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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Cool Stuff Happening!

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Sorry I skipped February-- too short of a month, even though it had 29 days this year. In February, we went with baby to a beautiful candlelit no-electricity beach in the Yucatan. I brought a stack of photocopied letters I was judging for the Letters About Literature competition and had fun going through them, underlining and starring parts I loved. (For those of you who don't know about this, it's a national competition open to elementary through high school. Students write letters to the author of a book that somehow changed their life or their outlook on life. If you're a teacher, encourage your students to do it! If you're a student, do it yourself!) Anyway, it was lovely and relaxing to hang out on the beach reading these letters amidst palm trees, with my friends and mom and dad around to watch baby.

Good news has been pouring in about RED GLASS. I'm hugely grateful that so many people are reading it and liking it. (Grateful to readers, to the universe, to the source of stories, just, in general, grateful...) It won the International Reading Association award for YA Fiction-- and Random House is sending me to Atlanta to receive the award! This is super-exciting for me-- several of the authors who will be there are heroes of mine, and I get to be in their midst. Wow.

RED GLASS was also recently selected as a VOYA Top Shelf Book, which is very cool-- and rumour has it RH will also be sending me to the ALA conference in California in June-- and again, I'll be surrounded by more writer heroes of mine (and librarian heroes, of course). You can check out the other awards and honors under the news section of my website.

I keep discovering how teachers and librarians and students are using my books in creative ways. (I love getting emails about creative ways you've used the books, so keep them coming!) WHAT THE MOON SAW is one of the books in the Intergenerational Book Club through the Center for Community Literacy here in Fort Collins. This means that lots of people got free copies of the book, and are reading and talking about it with friends, relatives, and classmates.

My good ESL teacher friend, Andrea Heyman (talk about award-winning-- she's the ultimate teacher of the year!), has been doing fun activities with her advanced ESL adult students at Front Range Community College. Every class she comes up with amazing games (usually fairly rowdy-- I hear them in the next classroom over) that involve vocab, grammar, visualization and verbalization, you name it. I'll try to post some pics of what her students did as one of their first activities.

I'm really excited that the paperbacks of WHAT THE MOON SAW are coming out on April 8. They're about a third of the price of the hardcovers-- only 6 bucks! And for school visits, Random House does a 40% discount, which makes it only about 4 bucks. This will make the book much more affordable. I'm hoping that more classes will be able to read it together, and more kids will be able to get the book at my school visits. (It'll be another year til RED GLASS comes out in paperback.)

I have a bunch of local events and conferences coming up, and I'll try to remember to take pictures to post on this blog-- the Colorado Teen Lit conference in Denver, the Arapahoe Community College Writers' Studio, a reading at The Readers' Cove with my writing group, and more (see the events section of my website for details).

What else can I say? Life is good. I love writing in my trailer. I love spring. I love my baby, who is walking now and does new cute things every day, like eating sunshine. (The other day, sunlight was shining through a wicker basket in front of the living room window. He saw the pattern of spotted light, and took his tiny pointer finger and rubbed it in a sunshine spot and licked it and said, mmmmm.)

That's all for now! Thanks for reading!

Laura