elizabethwrites.com : the internet home of
Elizabeth Scott

Monday, October 23, 2006

This past weekend, I went to New York to see my agent and to attend a conference. It was fabulous to see my agent, as always, and the conference was wonderful. Chris Crutcher, who was on the YA panel, gave an amazing talk--it was very heartfelt, and I actually got all pre-cry lumpy throated during it. I've been sitting here for a bit, trying to think of how to summarize his talk (and wishing I'd taken better notes!), but he discussed his experiences working as a teacher and a therapist and spoke very passionately and eloquently about the necessity of different voices in fiction and how banning books denies readers a chance to explore works whose narrators may have undergone events they have, or share feelings that they do.

So, today, I'm sharing links about banned books:

From Chris Crutcher's website, a guide to teaching banned books, with a focus on his wonderful novels. (note: .pdf file) (if your computer can't view pdf files, you can look at a low-res scan here)

The American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom

Also from the ALA, What You Can Do to Oppose Censorship

And a link I've mentioned before, but one worth mentioning again: As If! Authors Support Intellectual Freedom

Thursday, October 19, 2006

My short story, "Stairs," is now up in the latest issue of Mytholog. I haven't gotten up the nerve to go look at it yet, but maybe later. (By which I mean probably never. I have a really hard time reading stuff I've written once it's so-called "done.")

Monday, October 16, 2006

Over the weekend, I was poking around the Borders website to see if a book I wanted was in stock at the store near my house (I love that Borders lets you do that) and then decided to stick my name in and see if anything came up. So, naturally, because I have such an unusual name (ha!) a lot of results came up.

But then I saw something about four listings down.


Bloom
Scott, Elizabeth
Trade Paperback ~ May, 2007 ~ Not Yet Published
List Price: $6.99


And after I stared at it thinking "$$%$%!" for a minute, I clicked on the link and grabbed the ISBN number (1416926836 -- my new favorite number), then went over to Amazon to see if it was there.

And it was! I haven't found it anywhere else yet, but Bloom is listed at Amazon, and the release date looks like it's going to be May 8, 2007.

Then I went out and bought the book I was looking for, and checked out the YA section and tried to picture Bloom on the shelf there next year. Can't quite do it yet.

In other news, it's Teen Read Week and you can see a list of Teens' Top Ten Books for 2006 here (note: pdf file), as well as check out books from previous years.

the purse: window to the soul, or pack rat heaven?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I was reading Vogue yesterday and noticed that enormous purses seem to be popular. Or at least that designers want to sell them. This makes me happy as I am unable to carry a small bag. I've tried (oh, how I've tried!) and I've got about a dozen cute little purses that sit gathering dust because they simply aren't large enough to hold all my crud

For instance, right now my purse (I actually used a gigantic leather messenger bag for years, until I got my first advance and decided to buy something that didn't look like it had been repeatedly run over by a truck) holds the following:

a cell phone. It drops calls like crazy, and the battery drains to nothing when I turn the dratted thing on, but I'm too lazy to replace it.

three notebooks. Two I actually use, and usually end up scribbling bits of stories when I'm stuck in traffic. I don't know why I carry two around, but I do. The third one is the very first notebook I dropped in my bag, back when I started writing in 1999, and although it's full of bits of scrawled nonsense (by which I mean CRAP), I keep it around because it reminds me of how it felt to discover that I could write stuff that wasn't grocery lists or papers. And also because reading over how bad my writing used to be makes me feel marginally better about how it is now.

one monster-sized wallet. A relative gave it to me a while ago (okay, I was seventeen, so it was um, a long while ago) and even though it's too big to put in a regular purse (every once in a while, I try to replace it, but there isn't anything big enough to hold all the junk I carry around in it) I love it. It holds all my library cards and bookstore cards and extra allergy medicine and the dollar bill ring my husband made for me when we were dating and he told me he knew that we were going to get married (Yes, I really am sappy enough to keep that sort of thing!) It also holds other things like my checkbook and license, but to be honest, the things that get used most often are related to book purchasing or borrowing.

