Ignore the news and eventually the news will announce itself by biting you on the bum. I had heard about this Exquisite Corpse experiment going on . . . somewhere. All right. Truth to tell? I wasn’t paying very close attention. But recent events have given me the impetus to sit up and take notice. Apparently (if you, like myself, are a little foggy on what exactly this business consists of) the explanation is that EC is a game where someone starts a story and other pick up the thread. Says the site, " In order to try and retain the spontaneity of the original game, The Exquisite Corpse Adventure contributing authors have only a couple of days to brainstorm and then write their individual episodes. Each episode is then lightly edited and sent back to the author for a quick rewrite." The people involved? M.T. Anderson, Natalie Babbitt, Calef Brown, Susan Cooper, Kate Di Camillo, Timothy Basil Ering, Nikki Grimes, Shannon Hale, Daniel Handler aka Lemony Snicket, Steven Kellogg, Gregory Maguire, Megan McDonald, Patricia and Fredrick McKissack, Linda Sue Park, Katherine Paterson, James Ransome, Jon Scieszka, and Chris Van Dusen. Someone get me Chris Van Dusen’s agent! Kidding, Stephen, kidding! You can read Scieszka’s first part here. Part two comes on October 9th and is penned by Katherine Paterson. And what was it about this site that finally woke me from my waking sleep enough to blog about it? Well… um. I’m listed with a bunch of really excellent sites in the Blogs That Inspire section. Blush! Mind you, I told this to my boss and he misheard it as "Blogs That Expire" which, considering the name of the project, wouldn’t be a ridiculous thing to say. Now I need to figure out what nefarious things to "inspire" you to do. Thanks to Jen Robinson for pointing this out!
- Cynopsis Kids gives me such interesting news on a regular basis. Today I present two of the best. First up:
Director Chris Wedge (Ice Age, Robots) is set to direct the animated feature film Leaf Men that will be financed by Fox Animation and produced by Wedge’s Blue Sky Studios, per Variety. Leaf Men is based on the kid’s book by author/illustrator/filmmaker William Joyce, The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs. Jim Hart is writing the screenplay. Though Wedge’s had developed Leaf Men for Fox, the movie almost made its way to Disney and Pixar with Fox in the end deciding to go ahead with the film.
Also from Cynopsis Kids, the best name of a project I’ve heard all day:
CBBC is teaming with comedian Johnny Vegas to develop the comedy series Dead Puppets Society (13×28) for 2011. The series will follow Johnny as he juggles his showbiz career with his secret life as a puppet hunter as he fights to protect the world. The series will feature his sidekicks Rory and puppet Fleabag. Dead Puppets Society is being produced by Woolyback and Double Z in Dublin.
Ideally they’d make it like Buffy… only with puppets. This strikes me as an idea so intuitive, it can’t help but work, right? Great title too. Wish I’d thought of it.
It is possible that you have missed that Banned Books Week is September 26 – October 3rd. Possible but not likely. In a particularly inspired piece called Bomb the Ban, Marjorie Ingall both pays homage to banned Jewish children’s authors over the years AND writes a pretty remarkable and heavily footnoted poem that provides wonderful insights into why various titles get banned. Here’s the beginning:
- So I was admiring this little list of post-apocalyptic fiction that SLJ recently provided (not extensive, but it certainly has some titles you may not have seen before) and it gets me to thinking. Why has there never been a short story collection of post-apocalyptic fiction? A David Levithan edited collection of some sort comes immediately to mind. Why every possible kind of end-of-the-world scenario could be listed! You could even throw in some comedic bits for fun. And even better? Zombies! At long long last there would be an excuse to have some zombie lit out there! Some, I said. A little zombie goes a long way.
- A show of hands. How many of you out there knew that there was a blog out there called We Love You So which follows the movie Where the Wild Things Are and, "has been established to help shed some light on many of the small influences that have converged to make this massive project a reality"? Well it highlights Maurice Sendak-related fare on a regular basis, like this cool augmented billboard , for example:
Worth keeping your peepers on. Thanks to Boing Boing for the link.
- Happy Punctuation Day! What’s that? Oh. Yeah, you’re right. Punctuation Day was actually on the 24th. I totally missed it this year. My apologies. You know who didn’t miss it, though? The good people at the Lee & Low blog The Open Book. In Our Favorite Punctuation they offer odes to semicolons, ellipses, and other "expressive little dots". I’m certainly a fan. Though, you know . . .
- If I might be briefly braggly for a moment, I’d just like to point out that my mother (who, for the record, is included in the Best American Poetry of 2009) recently spoke at The New School alongside big names like Billy Connolly and Mark Doty and is quoted with them in this nice NBC Network piece on What the Poets Said. Woot! Go, Mom, go!
- Jenny Schwartzberg recently sniffed out two different articles about a recently established and brand new rare book collection of children’s literature at Anderson University in Indiana. One article does an in-depth look at both the new collection and the Elizabeth York Children’s Literature Festival. The other illustrates the fact that children’s books are complicated affairs. Thanks again to Jenny Schwartzberg for the links.
- Daily Image:
For the woman who has everything, why not weigh her neck down with a tome or two?
As someone who schlepped approximately 20 books on my back yesterday (and then caused poor Tim Bush to do the same), I am strangely unmoved by this concept. Thanks to AL Direct for the link.