Welcome to my blog party!

DAY TWO: It never fails. One day is never enough. If you’ve been here, come back. If you didn’t make it yesterday, here’s your chance. It’s going to be another great day!

Hi everyone,
It’s party time! The original virtual party in June 2015 came at the encouragement of poets Joy Acey and Matt Forrest. I held it in our back yard here at Goose Lake. We partied on for three days!
Later in the year another friend, Sara Johnson, Director of Educational Marketing at Shell Education, suggested that I throw a holiday party. That happened last year on December 17 and we had another great turnout. Ditto the third party in June of this year. And now, at the nudging of teacher Susan Hutchens, here we are with our fourth celebration.
Welcome to all. If you have jackets, toss them on the bed down the hall. Make yourselves at home. We have plenty of chairs and places to perch. You can also sit on the floor or the hearth. The carpet’s newish and the candles won’t burn you so move them aside.
The kitchen is through the dining room. The counter is marble so heat won’t hurt it. You don’t need to bring anything but I suppose some holiday tidbits or perhaps a drop or two of something festive would be appreciated by all.
Thank you for taking time to be here and share in the pleasure of one another’s company. Most of us talk back and forth all year but we’re rarely all together at one time. I don’t know who will show up today but if you have a specific question for anyone in particular, I’ll do my best to get it to him or her. Some of you may be meeting for the first time. If you have something you’d like to mention, such as an exciting activity, an award, your 2017 aspirations, or a new book coming out, let us know. By the way, there’s nothing wrong with bragging on your kids/grandkids or sharing a poem if you’re brave enough to stand up and present it. This IS a party after all!

So come early, drink deep from the cup of friendship, and stay as long as you like. Spread the word far and wide. Tell your friends and tell them to tell their friends. Let’s do it!


145 comments on “Welcome to my blog party!

  1. Hey David,
    Happy Holidays. It is 9 0’clock here. I’m just about ready to brush my teeth and get ready for bed, but I figured with your time change on the mainland it is already Friday for you. We had wonderful weather again today. It was high 70’s and I spent the day in shorts and t-shirt. I am living in paradise. Had papaya and bananas ( grown on the island ) for breakfast this morning. Wish you were here.
    Hey if you have a corner, maybe I could unroll my sleeping bag and catch a few zzzzzz before the other guests arrive.
    When I wake up I’ll be happy to tell you how great Poetry Camp was–you should have gone.

    • And a fine good morning to you, my friend. I think it only fitting that you are my first guest. After all, you and Matt got these parties started in the first place. So glad you came and don’t worry about bringing a sleeping bag. Take one of the guest bedrooms! More later from you. I want to hear your news. Glad you enjoyed the Poetry Camp.

    • Hi Joy! I suspect you are slumbering now, but wanted to tell you how much I love seeing all the wonders of Hawaii when you share on FB. It’s still hard to believe you’re there! Merry Christmas!

  2. Slumber party perhaps? I’m up writing, and so I’d just as soon be in good company. 🙂 I have homemade spiced cider to share–piping hot with cinnamon swizzle sticks.

    For a little creative holiday sharing, here is my contribution. I’m currently directing a play at our community theatre: A Carol for Tiny Tim…with A Rogues Gallery of Christmas Malcontents. I wrote the Rogues portion, which opens with the scene below. (Hamilton fans will appreciate. Others not so much!) Rogues is comic silliness, all about the malcontents of the holiday season. It leads to the story of Tiny Tim—now the biggest malcontent of them all (who, of course, is reborn through the efforts of the Ghosts Past, Present, and Future). Cue scene…

    Santa/Hamilton star logo projected as “Alexander Hamilton” music begins. Enter WRAPPERS one by one in ribbon-and-wrapping hats and carrying candy-striped canes.

    WRAPPER 1:
    How does a fat man, old guy, son of an elf
    And a Turkman dropped in the middle of a forgotten spot
    In the Arctic Circle, by Providence,
    Impoverished in dollars,
    Grow up to be a hero and a hauler?

    WRAPPER 2:
    The eight-reindeer Father Christmas without a father
    Worked a lot harder by flying a lot farther,
    Not being a gift carder, but being a sleigh starter.
    By Christmas Eve, they placed him in charge of a Yule kickstarter.

    WRAPPER 3:
    And every day, while gifts were being wrapped and carted
    Away into the sleigh, he struggled to keep his chin up.
    Inside he was longing for a “day off” to be a part of—
    The big man was ready to sleep, snooze, snap, or nod off.

    WRAPPER 2:
    Then Christmas Eve came and his exhaustion reigned.
    Our man saw his mojo drip dripping down the drain.
    Put a pencil to the “good” list…wanted to rip it in twain,
    And he cried out in his pain, so tired in his brain.

    WRAPPER 1:
    Well the word got around; they said, “This elf is my main man!
    “Got a toy collection that he takes around the main land.
    “Get your self together; he knows when you’ve been good, man.
    “The world is gonna know his name. What’s your name, man?”

    Enter SANTA in spotlight, shuffling in Santa slippers, holding a “World’s Greatest Boss” coffee mug, clearly overwhelmed.

