Looking up

There is a bird in the tree outside my window, singing the same two notes over and over, and I’m beginning to see green appear in patches as the snow melts.

On Twitter, I can practice Japanese in small bites, which keeps me fresh.  Letter writing, at this point, takes too much out of me.  So, Japanese friends, if you are on Twitter, we can tweet in Japanese.  It’s the perfect way for me to keep my Japanese while I’m too busy with teaching and taking classes and book writing to write long letters.

I wrote a story for a new Young Adult anthology that is being edited by Holly Black of Spiderwick fame, and Ellen Kushner of Swordspoint fame, eventually to be released by Random House.  The anthology is called Welcome to Bordertown, and is based on the 80s and 90s series set in that world that the amazing artist and writer and editor Terri Windling invented.  The story is called “We Do Not Come In Peace” which involves an act of terror/revolution by a group of angry folks and a case of vengeful blackmail.  I can’t wait to read the rest of the stories from the other contributors.

Life is good.  Back to work and writing.

YA before YA was cool

Last week the famous J.D. Salinger passed away, which lead to an internet riot of people either mourning–some respectfully, some deeply–or people taking pot shots at Salinger and his most famous character, Holden Caulfield. The funny thing is, most of the people commenting on the book really don’t know anything about how the book was received, its context, and why it was a hallmark book, and why perhaps it is disliked by so many contemporary readers.  (My own theory is that many books that are taught in schools are going to be disliked, because a certain amount of students are going to dislike reading anything they are forced to read.) But over at Collen Lindsay’s blog, The Swivet, you can read a guest post by my friend Richard Bowes, who was a young adult at the time Catcher in the Rye was released.  It’s an insightful post for anyone interested in Salinger, Holden Caulfield, the 1950s in America, and YA literature in general.

A sample:

Does this make Catcher in the Rye great literature? No. But when it came out it was unique, a novel read mainly by young people, some of them very young at a time when YA as a category didn’t exist. There were only adult novels and a substratum of novels for children and very young teens.

By the time Salinger finally produced Franny and Zooey and got on the cover of Time Magazine, two other novels that also appealed to the young – Lord of the Flies (1954) and A Separate Peace (1959) – had started to get mentioned along with Catcher.

Like The Catcher in the Rye, these novels weren’t written for adolescents; they were discovered by them.

Read the whole thing by clicking here.

The Beastly Bride

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Taken from Jeff Ford’s blog, some information on a young adult anthology in which a story of mine will appear early in spring 2010.  It looks like a great anthology for young readers.  I’m happy to be included in it.

“This came in the mail today from Sharyn November, an Advanced Uncorrected Proof of Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling’s upcoming YA anthology, The Beastly Bride: Tales of the Animal People It’s the fourth in a series of anthologies of mythic tales — The Green Man, The Faery ReelCoyote Road.  Art work, as in the other three, is by Charles Vess. It is being published by Viking and will be in book stores 1st of April, 2010.

Here’s the table of contents:

The Beastly Bride and Other Tales of the Animal People

Preface by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling
Introduction by Terri Windling
Island Lake by E. Catherine Tobler
The Puma’s Daughter by Tanith Lee
Map of Seventeen by Christopher Barzak
The Selkie Speaks by Delia Sherman
Bear’s Bride by Johanna Sinisalo
The Abominable Child’s Tale by Carol Emshwiller
The Hikikomori by Hiromi Goto
The Comeuppance of Creegus Maxin by Gregory Frost
Ganesha by Jeffrey Ford
The Elephant’s Bride by Jane Yolen
The Children of Cadmus by Ellen Kushner
The White Doe Mourns Her Childhood by Jeanine Hall Gailey
The White Doe’s Love Song by Jeanine Hall Gailey
The White Doe Decides by Jeanine Hall Gailey
Coyote and Valorosa by Terra L. Gearheart
One Thin Dime by Stewart Moore
The Monkey Bride by Midori Snyder
Pishaach by Shweta Narayan
The Salamander Fire by Marly Youmans
The Margay’s Children by Richard Bowes
Thumbleriggery and Fledglings by Steve Berman
The Flock by Lucius Shepard
The Children of the Shark God by Peter Beagle
Rosina by Nan Fry ”