Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Blue Bottle Project

Courtney and I had the honor of teaching my novel, The Blue Bottle to Kellie Schenck's fifth grade class. The students read and Courtney and I answered questions. We were absolutely amazed at the depth of questions the students had.

The project culminated with the students making their own bottles complete with favorite quotes from the book, images of the Caribbean and decorated with sea shells, sea glass and many other items. The students wrote letters to a favorite person and rolled them up and placed them into the bottle. Ms Schenck challenged the students to give the bottles to someone other than their parents.

Courtney and I were thrilled to talk to the students and find out to whom they were giving their bottles and why. All of the students poured their hearts and souls into this project. Some were giving their bottles to: grandparents, older siblings, past teachers, etc.

We were honored to receive 2 bottles for ourselves and a wonderful thank-you letter that was incredibly well written and was in and itself a lovely gift!

The students made a bottle for the REAL Esther in the book and Courtney and I delivered it to her in person when we sailed to her cafe in the BVIs. The next blog will share pictures of her opening the bottle and her amazement.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Book Signing and Costume Party

What a fantastic turn out for the re-launching of Adventures of Fraser the Yellow Dog, Rescue on Star Mountain book. We had a packed room at Explore Booksellers last Friday. Kids came in great costumes and pajamas. I read from the book as Maggie wandered around letting all the kids pet her!

As an added surprise, Landon Deane, who is on Mountain Rescue, came in uniform and told the children rescue stories and showed the kids lots of essential gear you should carry in the back-country. We were impressed how many children answered questions about what one should do in case of getting lost in the back country.

A really great time was had by all and thanks to Paradise Bakery for supplying Courtney's melt in your mouth chocolate chip cookies as special treats.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Finally Rescue on Star Mountain Returns!

After popular demand, I've brought Fraser's third book, Adventures of Fraser the Yellow Dog, Rescue on Star Mountain back to life. That book has been out of print for many years but since everyone seems to want a full set of our books, we decided to listen to our fans!

The books are to arrive on Tuesday, October 19. I've sent out an email blast with a chance to order autographed copies.

Explore Booksellers in Aspen is hosting a book signing/costume/pajama party this coming Friday, October 22 at 5:30 pm.

We hope to see all you locals there.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Fraser Writing Contest

Hi Again. It's coming up again. The Fraser Writing Contest. This is our yearly contest we hold at the Aspen Elementary School for third and fourth graders. It's such an exciting time. I will be introducing the contest at the end of October and the students will learn the theme this year. They will have several weeks to let their imaginations go wild and write their stories.

I, along with Mary Hayes, will judge the stories and come up with the results in time for the winter assembly. Everyone who enters receives a certificate. Then there are first, second and third place finishers including honorable mentions.

The stories are amazing and I'm always astonished with the talent that comes out of this contest. I can't believe the talent improves, but it does every year!

I'll post the first place stories on my blog this year. Keep looking for this in December or January.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Jill meets Authors in Salt Spring

We recently returned from our favorite island in B.C., Salt Spring Island. We go there every year to sea kayak and relax in the peace and beauty of a Canadian island. We've made many friends over the years! This year, I had the pleasure of meeting two remarkable authors: Margriet Ruurs has written 28 children's books and owns a bed and breakfast which is a book lovers' paradise. We had a cup of tea one afternoon and shared our mutual love of writing for kids. We also enjoy teaching children the process of writing a book. Recently, she traveled to South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Mongolia. She even took a journey into the heart of the Gobi Desert--sounded amazing!

I also got to meet Wendy Orr, a wonderful author who has written numerous books including Nim's Island which was made into a movie. She was on Salt Spring staying with her parents so after we got in touch, I went over to her mom's beautiful home overlooking the western part of the island. It was a lovely visit--her mom talked all about living on Salt Spring for 30 years!! She also told me about their many adventures sailing! We didn't have a ton of time to discuss books but it was great finally connecting.

Salt Spring is a small island and yet has numerous independent bookstores (thank goodness) which I find so wonderful and exciting. Personally, I spend hours in Volume 11 where yearly, Betty gives me great suggestions that I love and pass onto my book club.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

School Visits In Sandpoint, Idaho

In May, I traveled to Sandpoint, Idaho and visited two schools-- Washington Elementary and Koontenai Elementary Schools. I felt so welcomed and couldn't believe the enthusiasm from both the students and from the faculty. In the photo is one of the winners from the button contest at Washington Elementary School. The students all drew pictures from my Fraser the Yellow Dog books. The two winning artists got their images printed on buttons that all of us wore at "Authors, Arts and Us" day.

Kootenai School had a similar contest but instead of buttons, they had stickers made. These future artists will take on the world!!

I will post some of the amazing artwork in future blogs.

I love to visit schools and pass on my joy of writing.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Fraser the Yellow Dog visits Sandpoint, Idaho!

Here I am with my best buddy from 25 years ago, Shari French who lived in
Aspen. She now lives up in Sandpoint, Idaho. I'm up here visiting, enjoying the gorgeous weather, playing on the calm water... OK, so I arrived on May 11th and it was 70 degrees here in Idaho and Aspen received over a foot of snow. Yahoo. While here, I did two school visits: Kootenai School one day and then Washington School the next. Both days, I was lucky to be the featured author and to teach the students how a book is made. At Washington School, they have an annual author day which is so wonderful: they really go all out with parent participation, amazing meals, and the annual "button contest" where each student draws a prespective button to go along with my Fraser books. The students' artwork was incredible and the winners' art goes on the actual buttons. I will be featuring their art work and photos soon. Check back!