Monday, November 30, 2009

Cards and Letters - send 'em thataway

I know I've mentioned SCBWI and Lin Oliver, one of the organization's founders and still chief honchos, in these parts before. I'm a big fan of SCBWI and grateful for all the help I've gotten from it and its many members.

I'm also a "fan" of Lin herself, who's always been warn and welcoming to me, including bringing me into SCBWI when we initially met on a completely different topic.

I know many others reading hereabouts have met Lin or are part of SCBWI, so beyond passing on the news that Lin is recovering from a double bypass/valve replacement surgery, I wanted to encourage everyone to send her cards and letters via the SCBWI main office:

SCBWI, 8271 Beverly Blvd, L.A., CA 90048 (address 'em to Lin, natch)

I know I'll be writing, and I hope many of you will, too.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The "I Will Not Overeat but Will Give Thanks" Post - 2009 Edition

I have been in training for the last few weeks, expanding my stomach slowly and carefully so that there is room for me to at least sample every different pie I encounter over the next few days.

I firmly believe, by the way, that there is a separate dessert stomach that always has room. While medical science might not agree, I would point out that there is visual proof - the more you put in that dessert stomach, the bigger it appears to others.

As we come to another Thanksgiving, let me say once again how grateful I am to y'all who read GottaBook and to all who talk about children's literature and literacy all around the blogosphere and offline, too. It's an amazing community and one I am quite thankful to have found and to be a part of.

I'll likely be quiet here for a few days, as there's family everywhere these days. I wish all of you a happy Thanksgiving... and see you soon!

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Although I didn't get anything poetry related up on Friday... many others did. You can find this week's Poetry Friday roundup over at Julie Larios' Drift Record. Good stuff! Check it out.

Also, though I no longer remember where I first saw this (Twitter, I believe, but from whom escapes me now. Apologies!), I got a real kick out of last week's Abstract City blog post, Bio-Diversity. I think you'll enjoy it too... hence the link! Funny leaves. 'Nuff said.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Reading on your Smartphone

I'm just curious how many, if any, of y'all do any sort of reading on your smartphone (iPhone, Blackberry, Droid, Palm, whatever).

There was an interesting article in the New York Times the other day about this very thing... yet I don't know people who are reading like this. Then again, I'm a writer, so I don't get out much.

Anyone reading on their phone? Liking it? Hating it? I'm curious!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Blog Blast, Winter Version

The Winter Blog Blast Tour started today. What's that mean? Well, head over to see the full schedule at Chasing Ray, but in brief, today it meant that you'd find interviews with Courtney Sheinmel, Derke Landy, Mary E. Pearson, Megan Whalen Turner, Frances Hardinge, and Jim Ottaviani.

Go bop around and see these. C'mon now... here's the "tease" for Frances Haringe at Fuse Number 8: "Expect kidnaps, betrayal, chocolate, moonlit chases, traps within traps, consequences, fire from above, death-defying chimney incidents and an extremely important radish."


There are six more great interviews/features each day this week. Check 'em out, join in the convo, and have a Blast.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Lament of Thursday the 12th (a poem) and the Poetry Friday Roundup!

The Poetry Friday roundup is here today! Amazingly enough (to me), this is my first time hosting despite participating for... well... a long time. If you leave a link to your Poetry Friday post in the comments, I'll add you to the roundup below.

First, however, I want to start with my own contribution to the festivities, an original poem from the point of view of... a day!

The Lament of Thursday the 12th
Gregory K.

It just isn’t fair.
I want fans. I want fame!
Yet no one reacts when I call out my name.
Folks always look past me.
That’s so wrong. I exist!
I feel like a baby who’s never been kissed.
Now each time I’m here
My whole day’s full of sorrow,
Because of one fact: I’m today, not tomorrow.

And now, with no further ado, let's see what else is going on on this wonderful Poetry Friday:

Over at A Year of Reading, Mary Lee is up with a rictameter and two book reviews. Yes, I said a rictameter.

Melissa at windspirit_girl shares a visual poem called Grace I: Through. This is the first in a series, so be sure to check back there for more.

At The Write Sisters, Diane has posted two cinquains (or is the plural cinquain?) AND shares the rules of the form, including some variations.

