Archive for October, 2008

What’d I miss???

Friday, October 31st, 2008

So….. what are your favorite kidlit blogs?

Of course  I actually missed a jillion things. That’s the trouble with top 10 lists… you only get 10 picks.  Letterman I’m not.

Have a SLIDY Halloween!!!

Friday, October 31st, 2008

Look at Gareth!  He dressed as a WIGGLEPEDE for his school’s book parade.

How awesome is THAT?


Gareth, you MADE MY DAY!

In other news, I’m dressed up tonight as a “ballet-teacher at the grocery store”.  Which is to say I put on a lot of makeup and did my hair in buns, and then donned a mumu.

But tomorrow Chris and I will be Johnny and June Carter Cash!  Watch out, world… if I get enough treats, I just might play my autoharp!

I miss poems…

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

I do.

And poets.

Also, things are humming.

Oh, fall.

No cuts, no buts…

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

I voted today in Georgia (there I am, third from the end), and discovered an awesome secret!  If you bring a small child with you (any human child will do) you can cut straight to the front of the line!

Now, as a rule I don’t like to accept handouts or favors. But with a rumored six hour wait, I was happy to take advantage of my fertility.

May I suggest that if you do not have a child of your own you either make one immediately (it will take less time than waiting in the line on Memorial Ave) or borrow one from a friend.

In a pinch, I’ll rent yu one of mine CHEAP!


Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

OMG!  I finally hooked up my new printer/scanner.  Watch out for revolting cuteness in comig days.

Look! Mose and Lew got “school” pictures!

Home from Wonderful…

Sunday, October 26th, 2008

So… I did my first school visits (MAJOR thanks to Sherri, at Park Road Books!) this weekend (Friday, really), and then three bookstore events in Charlotte and Asheville, and may I say…


Kids are just so so so so awesome.  They asked amazing, insightful, smart questions.

But also, North Carolina is WOW!

Asheville looks like what would happen if Chattanooga and Iowa City (two of my favorite places in the world) got married and had a baby.  So much amazing culture and music and art.  And in such a lovely part of the country.

But most noticeable was that it was the least cell-phony place I’ve been in about five years. Really. As we (my mom and the boys and I) were leaving I saw someone talking on their phone and it was jarring.  And THAT seemed weird, but then I realized that it was jarring because I hadn’t seen that done in a full 24 hours.

I’m not kidding.

Someone find me a job!!!

“I’m a Pauline”

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

Miranda? Samantha?  Charlotte? Carrie?

Forget all about Sex and the City.

What I want to know is… what SHOE  are you?

Are you a Pauline, a Petrova, or a Posy?

If you can’t answer right away, go forth and read!

I’m Sorry, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle…

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008


I’m reading the new Mrs. Piggle Wiggle Book.  And it’s (sigh) BAD.

I mean, it isn’t HORRIBLE.  It’s still (kinda)  Mrs. Piggle Wiggle. She’s still fat and funny, and her house is still upside down, and the kids are still little brats. And the moms still sit around drinking retro coffee.  I guess I’d rather read Happy BIrthday, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle than, say, BRATZ Superstylin’ Funktivity (I am not even making that up!)

But all the invention is missing.  All the wacky  skewed thinking. All the unexpected logic.  The cures are something out of a  parenting article in Good Housekeeping (gag me), and several of them are just plain ripoffs of the original books.

Reading this book really  drives home the fact that you cannot come up with a formula for voice or humor.  You can create a formula for plot.  But that’s it.  And no matter how hard you try, you cannot immitate a master.

This  is why, I think, a lot of series writing fails (even when the original author doesn‘t die). Because the formula is no longer new, and  the voice tires, stretches to its limits.

I actually found myself feeling really bad for Anne MacDonald Canham, whose mother was Betty MacDonald.  Because you just know she wrote this book as a tribute. A memorial to her mother. And you know she tried to do her mom justice.  And you know it kills her that she didn’t match her mother’s wit.

But really, how could she have possibly succeeded?

Through the Tollbooth!!!

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

Check out this fun Halloweeny interview I did with the wonderful authors of Through the Tollbooth!

I wonder…

Monday, October 20th, 2008

What’s a book tour like if you DON’T have small children?

Recently I took a trip to Maryland and Pennsylvania. To do an SCBWI Conference, and the Baltimore Book Festival.  Of course, we stopped at all the usual author haunts.

The candy store/ farmer’s market, to buy  pumpkins and apples and lots of revolting gummi crap.

My mom’s house, for free babysitting (and wagon rides).

My dad’s house, for shofar blowing.

Some rusted old truck in rural PA,  for some much needed climbing about.

And Scittino’s. Home of “noondles and neatballs”. Not to mention the best pizza on earth.

Yeah, a fancy shmancy book tour can really go to your head.