a book. Currently it's Dani Shaprio's Slow Motion, which I just started last night. Usually I carry whatever I'm reading, although if the book is really heavy (like The Glass Book of the Dream Eaters, which I read a little while ago), I'll drop in something else instead. I mean, even I draw the line at lugging around an eight hundred page hardcover.

a inhaler. Just in case my allergies act up.

two EpiPens. Again, just in case. (food allergies REALLY suck)

a Nintendo Gameboy Advance. Okay, this one is pretty embarrassing, but I figure if I can lug it around, I might as well admit to it. If I finish reading the book I'm carrying and have nothing else to do, I play really old games. I'm especially fond of Donkey Kong Country, probably because it's the one video game I have ever finished.

a teeny tiny coin purse somebody who got tired of me never being able to find change gave me in the hopes I'd actually keep change in it. It holds eye drops so I can blink without feeling my contact lenses rub against my eyes like sandpaper and subway cards from various cities (some of which are still valid!) Occasionally, this will also yield the stray penny. (Or dime!)

pens. Always at least two, and usually three, because I seem to gravitate toward using ones that are almost out of ink

my name badge from the SCBWI conference I went to where I met the editor who ended up buying Stealing Heaven (my second book)

one, two, or all of the following: something I need to mail to someone, dvds I've borrowed or am loaning someone, and/or several pieces of paper with either book titles or author names written on them (because you never know when you might find yourself in/near a library or bookstore)

If you actually read through all of this, you deserve a medal. But since that's the one thing I actually don't carry in my bag, here are some links to things that are far more interesting than my purse...

http://www.absolutewrite.com/freelance_writing/publishing_purgatory.htm -- Robin Friedman on how selling a book (or two, or twenty) doesn't mean your writing career is set for life.

Roxanne Longstreet Conrad's (aka Rachel Caine, author of the very successful Weather Warden series, as well as a new YA series that's just started with the book Glass Houses) career timeline. Honest and funny, as well as inspirational.

A New York Times profile of Naomi Novik, author of the popular Temeraire series, which was recently optioned by Peter Jackson. It's a nice profile, but the thing I can't get over? Novik writes 6,000 words a day. A DAY!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

My vacation was great--I saw some friends, bought some books (I have to support the local economy, after all) and spent time with my husband. I also learned that my dog is even a bigger attention pig on vacation than she is at home. We'd try taking her for walks, but she realized that there were lots of people around (all of whom could potentially adore her!) and so she'd sort of meander along, to the point where our half-hour walk was more of a one-block "hi, I'm a cute dog, and I know it!" thing. And then we'd have to carry her back to the hotel because she'd refuse to walk back. ("But there are other people around! Who could see me!")

Links:

Colleen Mondor's excellent interview with John Green about young adult novels, as well as his new book, An Abundance of Katherines.

Justin Larbalestier on the use of language (and other things) that may potentially date novels.

Check out this comment by steph librarian, as I think she says a couple of interesting things. This, in particular, caught my eye:

"Because I work in an urban library where teen girls often want to read (light?) erotic fiction such as Zane, Gettin' Buck Wild, I would say that teen fiction is ready to step it up a bit to meet the interest of these readers."

It caught my eye not because of the revelation that girls want to read about sex (I can't believe this would surprise anyone) but because there really aren't that many YA novels where female characters have sex and aren't punished in some way. Aside from the Jessica Darling books (which are usually found in the adult fiction/literature section, at least in my area bookstores), I can't think of too many YA titles where girls have sex and don't learn their significant other is a jerk, get pregnant, get a disease, have their significant other suffer/die, become an outcast because words/pictures/etc. of them involved in a sex act get around, or just realize it was a 'bad idea.' And while I understand the desire to show that sex has consequences, I'm uncomfortable with the idea of painting female desire as something that must have some negative repercussions.

Apparently some people would like to censor a book...about censorship. Okkkkkkkkk.