Monthly Archives: June 2012

Truth and shadows

photo 2-5

These are pictures I took of the shadows on my ceiling this morning. I opened my eyes and there they were and I thought they were cool in a Rorschach-ey kind of way. Or maybe a Plato’s Allegory of the Cave kind of way. Because the things I see in the shadowsfigures touching, tangled hair, leering faces, winged insects, crackling flamesare not real in the sense that I am not accurately perceiving the objects being reflected (leaves and branches). But my interpretations do reflect (or project) certain truths that live inside of me. And so that is reality. My reality. 

IMG_0207

I’ve been thinking about reality and perception in relation to writing, as well. The fact that as a writer, we’re both the person casting shadows and the one chained inside the cave, trying to make sense of the world given our own limited perspective. When we put our writing out there in the world, it’s all a matter of personal truth meeting personal truth through the necessarily reductionistic medium of language. And I guess it sort of awes me that we’re ever able to communicate anything to other people at all.

It’s a miracle, really.

ALA, moody rambling, and hitting the road…

IMG_0148It’s summertime now, isn’t it? Both the calendar and sunsets of late tell me so. That means the days are long, the nights, hot, and in about thirty-six hours, I’ll be hitting the road and driving down to Anaheim for the ALA convention. I’ve never gone, but I’m excited. I’ll be reunited with dear friends who don’t live nearly close enough, and I’ll hopefully have a chance to meet and see some of the kidlit authors I most look up to. A long drive, for sure, but well worth it. 

Until then, I plan on writing and writing and writing. I’m in a groove right now with my WIP and it’s hard to pull away. The one thing about this story, though, is that it’s sad, and sometimes needing to be sad in order to write feels like a sin tax on the soul. Even so, the act of creating is truly a joy in and of itself. I do know this. So again, well worth it.

Well, happy summer solstice, all, however you spend itreading, writing, road-tripping, visiting loved ones. Here’s to making it special!

-Steph

Oh, and there’s also a very cool blogger/author/librarian/YA lover meet up happening on Saturday night, hosted by Stacked and YA Highway. I’m looking forward to that too. If anyone reading this will be down in Anaheim, please do stop by. Make friends! Don’t be shy. We’re good folks and I don’t want anyone to feel lonely.

Happy Loving Day!

CCE00000-4The picture on the left is from my wedding day, taken back in 1999. Prior to June 12, 1967, if my husband and I had tried to get married, our union would have been considered illegal in over sixteen states. We might have been arrested: just like Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving, a black and Native American woman and a white man, who were arrested and sentenced to jail time in Virginia after their 1958 marriage.

You can read more about the Lovings here and how they took their case all the way to the Supreme Court. And won. It took nine long years (!), but the Loving vs Virginia ruling finally struck down all laws banning interracial marriage as unconstitutional.

So now, every year, on June 12, our household celebrates Loving Day, one of the sweetest and most special holidays around. But we also know that not everyone in this country has the freedom to marry the person they love and that means Loving Day is also a reminder to keep pushing for equality for all.

Because that’s what true justice is.

All eyes on the sky

I have to admit, I wasn’t all that geeked up about seeing the Transit of Venus last night. I tried getting excited. I did. My son and I had heard about it on the radio months ago and he really wanted to see it, but when yesterday rolled around, I was stressed about a presentation I needed to give at school and sky watching fell down to the bottom of my priority list.

But then I found this blog, with its cool description of how to build a viewer with binoculars, and man, if we didn’t manage to wrangle one together at the last minute. I’m so glad we did. It turned out to be an amazingly exhilarating experience to watch that planet march across the sun. Here are a few pictures we took of the occasion.
IMG_0111
IMG_0119
The green circle is the sun. Venus is the dot on the right side,
about halfway up.

Not much else is going on with me. School will be over soon. I’ve been working on a new WIP that I love. I wrote a guest blog over at the Lucky 13 blog about music that inspired me while I was writing CHARM & STRANGE.

But more than anything, I’m ready for summer!

-Steph