    Santa or St. Nicholas;
    My name is Santa or St. Nicholas.
    And there are a million things I have to do.
    I can’t wait…I can’t wait.

    SANTA sobs. WRAPPERS exit.

    • Hey Dona! As usual you are busily involved in the theater. Wish I could be in your audience for this one. Thanks for sharing these opening moments of the play (and your handiwork!). I can see poor Santa or St. Nicholas coming on stage as the wrappers weave his story. What fun!

      • Hooray! Sara Johnson’s here! Sara, I’m sure you know several people here but I lose track of who knows whom. Everyone, Sara Johnson makes pretty babies and her daytime job is with Teacher Created Materials/Shell Education as Director of Educational Marketing. Welcome, friend!

  3. I’m here! Brought my infamous hash brownies that have neither hash nor hash tags, perfect for any age. Oh and a bottle of fake wine because alcohol makes me whoozy. I dance on the table top for about a minute and fall over for the rest of the night.

    Oh and a poem. Can’t come to a David party without a poem!

    Party at DH’s House

    It’s party time,
    At David’s dom-
    icile so make
    yourself at home.

    The chandelier’s
    prepared for swing-
    ing to and fro,
    a party thing.

    Just wear your favorite
    frock or pant-
    suit youself.
    We’ll sing and chant.

    We’ll eat a lot.
    there’ll be much drink-
    ing. Lots of songs,
    and glasses clink.

    And by tomorrow,
    sorrows forgot-
    ten.Thanks for invite,
    Thanks a lot.

    ©2016 Jane Yolen all rights reserved

  4. Morning!

    Thanks for hosting another party, David! Since I’m the one who nudged you to do this again, I’ll be happy to help with the cleanup when the party is done! Ha!

    I’m checking in early, as I have to sub in a fun 2nd grade class today. Perhaps I’ll try to check in later with my phone. I’m still trying to figure out that new-fangled gadget! When I return, I’ll be wearing that fancy dress that Cheryl Harness posted on FB last night. Please save me a big chair to sit in, as there’s LOTS of fabric in that dress, and I’ll need plenty of room to sit down like a lady!

    Oh – no time for baking yesterday, but I did stop by a little bakery and pick up a French silk chocolate pie. Save me a piece!

    Happy Friday to all, and keep the party going!

    • Good morning, Susan! Looks like your early birds are going to have to put up with me still in my pajamas and robe. I’ll finish my first cuppa and get dressed shortly. Maybe a red sweater for the occasion. After all, it’s a party! Have a good time with your young charges today. Can’t wait to see you in that dress after school. Thank you for the pie — the right one of course. I’ll try to save you a piece, but no promises!

  5. Hello David! Hello everyone else! My name is Janine and, though I have not met any but David before, and him only briefly once, I have been reading the blog as time permits for a month. I am very happy to be invited here, I don’t get out much with three kids and as many jobs! I’ll try not to over indulge in the festive drinks and make a fool of myself. I also write and have friends who write. I am only in the beginning of this phase of my life , but enjoying it immensely! I have a wbsite with a blog too JaninesCorner.com …is that too forward? I apologize…like I said before, I don’t get out much. Please forgive me!

    On Friday, December 16, 2016, Children’s Author David L. Harrison’s Blog wrote:

    > davidlharrison posted: “Hi everyone, It’s party time! The original virtual > party in June 2015 came at the encouragement of poets Joy Acey and Matt > Forrest. I held it in our back yard here at Goose Lake. We partied on for > three days! Later in the year another friend, Sara J” >

    • Hi Janine!

      Nice to meet you! Leave all your worries behind today, and have fun at David’s party! Hold on – ’cause it can get a little wild at times! Ha!

      Let’s sit and talk by Goose Lake later!

      • Hi! So, are you a kamaaina? Do you happen to know Sue Cowing? I grew up on Oahu and lived just over koko head from hanauma bay. Where do you live? So nice to make your acquaintance!

    • Good morning, Janine! I am delighted to welcome you to the party. Thank you for following my blog and sharing your own blog with us. The idea is to not be bashful and to jump right into the party mode. You are among good and supportive people here who will wish you well and much success as you raise your children and hold down three jobs. Wow! Maybe it’s time for your first drink!

      • Hi, and thanks, I think I will start with a drink…some of that apple cider with the cinnamon swizzle stick would be great! And since the hash brownies are harmless, that sounds good too.
        I love to see the impromptu poetry, I’m eating it all up! Weeee, what a great party! Are you sure that chandalier can hold me?….

  6. “I have no gift to bring, pa rum rum rum rum.” No poem like Jane’s, but Jane is always ready with a poem. I do have brownies! Baked them for my 5 guests from CA and DC who arrived yesterday. So nice to see you all here. David, I so miss seeing you and the other lovelies I met in Warrensburg when Naomi was our leader at the Festival. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Joyful New Year to all.

