Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Some Q&A Info and a Farmer Calls the Cows In

If you want to follow along with my Q&A this week at David Estes's Goodreads group, or even join in, here's where you need to go. Some explanations of the setup: at the top of that page is the questions people have been asking me, listed in bold. The wonderful Jenny, who is keeping things organized for me, continues to add new questions to that list as people ask them, and she also crosses out questions as I answer them. If you want to add a question, you need to join the group, then add a comment that includes your question. (Click on "post a comment.") Jenny asks that you put your question in bold so that it's easier for her and me to find it, and that you use spoiler tags if there's a spoiler in your question. I answer the questions by adding my own comments, which means that you need to scroll through the comments to find my answers. Yesterday, I answered eleven or twelve questions, which start around message 45. I'm about to head over there now and answer a bunch more, which, by the looks of things, will probably start around message 69 or 70, unless you all go posting questions right away before I get started (which you should feel free to do!). :o)

I think that's everything about that.

[ETA: today's answers do indeed start at message 69.]

Also, I like the way this farmer calls in his cows. (If you can't see the video, go to my Blog Actual.) (Thanks, Jess!)

Friday, January 9, 2015

Next week, I'll be answering questions at David Estes's Goodreads group!

So, as many of you have doubtless observed, I keep a fairly quiet online profile… And lately, I've been even quieter than usual, because I'm trapped under a mountain of revision pages. However, next week, I'm bursting out! The lovely folks over at David Estes Fans and YA Book Lovers Unite! have invited me to their Goodreads group, where I will be answering your questions about my books, my life as a writer, how many umbrellas I own, what the decor theme in my bathroom is (someone please ask me this question), why it's taking me so long to release my next book, what my new year's resolutions are, what kind of bread I'm making, or whatever else you want to know. Within reason. :o)

I believe you need to join the group in order to participate, though anyone can read along. You can join here. And here's where the Q&A will take place. Please join us! I'll stop in at least once a day next Monday through Thursday and answer as many of your questions as I can.

Thank you to David, and a special thanks to Jenny for organizing everything brilliantly!

Friday, January 2, 2015

An Intellectual Feline

This is Lickety. (Some of you have met her before.) Lickety is a most
precocious cat. But does she really read Herodotus, who wrote about
the Greco-Persian wars? Lickety, can you tell us who won?

Does she really read David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas (upside-down, no less)?
Lickety, what's a genre?

I would say that Lickety loves her people, her people love books,
and therefore, she snuggles up to her people, then wakes,
innocent and ignorant, to the books they've left behind...

except that those are the eyes of a cat who has learned compassion.
Lickety, what's life like in a Siberian prison camp?

(Sunny, on the other hand, makes no pretense of being an intellectual.)

Monday, December 1, 2014

Stuff and Things, Including Holiday Gifts and Sex Ed in Our Schools (Unrelated ^_^)

[Warning for those afraid of heights and also my mother: trapeze photos below!]

A quick note to anyone who's considering buying signed/inscribed copies of my books from Harvard Book Store as we approach the holidays: I will be out of town, hence unable to sign things, from December 11 to December 19, then again at Christmas Actual. Please time your purchases accordingly so that we can get things to you in time!  Instructions for buying signed copies are behind the link above.

Also, I recommend the article "Sex education in the US is screwing our kids," at Salon, by Alanna Schubach for Dame, which, among other things, links the failure to educate our kids about sex to the prevalence of sexual assault on our college campuses and pretty much everywhere. Excerpt: "Any given student’s experience of sexual education, then—if she receives it at all—is subject to a staggering range of forces: congressional budgeting, state policy, school compliance, community climate, instructor competence. Often forgotten amid the clamor is an adolescent’s right to an understanding of, and ability to make decisions about, his own health. Advocates for comprehensive sex ed see a clear line between curricula riddled with misinformation, and early pregnancy, STI rates, sexual assault, and substance abuse and depression among LGBTQ youth."

Finally, I have been remiss in reporting that TSNY Beantown, the marvelous flying trapeze school, has a new location in the heart of Boston, right next door to North Station and the TD Garden, at 35 Lomasney Way.  If you go there, you, you yourself, may learn to do this:

Or experience this:

 Or, alternately, spend a lot of time falling into the net, which is also fun.

It's great. And it gives you an excuse to walk around town wearing strange socks with chalk all over your pants. TSNY Beantown, folks. They also have classes in silks, static trapeze, trampoline, lyra (aerial hoop), and Spanish web.  Their classes are suitable for all levels of ability; I had certainly never been on a trapeze when I went the first time.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Jacqueline Woodson's Response

Jacqueline Woodson, divinely wonderful writer and winner of the National Book Award for Young People's Literature for Brown Girl Dreaming, has responded to Daniel Handler's watermelon joke in the New York Times. Here's a link to her piece, called "The Pain of the Watermelon Joke." It's in the printed paper today, too. (Thanks, Sarah, for all these links!)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

All My "All" Songs

Occasionally, when I'm not feeling picky about what I want to listen to, I'll open up my songlist, choose a place to start, and listen alphabetically. It can create some interesting sorting results, especially when you get to a word that frequently starts song titles (like "Close/r," "Don't," "Long," "Love," and "You," for example...). Just now, I've somehow ended up in the middle of all the "All" songs. The links below take you to the songs on youtube (though I haven't watched all the videos). Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy the music :o). (And by the way, this is an open invitation for any friends who read my blog to tell me about any "All" songs they're appalled not to find in my library.)

All About That Bass -- Meghan Trainor
All Along the Watchtower (by Bob Dylan, but this is the Bear McCreary Battlestar Galactica version)
All Four Seasons -- Sting
All I Need -- Radiohead
All I Really Want -- Alanis Morissette
All I Want -- Joni Mitchell
All Imperfect Things -- Michael Nyman (from The Piano soundtrack)
All Messed Up -- Pierce Turner
All That Heaven Will Allow -- Bruce Springsteen
All the Pigs, All Lined Up -- Nine Inch Nails (It's kind of incomprehensible, so it's hard to tell, but, being NIN, there's a good chance it's not safe for work.)
All The Time -- We're About 9 (You need to click on the correct track -- it's worth the trouble, such a pretty song!)
All the Trees of the Field Will Clap Their Hands -- Sufjan Stevens
All These Things That I've Done -- The Killers
All You Need Is Love -- The Beatles
Alles Neu -- Peter Fox

Monday, November 24, 2014

In the Wake of the National Book Award Ceremony...

I'm getting a lot out of the discussion in the comments of Roger Sutton's blog post in response to Daniel Handler's racist watermelon joke at the National Book Award ceremony last week.  I haven't read every comment yet, but there's a lot here, a lot of people making astute observations and criticisms and explaining muddy things with great clarity. For example, I like the way some commenters are eviscerating Roger's criticisms of poet Nikky Finney's response to Handler's comments. (That link is to only one of the comments on this topic -- keep reading.)

Also, this seems like a good segue to reminding people that the We Need Diverse Books campaign is still going strong. Help the organization reach its stretch goals!