An open letter to Ernie Hudson (that he will never read)

Dear Mr. Hudson,

Your recent article about the fate of the character Winston in the Ghostbusters movie, just broke my heart. There is probably nothing more gnawing than dashed hopes and unrealized potential. I think you’re right. The ex-military guy would have been a bigger role to play, and would have been really interesting–an added dimension for the millions of Ghostbuster fans of color like me. We don’t see enough of ourselves in popular culture, and when we do, it’s often in over-used tropes, or in reduced roles. This was hard for you. It’s hard for us, too.

Winston_GB1But, Mr. Hudson, I loved Winston. You did him justice. Probably because at the time, you and that new character they wrote for you had a lot in common. You were the guy who just needed the job. You were looking for a break, and you were willing to do whatever you needed to do to get it. As I read your article, I was surprised at how well I remembered the scene where you show up looking for work. The line where you say you’ll believe anything if there’s a steady paycheck in it is funny because it’s true. How many people have worked jobs that they didn’t love to put food on the table? Probably all of us at one time or another. I’m not sure why that resonated with me as a kid. Maybe I had seen that look before in the grownups around me.

Ecto1 LegoEven though this was not the role you had hoped for, it was meaningful to a lot of people. I recently walked into a Lego store with my son and walked out with my own Ecto-1. (Which I have not built yet. It’s been two months. Maybe I’ll get to it by Christmas.) That movie remains one of my favorites in no small part because of Winston and you, Mr. Hudson.

Thanks for that.

And here’s hoping you still get that role that you deserve.

Your fan,

Tracey

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This week in writing: mother’s day recovery edition

I hope everyone’s recovered from their mother’s day festivities, whether they were good, bad, or otherwise. Mother’s day is, I think, a minefield at times for a zillion different reasons. So if you’re still basking in the glow of your day, yay you! If not, this roundup’ll get it off your mind.

At the end of the week, Harlequin was bought by HarperCollins/NewsCorp. More mergers may rightfully give authors the shivers, but it was the media coverage of this merger that gave this writer the hives. Hilarious!

Mystery Writers of America announced this year’s Edgar award winners.

Did you know that in some places Amazon delivers on Sunday? I discovered this last weekend when an overnight bag I bought (after taking a trip to Florida over spring break with woefully insufficient luggage) was on my porch after we got home from church. Whaaa? Evidently this started last November. News to me!

Also news to me is the fact that South Carolina politicians are taking funding from universities that teach books by LGBTQ authors. What. The. H?

In better news, Jerry Pinkney was recently awarded the Toast to the Children Literacy Award for his vast contributions to kid lit.

Pinkney (l) receives the award from Tom Colicchio of Top Chef (r).

Pinkney (l) receives the award from Tom Colicchio of Top Chef (r).

In case you missed it last week, Neil Gaiman is going to be doing a reading/show at Carnegie Hall. If that isn’t literary hotness, I don’t know what is.

If you’re feeling discouraged about your work, this blog post by Kate Messner is sure to help. Her remedy: write more. She has good reasons why.

This Tedx talk on story as a superpower energized me last week when I was emotionally drained working on a new story. What you do is important, folks. Believe it.

Another thing that was tremendously helpful was Lee Harper’s Facebook post last week about a picture book story he’d been working on for years. I have been struggling with two PB manuscripts and it’s always helpful to know that the words–even for those successful in this genre–don’t just flip off the page in perfect order. (I don’t have a link for that post, but check out his website at the link above. The wooly mammoth, folks. SO MAMMOTHY!!!)

That’s all I’ve got. Have a great week!

This week in writing: Put your money where your shelf is edition

The #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign launched last week and got rousing support on Twitter and Facebook, and the conversation continues. All the talk is good, but it’s important to actually go out and support diverse books with your hard-earned cash.

If you’re interested in buying from indie booksellers. This link will help you find the ones near you. However, wherever you buy these books it’s going to be a good thing.

And so you know what to buy, here’s a list of books by or about African/Afro-Caribbean/African-Americans that were published in 2013. Some books are reissues. I think it’s all correct. If you notice any issues, please let me know and I’ll update the list.

Enjoy.

