Friday, May 29, 2009

Home again, home again jiggety jog!

There is nothing like going away for two and a half weeks to totally disrail any structure you had in your life! Not that I had much to begin with. But I wouldn't trade those two weeks for anything, well, maybe a Caldecott:)

My sister and I visited 12 quilt shops and generally had a great time just being together. I learned a bit about how to get around the Twin Cities and enjoyed the beautiful parks and lakes. On Wednesday evening we headed to The Red Balloon Book Shop to check it out and check on the Saturday schedule. If you love children's books, you cannot miss this store if you are anywhere near St. Paul. The location is fun - on Grand Avenue in the midst of great shops and restaurants and beautifully restored old homes. The selection is amazing, from board books to YA to puppets. Yes, they carry fabulous puppets, including an iguana who now lives with me. Izzy, the iguana, insisted on becoming the mascot for A Isn't for Fox and has really taken on a life of his own. Scary!

On Saturday we returned to The Red Balloon for my book event. The staff is one of the most warm and caring booksellers I have worked with. They went out of their way to make the event fun and comfortable for me and for the families that attended. Their generosity was overwhelming and I will revisit them whenever I am in St. Paul.
My editor and her little boy also attended the event. This was our first face to face meeting and we enjoyed getting to know each other during lunch. We discussed the next book - some surprises there - and I hope to have a release date soon. It looks like it will be early 2010. And yes, another puppet travelled home to help during school visits with the new book.

Now I am trying to regroup, but not really succeeding. One day at a time is too long to think about, so let's try one minute at a time. That might work. Read on!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

In Minnesota

What a week it has been! I left Maine last Sunday and drove to Pennsylvania to Mt. Gretna. On Monday I had a school visit at the Cornwall Terrace Elementary School in Sinking Springs, near Reading. Because there were four classes in each grade, I saw two classes in each 30 minute session. I wasn't sure how it would work, but I tweaked some new ideas I used at the Saccarappa School last week in Westbrook. ME. Incidently, the Saccarappa School was awesome! Back to this week. That evening I had dinner with an old friend who was the babysitter for my girls when they were little. We had a great time catching up, talking about education and about authors. We then headed to the Spring Township Library and had a very fun time with storytime. The kids asked great questions, the cookies were good and I was surprised by a former student of mine from Maine.

I spent Tuesday visitng family and enjoying being "home." On Wednesday I headed to Pittsburgh and picked up my daughter and a friend at the airport. The next few days were long and fun and full of quilting related activites. I had a great time and I hope my daughter will take me along again next year. But since it is in Minneapolis, we already have our rooms reserved and I don't see how she could say no:)

Today I made my way to St.Paul where I will be for the next week visiting my sister and her husband. On Saturday I have the storytime and signing event at the Red Balloon Bookstore in St. Paul. I am hoping to meet my editor for the first time. It will be nice to have the week to slow down and catch my breath.

Read a good book, then share it with a friend.

Monday, May 4, 2009

School Visits

I travelled to Wilton ME last week for a day of fun and writing poems at the Cushing School. We wrote some great poems about bugs and Earth Day - and I learned an interesting fact about blood which I need to research. I was
interviewed by three(!) papers that day and viewed the articles online the following day. I don't know how long the articles will be available, but if you're interested, check out and (Franklin county.)The third paper, The Franklin Journal, is print only, so I hope I receive a copy.

Tomorrow I am off to Westbrook, ME to visit the Kindergarteners at the Saccarappa School. A day with 5/6 year olds is always fun and exhausting!

I can't believe I am finally leaving on my big trip this Sunday. I am eager to visit my family in PA and MN, attend my first Quilt Market in Pittsburgh, do some shopping:) and have a few book events. It will be a great 16 days and it will take all of June to recover.

As the school year draws to a close, it is a great time to think about author visits for the fall. If you belong to a Parent/Teacher group, put it out for discussion now. There is never a bad time to think about enrichment for our children.

I'll keep you posted as I move about the country. Enjoy the flowers, singing birds and budding trees.