Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Unraveled Countdown

Unraveled will be here before we know it. I've known the ending for a long time. It's been written for over a year, and I can't wait to share it with you.

 If you're as excited about Unraveled as I am, then grab this awesome countdown widget courtesy of Safari Poet for your blog! You can get the code here!

Monday, August 04, 2014

Free signed classroom copies of Crewel

Hey teachers and school librarians! The school year is nearly here, and imagine my surprise when I
discovered 2 boxes of Crewel hardcovers as I was moving this summer. There's a story there, but here's all you need to know: I want to give them to you!

If you would like a signed copy of Crewel for your class or school library, please fill out this form. I have a limited number of copies available, but I will do my best to fulfill all requests.

I will be mailing these out the first or second week of September, so please fill out the form soon to reserve one.

The details:
- Requestor must be a teacher or librarian.
- Books must be mailed to a school address.
- Requests aren't guaranteed and will be met on a first come first served basis.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Why I don't buy Haagen Dazs

Every once in a while it comes up that my family and I participate in the #nonestle boycott. That means we try very hard not to buy any products produced by Nestle. I say try because Nestle owns so many companies and buys more each year that it's hard to being 100% on top of what not to buy. Lots of label checking. Lots of remembering companies and brands that fall under their umbrella. It also means I can no longer buy Haagen Dazs (I actually dreamed about their ice cream the other night). We've been doing this for about 4 years.
Image from PhD in Parenting.

There are a lot of reasons to not buy Nestle products and many, many people have written compelling editorial pieces about the danger the corporation poses, particularly to developing countries. From trying to patent a long-used herbal remedy to duping mothers without access to clean water into formula feeding, the ethical implications regarding Nestle's business practices should be a major cause for concern to citizens around the world.

In short, I boycott Nestle because Nestle is evil.

You want me to be more specific? Ok, since I began boycotting Nestle primarily for their formula pushing tactics that violate WHO codes, they decided to patent their findings on an herbal remedy used for centuries in India to reduce the danger of food allergies. I figure the best way to show you exactly what I mean is to send you to Nestle themselves. Here's their take on what they're doing.

According to them, we shouldn't be worried, because they aren't patenting the actual plant and that countries will have access to the plant under fair access. The only thing they're patenting is the findings of their scientific research and any uses related to those findings. So basically they heard about a plant that reduces the danger of food allergies, got a hold of some, ran some tests, came up with some fancy lab terms, and called it something new.

It's a lot like if I decided to run some lab work on why chocolate makes people feel happy, came up with all the scientific reasons, and then tried to patent those findings and their uses. Meaning no one could make chocolate for the purpose of giving pleasure.

Now wouldn't that be a bad day?

Imagine how people with food allergies feel.

Of course, maybe that's not as bad as the fact that Nestle doesn't believe access to water is a universal human right. I mean why stop there, Nestle? What about air? Or sunlight? Or a heartbeat?

There's a helluva lot of reasons to stop buying Nestle. In fact the boycott has been going strong since the 70s. Some people may say that proves it isn't working, but I look at it differently. Every year more people hear about the boycott, read up, and join. Nestle is one of the largest corporations in the world. In fact, it's the 3rd largest food processing company in the world. It's going to take some time. But by talking about and speaking out about, well, their evilness, bit by bit, one by one, maybe we can do something.

I'd like to think so.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Hard Words

It's been a while since I posted here, because, frankly, I haven't had much to say. I've been a way in my mind palace, contemplating the dilemmas of a problem client: me. But today I woke up with a burning need to write. I need to get some things off my chest, and as per usual, these things have a lot less to do with my personal writing and publishing concerns and a lot more to do with that perpetual existential crisis most of us find ourselves in. A while back I wrote a post entitled Hope. I rather like it. If you're looking for a hopeful, poignant examination of the power of writing, I suggest you check it out.

Because this is a very different post.

