Wednesday, April 28, 2010

just finished reading

Wildwood Dancing, by Juliet Marillier. WOW that was good. My review here. Anyone else read it? Any thoughts?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

awol

As you may have guessed already from my several weeks of sporadic posting, I got slammed with a ton of deadlines and am going a little buggy.

I hope to be back here with interesting things soon. Thanks for your patience.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

things the rally monkey says

[The RM and I are with a group of people trying to pick out a restaurant in the West Village. We pass a place that's all shuttered.]

YT: Oh dang! That's the place I wanted us to go. Now it's closed! That's so sad!

RM: If that restaurant were your mouth, it would still be open.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

adventures in book reviewing

Yesterday, I had an adventure.

I arrived home to discover a a sticky note posted to the outside of the doorbell box outside my apartment's foyer. It was a UPS delivery attempt note--third and last attempt; the package would be returned to sender the next day. There was no name on the sticky, but it was left for Apartment 7. There's no apartment 7 in my building. There are several apartments with 7 in their number--like mine, 73--so on the off-chance it was mine, I called the number on the back.

This is how I learned what UPS's excellent strategy for handling missed deliveries is--unlabeled sticky notes on the outdoor call boxes of buildings, regardless of wind or weather. I'm not REALLY surprised I didn't catch notes for the first or second attempt. But whatever.

So yes, in short, the package was addressed to one Moon Rat (like, not my real name, actually "Moon Rat"). My options for obtaining the package were to pay $6 to arrange another delivery (which I also wouldn't be there to intercept, since I have, you know, commitments not in my apartment during UPS delivery options), to pick it up at the local UPS store, or to let it be returned to the sender.

I inquired about the location of the UPS store in question--it was in an area of the Bronx I had never heard of. Also, I'd have to go at night, after 7:30, when the truck had returned to the yard. I looked at Google and noted the many highways and abandoned lots around this UPS store address. Hmm, wandering around alone in the dark in the Bronx in order to retrieve a package addressed to someone who doesn't actually exist (what would happen if I got there and they required photo ID? Hmm, irritating).

I was going to just let the package go back--what the heck was it, anyway?! I wasn't expecting anything!--but the Rally Monkey major guilt-tripped me, saying this was disrespectful to the person who had sent it. At first I snorted off this logic, but then it started to sink in, and I found myself glumly climbing on the train (I had to transfer THREE TIMES to get there!).

I won't go into too much detail about my escapade (summary: I got lost. A lot. I walked 20 minutes in the wrong direction. It was not a residential area, but there were tons of abandoned lots, warehouses, cars zooming by, and bridges with clumps of two or three people standing under them as if someone were PAYING them to look shady. And it was cold, and dark, and when I finally got to UPS they were totally disorganized, and I had to wait for an hour with all the other cold, lonely, angry people who had been wandering around lost in Co-Op City trying to find UPS). But let me assure you, it was AWESOME. The best part was that the guy at UPS didn't ask for photo id like he was supposed to. If he had protected my privacy, I would have thrown a stink fit.

In the end, the package was a review copy of a book I hadn't requested on a topic I'm not very interested in; the publicist had enclosed a brief note requesting I consider it for review on my blog. I'm a little curious about where the sender got my address; I've given it out in the past (there's not much I won't do for free stuff), but did I make some kind of mailing list? And then why would they pay to send it UPS?

I tell you this nattering story because it's a bizarrely New York story (I think anywhere else you could just DRIVE to the UPS store). Also, because it raises some practical issues. How does one freakin' get one's mail?! USPS is no good, either, since the post office by me is only open Monday to Friday, 10 - 5. What, am I going to take a day off to get mail?! And for at least 100 reasons, I do NOT want to be receiving stuff at work.

What IS the answer?!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

things the rally monkey says

[The RM's baby nephew turns 2 today.]

RM: I'll get him a nice toy. He likes things that move on their own.

YT: Of course he does. Everyone likes things that move on their own.

RM: I don't.

YT: Oh really? Then what do you keep me around for?

RM: When do you ever move on your own?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

women in fantasy literature

Have you guys heard about the Sirens festival? It's a (pretty new, but rocking) annual conference in Vail, Colorado that is dedicated to women in fantasy--women authors of fantasy and the representation of women in fantasy novels. (Each year, there's a theme--this year it's faeries.) If you're in for a weekend in Colorado October 7-10, keep this possibility in mind--it sounds like one heck of a party.

I'm as interested in the conference as I am because a friend of mine keeps talking about it. The extraordinary Faye, who has spent the last three months patiently teaching me about fantasy and Young Adult literature, attended last year (here's her write-up of her experience) and got so involved that she's on the board this year.

The conference draws a range of authors, from emerging authors to really heavy hitters (last year, Kristin Cashore and Tamora Pierce... this year, Holly Black and Marie Brennan, among others.) According to Faye, there was some really extraordinary programming, panel discussions, etc.

