Contest Winner and Onward

First of all, we at Nerdy Chicks Rule want to send our thoughts out to those affected by Hurricane Sandy. Many of our friends and followers are without power today. We hope that everyone is otherwise well.

We are postponing the interview scheduled for today until we know that our interviewee is back online. Look forward to hearing from Picture Book Author and creator of PiBoIdMo, Tara Lazar. Her interview will be up later this week! Don’t know what PiBoIdMo is? Click on the link in the right sidebar!

Also coming soon, in honor of PiBoIdMo, we will be doing another giveaway featuring signed picture books from Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen. Details will be announced in the next week or so.

Finally…. Winner Notification.

Winners of the YAmazing Race were announced HERE.

There were almost 200 entries in the Nerdy Chick Giveaway of The Boy Project Prize Pack! Thank you all for entering! To select a winner, each entry was numbered, then the total number was submitted to randomnumbergenerator.com. The winning number was 51, and the person with the 51st entry was PamM.  Congrats Pam! Pam has been contacted by email.

Another offer: For fans of The Boy Project who didn’t win, but who did enter the contest. I just had bookplates made and will send a signed bookplate, a bracelet, and a tattoo to those of you who comment below to let me know you would like these. I’m hoping to extend this offer until people without power get it again, but I’ll let you know here when it ends.  Thanks for your comments everyone. I am going to end this now, since I will be shipping a few of the swag packs internationally. 🙂 But if you live in an area where you lost power and are seeing this for the first time, go ahead and comment and I’ll ship to you.

Okay everyone, keep safe! And check back soon  for the next giveaway and interviews with nerdy chicks.

YAmazing Race with MGnificent Prizes

The YAmazing Race is now officially over, as is the Nerdy Chicks Rule Contest.  Winners will be notified soon! All entries recieved after 12:00 pm today, October 29 will not count. Thank you for stopping by!

Nerdy Chicks Rule is participating in the YAmazing Race with MGnificent prizes. That means this post will be up for a week, while race contestants run through the blogs of over 50 participating debut authors for chances to win awesome prizes. Haven’t heard about it? Click the HERE to visit the Apocalypsies blog for complete details. Whether you are participating in the YAmazing Race or not, check out the additional contest we are running here at Nerdy Chicks Rule. Details follow the information about THE BOY PROJECT below.

So for race contestants, here’s what you’ll need to answer that race question:

Wildly creative seventh grader Kara McAllister just had her best idea yet. She’s going to take notes on all of the boys in her grade (and a few elsewhere) in order to answer a seemingly simple question: How can she get a boyfriend?

But Kara’s project turns out to be a lot more complicated than she imagined. Soon there are secrets, lies, and an embarrassing incident in the boy’s bathroom. Plus, Kara has to deal with mean girls, her slightly spacey BFF, and some surprising uses for duct tape. Still, if Kara’s research leads her to the right boy, everything may just be worth it. . . .

Full of charts and graphs, heart and humor, this hilarious debut will resonate with tweens everywhere.

Reviews, trailer and three ways to order THE BOY PROJECT right HERE.

Ready for the next stop on the YAmazing Race? Hop on over to E. C. Myers’s blog:  http://ecmyers.net !

WAIT! THERE’S ANOTHER GIVEAWAY. Keep reading for Details!

Enter my contest for THE BOY PROJECT inspired prize pack pictured here: Signed copy of THE BOY PROJECT, Spill Your Guts journal, Paint Splatter Duct Tape, Graph paper journal, BOY PROJECT pen, heart topper pencil, and THE BOY PROJECT Friend pack (5 each of bookmarks, tattoos, magnets, and bracelets).

There are several ways to enter! Leave a comment telling me about a favorite use of duct tape, follow me on Twitter, like my author page on Facebook, follow this blog (right sidebar), or follow fellow blogger Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen’s Facebook author page. When you’re done just fill out the form. (Form must be filled out so you’ll get proper credit!)

Halloween Picks from the Nerdy Chicks

It’s Halloween season, and I’d been planning to share some great Halloween books with you guys today. Surprisingly, both of the books I’d selected were written by the same author…hmmm….

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I was originally going to talk about how inspiring Halloween can be to authors, but because today is actually also my son’s birthday, I’m going to focus on his story (and Quackenstein’s).

As you can guess, I got the idea for QUACKENSTEIN HATCHES A FAMILY when I was expecting my third child and my only son, Sawyer. I’d already had two daughters, who had been my companions and playthings since birth. I was totally convinced I was going to have another girl – when the doctor told me I was having a boy.

Now meet Quackenstein.

