Thursday, January 27, 2011

Publishers sell ice . . .

and libraries are going to be publishers. You’re probably not going to spend 20 minutes on anything more worthwhile than watching this. Do I agree with it all? Probably not. Am I going to think about it all day? Yep.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Misc.

I spent this past weekend in Santa Barbara (70 degrees in January. Inconceivable), where I spent a good deal of time talking about writing with forty or so really dedicated SCBWI members. Thanks to Alexis O’Neill for the invitation. I had a great time, and one of the most exciting parts of the whole thing was talking about how important boredom and waiting around are in YA fiction. Really. Look at your favorite YAs. There’s so much voice that comes through in boredom and waiting for stuff to happen.

Notably, Ruth and the Green Book is an ALA Notable! We’re so thrilled for Calvin, Gwen, and Floyd. We are so proud of this book turned out.

Finally, I’ve heard so much fantastic feedback on Blythe’s speech at the Morris reception at Midwinter (actually, I’ve heard all the speeches were great). If anyone within the sound of my voice made a recording, I’d love to hear it. And one particularly quotable bit from the speech will be making its way to a T-shirt very soon, so watch this space for details.

Monday, January 17, 2011

70 degrees in January?

It just seemed so wrong, but I got over it with the help of the fantastic attendees at the Ventura/Santa Barbara SCBWI Writers’ Retreat. It was a great weekend. Many thanks to super-organizer Alexis O’Neill and her board for making us feel welcome.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I’m not really a T-shirt guy, but…

… but do we need to do a run of T-shirts for Blythe Woolston’s Morris Award speech? Better design ideas welcome:

(front)

image (back)image

Apparently, Blythe was highly quotable in her “uproarious” and “inspiringMorris acceptance speech.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Review of the Day at Booklist

Hey, I know that book:image

Don’t miss the trailer:

Is this the time for random art supply and painting shots from our video session in Stephen’s studio? I think so.

L1030648

L1030664

L1030668

L1030691(Wouldn’t you kill for the window light in Stephen’s studio?)

L1030638L1030677  L1030611 L1030655

The whole project was powered by sushi and organic yogurt.

(All still photos by Andrew Karre)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Thank you, William C. Morris YA Debut Award Committee…

On behalf of Blythe and all the YA sympathizers here at Carolrhoda Lab, thank you for making our year.

Because I love to see where things started, I dug this up:

image

Around sixteen months later, here we are. I’m speechless (and those who know me know how rare that is).

Friday, January 7, 2011

Deciding what’s good

For some reason, I’m unusually inclined to see parallels to editorial decision making in baseball, particularly in the early off season (so-called “hot stove” season) when general managers are bidding on free agents and making trades and then later in the winter, when the Baseball Hall of Fame balloting happens.

Baseball is a hugely emotional game and it is also a hugely statistical one, and that clash is perfectly embodied in the Hall of Fame voting. (Quick primer: journalists are the primary voters. 5 years after retirement, a player becomes eligible to appear on a ballot. Players who receive 75 percent get in. Players who receive 5 percent or more stay on the ballot for as many as 15 years. Players who don’t get to 5 percent are removed from future ballots.) This year, former Dodger and Yankee pitcher Kevin Brown made his first appearance on the ballot. It will also be his last because he fell short of 5 percent. Emotionally, Kevin Brown is everything a Hall of Famer should not be (questionable character and questionable hustle, probable steroid user). Statistically, he’s apparently a no-brainer and everything a Hall of Famer should be (statistically best pitcher of his era for a decent stretch). I think both approaches are entirely defensible and that’s what makes it utterly fascinating.

This is a largely recreational debate in baseball (at this point in baseball history, we’re generally talking about whether very rich people will get a plaque in a building in a small town in upstate New York). But this debate bears a striking resemblance to the more consequential decision-making that goes on all the time in publishing. Right now, we await the ALA awards announcements (boy howdy, do we await). At the same time, a lot of sales reps are out meeting with buyers to begin to sell publishers’ fall 2011 lists. And of course we editors are wading into piles of submissions that accumulated over the holidays. Small groups of people are making decisions about what’s good and coming to radically different conclusions. That’s publishing.

Photo by lakelandlocal: Lou Whitaker, second baseman for the Tigers of my youth. He’s the only baseball autograph I ever collected. Along with shortstop Allen Trammell, he formed one of the best infields in baseball history. He should be in the Hall, no doubt.

Deciding what’s good

For some reason, I’m unusually inclined to see parallels to editorial decision making in baseball, particularly in the early off season (so-called “hot stove” season) when general managers are bidding on free agents and making trades and then later in the winter, when the Baseball Hall of Fame balloting happens.

Baseball is a hugely emotional game and it is a hugely statistical one, and that clash is perfectly embodied in the Hall of Fame voting. (Quick primer: journalists are the primary voters. 5 years after retirement, a player becomes eligible to appear on a ballot. Players who receive 75 percent get in. Players who receive 5 percent or more stay on the ballot for as many as 15 years. Players who don’t get to 5 percent are removed from future ballots.) This year, former Dodger and Yankee pitcher Kevin Brown made his first appearance on the ballot. It will also be his last because he fell short of 5 percent. Emotionally, Kevin Brown is everything a Hall of Famer should not be (questionable character and questionable hustle, probable steroid user). Statistically, he’s apparently a no-brainer and everything a Hall of Famer should be (statistically best pitcher of his era for a decent stretch). I think both approaches are entirely defensible and that’s what makes it utterly fascinating.

This is a largely recreational debate in baseball (at this point in baseball history, we’re generally talking about whether very rich people will get a plaque in a building in a small town in upstate New York). But this debate bears a striking resemblance to the more consequential decision-making that goes on all the time in publishing. Right now, we await the ALA awards announcements (boy howdy, do we await). At the same time, a lot of sales reps are out meeting with buyers to begin to sell publishers’ fall 2011 lists. And of course we editors are wading into piles of submissions that accumulated over the holidays. Small groups of people are making decisions about what’s good and coming to radically different conclusions. That’s publishing.

Photo by lakelandlocal: Lou Whitaker, second baseman for the Tigers of my youth. He’s the only baseball autograph I ever collected. Along with shortstop Allen Trammell, he formed one of the best infields in baseball history. He should be in the Hall, no doubt.