Thursday, April 28, 2011

Moral Dilemma

Okay, I need to go on a bug-killing rampage at the BeckyFarm because there is a major infestation of Asian Beetles. But look at this video and tell me I'm not a mass murderer!
Who knew bugs had this much personality?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Nick Healy

NICK HEALY is winner of the Many Voices Project Prize through New Rivers Press!

His work so deserves this recognition. Congratulations, Nick!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Give a Girl a Bike

So...the Teen Book Scene Blog Tour is over, but you can still contribute to girls in India who need bikes in order to go to school. We have raised $206 dollars, which is enough for FOUR bicycles for girls who didn't have them before. The Blog Tour is over, but you can still contribute, and you too, can make a difference, and Give a Girl in India a Bike so she can go to school.

A bike changed Allie's life in Chasing AllieCat.
I figured her story would be the perfect platform on which to raise money for bikes to change girls' lives.
Go to THIS site and contribute, if you feel so moved!
If you want to see the entire tour, go to Teen Book Scene Blog Tour.
If you want to see a sample, check Reading Teen or Naughty Book Kitties for some fun reviews.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

More Than Writing

What a great Friday-Saturday. "More Than Writing" conference was a great success. Congrats, first-year MFA students who worked so hard to put the event on. And thanks to the faculty who helped so much.

Nicole Helget's reading was wonderful--funny, painful, beautiful--as is all of her writing.

We had a blast meeting up with old friends, making new ones, and being recharged to keep writing!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


I wrote a guest blog essay on Books Obsession about how much I loved snow--back at the end of December, when cross-country skiing was a delight. Along with some pictures of Freya in the snow and my garden tractor plowing my driveway, I posted this picture (from my living room). For some reason, this morning, that link popped up in my computer's I was looking outside on April 20th at a sky full of snow.

Be careful what you wish for?

At least all the snow and the icicles (!!) in this picture have melted! And my gutters didn't explode, either.

I'm not complaining. I need to stay inside and work today...but I'd really like to ride my bike, and I'd rather not do it on the trainer in April. Looks like I will today, however.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Crazy weekend.

Craziness. Friday, 46 students and friends/guests and I went to Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Ol' Spaghetti Factory, and to "Arsenic and Old Lace" at the Guthrie. A grand time was had by all, I think. Great play. Absolutely wonderful. So happy when I can take students to something so much fun that they want to repeat the experience.

Happy surprise: Liz Miller was in the middle of assembling her huge installation at the MIA. We got to watch for awhile. It's amazing, and I can't wait to see it finished...and it was the coolest of surprises.

Saturday, I went with Rachael and Lisa to the MN Book Awards, which was a delightful evening and although I really really wanted Swati's SPLIT to win, it just goes to show that everything is subjective, and great books don't win everything.

Sunday, I was honored to be the keynote speaker at the SW/WC Creative Writing Contest Awards Ceremony at Southwest MSU. Great kids, excited about writing and proud of their accomplishments. I got to put the medals around their necks. Talk about fun! The junior and senior first-place winners got scholarships to SMSU! What a terrific contest and event. The winners are all published in a slick-looking anthology. Lots of work, but those kids were loving it. Well worthwhile. Thanks, Marianne, for inviting me to come.

And Marianne and Jim and one of their students and I went out to Hunan Lion afterwards. That means I got curry twice this week. What a treat!
I'm a little tired today, but back to the school drawing board.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Sistine Chapel

I'm reading Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling. Most of my students know I'm a bit obsessed with Michelangelo and the Medici family's support of the Renaissance, Galileo, etc. Well, I'm learning a lot from this book.

I did NOT know that Bramante, the architect of St. Peter's Cathedral, wanted to be the Pope's favorite artist, and being the suave dude that he was, talked Pope Julius II into commissioning Michelangelo into frescoing (is that a verb?) the Sistine Chapel Ceiling...because he knew Michelangelo didn't want to paint it and certainly wouldn't want to fresco that whole ceiling on scaffolding, so Bramante figured Michelangelo would most likely fail. When and if he failed, Bramante would be considered the best artist in Rome. Well, HA, take that, Bramante!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Spring, Biking, Taxes, Good Thunder, West High School

Once again, the weekend proved to me: the worst/hardest day on a BIKE is better than the best day doing TAXES! It was windy, but a good workout, and a relief after submitting my tax returns at 3 a.m.!!!

Wow. I haven't had time to blog for a whole week. Good Thunder reading series was FUN. Kirstin Cronn-Mills and I had a good time doing the whole shebang together, and it felt like it went quite well. The reading and the craft talk were both lots of fun. I forgot to get out my camera until the very end. Here's a photo of KCM and me with students at West High in Mankato. St. Clair kids were fun, too, and I'm sorry I missed any photo ops.
Hmmmmmm.....who talks with her hands? Both of us?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

April Fool's from FLUX


Being humbled, and another review

Here is another review. Kari, who coordinated the Teen Book Scene Blog Tour, wrote this review. I think she poured a lot into this, and I can't thank her enough for all the work she did to set up this tour. The review is wonderful, and I'm humbled. I had so much going on Thursday and Friday, that I didn't even find it until today!

Speaking of humbled, Faith Sullivan, whose books and work and life I so admire, sent me a package containing two of my books--for me to sign and return. I feel so humbled--and grateful.

Got a good bike ride in this weekend. If only it were more.
I ache for summer when I can write and ride and read every day. I never want to wish time away, but come the last weeks of the semester, it's hard not to...