23 January 2012

End of the Beginning

It's a good thing for social media, otherwise I never would have realized that today was Chinese New Year. Last year for this special occasion I was tromping through New York's Chinatown, trying to lead some people in search of a good meal. Little did they know that my Chinese food ordering abilities suck. All noodles, dumplings, and vegetables. Piles of side dishes and no meat. I vowed to make it up to them but haven't had a chance to yet. Next year guys, my Mandarin will be up to the task!

Since the new year is traditionally for goal setting, I'll lay out a few for myself. The Year of the Dragon is the year I'd like to attend a writers conference, hit up a workshop or two, and get myself into the big bad world of ePublishing. Oh and I would like to sell another book or two. Or five.

Today also coincides with the announcement of quite a few children's and young adult book awards. At least that's what I think is happening according to my Twitter. The Caldecott, the Morris, the Newbery, the something something.

On 30 Rock, Tracy Morgan's character wears an "EGOT" necklace, which stands for "Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony." What's the writerly equivalent of that? Pulitzer, Nobel, Man Booker, National Book Award, Hugo, PEN/Faulkner, MacArthur? We're gonna need some vowels in there. Too bad Oprah's Book Club is essentially defunct. If we toss in the Astrid Lindgren award, maybe we could come up with an acronym like NOPALM (Nobel, Oprah, Pulitzer, Astrid Lindgren, MacArthur) for aspirational writing achievements?

Did you know that Whoopi Goldberg is one of the handful of people to have actually accomplished EGOT? Astonishing no? She won a Grammy and Tony as a producer for Thoroughly Modern Millie, an Oscar for Ghost, and a few Emmys for TV stuff like being a co-host on The View. She was also inducted in 1990 as an honorary member of the Harlem Globetrotters. Whoopi: living legend, baller.
"With the Canadian media's coverage of books becoming increasingly sporadic, fewer titles each season are able to distinguish themselves from the pack, and awards are being forced to shoulder more and more of the cultural conversation. As a result, the shortlist has emerged as one of the few remaining tools for keeping multiple books on the nation's radar at one time....Since then, Coady says award culture has only gotten larger, 'whereas book culture in general has shrunk.'"
-More Than An Honour-