November 8th, we drove down to Little Rock to attend a library event for self-published and small press authors. As with most library events, there were not many book sales, but I met some wonderful authors and did have a couple of kids walk away with copies of my books. The event is part of the Arkansas Literary Festival, so we were interested in getting my books in front of them, regardless of sales. My table-mate was new author Lori McFarlane, and I went home with a copy of her book "Last Petal Falling." It is definitely high up on my TBR list.
|We got there early, so Scott and I enjoyed a nice stroll through the River Market District. It was Sunday morning, so everything was closed, but we were quite impressed with how lovely and family friendly the area was.|
|We only got to bring three titles, but we still enjoyed ourselves. |
Scott spent his time in the library, reading a massive comic book.
I never knew quite what direction any one group was going to take things. A group of kindergartners may have been the best behaved of the whole bunch, and they asked wonderful questions. A group of fourth graders was fascinated with the realities of publishing and how long it takes and how little control the author actually has once the ball gets rolling. That traditionally published authors don't have a say in their book covers (or very little say) was horrifying to them. I just tried to roll with what each class was interested in, and it all went really well.
|Some second grade friends with my Cats in the Mirror book series|
|Handing out "Kimba" bookmarks so students could find it for free download when they got home.|
One takeaway from that event was that, across age levels, groups I met with in their classrooms went much more smoothly than the ones I did in the library. The atmosphere in the library is just generally more open and free, and that fed into my talks. Groups in their rooms were much more engaged and well-behaved and serious with their questions. Something I will definitely remember for next time.
On November 21st, I attended the quarterly meeting of the Ozark Writers League (OWL), of which I am a member. The group is going through some growing pains and reanalyzing what the future of the group will be. After over thirty years, I'm sure they will get it all sorted out.
There were two highlights to my day. One was to chat with a brand-spankin'-new writer who isn't even telling her friends about her aspirations yet. I hope I left her encouraged and that she will come back and share her journey along the way. Go get 'em, Anne.
The second highlight was sharing the company of Jemma for the day. Miss Jemma is a guide dog for my sight-impaired friend Ronda, and she is the best behaved dog I have ever spent time with--though we all got the giggles in the afternoon when she started to quietly bark in her sleep. Ronda says that Jemma never barks. She is trained not to. But what she does in her sleep is something else entirely. So sweet!! You can follow Jemma's adventures at this link.
|Jemma, hanging out under our table and not making a peep all morning.|
|Ronda stepped away without her, but she didn't budge. Such a good dog.|
|Seriously large turkey (23.5 lbs) so there was plenty to share and send home for my daughter and her roommate.|
|Pumpkin and cherry pies. I like the Harry Potterish lightning blot.|
I hope each of you has a blessed holiday time filled with friends and family and far too much food in whatever way you love to celebrate. Happy Thanksgiving!