August 16, 2006

New Muppet Moppets and the Summer of Food

I don't follow the small-fry world as much as some -- after all, I do write YA lit -- but every once in awhile, I like to read what's going on in the land of memory and early childhood. There's actually some pretty cool stuff -- and some of it has started on TV. NPR reported in May on the muppet Elmo's father being deployed to some branch of the military. This is meant to address the half million children in this country below the age of 5 with parents in the military. Quite a few books are being written on this topic as well, and for as long as this nation has been at war, I think it's an excellent thing... It's hard to fathom just how much little kids don't understand (and sometimes the adults are equally as clueless). Also, in lighter fare, Sesame Street has just introduced its first female muppet lead character. Ernie, Bert and Grover, move over.

A rather sad commentary on the new airport regulations is a small spike in airport bookstore sales. Publishers' Weekly reports that longer stays at the airport mean more books bought, but store managers expect the numbers to drop as people become more accustomed to the airport wait times. I guess if your flight is cancelled or delayed for 12 hours as a friend's of mine was last weekend, you'll need all the literary help you can get. Many airlines would not allow passengers to carry iPods as carry-ons, so even books on tape or CD were out. Ouch! I'll take a train, thanks...

The LA Times calls this not the Summer of Love, but the Summer of Food. Eric Schlosser's teen aimed Chew on This: Everything You Didn't Want to Know About Fast Food, is listed among the handful of newly released books seriously addressing America's food issues. I'm a little nervous about this trend of the 'Summer of Food,' as I'm working on foodie fiction, and there's a big difference in the 'health message' I'm prepared to tackle as a fiction topic. Sure, my character is sorta vegan, but she's also rather fond of making good old Southern gingerbread and pecan bark.

As always at this point in an edit, I am a little skeptical of the whole process. Why am I writing yet another food story to be one among millions? Is right now simply a good time to write about food? Does my story have any merit on its own? Of course, if I don't finish editing it, the question is totally moot anyway...

Onward! A bad day writing is... well, pretty much like a bad day anywhere else. Only better. BIC!

3 comments:

a. fortis said...

Well, if Schlosser's YA book is anything like Fast Food Nation,...I predict large amounts of anti-Tyson-ites and budding vegetarians...I, for one, avoid Tyson now. Only Foster Farms or organic/free range if I can help it.

TadMack said...

Yeah, it's just the YA themed version, which means he explained things with a few more details, and added more fun fonts, I guess. It's selling really well already.

DaviMack said...

Your book's so not about Food. Food is merely the center of your character's life. There's quite a difference. It may feel the same, but it's not. If your book were about food, it'd have way more recipes, for one thing, and far less about people!

Organic? Try Local! You guys are down where you probably have a neighbor who raises chickens... go talk to them! Central Valley Free Range ... Yum!