Christmas Memories & Revision Tip #18

Sometimes people forget that I wrote PROM because it is not exactly a depressing book. In fact, it’s pretty funny, if I do say so myself. (If I had dread, depression and death in all of my books, I would not be a healthy person!)

So it is with great joy that I announce that PROM has been nominated to the 2010 Popular Paperbacks List, in the "Change Your World or Live to Regret It" category!!

School Library Journal has posted their annual collection of Christmas Memories written by children’s authors and illustrators. This year’s essays were written by me, my buddy Deb Heiligman, Barbara McClintock, Lauren Myracle, and our National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, Jon Scieszka. Enjoy!

Revision Tip #18

Are you stuck?

Have you tried all my plotting tips and dialog wisdom and adverb scorn and still you are stuck?

Try this.

1. Make yourself some comfort food.

2. Put on music that relaxes you.

3. Snuggle up in a warm, cozy place with a pen and a pad of paper.

4. Write a letter to your main character. Tell her everything that is worrying you about the story in general.

5. Pause to eat a bit. Make some tea or hot chocolate.

6. Pick up pen and paper again. Tell your character why you are specifically worried about her. Ask her what is going on in her life, in her relationships that you don’t understand. Ask her advice about how to help her move forward.

7. Write down what she tells you.

8. If you can’t hear her voice, then it is time to put that manuscript away for a while and work on a different story. But I am pretty sure you will hear the voice, so be chill and write.

Want to Hang Out With Me Tonight?

Tomorrow I will write about The Very Nearly Perfect Thing That Is Happening Today.

But fear not! I have a number of Totally Excellent things to write about today, including information on hanging out with me at 9 PM (EST) tonight.

Totally Excellent Thing #1: The School Library Journal has a wonderful online teen newsletter that you can subscribe to. The current issue has (ETA) a link to my Hot Summer Twisted/Speak Summer Book Trailer Contest, blog entry with the updated contest rules, as well as other cool things.

Totally Excellent Thing #2: Speaking of SLJ, you’ll want to read their article featuring Sherman Alexie again, in light of the fact that The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian won the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for fiction yesterday.

The Biggest and Baddest Totally Most Excellent Thing!
The reading divas and readergirlz at Readergirlz have been talking about my book PROM all month. TONIGHT I will be live-chatting on the Readergirlz Forum from 9-10pm (EST). Here is your chance to ask me everything you’ve been dying to ask, but have felt awkward bringing up here on the blog. Though the focus will be PROM, we’ll be discussing all of my books, and possibly sundry things such as marathon training, neurotic dogs, and how to grow astounding broccoli.

When my classmates at Fayetteville-Manlius High School were dancing at our senior prom in 1979, I was working on pig farm in Denmark, doing the kinds of things you don’t normally do in a prom dress. But I did make it to my Junior Prom in 1978…

Image and video hosting by TinyPic … and I had a blast.

Tell me your best and worst prom memories, please.

See you tonight! Bring your dancing shoes and money for a pancake house breakfast at 4am!

Loving the Mitten State

What a great way to start the week – TWISTED has been selected as one of the 2008 Michigan Library Association’s Thumbs Up! Award honor books. THANK YOU, MICHIGAN!! Woooooooo!

::runs around office, tripping over stacks of books::

(I’ll post a link to the complete list as soon as it is available.)

The weekend flew by. We had our last group run in preparation for next week’s race. It was disgustingly hot and humid, but we didn’t die, so I guess it worked out. After a dash home, a quick shower, and a long drive to Skaneateles, I had a great book signing at Creekside Books there.

“And where are the photos, Laurie?” you ask. “You always post photos about these things. Come to think of it, you promised us video, too. Whatever happened to that, huh? Huh?”

Yeah, about the photos. We are experiencing technical difficulties trying to get my new Nikon Coolpix S550 to talk to my operating system, Mac OS X 10.5.3. The Office Mouse will be hunting down the right driver today, but if any of you guys know anything about this configuration, please let us know in the Comments.

Office Mouse is also setting up a listserv for any of you would like direct notification about new books or when I might be showing up at a bookstore or conference near you. Details later in the week.

How is prom season going? Check out the Readergirlz site where we are talking about my book PROM all month long. I have started to spill the stories behind the stories in the forum. Go read and share your own prom tales of woe or wonder!

To give you a photo fix for the day, here is a shot of the PROM book signing I had at river’s end bookstore in Oswego a couple of years ago. The store turned the event into a prom, complete with band and punch. And they sent a limo for me and my date!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

We had a blast.

Start dancing!

The wonderful folks over at Readergirlz have declared the month of June to be PROM month.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic As in, the book I wrote called Prom.

The site is fantabulous. You can:

1. download a poster there,
2. read a quick interview with me (and follow links to other interviews)
3. listen to the playlist I put together
4. give to a good cause
5. participate in the forum (I’ll be dropping in all month, so look for me there)
6. party ideas centered on the book (come on, you know you want to throw a party!)

Be sure to check out the great roundtable discussion on Little Willow’s blog. (I loved the discussion of Ashley’s definition of “normal.”) And mark your calendars for June 19th (9 pm EST), when I’ll be live at the forum for an hour to answer questions. (Any questions that can’t wait that long, you can post here, of course.)

We just got a scanner, so I will be digging under the Forest floor in search of old PROM pictures and posting them, too. Have you looked at yours recently?

You are officially invited to join us in this PROM celebration. You don’t have to buy a dress or rent a tux. No limos, please. This is just a group of readers hanging out talking about a fun book.

And occasionally dancing.

Where is my list?

Thank you to everyone who came out to the bookstore in Oswego last night! (I also snuck into Oswego High School yesterday, courtesy of English teacher Heidi Sheffield, and surprised several classes of students who have been reading SPEAK. Thanks, Heidi and kids!)

River’s End Bookstore celebrates its 10th anniversary on Sunday. If you’re in the area, stop by for cake and to congratulate them. Few people would have had the vision and determination to open a bookstore in Oswego. It’s a small town, surrounded by beautiful countryside that is rife with poverty and struggles. But Bill and Mindy saw the potential. They took the plunge and changed their community for the better. The bookstore has been a significant part of Oswego’s renaissance and is now the heart of downtown. Huzzah for brave booksellers!

Instead of a Friday Five, I need to write up my Friday & weekend to-do list:

1. Work on revision until eyeballs roll up into skull.
2. Mail the ARCs of CHAINS to the people who donated to Scot’s race (he’s almost to his goal!).
3. Pay bills.
4. Celebrate Daughter #2’s graduation from SUNY Cortland. Yay Jessica!
5. Move wheelbarrows of dirt and mulch until arms give out.
6. Sow carrots and eggplant and squash.
7. Remind readers that PROM will be the featured title on Readergirlz next month and that will be a blast.
8. Attend to various publicity things for CHAINS release in October.
9. Run.
10. More revision work…. the next deadline looms!

What’s on your list?