Turkey Stuffed & NaNoWriMo idea

Did you have a great Thanksgiving? We sure did. Three-quarters of our brood made it to dinner and the missing offspring beamed in for a long Skype visit before we ate. About half of the family made it to the annual Turkey Trot 5K we ran in.

Of course we wore our cool custom shirts.

Check out the back.

For the record, we all finished the race.

How is NaNoWriMo working out for everyone? Today is the last day for it – did you meet your goals? What was harder than you thought? What was easier?

If all went well, you should have a bulky draft on your hands. Now it’s time for the fun part: revision!!!

Want me to post revision tips in December? What do you need help with?

NCTE & ALAN recap – plus bookstore events


I spent yesterday snoring on the couch, recovering from the wonderful, high-energy weekend at the National Council of English Teachers Annual Conference. Thank you, thank you to everyone who stood in the long lines and who shared their stories of the impact my books have had on their students. You guys made me cry more than once – happy tears. Those stories humbled and honored me.

I am still fairly wiped out from the whole shebang, so let me pull my photos out of my back pocket and share them.

Here is Davis Macinnis Gill and I recreating our photo from last year. In last year’s acceptance speech and this year’s keynote address, I referenced The Scarlet Letter.

I ordered a Scarlet Letter shirt from Novel-t.com for the occasion.

Melinda Campbell from Tuczon, AZ had her students create a tree of students reactions to SPEAK, and she brought it all the way to Philly to share with me.

I did not take a picture from the podium of the 600+ people who listened to me at the ALAN breakfast because I was too nervous. Thank you for not laughing at my poem!

I went hunting for my friends on the convention floor before my signing. Here is Jerry Spinelli with editor Alvina Ling.

My buddy Kate Messner was there!

Sharon Draper!!

Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney.

I spoke on the panel about author blogging with Justine Larbalestier, Maureen Johnson, Lisa Yee, and Barbara O’Conner. It was a fantastic panel!! I raised a point for all teachers to contemplate: Should we continue to spend classroom time on letter writing or has the time come to teach children how to compose appropriate email communication? What do you think?

I was honored to meet Risha Mullins, the KY teacher who has had books (including TWISTED) pulled from her classroom by her district superintendent and NOT returned, even though the review committee approved them. Risha received oodles of support from her fellow teachers. I am sure there will be more details soon about the progress of this challenge.

Along with all the speechifying and booksignings and panel and friend-stalking, I had three bookstore events in the Philly area with other authors. Here is the crowd that came out to the Doylestown Bookshop to hear Jay Asher, Lauren Myracle, and me. Actually, the crowd was about three times as many people as you can see here – my phone couldn’t get everyone in one pic.

On Sunday morning, Sarah Dessen and I had breakfast with 100 fans at Chester County Book & Music Company. Here we are with the members of a writer’s group, The First Novels Club, who followed us to the enormous, weekend ending last event:

It was an epic signing at Children’s Book World In Haverford, PA with T.A. Barron, Sarah Dessen, Steve Kluger, Justine Larbalestier, David Levithan, Lauren Myracle, Scott Westerfeld & Jacqueline Woodson. And me.

Yeah – it was a whirlwind. Exhausting. And wonderful and fun and energizing!

Bookstore Events and Book Awards, Oh My!!!

Since Laurie is running around like a Mad Woman, and being true to her inner Mad Woman in the Forest, I thought I would share, once again, her bookstore schedule for this weekend! Yes, it is time for her to travel to Philly for NCTE (no, she is NOT packed yet!). Besides the wonderful conference, she is scheduled to appear tomorrow (Friday) night at a Public Event at Doylestown Bookshop from 7PM until 9PM!! Can you be there? If you are in the area, please stop in and say hello! She would LOVE to see all her friends!

On Saturday, Laurie will be doing conference book signings and an Author Blog Panel: Please see her post here.

On Sunday, Laurie will be at an author breakfast with Sarah Dessen held at Chester County Book & Music Company beginning at 9AM until 12PM. If you plan on attending, please RSVP to their Children’s Department. Come on, admit it, you always wanted to know what Laurie has for breakfast, check it out!!!

Also on Sunday, Laurie will be one author out of NINE at a super event at Children’s Book World from 1PM until 3PM. The event is called “A Novel Idea”, a Teen Event/Benefit for Philadelphia Free Library’s Summer Reading Program. Philadelphia Free Library is faced with the possibility of NOT having it’s book budget restored next year, so Children’s Book World has teamed up with them to raise money for books! Go here, and scroll down to read more on the event. Seeing your favorite author and helping a local library, two great reasons to stop in to Children’s Book World.

We received some awesome book award news in the Forest recently: WINTERGIRLS and CHAINS were both named to the 2010 Tayshas High School Reading List in Texas!! We send a TEXAS sized Thank You to the Tayshas Committee and the teachers and librarians of Texas!! ::Whoop, Whoop::

Believe me, Laurie would absolutely L O V E to see You at her events. Just tell her the Queen sent you! Ta Ta….


I revised all weekend. What about you? If you are working on NaNoWriMo or just putting pedal to the medal to finish a draft, you might want to read the Tips on Writer’s Block I wrote for the NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program.

Because of the intense revision schedule I’m on, I need to issue a blanket apology to all my friends for not answering email or phone calls right now. I’d grovel too, except I’m too busy writing.

It’s almost Thanksgiving and that means… The National Council of Teachers of English/ALAN Conference is just around the corner. This year it’s in my old stomping ground, Philly.

::thinks of cheesesteaks::

Here is my schedule:


7–9:00 pm Doylestown Bookshop

Doylestown Bookshop

16 S. Main St, Doylestown, PA 18901

(215) 230-7610

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2009 All Events open to Conference attendees ONLY

7–9:15 am Keynote Speaker at ALAN Breakfast (Ticketed Event)

Philadelphia Marriot
1201 Market St, Grand Ballroom, Salon A (5th floor)


Pennsylvania Convention Center
1101 Arch St
Philadelphia, PA 19107

1–2:00 pm BOOK SIGNING AT SIMON & SCHUSTER, Booth #419

4:15–5:30 pm Panel: "Authors’ Blogs: Connections, Collaboration, and Creativity"
Other authors on panel: Maureen Johnson, Justine Larbalestier, Barbara O’Connor & Lisa Yee
Convention Center, Street Level, Room 103A


9 am–12:00 pm Chester County Book & Music Company Author Breakfast with LHA & Sarah Dessen!

Chester County Books

975 Paoli Pike

West Chester, PA 19380

(610) 696-1661

1–3:00 pm “A Novel Idea” Teen Event for Philadelphia Free Library at Children’s Book World

More authors than you can count at this one: Jay Asher, T.A. Barron, Sarah Dessen, Steve Kluger, Justine L
arbalestier, David Levithan, Lauren Myracle, Scott Westerfeld & Jacqueline Woodson. And me!

Children’s Book World
17 Haverford Station Road
Haverford, PA 19041
(610) 642-6274

My husband did a little more tweeking on the exterior of the cottage and he wanted me to post this picture to prove you can’t see the Tyvek anymore: