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.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004


Due to Greg's novel, Ninjas, Piranhas, and Galileo (Little Brown, 2003) being named a Teddy Award finalist, we're going out to dinner at Sullivan's. Yes, someday we probably should start eating at home again. But you know, special occasion!

Grants for School Visits

Jennifer Ward was kind enough to assemble these links to grant programs that may be used to finance author/illustrator/children's book programming. I'm passing them on to you with her permission.

Cynsational Notes

Greg Pincus on Alternative Funding Options for Author Visits. Peek: "While many schools still have budgets for traditional visits, when I was getting feedback about my project, there was a lot of enthusiasm for the idea of alternative funding for visits. This means that the idea has value for that community, too."

Teddy Finalists

And the finalists for the Writers' League of Texas Teddy Children's Book Awards are...

Kathi Appelt for My Father's Summers - A Daughter's Memoir
Greg Leitich Smith for Ninjas, Piranhas and Galileo
Brian Yansky for My Road Trip to the Pretty Girl Capital of the World

Congratulations to Kathi, Greg, and Brian!

Monday, August 30, 2004

Confessions Of A Teenage Drama Queen (the movie, not the book)

I'm embarassed to admit that I haven't read the book CONFESSIONS OF A TEENAGER DRAMA QUEEN by Dyan Sheldon, though I did just watch the movie on DVD. As always, I'm betting the book is better (author loyalty and all), but the film is light and entertaining and stars Lindsay Lohan (from the recent "Freaky Friday" remake). For me, the highlight was Carol Kane as the theater teacher.

I also watched "Laws of Attraction" with Pierce Brosnan and Julianne Moore, which is a fairly good lawyer-ish chick flick. I've been a PB fan since "Remington Steele" and actually own all of the released episodes on video.

Not much else to report, except I bought my grandma a bluebird for her collection for her birthday. I figure it's okay to say here as she's not too net-friendly. But if you happen to know Grandma, please don't spoil the surprise!

El Chino and Son Of The Mob

Stumbled upon a backlist book, EL CHINO by Allen Say (Houghton Mifflin, 1990) at Terra Toys. Actually, it was Greg who picked it up as Say is probably his fave author/illustrator.

It's a picture book biography about the first Chinese American bullfighter--beautifully illustrated (no big surprise there) and definitely stereotype busting. My only complaint is with the flap copy, which identifies Bong Way "Billy" Wong as the first "Chinese" bullfighter (rather than Chinese American), even though Say's text clearly specifies that Wong and his five siblings were from Nogales, Arizona. At the risk of being cranky, being of Asian heritage doesn't make Asian Americans any less American. Okay, it was only 1990, but then again, it was still 1990.

Finished SON OF THE MOB: THE HOLLYWOOD HUSTLE (Hyperion, 2004), and I'm cheering Gordon Korman's fresh, funny second look at a good kid growing up in a Mafia family. In this story, Vince is off to film school along with his girlfriend (the daughter of the FBI agent assigned to bring down Vince's father, the godfather). He's paired by the dorm gods with the resentful but enthusiastic light-fingers son of a well-respected politician. Vince finally feels like he's escaped "The Life." But then his brother and "uncles" start showing up, and soon, everything starts to get a whole lot more complicated. An irresistible story with broad-based appeal.
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