Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Where I’ll Be This Summer

June 25, 2013 @ 8:09 am | Filed under:

July 12-13th, I’m speaking at the Rocky Mountain Catholic Home Educators Conference in Centennial, CO. Karen Edmisten and I will be giving a talk together on relaxed homeschooling, and I’m speaking on literature/living books as well, and possibly also on special-needs children. If you’re in the area, come see us!

July 18-21, I’m back here in San Diego for Comic-Con. Which, yes, means a lot of driving in between! I’m taking the whole gang out to Colorado before the conference to spend some time with my family and friends in my hometown. Been way too long since I’ve been home!

“That line. That wait. This is the face of dental care in America.”

June 18, 2013 @ 5:48 pm | Filed under:

Last year, my friend Dan Tapper wrote a guest post for Bonny Glen about the Mission of Mercy event in Connecticut—a free dental clinic people wait all year (and many hours in line) to attend. This year, I’m delighted to once again feature Dan’s recap of this remarkable event.

Connecticut Mission of Mercy: The Wait, the Line, the Need

by Dan Tapper

The rain hadn’t started quite yet around noontime in Bridgeport, CT last Thursday, but the sky was showing it could happen at any minute. There was a steely pall and a grim chill that spoke more to March than to the early summer day it actually was.

Beth Carter was ready, rain or shine. The New York resident was going to get her ailing teeth fixed, no matter what. She was here, first in line outside the Webster Bank Arena, and doors to the free Connecticut Mission of Mercy (CTMOM) dental clinic would be opening in just…18 more hours.

To Beth, it didn’t matter. She was here. And she was prepared to wait.

“I missed last year’s clinic by one day. There was no way I was missing this year’s,” the Westchester County, NY resident said with a smile. “The cost of dental work is so expensive – I’ve been planning for this since last year!”


Children’s Book Authors at the California Reading Association Conference

October 21, 2012 @ 3:12 pm | Filed under: , ,

Such fun visiting with lots of authors, teachers, and librarians at this weekend’s California Reading Association Professional Development Institute! Here are some of the lovely authors I spent the day with:

SCBWI authors at CRA

With Edith Hope Fine, Judith Josephson, and Lori Mitchell, some of my SCBWI author pals.

author Cindy Pon

The awesome Cindy Pon.

Authors at CRA

Of course Edith, Judith, and I insisted on a photo with Betty Birney, author of the Humphrey novels, The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs, and a zillion other books.

Shelley Moore Thomas

I had the fun of sitting next to Shelley Moore Thomas, who writes the delightful Good Knight early reader series. Her new middle-grade novel, The Seven Tales of Trinket, sounds extremely enticing. Nested stories, Celtic lore: yeah, she had me at hello.

I Need My Monster by Amanda Noll

Farther down the table was Amanda Noll—unfortunately I flubbed my photo of her, so you get her book cover instead. Doesn’t it just GRAB you? Looking forward to enjoying this one with my small fry.

My photo of Barrie Summy came out blurry too. I loved getting to know her and I love these book titles!

These guys were charming and I’ll be writing more about them for GeekMom: Adam Glendon Sidwell and his brother Jarom. Cool animation background, a ton of creative ideas for teaching story structure to kids, and a book called Evertaster. (Speaking of amazing covers.)

The SCBWI gang. Andrea Zimmerman (author of many books including a Huck favorite, Trashy Town), Judith, Edith, me, Erin Dealey (author of, among other books, the supercute Little Bo Peep Can’t Get to Sleep—this one has Rillabook written all over it, and the art is so cute I’m tempted to buy a second copy for print-framing), Suzanne Santillan (author of Grandma’s Pear Tree, a really lovely picture book), and Shelley.

Same group, except Andrea has left and we’ve added the great Milly Lee!

Signing books at CRA.

Here’s my corner of the table. 🙂 Fox and Crow missed the photo op! It sold out before I remembered to get a picture. Speaking of photo ops, I love the Betty Birney/Erin Dealey picture happening behind me.

Many thanks to the fine folks of the California Reading Association for having us, and thanks to The Yellow Book Road children’s bookstore for stocking our books!

