Friday, November 25, 2011

Afghan drawing reminder

Just reminding everyone who has purchased any of the state books since the end of May through next Tuesday that the drawing will be on December 1. If you met me at any events and were going to check the books out on my website, you still have a few days to place your order. So far, I have 20 entries. Good luck to everyone entered.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Savannah Children's Book Festival

The day started a bit rough with being woke up by either a TV or radio at about 5:30 but once that got taken care of the rest of the day was gorgeous. Many kids at the book festival today; I probably handed out 250 bookmarks today - so yay me. I did sell four state books (I think I sold three of Successes and 1 of Wilderness), one of my YA paranormal mystery and 42 bookworms - yes I started with 59 and ended with 17 - totally was so worth making up those bookmarks. I had started with 72 Wednesday morning and in just three days - sold almost out. I took Benjamin out for supper and we went to the movies tonight (I saw Happy Feet Two; Benjamin saw In Time) and afterwards stopped by Walmart to pick up some more yarn - couldn't find the colors I had used for winter previously, so that will be changed and I wasn't really liking what I had started with for spring so got something different for spring. I'll post those changes when I've made some new bookworms. All in all, a good weekend - see you all in the postings - Mrs. E :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Largo-Tibet Elementary School visit

I'm in Savannah for the Savannah Children's book festival this weekend. This morning I had a school visit with seven, yes you read that correctly, seven, third grade classes at Largo-Tibet (thankfully the librarian divided them into 2 groups - 4 classes for the first hour and 3 classes the second hour). I read them my story - Train of Clues - and they had a great time trying to figure out where the train ended up. In the first group, I think a couple of them guessed or got close - I did get them to say a Mountain or that mountain with faces on it. The second group had a bit harder time guessing but they did get close as well. They all were like, "Yeah, that's what I was thinking" when I told them it was Mt. Rushmore. Benjamin took pictures but since I'm at the hotel, I can't upload them to the computer, so they will have to wait until I return home Sunday. Overall, I think the school visit was a success. I hope a good many of the kids show up tomorrow. I actually had one of the students ask me if I would be selling my YA tomorrow and he said he was definitely going to get a copy.

They all loved the fact that my illustrator, Heather, was only 17 and that she wants to work for Disney/Pixar. So maybe we have some future illustrators come out of the group of kids. Heather, you may have been an inspiration without being here -lol. Good job - see you all tomorrow in the postings after the event. Hoping to see lots of kids and lots of sales tomorrow. (I hope that the librarian will add my state books to her library collection although I couldn't sell anything to the school today but did let her know that my books are all available through B&T which is where most schools order their books from so she might check into it at least.)

See you all in the postings - Mrs. E & the JGDS :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

GIS Day and the Scavanger Hunt

We were asked to participate in a scavanger hunt for GIS day - We had to provide questions for the kids to find the answers to - My questions were - Find Ma America. Who is she? What does she do? The kids had to find my table and then ask the questions and interact with me or read my signage to get who I am and what I do sort of - Author wasn't all it was - they had to tell what kind of books I wrote as well. Anyway - to reward them for finding me, I gave them all a bookmark (my printed series bookmarks) and their choice of an Idaho pin (the little potato pins I received when I first started the series) or a Minnesota bookmark. Most chose the Idaho pin, but a few did select the bookmark.

I must have talked to 100 kids and teachers throughout the day; they ranged in groups from 3rd grade to high school seniors. Plus, I had a few adults just come to my table and show a serious interest in my books. The biggest problem I have with sales right now is that I have a Square (to take credit cards) but no device to use the Square with (need an ipod touch, ipad, iphone, smartphone, or any other device that can download the app for the Square, which I can't afford right now). I'm guess if I had had the ability to take credit cards today I would have probably sold several copies of books. I do hope that the folks who showed an interest will place their orders tonight or tomorrow morning so I can put their books in the mail before heading to Savannah tomorrow. I really need some book sales tonight to help fund the trip to Savannah - what with taking a $31.70 loss today (had to pay for parking - $16, had to purchase some snacks - $2.75; had to purchase a late lunch/early dinner on my way home - $6.55; and had to put some gas in the van before getting home - $20; and only selling 13 bookworms - $10.50) - hurts big time.

I'm glad for the opportunity to get my name out there and hope in the future that things work out like they should so I'm not stressed out about upcoming events and how to pay for them. I hope to do GIS day again next year - we shall see - Ma America & the JGDS - :)

Geography Awareness Week - GIS Day 2011

Today, I'm in Charlotte doing presentations to teachers and students to help bring the JGDS series and geography awareness together. If you are in the Charlotte, NC area stop by and say hello. For more information, check out the GIS Day page.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Geography Awareness Week

Today is the official start of GAweek - the theme this year is "adventure in your community." What are you doing around your community to become more aware of the geography around you? Are you exploring? Taking any of the challenges I've posted? Joined any geography type groups?

This week, Ma America & the JGDS will be exploring the geography of other areas, outside of the immediate community. Wednesday, they will be traveling to Charlotte, NC, for GIS day (posting to follow on GIS day on Wednesday). The word is that there will be about 200 to 300 students participating in the activities for GIS Day; we can only hope to have a few of those teachers buy a couple of books and bookworms throughout the day. Thursday, we are heading to Savannah for the Children's Book Festival and there are several other authors Ms. Elysabeth had recommended who will be there, some old acquaintances and some new ones. Ma America will make an appearance at Largo-Tibet Elementary School and will do a reading of her book, Train of Clues, to seven, yes you read the correctly, seven 3rd grade classes. The group will be split into two groups so as not to be overwhelming all at once. If regular work isn't too overwhelming after the school visit, Ma America is hoping to be able to explore Savannah a bit as this will be her third year there and she has yet to do any sightseeing.

