Monday, December 31, 2007

And a happy new year to you, too!

Ahh, well. The best laid blogging plans have gone agley, and this is all I'm gonna slap up before 2008. So... may you all have a wonderful, happy, safe New Year's Eve, and I'll be seeing you around these parts next year!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Twas the Blog Before Christmas...

I should probably save that title 'til I have a post that's more of the "Twas the blog before Christmas and all 'round the Net...." variety, but I suspect I can re-use it if I get there. It's definitely sparse posting time around these parts, and while I expect to get a few things up before the new year, if I fail (and even if I succeed), I just wanted to thank y'all for hanging around for this year o' blogging fun... and I look forward to more fun and games in 2008.

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Christmas Fib -- a Christmas poem

The Christmas Fib
Gregory K.

I was nice...
Some days more than twice!
Please, Santa -- check that list again.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Tis the season!

And me with a $25 gift certificate at a bookstore.

So... what should I buy myself?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Piles and piles of...

Egads! I'm not even sure what they all are. I've got piles of books and papers and notes and poems and mail and all of them screaming for me to take a day off and deal with them.

But I'd rather write.

The question, of course, is what this says about me... or about my office. And if those two have any bearing on each other.

Hmmm. I think I'll jot a note to figure that out... the put it in a pile!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Done did read

I believe I've done my last read-aloud of the year. Quite a good time, indeed, including late appearances by the Stupids as well as the sure-fire hit, The Secret Knowledge of Grown-ups (as usual, greeted with applause. Go figure!).

I need to spend some time poring through the end of the year lists to gather new books for next year. I'm gonna take a hiatus, I'm sure, but I admit it: I'm addicted. Looking forward to digging in and seeing what I come up with... and, as always, am open for suggestions on sure fire winners.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Food, glorious food....

Looking back at this weekend, I am 99% sure that the only thing I did was eat. Is that so bad? I view it as 'research' since I do write a lot of food related poetry. And, as some of you may recall, I am on a quest to find my favorite dessert. I'd note that a well frosted chocolate cupcake is a good thing, but it has failed to earn a place on the overall top five. But this weekend? It was a very satisfying number one!

If I keep up the weekend pace, by the way, y'all can roll me around next year....

Friday, December 14, 2007

Seasonally poetic

I'm afraid I'm not, actually. The day swirled around (oooooh, like snow!!), and I ended up with a blank page (ooooh! like a yard covered in snow!!!). Luckily... there are a lot of seasonal poems (and much more) in this week's Poetry Friday roundup. Then, once you've rounded, why not stay at this week's host blog, The Miss Rumphius Effect? It's one of my faves, and I bet it'll be one of yours, too....

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Holiday lull...

I blame my lax blogging on all the time spent on Holiday stuff instead. Mind you, I can't actually account for any of that time SPECIFICALLY, but it just stands to figure, don't you think?

Anyway, I suspect I'll be scarcer through the end of the year. Not disappearing, but definitely quieter. But don't panic. I still have a poem promised this month and other stuff I'm sure I simply gotta say.

But for now... I gotta book!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Opening lines....

Tomorrow night, a bunch of us writer types are gonna be talking about great opening lines (and paragraphs and even pages) of wonderful children's books... and why those openings are so good and important.

So I ask you... got any favorite openings?

In no particular order for me, here are five of the first that popped into my head....

How the Grinch Stole Christmas -- Dr. Seuss
Millicent Min, Girl Genius -- Lisa Yee
Frindle -- Andrew Clements
The Phantom Tollbooth -- Norton Juster
Absolutely, Positively Not -- David LaRochelle

And you? No worries if you're after "tomorrow night" time. I'd still love to hear....

Monday, December 10, 2007

On the hunt...

For Manga and graphic novels that reallllly work for an elementary school library. From Johnny Mutton and Baby Mouse on up, I know there's great stuff... but I don't know enough!

I've got the Cybils' lists and a few other online resources, but if any of y'all know a great site, do let me know.

Then, of course, there's the budget issue, but I'll deal with that later. Everyone needs a wish list, right?

Friday, December 07, 2007

Oddaptation: The Cat in the Hat

After quite a layoff, it's the return of the Oddaptations. For those who aren't familiar with exactly what an Oddaptation is, you can look over to the right and click on links (helpfully collected under "The Oddaptations" headline), or you can check this post. But briefly, think Spark Notes/Cliff Notes of a picture book... but with attitude.

And really, come to think of it, that's probably all you need to know so you can understand that I'm not picking a fight with the Cat. But an Oddapter's gotta do what an Oddapter's gotta do....

by Dr. Seuss
Oddaptation by Gregory K.

Two kids, both quite young, alone at home sat
And let in a stranger -- a tall, talking cat.
The fish in his pot cried, “he can’t be about!”
But the Cat in the Hat just would not be kicked out.
Instead he played “games,” and he showed the kids “Things,”
And left a huge mess that was worthy of kings.
But the Cat then came back (on the very same day)
Cuz he always puts all of his playthings away.
Still he left those two youngsters quite troubled, it’s true,
Since you know they’ll now lie to their mom. Wouldn’t you?

(And hey, this week's Poetry Friday roundup is over at Becky's Book Reviews. Go spend some time being poetic and read some reviews, too!)

Thursday, December 06, 2007

About that whole strike thing...

The multi-talented Tina Nichols Coury has posted an interview she did with me about the Writers Guild strike. As I said, this blog won't be a hub of strike talk, but it is safe to say that 1) the issues are important for everyone creating any sort of content and 2) the strike is a daily issue in my life.

So... go on over and read for yourself. Then be sure to poke around Tina's blog for other interviews, nuggets o' wisdom, laughs, and pictures. Good times!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

You don't see that every day....

Well, maybe YOU do, but I don't. And what did I see?

Let me set the scene a bit. It's Hanukkah, and here in LA (and I assume other places) there are folks who drive around with an oversize electric menorah strapped onto the roof of their car/suv/whatever. So, with that in mind, early this morning while driving, I saw parked in a row...

Three identical Mini Cooper's with menorahs atop.

Personally, I don't think you see that every day, either.

By the way, any editor reading this who would like to discuss my story "Manny, the Mini's Menorah Maker" please feel free to email...

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Genius out in the world...

Well, there's little I can say about this video that will make it any better than it is. So...

The Vegetable Orchestra

(Yes, I know I could figure out how to embed that youtube video here. But I didn't. Just trust me it's worth clicking.)

Sunday, December 02, 2007

A new goal!

Yes, have a new goal for myself. An odd one, sure, but what the heck. See, today I was wearing a Marvin the Martian t-shirt and was at a store where the young clerk said "wow. that's my favorite character." I admit I was a bit dubious, but he rolled up his shirtsleeve and showed me a tatoo of Marvin! Whoa. So my new goal? Create a character that someone tatoos upon themself. Gonna be up to a brilliant illustrator to craft the image, but the character? Sure!

Hey, you gotta aim high and quirky, I always say....

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Carving (an hour, not a turkey)

So, today I carved an hour out of the rest of the day to go blog-hopping. Not just look at my feeds or pop to a two favorites, but to actually jump out and dive into different blogs in full... to follow links to new places... to do what I used to do on a regular basis!

Good times. My advice? Take an hour and do the same. Feel free to start with your faves or just go to my blogroll and start a-clicking. A great variety of voices, thoughts, ideas, and nearly infinite amounts on The Golden Compass controversy, book, and movie. What's not to like?

Yet another reason we need the 25 hour day....

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Yes, in fact, I was hiding that book

I have a confession -- sometimes I hide books at the library. No, not just any library... but where I'm the volunteer librarian. Ahhh, but it's not censorship I'm talking about. Nope. What am I hiding? Perfect read-alouds!

It started with The Secret Knowledge of Grownups, a book that was so popular I knew that if I left it on the shelf, it would never be in for more than a minute. The Dumb Bunnies became a second example. So now, whenever I think I've got another surefire hit, I hide it in my secret cabinet. The problem is, now I've got too many of these "rainy day" books and not enough rainy days! Ah well, they won't spoil....

Still, I'm often left to wonder if am I the only one who does this? Wouldn't be the first time I was a maverick, I guess... but regardless, I just can't help myself!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Fall Carnival!

Mother Reader has put up the latest Carnival of Children's Literature, and it's a jam-packed tip-fest, I tell ya. No idea what that means? Go check it out and read a whole slew of great posts and you'll see what I mean.

Monday, November 26, 2007

I tip. You tip.

Friday, I posted my tipping post in large part because of the upcoming Carnival of Children's Literature being hosted by Mother Reader. Guess what? There's still time for YOU to post and get in the Carnival fun.

Make your "tip post" and then either go to Mother Reader's blog and find her email to submit it OR use the Carnival site. It's easy. It's fun. And that's my tip o' the day.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

If it's true that you are what you eat...

... then I would like to offer up the following couplet after this lonnnnng Thanksgiving weekend:

A yam I am.
A yam I am.
I surely am a yam... I am!

Friday, November 23, 2007


Mother Reader is hosting the next Carnival of Children's Literature, and she was looking for posts with "tips" in 'em. You know... tips for writers, readers, librarians, publishers, etc. And I thought "huh, I never give tips and tricks and ideas like that on my blog." But over the past few weeks, I've had conversations with folks interested in blogging and interested in writing, as well as donning my librarian hat and pointing people towards books AND picking read-alouds AND.... Well, you get the idea.

