Quick update & my ALA schedule

Storm clouds are rolling across the county, so our power should go out in a minute. Here’s my update:

1. My revision is proceeding well, despite last week’s chickenbutt moment. I won’t get the manuscript turned in by ALA, which I had hoped, but it should be there by the end of the month.

2. Father’s Day was great because I spent it with my Beloved Husband, my dad, my father-in-law, and I talked to my former husband (aka father of two of my kids). Got all the Dad-bases covered! The middle of June is the perfect time for Father’s Day. Kudos to whomever thought that one up.

3. I am running and working out again. Stress level is plummeting!

4. I leave for ALA on Friday. Here is my schedule. (Will any of you be there?)

Friday, June 22
8-10 pm Booklist Forum: “The 2000 Printz: A Reunion” at the Renaissance Washington Hotel. I am SO looking forward to this!!!!!!

10pm YALSA’s 50th Anniversary Reception, also at the Renaissance Washington Hotel. I will be the one asleep in the onion dip. I am an annoying perky morning person. I vote that the next time YALSA has a party, we make it a 5am pancake and French toast gig.

Saturday, June 23
10-11am Signing at the Penguin booth, #2710-2711

Spend an hour or two trying to get out of the convention center. (I remember the Washington Convention Center from BEA last year. It is a mammoth, ginormous building that self-replicates, adding on halls and floors every time you near an exit.)

1:30-3:30pm FOLUSA program “Teens Read!” This is where I get to meet Sherman Alexie!

4-4:40 Signing at the Simon & Schuster booth. #2111

6pm Penguin Young Readers Cocktail Party, Fairmont Hotel (I will probably not fall asleep in the onion dip. This is a good time for me, late evening.)

After the party, I’m going to have dinner with some awesome librarians. And coffee.

Sunday, June 24
8-10am YALSA Author Breakfast at the Renaissance Washington. Yes! A breakfast event!

11:30-1pm Penguin Teen Luncheon with John Green and the BBYA teen readers. Not sure if John and I will have time to hang out before or after this event. Must write to him.

Fly home and put suitcase in the basement for 12 weeks.

Rest of the Summer
1. Finish revision.
2. Eat strawberries.
3. Start a new book.

Hot and fast Friday fiveish

1. Bandages are off! I woke up yesterday at 5:15 and had removed the blasted bandages by 5:20. The doc made 15 small incisions on The Leg and they’re all healing nicely. I see him in a week and if there is any justice in the world I’ll run after that.

2. The revision is going very well. I figured out yesterday that I need to completely disassemble the last quarter of the book, move stuff around, throw some stuff out and make some new stuff up, and reassemble. But I am not freaking because I am pretty sure I know what to do. That will be next week’s job.

3. John Green and I have a coffee date for ALA!!! (He was very nice and wrote to me.) Remind me to post next week about the introductory message “This is not a book for children” that is in TWISTED.

4. I will get to meet Sherman Alexie at ALA too. ::fangeekfangeekfangeek::

5. I am off in a few hours for to speak at the SCBWI Mid-Hudson Conference. A friend has graciously offered to drive so I can rest The Leg and knit.

5a. I will be quite happy if I can live out the rest of my life without ever hearing the name “Paris Hilton” spoken again.

Playing catch-up

OK, OK, OK…. I am here and trying to catch up again.

The first news of the day is very sad: Lloyd Alexander died yesterday. School Library Journal and the Washington Post have obituaries. I wish someone in Philadelphia would kick the Inquirer (Lloyd’s hometown paper) because they don’t seem to have noticed the event yet.

On a happier note (which I think Lloyd would appreciate) the apple trees and lilacs up here are just about to explode into goodness and the hummingbirds are back. My daffodils have started to roll up their flags and go to sleep for another year. I find myself dreaming about fresh tomatoes, but it is still a little early to plant them.

Let’s roll the tape on my totally excellent adventures of the past week.

First, the booksigning at Moravian Bookshop in Bethlehem, PA. This was the last TWISTED event on my calendar for a while and it was a delightful one because so many old friends came out. Click for tons of pictures, including me at IRA with The Stinky Cheese Man Himself!


I was SUPPOSED to come home last night from IRA in Toronto.

But a monsoon hit the airport just before I was supposed to leave. They canceled all the flights.

So I made a lot of phone calls, got drenched waiting for the shuttle bus, walked into the hotel looking like something that just crawled out of the sewer, slept (sort of), woke up at 3:30am to catch the 4am shuttle to get the first morning flight out to a far-away city where I could finally get on an airplane that would take me home.

I am beyond cranky right now. But I will sleep tonight and after many, many errands tomorrow, I’ll try and post a tale and photos of what were the totally excellent adventures of the last week… totally excellent, that is, up until the monsoon hit.


Monday – books, life & teachers edition

Thanks to all the Michiganers who made my quick trip to the Mitten State fun and interesting. The conference was HUGE – more than 5000 attenders who had hundreds of workshops to choose from, and I was honored that so many folks came out to hear me mutter and rant.

I spent most of Saturday on planes or in airports. Here is the free Wifi score:

Syracuse airport – three stars – free wifi, plenty of seating
Chicago O’Hare – no stars – wifi connectivity cost $10/day. Boo-hiss. Get with the program, Chicago.
Grand Rapids airport – three stars – free wifi, very nice lady running coffee shop near gate B1

However, O’Hare gets a star for having my favorite airport bathroom.

Saturday night I enjoyed a fabulous tapas dinner with some teacher and librarian friends. After dinner I was interviewed by YA-lit guru and teen-reader advocate Ed Spicer for his teen book group. Ed had a large handful of reader reviews for TWISTED. They liked the book. They really liked it. Yep, I glowed.

The good news about my hotel room was that I was upgraded to a suite because the hotel was overbooked. The bad news was that it was a suite where smoking had been allowed. (Ack. Puke. Ick.) BH wisely suggested I brew a pot of coffee to help with the stench. Great idea, but the management had removed the coffeemakers from all of the rooms in an effort to get guests to spend more money in the coffee shop.

Sunday was a blur of meeting teachers, signing books, talking about books, signing more, and then schlepping back to the airport. I got a chance to hang with Betsy Partridge, which was nice, and to see Marissa Moss again and to meet Wendy Mass. And I ate a lot of bananas, and a sandwich that contained mysterious meat which I probably should have not consumed, given that I could not identify it, but it was on sunflower seed bread which was so good I inhaled it. And I didn’t get sick. So sunflower seeds balance out strange meat products.

The day started with a very nice breakfast (it had real food and everything!) where I met Kristen, Jill, and all the other ladies.

I told everyone at the conference that I will be back in Michigan on book tour: Monday, March 26th, at the Southfield Public Library in Southfield (evening) and Tuesday, March 27th at Nicola’s Books in Ann Arbor (also in the evening). I hope everyone in the entire state turns out and they have to call the fire marshal. That would be a good signing.

Be sure to read this wonderful article about teens buying and reading books. (Thanks Shelflife and Bookshelves of Doom for the link.)