Home from ALA

June 25, 2012 @ 6:12 pm | Filed under: ,

I had a wonderful time. Dunno if/when I’ll have a minute to write about it; lots on my plate this week. But the nutshell version is: as always, the best part of a conference is catching up with friends, and this conference was particularly excellent in that regard.

Tanita Davis, I met your editor and we raved to each other about how awesome you are. Anne Marie Pace, your agent, ditto. 🙂

Allison Tran of the Authors are ROCKSTARS podcast was kind enough to request an interview , and she and her guest host, Lalitha Nataraj (filling in for Allison’s co-host Michelle), asked really excellent questions about my new books, my Little House books, my social media junkieism, my Betsy-Tacy junkieism, and the challenge of juggling mom/writer/blogger hats. (Hint: It really helps to have a husband who does all the laundry.) I had a ball. Talked way too much, no doubt. The podcast will run sometime in July, I believe—I’ll post a link when it goes up! Thanks again, Allison and Lalitha—our chat was one of the highlights of my weekend.

Of course there’s never enough time to do everything you want to—especially hang out with your librarian friends, for whom the American Library Association conventions are actually, you know, filled with WORK. Presentations and meetings and panels and whatnot. But I’m grateful for the hours I got to spend gabbing away with some of the funniest, smartest, thinkingest people in the books world. Thank goodness for the internet, is all I can say about having to part with them.

Pardon my dust over the next few days—we’re rolling out some long overdue changes to the site, and I’m sure I’ll be tinkering and tweaking in the weeks to come. Lots of photos to resize, things like that. Bear with me! 🙂

LauraPalooza 2012: Register Now!

May 6, 2012 @ 1:54 pm | Filed under: ,

The second-ever LauraPalooza—a conference for Laura Ingalls Wilder scholars and fans—will be held in Mankato, MN this July 12-14th. Details at the site:

The theme of LauraPalooza 2012 is “What Would Laura Do?” and will include a mix of scholarly research and Little House fandom. More information, including the full schedule and registration form, can be found by visiting Beyond Little House. Look for the heading “LauraPalooza 2012”. All information that you need can be found there in the pull-down menu.

Events include:

• Special performance by Alison “Nellie Oleson” Arngrim
• LIW biographer William Anderson
Little House Cookbook author Barbara Walker
• Authors’ reception including Barbara Walker, The Wilder Life author Wendy McClure, My Life As Laura author Kelly Ferguson, and others
• The return of the National Weather Service’s Barbara Mayes Boustead and physics teacher/Laura fan Jim Hicks
• Original research and insight on Laura, her life, and her books
• Conference-ending Spelling Bee and Silent Auction
• Special post-conference field trip to Walnut Grove, Minnesota — the setting for On the Banks of Plum Creek!
• A special presentation by Dean “Almanzo Wilder” Butler and Dale Cockrell of Pa’s Fiddle Recordings about the PBS Little House music special filmed last January in Nashville.

There’s also going to be a camp—Camp Laura—for kids grades K-6 (while parents are attending the conference).

Registration is open through May 31st.

I sooo wish I could go! Alas, it coincides with Comic-Con, a busy, busy weekend for us Bonny Glen folks. One of these years I am determined to get to LauraPalooza, though. If you can make it this year, you absolutely should! And then send me pictures. 🙂

“They all came in need, and they all left with a smile.”

March 29, 2012 @ 5:50 am | Filed under:

I have something special for you today: Bonny Glen’s first-ever guest post. Our good friend Dan Tapper worked at a rather amazing charity event last weekend, and when he related the story to us, I asked if he would share it here. Thanks, Dan.

Making a Difference, One Smile at a Time

by Dan Tapper

They came from as far away as Georgia, and as nearby as down the street.  Different colors, different ages, different backgrounds.  Some were college students and many were elderly on fixed incomes, though the majority qualified to be categorized as “working poor.”  This is the group that used to be known as the working class in America. No more.

They all came to a bright, new college campus in Danbury, Connecticut – the richest state in the richest country in the world. They came by the hundreds in lines that stretched longer than football fields.  They came for one reason and one reason only – to get free dental care.  It was something they otherwise couldn’t afford.

