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Here’s where I’m spending the rest of the daylight hours of today: the campus of the University of Victoria. Photos from a plane show the Ring Road of UVic campus to good advantage! The big bay beyond Ring Road is Cadboro Bay, where I usually take my kayak.

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I’m in the computer lab in the Clearihue Building, laying out a poster for my book launch this August. Well, it’s not just my book launch, it’s a shared launch with two other writers. We all write science books for children, and we’re all attending a writer’s conference in Calgary called When Words Collide. Our book launch gets to be promoted in the program book, and on posters at the event. Since I have access to computers with programs like PowerPoint and PhotoShop and Paint, I’m the one to make the poster for our launch.

Ever notice how hard it is to line things up straight or set them at the perfect jaunty angle on a poster? Or how hard it is to describe us three science writers in energetic terms that make readers and librarians totally want to flock together to hear us read? At least PowerPoint lines up the book cover images neatly on the poster I’m laying out, so all I have to do is write perky terse prose.

So, I’m making a poster that communicates with our audience, and getting it approved by the other two writers, and getting it to the conference program organizer. And it would help if the poster works at various sizes down to letter-size for photocopying, and if it was a small enough data file to be sent as an e-mail attachment. No wonder my friend Dave Duncan wears a button at these conferences that says, “I just write the stuff.”