So, I’ve been AWOL for a while — too many things going on in my life, both good and bad. But in honor of The Busy Librarian’s new podcast (which just happens to feature me!), I’ve decided to come back with a new GIVEAWAY!
So, most importantly,
what can you win?
To accommodate our vast range of readers, I want to make sure you can win something you really want. Therefore, the winner will be given a choice of these things:
either a free 45-minute Virtual Classroom Visit, where I would be happy to tell your chosen class all about how my books come together, from the initial inspiration to the totally terrific art. (Don’t worry if you’re not a teacher — you can donate the Virtual Visit to any class you choose!)
I will accept entries until July 30, 2013 and I will draw the winner’s name and announce it on August 1.
Here are the rules for this giveaway:
Required. Fill out the entry form below with your name, your choice of prize, either the school you would like to give the visit to or the name for the personalized book, and your email address (so I can reach you!).
BUT WAIT! You can be entered to win multiple times. You will get an extra entry for doing any of the following:
(1) leave me a comment here with your thoughts on the podcast.
(2) follow me on Twitter – mention that in a comment below.
(3) tweet this post to your own twitter followers and tag me @sudiptabq and the Busy Librarian @MatthewWinner in the tweet.
(4) tweet the podcast to your own twitter followers and tag me @sudiptabq and the Busy Librarian @MatthewWinner in the tweet.
(5) like my author page on Facebook – mention that in a comment below.
(6) follow this blog (right sidebar) and The Busy Librarian’s blog — mention that in a comment below.
or (7) like fellow blogger Kami Kinard’s Facebook author page – mention that in a comment below.
That’s EIGHT ways to enter and win, folks!
In honor of PiBoIdMo (you do know what that is, don’t you?), have we got a treat for you. The fabulously nerdy and brilliantly fabulous Tara Lazar is joining us today for a special bonus interview. Let’s hear what this Nerdy Chick has to say…
I’ve known Tara for several years through NJ-SCBWI. Not only is she a great writer and a super person, she’s also as into shoes and fashion as I am. Tara’s first picture book, The Monstore is forthcoming from Aladdin in June 2013, with two more picture books following soon after. She has inspired hundreds of picture book authors with a program she created called PiBoIdMo or Picture Book Idea Month. Visit her blog (http://taralazar.com/piboidmo/)to read more about it… or to join up!
Thanks for joining us Tara! We’ll start off with a question we ask everyone: If you could give your middle school or high school self one piece of advice, what would it be? Baggy pants and permed hair is not a good look.
I remember that look! At least we can say it looked better on the chicks than the dudes! You’re a professional writer – can you share some of your favorite things to read? I love short stories. I subscribe to One Story and I buy the Greatest American Short Stories anthology every year. But I also read a lot of novels, both for adults and kids. I prefer quirky stories with a sprinkling of magic—nothing too fantastical or surreal, just enough magic so it’s still plausible. And who can forget picture books? I read at least two hours every day.
Wow. That’s a lot of reading, but everyone says reading makes us better writers. Since you are so well read, 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)? When I was growing up, I only remember Judy Blume books as speaking to me directly as an adolescent girl. Now there are hundreds of books aimed at young girls’ unique experiences: having an autistic sibling, losing a parent, wanting to excel in a talent, being a super-genius, coming from a poor family, dealing with bullies… The choices are endless. There’s a book to ease concerns over every embarrassing and mysterious dilemma inside every girl. She can feel confident knowing she’s not alone, giving her the courage to be herself.
I agree. Thankfully, there are more books than ever for girls these days. Besides reading, what’s something you like to do that might be considered a little bit nerdy, but is actually really fun? Teaching! I love to teach new writers; I enjoy sharing my knowledge. I get a kick when I see their faces light up in an “aha” moment.
I also love studying rocks and minerals, Hubble space telescope images, literature of the 1920’s, and Discover Magazine. I wanted to be an archeologist when I was a teen. C’mon, discovering buried treasure for a living? Awesome!
Do you have a favorite achievements that you can credit to being a nerdy chick? I was on the high school physics team. We even had a cheer: P-H-Y-S-I-C-S, physics, physics, yes, yes, YES! (OK, I didn’t say it was a good cheer.) I also scored leading roles in my HS plays and directed the senior year play. I was a drama geek, too. This was BEFORE “High School Musical” and “Glee”, when it was really uncool. But I didn’t care, I loved it.
