Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Bit About My Writing

So I’ve been babbling for the past few weeks about books I love and various other book related topics.  Today I’d like to go back to those Book Lover goals…and not the (should be relatively easy but isn’t in this economy) goal of getting a job…the harder goal of becoming a published author.

Gah- I said it again! I’m already a writer, but I want to be an AUTHOR too.  In face-to-face conversation, this statement is nearly always followed by a bashful smile.  But then when someone asks me what I’m writing about, the shyness disappears.  Why? Because I LOVE what I’m writing.  I’m passionate about it.  And that why I can call myself a Book Lover.

So, a bit about what I’m writing, how I’ve gotten here, and where I’m going…

The Rose of Coracus is a YA novel that takes place in the quasi-medieval fantastical kingdom of Harren, where Shayna, a dancer and talented seamstress of a hated ethnic group, meets the Crown Prince in disguise, Johnathan, who is trying to learn more about his future kingdom.  Add betraying best friends, potential suitors, pressure from parents and a building rebellion into the mix, all while Johnathan and Shayna are trying to figure out their place in the world.  You can see where this is going (so you think!)…but I’m going to make you wait to find out the ending until you can buy the book in stores! 

I’ve been working on this story seriously for the past eight months or so, when I decided I would do it for my senior project at Hamilton.  This summer I did a series of revisions (and learned the importance of setting a rigid schedule for yourself), including adding all of Johnathan’s perspective…I NEVER thought I’d be able to write from a male point of view, but I think (and have been told by my faithful reader, Heather) it works.  In August, just when I thought I was being close to finished, my friend read the beginning and came up with a GENIUS addition to the plot, which meant I needed to do major rewriting…and I wouldn’t be finished for a few more months (geez, thanks a lot, Heather!).  In reality, though, I’ve been working on this story much longer.  After being influenced by Tamora Pierce’s Tortall books in middle school, I began writing my Harren stories during the summer between eighth and ninth grade.  Called Shayna’s Story until recently, it was envisioned to be the third in a series.  In early high school, my friends and I formed an informal writer’s group.  This novel was the only one I ever finished…finished in the eyes of a sixteen year old.  Which is why, five years later, when I had the opportunity to work on the story again and make it MUCH stronger through my senior creative writing class, I eagerly did so.  And now, clocking in at 71,000 words with a few chapters still to be added and one more round of polishing, I’m just about done…done in the eyes of a twenty two year old.  I know there’s SO much work still to be done, but I’m super proud of what I’ve accomplished and sure that, with all that hard work, perseverance and other Book Lover values I’ve picked up along the way, this story is going to be something.  Someday.  Hopefully someday soon?

In another month or so I’m going to begin the second, and probably even harder, step of trying to get an agent to represent me.  I’m lucky, because of my background in publishing, I know more than the average writer about what I’m supposed to do and not do.  I’m sure I’ll make some mistakes, but I also know that lots of writers try to get their not-so-good manuscripts published (I’ve read and rejected more than I can count).  Mine is WAY better than a lot of manuscripts I’ve read interning at Bloomsbury and FinePrint/Nancy Coffey.  And if those potential authors think their manuscript deserves a chance, mine sure does, too!  Probably, some intern will reject my manuscript, like so many others.  But then again, maybe one intern will like it.  And pass it on to her boss.  And she’ll like it, too.  It only takes one.

I’ll keep you updated! 

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Books + NYC + Map = Love

I’m a Book Lover, obviously.  I <3 NY and am eager to move here permanently.  It is, after all, the second best city in the world (after London, naturally).  But what you may not know about me is that I’m obsessed with maps.  When I was little my mom posted a huge world map on the wall and I would impressed my extended family with my ability to find any country they could name.  Today, I’m lucky I now have a boyfriend who thinks he drags me into map stores, when really, I want to be there just as much as he does.  (Really really cool) Old maps, new maps, world maps, city transportation maps…they fascinate me.  Thus, when I found something the other day that combined all three of my loves, I just had to share it:

This is AWESOME.  Of course, the map doesn’t include a lot of recent MG/YA books that have Manhattan settings.  Laurie Halse Anderson’s Revolutionary War era Chains and Forge, Rebecca Stead’s Newbery winner When You Reach Me, Anna Godbersen’s turn of the century Luxe series, or Cecily von Ziegesar’s Gossip Girl series, for example.  And there are plenty of others; authors past and present have always been pulled towards NYC and the amazing setting the island provides.  So use this map as a start for your Manhattan literary wonderings, and add your own, too.  I’m sure you’ll find something around every corner.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Get Your Library Card, Folks!

