My novel-in-progress received a second writing grant, this time from the Toronto Arts Council. The novel is tentatively called The Yo-Yo Prophet. It’s about fifteen-year-old Calvin Layne, who becomes an overnight sensation as a yoyoing street performer. With almost three-quarters of the book written, it’s great to have the support and encouragement to finish it! I think I can … I think I can …
I’m thrilled to announce that Cleavage, an anthology about teens and body image that includes my story “Profanity,” now has a book trailer. Thanks to Air Productions for putting it together and Jamye Dawicki for the awesome music.
Cleavage was named a Best Book for Teens by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting Canadian children’s books. Here’s what they had to say about the book: “An edgy new collection of 15 stories about girls who challenge convention and those who wish they could. Hilarious, comforting and intense, these stories make us think more about taking pride in wearing our bodies just the way they are.”
The life of a writer can be ruled by the mailbox. Sometimes I get pleasant surprises in the mail, like a letter from a reader or an acceptance from a publisher. Other times, the news is not so great. On June 23, I went to my mailbox to find I had been awarded an Ontario Arts Council Work-in-Progress grant for my next project, a teen novel tentatively titled The Yo-Yo Prophet. I shrieked loud enough to disturb the neighbours. Now, I’m back to writing, with a little more enthusiasm and a big smile on my face.
At long last, I have created a teacher’s guide for Take the Stairs. These teaching ideas were prepared with contributions from Kathleen Moro of St. Ignatius of Loyola Catholic Secondary School in Oakville, Ontario, and Diane Tursman of Vaughan Secondary School in Thornhill, Ontario. Thanks to you both for sharing your ideas. To read the guide, go to Take the Stairs and click on the link for the Teacher’s Guide.
Cleavage: Breakaway Fiction for Real Girls has been selected by Resource Links as Best of the Year 2008. It was also nominated for a Cybils Book Award, the children’s and young adult bloggers’ literary awards. A review in the School Library Journal called Cleavage edgy, charming, funny, and sweet. It’s “an aptly named collection of stories about body image and mothers and daughters coming together and growing apart. A fresh, honest, and entertaining anthology.”