Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Postscript to last entry

I know Tim Wynne-Jones should be cited Wynnne-Jones, Tim. I copied and pasted that list of books from an email. Sorry, but I felt the urge to clear that up... with myself, at least.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Green Mountain Book Award

I have been chosen to serve on the Green Mountain Book Award Committee. Our task is to choose the nominees for Vermont's annual teen-choice reading award. Each committee member reads a portion of the nominated books in the first round. Liked books are then moved on to a next round where all committee members will read them. My initial reading list consists of books nominated by me and others:

  1. Armistead, Cal.  Being Henry David.
  2. Cline, Ernest.  Ready Player One.  
  3. Cochrane, Mick.  Fitz.  
  4. Dawkins, Richard.  The Magic of Reality.
  5. Forman, Gayle.  Just One Day.
  6. Griffin, N.  The Whole Stupid Way We Are.  
  7. Hubbard, Jenny.  Paper Covers Rock.
  8. Jones, Tim Wynne.  Blink and Caution.  
  9. Kraus, Daniel.  Rotters.  
  10. Leavitt, Martine.  My Book of Life by Angel.
  11. McCormick, Patricia.  Never Fall Down.  
  12. McMann, Lisa.  Dead to You.  
  13. Mignola, Mike.  Joe Golem and the Drowning City.  
  14. Myracle, Lauren.  Shine.  
  15. Newman, Leslea.  October Mourning.
  16. Ottaviani, Jim.  Feynman.  

    There are many more terrific books on this years' nomination list, and I can't wait until we get into the next rounds and start deliberations.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Just. Keep. Writing.

This is nothing new. I've said this many times before. A good book is the single biggest motivator to keep writing. It might be the tone of the story or the narrator's original voice or maybe just a couple of passages that fill me up with that feeling only written words can give you. That feeling that makes me think, wow, that's exactly how I would be feeling if I were in that situation. The ability to make a reader feel that way is probably a writer's greatest gift. 

It makes me want to try to make someone feel that way, too.

Thank you, Michael Northrop.   

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Hidden Gems

I love finding new books. The more I read, and the more I immerse myself in the world of writing and books, the more I realize how many books and authors I've never heard of. But it's an amazing problem to have.

Just today in the the library I work at, I came across two books that completely mesmerized me. First, I was in our 20th Century history section, looking for books to pull in order to help a social studies class with a WWII assignment, when I came across photographer Joe O'Donnell's collection of post-atomic bomb photos from his time in Japan in 1945. I'd seen some of these photos before, but never in a collection quite like his, and I couldn't help but study them over and over and over. It was the type of moment that makes working in a library and trying to find sources that will help students absolutely worthwhile.

Later in the day, an unrelated conversation took a couple of sharp turns and landed on Tobias Wolff. One of my colleagues mentioned a book of Wolff's called Old School, which I'd never heard of. My colleague was surprised. I was, too, since it concerns a boys' boarding school and a writing contest and a visit by Robert Frost. Right up my alley! What surprised me even more was that we had it in our collection, right under my nose. Now, obviously, I'm aware that I don't know every title we have, but I just felt weird to have missed out on this one until now.

Such a happy accident to add to my reading list.

Just Finished: A Study In Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Currently Reading: The Aurora County All-Stars by Deborah Wiles
Up Next: Old School by Tobias Wolff

More links!

I've adapted my VCFA graduate lecture into a mini-lesson over at Ingrid's Notes, my classmate's fantastic blog. See my post here.

And, view my latest hockey article here. (Be warned: this one is pretty hockey-nerdish).

Sunday, February 10, 2013

I don't take much for granted but...


I definitely take snow for granted. And not even the fact that I like winter sports. I just take the phenomenon for granted. Just the fact that snow even exists. Sure, I know it can be harsh like it was over the past weekend, but when I think about how many people in the world have most likely never seen snow, it just blows my mind. The number is literally in the billions. Crazy.

Just Finished: The Black Cauldron by Lloyd Alexander
Currently Reading: A Study In Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Up Next: The Aurora County All-Stars by Deborah Wiles

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wolf Moon

It's happens every January, and it makes me feel alive every time I see it. There's just something about it hanging there, bigger than it normally appears, shining down on me. It almost pulses with energy. I stared at it for quite a while this time, trying to suck in some of its energy. I figure if I store up enough, I can use some to fuel my writing on those nights when I'm running on fumes. It's free, too. Amazing!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Challenges are fun?

Yes. Yes they are. We need challenges. I need challenges. It's a good thing, too, because I'm facing so many of them right now. Post-MFA life has barely begun, and the weight of it all is crushing parts of me. I have to keep writing. That's one thing I have control over. I need to keep chipping away at my book. I need to keep creating and thinking and revising. All of the other stuff is out of my control. I just have to keep writing and believe that everything will work out. Things will happen. The weight will lessen with time. Stuff will work out.

I'm a good writer. I just need to keep believing that. And VCFA didn't just vanish. It's still there. My people are still there --  here -- holding me up from behind the scenes. I'm ready for all of this. I can do all of this. I really can.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


I graduated from Vermont College of Fine Arts. I am a Master of Fine Arts. In writing!

I made it through my lecture and reading in one piece. Both actually went pretty well. My lecture generated a good amount of discussion, and my reading got positive reviews, which is great for my positive energy moving forward. 

It's just so hard to be done. I know it's not the end of me and VCFA, and I know it's not the end for me and my amazing class, but it's still hard. There's a certain kind of emptiness that will be hard to fight through. I only know how to do it one way: by writing. I need to write my way through the feelings.

I need to write my book. I need to continue this writing journey.