Happy holidays, everyone! And this is coming from someone who knows it's never really that simple. Just ask if you want to hear my tragic, holiday-defining story--makes this time of year really tough. I'll keep it optional, rather than imposing it on all of you. Also can't get into that now, because Peter and I are off soon to see Spring Awakening! FINALLY! And kills me, thinking of you who'd were stopped by the strike from seeing it while you were here. Come back!
Anyway, wanted to alert you to a couple of special recommendations, in case you're home, bored (seems to be a theme on the site these weeks) and looking for a beautiful book to read or a constructive writing assignment?
READ: Before I Die, by Jenny Downham. I started it late Christmas night and really could not put it down, read till I finished yesterday midday. Now I can't stop thinking about it, and I'm someone who doesn't read anything market YA, at least not till one of you recommends it. It's a life-changingly beautiful novel, about a 16-year-old girl in London who's dying of leukemia, and the list of things she decides she has to do before she dies. And she does die. No Hollywood last-minute miracle cures. But that's it's beauty--like she's accepted her own death, it's the people around her (most realistic parents, brother, best friend, boyfriend and boy she has sex with, btw) who can't. Be prepared to weep, it really snuck up on me. But this book's really about living.
WRITE: Our friends at the Lower Eastside Girls Club sent us notice of this very cool essay contest (with $1,000 prize!) that I think any one of you--the best writers, readers, thinkers, and humanitarians I know--could blow them away with. And feel free to send my way if you'd like an editor first...
Info below, DEADLINE FEB 1, 2008. (Please note you have to be in high school still.) Do it!
Details at http://fconline.foundationcenter.org/pnd/10010112/usip
The United States Institute of Peace ( http://www.usip.org/ ) established the National Peace Essay Contest to expand edu-
cational opportunities for America's youth.
The topic for the 2007-08 competition is "Natural Resources and Conflict." Participants are asked to write a 1,500-word essay
stating what they believe are the necessary elements for the development of fair, peaceful, or effective use of natural resources after a conflict.
Students are eligible to participate if they are in grades nine through twelve in any of the fifty states, the District of Columbia, or a U.S. territory, or if they are U.S. citizens attend-
ing high school overseas. Students may be attending a public, private, or parochial school, or participating in a high school correspondence program. Entries from home-schooled students are
First-place state-level winners are awarded $1,000 each and compete for national awards. National awards include one first-place award of $10,000; one second-place award of $5,000; and one third-place award of $2,500. First-place state winners are also invited to Washington, D.C., for the awards program. The institute pays for expenses related to the program, including travel, lodging, meals, and entertainment.
Visit the USIP Web site for complete program information and entry procedures.