Archive | February, 2014

Procrastination

28 Feb

 Who was procrastinating this morning?  “Not I,” said the fly.  Okay, maybe just a little. It’s the last day of February and I want to get a jump start on March.  I have three stories that need revision and I want to write an application for a grant this month.  Plenty of time!  Let me just grab a cup of coffee and watch a little news.  Nothing exciting there… how about some children’s television to inspire me?  Hmmmm, Spongebob Squarepants?  Oh well, what could a few minutes hurt?  No way!  Walt Dohrn, Paul Tibbitt, and Mr. Lawrence are geniuses!  Why haven’t I ever watched this before?

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Let me recap the episode for you.                                                                     Spongebob gets an 800 word writing assignment. (Sounds familiar doesn’t it picture book writers?).  He’s super excited. (You bet!).  He prepares his work space. (Smart.)  He dashes out the title. (Okay, good start.) “Funny,” he says to his pencil. “As my ideas roll, you shrink.” (This is great stuff!) Then…<cue the melodramatic music>…NOTHING!  (Uh, oh.) He finds other things to do in the house. (Feeds Gary, cleans the kitchen…this is my life.)  He finally sits down and works furiously for several hours.  (Ta-da!)  One word, only 799 words to go! (Tension! Suspense! Drama!)  Procrastination sets in. (Marco Polo phone calls in the middle of the night, choking on eraser shavings… really, how is one supposed to write with all this other activity going on?) He awakes from a nightmare. (Really… Walt, Paul and Mr. Lawrence, get out of my head!) He has an epiphany. (What all great writers experience.) He writes everything down at the last minute. (First draft is perfect of course.) He races to school and delivers it just in time, only to be told by his teacher that she has changed her plans for the assignment.   (Rejection! Take note authors… through no fault of his own, Spongebob’s piece was rejected simply because she changed her mind!)

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SCBWI Winter Conference

18 Feb

Because I have to miss the conference in NYC this weekend….

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http://scbwiconference.blogspot.com

OKI Children’s Literature Conference, 2014

18 Feb

Looking ahead and marking my calendar!

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http://oki.nku.edu

Fingerprints on the Table

16 Feb

A little something to think about on Presidents’ Day…

“Upstairs in the White House there is a long table.  The FINGERPRINTS of all who touch it are part of its story…”

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The table is the White House Treaty Table.  It was commissioned in1869 by President Grant as a conference table for himself and his seven advisors who formed his cabinet.  Each seat has its own drawer with a lock and key.  In 1898 it was used for the signing of the peace treaty with Spain ending the Spanish-American War.  Since then it has been known as the Treaty Table and another Cabinet Table was built when the president’s cabinet grew to nine advisors. Over the years it has been moved and used by presidents for various reasons.  In 1929 President Coolidge signed the Pact of Paris peace treaty on that same table.  In 1961 First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy had the table returned to its original place, and in its honor that room became known as the Treaty Room.  As more and more treaties are signed on that table over the years, it collects more and more fingerprints of the men and women who work for peace in our country.

This is all information which I did not know before this week, before I read this picture book, written by my OLLI instructor, Connie Trounstine.  I am proud to have an autographed copy of this book in my library.  Connie is a wonderful person, author, and instructor, and I am very lucky to have met her.  I encourage you to pick up your own copy of Fingerprints on the Table for yourself and for your children.

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Happy Presidents’ Day!

Peace!

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