In the muck up to my hips

The pace of life is picking up again. Saturday will be all family stuff, and three days next week will be spent on the Kansas trip, plus at least a day to prepare for it. The rest of the month should be fairly open for writing, so I’m not stressing too much. Just a little.

A couple updates:

TWISTED – The advanced reading copies are supposed to go out soon. Do not ask me for one – I don’t have any. There is a magician who works at the publisher’s office who waves a wand and the books miraculously appear on the desks of unsuspecting readers. At least, I think how that works. TWISTED will be published in March, 2007 (yes, that is 6 months from now) so I don’t expect to see reviews for a very long time.

HISTORICAL PICTURE BOOK – This was supposed to be published in the summer of 2007, but the illustrator is behind, so the release has been pushed back to Summer, 2008. For therapy, I am gnawing through medium-sized trees. No, I’m fine with this. really, it’s good. Sigh.

NEW NOVEL – I am on Day 5 of Draft 1. The book is more outlined than usual because I have to mesh the story of the main character with the historical events. Of course, the gods laugh at outlines. They laughed so hard, they wet themselves. Chapter 3 turned out to be way too packed and morphed into Chapters 3-5. Yesterday I realized that Chapters 7-10 moved too slowly, so I started hacking away at fluff to even out the pacing. Those are the chapters I’ll be working on today. Probably tomorrow, too. I must admit that despite the long hours (12 of them yesterday) I am having fun. A couple of unexpected characters have popped up, and I’m enjoying delving into the soul of my main character. I am also beginning to have a much clearer sense of the emotional impact of some of the historical events.

A big forest shout-out to Dr. Kim McCollum-Clark who is using SPEAK in a class of hers at Millersville University! (While I am at it, I will make a fool of myself and jump up and down and wave at everybody I know at Millersville. :::jumping and waving:::: Take your vitamins! Get some sleep!)

Last but not least, I have two sites for you about graphic novels: Artbomb and No Flying No Tights. Let me know what you think.

Time to start shoveling words…

9 Replies to “In the muck up to my hips”

  1. Artbomb is an awesome website. I’m taking a class this semester for which I will have to produce a graphic novel for a grade. Persepholis is our course text but after perusing Artbomb I’m interested in finding the graphic novel Blankets.


    Ms. Anderson! My students and I are freaking out from the shout-out! Thanks so much! Everybody has loved Speak (no surprise there, it’s brilliant!) and were so excited to hear of your connection to MU. I have long loved Speak (and Fever 1792–also brilliant–we read that with a seventh grade science class locally!), but a story from a teacher friend of mine was the “Catalyst” to adding it to this year’s book list for Teaching Reading and Literature with Young Adults. My teacher friend teaches at a local district with a very rigid curriculum in language arts, but she does daily book talks trying to get her students into books. One day, she read the first section of Speak as part of her three-minute book talk. At the end of the class, her seventh graders crowded around her and said, “You MUST read us the rest of this book.” She said she was scared to “go against” the rigid curriculum, but she was alert to the passion in their faces, and she did. She read the book aloud in 10 and 20 minute segments whenever she could, and the kids went nuts. They wrote about the book in their writer’s notebooks, they went out into the hall talking about it, they immediately strippped all local libraries and bookstores of the copies. She saw firsthand the power of a book in the lives of adolescents.

    THANK YOU for knowing this too, and for giving us so many wonderful experiences as readers and people. THANK YOU for commenting on the “classics.” I agree wholeheartedly with your posts about the problems of their “unthinking” use in many high school English classes. I also teach non-English majors courses in “Introduction to Literature” here at MU, and many of my “gen. ed” students in literature–very smart people–have been sadly affected by the all-classics-all-the-time curriculum. They think they are “not readers.” They think reading is something Other People do. They think books have nothing for them because the classics–handled poorly–have taught them this. My job is to get my future teachers to think HARD about how, when and why we use classic books–that, and to introduce them to the new classics like Speak!

    Good luck with your new book, and thanks again for the shout-out!

    Kim McCollum-Clark, Associate Prof of English, Millersville University


    Wow. That sure was a nice post.

    Want to get together for coffee sometime when I am down there harrassing my offspring?


    Yes, please! That would be immensely terrific, IF I can reel my jaw back up from where it has been on the floor. I am sure I will get that silly Fanspeak disease for the first few minutes, but I’m sure I could get over it! We do have a couple of ok coffee spots in the big burg of MU.

    My email is!

    I look forward to hearing from you!


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