Making a home video

Hi everone,

I’ve finished two videos and am working on how to share them with folks who want them. Here’s a picture from the one of me reading from AFTER DARK, POEMS ABOUT NOCTURNAL ANIMALS.

I think it turned out okay, maybe not as good as the videos taken with Mary Jo Fresch when we were in a professional recording studio in California, but still not too bad for a home video.

But things aren’t always what they seem so I thought I should share the back story of my videos, in case kids might want to make some videos of their own during these weeks when they are being schooled at home. Here is me practicing in my “sound booth.”

Making videos

Hi everyone,

I’ve made 5-minute videos of me reading from two books, AFTER DARK and NOW YOU SEE THEM, NOW YOU DON’T. They’re homemade on my laptop so the quality is about what you would expect, but I was successful yesterday in sharing them with another party so now I can share them with others who might be looking for material for teaching homebound kids. I used “We Transfer” to move the videos. It’s a free program that worked for me although I’m sure there are others that will do as well. My Dropbox is full so I can’t use it unless I spend time deleting stuff and I don’t want to make the effort right now. So far “We Transfer” works for some but not for everyone. Today I hope to try a different way to make these and other videos available, maybe through YouTube. I’ll let you know when I get it figured out.

My publishers remind me that these videos are good through June 30 and should be requested by or through teachers and librarians who are seeking ways to reach their homebound students during this crisis.

Ozarks Literacy Council

Hi everyone,

One of the book signings that had to be postponed until a later date was at Barnes & Noble on March 21. I was to sign copies of AFTER DARK and extend the signing time to allow for a Book Fair to raise money for Ozarks Literacy Council. Executive Director of the organization, Amy Jardell, had been working hard in the background to help make the event successful and I hope we can still draw from her planning when the Book Fair takes place later in the year.

If you aren’t familiar with the work of OLC, here’s a link to their homepage: and here’s how to reach Amy if you have questions about volunteering, donating, or both. It’s a wonderful organization that works with people of all ages to improve literacy skills and brighten futures. Amy J Jardell MA, Executive Director, 417-616-0551 wk, 417-631-2454 cell.

Hear my books on KOLR10-TV

Hi everyone,

As the nation scrambles to reach kids isolated at home during the crisis, a number of creative ideas are bubbling up. One going on in Springfield, Missouri is on CBS affiliate station KOLR10-TV in partnership with Springfield Greene-County Library District. On-air Talent from KOLR are reading a series of my books for families at home throughout the region to hear. So far they’ve recorded four titles: WHEN COWS COME HOME, THE BOY WHO COUNTED STARS, and BUGS, POEMS ABOUT CREEPING THINGS (all from Boyds Mills Press) and A PERFECT PLACE FOR A FAMILY (from Holiday House). Here’s the link.

Part of the plan calls for me to go to the station for an interview and to read one of the books myself. Time will tell if that will happen soon or need to be delayed for a while. Whatever happens, I’m thrilled to have this chance to reach a lot of children who may be getting tired of staying in.