Attention Teachers & Librarians – there is a special note to you at the bottom of today’s entry. Be sure to scroll down!

BH survived Day One with The Knee. He was an excellent patient. Didn’t complain one bit when I brought out the rope and tied him to the couch. Not really. The Knee let him sleep some last night and it’s looking like it will be a fast recovery.

I have one more doc appointment this morning. I so begrudge all the time I waste on body maintenance; docs, dentists, etc., etc. But I am an ungrateful wench for even thinking that because at least I have health insurance. I should probably go flog myself. Oh, wait – I get to drive through another lake effect storm on the way to and from the doc. That will take care of my hubris and pissy attitude.

But you didn’t tune in this morning to hear me whine. You tuned in to see the photos of TWISTED.

What is the book about? I can never summarize my books, because it takes me about 250 pages to tell it. But a guy in the target audience who read an advance copy nailed it when he said: “TWISTED is about a painfully average guy going through hell.”

::cues drum roll::

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting The front cover of my new baby!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Inside flap, which I adore.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Back cover with blurbs from Chris Crutcher and Chris Lynch, which make me blush.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Twisted photo of TWISTED

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Uncle Penguin made reading guides! (I love my publisher!)

So…. what do you think? (FYI, the book goes on sale in the middle of March.)

TEACHERS! LIBRARIANS! Uncle Penguin sent me lots of reading guides – do you want a couple? If so, give me your snail mail address in the comments section, or email it to admin AT writerlady DOT com, and I’ll mail them off. Next week. AFTER this blasted draft is done.

caring for a knee

Yesterday a nice doctor drilled three holes into the right knee of my Beloved Husband. He had permission to do this, of course, and had accommodated BH by giving him a shot before the operation that allowed him float away to happy land on the bubbles.

Between the driving, and the drilling, and mucking around once actually inside the knee (doc found pieces of machinery, old engine parts, misplaced chain saws, all kinds of debris messing up the works), and waiting for the happy land feeling to fade away, and the drive home in a lake effect storm, and the settling in, not a lot was written yesterday. However, I brought my computer to the waiting room and was able to untangle what I think is the last of the plot knots towards the book’s end.

Today will be spent on the couch next to BH, fetching ice and pillows for The Knee.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting The Knee rests.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting The Knee uncovered.

I will also be taking very good care of the BH who is attached to The Knee.

And writing. And tending the fire.

(If you ever read a book of mine in which a character has knee surgery, now you’ll know where it came from.)

PS – I would love some bookseller opinion about the article in the CSM about new indie bookstores opening.

Happy birthday, !!

A heads-up for YA Librarians

Although I can’t go (I’ll be at a writer’s conference – I will def be there next year), YOU should all go to the New York Comic Con. And then you should write to me and tell me the best parts.

Many exciting things seem to be coming out of YALSA right now:
1. the Great Graphic Novel List
2. the upcoming Teen Tech Week
3. plans for a Wiki.

What else am I missing? Please let me know. It is so much fun to watch this field grow and thrive. I bow down to youse guys.

I pulled a marathon writing weekend; 12 and 15 hour days chewing through the manuscript. Except for dry eyes, it was wicked fun. I am loving this…. being so deep in the story, fingers flying over the keys, the characters so close I can reach out and touch them – I love writing so much!!!!!!

(and then there are the days when I hate it, but we won’t go into that right now)

Today, however, few words will be written because of Family Obligations, which I will tell you about tomorrow.

Mad woman scribbling

I feel like the White Rabbit, chasing after time, trying not to trip over disaster. It doesn’t look like I will need to extend the deadline…. my WIP should be in the hands of my editor a week from today, which is two weeks earlier than I thought.

The goal is to publish the WIP at this time next year, so the editing schedule is tight. I’ll take a couple days off to do my taxes, clean my office, make airplane reservations and prepare for several upcoming conferences, then plunge into Draft 5, which should be pretty close to the final. If all goes well (please, please she begs the gods), the WIP will be done by the time I head out on book tour for TWISTED.

I am thrilled and terrified. And thrilled. And terrified.

I know the next two books that I want to write. One of them has begun to take shape while I’ve been pounding on the WIP. Between travel, book promotion, and family obligations, I doubt I’ll get much writing done between March 15 – June 11th. I’m going to try and use the free corners of time in there for “filling the well” stuff. More on that later.

If I can keep this tentative schedule more or less intact, I’ll start the next WIP in June (hope to have it done by January, 2008 for publication in March 2009) and WIP 2 in January 2009 (for publication in 2010.)

But I have a history of wildly overestimating how much I can accomplish in any one year, so those are flexible dates. The thing now is to plunge back into the page and finish this one up.

A head’s up for what you’ll see here in the Forest next week: Juicy photos of TWISTED and my book tour schedule.


Hello, Madison, Alabama! Hello, Orson Scott Card!

Before the writing update, some other news…

I received word last night from Youth Services Librarian Lexie Robinson that SPEAK won an Ellie Award for Favorite Dramatic YA book in Madison, Alabama. The Ellies are awards voted on by the teens in their community, much in the spirit of the Emmys. Thank you, Madison!!! Yeah, I want this library in my backyard, too. They have a Myspace page for their YA section. (I am looking up how long it would take to drive there…)

Speaking of hanging out at libraries, I will be giving a writing workshop at my beloved Mexico Public Library, Mexico, NY the morning of Saturday, February 3. It’s going to run from 9- 1pm. You have to pre-register to attend. If interested, call the library. (No, I am not going to post the number. Looking it up is your first assignment for the workshop.)

came up with the best gifts for a CATALYST lover (or fan of caffeine), ever.

Yesterday’s writing went well. I achieved the first 2 of my 3 goals and my head did not explode. I had forgotten that I had a hair appointment; that messed me up some. By the time my hair was pretty and we finished dinner and talked to various kids on the phone, I was beat and did not go back to work. But I slept well, that was good. Kept seeing platters of hors d’oeuvres in my dreams. Now I am hungry.

Today’s goal is more modest: the dusting and polishing and uniting of chptrs 28-32 and new work on 33. (I have a mammogram this afternoon, and its a long drive. Have you had your mammogram?)

I haven’t gone to the gym since Sunday and it is making me crazy. I can’t wait for this book to be done…. well, at least this draft.

Edited to add: just tipped me off to the fact that Orson Scott Card (yeah, Ender’s Game. Yeah, really, him) gave David’s wonderful books Hidden Talents and the new one, True Talents, stellar raving reviews. And then! And then! He wrote about watching the SPEAK movie and reading the book and said very, very nice things about both. (scroll waaaaaay down the page to read it. Please. I’m begging.)