Monday, May 21, 2012

The One Hour Blog

Mother's Day 2012
That means I have one hour to write and organize everything I want to say here and then, POW, I have to post it. Make a note, the clock says 5:49 right now. This will post by 6:49 or you can call me names.

Where to start?

Still writing. That's good. Tomorrow I finish one project and Wednesday I start back on another. I didn't get a lick of writing done in Rochester while I was there for the Teen Book Festival, but I was insanely busy, so I don't mind. And Rochester is always such an amazing event, I really quite like stopping for a minute and looking at it and saying, "Wow. This is an amazing event."

I'm not going to recap it or anything. I'm going to show you pictures.

Like this one:

That's the front of a [chopped] 1948 Chevy.
And this one:

This is me and Adam Seltzer in said 1948 Chevy.
Or this one:

Yeah. Us arriving in style at RTBF 2012.
Voted most badass ride of my life.
Random pictures of cool people...and know that I kick myself every year for not taking a picture of every cool person.

Me and Jack Ferraiolo, who is hilarious and awesome.
I am a huge fan of Word Girl, so I had to get this for the family.
Jack is being hilarious here. I'm sure you got that.
This is me and Gabirelle Zevin being really serious on purpose.

We interrupt this blog to bring you news about my pants. I got them back. But they're a little different from when I saw them last. You may remember they once looked like this: 

Now, after traveling to a few schools and meeting with many talented Rochester teenagers, they look like this:

A quick shout out to Rush Henrietta High School and Our Lady of Mercy High School for the cool visits and the really enthusiastic students. Thank you for your hospitality and your open minds. I hope you had as much fun as I did.

A diptych of epic proportions thanks to Terry Trueman's camera (and Jessica who took them):

That's Laurie Halse Anderson, Terry Trueman and me. Being silly.


Photo cred: Kim Rouleau
This crocheted squid came to me from the awesome librarian Kim Rouleau at Mercy High School in Rochester. I have some other shots of it, but nothing that does it justice yet. If ever I snap a good one, I will share, posse. I promise. I want to take her everywhere with me. I did, in fact, bring her to dinner on Saturday night. True story. I named her Paul, after Paul Griffin. Long story. Both are great huggers.

Photo cred: the awesome Pam.
Look: Rochester Teen Book Festival takes place every year thanks to endless volunteer hours of many people, an amazing committee and scores of dedicated librarians, teachers, donors and parents. And most importantly, thousands of AWESOME READERS. If you're anywhere nearby, you should come and check it out next year.

NEXT UP: This weekend. Phoenix. Me, Lisa McMann, Matt de la Peña (TIME UPDATE: I GET AN EXTRA FOUR MINUTES BECAUSE IT TOOK ME THAT LONG TO FIND A PROPER N FOR MATT'S NAME--WTH?) Ellen Hopkins, Stephanie Perkins and Barry Lyga will be taking part in the [Un]Book Festival. Here's a poster:

I can't tell you about everything it means to "get creative" with A.S. King, but I *might* be teaching people how to make cool stuff out of paper. Like maybe a squid. Or, you know, traditional birds.

Now, on a more serious note:

There's this teacher. Her name is Ms. Pelfrey. She has these students. She calls them Angel Potatoes. They are awesomechutney students because they write me letters. We talk about stuff like satellites and ESP and station wagons. But mostly we talk about books.
Here's a great blog post from Andrew Smith about the Angel Potatoes. 

I don't know what to say about a teacher and students like this. I get fan mail. Yep. I get mail from teachers whose students have been positively affected by my books, too. But Ms. Pelfrey is planning a Revolution. I like her so much I want to give her something that would make her look like that picture of me hugging the squid up there, but I can't figure out what that would be yet.

Right now, I write to her students...who are not only reading great books and making posters about them, but who are book talking kids from a nearby school to get them turned on to reading.

I don't know. I think Andrew probably said it better than I can. These people all rock. It's amazing to watch a person take charge and JUST DO IT GET THEM HOOKED ON BOOKS AND TALK ABOUT BOOKS AND TALK ABOUT HOW BOOKS MAKE POSITIVE DENTS IN LIVES EVEN IF LIFE ISN'T ALL THAT POSITIVE THE REST OF THE TIME. Etc.

Oh look! It's 6:50. With the extra 4 minutes I got for the ñ I will have time to proofread.

Love and tacos.


Kristen Pelfrey said...

Trust me, I look like you hugging that *amazing* squid right now. Except that I am also crying a little, because you and Andrew SEE THE KIDS and the awe I see on their faces, and then the sheer joy, when they see that you have written back, renews me and fills my heart. And they ask for more books. And they are helping others to see words in new ways. These kids, they are hope and glory and possibilities, and I am so grateful that you see and celebrate them.
I feel really lucky to see all this happening.

Matthew MacNish said...

FWIW, I write every blog post the morning of, and it never takes me more than an hour. At least I do that for my own blog. The other blogs I belong to, I feel obligated to have a slightly more professional attitude.

Anyway, you did yourself a huge service filling this post up with some awesome photos (that car, oh my), though I have to say, sometimes posting a photo, and sizing it right, takes me longer than vomiting out a few hundred words. What can I say? I'm a wind bag.

Also, KPF is probably my favorite person in the world. No one I know gives me more hope for the future of the human race. I would give anything to go back and have her as my teacher.

MM, out. Respect.