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.

Monday, July 30, 2012


Needed a little Rumi today:

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

~ Rumi ~

Thursday, July 26, 2012

I Miss You! (And other such cheesiness)

The yarn is up my sleeve
In other words . . .

I miss you baby - I do, I really do.
Do you feel it too?
And yes . . .
There is much
to unravel and reweave through the written word,
*but* writing isn't the ONLY
                                     way of having a literary Life, is it?
Ideas percolate all the while I
Young authors find their own words,
Their own way to darkness towards light,
Their own spectacular voices.

In between traveling through fantasy, sci-fi, dystopian and realistic flights of fancy
am spinning
am watching kids swimming
am dreaming
am learning
again, again, again,
That we are all a lovely chaos
Progressing through the practice of striving for our own
Personal bests.

Hullo. Don't know why I turned that into some half-assed spoken word piece, but hey, I got the URGE peeps. I have been full on busy with Writopia Lab summer camp and yes, starting my day with a spin class at the gym, doing two sessions of writing intensives and ending my day with watching my kids at swim meets. I want to write posts about spinning AND swimming and what this whole experience is teaching me about writing, but this is the best I can do, RIGHT NOW.

And tonight we had a fabulous Writopia Lab Reading at The Voracious Reader despite the thunder storm. Those kids really do rock it.

How is your summer going? What are you up to?

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Summer Reading, Part Deux

Ah, summertime and I am in-love with books again. I have kept true to my promise of a reading frenzy, as I marinate the plot of my next book in my head. (Former child star, Harper Danzig, gets a job playing "Cinderella" on a Disney cruise ship. For reals. I went on a Disney Cruise last year and was fascinated. My imagination went into overdrive.)

In the past week or so I've read A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness, Divergent  by Veronica Roth and I'm in the middle of reading the first book in Tamora Pierce's Circle of Magic series (for The InbeTWEEN Pages Book Club. This Wednesday!)

It's a good thing that Harkness' second installment of the All Soul's Trilogy, Shadow of Night,  is coming out tomorrow, and that Roth's Insurgent is already out.

I wasn't too keen on the romance angle of Discovery of Witches at first, and I laughed out loud when "they" (the vampire and the reluctant witch) started doing yoga together, but I read on, intrigued by Harkness' sense of not only history, but philosophical history; intrigued that our heroine, Diana, is not only brilliant and tough, but really has no idea who she is. And I loved that Harkness' main characters are deeply flawed and that the folks who raise Diana are lesbians. By the end I was thoroughly engrossed and I can't wait to read the next one. Perfect summer reading!

I read Divergent very quickly, yet savored every word. What took me so long to take this out of the library? This author is so young, yet so masterful at suspense. And I LOVED the romantic tension in this one - it wasn't cheesy at all. (I would recommend it to anyone who is a fan of The Hunger Games.) Roth does an excellent job of having our main character, Beatrice/Tris develop a moral consciousness.

Yes, there is a "fantasy" theme, but I have quite a variety of other genres waiting to be read on my night table as well!

Next up: (besides Shadow of Night and Insurgent)

The Sense of an Ending - Julian Barnes (for my adult book group)
Summer and Bird - Katherine Catmull (book not out yet peeps - I am friends with the author's editor so she sent me an ARC.)
Brooklyn - Colm Toibin
Every Day - David Levithan (also an ARC - book not out yet.)
The Tiger's Wife - Tea Obreht
Awakening the Actor Within - C. Stephen Foster
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking - Susan Cain (otherwise known as Suzy - the woman who set me up with Writopia Lab!)

I also have on order from the library: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rivka Brunt.

So . . . what are y'all reading? Will you tempt me to abandon my list?