Friday, February 26, 2010

Chimamanda Adichie on The Danger of a Single Story

Okay, I admit it: I'm a bit addicted to these TED talks.

In this one that I honestly can't stop thinking about since I saw it for the first time a few weeks ago, the author Chimamanda Adichie gives a fascinating talk about stereotypes and the power of story. She's a beautiful speaker, and it's loaded with insights and truths - watch it! (It's 19 minutes - which I know sounds long, but it is time well worth it.)

Chimamanda Adichie: The danger of a single story

I really feel that's so much of what this blog is all about - showing that there are multiple stories of what it means to be a GLBTQ Teen.

As Chimamanda says,

"Stories Matter."

Yes, they do.

Have a great weekend,


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Katie Davis is heroic - and a true friend to GLBTQ Teens!

So one of the really cool things about going to the SCBWI conferences is that you get to meet people doing amazing things!

At the recent SCBWI New York conference, one author I met was Katie Davis, who has a gig talking about Children's books on the Good Morning Connecticut TV show.

Here she's sharing three books about friendship with the TV show's viewers. One of the books is Parrotfish by Ellen Wittlinger.

What's awesome about Katie isn't only that she's including a Teen novel about a transgender teen, she defends the book from the knee-jerk discomfort of the show's host, who calls the book's handling of the subject matter "extreme." When Katie counters that it isn't extreme AT ALL, it's actually handled very well, the host admits he hasn't read it. She urges him to, and it's a great moment: check it out!

Thank you Katie, for getting word out there that all of us need books about GLBTQ Teen lives, too. You're making our world a better place!


p.s. you can check out Katie's blog here, too!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

You Wanna Hear Something Beautiful? (Warning: It's so full of love it might make you cry, too.)

A lesbian grandmother, M.J. Seide, and her 12 year old granddaughter Genna talk, for the first time, about the grandmother being gay.

It was a Valentine's week story on NPR. Click here, and listen!
(It's just under 3 minutes long.)

Wow. It got me all teary-eyed. And happy. And sappy.

Because that old myth about how if you're Queer you can never find love or have a family is so busted open for the lie it is. And that myth is destroyed by the power of love. Every day, by so many of us. Living our lives. And loving.


You can hear it in their voices.

And I wanted to share.



p.s. Thanks to Astrostraddle for the link!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

London Reign

by A.C. Britt

London's 16.

And he has enough to deal with just surviving on the urban streets of Boston and Detroit, trying to find love and make a life. But he does have a secret that takes his battles to a whole new level.

He was actually born a girl.

Add your review of "London Reign" in comments!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Teen Voices Get Heard: Teens Who Blog!

So when I started blogging over two and a half years ago, the conventional "wisdom" was that while adults may blog for teens, teens themselves don't blog.

I don't think that's true anymore.

Here are 3 blogs, created with passion by teenagers. These blogs - these Teens - inspire me.

Ramblings by Adrienne, with the amazing tagline:

These are the very random ramblings of a fat/plus-sized, girl-loving, broadway-obsessed, flute-playing, homeschooled teenager.

Reading In Color by Ari. This blog is so professional in its focus, execution and fierce advocacy of characters of color in teen fiction that it blows me away every time I'm there.

That's So Happy by Johnny
. An ally of the Queer community, Johnny started his blog to focus on Gay equality. In his own words:
I named my blog "That's So Happy" because the phrase "That's so gay" is thrown around a lot. The word "gay" means happy. So what you're really saying is "That's So Happy." I hope one day this will be true.

Go check these blogs out. Follow them. Show them we're listening to their voices.

And I want to know: What teen blogs inspire you? Share in comments!

Or, if you are a teen who blogs, share with us what you're doing!


Friday, February 19, 2010

Are We Past Racism? Vanity Fair's All-White New Hollywood Cover: Take The Survey!

Okay so here's the scoop:

Vanity Fair's annual New Faces in Hollywood issue came out, and everyone on the cover is a white girl:

Now there's been a lot of noise, back and forth, over whether or not this was racist.

