Saturday, December 27, 2008

Looking back, looking forward, just looking...

This year is almost gone (gone I tell ya, gone!), and frankly, I am okay with that. Not that it would matter much if I weren't, of course, as I understand that this changeover is inevitable. This year is ending with a flurry of travel, family, friends, and even of snow (though the latter was not right here in LA), though not a flurry of blog posts. I've also taken four full days off from checking my email, surfing the web, or any such net-based things until re-appearing here today. And guess what? I've lived to tell the tale! I think that's a valuable piece of news for me to carry into next year... though not one I plan to put to the test very often....

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy, Happy, Merry, Merry

Yes, well, indeed -- it's Happy and Merry time of year, and I'm clearly blogging like I've been out hitting the eggnog every night. Or something like that. And it's gonna continue like that through the end of the week, at least, if not the whole darn year!

I wish all of you and yours a wonderful, peaceful holiday time, whatever holiday you celebrate (or not!). It's been a pleasure hanging out with y'all this year, and I look forward to the next year, as well.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The last Carnival o' the year... and it's a big'un

Yes, the December Carnival of Children's Literature is up over at Jen Robinson's Book Page. It's a doozy, full of everyone's hand-picked "favorite" post of the year on a raft of children's literature topics. Great stuff.

Not only that, but it's Jen's 3rd Blogoversary, so go on over and say "hi!" if nothing else!

Monday, December 15, 2008


One of the great perks of being a volunteer librarian is that I get to pick whatever I want to read-aloud (well, more or less). This holiday time I've forgone the Grinch and gone with The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming, a Christmas Story by Lemony Snickett with illustrations by Lisa Brown. The big advantage, as far as I'm concerned of this as a read-aloud is that it allows me to scream "Aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh" many times. If one knows that a committee meeting is going on in the room right next to the library, it allows one to scream with extra gusto.

I was hoarse for days, but the looks I got later that day were well worthwhile.


Friday, December 12, 2008

Why I Love the Holidays in My Family -- A Christmas poem/A Hanukkah poem/A Chrismukkah poem

Gregory K.

My dad lights the menorah.
My mom hangs Christmas lights.
And so the way I do the math,
It’s presents 20 nights!

The Poetry Friday links are collected here at the Wild Rose Reader. Go on now... go check 'em out.

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Internet friends....

While I have poetically made the claim of being Pretty Well Connected, today via those very connections (and more specifically via Laurel Snyder), I heard a wonderful song that treads some similar terrain: All My Internet Friends.

Now, what makes this even more poetic to my mind... the singer/songwriter is Amanda French, and she was an early Fibber right here on GottaBook! All that lovely connected-poetry aside, you'd still like the song if you heard it. So go hear it!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Shaking, I tell ya.

We've been having sporadic internet outages, and it's remarkable to me how frustrated I can be when I'm unable to pop online and check my mail or, honestly, research. And so I started to remember back before I was ever online. And then I realized how I never woulda known most of y'all.

That just doesn't work for me.

So, with a few minutes of up time, I stopped reminiscing and simply decided to blog about how clearly addicted I am to being online... and how totally okay with that I am!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Aglay, I tell ya. Plans went aglay.

As they gang aft, do my plans (in this case, to return to daily blogging) went aglay, indeed. I suppose this makes three posts this week (and this a post about posting!), but that wasn't my intent.

For me, this week brings to the end 3 1/2 years of coordinating/co-coordinating a monthly SCBWI Schmooze here in the L.A. area. I have to say that I've learned so much from the monthly conversations on sooooo many topics related to children's literature, both from doing preparation work and from the wonderful fellow schmoozers. One thing that is certainly true about folks who write (and illustrate and edit and art design and publish and sell books) for children is that they are passionate, giving, and mighty smart, too. I know I'll even see a few of you GottaBook readers at the Schmooze this week (and next year, too), but in general, consider this a public shout out to everyone who's been part o' the Schmoozing, and particularly to Sara Wilson Etienne, the talented writer (and gifted baker!) who has co-coordinated (and done the bulk of the hard work!) with me the last 2 1/2 years.

Yep. Y'all rock. Now stop reading blogs and get back to work :-)

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The poetry questions, part two

Again, looking towards the future here at GottaBook, I'm trying to figure out what to do with the ream of poetry that already covers the place... and will continue to grow next year, I'd suspect. I get lots of email requests to use my poetry in all sorts of wonderful places, and along with those, I get requests for links to my poetry books. This is problematic, of course, as I don't have any. I have been asked and thought about compiling the blogged poems and offering them for sale as an ebook or a printed book, but one thing (of many!) that holds me back is that it becomes a business, the whole self-publishing thang. Also, I have a book I've been focusing all my writing energy on and takes priority both time and career-wise.

But I do think about all this, and would love to hear the thoughts of others who have suggestions, experience, or anything to add. Again, comments or email all work. And thanks to those who've come up with design ideas as mused about in my last post!

Monday, December 01, 2008

The poetry questions, part one

So, as I look towards next year here at GottaBook, I start thinking about more posts, more Oddaptations, more Fibs, and more poetry in general. And I start to wonder -- what the heck to do with it all? I'm gonna break this down into two parts, with today being... ta-da!... part one.

I link to all the poems I've posted over there on the right hand side of the blog, and I know that people click on those links all the time. But really now... is this my best layout option? The list has become long and ungainly, to say the least. I've organized to some extent with Tags, but my sense is that people like to see the poem titles (and I get this sense by seeing what links get clicked the most). Do I lay my blog out over a website that keeps the poems static? Do I just keep going?

So the question for today is... does anyone have a good idea or 10 about layout thoughts? As always, feel free to email me or leave thoughts in the comments....