ImageQuackenstein is desperate to have a family, but as the zoo’s only duck, he doesn’t have an easy way to lay an egg of his own. So he comes up with a plan – he will adopt an egg. Except that the egg that he adopts…well, let’s just say it wasn’t what he expected.

 And like Quackenstein, what I got wasn’t what I expected.

I hope you’ll check out QUACKENSTEIN HATCHES A FAMILY this Halloween – and HAMPIRE, too!

The Quotable Nerdy Chick: Rachel Carson

Rachel Carson (1907 – 1964) was an American marine biologist and conservationist. Her book, Silent Spring, along with her work, is given credit for helping the environmental movement.  She won the National Book Award in 1951 for The Sea Around Us.

I was introduced to Rachel Carson’s work when I lived near beautiful, marshy, Beaufort, NC, which is a short boat ride, (or swim) from the Rachel Carson Reserve. To find out more about Rachel Carson, click HERE.

Rachel Carson Quotes:

  • But man is a part of nature, and his war against nature is inevitably a war against himself.
  • The edge of the sea is a strange and beautiful place.
  • It is a wholesome and necessary thing for us to turn again to the earth and in the contemplation of her beauties to know the sense of wonder and humility.
  • It is not half so important to know as to feel.
  • In every out thrust headland, in every curving beach, in every grain of sand there is the story of the earth.
  •  One way to open your eyes is to ask yourself, What if I had never seen this before? What if I knew I would never see it again?

Having spent most of my adult life either near the waters of Beaufort, NC or the waters of Beaufort, SC, I can fully appreciate Rachel Carson’s efforts to preserve waters, the beaches, the marshes, the wildlife.

This photo of Rachel Carson is  in the public domain.

Rotem Moscovich: Editor, Bookbinder, and Jazz Dancer

Rotem Moscovich is brilliant. I know this for a fact, because as an editor at Disney*Hyperion she read a manuscript of mine and immediately saw its immense value and signed it up for publication. Also because she wrote her undergraduate thesis on Harry Potter, though only 5 books had been published at the time (and received the award for Best Thesis in the Comparative Literature Department that year! I mean, she’s supposed to flaunt being smart, right?).

Professionally, Rotem works primarily on picture books and middle grade novels. Privately, she loves to bake. She loves bookbinding. And she loves office supplies. (That last one may earn her the Nerdy Chick of the Week Award!)

Rotem admits that she was incredibly uncoordinated as a child (and still is very klutzy, according to her), but she did Jazz Dance for 8 years and by the end of it, in her own words, “I wasn’t terrible! Entering a dance studio now does induce a sense of panic, though…”

Rotem, we appreciate you joining us today, and as a thank you gesture, we won’t make you dance for us at all! Let’s start with your life as a PROFESSIONAL CHILDREN’S BOOK EDITOR. What are your favorite things to read?

Ohhh so many things, when I’m not reading submissions. I recently read Eva Ibbotson’s Journey to the River Sea with my book club and it was everything a middle grade novel should be, with incredibly drawn characters, an integral setting, and a narrator that you know will take you through this smart, nuanced story about what’s important in life and in the education of a person. But I also love to dip into trashy magazines, YA novels with social criticism (especially feminist ones), and I’m always checking out the latest picture books at the many wonderful indie bookstores in Brooklyn.

Here at NerdyChicksRule.com, we love independent bookstores, too! So, you do a lot of reading even outside your job…How do you see the books that are being published today as helping to empower girls to be smart (or, as we like to call it, nerdy)?

From picture books through YA, I think many books today try to invert the roles traditionally given to girls. I mean, think of Hermione! The thing is, it’s more complicated than one aspect or another (also, there’s book smart and there’s socially smart, and both are worthy and important), and girls need parents, teachers, and friends who can help them come to their own understanding of the girl characters presented to them. They might like one aspect of the portrayal, but have an issue with another. Being able to see media with a critical eye (as well as an appreciative one) is the key.

What do you look for in a story when you are acquiring books for girls?

I look for a girl with agency, and a girl with courage (even if that’s something that she must acquire over the course of the story). Or if the main character is not a girl (not all books for girls have girls as their main character!), then I’d look for the female characters to be multifaceted. And of course, inspiring writing.

Oh, so I need to learn to write well? OK. I can work on that. 🙂

Let’s shift gears a bit and get away from all that work stuff…I was pretty nerdy in middle school and high school (I won’t make you tell us whether you were, too). But those years can be tough for anyone. If you could give your middle school or high school self one piece of advice, what would it be?

Stay the course! You’ll know who your true friends are.

That’s really great advice. It isn’t easy to do, but worth it in the end. Another gear shift: As our newest Nerdy Chick, what is one of your favorite achievements that you can credit to being a nerdy chick?

