Monday, February 28, 2011
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Trent Reed wrote Words in the Dust about an Afghan girl after serving there in the U.S. Army. Best quote: "Literature is an essential part of life-not a luxury."
- Tim Green was definitely the most vivacious speaker. Green is an ex-NFL player, earned his law degree, and now has written several books for adults and middle school readers like Football Genius. And yes, he's handsome too. He visits schools and tells the kids this: "Take your talent and work like a maniac! Work maniacally until you throw up! Also, you need to be lucky along the way, so you need a back up plan with education. Know what you want to be - what you CAN be!"
- Mark Teague, the fabulous illustrator of my favorite Jane Yolen Dinosaur books, showed us illustrations of his book, Firehouse! I loved how the dog in his book is inspired by his own Boston terrier.
- Kathryn Lasky's books such as the Guardians of Ga'Hoole series are centered around animals. She said, "For the past ten years, I have written about animals and to be truthful, I don't really care for animals." And she really doesn't! Funny!
- The last speaker was Al Yankovic. Not only is he a genius of parodies (and yes, I've even seen him in concert once as a teen), but a picture book author, too. Al did a fun Q&A, and he really is witty in person. When asked does he want to remembered as an author or a singer or a poet or question mark, he replied, "A question mark. An enigma."
I also enjoyed meeting and chatting with these wonderful ILLINOIS AUTHORS!
Next to me is Lori Degman, the author of 1 Zany Zoo which was also the winner in the Cheerio's Spoonful of Stories Contest. Next to her is Laura Ripes whose picture book, The Spaghetti Slurping Sewer Serpent is coming out next year! Both ladies attend the same local SCBWI chapter as I do!
After reading a week of James Kennedy on Murph's blog, I was excited to meet the very funny James Kennedy, author of The Order of Odd-Fish. James helped launch the 90 Second Newbery Film Festival. Check out details here. Film one yourself or watch the clips! Deadline is September. I also just realized that James kind of resembles James Spader in this pic...
Yes, Hilary Wagner is as sweet and beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. I was so glad to meet her in person. The sequel to her middle grade novel Nightshade City comes out in October!
Who writes funny stuff about kissing zombie and American history plus gives ghost tours in Chicago? Adam Selzer, that's who. I am looking forward to reading I Kissed a Zombie and I Liked It. My children now like to sing that version of the Katy Perry song...
I also met the wonderful Cynthea Liu who signed Paris Pan Takes the Dare for my daughter. I wish I'd taken my picture with her! She was very helpful with a manuscript in one of her Red Light, Green Light critiques!
My Tune for Tuesday today is by of course, Weird Al Yankovic. Check out the hilarious "White and Nerdy."
Thursday, February 17, 2011
I'm still very much a newbie at tweeting. I do though find it fun. I especially enjoy the kidlitchats on Tuesday nights. It's fun to chat with a bunch of writers (though I'm still a little intimidated to post too much during the chat).
I also bombard Daniel Tosh on Tuesdays with questions on Twitter. Daniel live tweets with fans during Tosh.0 (on Comedy Central) those nights. He still hasn't answered any of my questions yet (bastard), but I will keep them coming until he does. I mean he must only get a thousand or so during that night, right? Speaking of Tosh.0, if you love inappropriate humor, you will love this show. It may knock The Soup on E! to number two for my fave TV show. Heh, heh. I said number two.
Are you tweeting yet? Why or why not?
Monday, February 14, 2011
13. Did anyone else catch Katy Perry on one of my favorite shows last week? She was on How I Met Your Mother!
And by the way, I heart you for stopping by my blog today! Happy Valentine's Day! I hope your day is filled with hugs and chocolate!
Thursday, February 10, 2011
On chapter two of the new mg and writing some fun pbs for the Picture Book Marathon.
I finished Charlaine Harris's Dead as a Doornail (book five of the dark and humorous Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood series) and started Head Games by Keri Mikulski. I saw her book at Borders, jumped up and down, and bought it! Her book is about a basketball player with a crush (like me in high school!!). Hurray for sporty girls and for books about sporty girls!
The McVeigh Agency discontinued its blog this month. I was happy to be one of the blog's first followers and met Mark after he generously offered Skype book chats to some of his new followers. Though I'll miss his blog posts, I understand the time constraints of keeping up a blog along with everything else. You can visit The McVeigh Agency website here.
Here are Mark's parting words on his last blog post:
Anyone who has tried to follow this blog has likely been disappointed with my lack of posts over the last few months. Looking at what I have posted, the only things I ever really got excited about were when something good happened to a client and when someone tried to ban a book.
Since Twitter is far more effective for spreading good news, of which there has been quite a lot lately, and writing only about things that make me angry seems self-indulgent at best, I'm going to shut this blog down in a few days. There's too much work to be done at the agency as it grows (and much is left undone for too long) to turn out an intelligent post even once a week. There are so many blogs that offer great information about publishing, writing, books of note, and the people who make them that adding my own perspective to the mix seems inevitably redundant and a poor waste of my time.
Besides that, it occurred to me that from the start I had overlooked one very fundamental fact about myself. While I don't lack for opinions, I've never really liked sharing them with many people. Silence is an under-rated virtue in this social media age. The most interesting people, to me, have always been those who were highly circumspect in their availability.
