Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Voting - Count your blessings!

Could it be any easier? Everything is handed to us - candidate info, ballot issue pamphlet written by the Secretary of State right in our mailboxes, time away from work and school to vote and on campus they will even drive you to the polling station. We are so spoiled!
      This semester, we read a children's picture book set under Stalin's rule called Breaking Stalin's Nose. This book is no "fluff and puff". It is a serious look from a child's perspective about living under Stalin's "democracy"  - it gave me chills! 
     Imagine what it's like to be told you have a vote, but be forced to vote how the authority's want you to vote. Voting any other way would mean you are a traitor and traitors go to the labor camp. Usually we call that "dystopian", but it's real life, baby. This little book based on the experiences of Eugene Yelchin and his father can make you count your blessings all the way to the voting booth:

Find Breaking Stalin's Nose at

Monday, November 5, 2012

Children's Festival of the Book

     Bozemanites love their books!  For a city of 40,000 people they recently built a 50,000 square foot LEED certified library. That's just under 1 square foot per person. With the average novel having a one inch spine, I'd say they have 12 books per person in Bozeman.

     So, what to do with all that space? CELEBRATE! The 5th annual Children's Festival of the Book was out of this world! Caldecott winner Paul Zelinsky gave a wildly entertaining presentation about how he became an illustrator and how illustrating a book happens. Here he is signing Z is for Moose for my son, Dakota.

     And Ernest Hemmingway's grandson who is a fantastic children's author and illustrator, Edward Hemmingway is signing Bump in the Night for him too. He looks so much like his grandfather!

Both are unique stories - Moose is taking over the boring alphabet book, Bump in the Night is about a good monster who captures all the other monsters for the boy who is afraid of the dark.

And for young adult literature fans, Jeanne DuPrau's City of Ember novel and graphic novel adaptation. What was even more fantastic than having her sign them, was sitting in on her presentation titled, "The Road to Ember".

Word of wisdom shared by Jeanne for the audience who may want to write:

  • Know your grammar
  • Write about what you like
  • Write about what you dislike
  • Write about what you know
  • Write about what terrifies you
...and all those people and things important to you will come to the surface.

Her presentation was followed by a hands on circuit building session with light bulbs and wires - so cool! 

After listening to Jeanne DuPrau, my 9 year old told a wild story all the way home about HIS ideal underground city. I tell you, he didn't stop with one novel idea but told about each book in his series. The boys and I can't WAIT for the next festival!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Do I look like I'm ready for Comic-Con?

Is this a writer's costume?

      I got the shirt made  and the inspirational Wonder-socks. How about the Comic-Con pass I'm trying to flip over in the pict - maybe that's convincing? Or maybe the Query/Reject letters in the briefcase? If only I had a picture of myself with Chewbaka, that would be convincing!

     It was tons of fun! I couldn't help thinking that when writers are in Starbucks typing away on their laptops, are the really just collecting data on strangers?

And to make it even more fun, I got to make my teenagers VOTE FOR PEDRO shirts and one most certainly pulled off the Napoleon costume! 

And to top it all off, our church's Harvest Party was such a blast AND had team of Fire-dancers!!