This week I had the honor of buying my very own copy of Bethany Hagen's first book, and like all good, narcissistic writers I hopped to the back to see my name in the acknowledgements. Bethany said a couple of things about pancakes and such, but the thing she thanked me for first was "the hard words." I suspect she was not always terribly thankful for them. I suspect she maybe still isn't. And it's moments like that which make me realize I'm much more like Sherlock Holmes than John Watson.

And today you are getting the hard words.

When I started writing back in college I had one, singular goal: publication. When I started writing Crewel that was my goal. As I write my current book that is my goal. So what's changed? My perception of the path. I used to see writing and publishing like it was a giant highway. If I stayed on track I'd hit my mile markers: finish first draft, edit, get critiqued, querying, etc. And then I'd get to my first major marker: landing an agent. That was the big one. Getting an agent in the car with me was my ticket into the carpool lane. I wouldn't be going it alone anymore. I'd have someone to talk to, someone to help me navigate, and that someone came with access to a lane that I was sure was moving much faster than the rest of the highway. Because I, like a lot of writers, thought publication was an exit as though when I finally got there I would discover a 24 hour coffee shop with fast wifi, good sandwiches, and comfortable chairs, and in that mythical land of publication my biggest dilemma would be what story to write next. I had my agent. I had my editor. I had my book deal. I had arrived.

So imagine my surprise when publication wasn't an exit. It was a mile marker.

Someday I'll write more specifically about the actual experience of publication, but right now those pages are too raw. I need some time to figure out what I'm really trying to say first.  For now, let's stick with the fact that I'm still on the damned highway. Except now it feels a lot more like that episode of Doctor Who where every one's been driving on the freeway for decades and all the exits are closed and possibly getting carpool status and going to the fast lane will only result in your imminent death.


Not only is traffic bumper to bumper, it's stacking up, and everyone's sitting in their cars asking the same questions: was there an accident? did someone break publishing? And now every mile marker seems coupled with an option: stay on the highway or get off and try a different route. And we all know how that goes. Can't you just see that little "recalculating" symbol now?

So there are your hard words: writing and publishing is a super highway that's bumper to bumper and who knows if the alternate routes will be better.

But this parable doesn't end there, because I am, quite inexplicably, an optimist. I know this because despite all the crankiness and road rage and my desperate desire to pee or find a Starbucks, I see what I've really got in front of me: choices.

If you had ever sat in on one of my college courses you would know that for me feminism boils down to one simple idea: choices. There is a lot more to that theory, of course, but I won't bore you with that. What you need to know is that as a modern woman who is constantly questioning the nature of her existence when I stop and realize that I have a choice, I am empowered. That doesn't mean I'm grateful. That doesn't mean I don't get frustrated. That doesn't mean that I'm not still squeaking by on hope most of the time. It just means I have a choice, and a choice is a very powerful thing.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

#JoinTheAgenda Share A Pic & Win A Prize!

Share a Picture Of You & Your New ALTERED or CREWEL paperback and win an ALTERED Tote bag!

If you want to just tweet a picture of your Altered or Crewel with the hashtag #JoinTheAgenda then that will work as well! But it would be cooler to see you with your new book. 

Here's how you can enter:

  • Tweet a picture using the hashtag #JoinTheAgenda and @TheCrewelWorld
  • Share a picture on instagram with the #JoinTheAgenda hashtag (you'll have to have public settings so we can find the picture!)
  • Share your picture on Pinterest with #JoinTheAgenda
  • Share it on tumblr with #JoinTheAgenda
  • Share it on the Crewel World or Gennifer Albin's author page!
The winner will be randomly selected using random.org. 

The contest is open from November 14th to November 30th

Good luck!
If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comment section below! Or leave a link to where you shard your picture if you'd like :)

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Fierce Reads Stop: New York City!

Fierce Reads Stop: New York, NY

Come see Ann Aguirre, Leigh Bardugo, Jessica Brody and me today at 6PM EST! 
I'll be at:
Books of Wonder
18 West 18th St
New York, NY 10011