Well, gosh, this is going to sound extremely nerdy, but it’s my master’s degree in Children’s Literature from the Simmons College Center for the Study of Children’s Literature. It was an intense, incredibly rewarding two years where much time was spent engaging in discussions with other wonderful nerdy chicks. I worked my butt off.

Wow! Even more brilliant than I initially gave you credit for! But no more work – what’s something you like to do that might be considered a little bit nerdy, but is actually really fun?

Is sewing still considered nerdy, or has that passed over into hip? Well, either way, I like to sew and make stuff—the satisfaction of creating a thing when said thing did not exist before . . . I can’t get enough. Also, I love being read to. Why should small children get all the fun?

I agree! I think we should be read to as adults – and get nap time. Nap time would lead to fewer wars, I think. This has been such a great interview. I just have one more question, and it’s very important:  if you could rewrite the ending of a favorite fairy tale, which one would you change, and why?

Yikes, this is a tough one! I guess Snow White—though really it’s the whole premise of “the fairest one of all” being the most important thing, not just the ending (though it is rather creepy that the prince wants Snow White in her glass coffin so badly. What for?!).

Thank you again, Rotem, for joining us here on NerdyChicksRule.com — you are truly a Nerdy Chick of Note!

The Quotable Nerdy Chick: Madeleine Albright

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Madeleine Albright is a Nerdy Chick extraordinaire! She has served our country as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations and as the 64th United States Secretary of State — and, oh, by the way, the first woman to ever hold that office. She has a PhD from Columbia University, she has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, she has served on the Board of Directors of the New York Stock Exchange, she is a Professor of International Relations at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service, and just to top all that off, she is fluent in English, French, Russian, and Czech. Oh, and she speaks and reads Polish and Serbo-Croatian, too. I wonder if she has a cape and mask to go with all those superpowers?

Quotes from Madeleine Albright:

“Even before I went to the UN, I often would want to say something in a meeting – only woman at the table – and I’d think, ‘OK well, I don’t think I’ll say that. It may sound stupid.’ And then some man says it, and everybody thinks it’s completely brilliant, and you are so mad at yourself for not saying something.”

“It’s one thing to be religious, but it’s another thing to make religion your policy.”

“I love being a woman and I was not one of these women who rose through professional life by wearing men’s clothes or looking masculine. I loved wearing bright colors and being who I am.”

“I really think that there was a great advantage in many ways to being a woman. I think we are a lot better at personal relationships, and then have the capability obviously of telling it like it is when it’s necessary.”

“I’ve never been to New Zealand before. But one of my role models, Xena, the warrior princess, comes from there.”

(FYI: Xena is one of my role models, too!)

Read more about Madeleine HERE or HERE.

 

What Happens in High School…Driving and Crying (and Aging)

In the state of New Jersey, children have to be 5 years old to enter Kindergarten. The cut-off date is in the fall and it varies, but generally, the kid has to be 5 by December 31st at the latest to start Kindergarten in a given year. If you extrapolate that out over time, you realize that by December 31st of his or her senior year of high school, all students have reached the age of 17. Which happens to be the age one can get a driver’s license in New Jersey.

All of this is true for most kids. But not for the super-nerdy! If you’re super-nerdy (like me), you may have skipped the fourth grade.  And you may have a June birthday that happens to fall after the school year ends. And that throws everything off.

If you’re super-nerdy (like me), you may have been the reason that your eighth grade wasn’t allowed to watch that PG-13 movie at the end of the year — because you were still 12.

And if you’re super-nerdy (like me), you may have had the distinction of being the only graduating senior who needed a ride to graduation because you hadn’t turned 17 yet.

This seems like it would totally not be a big deal, right? Except, if you think about it, there is no milestone greater in high school than getting that driver’s license. Add to that some mortifying extras:

  • Most of the classes I’d taken that had mixed grades meant I was in with kids older than me (because I was, you know, so advanced) — until driver’s ed. Where senior me got to be with juniors.
  • I’d pretty much raced to success at everything in high school faster than at least 95% of my peers — except this.
  • I got my driver’s license on my 17th birthday — which was a good few days after graduation. Meaning I did not get to show off my new license at school.

I won’t lie. In the realm of totally cool things about high school, being the youngest one was really not one of them.

But…there’s always a silver lining to being nerdy. Really. And in this case, like many of the other ones, it just gets silverier (is that a word?) with time.

You see, I turned 17 after all of my high school classmates, sometimes over a year after. But that also means when all my former classmates are stressing over turning 40….

I’ll only be 39.

Trust me, Nerdy Chicks, that is totally worth it.