Believe it or not, I’m going to be at a live event next week! This event was supposed to take place in March, but of course, every live event everywhere was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, there are piles of books waiting to be given away to eager young readers. The clever organizer, Colleen Getty, has worked out a way to hold the event and maintain social distancing. Registered participants will drive up in the Wakefield Boys and Girls Club parking lot, be handed books, and get a chance to see the authors of those books in person, but from a good, safe distance. I’ll be there during the 1-3pm time slot if you’d like to wave to me.
Hope to see you there!
Image by Karin Henseler from Pixabay
I have long been fascinated by the Fibonacci sequence because it seems to show up everywhere. You might have noticed it, that certain swirl that shows up on things. Here are a few examples:
In An Elf’s Equations, Sagara describes it like this:
Start with 1, then add the previous number to it (in that case, 0), then add the previous number to that number… 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21… Sagara could describe this elegantly as an equation: xn= xn-1+ xn-2. Not that anyone else she knew appreciated that elegance. She could draw this as a series of blocks, then draw a line through their intersections to make a spiral, the same spiral on snail shells and flower petals and pine cones, even faces. Taking the ratio between any two consecutive numbers in the sequence and averaging them gave Sagara the Golden Ratio, 1.618034, which could usually be simplified to 1.6. This number appears over and over and over again in nature. Sagara’s mother told her it even determined the shape of great storms and swirls of stars in the sky. –pp. 46-47
I think Sagara does an okay job of describing the Fibonacci sequence, but I know someone else who does a spectacular job of explaining it: Vi Hart. Her Doodling in Math Class YouTube series shows just how much fun math can be, and how much it influences art. She has three videos on the Fibonacci sequence. The first is the simplest, Part 2 gets a little more complicated, and Part 3 is very complicated, so see how much you can challenge yourself! I recommend you watch them several times because Vi Hart talks REALLY fast.
Want to find some spirals yourself? Ordinarily, I’d suggest that you go shopping in the grocery aisle of your supermarket and look for pineapples, artichokes, cauliflower, and stalks of brussels sprouts to try out, but since we’re all avoiding grocery stores, go outside! Pine cones, leaves on stalks, flowers (if they’re up and growing in your part of the world), and even acorn caps all have Fibonacci spirals on them. Can you find them? Can you find other spirally things in your yard?
And if you can’t, try drawing slug cats and flowers and pine cones, or come up with new creatures made out of spirals, Sagara, for example, draws spiral dragons.
Tomorrow, I’ll give you a template so you can build your own model of Thea!
At long last, An Elf’s Equations is available for purchase on Amazon.com and available for order at your local bookseller! Today is also Pi Day (3.14), so to celebrate both, I read from the book live on Facebook. You can also watch me read from Chapter 1 here.
As I discussed in my previous post, I’m going to start providing activities related to An Elf’s Equations on Monday and every weekday at 11am EDT while schools are closed for the next two weeks. Here’s my schedule of activities for next week:
Monday, March 16: Decorate your room like Sagara’s room! Sagara loves math, and her room is decorated with all kinds of fun math puzzles and diagrams. Check this blog for downloadable activities.
Tuesday, March 17: Fun with Fibonacci! Draw your own Fibonacci spiral, watch videos about how the spiral is used in art, and go find Fibonacci spirals in nature.
Wednesday, March 18: Make your own Thea with downloadable patterns. Recipe for something chocolate.
Thursday, March 19: Secret message! Use a code to find a message hidden in An Elf’s Equations.
Friday, March 20: Live Question and Answer session. I’ll answer questions asked in the comments on Facebook.
So check back here on Monday at 11am EDT for more fun stuff!
Hello, all! It’s July, and that means it’s time for Readercon! I’ll be in Quincy, MA from Friday, July 12th to Sunday, July 14th. I’ll be spending most of my time in the Bookshop (a.k.a., the Dealers’ Room) selling my books and books by fellow members of Broad Universe. The lovely thing about buying books at the Broad Universe table is that every book there was written by an author present at the convention, so you can get your copy signed and chat with the author. If you’d like a sample of their work, I highly recommend attending the Rapid Fire Reading, at which the authors (including me!) take turns reading for just five minutes. It’s like literary tapas. If you come to Readercon, please stop by the table or one of the following events to say hello.
Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading
Fri 12:00 PM, Salon C
Make a Friend, Go to Dinner
Fri 5:00 PM, Abigail Adams
New to Readercon and looking to meet people, or just in the mood for some company over dinner? Drop by this informal, unstructured meetup to make a new friend or three. Low-key icebreakers will be provided.
Make a Friend, Go to Lunch
Sat 11:00 AM, Abigail Adams
New to Readercon and looking to meet people, or just in the mood for some company over lunch? Drop by this informal, unstructured meetup to make a new friend or three. Low-key icebreakers will be provided.
Reading: Dianna Sanchez
Sat 8:30 PM, Sylvanus Thayer
Autographs: Paul Levinson, Dianna Sanchez
Sun 12:00 PM, Autograph Table
Charles Allison, Stephen Graham Jones, Steven Popkes, Dianna Sanchez (mod), Torger Vedeler
Sun 2:00 PM, Salon 4
Writers often talk about the ways their day jobs creep into their writing, but what about their hobbies? Our panelists will discuss the ways their secret and not-so-secret hobbies have influenced their work.
The algorithm gnomes at Amazon.com have worked their mysterious magic, and right now, A Witch’s Kitchen is just $6.93! So if you are looking for presents to ship to family and friends for Hannukah/Christmas/the sheer joy of it, now is an opportune moment. (You could also get a copy for yourself.) I have no idea how long this will last, so act quickly!
If you prefer to buy your books at a bookstore, I’ll be at the Barnes & Noble in Peabody, MA on December 10, 2018 from 6:30 – 8:30pm to benefit The Room to Write in Wakefield. Many other wonderful local authors will also be there, and what a great opportunity to do some holiday shopping while helping out a great organization that supports local writers.
Here’s a little taste of what’s to come tonight. Before Halloween, I had a private party for my beta readers, critique partners, and wonderfully supportive neighbors. We had a blast, and I’m expecting tonight to be every bit as fabulous, pouring rain and election gloom notwithstanding. I’ll do readings, tell bad jokes, answer questions, and feed everyone cupcakes. I have gift bags for everyone who buys one of my books.
Before you come, PLEASE VOTE!!! If you have to choose between coming to my party and voting, VOTE. (You shouldn’t have to choose – the polls close at 8pm and my party ends at 9pm.) And if you come in wearing your “I Voted” sticker or with a photo of yourself wearing one when you voted early, you are eligible to win one of three giveaway prizes!
So if you live in the Boston area, I hope to see you tonight at Porter Square Books!