Literature’s Worst Mothers…Just in Time for Mother’s Day!

I could probably write three books on crappy mothers in literature (not to mention the angelic ones like Caroline Ingalls or Marmee), but a simple blog post will have to suffice as I reflect on a few of literature’s most insufficient, yet appealing, moms.  Who would you add to this  list?

no wire hangers!Scarlett O’Hara, Gone With the Wind:  Scarlett is not beautiful, nor is she a good mother at all.  We can barely chasten Rhett Butler for telling her a cat is a better mother than she, for Mrs. Hamilton/Kennedy/Butler extravagantly neglects the sheepish son and the ugly daughter who >>>Read more<<<

📅07 May 2010 4 comments
The Evolution of a Cover

So…I got my cover yesterday.  *runs around in circles like a crazy woman*  It is PERFECT.  And it is all the more perfect because of its evolution.

Let’s go back to some time last year…my editor asked me if I had any ideas for covers and I faltered.  I told her I LOVE the Penguin Classics series even though the silhouettes aren’t quite representative of the stories within.  She agreed that they’re great and instructed the designer to do girly, with a hint of nostalgia.  The first draft is to your left (click for larger version):

As you can see, >>>

📅04 May 2010 36 comments
Writin’ With The Heroines

(Not to be confused with Sweatin’ to the Oldies!)  I’m in Writing Mode, which for my long-suffering boyfriend means having to deal with someone who is clumsier, more preoccupied, and spacier than ever.  But spewing out the world’s most terrible first draft isn’t always (or ever) a cakewalk, and I have reason to call upon “my heroines” for moral support on the way.  Bear with me as I give myself a pep talk and point to five ways my literary heroines, both fictional and real-life, motivate my writing:

  • Writing as fun:  Who can forget the image of Jo March
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📅28 April 2010 2 comments
What’s Heroic About Libraries?

It’s National Library Week, and I’m forced to reflect on the importance and power of my favorite libraries and librarians.  Frankly, I’m well over most media portrayals of librarians as shushing, finger-wagging arbiters of old-school values.  Everyone else I knew when I was a kid wanted to do something daring…I wanted to spend every day, night, and weekend in a library and lusted over stamps, cards, and catalogs.  For me, librarians are personal heroines (and not just because I’m a library school dropout), and I’m lucky enough to count several employed and not-yet-there librarians among my closest friends and >>>Read more<<<

📅12 April 2010 8 comments
Heroines As Glue

I recently had the pleasure of having coffee with the well-spoken and fascinating Nava Atlas, a writer, vegan cook, and visual artist whose popular Dear Literary Ladies blog is currently being turned into a book.  We were talking about the way the Internet has revolutionized the idea of being a fan, allowing readers of all cultures, ages, and locations to converge around their favorite authors and books.

Ever since then, I’ve been thinking about another set of conversations I started having when I arrived at Smith College as a confused seventeen-year-old ready to take on the world.  Inevitably, I’d >>>Read more<<<

📅06 April 2010 0 comments