March 30, 2007

Friday, Finally.

My Cybils Sisters are already reading away on Laurie Halse Anderson's Twisted (link has an interesting podcast and Halse Anderson reading) and Cynthia Leitich Smith's vampire book, Tantalize; YA Books Central still has the make-a-vampire-recipe contest going... check out contest rules and cook up something... rare. (Sorry. Had to.)

And speaking of the lunch lady, you know there's something weird about her, don't you? Then it's time to speak up. Check out this short horror story contest at Pinestein Press, which is seeking short stories for kids centered on the lunch room. Deadline is April 25th, so go to the website for details, and have fun.

Meanwhile LAST DAY for the free copy of Margo Rabb's book! To qualify, send email to She has been giving away a copy of Cures for Heartbreak every day of her blog-tour.

Illustrators (and book arts people) who love discussing bindings and the artwork that goes into them will enjoy Jill Oriane Tarlau: Embroidered Bindings, the artist's retrospective show in the gallery of Arion Press at the Presidio in SF. I'd love to see what she could do with Harry Potter in embroidery...

Via Galleycat, never turn your back on a publisher with a copy machine. Wow.

Last night at a New York bookstore (where apparently all intelligent conversation takes place), a group of authors who write about young adult issues met to discuss "the difficulties of telling truthful stories about youth in a world that wants to see them either as over-achieving super-kids or dangerous, violent losers and uses either a pious parental perspective or a leering sneer in media coverage." I am verrry interested in the outcome of this conversation, as it does seem that -- like people who condemn books without actually reading them? There are a whole host of people who have all kinds of information on young adults... without actually knowing any or speaking to them. As authors and YA book people, that's worth noting. I still love the idea of the Mermaids going chaperoning Prom. I'm not doin' it, but I love it...(via YPulse.

(Completely randomly, I ran across piece on "this generation" of parents (and teachers) over-praising kids. Some food for thought... lots of thoughts...)

The other day, Bookshelves O' Doom had these really ...nightmare inducing dolls... In response, I give you Gali Girls -- and please note, they're not silver, mustachioed, or sold with knives and shower curtains... nor come with cringe-inducing back story... They're just... dolls. Add culture and imagination and play.

And it's back to work for me, happy weekend, y'all!


David T. Macknet said...

I don't think you're into it for the right reasons; I think that you just want somebody to be sticking pins into Harry Potter.

Sarah Stevenson said...

Great links today, as always! (says the Praise Junkie!) I wanted to add something to what the praise article said: "Dweck discovered that those who think that innate intelligence is the key to success begin to discount the importance of effort. I am smart, the kids’ reasoning goes; I don’t need to put out effort." The really painful flip side of this idea is that then, when you put out effort but still fail, you see yourself as innately inferior. The author did talk about this a bit, later in the article, in light of kids who find the transition to junior high difficult. I think this is a really, really important issue. This article really hit home--I'm still working through issues of achievement and failure, in and out of the therapist's office. It's not just a problem with parents but how society treats exceptional children.

I'm not sure it's healthy for any child to be told they are a prodigy. You know why? Because you can't be a prodigy forever. There are no thirty-year-old prodigies (with the notable exception of fine art, but that's another issue). Who wants to be in a situation where you find yourself thinking you're long past the time when you can achieve anything notable because hey, you're no longer a prodigy? Especially if you're in a career where the playing field is leveled for various reasons--like the arts--and less experience, less "practice," actually disadvantages you, then the idea of innate ability trumping effort becomes a real obstacle to success.

I'm not saying I was anywhere near being a prodigy, but having had the experience of graduating high school at 16 and getting my BA at 20, here I am at 30 with zero major fiction publication credits to my name and all I can think any time I read something about the next rising young star is I will never have the chance to be a promising YOUNG writer. (Okay, I'm done boo-hooing! I'll save the rest of it for the therapist's office.)

The problem with over-praise is that a child not only learns to expect things to be easy for them, but because the school system is structured such that rewards are meted out on a regular basis and publicly recognized, it can be a very difficult transition to realize that life outside of school isn't like that, and even effort isn't always rewarded--BUT that doesn't mean that those efforts are pointless. This article did an excellent job of bringing up these ideas--thanks for posting the link, T.

Aside from that little digression, I hope to get to see Arion Press's new location soon! I visited their gallery on Bryant Street but it looks like they moved a handful of years ago. They have some great work in their archives, and the lead type facility is fascinating. (Just don't touch anything...)

Disco Mermaids said...

I'm sorry, but if we do chaperone the prom, you are comin' with us!

- Jay

tanita✿davis said...

It is true -- the time of 'prodigy' is remarkably short... and then what are you? (There's a book in that somewhere, I'm sure...)

I guess I don't have the urge to be a 'promising young writer;' my worry is that all of the stories have been told, which is a fallacy, just as big as thinking that a.) at 30, you're no longer young, or b.) that you will never have any "major publishing works" or c.) that once you pass a certain age, "rising star" can never be attached to your name.

Maybe it's all in ignoring what other people have to say about your 'star' or whatever, and just writing your work, and letting IT speak. There is something to be said for slowing down and just being, instead of always feeling like one ought to be doing or achieving...

tanita✿davis said...

And Jay -- whatever would I wear?
Are you borrowing a stretch Hummer from the Gubernator?
Are you going as Mermaids?

Heh. Those poor kids would never recover.