Thursday, November 29, 2012

Clive--Crestview and Indian Hills

I just spent two SPECTACULAR days in Clive, Iowa. I visited CRESTVIEW ELEMENTARY and INDIAN HILLS JUNIOR HIGH. The kids were wonderful, and we had so much fun talking about writing, dogs (Freya got to go with me!), and bikes.

I have to get ready for another school day at South Central College, so I don't have time to write much, but I'll post more as soon as I have some pictures. I had a TERRIFIC time. So did Freya, but she's pretty tired right now!

Thanks, Clive students. You ROCK!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving and other stuff

Wow, I haven't blogged for over a week. A bunch of things to report. FIRST, I am very, very (did I mention VERY?) excited to go to Crestview Elementary and to Indian Hills Junior High for author visits next Tuesday and Wednesday. It's such fun to have students excited for me to come.
I picked up three boxes of books from Capstone yesterday to fill their pre-orders. A box of Chasing AllieCat is on its way from FLUX.

And then there's this:

The Youtube video Ann asked me to make for the schools in Clive, Iowa

In between times, Tom and I are headed to Boston tonight/tomorrow morning for Thanksgiving with my son Josh, his wife Emily, and Anissa, Pascal, Lili, and Nina. I wish Nikki, Tom, and Alec could join us. Then it would be perfect, but they can't. At least I get to see them at Christmas time.
I am EXCITED. Haven't seen Josh and Em since June.

Two more things. Bear with me.

First, we read The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton for Children's Lit. last night and launched a discussion of young adult literature. Lively discussion, largely about student's own experiences with clicks and prejudice in their own high schools. I forget how much I LOVE that book until I read it again. It's timeless and it's powerful. How can you not shed a tear when Johnny tells Ponyboy to stay golden? What a great, sad scene. I'm a little jealous that "Suzy" Hinton wrote this when she was sixteen, I guess! But The Outsiders is timeless...not so much because of the Greasers and Socs but because all the emotion in it is raw and real and honest. About half the class didn't realize S.E. was a woman. I guess the publisher's suggestion back in 1967 for Suzy to use her initials WORKED. :)

Jill at Capstone and I talked about me writing a Greek myth title for them. I get to write a myth book for third graders from Medusa's point of view! How cool is that???? I can't wait. Actually, I already started.  I have too much to do already, but I can't pass that up!

Over and out. I have tons to do, and maybe I can write for an hour if I get most of it done...

Monday, November 12, 2012

Wendy blogged about me!

And here it is. I cried when I read it.

A blog about Children's Books of WWII

I just found this blog (thanks to Children's Literature Network), and am intrigued. It features books for kids that are about WWII. Set in, during, or around the time of the war, it's a great concept. What a wonderful resource for elementary teachers teaching about the war.

Selfishly, I'm hoping like crazy that Slider's Son gets purchased for publication in the near future...Then I can be a guest on this blog, too.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Um, a video...

The Youtube link above is an introduction for my school visit to Crestview Elementary and Indian Hills Middle School late this month. I'm excited about this visit.

Here I am on YouTube...
talking about stories, talking about being alive, riding my bike (yeah, I filmed myself on a ride), and hiking with Freya on the Kasota Prarire.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

World Bicycle Relief

World Bicycle Relief

In Africa

I may have found my calling. I'm determined, somehow, to set up a fund-raising effort so my trip to South Africa with students in May can be paired with raising money and awareness for this cause.

I am not sure yet what I will write about this....I guess that remains to be seen as it all unfolds.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

A delightful writerly weekend

BOOKOLOGY, Children's Literature Network, Nov. 3, 2012
With my buddy Kirstin Cronn-Mills (new novel: Beautiful Music for Ugly Children), Molly Beth Griffin (Silhouette of a Sparrow), and my dear friend Pamela Klinger-Horn, who supports writers and all good books! 

With Pamela and John Coy (Crackback, Top of the Order and many more). I got to sit at the same table with John and three librarians/teachers. We had a BLAST and tied winning the identify-the-author-by-"ten-things-you-don't-know-about-me" game!

It's Mary Tyler Moore! Back in St. Paul! (the hat is so high it's out of the picture, maybe?)
Oh, no. I guess it's author and my buddy Kirstin Cronn-Mills, on the street outside ADDENDUM book store, where she read Saturday afternoon. I loved the event. Not only did our friends Justin and Brian show up (below, listening attentively), but every single person in the store was "sucked in" and listening or asking questions by the time Kirstin was done!