A Bit More Simmons Stuff

Some favorite moments from the Simmons Summer Institute:

"Some books need to be spanked." -- Vicky Smith, Children's Book Review Editor for Kirkus Reviews

"Cool and I have never met upon the high road of life." -- M.T. Anderson

It was like someone squirted lemon on my brain. -- My paraphrasing of Blue Balliett, describing a moment of literary inspiration.

When I stand next to Kevin Henkes, I feel ashamed. If you cut open his brain, niceness would come out. What would come out if you cut open my brain? Centerfolds? -- My paraphrasing of the very funny and accidentally sweet Jack Gantos. :o)

So, I just want to say that there was a moment in my speech on Friday when I tried to express how grateful I was to Cathie Mercier, Susan Bloom, and everyone else at Simmons College's Center for the Study of Children's Literature, for the education they gave me and the path they sent me shooting down. I bumbled a little bit, and then I began to cry; and looking out into the audience, I saw that I was not the only one crying; and suddenly, I realized how lucky I was. Because there I was at the front of a room full of MANY Simmons alums and students who understood exactly what I meant and why I was crying, and I had the honor of speaking for them all. I hope I said what they all would have wanted me to say.

I keep promising to blog more about the Simmons program, and really, I will, as soon as I have more time.

I'm just drowning in TASKS these days, so please forgive me if my blogging is all over the place. I have never been so busy in my life!

Speaking of thank yous, here are my acceptance remarks for the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award.

A nice piece of news: there's going to be an adult paperback edition of Graceling in Germany, published by Piper. Not sure on timing.

Switching topics: SYTYCD fans, do you think there's some way we could arrange for both Brandon and Ade to be champion? Because, how to choose between them? Didya see that number with them and Evan? Are they not spectacular? (Also, thank you, Nigel, for pointing out the disproportionate number of dances this year in which women play the part of helpless victims and men play the part of asshats. Really, I'm okay with that stopping at any time.)

Finally, the second addition to A Gallery of My Favorite Objects... This is the sword used in my School Library Journal profile last October, and let me just say, it was not easy to pack! (I ended up sticking it under the couch cushions before the movers wrapped up my couch.)


Melina said…
Ohhhhhh. I want one. I want a sword like that... :(
Unknown said…
Melina, me too!

It's beautiful. I wants it.
Artemis Grey said…
Seeing that makes me remember these swords my sister and I had when we were kids. I think ma might have them stashed somewhere. We got them for Christmas one year, they were He-Man swords (we grew up being She-Ra. I still am, inside, dammit!) and I can still remember the feeling I had, staring at the packaging. Those swords were our favorite toys for YEARS, and we used them only in defense of innocent, defenseless creatures!
yay swords. i should get 1. maybe my brother would stop bothering me.
kristan, ur right, da boys rock. i think melissa should go off, but its either going 2 be even or ade who gets kicked off. i think it might be ade cause america loves a good underdog. hence why there are so many chicago cubs fans.also i think the girls dance together was awesome. go storm (kayla), wonder woman (jeanine), and buttercup (melissa?)!
Jazz said…
I want to go to Simmons for grad school with every fiber of my being! Awesome sword. I have five swords and none of them are so awesome. D:
tinkandalissa said…
I was upset that Janette got booted from SYTYCD. She was great. I love Melissa, but think it's time for her to hit the road. Brandon is fantastic! I also love Ade, but think Brandon's got him beat. I was a little shocked that Evan stayed and Jason went last week. My faves to win at this stage in the game are Brandon and Jeanine. All my other faves are already gone. But there have been some phenomenal dances this year!
And, the sword? LOVE it! I never had a "real" sword. I used to make a lot of the toys that I never got. :) cardboard and tinfoil can make some fun things!
A Grey - I loved She-ra! I think I even still have some She-ra books from back in the day. My fave was the chick w/the really long hair w/some kind of weapon at the end and she swung it around to hurt people. Ha!
Rocy said…
It had to be a great time the Simmons Summer Institute.
I like the sword, it's beautiful.
Anonymous said…
Just wanted to say that I'm a YA librarian and I've been trying to spread the coolness of your book to all the kids I chat with. Your book and Terry Pratchett's Nation were my star books that I book-talked at the schools this year. Graceling really is one of the best I've read this year. I've loved my ARC of Fire and I'm eagerly awaiting Bitterblue (no pressure;-).

