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Not So Long Ago, But Pretty Far Away

First, please indulge me with this note:
I hope to be back in the saddle here (though my hay allergies make it hard to actually saddle up). In fact, I’d wanted to catch up, but felt overwhelmed by what I haven’t posted. Where to start? Do I move forward or look back? Today I look back. Tomorrow it might be different. Thanks for bearing with me.


Not so long ago, just after Thanksgiving, I hopped a plane for Tucson and the Arizona Library Association conference. For those of us who live through true winter climates, yeah, not a tough place to go in late November.

The warm weather (even warm by seasonal Tucson standards) couldn’t beat the energy from two great events.

At least for me – and I hope for the audience – the time speaking with three other authors  during the Authors Panel flew way too quickly. And we’d just met. Just met -- a surprising statement given the fact that Jen Ward lives a 30-minute drive (as opposed to a 3-hour flight) from me. It was great finally seeing her in person. And just as great being with Amanda Noll (who’s lovely to have dinner with), and Jillian Kantor (who I would have loved to be able to chat with longer). I’d show you pictures of us all, but I conveniently left my camera upstairs in my hotel room.

However, in the awards luncheon just before, the wonderful Shirley Berow shot this picture.

I’m with my presenter, Hannah, who is as bright as she looks. Just so you know, she loves mashed potatoes. As far as why she and her co-presenter were chosen. “Because we’re awesome!” Somehow she pulled off that line without a stitch of arrogance. If only my characters could.

And yes, I am holding my Grand Canyon Readers Award upside down. Now, I need to erase that picture from my memory banks to stop envisioning all the residents and visitors in Arizona falling from floor to ceiling like figures in an inverted dollhouse.

Another highlight was meeting
Lynne Avril, the current illustrator of the Amelia Bedelia books. It was fun talking Greenwillow business with her.

Reminder to self: For future reference, plan on spending the extra ten bucks to take the Westin La Paloma limo (fabulous hotel ... must return) back to the airport especially if you have a 6am flight. I guarantee they will not be 45 minutes late, getting you to the airport just as your plane is boarding.
(Disclaimer: The shuttle issue was no fault of any Arizona organizer. I booked it myself.)

Finally, a big thanks to Jennifer Whitt and Cheryl McCurry for their fabulous organizational skills, their hospitality, and their warmth.

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Appearances

2010
February 18-21
Writing Retreat
San Antonio, TX

March 21
Midwest Booksellers Association
Spring Meeting
Left Bank Books

May 7
Branson Children's Literature Conference
Branson Intermediate School
Branson, MO

May 15
6:30 pm
Children's Book Week Event
Pudd'nHead Books
Webster Groves, MO

May 25
Skype Session
Children's Lit Students
University of Central Washington

June 1 - 4
8 Middle Schools, Sarasota School District
6th & 7th Grades,
One Book Starbooks Program

July 26
Skype Session
Children's Lit Students
University of Central Washington

2009

March 7, 2009
3:00 pm
BookSpring (formerly RIF) VIP program and signing
BookPeople
Austin, Texas

April 1, 2009
Beth Yeshurun Day School
Houston, Texas

April 2, 2009
2:00 pm signing, Author’s Area
Texas Library Association
Houston, Texas

April 16, 2009
Mid-Rivers Council IRA
Main Street Books
St. Charles, Missouri

April 23, 2009
West Clayton Elementary School
Clayton, North Carolina

May 30, 2009
11:00 am
10th Anniversary Celebration
St. Louis County Library, Headquarters

September 13, 2009
St. Louis Art Fair
12:45 pm
Reading with Ridley Pearson

October 3, 2009
Missouri Literary Festival
Springfield, Missouri

October 6, 2009
Southwest Middle School
Manchester, Missouri

October 7, 2009
3:15 pm speaking
4:30 pm signing
Missouri Library Association Conference
Columbia, Missouri

October 10, 2009
The Big Read
St. Louis, Missouri

October 13-23, 2009
15 Schools, Northeast Independent School District
San Antonio, Texas
October 13 – Redland Oaks Elementary
October 14 – East Terrell Hills and Camelot Elementaries
October 15 – Wilshire and Serna Elementaries
October 16 – West Avenue and Harmony Hills Elementaries
October 19 - Wilderness Oak Elementary
October 20 – Castle Hills and Dellview Elementaries
October 21 – El Dorado and Clear Spring Elementaries
October 22 – Fox Run and Regency Place Elementaries
October 23 – Colonial Hills Elementary

November 5, 2009
Mini-Skype Session
4th & 5th Grade Book Clubs
Patton School
Arlington Heights, Illinois

November 10, 2009
Skype Session
Children's Lit Students
University of Central Washington

November 16, 2009
Mason Ridge Book Club
St. Louis, Missouri

December 1-4
8 Elementary Schools
Frisco, TX
December 1 - Rogers and Fisher Elementaries
December 2 - Curtsinger and Robertson Elementaries
December 3 - Spears and Shawnee Trail Elementaries
December 4 - Bledsoe and Smith Elementaries

December 6, 2009
3:30 pm - 5:30 pm
MICDS Book Fair
Barnes & Noble
Ladue, Missouri
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