Friday, February 27, 2009

My First Book Signing!

Last Sunday afternoon, I participated in the Phenix City Russell County Public Library's first author book signing. It was my first, too. Each of the eight authors shared briefly from our books ranging in topic from Creek Indians of the Chattahoochee Valley to famous guests at the Springer Opera House to young adult fantasy to growing up in Smith Station to surviving the Battle of the Bulge. It was such fun to add my Georgia biographies to the mix, even though we were over the river in Alabama!

The PCRC Public Library is a wonderful community library. They host interesting and educational events every week. And they are well attended. I have enjoyed working with them.

They have a great YA crowd, too! Many thanks to Corey for my photo. I forgot my camera, again.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Things We Forget

The last manuscript I completed for State Standards Publishing was in the third grade set on Georgia habitats. At the last minute we separated the large coastal plain and added a book on the Upper Coastal Plain area. So I had just written about the long-leaf pines and the wire grass when I had reason to head over in that direction for my aunt's funeral. She lived well, loved much, and had a good funeral (if such a thing exists). I spent some happy moments as a girl building cities in the sand of my grandaddy's driveway, reading a book by the pond while my parents and brother fished (I wasn't much for worms in those days), and pushing the wide porch swing as high as I could get it to go.

One of the defining factors of this area of Georgia is the soft, sandy, soil. You can stand in what looks like solid ground and sink to the tops of your shoes.

I rode with my brother and his wife in the back seat of his car past towns like Junction City, Tarversville, Danville, and Allentown, all the way to Swainsboro. When I went there as a kid, our car slowed down to pass through all these little towns on the coastal plain. Now we just bypass most of them and I wonder who lives there and what they do and where they got their names.

When we got to Swainsboro, I climbed out of the back of the little red car. My feet tangled in the seat belt and I plunged forward onto the sandy soil. I had forgotten about the sand spurs. Memories of running barefoot across the yard rushed back to my conscious mind. Balancing on tiptoes until someone came to pick me up and carry me back to the porch and pick the wicked little burrs out of my feet.

My brother came to my rescue. Apparently he had forgotten about the sand spurs, too. He tried to brush the sand off my coat and they attacked his hands.

I was still picking sand spurs out of my coat when I got home. One stuck fast in the fur collar had to be cut out. My mother and dad made sure I didn't leave any on my shoes or feet to be carried back to the harder ground of the fall line. Apparently one little seed will grow a whole field of the things. Make sure they land in the garbage can!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Recovering a child-like mind

As writers for children, it is essential to find that corner of our own mind that still thinks like a child. The problem is that our adult minds tend to send those thoughts to stand in the corner facing the wall. We can easily miss the wonder that accompanies our random childlike musings.

Yesterday I sat in my special thinking quiet thoughts chair with a good book and a cup of hot tea. I automatically jerked my hand away when I tipped the cup and splashed hot Earl Grey on my fingers. Ow!

I wiped my fingers, readjusted my grip, and sipped the steaming cup. My eyes went back to the book, but my mind wandered to the corner where that little kid was observing everything in her scope. And there, a question was brewing.

Why is the tea too hot for my fingers, but doesn't burn my tongue?

Now my adult mind needs an answer.

What burning questions have you stumbled upon lately?

Monday, February 9, 2009


I love libraries or media centers, as most schools now refer to them. Those folks in charge, media specialists/librarians, have so much more on their plates now than just books.

I was in four libraries today in the role of sales person. All four media specialists were sitting at varying degrees of the stressed out chart. My heart goes out to them. I wish I could be their media assistant for a while--at least until things settled down, send them flowers, say a prayer for peace. Mainly, I just help them spend their money. Hopefully, I help them do it well.

If you have a child in school, say thanks to their media specialist. He/she does a lot with a little.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Book Cover for new Georgia Habitats series

Here is the cover for one of the books in my upcoming series on Georgia habitats. I'm really pleased. My publisher is doing a first class job.

The first set, the second grade Georgia biographies, have done really well with schools in Georgia. Since the state moved Georgia history to second grade, teachers have been scraping for books at their students' level. I'm just thrilled to be part of this.

And it's a real thrill to see your name on a bookshelf in the library!