Wednesday, March 28, 2012

"Enemies of Silence" Sexual Assault Awareness Month Event April 4th

So this is what I'll be doing at the River East Arts Center on Wednesday, April 4th from 6-8pm. I hope that you all will come listen to me read an excerpt from TRAINWRECK if you are in Chicago.

Celebrating the power of women’s resilience and resistance in the face of violence, Rape Victim Advocates (RVA) presents a night of performances by local luminaries. This one-of-a-kind event draws on the fierce joy of survival to kick off Sexual Assault Awareness Month 2012.

This event is presented in conjunction with the exhibition Off the Beaten Path: Violence, Women and Art. The free program series for the exhibition considers the global issue of violence against women through a series of innovative local programs organized by the Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women & Gender in the Arts & Media; Rape Victim Advocates; and The Voices and Faces Project.

This event is free and open to the public. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Why Do You Love Teenagers???

Me to my friend Carolyn: I love teenagers.

Her (with the big eyes and the giant gaping mouth reserved for parents of teens) to me: Why?

I had to think on this. And then think some more. It took at least ten minutes of thinking. Finally, I sent her a missive this morning via FB. It is below. Pardon the redundancies, it was written at 5am. 

Here's what I love about teens:

1. I love how everything is so horrible and broken one minute and then not. That kind of drama and resilience is only found in these years.
2. I love that they argue like grown ups but don't know enough about the world to actually win these arguments.
3. I love that they will never look this good again and they treat their bodies like crap...and I love knowing one day they won't be able to and will resent it.
4. I love that the teen years are arguably the crappiest hormonal times of their lives and they have no idea how much of what they're going through has to do with that.

I hated being a teen. I loved my friends but it was the worst time in my life. And still, here I am, better for going through it. Able to take the crap salad and turn it into something good. It's the tenacity and constant fight to make it through the day that makes me have so much heart for teens. I remember that struggle, I remember when it felt like I lost, but somehow I made it anyway. 

I love teens because things suck and they keep going. And I love watching them move beyond it. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Writing Warnings/Blurbs For YA Books

So part of my day job is to write little taglines and/or warnings to go with the books that I edit. This is hilarious and super fun. And my boss is a complete pro at it. But it got me to thinking, since the YA category is so large (13-21+), couldn't a lot of questions about the books be solved by a simple tagline or warning on the back of the book?

For example...(SPOILERS AHEAD)

Warning: Someone dies. It's horrible but every minute of this book is also wonderful. Bring three boxes of Kleenex.

Warning: This book is totally awesome but will make you feel really uncomfortable and you might not sleep for four nights thinking about it.

Warning: Even the most hard-hearted anti-romance readers will fall in love with this book and be swooning over Etienne. Dudes included. Also, you might want to get a passport because you'll probably be ready for Paris after this.

Warning: Do not be fooled by hot muscly arm or hot muscly author picture in the back. This book will rip you to shreds and leave your guts in a small pile next to your book shelf. It is also fantastic and has one of the best endings ever.

Warning: Do not read this book if you don't have any interest in becoming a Jay Asher fan girl/boy. The writing. The premise. Every moment of this book is seeped in WIN. Fan club meetings are on Twitter Wednesday nights at 9EST. See you there.

Warning: You know how they say you can't judge a book by its cover? Well, yes, you totally can. And I think I can stop right there.

Warning: You know how they say you can't judge a book by its title? Well, they are right. This is NOT a summer full of twenty guys (which my friend Lucy was very sad about). It is in fact a crushing portrayal of first and lost love. Please allow three weeks between reading this and TFiOS. Two boxes of Kleenex should do it, but only because it's slightly shorter.

Warning: ??? (Don't even get started on the 74 hasn't been SimonPulse edited YET!)
Instead, we shall leave it at: It remains to be seen. I may have to send an ARC to the book-burners just to knock that whole pesky "banned book" question right off the table. You all can help me write the warning then.