Sunday, April 14, 2013


What to say about Fay B. Kaigler? It was awesome!

It started at True Vine Cottage, thanks to gracious, generous Beck McDowell, author of THIS IS NOT A DRILL.
Beck relaxing on the porch swing.

This is what the sky looked like:
An omen, perhaps?? We did spend some quality time in the stairwells at USM on Thursday of the conference due to tornado warnings...

Next I got to see sweet,talented Robyn Hood Black and meet for the first time wonderful, zany April Halprin Wayland. LOVE THESE GALS! We shared meals and stories and thoughts and dreams and oh yeah, a session at the conference. :)

April, Robyn & me cooking up some fun for our presentation "Take Five: Create Fun with The Poetry Friday Anthology."

Lest you think we were the only ones having fun, here's a shot of our participants enjoying their paper tacos (one of the Take Five! activities for Rebecca Kai Dotlich's "A Taste of Taco")

The conference included books sales hosted by Barnes and Noble on campus, and oh wow, were we in good hands:

Thank you, Marie and Benita!

And here we are during a slow time:

me, Beck, Robyn & April (shhhh, there were lots of slow times, but we still had fun!)

One of the unexpected highlights was a personal tour of the de Grummond Exhibit room with the amazing Ellen Ruffin:

Is there anything Ellen doesn't know?!

Oh, and guess who visited with us at our table during the Southern Breeze-hosted reception? Yep, the hilarious Jon Sciezka, this year's Medallion winner!

Congratulations, Jon! (Jon, Beck, me, Jo Kittinger, Robyn)

I loved seeing old friends and meeting new ones. It's a great festival. See you next year!

Oh, and here's a little bonus something: On Saturday I spoke in Tuscaloosa as part of the celebration for the winners of the Letters about Literature contest. I heard letters inspired by J.K. Rowling, S.E. Hinton and Langston Hughes. Amazing kids and parents and teachers! 

AND THEN... my friend Paige and her family took me to lunch! I loved getting to know her husband Adam and adorable kids Kai and Quinn. Here's a picture of me and Kai, who loves Pokemon and says he's going to be a dentist someday, but don't count him out as a storyteller:

Kai told me his mom cried twice while reading DON'T FEED THE BOY to him. :)


And now it's time for another busy week: 3 school visits. Isn't April awesome?! :)


  1. April is the beginning of newness ... is that a word?? everything springs up fresh and re-born
    and it brings all this pollen with it.
    Love the pictures... looked like a great event.

  2. Just a quick noteI wound up going with a dark black/brown counter. I will post photos in a later update.
    michelangelo marble

    1. I love all of this, but that porch swing makes me sigh. I am feeling a need for a breath of spring (slowly slowly coming in Mass.) and a breath of Irene. Thanks for sharing the table with us... though I wish I were just a little closer..

  3. It sounds delightful Irene-inspiring too!

  4. How wonderful to meet up with other poets/authors. I love those paper tacos, what a great idea!


Your thoughts?