Léna is also a Regional Manager for Writopia Lab whose mission is to foster joy, literacy, and critical thinking in kids and teens from all backgrounds through creative writing.

"Well, the question is, what do you want to believe? Do you want to live in a world where things are possible, or in one where they aren't?" Cin, Edges.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Sweet Home Alabama

English: Aerial view of the port and city of M...
Good Morning! I am much more relaxed than yesterday, where I almost had two heart attacks, but traveling will do that to anybody. The first was when I thought that we weren't going to make it to the airport on time. The second was when I thought that we wouldn't make the connecting flight.

But made those flights we did. Where? To Mobile, Alabama. With who? My eldest son Cooper. Why? To speak to the Mobile Writer's Guild about Edges and my publication trials and tribulations.

Underlying that external anxiety was something more pervasive that has been gnawing at me for a while. It goes hand in hand with worrying that Madeleine L'Engle fans will be turned off when they find I am not her.

Would I be able to be myself in the South? Did I need to try to make people "like" me?  Did I need to pretend that I was something I wasn't? Would Carrie (Cox) be happy that she worked so hard to get me out there? Alabama is in the bible belt - it would be easy for me to play up my Christian background - a sure winner - but that wouldn't be my whole truth.

So dudes and dudettes, I told it like it is. Fo' sho'.

Told it like is, for me.

Because I had to give these peeps the respect of being myself. Here is a group of people, a GUILD no less, who are committed to writing and creating community. The best thing I have is my authenticity, and you know that I LOVE meeting people, I love being part of the human race.

Okay, so maybe I had a little diarrhea of the mouth. But it was so freeing! I got up in front of Southerners and talked about my belief in humanity, my own brand of spirituality, and my fascination with religion, the fact that it took me forever to say that I am indeed a "writer".

I sold a bunch of books, and got people really excited about the workshops I'll be doing all day on Saturday. How? Simply because I myself am really excited and passionate about leading workshops - I can guarantee a good time. For reals.

Today Cooper and I are going to Dauphin Island with our host Carrie and her son, and tonight we will meet with some more Mobile Writers for dinner on the Causeway.

Bring it!
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  1. LOL - It's funny to me that Northerners worry that we Southerners will scrunch up our mouths like we've just sucked a lemon if people start talking about mysticism or energy work or spirituality. I've lived in the South all my life (Atlanta, currently), and it has been my experience that on an individual level, Southerners are very welcoming and warm. [Then half of us go into the voting booth and strike down gay marriage and elect idiots like Newt Gingritch into office...but that is another issue entirely.]

    I'm glad you're enjoying Mobile. Come to Atlanta!

    1. I'd love to come to Atlanta! I love meeting people so much and hearing their stories and sharing hope and dreams. Why did I think that you were from Boston? Hmmmm. *Scratches head*

    2. Thenoiseandhaste here again (Blogger is being weird and not letting me comment.) You thought I was from Boston? No idea what might have given you that impression! (Although, I've been to Boston, and it is pretty awesome. Cold! But awesome...) If I can do anything to facilitate your trip to Atlanta, let me know! I'm sure I can arrange accommodations for you if you need a place to stay. There is also a great book festival (The Decatur Book Festival - http://www.decaturbookfestival.com, September) that you might be able to participate in and coordinate some workshops around.

  2. Thank you for such a wonderful Young Authors' program today in Mobile! In just a few minutes you took the students from apprehensive to engaged! You captured the hearts of a very diverse group of young adults and had them all writing and participating! This was one of our best programs ever!!! Many thanks to you and to the Mobile Writers' Guild. All of us in the Metro Mobile Reading Council were delighted with the workshop!

    1. Hi Betsy! What a wonderful testimonial! Your kind words and feedback have really made my trip. I'm thrilled that everyone was happy with my contribution. The kids were wonderful!

  3. Thanks for the tip Noiseandhaste! I just wrote to the Decatur festival coordinators - or rather, I filled out a "contact" form. We'll see what happens! Fingers crossed!


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