Sunday, December 30, 2007
Children's Literature Association India is holding its second annual conference in Mangalore in January 2008. The theme is Politics and Polemics. An excerpt from the web site reads: "Children are told stories that would help them construct a world view, a cultural context, to define what they are and what they believe. Nevertheless, how much truth do we tell them? Do not adult politics and polemics creep in as dominant factors in children’s literature? Does children’s literature still promote racism, sexism, and class prejudice?" Great questions. The conference also sponsors a contest for young writers.
A late update: Pooja Makhijani on Cynsations. Pooja talks about her books and her work in bringing culturally specific writings into the common discourse. And mentions two biographies she's working on. One is of Dhan Gopal Mukerji, who won what Susan Patron's calling the Oldbery, back in 1928. More at the Newbery Project. I had to smile (while gritting my teeth, that is) at the caution: "The story does take place in India, and it's filled with lamas and monks and Hindu or Buddhist prayer and meditation." Um, yes. Such jittery concerns are why we need Pooja to do what she does. Pooja's other nonfiction interest is the life of Jean Bothwell, a Methodist missionary who worked in India, and wrote over 60 fiction and nonfiction books (The Mystery Candlestick, Omen for a Princess, and others) focused on that country. Omen is a much more robust, deeply felt rendering of the story of Jahanara, daughter of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal, than a more recent version.
A question. When is Viking (or someone) going to publish a US edition of Vandana Singh's utterly delightful YoungUncle in the Himalayas? YoungUncle Comes to Town continues to gather accolades.
Hedgebrook (Women Authoring Change) will be 20 years old in 2008.
You had to not be on the planet if you missed the tragic assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Here's a biography for young readers by Libby Hughes.
Peace in the New Year is probably way too much to ask for.
Friday, December 21, 2007
On the way to the smoke-and-mirrors sound and light show at Golconda fort a guide attached himself firmly to us, refused to be shaken off, and proved to possess a depth of knowledge of the place that put us so-called educated folk to shame. When I went to school in Delhi we paid the south scant attention, so it was a treat to learn about the intrigues and successions, loves and losses of Golconda. As soon as I can get my hands on them, I plan to read Narendra Luther's books on Hyderabad.
At the Charminar, past rows and rows of bangle-sellers, an eight year old hawked cheap trinkets. He spoke to us, rapid-fire, in four languages we recognized (French, English, Spanish, Hindi) and was disappointed that we didn't know the others he could speak (Italian, Telugu, Arabic). Openmouthed, we asked how he came by his fluency. He shrugged and said in that lovely Hyderabadi Urdu with a cadence all its own, "Tourist-lok se boltha, ma." Silly question.
And finally I got to meet Katia Novet Saint-Lot who's taken writers.com classes with me off and on for three years. A real delight.
Friday, December 14, 2007
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
I'm visiting Delhi after nearly 20 years. It's changed beyond recognition but it's still bursting with stories, from the tombs of emperors to the remains of the Raj, to more personal family stories of houses lived in, schools attended, events and mishaps and memories.
Speaking to young readers at the India Habitat Centre and at Vasant Valley School, I found that while of course everyone knows Harry Potter (my son and I even found a Hindi edition in a book shop in Connaught Place) they were also eager to write and share their own stories.
We wrote together, and the students (mostly 2nd to 5th standards/grades) read their drafts. Many of the India Habitat Centre stories focused on the room, which was round and colorful and quirkily decorated with posters and polka-dots on one section of wall.
At VVS, we wrote about what might be hidden in this picture taken in the heart of Lutyens' Delhi. Who's behind the hedge? Where's the man going? Who's waiting for him? What if a squirrel were to shin up the lamp-post? How could you write this so your reader would care?
The only expectations worth holding about writing are those that relate to such story questions. The answers get more complex as you get older and more conscious of markets and audiences, but living with the questions is the whole point of the exercise.
