This is a glimpse of part of the University of Redlands (with mountains beyond) east of LA, where I spent the weekend at the annual...and always wonderful..Charlotte Huck Festival. Getting there was iffy as I dodged a snowstorm in New England, but managed to fly out of Boston...directly into an ice storm in Houston, where I was changing planes. So it was a long and anxiety-filled day (the announcement you don't wnat to hear in an airport: We will be bringing in cots for those of you...) I think my plane was the last to leave Houston before they cancelled the rest of the flights (and isn't it amazing how willingly we climb onto a piece of aluminum in order to hurtle into wind and ice, rather than sleep on a cot by the closed Starbucks entrance?)

Other speakersat Redlands incuded old freind Janet Tashjian; Paul Janeszco, a near neighbor in Maine (so we were both appreciating California weather); Eric Rohmann, who did a wonderful job several years ago illustrating "Bless This Mouse"; David Weisner, who was to learn the day after the festival that his "Mr. Wuffles" was a Caldecott Honor; Candace Fleming (who in my opinion should have had a Newbery by now, but the committees who make those decisions seem too often to veer away from non-fiction; and Eugene Yelchin, author of "Stalin's Nose," whom I had not met before.  One of the best parts of these festivals and conferences is always the time with colleagues whom you don't see very often, or, like Eugene, you are meeting for the first time.

On coming home I discovered that a newspaper out there had printed an article about my speech in which things that I had not said were inserted. They were fabricated on the part of the reporter for reasons I cannot begin to understand. So I spent a lot of time muttering and complaining, then apologizing to the people who might have been hurt by what I was alleged to have said, and then contacting the newspaper, from whom I have had no reply.  Time to get over it and move on.

And I am literally moving on. I am watching the weather yet again because I am to fly out of Maine on Friday, to Madison, Wisconsin overnight. And then on Sunday I am isn't Kennebunkport, Maine, to speak at the public library there.  So far the portents are good.  No snowstorms in the offing.  This being New England, it could change at any time, of course.

I wihs I could be in many different places at once...and one of the places I would love to be is Chicago, because just look at this dazzling set for "Number the Stars" currently being performed at the DePaul Theatre School of DePaul University.

Wow. Red. So powerful.