Léna is also a Regional Manager for Writopia Lab whose mission is to foster joy, literacy, and critical thinking in kids and teens from all backgrounds through creative writing.

"Well, the question is, what do you want to believe? Do you want to live in a world where things are possible, or in one where they aren't?" Cin, Edges.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Comfort and Inspiration in Banned Books

Banned Book Week Bulletin Board 2010Image by booklover472 via Flickr
Thursday, closing up on Banned Book Week and I am finding  comfort and inspiration from both my "real" friends and "fantasy" friends who write books that make us stop and think.

About how we treat each other and ourselves.

Like Laurie Halse Anderson, Sherman Alexie, Ellen Hopkins, even my grandmother (yes, she was banned) to name a few. Books that can make a difference.

I aspire to that, I do. I practice, I work, I lose myself in other worlds. So it is with both glee and mental fatigue when I tell you that I have finished rewriting The Land of the Lost and Found. No, that does not mean that I am ready to send it back to my agent. I have to step away from it for a few days in order to see the forest through the trees. Does my new ending work? I don't know yet. I have to REVISE my rewrite, and you know how I heart revision! The plot remains in tact, but the structure is completely different, which forced me to rewrite practically every word! But I have been feverish, driven. Hopefully I have improved it.

I would normally be jumping up and down, but I am so sore from taking a class involving kettlebells at the gym yesterday (DON"T ASK!) that I can't.

I have been living and breathing this leading up to and through this Banned Book Week, because the issue of "pregnancy" is at the forefront of this novel. Oh no, you groan. Not another novel about teen pregnancy? And you know, I groaned too when I learned that this was what was coming from my soul. I didn't plan it this way, really! I write the book that wants me to write it. But I promise you that although it has this "issue", it is from two very different perspectives and not, ultimately, what it's "about".

I am watching the wind rage through the trees and the rain pelt the ground. I have to remember this: I have been able to write despite several men stomping around putting holes in walls, ceilings and floors for heating ducts, despite my husband tapping away on his own novel next to me, despite that I have been disappointed by the chains not being willing to stock my book at first and a one star review (with no explanation) on Goodreads.

I have also gotten some rave reviews too, including a very sweet note from the actor, Ryan Gesell who narrated the Luke portion on the audio of EDGES, telling me how much he loved it. And my friend Judy, who I was afraid to loan my ARC to, only because I adored her book, What I Did and Why I Lied soooo much - she loved EDGES too.

I can't be afraid of reviews, because they're coming. My writing will be out there soon for the world to judge. But Banned Book Week gives me comfort, because I know that EDGES most certainly be banned somewhere, and I will have the company of many of my favorite authors. Those who make us think about the human condition, who might make us, yes, feel a little uncomfortable. Or a lot.
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Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Big Heart of Art - 1000 Visual MashupsImage by qthomasbower via Flickr
1. He wears snazzy suits and uses cool retro terms like "my dear",

2. Going out to lunch with him feels like a "date" and I get butterflies. That being said,

      2a) He has the same name as my brother, Edward

      2b) and he loves The Grateful Dead.

3. He sees the possibilities in my writing and understands what I'm trying to say
      3a) He is always reminding me that I am an author            and not just somebody who has written one book,
     3b) He trusts my writing process and never asks if I'm writing. He knows I'm writing,

4. He made me rewrite EDGES 2x before sending it out. (Ugh then, but thank you now!)

5. He pimped out EDGES and sold it to the first publisher, FSG,

       5a) is it too obvious to state that he knows all of the contractual mumbo jumbo and got us a great  

6. He got Listening Library to pre-empt audio rights to EDGES, and introduced me to the awesome       Rebecca Waugh,

7. I'm not in the habit of bugging him, but when I need him, he's there,

8. He loves books, kids, and is passionate about what he does,

9. He is respectful, warm, compassionate AND

10. He is no wet noodle. He is in my corner, no ifs, ands or buts. He got on the phone with me today with publicity and kept the conversation specific, whereas if it had been just me, it would have been left vague.

