Five Great Announcements

Don’t know about where you live, but this morning is one of the most beautiful we’ve had in a while. When the Creature With Fangs and I stepped outside, she looked around and said “Dang! Why can’t it be like this all the time?”

So, basking in natural goodness, I make Five Friday Announcements:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic 1. TWISTED has been chosen as a YALSA Teens’ Top Ten nominee. The list of nominees is stellar; be sure to go through it. Teens who read titles on the list get to vote for their favorites during Teen Read Week, October 12-18, 2008.

2. In related news, the paperback version of TWISTED goes on sale in 20 days! I’ll be celebrating it at the river’s end bookstore in Oswego, NY on May 15th, 6pm. TWISTED has also apparently been released in England. I found the cover on the Amazon.UK website. You’d think they’d let the author know about these things, wouldn’t you?

Image and video hosting by TinyPic 3. Speaking of new releases, we’re about five weeks away from the release of INDEPENDENT DAMES: What You Never Knew About the Women and Girls of the American Revolution. It’s illustrated by Matt Faulkner, who did the great art for THANK YOU, SARAH, and I am so excited about it I keep skipping, which amuses the dog.

4. Harold Underdown (author of the very important and useful COMPLETE IDIOT”S GUIDE TO PUBLISHING CHILDREN’S BOOKS) has posted an extremely good page about getting an agent or artist’s representative. If you are thinking that it’s time, go to this part of his website before you do anything else.

5. Susane Colasanti windowlight has great photos from Viking’s 75th birthday party. ETA – Publisher’s Weekly noted the party, too! Note to Uncle Viking: I have my calendar out: what’s the date for the 100th?

This weekend I’m researching and running and working in the garden. What are you going to do?


I love New Year’s Day!! Yes, I’m running on three hours of sleep (big nap in my future) and yes, I am sort of regretting what I ate last night (pate and lobster – really, it tasted good at the time) but there is something so fun about the concept of the FIRST DAY of the New Year.

It’s like everybody gets to call a giant do-over. Wipe the board clean and start fresh. Excellent.

The two biggest resolutions on my list are to write every day this year – every single day, no matter what – and to try to run 20 miles every week.

I also resolve to win the lottery.

What promises did you make to yourself?

Hotel writing last week and partying last night

My corner of heaven

I’m sitting in the sunroom (yes, wearing sunscreen) so I can enjoy the view.

What do you think?

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The Creature With Fangs loves snow. She gallops across the yard, maw hanging open so she can scoop up snow and eat it. Reminds me of a whale inhaling crill.

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What’s the weather where you are?

As the tummy turns

I feel much better today, but am still hovering on the edge of the crud. (note – I originally misspelled that as “xrud.” I think it works better that way.) BH has had it worse than me. I think another 24 hours of solitude and we’ll be all set.

I am feeling just xruddy enough that I have even less focus than usual. So this will be a random and disjointed entry.

Angela wrote to me on my Facebook: What do you think of the new AmazonKindle and the virtual road down which books have now turned? Do you think this is really the end of the printed word, like so many techies do? … cannot imagine not having an actual “book” in my hand to read…. Troubling, I feel. Your insights would be much appreciated.”

I think that Amazon should give me a Kindle so I can really explore this. They gave one to Neil Gaiman, but then they took it back. That was rather ungrateful of them.

Will Kindle-like devices take the place of paper-based books? Yep, I believe they will. But do not rend your garments or gnash your teeth. The concept of Story isn’t going anywhere. It is encoded into our DNA. It’s just that when technology changes, the vehicle for Story changes and that makes some folks uncomfortable for a while. And then we adjust. I suspect that the need to preserve forests combined with a generation of computer-friendly kids will make paper-based books into historical artifacts. If it helps bring the planet back into balance, I’m all for it.

A note from a Hungarian reader living in Malaysia came in the other day. Yeah, that’s what I said. A Hungarian reader in Malaysia. How cool is that? She read SPEAK and was finishing up PROM for her English 10 class. She wrote ” I loved Prom, too, though for entirely different reasons. To me, it shed some light onto the lives of “ordinary, everyday” teen-life in Philadelphia. You wouldn’t believe the ‘bubble’ I’m coming from! :)”

Congratulations to the Fayetteville-Manlius girls cross country team for winning Nationals for the second year in a row!!!

Middle school teachers – you want to read this review of Teri Lesesne’s new book, ” Naked Reading: Uncovering What Tweens Need to Become Lifelong Readers”.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic SPEAK at Nottingham was fabulous.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic In large part, because the director, Ginny Fennessy, and the cast and crew put so much energy into it. Thank you!

NB: A number of teachers have written asking for information about putting on SPEAK at their schools. Steve Braddock, the playwright, and my publisher will be working out the details of this soon. I expect to post information about how to obtain the proper rights and scripts by the end of January.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Last, but not least, The Creature With Fangs (who now has an album on my Facebook and her own Dogbook account – sigh) completely killed the toy Meredith bought her at Thanksgiving.

The CWF hates to chew hard things, even though she has great teeth. Fangs. She loves to chew soft things. Problem – soft things are easily destroyed. Does anyone know about an indestructible soft chew toy for large beasts?