Title Author Illustrator
Sasquatch in the Paint Abdul-Jabbar, Kareem
Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad Adler, David
He Said, She Said Alexander, Kwame
The Laura Line Allen, Crystal
Splash, Anna Hibiscus! Atinuke Lauren Tobias
The Market Bowl Averbeck, Jim
Hold Fast Balliett, Blue
Jump Shot Barber, Tiki and Ronde
Knock Knock: My Dad’s Dream for Me Beaty, Daniel Bryan Collier
Revenge of a Not-So-Pretty Girl Blythe, Carolita
12 Days of New York Bolden, Tonya Gilbert Ford
Emancipation Proclamation Bolden, Tonya
Echo Brewster, Alicia Wright
My Cold Plum Lemon Pie Bluesy Mood Brown, Tameka Fryer Shane W. Evans
Can’t Scare Me Bryan, Ashley
A Splash of Red: the life of Horace Pippin Bryant, Jen Melissa Sweet
The Cart that Carried Martin Bunting, Eve Don Tate
Serafina’s Promise Burg, Ann
What Was Your Dream, Dr. King? Carson, Mary Kay
Ignite: All About Myths: African Myths and Legends Chambers, Catherine
Etched in Clay Cheng, Andrea
Max and the Tag-along Moon Cooper, Floyd
Parched Crowder, Melanie
Off to Market Dale, Elizabeth Erika Pal
Don’t Spill the Milk! Davies, Stephen Christopher Corr
A Marked Man Doeden, Matt
Panic Draper, Sharon
Go, Jade, Go Dungy, Tony and Lauren Vanessa Brantley-Newton
The Missing Cupcake Mystery Dungy, Tony and Lauren Vanessa Brantley-Newton
Africa is My Home: A child of the Amistad Edinger, Monica Robert Byrd
Dog Days. English, Karen Laura Freeman
Nikki & Deja: Substitute Trouble English, Karen Laura Freeman
Life is Beautiful! Eulate, Ana Nivola Uya
A Song for Bijou Farrar, Josh
I See the Promised Land Flowers, Arthur Manu Chitrakar
The Price of Freedom Fradin, Judith Bloom and Dennis Brindell Fradin Eric Velasquez
Community Soup Fullerton, Alma
A Good Trade Fullerton, Alma Karen Patkau
Words with Wings Grimes, Nikki
Schuman, Michael A. Halle Berry
The Girl Who Heard Colors. Harris, Marie Vanessa Brantley-Newton
When the Beat Was Born: DJ Kool Herc and the Creation of Hip Hop Hill, Laban Carrick Theodore Taylor III
The Magic Bojabi Tree Hofmeyr, Dianne Piet Grobler
Lullaby (For a Black Mother). Hughes, Langston Sean Qualls
Vengeance Bound Ireland, Justina
The Summer Prince Johnson, Alaya Dawn
Lottie Paris and the Best Place Johnson, Angela Scott Fischer
Flowers in the Sky Joseph, Lynn
The Campaign Karre, Elizabeth
Trouper Kearney, Meg E. B. Lewis
Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest for Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who would cure the world Kidder, Tracy
My Daddy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. King III, Martin Luther AG Ford
Louisa May’s Battle Krull, Kathleen Carlyn Beccia
Charm and Strange Kuehn, Stephanie
You Choose: The Harlem Renaissance Lassieur, Allison
We Shall Overcome: The Story of a Song Levy, Debbie Vannessa Brantley-Newton
March: Book One Lewis, John and Andrew Aydin Nate Powell
Cline-Ransome, Lesa Light in the Darkness: A Story About How Slaves Learned in Secret James E. Ransome
Hope’s Gift Lyons, Kelly Starling Don Tate
The Pirate’s Coin: A Sixty-Eight Rooms Adventure Malone, Marianne
Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table Martin, Jacqueline Briggs Eric-Shabazz
The Mystery of Meerkat Hill McCall Smith, Alexander Iain McIntosh
Lulu and the Cat in the Bag McKay, Hilary
Lulu and the Dog from the Sea McKay, Hilary
Jesse Owens McKissack, Patricia and Fredrick
Ol’ Clip-Clop. McKissack, Patricia C Eric Velasquez
Double Victory: How African American Women Broke Race and Gender Barriers to Help Win World War II Mullenbach, Cheryl
Kuku and Mwewe: A Swahili Folktale Munte Vidal, Marta
The Cruisers: Oh, Snap! Myers, Walter Dean
Darius & Twig Myers, Walter Dean
Invasion Myers, Walter Dean
A Great Idea Engineering: The Pyramids of Giza Nardo, Don
Mythology and Culture Worldwide: Egyptian Mythology Nardo, Don
Nelson Mandela Nelson, Kadir
I am Harriet Tubman Norwich, Grace Ute Simon
Mister and Lady Day: Billie Holiday and the Dog Who Loved Her Novesky, Amy Vanessa Brantley Newton
Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Birute Galdikas Ottaviani, Jim and Maris Wicks
Spy Boy, Cheyenne, and 96 Crayons Owen, Rob
Out of Nowhere Padian, Maria
Martin & Mahalia: His Words, Her Song Pinkney, Andrea Davis Brian Pinkney
Peace Warriors Pinkney, Andrea Davis
The Tortoise & the Hare Pinkney, Jerry
A Girl Called Problem Quirk, Katie
Sugar Rhodes, Jewell Parker
The Cucuy Stole My Cascarones Rivas, Spelile Valeria Cervantes
Jackie Robinson: American Hero. Robinson, Sharon
Hey, Charleston! Rockwell, Anne Colin Bootman
The Other Side of Free Russell, Krista
Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-so-Happy Heartbreaker Russell, Rachel Renee
Dork Diaries: OMG! All About Me Diary! Russell, Rachel Renee
Prince Fielder Savage, Jeff
Anna Carries Water Senior, Olive Laura James
Malcolm Little: The Boy Who Grew up to Become Malcolm X Shabazz, Ilyasah A.G. Ford
Anubis Speaks! Shecter, Vicky Alvear
Something to Prove Skead, Robert Floyd Cooper
I am the World Smith, Charles R
Brick by Brick Smith, Charles R Floyd Cooper
Daddy, My Favorite Guy: Papá Mi Compañero Favorito Smith, Icy and Crystal Smith Octavio Oliva
Nobody Asked the Pea Stewig, John Warren Cornelius Van Wright
Courage Has No Color Stone, Tanya Lee
Father Groppi Stotts, Stuart
Golden Boy Sullivan, Tara
Kenya’s Song Trice, Linda Pamela Johnson
As Fast as Words Could Fly Tuck, Pamela N Eric Velasquez
Desmond and the Very mean Word Tutu, Archbishop Desmond and Douglas Carlton Abrams A.G. Ford
Next Waltman, Kevin
The Milk of Birds Whitman, Sylvia
P.S. Be Eleven Williams-Garcia, Rita
JFK Winter, Jonah AG Ford
You Never Heard of Willie Mays?! Winter, Jonah Terry Widener
This is the Rope: A Story From the Great Migration Woodson, Jacqueline James Ransome
The Granddaughter Necklace Wyeth, Sharon Dennis Bagram Ibatoulline
Between U and Me Zendaya