Oh. You want to know what was said?
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Sunday, September 26, 2010

EmCee Me

US664A University Sound Dynamic Supercardioid ...Image via Wikipedia
Phew! We soared through a lot of "firsts" last night. My first time emceeing an event, Writopia Lab's first event in Northern Westchester, and Northern Westchester's first Open Mic night. It was a roaring success!

I had been a little worried that the Borders in Mt. Kisco might have forgotten about us, due to a communication breakdown, but my fears were proved needless as Sean and Brian were setting up a microphone in the café when we walked in. Sam Kopf, from the Chappaqua Patch was there to cover the event, and we chatted while my husband helped the guys get the space ready.

My plan was to have the younger kids read first, followed by the teens and then open it up to the kids in the community, if any had shown up wanting to share their work. My expectations for this were very low - as I said above, this kind of an event is also a "first" for out here, and people tend to need to hear of something at least three times before it gets on their radar. So I brought along a copy of the ARC of EDGES and I thought it would give me a good opportunity to practice reading myself!

The big surprise for me was my 8 year old son, Finn. When I explained the concept of Open Mic to my kids, that it was not limited to only my students, but open to all, Finn said: "I'll write something," and spent the next hour in his room writing a series of poems, about the seasons of the year. He followed it up with a poem called, The Old and the New, about his experience moving from NYC to Bedford.

Public Speaking is on the top ten list of fears adults have, and these kids rocked it. (Of course, I was nervous too - unscripted!) Finn began the evening by reading two of his poems, and I then started introducing my students. I may have talked too much in my role as emcee, but it was obvious that I am in-love with teaching and so proud of the kids. (We'll see what Sam says in her article!) We had poetry, humor, realistic fiction, non-fiction, and then a gritty period piece set on Alcatraz. We had a great crowd, but when I asked for volunteers, nobody raised their hand as I expected. Fortunately, everybody was enthusiastic about my reading an excerpt from EDGES. That was so much fun!!!!!!

Borders was very happy with the vibe and said I would be welcome back to do more events, AND they will stock EDGES so I can have a publishing party and do a book signing! (Last post I shared my frustration and disappointment that the Borders is not taking EDGES at first, and Barnes & Noble only in NYC.)
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Thursday, September 23, 2010

It Takes Nerve

Herballistics -  Leaf NerveImage by Bart van Damme via Flickr
I'm throwing a party, and you and your kids are invited! Coming up this Saturday, September 25th: Writopia's first Open Mic event in Northern Westchester. (Indeed, Northern Westchester's first Open Mic event!) It will be emcee'd by me at the Borders bookstore in Mt. Kisco at 5PM. All of my students from over the summer will be reading, as will hopefully, other kids and teens from the community.

I am both excited and nervous - as with any party I throw, I worry if people are going to come! I think this excitement and anxiety translates to the publication of EDGES too. It takes nerve to throw a party, and it certainly takes nerve to write a book. Backbone. My heart and soul - in varying degrees - are in both of them.

And I'm feeling a bit bitter about Borders not stocking my book. And the fact that I haven't been able to reach any of my peeps in the publishing industry. My head goes straight to - they don't like me anymore because the chains don't want me. Yes folks, I have been known to - once in a while - succumb to stinkin' thinkin'.

And it's crazy - I don't need to hover on the edge of despair. I have made it this far - through getting an agent, a publisher, the editing process, getting an audio deal - there are so many people who believe in and are behind EDGES. It's not a commercial book, but my hope is that it will slowly rise to the top, and that I will be among the ranks of Laurie Halse Anderson, Jay Asher, and Ellen Hopkins. Is this hubris, vanity, delusion to dream big? (Who am I not to dream big, and have hopes?)

