Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The New Kite Tales is Up!

Kite Tales is the quarterly, free publication of the SCBWI-Los Angeles chapter. If you are at all interested in writing or illustrating children's books, the whole issue, edited by Rilla Jaggia, is well worth checking out. It's free and chock full of interviews, updates, and information. And...

I'm excited to point you all to an article of mine called Twitter, Tweeting and You that starts on page 25 of this issue! The article tells you step by step how to set up an account, find people to follow, use direct messages, tweet effectively, and more. The publication is a PDF, and the link to Kite Tales will take you straight to the download page.

I hope you download Kite Tales and enjoy it... and if you have questions about Twitter or SCBWI-LA, ask away!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Poetry Re-Issue: Garage Sale - a garage sale poem

Garage Sale
Gregory K.

Mrs. O'Leary from down the street
Owned a Chevy and also a Dodge.
She must've sold them both, I guess.
Why else would she sell her garage?

Originally posted here back in 2006 (complete with a comment from Leonardo Fibonacci!), the poem popped into my mind because we're hosting a garage sale today. I figure most of you can't come by and buy, but at least this way you can be with me in a poetic sense.

Please note, by the way, that the garage is not for sale, nor is the yard. If you make a great offer on the sidewalk, however....

Friday, June 26, 2009

Lazy Days of Summer Wherefore Art Thou?

Oh, sure... I'll kick back and take it easy. I'll write and relax this summer. Yeah... well... as you can tell by the fact that I don't have a Poetry Friday post up, there was no kicking back and just relaxing. It's all good, though, particularly since part of the day involved going to a hole in the wall donut joint I'd never been to before. Yum.

Here's another person who's not kicking back this summer - my friend Cynthea Liu who's celebrating the luanch ofher book Paris Pan Takes the Dare by hosting an auction full of critiques and the like to benefit a Title I school in Oklahoma. There are critiques from editors and authors and agents... and you can do some good, too.

I hope you'll head over and check out Cynthea's auction (with other ways to help out, too!).

No laziness this weekend for me, but no more donuts, either. Don't worry... I'll survive!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Writing 2day (and almost a contest!)

I have a post up over at The Happy Accident called, in part, 2 B or Not 2 B all about the importance of writing well on Twitter (and everywhere, really). And the title of the post got me thinking...

What rewrites could we do in Twitter/instant message/Internet-speak to children's book titles or quotes? Or could we update them to make them "hip and now"?

Here were a few of my ideas from the different categories....

2 Think Th@ I Saw it on Mulberry St.

Jacob Have I <3'd

Charlotte's Web - "Where's papa going with that Google search?"

Wikipedia Brown (and the Case of the Missing URL)

I'd love to see what you come up with. I didn't turn it into a full blown contest this time because I couldn't narrow the idea down (well, that and I'm tired!), but if y'all have fun with it... who knows where it'll lead in the future?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Would you believe...

I was looking for an old query letter of mine that predates this computer and sent me the dreaded "paper files." And looking through there, I found a picture book manuscript I had completely forgotten about.

It's not great or nothing, mind you, but the fact that I completely erased it from memory seemed highly unfair - it had no bad history nor was it deserving of such a fate.

Does this happen to you? Do you run into material that you are surprised to find? And is any of it ever fabulous? Cuz, like, if it is... I'm gonna dig some more!

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Return of the Search Fib

It's been a lonnnng time since I posted a Search Fib - wherein I create a Fib from the search terms that have led people to my blog from a rather staggering assortment of search engines. But today, the muse struck... mostly because of the search that turned into the last line of the poem. And so, with no further ado:

Search Fib (Untitled)

Fib Day
Last week school!
Poem: really bad
Poetry for my bestest dad

Bestest, indeed! And while I wish a happy almost Father's Day to all you good, better, and bestest dads out there, I note that it's still Friday, and that means Poetry Friday is here. So head on over and check out the roundup of posts over at Carol's Corner. You'll find some great stuff if you go poking around... though probably nothing else quite like the Search Fib :-)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Go say "hi!"

Today I had a slightly paranoid moment, I must admit. Just a flash. But at first glance, I thought the email in my inbox said "Arthur A. Levine is following you." My editor? Wha???? He's onto me! Ah, but wait... the full subject line said "on Twitter" at the end.

Ahhhh. I get it!

So if you're on Twitter, why not head on out and start following @AALBooks? And if you're not on Twitter... well... maybe come join us!

And if you're in the traveling mood, there's been some great conversation over at Read Roger lately. If you're a blogging book reviewer or author or illustrator or editor or anyone interested in how the online world is challenging (or not) the print world in terms of reviews, criticism and marketing, the come jump on into the conversation (the posts Blogs and Buzz and "The fanboys can be merciless." being two current hot-spots).

Monday, June 15, 2009

Books! Books! Books!!!!!!

I haven't spoken as much this year about my volunteer school library gig, in no small part because I took a sorta-hiatus from the day-to-day of being the librarian. I miss the almost-daily readalouds but have enjoyed having solid blocks of time to work. The library is in fine hands... but it's not like I've disappeared totally!

