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Author, Author!

20 Oct

This has been an exceptional month in author visits for me. In the past four weeks I have met and learned from three of the best in the industry. Conventional wisdom dictates that that aspiring authors read, study, and write in the genre they want to learn. For me, one of the best ways to learn has always been to go directly to the source, in this case the authors.

Lisa Yee visited the Joseph Beth Bookstore on September 21st. Lisa writes primarily in the Middle Grade/Young Adult genres. She is funny, witty, and full of life lessons. And her books mirror that. Although MG/YA is on the older end of the kidlit spectrum, there are many crossover skills for the picture book writer as well. Know your audience. Immerse yourself in their language, struggles, and joys. Identify what makes them tick. Give them what they need. Lisa’s new DC Super Hero series does all of that and more. Personally, my favorite things about her are her past Disney life and her huge Winnie-the-Pooh collection.

 

 

Pat Zietlow Miller was in Cincinnati for school visits on October 4th sponsored by The Blue Manatee BookstoreI was lucky enough to meet up with her and bookseller, Alia Jonesfor dinner downtown on Fountain Square the night before her school events. We had a great time together. We introduced her to Graeter’s Ice Cream and I got my squash signed, so win-win! Pat is the author of five picture books. I met Pat last spring at an SCBWI conference in Chicago. She is a wonderful speaker and an amazing person. Her first book, SOPHIE’S SQUASH, has a sequel which just came out this fall SOPHIE’S SQUASH GOES TO SCHOOL. Pat knows what it takes to be a friend and her children’s books resound with the message of friendship and dreams. Another one of my favorite Pat Z. Miller books is WHEREVER YOU GO. The positive message is so Pat!

 

Jacqueline Woodson is an author, poet, and winner of a the Caldecott Medal, a Newbery Honor Award, the Coretta Scott King Award, and an ALA Notable Award  in addition to many others. I was lucky enough to meet Jacqueline at Joseph-Beth this week on the 18th where she was talking about last year’s award winning BROWN GIRL DREAMING and her newest book ANOTHER BROOKLYN. Jacqueline is also the author of several picture books which I adore, one of my favorite being THE OTHER SIDE. Listening to her read and speak is such a joy. If you haven’t had the chance to hear her, you really need to treat yourself to a copy of her audiobook. The biggest piece of advice I took away from Jacqueline’s presentation is to empower yourself. 

 

So, off I go. With Lisa’s Supergirl, Pat’s Squash, and Jacqueline’s Brown Girl Dreaming I am fortified to take on my challenges and write, write, write. See you soon!

 

Water Can Be

28 Apr

18318005Water Can Be… written by Laura Purdie Salas and illustrated by Violeta Dabija (2014)

Today is a rainy, stormy, Monday. It is in fact, a day to enjoy Laura Purdie Salas’ Water Can Be… This lovely book is a perfectly written poem extolling the virtues of water. When we are sometimes drawn into complaining about the rain or grumbling about the ice or snow or fog, it’s good to remember the rich gifts of water. Laura Purdie Salas reminds us of these with her words. She captures the essence of water through spring into summer and fall into winter. Savor the phrases ‘tadpole hatcher’ ‘otter feeder’ ‘rainbow jeweler’ ‘fire snuffer’ and ‘salmon highway’.

The cover art by Violeta Dabija draws you into a world of water with its playful frogs and lilypads. It would be impossible to choose a favorite, but I must say I do love the winter spread for ‘Storm creator, Decorator’ where we see the effects of frozen water blowing in the air and clinging to the bare tree branches on the city streets and from inside a warm and cozy home through the frosted windowpane. Beautiful! Then again, if I could purchase just one page to decorate my wall it might be the whimsical otter clutching a fish.

Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy as soon as you can!

I just learned of this today, Laura Purdie Salas is sharing a percentage of her royalties from the sales of Water Can Be… with Water Aid, a non-profit organization dedicated to making sure children everywhere have access to clean safe water. You can learn more about this at her website. 

http://www.laurasalas.com/blog/books/hallie-tamez/#comment-16898

Lunar Haiku

15 Apr

Blood Moon in April

Earth between the Sun and Moon

Cool Total Eclipse

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April Weather Haiku

15 Apr

Three Day Weather Rock

Hot to Wet to Cold and White

So Cincinnati!

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Dirt On My Shirt

2 Apr

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