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).
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
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.
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."
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!