Emergency over, request flag raised again

Wow. This internet thing is rather handy.

Within an hour yesterday of posting my plea for speakers of Dutch, I had three offers of help. When I woke up this morning, there were three more. Thank you very much, kind blogreaders, the emergency is over. Your help was much appreciated.

Spent last night watching Number One Son race around the track at sectionals. He definitely gets his speed from his father, thank goodness. He did well enough to make next week’s state qualifiers in the 400. I cannot even begin to imagine what it feels like to move that fast. I am the turtle in the slow lane, ducking my head into my shell as the rocket-fueled racers speed by.

Bookavore has posted many author photos in her ongoing documentation of her adventures at BEA. She has a great shots of her almost-uncle, M.T. Anderson, and of Sherman Alexie, who is exercising his rights of free speech against the owners of the Seattle SuperSonics.

This weekend is devoted to going over the last-last-super-ultimate-last pass of the CHAINS galleys and looking for a bicycle. My plea for Dutch speakers went so well, I will turn to you again.

(Random wandering tangent: Dutch = Netherlands = flat = self-sufficient, energy-saving practical people = lots of bike riders = skating too, on the canals = Hans Brinker = beloved book of childhood = curled up reading on a rainy day with McIntosh apples. Sweet.)

So – do you have any advice about what bicycle I should consider buying? I would use it for going to town to pick up groceries and library books, which means it will need some kind of basket and the ability to climb hills. I also have this fantasy of riding it to the library and bookstore in Oswego, which is about 15 miles away, which means the tires have to be strong, because the shoulders of the road can be sort of cruddy. And it needs a very soft, comfortable seat. I do not want to sit on a rock, thank you very much.

Any suggestions?

Emergency – do you speak Dutch?

I just realized that I need to run two sentences in Dutch past someone who is much better at that language than I am. It is not cool to think that your character is saying “What do you want?” when in fact, you’ve written “You have a pickle growing in your ear.”

Do any of you guys speak Dutch?

If you do, please contact me at laurie AT writerlady DOT com.

I offer everlasting gratitude and public thanks in the acknowledgment of my book. I will make sure you get a free copy of it, too.

Thank you!

Beautiful and Unexpected Things

It is Friday, so I will list Five Beautiful and Unexpected Things. As an added bonus, two come with pictures.

1. Meredith the Office Mouse spent part of yesterday weeding through a mountain of books so that BH can build some bookshelves. By the end of the day, she made an amazing discovery. She found the floor!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic I had forgotten it was there.

2. Heidi Sheffield’s English classes at Oswego High School sent me flowers.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic I did a drop-in surprise visit on them a couple of weeks ago. Thank you, everyone! (Notice the stacks and stacks of books in the background.)

3. The final, final, final CHAINS galleys should be arriving any minute now.

4. My research plans for the summer are suddenly falling into place, after much anxiety.

5. If you want to read about the BEA conference from a booksellers POV, Bookavore is blogging from LA a couple times a day.

The extra person in my office

There is a mouse in my office; she’s taller than me.

She keeps poking into corners and rooting through all the piles of papers that are labeled “Yeah, I’ll deal with that as soon as this book is done. Or maybe after the next book.” She is dealing with it now.

She is a mouse of many talents: printer installation, database management, some kind of wizardry involving graphic arts. In the famous words of Ashley’s Hannigan’s mother in PROM, she “don’t take crap off of anyone.”

The mouse is Daughter #3, Meredith, who is more organized than her mother. She has taken pity on this overwhelmed maternal unit and come up to help me get the non-writing part of the writing life under control.

For the first time I truly appreciate why farmers used to have so many children. They grow up and offer to help with the plowing!

More good news: We New Yorkers have a governor who is moving in the right direction.

And Syracuse won the national lacrosse championship.

What’s good in your life?

Cue the Wagner music


Various characters from AUTHOR’S latest novel swarm the beach in front of the mythical CAVE OF REVISION. Helicopters swoop by low enough to cause sand to swirl and whitecaps to form on the water.

The opening chords of Richard Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries” plays loudly from hidden speakers.

Activity on beach freezes as AUTHOR steps out of CAVE OF REVISION, clutching manuscript pages in her hands.

AUTHOR (triumphantly)

You smell that? Do you smell that?
Ink, friend. Nothing else in the world smells like that.
I love the smell of ink in the morning.

(kisses manuscript) The revision is done!

MINOR CHARACTER (rolls eyes)

Great. Does that mean you’ll finally take a shower?

with apologies to Francis Ford Coppola and John Milius