Join Our Team (please, please, please)

OMG, I am so excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This is better than oatmeal.
This is better than an armful of library books.
This is better than finishing a draft.

My Beloved Husband and I are going to make a difference.

We’ve joined the Team in Training, a kick-butt group that raises money for cancer research for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. BH and I will be running the Lake Placid Half Marathon (yep, 13.1 glorious miles) on June 15, 2008. We are trying to raise $5000 in support of this run.

Why should you give a hoot about this? Because we need your help.

Please go to the Laurie Halse Anderson Team Website and make a donation there.

If you want to support the guy-side of this effort, go to BH’s site and give money there..

Between the two of us, we’re trying to raise $5,000. If you help, we can achieve the goal.

After you donate (and I thank you loudly), please ask someone else to help. TEACHERS – this is a great classroom project – a way to show how adults incorporate physical fitness in their lives as well as a chance for your students to give back. LIBRARIANS – ditto. What about your book club? Your critique group? Your kidlit buddies who get together for drinks on Friday nights? If everybody tosses a couple of dollars into the pot, we can change lives and change the world.

What? You still have questions? Let them fly.

Hey, Writerlady! I thought you were really busy with writing. How are you going to make time for this, too?
We already run four times a week. Last month I did two 10-milers, so covering the distances won’t be a problem (though it won’t be pretty, either). It won’t take any extra time and I promise the new books will be done on schedule.

But, wait. You’ve had melanoma. Your mom, aunt, and cousin had breast cancer. Why aren’t you raising money for those cancers?
Because another cousin of mine, Darcy Skinner, is fighting non-Hodgkins lymphoma today and I want to help him.

Are you going to send me annoying emails about this?
If I have corresponded with you by email, then yes. So why not give a little right now and save yourself the trouble? If you are a new friend, or someone I only know through KW or SCBWI, you won’t be getting an email. It would be unethical to use the private contact information from those groups for this. So I hope you read my blog and will take it from there.

OK, OK, my wallet is open and I’m making a donation. What else can I do to help?
Spread the word. Feel free to post about this on your blog, to email friends, to bring it up at faculty meetings and at the coffee pot.

Any other questions?

Thank you so much!!!


Chapter 20, which has been giving me fits for days, is finally done. HA! I’m pretty sure it’ll be heavily reworked in the next draft, but for now, it’s good enough and I’m stoked to be moving on.

Is anyone else confused by this?

Along with the very exciting news that I get to move on to chapter 21, today is my long run day and you know what that means, right? OATMEAL! Long runs require extra carbs in the system. My carbohydrate-of-choice at the end of January in a massive bowl of oatmeal.

The fact that I am this excited about oatmeal is a little alarming, I know. But it’s true.

(Stay tuned for some earth-shaking running news coming soon!)

2008 Resolution Tracker
Week 4 – Miles Run: 22, YTD: 84.75
Week 4 – Days Written: 7, YTD:28

Only 48 weeks to go!

carrying home the KW coals in a copper box

Now I’m home, which means playing catch-up, unpacking suitcases, and setting my sights on the work again. Thank you to everyone who made Kindling Words such a special experience!

I have more photos, but frankly, Kate Messner’s are much better, so you should look at hers. Thank you, Kate, for being so handy with a camera and posting quickly.

As requested and promised, here are the two quotes that I used at the end of my presentation on Sunday.The first is from Scottish mountaineer William Hutchinson Murray. He was talking about planning and executing mountain climbing trips, but it applies to writing, too:

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets:

“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!””
[A loose 1835 translation of Faust]

And the second, a comment made by William Faulkner when speaking to a group of eager writing students at Princeton.

(You might want to tape this to your desk)

“Don’t be ‘a writer’. Be writing.”

the kindling catches and blazes

It’s going to take a while to think through all I experienced this weekend, but I wanted to post a couple of photos and say a few things while I am waiting for my ride to the airport.

(For those co-retreaters who asked me to post the final quote from my presentation this morning, I promise I’ll do that tomorrow.)

Saturday started with author, illustrator, and editor strands/presentations, then a day filled with informal discussions about our craft and the creative life. We enjoyed a couple of hours of wonderful readings after dinner, then we bundled up and headed out in the snow

Image and video hosting by TinyPic to the bonfire.

I think everyone should have a bonfire with their friends once a month. At least. We roasted marshmallows, sang a lot of songs, and threw our wishes into the fire, then retired inside for more lively conversation until the wee hours of the morning.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic In the red scarf, that’s Linda Sue Park, then Tanya Lee Stone, and in the jaunty hat, Vera B. Williams.

Somehow we all staggered into breakfast, and from there to the last round of presentations. Like I said, more about all of this tomorrow. But I am so incredibly grateful for a weekend spent in a magical creative community. Thank you, everyone. Life is good.

The fires blaze

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Gregory McGuire, who gave one of the funniest introductions I’ve ever heard for tonight’s keynote speaker, Linda Sue Park.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Katie Davis and Jane Yolen!!!!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Sara Zarr in the cute Utah hat sitting with Kate Messner.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Wendy Mass and me.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic The outstanding and magnificent Vera B. Williams!

The food continues to be tempting….

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Breakfast fruit

Image and video hosting by TinyPic The dessert table at lunch.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Close-up. Feel the love.

My second presentation is tomorrow after breakfast. I am STILL not happy with Chapter 20, but I am happier with it than I was when I woke up. Will try again tomorrow.