March Notes: Bologna Children's Book Fair, Where to Pitch, a Writer's Retreat (with Kids!) and Doing Less

Early in the morning, if I think to consider my to-do list, I reserve the first two slots for tasks relating to my ‘thing’. Chalene Johnson calls this a push goal; Gary Keller calls it ‘The One Thing’; Greg McKeown calls it essentialism. My daughter’s nursery school teacher calls it the tortoise and the hare; Anne Lamott describes it the way her father once did to her brother, the night before a book report on an overwhelming number of birds was due: “Take it bird by bird, buddy. Bird by bird.”  [Read the full article at Dear Handmade Life: Want to Get Big Things Done? Try Doing Less.]

What I Read

I've been eyeing the Bologna Book Fair, and dreaming about returning to this northern Italian city one day. For those of you, like me, who can't wait to hear the reports from attendees, agents and publishers discuss trends in advance of the big kid-lit fair happening in just a couple of weeks. "Take chances, make mistakes, get messy!" and more advice from the Magic School Bus' Ms. FrizzleRebecca Solnit on resistance and people power in the face of brutality and inhumanity. Hey America! Want to become an education superpower? Value equality more than excellence. Erin Stead on the new and acclaimed children's book, Tony: “It’s a really loud world out there, and this is a quiet little postage stamp of a piece of art.” The young adult book Flying Lessons & Other Stories, edited by Ellen Oh. When you celebrate men in a female-dominant profession: rock star librarians article hits sour note. A resource for writers: where to pitch. And, a residency for writers (with young children!).

What We Read

Added Pippi Longstocking to my list of books for school age kids and Roald Dahl's George's Marvelous Medicine (this book is very naughty which makes it a great book, according to my almost-five year old). Ms. Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten (because I went to the Kindergarten open house last week and subsequently couldn't deal with the reality that my baby is soon to be a school age child who does school age things like purchase pizza lunch on Friday.)

What I Wrote

Want to Get Big Things Done? Try Doing Less [Dear Handmade Life]. Updated my running list of Not-to-Miss Spring and Summer Events North of NYC. Reorganized my writing clips.

What I Heard + Saw

I am adoring, and slow-watching, the exquisite Netflix series The Crown. The mini-documentaries produced by the Atlantic are top-notch (here's one on the assimilation of an Iraqi family in California). Our politics, our kids. "I'm worried that I'm not worried.

We Should Make

This alphabetthese firetrucks, and a field trip here.