Archive for September, 2008

Ta Da!!!!

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

Allow me to unveil the cover of ANY WHICH WALL!  Which is now available for pre-order on Amazon, about a jillion years ahead of schedule. WOW!)

LeUyen Pham is a genius!

People of the book(s)…

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

I just spent three days at a truly remarkable conference, The Conversation.  I’m not sure there’s any way for me to effectively talk about the experience here. It was immense and confusing and private, and I’m still chewing it over, but I’ll  say this– I met some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met in my life, and I feel renewed and excited and compelled to rejoin the world of Jewish communal work.

I feel fraught and bewildered in good ways. I feel challenged to figure out how to help create an infrastructure for Jewish people like me, who live on the boundaries of the organized Jewish world.  I want to see the term “unaffiliated” mean a positive thing.

I am, myself, “unaffiliated”, but what that means is only that I defy denominations and groups, not that I lack interest, input, literacy. “Unaffiliated” means creative to me. Outside the box. Not that I’m not a vital part of the community as a whole.  There has to be a way for those of us who are living in small towns, non-Jewish n’hoods, to participate more fully. An easier way  for the intermarrieds and the politically contentious (I mean this nicely) to contribute, build.

It will require a new kind of participation, new types of structures, but I think this is wonderful!

Today, I’m wondering what would happen if there was a charter school that taught Hebrew immersion. Placed in a commuity with failing schools, but where a sizeable unaffiliated Jewish community was living nearby.   I wonder if the Hebrew would act as a secular draw, particularly for parents who want/need educational options, and also a new kind of Jewish community.  A charter school that would act as a hub for that community-building work in the kinds of places  I choose to live.

I would absolutely choose such a school for my kids!  A school that would be a non-denominational, all-inclusive way to meet other Jews, but also other non-Jews.  A place where my kids would learn Hebrew (which I want them to do) but also live in a mixed-up community. An anti-eruv. A place where I’d meet Jewish families to join pot-luck Shabbat dinners, but without moving to the burbs or doing private school.  And the charter could include Jewish holidays off from school!  Not religious instruction, but a secular centerpiece to transitioning n’hoods with Jewish families in them.

I’d imagine other things would spin out from it.


Powell’s ROCKS!!!

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

I am thrilled and tickled to be a part of the Kids Q&A at Powells!!!!

Nice bits…

Saturday, September 13th, 2008

The launch party was wonderful!  Pics to come…

And I’m honored to be in such company!

Blog tour finale!!!

Friday, September 12th, 2008

The always-brilliant Margo Rabb (perhaps you know her fabulous book?  Or her awesome essay at the Times?)  has asked me to name my sexiest writers… and my imaginary boyfriend!!!

This will come back to haunt me. I’m nearly sure of it!

Where do books meet blogs???

Friday, September 12th, 2008

At the 2nd annual Kidlitosphere Conference, in Portland!

I’m so sad I can’t go, but I had already committed to the Baltimore Book Festival for casino that weekend. Next year I’ll be there come hell or high water!!!!

I can’t help thinking that the people who REALLY want to be there are publicists for children’s books.  This is like a huge happy friendly hotel full of the people who can make your book a household name!

Slidy Review!!!

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

It isn’t out for another month yet, but Slidy Diner got a great mention in Wondertime‘s Halloween issue, and the result is exciting!  Today, a blog review by Nancy Arruda, who read it at BEA!


I didn’t conceive of this as a Halloween book, but it makes a wonderful kind of sense.

Thanks to Nancy, and also to Daniel Pinkwater (who wrote it up for Wondertime!)

Scratchy swag…

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

Weren’t you just saying the other day that you wished you had a tattoo of a red-headed milkmaid and prairie dog?  I’m pretty sure you were!

Weren’t you also saying that you don’t have enough vintage-y postcards adorned with pictures of castles?

Come to my party on Saturday at Little Shop of Stories and getcha some!

Blog Tour Stop 9: Sarah Prineas

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

Sarah Prineas is not only the author of the fabulous Magic Thief (it really is good. I read it in one sitting!) She’s also a friend and an Iowa Citian and a funny funny gal.

So of course I’m honoroed to grace her blog today.  It isn’t every children’s author who knows to ask me about the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the Hamburg Inn #2!

The season…

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

Suddenly I get a reminder every day for some  amazing colony or fellowship program. Deadlines are looming and hence such emails are flooding the internets.   I stare at the pictures ( above, the Millay Colony,whose Facebook announcement found me yesterday) and sigh.

Was a time when I would have applied to everything.  But.

I cannot think about leaving the boys for a month.  I just can’t.  I want to write in a quiet place, focus on my work, talk with other writers, share a glass of wine.

But not badly enough to leave a one year old and a two year old. Not badly enough to “find someone to take them”. Not badly enough to miss seeing their faces daily.

Why doesn’t someone start a colony with childcare?  Would that be so impossible?  Who needs time more than moms?

Or maybe there could be a co-op setup. A colony where the moms and dads are gone 9-5, and the kids are essentially at “camp” and each parent rotates through, takes one shift in the “camp” a week?

Or maybe someone could do a colony where you can go for one week?  One week would be HUGE for me.  I could maybe do a week.