Monday, September 25, 2006

Banned Books Week

Break out the confetti. Pop some champagne. Why? Well, because it's Banned Books Week.

Every year, the American Library Association celebrates the Freedom to Read with Banned Books Week. From the ALA website:

"Banned Books Week (BBW) celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them."

Given the current political climate of the country, I think it's important for us to remember that there are certain freedoms that we cannot compromise. I know that times are difficult and people are scared (I certainly am), but we cannot turn our backs on the ideals which make this country great. If we do, they win.

Take a look at the top ten books that were challenged in 2005, and decide for yourself how threatening these books are. Or better yet, run to your local library or bookstore and pick one up.


Friday, September 22, 2006

Things my mother used to say

My mother, like most mothers, used to always proclaim the following: If you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all.

Well, for once, I decided to take her advice. And thus is the reason that this is the first post I've made all week.

But I'm back, and I'm really excited about a lot of things happening right now. I started revisions on my new novel, My Life As A Rhombus (title subject to change), a few weeks ago. And let me tell you, I really love this novel. I haven't received the editorial letter yet, but there were a number of things that I knew Andrew wanted me to do, so I decided to go ahead and start incorporating some of his suggestions. So far, so good. Be sure to check out the Flux page regularly, as it changes almost every day.

I'm also furiously working on a new project, although I'm not quite sure when I'll have it completed. I'm about 7/16 of the way through the first draft, bust as most authors know, the first draft is nothing more than glorified toilet paper (I threw away almost all of the first draft of Rhombus...but that's a story for another time.) I'm hoping that I can salvage much more of the current WIP, but as of right now, it's looking a lot like Charmin.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Damn You, Markus Zusak

I mean this in the nicest way possible: I hate Markus Zusak.

I finished I Am The Messenger almost two weeks ago. Even now, I can't stop thinking about the book. He wrote the type of novel that is both inspirational and entertaining. He wrote a moral story without being too moral. He reminded me why being an author is so important to me.

I know what you're asking yourself: So if the book is so great, then why do you hate him?

Simple: He broke the rules.

In my opinion, he broke a big, big, big rule at the end of the novel. At first, when I realized what he was doing, I was furious. There's no way an author like me could have pulled a stunt like he did at the end and still got published. In my opinion, it was something that a first time author would do.

But in spite of myself, as much as I want to hate the novel, I can't. Because, quite simply, it's brilliant. Over the two weeks since I've read the novel, I've found myself thinking about how well he pulled the novel together. He manipulated the readers of the novel just as much as he manipulated the characters. But for some reason, I'm okay with the deception. He wrote a book that I will never forget, and for that, I can overlook the path he took the reader's on.

Markus Zusak is the messenger, and a damn good one at that. I highly, highly recommend this novel.