There was quite a stir yesterday in the YA community over yet another “article” completely degrading YA writers, books, and anyone who reads them. I won’t link to the article because it’s getting enough traffic as it is, and I won’t further respond to it (after my Twitter rant) because, well, Damn The Man.
Like the YA community, I’m tired of people saying things like “I really liked The Hunger Games even though it’s YA” or “It’s for teens, but it’s still good.” Sigh. Why can’t good just be good, regardless of the stereotypes surrounding a certain demographic? I hear this all the time about Battlestar Galactica. “It’s sci-fi, but like… it’s not sci-fi because it’s good.” Yes, I have friends who have used that exact quote. Yes, I explain to them why that’s a ridiculous statement. Yes, it’s usually in vain.
When we have to qualify why we like something, it usually means we have something to defend. Good is good, even if others don’t always agree with you. We’ve all admitted to guilty pleasures, and I’ve come to realize that this term is actually sort of offensive. There’s merit in everything. Even in check-out lines or $1 bins, where even the authors know they aren’t creating high art, there are gems within the genres. Who are we to judge? And who are we to feel guilty, or make others feel guilty, for enjoying them?
I might not like everything, or even understand why people like a certain book, but I don’t see value in making people who disagree with me feel like they’ve done something wrong. Going into the weekend, after a week of YA taking yet another hit, think about what you love to read that others don’t always “get.” Then read the hell out of it and make no apologies.
Today’s post has absolutely nothing to do with religion, but I am taking advantaging of the title (and ignoring that it represents crucifixion) in order to say THANK YOU to my readers.
I know this sounds sort of hokey coming from me, but seriously – I’ve been meaning to say this for the past month. Every time I open up Blogger and they tell me 500+ people are following my little blog, I do a double take. It reminds me of a very, very early blog post from September 2009 – Do Androids Dream of Me? – in which I want nothing more than to have 7 followers. I started this blog before I was an agent and before I understood the point of Twitter, and no one really knew I existed. But I kept posting anyway.
Anyway, I know 500 readers is small potatoes compared to other industry blogs, but I’ve never called myself an industry blog or tried to be, so I am still pretty happy. Actually, I’d still be happy with 7. You guys are just awesome. And if there are any writers out there who don’t blog, but are thinking about it, do it. Even if no one reads it or you think you have nothing to say. If you keep at it, eventually people will respond.
That’s about as sentimental as I get (online), friends! But I really, truly mean it when I say THANK YOU. Your stories and comments are what keep this blog going. I’m just the messenger.
No post on Monday, as I will be on a train somewhere along the Hudson. Enjoy your weekend!
I don’t know about you all, but I am very, very tired of hearing about who the GOP will nominate in 2012. Speculation about speculation is exhausting, and it doesn’t get any more tiresome than Donald Trump. No matter what your political affiliation, let’s all agree that the country probably does not need someone with the catchphrase “You’re fired” to bring them out of a recession.
Anyway, while Obama begins his re-election campaign and the other side tries desperately to get their shit together, let’s go into the weekend thinking about a much more pleasant presidential election – a fictional one.
Which literary character would you most like to see run for president? And remember because it’s fictional, your choices don’t need to be limited to pesky rules like age limits and U.S. citizenship.
My dream ticket would be Hermione Granger and Tracy Flick. If there are any two people who can lead the free world, it’s them. And I’d be happy to sit back and, for once, not worry about what the people in Washington are doing to me. The hardest part would be choosing the top of the ticket, but I guess I’ll go with Hermione since she can keep cooler under pressure.
Honorable mention: Atticus Finch. Not only is a natural leader, but he’d make us all better human beings. Plus, he’s pro-civil rights, from the deep south, has a background in law, and (if you think of him as Gregory Peck) has a simultaneously dreamy and commanding presence. Kind of hard to beat.
What say you, readers (American and non-American alike!)?
Valentine’s Day is on Monday, but for those celebrating, love will be in the air this weekend. (Mondays will never be romantic, no matter what holiday happens to fall on them.) So I thought I’d lead you all into your weekends – whether full of flowers & candy or spent with a box of white wine & Jagged Little Pill – with a literary fantasy:
What would be your ideal date with any literary character?
Concert and mix-tape swap with Rob Gordon? Trip to the Natural History Museum with Holden Caulfield? European rendezvous with Jake Barnes? Or a Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist-style epic night with the “Nick” or “Norah” of your choice? (I think I’d go with that one.)
Possibilities are endless, and things like logistics, legal ages (hello YA crushes!), and time constraints don’t matter here. Happy planning!
Enjoy your weekend, no matter what you end up doing 🙂
Some links to know and share this weekend:
My favorite publishing story of the week: I challenge anyone to come up with a better rap culture-inspired title than Justify My Thug.
For those of you doing NaNoWriMo this month, I applaud your dedication. But, listen to this piece by Laura Miller too – especially the bit about keeping NaNo out of your query. NaNo can be a great exercise in keeping your brain active and for sparking ideas, but your best work is not going to come through in such a rushing-to-meet-the-deadline approach to writing.
If you try to explain the Internet to a Dickens character, chances are you will both become frustrated, you will likely die from plague, and he will steal your wallet.
McSweeney’s brings us “Great Literature Retited to Boost Website Traffic” – my favorite: “7 Awesome Way Barnyard Animals Are Like Communism.”
While it’s not exactly literary or publishing related, but this blog post from Nerdy Apple Bottom is funny, moving, and important. As writers, we should be aware of the impact words have on others, and no matter what your politics are, I hope we can all agree that it’s wrong to make children feel worthless and ashamed of themselves.
Finally, courtesy of YA Highway, “Voldemort and Death Eaters Take Over Grand Central,” which is exactly what it sounds like.
Have a good weekend, and a treasonous Guy Fawkes Day!
It’s Friday. It’s summer. Here’s some fun stuff!
Friend-o’-blog, josheverettryan brought this site to my attention: I Write Like. It’s highly addicting and very fun, but I warn you NOT to take their word as bond. They told me my blog posts are in the style of Edgar Allen Poe. I’ve been told I have a dark sense of humor, but there are usually no beatings of hideous hearts on the blog. Usually.
Flavorpill judged us based on our favorite websites this week – here – and I have to say, their assessments of some of my faves, Jezebel, HuffPo, and Twitter are pretty accurate. (What’s TweetDeck???)
This is by no means something that just came up this week, but if you are not reading Slush Pile Hell, you are missing out on an hilarious education. And yes, these queries are real. I’ve even gotten some of them.
Speaking of the slush pile, The Awl offered a brief history of that term we’ve all come to know and hate.
And finally, to start your weekend off awesomely, please enjoy the funniest thing ever – an audio query to Janet Reid, from Batman – I’m Batman.
Have a good weekend everyone!