Today, Jenny decided I should answer this one:
What would other people be surprised to find that you enjoy?
And what question did I have for Jenny … TODAY?
Jenny‘s daily question for me is:
What is the best thing you accidentally disposed of?
My older son’s first lost tooth. It’s been the better part of a decade now, but as I recall, he lost the tooth while I was at work, and his mom put the souvenir into a container on the kitchen counter so that I could admire it when I got home.
Well, when I arrived home, nobody else was around. I saw an opportunity to tidy up the kitchen, in the course of which the container went into the dishwasher after its contents went down the drain and into the garbage disposal.
Oddly enough, I think the Tooth Fairy left more money than the going rate that night, even though there was nothing for her to haul off.
(All of them that I could find, anyway.)
In 2011, I was looking for such a list, wondered why I couldn’t find one, and decided to just go ahead and make one myself. Since then, I’ve periodically updated and reposted it, and I plan to continue doing so. If I’ve missed any, or included some that no longer exist, won’t you please let me know?
Children’s Literature Association
Diverging Diversities: Plurality in Children’s & Young Adult Literature Then and Now at University of South Carolina
University of Alabama National Celebration of Latino Children’s Literature
University of Arizona Tucson Festival of Books
University of Connecticut Connecticut Children’s Book Fair
Kennesaw State University Conference on Literature for Children and Young Adults
The University of Georgia Conference on Children’s Literature
Northern Illinois University Children’s Literature Conference
Northern Kentucky University, Thomas More College, University of Cincinnati, and Xavier University Ohio Kentucky Indiana Children’s Literature Conference
University of Kentucky McConnell Conference
Simmons College Children’s Literature Summer Institute
University of St. Thomas Hubbs Children’s Literature Conference
University of Central Missouri Children’s Literature Festival
The University of Southern Mississippi Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival
Concordia University Plum Creek Children’s Literacy Festival
Keene State College Children’s Literature Festival
Montclair State University New Jersey Council of Teachers of English Spring Conference
Rutgers University One-on-One Plus Conference
Stony Brook University – Southampton Southampton Children’s Literature Conference
Appalachian State University Children’s Literature Symposium
Kent State University Virginia Hamilton Conference
Kutztown University Children’s Literature Conference
Western Washington University Children’s Literature Conference
What was your favorite meal when you were growing up?
Macaroni, cheese and hot dogs. We’re talking homemade cheese sauce, and a package of hot dots cut up, boiled, browned in a skillet, and baked in with the macaroni and cheese.
I’m kind of surprised I don’t make that more often than I do. But then, I feel the same about French toast, which I used to get every Thursday morning.
Who knows what meals our own kids will remember fondly, but not make all that often for their own families?
Today, Jenny asks:
Is there anything you do that would make someone describe you as lazy?
Funny that she should ask me that on a rare, rainy day when my main ambition is to lie about reading (Grasshopper Jungle). And working on taxes. And training the dog. And completing a costume for an upcoming victory — I mean, contest. And…
So, lazy and I don’t get along nearly as well as I sometimes wish we did.
But I am pretty lazy when it comes to shopping. I’m not a browser or much of a hunter or a good waiter-for-bargains. My wants and needs are pretty simple — most things, I don’t mind getting secondhand — but when one arises I’ll figure out what it is I’m looking for and buy it for the best price I can get that day or weekend rather than search or wait for an opportunity to get it or an acceptable substitute for less in the not-so-distant future. I’d usually rather save the time than the money.
All of which is to say that I’ve just paid retail for the last piece of my costume. I’m done, and now I’m in it to win it. Check back around Memorial Day to see how that went.
Meanwhile, what did I ask Jenny today?
The question Jenny selected for me today is:
Who is your favorite Muppet?
Any Muppet can be my favorite if it gives me a chance to introduce someone to one of my all-time-most-beloved conversational subjects, the Chaos Muppet/Order Muppet theory of human relationships.
When discussing how that theory fits Jenny and me, I explain that I’m Rowlf –
– an Order Muppet, but a moderate one.
My favorite Muppet, though, is the one that Jenny claims as her spirit Muppet, the lovably chaotic Grover:
Each day between now and the start of the Texas Library Association conference — a date both arbitrary and not that far off — we’re each going to answer a question selected by the other, choosing from one of four on a randomly picked game card.
Did I explain that right? I think I explained that right. Let’s get going, and you can decide for yourself whether I explained that right.
Here’s the question Jenny picked for me for today:
If you had a tattoo, where would it be and what would it be?
Man, I thought this would be an easy one! “A Woody Woodpecker tattoo on my chest or shoulder,” I was going to say, reasoning that a few folks out there would know exactly what I was referring to: the matching tattoos sported by H.I. McDunnough and the Lost Biker of the Apocalypse in one of my favorite movies, Raising Arizona.
Then I went looking for a video clip, only to discover that the tattoo is not of Woody Woodpecker after all. It is, in fact, the logo for muffler maker Thrush. Or maybe it’s the logo for Clay Smith Cams. Or both. There’s a lot more backstory and debate about that tattoo than I would have expected.
But whatever it’s called, that’s what I would get. And I would agree with the name used by anyone who recognized it, though I would suspect that anyone who didn’t call it a Woody Woodpecker tattoo had too much time on his hands.
Inspired by Greg Leitich Smith’s annual list of books from our Austin writing community, I thought I’d start compiling the picture book biographies scheduled for publication in 2015 (including a pair of mine).
I know there are lots more picture book biographies on their way from publishers recognized by SCBWI, so if you’re interested in helping keep this list reasonably complete and up to date, please let me know in the comments which ones ought to be added.
The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch (Eerdmans), written by Chris Barton and illustrated by Don Tate
Emmanuel’s Dream (Schwartz & Wade), written by Laurie Ann Thompson and illustrated by Sean Qualls
Fab Four Friends: The Boys Who Became the Beatles (Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt), written by Susanna Reich and illustrated by Adam Gustavson
The Hole Story of the Doughnut (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), written by Pat Miller
The House that Jane Built: A Story about Jane Addams (Henry Holt/Christy Ottaviano Books), written by Tanya Lee Stone and illustrated by Kathryn Brown
One Plastic Bag (Millbrook), written by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon
Pioneers & Pirouettes: The Story of the First American Nutcracker (Millbrook), written by Chris Barton
Slave Poet of Chapel Hill (tentative title; Peachtree), written and illustrated by Don Tate
Step Right Up: The Story of Beautiful Jim Key (Lee & Low), written by Donna Bowman Bratton and illustrated by Daniel Minter
Vivien Thomas – The Man Who Saved the Blue Babies (Lee & Low), written by Gwendolyn Hooks
Earlier this month, I wrote a guest post about author newsletters at Cynthia Leitch Smith’s Cynsations blog — the mechanics of how I do mine, the benefits to me as an author, and what I think the subscribers of Bartography Express get out of it.
(And if it helps seal the deal, here’s a preview of the books I’ll be giving away to Bartography Express subscribers over the next few months.)