Friday, February 27, 2009

Exciting Times...

My new book is set to arrive next week and exciting events are happening all over to celebrate the new arrival.

I'll be running a series of guest blogs here and on the Darby Speaks page (the blog celebrating Darby Christopher, the main character in the new book) with give-aways galore. Darby and I will both be twittering and blogging all the news.

(You can find my tweets @kcdyer, if you're looking.)

Next post I'll put up a proper-sized copy of the beautiful poster the folks at Doubleday have done for my launch, but for now, here's a sneak peek.

As (I hope) you can see, the date for the first official launch is March 12. More details tomorrow -- be sure to check back then!


New post up on Darby Speaks with a link to a very funny article from the Times Online regarding the translation of caveman-speak to modern English. Might have been a bit helpful for Darby if she'd had something like that!

More soon.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Shout out to Van Tech

Had another great visit with the kids at Vancouver Technical Secondary School today -- great to see the school again (third year in a row!). Many thanks to librarian Margaret O'Brien for the invitation.

A few other tabs to close here....

Came across THIS SITE the other day from a link on twitter... enjoyed looking at the fruits of the labours of photographers who managed to get what I so often missed -- shots taken at JUST the right time.

A couple of writerly things coming up soonishly...

From Judith Saltman via Norma Charles, a free event this week...And please note the reference to Serendipity, another annual spring event, also coming up soon. It's a two-for-one announcement!

The Master of Arts in Children's Literature Program Presents
Perry Nodelman and Geoff Williams

"A Conversation on the Poetics and Aesthetics of Picture Books"

Thursday Feb 26, 2009
5:30 - 6:30 p.m.

The Dodson Room, Room 302, Level 3, Chapman Learning Commons,
Ike Barber Learning Centre
(Formerly UBC's Main Library-Entrance 1961 East Mall)

Reception following, 6:30-7:30 pm
School of Library, Archival & Information Studies Lounge
Suite 470, Level 4, Ike Barber Learning Centre

Perry Nodelman is Professor Emeritus, University of Winnipeg, and internationally respected children's literature critic. He is the author of Words about Pictures: The Narrative Art of Children's Picture Books (U of Georgia P), The Pleasures of Children's Literature (with Mavis Reimer, Allyn & Bacon), and The Hidden Adult: Defining Children's Literature (Johns Hopkins). He is also editor of the journal, Canadian Children's Literature. His children's books include Not A Nickel to Spare: The Great Depression Diary of Sally Cohen, Toronto 1932 (Scholastic).

Geoff Williams is widely known for his work on semiotic approaches to language and illustration. He is Professor and Head of Language and Literacy Education in the Faculty of Education at UBC. He is the co-editor with Annabelle Lukin of The Development of Language (Continuum).

Perry Nodelman is also speaking at Serendipity, the annual one day conference presented by the Vancouver Children's Literature Roundtable, on Saturday, February 28th, 2009.


Monday, February 23, 2009

Twittering Signs O' Spring

Just popping on quickly here to impart a few Monday notes.

First -- I spotted this collection of crocuses this weekend as I was driving. Since there was someone right behind me, I pulled off and came around the block again to get this picture. (Shot, sadly, on my iphone -- a lovely little gizmo to have but no match for my SLR...)

The tiny boulevard at the side of the road was awash in purple. Not only sprouting -- but blooming! Bestill my heart. You think this might be a sign of spring?

And speaking of spring, it might be pouring outside at the moment, but the birds are loving the milder weather and tweeting up a storm.

I, too, am fond of a good twitter, so if you are so inclined, you can find me tweeting @kcdyer

I'm off to do a couple of gigs tomorrow at Van Tech Secondary -- will report on the reception after the fact.

Talk to you then!


Friday, February 20, 2009

Northern Voice '09 Live Blog four...afternoon


Not a live-blog, this one. Left-over notes from yesterday.