Consider this anecdote from the sole authorized biography of one of the most famous, and famously silent, people of the 20th century, a woman who worked as an editor for many years. As a young bride, her rich, handsome, doomed husband asked her teasingly--challenged her, really--at table: "A penny for your thoughts?"
Before all their guests, she replied, "If I told you, then they wouldn't be mine any more, would they?" I tend to agree. I'll keep mine to myself.
Of course, the point of the story shifts 180 degrees when you learn one final fact about the book from which it is taken.
The subject, editing her life before it was halfway done, didn't think much of the author's first draft. So she wrote the biography (and likely invented the story) herself, myth making. An unreliable narrator: my favorite kind. I empathize.
Thank you to all who read this blog, thanks to all who've been so supportive in so many ways, and here's to continued good things--publicly acknowledged or not--for all of us, friends, clients, readers, creators, and myth makers as we head into 2011.
Thanks for your mindful, sincere words, Mark! You can follow Mark and The McVeigh Agency on Twitter @mcveighagency .
OTHER BLOG NEWS
Congrats to Hilary Wagner (author of Nightshade City) on her recent sale of City of Goblins to Holiday House through her agent, Marietta Zacker! City of Goblins is a middle grade adventure fantasy proposed to be released in the spring of 2012.
I found this fun post on the Verla Kay's blueboards. Ever secretly wonder about the Snooki book but didn't want to read it? Check out Lynne Kelly's hilarious wrap up here. Make sure you tell her that K-Woww sent ya.
Read and reflect on such literary gems as "But now, like a chronic STD, Gia was back!"
Lola at Sharp Pen/Dull Sword is having a LOLApalooza! Win great prizes and do nice things for your fellow writers. Kindness is contagious!
Donna Earnhardt is having an awesome Picture Book contest! You can win Anastasia Suen's Picture Writing book and a critique! Contest ends tomorrow. Enter HERE!
Have a fabulous day!
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
What was your favorite commercial of the Super Bowl? I only watched a little bit of the Super Bowl, and my fave commercial was the Best Buy one with Justin Bieber and Ozzy & Sharon Osbourne. Our home was fortunate enough to be Bieber fever free for a long time (except for a short lapse due to Murphblog's Bieber's Hair Attacked Me story last April - my then 5 year old was seriously scared that JB's hair was going to attack him in the night), but Bieber fever has officially hit this rock 'n' roll household. Even my 11 year old rocker son bought the song "Baby" on Itunes last week. I have heard that song so much that I was forced to institute a One Bieber Song Per Hour law in my home. My former house of rock...
"Like baby, baby, baby, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"
Of course, my children were familiar with Ozzy Osbourne way before Bieber fever. C'mon, I am their mother. So naturally we all enjoyed this ad (and watched it 10+ times). Can you believe that is JB with the mustache and crazy hair at the end? I like how Ozzy and Justin can make fun of themselves in this.
Bieber also made a cameo on SNL this weekend that made me laugh. Click here if you want to see him with the Church Lady and in a hilarious parody of The Roommate!
So, please stop here often for all of your Bieber needs! Just kidding, this blog will revert back to its rock 'n' roll format after this paragraph.
Speaking of SNL, I also loved seeing Wayne's World after all of these years! Click here to see the newest Wayne and Garth skit. I love silly, juvenile humor. Party on!
For my tune for Tuesday, here's a classic video of Ozzy Osbourne singing my fave Ozzy song, "I Don't Know." Even though Ozzy gets a bit confused at times, he is seriously talented. He exhibits an amazing, distinctive singing voice and some huge rock hits that span decades.
Do you have a favorite Bieber or Ozzy song?
Thursday, February 3, 2011
Like many of you, we got hit by a major blizzard this week. I have to say it was rather exciting! I videotaped it every few hours, and the next morning it was so fun watching the kids' reactions when they saw all the snow! We got maybe 18 inches or so. My husband was in Arizona for business and was so disappointed he missed all the snow! Seriously! The kids' school was closed yesterday and again today which they are quite happy about. My productivity went down, but my family fun meter went up!
I'm on to writing my next middle grade. Jon and I are collaborating on this one. I like how we set a weekly goal and then Skype about our progress and ideas. It forces me to produce, and it also makes our story stronger when we discuss a story we both have vested interest in.
I'm also in the Picture Book Marathon: 26 pb rough drafts in 28 days. I knew I wouldn't produce that many, but I thought signing up would force me to do more than I would have normally. My goal is to do four rough drafts. I know, far from 26, but I'm being realistic and it will be four more than I would have done this month without the marathon!
What are you working on this week?
Thank you to Kate Scott! I won Eighth Grade Bites by Heather Brewer at her blog this week! I've wanted to try that series, so thank you, Kate!
Head on over to Roots In Myth blog, and enter the contest for a free query critique by PJ Hoover or Jessica Lee Anderson! They are such Texas Sweethearts!
Due to the blizzard, my Buckcherry concert was cancelled Tuesday night. It is supposed to be rescheduled, so I hope it is soon!!
Besides Buckcherry, I listen to my usual (yet, constantly changing) "Current Faves" mix when I exercise to my Sports Active Wii game. As of today, this consists of my 25 fave songs of the moment which today includes Avenged Sevenfold, MCR, 30STM, Papa Roach and more. My newest fave on this mix is "Bodies" by Drowning Pool seen below. It gets my body moving!
Keep your body warm this week! It's so freaking cold today!