Friday, September 11, 2009

Get me out of here

Share time:

Friday, August 14, 2009

Jennifer Fosberry at Red Fox Books Today at 3pm

After a relaxing week of Adirondack vacationing with the kids and my family. My much extended family. I must actually work a little today. I am speaking at Red Fox Books at 3 pm. I will read and talk about My Name is Not Isabella Join us if you can!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Is it just me or are there too many choices?

Monday I spent loads of hours on the phone to work through health insurance things and try to get the trifecta appointments for the kids. You know, doctor, dentist, optometrist. Hours. And I succeeded in doctors for all three. Dentist for one. And I need to call back for the eye appointment. There are valid reasons why this is so complicated. Well not valid but explainable.

Today I spend at least two hours to figure out the best travel options for a little trip back east in August. I have succeeded in booking the trip there, and have some options for the trip back.

Is it just me or does all this seem to take longer than necessary. After living in Costa Rica for some time, I got used to less choices. I was annoyed to have to search for what I wanted if it was a specific thing. This, this can be overwhelming and frustrating. I am not sure if so many choices are really a good thing. What do you thing?

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Creativity, Copyright and Computers - Oh My!

Since we have been talking about social media - I thought I would share these genius talk by Lawrence Lessing on TED "How Creativity is Being Strangled by the Law."

First let me say I LOVE TED. It makes me feel smart. It makes me feel smart and cool, unlike NPR - which I am sure will make me feel smart, but I am just not that old. Yet.

This talk is about how technology is changing the way we entertain and amuse ourselves and hence the way we create and interact. He goes on to really get into the legal aspect of this which is made darn interesting by his dynamic speaking (and to me intriguing sociological implications of his topic). I actually found this last October and have been thinking on it and not sharing it. That is BAD Social Media-ist of me.

I think of this talk as a consumer and as a copyright holder. I think we all want to be read-writers. Not just readers. So I think that ultimately we must share.

I think.

What do you think?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Why I Love Twitter and You Should Too

In my quest to get back on track and practice what I preach about social media, blogging, and promotion I have been spending a lot of time with Twitter. I have been a member for some time. I have enjoyed using it. I have seen some of the possible benefits. I have amassed over 400 followers. But now it is time to get serious.

A few weeks ago, I spent an exciting week at IBPA and BEA. I met many other publishers and writers. I learned a lot about marketing, pr, promotion, publicity. I may even be beginning to understand the difference. I spent time speaking with people about blogs and twitter. I realized that I might know more than I thought. I realized that the learning curve can be quite steep and it should not be. I spent much of the social time talking to other writers about twitter. I explained it as such:

"Twitter is like an on-line cocktail party. You just show up and see what people are talking about and you are encouraged to pipe up and join in. And you can go away for a while and come back and join back in. You can spend a little time or a lot of time. You can listen to others and learn things. You can sit back and watch the rowdy, egotistical drunk guy try to be really popular. You try to stay away from the boring guy that always talks about himself. Try really hard NOT to be that guy. You can hear what is happening right now. You can promote yourself or your book a little (remember Don't Be That Guy). You can make friends. You can find entertaining little things that you weren't even looking for. You can add to the conversation. Your friends might grow to really like you and promote you (and hence your book). You can enjoy this and maybe get something out of it at the same time."

I may have convinced a few people. I hope that they follow through and start using it as the "platform" it can be. It made me think of my own transition from twitter-doubter to twitter-lover.

When I first heard of twitter, I thought, as many do, how dumb.
Who needs this?
Who would use this?
What a time suck.

The first few months of finding interesting people to follow, gathering followers and tweeting were a back and forth between, "this is kinda coo" and any one of the things I originally thought. Now when I look back at my early tweets, I definitely wasn't quite "getting it."

