Adventures in Amherst

Now we’re really home!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic OfficeMouse learned all kinds of web-related goodness from the WebGod, Theo Black, who is a calm, ordinary sort of guy.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic While they discussed Flash and code and other things I do not understand, I mostly curled up in a corner with my revisions. But Theo insisted that I try out the Wii, which I had never seen before. Note to BH – we must not buy a Wii or I’ll never write another book. Addictive, to say the least.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic After they were done with the computer magic, OfficeMouse and I went to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. This bug, disguised as a very hungry caterpillar, was in the parking lot.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic This is a quilt of the famous caterpillar in the lobby. Visitors are not allowed to take photographs in the exhibit galleries, obviously, so I can’t show you how wonderful they are. Three hours evaporated while we slowly walked through the exhibits and created our own masterpieces in the art room.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Mr. Carle painted these gorgeous, massive paintings for the front hall. We could have stood in front of them for hours, just lost in the color. I know gas is expensive, so you should carpool with some buddies and take a trip to this museum. Well worth the drive.

NPR has a wonderful interview with Eric Carle as well as a terrific slideshow of the man and his work.

Your fact of the day: Eric Carle was born in Syracuse, NY and credits his kindergarten teacher at a Syracuse public school with being the person who opened the door to his lifetime as an artist.

This reinforces my hunch that Central New York is a magical place for writers and artists. You should probably move here.

Although the polish on my final revision was calling, we were in the Amherst/Northampton region, and there was one more home of art we had to take in: the R. Michelson Galleries in Northampton. Along with other cool stuff, there is a terrific collection of the work of children’s book illustrators there. Very satisfying.

Remember in my SCBWI-NE speech how I talked about the need to make time and space for art in your life? What artistic adventures have you gone on recently?

I am melting and other obvious facts

Remember how I moved up here because I love ice and snow? I’ll be crawling inside the freezer shortly. This will be the third day with sticky temperatures in the 90s. Ack. I hate heat. Ack. Ack. Ack.

I have a couple of freshly-chilled links to distract you, if you are sticking to your chair the way I am sticking to mine this morning.

My local newspaper, the Post Standard, has a nice article about our upcoming half-marathon and how I became a runner. You can see photos of BH and I running, plus additional bits from the interview on Shelf Life , the newspaper’s book blog.(Yes, I am very proud to live in a region where the newspaper has a reporter who covers books AND a book blog!)

Richie Partington has written a wonderful and moving review of CHAINS.

The Mad Woman in the Forest Writing Challenge starts July 1. If you’ll be joining us, it’s time to sharpen your pencils. In preparation, I’m going to recommend you check out a few books about the business of writing and the artistic process. If you want to publish a book for kids or teenagers, I really think you should buy Harold Underdown’s Idiot’s Guide to Publishing Children’s Books, 3rd Edition. Seriously. You’ll read it until the covers fall off.

Office Mouse got the camera talking to the computer yesterday! (I am still learning how to size the photos correctly. Another obvious fact.) What do you want me to put on a video?

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Here is the Creature With Fangs all dressed up for our anniversary last week.

Oh! And I can show you pictures from last weekend’s book signing, too!

The extra person in my office

There is a mouse in my office; she’s taller than me.

She keeps poking into corners and rooting through all the piles of papers that are labeled “Yeah, I’ll deal with that as soon as this book is done. Or maybe after the next book.” She is dealing with it now.

She is a mouse of many talents: printer installation, database management, some kind of wizardry involving graphic arts. In the famous words of Ashley’s Hannigan’s mother in PROM, she “don’t take crap off of anyone.”

The mouse is Daughter #3, Meredith, who is more organized than her mother. She has taken pity on this overwhelmed maternal unit and come up to help me get the non-writing part of the writing life under control.

For the first time I truly appreciate why farmers used to have so many children. They grow up and offer to help with the plowing!

More good news: We New Yorkers have a governor who is moving in the right direction.

And Syracuse won the national lacrosse championship.

What’s good in your life?