Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Following the destructive visit of Hurricane Ike, Blue Willow Bookshop is initiating a nationwide campaign to rebuild the library collections of Anahuac High School, Freeport Intermediate School and, closer to home, the Alief Hastings 9th Grade Center. These schools lost more than 75% of their collections. Our goal is to have 1,000 books to deliver to these libraries by December 1. You can help in a number of ways:
- Come in to the store and purchase books from the schools' wish lists.
- Stop by or call us with a donation and let us do the shopping for you; or
- Call us if you have some very gently used current fiction (preferably hardcover) appropriate for grades 5 and up.
If you have any questions, please call the store at (281) 497 8675 or email us.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
While you're waiting, read his previous ones.
If you haven't stopped by Everybody Reads already, check it out!
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
- NS: Not Scary (teeth not pointed; each eye is a single shape)
- S: Scary (teeth pointed; each eye a single shape)
- VS: Very Scary (fangs, single-pointed; eyes segmented)
- H: Hideous (fangs with multiple points; eyes segmented)
- TH: Totally Hideous (too gory and gruesome to describe!)
The last in the series is this Wednesday, October 29 at 7:30 p.m. The Nonfiction Author Panel features a cross-section of nonfiction composition, from journalism and literary blogs to expository writing on modern life: featuring Bill Castanier, books writer for the Lansing City Pulse and author of the Mitten Lit blog; Tom Foster, author of How to Read Novels Like a Professor; and Marybeth Hicks, author of Bringing Up Geeks and family columnist for the Washington Times.
HELP CREATE A COMMEMORATIVE POSTAGE STAMP
The U.S. Postage Stamp Citizenʼs Advisory Committee, the group that decides what subjects are chosen for our countryʼs commemorative postage stamps, is considering celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the publishing of THE SNOWY DAY by Ezra Jack Keats. This book is not just an American classic beloved by generations of children and parents around the world; it is also the book that broke the color barrier in mainstream American childrenʼs book publishing.
It takes three years for the subject of a postage stamp to be considered, accepted and developed. The fiftieth anniversary of THE SNOWY DAY is in 2012. Help us gather signatures to send to the Citizenʼs Advisory Committee to let them know how welcome this stamp would be to families and educators across the country. Help us show the world that Ezraʼs character Peter, playing in the snow, a character they recognize and treasure, is as valued here as it is abroad.
To support the creation of THE SNOWY DAY 50th Anniversary Commemorative Stamp visit the website of the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation (www.ezra-jack-keats.org) and add your name to the Support the Stamp list. Tell your friends, your students, your teachers and your parents to add their names to our petition. Names will not be used for any other reason than for THE SNOWY DAY Stamp Petition, nor will they be shared or sold to any other entity. Help make 2012 a celebration of American children in all their diversity!
Monday, October 27, 2008
Debbie: And your other books, and any books and projects on the horizon?
Amy: I have a variety of school talks and video conference programs going on. Open to the public is my appearance at The Kalamazoo Public Library on April 23rd at 7 pm. It should be a lot of fun!
Amy: I love where we live, in Spring Lake in Western Michigan -- it is so pretty. But I also love the Leelanau Peninsula and its environs. My husband and I have fun poking around discovering new places and adventures.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
It took me a while to figure out the rhyme-or-reason behind how they're listed in the sidebar. The blogs didn't show up in the order I entered them, and they also didn't show up in alphabetical order. I finally realized that the most recently updated ones appear first. See, I am catching on to technology. (Er, sorta. When it comes right down to it, I'll always be a pre-Twitter kinda gal.)
You can find the recipe here. I use soy milk instead of cow's, but other than that, I follow the recipe as given. Good spices (I prefer Penzey's - they have such glorious cinnamon) really bring the pie to life.
A kindly neighbor gave us an extra yard sign to replace our purloined one (full theft story here, in case you missed it). My younger son, who was quite offended by the thievery, made a sign of his own and asked me to put it with our new yard sign:
(He's much more to the point than I am -- he managed to boil my 44 words of polite rant into five. Though I am curious about what he wrote in the now blacked-out part....)
We'll see how long the new sign lasts. As for my son's, I'm saving that one.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Autumn thinks of itself
as the season of leaf belief.
"Just look! Isn't it obvious?"
Spring, full of hope and growth,
begs to differ;
and in full green glory,
Summer insists otherwise.
argues that leaf belief
when the limbs are bare
and the ground is cold --
when all that exists
is the empty open space
that waits for what is yet to come.