Speaking of these three authors, September 25th also happens to be the first day of Banned Books Week. Censorship is a hot topic with me, as it was with my grandmother, who stirred up controversy with A Wrinkle in Time (ridiculous, I know). I think about it a lot with the kids/teens I work with, and one of the reasons I love Writopia so much is that we are allowed to write whatever we want. Many kids want to explore dark material, and aren't "allowed" in school, and I am no different. I am interested in the human psyche and the healing of what's broken.

Books for me are love letters to the soul. It takes nerve indeed!

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Teen Author Drinks Night

Sweet and Vicious, NolitaImage by _luba_ via Flickr
I'd been hearing about the Teen Author Drinks Night, organized by the always intrepid David Levithan for a while, but had never felt brave enough, or accomplished enough to go. However,  I knew that it would be good for me . . . so when Judy Blundell, (who has had a long author/editor relationship with David) revealed to me that she had never gone because of her own shyness, and would-I-like-to-go-with-her this fall I both cringed and leaped for joy. How could I say no? Wasn't it Eleanor Roosevelt who encouraged: "do one thing that scares you every day?"

I don't like big parties - especially ones that are held in bars. They are smelly and crowded, and all that standing around makes my legs sore. Plus I feel shy and intimidated, like everybody knows everybody else, and like all I have is a big foot to insert into my mouth. And I am a people person. I LOVE meeting people and getting to know them. (Oh, we human beings are sooooo complicated!) But Sweet and Vicious? How could I not go to a bar with that name? (It says everything I feel about bars and parties right there in those two words.)

Last night was the night. Judy and I had commit to each other and to another shy one, Rebecca Stead - that we would go. It was good timing to be around some author peeps, because I had just gotten the disappointing news that Borders bookstore is not buying copies of EDGES at first, along with B&N who are only stocking it in NYC.

I have to admit, I agonized a little bit over what to wear - but ultimately I went with a black skirt, top, and calf length boots. My daughter let me wear her White Rabbit necklace for good luck - because being part of the publishing world certainly feels like going down the rabbit hole.

Judy picked me up, and we took the 5PM train from Katonah into Grand Central station, then the 6 down to Spring Street where we walked to a bar called Sweet and Vicious, which is right around the corner from David at Scholastic. It was warm enough to be outside, so there were about 16 people sitting around two wooden tables. I went back into the bar to get a drink - my standard seltzer and cranberry juice - and Judy and I sat down at the table with David and saved a seat for Rebecca.

And you know what? It was awkward at first, but we got through it, and we ended up being one of the last groups to leave. Judy and I both got to meet some new people - I had only met David briefly once before, and enjoyed talking to him - Donna Freitas was there - another FSG author who is also a professor of religious studies and whose books are beloved with many starred reviews (and also not at first stocked by the chains). I had lovely conversations with Natalie Standiford and Tara Altebrando. David went out and brought pizza for everyone. Barry Lyga was at the other table and came over to sit with us once people started leaving. He was very funny.

And the consensus was that chain-stores don't have the power they once had. That they're covering their arses. That they stock books once they hear they're doing well. (One friend emailed me in solidarity that the chains didn't pick up her book until she was short-listed for a Printz Award. "This is not a test. It doesn't mean anything.")

The author peeps also like my Dear Oprah blogs, so I will make it a regular staple of my postings. Oprah Mondays perhaps?

It was good for me to go - I felt like I belonged. Judy and I had a lovely train ride back, debriefing and talking more about writing and our process, and how it changes! And now I won't be so scared when I go do the reading at the Jefferson branch of the public library downtown on November 3rd with David and Barry and others. (Although I will of course still be scared - I am human after all!)

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Monday, September 20, 2010

Dear Oprah: Speak out for SPEAK

Cover of "Speak"Cover of Speak
Dear Oprah,

I am writing to you again in the hopes that you will do something on your show to highlight BANNED BOOKS WEEK, next week starting September 25th.

