Why is this man smiling?

Hi everyone,

Ruth Culham kindly snapped me signing at Charlesbridge. That’s part of my wonderful editor, Karen Boss, in the background. So now I can prove that I really was there! Thank you Ruth!

Here’s Tara Welty between Mary Jo Fresch and me showing off our new book with Scholastic. Tara is Editor-in-Chief for Teacher Resources at Scholastic.

Laura Salas was kind enough to share this selfie from NCTE. With Laura (left), Sylvia Vardell, and Sandy around me, you can understand why I’m smiling!


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The kissing count

Hi everyone,

As I’ve said here many times, some mornings I sit down, write, “Hi everyone,” and start fishing around in my head for an idea. This is such a morning. However, all it took was a trip into the bedroom to take Sandy’s morning coffee and paper and kiss her for the first time today to provide this bit of trivia.

I can’t tell you how long we’ve been married. She had that information surgically removed years ago. But let’s just say that if I multiply the number of days since our wedding by 9, which is my best guess of the average number of times we kiss each day (probably low), then I’ve kissed that girl 192,123 times. This information has no trade-in value and will not get you a cup of coffee, but I hope it makes you smile. It did me.
After all, I don’t write every single minute!

Home again

BULLETIN: I’ll post November’s Word of the Month word tomorrow!

Hi everyone,

It’s good to be home. We left New York yesterday at 1:30 and reached Springfield at 6:40, just in time to drive from the airport to a Halloween party at Larry and Maryann Wakefield’s house. Got home, read the mail, and went to bed around midnight. I gave myself a lollipop this morning by sleeping in until 7:00.

As always I enjoyed visiting with editors. They were all genuine and generous with their time and insights, and I came home with notes from each conversation that will help me consider future work. As I’ve said in the past, it’s rare when my annual trip to publishing houses doesn’t produce at least one book later on. The last two years accounted for a book each and I definitely see possibilities from this one.

I didn’t take any pictures this time other than the two of Sandy that I posted a couple of days ago. Sunday was rainy and the rest of the time I was busy making the rounds. This picture was from last year. Next year I’ll do better.

Don’t tell the turtles

Hi everyone,

Saw BEAUTIFUL night before last and wound up the evening with bread and wine at a sidewalk table. Young men and women paraded by our table in some pretty incredible Halloween costumes. Some were having fun; others looked like hookers advertising their wares. My M.O.W. allowed me to look just a little.

Yesterday it was lunch at Tavern on the Green. It rained without stopping all day. We waded through water that soaked shoes. The NYC Marathon (in a downpour) caused all sorts of mischief with traffic. Many streets were blocked off so everybody got to walk. We went to the MoMa but rain had driven so many people inside the museum that we gave up waiting in line and walked with our umbrellas to Ticketron for more play tickets. Last night we saw CATS for the fifth time, including London, New York, and elsewhere.

The rain isn’t supposed to stop before noon today. I’m sure I’ll get wet again as I move from editor to editor, but there’s not much I can do about that. Tonight it’s BROADWAY COMEDY CLUB. More later.

A peaceful place

Hi everyone,

The other night Sandy and I drove to the Springfield Botanical Gardens for a peaceful walk along the paths of the 7.5 acre Mizumoto Japanese Stroll garden. We enjoyed the koi lake, moon bridge, meditation garden, tea house, and traditional Japanese garden landscaping. We arrived at dusk so my phone camera wasn’t really up to the requirements for nighttime pictures, but maybe this will give you an idea of why we enjoy the place. Here and there we passed other couples sitting quietly on benches or the grass, finding their center in a complex and noisy world.