“We are thrilled to welcome children’s book author David L Harrison Saturday, August 21st from 12-2 PM to celebrate the release of his newest publication, THE DIRT BOOK! This event will be held in our backyard and masks are required for all in attendance. This is an event for children, so let’s keep them and each other as safe as possible ~ thank you for your cooperation! THE DIRT BOOK and many other of David’s books will be available for sale at the event! Link to the event is in the comments!“
We’ll all have our masks on and keep our distance except when I’m signing a book but it’s the first in-person signing I’ve done since THE DIRT BOOK came out in June so I’m excited. My thanks to Jen Murvin for hosting me at her one-of-a-kind shop on historic Walnut Street in Springfield. Back in the day this was an area populated by the elite. The houses are large and stately and today’s owners maintain them beautifully. Jen has converted one of those beautiful old homes into a unique book store like none I’ve ever seen.
The week just ending has been another productive one. I sent six new poems to my writing partner, Tim Rasinski. That’s 22 down, 53 to go. I’ve been invited to be a reader/speaker at a virtual children’s literature conference in February. An article I sent to The California Reader is out with reviewers and tentatively planned for the winter issue. It’s called “Poetry for All.” I hope to hear back by the end of the month from an editor who is giving serious consideration to new nonfiction idea I sent her. I wrote the proposal in two ways to give her a choice. I’ve been invited to make a 20-30 minute video about poetry to be shown at the upcoming California Reading Association Conference. The conference is all virtual this year so I can prerecord the video and still attend the American Association for School Librarians Conference in Salt Lake City that meets on the same dates in October. It will be the first time I’ve spoken at two conferences at once. (:>
It’s party time! I welcome you today to my fourth blog party. Come one come all. Bring something if you want, or not. Virtual parties are known for the ease of cleaning up afterward and one cupcake may well last all day and please the palates of dozens of guests.
Cool off in the pool if you brought a suit. For men with a 38 waist, I have a couple of spares. For women, Sandy might come up with one for you. I keep pool heated to 90 degrees, which is handy because when we’re not swimming we throw in a bag of potatoes and serve soup to the neighborhood. The water is only four feet deep and we have a stock of new noodles to help you bob around.
The grill is clean (by my standards more than those of my M.O.W.’s) so help yourself to it if you want to throw on burgers or brats.
You’ll find tables here and there. My two favorites are the ones closest to Goose Lake but there is one by the pool, one close to the kitchen door, and another at the far end of the patio for those who just want to enjoy the view and be left alone.
We have twenty outdoor chairs around tables and others that can be arranged to suit you needs.
I think all the plants are watered but if you’re given to puttering around in gardens, you’ll find a watering can wherever Sandy left it last. (No, my darling, I didn’t mean anything by that last “crack.” You’re just being overly sensitive. Yes, of course I apologize, Sweetheart.)
Sadly, my fallen tree is sprawling across part of the yard and down into the lake. We have someone coming to remove it next week. At some point I may offer a toast to the fallen beauty.
If you brought something in need of refrigeration, I’ve left the kitchen door open so help yourself. The counters are pretty much clear and the cutting boards are next to the coffee pot. No, the other coffee pot. The one that works. One of these days I plan to take the broken one to the garage, but it’s a long walk of twelve feet or maybe more and I’ve been busy these last two years.
So welcome! I am delighted to greet you, whether you’re a newbie to my parties or a veteran. The idea behind these events is to encourage folks to become acquainted and enjoy a chance to visit. If you spot someone you’ve been wanting to meet, march right up and introduce yourself. If you have questions to ask, ask away.
I never know how long these parties will last. One went on for three days. Please come and go as your time permits. My suggestion is that if you are returning to the party, you might want to make an announcement so everyone will know you’re back. Otherwise it’s easy to be overlooked in the crowd. And don’t forget to thank Joy Acey and Matt Forrest for dreaming up this party in the first place. Joy lives a lot of time zones away these days so you may have to shout to wake her up.
On Monday I’ll do my first school visit of the year. I’ll be at Watkins Elementary in Springfield and meet with four groups of students in grades 2, 3, 4, and 5.
I’ll be reminded again of how different our audiences are from one year to the next. We write for kids, sure, but for which kids? I’ve used these examples before but here they are again: quotes from student entries in a book I did years ago that highlighted student responses to the prompt, “What I’ve Learned So Far . . . ”
Grade 2: Boys are worse than I thought.
Grade 3: You can’t keep a boy and girl hamster together.
Grade 4: I can go with eight girls at a time without any of them knowing it.
Grade 5: I like money and I don’t have it.
These examples amuse me in part because from early on we see an increased awareness of gender that goes from revulsion (grade 2) to the rather cocky lady’s man in grade 4. And by grade 5 they are finally figuring out that money has something to do with what they can and cannot get, gender-wise or otherwise.
Anything you want me to tell the boys and girls at Watkins for you? I’ll be happy to convey your messages.
Yesterday Sandy and I went to the Meyer Library on the Missouri State University campus. We both wanted to spend time admiring the handiwork of those who put together a display of my work last month when David Harrison Day kicked off a seven week exhibit of books, manuscripts, interviews, magazine stories, photographs, etc. I loved seeing it all in one place.
The exhibit starts coming down in six days and will be packed in storage boxes for now.
I’m told that there have been many visitors during the last several weeks. If you or someone you know might have an interest in seeing the display, you have until May 29.
I took some pictures yesterday with my phone. They didn’t turn out very well but I’ll share a few here.
There's another display of several of my titles in the children's literature collection. I think it stays up longer but I'm not sure.
Once again, my thanks to Cherri Jones, Tom Peters, Dave Richards, Dea Borneman, and everyone else at Meyer for their wonderful work and support.