Friday, November 23, 2007
If you live in New Mexico, if you read the Robert's Snow posts here and on other blogs, if you're planning to bid on a snowflake, if you just happened upon this post, consider donating a new children's or YA book to John's Shelf.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Monday, November 12
- John Nez at ChatRabbit
- Liza Woodruff at Check It Out
- Jane Dippold at Just Like the Nut
- Mike Wohnoutka at laurasalas
Tuesday, November 13
- Cynthia Decker at The Silver Lining
- Cecily Lang at Kate's Book Blog
- Jane Dyer at Whimsy Books
- Gutierrez at AmoXcalli and Cuentecitos
- Lee White at Please Come Flying
Wednesday, November 14
- Philomena O'Neill at Jo's Journal
- Maggie Swanson at Chicken Spaghetti
- Timothy Bush at Here in the Bonny Glen
- Peter Emmerich at Loree Griffin Burns: A Life in Books
Thursday, November 15
- Yangsook Choi at What Adrienne Thinks About That
- Laura Jacques at cynthialord's Journal
- Mary Newell Depalma at Wild Rose Reader
- Leanne Franson at Just Like the Nut
Friday, November 16
- Mary Haverfield at Your Neighborhood Librarian
- Lisa Kopelke at Lisa's Little Corner of the Internet
- Salley Mavor at ChatRabbit
- Greg Newbold at The Longstockings
- Elizabeth Sayles at AmoXcalli and Cuentecitos
Saturday, November 17
- Paul Brewer at A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy
- Aaron Zenz at Jo's Journal
- Wendy Edelson at What Adrienne Thinks About That
- Joan Waites at Chicken Spaghetti
Sunday, November 18
Monday, November 05, 2007
As you know if you've been visiting any children's book blogs for the past few weeks, Robert's Snow is an online auction that benefits Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Over 200 children's book illustrators have created art on individual snowflake-shaped wooden templates. The snowflakes will be auctioned off, with proceeds going to cancer research. You can view all of the 2007 snowflakes here. Jules and Eisha from Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast have found a way for bloggers to help with this effort, by blogging about individual illustrators and their snowflakes. The idea is to drive traffic to the Robert's Snow site so that many snowflakes will be sold, and much money raised to fight cancer. The illustrator profiles have been wonderful so far - diverse and creative and colorful. And there are lots more to go.
Here's the schedule for Week 4, which starts today (Monday November 5). As previously, this early schedule links to the participating blogs, instead of to the individual posts. You can find links to the posts themselves, and any last-minute updates, each morning at 7-Imp. Jules and Eisha have also set up a special page at 7-Imp containing a comprehensive list of links to the profiles posted so far. Also not to be missed is Kris Bordessa's post summarizing snowflake-related contests to date over at Paradise Found.
Monday, November 5
- Anna Alter at The Longstockings
- Laura Huliska Beith at Just One More Book!!
- Cece Bell at Jo's Journal
- Denise Ortakales at cynthialord’s Journal
Tuesday, November 6
- Carol Heyer at The Shady Glade
- Joe Kulka at ChatRabbit
- Steven James Petruccio at Blog From the Windowsill
- Carol Schwartz at Jama Rattigan's Alphabet Soup
Wednesday, November 7
- Jeff Ebbeler at Sam Riddleburger's blog
- Scott Magoon at Just One More Book!!
- Connie McLennan at The Shady Glade
- Julie Paschkis at the excelsior file
Thursday, November 8
- Genevieve Cote at a wrung sponge
- Linda Graves at Your Neighborhood Librarian
- James Gurney at Charlotte's Library
- Matt Tavares at Please Come Flying
Friday, November 9
- Susan Kathleen Hartung at Wild Rose Reader
- Mary Peterson at Brooklyn Arden
- Annette Simon at Check It Out and Deo Writer
- Melanie Watt at Whimsy Books
Saturday, November 10
- R.W. Alley at Jama Rattigan's Alphabet Soup
- Jeannie Brett at cynthialord’s Journal
- Daniel Mahoney at Paradise Found and Great Solutions to Team Challenges
- Amy Young at Kate's Book Blog
Sunday, November 11
- Tim Coffey at The Silver Lining
- Elizabeth Dulemba at sruble's world
- Chris Gall at Through the Studio Door
- Amy Schimler at Please Come Flying
Please take time out to visit all of these blogs, and read about these fabulous illustrators. And, if you're so inclined, think about bidding for a snowflake in the Robert's Snow auction. Each snowflake makes a unique gift (for yourself or for someone else), and supports an important cause.
