Thursday Tip: Happy Accidents & Greg Pincus.

This has been on my mind for a while. The following post is a homage and thank you to someone who has been my guiding light in the blogosphere (I’m not sure he knows it himself). There have been times where I emailed him with a question, in panic mode, feeling silly for asking and thinking that he couldn’t possibly give me an answer (because, come on, it’s not as if he can know everything. Well, sure enough he saved the day). Even when he started his email with, “this is not my area of specialty,” for Pete’s sake he still gave more information than I could use! Well, I can’t keep “the goodness” for myself, I have to share it with you too. You never know, a happy accident might come your way sooner than you think. 🙂

According to UrbanDictionary.com, a happy accident is “when something unexpectedly good comes from what would otherwise be considered a mishap.” For me, it’s when you don’t realize that the “little” you’re doing sets you up for something bigger.

Do you want to make it happen? Do you know how?
Meet Gregory K. Pincus.

Starting a blog is one thing. Figuring out what to do next and assessing your goals are another challenge, and that includes being aware of all the opportunities that lay at your fingertips. To be honest, I’m still learning.

For starters, Greg has an amazing story, which I heard when I first met him at a conference. You see, he’s a poet. And a children’s book writer. And a volunteer librarian. And a blogger. And a social media specialist I mean mogul–Greg, how much longer should this list be? Anyway, Greg was sharing about his own journey as a writer and blogger, and about a poem–The Fib–that got him over 32, 000 hits on his blog in a single day, landed him in the New York Times and other media outlets. That happy accident also translated in a book deal with Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic, a few months later. 🙂

I’m writing this post because several of you, writers or not, either have a blog or might consider starting one, and you’re looking for the right resource and information to make the best of it. At the conference I mentioned, Greg gave me an extensive media critique, one that I still haven’t finished exploiting til this day (it was that thorough and full of tips). One of my favorite part in our discussion was about time management. I will never forget when he said: “Remember that you are also a writer, not only a blogger. Make sure that you set aside time to write every day.” Have you ever had a media critique?

Those of you fond of poetry will enjoy his blog GottaBook. Greg is a champion of cultural diversity in kid lit, and that shows in the annual event he hosts during Poetry Month, 30 Poets in 30 Days, which takes place in April (feel free to get on me for not mentioning it then. You’ll be right. For my defense I had a lot going on). Greg invites acclaimed authors of all horizon to share unpublished poems on his blog. This year featured Jacqueline Woodson and Francisco X. Alarcón, just to quote a few. The line up was amazing!

His other blog, The Happy Accident, focuses on social media: the latest news, what is changing and how it affects the rest of us…

For those of you who tweet, Greg is the co-host of weekly kidlit chats. I highly recommend them if you want to keep up with what is going on in the publishing world and have a chance to interact instantly with editors, agents and fellow writers. The event takes place on Tuesday at 6 PM PST/ 9 PM EST. Location: Twitter. (Use TweetChat or Tweetdeck) Hashtag: #kidlitchat
The transcripts are always available on The Happy Accident.

Greg can often be heard at conferences. He will next give a talk at the SCBWI international conference in Los Angeles this summer.

If however you can’t make it, but still want to be up to date and/or keep in touch with Greg, click on the following links:

o The Happy Accident
o GottaBook
o Follow Greg on twitter!

That was my tip of the day. 🙂

Friday Fun: Poetry, E-book & More!

Hello everybody! I just realized that the blog is one month old. I want to tell you how much I appreciate you reading it– and hopefully enjoying it, as well as the words of support and the comments that you leave. It makes me especially happy when I see you address the interviewees. *Again, hat down for your support as I’m learning the ropes.* 🙂

Now back to the fun!

* Picture book writer and poetry aficionada Cheryl Cooney needs your help! Here’s what she says:
“I need some ‘priming for my rhyming’ for a new idea I am working on. It is a wonderful theme, a mother’s love for her child. (…) I am compiling pet names that I have for my own child, but I need MANY more.
I am working with a two syllable/one syllable combo. For example, Huggy Bug, Silly Goose, Cheesey Cheeks. So please give me that combo, I have to keep the same tempo. (…) the cheesier the better!!!”
To answer Cheryl, visit her blog @ http://cherylcooney.blogspot.com/
Cheryl also wrote a poem expressing the feelings of confusion some of us might go through regarding the situation in Haiti. Hope you’ll read it! 🙂

* Since we’re talking about Haiti, some people expressed the desire “to do more” for the island, in addition to the donations already made. Writer Donna Earnhardt posted about a Tangible Way to Help.

* I was terrified of blogging before starting , one of the reasons being that English isn’t my native tongue. The first person I turned to for advice, probably without him even noticing my doing, was writer Lee Wind. I picked his brain over lunch, during a conference, about his blog: I asked how he got started, as well as all type of silly questions! That was a while ago. Lee has helped numerous bloggers over the past two years, and his advices are now available in The Zen of Blogging: 7 Steps on the Virtual Path to Real Success, an e-book that has already received several praises. I hope you’ll check it out. I can attest that his words are golden, and the price is quite affordable!

Lee is a seasoned blogger and a contributor to the Official SCBWI Conference Blog, which covers the organization’s events in great details.

*  Heartfelt congratulations to the winners and honorees of the ALA Book Awards! The agitation provoked by various cover controversies, as well as the situation in Haiti, occupied my mind and the blog most of the week (though I expressed my joy on fellow bloggers’ sites); that said I will comment and celebrate more extensively that event this coming Tuesday. I’m sure you’ve all heard of and checked the books already, especially the multicultural ones! 😀 In case you haven’t had a chance to do so, here is the complete list of winners. I also recommend Corinne‘s–PaperTigers.org–excellent post which highlights the ALA Youth Media multicultural winners!

* For Sci-Fi fans: The Apex of World SF is a collection of “sixteen (science-fiction and fantasy) stories penned by authors from Thailand, the Philippines, China, Israel, Pakistan, Serbia, Croatia, Malaysia, and other countries across the globe.” To read more about it–including a really good review from the Library Journal, click here. From author and editor Lavie Tidhar: “We’ve been getting good reviews, some great readers – but we still need your help. Specifically – we need to sell 92 copies until the end of this month.”

* Last but not least: as you know I’m building a database of multicultural blogs on children’s literature for the site. I am aware of many, thanks to the wonderful bloggers community and especially to those who adopted that focus. I want to make sure that I don’t miss a name, so please feel free to leave recommendations in the comment section. Thank you!

Be safe and have a wonderful weekend!

Peace,

Nathalie