Sunday, June 29, 2008


(I've had requests to re-post my POND SCUM book trailer so -
CLICK the PIC to see it!)

My son leaves for camp in 2 days - which on my summer calendar is the first of two big "X" marks. The second "X" of course is my departure date to drive to Columbus, Ohio for my whole month of writing, cartooning and teaching as the James Thurber House Children's Author is Residence.

If all my Google-maps go as planned - I'll be arriving Saturday the 19th of July, which is highlighted brightly on my calendar like the Grand Marshall of my Summer parade!

Of course things still need to get done. My plate of other work needs to get cleared. The lawn needs to be mowed. And there are many movies to be seen before now and then.

But mid-July is looming and I can't wait to start this exciting trip and have a whole month of writing time while living at the Thurber House!

I've already thanked Lisa Yee for her lovely welcome letter. But a second shout-out of gratitude goes to local teacher/bloggers Mary Lee and Franki at the YEAR OF READING blog, who have also extended tour-guide invitations that include ice cream.

It's going to be a fantastic month! (and I say a yummy "Yes!" to ice cream!)

Monday, June 16, 2008


Fathers Day happened again and once again it happened to me and it happened at the most beautiful spot in the universe - the place we go to in Maine (this same week every year).

My amazing wife and son always do something wonderful for me on the Sunday that is the first full day we awaken to the sounds of the gulls and sea. The past few years my son has taken it upon himself to honor the "day" by creating something for me that has to do with whatever book project I am currently working on.

Above is his wonderful clay tribute to my current book, MILO. (below you can see the cartoon it is based on). You should've seen my grin as he presented this to me - and in fact it's still plastered on my face.
Unrelated to Fathers day and Maine - I wanted to thank the always funny and extremely gracious LISA YEE for her blog post "welcome" re. my upcoming Writer In Residency at the Thurber House.

That's it for now - time to drive back to the cabin where the internet doesn't exist - just the ocean, sea gulls and our dog who has probably eaten the couch by now.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


This is the face of an amazing teacher (and several partial faces of her equally amazing class!) Oh, and that's me in the corner taking the picture!

A few days ago I had the best time doing my FIRST web-chat with a class. Lori Lacombe, who by the way does an AMAZING crow call (as featured in my book!) first contacted me back in February to tell me that she and her 6th graders at Leonard Middle School in Old Town, Maine were loving POND SCUM. She sent along some class questions - which I promptly answered by email - and then she and I kept in touch as they kept reading and the year progressed.

Well we finally all "MET" the other day using i-Chat (Thanks again Mr. Keane for your techno-savvy). It was my first school visit where all I had to do was sit at my desk (which I straightened up just in case the camera caught a glimpse of my organization mess) and it was a total blast! I admit it was also kind of weird because I never knew whether I should be looking at the camera or the screen - so the whole "eye-contact" thing might've been a bit wonky.

The class asked thoughtful (and silly) questions and we got to discuss some of the deeper themes of the book: making connections; making friends; finding yourself - especially at an age that can make all of those things seem hopeless.

Thank you again Ms. Lacombe and thanks to the whole class for chatting and for for making new connections with me.

Happy Summer Reading!