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BTW: Blogging Buddies, Crits For Water and Lois Lowry

Apr

09, 2011 |

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B: Beyond The Blog

I will admit to a case of the TGIFs this week–it was a looong one! Still, it had many fabulous parts to it. The crew I’ve been sailing with won the series we’ve been taking part in since last October, and there was a trophy and all, and we are not a little proud of ourselves. Celebratory dinner to come!

Speaking of dinner, Meg and I had dinner with the lovely Laura Hughes (yes, in addition to our original lunch), because she was fab and we needed to see more of her. There was food and loud and dorky writer-jokes and gelato and more.

There has been mad writing at our house this week, with revisions and deadlines and moments of inspiration flying in every direction. I have also attacked the blog a little more. If a few of you would be so kind as to try the RSS subscribe and Subscribe By Email options and let me know if they actually work, I would be most grateful! I am not so much with the technological expertise. I have also introduced a widget that shows up under the ‘Regulars’ title to the right hand side–it lists my most frequent commenters. Much love to you all!

T: Things I Like

Why the fireworks up above, you ask? They are for the very lovely Kat Zhang, who just signed a major (yes, major!) three book deal with HarperCollins.

This cool article from Kate Hart, breaking down YA deals over the last year, showing the number of debut deals, deals by dollars and single vs. multi-book deals.

Crits For Water is now live! Donate a dollar to get a critique of 250 words, bid on auctions or donate to enter random drawings from fabulous guests!

W: What I’m Reading

THE GIVER by Lois Lowry. I’m sure most of you have read this before, so I won’t go on. In the midst of all the dystopian books around right now, I’ve been thinking back to the first one I remember reading. We read THE GIVER at school when I was about thirteen, and although that means I now haven’t read it in some seventeen years, there were still some scenes I remembered with utter clarity–though I don’t want to say too much about them, as I hate spoilers. I think the lessons Jonas learns from The Giver stick with a lot of readers long after the book’s finished. THE GIVER is an incredible example of the types of issues middle grade books can tackle.

What are you up to this weekend? Hope it’s a good one!

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BTW: Vale Vegetables, Sailing, Pitches, Pratchett And A New Look

Apr

02, 2011 |

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B: Beyond The Blog

Do you mind if we stay within the blog for a moment? As some of you have already noticed, this week was redesign week! I’ve still got the hammer and nails out, so I’d love your thoughts on anything you think works or doesn’t, or any suggestions you’ve got.The artwork in my head is by my friend Keet Leibowitz and the banner was put together by another of my talented friends, Kacey Smith.

Outside the blog it’s been a fantastic week! I’m in my revision groove and having a ball–who knew it was possible? My crew went out for a practice sail on Thursday, and when the wind changed on us, we ended up on a magical sail home in the dark, watching the lights along the shoreline and looking up to see the stars popping into view one by one overhead.

Some of you have also noticed that the vegetable garden hasn’t rated a mention in some time. Alas, it fell foul of builders and fencers with large boots and plenty of debris. Farewell, zucchini, squash, miniature lebanese eggplant. We lost you before your time. The garden will rise anew with winter crops soon. The tomatoes, being located in moveable pots, enjoyed far greater success. We were giving them away by the end of the season!

This weekend I’ll be sailing, visiting the market, going out for drinks, enjoying a Saturday night home-spa-girls’-night-in-with-trashy-TV with my friends Meg and Michelle, and having lunch with my blog buddy, the lovely Laura Hughes.

(Oh, wait, were you wondering about the llamas? With THE JENKINS JOURNALS marinating in a drawer and awaiting revision, I haven’t had a chance to use my llama blog tag in far too long. I know we all missed it.)

T: Things I Like

This post from agent Rachelle Gardner of WordServe Literary on what fiction editors look for. It makes a wonderful checklist.

This amazing competition from Shelley Watters. The prize? A full MS request from Suzie Townsend of Fine Print Literary Management!

The Italian Greyhound Club of America–my lovely friend Kacey helps coordinate their rescue, and has chosen to highlight this organisation intead of providing a personal link. They do wonderful work and they gratefully accept donations.

W: What I’m Reading

MAKING MONEY by Terry Pratchett. I fell in love with Pratchett at the age of thirteen when my cousin gave me THE LIGHT FANTASTIC. I’ve never looked back. I don’t know anybody as wickedly funny as Pratchett, or as clever, and nobody masters the way storytelling works like he does. MAKING MONEY is a part of the Discworld series, a sequel to GOING POSTAL. There’s really no way to do a quick review of a series that’s rapidly approaching books, but if you haven’t read Pratchett, consider this: until J.K. Rowling hit the scene, Pratchett was the UK’s best-selling author. His books have spawned their own conventions, won Prometheus and Carnegie awards, and they put you at serious risk of accidentally snorting your drink out your nose.

Have a great weekend! What do you have planned?

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