::lifts head from manuscript to see blog friends standing around::

Oh. Right.
Yay Jayhawks!!

I really do have a ton of great ideas for today’s post, but I have too much work to do.

Check back with me tomorrow, OK?

::sticks self back into story::

One more game…

Many condolences to all my Tarheel friends… That was hard to watch, wasn’t it?

Following my decision to support the team that beat the team that beat my team, I only have one thing to say:


No, that’s not right.




Where are my notes? …… Ah.


Mail about the realities of writing

Yes, Theo is in the process of posting my new website, and yes, we know that not all features are working yet. Thank you very much to everyone who has written to let us know pages that seem to be empty and the broken links. Consider the current version very much Beta. It will be polished and shiny soon.

Katarina, an 8th grader from NJ, mailed the following questions. I’m on deadline again, so the answers will be pithy.

When did you realize that you wanted to become a writer specifically for young adults?
I haven’t decided that yet. I just try to write good stories.

How do you deal with frustration/writer’s block?
I run.

Are there any specific classes that I should take in high school/college?
Keyboarding. I suggest you don’t major in creative writing, either, but take some of the classes if the professor has a good reputation with the other students.

Is this a job that includes more failure or success?
Ha! Buckets of failure, tasty tablespoons of success.

How long does it usually take to get “started,” i.e. find a reputable publisher and editor
Ten years.

How long, on average, does it take for you to write a book including the editing/publishing process?
Two to three years from the beginning of a project until it lands in a bookstore.

What precautions can I take so I don’t fall for publishing scams?
Never pay cash to anyone who claims to be an agent. Learn the difference between vanity presses and trade presses. Your librarian will help you find books that explain the difference.

Should I have a good knowledge of other styles/genres of writing?
Write what is in your heart.

How can I learn to deal with bad reviews and critics?
Smashing your hand in a car door once a week helps. If you don’t have a car, use a hammer. Bad reviews hurt.

When I am just starting out, is the compensation good enough, or is it hard to make a living?
Learn how to waitress so you’ll always be able to eat. Be nice to your parents in case you need to live in their basement until your big break comes.

And a very nice note from Danica, who writes:

Ms. Halse-Anderson,
I’ve got to let you know how much I truly loved “Speak.” I first read
the novel as part of an Adolescent Literature class, and I enjoyed it
so much that I thought I needed to find a way to work with the novel
on a deeper level. I’ve decided to use it as part of my senior thesis
on reader-response and adolescent literature.

You’ve managed to take a subject like rape and address it in a way
that’s approachable for adolescent readers– the treatment of the
subject is not too intense or explicit, but still clearly demonstrates
the emotional pain of rape. It seems that rape is too often treated
lightly (somehow– something I will never quite understand), and your
book is a wonderful approach to the benefits of speaking out about
sexual trauma.

Thank you, I look forward to reading more from you!

Thank you very much, Danica. That is exactly the inspiration I needed to go back to my revision!

For your consideration

Yes! I ran outside yesterday! The wind chill was about 20 degrees, but there was no ice on the side of the road and I saw robins. ROBINS! Granted, they had wrapped their wings around themselves and were hopping up and down to keep warm. And, granted, they were accusing each other of making a big mistake flying north so soon. But they were ROBINS.

My daffodils are still sleeping under the snow, but I bet they are starting to think about doing something green.

Here is your quote for the day, from photographer Dorothea Lange: ““The secret places of the heart are the real mainsprings of one’s actions.”

She was quoted by my friend, Elizabeth Partridge, in a wonderful Horn Book article about the spirit that fuels all us artists, and what makes life worth living.

What do you think about this article?

weekend away

I love my kids, just love them.

We snuck off to PA for the weekend to see Daughters #1 and #3, as well as do some research and speak to some college classes. We ate a lot of good food, hung out with the girls and their friends, and laughed until our sides ached. They were a blast when they were babies and little kids, but I had no idea how much more fun they would be when they grew up. Life is very good.

Thank you to all the students and professors at Millersville University who made my day there so much fun. (if you are looking for a college, gentle reader, you should take a look at M’ville.)

And so…. Davidson…. ::wipes tears from eyes:: … I guess I have to say “Rock chalk!” and summon new-found love for the Jayhawks. Let the Madness continue!!

What is the whole “rock chalk” thing, anyway? Can someone please educate me?

It’s been a while since I updated my resolutions. I’ve had to cut back on running a little because of a very sore hamstring, but it’s healing nicely. Might try to run outside today – I am really sick of the treadmill.

2008 Resolution Tracker
Week 13 – Miles Run: 10, YTD: 258.25
Week 13 – Days Written: 7, YTD: 91

Back to revision!