This is going to be a short post (my internship is keeping me so busy…more on that later) but I wanted to add a little reminder to my blog.

September is Library Card Sign Up Month! Woo hoo! So exciting!

But really, everyone should have a library card.  Where else can you read all the books you’d ever want (plus watch movies, listen to CDs and audiobooks, etc.) for FREE?  And then there’s the awesome programming for kids and adults, free classes and even free museum passes or access to special programs/databases online.  Go to your library.  Check out (haha-get it?) all the possibilities.

Just earlier this week I went to the Morningside Heights branch of the New York Public Library and got my very own card for my sometimes home. Granted, because I don’t actually live in NYC yet they’d only give me a temporary three-month card…but hopefully by the end of December I’ll no longer be quite so unemployed and have a place of my own in the city.  But until then, I’ll take the temporary card.  All I had to do is fill out a simple form, sign the back of the card they gave me, and then I had free reign over the small second floor room….AND the rest of the NYPL system.  Just about anything I’d ever want to read is now at my fingertips…for FREE! (This is exciting stuff!)

So I’m urging everyone (I’m talking to you recent college grads who just moved to a new city to start a job/go to grad school) to check out his/her local library and get a library card.  Hurry up! Get one before it’s too ‘late’. The month is almost over! But hey, I’ll cut you some slack…it’s okay if you get a new card in October or November or even next March. But the sooner the better, because who knows what you’ll discover with that library card!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Speak Loudly

I was going to blog about something different today, but in honor of the upcoming ALA Banned Books Week (Sept. 25-Oct. 2) and all the buzz surrounding Laurie Halse Anderson’s novel Speak and the controversial article by Wesley Scroggins, I decided to write a brief post with my thoughts.

My thoughts are simple and straightforward: BANNING BOOKS IS A BAD IDEA.

Why? Banning a book that explores controversial topics doesn’t protect children; it hinders their growth, maturity and knowledge. We learn things through thought and discussion; without acknowledging a matter, we’re essentially erasing it.  And, simply put, that’s no good. 

Although many books have, and will, face a challenge, I’m going to focus on Speak for the moment.  I was lucky enough to read Speak as part of my required summer reading one year in high school.  Yes, it’s true I remember that my mom was surprised when the narrator’s quirky voice disclosed that she had been raped.  But my sensible mom didn’t have any problem with me reading it.  Why? Because as scary as the topic of rape is, it’s a subject many girls and women have to face…how can they face it alone, in silence? Laurie Halse Anderson is offering them support and speaking up for what is right.  How can you possible ban that idea? (And the fact that Scroggins objects to Speak because he says the rape scenes are soft porn isn’t something I’m even going to delve into…)

Contemporary books like Speak aren’t the only ones threatened- in many schools classics such as The Adventures of Huckleberry Fin, Catcher in the Rye, and To Kill a Mockingbird are no longer on high school reading lists because someone found them to contain undesirable material. Slaughterhouse Five, Great Gatsby, The Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Men and many others have also been challenged throughout their publication history.  My closest encounter with a book being challenged occurred when my entire church youth group was given The Color Purple; several parents spoke up strongly and forbade their children from reading the novel.

Yet, banning a book to protect children from reading strong language or about rape, race relationships, religion (or lack thereof) and sexuality isn’t the answer.  Can’t we sit down and discuss these topics, perhaps even after reading the book that brings up the topic? That seems like the perfect place for a high school teacher or parent to step in.  Let children explore and learn; it’s perfectly alright to aid and guide them along the way, but don’t hush up the truth.

In honor of Banned Book Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read, read a banned or challenged book. Check out #SpeakLoudly on Twitter.  And actually speak.  Silence isn’t the answer.

For more information:  

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Buy v. Borrow, Hardcover v. Paperback

Do I buy a book or borrow it from the library and/or a friend? If I’m going to buy a book, do I want it in hardcover or paperback?  These seem like simple questions, but for a book lover, they’re essential. 

