Simon & Schuster Day!

I am staying with my friend Deb Heiligman and her husband whilst in NYC. Deb beat me to the blogging punch yesterday about how fashionable we were as we power-walked down to 52nd Street. Turnabout is fair play so this is what Deb looked liked before our walk yesterday.

My day at Simon & Schuster started with anab-fab reception where I got to meet many of the good people who work there and sign a couple of books.

After that I did a short taping for Studio 4 to create more video content for the S&S website (here’s is some of the content created in 2008.)

That lady in the backsground is my FORGE editor, Caitlyn Dlouhy. Here she is in her office….

… which is filled with so many books all I wanted to do was to sit and read. But that was not on the agenda. The day was filled with meetings and meals and sometimes meetings at meals. Most of the conversations revolved around the publication of FORGE (October 19! Mark your calenders!) and the booktour that they are putting together for it. I don’t have any details yet about where and when I’ll be speaking, but as soon as I do, I’ll let you know.

Oh – and Caitlyn and I also talked about some upcoming picturebooks. Again – details later.

And I was able to see the FORGE cover, but it is not fully final yet so I probably shouldn’t show that. But I wish I could because it is GORGEOUS. Lizzy Bromley, the designer of CHAINS, is in charge of FORGE, too, and that is a VERY good thing because Lizzy is a genius, and a hard-working one at that.

Instead of showing you the FORGE cover, I can show you this group of nice S&Sers at one of the meetings.

The day ended with a magnificent meal at a cool restaurant off an alley on the Lower East Side, and before I knew it I was in a cab heading uptown and somehow, this dizzying day was over.

And now I am off to do it again at Penguin.

Big Apple

So I’m in NYC now for a mixture of business and fun. Today I’ll be at the offices of Simon & Schuster, tomorrow I’ll be at Penguin, Saturday is a research/family day and Sunday I’ll be running a half-marathon in Central Park.

Monday I limp home.

I have a camera with me. What do you want me to take pictures of? (Leave me a note in Comments or on FB or Twitter.)

I don’t know how much I’ll be able to post for the next couple of days. In case you miss me, check out these video interviews with me at AdLit.

Or you can read this article about Kristen Stewart.

Off to change into my city suit of armor….

Tabs like seeds growing & a poem to make you sing

I’m in cleaning frenzy mode before the NYC trip.  This morning’s task is to clean up all the open tabs. I hope you are feeling in a clickety-linkety mood this morning.

A day this beautiful should begin on a note of poetry perfectly balanced between joy and melancholy. Read "Some Me of Beauty" by Carolyn M. Rodgers.

My favorite lines are:

"I saw a woman. Human and
I felt a spiritual
A root revival of
And I knew that many
Were Over
And some me of
About to begin."

That line: "some me of beauty was about to begin" makes my heart race and my palms sweat. THAT, my friends, is the mark of a good poem. What do you think about it?

Sadly, Ms. Rodgers died last week at age 69.

Recently I was privileged to send some love and best wishes to one of my childhood heroes (seen below)  Beverly Cleary on the occasion of her 94th birthday!! Judy Blume sent greetings too, and Lauren Myracle, and other truly splendiferous authors. Read the whole thing and bask in the goodness that is the World Of Cleary.

(photo from the SLJ website, photo credit to Kate Ward)

In preparation of the kick-butt Teen Book Festival near Rochester, NY (5/15/10 – you don’t want to miss it), I participated in a quick "This or That" interview. Other authors who will be at the TBF include Coe Booth, Holly Black, Ellen Hopkins, AND MORE!

<=== That is the United Kingdom paperback version of CHAINS, published by Bloomsbury. I adore this cover. CHAINS has been named nominated for SPELLBINDING, the Cumbrian Primary School Book Award, in England.

And, drum roll please, for in addition to winning the 2010 Milwaukee County Teen Book Award, WINTERGIRLS has been nominated for the YALSA Teens’ Top Ten of 2010!!!!! Voting takes place in August and September. Get ready!!!

Garden update

We are still about a month away from our last frost date, but I’ve gotten massive amounts of work done already.

Without really thinking about it too much, my husband and I are edging closer and closer to a more or less sustainable lifestyle. I guess the goal is to produce as much of our own food as possible. If we can’t or don’t grow it, then we try to buy local. (You may remember the Great Strawberry Jam Festival of 2008.) I’m willing to make a carbon footprint for a few things, like coffee and tea, but the list gets smaller every year.

This year’s veggie garden in 350 feet long and 6 feet wide. So far I’ve planted potatoes, onions, garlic, two kinds of peas, lettuce, spinach, horseradish, and rhubarb. Waiting on deck for the days to get a little warmer are the seedlings that I’ve been pampering: cucumbers, broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale, a couple kinds of flowers, and pumpkin. The pumpkin is allegedly a variety that you can actually cook. I’d love to make this year’s Thanksgiving pies from scratch this year. (Most of this year’s seeds came from High Mowing. I recommend them with enthusiasm!)

The tomato and pepper seedlings from Seed Savers should be here soon. When they go in, I’ll plant the squash and bean seeds. Oh, and I planted a cover crop (green manure) of red clover. After that is tilled in, I’ll replant with a mixture of red clover and buckwheat.

We also have wild berry bushes growing on our property. These are mostly left for the birds to eat, I’m trying to tame them a bit into hedges this year and fertilize them. Maybe next year we’ll ask the birds to share.

What else? I have a bunch of herbs…. this afternoon I am going to experiment with propagating lavender. And we are still trying to figure out if this should be The Year of the Grand Chicken Experiment.

The more we do this, the more fun we’re having. I’ve had to unlearn some consumerist habits. For example, when I realized how many different kinds of seeds I’d be planting this year, my first inclination was to drive to the store and buy row markers. Silly me. When I thought about it, I realized that a) that would be a waste of dollars and fuel, and b) I could make the things by myself. I’ve been chopping a lot of wood this year, so I’m more comfortable with both axe and hatchet. I took a very dry maple log and split it into about 50 rowers markers. It was very easy to write on the smooth wood. At the end of the season, I’ll use them as kindling. Also, instead of buying plastic cups and pre-packaged dirt to start seeds in, we saved up egg cartons and used a mixture of composted dirt and worm castings. 

How is your garden doing?