Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Monday, May 25, 2009

Driving Distractions

I guess Ontario has now officially declared fines for people found talking on cell phones while driving. Not a bad idea, really.

But there’s another hazard to driving in this part of the province these days: Bugs. Specifically, mosquitoes--skeeters. Seems no matter how fast we run to the car, or how quickly we slam the doors, we end up with a plethora of the pests inside. And then what happens? We’re forced to swat and smack and squish the nasty nuisances so they don’t alight on your arms or legs or--too true--ankles to suck your blood while you're otherwise occupied trying to negotiate the roads. I get large itchy welts from the things so I can't just ignore them.

Tell me that performing contortions to dash them against the dashboard or whacking them against your window, or that slapping yourself in the face to flatten those that are feasting on your forehead, isn’t hazardous to your driving. I have even waited until I think we’ve eliminated them all before starting out on my journey. Inevitably I get down the road a little way when the whine of one of the wily critters sends my system into full-out search and destroy mode.

I can’t win. Here’s hoping skeeter season is over soon

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Late Mail Surprises

I had a couple nice surprises in the mail recently.

One was a package of my author’s copies of Babybug. My poem was reprinted in it. Back in May/June 08. See my blog post for more on that.

And then my publisher’s publicist sent me two nice review clips for Let’s Go! One was from School Library Journal (scroll waaaay down) (and I'm ignoring the fact they spelled my last name wrong) and the other from Professionally Speaking (scroll down some there too). Cool! Okay, so they were from last August and June. They’re new to me.

I really don't mind the fact this news came late. It’s kinda nice to spread good news out over time. You can enjoy each bit a little more, you know? But then again I always was the type of kid who could make, and enjoyed making, any sort of good thing--candy!--last as long as possible.

A little bit of sugar can go a long way, don’t you think?

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Daffodil Song

Daffodil, Daffodil
ruffled yellow sun
Daffodil, daffodil
shine when winter's done
No, it won't win any awards. But it's an inspirational sight for me nevertheless!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Did the SCBWI Canada East Spring Thing!

I finally have a bit of time to breathe. I have to say what a great time I had at the SCBWI Canada East Spring Thing. I mostly have my voice back again. There's something really energizing about spending time with others who write or illustrate for kids. (I only do the writing thing because I can't illustrate my way out of a mud puddle.) I checked into the same room I had last year. Still has that iron burn mark on the carpet. You know, there's gotta be a story there! Of course, I didn't get a picture of it again this year. But I did remember to take a few general pictures. They're not great. My camera doesn't do a great job of interior shots.

We gathered at the Kempenfelt Conference Centre to hear (left to right) Kathy Lowinger of Tundra Books, Karen Li of Kids Can Press, and Lisa Graff of Farrar Straus & Giroux. What generous and knowledgeable speakers! I came away with many ideas on how to snip, spruce up, and get going on the various manuscripts I have kicking around my computer.
I will remember the weekend for meeting new people, catching up with old friends, forcing everyone to have to listen to my hoarse croaking voice, reassuring one and all that I've never been to Mexico in my entire life, watching the torrential downpours and wind whipped pines, eating too much food, drinking too much coffee, and mostly for learning and laughing a lot.

Because I head the organization for the event I want to shout my personal thanks to those who helped me: Alma Fullerton, Christine Tripp, Michelle Jodoin, Rachel Eugster. Without you ladies it wouldn't have happened! THANKS!

So that's just my quick take on things. The "official" event wrap up will be posted at the SCBWI Canada Chapter site soon.