I spent this weekend in Portland (Oregon) at Wordstock: a whirlwind of vendors, authors, writers, editors; book readings, panels, workshops and presentations. There was a fantastic kid area with activities and presentations from fabulously entertaining children's authors. (Squish the Super Amoeba!) Kids 0-13 could get in free and there were lots of families at the event.
The kids could even read to a dog, thanks to friendly support from therapy dogs from Pet Partners (formerly known as the Delta Society). The dogs were a big hit: one little girl carefully held the "Very Hungry Caterpillar" open so Jack the dog could see the pictures: he looked at them gravely and wagged his tail.
I was holding down a corner of the Barking Rain Press booth; and in the course of a couple of days of chatting with folks who stopped by I realized that we have published no stories about barking, rain or dogs: our beagle mascot, Elvis, has no backstory!
I have decided that Elvis is a retired drug-sniffing beagle: rescued from the pound and very good at his job. However, he hates the rain: he won't go outside unless his person puts an umbrella up... and now to think of some adventures for Elvis...