Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Montgomery County Book Festival and Inteview

I'm thrilled to be hosting the Tweens Read Too Panel at the Montgomery County Book Festival. Here's an interview with me at the festival blog site: Melissa Studdard's Interview. For the panel, I'll be interviewing the authors listed below, and all of us will be signing books and book plates between sessions. Hope to see some of you there!

Kimberley Griffiths Little is the critically acclaimed author of the Southwest Book Award, Winner of the Whitney Award for Best Youth Novel of 2010, Bank Street College Best Books of 2011, Crystal Kit Finalist, and New Mexico Book Award Finalist. Her books have sold several hundred thousand copies in the Scholastic Book Fairs and have been chosen for many state reading lists. She lives on a dirt road in a small town by the Rio Grande with her husband, a robotics engineer, and their three sons. Kimberley is a favorite speaker at schools around the country, presenting "The Creative Diary," a highly successful writing workshop and has also been a keynote speaker at various conferences. She is a co-founder of SPELLBINDERS, a national newsletter for Educators and Librarians to create life-long readers. Learn more about her at her website.

Nikki Loftin lives with her Scottish photographer husband just outside Austin, Texas, surrounded by dogs, chickens, and small, loud boys. Her debut middle-grade novel, The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy, is available now! You can visit her online at or at twitter: @nikkiloftin or Facebook at Splendid Academy. The website for the book is

Bethany Hegedus is a well-published author and owner of The Writing Barn, a writing retreat and workshop space in Austin, Texas. Her award-winning books include Truth with a Capital T (Delacorte/Random House) and Between Us Baxters (WestSide Books). Forthcoming from Atheneum/Simon & Schuster is the picture book Grandfather Gandhi, co-authored with Arun Gandhi, grandson of the Mahatma. Bethany has served as the Hunger Mountain Young Adult & Children’s Editor since the prestigious journal went online in 2009 and once worked at The Writers’ League of Texas as Office Manager. A graduate of the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA program in Writing for Children & Young Adults, Bethany teaches privately and speaks across the country. She lives in a private home, with her husband and their dog, Toby, on the same 7.5 acres that The Writing Barn shares. Learn more about her at her website.

Jo Whittemore is the author of the tween humor novels, Front Page Face-Off, Odd Girl In, and D is for Drama, as well as The Silverskin Legacy fantasy trilogy. She is a member of the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) and is one of the founding members of The Texas Sweethearts & Scoundrels. Jo has also written for, and been featured in, newspapers and national magazines. When she isn't writing, Jo spends her time with family and friends in Austin, dreaming of the day she can afford a chocolate house with toffee furniture. Discover more about Jo Whittemore at her website.

Monday, January 28, 2013

2013 Tiferet Talk Schedule

Hip Hip Hooray! The first Tiferet Talk interview of 2013 is tonight at 7 PM, and I'm excited to also share the schedule for the year: 

                                    Judith Hanson Lasater 1/28, 7 - 7:30 pm EST
                                    Julie Maloney 2/25, 7 - 7:30 pm EST
                                    Natalie Goldberg 3/17 or 3/25/13, 7 - 7:30 pm EST
                                    Jim Hanson 4/29, 7 - 7:30 pm EST
                                    Molly Peacock 5/20, 7 - 7:30 pm EST
                                    Jane Hirshfield 6/17, 7 - 7:30 pm EST
                                    Doug Anderson 7/29, 7 - 7:30 pm EST
                                    Ann Hood 8/19, 7 - 7:30 pm EST
                                    Andrea Polard 9/30, 7 - 7:30 pm EST
                                    Alfred Corn 10/21, 1:-1:30 PM EST
                                    Helene Cardona and John FitzGerald 11/25, 7 - 7:30 pm EST
                                    Kanta Bosniak 12/16/13, 7 - 7:30 pm EST

For more information about the talks or to subscribe to the journal, please go to:

Friday, January 25, 2013

Judith Hanson Lasater on Making Peace with the Present Moment

Judith Hanson Lasater with B. K. S. Iyengar

On  Monday, 1/28/13, from 7-7:30 PM EST, 6-6:30 PM CST, for Tiferet Talk, I will have the honor of speaking with writer, yoga instructor, psychologist, and physical therapist Judith Hanson Lasater about how to live your yoga and other vital topics. Lasater, who has been teaching yoga since 1971 and is the president of the California Yoga Teachers' Association, is a founder of both the Iyengar Yoga Institute in San Francisco and Yoga Journal magazine. As well, Lasater is the author of many books, including What We Say Matters: Practicing Nonviolent Communication (with Ike Lasater, 2009), Living Your Yoga: Finding the Spiritual in Everyday Life (1999), A Year of Living Your Yoga (2006), and Relax and Renew: Restful Yoga for Stressful Times (1995), all published by Rodmell Press

