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Friday, July 10, 2015

Write @ the library!

Writing can be hard work. Sometimes words flow right through your pen (or finger or keyboard), but many times, finding something to write or finding the words to write what you mean can be, at the very least, painful.

The library has always encouraged people to read, but more and more, we’ve been encouraging users to create what is being read. Writing becomes much easier as an adult if you have already started writing as a child. During “Summer @ Your Library” this upcoming week, kids and teens will get to meet a few of the people who have made a living with their writing. Hopefully, some of kids and teens will be inspired to start writing themselves.

On Tuesday, July 14, at 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., singer and songwriter, Monty Harper, takes the stage for “Hanging out with Heroes at the Library!”

“My superpower is songwriting,” said Harper. “I’ll be showing off that skill as I sing, while kids sing and clap along, provide sound effects and guess the heroes from their favorite children's books.”

Harper began dabbling in songwriting just for fun around 1989, the same year he entered the Master’s program in mathematics at Oklahoma State University. He found he had a knack for entertaining neighborhood kids with his songs, and by the time he completed his degree in 1992, he was fielding a slew of requests for appearances at schools and libraries. Since then, he has released eight titles on CD.

On Wednesday, July 15, at 2:30 p.m., teens will get to meet two writers.

This week’s program is about writing in various forms,” said Emily States, teen librarian. “Whether you’re into hip hop, poetry or graphic novels, we’re trying to give some insight into the creative process.”

First up will be author G. Neri with whom teens will interact through a live Skype chat.

Neri is the Coretta Scott King honor-winning author of “Yummy: the Last Days of a Southside Shorty” and the recipient of the Lee Bennett Hopkins Promising Poet Award for his free-verse novella, “Chess Rumble.” His other novels include “Knockout Games,” “Surf Mules” and the Horace Mann Upstanders Award-winning, “Ghetto Cowboy.”

Neri will discuss what inspires him to write and how he comes up with his ideas for stories.

“Ideas are like driving at night across Alligator Alley in Florida,” said Neri “A lot of bugs will hit your windshield, but every once in a while a real whopper will smash into you and you have to stop because you can’t see clearly anymore. A great idea will literally make you stop in your tracks.”

Neri will also share his journey to becoming an author and answers questions from teens who want to get serious about writing.

“At the end of the day, writers write. Period,” said Neri “You’re either going to find the time and the means to do it, or you’re not. I always say that if you can live your life without writing, do it. If you can’t and you write, even if you’re told you’ll never be published, then you’re a writer.  It doesn't matter how good you are.”

Following the Skype chat, Gregory Jerome, a hip-hop musician and poet, will lead teens through a writing workshop and perform some of his own music.

The writing program is for students in 6-12 grades.

On Thursday, July 16, “Summer Cinema” features a Disney animated classic about a young girl who disguises herself as a male soldier and bravely takes her father's place in the Imperial Army. The film shows at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

For more information about upcoming summer programs, visit us at