Five/Dime Friday: From Suck to Smiles

You know it’s a bad week when a friend writes you a condolence note and includes a link from the paper… Sir Terry cancelling his appearance at the UK Discworld Convention, due to his ongoing (since 2007) embuggerance, Alzheimer’s, has just gutted a lot of fans. As those who have previously applauded my geek-ramble know, Tech Boy and I are huge Discworld nerds, and I’ve even gone so far as to bogart my way onto a panel at last summer’s con with Charlotte and Sheila. I am so sad that he’s not going to appear in the UK, where he’s already local and everything — because it is, for the fans, a clear sign of The Beginning of The End. Sir Terry has already let us know that he’s going to take the end into his own hands, to do it his own way. And we can only love and grieve and dread…

…and support his right to do what he needs to do.
!?*&%&*#!$ stupid disease.

Has it not been the summer of Author Suck so far? Maya Angelou, Nancy Garden, Walter Myers, MAKE IT STOP.

Above this sea of suckitude, however, there are always gleams of silver edging the clouds. It’s Friday, and at the end of the week, there’s always a bit of extra to see us through. Let’s dig in that couch, people. There’s GOT to be something good there.

** Okay, Reading Rainbow’s $5 million dollar plus coup IS the quintessential good news of the WHOLE summer. Let’s not forget that one. That’s a little gift from the world to books and literacy that will keep on giving.

** ABC News reported recently that there are new Octavia Butler stories which are being published!!! OH. MY. WORD. That is an unexpected little joy. According to Open Road Media, from whom the collection is available one is a novella called A Necessary Being, and the other is a short story called “The Childfinder,” and both of them are sound like that evocative Butler style that reminds me, too, of the novellas of the grand dame of speculative fiction, Ursula LeGuin. …I wonder if someday we’ll find a YA equivalent of Butler and LeGuin? Hope springs eternal…

** Did you see that one shot of Lois Lowry with a black eye? No? Then you haven’t been to the Wild Things!|Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature blog, where Jules and Betsy are posting all the stuff that they couldn’t use in their upcoming book by the same title. This book is going to be SUCH a hoot!

** Bookriot’s E.H. Kern introduces us to her fave animal… the nearly invisible book scorpion. No, really. I give props to her entomologist spirit, and know that I will try to avoid the auto-cringe-and-fling with which I greet silverfish, should I ever see one of these noble beast/beastettes… I am well on my way to helping them live in the world as I a.) buy used books, and b.) don’t dust the bookshelves as I should. Book scorpions, FTW!

** Scholastic’s site This Is put out the funniest silliest, most recognizable little video… for all of us who both laugh and cry in public and can be completely antisocial when reading a book (YA or no) “STUFF YA READERS SAY” is for you. Also, I would pay good money to see someone throwing the Mockingjay sign in the workplace. Yes, readers: everyone thinks we YA types are weird. And with good reason.

** Hey! Do you have a MG novel published? Do you work with, or have you worked with Middle Grade kids in an educational setting? You could be in line to be the next Thurber House Children’s Book Writer in Residence. GO NOW and find out how. Hat tip, Alan Gratz.

** The other day, Jen Robinson, Sarah and I were talking about our weddings… which took place at a justice of peace, a skateboard park, and a city hall, respectively. We all three either eloped or planned a no-fuss-no-muss day. Which is why first:second’s upcoming graphic Something New by Lucy Knisley (author of Relish; My Life in the Kitchen, which Kelly Jensen ably reviewed here) sounds like a winner to us. Geek Girl Does Wedding! Wants tacos at the reception! Sounds like a party I’d attend.

** And, speaking of Jen, Sarah and I, three people who couldn’t plan a wedding without a lot of migraines, we’re somehow planning the Kidlit Con. There are spreadsheets and menus and contracts! Oh, My! But, it’s getting done!!!! We are THIS CLOSE to getting that registration form up. Check out Jen’s piece on how the Kidlit Con came to be, what it’s all about, and who’s invited (hint: YOU!) at The Nerdy Book Club. And, since the call for panels and sessions has gone up, we’re all looking forward to talking more about diversity in children’s lit, blogging about it, and etc.

** You know another fun thing? Marvel Method: Cosplay, the new Youtube show that tells you the deets on Cosplaying and making your own costumes. After watching the Gratz family win for years at Dragon*Con cosplay, this is the DIY blueprint for the less-gifted of us.

** C’mon, y’all. You know you’re here because books make you smile. And, perhaps laugh maniacally. At worrisome intervals. In public. With strangers. This is as bad as that laughing alone with salad thing. Stock photos = so weird.

There, now you’ve started to get your smile back. Let the weekend take care of the rest. Peace, love, and bookshelf dust. Happy Friday, Chickadees. ☮

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  1. @ Gail: to be honest, I started doing my own because I tend to get bored when everyone is reporting on the same things. My round-ups tend to be a little… random…

    @ Charlotte: I don't know if it's worse, knowing that he's already decided at what point he'll choose to die, or if it would have been worse just losing him in bits 'til he was entirely gone. I think I decided he was gone in 2007, but — ugh, ugh, ugh.

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