WFMAD Day 20 – Silliness

Sometimes you just have to push the silly button. Maybe that’s why it is time for the annual Pimp My Bookcart competition.

Last year’s winner was a Good Humor-themed cart created by welding students at Harlem High School.

If you need to smile, check out all of last year’s winners.

Two more smile makers come to you courtesy of  Jim Averbeck and Kristin Clark Venuti.  Jim interviews people at the American Library Association Annual conference every year. Then he and his minions go home and put together really fun videos.

Here is one of this year’s videos, with fashion statements by authors, which in itself is a hysterical concept because we spend our days in our pajamas, most of us.


And another, in which you can see how completely useless I am at game shows.

(More videos from this year’s ALA can be found on Jim and Kristin’s website.)


“If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh. Otherwise they’ll kill you.” Oscar Wilde

Set… relax. It’s Friday. Summer is winding down. Life is good. Smile.

Today’s prompt: pure silliness. Your character wakes up and can no longer speak any human language. Can’t write either. But she can still understand what the people around her are saying. And she can understand everything said by any animal or insect within fifty feet of her.

Write a funny scene in which she tries to figure out what is going on. Build the absurdity of her situation by piling on misunderstandings and pratfalls. Make yourself chuckle.


ALA pics & recovery

Do not lean to close to the screen whilst reading this; I have a Summer Death Cold and don’t want to infect you. I ran this post through the anti-virus thingie, but you know viruses; always mutating.

Wash your hands when you are finished reading. And increase your Vitamin C intake.

And now to my ALA recap. (I did shoot some video footage, but my brain is too fuzzy to piece it together now. Watch this space next week.)

My hotel was delightfully near the White House, so I ran past it nearly every morning. Did not see the First Dog or the First Garden, sadly.

Simon & Schuster held a wonderful dinner in honor of FORGE (comes out October 19 – mark your calendars!)

Another shot from the dinner. We ate at a suitably 18th-century room in the Hotel Tabard Inn. It was very exciting to be able to talk about FORGE finally!

  The highlight of the trip was signing the Advance Reading copies of FORGE (tho’ I was bummed that they did not contain the backmatter – you’ll find that in the finished book.) I also stole a few minutes to walk around the floor. Here is Tony DiTerlizzi about to ravish the BoundTo Stay Book 90th birthday cake. The cake was made by Charm City Cakes, of course!

Tony’s newest masterpiece, The Search for Wondla, comes out on September 21. Click through the link to see art from the book. I CAN’T WAIT FOR THIS ONE!!

I did a fair amount of stalking on the exhibit floor. Here are Kacy Cook, Catherine Balkin, and Arnold Adoff.

Judith Viorst and Lane Smith.

Mo Willems!

John Green and David Levithan. (I heard raves about their book, WILL GRAYSON,WILL GRAYSON, from teen readers.)

I also caught up with one of my favorite book clubs in America…

The Eva Perry Mock Printz Club from North Carolina.

There seemed to be more teens than usual at ALA this year, and I think that is a Very Good Thing. Here I am hanging out with Charley from Vermont, whose parents write The Jaguar Stones books. (Photo courtesy of J & P Voelkel and Elizabeth Law of Egmont.)

One of the best parts of ALA is running into old friends and celebrating their new books. On the left, my FORGE editor, Caitlyn Dloughy talks to my pal, Mitali Perkins, about Mitali’s wonderful new book, Bamboo People.

Linda Sue Park!!!

And my buddies David Gill and Tanya Lee Stone, both with new books out.

Many, many, MANY thanks to all the readers and librarians who came our to hear all of us speak and to share in our passion for creating books for kids and teens.

Now go wash your hands!

My ALA schedule

Where will I be during the American Library Association conference in Washington DC this week?

Friday June 25th – I’ll be hanging around the YALSA Preconference all day long, worshipping librarians and thanking them for being such an important part of the lives of teen readers.

I’ll also be speaking on the Author Panel from 1 – 2pm, along with Ellen Hopkins, Nina LaCour, David Levithan, and Benjamin Alire Saenz.

Friday night I’ll be talking about FORGE at a dinner hosted by Simon & Schuster. (There should be FORGE ARCs available at the S&S booth.) I might try to make the SCBWI party after dinner. Or I might fall asleep in the shower, as I am an early bird and ALA is a serious night-time kind of gig.

Saturday June 26th – I have an interview in the morning.

11am – 12pm –  signing at the S&S booth, #2644

2 – 3pm – signing at the Penguin booth, #2500

Saturday night I’ll be talking about all kinds of things at the Penguin dinner.

Sunday June 27th –

9 am – 10am – YALSA YA Author Coffee Klatch in room 209C of the Convention Center. Speed dating with librarians.

1- 1:30pm – I’ll be reading from FORGE at the ALA LIVE! Stage in Aisle 2600

1:30 – 2pm – signing FORGE & CHAINS after the reading. Not sure where.

Afternoon – record some PSAs for the American Librarian Association

Evening – cheer and feast at the Newbery/Caldecott/Wilder dinner.

Monday – come home and weed the garden and make nice with the chickens. And kiss my husband.

Will I see you in DC?


Taking advantage of the longest days & WFMAD anyone?

Sorry to have been to absent from blogging, my friends. We’ve been taking advantage of the long days in the garden. A very generous friend showed up with a pick-up truck filled with herbs. The herb garden by the cottage that I was going to work on this fall is now on an accelerated schedule! We’ve been eating peas and watching the tomato plants. The basil is ready, too.

(Have you ever made mozzarella cheese? I think I need to try that.)

(Second random comment – my experiment with clover and buckwheat as a cover crop is still very experimental. Have any of you used it in between rows of veggies to crowd out weeds?)

I’ll post my ALA schedule later today. I’m really looking forward to the conference – both to see old friends and to start talking up FORGE, which comes out it 118 days. (Gulp.) Have I shown you the cover yet?

What do you think?

In other book news, WINTERGIRLS has been translated in Spanish and published in Spain.

Any thoughts on this cover? I’m told it should be available soon in Mexico. Here’s an early synopsis en español.

::shifts gears::

For as much fun as I know ALA is going to be, I must admit I am very impatient to get home and get back to writing. I hope to fill a lot of pages between now and mid-October, when the FORGE booktour gets underway. And since I’ll have the writing process on my mind, are there any of you who want me to the Write for Fifteen Minutes A Day Challenge? (Link takes you to the first day of last year’s challenge.)

The rules are simple. In fact, they aren’t even rules. They’re more like guidelines, the Pirate Code of Writing.

1. Commit to write for 15 minutes a day for the entire month of August.
2. Just do it.

Seriously. That’s all there is to it. You don’t have to sign up anywhere, or meet minimum word count goals or complete a whole freaking novel in 30 days.

Anyone up for it? Leave me a message in comments or on my Facebook page or on Twitter, please.

My to-do list for the next 12 hours has now exceeded two pages, so I must either start crossing things off or set fire to it. Or maybe shred for use in the chicken coop.

Lady Gaga in the Library

This is so freaking awesome I have no words. Just enjoy.

(Video was made by students and faculty at the University of Washington’s Information School. One of the students is the daughter of a friend. LIBRARIANS RULE THE WORLD!)