When I was little, I was a library girl because my mom didn’t like to buy many books.  Books are expensive to buy, especially if you don’t reread them.  Then they just sit on your shelves (and look very pretty).  As I got older, however, and realized that 1) I had a little spending money and 2) I DO like to reread books (for example, I reread the Harry Potter series each time before the new book came out), so I decided to start buying books.  Yet unlike today’s teens I didn’t know what the-next-big-thing-in-YA was.  Probably because the-next-big-thing-in-YA tread hadn’t even started yet.  I wasn’t inundated with social media that advertized books; I barely knew what Amazon was and most certainly didn’t order my books online!  I bought books the old-fashion way: going to the bookstore and seeing what caught my eye.  It’s true I had a few favorite series that I made sure to follow (Tamora Pierce’s several Tortall series, T.A. Barron’s The Lost Years of Merlin series, Elizabeth Haydon’s Rhapsody Trilogy and Symphony of Ages, among others), yet for the most part it was just pick and choose.  And because I was a teen with just a little spending money, often my decisions were based on cost.  A hardcover verses a cheaper paperback? I’d pick the paperback.  (Oh, and another tiny confession to make.  I HATE jacket covers.  I know they’re supposed to protect the hardcover book and look pretty, but to me they just get wrinkled and bent the moment I pick the book up, so it’s a waste of material.)

Now that I’m involved in the publishing industry things have changed, yet I’m hesitant to change with them.  I’m constantly surrounded by people talking about the-next-big-thing-in-YA, and I want to read it, too! Unless I’m lucky enough to have snagged an ARC, my options are limited.  Buy the expensive hardcover (I caved in and did that for Linger)? Wait a little longer to borrow if from a library (if they carry it), knowing that chances are I’ll buy the paperback, at least, eventually?  Right now I’ve settled in a sort of middle ground; buying popular books the moment they’re in paperback, but sometimes it takes a while for that to happen.  Even though I’ve read (and LOVED) The Hunger Games series, I still don’t own the first two books because they’ve yet to be released in paperback (what a marketing/sales feat!).  And I have yet to read books that I’ve heard positive reviews about for ages: The DUFF, Before I Fall, When you Reach Me. It’s killing me I haven’t read these books yet, and I’m going to run into the same problem when The Replacement, Beautiful Darkness, Matched and others come out later this fall.  I may sound like a bratty teenager (or whiny toddler), but I just want them ALL!

So there’s my book lover dilemma.  Thoughts? What do you prefer to read, a borrowed library book or a book you’ve bought? Will you go out and buy a book after you’ve read it and loved it? Will you buy in paperback or in hardcover? How do you keep up to date with all the awesome new books out there? I hope you’ve come up with a good solution, I’d love to hear it!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Imagination, and Other Book Lover Values

“Isn’t it splendid to think of all the things there are to find out about? It just makes me feel glad to be alive—it’s such an interesting world. It wouldn’t be half so interesting if we knew all about everything, would it? There’d be no scope for imagination then, would there?”

- Anne Shirley to Matthew Cuthbert, Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

Imagination.  The chance to dream and hope.  The skills to achieve those dreams.  I sat down today trying to figure out which books I read as a child influenced my book lover values.  I came up with four names: Anne, Laura, Jo, and Nancy*. These girls were some of my best friends and role models growing up, and even today.  I can turn to my (real life) best friend and we’ll happily recount their adventures.  We learned lessons about friendship, morals, perseverance and hard work, romantic relationships, but they never felt didactic.  I learned and grew along with the girls of those books.

One of the biggest characteristics of these characters were their big dreams.  They weren’t afraid to imagine a different world, and they worked hard to achieve it. Unlike her sisters, Jo wanted to be a writer and, in turn, became one.  Anne became a writer and was one of the only girls from Avonlea to go off to college.  Nancy solved mysteries.  Laura lead an adventurous life (traveling across the country, Native Americans, illness and crop failures) and became a teacher.  They had realistic dreams, they had unrealistic dreams (“call me Cordelia”, anyone?), they had little dreams, they had big dreams.  But they worked hard to achieve them and made their way in the world, with a few bumps and bruises, but overall coming out on the top. In college Anne learns “Next to trying and winning, the best thing is trying and failing” so maybe those scrapes that happened along the way aren’t so bad.  You try, you fail, but you learn, dream some more, and try again.

These girls also dealt with issues that modern girls could relate to:

Jo wasn’t considered feminine. More than any other heroine, as a child I could relate to Jo.  It’s funny, because I’m more of a Meg today, but when I was ten I was an outspoken and creative dreamer who also happened to be a bull-in-a-china-shop.  Jo even wanted to be a writer, too!  These qualities made Jo unusual for her time, and readers can relate to her because she is presented as a well-rounded lifelike character, full of good and bad qualities.