In the afternoon, I sat in on Brett McFarland addressing branding: brand interest, brand indifference and how often branding doesn't mean anything, beyond regurgitating 'Free Dumb'.

He talked about how old school brands so often didn't know their audience and lacked conviction. He noted that brand identity is not a thing, but instead a bundle of meaning that is out of your control. Some very interesting thoughts.

After that, I got a chance to listen to Bruce Sharpe who talked about adding audio and video to blogs. And then onto PhotoCamp -- a great afternoon!


Northern Voice '09 Live Blog three...Death of Advertising

Death of Advertising...some very interesting ideas being put forward by Chris Heuer... he contends advertising as we now know it must die -- Instead by educating people you build trust -- you add value to your product. the means of production no longer require you to have to spend money on advertising. (Uses Will it Blend as an example... selling blenders due to an amazing demo and very low costs). Advertising money needs to be spent on relationship building rather than transaction-driving -- a huge change. A return to real marketing -- matching your product or service with the people who most will benefit from it. Interupt-driven advertising is dying --PigPen is the epitome of social media -- messy, whirling dervish, he is who he is.

So here's the thing -- when your product is books and the advertising expert says he hasn't read any books lately -- he gets all his info from blogs... is one left feeling depressed or invigorated by the challenge?

More soon!


Northern Voice '09 Live Blog Two...Geek Alert

Stuart Butterfield was really funny. Found out that this founder of Flickr is from Lund -- child of hippies. He chatted about why he loves the Internet, and his experience with it -- all the while wearing his lucky shoes. Will add pic later.

Right now sitting in the mobile stream, listening to a talk about streaming video. I didn't go to the 'Why blog?' session for obvious reasons and the Blogging in Canada session got cancelled.

This one was short and sweet -- not sure where live-streaming will work for me -- I want someone to tell me how to sync THIS blog into my website. Can't find anything to help me just yet...

More soon.


Northern Voice '09 Live Blog One...Geek Alert

9:12 am

Okay -- made it here this morning, the bridges were BOTH miraculously clear and the sun is shining just like it was last year. The karma gods love Northern Voice!

In a flurry of geek euphoria, I even managed an iphone tweet while in line for registration. I downloaded Twitterific this week, but coulnd't get it to work, so I tried Twitterfone and it did the trick.

Just got a picture of my buddy Dale helping set up the speaker connections at the front of the room. I haven't actually seen him in person, yet, so this qualifies as cyberstalking, I believe. But he's one of the organizers here, so he's fair game. Since this is a live blog, I'll go back in and insert the pix tonight. [Edited to add screen shot of opening remarks -- full joint, as usual].

Overheard: "Nice to meet you -- you look just like your iPod." Must have mis-heard.

Darren Barefoot is here this year -- met him over a Skype line last year, as that's how he attended from wherever he was in Asia. He was a featured speaker at SiWC in 2008, bringing blogging to the writing world. Caught a glimpse of Boris in the distance -- but so far those are the only faces I know.

Quite wrecked about not being able to attend tomorrow, but since I do have to take the girl off to the airport, I guess I should actually put the kid first. (But will be missing Nora Young. NORA YOUNG. Alas. Hopefully with the level of geeky enthusiasm here, someone will vlog her keynote.

Keynote this morning is Stewart Butterfield. Will report in when he starts.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Special Guest at Bradford Blog Bash

The Bradford Novels are a unique new series produced by author Micol Ostow and published by Simon and Schuster. Talk about a new media juggernaut -- these books are IT. Video book trailers, character blogs, websites and twitter -- these books are taking the internet by storm.

As a Y/A author (and lover of all things bloggable) I've was interviewed recently and you can find a guest blog post up on their site today.

Many thanks to Simon Pulse Editor Anica Rissi for the opportunity! And congratulations to Micol Ostow for her new series.