This is a week that "librarians, teachers, and booksellers across the country use Banned Books Week each year to teach the importance of our First Amendment rights and the power of literature, and to draw attention to the danger that exists when restraints are imposed on the availability of information in a free society."

Laurie Halse Anderson would make a wonderful guest. Her groundbreaking novel, SPEAK, has just been attacked by a professor in Missouri, calling it "soft pornography" because of two rape scenes. Anderson handles this issue with such heartbreaking sensitivity that I find the accusation absolutely ludicrous. The whole point of SPEAK is to encourage people to speak out when the "unspeakable" happens. Because it does happen.

What would happen if we didn't have books that explored and tackled the tough issues teens and kids face? What kind of world would we live in if we didn't have the freedom to read and make choices?

I thought that this book and topic might interest you in particular because of your open-ness and struggles with sexual abuse - losing your voice and then finding it.

Thank you for considering this.

Yours truly,

Léna Roy
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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Dear Oprah

Oprah Winfrey Show title cardImage via Wikipedia
Dear Oprah,

It's all over the news now. Your choice. Your last book club selection. I'm cool with it, really. I mean, I love the Fran Man. I can't wait to read Freedom. The Corrections blew my freakin' mind and I'm sure I'll feel the same way about your "pick".

But, Oprah. Did you even consider a debut author, an author who writes in the voice of a teenager? I mean, you are picking Franzen for the SECOND time.

You have the power to make careers. Even with all of the James Frey hooplah - well, he sold a lot of books and got more book deals, didn't he? And you helped to spur a global discussion on the parameters of memoir and truth in fiction. These are topics that fascinate me as both a writer and a teacher of writing, having spent many formative years in the presence of my late grandmother, Madeleine L'Engle, who stretched these boundaries in both her fiction and non-fiction.

All I'm sayin' is - I grew up watching your show, and it has been a lifelong dream to meet you, and chat with you about books and being of service in the world. Your presence has helped so many people find their voice and their bliss. I have found my bliss as a writer and I'm hopeful that my books will be of service.

So. I am asking you on a blogorific bended knee to please consider keeping up your book club even after your wonderful show ends. Better yet, add a kid-lit book club to the mix, and please be sure to include me, Léna Roy, author of EDGES.

Sincerely yours,

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Are YA Novels Dangerous . . . ????

Cover of "Twilight (Twilight, Book 1)"Cover of Twilight (Twilight, Book 1)

I am in the thick of my manuscript, and loving every minute of it. It is this part of the process that I enjoy the most - revising, restructuring, re-writing. And I write from a teen POV. So of course my eyes bulged when I  came upon this provocative title in the book section of Huff Post: This is Your Brain on Twilight: Are YA Novels Dangerous to the Teenage Mind?  I had to click my cursor over the article and read it. Certainly not all YA books are like Twilight. And the Vampire genre can be rich, detailed, and yes, provocative. I will not critique Twilight myself, as I have to say I'm in favor of any book that gets kids to read other books.

The article describes a conference in early September, where neuroscientists, authors and educators discussed the role of literature in shaping the fluid adolescent mind. They dance around the edges of suggesting that author's have a moral obligation to write things for teens that are ultimately hopeful.

I write things that are "ultimately hopeful", because that is the way I see the world. The article posits that books like Twilight are more on the depressing side.

"If you look very, very clearly at what kind of values the 'Twilight' books propagate, these are very conservative values that do not in any way endorse independent thinking or personal development or a woman's position as an independent creature," Nikolajeva (Maria Nikolajeva, a Cambridge University professor of literature) said. "That's quite depressing."

Another popular teen book series, the "Hunger Games" trilogy by Suzanne Collins, straddles the line between dark and hopeful, Nikolajeva said. Its themes – a dystopian future where teens must battle to the death on reality TV – appeal to teenagers' dark side, yet its ultimately hopeful message is probably having a good influence on young people, she said.

