crazy goldfinch, writing process questions & ALA schedule

We have a male goldfinch who thinks our house is a romantic rival. Seriously. For three days, he has been flying up to the building and attacking it with his beak. He is most persistent. I’ve heard him muttering: She’s mine, I say, MINE. get away, you fool. Don’t you see your quest for her love is in vain? Back, back to the foul place from whence you came!

At first I thought he wasn’t seeing the glass, so I pulled the shades, and tinkered with the angle of the windows (they open outwards). Didn’t help. He’s attacking the siding, too. I’m worried that the little guy is going to break his beak, or get a concussion and forget which nest is his, then his true love will pine away in sorrow, and their children will be sent to a cruel orphanage in the north on England and will have to eat gruel.

Writing Process and More!

Mitali Perkins has posted the Q&A I did on the readergirlz forum last week. In it, I talk about the hardest thing about YA writing, inspiration for various novels, and the challenges of writing outside my gender and ethnic background. Thank you, Mitali, divas, and girlz! I had fun with youze!


I leave for the annual American Library Association conference on Thursday. If you see me wandering around, please come up and say hello because I am always intimidated by these events and am most grateful for friendly faces.

Along with much wandering, this is my official ALA schedule:

Saturday, June 28
10-11am Signing at the Simon & Schuster booth, #2499

3-4pm Signing at the Penguin booth, #2616

5:30pm-? Come hang out with Tanya Lee Stone and me in the lobby of the Grand Californian Hotel. No tickets! No lines! We’ll be chit-chatting about our new non-fiction historical picture books: Elizabeth Leads the Way, about the life of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Independent Dames, about women and girls during the American Revolution. Both of us also write YA, so I imagine the conversation could go anywhere. This very informal, just a chance to sit around and talk with librarians without any hoopla.

I’ll be at the S&S party on Saturday night. Must remember not to wear heels to that one. That was a big mistake last year.

Sunday, June 29
noon – I’m going to the Art Luncheon! (very stoked about this) Matt Faulkner, who illustrated INDEPENDENT DAMES and THANK YOU, SARAH will be there, along with Robin Preiss Glasser, Kadir Nelson, and David Small.

4-6pm VOYA Reception for the Perfect Tens 2007 at the Hilton

6-11pm Newbery/Caldecott Banquet. (Might wear heels to this one. Might even wear a dress.)

Sadly, my plane leaves on Monday, so I’ll miss the Printz Awards on Monday, which are always a lot of fun.

Will I see any of you in Anaheim?

6 Replies to “crazy goldfinch, writing process questions & ALA schedule”

  1. Perhaps he’s transspecied. Y’know? He tells people he’s a woodpecker, trapped in a goldfinch’s body. 🙂

  2. Or is this goldfinch the little nerdly guy who is trying to win the heart of Marilyn Monroe, and will a female goldfinch find this kind of behavior attractive?

    Have a great time at ALA!

  3. Laurie:

    You may find this bit of useless trivia interesting as yesterday’s entry was about strawberries and featured the beautiful John Lennon song Strawberry Fields Forever. And today’s spoke of an orphanage on England. Some say that John Lennon’s inspiration for this song came from a nearby orphanage where he grew up in England called Strawberry Fields. Hummmmm very interesting……….. I hope your goldfinch finds his way and his children and not reduced to asking …….”Please sir, may I have another”.

  4. My house has one of those berserk birds! It’s driving my cat wild! Fortunately it stopped after a couple days; I’m not sure its teeny little head could have taken any more of the abuse.

  5. Link to Laurie’s readergirlz excerpts

    Have a great time at ALA, Laurie — we loved having you at readergirlz. Here’s the actual link to the post featuring your chat excerpts at my blog.

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