Instead of writing a blog today…

I’ll be busy at the New York SLMS conference, hanging with awesome librarians, and (rumor has it) picking up the Knickbocker Award, which I am stoked about.

Details and pics later, I promise.

Be sure to squeeze in some poetry today and make time to hug a librarian!!!!

Tabs like seeds growing & a poem to make you sing

I’m in cleaning frenzy mode before the NYC trip.  This morning’s task is to clean up all the open tabs. I hope you are feeling in a clickety-linkety mood this morning.

A day this beautiful should begin on a note of poetry perfectly balanced between joy and melancholy. Read "Some Me of Beauty" by Carolyn M. Rodgers.

My favorite lines are:

"I saw a woman. Human and
I felt a spiritual
A root revival of
And I knew that many
Were Over
And some me of
About to begin."

That line: "some me of beauty was about to begin" makes my heart race and my palms sweat. THAT, my friends, is the mark of a good poem. What do you think about it?

Sadly, Ms. Rodgers died last week at age 69.

Recently I was privileged to send some love and best wishes to one of my childhood heroes (seen below)  Beverly Cleary on the occasion of her 94th birthday!! Judy Blume sent greetings too, and Lauren Myracle, and other truly splendiferous authors. Read the whole thing and bask in the goodness that is the World Of Cleary.

(photo from the SLJ website, photo credit to Kate Ward)

In preparation of the kick-butt Teen Book Festival near Rochester, NY (5/15/10 – you don’t want to miss it), I participated in a quick "This or That" interview. Other authors who will be at the TBF include Coe Booth, Holly Black, Ellen Hopkins, AND MORE!

<=== That is the United Kingdom paperback version of CHAINS, published by Bloomsbury. I adore this cover. CHAINS has been named nominated for SPELLBINDING, the Cumbrian Primary School Book Award, in England.

And, drum roll please, for in addition to winning the 2010 Milwaukee County Teen Book Award, WINTERGIRLS has been nominated for the YALSA Teens’ Top Ten of 2010!!!!! Voting takes place in August and September. Get ready!!!

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!


Write 15 Minutes a Day Challenge (WFMAD) – Day Eleven

Warning: cherry jam can be habit-forming. I am sneaking back to the orchard as soon as it opens for another fix. My works? A cherry pitter, clean glass jars, pectin, and a large vat of boiling water.

I keep misspelling cherry as “cheery.” There is subtext in that, I think.

Two recent blog bits saluted my new book, INDEPENDENT DAMES. The Columbus Dispatch reviewed it along with my friend Kay Winters’ COLONIAL VOICES (thanks, Kay, for the link!), and the editor from L.A. Parent had nice things to say, too.

Public Safety Interlude: I hate to sound like a nag, but sometimes I don’t have a choice. Wear sunscreen and stay away from tanning salons! Note to new readers: I had melanoma in 2002. Two spots were surgically removed, both Stage 1 cancer. I’m still figuring out how to tattoo the scars. I never visited a tanning salon but had a lot of sunburns as a kid. Now I am the Queen of Sunscreen.

Today’s goal: Write for 15 minutes, then find fresh cherries.

Today’s mindset: poetical.

Today’s prompt: Even if you never write poetry to be published, I believe you should dabble in the form. Poetry allows us to focus on language and rhythm much more than prose. Reading and playing with poetry with absolutely make you a better novelist.

Visit Poetry Daily and wander around a bit. Find a poem or a poet that you like and write your own poem in the same style or using the same theme. I took a workshop from Molly Peacock and am a big fan of her work. (She has a new book out!) If you can’t find another place to start, read her poem Pedicure. If the thought of writing a poem is too intimidating, write for fifteen minutes about how irritated you are with this stupid prompt. Or take a risk and fly on your words.