Last Tuesday, I attended the local SCBWI monthly meeting to hear the witty, warm poet and social-media maven Gregory Pinkus of GottaBook and The Happy Accident. Between the mini-session with Martha Brockenbrough, who wrote Things That Make Us [Sic] and Pinkus' talk, there were a number of announcements including the regularly featured "Good News." I used to attend SCBWI meetings on a regular basis, and heard everything from "My illustrations are being used in a textbook" to the quietly pleased "My book just won the Caldecott Honor."
As I listened, I thought, "Why don't I bring up more good news on my blog?" While I can't match the sheer joy that Happy Stuff brings to her love of everyday/special things, I can at least cheer for other people and celebrate the blessings in my life. So, here goes:
*To start things off, I am thrilled that Mare's War by Tanita S. Davis has been nominated for the American Library Association's Best Books for Young Adults 2010 list. I've read the book and I really enjoyed it. It's part modern-day road trip, part historical fiction about the present-day main character's grandmother who lied about her age in order to join the World War II African American battalion of the Women’s Army Corps.
*Last Thursday morning, while browsing the Border's bookstore at the airport, I began to exit when I did an about-face. In the front of the store on display were copies of How Not To Make a Wish by Mindy Klasky. I exclaimed, "I know her! I was in library school with her!" At the time we were in library school together, she was working on a novel while getting her law-library degree and working full-time (she was already a lawyer). I knew she had published some novels since then, but to my chagrin, I hadn't read any of her books. I am going to amend that oversight soon.
*I have started reading the blog of Rainmom, a college friend with two children, one of whom has autism. We haven't talked directly since college, but I've been able to read some of her writings over the years. I was heartened to read this post about the misperceptions of autism and affection. Like I said in my previous post, we don't know yet what Lucia's diagnosis will be, but if it's on the autism spectrum, I feel as if I can deal with it better knowing that a person can be both autistic and affectionate. How odd is that of me to think thus? Lucia told me today, "I do not have autism". I told her that whatever we found out would not change who she was, what she liked to do, but could enable us to get certain services that would be helpful to her.
By the way, Lucia has announced several times, "I am not afraid of dogs anymore." She actually IS still afraid enough to lurch away from us to run from dogs, but she wants so badly not to be afraid. She has it in her mind that if she can overcome her fear of dogs, we can go to Disneyland (upgraded in her mind from that mouse-owned pizza parlor that fills both Bede and me with trepidation).
*October 24-25 will be a weekend of storytelling workshops with Nancy Mellon through the Sound Circle Center. I'm going to both the all-day workshop on Saturday with Nancy Mellon and Ashley Ramsden and the 4 hour workshop on Sunday that's just with Mellon. I am so grateful to be able to participate in a weekend of professional and personal development with a master storyteller. I've read a number of her books, but have never before heard her speak. Some of my friends have taken workshops with her before, and have assured me that she is wonderful.