Monday, August 31, 2009

on my desk monday

sketch for September's small graces; thought it would fit for those having to go back to school!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

and her eyes were as big as breadrolls...

One of the things on my to-do list this summer was to create a new program for my school visits. I'd like to offer writing workshops for classrooms, so I could work with students one-on-one. I've been pleased that so many classrooms have used my books to teach similes so my thought was to offer a Simile Workshop (this is also upon advice of sage fellow author Barbara O'Connor who instructed me that workshops should be "specific" and "focused"). What do you think?

But before I start carving my workshop out in stone, I thought I'd throw it out to you! What are the top things you would want your students to learn from an author in a Simile Workshop, or any writing workshop for that matter? What are the things you definitely need to do/know when teaching a workshop like this? Tips welcomed!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Friday, August 21, 2009

fortune cookie friday

"No melon-peddler cries: Bitter melons! No wine-dealer says: Sour wine!"
-Chinese Proverb

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Upcoming Events

So, as I mentioned earlier, now that fall is coming I am scheduling author events. Here is what I have so far, I'm hoping to schedule a couple more. Let me know if you have any suggestions (though I am limited by travel budgetary restraints)!

I hope to see you!

Sunday, September 13th, 3:30PM

Brooklyn Book Festival
Brooklyn Borough Hall & Plaza

Saturday, September 19th, 1 PM

Barnes & Nobles New Hartford
4811 Commercial Drive
New Hartford, NY 13413
local but can't make it? Reserve an autographed copy and pick it up later! Call:315-768-1075

Saturday, October 10th, 9:30am – 1pm
Novello Festival of Reading
Charlotte, NC

Saturday, October 17th, 1:30 pm
The Blue Bunny
577 High Street
Dedham Square
Dedham, MA 02026
local but can't make it? Reserve an autographed copy and pick it up later! Call:781-493-6568

Sunday, October 18th
Belkin Lookout Farm
89 Pleasant St. South
South Natick, MA 01760

Saturday, November 14th

Many Voices Book Fair
Chinese & American Friendship Association of Maine
Portland, ME

coming home

I have a booksigning scheduled for my hometown New Hartford, NY. I'll be reading and signing my new book Where the Mountain Meets the Moon as well as my other titles. I hope to see some old friends, please come!

1 PM on Saturday, September 19th
Barnes & Nobles New Hartford
4811 Commercial Drive
New Hartford, NY 13413

Can't make it? Reserve an autographed copy and pick it up later! Call:315-768-1075

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I'll look back too

With my fellow Blue Rose Girls reminiscing about their lives less ten years, I thought I should do the same. Unfortunately, I have no journals and a poor memory, so am a little hazy about exactly what I was doing. But I remember in 1999, I was poor, living off of ramen noodles, my first book "The Ugly Vegetables" was published, I was working at a bookstore and this happened:

A woman that I had had a cooking class with came into the bookstore. A friend that was also taking the class had told her about my book (I would never have told her myself) and she came in with the express purpose of getting it. Kind-hearted soul that she was, she was so excited that she never even noticed me at the back of the store.

"I took a cooking class with her!" the woman said proudly, " I just saw her last week!"
"Uh, great," my co-worker said, with a definite lack of enthusiasm, "I see her everyday."
Don't tell her I work here! I thought to myself, Don't tell her I'm here!

My co-worker, who was almost as socially awkward as myself, offered no more information and the woman just gave a puzzled smile as she bought the book. And I breathed a sigh of relief from behind the bookshelf I was hiding.

I look back at this memory with quite a bit of amusement. Somehow, I had felt if customers knew I worked in the bookstore the "author mystique" would be ruined. I'm not sure why. If I went into a bookstore now and was told the person behind the counter was the author, I'd be thrilled-- not disappointed. But I guess ten years ago, I had this ideal of what an author was supposed to be like and if I didn't fit the ideal then people would know that I was a fake!

The truth is before 1999, I had spent so much time concentrating on trying to get published, I had an extremely hazy idea of what came afterwards. I guess I thought after getting a book published, I'd be set. Transformed. I would be rich and witty and sophisticated...not eating instant noodles, awkward, wearing dirty sneakers and working as the lowest rung of a bookstore (I was an extremely bad bookseller).

