I JUST SIGNED WITH AN AGENT!
Y’all! I did it. That proposal I’ve been working on for the last few months — the one about motherhood and race — has landed your girl an agent. I’m thrilled. THRILLED! What a perfect way to head into American Thanksgiving: feeling full and grateful.
A big and loving “thank you” to my family, especially my husband and wise li’l sister, for the constant support and encouragement. Having those folks in my corner, standing right at my side cheering, listening, offering me kind worlds and direction, means everything to me. With them, I’m better, smarter, happier, and ready to slay dragons, if need be.
And you, MMM Crew, thanks for sending all the good vibes. It helped!
Normally I would show you my dance party right now. No, really. I would have my MacBook camera pointed directly on my wicked moves. (In fact, that might still happen.) But we’re in the car right now, and although we are indeed jammin’ on the ones, typing on my phone with intermittent service has proven to be its own janky challenge. So I’ll end it here, excited and joyful, and turning my attention towards scoring a book deal. That’s next! Send those good vibes, friends.
Wishing you all a happy holiday!
I’ve finally finished the book proposal, y’all! And, yes, I’m shimmying in my chair as I type. Now comes the next hill: sending this jammy out. So, your good wishes and positive vibes are still greatly appreciated.
It’s definitely been a process writing this proposal. Very different from writing a novel. It takes discipline and forethought and vision. You have to know what you want to say, and be clear about it. Vague or cluttered doesn’t cut it. Writing this thing also takes time, focus and nerve. You’re not just talking this thing; you’re walking it.
I’m happy that I set out to do this project — albeit a full year-and-a-half after having the initial idea — and I’m really proud that I actually finished it.
Speaking of feel-good moments, have you seen this sweet video by photographer and father Benjamin Scot Miller? It’s the ”story of a mother’s love for her baby,” and it will warm your heart. Baby boy Ward Miles was born very premature, and his father captured the little one’s incredible fight for life.
Take the seven minutes, hit play and melt.
The fantastic toy company GoldieBlox is back, “disrupting the pink aisle” with another excellent video. (Thanks for the tip, Upworthy!) This one shows three little girls bored with the princess-play options presented to them on television. What they do next will leave you smiling, or basically jumping from your seat and cheering, “GIRLS! ALL WE REALLY NEED IS GIRLS!”
GoldieBlox (man, what a great name!) was started by Debbie Sterling, an engineer who was always bothered by how few women there are in the field. Women account for a slim 11 percent of the engineers worldwide. You can watch Sterling’s 17-minute TEDx talk where she talks more about her mission to change the equation and inspire a generation of young women to become engineers. And with GoldieBlox, she’s starting young, planting those brilliant seeds of “You Got This!” in our little girls’ minds.
Those three little girls and their Rube Goldberg adventures made me think of this story in Fast Company last week about “A Girl Who Codes” and how more girls are kicking open the doors to the boys’ clubs. And to that I say, Girls! You are all more than princess maids!
P.S. Also seen on Upworthy: You can help GoldieBlox win a chance to air their commercial during the Super Bowl by voting for them here. Now that would be refreshing, right?
I’m always looking for new ways to play LEGO with my two young sons. There are lots of sets based on movies to build (Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Harry Potter, etc.) but there’s not a lot of emphasis on building with standard parts.
Cool Creations in 35 Pieces by Sean Kenney aims to be the Twitter of LEGO books: it applies constraints that appear initially unreasonable (140 characters? Insane! 35 pieces? Madness!) but the resulting builds can stand up against sets with 10 times the pieces. Cool Creations challenges us to look at LEGOs with limits.
The sets are easy to build. In fact, the hardest part is finding the specific 35 pieces the book uses. Most are pretty standard. After the basics, there’s 1x2x2 corners, but then others like the 1×2 Angle Plate and the aptly named “Final Brick 2×2” were a little harder to find in our collection. Still, the scavenger hunt was half the fun.
The book’s example use pieces that are all the same color, with a few gray and black exceptions. You’ll likely find that your collection is like ours — colorful. After an hour of exploring The Pile the kids and I had assemble the illusive 35 pieces in various colors.
Amongst LEGO builders (and AFOL — Adult Fans of LEGO) sets and builds come in various scales. There’s “minifig scale” where a standard LEGO-sized person (hence, minifig) is person sized, and an average wall is about seven bricks high. From this, you can calculate the size of a car, a house, or large building. There’s “microfig” scale which is much, much smaller, with buildings just a few bricks high. The builds in Cool Creations in 35 Pieces are somewhere in the middle, similar to the Monthly Mini Builds that happen monthly at the LEGO site.
I have a few small complaints with the book. First, it’s just too short, only 32 pages. The books coming from the LEGO company lately (note that Sean’s book is not affiliated) have been of extremely high quality with lots of pages filled with colorful photography. They’ve been on an amazing roll lately, and I can see that it’s challenging for a smaller publisher to compete. That said, I would have liked to see at least a hundred pages or more. Perhaps the author, Sean, could have crowd sourced the builds? After publication the Cool Creations site has started including builds from kids and the public. I would have liked to have seen those builds in the book, though. The hardcover version is so thin, the hard cover is nearly the thickness of the pages.
Second, I think that 35 piece is almost too constrained. This is a nit, and it’s arbitrary, like saying “I think Twitter should have picked 200 characters rather than 140.” However, my 6- and 8-year-old boys just weren’t captivated by the builds.
It may be the case that the boys didn’t appreciate the largely monochromatic photography of the book. The author had access to more bricks than the kids; each page moved from all red brick builds to all blue brick builds, leaving my kids bummed that they didn’t have bricks that looked like the ones they saw in the book. I know that kids appreciate mini-builds like these, as we’ve purchased some of the Star Wars “planets” series as well as the wonderfully creative and tiny LEGO Architecture series. However, these tiny builds just didn’t capture their imagination like I thought they would.
I would recommend that you check out the site for Cool Creations and Sean’s other books. They aren’t expensive at all. See if your kids are into the idea of tiny, constrained builds, and if they are, pick up a copy! Collect the 35 pieces and put them in a cigar box or Ziploc bag. Put the bag or box in the glove trunk of your car, and pull it out when you’re out in the world with a bored child or two. It will surely keep them entertained in a pinch, while perhaps not an entire afternoon.