Monday, June 27, 2016

A month? Or a lifetime?

I wrote this post a month ago.  More storytelling stuff has happened.  More books have been read and more wizard stories have been acted out.  I am NOT just twiddling my thumbs... 

If you pay attention, you will note that I posted over a month ago.  Well, it has been quite the month.  Personal stuff:
1.  Son and his family moved home; bought a house; son got new job; found a day care for the little one; lived in our apartment for two long, eventful and adorable weeks.
2. Nope.  No.  #1 is quite enough.

 Storytelling stuff:
1.  Group performance in Woodbury NJ. Thanks to good tellerfriend, Ingrid Bohn,
for driving
2.  Arts Day at Thos. Jefferson Elementary.  So much fun!

Reading:
1.  The Princess in Black books by Shannon Hale; many other picture books; and "A Chinese Fairy Tale" from the Junior Classics - all of these out loud.
2. Some Charlotte MacLeod Sarah Kelling/ Max Bittersohn mysteries.  It is wonderful to revisit old favorites as if I never read them at all.  Memory loss has an upside.
3.  Wishing Day by Lauren Myracle.  Just closed the book half an hour ago.  Lovely writing.  Thoughtful look at the confusion of young teenager hood and the pull to always believe in magic.  The book mirrors how I feel after having the little girl here from early morning until bedtime and then, poof!.  Honestly, I don't know what to do with myself or what is real anymore.


Writing:
Well, we play a lot of make believe, the little girl and I.  I tell her stories that pop into my head and if she likes them, we act them out - over and over and over again.

There has been a rash of foolish wizards turning fairies into flowers and animals because they love animals and flowers and have no idea how those things occur in the REAL world.  We have reached chapter 13 or 14. I am sure I missed one or two when I wrote them down.  The last chapter was the best.  Tell you more later.

Painting Pepette Book Trailer


Sorry for my absence.  Here's a book trailer to apologize.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Scraps

Today was a Rube Goldberg day.  Instead of moving in an orderly fashion from one task to the next, I started one task, noticed something that led me to another task.  Wait!  Here's how it all worked out.

I wanted to tape the baseboard in my office so I could prime the walls (1). 
But I had to hang up two jackets (2) which made me open the closet door.
Then I remembered that I needed to fit a large bin into that closet, so I had to reorganize the floor space (3).
The bed linens that I keep on the closet shelf needed reorganizing(4), so I did that.
By then, I had several items that had to be moved to the attic. (5)
That done, I returned to the office to finish taping the baseboard. (1a).  But some plaster was loosened in the process.  So I had to clean and spackle that section (6).
Remember that large bin?  There was a smaller bin on top of it full of books that needed to be shelved(7).
While looking for space for those books, I found an old steno pad.

Ahhh!
On the steno pad were notes for a story titled "Rupert & Ivy".  The notes were fairly detailed, including three questions and rhyming answers.   Did I write these notes?  Or was I describing something I read?  Oh, to have a young memory once again!

I searched for Rupert & Ivy online but nothing came up.  And Rupert is one of my all time favorite character names.  And the ending was very vague in a "to-be-continued" sort of way.  I wrote it.

That steno pad had another story scrap -  dialogue between a brother and sister left on a new England island for the summer.

It isn't a steno pad at all.  It is a treasure chest with pieces of my memory within.  This is why I have notebooks and binders piled around me.  I might find three questions with the answers in rhyme.

BTW, I got the baseboard taped.  Maybe I'll prime the walls tomorrow - if I don't unearth another treasure.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Thanks, Conan Doyle



A Study in Charlotte  by Brittany Cavallaro   Jamie Watson gets a rugby scholarship to Sherringford, a boarding school not far from his estranged father's home in Connecticut.  Charlotte Holmes is also a student there.  Jamie has followed Charlotte's exploits since they were both kids.  Jamie's father knows EVERYTHING about the Holmes family. 
When someone tries to frame Jamie and Charlotte for the murder of a Sherringford student, their families' generations long connection is reignited.  Charlotte shares her famous forebear's skills at observation and his deductive reasoning AND his skill on the violin.  Alas, that is not all she has in common with great-great-great-whatever Sherlock. 
The crimes that she and Watson - also a great-great-great-whatever of Dr. John Watson - investigate reference some of Holmes' most famous cases.  Holmes and Watson are in serious danger here.  Explosions, poisons, muggings, chases, - THIS is the beginning of a beautiful book series.

Honestly, what would modern mystery fiction do without Holmes and Watson?

Thursday, April 14, 2016

The authors are coming!! The authors are coming!!!


Emily is just one of FOUR awesome children's authors at the KU Children's lit Conference

 This is the latest that I have ever gone in finishing my KU Children's Literature Conference booklist.  I am embarrassed at the lateness.  But it IS done - except for the inevitable addendum or addenda.  Maybe I'll skip those this year.  And you can find it here.

You can find the KUCLC's website here, too.  Show up early (7:30 to 8:30 am) on Saturday if you haven't pre-registered.  The cost is ONLY $50 for a day of children's book fantasticality!  This year Kutztown hosts Daniel Kirk, Andrea Davis Pinkney, Emily Arnold McCully and Jonathan Bean.


Monday, April 11, 2016

Prison life






All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook  by Leslie Connor has a good chance of being my favorite book of the year - Top 5, for sure.

Perry was born and raised in Blue River Co-Educational Correctional Institute.  His mother discovered she was pregnant after she was incarcerated.  The warden had herself named as the foster parent in order to keep Perry and his mom together.

That's the thing about Blue River.  Warden Daugherty believes in treating the residents fairly and with respect.  The residents, most of them, return the respect and work together to overcome the flaws that landed them in jail.

Perry has attended public school his entire life.  But when he enters middle school, someone decides he needs a "real" family.  Finally "outside", Perry only wants to be back with his mother and his family at Blue River.

A school project on local history gives Perry a chance to get the whole story behind his mother's arrest and sentence.   His research opens the eyes of at least one classmate.

When he suspects that someone who claims to be looking into his mother's case is talking through his hat, Perry devises a genius "trap".  

I suggest that you locate your tissues before you get too far into this book.  There are several moving melancholy scenes in here.

Sunday, April 10, 2016