Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Back into the loop

Boy, have I been out of the loop. If not, how could I have missed the interview series going on over at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast. Most recently they have their interview with Roger Sutton up, but they've already interviewed Betsy of Fuse#8 fame AND Liz B. of A Chair, A Fireplace, and a Tea Cozy! Great stuff.

And then I caught up on the project of John Green and his brother: their videoblog Brotherhood 2.0. Stellar!

Can't wait to see what I find next, but for now, I gotta book.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Awash day

Today I was awash in ideas, many stemming directly from stuff discussed at the Retreat, but lots that seemed to spring up out of nowhere during the weekend. For me, it's lots of fun to get excited and inspired and then just let my mind go wherever it wants to go. Which often includes playing Babble.

Anyway, some ideas were blog-related, so look for small changes coming up 'round these parts (and I mention them only cuz the reality is that you might not notice!). And look for more poems (including Fibs), Oddaptations, and general silliness, too.

Oh yeah... don't forget you still have two days to enter the flashquake Less is More contest. And remember... there are cash prizes!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Time it was, what a time it was...

A time of... Friars!

Yes, I'm just back from the SCBWI-Ventura retreat which was held at the Renewal Center of the Santa Barbara Mission, a relaxing and inspiring setting, complete with Friars who answer to a calling higher even than the calling to write for children.

Highlights of the weekend? I learned that The Blog Squad were kindred blogging spirits who understand the remarkable power of the web AND, even if they don't write kids' books themselves, have that same fun, generous spirit that I encounter at every SCBWI event I attend. (And, I see from the comments in the post below this one, that at least one of the Squad is a Fibber.) I got to meet Roxyanne Young from SmartWriters.com, learn from her, see her rocking book AND thank her for my honorable mention in SmartWriters W.I.N. Contest (that has, by the way, a rather remarkable track record of winning picks). And thanks to Barbara Jean Hicks and Alexis O'Neill, the dynamic force behind the event, I am awash with ideas about what I'll be doing when I have my book and am visiting school. Plus I got to thank Alexis in person for asking me to come speak.

As if all this wasn't enough, I met great people who shared a similar desire to think about the less fun/glamorous business side of the business, not just the creative side, and were willing to share everything they knew on the topic. I think you all will get to meet them in time, too, as I'm hopeful many will join us here in the kidlitosphere.

Good times indeed.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Well then...

All my great plans to post for Poetry Friday and to expound on... uh... I don't know what have fallen by the wayside with my upcoming departure to blab right here. Some of you have probably heard me talk, in passing, about my passion for blogging, and it's been great for me to get my thoughts boiled down to something I hope is clear, concise, and uses my natural good looks to gloss over any weak parts. Don't know about the latter, but I'm happy with the former. As usual when it comes to these things, though, I've spent more time working on it than I'd budgeted. So y'all suffer. Figgers -- you always hurt the ones you love. But I'm confident you'll get over it.

The open road awaits, so I gotta book!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Blabbing about blogging

This weekend I'm giving a wee talk on blogging as a children's book author AND I'll be learning a ton and having a grand old time doing it. But if I don't update here on Saturday, you'll know why. Blabbing about blogging instead of blogging seems fair to me.

In the meantime, I must redirect you (again) to Lisa Yee's blog and the announcement of contest winners. No, I didn't win... but I got an honorable mention! And really, how can you complain when the brilliant directness of Go Kill a Mockingbird can't even win.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Out of the box

Among the awards announced yesterday, I want to highlight one other: a Geisel Honor award for Antoinette Portis and her debut book, Not a Box.

I first got to hear/see this book when it was still in dummy form, before it was even sold. And for me, anyway, encountering it was one of those lightbulb moments -- oh yeah, THAT'S how a picture book should work. I had to read my manuscript aloud shortly after Not a Box was read/shown and while my story was funny and interesting (I thought), I knew that it wasn't yet a picture book, even though I'd thought it was up til mere moments before. It was a rare moment of clarity that still informs my writing.

Since the book's come out, I've read it aloud to every class I read to (okay... that can be all of them), and no matter the age of the listener, adults included, folks identify, participate, root, laugh, and then more often than not share their own stories. Good times, indeed. Check it out, I say!

So congratulations to Antoinette... and to all the other winners as well.

