Archive for March, 2011

Multiple Personality Disorder Day

March 30th, 2011 by Terra | 1 Comment | Filed in Uncategorized

It’s end of March/beginning of April week, and I feel like a house divided today–too many projects going on, too many things to be excited about.

For one thing, we’re on the brink of National Poetry Month which is just about my favorite month of all months: a whole thirty days of thinking about and celebrating poems on a national level. Pretty great stuff. As part of this, I’m going to be doing some blog appearances in the coming weeks about After the Kiss (and maybe even have a surprise video to post), and also concentrating on poetry themes here in my own blog.

But at the same time, April begins the countdown for the release of The Summer of Firsts and Lasts, my sisterhood/summer camp novel, which officially hits shelves on May 2nd. Reviews are coming in, interviews are being set up, a launch party is being planned, my website is being rearranged . . . it’s all very exciting!

I’ve also been thinking a lot about John Hughes films lately, and sort of wanted to post about that too. Because I personally can never really pin down a favorite. I’ll think, “For sure, ‘Pretty and Pink’ is the best one,” and then I’ll remember some scene from “Breakfast Club” or “Some Kind of Wonderful,” and I’ll be all like, “Oh no that one was the best.” It makes me wonder too what today’s equivalent of a John Hughes film is, too. I mean, “Avatar”? The closest I could come was “Juno,” but that isn’t satisfying either. So I’ll send a copy of After the Kiss to whomever leaves a comment nailing the best contemporary (meaning 2005-2011) John Hughes-style film.

In the meantime, here’s the playlist of Songs In My Head Upon Waking for the last week, in chronological order:

“Gloria in Excelsis,” (Gloria in D Major RV 589) by Vivaldi
“Heat of the Moment,” by Asia
“Lightness,” by Death Cab for Cutie
“Teenage Gay,” by DJs from Mars (mashup of “Enola Gay,” by OMD and “Teenage Dream,” by Katy Perry)
“Animal Authentic,” by Junsi
“All Things Go,” by Sufjan Stevens
“Brilliant Mind,” by Furniture

New Project: Soundtrack of My Brain

March 23rd, 2011 by Terra | No Comments | Filed in Uncategorized

Maybe it’s because I was feeling particularly in love –maybe it’s because she’s on the cover of the March ELLE, which I just finished flipping through– but yesterday I could NOT GET Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” out of my head. It got so bad that I pulled out the mix CD I have it on (gift from a friend) so that I could blare it while I drove down the interstate to my tutoring session for The Wren’s Nest KIPP SCRIBES program. And boy, did I blare it. Multiple times.

Which made me think about all the other songs that are continuously going through my head. Every morning, pretty much, as soon as I get up, I’ve got some sort of soundtrack playing, and what my brain jukebox comes up with is often a surprise. So I decided to start keeping track. From now on, I’m keeping a notepad by my bed so that as soon as I wake up I can write down the song that’s in my head. Every week, here in my blog, I’ll post the results.

I realize this may be either very enlightening or very embarrassing. We’ll see how it goes though, eh?

The Importance of Sharing a Story

March 10th, 2011 by Terra | 1 Comment | Filed in News, Reading & Recommendations

I have been thinking a lot about reading and writing this week, after news that both Reading is Fundamental and the National Writing Project have recently fallen victim to slashes in government spending. Which is why I was really honored when my friend (and awesome illustrator, and fabulous literacy advocate) Elizabeth Dulemba asked me to participate in the “Share a Story, Shape a Future” campaign.

Elizabeth’s theme for this campaign is “How I Fell In Love with Reading,” which is an easy thing for *me* to talk about, because me and books? We were love at first sight.

Now, I know that normally these “love at first sight” romances don’t last for very long. They may be deep and passionate at first, but once you get down to the nitty gritty day-to-day stuff (like folding each other’s laundry and picking up [insert embarrassing drug store purchase here] for one another), sometimes the glow can fade.

But not me and reading. Or writing for that matter. No, we’ve had a long, in-depth relationship that has spanned three decades now, and doesn’t seem to be cooling down.

How did it start? It may have been when, on the day I came home from the hospital, my father sat down and read a book with me. Or possibly when my mom entertained my infant self by reading aloud, sometimes even the junk mail. I’m not sure exactly when my baby eyes managed to focus enough to understand what was going on, but by the age of 4 I had already been exposed to enough great books to want to tell my own stories. So I’d dictate them to my mom, who would type them into her typewriter. By kindergarten I was a four-books-under-the-pillow-at-naptime champ, and reading together before bedtime was a family Have To.

Over the last many years, my relationship with reading and writing has followed all kinds of amazing and unpredictable paths. It has brought me enormous joy, incredible frustration, and all the other intense feelings you would possibly want to have in life. Reading has been my most faithful, inspiring, exciting, fulfilling, educational, (and, yes, sometimes romantic) partner. (Which is no slight to my husband, but, I mean, he and I have only been together for five years.)

But I was lucky. I got introduced to reading when I was really little. I’ve had my entire life to develop and explore my relationship with it, which is why it’s grown to such richness. And which is why the news about NWP and RIF saddens me greatly; I think about all the kids who might not even get introduced to books, and I want to do something.

Because sometimes falling in all-consuming, life-changing love is as simple as being in the right place at the right time, right?