Unfortunately, one of the challenges of running a library with no budget is that it's mighty hard to get new (as in recently released) books on the shelves. We've worked hard to make the library a place the kids love coming to, and it really helps being able to have, say, the Lightning Thief books or the Clementine books or or or hundreds and hundreds more. This is the area I keep working on, and I have to say that considering the budget, we've done more than okay. How? Because...

My secret weapon has been you, my online friends.

Thanks to each and every one of you who has sent books my school's way. Seriously - like major, major thanks. This year, I want to offer up a really super-duper big hat tip to Amanda at A Patchwork of Books and author-illustrator Antoinette Portis for particularly big piles o' book donations. But each one of you - reviewers, authors, illustrators, publishers, friends, bloggers, readers - who has gotten me even one book has made a difference for us. And kids love our library.

If any of you are ever in L.A. and want to see what you've helped create, please let me know, and I'll see if I can bring you by at least one of the two libraries we've got running. And once again "thanks!" on behalf of all the students, teachers, and parents at the school. The generosity of book lovers never ceases to amaze....

Friday, June 12, 2009

Summer? Reallllly?

Okay, I want to lodge a complaint with someone or another about the fact that almost half the year has gone past already. Who do I call?

Still, the arrival of summer does mean I'll be switching into summer mode here at GottaBook, though looking at my likely schedule these next few months, I don't think there'll be a huge impact. Just know that if I appear to be a little lazier, it's nothing personal - it's just summer!

Blogging poetry lovers weren't lazy today, so why not head on over to the Poetry Friday roundup over at the Critique de Mr. Chompchomp? Good links, good poetry, what more could you want (other than the last 5 months not to have gone so fast)?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What a Girl Wants....

Over at Chasing Ray, Colleen has kicked of a series with a post called "What a Girl Wants: The Books We Can't Forget." The series itself will tackle various issues for girls and books, with this entry serving as an introduction to the group who'll be having the conversation.

Reading was not as big for me growing up as it was for many of my book-loving friends or, for that matter, my book-devouring brother. So, there truly is no one book that holds a special place in my memory... though I will say that it was reading a slew of mystery and action-adventure books (hand picked by Mom!) that made me start to appreciate reading a whole lot more.

What about you? Is there a book you can't forget or a book that made a huge difference for you growing up? Feel free to mention it here or go on over to Chasing Ray and jump on in the conversation....

Monday, June 08, 2009

Do You Haiku? And...

I do like Haiku
Strict form, thriving on word choice...
And they are not Fibs!

I'm excited to tell you all that Nikki Grimes is running a month-long Haiku contest on her new Facebook page. You can win a signed book... just for writing poetry! Why wouldn't you?

And.... Yes, there was an and: I'm pleased to say that Children's Poet Laureate Mary Ann Hoberman is now on Twitter! How cool is that?! That makes at least 20% of the 30 Poets/30 Days group who are there. Can the rest be far behind? I hope you'll come join us!

Friday, June 05, 2009

Doughnuts! Oh, Doughnuts! - a donut poem/a doughnut poem

Doughnuts! Oh, Doughnuts!
Greg Pincus

Doughnuts! Oh, doughnuts! Fried circles of yum.
You food that I simply adore.
You’re sure not nutritious, but you’re so delicious
I’m always left wishing for more.

I love you with frosting or covered in sprinkles.
I swoon for you, sweet, sugar raised!
When you’re filled with jelly, you warm up my belly...
While still leaving room for a glazed.

I’ll dip you in coffee or dunk you in milk.
I’ll eat you for breakfast or brunch.
I get so impassioned for simple old-fashioned
That sometimes I make them my lunch.

Doughnuts! Oh, doughnuts! Definers of yum.
You perfect fried circles of dough.
Although you’re caloric, you leave me euphoric...
So give me a dozen to go!

Today is not only Poetry Friday (with the roundup of posts hosted at Sara Lewis Holmes' Read Write Believe), but it's also National Doughnut Day (or, if you prefer, National Donut Day)! This certainly rates as one of my favorite "holidays" to celebrate, so this year I'm doing it with food AND poetry. And you? Wanna meet me at Stan's or Bob's or...?

You can find this poem and 53 others in my collection The Late Bird, available on Kindle (and all the free Kindle apps, too) and Nook

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!

More soon, but now I'm off to dream of Bavarian Kreme....

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Bright, Glowing Cheers!

I'm excited when any of my friends have new books out, and I love seeing them get good reviews, too. That'd make me doubly pleased to see that Chris Barton's The Day-Glo Brothers got a starred review in Kirkus. But I admit I'm even happier than normal.

You see, I met Chris at the very first SCBWI conference I attended - at the late, lamented open-mic night, specifically - and we've stayed in touch ever since. He and his blog are among the chief reasons I started blogging, in fact, and you'll see him over there as the first blog in my (waaaaaay out of date and in need of love) blogroll. I was excited when he sold Day-Glo, felt his angst as it was delayed and delayed, and now am thrilled to see that the wait and work was all worth it.

Congrats, Chris! And I'm looking forward to the rest of the books in the pipeline hitting the shelves....