The pleasures of a signing

  • Hi everyone,

    Yesterday at my Barnes & Noble signing:

    My thanks to Kathy McQueen for introducing me to her grandson. It was a highlight of the event.

    Writers Hall of Fame was having a Book Fair at the store, meaning that a percent of all purchases accompanied with a free coupon went to the organization for future writing scholarships to budding young writers.

    To do my part I signed copies of the three recent titles: 7 KEYS TO RESEARCH FOR WRITING SUCCESS, A PLACE TO START A FAMILY, and CRAWLY SCHOOL FOR BUGS.

    As always, my thanks to Renee Hunt, Jim Troye, and everyone at Barnes & Noble for making my stay so enjoyable.

  • What a difference a day makes

    David giving brief remarks

    Hi everyone,

    Yesterday afternoon I spent a wonderful hour visiting with Mrs. Hill’s communication arts class at my alma mater, Jarrett Middle School, in Springfield, Missouri. What fun to return after so many years to meet some students and answer questions. I had the honor of being interviewed by the class. The kids will now write articles about the experience and a winner will be chosen to be published in the school paper. You can imagine how flattered I felt to be selected as an alum to write about. Thanks to all!

    I’m happy to report that the missing muse showed up yesterday and that first elusive poem fairly jumped onto the page early on. I tweaked it later (after coming home) and am pleased with it. Now I’m set to get this book going.

    Busy day today. At 10:00 I’ll do a story hour and sign books as part of a fund raiser for Springfield’s Civic Symphony. This will be another nostalgic event for me. Back in the day I played principal trombone in the Symphony and have a picture on my wall of the orchestra in 1957. I sure had more hair then!

    After that I’ll attend the Springfield’s Writers’ Guild to share lunch while listening to Kim Piddington talk about agents. When she’s done, it will be my turn at 1:00 to speak. My title is, “In It for the Long Haul, from Then to Now, a Writer’s Fifty-Five Year Journey.” http://springfieldwritersguild.org

    So yesterday and today will make a nice closing to the week, and I even got a poem out of it.

    David

    Places to visit during April Poetry Month

    I know that many of you enjoyed my guest yesterday, Nile Stanley. There is always something new to learn and Dr. Stanley is a good teacher. Nile, thank you.

    Last year during the month of April, Tricia Stohr-Hunt wrote a series entitled Poetry Makers. Each day she posted an interview with a children’s poet. By the way, not everyone might know that our friend and frequent contributor to the Word of the Month challenge is also Dr. Patricia M. Stohr-Hunt, Chair, Education Department, University of Richmond, VA.This year Tricia is continuing with her interviews and began posting the results yesterday on her blog site, which you can find at http://missrumphiuseffect.blogspot.com/search/label/poetry%20makers . Go there if you want to enjoy an entire month of poets, poems, and interviews. Thank you, Tricia, for bringing this all together for us to enjoy.

    Another busy person is Greg Pincus, as in http://gottabook.blogspot.com , http://www.thehappyaccident.net , and http://twitter.com/gregpincus
    Last year Greg celebrated Poetry Month by introducing a series of 30 poets, beginning with Jack Prelutsky on April 1, ending with Pat Mora, and throwing in a few “beginners” like Jane Yolen, Nikki Grimes, Janet Wong, Pat Lewis, Mary Ann Hoberman, and 23 other fine poets along the way. You can read about last year’s poets and enjoy their work at: http://gottabook.blogspot.com/2009/03/announcing-30-poets30-days.html

    This year Greg is back featuring another lineup of 30 poets. He says that his goal is to create an event that gets attention outside of just committed poetry fans and offers something of value (and fun!) too. The fun began April 1 with Alice Schertle and continued on April 2 with Joseph Bruchac. As Greg says, “I hope you’ll join in the celebration.”

    This just in from Ralph and Lisa in England:
    Hi David,
    A quick note to tell you that the response to the launch of smories.com has been nothing short of overwhelming, and we have had fantastic submissions from across the globe. We want to thank you for helping us spread the word – which of course we appreciate.

    We will be announcing the 50 shortlisted stories for the March competition on the 5th of April. On the 1st of May, films of these stories will go live on the website.The April competition is now open until the end of the month. The format is slightly different this time:We will have 5 prizes:

    First Prize: US$500
    Second Prize: US$400
    Third Prize: US$300
    Fourth Prize: US$200
    Fifth Prize: US$100

    Stories will be restricted to 750 words.

