Yesterday, my friend and fellow writer JoAnn Early Macken celebrated teachers at the Brookfield, Wisconsin Barnes and Noble where we signed books. JoAnn has got a great and funny new book called Baby Says Moo. It’s such a kick to watch people read it and chuckle as they do. JoAnn also has a lovely, quiet book about finding safety, Waiting Out the Storm. This was her own wish to help kids find calm in the midst of fear and tragedy and it is such a good book for parents and kids in this regard. While each of these books is quite different in tone, they’re both such poetic gems! If you haven’t seen them yet, I encourage you to check them out soon.
Between the massive throngs of people who came to our signing — okay, it was more like small flurries,but thank you to all who came and looked and even bought books! — JoAnn pulled some picture book poetry off the shelves and we paged through these while talking about all the great children’s poetry out in the world. We agreed, one of our favorites is Marilyn Singer’s Mirror, Mirror, a Book of Reversible Verse. There is so much really great poetry in the kids’ and YA sections of our libraries and local bookstores — I haven’t talked about that but see Ellen Hopkins for realistic and gritty tales in poetic form, or Ron Koertge’s books, and there’s Nikki Grimes or Sonya Sones and Sharon Darrow, too. I could go on and on and on because these books are all gold in the world of story.
It turned out that I couldn’t have spent a sweeter day than in the picture book section of the store.
And, here’s a little something for all who have fan crushes on Bruce Springsteen (Jesse’s Girl); he’s coming to B&N on May 20. I think I’m going to go over there and swoon.
I’ve got just a moment and so I’m using this blog to list updates and random thoughts for fellow writers and readers
A thought: I’m thinking a lot about writers and self-censorship because I’m currently working on a novel that wants to be about sex. I learned at a novel revision retreat that I blush when I say this. I SO didn’t want the novel to go in this direction but it is. So each day I sit at my computer and wonder if I’m blushing as I write.
An update: I’m part of a great social justice blog focused on children’s and young adult writing. This means I’ll be posting about books that cross the boundary of mannerly to talk about reality. I love that concept because it’s what shakes up the world and makes people think about what they can do, how they can live, to make the world a better place. Although I’ll cross-post my own blog entries on this site, you’ll probably want to take a gander. So go to www.thepiratetree.com and enjoy the dialogue!
An update: If I’m counting accurately, I have only four more weeks of classes and then a week of celebrating all things graduation before I can focus completely on my own writing. Don’t get me wrong, I love to see my students’ writing grow and mature. But I need that intensely focused world of the imagination too.
A thought: I can either continue with this or I can get back to working on that novel that wants to be about sex. So back to it!