Sunday, May 23, 2010

Long time no blog

I've been quite busy working and traveling the last few weeks, so here are a few quick highlights:

- My brother-in-law, Frankie, was in town last weekend, and we had a lot of fun doing touristy things with him and just hanging out.

We went on a Duck Tour (I was even called upon to drive the boat on the Charles!), and our tour guide told us some things that really confirmed that Boston/Mass. is a perfect fit for me:

1) The official drink of Massachusetts is cranberry juice,

2) the official dessert of Massachusetts is the chocolate-chip cookie, and

3) Massachusetts consumes more ice cream than any other state. (Not sure if that's per capita or what, but I'm sure the numbers went up even higher when I moved here. Also, this "statistic"--because not really sure how scientific these claims are--is especially impressive when you consider the fact that almost all ice-cream places in MA are closed from Labor Day to April. Which I think is just silly, but anyway . . . when the ice-cream shops do open, they seriously give you about a pint of ice cream per cone.)

. . . These are three of my very favorite things!

- More evidence that a great kids' book is not just for kids: To congratulate Frank on passing the bar, we gave him the adorable Frankie Works the Night Shift. (No more night shift for you, Frankie!) As you can see from the above photo, Frankie and his big brother really enjoyed reading it together.

- After Frank left, I headed to NYC to celebrate my sister's grad-school graduation. (Congratulations, Stephanie!) It was held at the beautiful St. John the Divine, and I thought this part of the cathedral was especially cool.

- And finally, because the New York Public Library was such an important part of my life in New York, I'm still on their mailing list. Recently I learned about the proposed $37 million budget cut, which would greatly hurt the city's libraries and all who benefit from them. If you're a New Yorker (in real life, or at heart) or just a library lover, speak out here.

- L'Editrice

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Today's Highlights

Today I received an e-mail from Elinor Teele, an author I've worked with over the past few years, announcing some good news: Her short story, entitled 'Yard Sale,' is appearing in the June 2010 issue of Highlights Magazine. Check it out!

She's also published her girls' mystery novel, The Doll's Head, as an e-book, and has generously offered a free download of it to my readers! (Enter the coupon code EF65C (which expires 6/4/10) at checkout.)

Elinor says, "I'm thinking of it as an advance copy. The more feedback, critiques, reviews, comments, suggestions for website improvement I get the better"--so let her know what you think!

Elinor is a great example of a self-motivated, creative author who is successfully working to get her writing published, rather than seeing "traditional" publishing as the only path.

- L'Editrice

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Room for genre revulsion, but not snobbery

I was watching Twilight in Forks, a documentary on the real-life town the Twilight books are set in and their impact on the town, and found this quote from author John Granger interesting:

"I'm not putting people down that have genre revulsion, except when they say she's a bad writer. When they come after her and say, This isn't just a matter of taste, I can't get that. Basically they say that, No, these are stupid readers who have no taste, and their experience is not real. That's the part that gets me: Wow, can you really say that? That these people are having what they feel are profound literary experiences, engagement in this text, and resonance at their core being, that's not real. That's something that they're faking?"

Now I'm no Twihard--I read the first book and didn't like it enough to read the second one, but I could see why they are popular--but I think Granger makes an interesting point, especially when we're talking about kids' books. If kids are reading, should we be snobby about what they're reading? I mean, there are obviously limits to this flexibility, but it is food for thought.

Granger also notes that Stephen King has panned the Twilight books for bad writing. However, King himself has had to defend himself against the critics who say his books are "just" genre fiction, and has said "If my book sells, I'm a good writer."

By that measure, Granger argues, "Well, Stephenie Meyer is a great writer."

What do you think? All I know is, I love this new term I've learned: genre revulsion. I'm going to apply it to lots of things from now on . . .

- L'Editrice