Tuesday, May 10, 2011

In Flux

Hello there, Faithful Reader. The sun is shining! It must be a miracle, since it was sunny yesterday too.

What's that? You don't want to make small talk about the weather? You want to know what's on my mind? Ah, you are a good friend, Reader. After so long together you have found me out: when there is a lot of Stuff going on in my life, I become a taciturn blogger at best.

I've had a lot on my mind. For one, I was considering applying to Vermont College of Art's Masters in Writing for Children and Young Adults. I attended a wonderful open house on campus. Carrie Jones, who is a fellow Bates alum (and therefore big inspiration to me!) and New York Times bestselling author, got her MFA there. I've thought about getting my MFA many times since college.


I don't think I can justify the cost. For now, at least, I must soldier on, alone, revising and reading and cutting my own path towards becoming an author worthy of publication. Reader, do you have any thoughts or experiences about getting an MFA that you want to share with me?

Book Expo America is also coming up in a couple weeks!! Once again I will be employed as a Book Pimp for Midpoint Trade Books. I'm really excited about it. I do love BEA. I love the books, in piles, on display, stuffed in tote bags and clutched in hands. I love the friendly librarians and the author sightings (last year I saw Catherynne Valente and GAVE HER DIRECTIONS!). I love the hum of book lovers as they gather in the Javits Center as if it were one great hive.

And in particular I'm excited to visit the booth for the YA publisher Flux . I was a fan of Flux long before I realized that I was actually a YA writer. The people who are at the booth are always so nice and friendly. Twice now they've let me take a book that wasn't supposed to be taken: Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater and The Shape of Water by Anne Spollen, which had an incredible cover AND first sentence. They are a smaller publisher yet their cover designs are some of the best out there (in my opinion). This tells me they really care about their authors and the quality of the books they publish. They have also served as a launch pad for big name YA authors like Stiefvater, who went on to publish her breakout novel Shiver with Scholastic. Last year I spoke to the booth people about that, and they sincerely sounded happy for authors that go on to publish with bigger houses. I think that's really admirable. Plus, have you SEEN the cover for The Dust of a 100 Dogs??? It's awesome.

So back to BEA, I'll blog all about my experience and tag it as BEA. You can read about my adventures and misadventures with books, authors, coffee, and Neil! Gaiman! in the archives under BEA as well.

Also, I've been making my way through George R.R. Martin's A Game of Thrones so I can watch the HBO show. I've been meaning to read the series for years, but after a childhood of high fantasy, I find it hard to read nowadays. I like the book. I do. It's just...I've come to realize that I'm sick of reading about a world where women are constantly told they can't do THIS and they can't do THAT and they have to wear gowns and marry princes blah blah blah. I read all about that when I was a kid. Now I want to read about places where women can do anything they want, and so can men. I guess it's similar to the post I linked to last week by Malinda Lo about wanting more fantasy worlds being open to the entire spectrum of sexuality. It's called fantasy for a reason, right?

And finally, my dreams have been so complex and vivid lately that I wake up and wonder, "What if the 'real' world is in my dreams and I have lots if important things to do but I keep waking up?'" Anyway, I wonder about that sometimes. I asked Husband about it but he just shook his head.

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