Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Hobomock Scribes

Last week I enjoyed a wonderful visit to Hobomock Elementary School. Thanks to the teachers for welcoming me and to all the students for coming up with such great stories and sensory details for our adventures. I was also grateful to the two intrepid reporters from the school newspaper who asked such incisive questions during our interview. Normally I'm the one doing the interviewing, so I was a little nervous, but thanks to my entourage everything went smoothly. The fourth-grade PR guys filtered the questions brilliantly. My bodyguard kept me feeling safe, our invisible but loquacious ninja made sure there were no awkward silences, and of course my chief-of-staff managed it all wonderfully. Too bad we got in trouble for laughing too much.

As for the previous day's lunch crew...awkward? No, I don't think so.

If any of you are reading this, remember: REVISE. Then revise again. And again...

Monday, January 14, 2013

New Dangerous Waters Cover!

The finished cover for the forthcoming paperback version of Dangerous Waters:

The paperback is coming out on March 5th, published by Square Fish. There's some great new material, including an essay detailing my own sinking ship experience, which was part of the inspiration for the novel.

The cover art is courtesy John Hendrix, an amazing author and illustrator. Check out his work here. This new rendition is a real departure from the hardcover version. I love it; I think it really captures all the elements of the story, and it has been fun to break it down with kids during school visits and discuss the different pieces of the picture.

A Teenager Builds a Robotic Arm

And what did you do on your summer vacation?

The high school kid pictured here, Easton LaChappelle, built a working robotic arm in his bedroom. This is actually his second effort. Talking to Easton and, briefly, his very proud father, was a real pleasure. I love how Easton made use of both incredibly advanced technology and stuff that just happened to be lying around his house, including old dental rubber bands.

Unfortunately I didn't have a chance to meet him or see his workshop, but his personality and creativity definitely come across in this great photo by Mike Basher. Read the full story about Easton and his robot here.