105 Ways to Give a Book

ABC Storytime: XYZ is for...

Finishing up the ABC Storytime with combined letters, because finding a book for X is simply too much work. Thanks for following along this year!

The Letters X, Y and Z

Song: “The Alphabet Song”

Book: Appaloosa Zebra, by Jessie Haas

Song: “The X Song”
(to the tune of “Where is Thumbkin?”)

Where is X?
Where is X?
Here I am.
Here I am.
How are you today X?
Very well, I thank you.
X away, X away.

(The first time you sing the song, cross your fingers to form the letter X. The second time, cross your arms.)
Book: The Yellow Tutu, by Kirsten Bramsen

Song: “Let’s Give a Yell for Y”
(to the tune of “The Farmer in the Dell”)

Let’s give a yell for Y,
Let’s give a yell for Y.
Y is for you and for yellow too,
Let’s give a yell for Y

Yarn begins with Y...
Yawn begins with Y...
Book: Zee, by Michel Gay

Fingerplay: “Zebras in the Zoo”
(counting on fingers)

Five zebras in a zoo
The first one said, I need new shoes
The second said, I do too
The third one said, My name is Sue
The fourth one said, It’s nice to meet you
The fifth one said, How do you do?
Book: One Night in the Zoo, by Judith Kerr

Links to material on Amazon.com contained within this post may be affiliate links for the Amazon Associates program, for which this site may receive a referral fee.

So, LOST

So, LOST. I’m still thinking about the final episode, and I’m coming around to appreciating it more than I did at first. Overall, I liked watching all of the characters in the sideways world remembering their island life. That said, some of that recall had to be pretty painful. Did Sun and Jin turn to each other five minutes later and say, “Ohmigod, worst vacation ever!

At first I was mad that the sideways world was not a parallel timeline that the Lost folks could leap to in a flash of light. That was my alternate ending. But after reading a bunch of articles, I realize that my option would have given us a happy ending, but would have meant that none of the island stuff really mattered. And it kind of had to matter. So I’m making peace with the “waiting room” idea.

However, while the finale provided a good emotional closure, it left so much unanswered. That’s been my problem with this whole season. At the end of each episode, I found myself wondering if the writers truly understood how little time they had to explain everything. Anything!

But even the decision to not provide answers makes sense in a way. An article from the LA Times had a great analysis, including this perfect line: “One of the reasons I think Lost worked was that it was always more interested in the box and the person holding the box than what was in the box.” Yeah, okay. But I still want to know why Walt was special.

If you want to read more analysis, here’s where I’ve been:

I enjoyed participating in the intelligent and interesting discussion at Melissa Wiley’s blog and am looking forward to her later write-up.

Here’s an interview with the writers at The New York Times before the finale aired. And a second one, less than thrilled with the end, but explaining aspects of it.

This one from Wired expresses dissatisfaction with the ending, and asks people to send in their own ideas for the end — which has been alternately funny and illuminating.

The Chicago Tribune has a summary and a further analysis that features this great insight: “[The finale said] that we find redemption through our own actions, our own willingness to change, and our hard-won belief in ourselves and others.”

Time’s Tuned In blog convinced me that it had to matter. And then this comment in the Slate forum came and blew my mind. This is only a small part of the mini-essay that may be one of the most eloquently written things I’ve ever read.
I live on a very peculiar island, and though I’ve been here for a long while now, I know almost nothing about it. I don’t know the reason I am here, nor do I know if there’s even a reason to be known. One day I opened my eyes, and here I was — knowing nothing and knowing no one, ignorant of all that had come before...

I loved the way LOST ended. It resolved all questions the way they are resolved in our own lives. Dead is dead. Whatever happened, happened. Some things are irreversible, and you can’t fix the past... And the question we always wondered — the question we always will wonder — remained. What is this place, and why were we here? And they answered that too, in the most beautiful way imaginable: You don’t get to find out.

Book Blogger Convention and BookExpo America

Oh, so much I meant to write about this week. This month, really. But it would be best for me to focus on only my shorter-term ball-dropping, as it were.

