Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Amazing Day at Leicester Elementary School

Lucky me!

I got to spend the day with students and teachers at Leicester Elementary School in Leicester, North Carolina - celebrating their One School One Book program. 

The whole school had read 


How cool is that?

Here are some pics from that great day:

Presenting to some eager 3rd graders
Being filmed by the local TV station

Huge thanks to librarian Caryn Levy for all of her hard work and warm hospitality

Students had made some awesome projects, including cool boats.

Posing with the winners of the boat/poster contest

Students showing me some of their projects

Teachers and students made some amazing bulletin board displays

Thank you, Leicester Elementary, for this amazing day!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

A Fantastic Author Visit

I had an amazing author visit to Paris Elementary School in Taylors, South Carolina, today.

You know it's going to be a good day when you are greeted with this sign outside the school.

And another one inside the school!
Students in Mrs. Boebel's class.
With my new BFF, Mrs. Boebel

Students in Mrs. Boebel's class wrote and performed a skit of How to Steal a Dog
I love the set they made for their skit.

Khamari, Aydan, Reid and Cooper performed an original rap for me. I LOVED it. My favorite line was: "She is the best I see. She's better than Jeff Kinney."

And as if that wasn't enough, they showered me with gifts!!

THE most amazing decoupaged birdhouse you've ever seen!!!

The amazing Mrs. Boebel

The birdhouse now has a place of honor in my office to remind me of this wonderful day:

They gave me trail mix cookie mix in Bertha's canning jar (from Wish)

And gummy worms to thank me for making them bookworms!

Even Martha and Ruby got gifts.

Thank you to the thoughtful student who gave me these to keep the dogs safe in the car!

Waiting patiently for their cookie. (Thank you, Kylie!)

Ruby loved the toy.
 And flowers

Thank you, Paris Elementary, for this amazing day!!!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Lessons from Dead Matter

"Dead matter" refers to all of the paper left over after a book has gone to press: the original manuscript with editor's and copy editor's comments, the various rounds of revised manuscripts, etc.

It's always fun to take a look at the minutiae involved in getting a manuscript into tip top shape. And, alas, I often realize some of the mistakes I make over and over again. Sheesh.

You can see some past Lessons from Dead Matter HERE.

I just got my dead matter back for Wish and thought I'd share some of the mistakes I made - almost always involving hyphens and compound words. Minutiae, minutiae.

 Redheaded is one word, not hyphenated.

Bread-and-butter pickles IS hyphenated.

Ta-da is hyphenated. (I know, I know....I'm questioning that one, too)

Meat loaf is two words. (But, hey, meatloaf still looks right to me)

Lunch box is two words but tailpipe is one word.

Hot dog is two words but bottlecap is one word.

Popsicle is capitalized.

Jibber-jabber is hyphenated. 

Now, according to Yankee copy editors, barbecue is spelled with a "c".  I don't care what they say, in North Carolina, we spell it barbeque.

And after 26 years, I STILL don't get the correct spacing for ellipses.

So there you have it.

Dead matter..



Saturday, January 28, 2017

My Amazing Visit to Cypress Fairbanks Schools in Texas - Week 2

Week 2 started with a bang at Matzke Elementary School, where I spent the day with librarian extraordinaire Karen Womack.

Karen Womack (left) and me

The students wrote wishes (inspired by my book WISH) and put them in the treasure chest:

Next stop: Hemmenway Elementary

I was honored to meet 4th grade teacher and fan Mrs. Marshall.

And 4th grade teacher and fan, Mrs. Parks.

The next day, I was picked up by librarian, Paula Baiamonte, to begin a terrific day at Robinson Elementary. Thank you, Paula, for all of your hard work!

Paula Baiamonte (left) and me

Presenting to students at Robinson

Check out this fun-loving group of Name That Book students

The next day librarian Jennifer Buchert picked me up to start our amazing day at Copeland Elementary. Jennifer and I found out pretty quickly that we are soul sisters - so much in common (starting with dogs and ending with a deep love for organization and label makers)

Jennifer Buchert left) and me

I was greeted by this sweet sign made by students.

I adored this poster showing students sharing my books with their dogs.
I had a great lunch with these book-loving fifth graders. We talked books, books, books.

Next up? An amazing dinner with LOTS of Cypress Fairbanks librarians and four other authors. We had great food and lots of laughs. A night to remember.

(l to r) Chris Barton, me, Phil Bildner, Kirby Larson, Jeff Mack

A super selfie with (l to r) Chris Barton, me, Jennifer Garstecki Lucas, Phil Bildner, Jeff Mack, Kirby Larson

Next, I was off to Willbern Elementary, where librarian Laura Bissey was such a welcoming hostess and the kids were prepared and enthusiastic.

A darling book display

Me and librarian Laura Bissey
 Next? Off to Ault Elementary:

Me with librarian Wanda Rundell

My last day was amazing. Thank you so much, Swenke Elementary!

Thanks so much for making my visit to Swenke so great, Angie Arnett (right)

I loved this YooHoo boat display made by a third grade teacher. That giant YooHoo boat is filled with thank you notes for me!

 I presented to a library full of enthusiastic third graders. Here are some of them:

Here I am with my new friend and super reader, Chase

The amazing team of 3rd grade teachers. Thank you all for preparing your students for this amazing day.

(l to r) Principal Liz Miller, me, librarian Angie Arnett

Then it was off to the airport to catch my flight back to North Carolina.

 Thank you, Cypress Fairbanks!!!
Y'all know how to host an author!