Thursday, June 30, 2005

ALA conference

Cyn and I are just back from the annual American Library Association conference in Chicago! We spoke on a panel on Humor in Multicultural literature with co-panelist Cecil Castellucci, author of Boy Proof. Many thanks to Victor Schill for organizing it!

The night we got in, we had the pleasure of dinner with Carolyn Crimi; Laura Ruby; Marsha Qualey; Franny Billingsley and her two kids (and a friend whose name I can't remember!); Nancy Werlin; Jacqueline Davies; Jennifer Jacobsen; and Mary Pearson and her husband. Then we went out to drinks with David Lubar and his lovely wife Joelle at the Signature Lounge at the John Hancock Center.

We stayed at the Hyatt Regency at McCormick Place (serviceable, but fairly remote) so I went for a run Monday morning along the lakefront and out to the Planetarium. Very cool, except that it looks like a spaceship ate Soldier Field.

After the panel, we went out to lunch for pizza at Giordano's with Victor, and authors Laura Ruby, Tracie Vaughn Zimmer, Elisa Carbone, Lisa Yee, Amy Timberlake, and Alex Flinn.

On the conference floor were sightings of and all-too-brief conversations with many, including authors Carmen T. Bernier-Grand, Esther Hershenhorn, Bruce Coville, and librarian Junko Yokota.

Second night, we went down to Chinatown (sadly, our old haunt changed hands and is not quite what it once was), and then dropped by Walter the Giant's birthday party, which also celebrated the release of his first picture book.

Then we passed out from exhaustion

Monday, June 20, 2005

Recovering from Writefest...

Last week, Cyn and I hosted our second annual (perhaps) writing workshop that has come to be called "Writefest." (Cyn blogged it over at spookycyn.)

It was fun and exhausting.

We also seem to have acquired a pair of women's running shoes and a pair of men's (tassled) loafers. And a plastic sword (with scabbard) and a wooden gnome.

I'm going to go take a nap.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Kindly curb your horse...

Open Letter to the Owners of these small equine mammals:

While running this morning on the Hike and Bike Trail in downtown Austin, I came across the, shall we say, excretory leavings of at least one of your Shetland ponies, spread liberally across the width and length of the Shoal Creek Bridge. I have seen you with your small herd on Town Lake on several occasions before. In general, I have thought that, while your livestock are cute, bringing them down to one of the busiest parks in town is, ahem, slightly problematic (but charmingly quirky in a "Keep Austin Weird" sort of way) for the reason given in the previous sentence.

Being somewhat nimble and relatively long-legged, it was a trivial matter to avoid, well, stepping in it. Nevertheless, please keep in mind that bicyclists and persons with babies in jogging strollers are not so maneuverable, and that rubber tires can pick up and splatter all manner of unpleasant semi-viscous substances and/or emulsions.

As such, it would be deeply appreciated if you would show the same courtesy that we expect of, say, dog owners, and clean up after your animals.

Thank you.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Preliminary Research...

I've begun work on something new -- set in Texas for the first time -- and am happily in the research phase. I'm coming to realize that I like that phase, where you've got this idea, but need all the info. to make it happen and feel real.

For TOFU, which has an official release date of June 8, and official pub date of July 6, in addition to extensive Googling and personal interviews, research involved the following:

For veganism: The Everyday Vegan; The Vegan Sourcebook; I Can't Believe It's TOFU!

For the carnivores: The German Cookbook; Polish Cooking; Aidells Complete Sausage Book; The sausage Making Cookbook; Home Sausage Making

Miscellaneous: Beekeeping for Dummies; The New Complete Guide to Beekeeping; The Joy of Pi; A History of Pi

Thursday, June 02, 2005

How very odd...

The state of California, which apparently has a measure limiting the weight of textbooks, is now considering legislation that would forbid any textbook from exceeding 200 pages in length. Font size, anyone?

Closer to home, the Texas lege left town without passing the legislation that would forbid "sexually suggestive" cheerleading routines (The House passed it overwhelmingly; the Senate apparently refused to even consider it). Of course, they also failed to pass school finance reform...

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

NINJAS (softcover) is real, too!

Just received a couple of my author copies of the softcover of NINJAS, PIRANHAS, AND GALILEO! They even put the Parents Choice Gold medal on it!
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