I just finished Mockingjay, and agree. Even though the trilogy's themes are traumatic, it is ultimately about the resiliency of the human spirit.

On the other hand . . . tweens, teens and others are having FUN reading Twilight! Parents have a much stronger influence over their teens than they think. If you are worried about it, read it together and have a discussion. Make up your own mind about whether Bella is a good role model or not. Use it as an opportunity to learn more about each other, how you think and feel.

There is a lot about life that can "suck" - especially for a teenager. As an author, I promise to strive not to present a nice tidy package with a saccharine ending, but instead find the beauty and universal truths in each character, even as they are riddled with flaws. (As we all are!)
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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Diving in

A man diving into Lake Michigan off of his boa...Image via Wikipedia
Ahhh! I am diving into a revision of The Land of the Lost and Found and it feels so good! Finally! (And there - I also revealed my working title!) I have been waiting all summer to get back to my manuscript, and now, for the first time in months, the kids are in school all day, all week! The bus will be dropping them off in about half an hour, so I figure that this is the perfect time to blog.

I was intrigued by Natalie Whipple's blog post last week, where she talked about putting the cart before the horse and the temptation of acting like a writer at the expense of being a writer.

So this fall, I will be playing the role of reclusive writer, and not just social networker, mom, wife, house renovator. I have quite a few renovations on this manuscript to do. Yesterday, instead of editing the opening pages, I wrote completely new ones. We're starting with a party folks! (Of course, that could all change.) I have given myself a personal deadline of mid-October, so that means I will be living and breathing my characters. Walking in their footsteps. How would Bruno brush his teeth? How would Willow wash the dishes?

In other news, Barnes and Noble has bought a small amount of EDGES, which is good news, but only in the NYC area, which is not so good news. So that means, I really need your help to spread the word! Word-of-mouth is still evidently, the best way to sell books, and as my friend and the assistant editor on this book Beth Potter believes, "it will be championed by indies and librarians," which is what will give it longevity. Will you be my champions?

Time to meet the school bus!
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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Turning to a Lit Life after 9-11

9/11 ReflectionsImage by Sister72 via Flickr
How many of us turn to literature for help during tragic times? The events of 9-11 nine years ago held many of us New Yorkers in a nightmare where our notions of reality were threatened. How did we get through it? For me, I turned to The Lord of The Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkein, Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials and A Wrinkle in Time by my grandmother, Madeleine L'Engle. Yesterday I finished reading Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins, a surprising tribute this time of year. The battle between good and evil and the utter uncomprehension war brings. The old trope of absolute power corrupting absolutely.

September 11th, 2001. I was half watching the Today Show as I was trying to get my toddler ready for the park when it happened. It didn't register: the burning towers, the second plane crashing in. It couldn't be happening. I walked Cooper to the park, a beautiful, sunny, September morning, meeting with other parents.

"Did two planes really just crash into the World Trade Center?" All parents were walking around in slow motion, cell phones to their ears. We were talking to each other, talking to the air. "How could two planes have malfunctioned?" "Maybe it was terrorists." "What?" "Doesn't your wife work down there?" "I have to go home, see what's happening."

This was our city's downtown, up in flames. My brother could see it from his rooftop on 14th Street. I used to work downtown as a counselor at a high school right across the street from the World Trade Center. The kids had just started school again. Were they all right? I had other friends who worked down there . . .

For the next week, I was glued to CNN whenever my son was sleeping. Us New Yorkers were in a collective nightmare. Even on the Upper West Side we could smell the rampage of our city. And we were helpless.

It wrenched my heart, broke me down. It was unthinkable . . . So I read, to seek understanding for why human beings do terrible things, for hope, to be able to fall in-love with humanity again.

I watched friends move out of the city, quit their jobs, reevaluate what's important. Change their lives. I enrolled in a Seminary to become an Interfaith minister, but I realized that I could serve humanity better by taking myself seriously as a writer. I helped take care of my grandmother, had two more babies and I wrote.

