Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A reminder...

"What's that Russian saying? 'How do you make God Laugh? - Tell him your plans.'"

Monday, April 19, 2010


This weekend, I had too much to do, and got to go to the MN Book Awards, all of which meant I should have spent every spare minute grading.

Instead, I went for a bike ride each day this weekend. Saturday, with Lisa; yesterday, with David and Rachael for sixty miles. What a great rides. Love, love, love passing plowed/disked/in-the-proces-of-planting fields. The smell of spring! Heaven!

(And I got up at 4 this morning to get grading done. It's working!)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

MN Book Awards

MN Book Awards Gala last night.

Our whole writing group--minus Sally, whom we sorely missed--attended at the Crown Plaza downtown, St. Paul. A grand time was had by all (And I'm still full today).

Kirstin Cronn Mills didn't win, but she only lost to Kate DiCamillo, who has won the Newbery, Newbery Honor, and a MN Book award already, so that's like losing to John Updike. She was a finalist! And we are proud.

Nicole Helget didn't win for Turtle Catcher, either, but I haven't read the book that beat hers. I couldn't put Turtle Catcher down, so it would be interesting to read The Book of Night Women that beat hers. Perhaps it's a cultural thing....but I'll have to read it and see.

I'm still very proud of KCM and Nicole.

Selfishly, the best part of the evening was getting to meet my editor, Brian Farrey, from FLUX who is publishing Chasing AllieCat. He's great. We had fun, and I'm excited to get to work with him and the cool publicist people who were also at the Gala from FLUX.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Guess what I just did? FILED MY TAXES. April 14. Yup. What a great tradition.

I was going to do it over spring break--when I finished my schoolwork--which took the whole week--so I didn't. I was going to do it last weekend, but I had too much grading. Comes down to under the gun.
Maybe that's why I'm a decent teacher--I get the idea of procrastination

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Reading my HUM students' papers about our field trip

Awesome. My Intro to Humanities students all wrote responses to our trip to the Guthrie and the Minneapolis Institute of Art. What they have to say makes me so, so, so glad that we do this every semester. It's worth every minute of work and every penny to get to see real original art by masters and to see professional actors on stage. I love reading all they have to say. Makes my teaching job worth it--and just when I was bemoaning no time to write.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Interesting Article on parents in YA Lit

This article talks about either the absent parent, or the ineffectual parent, or the dead parent, etc. Any of these set up the protagonist of the story to need to solve his or her own problems. I've thought about this charateristic of YA Lit quite a bit. But it doesn't always happen that way. Chris Crutcher, though he doles out his share of bad, abusive, and ineffectual parents, also has kind and helpful, honest, good adults or parents available in some of his young characters' lives. I think that's one reason I like his stories: there's a realistic balance, and besides the fact that kids can grow and learn to solve their own problems, there's the fact that helpful adults exist and are avavailable to help through tough times.

Anyway, the article is worth reading:

Rainy day

Well, good thing it's rainy today. I have so much grading to do that I'm glad it's not even tempting to go out for a ngo woods walk with Freya and for a ride outside on my bike. Got the okay from the doctor to try wearing whatever shoes I can stand. I think I'll cut a hole in my road bike shoes so my toe doesn't scream the whole ride.

I did get outside twice this weekend, with a platform pedal on the road bike. Can't wait to clip in again and go.