 

 

An Oscar fact that shocked me

lupita1111Who doesn’t love Lupita Nyong’o? She’s talented, beautiful, and the girl can seriously rock a tiny ‘fro. Her acceptance speech last night was tremendous, moving, and made everyone want to be her bestie. (Cue to Angelina Jolie and her hugging.) As she walked off the stage, I thought she looked just like a princess. Of course, much was made about her blue dress resembling Disney Cinderella’s, but Cindy had a pretty awesome dress. Just sayin’.

Cinderella-cinderella-24490689-421-421This morning, the Oscar roundups included this fact: Nyong’o is the 7th black actress to win an Oscar. To be clear, she’s not the 7th to win for a leading role. She’s the 7th. EVER. In 75 years.

It totally sucked all the wind out of me. The lack of equity in popular culture is a problem. Not just for some of us, but for all of us. Kate Blanchett’s acceptance speech where she talks about the fact that movies with women are not “niche experiences” speaks to one kind of inequity. Clearly, there are others.

There are a lot of conversations about inequity. But talk is cheap. For my part, I can only continue to write about the characters I’d like to see in mainstream culture. Whether or not they become mainstream…that’s another story.

This week in writing 1/13/14

613px-Happy_new_year_01_svgIt’s two weeks into the new year. You’ve made your resolutions. You’ve probably already broken one or two. Hey, I only had one (write every day), and that went bye-bye for a night at a Korean karaoke bar. Look, I can’t write drunk. I’m not Hemingway. But besides falling off the writing wagon, there are many other things that went on in the writing world this week.

Did you have a good Christmas? Good. Know who didn’t? Nook. B&N’s ereader had very poor sales this holiday season, and the new CEO, William Lynch, is blaming his predecessors and the fact that they didn’t come out with a shiny new device in time to pitch it to Santa. Well it’s all on you now, Lynch. See you next Christmas.

In case you didn’t get all the book love you wanted this Christmas, here’s a final best-of list from the New York Times. Top 10!

If you love books AND fashion, you might like this bag. I can probably drop that kind of cash on a first edition. But this has no actual words inside. Seems like a waste. However, it has inspired me to put some cash in the pages of a book and pretend it’s a purse! It was the best of bags…

peregrineAfter the holidays’ lag, you might be having a hard time finding that momentum you need to keep going, so here’s Ransom Riggs on what inspired him to write Miss Peregrine. (I bought it for myself, and my daughter immediately took it. She just returned it to me, so I’ll get to it after I finish Kathy Erskine’s Seeing Red.)

