Bouncing on toes

I am standing at the mouth of the Cave of Revision, impatiently waiting for the coffee pot to finish making coffee. I think I have a few more long days on this revision before I turn it in.

So. Here are my rambling, hurry-up-coffee-pot notes:

1. Yesterday, I corresponded with readers in Brazil and Norway. How cool is that?

2. My latest obsession is worm castings. Yes, that is a polite word for worm poop. I am gardening organically this year and worms are my new best friends. I am looking for a source in Central New York, if anyone knows of one. So far, I’ve been ordering them from Vermont, and am having a friend’s family (who are in the business of producing worm poop, don’t ask) bring me some on their next visit to the area.

Go ahead, laugh, but you should see what it is doing to my broccoli plants.

3. If you live in Michigan, please vote for the Thumbs Up! Award by May 30th! (twistedtwistedtwistedtwisted)

4. Little birds have been reporting that the TWISTED paperback version is turning up in stores in one of those cardboard stands. (Those are called dumps, but after my discussion of worm poop, I am not going there.) Have you seen one?

5. When you are in the bookstore, be sure to buy Tanya Lee Stone’s newest wonderful picture book: Elizabeth Leads the Way: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Right to Vote. It has been named a Book Links Best New Books of 2008, and a Booklist Top Ten Youth Biography, and is sure to garner more awards soon.

Not only is it a wonderful book, but Tanya just made a generous contribution that brought my Beloved Husband’s fund raising efforts to his goal of $2,500!!! ALL HAIL TANYA! (Please give her some love on her blog!)

The fund raising is done! The fund raising is done! Our nice friends chipped in $5000 for cancer research! ::dances around the cave!!

Now all we have to do is run 13.1 miles on June 15th! ::sits down on cave floor::

No, really, our training has been going very well, so it shouldn’t be a problem. We ran 13.3 miles two weeks ago, and had a hilly 10.5 mile run on Sunday. That one aggravated some tendon issues, but everything will heal in time because I said it would.

6. INDEPENDENT DAMES received another awesome blog review. This one is of particular interest to middle school teachers.

7. CHAINS has been chosen as a Junior Library Guild selection!

8. Did I mention how great my broccoli looks?

The coffee is done and my characters are whining for me to hurry up because they have a lot to do today. See ya!

Counting raindrops and boxes on the calendar

Happy is the gardener who gets her plants in the ground and her tools put away before the rain starts.

I couldn’t help myself. I jumped the gun this weekend. The broccoli I planted will be fine when the temperatures drop below freezing later this week. It won’t bother the pansies either, though the hollyhocks are already trembling. The lettuce and peas I sowed are hardy enough to push through snow.

But I fear for the tomatoes. I put them out several weeks too early in a fit of blind optimism and while hallucinating about fresh tomato, basil, and mozzarella sandwiches. Maybe I could build them little bonfires or quick knit them all a blanket. Stay tuned….

Besides gardening (in a cloud of punkies so thick I had to work with a shawl wrapped around my head), the other fun thing this weekend was our nine-mile run around Cazenovia Lake with our Team in Training teammates. I’ve reached my fund raising goal and my Beloved Husband is 80% of the way therehe only needs another $485. Our bribery offer of free books and other goodies still stands if you donate (scroll down the linked post for the details.)

Several important dates are sprinting towards us:
48 days until the Lake Placid Half-Marathon
60 days until ALA
146 days until the Philadelphia Distance Run
176 days until the release of CHAINS and my book tour (I got a preview of the tour plans last week, but I can’t talk about it until the details are finalized.)

Looking backwards now:
2008 Resolution Tracker
Week 16 – Miles Run: 14.5, YTD: 329.25 (gone through another pair of sneakers!)
Week 16 – Days Written: 7, YTD: 118

This is Day 119 of 2008. We’re just about one-third of the way through the year. Does that seems possible?

