Whose Jersey I Was Wearing

A couple of days ago, a line of Varsity football players barreled into my classroom. I’ve been known to offer encouraging journal writing times before big game days. Friday was a huge game day. The league championship was at stake against a higher ranked team. I thought they might have been there to ask to write with me. They weren’t there to write. They were uncharacteristically quiet, this group of boys. Shuffling their enormous feet. Smiling funny. “Guess what,” one of the guys finally said. “We get to pick one teacher to be with us on the field for Friday’s game…

Rerun: To You Who Are Doing Rejection Wrong

I was reminded today in an email about happy I am being a writer, working with other writers and publishing professionals who care deeply about excellence in literature.  As a reader, some of the most rewarding and amazing books I’ve read have been published in the past five years. As a teacher, I am especially grateful to the gatekeepers and writers of the YA world.  Today’s September Back-To-School Issue challenge is a rerun of a post I wrote a couple of months ago in response to an incident of online abuse hurled at a literary agent by a disgruntled writer. I was angry when…

All I Can Think About Today

Yesterday author Daniel José Older spoke on a panel of authors and artists discussing diversity in children’s literature. One of the artists on the panel produced the illustrations for a recently published children’s book that is highly rated by critics while also highly criticized by many readers for its depictions of a slave mother and her child smiling through their work in the nineteenth century American South. I do not want to give the book any more press than it has already generated. Daniel José Older’s remarks on the panel to the artist herself were a schooling in what we who write…

Blogs I Follow

Two days left on this blog-a-day exercise for September. Stats say that people like it best when I talk about my hair. This is not a blog post about my hair, though a student I don’t even teach told me today he loved my hair and when I asked him if it was because it reminded him of his nana, he said no.  So that was nice. Today I want to take a bow to other blogs I frequent. They don’t fit into any category. They are well written and I like them for different reasons. Maybe you will too, so…