Holiday Book Drive!

Yes, I realize it’s the crack of dawn.

I also realize it’s Saturday, which is not a usual posting day for me.

But I have something important to share that couldn’t wait, so here it is:

Lit World, in partnership with the International Book Bank, is having a children’s book drive for the holidays.  Please visit KidLit for full information.

I know you’ll visit KidLit and get all the details there, so I won’t bore you with repetition here.  I just want to say, this is a very worthy cause, and I encourage everyone to donate used picture books they no longer want to the poverty-stricken children in Liberia and Sierra Leone, children who will get such joy out of them.  Added bonus: your house will have less clutter in time for the influx of new holiday gifts!

Thanks for reading and considering a donation.

Now, go have a great weekend!

Prime Time

I’m practically a caveman.

Well, a cavewoman, I guess, if you want to get technical.

Why, you may ask?

Because I don’t have cable or satellite.

Sheesh!  I heard that gasp of horror all the way up here on Blueberry Hill!  Calm down before you start hyperventilating.  It’s not that bad.  Think of all the commercials I don’t have to watch!

And remember – I do have internet which, in addition to allowing me to chat with y’all and waste time playing Sporcle,  lets me indulge in my secret addiction to Grey’s Anatomy the day after it airs 🙂

That is not the point, though, and I do have a point, somewhere.

Oh, yes.  My point was that a lot of television is a wasteland and we should all spend more time reading. And especially we should encourage our children to read so they don’t grow into a generation of people who don’t know what a book is 🙂

Lane Smith’s book is both funny and a little alarming because, with the advent of Kindle, Nook, iPad, iPhone aps, etc. it’s beginning to seem very possible that a time could come when books as we know them might not exist.

I have no problem with ebooks up to a point.  I actually have a few.  In terms of environmental friendliness and the fact that I won’t have to build a new wing on the house to store them, they have some positive sides.  But I’d hate to see books go out of style altogether.  No matter how high-tech an ebook might be, how engaging on a certain level, in that format it’s not the same thing.  I hope we will never lose the ability to sit with out children or grandchildren in our laps and hold a book in our hands, feel the paper, smell the ink, turn the pages, and allow words and art to fire our imaginations.  To me, that is prime time.

What do you think?  Are ebooks good?  Do you like the experience of reading them or do you prefer traditional books?  Do you find them easier or harder on the eyes?  Do you think sharing an ebook with a child is as good, better or worse than sharing a traditional book?  Please share your thoughts!  And while you’re at it, share the title of a book you’ve read recently that you really liked.  I’ll start in the comments 🙂

Fame and Fortune

I know this will come as a shock, but I am not famous.

Really, it’s true!

Not only that, I have yet to amass my personal fortune (although I’m sure when Dreamworks comes to its senses and decides that Punxsutawney Phyllis has all the makings of the next blockbuster animated children’s feature for Groundhog Day, all that will change :))

Much as I would like to be a household name like J.K. Rowling or Stephanie Meyer, or even Jane O’Connor, (whose name you might not know but whose work you almost certainly do – Fancy Nancy!), I have not (yet!) achieved that level of recognition.  Truth be told, the vast majority of children’s writers are just like me – hardworking mid-listers.  We show up at our computers every morning, drink more coffee than is technically good for us, and write the best stories we can write, hoping to sell some new ideas from time to time and reap modest book sales.

So imagine my delight to be listed as a Featured Author!  Doesn’t that sound famous?  My faithful writing buddies (Scout and Jemma – see attractive photo in yesterday’s post) and I are fairly tingling with excitement!  (Well, let’s be honest – it’s entirely possible that my writing buddies’ excitement has more to do with the squirrels under the bird feeder who SHOULD BE CHASED than with my claim to fame, but who can say for sure?  My excitement is legitimate!)

The Reading Tub, a fantastic volunteer-driven, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting reading and literacy, has listed me as a Featured Author and posted both an article and an interview on their website and blog.  Please follow this link to read it:

This is the first time I’ve had the honor of being interviewed online, so it is a red letter day here in the land of Hill.

While you are over at The Reading Tub, take a minute to see what they’re all about.  They really have an important mission.  Subscribe to their blog so you can keep up with their great reviews of children’s books (which include themes and suggestions for use in the classroom, as well as pros, cons, and both little and big kid reactions.)  Thanks so much to Terry Doherty, who wrote the article and conducted the interview, for giving me this opportunity!

Now, back to my 2nd 3rd current cup of coffee and some serious writing.  Who knows?  I might think up a great story today, the one that assures me that fame and fortune 🙂