Showing posts from April, 2014

The We Need Diverse Books Campaign; Also, Writing Frustration

I want to start by boosting the signal for a series of online events about to take place in support of diversity in children and YA's literature. This is partly in response to the recent BookCon debacle you can read about here, but also stems from a lot of recent and growing online conversation about the appalling lack of diversity in the field. The online events will take place over three days, starting May 1, and more info is at the WeNeedDiverseBooks tumblr. Visit the site, make a sign, get involved, spread the word.


So, I've mentioned I'm starting a new book. Care to know how it's going? I'LL TELL YOU. Starting this book is like someone's walked up to me and said, "Hi there. We've decided it's your job to build a zoo. Here are your materials," then buried me under a mountain of sand, let a few tigers loose, and walked away. Or something. See, this is the type of imagery I'm coming up with. I AM HAVING A TERRIBLE TIME. For exam…

Notes from the Writing Room

A friend, knowing my usual one-book-at-a-time writing mode and understanding that at the moment, I'm working on three books, asked me if I've adopted a new way of working. The answer is no. I'm writing books the same way I always have. I start at the beginning of a book and write it through to the end. Then that book moves into the revision stage; over the course of however-long, my editor and I pass it back and forth and I revise it several times. While a book is in the revision stage, there are extended periods of time when either it's with my editor or we are giving it some needed space. During that time, I start the next book and write it through to the end. Rinse and repeat.

The reason I have three books in the works at the moment is that I wrote the first draft of one of them – the first one – really fast, but the revisions are going really really slowly. In the meantime, I've written a second book that's now also in revisions and is probably going to ov…


When I told my sister, codename: Cordelia, how it feels to be here today on the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing, she pointed out that maybe it's better that the anniversary is almost a week before this year's marathon (next Monday). It gives people space to grieve. I hadn't thought of that; I had been thinking only that it feels like two anniversaries rather than one, one day of terrible sadness, then, a few days later, another day of terrible sadness. But I think she's right. It's good to have a day dedicated to looking back and mourning, and another day dedicated to reclaiming our marathon.

It's very sad here today.

Here's a link to the metta meditation I posted last year.

April in Cambridge


Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's TED Talk on the Danger of a Single Story

Have you seen novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's TED Talk yet? Called "The danger of a single story," it's beautifully composed and full of compassion. If you make 19 minutes for it, I think you'll be glad you did so.

Here's the link to the talk on the TED page, where you can access subtitles and also the transcript of the talk in many languages.

Reading and the Cosmos

I'm almost always in the process of reading a book; often I'm reading two. It's not unusual for me to be reading three. (There's also a scattering of a half-dozen books that I read at the pace of a snail across years, but I'm not counting those here – I'm talking about books I'm actively reading now with the intention of finishing them soonish.) That's usually my limit, and when I'm reading three books, two of them will almost certainly be either nonfiction or short stories; I rarely read more than one novel at the same time.

Right now, however, I'm in a few days of taking a break from all writing, which means I have more time to read. I am also preparing, in invisible ways, for the next bunch of writing – which means I'm finding myself drawn to more nonfiction than is usual for me. Putting together the pleasure reading, the reading that is obligated for various reasons, and the reading specifically directed toward informing my writing, I&#…