Hahaha! There’s probably a reason the physics club isn’t the cheer squad, right? Thanks again for showing us your nerdy side! And may this be the biggest PiBoIdMo ever!
When I read A Room of One’s Own in college, I truly believed Virginia Woolf was talking directly to me. In fact, when I lived in London, I would sometimes walk by her childhood home at at 22 Hyde Park Gate in Kensington, in the hopes that inspiration would wash over me. One of the greatest novelists of the twentieth century, Virginia is both extremely nerdy and completely quotable.
Quotes from Virginia Woolf:
- “For most of history, Anonymous was a woman.”
- “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”
- “Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind is written large in his works.”
- “Women have served all these centuries as looking glasses possessing the power of reflecting the figure of man at twice its natural size.”
- “If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people.”
Learn more about Virgina HERE.
Did you know that Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) wrote over thirty books? I didn’t. I knew only of one of her titles: Uncle Tom’s Cabin. It is said that when Abraham Lincoln met her, he said, “”So you’re the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war.” Uncle Tom’s Cabin was, of course, the little book. If you visit the website for The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, you will find out many interesting things you may not have known about this woman whose most famous book was published in 1851 and who continued working to fight social injustice for over four decades following its publication. The first quote below explains her rationale for writing Uncle Tom’s Cabin. I think it’s a beautiful statement.
Harriet Beecher Stowe Quotes
- I wrote what I did because as a woman, as a mother, I was oppressed and broken-hearted with the sorrows and injustice I saw, because as a Christian I felt the dishonor to Christianity – because as a lover of my county, I trembled at the coming day of wrath.
- A woman’s health is her capital.
- Any mind that is capable of real sorrow is capable of good.
- Most mothers are instinctive philosophers.
- So much has been said and sung of beautiful young girls, why don’t somebody wake up to the beauty of old women?
- Women are the real architects of society.
When I heard the title of Kristy’s newly released picture book — Surfer Chick — I couldn’t wait to interview her for Nerdy Chicks Rule! What’s not to like about a book featuring a cute chick, especially one brave enough to hit the waves? And there’s a lot to like about this book’s author, as well. I had a great time having lunch with Kristy a few years ago when I lived in Greenville SC, which serves as Kristy’s home base in the United States when she is not living in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. In Brazil, Kristy writes, enjoys time with her family, and serves as librarian for Escola Americana de Belo Horizonte, where she can surround herself with books. If you catch her at just the right time and place, you might find her experimenting with a surfboard, too. Thanks for joining us today Kristy!
I’ve started asking this question of everyone, and you may be able to give a great answer since you currently work with so many children, but if you could give your middle school or high school self one piece of advice, what would it be?
Well, let me preface my answer by saying that no amount of money would make me go back to middle school or high school. I treasure the lasting friendships that came out of those years, but I neither knew myself well enough nor had the confidence to be the person I really should have been. I touched on the true aspects of myself with vocal performance and writing, but I was too busy trying to muster the energy to be social to discover my own strengths. I don’t have any true regrets, but if I could give myself one piece of advice it would be to take some quiet time every day to contemplate my own heart and the natural world around me. I think it would have freed me and fueled my writing.
That is awesome advice. Now that you do take time to contemplate, do you have a favorite way to flaunt your brain power?
I am addicted to matching the right book to the right person. I work as a librarian at a Preschool-12th grade school and I love being able to put the right book – you know the one that will addict them to reading– in the hands of my students. It is both brain power and relational power at work.
I love that! I wish every librarian felt that way! Are there any social norms that you are fond of flouting?
I hardly ever flout or flaunt. And if I did, it wouldn’t likely be in public.
Hahaha. I think I hear a HEAR HEAR from the masses of introverted writers out there! You wrote Surfer Chick in rhyme that Kirkus praises for having a “raplike beat.” Can you tell us how rhyme and rhythm help this story?
In the case of SURFER CHICK, I think the rhyme keeps the story moving and keeps the reader focused on the action. Rhyme is a tricky animal, because it can often seem trite and unnecessary. I will admit that was one of the dangers I felt in writing this book in rhyme. But in the end, the surfer language and the chicken humor both fit in with the rhyme and worked to put the focus on the story. Believe me when I say, that doesn’t always happen. (And just to prove it, Surfer Chick was revised 16 times!)
