Ready Thyself!

 Quick word to those paying attention: CYBILS nominations open tomorrow.

YES, tomorrow I said. Thursday, October 1st. And there is a snazzy new form to use to nominate your favorite titles in a variety of categories:

  • Easy Readers and Short Chapter Books
  • Fantasy and Science Fiction
  • Fiction Picture Books
  • Graphic Novels
  • Middle Grade Fiction
  • Nonfiction Picture Books
  • Nonfiction for Middle Grade and Teens
  • Poetry
  • Young Adult Fiction

To find out exactly what the Cybils are and how to nominate your favorite books from this past year, the place to check for updated and expanded info is here at the Cybils blog. 
I’ll be serving as a first round judge on for the poetry category this year. I can’t wait!


I must be telling you soon about recent days, upcoming days, people and places and all manner of wonderfulness, but first I’ll shyly share this roundel. Tricia at the Miss Rumphius Effect blog posted a poetry stretch yesterday (in fact, she posts a poetry stretch *every* Monday; you should write yourself a note to check on Mondays for inspiration). This week she challenged us to write a roundel (not to be confused with a rondelle). I have not written a roundel before. (And perhaps you will say after reading this that STILL I have not written a roundel!)

The roundel, according to Paul Janeczko in A Kick in the Head: An Everyday Guide to Poetic Forms, is "a three-stanza poem of 11 lines. The stanzas have four, three, and four lines in them and a rhyme scheme of abab bab abab. Ah, but there’s more. Line 4 is repeated as line 11 — not an easy trick!"  (I also noticed that the repeat is often the first three words of the first line, but I’m not sure everyone does it that way.) I came fairly quickly and easily to my repeat, and my rhyming words, had most of the poem written and then decided that my second line didn’t work. I’m also unsure how they’re supposed to work metrically, as some of the roundels I’ve read have fairly strict meter and some are more fluid. I’m happier with my version now than before but still not 100% sure. As with all poetry, I’ll let it sit. And then come back to it. And then let it sit some more. And then come back to it. Several times, over and over, until I finally decide to release it. 

But for now, I’ll share its current form with you.



You must goodbye this barren ground.

Turn your face, take leave, though my

wingless form is bound.

You must goodbye.


I cannot follow, though try

I will, for when I’ve found

my wings, I’ll fly


away, away. I’ll soar, crowned

with joy beneath a moonlit sky,

spread my wings without a sound . . .

You must goodbye.

–Kristy Dempsey (2009, all rights reserved) 



Hooray for Books!

 Hooray for Books, hooray for great friends, hooray for selling out of books! If you’re ever in Alexandria, VA, there’s no better place to spend an hour, or two, or three than Hooray for Books.

When I arrived for my booksigning on September 6th, Ellen and Trish had made brownies, set up a reading and signing area and had plenty of books on hand. Good thing too, we sold out! Anne Marie and Kathy caught me on the street corner just before I went in the store, and Jama was in there waiting. I was so happy to see old friends and meet others for the first time. I had friends there from Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey, DC and Brazil! 

Anne Marie Pace, Kelly Fineman, Kristy Dempsey, Kathy Erksine, Jama Rattigan, and Sara Lewis Holmes

And after that, we were close enough to spend a little time with Lady Liberty on our way to Boston. 🙂

ME WITH YOU mini-tour

 We’re off on the ME WITH YOU and the grandparents mini-tour complete with grandparents, bookmarks and the requisite conversion van to celebrate the upcoming Grandparents Day! 

*September 6th — booksigning from 2-4 pm at Hooray for Books — Alexandria, VA

*September 10 — storytime and booksigning at Barrington Books, Barrington, RI at 10:30 am

*September 11– storytime and booksigning at Wellesley Booksmith, Wellesley, MA at 10:30 am

Here we go in classic grandparent style:

Book Signing Fun!

Okay, okay, so I know I’ve been terribly absent. Terribly. But here’s a little view into the business of the last month or so. And when I say business, I mean funfunfun! Nothing could be more fun than to see people you haven’t seen in forever, meet new and interesting people, and eat cake. There’s cake leftover by the way, so if you’re passing through South Carolina . . . 

(edited to put pics behind a cut for those who’d like to skip them)

Continue reading “Book Signing Fun!”