It’s Almost Spring

I dashed outside the Cave of Revision this morning and it’s true: it is almost Spring up here on the tundra. In fact, I think it will happen today, while I am deeply buried in my story.

I won’t be able to haunt the Forest with my camera to pounce on the Absolute Moment, so here is the closest I can come to proving this to you.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Here the Creature With Fangs poses next to one of the last piles of snow we have.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Next: daffodils on the brink of blooming. (Yes, those daffodils, mentioned in ’06!) I tried to get the CWF to pose here, too, but she was more interested in crushing the plants with her paws. I threw a stick in the other direction and snapped this shot.

Thank you to everyone who donated to my husband’s Race for Cancer. There is still time to help our cause and get some of the free LHA goodies mentioned earlier this week (scroll to bottom of post).

Attention New England SCBWI Conference attenders! Today is Day 5 of my 21-Day Writing Challenge. How’s it going for you? I’d love to hear what you’re doing – leave a note in the Comments section and pass the word along to the other folks who were there.

OK, back into the Cave I go.

Give & Receive Goodies!!!

I’m emerging briefly from the Cave of Revision (where I had a very nice epiphany yesterday, thank you, and now I’m pretty sure I know how to fix the part that wasn’t working in this story) to check the calendar.

Note: there is a chance to win free books ahead, including a collectible first edition. Keep reading!

Gasp. We only have 61 days until the half-marathon in Lake Placid.

::reaches for running shoes::
::slaps self and points to massive manuscript and mountain of notes::

Truth be told I ran yesterday, so today is a cross-training day (w00t). So far this year, I’ve done pretty good sticking to my goal of running 20 miles a week. As of yesterday, when I staggered up the driveway, I have run 303 miles since January 1st. The snow is finally gone up here on the tundra, so I’ve abandoned the treadmill in favor of hilly country roads well-stocked with rotting roadkill.

New readers of the blog might be wondering why on earth I’m doing all this running. My husband and I have vowed to raise $5,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training fund. The money goes for research into the causes of and treatments for blood cancers, which kills an American every ten minutes. My cousin is fighting this disease right now so it is a cause that means a great deal to our family.

Note: You’re almost to the part where you get to win the free stuff! Keep reading!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Because I know a million, bazillion people, I was able to meet my fundraising goal last month. My studly, adorable, patient, quick-witted husband (yeah, that’s him in the photo) is not far behind, but he could use a little help. He is 60% of the way to his goal. All he needs is another $1,000. But he needs it soon. (Photo by Sonya Sones, BTW.)

Here’s where the bribery begins… I mean, here’s the free stuff!!!!

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If you donate $50 toward Scot’s goal, I will send you a free audiobook of TWISTED (seen here hanging out with the revisions of my WIP).

If you donate $100, I’ll send the audiobook and a special surprise.

If you donate $500, I will send you a very rare, first edition, first printing copy of SPEAK. No one had high hopes for the book when it was published, so the first print run was limited. Here is your chance to snag a collectible.

Or you can donate what you can afford and receive our everlasting gratitude and a really good feeling in your heart. Come on. You’re about to get a check from the government. Here’s a way to put it to good use.

Please help us. It’s for a good cause.

Want to read it before anyone else?

It’s time for an update about our Team for Training run. My husband and I are running the Lake Placid Half Marathon on June 15th in honor of my cousin, Darcy Skinner, who is fighting non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. We joined the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training and decided to raise a total of $5,000 for the cause.

Thanks to readers and friends across the country, my part of the effort has reached its goal of $2,500. Now it’s time to support my Beloved Husband. He needs to raise $1485 to meet his goal.

Simon & Schuster has offered to help. Starting today, the next ten people who donate at least $20 to Scot’s run will receive a free Advanced Reading Copy of my next book, CHAINS. The book doesn’t come out until October. If you are one of the lucky donors, you’ll get your copy in June! (One rule – you must be at least 18 years old qualify.)

Donate right now! It’s so easy! Click! Click! Click!

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Thank you!