My First School Visit

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Today I was the mystery guest at my son’s school.  It was the first time that I have ever read one of my stories to:

  • (a) unrelated children; and
  • (b) unrelated, not previously paid children.

In a nutshell, it was a big day.  And it was a ton of fun!

I started with a quick PowerPoint™ presentation explaining how I became a writer.

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Then, I talked about the revision process, and how writers have good days, bad days, and sometimes very bad days.  But the key is persistence!  I think the kids may have been surprised to learn that it took me about six years to revise, The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake, A Wilcox and Griswold Mystery, illustrated by Deborah Zemke (Creston Books Fall 2015).

I also spent quite a bit of time talking about rejections.  Maybe a lot of time since it’s a concept with which I am very familiar.   🙂

Finally, I put on my witch hat before reading, Hildie Bitterpickles Needs Her Sleep, illustrated by Chris Ewald (Creston Books Spring 2015).

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Why the witch hat?  Good question.  Two reasons.  First, Hildie is about a crabby old witch and of course, a witch story deserves a properly attired reader.  Second, when I attended one of the SCBWI conferences, Peter Sís mentioned that one bookstore owner encouraged him to bring props, like a stuffed parrot, in case his reading didn’t go well.  So, I figured if all else failed we could talk about the hat, or even play catch.  I wanted to be prepared.  I also didn’t have a stuffed parrot. 🙂

I am so looking forward to my next school visit.  Hoping that I’ll have some Hildie sketches to share with the kids next time.  What a great day!

Are You Ready for Moose Day?

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Blog reader:  Moose who?  Moose what?  Moose where?

Me:  So, glad you asked.  Tomorrow, January 7, 2014, is THE DAY that moose fans from around the world have been waiting for since . . . like . . . forever.  It is the most moose-a-rific day of the year!  It is a day of celebration.  A day to put on your antlers and go dancing with a duck or two or three.

Blog reader:  Really?  Why?

Me:  Why?  How can you ask why?  Because it is THE DAY that Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen and Noah Z. Jones’s most adorable book, Duck, Duck, Moose!, hits the bookstores.

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And if you’re like me, and you just can’t wait till tomorrow, you can pre-order your copy on Amazon or Barnes and Noble, or go to one of the super-cool independent bookstores.

As we all know, life is always better with a moose.  Happy Moose Day!