Saturday, February 23, 2008

Butter Sculptures, Sexy Coral, and Ibsen

I don't normally write about goings on in my daily life, naturally assuming you would have no interest. However, today you will be subjected to a snapshot of my exciting life because it involves no gossip-obsessed preteens massacring the English language, and only my mother-in-law reads this any way. I must have done something deliciously good in a former life because today I got to be in the same room as four writers I adore. Two of the writers were headlining the 2008 Annual Hubb's Children's Literature Conference. The other two just happened to be there. I was standing in line to register and the person behind me was Joyce Sidman, author of many fabulous poetry books, including the Cybil award winner This is Just to Say. She was genuinely shocked that I recognized her. When I got in to the auditorium John Coy was there. He wrote one of my absolute favorite books, Two Old Potatoes and Me. First of all Jane Yolen gave a talk with her son, Adam Stemple, on collaborating. Despite the fact one of them lives in Minneapolis and the other in Scotland (sometimes), they have written several children's books together. Today they talked a lot about the process of writing Troll Bridge. They both had very different view points about how they arrived at the story of a boy-band being kidnapped by trolls in northern Minnesota. The story ended up being a mixture of Norwegian folklore and Minnesotan kitsch (see butter sculpture, which is only weird if you don't live in Minnesota or Iowa). This all had the feeling of deja-vu for me as I had spent three hours the previous evening watching Peer Gynt at the Guthrie (see troll, which is what you look like after sitting through three hours of Ibsen). The second author was Lisa Westberg Peters, author of one of my other favorite picture books, Our Family Tree. Today she talked about writing science poetry. She shared several of her poems from her collection of geological poems, Earthshake. During her talk, Peters put up an article about how coral reproduces during the full moon and challenged us to write a poem. Yolen, who is apparantly a workaholic, just whipped one up right there and then. I was in kidlit heaven (see bug, which is what you get when you google the image "kidlit heaven").


Anonymous said...

I love the photo of the butter sculpture. Is that Princess Kay of the Milky Way herself?
I also love the title of this post. This might be the first time Butter Sculptures, Sexy Coral, and Ibsen have been together in a title. Great blog.


Mary Lee said...

I am not your mother-in-law. I read this blog.