Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Monday, April 20, 2009


Yesterday was the Northern California Book Awards event at the Main Branch of the San Francisco Public Library. I have special fondness for this place because it was brand new when I discovered it, and to me it seemed so monumental and out of this world.
My book Just in Case was nominated in the children’s category. This event is somehow particular (for being a book award, I mean) because they announce the winner “academy award” style. No one knows who the winner will be until his or her name is announced.
The winner this year was Pamela Turner, with her amazing book A LIFE IN THE WILD about animal conservation Schaller.
Ok, I didn’t win, but while I was waiting for the winner to be announced a message was left in my cell phone. At the end of the event I found out that the call was to announce to me that Just in Case is the 2009 Americas Book Award winner! (Chicago D.C. here I come!) I don’t have the information about other books selected yet. The Americas Award committee comes up every year with a rich list of award, honors, and commended book to look for. I look forward to hear more about all of them.

In the meantime I will report another list that Just in Case made it into just recently; the 2009 Notable Children’s Books in the Language Arts. Here the criteria for the selection of these books:

“The charge of the seven-member national committee is to select thirty titles each year that best exemplify the criteria established for the Notables Award. Books considered for this annual list are works of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry written for children, grades K-8. The books must meet one or more of the following criteria:

1. deal explicitly with language, such as plays on words, word origins, or the history of language;
2. demonstrate uniqueness in the use of language or style;
3. invite child response or participation.

In addition, books are to:
4. have an appealing format;
5. be of enduring quality;
6. meet generally accepted criteria of quality for the genre in which they are written."

This has been a busy time of the year, and will only keep getting busier as I approach the end of another book deadline and the ALA ceremony award before the end of my summer in Mexico. But there are so many exciting things happening (like, for example, my garden in bumming all red, and yellow, and fuchsia). So, in the name of good times, here are some images from the Revisionaries, my writer’s group trip to Asilomar.

It is true, our group can’t get enough of being together (even after our bimonthly meetings and numerous of celebrations), so this year five of the six of us went to Asilomar and rented a house. While some of us walked by the beach some others attended the traditional SCBWI Asilomar Conference.

In her way back home from the conference, Jackie Woodson came and visited us. At the beach we found these strange marine plants.

At our little rented house, and unexpectedly, we hosted the faculty and volunteers party for the conference. Here are Maria and Gianna getting ready for the night.

But before the party we found a stray dog! She was running among the cars, but stopped when we called her. She was loving and tame but I couldn’t take her home with me. Eventually we drove her to the police station to wait for her owners.
End of the party. Dishwasher machine dysfunction!
Afterward we had too much free time on our hands.

We began cooking spying plans.
Here is Jim resting and unsuspecting of being a spying target ( Lynn was a target too, but she is not supposed to know about it).
We had a yellow mysterious liquid to deliver to his rightful owner (in reality it is only shampoo, but it had Jim’s name on it)Spying...


Ah, we are already looking forward to next year.