Anyway, I sat down last night, overstuffed both in chair and in belly, and wondered if there were any tips I might be able to offer... any great words of wisdom. Well, no. But I did realize that there was a common thread to how I approach all of those choices, and I had no other post worthy of the Carnival. So I figured I'd throw my two cents out here on the blog and call it a tip. Then I fell asleep in a pie-induced coma. But today, I give it a try. And here it is:

_________ what you love. Yup. Simple, non-profound, but certainly true for me. Write what you love. Blog what you love. Read what you love. I even read-aloud what I love (or what I love most from a selection of many). Sure, you can change it to "what you're passionate about" or some variation on theme, but seriously, it works like that famous spoonful of sugar: to give one example, when I blog about what I love, the blahgs disappear.

Yeah, yeah, I know I'm ignoring practicality and what the world allows sometimes and all that stuff. Big deal! It still works, I tell ya.

And now it's off to another orgy of food where I will, in fact, follow my advice and only eat what I love. So I'll see you at the dessert table!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Some Fibbing for the holidays....

Well, actually, it's unrelated to the holidays other than by timing, but so what? Isn't that a better headline than "Greg points to Fibs on the web"? Thought so.

But regardless... lookie here -- it's an article about Fibs on the Poetry Foundation website!

A personal thrill for me is that two of my Fibs will enter the Poetry Foundation archive, and, as if that's not cool enough by itself, I will end up right next to Robert Pinsky. OK, sure, it's only an alphabetical twist of fate, but I'll take it. Gladly, in fact!

So one more time, here at Thanksgiving, I must again say thanks to all the bloggers, actuaries, writers, knitters, reporters, mathematicians, bird lovers, and everyone who helped Fibs spread last year... and right on into this year, too.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Gobble, gobble...

Seems too early in November for Thanksgiving week... and even more perspective-skewing is the fact that I've already roasted a turkey this month AND made turkey soup.

I get a lot of blog traffic this time of year due to my... uh... sweet, topical poem, but what fascinates me, as usual, is what folks are searching for online. I mean, truly, what drives someone to ask Google "what are we thankful for?" Particularly an odd question in a year in which the Red Sox won the pennant and Jay Asher's smashing debut came out, seems to me, but then again it's possible I'm biased.

Gobble, gobble!

Friday, November 16, 2007

If it's Friday, there must be poetry!

Well, there's poetry every day, of course, but it being Poetry Friday means that there's a bunch of collected links to many things poetic right here (thanks to Kelly).

I find Poetry Friday invigorating, even when I don't need vigoration. But inspired by today, I plan, for those tracking these things on some big wall chart somewhere, to have an original poem or two AND the return of Oddaptations in December. 'Tis the season after all!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

It's endless!

When I started as a volunteer librarian, I certainly never foresaw the tasks in front of me. OK, mainly what I never saw was just how long it would take to spine label books. Sure, that's probably because the mere thought of that had never crossed my mind....

Then again, I'd never have worked so hard to build the collection, either, if I'd been blessed with foresight on such problem areas. And I'm mighty glad I did. Where else, after all, can you read-aloud wordless picture books, poetry, non-fiction, and the Dumb Bunnies?

Exactly my point.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Any readaloud ideas for...

... books about strikes and unions? The writers' strike is a bigger local than national story, I'd imagine, but I thought this might be an opportunity to put together a list of good readalouds on the subject.

So far, it's short:

Click Clack Moo by Betsy Lewin
Kid Blink Beats the World by Don Brown (thanks to Chris B.)

What else y'all got for me?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Joys of the 'Net (part 3,000,212)

OK, this is silly, I know, but humor me. Every now and then (hey, I said humor me!) I look at my sitemeter to see what's going on... where people are coming from to get here. It's how I learned that a lot of people think "The Spiderwick Chronicles" are called Spiderweb... or how I know that schools give out assignments on finding out all about Leonardo Fibonacci's family.

But this week, I have found myself knowing that there's a city on the East Coast (or more likely, a school or two in said city) in which there's a lice outbreak. How do I know? Cuz they're all coming to my lice poem, that's how!

So to those of you brought here by that (and some have, in fact, read beyond that louse-y verse), I must point you to the perfect give for the occasion: a Giant Microbe! Good times. Good times indeed....

Friday, November 09, 2007

Late. I'm late...

But not too late to be part of Poetry Friday by at least linking to the roundup (kindly hosted by cloudscome)!

Lots of good stuff posted, and it also got me back to some blogs I haven't had time to read lately. Boy, there is good stuff in the kidlitosphere. Go on out, you'll see what I mean....

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Yes, in fact, I am on strike.

A number of GottaBook readers have written asking if I'm on strike out here in Hollywood. Yes, I am. The Writers Guild of America, of which I've been a member since 1992, is currently striking, and I have walked the picket lines every day this week and will march as needed going forward. If I'm gonna blog about the strike regularly, I'll do it elsewhere, and I also won't try and dispel or comment on all the bad information floating around (though feel free to get in touch if you have questions I might be able to answer (and, of course, I might not be able to!)). All that said, the issues at play here simply cannot be ignored.

If you're a writer or illustrator or any sort of "content creator," you damn well better be paying attention and understand that this strike is about one thing -- writers asking to be paid fairly for what they do.

To simplify one of the core issues a bit (though not that much, come to think about it): imagine selling your manuscript/illustration then being told that the publisher will print one copy of it instead of the normal 10,000 copies. Ahh, but at the same time, they'll put your book/illustration online, sell ads that they place in it and/or charge people to download it. But since there's "no way to know if this internet thing will work," you'd be told that you'd be dooming the digital business to failure if you got any compensation. Yup -- you would get NO money for any of the digital stuff. And honestly? It gets worse from there...

Unlike in the children's book world, those of us lucky enough to write for movies and television have a collective bargaining agreement with the major "publishers." So, we do what unions do in times like this: we strike, refusing to accept a deal that destroys us going forward. No one on the lines wants to be there. We're all painfully aware of the impact on us and on everyone in the business. Some of us would rather continue hiding from the sun and fresh air! We'd all rather be writing than striking. But until that day comes when we have an acceptable deal... we're writers joined proudly with actors and others who understand that we have to take a stand, and we have to take it now.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Could it be...

... that I have an addiction? It's been too long since I got in to read at my library, and I'm actually cranky about it. Is this an addiction? And is it bad? And could it be more pronounced because the last read-aloud was Jules Feiffer's Bark George, and it was stupendous???

I need a fix! Egad....

Monday, November 05, 2007

Going around in circles...

Sometimes it's a metaphor and sometimes it's a pretty accurate description of your day. Both fit for me right about now. I figure if this keeps up, I'll end up dizzy....

Apropos of nothing else, I wanted to share the lyrics to a very happy sounding jingle of a radio ad out here in California. It's for Easy Life Furniture, I believe, and the happy chorus sings "The only way to buy furniture for less is to import it yourself... and you don't know how!" Every time I hear this, I laugh. Think that was their intent? Or for that matter... what the heck WAS their intent? Regardless, I like the effect....

Friday, November 02, 2007

Variations on a Fib

Some days it's easy to put something up here. A new comment recently appeared on the blog, on the post The Fib. A mysterious net user named Adie took the Fib from that post, and made a new Fib that's an anagram of the original. The level of complexity in that is beyond my feeble brain (or maybe it's more that I never woulda thought of doing it!). So, for Poetry Friday, I present my first posted Fib...

Spiraling mixture:
Math plus poetry yields the Fib.

And the anagram Fib (include the title...):


This first example.
Pure poetry began. I'll smile.

Thanks, Adie!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


I merely want to state my opinion that you can never get too many Reese's peanut butter cups (or the minis) in one night of trick or treating. Just doesn't seem possible....

But I hope you all got enough of whatever you Halloween candy-vice might be!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Dressing up...

I was thinking for Halloween, I'd dress my blog up as something else. You know, turn it into the Disco Mermaids or something equally fun and different. But as so usually happens, I've run out of time on the home-made costume front. And once again, I'll just go as a "blog." Luckily, that's still a tad fresh, so I figure I've got one or two more years before I have no more excuse....

Hope y'all get every piece of candy you want tomorrow!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Well, I'll be....

I'm a rather big baseball fan, but I had thought that major league baseball had stopped after the 2004 World Series... since the metaphorical sky had fallen, after all. Imagine my surprise, then, to see my Sox in the World Series again... and sweeping it! Go figure.

There is joy in my Mudville this year, but to all the great fans of other teams... I promise you that "just wait 'til next year" actually can be more than just a slogan. It's just not always easy to believe it!

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Golf Fib -- a golf poem

The Golf Fib
Gregory K.

That’s it.
Golf’s simple!
The best game by far!
(As long as I’m ignoring “par.”)

This week's Poetry Friday roundup is over at The Literary Safari.

If you want to get all my new poems (and only the poems) emailed to you for freeee as they hit the blog, enter your email address in the box below then click subscribe!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Fibbing in class....

I've been lucky enough to get emails from a few teachers this year, telling me about their experiences using Fibs in the classroom. So far... so good! I'm sure there's more folks out there using them, so let me note that I'd love to hear stories. But the good news from my point of view is that kids do actually seem to enjoy the constraints of the Fib. Or maybe I just don't hear from teachers where it didn't work???

