What I've been reading:
I just finished two great books. 5 stars people, 5 stars! (I don't give those lightly: only if I am for sure planning to re-read them). These books are both sophisticated YA... but still fun.
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, by E. Lockhart (YA contemporary) Frankie is a FORCE! She is clever. She is a strategist: she thinks before she speaks, weighing all the options. But she's also vulnerable. She turns the pranks of an all-boys-sort-of-secret-prep-school club inside out. Written with great narrative voice.
The King of Attolia, by Megan Whalen Turner. (YA fantasy). Nothing is what it seems in this book of palace intrigue and plotting. Full of witty repartee and a character, Eugenides, you will not soon forget.
Currently reading Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett. Also reading the Bronze Bow by Elizabeth Speare (a Newbery medal) with my kids. Next in the queue to read: She Is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgewick, an April new release and Played by Liz Fichera, a May new release.
What I've been writing:
Querying my YA science fiction, Star Tripped, and editing my MG fantasy, Refuge. Doing some free writing and writing from prompts to find some voice. It never comes easy, and then only in small fragments, but when it does finally appear oh it makes it worth the work.
What else I've been up to:
Planning a birthday party for my 7 year old twins, it'll be this Saturday May 3, which is Kentucky Derby Day (what? you didn't know that?) So the theme is the Kentucky Derby, of course. The kids will get to pick which race horse they get to be and (if the weather cooperates!) we'll have some relay races and three legged races and so forth... and watch the race on TV of course. And have pony rides (not races) (again, if the weather cooperates: its SNOWING outside as I type this. The disadvantage of living at 7200 ft in Laramie, Wyoming).
What's inspiring me:
I have a very grudging admiration for Shakespeare (mostly due to his fantastic insults!), but recently I came across this documentary called Shakespeare High that, well, inspired me. It's about several teams of drama students in the greater Los Angeles area competing in a Shakespeare festival. One team includes former drug dealers and gang members. Doing Shakespeare. Yes, really. Here's a couple quotes from the film that I actually replayed several times so I could write them down, they were so thought-provoking:
A former gang member: "Do you know why an actor acts? Because he doesn't like who he is. When you act, you get to be somebody you're not. You can make up the character... you can become something you're not. You don't have to work up to it, you don't have to pay, you don't have to do nuthin but be it."
Richard Dreyfuss: "one of things that Shakespeare offers is that immediately you can't understand him, and you have to work immediately just to understand what he's saying. And overwhelmingly he's right, and overwhelmingly he's witty, and overwhelmingly he's wise. And when you start to unpeel the lessons offered you find that that gesture never ends."
So, after watching this, I have to ask: what's your favorite Shakespearean work (play, poem, etc)? (I'm still trying to figure this out myself)