about contests and the promise of snow

Lake effect snow bands are circling our house, taunting me. I have a stack of library books, plenty of pencils and wood for the fireplace. And hot chocolate. And emergency stores of oatmeal and raisins. Snow, ye wretched clouds, snow!!

I am still on the phone trying to straighten out Mom’s insurance. Literally. I am on hold as I type this.

A winner has been chosen for the Baker & Taylor PROM fanfiction contest. As soon as I am allowed, I’ll be posting the winner’s information and story online. We are also working on the LJ contest that you’ll read about here. Prize will be a DVD of the movie version of SPEAK.

I have a lot of fan mail that has backed up – will try to get to it later this week. The touring season is almost upon me again. At the end of February I’m flying to Bellingham, WA to visit a school and a conference, and the following week I head to Spartanburg, SC.

Loved the Superbowl last night, but I would have loved it more if it hadn’t been for some really crappy calls that went against Seattle. It made it hard to feel like Pittsburgh had earned an honest victory. And I must admit – I was disappointed in the Rolling Stones. Mick should have spent less time prancing and more time actually trying to sing. Yeah, you’re still in shape and you can still move, Mr. Jagger. We got that. Now, the song, please? At least he spared us the view of his chest.

Fact du jour: George Washington liked corn cakes with melted butter and honey. …. so do I.

Happy Book News, with vicious rant behind the cut

It’s official: PROM is available in paperback!

::happy dancing::

PROM was also honored by making VOYA’s Top Shelf Fiction for Middle School Readers (check out the whole list for other great titles).

::more happy dancing::

And FEVER 1793 proudly sits on the
2006 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults List
, chosen by YALSA, the Young Adult Library Services Association of the American Library Association.

I love the way this committee organizes the list. It comes up with fun, funky categories every year. Check out this year’s (descriptions stolen from the committee’s press release):

“Books That Don’t Make You Blush: No Dirty Laundry Here” Books that are fun to read and appeal to all teens.

“Criminal Elements” Fiction and nonfiction about teens that find themselves in opposition to or on the wrong side of the law, as well as stories about lives affected by encounters with the legal system, gangs, law enforcement, and prison.

“What Ails You?” Fiction and nonfiction about how diseases, disorders and other general health related symptoms affect our lives. (This is the list that FEVER is on.)

“GLBTQ” Contemporary fiction and nonfiction for teens of all persuasions.

If you’re looking for something good to read, I strongly suggest you print out the list and take it to the library with you.

::stops dancing to stare at mountain of paperwork on desk::

In the cranky news category: I spent hours and hours again yesterday trying to straighten out the host of Medicare issues that have been hounding my parents for months. Many of you probably don’t care about this so I’m putting it behind a cut:

My rant about Medicare and companies that abuse the elderly and weak

Email beast tamed and shhhh! a secret

It took half the night, but I finally sent the email beast cowering into submission. Ha! Take that!

Web God Theo Black has updated my website to reflect the change in seasons again. As he emailed me about it, snow was falling outside my window, diamond dust snow that looked alive. It was very cool, serendipitous. We added a new page with just contact information. Let me know what you think about it.

I am very proud to announce that PROM has been named an Amazon Top Ten Best Book of 2005 for Teens. Check out the whole list if you are looking for something good to read.

I am also proud to announce that I have joined AS IF!, Authors Support Intellectual Freedom, a group for YA authors who are taking a stand against the censorship of YA novels. It was organized by author Jordan Sonnenblick. The group’s blog has an LJ syndication feed, asifnews.

Are you looking for a great curriculum guide for SPEAK? Look at what Dawn Hogue put together. If you are an English teacher, you will also want to look at their CyberEnglish page and be sure to read through her blog.

And a hint of a forthcoming announcement (consider this your reward for reading to the end of today’s post). We are going to have a contest at the end of the month. Shhhhhhhhhh! Yes, there will be prizes. Stay tuned.