Showing posts from October, 2012

Today I'm Grateful For Old-Fashioned Editors

In this fast-changing world of publishing, we hear about a future where writers will directly post content for digital downloading—no costly binding, no "middle-men," no meager 10-15% cut of a sale, no lengthy turnaround time until our next book is consumable.

Sounds great, right?

Not to me. Take TIGER BOY, for instance, coming in 2014 from Charlesbridge.

A year ago, I was in the doldrums of a newly-empty nest, wondering what to do now that I'd been fired as a Mommy. A mother-writer hyphenated vocation had been a good gig for years; how was I going to weather this transition? I had no creative sizzle, and when students asked the inevitable question during author visits—"Where do you get your ideas?"—my honest answer should have been: "No clue. Got nothing here."

That's when the phone rang. Yes, I got an old-school call. Not a text, not an e-mail, but an actual call on our landline.

I picked it up and grunted into the receiver, expecting a marketi…

Primary Source Celebrates Global Education

I was delighted to be part of Primary Source's honorary committee at their annual Gala for Global Education, which took place at the Charles Hotel in Cambridge, Massachusetts last Friday evening. For those who don't know about this organization and their exciting work with teachers, here's their "about us" statement:
Primary Source promotes history and humanities education by connecting educators to people and cultures throughout the world. In partnership with teachers, scholars, and the broader community, Primary Source provides learning opportunities and curriculum resources for K-12 educators. By introducing global content, Primary Source shapes the way teachers and students learn, so that their knowledge is deeper and their thinking is flexible and open to inquiry. At the Gala, Director Julia de la Torre gave an inspiring talk about the value of exposing educators to the world through travel and books. During a recent Primary Source trip to rural China, …

Seven Dialogue Busters in Kid/YA Fiction

Last Saturday, I was honored to repeat a talk I gave on dialogue at the New England Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators Spring Conference. Jo Knowles, Cindy Faughnan, Karen Day, Mark Peter Hughes and I were invited to be part of Encore 2012, a one-day reprise of some of the workshops at the conference.

My job was to help us spruce up our dialogue, and I reviewed seven problems I see often in my own first drafts, giving examples of the opposite by reading aloud excerpts from some of my favorite books. Here's a summary of the "dialogue busters," as I call them (I promised I'd post them here on my blog), and writers who exemplify the better way:
Annoying Ascriptions (Laura Ingalls Wilder's Farmer Boy). Abounding Adverbs (Sherman Alexie's Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian).Badly-placed Beats. (Edward Eager's Half-Magic).Random Reactions (L.M. Montgomery's Jane of Lantern Hill).Pesky Pauses (Laurie Halse Anderson's Prom).Di…

I'm a Girl Scouts Storyteller!

When the Girl Scouts asked about my stories, here's what I had to say:

Girl Scouts Storytellers Series: Mitali Perkins from Lexan Rosser on Vimeo.

DEAR TEEN ME: Authors Write Letters To Our Teen Selves

I'm delighted to be a contributor to DEAR TEEN ME, an anthology of letters to the younger versions of many young adult authors. The book is edited by Miranda Kenneally and E. Kristin Anderson and is available this month from Zest books.  The blog tour to spread the word begins today, and 138 bloggers will chime in with their opinions about the book. Check out one of three trailers featuring the authors' words of wisdom (my Bollywood-esque head move is somewhere in there):

Malala: The Pen Is Mightier Than The Sword

When I got up I was very happy knowing that I will go to school today. At school some girls were wearing uniform whereas others were in casual clothes. During assembly girls looked extremely happy and were hugging each other. After assembly the headmistress advised us to cover ourselves properly and wear the burqa because it is a condition put by the Taleban. This entry is from the BBC Diary of Pakistani Schoolgirl, written by Malala Yousafzai, a 14-year old living in Swat, Pakistan. According to the BBC:
Private schools in Pakistan's troubled north-western Swat district have been ordered to close in a Taleban edict banning girls' education. Militants seeking to impose their austere interpretation of Sharia law have destroyed about 150 schools in the past year. Five more were blown up despite a government pledge to safeguard education, it was reported on Monday. A seventh grade schoolgirl from Swat chronicles how the ban has affected her and her classmates. To my horror,…

Literary Lights For Children | Boston Public Library

Yesterday I was delighted to be one of four authors invited to attend the Associates of the Boston Public Library's 2012 Literary Lights For Children tea party. Each author (Kevin Hawkes, Christopher Paolini, Gary Schmidt, and myself) was introduced by a Boston middle schooler, and asked to speak about how we became readers and writers. My host was a dapper, delightful 8th-grader from Chelsea:

The Bates Reading Room in the Boston Public Library was packed (photo courtesy of Newton South High School's Denebola newspaper staff):

Host and emcee Gregory Maguire (WICKED) and his daughter were there to cheer us on:

I spoke second, and here's my introduction and talk, again courtesy of the Newton South High School Denebola newspaper staff (my bit starts about halfway through):

What a marvelous event, encouraging and uplifting, and in such a beautiful venue—a must-see if you visit Boston. Thanks to the Associates, to Charlesbridge (my publisher) for donating books, and to all who …