First, quickly, a note to check out the three categories of books I see as most essential for a child’s beginning bookshelf. See if you agree with me at PBS Booklights.

Second, also quickly, save some time to read the amazing interviews from the Summer Blog Blast Tour. I’ll be doing reading on Sunday, after my Girl Scout camping trip but before LOST. (LOST!!!)

Third, less quickly, I’m going to the Book Blogger Convention on Friday, May 28th, and there is still time for you to join me there. Yes, I just checked the registration, and it’s still open. The schedule looks very interesting, and the registration fee includes a pass to BookExpo America. There are a number of publishers who will be in attendance, along with the bevy of bloggers. (Bevy being our official group designation, I believe.) Looking at the list of attendees, I’m going to be meeting a lot of new people. As this is not KidLitCon (stay tuned for more info on that!), more participants are bloggers in adult books — though there is a lot of crossover in YA. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to share knowledge with this group, plus listen to our own Betsy Bird and Terry Doherty on panels and Maureen Johnson as a speaker. Look at the full listing at the site.

If you can’t make the whole thing, consider coming to the reception on Thursday evening after BEA closes shop for the day. I’ll certainly be there, and will be trolling the BEA floor itself on Thursday. With all that is going on at home, I couldn’t afford to take the time to come on Wednesday. Sorry, but I’ll miss KidLit Drink Night. I’m flying in early on Thursday morning to put in a full day at BEA, so I’d love to see some blogger friends along the way (or someone to pick me up at JFK). I’m mostly looking at book signings to collect prizes for the 48 Hour Book Challenge (Still taking sign-ups! And prize donations!), and I’ll bet if you look at the schedule you can figure out where I’ll be. I can say for sure though that I’m going to attend the presentation of Guys of Guys Read at 1:00PM at the Downtown Stage. I’ll wear my letter scarf so you can find me. (What’s my letter scarf? Oh, you’ll know it when you see it.)

All that said, I would be elated to know in advance about some BFFs to expect to see there, so drop a comment here or coordinate on Facebook or something. Seriously, I shouldn’t even be going to NYC with everything I’ve got on my plate, so I could use an energy boost from my buddies. In a pinch, I’d even take envy.

ABC Storytime: W is for...

W is for “What the what? I never did a W Storytime?” So here, fresh off my Amazon and library catalog research is the new storytime...

The Letter W

Book: Wake Up, City, by Susan Verlander

Book: Walk On! A Guide for Babies of All Ages, by Marla Frazee, or Night Walk, by Jill Newsome

Song: “This is the Way We Walk to School”
This is the way we walk to school,
Walk to school, walk to school,
This is the way we walk to school,
So early in the morning.

This is the way we wiggle to school…
This is the way we whoosh to school…
Book: Whoosh Went the Wind! by Sally Derby

Song: “Blow, Blow, Blow the Wind”
Blow, blow, blow, the wind

Gently through the trees.

Blow, and blow, and blow, and blow.

How I like a breeze!
Blow, blow, blow the clouds,

Blow them through the sky.

Blow, and blow, and blow, and blow.

Watch the clouds roll by!
Book: A Weekend with Wendell, by Kevin Henkes

Song: “Days of the Week”
(to the tune of “Oh My Darling”)



Sunday, Monday

Tuesday, Wednesday

Thursday, Friday, Saturday

Sunday, Monday

Tuesday, Wednesday

Thursday, Friday, Saturday
Book: Whistle for Willie, by Ezra Jack Keats

Alternate Books: Diary of a Wombat, by Jackie French, or Wombat Walkabout, by Carol Diggory Shields

Links to material on Amazon.com contained within this post may be affiliate links for the Amazon Associates program, for which this site may receive a referral fee.

Summer Blog Blast Tour

It’s time once again for the Summer Blog Blast Tour, where interviews abound. Or something like that. I couldn’t participate this time around, but am happy to point you to the Master Schedule for the week, and — just for kicks — to point out today’s lineup:Check out the interviews, and hey, leave a comment too.

Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical

Technically, you haven’t crashed the premiere party if you didn’t eat the cake. Which means that my longer-than-average stay following the Kennedy Center opening of Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical was still within the bounds of decorum. Probably. But let’s go back to the beginning.