Regardless, thanks to all who've sent me reports, and happy Fibbing to everyone!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Rounding up...

... the roundups! Yeah, I know it's not Poetry Friday. Doesn't matter. Any day is a good day to talk poety (and that's no fib), so I wanted to point out to y'all the amazing thing that Susan Taylor Brown has done -- she's created a post linking to ALL the Poetry Friday roundup posts since it all began in March of 2006!

Great resource AND interesting to see how Poetry Friday has grown. Go on... check it out!

Monday, October 22, 2007

And so...

... again time zips by without me posting. I am lucky enough to say that it's not due to the various fires that have (worrisomely) affected so many people I know. Instead, it's just a return of the busy-ness. But it's good and will, when through, lead to more time for me to blog, write, and all that good stuff. But for today, sorry to say, you get bupkis!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Graphically speaking....

For all my SoCal friends, just thought I'd point out a cool event: Graphic Novel Day. It's on November 3rd, and run by the fine folks of the OC-SCBWI. Plus, Mac McCool and Marilyn Scott-Waters are speaking/teaching and I know from first hand experience that means you should go and listen up!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Late again...

For most of you, Poetry Friday is already done. Not here, though. Plus, it will live on, since the wonderful Kelly Fineman collected this week's links right here.

As for me, I was gonna do a search Fib, but kept staring too long at a few odd search terms that brought folks to me this week:

i will love you forever... i will love you forever and i think about you all the time garage music

congratulation for the contribution for the deal

chocolate chocolate i love you so i want to marry you and live in the flavor of your brown forever

Perhaps that's poetry in its own right? I'll think about that later, but for now I gotta book.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

This is your brain. And this...

... is a link to a twirling dancer who, the story says, will help tell if your left brain or right brain is dominant.

Perhaps a parlor trick, though I will tell you that with concentration and coincidence, I have been able to see her spin both directions, so no saying it doesn't work at all!

Which way did you see her spin?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Tommy, can you hear me?

We might never know the answer to that, of course, but here's the news: YOU can hear me. "How?" I hear you ask in unison.

By listening to Fuse #8's latest podcast, that's how.

You get all sorts of Fuse-y goodness and then, near the end, you get to hear me read my Rainbow Fish Oddaptation. Need more Fuse? Check her blog, too, for cool news, funny stories, odd and intriguing tidbits, and reviews galore.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Robert's Snow (and the blogosphere...)

Many of you are familiar with Robert's Snow, an online auction whose proceeds go to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (via the Jimmy Fund, a charity certainly familiar to any Red Sox fan!). Now, Robert's Snow is not just any online auction -- it's children's literature related from its founding right on up to what you buy: individual snowflakes created by picture book illustrators.

And if you go check out Jen Robinson's very thorough post on the topic, you'll also see that throughout the kidlitosphere this week, those illustrators are being featured on blogs galore, with more to come beyond this week.

So this is, as they say, all good. You can support cancer research (in the year in which Robert, for whom Robert's Snow was named, sadly passed away), you can buy unique gifts, you can learn about amazing illustrators, and you can find great new blogs. What's not to love? Get going, people!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Bigger picture stuff....

Jen Robinson has a great post up recapping a session at the recent Kidlitosphere Conference. We, as an online community, have a great chance to help promote children's literature, since we're a wonderfully wide, eclectic, verbal group who all share a united passion.

Go check her post and see what ideas you might be able to toss into the pot....

Friday, October 12, 2007

Ode to Air Travel -- an air travel poem/a flying poem

An Ode to Air Travel (Upon Flying Cross-Country in Seat 31A)
Gregory K.

My seat belt is fastened – it’s snug and secure.
Been sitting here hours... and feels it for sure.
I finished my books during airport delays.
It turns out my iPod’s been uncharged for days.
I’ve studied the plane wing: I’ve counted the rivets.
I’ve noted my seat cushion’s deepening divots.
I spilled all my water (my pants are still drying).
I hear one babe cooing... and 17 crying.
The man right behind me drones stories so boring,
I think I’m preferring my seat-mate’s wheezed snoring.
My back aches in tense, upright, locked tight position.
It’s clear 30A has a stomach condition.
Yet just when I think I can’t take anymore,
And I’m wishing my window would turn to a door,
I hear these great words (over 30B’s cough),
“This is your captain… we’re cleared to take off!”

This week's Poetry Friday roundup is right here at Two Writing Teachers. Go on over and check out the links AND the blog....

If you want to get all my poems emailed to you for freeee as they hit the blog, enter your email address in the box below then click subscribe!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Commenting on commenting....

An oft-heard observation at the First Annual Kidlitosphere Conference (as discussed here and a zillion other places (including The Miss Rumphius Effect and Fuse #8 and... and... and...) was that folks aren't commenting on blogs (well, kidlit blogs) as much as they used to. Certainly there's been some love going round due to the Conference, but in general, I think that's true. It used to be, for example, that I'd post a poem and get 10 comments about it. Nowadays, though I haven't been posting much since April (but will this Friday, I tell ya!), it's rare that I get more than two.

I wonder if this is 1) burnout or 2) posts that don't call for comment or 3) readers/aggregators vs. actually visiting the blogs?

Curious if any of you have answers or thoughts or more questions....

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

More on the First Annual Kidlitosphere Conference

Normally, I like to digest experiences before I spew about them in public. Note to self: when said experience is with 60 other bloggers, and you read those other bloggers, you will find that they make all the good points you'd like to make... but faster than you and often with better writing. Sheesh, people! Cut a guy a break. Still...

My overwhelming reaction is one of satisfaction. I mean it -- this was fun. Folks were like I expected from "knowing" them via their blogs, but even nicer and more interesting. So, for example, rather than sipping my coffee at home and checking out A Year of Reading, I got to sip iced tea and have dinner with Mary Lee (AND get to meet a spouse in the process!). And it was fun and good.

As Laini Taylor said in her excellent writeup, it did feel like the start of something bigger. The collective/connective power of us online folk sure should be able to shine a brighter light on children's literature in general (as was done with the Cybils (whose creators Kelly and Anne were pleasures to hang with!)). This, I think, is a critical area to focus on and think about as we move forward.

I can't even start to list all the great write-ups out in the 'sphere about the event. At any of the blogs I link to above, you'll find more. If you look in the comments of the two posts below this, you'll see more folks to check out (and "Hi!" Mother Reader! And "Hi!" Jim. And Camille... and Sara... and...and and and!).

More on this soon, I'm sure, but now I gotta book!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Visual proof

I know there are some people who there who think we bloggers make up everything we talk about, but here's visual proof that at least some of what we say is true.

Need more proof?

There. I hope you're satisfied.

Now do yourself a favor: don't just check out the pics (enjoyable to look at though all us bloggers all are) but go read Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast and listen well to Just One More Book. You'll be glad you did....

Saturday, October 06, 2007

My day with lots o' bloggers....

What a fun day here among 60+ fellow children's literature bloggers. Robin Brande's pot-luck-turned-conference was a rousing success, seems to me. To meet so many people who had just been URLs and/or tiny photographs was more than enough to make it worthwhile traveling here, but add in conversation and a huge range of opinions on a raft of topics and I'd say the day exceeded everyone's expectations. Good times. Good times. And tired times. More on this day will pop up from time to time, I'm sure, but now I gotta book!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

On the road....

I'll try and slap up a poetry Friday post before I go, but it's possible, despite traveling wired, that I'll just be silent this weekend. I'm looking forward to meeting many of you in Chicago... and the rest of you, well, make yourself at home while I'm gone -- there's poetry in the fridge and if you get hungry, there's some Oddaptations in the freezer...

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


There's a big contest coming up, as any of you who follow the news are probably aware. No, no, not that big contest for 2008. I mean the Cybils!

And it's time fro you to nominate!

Full instructions at the above link, natch.... So go on. Be a part. Nominate books for the Cybils. You'll be glad you did.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Is it a read-aloud?

So, the question of the week is "if the book in library time is a wordless picture book, can you still call it a read-aloud?"

This strikes me as a great question, and I won't complicate by adding the question of what happens if there's no one there to hear it. Luckily, that hasn't been a problem yet.

And does it make any difference that the book in question is Istvan Banyai's Zoom?

It's certainly been fun... but is it a read-aloud?

Monday, October 01, 2007

Chicago. Chicago....

Say it with me: Chicago. Friday, I'll be heading off to the city of the big shoulders (that'd be Chicago) for the 1st Annual Kidlitosphere Conference. Thanks to the remarkable efforts of Robin Brande, a potluck dinner has morphed into a full day event. I'm looking forward to meeting soooooo many folks, I can't even try to list them all.

And if anyone wants a date to a possible game 4 on Sunday at Wrigley, well, feel free to drop me a line!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Quarter end...

Heading into the last quarter of 2007 (already! amazing! holy smokes!) and I was thinking of doing a personal review of the last quarter here on GottaBook. But I've decided to look more forward rather than back at the inconsistent three months just passed. So, I think I need to get back to more poetry, perhaps deal with the return of Oddaptations, and, as always, there must be merriment. And grog. Gotta be grog.

Lofty goals, I know, but what can you do?

Saturday, September 29, 2007

It's Cybilriffic!

The Cybils are back for year two, and I'm thrilled and honored to be part of the Poetry judging committee (alongside AND following some mighty fine bloggers!) And foor those of you who don't know, the Cybils are the Children's and Young Adult Bloggers' Literary Awards. In other words... good stuff.

