Mental Health, Hogwarts Houses, The Correct Pronunciation of Gif, and Other Strong Opinions

Obviously I’m a big fan of podcasting, so when the lovely people at Candlewick Press reached out to me about their podcast, Candlewick Press Presents, I was beyond excited. I had a fantastic conversation with the Candlewick team about writing, my time as a Candlewick intern, why I love social media, why I’m jealous of how good Walt is at titles, and more. (This didn’t even include the pre-recording conversation about which Candlewick team members would be in which Hogwarts houses, a topic we all take very seriously.)

You can hear my interview on iTunes and Stitcher, and make sure to check out the previous episodes, as well. They include interviews of amazing writers and illustrators like Aaron Becker, creator of gorgeous wordless picture books like Journey, and Lesléa Newman, author of the classic Heather Has Two Mommies. Can you hear my fangirling?

Thanks to the Candlewick team for including me in such a great project. Can’t wait to hear the rest of Candlewick Press Presents, season 1!

Links Galore

Lots of links I’ve been saving:

Friday Fifteen

Happy Friday, guys! This week has mostly been me hacking and sneezing and coughing, and walking around the house telling Bodo the Dog, “Bodo, I’m sick. I’m so sick,” and getting barely any sympathy from him. (He just get confused about why I’m not running around the house with him, squeaky toy in hand.)

But fortunately it’s Friday, which means a weekend of taking it easy. It also means book reviews in fifteen words or fewer!

All the Truth That’s in Me by Julie Berry
Not at all what I expected but in a good way. Berry’s writing is masterful.

Counting Thyme by Melanie Conklin
Sensitive and touching portrayal of childhood cancer, family dynamics, new friends, and change. Love!

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel
Also not what I expected but awesome–sad and literary, combining text and art beautifully.

Friday Fifteen

Happy Friday, everybody! I’m spending some time in an old project today, and trying not to melt in the heat because Boston suddenly realized that spring is almost over so it better hurry up with this warm weather. Let’s get the weekend started with some book reviews in fifteen words or fewer.

Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead
Beautiful take on friendship and first crushes and loss and hope, with Stead’s gorgeous writing.

Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary “Jacky” Faber, Ship’s Boy by L.A. Meyer
Fun and historically interesting, but for girl-on-a-ship, Charlotte Doyle still gets my vote.

The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness by Sy Montgomery
More an exploration into people who love octopuses. Not as scientific as I’d hoped for.

Links Galore

Lots of  links I’ve been saving:

Motivation Monday

I’m getting myself back on the blogging train after a couple weeks of off-line activity (marathon, NESCBWI, life with a dog), so today feels like a great time to share this fantastic comic by Debbie Ridpath Ohi:

It’s really easy to focus on all the scary “what ifs” and “you can’ts” and so on, but for today, let’s focus on what we can do. And then do the same tomorrow.

(PS–Debbie regularly posts writing inspiration illustration, so make sure to check out the rest of her work.)

Kidlit for Cancer Research

This time next week, I’ll be running the Boston Marathon with the Dana-Farber team. I ran with Dana-Farner last year, too, and it was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.

But for charity team runners like me, fundraising for a great cause is even more important than the race itself. On the Dana-Farber team, we raise money for innovative cancer research at the Claudia Adams Barr Program, where scientists use this seed money to fund creative and dynamic projects that could make major lifesaving changes for patients and families. I know way too many people whose lives have been affected by cancer in some way, and I’m so honored to be part of these efforts to support science and fight cancer.

Right now, you can help support science and fight cancer AND win some awesome writerly items. What more could you want? Check out Kidlit for Cancer Research, in which some fantastic writers and agents have donated signed books and query/first page critiques! There’s some seriously awesome stuff like:

The auction closes tonight, so get your bids in now! 100% of funds raised go to groundbreaking research at the Claudia Adams Barr Program in Innovative Basic Cancer Research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.