March 4, 2013 § 1 Comment
Books and baking are two of my favorite things, so these literary cakes are just what I needed on a Monday morning. My favorite, because it looks possibly doable, might have to be the Very Hungry Caterpillar cupcakes:
Wouldn’t this be an awesome treat for a bookstore or library event? Or, you know, a Monday night?
Make sure to click through for more awesome bookish cakes.
January 8, 2013 § 1 Comment
Anyone who’s been to a writers conference knows that writers know how to party. But if you need further evidence, check out these photos of famous writers socializing and having a blast. My favorite has to be this one of James Baldwin and Lorraine Hansberry:
Make sure to check out the full list. Although I think we could compile a list of YA/children’s writers partying and have some pretty awesome pictures as well. For example:
I cropped out the other person in this photo not to protect his identity, but because his excited face was sub-par. I don’t accept half-assed when it comes to making faces.
October 31, 2012 § Leave a Comment
A few more spooky links for Halloween:
- Libraries are awesome–why shouldn’t ghosts like them too? Check out this list of haunted libraries.
- Speaking of haunted libraries, Walt and I should check these libraries out the next time we’re in Pittsburgh.
- Gorgeous and creepy Japanese monsters from the Kaibutsu Ehon.
- When I was a kid, Are You Afraid of the Dark was the scariest show ever. They even made books creepy!
- Because Buffy’s the best, a look at Buffy and the reversal of Halloween.
- And if you need to get in the Halloween spirit (pun intended), head over to my Tumblr for a bunch of spooky songs.
October 11, 2012 § 1 Comment
“An Earl Grey that is true and balanced. The Bergamot is smooth and steady. A tea to depend on and love more with each passing cup!”
I might be the target audience for this tea, but their marketing is just so fun.
In case you’re even more in the target audience, check out this article on the Jane Austen Society of North America’s recent gathering in New York. These people know their literature and can put together a historically accurate costume. Rock on.
September 25, 2012 § 3 Comments
Mandy’s post at Forever Young Adult is like looking at the bookshelves of my past. Sometimes I wish that my childhood reading consisted only of Madeleine L’Engle and Frances Hodgson Burnett and Diana Wynne Jones. Although I loved those writers, too, a lot of my early reading consisted of MG series like The Baby-Sitters Club, The Sleepover Friends, and The Gymnasts. A lot of my Christmas/birthday/yard sale money went to these books. Probably not a surprise if you’re a regular reader of the Friday Fifteen.
When you decide to devote your life’s work to children’s literature, admitting you devoured these books feels a little like being a professional chef and admitting that you used to love a good ol’ bowl of Lucky Charms. But maybe there is a little nutritional value in those series. Most of them are written like standard tv shows–a plot that’s easy to follow, characters with one or two defining characteristics, and easy conflict resolution. Not great for deep writing, but it allows young readers to easily follow plots and characters. It’s a good way for young readers, especially those who have difficulty reading, to tackle book series.
Because of their familiar characters and structure, these books are also pretty easy to mimic. I remember writing lots of BSC/Sweet Valley Twin knock-off books. These stories won’t ever see the light of day, but they were a good way for me to explore writing.
Maybe these series were all written by committee. Maybe they were never going to win a Newbery medal or be taught in classrooms across the world. But they sure had a special place on my bookshelf as a kid.
September 7, 2012 § 1 Comment
It’s hard to imagine Margaret Atwood as Peggy, but her yearbook photo makes me think she must have been way cool to hang out with in high school:
Lots of other author school photos (including ones of Lois Lowry and Madeleine L’Engle) through the link.
Sadly, no laser or space backdrops though.
(image via Flavorwire)
July 9, 2012 § Leave a Comment
June 28, 2012 § 2 Comments
Even famous writers didn’t start out as full-time writers. They had day jobs and summer jobs like the rest of us. Mental Floss has a great list of other jobs famous writers had, such as:
- Nabokov was an entomologist of underappreciated greatness. His theory of butterfly evolution was proven to be true in early 2011 using DNA analysis.
- Margaret Atwood first worked as a counter girl in a coffeeshop in Toronto, serving coffee and operating a cash register, which was a source of serious frustration for her. She details the experience in her essay, “Ka-Ching!”
- Harper Lee, author of one of the great American novels and winner of the 1961 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, had worked as a reservation clerk at Eastern Airlines for years when she received a note from friends: “You have one year off from your job to write whatever you please. Merry Christmas.” By the next year, she’d penned To Kill a Mockingbird.
Harper Lee, you have the best friends ever.
Make sure to check out the full list. If anything, it’s a nice reminder that a bad job isn’t necessarily going to stop you from achieving literary glory.