    • Marsha! So good to see you again. Thanks for coming and for the snippet of song as you enter. You know Jane? Have you met Dona Rice from Teacher Created Materials/Shell Education? And Joy Acey, poet and friend who recently moved to Hawaii. And Susan Hutchens, super teacher and pal from Colorado? The party is off and running. Oh, and I love brownies. Thanks!

      • Thank you, David. Yes, I’ve known Jane for years, but not well until a few years ago when I attended her Picture Book Boot Camp. I mean when I discovered Jane Yolen was giving an intimate class in her home, I had to go!! I don’t think I’ve met Dona, Joy, or Susan but happy to meet them here. Glad you like our brownies, David. Hugs on the wind.

      • Hi Marsha!

        Nice to meet you! David always invites the nicest people to his shindigs!!

        Happy Friday!

      • Ah, that is so kind, David. Two of my recent books have wintry themes, perfect for the season – LOST. FOUND. and WAITING FOR SNOW. I suspect some of you here no longer have to be patient like Badger and some of us, like Joy in Hawaii and me now in Florida will have a long wait ahead. 🙂

      • Yes, David, I left my 3 acres in the paradise of Sebastopol, CA two years ago. AND my half an acre garden of heirloom fruit trees, 50 heirloom roses, and perennials galore. Cried for at least a year. Finally moved into our small new home, which we had built, on two acres in Alva a year ago. (Just have to be in the country.) My daughter and family live in nearby Fort Myers. Three-year-old Grainne and one-year-old Flint are a delight…and worth the move. 🙂

      • Well I’ll be darned, Marsha. If I knew, I’d forgotten. I can imagine how you missed your old place, but new adventures are good too. Glad you’re settling in and loving on the little ones.

  7. I’m baking cookies this morning, so I’ll be there as soon as they come out of the oven. Glad to have this party before the snow comes tomorrow. I’ll drop in and out to say hi to friends I haven’t seen in some time. Get out of those PJs, David. It’s a party!

    • For you, dear Veda, I’ll make the supreme sacrifice and change out of my comfy working clothes. Besides, who could ever refuse a woman bearing cookies! I can smell all the way from Joplin! Hmmmmm!

    • Morning, Veda! Please save a cookie for me!!

      And David – how about you find a really “ugly” Christmas sweater to wear. We could have a contest, you know, for who has the ugliest one. I’ve never done that before, but am sure I could find an old sweater to decorate for the occasion! Ha!

      Off to school I go!

      • Huh. You trying to get me killed? Every sweater I own came from my M.O.W. or my son. Me with an ugly sweater? I don’t think so! Have a good day with those children you love so much. Tell them you left a great party for them. They should be impressed!

    • LOVED your giftWRAP, Dona, & Jane’s poem. Hey there, Ms. Veda, gosh I’ll bet your kitchen smelled wonderfully of nothin’ says lovin’ like cookies in the oven – and you too, dear Marsha. I remember visiting Fort Myers yrs. ago, wandering about Tom Edison’s old lab & his beautiful garden. Sorry I’m late, dearest DAVID, you party animal. I was off laying in supplies before the next load of winter comes barreling in. Then, once I got home, put my little red car in the garage lest it turn blue in the cold, cold night, I got distracted, as usual, by a polymer figurines in need of completion. So rather than cookies, I’ve a sculpture in the oven & I’m finally HERE, in my little red dress & silver slippers – to match my thermos full o’ martinis!

      • Oooh, I love thermoses full of martinis. I trust that this is one of those virtually magic thermoses that never run dry so we can all have a glass or two. My martini glasses are in the pool room on the second shelf so help yourself. I’m so glad you made it here! Does everyone know this miraculous lady who writes, paints, and sculpts? The other day she sat in a store window in Warrensburg, Missouri so folks could watch her sculpt figurines. Kids adore her. I wonder why! Want to see a cutie? Click here. http://www.cherylharness.com/

      • Wait a minute, there, Ms. Cheryl! You’re supposed to wear the big, blue beeuutiful dress that matches mine! (remember – folks might even think we’re sisters if we wear the same garb!)

        We’re getting ready for a big dose of winter here, too. Brrrr! Glad I could stop in at David’s party tonight and have some fun! May I have a sip of your martinis? Ha!

  8. I love it when technology actually brings us closer together. Happy holidays, David–to you, Sandy, and the rest of your gang!

    • Good morning, Ray! I’m so happy to see you here. Your boys are growing up so fast I hardly recognize them these days. I know you are proud of them. Hey everyone, meet Ray Coutu with Scholastic Professional Books. He’s one of the best in the business!

  9. Hi, everyone! I wanted to pop in for a few minutes before work. Great to see you! I brought some gingerbread sandwich cookies that my granddaughter & I made. They have been popular where ever I have taken them, so I hope you like them. The recipe is on Vivian Kirkfield’s blog: https://viviankirkfield.com/2016/12/10/jessica-lawson-will-write-for-cookies/. Very, very cold here. Tomorrow’s predicted high is MINUS 2 Fahrenheit. Thankful for power, coats, sweaters, a reliable car, etc.! Happy Holidays to all!