I always tell aspiring authors that three or four revisions isn’t many! For you, what is the best thing about being an author?
Hmm . . . making the story end the way I want it to? I do feel that life is a story for which we can’t always choose the details, the conflicts or the resolutions. Oh, how I wish we could. So, in a way, I think I write to answer my own questions about life and to figure out how I would write my own story if I could, even with all the pain and doubt that accompany it. My favorite line in SURFER CHICK is, “Chick scoped out the water/to find the best wave./It swelled up behind her . . . /Chick chose to be brave.” I love so much that Chick chooses to be brave. Being brave when we’re facing a crisis is not a reaction. It’s a choice. Taking a deep breath sometimes helps.
I also love that Surfer Chick models bravery so well. Can you share a favorite song, quote, or movie that speaks to your inner nerdiness?
I have no idea if this will speak to anyone else’s nerdiness but mine, but I love the lyrics to the song “The Show” by the artist Lenka, part of which read:
I’m just a little bit caught in the middle
Life is a maze and love is a riddle
I don’t know where to go I can’t do it alone I’ve tried
And I don’t know why
I’m just a little girl lost in the moment
I’m so scared but I don’t show it
I can’t figure it out
It’s bringing me down I know
I’ve got to let it go
And just enjoy the show
Thanks for sharing these lyrics! What’s something you like to do that might be considered a little bit nerdy, but is actually really fun?
I do the ordering of books (both textbooks and literature) for my school, which means I type a lot of ISBN numbers. This is so much more fun than it sounds, especially when you start to recognize which ISBNs belong to which publishers! And in the end it all results in new books for students, which is REALLY fun.
Why does this not sound fun to me? Maybe I’m not as nerdy as I think I am! 🙂 Do you have a favorite hobby? Details please!
I dabble in so many things. I enjoy making greeting cards using scrapbook paper. I like to draw feathers in pencil. I like to paint eggs (colorful bird eggs) in watercolor on paper. I like to hand paint glass and then cut it into tiles to be used in mosaics. I like to read. I like to exercise. (Cue Julie Andrews singing, “These are a few of my favorite things . . .)
It’s great that you have so many interests. I’m not surprised! And I’m wishing I had an image of your bird eggs to scan in right now. Maybe we can add some later. Please? Thanks again for joining us Kristy. For those of you who would like to know what Kristy is up to, you can find her on Twitter at @kristydempsey or @realsurferchick. Now take a moment to watch the adorable Surfer Chick trailer!
If you don’t follow Ame Dyckman on Twitter, you should. Her tweets are a breath of fresh air in a barrage of informational tweets. I started following her because we are both part of a group of 2012 debut authors called The Apocalypsies. When her picture book Boy+Bot, was released, I knew I wanted to interview her for the blog. The first thing she did when I asked her for an interview was to ask me a question in return. She wondered if it would be okay if she shared her interview with the illustrator of Boy+Bot, Dan Yaccarino.
Hmm. A man on NCR? Well, why not? I can hardly claim to embrace flouting social norms if I don’t allow my interviewees to flout Nerdy Chick Norms. Plus, this is Dan Yaccarino, creator of Oswald, one of my son’s favorite cartoons, and creator of many other outstanding characters too! Boy +Bot is receiving rave reviews. Clearly, Ame and Dan are a super team. I’m thrilled to welcome them both to the blog today!
If you could give your middle school or high school self one piece of advice, what would it be?
AME: I’d tell my younger self that when I (we?) say, “I want to make books!” and Those People say, “It’s never going to happen,” do not listen! (Also, do not get that perm in 7th grade.)
DAN: Buy stock in Apple.
AME: That’s a good one, too, Dan. But if I could only choose one more after Follow Your Book Dream, it would still be Do Not Get That Perm. (I looked like a poodle for months!)
Interesting. Dan is the first interviewee to give financial advice! Ame, I was told I’d never make it at one point too. It’s fun to say Ha!, isn’t it? What social norms are you fond of flouting?
AME: Besides the ever-changing hair color (currently blue), I often wear a costume just to make running errands more interesting.
PIRATE AME: ARR! A pound of yer finest sliced turkey, or you’ll be feelin’ me hook!
