Tag Archives: books

Good Karma: Being Kind to People on the Other End of Queries

I know I promised I’d write about building yourself a platform but… not today! I’m just not in the mood. Can I just share with you? Yes, you! Stop smiling and looking over your shoulder. I’m talking to YOU, the person who’s reading this blog post. Ok then.

Today I had lunch with an editor, someone who I initially met on Twitter. It was so nice to meet somebody who actually looks like their profile picture! (I wonder… did she think the same thing of me? Do I look like my profile picture? Which profile pic did she look at? Straight hair? Curly?) We had a lovely lunch, talking about books, about what she’s looking for, about what I’m looking for, about reading, about my Grandmother, her father, trying to eat a frisee salad politely, ordering gluten free, about books, about authors, about books, about books, about books. Totally my kind of lunch.

One of the other things we talked about is remembering that there are people on the other side of those queries. It’s an issue I’ve mentioned before as something that is very important to me. I think it’s just good karma to be attentive to that; to try to be kind even if you have to pass on someone’s manuscript. You reap what you sow, kind of thing. And also, I’ve got years of being a bitch in my personal life to make up for. Karmically, that is.

That’s all. Just wanted to share that.

How was your day? Did you write? Did you talk about books to anybody? Did you eat frisee?

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Books: What to keep, what to donate?!

I’m renovating my house and the centerpiece of our new living room will be a huge bookcase that I found at an antique warehouse. It’s actually a reproduction of an English bookcase that originally came with a brass rail and a ladder. I’ve been coveting this for years. The plan is to take all my books that are scattered, piled, hidden and toppling all over the house, and put them on this monster bookcase. The “family room” is home to the television and the fireplace but our “living room” is where I will live. With the books.

As we rearranged the bedrooms, the kids just went through all their books trying to decide what to keep, what to pass on to other family members and what to donate. Although my son tried to put the Magic Treehouse books in the “donate” pile I grabbed them out. I’m not willing to part with them. We read all of them (ALL of them!) to him when he was about four. Each night either my husband or I would read about a half a book to him before bed. We would have read the whole thing but it was too much fun answering the little guy’s questions and talking with him about the things he was learning. I can’t part with those books. Anything by Patricia Polacco: keep; Anything by Kevin Henkes: keep; All the Dr. Seuss: keep. Easy decisions.

My daughter piled up a slew of books she read in middle school. You know the ones I mean: pictures of spoiled, nasty girls in cardigans on the cover and the stories all star spoiled, nasty girls and the stories are about spoiled, nasty girls. She loved those books. They got donated. She kept all her Scott Westerfield books; she kept all the Hunger Games books.

And then there are the ones from my oldest daughter, who is going off to college in a minute. Her books get shifted to my bookshelf. My books get shifted to her bookshelf. I love that. We have so many copies, in hardcover and paperback, of all the Harry Potter books. They move from room to room in my house. The college-bound child gets to bring her own full set (our graduation gift to her) with her to school.

I love that my kids have their own libraries, but I really love that I will soon have a home for all of my books and a quiet place to read and write. Perhaps I’ll give up one shelf to my husband for his books. Maybe. I don’t like to share.

How do you decide what to keep, what to pass on?

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A Book a Day for My Loser Par-tay – Contest Day 4

Seriously, with such a poor turnout on this book give-away contest I feel like I’m throwing a birthday party and nobody showed up. What up with that? And I’m offering some pretty darn good books! What. Ever.

Ok. I want to talk about non-fiction. I don’t read very much non-fiction. Mostly cookbooks and memoirs. Sometimes some books about alternative health. Once upon a time I read a lot about birth and breastfeeding and child rearing. I’m not averse to non-fiction, just not drawn to it.  I’m giving away two books that look extremely interesting but  I know I won’t read. The first is The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin. I’m way too content being a curmudgeon for this book. Gretchen also blogs at http://www.happiness-project.com. The second book is an ARC of An Accidental Athlete, by John Bingham, a memoir about a guy who “finds his mojo and becomes an adult-onset athlete.” Personally, I’d rather eat cookies on the couch and read. Both books interested me enough to shlep them home on the train with all the other tote bags full of swag I got from Book Expo. I think my coolest take-home though was an Oscar Wilde action figure... I know. Be jealous.

Have you ever had a birthday party where nobody showed up?

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