On the one side, there's the argument being made that:

there were really no women of color that were better bets on becoming the next big thing in Hollywood from the perspective of the editors of Vanity Fair, and that it wasn't racist

and on the other side,

Vanity Fair didn't seem to make much of an effort to include anyone of color (and no, the 3 brunettes and 2 redheads do NOT count as "diversity.") The cover is racist, in that it erases women of color from the discussion.

There was even this spoof of the cover, which I thought was awesome:

So now I wanna know: What do YOU think?

Take this super-quick survey, and share your view here in comments!


Thursday, February 18, 2010

How am I celebrating Mardis Gras? I'm hanging out at Shelli's "Market My Words" ...and I'm even vlogging there!

So all this week Shelli Johannes is running contests (with prizes like literary agent critiques and consultations!) There are daily interviews and lots of great information on marketing yourself and your books... even if you're not yet published.

Today's installment of her Book Marketing Mardis Gras Celebration features 2 great vlogs - one by the amazing Greg Pincus on "The Twitter Golden Rule," and one on blogging for authors by... ahem, well, by ME!

And to make it even more awesome, today's prize package includes winning a free copy of my e-book, "The Zen Of Blogging!" (As well as a copy of "Get Known Before the Book Deal" by Christina Katz!)

So, come on - what are you waiting for?

Throw on some plastic beads and go check it out! Whoo-Hoo! Mardis Gras!!!



Pinky and Rex and The Bully

By James Howe, illustrated by Melissa Sweet

I'm pretty excited about this easy reader chapter book with a gender non-conforming main character.

Pinky is a boy. And his favorite color is - you guessed it - pink!

Pinky's best friend is a girl. Her name is Rex.

Kevin, the 3rd grade bully, says that makes Pinky a sissy.

So Pinky decides he'll go back to being called "Billy." And he'll give up his favorite stuffed animals. But will he have to give up his best friend, too?

When you fall in love with Pinky and Rex, know there's a whole series James Howe wrote about them! Add your review of "Pinky and Rex and the Bully" in comments!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Say The Word

by Jeanine Garsee

Shawna's Mom left them years ago - back when she was 7.

Why did her Mom leave? To move in with her female lover.

Now Shawna is 17, her Mom's dead, and she has to figure out how she feels about everyone - like her Mom's lesbian widow, her Dad, and the secrets that seem to surround her...

You can check out Daisy Porter's review here, and you can add your own review of "Say The Word" in comments!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Zombies Wanted! No Queers May Apply

Okay, this is just so crazy I had to share it. So this small micro press, "Library of the Living Dead Press" put out this call recently for submissions to a new anthology they were putting together - Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Zombie Short Stories.

Then, last week, they canceled the planned anthology.

Why? In the words of Doc, from Library of the Living Dead Press:

"I was the one who gave the go ahead for the Anthology. But with all the things that are going on in my life right now I didn't think it all the way through. I became afraid I would upset people by publishing the book."

Evidently the Press received a lot of homophobic reaction from their other authors at the idea of their coming out with a Queer anthology.

What!?! So the Undead and eating brains is fine, but Gay stuff? Oh no, that's too much.

I can't even begin to articulate how crazy this seems to me!

There is talk of "resurrecting" the anthology among some authors who had written stories for it (which would make it a "true" back-from-the-dead anthology, I guess) but there's also been discussion of de-gaying Zombies in stories already written, hoping it will make those undead tales more publication-worthy.

There's a strange parallel between yesterday's post and today's - in both cases, an effort was made to be inclusive of the Queer Community, and then it was like the very people who started those efforts suddenly got cold feet (or maybe I should say "homophobic feet.")

One minute we seem to be making progress, combating homophobia in sports and amongst the readers of undead literature, and the next minute Queer-positive voices are silenced.

For me, the bottom line is that the silencing of Queer voices, even undead ones, is what's really scary.

What do you think is going on? And maybe more important, what can we do about it?


2/16/10 12:44pm

Looks like the Queer Zombie anthology is back on!

Thanks to Jim for the heads-up.

Thanks to (the listserve of The Outer Alliance), and among many others, Jim Hines for leading the discussion on No Queer Zombies Wanted!

