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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Live from the Bethesda Literary Festival...

From L-R, that's Rob Clark (author of HOMECOMING), Jackie Urbanovic (author-illustrator of DUCK AT THE DOOR), me, and Susan Stockdale (author-illustrator of CARRY ME! and fellow Children's Book Guild member). We're reading, signing and wearing squirrels on our heads (well, one of us is... you'll never guess who) at the Bethesda Literary Festival.

Alas, this meant we had to be in the basement of the Bethesda Barnes and Noble on the first gorgeous day of spring, but what can you do? Many kids found us there, and fun was had by all. Plus I got to meet Jackie Urbanovic, whose DUCK, Max, is about the cutest guy in webbed feet to waddle across my path in ages. If you have not already checked him (or any of the characters in Jackie's other terrific illustrated books) out yet, you definitely should.
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Thursday, April 19, 2007


Okay, I know it is a little hard to see (manatees live in the water, duh!) BUT that large object taking up about 2/3rds of the frame is in fact a manatee. In the SW quadrant you see its back, then in the NW quadrant you see the back of its neck (do they have necks?) and head, and then in the NE you see the snout part (just the the right of the center of the frame, facing East-ish) and then in the SE, you see one flipper. See? This photo was taken as Mr. or Ms. Manatee surfaced within five feet of us after inspecting our kayak rudders. This manatee and about five others hung out with us for the better part of an hour, noshing on plant life and, you know, coming up for air and stuff.

I would still be out there now, if I didn't have folks waiting for us back on dry land. And books waiting for me to sign at the Sanibel Island Bookshop... oops! Til we meet again, sea cows... gotta go!

If you can't see what I'm talking about in the photo, then march yourself straight to Captiva Kayak Co., where naturalists Greg and Barb will show you what's what in the manatee-filled waters of the Gulf Coast. Top the experience off with a scoop or two of Queenie's homemade ice cream (try the key lime sorbet!) and you will know that your dream has indeed come true!
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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A Place Where Dreams Come True

As Franny put it in the guest book of the condo we stayed in, "Florida is basically a place where dreams come true."

Well put, my dear, especially if your dream is escaping the April snows of the East coast (see photo of our neighbor's lawn the morning we boarded the plane), aka "The Grown Ups' Dream" or if your dream is being immersed in 75 degree water from dawn to dusk, aka "The Kids' Dream."
Also true if your dream is to be within five feet of actual manatees in the wild (aka "Erica's Lifelong Dream"... a dream, I hasten to add, that has led to several disapointing field trips during previous visits to the Sunshine State, although one such field trip was redeemed by the discovery of an obscure diner with excellent pie).

I will highlight the importance of my dream-come-true manatee moment by devoting a separate entry to this blessed event.

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