Monday, April 25, 2011

State of Nature, almost there

It's been a while since I've posted any updates so here is the latest. State of Nature was proof copy ordered Friday and received Saturday but I didn't make it to the post office in time to know it was there already (I love printing through because I get my books so quickly), so I had to run to post office this morning to pick up package. The first thing I noticed when I pulled the book out of the package is that the spine has the number 5 at the top instead of 6 (State of Nature is book six in the series). It has been a long, hard road getting this book out (I didn't really like the story, took forever to edit simple things that could've taken me just a few minutes to do; took me two or three times to upload the interior and/or full cover for whatever reason; now that I must reorder another proof copy, another delay). Once this copy is fixed up and I've resubmitted, I'm hoping to be able to do proof copy and approval very shortly afterwards.

I am heading to Columbia this coming Saturday for an event - Olympia Fest - so hope I do well with the crowd. Am not sure if I'll have prizes for the kids and let them play a game or not; will have to see how I feel Friday and how many prizes and what not I have available since I have some events coming up in May, June and July and August that I know I'll need to update my prizes for because of doing my "Writing Roads" workshop and one I'm actually doing my "Draw and Tell" workshop (that is easy - they get bookmarks they can color and their own booklet to draw their story - it's just the other workshop requires different prizes for the members of each team; am thinking of getting rid of the Halloween stuff I have left over from this past October. Will keep you posted.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

1224 give or take a couple of tenths

1224 miles round trip driving to the St. Emmelia Homeschool Conference in Bolivar, PA by myself (give or take a few tenths of a miles, including the about 20 or 30 miles I went out of my way or got turned around, but not so much that I didn't make it).

I had the opportunity to do my workshops and had a great time. I was really impressed with the 5&6 year old group with how smart they were, especially one little boy. The workshop was Draw-and-Tell - basically I read a story and they had to draw what happened at the beginning, middle and end and then I gave them some booklets that they were to draw a story of their own in. This one boy, Jacob, did his cover, which I didn't get to see, flipped it and on the back of the cover he wrote "This story bgins in the casle." (When I was looking at what they were drawing, he looked and said, "Oops, I forgot the T." and added it in to the word castle. He drew a castle on the next page and it was very impressive in that it was a castle, like what I've seen in pictures. (I forgot to take pictures of the kids drawing but one of the parents was taking some pictures and I'm hoping he got some of this group; I do know one with a boy looking intently in the box of crayons was posted on the Antiochian Village facebook page - you can see my hand in the picture.)

A couple of the kids getting their tambourines started

Working intently on decorating tambourines

Bells being put on the tambourines

(I actually had a few more kids in the group but again I forgot to take pictures; the dad who was coming around taking pictures took these with my camera as I had my hands full helping the kids and I asked him to take these)

My 7&8 year old class, which was supposed to be Hailie's class since it was the music class but neither child went with me like they were supposed to, found out that the tambourines we made (Oriental Trading had 12 cardboard design your own tambourines which we purchased for the workshop - stars, circles and 6-sided shapes) made good frisbees. We were waiting between workshops as I finished a little early (this was an hour and a half time alotted split between two different workshops, so I had them for 45 minutes and another lady got them for the second half) and they popped back into the room while I was cleaning up and were flying the tambourines around like frisbees. So we had jingling flying tambourines going in the room.

The whole group after the workshop was over

The boys writing their stories (I had like 9 boys in the group)

The girls writing their stories (only 6 of them in the group)

My 9 to 12 year old workshop was my "Writing Roads" one in which we talked about the three elements necessary to write a story and the kids have to write a 1-page short story or at least start a story, and then they play my geography game "Road Trip," competing for my prizes. That seemed to be a big hit with all of them and they loved coming to the table to get their prizes. I had several students in that group interested in my books but alas, none of the parents bought any books. Such is life.

I've decided if I do this conference next year and I know I won't have any help, I'm going to ship my books and stuff up there the beginning of the week to be at the conference site by Thursday and probably fly and rent a car; 1200 plus miles is too much for me to do alone, especially in the snow, rain and fog (yes I drove in the snow, which turned to rain at some point and fog in there too (that fog was thicker than pea soup and was weird). The snow was coming down horizontally and not even getting my windshield wet - like those scenes where you see a time warp or an aerodynamic vehicle where the wind is blowing all around the car. I also found out by driving in the snow that I may have a burned out headlight, which I need to get checked since my night vision is not that good as is, let alone with only one headlight. Thankfully the roads weren't iced over or dangerous. This all occurred in West "By God" Virginia.

Upon arriving to the conference center Friday, after checking in and getting my table set up, after eating lunch and doing an hour of vendor time, while I was doing my 9 to 12 year old workshop, it started snowing. We had snow, sunshine, snow, and dreary looking days Friday and Saturday with the sun winning out overall. Sunday was perfect weather to drive back in but it was a long day for me. Over 12 hours of driving and stopping several times to get home in one day. I left the conference center about 11:30 AM and got home about 1:15 AM. I was glad to be home. Hope you enjoy the pictures - Mrs. E :) & the JGDS

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