See also the following note from Elaine Magliaro of Wild Rose Reader:
Note to Blog Readers about Blogging for a Cure: When Jules of 7-Imp put out her call in September for bloggers to interview/feature artists who had created snowflakes for Robert’s Snow 2007 at their blogs, a number of artists had not yet sent in their snowflakes to Dana-Farber. As time was of the essence to get Blogging for a Cure underway, we worked with the list of artists whose snowflakes were already in possession of Dana-Farber. Therefore, not all the participating artists will be featured. This in no way diminishes our appreciation for their contributions to this worthy cause. We hope everyone will understand that once the list of artists was emailed to bloggers and it was determined which bloggers would feature which artists at their blogs, a schedule was organized and sent out so we could get to work on Blogging for a Cure ASAP. Our aim is to raise people’s awareness about Robert’s Snow and to promote the three auctions. We hope our efforts will help to make Robert’s Snow 2007 a resounding success.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Being a mere word-juggler, I am easily intimidated by image problems. Yesterday the Blogspot Image Imps wouldn't let me upload a higher quality image of Stephanie's snowflake from her blog. It's here now but in case it disappears, you can also go see it here.
And a correction: Victoria Jamieson's snowflake will be at AmoXcalli and Cuentecitos
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
The snowflake of the day, Tuesday October 30.
You can bid on the original art at the Robert's Snow auction site beginning November 26. "Annamouse, Willamouse, and the Snowfall" features the mouse characters in Two Christmas Mice by Corinne Demas, illustrated by Stephanie Roth.
Booklist describes Stephanie's pencil-and-paint illustrations as creating "delightfully expressive mouse characters" that "communicate the sense of warmth in detailed scenes of cushioned, snug interiors, complete with roaring fires and delectable treats."
Stephanie Roth has illustrated dozens of books and magazines for children--among them my emergent reader published by Lee & Low, Yoga Class, to which she added an amazingly energetic, completely enchanting storyline. The first 10 people to post comments here in reply to this blog entry will be eligible to receive one of the following. In addition to your post, if you want to receive one of these gifts, you must send an e-mail to Uma with your snailmail address.
The gifts: A copy of Blockparty Today illustrated (and signed) by Stephanie Roth, along with a signed postcard of Two Christmas Mice, (a total of 3 on offer here)
Postcards of Two Christmas Mice, also signed by Stephanie (5 on offer)
Postcards featuring English and Spanish jackets of Yoga Class, illustrated by Stephanie (2 packs of 6 postcards each).
Don't forget to bid on that snowflake.
Monday, October 29, 2007
Monday, October 29
- Bill Carman
- Ann Koffsky
- Gretel Parker
- Matt Phelan
- Stephanie Roth right here on Writing With a Broken Tusk
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
Writer Natasha Yim, a writers.com student of mine, is interviewed on California Readers.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Please note that not all the illustrators who contributed snowflakes to the online auction are featured in this blogging effort. When Jules of Seven Impossible put out her call in September for bloggers to interview/feature the creators of snowflakes on their blogs, a number of artists had not yet sent in their snowflakes to Dana-Farber. Look for some additional snowflakes (maybe 30 in all) on the Seven Impossible site.
This week's featured artists:
Monday, October 22
- Rose Mary Berlin at Charlotte’s Library
- Christopher Demarest at Writing and Ruminating
- David Macaulay at Here in the Bonny Glen
- Mark Teague at The Miss Rumphius Effect
- Sharon Vargo at Finding Wonderland
Tuesday, October 23
- Carin Berger at Chasing Ray
- Sophie Blackall at not your mother’s bookclub
- Erik Brooks at Bildungsroman
- Marion Eldridge at Chicken Spaghetti
- Brian Lies at Greetings from Nowhere
Wednesday, October 24
- Sheila Bailey at lizjonesbooks
- Frank Dormer at What Adrienne Thinks About That
- Elisa Kleven at Big A, little a
- Jimmy Pickering at Shaken & Stirred
- Consie Powell at Becky’s Book Reviews
Thursday, October 25
- Margaret Chodos-Irvine at readergirlz
- Julia Denos at Interactive Reader
- Rebecca Doughty at A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy
- Brian Floca at A Fuse #8 Production
Friday, October 26
- Margot Apple at Jo’s Journal
- Juli Kangas at Sam Riddleburger
- Ginger Nielson at MISS O's SCHOOL LIBRARY
- David Ezra Stein at Hip Writer Mama
Saturday, October 27
- Sarah Dillard at The Silver Lining
- Julie Fromme Fortenberry at Your Neighborhood Librarian
- John Hassett at cynthialord’s Journal
- Abigail Marble at Please Come Flying
Sunday, October 28
Monday, October 15, 2007
Tuesday, October 16
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Robert's Snow is an online auction that benefits the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Over 200 children's book illustrators have created art on individual snowflake-shaped wooden templates. The auction runs November through December, and is in memory of Robert Mercer who lost his fight against sarcoma in August 2007. Robert and his wife Grace Lin founded Robert's Snow: for Cancer's Cure in 2004. Since that time, the event has raised more than $200,000 for Dana-Farber.
