Thursday, July 16, 2009

Cascarones Craze!

Diana López is spreading the joy of cascarones with the recent release of her middle grade novel Confetti Girl!

With packed events at American Library Association Conference in Chicago and Barnes & Noble San Antonio this week, Diana is bringing a new tradition to booksingings with fun cascarones cracking and good luck to all---just take a look at these photos! Festive cascarones (popular during the annual Fiesta in Diana’s hometown of San Antonio) inspire a wonderful metaphor woven throughout Confetti Girl. Many readers are drawn to nonfiction elements in fiction and since I grew up in San Antonio, I immediately connected with Diana’s cascarones when I first read her manuscript. Now it is exciting to see so many others experiencing the joy of cascarones!

Diana includes this fun note in the opening pages of Confetti Girl:

What Are Cascarones?
Festive, hollow eggshells, filled with confetti that are cracked on people’s heads, scattering confetti all over the place and bringing everyone good luck

How to Make Cascarones
Step 1: Buy a dozen eggs.
Step 2: Carefully crack eggs at narrow tip, keeping most of the egg intact, and pour out the yolks and egg whites.
Step 3: Gently wash the eggshells.
Step 4: Soak eggshells in a bowl with 1tbsp white vinegar, ¾ cup hot water, and 4-5 drops food coloring.
Step 5: Buy confetti or make your own by hole-punching used magazines or newspapers.
Step 6: After the eggshells have dried, pour confetti into the eggshell.
Step 7: Cut out circles of tissue paper and glue over the hole.
Step 8: Quietly sneak up to people, and . . . crack the confetti eggs on their heads!

To learn more about the book and Diana’s inspirations, see this recent feature in San Antonio Express-News: story follows a young teen as she learns to cope with grief and change.html

For a fun look at the creation of Confetti Girl from Alvina Ling, Diana’s editor at Little, Brown Children’s Books, visit:

To view latest author events, reviews and teacher resources for Confetti Girl, visit

Monday, July 13, 2009

Writing tips from the National Latino Writers Conference!

Held each May at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, this is one of my all-time favorite writing conferences known for top-notch writing workshops, supportive camaraderie and lots of great food and music. The conference limits participants to 50, which is a big plus for attendees who want to really connect with editors and agents. This year, Josefina López, Malin Alegria, René Colato Laínez, Reyna Grande, Lydia Gil, Demetria Martinez, Felipe de Ortego y Gasca, Frank Zuñiga, and many others presented invaluable writing tips from their various fields.

Adriana Dominguez’s VOCES blog has posted wonderful picture book writing tips from René Colato Laínez’s conference workshop---just one of a series of interviews from the conference Adriana is sharing with readers.

So keep an eye on VOCES and also look for René’s newest release RENE HAS TWO LAST NAMES coming this fall! For more information about the National Latino Writers Conference, visit

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