Book Fair Fall 2022–CoronaLife Day 936

Last week was IN. SANE. I had meetings or activities every night, plus it was the always busy BOOK FAIR! This Fair was Lego-themed, as we are building better readers.

Book prices have been rising over the past few years, and we definitely saw far fewer books at $5 or less. Book fairs are already becoming events of priviledge, and if prices continue to rise, the divide between the haves and have nots will become starker.

Disadvantaged children are often the very children that struggle with reading, and who do not have books of their own at home to practice with. Many studies have shown that one of the main predictors of academic success is the number of books in the home.

In an effort to bridge the divide, our school is trying to establish a fund to ensure that kids in need walk out of the Fair with a book in their hands. We did well with it this year, and hope to extend its reach next Fair.


Our next Book Fair will be in 2023. As an example of why I love working with our kids, I had this gem of a conversation with a Kindergartener:

Me: You can use the rest of the money in your account at the next book fair.
K: We’re having another one?
Me: Yes, we are having one in February.
K (looking sad): But I don’t live in February.

I then explained it would be in the same library, but in winter. She was much happier!

I have spent much of this week recuperating from the long days last week, and catching up on a thousand things I had no time for.

I’m hoping to get back into the swing now, but Octobers are historically crazy for me, so we shall see how it goes!

I Barely Blinked… CoronaLife Day 922

How is it blog time already? I feel like I just wrote the last one yesterday!

That “clear week” I thought I had to write last week? I have no idea where it went.

I got no writing done.

My Board of Ed duties and medical stuff ate up many more hours than I expected, which left me too frazzled and scattered to focus on my writing.

I am approaching some of the more difficult edits in Veritas, so I need some solid quiet time to be able to think these things through on the page.

And, no, I was not avoiding the edits through creative procrastination (this time).

I am actually eager to tackle these edits, as I am confident I can improve the story as I barrel toward the end. I am about 85 pages from the end, so I can feel it!

Once I finish these edits, I have farther to go. I will have to re-read it again for continuity. I also have other, smaller threads I want to weave in.

Then I have an entire craft book to read, to see if I can (or have) incorporated the ideas in that book, as suggested by my editor.

Will I get to this in the coming week?

No. No, I will not.



My favorite event, creating and encouraging readers.

Veritas will wait one more week.

BOGO Book Fair–CoronaLife Day 810

Normally, our school librarian throws a Summer Reading Send Off, where kids come into the library, borrow books for the summer, and get some ice cream. It is a TON of work, but our librarian goes above and beyond to foster love of reading.

This year, we had the opportunity to do a THIRD book fair, at the end of the year. So we jumped at the chance, to get books into kids’ hands for the summer that they could keep. It was easier for the librarian, and it allowed her to take a much more accurate inventory over the summer.

This third book fair has a twist, though. It is a BOGO, buy one get one free. Which means the kids get twice the books for their money. The book fair was smaller than the others, but the selection was good. The only drawback is that we cannot reorder books we sell out of to restock. However, there is an online component, so parents can order any book they really wanted from there.

The excitement from the kids for this book fair has been tremendous! I’m not sure if it’s the BOGO aspect, or just end of year enthusiasm, but books are flying off the shelf. Thursday is the last day of the fair, and we should just make it, inventory-wise.

I love that our school encourages and supports reading so much. I love the enthusiasm of our librarian, and of the PTA volunteers who run the fairs. And I LOVE the kids’ faces as they buy their books, with huge smiles and shining eyes.

Happy reading!

May’s End—CoronaLife Day 803

It’s funny how getting out of your usual schedule can mess you up so badly. First thing was that the flu hit our house over the past two weeks. My daughter got sick, so I took her to the doctor. Never thought about flu this late in the season, but her doctor said they had been seeing a lot of flu in the kids, so tested her for strep, flu, and Covid. Flu came back positive.

I caught it several days later, and my husband followed the next week. This is my first time in my life having the flu, and I was not a fan! Since we all had the flu shot this year, none of us got terribly sick, but it was enough for me. I am not a good patient, I get frustrated with being ill, especially when I am just sick enough to be out of commission but not so sick that I really don’t care about anything.

So after recovering from that (I’m still rebuilding my exercise regimen), I dove into playing catch-up with everything I had missed. It’s exactly like returning to work after a vacation, except I did not at all enjoy my time away!

I am happy to be back on my feet now, though, as our third and final Book Fair of the year starts today! I’ll be helping to set up today, and the kids will start coming through on Tuesday, after the holiday.

It’s hard to believe that June is on the horizon, and school will be ending in a few weeks. The end-of-year craziness is upon us, with many events and wrap-ups to take care of in the coming days. I do look forward to being able to sleep in once school is done. My child is old enough now that I do not need to get up when she does, so maybe I will finally get more than 6 hours of sleep a night.

So how are you wrapping up May?

Book Fair Spring 2022–CoronaLife Day 705

We are at the tail end of our spring book Fair, and it’s a jungle out there!

This is our second in-person Fair since the pandemic, and once more the kids are loving having books in their hands.

Watching them shop is fun. Some want every book they see, regardless of topic. Some are overwhelmed by the number of choices and get paralyzed. Some are very hard to match with a book, but once you find the right one, the joy beams from their faces.

Our kids are learning economics, too. Even the kindergarteners quickly learn where to look for the price of the book. We have to collect sales tax, so explaining that to the kids is sometimes difficult. One middle schooler exclaimed, “Tax?! Is this what it’s like to be an adult?”

Yes. Yes, it is.

The kids also learn to budget their money, to prioritize which books they most want, and to understand that they can’t always get everything they want.

Clearly, the Book Fair is about more than reading.

I have worked the book Fairs for 7 years now. I never tire of watching the love of reading pass down to the next batch of youngsters that come through.

