On the road again - and again - and again

>> Tuesday, May 1, 2007

No sooner did we move into our new place in North Carolina than I turned right back around and hit the road. First it was back to Atlanta to visit the Teen Group at the Grayson Branch of the Gwinnett County Public Library. The turnout and reception were great - and I have pictures!

Thanks so much to Leigh Skowronski for the invitation, and for the great pictures! (I always forget to bring my camera...)

Next up was West High School, back in my hometown of Knoxville. West, in fact, is a cross-town rival of my old high school. (A fact I kept mum about.) Librarian Martha Emrey rolled out the red carpet for me, and I met with high schoolers all day, talking about Samurai Shortstop, empirical storytelling, and modern Japanese history.

That same week I drove up the road to Cookeville, Tennessee, where I spent a half-day at Algood Middle School highlighted (for me, at least!) by a great pizza lunch with two very enthusiastic groups of student readers.

I continued my visit to Cookeville on Saturday, speaking at the Tennessee Tech-International Reading Association bi-annual Children's Lit Conference, where I got to see book event buddy Susan Vaught (author of Trigger and Stormwitch) and got to meet Marcia Thornton Jones, the author of dozens of books, including the fabulously successful Bailey School Kids books. All weekend long I got to stay at the wonderful cabin of a writer friend, and while I did get some work done, I also raided their exhaustive and eclectic video and DVD collection to watch Wilde and Topsy Turvy, two movies that have languished in my NetFlix queue for a long time.

On Sunday I was off to Huntsville, Alabama, where I spent a delightful afternoon talking turkey with local SCBWI members. I'm just sorry I couldn't stay longer!

After a brief respite back at our new mountainside home, I hit the road again to read at a book event sponsored by my favorite indie bookstore, Carpe Librum - and then managed to catch a Tennessee Smokies baseball game in Sevierville with my dad before heading to Maryville the next day for another school visit. The kids at Eagleton Middle were very excited to have me there, and the Maryville Times sent a reporter and a photographer to cover the day.

And now, after a very hectic few weeks, I am home again, home again, jiggety-jig - just in time for Wendi to fly to New York for a sales conference!


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