Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Secret In The Teapot

Let me start this week's post with an official and enormous Thank You! for all the comments made at last week's post. Wow! I appreciate all the time and energy that went into your suggestions. I have just printed everything out so I can sort through your input in a somewhat sane manner and check who you see as who. This will be very interesting!

 BTW, I can't believe I didn't list Officer Borsch. But thank you for picking up on that and adding him.

I should make very clear (and allay the fears of some) that this is all just talk at this point. Nothing is signed. We're just exploring. You know--to see if we have similar vision before moving forward.

So there will be feedback from me later - after I've dissected and digested all your comments. Meanwhile, two comments from last week had to do with "The Schneider" -- The Schneider Family Book Award -- so I want to explain that a little and tell you about my new teapot.

Yes, my new teapot.

First, let me tell you that winning the Schneider is actually a big deal to me, but it's one of those things I have trouble sharing. I just don't ever want to come across as being too big for my britches. And I'm sensitive to the fact that there are plenty of authors out there who held their breath all night last Sunday hoping to get a call from one of the American Library Association committees telling them that their book (which they put their heart and soul and a good year, or two or three or more into writing) had been selected as award-worthy.

So I was one of the lucky few who got a call, but I didn't shout this from the mountain tops or anything. Actually, I told, like, three people. But somehow I'm comfortable telling you guys.

Which says a lot about you guys, and I just want to say thanks for making me feel that way.

Anyway, here we go--what the heck's the Schneider?

Let's back up and say that if last Monday was the "Oscars of Children's Literature" (as some people call it), the Newbery would be "Best Picture", the Caldecott would be...what? "Best Animated Film"? The Printz would be, say, "Best Actor" and the Coretta Scott King award would be "Best Actress" (or whatever attributions you want to ascribe in whatever politically correct terms people now use for female lead.). The Oscars have lots more awards, but there are only a handful that get big attention.

Same in kid lit. There are 18 award categories total, and although people's attention and interest wanes after the Big Four, winning any of them is huge to the recipient. and for me, winning the Schneider Family Book Award which "honors an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience," had me crying happy tears.

It's just nice to have the result of your hard work and passion acknowledged.

So in all future issues of The Running Dream, there will be a blue award seal, and the super cool thing about the SFBA seal is that it is also in Braille.

Awesome, huh?

Which brings me to the teapot.

I like to buy something to remind me of life's happy milestones or accomplishments. I know I'll get a plaque to commemorate winning the Schneider, but I'm not a plaque hanger. I keep them in a bookshelf. Or behind the door. Or under the couch. And every great once-in-a-while, I'll come upon one and go, oh, yeah! Then back it goes. Into the bookshelf. Or behind the door. Or under the couch.

And I'm not going to enlarge, say, my book jacket with the SFBA seal, mat it with three layers and frame it and hang that.


But I do think it is good to remind yourself of the happy moments and savor them. So this week when I happened upon this teapot in a shop window, I knew it would be the perfect thing to commemorate the event . Blue, circular, with raised symbols, it looks enough like the SFBA seal to remind me as I pour my afternoon tea, but looks only like a (wow, where'd you get that really cool) teapot to anyone else.

It's symbolic.

A secret.

No one will know.

Except, that is, me and you.


Kylie said...

Cool idea with the teapot. And congrats on the award! I still need to read it but it is always checked out! Greer!

yuseyz said...

Congratulations! You totally deserve that award cuz that book was AWESOME!
That's such a cool idea to get something to remind you of it and only you. On the last post i realized we were all putting characters we thought would play a good sammy now, but in a few years a lot of them might be too old.
Any ways hows the sammy book going? I can't wait till the next one comes out! What are you going to call the 16th one?
Sorry for all the ?s and i get it if you can't answer all of them.
Congrats again!

Shaina said...

Yay! Congratulations! Now I'm glad I've waited to buy The Running Dream, so it can have the special blue sticker on it when I do buy it. My husband and I like to get little mementos too. We jokingly call them our "shrine items" and we keep them in a wood box that we call our treasure box. It's fun to have little objects to remind you of good times.

Did I ever tell you how I first read The Running Dream? Well, I live in a tiny town with a tiny library and no library system to speak of. Last year before my husband found a job, I couldn't afford to buy new books, as much as I wanted to. So when I was visiting my parents up in Seattle, my mom checked out that book for me from her sleek library, and I started reading it at top speed. Well, I had to go home before I finished it, but we worked it out: my mom would renew it 2 times and then I planned on visiting her again to return the book. Well, I finished the book (it was SO good and touching, especially since I'm a runner). Then all of a sudden, my mom's library told her she had to return it asap because someone else had requested it. No more renewals. No more grace period. Yikes! I wrapped it up and mailed it priority back to her. Phew. And that's how I got to read The Running Dream. It was totally worth it. I'm so glad you got the blue teapot award. :)

Amanda from Seattle said...

