playing catch-up

I will be using today’s subject line a lot in the next four months!

Life is busy – good busy. I am so incredibly blessed to have all this fun stuff to do! Right now most of my time is spent working on the new book (it’s a historical that continues the adventures of the characters introduced in CHAINS). My goal is to get the first readable next to my editor my early next month. The tentative publication date is the Spring of 2010.

I’m also gearing up for the crazy CHAINS book tour that starts on 10/21. I’ll be posting more details about that soon. Counting a few events before and after the actual tour (NCTE/ALAN and a couple of bookseller trade shows), I’ll be spending 40 days on the road, and visiting 27 cities (in several places, I’ll be in town for two days). I am a little overwhelmed by the thought of this, but mostly am so excited that I am giving off sparks.

And there is the very advance publicity work I need to do for WINTERGIRLS, my YA that will be published in May, 2009. I hope that the WINTERGIRLS book tour will cover some of the regions of the country (i.e. West Coast) that I won’t be seeing on the CHAINS tour.

Oh – and the other thing about next year? Next year is the tenth anniversary of the publication of SPEAK. More details about any festivities later.

This afternoon is the big meeting with the folks at my mother’s rehab facility spa to discuss her discharge date, and that is the most exciting news of all. She had gotten back much of her strength and is beginning to walk with a walker. If they leave her there much longer, she’ll reorganize the facility, so I suspect she’ll be home soon. Thank you everyone for the prayers and warm wishes. They have meant a great deal to our family.

The sad thing is that I’ve been so busy that I haven’t been able to can as much food as I had hoped, and my garden is showing signs of neglect.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic But my pumpkins are comfortably resting on their cozy beds of shredded manuscript draft.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic And my Beloved Husband has finished splitting and stacking almost 25 cords of wood to heat the house this winter. (You can’t see it from the photo, but the stack extends to the far wall of the garage.)

What have you been up to?

Booktour news and WFMAD 25

No, the firewood isn’t here yet. Yes, it’s going up to 80+ degrees so we are unlikely to need it tonight. But OfficeMouse and her Faithful Companion are leaving soon which means it will be BH and me on stacking duty. Maybe I should invite everyone in Blogland to come help. I could feed you all snap peas and jam.

Happy Birthday today to my friends Ashley Kauffmann, Tanya Lee Stone, and Ed Spicer!! Ed does terrific work with teen readers out in Michigan.

My good friend Elizabeth Partridge suggested that I alert all of you to Lois Lowery’s blog. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Elizabeth has a blog, too.

I am starting to get early information about the CHAINS booktour this fall. I will be in these regions. (Most places I am slated to be around for two days somewhere from late October to late November. All details as soon as I get them, I promise!)

Minneapolis, MN
Denver, CO
Chicago, IL
Omaha, NE
Milwaukee, WI
Dover, DE (Delaware Book Festival)
McLean, VA
Ridgewood, NJ
Millbrook, NY (near Poughkeepsie)
Boston, MA
Rochester, NY
Atlanta, GA
Miami FL (Miami Book Festival)
New Orleans, LA
Oxford, MS
Jackson, MS
Bethlehem, PA (right, Stef?)
Oswego, NY

In addition, I’ll be speaking at the New England Independent Bookseller’s Association (Boston, MA), and the Great Lakes Booksellers Association (Dearborn, MI) tradeshows before the tour starts, and I’ll be in San Antonio, TX for the NCTE/ALAN conference.

After the last event, I will go home, burn my suitcase, and turn off the telephone for a few weeks. But, really, I am extremely excited about this tour.

Booktours don’t happen without writing, so let’s focus on that!


Today’s goal: Write 15 minutes. Be shocked at how fast the time flies.

Today’s mindset: melancholy

Today’s prompt: It’s Friday so it’s time to bathe in poetry. Do the exercises in poet Kate Clanchy’s workshop today. Feel free to share your poem in the Comments section!