Somewhat sated

That sure felt good.

I read “The Truth-Teller’s Tale” by Sharon Shinn, “Fay” by Larry Brown, “Wish You Were Here, the Official Biography of Douglas Adams,” by Nick Webb, and “Arthur & George” by Julian Barnes.

I think I need a Guilt-free Reading Month….

There will be little reading the rest of the week – I have much to do before I leave for Poland on Friday. Details to come soon.

Have any of you ever been to Poland?

TWISTED – New York Times Bestseller!

Thanks to you guys – my readers, all the librarians and teachers who support my work, and the outstanding booksellers who lined up solidly behind TWISTED – the book has made the New York Times Bestseller List, at position #6.

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Yes! That’s my book!!! ::dances and squees:: Thank you so much, everybody. Thank you, thank you!!

Be sure to give a shout, too, for #10, Barnstormers, by my buddy .

Because the list is put together a few weeks ahead of time, the April 8th edition actually reflects sales from the week of March 18th. That means that TWISTED cracked The List in its debut week and that makes me really, really happy. I can also tell you that next week’s list (to be published April 15th) has already been put together, and TWISTED is on it again.

Life is looking mighty bright today, my friends.

I have one more afternoon of paperwork ahead of me and then a few hours at the gym. I am thinking of calling a work-free weekend and just gorging myself on all the books I brought home from the tour. It snowed again last night and it is snowing right now, so I don’t have to worry about neglecting the garden or yard.


Yeah, I’m doing it. I hereby declare a guilt-free reading weekend for all!

(Tell me what you’re reading.)

Let the turning of pages begin!

TWISTED contest update

Remember the TWISTED contest? You guys claimed dates and times for when the last bit of snow would melt in my yard, and the winner would receive a signed copy of TWISTED.

It’s been warmish here and raining and the lawn had been emerging from the snow, though banks were still piled against the house. Yesterday we had a flock of robins come through.

This morning, we have several inches of fresh snow. So no winners yet.

Today’s to-do list is long, but it includes answering a bunch of fan mail letters that came from middle school students in Daejeon, South Korea. That will be fun.

I finally unpacked my suitcase. Now I am so tired I need a nap.

Home & a Surprise in the Forest

All is right with the world.

I am home, where I belong. BH greeted me at the airport with a dozen red roses. (I told you he was the perfect author spouse!)

My adopted-hometown paper, the Philadelphia Inquirer, ran a wonderful review of TWISTED. (Thanks, Greg, for the link and Hippo Bird-Day again!)

The Creature With Fangs finally conquered her fear of the stairs and spent part of the morning with me in my third-floor office, for the first time ever. That was really sweet.

I finished the last of my thank-you notes and have made a dent in the email.

But best of all, Spring is well and truly here. No, the snow isn’t gone yet. (And we are expecting more later this week.) But the farmers are boiling maple sap into syrup down the road, and the snowbanks have retreated from the sunny patches of the yard.

Last October, I planted several hundred daffodil bulbs in my Forest. This was not as easy as it sounds because the Forest grows on top of boulders, not dirt. In order to plant the bulbs, I had to use a pick axe to pry out the boulders. While engaged in the sweaty task, I realized it was a great metaphor for writing. When I spoke at the Rutger’s One-On-One Plus Conference a few weeks later, I brought the pick axe and a bag of bulbs and used them as a tool to talk about the writing process. Then I gave away the bulbs, because I figured 300 bulbs in the Forest was enough.

While I was on book tour, someone (thatgirlygirl, was it you?) gave me an email from a friend of hers who had received one of my Rutgers bulbs. She planted it in a pot and attached to the email a photo of the bulb shooting to life. And then I heard from tracyworld, whose Rutgers bulbs have popped up, too.

So I wandered out to my Forest, still in my post-booktour brain fog. And what do you know?

Image and video hosting by TinyPic As quickly as the tide of snow can recede, daffodils are shouting themselves into our world.


Book Tour Day 12 – Last day on the road

Saturday morning’s airplane delivered me to my favorite city in America.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic San Francisco.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic I love, love, love this place!

As you’ve probably noticed, there has been exactly no time for any kind of sightseeing on this trip, with the exception of lunch at William Faulkner’s house. (Yes, I am still dropping that phrase wherever I can.) I haven’t even had time to work out at a hotel gym or go for a quick run. Every time I opened my suitcase, my running clothes and sneakers mocked and taunted me.

But after I checked into my hotel on Saturday, I had a free hour. My author schlepper suggested I check out a nearby attraction.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Grace Cathedral – a sanctuary for all, regardless of faith community. It is a true sanctuary in the purest sense of the word. A holy place of peace – no dogma, no one beating you over the head with their brand of religious experience.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic I really needed a quiet place and I found it. Serenity and bliss. I recentered myself, reconnected with the Universe, and emerged restored.

And hungry.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic I was treated by Uncle Penguin to this magnificent lunch (they called it Crab Dungeness Salad. It was even better than it looks).

Image and video hosting by TinyPic I lunched with a group of dynamic YA librarians from the San Francisco Public Library. It was a little dark in the restaurant, but really, if you squint, you can see us. I was particularly interested in learning about their outreach to teens who are incarcerated, and the city kids who are looking for books that reflect their urban experiences. We need to write more books for them.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic You see interesting things in San Fran. These little rolling pod contraptions can be rented for the day and driven around the city. You have to wear a motorcycle helmet while you are driving or riding in them.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic After lunch we headed for Keplers, in Menlo Park, for a near full-house event. (Hi, Adrianna! Hi Vivian!) At the end of the presentation I was solemnly informed of the tragic defeat of my Georgetown Hoyas. Since I was in California, I pledged my new allegiance to UCLA. And then UCLA lost. I can’t decide if I am going to support Ohio or Florida in the Championship game. (I’m leaning towards Florida, since Ohio beat my boys.) Despite the loss, it was a great afternoon. Thank you very much to everyone who took the time out of their gorgeous afternoon to spend time with me.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Dinner was quiche in the car as we drove back to the city for the last event: Not Your Mother’s Book Club, notyourmothers. A couple of friends were in the audience which made it even more special than it already was – Shari and Richie Partington. (Thanks so much for coming out! Say hi to the kids and the other kids from me!)

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Here you see Debbi Michiko Florence, Jen, and me. And another random giraffe. It is so nice when I get to see old friends on the road. Debbi d-michiko-f and I met six or seven years ago at the Poconos SCBWI retreat. Since then I’ve moved twice and she’s moved about 100 times, but we’ve kept track of each other through email and LiveJournals. It was a blast to see her again and meet her daughter. (Hi C!) Jen is the Evil Genius and Awesome Babe who powers Not Your Mother’s Bookclub, putting great books into the hands of teen readers and making YA authors feel very, very special. Thanks to Jen and everyone at Books Inc. for ending my tour so perfectly. I owe you all a night on the town when I come through again.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic And now it is time to fly back east to my Beloved Husband and my dog and my pillow. I am writing and uploading this in Chicago’s O’Hare airport, about to get on the plane bound for home. I think I’m going to take a couple of days off to catch up on sleep and life, if you don’t mind.

I’ll post later in the week with my reflections on the tour and the book launch; coherent, rational thoughts. Right now all I can say is THANK YOU!!! I am humbled and overwhelmed with gratitude to everyone who went out and bought TWISTED, who came to an event, who wrote with comments about the book, who worked so hard to make all of this magic happen.

I am a tired, happy, lucky author. A thousand thank-yous to all.