About Sandy Asher and Jesse and Grace and much more

He everyone,

My old friend and colleague, SANDY ASHER, was featured the other day by Dramatic Publishing in their Author Spotlight and I don’t want to rush by that honor too quickly. It has meaning because it’s based on a lifetime of outstanding work. Here’s a link about the spotlight: Here’s a link to see the announcement. https://mailchi.mp/dpcplays.com/sandra_asher?e=9a4b9c5da And here’s a sample of her recognitions listed in the opening lines of her honor.

Sandra Fenichel Asher's plays have been produced nationally and abroad. A Woman Called Truth, In the Garden of the Selfish Giant and Jesse and Grace: A Best Friends Story have all been honored with the AATE Distinguished Play Award. Across the Plains was selected for the Kennedy Center's New Visions/New Voices Symposium. Walking Toward America and Mariposa/Butterfly were chosen for development at New York University's New Plays for Young Audiences workshop and symposium at the Provincetown Playhouse.

AATE stands for American Alliance for Theater and Education and I’m always proud to know that one of Sandy’s three AATE Distinguished Play Awards was for JESSE AND GRACE, based on the verse novel that she and I wrote together. We have yet to find a home for it with a book publisher but given the story’s success as a play, we know it’s a matter of time before we find the write book editor.

Congratulations, Sandy. Proud to know you, Sent with love and admiration

My thanks to all

Hi everyone,

My thanks to all for responding yesterday with such positive comments about my autobiography. Early orders are being placed and I’m grateful. I appreciate the comments of advance readers whose remarks appear on the back cover. Among them, JANE YOLLEN wrote, “Honest, full of  (often) self-deprecating humor, but right on the nose, this autobiography by David L. Harrison is about his growth as one of the best writers and elder statemen of children’s books and children’s poetry books still publishing in America today.” SANDY ASHER said, “The curiosity, insight, warmth, and humor that have brought him world-wide success in this field are evident on every page of his captivating memoir. Bravo, David, for a life well-lived and well-told. “

Yesterday I finished the 26th poem of the 50 I need for the book under way. I’ve crossed the halfway mark and that’s a good feeling. Today, back in the wheel.

Twenty years later

Hi everyone,

In 2002, the photographer RANDY BACON, well known for his black and white portrayals of people with stories to tell, teamed with Ozarks Literacy Council to create an gallery of men and women who had spent a significant part of their lives supporting the cause of literacy. I was one of those invited to be in the exhibit. The picture I was in also included author/playwright SANDY ASHER and singer/author JIM BILLINGS. These days Sandy and Harvey Asher live in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and our friend Jim Billings recently passed away. I’m still around so I’m honored to be back, wrinkles and all, for the twenty-year anniversary of the celebration. Just as well that I don’t have a copy of the 2002 picture!

Each model in the new exhibit, which will be on display beginning March 25, was asked to write a brief story to accompany their picture of what attracted them to do what they do to support a more literate community. Randy just created this poster of his work. His pictures speak for themselves.

Somebody Catch My Homework goes west

Hi everyone,

Yesterday Sandy Asher and I learned that her play inspired by my poems will be produced next in Missoula, Montana. I’ve lost track of all the places the play has been produced since its premiere in Springfield in 2002. Along the way it earned The Charlotte B. Chorpenning Playwright Award. Here’s the synopsis from the publisher of the play, Dramatic Publishing. A light-hearted, high-energy look at one eventful day in the life of fourth-grader Samantha, the new girl in town, who has lost her beloved cat, Corky. At the bus stop, Samantha meets three wacky new friends who welcome her into their class, which just happens to be studying the animal kingdom. Their search for essay topics takes them from a dinner table’s chicken thighs to the pasture of a bull not pleased to see visitors. A wayward wad of bubble gum, tuba practice and a sticky baby sister later, the busy day finally peaks with the rescue of Corky. Nineteen humorous—and sometimes serious—poems by David L. Harrison are woven into the script as dialogue. Instead of bursting into song, the characters break out into poetry! Incidental music composed especially for this play is available. Highly tourable by five actors. Somebody Catch My Homework also offers creative opportunities for a larger cast and/or audience participation.

I think (my) Sandy has relatives in Missoula and one of my favorite friends/authors, Sneed B. Collard III lives there too. When the play is produced in Montana, I might have to go out and sit in the audience!

Dreaming my life away

Hi everyone,

I’m potentially one day from an editorial meeting that will determine if a new educational proposal with Tim Rasinski will be accepted. If it is, I won’t have that window of time I was expecting until mid-August when I’ll begin work on the book for Shell with Laura Robb and Tim Rasinski. In anticipation of getting the green light, I’ve already begun work on the first of what would be 75 new poems.

If the proposal is accepted, I’ll have very little time for the rest of the year to develop new ideas for trade publishers. The other day Nikki Grimes was relating how she has recently pull some old manuscript out of storage and given them fresh chances to be accepted. Jane Yolen does now and then. So does Sandy Asher and any number of other writers including me. That might be about all I’ll have time for. That’s not altogether bad though. I once sold a book years later to an editor who had turned it down in the first place.