I can't promise that I get it any better now. But it is fun, addictive, informative, and possibly a good source of pr buzz for later. With that in mind, I have been learning by doing, but also reading. There are many articles out there to give you an idea of it, here are some of my favorites:

General Information:
Jenuine Jen explains it all much better than I have and does so much earlier (you early adopter you). She states what it is, why you care and gives great, concrete examples about how it could be useful beyond the banal "washing my cat" kind of post.

Etiquette and "How it Works" so you don't embarrass yourself:
Broadcasting Brain tells how to get followers - key point is "be your authentic self" - we have all heard that before, but it needs repeating. Be your authentic self. I also really enjoy his analogy, although I have always said twitter was like a cocktail party. But I take his point and revise my earlier comparison and say a really big and really friendly cocktail party.

Cool Applications
There are many applications to help you utilize twitter. Days could be spent going through these and I plan to highlight some of my favorite finds later. Most just require your twitter account and possibly your password. I am free with my password, but I am sure there are some who would advise against it. My advice here is to look at this list and play around with what you find interesting.

Mainstream Media taking note:
The mainstream media is taking note. There was a great article in Time magazine: How Twitter will Change the Way We Live. My favorite section details the use of twitter during a small conference on education. The article goes on to state the strengths of twitter (social networks, live searching and link-sharing) and the amazing development of the way it is used by the users. Very interesting reading.

Super Fresh News and Making a Difference:
After the events of the last few days in Iran, it is impossible not to see how effective twitter can be at giving the underdog a voice, at spreading a message world wide and perhaps in making a difference.

Many people think Twitter is lame. Many people don't get how it works. Maybe it is not for everyone. Maybe something better is coming around the corner that will connect us all. For the meantime, this explains why I have changed from a twitter-doubter to a twitter-lover. At least for now.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Where is Matt?

He is a terrible dancer, but looks to be a lovely person. This is so old, but I had enjoyed it so I will share and test my feed at the same time.

Friday, June 12, 2009

What has happened - what will happen now

It has been a busy few months. We have moved back to the US. Lived with relatives. Fought and got Bella into first grade. Found our own place. Got our stuff back from Costa Rica. Cleaned a lot of mold. Squeezed ourselves into a 900 square foot apartment. Worked with Bella to catch up and do a whole year of first grade in four and a half months. Barry got a job. Barry got a different job. Barry took classes. And I didn't do much on the book.

Then I took a trip to New York. Went to IBPA Publishing University. Went to Book Expo. Went to visit my parents and did school visits. Came home and did a school visit here. Head is full of lots of great ideas. Time now to work and put them into action. I'm so excited to work on things.

Oh, and school is over so now I have three kids at home. Should make all that work easy, right?

Monday, May 25, 2009

Sad, Pitiful, Exciting, Wonderful....Phew!

Sad and pathetic and pitiful that I have not blogged since MARCH!

Exciting that I am leaving in a few short hours for a red-eye flight on JetBlue to NYC for a very full week plus of book activities!

First I will be attending IBPA Publishing University. I will sit in many informative classes, meet many people in this industry, and question, question, question. One topic I am particularly interested in is the new book requirements for child safety regulations.

Then I will attend Book Expo, which just looks like a whole lot of WOW! More info, parties, free books. I am so excited, from a reader/fan standpoint as well.

And did I mention that this all happens in NYC? The city that never sleeps? Well hopefully I will get some sleep because it is going to be busy!

Then I am off to upstate to bug my parents, visit bookstores, and entertain elementary school children. Probably the last is the scariest.

Wish me bon voyage and good luck!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Dora the Tween Explorer - Tarty or Timely?

When I first heard the news that Nick/Mattel was going to "grow up" Dora to a tween, I thought interesting strategy. I thought perhaps they were going for the Bratz market, although I hoped that they wouldn't turn her into a tart. Apparently, many mothers were worried about the same thing. With the initial silhouette released in the news, who could blame them. She does look a little "tarty." I think Nick/Mattel planned to keep a lid on the redesign, other than the "tease silhouette." After some concerns from Moms, they released what she really looks like and I am now a little hopeful.

