School visit

Hi everyone,
David reading with Noah Lawson
I look forward to Monday morning. I’ll begin the week by making a school visit, right here in Springfield at McBride Elementary School. It isn’t an all day affair. Thanks to an invitation from Laura Strausbaugh I’ll spend an hour with 86 fourth graders to talk about poetry. After that I’ll pay a visit to the second grade classroom of a dear friend, Lisa Wakefield.

McBride isn’t far from Harrison Elementary so I suppose I might go a few blocks out of my way so I can grin at the sign again.

By 11:00 I should be home at the keyboard, revved up and ready to roll.

I wish you all a school visit feeling of a day.

A special message

Dear Young Readers,
I doubt that you will see this post but I address it to you anyway. Nearly everyone who comes here is a parent, a grandparent, a librarian, a teacher, an illustrator, an editor, or a writer. There are a lot of us. I can tell you that thousands of people know about my blog.

Why do we do this? Naturally your family loves books and wants you to love them too. Librarians show you how to find good books. Teachers help you understand the joys of reading good books. Illustrators make wondrous pictures for you to love. Editors help writers make their writing the best it can be. And, of course, we writers write the books.

What brings us together here is our love for good literature and our passion for sharing that special feeling with you that can only come from a book. You may not know how many people are involved in making the books you like. You can learn about that later. For now I want to tell you how very important you are in our lives and that we think about you from the time we get up till we fall asleep at night.

You are children. We make books for children. We love you.


Back to work

Hi everyone,
Yesterday it was back in the wheel. A little sluggish at first but it didn’t take long to remember where I put what’s left of my brain cells. I sent Mary Jo material for her to read and respond to. I sent a couple of unanswered queries to editors who have held manuscripts for six weeks, just barely long enough for me to feel okay sending a nudge note. And the rest of the day I spent getting back into a long story set in Arizona.

I have one meeting today but not till late in the day so this should be another good one.

Camp Little Hatchet, Version 2

Hi everyone,

Jeff and I began camping together when he was a boy in Indian Guides. He was Little Gray Wolf and I was Straight Arrow. I can’t remember who suggested that name. I don’t recall arguing about it though. Later on we camped on Swan Creek near Forsyth, Missouri. Our equipment included a butterfly net, fishing tackle and bait, water skis, a bass boat, pup tents, and sleeping bags. We slept on the bank of the beautiful stream by night and went exploring for possibilities by day. I taught him how to water ski there. I also showed him how to arrange stones in a circle to make a fire pit, carefully build a fire, drop foil-wrapped potatoes onto the coals, and set steaks on the grill. I also taught him how baking potatoes that way burned them to little bitty black coal-like lumps and turned the steaks to toast. Real he-men don’t complain. We lived on Smores and carried on.

They say you can’t go home again but Jeff and I still love to camp and enjoy nature together. This time we settled on the Branson area and Table Rock Lake. There were a few changes that we reluctantly accepted. After all, time does march on. The bass boat was now a pontoon boat but it got us there. 20161017_160022_resized_1 Jeff was so cute playing with the controls. And he still got such a kick out of splashing around in the water. The lake temperature was 70 degrees but the good news was that his beer didn’t cool off.20161017_163734_resized Lots of gorgeous scenery, just like in the old days. While I admit we were not packing skis or a net or fishing gear, we enjoyed the rugged bluffs in our rugged man style. img_20161017_162101545 We saw plenty of dangerous animals out in the wild. This groundhog was actually quite frightening except that we were looking down from fifteen feet. And just like in the old days we saw crows, eagles, and vultures.20161018_094328_resized Really, there were only two significant changes from Camp Little Hatchet 1 to Camp Little Hatchet 2. For one thing, I’ve learned how to provide tastier food.20161016_174958_resizedimg_20161016_175148352_hdr And for another, they make better tents these days so why not take advantage of progress!20161016_153318_resized20161016_153327_resized20161016_153416_resized20161016_153521_resized20161016_153629_resized20161016_153642_resized_120161017_182604_resized