Monthly Archives: November 2008

BUY BOOKS!

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At the glorious bookfair, I again mentioned to several conference attendees (whom I didn’t know) that I was suprised at how generous it was given the recession.

“It ought to be, the publishing companies have plenty of money,” was more or less the reply I got each time.

The thing you need to know, is that could not be further from the truth.  Book publishing is really suffering, just like the rest of retail.  Scholastic, in fact, was just bought out by another company.  Magazines, too, are going out of business left and right (say goodbye to Mary Englebreit Home Companion, fans).   There are several publishing companies hovering on the brink.

In fact, check out this tidbit I copied from Editorial Anonymous. 

HMH Places “Temporary” Halt on Acquisitions (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

It’s been clear for months that it will be a not-so-merry holiday season for publishers, but at least one house has gone so far as to halt acquisitions. PW has learned that Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has asked its editors to stop buying books.

Josef Blumenfeld, v-p of communications for HMH, confirmed that the publisher has “temporarily stopped acquiring manuscripts.” The directive was given verbally to a handful of executives and, according to Blumenfeld, is “not a permanent change.”

Scary Stuff.

What does this mean to this wordamour?  Books for Christmas!  Everyone I know and love who’s on my Christmas list (a trimmed list, unfortunately, this year) is getting books.  Books, books, books.

I encourage you to do the same.  Book publishing is NOT a huge profitmaking enterprise; the people who are in it are not in it for the money, but because they love books just as much as we do.  So let’s show them.  Feed an author, save a publishing company,

BUY BOOKS FOR THE HOLIDAYS!

Bye y’all,

SV

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Best Book Fair EVER and a GIVEAWAY

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I blogged about this last year, but I think it’s entirely possible that the NCTE Bookfair may be the closest to heaven on earth that a wordamour can get.  Though I was looking forward to it, I was fully prepared for this year to be a little more scaled down due to the economy.  Much to my suprise, it was the BEST BOOK FAIR EVER.  The hottest items this year?  Graphic novels galore.   Good thing we drove this year and I brought an extra suitcase!

Check out my swag:
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 And the shoulder burn/badge of honor I got from schlepping about twenty five pounds worth of books around for three hours.
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And the crowds. . .

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What does all this mean, dear readers?  A December giveaway.  Anyone who comments on my blog between December 1 and December 15 will be entered into a drawing for one of the following:

Randy Pausch’s The Last Lecture in Hardcover

A 2009 Scholastic Books Children’s Book Calendar featuring Children’s Illustrators (we have two)

A 2009 Perma Bound Children’s Book Calendar

A “Get Crafty” Poster promoting lots of new, hip crafts books.

I’ll do the drawing December 16 and mail the prizes to get there for Christmas!

 Stay tuned for the giveaway and book fair part two, coming soon!

Bye y’all,

SV reporting from book bliss. . .

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Great Bear Writing Project Invades San Antonio

Seen and heard at the National Writing Project General Session in San Antonio, Texas, where about 1000 of the best teachers on the planet annually gather in one place.

NWP is a beacon in our difficult times. . .

The mood in Washington these days?  I would say, “Cautious Euphoria.”

                                                        NWP Lobbyist

Testing Does Not Improve Learning.  Teachers Improve Learning.

                                           The President of a National Council of Teachers of English

A grand irony:  Many people become teachers because growing up, they find their success in school.  Unfortunately, once they enter the classroom, they are not commended very often when they are successful and are frequently criticized. 

Is there a teacher or teachers in your life who you value.  Make a difference–tell them!  And while you’re here check out our conference photos:

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Bye y’all,

SV

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Still celebrating. . .

So last Christmas, knowing my husband likes a good wine, my mother gave him a gift certificate to a local liquor store.  He used it to buy a much pricier bottle than we usually drink , from Pine Ridge Winery, and then tucked it away for a “special occasion.”

Suffice it to say,

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victory, along with the freedom to breathe again, tastes good. Very, very good.

Bye y’all.

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Two Beautiful Words

 
barack obama Pictures, Images and Photos
President Obama!

 

If you share my joy, take five minutes, click this link , close your eyes, and let it fill you up.

Bye y’all,
Steph

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And now for a few great links

First, the newest edition of Amy Power’s online magazine, Inspired Ideas is up. Check it out here.
I know Amy uses it to promote her website and her art, but I still can’t believe I’m so fortunate to read this (and her blog) for free! It’s just about my favorite eye candy out there and that’s saying a lot. Merci, Amy!!!

Second, Erika Dreifus’ has a GREAT article about ways we “poor as church mice” writers can get into the philanthropic swing. I love the write a thon idea, especially. I’m thinking the Writing Project could try it, but there are so many possibilities, really. Check it out here.

The yard sale is over and was a relative success, that is, I got rid of a lot of stuff, met some nice people, spend nice time with a neighbor and cleared enough money to get something of a start on Christmas. I also donated 11 bags of clothes and stuff to Goodwill and 4 bags of books to the library. My new goal is to simplify, simplify. After I finish a bunch of collage crafts I’m working on for an upcoming church crafts sale, I’m going to limit my work in this area to decoupageable objects that will fit on two shelves in my studio/craft area–right now I can’t even see my desk or the floor for all the stuff I’m working on. I’m also hoping to sell off the rest of my ebay stuff by December (I’ll let y’all know when it’s posted). I really want to pull back and focus on my family, writing, and teaching–I’ve had enough weekends that were crazy busy with unnecessary busyness I inflict on myself. I want them back. My new mantra, borrowed from the incomparable and wise Vance Strange, my friend Monda’s father, is, “Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should.”

Now that’s what I call a motto. I need to tattoo it inside my wrist.

Bye y’all.
Steph
PS I’m heading off to San Antonio for the National Writing Project annual conference in a little more than two weeks and you know what that means. Book Fair!! Giveaways coming up in December!

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