Illustrators highlighted on October 15 will be:
Critique groups at the SCBWI-NM retreat at Hummingbird Music camp in beautiful Jemez, NM. Each workshop leader got to put a work in progress into the critique pot as well, something I find useful in more ways than one. Not just the whole "leveling the playing field" thing, but keeping the attention focused on the common work of bringing story to the page.
Sunday, September 30, 2007
My last manuscript workshop of the year through Writers.com is currently in session. No more online classes will be scheduled until 2008. Updates will be posted on the class listings page of the Writers.com web site, or you can sign up for their e-mail newsletter.
For some other reason I can't quite fathom, when people learn about my ignorance of the sport they say, "Ah, you must know all about cricket, then." Er-no. Yes, I know. I'm a disgrace to the countries of my birth and residence. The truth is, I was a blissfully unsporty kid and have grown into a sports-ignorant adult. This was never a problem, until this book came along. But here, for the record, is Justine Larbalestier who does know a duck from a tailender. And is the author of the Magic or Madness trilogy, all three books now available in the US.
So--two innings or nine? Take your pick, but don't expect answers from me. I'm only the writer, and in those baseball scenes, I'm in the outfield, running as hard as I can.
Sunday, September 09, 2007
Childhood in fact is a bit like a third world country, in the sense that it's mostly well-meaning people who don't live there who:
- give it that label
- find it charming and filled with innocence
- feel a great need to educate its denizens
- consider it a developmental stage, only theirs is better
- secretly long for a time when its inhabitants knew their place (or were seen and not heard, or both).
But my take is that we're not going to learn how to decolonize childhood until we're well and truly over colonizing countries. Which (look around you) isn't going to happen anytime soon.
In the meantime, consider discarding the warm-fluffy cloak and getting in touch with your inner child. Add a mean streak, or fangs, or a dollop of despair, a little longing. Does it feel like a punch in the gut? Much more like it.
Sunday, September 02, 2007
It seems as if we're finally seeing an awakening of interest in such untold stories. Japanese American stories from five Interior Western states will be showcased next year in an inspiring conference, "Whose America? Who's American? Diversity, Civil Liberties, and Social Justice."
Combining the commemoration of loss with the celebration of survival, and with the interrogation of larger principles of redress and justice are essential, if we're to learn anything from history. And the stories we tell in children's books reveal sharply the extent to which we're willing to shed the gloss of conventional history and tell kids the truth we owe them.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Annette Gulati, who took my picture book class, is this year's winner of the SCBWI Barbara Karlin grant for picture book writers.
Anjali Raghbeer reports the publication of The Quest for Clues (Frog Books, India) a middle grade time-travel adventure story.
Congratulations to both of you!
Finally, in her metafictional account of names and naming, Katia Novet St. Lot comments on a character's given (taken?) name, or rather the character does.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
Sunday, July 01, 2007
Mitali Perkins has been busier than a First Daughter on the campaign trail. First there was the trailer. Then the character blog. Now First Daughter: Extreme American Makeover is out, a fun summer read that touches on a few serious issues and invites young readers into the dog-eat-dog world of political ambition.
Anjali Banerjee's Looking for Bapu morphed into Bringing Back Grandfather in this edition from Penguin India.
And finally, unrelated to anything currently in print for young people, but I can just feel the stories that lie hidden in this history! Courtesy of Sepia Mutiny, here's an amazing BBC documentary on the history of indentured labo(u)r: Coolies--How Britain Reinvented Slavery.
Monday, June 04, 2007
Monday, May 28, 2007
Tulika is a small Indian publishing house whose mission is to give children images of India that "show how all parts of this world come together to make it a diverse and dynamic whole, a changing yet changeless continuum." Here managing editor Radhika Menon reflects on Questioning Cultural Stereotypes Through Children's Books.
So we think we're crossing borders in the world of multiculti children's literature, but are we? In thinking about the stories we write, and for whom, perhaps Radhika's right, and it's time to change the metaphor. Here's the Tulika Bookshelf, a list that has achieved significant staying power since the house began in 1996. Maybe the crow offers a lesson in persistence.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Coram Boy, the musical based on Jamila Gavin's Whitbread-winning YA novel, opened last month on Broadway, and garnered 6 Tony nominations. Wish I'd been there, Jamila!
