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Thursday, October 9, 2008

Colorado Book Award and Americas Award!

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Hello all!

Here I am in my trailer, coughing up a storm and blowing my nose like crazy, but happy nonetheless because... Red Glass won the Colorado Book Award in the young adult category last night! Of course, my husband and I forgot our camera, so after the awards we took this picture in our living room.

It was a fun night-- great company-- I saw writerly friends from Fort Collins and Denver and met some fascinating new people. The Colorado Humanities folks did a fabulous job organizing the event-- they had a slide show of six-word bios that the authors had written, and arranged a silent auction of author baskets. And yummy food-- dessert was an adorable columbine flower cupcake.

I hope you check out the wonderful books of the other finalists, who are both friends of mine (and Fort Collinites, too!) Teresa Funke's Doing My Part (historical fiction) and Todd Mitchell's The Traitor King (fantastical adventure). Here are Teresa and me.

So, here's a recap of the Americas Award ceremony in DC last week (Red Glass won!):

A whole bunch of my relatives came to cheer me on (and see Baby). Here are Grandmom and me at a Mexican restaurant afterward.

It was a cozy and heartfelt event-- really special.

The author Pat Mora's speech about her book Yum! Mmmm! Que Rico! (picture book winner) was fantastic, and she looked dazzling in red velvet and satin.

The illustrator of the book, Rafael Lopez was also a great speaker-- he said he thought of his mother's cooking, and going to the market with her in Mexico, as he painted these pictures... and then he read a haiku he wrote just for her (she was right there at the ceremony)-- it was very, very sweet. His artwork is stunning and vibrant and makes you want to dance and eat lots of chile (and chocolate and blueberries and peanut butter...)! He's the one holding the Guatemalan weaving in the pic (we each got these gorgeous hand-woven Mayan table runners as gifts!

And a pic of me and my sixth grade English teacher, Mrs. Witt (I still can't get used to calling her by her first name!) In February, I'll be doing a school visit at Dunloggin Middle School (where I used to go and where she still teaches!)

I did a fun school visit on Friday, but I'll write about that in a separate blog post since I need to get permission to use the photos.

Thanks for reading!



Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Indigo Notebook Cover!

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Hello everyone!

I just got back from my Maryland/DC trip! It was a good trip, but I have to say I'm happy to be back home, back in my lil trailer drinking tea (I've lost track of how many cups I've had so far today). Yesterday on the plane, on the way home, the cold that I was trying to fight off finally won. So now I'm sniffling and drinking tea, but it's not so bad since I have an amazing view of lots of luminous yellow leaves outside my trailer window.

Before I recap my trip, I have to show you the cover of my new book-- The Indigo Notebook!!! It's the first in a series. I'll try to do a book jacket-type summary here, but I must warn you, I'm not very good at short summaries... there's a reason why I needed 300 pages to tell the story in the first place!

The main character, Zeeta, lives in a different country every year with her flighty, ESL-teaching mom, encountering adventure, mystery, and romance on her travels. This year they're in the Andes mountains of Ecuador, where Zeeta's biggest wish is about to come true... and where she meets Wendell, an American teenager, searching for his birth parents. She agrees to help him on his quest, which leads them to a sacred waterfall, an indigenous Quichua village, underground tunnels, exotic gardens, and venemous creatures... and where they meet intriguing people hiding secrets. There's Mamita Luz, bread-baking mother of everyone, Taita Silvio, a famous shaman, and Don Faustino, who some say made a pact with the devil. Along the way, as Zeeta and Wendell grow close, she begins to wonder if the thing she's wished for all these years isn't the thing that truly makes her spirit fly.

Hope you like the cover! And I hope you read the book! (It'll be out in September 2009). Okay, I'm going to recap my trip later because this blog is acting weird-- not letting me cut and paste the pics, and there are lots of them! So... I'll wait and tell you about my trip later. Actually, that is probably the logical thing to do since I need to get permission to post some of the pics anyway.