Monday, February 15, 2010

The British Football Association (That's Soccer for us Yanks) Pulls an Ad to Combat Anti-Gay Hate Speech

Check this report out - It's kinda cool that the Brits are trying to deal with anti-gay slurs from fans. And it's really sucky that they're now afraid to run the ad...

What do you think? How do we get homophobia out of sports? Do you think this ad would help?

Talk about it with your GSA. Or here, in comments!


Friday, February 12, 2010

Poetry Friday: Valentine's Edition is HERE!

In a world where the Valentine's Day movie is marketed with the gay storyline hidden, I'm really proud to have the Community of Children's Literature Bloggers celebrate Valentine's Week's Poetry Friday right here.

So, instead of a singular GLBTQ Valentine moment inside a universe of straight Valentines, this Poetry Friday has something unique: Many moments of Straight and Queer poetry, all hosted here, at "I'm Here. I'm Queer. What the Hell do I Read?"

And truly, that feels like progress.

So add your url and a description of your contribution in comments, and I'll add your Poetry Friday links throughout the day.

I'll start things off with the very first Gay Love poem I ever posted on this blog: find out how long ago this poem was written by clicking here.

I saw you last night in the gathering,
but could not take you openly in my arms,
so I put my lips next to your cheek,
pretending to talk privately.


And now on to the poetry from across the kidlitosphere!

Danika of Teaching Books shares, for Black History Month, Marilyn Nelson's poem "1905." It's from her biography - in poems - of George Washington Carver. There's an audio excerpt where you can hear Marilyn introducing her book and reading this poem. Fascinating stuff!

Stacy Nockowitz of the Blog Some Novel Ideas is in for her very first Poetry Friday with the irresistable somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond by e.e.cummings She's even included a bonus youtube clip from the movie Hannah and Her Sisters. Welcome to the party, Stacy!

Susan Taylor Brown shares Poems by Incarcerated Teens. Their words are moving and powerful, and the result of a poetry class Susan taught over 10 weeks.

Greg Pincus is up with a re-issue of the only poem that ever led to an angry email at his gottabook blog: Book Report on the Dictionary, which totally made me LOL (hmm... would that be in the dictionary, I wonder?)

Shelf Elf contributes John Keats' "Bright Star" - very worthy of Valentines!

Mary Lee is in with a video "that made me smile. It's kind of a stretch to call it poetry, but I'm saying it's a list poem illustrated with video images and accompanied by music." I really like the notion that we can find poetry in unexpected places!

Carol is in with a review of OOPS, a silly poem book by Alan Katz.

Stella from My World/Mi Mundo wrote about Jane Yolen's book "An Egret's Day" - her review calls it: "An excellent book filled with great poetry and amazing photographs."

Mur at the Write Sister's blog asks for help in solving a poetic mystery. Oooh, how cool!

Laura Salas chimes in with "Happy Valentine's Day! I love the gentle passion of those Rumi lines." She's in with a poem by Sallie Wolf called Downy Woodpecker, and shares this week's 15 Words or Less Poems (you can go and add your own, too!)

Sara loves the candy hearts (me too!) and is in with an ode to February, inspired by Maira Kalman's brilliant The Impossibility of February.

Diane Mayr of Random Noodling looks at Ted Kooser's Valentines, and lets us know that Kurious Kitty looks at the Swallow Anthology of New American Poets. She also shares that there is a Wendell Berry quote over at Kurious K's Kwotes. Kweck it out.

Laura Shovan at Author Amok
is in with Valentine's Day wishes and loving for Edgar Lee Masters' "Spoon River Anthology." She's sharing a persona poem ("David Robinson") from Masters 1915 book, with a related original related poem from my kids yearbook-in-verse project.

Barbara Etlin, Boreal Owl at Words Take Flight shares her beautiful ghazal, Heartbreak Kid.

Kelly Polark is in with a shout out "to love and acceptance!" Yay! And, keeping to that theme, she shares John Lennon's lyrics to his song, "Love."

Susan at Chicken Spaghetti is in with her spoof of an Emily Dickinson poem. It accompanies a photo she took of her chickens in the snow. Enough said? Go read it already!