Nathan Bransford also has a post on starting new projects, which you might be doing being that it’s a new year and all.

If Nook’s figures are any indication, looks like ebook numbers might be dropping. I own a Nook and I only bought three books on it last year (none of which I read, according to my Goodreads list. Those were all hardcopy.) But ebook numbers really did decline in the U.S. in 2013, though not worldwide.

Speaking of e-stuff, something I’m struggling with lately is social media. I just don’t have the time to dedicate to it, and yet, I’m supposed to be selling my books through social media using handy tips like these! (Which are actually handy despite my inability to use them.)

Wanna see what a whole day of being happy looks like? Well, here you go. (Warning: very addicting.)

Between technology and mindfulness

franzenMost people in the publishing industry spent yesterday reading, discussing, and responding to Jonathan Franzen’s Guardian essay What’s wrong with the modern world. Franzen acknowledges being called a Luddite, but insists that he isn’t. Rather, he pushes back against technology that seems smug. As a result, he’s a PC user who prefers the Nook over the Kindle. While I see Franzen’s point, and find it amusing that we have something in common (I also prefer the PC and Nook) it’s also annoyingly clear that this is the essay of a privileged person. Do you think the people in Syria are concerned with whether using a smartphone at dinner is ruining their culture? There are so many other things to be concerned about, like the shooting at the Navy Yard and the impotence of this country’s leaders to reduce gun violence. And then there are all the things that technology is so good for, like saving low-lying areas from the inevitable devastation of global warming.

Technology feels like it’s dehumanizing us sometimes, but it also gives us access to human things we would not otherwise be a part of. Remember when profiles turned green on Twitter to support the Iran election in ’09? Or how you can talk to your grandma over Skype even though she lives thousands of miles away? And how old school chums are finding each other on Facebook and getting together to laugh about old times?

7 of 9But like Franzen, technology does not feel like natural integration. It’s like that thing over Seven of Nine’s eyebrow. It’s handy, but distracting. Enter: mindfulness, the total opposite of technology. And the thing that so many of the famously successful have turned to, like Oprah, and inexplicably, Rupert Murdoch. I’m not much for meditation, but I see the value in being still for 20 minutes, without the phone or my shiny new Surface machine. My own version of mindfulness has been found in a familiar place. Ballet class. There’s peacefulness for me in the plié, and in finding the steps in the music.

The place between technology and mindfulness happens when I warm up with my earbuds in, and my smartphone tucked into the top of my tights, listening to old recordings of Sting.

Yeah. That’s the stuff.

Passive voice

It’s the bane of many writers. We tell rather than show. Editors hate it, of course, and will use its mere presence, even in brief, as their automatic out. This week, I’m working to revise a battle scene in my most recent novel. It’s an eleven-page series that my agent thinks is too passive. I tell what happens to the kids. I don’t show them doing much of anything. If I have any excuse at all, it’s that I cringed at putting these characters in danger. I did not want to dwell on it too much. I wanted to merely observe from a distance, with my hands over my face and only one eye peeking out. Well, you can’t write that way.

Passivity in its best form. Ghandi was active in his pursuit of passive resistance.

Passivity in its best form. Ghandi was active in his pursuit of passive resistance.

I’ve been thinking about passivity in another way too. I have recently waged a battle that some would say I lost. (I simply walked away.) The fact was, I didn’t want to be fighting in the first place. I mistakenly believed that fighting on the right, ethical, true side of things would bring me an automatic win. But it turns out that the side of bad, unethical, and lies, uses all their underhanded methods to achieve their aims, and this is especially true when those who are watching the whole thing take place, are passive. Passivity is lazy. You want something to happen, but you want someone else to take care of it. It’s apathetic. You see, but don’t think you can do anything about it. It’s wrong. It helps the bad guys win.

Yesterday everyone was changing their profile pictures to red to support marriage equality on Facebook. Me too. I did it. But what does that really mean? Does that make us less passive about equality because it took two clicks to change a picture? Not really. I’m watching this one on the sidelines. I changed my picture, but did nothing else. If I really want this to change, I’m going to have to get off my ass.

The thing about being passive, in life and in literature is this: you get what you work for.

If I write a passive scene because I’m too afraid or lazy to get down and dirty, the reader won’t either.

If I am passive about a cause and right does not prevail, it’s my own fault for not doing something about it. There are people who are out there, doing things, protesting. But they need support. Based on what I just experienced, I know. There is a lot of pressure and strain in fighting, but it’s so much more difficult when you’re fighting alone for people who are sitting around waiting for you to get it done already. It’s enough to make a person stop and ask “why am I doing this?” And then with no champions leading the charge, what happens next is this: the bad guys win. And it’s your own damn fault.

