Mythical creatures of New York

New York City is a strange and thrilling wilderness, full of exciting and exotic species one would never find in the rest of America. Shops that sell only tiny, bite-sized cupcakes. Corner stores where wedges of Brie sit next to the Kraft singles. Parks built on elevated railroad tracks. Stores that sell only superhero supplies. Restaurants that contain four tables and have months-long wait lists.

But the things New York doesn’t have are, in many ways, just as defining.

Below, please find profiles of four of New York’s rarest and most fascinating species. Though none of them are actually extinct—yet—they are so hard to spot that they are steeped in legend. Among native New Yorkers, many of whom have spent a lifetime trying to spot them, they are widely believed to be mythical. [Read more…]

In defense of children’s writers

Picture this:

You’re at a friend’s dinner party, and you meet a complete stranger. You start talking.
Him: What do you do?
You: I’m a writer.
Him: Oh! Cool! What do you write?
You: Novels for teens.
Him: (noticeably less enthused) Oh, teens. Okay. Well, someday you’ll probably write a real book, right? Like, for adults?

[Read more…]

In which I take way too many online quizzes

A friend recently asked me what my Myers-Briggs personality type was. (If you don’t know what that is and you’d like to learn more, click here!) I believe pretty strongly in the Myers-Briggs test—knowing what types some of my friends and family members are has definitely allowed me to understand them better—but that particular test doesn’t work so well for me. I test as an ISTJ, which stands for Introvert/Sensing/Thinking/Judging. But I always end up right on the borderline of the two middle letters, with less than a one percent difference between sensing/intuition and thinking/feeling. Also, I’m not a J at heart—all my J behaviors (like planning things in advance and completing tasks by their deadlines) are learned, because the world is set up for Js and it’s much easier to act like one. So giving people my Myers-Briggs letters doesn’t actually tell them much about me.  [Read more…]

YAvangelism in six easy steps

Recently I’ve had several conversations with YA-loving women, both writers and readers, who complain that the men in their lives just don’t understand young adult literature. (Several of these men have gone so far as to refuse to read the books that their wives and girlfriends have WRITTEN.) It’s true that YA can be a hard sell for the majority of the adult male population. But I’m here to report that the sale can be made. [Read more…]