Hot socks!! Couldn’t be happier! Just found out that Maria Corte Maidagan will illustrate J IS FOR JAZZ (World Book, September 2014). Maria’s illustration is sure to at zip and zing to my text.
This past week I had the pleasure of traveling to Rolla, Missouri to give three presentations at the Rolla Public Library. Of course, my first stop was at Slice of the Pie. This was to fortify me for what would come next. Just a half slice of the apple with warm cinnamon sauce on top did the trick.
For the last month or so before the presentations, I’d been sweating buckets about my presentation to the teen group. I’d done a powerpoint, I’d worked with the meme generator, I’d inteviewed every kid that age I knew and still my presentation was a total dud–I bored myself silly so what would that do to the kids. They deserved so much more.
So…I thought back over what I do for other groups. I always bring props. I walked through my house and placed every odd item I could find into a bag, hoping that one or more might spark the interest of a kid or two…and it worked!!
I brought a Viet Nam era gas mask, a goo tube, and a couple of other bizarro items. Then we talked about descriptors, words that could be used in text to engage the senses, word they might use in their writing or at the least, words that they thought would engage their senses.
I don’t know about the kids, but I know that I enjoyed myself so much that now, I’m chomping at the bit to find another group of teens. Help me out on this, will you?
Not saying I’m any kind of expert, but lately I’ve done quite a few of these. Here’s what I’ve learned.
For the kind of presentations I give, groups of about 100 children work best. I aim to look each child in the eye at least once during a presentation. Can’t really do that with groups larger than 100.
Tailor the length of the presentation to the age of the child. Shorter kids, shorter presentations. 30 minutes is ideal for kindergartners. 45 for 1st through 5th. Older kids can hang in there with me for an hour. I can hang in there with older kids for an hour too.
Three presentations in one day is all my brain will allow. One day a week allows me to keep my writing schedule so that’s what I’m going to stick with.
I do hope to hear from teachers, librarians, bookstore owners and the like. You know how to reach me. Oh, and one last thing…teachers can you hang in there with your classes for the presentations? No one knows your kids quite like you do. I value your expertise.
Child’s World released two new books of mine–CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS AROUND THE WORLD and BIRTHDAY TRADITIONS AROUND THE WORLD. I shared these with a couple of teachers and librarians and got thumbs up. Take a look and see what you think.
A poem a day keeps the blues away. Something silly or sentimental will do. It can be my poem or someone else’s. Somehow the rhythm and rhyme satisfies a need in this word nerd. Here’s one for your reading pleasure.
Trade Your Skin
Who knew you’d trade your red-brown skin
For something finer, something thin?
An iridescent new blue suit,
To wear when sipping sour fruit.
Who knew you’d transform, Butterfly,
From caterpillar by and by?
With eyes that hide beneath your wings
To watch for other flying things.
Who knew you’d be an insect fair,
And waft away on misty air?
Then pause and warm your wings in sun.
You knew, Blue Morpho. You’re the one.
Did it again!! Yippee! I sold a book–one I love.
World Book picked up J IS FOR JIVE. Don’t know when it will hit the shelves but I do know that they are looking hard for just the right illustrator. Lord have mercy and Halleluiah!
Yes, she is my sister, but I still don’t have to say it. Maryann’s new book, ODETTE’S SECRET (Bloomsbury 2012) is nothing short of fantastic! Even Kirkus says so.
“Elegant…Thoughtful [and] affecting.”–Kirkus Reviews.
You can pick it up at your local bookseller or online. It’s a beautiful read and one that will stay with you long after you’ve placed it on the shelf.
Yippee, Skippy!! New book covers to share. These two just hit the shelves on January 1, 2013. What a great way to celebrate a new year.Hope you’re planning plenty of reading and celebrating in 2013!
Happy, happy, happy! New books out the the very beginning of the new year.
Child’s World just released BIRTHDAY TRADITIONS AROUND THE WORLD and CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS AROUND THE WORLD. I am one ecstatic writer. Words in print and the chance to work for a wonderful publisher. That seems to be what it’s all about.
Wishing all of you readers and writers the same good luck in this new year.
Just out! Norwood House Press is releasing ISABELLA AND IVAN BUILD AND INTERVIEW and SETH AND SAVANNAH BUILD A SPEECH. Take a peek at these covers. Better yet, take a peek at the real things. Hope you like them, too.