Monday Morning Stepback: My new logo, among other things

The weekly links, opinion, and personal updates post

1. Links of interest

The Romance Writers of America handed out its annual awards Saturday night. Complete list of winners here. I am thrilled that one of my all time favorite writers, Sherry Thomas, won her first RITA for Not Quite a Husband. Way to go, Sherry!

Harlequin is fast tracking submissions to its Medical line — submit a query letter and a few chapters and you’ll hear back by the end of the month! My submission, The Bacciform* Bioethicist and the Daunting Doctor — is in process.

I don’t know anyone who actually reads this line, do you?

*Berry shaped

Two very worthwhile posts about literary endings, one from The Millions, and one from Isn’t It Romance?

Maili — who has managed to get her name in the post title, cheeky chit — has a great interview with Meljean Brook over at Dear Author, on  “What is Steampunk? I chatted with Meljean about her upcoming steampunk romance, The Iron Duke, at RomCon, and I cannot wait to read it.

As a formerly content Kindle 2.0 owner, I have mixed feelings about the faster, lighter, cheaper, all-around-better Kindle 3.0.

Kind of sad about this: Carolyn Kellogg of the excellent NYT blog Jacket Copy was hired as a staff writer for the New York TImes

This post by author Nicola Marsh on The Importance of Fans warmed the cockles of my heart.

Everyone who reads this blog has probably seen Sarah Wendell’s video of authors at the RWa literacy signing in Orlando singing to Ke$ha’s Your Love is My Drug. Isn’t it fun?

The Book Vixen narrowly escaped the Southern Cali wildfires and lived to blog about it. She’s asking what books you would grab if flames threatened to engulf your library.

Two of my favorite bloggers, Carolyn Crane of the Thrillionth Page and Chris of Stumbling Over Chaos have teamed up on a guest post at on Best and Worst Job Prospects in the Urban Fantasy Economy for 2011. Among them:

7. Tattoo artists
In the paranormal world these days, it’s no longer enough to have a mere tattoo or tramp stamp. Hello! Plain old tattoos are so 2009. Hero(ine)s now require elaborate body art of all kinds, including animate, arousal sensing, kill-tallying, and celebratory tattoos.

8. Tattoo removal specialist

See #7.

Jason Boog of Galley Cat on Best YA books for adults. And as a chaser, check out this fun blog for adult readers of YA (love the banner!) (via @mcvane)

From The Awl, an article on the history of the use of the term “spoiler alert”.

Great discussion at Racialicious, of the July 25 True Blood (aka the head crush ep).

Not so much feeling Sookeh. You’re dead on with your assessment of her “spunkiness.” It’s a rather privileged willfulness where the needs and safety of others be damned in favor of what Sookie wants and needs. It’s childishness masquerading as strength–a faux sort of girl power that is nothing new. It’s Scarlett O’Hara for a new millenium. It is also very related to race, as I think few women of color can get away with playing Sookie or Scarlett.

My post on True Blood and Philosophy was syndicated by Thought Catalog which was very nice, especially because I have a fun new place to visit online.

2. Book Smugglers Backlash

The Book Smugglers have reached a point in their blogging lives where they are going to take some heat for any negative review, not just by readers, but by the author. The Book Smugglers’ reviews are thorough, and often treat cultural and social issues, something that the backlashers don’t like.

I’ve been to two academic conferences on popular culture in the past two years, in which YA was a favorite topic of middle aged academics who don’t read it, don’t care for it, and don’t understand it. Maybe some of you have also seen the critiques of YA on Fox News, and in other media.

Thanks to living in a situation (some might call it “patriarchy”)  in which women are special objects of concern and control, when books are written (primarily) for young women, and read (primarily) by young women, our society is going to take an interest in this phenomenon as not just a literary one, but a cultural and political one. You can either have two young women who love the genre and are members of the YA community asking these questions with insight and sensitivity, or you can have talking (male) heads on cable news doing it, with a view to keeping a leash on young women’s sexuality.

It seems to me that the Book Smugglers have reached a point in popularity and influence such that authors and fans who disagree feel they need to do damage control. I think that’s a sign of their great success. I hope they keep it up!

3. On the Blog

I’ve put off my Dracula post yet again, this time because my spouse is reading it, and he doesn’t know this yet, but he and I will write a joint post when he is done. He’s a historian who specializes in Victorian Britain, so I thought he might have a few insights.

Also, I’ve been working with some talented folks on a new logo, and this is it:

Thanks to Shelley at Webcrafters Design for the image and color scheme, and KMont of Lurv a la Mode for the text. And thanks to everyone on Twitter and email who put up with my many requests for feedback.

I’ve been using the image as my Twitter icon and gravatar. Look for it to become part of my new blog banner when I roll out Read React Review’s “freshened” look later this month.

4. Personal

The kids finished up art camp on Friday. They do this camp every summer. They absolutely love it. To parents, it looks like a cluster of dilapidated buildings in the middle of nowhere, but to children, it’s a wonderland where they have free reign to write, direct, costume and perform plays and movies, take and develop pictures, work on fused glass or ceramics, write, draw, and paint.

On the last day, the campers take their parents around, showing them the different work areas, and then we gather in an old barn for a “show”. Here’s a shot of Mr. Tripler and Tripler the Younger entering the dark room:

My boys made and screened a film in which one of them dressed up as Evil Big Bird and menaced the campers. The other son saved the day, which involved sacrificing his right arm in a bizarre bird fight. I am so proud.

By the time this post goes live, I will be far away from Maine, on the TripleR Family Rust Belt Tour 2010. The South Africa sojourn having depleted our travel reserves, we decided to make a trip out of driving to Comerica Park to see the Tigers play the White Sox. So we’ll be gone for a week with stops in Niagara Falls, Detroit, Dearborn, Cleveland, Sandusky, and any place else we care to. Not sure what or when I’ll post.

Disclaimer for potential thieves: As per usual, we have two large dogs just looking for an excuse to bite a human at the house, and have left a few terrified grad students there –ostensibly looking after the gardens, but really just bait for the dogs — as well. Our cats are pretty tough, too. You’ve been warned.


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