Why am I awake?

For reasons unknown, my eyes opened at 5am this morning and refused to shut again. This is not normal, but I decided to take advantage of it. I opened the windows. It has been so icky hot I can’t remember when I last had the windows open. There is a little breeze, the air is cool and damp, and I can almost hear the birds over the sounds of everyone else’s air conditioners.

I am so ready for it to be fall. I want to wear sweatshirts and turtlenecks. I want my Beloved Husband to build a fire in the fireplace. I want to want chili. I want football and the tang of snow in the air.

Wow – that was a lot of whining. Sorry.

I’m going to make coffee and write. I think my Work In Progress (WIP) took a wrong turn…. I hate when this happens. You get a great plot idea and you get all excited about it and then you write and write and then…. things…. slow….. down….. and you realize that if your story were a car, you’d be stuck in the middle of nowhere and your gas tank is almost empty and you forgot to charge your cells phone. Problem is, of course, I’m not exactly sure where it went wrong. So I’ve pulled out a different manuscript to fiddle with while I think about the first one. That way I am able to fool myself into believing I am making progress.

Mer sent me great photos last night to post as a writing prompt, but I am an idiot and I didn’t save them properly. I don’t think she wants me to wake her up right now so she can resend them. So photo writing prompt is postponed until tomorrow, folks!

How about an old-fashioned word prompt? Ummmmmm…… Write a The Worst Thing About Summer Is… (make it a couple of paragraphs, and give details). Now, using exactly the same points, rewrite it in the voice of a fictional character who loves what you hate and write The Best Thing About Summer. Have fun!

Added later I forgot to tell you to read this wonderful article that gives me hope for the world and features .

A hint if you are moving

People like me and you should not be in charge of taking the poetry magnets off the fridge.

It’s like telling a three-year-old to pack the toys. Big mistake.

But after you finally get the magnets taken off and you’re pouting because you have nothing to play with, go to this poetry sandbox.

Playlist playing

I’ve been using forcing myself to attack long-term projects on my ToDo list. Last weekend was sorting through 20 years of photos. Last night I finally ripped all of my classical music CDs onto my iTunes and hence, my iPod.

(If you are a new visitor let me explain. My iPod is more important to me than my computer. I think it is the best piece of technology since…. the microwave oven? No, it’s bigger than that. The airplane? No, I can live without airplanes. My iPod is as important to me as my car.)

Mer was watching me fiddle and she mocked the boring names of some of my playlists. She was right. They were awful. So I just renamed them. Here are some examples:

Old Playlist
Loud Housecleaning
Work Music

New Playlist
Mozart in Da Hood
Hot Cowboys
Rowdy & In Trouble
Cranking Words

I also have playlists for various Works In Progress, keyed to personality traits of my main characters.

What’s the name of your coolest playlist?

They finally made the official movie announcement!

They made the formal announcement in LA this weekend.

Here ’tis again!

Grab your calendars. The film airs for the first time at 9 pm, September 5th. (It will be shown more than once.) This kind of simulcast has apparently never been done before. The DVD version is scheduled to release September 27th. It will contain a commentary track done by director Jessica Sharzer and yours truly, and might have some behind-the-scenes stuff.

I had a quiet weekend, filled with writing, cleaning and packing. I didn’t buy Harry Potter yet because I want to buy it at my favorite independent bookstore next week. has already read it. Anyone else? Opinions?

FEVER 1793 Curriculum Unit & Writing Process Question

Before you do anything else, go to NPR and listen to this bus driver tell his story. It will take 2 minutes. I promise it will make the rest of your day better.

If you work in a bookstore and have the midnight shift for Pottermania tonight, I’m sorry. When you’re surrounded by the mob of drooling, squealing readers and their parents, remember this: you are making the world a better place. One book, one reader at a time.

Let’s hope none of your wizards upchuck in the excitement.

The early morning hours have been spent posting a new curriculum guide for FEVER 1793. This guide is for students in grades 5-8, and was written to meet New York State Standards. Many thanks to Carol Frego of Colton-Pierrepont Central in Colton, NY both for writing this guide and giving me permission to share it with all of you.

This is going to be a housekeeping, to-do list, get stuff in order kind of day, so I might as well get to some of the email from readers.

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