As if being an rock-star author/illustrator of children’s books weren’t enough for this millenium, Mo Willems also wrote a musical based on his best-selling, award-winning book, Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale. This little musical opened at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. As it so happens, I live near Washington, D.C., and certainly could not miss such a musical. Which is how I found myself on the first Saturday in May at an altogether special event.

My fifth grader and I were excited to go — both loving Knuffle Bunny, musicals, and Mo. I had read about about the musical on Mo’s blog, and was lucky enough to get tickets to the opening night performance. Because maybe Mo mentioned that was the night he would be attending the play. As we went in, I ran into Sue Corbett writing for Publishers Weekly and Dawn Mooney from 5 Minutes for Books. They had better seats than I did.

But they may have missed what I saw: Mo and family sitting in a fairly random place in the theater among all the “regular people.” No roped-off section for the Willems clan. There was something nice about seeing the writer of such a fantastic project sitting out among the audience. Even more sweet as I saw the kisses and hugs shared among the family as the actors took their bows.

My daughter and I enjoyed the musical, and were excited about the possibility of sharing that with the Man of the Hour. We extended our congratulations — along with our fellow bloggers — as we held up traffic in the aisles. I knew that my daughter wanted to say hello to Trixie, as she shared the stage with her in September and felt like they were now friends. Trixie was delightful and sweet, introducing us to her friend. Who was Jacqueline Woodson’s daughter. Yes, I believe I know of that author. So I met Jacqueline Woodson, as my daughter offered her daughter — and Trixie — Silly Bandz.

As we made our way up the aisle — now being urged along by ushers — we had a nice chat about New York City and visiting D.C. and drawing on walls. I talked briefly with Cheryl Willems as her husband created a bottleneck leaving the theater with everyone wanting to talk to him. Having done so — and trying to recognize some sense of boundaries in not doing so again — I was now hoping to catch an actor that my husband knows to give congrats on the great show.

It was still crowded getting out of the theater, and it didn’t really occur to me to think why until I saw the large cake and glasses of champagne. That’s when it hit me that the only people who were still there were the ones celebrating the opening performance of the show. I couldn’t resist a quick pic of the cake, but before we could make our way through the rest of the tightly packed room the speeches started. I will admit, that did put us right on the edge of crashing the party, but it would have been much more obvious and rude to leave at that point. So we listened politely, clapped appropriately, and then left quietly.

And as I said, I don’t think it can count as crashing if we didn’t eat the cake. At least, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

For more on the musical itself, head over to Booklights, where I have a review and background stories. And quotes. And maybe even a picture of like the actual play or something.

Edited to add the text originally published at Booklights.

When the folks at the Kennedy Center had an idea to do a show based on the award-winning book Knuffle Bunny, Mo Willems didn't hesitate. Okay, maybe he hesitated, but he certainly accepted the challenge to write the script and lyrics of Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical. For over two years he worked with more than thirty people to turn the picture book into a one-hour family musical.

KKTBD_KnuffleBunnyACautionaryMusical_138.jpg
With Grammy Award winning composer Michael Silversher taking on the music, Mo worked most closely on the script with dramaturge Megan Alrutz. As he notes on his blog, "If you ever get the chance to get your own Dramaturge, do it! They're awesome. The thought of losing my Dramaturge to other dramaturgically needy projects in the future fills me with dread. And, as long as you're getting a Dramaturge, get Megan. She rocks." Workshops and rehearsals with the cast and crew helped to further shape the musical with even additional tweaking even on the Friday before the performance.

The musical certainly feels like a Mo Willems production. Fans will instantly recognize the background projected on the stage and even the clothes the characters are wearing as being from the book. The plot is the same, the father takes his young daughter to the laundromat and misplaces her beloved Knuffle Bunny, causing a toddler meltdown of miscommunication and complete frustration.

