October 8-17, 2010:

Yes, touring season has hit with a bang and I have been dilatory in catching up. So here goes.

Book news:

Received French copies of some of the Dinosaur books, and a Korean edition of a Baby Bear book. Asimov’s has a new poem of mine in the October issue. Got a first copy of Barefoot Book of Dances Around the World, f&gs of The Day Tiger Rose Said Goodbye, and wrote 15,000 words on The Thirtenth Fey though now I know what major stuff needs doing for the beginning and have (at last) an inkling of what the middle sections will be.

Touring:

Comic Con in New York–which I am assured is only half of what ComicCon in San Diego is (thankfully in the summer when I am in Scotland!)–and it was simply overwhelming. Too many people, too noisy, too busy, and with not enough oxygen for me. I did a one day reccy and one day with two panels (nicely attended, especially the second one) and two signings (ditto). I had a long talk with two editors, one of whom–Rachel of DarkHorse–came home with me at the end of the con but more about that in a bit. I was interviewed by MTV (wow!) and was exhausted at each day’s end. Stayed with my cousin Pam Berlin and her husband Billy Carden and they–plus had two dinners with my elementary school friend Marcel–all of which proved a wonderful counterpart to the craziness of the con.

A few days later I was off to Seattle to give the annual Spencer Shaw lecture at the university. Spencer was an amazing man, a mentor of mentors, teacher of teachers, and we’d always promised one another at major conferences like IRA and ALA and NCTE that we had to sit down and have that big talk. I said yes to this one because Spencer asked and I thought it was time for us to finally spend some time together, but alas he died several months ago so I got to bracket my actual talk with some memories/praise/and condolences to family. It was an emotional time for all, and I got a Standing O for my speech (though I think it was as much for Spencer as for me.) Stayed with college friend Ann Crockett Stever and her partner Dorsey in a wonderful Craftsman house overlooking a lake. We had dinner one night with another college buddy, Professor Jere Bachrach and his gorgeous wife Barb. And Ann and I had a nice walk partially around the lake.

Spoke locally at the Westfield Atheneum when getting the Carol Otis Hurst award for My Uncle Emily.Very small group but very good at asking questions.

Busy, busy. busy. Did most of my writing on planes and trains.

Other stuff:

Dinner with editor Rachel and Rebecca Guay and husband Matt. Before that we sat in Rebecca’s studio and looked closely at the gorgeous paintings (about 100 pages so far out of 138) that she’s doing for my second graphic novel, The Last Dragon which DarkHorse is bringing out and Rachel is editing. Rachel and I also had lunch with Greg Ruth, a Valley illustrator I didn’ t know, as strange as that seemed to me. I mean strange that I didn’t know him! Quite a find! Rachel and I also went to the Eric Carle Museum and the Yiddish Book Center.

Went to the Amherst Ballet Fete where a week at Wayside was put up at auction and was the high ticket item. Had dinner with friends at Mira Bartok’s house, a high-powered art/writing/music group. Had several interviews, one by Skype.

And tomorrow I start another leg of the tour in New York and Long Island.

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