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Field Trip Friday: November 4, 2011


nano fun and games It's NaNoWriMo time again! We'll be seeing tons of Nano advice this month, but here's a quick round up to get you started: Philip Siegal points out that Nano trains you for the very important task of meeting deadlines; Writer's Relief has all the pieces for your writer's block emergency kit; Nia Madden encourages teens to join the Nano Young Writers Program; Veronica Roth says, "Don't look back;" Nathan Bransford lists 5 ways to stay motivated while writing a novel; auntie Maureen Johnson is answering a Nano question every day this month; and author Rachel Hawkins has a motivating pep talk with lots! of! exclamation! points!!


- Author/agent Betsy Lerner on how writing is a lot like smashing an egg on your head and expecting no mess.

- Author Dianne K. Salerni has an interesting look at the particular difficulties of writing historical YA.
- Think your blog has book potential? Find out the "nitty gritty pros, cons and considerations" at Think Traffic.

- Improvements to stories usually come at the expense of truth. Wired explains with "How Friends Ruin Memory" (via Molly O'Neill).

- Fascinating look at writing workshops led by cartoonist Lynda Barry (via The Rejectionist).

- Fourteen punctuation marks you never knew existed (via Rachel Stark).

- Author Jill Murray has practical how-tos for dealing with plot

- As always, author Libba Bray kills it, this time almost literally with "Killing Your Darlings."

- Writing at home is a luxury, but it also has its challenges. Elizabeth S. Craig has several helpful hints for making it work.

- Editor Alvina Ling reveals that editors worry authors will think they're stupid-- just like we worry they'll think the same thing!

- Why creative writing is better with a pen (via Regal Literary).

- "(T)he vast majority of aspiring authors (somewhere over 99 percent) self-terminate their dream. They quit. Think about this for a minute, because it's important: THEY KILL THEIR OWN DREAM." Jim Butcher with the most important thing an aspiring author needs to know.


I mean personally, I ship Drapple.
- More delays on general admission to Pottermore (via Lydia Blackburne). Meanwhile, JK Rowling reveals that she ALMOST KILLED RON. OUT OF SPITE. You Harry/Hermione shippers! I blame you for this horrifying alternate universe that thankfully did not come to pass. It all turned out fine though, considering JKR already makes the list of 10 most valuable author signatures of all time (via Michele Wells).

 - Goodreads Choice Awards 2011 voting is open! YA Highway's Veronica Roth is nominated in several categories, and you can always nominate your other favorites (*cough* Kirsten and Kody *cough*)

- We're a few weeks late on the scoop, but author Tim Federle asks at the Huff Po, "Where are the YA protagonists who just happen to be gay?" Meanwhile, Robin Talley admits that she is "a total queer YA reading fail."

- NPR launches a "Back Seat Bookclub" for kids.

- Jaymee Goh at Racialicious on how multiculturalism in steampunk (and in general) needs to mean more than just "not white."

- The Guardian has JRR Tolkien's original sketches for The Hobbit.

- Flavorwire looks at the worst consequences of literary teenage romance.

- Book Drum offers a crowd-sourced literary world map

- What do you do with an ARC after its publication date? You do NOT sell it, explains author CJ Redwine.

- Ten literary trends that need to go away.

- Margaret Atwood ponders pointy metal bras and The God Test.

- More Hunger Games excitement this week, starting with Vanity Fair's interactive image portfolio (hover over each actor for more information about their character), followed by an interview with Jennifer Lawrence with the most ridiculous headline ever: "The Hunger Games: It's Not Twilight." (See also: It's not Hemingway, Harry Potter, the Iliad, Slaughterhouse Five, nor The Baby Sitters Club. I hope this clears things up.)


dead girls chart - Several posts about dead girl covers this week: Librarian Allison has a wee rant for Halloween with "I See Dead People;" Stacked proves the trend with "There's always room to drown," and Rachel Stark asks, "Why the obsession with elegant death?" 

- I am not going to bother to link to Barry Eisler's post comparing "legacy" publishing writers to house slaves and victims of Stockholm Syndrome. But I will send you to Courtney Milan's "Help! Help! I'm being oppressed!" commentary on the subject.