  10. Here I come and here I go, as promised. Brrrrrrr! It’s nasty cold out. We’re off to NYC in a couple of hours and the to-do list is not nearly checked off. Wishing safe, sane, healthy, and happy holidays to you and Sandy and yours and all gathered here-in! That’s it, I’m afraid. Oh, wait, here are some oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. Okay. Bye for now! XOXOXO

    • Thank you for dropping in, Sandy. I know that you and Harvey are off to NYC soon to, among other things, attend the reading of your play, DEATH VALLEY, A LOVE STORY. I hope I got that right. You have written dozens of award winning plays and I’ve seen several. Safe travels! XO

      More about Sandy here. https://sandyasher.com/

    • Hi Grace! I’m so glad you came! I can visualize you sitting in your office at Holiday House taking a moment to drop in. Everybody, Grace Maccarone is my editor and we currently have two future books in the works. Thanks for coming, Grace. Stay warm!

  11. Hello, everyone! Minnesota has passed its frigid air (-11 yesterday) on the East coast and it’s warmed up to 8 degrees, with snow in the forecast. I will be baking Chocolate-Orange Biscotti later, and will bring you all a bite. In the meantime, back to work sifting through words . . .

    • Ah, Joyce, there’s no better word sifter and we all love your work. Glad you’re over zero at least. At 8 degrees it’s practically a heat wave. Everyone say hello to Joyce Sidman. I know you know her work but here’s a source for more information. Joyce, I can’t wait to get into the Biscotti later! http://www.joycesidman.com/

  12. Hello everyone! What a great party this is! Happy Holidays to everyone from the Springfield-Greene County (Mo.) Library District! Along with good wishes, I send an invitation to everyone, especially those in the Missouri Ozarks, to the grand reopening of the Brentwood Branch Library at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 7. It closed in April 2016 for a major renovation, and it’s amazing now! When it reopens, it will be renamed the Schweitzer Brentwood Branch in honor of Springfieldian Jewell Schweitzer’s major gift to the $2.5 million renovation campaign. We hope many of you can join the celebration!

    • Hi Kathleen! Thank you for joining us and for bringing the welcome news about the upcoming grand reopening of Brentwood Branch Library. That’s “my” library. I probably drive by it a dozen times each week and will be happy to go inside again.

      Everyone, Kathleen won’t tell you but she has an illustrious history as a journalist for Springfield News-Leader and now serves Springfield Greene-County library district as its Director of Community Relations. She is also a past inductee into the Ozarks Writers Hall of Fame.

  13. Hi Everyone, I’m here from Denver, warm, then dropping to freezing winter on the weekend. Happy Holidays and wonderful sweets to all this Christmas week. I’m in the midst of wrapping this am before I pick up my granddaughter for the afternoon. Her school is out at 1 pm on Fridays, so time for us to do some Christmasy things together. I love hearing what’s happening at the party. Here a “wish” poem for you, David!


    a gift of time,
    a pleasant rhyme

    words that soar,
    more, then more

    good times true
    to Sandy and you

    a silent night
    that feels so right

    my message clear.
    much joy next year

    • Thank you, Linda! As always it’s a pleasure to have you at my party. We’ve shared experiences in person several times in the past so I think of you as an old friend — not to mention great teacher! I love your poem and will make sure that Sandy sees it too. Happy shopping!

      • Thank you, David. I hope we’ll connect in person again. It’s great to have a party on this winter Friday!

    • Hey Wendy! It’s great to see you here! Heads up everybody. Here’s why: http://www.schmalzagency.com/. What’s your weather like? Never mind. I know. So what’s in the works for you? Anyone you’d like to introduce us to? And thank you for this delicious lemon ginger cheesecake! I will not be able to keep my wife out of this!

  14. Hi David and Guests. Just a brief, flying visit from England and then it’s straight back to the airport for the return trip. What a pity Concord isn’t still flying. I could have stayed a bit longer. I’m hoping to catch sight of one of your racoons while I’m here as they are a bit thin on the ground here in the U.K.
    Happy Christmas everyone!!

    • Bryn, I’m so glad you could make it. At this point you’ve come the farthest. Everyone, for those of you who haven’t met Bryn, he is an actor and beloved poet in England and he often delights us by posting his poetry on my blog. Welcome, Bryn! There’s lots to eat and drink so please make yourself at home. Wish you could stay longer. I would do my best to round up another raccoon or two. Merry Christmas!

  15. Hello David,
    Another dear kid liter, Jane Heitman Healy, messaged me this morning to tell me about your lovely get-together so I threw on my snow boots and muffler and rushed right over. I’m actually on the way to the post office to mail a stack of cards and gifts (books, of course), so I can only stay a few minutes…but I’ll come back later and scroll through the conversation.
    I see quite a few familiar names have stopped in at your party already…and it’s always a joy to meet new faces, too. Hopefully they will all enjoy the apple crisp I brought…it’s best when heated a bit…you wouldn’t happen to have some vanilla ice cream to plop on top of each serving, would you?
    The year has been miraculous in so many ways…and I’m looking forward to 2017 with eager anticipation…several manuscripts out on submission, dancing for joy that some of my CPs are seeing the light at the end of this sometimes difficult path to publication, and practicing patience with the postponement till February 2018 of the launch of my debut picture book, Sweet Dreams, Sarah.
    We have our son and his family flying in from Chicago for Christmas…it will be a full house here with lots of cooking, baking…oh yes…and eating. 😉
    Sending wishes for the happiest of holidays for you and your family, David…and for all of those here.

