Saturday, September 22, 2007

Bad Blogger! Bad! Bad!

I am failing miserably at this blogging thing. Let's see, what's been going on since I last wrote? Library Lion is still on the New York Times best-seller list, which is just very cool and exciting and sort of surreal. Okay, very surreal. It's been 34 weeks! Sometimes it falls off, but then a few weeks later it shows up again. :)

I'm so pleased to share that LL has won two more wonderful awards! The first of these is the 2007 Time of Wonder Award from the Maine Discovery Museum! I'll be in Bangor with Kevin Hawkes to accept the award over Columbus Day weekend (see "Where I'll Be" at right). LL is also the winner of the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association (NAIBA) Book of the Year Award for Picture Book! That one will be awarded at the NAIBA Fall Conference the evening of October 14. The independent booksellers have been so awesome and supportive of Library Lion since the very beginning. He would not be where he is today if not for them! I'm glad I'll have another chance to thank some of them in person at the conference.

I've also been invited to read at The New York Times Great Children's Read on Sunday, October 14, on the Target Stage at 10:30 a.m. The entire event runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and lots of other children's book authors and celebrities will be there, and also They Might Be Giants!! So please come if you can—the event will be held at Broadway and 116th Street, and admission is free.

In other news, I cut my hair very short a couple of months ago. Here is a photo:

I've had long hair for years and years, so this was a big deal for me. It's . . . different. After I got over the initial shock, I started to like it. But I kind of miss my long hair, too.

I finished what should be the final revision (not counting copyediting!) on my middle-grade novel earlier this month. During that time I came up with the following list of things to do when the revision is Not. Going. Well.:

  • post to your listserve let yourself be soothed by the kind, helpful responses from the wonderful people on there

  • read Anne Lamott

  • read pieces of good books that remind you of why you wanted to be a writer in the first place

  • remember that some of the most important books from your childhood are ones that you now consider to be not, technically, very good, but that there was a time when those stories and those characters were your best friends and you don’t know how you would have gotten through certain terrible years without them

  • let your agent reassure you

  • go for a walk, but not to anyplace where you are likely to see too many happy, well-adjusted people and their lovely children and friends and spouses who all look like they know some secret to life that everyone forgot to tell you

  • eat peanut M&Ms

  • eat Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia frozen yogurt with too much chocolate syrup and some walnuts, for protein and crunchiness

  • make lists

  • watch Star Trek or Buffy or Veronica Mars or anything else that makes you feel happy and safe

  • drink a glass of wine (or two)

  • read some piece—a scene, a paragraph, a sentence, a phrase—of something you’ve written that you know is good

  • listen to music that you love, that makes you want to write and imagine things

  • call certain friends who think you are great, and who would never believe that your novel sucks, no matter what you say

  • pet your cat

  • buy things

  • go to the gym (to make you feel more ok about eating lots of bad things when you get back home to the computer)

  • daydream about when you’re finally done going back through the chapter revisions and that lovely idea you have about printing out the final draft and taking it in hard copy to that nice cafe you like and sitting in one of those big chairs or maybe on a couch in the company of those other industrious-seeming people and drinking lots of iced coffee and eating many of those yummy brownie things and other assorted pastries and going back through the manuscript one more time with a red pen and fixing some last-minute things and hopefully finding it’s all not as bad as you think

  • challenge people to endless games of online Scrabble

In the end I think the revision went okay, maybe even well. But it got ugly there for a while in the middle. It's a new experience for me to be working on something this long and complicated! I do like working on novels, though—I like having more room to tell a bigger, more involved story, and having more characters and a more complex plot; it's just a lot different from the shorter books I've done. Anyway, now that the revision is back with my editor, I can think about writing other things, which is very nice and exciting. I have a deadline for a new picture book manuscript in January. That is not very far away.

Okay. This Saturday is flying by, and I've got lots more to do and a hockey game to go to later (yay, Rangers!), so I will bring this lengthy post to a close. Glad I got to catch up on some of the stuff that's been happening. I'll try to be a better blogger moving forward!


  1. Congratulations on LL! It's a great book and deserves all the attention (and sales!).

    And I'm sure the novel will be a success as well; writing is the purgatory that brings us to heaven. It's the length of the journey that's so frustrating....

    Cool haircut, too. Good luck!

  2. Wow! That hair really is different! Looks great though! Looking forward to hearing more about the novel!

    All the best

  3. Thanks for the list :)