Thursday, October 27, 2011

Someone likes Halloween

I'm always excited when Google sends me a notice about my books.  Today, the blog for the Everett Public Library, in Washington State, reviewed their favorite Halloween books -- and mine is right up there, jokes and all!  Hurrah!  Go read their blog to see the other wonderful Halloween books they chose to feature.  -wo

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Writer's Block?

What if you sat down to write and discovered you had nothing to say? Big-Time Writer's Block.

Tim Wynne-Jones contemplates Writer's Block at the Vermont College of Fine Arts Writing for Children and Young Adults's blog, Write At Your Own Risk.
Click on over and enjoy, while I go back to working on my own work-in-progress.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Five years

Five years ago today, my husband smoked his last cigarette.
(we celebrate the small victories.)

Friday, October 21, 2011

The end of the world?

Today is supposed to be the end of the world?
I don't think so.
I don't have time for that.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pumpkin Patch

There's nothing cuter than a kid in a pumpkin patch, especially if it's your grandson.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Interview with a National Book Award finalist

Great interview with one of the National Book Award finalists in the Young People's Category.  (I refuse to call it the Children's Book category because they so seldom nominate any books for children of elementary school age for this award. -- They mainly nominate Young Adult and Middle School books.)

Debby Dahl Edwardson's new book nominated for the prize is  My Name is Not Easy.
She was interviewed by  on her blog, Writing with a Broken Tusk.

DEBBY DAHL EDWARDSON lives in Barrow, Alaska. Her first book, Blessing’s Bead, was a Booklist Top 10 First Novel for Youth, and a YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults selection. For more information please visit Debby’s website. 

Here is a list of all the finalists.
The winner of the award will be announced on November 16th at a huge Gala event with all the finalists invited.

Franny Billingsley ("Chime") 
Debby Dahl Edwardson ("My Name Is Not Easy"), 
Thanhha Lai ("Inside Out and Back Again"), 
Albert Marrin ("Flesh and Blood So Cheap: The Triangle Fire and Its Legacy"), 
Lauren Myracle ("Shine") 
Gary D. Schmidt ("Okay for Now")

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Guess who came to dinner?

Guess what showed up in our dining room, yesterday?
An Eastern Hognose Snake!
It's now living down the hill in the rock pile.  Me?  I would have taken it several miles away to Gunpowder State park, but my hubby says he likes wildlife around.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Nonfiction Monday -- The Halloween Book of Facts and Fun

Despite the weather not feeling like autumn yet, (we're in the midst of Indian Summer and will reach the 80s here in Maryland today), thousands of people took advantage of the great weekend to get to their local pumpkin place (Weber's Farm) to walk the hay or corn maze, make scarecrows and buy pumpkins, apple cider, and fall decorations.

Hundreds of thousands attended Renaissance Festivals, watched shows, rode the elephant, cheered for England or Scotland at the Joust, ate food on a stick, paid to have experts put henna designs on their hands and arms (the 11-year-old wanted a dragon, again), and bought beautiful Halloween costumes. (People were still lined up for miles to get in as we left the place at 3:30 pm on Saturday.)

Although some were there just for the food and the fun, many were planning ahead to October 31 -- Halloween.

If you've been to your local library or bookstore, you'll notice displays of Halloween books set out for you to pick up. One of those books is The Halloween Book of Facts and Fun by Wendie Old (me), illustrated by Paige Billin=Frye.  Park Ridge: Illinois: Albert Whitman & Company, 2007. (available in paperback as well as hardback, and soon to be an e-book!)

Here you'll find a history of the holiday, fun facts, some halloween stories, and plans for a children's Halloween party. I LOVE the cat on the cover, don't you? Especially the way his tail curves around the moon.  (later I might tell you the story behind this wonderful cover.) And the illustrations inside are not scary at all -- not even the one where Frankenstein and Dracula are sitting side by side near a cozy fire, reading each other's book.  (Fun Fact -- did you know that there actually is a Count Dracula?  And that he runs the Red Cross blood bank in his country?)

Have fun this month. Go to your local pumpkin patch, take a hay ride. Attend the Renaissance Festival closest to you.  Enjoy these lovely autumn days.

The Nonfiction Monday list of links is located at Practically Paradise today. -wo

Friday, October 7, 2011


Friday, already?
I've been too busy writing this week to even notice that the rain has stopped and the sun has been shining for the past two days. But Packet 3 has now been sent to my advisor and I have a day or two to lift up my head, look around and notice the house cleaning and fall clothing shopping that needs to be done. (For the 11-year-old who has outgrown a lot of last year's clothes, not for me.)

I've never done Free writing before, so this semester has been full of new experiences for me. I've heard that interesting things about your character will come out in Free writing and you know what?  It's true. While I'm waiting for my Advisor's response to Packet 3, I think I might indulge in some more free writing about one or two of the minor characters. I'd like to add more humor to this book and maybe this other character can do this. He certainly puts stress on the main character and maybe these stress points could also be funny.  We. Shall. See.  -wo

Monday, October 3, 2011

Nonfiction can be Funny

Today is Nonfiction Monday and lucky for you, Laurie Thompson has collected a nice list of humorous nonfiction books for your enjoyment on her blog:

* Just the Right Size, Extreme Animals (and others) by Nicola Davies
* How to Get Organized Without Losing It by Janet S. Fox
* How To Do Homework Without Throwing Up by Trevor Romain
* Manners Mash-Up: A Goofy Guide to Good Behavior by Tedd Arnold and others
* What To Do About Alice by Barbara Kerley
* The Basher books (Physics, Periodic Table, Math, etc.) by Simon Basher
* Kathleen Krull's Lives of the... series 
* You Wouldn't Have Wanted To Be A... series
* Magic School Bus (faction)
* Fingers, FOrks, & Chopsticks by Patricia Lauber 
* Poop Happened by Sarah Albee
* Americapedia by Jodi Lynn Anderson, Daniel Ehrenhaft, Andisheh Nouraee 
* How They Croaked by Georgia Bragg 
* Bugs and Bugsicles: Insects in the Winter by Amy Hansen
* What to Expect When You're Expecting... series by Bridget Heos
* It's Spit-acular: The Secrets of Saliva by Melissa Stewart 
* The Truth About Poop by Susan E. Goodman
* Gee Whiz by Susan E. Goodman
* See How They Run by Susan E. Goodman
* Fartiste by Kathleen Krull
* Do Pigs Have Stripes? by Melanie Walsh
* What's So Funny? Making Sense of Humor by Donna M. Jackson

Have fun reading! :)
- Laurie

Laurie Thompson, Children's Book Author
Co-Regional Advisor, SCBWI Western WA
Her blog is here

And the Nonfiction Monday gathering of links is at 100 Scope Notes.