The Key Note speaker at the Backspace Conference was none other than Jonathan Maberry, author of PATIENT ZERO and ROT AND RUIN and a slew of other books. I ran into him in the elevator after his talk and chatted for sixteen floors with him and his wife about absolutely nothing author-related. It was great! Published authors seem intimidating at first glance, but at one time (long, long ago), they were in my shoes, so imagine all the tidbits of wisdom they can share?
But I'm getting sidetracked...
Jonathan Maberry's message focused on The Power of Positivity. He emphasized that the world, especially the internet, is being crushed by a kind of gloomy despair, and at the end of the day, no one needs that. You don't need it. I don't need it. That girl in the third row wearing a pinstriped hat and glasses? Nope, she doesn't need it either. Bad things happen, true, and I'm not the kind of person who glosses over that fact, but for the things we can control (our tweets, our blogging, our actions), wouldn't we all be better off if we took a positive spin on as many things as possible? Definitely!
So, in the spirit of Positivity, I'm making a goal, right here right now, to bite my tongue on nagging complaints. 'It's hot.' 'I'm tired.' 'That celebrity's hair is stupid.' Blahblahblah, you get the idea. Will I catch them all? *shakes head* But I'll try my hardest. How about you? Any plans to be more positive? It's not going to completely alter who you are, but it might make your day a little more colorful. :)
To wrap up, let's (briefly) discuss a certain opinion piece from the Wall Street Journal. I won't link to it, because A) you've probably already seen it and B) well, I'll just bite me tongue on B). Anyway, a quick-and-dirty of the article is that YA is too dark, too pushing-the-envelope, and kids shouldn't be exposed to it. As a non-parent, I won't say that parents just don't understand (come on, Will Smith? DJ Jazzy Jeff? Yeah). But I had two parents who tried their best to give me a fantastic childhood free of the bigger and badder things in life, and I believe they succeeded, but not everyone grows up in Sciotoville, Ohio, and graduates in a class of 37 kids.
The world has teeth, and doesn't it pay to give kids/tweens/teens/young adults as much information as possible? Again, I'm no parent, but sex and drugs and rape and oppression and so many other things live in our great, big world. Education is our first line of defense. Read with your kids, and try not to judge a book by its cover. The marketing team that designed it may or may not have read the book. But, seriously, did I mention I'm not a parent? This is my own opinion and should be taken as such.
Any thoughts? I'd love to hear them!