Playing catch-up

The research for the speech I gave on Thursday wound up taking a lot longer than I thought it would, but it was worth every minute. The speech was about literacy and literature in Central New York (which I call the Heart of New York), and included one of my patented rants about how we Americans should not rest until everyone in our country is functionally literate. I gave the speech to a room of very nice people – the folks who head up local charities and libraries, as well as the business groups which donate to both. So, yeah, I was preaching to the choir. It was great.

(If anyone cares, I’ll post a link to the speech tomorrow.)

One of the highlights of the afternoon was seeing my fifth grade math teacher again, Mrs. Williams. She was the most beautiful teacher at my elementary school, and all of us girls had mad crushes on her. I didn’t even care that she taught math, I just wanted to be like her – dignified, elegant – when I grew up. I still do. I also met a girl (I think her name was Tiiso) who is a fourth-grader at that same elementary school – Ed Smith. That was fun and she was adorable.)

Hung out with my mom all morning, feeding her doughnuts and pumping her for stories about WWII, and what it was like to be a country girl and go to Brooklyn at age 18. She has great stories to tell. My ongoing war with Medicare on her behalf might reach a peaceful resolution, but I’m waiting until I see everything in writing before I believe it.

This afternoon I’m writing and mentally preparing for this evening’s games. Tomorrow I head towards Buffalo. I’ll be speaking at the Lancaster Middle School on Monday and the Lancaster High School on Tuesday.

This is the most enlightening and mind-opening essay I have read in a very long time. Please read it. Along with essays like that, I’ve been chewing my way through fantasy novels that I missed the last two decades. Neil Gaiman is still my #1 Author, but now I’m into Diana Wynne Jones. I tried to finish Charles DeLint’s Trader, but didn’t love it. Can someone recommend another one of his books to me?

Library Heaven, aka Cerritos Public Library.

Image hosting by TinyPic Entry into the kid’s section

Image hosting by TinyPic Inhabitants of the kid’s section. This is just the beginning. I couldn’t get a good shot of the wall-sized aquarium

Image hosting by TinyPic Yeah, and a rocket, too.

Image hosting by TinyPic One corner of their public access computers.

Want to see more?

24 Replies to “Playing catch-up”

  1. That library looks fantastic!

    I too enjoy the books of Neil Gaiman. I have only read a few stories by Charles deLint, but I enjoyed The Blue Girl. Have you read Christopher Golden books yet? You must!!

  2. My De Lint favourites are The Little Country, Waifs and Strays (stories), and Forests of the Heart. I don’t like all his books, but these really stood out.

  3. it’s so pretty!

    I’ve never seen a library like that! nothing like the libraries over here in east new york all the good libraries with good variety are way too far for me to go. It’s funny how our libraries are practically bare and yet there’s a liquor store on every corner oh yeah east new york is the best place to live…

  4. DeLint and Literacy

    I must second the recommendation for The Blue Girl. I enjoyed it immensely. I read your speech in the paper today and I loved it. I now look up to you and worship you not only as a writer, but as a wonderful, strong spokeswoman for vital social change. And I loved the salt potatoes and butter comment. It’s so true for me, too.

    (17 year old potato lover from Camillus)

  5. I’m just back from a conference in the Poconos with the Eastern PA SCBWI, where no fewer than 5 out of 5 editors cited your book, Speak, on various occasions as a must-read, for multiple reasons. And only one of them’s currently with any of the Penguin people, but he wasn’t there when speak came out. I thought you should know because it was such a lovely compliment.

  6. tomorrow in Lancaster

    Dear Laurie,

    I teach eighth grade in Orchard Park, NY and I am luckyluckylucky that someone who knew someone who knew someone who is letting me come to hear you tomorrow in Lancaster. I have used Speak and Fever 1793 with my students, and are currently reading Catalyst and Prom. I love them all, so thank you muchly. I have written three young adult novels, and I would love to give them to you to read, etc. in all your free time. 🙂 hehehehehehehe. Is that even close to being possible? Have you ever read Tiffanie Debartolo? I think you would enjoy God Shaped Hole. It would be like you writing for grown ups. Looking forward to tomorrow…

  7. What about a Booksense Link!?!?!

    Hello: I was recently visiting you website, and read with dismay that you have a link to, but not a link to support INDEPENDENT BOOK SELLERS. Are you interested in eliminating independent thought via the independent book seller? Please add a link to
    Thanks, Shawn Wathen, Chapter One Book Store Hmailton, MT 59840

  8. I wish our library was like that, (which brings me to inform you I did get a library card last Friday liked you told me to.) I wanted to see if any of your books were in, but they were all out. Instead I got this book called Two Moons in August. I finished it in one night, it was a really good book. Thought I’d drop you a comment, hope you’re doing well.

