Why the Best Kids Books Are Written in Blood

via Radley at Bishop’s School

Almost every day, my mailbox is filled with handwritten letters from students–teens and pre-teens–who have read my YA book and loved it. I have yet to receive a letter from a child somehow debilitated by the domestic violence, drug abuse, racism, poverty, sexuality, and murder contained in my book. To the contrary, kids as young as ten have sent me autobiographical letters written in crayon, complete with drawings inspired by my book, that are just as dark, terrifying, and redemptive as anything I’ve ever read.

Recently, I was the surprise commencement speaker at the promotion ceremony for a Seattle alternative high school. I spoke to sixty students, who’d come from sixteen different districts, and had survived depression, attempted suicide, gang warfare, sexual and physical abuse, absentee parents, poverty, racism, and learning disabilities in order to graduate.

These students had read my young adult novel, “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” and had been inspired by my autobiographical story of a poor reservation Indian boy and his desperate and humorous attempts to find a better life.

I spoke about resilience—about my personal struggles with addiction and mental illness—but it was the student speakers who told the most important stories about survival.

Source: Sherman Alexie on Why the Best Kids Books Are Written in Blood – WSJ

Are You There God? It's Me, Gidget

July 2, 2011 at 8:46:04 PM EDT

…starting to write you, it’s keeps being day after day of extraordinary days, even for me!… but now i’m up to more than a week and a half, and all intent and no action.

today i’ve decided i’m going to combine two intentions into one—if it doesn’t offend you—writing for my personal blog again, and writing you. The concept of writing you, which reality dictates that pen pal’s is about as good as it gets this summer (amusing, you would be one of those I’ll see more often in another town than in the one we share!—love it!), is a bit strange for me. I like the concept of sharing brain occupation, but putting that into practice is as odd as the description of the idea itself. hehe… yes, i amuse myself. seriously. i’m the one in the sun in headphones laughing out loud amused by my own amusement, a muse to the muse?

see, i love writing. i love the games of words and the way it activates our brains to struggle with them. there is beauty in simplicity, but sometimes i like to spar, to jab to whatever those guys in fencing do, with words. a dance around your mind, firing off synapses as you struggle along in my merry madness not quite amused, not quite certain, and not quite able to look away.

i think the uncertainty came from how very intimate and personal my desire of expression is, of late. when i first comprised of it, I imagined whiskey or wine, and the 80% of communication that isn’t written or verbal, but behavioral. i imagined progressive, levels of disclosure. i imagined getting to know you—literally. a process.

but each time i would start to write it felt more like giving you access to things too immediate for the brevity of our reality. Continue reading

Are You There God? It's Me, Gidget, Correspondence

make a movie for me

via gmail to friend

a woman (think: me, megan) wanders through life and we with her as you notice that she has a special certain “force of nature” about her. energy drawn to her, sometimes manifesting in chaos (have me recall the experience the other day as the man drove off the road). leave plenty to be more thinker than obvious.

then transition into griffin & sabine by nick bantock.

i don’t recall a visual description of sabine, but if she’s able to be carried by her, I will solicit Gaby Hoffman. (Did I tell you about her?)

you game? all i need is a yes, I can reach out to both… i know you have to finish rocking tiger eyes… there’s an infinite future, until there is none.

Technology The Startup Seed Fund For Designers

Enrique Allen of 500 Startups says while some of the world’s most successful startups were founded by designers, most people in the profession are still “mercenaries for hire, helping other people get rich.” He cited YouTube, Tumblr, Airbnb, Android, Flickr, Foodspotting, Slideshare and others as examples of the companies designers have built. His argument: Designers can become great entrepreneurs because of their deep understanding of people, their expertise at figuring out what people want and their potential to become visionary communicators.

Allen says designers have the desire to create great companies, but they don’t have the mentorship and education opportunities currently available to technical or business founders. The hopes to fix that by giving designer entrepreneurs access to mentorship by some of world’s most successful designer entrepreneurs. It’s essentially a startup bootcamp.

— The Startup Seed Fund For Designers