Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sex and Teen Literature

Sex in teen literature has been getting a lot of buzz lately. This great article by Mindy Rhiger points out the enormous range in sex inclusive books for adolescents these days and emphasizes that it's not all "fantasy and smut" as claimed by one mom in NBC correspondent Janet Shamlian's article. Rhiger also brings up an equally important point of interest: parental involvement. If parents care enough to find out what their kids are reading, then they create an opportunity to discuss the delicate issues brought up in the reading material.

I'm going to suggest that parents should be parallel reading with their kids, or even better, get to know the teen lit market and read ahead of their teens. Then the parents are in a position to influence what lands on their kids' literary plate and discuss it with them as well. I know parents are busy, but it's a matter of priorities and commitment, isn't it? Books are a perfect way of talking about the issues that matter most in life. Besides, reading current teen literature will make your life richer as well.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

NaNo Freakout

Alright all of you NaNoWriMore than you ever thought you could in a I'm not talking to those of you who have already won. Is anyone still typing? Oh, wait, we haven't even hit the half way mark yet. Well, that's okay, don't give up yet, even if you are a little or a lot behind. This is about personal goals.

I am a little behind, and it's all my own fault. I had time today. It's the truth. But the unfortunate thing about having time is that it will occasionally be frittered away. I did get some other things done, but I think ADHD got to me. Let's talk about the LACK in my story. I was lacking today. A lack of focus, a lack of desire, a lack of inspiration. Yep, it happens. So I used my best tactic. I did other things than write NaNoWriMo until now I'm almost out of time. So excuse me, I've got to go and write 300 more words in fifteen minutes.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Bone crushing, back smashing, keyboard melting fun

Just back from the Western Washington SCBWI Fall retreat. Whew. Intensive is right, but with the stellar editors Cheryl Klein and Ruta Rimas headlining, we were well taken care of. Also, many thanks to the the amazing women who organized the weekend: Jolie, Laurie, Kim, & Joni. Hope I didn't miss anyone.

Now back at the keyboard, in my cold office, I'm scrambling to catch up in NaNoWriMo, but it's no big deal. I'm high on all the awesome information absorbed over the weekend. Cheryl and Ruta went over writing basics, then went deeper to really examine what makes an excellent novel. We studied the relationships between and components of PLOT, CHARACTER, and VOICE and how we as writers can use different techniques to make our stories successful.

Big compliments to Cheryl for her repeated encouragement to NOT listen if someone dictates HOW to write, because it is an intensely personal process, and to Ruta for challenging us to experiment with different writing techniques and structures until we find what works best for our story.

And now, back to NaNo.