Thursday, February 28, 2008

A little more Henry

Everyone's doing well. He keeps getting cuter.

Back Monday.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Say hello to Henry Alden Karre

6 lbs, 11 0z. Everyone is well. I'll be out for a week or so.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Teenager repellent

Boing-Boing has a link to an article about an ultrasonic anti-teenger device in use in Britain.

"The device works by emitting a pulse at 17-18 kilohertz that switches on and off four times a second for up to 20 minutes. Teenagers can pick it up through minute hairs in their inner ears – but those hairs tend to die off by the time they reach 25."
Don't miss the full text of the article, which has samples of the actual sound (which I can hear quite easily, though I'm supposedly too old).

Duct tape!

I don't know where to begin with this one, really. Carrie Jones has told the story of how she came to Flux many times, including on her own blog, and I'll just add that working with her has been and continues to be a fantastic experience. It's been almost exactly two years now since I met Carrie through her query letter for the book that eventually became Tips on Having a Gay (ex) Boyfriend, and I'm indescribably thrilled to have her second book, the sequel to Tips, in my hands right now. If you loved Tips, you will not be disappointed by Love (and Other Uses for Duct Tape). Get it.

(And for those who are wondering, no baby yet.)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Girls Online

Quick note: This article in the NY Times about teen girls and their behavior online is informative and a little provocative, whether you're writing about them or for them. Check it out.

Interesting bits include this:

" . . . a study published in December by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that among Web users ages 12 to 17, significantly more girls than boys blog (35 percent of girls compared with 20 percent of boys) and create or work on their own Web pages (32 percent of girls compared with 22 percent of boys)."
With this rationale:

"Teasing out why girls are prolific Web content creators usually leads to speculation and generalization. Although girls have outperformed boys in reading and writing for years, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, this does not automatically translate into a collective yen to blog or sign up for a MySpace page. Rather, some scholars argue, girls are the dominant online content creators because both sexes are influenced by cultural expectations.

“'Girls are trained to make stories about themselves,' said Pat Gill, the interim director for the Institute for Communications Research and an associate professor of gender and women’s studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign."

Interesting . . . The whole thing is worth a read.

(Also, I think it's interesting that they put this article in the style section. That alone might answer some of the questions the article raises.)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

It's Wednesday morning. Do you know where your blood pressure is?

If it's on the low side, don't miss this little gem in the NY Times about cross marketing James Patterson's Maximum Ride series.

I have no problem with his books on their own (I've never finished one, but that's not an indictment of anything. Just wasn't my thing), but it's the way they're presented and Patterson himself that make me crazy. The last paragraph of the article sums it up:

Mr. Patterson said that if he simply wanted to make more money, he would have developed another adult series. “I just am convinced that there aren’t enough books like this — books that kids can pick up and go ‘Wow, that was terrific, I wouldn’t mind reading another book,’ ” he said of his “Maximum Ride” series. “The most important thing to me is that more kids read these.”
It's the conceit implicit in "I'm convinced that there aren't enough books like this. . . " Of course, authors need to believe that they have something to say and a story to tell, but Patterson takes ego several notches beyond necessity into offensive. It sounds to my ear like James Patterson is condescending to leave money on the table, turn away from his adoring adult fans, and swoop down to save young adult literature with "terrific" books with equally terrific sequels--something he alone can do. Gack!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Author Stacy DeKeyser's first YA novel, Jump the Cracks, is hitting shelves very soon, but her blog has been a worthwhile read for months. It's especially worth checking it out now as her recent posts have offered some interesting perspective on the period before the release of her book.

Monday, February 18, 2008

RHOMBUS in the news

Varian Johnson's been busy. He just did a signing in Austin, and he's headed off to the South Carolina Book Festival next to be on a panel.

He also got some good home-town coverage for his book, My Life as a Rhombus. The State, Columbia South Carolina's newspaper had this nice write up.

There's one bit in the article that bugs me, though. Referring to Varian's novel, the reporter writes, "It’s a big change from the wand-twirling, potion-conjuring antics of Harry Potter." I don't fault the reporter too much for perpetuating the persistent myth that all teenage reading is a function of Harry Potter, because it is such a common sentiment, but as someone who works with contemporary YA books of all sorts and their authors every day, I find this just a little irksome. You never see write-ups about adult novels where the reporter says "It's a big change from conspiracy-theorizing, Da Vinci-dramatizing of Dan Brown."

Thursday, February 14, 2008

OR NOT and S.A.D.

Librarian Lisa Chellman has a timely post and call for suggestions on her blog. She's looking for books that feature teens coping with but not succombing to depression and depressive episodes. She mentions Or Not. Help her out with others if you can.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Oh my . . .

Anyone want to weigh in on this? (I'm thinking some of you might take issue with "I sometimes wonder how any self-respecting author of speculative fiction can find fulfillment in writing novels for young readers.") GalleyCat had a nice response already.

It's a book!

Stacy DeKeyser's Jump the Cracks appeared on my desk this morning! Congratulations Stacy! This is a YA that works on a number of levels. Not only is there a great kidnapping thriller, but she manages to create a heroine with something very interesting to say (as she's trying transporting an accidentally-kidnapped toddler across state lines).

Friday, February 1, 2008

Can you hear the crickets?

So, it's been pretty quiet on this blog and it might continue to be, and for that I'm sorry but I have a decent excuse (of which more soon). First, though, everyone should watch John Green's latest video, make a fist, scream "hell yeah!" and do exactly what he says.

So, why am I temporarily blogging less? Well, for one, its been extremely busy here. Flux is growing and I've been spending a lot of time on a super-duper exciting new project that will be official very soon. Even more important than that, though, as some of you already know, my wife and I are having a baby in a few days/a week/a couple weeks (why can't they be more precise!?). So, instead of focusing all of my energies on the teenage condition, I've lately been a student of the infant condition (I prefer to think of it as extreme pre-adolescence). Really, ask me anything about the milk-ejection reflex. I'm all over it.

Anyway, that's the story.