Sunday, May 7, 2017

Writer's Quotes

"The writer has the gift of time and the plasticity of her tools. 
Hate a sentence, a character, a plot device? The delete button is your friend!

There's great joy in being able to erase/delete mistakes in a piece of writing. 

Aren't we writers lucky to have such a malleable art form!"
                           Jane Yolen

It's like knitting. 
You have to go back and forth, building the thing up. 
But if you don't like it, it's easy enough to drop down and fix something, or even disassemble the whole thing and reuse the parts.
                             Brenda Clough


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

When you first retire

My husband retired September 2010, before I did. (I retired January 2012)
But his first month was a bit difficult:

Here's what I wrote to a friend a few weeks later:

His record so far this month --
2 broken lawn mowers  (actually the attachments , grass cutter and the bricks sweeper)
1 computer e-mail system wrecked and rebuilt
1 eye stopped working, which meant he needed lasor eye surgery a couple of days ago.
1 idiot at Social Security who went on vacation for a month (we thought she was fired for giving everyone a 'blessed day' right as she hung up after calling the caller an idiot, didn't move his case file to anyone else, which means that his social security won't begin on time, will be about a month late in beginning.  irk.
1 week of total joy and rubbing it in that HE didn't have to get to work
and 1 week of semi-depression.  
(we'll see what next week brings)

Plus several times of him being a jerk and being surprised when I didn't quietly take it, but told him I didn't like him treating me like an idiot.  
Tonight he called my working at the computer a computer addiction.  I was so flabergasted that It was only later that I realized I should have pointed out that HE spends twice the time on the computer than I do.

We'll see how he is when he finally gets adjusted.

So - how did YOUR husband take retirement?

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

It's May!

May - the time of flowers and sun.

It's also time for housecleaning.  If your house is okay, then computer files cleaning up is also good.

Here's one of my favorite flowers - that shows up in MAY!


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Egg Hunt Disasters


The news of how Trump's White House Easter Egg fiasco (He won't be there.  He had no idea this was a National thing and expected. He ordered a tiny amount of eggs and did NOT invite the usual crowd of kids.)
reminded me of some of the Easter Egg hunt disasters that I've been involved in.

A long time ago my boss ordered me to get eggs for a library Easter Egg Hunt.  She wanted chocolate eggs.  So I tracked down a company that produced them and ordered a thousand.  Surely that should be enough.

Was I surprised that they arrived in a small box.  One Thousand eggs in there?  Well, it was what she wanted.  And it was too late to get anything else.

On the day of the hunt, she didn't even allow me to come to the event.  She went to the large grassy space near our satellite library, discovered hundreds of children ready to go, threw out those one-inch solid chocolate eggs which immediately disappeared into the grass.

The kids couldn't find them.

Who got blamed for this mess?
Me, of course.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

April First

There's a saying that if March comes in like a lamb, it'll leave like a lion.  And that's what happened.  Huge snowstorms, hail, rain, tornados, and the like all over the midwest and eastern parts of the USA.  (Here in Sandigo (not to brag but), it's sunny and 70 degrees.

To cheer you up, I'm trying to put an April jigsaw puzzle here.
If it doesn't show up - here's a link to it.

Darn.  We used to be able to post jigsaw puzzles right into our blogs.  I've done it several times.  Oh well, click on the link and enjoy an April puzzle.


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Guest author at Literary luncheon adventures

If you are invited to an author's luncheon as guest author and you find your table because of your name perched on a display holder, Do not remove the sign. Even it it gets in the way of people seeing who you are and you seeing other people. 
I once sat at 'my' table at a conference and removed the sign so that I could talk to everyone -- and everyone assumed I was a rude conference goer taking the author's place. (but they didn't say anything, just were a little cold to me.)
It wasn't until the end of the luncheon (after I had had nice conversations with the people from either side of me) and the head table read our names and asked us to stand up, that the table realized that they really did have an author at their table. hmmmm.
I still did the 'whose birthday is closest to mine" contest to determine the winner of the books I had brought as table gifts.
Which reminds me - one time they asked us to put our gift books on display on the table. As soon as I did, four people left the table. (one was a halloween book and the others had people of color on the cover) After our shock, I simply told the remaining three people that it looked as if they each got one of my books. (lemonade out of lemons.)

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Who should run this country? Children's book authors and illustrators!

Why children's authors and illustrators should be running the country:
1) Empathy is one of our job requirements. Every book, every character we write or draw requires us to walk in another's shoes. We don't always do it perfectly, but we often know when we're not succeeding. And then we try harder.
2) We understand kids' widely varying circumstances. One day we might visit a school that charges $20,000 tuition for kindergartners. The next, a broken-down school where a kid goes to the office because her outgrown shoes are making her feet hurt. (And we see the secretary who goes into the back to try to find bigger shoes for that kid. We know about unsung heroes.) We visit schools where, if not for subsidized school meals, the kids would go hungry. We know you can't learn when you're hungry.
3) Money is not our first priority. (If it is, we're in the wrong field.) We do what we do because we love it, and because we know kids deserve the very best.
4) We see connections. We know a single act of kindness can change the course of a child's life. We know a single caring adult can be a lifeline. We've written these things. We've lived them. We remember.
5) We know art and music and dance and theater are not expendable. They save lives. Indeed, they have saved some of ours.
6) We're good at waiting. The book we're working on now may not sell for five years. It may not come out for ten. That doesn't mean it's not worth doing. We're not looking for quick payoffs. Quick payoffs often come at the expense of one's soul. (Congress, please note.)
7) We take the long view. It's great when a child says she loves our books. But it's even better if the child, through reading our books, develops her own empathy and grows up to walk through life understanding others' points of view, looking beyond stereotypes, and treating others with kindness and compassion. And thus makes the world better.
8) We understand cooperation. We understand synergy. We know we're stronger together.
9) We live in a world of imagination and magic and possibilities. Hate and fear exist, but they're obstacles to be overcome, not operating instructions.
10) We're nice.