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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: Nixonian sepulchre

  • Have you noticed the sheer unrestrained hoards of talent participating on the Ripple gulf relief blog?  You remember Ripple, right?  I blogged about it back in June saying, “Kelly Light ( began creating sketchcards in an effort to do something about the BP oil spill in the Gulf.  She sold them on her blog, and 100% of the money goes to a couple of relief charities.  She began to ask around to see if any of her kidlit and illustrator pals wanted to pitch in . . . The blog is called Ripple.”  Well update time!  So far $7,400 has been raised (whoa!) and I got an email from pal Aaron Zenz saying, “Thought you might like to know that some notable names in kidlit are scheduled to participate in July for ‘Great American Illustrator Month.’  Folks like Mo Willems, Don Tate, Jarrett Krosoczka, Tom Warburton, Vanessa Brantley Newton, and others will be contributing original art throughout the month.”  He’s not lying.  Mo mentioned it himself here.  Good job, folks!  Image to the right by Christine Kane.
  • Oh, you can be remembered for founding great nations or raising wonderful children.  You can be remembered for having placed your hands in a patch of cement or for doing acts so ludicrous during your life that your ancestors remember those tales forevermore.  Or, if you happen to be Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, you can be remembered for creating the worst first sentence in the history of man.  Which is to say,

“It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents–except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.”

Tis a bonny bit of tripe!  That’s why I’m so pleased to report that the winners of the 2010 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (motto: “Where www means ‘Wretched Writers Welcome’ “) have been announced.  You authors out there who feel that your writing is in a particularly pitiable state right now, take heart.  There is always someone out there who is worse.  Thanks to John Peters for the link.

  • No, I’m as sick of Twilight stuff as the rest of you.  Heck, I’m not really sure what the plot of the third Twilight movie even is (werewolves vs. vampires, perhaps?).  That said, I did find much of interest in the recent piece by Cleolinda Jones on these films and the state of the male vs. female gaze in cinema.  Much food for thought to be found here.  Thanks to Chasing Ray for the link.
  • I don’t remember much of what I discuss on this blog sometimes.  I blame old age.  I mean, did I ever mention that I conducted a panel discussion with David Small and his Stitches editor Bob Weil at the last ALA?  And that it was fantastic?  Things slip my mind.  Fortunately the ALSC blog covered the event saying it “was a truly intimate and intense experience.”  Cheers, Eva!
  • There’s a bloody lovely article in Publishers Weekly at the moment regarding Edward J. Delaney and Steven Withrow’s children’s literary documentary Library of the Early Mind. This is a film I am very excited to see (I might be in it if I don’t end up on the cutting room floor).  And after seeing this trailer, how could you resist?

Facebook debates and discussions are problematic.  Since they take place on Facebook I, the intrepid reporter, don’t feel like I should be reporting them for fear of breaching a kind of strange new world confidence my “friends” bestow upon me.  At the same time, some great topics of conversation are often rolled around the brain there.  Once such discussion recently concerned Ellen Wittlinger’s Horn Book article Too Gay or Not Gay Enough? As Ellen says, she recently dealt with a school that found some of her books a little “too gay” for their tastes.  “I’m too gay for them, but, ironically, apparently no longer gay enough for the Lambda Literary Foundation, which has just changed their guidelines regarding their yearly award for LGBT books. Or, I should say, the award that used to be for books but which is now for LGBT-identified authors instead.  True, the Lambda mission statement hasn’t changed . . . What has changed is Lambda’s new policy statement, which now gives priority to LGBT-identified authors.”  I recall Lee Wind mentioning this a little less than a year ago and feeling quite peeved that this change was instituted.  He picked out Ellen particularly.  “Instead of encouraging our ALLIES and everyone else to celebrate our lives and yes, create stories that celebrate and incorporate being Gay, Lambda’s shift feels like a slap in the face to those same people who are trying to move the world – our world – in a better direction.”  On Facebook, someone made the point that, “I was on the Asian Pacific American children’s literature award committee for a few years and we changed our charge FROM only awarding authors of the ethnic group to awarding BOOKS that feature APA themes, regardless of the author’s and illustrator’s ethnicity.”  That’s a step in the right direction.  So strange that Lambda would shy away from its friends after all these years.

  • I like reading me a little Reading In Color when I get the chance.  As it describes itself, “Reading in Color is a book blog that reviews YA/MG books about people of color (poc). There is a serious lack of books being reviewed by teens that are YA/MG about people of color, I hope my blog is one step closer to filling in this void.”  It’s usually a little too YA for my tastes, but once in a while my ears perk up and I take notice.  Particularly when the site started to discuss the new covers for Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon.  Much to chew on there.
  • Sometimes I like to prove to myself that I have readers so I’ll introduce a hotsy totsy little post like yesterday’s Text, Image, and 2010: Why Baby Needs a New ALA Award.  Dunno about you but I’m just fascinated by the twists and turns the discussion has taken.  From whether or not authors of picture books should get their true due to the idea of tweaking the Newbery and Caldecott criteria.  Monica Edinger, I should note, has written on this topic before, so if you haven’t read her thoughts on the matter, that thing do.
  • Daily Image:

I reviewed Oh No! by Mac Barnett and Dan Santat and thought I’d done a pretty good description of the plot.  That said, 11-year-old Isaac at the Bookie Woogie blog puts me to shame.  Here’s how he summarizes one part: “She makes the robot for a science fair.  It wasn’t that hard for her to win first place because this is what she was up against — ‘Cup of Dirt.’  ‘Just Hamsters.’  And a little teeny volcano.  Those were the other entries, so she creamed them.”

I do not use the term “creamed” in my reviews half as much as I should.  And as with every Bookie Woogie review, kids Isaac and Gracie drew their own pictures of what they saw and what they wanted to happen.  Here’s Gracie’s interpretation of what the ending should be:

I cannot tell a lie.  This fly is AMAZING.  Read the entire post for the other fantastic art.

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.