Friday, April 11, 2008


I'll be playing a bit of blog catch-up today...seems like I've been doing quite a lot of that lately. You'd think from my silence that I don't care about the Jayhawks' win--but I do, I do! Or about Obama's Wright problem, or now his supposed elitism--not true! It's just that, sadly, blogging has taken a back seat to other concerns.

Such as: my visit to Havana. Hola, everyone! No, not that Havana. On Thursday I did a school visit at New Central Elementary in Havana, Illinois. Havana is a nice town of about 4,000, two hours west of Champaign on the Illinois River. They were a great bunch of kids, not to mention the teachers, administrators, and the PTO folks who coordinated everything.

Since most of my published books are about science, I talked about the importance of curiosity and imagination for both scientists and writers. As proof of my childhood imagination, I brought a prop:
Members of my family will remember that I once had a pet tumbleweed. Named Tumbly, of course. (My good imagination did not extend to names, it seems. We also had a pigeon named Pigey, a possum named Possie, I named my calico cat Callie.)

I didn't have my original Tumbly, of course, and tumbleweeds are not common creatures in central Illinois. But of course you can find anything on the internet. Sure enough, I found the Prairie Tumbleweed Farm in Garden City, Kansas. For $15-25 dollars (depending on size), plus shipping and handling, I could have my very own tumbleweed. That seemed a little steep. So I asked my brother Eric, who also lived in Garden City, if he could send me one. And he came through, with not one, but two, and I think you'll agree that he had a good time doing it:

That's right, I got a couple of rescue tumbleweeds. I'm trying to take good care of them. More visuals in the next post.

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