So how have I changed since then? Not too much, but enough. I'm not rich, witty or sophisticated but I am less awkward (I hope!), I have clean sneakers and I don't work at a bookstore. I do sometimes still feel like I am faking the author thing but usually realize in time that there is no author ideal to pretend. But most of all, I am profoundly grateful that everything seems to be working out-- that the path I began ten years ago was allowed to continue and that I see it stretch out before me.

And I don't eat Ramen noodles anymore either. That stuff can kill you.

Monday, August 17, 2009

on my desk monday

Starting work on my book "Thanking the Moon" (about the Moon Festival).

Friday, August 14, 2009

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

inimitable is good, right?

Just saw this super nice, lovely review of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by the super smart people of PaperTigers! (And I mean it when I say smart. I had to look up "inimitable", what does it mean when you need a dictionary to understand a review of your own work?) Here's an excerpt:

The story is sweet without being overly sentimental, smart without being preachy, exciting without sensationalism. Everyone learns important lessons about friendship, strength, honor, courage, and love in this heartwarming and engaging book that will surely become a classic.

Yay! That means they liked it! Read the whole review here.

an author event without the author

Since my book has released in July, I have not done a lot of in-person appearances which is a big bad in terms of book promotion. I'm going to try to schedule some for the fall, but in meantime I am offering what I like to call the authorless author event.

What is this? Well, are you arranging your group's Moon Festival event? Want to have a memorable library event? In charge of the next Mother-Daughter Book Club? Or looking for something unique for your child's birthday party? Well, what I have is an event kit that allows you to have a fun event with my book without me being there! This event can be used with kids who have not read the book as well as those who have.

Thanks to the brilliant minds at Curious City, this kit provides a download-able invite, posters and instructions for the journey-like game all based on WHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE MOON. Participants get to play the role of Minli, mirroring her quest to find the Old Man of the Moon. They are given a bag of tools and as they journey through the room are given 10 age-appropriate puzzles to solve. They solve the puzzles by using items in their tool bag or things they pick up along the way. In the end, kids are rewarded at the end with a mysterious gift. The meaning of that gift can only be revealed by reading the book!

This event kit was recently tested with a Families with Children from China group in Maine with an extremely enthusiastic response. The girls declared it, "Cool, very cool!" and "Really fun, really intriguing, I can't wait to read it now!" This was quite encouraging and hope it piques your interest in having a similar event!

You can download the event kit HERE!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

on the way to the grocery store

poor sinners. If going to hell is not bad enough, your car is going to be towed too.

Monday, August 10, 2009

on my desk monday

I received an issue of Mei Magazine(a really lovely publication for Asian adoptees):
because they printed an excerpt of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon in it:Thanks, Mei Magazine! You're great!

Friday, August 7, 2009

fortune cookie friday

"If you hurry through your days, you will hurry through your years."
-Chinese Proverb

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

the fortunate winner!

It's time to pick the July winner of my contest! As you know from yesterday's post, I put the name of each entrant in a paper fortune cookie:
Who will be the winner? Have to make sure I mix it up a bit:
This one feels lucky. Who IS it?

Congrats Katy! You get a $25.00 gift certificate to the gracelin store!

Remember, all of you have a chance to win next month, too! AND don't forget on Sept. 1st, I'll pick for the grand prize: your name or likeness in my next book! (Don't worry, Katy, you're still eligible. I'll put the names of all the monthly gift certificate winners back in the bowl for the final drawing).

Monday, August 3, 2009

She really got it!

I just read this lovely review of my book, I'll excerpt my favorite part:
This is a flawless little gem of a book, written in a straightforward, warm tone that always has a hint of a smile in it... There is a lovely sense of satisfaction as one link after another is connected, until the entire shape of the book is revealed like a Chinese knot - seemingly complicated yet pleasing and harmonious.
She really got it! I couldn't have said it better myself. The theme of the red thread and interconnectedness was an important one to me; I am so thrilled people are seeing it. Thanks so much Eva (of Eva's Book Addiction)!

on my desk monday

I wanted to pick the winner of my contests in a fun way, so I've spent my day making paper fortune cookies:
Slipping in the name of each entrant into the paper roll:

Folding the roll into a paper fortune cookie (thanks, Martha for the instructions):
And filling the container with cookies ready to be chosen: Who will be the fortunate winner?