Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Of Free Downloads, Awesome Teens and Summer Craziness

Download Cleopatra's Moon-- for FREE--this week (until Wednesday, 7/25, I believe) at http://www.audiobooksync.com/sync-young-adult-titles/cleopatras-moon/. My novel was included in a wonderful program sponsored by audiobook publishers to highlight their great variety of books. This program pairs a YA book with a classic work--in my case with Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra.  

This just makes me squee because...dang, Shakespeare! Although, as I've noted in my kid's biography on the queen, I'm not overly fond of how Mr. Shakespeare portrays the queen, given that he gives full expression to Plutarch's politically-minded/propoganda (i.e., he needed to make the queen look bad in order to not offend the Caesar in power).
You know that saying, "He or she is a piece of work?" That's one of Shakespeare's gems--aimed at Cleopatra. When we use that phrase today, we mean that person is craaazzzzzy. Off their rocker. Completely cray-cray.

Yet Cleopatra held the Egyptian throne for 20 years during an extremely unstable period. She managed to negotiate back from Rome territories her own father had relinquished. And she aligned herself with powerful Roman generals in a concerted effort to maintain Egypt's independence.

There's nothing cray-cray about that.

Also, my audiobook is narrated by Kristen Potter--a fabulous voice actress. She won the 2011 award for Best Voice in Nonfiction and Culture by Audiofile. So, yeah. Go download now!

Be sure to check out the other free downloads available this summer through the program as well.

Auburn University's Creative Writing Camp for Teens

Thanks to my bud Ashley Parsons and the wonderful Chantel Acevedo (assoc. prof. and writer-in-residence at Auburn), I was invited to meet with an amazing group of teens who had read my book. 

*Head explodes*

They were amazing--so bright and confident and articulate about wanting to be writers. At that age, I was beyond clueless! These kids are going to take the world by storm.

Did I mention they all had my novel?

*Stuffs brain matter back into cranium only to have it explode once again* (Sorry about the mess.)

Camp Half-Blood at Little Shop of Stories

I love Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson's books. Always have. So it was a thrill to be involved in creating a Camp Half-Blood at Little Shop with awesome owner, Diane Capriola. Seven years ago! Yeah, that's when Diane started the camp. Hard to believe it's been going on that long. It's always been a blast--but, also exhausting.

This year, the kids built their own swords (boppers), made their own shields, handled snakes, played capture-the-flag (endlessly!) and re-enacted myths. Thanks to Nick Capriola, they also played "Percy Jackson Mad-Libs," which gave rise to one of my favorite exchanges of the camp:

Counselor Nick (son of Hermes): "Give me a noun for something you put on FOOD."

Camper: "Arsenic?"

Ha! I was brushing up on my notes to tell a story, but that one almost made me fall out of my chair. I LOVE kids!

Oh, and in between all this, I'm working on two books, have a son getting ready for college (sniff) and have been ferrying the girl all over town for visits with docs, physical therapists and pilates instructors to help her overcome an ankle injury before the dance "season" gears up.

But, I'm looking forward to a mini-writing retreat with author/illustrator extraordinaire and great pal, Elizabeth O. Dulemba, where we will force each other--FORCE, I say--to write for uninterrupted chunks of time in her lovely mountain hideaway. Dreamy!


Elizabeth O. Dulemba said...

No wonder I haven't seen you - you been BUSY!!! I look forward to catching up! :) e

Anonymous said...

Huh. When I call someone "a piece of work" I mean she (or he) is difficult.

I've probably got a few relatives who think I'm a piece of work! :-)

Big woohoo on the audio book, Vicky! Y'all have fun writing so you can get another book ready for awesomeness!

Robyn Hood Black said...

Could you have a little MORE going on??? ;0) If I weren't so busy myself (though without all your accolades), I'd sneak up and crash your retreat. Have a wonderful, restorative, inspiring, productive time! And congrats on the love for Cleopatra's Moon all around.

Vicky Alvear Shecter said...

Thanks, you guys. Cathy, even "difficult" is a bit of a put down when applied to a woman in power. Implies "diva"-ness rather than conviction (okay, getting off my soapbox now!).