VOL. 4 NO. 1
October 29, 2007
Happy Halloween Everyone!
Without a doubt, my favorite holiday. First, its Autumn, my favorite season (just ahead of Winter). Second, you get candy (let's be honest, this should probably come first). And third, cool costumes -- and the chance to run around in the dark, come home late, count your candy, and watch Simom and Simon or Magnumn P.I. on a school night... or at least that's what I recall from about 1985...

In any case, its STILL a fine holiday. Educational even. When I was in elementary school in Anchorage Alaska, there was usually snow on the ground for trick-or-treating. All of my costume ideas had to work with a snowsuit underneath. I was a burly looking pirate for several years, and broke at least one plastic sword in battle with a snowbank. Very sad, but hence the "educational" aspect: real pirates forged swords of steel for a reason!

Halloweeny nostalgia aside, I have some serious updating to do in the newsletter department. Read on to catch up on 2007 and stay tuned for a more timely release of the next edition... Treats galore!


A more interactive (and frequently updated) extension of this newsletter can be found over at "E is for Erik". This blog is terrific for the most current info about my books, school visits, sketches -- even the occassional photo. Try in out today!


Truth be told, most of 2007 has been a festival for me. I've spoken at the SCBWI Inland Empire conference, visited 10+ elementary schools, and nearly 40 libraries - with several more to go in November and December. October 17-20, I had the distinct pleaure of attending my first ever Humbolt County Author Fest. This was such an excellent event. The students were terrific (as witnessed stage left) and the bookfest staff were incredibly welcoming and just plain excited about all of the books and their respective authors and illustrators. Thank you Humbolt County!

Author Fest kids at Orleans Elementary School - Orlean's, CA.
2008 is happening people! I have a tantalizing tentative school visit inquiry from Huntsville, AL and I''ll be keeping busy closer to home with visits in Bremerton and Port Townsend, WA. I will also be helping out in my literal backyard at the 1st annual Young Writer's Conference for the Methow Valley School District. Check my school visits page, or my e-kite listing with SCBWI - Western Washington if you are interested in having me share some days at your school. Happy Reading!
In its third installment, this inspiring fundraiser would seem to have an even greater grassroots appeal. Bloggers from all over the country are giving certain snowflakes a little time to shine, and children's lit sites from CLN to SCBWI are doing their part as well. Be sure to place your bids for "Lucy's Pups" during the 1st phase of this year's auction, Nov. 19-23rd.
2008? Clean Slate. Polar Polka Gyrate. Can't Wait!
Not only do we (the people) have a new presidential election to anticipate in '08, but I (as an illustrator) have 3 new books to share! I'll parcell out that information in a presidentialesque "need to know" basis, but first up is the parade of polka playing polar bears that were the premier event of the 2007 "drawing season." The end results were well worth it - really pleasing even - and POLAR POLKA by Chérie Stihler dances its way into a bookstore near you beginning February 28th, 2008. I was VERY happy to be illustrating polar bears again!

  • September 8 - "Picture Book Dummies for Dummies" SCBWI Inland Empire Annual Conference. Spokane, WA.
  • October 17-21 - Humbolt County Author Festival. Eureka, Ca.
  • October 30 - Author Q&A. 4-5pm. Central Washington University Teaching Program. Wenatchee, WA Campus.
  • November 14 - School Visit. 1:30-2:30pm. Highland Elementary. Lake Stevens, WA.
  • November 14 - Library Talk. 6:30-7:30pm. Sultan Library. Sultan, WA.
  • November 15 - Library Talk. 1:00pm - Noon. Granite Falls Library. Granite Falls, WA.
  • November 15 - Library Talk. 7:00-8:00pm. Arlington Library. Arlington, WA.
  • November 16 - School Visit. 11am-Noon. Utsalady Elementary. Camano Island, WA.
  • November 16 - School Visit. 2-3pm. Twin City Elementary. Stanwood, WA.
  • November 17 - Library Talk. 11am-Noon. Mukilteo Library. Mukilteo, WA.
  • November 17 - School Visit and "Best Book I Ever Read" Celebration 2-4pm. Meadowdale Elementary. Lynnwood, WA.

Previous editions of THE PRACTICALLY PERFECT PRESS can be found here!