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....