Tuesday, April 30, 2013

This has nothing to do with writing, but...Jason Collins

My husband, like many sports fans, follows Sports Center, and I watch it with him sometimes. A couple of his shows have been discussing the ramifications of NBA player Jason Collins's recent announcement of being gay.

I asked Kevin, "What would you say if you were on one of these sports analyst shows and they asked you for your opinion?" He answered by telling me to check out the opinion expressed on ESPN by sports analyst the Chris Broussard, who is a Christian. I love the way Broussard explained it. If you are interested in hearing it (it caused a lot of controversy, as you can probably imagine), here 'tis:

He later clarified his remarks, which you can read here if you'd like.

All I gotta say: thank you for explaining, Broussard. That took a lot of courage.

P.S. I will still be posting on Friday. I just wanted to support this brave analyst; I love courageous heroes and heroines in books, but this is real live courage. I hope I can be as brave in my writing.

Photo Credit
By Reisio (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Friday, April 26, 2013

Catching Fire Trailer & Library News

2010 - A year plenty of HopesScribblers and Book Bandits,

"Big News" alert: the Lakeport Reference Librarian, Susan Clayton, is retiring! We will sure miss her! Be sure to stop by the library on her last day, May 1st, and wish her a very merry retirement.

A Friends of the Library Booksale is coming up on May 4th, from 10AM-3PM (Friends' members can come a half hour early, at 9:30). Paperbacks $.50, Hardcovers $1.00. I love these booksales because they help build my summer stockpile!

And, by the way, thanks for supporting Rock the Drop last week! Amy's book was a hit. One person picked it up the day before "Rock the Drop" as we were taking a picture to put on the blog the next day. That person read it and brought it back for the actual "rock the drop" day. Then, another person picked it up to read and pass on to her daughter. Success!

Next week we'll have a writing post, BUT THIS WEEK we have exciting news from the Hunger Games front: the trailer for "Catching Fire," the second movie. Enjoy!

Photo Attribution
By Jesus Solana from Madrid, Spain [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Rock the Drop Location: The Library!

The Official Location! And Amy the librarian!
     So, yesterday I said my book drop location would be in the Riv. That changed when someone took Amy's book a day early. Long story, that.
     Anyhow, my book will be at
<-- that spot,
in the picture. That is the Lakeport library: 1425 N. High St. in Lakeport. And yes, that is me in the door reflection. I will drop my (your) book off around

2:45 today.

 If Amy's book happens to be there, too, feel free to take it! (That's part of the long story I won't share today.)
     Just as a refresher, you can check here for the book descriptions, and their pictures are below.
My book!

Amy's Book!
P.S. The books will have this bookplate on the outside and inside cover to mark them as "yours":

Go get 'em! They're yours.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Free Teen Book: Operation Teen Book Drop 2013

Hi Scribblers and Book Bandits!
Today is a special early post because tomorrow is "Rock the Drop 2013," which means a friend (Amy Patton, the Librarian who runs the Young Adult Summer Reading Program at the Lakeport Library) and I will be dropping two awesome Young Adult books off in specific locations for you to find. It's an adventure! I am leaving a book in the Riviera for a fellow reader to find and enjoy, while Amy leaves hers in a different spot. Tomorrow I will tell you the specific locations + give you pictures of the books in their spots.

Here is my book:

This is actually two Sarah Dessen books packaged together into one--and with the movie cover! (The books are better than the movie, of course.) The first book, That Summer is about a high school girl named Haven who wishes for the past, before her sister was marrying "boring Lewis." She looks back, back to the summer her sister dated Sumner who colored life exciting. But when she realizes the past was not perfect, she gains more hope for the future. This was a free, quiet and witty read--Dessen's debut novel. She was originally writing towards a more adult audience, so it has a different flavor from her later books. The second novel, Someone Like You, is about two high school girls who rely more heavily on each other than every before during this particularly difficult year. As usual, Dessen writes quiet realism mixed with clever humor and endearing characters. Friendship is the focus in this one, and I loved it because friendship is so important in high school (and all of life, but especially then). The movie combines these two books into one story--an interesting mix. The title "How To Deal" is very obviously about how to survive high school. For more info on Sarah Dessen books, check out her website.
And here is Amy's book:

This book is Newberry-winning historical fiction about a Jewish girl who lives during the time of the Holocaust. I haven't read it, but I've read other Lois Lowry books. They are beyond "just" exciting--they are beautiful. Literary.

Tommorrow, I will reveal the book drop locations. Get Ready. Get Set...

This project was inspired by, which posted about how several teen lit organizations (such as YALSA) are parternering in the effort. Keep your eye out for our books and others!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Library News and Upcoming Literary Events

Himmelsst├╝rmer staunenThe biggest news (officially announced here) is the Middletown Library's grand opening, which took place yesterday, so hurry over there today to check out the goods! 21256 Washington St. (in Middletown, obv.).

