Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Red Dirt Book Fesitval

Just got news that the new Web site for the Red Dirt Book Festival in Shawnee, Oklahoma is up and running. The theme this year is "Mysterious Oklahoma." It might apparently include: "sessions on the mystery genre, [] programs on true crime, myths and legends, politics, sports - anything related to Oklahoma with an element of mystery (including the "mystery' of finding an agent, or getting published, etc.)."

I attended Red Dirt a couple of years ago and enjoyed it very much, especially because Kelly Bennett and Sharon Darrow also were speaking.

Dinner tonight at Page and Erik's--shrimp fajitas. Going to miss them when they move to the San Francisco Bay area. Sob!

Monday, September 06, 2004

My (Mostly) Non-Writing Life

America is my country, and Paris is my home town. -- Gertrude Stein

My (Mostly) Non-Writing Life

Date of Birth: 12/31/67; only child "who's spoiled?"

Lived in HI, IL, MO, MI, KS, OK, TX; prefer central time zone

Dog: pom named Sir Gallahad XIII; called "Tramp"

Great Teacher: Mrs. Woodside, First Grade

Won public library reading contest, 3rd grade

First plane trip: to Disneyland; fond of "It's a Small World" ride

Heroine: "Mighty Isis," featured with "Shazam" on Saturday AM TV

Favorite Play Place: woods behind house

Family vacations: summers in Estes Park, exclusively

See Famous Person for First Time: Dolly Parton

Begin life-long desire to visit Dollywood (still haven't)

4th grade career goal: magician

First kiss: David Somebody on cheek; broke up next day. Alas!

Wrote "Dear Gabby" advice column for 6th grade paper

Great Teacher: Mr. Rideout, 6th Grade

6th grade nickname: "Olive Oil"

Spend every Weds & Fri night rollerskating

Great Teacher: Mr. Bigler, 8th Grade Social Studies

YMCA cheerleader, 5th-9th grade

Favorite Singer: Donna Summer

Favorite Band: Meatloaf

"Inappropriate" Donna S, Meatloaf lyrics pointed out to Mom by Uncle Al

First car date: "Two of a Kind" with John Travolta & Olivia Newton John

First post-babysitting job: making popcorn for movie theater

First car: red '68 Mustang coupe (fave high school boyfriend had white classic Mustang coupe)

Favorite hang out: Minsky's Pizza

Often called "Cindy Lou"

Great Teacher: Mr. Pennington, AP European History

Took tap, jazz, & ballet until 18

High school varsity cheerleader

Editor, high school newspaper

Waitress, Mexican restaurant

Dated boy called "Panama"

Graduated high school, 1986

Pledged Alpha Delta Pi

Majors: news/editorial & public relations

Concentrations: English, history, human development and family life

Took financial inactive status at sorority

First apartment has Murphy bed

Minority issues reporter, campus newspaper

Great Professors: Houston/Franklin "Children & Television"

President, KU chapter of Public Relations Student Society

Great Professor: Mary Wallace, "Reporting II"

Great Teacher: Tom Eblen "Reporting III"

Graduated college, 1991, walked down "The Hill" with cousin Stacy

Summer starter, law school, first met Ivy Leagers en masse

Study abroad, Paris (okay, went to Paris, didn't so much "study")

Senior editor, feminist law journal; which was shortly thereafter sued

Engaged to Greg, 7/3/93 in Dallas, Texas

President, Native American Law Students Association

Graduated law school, 1994 in one piece but serious debt

Moved to Chicago 5/94

Married, 9/4/94 by husband's uncle, a Presbyterian minister

Federal employee "yikes!"

Moved to Austin, 2/95

Full-time writer, reviewer, teacher, happy person AKA world's shortest legal career

Tutor for migrant student program, St. Ed's University

Moved Back to Chicago 2/97

Adopted by Cat: grey tabby, "Mercury Boo"

Moved to back to -- guess where? Austin, 2/99

Adopted by Cat: another grey tabby: "Sebastian Doe"

Receive historic castle from very cute husband for Christmas; plan to keep husband

Breakfast at the White House w/ Reading on the West Lawn

New kittens: Leo & Blizzard; Total of four kittens.

Release of Greg's debut novel, NINJAS, PIRANHAS, AND GALILEO

Chatted on Delilah -- Love Songs; & she played "Dancing In the Dark" for me!

9/4/04 Tenth Wedding Anniversary

Absolutely fave superhero: Oracle (the original Batgirl)

Rainy Labor Day

Not much to report today. Ran out to Containers and More for something to put my sprawling variety of goofy costume jewelry in; finally settled on a plastic drawer set designed for screws and what not.

Greg bought himself a toaster oven at Best Buy. (He has this issue with regular toasters because they can get dust in them. Really. And I'm supposed to be the O-C one.)

Then on the way home we picked up three packages of Solar Hummus at Central Market and of course a piece of dark chocolate for me.