My oldest daughter (age 7)has outgrown Dora and informs me "that is for babies." My middle boy (age 4) is only interested in Diego. And my youngest daughter (age 2.5) is still in love with the original. I like her watching the original. I want her to continue to watch the original. I also like the idea of a sort of older version to appeal to my oldest and continue some of the value in the original. I hope it will continue to progress her understanding of the Latin culture (and other cultures) and the Spanish language. Perhaps map reading skills and problem solving logic could be done at a higher level. Hopefully, this will be done without injecting the attitude that sometimes comes with the tween shows. I have high hopes for this transition. I have high hopes that there is a way to continue the older (younger?) Dora as well without confusing my two year old. Can Nick/Mattel pull this all off? Time will tell.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Another Day - Another Honor for the Book

Good News. My Name is Not Isabella has been named a semi-finalist in the ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Contest for the children's picture book category.

If this keeps up, I will have to straighten up my virtual trophy case.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Do you realize - this is beauty

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Author Visits - I will be famous soon.

I am going to dive right in and share the good news.

I am booked.

I have three upcoming engagements in March to read "My Name is Not Isabella." I have been working on an entertaining presentation. Thinking about what I will say. Making little props to go along with the show. I am excited and nervous.

Here is information on my first library appearance.

Tuesday March 3, 2009 7:00 PM Cedar Room of Santa Clara City Library

Be there or be square!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - I may not be tall enough, but dang it I can shoot

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

How Pathetic - the whirlwind excuse

Has it really been OVER two months since I posted a single thought, photo or link? Yes it has. How pathetic. I have read that you shouldn't blog unless you can commit to posting something every x times. Maybe once per day or once per week. Somehow I don't think bimonthly would cut it. And I feel terrible as I look at a long list of mostly finished posts that I planned to drop bomb in so that I wasn't completely absent. You know what they say about the best intentions....

I would vow that I will do better, but that would be an empty promise. I will try to do better is the best that I can say right now. You will see why.

We have left Costa Rica. After a whirl wind Nov/Dec of information gathering, ticket buying, scheduling, packing, school end activities and other normal daily activities - the kids and I left for NY. I flew with my three children (to remind you ages 2, 4 and 6) and about a gazillion pieces of luggage to New Jersey, rented a car and drove to upstate New York. It was crazy, but it got done. We hid out in NY under a new blanket of snow (which the kids loved - but it took out my parent's Internet) for a few weeks. Then we made our way to the Boston area (thanks Mom and Dad for dropping us off - we understand why you bolted once the luggage was out of the car) for a few days with cousins.

Cousins are wonderful and my kids were thrilled to hang out with similarly aged cousins. The first night, Bells asked if she and C. were cousins. Upon my yes, they both starting celebrating - yeas, joy jumping and high fives abounded. Because now they Have to be friends. Right? Meanwhile Gus really dug his older cousin T. And proceeded to rob inherit all his outgrown super hero costumes, toys and clothes. They are still his favorite now. So after a few fun-filled days in Boston, we proceeded to Logan (in a snow storm) and took off for Sunny California (freezing).

California has been busy, trying to get ourselves organized and living situations set up. Lucky we have such nice, helpful, accommodating family to assist. Hope they are the same nice, helpful, accommodating family when we are through. I am doing my best to be on my bestest, nicest, sweetest behavior. You know, like my normal behavior.

While we were having all this fun, my husband stayed in Costa Rica to sell the car and finish some other obligations. He lived with our dog in the house devoid of furniture, with a blow up bed, a cardboard chair he crafted himself and a microwave. He managed to be on the seventh floor of one of a few tall buildings during the recent Costa Rican earthquake. He gets all the fun. This past Sunday, he dismantled his cardboard chair, deflated the air mattress, packed his few thing and flew to San Francisco, dog included.

We are all together again, living on the kindness of our family, searching for jobs, trying to provide some stability/normalcy for our kids, and sorting through one and a half years of junk mail. I will be back when the junk mail is gone.

Could be a while.

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