And who knows
but that he's right.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Anyway, this is how I came to learn this evening that there is now an Inside Out version of the classic (and to my mind, not to be improved upon) Junior Mints candy. I am -- let me look for just the right word here, um, oh yeah, here it is: dubious. Here's hoping Santa brings me the regular ones for my stocking this year.
In other totally random news, one of the blogs that I read offered up a YouTube video as a mental health break today, and I got a kick out of it. So I thought I'd share it with all of you. Because really, in a world so topsy-turvy that even Junior Mints get turned inside out, what could be better than a disco dance lesson from Finland? (Instruction for the first couple of minutes, then the floor fills up and lets loose at 2:19...)
I'm trying my hand at embedding the YouTube right here on this very blog. Let's see if it works, shall we?
Monday, October 20, 2008
The award was announced this past weekend at the SCIBA trade show and Author Feast. Publishers Weekly has a nice write-up of the event here.
Also in the Good News Department (albeit in the minor good news division): I received notice today that a poem of mine, "I Dream In Fluorescent Colors," was awarded an honorable mention in the Writer's Digest 77th Annual Writing Competition, in the Rhyming Poem category. There are a full 100 honorable mentions in each category, but still, it was nice to receive the letter and certificate.
Debbie: Tell us a little about yourselves.
Robbyn & Gijsbert: We live on a 40 acre farm that we lovingly changed from a working farm to a wildlife refuge. Because we rehabilitated wildlife for 25 years, we created habitat to release our recovered patients in. Our lives are what we both dreamed about as kids. We both made our hobbies our careers. Me, living in balance with nature, caring for animals and sharing with kids and adults, by way of storytelling, our passion in life. Gijsbert has wanted to illustrate children's books since the age of ten. We are both country folk and love it!
Debbie: And, of course, we want to know all about your latest books!
Robbyn & Gijsbert: Gijsbert and I are working on our next book together titled Itsy Bitsy and Teeny Weeny. It is the next in the Hazel Ridge series, which are true stories about our farm and the wild animals we raised and released. Itsy Bitsy & Teeny Weeny is about an orphaned lamb fawn that we raised together.
Debbie: Other books, and and projects on the horizon?
Robbyn & Gijsbert: Gijsbert's next book will be S is for Smithsonian, an alphabet book about the Smithsonian.
Debbie: Upcoming appearances?
Robbyn & Gijsbert: We are planning our annual Holiday Open House here on the farm December 11- 14. Information is on our web page at http://www.hazelridgefarm.com/
Debbie: Your favorite place in Michigan?
Robbyn & Gijsbert: Home on the farm, of course.
Debbie: Favorite Michigan event or happening?
Robbyn & Gijsbert: The Crane migration is always an amazing sight. At Baker Sanctuary in Bellevue, MI, cranes gather nightly during October before they migrate south for the winter. For about 2-3 weeks thousands of cranes can be seen in the evening, as they come in for the evening from outlying grain fields.
Debbie: A few fun Michigan people we should all know about?
Robbyn & Gijsbert: Kevin and Stephanie Kammeraad are very phun pholks to watch and listen to.
Debbie: Something you'd like a non-Michigander to know about our state?
Robbyn & Gijsbert: Our Fall is spectacular.
Debbie: Some residents of Michigan refer to themselves as Michiganders; others Michiganians. For our ongoing vote tally: Are you "Michiganders" or "Michiganians"?
Robbyn & Gijsbert: Michiganders.
Debbie: Thank you, both of you, for being this week's Michigander Monday!!
Sunday, October 19, 2008
So. For the record. I've already cast my vote, over at Dum Dum Pops central, for... Orange Cream.
Sadly, Orange Cream is currently in 4th place.
Go cast your vote today -- and make it Orange Cream!
Friday, October 17, 2008
The days of fall
and we find ourselves standing, helpless,
beneath the colorless sky.
And our souls ache.
with the chill in the air;
and bones stiffen
with the brittle crackle
of bare branches
and dead leaves.
But then autumn,
in her wretched capriciousness,
flares her other face,
and we stand, powerless and weak-kneed,
under the endless blue sky:
the warm breeze a balm,
and the leaves --
oh, the leaves!
what can they ever be
but the unbelievable palette
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
But I have to say, given its definition, wouldn't the word be even more fun if it included an E (and perhaps, sometimes, a Y) to go with its A, I, O and U? Can I unilaterally declare "univocalickey" to be a new word?
