Tuesday, February 26, 2013

R is for Rot (or Happy Anniversary)



I’m not certain how this can be true, but this month marks the 5th Anniversary of the I.N.K. blog. It’s unclear what we’ve accomplished, if anything. Maybe we should just keep going until we figure that out.

I do know that it’s not that easy to commit to writing a post every month when it steals time from other pressures and deadlines and actual paying gigs.  Thanks to those hearty few who were brave enough to respond to my awkward email all those years ago and have continued blogging with us: Anna, Vicki, Sue, David and Steve (with a hiatus). Special thanks to Loreen for sharing her time and expertise on the technical side of blogging and helping me with the dirty work of making the blog look pretty (or at least prettier) and to Steve for designing our spiffy logo. Thanks to every I.N.K. blogger, past and present, who posted their thoughts about non fiction, without editorial advice, and contributed to our community these last five years.

And the Rot? My daughter and I were having a tangential conversation about rotting apples and I said, “Well, rot can be interesting you know. David Schwartz wrote a blog post about a favorite manuscript he’s been trying to sell about a rotting pumpkin.” “Oh, I know,” she replied. He’s written about rot before. Remember? R is for Rot in his Q is for Quark book.” Somehow this conversation sums up the value of this blog to me. The import of quality non fiction kids books can be seen through the college student who still remembers much that she read and learned in those books and, as far as I'm concerned,  I’m just glad to at least be in the conversation benefiting greatly from having read many good I.N.K. books myself and every single one of the blog posts.

Happy Anniversary to I.N.K.!

8 comments:

Vicki Cobb said...

Congratulations to you, Linda, for being prescient about the importance of high-quality nonfiction in the education of children! And for your patience and forbearance as we each struggled to learn how to autonomously master the intricacies of posting.

On a personal level, I've discovered that I LOVE blogging. One day a month wasn't enough for all my opinions, so I also contribute to EducationUpdate. I have evolved from the little girl who was afraid nothing she had to say would be of interest to others to a woman of a certain age who can't shut up. It addition, this blog has inspired me to organize us into iNK Think Tank--a company dedicated to bringing the books and wisdom of nonfiction authors into the classroom.

My ROI (not ROT) is that I have discovered a whole new aspect of my creativity and ability to help others that has made these last few years the most engrossing and challenging of my life. So you can count on me to be in for the duration.

This blog never fails to astound me with the breadth and depth of authors who've found joy in exploring this amazing planet and its people and ply their finely wrought craft in communicating it,

Jim Murphy said...

Happy Anniversary Linda, I.N.K., and especially to the intrepid pioneers. I can't say that I've mastered anything about the ins and outs of posting and doing a blog every month is often an exciting challenge, but I can say that I've enjoyed and learned a great deal by reading other folks' blogs (seeing their passion for various subjects, watching books develop and hatch, and hearing about various travels and encounters with our readers). It's a wonderful learning experience, one I hope never ends. Onwards and Upwards!

Sue Macy said...

Linda, over I.N.K.'s short history, we have seen nonfiction rise from the depths to be front-and-center on the agendas of both publishers and teachers. I'm not saying that I.N.K. was responsible for this—it of course has a lot to do with the Common Core—but it's certainly been great to be part of a community of nonfiction authors while riding the wave of interest in our genre. I have learned much from our fellow bloggers, and I really appreciate the supportive environment you have created. Thanks, and congratulations.

Gretchen Woelfle said...

Hear, hear. Ditto, ditto. Linda - you had a great idea!

I'm so pleased to be a part of such an august body of bloggers. Here's to five - fifteen - whatever - more years!

Susan E. Goodman said...

Happy anniversary to us, INKers. And thanks to Linda for the idea and corralling us ever after.

Carol Leeson said...

I was struck by your comment, "It’s unclear what we’ve accomplished, if anything." I also noticed that most of the comments so far are from fellow bloggers. I though it might help to hear from a follower from out in the field. I am a youth services librarian in a medium sized library in Illinois. I started following this blog about 2 1/2 years ago when my now 3rd grader's 1st grade teacher shared the link with the 1st grade parents. I have been looking forward to the posts ever since.

I order about 1/2 of the non-fiction for our collection. Since I have been following the blog I have been able to order some titles before I see the reviews, which helps me beat the dreaded, "out of stock," or worse, "PERMANENTLY out of stock," status with our vendor. I have been able to connect students, teachers and parents with some really good non-fiction. I have shared posts with my colleague who orders the other half of the non-fiction, as well as the Youth Staff as a whole when I find that the insights have particular relavance to discussions or reference needs in our area. I have also forwarded blogs to my sons' teachers both the elementary and high school teachers that I work with. My many friends who home school have also received forwarded posts from me with the encouragement to subscribe to the blog themselves. Just yesterday I had to present a book talk on an historical non-fiction book at our staff meeting. I chose "Master George's People," which I had first heard about on this blog. The insights I had gotten from the blog post helped add interest and depth to my presentation.

So, what have you accomplished? I, for one, find that I can do my job more professionally because of your efforts. I know that writing a monthly post is not easy. I know that it is a labor of love for you and that you don't get paid for this. I want you to know how much you are appreciated.

Happy Anniversary and please keep the blogs coming.

Jim Murphy said...

Thank you, Carol, for adding your thoughtful voice to this discussion. I don't mean to speak for my fellow INKers (this is too independent a group of thinkers to have a single voice), but I believe we all welcome and would love to hear more from "the outside world" about what we say here, how we put our books together, etc., etc. I have always viewed the creation of a book as a kind of group experience (agents, editors, publishers, marketing folk, teachers and librarians have always had comments about evolving projects and I always listen carefully, hoping to make a ms. better). So thanks.

Linda Salzman said...

Carol, I want to second what Jim said. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. Helping librarians is indeed a satisfying accomplishment.