Sunday, April 12, 2015

Link: "One Thing Leads to Another: An Interview with Laura Ruby" at YALSA's The Hub

A few highlights:

1. On being angry and getting perspective
I should have been humiliated by it all—by the drama at my school, by the forced psych evaluation, by the refusal of all these idiot adults to believe I’d written what I’d written, to believe me. Except I wasn’t humiliated, I was furious. And not furious in a self-conscious or inchoate way, not furious just for the sake of it. I was purely, righteously angry. I thought, here I am telling the truth and I’m being punished for it.

But after this happened, it was much harder to be angry at stupid little things, much harder to be humiliated by the need to ask a question. Some of the debilitating self-consciousness began to fall away.

2. On how we label girls, and a teacher who believed in her
For my first paper, I took a risk and wrote about how my mother used to call me “the smart one” and my sister “the pretty one,” with “pretty” being the much bigger compliment. I wrote about how limiting and hurtful these labels were, how the culture puts so big a premium on the way a girl looks rather than on how she thinks or what she does. I was walking out of class one day and the teacher ran after me. She held the paper up so I could see the A+ and said, “You will write a book one day.”

3. On trying even in the face of intimidation or uncertainty
Once, I was whining to my dear friend Anne Ursu about feeling incapable of writing a particular story, feeling like I wasn’t talented enough to do it. And she told me that it was good I felt that way, that you should always be working at the very limits of your abilities. What’s the point, she said, of writing a book you already know how to write?

But I think this advice applies to almost everything. It’s just a more elegant and specific way of saying, “Try. Just try.”


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Stephanie, Ingrid, Sarah & Kristan — we read, write, discuss and celebrate Young Adult lit.



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The Bitter Kingdom
Wild Awake
The Raven Boys
Mind Games
Eleanor and Park
The Shattered Mountain
The Shadow Cats
Froi of the Exiles
Days of Blood & Starlight
Every Day
Jellicoe Road
Finnikin of the Rock
Guitar Notes
The Dead-Tossed Waves
The Crown of Embers
New House 5: How A Dorm Becomes A Home
The Fault in Our Stars

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