Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Picture Book Journey - The Long and the Short of It

I just entered one of my children's picture book manuscripts in the National Children's Book Award of the Year Contest, sponsored by the NAESP Foundation. My picture book manuscript, of course, features a possum!

I'm so excited about this manuscript and this contest! I wrote this story many years ago for my daughter, India Camille, when she was about three years old. She's all grown up now, and this is still one of my favorite stories. I've been working on illustrations and, I must say, the possum and his co-stars are enchanting!

The National Children's Book of the Year Award Contest is open to anyone who is interested in being a published children's book author. Two winners are picked: one picture book and one chapter book.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Outside the Magic Circle

For anyone interested in history, the history of the civil rights movement, especially in Alabama, and a look at the life of a Southern belle, this is a must read.

Virginia Foster Durr, born August 6, 1903, was a delightful, intelligent individual, a civil rights activist and lobbyist, and a talented writer. She was married to lawyer Clifford Durr, who shared her ideals, and she was sister-in-law of Supreme Court Chief Justice Hugo Black. Virginia Durr was a champion of civil rights, and close friends with Rosa Parks and Eleanor Roosevelt, with whom Mrs Durr worked closely in lobbying for legislation to abolish the poll tax, a device that kept black and white southerners from voting.

Outside the Magic Circle truly opens up a world we might otherwise never be privileged to witness, and does it so well that the reader will feel a part of Virginia Foster Durr's life and the historic events recounted in this book.

She was inducted into the Alabama Women's Hall of Fame in 2006, seven years after her death.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Peter Matthiessen

Here's a marvelous picture of Peter Matthiessen, a fabulous writer, author of many, many books worth reading. Born in New York City in 1927, he was a founder of The Paris Review in 1950.

I first became acquainted with this author when I read his stellar book, In the Spirit of Crazy Horse, a look at the events surrounding the arrest and incarceration of American Indian activist Leonard Peltier, and chronicling the tumultuous history between the Sioux and the United States Government.
A lawsuit against the author and Viking Press by Bill Janklow, the former governor of South Dakota, kept the book from being sold to the public for eight years after its publication. The court ruled in favor of the author and the publisher.

Other notable books written by Mr. Matthiessen include At Play in the Fields of the Lord, The Tree Where Man Was Born, The Snow Leopard, Killing Mr. Watson, Indian Country, African Silences, Shadow Country, and many more.

An interview with Peter Matthiessen discussing his book, Shadow Country, can be found at