And the bullfrogs sang!

Hi everyone,

I woke up this morning still smiling about yesterday. I loved being with the kids at David Harrison and McBride Elementary schools and to top off the day with a party at The Library Center made the day perfect.

Judy Domeny was wonderful singing and entertaining us with “Frog Went a-Courting,” Jaime from Dickerson Park Zoo brought out a Fire-bellied Toad, an African Clawed Frog, and kept everyone engrossed in what she had to tell them, nearly thirty children entered the frog hopping contest, I read my new book, and we snacked on Pond Scum Punch and Buggy-Wuggy Cookies.

But the stars of the evening were the “Croakers” from Harrison Elementary who, under the direction of Amy Fetzer, performed perfectly my 4-voice poem, “Chorus of Four Frogs.”

Thanks to everyone who came and/or participated. It was a full room and we had to set up more chairs. Once again I am greatly indebted to the Springfield-Greene County Public Library District for providing such outstanding facilities for events like the one last night. Kathleen O’Dell (Public Relations Director) and Nancee Dahms-Stinson (Youth Services Coordinator) put in their regular work day and then spent the whole evening making everything work smoothly, from setting up to making punch to recording the Frog Chorus Singers. I’m always in awe of how hard they and the rest of the staff work to serve their many publics.

Even though the books won’t arrive at Barnes & Noble until tomorrow, I signed book plates last night and will be at the book store from 11:00-1:00 on Saturday to sign books. All in all, a great way to celebrate AND THE FROGS SING.

A good idea

Hi everyone,

Kathleen O’Dell, Community Relations Director for Springfield-Greene County Public Libraries, told me about an upcoming event that sounds like great fun. I asked her to share the notice and let me post it here. She kindly did both. Read on. If you live in the area and want to attend and/or participate in the event, here’s what you need to know.

More to the Story: News Clips and You

Each week, the Springfield News-Leader fields calls from members of the community asking about old news clips. Maybe you’re interested in the Great Cobra Scare of 1953. Maybe your great-aunt caught a prize-winning trout.

In time for the News-Leader’s 150th anniversary, the Library and the newspaper are teaming up for a free, special event, “More to the Story: News Clips and You.” Join us at the Library Center, 4653 S. Campbell Ave., from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, November 4.

Think of it as an “Antiques Roadshow” for antique news. The theme? Bring your cherished news clippings — and tell us all about them!

News-Leader reporters will be there to listen to your stories. With your permission, journalists will interview you about your news clippings, and your stories could be published in the newspaper and its digital platforms, including News-Leader.com.

Looking for an old news article, or could you use a newly printed replacement for a crumbling paper clipping? The Library’s experts will help. Local History department staff will help research news articles from the Library’s database and microfilm holdings. Library staff will also help patrons print off color copies and learn about the Library’s news and historical resources.

You can also help Library staff identify mysterious News-Leader photos from the past 150 years — images that have survived many decades, but over time, lost their “identities.” We need the help of local history sleuths.

For questions about the event, contact News-Leader Engagement Editor Stephen Herzog at 417-836-1219 or sherzog@news-leader.com.

Why I love librarians

Hi everyone,

The only thing I have left to finish on a manuscript under contract — and it’s a biggie — is to compile a list of books I read for research before, during, and after the writing process. I already have a sizable list of online references as well as titles from my own library, but I needed more.

Early this week I queried Kathleen O’Dell, Community Relations Director for the Springfield-Greene County Public Library District, to see if I could ask for help in the search for authoritative, recently published texts on my subjects.

I sent a list, which Kathleen passed along to reference librarians at The Library Center on South Campbell. Two days later, Tammy Flippen, Anna Mattonen, Jana Dimond and circulation assistant Leanne Burgess presented me with a stack of wonderful reference books, with more on the way from branch libraries! I couldn’t believe it! They used their expertise to aid me in writing a new book for children. It not only saved me time, I probably wouldn’t have found all the sources they did.

Librarians are famous for going that extra mile to give personal service to patrons, but this was above and beyond anything I could have asked for. It’s my book, but here’s a splendid example of how we rarely write alone. It may take a village to raise a child, but it also takes a lot of helping hands to make a book!

With sincere thanks to all,

David

I had a fine time

Hi Everyone,

Thanks to all who attended last night’s David Harrison event at The Library Center. I think Don Barrett and his daughter Carina Hurt Blair traveled the farthest, making a roundtrip from Camdenton, Missouri. It was a pleasure to once again join with Chris Craig and Gale Clithero as Bryon Biggers Band. Sarah Wiggin led a splendid RAE troop including Jeff Jenkins, Melissa Herr, and Colton Williams in performing many poems and stories from my work. I sat in the audience and cackled the same as I always do when they carry on. My favorite number is when they impersonate cows during a skit based on WHEN COWS COME HOME. I’ll show you some pictures if anyone shares what they took.

We had a nice turnout and somehow managed to stay on schedule. Sandy and I both had cousins there as well as many old friends. It was a good way to spend an hour and a half on a Thursday evening in July. Thanks to Kathleen O’Dell for facilitating the event and sticking with us all evening to see that everything went well. I do love The Library Center.

Planning An Evening with David Harrison and Friends for July

Hi everyone,

I’ve working with Kathleen O’Dell, Community Relations Director, Springfield-Greene County Library District, to plan An Evening with David Harrison and Friends, 6:00-7:30, July 23 at The Library Center on South Campbell in Springfield.

Plans are not finalized but we’re thinking three roughly 30-minute segments. I’ll take one to read from of my work and provide a few back stories.

A second half hour will feature Byron Biggers Band, the musical group consisting of Chris Craig, Gale Clithero, and me that performs musical versions of my poetry. We’ve made occasional appearances around town for several years including a couple of times on KSMU public radio. The original idea was Chris’s who is, in addition to being Associate Provost for Faculty & Academic Affairs at Southwest Missouri State University, a fine musician with a great baritone voice. Gale, the dapper Dan of the group (as well as being a cool math teacher), adds voice and percussion. As for me? Well. I do what I do.

The third half hour will feature a tremendously talented group of equity actors that bill themselves as Resident Artist Ensemble (RAE for short). I don’t know yet the full cast but Sarah Wiggin and Michael Frizell are confirmed and there will be at least three others. What they do is perform selected poems and stories from my work. I’ve had the pleasure of watching them before and I guarantee you they’ll have you laughing the whole time. In my wildest dreams I never thought I’d see my work brought to life in such delightful ways. Everyone loves them.

More about these talented people later. They all have incredible creds and I intend to tell you more about them as we draw closer to the date. Needless to say, I’m excited about the program and hope that we’ll attract an audience of children and adults who want to have a good time celebrating the endless versatility of words and ideas.

July 23
6:00-7:30
The Library Center
South Campbell
Springfield, Missouri
Be there!