Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Hats off to reading teachers!

Through an odd and wonderful series of events, I found myself with an invitation to speak at the 2010 International Reading Association's conference in Chicago. More than 12,000 people, most of them reading teachers from throughout the U.S. and elsewhere, attend to get insights into how to do their jobs better and recharge their batteries. The theme, intercultural communciation, meant that Queen Rania of Jordan, the author of a new children's book, joined the conference. Al Gore came too. What an amazing event!

Don Strel and I talked to an audience of about 50--a good crowd--about the way Tony Hillerman used cultural elements as part of his mysteries, and included some examples as quotes from Dad's books, along with Don's beautiful slides. Afterwards, we signed Tony Hillerman's Landscape at the HarperCollins booth in the exhibit area. Every book of ours the Harper folks brought to the show quickly disappeared. Several teachers asked me to sign books for their school libraries or as auction items to raise money for their reading programs. Among the attendees was a charming pedetrician from Chinle, Az. who works with a program that gives books to parents when they bring their kids in for exams.

Where would we be without these wonderful folks who teach our children the pleasure of reading?

Afterwards, Don and I had a chance to see some of beautiful Chicago. The tulips, in full bloom along Michigan Avenue, didn't have to worry about getting eaten by bunnies like our Santa Fe varieites.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Literary coincidence?

Michelle Witte, the editor who helped me with Santa Fe Flavors and Gardens of Santa Fe was in town last weekend for the Mountains and Plains bookseller conference. She had to catch an early flight home, but we squeezed in a breakfast of blue corn pancakes at the Plaza Cafe. Michelle did a great job with both books when she was with GibbsSmith Publisher, and now she's become a bookseller with her own soon-to-open children's bookstore in a Salt Lake City suburb. (Gardens of Santa Fe wasn't released in time for the contest. Next year...)

I had just come from the New Mexico Press Women's Conference, where Flavors and Tony Hillerman's Landscape from HarperCollins both won first place awards and move on to the national finals. I send out a big hug of appreciation to Michelle, Sally Kim at HarperCollins and all the other editors out there who deserve a bit of the credit when the books (and authors) they've assisted get some recognition. I appreciated the chance to share my good news, coffee, Mexican hot chocolate and a hug with one of the smart women responsible. As for Sally, well, I owe her breakfast now, too!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Garden booksigning

Don Strel and I had a lovely time speaking to members of Santa Fe Botanical Garden and the Santa Fe Garden Club in connection with the debut of "Gardens of Santa Fe." The Botanical Garden celebration was held at the lovely home of the one of gardeners featured in the book.
We talked about some of our adventures, answered questions and enjoyed food, wine and great company.

At the Garden Club event, we showed slides from the book and other photos of flowers and gardens that we love at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture on Santa Fe's beautiful Museum Hill.

A good time was had by us....and the people who came. Thanks, everyone, for all your kind words for my words and Don's beatiful photos.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Gardens of Santa Fe gets some attention

Don Strel and I received a wonderful gift this morning, a fabulous story in The New Mexican's Pasatiempo magazine section. I posted it here. The writer did a great job of making us sound good, and the photos look terrific.

We have a busy month ahead, with book signings at Garcia Street Books here in Santa Fe on April 3 and the next weekend at Page One in Albuquerque, at a private Santa Fe home as a project for Santa Fe Botanical Garden and at the Museum of Indian Art and Culture on Santa Fe's Museum Hill. That one is a benefit for the Santa Fe Garden Club. Both those groups helps us with the book. Then, we go to Bookworks in Albuquerque on the 24th of April.

I'm working on a script to go with Don's beautiful slides of flowers, garden walls, sculptures and the views from some of the gardens in our book. We'll show our slides (actually his slides) at some of these venues. It's a challenge. I want to write too much, so I working on learning discipline.

In the meantime, my own garden is practically yelling for my attention. Luckilly, today's cold wind is offering me a fine excuse to work at the computer, at least for now.

Pasatiempo, 02 Apr 2010. Pages 12 - 13

02 Apr 2010

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Gardens of Santa Fe debuts at Garcia Street Books

I'm working on my talk for April 3 and the official launch of Gardens of Santa Fe. I'm lucky to have Don Strel as my partner in this beautiful book. I really don't need to say much---his beautiful photos do the the talking.

But, since people have already been asking, I'll mention a bit about how the book came to be and talk about some of our adventures and the wonderful people we met along the way. The cover photo, for instance, is from the garden of artist Joan Gibbons and her exuberant husband, Gib. Joan could make a plastic plant come to life---she's blessed with an intuitive knowledge of what grows best where. Hers was the only garden Don and I visited where we say hydrangeas thriving. (the blue flowers in the photo.) That plant really isn't intended for Santa Fe's high, dry climate, but Joan helps it along.
After the event at Santa Fe's Garcia Street Books (next to Downtown Subscription coffee house), Don and I will do benefits for Santa Fe Botanical Garden and the Santa Fe Garden Club. We're also scheduling a couple of signings in Albuquerque.
Meanwhile, my daffodils are blooming and, at least for today, no more snow in the forecast.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Getting ready to launch

Photographer Don Strel and I met earlier this week with the good folks at Santa Fe Botanical Garden and with representatives from the Santa Fe Garden Club. We're doing benefits for both these groups to help launch our new book, "Gardens of Santa Fe." Lovely events coming up...I'll write more on that later or take look at my calendar for information. The offfical book launch will be at Santa Fe's locally owned Garcia Street Books at 2 p.m. on April 3. Don and I will talk about some of the adventures we had working on this wonderful project, and some of the great people we met on the way.

Meanwhile, this week we head up to Gunnison, Colorado to talk to the AAUW about "Tony Hillerman's Landscape: On the Road with Chee and Leaphorn" and to show some of Don's beautiful photographs.

Spent the day working on the website....longing for quiet time to get back to writing. It will happen soon, I know!