    • Well thank you for coming, Vivian, and good for you, Jane, for telling Vivian about my party! So glad to meet you and welcome you here. The ice cream is out softening a bit and will soon be ready to serve with your wonderful apple crisp. Yum and thank you! Congratulations on your upcoming publication. When the time comes, I hope you’ll post your good news on my blog. We’re always happy to see a writer have success. It is, as you say, sometimes a long journey and often a lonely one. When something good happens, we want to shout it from the rooftops to let everyone know! Please make yourself at home and introduce yourself to anyone you haven’t met before.

  16. Hey Everyone! Good to see so many familiar faces. It is very wintry here in Montana today–at last! Wish I had some real egg nog to warm things up, but no matter. Nothing witty or memorable to add. Just wanted to say hello and wish everyone a Merry Xmas. I’ll miss you guys at W’burg in March, but fingers crossed about the next year. At the end of March, I’m dragging the family to Ecuador and Peru for five weeks, so hope to return speaking better Spanish than I do now. Feliz Navidad!

    • Greetings, Sneed! I’m really glad to see you here. I know you have friends and fans around the room who share my pleasure. I betcha it’s plenty cold out your way. You say “at last” and I would say, it’s time to hibernate indoors until the first flowers are in full bloom. Five weeks in Ecuador and Peru? Good heavens! Your whole family should come home with a second language well under way! Our daughter-in-law, Jennifer Harrison was born in Peru and we went there a few years ago on a trip up the Amazon. Quite a country! Everyone, check out some of Sneed’s work. He’s great! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sneed_B._Collard_III

    • Hi Sneed!
      It’s going to be cold in Colorado tonight! Egg nog sounds pretty good to me right now! Let me know if you need someone to tote your luggage on your spring adventure!
      Take care.

    • Ha! Good couplet, my friend. And also a reminder that I still have about 90% of my shopping still to do. Sandy and I have our list completed but haven’t found (= made) time to hit the stores. Hey everyone, meet B. J. Lee and learn more about her here: http://www.childrensauthorbjlee.com/ . B.J. I hope you can stick around long enough to mingle a bit. Lots of fascinating people here already and many more on the way.

  17. Happy holidays to you, David, and to everyone else from snowy southwest Michigan–we’ve got ten inches of fluff on the ground and expecting another five by tomorrow. Here’s the view from my window:

    Snow Party

    Snowflakes meet and mingle
    beneath a full moon’s light,
    their winter quilting party
    cloaks the morning white.
    –Buffy Silverman

    • And a fine morning to you, Buffy! We have no snow here but are expecting a smallish dose of it in the next day or so. You can keep the rest, or ship it to Sneed Collard. I’m losing track of where everyone lives but so far it’s a good representation of the country, plus Bryn from the U.K. Thank you for the lovely poem. Attention everyone! Meet Buffy Silverman if you don’t already know her. Here’s some additional introduction. http://www.buffysilverman.com/index.html. Thanks again for coming Buffy. Help yourself to treats.

  18. Wow, David, you have so many friends from so many places! I love travelling and would like to go on a virtual tour of everyone’s favorite view from their home. What do you think?, and how might we do that?
    Great to meet everyone, I think I’m one of only two new guests at this party. I popped back home and made some devilled eggs from those collected under our happy hens’ butts yesterday. I thought it was a good idea to have a healthy munchie in the collection. 🙂

    • Hello again, Janine. How did you know that I adore deviled eggs? I can eat those things till I nearly pop. And with fresh eggs too. Just too good! I like your idea of exchanging favorite views. Let’s see if anyone else picks up on it. My vote is yes.

    • And not a moment too soon, Veda! I’ve been thinking about those cookies all day! If that fire gets too warm, let me know. Since it’s a virtual one, I can control it.

    • Veda, I am glad to see you. I see a lot of new faces here this time. Sorry, al I have to offer is chips and dip. Veda, which way to the coffee pot? I am freezing. I need something to warm me up. Talk to you later.

      • Hey, everyone, guess who just came through the door? Mary Nida Smith! Hi Mary Nida, make yourself at home. The coffee is in the kitchen. Go through the dining room or down the hall. They’ll both get you there. And thank you for the chips and dip. We live on that around here. Folks, if you haven’t met Mary Nida, here’s more about her. http://marynidasmithbooks.blogspot.com/.

  19. Hello David, and best to you this holiday season! Hi everyone! I remember Linda and Joy from my time at The Barn. Great to see all of you. I’m bringing a big bowl of cashews and a bottle of red wine. I haven’t done much baking, though my hubby is planning on baking some this afternoon. Now that’s good seed for a poem, don’t you think? Bakerman grandpa…. Hmm… I’ll have to think on that. Oven on will be good as it was in the teens here in NJ this morning… snow on the way. Cheers!

