Ranting on Banding

When I was a little girl, I loved to go to the library with my mom. She’d go into the adult part of the library and I’d turn left, heading into the children’s section. Until one day, when I turned right and followed her into the adult section. I was probably 11 years old, maybe 12. The thing is, I thought I was 30. So, I read all kinds of books, most of which either scared me (I had a penchant for horror stories) or stumped me (I was a late bloomer). But my mother never, ever said, “Cathy, don’t read that book.”

I wonder what kind of reader I would have turned out to be if all my books had age bands, directing me to the proper category…Would my mother have felt duty-bound to say, “Cathy, don’t read that. It’s too old for you.”? Would I have skipped all those wonderful fairy tales and children’s books because I wanted to be all grown up?

I can’t say for sure. I can say for sure that age banding on children/teen books bothers me. There’s something so censorship-y about it. And a little lazy, too. I mean, are we so strapped for time that we can’t take a moment to pick up a book, thumb through and decide whether it’s a good fit or not???

You can read more about the issue at No To Age Banding. Because quite a few readers (and authors and librarians) agree with me.

Best Advice for Aspiring Writers

When I read the words, “What’s your best advice for aspiring writers?” from K. L. Going, I was all excited! Kelly’s an award-winning writer whose books have sold well. So, I expected a super-secret inside look to the world of publishing. A how-to primer for achieving Fame and Fortune!

What I got was a suggestion to live my life to the fullest. Um, really? That’s all it takes? Add adventure to my life, do something different and bold, live fully?

Girl, if my life got any more fuller, I’d need tranquilizers. So, you’re gonna have to give me more than that. Which reminds me of my latest rejection from Highlights.

I mean, yes, it was a rejection. But it was such a personal rejection. What I did wrong, what I did right, what I need to do in the future. And I didn’t wait a half year, either. I think I sent the game idea back in July, the same time I sent the craft idea that Highlights accepted. All in all, it was a very frutiful rejection.

See, Kelly? That’s the kind of advice I’m talking about, girl.

Everyone’s Publishing Children’s Books but Me

I’d like to say I have splendiferous news to share about a new market. That’s what I’d like to say, but I don’t have that kind of news today.

I did read a blurb about Helen Thomas, the ex-White House correspondent, who now has a children’s book published. Um, really? Helen Thomas???? Is there anyone out there in Celebrity (or even Semi-celebrity) Land who hasn’t published a children’s book?

At least, Helen is a former journalist. I’m sure she’s a fine writer. But a children’s writer? Hardened-reporter, take-no-prisoners, Helen Thomas writing an elementary-age mystery? That’s quite a change of pace, huh?

So, kudos to Helen for chasing down a new genre. I expect M. Phelps will be chasing the gold in the children’s market before he’s stateside again. And who knows how many athletes will be joining him, publishing their latest teen books.

I guess I’ll just keep plugging away, learning my craft, submitting manuscripts, bashing my head against the slush pile.

Or I could just become a celebrity.