Poohday historical ramblings

Today is the birthday of A.A. Milne, author of Winnie the Pooh, and a bunch of other books that no one pays attentions to anymore. He was born in 1882, nineteen years before Walt Disney. 1882 was the year legislation was passed in England that allowed married women to buy, sell, and own property, and to keep any money that they had earned themselves for the first time. Some women were allowed to vote in England in 1918, the vote was open to all in 1928. It took until 1920 for American women to get the right to vote. Both of my grandmothers vividly remembered the first time their mothers voted. It was not that long ago.

A jar of honey for the ladies, please, Pooh!

It is a cold and dreary day here, so dark that I have the lights on up here in my loft. I think I will light a few candles, too, and brew more tea. I will snuggle under an afghan and lose myself in research.

Email beast tamed and shhhh! a secret

It took half the night, but I finally sent the email beast cowering into submission. Ha! Take that!

Web God Theo Black has updated my website to reflect the change in seasons again. As he emailed me about it, snow was falling outside my window, diamond dust snow that looked alive. It was very cool, serendipitous. We added a new page with just contact information. Let me know what you think about it.

I am very proud to announce that PROM has been named an Amazon Top Ten Best Book of 2005 for Teens. Check out the whole list if you are looking for something good to read.

I am also proud to announce that I have joined AS IF!, Authors Support Intellectual Freedom, a group for YA authors who are taking a stand against the censorship of YA novels. It was organized by author Jordan Sonnenblick. The group’s blog has an LJ syndication feed, asifnews.

Are you looking for a great curriculum guide for SPEAK? Look at what Dawn Hogue put together. If you are an English teacher, you will also want to look at their CyberEnglish page and be sure to read through her blog.

And a hint of a forthcoming announcement (consider this your reward for reading to the end of today’s post). We are going to have a contest at the end of the month. Shhhhhhhhhh! Yes, there will be prizes. Stay tuned.

I love SCBWI

I spent all day Saturday at a local SCBWI (Society of Childrens’ Book Writers and Illustrators) conference, which was very good for my heart and soul. If I can figure out how to download the pictures from my camera (help me, Mer!) I’ll show you some of the neat people who were there. It felt amazing to get out of the house and be with other writers for a change. Yesterday was get ready for the week day, and movies with some of our kids. We saw King Kong (do not see it), which stank, but gave us plenty to critique (plot, pacing, character development, you name it). I spent all morning with my mom who had another nasty medical thingie to get through.

Happy Martin Luther King’s birthday, everyone!

And now… back to work.

Who is afraid of Friday the thirteenth?

No paraskevidekatriaphobic am I. Bring it on, I say!!

Friday morning mail call:

Max writes: Hey. I loved the book Speak, and the movie was a great adaptation of it. I was just wondering if you plan to sell the movie rights of your other books to any companies. I think Speak turned out great, and I would love to see Catalyst or Prom turn out on the big screen. Fever 1793 would also make a very good movie in my opinion. I just want to see all of your books turn into movies!!!

You and me both, Max. There have been a few tentative movie nibbles on CATALYST and PROM, but nothing that has panned out yet. No one has expressed an interest in FEVER 1793, which makes me sad, because I think it would be a great film in the hands of the right person. (And they could film it in Philly and me and my kids and all of their friends could be extras!)

What are the most beautiful words in the English language? According to a group of non-native speakers, these are. What do you think?

Finally… my resolutions

The fact that I am twelve days late figuring out what my resolutions are should give the reader some insight into my current state of chaos.

::shakes head with world-weariness and self-loathing::

Here we go:

1. I resolve to make all deadlines in 2006. This includes deadlines for books, articles, publicity requests, timely email and fanmail responses, and returning my library books on time.
2. I resolve to work ten hours a day until I get caught up on everything I am behind on so I can accomplish Resolution #1.
3. I resolve to read more for fun.

That’s enough. I can never remember more than three things at any given time.

The weather has been totally weird here. The temperature has been in the high thirties and forties. I am not amused. I like winter. If I wanted to see mud and grass in January, I would have stayed in Philly. I need a blizzard, something that will snow us in for four or five days. I want to use my snow shoes. And I am sure my family wants me to stop whining about this, so will the joker who moved the jet stream too far to the south please put it back where it belongs? Some people, I swear.