Saturday, September 18, 2004

PEN award

Are you a writer with two (but no more than five) published books and financial need? Or, rather, do you know someone who is? If so, check out the PEN award. Past winners are: Lori Aurelia Williams, Graham McNamee, Franny Billingsley and Deborah Wiles.

Note: this is not a hint. Though I'm certainly a working writer, as is my spouse, he had a substantial day job. Other writers need it more.

Speaking of Greg, tonight is the Teddy Awards! Ah, the suspense!

Wondering what's new and noteworthy? Check out Hot Off The Press from the Children's Book Council. Congrats to my pals Carolyn Crimi (Boris and Bella, illustrated by Gris Grimly (Harcourt, 2004)) and Carmen T. Bernier-Grand (Cesar: Si Se Puede! Yes We Can, illustrated by David Diaz (Marshall Cavendish, 2004)) on the most deserved attention.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Jane Kurtz

Author Jane Kurtz talked about "Unpuzzling the Mysteries of Chapter Books and Other Novels" via the Institute of Children's Literature chat room recently; check it out and then visit Jane's site. Jane is lovely and one of my original mentors; her latest is a fantasy, The Feverbird's Claw (Greenwillow, 2004).

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Texas Tales Auction

The Austin Public Library Foundation is sponsoring a Texas Tales auction as a fundraiser. If you're an Austinite, surf by and check it out. In addition, the foundation is hosting a concert with Los Lonely Boys. Sigh. Hope I'll be able to make it.

What else? I'm watching "The First Wives Club," and Greg is trying a new chicken marsala recipe.

Haemi Balgassi

Author Haemi Balgassi has a new blog. Haemi is the first real friend I made in children's books, and I love her wholeheartedly. Surf over to check it out, then stop over to her Web site, and if you haven't already, pick up copies of Peacebound Trains and Tae's Sonata. Peacebound Trains can even be read online as part of the U.S. government's Korean War Commemoration.

Real Kidz

Received an email today from Real Kidz, which makes biracial plush dolls, about their new online shopping. Very cute site and dolls, though I've yet to see a doll in person (so to speak). In any case, biracial dolls are an excellent idea; very long overdue. Important for families that are mixed race and those that are not.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Critique Group

My critique group met tonight at Anne's. We have one very important message for you all: prologues are back! All the really cool people are writing them.

In other news, Debbi Michiko Florence has a new blog.

Mail Call

Today's mail brings the recent issue of Book Links along with the following review copies:
Close Encounters of a Third-World Kind by Jennifer J. Stewart (Holiday House);
Offsides by Erik E. Esckilsen (Houghton Mifflin);
Cecilia's Year by Susan & Denise Gonzales Abraham (Cinco Puntos);
The Groundhog Day Book of Facts and Fun by Wendie Old, illustrated by Paige Billin-Frye (Albert Whitman);
Cesar Si, Se Puedo! Yes, We Can by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand, illustrated by David Diaz (Marshall Cavendish)(my apologies for my inability to use the proper Spanish symbols on this keyboard);
My Pal, Victor (Mi amigo, Victor) by Diane Gonzales Betrand, illustrated by Robert L. Sweetland (Raven Tree Press);
Lucky Leaf by Kevin O'Malley (Walker);
A Woman For President: The Story of Victoria Woodhull by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Jane Dyer (Walker).

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

The New Rules of High School

Read The New Rules of High School by Blake Nelson (Viking, 2003), which is about a smart, self-absorbed boy's fall from perceived perfection. The voice was outstanding, and the story was a compelling, one-sitting read. The author does a particularly good job with reversals. Ages 12-up.

Received a wonderful T-shirt and sweatshirt from the ever-darling Katie Davis, each featuring one of her fun and emotive illustrations.

Low self esteem day? Read a rejection letter of Ursula K. LeGuin's.

Moccasin Thunder

The Native American YA anthology, edited by Lori Carlson and published by Harper, apparently will be called: Moccasin Thunder.

