River’s End Prom Project & Birdleborough HS

First, thanks to everybody at JC Birdlebough HS (Phoenix NY) for a great day. I was able to give all of my presentations in the library which was awesome. Being surrounded by books has a soothing effect on me.

Below you’ll find some photos taken yesterday at my favorite bookstore, River’s End Books in Oswego, NY. The two sweet girls are Ashley Gessner and Bridgette Doran, two seniors at Oswego High School. They are the kind masterminds behind the Prom Project, a volunteer effort to make sure that everyone in their school who wants to go to the prom will have a nice dress or tux to wear. (Loud cheers for a fantastic idea!!! Louder cheers for smart girls who make their fantastic idea happen!!!! More cheering for a supportive community that is getting behind this fantastic idea!!!)

They are still accepting donations, if you’re interested. Go to their website for more information.

(Oh, yeah – I would like to say for the record that I hate the way I look in photos. Always. But I am trying to get over it. The guy in this photo is the Beloved Husband, Scot. He is extra Beloved right now because he is cooking an incredible Valentine’s dinner while I’m typing this.)

Aaahhh love….

The Creature With Fangs says Happy Valentine’s Day!

Thanks to literaticat for photo help. I’ll post later about yesterday’s events, and I’ll post the responses to the ESM class questions. Off to John C. Birdlebough H.S. in Phoenix, NY.

Lots of love and chocolate to all, especially Stef, Jess, Mer, Chris, and, of course, my Beloved Husband. MWA!

PROM Book tour information

Several of you have written asking about the upcoming book tour. (Thanks.)

I just posted all the details on my website. When you get to the page, scroll down to March and April.

The basic schedule is this:
Week One – California
Week Two (not a book tour week – just school and library visits) – Michigan
Week Three – home in Philly sleeping and writing
Week Four – NC, CT, IL, IN & Oswego NY (official end of tour)
Week Five – Texas Library Association
Week Six – SPEAK events in New York City
Week Seven – Wisconsin school and library events
Week Eight – School visits in PA
Rest of spring and summer – home sleeping and writing

You’ll note that in California I’m scheduled to visit a couple schools. These visits were organized by “sponsor” stores. I will be signing stock for the sponsor stores as well as visiting the schools. I imagine if you contact the store ahead of time, you can work out getting a copy of PROM personalized to you, if you’d like. These are all terrific booksellers, and I am very excited about the trip.

If you live near any of these towns, please come out to say hello. I want to hear your own prom stories!

Winter walk with a dog

Got in a little while ago from a great walk with the Creature With Fangs. We had another ten inches of snow yesterday and it’s 14 degrees out so the snow is dry and squeaky. The sun came up while we were out. The only sound was the call of a chilly chickadee perched on a tree at the edge of a field.

(long pause because the CWF realizes that I am writing about her. She licks my slippers. She brings me a ball. She jumps in my lap. Well, she tries to hurdle half of her in my lap because that is all that will fit. I don’t want her to wake up the Beloved Husband who is sleeping because he took care of the 3:30am puppy potty walk. So we attempt to gallop – silently – through the house so she can burn off some steam. While chasing me, she leaps through the air and lands butt-first in her metal water bowl. The noise wakes up the cows in the barn down the road, but the BH sleeps on. I get out paper towels to clean up the spilled water. She grabs the paper towels and runs away with them. I distract her with a ball and retrieve the paper towels which are now paper pulp because they’ve been in her mouth. The little ball bumps the soccer ball and it moves. It’s the notorious soccer ball – come to kill us all! The CWF attacks the soccer ball. I sneak away to type a few words.)

Puppies are like fast toddlers with fur. I’m exhausted. I think I’ll crawl into the dog crate and nap.

(added later) No nap for me. CWF was so wound up I took her outside for another walk. This time I encouraged her to walk (swim, leap, frolic) through the snowbanks instead of through the paths cut by snowplows and truck tires. She looked like a dolphin in the ocean, jumping up, twisting, then burrowing deep in the snow after some mysterious smell.


Had a great time at Pine Grove Middle School and East-Syracuse Minoa High School. Thanks to librarians Debbie Hole, Renee Wiles, and Linda Saliba, and principals Lee Carulli and Brian Gallagher, and the tech guys, and most of all, the students who made the day so fun. I felt right at home there.

(Oops. I originally typed “East-Syracuse-Minnow” That would have made it a different type of school.)

A reader named Sam wrote: I just read Speak, and it may be the best possible book Ive ever read. I’m only in 7th grade but i read alot and your book is one of the best, of course after Stephen King.

Of course, Sam. I totally understand.

I have received the details of the first week of the PROM book tour and will post them later tonight or tomorrow. My BH just came home. It’s time to make tea and sit in front of a fire in the fireplace.