This year, I see, there's a Cybils blog. AND... perhaps most importantly... nominations for all categories, not just poetry, open soon, and y'all are part of that process! So go on... check it out.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Don't miss the ride...

... on the most recent Carnival of Children's Literature (hosted over on (or is it at???) Charlotte's Library). If you've been behind on your blog reading (and really now... who isn't?) this is a nice way to get a smattering of what's been going on out there in the kidlitosphere.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Just funny...

Thanks to a friend who saw this on Anastasia Suen's blog before I did, I share now a link for any of you who have ever received notes on a work in progress. Or, for that matter, if you've ever GIVEN them (and you know who you are!)...

Mitchell and Webb -- Write this... or that... or maybe...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I found the Edge!

Well, The Edge of the Forest, at least. The September issue is up and running, once again chock full o' great stuff. Check it out!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Happy Punctuation Day!

Thanks to the talented and more up-to-date-than-me Barbara Bietz, I have learned that today is National Punctuation Day! Well, shiver my colon!

How did you celebrate?

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Spiderweb chronicles...

Carrying leftovers from a family meal, I walked smack dab into a giant spider web tonight. Face first. Sticky and strong, as if made by spiderman himself, this thing was all over me. After shaking off the dangling spider (who was clearly more upset than I was) and brushing off what I could, I took off my glasses and looked at them through a light -- a perfect spider web design still covered them, as if now part of my lenses.

Luckily it came off. And after three showers and changes of clothes, I'm pretty sure I'm free of the stuff myself. Maybe. Can't... be... sure!

Ack! Time for a shower, so I gotta book!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Friday and poetry together again....

Sneaking in again at the last minute. The roundup of Poetry Friday posts this week is at Sara Lewis Holmes' Read Write Believe blog. Get the hence.

As for me, all I can add poetically is that at the library, I've read poetry by John Ciardi, Judith Viorst, Douglas Florian, Gelett Burgess (come on... guess what poem), Langston Hughes, and Paul B. Janeczko among others. Good times!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

A link to a call to action...

I'm linking you to this post over at Kelly Fineman's blog cuz it's got lots of good info on a bill about library funding. If you are one who cares about having quality school libraries, then read that post and take the appropriate action. Children (and their children) will thank you....

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I remember....

... when I had time to procrastinate and could look for games on the web and follow every link on every blog. Those were the days, eh?

I seem to recall last year at back to school time was much the same way, but please forgive any dropouts here on the blog. Could happen. No tears, please!

Monday, September 17, 2007

A worthy new blog!

There are so many faboo blogs in the kidlitosphere, but I want to point you all over to a new entry: Lee Wind's "I'm Here. I'm Queer. What the Hell do I read?" Can you guess what it's about? Good work! But if you chose to skip the guessing game, Lee is blogging about YA books with GLBT characters and themes (and much more, actually. There's even poetry!).

Great resource... good writing... so why the heck haven't you clicked over there?

Friday, September 14, 2007

A poetry Friday partial...

So, I had a bit of time this week and thought "hey, I'll try a poem for Poetry Friday. I think I'll make some coffee. And maybe read the paper. And then clean. And then...." No, wait! That's not right. I did have some writing time within my writing time. But it didn't go well. In fact, I ended up quite annoyed at what I was writing since phrases weren't turning well... and I felt constrained by the way I'd started the poem. But, on the plus side, that's what lead to what I'll post today. It's not a finished work, obviously, and some might say it's derivative. But so what? I was peeved!

That damn iamb.
That damn iamb.
I do not like that damn iamb!

When the roundup's up, I'll post it here....

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Kids, I tell ya. Kids.

So, in my guise as volunteer librarian, I do quite like to have fun. And so, one of the first read-alouds this year was Barney Saltzberg's The Soccer Mom from Outer Space. And one reason for this, besides the fact that it's fun, is that it affords me the opportunity to go "Wooooo-wooooooo-wooooooooooo!" at the top of my lungs. IN THE LIBRARY! The reactions from kids run the gamut, though some of them are so used to me that they don't even raise an eyebrow. Which is fun, too.

Yes, it really is all about the simple pleasures, isn't it?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

And I'm back!

Gotta love the Apple Store and the 'Genius' there today who did my repair so I could be back up and running to entertain you all today. Of course, that merely enabled me to have the ability, but it did not, in fact, guarantee I would entertain you. So I probably won't.

That said, as I get our school library up and running again this year, I wanted to thank all y'all library angels -- folks who read this blog who have sent picture books and middle grade to us out of the goodness of your heart -- and note that the reality is that I have and will continue to read so many of the books you've donated as read-alouds. And so many other books you've sent us go home with our student every week, helping teach them a love of reading. How can you beat that??? You can't! So thank you once again....

Monday, September 10, 2007

My new genre...

... of Poofetry has already hit a snag: my computer won't even go on, so i can't even start a poem to save. What a shame. Did this happen to the sonnet, too?

In other news... I read-aloud today for the first time in months in the library. I'm tired after five classes. As usual, I have no idea how teachers do it....

Saturday, September 08, 2007


So, I've developed a new genre of poetry. I call it poofetry. What is it? It's poetry that's a little bit along the lines of Russian roulette. See, my computer has a bad power supply (part on order, thanks). Consequently, it simply shuts down from time to time, and there's nothing my UPS and surge suppressor can do about it. And that's right... whatever you're working on at the moment is GONE FOREVER. Yup, it goes POOF.

And so... Poofetry is what you write and save. You can only save once. If you fail to save and the power goes off, the poem is gone. Oh, sure, cheaters among us can then try and rewrite the same lines, but frankly, the power supply gods know, and they'll shut you down faster than you can write "Jim Dandy." So you type and work and type and work and then, when your nerves get you and you want to make sure you keep this gem forever, you save. And that's it -- the piece of Poofetry is done, never to be edited.

So far, my collection of Poofetry is pretty weak. I'm kinda chicken, having lost the same long email three times running (hey, normally the computer stayed on for an hour, at least. How was I to know it would be 5 minutes?). And so, here's my fave of what I've got:

Loss of power
Makes me sour
And it

Hey, I told you I was chicken!

This, btw, is a poof-post. So I gotta book!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Poetry Friday... and a quote

Sherry has today's Poetry Friday recap. I... uh... you know... uh... nope. Didn't get anything up. But I'd note that this post is about 5 hours earlier than the last few links to the recap!

And today I leave you with a bonus quote from Madeleine L'Engle who passed away today. She left behind a legacy of wonderful books, obviously, but she was also highly quotable, I must say. So, picking from many, here is perhaps my fave on the topic of writing.

You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

A smattering....

Boy oh boy, there is so much going on out in the kidlitosphere....

Let's start with the fact that Fuse8 is now podcasting at her old site!

Then let's note, shall we, that MotherReader's blog was also acquired on Blogshares, a fact she mentions in this great catch-all post (on which I followed many a great link).

Still not satisfied? What about Greg Trine sitting down and interviewing... Mark Twain!

And finally in this brief trip around the 'sphere, ya'll must check out my carpool buddy Rita's blog and specifically this post... which has a link to the best collection of pictures from the SCBWI Conference that I've seen.

Whew. And that's, as noted, just a smattering....

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Totally unfair!

So, I've waited til nearly the end of the day thinking that since I was taken over, I wouldn't have to do any more posting cuz it would be done for me. But nooooooooo. No wonder they call it a hostile takeover!

Since I was planning on sitting back and relaxing today, I'm afraid I have nothing better to offer, other than my annoyance that I don't even get a day off. This new boss is a drag!

Monday, September 03, 2007

I've been taken over (in a hostile manner)!

Yes, you read it right. Here in the wonderful kidlitosphere there's been a hostile takeover. OK, it's kinda kidlitosphere-adjacent. Or it's... actually...

Well, you tell me:

From the GottaBook page on (under Press Releases): Ken Adams performed a hostile takeover at a total cost of B$760,573.01 using a Anne Frank's Diary (artefact).

Huh. I guess... well... I think Ken has valued me nicely. And admit it, even though you don't know what it means, you're a little jealous!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

I fried an egg on...

... the floor in my office. No, really. It's that hot.

Well, maybe not. But it's hot enough that my computer actually overheated and shut itself off. See, there's no air-conditioning in my office. Normally that's not a problem. About 2-3 weeks out of any year, I think "well, it would be nice to have it" and another 2-3 weeks I think "well, it would be REALLY nice to have it." We're in the latter spell. So I'm gonna go get some bacon and work on that. Might as well have a fine meal.

If I'm not here tomorrow, just know that I left y'all for someplace cooler. Like a volcano!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Better late than never....

Squeezing in on Friday, here are the Poetry Friday links collected over at Mentor Texts and More. Hopefully enough there to last the long weekend....

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Down and dirty and...

... dusty and busy reading. Cuz I've done did dove back into library duty today, pulling books from the big room to distribute to classrooms. We have a middle grade shortage that was unapparent last year (when we had precious few kids reading middle grade). Gonna have to work on that. And yes, I read a few books when I working. Wouldn't you?

I must admit, it was nice to have taken a few months off... but awfully nice to get back in there and dive into a huge old room of books. Remind me of that if I whine a few months from now!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A dessert update...

And you thought I wasn't serious about the Dessert Challenge, did you? Guess again! Why would I ignore the chance to taste desserts in the name of research? Exactly....