For the musical, the part of Trixie is played by Stephanie D'Abruzzo, an old pal from Mo's Sesame Street and Sheep in the Big City days. She dives into the tough role, portraying Trixie's garbled speech and active imagination with a childlike enthusiasm. Michael John Casey gives the audience a fantastic Dad, who is ready to take on anything and make it fun. Erika Rose is the knowing Mom, and Matthew McGloin and Gia Mora handle the other characters as Puppeteers.

The children in the audience laughed during the show, and there is much for adults to appreciate as well. Trixie's inability to communicate creates much of the humor of the book and the musical, and yet it's also a real source of frustration and helplessness for both father and daughter. The musical gave an opportunity to explore this deeper connection to our own feelings of inadequacy as parents. That point when we recognize that our child has ideas and an individually that we can't always comprehend or even recognize.

This theme is evident as the father sings about all the things that he will teach his daughter, while not noticing her already intense fascination with the world around her. In fact as she expresses delight in a friendly pigeon - yes, that pigeon - her father scares the bird away as a "dirty rat with wings." As poor Trixie sings a sad song of toddler gibberish - complete with boa and spotlight - about the loss of her stuffed friend, her father is lost in misunderstanding. And yet as he feels that frustration of not getting it and not doing it right, he still is able to tap into what is most important - the love that he feels for his little girl. Of course, it all turns out fine at the end.

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Overall, Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical is a fun show for kids and their adults, with catchy music and lots of laughs along with a sentimental spirit. And what struck Mo Willems as a member of the audience? " I loved holding my daughter's hand during the song "Really, Really Love You." Best moment by far."

The show travels for eighteen months or so before returning to Kennedy Center next year, so look to catch a performance at a theater near you. If you're excited about the possibility of another Mo musical, be encouraged that he's talking about ways to work together more with the group, having enjoyed this experience so much. Whatever it is or may be, count me in the audience.


Links to material on Amazon.com contained within this post may be affiliate links for the Amazon Associates program, for which this site may receive a referral fee.

ABC Storytime: V is for...

Today’s ABC Storytime is short on songs, as I didn’t have a set program for the Letter V — at least not after the debacle that was my storytime “V is for Vagina.” (Kidding!)

The Letter V

Book: The Ugly Vegetables, by Grace Lin

Book: This is the Van that Dad Cleaned, by Lisa Campbell Ernst

Song: “The Wheels on the Van”
(Yeah, “The Wheels on the Bus” song adapted as needed.)
Book: The Village of Basketeers, by Lynda Gene Rymond

Book: Violet’s Music, by Angela Johnson

Book: Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin, by Lloyd Moss

Song: “What Begins with V?”
(to the tune of “The Farmer in the Dell”)

What begins with V?
What begins with V?
We all know, we’ll tell you so.
What begins with V?

Violin begins with V.
Violin begins with V.
We all know, we’ll tell you so.
Violin begins with V.

(and so on)
Alternate Books: Violet the Pilot, by Steve Breen, or Odd Velvet, by Mary Whitcomb

Links to material on Amazon.com contained within this post may be affiliate links for the Amazon Associates program, for which this site may receive a referral fee.

BACA Alert: Hell to the No!

BACAAs Bloggers Against Celebrity Authors founder and, let’s say, president, I claim the end of life as we know it following this announcement:

Tyra Banks Signs Multi-Book Deal With Delacorte Press

“Delacorte Press has acquired MODELLAND, the first novel in a three-book series written by international, entertainment, and media icon Tyra Banks... Drawing from an area of expertise she is avidly passionate about, Tyra’s MODELLAND is the story of a teen girl in a make-believe society who finds herself competing for a way of life that’s both hotly desired and woefully out of reach at an academy for Intoxibellas, the most exceptional models known to humankind. As the plot unfolds, readers will uncover lessons that are buried beneath the surface of this magical world.”

