Archive for August, 2008

When it rains (books)…

Friday, August 15th, 2008

What a week!

It was thrilling enough to have “Scratchy” boxes arrive.

But then, a short 24 hours later, “Slidy” boxes arrived too!  So now we are flooded  with books. In fact, we’ve had to throw away other things just to make room.

Including (it would seem) all my son’s clothes. (though not, evidently, the raisin bread)


Friday, August 15th, 2008

Warning: This Video contains blueberries and a baby from Laurel Snyder on Vimeo.

My “book trailer” (aka home movie) is up at Book Screenings!

A CONTEST (& book giveaway!)

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

So I’m sitting her in a big pile of books, and I’m thinking I should give a few away.


How’s about this?

You’ll post  a little story to your blog, about a task/ job/situation/role for which you are thoroughly unsuitable (the FULL title of my book is “Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains OR the Search for a Suitable Princess”).

For instance, if I were entering the contest I might say, “I would make a thoroughly unsuitable vow-of-silence-nun, because I never shut up. Also I am Jewish.”

In addition to this little post, you’ll also ou’ also add a link to this post (by way of explanation) and the cover of the book (see above).

Then you will scramble back here and post a comment, to let me know you’ve entered the contest!

In a week’s time I’ll select the most entertaining story entered, and the winner will get a FREE signed copy of my book (in which I promise to write something REALLY unsuitable).

How’s that?

Let the games begin!

Decatur Book Festival!!!

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

In case you don’t know (how could you NOT know?)  we now have a book festival in my burg!  A big ‘un!

And on August 31, at 2:30, just five short days after MY BOOK first appears on bookshelves near you, I’ll be participating in the festival myself, on a fantasy panel with the most delicate Adam Rex and the most delicious Brandon Sanderson.

This will not be my “book launch”, which will be happening on September 13, at 3 PM, at Little Shop of Stories, and will NOT have funnel cakes and 75,000 people (or that’s not the plan, anyway) but WILL have “unsuiitable” treats and crafts and tattoos for all.

But still, it will be THRILLING, and you should COME!


Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

They’re HERE!!!!

The BOOKS are here! (confirmed after Mose “read” the packing slip and Lew contemplated chewing the bubble wrap)  The glorious, beautiful, amazing, shiny books full of pages and words and pictures.  And it only took 8 years for them to get here!!!!


A lot of “important” moments along the way.  The initial chat with Lisa, the letters of on-spec revisions, the day it went to committee, the agent-getting, the acceptance, the first round of official edits, the second round, copyediting, last-minute fact checking, blurb hunting, contracts arriving in the mail, checks arriving in the mail, arcs arriving in the mail, the first review, etc. etc. All of them HUGE  moments. And with the arrival of each, this feeling of “I’m about to be an author”.

But checks and agents and deals and reviews do NOT make you an author, whatever some people may think.

A BOOK makes you an author!!!

There is something in the actual concreteness of the thing. The THING!  It is a thing, not an idea. I had an idea, and I worked at it, and now, 8 years later, the idea has become a thing. An object.  It’s an incarnation.  It’s CRAZY!

I can wrap it up and give it as a gift. I can burn it for firewood. I can barter it for goods and services. It is a thing.  I can touch it.

MY BOOK!!!!!!

(which the boys–THING 1 and THING 2– helped me, joyfully, to unpack. I’m a lucky lady, to have such helpers.)

Did I mention???

Monday, August 11th, 2008

Lew can WALK!


Dispatch from the trenches…

Monday, August 11th, 2008

Writers often refer to the years they spend slogging away in the slush pile, looking for a book deal, as “The Trench” or “The Trenches”.  And as they wade around in the muck of that slush, they try to find rules, codes, tricks that others have used to help them get out.  I know I did!  I wanted, desperately, to believe that it was like the Secret Garden. That there was a  key somewhere.  And that if I just talked to enough people, and wasted enough time on the internet, someone would give me that key.

So far as I can tell, there are just no rules.  No tricks. No magical key to the kingdom.

So far as I can tell, the only rule is to  write and write and write, and when you despair– rant (and drink if you are so inclined) and then write some more.  Increasingly I think the biggest thing that distinguishes published authors from unpublished authors is persistence.  Or lunacy, depending on how you look at it.

Here is a letter people might enjoy seeing, a letter from my own trench. A  rejection letter for Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains.  From the VERY SAME EDITOR who who ended up acquiring it!  (And please don’t email RH and try to send Lisa a manuscript after seeing this, since she is long gone and it won’t work)

So there’s at least one rule– once you’ve been rejected, don’t send the book back to the same editor– that isn’t always true!

The Book of Life…

Saturday, August 9th, 2008

Heidi Estrin, one of my new favorite people, does a really wonderful Jewish books podcast called “Book of Life”. And the current podcast includes BEA interviews that Heidi conducted with Kathy Bloomfield and ME!

I have to admit I’ve been cringing in nervousness about listening to this particular cast, because chatting with Heidi was SO MUCH FUN that I let go entirely and ranted and rambled and let it all hang out.  Which means– inevitably–that I embarrassed myself.

So I had no idea what she’d cut my blathering down to.

But listening to Kathy was enlightening for me, and interesting.  And I guess I don’t sound TOO awful.Just really really excited.

Give a listen!!!

It’s Poetry Friday!!!

Friday, August 8th, 2008

Poetry Friday is funny for me, because I feel like I jump back and forth between my identities, as a poet for adults and an author for children. I love that one week I’ll put up some lovely doggerel, and the next week I’ll have a poem like this one…  but it doesn’t really matter.

More people reading+ more different kinds of poems = a big win!


Radio, Radio

By Ben Doller

(who used to be called Ben Doyle back in the day)

In the middle of every field,

obscured from the side by grass

or cornhusks, is a clearing where

she works burying swans alive

into the black earth. She only

buries their bodies, their wings.

She packs the dirt tight around

their noodle necks & they shake

like long eyelashes in a hurricane.

She makes me feed them by hand

twice a day for one full year: grain,

bits of chopped fish. Then she

takes me to the tin toolshed.

Again she shows me the world

inside her silver transistor radio.

She hands me the scythe.

Thanks to Becky for the Roundup!

Anyone speak Portugese?

Wednesday, August 6th, 2008

And want to tell me what this is all about?

In any case, I’ve gone viral!  Wheeeeeeee!