This week in writing… list edition

I have a lot to be thankful for this year: a new job, my husband’s new job after a particularly untimely layoff, some momentum in my writing career, two very happy kids, and best of all, my health, which I’m particularly grateful for after last year. I probably should also be thankful for the zombie apocalypse since it produced some good writing from me. Another couple of posts from that will follow the roundup. So let’s get to it.

Rupert Murdoch, owner of News Corp, the parent company of HarperCollins.

You probably already know that Penguin and Random House merged to form the super mega Penguin Random House. But you probably had not heard that now Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins are in talks to merge. What does this mean for authors? Probably fewer contracts. What does this mean for publishing? Hopefully, the smaller houses will pick up the slack. I suspect that all of this positioning is as a result of the Amazon factor. With the store producing and selling electronic books, and with a platform for authors to upload and sell globally even if they don’t go through Amazon’s publishing house, traditional publishers are unsure how to deal with the millions of Kindles with their convenient “buy” button. They probably figure pooling resources will give them a better chance of holding their own in an uncertain market. But as individual indie authors have shown, smaller and nimbler also works very well. A longer analysis is here.

As we wind down the year, here’s a list of PWs best books of 2012. (Is no one published in December?) And in children’s books, Kirkus has a list of the best children’s books of 2012. Have you read any of these Parent’s Choice Award books? There are lots of good ones on here. The best illustrated picture books according to the New York Times are listed here.

Pictures and reports from this year’s National Book Awards! Congratulations to the winners.

Books and education go hand in hand. And with the current push toward using the Common Core State Standards, writers of literature for children have an opportunity to promote themselves by looking at where their books align with Common Core. This post by Jill Corcoran tells everything you need to know to do that.

So, lots to think about. And with that, I’ll leave you to your thanksgiving prep work. Have a great holiday everyone. But before you go, enjoy a couple more posts from the zombie apocalypse.

Day 7, zombie apocalypse: Strange sounds
The night is so still, that the children have learned to pick out the sounds of specific foraging animals, prowling zombies, and the occasional faraway siren. Last night there was an additional sound: the carbon monoxide monitor going off. Seems the generator that may be saving our lives may also be killing us silently. Oh dear. We quickly opened the doors

and windows and bundled the sleeping children as best we could, but the freezing temps outside made the drool freeze on their faces.
Sidebar: the icicle drool was so captivating, I thought it would make a precious Christmas card, if people were still doing such things; if postal trucks weren’t largely abandoned all over the place and the zombies hadn’t taken over post offices for their base of operations. Oh well. Just in case we don’t make it to Christmas, let me extend my holiday greetings right now. Huh, would you look at that. Looks like those Mayans might have been right about 2012 after all.
If anyone’s out there: send punch a creme.
Day 7, zombie apocalypse (evening): Good news!
The big kid has lost another tooth! This adds one more link to the baby-tooth necklaces the children both wear, which seems to be a zombie-deterrent. Whether it’s that the zombies don’t care for the sound of jangling baby teeth or they’re deathly afraid of the tooth fairy is hard to tell. But now she can go out and hunt at night without fearing a frontal attack. From the back is another matter. But these days, we take what we can get.
If anyone’s out there: send a shiny new coin to put under her racoon-fur pillow.