Jeannine Atkins likes the candy hearts, too! Hurray! She wrote about fairy tales as inspiration for poetry. And really, is there any better time to really think about the messages in "Cinderella" than Valentine's Day? Good stuff!

Jama Rattigan is definitely on the same wave length as me, because over at her blog, Jama Rattigan's Alphabet Soup, she posted some Rumi verses as well! Spread the love, Jama, spread the love.

Becky from Beck's Book Reviews is in with a review of a very silly Children's poetry book, Bear Hugs, by Karma Wilson.

Elaine Magliaro at Wild Rose Reader shares reviews of several Children's poetry books about winter. Over at Political Verses, she has an anti-Valentine poem titled "Look at the Man: A Poem Explaining Why Women with Mates Gain Weight." I remember reading that study result and not knowing what to think... Maybe it's all the chocolate presents for Valentine's Day? Go see what Elaine thinks is the reason!

Carmela Martino shares that over at Teaching Authors, April Halprin Wayland has two original poems and a Writing Workout on how to create a "Valentine Poem with Heart"

Kelly Fineman loves her some Rumi, too - and is in with "a post that is for the birds, it being the Great Backyard Bird Count this weekend." (I didn't know that. Thanks, Kelly!) She's highlighting Bright Wings, edited by Billy Collins, illustrated by David Allen Sibley.

Liz Scanlon from Liz in Ink likes the "righteous conversation hearts" I shared above - me, too! Her Valentine is for her nine-year-old birthday girl... with help from poet Donald Revell.

Denise over at Confessions of a Quarter Life Crisis contributes a haiku, "Oops... I fell in love" saying that "Love is something that you can't plan for, because if you do, it’ll be wrong every single time. Love happens, and it's a miracle, and you have to let it happen; even if it's frightening. Because it will be frightening, and more amazing than anything else you've ever experienced." Right on, Denise. She even made her own custom candy heart poem!

Martha Calderaro has two poems to share, one by Andrew Green of Potato Hill Poetry, who visited her daughter's school this week; the other, "Things" by Eloise Greenfield from her wonderful collection Honey, I Love.

Elaine Magliaro at Blue Rose Girls is in with a humorous poem by Ogden Nash, "Common Cold."

The Stone Bow bloggers are in with a link to "a somewhat love-related Gregory Corso poem" - The Whole Mess. Corso was a beat poet, and he's throwing the most important things in life - things like Love - out the window.

Tricia at the Miss Rumphius Effect is in with a SEXY poem by Emily Dickinson!?! It's pretty awesome. Go read it now! (Don't worry - it's not graphic.)

MotherReader shares a poem from Pat Mora's collection, Dizzy in Your Eyes: Poems about Love, along with a review of the book! The poem's called "Mirrors" and I agree with MotherReader - it really capture a teen's insecurity and a relative's unconditional love. Tan Linda.

Amanda at A Patchwork Of Books also reviews Pat Mora's new poetry collection, Dizzy in Your Eyes! Find out if she and MotherReader see it Eye-To-Eye!

BreanneP talks about teaching poetry in the classroom at her blog Language, Literacy, Love. She's teaching a poem a day to her students (saying it takes only about 15 minutes) and having great results. She shares her favorite poem so far, Autobiography in Five Short Chapters by Portia Nelson. It made me laugh out loud. And think. And then think some more. Go check it out!

Tabatha Yeatts is a candy heart and Rumi fan as well, and though she hadn't been thinking of Valentine's Day when she chose her Poetry Friday contribution, it turns out what she did choose is "at its heart, very much about love." It's a beautiful poem, called "The Ones They Loved Most" by Janet S. Wong - it will stick with you, in a good way.

Jennie Rothschild dropped by to say that I should "take heart that even though Valentine's Day left the gay plot out of the trailer, at least it has one. Love, Actually (which Valentine's Day is blatantly based on) left the gay plot on the cutting room floor completely so you can only see it when watching the deleted scenes." So I guess we're making progress (slooooow progress, but progress nonetheless.) Jennie's in, over at her Biblio File blog, with a Chinese love poem - because Sunday is also Chinese New Years! The poem, "Song of Farewell in the Tartar Mode" is evocative and somehow feels expansive and intimate at the same time...

