Friday, August 29, 2014

Yoohoo Boats!

Love that students from a school in Oconee County, Georgia, made Yoohoo boats after reading The Small Adventure of Popeye and Elvis.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Leroy Ninker Saddles Up

I've never read Kate DiCamillo's Mercy Watson books.

I mean, so many books, so little time, and all that.

But I've made no secret of my love of her writing.

And now I've just finished Leroy Ninker Saddles Up (a spin-off of the Mercy Watson series).

I fell in love with that little cowboy dude and his trusty horse, Maybelline.

I mean, that Kate is all about VOICE.

I finally quit highlighting because, what's the's all so dang good.

But here are a few of my faves:

I hope he is a fast horse, he thought. And I hope that he is strong. I will call him Tornado. Leroy found this name so pleasing he had to stop walking and hold himself very still and properly consider the glory of the word.

Patty LeMarque helped Leroy Ninker up on Maybelline's back, and right away Leroy Ninker noticed that the world was different from the top of a horse. The colors were deeper. The sun shone brighter. The birds sang more sweetly.

You got to listen in this world, Hank. You got to pay attention to the informational bits that people share with you.

This is the worst night of my life, thought Leroy. If there is anything worse than being a cowboy without a horse, it is being a cowboy who had a horse and then lost her.

Okay, I'll stop there.

You get the point.

I loved this little book.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Author Visits

I've fallen off the blogging wagon for a bit for lots of good reasons (two of which are writing and summer).

But I'm trying to ease back into the swing of things. (Emphasis on the word "ease.")

I refuse to say the F word on this family-friendly blog.

Oh, what the heck....

....I'll say it:



Somebody had to say it.

It will be here in a blink.

So I know many authors and schools are thinking about author visits again.

I thought I'd resurrect some blog posts I wrote a while back (um, five years ago? Yikes) with advice for authors and schools.

The first four are aimed at authors but schools might find something useful in them, too.

The last one is for schools.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Hello Revision, My Old Friend

....I've come to talk with you again.

[cue music of The Sound of Silence here in case you're confused.]


So much more fun to look at a page with words vs a blank page!

*Dives in head first*

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Island of Time

I had a super busy school year with school visits and conferences and such. 

After that I hit the ground running, or rather sitting, pen and paper in hand. (Yes, I write longhand.)

I had a wonderful jumpstart at a writers retreat with my home girls.

(l to r) Kirby Larson, Winston the Wonder Dog, Susan Hill Long, Augusta Scattergood, me)

Came home and stayed focused despite the gorgeous New England summer weather and my gardens and other distractions calling to me.

My only breaks have been a stroll at beach or bog with the dogs. 

But today I'm floating on a little island of time.

I have no idea exactly what that phrase means, but I like it, so I'm using it.

My work-in-progress is temporarily simmering on the back burner, ready to be buffed and polished and Bo-toxed into shape.

So today I'm free floating and it's been bliss.

Started the day with a 5:30 bog walk. (I have to time my visits so there aren't any other dogs for my shelter dog to fist fight with. She sometimes has, um, issues.)

Then I came back and picked fresh flowers from the garden (which look a little limp now but, oh well).

And THEN, I've been hunkered down with this all day.

Song Writers on Song Writing by Paul Zollo

Writers, songwriters, readers, music lovers, and anyone who isn't dead would love this.

It's a big fat book full of interviews with the BEST songwriters.

Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, Carole King, Paul Simon, Brian Wilson, Randy Newman, Neil Young, Leonard Cohen, Frank Zappa, Carlos Santana, Lou Reed, k.d. lang, Merle Haggard.....on and on and on.

I find myself whipping out the yellow highlighter every few minutes.

Feeling even more inspired to get back to my simmering word pot.

Signing off from my Island of Time

Monday, July 28, 2014

Bats in the Band

Now THIS is how you throw a book launch party!

Holy cow!

I have the good fortune to be in a critique group with the uber talented Brian Lies.

I'll let the photos speak for themselves, but trust me, this was an AMAZING event for the launch of the glorious Bats in the Band.

The event was coordinated with the South Shore Music Conservatory, who provided amazing musical performances to enhance Brian's reading of the book.

Brian MADE the bats on the car, y'all!

Brian had a giant version of the book to read from. He thinks of everything!

Brian's talented and beautiful daughter

Brian signing books (a lot of them!)

Critique group - Love these gals (and guy)!!!

Monday, July 21, 2014

How to Steal a Dog Movie Pics

A few more pics from the filming of How to Steal a Dog in South Korea

Mookie with director Kim Sung-ho

That face!! Love.....


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Summer Check-in

Hey, y'all!

I know this blog has been quiet this summer but I have a good excuse.

I've been here:

And here:

And here:

With these folks:

(l to r) Kirby Larson with Winston the Wonder Dog, Susan Hill Long, Augusta Scattergood and me

Doing what, you ask?


And now:

Light at the end of the tunnel (sort of)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Things I Love Thursday

I love seeing these photos of shooting the movie version of How to Steal a Dog in South Korea.