< this is a rant >
There’s a stack of these on the hall table in the foyer of our building. They are ugly, and I was tempted to throw the whole stack away. I very much hate how advertising skews things by gender — and how many fitness and weight loss ads are slanted toward women. Women have historically been characterized as “the fairer sex,” or “the weaker sex,” as if there’s some kind of rule which states that we must be both vacuously attractive and unable to manage without external validation – and in these modern times, we know that’s just a lie. In spite of what we know, like clockwork, every January and every June the ad campaigns ramp up on radio and TV. It’s time to make New Year’s resolutions and promise to be more beautiful! or It’s summertime, and time to show off our bodies! It’s as if it’s all up to us to both beautify the world and to satisfy its insatiable need to commodify us. It’s demeaning and depressing, and makes me grumpy.
< / end rant>
The ALA Countdown is beginning! In just a few weeks, I’ll be sweltering in warmth and humidity, but more importantly meeting friends and fellow authors, poets, and illustrators whom I’ve only had a meeting of the minds with online.
Having never been to any conferences other than literary things I’ve either been part of giving or had to attend for a class, this is going to be a big deal for me. I am looking forward to seeing the exhibits and the museums in the Capitol, and also to finding a quiet place to step out of the stream of humanity and just observe. I’ll be taking plenty of pictures and reporting back on all of my adventures!
But before the Conference, we have houseguests! Our first guests in this flat will be friends of my parents, which means a.) wild house cleaning, b.) actual menu planning, and c.) that as soon as I finish this post, I will be back to writing as hard and fast as I can – because I’m going to lose three days to swanning around museums and tea shops and castles. I just hope it ceases to rain while our guests are here, and that all the stairs in this country don’t do them in!
Here & There: This month Paper Tigers has a fun little spotlight on play, with a great piece from the author of Retro Active: Skip, Hop and You Don’t Stop (Games We Played) , by Tom O’Leary. They also asked a bunch of other authors (and me) to join the fun and reminisce about our childhoods, which is a little funny to me, because I feel like I’m just getting started on the whole “play” thing. Anyway, it’s good fun. Check it out.
Right, then. Back to work.