Dog, Writing, Appearing, Milkshaking

Today we had Dozer’s second of four obedience training sessions. He was much less barky at the other dogs, and he’s really good at responding to his name and coming when called. So impressed were we with his progress that we took him for a nice long walk on Shelter Island (where he was okay around dogs and completely off his nut around birds), and the pet store, where he not only maintained his nut in proximity to other dogs in the store, but even ignored the pet adoption stuff going on outside. Good dog.

Crossed the halfway point on my novel. Still a long way to go, but the thing’s getting written. My characters have just perpetrated a tiger kidnapping, which has not all that much to do with kidnapping actual tigers.

This week I actually did more author stuff than writer stuff. I did Skype visits with a 4th grade class at DW Lunt School & Plummer-Motz Elementary School in Falmouth, Maine; a 5th grade book club at Groveland Elementary School in Minnetonka, Minnesota; and Mrs. Huebner’s 5th graders at Sioux Central Elementary in Sioux Rapids, Iowa. Mrs. Huebner’s students blogged about our visit. They said I am nice and funny. That’s because I opted not to show them my malicious and humorless side. Why not? Because I flipped a coin, like Harvey Dent.

This Skype visiting thing is a whole mess of fun. I thought it was going to be like rainy-day schedule when I was in elementary school, where they just projected whatever they could on a screen to distract the kids from committing mayhem. Usually it was that Disney cartoon about Johny Appleseed. We’d seen it so often that they once showed it to us backwards. So it was really kind of a documentary about deforestation. But the Skype visits weren’t like that. The students were well prepared, had done research, and came ready with good questions.

I also Skyped right into the middle of Sarah Prineas‘s talk at the Children’s Literature Conference at Northern Illinois University. Sure seemed like both she and her audience were having fun, at least they were when I showed up. Hopefully they still were after I left. I tried not to be malicious and humorless. I’ll be giving a talk at the conference next year, and it was nice to get a little preview.

And I also did a signing at the Oceanside Barnes and Noble. Met some readers, scrawled my name, doodled some squid.

Last night I had a healthy salad for dinner. Mostly vegetables with just a drizzle of dressing. Tonight I’m thinking a milkshake for dinner makes sense. That’s what I’m thinking.

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