So far, it's true, sampling has been slight. And at the moment, I'm surprised to note that a plain old Oreo is very near the top of the (pretty short) list-since-post. I know some folks have texture problems with the Oreo... and others cannot divorce it from a glass of milk, but I'll tell you that in a head-to-head test with a black and white cookie, I had the Oreo winning by a length, and pulling away near the end.

I suspect the competition will get much harder. And I can't wait to find out....

Monday, August 27, 2007

No. No, I don't think so...

Once again, I wish I could speak directly to folks who've found their way to my blog through the wonders of search. Not that I always know the answers to their queries, of course, but I can conclusively say "No, today is NOT the first day of school throughout the world." and thus help at least one visitor....

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Just for the record...

... are we all agreed that Yahtzee isn't a game of skill?


Cuz if it is, I am skill-less!

(Apropos of nothing, I'm a big ol' game lover, so I'm always looking in stores and in windows. Years ago in LA, I walked by what still remains one of my favorite game names. Surely whoever named it had a sense of humor, yes?)

Friday, August 24, 2007

Poetry Friday (and a Search Fib)

This week's roundup o' links has been gathered by John over at Book Mine Set (where, it must be noted, you'll find excellent stuff on non-roundup days, including some interesting poetic play). And while I had not expected to write a Search Fib (okay... "write" is a bit strong. I compile!), I recently got found via an 8 syllable search term that I woulda mentioned anyway, so what the heck. As always, thanks to the multitude of search engines out there, some of which... well... they're just wacky!

Math pome
Famous birds
National tree day
Curious George: let's play doctor!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A bad case of the blahgs....

Yep. I've got the blahgs. I've had 'em for awhile, truth be told, but hadn't fully fessed up to myself. But one only need look at the last handful of Poetry Friday posts around here (or lack thereof) to see that something is amiss hereabouts.

Now, it's not that I still don't love blogging. Of course I do. I love the community, the form, all that. It's just... hmmm. I don't know what it is, actually.

So I ask all of y'all, many of whom I know have been blogging longer than I have, what have you done when the blahgs have gotten you?

Monday, August 20, 2007


I have to say that if this morning was a test run for back to school times, it's gonna be mighty ugly round these parts in a few weeks! Egad.

And now, to prevent a repeat tomorrow... I gotta book!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Another Friday... another late link!

Egad! I'm gonna have to start doing Poetry Friday's right after midnight, cuz of late when my Friday's start, they seem to run too fast. But I've been later.

Today, Kelly Fineman collected the Poetry Friday links. I got to meet AND hang out with Kelly (a fellow Cybils judge as well as fellow blogger and poet) at the recent SCBWI fest, so it's with extra enthusiasm that I get to shoo you all over to read her blog. Go on. Shoo. (But don't forget to come back!)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The dessert challenge!

Terry Pierce offered up a great challenge in the comments on my post about picking a favorite dessert:

Greg, if you can't pick just one, then I think you haven't tasted them all. You need to make it your mission now, to find the ultimate, perfect, "this is THE one" dessert! Are you up for the task?

I am! It will be a lifelong task, but I think it's one I can dedicate myself to. So... who's gonna join me?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

YA in the strangest of places...

I love it when the kids' book world pops up in unexpected places (as it did often on LOST, for example). But I have to admit that I got a chuckle when someone linked me to this reference:

Love Games

It's an article from Newsweek online about a study in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin all about relationships and how people fare in them. What's the YA hook? The author of the study used a variation on the Choose Your Own Adventure books (oddly enough, just yesterday mentioned over at Bookshelves of Doom)! Rockin'! Science imitating art imitating life, or something like it.

I'm gonna revisit dessert soon, but I choose my own blog post and went this way first....

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Dessert? Did you say dessert?

So, over at Tina's blog, she has an interview with Ralph Nader. No, they're not talking politics -- he's got a book out for kids (and families) on traditions. Anyway, one question in the interview was "what's your favorite dessert." This, of course, got me thinking about my own favorite.

I couldn't answer! How can anyone? Do any of you have ONE dessert that so trumps the others that you just blurt it out?

Yeah, I know, not exactly kidbook related, but let's face it... dessert really is more important!

Monday, August 13, 2007

And they're back!

I know I get a lot of school related traffic here at GottaBook, and I can actually see from my sitemeter that schools are starting up again as the summer winds down. There are many clues, of course, but I think a search term such as...

"Poem about chocolate cake where line 2 rhymes with line 4 and line 6 rhymes with line 8 for class tomorrow"

... isn't just idle summer rumination and curiosity. I do wonder, though, who really thinks that kicker of "for class tomorrow" actually helps on Google? Still, it did lead me to a "post for today" so for that I'm grateful. I, too, am dealing with some back to school prep as I dig back into library duties, including transporting lots of new donations (thanks blogging pals!!!!) into the library and out of my office. Will be nice to see my floor again....

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Boy, oh, boy...

I was already horribly behind in my surfing/reading, but the SCBWI Conference and aftermath/recovery made it even worse. Still, today I stole some time and realized that there's just waaaaaaaaay too much for me to even think of catching up on. And linking to it all? TOO MUCH.

Still, donning my library hat for a moment, I was quite happy to run into the First Picture Book Carnival hosted over at Mentor Texts and More. It's a great compendium of links to posts about picture books (duh!) and well worth checking out if you, like me, love them books.

Friday, August 10, 2007

On poetry (on Friday)

Another Poetry Friday is here! Seems like it comes every week.... Kelly is on roundup duty this week. Go there and check it out.

And just briefly on poetry... at the recent SCBWI Conference, I was lucky enough to hear a whole lot from the remarkable Lee Bennett Hopkins (as well as a whole range of other gifted poets whose talent leaves me kinda breathless). What I learned -- or re-learned, truly -- is that children's poetry remains incredibly vital and remains an area we all need to pay attention to, whether that means writing our best or making sure any children in our orbit get acquainted with the amazing work available for them or both. Poetry Friday is part of that, but hopefully it's only a part for all of us.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Well, huh. Now what?

Now that the big shindig is over... now what? I suppose I could get back to normalcy, such as it is, but that's always such a comedown.

Or I could make things last a big longer by linking you to some pictures of the Silver Moon bash at the Conference. Those pics are from Tina Nichols Coury's blog... and she happens to be the winner of the costume contest from the bash (dethroning the Disco Mermaids... though they, too, did themselves proud).

Oh, and I could give a wave to all the new friends and blog readers (and blog readees) I made. Hi, y'all!

There. I feel better. Reality postponed!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The 2007 SCBWI Conference, part 4: Renoir gets Rejected!

OK, as promised (or threatened) yesterday, here's a final post about the Conference. On Sunday morning, bright and early, Laurent Linn (art director at Holt) and editor Mark McVeigh (now ensconced at Aladdin) had a panel on how editors and art directors work together. You might think that as a writer, there wasn't much I'd glean from a panel like that, but hear me out.

Early on, the two were talking about how they'd work on a picture book. They decided to examine artists to find someone they both thought would be right. And so they showed slides... of rather recognizable work. The short of the story is, as my headline said, they passed on Renoir! Yes, that's right. They both knew and admired his work, knew his credits, and knew his reputation... but both agreed he wasn't right for the book.

Aha! It's a perfect example of the fact that talent alone is never enough. Authors and artists both can be "rejected" if they aren't a good fit for a project or list, regardless of how good their work is. Add this to the fact that there's much subjectivity involved in any creative field, and you see how a rejection doesn't necessarily mean that your work is as bad as you think it is when you get a rejection OR that the editor/art director who rejected it is a fool. Sure, it could mean either of those -- and certainly with my own work I know I've fallen short from time to time -- but for me, there's something exceedingly heartening in seeing Renoir rejected.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The 2007 SCBWI Conference, part 3

Sigh. The party...errr, I mean the Conference is over once again. Four exhausting days of sessions, lunches, speeches, and hanging out have passed. I do have one great takeaway thought that I'll write up tomorrow, but what I discovered today is that so many people have done a great job of blogging the Conference (go here to see some of 'em) that I'm not sure how much I can add. There was, as always, a lot of attention given to the fact that children's publishing is a business, pure and simple. You could view that as sad, cold, and negative, but it won't change the reality.

Besides, when you hear the personal stories of authors and artists and the enthusiasm of editors and art directors, it's kinda hard not to feel all warm and fuzzy again.

As usual, it was great to see so many old friends and to make so many new ones. As noted, my favorite "takeaway" comes tomorrow, but I'm also sure that much of what I heard this weekend will percolate inside me for some time now.

Monday, August 06, 2007

The 2007 SCBWI Conference, part 2

Zooooom! It's Monday morning already, meaning the Conference ends today. You can see my blogging of it has been sparse. Bringing the laptop woulda helped, but I made the decision this year NOT to do so. Getting home (as I commute) at a reasonable hour woulda helped, but there's just sooooo many people around to talk to that it's frankly just too much fun... so I don't get home.

Last night, for instance, I got to chat with Kelly Fineman -- who had been an online only pal til this weekend -- and catch up with Mac McCool AND randomly see Racquel Welch at dinner. Who could want more?

Details of the Conference? Oh. That'll have to wait, cuz I gotta drive there, uh, NOW!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

The 2007 SCBWI Conference, part 1

So, one day done, and as usual, it was a whirlwind of this and that as well as a bit of the other. Or put another way, I can honestly now say "Yes, I have heard a Mongolian throat singer while standing next to Walter Dean Myers."

