Archive for April 2015


April 25th, 2015 — 11:57am

Stained glass window outside Jerusalem Garden, Ann Arbor, Michigan

I chose this photo because it reminded me of a moment in my new book.  When I posted it on Facebook, I realized that, Wow, Pat, you’re right–it really is only a little more than five weeks until THE EDUCATION OF IVY BLAKE is released.  June 9, 2015.  (Picture me smiling.)

Ivy has received great early reviews from Kirkus and from School Library Journal (including a starred review in SLJ), which makes me so pleased for her.  She’s a great kid, and as ever, she seems like her own person to me.  Someone I helped along in life, but fully her own self, a real spirit out in the world.  She’s been an inspiration to me ever since she first appeared in PRAIRIE EVERS.  She is so optimistic, even when she has every reason not to be, and who can’t take a page out of the that book every now and then?  Bottom line:  she’s hopeful, she’s determined, she’s kind, and she does some cool stuff.  (And her story can be preordered from your favorite bookstore or put on hold at your local library:  go do it now!)

Again, my deepest thanks to all of you who were so supportive while I wrote this book.  You know who you are, and I hope you’ll all share in my pleasure at Ivy’s debut.

…details to come about a little party at the diner to celebrate.  Also, mark your calendars for June 17 in Northport, MI, at the wonderful Dog Ears Books, where I’ll be talking about writing and Ivy during her official bookstore launch.   Hope to see you there!

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Writing the U.P.

April 8th, 2015 — 4:24pm

I’m in Sault Ste. Marie this morning, watching snow fall through the big windows at Penny’s Kitchen.  It’s a Christmas-y snow.  Big flakes, tumbling a little.   Yesterday the sun shone bright and I didn’t really need the big red scarf I wore.  I sat in the library at Lake Superior State University talking with student writers about their work, drinking in the way the sun shone off the red bricks of the old officer’s quarters.  Thinking about geology, about poetry, about why we write, then thinking that doesn’t matter so much, the why of it.  We do, that’s all.  We write, we’re each a unique voice, full of detail and surprise.  We write and become better readers and better see-ers, or anyway we try.

Judging the university’s annual writing contest was fascinating and an honor, and meeting the students was a joy. They were invigorating, inspiring, interesting.  Sitting here, I lean toward each one in my mind.  I tap their arm, say, Oh, tell me how it all turns out.

Again my thanks to Lake Superior State University for awarding me the Writing the U.P Award, and for inviting me over for a lovely day with students, a fantastic dinner at Zorba’s with the creative writing faculty, and the opportunity to read in the Cisler Center’s Crow’s Nest.  Also to Public Radio 90 in Marquette for the fun impromptu interview before I left for the event yesterday morning.  I know it aired around 11 or so.  I couldn’t hear it ’cause it’s the U.P. and me and my truck were too far off from the station to haul in reception, but no matter.  It’s the U.P. and it’s all good.

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