  9. hooray – i also love diana wynne jones. i wish that i could recommend a charles de lint book but the only thing i’ve read of his is a collection of short stories and sadly the only thing i remember is not feeling very moved by it. i should try again though.

  10. it’s beautiful. i would have stared at the oversized books for a good while thanx. Speaking of peter pan. have you seen Finding Neverland it inspires you towards writing i think. and do writers get to meet famous actors such as Jonny Depp?

  11. ooooooooo catalyst is the other book i read by you that i enjoyed. speak was the first. i just stumbled across your blog and have been leaving anonymous posts and did you also write one about a girl on vacation with her cousins?- and a book called razzle-or no?-o well i’ve enjoyed those books and want to read prom-even tho i didnt go to mine Thank You for your work!


  12. grandpa stole bets

    Jesus Christ is a false god.
    At best all Christians can hope for is partial credit.

    The advent of the modern Christmas was a brilliant move. It created a vested interest among those who would prefer the Church be destroyed::::
    As goes the Catholic Church so goes the majority of annual retail sales.
    The similarity between the names “Santa” and “Satan” is no coincidence.

    There are consequences for the peasant’s resistance:::
    1. Labor unrest caused the world at war.
    2. Black militancy ignited the crack epidemic and gang-related deaths.
    3. Vietnam war protests – “Era of evil republicans.”
    4. Women’s rights/sexual freedom produced Roe v Wade and women’s exclusion from contention for Planet Immortality.

    Collectively resistance among the disfavored is the wrong way. Individually, clues in family history may suggest exclusion and hopelessness. Obediently buying cars or carrying pregnancies will be fruitless. Promises must be taken with a grain of salt because tactics will be employed based on disfavor.
    On the other side of the coin one with clues alluding to possible favor must blaze his own trail, he must do the right thing even in the face of adversity. Forces will be employed in an attempt to corrupt and derail his pursuits, leading him into evil. He must maintain his course, keep his aim true if he is to re-earn the graces of “god”.
    Which one are you? Only you can answer that.

    Retribution for the atomic bombs dropped on Japan, the Korean War got the disfavored United States into this socially depraved environment in the latter 20th century because the disfavored attacked an antient, revered peoples. Our continued presence keeps us in trouble.
    When the disfavored americans attack the wrong people again, as they suggested they will, in Korea or elsewhere, they will pay dearly.

    The disfavored americans HAVE attacked the wrong people, just as the Soviets did 25+ years ago::Afghanistan. Except our punishment has yet to be administered.
    An evil republican will come forth to wreck havock upon the disfavored. The hunting incident was designed to ruin one possible candidate among his contingency, but others wait in the wings.

    I question if we would experience global warming if they didn’t terraform with an ultimate goal of destroying disfavored human life on planet earth::::they terraform the weather as they did in New Orleans with Hurricane Katrina (and lots of other examples) and justify it with behavior like instructing their petroleum friends to repress alternative technologies and encourage waste.
    This is all happening shortly after the Exodus of 2000 (clues::Hong Kong, Panama Canal) for a reason::: they are INFLICTING it upon us, they are hastening closure. Everybody they care about has come up, replaced by clones, and they want to proceed in haste.
    Just as favored European peoples got out before the ugliness of WWII, the semi-favored within the US got out before 9/11. The antient Palestinian Empire holds a claim on all who remain because of Iraq.
    Armeggedon isn’t about the end of the world. Armeggedon is about the death of the disfavored left behind. And they weren’t lying::this time it is going to happen with fire. But it’s not going to happen because of global warming. To silence the inevitable internal conflict it’s going to happen in the blink of an eye:::::
    As Edgar Cayce prophicised, Earth’s axis will shift breaking continental plates free and initiating mass subduction.

    Have you made your peace with god?

    Search to get a site that would allow the rest of the test (appx. 12,000 charecters).

  13. Re: What about a Booksense Link!?!?!

    Thank you for pointing this out. We used to have a huge banner that said “Don’t Be Chained to the Cahins” that linked to Booksense. I’ll ask my webguy to figure out where it went and replace it.

  14. Re: Link to the speech, please

    I thought the newspaper was going to put it online, but they didn’t. They reprinted the whole thing in the Post Standard a week ago Sunday.

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