Not having much time this morning before zipping back into action, I thought I'd mention how much fun it was to meet so many fellow bloggers last night. I didn't actually count how many folks came to FAKND@SSC but there were many, many, many. It's not clear to me if my perception is accurate, but I think LAPD had to send a helicopter over us to make sure we weren't having too much fun.

More on the Conference as time permits... but now I gotta book!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

My bags are packed. I'm ready to go....

OK, the truth is, I don't have to pack bags for the SCBWI Conference, as I'm a local. I do have a carpool buddy, paper, pens, snacks, and a coffee budget. I won't put those in prioritized order because they're all critical to the enjoyment of the weekend.

One challenge of the Conference is not overspending the book budget. You go in thinking "here's what I'm gonna buy" and then some author blows you away with a speech or session and you think "well, I must have them sign their book!" It's dangerous. But I plan to be brave this year.

Many to meet, many old friends to see, and perhaps even some blogging o' the event like last year. Only time will tell. If I don't see y'all til Monday night, you'll know why....

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


Nice to see so many folks coming to the FAKDN@SSC. If you know other bloggers who are coming, please spread the word!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Kidlit Drink Night at the SCBWI Conference

So, many ideas and locations were bandied about, but the reality is that choices are pretty darn limited in the area since most of y'all won't have cars. So, for all you kidlit bloggers coming to LA for the SCBWI Conference, let's meet...

Friday, August 3rd at 9PM on the patio outside the lobby bar area.

Look for me and the divine Disco Mermaids, and then just come on over and chat about blogging, kids books, the weather, the Conference, Barry Bonds, the bond market, and... oh, heck, we don't care! Just come on by and meet your bloggin' cohorts.

I know there are other groups meeting Friday night, but all I've heard of are meeting earlier. But if not, well, come on by later. You know we'll still be there.

Feel free to leave a comment here so we know to look for you at what I shall now dub the first annual kidlitosphere drink night at the SCBWI Summer Conference (FAKDN@SSC!).

Sunday, July 29, 2007

If you give a writer an online connection...

... he/she will probably use it to do some 'research.'

If the writer is successful in researching, the writer will probably spend too much time doing it.

If the writer spends too much time doing it, he'll probably want to share it with others.

If the writer shares it with others, then you can feel free to leave annoyed/grateful messages on the writer's blog.

If you leave messages on the writer's blog, he/she will need to sign online to see them.

If the writer signs online, the writer will do research!

Friday, July 27, 2007

That Friday thang....

Yes, late on Poetry Friday I've once again done nothing better than give props to MsMac for putting togetherthis week's roundup.

I always think "hey, I'll volunteer to do the roundup" then always fear I'll end up with a day like today, and do it long after most of the day has passed. A conundrum, I tell ya! Anyway, go on and check it out.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The windup and...

... the pitch!

In the pile o' notebooks recently unearthed in the great cleansing of aught-seven was one full of notes for a movie pitch I'd done a while back. Pitches come in a broad variety of ilks, from one sentence to a full on telling of your movie (10-20 minutes if you're bold and great). The notes I found were for the latter type: every beat of the movie clearly plotted out with twists and turns and character stuff logged in my notes.

Nothing unusual about this. Did it all the time. But in looking at this particular story... I have NO memory of it. I can't place it. Can't recall telling it. It's an okay idea, mind you, but perhaps there was a reason it didn't stick with others? Wild.

I fully expect to wake up at 3 one moring and say "ahhh! Of course!!!!!!" But until then, your guess is as good as mine.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

And in this corner...

Nah, it's not a boxing match -- it's a treasure trove of notebooks, unearthed ing a long forgotten corner of a closet. What excitement lurks in there? What ideas, perhaps jotted down long ago. Thing like "teen wizard at wizard school. lots of horcruxes." Will there be poems? Ideas? Letters? Or just dust and silverfish?

Only time will tell....

Monday, July 23, 2007

Gregs... or sumpthing like 'em

As y'all know, sometimes I take the search terms that lead folks here and put 'em into Fibs. But not this term, cuz it just tickles my funny bone enough to highlight it. What lead someone to this search? Was it an assignment? And if so... what type of oddball assignment? Was it curiosity, and if so, what motivated it? I'm also amused at the results, cuz they really weren't particularly helpful to the query, though I personally think that any search that brings people here is a good thing. Still, they didn't get a

List of Writers by First Name Greg

Though on page two of results they did get a list of vegetarians....

Gotta love the net!

Sunday, July 22, 2007


It's interesting that I know what some measurable percent of the folks who normally check out GottaBook are doing these days: Reading Harry Potter, of course. But then I realized that in general, I could just say "reading" and I'd nail what a lot of y'all are doing on any given day.

As for me, I did more writing than reading this weekend, stealing time over a weekend day to catch up on a slew of work and setting myself up for a good week ahead (he says optimistically). Time will tell, but it's a nice way to end the weekend, at least....

Friday, July 20, 2007

A poetry Friday Potter Fib

What better today than to tip the old (sorting?) hat to Pottermania and Poetrymania by writing something silly and not really poetic but definitely in Fib form so it can serve as my Poetry Friday entry (with this week's links handily rounded up by NYC Teacher.). I call this...


No kidding.
First I've heard of it.
Wonder why they kept it secret...?

Wishing you all a happy Poetry Friday and a Potter-y Saturday (cuz in case you haven't heard, there's a new book coming out realllll soon).

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Interior decorating.

I have a huuuuuge pile of books in my office that are bound for the school library. I have huuuge piles of paper from stuff I'm working on.

Today, I added two big boxes of books to the office. It's... well... messy.

So, I did some work on it. I pushed, pulled, stacked, read and trashed and filed and...

When all was said and done -- I think I shifted each pile by about 90% around a circle.

Oh well. At least I know where everything is!

Except... hey, anyone seen the dog?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

SCBWI Conference preparation

Colorado Writer (going to the Conference thanks to the generosity of the Disco Mermaids) asked how to prepare for the four action-packed days o' the SCBWI Summer Conference. As if there's just one way! But then a few others emailed asking, and a few writer pals and I were discussing and so....

I prepare by reading a ton. I like to know the books of the authors and editors speaking at the Conference. I mostly do this so I can discuss intelligently should I be shoulder to shoulder with said author/editor at some point, but also because it's a great reading list. Of course I review the schedule and try and figure out which panels I'll go to, but I've also learned that that often changes spur of the moment. But when I've found a panel I'm interested in, I read everything I can about the person leading it -- search online for interviews, reviews, whatever. Sometimes I've learned that a particular person's point of view is NOT gonna be of interest to me. Other times I've realized that I simply MUUUUUSSSSSSSSTTTTTT attend cuz of some great quote/piece of writing/something I've run into. It's not a science but an art, however.

Another thing I do is remind myself that this is not a "do or die!" event in any way shape or form, nor is there any one moment that if it doesn't go right will define the Conference for me. Au contraire. In conversations, most of us agreed that it was a chance moment or surprise encounter that ultimately had the most impact on us. For me, for example, at the first Conference I attended, I befriended Chris Barton... from whom I ultimately got the inspiration to blog. Was that what I expected? Was I even aware then that four years later I'd have a book deal springing from my blog? Uh, no. But it's important to remember such kismet when your critique goes badly or the editor you thought was gonna be perfect for you clearly is NOT right for you or the author you somehow miss a panel that was a big part of your reason for coming or... or... or. (And as aside, let’s all give three cheers to Chris for his three new book sales of late. THREE!!!!!!!!!!).

Oh, yeah, my final prep tip -- sleep as much as possible in advance cuz odds say you won’t sleep nearly enough while you’re at the Conference!

Anyone else have tips or thoughts, feel free to share 'em here. And I hope to see many of you in a few short weeks (and kid-lit-blogging-drink-night is still in the offing!).

Monday, July 16, 2007


Yes, well, best intentions to get up my post today about preparing for the SCBWI summer confernce, but, well... there was a lot of aglaying around here, apparently!

Tune in tomorrow, however. I'll be better. I promise.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


In case it isn't clear, I like children's books. If you were to look around GottaHome, you'd see... well... tooooo many of them!

And thus, bags were packed for donations. And what's scary is that there are books in there that I never recall reading or even seeing get into the stacks. Where'd they come from? And why? In some cases, I recall nabbing a book from a pile, but now looking at it... nope. No clue.

Was there a single illustration I no longer remember that had attracted me? Was it a favorite author? Did I think the subject matter was perfect for... well, for any reason?

Does this happen to others of you, or am I the only one with the mystery acquisitions? I GottaKnow!

Friday, July 13, 2007


That'd be the Poetry Friday Link, since I managed no other way to participate this Friday.

Luckily, while I was slacking, Susan gathered the roundup right here: the P.F.L. It's might good stuff. Go have a look-see, why don'tcha?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Power struggle...

I'm not one who's big on omens and signs and such, but every now and then even I take the hint. Last night, I came home late and was gonna do a bit of work. The power had gone out while I was gone, however, so I went around and got all the clocks re-set, restarted the dishwasher, all that good stuff. I finished the last clock, walked over to my computer and sat down... and all the lights went off. Once again it was blinking 12 o'clock.

