Thursday, December 16, 2010

A day of small victories and huge news

Every year I wonder how I'll cram a live, aromatic, non-Charlie Brown Christmas tree in the front seat of my little red Miata.

And every year, the wonderful elves at the tree lot help me find one, truss it up and wiggle it in.

The journey home is snug, especially with a stick shift, but the scent of freshly-cut pine is intoxicating, and, for me, is essential to holiday happiness.

I've gotten good at carrying the tree in and setting it straight and firm in the stand, too.

See? It's so worth the effort to bring a bit of forest home.
Now for the pleasure of unpacking ornaments I've collected from around the world.

In other news, and this is HUGE, fellow writers. According to this article in the magazine of the American Library Association, there is an historic report in the Library and Book Trade Almanac, which for the first time counts the number of published YA titles separately from other kidlit titles.

The numbers left my jaw hanging. It's no wonder it's tough to sell books once they're published when you consider the amount of competition.
Preliminary numbers for kidlit titles in 2009 is--gasp--21,878. YA is 4,644. And I was proud of myself for reading 60 books this year.
I mean, I'm ecstatic that the market is exploding but wonder about long-term implications.
What say you?


TerryLynnJohnson said...

I think it's all good that the genre is expanding. People of all ages are discovering the joys of reading YA.

Carolina M. Valdez Schneider said...

That's a bit scary. Makes me worry a bit. But I tell myself there's enough room for all of us...

I'm impressed by your tree stuffing skills. That's serious dedication! And what a beautiful tree!

Shallee said...

Wow. That's simultaneously inspiring and depressing. (Not your tree. That's just cool. :) )

Talli Roland said...

What a wonderful tree! I have to say, I giggled a bit at your photos of the tree squeezed in. But yes, it looks like it was worth the struggle.

Anna Staniszewski said...

I had no idea there was so much YA being published! It's great that the genre is expanding, but it also explains why I feel SO behind on keeping up with the latest books.

Paul Greci said...

I know that the YA market keeps expanding but haven't seen those exact numbers. I think lots of adults are also reading YA.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

@TerryLynn: I do love that adults are gobbling up these fine books, too.

@Carolina: Thank you! And thinking of it as room enough for all is a relief.

@Shallee: It is, isn't it? I'm super happy that so many books are being published but don't want the bubble to burst or something.

@Talli: I lovelovelove this tree. It's perfectly shaped and fragrant. I want to hug it, but that's a sticky situation.

@Anna: Right!!! There are so many books I still want to read and can't figure how I'll ever do it.

@PaulG: Adults are, thank goodness, reading YA, which obviously means more sales. But it still boggles the mind how many books are coming out.

Janet Johnson said...

Wow! I didn't realize so many were published . . . I mean, you see the library and know there are a lot but, wow!

And how fun with the tree! Love that you can squish it into a Miata! :)

Lola Sharp said...

I love your tree...and that you wedge it in there. We buy a real tree every year, too. Because, really, it is the scent of Christmas. (well, that and cookies)
Luckily, we have an SUV with racks on top, but back in the day, I definitely wiggled some trees into some small cars.

Man, those are some large numbers. But the good news is, while I know a lot of adults read YA, there must be a lot of TEENS reading them too. :)
Happy Friday and Merry Christmas!

Sangu Mandanna said...

Squeezing a tree that size in is quite the feat! I had to squeeze a bookshelf in once... I think that might possibly have been harder :-) Nightmare!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I love your tree adventure - thanks for the photos! As for the I'm not even sure how to feel about that. :-)

VR Barkowski said...

Love the pics. And the tree made the journey beautifully. Were you standing as straight and tall when *you* climbed got of the Miata? :) I transported a tree in the trunk of my Sentra once. After eleven years, I was still finding pine needles.

Those numbers are not only amazing, they're intimidating. No wonder bookstore shelf space is so scarce and my tbr pile grows ever-higher.

The Words Crafter said...

That tree is gorgeous and I'm impressed. Not just that you managed to get it in your car, but that you drive a stick. I miss mine....

That's a lot of books, and I read my fair share of them. Hopefully, lots of kids are reading them, too :)

Just Wendy said...