Anne had similar difficulty fitting in, and often suffered from body image issues, although that vocab most certainly didn’t make it into L.M. Montgomery’s books.  Anne hated her red hair and freckles, and got into many a scrape (dying her hair green wasn’t really what she was going for…) trying to change her look.  In the end, she realizes that maybe she should just embrace her appearance.

And Jo’s family’s financial situation and lessons that Marmee and their father (from afar) try to teach the little women about being content even if they don’t have everything was a lesson that I needed to hear growing up.  The March sisters worked hard and made do with what they had; if they could do it, so could I.  Laura’s family provided a similar example; they starved through long winters and had to sell a cow in order to buy needed supplies.  Such a lifestyle was (is, thank god!) foreign to me, yet I still had the example of Jo and Laura.  They were creative with and thankful for what they had.

Nancy (red hair and freckled and proud about it), the amateur sleuth, also proved that you could go anything you set your heart to.  Solve mysteries? Battle evil guys? Restore lost heirlooms? Drive a car, change a tire, drive a boat, speak French, ride a horse, etc.? Check, check, check AND check. The best part was, which I’m sure my feminist mom was proud of, although Nancy had a steady boyfriend, Ned, he only showed up at the end, once Nancy, George and Bess had solved the mystery.  Go gurrrrl power! Nancy could be in a relationship and perfectly self sufficient (and kick ass), too.

These four books/series are classics, yet haven’t lost any of their charm or ability for girls to relate.  From Civil War Massachusetts, the lonely Midwestern prairie, turn of the century Prince Edward Island, or 1930s River Heights, Jo, Laura, Nancy and Anne still experienced the same things I did when I was growing up.  Literary characters make great friends (they’re always around when you need them!), so if you know a girl who has reached the age of twelve and hasn’t yet read these books, get them for her now.  She’ll thank you for it.

* For those of you not on first name basis with the girls, they’re Laura Ingalls (Wilder) of Little House on the Prairie, etc., Josephine March of Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, Nancy Drew and her series by Carolyn Keene and Anne Shirley of Anne of Green Gables, etc. by L.M. Montgomery.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Reading Roundup

I’ve decided the best way to illustrate my tastes in books is simply to give you a list.  So, every month I’ll offer brief reviews of all the books I’ve read the previous month.  I hope you get a good book recommendation or two out of this!

The Luxe by Anna Godbersen
A novel I’ve been meaning to read for forever (if only because the cover is fantastic and I want that dress), I really enjoyed it, mostly because of the historical details.  Set in turn of the century Manhattan, it was fun to see the lives of the wealthy, and how the teenage girls regularly ignored social conventions.  Although the plot was a bit predictable, I’m still eager to read the rest of the books in the series.

I picked this book up while manning the craft activity at the library and waiting for kids to join me.  I wanted to see why kids rave so much about these books- and I can see the appeal.  They’re face paced adventures with relatable characters.  As a medieval history enthusiast I wanted more historical details, but as an introduction for reluctant readers, I think they’re great.

Savvy by Ingrid Law
Another book with a stunning cover, the story of when Mibs gets a magical power at age thirteen, like the rest of her family, is so lovely.  The book balances a lot of emotions that always feel real despite the unusual circumstances in the novel.  Mib’s vocabulary is full of fantastic and usual words, which is great for an adult reader.  I’m afraid, however, that this may be a book that appeals to adults selecting books for kids rather than kids picking it out themselves.  Perhaps I’m wrong.  A great read, however, and the sequel, Scumble, which just came out, looks equally promising.

Cocktails for Three by Madeline Wickham
I got this book when I visited a contact at St. Martin’s, and I have to admit, I really enjoy chick lit. They make great beach reads…I don’t think I’ve read a single one in a month other than summer.  But still, they’re fun and quick reads.  Cocktails for Three isn’t as good as Confessions of a Shopaholic and other novels by Sophie Kinsella (Madeline Wickham’s better known pen name) but it takes place in London, and I LOVE London.

Deception  by Lee Nichols
This book has a special personal interest to me.  During my last week interning at Bloomsbury Children’s books I did the first read for this manuscript.  I loved it.  My boss loved it.  Her boss loved it.  Within the week Bloomsbury had won the book in auction.  It was so rewarding to know that after a summer with Bloomsbury I had learned what qualities they look for in a manuscript which could (and has) become a successful novel.  When I walked into B&N this August and saw Deception in a centrally located YA display, I couldn’t have been prouder.  And in addition, one of the literary agents I’m interning for (Joanna at Nancy Coffey) represents Lee Nichols.  What a small (awesome) world!

