In case you haven’t heard, I am gearing up to deliver a healing writing workshop for teens in these tumultuous times. Essentially, in 90 minutes, I will tenderly walk them through a process of free writing out their experiences, thoughts, and how they have grown. Then I will teach them how to whittle down all of that writing until they have the essence of these last two years in the form of a haiku or smaller, fitting in the palm of their hand.
If you are interested in receiving the first-to-get-it materials, either for your own school or for your networks, let me know. Because on January 6, a select group of people have signed up to receive it, plus a special discount promo code. You can get it all, too. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am back on Wisconsin Public Radio! Here, I am sharing how, when I was displaced at the beginning of the pandemic, I returned to my hometown of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, only to have to learn how to drive their dang roundabouts. Join me in this heartwarming, three-minute story about how the pandemic brought a mother and daughter closer together.
And WPR put me on their landing page! Can you find me?
Friends: Crystal is going to be taking a break from being on the road for 2020. Even the earth needs fallow seasons to rejuvenate, and so does Crystal. Feel free to contact her for events and her availability in 2021. Here is to nurturing the creative spirit!
Toronto Public Library chose ALL THAT I CAN FIX for a roundup for mental health books. Huzzah, my Canadian friends! And, of course, lots of other terrific books on an important topic, too. The reviewer said:
“I liked [how this book shows]…how one person’s mental health affects others. A central teen character is holding things together while a parent is struggling with poor mental health. The teens’ feelings about it are pretty authentic, and this could be a great thing for other teens to be able to read, particularly if it reflects their own experience and can show them they are not alone in this.”
Mental health + zany dark humor + exotic zoo outbreak + social critique = ALL THAT I CAN FIX.
I like the words Bookriot uses to describe ALL THAT I CAN FIX: “Compelling”. “Strange.” “Heartwarming.”
Yup. That’s about it.
“Romney and his family are known in their small Indiana town. They’re mixed race and Romney’s father tried to kill himself. That would be enough, of course, but the story adds even more to it: there’s a zoo that’s on the loose. That’s literal. Oh, and with that comes those who want to shoot the dangerous animals and those who are advocating animal rights and gun control. Makersville is making quite a name for itself in this story that throws together many compelling and strange pieces in a heartwarming, worthwhile way.”
I’m very happy to announce that I will be an adjunct professor at Benedictine University for the spring semester of 2019.
The course: Writing CompassionIn this experiential course, students will foster the skills of deep listening and compassion to gain greater mastery over their emotions, curb knee-jerk judgments of the Other, and hold a multiplicity of worldviews; they will then give their journeys’ struggles and rewards artistic expression through the written word.Huzzah! All the ways that compassion is cultivated and transmitted in this world, through books and classes, presentations and moments that set your heart on fire.
Huzzah! My book, ALL THAT I CAN FIX, is the Cooperative Children’s Book Center’s Book of the Week! Some great quotes of the review:
“This compelling, ambitious novel has just the right touch of the absurd to balance its serious themes.”
“[Ronney’s] experience as a brown-skinned teen is that people want to categorize him, and do judge him. He is an irresistible force at the center of this story, a heart that won’t be denied, caring with each beat despite every claim he makes to the contrary.”