Goldie’s Going to Alaska! No joke!

It’s April (see below for excuses why I haven’t written!) and next week Goldie, Bo Peep, and I are going to Alaska! (No this is not a belated April fool’s joke!) Alaska Gateway School District–3 hours from Fairbanks– has invited me to be their visiting author for their Young Writers and Illustrators Conference, and help the students write their own books. How cool is that?  [Note: according to the web, actual temps will range from a high of 40 degrees and a low of 7 below. DEFINITELY COOL! ]  I promise to bring my camera (well–actually, it’s my daughter’s camera…)–and BIG DRUM ROLL–share my adventure with all when I get back–(Not in two months–Can I do this?? check back in and see!)

Erin’s Top 4 excuses for not writing in this blog since February:Caitlyn_and_erin_at_atheneum_3 

I. SCBWI New York was awesome! The best part  was running into Atheneum ‘s Emma Dryden and spending time with my editor, Caitlyn Dlouhy, who is so insightful, and positive, and fun to work with, I consider myself one very lucky writer! Sat in on Caitlyn’s break-out session where she said VOICE and personality are what attracts her to a manuscript. Look at this woman’s desk! (photo right) Do you still wonder why it takes editors so long to respond to your manuscript? : )  

2. Asilomar SCBWI Golden Gate Conference: Despite a bit of rain, my author pals Anne Martin Bowler and Elaine Russell and I were able to squeeze in some walks on the beach and I got to hang out with the amazing Patricia Polacco. If you have never hearPatricia_and_erind Patricia speak, you are missing something fabulous. She mesmerized the room full of writers and illustrators with her stories and her words of wisdom, "We don’t fear failure! (This happens to us every day.) We fear success!" Isn’t that the truth?  I also had the pleasure of meeting editor Randi Rivers (Charlesbridge) who gave me some excellent comments on one of my manuscripts–(see excuse #3), and hear Liz Szabla (Feiwel and Friends) talk about–guess what??–VOICE  (Is there a recurring theme here??)

3. This much I’ve learned: A writer needs to write more than blogs and e-mails. I’m working on three new manuscripts and revising another per Randi River’s request, so I need to end this blog soon!Bobm_photo

4. Author Visits! Love, love, love them! Thank you to Kira and Isabelle who wrote to me recently. I’m thrilled you think I’m funny! Yay! Thank you to the Sacramento Area Library Association for inviting me to be part of your Author’s Symposium last weekend, and to the ARRC committee and my workshop participants at the Asilomar Regional Reading Council Conference March 1-2, who dove in and tried all of my crazy theater games! Hi to Korematsu Elementary (Davis CA), Stonegate Elementary (San Jose CA),Visions in Education (Woodland CA), Sargeant Elementary (Roseville CA), Glenwood School (Sacramento CA), Jackson Elementary (El Dorado Hills CA) and all five schools in the Buckeye Union School District!

Time to PBIC and get back to writing!  How about you?   

Happy I Love to READ month

February already??? Well, it’s certainly been a while since my last entry…What have I been doing you ask? Bo_peep_cover

Celebrating SLJ’s selection of Little Bo Peep Can’t Get to Sleep as a REMARKABLE READ (SEPT. 07). Yay !!!!

SCHOOL VISITS! Brooks_3 (Which I love, Love, LOVE!) Many, many thanks to the students and staff at Paradise Valley Elementary (Morgan Hill CA), Spinelli Elementary (Antelope CA),and the schools in Buckeye Union School District (Cameron Park CA): Buckeye Elementary, Blue Oak Elementary , Silva Valley Elementary, William Brooks Elementary for their warm welcomes and enthusiastic responses to my assemblies. : )

And let’s not forget BOOK STORE VISITS, including my upcoming visit to Barnes & NB_n_sunrise_2oble at Sunrise in Sacramento on February 12th, 2008! I’ll be there at 10:30am for Storytime and I have a fun little Valentine craft based on Goldie Locks Has Chicken Pox, who’s just ITCHIN’ TO BE YOUR VALENTINE!

In between all of this, and of course the holidays (LOVELY time–glad they’re over!), I’ve been writing, trying not to bug my agent too much : ) (This agent stuff is fairly new to me and I’ve always been a bit of an over-achiever…), giving a few keynotes including a fun evening with the Placer Area Reading Council, putting together a power point retrospective to celebrate the 25th anniversary of our SCBWI Golden Gate Conference at Asilomar (which is coming up at the end of the month!), writing some more, trying to stay healthy (I think I’m immune to Airborne at this point…) and rooting for my awesome teenage daughter and her Girls’ Varsity basketball team! Go G!

And this weekend, I get to go to the NYC SCBWI conference and hang out with my Valentine in NYC!!!! Can’t wait! I promise to take copious notes, and not to take three more months to enter them in my blog. Check back next week to see if I’m true to my word or just in denial…

Fall into books!

