So then I went to see Jon Scieszka. If you’ve ever seen Jon Scieszka, you know he’s as funny as he looks, or…
Yes, one of Pete’s many famous pals.
Jon talked about his family, mostly. Be sure to read Knuckleheads: Tall Tales and Almost True Stories of Growing Up Scieszka.
It explains everything about what makes him tick. He’s the second of SIX BOYS. No girls. If you look at their pictures, they all look about the same age.
Jon answered some questions at the end, of course. First his favorite books he’s written, and favorite book he’s read:
His favorite story from the Guys Read Books–THE ONE THE GUY’S EDITOR COULDN’T BEAR TO READ:
What he’s working on now. Something with Kate DiCamillo!
Of course he’s on tour promoting his latest SPACEHEADZ book.
The Spaceheadz books teach the kids to interact on the intrawebs, and there’s a nifty-frito website where readers can write their own stuff, read a blog, upload pictures. Major Fluffy even has a lame app.
If you ever have a chance to see Jon, geez. Don’t pass it up.
And bring your kids.
I was lucky/smart/plugged in enough to attend the very first summer workshop of a new group in Missouri: Ozark Writers And Illustrators for Children. I’ve never been around at the birth of a writers’ posse before.
It’s kind of exciting.
The day kicked off with a little Coffee Talk from Vicki Grove, where she drove home ten points about writing. I think the most surprising point to me was: Writing is Physics–it’s physical forces in opposition. Geez, that’s brilliant, isn’t it?
Then Vicki opened her Writer’s Tool Box for all of us to play in. Seems Vicki is an organizer, which unfortunately, I am not. But I might get into making sensory charts, to make sure I’ve got all the bases covered in my novels.
After a delicious lunch, three break out sessions were offered–about characters, writing non-fiction, and the one I chose: Authenic Details: How to Find Them, How to Use Them, with Janie Cheaney. Lemmee tell ya, Janie knows how to get to the nitty-gritty. She’s even handled turn-of-the-century cameras at the Smithsonian, to do research for her kidlit novels. (Nifty!)
Then, we three dozen or so writerly types for kids came back together for first page critiques by award-winning authors, and wrapped up the day with a Q and A panel. Sprinkle door prizes throughout the day, invite everyone to come dutch to dinner, and you’ve got yourself a wing-ding!