pick one up at a local bookstore with an extensive periodical section and they said they didn’t carry Publishers Weekly.  They said it was too “special interest.”  Books?  Apparently there is more call for info on modern northwest dogs or extreme canoe-ers.  Who knew?

Stephen Barbara mentioned at the last regional conference that he was seeing a big trend of manuscripts with dystopian post-apocalyptic settings.  Newsweek looks into it.

Betsy Bird made a post a few days ago that was awesome in many ways.  Cute baby animals AND a discussion on the lack of non-dysfunctional working class characters in children’s literature.  Plus, some other stuff.  


Tomorrow at this time I will be boarding a plane to head for sunny L.A. for my first ever SCBWI International Annual Summer Conference. I am so jazzed!  I’ll try and blog a little bit while I’m down there.  

Off to pack!

It’s very awkward to be asked to give feedback on a manuscript that sucks.  I have a hard time striking a balance between polite and honest.  Neil Gaiman gives some advice, with the help of Jane Yolen.  Big Universe has more on reviewing bad manuscripts.  Play it safe and follow Jane’s example of making a brutal honesty disclaimer pre-read.  

Libba Bray goes through the ups and downs of a writer’s relationship with their novel.

Where the Wild Things Are is probably still coming to the big screen.  I hope so.  I love Dave Eggers (who wrote the screenplay), but I really love Spike Jonze.  Maurice Sendak through the eyes of the man who directed Being John Malkovich?  Yes, please.

Jaime Temairik is a hoot. That’s her down below.  Yes, the one on the right.  She wears a lot of costumes.  Maybe she has a secret identity.  We won’t out her here, just in case.  She is blogging like crazy over at Chompoblog.  Jaime turned a shed into a studio! The one on the left is the lovely and talented and soon to be European resident Kirsten Carlson.  Fine ladies, the pair of them.


SCBWI WWA Conference 2008

SCBWI WWA Conference 2008



Picture book makers, rejoice!  Cynsations reports that the July 7th issue of Time magazine claims more babies born in 2006 than any year since 1961.  It’s a baby boom!  What will they read?

What happens if you don’t want to make a change in the editorial letter?  Will you get a slap down?  Find yourself one shy of an editor?  Editorial Anonymous breaks it down.

The Class of 2k8 has compiled a fantastic list of online resources for writers.  There’s a lot to read over there, so I’m going to let you go now.

If you like Captain Underpants, you should try…  (via Jen Robinson’s Book Page)

Shrinking Violet Productions gives us a marketing task timeline.

Jay Asher has a friend named Suzanne Young.  She writes.  A lot.  She decided to write YA a year and a half ago and has written NINE NOVELS.  If I tried to write nine books in eighteen months they would all be called Craptastic followed by the appropriate Roman numeral.  Suzanne Young has a two book deal with Razorbill.  Go Suzanne!

Cynsations interviews Jennifer Bradbury on Shift.  Make sure to see the book trailer for Shift at the bottom.  

Working on a familiar theme, but putting in your own unique twist?  Be inspired by the Violent Femmes covering Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy and put your own spin on it.

Portland is calling.  

It’s time to register for Kidlitosphere 2008.  Go here.

(Photo from Travel Portland)










Nathan Bransford on Partials  The stats aren’t pretty.  

He also linked to a post over at Editorial Ass on how NOT to act at lunch with an editor.  Anonymous author, you are a cad.

Creativity?  Check.  Entertaining?  Check.  Encourages insightful thought and dialogue? Check.  A book? No. Improv Everywhere. Not kid lit, but entirely awesome.  The folks who brought you Frozen Grand Central and Food Court Musical now have the Human Mirror.  I love these people.

Seth Lerer discusses the history of children’s literature on NPR. (via Blue Rose Girls)

What’s a vegetarian werewolf to do?  Ask Adam Rex.

I was going to blog last night, but distraction came in the new issue of the Horn Book. I saw Hugo Cabret on his way to ALA, and that was that.




I write stories for kids while volunteering as the Assistant Regional Advisor and Conference Coordinator for the western Washington chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).

I live in Seattle with my family and a small zoo of animals. I drink copious amounts of coffee and assign complicated life stories to passing strangers. I'm currently working on a middle grade novel.

There's a wee bit more on my website. You can also follow me on twitter.


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