going and coming: keene

The first fire of the season, and the copy edited manuscript for Revolution, book two of the '60s trilogy
After a trip to the north Georgia mountains to bring back apples and the last of the year's tomatoes
preparing for the trip
a stop along the way
David White, the founder and organizer of the Keene State Children's Literature Festival, with writer and artist Eric Velasquez
Jon Muth speaking
Lita Judge and David Judge, two of my favorite people.
David and Lita talking with Brian Lies at the end of the day
reception winding down after a long and lovely day of speakers and presentations
working on a hat while flying home on Sunday
Here's an experiment in forms. I took all photos with my new phone, an iPhone 4s, and used the blogger app to pull photos from the camera roll on the phone as well as from my Instagram app on the phone, so it looks like some photos are different sizes... the Instagram photos look smaller to me.

At any rate, welcome to the smart phone world, Deborah Wiles, and a new way of communicating via photos. I left the cozy fire and the copy-edited manuscript of Revolution behind (well, the CE ms went with me on my laptop), left the apples and tomatoes that were almost ready for attention, and prepared myself for a weekend of newness -- people and talking and traveling and negotiating a new place... and it was marvelous.

The Keene State Children's Literature Festival is in its 37th year. I presented with Jon Muth, Eric Velasquez, Brian Lies, and Ruth Sanderson. We rocked. hahahaha. The audience was utterly amazing, the kind of people who want you to do well. so send you good vibes, all day long, so you stand up a big straighter and bring your best game to the room.  There were lots of knitters, too, including me.

The speakers bowled me over. All of them illustrate but me, although I did show a slide of the map I drew for the inside front of Love, Ruby Lavender, so there. ha! Not quite on the same par. And the conversations we had together! Mind-stretching, thought-provoking, belly-laughing stuff. That's the best kind of togetherness.

I saw good friends, I made new friends, and I was sad to leave them all. Thank you to David White, who organizes this festival every year (the art gallery of original children's book artwork at Keene is worth going to see, even when there is no festival to attend), and thank you all the helpers at Keene (Hey, Pru!), to everyone in the audience, and on the podium, for embracing me and making me feel welcome.

Even when I'm sad to leave, I'm overjoyed to be home. The apples and the tomatoes wait patiently. The firewood is delivered this afternoon. The rain drizzles outside my window. The coffee is hot. The chair is comfortable. The stillness and the silence is essential.

I have four days to finish my last pass through Revolution before I can make no more changes. I have addressed all my copy editor's queries, and now I'm reading for story and flow and language and rhythm and clarity... that sort of thing. I love this part. I'm on page 58 of 482. eeep.

And, at the same time, my five-year-old laptop is literally falling apart -- now the screen is separating from the body. I've saved the copy edit to a thumb drive. I hope the computer allows me to finish my work on the novel before I need to replace it. And so it goes...


  1. Debbie- It was great to meet you at the Festival in Keene last Saturday. Your presentation was, literally, awesome and inspiring. The standing ovation you received was well- deserved. I love your Aurora County books and am now halfway through Countdown. Thanks for sharing your talent and passion with all of us. Amy LaPierre

    1. Hi, Any. I'm so glad we met. I'm truly bowled over by all of you at Keene, and feel so lucky to have spent some time together. Thanks for reading, and for all your kind words. I hope we meet again! xoxoxo Debbie Wiles

    2. AMY. My old eyes can't see that tiny print! xo


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