Archive for April, 2009

A plot…

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

Okay, so I have 2 small kids and I cannot do a “book tour” in the traditional way.

BUT! I have an idea.  And I need YOUR help.

I am going to make up some “author kits.  In each there will be a copy of my new book, a stack of signed book plates, a cute T-shirt that says,

*I’m* Laurel Snyder
Author by proxy.

I will be happy to send a kit to you, if you will arrange a local reading for me.  You can call up your local bookstore or library, and just say, “Hey!  Can I crash storytime?”

They will say yes.

Then, you will don the shirt, and do a delightful reading in my place. You will “sign” books and you will chat with kids, and I will be very very very grateful to you.

So grateful that if you send me a picture of you, in the shirt, reading from the book at the event… I will thank you, by name, in my next book!

For real!  How’s that?

No, I mean, it, would you do such a thing?


Poetic Asides…

Monday, April 27th, 2009

There’s a fun little interview with me today, over at  Robert Lee Brewer’s awesome blog, Poetic Asides!

A fruitless search…

Sunday, April 26th, 2009

Today, in preparation for next month’s publication of Any Which Wall, I set out to look for other fans of Edward Eager, since WALL is a kind of tribute to Eager.  I thought maybe I could interest Eager fans in MY BOOK!

But sadly, I have to report that there’s just nothing online about Eager.  No fan page, no fan club, nothing.

I find this hard to accept.  Eager has been in print for half a century.  He was a bestseller in his day, and every library I’ve ever set foot in has had a copy of Half Magic on its shelves.  I know countless people who love his books, and yet– I guess he just doesn’t inspite the kind of excitement required for fandom.

Which has me thinking about devotion, obsession.  What is it about some books that inspires frenzy?  Madness? Passion?  Eager’s books are, I guess, not those kinds of books.

They’re not the kind of books you have wild nights with. They’re just the kind of books you marry.

Happy Arbor Day (and happy Poetry Friday) !!!

Friday, April 24th, 2009

*Arbor Day (last Friday in April)

Trees, trees, glorious trees,
Full of raccoons and beetles and bees,
Full of red robins and woodpeckers too,
And if you’ve a tree house, perhaps full of YOU!

It isn’t just meant for the green leafy trees,
The bark and the branches, the roots and the leaves.
Arbor Day means you should stop for a minute,
In front of a tree, and consider  what’s IN IT!


That’s a little poem from a picture book that will probably never see the light-o-day, “12 Months of Silly: a neglected holiday songbook.” The premise of the book is that Xmas has stolen all the songs, so that poor holidays like Arbor Day and Halloween get no musical love…

Hence the “never see light-o-day” thang.

Hope you like it!

Also, may I take a moment to say that my parents didn’t love me enough to provide me with a treehouse.  For which I continue to resent them.

Just a small town girl…

Monday, April 20th, 2009

Living in a…

Big City.

I just got back from the Alabama Book Festival, in Montgomery. And it  never fails…

Whenever I’m getting settled into myself, my life, my town, I go and visit some little southern town, and remember that I wish I were living someplace… littler.

The festival was such fun!  Saw Sebastian and his lovely wife Ali, and had a crazy night of talktalktalk and wine with some great poets.  Ended up in a loft full of Mose Tolliver. Was totally blown away by Douglas Kearney and his powerful reading.  Met the delightful Mary Pope Osborn, and her equally delightful sister, Natalie Pope Boyce.  Toured the town and ate too much, and read to kids, and really had a blast!

But more than that, it was just nice to be in a  little place. All green and rusted and quiet.  A place with history, and nice people.  Reminded me a lot of Chattanooga when I moved there, in 1992.

And it didn’t hurt that many of the poets were from Louisville and Asheville.  So much of the conversationw as about how great those towns, and small cities in general, are.

Of course, in the end, I’m always glad to come home, to my boys.  But really, Montgomery, you wowed me! THANKS!


Thursday, April 16th, 2009

I’m an angel who flies *to* Montgomery.

For the Alabama Book Festival.

And an evening alone.

Which is both happy-making…

And sad-making too…


Saturday, April 11th, 2009

Don’t get me wrong… I love to twitter as much as the next self-involved thirty-something shut-in with delusions of grandeur.

But really, it’s funny because it’s true.

Garden more, and know thyself.


Friday, April 10th, 2009

The dreaded Kirkus has *almost* only nice things to say about Any Which Wall…

Susan, Henry, Roy and Emma stumble upon a wall in the oddest of places—the middle of a cornfield. To their delight, it turns out to be wishing wall, complete with a key, capable of whisking them away to fascinating times and places. It’s not all fun and games, though, at least not at first. The kids have to puzzle out how the magic works and then contend with some mysterious visions granted to them by none other than the famous Merlin. The visions, along with the particular wishes each child makes, unfold into a unique life lesson for each of the children. Unfortunately, these lessons can feel a little contrived, particularly when it comes to Susan, the oldest of the group, who is desperately trying to grow up without losing the childlike qualities of imagination and adventure that are a fundamental part of her spirit. Nonetheless, the fast-paced plot and glib narrator—fond of making asides—will keep readers turning pages and looking for magic in their own corners of the world. (Fantasy. 9-12)

Ah, Kirkus.  Why are you so wedded to that nasty penultimate destructo-line?

Iowa was already…

Saturday, April 4th, 2009

…one of my very favorite places, what with the writing and the corn and the shnitzel and the good good people and the falling-down-barns, and the music and the open spaces and the family and the tidal-wave-of-springtime.

But now it has proven itself again.


Yay, IOWA!  Yay, LOVE!  Yay, midwestern-blend-of-traditional-American-spirit-and-actual-family-values-and-smalltown-heart-combined-with-basic-respect-for-all-people!!!!!

Iowa is smart and real and human and loving. Iowa don’t care who you kiss, so long as you’re happy!

Cranky old farmers may not LIKE gay marriage, but for the most part, *they* don’t like *anything*… and at least  in IOWA, they know how to mind their own business.

Oh, joy.


Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

Betsy Bird is doing something enormously wonderful over at Fuse #8.

And hence… I am delighted to announce I’ve thought of a way to (in one fell swoop) copycat her mercilessly, and also seem like a total pill.

I will be the Bizarro-Betsy!

For the next week, I ask that you email me– laurelsnyder (at)– and tell me the name of a picture  book you HATE!  And please, if you can, a few words about why you detest it.

Here’s the catch: It has to be a book other people love. A classic. A bestseller.  A “gem” of some kind.

I mean, we all think this book sucks, natch.  But I want to know what horrible book you feel pressured to like by the  herd, and why you hate it!

Yay for creative negativity!

(Please, please, don’t let me down. Please help me stomp a sacred cow?  Don’t let me stand alone in opposition to creepy treacle!)