Shiver and Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
I hate to say it Team Jacob, but Sam as a werewolf totally wins.  I’m really not one for werewolves, vampires and the ilk, yet the love story between Sam and Grace is so beautiful and painful.  The blend of fantasy with Grace’s real life problems with family and friends make the story relatable, too.  A highly 
recommended read (and I cannot wait for the sequel, Forever, to come out)!

Again, this book was selected so that I could understand what all the hype was about.  I completely get it; Dan and Amy are relatable characters, the other characters are interesting and the plot exciting.  Just like with The Magic Tree House, I wanted more details about the places they traveled to or history they were uncovering, but for an introduction (and great way to increase interest) these books are great.  Also, this series appeals to both boys and girls, a big plus!

The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
This has to be one of the sweetest books I’ve ever read, without feeling sicky sweet or didactic.  I absolutely loved the fairytale voice that regularly addressed the reader and the repetitive narrative that made me feel like Kate DiCamillo was really addressing me.  My first reaction to the tale of a small mouse with big ears was that it was going to be a book I read aloud to my future children just like my mom read Little House on the Prairie or Pippi Longstockings to my sister and me.  The illustrations by Timothy Basil Ering were also charming, and although I haven’t seen the movie, I have high hopes for the adaptation.

Betsy-Tacy and Tib by Maud Hart Lovelace
One of my favorite Hamilton professors recommended I read this series after being reminded of it by Meg Cabot’s newspaper article reviewing the series and reading them with his own daughters.  They’re sweet episodic books that are great early reader books for girls.  Betsey, Tacy and Tib’s innocent adventures, despite taking place in the early twentieth century, are still absolutely relatable to modern girls.

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
I only joined the Hunger Games craze this summer, just in time to attend a book signing (okay, she was stamping) event for Mockingjay’s August release.  In all honesty, I only read the books because everyone was talking about them and I didn’t want to be left out.  Dystopian fiction where teens are pitted against each other to the death as part of a reality TV show government ploy isn’t really my thing.  I don’t think it’s anyone’s thing.  Yet the Hunger Games trilogy is everyone’s thing.  Katniss is a great heroine, Gale and Peeta competitive love interests (but she chose right in the end), and the minor character equally interesting.  The end- without giving away too much- is haunting, but the perfect conclusion to a war torn world that the characters have barely survived.  A must read.

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
I have another confession; the biggest reason why I finally got around to reading this book is because Julia Roberts is starring in the movie.  I haven’t even seen the movie, but if Julia Roberts thinks this memoir is good enough to make a movie out of, it’s at least good enough for me to read.  My best friend Lauren also had something to do with it; she asked me my opinion on the adaptation, and I was embarrassed to tell her that not only had I not seen the movie (not uncommon), I also hadn’t read the book (very uncommon).  I opened the book expecting a life changing read like so many of my friends raved about.  Honestly, it didn’t move me.  Perhaps it was the genre; the episodic memoir style didn’t appeal to me.  Perhaps, as my mom suggested, I am too young to ‘get’ it.  Either way, I’m glad I read the book, but most of the time I was just dreaming of eating pasta and gelato in Italy rather than focusing on Liz’s year of finding balance in her life.

So there’s my August reading list. Enjoy!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Why Children's Books?

My Book Lover Life Goal #1 is to work at a children’s book company.  Currently, I’m aiming at an entry-level editorial assistant job.   I can’t tell you (but I’m sure I will at some point) about the countless number of contacts, mostly Hamilton alums, that I’ve met with hoping to hear advice, gain knowledge about the publishing industry, and get my name out there.  There’s one thing I have to say about those who work in the publishing industry more than anything else: they are the nicest, most helpful people!  The only problem is, despite those meetings and hours of research online, there aren’t many jobs.  There are editorial assistant jobs working for academic publishers or marketing jobs at children’s book companies.   But that isn’t what I want (and, in full disclosure, if I’m still the very unemployed book lover in 3 more months I might try one of those to get my foot in the door…more on that later).  I want a job as an editorial assistant at a children’s book company.

But why children’s?

