Thursday, April 19, 2012

Away, Away, Away!

Would you like to know a secret?

Someone is going away for the weekend!

I'm taking no stowaways this time!

I've done my duty to children and tonsils alike this month, 
 aided and abetted a Science Fair project, 
and had my first soccer mom appearance. 
[Egads! - am I a soccer mom?] 

So, no matter how much they ply me 
with beseeching grins, 
I'll be strong. 

...okay, maybe there's room for one very small person...

Time to don my "fancy" clothes,
grab some pens and a notebook,
and click my ruby red slippers

because I'm off to the Emerald City!

It's time for the SCBWI - Western Washington Spring Conference!

I am thrilled to see my Northwest writer pals, 
soak up creative juices from Bonnie Becker, Melissa Sweet 
and other brilliant wits, including my agent, 
Rubin Pfeffer!  

So, If you're coming, hunt me down! 
I'll be the one in the flaming pink boa. 
(Okay, that was a joke. I don't do plumes.)
If you're not coming, I'll glean my best 
to share with you when I get back.

"The most important reason for going from one place
to another is to see what's in between,
and they took great pleasure in doing just that." 
- Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth  

Stunning picture books about journeys:

The Journey, by Sarah Stewart, illustrated by David Small

The Gardener, by Sarah Stewart, illustrated by David Small

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Busy Bees and Happy Clams

When I'm full sail into revisions, I want my wildebeests happy!
Especially the one who just had her tonsils out. 
So I made "Busy Bags." 

"Ready for A Good Yarn" Busy Bag:

What's easier than a skein of yarn, a pair of scissors 
and "looms" made out of cereal boxes? 

It's paired with the clever book
Extra Yarn  - by Mac Barnett, 
illustrated by Jon Klassen
(I am especially enamored of this book!
Must blog more about it later!) 

And weaving was a *hit*!

"Artists Can Have Fun, Too" Busy Bag:
Complete with sketch pads, 
new art supplies and some luscious library finds!
I loved these books so much I have to do 
a separate post about them later. 

Art & Max - by David Weisner
The Fantastic Drawings of Danielle - by Barbara McClintock
Charlotte in Giverny -Joan MacPhail Knight, ill by Melissa Sweet
Charlotte in Paris -Joan MacPhail Knight, Melissa Sweet

"I'm Game if You Are" Busy Bag:
Stuffed full of card games, homemade goo-in-a-bag,
flash cards, dry-erase board, kid magazines
and these books:
Mini Racer - Kristy Dempsey,
illustrated by Bridget Strevens-Marzo
My Many Colored Days - by Dr. Seuss,
illustrated by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher

See that goo? 
Who knew a little hair gel and food coloring 
would make for hours of fun?

The kids are busy as bees and happy as clams.
And now - full steam ahead to those novel rewrites!

Our Busy Bag books:

Sick Day Geo-Caching

The tonsil fairy whisked away those pesky tonsils, and what did she leave in her wake....?

A sparkling surprise awaited Winnie after surgery.
A glittering envelope,
handmade flower paper,
and a nearly invisible note!
Thank you, Tonsil Fairy!
White paint pen scrawled on clear vellum
made for a very secret missive from our new friend!

No dimes or quarters from this gal. She left fairy dust.

And a little cranky dust.

I guess that's what you get when you mix Spring Break,
four kids,
one with a sad little throat,
and a nine-days of bed-rest!

Wait, doctor -
did you just say we can't leave the house for NINE days?
Right. No car rides. Keep it mellow. Gotcha.
Nine days' wonder. That's us.

So, since Winnie was confined to the couch,
I did my best to keep the gang entertained with "busy bags"
A book treasure hunt.

Much like geo-caching, except without the GPS, and with less physical exertion.

The girls had to read a clue,
figure out which book the clue described,
and find "coordinates" hidden on a post-it note in that book.
Each coordinate was made of
a Page number, Sentence number, Word number,

which gave them one word of a mystery message.

Then they hunted through the book for a new clue,
which led them to another book, with coordinates and clues...

And at long last, a secret message:

Even Sugar Snack joined in the fun.

And Winnie smiled.

So, if you're thinking about hosting
a tonsil extraction anytime soon,
go for the popsicles.
and maybe a word hunt...


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