Tag: Master Sergeant

KidLitCon 2010 Review Part 2

Here’s Part 2!  I went offline while I was staying with the Master Sergeant’s parents.  They are wonderful hosts and made my sniffly self very welcome.  I noticed, when I got home on Monday, that it felt as though I had been away far longer than 2 days for having been offline during that time.  How to extend your vacation through lack of technological devices…a future idea to examine.

Anywho, back to Saturday afternoon.  When last we left our intrepid hedgehog, she was off in search of tissues and armed with directions from author Steve Brezenoff to a pharmacy for better sinus clearing medication.

The last two sessions of the day were about the emerging changes in school/library visits by authors.  Nancy Carlson was there–insert a bit of fan girl moment here! I’m not a huge picture book reader but it was Nancy Carlson! Cool! She shared with us her first author visit–a small library where no one showed up, and where she thought she might be off the hook until a busload of senior citizens arrived with her as the afternoon entertainment.

Most authors visits still come through word of mouth, though that mouth is expanding to tweets, blogs, etc… Another story Nancy shared was about how mentioning a trip to Maine for an author visit turned into a ten day tour down the North East coast.  Nick at TeachingBooks.net joined us via Skype, demonstrating that technology from Montreal and talking about how author visits can come via Skype and how teachers/librarians can use resources such as his site to get pre-taped videos in advance or in substitute or addition to a school visit so kids can connect more with the authors their reading about.

One of the new things with author visits that was hit on was how now we have to be concerned about whether or not it is okay to take pictures of kids. Schools now have various forms that are usually filled out in advance.  At a library visit, because it tends to be public, parents can have the okay–still it can be a gray area.  This is something librarians can plan in advance so they have kids who can be photographed and included on the authors blog.  The idea of photographing a bulletin board relating to the author that the kids created was also a way to include the kids without showing actual pictures of them.

Our final session talked about the creation of the Kidlitosphere and the Cybils.  We got a quick history of the kidlitosphere, including creation of the word. We heard who some of the heavy hitters were–I added a few names to the RSS feeds (Children’s Literacy: Scrub a Dub Tub; Cynsations for author interviews).  I didn’t realize there was a Yahoo! Group specifically for the kidlitosphere.  I may peruse though I’m not sure I’ll be an active participant at the moment.

The Cybils were most interesting.  The award was described as the “Organic Chicken Nugget” award for children’s literature–really taking into account what was child friendly as well as well written, rather than trying to lean on one or the other.  This year they saw the number of people volunteering to be judges jump to twice their actual need but those of us interested in the future are encouraged to apply. One can follow along on Twitter or Facebook too.  There are two rounds of judging: the short list and the winners. The short list sounds like the Newbery work–read ALL these wonderful books and pick the best five.  Intimidating amounts of reading, eh?  But hey, gets us into the lit of the year right? And it gives librarians a small list to run down and see if we’ve got all of them….Speaking of that backlist blogging…

Then was wrap up, announcement of locations of 2011 (Seattle) and 2012 (NYC).

I pinned Liz Burns at the end of the day and we had a nice chat about the infamous SLJ cover.  And then I was back onto I94, managing to miss both Presidential and Viking traffic!

And One Important Thing More:

Today is Veteran’s Day….

Both of my friends who are actively serving are stateside at present, for which I’m incredibly grateful. When I was growing up, today was a day we honored wars long past memory. Now, I’m helping people honor friends and family members currently engaged in Iraq and Afghanistan.

To the Master Sergeant and 2nd Lieutenant and everyone else serving in the armed forces, to those who have served at home and abroad:

Thank you

September 11: Year 8

It’s gotten easier, now that time has passed. The immediacy isn’t quite so upon us.

And I say this as a young woman who broke down in tears in front of Carmen Agra Deedy when she shared with me the beautiful picture book she wrote about the gift of cows made to America by the Maasai tribe in Africa. That was only six weeks ago.

As my grandparents remember Pearl Harbor, and my parents the day Kennedy was shot: I remember 9/11/01.

I know where I was when the first plane hit (Renaissance Women in Italy History course). I know who the first person I reached on the phone was (Master Sergeant). I can remember shutting off the television because my roommate Cindy and I were so numb from repetition that there were no tears left. I can remember the name of someone who should have been at work that day and wasn’t.

I can remember, a year later, tears streaming unashamedly down my face as I was a part of the Rolling Requiem. I remember feeling as though I’d just dropped 100 feet when the NJ Transit train pulled into the daylight–and I realized that I was riding around inside the basement of the towers.

Today, as I imagine it will be for the rest of my life, I will remember.

Of Yarn and Photography

I took a furlough day the other day (ours are voluntary, this year at least, and only one day makes the damage to the paycheck manageable) and Sibling-the-Elder and I went to a yarn festival.

I was less than thrilled by the festival. I’d signed up for email notifications, arranged a hotel, all sorts of things. Upon arriving at the location of the festival I was told, in stringent tones, there was a $10 entry fee and they only accepted cash at the gate. (Please note–the entry fee was never mentioned in the emails, I went back and looked.) Okay, fine, point me to an ATM. There was one inside but they weren’t going to let me go in because people were cheats and liars and didn’t come back to pay the entry fee. Yes, that’s really what I was told. Nothing like being accused of being a cheat upon arrival. Finally, it was determined that another worker could walk me to/from the ATM. Considering that all I was getting for my really high entry fee was a walk through the vendors, I was disgruntled.

Once we achieved the vendors, who were sprawled out across a huge building in a seeming haphazard manner, I looked, but didn’t buy. Can you believe I was actually not in a mood to buy yarn? I was nearly shaken out of it when we reached a vendor selling Blue Moon Fiber Arts Yarns. BMFA is on the west coast and I’ve never been in a shop that carried it. (The Master Sergeant and I have discussed a west coast trip for fishing and BMFA reasons.) Tina, the BMFA color-mistress, came up with a cool process of infusing black and white with hints of color and I wanted some of those yarns. Only, the vendor was complaining that they’d had inadequate time to set up and refused to let me in the booth to those yarns. Four hours to set up the day before, and it was nearly noon when I got to the booth. Disgruntled was deteriorating into peevish.

Ultimately I bought one skein of yarn, some beautiful green wool from New Zealand. And truly, most of the vendors were lovely, but I felt really turned off overall.

When we adjourned to the outside, there was good Polish food!! Despite my braces having been freshly tightened, Sibling-the-Elder and I packed away blini, potato pancakes, sausage and applesauce and loads of sour cream.

And then we adjourned to out front of the community college–to take pictures.

Sibling-the-Elder is quite a photographer and it had been nearly ten years since she’d last done a full shoot of me. Usually being in different states, if not continents, tends to do that. Here are a few of the pictures, we took over 400 and edited heavily. The yarn is the one skein I acquired that day.