Summer reading

TheLibraryatMountCharI recently finished debut author Scott Hawkins‘ book The Library at Mount Char, and I really enjoyed it. This wasn’t a surprise to me – everything I’d read about the book made me think I’d like it! – but I wasn’t expecting it to be funny.

My saying it’s funny probably reveals something about me, since a more obvious characteristic is that it’s terrifying (some have called it horror; see Cory Doctorow’s review, for instance). But I found a lot of dark humor in this book. I spent much of it laughing out loud while simultaneously gripping the binding, unable to put it down – a combination really hard to pull off, at least in my experience.

Whether you think it’s funny or not, The Library at Mount Char is definitely a page-turner. It’s perfect summer reading.

“Play” – the 2015 Enchantment show


Earlier this summer, I wrote a piece for the New Mexico SCBWI’s 2nd annual “Enchantment” show – a collaborative project between writers and illustrators. I love the Enchantment concept – illustrators create an image inspired by the show theme, which is then assigned to a writer, who writes a (no more than 1-page) piece in response (this article describes last year’s show).

The 2015 theme was “Play.” I received my assigned illustration in May; after much wrestling, what came to the surface for me was a poem. I haven’t written poetry as anything other than a writing exercise for twenty years, so this was a little frightening. But the challenge of writing it, of polishing and revising to make it the best it could be, was exactly what I needed. It allowed me to get back into writing.

Here is my finished piece (gulp):

Along the Red Clay Road

Along the red clay road we go.
We gallop forward, we do not slow –
Our arms enlaced, with matching stride –
Our song, it will not be denied!
With a hey and a ho and a hey-nonny-no….
The sun is our companion, though
it is not constant; night does always follow
day. But through the dark we do abide
Along the red clay road.
Hey and a ho and a hey-nonny-no!
We’re crossing to the other side –
We’ll leave behind the tears we’ve cried –
They were so long ago
Before the red clay road.

The Enchantment show hangs from July 1 – 31 at the Los Griegos branch of the Albuquerque Public Library. If you are in the Albuquerque area, I highly recommend stopping by before it closes!

Deep searching

searchinginsunflowersThe flowers in my garden are full of bees right now – especially the sunflowers. Bees burrow right in and hang out, barely moving, as if they can’t bear to leave their source of sustenance.

This is where I am with my writing today: burrowing in.