Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Snowman Cure

A simple snowman.

Cure for the seasonal blues, writing rejections, writer's block, whatever ails your soul.

Never underestimate the power of playing like a kid.

(Even if you've had to have one coerce you into making this discovery!)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Conference Coming!

One of the things I do in my spare time (hah!) is volunteer for SCBWI. We're having a terrific conference at the end of April for people who write and illustrate for kids.

We're having an editor, an art director, and an author come rub shoulders with us for an entire weekend. Yes I'm being vague and mysterious.

So leave here and go get the details at the official SCBWI Canada East chapter website.


Who Didn't Get the Memo?

Okay, it's spring already, right? Apparently whoever is in charge of the weather is ignoring that particular bit of information. I was housebound yesterday.

This was the highway.

Yes, I was kinda standing on the roadway but there wasn't exactly a big flow of traffic. And next is the highway looking in the other direction.

Happily the sun is shining today, so that 14 or so inches of new stuff we just got (according to the guy who snowplows my driveway) should make some kickin' snowpeople. I hope. Because that new snow piled on top of all the rest of the snow we had before means the white stuff will probably be hanging around for awhile yet.

Friday, March 14, 2008

March Break with Snake

My fashion accessory here is a corn snake. Beautiful, no? Lent to me when we went to the Sciensational Sssnakes display at a local car dealership.

The snake took a liking to my shoulder but then it kept on going. It was crawling over my shoulder and started investigating my purse! I figured it would stop. Nope! It was actually disappearing into my bag. See?

So I'm standing there wondering what I should do. Do I pretend nothing's going on? Do I wait for someone to notice a missing snake? Do I call for help and freak out just about every four year old in the place?

At last a man in charge came over to help. I had to take the bag off my shoulder and open it while he held the last visible bit of snake and tugged on it in order to extricate it. It was firmly wedged in there! Not sure exactly what it liked. It could have been the gum wrappers, old grocery lists, a paperback novel, pencil, eraser, hairbrush, hand sanitizer, notebook, pen, Canadian Tire coupons, ancient kleenexes, lone fuzzy Skittle, grocery receipts.... Maybe it just felt like home!

Maybe it's time to clean out the purse.


(Thanks to my son who grabbed my phone to take the photos.) Here's one last one of two other corn snakes.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

March Break with Raptors

During the March break we got to see a neat presentation on birds of prey put on by the people from the Wye Marsh. Here's the snowy owl.

It didn't want to do any flying for us. But after A LOT of coaxing, it finally flew to its perch and back again. Whee! What a whirl of feathers.

How do you learn not to freak when they land on your arm?
The great horned owl below was majestic. We were all told to respect this owl's territory if we came across one in the wild. So noted to self. I think we have one prowling our bush.

Barn owls are cool looking. This guy below is eating a chicken leg. Yum!

And the red-trailed hawk (below) performed one dramatic flight demonstration. Besides pretty much skimming my head it flew into a ceiling tile and found the kitchen in this auditorium. Quite a crowd rousing performance! The bird was fine.

Speaking of fine, probably the finest part for the kids was the poop. Every bird demonstrated that ability for us. Spectacularly sometimes. Eew! The kids loved it.

Not sure the same can be said for the intern who had to clean it up.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Parked in Parry Sound

So there I was in Parry Sound trying to pass that dreaded hour wait before a minor hockey game (you know, because your kid has to be there an hour early to get ready allowing you time to indulge your craving in crappy snack bar food). This day I was in the car in the parking lot with the girls because it wasn't all that cold out for once. The girls were having excellent adventures with Polly and Barbie in the backseat. I found this view in my rearview mirror rather interesting.

Well, I did say I was bored.

Then I heard the whistle of a train. Parry Sound has a fabulous train bridge. It's fabulous because it's way up in the air. But alas I was in the wrong place and couldn't get to the right place in time (besides which I'd lose my stellar parking space at the arena). So here's the view of the bridge from my vantage point.

And a little to the left of that.

I can't help but count cars when I see a train. Why is that? But then my time of leisure was up. Time to get to the serious business of cheering on my favorite hockey team.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Literacy Night

I had the chance to talk reading and writing at a Literacy Night along with my good friend and fellow writer Caroline Rennie Pattison. She talked to the older kids in the crowd and I got the younger ones.

The kids were great. They chanted with me as I read some poems I'd had published in Babybug magazine and did all the actions for the different ways to travel in Let's Go! One little girl even eyed my rubber froggie, a prop for The Nature Treasury. She looked like she wanted to pick it up and abscond with it. It was one of those moments when, as a speaker, you're trying to keep your presentation going but you're all the while thinking "Okay, do I ignore this or do something...and what?" Luckily her mom solved my dilemma.

The Canadian Children's Book Centre gave every child there a free book to take home.

The local paper did a nice writeup of the entire evening (even if I do hate the picture of myself). You can read more here.

Lemme In!!!

Um...what is it that my cat is trying to tell me exactly?

(It's awfully hard to write when this is the view competing with my computer screen.)