Kimberley Griffiths Little, Anjali Banerjee, and Katia Novet Saint-Lot have launched new blogs. Katia's a student of mine whose picture book about a boy, a book, and the opening of worlds, was recently acquired by Tilbury House. I'm waiting anxiously, in the manner of an auntie, for the final title, and the last word on the protagonist's name. I love it when students' books finds homes.
Great new reviews and interviews for Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month at PaperTigers.
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Luscious and rich and drenched in memory, Pooja Makhijani's gorgeous picture book, Mama's Saris, arrived in my mailbox in the middle of a hectic week. I couldn't wait to get my hands on it, and now I can't put it down. Just in time for Mother's Day, try this bonding experience in silk and cotton, zari and pleat and fold. Pooja captures perfectly that childhood longing to grow up, dress up, make believe. A glossary for those who need it, an author's note for the grownups. But young girls will go for the luminous color and the deftly wrapped text, and moms who don't have saris on hand might need to extend their dress-up wardrobes. The art by Elena Gomez shines. Congratulations, Pooja and Elena!
Saturday, April 21, 2007
Mitali Perkins announces the June release of her forthcoming teen novel, First Daughter: Extreme American Makeover, from Dutton. About a Pakistani-American girl whose dad is a Presidential wannabe.
At the end of the nineteenth century, a caravan of traders sets off from the high hills of Kumaon, India, for Tibet. When young Debu's father doesn't return, he travels in search him. That's the premise of Deepa Agarwal's new middle-grade novel from Penguin India, Caravan to Tibet.
I'll be looking for both of these.
Sunday, April 08, 2007
Two of us in India, two of us in the United States and Michelle in England, we're still finding connections. Once we get going, Michelle might have to move into the role of Whip-cracker and Cat-herder!
Saturday, March 17, 2007
I started with Rudine Sims Bishop's categories of multicultural books (from Mingshui Cai's Multicultural Literature for Children and Young Adults: Reflections on Critical Issues):
- culturally specific books that illuminate the experience of growing up in a particular non-white cultural group;
- generically American books that feature members of so-called minority groups but don’t do much to define those groups culturally, or the cultural content is homogenized;
- culturally neutral books that feature people of color but are fundamentally about something else.
For years I've been talking about our need to get "beyond food, flowers and festivals" (the tokens by which multicultural books have long been represented on shelves). Then I discovered that Mingshui Cai writes in similar vein about 4F's (food, fashion, festivals, and folklore). Given the recent success of American Born Chinese and some of Joseph Bruchac's new mystery titles, I'd argue that folklore might no longer belong in that scheme. I think it's making a comeback, but in a new way.
The other point I made in the talk is that if there's no humor in a culturally grounded book we should wonder how authentic it is. Writers who capture the essence of a culture also always seem to capture laughter in some form, even (or maybe especially) when the subject is dark or difficult.
I didn't include books written about cultural groups by writers from outside those groups (so-called "cultural courier" books). Not because I want to make a blanket statement about them, but because that's another conversation altogether.
I did talk about ways to assess multicultural books, by examining aspects of craft and posing lots of questions: What's the story? Who are the characters and what do they want? Is the setting now or long ago? If long ago whose version of that time? Does the story privilege one set of values over another? Are assumptions made about whose values are better, the reader's presumed values or those of the character? Who's telling the story and why? I mentioned the work of Sandra Williams who studied patterns in the development of national children's literatures of Singapore and Nepal. I heard her speak in Singapore a couple of years ago and she raised some really interesting questions about children's literature as an expression of identity.
There was lots more along those lines. We looked at several titles as examples. I'd passed out books randomly to people in the audience and I had them read when we got to considering each title, so people could leave with a lot of different writers' (and readers') voices in their heads.
We ran out of time and I inadvertently ended before a possible Q & A by mentioning book giveaways, at which point all those who had green stickies on their chairs got up to claim their books and that was that. (Lesson: same deal as in elementary school when you don't give out the art supplies until you've reached the point of planned creative chaos!) But several people (we had maybe 70-80 attending the session) came up afterwards to tell their own reading, writing, teaching, learning stories. So I know this was an important conversation because people seemed to want to hang around and talk.