For more information about this year, see here. They are still accepting proposals, so if you're a faery expert and have an idea for programming, check this out. For yet more info, Faye tells me there's a live chat from 2-4 pm today EST here, if you want to ask any questions of the organizers.

I am very, very interested in the conference, both as a reader and as an acquisitions editor. I have never been to Colorado but am very seriously considering. I'd like to hear stories from anyone who's ever been before. Also, please let me know if you're planning on going! This offers great blogfriendmatchmaking potential.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

the editing song is stuck in my head today

It goes:

Chop, chop, choppity chop
Cut off the bottom and cut off the top
What you have left, you throw to the cop-
y editor
Chop, chop, choppity chop

Have you heard it before? CUZ I'M SINGING IT LOUD RIGHT NOW!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

daily wisdom from the production department

Production Manager: In publishing, some people are Type A. The others are Type A+.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

curses! the nefarious Kiersten White has foiled my best intentions!


I was supposed to be on editorial lockdown all week, and instead I haven't wanted to do anything but read the galley of Paranormalcy *someone* (Kiersten White. That's who it was. I'm just going to come out and say it so that everyone can heckle her) sent me! Unfortunately I am LITERALLY unable to concentrate on my life until I know what happens. Evil, evil, evil.

Too bad no one else gets to read it until September. Nyuk.

You knocked this one out of the park, Kiersten. And to think, we knew you "when."

Monday, April 12, 2010

just finished reading

The Samaritan's Secret, by Matt Beynon Rees--detective fiction set in Palestine. Actually, I finished last week and forgot to post. Woops. My review here. Anyone else read? Any thoughts?

morning links

NY Mag article about the publisher who almost got JD Salinger's last novel.

If you're tired of LOLCats, don't click here, but this made me laugh really hard.

Ok, that's actually it for now. Happy Monday!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

things the rally monkey says

RM: Your blog has totally jumped the shark lately. You need to write more about me.

[All right, Mr. Modest.]

Saturday, April 10, 2010

weekend update

Woosh, deadlines deadlines yadda yadda... So sad to be torn away from blogging. Can't resist some small, quick blogging.

First, I found this most excellent: Are you ready to be published? Consult this insanely detailed poster! (via zarahruth)

Second, how crazy is this? Huffington Post listed me on their 50 Best Book People to Follow. Like, I'm on a list of only 50 people that starts with Neil Gaiman and includes JK Rowling. As Shaggy would say, like, woah. But I'll take it! Here's the photo evidence. Now I have to figure out how to entertain all my new followers (alas, you old-timers spoiled me with all your easy-to-pleaseness).

Third, apparently this is what a condor looks like. I never knew. Strangely magnificent, in an understated way...

Fourth and finally (for now), classic Ed Ass Moment of Sap (so stop reading if you're not into such things). Today is a Celebrating Good Karma day in the Rat world. Something awesome happened recently for one of my books, and something awesome happened for me personally (besides HuffPo, crazily--I told you it's been a busy week). Selfishly, I believe this is because I have been working hard to help awesome things happen for other people and their books--an example of paying it forward paying it back. But giving (entire) credit where credit is due, I realize my good fortune comes about because I have some really fantastic friends. I am touched and amazed by what people have been willing to do on my behalf, and what they accomplished together. I have to thank them separately, but in the meantime, Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles.

Happy Saturday!

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

good news!

Happy Wednesday! (And boy is it!) I'm still too busy to blog, but Mischief people are not to busy to have awesome news!

First, Natasha Solomons's debut novel was released in the UK (where it is called MR ROSENBLUM'S LIST) by Sceptre on April 1st! The US release date is June 21 (Reagan Arthur books is publishing it under the title MR ROSENBLUM DREAMS IN ENGLISH). I've asked Natasha if she'll do a guest post in June, and she's offered to talk about generating word-of-mouth publicity for novels.

Second, Caroline Starr Rose's middle grade novel-in-verse, MAY B, sold to Nicole Geiger at Tricycle! It's releasing Fall 2011. (I just noticed Caroline is represented by my friend Michelle Humphrey--now I'm doubly excited about this deal!)

Two people to congratulate! Keep the good news comin', folks :)

Monday, April 05, 2010

blah

I have fallen into a tornado of due dates (mixed metaphor? I can't even tell anymore). If I'm around here a little less, please forgive.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Harper Studio

This makes me very, very sad.

It's late at night, but we can discuss in greater detail tomorrow.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Ragtime

Woops, I totally forgot I was supposed to have a bookclub about Ragtime. (I finished way early and then forgot about it.) Did anyone else read it? Want to talk about it?

favorite childhood book? (Your Questions...)

Rebecca Knight asks, What was your favorite book growing up?

Anne of Green Gables. Or Island of Blue Dolphins. Or Rifles for Watie. Or anything by Judy Blume. Actually, I didn't have any friends as a child, so I read a lot back then. I also drove my mother crazy by re-reading books about 30 times.

Your turn. What's your favorite childhood book?