Sure, I coulda lit a single candle or cursed the darkness... but instead I turned off my computer (bless the UPS backup!) and went to bed. I was reminded, though, of a day in my distant past when a power outage cost me 20 pages of a script that I had failed to back up. At all. Not on a floppy or the ginormous 40mb (yes, megabyte) external hard disk that all my friends had pooled their money to get me for a birthday present since such a big beast was wayyy out of my price range. Ahhhh, memories (and geeky ones at that!).

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I made it through the rain....

Flying again turned into adventure, with four hours spent at the first airport of the day. I am one who gets to flights on the early side, but believe me... not THAT early. Thunderstorms in the southeast apparently played havoc with flight plans, though it was gorgeous weather our the airport window where we cooled our heels. Go figure.

A mad dash through Atlanta's airport (no fireworks visible, though I admit I didn't look), and the last flight of the day was ours! OK, fine, I ended up getting to bed at 3 this morning, but it was my bed. Which I must admit I hope I see before 3 THIS morning....

More later, but the gottabook fridge is saying I gottashop....

Monday, July 09, 2007

Summer library school

One highlight of vacation is that I've gotten to dive into a huuuuge pile of books set aside for the library at which I have become the default librarian. Some books aren't worth shipping back cross country, but others... it's like the motherlode for a geek like me. As usual, though, I end up reading and skimming and delving into the piles and not making the necessary progress... until i mad-dash go through 'em all and shove in boxes.

Mixed in with the must-haves, there are special books pulled aside for little old me -- the Berenstain's guide to parenting, for example, or more obscure Norton Juster books or.... It's a good time, I must admit but has put a big dent into my plans to accomplish other stuff on the trip. Shocking, I know. What? You're not shocked???? OK, fine. Me neither!

Good vacation times end tomorrow, so odds say the next post will have my usual LA accent. See ya in another time zone soooooon.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Travel is broadening...

...cuz all I do is eat and sit around tanning, so parts of me are getting broader every second....

An unexpected highlight of this trip is getting to see fireworks while eating in the food court at the Atlanta airport (terminal B for those who've had the alphabetic experience that is Hartsfield). Quite an unexpected bonus. Otherwise, there has been a lot of beach time... and my frustrating search for online acccess. No longer having any accounts with dial-up access allowed, I figured i'd run to the town's one coffee shop which had offered free wi-fi last year. but no.... out of business! It takes a 15-20 minute drive to get online... which, while I love y'all, isn't gonna be done every day since this is vacation, after all.

Still, it's the first personal justification I've found for me to get an iPhone, so maybe it's not such a bad thing....

I suspect I'll be back sooner rather than later....

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

A true sign...

... of my blog addiction (which had never really been in doubt, despite my busy-ness keeping me from normal blog behavior) is that here, as I prepare to shut down all systems... I am blogging.

One month from now, I'll be seeing so many of you at the SCBWI Conference, and I'm truly looking forward to that. But a few folks have asked me in comments and e-mail, "how do I best prepare for the conference?" (or variants thereof). I plan to give that some thought and blog on it. I want to encourage y'all now to think of what you would say so you can add to or disparage whatever I come up with!

See y'all soon from a different time zone....

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Egg frying hot.

A fine time to be leaving town -- it's a heat wave!

I have ambitious goals for traveltime, such as it is. There's work. There's a picture book manuscript I think I can finally tame. There's poetry to be writ. And, of course, there's downtime. If I have to pick one... it's the latter, so we'll see what happens. The lack of net connection (barring, of course, borrowable wireless signals) will either make me more productive or prove my addiction once and for all and send me to online anonymous upon my return. Though, of course, then I'll be back online so I really won't need 'em!

Happy 4th o' July to all (and a belated Canada Day to all y'all up north....)

Sunday, July 01, 2007

On the road again...

Vacation is upcoming, so y'all should expect a bit of infrequency, since I'll be journeying to the land of dial-up. (Hmmm... I don't remember if the Land of Dial-up was a Dr. Seuss creation or Norton Juster in the Phantom Tollbooth). I won't be totally silent, however, as I get really cranky when I cannot blog for too long!

But come mid-week, I'll have to find a way to redefine "too long" means....

Saturday, June 30, 2007

An off by one error....

What's one Saturday among friends, right? Good. So even though I'm a week late, I must point y'all to the most recent Carnival of Children's Literature hosted over at A Year of Reading. As usual, lots of good links and highly recommended....

Friday, June 29, 2007

Another search Fib...

OK, I'm not missing this Poetry Friday (nor failing to mention the roundup hosted at Shaken & Stirred), despite the slog mentioned below. Luckily for me, there has been a recent flood of largely inexplicable search terms that have brought folks here which I can compile into a Search Fib. Some terms aren't splicable cuz I don't know why they were typed and some because I cannot imagine why they got folks here and some because they use search engines/sites that I've never, ever heard of and can't imagine why they're used... but that's just the joy o' the net, I suppose.

Flib flab
Fib is what the hell
Ringing the Fibonacci bell

Thursday, June 28, 2007

June Slog

I will be glad to see June end. I've posted infrequently, read blogs less frequently, and have even gone days without checking email. Yes, that's true! And this is even before vacation in a land of limited online access....

This is probably good, of course, as anyone who's attended the SCBWI Summer Conference can tell you that you need weeks of prep time to be able to milk the maximum amount of fun and knowledge out of the four days.

I'd also note, by the way, that my newly minted shortcut turned poor today when an accident caused traffic to back waaaaay up. And where was this traffic before? Hmmm. This does not, of course, doom the shortcut. It merely shows the power of the blogosphere....

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


So, this is what life is like in the city -- I'm excited because I've found a new route that's shaved minutes off an otherwise not-really-so-bad-anyway drive. I have told others about said route, even though they never need to go where I'm going. But they applaud my achievement anyway, understanding the joy.

I am not so sure that kids are wired this way, so my picture book idea "Greg Skips Four Traffic Lights and Finds a Street that Cuts at an Angle" is likely to stay in draft form for awhile longer yet....

Sunday, June 24, 2007

A sure sign of summer:

I have no idea of the date.

Yes, it's true. I haven't known the date for awhile. I've known the day of the week (more or less), but it's the time of year where my brain views a week as a collective amount of time rather than seven discreet units with limited hours in each. Oh, sure, the summer week actually has less workable hours than the rest of the year, and there's an arcane formula involving sunshine, school time, and ice coffee availability that proves this beyond a reasonable doubt, but I'll spare you. The point is simply that blog posting will be bursty, news will be late, observations will related to ice coffee availability, and in general we're gonna sit here and get virtually tan.

And on the plus side, each time I post here, I'll see the date!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Sneaking in!

Still Friday on my coast, so lemme do a lame participation in the wonderful Poetry Friday tradition and simply point you over to A Wrung Sponge for the roundup o' today's posts.

Didja go yet? Huh? Didja?

What about now?

Good. I'd be more poetic but I GottaSleep!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

August, I tell ya....

I keep hearing from more and more folks who are going to be at the August SCBWI conference out here in currently-a-tad-too-warm LA. I'm really looking forward to reconnecting with a lot of folks as well as meeting a whole bunch o' fellow denizens of the kidlitosphere. And so, I propose a version of what I've seen in NYC and now DC -- a drink night! Now, it can't be a Kid Lit Drink Night, cuz that's silly since all 1000ish attendees are around for kidlit stuff. But us onliners in particular should meet at some point on Friday so we know who's who.

Anyone wanna be one of the N (where N is hopefully large) co-organizers/co-hosts/co-everything along with me? Please??!!! Drop me a line or leave a comment and let's hatch a plan. Friday night seems right... but what else?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

It's not all vacation fun, ya know...

Nope. As you journey elsewhere around the kidlitosphere, you'll find a hive of activity, including a whole bunch of author interviews.

Why, look -- here's a schedule of who's talking where!

It's mighty fine stuff, so get thee hence and read....

Monday, June 18, 2007


Did I scare you after a three day quiet period? Huh? Did I? As it turns out, I was in a place with (drum roll please) NO internet or cell phone service!

OK, I'm sure there were ways around both, but at the end of the day... why fight it? It was quiet. Peaceful, other than the cows. Food was plentiful, and caffeine was available in warm, brown, coffee form. There was good company, a yellow pad which basically remained unused, and absolutely NOTHING that needed to be done.

In other words... down time!

But now I'm back, and I missed y'all. I'll resume a normal posting schedule of some sort hereabouts... until the next down time, whenever that might be!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

A Poetry Friday Fib -- a poetry Friday poem

In case you didn't go see Susan's Poetry Friday article, I'm re-linking it here. And just for fun, I'm extracting and reposting my Poetry Friday Fib from it as my contribution to this week's fun. Multiple birds with one Fib! Gotta love it.

Spread the cheer:
Fridays through the year,
Poetry fills the blogosphere.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

It's Poetry, ya see....

So, of course it belongs on the Poetry Foundation website. What am I talking about? An excellent article about Poetry Fridays written by the kidlitosphere's own Chicken Spaghetti (also known as Susan!).

Check it out!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

You go, you Laureate you...

Michael Rosen was named the UK's new Children's Laureate (a post soon to exist in the US, by the way). And what sayeth he?

"I want to see children’s poetry loosened from its shackles and for people to become freer and easier with poetry," he says.

Right on. Here's to two years of shackle-loosening!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Moving, shaking, and blogging

So, today was the day for Fuse #8's big move.

