Saturday, January 30, 2010
Are You Folllowing All the Conference Action?
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Leaving On a Jet Plane
Lose my pants.
Stress I don't have enough shoes. Or pants. Or at least ones I like.
Find missing pants (now more laundry).
Totally space that it's early release for the girlies and get a call from the school.
Hustle to pick them up.
Scramble, scramble, scramble.
But I'm leaving on a jet plane. Tonight. The red eye.
And in the morning, I'll be in NYC.
Looking forward to see some of you there. But if you won't be there, I'll look forward to hearing from you on the Official Conference Blog (leave comments...it'll be fun!).
I'll also be all atwitter--and often. Trying to tweet all the excitement of the conference and then some, including special events, like the VIP party. You can follow me @cuppajolie.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
SCBWI TEAM BLOG - Exclusive Interview with Editor Alvina Ling
What an exciting year it's been for you and your authors, including Grace Lin's WHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE MOON as an Al's Book Club For Kids pick, and the huge success of Peter Brown's THE CURIOUS GARDEN and Justina Chen's NORTH OF BEAUTIFUL. Can you tell us what your looking forward to in 2010?
Oh, well thank you! Each year brings so many new, wonderful, beautiful books. Forgive me, but I’m going to mention a lot of them! This year, I’m excited about two debut YA novels: GUARDIAN OF THE DEAD by Karen Healey, which is dark urban fantasy set in New Zealand and steeped in Maori lore; and SORTA LIKE A ROCK STAR by Matthew Quick, which is about a girl named Amber Appleton who has a tough life, but is the self-proclaimed Princess of Hope. I call the latter novel “Juno meets Stargirl.” Grace Lin has her first early reader LING AND TING about two adorable Chinese American twins; I also edited a super silly, hilarious picture book called SHARK VS TRAIN by Chris Barton, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld; Jerry Spinelli’s picture book I CAN BE ANYTHING, illustrated by Jimmy Liao is pubbing in March. Peter Brown’s next picture book is coming out this Fall called CHILDREN MAKE TERRIBLE PETS—he’s using a new art style that’s really great, I really think this is his best book yet; Also in the Fall is Wendy Mass’s next middle grade novel THE CANDYMAKERS, about four kids who compete in a candymaking contest. There’s a really cool urban fantasy by Cate Tiernan called IMMORTAL BELOVED, the first in a trilogy; and also Sean Beaudoin’s third novel is YOU KILLED WESLEY PAYNE, a neo-noir set in a HS where Cliques are battling for power. And last but not least, I’m excited about a beautiful, powerful picture book biography called DAVE THE POTTER: ARTIST, POET, SLAVE by Laban Carrick Hill and illustrated by Bryan Collier.
Is there one request you find yourself asking of your authors (in the editing process) that you could share with the rest of us?
I can’t say there’s one request that comes up across the board, but if I had to pick two things, I would say I’m often asking authors to bring more emotion into the work, and am also keeping an eye on making sure each book is a very satisfying read.
As we approach the upcoming conference, and knowing you have participated in others, as an editor what's your biggest take away from attending?
Conferences are a good reminder for me that all authors had to start somewhere. I truly believe that with hard work, honing your craft, and persistence can lead to success for authors, and I’m happy to help. I love meeting new people, and conferences are a good place to meet them! Authors, other editors, agents—it’s great knowing that we all have a love of children’s books in common.
What's one bit of advice you would give to those attending the conference?
Take advantage of opportunities, but in a respectful way. Don’t be shy! Meet all the people you can, you never know the effect someone may have on your life. Oh, and take notes—all the information can be overwhelming, but if you write it down, you can dissect it later.
If we ordered a Cuppa Alvina Ling, tell us, what would we be getting?
Ha—what a fun question! Let’s see. I think a cuppa me would include a dash of laughter, a sprinkling of hope, some adventure, some tears, some curiosity, and all topped off with a scoop of strawberry ice cream!
Monday, January 25, 2010
Monday Moment #54: a writing prompt for your work-in-progress
It's a quick Moment story today.
However, quick doesn't mean insignificant, especially when it comes to character.
Currently, my nine-year-old girlie is (hmm...what word to use?) obsessed/attached to certain items of clothing. A tank top in particular, as well as what she is most comfortable wearing in the moment; as in so comfy she'd rather keep the same clothes on...all day, all night, and the next as well.
The other day, after her basketball game, I made her take a shower. To my motherly horror, when I checked on her post-shower, she was back in the shorts, the tank top, and sock (yes, socks!) she had warn playing her game.
(Someday I won't be able to get away sharing such stories.)
Does your character have an unusual or strong attachment to a particular item of clothing?
Monday, January 18, 2010
Monday Moment #53: a writing prompt for your work-in-progress
Guess what I did this weekend?
No, not that.
No, not "bingo" your guess is right. Bingo. I went to play Bingo.
I was invited to a friend's birthday party and the evening started with Bingo at the casino (the serious kind). I decided to step out of my personal box and give it a go.
