March 22, 2008

Whizzing By...

I don't usually do weekend posts, but Cynsations had such a great series of links I had to point them out.

First, Cynthia introduces us to David Gill's Thunder Chikin, and a revision story. Since that's where the Wonderland duo is right now -- smack 'dab in the midst of revisions -- this was Must Read Bloggage. Writer Gill is amusing -- mentioning at one point that he thought the line-edits from his editors were light because there wasn't much work to do. And then he finds out he's ...wrong. The less said sometimes, the more work. D'oh! But he keeps at it, and FIFTEEN PASSES LATER, ladies and gents, he's done. FIFTEEN. (Keep that number in mind, you nameless media twerps who think writing children's lit is easy.) The last line of his revision post is the best --

"... the writer starts the neglected laundry, speaks to the attention-starved children, cleans the grungy bathroom, and goes in search of a bowl of praline pecan ice cream and a really big spoon."

That was a great chuckle for today, and you can't help but love the title of his work in progress: Soul Enchilada. Definitely one to watch!

And whoa, am I late to discovering the group of Vermont MFA authors writing at Through the Tollbooth or what? Cynthia links to a really great discussion on sexuality in YA lit (including an interview with Tanya Lee Stone and a link to her 2006 VOYA article, The Power of Sex in YA Literature). Tollbooth has recently concluded a discussion on YA violence as well. I'm glad that it wasn't just sex that was explored, since with young adults the complaint is usually that authors are rewriting Sex in the City with adolescents. I've had conversations with a number of my fellow blogger/writers on those topics, and my favorite response has been from the stalwart few who prefer to not have an opinion, but to allow the actions of the characters to serve the plot. Admittedly, I find it difficult to be that courageous. What, I find myself worrying, would my mother think? A rule of thumb for me is to write something I would have been allowed to read when I was a kid -- and I know that varies for everyone!

Anyway, some great, intelligent conversations have gone on in the blogosphere, so if you're a little sick from eating the heads off of numerous chocolate bunnies, these great thoughts will provide a needed antidote.

Cheers!

3 comments:

Aerin said...

Hey guys - I nominated you all for a best of blogs - spread the word; voting will be coming up soon!

Best of Blogs

Aerin said...

Interesting article from the Washington Post:


Matching kids with books

a. fortis said...

Wow, thanks, Aerin! We're really flattered.

Also, great article--I was pleased to see they talked to Jon Scieszka. I really liked what the professor in Texas said about gifted kids: "of course your kid is gifted, but that doesn't mean he or she is ready for certain pieces of literature. It does mean they can get more out of the literature that is developmentally appropriate."

That's very true. I was one of those kids who was able to read at an advanced level but that didn't necessarily mean I was getting enough out of it, or would be interested in it! It's an important distinction. Reading for pleasure, for story, are completely different animals from reading to increase your vocabulary level or your comprehension of complex sentence structure.