The Goose’s Quill Top 10 Posts of 2019

I always like to see what my readers responded to in the past year. I found a mixed bag this year, from writing-related posts, to personal celebrations, to the on-going drama of my daughter’s fish tank. In case you missed any, here are the 10 most popular posts of 2019:

10. A Successful, Grateful Book Launch for The Witch of Zal

9. A Muddy Revision Slog

8. Three Benefits of Reading to Older Children

7. Revision Difficulty? Maybe It’s Your Theme

6. The Fish Saga Continues: RIP Gem

5. Celebrating 50 Years!

4. Considering a Social Media Break

3. On Being a Low-Energy Person in a High-Energy World

2. Book Fair Magic: Casting a Reading Spell

And my number one post of 2019:

1. Speak Up: Democracy is Not a Spectator Sport

I hope you all enjoyed this look back at 2019! May your holiday season be happy and safe, and I will see you all back here in 2020!

A Bookish Week

This is one of my favorite weeks of the year—the Spring Book Fair! This year’s theme is “Chill Out at the Book Fair”. Given that it’s still pretty hot here, that is appropriate. Our library looks like the North Pole, with snowflakes, icicles, snow blocks, and a polar bear.

While the youngest grades are the most work, they are also some of the most rewarding to work with. Today, as I helped a group of 1st graders fill out their book lists, they would eagerly ask me, “How many more can I get?” over and over, as they brought me book after book to add.

The kids pick their books in all different ways, too. Some kids want every book on the shelf, hardly able to make any sort of choice. Some browse through each book very carefully before they decide whether to add it to their list. There’s no right way to do it—they always end up with a good list.

The Book Fair began Monday, and will wrap up on Friday. But my Bookish Week doesn’t end there.

I have my first book event of the season this weekend!

On Sunday I will be at the New Providence Book Festival. I enjoyed myself the first time I was there in 2017 and look forward to hanging out with the authors in the pretty area around The Salt Museum in New Providence. The weather seems like it will be quite nice, so I’m hoping for a good crowd of book lovers.

New Providence 2017

I will undoubtedly be exhausted by the long week of bookish events, but I revel in it anyway. Spending time with book lovers, whether they are in Kindergarten or are fully grown, is always a pleasure.

Please support your school’s Book Fair, and if you are in New Providence, stop in and say hello!

The Best of The Goose’s Quill 2018

I always enjoy looking back over the past year and seeing what posts readers enjoyed most. I see an unexpected pattern with the top 4. Enjoy!

10. Genetic Genealogy: Proving the Paper Trail

9. Anxiety Spiral: Idling in “A” Gear

8. Control Your Inner Critic: The Power of a Name

7. Power Outage 2018

6. The Split Brain Phenomenon: On the Outside Looking In

5. On Being a Low-Energy Person in a High-Energy World

4. Spring Book Fair 2018: Snowmaggedon!

3. The Enchanted Book Fair: Fall 2018

2. 48 Years

1. Book Fair Magic: Casting a Reading Spell

Thank you to everyone who has read The Goose’s Quill this year! I hope you all have a safe healthy, happy 2019!

The Enchanted Book Fair: Fall 2018

It’s the most crazy time of year again! Book Fair week! This time we did not get closed by a blizzard, thankfully.

This year’s theme was Enchanted Forest, and our Book Fair moms did a great job bringing the magic to the library. And the kids felt it. One mom commented that she loved watching the kindergarteners when they first rounded the corner into the section where the books are. Their eyes get huge and they stare and some even gasp. They feel the magic.





The early part of the week is the hardest part, when we need the most parents in to help. That is the time when the kids come in to create Wish Lists to bring home to their parents. Many of the kindergarteners can’t read or write yet, so they need helpers to get their lists in order. Some of the first graders do, too, although by second grade they’re pretty self-sufficient.

The latter part of the week, the children return with money (and hopefully their lists), and buy their books. Again, the kindergarteners need the most help, since most of them have no clue about money. One little boy was proud and excited because he was taking a penny home to his mom as change.

But the best part, to me, is seeing the kids hugging their books as they leave. Even the older kids—too cool to actually hug the books anymore—clutch them possessively, a quiet joy hidden under the laconic exterior. Every child, young or old, takes some of the magic out into the world with them, as if trailing pixie dust in their wake.

Enchanted, indeed.



Trippin’: Where I’ll Be When

Summer seemed to last FOREVER this year, and now all of a sudden we are halfway through September and my life is frantically book-busy. My first event has snuck up on me!

This Saturday, September 16th (weather permitting), I will be at the New Providence Book Festival, from 9 AM to 3 PM. I will have a reading and Q&A at 10:30 AM.

Then I will have a whirlwind week helping out at the Book Fair at my daughter’s school, which isn’t at all related to my personal book business, but is still a book related event and a great deal of fun.

The next Saturday, September 23rd, will see me at Eastampton Day (unless the New Providence Festival gets rained out, then I’ll be at that rain date), from 12 to 4:30 PM.

I get a bit of a break until October, when I am booked into 2 events. The first is the Collingswood Book Festival on October 7th from 10 AM to 4 PM. Hopefully it will not rain this year, as I want to experience the festival in its full outdoor glory.

The second event is River Reads on October 15th from 10 AM to 4 PM. I was at the inaugural event last year, and it was a lot of fun! This year they have added a River Reads Workshop as well, so if you are a writer, check it out!

Another event for November is in the works, but nothing has been finalized yet.

So that’s my busy book schedule so far. All these events felt so far away, and now the first of them is right on my doorstep! I thought with my daughter back in school, things would get a little less crazy for me, but it seems things are simply going to be crazy in a different way.

Any of you going to be at cool events in the next few months?

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