Join Our Team (please, please, please)

OMG, I am so excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This is better than oatmeal.
This is better than an armful of library books.
This is better than finishing a draft.

My Beloved Husband and I are going to make a difference.

We’ve joined the Team in Training, a kick-butt group that raises money for cancer research for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. BH and I will be running the Lake Placid Half Marathon (yep, 13.1 glorious miles) on June 15, 2008. We are trying to raise $5000 in support of this run.

Why should you give a hoot about this? Because we need your help.

Please go to the Laurie Halse Anderson Team Website and make a donation there.

If you want to support the guy-side of this effort, go to BH’s site and give money there..

Between the two of us, we’re trying to raise $5,000. If you help, we can achieve the goal.

After you donate (and I thank you loudly), please ask someone else to help. TEACHERS – this is a great classroom project – a way to show how adults incorporate physical fitness in their lives as well as a chance for your students to give back. LIBRARIANS – ditto. What about your book club? Your critique group? Your kidlit buddies who get together for drinks on Friday nights? If everybody tosses a couple of dollars into the pot, we can change lives and change the world.

What? You still have questions? Let them fly.

Hey, Writerlady! I thought you were really busy with writing. How are you going to make time for this, too?
We already run four times a week. Last month I did two 10-milers, so covering the distances won’t be a problem (though it won’t be pretty, either). It won’t take any extra time and I promise the new books will be done on schedule.

But, wait. You’ve had melanoma. Your mom, aunt, and cousin had breast cancer. Why aren’t you raising money for those cancers?
Because another cousin of mine, Darcy Skinner, is fighting non-Hodgkins lymphoma today and I want to help him.

Are you going to send me annoying emails about this?
If I have corresponded with you by email, then yes. So why not give a little right now and save yourself the trouble? If you are a new friend, or someone I only know through KW or SCBWI, you won’t be getting an email. It would be unethical to use the private contact information from those groups for this. So I hope you read my blog and will take it from there.

OK, OK, my wallet is open and I’m making a donation. What else can I do to help?
Spread the word. Feel free to post about this on your blog, to email friends, to bring it up at faculty meetings and at the coffee pot.

Any other questions?

Thank you so much!!!

Thanks for all the fish

The sun has set and the last grains of time are rolling through the hour glass. In the Forest, we’re discussing the joys of 2007 and looking eagerly towards 2008. (Plus, there is champagne chilling and I adore champagne.)

Since Christmas I’ve been locked in seclusion in a small hotel room working on my new YA. Now I am home. Is there any word better than that? HOME! I think not.

I’ll post tomorrow with pictures of the Creature With Fangs in full party mode, and a couple of resolutions and hopes and dreams. But before the year is out, I wanted to say thanks to all of you – my family, my friends, people who read my books because they have to – or even want to, and the various strangers who stumble across this blog when they are looking for the other Laurie Anderson.

This online community means more to me than I can properly express in words. So please let me give you a big hug and pour you a cup of cheer and say “thank you, thank you, thank you.”

(BTW – here is your last literary reference from me for the year. The subject line of this post? From the much-missed Douglas Adams.)

promises fulfilled, words flying, dark gathering

This is the shortest day of the year – a very, very good day to reflect and write.

Looking back on my 2007 goals, here is what I accomplished:

1. No melanoma, no cancer. Yes!!
2. Finish CHAINS. YES!!
3. Blog regularly, don’t let it take over. Check.
4. Finish first draft of YA due in early 2008. (Working on 2nd draft today!)
5. Do more fun things. (Canning! Knitting!)
6. Don’t waste time on stupid websites. (I got rid of a lot of bookmarks and keep a real book next to my computer when I feel the need for distraction.)

Here is what I almost accomplished:
1. Run consistent 9 minute miles by December (I am running consistent 9:15 minute miles.)
2. Exercise at least four times a week. (This was ruined during book tour and spring travel, but I am back on track now.)
3. Complete plot outlines for next two historicals. (Still doing the research.)

And this still needs work:
1. Website overhaul.
2. Deal with fanmail more efficiently
3. Run half-marathon and 10Ks (I did a couple of 5Ks, but didn’t get in enough mileage for longer races)
4. Read more for fun.
5. Ski. (didn’t make time or room in the budget for it)

Unexpected challenge: my brain was so tired in August I could not write. Don’t want to get that tired again.
Unexpected joy: The trip to Poland was incredible. Still thinking about it.

(There are a couple of more personal items, too, but I don’t have to tell you guys everything.)

From now until New Year’s I will ponder next year’s energy and where I want to spend it. The rest of the day for me will be writingwritingwritingwritingwritingwritingwritingwritingwritingwritingwriting.

I leave you with this. Solstice always makes me think of Stonehenge and this is lovely.

Final ALAN pics, thoughts & NYC observations

I would like to say for the record that I am not a workaholic. Even though I am posting this on Thanksgiving morning, I am not crazy. We celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday so that various offspring could climb over to other branches on the family tree today. BH and I and the kids were going to get up early to run in a Turkey Trot 5K, but it is sleeting and snowing and the fire is warm. We’ll run later, when it isn’t life-threatening.

So I am bloated on pie and mashed potatoes made with an alarming amount of butter and the only thing I am capable of is blogging.

A couple observations about Manhattan:
1. Some of the new signs indicating the bike path through Central Park have a helmet painted on the head of the stick figure. They made me giggle.

2. Every third person in Manhattan now owns a dog that is the size of a loaf of bread.

3. There are halal food vendors on the street. (God, I love this country.)

4. Pigeons make a great sound with that first swoooosh of their wings.

5. I had one celebrity sighting: Camille Paglia on 58th Street. At least, I am pretty sure it was Camille Paglia. When I was running in Central Park, I saw a woman who was Gilda Radner’s doppelganger. Obviously, it wasn’t Gilda, unless she has taken to haunting Central Park.

A number of other authors and teachers blogged about the festivities: Jen Robinson, Susane Colasanti, She Who Knows Most Everything Teri Lesesne (who has posted Powerpoint presentations with terrific book recommendations), Jo Knowles, David Lubar, Linda Sue Park, Cecil Castellucci, and Sara Ryan. (Did I miss anyone?)

Highlights of the trip for me:
1. Meeting hundreds of friendly, kind, generous teachers who took the time to tell me about their experiences sharing my books with their students. And seeing the many teachers and professors who have become my friends. I am so very thankful for all of them.

2. Listening to the performances of the incredibly talented poets from Urban Word NYC.

3. Learning to identify Garret Freymann-Weyr, Ann Angel, and Jo Knowles. I am really bummed that I didn’t get a chance to have coffee or wine or pastries with them. Maybe we should get together and have coffee and wine and pastries. I apologize for messing up their names in my earlier post.

4. Getting up to the podium to speak and not being wretchedly anxious for the first time ever.

5. Signing 90 quizzes about SPEAK for a new teacher named Dena from Long Island.

6. Savoring the outstanding coffee in my hotel.

7. Seeing the first sketches for the CHAINS cover.

The last few road photos