Edges at first was a book written with the backdrop of 9-11. It was wrong, and overshadowed the other things I was trying to say, but my psyche was working overtime. I was able to take it out after a while as my faith came back through other stories of strength and resilience. Faith can slip away so easily, but sometimes it is the realest, truest thing I have.

Frodo has to destroy that ring, Lyra has to get captured in order to rescue, and Meg has to find the double edge of her faults to save Charles Wallace and her father. And I have to read and write, in order to find Truth.
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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What's in your summer reading log?

Three reading women in a summer landscapeImage via Wikipedia
Beginnings and endings come together.  Can this bucolic scene last forever? What comes after a summer spent lollygagging and reading? My kids started at their new school today, a new routine involving a yellow school bus, smaller classes and lunch in a cafeteria. My youngest started kindergarten, her primary school years ahead of her, babyhood behind her, excited beyond measure. The husband and I drove behind the school bus to be at the school in time to take pictures of their first day entering a new phase of life: Kindergarten, third grade and fifth grade. Sigh. Bittersweet.

But they are asking for the kids to turn in their summer reading logs tomorrow. We never got said logs, but I will use this slight misfortune as the topic for today's post.

We discovered the wonderful Katonah Library immediately upon our arrival here at the end of June. My kids started a log there, a summer reading challenge involving getting a different piece of a treasure map every time they participated. My kids were adamant to go and do this as often as possible. My oldest devoured the five books in the Merlin series by T.A. Barron, who happened to be mentored by my grandmother, the inimitable Madeleine L'Engle, and who I knew by proxy. (I'm hoping that Cooper will write Tom a fan letter!) My middle guy read Castle in the Attic by my wonderful friend Elizabeth Winthrop and "couldn't put it down", and is currently reading the Mysterious Benedict Society series. My girl and I both discovered Martha Speaks by Susan Meddaugh and loved them. And of course we finished reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and are now in the middle of The Chamber of Secrets.

As for me, well, I have been known to blog once in a while about what I read, but if you must know, (mom!) I am currently reading Lips Touch 3 Times by Laini Taylor and Mockingbird by Suzanne Collins.

So I ask you, as the boys write down their lists for school, what's in YOUR summer reading log?
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Saturday, September 4, 2010

Exit: Caution! Reality Ahead

A childhood fantasy came to life by going to the Renaissance Faire in Tuxedo Park, NY today. Why had I never been to this delightful wonderland before? (Save for once as a feckless youth in Northern California, accompanied by an even more feckless boyfriend - so, um, yeah - don't remember much!) I always wanted to go, but I either couldn't get anyone to go with me, or I didn't have a car, or had other obligations. I also didn't have the thing I wanted most: a costume.

"Can I buy a costume here?" Is the first thing I asked a buxom young woman after she welcomes us to Sterling Forest in an English accent and refers to me as "m'lady". She giggles, the aggressiveness of my question catching her off guard. It is obvious that this is my first time.

We walk into a fantasy where at least two thirds of all folks are ambling about various forms of Elizabethan or Tudor dress. It makes suspending disbelief a lot easier if the majority of people are all buying into the same illusion. This year's theme is Robin Hood, and the park is heavily peppered with performances involving himself. Everywhere you look there is entertainment - jugglers, singers, musicians, storytellers, acrobats, knife throwers - even the shops (excuse me, SHOPPES) themselves are a feast for the eyes.

The wanting of a costume becomes primal. The daughter's desire is palpable too - even the boys, after seeing men carrying swords and axes, start frothing at the mouth. In my youth, we always came up with our own costumes - by raiding our mother's closets. (The only "princess" dress I had was a Colonial style one that my grandmother kept for my sister and me up in Crosswicks.)

I start to think about how I can possibly justify buying one. Who could I be on Halloween wearing this kind of dress? My thoughts immediately go to Beatrice from Much Ado About Nothing, but the role of Benedick doesn't quite make my husband's heart pound. Maid Marian and Robin Hood sound more like it.