Monday, February 16, 2009

iPhone Fog

Spent most of the day in a tech-induced fog, engaged in communication (if you can call it that) with two telecom giants in an ultimately successful bid to get my new iphone to work.

It's a very cool little piece of equipment, and perhaps one day (if I give up writing and any other shot at gainful employment) I may figure out how to use the thing.

For now I am just messing around with it.

If you have any unbeatable suggestions for Apps, feel free to note them in the comments. I am weak. I'm sure I'll have to give them a try...

Two other things of note: the geek-fest I have been looking forward to for a whole year is here again -- Northern Voice Blogging and Social Media Conference runs this weekend up at UBC. (I am still looking for a ticket for Saturday, so if you've got one give me a shout...)

And the Tuesday tell-all is up at the CWILLblog -- citing (of all things) my messy desk as inspiration for the week's topic of choice. Hop over and have a look!

I just remembered a third thing -- my author buddies Lee Edward Fodi and James McCann are en route to Korea on high-powered Secret Agent business this week -- have a great time, guys!


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Roald Dahl's Desk

My desk is a mess.

Not much new in that -- every once and a while I need a good excavation to clear things away, and now is pretty much the time.

Writing spaces are always interesting -- currently my desk is filled with paper (natch) and arcana -- gargoyles, a model of a tower in Portugal where I set a chase scene in SHADES OF RED, my steampunk clock, a rubber bat, a few skulls, a little sumo given to me by writer Linda Gerber many years ago, pictures, sketches, driftwood, crows, rocks, spiders, swords, rats, books on weaponry, plus all the techie paraphenalia and so much more I don't dare even list it.

I'm in awe of those who can write in spartan spaces -- don't really understand how it is done, but admire 'em all the same.

Just for fun, here's a writing space that might interest you ... a pretty plain little spot for the creation of so many marvellous stories!

Roald Dahl's Writing Hut

Someone tweeted this link to me, but I've lost the attribution. Sorry...


PS Happy Valentine's Day to all who engage in that sort of thing. Click HERE to add a little sugar to someone's day...

Friday, February 13, 2009

Calling all Guildies...

As I type these words, my son sits beside me, deep in battle on World of Warcraft.

I can hear you now -- shock emanating from every pore -- spluttering: "How can you allow this? It's an insidious game, taking your sweet boy away from his first true love -- his studies."

Ah. Well, perhaps your thoughts are not quite along those lines. And it's possible that his studies don't exactly qualify as the boy's first true love. (Just for the record, there's no school today...)

All this to say that perhaps I might have some small [teeny] interest in the game myself. But since my life presently doesn't allow me to immerse myself in RPG, instead, I sit beside the boy as he slays monsters, and once a week I indulge in The Guild.

Brain child of Felicia Day, it's an internet program about what happens to the lives of a group of on-line players when they meet on the outside. The final episode of the second season is due on Tuesday, so my gift to you is a chance to catch up on any missed episodes before the season finale, HERE.

Felicia is a colleague of Joss Whedon (having appeared in both Buffy and Dr. Horrible), and Joss's show Dollhouse premieres tonight.

So, if you'll just excuse me, I have to gather with my Guildies, and go watch...


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Right Way Around...

Okay, here we go. New baby, right way 'round.

And now for something completely different... since the new book has left me feeling kinda chipper.

I'm a failure at memes. I just don't have it in me to pass on inanities about myself. I continually let all my friends down with meme-refusal. And don't even get me started on chain letters.

Luckily, my buddy Bill doesn't share the same limitation.

Some of his thoughts:

1 Sometimes I Feele so trapp’d by iambic pentameter... Does that make me a Freake?
2 I haue been Knowne to cry at Bear-baiting.

3 I am not uery ticklish. I am Not. So prithee, do not euen try. Waste. Of. Time.

4 I cannot keep Lice, and know not why.

Care to read more?

The only worthy twenty-five random things about anyone... courtesy of Mike McFadden, HERE.


