Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Ray Bradbury

From now on I hope always to educate myself as best I can. But lacking this, in future I will relaxedly turn back to my secret mind to see what it has observed when I thought I was sitting this one out. We never sit anything out. We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out. -Ray Bradbury, 1920-2012

Monday, June 4, 2012

Writing Spaces: Summer Hours are Starting

The beach office chair is back! I have some vacation and a lot of traveling coming up in the next few weeks, so things will be a little lighter post-wise over at the blog.

Right now it looks like I'll stick to updating just the Thursday Quick Reviews and will save the Monday Writing Spaces, Wednesday writing reflections, and Friday Wrap Up posts until early or mid July.

I'm really looking forward to heading back to the east coast this summer to visit family and celebrate happy events (two baptisms, five weddings!).

And I'm also looking forward to taking a writing break. As much as I love this work, I have to remind myself that it's important to give myself some time to clear out the cobwebs, step back, and let my brain relax for a bit.

In the meantime, check back on Thursdays to see what I'm reading (the Chicago e-library added over 100 new YA titles, so basically summer reading = set), and have a great summer!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Wrap Up: Grab a Bike Edition

This is my sweet little bike. I got it in college, from the local bike shop, where it was hidden in a corner behind a dozen bigger bikes. Getting a bike from Quad Bikes was a little like adopting a puppy, so when I said "Can I try that little grey one?" the girl's eyes lit up and as she dragged it out for me, she told me all about it, that it's a vintage Schwinn and they don't make them anymore, that the body had been reclaimed and meticulously rebuilt by one of their mechanics, that he'd special-ordered the tires because he thought this was such a nice little bike.

My bike even came with a sob story! It had sat in the shop for weeks because it was so tiny, most people couldn't ride it without their knees hitting the handlebars. But it was perfect for me. I swear, when I hopped on for a test ride around the quad, everyone got a little misty.

My bike has seen me through two big moves, several Cambridge winters, and some major tune ups (support your local bike repair shop!). I love it dearly, and I am so excited we're getting back into bike-riding weather.

Before you hop on your vintage Schwinn and ride away, here are this week's blog posts:

YA Highway did a special theme week of posts, focusing on the major writing/publishing conferences. All the posts were pretty great, but I found this breakdown of the major conferences and their "Day in the Life of an Author at BEA" especially interesting

Rachelle Gardner looked at the nitty gritty of publishing contracts and what they do and don't cover

At Publishing Crawl, agent/author Mandy Hubbard took a closer look at book packaging and the pros and cons of working with a packager. And book buyer Rachel Seigel discusses why some books have different covers for different markets

The Great Gatsby trailer came out this week and that got K.M. Weiland thinking about distant narrators and how they bring a unique point of view to stories

And finally, a really interesting essay from Emily Asher-Perrin at Tor about how she wishes the strong female hero could make the jump from YA to adult literature