This one question is so key to what I want to accomplish in my life, and has impacted all my book lover goals.  You see, I wasn’t always a book lover.  In fact, I was a book hater. The turning point occurred when my third grade teacher, Mrs. Moore, handed me a choose-your-own-adventure book.  Until that time not only did I dislike reading, but I was a lower-level reader despite the many efforts of my mom and teachers.  Mrs. Moore changed all that with her ‘genre a month’ project, and for some reason, the choose-your-own-adventure book opened up the possibilities of reading for me.  Perhaps the format of choose-your-own-adventure books is what this very imaginative child needed to enjoy reading; I’m not quite sure what did it.  But by the end of the year I had devoured the choose-your-own-adventure selection in the school and public libraries, moved on to historical fiction and mystery books thanks to Mrs. Moore’s ‘genre a month’ project, had written more short stories than were assigned, and had moved from one of the lowest reading level groups to the highest by fourth grade.  For Halloween in fourth grade I was a book that I had written and illustrated myself, my little sister tagging along as Timothy the Tiger, the main character of my story.

One book changed my life.  Looking back, it wasn’t a great book.  Not an award winner by any means.  But it didn’t need to be.  It just took one book to spark my imagination and show me how wonderful the world of books could be.  I was a book lover from that day in the third grade, and I continue to be one.  I devour books, I majored in writing books, I picked extracurriculars that helped bring books alive for children, I volunteered at a literacy camp and a library in the children’s section.  And I want to work at a children’s book company.  I want to help find and publish books that will inspire children, just like that choose-your-own-adventure book did for me.  I am the Unemployed Book Lover, and the most frustrating thing of all, is until I become employed, my means to share my love of books and spread the joy of reading with children is limited.  A book can change a child’s life.  And that’s not just me being a dreamer.  It happened to me.

Welcome to my blog

It has been three months since I graduated from college.  Three l-o-n-g months at home in a small Connecticut town with little to do.   Most of my friends went to grad school; they don’t have to worry about finding a job in this bad-but-improving economy.  But I do.   And it’s frustrating!  So, what better way to spend my unemployed free time by telling you what books I LOVE and why, why it’s worth the wait to find a job involving books, and all the things I’m going to do because of my love for books.  Stay tuned.

A little about me:

I graduated from Hamilton College in Clinton, NY with a degree in Creative Writing.  I was a good student, but I was also a ‘bad’ English major: I can’t spell (and love my new spell-check everywhere MacBook Pro), my comma usage is shaky, and I despise literary criticism.  I had trouble with most of my creative writing workshop classes until senior year because of those little details.  This past year, however, I was able to pursue a senior project and because it was of my own choosing and my classmates had to accept that, I feel as if I came into my own and really grew.  More on that later.  All in all, Hamilton was a great school that served me well during my four years.  Case in point (pay attention because this is a key step to where I am now): sophomore year I decided I wanted to pursue a summer internship in book publishing.  I wound up at Bloomsbury Children’s Books, my direct supervisor was a wonderful Hamilton alum, and my living expenses paid for by a generous scholarship given by Hamilton alums and the Hamilton Career Center.  Hamilton took care of me very well.

But I’ve graduated.  Hamilton is a part of my life, but because I’m an alumna, it’s mostly the past.  Where am I now?  That’s right…an unemployed book lover.  For the record, I’m not quite unemployed.  I’m working hard, just lacking a paying job.  For the summer I volunteered in the children’s section of my small town library and I’m about to begin an unpaid internship at a literary agency in Manhattan.  And I’ve been pounding the pavement.  Hard.  I can count at least twenty meetings with everyone (mostly Hamilton alums) from editorial assistant to publicity directors to HR managers from small publishing houses to the Big 5.  And I’ve had two interviews, but no job. Hopefully the internship (which I’m thrilled about) will help me achieve…

 Book Lover Goal
 #1: Editorial assistant position at a children’s publishing house.

My other two book lover goals are scarier to write about. They are the type of dreams you don’t talk about, unless you’re sure you’ll be successful because otherwise your naysayers will know of your ‘failure’.   But I’ll tell you what they are anyways:

More Book Lover Goals:

#2: Author of Middle Grade and YA Novels

#3: Owner of a bookstore (and bakery!)

Talking about my dreams, and getting feedback from friends and family, allows me to get advice on how to actually make those dreams come true.  Part of being a book lover means that you have a vivid imagination and you do dream.  That also might be why book lovers are constantly ‘unemployed’; they’re always searching for the next big thing, the next book or job or hobby that they can be passionate about.  I may be unemployed in the traditional and untraditional sense right now, and that part of being a book lover (as opposed to being a in-demand IT or medical professional) isn’t hot, but the tools I’ve learned from the books I’ve loved: hope, perseverance, hard work, and most importantly, to never stop dreaming, that’s the very best part. 

Okay, I’m done being cheesy.

Welcome to my blog (and remember, book lovers always keep reading for a bit before forming an opinion...so stick around for my next couple posts, too.)