Friday, March 16, 2007
The "Indian to Indian" talk really got me wondering if maybe it's time to rethink and reframe the discussion about multicultural books. No one writing for the adult literary market has to compete with Charles Dickens any more, but being that children's books hang around forever, I sometimes feel I'm still trying to compete with–well, Jungle Book. And so many schools and libraries still seem to espouse the idea of selecting books based mostly on the community's demographics. So this week my talk at the joint conference of the New Mexico/Mountains and Plains Library Associations in Albuquerque was titled Beyond Food, Flowers, and Festivals: Evaluating Culturally Specific Books. It featured a number of titles, including Vaunda Micheaux Nelson's Almost to Freedom, Cynthia Leitich Smith's Tantalize (some cultures are guaranteed to be new and surprising to all of us!), Janet Wong's Minn and Jake, Lulu Delacre's Rafi and Rosi, my Naming Maya and The Closet Ghosts, and others. Some you'd think of as "multicultural" books, and others you wouldn't. Download the handout here (pdf file)
Friday, March 09, 2007
Coming up, this evening in fact, is the National Writing Project Rural Sites Network conference in Albuquerque NM. I'll be speaking at the opening dinner along with Marguerite Houle (Vermont College grad, MFA/Writing for Children and Young Adults, Summer 06). Our session is titled "Indian to Indian: How Humor Dances Across Borders and Speaks the Truth."
Download our handouts here (pdf format):
Saturday, March 03, 2007
Thursday, February 22, 2007
A British medical blog expresses puzzlement at American morality.
And then again is some of the objection deriving from young Lucky's Darwinian stance? Alternet poses some interesting questions.
The NYT article states, "Authors of children’s books sometimes sneak in a single touchy word or paragraph, leaving librarians to choose whether to ban an entire book over one offending phrase." Really? No one told me! In a decade of writing for the children's market I've never once "sneaked" in anything "touchy," although I've had plenty of conversations about which words belonged in a book and why. Clearly I've missed some important wordcrafter's boat.
Read what YA author Alex Flinn has to say in her letter to the Times. Note that the NYT site requires a login.
In all this commotion, is anyone talking about the book? It has a plucky protagonist and a quirky setting. It took Susan Patron ten years to write! Isn't that the conversation we could be having? Journey Woman thinks so.
Monday, February 19, 2007
A mirror blog to Cynsations is now available on LiveJournal at:
New nonfiction on the Olive Ridley Sea Turtle from Tulika Books. Is the earth in enough trouble that it's time to rethink our views on didacticism in children's books?
On Papertigers, Rachna Gilmore writes about diversity in Canadian literature for children
Tara Publishing is turning practice runs of their beautiful screenprinted book jackets into one-of-a-kind writers' journals.
Sunday, February 11, 2007
Look for Cyn's new YA novel, Tantalize, gothic humor meets Alternative Austin.
Sunday, February 04, 2007
Discussion of American Born Chinese on Shen's Blog. I loved ABC. It got me thinking about all kinds of mental links between mythology and fiction and reality.
Review of an amazing book that ought to have generated way more buzz than it did: The Silver Donkey by Australian writer Sonya Hartnett. French sisters find a soldier in the woods during World War I. He has a little silver donkey and in gratitude for their help he tells them stories about donkeys. The second of these embedded tale is from India, which drew me to the book in the first place but the structure and the voice kept me reading. Simply beautiful.
Friday, January 26, 2007
With me so far?
At this point I need to start paying attention to the ones that are starting to intrude into the fragile balance of my writing world. I can't attend to every single one that shows up. Most of them are just dumb dust bunnies and they'll go away to hide under lesser minds if I just ignore them. I only write out the stories that bother me enough to force my hand.
Saturday, January 06, 2007
Dori Chaconas, Coriander, the Contrary Hen, Carolrhoda; Cork and Fuzz: Good Sports, Viking; Virginnie's Hat, Candlewick; Street Horses, Peachtree
Coleen Paratore, The Cupid Chronicles, Simon & Schuster; Mack McGinn's Big Win, Simon & Schuster
Joan Sandin, At Home in a New Land, HarperCollins
Leda Schubert, Donna and the Robbers, Vermont Folklife Center
Tracie Vaughn Zimmer, Reaching for Sun, Bloomsbury
Monday, January 01, 2007
My interview with Mark, up this morning (to my surprise. What? Me? Kicking off the year?) focuses on storytelling, writing for children, and the Peace Page on my web site, my own little effort to cope with the state of our world and the never-ending conflicts that are beginning to feel like the addictions of those in power.