left coast scribbling

The trip out to Anaheim was lovely and uneventful. They even gave us free crackers on the plane.

My ALA whirlwind doesn’t start until this evening, so I am sneaking in writing time while I can. Poolside. Coated in sunscreen, sitting in the shade, but, yeah, I’m lounging next to what I think is a bougainvillea plant, underneath a palm tree.

Some parts of this job do not totally suck, I must admit.

Another cool thing is the email I’ve been getting recently. I don’t know why, but suddenly teen boys are reading TWISTED (because it’s out in paperback?) and are emailing me; often at 4am. Several of them are demanding a sequel like this guy, who wrote:

Thank you for grasping what us, as teenagers go throu on an daily basis and putting it into words. Reading your books, gives me hope to get throu the weeks. Espicllly TWISTED, its my favorite so far, and I would like to know what ends up happening to Bethany and Tyler, Yoda and Tylers sister Hannah??(name has slipped my mind) and if Tyler continues on with his new ways and becomes the man he wants to be.

Many of the guys who are writing want to see more of the relationship between Tyler and Bethany. Must ponder this….

I will try to take lots of pictures this weekend and post them (and yes, I’ll try to make a video again), but the Internet connection at my hotel is really slow, so it might take until Monday before I can put up anything substantial.

Now I will lean back, close my eyes, and absorb this memory so I can pull it out during a blizzard next February.

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?