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Showing posts from 2016

Write My Way Out

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My hands are shaking as I type this. I have not blogged since July. I have not written anything substantial since September.

Maybe that's what is wrong with me. 
So here I am. Showing up.  Doing the thing that I feel like I've forgotten how to do.  I'm going to try to write my way out of this funk. 
2016 has not been my best year. And I'll go ahead and name the elephant in the room (no pun intended)--the Election caused much of the suckage. Politics hijacked the year, and it occupied my head-space. I've never been one to pay attention to politics, but 2016 was like a train wreck from which I couldn't look away. I spent most of my free time falling down the black hole of the internet--reading articles and researching issues. And now that the election is over, I'm WOKE. It's hard to unknow things. So for the past month,  I've tried to regain a balance of being informed while not letting it consume my thoughts. Even though it's tempting, I don'…

Hard Conversations

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“Miss, reading is for white people.” These words sent shock waves through my soul. It was a typical February day in the Skeeter Library. I buzzed about--doing my Book Pusher Thing--convincing high school students to check out books to read for fun. This is the part of my job that I love the most, but it can also feel like teaching toddlers to tango. Jose sat at a table with four other boys, two Hispanic and two black, when he said those words. They snickered at his comment, and Jose basked in the glow of the validation from his “squad.” Even though I felt horrified by his words, I didn’t let it show; I smiled and waited for them to stop laughing. Then I said, “I want to know why you think that.” The boys sat in silence and then started talking. I listened. One of the Hispanic boys said, “You know, Miss. Mexicans work on roofs and mow yards.” One of the black boys added, “Black people hustle in the streets.” “And white people read.” Jose concluded and then explained, “That’s just the …

SRS 2016

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We made it, my friends. Summer '16 is officially upon us. That means it's time for the pool, vacay, and READING! It's now a tradition to share my Summer Reading List with you. (If I do anything twice, it becomes tradition. That's the Aggie in me.) If you click here, you can see my past SRL posts.

But this summer I'm calling it my SRS--Summer Reading Suggestions. Because the truth is that a LIST makes summer reading sound bossy, and I don't need another list bossing me around this summer. TBH (that means "To Be Honest," Mom, because I know you are reading this), I never follow my summer reading list; I use it as a place to start, and then I usually find other books to read and abandon my list all together. The most important thing is that we all commit to READING this summer. For escape. For pleasure. For fun. For ourselves. That's the essence of summer reading.

This summer I plan on reading more adult fiction. I read YA (young adult) year round b…

What I Learned from Haper Lee

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When I first heard the news of Harper Lee's passing, I felt the gut-punch of sadness--like a dear relative had died. Several of my friends and former students reached out to me via Facebook and text to "check on me" because they know my adoration for this beloved author runs deep. 
After a busy Friday, I finally found the time to sit with my sadness. I scrolled through my social media feeds, reading the tributes that so many of my friends and fellow authors wrote about Harper Lee. I posted on Facebook: I spent my Friday night with a glass of wine, my dog named Scout, and my well-annotated copy of TKAM thinking about all the ways that Harper Lee's words have impacted my life. I feel a blog post coming on...
So here I sit on Saturday morning (that has rolled into the afternoon)--struggling to find the words to express how a person I never met could have such a profound impact on me. Harper Lee is more than a reclusive author; she's been a teacher, a mentor, and a …