Monday, September 22, 2008

(1) News, (2) Snoods, and (3) A Baby Card Rant

1. I have a Finnish deal -- thank you, WSOY -- which means that sometime soon, as promised, I'll be posting about why I love Finland. Also, School Library Journal gave Graceling a starred review. Also, the amazon blog Omnivoracious posted this interview with me the other day. Also, I've added a link to the left called "Praise for Graceling," which will take you to review clips. Also, Fire revisions are going okay. So, no complaints from here. :o)

2. My publicists, Barb and Sarah, have been coming up with some stupendous variations on the battle cry, "SNOOD, BE DAMNED!" Here are some of my favorites: "OUT, DAMN SNOOD!" And, "WHAT THE SNOOD?!!" (As in, What the snood is that smell?)

3. Why are baby cards so awful?

Seriously, why is it so hard to find a baby card that is not either (1) extremely gendered; (2) extremely gooey (along the "ickle beebly baby" lines with pom poms and bows); or (3) implying that all life problems have now ended and all that's in store is JOY JOY JOY?!

I found this really nice one the other day that had this Victor C. Anderson print of a child in pajamas sitting on the moon, and I thought, finally, here's a good one. Then I opened it and found this inside:

"Every baby born into the world is a finer one than the last." - Charles Dickens

At first I was like, huh, okay, that's nice... but then I was like, wait, we're ranking babies? You can't be ranking babies! And I can't give this to anyone, because it basically says that all the thousands of babies that have been born since their baby was born are better than their baby!

Anyway, who could be a more ickly beebly person to quote on the topic of babies than Charles Dickens? Don't get me wrong, A Tale of Two Cities is one of my absolute favorite books, but the fact remains that many of the most useless children and women in literature were written by Charles Dickens. He was into that "women and children are (boring) paragons of innocence and virtue" thing. There's this wonderful moment in Garret Freymann-Weyr's My Heartbeat when Link and James, having read A Tale of Two Cities, announce that "she wasn't worth dying for." HA! HA!

Anyway. I digress. I'm not suggesting that we need a cynical line of baby cards by, like, Edward Gorey or anything -- "N is for Neville who died of ennui" -- "E is for Ernest who choked on a peach" -- I mean, of course not! I love babies! Babies DO mean love and joy! But maybe something that respects the baby as a brand new, very small, very welcome human being, rather than a pile of goo in blue or pink? Am I being unreasonable? I mean, what the snood!?

I found a baby card once with no picture, just this Kurt Vonnegut quote in white on a black background: "Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth."

That's how I always feel when I see a baby. I wish I'd bought their entire stock.

(The quote is from God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, btw, and here's how the whole thing goes: “Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies — ‘God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.’ ”)

Isn't that a great sentiment?

Sigh... anyway. I love unique stationary, and I have a wonderful collection. But I'm sorely lacking in this category. Any suggestions?

9 comments:

aimeempayne said...

I saw a baby t-shirt once that had "Dingo bait" printed on the front. Of course, it was sold out.

colorwheel said...

I use cards that are blank on the inside and have a children's lit illustration on the outside. Sendak, Raschka, Lobel. Inside I write "Welcome to the world!" And I address it to the baby rather than the parent(s).)

I use cards that are blank on the inside and have a children's lit illustration on the outside. Sendak, Raschka, Lobel. Inside I write "Welcome to the world!" And I address it to the baby rather than the parent(s).)

Sigh. Now I sound all formulaic. But it's the only approach that has ever felt right to me.

The ones at Peaceable Kingdom Press are nice.

Amanda said...

i so hear you, kristin, about the baby cards. i often do what rebecca does, too. also, i've found the cheapie ones at target (like in their 99 cent specials) are often really simple and not sappy/pukey. i LOVE that vonnegut quote. maybe that will be my new baby card inscription.
also, hurrah for another starred review. how awesome!

Amanda said...

also, what a great interview! it starts off mentioning you're about to go on a book tour. can you tell us more about that?

cindy said...

could you make your own card?

CONGRATS on all your wonderful reviews and praise! i'm not sure how you're not blogging about your debut EVERY DAY!

i'll either be doing that, or digging a hole and hiding in it for a long time when mine comes out. haha! we'll see...

kristin cashore said...

Aimee -- heh heh heh ;)

CW, that's a great idea! Bob Slate always has good PKP cards. I'll have to look into it.

Amanda, I noticed that the baby card you sent *me* was quite nice! (If my mother is reading this comment, no, there's nothing I haven't told you -- inside joke, I promise-- ^_^)

Oh, and yes, I can tell you more about the book tour: There isn't one. I think that was a misunderstanding. I'm going to a couple of trade shows in the south and will have a local book signing in October, but mercifully, have no book tour planned. Definitely a good thing -- I am overwhelmed enough already!

Cindy, thanks so much for the congrats -- and good luck to you! Don't worry, I'm sure you won't have to dig a hole and hide! :o)

Angiegirl said...

Wow. That Vonnegut quote is awesome. And it's lovely to hear someone reference My Heartbeat. I freaking loved that book.

Kelly H. said...

Oh, Kristen, you're breaking my Dickensian heart! Would you, could you (re) read Dombey or Copperfield or Little Dorrit or Our Mutual Friend, and then see if you feel differently about my favorite novelist in all the world?

kristin cashore said...

Hi, Angiegirl -- yeah, isn't My Heartbeat wonderful?!

Kelly H -- ha ha! Don't worry, I also love a lot of Dickens. I wasn't joking when I said ATOTC was one of my favorite all-time books. I also really like Bleak House. I just can't love everything about him. When writers hold women and children up as symbols of precious innocence, I can't take those characters seriously.... :o)