In praise of Lasater, Patricia Walden states, “Judith Lasater presents timeless wisdom with clarity and insight. She is a well-seasoned yogini, who writes from personal experience on how to use the events of daily life as yoga poses for the mind and heart.”

Erich Schiffmann states: "Yes! Living Your Yoga is what it's all about. Here is a clear and friendly book that will help anyone embody the wisdom of yoga by consciously bringing it into daily life. The exercises are fun. They can help you learn how to do yoga all the time—now and now and now—when you are in the yoga room and when you are not. Take this book to heart."

Below, you will find some words of wisdom that Judith was kind enough to share from her blog, as well as a link to the show. The link will become active once the show goes live on Monday.

Make Peace with the Present Moment
by Judith Hanson Lasater

Too often our mental process is to judge ourselves for what we are thinking or feeling. A thought arises and our inner dialogue says something like, “Oh, I shouldn’t be thinking that” or “How can I be thinking/feeling that when I am a yoga student, teacher or meditator?”

Then we react to those judgments with even more judgments for judging, and we are caught in a repeating pattern from hell.

A practice I have been enjoying for some months now is to “make peace with the present moment.” That means that when thoughts arise followed by thoughts of judgment I tell myself that the whole process is part of my practice: the original thoughts and the secondary or following thoughts as well. I do this by saying to myself, “how human of me to have a thought of X.” This helps so much when I look at the behavior of others as well.

When I say silently to myself, “How human of him to act/react with anger or fear or disappointment” then there is a space for compassion to arise in me. And I like how that feels. Then I am at peace with the present moment.

Copyright 2013 by Judith Hanson Lasater. Reprinted with permission.

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Mnemosyne Monthly: Poem Forty-Two (Doolittle)

H.D. (Hilda Doolittle)

As noted last week, The Mnemosyne Weekly has now become The Mnemosyne Monthly, and we're moving right along to the forty-second poem. What a joy it's been to carry these poems around through my days, pulling them deeper and deeper into my being until they reside among the internal resources I can call on for wisdom and beauty. With the new monthly format, I'm looking forward to even greater intimacy with the poems.

This week's poet, H.D. (Hilda Doolittle) was recommended to me by my friend R Jeffreys of The Write Step. I've been somewhat familiar with H.D.'s work in anthologies, but this past weekend I sat down and read my first full H.D. collection, the salty, blossoming Sea Garden, from which I selected this beautiful poem, "Orchard." 



By H. D.

I saw the first pear
As it fell --
The honey-seeking, golden-banded,
The yellow swarm
Was not more fleet than I,
(Spare us from loveliness)
And I fell prostrate
You have flayed us
With your blossoms,
Spare us the beauty
Of fruit-trees.

The honey-seeking
Paused not,
The air thundered their song,
And I alone was prostrate.

O rough-hewn
God of the orchard,
I bring you an offering --
Do you, alone unbeautiful,
Son of the god,
Spare us from loveliness:

These fallen hazel-nuts,
Stripped late of their green sheaths,
Grapes, red-purple,
Their berries
Dripping with wine,
Pomegranates already broken,
And shrunken figs
And quinces untouched,
I bring you as offering.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Changes for the New Year

Alex Rio Brazil

Happy 2013 everyone! I was talking to a dear friend on the phone the other day, and he commented that I'd never even mentioned here at Bareback Alchemy that my story "Terminal" was nominated for a Pushcart Prize by The Hoot & Hare Review. It made me wonder what other author news I may have neglected. So in 2013, I resolve to be more frequent with my updates. Another change for the upcoming year is that The Mnemosyne Weekly will become the Mnemosyne Monthly to allow for more variety in the blog posts. You can look for the Mnemosyne Posts towards the beginning of the month, starting with January's post next week. Additionally, I plan to post more about inspiration, upcoming Tiferet Talks, and other exciting writerly topics. Please stay tuned for more later, and have a wonderful week!