AFTERWORDS: Fridays are for Suckers ...

So I think it's time for another roundup of links.  Most people post these sorts of things on Fridays, but I am way too cool for that.  Let's get to it ...


This last week marked the Book Expo of America in New York City.  But for those who could not attend, there was the Armchair Bea -- a big ol' blogging event where tons of people talked about books, blogging, participated in giveaways and were generally awesome. The last day included some nice pieces about book blogging.



On the topic of BEA, Peter Nimble made its debut there!  A few friends snapped photos of the book in my absence.  Thanks to Lisa Yee, Michael Scotto, Frank  Polito, Mercedes Fernandez, and everyone else who picked up a copy.  Hope you enjoy!  If you missed it, no fear, both Peter and I will be attending ALA this summer in full force!


I don't read many Young Adult (YA) blogs, but recently I've been enjoying Stephanie Sinkhorn's site Maybe Genius.  She does a great job of tackling big themes in the genre, such as Cliches of YA Fantasy or Using Named Characters Well.  Check it out.



A few weeks back I found The House of Automata -- an online repository of all things clockwork.  They have a workshop dedicated to pieces they're restoring, as well as some fantastic videos.  Even better, you can commission custom jobs from them.


If that's too expensive, perhaps you'd prefer to assemble your own time machine from Ikea. The folks at College Humor have created Ikea-style instructions for a variety of sci-fi treasures ... including a Jedi "Litsabbur" and the "Tjardiis." All you need is some plutonium and a hex-wrench and you're set!




Mary and I recently finished reading Adam Gidwitz' A Tale Dark and Grimm aloud to each other.  Readers of the blog will know I am a big fan of his dedication.  As it turns out, I'm also a big fan of his book.  Here are some choice quotes ...

A nice bit of narrative intrusion: “Now, my young readers, I know just what you’re thinking. You’re thinking,Hmmmm. Stealing a girl. That’s an interesting way of winning her heart. Allow me to warn you now that, under any other circumstances, stealing a girl is about the worst way of winning her heart you could possibly cook up. But because this happened long ago, in a faraway land, it seems to have worked.”

A paragraph I wish I'd written: “But she wasn’t a witch. The Brothers Grimm call her a witch, but nothing could be further from the truth. In fact she was just a regular woman who had discovered, sometime around the birth of her second child, that while she liked chicken and she liked beef and she liked pork, what she really liked was child.I bet you can figure out how this happened.

Some lovely description: “…the little village that stood near the Schwarzwald was not dark at all. No, no: It was ringed by trees that, when Gretel arrived, had just slipped into their golden robes of autumn.”

What do you eat for breakfast?: “The next morning, the Devil arose and readied himself for another day of soul-collecting. His grandmother made him a breakfast of human fingernails — scrambled, of course — and packed up his lunch bag.”

About false apologies: “This I would not recommend. It’s sort of like sweeping broken glass under the carpet; the floor still isn’t clean, and somebody’s going to end up with a bloody sock.”

Again, jealous: “Of course, getting trapped in the stomach of a dragon is, even for a creature that cannot die, an incredibly unpleasant experience…. Though not quite as unpleasant, I would imagine, as getting out again.”

Some final wisdom: "You see, to find the brightest wisdom one must pass through the darkest zones. And through the darkest zones there can be no guide."

Now doesn't that make you want to run out and buy the book?  It should.  Also, the comments thread in last week's piece about Boardgames and Storytelling has sparked not one, but two new posts coming this week.  Stay tuned!

AFTERWORDS: I'll Chop off Your Head Alot!

One of the things that bothers me most about social media is its ephemerality.[1. Come to think of it. Ephemerality is also what bothers me about life in general.]  I hate that idea that a person could spend hours crafting a witty tweet, only to have it disappear by the next day.[2. Yes, I have actually spent hours on a tweet before. What can I say?  I'm a big fan of the editorial process.]  And so I've decided to try out a new feature on The Scop -- a sort of roundup of things I've found on the internet each week.[3. I'm aware that a lot of blogs already do Friday Roundups, so if you don't want me to add to the noise, please let me know.]  It will also be a chance for readers who subscribe to my RSS feed or only check the site once a week to see the Marginalia quotes taken from books I'm currently reading.  We'll see how it goes ...


First thing's first -- Saturday is National Free Comic Book Day.  Yes, it's as good as it sounds -- just show up at a comic shop and they'll give you a comic.  More info here.  Also, kidlit podcaster Katie Davis just posted a great interview with comics veteran Barbara Slate about her new book designed to teach kids how to make comics -- it's worth a listen.


Since we're on the subject of comics, let's talk about Axe Cop.  For the unitiated, Axe Cop is a brilliant webcomic in which artist Ethan Nicolle collaborates with his six year-old brother to write the ongoing adventures of a cop with an axe. It's truly amazing. Even better, there is now a cartoon version of Episode Four: The Snow Planet.  Eat your heart out, Hoth.


I had a lot of responses from readers about my recent post on how my wife hates pigeons. Every friend, to a person, made a point of telling me that they, too, hate pigeons. So it was a nice change of pace to see author Lisa Brown post a link to a New York Times piece written by Mike Tyson about how pigeons are great.


And in silly movie news. Some website re-drew all the big Summer blockbusters as Lego products. Which might be cool were it not for the fact that Lego is totally lame.





And finally, this little gem from Salon magazine, talking about the trend in which hot movie starlets fall all over themselves to declare their geek bona fides. I am embarrassed for parties on both sides of the equation.


Ooh! One more thing! Cartooning genius Allie Brosh is finally writing a book. I think we can all agree that the world will be the better for it.




This week, I finished posting the last of my favorite lines from Robert Cormier's The Chocolate War. This man is a much better writer than I am ...

From chapter 25: “‘That’s right,’ Jerry said, his voice small, a wrong-end-of-the-telescope kind of voice.”

“Rippled” is the perfect word: “A second chocolate followed the first. And a third followed the second. His mouth was crammed with the candy now and his throat rippled as he swallowed. ‘Delicious,’ he said.”

Talking to a crank caller: “‘Who is this?’ Jerry asked. And then the dial tone, like a fart in his ear.”

Chapter 31: “Why did the wise guys always accuse other people of being wise guys?”

Talking while jogging: “‘He got transferred,’ Jerry answered, squeezing the words out of himself like toothpaste from a tube. He was in good shape because of football but he wasn’t a runner and didn’t know the tricks.”

The book's central question: “The poster showed a wide expanse of beach, a sweep of sky with a lone star glittering far away. A man walked on the beach, a small solitary figure in all the immensity. At the bottom of the poster, these words appeared — Do I dare disturb the universe? By Eliot, who write the Waste Land thing they were studying in English.”

To see more Chocolate War quotes (or quotes from any other books I read), check out the marginalia section here.  Next week I'll be posting favorite lines from Adam Gidwitz's A Tale Dark & Grimm.  Have a good weekend -- may you all succeed in disturbing your respective universes.