Sunshine and magic window

OK, no clouds or grumbling today. Just fun.

First, some fun announcements.

The BCCB has given WINTERGIRLS its 5th starred review!! Thank you, BCCB!

The audio version of WINTERGIRLS has won an Audiofiles Earphones Award. (I wonder if it comes with a statue of giant earphones…) I had a very nice note from the narrator, Jeannie Stith over the weekend. I got to, erm, voice my opinion about the auditions and I thought she nailed Lia’s voice. I am so excited about the job Brilliance has done with this. Audiofile magazine agreed. Their review says “Stith takes listeners deep into Lia’s dark and frightening fight for survival.”

I’m not running to raise money for the Leukemia Society this year, sadly. I am so snowed under with work, I’m hardly running at all. (My goal to run 750 miles this year had to be tossed out. But I’m not grumbling. No clouds.)

However, the indefatigable and ever-organized Julia Maguire is running a marathon to raise $5,000 to find a cure for blood cancer. Julia works at Simon & Schuster and has always been an enormous help to me. If you liked CHAINS, please donate to Julia’s run, because there is no way the book would have been published on time without her. Go Julia!

And now….. the magic window.

Backstory: It is getting harder and harder for me to find a quiet place to write. My office up in the loft in busy and crowded with “author” stuff: outreach to readers, research, correspondence, etc. In the last two years, I’ve taken several mini-sabbaticals in hotels where I basically lock myself in and crank words. I have enjoyed these respites enormously, but it’s expensive.

Back in October, my Beloved Husband suggested that he make me a writing cottage in our Forest. I resisted the notion and found lots of reasons why I shouldn’t do it, but he was right. I need my own version of Walden Pond. Thoreau built his cabin himself. I don’t need to because I am married to a carpenter.

We’re in early days yet, but the plan is for “The Cottage” to be off the grid (solar power) and heated with a woodstove. We’re also trying to use as much recycled and sustainable materials as possible. To that end, we went to a salvage yard on Saturday to see what old building elements we could reuse.

We found a magic window.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic It is around 125 years old and came from a church.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Loading it up and carting it home was a little nerve-wracking for me, but BH had it under control.

Obviously, it needs a little work. No, a lot of work. BH and a buddy of his are starting on the rehab of the wood. Once that’s done, they’ll bring in a glass guy. The window is ten feet wide and eleven feet tall and will take up nearly an entire wall of the cottage, if everything works out. I’ll be posting about the construction project as it happens. Right now we’re waiting for the snow to melt.

And now this blog entry is already too long. Writing questions tomorrow, I swear!

The Finish Line

::cue theme song from Rocky::

There are two version to the story of this weekend’s adventure. Here is the short version:

Office Mouse is great! Here is the video of BH and I crossing the finish line. Can you hear them say our names?

In a nutshell: we ran the Lake Placid Half-Marathon, we had a blast, we finished.

The long version provides more details:

On your marks, get set…

The Big Day is almost here: time for our race. Thanks to your generous donations, BH and I have raised $5,652 for cancer research. We are sort of in shape, but in no danger of being plucked from the crowd and offered a spot on the Olympic team (whew!). We’ve had a lot of fun getting ready for tomorrow.

This is a good time to review the status of my New Year’s resolutions:

2008 Resolution Tracker
Week 24 – Miles Run: 12, YTD: 425
Week 24 – Days Written: 7, YTD: 166

I have stuck to my plan of writing every day (good thing, too, these deadlines are piling up faster and faster), but I’ve only averaged 17 miles a week, which is a little short of my New Year’s goal of 20 miles a week. Getting sick in February slowed me down, as did some foot and ankle problems in the last month. BH battled back from a hip injury with lots of physical therapy and much gritting of the teeth.

We are as ready as we can be to run 13.1 hilly miles.

Thanks for all the great comments about the contest announcement and garden tour. Yesterday I harvested the first batch of broccoli and basil.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic We ate this minutes after it was picked.

I am melting and other obvious facts

Remember how I moved up here because I love ice and snow? I’ll be crawling inside the freezer shortly. This will be the third day with sticky temperatures in the 90s. Ack. I hate heat. Ack. Ack. Ack.

I have a couple of freshly-chilled links to distract you, if you are sticking to your chair the way I am sticking to mine this morning.

My local newspaper, the Post Standard, has a nice article about our upcoming half-marathon and how I became a runner. You can see photos of BH and I running, plus additional bits from the interview on Shelf Life , the newspaper’s book blog.(Yes, I am very proud to live in a region where the newspaper has a reporter who covers books AND a book blog!)

Richie Partington has written a wonderful and moving review of CHAINS.

The Mad Woman in the Forest Writing Challenge starts July 1. If you’ll be joining us, it’s time to sharpen your pencils. In preparation, I’m going to recommend you check out a few books about the business of writing and the artistic process. If you want to publish a book for kids or teenagers, I really think you should buy Harold Underdown’s Idiot’s Guide to Publishing Children’s Books, 3rd Edition. Seriously. You’ll read it until the covers fall off.

Office Mouse got the camera talking to the computer yesterday! (I am still learning how to size the photos correctly. Another obvious fact.) What do you want me to put on a video?

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Here is the Creature With Fangs all dressed up for our anniversary last week.

Oh! And I can show you pictures from last weekend’s book signing, too!