Thank you everyone for the very sweet comments and emails about the O’Dell Award! I am still tingling with excitement and hyperventilating.
Christmas is finally over up here on the Tundra. We’ve had Daughter #1 (aka Bookavore) and her boyfriend up here for the final celebration. Author Alert – Bookavore is moving to the Big Apple and will be managing WORD, a super-cool bookstore in Brooklyn, starting next month.
I have finally signed up for Twitter. I think it will be most fun while I’m on tour. My Twitter name is halseanderson. Feel free to follow!
My Friday Five is an assortment of book news I’ve been accumulating for a while.
1. Along with all the other amazing news this week, Isabel in CHAINS garnered a Cuffie Award. Be sure to read through the whole list!
2. The Israeli rights to TWISTED have been sold. Check out this student project about the book.
3. Penguin has posted my poem “Listen” on their website. The poem shares reader reactions to SPEAK. I wrote it for this year’s 10th anniversary of the book. (Follow the link, scroll down, and open the pdf.)
4. Illustrator Matt Faulkner has posted a DAMES video on YouTube.
5. We have a WINTERGIRLS Facebook page now. Another nice review has come in for WINTERGIRLS, but I can’t post it for a few weeks. Stay tuned!
I’m headed into the Writing Cave this weekend, hoping to blast through a plot knot and weave in a subplot. What are you doing?
THIS is nice way to get all toasty warm on the inside: second review for WINTERGIRLS, second star. Thank-you School Library Journal!!!
From SLJ February 2009: ANDERSON, Laurie Halse. Wintergirls. 288p. Viking. Mar. 2009. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-670-01110-0. LC number unavailable.
Gr 8 Up–The intensity of emotion and vivid language here are more reminiscent of Anderson’s Speak (Farrar, 1999) than any of her other works. Lia and Cassie had been best friends since elementary school, and each developed her own style of eating disorder that leads to disaster. Now 18, they are no longer friends. Despite their estrangement, Cassie calls Lia 33 times on the night of her death, and Lia never answers. As events play out, Lia’s guilt, her need to be thin, and her fight for acceptance unravel in an almost poetic stream of consciousness in this startlingly crisp and pitch-perfect first-person narrative. The text is rich with words still legible but crossed out, the judicious use of italics, and tiny font-size refrains reflecting her distorted internal logic. All of the usual answers of specialized treatment centers, therapy, and monitoring of weight and food fail to prevail while Lia’s cleverness holds sway. What happens to her in the end is much less the point than traveling with her on her agonizing journey of inexplicable pain and her attempt to make some sense of her life.
Head over to the WINTERGIRLS MySpace page to read an excerpt and check other reviews. Friend us! Ask everyone you know to friend us, too!
Day 9 started with a drive from Chicago to Milwaukee. We headed to the breathtaking Milwaukee Public Library, where I was greeted by my old friend (and the man who set me on the path to write CHAINS), Ben Franklin.
He said he hasn’t read CHAINS yet, but he’s hearing good things about it.
I looked at some of his books on display. I told him I’ve been hearing good things about them, too.
I had lunch with and spoke to a group of Milwaukee librarians, then drooled – at a respectful distance – at the shelves of their rare book collection. They had this giant book of author and artist signatures on display where
the page showing Maxfield Parrish’s signature was delightful.
Thank you Kelly, Karen and Gail for arranging my visit!
Wisconsin schools were closed Thursday and Friday for the state teacher’s conference, so my Author Shepherd set up six stock signings for the afternoon.
And he made sure I ate a sinful Milwaukee specialty. (Note – a POSTSECRET moment behind the cut!
I will be using today’s subject line a lot in the next four months!
Life is busy – good busy. I am so incredibly blessed to have all this fun stuff to do! Right now most of my time is spent working on the new book (it’s a historical that continues the adventures of the characters introduced in CHAINS). My goal is to get the first readable next to my editor my early next month. The tentative publication date is the Spring of 2010.
I’m also gearing up for the crazy CHAINS book tour that starts on 10/21. I’ll be posting more details about that soon. Counting a few events before and after the actual tour (NCTE/ALAN and a couple of bookseller trade shows), I’ll be spending 40 days on the road, and visiting 27 cities (in several places, I’ll be in town for two days). I am a little overwhelmed by the thought of this, but mostly am so excited that I am giving off sparks.
And there is the very advance publicity work I need to do for WINTERGIRLS, my YA that will be published in May, 2009. I hope that the WINTERGIRLS book tour will cover some of the regions of the country (i.e. West Coast) that I won’t be seeing on the CHAINS tour.
Oh – and the other thing about next year? Next year is the tenth anniversary of the publication of SPEAK. More details about any festivities later.
This afternoon is the big meeting with the folks at my mother’s
rehab facility spa to discuss her discharge date, and that is the most exciting news of all. She had gotten back much of her strength and is beginning to walk with a walker. If they leave her there much longer, she’ll reorganize the facility, so I suspect she’ll be home soon. Thank you everyone for the prayers and warm wishes. They have meant a great deal to our family.
The sad thing is that I’ve been so busy that I haven’t been able to can as much food as I had hoped, and my garden is showing signs of neglect.
But my pumpkins are comfortably resting on their cozy beds of shredded manuscript draft.
And my Beloved Husband has finished splitting and stacking almost 25 cords of wood to heat the house this winter. (You can’t see it from the photo, but the stack extends to the far wall of the garage.)
What have you been up to?