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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: A Nibble of News

  • "Murder your darlings. The advice is frequently trotted out in writing circles. (It is just as often misattributed to Oscar Wilde or F. Scott Fitz or some other luminary. In actuality, the mantra comes from Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, and he probably stole it from his grandmother)."  Author N.D. Wilson (Leepike Ridge amongst others) discusses an entire section from his book 100 Cupboards that ended up left on the cutting room floor (so to speak).  The passage he posts is quite lovely.  I’m a sucker for any selection that begins with "Henry, Kansas was born when an ox died and a donkey grew too weary to pull a wagon by itself."  This is a good idea.  Authors should always post the beautiful sections from their book that they forced themselves to cut for the greater good.  Not only does it make them look incredibly strong and brave, but they get to show off more of their clever writing as a result.  After all, James Preller does it too.

  • At what point in our nation’s history did Meatloaf abandon us for Britain?  First he shows up in the Spice Girls movie (I’ve said too much) and now he’s trying to encourage English children to read with the aid of a cartoon puppy.  Well what about OUR children, eh Mr. Loaf?  Don’t you think they could use a little help from the guy who’d do anything for love (though he won’t do that)?  Thanks to Bookninja for the link.

  • Gaiman’s on NPR now.  Mmm.  Dulcet British vocal tones.  A delight.  And after having a conversation with someone the other day about Return to Oz , I find the sudden reappearance of Fairuza Balk in our midst a bit discombobulating.

  • And another one bites the dust.  For those of you who, like myself, miss Elizabeth Ward’s wonderful reviews, this news item won’t cheer you much further:

"January 28th, 2009 By: Nora Rawlinson

RIP, Washington Post Book World

Sadly, the rumors that the Washington Post will no longer publish the stand-alone Book World section have been confirmed by the NYT Arts Beat blog. The reviews will be moved into the Sunday newspaper. According to Book World staff, the Feb. 15th issue will be the final one. The National Book Critics Circle mounted a campaign last week to save the section, to no avail. There are now only two stand-alone sections, The New York Times Book Review and the San Francisco Chronicle Book Review. The LA Times section was closed in ‘07."

Thanks to Jennifer Schultz for the link.

  • A recent Guardian article posed a question of What Makes a Children’s Classic? not long after Gaiman’s big win.  I don’t normally pay too much attention to such pieces but I particularly liked the section that discussed transitioning into adult classics and then went on to say, "Finally, I’d like to throw in, for good measure, some classic crime (Christie), classic adventure (Stevenson, Buchan), and great pre-contemporary children’s classics such as Noel Streatfield (Ballet Shoes), Dodie Smith (I Capture The Castle), Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird), EB White (Charlotte’s Web) and Richard Adams (Watership Down)."  Any mention of Agatha Christie is a-okay by me.  Thanks to Bookninja for the link.

  • Books on my To Be Read shelf that may remain there in infinite perpetuity include Seth Lerer’s (almost wrote Seth Rogan’s and wouldn’t that be an interesting twist) Children’s Literature: A Reader’s History from Aesop to Harry Potter.  I’ll get to it someday.  Or rather I was before reading Perry Nodelman’s scathing critique of the text.  Thanks to Oz and Ends for the link.

  • And finally, a big thank you to everyone that showed up at yesterday’s SCBWI Kidlit Drink Night party.  We had a stellar turnout and a great wide swath of folks in the industry.  My particular thanks to Cheryl Klein for having the gumption to not only organize this but also make the phone calls.  Special thanks to Alvina Ling for suggesting the place.  It was, in short, a rousing success.

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. Thanks to everyone invovled for that great after party. SCBWI’s party was fantasic as well.


    The Early Word site isn’t working. If you search “Washington Post Book World” in Google News, you can get the story. Book World will be digital only.

  3. Works for me. Maybe it was just down when you tried it before.

  4. Not Henry James?