They all came in need, and they all left with a smile. A healthier, more hopeful smile.

This past weekend, more than 2,000 people were treated as dental patients at the 5th Annual Connecticut Mission of Mercy, a free clinic that has been offered annually in Connecticut since 2008.  America’s Mission of Mercy is a national project designed to provide essential emergency dental services for those who need them and can’t afford them, and also to raise awareness of the dental health crisis that exists in America. The first Mission of Mercy was held in rural Virginia in 2000 – in 2008, Connecticut became the 7th state to hold one. By the end of 2012, 23 different states will hold their own Missions of Mercy.

The name says it all – relieving people of dental pain is the epitome of a mission of mercy.  Dental pain can ruin your day, can cause you to lose sleep, can destroy your mood and can make you not want to get out of bed in the morning. Dental distress can lead to greater health problems – poor dental health has been firmly linked to diabetes, heart disease and low birth weight babies.  Dental health is medical health, period. (more…)

Fun Fun Fun

September 12, 2011 @ 4:34 pm | Filed under: , ,

Hello, poor little neglected blog. The weekend was much too full of living to leave time for chronicling. And now I could sleep for a week!

The Good Vibrations Unschooling Conference was a blast. Such a fun crowd! Here are a few of the things we got to do this weekend:

*knights and chivalry (Beanie and Jane)

* board-breaking (ditto)

* needlefelting (Beanie learned how and made a lovely new friend)

* drop-spindle spinning (Jane learned how, so AT LONG LAST the spindle I bought for research when I was writing the first Martha book is seeing some use)

* painting and drawing (nearly everyone—there was a wonderful art room set up and you could go create to your heart’s content any time of day)

* “Rock Star Drama Camp” (Beanie attended this most excellent funshop led by the ebullient Amy Steinberg. Later, Amy flagged me down in the hall to tell me Bean’s a natural actress. No surprise to this proud mama who directed her as Feste in scenes from Twelfth Night last spring!)

That’s just a small sample. Flo Gascon, the conference organizer, did an amazing job of putting together a seamless, merry, stimulating weekend—and gracefully weathering the big excitement of the San Diego Blackout.

Some of the talks I attended:

“Zero Tuition College” by Blake Boles, about which I shall have MUCH TO SAY either here or at GeekMom. Fantastic talk. (Rose and Jane also went to a college pros and cons session moderated by Blake. Much food for discussion later.)

Updated: Here’s a link to Blake’s Zero Tuition College website.

“Artodidact” by Brenna McBroom, an inspiring young woman who described her decision to leave college and focus on her pottery with apprenticeships and mentorships. I loved this talk. So did Jane and Rose, especially Rose, who was captivated by Brenna’s pottery (we’d been oohing and ahhing over it in the conference lounge all day, and right before Brenna’s talk, Rose talked me into buying the lovely little pot I kept returning to over and over—I’m so glad I did) and is now burning to take a ceramics class herself. We’ve spent this morning looking at possibilities around town.

“Good Ideas and Bad Ideas” by Holly Dodd, daughter of Sandra Dodd. Holly shared some of her insights gleaned from visiting and/or nannying for many different families around the world.

“Unschooling Lifestyle Q & A”—four veteran unschooling parents answered audience questions. Most of the questions were parenting-focused, and to be honest I always feel a little outside that discussion when it’s from the radical unschooling end of the unschooling/alternative education continuum. I live at a different spot on that continuum and am happy with the way things work in our family. But this talk was lively and enjoyable, even if I didn’t agree with every point made. Heck, the panelists didn’t always agree with one another—that was part of the point, the reason organizer Flo Gascon had structured the panel the way she did: to give a range of viewpoints to common concerns.

Of course the best part of any conference is meeting new people and reconnecting with friends. The hotel had provided a nice big sunny room as a lounge area, and there was always a lot bubbling there. People crafting and chatting, toddlers playing with the toys volunteers had pooled, artisans young and not-so-old selling their wares, and a great deal of laughter. Wonderful, wonderful.