Monday, January 22, 2007

The Big Awards Day

Lotta awards being announced in kidlit today, including the Newbery and Caldecott. Not that you won't see this all over the place, but here ya go anyway:

Newbery Medal

The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron, illustrated by Matt Phelan (Simon & Schuster/Richard Jackson)

Newbery Honor Books

Penny from Heaven by Jennifer L. Holm (Random House)
Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson (Delacorte Press)
Rules by Cynthia Lord (Scholastic)

Caldecott Medal

Flotsam by David Wiesner (Clarion)

Caldecott Honor Books

Gone Wild: An Endangered Animal Alphabet by David McLimans (Walker)
Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom, illustrated by Kadir Nelson, written by Carole Boston Weatherford (Hyperion/Jump at the Sun)

As a personal note, huge props to Susan Patron who I was lucky enough to hear read from The Higher Power of Lucky the VERY FIRST time she read it in public. Great book and person, so yay!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

And, as usual, it's all about me!

OK, not really. But I do have a post in the 10th Carnival of Children's Literature. To my eyes, this seems to be the biggest Carnival yet, full of tons of great stuff. So head on over for some fun (and feel free to say thanks to Kelly for hosting).

AND, as if that wasn't enough, my January column at the chock-full-o-good-reading-momready.com ran earlier this week, though I'm just getting around to linking to it now.

Me. Me. Me. Is that all I ever think about? Don't be silly. I mean....

Whoops, my 473rd mirror just got delivered so I gotta book. Later!

Friday, January 19, 2007

A Bubble Gum Poem

No, I'm not talking about the great style of pop music. I'm talking the usually pink, once-upon-a-time-it-came-with-baseball-cards stuff. Blowing bubbles is still pure, innocent fun, seems to me, and so here's my entry for this Poetry Friday (with this week's links collected by the tireless Kelly). Chew on it a spell, why don'tcha? And for that matter, let me know if it should be a Bubblegum poem called Bubblegum instead of Bubble Gum....

Gregory K.

Chew it. Chew it.
Blow, blow, blow.
Bubble, bubble.
Grow, grow, grow!
Never, ever, ever stop.
Bubble, bubble. Grow, grow...

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Get cracking....

Four pads of paper sit in front of me*, each one devoted to a specific "idea" I'm working on. I've been jotting notes on each pad, hoping that one idea asserts itself so that I end up ignoring (but still loving) the others. So far, I've found that most of my notes are on a fifth pad (well, a notebook, really): thoughts on the next draft of the 14 Fabulous Fibs. I take this as a good thing, of course, since I love the process of rewriting.

Up to a point, of course!

I also love the process of breaking down new ideas. My mind swims with questions: Will they work? Will they flop? Can I say I've worked enough today to eat a PopTart? Sure, my mind also goes to the pile of notebooks or stapled together pages of ideas that never quite moved off the page, but then there are the manuscripts I've got that DID come from this same process. Love it.

And for the record, the answers are "don't know yet," "don't know yet," and "Yes!" So I'll see you all later, cuz now I GottaToast.

* I must note for the purists here that "in front of me" is metaphorical. Those who've seen me at work know that four pads neatly spread out around me just isn't going to happen, nor does it strike me as a good way for me to work. But metaphorically it's exactly right, so y'all are gonna have to deal!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Lots to read

I tell ya -- miss a day or two of surfing and you miss a lot of good stuff in the kidlitosphere. Today, I draw your attention to...

The newest issue of The Edge of the Forest. Reviews, articles of both an interesting AND a practical nature, and an interview with Lisa Yee. Hard to top.

But right up there with it... what about the first Ezine from the Class of 2K7? It's even got an article by a Disco Mermaid in it, so you know it must be good. You can even subscribe and maybe win some ARCs.

There's much more out there, but I am actually heading back to work on my upcoming presentation on blogging, so I gotta book.

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Fibonacci family

I gotta say that when I started this blog, I didn't think folks would find it by searching Google to see "who was Leonardo Fibonacci's wife?" Nor did I think people would come here wanting to know how many children Fibonacci had... or their names... and I'm sure the folks searching for those answers didn't think they'd end up at a children's literature blog. But they do. Gotta love the Net.

Since we're talking Fibonacci, it's a good time to remind you all to remember the flashquake.org contest. Write Fibs, win cash. (With other cool contest elements, too).

And for Fibs that Leonardo F. himself would appreciate, why not head on over to fibocomponimenti for some Italian Fibbery?

