Pat McCarthy is the author of a dozen nonfiction books for children and young adults. She has published numerous stories, articles, puzzles and quizzes in magazines for children and adults. She teaches for the Institute of Children's Literature. She has also written encyclopedia articles and school curriculum. Pat is a retired elementary school teacher who subs to remain in touch with kids. Her hobbies are photography, travel, birding and scrapbooking.

Friday, July 27, 2007

River Downs

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Hot-Air Balloons

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Catching Up

I've spent the last couple of weeks catching up with things that I neglected while I was writing the Carver book. I also did a few things for fun. Last Sunday I went with three friends from the Photo Club on an all-day shoot. We went first to a balloon challenge in Middletown, Ohio at 7:00 am. Photographed lots of colorful hot-air balloons with a beautiful blue sky. About 10:00, we went to breakfast, then on to Cincinnati, where we went to River Downs to shoot the horses. (Sounds cruel, doesn't it?). I promise, we only used cameras! We got to sit on the rail along the track and shoot, mostly as the horses crossed the finish line. I'd never shot horse races before, so it was a new experience and lots of fun. Went back to Ken's house and ate pizza, then he put all our digital photos on the TV screen and we critiqued each other's. See, authors aren't the ONLY ones who critique each other's stuff! I'll post a couple of pictures.

I spent most of my time last week getting ready for a garage sale. I'm not sure $86 was enough compensation for all that work! I sold mostly scrapbook stuff that I had duplicates of.

Today a friend and I went to the Dayton airport and photographed the Thunderbirds practicing for the air show this weekend.

I really am starting to work on my proposal for the Pioneers for Kids book. I'd better, or he might decide to have someone else do it! It's not an assignment, but I think I have a good chance of doing it unless I mess up the proposal. It's something I'd really enjoy doing, with the activities and all.

I enjoyed Suzanne Lieurance's Coaching Club's conference call with Margot Finke. She critiqued the first pages of some of our mid-grade novels, which was helpful and interesting. I need to send my novel out to some more publishers. It's had three rejections so far.

I also wrote a short article on Daniel Boone for Fandangle, Nancy Cavanaugh's online children's magazine.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Book Is Done!

I finished my George Washington Carver book on the day it was due and e-mailed it. Then I still had to make copies of photos I wanted them to use and my sources. That took till 4:00 am, then I had to get up at 7:00 and drive to Chicago. I took my friend, Jan, to visit her daughter. Jan has heart problems and doesn't drive out of town. We had a nice visit, went out to eat a lot, visited the Chicago Botanic Gardens, and saw some of Jan's relatives that I know. We came back Sunday.
The next order of business is writing a proposal for an activity book on pioneers. Actually, it's a 40,000-word book with 21 activities. Activity book sounds like one of those little thin books I used to buy when I was teaching. There will be a lot more to this.
Had to take Oz, my cat, to the vet yesterday. He's been sneezing and spent two days lying in the litterbox. He also has fleas. It's an upper respiratory infection. The vet gave him a shot and some medicine, so I'm risking scratches and puncture wounds twice a day to squirt medicine in his mouth.
I'm also getting ready for a garage sale, which will be a week from tomorrow. Have to take the ad in today. This is a real job. I have innumerable big plastic bins full of stuff I took out of the garage when I had it made into a family room. They've been piled in one room ever since. I'm hoping to either sell, pitch or give away most of it. Good luck. I'm the epitome of procrastinators. I blame my Grandpa Cutler and need to write a piece called "Grandpa Was a Packrat."
Off to work.

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