That is WONDERFUL! Congratulations on the Schneider Family Book Award! One of our used books stores in Seattle actually has a separate shelf for children's books that are AWARD WINNERS --when I go in there, I will have to see if they have any copies of Running Dream and move them over there :-) I am always arranging books in bookstores the way that I think they should be displayed! Fronting my favorite authors of course!

bookworm said...

I feel (as I am sure everyone else is that is a follower of your blog) honored that you are more comfortable talking to us than so many others that are (in my opinion) so much more worthy of your notice. Thank you. You just made my night. :) Congradulations to you on TRD; you really kicked butt with it. ;)

P. S: Somethimes I talk about you as a peraon I've known for years and as a friend that I've had a real conversation with, instead of referring to you as merely an author I REALLY enjoy.

P. P. S: I can be so cheesy. Wow.

P. P. P. S: those three people you told, are they your two sons and your husband?

Kylie said...

Hey so I am re-reading the whole series again and now I am in the middle art of deception and I wasp seri g if we will ever hear more about gramps? well just wondering about him an is bike bimbo.

Stefunny said...

That is super awesome! I've always wanted a teapot like that. A really heavy one. I like heavy things. Especially comforters.

I understand if you can't finagle this, but as a student filmmaker and lover of Sammy Keyes books, is there any way you could recommend me for even just a lowly Production Assistant position on a Sammy Keyes shoot? That is, if you do allow it to be made into a film?

Norma said...

Yay! on the honor, Wendelin! You're such a great author and deserve the recognition. We all think you're awesome (I know I do because I grew up with Sammy) and it's good to see that others see that too! Also, cool teapot!

Dark Heart 2011 said...

You has a great blog and articles. Good job writing. Nice to stoping here and gives you a comment here.
Okay, i'm waiting your comment back into my blog.

Anonymous said...

thats awesome wendelin!!!!
and i haven't had time to think about a cast for sammy keyes bahhhh i'm so mad at myself!!! so just a warning you might see a random post sometime soon with my ideas.....if you'll take them by then....
again, congrats!! you deserve it! thats also so neat how you get something you'll actually use to commemorate a big award or whatever instead of bragging or hanging it up for people to be like "omg" over :) CLASSY!!!!!!!!

yuseyz said...

so i just went to my school library and saw the book After Ever After because the library teacher said i might like it and it had the same award on it so i got all excited and told her that your book just got the same award. She is a little behind on some books so she doesn't have all of them but she has some signed copies of How i survived being a girl from 2001. I wonder if you ever came to my school? considering the signed copies and all.

Kylie said...

Wendelin I have yet another question. At the start of chapter 14 in dead giveaway and it says that Billy is an 7th grader! I thought he was in 8th? Is this a mess up? Please let me know!

Ashlee said...

I cannot think of anyone more deserving. Not only because your books deal with difficult topics at times, but because you bring those topics to life and make them real and palpable. I love that when I read one of your books, I'm not only reading a piece of literature, but I'm reading a piece of your heart and soul. THAT is what makes your books so special - the YOU that remains among the pages. You are so deserving of this award Wendelin. Your passion is evident just by flipping through the pages and I so appreciate your kind and humble soul. Congrats.

Unknown said...

Dear Wendelin Van Draanen,

Hello, my name is Makayla Klann, and I am writing an article for our school newspaper, The PawPeratzii. I got entertainment for my category and I thought that it would be cool to write about one of my favorite books and the author of, The Running Dream. This book was an amazing book. I loved the book and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read the book. If it is okay with you I would like to ask you a few questions about how you wanted to become a writer and everything.


Question 1~What or who was your inspiration to write such an amazing book?
Question 2~Where do you get your ideas from?
Question 3~What is your writing process like?
Question 4~What advice do you have for young upcoming writers?
Question 5~Does writing energize you or exhaust you?
Question 6~Do you try to be original or give the readers what they want?
Question 7~How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
Question 8~What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
Question 9~How long were you a part-time writer before you were a full-time writer?
Question 10~What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?
Question 11~How many hours do you write a day?
Question 12~What's the best ways to market a book?

Thank you so much!

Makayla Klann