Fibs are everywhere... and that's something else I don't think I expected when GottaBook began. Gotta love the Net!

The Fibonacci family

I gotta say that when I started this blog, I didn't think folks would find it by searching Google to see "who was Leonardo Fibonacci's wife?" Nor did I think people would come here wanting to know how many children Fibonacci had... or their names... and I'm sure the folks searching for those answers didn't think they'd end up at a children's literature blog. But they do. Gotta love the Net.

Since we're talking Fibonacci, it's a good time to remind you all to remember the flashquake.org contest. Write Fibs, win cash. (With other cool contest elements, too).

And for Fibs that Leonardo F. himself would appreciate, why not head on over to fibocomponimenti for some Italian Fibbery?

Fibs are everywhere... and that's something else I don't think I expected when GottaBook began. Gotta love the Net!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Books and Busy-ness

Many folks discuss the most personal of details on their blogs, but that's certainly not the case here. Still, the silence of the past few days has been a sign of how busy things have been around these parts. I mean really now... I missed Poetry Friday (though Kelly collected the links right here so I was able to catch up).

Among the less time consuming but more exciting things to report about this week... books! Through the kindness of some bloggers over on my blog roll, wonderful books have made their way to the school library at which I am the volunteer librarian. As a children's book lover, one frustrating thing about operating a library on no budget is that I see all these fantastic books that come out... and I don't have the chance to let everyone in on these amazing treats. And then there are books that I know we'll need as kids do more specific projects or find they're interested in certain topics. Enter bloggers! They join the ranks of the many who have helped build our library with their generosity of spirit (and of books). So simply put... THANKS!

Some of the recent library readalouds:

Library Lion -- Michelle Knudsen; illustrated by Kevin Hawkes
This Jazz Man -- Karen Ehrhardt; illustrated by R. G. Roth
Dear Mrs. Larue -- Mark Teague
How Does it Feel to be a Tree -- Flo Morse; illustrated by Clyde Watson
The Litte Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear -- Don and Audrey Wood

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Other people again

I know, I know. I just sent you to Lisa Yee's blog for her great contest, and I'm sending you off-blog again today.

But still...

Longtime readers here may (and I mean it's unlikely, but humor me) remember when I linked to the Coudal Partners site for their "booking bands" list -- combining book names with band names. It's HERE and definitely worth a (or another) look see.

So I'm linking there again (I get their infrequent mailings, ya see) cuz I am a big fan of the PDF you can download, print out... then cut and store in your wallet.

Maybe this is just a "big city" issue, the whole people-on-cell-phones thing, but I quite like their approach -- right here.

And on that note... I gotta book.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Oooh, a contest....

Nope. Not mine. But it's one with prizes. AND it's funnnnnnnnny.

Lisa Yee is running a great contest. In short, change the first letter of a word in a children's book title to come up with a new book... and write a sentence describing it. There are great examples in the comments (and in her post), and I say that even though I haven't entered my "great" examples yet. That's cuz the first ones I came up with pale in comparison to, well, almost all the other ones. It's not gonna be easy for me to measure up to "Green Eggs and 'Nam" or "The Souse at Pooh Corner," two already submitted entries.

If even you don't wanna play, I highly recommend reading THE POST AND THE COMMENTS.

Goooood stuff.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Ya know....

Life has kept me busy the past 48 hours, and the perfect thing to do, not to give away blogging secrets, is to post links to all the great posts folks out there are making. But that implies that I've actually READ any other blogs in the past 48 hours....

But I have read email, so I can link to something...uh... well, it's cool. It's in French, when there's speaking, but most of the eight minutes are silent beyond the music. Is it magic? Mime? Other? You be the judge tonight, and I'll be back tomorrow with somethign more on topic. But maybe not as interesting.

Jerome Murat performs

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Memed again -- the top five posts list

So, MotherReader tagged me with a meme: list your five favorite posts of your own from last year. This is so self-indulgent and backwards looking that I couldn't be happier about being tagged!

5) I have to begin with the post that started the blog: Me? A librarian?. I was sorta right about what I'd be writing about, I guess.

4) I love the participatory nature of blogs, so I'm always happy when an idea amuses others besides just me. Along those lines, this post was my favorite of the list-creation variety. I betcha some of you have new entries you can add, too....

