The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Friday, April 24, 2015

The Mysteries of Life--Arizona and Fleecy Mullets

        Tony Diaz, a writer and educator, was a guest speaker at the National Writing Project's Urban Sites conference last weekend.

        He gave us a tidbit of information that floored me. Right now it's against the law to teach Mexican American studies in Arizona schools. Books like House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros. Banned. Apparently Cisneros is trying to overthrow the government with her literature. Several (I imagine) Sherman Alexie books are on the taboo list (I only saw one). Like Water for Chocolate--another one of my favorites--is apparently subversive. 

       What is up with that?

       And once you pick your jaw off the floor (if this is new information for you, like it was for me), I'm going to leave you with something lighter… something like fleecy mullets.

       Fleecy mullets? You're intrigued now, right? You're wondering if you're going to have to put a hit on Billy Ray Cyrus, because you won't be able to stomach a mullet craze getting revived?

      Read and enjoy...   

Monday, April 20, 2015

Where is SOAS When I Need Her?

        This weekend I went to New Orleans to present at a national conference. When I got there, I found out Barry Lane was going to be there. Barry Lane! Squeal! Squeal! Shriek in such a high-pitched fashion, only bats can hear. I know--Barry Lane! 

         If you're not a teacher of writing (and probably if you're not specifically a teacher of elementary or middle-school writing), then you might not know who he is, but trust me--to lots of teachers, he is a god.

         Here's a bit of what Barry Lane is like...

      Now, I should have learned from Cathy Hall. Whenever I go to any workshop or conference, I should take Sioux-on-a-Stick, because a person never knows when they're going to be reduced to a drooling groupie and they desperately want their picture with the god/goddess and they never have a good hair day but they have no choice... unless they have their alter ego on a stick.

      Of course, Cathy-on-a-Stick looks lovely. Hair perfectly in place. A blazing-white smile. COAS is attractive, just like the real-life Cathy. And Sioux-on-a-Stick looks very much like the real life Sioux. Except not so lovely as the lovely COAS.

Here is SOAS when she went on Val's tour.
SOAS made a surprise appearance at Val's gas-station chicken spot.

       So, when I found out Barry Lane was going to be part of the program in New Orleans, I felt fortunate I at least had my ipad packed and charged up. No SOAS tucked away in my suitcase, so I had no choice. I'd have to take a selfie to prove to all my writing friends that I got to schmooze a bit with Barry Lane.

I know. I'm blurry. I have a couple more where I'm in focus, but I kind of like
being a blur. And guess who took each of the selfies that I have?  Barry Lane.

      So, when I saw this leprechaun-like man walking ahead of me (leprechaun because he's magical), I pounced. (Thankfully it wasn't the Lucky Charms guy, it was Lane.) Since I just recently figured out how to reverse the camera to take a selfie, Barry Lane ended up taking the pictures. (Most likely he would have done anything to get rid of me, so taking a few photos was easier than chewing his own leg off...)

       Take Cathy Hall's advice so you don't end up like I did. Take your stick version with you to conferences and workshops and concerts. In fact, take your stick version with you no matter where you go. 

      'Cause you never know who you'll run into...