DELI CLERK: Smoked or oven-roasted?
AME: Oh. Oven-roasted, please. I mean, ARR!
DAN: Apparently I’m flagrantly flaunting at this very moment by being a man appearing on this blog!
AME: (giggling) Manly flaunting!
DAN: There are entirely too many reasons to list here.
AME: But I’ll list three of the biggies:
1. At signings and school visits, you get to talk like a robot, and it makes kids laugh.
2. At signings and school visits, kids draw robot pictures for you, and that’s awesome.
3. If hostile robots take over the planet, they’ll spare Dan and me.
Hmm. Good point with number 3, Ame. Wonder if I should work a robot into my work in progress. How is brain power an asset to your careers (as a writer, and as an illustrator)?
AME: Dan! You left the cap off the Sharpie again!
I’m not buying that! I know you’re both super smart. So tell me, what is one of your favorite achievements that you can credit to being nerdy?
DAN: I’ve collected lots of robots and let me tell you, it isn’t cool. The only people who think it’s cool are quite nerdy, too. Possibly nerdier than me, if that’s possible.
AME: I think it’s cool! I… oh. Me? In high school, I got invited to join the Academic Decathlon team. (Glad I did. That’s where I met Husband Guy!)
What’s cool about being nerdy?
DAN: You can do whatever you want and not care what anyone else thinks. I’ve pretty much spent my life being a nerd and after a while, I stopped caring if I got anyone’s approval and I still don’t care, which actually may make me kind of cool, but probably not.
AME: Nerds love to learn stuff. Learning stuff is cool. Ergo, nerds are cool. (So is saying, “ergo.”) To quote Schoolhouse Rock, “It’s great to learn, ’cause knowledge is power!” To quote the PSAs at the end of G.I. Joe, “Now you know, and knowing is half the battle!” To quote Mister Owl from the Tootsie Roll commercial, “Let’s find out!” Plus, there’s the secret nerd handshake. That’s cool, too.
I agree with both of you 100%. I especially love what Dan said about not caring what anyone else things. It is definitely freeing. Yes, I think you get cool points for that! Can you share a favorite song, quote, or movie that speaks to your inner nerdiness?
DAN: I saw Revenge of the Nerds about 100 times.
AME: I’m 99.44% pure pop culture/lit culture nerdiness! Three examples:
- Every time I see a Toyota Highlander, I shout, “There can be only one!”
- I named my dragon fruit plant “Smaug.”
- I’m working on a paper comparing the five factions in Divergent to the five main characters in Fraggle Rock.
Cool points revoked! Cool points revoked! I’m kidding of course. You guys are super cool. What’s something you like to do that might be considered a little bit nerdy, but is actually really fun?
DAN: All nerdy activities are fun.
AME: Word, Dan. Personally, I’m a museum nut. Display anything with little information cards next to it, and I’m so there. (I’ve even been to the National Mustard Museum!)
I agree with both of you here too. Do you have a favorite hobby? Details please!
DAN: Sadly I have no hobbies, unless you consider writing and illustrating a hobby, but it’s what I do for a living. I would write and illustrate even if I was an accountant. Maybe you need to ask me what my job is because I think I’ve been spending all my time on my hobby.
AME: I collect books and original children’s illustrations. (Yes, I have a few Yaccarinos!) And lately, my family and I are all about collecting random stuff, too. The random-er, the better! Just this past weekend, we acquired a theremin, a fencing rapier, and a statue of a warthog we’re naming “Bob II.” (“II” because we have a replica shrunken head we already named Bob.” At least, I think it’s a replica…) Next week, I’m making little information cards!
I think the world of children’s books and cartoons is thankful that your hobby is your job, Dan. Ame, sounds like a cool collection. I had to look up what a theremin is. Do the rest of you nerdy chicks know?
Thank you Ame and Dan for joining us today. It is so wonderful to see Boy+ Bot taking off! To learn more about Ame, visit her website (designed by Nerdy Chick Donna Farrell)! And you can find Dan’s gorgeous website here.
Check out the trailer below to get a glimpse of what Boy +Bot is all about! Links to Ame, Dan, and Boy +Bot online follow the trailer. Enjoy!
BOY + BOT:
http://www.facebook.com/BoyandBot (in progress)