Hot Topic – Push Button With Care

Wow – yesterday’s post generated 76 LJ comments overnight. I think that may be a record. They are fascinating to read through. Thank you everyone for sharing your opinion about this.

After dinner last night, I wrote back to her. I decided that this was indeed a “teachable moment” and if I was going to complain about emails like this, I should reach out and try to help. MySpace said Courtney was online when I sent it.

“Dear Courtney,

Are you sure that you want to write a “different” paper? Because I have a very interesting idea if you do.

Laurie Halse Anderson

PS – When you write back, please don’t use the abbreviations you use when texting your friends. I really love English, punctuation and all. Yes, I know it’s a pain, but that’s what you have to deal with if you write to an author.”

So far, she hasn’t written back. I suspect she won’t because I am certain the paper was due yesterday.

I think I need a new page on the web site. I could title it: “kan i rite 2 u?” The page will explain the no-homework policy and give kids the basic facts they want for papers as well as links to more information. And it will gently point out the differences between formal and informal writing styles.

As to ‘s post about language evolution, I am tempted to agree, but I think it is too soon to tell. The technology that is fueling these abbreviations and linguistic short-cuts is itself rapidly evolving. I don’t think the teenagers in ten years will be using the same kinds of phones or IMing to communicate, so I don’t think this language will stick around.

I predict that in ten years, the FaceBook equivalent will have groups called “u gru up in teh 00s if u rite lik dis.” And people will chuckle fondly.

Have any of you shared this with your students? What did they say?
Any last thoughts?

I could use a little music help

So I am sitting in the Detroit airport right now, catching up on my email and looking forward to sushi for lunch. I’ll take pictures, I promise. The flight here was on time and uneventful; loverly. Fingers crossed for the next leg of the trip.

Theo has been working away at his forge, crafting a new look for my website. It is still very much a work-in-progress, but here is a sneak peek at the Novels page.

And here’s the new look for the homepage.

What do you think? (Not all of the buttons work yet, so don’t worry about that. Just tell us what you like and what you don’t like.)

I also asked Theo to put together pages for playlists for all my books. This is where I’d love your ideas: What songs would you put on the playlist for: SPEAK, CATALYST, PROM, TWISTED, & FEVER 1793 (I am looking at you, for that one!)?

edited to add I forgot to mention our early morning adventure in the Forest. We woke up at 4am as scheduled. Minor complication: no power. I got dressed and put on my make-up by candlelight, while Beloved Husband valiantly made coffee by boiling water and handpouring it through the coffee-filled filter. He let the dog out to do her business just as we were preparing to leave. One nanosecond later, he bellowed for her to come back in. I had caught a whiff of skunk and assumed the worse.

Yes, it was a critter, but it was a raccoon raiding the dog’s food bowl in her pen. Nothing was left of the skunk but the stink. Crisis averted. Packed the car, grabbed the coffee and hit the road at 4:30am. As we headed for town, BH said, “You blew out all the candles, right?” Me: “….. ah, I think so?”

We drove back. Yep, I had blown out all candles. House and dog were safe. The raccoon was full. And the skunk was probably watching all of this from the cover of a hollowed-out log, laughing his fool stripe off.

The most exciting day of the year

Tuesday, March 20th, means…

… that Spring is finally here. It snowed on and off all day yesterday.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic … that the TWISTED book contest is closed to new guesses. This is one of the deeper snow drifts around the house – it is about 55 inches high. BH will be monitoring the melting daily. As soon as the last bit of snow is gone, I’ll make the announcement and choose the winner.

… that TWISTED is officially launched!!! Yee-haa!!! You can buy it in a bookstore today! Please read it and tell me what you think.

… that the TWISTED podcast is up on my website. (Thank you, theoblack!)

… that ShelfLife is celebrating one of my heros, Judy Blume.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic … that I have to finish packing

… because my book tour starts today! I leave for the airport in a couple of hours and will spend the rest of the day flying south. Cross your fingers that the suitcase stays with me.