Fifth Annual 48 Hour Book Challenge

48 Hour Book ChallengeHere we are with the Fifth Annual 48 Hour Book Challenge — that weekend extravaganza that lets you say, “Yeah, I’m reading that weekend.” Sign up in the comments today, and talk it up on your blog. Let’s do this thing!
  1. The weekend is June 4–6, 2010. Read and blog for any 48-hour period within the Friday-to-Monday-morning window. Start no sooner than 7:00 a.m. on Friday the fourth and end no later than 7:00 a.m. Monday the seventh. So, go from 7:00 p.m. Friday to 7:00 p.m. on Sunday... or maybe 7:00 a.m. Saturday to 7:00 a.m. Monday works better for you. But the 48 hours do need to be in a row. That said, during that 48-hour period you may still have gaps of time in which you can’t read, and that’s fine. (In the middle of the three different challenge weekends I’ve had to go to work, attend a ballet recital, and drive for a Girl Scout event.)
  2. The books should be about fifth-grade level and up. Adult books are fine, especially if adult book bloggers want to play. If you are generally a picture book blogger, consider this a good time to get caught up on all those wonderful books you’ve been hearing about. Graphic novels can be included in the reading. One audiobook can also be included in your time and book total.
  3. The top three winners will be based only on time commitment, not number of books. So if you are heading into the 30+ hours club or 40+ hours club, track your time carefully. International winners may be given gift cards instead books due to mailing costs, unless a U.S. address is provided.
  4. It’s your call as to how much you want to put into it. If you want to skip sleep and showers to do this — and some people do — go for it. If you want to be a bit more laid back, fine. But you have to put something into it or it’s not a challenge. Twelve hours is the benchmark for winning prizes.
  5. The length of the reviews or notes written in your blog are not an issue. You can write a sentence, a paragraph, or a full-length review. Up to you. The time spent reviewing counts in your total time.
  6. New last year: You can include some amount of time reading other participant’s blogs, commenting on participating blogs and Facebook pages, and Twittering about your progress (remember the #48hbc tag!). For every five hours, you can add one hour of networking. This time counts in your total time.
  7. On your blog, state when you are starting the challenge with a specific entry on that day and leave the link to that post at the Starting Line post at MotherReader on June 4th (via the trusty Mr. Linky).
  8. When you finish, write a final summary that clearly indicates hours — including partial hours — you spent reading/reviewing/networking, the number of books read, and any other comments you want to make on the experience. It needs to be posted no later than noon EST on Monday, June 7th. Also, check in at the Finish Line post on MotherReader that will be posted Sunday and please link to that post from your final summary post.
Last year we began to connect the 48HBC to charitable causes, and folks were able to connect their personal readathon to a Greater Good of their choice. While you may continue to select your own charity, I’m going to suggest supporting book and literacy projects through Donors Choose, a great resource that connects teachers in need of supplies to donors with funds to give. For myself, I plan to donate $1 per hour read to this DC school and welcome others — perhaps those not able to do the challenge this year — to sponsor me. Other participants can contribute to this cause and even this school as well, or to something else that moves you. Your readathon can be based on sponsors, comments, books read, or something else entirely. You can also choose not to participate in this aspect of the 48 Hour Book Challenge, though you may find a way to support others’ efforts by leaving comments (if that’s what is being tallied).

Oh, and I’m looking for donations for winners’ prize packages and other “door prizes” to be awarded to participants selected at random. Past prizes have included original sketches from Mo Willems and Matthew Holm, signed and sketched books from Adam Rex, loads of signed books, t-shirts from Threadless, artistic blank journals, jewelry, gift cards, notecards, and more. Good stuff. If you’d like to contribute to the prizes this year, shoot me an email at MotherReader AT gmail DOT com.

Sign up now in the comments and block of the dates on your calendar. Questions can also go in the comments, and I will respond in the comments and, if needed, with clarification in the final rules. Good luck, have fun, and happy reading!

An Abbreviated Post of Yesterday’s Discussion of the Making of Our Film


We made a movie.

We worked hard on it, and I like it. A lot.

Thank you.

(The “thank you” serves not only as a reference to the content of yesterday’s post, in which I showed my appreciation for the cast and crew, but also as a preemptive thanks to those of you who will take the seven minutes to watch the movie. After all, it’s not like I’m expecting you to read a whole book or anything.)

“Liability”

With it being so easy to make and post anything on YouTube, it’s become even harder to explain why making a seven-minute film in forty-eight hours is such a challenge. But if you’re interested, here is a bit of a view into the movie-making process, which we follow in abbreviated format on these weekend ventures.