Find her doing her rockin' blog thang at School Library Journal now. Or wait til later in the week when I update my blogroll and click on that link. But you don't want to wait, do you?

People always ask me "why blog?" There are a ton of great reasons, of course, but I think Fuse's success (getting paid to blog, the high profile position, the cupcakes) is a nice encapsulation of some of the things that can happen if you're blogging the kidlitosphere (or any 'sphere you want, I suspect). Yes, the social aspect of blogging is still the big draw for me... but that social aspect also explains why everyone I've run across is thrilled about Fuse's success. It's a nice place, this kidlitosphere. I hope you'll all stick around....

Sunday, June 10, 2007

GottaBook -- the fragrance?

I'm doing some heavy duty magazine reading this weekend, and all of a sudden, there's Antonia Banderas staring back at me from one fine tome in a full page ad for "Antonio -- the fragrance." So I start thinking of all those lists I made up back in the day of things I'd like to accomplish/do/be, and I gotta tell you that having a fragrance bearing my name was never one of them... which is probably a good thing, come to think of it, as I'd probably fall short of that goal.

Still, I propose to you all the idea of virtual scents. You know, rub a little GottaBook on for the "essence of Fibbery." The possibilities for Virtusmells (TM pending, as is Eau du Web) seem limitless. Or something like that, anyway.

I admit I'm happy that we haven't seen a Harry Potter cologne with some sort of wizard or magic tagline... but who knows what July will bring? Other than that distant possibility, I think this is one area where kidlit will steer clear of any involvement. ...

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Sign o' the times....

Yes, when I miss Poetry Friday completely (links collected this week by Hip Writer Mama), you know that things were busy around here. Luckily, Friday returns with great regularity....

I also realized it's been some time since I gave any insight into how I waste my time online, in those rare moments I do so. Oh, sure, there's always Babble, but for elegance and amusement (and frustration!) combined, check out Stick Remover. The games listed along the side there are all worth checking out, in fact. If I had time to waste, I'd certainly give Double Wires a try. And Golf. And.... Only if you have the time, of course, and I know how busy you are....

Thursday, June 07, 2007

And your weekend plans?

Do they involve the Mother Reader 48 Hour Book Challenge? Hmmm? You gotta go check out her sidebar to see how many folks are doing her challenge this year. It really shows the explosion of the kidlitosphere over the last year, I think. Or it shows that more people are willing to admit to spending 48 hours reading books. But in either case, it's a good thing.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

When in need of posting material...

... my strategy is simply to borrow from Fuse (soon to be SLJFuse!). OK, that she borrowed from the equally borrowable Kidslit merely makes my post all the better, I say.

But really, how can you not just point to a book aimed at kids called...
The Sky's Not Falling!: Why It's OK to Chill About Global Warming.

No, I'm not making that up... though I must say a "enjoyed" the blurb, clearly not written by an unbiased source!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Poem Face

Sometimes in your sitemeter you get a search term that fills you with glee. Let me introduce you to "poem face" the most recent on my list.

Is it an insult?
A compliment?
A search for poetry about a face?

And what would a poem face look like? "Oh you with your iambic eyes, sometimes in trochee ye disguise"? Or is that Ode Face?

Inquiring minds want to know....

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Oh, sure. Be that way.

You know I speak highly of the Disco Mermaids from time to time. Heck, I even tagged them recently (hint, hint) in a sign of respect (and taking advantage of their three-for-oneness). But this time... well...

Go read their "most expensive post ever" to see why they truly are the bee's knees.

They continue to raise the bar, though I'll continue to work diligently to lower it for the rest of us....

Friday, June 01, 2007

Hello, Summer! -- a last day of school poem/a summer vacation poem

'Tis the end of the school year in many parts, and I thought I'd celebrate this poetry Friday by tossing up a summer vacation/last day of school poem. And why not, I ask? Ya, I couldn't come up with a reason either.... Check out the Poetry Friday roundup over at adventures in daily living!

Hello, Summer! -- (A Last Day of School Poem)
Gregory K.

Goodbye, classroom!
Goodbye, Teach!
You can find me at the beach...
Or in the park or at the pool
Or any place that isn’t school.

Goodbye, quizzes!
Bye, reports!
Hello days packed full of sports
And days when I’m just lazybones
While eating melty ice cream cones.

Goodbye, homework --
Lunchroom, too.
There’s so, so much I wanna do.
I know the school year flew on past…
But please, please summer -- last and last.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Triply Tagged!

Well, I'm not a big meme fellow, but today I was tagged and tagged and tagged again. I can take a hint! Behold, then, the 8 Things Meme....

Each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed. At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

1) There's an X-Files character who shares my name.

2) I have held an Oscar. It was heavy!

3) I now know a frightening (to me) amount of Dewey Decimal numbers... and what they mean.

4) I have a copy of Winnie the Pooh in Esperanto. At one point in time I was convinced I'd learn Esperanto. Then... uh... I don't remember what happened, but I can safely say it's never been a problem that I'm not fluent.

5) I have seen every Abbott and Costello movie multiple times... but have definitely not seen a single one of them in the past 20 years.

6) Every year, I attempt to decaffeinate for two weeks. Please note the word "attempt."

7) At Christmas time, I can do The Grinch off book. The rest of the year, I can do far too much of The Lorax off book....

8) I have never met a Game Seven of a best of seven sporting event that I didn't like. Team Handball, Albania vs. Malta, Game Seven??? Let's make the popcorn!

I don't enjoy tagging others (hey, this is like a bonus factoid/habit!), but I'll give a meme-tag to Tina, Terry, all three Mermaids, and Alan, assuming they've all been tagged anyway (though please note that NONE of their blogs have proof of my supposition!).

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Fib talking...

I don't talk about Fibs here as much as I'd like. I still write 'em, still enjoy 'em, and still am fascinated by how they spread... and continue to spread. I've seen Fibs in syllabi, in poetry journals, in poetry books, and all around the web, not just in the comments of my blog. In fact, this week alone I stumbled into a page devoted to fabulous Fibs, and learned of fellow blogger Minge relaunching his Fib Sundays.

As always, I love to hear about places y'all have encountered Fibs (of the poetic kind!), and in particular I love hearing stories of Fibbing in the classroom. So if you've got a good story, feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me. Thanks!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

And the survey says...

What better on a long weekend (well, long for those of us in the States, at least) than a report from the trusted news source... the Onion? Exactly. Nothing. And so...

Study: 38 Percent Of People Not Actually Entitled To Their Opinion

an excerpt:

"While people have long asserted that it takes all kinds, our research shows that American society currently has a drastic oversupply of the kinds who don't have any good or worthwhile thoughts whatsoever. We could actually do just fine without them."

More soon, but now I gotta book....

Friday, May 25, 2007

Oddaptation: If I Ran the Circus, If I Ran the Zoo, On Beyond Zebra, Scrambled Eggs Super

It's been a few months since my last Oddaptation (and if you're new to the concept, please see the label below or the links over on the right hand side of the blog to understand what an Oddaptation is (hint: attitudinal cliff notes) AND to see prior ones). In the interim, I'd gotten a couple notes asking me to Oddapt more Seuss. So I figured, huh, why not do a bunch of Seuss at once? I could probably add to this title (Happy Birthday to You, anyone?), but four books at once seemed enough. But if you feel the need for more than four, feel free to add to the list!

by Dr. Seuss
Oddaptation by Gregory K.

These books share a gist:
Each works as a list.
The plots don’t much matter,
Though sometimes kershplatter.
You don’t know that word?
Then it’s time that you heard
These books invent things
Like pwabackalecklings.
So read ‘em aloud
To any size crowd
Or just son or daughter...
And wish they were shawter.

A Wrung Sponge has the Poetry Friday roundup! Get thee hence....

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

C'est Impossible!

That's what it seems like to me when I realized that there's a whopping three weeks left to the school year... and when I realized that that type of thing has an impact on my life! Gone are the days, I guess, when school was but a distant memory....

So now I ask my fellow librarians/teachers -- any favorite end of the school year read-alouds? Think K through 3, and please hit me with your best shot!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Boom, Boom - Out Go the Lights!

So, last night was gonna be poetry writing night hereabouts. Don't get me wrong -- I write poetry all the time, but I never seem to have contiguous hours to do it, so I have been trying to reserve one or two nights a week to do nothing else. OK, maybe I pay bills if needed. Or a few other things. But the point is, it's poetry night!

Anyway, I'm getting mentally ready as the hour draws near. Sharpen the pens, start yellow pad number 28 (each pad having only 2 or 3 pages scrawled on it, of course), clear the brain of other thoughts. And all of a sudden -- it's dark. I mean TOTALLY dark. I mean the type of dark that you don't experience unless your power is out, and all your little green and blue and red lights that dot your house and indicate "power on" disappear. Because our power wasn't on. It was totally, utterly off.

I had a romantic notion of lighting candles and scribing in the flickering light. I saw myself dipping a quill into ink and working anyway. I visualized myself telling the story of brilliant poetry spewing forth the night the lights went out.

But it was really dark!

So, I followed the muse of Ben Franklin and went early to bed. This morning, indeed, it was early to rise (a blinking 12:00 if my clock is to be believed). And yes, the power's back... so pretty soon I expect to be healthy, wealthy, wise, and well lit. I'll let ya know how it goes, but now I gotta book.