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Archive for April, 2012

Busy Month

April has been incredibly busy for me, including several school visits in Houston and Indiana and a week long librarian’s conference. I haven’t had time to write a meaningful blog with useful information, so I’ll just recap some of the highlights of the past month.

I had a wonderful time visiting schools in Indiana.   I especially loved the cold weather — down to freezing and even 29 degrees one night.  What a refreshing change from the weather in Texas when I left home — upper 80s. I decided to drive to Indiana from Central Texas — 2200 miles round trip — because I do not like to fly and have so many props and materials that it is difficult to carry them onto a plane.  The trip to Indiana was pleasant, loved the rolling mountains of Tennessee and Kentucky, but the trip back was filled with disaster, including me taking a tumble at a road side rest stop. Wrenched arm, bruises, busted knee, busted chin, having to chomp on aspirin every four hours and a fifteen hour drive on the last day made me rethink ever driving that far again.

Here is a great bulletin board that one of the elementary schools in Connersville, IN created for me. I signed each of the posters so the creators would have a souvenir. The students were fantastic –some of the best behaved I’ve ever spoken to.

After returning from Indiana, I immediately packed up for the week long Texas Library Association (TLA) conference in Houston. I shared a booth with fellow Texas author, Melanie Chrismer, for five days — what a week! Over 5,000 librarians attended and quite a few stopped by the booth to buy books and take brochures advertising author visits. The booths are expensive, but hopefully will generate author visits. I have been attending TLA since 1992 and have manned booths for at least ten of those years. You never know what might happen. This year the booth across from us had a live parrot and tiny monkey. Very interesting!

Layne Johnson, the illustrator for my next book, Voices of Pearl Harbor, was at the conference painting one of the illustrations. He dressed like a WWII sailor for effect. He created quite a buzz and many people stopped by to look at his gorgeous work. He brought two finished paintings — fantastic! I especially like the one of the Japanese women.

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