I agree with Paul Greci, that the number of adults reading YA is increasing. Scary numbers though.

Love the pics of your tree stuffed in your little red car! I can simply smell the intoxicating aroma from here!

Jade said...

That is both awesome and terrifying.
Also, squishing the tree in your car is insane! I have a fake tree so I've never had this problem.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

@Janet: It's an eye-opener, isn't it?

@Lola: Christmas without the scent of a real tree isn't Christmas for me. Gotta do it. I'm glad to know you do, too. I sure hope lots of teens are reading the YA! ;) And a very Merry Christmas to you, Lola.

@Sangu: I squeezed a bookshelf in once, too! I bought a pretty wood one at an antique store and it just fit. :D

@ShannonO: Those numbers make my head spin. It's the best of times....and....

@Viva: Isn't it amazing how those pine needles keep showing up? But I wouldn't trade a live tree for anything. Yeah, I was fine, other than a bit of difficulty moving the shift stick. And, oh, yes, intimidating is a good word for the book numbers.

@WordsCrafter: Thank you. ;) I would miss the stick if I switch, but sometimes when I'm stuck in stop-and-go on the freeway, I get mighty tired of using the clutch.

@WendyQ: I used the new blog feature: Aromatic posting. ;) Ha! Thank you.

@Jade: Yup. Awesome. Terrifying. I'm flattened by those numbers.

Donna said...

Amazing that the elves worked such magic on the Miata and the tree.

Judging from the numbers, let's hope the kids are speed readers. I know I was.

storyqueen said...

Cali's bear would never have fit in that little car!!

I cannot believe that you managed to get the tree you have one of those little bags that Hermione has in Deathly Hallows?

Please post a picture when it's all decorated!


Tricia J. O'Brien said...

@Donna: Speed readers! Yes, that's what we all need. Great comment.

@Shelley: No, we'd have had to put the top down for the bear and then, wow, the looks we'd get.
I wish I had Hermione's little bag! My life would be so much easier.
I am going to post a new ornament I received this year that's killer....:D

Jemi Fraser said...

Wow! I don't know what's more amazing - those numbers or getting that tree in your car!!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

@Jemi: Hee-hee. :)


It's so exciting to bring home the tree!!! Oh, and I love the smell!

Robyn Campbell said...

Hmm, Pat, I think it's a bit depressing. But. I still say there's lots of room for lots of YA authors. So, uh, git her goin', okey dokey?

BTW, you have another talent. HOW'D YOU DO THAT WHEN I NEED MY PICK-UP? Now I feel less of a woman, somehow.:)

Hugs beaming across the country from me to you.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

@Victoria: Hi! And, oh yes, getting a fresh tree is the highlight of Christmas for me.

@Robyn: I just need a little space on the bookshelf, right? I'm working on a fractured fairytale at the moment (needed a break).

The tree fetching is definitely empowering, ha! Hugs back at 'ya.

The Happy Whisk said...

Love the photos of the tree in your car. That's priceless. Thanks for the post.

Happy Holidays.

MG Higgins said...

Wow. Sobering numbers. Sometimes I wonder if kidlit/YA writers and bloggers are supporting the market. :) Do you know if these numbers are for both fiction and nonfiction? If it's fiction only, I don't know how the market can keep this up; there's just too much competition. Which makes me wonder how many books have to sell for a publisher to make a profit.

This year we ended up getting one of those very pretty tress that don't smell--it might as well be fake! Next year I want a smelly tree!! Happy holidays!

Corey Schwartz said...

Wow! I am always fascinated by stats and numbers. Those numbers are kind of crazy!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Hi Whisk, thank you and welcome!

@Mel: I'm pretty sure we do support the market quite a bit. I didn't link to the source so I don't know if non-fiction is included but I'm guessing it is.
And, yes, I'm all for smelly trees!

@Corey: Totally crazy. I was floored.

cleemckenzie said...

Wow! I'm impressed by the tree and those stats. Good grief and I thought I was reading a lot of YA books. Guess not enough.

Happy Holidays. See you in 2011.

Paul C said...

That's a perfect tree after being packed into your Miata. You package trees and words very well.