Roseville_barnes_and_noble_020Fall weather makes me want to curl up with a good book! And judging from the armloads of books kids at Barnes & Noble (Roseville CA) were toting this past weekend, I’m not the only one. Little Bo Peep and Goldie Locks and I saw some old friends–like my writing pal Ann Martin Bowler (far left) whose new book, Adventures of the Treasure Fleet (Tuttle) is just out [Congrats Annie!] , and family friends Leah (far right) and her mom who helped some of the smaller booklovers make their sheep puppets(Thank you!), not to mention kids and teachers who remembered me from school visits at Rocklin Academy, Quail Glen, Cobblestone, and Charles Brown Elementary–plus we made lots of new friends too! (Like Noel–who brought her proud grandpa–on my right, and Cody–who knew all of the nursery rhyme references!– on my lap.) How does that song go? 

Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other’s gold. That’s what books are like. Know what I mean?  Those golden friends that kids want to read over and over again. And the new friends that open your world to magical new adventures.

A big thanks to Barnes and Noble event coordinator Christina Richter Roseville_barnes_and_noble_019_3 (below left with her froggy friend who’s holding Shirley Parentau’s picture book One Frog Sang) and the Queen of the children’s section *Deanna* and your staff for such a warm welcome.

Barnes_noble_2 And here’s a silly photo of me reading Goldie Locks Has Chicken Pox. (You can’t say I don’t get into my stories!) : )

Hope you fall into a good book soon!

Bo Peep and Goldie at Barnes and Noble Roseville!

Barnes_and_noble_roseville This Saturday, September 29th, at 11 am, I’ll be the featured Storytime Author at Barnes & Noble in Roseville CA, for their Local Authors AppreciatGoldie_locks_coverion Day!

Come and join the fun with Goldie & Little Bo Peep.

We’ll meet all their friends, sings some songs, and little ones will get to make a sheep puppet to take home (so they’ll never lose their sheep like Bo Peep…). Bo_peep_cover_3

But that’s not all! Beginning at 12 noon, my writing pal,

Anne Martin Bowler, (Adventures of the Treasure Fleet, Gecko’s Complaint) will follow with a fun bead craft–making geckos!

This wonderful childrens’ event continues until 3pm with local authors Shirley Parenteau (One Frog Sang* I hear the frog himself is coming!,

Lee Roddy (Cinnabar) , Ken Ramirez (Gift of the Ancient Grove, and Naida’s Quest Trilogy), and Leslie Cummings (Born to Ride). Local adult authors will be featured after that. Hope to see you there!

Meanwhile, my agent is back from NYC and I have my publishing fingers crossed. Guess it’s time to PBIC and write!

All-things-Harry and Summer Sheep Flock to Kepler’s

August already? Whoosh! That’s what happens when you speDmama2nd your summer at CAMP!Img_2120 That’s me, "Drama Mama," with some of my amazing staff (left photo), and (right) getting an ice cream sundae on my head last summer. (Haven’t downloaded this year’s photos yet!) This summer we told all our theater students at Sugarloaf Fine Arts Camp NOT TO TELL US what happens to Harry. And–dare I admit this Muggle scandal?–I still haven’t had time to stop by my favorite indie to buy the book. (GASP! I can hear your curses now: RIDICULOSO !!!!)

As an author, I can’t even begin to imagine how Ms. Rowling must feel to have her books and characters take on such active lives of their own. Did I say Lives? Heck–more like complete universe! It’s mind boggling. No one has asked to make a theme park of Little Bo Peep Can’t Get To Sleep yet–not that I aspire to that kind of fan base…(And this is not reverse-jealousy-psychology talking. The woman deserves a theme park. Totally.). Nor have my teenage daughter and her friends made their own Goldie Locks Has Chicken Pox t-shirts to wear at the midnight showing of the latest Goldie Locks film… I’m o.k. withKeplers_pic1 that. 

Days before Harry-Time (Hey, if it’s a universe, it no doubt has its own time zone) I was at Kepler’s in Menlo Park CA for a great Storytime (Thank you Angela and Kepler’s staff for holding off Hogwartsing the store until after everyone had made their sheep craft and left with signed Bo Peeps and Goldies. YOU ROCK! )Keplers_2_3, and I realized Storytime is my universe. Seriously. I count my blessings for every opportunity to enjoy a fleeting rock-star status with 7-year-olds but still lead a normal life doing school visits without the Daily Mirror following my bad-hair days (of which I assure you I have plenty) and wondering if I’ll ever have another best-seller. (Come on, guys–leave the woman alone! So what if she never writes a grocery list again after all-things-Harry. That’s like asking the Queen if she’ll ever build another castle.)

As for me, it’s time to do something about the piles of camp laundry extending out of the laundry room and down the hall.  (Perhaps there’s a spell to get it all done at once?) And then it’s back to PBIC and to the book store for Harry.