Friday, May 29, 2009

Old Geezer Certification

I was in the yard the other day and suddenly noticed this tree.

It's a chestnut tree.

When my son was little, he picked up a chestnut from the ground under a tree next to our church.

He planted it in a little paper cup.

Then later, he moved it to the yard.

And now look at it!

Wow - I must really be an Old Geezer.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I love this guy!

Well, you have to head over and read this blog post.

I love his answer to the question about how to build a Yoo-hoo boat.

You go, girl!

I do writing workshops in schools a lot.

Sometimes the kids send me their finished products.

I recently received a wonderful biography written by a fifth grade girl.

She had it all packaged up like a real book, including the following copyright page:

Copyright Page 2009

Text copyright by ____

Illustration copyright by ____

Jacket covers copyright by ____


If you do any of the above there will be major consequences usually being paying lots of money.

Thank you and I hope you enjoy the book!

P.S. just don't copy this book, (maybe if I write more books don't copy those either)

Reasons Why You Should Not Copy My Books

1. I would be very mad

2. You would have to pay a fine

3. It is not a good thing to do to ANYONE'S books

4. I and a lot of other people don't want you to

5. Just don't do it

Thank you for reading my thoughts about why you should not copy my books or anyone else's and I hope you will still enjoy my book. Just remember don't copy!!!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Summer Blog Blast Tour

Check out Mother Reader's great interview of me as part of the Summer Blog Blast Tour.

(And she managed to do it after two days of CAMPING with Girl Scouts. I nominate her for sainthood.)

Old Geezers Who Write

I'm starting to think that Kirby Larson and I are the same person.

It's sort of scary all the things we have in common.

We have the same husband and the same son (well, not really, but close....she knows what I mean....)

But, anyway....

I was thinking about inviting her to join my Old Geezers Who Write Club.

But then, maybe she would prefer to be in the Authors Who Will Stay Young and Beautiful and Rich and Skinny Forever Club.

Because, well, she might not be an Old Geezer (like me).

But Old Geezers Who Write sometimes have something in common: arthritis in their thumbs!!!

I have arthritis in my thumb.

And then I found out that Kirby has arthritis in her thumb.

And THEN, she went and recommended....

The Yoropen!!!

And it is so wonderful....

....which is the reason I was thinking she should join my club - and maybe even be President.

And since she found out about the Yoropen from Susan Patron, maybe Susan would want to be in the Old Geezers Who Write Club, too. (But then, maybe she would rather be an Author Who Will Stay Young and Beautiful and Rich and Skinny Forever.)

But, anyway, thank you, Kirby and Susan.

P.S. I also know ANOTHER Old Geezer Who Writes and Also Has Arthritis in Her Thumb (you know who you are, GS) so this club is getting bigger (and G.S., you should totally get this pen!)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Okay, now they're scaring me....

Okay, so.... I love all things Apple.

But, um, now they're scaring me.....

How did they know my son is graduating from college?

I have a fan club!

Remember those great kids from High Meadows School in Roswell, Georgia?

They went and formed a Barbara O'Connor Fan Club!

How cool is that?

And look what they sent me!


Sunday, May 17, 2009

My trip to New York

Last week I took the train down to New York.

I visited the office of my publisher, Farrar, Straus & Giroux:

Which is very conveniently located next to this!

With the most amazing cupcakes I've ever seen. (Take note, Grace Lin.)

And this is pretty handy located next to a children's book publisher:

I loved snooping around my editor's office. This is an amazing painting by the brilliant Peter Sis, who thought she needed a window (back when she had a windowless office):

I loved seeing all of the books in various stages of production, tucked away on a shelf, waiting to become real books and fly out into the real world.

Of course, I was particularly interested in these two:

Here I am (right) with my brilliant editor, Frances Foster.

And I finally got to meet Lisa Graff (left), associate editor, author, and blogger (Longstockings). (See how much fun Lisa is having?)

Frances and Lisa and I had a wonderful lunch. First we debated the possible shape of cavatappi. Then we had some great conversations about writing, books, and the importance of dressing well when taking airplane trips.

After saying goodbye to Frances and Lisa, I went to my son's senior thesis photography show (Parsons School of Design). It was wonderful. (Those art school kids work hard!)

And I was very proud.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


I haven't had to pick out my dress for the red carpet yet....

.....but the movie option for How to Steal a Dog has been renewed by Tracy Kilpatrick.

So....who wants to ride in my limo?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Coming back to life

About a five-minute drive from my house is the most amazing RV/trailer park.

It's on PRIME REAL ESTATE - an amazing bluff overlooking the ocean - with million dollar views.

I have a special place in my heart for it because it helped to inspire an important story element in The Small Adventure of Popeye and Elvis. (There is a motorhome in the story.)

You might remember these photos.

Or these.

I'm sure some day there will be high-rise condominiums there - or a fancy schmancy gated community called Oceanview Estates.

But for now - it is FUNKY.

I walk my dogs through there year-round.

I love watching the seasonal changes.

In the summer, the joint is jumping.

Lawn chairs circled around campfires.

Barbecue grills. Bicycles. Card tables. Tomato plants in pots. Coolers full of beer. Whirlygigs and Red Sox banners. Kids and dogs and retired folks.

Then, in the fall, slowly slowly slowly.....the RVs drive away.

The trailers are boarded up.

They pack up the barbecue grills and the bicycles...

And everyone leaves.

Then, in the spring, slowly slowly slowly....the RVs come back.

The trailers are opened up and aired out.

The grills come out and the lawn chairs are set up.

And the joint jumps again!

I walked through there today.

It's starting to come back to life again!

Next time I go there, I'm going to take a video of it for you (with that Flip Video I had to have and never use).

Saturday, May 9, 2009


To all you puppy-haters out there, consider yourself warned. I'm not going to be able to resist launching cute puppy pics your way.

Here's the gang at four days old.

I know, I know..... awwwww

Friday, May 8, 2009

Seems like so long ago

Long ago and far away.... a galaxy far far away....

.....once upon a time....

...there was a clever, bored boy.

Because of that clever, bored boy, a book was born!

That book is The Small Adventure of Popeye and Elvis.

I can hardly wait to send a copy to the clever (and hopefully no longer bored) boy.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Taking a poll

My writer pal, Sarah Miller and I were chit-chatting the other day about some of our favorite books...

...and some of our favorite authors...

...and what makes them favorites....

....which made us curious to hear from other book folks.

Who do you consider to be some of the most skilled writers for young people?

By "skilled", I mean, writers you think are particularly good at one - or all - of the elements of the writing process, such as dialogue, setting, character development, plotting, etc.

Any particular books that stand out with regard to one or more elements?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A big shout-out

Just wanted to give a big shout-out and a thank you to the 4th and 5th grade students at High Meadows School in Roswell, Georgia - along with their teacher, Ms. Portis.

Thanks so much, y'all!!!!

They're holding their favorite books, which, um, look familiar. :-)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Monday, May 4, 2009

Baby pictures

Here's the first photo of my new puppy.

She was born Wednesday night.

Her name is Ruby.

Isn't she cute?