Monday, March 28, 2016

Blog Flashback #5 - Ballonstof!

I realize that most of you who know me personally associate me with hot air ballooning very deeply, but if one reads the blog only, well, you wouldn't get that. (OK, fine. You don't get that in person, either). And yet one of my favorite blog-thangs is that a poem of mine initially shared here (and re-shared below) ended up in Ballonstof, the hot air ballooning magazine of the Netherlands.

It's a gorgeous, gorgeous magazine - and I know this because I got a year's subscription when my poem was acquired. I actually can't currently get to my copy of the magazine with my poem in it, sorry to say, but it was placed over an amazing shot of a balloon flying away. Beautiful.

The poem was found via a web search, by the way. And I'd always envisioned the poem about a kid who looses the string of their helium balloon. But it all worked perfectly in the magazine, and the whole experience showed me yet again how international blogging can be... and how happy accidents can come just by putting stuff out into the flow of the world. 

Greg Pincus

“Why, oh why, oh why, oh why????
Oh, please come back!” I moan and sigh.
I jumped but you had gone too high.
Now you’re flying in the sky.
I think I’m really gonna cry….
Goodbye, my poor balloon. Goodbye.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Blog Flashback #4 - Kidlitcon!

Long before there was even the above logo or the loose, overseeing Kidlitosphere Central, a group of us who blogged about children's literature gathered in Chicago for what was the first every Kidlitosphere Conference (aka Kidlitcon!). That was back in 2007 (and blogged about here).

It was a blast. I mean, a total blast.

For most of us, it was the first time we got to meet all these other people who we'd gotten to know online only. It wasn't really a gathering of 60 strangers - so many of us "knew" each other already, so it felt like a gathering of friends.

It was, as Clay Shirky discusses in Here Comes Everyone, the shared desire to go from a virtual space to a real world meetup... and thanks to Robin Brande and a few others, a tradition began that's still going strong (2016 Kidlitcon in Wichita, KS!)

I've been to multiple Kidlitcons, and I wish I could be there every year. They're informative, fun, and you meet remarkable people who can become offline friends in the same way they are your online friends. It's pretty fantastic.

The meeting of fellow bloggers is definitely one of my 10 years of blogging highlights. And so "hi!!!!!" all my Kidlitcon friends past, present, and future - it's great knowing you.

Friday, March 04, 2016

Poetry Re-issue: Thoughts During My Spelling Test

Thoughts During My Spelling Test
Greg Pincus

Yacht, February, aisle, cologne?
I've got to think. Leave me alogne.
Isthmus, Wednesday, queue, colonel?
I give up. This test's infolonel!

It's Poetry Friday, and I'm continuing my look back at 10 years of blogging by revisiting a nearly five year old poem. To be honest, I'd totally forgotten about this one until I re-stumbled into it (one of my favorite things about having my own blog, I must admit!). Here's something unforgettable, though -  this week's Poetry Friday Roundup over at TeacherDance. Check it out! You'll be glad you did, I tell ya!

And if you want to get all my 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, March 03, 2016

Blog Flashback #3 - Visitors and Guests

Continuing to think about my 10 years of blogging here, one of my favorite, unexpected experiences has to be the guests and visitors who've come traipsing through these parts. And I'm not really talking about guest posts or things like that. I'm talking the more surprising.

For example, if you spin through the comments on GottaBook, you'll end up finding a veritable who's who of children's literature. This is true on many other blogs as well, by the way, and speaks to the fact that we're a community in the best sense of the term. But it was certainly unexpected when I started here. (You'll also find a who's who of my relatives! But I expected that cuz they rock.)

You'll also find an amazing array of voices who have supported children's literature through blogs and Twitter and online and offline publications - librarians, teachers, authors, illustrators, editors, reviewers, historians, you name it. I had started blogging in part because I also wanted a seat at the table - a voice in conversations about a subject I care about. From my blog, I went out and talked elsewhere... but sometimes that conversation took place here!

And I also always flash back to this post from the 2006 SCBWI Conference. I live-blogged the conference that year, and at the Golden Kite Luncheon (the SCBWI awards show), I passed my laptop around and had everyone at the table I was at say something. Looking back now I see Don Tate and Jay Asher and Robin Mellom and Leslie Muir and Eve Porinchak - all now (or very soon to be) published, but at the time, I think only Don among us all had anything out in the children's book world. Now, 10 years later....

This topic will come up again, in a couple different ways, as I talk more about my 10 years here. So I'll end it for today with thanks to everyone who's been kind enough to share themselves here in any way. Because y'all rock!