    • Dear Karen! Thank you for adding to the fun of this party. You know some of the people here but please don’t be bashful about circulating from room to room to meet those you don’t recognize. Glad to have New Jersey represented! Let us know if you wind up with a Bakerman Grandpa poem. I’d love to hear it. Oh, and thanks for the nuts and wine, a perfect combination!

  20. Always love reading and watching to see
    Who shows up. Always always a pleasure
    To participate in your party. Happy holidays
    To you and your family, I’ll hang around in
    The corner a while and enjoy the ambiance.
    God Bless my friend

    • Don Barrett, my friend. You are always welcome but not to just sit in the corner. Get out there and meet folks and generate ideas for your future poems. I’m truly glad to see you here. If Vicki didn’t come with you, call her and tell her I want her here too!

  21. Happy blogfest, David. Thanks so much inviting me.
    I brought a bowl of poetry!

    If I Could Visit England

    I would be one happy kid,
    I would be a boy who did
    Everything his Father said,
    Even, “Harry, time for bed!”
    If I could visit England.

    I would do my homework fast
    Never leaving it till last.
    I would not be awfully bad,
    Blowing-his-lid-off-ly mad.
    If I could visit England.

    If I could visit England, I
    Would see Big Ben up in the sky,
    And ride a double-decker bus
    (Me, Mom and Dad—the three of us).

    If I could visit England, we
    Would say, “Good day, Your Majesty,
    Enjoyed the Guards at Buckingham!”
    And words like bobby, bloke and tram.

    But most of all I want to go
    On Christmas Day with lots of snow,
    When opening presents would occur
    At least six hours earlier!
    If I could visit England.

      • Good afternoon, dear Jeanne. Leave it to bold and adventurous you to dive into Goose Lake. (The pool is closed for the season.) The pair of swans have flown back to their usual haunt on a neighboring lake. Meantime their only surviving youngster from last year has come to pay a visit today. I’m sure you’ll find him friendly. Thank you for coming!

        Oops! I forgot to direct your attention to creative Jeanne’s creative handiwork! https://thevibrantchanneledcreator.wordpress.com/

    • Greetings, Pat, and thank you for joining us. Everyone, our former U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate just arrived! Say hi to Pat and learn more at http://www.jpatricklewis.com/ . I love the poem and can now understand why you want to visit England. Perfectly logical to me. It is always a pleasure to see you!

  22. Knock, knock…hope I’m in time to join in. I have a nice bottle of Darioush Cabernet (one of my favorite Napa winerys)…and some good Italian cannolis…with chocolate inside, of course. I’m glad to see so many of your friends are here, David and Sandy. You really know how to throw a party. I’m kicking off my shoes, settling in with a view of the lake, and chillin’ at the Harrisons! Thanks for the good times.

    • Hooray for Mary Jo Fresch! And with good wine and cannolis to boot! Does everyone know Mary Jo, professor emeritus from Ohio State University at Marion? http://www.ohioliteracyalliance.org/bios/mjf.html . Mary Jo and I have authored five books together for Teacher Created Materials/Shell Education and are currently at work on a new book for Scholastic. She and Hank also have a batch of beautiful and charming grandkids. I bet she’s packing pictures! Thanks for coming, partner!

  23. Sorry I’m so late to the shindig! Hope there’s still a few goodies to munch on…I brought some pepparkakor cookies, and chocolate-mint trifle, and some vegan chili for the heartier appetites. My 6-yr-old son had a 2-hour delay this morning, as temps got down to -5…so his not getting on the bus until 10am through off my entire day’s schedule! Thanks for hosting, David – and I hope someone gets photos of you dancing and singing by the fireplace with one of Jeanne’s exotic musical instruments.

    • Hi Matt! I knew you were doing daddy duty today so I’m happy you were able to make it at all. Folks, put your drinks down for a minute and say hello to Matt Forrest, another of our multitalented guests. Check him out! http://mattforrest.com/. Matt, thank you and Joy Acey for challenging these parties into being. I can’t wait to dig into your cookies, trifle, and chili. You came loaded! Hit the kitchen. There’s still room on the counter and cold stuff is in the refrigerator.

  24. I told Susan Hutchens that I would get dressed for the party. Just wanted you to know that I did (eventually). I don’t know how to drop a picture here so I’ll post it on the main page.

    • With apologies, sometimes these “little” details slip past me! I like this better too because it shows our books! Thanks, Mary Jo.

    • Hi Janet! Janet Wong, everybody. Think poet. Think Pomelo Books. Think Poetry Friday anthologies. Think this: http://www.janetwong.com/. Thanks for coming, Janet, and I can’t wait to try your cascara tea! The pot’s on the stove and will miraculously be ready as I post this. I DO love these parties!

      • I love honey, Janet. I have a large jar of it that a friend gave me the other day. He raises bees so this was home grown.

  25. Just stopping by to drop off some fudge. It isn’t Christmas without fudge, is it? Your house looks lovely and so many good friends. A little visit to the midwest and a quick winter fix (yes, I do miss winters) is a nice thing. Thanks for the invitation. So nice to see you.

