Oh, the shame of it Monday, Jun 29 2009 

Finally it can be told: I never shut up in school, never, not once. kkreportcard


Another list to love Saturday, Jun 27 2009 

For everyone who ever asks (and there are a lot; people who’ve read Talk ask me this all the time): “Is there, like, a list of gay-themed YA novels I could recommend to my class/book group/youth group/whatever?”  The answer is yes, and here’s a great place to find one: Lee Wind’s blog, I’m Here. I’m Queer. What the Hell do I read? For starters, how ’bout Baby Be-Bop?  It’s one of the sweetest books I’ve ever read.

(P.S.  Burning the books actually doesn’t work.)


You’ll get lost here and love it Friday, Jun 26 2009 

The Book Cover Archive: oh lord.  Take a sandwich, possibly a folding chair.

I’m not sure what else we can judge a book by except its cover, unless we’re already familiar with the writer or interested in the topic.  As the recipient of some especially lovely work – thank you, Rick Lieder – I know how vital it is that the cover reflect, refract, and encapsulate not some illustrative event but the flavor of the story itself. It’s not easy.  Ask any writer who’s tried to do the 25-words-or-less deal: “So what’s yer book about?”

Favorite queer-themed YA books, part one Wednesday, Jun 24 2009 

Thank you, BookKids blog, for getting out the word on all the uber-cool, hilarious, sad, outrageously entertaining LGBTQ books there are in the YA genre.  Start anywhere, read everything! Below, my choices, one contemporary (the Cameron) and one timeless (the Rimbaud).RimbaudPCameron

Ready to move? Thursday, Jun 18 2009 

postcard“All would be well if you lived in a novel,” posited Yiyun Li, somewhere between hope and reality, in a recent New Yorker piece.  So…would it?  I posted the idea on Facebook, to a chorus of varied responses.  Do we get to pick the book? or the character?  And if we die on the page, do we live again when the book is opened anew?  Whee! … Personally, I want to take a long ride on that drunken boat.

Music Vs. Words: Bring the noise! Friday, Jun 12 2009 

OK, how about this: the ferocious economy of “Lay There and Hate Me,” by Ben Harper and Relentless7 vs. the quaint maximalism of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time?  Discuss, at high volume.

[P.S. fave title of all time: “The Drunken Boat.”]

Not for profit Wednesday, Jun 10 2009 

We can eulogize Shaman Drum as a bookstore, a place for ideas, for browsing, for its calm, electric, good-humored atmosphere – and examine our own book-buying habits, maybe? – and then think about suppoprting GLLAC in memory of Shaman Drum.

Where ideas come from Monday, Jun 8 2009 

…is not the question really, is it? because there is no answer.  What to do with those ideas when they come, though, we can endlessly discuss.  I’m working on my presentation-to-come at Oakland University, as part of Jim Cipielewski and Linda Pavonetti’s Authors’ and Illustrators’ Art and Craft course.  Jim Cipielewski said in a recent interview that “The focus of the class is on the aesthetics, the creative process,” and that process is where all the fun is, isn’t it?  I’ll be there July 15th, raising my paddle in the stream of consciousness.

The line-up of guest speakers is a fine one: Lynne Rae Perkins, Nikki Grimes, Molly Bang, Deborah Hopkinson, Janet Wong, William Low, Linda Vaccaro Seeger and Marc Arsonson. I’d love to sit in on every guest’s presentation; it’s exhilarating to hear from so many different perspectives.  There is no One Right Way, just the practice, and isn’t that a delight.