Recently I got off my figurative lazy butt (I am still on my physical lazy butt, healing from a stress fracture. Thank you to my dear friends who've been praying!) and checked out the Lake County Arts Council page for upcoming literary events. Holy cow, there are tons of things going on. Here, I listed mostly writing events, but there are also other poetry, art, cinema and theater events going on. If you want to know more, check it out here.

A 2 Day Writing Retreat with Clive Matson will take place  at the Lake County Arts Council Gallery, 235 Main St in Lakeport on April 20 4-6pm-April 21 10am-5pm. It will be put on by Poets and Writer's, Inc through a grant from the James Irvine Foundation. Clive Matson writes poetry, short stories, essays and plays. He has led writing workshops for twenty-five years, holds an MFA in poetry from Columbia University, and teaches at UC Berkeley. This is the big time, Scribblers!

Apparently there is also an ongoing writing group at the Lower Lake Historic Schoolhouse Museum for writers of all levels and genres. The best thing: it's free. I attended a similar group once at the Arts Council in Lakeport, and some great writers took part in the group critiques. If you're looking for a crit group, these meetings in Lower Lake might be just the thing for you. They run from 1-3 or 4 pm on the 2nd Wednesday of each month.

And, finally, the 6th Annual Mendocino Lit Fest at Mendocino College (1000 Hensley Creek Road, Ukiah CA.) is coming up on April 20th from 10am-4pm. This festival hosts writing contests, author readings and other celebrations of the written word. Last time I went, I got to attend a writing workshop by Jodi Gehrman, a Young Adult fiction author and my first writing instructor.  This is always a good time.

On May 2nd, there will be a free Writing Workshop at the Main Street Gallery in Lakeport from 6:30-8:30. Lake County's form Poet Laureate, Mary McMillan will be there.

The Fifth Annual Lake Renaissance Festival is coming up! How cool, right? It's on Memorial Day weekend, May 25th-26th at The Tuscan Village, a winery: 16175 Main. St. Lower Lake.

I hope you get to attend some of these exciting events, friends!

Works Cited:

Cook, Jan. "Lake County Library's Calendar of Events for April 2013." 12 April 2013. Web.

"Grand Opening Announced." County of Lake California: Library. 12 April 2013. Web.

"Shortcuts to the Near Future." Lake County Arts Council. 12 April 2013. Web.

Photo Attribution:
By Stefan Doering (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Friday, April 5, 2013

"Speak": Banning It vs Considering Its Implications

     Awhile back, there was an awful controversy about a book called Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. (I included links to the articles below.) It was labeled pornographic and inappropriate for its age group (older Middle Grade to younger Young Adult). 
     I read this book in order to consider the claims (thanks to Anne Shirako (a librarian, of course! (check out this triple-nesting)), who challenged me to do this). I listened to the book again just last week to makes sure of my own opinion before writing about it.
     Speak tells the story of a vulnerable, thirteen year old freshmen girl, Melinda, who was raped at a party. Is this too heavy for young people to deal with?
     I would like to put off answering this, first, by asking if it is the content we should be worried about, in a book, or how the content is portrayed? If we apply this latter question to Speak, we can easily see that the difficult subject matter is handled with care and compassion for Melinda and any young readers. In the offending scene, the trauma is addressed carefully. It is not physically graphic. It emphasizes how Melinda stumbled into the situation, and her following reaction: she calls the cops because she knows she needs help...but she is unable to speak. The book consists of the effects of rape on her psychology and emotions. Throughout the book, she struggles out of depression to get help.
     Isn't this realistic?
     The book is "clean" in the sense that most parents, teachers or other concerned adults would worry about. What shocked me was the insinuation that the book is pornographic. Whoever came to that conclusion twisted this book's quiet, sensitive realism. This book is about emotional healing and recovery, not gratuitous teenaged sex.
     So, again I ask, is this age-appropriate material? Yes. It is. Because this could easily happen to an 8th-9th grade girl (or an older girl). They go to parties and get drunk, just like Melinda. If they are hurt in the same manner, if they are scared or if they just don't know what happened, how can they  talk about it? By reading of a heroine just like them. Melinda is that perfect heroine.
    Instead of banning books that include difficult subject matter, such as Speak, perhaps we should talk with teens and pre-teens about the ideas raised, even if we disagree with the book's opinion. Isn't that what young people need? Teenagers especially are looking for answers. I think young people do want to talk about hard things. Some may be more ready than others, of course, but they will rise to the occasion if they are interested. When I was a teen, I didn't want difficult subjects to be hidden from me, to protect me. I wanted to talk about them. Books like this pave the way for frank discussion that may otherwise be too difficult for the teen or parent (or teacher, or whoever) to initiate.
     Not to mention that Speak raises issues teens will need to hear about before they get to adult literature, especially the classics. If teens read classics in school that deal with these subjects, why shouldn't they read about it in a way written specifically for them by authors who love and understand teenagers?
     If you would like to see one of the articles that twists Speak's content out of context and recommends that schools ban it, click here. Unfortunately, he is a Christian. If you would like to read Laurie Halse Anderson's response, click here. Fortunately, she is also a Christian.