Follow by Email

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

April 16, 2008

One-year anniversary of young lives abbreviated, cut short by anger
I pause, reflecting
Who am I to be so busy I can’t take a breath, absorb the now, abstain from the next
They can’t
I will
As we walk the roads, choosing the intersections, hurrying through them, oblivious of the deeper meaning, we forget to stop and say hi, to contemplate the birds twittering on a branch, territorial and basic

I pause, reflecting
Who am I to be so selfish that I can’t take a moment to understand the implications of what the day means to so many
Not just the families but to kids, to teenagers, to teachers who let it linger in the backs of their minds…
What if it happened here?

I pause, reflecting
Who am I to be so absent-minded that I can’t take a shot at making a difference, that I have the pen to impact, the platform to if not erase, ease the depth of the wounds inflicted.
Names matter, remembering matters, nurturing matters, dealing matters, avoiding an encore matters
If we can’t stop it, can’t put an off-ramp on that cyclical road of hate, of feeling cornered, of no-other-way-out-but-with-a-gun mentality, then we have to consider destroying the road
Just because we think our way of learning, of teaching works, it doesn’t. Not for everyone
We need to touch everyone

I pause, reflecting
Schools synonymous with a new era, of places we thank god we weren’t, and then I realize
We were there
We were all there
And I pray we can stay away from the next place

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Walter Williams Major Work Award

I'm on cloud nine!!

This weekend the Missouri Writers' Guild gave out its annual awards, from Best Fiction to Best Magazine article, but the ultimate is the Walter Williams Major Work Award, named after the gentleman who was founding dean of the J-School at MU back in the early 1900s.

The good news? My young adult novel Dregs won 2nd place in the Walter Williams Award, ahead of several major authors! :-) The winner is none other than Ellen Gray Massey, my sophomore English teacher! The conference was a wonderful success, and Naomi Shihab Nye was nothing less than amazingly inspirational!