Monday, September 29, 2008


I am so thrilled, exclamation mark! The booktrailer for my debut children's novel, Dragon Wishes, went live.

That makes me sound so very hip and up to date culturally. Truth be told, up until six months ago, I had no idea what a book trailer was, and I was sketchy about what a movie trailer was, too. Sad, but true. Sigh.

But if I can learn to blog, I can learn about book trailers. Basically, it is this amazing two minute video with pictures and music! about my book. I really had a great time learning how this was put together, giving input, and ultimately, sitting back and enjoying the results. If you get a minute, please take a look, and then tell me if you're not just a wee bit curious to read Dragon Wishes!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Holy Mexican Jumping Beans, Batman!

I've been waiting years to come up with a new Robin exclamation directed at Batman. It took a trip to Tucson, Arizona, this weekend to finally fulfill that lifelong desire. Tongue and cheek aside, I traveled to the sunny state to be a part of my oldest friend's wedding. It was so much fun catching up with people from high school that I haven't seen in over twenty years (and ageing at the same time). Staying up late, toasting to my friend's lifelong happiness, even enjoying a day of just me and my husband time paled to the discovery I made while I was there.

Mexican jumping beans.

For those who grew up in snow country, childhood may not have included watching these "beans" jump around, so you may not be feeling that sparkle of magic from reading those three little words. While I spent my childhood in Indiana, my mom's family all lives in Texas, and I spent many a summer there. I'm not sure what it is about those beans that is so mesmerizing for a child, but I was hooked at a tender age.

Mexican jumping beans are actually seeds. There is a specific type of moth that plants its eggs in these seeds. The larvae spend there whole wormy stage cocooned in the seeds, moving around to find the choicest morsels to eat, which is why the beans jump.

To a kid, they're magic. You can't predict when they will move, or where the little pods will hop to.

When I found them on my trip, I knew I had a great souvenir to bring home to my children. Sure enough, my girls stayed up half the night watching their beans hop around. Now they are waiting impatiently for the larvae to turn into moths. Poor things. The moths, that is. They still have a few months to go.

In the meantime, our house has been taken over my Mexican jumping bean madness. We've found books on the Mexican jumping beans, a game to play with them, and they have been all the rage for show-and-tell at school.

Holy Mexican Jumping Beans, Batman! Who knew that in today's world of technological savvy a little worm and seed could still cause such excitement.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Author Visit by State

Have you ever searched for the hometown author for a school visit, but you didn't know where to look - under a rock, in the nearby cave on the outskirts of town, a coffee shop? We authors aren't always the best about putting ourselves out there. A lot of us are kinda shy, actually. We like to steal away with our stories and write, write, write. There are, however, some high functioning authors who are really good at spreading the word about their school visit programs. One such author, Kim Norman, decided to open up her marketing genius to other authors and librarians. She's created a web page where authors who do school visits can list themselves and their websites. It's a great resource for teachers and librarians looking for speakers. Please check it out:

Thanks Kim!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Conference Jitters

Yesterday, I hosted my first ever joint panel with a group of children's authors - PJ Hoover, Jenny Meyerhoff and Barrie Summy. We are all members of the Class of 2k8 debut children's novelists, and we all spoke yesterday at the Oklahoma School Librarians' Conference, EncycloMedia.

I sweated the details of the conference like a first-time parent. I really really really wanted us to do well. And I really really really wanted us to have an audience. I had visions of the lone cricket sawing away at his music in the back of an empty room. Oklahoma librarians had another vision. They came out in huge numbers to support and listen to a group of slightly nervous but very excited debut authors, who put on some really funny, heartfelt, clever, and entertaining talks. No two were the same. I learned as much from giving my own speech in front of a real audience - as opposed to my silent computer screen - as I did from listening to each of their differenct styles.

Here's a huge SHOUT OUT to the amazing authors of 2k8 that traveled long distances to speak in my home state and the wonderful Oklahoma librarians who came to hear us all talk. It was a huge success that I was honored to be a part of. One I'll not soon forget this day.