Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday Round Up: Lots, Lots, Lots Happening

A brutal cold hit Austin this week (but no snow) and it made for cozy writing time. I am in deep again (finally!) with my new MG work in progress titled, for now, Flights of Fancy. It feels good to be spending time in Creation Creek, Texas where the book is set and forging ahead along with Fancy as she faces her fears head on. I learn so much from my characters, from their persistence, their longing, their urgency. Writing their stories, giving voice to them, is the life I have always wanted for myself and knowing kids and teachers and parents and friends are out their reading about these kids makes me more than happy. I feel truly blessed. 

Next Thursday I am teaching a Creating Character Workshop at the Travis Heights Elementary Young Writers’ Program. The event was put together by Laura Cottam Sajbel and on the line up are: Liz Garton Scanlon, Debbie Gonzales, Lindsey Lane, moi…and a host of other authors, cartoonists, and other  awesome Austin folk.

Saturday night I am hoping to get to attend this Black History Month event, with Varian Johnson on the panel, and the TBF hosting, it is a not to be missed event. (5-7pm, details in link above.)

And, I need to pick a date and get my tickets for the Zach Theatre’s performances of my friend April Lurie’s novel turned musical, Brothers, Boyfriends & Other Criminal Minds. 

And as of this morning, I am the featured author of the day over at Dear Teen Me. I wrote about interracial dating as a kid and as an adult. I portray race and class in my books, but aside from my personal speaking and a few mentions of instances in my life on my website, I haven’t ever spoken of these experiences online. It didn’t feel frightening to write, as it was in the privacy of my own home, and everyone who knows and loves me knows that I have dated outside my race, but talking to the 15 year-old me, in a public way is scary. I read the piece to the new man in my life and he said, “Whoa. You put yourself out there.” I did. I do. I hope I always continue to. (Still scary though!)

Outside Awesome Austin
In sad news, author of the Redwall series Brian Jaques died this week. I heard Mr. Jaques speak about two years ago in NYC at an NYPL event and he was engaging, energetic and had such vim and vigor. I was able to get an illustrated version of his Redwall series for my nephew, Allen. I am now so glad that I was there and got to see this legendary author in action.

There was a great round up by SLJ of some authors of their favorite books to celebrate black history month. Contributors included are Rita Williams-Garcia, Pam Munoz Ryan and others.

Monday I did a post on Kekla Magoon’s new novel, Camo Girl and Catherine Stine posted an interview with Kekla Magoon this week as well. Check it out.

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