Monday, September 29, 2008

2008 Kidlitosphere Conference, Part 2

As promised here are more photos and a short video from the Kidlitosphere Conference.
Opening Panel:

Dia Calhoun, Lori Ann Grover, Betsy Bird, Alice Pope & Mark Blevis

It's hard to read Betsy Bird's nifty shirt in the above photo. But if you watch my video below, you'll see it clearly. Plus you'll get to hear what Betsy has to say about the term "KidLit." It's fun. It's short. Take a look. (And if you click on the 4 tiny arrows, you can watch it "full screen")

Betsy Bird Talks "KidLit" at the 2008 KidLitosphere Conference from Lynn H on Vimeo.
On a side note, this video was shot with my newish Flip video camera which I love. I was trying to show it off to Mark Blevis just moments before the conference early Saturday morning, but it was showing the dreaded "low battery." Luckily I had packed a few extra batteries. Whew!

Below see Betsy showing her nifty Flip cam to Laini. Later in the day Mark bought a Flip and was taking movies, too. I hope he and Betsy post their movies soon.

Colleen Mondor & Jackie Parker gave an informative and full-of-personality talk about Community Blog Tour Events.

Colleen above, Jackie below.

Pam Coughlan (Mother Reader) shared strategies to "Kick Your Blog Up a Notch." Pam will be organizing the 2009 Kidlitosphere Conference in Washington DC!

Laini Taylor & Jen Robinson

Laini Taylor & Jen Robinson presented a great conversation on "The Bridge Between Authors & Book Reviewers" touching on several do's & don'ts from both author's and reviewer's points of view. A couple of tidbits:

Reviewer peeve: When authors or publicists don't read the reviewer's Review Policy.

Author peeve: When reviewers use spoilers and give away the plot of the book!

I like Greg Pincus's phrase: "I'm geeky--so you don't have to be." I also like the idea of being ready for "the happy accident." Greg had lots of useful examples and info including a link to a wiki he and his brother, Jon, created about Book Promotion on the Web. Take a look.

I enjoyed the whole conference. One of the unexpected benefits was reconnecting with Vermont College MFA friends--
Cheryl Coupe Zu Vincent &
Yours truly, Lynn

Forecast: Lots of good connections, an ever-expanding & ever-important Kidlitosphere, and D.C. in 2009!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

2nd Annual KidLitosphere Conference in Portland

I wasn't sure I'd be able to make it to the KidLit 08 conference, but with some last-minute planning and whirlwind packing I am glad I went.


It was fun. It was a friendly, funny, thought-provoking, and informative group.
And it all revolved around a common interest in books for children and young adults. What could be better than that?

I got to meet many new people and see old friends.

Best of all? Connecting real faces, voices and colorful personalties of real people behind so many KidLitosphere blogs.

Here are some quick photos, thoughts, highlights and questions.

Hooray to Laini and Jone above, the wonderful organizers who pulled it all together. Thanks!
Many attended with hearts, minds, and laptops open. Anastasia Suen

Are these folks' fingertips always connected to the their keyboards?
I'm in awe.

Who attended? There were Author-bloggers. Librarian-bloggers. Teacher-bloggers. Reviewer-bloggers. Daddy-bloggers. Mommy-Bloggers. Don't forget to comment-bloggers. Illustrator-bloggers. Podcasting-bloggers. Multitasking-bloggers. Poetry-bloggers. Group-bloggers. Publisher-PR-bloggers. It's getting-crowded in-the-Kidlitosphere-bloggers. There's-room-for-more-bloggers. Serious-bloggers. Curious but-just-getting-started-bloggers. Used-to-blog-more-bloggers. Even some skeptical, you-can't-make-me non-bloggers. And last but not least, in a category all her own, Betsy-Bird-Below-Blogger.

