I’ve been quiet online to focus on real life and seeking to practice better self-care, readjusting my thoughts and figuring out what made the most sense moving forward. One thing is clear. I still have stories to tell and words to write.
I’m beyond delighted to share that Summoning the Phoenix was nominated for the 2015 Northern California Book Award for Children’s Literature! The award is given by the Northern California Book Reviewers, and I’m thrilled to see Summoning the Phoenix listed among books by Katherine Applegate and LeUyen Pham.
In The International Examiner, reviewer Fei Wu Huang calls Summoning the Phoenix “unique” and states “This book is sure to entertain the most adventurous of readers and will certainly bring out the curiosity in any individual with hopes of developing a deeper appreciation and understanding for cultural music.” She also praises April’s gorgeous artwork. Thank you, Fei Wu, for your thoughtful review!
I’m absolutely delighted that Minh Le of The Huffington Post has given Summoning the Phoenix an Honorable Mention for Best Nonfiction Book for Children in 2014. Minh is also an author of a children’s book forthcoming in 2015, and so he has a writer’s perspective in addition to a critic’s and parent’s perspective. I agree with his assertion that “we are living in a new golden age of picture books” so it makes his recognition even more meaningful to me. Read his full list!
Thank you, Minh Le and The Huffington Post!
Earlier this year, Kirkus Reviews gave Summoning the Phoenix a Starred Review, and I was already so grateful for that recognition. Now I’m absolutely overwhelmed to see Summoning the Phoenix listed on Kirkus Reviews in the Best Children’s Books of 2014.
It’s a bit surreal to see my book listed among great books by authors whose works I have long admired like Christopher Paul Curtis, Patricia MacLaughlan, Naomi Shihab Nye, Joyce Sidman, Peter Sis, Shaun Tan, Jacqueline Woodson, and my Clarion instructor Neil Gaiman. I’m over the moon that my little book about Chinese musical instruments would be in such amazing company.
Thank you, Kirkus Reviews!
When I first started composing choral songs, Rose Lemberg asked me to write music to accompany her fiery poem “Salamander Song.” It was my first attempt at writing a solo with piano accompaniment. I debuted the song at my concert and made a recording, and that was the end, or so I thought. So when “Salamander Song” was accepted to be published for the Strange Horizons Annual Fundraising Drive, it was such a delightful bonus, but only if they made their fundraising goal of $10,500.
So it’s an exciting moment to share that Strange Horizons made their fundraising goal and has published “Salamander Song”! Thank you to everyone who contributed!!
Music credits: Emily Jiang, mezzo-soprano & Mary Tusa, piano
I’m absolutely delighted to share that Summoning the Phoenix won an Eureka! Honor Award!! It’s sponsored by the California Reading Association, and here’s a little info about the Eureka! awards from their site:
“The Eureka! Nonfiction Children’s Book Award will assist teachers, librarians, and parents in identifying outstanding nonfiction books for their students and children.
Eligible books must be nonfiction, but can be in any genre including poetry, folktale/fairy tale, informational, biography, memoir, cookbooks, joke books, self-help, reference, etc.
Concisely: Any book that is not fiction is eligible for the Eureka!”
How cool is this? I’m so grateful that the committee liked Summoning the Phoenix enough to recommend it. I’d also like to congratulate my my wonderful SCBWI author friends whose books also received Eureka! Honors this year:
UPDATED: The complete list of Eureka! Winners is now listed on the California Reads website.
Rose Lemberg has commissioned me to compose & perform the music to “Embersong” in support of her Kickstarter for her newest anthology An Alphabet of Embers. If you pledge $30 or more, not only do you get the trade paperback & ebook versions of An Alphabet of Embers + a postcard of Galen Dara’s amazing artwork of the cover, you get to own the mp3 version of Embersong!
My poem “Good Enough” was published in Stone Telling’s 10th issue with the theme of Body. Special thanks to editors Rose & Shweta and wonderful staff Bogi & Jenn! I’m pleased to share their interview, where I answer their questions about my poem and my writing. Here’s a haiku I wrote for the interview (yes, I answer their questions in prose & haiku):
Poetry gives voice
to identity and space
to navigate dreams.