3) Having a chance to share my Oddaptations with an audience who knows the books in question has been a real treat. I coulda linked to any of the Oddaptations, but decided the first post is best, since it contains two.

2) Poetry Friday has been a lot of fun (as was posting poem-a-day during April), and I'm gonna pick a single poem to represent that whole shebang. Coulda been any, but I chose my Pluto poem since I wrote it as I blogged and it was about news that had just happened. I'd love to do more of that, frankly.

1) As I said a few days ago, my choice for top post o' the year simply has to be The Fib. 355 comments! Hundreds and hundreds of links! Dozens and dozens of new friends! One book deal! All cuz of one post. I still find it remarkable. Being at the heart of a meme (and a small one by net standards) was incredible, thrilling, humbling, and fascinating... and not something that I will ever forget.

So, what about you? Do you have your own top five posts? I'm not tagging anyone in specific, but if you're reading this... why not play along?

Friday, January 05, 2007

After a long absence... a search Fib.

It’s been quite some time since I posted a search Fib. I know, I know – why break such a good streak? Well, because I continue to be amazed at the multitude of search engines out there, not to mention the oddball results they spew out. Besides, I propose turning line three of this Fib into my cyber-nickname.

K Blog
Clean my desk
Fib of conjunctions
How to write recursive functions

I wanted to turn the following search term into a Fib, but it really doesn’t work (again, I hear you. The above doesn’t work beyond syllable count either, but ya GottaHumor me! And luckily, it is Poetry Friday (links handily rounded up by Elaine at the Blue Rose Girls), so there’s lots of good stuff around if you need a poetic fix). Still, since I’m in a search-term-sharing mood….

r u tired of all those old friendship poems? well here is a poem that friends do like

Right on.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Offline with a fellow blogger!

Yesterday was a banner day hereabouts as it involved an offline meeting of a fellow blogger. Yup. It's true. I got to meet Kelly, the force behind The Edge of the Forest, an instigator of the Cybils, and hostess of Big A little a (one of the first kidlit blogs I turn to for news and views).

What's fascinating to me is that I kinda felt like I knew her before we met, which is totally untrue, of course. What's clearer afterwards is that I don't like her cuz of her blog... I like her blog cuz of her.

Besides being fun, our meeting led to a wee interview which you can now see posted over here. You can even learn a geeky "secret" about me. You know, besides all the other geeky stuff I've mentioned in these parts....

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The lurking pile

My library duty starts up again next week, but over in the corner of one room around here sits a pile... a big pile... of boxes and books that have to be transported and shelved at the library. And I was thinking "hey, lazy guy, bring 'em by this week. Get a jump on it." But I am enjoying this pile... literally. Yup, I'm reading my way through it in odd moments and late nights. Admittedly, that will stop with next week AND with my duties as a Cybils' judge now upon me. Still, I mention this to show another huge perk about my the volunteering I do, just in case someone out there was on the fence about doing a bit o' the same in their life. Plus, thanks to this latest batch of books, if I ever go on Jeopardy, I know a heckuva lot of basic facts about bats!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Year in Review

I thought I'd take a moment here for a "year in review" type post.

I think I can do it simply:

So far, so good.

Yesterday was really a great time from start to finish, including an excursion here, and today included miniature golf AND a PopTart.

That pretty much brings y'all up to date, but I have to say I feel like I'm somehow missing something when it comes to this whole "year in review" thing. Oh, well. Maybe next time it'll make more sense, but for now I gotta book.

Monday, January 01, 2007

It's Cybil Time!

The finalists are up in all the Cybils categories!

Check them out!

I'll be judging the Poetry finalists. I can tell already this is gonna be a lot of work. Yay!

A new year and a new Fib contest!

First off, a Happy New Year to you all. May 2007 be everything you hope for... and more.

Second off, maybe one of your goals for 2007 was to enter and win a writing contest, and maybe, just maybe, I can help (if you define "help" as giving you a link to a contest where Fibbery is key). And check this out... there are CASH prizes:

flashquake's Less is More Contest

Yep, over at flashquake, you can write a Fib and win a prize. Simple. Doable. And a great way to start the year, don'tcha think? If Fibbing isn't for you, there are other ways to participate in their contest, too, including prizes for photos taken with your cell phone! C'mon... you know you love that idea as much as I do.

You've got until the end of the month, so I say start the new year right: tell Fibs.