Tuesday, November 29, 2011

PW review of Girl Meets Boy and upcoming events

Wednesday night, I'll be signing books in Mapleton, at the Public Library, as part of the Snowflake Dazzle festivities. That should be fun! All sorts of Holiday stuff happening in Mapleton, if you're anywhere nearby.

Sunday, I'll be in Grand Rapids, MN signing at the Village Bookstore from noon to 2 p.m. It's a great Indie bookstore!

Publishers's Weekly reviews our anthology Girl Meets Boy. They liked my story--I'm so honored because I'm in this book with so many hugely terrific and successful writers.

Lastly, have I mentioned how much I love teaching Children's Lit? I do. I have such a great group of readers (and writers) in my class this fall. I love Monday nights. We had a great discussion about Chris Crutcher's Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes last night.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


I finally broke down and rode my bike on the trainer today.

The wind is howling, Freya is snoozing, and I'm trying hard to get some writing done on the newest project. Too much to do, even on a long weekend.
I need to grade for a few hours, too.
The DVD player didn't work when I got on the trainer, so I couldn't do a workout video. I read instead, and it's hard to keep my cadence and heart rate up when I'm lost in a story, but I managed most of the time. Most, I say.

I'm reading John Coy's Top of the Order because I read Kurtis Scaletta's Mudville recently. All this is because my newest complete novel, Slider's Son features a 12-year-old who wants to be a major league pitcher. I wanted to see how other Minnesota writers whom I admire handle their baseball stories. I love both of these books, by the way.

Back to work. This time, on my Iowa political intrigue and romance story...with religion and race mixed in. I hope I can make it all balance into a coherent story.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Sadie and Allie get around today...

Today, Rainy of the Dark's blog is hosting an interview with Sadie and Allie. It's kind of fun, so check it out!

We're also very excited (Sadie and Allie and me, that is) to visit Sanford Middle School this afternoon in Minneapolis.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

November morning walk

Crispy frosted grass
crunches under Freya's paws
and my hiking boots

Shadows trot ahead
Freya's is interrupted
smelling coyote scat

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Second Story Series today and in April

Second Story this afternoon at the Loft:

Kelly Barnhill and Anne Ursu were delightful, and read enticing passages. I just finished Breadcrumbs by Anne. Can't wait to start The Mostly True Story of Jack by Kelly.

I graded several hours this morning, spent a delightful afternoon in Minneapolis, and am back at grading again. It was worth the two trips to the cities in one weekend to take in this event and Stephen Shaskan's yesterday.

And: I'm soooo excited. Swati and Heather have asked me to read in the Second Story Series in April--with A.S. King!!! OMG. OMG.

Best thing, however: a sixth-grader ? seventh? told me tonight that she "LOVED Chasing AllieCat" and read it three times. Best thing in the WORLD that I could hear.

A Dog is a Dog

A DOG is a DOG, right?
Not when it's STEPHEN SHASKAN, reading from his new picture book, A DOG IS A DOG.
Yesterday, I went to the Red Balloon, and besides a jam-packed, crammed-with-people-of-all-sizes-and-ages store, this is what I saw.
His new book is adorable and FUN. Can't wait to give it for Christmas!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

MIA, and Art that stops you dead in your tracks

Here's what I keep discovering: the bigger your world gets, the more you want to learn, the more you realize you don't know, but the more wonder you hold for what you do see.

I've been to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts more times than I can count. I've been taking students there almost every school term since 1997. Everytime I go, I see something I haven't noticed before.

My students will confirm that I can't shut up in there...I want to show them everything that excites me or fills me with wonder. However, after an hour of being dragged around, listening to me rush from amazing piece to amazing piece, their feet hurt from walking on the marble floors more than their hearts are open to much more amazement. I turn them loose to wander on their own, and all I do is say to myself, "Oh, I should have showed them...the Magritte, the Picassos, the Dalis, the other Monet, the veiled lady...." but there's only so much I can pack in. They have to find the rest on their own. That's what a good teacher should do, right? Prime them to want to discover on their own? I hope so.

Anyway, my big discovery this year is directly linked to my own year. I've seen Charles Caryl Coleman's "The Bronze Horses of San Marco, Venice" many, many times. This year, however, is the first time I've seen it after being in Venice, after standing on that same balcony of St. Mark's Basilica in St. Mark's Square. Here's the painting, and here's the photo I took. This is why art can stop me dead in my tracks sometimes.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


At the FLUX booth at AASL (American Association of School Librarians) this past Friday. So much going on, I can't quite get it all posted and do everything else I'm supposed to be doing (including WRITING!!). Here I am with Marissa and Bethany (in the back), from FLUX, and fellow FLUX author Lisa Albert, and with Steven Pomije from FLUX. Maggie Stiefvater came a bit later (see the FLUX blog post).


Some images from Halloween.
In the "Dead Bride" get-up Saturday night, with "The Keeper," dancing with Tom as "The Big Guy," with Bec the Zombie, Padfoot at my Children's Lit Halloween party, and most important: As a witch at the Mapleton Library Halloween Story Time!