Catching the Baton

Elizabeth Bluemle - April 6, 2009

Let’s face it, friends — Alison Morris was born to blog, as indubitably as Justin Morgan had a horse or Betsy was understood. No one can don A.M.’s unique cap-sleeved jersey (imagine stepping onto a pro b-ball court wearing #23), or hope to stride seven leagues in her magical elf shoes. Her book-loving, t-shirt-shopping, birdhouse-decoupaging posts managed to snare as a reader even this bookstore owner, overworked and boggled as I am by the vastness of the literary blogosphere. And now Josie and I are supposed to follow that legacy? Can’t be done. But we will do our thing, dawgs, and hope to amuse, inform, and engage you — and bring Alison back for several slam-dunks throughout the season.
To introduce myself: I’m co-owner of The Flying Pig Bookstore (est. 1996, wahoo!), and also an author with two picture books out, a third on the way, and a boatload of projects in various stages of completion (that I now learn from Alison can’t be finished while serving as resident ShelfTalker — whoops).
Before that, I was a school librarian in Manhattan (at the wonderful old City & Country School in the West Village), and studied English and American literature at UC Berkeley. In the 80s, I worked for a writer/producer in L.A. and started a small press in San Francisco for a wealthy lawyer (who wanted to write his memoirs but instead let me put together a book of poetry by Tenderloin-district kids as a fundraiser for their program).
In the early 90s, Josie and I met at Literacy Volunteers of New York City, me as a production manager for their publishing program, Josie in development, strong-arming wealthy patrons to contribute to a worthy cause (which, come to think of it, is sort of what she still does as an indie bookseller).
So my life has always revolved around books, kids, and writing — which means I am delighted to take on this very exciting challenge of talking with all of you about our favorite subjects: books and the people who create, cherish, and share them with readers of all ages. I can’t wait to hear from you all.

16 thoughts on “Catching the Baton

  1. Mary Ann Rodman

    Just the image of you, Elizabeth, catching the baton, instantly brought to mind girl drum major in THE MUSIC MAN, leading the band in “76 Trombones.” While I realize that you probably had something more practical in mind (such as passing the baton in a relay), I still like the image of you and Josie leading the children’s literature blog (trombones and all). March on, ladies! We’re right behind you.

  2. Hester Bass

    Thanks for the newsy introduction, and for taking the time to let us peek over your shoulder via this blog. And if you have a picture of Josie strong-arming the wealthy for a worthy cause, do post! Glad you’re here – welcome!

  3. Patricia Newman

    Hi, Elizabeth: I happened to find your blog post on Cynthia Leitich Smith’s blog, and I was surprised to read about the Flying Pig Bookstore. I just interviewed Rita Murphy for a monthly column I write for California Kids!, and she mentioned your store. Actually, she raved about your store. I’m a former Vermonter (graduated from South Burlington HS) and a picture book author. I look for any and all chances to return–please visit my website ( and my blog ( I’d like to get to know you better.

  4. shelftalker elizabeth

    Thanks, everyone, for your welcoming words! A quick reminder to please not put your website or book info in your comments. That can be interpreted as self-promo, even if unintentional, and there’s a policy about that.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *