Monday, June 18, 2007

A Shoe In The Door?

Getting sponsorship is quite an undertaking! If I take it as a whole, it's almost paralyzing. But Mark and I have been taking it bit by bit, and our latest effort has been to contact Asics and send them a copy of this picture. Those are the Asics shoes we've run through this past year.

We're a shoe-in, don't you think?

Friday, June 15, 2007

Sharpening the Saw

We're back from a few much-needed days away to San Francisco. What a beautiful city! The skies were clear, and when the winds weren't gusting it was actually warm. Whenever I'm in a new city / place, I like to take a "jogging tour" of the area, so Mark, the kids, and I jogged from our motel down to the water and across the Golden Gate bridge and back. It was about 8 miles round-trip (a bit much for the kids) but what a great run! The next day we walked to and around the Embarcadero, then took a tour of Alcatraz. And the next day we spent in China Town. My ankles /calves are sore! I brought writing work to do, but by the time we were in each evening I was too tired to tackle it. Mark calls time away "sharpening the saw", and he's right -- our saws definitely needed sharpening!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Cyber Fun For Everyone

Just a quick update: The Shredderman movie aired last night on Nickelodeon. It's the first one of my books that's been turned into a movie, but I was so busy that I did not throw a party. What was I thinking? I got calls from friends and relatives today saying they had Shredderman parties, and I started feeling like I really missed out. Next time! A "Behind the Scenes" segment airs tonight, and my kids are secretly hoping there'll be a glimpse of them in it (because we spent a day "on the set") but I really doubt it. BTW, the whole cast was really great to the kids -- Nolan (aka Ned aka Devin) was super nice to them and Bubba (aka Andrew) is as funny in real life as he is in the movie. There is talk of additional Shredderman movies and if Nick does do one, I hope they structure it around the storyline of the 4th book: Enemy Spy. Andrew/Bubba would be great as Shredderman's sidekick--instead of the guy who's always side-kicking him. Cyber fun for everyone!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?

In case you were wondering, there is a reason I haven't posted anything in a while, which I will get to, probably next time.

But right now I've got to share last night's experience attending a play at an elementary school. Under the guidance of two amazing teachers, a fifth grade class put on a play titled Sammy Keyes and the Marathon Mystery. The characters in this cast of 34 fifth graders included Sammy Keyes, Shredderman, "Gwendolyn Van Drama", Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and a "KSPY" newscaster named Wendy Freeze. The plot involved someone stealing the pledge forms (and money!) from a school that was participating in the Exercise the Right to Read campaign. The play was funny and smart, the kids remembered all their lines and were great physical actors, and the whole project was their way of sharing with their community the merits of participating in the Exercise the Right to Read campaign.

It's flattering enough to have your characters and fundraising concept be at the heart of a school play, but what just boggles my mind is that these teachers wrote this play over Memorial weekend! Their kids learned their lines and parts and put together backdrops and costumes and programs in, like, ten days!

Last night as I was reflecting on what I'd witnessed, I thought about all the work involved in being a teacher. With all the changes in education, most teachers don't have the energy or feel they have the time to pull together anything extra-curricular. And yet, when these kids look back on their 5th grade experience, it's not the facts and figures or their test scores that they'll remember.

What they'll remember is the extra-curricular -- things like being in the play.