Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Buckeye to Lone Star

When I landed in Cleveland, Ohio last week, I zoomed straight to the house used as Ralphie's in A Christmas Story. I took a tour of the place previously, as seen here, but this time I just wanted to get a couple shots with it as a background for my soon-to-be released Christmas story.

In earlier trips to the area, I never got to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but this time I was determined to change that. So I did! And I got to see one of Slash's hats...

and Bruce's outfit from his Born in the U.S.A. album cover...

and the scribbled lyrics to Jimi's originally titled "Purple Haze Jesus Saves".

But in beweent the Christmas house and the hall of rock, I visited Holy Name High School in Parma Heights.

They were a lovely bunch of nicely dressed students.

And they had some of the best questions. There were questions about character motivation, my own take-away from my books, and even a request to try to get Selena Gomez as some dude's prom date.

Then I had snacks and further conversation with 13 students. (The number 13 was just a coincidence...they said.)

After Ohio, I took a brief breather in California, then it was back on a plane to Texas. There, I visited several very nice art museums in Fort Worth, featuring artists I've studied a lot recently, like Thomas Cole.

That evening, I met up with the organizers and fellow authors to kick-off the Mansfield Book Festival Mellow Mushroom. Here I am with Daniel Jose Older and Christina Diaz Gonzales with our cupcakes (provided by Creations Baking Company).

The first presentation I went to was for Kid Chef Eliana. She is an incredible presenter...

and a delicious cook! I had her book Cool Kids Cook: Fresh and Fit signed for Isaiah.

One of the most entertaining while educational presentations I've seen was Nathan Hale's discussion of his "Hazardous Tales" series. Is there any better combination than hilarious and historical? I mean, if Nathan and Eliana did a program together, that would unbeatable!

I gave a keynote presentation, which is always fun (though slightly intimidating when other authors are present), where I got to get rid of more packets of my What Light hot chocolate in exchange for questions.

That was followed by a panel about social media with Julie Murphy and Kelsey Macke. So this pic, I guess, is Murphy, Mac and Me!

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