Baby Got Book

So you don’t know this about me yet, but I love, love, love the song “Baby Got Back” by Sir Mix-A-Lot. It is an excellent running song that gets my feet moving much faster than normal. Picture me dashing down a country road singing the lyrics at the top of my lungs, disturbing wildlife with every mile, and shaking my thang. OK, don’t picture that. It’s a disturbing image.

Well, this great song just got better. Editor Cheryl Klein has written new lyrics for it, in a literary vein. The new title is “Baby Got Book” and it is hysterical and awesome. (scroll down to the April 26th entry.) Click on the link and read it now, but remember boys and girls: she wrote it, she owns it. Don’t go spreading it around without her permission.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic I fretted muchly over my tomatoes last night. Here they are, naked in front of the approaching cold front.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic And here they are all bundled up for the night. Cozy, no?

Maybe I should be packing them in my suitcase. I leave Thursday for sunny and warm San Jose, CA as the visiting author to the San Jose Area Writing Project. Those events are all sold out, but if you live in the area, please come out and hang out with me at Hicklebee’s bookstore, Friday May 2nd, at 4pm.

Two grace notes in my life yesterday; simple things that made me smile. I spent an hour holding my 4-month-old grand nephew Kegan. There is something about the smell of a baby that makes everything right in the world. And for dinner, BH cooked up some locally-caught baked bullhead (it’s a fish) and served it with the peach chutney I canned last summer. Yum!

Counting raindrops and boxes on the calendar

Happy is the gardener who gets her plants in the ground and her tools put away before the rain starts.

I couldn’t help myself. I jumped the gun this weekend. The broccoli I planted will be fine when the temperatures drop below freezing later this week. It won’t bother the pansies either, though the hollyhocks are already trembling. The lettuce and peas I sowed are hardy enough to push through snow.

But I fear for the tomatoes. I put them out several weeks too early in a fit of blind optimism and while hallucinating about fresh tomato, basil, and mozzarella sandwiches. Maybe I could build them little bonfires or quick knit them all a blanket. Stay tuned….

Besides gardening (in a cloud of punkies so thick I had to work with a shawl wrapped around my head), the other fun thing this weekend was our nine-mile run around Cazenovia Lake with our Team in Training teammates. I’ve reached my fund raising goal and my Beloved Husband is 80% of the way therehe only needs another $485. Our bribery offer of free books and other goodies still stands if you donate (scroll down the linked post for the details.)

Several important dates are sprinting towards us:
48 days until the Lake Placid Half-Marathon
60 days until ALA
146 days until the Philadelphia Distance Run
176 days until the release of CHAINS and my book tour (I got a preview of the tour plans last week, but I can’t talk about it until the details are finalized.)

Looking backwards now:
2008 Resolution Tracker
Week 16 – Miles Run: 14.5, YTD: 329.25 (gone through another pair of sneakers!)
Week 16 – Days Written: 7, YTD: 118

This is Day 119 of 2008. We’re just about one-third of the way through the year. Does that seems possible?

Five Great Announcements

Don’t know about where you live, but this morning is one of the most beautiful we’ve had in a while. When the Creature With Fangs and I stepped outside, she looked around and said “Dang! Why can’t it be like this all the time?”

So, basking in natural goodness, I make Five Friday Announcements:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic 1. TWISTED has been chosen as a YALSA Teens’ Top Ten nominee. The list of nominees is stellar; be sure to go through it. Teens who read titles on the list get to vote for their favorites during Teen Read Week, October 12-18, 2008.

2. In related news, the paperback version of TWISTED goes on sale in 20 days! I’ll be celebrating it at the river’s end bookstore in Oswego, NY on May 15th, 6pm. TWISTED has also apparently been released in England. I found the cover on the Amazon.UK website. You’d think they’d let the author know about these things, wouldn’t you?

Image and video hosting by TinyPic 3. Speaking of new releases, we’re about five weeks away from the release of INDEPENDENT DAMES: What You Never Knew About the Women and Girls of the American Revolution. It’s illustrated by Matt Faulkner, who did the great art for THANK YOU, SARAH, and I am so excited about it I keep skipping, which amuses the dog.

4. Harold Underdown (author of the very important and useful COMPLETE IDIOT”S GUIDE TO PUBLISHING CHILDREN’S BOOKS) has posted an extremely good page about getting an agent or artist’s representative. If you are thinking that it’s time, go to this part of his website before you do anything else.

5. Susane Colasanti windowlight has great photos from Viking’s 75th birthday party. ETA – Publisher’s Weekly noted the party, too! Note to Uncle Viking: I have my calendar out: what’s the date for the 100th?

This weekend I’m researching and running and working in the garden. What are you going to do?

Country Girl In Big Apple

So after dwelling in the Cave of Revision (long hours, but a lot of fun, I must admit) I got up early on Monday morning and headed for the train station. Time to head to the Big City to meet with various editorial types.

Monday was a Simon and Schuster Day. (They publish my historical books.) Yesterday was a Viking Day, ending with a crowded and lively party to celebrate Viking’s 75th anniversary. It was one of those parties where you want to stop the clock because there are so many people to talk to and just not enough time.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Here is a small sampling. From the left, author Lizabeth Zindel, moi, Doug Whiteman, president of Penguin Books for Young Readers, Sarah Dessen aka writergrl whose new book Lock and Key hit stores yesterday, and author Susane Colisanto aka windowlight.

I also got a chance to meet the new author Madeline George, say hello to my agent, Amy, and bask in the glow cast by your ambassador and mine, Jon Scieszka.

I’m off to more S&S meetings right now, then I will attempt the ever-popular dash down the island of Manhattan to catch the late train out of Penn Station.

It’s better than taking a plane these days.