If you're feeling univocalickey, please note that AWAD is running a univocalic contest (click the definition page, linked above, and then scroll about halfway down). Pick your favorite vowel and have at it!
Sunday, October 12, 2008
In other news for my regular readers: my voice is back. (Or mostly so. 87% or thereabouts.) Thanks, all, for your good wishes and good advice.
(As a side note: Today the weather forecast is predicting temps around 80. A couple of years back on our wedding anniversary, same geographic location, it snowed. That, my friends, is Michigan in a nutshell.)
Friday, October 10, 2008
The Land of Misplaced Thoughts
is a crowded zone,
heavy on grocery list items,
unusual-but-useful vocabulary words,
and pithy, persuasive insights
that were meant to follow the phrase
The region also sees periodic influxes
of childhood memories
and Really Important Realizations;
and is frequently overrun
by gangs of "The Reason I Came Into This Room."
Occasionally comes a knock at the door.
Up pops the clerk at the Claims Desk,
and a thought or two is reunited
with its original owner.
These joyful moments
are remembered fondly
by those left behind:
by the can of garbanzo beans,
the word "philtrum,"
the answer "for your glasses,"
and by the last perfect line
of a poem
that hasn't yet
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
News from Schuler Books: Join us for a series of author panels leading up to National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Designed to inspire prospective writers, the panels feature published Michigan authors who will talk about their own experiences with writing and the publishing industry.
Wednesday. October 15. 7:30 p.m.
The Children's Author Panel will feature three Lansing-area authors -- Ruth McNally Barshaw, author and illustrator of the popular Ellie McDoodle youth series; Deborah Diesen, author of The Pout Pout Fish, which recently placed on the New York Times picture book best seller list; and Dan Mishkin, author of the illustrated novel series The Forest King and noted comics writer and creator of The Blue Devil and Amythest.
Wednesday. October 22. 7:30 p.m.
The Fiction Author Panel will feature authors from a variety of fictional genres: Joe Borri (Eight Dogs Named Jack); Colleen Gleason (The Gardella Vampire Chronicles); Jill Gregory, award-winning author of over 30 novels; Jim Hines, (Goblin Hero series); and Karen Tintori (Unto the Daughters, co-author with Gregory of The Book of Names).
Wednesday. October 29. 7:30 p.m.
The Nonfiction Author Panel features a cross-section of nonfiction composition, from journalism and literary blogs to expository writing on modern life: featuring Bill Castanier, books writer for the Lansing City Pulse and author of the Mitten Lit blog; Tom Foster, author of How to Read Novels Like a Professor; and Marybeth Hicks, author of Bringing Up Geeks and family columnist for the Washington Times.
Poets House invites children and their grown-ups to explore the wonders of poetry through our collaborative series at the NYPL Mulberry Street Branch and preview festivities in Battery Park City.
A BATTERY PARK CITY POETRY WALK as part of POETS HOUSE IN BATTERY PARK
Saturday, October 11, 11:00am: Your Song Is a Map of the City with Chris Martin
Poets House invites children and adults on an interactive poetry and performance walking tour through Battery Park City. Co-sponsored by the Battery Park City Authority. Meet at the bandshell of Nelson A. Rockefeller Park in Battery Park City (1, 2, 3, A, C to Chambers Street, walk west to River Terrace, cross the street to enter the park & head south to the bandshell). Admission free
SPECIAL SATURDAY EVENTS AT THE NYPL MULBERRY STREET BRANCH
Saturday, October 25, 2:00pm: Monstrology 101 with Johan Olander
Children and adult companions will be invited to create their own monsters with Johan Olander, author and illustrator of A Field Guide to Monsters. NYPL Mulberry Street Branch 10 Jersey Street (bet. Lafayette and Mulberry Streets). Admission free.
Monday, October 6, 2008
Friday, October 3, 2008
So, here goes with this week's poem...
Eight-and-a-Half by Eleven
are tiny, faceted gems,
earnest spring flowers,
raucous party-goers ,
but they lose their luster
into an Agenda
where the only word
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Also, those of you who've been wondering about 15mph (no space) or 15 mph (with space) and 8mm (no space) or 8 mm (space) can soon sleep easier, with your questions resolved.
Q. My colleagues are divided in their opinions about “storing data in a computer” versus “storing data on a computer.” Which is correct? Thanks.
A. You can do either, but I would store the data in the computer. It used to be easy to store stuff on a computer, but now with flat screens and laptops it tends to slide off.