As someone who does not blog daily, I am in awe of those who post so often. But as an author I must balance my time and of course write new books. I feel fine posting when I can and not fretting (too much) when I am doing my "other non-blog writing." Yes, those manuscripts that will someday be my next books! I feel though, that I need a little sign like a "gone fishing sign" to hang on my blog to signify I still exist and I'll be back--I'm just busy doing my book-writing. Any artists out there who want to create a little author logo for us? Like a "Gone Fishing" sign for author-bloggers?

Okay, before I go fishing for stories and plot-lines again, here are a few more pics:

Multi-tasking Mark Blevis of Just One More Book, who can attend a conference, give a presentation, podcast, shop for a new Flip video cam, take movies, network, socialize, have fun, twitter, read a novel AND a picture book all at the same time!!

You have to admit, Imaginary Readers, that's pretty darn impressive! Here he is reading Zu Vincent's new novel, The Lucky Place, and my picture book, Buzz Bumble to the Rescue, simultaneously. Wow.

See Mark again below during his presentation of "The Podcaster at the End of this Book."

You'll find more pics and posts from fellow conference attendees here.

Forecast: Back tomorrow to post more KidLit Conference pics, thoughts and maybe a little video, too. Unless of course, I've "gone fishing!"

Friday, September 26, 2008

Hello From Portland & The Kidlitosphere Conference

Hello Imaginary Readers,

Whoo-hoo! I've arrived in Portland and in a mere 8 hours (or less, depending on how long I'm peeking at everyone's blogs) I'll make my way to breakfast and the 2nd Annual Kidlitosphere Conference full of children's books authors, bloggers and podcasters galore. My hotel room near the airport has background sounds of arriving and departing flights; clackety clacking, woo-wooing trains; and assorted vehicles.

Forecast: Travel-filled dreams followed by eggs, muffin, juice and a day full of Kidlitospheric connections.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Busy September!

Hello Imaginary Readers!

I'm back.
September has always a busy month for me but this September has been extra fun, extra full, and zipping by lickety split. First off, the launch of a new preschool year (I'm the director of a preschool) coincided with the launch of my new YA novel, SHIFTY. So I've been surrounded by great energy revolving around young children, families, teachers and literary events all at once.

I have always loved September, ever since I was a kid. What could be better than a new notebook and pencil, excitement and nervous thoughts of what my new grade, or class, or college semester would be like? I've always loved September in the preschool, too--spiffing up the classroom, planning curriculum with fellow teachers, welcoming back the returning children and getting to know the new little ones.

The quality of light in September, our San Francisco skies, and children's voices in the air all seem particularly heartfelt and full of potential.

And into this busy energy my new YA novel, SHIFTY, has been released into the book-reading world. Busy busy but fun! My book launch party was at Books Inc with a crowd of family, old and new literary friends. Thanks to everyone who came or sent your good wishes. It means a lot to me to share the celebration.

As a writer, I of course spend goo-gobs of time alone creating my imaginary characters and worlds in my books until those characters and their stories become more and more real to me. I write and revise with the hope that I'll capture a great story full of humor and heart that will someday be published and read. Many afternoons and evenings it is a huge leap of faith to keep writing. But with perseverance and luck that "someday" of SHIFTY being published has arrived. Time to celebrate!

So please celebrate with me, Imaginary Readers.
Read the book and tell me what you think. Please send me any "questions for the author" right here on the Imaginary Blog or at

Please tell teens, teachers and librarians about SHIFTY and take a look at my Shifty website at Pass the link along to others who might be interested. You'll also find a great, free downloadable Teacher's Guide, reviews of the book, and info about my inspiration for the story.

And inside the pages of of the book, SHIFTY?
There, Imaginary Readers, there you'll find Shifty's story.
I hope you like it.
Please take a look.

And what am I up to now? Since it's September, I bought myself a new notebook! And the September skies of San Francisco still feel full of a unique quality of light, good energy, and children's voices.

Forecast: A notebook (soon) full of story ideas.

Monday, September 1, 2008

SHIFTY! Pub date is today


Today is SHIFTY'S official publication date.
And Wed. September 10th is the Book Launch Party.
7:00 p.m.
See the nifty Shifty poster below for more details.

Please come join the celebration.