Book Drive by Faithful Friends

I’m saddened to hear that there is a detention center for immigrants at Yuba City, California, the setting for my middle grade novel, Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh, and the site of so much rich, yet troubled, immigrant history in the 20th century.

From blogger and activist Nathalie Mvondo:

Faithful Friends, a grassroots group, set up a book drive for the immigrants at the Yuba City Immigration Detention Center. We’re making a list of 50 books (the limit we were given) and are looking for titles both in English and Spanish, some in Mandarin. Any thoughts? All titles need to be available in paperback.

Requests include all genres: mystery, thrillers, Latin American Folk Stories, psychology (more specifically something on facial gestures), horror/terror, romance, vagueros..

Some of the authors and titles requested are Children of the Matrix (Spanish), Life And Times of Pancho, Ringside Seat to a Revolution by Daniel Romo, Maximum Ride Series by James Patterson, etc. I’m working on a spreadsheet, that I will share as soon as it’s ready. Thank you. Please share if you wouldn’t mind.

PS: Early book donations can be sent to:

MultiCulturalism Rocks!
140 B Street, Suite 5 #237
Davis, CA 95616.

These kids need so much, but for now, books can help to ease pain and tedium.

Taking the Time a Book Needs

LeonardThis is the story of one book. It wasn’t a book at first, just an idea that came from Karen Leonard’s ethnographic study and filmmaker Jayasri Majumdar Hart’s exploration of the history of a group of mixed-heritage families of Yuba City, California. The story–my fictional rendering, that is–went through many revisions. Maybe 40-odd rounds of reworking and chopping, rethinking and changing.

It will be published next year, my novel about a girl who longs to play softball in Yuba City, California in 1945. A girl from a family in which the mother is from Mexico and the father from Punjab. We have a title now. We are in the thick of edits. We will soon be talking about things like jacket design and flap copy.

How many years did all this take, exactly? I was shocked when I looked at the dates on some of those files I’d saved on my hard drive, files that migrated from one computer to the next as I kept on chewing away at this story I felt driven to tell. I started this novel in 2003, all of thirteen years ago. And I am so very glad it did not get published right away! It has needed all this time.

Louise de Salvo asks why so much writing advice is about not judging your work, when in fact we need to make so very many judgments about it as we go forward. It’s a fair question. I’ve been a writer for more than twenty years but this story needed me to step back and judge it, and judge myself, many, many times before I could understand how it needed to be written.