Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Book Review - Wheels of Change by Sue Macy

Last summer, I won a book from Sue Macy on the I.N.K. blog.  Recently, I finally got around to reading it.  Wheels of Change is a nonfiction book published by National Geographic publishers about the history of the bicycle.

Design: The book has a vintage/retro look.  It's filled with historical photographs of items you might find at an antique sale.  Circular photographs and text in circular shapes are clever methods of reinforcing the wheel and the idea of rolling forward.

Text: It's eye-opening.  Often we hop on our bikes and go for a ride, but seldom do we ponder what it was like before the bicycle.  Who knew that at one time the pedals were on one side of the bike to accommodate long petticoats?  The book took me back in time and left me thinking and wondering.  Who could have guessed the bicycle had such a profound impact on women's attire?  I wish I could bring my grandmother back and ask her about petticoats and bicycles.
    Although it's for young adults, I see no reason why college fashion design professors couldn't use this in their curriculum to teach the history of fashion.  College students would LOVE to read a book like this versus a stale textbook.  The book won the YALSA award for excellence in nonfiction.

The wind sweeps up Mary Poppins in her azalea petticoat

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Case of the Missing Emails

I chewed up some time this week tracking down important emails.  In the past, some emails never made it to my inbox, but I didn't think anything of it.  It didn't happen that often and I chalked it up to a glitch in the connection.  One of the emails I needed contained the manuscripts I was supposed to critique for the conference in April.  Ut oh!   At first, I tried making changes to junk folder settings on Mozilla Thunderbird.  Then I tried receiving the email through Outlook Express on the laptop, to no avail.  Little did I realize that in 2003, Walt set up an AT&T account with a password I never would have guessed in a million years.  They were caught in the spam filter on this server.  Thankfully, he knew how to find them.  Hallelujah!  That poor spam filter was doing double time filtering all kinds of gunk--195 rancid emails since end of Feb 2012 (I believe).

I'm delighted with my critique group for the conference.  I've been busy reviewing a picture book and an activity book and I can't wait to meet the writers.  My writing friends critiqued my manuscript and talked me out of submitting it to a publisher before it gets critiqued again at the conference.  Good lord, you know I'm itching to get this thing out in the world!

Spring has sprung!  Bulbs are popping out of the Earth.  The azaleas are out and forsythia buds are hanging like ripe bananas.  

Thursday, March 15, 2012

With the kids, husband and dog home this week, it's been a challenge to accomplish anything.  I repeatedly  tweaked my current WIP, grinding the age level down as far as I could take it.  Today, I listened to a webinar that was a review of a conference called "Legal Solutions to Coastal Climate Change in CT."  Needless to say, I didn't expect much, but it turned out to be quite thought provoking.   

I can't wait for feedback from the gang next Tuesday.  What I am really curious about is whether they think this WIP is appropriate for young children.  I definitely do.  Lately, I am involved in all kinds of volunteer work for the conference.  Emails seem to arrive daily.      

These photographs were taken on a hike at Valley Falls in Vernon CT.  More often than not I'm running on the trail that overlooks the swimming hole (elevation is slightly higher than first photo).  Some times I sit by the rushing water and write.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Here's my first interview ever.  Thank you Brittney Breakey for hosting me on your blog!

I'm looking forward to emailing my latest work on Tuesday.  I am also eagerly waiting to read the manuscripts I will be critiquing and to find out who else is in my critique group for the conference.

These photos were taken at a nature preserve in South Windsor.  You'd think it would take a lot to knock over a tree.  This "balance beam" was too inviting to pass up.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Freja Park, Bolton

I'm eagerly looking forward to getting my manuscript critiqued.  We're not emailing until the 13th.  Deep impatient sigh.  It's supposed to be submitted to nonfiction conference organizers by the 10th.  Since I don't have an email or mail address, I can't do that either.  Despite it's lack of movement anywhere, I'm SO happy I created it!

My ChemMatters article was bumped out of the March/April issue, probably because they had too many articles for that issue.  I don't know when it will get published, but I'll be delighted to get that clip because I put a lot of effort into it.

These photographs were taken at Freja Park in Bolton CT.  The water in the duck photo looked as if it was painted with sweeping brushstrokes and sharply contrasting colors..  I would love to have peeked inside those sticks to see if any beavers were home.  Knock knock.