    • Hi Rosi! Thanks for the fudge! You’re right about that. Without fudge and peanut brittle, what have you got? But mostly, thank you for coming over to play for a while. Everyone, I met Rosi at the Highlights workshop this year. She’s a gifted writer. More at http://rosihollinbeckthewritestuff.blogspot.com/. You just made a sale, right? Congratulations! Next time I’m standing in line for a play in NYC, I’ll look for you and your charming daughter. What a delightful coincidence that was!

  26. Okay everybody, let’s gather ’round David & Sandy’s piano & sing carols!

    Deck Your Life With Loads of Jolly

    “Tis the season to be freezin’
    Fa la la la, la la la
    Can you name a better reason
    For meeting up with friends? tra la la la

    The whole outdoors is cold and bitter
    Fa la la, Fa la la, la la la
    Soon the snow will drift and glitter –
    Come sit by the fire, tra la la la

    Don’t forget old Ebenezer;
    Fa la la la, la la la la
    Dickens’ stingy, crabby geezer
    And what he learned one Christmas, tra la la la

    Lonely, mean, and never merry
    Fa la la, la la la, la la la
    Then Marley showed up, looking scary;
    ‘Ghosts will come to see you’ Tra la la la

    Past & Future & the Present –
    Fa la la la la, la la la
    None of them was very pleasant;
    Old Scrooge wised up. Tra la ha ha!

    So load up on joy and holly
    Fa la la, fa la la, la la la
    Love your friends. Be kind & jolly
    At Christmas all year ’round; Tra la la la

    • Cheryl, you crack me up. But I’ll gladly fa la la la la la la la la with you any day my dear. Thank you for reminding us all that the season calls for love and jolly friends coming together. For you I’ll even get a piano. I tried my trombone but found it difficult to sing and blow at the same time. I’m adding this to my favorite seasonal works of art along with your Thanksgiving song. You’re wonderful!

      • That’s the trouble I have w/ my harmonica: it’s not polite ore even possible to sing w/ your mouth full!

      • We might have to prerecord and somehow make the sound track blend in. Does that make any sense? No more wine for me,

      • Mary Nida, we have some wonderful neighbors. I can’t believe I didn’t think to invite them! I just broke rule number one when throwing a party!

  27. You sure know how to throw a party, David! it’s a perfect day for it too! It’s freezing up here so I’ll warm up my singing voice by the roaring fire before joining you for the sing-a-long. I’ve baked some cranberry/pistachio biscotti for your guests to enjoy.
    Thanks for bringing us all together this way.

    • Dear Cory! Thank you for making the trek down from Canada. You will always be a welcome guest. Not that it hurts to have that delicious biscotti! Please come and sit by the fire until you thaw out from your trip. If anyone is in your way, tell them I said to move over and make room!

  28. My kids and I have just finished some hot chocolate and pumpkin cream cheese cake and sang right along with Cheryl’s fun diddy. Thanks for sharing! Our fire is also roaring as we anticipate tomorrow’s single digits.
    We have lots of cake and cocoa left, maybe we can bring it by in a few… fantastic festivities David, thanks again!

    • Welcome back, Janine. I’m counting on having a taste of your pumpkin cream cheese cake. It sounds fantastic! I’m glad you came today and look forward to becoming better acquainted as we go along.

  29. Hi David. Great party. Thanks for the invitation. So many nice people here. I’ve been standing in the doorway a moment, enjoying the pleasant chatter around the room. Hello everyone….Here. I brought some homemade chocolate-covered pretzels. They’ve been a family tradition with us since our youngest was 2 years old. Also brought some eggnog. Rosi and Jeanne – good to see you again.

    • Susan! Thanks for coming. It’s good to have you here and I’m tickled that you are enjoying the ambience of the party. I adore chocolate-covered pretzels and heartily approve of your family tradition. Thanks for bringing some with you. Please make yourself at home.

  30. Although I had a fabulous time with those 2nd graders today, it sure is nice to sit back and enjoy some adult conversations and beverages! I’m not much of a drinker, but hope there might be a strawberry daiquari (or two) being mixed up for me! I’ll gladly join in the singing with the right amount of rum!

    David – if you’ll pull out your trombone, maybe I can get a note or two out of a French horn. Does anyone have one handy? I haven’t played for years. How bad could I sound?? LOL!

    Also, David – if this party goes all night, I can provide lots of fresh eggs for a morning brunch! My chickies weren’t laying for a few weeks, but are producing about a dozen eggs a day now. I’ll even bring some fresh ham and bacon, courtesy of our very own piggies.

    Did I just hear someone suggest caroling in your neighborhood?? Let’s do it!

    • Susan, you look smashing this evening in that outfit! It was worth waiting for all day and I’m glad you didn’t forget! Yes, we have plenty of daiquiris and a keg of rum so settle in and let us admire you. I can’t get Cheryl to stop singing but a dozen others have joined in and we’re having a great time.

      No to the trombone. It would wreck the evening. Hey everyone, did anyone bring a French horn?

