Showing posts from April, 2011

Diversity in YA Tour

Readers in San Francisco, Austin, Chicago, Cambridge MA, New York City, and San Diego -- Cindy Pon and Malinda Lo's Diversity in YA Fiction tour is coming to you in May. Here's the Diversity in YA tour schedule. Cindy and Malinda will be presenting panels in the company of a whole lot of other great YA writers in each city, to talk about diversity in YA books. For example, on May 12, Malinda Lo, Cindy Pon, Holly Black, Sarah Rees Brennan, Deva Fagan, and Francisco X. Stork will come together to present a panel at the main branch of the Cambridge Public Library. And for those who can't make the events, check out their website,, and the Diversity in YA blog!
Lots of blogging ideas; no time. Happy weekend, everyone. If you run to your TVs and internets tomorrow to see what Kate, Chelsy, William, and Harry are wearing, not to mention Camilla and Elizabeth's hats, I will not judge you.

A Book Recommendation and a Bank Non-Recommendation

Writers out there: I strongly recommend the book Writing the Other: a Practical Approach, by Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward. It's the companion book to Shawl and Ward's Writing the Other Workshop. From the workshop website (linked to above): "Are you afraid to write about characters whose racial heritage, sexual orientation, or religion differs from your own? Do you think you'll get it wrong — or cause offense? In this intensive four-hour workshop, authors Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward will teach you to write sensitively and convincingly about characters of diverse backgrounds and cultures." The same can be said for this book, which contains a lot of great information, guidelines, exercises, etc., to help you write characters whose race, sexual orientation, age, ability, religion, or sex differ from your own. The book is gentle. Shawl and Ward tell the reader that it's okay to make mistakes; that it's worthwhile -- more than worthwhile, important -- to try. …

Not a Lot to Say on This Thursday

Conversation between two people, overheard on the street:
PERSON 1: You could certainly drop the appendix.
PERSON 2: Yes, the appendix!
Here's what I'm wondering. Do you think they were graduate students or writers (or some such) talking about a document? OR, do you think they were surgeons, having a conversation about which organs it's acceptable to drop on the floor?

I prefer the second option.

Anyway. I don't have a lot of time today, but I want to recommend two things: the Edward Gorey exhibit at the Boston Athenaeum. And, this blog post by Lesley Kinzel about her thoughts on the TSA, scanning machines, patdowns, and differences between men and women. (Thanks, B!)

Musical Medleys, PSAs, and James Franco Cutting His Arm Off

I'm going to send you to a website that you're never going to want to leave. Of course, maybe you've already been there. I keep sending it to people and they tell me they've already been there. Annoying people hooked into the pulse of the internets! Stop being so on top of things!

Go to this page, turn up your sound, click on a few squares, and see what happens. Then click on more. Keep clicking! Write your name and see what it sounds like. Draw lines and grids. Draw the Grim Reaper! Draw flowers!

YOU ARE WELCOME. (Thanks, Jess!)

Moving on. The following is a public service announcement for people who are new to the activity of running/jogging. Newbie runners, in case you don't know: when given the choice between running safely on sidewalk or running safely on pavement, choose the pavement. If the choice is sidewalk, pavement, or dirt path, choose the dirt path. Please. Running is a high-impact activity. You cannot condition your body to it too slowly. Take it easy…

Australia Stuff and Things; and a Rainy Day

It was raining like crazy today in Cambridge. Rain dripping from all the flowering trees. A perfect day to walk to my friend Titus's house and just hang.

Titus can't open the door by himself, but luckily, his butler was there to let me in. Titus is a problem solver (you can probably tell that by looking at him). As we hung out, my problems disappeared into the ether.

So, a while back, I mentioned that I'm going to be in Australia in May. I now have events, dates, and locations!

Thursday 19th May at 17:30Galaxy Books, 173 York Street,’ll be doing a book signing.
Friday 20th May at 18:00Kinokunyia, 500 George Street,’ll be doing a talk, Q&A, and signing.
Sunday 22nd May at 11:30Sydney Writers’ FestivalSydney Dance Company, Studio 4, Pier 4/5, Hickson Rd, Walsh Bay’ll be ‘in conversation’ with Judith Ridge, and will do a signing at 12:30.
Friday 27th May at 17:00Reading…

" is quite a risk to spank a wizard for getting hysterical about his hair."

It's very rarely that I read a book for the first time (or ever), put it down, contemplate what book I want to read next, then pick up the same book to start all over again. That seems to be what's happening with Howl's Moving Castle, though. It's just... Diana Wynne Jones writes such beautiful sentences! With the slightest word, she can make me laugh and laugh. If a book is witty and contains intellectual puzzles, like this one does, but *doesn't* contain heart, then I might like it okay, but I don't love it -- but this book has it all, including the heart, without being the least bit sentimental. I'm reading it again, because I wasn't paying close enough attention the first time through, and because it deserves it.

Here's a moment I love:
She had to get this right, and she was not sure how you did. "Well, here goes," she said.
That's it. Maybe it doesn't look like much out of context, but that's the character of Sophie in a nut…

Home Is Where the Ax Murderers Aren't

I've been home for a couple weeks now, but I'm only just starting to get on top of the accumulated mail, laundry, grocery shopping, etc. The more important things, however, are completely under control. For example, one of my orchids is about to blossom, and I moved my ginormous (easily 6 feet tall, probably 4 feet wide) money plant tree out of my front window and into my office. It was getting too much light in the front window; the leaves were getting sunburned.

So. As I sat in my office swivel chair the other day, swiveling a bit (as one does), a hand appeared over my shoulder. I knew myself to be alone in the house, so there was only one explanation -- it was the ax murderer -- so I jumped and screamed, and even grabbed a pencil with which to STAB HIM TO DEATH.

Anyway. Turns out I'd just swiveled myself against my money plant tree, which was being friendly, not with hands, but with leaves. Which was QUITE a relief.

One of the things I haven't really gotten back on top…

*is proud*

So, there are a lot of creative people in my family, and some of them take their creativity in unusual and, frankly, awesome directions. The Cashore Marionettes, for example (my dad's cousin ^_^). I highly recommend you watch their promo videos.

Also, something my sister, codename: Apocalyptica the Flimflammer, does in her free time, which she's given me permission to share with you. Are you ready for this? The first one is inspired by a character from Madeleine L'Engle's A Wind in the Door. Meet Proginoskes (and click on any photo to enbiggify):

Here's what happens when she buys new sheets:

Recognize this Russian landmark?

This one's called Glad Bears:

This one's called Creature from a Dream:

This one's called Comb:

And here's a beetle:

*is so freaking proud*

These pictures are the property of my sister. Please do not gank them.

And that's all. :o)