So, what adventure is going on in your community for GAweek? How about telling us about some of them here - see you all in the postings - Ma America & the JGDS :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Bookworms 3

I was in Walmart again today and picked up my yarn for the spring bookworms. I also liked the one that is labeled "primary" so picked up a skein of that. My autumn colored ones sold well last Friday at the teachers' conference so I picked up one more skein of that color and was going to get another one of the Christmas colors but they were sold out. Anyway, here are my spring and primary colored bookworms:

Spring bookworm

primary bookworm

I do like how the spring one is really the pastel looking colors and does remind me of springtime. I don't know why I like the primary colored one so much but I do. So what do you all think? Which is your favorite? Leave a comment and let me know.

All six choices side by side - :)

See you all in the postings - Mrs. E & the JGDS

Saturday, November 5, 2011

SCISA Teachers' Conference

The day started at 5 in the morning. It wasn't raining or anything but felt like a Friday the 13th once getting to Columbia. Thursday evening, Ms. Barbara, a member of the local Sisters in Crime group, had written a check for two copies of Finally Home for her granddaughters and some bookworms she had purchased; she banks at Bank of America. I knew I wouldn't be able to cash the check at my bank since I would already be in Columbia by the time the bank opened. I decided to cash the check in Columbia at a Bank of America because I knew I needed to stop at Walmart and pick up a few items for my workshop. We got to Columbia about 10 minutes before 8 and found the Bank of America (which happened to be almost across the street from Walmart) and was going to sit in the drivethru until they opened (the thinking being that since my bank opens at 8 AM so would this one). The drivethru didn't open until 8:30. So we headed over to Walmart and got the items we needed. I went back to the bank about 8:25 to wait in line. I finally get to the window and then they tell me that I have to come inside because they need to fingerprint me since I don't have an account with them; well, how fun the inside doesn't open until 9 AM (now I'm supposed to be at the conference about 8:30 so I could set up and help my friend Shelley while she did her workshop). So naturally I sat in the parking lot waiting for the inside to open. That said and done, I went back to Walmart and made my purchases and then headed to the school. It was a bit drizzly on the way over to the school, but we made it about 9:30 and got the table set up. Had a few teachers walk by the table and pick up bookmarks and sold 7 bookworm bookmarks.

About 11:15 I headed to the building where my workshop was and had a few teachers waiting for me - lol I wasn't late really but just had to walk a mile to get from the gym to the multipurpose room (okay not that far but it felt like it) and they were early. In all, I had 7 teachers come in for the workshop. I hope they took away enough information to help them with the writing process that they can help their students. They all enjoyed the make-and-take and playing my Road Trip game. Those teachers were as competitive as the students who have participated in my workshops and played the game. After the workshop, we basically had to head home. No time for workshop attendees to do any shopping (that was a bit disappointing as I got back to the gym and I was basically the last one still set up - lol). No one bought any books but I'm hoping that enough people picked up my bookmarks and have information to take back to their schools that their social studies or ELA or other teachers can use the information.

On the way home, we decided we needed lunch as we hadn't eaten anything but a banana which I grabbed off the refreshments table when I walked through the building after parking the car. I called my finance guy to find out about the van I had looked at Thursday (found out on Wednssday that daughter just got a job and with her in classes in the mornings and now starting a second shift job I knew I had to seriously look at vehicles and get something by the middle of the week coming up). I had gone to a car place last Friday (the 28th of October after having my eyes dilated) and they were trying to get me in a PT Cruiser - not really what I wanted and my finance guy couldn't get it approved because they weren't willing to take what he could pay on the vehicle. So anyway, I had looked online at a couple of places in our small town and found a Kia Sedonia EX van at one of the places. After receiving the text from my daughter Wednesday about her getting this job, I went Thursday before the Sisters in Crime meeting to test drive the van. I loved it. I contacted my finance guy and set the wheels in motion. I called Friday on our way out of Columbia and he said everything seemed to be a go - yay! I had a van and I was on my way to get it as soon as I got back in town. I had to call the insurance company and get the insurance put on the van and all but I didn't tell them to fax the proof of insurance to the finance guy so by time I got back in town and got te van and got over to the finance place, the insurance place was closed. Sad thing was that the finance guy called the car place and told them the situation and he said I had to bring the van back until I could proceed with the paperwork Monday - wahhhh :(( - I didn't get to bring my van home yesterday. I totally wanted to cry. But not to fret, Dennis has assured me that the van is mine but it's a matter of getting the proof of insurance and filling out the paperwork first thing Monday morning. So the good news even after the harrowing day I had is that I get a new van and it's all me - no one had to cosign for me, no one had to put their name on the van but me - first vehicle I've ever had that I can actually call my own.

Monday will be here soon enough and I will be driving my new van and not be carless any more. The last couple of months of not being able to run errands during the day and having to wait for my daughter to get home from classes have been weird for me. You'd think that with me working at home that I wouldn't really miss the car during the day but it's the whole idea of not being able to go anywhere and if an emergency happened at the school not being able to get my son or just running to the grocery store when I wanted something to munch on that bothered me the most. I'm very dependent on having transportation for anything and have felt the helplessness the past couple of months. Now I will no longer feel that way - so yay!!!! - new vehicle coming to my house Monday - lol.

See you all in the postings and keep your chin up and happy writing - Mrs. E & the JGDS :)

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