2. It's been balmy all week -- until last night. This morning, we woke to frost and coooold:
3. My dad's birthday is on Christmas Day (he'll be 71), and we're getting together with him and my mom (and my brother's family) tomorrow night to celebrate. Their favorite Mexican restaurant is closing (sigh), and tomorrow night is their last weekend -- so we're going there, and then we'll walk downtown and look at the colorful lights. It's been something of a tradition, and it's nice to have that time with my dad as the 'focus.'
4. My printer died this week...thankfully, we have a spare (one which came with another computer) -- I don't know how good it is, but it's going to have to do for the last bit of the calendars I'm printing (I have December and 1/3 of November to print). Fun times. :)
What are you doing for Solstice, Yule, or any other holidays falling during the end of 2013?
In you, and scrawled their manuscript!
Have shared their secrets, told their cares,
Their curious and quaint affairs!
Your pool of ink, your scratchy pen,
Have moved the lives of unborn men,
And watched young people, breathing hard,
Put Heaven on a postal card.
- To a Post-Office Inkwell by Christopher Morley
View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.
View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.
Learn more about Poetry Friday.
- Current Mood: grateful
- Current Music:These Shoes by Maria Mena
Look for your copy of INDELIBLE winging its way to you in time for milk and cookies under the festooned tree!
Secondly, I am going offline as I delve into the latest project that I can't wait to share, but alas, can't share now. When I return, I am uncertain whether I will keep mirror-posting to Livejournal because while I love my LJ community, the erratic and spamtastic service since the hand-off has been a major deterrent. I am investing other fun possibilities, but you can always find me on my website at www.dawnmetcalf.com!
So, in advance of diving into the writing cave, I'd like to wish everyone Happy Holidays and a healthy, happy and abundant New Year filled with every joy and success.
sparkly photo by Anna Langova
All the very best,
1. I gave my last school visit of 2013 this week in beautiful Brookfield, Connecticut. This was my third time visiting Whisconier Middle School, and every time I go, the kids are fabulous.
2. My daughter comes home today for Christmas! I'm so excited to see her and have her home.
3. While I was in Connecticut, I found out that Half A Chance (Feb 2014) was chosen as a Junior Library Guild selection! This is my first JLG book, and I'm thrilled. :)
4. Also, Hot Rod Hamster: Monster Truck Mania (March 2014) received a glowing and fun review in Kirkus! https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-revi
5. My family is hosting two Christmas parties this weekend and now the weather says freezing rain on both days. Nooooooo! We have lobster (which is how we lure our families to make the drive to Maine!), but now I'm thinking if the weather is bad, there may be no one here to eat it!
- Current Mood: busy
Still Alice, by Lisa Genova. A brilliant professor develops early-onset Alzheimer’s. As she loses her memory and her career, what remains of her identity? This story has stayed with me—and based on conversations I’ve had with other readers, I’m not the only one.
Birthmarked, by Caragh M. O’Brien. Gaia works as a midwife just outside the Enclave, the protected community she serves. But when officers of the Enclave imprison her parents, she starts to question the rigid rules of her society, especially the forced reassignment of children to new parents. A good book about power and the possible consequences of environmental destruction. Also includes some code-breaking!
Two Boys Kissing, by David Levithan. Two boys trying to set a record for the world’s longest kiss form the central story, but the plotlines weave through several characters’ lives, tying together the generation of men lost to AIDS and the generation for whom coming out is more common—but not necessarily easy.
Plume, by Kathleen Flenniken. This is a book about betrayal, loss, and invisible dangers made visible. Centering on the community of Hanford, Washington, and the various forms of radiation exposure its citizens experienced, it’s a horror story and a discovery story and a love-of-family story. I reread it almost immediately; it still grips me, weeks later.
Vivian Maier: Out of the Shadows, by Richard Cahan and Michael Williams. Vivian Maier was a nanny who spent most of her free time perfecting her amateur-photography skills, capturing the world around her. When she died, she left behind thousands of photographs and negatives, a small fraction of which were assembled in this collection. The images are stories in themselves.
The Test: Living in the Shadow of Huntington’s Disease, by Jean Barema. There was a 50-50 chance the author had inherited the incurable, degenerative disease known as Huntington’s. This book chronicles his agonizing over whether to get the genetic test, his siblings’ and mother’s experience with the disease, and his countdown to his own test and receipt of the results. Even those of us who don’t fact Huntington’s confront many of the same questions about mortality, and the physical losses that may come with age.
Days That I’ll Remember: Spending Time with John Lennon and Yoko Ono, by Jonathan Cott. This book captures Lennon in his post-Beatles life, dealing with couplehood and parenthood, exploring new creative frontiers. It’s a relief to see a book that doesn’t vilify Ono as the woman who “broke up the Beatles,” but rather explores the artistic and political views that she and Lennon shared and kindled in one another.
