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.


I stayed up too late. Way too late. Reading – that filthy, mind-numbing, sleep-robbing habit of mine. I kept saying to myself, “One more page, one more page…”

I am a weak person.

The worst part is that when the alarm went off, it blew up the intense dream I was having. What was the dream about? I forgot because the stupid alarm clock went off. I hate that.

So people fantasize about owning fancy cars or skiing in the Alps. Me, I fantasize about a world without alarm clocks and being able to read as much as I want.

When I finally pry my eyelids open, I have to drive to Central New York for a week of school visits. But that’s not all. Careful readers of this journal know that my Beloved Husband lives up there, too. (We’ll finally be living in the same house this fall. Long story. Basically, we didn’t think it was fair to any of our kids (second marriage for us both) to move 300 miles just because we got married. So we’re waiting until the last of my brood goes to college. OK, that’s enough gossip for one day!)

So Beloved Husband has promised dinner will be ready when I get there. I am sure the Creature With Fangs (puppy) will be waiting too, waiting for that special moment when I walk in so she can get excited and lick me and yip and jump around and pee all over herself and then roll in it.

You gotta love puppies! Gotta love the BH, too – he’s the best.

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:

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.