Speaking of thunder, it rained like crazy today, though I did make it out to have my hair and nails done. I know, I know, it's indulgent. But hey, how many writers out there aren't in therapy, AA, or on some kind of prescribed mood-stabilizing substance? This works to de-stress me, so I'm unrepentant and, well, cuter than I would be otherwise.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Teddy Award Short Works Finalists Announced

And, the finalists for the 2004 Teddy Children's Book Awards are:

Short Works

Lee Merrill Byrd, The Treasure on Gold Street (Cinco Puntos Press)
Karin Cates, The Secret Remedy Book: A Story of Comfort and Love (Orchard Books)
Joyce Gibson Roach, Horned Toad Canyon (Bright Sky Press)

Just a reminder, the previously-announced...

Long Works

Kathi Appelt, My Father’s Summers: A Daughter’s Memoir (Henry Holt)
Greg Leitich Smith, Ninjas, Prianhas, and Galileo (Little, Brown)
Brian Yansky, My Road Trip to the Pretty Girl Capital of the World (Cricket Books)

While we're talking Texas awards, for anyone who missed the Texas Institute of Letters announcement this past year:

Friends of the Austin Public Library Award ($500) for Best Children’s Book
WINNER: Betty Lou Phillips, Emily Goes Wild (Gibbs Smith)
FINALISTS: Lee Merrill Byrd, The Treasure on Gold Street (Cinco Puntos Press); Bryce Milligan, The Prince of Ireland and the Three Magic Stallions (Holiday House)

Friends of the Austin Public Library Award ($500) for Best Young Adults’ Book
WINNER: Brian Yansky, My Road Trip to the Pretty Girl Capital of the World (Cricket Books)
FINALISTS: Anne Estevis, Down Garrapata Road (Arte Publico Press); Tim Tingle, Walking the Choctaw Road (Cinco Puntos Press)

Note: My Father's Summers by Kathi Appelt, My Road Trip To The Pretty Girl Capital of the World by Brian Yansky, and Walking The Choctaw Trail by Tim Tingle all are highly recommended by me personally. I'm also fond of Greg's Ninjas, Piranhas, and Galileo, but you know, I married him. Of course I think he's a genius.

"Love Actually"

Maybe it's the emotive place I'm in today or the fact that all of my muscles are still screaming from this weekend's yard work. But I find myself a happy, hopeful, gushy mess after watching this movie. Tremendously affecting. Okay, total chick flick, but hey, guys have hearts, too, don't they? I'm pretty sure.

Linda Sue Park

Author Linda Sue Park has updated her Web site and now offers a reading journal.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Grandparents Day

Nikki Tate writes to say she has a new book out: Grandparents' Day, illustrated by Benoît Laverdière (Annick Press, 2004).

Grandparents' day falls the second Sunday in September. And no, it was not invented by Hallmark. I would like to wish my grandma Dorothy and grandma Melba a happy Grandparents' Day.

Anyone wishing to find out more about me and Grandma Dorothy should read my short story, "The Naked Truth," from In My Grandmother's House: Award-Winning Authors Tell Stories About Their Grandmothers, edited and illustrated by Bonnie Christensen (Harper, 2003). Other contributing authors: Joan Abelove; Alma Flor Ada, Bonnie Christensen; Beverly Cleary; Pat Cummings; Jean Craighead George; Minfong Ho; Ji-li Jang; Gail Carson Levine; Beverly Naidoo; and Diane Stanley.

Along those same lines, three of my books feature strong grandparent characters: Grampa Halfmoon from Indian Shoes (Harper, 2002), Grampa Berghoff from Rain Is Not My Indian Name (Harper, 2001), Grandma Wolfe from Jingle Dancer (Morrow/Harper, 2000).

And Greg's next book, Tofu And T.Rex (Little Brown, spring 2004) features a wonderful grandfather character, Opa Kowalski. Keep an eye out for it.

You also can check my Web site for an entire bibliography of grandparent-related titles.

Promoting cynsations and spookycyn

Satisfied that I'll keep it up, I've enabled the link to spookycyn on my profile, and I've registered both blogs with such indexes as Popdex.

Essentially, spookycyn focuses on my gothic fantasy work while cynsations is more globally about writing, reading, and the life that goes with both.
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