November 9-21, 2011:


Despite my wonderful PA’s best efforts to control me, I did too much travel this past week and a half.

There was the Connecticut Book Fair where Heidi and I presented and signed  a gadzillion books. I was also at the special dinner for the winners of the Raab prize (the young illustrators used my poem “Infirm Pachyderm”and I was one of the judges.) I stayed at Susannah Richards house.

That was quickly followed by a two day trip to Indiana where I spoke in Fort Wayne’s Convention Center, addressing the Indiana Library Federation in a speech called “I Still Believe in Books.” Plus a signing. And met both the author/comic book illustrator of UnShelved, and four wonderful fairly new Indiana YA authors who were all delightful.

Followed by a Boswell Books signing with Heidi up in Shelburn Falls, attended only by seven adults and 3 children and I think we sold seven books altogether, but we love Shelburn so not a complete loss.

Then Rebecca Guay and I went to Barnes and Noble to do a presentation to three classes of a local school (they walked over for the preentaion)–6-8th graders. Sold maybe ten books.


Tea with a college friend Mary, an evening watching Maddison dance at the Willison dance concert, Rebeeca G’s art gallery opening, dinner with my children’s book dinner group, and then the first of the Thanksgiving week of dinners with friends at Heidi’s.

Book stuff:

Managing to keep writing a poem a day. (Since January 1!)

Working on the first two chapters of Centaur Field.

Saw the absolutely adorable color pictures for Waking Dragons.

Learned that on the Poetry Foundation’s list of bestsellers, gathered from actual book sales in numerous bookstores across the country, Things To Say to a Dead Man was #7 on the contemporary list and Switching on the Moon #7 on the children’s list.

And here’s one of the poems from this ten days:

Listening to the News Reminds Me of Yeats

These are the turnings we were warned of,

the center imploding, the far edges

of the universe folding in upon themselves.

Now birds fall from the darkening skies;

preachers become prophets, making profits

from the end of days; a haze of obituaries;

fewer weddings and those disputed.

Notice how no celebrities look like us,

with their perfect bodies and ironed faces,

while we wrinkle like the sea.

There is no rough justice slouching

towards Bethlehem or the Arab states,

or for that matter in the courtrooms of Texas,

or the boardrooms of multinational banks.

Wall Street crumbles, the stock market stumbles,

housing starts tumble. Yeats set it all down first:

that bloody tide of change and not-change,

that bloody intensity of right and not-right,

the beast stalking the presidency

down the twisty, blackened capitol streets.

We were warned, we did not listen,

and the teeth are at the back of our necks.

Soon they will be at the front.

©2011 by Jane Yolen, all rights reserved

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