I probably should have known that giving a talk on Halloween was asking for trouble. But I didn’t expect the lights and power to go off halfway through my talk at the Keene State Children’s lit conference. That was a new experience. Standing in front of 550 people, everything was going terrifically for the first 20 minutes, then BLACK! It turned out a squirrel had gotten into a transformer and blew all the electricity throughout the campus. Jane Yolen stepped up like a seasoned conference trooper and suggested we break up into small groups in different areas of the auditorium, so that the attendees could speak personally with each of the presenters (Lois Lowry, Katherine Paterson, me, and this year’s Caldecott winner, New Hampshire artist Beth Krommes.) That turned nightmare into a fun experience for all. Eventually a battery powered mic was located and Jane started her talk since I relied on power point to show visuals. After Jane, the power came back. Ah. I finished my hour-long talk. Surprisingly, it all came together seamlessly!
Time has flown by and I’m sorry to be behind on my blog entries. I’m half way through final art of my next book, which is always consuming. And the weather up here in New England has been exceptional this fall, so when not up to my ears in drawings and paintings, I crave to be outside, soaking up the last of the fall sun. This year we had a special treat, savoring autumn’s beauty with my editor Namrata and her husband Quinn. They came up from the city and we reveled in everything fitting for the season — hikes in fall color, hot apple cider and books by the fire, guitar and banjo music with friends, toasted S’mores, and even pumpkin carving! What fun we had with them. We even fit a little time for work over a book.
Nami and me by the river — my favorite spot to think about books and ideas.
Quinn is a talented musician, but somewhat unschooled at traditional New England pumpkin carving. He chose to create with a jigsaw.
It’s starting to feel more like winter these days. And as the days get colder, the wildlife comes in closer to select goodies from the yard.
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