I will be blogging daily from the road. Here is tomorrow’s schedule:


8am – SCHOOL EVENT – Blytheville High School, Blytheville, AK (not open to public)
Sponsored by: That Bookstore

11am – STOCK SIGNING: That Bookstore
316 W. Main, Blytheville, AR 72315 Tel:(870) 763-3333

2:00 PMish – STOCK SIGNING at Barnes & Noble
Wolf Chase Galleria
2774 N Germantown Parkway
Memphis, TN 38133

3:00 PMish- STOCK SIGNING at Barnes & Noble
Carriage Crossing
4610 Merchants Park Circle Suite 52
Collierville, TN 38017

3:30 PMish – STOCK SIGNING at Borders
6685 Poplar Ave
Germantown, TN 38138

7:00pm – PUBLIC EVENT! at Books-A-Million
135 Towne Square Boulevard, Southaven, MS 38671
(suburb of Memphis, TN) Tel:(662) 536-1888

Stomach twisting monday

It’s two weeks until TWISTED is released. Let the nausea begin.

I expect to get back my editor’s comments on my WIP today. I want to try and turn it around before I leave. More tummy-twisting.

Oh, and yeah, the book tour is in two weeks and I am obsessing about packing and I need to remember to buy Sleepytime Tea for the trip and to pack my vitamins and I better get to the gym because exercise time will be short and it is snowing again and they closed Rt. 81 because nobody could see anything. But, really, I’m fine. Really. I just need a nap.

Theo has given the homepage of my website a new feel. He also posted the Tour Online, and started putting up the dedicated TWISTED pages.

I am going to eat Tums now.

Oh, and I got a tattoo this weekend. What did you do?

TWISTED live, in Penguin Land

Thank you, Book Page, for the excellent review! (Be sure to check out all the featured YA titles, including Cynthia Leitich Smith’s excellent Tantalize.)

My totally excellent publisher, Penguin Books, has posted a bunch of TWISTED stuff on their site.

You can read the first chapter online!

Check out the discussion guide questions.

Examine the playlist.

The good penguins also asked decent interview questions. I thought they might amuse you.

Grew up in?
Several tiny villages in Northern & Central NY and Syracuse, NY: the big city.

Childhood ambition?
To read all the books in the library and climb to the top of the rope in gym class.

Desert island book?
Ulysses, by James Joyce.

Favorite city?
Tough question! San Francisco, with Paris running a close second.

Favorite movie?
It’s A Wonderful Life, Van Helsing, Rocky, Last of the Mohicans.

Where do you write?
My office is the third floor loft of our house, with windows that look over our woods and meadows. If it’s really cold, I take my computer down to the living room and work in front of the fire. Sometimes I work in coffee shops and libraries and book stores, just to see other human beings. But mostly, I like my loft.

What made you decide to write Twisted?
Many of the teenage guys I met in the last ten years had fascinating things to tell me. While the book is not based on anyone’s story, the themes of a guy’s alienation from his dad, a broken family pretending to be happy, and the despair that leads kids to kill themselves came from what they told me. And I like a challenge. I’d written a bunch of books from a girl’s point-of-view, and I wanted to see if I could get in the head of a boy.

What would you like readers to learn from Tyler?
That they are not alone with their darkest thoughts, that most people go through hell, and that it is possible to survive having parents who are clueless jerks. Oh, and that friends are gold.

What adjectives would you use to describe Twisted?
Aaahhh…twisted? No, that’s too obvious. Dark, funny, dangerous, and honest.

Favorite food?
Popcorn with butter, bran muffins (not too sweet) and strong coffee, bacon and eggs cooked over an open fire while camping, pickled herring.

Favorite song?
Hotel California (live version) by The Eagles and Clocks, by Coldplay.

Favorite item of clothing?
Hoodie sweatshirt just out of the dryer.

Greatest achievement?
Raising my kids to be good people (though they did most of the work).

Most embarrassing moment?
There are countless!! The worst was when my little sister and I got into a knock-down, drag-out fight at a family reunion and all of the older second cousins I had been hoping to impress dismissed me as being one of the stupid little kids because of it. (I was 11 years old.)

Smartest thing you ever did?
Went overseas, took some time off after high school, then went to community college before transferring to a four-year school. Marched to the beat of my drummer.

Life motto?
It’s not a mistake if you learn from it.