Miss Erin McIntosh contributes an original poem, "Unwelcome Packages," to our poetry-pa-looza!

Anamaria of Books Together celebrates Valentine's Day in Xanadu... with the opening lines of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's "Kubla Khan!" There's a pleasure dome!

And as a final addition, Nicole Marie Schreiber is in with a post sharing from Lord Byron's DON JUAN, something that inspires her to keep on writing - even when life seems to get in the way!

Happy Valentine's Day to All!


p.s. You can make your own candy hearts here!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name

When I came upon this context for the famous poem by Lord Alfred Douglas, I loved how it stood in, rather elegantly, for the scene which couldn't really have been published in 1914, when "Desert Dreamers" by Patrick Weston (the pseudonym of Gerald Bernard Francis Hamilton) was released. Here's an excerpt from Chapter 7 (the poem begins chapter 8):

"Too late!" murmured Julian; but the cry was hardly heard in the intensity of the moment.
The scent of mimosa was everywhere. Mimosa!
In after years Julian never allowed any one to bring that scent into his house. But upstairs a little shrine was always decorated with mimosa blossom.
Too late! He had gone down the dangerous path and had crossed - crossed to the other side.
Too late!
The bark of a desert dog brought him for a moment to his senses, but only for a moment.
The warm body at his side, the fire in his heart, set his pulses tingling. The blood coursed like fire through his veins.
With a cry of resignation to fate, with a cry of joy or rather of sorrow ended, he drew Tayeb to him; and, as there is a God in heaven, those two souls became united in that one sacred moment.
And all about them, all around them, hung the stillness of the desert.

Chapter 8

He said "My name is Love."
Then straight the first did turn himself to me
And cried, "He lieth, for his name is Shame,
But I am Love, and I was wont to be
Alone in this fair garden, till he came
Unasked by night; I am true Love, I fill
The hearts of boy and girl with mutual flame."
Then, sighing, said the other, "Have they will,
I am the Love that dare not speak its name."
-Lord Alfred Douglas

The line that separated Arab from European, master from servant, had been rudely snapped. Julian and Tayeb became as one.*

It's pretty wonderful that our Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Queer and Questioning Love can speak its name today.

And yet, like the gospel song goes, you need to know where you've been to know where you're going. Sing it, Queen Latifah!

*I found this on pg. 424-429 of "Pages Passed From Hand To Hand: The Hidden Tradition of Homosexual Literature in English from 1748 to 1914" edited by Mark Mitchell and David Leavitt.

Oh, and if the name "Lord Alfred Douglas" sounds familiar - he was Oscar Wilde's lover. (You can go here for more on their love affair and the famous trial.)

If you'd like to contribute early to tomorrow's Poetry Friday celebration, you can go ahead and add your link and story about your contribution in comments, and I'll add it to the Poetry Friday Post once it goes up (12:01 AM Pacific Time.) Thanks, and


Wednesday, February 10, 2010


By Ellen Hopkins

Sex. Sound fun?

Sex for money. Sound glamorous?

Sex to survive. Get Real.

In this wrenching and powerful novel in verse, five different teens struggle to figure out what sex and love are all about.

Eden's a preacher's daughter, in love with a boy her parents will never accept.

Seth is gay, the son of a farmer, afraid to come out to his dad.

Whitney lives in her big sister's shadow, wishing someone would pay attention to her.

Ginger's Mom is a whore - and Ginger has to take care of her siblings at the cost of taking care of herself.

Cody's stepdad is an okay guy, but then he gets sick... And Cody has to become the adult.

For five different reasons, each of them gets dragged into turning "Tricks." Can they survive? And if they do, can they ever feel okay about themselves again?

Add your review of "Tricks" in comments.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

You Wanna See Hypocrisy In Action? John McCain Wants To Keep "Don't Ask Don't Tell" No Matter What!

Get this - McCain said in 2006 that "Don't Ask Don't Tell" was working (for whom, Senator McCain? More than 13,500 servicemembers have been fired under the policy since 1994.)

At that time, McCain said he would only consider changing the policy if the leaders of our USA military said it should be changed.

