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Sunday, July 09, 2006

All about Sparkle

So, in my last entry, I suggested that I would soon reveal the identity of the one we call Sparkle. This is Sparkle:

As you can probably see, she is a mourning dove and she is about as un-sparkley as anything you could possibly imagine. A better name might be "Matte" or "Taupe". However, since my daughters named her, Sparkle it is. We discovered Sparkle last week, but it seems that she has been occupying the attic window across from my desk for over a week now. I guess I was too engrossed in my work to notice the nest-building phase of things. I did hear some coo-ing, but I didn't really, you know, investigate. The next thing I knew, I saw this bird sitting on a nest. I called up the girls, who selected the name and the rest is history.

B-E-A, You're A-O-K!

OK, so here goes. I have never blogged in my life but now that my web guru, Ed (who is not the same Ed that appears in Ninety-Three In My Family) says I’m up and running, I’m going to try. Please bear with me while I work out the kinks.

My first blog topic is BEA (aka Book Expo America, the gi-normous book convention that came from outer space and ate our Nation's capital this past week) because I’m just coming down from my BEA high and I want to prolong the bliss. Highlights of the Bookapalooza were: hanging with my out-of-town pal, the children's book guru (and All Around Fun Gal) Alison Morris, being in the same room with children's book greats/celebs like: Katherine Patterson, Laurie Halse Anderson, Sarah Dessen, Cecil Castellucci, Deborah Wiles, David McPhail, Harry Bliss, Lane Smith, Mo Willems, Chris Van Dusen, Peter Reynolds, Tomie DePaola, Jan Brett (to name but a few), and trolling the floor sniffing out books, candy and good swag (one day with my girl Franny in tow, who has her mother's nose for books, candy and swag).

I did two signings, one at the Autographing Tables (two seats down from Newt Gingrich, who requested two copies of Chicken Bedtime… gee, I didn’t reciprocate and ask for his book, oops!). Unfortunately, I did not get a photo of the sign for my table (Table 18) which listed Joyce Carol Oates from 1:30-2 and me from 2:30-3. That’s right: Joyce Carol Oates was my opening act! Meanwhile, my line was so long (in part because my books were misplaced, but that’s not the point, people!) that they extended my signing by half an hour and rerouted all the people who were still waiting over to another table (Table 25), where I signed for another half an hour before I ran out of books and had to turn people away.

Then on Sunday I signed books at the First Book table. First Book is a literacy charity that gives children from low-income families the opportunity to read and own their first new books. They also interviewed me and put the video of the interview up on their very cool blog! Check it out:

So now, I’m back at my desk, with nothing more than five bags of free books, several interesting pieces of candy and swag (best items: Quirk Books’ Let’s Paint The Nineties paint & book set [sample page: “Let’s Paint Milli Vanilli!”], big bags of m&m’s advertising a book called The Power of Nice) and a Time For New Underpants! Captain Underpants tote bag), some business cards and, sigh, my memories.

However, I can’t get any work done because I’m busy guarding Sparkle’s kids from the crow that wants to eat them. If that makes no sense to you, tune in next time and I’ll try to explain.

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