VA Librarian
Courtney Saldana said…
Kristen ~
As a fellow Simmons Alum (Ch. Lit 2005) I completely understand your gratitude to the program and the professors. I am now a Young Adult Librarian (who eagerly waits for Fire) and I love my job. I know I wouldn't be here, and doing what I love without the program. Congrats on your success! :)

S.L. Hardeson said…
It was so lovely to meet you at the Institute. I was so nervous about introducing you that I barely managed to squeak out two words to you before hand. And then, after hearing your wonderful speech, I find out you're not only a talented writer but you're charming and humble to boot, which made it even harder to have a conversation with you.

It was so interesting-- being a fan on one hand and a soon-to-be professional in children's lit on the other. I wasn't sure how to approach any of the authors because I wasn't sure who I was approaching as... Am I a fan? A colleague? A critic? All of the above? It was a very strange experience.

I can't imagine how you felt-- being in a room with writers you've studied and admired for so long, while at the same time, being one of the writers people are studying and admiring. You've seen it from both sides. That's incredibly cool.

Anyway, thanks for being there! The Institute was a blast. :o)

CL said…
I was so lucky this Feb to be at the SCBWI NY conference and hear Jack Gantos speak. He was super inspiring! Thanks for sharing his great quote.
H. Chang said…
HAAA!!! You're so crazy and we love it. :D Thanks for the updates & the laughs.

SYTYCD -- Did you see that solo by Brandon??! HOTNESS! :p
ibpurpledragon said…
I just finished "Graceling" and will be reviewing it with as many accolades as my review on "Fire". The book was terrific.

That appears to be a very sweet sword. Early in my marriage I convinced my dear wife that crossed swords over our bed was ok, along with a morning star, daggers crossed and a shield over the sofa. The decor may have influenced my oldest son who starting fencing at 13 and ending up fencing varsity all four years of college and captaining the team.

Near East Stroudsburg, PA in the small town of Marshall Creek is the Frank Frazetta Museum. When it was in East Stoudsburg, I visited the museum and discovered that Frazetta had done the art work for some of the Conan movies. At the museum they had a sword that Schwarzenegger used in one of the movies and in the famous poster. Mrs. Frazetta let me hold the sword and Arnold was obviously a good bit stronger than I was because I had to hold it up with two hands. That was one astounding sword. I have not been to the new museum so I don’t know if it is on display there but it was worth seeing.
HA! wat did i tell u. my prediction came tru! evan is a underdog, and america LOVES the underdog!!! go me!!!!!
Anonymous said…
"Some books need to be Spanked"

This is my new favorite quote of all time! Or until such a time as I see another awesome quote!

Sweet sword! My daughter is 3 next week, so we play with wooded ones. She's a pretty kickin' pirate these days.

Anonymous said…
I keep looking at the sword and thinking it's glowing. Is it possible there are orcs in your apartment?
ICQB said…

Love the sword. Have you read The Orphan's Tales? They consist of two books by Catherynne Valente, the first is In the Night Garden, and the second is In the Cities of Coin and Spice.

They are nested tales a la Arabian Nights and they are wonderfully and poetically written.
Kristin Cashore said…
I contemplated letting you all continue to think that it's a real sword, but my Catholic conscience won't allow me. Guys, I could never lift a real sword that was that big with one arm! But I appreciate you thinking I could! :o)

Thanks to Simmons people writing in! Shara, it was lovely to meet you, too, and you expressed that so well. One of the nicest things for me is (slowly) realizing that my idols are just people, like me. If I'd known you were nervous, I would have just started talking, because I promise, I'm a person, too, just as convinced as everyone else that no one really wants to talk to me! :o)

Hi to everyone new writing in today!

Re: SYTYCD: I also loved the girl's dance... and oh my GOODNESS, the "Send in the Clowns" number on Thursday was one of my favorites ever. So sad. I was also sad about Janette, and now I'm sad about Ade, too.
Anonymous said…
You seem very real and honest. Not like you're trying to be showy and impress on your blog. That's refreshing and something to be proud of. Never loose that! I loved Graceling but I missed the advanced copy of Fire at BookExpo NY ;_; They were all gone before I could grab one! (That's something to be proud of! They had a TON of copies!) Will be buying it (would have anyway ^_^)
Thanks for the enjoyable blog and books!
Is that a really light sword or are you incredibly strong?
Kristin Cashore said…
Ha! Jack, see my note above.

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