    Please take a look at the site for further info.

    As ever, we welcome your feedback.

    Best wishes,

    – Ralph & Lisa
    http://www.smories.com/
    More Stories at Smories

    Mark your calendars for one week from today, April 10, when Beth Carter will be signing books from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. at Borders in Springfield, Missouri. I asked Beth about the book and this is what she told me.

    The book is a compilation of 1,000 six-word memoirs and is entitled IT ALL CHANGED IN AN INSTANT, memoirs from authors famous and obscure. It’s sold on Amazon.com and will be at Borders and Barnes & Noble soon.The book was edited by Smith and is published by Harper. It includes memoirs from famous authors like the late Frank McCourt, Amy Tan and James Frey, as well as memoirs from Pulitzer Prize winners and several celebrities like Marlee Matlin, The Fonz, Ann Coulter, and many others). I attended the last leg of the tour in NYC a few weeks ago and got to read onstage. Quite exciting.Smith received over 200,000 submissions worldwide so I’m quite honored to have been selected. In fact, I’m the only one with two memoirs in the book, according to the editors, and one of mine is on page one!P.S. Another person in this book is celebrity Bob Barker. Contains memoirs from Dave Barry, and many celebs like Marlo Thomas, Neil Patrick Harris, Marlee Matlin, Molly Ringwald, Dr. Oz, Kenny G, Melissa Ethridge and many more.Congratulations, Beth. I hope your fingers get cramped signing on April 10!

    David

    42nd annual Children’s Literature Festival

    rubberman

    I’ve spent the last three days in Warrensburg, Missouri at the Children’s Literature Festival. This year the event was attended by 5,300 boys and girls in grades 4 – 8 and 1,200 adults. Forty-one authors and artists spoke to four groups of kids each day on Monday and Tuesday. The first day, Sunday, we attended a luncheon and spent the afternoon sitting at tables signing books. Over the 42 years of the festival’s history about 350 authors and artists have participated in the event, which was started by English teacher Phil Sadler and librarian Ophelia Gilbert. Ophelia died last year and Phil died two months ago but their legacy lives on and is now in the capable hands of librarian Naomi Williamson and a dedicated committee.

    Among the talented speakers this year were Sandy Asher, Gary Blackwood, J. B. Cheaney, Sneed Collard, III, Jan Greenberg, Vicki Grove, Mary Downing Hahn, Cheryl Harness, Patricia Hermes, Peg Kehret, Claudia Mills, Barbara Robinson, Brad Sneed, and June Rae Wood to name just a few. The entire list was stellar and kids went away with useful information about writing, signed books, and good memories.

    If you have an interest in learning more about the festival, contact Naomi Williamson, director, at williamson@library.ucmo.edu . Next year’s festival is set for March 20 – 22, 2011.

    By the way, since Kathy Temean created this blog for me last August, my meter tells me that as of yesterday the blog has been visited more than 20,000 times. My thanks to all!

    David

    Children’s Literature Festival of the Ozarks

    Today I’ll be one of the authors who will speak to groups of children at the 29th annual Children’s Literature Festival of the Ozarks. The event is sponsored by a group of committed women (mostly librarians) and the Missourit State University English Department and is held on the campus of Missouri State University.

    Other authors and artists who will appear are J. B. Cheaney, Lisa Campbell Ernst, Vicki Grove, Cheryl Harness, Veda Boyd Jones, Kate Klise, Patricia and Fredrick McKissack, Anna Myers, Brad Sneed, Michael Spradlin, June Rae Wood, Leslie Wyatt, and Judy Young.

    I never prepare a formal talk for these occasions when I’ll be in front of young students; no script, no outline, no notes. I feel more comfortable when I can stand in front of the audience, talk for a while about who I am and what I do, and watch their faces to measure level of interest. Before long the first hand goes up and I know we’ve made contact. I love opportunities to visit with young people. Writers need to remain in touch with their audience and the best way to do that is to meet them in their schools and at wonderful festivals like this one.

    I don’t know how you’ll spend today, but I don’t see how it can top mine.

    David