Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Fun Facts: This Day in History

"Your loved ones were daring and brave, and they had that special grace, that special spirit that says, 'Give me a challenge and I'll meet it with joy.' They had a hunger to explore the universe and discover its truths. They wished to serve, and they did. They served all of us..." ~from Ronald Reagan's speech after the 1986 Challenger space shuttle disaster

A big thanks to Charity, who not only recommended some YA authors for me the other day, but suggested I do some Googling of YA debut authors, to find out what's selling. Let me tell you - there's a lot of them out there! There was even an article in the latest Romance Writers' Report about what you should think about when considering whether or not to attempt YA. It's definitely the hot genre right now - whether or not I'll produce anything worthwhile in it remains to be seen :)

And, just because I think it's cool, here are some random notes about this day in history:

1595 - William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet is probably first performed.

1845 - Edgar Allen Poe's "Raven" 1st published (NYC)

1896 - Emile Grubbe is 1st dr to use radiation treatment for breast cancer

1916 - 1st bombings of Paris by German Zeppelins takes place

1919 - Secretary of state proclaims 18th amendment (prohibition)

1936 - 1st players elected to Baseball Hall of Fame-Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson & Walter Johnson

1951 - Liz Taylor's 1st divorce (Conrad Hilton Jr)

1958 - Paul Newman & Joanne Woodward wed

1966 - US female Figure Skating championship won by Peggy Fleming

1983 - 40th Golden Globes: Gandhi, ET & Tootsie win

1990 - Exxon Valdez capt Joseph Hazelwood goes on trial due to oil spill

Finally, yesterday in history, Jan 28, 1986, the Challenger space shuttle exploded during liftoff. That is one of those moments you remember exactly where you were when you heard, I think. I was a freshman in high school, standing in our guidance office, when an upperclassman walked in and said, "Hey, that teacher going into space just blew up." I'll never forget it.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Writer's Wednesday: Happy Birthday up to Heaven

"In the end, I think that I will like that we were sitting on the bed, talking & wondering where the time had gone." ~Brian Andreas

Today would have been my father's 68th birthday (he passed away last January). Hey, Dad, still miss you lots...........

Monday, January 25, 2010

Monday Mentionables: Researching the World of YA

"Those awful things are survivable, because we are as indestructable as we believe ourselves to be. ... We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail." ~from Looking for Alaska by John Green

Most of my regular readers know that I've been kicking around the idea of a YA (Young Adult) novel for the last few weeks. Well, I'm still inspired, still writing, and up around 27K words after this weekend. I like my characters, my plot seems to be going the way I thought it would, so I'm pleased so far. Still waiting for the axe to fall and things to start falling apart, though...

Speaking of YA, I'm trying to do some research and reading the most popular books & authors out there on the Young Adult shelves right now. I'm almost through Carolyn Mackler's The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things (meh...I'm lukewarm about's a little simplistic for teen readers, in my opinion) - next on the pile is Sarah Dessen's The Truth About Forever - then something by Ally Carter - and maybe The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I've already read Meg Cabot and of course Stephenie Meyer. For me, John Green (Looking for Alaska, Paper Towns) still stands out as brilliant in the genre, along with Laurie Halse Anderson (Speak, Wintergirls).

My question for you: have you read any of these authors? What did you think? Other strong YA writers you'd recommend?