Heidi W. DurrowHeidi W. Durrow

News from Heidi

Here you can find news about the book, festival, and what's happening with Heidi.

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UC Riverside Campus Visit

I'm excited that The Girl Who Fell From the Sky is required reading in the wonderful Susan Straight's writing course this term at UC-Riverside.  I look forward to my visit to the university Nov. 26, 2013! 

Mixed Roots Fest 2014

This is going to be great!  Mixed Roots Fest is my new project and an absolute labor of love!  I hope you will be there or help support the Fest!  The Fest will take place June 14, 2014  downtown Los Angeles.  It is a fiscally sponsored project of Fractured Atlas.
 

MMXLII Interview Video On Being Afro-Viking & Connected to Difference

I loved speaking with MMXLII about being Afro-Viking and how we're all connected to difference for their Countdown to 2042 interview series.

We are the 15 Percent

I love this response to the racist rants against the Cheerio's ad that featured a multiracial family.  "We're not just reacting to negativity, we're boosting representation, elevating the conversation and hopefully giving context that reaches beyond Madison Avenue. These families exist; we eat breakfast and walk our dogs and love just as hard as families in other cereal commercials," said co-creator of the website:  We are the 15 percent!

Remembering My Real Grandmother

Some of you may know that my real grandmother was in part an inspiration for the character Grandma Doris in my novel.  You know all those funny things Grandma Doris says in the book?--well, my grandmother likely said something similar.  My real grandmother died last week at the age of 96 after a couple of years of declining health.  Grandma grew up in segregated Texas and married my grandfather "the paperboy" as a teenager.  In the late 1940s she moved to the Pacific Northwest and the couple soon divorced. Grandma went on to raise three children on her own working as a domestic helper and managed to buy her own house.  We laid her to rest last week with heavy hearts, but with the knowledge that she is now at peace and maybe she will finally find her "rooster" in Heaven.  

 

      I will miss my grandmother.  Many of you got a chance to see her when she was introduced on Portland's Morning Show, or at many of my book events in Portland over the last three years, including the Everybody Reads event.  If you didn't meet her, learn a little about her from this little video I made about her life.  In the video, she reveals the recipe to living such a long life.



The Founding Roots of Marriage Equality?

Please check out this great piece on the founding roots of marriage equality that I curated for Loving Day Hippo Reads is a great resource to learn a lot about a topic very quickly.  Read the article here.

Is Interracial Marriage Still Scandalous?

This is my first New York Times essay piece.  It's called "It's OK to be Intrigued."  Please check it out and leave a comment!  (This is a photo from my parents' wedding in Denmark.)

Video Interpretation of The Girl Who Fell From the Sky

I was really impressed by this video I discovered this morning.  I don't know who is behind it but it's so charming I had to share.

 

Happy Birthday Nella Larsen

On this day in 1891, the amazingly talented writer (and fellow Afro-Viking) Nella Larsen was born.  Thinking of her today and giving thanks for her work and her life.  It changed my life that I was able to honor her by installing a headstone on her grave in 2006.  I hope one day I'll have the honor of seeing her novel Passing on the big screen (I co-wrote an adaptation).  But I am so glad her memory lives on.

James Baldwin On Being An Artist & Staying True

I started blogging seven years ago as a struggling novelist seeking community.  And to a certain degree I came to blogging as a woman who was learning how to trust her own voice.
 
Today, I am a published novelist--my book was met with great critical and commercial acclaim.  I was dubbed a Power 100 Leader by Ebony Magazine.  I've met so many wonderful readers traveling the country almost non-stop for three years; I've had wonderful opportunities like walking the red carpet for the Image Awards and hanging out with Vanessa Williams at the after-party, appearing on CNN and NPR and the NBC Nightly News, speaking at the Schnitz to an audience of 2500 people who had all read my book.  The dream I had came true!  I got my big break -- now what?
 
I re-read this quote by James Baldwin and thought: he really gets what it means to be an artist--not just a success story.  Words to live by.  Thank you once again, Mr. James Baldwin!
“Then you make—oh, fifteen years later, several thousand drinks later, two or three divorces, God knows how many broken friendships and an exile of one kind or another—some kind of breakthrough, which is your first articulation of who you are: that is to say, your first articulation of who you suspect we all are . . . [Y]ou make your first breakthrough [as an artist], people have heard your name—and here comes the world again.  The world you first encountered when you were fifteen.  The world which has starved you, despised you.  Here it comes again.  This time it is bearing gifts.  The phone didn’t ring before—if you had a phone.  Now it never stops ringing.  Instead of people saying, ‘What do you do?’ they say,’Won’t you do this?’ And you become, or you could become a Very Important Person.  And then—and this is a confession—you find yourself in the position of a woman I don’t know who sings a certain song in a certain choir and the song begins: ‘I said I wasn’t gonna tell nobody but I couldn’t keep it to myself.’  You’ve come full circle.  Here you are again, with it all to do all over again, and you must decide all over again whether you want to be famous or whether you want to write. And the two things, in spite of all the evidence,
have nothing whatever in common.”--James Baldwin, "The Artist’s Struggle for Integrity"

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