Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Blog -- Through the Tollbooth

If you have a mad desire to get a daily dose of writing craft information, you couldn't choose a better place than the Through the Tollbooth blog.

It's run by graduates of Vermont College of Fine Arts, Writing for Children and Young Adults and features one aspect of craft during a week, discussing it in five tasty chunks. Or it has interviews of children's book authors. Or it features new children's books. Actually, all of the above.

The Booth Crew includes:
Sarah Aronson
Tami Lewis Brown,
Liz Gallagher,
Gretchen Geser,
N. Griffin,
Teresa Harris,
Helen Hemphill,
Sarah Blake Johnson,
Carrie Jones,
Michelle Knudson
Clete Barrett Smith.
Sarah Sullivan,
Zu Vincent
(and in the interest of disclosure, I know several of these writers.)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Blog -- A Fuse #8 Production

It's 4 am and the temps outside are still in the high/ humid 70s. It's a good thing I insisted we turn on the air-conditioning yesterday. I took the grandkids to the pool yesterday afternoon. Although they jumped right in, there's no way I'm agonna do that until the pool warms up closer to 80 degrees. Instead, I sat in the shade and worked on one of the revisions I have to do for my graduate writing course. (I couldn't use my old laptop out of doors -- I couldn't see the screen. But this new MacPro laptop worked fine.)

There is one blog that is a daily read for me -- A Fuse #8 Production. Betsy Bird is a children's librarian in New York City who has been blogging for years, mostly about books, but she manages to insert a lot of other amazing things and links into her blog as well. Her writing is clever and a joy to read. Once a week she publishes a post she calls, "Fusenews." If you read no other, do read that one. Every paragraph contains news and views she's found across the internet, along with links. And on Sunday, she shows nothing but videos she has found. Mostly about books and writing, but she always throws in an off-topic funny one as well.
Click and enjoy. -wo

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Blog/ Website of Note-- April Pulley Sayre

Today's blog of interest actually is a website.
April Pulley Sayre is a naturalist who writes about -- you guessed it -- various forms found in nature. Her latest post on her website is all about how she came to write Rah Rah Radishes, a Vegetable Chant.

She has done a variety of 'Chant' books -- Bird, Bird, Bird, and Ant, Ant, Ant, and Trout, Trout, Trout, plus what seems to be thousands of other nature picture books.
Although it's an older book, her Turtle, Turtle, Watch Out! has been reissued and is racking up the awards,
And her Vulture View is a Theodor Geisel Honor Book.

Some of her books have been placed in the picture book section of the library, while others are in the nonfiction area. Go Figure. (and those of you who have been reading this blog a while will recognize her name -- I've reviewed several of her books here for Nonfiction Monday.)

If you love books about nature, go/ read/ enjoy.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Interesting blog-- Author 2 Author

Since I'm involved in this writing program and don't seem to be posting much here (and because Blogger has been wonky and intermittently isn't allowing us to post messages), I thought I'd do a series of posts about other blogs I've found to be interesting.

Today, I recommend you check out the Author 2 Author blog.
They describe themselves as : We are four YA/MG writers all at different stages in the writing process, here to inform, learn from, and entertain other writers by allowing a glimpse into and feedback on our writing lives.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The quiet on the Home Front

As you've probably heard, Blogger had problems a little while ago. Not only couldn't we bloggers get into our blogs to post, but blogger ate some of the more recent posts we had written.

Secondly, there have been some medical disasters within my family, including me coping with a bout of pneumonia.

Thirdly, I've been working hard on my writing packets (assignments) for Vermont College. Only one more to go and then on to the next semester.

All this is to explain why this blog has been so quiet, lately.

I was too ill to attend the 11-year-old's instrumental concert, so she gave me a special concert when she got home -- demonstrating the viola's part. Lovely. It's too bad she's not going to continue with the viola. She sounded so good. (especially interesting considering she refused to practice.)

Sunday is her voice recital. Monday is the concert of the Elementary School's chorus and Madrigals. (She's in the Madrigals and is hoping to be chosen to be in the Middle School's Honor Choir, once she gets there, next year.)
And Tuesday is her Girl Scout Court of Awards. Busy, busy.

Meanwhile I do the mundane things: shopping, washing clothes, and writing/ writing/ writing.
Maybe I'll even have a moment when I can attend to the business side of writing and send out some of my completed manuscripts. -wo

Friday, May 6, 2011

Birds in the Sunporch

Another house sparrow built her nest in our sunporch this year. Today was fledgling day. For the first time in years, I got to see our sunporch filled with baby birds, flapping wildly, trying to figure out how to get OUT of this glassed in porch. (In other years I was at work when it happened.)

Several figured out that they needed to flutter over to the 3 inch high slot above the windows where mama and papa bird waited -- yelling at them. We had to open the windows for the other two, and remove the screens, but still they cowered near the floor. Eventually they found the open windows and fluttered away.

Note to self, add a cat to my "Birds in the Sunporch" picture book. Our cats spent hours in the sunporch this year, probably wishing a bird would fly into their mouth -- but they missed it. The cats were somewhere else when it happened.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Each month I learn new things about my fellow students at Vermont College.
One of my classmates is named Ariel. Really! And she would be perfect working in Disneyland as Ariel -- my granddaughters would LOVE her. Did I mention that Ariel is a Disneyland fan, herself?

Secondly, another student is writing a blog called "My Year with the Mouse" -- all about Disneyland. Click on over and enjoy all the fun -- and the helpful tips she give about taking children to Disneyland.

(Hey, the above two people even go to Disneyland WITHOUT children!)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Celebrate Children's Book Week

Celebrate Children's Book Week this week at Donna McDine's Blog -- Write What Inspires You.

She will be featuring various children's book authors through guest interviews and book review. Not only that, several authors are offering Contest Givaways.
Do click on over and leave comments.
Here's the schedule for this week:

Sunday, May 1, 2011
Book Marketing Idea Exchange with writers doing May blog tours

Monday, May 2,
Author, Cheryl Malandrinos

Tuesday, May 3
Author, Bill Kirk

Wednesday, May 4
Dixie Phillips

Thursday, May 5
Nancy Stewart -- plus a Givaway Contest for the book, One Pelican at a Time

Friday, May 6
A book review of the book, One Pelican at a Time
plus a Givaway Contest again.

Saturday, May 7
Book Review: Ruthie and the Hippo's Fat Behind! by Margot Finke
Plus a Giveaway Contest for a PDF of a short Australian adventure story, if you leave a comment.

Sunday, May 8
Book Review: Caves, Cannons, and Crinolines by Beverly Stowe McClure

All available at Write What Inspires You. Enjoy. -wo

Monday, May 2, 2011

An Edgar for a Dog Hero

Hurrah for Dori Hillestad Butler ,whose book series about a dog solving various neighborhood mysteries, has won the 2011 Edgar Award for Best Juvenile Mystery!
Check out The Buddy Files here.

The very best thing about this?
The book series is meant for grades 1st to 3rd.

Added later -- click here to read all about the Edgar Award ceremony. Pictures! Pictures!