- Agent Jane Dystel on what happens when a client's published book just doesn't work.

- The Story Siren explains "Klout" and what the heck it means.

- The Steve Laube Agency has a week's worth of posts, explaining what it means for Christian writers that HarperCollins is buying Thomas Nelson Publishers

- YES. Submission guidelines are important, and they're not arbitrary. Agent Lucienne Driver explains why.

- Two from agent Janet Reid this week: How "you're wrong" shuts down the feedback process, and further explanation of platform.

- "Maybe…maybe you thought you were already spending enough on the e-reader – that it should somehow entitle you to receive free-to-cheap e-books. Ha haha! No way. That’d be like if I thought, 'WHY do tires cost $100 each? Agh, and they charge for labor? But I already spent the money on the CAR!'" Author Kristen J. Tsetsi explains why owning an e-reader doesn't entitle you to cheap and free books (via Lydia Blackburne).

- The Intern has a semi-related post on Kindle swindlers, e-piracy, and exploding bottles of beer. Love it.

- Oh money. Why do you suck so much. Natalie Whipple talks about the price of putting a price tag on your work, and says, "The money doesn't have to mess with you." Chuck Wendig explains how writers are the 99%: "Ever try to get a mortgage? Or health care?" Ha ha ha ha. That Chuck. He's a riot. Meanwhile, The Atlantic looks at the income disparity of women in the creative class (via @bemissh).

- What's scarier than Halloween? Signing contracts with clauses you don't understand. Luckily agent Kristin Nelson has some explanations (and warnings).

- Self-publishing can be great for authors with an existing following, but for others, "it's a slog," says the WSJ.


i bit a pillow. or two.
image credit
- Every "Breaking Dawn" sex scene quote, rounded up in one spot. (I cannot tell you how hard "All those beautiful pillows! Egyptian cotton! ‘I ruined this bed!’" made me laugh.)

- However, the mostly manufactured tiff between Stephenie Meyer and Anne Rice just made me roll my eyes. 

- Tyler Oakley reports on a lesbian couple crowned Homecoming King and Queen.

- Not only did John Green finish signing his entire first run of TFIOS this week, he also announced that he and VlogBrother Hank are launching two educational vlog channels in January 2012!


- Beth Revis has an enormous giveaway, with 19 signed books + swag!

- Win one of two signed copies of The Implosion of Aggie Winchester from YA Fusion or YA Stands!

- Lori M. Lee is giving away an ARC of Everneath!


Very cool interactive map showing the evolution of Western dance music.

James Franco will conduct a seance to contact Tennessee Williams. OF COURSE HE WILL.


Super awesome spray paint art (via Chazley Dotson)

Have a great weekend!
Kate Hart

Kate is the author of After the Fall, coming January 24, 2017 from Farrar, Straus and Giroux. A former teacher and grant writer, she now owns a treehouse-building business in the Ozarks and hosts the Badass Ladies You Should Know interview series.

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  1. Thanks Kate for sharing my book giveaway at YA Fusion and YA Stands. I'll check back later when I have more time to explore all the other great links.

  2. What I wouldn't give to be Draco's apple :P

  3. That spray paint art was not at all what I was expecting, but turned out very cool (except one part kind of looks like a diseased colon).

    And all the while, I was thinking, my God the fumes!

  4. What a fabulous round-up of articles; I discovered lots of new blogs to follow. Thanks and have a good one.

  5. Squee! I am ridiculously happy to have my post on Kate's list this week. :D Thank you!

    And Bee ... naughty, naughty!!

  6. Hey, I've got a bone to pick with you guys. Every week I try to tie up all my loose ends by Friday -- including reading through all the interesting posts I've left open in tabs from my blog roll. And then you guys come along, and you post some six million brilliant articles just as I'm starting to get through my reading last, and BAM! my too-many-tabs-in-Firefox problem is back and bigger than ever. What's the big idea?

    Of course what I really mean is thanks for the link, and the many great reads!

  7. Thank you for linking my post about dead girls on book covers! I totally had an
    "I'm not worthy!" moment because I LOVE YA Highway. :)


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Item Reviewed: Field Trip Friday: November 4, 2011 Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Kate Hart