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.

This week in writing… is it fall yet? edition

I don’t know about you guys but, the weather in New Jersey is being weird. I’m in shorts one day and freezing my tail off the next. A girl’s going to get a cold. Can I break out my boots already? Geez. Good news though, pumpkin spice lattes taste good no matter how cold or warm it is outside. On to the news…

The National Book Foundation has announced the finalists! Woo hoo! I have not read any of them. Better get on that. Meanwhile has anyone read Mo Yan? He’s the new Nobel Laureate for Literature. Anyone? Anyone?

Last week was banned books week, and the National Coalition Against Censorship has wisely tapped Ellen Hopkins and Phyllis Reynolds Naylor for fighting closed-minded idiots. I mean people who want to ban books, or authors from speaking.

Now to the business of publishing: What were the big buzzwords at Frankfurt? BIC, GAMA, and Haka? Um… yeah. You’re going to have to check the definitions of those. Also at Frankfurt, the declaration that children’s publishing will pioneer new forms of reading. (No surprises there.) While you ponder that, ponder the new author/publisher relationship and how it has changed drastically in the last decade, according to Jane Friedman. More proof that nobody really knows what to do here, but that authors, as a group, have a lot of clout. Speaking of no one knows what the H is going on… can someone explain why the authors are pissed about Penguin trying to recover advances for books that weren’t written?

For those authors with plenty of clout but don’t know what to do with it, the Highlights Foundation is offering a course on the Business of Book Publishing. It might be $595 well spent, but I don’t have it. Take notes, will ya?

Advice! From writers! Like Sherman Alexie and Margaret Atwood with top ten lists. Also if you need help with that query letter, Lisa Bullard and Laura Purdie Salas have you covered. Not up to that yet? Still world-building? There’s a post for that too.

If you’re an illustrator, you might need some help putting together a portfolio. Makes me want to put one together for my writing. But how do I do that?

Already published your first book? Here are the five stages of…grief? Yes. Oh yes. I know all about it.

And finally, some argue that certain books are better in print than on eReaders. Agreed. Especially when they have illustrations like this:

Okay, that’s all I’ve got. Have a great weekend, everyone!

[Image from The Odyssey by Gillian Cross.]

 

This week in writing… headache edition

Who has aspirin?

This has been an emotional week for me. Lots of things going on. So let’s not focus on me. Let’s focus on poor, needy J.K. Rowling and how bad her adult book is. Review from The Telegraph and the New York Times. If she’s upset, she can weep into her piles of money, more of which she will get from this book and it’s 1 million pre-orders. A friend was kind and said that maybe she just needed to get that out of her system, in the way that female child performers often feel the need to go topless before they can settle into a grownup career. Let’s hope.

Earlier this week there was some discussion over the merits of Strunk & White (see the comments section). There’s the “they’re idiots who don’t follow their own rules” camp. And there’s the “they’re geniuses who flout their own rules in a masterful show of skill” camp. Who’s right? It might be easier to decide on the President. You’d better figure it out soon because one writer says that good grammar makes you smarter. Ooookaaay.

 

If you’re a children’s book illustrator, a) I adore you, and b) here are the guidelines for the Tomie dePaola Illustration award.

As if authors don’t have enough to worry about in regard to finding a readership, there’s now the fractured book-finding behavior of readers. Because there are so many ways to get access to books now, there are many, many more ways that authors have to consider to market to their customers. Lord. Remember when you could just write and then send the thing off in brown paper and twine? Yeah. Me either.

What could help books be discovered more easily? I know! Pop-up bookstores. Yes, seriously.

Oh, and know what else? Releasing books in two versions: for adults, and for kids, at the same time. (Actually, I kind of like that.)

One of the things fracturing bookbuyers are ereaders, and this week, B&N came out with new Nooks in HD, proving Amazon doesn’t corner the market on jack. This means, of course, there will be constant one-upmanship between the two booksellers, and anyone else out there with an ereader. But are they going to survive with the new tablets coming out…

You know, like the Surface machines! I’ve been waiting since the beginning of the summer when my beloved Zooey bit it. But in the meantime, HP has come out with the Envy x2, and I gotta tell you, I think I like it better. When do they all come out? Not fast enough for me.

I know I haven’t done “this week in writing” for a while, but I hear (mostly from Deborah Batterman) that you writer types like fast and dirty publishing news. So I’m going to try to keep it up. Cheers dudes!