New real estate Saturday, Jun 19 2010 

I’ve moved here – kathekoja.com – to consolidate my blog and my website: please do have a look!  A link to the Under the Poppy blog/site can be found there as well, or you can simply go here.

I also moved that brown divan under the window, and the ficus tree is now out on the porch.

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826Michigan is going to teach you a lesson Wednesday, May 26 2010 

But only if you sign up in time for the Fall Fiction Writers Conference, September 24-26, where I’m happy to say I’ll be part of “PUBLISHING IN GENERAL AND THE YA NOVEL IN PARTICULAR,” a Q & A session with Barbara Shoup, Lara Zielin, and Margo Rabb, where we’ll talk about, what else, publishing and YA.  For more details follow the link, or contact keithhood@mac.com for info.

Buddha Boy at ZHS Thursday, May 6 2010 

While you enjoy this outpouring of creativity from the Zephyrhills High School students who read, considered, and made Buddha Boy their own, please note that there was also music composed and performed, found poetry, writing, discussion, a letter from the Criminal Justice class detailing the civil and social costs of bullying, donations collected (via begging bowl) for a victim of bullying … the list goes on and on. Oh, and did I mention the engaged and energetic GSA? What fantastic kids! What a visit. I wish I could spend a week there walking the halls, taking in everything, and, especially, talking to the students.  Thank you, ZHS students and faculty and administration, and the tireless Kari Kadlub who worked so hard to make this happen.

One book, one school, Buddha Boy … Tuesday, May 4 2010 

… at Zephyrhills High School, near Tampa, Florida: look for me there Wednesday, May 5.  I’m looking forward to hearing all of the opinions and ideas, to answering questions and asking some, too, to rediscovering this story through the minds of new readers, all the students, teachers, staff. Every reader creates, recreates, a book anew.

Shared worlds with the beasts fantastic Friday, Apr 30 2010 

Shared Worlds asked some writers, including me, to invest some beasts for the students, and they did, and here they are. Chimerical, yeah, but if you close your eyes you can just about touch them; some of them you can even smell. And as the comments note, in August “the students of Shared Worlds 2010 [will] have illustrated entries with original artwork, and included their own thoughts on these beasts,” and that will be something to see with your eyes open.

Out loud, or Read to me, please Friday, Apr 23 2010 

Why is it that when we grow up, people stop reading aloud to each other? Is it that the pleasure of reading to yourself is assumed to be greater than that of being read to? Two different facets of the same jewel … Poetry, especially – if the reader is a good one – oh, poetry is so juicy when it’s read out loud. Or Green Eggs and Ham. Or Shakespeare: make mine Macbeth! The scene where he wigs out at the banquet! Read to someone today, or better yet, get someone to read to you.

Love > fear Tuesday, Apr 20 2010 

How proud these students’ parents and teachers and friends must be. What a perfect response.

Lynda Barry, YA goddess Thursday, Apr 8 2010 

Please, very smart and excellent media specialists, invite Lynda Barry, who knows everything there is to know about being young, fierce, wild, and clean of heart, to come and talk to your kids about writing and drawing pictures and why doing both can save you.  I recommend her work all the time to both young readers and those who want to write YA, because she knows

Breakfast at MRA Sunday, Mar 21 2010 

An 8 AM breakfast, amazing company – educators laugh a LOT, did you know that? – and a chance to talk about why middle schoolers are rad and how reading resembles deep sea diving … Here’s me and my table mates at the MRA breakfast, at Cobo Hall in downtown Detroit, on a grey spring morning. We had a rockin’ time; wish you were there.

Awash in unhealthy excitement Friday, Mar 19 2010 

The Little Professor is busily corrupting students, what with all that distempered excitement and those dangerous cravings, and I must heartily concur and add warnings of my own: Once you start reading a really excellent novel, you might as well kiss your dull-minded, content-to-be-bored life goodbye, and become forever the trembling slave of pleasures unknown.  Like what just happened to me with Sarah Waters’ Fingersmith.  I mean for god’s sake, people, I lost uncounted hours reveling in bad new words and whiplash plotting and ladies’ prisons and it got so bad, why, I almost forgot to take my Flintstones Chewable Morphine!

So beware.

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