Thursday, August 28, 2008

My Spelling Lesson

I am hoping by the time I get done planning this festival that I will be able to spell the word centinneal...
I am not hopeful. I have typed it so many times I cannot even tell what looks right anymore. Good thing there's spell check.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Back to School

Today was the dreaded(by me) first day of school. My kids on the other hand, were very excited. They're up early anyway. Might as well go do something.

Seriously though, my kids love school. My daughter practically flew out of the car as soon as we got to her play yard, a big smile on her face. She barely said goodbye. My son is more quiet. I took him into class and wasn't sure if he was going to let me leave or not. He even hugged me in front of people! Reluctantly, he followed his teacher out to the yard to pick up the other kids.

Luckily, by the end of the day he was ecstatic. "School is so fun," was the first thing he said to me when I picked him up. And no surprise, my daughter loved it too. I had to hear about every detail for the next five hours. She's very observant, noticing everything that goes on around her it seems. I hope her teacher has alot of energy.

Me, I'm about flat out of energy. I was quite pleased with myself for getting up early, making blueberry pancakes, and getting the kids to school on time. Of course, this was to cries of "we have to be early, Mom!" Early smerly. We have to leave the house by eight o'clock at the latest as it is. I said it before and I'll say it again; I am not a morning person. I tried to be last year. This year I'm not even going to pretend that it has a chance of happening. I must stay up late to write. I must get up early to go to school. My three-year-old doesn't allow naps. It's going to be a long school year.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Here's What I've Been Working On ...

I've been super busy lately. On top of all the usual things I need to do, and a revision request from an agent(yay!), I've been putting together a storytelling festival. Since I've never even been to a storytelling festival, it's been a bit tricky, but luckily I have a good friend who happens to be a storyteller and she has been a great help. Plus she will be doing puppetry and stories. Lesa has a great talent for drawing kids in with her quiet storytelling style. She's making puppets and doing a special story just for this event. She is so sweet. I just love her. I'm lucky because I get to hear lots of her stories, all I have to do is ask.

I'm really excited about this festival for alot of reasons. It's the first time Oroville has had a storytelling festival. It's the first time I will get to go to a storytelling festival. And the author of one of my favorite books, A HEN, A CHICK, AND A STRING GUITAR, is coming! Margaret Read MacDonald has written over 45 books on storytelling and folklore and I am still just amazed that 1.) I had the guts to ask her to come and 2.) she said yes. She's also bringing her friend and author, Supaporn Vanthanaprida. Wowie!

Plus my friend, and star in the storytelling world, Dayton Edmonds will be there spinning his unique style of stories. He's always a big draw and has also been a great help. I would have never known I needed an opening and closing ceremony(duh!) if it weren't for Dayton.

I found Rocci Hildum online. I like his stories that I've gotten to listen to and he seems like such a nice guy. I can't wait to meet him. Plus I found lots of local talent that are excited to share their stories: Joey Pierre, Deb McVay, Gailene Hooper, Arnie Marchand, Web Hallauer and Harry Haney. I'm always amazed at the amount of talented people I find close by when I start looking. And I'm totally amazed at the hugeness of this festival.

Now the pressure is really on. With all these amazing people coming to perform I have to make sure this event is well publicized. I'm happy that I actually have a budget for this, which makes it a bit easier. I'm having announcements put on Northwest Public Radio(which I think is exciting. I love NPR and it will really get the word out.) and will be placing ads in some newspapers. I'm writing up articles and press releases. They take alot of work, all in the hopes that they might get used. I guess I just have to try and see what happens. I suppose I should quit talking about it and get back to work.

Here's the flyer. I'm not sure how to make it any bigger.

created by Hilary Mello at

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Today I absentmindedly drove around a tree on the way to town. No big deal. Barely noticed it. As I drove around it on the way back home I started thinking; maybe this isn't so normal in most people's everyday lives.

Trees fall down around here all the time. Aspen trees don't have a long life. They grow fast, get rot, and fall over. I remember hearing that they are the start to a forest. They grow, and create a shelter for the evergreens to grow in, then go away. Whether I'm right or wrong about that, I've definitely seen the aspen groves move across the hills in the 12 years I've lived here. It makes me feels so old, that I have watched groups of trees move. But, that's just life.

And part of life around here is driving around trees that fall down. If I was organized I'd drive around with a chainsaw in my car, but that seems inconvenient. I can usually drive around most trees that fall. Sometimes I have to get out and move them. It's fun to move an entire tree, except when you're dressed nice and trying not to get dirty.

But sometimes I can't move them. Then what? I pick a spot that looks un-pokey(yes, i'm sure that's not a word) and drive over it. The kids find it very exciting. I hope all the way home that I didn't poke a hole in my tire.

A few weeks ago we had a huge, freak windstorm. Lots of trees blew down. On my way home I dodged trees left and right. I got out and moved trees. And yes, there was a mongo big tree that I could not move, so I drove over it. This is normal, I mean, people, you would do the same thing. The crazy thing is that I had to drive back and forth, around the tress and over the mongo tree, for more than a week. No one moved them. Heck, I moved them the best I could and they stayed where I put them. What am I supposed to do, be lumberjack woman on my way to work at the library? Our road seems to be the last priority in the county, which I understand since hardly anyone uses it. But still, I was just thinkin', it's kind of weird.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

How Do You Know?

How do you know when a manuscript is ready to go out? Is it ever really ready? What I've found is that I think it's ready, then somebody wants to see it, and then I don't think it's ready anymore. So I look and look and look. I revise. I edit. I drive myself crazy. Sometime I have to let it go and see what happens. It has to be out of my hands. But I think I'll wait to send it so I can look it over when I don't have a headache anymore. It may look totally different then. What is the record for the world's longest headache anyway?

Saturday, August 16, 2008


I just found myself in Publisher's Weekly. It's just a tiny line under sneak previews and you have to scroll way down to Raven Tree Press. But, still, wow.
Publishers Weekly