the proper name for this draft

This is the dopeslap draft. I have a headache from hitting myself upside the head every time I figure something out that has probably been obvious for months, only I just realized it for the first time. “Duh! Of course that’s where her father works! Duuuuh, of course she’s going to do that!”

I need to reserve my words for my story today, so here are some links to keep you happy:

Continuing with this week’s “grande dame of children’s literature” theme, I present a new interview with the creator of Ramona, Beverly Cleary.

Today’s featured author at 28 Days Later is Eleanora E. Tate, who wrote Celeste’s Harlem Renaissance. Be sure to read the powerful bio on her website.

Join the most exclusive club in all of children’s literature! Low membership fee, everlasting gratitude! Earn bragging rights!

Lake Placid Half-Marathon countdown: 130 days. Seems like it’s a million years away.

And then the main character turned left instead of right…

I threw out the last third of my book yesterday. Yeah, the one that is due very, very soon.

(I didn’t actually throw it out. I put it in the file marked “Extremely Good Writing In Search of the Right Story.” It has many friends there.)

The main character announced the need to take a different path than the one I chose. While it is utterly terrifying to have no clue how the book is going to end, I must admit, it’s also kind of fun, like skiing down an icy slope on a Black Diamond trail. I might end in an emergency room, but then again, I might end up in front of the fire in the lodge regaling the crowd with a tale of adventure, sipping a mug of hot cheer. Either way, it promises a wild ride.

No skiing yesterday, but I did run 10 miles. BH ran 8. We can barely walk today.

Today’s featured author at 28 Days Later is Janice N. Harrington, who wins the best title of the day award because she wrote The Chicken Chasing Queen of Lamar County. She also wrote the much lauded and awarded Going North.

Judy Blume Alert!!!! My favorite quote of the interview: “After each book I get panicky. I don’t love the reviews. I don’t like going through all that, and you would think that, after almost 40 years of writing, I’d have got the hang of it. You can never grow complacent about it because it’s always new, it’s always exciting and it’s always like the first time.”

I didn’t know she has a blog! ::rushes to hit Bookmark button::

Off to work now. Keep scribbling.

Join the most exclusive club in all of children’s literature! Low membership fee, everlasting gratitude!

Lake Placid Half-Marathon countdown: 131 days

Have I mentioned that censorship makes me cranky?

What a way to start the month. First, John Green’s LOOKING FOR ALASKA is under fire for being “pornographic”.

And now, some parents are going after SPEAK. The teacher involved has asked me not to name the school because she wants the process and policies of the district to unfold away from the glare of any spotlights. I respect that. I am allowed to say that it’s a middle school in suburban Detroit. For the record, this has also happened in New Hampshire, Florida, Ohio, Washington, New York, Maine, and California. (As a result of the challenges, the book was embraced, not banned. Which does make an author feel good and a teacher feel even better.)

I sent her a note with teen sexual assault statistics and shared the feedback I’ve had from readers and their parents, who are grateful for a story that allows them to broach a difficult subject.

This teacher could use some professional support. If you teach SPEAK, can you please leave a note in the comments section for her? Tell her why you use the book. Tell her about your classroom experiences and your professional opinion about the place of the book in the curriculum. Or just give her a pat on the back. If you are a teen, tell her what the book meant to you.

Thank you very much and spread the word.

Now for something positive! Join the brilliant people at The Brown Bookshelf for 28 Days Later – an awesome, wonderful, joyful concept: a black history month celebration of children’s literature. They are highlighting an African-American author or illustrator every day this month. Today’s honoree is Rita Williams-Garcia, whom I met at NCTE back in November. If you’re looking for some great authors, start with this list.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic This is my editor Sharyn November with the lovely and talented Rita Williams-Garcia.

Our Team In Training effort is going strong. Between the two of us, BH and I have already raised $1755 of our goal of $5000. Yeah, that means we’re still standing here, in the snow, shivering, with our hands out. Please donate to the goose or donate to the gander. We’re raising $5000 and running a half marathon for the National Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Come on. Give a little!

(I ran 5 miles on Saturday and 4 miles yesterday. BH ran 5 miles both days. We didn’t have any trouble sleeping this weekend.)

Thank you to the Giants and Patriots for a great game last night!!! All hail the Giants defense – even though I wanted the other guy to win, you gotta respect the job they did.

And now the countdown to March Madness…

Along with the countdown to my deadline. scribblescribblescribble