Tuesday, October 26, 2010

KidLit Con 2010: Dandelion Syrup

This is the Swan Garden. It is a repurposed dog kennel near my house. Sometimes the Swan Gardener installs new artificial flowers and rearranges the swans, but mostly the swan garden finds its own way through the year. 
The first and most important thing I learned at KidLit Con was the same thing I always need to learn: Wherever I go, there I am.* I am not an excellent reporter--but I am an indexer, so I can point you to information that may be of use. Your best first stop is the list of recaps at the KidLit Con site that will be growing as further recaps are posted.

Here are a few annotated entries. (Note: Some of these blogs may be at LiveJournal. Someone referred to Live Journal as a "gated community" because there are barriers to access.)

Stacked: librarians. reviews. meyhem  Excellent summaries of the sessions supplemented with crisp personal observations. I had a chance to talk a little with Kelly J. and Alea

The Writer's Armchair with Toby Speed  Many links to sites of other attendees. Toby is one reason I'm inspired to start participating in Poetry Friday on my blog (more on that later).

Maggie Stiefvater The "poster child of blogging" gave the keynote where she shared Eight Things about Blogging. She is also one of the Merry Sisters of Fate who presented a panel discussion on critique partnerships.

Rasco from RIF Carol Rasco, the CEO of Reading is Fundamental, shares her five takeaways. I find it reassuring that she is also striving to make her blog serve its mission and audience.

So what does any of this have to do with dandelion syrup?

The recipe came up in a wonderful conversation. Like all the best conversations, I had no idea what was going to happen, but mom/blogger/poet Amy of The Poem Farm made me deeply happy when she told me about her children gathering bowls of yellow petals, of boiling them down and adding "so much" sugar, and of the result, concentrated and beautiful. I'm more OK with myself now: My lawn isn't a monoculture and my life isn't either--my blog is true to that.

Finally, I know some of you are not on Twitter, but I want you to know that you can use Monitter to dip a toe in the tweetstream. I discovered it when Twitter was the best source of news about a gas explosion that demolished Main Street Bozeman. If you want to follow a person or a topic, try it. It's totally free--and no commitment at all. Meanwhile. . .

Greg Pincus at The Happy Accident posted a transcript of the Twitter traffic at #kidlitcon.

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So, what am I going to do? Well, I'm going to participate in Poetry Friday, hosted this week by Toby Speed. I'm going to tweak my this blog's commenting feature so it's easier to have a conversation in the comments. (Threaded comments, that's the plan. I'm pursuing the most flexible, idiot-proof system. I'm a fine test case for idiot-proofing.) I know that one of the tags I'm going to start using will be economics, but that can't scare you anymore than it scares me. I'm grateful for your support. If you have questions, please ask--I'll try to point you to a good answer.

* There is no escaping me, at least not for me--the rest of you can flee on foot. 

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