Even on the heels of our stressful weeks of family medical issues, we couldn’t give up the notion of having Tohubohu participate in the 48 Hour Film Project. And while we did have a more difficult time writing, filming, and editing our film, the results were worth it. But let’s start at the beginning...

When Bill went to the kick-off party and drew “horror” as our genre, he was thrilled by the challenge it presented. When he told me as I was driving back from Virginia Beach, I was less so. I knew it would be very hard to capture the tension of a decent horror movie in seven minutes, and had no ideas to even contribute. (As opposed to last year, when the concept presented itself in a dream.) I believe that my exact words were, “Good luck with that,” as I continued to make my way back home.

After Bill’s initial brainstorming session with our writer, Robin Brande, she took on the idea — totally out of her comfort zone — and developed it into a first-draft script. The two of them continued to work throughout the night to capture the right tone, feature our great actors, and incorporate the required elements. (Prop: a horn; Character: Marco or Muffin Gabbowitz, a person who works with animals; Line of dialogue: “Do you think you can do that again?”) I, um... went to bed.

Working until 6:00 a.m. on Saturday morning left us very little in the way of prep time for the day’s filming. Fortunately, Bill had visited the locations earlier, and did have a good idea of where the scenes would take place. Also having worked on the script so much, he knew what he wanted from the actors. What we were missing was a clear sense of the filming schedule, along with the rested brain capacity to develop one as the day went on. Or to remember little details, like bringing one’s daughter back from the set.

But this is where building a spectacular team comes in, because all of our cast and crew truly stepped up. It’s safe to say that we would not have a film if they had not all been so proactive, so competent, so passionate about their jobs. When I forgot to start the actors running lines, they did it themselves. When I didn’t have dinner plans set, our host came to me with the suggestion of a cookout, which he set up and arranged. When I prepared my weary mind to clear the set of our filming improvements, I was told that it was already done. When Bill realized that an actor wasn’t there, a crew member filled in. When Bill left our daughter at the other house, a kind actor brought her back to our staging ground.

I can’t possibly credit all of the work done to make this film look spectacular, but I’ll try to hit on a few things to give you a sense of the movie-making aspect. Lee and Meredith had scouted out locations in the quaint Del Ray part of Alexandria, and allowed us to use their house not only for filming but as our base of operations for the whole long, long day. They also arranged for us to use another house — one that I fell in love with — for other scenes. Both places gave the movie texture with the interesting look of the rooms. Check the odd angles in the kid’s room and the central 1890s fireplace in the group scene.

One important thing that makes a movie look like a movie and not a YouTube video is lighting. It’s easier to understand how involved the process is when you know that the crew taped black covering behind the windows to make the filming look like it took place at night. And then set up enough lighting to be able to see the actors, while still retaining the mood. Both the kid’s bedroom scene and the group discussion scene were filmed in the middle of the day.

Set dressing makes it all believable. The kid’s room was only a bare bed, but the addition of a childlike quilt and pillowcase, stuffed animals, and a trombone gave it a realistic look. Keeping the filming tight left the rest of the undecorated room out of the shot. Sometimes the sets are in what isn’t shown. Seeing the room behind “Karen” in her confrontation with “Daniel” would have been distracting in a scene that was all about building tension. Throw in some lighting choices, film angles, and color correction in editing and you have one intense scene.

And speaking of that scene, I checked lines with the actors Jennifer and Nick as they ran through it and boy, was I impressed. They ran lines, sure, but they also talked about where they were as characters for the scene. Nick asked questions about his character’s emotional state. Was he defiant? Regretful? Apologetic? Unhinged? How would each of those artistic choices affect the scene? I watched him and Jennifer go through all of these adaptations, and the final version is amazing.

And I have to mention Jennifer being so into the last scene that when she didn’t hear the director’s call to cut, she continued with such emotional intensity that the crew thought that she had crossed over personally to some dark place in her own experience. Now that’s acting!