Fast forward to last week: On February 2, 2010, The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, testified that "Don't Ask Don't Tell" should be eliminated and that Gay and Lesbians should be allowed to serve openly in our armed forces... And guess what? It would seem McCain doesn't really care what the leaders of our military say about it.

Check out this amazing dailykos video that shows McCain's homophobia-no-matter-what in action:

McCain is practicing the politics of hate, and it's shameful.

If you'd like to express your disappointment to Senator McCain directly, check out this nice e-mail setup over at HRC (the Human Rights Campaign) that lets you send a polite but firm e-mail to the Senator saying "I urge you to live up to your words -- and to the integrity of the office you hold -- and end "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

Wanna tell President Obama to take action on ending "Don't Ask Don't Tell?" Go here, to the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network site, where you can sign a petition.

Okay, and if you really want to be surprised, check out this Fox News report where not only the Fox News Military Analyst Colonel David Hunt comes out in favor of ending Don't Ask Don't Tell, but even the male host of the program adds his two cents, saying
"Yeah, it's like a civil rights issue. I find it absolutely absurd."

Wow. I agree with two people on Fox News!

Check it out:


Monday, February 8, 2010

GSA Monday: A gay 15 year old sues his old school for not protecting him from bullying.

So Jacob is this 15 year old in New York who was harassed at his school for being gay. For not looking like a stereotypical straight boy. He dyed his hair (blue, sometimes pink). He wore eyeliner. He was out. When asked if he was gay, he's say:

"Yeah, I'm gay, whatever. Peace out."

But he was teased. Bullied. The school didn't stop it. A teacher told him he should be ashamed of himself for being gay. One kid wrote "I hope you die" on his shoe. Another pulled a knife on him.

So Jacob and his Dad sued.

The new angle is that their suit, with the NYCLU, argued that people who are gay and/or who do not conform to gender stereotypes should have protection under Title IX, the federal law that "prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity." Title IX is the lever that changed girl's participation in sports, making schools accountable for including girls in sports - or risk their federal funding.

After all, it wasn't so long ago that acting like a sterotypical "girl" and being athletic were seen as mutually exclusive. And if you compare girls participation in sports from 1972 (when the law passed) to today, Title IX has helped create a gigantic shift for the better, for the fairer, for the equality of women - and thus made it a better world for us all.

Now while there is talk of settlement, this case is a warning to schools across the country that allowing harassment and bullying of their GLBTQ students is not only wrong, it's going to cost them (bad PR, and money.)

Jacob's family ultimately moved. Talking about the difference in his new school, he said:

"It's amazing. I have a lot of friends there."

I'm really proud of Jacob (and his Dad) for standing up and fighting this fight. It will make things better for other kids in both his old school, and in schools across the country.

I think it's really important that non-conforming gender expression is protected. I've heard from many teens that it's harder to be an effeminate straight guy than a butch gay one in Junior High and High School.

What about in your school?

Does something like this have a chance to impact things for the better?

Let me know what you think.


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Superbowl Sunday Bonus Post: Here's The Gay Commercial CBS Doesn't Want You To See:

CBS rejected this ad (remember that they recently "relaxed" their standards in order to accept that anti-abortion ad?)

And then, CBS tried to say that the gay dating site didn't have the money to pay for the ad, and they only submitted it because they knew it would get rejected and then they could get all this free publicity for it. The company says CBS should call their bluff, run the ad and charge them. I agree. CBS should run the ad. And the dating site should pay.

But really, did they spend "more than $100,000" on this ad? Really? I mean it's clever, but it feels like a more like a hokey Saturday night live skit than a slick TV commercial.

However it shakes out, there's your Gay Superbowl commercial...

and now back to your regularly scheduled Sunday!


Friday, February 5, 2010

Gay Teen Ideas... For Knitting and Crocheting? Why I love Google Alerts

Check this out:

It's a magazine from 1944, called "Gay Teen Ideas for Knitting and Chrocheting."

The word "Gay" has evolved quite some distance, hasn't it?

