Jane Peddicord

I had the distinct pleasure of lunching at Katz’s today with new Austin author Jane Peddicord, who has picture books under contract with Charlesbridge and Harcourt. She was fun and friendly, and full of questions about the author’s life. (Also another recovering lawyer).

More personally, Stephanie sent me the most gorgeous scarf–knitted herself. It’s a deep fuschia/burgundy pink, soft and fuzzy, along with two books on grieving. Such a sweetheart.

Planning to watch the presidential debates with Greg tonight.

So far, no keying in changes on the new mss, but the day is young. I have hope still.

Knopf Delacorte Dell Fall 2004

Received the Knopf, Delacorte, Dell Young Readers Group Catalog today and found many titles to read, including:

The People Could Fly: The Picture Book by the late Virginia Hamilton, illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon; 0-375-82405-7; Tio Jose And The Singing Trees by first time author David Gonzales, illustrated by Stacey Schuett; 9-385-32744-7; A House of Tailors by Patricia Reilly Giff; 0-385-73066-7; Molly McGinty Has A Really Good Day by Gary Paulsen; 0-385-32588-6; Laugh Till You Cry by the late Joan Lowery Nixon; 0-385-73027-6; Bucking The Sarge by Christopher Paul Curtis; 0-385-32307-7; Snakecharm by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes; 0-385-73072-1; Finding Miracles by Julia Alvarez; 0-375-82760-9; Red Palms by Cara Haycak; 0-385-74648-2; To Establish Justice: Citizenship And The Constitution by Patricia McKissack and Arlene Zarembka; 0-679-89308-3; Orphea Proud by Sharon Dennis Wyeth; 0-385-32497-9.

For the fun of it: To the extent I can tell from the bios, of the children’s/YA book creators featured in the catalog:

29 live outside the U.S. (mostly the U.K., mostly England);

19 live in California or the NE United States (New England);

6 live anywhere else in the entire U.S. (a book by Texan Joan Lowery Nixon is featured in the catalog, but sadly, she has passed on);

6 are members of traditionally underrepresented ethnic groups in the children’s book creator community (all Latino or African American, including Newbery winner Christopher Paul Curtis and first-time author David Gonzales)(a book by Virginia Hamilton is featured in the catalog, but sadly, she has passed on).

3 are teenagers (Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, Christopher Paolini, and Kelly McWilliams (who lives in Arizona)(all three pages make mention of their youth)).

On Cyn’s Mind

This past week’s episode of “Dateline,” “How Safe Are Your Favorite Restaurants?”, rated the top ten moderately priced family chain restaurants for health code violations. They measured critical violations, which are the kind of things like cross-contamination, food temperature, and vermin (ew!), which can send you to the hospital.

The upshot is that Denny’s is the best, Red Lobster and Bob Evans aren’t bad, and pretty much avoid everything else. Given the option, I choose an Austin-owned restaurant locally and apply that same approach to most major cities, but sometimes on a highway or in a suburb, the choices are few. Yikes!

This reminds me, Greg says that according to a recent Rand study, people living in suburbs live four fewer years than people living in the cities. Supposedly, this is because of traffic stress and fatalities during peak commute times.

Idiot Speak

Tried reading a book last night and found myself distracted by all the “idiot speak.”

“Idiot speak” is when the characters say things to each other that they all already know. It’s a transparent vehicle for the author to offer backstory. Seamless integration is the much better, though more difficult, way to go.

I hasten to add that I’m not the person who named “I.S.” that, which I admit sounds harsh. I’ve seen it referred to that way in writing articles.

More personally, I revised from about 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today–reading and cutting. Had dinner with Greg at Katz’s (scrambled eggs and turkey ham).

People on my mind: Elisa Carbone, Kathi Appelt, Fred Bortz, Debbi Michiko Florence (who sent my chocolates and a bookmark from Hawaii), and Dian Curtis Regan.

Robert’s Snow: Buy A Snowflake And Beat Cancer

Own a piece of art by your favorite children’s book illustrator and help fight cancer at the same time! How? By participating in Robert’s Snow: for Cancer’s Cure (www.robertssnow.com) , a unique fundraiser for cancer research. Over 100 children’s book illustrators have made original works of art – on snowflakes – to be auctioned online from Oct. 31 to Dec.12.

Using the news of her husband’s cancer as a catalyst, children’s book author/illustrator Grace Lin rallied her colleagues to create Robert’s Snow: for Cancer’s Cure, a fundraiser on behalf of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. On snowflake templates, children’s book illustrators such as Chris Van Allsburg (The Polar Express), Marc Brown (Arthur), and Mary Grand Pre (Harry Potter) have created exclusive images that will be auctioned off at www.robertssnow.com.

Help it snow by spreading the word! Download a press kit or flyer from www.robertssnow.com and distribute it to your local community. And, of course, bid on a snowflake yourself!

June Franklin Naylor Award

The Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library Committee announced the establishment of the June Franklin Naylor Award for the Best Book for Children on Texas History. Beginning with books published in 2004, the award will be given annually to the author/illustrator of the most distinguished book for children and young adults, grades K-12, that accurately portrays the history of Texas, whether fiction or nonfiction.

The award is granted for a book published for the first time within a calendar year, or to a book that has been annotated or revised to make the story accessible to today’s students. Submission consists of two copies of the book, along with the entry, sent to Library Directory, DRT Library, P. O. Box 1401, San Antonio TX 78295, or delivered to the library, 300 Alamo Plaza, San Antonio.

Deadline for entries to be received is January 31 of the year following publication. A three-member panel of judges composed of historians, educators, librarians, and/or DRT members will choose five finalists in February. A representative of the Naylor family will choose the award winner from the finalists.

Winning entry is cash prize of $400, with certificates for second and third place. For books with multiple authors and illustrators, all will be recognized and the prize divided among them. The award will be presented in May during the Annual Conference of the DRT.

The award is named for Odessa schoolteacher and DRT President General 1989-1991, June Franklin Naylor.

Author Events

It’s September so all of my wonderful event coordinators are sending contracts to follow up on dates they scheduled last year.

I’m excited about talking to librarians, teachers, and young readers.

This fall is clearly way overbooked, though; something to keep in mind as invitations for next fall start rolling in. I’m going to have to really work for writing time.

Flipping to spring… Spring is not as intense. Perhaps the spring calendar should stay as is. Especially with both WriteFest and ALA in the summer.

Watched “Chasing Liberty” this morning; spent most of the day in T-shirt nightwear featuring gray tabbies that says “Yoga Pawsitions;” hopeful to talk Greg into Chinese food for dinner. (Last night’s chicken marsala didn’t work out too well).

Weiner Winner

A fellow Austin children’s writer, Alison Dellenbaugh, is one of fifty U.S. winners in an essay contest sponsored by Oscar Mayer in which they will each have a day in the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile. (There were more than 70,000 entries!).

And what did the lovely and brill Ms. Dellenbaugh write about in her essay?

Using the Wienermobile as a bookmobile to go to parks or libraries with her children and crit buddies to giveaway books to kids. The event has been scheduled for Oct. 9.

Woo woo!

Allison has a lovely sweet sparkle; I expect more great things from her in the future.