We watch a live chess game where the Sheriff of Nottingham and Robin Hood fight for Marian, and we see him woo her on a bridge. We have some time before going to see bellydancers perform with a medieval German band so my daughter pulls me into a shop where I try on dresses and get tied up into a corset, but they are SO expensive, and the colors aren't quite right for me . . . and I think, oh well, it's not meant to be. Then my husband points at an outfit hanging outside of a shop - it has a long golden skirt, a long periwinkle blouse and a golden bodice-like vest. I march over and try it on. Hmmm, I think. 3 pieces . . . maybe some of these would work outside of Halloween or the Renaissance Faire . . . and I buy the clothes on my back. I know that if I take them off, I'll chicken out, and I'll be really disappointed if I don't let myself live in this fantasy.

SO, here I am: tired, windblown and happy in my new and ridiculously expensive Elizabethan garb - the G version. (Outfit is capable of presenting neckline in PG, PG-13, and R styles.

I'm certainly glad to be in the reality of my pyjamas right now, but I am overjoyed to finally be able treat myself (dare I say inner child?) to a large serving of fantasy.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Apostrophe, I Luv You

Greengrocers' apostrophe 2Image via Wikipedia

I'm listening to the Apostrophe Song for the third time and can't stop giggling - so I thought that I'd better channel my glee and weigh in on the Apostrophe "problem" that has been creating such rancor as of late.

I have nothing to add to the debate: indeed, this will be much more of a confession.

Folks, I have an apostrophe problem. I know, I know (wringing hands). And I'm working on it, have made major strides in improvement really. But there's just something about that apostrophe . . . makes me want to . . . put one in where it doesn't belong! This desire must come from the subterranean regions of my unconscious, making nouns possessive when they should be plural. Dr. Freud, does this mean that I want my objects to control one another? Or me?

Or . . . I'm careless, and have more in common with those unapologetic peeps out there who don't edit before putting out their work (or signs) for public consumption. I'm sure that there are a couple of these unedited blogs that have mistakes. If so, I apologize and I hope you don't stop reading! (I'd like to think that my grammar faux pas are not as bad as the above.)

Everyone needs to self-edit and then some. I do know that the more I practice writing, the better I get, and that we all make mistakes in our first drafts. Indeed, this has helped shape my approach to working with others - focus on creative expression FIRST and then learn the rules as we go along. (Because rules can suck the fun out of EVERYTHING!)
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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

EDGES reading

Okay, I am completely geeking out. I'm in the club! I actually have gone through the process of writing a book, sought out representation, and waded through the process of publishing. It's becoming real. I have been focusing so hard on my move and setting up Writopia in Mt. Kisco that I have (almost) forgotten about EDGES. (Ha!)

But guess what? I am on the Teen Author Social calendar pre-EDGES release date! The wonderful author David Levithan not only writes and is the editorial director at Scholastic, but he has also organized and created a forum for YA writers in NYC to be a real community - to not only read together at libraries, but to socialize over a cranberry juice or a gimlet.

This will be my very first reading as an author. Hopefully there will be many more in my future! Here is the info and line-up for (my) night:

November 3 -- Teen Author Reading Night (6-7:30, Jefferson Market Branch of NYPL, 425 6th Ave, at 10th St.)

Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares

Sarah Beth Durst, Enchanted Ivy

Barry Lyga, Archvillain

Lena Roy, Edges

Kieran Scott, She’s So Dead to Us

Scott Westerfeld, Behemoth

OMG, right? Look at all of these awesome writers! Do I dare to be one of THEM? (Will they like me? Will they like my book? Please!) What parts will I read? What will I wear?

EDGES won't be out until December 7th, but in the meantime, I can look forward to this in the next couple of months. And a few friends have already said they would come . . . I need some psychic hand-holding!

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