After yet another week of travel, during which I didn't have any time to visit my friendly neighborhood blogs, I'm catching up this weekend on what I missed. Here are some things that caught my eye:
- Author Rick Riordan shares the text of his keynote address from the annual Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers conference. The speech includes "Rick’s top five misconceptions about writing". Among other points, he notes that "We don’t write simply because we think it sounds like fun. It isn’t true that anyone can do it." Also "People often tell me that they hope to write some day, when they retire, when they’re not so busy. My response? Don’t wait. That day will never come." I always enjoy Rick's combination of humor and bluntness.
- For a very different, but equally entertaining, perspective on writing, check out this post by Eve at The Disco Mermaids about her writing life. Her list of other jobs that she would consider if this writing thing doesn't work out is especially funny (e.g. "Person who is responsible for “disposing” of the Mrs. Fields cookies that aren’t round enough or don’t have enough chocolate chips in them").
- And, for a third perspective on writing (is this some sort of September 11th-induced angst in the water this weekend?), check out the cartoon and accompanying post on author Alan Silberberg's blog. Alan writes about selling his first book (Pond Scum), and how it's affected his writing process.
- Author Shannon Hale asked her site visitors to post their secrets, in honor of the publication of her book River Secrets. In five days she's received 110 comments. She has some serious fans out there!
- In a pithy post, Liz B. from A Chair, A Fireplace and a Tea Cozy suggests that if you're an author requesting that your local library purchase copies of your book, you might first think about making sure that you have a library card yourself. Words to live by.
- A Fuse #8 Production links to Garth Nix's comments and poem in response to Steve Irwin's death. I've found the outpouring of sadness over Steve's death fascinating and moving.
- Chris Barton has a new list of children's history books, this one covering the time period from 1950 to 2000. He also has links to his previous lists covering other historical periods. This is a great resource, people!
- Via Kelly at Big A little a, September 13th is Roald Dahl day. "The appropriately whimsical instructions? Wear something yellow or, if you don't like yellow, something you really like." Kelly also links to an interesting Guardian article about Roald Dahl's career and writings, including his writing for adults. I'm a big Roald Dahl fan, myself. I taught myself to type when I was in junior high school by copying Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and I absolutely adore Matilda.
- Also on the topic of Roald Dahl, Leila from bookshelves of doom posts Roald Dahl's response to comments from Eleanor Cameron in a 1973 Horn Book magazine article. Dahl defends modern (in 1973) literature and the ability of individual teachers to help kids find good books.
- Via Susan at Chicken Spaghetti and also via Planet Esme, I learned that the Sixth Edition of Jim Trelease's wonderful book The Read-Aloud Handbook was published in late July. I highly, highly recommend this book. I have the Fifth Edition, and I've given it as a gift to I don't even know how many people. If you have kids, if you know kids, if you know people with kids, and you want said kids to grow up interested in reading, then buy The Read-Aloud Handbook.
- Via TadMack at Finding Wonderland, J. L. Bell's Oz and Ends has a write-up about Madeleine L'Engle's quest to publish A Wrinkle in Time. There seem to be several morals to the story. Don't give up - it can take a long time for something groundbreaking to be published. Connections are always helpful. And you still need to have an excellent manuscript, in addition to everything else.
- Michele at BLTeens Blog has a post about How To Be a Successful Teen, based on four suggestions from her daughter's high school principal. I'm not sure if all of the suggestions are realistic for every kid, but they sound like good advice to me.
- Gregory K. has an Oddaptation of Curious George over at GottaBook. Oddaptation's are Greg's own art form, short poems designed to capture the essence of a story. This one includes an optional tone of voice range for the last line.
- Kurtis at Outside of a Cat calls upon bloggers to read and blog about one or more banned books during the upcoming Banned Books Week (September 23-30). He adds: "By "banned" books I mean ones that were pulled from libraries or classrooms, or which were threatened with being pulled from libraries or classrooms."
- The Seventh Carnival of Children's Literature will be held at Wands and World on September 23rd. Submissions are due by September 15th.
Happy browsing to all!