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…

I Pretended to Be a Guy to Get Published

I attended a private Catholic high school for girls, across the street from a private Catholic high school for boys. Students were allowed to take classes at both schools. My mother taught on the girl side, my dad on the boy side. The boy side’s English department ran an annual writing contest. Winners got award and publication in the school literary magazine. It was a project of the boy side teachers, therefore only boys could submit work for consideration. The girl side had no such thing going on. I thought this was bullshit. I wrote a story called “Pretty Red Lights”…