Sunday, July 27, 2008

Reflections of a Blogging Conference

Kidlit Blogging Conference, Chicago, IL

More registrations in the mail, discovered upon returning home from my annual college women's weekend in central Oregon! I have logged them in and have added names onto the list.

It made me think back to this time last summer when I finally decided, yup! we are headed to Chicago! I believe that weekend was an "aha" moment for me because of the fun I had and the knowledge gained. (Besides the fact that I bravely raised my hand and said YES to organizing this year's event. Thank you, Laini for signing on with me.)

Friday night was a blast as we piled into the hotel van and they took us to a great pizza joint.

Friday Night Fun Chicago Pizza Style

And what great topics! From the "how to's" of kidlit blogging, podcasting, a forum about the Cybils to meeting authors in a fun hour before the dinner hour. I loved the session presented by Mother Reader on how to get your blog noticed. Anne Levy addressed issues about reviewing which was very helpful.

Mark Blevis talking about podcasting. I wrote a grant and got podcasting equipment after this inspiring session.

Anne and Kelly, co-founders of the CYBILS Award

Esme Raji Codell hosted the author and illustrator hour.

So are you in? What topics do you want to see at this year's conference. Let me know!

You can email me the registration form and send the check via email if that helps you. I am looking forward to this year's event. I hope to see you.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

One Single Impression: Rest

Butterfly. Pine Marten Lodge

butterfly at rest
high altitude nectar hunt
brief mountain visit
For more restful haiku, visit OSI

Chair Lifts

Chair Lifts

What scares you in your life? Is it the dark? Roller coaster rides? Being alone? Spiders?
I realized this summer that ski lifts are really not my cup of tea. I realized it when I politely turned down an offer to ride the ski lift to the top of Humphrey’s Peak in Arizona earlier this summer. I was reminded of three summers ago when my college friends’ group rode the ski lift at Winter Park, Colorado during our annual women’s weekend.
A double chair, bare terrain and rocks below you without a blanket of snow to break a fall, should that happen. What if I dropped my cell phone? What if my camera fell? And then the getting on, getting off dance of the chair lift? It is like a moving object that even my Rubenesque body has a hard time hitting the target. That only brought to the surface memories of my skiing days; the time I fell face first getting into the lift and the time I was afraid to get off the lift. Not my cup of tea.
So when I was in Flagstaff, I said no thank you and that was that. We found other things to do in town.
Ski lifts. Who would have thought that I would eventually end up on one this summer anyway? I am writing this during the seventh annual college friends’ weekend and we are in central Oregon. Adventures had been planned for us and one was to lunch at Pine Marten Lodge, 7800 feet above sea level. We certainly were not going to hike to the lodge or helicopter in. Yep. Ski Lift.
I took a big breath and bought the ticket. I managed to scan the ticket too many times and the turnstile would not let me go but luckily the staff showed me the secret way to get ready to sit on a moving object.
But surprise! This chair lift was moving very slowly! It was almost as at a stop as I sat. Oregon has rules and regulations about the speed of the chair lift on the off season. The ride to the top was breezy and thankfully my friend and I chatted the whole way, a welcomed distraction for me.
This was my reward for being brave:

Looking toward Three Sisters

We ate a deliciously wonderful lunch and then headed back down. The ride was scary (I prefer the up to the down) but we moved along, did not stop for any length of time, and the exit was smooth. I gladly placed the lift ticket in the recycle box. It will be a while before I head up the chair lift.
Today I write this as my friends are bicycling around the resort. Ahh, another opportunity to be brave but I did decline that adventure. One adventure per trip is quite enough for me.

Sunday Scribblings: Solace

From the SS prompt: "In what do you find solace? What place is solace for you? Where do you go in yourself or outside of yourself when you need comfort or consolation? Why do you seek solace? What does it mean for you?"

Solace comes from many places: from within, from being out in nature, and sometimes from dark, dark chocolate. I love to play with haiku and after many weeks of not writing, I found solace in writing to this week’s prompt.

hummingbird perches
feathers a glisten, he feeds
sweet solace nectar

moonlight tendrils reach,
caress two spooners entwined
solace a blanket

midnight walk on sand
universe glitter found, picked up
tossed into the sea
solace discovered
returns, spirit sleeps

Find some solace reading these.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Wednesday Fun

Recycled Beach Glass

Stone Rings with Decorative Additions

Well, I spent most of the day creating. I have to locate more beach glass.

Be Brave Project. Will You Join In?

