Follow by Email

Monday, September 19, 2011

Guatemalan Queens

Best Blogger Tips
Hi guys,

My friend Leslie drew my attention to these artsy photo portraits of Guatemalan indigenous reinas. They were selected as queens in what appears to be an event similar to the Ecuadorian Queen competition that Maria Virginia (my co-author of The Queen of Water) participated in.

Most of the Guatemalan queens are Mayan, and like Maria's Queen competition, these events emphasize cultural connections. For example, the young women have to give a speech in their native indigenous language.

The photos are contemporary, although they look old-fashioned because they were taken with this kind of camera... I think they look beautiful, but it's too bad that the vivid colors aren't captured in the photos. You can see the full article and photo essay on the Guardian website here.

Here's a black and white photo of Maria taken by a French magazine photographer after she won a Queen competition as a teen... definitely a bit sassy with the off-the-shoulder look!

I'm so glad these Queen events occur in other parts of Latin America... it was an important way for Maria to reconnect with and value her own roots, and I hope it does the same for other young women.


Fort Collins and Loveland friends: Hope you can join Maria and me and one of our events coming up--

Sept 20
Tues, Loveland Public Library. Presentation and Discussion with Laura Resau and Maria Virginia Farinango (!) 6:30-8:00. Everyone welcome. 

Oct 6

Thursday, 12:00-1:30 The Queen of Water Presentation/Discussion with my co-author, Maria Virginia Farinango, and me. West Conference Room, Longs Peak Student Center, Front Range Community College, Larimer Campus (Harmony and Shields), Fort Collins. Free and open to the public! (Arrive early—the parking lot is huge and crowded!)

If you're a teacher or librarian who's coming to this CLAS conference, please come say hi to me!!


Sept 23-24

Fri and Sat, CLAS (Colorado Language Arts Society) Conference, Luncheon Keynote and Breakout Session. Golden, CO. Registration required.


Thanks for reading!



Friday, September 9, 2011

Queen Party with Maria Virginia!

Best Blogger Tips
Hey everyone!

Maria and I had so much fun last night at the party... thanks to all of you who came or sent good wishes!  Maria was radiant as always, in a lovely new blouse and anaco with lovely embroidery...

The party was at an awesome coffee shop, Everyday Joe's, in downtown Ft Collins.  Our friend Maria Luisa played gorgeous music... she studied Andean flute music with Maria's amazing musician husband, Tino, and other musicians in and around his Quichua community in Ecuador.

The little kid crowd had fun playing their own music and dancing and running around on and off-stage... (Yes, that's an image of MacGyver in the background, hehehe.... we had a slide show running with photos of Maria's life, some of which you can see here and link to from here ...)

It was such a great feeling to have so many friends come out to celebrate.... here's my good friend Laura Pritchett-- writing group buddy, and incredibly talented author (of Hell's Bottom, Colorado; Sky Bridge, and other books).  She was a big help in figuring out how to shape Maria's story.

 Such a warm atmosphere with our friends...

We had a contest/drawing, and my dear friend Flora (who volunteered in my ESL classes back when I was still teaching) won *twice*... she's super sweet-- we all discovered that she's had crushes on Rambo and John Travolta.  (The entries had to include your name and your first TV character crush (inspired by Maria's crush on MacGyver)....more about all that in another post!)

Choosing lucky winners from the basket...

 Julio (originally from Jalisco, Mexico!)  won a copy of Red Glass... he had some really poignant reasons for his first crush on Matilda (a character from a movie I haven't seen but sounds good.)

Here's my good friend Todd Mitchell, author of The Secret to Lying, one of my all-time favorite YA novels.  And he's got some dazzling YA fantasy manuscripts up his sleeve, too... hopefully soon to be shared with the world.

Beautiful writer/reader girls came-- here I am with Kelly and Lydia!

It's been fun catching up with Maria-- she just came to town from Ecuador a few days ago.  She showed me a bunch of great recent pics of her family, which I'll share with you in another blog post.  I'll also share more pics of the party then... I realized Ian didn't take many of Maria (he had his hands full with Lil Dude, who gets super-excited at these events and tends to bounce off the walls as the evening progresses.)  I know some other people got more pics of Maria, so you'll see them soon...

(If you missed last night, don't despair.... we're doing some other events in the area soon.  You can check my Events page for details.)  Thanks for reading!