News from Heidi
Here you can find news about the book, festival, and what's happening with Heidi.
What a wonderful afternoon. Poets & Writers invited Mixed Roots Film & Literary Festival writers to join in on a dynamic line-up that included Jason Luckett, and Neil Aitken. Folks broke out clapping after each poem Neil read; and gasped and amened to the powerful work Luckett presented.Thank you both for representing the Festival so well. Don't miss these guys at this year's Festival June 11 and 12, 2011. More information at www.mxroots.org.
The last big reading on my never-ending tour was very appropriately the Danish Cultural Center in Yorba Linda, CA. And it was the very best send-off you could imagine. Folks enjoyed a real Danish breakfast with good coffee, rugbrod, cheese, and wienerbrod. Yummy! There was such a wonderful warm energy in the room. It was as we say in Danish very "hyggeligt." The added bonus was meeting another Afro-Viking. Emma who is 9-years-old and also speaks Danish declared: "I never thought I would find my twin." Don't you love that? I felt the same way? Tak til Vibeke and everyone at the center. I hope to visit with you again soon!
I really do think I hit the big time. I was on a panel called "Writing Between Races" moderated by the awesome Karen Grigsby Bates of NPR and featuring Danzy Senna, Susan Straight and Jessica Hagedorn. Karen Grigsby Bates (sorry I have to use her whole name that's how I think of her) threw down with the first question: "Is anatomy destiny?" Then we were off. We didn't always agree, but it was a lovely and lively conversation amongst the panelists as well as the audience. I understand that the audio will be up on Audible.com soon. I'll keep you posted! Oh, and can I say I peeped Grey's Anatomy's Sandra Oh in the audience? Was she there to see me? Hee hee! P.S. A special shout out to Jan Nixon and her dad--who I met at StoryCorps and found in her daughter a great blogger for the Festival! Yay Amelia! And another shout out to MsALWalker-a dear tweeple!
I've been really lucky to meet some great folks on this journey to publication--obviously lovely readers, but also incredibly warm and generous writers. I met the awesome writer Jim Ruland at Bread Loaf in 2009. I liked this dude right away! He's been a huge support and invited me to participate in his popular LA reading series, Vermin on the Mount, held at the Mountain Bar in Chinatown-- a very cool vibe. Jim put together a wonderful line-up--I wish I could have stayed all night. Thank you Jim this great opportunity.
It was my last East Coast reading on what my friends jokingly call my never-ending book tour that started in January 2010 with the hardcover release of The Girl Who Fell From the Sky and continued almost non-stop until, well, now. Rather than being excited, I was honestly just pooped.
But then wonder of wonders, just before the reading I met for the first time some fellow Afro-Vikings. (You should know that in my unofficial Census there are now 11 known Afro-Vikings living in the United States and at least three in Denmark.) Meeting them was so cool. It was like finding a mirror finally at age 41!
I was getting my energy up for the reading, but I didn't really need it, because there was a good and lively crowd there. I had the best time--I hope they did too. Thank you Jeff for the invitation and thank you all for coming out!
A couple of months ago, I got an invitation I couldn't resist. The folks at Booktowne had chosen my book for the mother-daughter book club and wanted me to visit with the readers. Wonderful don't you think? And kind of a dream--to have the book discussed among the generations--to talk through the difficult stuff--to share a story together about coming into womanhood and the joys and perils. Honestly, I was so thrilled, I didn't even think about how I was going to get there. There must be a train from NYC I assumed. I would figure it out.
About a week before the visit, I finally did my homework and realized that it was a three or three and a half hour train ride to what is not exactly Snooki territory, but it is pretty far from NYC Penn Station. "No worries," the good folks at Booktowne said. "We will pick you up from Metropark -- one simple train ride from Manhattan and we will drive you the rest of the way." So now it was not only easy, but necessary that I get there. I was so appreciative of how easy they made it for me to get there--and how incredibly welcoming.
The group that gathered that night in Booktowne was magical. Moms and daughters and some just excited to enjoy an author talk in their hometown. I couldn't have asked for more. You must see the lovely video of the evening that the extraordinary Maribeth Pelly put together to commemorate the evening.
Thank you Maribeth! Thank you Rita (the owner of Booktowne! Thank you to all of the folks who came out that night for a really special conversation. I met the real young women of the Jersey Shore that night and they are smart and lovely and have a special place in my heart!
It's May and that means it's time once again for Mixed Experience History Month. I started this month-long celebration on my blog in 2007. I profile up to two dozen folks during the month of May who are part of the Mixed experience and who have made significant contributions in their lives in politics, the arts, science, and more. I also sometimes include important events in my write-ups.
Mixed Experience History Month is my effort to counteract the idea that our society has only become truly multiracial in the Obama age. Truth is, it's been going on forever--the stories have just been silenced.
So please tune in this month as I post profiles every weekday of folks you may have heard about and maybe some you haven't and learn a little about the history of the Mixed experience. And check out some of the previous year's profiles: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010.
Mixed Experience History Month is my annual blog post series celebrating the history of the Mixed experience. Established in 2007, Mixed Experience History Month is my effort to show that we have long been a nation of multiracial and multicultural individuals of achievement (not tragic mulattoes). Please look for more profiles of people, places and events of the Mixed experience every weekday of May right here at Lightskinned-ed Girl, the blog! Thanks for reading.
Thanks to the very lovely Barbara Mead of Reading Group Choices, a wonderful resource for book clubs and avid readers, who gave me an opportunity to talk with the amazing New York Times best-selling author Caroline Leavitt (Pictures of You) about the real nitty gritty of writing. Check out the whole interview here.
It was a real thrill to talk at the Post & Courier Books & Author Luncheon last week in Charleston, SC. Some 600 book lovers attended and they were lovely! I was part of a line-up that included big-time writers Kim Edwards, Mark Richard, Luanne Rice, and Paula McLain. And yes, me, the puppy writer of the bunch! Thank you Post & Courier and to my fellow panelists--it was a joy!
I will confess: I had no idea where Ellensburg, WA was when I said yes to the invitation to visit extended by Michele Bradshaw of Jerrol's Books and the Friends of the Library in Ellensburg because what could be better than tea and cookies and 100+ people who love books. But I am so glad they found me! More than two dozen book clubs gathered to share their latest favorites and then, well, to hear me read. They were wonderful. Many of them had read the book already and I was fascinated by their questions. I had a great time; but can you believe I left without trying a single cookie? So, I think I might have to go back.