AUGUST kept me busy.

I wrote a poem for Jill Corcoran's forthcoming DARE TO DREAM...CHANGE THE WORLD (Kane Miller Books)about the incredible artist, Georgia O'Keeffe, titled "Painter." I chose O'Keeffe in that Charles and I twice stayed in an attic atelier she once lived in and painted from in a Taos,New Mexico, inn. One could feel her presence in a room where you had to climb an endless amount of stone stairs to reach. The poem will be paired with a usually wondrous verse by my dearest friend, Rebecca Kai Dotlich, titled "Cloudscape". Rebecca is one of those rare poets who gives me goose bumps with her use of language.

I also wrote a poem for a new Janet Wong/Sylvia Vardell young adult ebook project, p*tag being launched in October. The poem was based on an extraordinary photograph Sylvia took of a statue in New Orleans. The poem, "Book" is paired with the whimiscial work of Sonya Sones titled "Crush" -- a work about teenaged angst, of course.

I am beyond thrilled to be working again with Rebecca M. Davis,now working with Boyds Mills Press/Wordsong. A new collection, JUMPING OFF THE LIBRARY SHELVES is in the works. Of course the title is tentative and in very early stages of development. I did, however, write a poem called "Storyteller: For Augusta Baker". Augusta, one of the top librarians in the country, and a dear friend of mine was indeed, the storyteller.

Rebecca Davis and I go so far back I cannot even remember! We first met when she worked with my beloved agent, Marilyn E. Marlow at Curtis Brown, Ltd. Her career soared from those days to become an editor at houses such as Orchard Books, Simon & Schuster, and Greenwillow Books... we did books together at all houses!

Mid-month I will be recognized by the Lee County (Florida) Board of Education at their monthly meeting for promoting reading on all grade levels in area's public schools and in pre-school programs for underprivileged children.

Also scheduled is a radio interview (remember radio) for HEAR MY PRAYER on WBCL from 10:10 a.m. with Lynne Ford.

Planning is going full-swing for the Third Annual Lee Bennett Hopkins Writing Institute to be held October l5 at Edison State College in Fort Myers. Emma Dryden and I will be keynote speakers. Emma and I worked together when she was the CEO at McElderry Books/Simon & Schuster. Together we did such collections as AMERICA AT WAR, illustrated by the great Stephen Alcorn, and SHARING THE SEASONS with David Diaz' stunning artwork. Further information can be found by clicking EDISON STATE COLLEGE

The social calendar remains quite full. Actually a wee too full! But fun-filled. A long weekend visit from Laura Garcia and her daughter, our five-year old goddaughter, Alexis Marie, will be a rich one, filled with lots of hugs, laughs, and sangria!

Most important is Charles Egita's birthday on September 27. William Shakespeare wrote in MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING: "A star danced/and under that/was I born." How could Shakespeare know that same star danced on Charles' birthdate? And that the star ne'er ceases to twinkle?

Onto tomorrows...