Friday, April 20, 2007

April 20, 2007: "Today, we are all Hokies..."

Virginia Governor Tim Kaine has declared today -- Friday, April 20, 2007 -- a statewide day of mourning for the victims of the April 16th tragedy on the Blacksburg campus Virginia Tech.

This hit me particularly hard. After all, I live in the state of Virginia. I'm wearing my maroon and orange today as a symbolic gesture and praying that, in these trying times, we will all find the strength to go on and to find meaning in the senselessness of thirty-three deaths.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

April 17, 2007: Luck is Where the Book Nerd Meets the Radio

Allow me to channel my Inner Guy and tell you about The Book Squad. This is the back story of how I got on the radio.

It all started when poet extraordinaire Kwame Alexander invited me to speak at the 2006 Capital Bookfest. There, I met Karyn Langhorne, signing copies of her book Diary of an Ugly Duckling (hilarious and poignant; you should read it). I had lunch with her and her family after we’d done our bit at the Bookfest, and, as one tends to do at these things, promised we’d get together, as we were both local. Over the next few months, we’d exchanged autographed copies of each other’s books and corresponded via snail mail and e-mail. Nothing too eventful. So, imagine my surprise when, early this year, she asked if I’d like to join her in hosting something called The Book Squad, a show where we would, as the tagline says, “track down the hottest authors and bring them in for questioning.” Once we’d worked out the thorny details, I said yes.

I confess; my motives weren’t exactly pure...

To see the rest, go to Blogging in Black, where I now post on April 17th...

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

April 3, 2007: My Brush With Greatness

Okay, so I'm, like a Dancing With the Stars freak! And when I'd heard that Miss USA 2004 Shandi Finnessey was going to be one of the contestants this season, I almost crapped a brownie.

Here's why. I'd actually met Shandi at the Infinity Publishing Conference in October 2004, in Valley Forge, PA. I was a guest speaker, and she was there signing her book, The Furrtails, which Infinity published. The proceeds were going to help find a cure for muscular dystrophy, I believe. So, she was a nice lady.

Flash ahead to the present day and Shandi 2007. She got eliminated from Dancing With the Stars tonight... just about the time I remembered I'd had this snapshot somewhere:

Yes, she's as tall in person as she looks on TV. I'm 5' 7", lying to myself and in two-inch heels, and she STILL could've set her drink on my head.

Speaking of drinks, some conference attendees were at the bar one night, just before the drunken karaoke (I'm not posting those pix!) when Shandi breezed in. The guy I was standing next to wasn't impressed. "Who's that, Miss USA?" he asked.

"Yeah," I answered.

He looked Shandi over and scoffed. "Too skinny for me," he commented.

I, a resigned endomorph, could've kissed him on the mouth. Pennsy boys, God bless 'em!

But alas, to the rest of the world, Shandi is the picture of perfection.

And, Miss Shandi, even though you didn't make it to the finals of Dancing With the Stars, something tells me that you're gonna be all right...