Quote of the Day

Daniel Tiger. Photo by Greg Dunlap from Stockholm, Sweden
via Wikicommons

If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.”–Fred Rogers

It’s been a tough month for a lot of wonderful people I know, so I wanted to share this fantastic quote by one of the all-time best people. No matter what you’re going through right now, remember that you matter to so many other people.

More about Mister Rogers here.

Links Galore

Lots of good links to start the week:

TLT’s Doctor Who Week and How I Learned to Unabashedly Love Sci-Fi

Today I’m over at Teen Librarian Toolbox as part of Doctor Who Week, talking about how Doctor Who helped me finally admit that I’m a sci-fi fan. In very short, my thoughts on sci-fi before Who:

My thoughts on sci-fi after Who:

Click through for the full post, which has more explanation about genre and feelings, and also gifs! Make sure to check out the other posts in Doctor Who Week, too, and keep an eye out for my second post at TLT (coming on Friday).

Links Galore

Lots of link-y goodness:

Friday Fifteen

Happy November, everyone! What better way to start the month off than with a few book reviews in fifteen words or fewer?

1. The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling
A fun read in companion with Harry Potter 7. “The Tale of the Three Brothers” especially feels like a real folktale.

2. Both Sides Of Time by Caroline B. Cooney
Romance and time travel in Victorian New York. Reread this a lot as a kid.

3. The Sunnydale High Yearbook by Christopher Golden and Nancy Holder
Season 3 was the best, and I was totally the target audience.

4. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
Can see why it was so influential, but never connected to Stephen Dedalus.

5. Where’s Waldo? by Martin Handford
In a world where red-striped shirts rule, one man stands alone…in a huge crowd.

Links Galore

Some good links for the afternoon:

Links Galore

Lots of good links for today:

Links Galore

Lots of mid-week link goodness:

  • When number thirteen happens, I tell Walt he either has to read the book immediately so we can talk about it or I tell him the entire plot.
  • Great tips and mistakes to avoid in worldbuilding.
  • This is why I don’t bring up writing with most non-writers. (Or writers, actually. I don’t talk a lot about my WIPs.)
  • Fiction is my favorite, but sometimes we need a little nonfiction.
  • Some people come up with great titles without any problems; for the rest of us, it’s a lot of work and brainstorming.
  • How to successfully read in front of people (or at least not freak out).
  • Common pitfalls in story openings.
  • We should all live like a happy author.
  • I think the recent BBC Persuasion and Sense and Sensibility should be bumped up higher, and can we please strike Bridget Jones from the list? (Yes, I have strong feelings about Jane Austen adaptations.)
  • I’m kind of addicted to Dance Academy, and I had no idea that YA author Melina Marchetta wrote an episode. (If you haven’t read Jellicoe Road yet you need to now because OH MY LORD THE FEELS.)
  • Today in reading cuteness, pugs!
  • Want to learn how to write and sell children’s books from the best literary agency around (including my wonderful agent, Taylor Martindale)? Now’s your chance!

Links Galore

Lots of good links for today:

Read Outside Your Genre, Eat Chocolate, and Other Writing Advice from Joss Whedon

Frequent readers of this blog will know that I’m a big Joss Whedon fan. Buffy started during my formative years and it definitely helped me figure out how to grow up and face the weirdness of middle and high school. What better person to get writing advice from than the man who makes TV shows/movies/videos that give me all the feelings?

My Whedon feelings.

This interview with Whedon has lots of fantastic advice about the writing and creating process. Even though Whedon mostly speaks to screenwriting and movie-making, I think it all still applies to writing fiction. We always hear “read a lot” as writerly advice, but I particularly like Whedon’s take on making sure to expose yourself to a lot of books/movies:

“Constantly watch things and things you don’t [normally watch]. Step outside your viewing zone, your reading zone. It’s all fodder but if you only take from one thing then it’ll show…I read The Killer Angels. It’s a very detailed, extraordinarily compelling account of the Battle of Gettysburg from the point of view of various people in it and it’s historical. It’s historically completely accurate, and the moment I put it down I created Firefly, because I was like, ‘I need to tell this story. I need to feel this immediacy. I so connect with that era, the Western and how tactile everything is and how every decision is life or death, and how hard it is and how just rich it is, and how all the characters are just so fascinating.’ But so I should be on the Millennium Falcon. Now, if I only watched sci-fi I would have just had the Millennium Falcon part, which has already been done, but finding that historical texture, it literally, I put the book down and started writing Firefly.”

How cool is that? And it makes so much sense–if you only read things within your category or genre, you’re not expanding your potential inspiration to anything that hasn’t already been written for your readers. Not that you should skip reading within your genre–I hope that if you write YA, you also enjoy YA–but it’s a great reminder to look outside of that sphere of influence. So often I feel like I have so many awesome YA titles on my to-read list that I don’t tend to as much adult fiction or non-fiction or poetry as I’d like. This seems like an excellent reason to dive into a few non-YA titles I always have on the back burner.

Make sure to click through for the rest of this excellent interview–if only because Joss also advocates the use of chocolate as writing fuel. Yeah. Dude’s a genius.