WNBA – Charlotte

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No, I haven’t been drafted to the Women’s National Basketball Association. A group of fellow book lovers have opened a branch of the Women’s National Book Association here in Charlotte. It’s been really interesting to find other book-related folk in town. 

On Tuesday, September 15, we’ll meet for a networking event  at M5 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. This event and WNBA are open to anyone who loves books. You don’t have to work in the business or even be  a woman.

On October 7, I will be participating in a panel discussion at the Morrison Library. It’s entitled From Agent to Author: How a Children’s Book Gets Published. Agent Tracey Adams and fellow authors Quinlan Lee (also an agent) and Lisa Williams Kline will also be participating. The event runs from 7 to 9 p.m.

If you’re on facebook, search for our WNBA – Charlotte page for more information about the organization and about these events.

NC Experience

Saturday I participated in NC Experience an event for NC children’s authors at Broadfoot’s Bookstore in Wendell, NC. The highlight was having lunch with the other authors and signing books together. I especially enjoyed meeting Stephanie Greene, Joyce Hostetter, and Kevin Duffus. And of course, Eleanora Tate, who I heard speak at my own county library in Florence, SC when I was 9 or 10. Having enjoyed her books as a kid, it was a special honor to meet her again and to be on the program with her.

Here I am with Stephanie Greene, fellow Vermont College alum and author of the Owen Foote books and many others.

Below is Joyce Hostetter, a fellow Boyds Mills author. Her books are Best Friends Forever, Blue, and Healing Water, which just came out.

I regret not getting a photo of Eleanora Tate!

The Check Is In the Mail

Actually, it already arrived. That’s right, the contract for my new easy reader is now officially official, what with the money being here and all. Entitled Slow Poke, it’s a thinly veiled autobiographical story about a slow-moving girl and her impatient family. Projected pub date: Spring 2010. Next step: securing an illustrator. I don’t have much to do with this, but I did get to look at samples from a possible artist, which was fun. I’m excited to have another project in the pipeline. Meanwhile, I’m working a bit on my YA novel during nap time.

I had another book signing in my hometown (Florence, SC). Here I am with the famous Willa Burdette, my eighth grade English teacher extraordinaire.

 

I’m on a total sewing kick, started when I decided my baby boy just had to have some green overalls for his upcoming first birthday. The overalls aren’t done, but I did finish a couple of bags. Check out my first jordy bag, featured below. Directions for your own jordy (square bottomed, lined) bag at http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=32204

Currently reading: Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose. I’m also taking a writing class (free!) at the local library. It’s focused mainly on in-class writing exercises, which is refreshing after working on novels most of the time.

To come: writing exercises inspired by Francine Prose’s book.

Reading to Write

with Helen

Here I am with the talented Helen Hemphill, author of Long Gone Daddy, Runaround, and the forthcoming The Adventurous Deeds of Deadwood Jones.  Check her out at www.helenhemphill.com

Helen and I presented a session on how our reading affects our writing at the conference for the South Carolina Association for School Librarians. This was somewhat of a homecoming for me, as I spent long hours as a child waiting for my mother to finish her SCASL board meetings. Thanks go out to my mom again for helping with the kiddos. I couldn’t have done it without her help wrangling them.

Helen and I had a lot of fun leading the session. I only wish I could’ve stayed to hang out longer.

School Visit: Carver Elementary

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Here I am speaking to a group of 4th graders at Carver Elementary School in Florence, SC last week. Back in the day, I used to tutor and substitute teach at the “old” Carver, so it was exciting to go back in a different capacity. Special thanks to Debbie Heimbrook, the librarian, who made the whole visit run smoothly. All the 4th grade teachers had read Isabel and the Miracle Baby to their classes, so the kids were really well prepared. I got some great questions and met some young aspiring writers.

Next week I’ll be appearing at the South Carolina Association for School Librarians (SCASL) conference in Columbia, SC. Author Helen Hemphill and I will be speaking about writers as readers. The session time is Thursday at 3:15 p.m. with a book signing afterward.

Home from NCTE

I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving. I arrived home from NYC just in time for ours.

NCTE was wonderful. My mother accompanied me so that my three-month-old son could be with me. Thanks, mom! I think I must’ve been known to the whole conference as “that woman with the baby.” The pictures were taken at a lower resolution than usual. Thus the fuzziness.

Baby Pouch

Yes, that’s baby boy in my favorite baby pouch that I made myself, thank you very much. It’s called a FrankenKozy, and you can make your own by following the directions at: http://www.greendotsewing.com/pages/FrankenKozy.php

I was able to see lots of old friends and new ones, including (and I’m sure I’m forgetting some): Lauren Myracle, Martin Wilson, An Na, Helen Hemphill, and Zu Vincent. I was especially excited to meet Sarah Beth Durst, author of Into the Wild, because she’s the childhood friend of my neighbor. Also met Perry Moore, author of Hero, who was evidently last week’s People’s Sexiest Man of the Week. I have to admit, though—I was more excited about his being the executive producer of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.  I’m always skeptical of my favorite fantasies being made into films, but I thought TLTWATW was incredible.

Emily and Martin Here I am with Martin Wilson, whose debut novel is coming out next August. It’s titled What They Always Tell Us.

I also got to spend some QT with my editor, Joy Neaves, and all the folks at Front Street. Except I totally missed seeing Carolyn Coman, which was a real shame.  

The panel on the South with Martin Wilson and Lauren Myracle went really well. We had a fun time quizzing our northern presenter about Southern culture.

emilys-lecture.jpg Here I am paneling to a crowd with Martin Wilson and Lauren Myracle.