Right now, Greg's reading The Hobbit again and has started making some noises about possibly doing a high fantasy, sometime down the road. I'm blogging with Mercury sleeping on a box beside my desk. General mood is blah.

One bright spot: listened to an audio interview available for download with Kathi Appelt about her recent memoir, MY FATHER'S SUMMERS.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Looong & Lovely Lunch--Bawk!

Lunch today with Anne and Kathi turns into multi-hour affair, full of friendship and, well, rotisserie chicken.

When I finally got home for dinner, Greg served, um, rotisserie chicken. I'm sorry, chickens, I know I've eaten over my fair share of y'all today.

Had a chance to preview my site redesign proposal. Hold onto you gigabytes, babies, the best is yet to come.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

10 Year Anniversary

Ten years today of marriage for me and Greg. Woo woo! Shopping in Gruene, followed by a rest at the homestead and dinner at Kyoto (sashimi, baby!) and drinks at Shoreline Grill. But those are just the details. Big picture is ten years, and I love Greg more than ever! So my ever after is, in sum, all good.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Lee & Low, Poetry House Interviews, E.B. White Read Aloud Award

I'm saddened to see in my fall catalog that Philip Lee has left Lee & Low Books, the company he co-founded with Jason Low. I wish Philip well in whatever life brings him next. I first heard him speak at the 25th anniversary SCBWI national convention in LA, back when I was getting started in the business and then again at Reading The World last spring in San Francisco. Lovely man. He's made a great contribution to children's, particularly multicultural, literature.

I'm pleased though that the company is beginning to publish books for older readers. This season's catalog includes Rattlesnake Mesa: Stories From A Native American Childhood by Ednah New Rider Weber (Pawnee), illustrated by Richela Renkun (Lee & Low, 2004)(Ages 8-up). I also see another Native American title, this one a picture book: Sky Dancers by Connie Ann Kirk (Seneca), illustrated by Christy Hale (Lee & Low, 2004)(ages 7-9). It's an extraordinarily useful catalog for teachers/librarians, though I can't seem to figure out how I'm supposed to request review copies. Hm.

Today's mail also brings sweet sympathy cards from Kimberly, Tracie, and Haemi. So comforting to have friends who care.

This reminds me, Tracie Vaughn Zimmer's site has some excellent author interviews with: Kristine O'Connell George; Nikki Grimes; Heidi Roemer; Rebecca Kai Dotlich.

I also received a review copy of Hunger Moon by Sarah Lamstein (Front Street, 2004).

Passing on Owen Foote: Might Scientist by Stephanie Greene, illustrated by Cat Bowman Smith (Clarion, 2004) to one of my readers whom I meeting for tea at three at Sweetish Hill. Already had lunch today with my friend Amy at Guero's, so needless to say, dinner will be a minor event.

What else? SkippyJon Jones by Judy Byron Schachner (Dutton, 2003)(ages 3-up) has won the E.B. White Read Aloud Award established in 2004 (covers both picture books and novels), sponsored by the Association of Booksellers for Children.

More personally, dinner tonight at Magnolia Cafe. Concerned about my in-laws and my friend Chris in Florida during Hurricane Frances; Chris is a fantastic pro photographer surf over and check out some of his shots.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Correction: Now It's NOT The Moccasin Telegraph

The Native American YA anthology, edited by Lori Carlson (who also did Cool Salsa) for a fall 05 release will not be called The Moccasin Telegraph after all, my Harper editor tells me, because of concerns that "telegraph" might sound too old-fashioned to teens. It's a valid marketing observation, I think. I'll keep y'all posted on the new title.

Tried to watch "Firefly" today, being a big Whedonverse fan, but just couldn't get into it. I'm going to see if there's a novelization, try that, and then return to the DVDs because I'm guessing it's a back-story issue.

Out to Eastside with Frances and Brian tonight. Lentil soup had too many carrots but otherwise fine dining with good conversation.

Hannah Is My Name

Hannah Is My Name by Belle Yang (Candlewick, 2004). Hannah and her family are so excited to immigrate to the United States, to become Americans, to be free. But how scary and worrisome it is to wait to see if they will be sent green cards so they may stay legally and make San Francisco their home. Joyful, vibrant, and optimistic without minimizing the challenges faced by newcomers, Yang's book should be an essential part of any immigration, Asian American, California, and/or patriotism unit and a treasure for home and public libraries. Ages 4-up. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Teaching and Mooove Over

Attention Writers: I'm teaching a class "Coming Of Age With The Young Adult Novel" on Saturday, November 6th at the Writers' League of Texas Resource Center.

Surf over to Debbi Michiko Florence's Web site for a new interview with Karen Magnuson Beil on MOOOVE OVER, illustrated by Paul Meisel (Holiday House, September 2004).

Dinner tonight at P.F. Chang's.
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