Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Class of 2k9

My fellow Class of 2k9ers and I are getting ready to launch our website soon and I'm very excited. Like the classes before us, we're a diverse group of middle grade and YA debut authors whose books are coming in - obviously - 2009. I'll be posting more, soon, and adding links to their individual websites at my but I wanted to take a second to tell them all how fantastic they've been as we've felt our way through this publication thing. Most of us have day jobs and families as well and all of us have a myriad of other obligations, but slowly, we've become a crazy family of our own. Writer = neurotic some days and what better group to share the crazies with? Personally, I've had the weirdest fall in a while - between hurricanes and abcessed tooth and the election stress and the economy (okay only one of those happened just to me but still) and agent change and some other family health concerns and a little travel thrown in for good measure, plus, oh yeah, that pesky full time job. Add in work on three plus books in one stage or another and I'm a little nuts most days. So how absolutely amazing to have 20 other people who know exactly what that's like? (okay, minus the hurricane for most of them but whatever)

Best of all, I am thrilled to be able to talk about all their upcoming books!! That's the best of all. Some days I have to pinch myself to check if this is really happening. ARCS and cover art and a twenty or so wonderful, amazingly passionate and hard working new friends to share it all with. Because that's the other best thing - I get to talk every day with so many writers who share my passion for story telling, for people, and for telling stories for children and teens that get the heart of what it means to be human, who care deeply about getting that right. We may disagree on some little things, but we agree on our committment to our audience and to the craft. I can't ask for any better, braver group of humans to share things with.

Bravo fellow 2k9ers. You inspire me each and every second of the day.

Til next time...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Going to the fair and other AZ adventures

Just got back from our trip to AZ to see the prodigal son, hang out and generally have a rollicking wonderful time. I middle seated it both going and coming home which is not my favorite, but husband likes window and I don't want to be anti social, so... but you know if I hadn't been the middle, I might not have chatted with the guy next to me Thursday nite who was having a rather loud conversation with a reporter on his cell, which he ended to ease himself out of his aisle seat (okay, he was, while nice, not the smallest fellow on the planet) and comment to me re: reporter on phone - "Doesn't she realize she's speaking to a leader of a nation." So what do you say to that? Hi, this is my husband Winston Churchill and I'm Queen Elizabeth? Turns out though, that I guess he is - of a Native American tribe in Michigan. Huh...

Beyond that, we ate, drank and were very merry the entire weekend. Piano bar on Friday nite, some serious shopping and hanging out on Friday day. Great breakfasts out which I love. Visits with the kid, his girlfriend and even her family who were in for the weekend as well. We all watched ASU get routed by the Oregon Ducks but had a blast none the less. Hit the bars some. Got some face time with the adorable Andrew and Dan and tried to pry Amazing Race info out of them. Nope. Not telling! But they are still friends so obviously whatever the outcome it did not change that! And spent an afternoon at the AZ State Fair amidst more fried food than is humanly possible, puke it up rides galore, side shows like the largest alligator in the world (sad gator in a shallow pool of water that you pay an extra buck to see...), free SPAM samples from the SPAM Mobile - "You can have as much as you want." Me: "Oh goodie." Watched the pack llama competition (Rick the llama won; we yelled for him; not sure if that's the proper llama deocrum but rowdied it up for Rick, especially when he had to do the llama limbo...) watched sheep shearing, spinning wheel demos, pigeon competitions and my ultimate moment of ick when one poor guy's arm was wrenched in two (picture what happens when you pull the drumstick off a turkey and you've the mental image needed) during the Arm Wrestling Championships. I screamed. Loudly. It will live with me forever.

Til next time...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Embracing the changes

Patience and the love of change. Two things I endlessly lack. You'd think I'd have learned... cause I'm certainly getting enough experience.

As many of you know, there was a real shakeup at ABLA when my fantabulous agent of two years, Michelle Andelman, decided to move to a career as a book scout. When you're with an agent for two years, people, it's honestly like being married. You know each other's quirks, likes, dislikes, work habits, patterns. This is the person who negotiated my first contract, who sold my first book... it's joined at the hip time - until suddenly it's not. And all of sudden you're feeling like you did in college when you had that bad breakup just after Valentine's Day with the rebound boyfriend... But I am delighted to say, that as the dust lifted, I am now partnered with the delightful, passionate, and absolutely smart as a whip Jennifer Rofe. And - as was to be expected - back in the revision cave for one more set of fixes on the project that has been the love of my life for awhile now. (and Jen, if you read your client's blogs, I think I know how to get 'er done!)

Now if only someone could figure out how to solve our country's financial woes, assure me that we're going to elect the right people, and help me figure out why The Hills' Audrina took off her top in the pool for Justin Bobby...
Til next time...

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Something for Sunday

Lots of somethings, actually. In no particular order:
  • If you are here in Houston, go, go, go to see the new musical Unbeatable, which is a: about a woman fighting stage three breast cancer and b: absolutely fantastic. This is the first play in Stages 08-09 season, to which husband and I are subscribers. Stages is an amazing reperatory theater and while I also love and support The Alley, Stages is a smaller, more intimate venue and takes more risks in their offerings. Ike (stupid #@%& hurricane!) caused some serious damage to Stages facility so last night's performance was at the smaller theater in the Hobby Center. And because yesterday was also Race for the Cure, the audience was filled with cancer survivors and those who support them. Next week, the show moves back home to its own stage. Like I said, GO! You will laugh and cry and sing along. And if that's not enough, the actress who plays Tracy's mom, Janet Carroll, also played Tom Cruise's mom in Risky Business. Okay, maybe that's not a pull for you. But it was cool for me.
  • I am now on Facebook. Go ahead. Friend me. Even my own son did. Thanks to Kim O for a little shove on finally setting up my page.
  • Episode two tonight of Amazing Race. According to my inside sources, things get more exciting for Andrew and Dan.
  • Reading The Ice Queen by Alice Hoffman. Wowza! Woman believes she can wish people dead... then she gets hit by lightning - and survives. But nothing is going to be the same. It is a phenomenal read.
  • Waiting on all publishing issues. Waiting for line edits. Waiting for the moment we'll send my next "baby" out on submission. Waiting to get my cd of my professional photos. (they're pretty darn good, actually, considering what they had to work with, which is, well, me).
  • Waiting for FEMA to pick up the enormous piles of storm debris (trees, branches, whatever) that are everywhere. And by enormous, I mean f-ing huge. And by everywhere, I mean everywhere. Every. Where. Our bags o' crap were taken away on Friday! Yay!!! But the piles of limbs lay (lie?) rotting away. Oh Ike, you were one mean, mean guy.
  • Still mulling over the VP debates. This election is nothing if not fascinating.
  • Still mulling over the Bailout. People, did you all learn nothing from Enron? What's that I hear? Crickets? Birds chirping?

Til next time...