Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Editor, Editor

**Retrieved from Friendster blog**

My promotion at work became official at the beginning of December. Not to toot my own horn (okay, for exactly that reason), here is the announcement that my boss wrote about me:

As Alvina Ling started her career here as my Editorial Assistant in 1999, I am especially proud to announce she is being promoted to Editor. Alvina is a talented, committed, and passionate editor and has been an extremely valuable role model and supportive mentor to our junior staff. 2006 promises to be a big year for her as she has an impressive fifteen titles on our list and two of her picture books, Flight of the Dodo and The Sound of Colors, have just been nominated for Borders' "Original Voices" award รข€“ a remarkable feat given that only six candidates are selected each year. Alvina is a champion of multicultural literature and in the next year alone she is introducing works by six up-and-coming Asian-American, African-American, and Mexican-American writers and artists. Finally, Alvina scored a major coup this summer by doggedly pursuing and ultimately successfully luring Jerry Spinelli, author of our #1 bestselling backlist title, the Newbery winner Maniac Magee, back to LB after a nearly 20-year absence. During a discussion of one of Alvina's notable acquisitions, Year of the Dog, I discovered that she was born in the Year of the Tiger and I found the following description remarkably apt: "Tigers are sensitive, given to deep thinking, capable of great sympathy. Although they are magnetically charming and fun to be around, tigers are courageous beyond compare. Tigers are born leaders and will fight the good fight to the bitter end if the cause is worthy." It's a jungle out there in the world of children's books and I'm grateful Alvina is on our side!

So, I've known that this was coming since September, so it was a bit anticlimactic, but this achievement has been significant for me because becoming a full editor was my long-term goal when I became an editorial assistant over 6 years ago, and now that I've accomplished that, I'm a bit at a loss as to what my next long-term goal should be. I don't know how high I want to rise. There are some administrative duties of my job that I enjoy, but I would hate to have to worry about PROFIT all the time. That's not why I got into publishing. (more on this in a future post, I'm sure)

My friend Grace reminded me in one of her recent blogs that we should try to savor achievements, that when you achieve a goal, don't think so quickly about the next step:

I think I was guilty of that when I skydived. (skydove?) I was already excited to think about the next thing to add to my list.

So for now, I think I will just savor my editorship. I have arrived. I will continue to do the job that I love. I'll think about that next step later.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season so far! I know I've been having a blast. December is chock-full of holiday parties. Lots of yummy foodBacon_chesnuts(chocolaty baked goods, mulled wine, stinky cheeses, special holiday coffee drinks at Starbucks, gingerbread cookies, tarts, bacon-wrapped chestnuts, etc., etc.), great conversation, old friends, new friends, presents, party hopping, Christmas trees named Douglas, beautiful lights and decorations all over the city, snow, cheesy Christmas music, etc etc. Of course, it's not all fun and games. I hate the crowds, Douglas_1how slow tourists walk, a lot of the holiday music blows chunks (Little Drummer Boy--ugg), I feel like I'm constantly on the go, that I have no down time, that the time I do have is divided too thinly. But I'm going to my parents' house in CA for a good ten days at the end of next week, and I'm looking forward to the summer vacation feeling of when I was a kid. ("Mom! I'm boooored!")

I went up to Boston this past weekend for the end-of-auction (Robert's Snow for Cancer's Cure) party, and once again, we ended up bringing in over $100,000 for Dana Farber Cancer  Research! Thanks everyone who participated, thanks everyone who passed on the word, and thanks everyone who thought good thoughts. I won three snowflakes myself!

This post has been somewhat rambling, so I'll end quickly with some recommendations for children's picture books that make great gifts. And yes, some of these are books I edited (*), some are books by friends (!), some are books published by Little, Brown (#), and some are not (X), but all are books I love:

Slide, Already! by Kit Allen X
Francine's Day by Anna Alter !
Flight of the Dodo by Peter Brown *
Santa Baby by Janie Bynum *
Punk Farm by Jarrett Krosoczka !
My New York by Kathy Jakobsen *
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats X
Tickle the Duck by Ethan Long #
Robert's Snow by Grace Lin !
The Gift of Nothing by Patrick McDonnell #
Zen Shorts by Jon Muth X
The Peace Book by Todd Parr #
One Grain of Sand by Linda Wingerter ! #

There's probably more, maybe I'll add more later, but for now, Happy Holidays!

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