      Yes to the fresh eggs in the morning. I don’t see this crowd breaking up anytime soon.

    • The good stuff? Honey, don’t get carried away. They’re friends but, well, are you sure about this? Sigh. Okay everybody. My M.O.W. is in the holiday spirit.

  31. Oh I don’t know, Susan. It’s so cold, how about something hot?

    We like hot drinks a lot
    Especially if it’s chocolate
    Then get the cream & whip it

    And if it ain’t spiked, just skip it;

    • Spoken like a true daughter of mine! Thank you, sweetheart. So glad you could make it to my party! Uh, if you have to leave early, you can just leave the wine here. I’ll take good care of it. XO


    • Son, I know how much work it takes to make hot cheese and morel dip. And I know you’ll be here on Sunday. And I know you would never ever tell a fib. But I’d better smell morel on your breath when you get here. Just sayin’. But I also know I’m loving your virtual dip and you are right, it goes beautifully with Robin’s wine. Thanks for coming to my party! Love you both.

  33. Sounds like a fun family affair is going on here! Love it!

    Cheryl – you’re right. Some hot chocolate sounds pretty good right now. And Jeff – I’ve never had morel cheese dip, but I’m willing to give it a try! Thanks for making it!

    If we’re still chilly after the cocoa and big fire, I could bring three corgis to warm our feet! Cheryl – is Mimi a good lap warmer?

  34. Here I am a day late… the shmoozing is over, but the snoozing is still going strong. (Yes, I spied those sleeping bags in the corner!) Sorry I missed the main event, but I brought some hot coffee and stollen to make up for it. Thanks for the leftover poetry treats, David. Merry merry to all!

  35. Sorry to have dropped in and out of the fun. Head down in a massive novel revision AND a book of adult poems called BEFORE/THE VOTE/AFTER. I am so busy, I am hardly even talking to myself. But the party was a welcome distraction. Off to do more head-downs as I can’t get out the door till someone (virtually!) shovels the snow off the steps and walk.

    xxxJane Y

    • Good morning, Jane. Thanks for taking a break to come by. You sound extremely busy! I’m glad my party gave you a little break. And I hope someone rescues you from the snow before long!

  36. Hi, David, Looks like it was a great party. Sorry I missed you yesterday. Kent and I were out and about doing some research on how to find grants to support scholarships to Highlights Foundations workshops. Wouldn’t it be great if more people could attend for less? Then I had the good fortune of date-night with my bride while the kids had a slumber party with grandma and grandpa. Great snow here in Boyds Mills, PA today. Cheers!

    • Hi George! Everybody, wake up and say hello to George Brown! Those of you who have attended or led Highlights workshops know George. I’m delighted to see you, George and glad to know that you and Kent are out shaking limbs to find ways to make it possible for even more people to attend your workshops. Thanks for this welcome news. Let me pour you some coffee. And try these stollens. Hmmm!

  37. Morning!

    Whew! This body forgot how hard a floor and sleeping bag can be – ha! But, I’ll chase away the aches with a few Advil and be ready to continue on with the party!

    I’m feeling kinda “crafty” today, and just love Christmas ornaments. Anyone want to make some? David, do you have an extra tree handy that we could hang our creations on? I bet the tree would be pretty creative by the end of the day!

    Is that bacon I smell? Yum! The stollen looks delicious!

    • Hi Susan! Maybe you need some yoga exercises. Anyone here know any? If Robin is still here, she’s really good at it. I’ve seen her stretch her body in ways that would break every bone in mine. We have an extra tree in the basement so I’ll be glad to bring it up if you want to decorate it today. I’d love to see what you can do. Yes, that’s bacon and coffee, not to mention some delicious pastries. Dig in!

  38. Good morning one and all! I had to skip out early and come to work here at the nature center. David, you have presented here before I found out…staff sends their greetings.
    Oh, yes, yoga…reach your hands way up high, now make you fingers touch that sky! Downward and dog, is that a corgi near the log?

    • Janine, it had slipped by me that you work at the Nature Center. I have presented there two or three times. I probably should have asked for a program with my latest book, NOW YOU SEE THEM, NOW YOU DON’T. When I introduced the book at The Library Center, folks at Dickerson brought out some animals to help me with the program. It was great fun.

      But back to yoga! Susan, I hope you’ve now reached for the sky and feel better. Is this a swell party or what!

  39. Oh yes – I’m feeling fine and dandy now! (of course, that nice little nap with a corgi nearby felt pretty good!)

    Looks like we have a whole table full of decorations for the tree! Lots of pinecones and cardinal ornaments are ready to be hung. You’ll have to put the final touch at the top, David, as I’m too short. Wait a minute! Danny said he’d do it! He’ll take care of putting lots and lots of lights on the tree, as well. There MUST be lights!

    Did I just hear something out towards Goose Lake? Is there a critter stirring out there today?

    • That Danny. What would we do without him? I’m glad I brought the tree up from the basement. I have to go get my hair cut so I can hear again. I’m eager to get back to see your handiwork! I think you might have heard the geese on the lake, practicing their take offs and landings. It’s almost time!

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