See, one of the great things you can do with Google Alerts is put in an alert for what you are interested in and what you blog about. (I set it for daily e-mails) Then see what pops up on the web. I found this gem because I have a Google alert for "gay teen."

And because of that, now I get to share this with you. I mean, after all, how else are you gonna know how to make a "New-some Two-some jerkin and beanie?" (Yeah, I have no idea what that is.)

There's even a "How're You Doin Toots?" quiz!

So think about what YOU could set a Google alert for - you never know what you'll find!

Have a great weekend,


Thursday, February 4, 2010


By Adam Rapp

Jaime's 14, and the black sheep of his family. He drops out of military school and is living on the streets, strung out.

He decides he'll make his way from Portland, Oregon to Memphis, Tennessee - by bus - to visit his gay older brother, who's dying of cancer.

"Punkzilla" is a novel in letters that Jaime writes - to his brother and others.

"Punkzilla" just won a 2010 Michael L. Printz Honor Award (meaning it was voted by the ALA Youth Media Award folks as one of the 5 best YA novels of 2009!) Thanks to Tricia for letting me know about this one!

Add your review of "Punkzilla" in comments!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Whistle Me Home

By Barbara Wersba

Noli is 17. She falls hard for T.J., the new guy in school. And T.J. seems to be in love with her, too.

Noli is sure they are soul mates...

And then, she finds out that T.J. is gay.

Well, how would YOU react?

Add your review of "Whistle Me Home" in comments!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Next Competitor

By K.P. Kincaid

American Figure skater Alex is 18, and he's gearing up for the Olympics.

His coach is stern and Russian.

His rival, Tanner, is poster-boy perfect, all-American, and even has a "perfect" girlfriend.

Alex certainly doesn't have a girlfriend. More to the point, he doesn't have a boyfriend.

He is having a hard time not thinking about this pairs skater Matt - but Alex doesn't have time for dating. Not if he's going for the Gold.

Add your review of "The Next Competitor" in comments!

Monday, February 1, 2010

The #SCBWINY10 Conference: High Points, Take Aways and Appreciation

The conference had some amazing high points for me:

The Saturday night GLBTQ Mixer that I hosted went really well, with more than 25 people attending! Check out the full post on it at the Official SCBWI Conference Blog here. We had a great discussion, and I got to meet Peter Marino, author of Magic and Misery, which he happily told me was already on this blog!

I also had the lovely experience where a conference attendee approached me and said "You're Lee Wind? I bought your Zen Of Blogging and I loved it. I'm so glad to meet you." Well I was super glad to meet her, too:

Another amazing moment (which happened a number of times, actually) was when people recognized me and told me they read (and appreciate) my blog - this blog! Awww, I know you readers are out there, even when you don't comment. But meeting blog readers in person was so cool!

My main Take Away from the 3 days of the Writers Intensive and the 2010 Winter Conference was really a hybrid of points made by Jane Yolen and Jim Benton.

Jane Yolen shared, in her amazing keynote, this tip: If you're a writer, write every day. Like exercise. Holidays. Weekends. Every day.

And Jim Benton spoke of a sense of joyful experimentation - of trying lots of new things and drawing for fun every day.

And so I'm heading home with the notion of joyful daily exercise of my writing muscles. I'll aim to write something, and have fun with it, every day. And see if I get in better writing "shape." Oh, I'm hoping to feel that endorphin rush, too!

On a craft note, Jacqueline Woodson said a number of things in her keynote - about emotional truth and more - that I found inspiring and really useful.

In fact, it will take me days to go through my notes and just begin to process all the good stuff I gained from attending the conference.

But now, a message of appreciation. I really view the world of Children's literature as a tribe. My tribe. And SCBWI - the members, the staff, the volunteers, the faculty - all together we create that sense of community. I feel very fortunate to have connected with the organization.

I also feel incredibly fortunate to be part of SCBWI Team Blog with Alice Pope, Jaime Temairik, Jolie Stekly, and Suzanne Young. I've simply never had a better - fun, diligent, and passionate - group of co-workers. Thank you.

From left to right: Me, Suzanne, Jaime, Alice and Jolie!

The SCBWI 2010 Winter Conference.

I had a wonderful time.