I have been spending some early morning surfing the blogs I usually read. This is a return to a practice I have not done in a while. This morning I followed bread crumbs from the 7-Imp post to this blog, Diary of a Self-Portrait. In October, Jessie began the "BE Brave" project by challenging herself to be brave in her life. She invited others to join in. In October, I was into that world of national boards for teaching so I missed it, or perhaps, I was on my own "be brave" project. So now I am going to commit to doing at least one brave thing a week.

Here are the "rules" as Jessie wrote in her post:
(most important:) MAKE YOUR OWN RULES.
Do this for yourself.
Make a commitment for the length of time that best suites YOUR needs--one day, one month, one year, one's all up to you, and you alone. ;)
The "brave" or "scary" things that you choose to do can be as big or little as you want them to be. Sometimes it's the little things that can be the most scary (and beneficial)!
(not to quote Nike, but...) Just do it.
Be on your own schedule. You don't need to make a commitment until YOU are ready.
This is your unique journey--make it whatever you want it to be.

Glad I didn't know about this last week or I would have had to rethink the decision about NOT going on the "tilt-a-whirl" ride with my granddaughter.

As I write that, it does seem so inconsequential to what some people or animals (as Monday's post at Jessie's blog shows) in the world must face on a daily basis. It makes me feel very blessed to live where I live and have the job that I have.

Will you join me?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Kidlit Conference Jeopardy

The answer is:
Sara Zarr, Story of a Girl
Kirby Larson, Hattie Big Sky
Alma Alexander, Worldweavers series
Laini Taylor, Faeries of Dreamdark: Blackbringer
Matt Holm, Babymouse
Anastasia Suen, Main Street School series
Adrienne Furness, Helping Homeschoolers in the Library
Carmen T. Bernier-Grand: Frida: Viva La Vida! Long Live Life!
Jen Robinson, “Growing Bookworms Newsletter”, guest blogger at PBS
Betsy Bird, School Library Journal book blog

“Who has registered for the Second Annual Kidlitosphere Conference, September 27, 2008?” is the question.

Will you be attending? Have you registered yet? Visit Kidlit08 for more details. If you register before August 1, 2008, you will receive a complimentary raffle ticket for the dinner raffle.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Top Ten Reasons to Visit Portland, Oregon

Top 10 Reasons to Visit Portland, Oregon

10. Voodoo Doughnuts where your can get married and eat your doughnut too.

9. We do not have sales tax.

8. Looking for leprechauns? They been seen at the “World’s Smallest Park”: Mill Ends Park (24 inches in size) on Naito Parkway.

7. Portland also has the largest forested city wilderness in the nation: Forest Park, 5, 000 acres in size.

6. Mt Tabor, an extinct volcano. Portland is one of two cities in the US with and extinct volcano within the city. The other one is in Bend, Oregon.

5. Portland is also known as “Beervana” for being the epicenter of micro brewing.

4. Cupcake Jones Nirvana! I will have some available at the conference.

3. Stumptown Coffee

2. Powell’s City of Books Plan to meet here on Friday night and then head to a local microbrewery for dinner

However, the Number One reason to visit Portland is:

“Bridging the Worlds of Books and Blogs”.

Great discussions about books and blogs! Great networking! Great fun!
For more information visit Kidlit 2008 or contact me at “macrush53 at yahoo dot com”.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Summertime Living

I am around. I just have not been posting on my blogs much. I think it is fallout from participating in the national boards for teaching. Which, by the way, I now get to wait until around November to hear the results.

I had plans, oh big plans to blog from the road trip I just returned from last week. Nevertheless, I did not. I did not read anything of merit on the road trip. I have started reading about the behavior of dogs for a project I am working on.

I just returned from the public library. This has become a renewed love affair because I can be more “green” through purchasing less. I went to the library as a child and through my teen years. It was a time when big corporate books stores did not exist and very few independent ones as well.

I participated in the summer reading programs and worked to get my chart filled up faster than “Jack Snap”, whoever he might be. I returned to a library habit this spring because I needed to listen to books on tape or cd in preparation for the national board’s exam.

Today, I cruised by the “Twice Sold Tales”, a perpetual used book sale that the library has. A five-dollar bill provided me with The Friday Night Knitting Club, The Art of French Kissing, and a J.A. Jance: Web of Evil. Nothing like Jance to interrupt a reading vacation.

We leave for the coast tomorrow the week. I am hoping (again) to blog from our location. It will be because of J.A. Jance if I do not.

Happy Reading.