Bookstore appearances with pals, and an awesome writing trick

I just did two really fun appearances with friends. On Sunday Marissa Moss and Thacher Hurd and I were at A Great Good Place for Books in Oakland. We had an age range from preschoolers to local librarians/educators. DId I remember to take pictures? No! Not during the event... but afterward I caught a couple nice shots. Above is Thacher talking with my husband Tom. And here's the owner, Kathleen Caldwell. You can see by the piles of books and cards around the cash register that this is a friendly, crammed, delicious bookstore. Right outside was the Farmer's Market, full of people enjoying the sun after three cold, rainy weeks.

The next night Marissa and I appeared at Book Passage and spoke to a group of writers and pre-published writers, all working hard on their writing and on understanding the confusing world of children's book publishing. Really thoughtful Q and A.

Before the event, I had dinner with two great friends, Barbara Young and Linda Allison. Allison has been doing nonfiction for kids for ages. She had a brainwave for getting the creative work done before the stuff of life that is a hassle but has to be done. She divides her To Do list into two columns: Creative and Maintenance. I just love the word Maintenance. It puts that stuff right in its place. Sure you have to do it, but that's what it is. Just plain Life Maintenance. She also says "Writing deserves the best of you. That's why you need to do it first." Not new advice, but well said.

This last photo is Lissa Rovetch, Marissa, and me.