I'm going to be hearing the sound of my own voice a fair amount over the next two or three weeks, not always a good thing. Fortunately, the first Sound of Ellen's Voice Event (SOEVE?) was one town over at Blue Hill Consolidated School, where the readers are brilliant.
Here they are:
They even look smart, don't they? Librarian Beth Jackson and teacher Maryanne Lewandowski host an after-school book group every spring, and this year they read THE UNNAMEABLES, mostly in its shiny new paperback edition although some had the hardcover. (That's Beth in the photo above, wearing red. Her husband used to be my dentist, until he retired. Such is life on the Blue Hill Peninsula.)
These kids were fantastic--lots and lots of varied and intelligent questions, ranging from "why a Goatman" (answer: chaos and humor) to "do you have anything to do with the cover" (answer: no, but I've been lucky with the ones I've gotten).
Maryanne even made nutcakes! (That's Goatman food.) And they served Red Keeping Fruit (apple) pie and tea, Medford's drink of choice. The mother of one of the kids made nutcakes, too. Here's Maryanne (right) dispensing the goodies:
Thanks for the good time, BHCS!
Next stop, also in Blue Hill, is the George Stevens Academy arts week. GSA is a private school that functions as a public high school for area towns, mine among them. Arts Week is a venerable and AMAZING institution--an entire week devoted to workshops taught by local artists and craftspeople. I'll be doing a writing workshop Wednesday morning: "Lightning Round for Writers," focusing on five or ten-minute exercises to get your ideas flowing and introduce you to your characters.
On Saturday (meaning May 21) I'm joining four other Inkies (fantasy authors involved in The Enchanted Inkpot blog) at Tatnuck Bookseller in Westborough, MA, to discuss "How to Build a Fantasy." Marissa Doyle, Deva Fagan, Dawn Metcalf, and Kate Milford will join me in discussing the various components of a fantasy as well as our experiences in publishing. ETA: forgot to say, it starts at 2:30 p.m. And--duh--I've added a link for the bookstore so you can get directions.
Also next weekend, I'll be hanging around South Boston doing research for CONNOR'S BANSHEE, The amazing Kim Simonian, who lives in Dorchester, has arranged drinks Friday night and Sunday dinner with various South Bostonians. Kim's the niece of Ann Logan, who's in my writers group, and obviously is a formidible organizer.
I'll spend Monday at Oliver Hazard Perry Elementary School in South Boston, sitting in on classes and eating lunch with any kids who will let me ask searching questions such as "What's your favorite candy? Do you ride a bike?" Then I'll do a couple of workshops with fourth and fifth graders.
Then I'll drive home for six hours. Then I suspect I'll crash. But not forever, because the first weekend in June I'll be doing some unspecified something at the Printers Row Lit Fest in Chicago. No word yet on when or what, but I'll post it as soon as I know.
The Knitting Report: I'm one toe away from another pair of cotton socks. This one I knitted on circular needles so the cuff looks MUCH neater. I'm going to go down a needle size for the next pair and see what happens. Life on the edge.
The Revision Report: I may be able to finish this round before I go to Boston, which would be great because that means I'll have a few built-in days off before I print it out, read it, and fine tune. At least I hope fine-tuning will be all it'll need. *shivers*