July 19, 2008

Weekend Update

It's a long "bank holiday" weekend here in Scotland, the week of the Glasgow Fair, which is supposed to be a high time celebrating sun and picnics, but which will be a weekend of thunderstorms and showers. Never mind. We have books.

Fine Lines sends up one of my all-time FAVORITE books, The Wolves of Willoughby Chase -- some good fun there. Kelly reviews a UK novel which isn't yet on the American publishing horizon, Just Henry, which is well-worth looking for (hint to American publishers looking for a classic). Gail's "Computer Guy" reviews The QuickPick Adventure Society at Original Content, and advocates for "a whole series of civil engineering related adventure books." (Um, Mr. Johnson? Could you take him up on that?)

Shannon Hale debuts the paperback covers of the Bayern books -- I think Enna's gorgeous, but I don't like River Secrets at all. (What is UP with Razo's mouth?) And Eisha hilariously reminds writers what being a fan is all about -- it's the love. It's the faith. And then, it's the break-up.

I DEEPLY appreciate Laurie Halse Anderson. The other day, she did a post on the financial realities of writing that made me want to hug her, and possibly walk her dog (and clean up after it -- and it's a BIG dog). Even with the little writers get paid, and the near impossibility of supporting oneself with one's art -- which she made clear -- she said something very lovely:
"The course of a creative life is littered with lots of crappy temp jobs. It's nice to get paid for living your dream, but the truth is, the real benefit of an artistic life comes in the joy and excitement of the work itself, the moments that no one else can experience; when you are in the story and you are surrounded by magic."
That's what it's all about. That, and your audience, who, like Eisha, will hang in there with you, if you're lucky, like true fans.

Backchat in the Blogosphere: This next week, we're going to be talking about YA literature -- the controversies and issues of writing for this field, the way the world looks at writers and readers of YA literature, and how to connect more readers with some excellent books, etc. Margo Rabb has kicked it off with her fabulous piece in The New York Times and we'll be revisiting the issue with personal anecdotes (the struggle for editors to decide where to place your book publication-wise) and commentary later in the week. For now -- go, read Margo's article.


eisha said...

Whoa, Laurie Halse Anderson's post is eye-opening. I really admire you and all the other writers who have made good on your dream and are able to keep writing away in the face of those numbers.

Holly said...

I LOVE Wolves also, and I'm with you on the BoB covers. I'm kind of scared that their Razo and Dasha have erased the ones that used to be in my head. *Come back, head images, come back...*

Sarah Stevenson said...

Great post from Laurie Halse Anderson. I keep going back and forth between Profession #1 That's Unlikely to Make a Living (Artist) to Profession #2 That's Unlikely to Make a Living (Writer), so I am definitely familiar with the string of crappy temp jobs.

Even now, when I've replaced the string of temp jobs with a sprinkling of freelance work of various sorts, I'm still struggling. If I were on my own (as opposed to married to someone with an awesome job and benefits) I would definitely need to be doing something else.

David T. Macknet said...

I think that the struggle is with how much money one needs to make. Part of what LHA's post hinted at was just that: you won't get rich, so adjust your expectations. It's a hard one to swallow.