Travel Schedule 2005-2006 and beyond

This is going to be an odds and ends day. Work continues on the current non-fiction project that is due at the end of the month. (Oh, no, I’m not nervous about making that deadline. Not at all. Nope, not me…) I’m reading another book by David Hackett Fischer, whom I adore because of his source citations.

Also need to clean the apartment, pack, and do all the other necessary stuff so I can leave tomorrow for the trip up North. I’ll be visiting schools in Central New York from 2/11 – 2/18.

Speaking of schedules, we’ve started to look toward the fall and beyond. I set aside four weeks each spring and each fall for school visits. The only time I can visit schools is during those weeks. I am open to speaking at conferences year-round, because they tend to fall on the weekends.

This is how the schedule is shaping up. Note – there are some regions listed as Tentative and Long-Term. If you are interested in booking me and you are in one of those regions, those are the dates you should consider.

Commitments for Fall ’05:
10/7-10/8 Rocky Mountain Children’s Lit Conference, Greely, CO
10/14 Florida Council of Teachers of English Conference
11/17-11/22 National Council of Teachers of English Conference & ALAN Workshops, Pittsburgh, PA

Tentative for Fall ’05:
10/17-10/19 Florida
10/20-10/21 DC/Virginia
10/24-10/28 Philadelphia-area
10/31 – 11/11 open for schools anywhere

Tentative for Spring ’06
3/20-3/31 Western States
4/3-4/7 Central New York
4/10-4/14 open for schools anywhere

Long-term Possibilities:
Spring 2007 – might be heading to Poland and Europe for school visits. Yeah, I find it hard to believe, too.

We’ve posted detailed information about my visits on the website. If you are interested in having me speak at your school or conference, please contact Sarah Henry, aka The Scheduling Goddess: henrysa78@yahoo.com.

Happy Chinese New Year!

Upper Dublin Day

Wow! I’ve been sitting here, kinda stunned, on my couch for the past hour. It was a great day, but I’m beat.

First off, many, many thanks to Upper Dublin librarians Susan Mowery (high school) and Michelle Stone (Sandy Run Middle School) for putting everything together. I did two large-group presentations at the high school, signed books and hung out with the book club (hello everybody – thanks for all your kindness, energy, and the chocolate-covered pretzels!), had lunch with a roomful of teachers and librarians, drove to the middle school, gave two more large-group presentations, signed more books, packed up my stuff and my beautiful flowers, and was suddenly in the car driving home.

The students were very, very nice and we took a lot of pictures. I felt bad for the 8th graders because after I talked for an hour, they had to listen to another presentation, this one from the high school staff about planning for 9th grade. Interesting, I’m sure, but those auditorium seats looked mighty hard to me. They seemed to handle it OK, though.

A couple teens promised to e-mail me questions about the publishing process which I’ll answer here in the LJ. And two 8th graders, Liz DeLise and Lina Breslav, showed me a great project they did for extra credit. They turned Fever 1793 into a board game like Life. I’ve never seen that before. When I asked how long it took, they said “Three sleepovers and a lot of candy.” What a great way to measure time!

Now I have to make dinner, find some focus, and write. I have a bad feeling my focus is nestled in the dust bunnies under the couch. Ick.

Time to put the coffee on.

Oh, I forgot something this morning. A big shout-out to my awesome nephew Private First Class Ryan Stevens, stationed in South Korea. We miss you, sweetie. (Just what every soldier wants, eh – his aunt calling him “sweetie” on a public forum. Heh-heh-heh…)

School Visit Today

I’ll be spending the morning at Upper Dublin (PA) High School and the afternoon at their middle school. This district is only a few miles away so I don’t have to fight the traffic on the Blue Route or the Turnpike. The last five days I’ve been holed up working on writing and business stuff, so I am ready to get out and talk to human beings.

This woman spent the last 71 days sailing around the world. Alone. And I was excited because I finished my laundry….

Started reading Bodega Dreams by Ernesto Quinonez last night. (Does anybody know how I can put foreign characters on this page so I can spell his last name right? It has a tilde in it.) So far I like it, but I’m only ten pages in, because that’s when I crashed, drooling and snoring.

Meredith gets her car back this afternoon. (Chorus of angels bursts into song.) I’m not sure if she wants me to announce to the world why she lost it in the first place. It’s been nice spending more time with her again (I went back to being Chauffeur Mom) and I’ll miss that. But I don’t think she will.

Off try and put in my contacts.

Speak Movie Update

I heard from the film’s director, Jessica Sharzer, today. The geniuses at Showtime have postponed the TV debut again. (Grrrr…)

The new schedule calls for it to air on Showtime cable in October 2005. (Grrrr….) The DVD won’t come out until after the Showtime premiere. (GRRRR..)

What can you do about this? One reader has started an online petition . I don’t know if it will help, but it couldn’t hurt. Or you can try to contact Showtime directly. (Thanks again, Max, for that link.)

Or you could just be patient.

Naaaahhhhh!

Back to the real world (sighing)

It’s all in how you look at it. We came within three points of beating the current football dynasty. I can live with that. In fact, I am really proud of my team. I think they did a great job. And we don’t want to be selfish. Philly already has a national championship football team.

And now…. NCAA basketball.

No, wait, I’m an author, allegedly, not a full-time sports commentator.

Katie wrote me a very, very nice note that included this question: “Do you ever get tired of people telling you how awesome your books are? Do you ever just want to tell them to be quiet when they are going on and on about how wonderful they are?”

Weird fact #304 about being an author: It feels strange and awkward when people gush and tell me they really like what I write. I think a lot of writers feel this way. Why? Because the reader only sees the final, final product. I live with the book in the ugly stages – when the plot meanders, the characters are flat, the dialog long-winded, and the language is dull. Don’t get me wrong – I love revising. It’s the best part of the writing process, as far as I’m concerned. But I guess my little brain stays stuck on the horrendous early drafts (which no one else on the planet gets to see), and so, yeah, it feels weird when people compliment a story.

But it is nice to hear.

Max wrote with this contact information for Showtime if you want to encourage them to schedule the SPEAK movie, or bring it out on DVD. Thanks, Max.

It’s going to be a full day of writing and writing business stuff. I’ll bow to reality this evening and change this LJ out of the rabid Eagles fan theme.

(More sighing.)