Rapture Practice, by Aaron Hartzler. Hartzler grew up in a fundamentalist Christian household. But much of what he was drawn to (partying, rock music, dating), his family viewed as sinful. This book records his ever-more-painful attempts to please the family he loves, while unable to resist exploring the music and relationships that call to him.
Stuck in the Middle with You: A Memoir of Parenting in Three Genders, by Jennifer Finney Boylan. Boylan shares her own experience parenting before, during, and after her transition from male to female, and she also interviews so many other parents that the result is a rich and diverse exploration of what it means to be a parent, what it means to be a child, and how gender does (or doesn’t) affect parent-child relationships. Plenty of food for thought here.
Stories from Jonestown, by Leigh Fondakowski. I blogged about this book here—an unforgettable look at a movement that started out in hope, peace, and brotherhood, and ended in the tragedy of murder and suicide.
Into the Tangle of Friendship: A Memoir of the Things That Matter, by Beth Kephart. Kephart explores all kinds of friendships: how those bonds form, and how they strengthen, and how and why they sometimes dissipate. And it’s as beautifully written as all her books.
The Year of Living Biblically: One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible, by A. J. Jacobs. Jacobs attempts to follow the Bible literally. He immediately confronts a few problems: which version of the Bible? How to interpret passages that are unclear or conflicting? What to do about actions that are now illegal (like stoning people)? But in studying and trying to live the Bible, he discovers plenty about both God and humankind.
Gift from the Sea, by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Concise, poetic, and meditative, this is a book that’s meant to be savored and reread. It records the kind of deep pondering, the questions and discoveries, that can come to mind when we let ourselves stop and think and reconnect with the natural world.
source of recommended reads: all from library, except Gift from the Sea, Plume, and Two Boys Kissing, which were purchased.
Edited by Christopher Golden, DARK DUETS features an extraordinary lineup of collaborative stories, with the authors of each story collaborating for the very first time. Here are the duos and the titles of their tales:
TRIP TRAP by Sherrilyn Kenyon & Kevin J. Anderson
WELDED by Tom Piccirilli & T.M. Wright
DARK WITNESS by Charlaine Harris & Rachel Caine
REPLACING MAX by Stuart MacBride & Allan Guthrie
T. RHYMER by Gregory Frost & Jonathan Maberry
SHE, DOOMED GIRL by Sarah MacLean & Carrie Ryan
HAND JOB by Chelsea Cain & Lidia Yuknavitch
HOLLOW CHOICES by Robert Jackson Bennett & David Liss
AMUSE-BOUCHE by Amber Benson & Jeffrey J. Mariotte
BRANCHES, CURVING by Tim Lebbon & Michael Marshall Smith
RENASCENCE by Rhodi Hawk and F. Paul Wilson
BLIND LOVE by Kasey Lansdale & Joe R. Lansdale
TRAPPER BOY by Holly Newstein & Rick Hautala
STEWARD OF THE BLOOD by Nate Kenyon & James A. Moore
CALCULATING ROUTE by Michael Koryta & Jeffrey David Greene
SISTERS BEFORE MISTERS by Sarah Rees Brennan, Cassandra Clare, & Holly Black
SINS LIKE SCARLET by Mark Morris & Rio Youers
Dark Duets will be published by Harper Voyager in January 2014.
If you're connected with a bookstore, please pass along that Dark Duets is not canceled. In the words of editor Christopher Golden, "Apparently there is some confusion because it was originally announced as a hardcover and will now be a trade paperback. Distributors are notifying stores that the hardcover is canceled without explaining that it's been replaced by the trade. This could be very detrimental to sales, so any help spreading the word to stores is deeply appreciated." Spread the word, booksellers!
- Current Mood: thankful
- Current Music:Interesting by Maria Mena
I was thrilled when the poem was accepted for publication, and thrilled again when an educational publisher from Canada contacted me and asked my permission to reprint the poem as part of a fourth-grade curriculum for reluctant readers. It will be used in their online curriculum (and the sample I saw for an older grade was splendiferous indeed!), and in text if they opt to print it.
I was happy, of course, to get paid for the poem again, but happier still to think that thousands of Canadian school kids will get to read my poem. (I just hope it isn't a painful experience for them.)
- Current Mood: grateful
- Current Music:Hold Me Closer, Tiny Dancer (brainradio)
In 1944, Rose Justice is ferrying Allied fighter planes for the war effort when she is captured and taken to Ravensbruck, a women's concentration camp where she befriends the Polish "Rabbits," allies with a Russian pilot and French spy, bribes German block leaders, and fights to survive for six months. This novel is written in journal entries, so the heartbreaking and cruel events in the second part of the book are easier to take because certain events are foreshadowed. Still, knowing how much is based on true facts and people gives this story a powerful feel that is extremely well researched and written. While it is difficult to believe that the narrator could write such detailed accounts months later and in a journal while malnourished and emotionally wrought, it is an amazing historical novel about survival, and most of all, friendship and hope. The end is tear-jerking. Highly recommended YA. (Hyperion, 2013)