Saturday, April 27, 2013

Texas Library Association Conference 2013 (#TXLA13)

Just back from the 2013 Texas Library Association Conference in Fort Worth! 

 First, some pics I took when I went running:
Reflected in doors of federal courthouse
Boarded up freight depot
Post office
Gorgeous art deco court building (foreground). New city hall (back)
Monument to JJ Burnett
A couple shots of publisher dinners:

Daniel Nayeri and onion ring mountain
Candlewick "family" dinner
Steak tartare

 And on the conference floor:

Spirit of Texas panel
Cyn and me and this awesome dinosaur book

Signing with E. Kristen Anderson and the Book Festivals of Texas booth
Kathi Appelt poses with her forthcoming release

Debbie Leland and Gingerbread Football guy
Cyn at the Mackin booth
Many thanks to all the publishers, librarians, organizers, sponsors, exhibitors, etc., for a fabulous event!  

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Event Pics -- RIF and Bridget Zinn's POISON

A couple weeks ago, Cyn, Chris Barton, and Tim Tingle were featured authors at an event at the LBJ Library sponsored by Reading is Fundamental.  Here are some pics:

Tim and Chris watch while Cyn displays JINGLE DANCER
Day Glo Brothers, Saltypie, and Jingle Dancer

Chris, Cyn, and Tim sign their books

Joy Hein, Kathi Appelt, and Cyn like Ike.
Monkey in the middle

Then, last week, we attended a gathering at BookPeople for the release of the late Bridget Zinn's POISON.  To celebrate, a group of Austin authors signed copies of the book, which are now available at BookPeople!  To buy a copy, click here.

P.J. Hoover, Susan Kralovansky, Nikki Loftin, Cory Oakes

Liz Garton Scanlon, Me, and Cynthia Levinson
Cyn and me.  Photo courtesy Cory Oakes
Title Page!

Thursday, April 11, 2013


BUILDING OUR HOUSE, by Jonathan Bean (FSG/Macmillan 2013)(ages 4+).  A girl and her family live in a trailer while they build their new house.  An informative text and fun, yet detailed, illustrations take the reader through the year-and-a-half long project. 

Altogether, BUILDING OUR HOUSE is a terrific look at construction and tools and what makes -- and how to make -- the buildings we live in.  Check out the Macmillan web page for an activity guide and interior illustrations.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Capitol 10K 2013

Last Sunday, Cyn and I participated in the biggest 10K run in Texas, the Capitol 10K!  It was Cyn's first ever, and the first one I've done in years.

 Here are some pics:

One of the fun things about it (and one of the fun things it shares with the Turkey Trot) is the folks who wear costumes for the run. Here's just one:

Jetpacks!  It's blurry because they're moving so fast...

Another of the fun things was the bands and music groups that played along the race route.   Among my favorites were St. Martin's Lutheran Church playing "For unto Us a Child is Born" from Handel's Messiah as we were climbing the 15th Street hill; the Connally High School Marching band under the MoPac bridge; and the Japanese drum group on Cesar Chavez.

15th Street hill on the way down

Finisher area
Many thanks to all the organizers, sponsors, volunteers and participants.  Thanks also to the folks in Austin who put up with the traffic delays!

Monday, April 08, 2013


UPDATE:  Congrats to Arthur Slade on meeting the fund-raising goal!  Can't wait to see the finished product!

Arthur Slade, author of the terrific Hunchback Assignments series (see my recs of the first two books here), is in the midst of an intriguing new crowd-funding project: a standalone graphic novel called MODO: EMBER'S END.

They've got a pile of perks, including signed copies, T-shirts, original art, and Skype visits.

Here's what the funds are going toward:
We're looking for enough greenbacks to print a full-colour collector's edition of Ember's End. (It's gonna look real purrrty.) The artist and author will also be paid for their work. More importantly, we have several awesome stretch rewards in mind should we surpass our funding goal. Will it be buttons? T-shirts? Airships for everyone? Stay tuned.
They have three more days to raise the goal of $15,000. 

Here's the link to the Indiegogo EMBER'S END page.

And check out the trailer:

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Welcome to Jurassic Park!

Me and Leo
In two days, the 3D version of Jurassic Park is released, which explains the T-shirt. 

It's been twenty years since the movie was originally released and it still has some of the best, most-true-to-life effects and realistic dinosaurs of any dinosaur movie, anytime, anywhere.  And the score and main theme by John Williams are his best, IMHO.

I have a lot of favorite scenes, particularly the one where the lawyer gets eaten by the T.rex. :-).  It also formed the basis for some irreverent but nonetheless legitimate science:

In The Complete Dinosaur (Indiana University Press 1997),  M.K. Brett-Surman and James O. Farlow address the question thusly:
It is agreed by all living humans that the highlight of the movie Jurassic Park (Universal Studios 1993) was the consumption of the lawyer by the true hero of the movie, Tyrannosaurus rex.  This brings up the obvious question: how many lawyers would it take to properly feed a captive T.rex?
The answer: it depends on whether a T.rex is endothermic or exothermic (i.e., cold or warm-blooded).  Their conclusion?   If the T.rex is warm-blooded, 292 lawyers per year.  If the T.rex is cold-blooded, 73 lawyers per year.  Assuming the average lawyer weighs 150 pounds and weighs around 4.5 tons, that is.  Now you know.

That said, my favorite scene of the movie was (and still is) is the one where Grant and Sadler first see the brachiosaur and the herd of hadrosaurs in the distance.  It just has a majestic feel to it, and was the first time you actually saw dinosaurs as "real" animals:

So, yes, I'm going to see it in 3D, and enjoy every minute of it. :-). 

P.S. The Complete Dinosaur just issued as a second edition last fall and you should check it out.
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