What I expected:
To sit with friends at a table scattered with cards and little round marker chips (because that is what we had in grade school), drinking wine and giggling as we marked our cards.
What I got:
Intense Bingo action. Bingo is hard (at least for a first-timer). I had nine cards at one time. There are no markers, they have daubers (a stamp thingy to mark your card). The Bingo ladies rattled off those numbers one after the other, and before I had a chance to scan all B-I-N-G-O columns, they were on to the next. There's was no time to talk. Or drink wine.
There are also people who do this and do it well. The lady sitting across from me played three games at once (I wasn't keeping up with one), and not only would she check her own three sets of cards, she'd look across the table and double check mine (upside down no less).
BINGO! A blackout. And I got it. But I almost didn't because I guess I didn't yell BINGO loud enough (it's super intimidating to yell bingo in that big room). But I won. I won. Then I really sort of liked Bingo after that. At least for the night.
When has your character expected one thing but then experienced something completely different?
Friday, January 15, 2010
The Conference is Coming...The Conference is Coming...
But if you want to register, go HERE.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Blogs, Books, and Bugs
But they are a few of the things on my mind!
I know you all already know, but just in case, if you're not signed up for the Comment Challenge put on by MotherReader and Lee Wind, I say DO IT! (Was that a little bossy? Sorry, if so. Only wanting to encourage.) It's such a great time to get to know other bloggers and expand your bloggy world just a bit. Plus, it's fun and there's PRIZES!
An e-book to be exact, THE ZEN OF BLOGGING: 7 STEPS ON THE VIRTUAL PATH TO REAL SUCCESS, written by the above mentioned Lee Wind. (Hello, can you say Superman...his blog banner seems to be a perfect fit for him.) You should jump over there now and check out his new eBook because you can currrently get it $5 off. I've got mine and looking forward to diving in becuase knowing Lee, it's fantastic.
As promised, I must follow up on my The Dog Ate My Permission Slip post. I will tell more later (one dedicated post). The bug chef event did happen. One girlie ate a bug (yes, she did). The other did not (more to come on that). And, AND...a bug was brought home. Mmm-hmmm! A grasshopper to be exact. It is still in my kitchen and I've been thinking about that bug and if I (yes, I said I) should eat it if...
But if what?
Any thoughts, friends?
Perhaps it's a follower thing? So many new followers means I eat it with a bite of Nutella? An even bigger number means I eat it all by it's lonesome and record it to be viewed by you, the Cuppa Jolie audience?
What says you? I'm open to any and all ideas.
Monday, January 11, 2010
Monday Moment #53
Last weekend we had what we call "Launch Day" at my gym. I love Launch! Every three months the fitness instructors present all the new class releases (I teach two: bodypump and bodystep). We dress up in some fun way and as many of as possible teach together (in my classes there were five of us). The place is always packed, and it generates lots of fun energy.
Since there are so many instructors, we each teach a couple of different tracks while the others are like the backup dancers. :) I had made it through both my bodystep tracks. No problem. And in bodypump, the lunge track...done but ouch! Next up, shoulders. I love shoulder work. Love it. But not as much as it must have seemed to all in class that particular day.
In all the heat of the excitement of Launch Day, as I advised class members on how much weight to put on their bar (or take off!), I neglected to change mine. Yes, I still had my lunge weight on the bar, and really, our lower half is NOT equal to our upper half (at least for us ladies) when strength is concerned.
It may have been best that I had no idea. Not a clue, not until I set down my bar. However, when I picked it up and got started, I actually said out loud, "Wow. That's heavy." But I was teaching and I had to make it to the end. No other option. Well, I guess I could have quit, but in my mind, I had to make myself push through or go hide my head in instructor shame.
Bar down. I see my mistake. And sweet butter!
I wondered, how in the heck did I do that?
When has your character ever wanted to throw in the towel? Did they quit or fight through to the end? (Maybe they've had both experiences.)
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
My Dog Ate My Permission Slip
Perhaps it's better that way.
It was a permission slip allowing her to eat bugs at an assembly. (Did I really just sign that?)
So, this Seattle area bug chef, David George Gordon, will be coming to my girlie's school and they will have the opportunity to, yes, eat bugs.
Fascinating. And icky!
Monday, January 4, 2010
Monday Moment #52: a writing prompt for your work-in-progress
A new year!
A new decade!
But, hey! Was it just me, or did anyone else notice something was missing from the New Year's Eve celebrations?
Yeah, those glasses. Can't do those anymore without the double zero in middle. Ha!
I don't know about you, but New Year's for me is typically uneventful. Or, at least, really mild. We typically choose to stay in (or off the roads), we have nice dinner, hang out, and play games. Whoopeee!
I'm not one to write out (or think up) New Year's resolutions, but as a family we all sit down and write out our own personal hopes, wishes, dreams, etc. for the coming year. I guess it has a more positive feel to it and not so much "things" that can become failures. The cool thing is we go back and read what we wrote the year before. You'd be amazed at how much of what we write down actually comes to be.
We all have our own way of approaching a New Year.
How about your main character, how have they (or do they) feel about a New Year ahead?