crazy goldfinch, writing process questions & ALA schedule

We have a male goldfinch who thinks our house is a romantic rival. Seriously. For three days, he has been flying up to the building and attacking it with his beak. He is most persistent. I’ve heard him muttering: She’s mine, I say, MINE. get away, you fool. Don’t you see your quest for her love is in vain? Back, back to the foul place from whence you came!

At first I thought he wasn’t seeing the glass, so I pulled the shades, and tinkered with the angle of the windows (they open outwards). Didn’t help. He’s attacking the siding, too. I’m worried that the little guy is going to break his beak, or get a concussion and forget which nest is his, then his true love will pine away in sorrow, and their children will be sent to a cruel orphanage in the north on England and will have to eat gruel.

Writing Process and More!

Mitali Perkins has posted the Q&A I did on the readergirlz forum last week. In it, I talk about the hardest thing about YA writing, inspiration for various novels, and the challenges of writing outside my gender and ethnic background. Thank you, Mitali, divas, and girlz! I had fun with youze!


I leave for the annual American Library Association conference on Thursday. If you see me wandering around, please come up and say hello because I am always intimidated by these events and am most grateful for friendly faces.

Along with much wandering, this is my official ALA schedule:

Saturday, June 28
10-11am Signing at the Simon & Schuster booth, #2499

3-4pm Signing at the Penguin booth, #2616

5:30pm-? Come hang out with Tanya Lee Stone and me in the lobby of the Grand Californian Hotel. No tickets! No lines! We’ll be chit-chatting about our new non-fiction historical picture books: Elizabeth Leads the Way, about the life of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Independent Dames, about women and girls during the American Revolution. Both of us also write YA, so I imagine the conversation could go anywhere. This very informal, just a chance to sit around and talk with librarians without any hoopla.

I’ll be at the S&S party on Saturday night. Must remember not to wear heels to that one. That was a big mistake last year.

Sunday, June 29
noon – I’m going to the Art Luncheon! (very stoked about this) Matt Faulkner, who illustrated INDEPENDENT DAMES and THANK YOU, SARAH will be there, along with Robin Preiss Glasser, Kadir Nelson, and David Small.

4-6pm VOYA Reception for the Perfect Tens 2007 at the Hilton

6-11pm Newbery/Caldecott Banquet. (Might wear heels to this one. Might even wear a dress.)

Sadly, my plane leaves on Monday, so I’ll miss the Printz Awards on Monday, which are always a lot of fun.

Will I see any of you in Anaheim?

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.