Head over to Kurious Kitty's Kurio Kabinet to find Lewis Carroll's advice to an aspiring poet in Poeta Fit, Non Nascitur

The tireless and talented Elaine gives us multiple fun this week: original double dactyls (about characters from children's books and fairytales) at Wild Rose Reader; light verse by Arthur Guiterman at Blue Rose Girls; three new posts at Political Verses - Driving Drunk: A Short Poem about Mary Strey, A Dead Rabbit Toss Competition Poem, and Making the Grade.

At Across the Page, Janet has a review of Elizabeth Spires The Mouse of Amherst. It's a children's introduction to Emily Dickinson... or for adults who've missed her, I say!

Julie Larios posts an original rictameter over at the Drift Record. She also expresses desire for a pictured hat... and who can blame her?

Swine Flu with Asthma is the name of the original rictameter posted by Andromeda Jazmon on a wrung sponge. And it's about her son who, yay, has now beaten the flu.

Is this a new form - the definito? Check out Heidi Mordhorst's poems at My Juicy Little Universe.

Laura Salas treats us thrice: Bear Attack (an original) and Shoal of Sharks (by Richard O'Connell) and the prompt/roundup for 15 Words or Less Poetry, held weekly at her blog.

Liz Garton Scanlon features Susan Taylor Brown's Hugging the Rock over at Liz in Ink. (Oooh, if Susan were to feature Liz on her blog, that'd be soooo cool and circular!)

Diane Mayr features Amy Lowell's On Carpaccio's Picture (and the picture that inspired the verse) at the fabulously-named Random Noodling.

At The Miss Rumphius Effect, Tricia posts a raft of rictameters (she was the inspiration for them all!) as well as Malachi Black's Sifting in the Afternoon.

Kelly Fineman treats us to an excerpt of T.S. Eliot's Love Song of Alfred J. Prufrock at her Writing and Ruminating blog.

At Read Write Believe, Sara Lewis Homes offers up an antidote to "no" with Kaylin Haught's God Says Yes to Me.

Linda has a review of Wendy Mass' Heaven Looks a Lot Like the Mall up atWrite Time.

The Shelf Elf gives us Carl Sandburg's Choose (a poem I had actually just re-run into this week, too).

At Teaching Authors, April Halprin Wayland has an original poem and lesson ideas about Food and Fiction. Yum!

Jama Rattigan's alphabet soup lets us savor Ching Yeung Russell's Tofu Quilt. Again... yum!

Author Amok celebrates the re-issue of Paint Me a Poem by Justine Ransom. It's a fabulous book, y'all.

Mother Reader thinks she's pushing the limits of Poetry Friday with her post today. I disagree. You be the judge!

Jone's got a book review and an original rictameter for us this week for a fun double play.

Martha Calderaro explores the new Poetry Speaks site - a combination social network and poetry market place from Sourcebooks and friends.

Charles Ghigna (aka Father Goose) notes "Style isn't how you write. It's how you do not write like anyone else." in his post On Writing: A Mini-Lecture. Poets... heck, all writers... head on over for a good read.

At There is no such thing as a God-forsaken town, Ruth shares Walter de la Mare's November. How fitting!

Lisa in Little Rock share's poet Dave Johnson's Cheating. Not a poem for kids, perhaps, but fine poetry indeed.

Sylvia Vardell features Lee Bennett Hopkins at Poetry For Children. Actually, it's not just Lee, but her discovery of the process and materials that led to one of his anthologies being published. It's a great read.

At bookstogether, Anamaria also, yet differently, posts about Paint Me a Poem: Poems Inspired by Masterpieces of Art. See... I'm not the only one who loves this book.

An original poem, I'm not this girl, is the Poetry Friday treat from Miss Erin

How about some barbeque poetry? Julie Reinhardt, author and BBQ-er, offers up a tasty 'Q poem called Eck. I Don't Inject. at She-Smoke.

I'll keep updating as more comments come in. Feel free to leave your link below!

And if, by chance, 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, November 12, 2009

Pssst. Poetry Friday's here tomorrow....

