Tag Archives: Cincinnati

Books By The Banks, 2017

12 Nov

Every year along the banks of the Ohio River, Cincinnati hosts a huge book festival. Well actually, it’s downtown in the convention center, so it’s literally closer to banking institutions than to the river banks, nevertheless it’s an event you can bank on every year! And every year, I meet more new and wonderful people – authors, illustrators, teachers, librarians, parents, kids, friends, volunteers.

This year I attended a panel of ‘authorstrators’, author/illustrators. These talented people both write and illustrate. I was inspired by Loren Long, Rafel Lopez, Ben Clanton, and Amanda Driscoll. Look at this small sample of their work. Amazing!

Each artist has his/her distinct style. Without looking at the names or even knowing the artists, I’m sure you could group these books into four piles based solely on the art. These books present readers both windows and mirrors to see themselves and others in literature. Of the many things discussed, I think the key message is to be fresh, different, unique, and true to yourself.

I was particularly in awe meeting Rafel Lopez. He spent several minutes talking with me even though there were other people in line waiting to meet him. We discussed his work, and the importance of bringing diverse books into the world. He chuckled with me at the trouble I sometimes have convincing people I am spanish because I don’t fit their stereotype. And he encouraged me to continue writing and submitting. “There is a place for all our work,” he told me. I will treasure my copy of Maybe Something Beautiful which he autographed for me.

 

And then, I had the pleasure of listening to the award winning author and National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, Kate di Camillo speak. I just wanted to curl up and never leave her funny, warm, human spirit. She spoke directly to my writer’s heart and my reader’s soul. She talked about connections, about making connections with the world around you and writing toward the connections with others. She also talked about keeping everything open so you don’t miss a thing. Keep your eyes and ears open. Keep your heart and mind open. Keep your brain open. Allow creativity to find you and inspire you to write, or draw, or dance, or sing, or do whatever it is that connects you to the world outside yourself.

 

Even though the line was looooooooong, she took a moment to look up and smile for each and every fan wanting a picture taken with her. What a genuine kind person she is!

 

And last, but not least, I took a few minutes to stop by the bookmobile parked outside the front doors of the convention center. Actually, the bookmobile is part of my former school district and I wanted to pop in and say ‘HI’ to the wonderful folks who work tirelessly to put books into kids’ hands. There is no checkout system. Kids are free to browse the shelves, sit and read, and take home any book that speaks to them. They don’t even have to live in our district. Our librarian was calling out to families passing by, “Come on in. Pick a book to take home.” And they did. They climbed up the steps to the brightly painted, remodeled school bus, designed by nationally renown author/illustrator Loren Long, into the inviting reading space filled with books, stuffed animals, cushioned benches, and friendly faces of Princeton City School employees. My heart was bursting to see the happiness a few pages could bring to those kids and their parents.

If you have any gently loved children’s books laying about the house, please consider a donation to this or many other organizations in your neighborhood.

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April Fool’s Day

1 Apr

April-Fools-Day

I made a comment on a friend’s Facebook post pretty much implying that she and her writing partners stop making hard work look so easy, it’s not! And anyone who thinks it is, is a fool.

It’s true. These lovely ladies lead our monthly SCBWI meetings with the grace and intelligence that only experience can achieve. It may look like what they do is easy. But like one of my supervisors used to say many years ago, “I’m working like a duck… smooth on the surface; paddling like crazy to stay afloat!”

These authors are mentors to the many others who are working to succeed. They are dedicated to research, writing, editing, and sharing. Their many books inform and entertain. So I’m taking the opportunity this April Fool’s Day, to salute them. Thank you (left to right) Mary Kay Carson, Kerri Logan Hollihan, and Brandon Marie Miller at  Hands on Books. 12901048_1754140581483945_8981486111798615873_o

Thank you also to our president Andrea Pelleschi, and to the many other SCBWI members who lift us up every month with their encouragement and support.

 

To my mentors and role models… Happy April Fool’s Day!

A few words to the wise…

 

 

 

 

 

April Weather Haiku

15 Apr

Three Day Weather Rock

Hot to Wet to Cold and White

So Cincinnati!

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Baseball Is…

31 Mar

18051238-2Opening Day is HUGE in Cincinnati, hometown of author Louise Borden.  And Baseball Is… is the perfect book to welcome back the boys of summer.  It’s a gorgeous day to take in a ballgame, some peanuts and cracker jacks, and an out-of-the-park book.

I’m adding a little something from youtube of the great John Fogerty’s Centerfield “Put Me In, Coach” with retro videos!  Enjoy!

Louise Borden

14 Dec

Have you ever been so preoccupied that you walked out of a store without paying?  I have.  I did.  Today!  I was in my favorite children’s book store, The Blue Manatee, in Cincinnati laughing and talking with old and new friends.  One of the employees is a teacher I used to work with, and who works there part time.  Every time I visit on a Saturday we hug and catch up with each other’s news.  And today was extra special because I got a chance to meet a children’s author.  Louise Borden, is a native Cincinnatian who has written several books for children and young adults.  She read from some of her books and talked to the kids and parents in attendance.

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I picked up a picture book, Big Brothers Don’t Take Naps and her new non-fiction The Journey That Saved Curious George: The True Wartime Escape of Margret and H. A. Rey.  She graciously signed both copies and we talked for a long time.  I was fascinated with her story as an author.  I also learned that we have a lot in common, having been and lived in many of the same cities around the world.

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We chatted for so long, that when I walked out of the store, autographed books in hand, I was in a happy fog and simply left without paying!  I didn’t realize my mistake until I got home and started showing my husband my new purchases… uh, are they called purchases if you don’t purchase them?  Yikes!  I called the store right away, explained what had happened and gave them my credit card number over the phone.  Whew!  Yes, these are my new purchases!

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Book Donations

12 Oct

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Just had to share a picture of this beautiful mosaic on the outside of the Duke Energy Convention Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.  The hands are gorgeous each in their own right, but put together they really make a powerful statement.  They also put me in the mind of sharing, reaching out, lending a helping hand, and working together.

This morning I spent several hours inside this building with hundreds of other people at the Books by the Banks book festival.  I met some really great authors, writers, speakers, and volunteers.  I also picked up two children’s books that I had autographed by the authors and dedicated to the students of the last school I worked at before I retired last year.

The students of Woodlawn Elementary School will be receiving What Was Your Dream, Dr. King? by Mary Kay Carson and Benjamin Franklin, American Genius by Brandon Marie Miller.

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 Benjamin Franklin, American Genius

On my way home I snapped the picture of the hands.  Later this evening I got the idea to have more give-aways.  So I thought I would get some ideas from you… where would YOU like me to make my next donation?  Leave me a note in the comment box telling me where and why you think I should make my next donation.

 

Gladys at the Cincinnati Zoo

26 Sep

1377263_10151877094755479_1638701262_nThis is a new photo of Gladys playing at the Cincinnati Zoo.

1379407_10151877094870479_1114669144_n Here she is again, playing with her big sister, Mara.

Gladys and the good people at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden who rescued her and found a home for her here in Cincinnati were the inspiration for a story I’m working on. It’s a story of adoption, finding a home, and acceptance.

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