Monday, February 09, 2009

Weekend Arrival

Guess what I found on my kitchen table when I got home from Calgary?

A new baby!

It won't be out in the world until March 3, but I'm very happy with the first impression.


Sunday, February 08, 2009

One more TED thought....

Seems I'm Not The Only One.

(Thanks to
A Novel Woman....)


Jack and TED

Sunny morning in Calgary. This guy lives in and around my sister's lawn, though this is a picture from the last chilly time I was here. When I saw him on Friday, only the very tips of his ears were black -- the rest pure white. He scratches a little depression in the ground beside the rocks you can see in the picture and will sleep there in the coldest of weather -- remarkable.

February here might mean white jackrabbits and frozen toes, but down in the balmy south it's TED time again.

The TED lectures have been an annual event since...well, the date 1984 springs to mind, but that might be wrong, so I suggest you hie on over to the site and look it up for yourself.

TED stands for Technology Entertainment and Design and the talks that come out of this remarkable conference each year are astonishing in their scope. The TED folks are starting to put up this year's talks on-line right now, and if you go to the site, you can troll through more than 200 from previous years. To me, this is the best use of the internet -- the spreading of knowledge in its purest form, and the chance to hear thoughtful, reasoned and scientific ideas emerging from some of the most brilliant minds of our time. So the next time you read about how the internet is a waste of time, just smile quietly to yourself, crack open a diet coke and enjoy John or Natalie or TED.


Saturday, February 07, 2009

Publishing in Canada

This is my canine nephew, Ronan. He's 10 months old and Very Good Company to his dog-deprived visiting auntie.

Interesting little article in today's Globe (as handed to me by my sister, this morning...)

Publish and Perish...


It's a sunny, blue-sky day here in Calgary, and I'm enjoying a quick weekend visit. My camera battery died last night, so these portraits of Roney-baloney are taken, at some personal risk, with photobooth. Until he got sleepy....


Thursday, February 05, 2009

SERENDIPITY is coming to town

It's that time of year again -- the Vancouver Children's Literature Roundtable is sponsoring Serendipity. This year's featured speakers include Gillian Chan, Rukhsana Khan, Michele Lemieux, Pamela Porter, Perry Nodelman, Kidsbooks's own Phyllis Simon and N/F Canada Information Book award winner Rochelle Strauss.

The event will be held at the University of British Columbia on Saturday, February 28, 2009.
For all the details click HERE.

This year's event is called TELLING OUR STORIES and it's bound to be a good time for all.


Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Fire In the Sky

Another long, weird day. One that requires contemplation prior to articulation. But it ended with quite a show of fire in the sky, so I'll share that instead of verbiage tonight. Not sure which shot I like better... so you get both.

Wishing you peace and safety and the love of those you hold most dear.


Tuesday, February 03, 2009

A Fat Cat Kinda Day

Long day of planning, commuting, meeting, commuting again, plus dogs and kid and a bad driveway thrown in. At least I did not get stuck in an elevator in London, like Stephen Fry, but as he Twittered the whole experience, I did get to enjoy it vicariously.

So instead, this is for Boris and Kesia, with love from Fox and Socks.

Thanks to boingboing for the link.

~kc, who only appears if adorned in hair generously shed by her feline and canine companions...

Monday, February 02, 2009

The Conundrum of the Book Review

For my friend Anita Daher and all the other authors I know...
just read an interesting column on the process of reviewing books with excerpts from both John Updike and Dave Eggars on the site HERE.

These thoughts are tender ones to me, as my newest book baby will be born on March 3rd. I both long for and dread reviews -- the whole process of selling books is one fraught with contradictory emotions for me.

As an author, of course I want people to read, love and connect with my book. But I find the process twists me -- I don't ever want to be in a position to have to sell the public on my work. I want to put it out there, set it free to be enjoyed. You can see where real-world values might clash with this artistic ephemera. I think I have to side with Updike and Eggars, here. What do you think?