I'm going to be hosting Poetry Friday tomorrow (Friday, November 13th). I'm putting this post up now for all you East Coasters who won't be awake at midnight my time when I put up the actual roundup post.

Feel free to leave me your link and info in the comments below. I'll add you to whatever roundup post I do. I may, or may not, delete this post afterwards, so don't be TOO brilliant in the comments!

All about Lula's Brew, Elizabeth O. Dulemba's picture book iPhone app

When author/illustrator Elizabeth O. Dulemba announced she had a picture book iPhone app called Lula's Brew for sale (you can find it on iTunes or by searching the App Store for "Lula"), I was excited. I love seeing authors and illustrators (and publishers, too, by the way) experimenting with technology and distribution methods.

In fact, I was so excited that I asked Elizabeth a bunch of questions, which she kindly answered. You can see the full interview over at The Happy Accident. You can also see my comment on that post in which I talk about kids' reaction to the app (it's good!) and some of the iPhone economics.

I really hope you'll go read the interview and chime in (here or there) about both the changes and the possibilities in the business of children's literature.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Come See Me in January in Santa Barbara!

Maybe you can't come to Asilomar in February... but what about Santa Barbara in January?

January 8-10th, I'll be part of the faculty for the SCBWI Ventura/Santa Barbara region's 2010 retreat - Thriving in a Changing Inudstry: Cyber-Promotion Tools for Published Authors & Illustrators.

I'll be presenting along with Lisa Yee, Anastasia Suen, and Harold Underdown in a weekend put together by Alexis O'Neill. I've attended this retreat before, and it was stellar (and fun, to boot).

There are only 28 spots available at the retreat, and registration's now open. Hope to see some of you there!

Sunday, November 08, 2009


For no particular reason, I started playing with my blog template and the like today. I removed 22 "draft" posts, including one from early 2006. I remember starting a couple of these posts, but a few were total mysteries. Upon reading them, I see why they all remained drafts!

I once again confronted the lonnnnnng list of poems over on the right of the blog. For now, as before, they're chronological, but I keep thinking there must be a better way to organize them. I do use labels (for most - some are still unlabeled, I fear), but don't really see a better way to categorize them since the bulk are not linked to other poems by topic or form.

As always, I'm open to hearing ideas on ways I could make that list more helpful, useful, or... well... better! I don't see patterns in the stats and such that give me much help, but maybe one of y'all will know....

Thursday, November 05, 2009


Seeing the Sesame Street characters on Google this week made me flash back to one of my earliest memories. Through the haze of time, I no longer know if it was kindergarten or first grade, but I do remember clearly that the school bus driver did NOT arrive after-school... and the small handful of kids on my route sat around waiting, worrying that if the bus was much later, we'd arrive home too late to watch Sesame Street.

Such were the worries we had back then - and they were worries, I still recall.

The principal drove the bus, eventually. I missed half of Sesame Street.

And I lived to tell the tale!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

The SCBWI San Francisco/South 27th Annual Golden Gate Conference... and Me!

I'm excited to say that I'm going to be part of the faculty for the 27th Annual Golden Gate Conference at Asilomar, held February 19th-21st, 2010. I'll be talking social media for writers and illustrators for children... as well as enjoying what looks to be a fabulous conference.

For years, I've heard rave reviews of the Golden Gate Conference (put on by the SCBWI-San Francisco/South chapter) and looking over the list of my fellow faculty members gives me a nice warm fuzzy feeling. Gary Schmidt!!! Yuyi Morales!!! Ellen Klages (who I met at the very first Kidlitcon)!!! And that's truly just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak.

Registration hasn't opened yet, though I hear it sells out quickly. And if any of y'all are gonna be there, let me know. I'd love to see (or meet!) some familiar faces :-)

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

More Math - and Clothing!

When I was at Kidlitcon09, I was lucky enough to meet Sondy (or Sondra Eklund, if you prefer)of Sonderbooks.

Besides enjoying talking books, we also talked math (and poetry). You see, I talked about Fibonacci poetry and Fibs on the same day that she was wearing her Prime Factorization Sweater.

"What?" you ask, "is a Prime Factorization Sweater?"

It's plain old cool is what it is.

Go to her post about the sweater and find out in more detail. Cool, I tell ya!