a monday in march

March 7, 2016 @ 8:38 pm | Filed under: , , ,

I say, old chap!

Well, I tried. Sat down at the start of my work time today, fully intending to transition with a blog post just like the old days, but a pressing email caught my attention…and here I am eight hours later.

It has rained on and off all day. Rose is in heaven—that girl was made for the Pacific Northwest, I swear—but I’m off kilter. Happy for the moisture, of course. My poor garden needs it. My freesia had just started to bloom, though—they’ll be a bit battered after the downpour.

Assorted things to chronicle:

Last Friday I was one of six guest authors at the Greater San Diego Reading Association‘s annual Authors Fair. This year we visited Bonsall West Elementary School in Oceanside. I had three classes of 4th-graders (in two groups) whose teachers are reading them The Prairie Thief. I love this event. The kids are already deep into my book and are excited to ask questions. I always start out by reading a chapter, picking up wherever the teacher left off. This time, I got to read the first encounter between Louisa and the brownie—a super fun for me because it’s a mini-reveal. Of course, that means I have to do a Scottish accent but that’s part of the fun. The kids don’t mind if I fumble it. 🙂


The other night I was in here working while Scott watched a movie with the kids. He pinged me with a question from our friend Devin (our brilliant writer friend Devin, I should say). She was working on a scene for her current book and needed help with a tree identification. Here’s a screen cap of the Google Street View close-up Scott sent me:

bleecker street tree

I couldn’t zoom in any tighter than that. Too fuzzy to make out the leaf shapes. But I figured someone out there would have compiled a list of common Manhattan street trees and I turned to my best friend Google. Turns out Someone did way better than that:

the most awesome Lite Brite I've ever seen

the most awesome Lite Brite I’ve ever seen

All those colored dots are trees. Specific trees. I zoomed in on the corner of Bleecker and MacDougal and found our friend the Callery Pear. Man, I love the internet. Major props to Jill Hubley, who created that rather astounding map. And Devin’s dedication to detail is one of the many reasons I love her. Nitty-gritty lovers of the world, unite.


Rilla has learned several speeches from A Midsummers Night’s Dream this year. And of course this means Huck is picking them up, too. Hearing them recite Puck’s monologues tickles me no end. “I go, I go, look how I go!” —or a world-weary yet amused “Lord what fools these mortals be…”


daniel smith watercolor chart

Here’s another thing Rilla and I have been doing with our free time. Color charts. Mmm, I could happily mix paints all day for the rest of my life if you let me.

How’s your week going?

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5 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. Phoebe says:

    I’m blogging again. My intentions are better than my reality though.

    We are sick forever in the way only large families can be. We get well from one, and another begins! Like some awful version of painting the Golden Gate Bridge. That’s our game at the moment.

    I just finished reading American Gods, there, that’s a bright spot.

  2. maria says:

    What an enjoyable blog entry. 🙂 I’m not sure what part I liked most. Your reading in a Scottish accent to a captivated group of kids is high on the list, but the wee ones quoteing Shakespeare definitely tops the list! Well, along with the paint mixing. I’m right there with you on the paints. 😀

    And the NYC tree map! Oh wow!!!

  3. tee+d says:

    Isn’t the internet sometimes just the BEST!!!? Anything you’re prepared to geek out about, someone has likely geeked out before you, with more specificity. I have enjoyed things like those trees, the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel… the route of the Tour de France… exploding everything on Backyard Science… just a lot of happy, ridiculous things.

    Hearing a six-year-old bemoan, “Lord, what fools these mortals be,” would probably have me collapsing in hysterical wheezes. World-weary at six. Good grief.

    Also excited about the days and days of rain! But, also off-kilter; the surprisingly cool dampness has left me creaky – most of the time I don’t really notice I have some arthritis in hips and spine, but wow – this week it has been hard to sit for an extended time. Ah, well, it’s an excuse to lie down and read, yes?
    Joy to you.

  4. theycallmemommy says:

    Lovely color chart, so cheerful! 🙂 Our week is turning out good because it is warming up here in the northern midwest! Love it! 🙂 The internet IS amazing…just finding balance between and real life is hard for me. I know you are busy, but I miss your bookish periscopes. I’m really getting into all the scopes and replays on Katch, oh my, another fun internet thing!

  5. Amy says:

    Oh, the monocle! <3 <3

    Loved this whole post. Who knew that you figure out any tree in NYC by googling?? How fantastic!

    What am I up to? Trying to help oldest dd decide what college to go to… house hunting (still, still). The usual. 🙂