There are so many other things that went into making this movie. We had two people working on the horror makeup, and one patient teen actor who not only sat through it, but then stayed in the makeup all day until we could film her scene in front of a green screen. (Which we decided was the better option than putting her in the scenes as originally intended.) We had editors putting the film together as we finished each scene, so that Bill could work from a well-done rough cut instead of from scratch. Tracking the film takes along the way makes the editor’s job possible, and keeping the boom mike close to the action but not in the shot is a skill that is hard to explain. Even the simple notion of making conversation in actors’ downtime went a long way toward making everyone feel comfortable.

In our longest day of filming yet, we wrapped up at 1:30 a.m. Bill went into the office to go over the preliminary edit and then came back to the house for a few hours of sleep. On Sunday he headed back downtown to finish editing the film and add sound effects, music, and credits. Oh, and play with sound levels and color correction and technical film kind of stuff. I worked from home, selecting the musical tracks, suggesting edits for time, and generally checking in on Bill’s support system.

The extensive edits needed to bring it down to the required time limit took over too much of the day on Sunday, making a final, unexpectedly lengthy file transfer enough to cause us miss the deadline for submission by five minutes. Really a shame. But we’re proud of the film and of our team, and can’t wait to do it again.

Last night we had our screening at the AFI Silver Theatre, and now you can see it too at Tohubohu Productions. I hope you enjoy it.

By the way, if this sounds like something you might be interested in, the 48 Hour Film Project takes place in cities all over the world, and many groups need to fill positions in the weeks and days leading up to the competition. On the website, you can indicate your interest in joining a team, and there are often meet-and-greet events to help fill positions. Also, Tohubohu Productions is interested in filming shorts on a less grueling schedule, and we’d love to see some scripts to consider.

Back with Catching Up

Lately, I seem to have writer’s block. For my blog. Pathetic. Add that to the whole getting-back-to-normal thing going on at home, where I try to make up for days of not being around and a weekend of movie-making, and I find myself drifting. I want to get back on track here, but I’m not feeling it. I’m thinking I’ll do some catch-up stuff now and really kick off next week. Sound good?

I’ve set the date for the 48 Hour Book Challenge as the weekend of June 4th and will put up the official sign-up post with rules on Monday. I’m way behind in trolling prize package items, so if you could help me out by donating signed books, crafty ventures, illustrator sketches, reading paraphernalia, etc., I’d really appreciate it. You can email me at MotherReader AT gmail DOT com.

I’m planning on going to Book Expo America and the Book Blogger Convention, but have made no plans as to my transportation or accommodations. That was my April project, but my mind was elsewhere. I’d love to know who is going from the KidLitosphere, so let’s see some comments below.

Tonight our latest short film screens at 7:00 p.m. at the AFI Silver Theatre in Silver Spring, Maryland. We drew “horror” as our genre, and had quite a time writing it with Robin Brande and filming it with our stellar cast and crew. And actually editing it was a challenge too, as we needed to keep the movie under seven minutes and yet leave enough time to build tension. I’m hoping to join the Tohubohu team tonight, but I have some logistics to work through. Tomorrow I’ll write about the making of the film and hopefully be able to share a link to it.

I don’t have any more updates on my mom, other than that she would seem to the outside observer to be doing extremely well. It’s only by being with her that I see the huge gaps in her cognitive processing. And I don’t know how much better they are going to get or when or even how. Plus there are still medical issues ahead. For now though, my brother has taken some leave to cover her care, so I have a bit of a reprieve.

I’ve barely been able to keep up with KidLitosphere happenings, but I did note the latest uproar over how fake-nice women book bloggers are — which Liz is covering most splendidly at Tea Cozy. My first reaction was that writing without research on YA/KidLit or book blogging is usually a New York Times thing, so I wonder if they’ll be contracting out to The Huffington Post. Honestly that article alone would have been enough online excitement for weeks, but then we got one from The Horn Book that suggests “if you love children’s literature, you cannot kill animals just because they taste good on a bun.” I’m here to say that actually you can and I’m curious where I’ll find full-out argument with the thesis — which I am so not up to. But for now you can comment on the topic at Read Roger.

Hey, look at that. My writer’s block is over.